We’re almost ready.
It’s been months since we found the Iconian gateway in the caves underneath New Romulus. Months of work with no sleep and constant challenges. But tomorrow will change the future of our world.
The entire galaxy will be at our fingertips.
The first mountain we needed to climb after finding the gateway was agreeing on what to do with it. Our Starfleet allies wanted to bury it, but I understand that previous encounters with Iconian technology have made them… cautious. The Klingons were more adventurous, but we still need to be careful that they don’t turn our new homeworld into an armed camp… or use our gateway as a method of conquest.
I left the political infighting to D’Tan and the ambassadors, but I did have to point out a parallel in recent Federation history. When the Bajoran wormhole was discovered, Starfleet didn’t destroy it – they helped the Bajorans and others use it, learn from it, and it changed Bajor from a ruined backwater planet struggling to recover from the Cardassian occupation, to a vibrant, influential world that is a staunch member of the Federation.
Why shouldn’t Starfleet let us have a chance to use this gateway to rebuild our fortunes?
I spent the time studying the recordings we found in the chamber. The Dewans knew of the gateway’s existence, and about 150,000 years ago, they attempted to activate it. They failed.
The gateway takes an immense amount of power to operate – more than what was available to the Dewans. They used a geothermal tap, but something in the connection between the tap and the gateway caused a mass volcanic eruption. It was that event that caused so much of the ecological damage that plunged this world into a dark age, and killed the Dewan civilization.
We will succeed where they failed. If we don’t, we could share the Dewans’ fate.
We first installed environmental controls in the chamber. Trying to study the gateway or manipulate tools while wearing a claustrophobic EV suit was impossible! Then the real work could begin.
It took months to find a safe interface between our systems and the gateway, and months after that to develop an effective power supply. The Dewans were on the right track. Geothermal energy was the most efficient source. What we did, however, was improve on their technique with modern EPS systems and safety controls, as well as using power cells that can store far more energy than the Dewans were able to. This allows us to use the cells as a backup to keep the gateway active in times when we may not want to use the taps.
Learning how to operate the gateway itself has also been a challenge. Because it can connect to almost anywhere, we have to be careful not to end up in deep space when we’re attempting to direct it to Earth! So far, most of our tests have been successful, and we’ve sent through small probes to safe locations.
Tomorrow it all comes together. Dignitaries from the Romulan Republic, the Klingon Empire and the Federation will be here. We’ll send the first Romulans through the gateway and a new era of exploration and prosperity will be here.
I can’t wait. All my life, I wanted to do something for my people. Make a discovery that changes lives. That’s just what this gateway is.
Have to get some sleep and be ready for the big day. I’ve been having trouble sleeping for weeks, and the dreams… they’re more like nightmares. The stress must be getting to me.
Computer, remind me to schedule some down time next week.
The story continues next week in our Feature Episode, “Sphere of Influence.”
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