The Epatha Gateway is a interstellar phenomenon in the Epatha System that manifests as a wandering wormhole connecting the Gradin Belt with other parts of space on a cyclical basis. A strategically important asset for Task Force 38, it is the only link between the task force's two primary areas of operation (the Gradin Belt and the Round Table), and the only fickle connection between the Delta Quadrant (the Gradin Belt) and Federation space (the Raeyan Sector).
The Epatha Gateway is currently known to connect the Gradin Belt with:
|Delta||Round Table||Aether System||9 Days||30 Minutes|
|Beta||Raeyan Sector||Fourth of July Nebula||45 days||15 Minutes|
Research and management of the Epatha Gateway is currently conducted from Kartelan Station.
Discovered in mid 2388 by the USS Equinox while surveying the Aether System of the Round Table, the Epatha Gateway was originally categorized as an unstable wormhole linking the Round Table to the Gradin Belt once every 9 days. With Task Force 38 stranded in the Delta Quadrant and fearful of another Borg attack following the Battle of the Round Table, the fact that the wormhole connected the Round Table to a region of space 20,000 light years away was of great interest, even if the connection only occurred every 9 days. Almost immediately, the task force thus began devoting resources exploring the newly discovered Gradin Belt to which the Epatha Gateway provided access.
With the Gradin Belt quickly becoming a second area of operations for Task Force 38, scientists began to study the strange wormhole more aggressively. As they sought to understand why the wormhole only connected the Gradin Belt with the Round Table every 9 days, they made an astonishing discovery: it wasn't that the wormhole was unstable, but rather that its aperture width and subspace axis varied based on the orientation of stellar bodies within the Epatha System. A theory began to develop that, if they could calibrate a probe or ship properly, they might find connections to other regions of space when the aperture and axis were aligned differently, and maybe one of these could even provide a connection back to Federation space.
Because of the complexities of the Epatha Gateway, scientists could only ascertain the behavior of the Epatha Gateway through observation. Early probes sent through the Gateway met with little success, but, after continued tests, a probe successfully travelled through the Gateway to a mass negative region of Chaotic Space on the other side of the Gradin Belt. While not a useful or safe connection in its own right, this invigorated researchers, then based off Kartelan Station, to continue probing the Gateway. Numerous other connections, most completely unviable, were discovered in the following months.
Towards the end of 2388, scientists made the breakthrough they'd been hoping for ever since the Epatha Gateway was discovered. A probe sent through the Gateway reported back that it had arrived in an area of space already on Federation star charts: the Fourth of July Nebula in the Raeyan Sector of the Beta Quadrant. Task Force 38 rushed to send word through the Gateway, but before much could be accomplished, the Gateway shifted again. Upon further study of the Epatha System, researchers ascertained that the conditions causing the Epatha Gateway to connect to the Raeyan Sector terminus would occur every 45 days. Task Force 38 finally once again had a connection with home, even if it wasn't one that could be used at any time as with the former Iconian gateway and transwarp gate that had once connected Task Force 38 to Federation space.
The Aether System is a remote star system to the galactic southwest of the Jathlin Arm of the Round Table (Delta Quadrant) accessible through the Epatha Gateway for a period of 30 minutes every 9 days.
The Ghemawat Realm lays claim to the Aether System. A technologically advanced power suspicious of outsiders, they maintain a starbase and several ships to control access to the Gateway. Task Force 38 negotiated permission from the Ghemawat Realm to use the gateway, but tensions have been reported by Starfleet vessels in their interactions with the Ghemawat Realm while using this terminus, but thus far have still enjoyed a relatively free flow of travel.
Fourth of July Nebula
The Fourth of July Nebula is a nebula in the Raeyan Sector (Beta Quadrant) that was discovered to have a terminus from the Epatha Gateway for a period of 15 minutes every 45 days.
The Fourth of July Nebula is a region of complex subspace geometry that imbues it with red, white and blue hues. Lying within Federation territory in the Beta Quadrant, it has been studied lightly in the past, but now it has taken on new importance as the location of the only connection with Task Force 38 in the Delta Quadrant.
The cyclical wandering wormhole referred to as the Epatha Gateway is rooted in the Epatha System, the result of subspace interactions between a binary star system, a singularity around which they orbit, and a super dense self-gravitating neutrino gas cloud.
The Epatha Gateway is an exotic stellar phenomena caused by the interactions between:
- The Epatha System - A semidetached binary star system comprised of a Type II blue giant (Epatha A) and a Type O6 main sequence star (Epatha B).
- The Epatha Singularity - A singularity that the Epatha system orbits with a pericenter distance of approximately 40 AU.
- The Epatha Cloud - A super dense self-gravitating neutrino gas cloud between the Epatha System and the Epatha Singularity that orbits nearly geosynchronous to the Epatha System, the variances in its orbit caused by changes in the gravitational center of the Epatha System as Epatha B orbits Epatha A.
The intense gravitational eddies caused by a binary star system (Epatha System) orbiting a singularity (Epatha Singularity) caused the formation of the neutrino gas cloud (Epatha Cloud). Further, the variance in the orbit of the Epatha Cloud in relation to the orbit of the Epatha System causes the accretion of neutrinos into the Epatha Singularity to vary, which in turn creates a cyclically-varying mass negative region of space around the wormhole. This mass negative region of space is what makes the Epatha Singularity a viable wormhole, and its cyclically-varying nature is what causes its aperture size and subspace axis to vary. The variance in the subspace axis, in turn, is what causes the terminus to vary.
Ultimately, where the Epatha Gateway connects is determined by the relative positions of Epatha A, Epatha B, the Epatha Cloud and the Epatha Singularity. This means that, once a useful terminus is found, scientists can use the relative positions of these bodies to predict the period and frequency when the Gateway will terminate at a particular terminus. For example, the conditions that cause the Gateway to connect to the Aether system in the Round Table occur every 9 days, and the conditions for the Raeyan Sector terminus occur every 45 days.
|TASK FORCE 38|
|Task Force||Overview • Simulations • Forums|
|Areas of Operation||The Gradin Belt • The Round Table • Epatha Gateway|
|Federation Assets||Kartelan Station (TFHQ) • Helios Station & Colony • Diogara Station • Persephone Colony • Hestia's Hearth|
|Gradin Belt||Ba'neth • Borg Collective • Devore Imperium • Hierarchy Central Command • Hirogen • Kartelan Protectorate • Malon Cooperative • Markonian Outpost • Ord'mirit Mining Corporation • Turei Alliance • Vaadwaur|
|Round Table||Divitian Republic • Five Star Liberation Front Movement • Ghemawat Realm • Jathlin Trading Group • Perenalthorias Union • Pre-Warp Cradle • Star Desert|
|Additional Data||Battle of the Round Table • Delta Advisory Council • Kartelan Protectorate Agreement • Underspace|
|Resources||Task Force History • Command History • Delta Quadrant Astrometrics • Delta Quadrant Powers|