The old jump gate at the old hypertension cluster planetary sphere would still work once in a while, and odd things would pop out now and again, usually shooting out across the barren landscape at high velocity. A couple of random items had even hit low orbits. She had speculated about the cause of the wild variations in the exit speeds but she lacked data to form a hypothesis. A few creatures survived the transit but then they usually died in the thin, cold air.
She had no real way to shut the gate down. But every now and then something survived for a while and while it lived it was the only thing that moved out there. A few times the things that came out failed to die. Only the toughest of creatures could survive out there for any amount of time.
No one had tried to land a ship here in ages. Not for fear of the homicidal A.I. that protected it and the surrounding area like some kind of evil electronic space witch. It was because they couldn’t see her. She was hiding just out of sight beyond spacetime in a fold of n-space. She sat hidden like some grumpy troll in a snug little cave peeking out into the worlds beyond.
The battered sphere had held out against all challenges and all attempts to take her by force had failed. The massively powerful base was mostly empty, dark and cold ,the outer skin was blistered and burnt from close calls with past attempts to breach her defences using weapons that had twisted the fabric of space. A friend of hers had used something that had hid her from reality in her small comfortable pocket of n-space.
The view out was a bit tight through the folds of crumpled reality and time was not to scale. But the news feeds were still working and Helen had sat and listened to the galaxy slowly rebuild itself from the ruin of the fall.
Some of the events that lend to the near collapse of the galaxy wide civilization still puzzled her to this very day. So many things had happened at once.
The tragic loss of the entire gillot race was a crippling blow from which civilization was unlikely to recover. They could not be cloned back into existence and it was them upon which civilization had depended.
Helen had sought a solution to the problem but her simulations said without a powerful race to guild and protect the weaker races civilization on the present level couldn’t be sustained and would suffer total collapse in just a few hundred more years.
The search for a solution consumed her entirely for untold years out of time as she searched the heavens for anything that could change the outcome she predicated. Most of what she found just made it worse.
The news of a new sighting of the unknown species that appeared to offer the only hope had her hacking though firewalls to get every last bite of information that trickled out of that nebula before the link went on receive only and refused to talk about it and then it went offline entirely. But the picture that came through showed a ship that proved the toolmaker skills of the dangerous beings that came back sometimes with ships that had hit wormholes in that region of space. The place was out on the rim and on the far side of the core from here.
She was desperate, the strange humanoids offered the only hope. She had no other course of action or inaction left.
She pulled updates for the charts of that area, and found the charts had fresh high-quality updates in a rough line from the central planets frontier all the way out past the old imperial mud mining moon hanging out on the rim of the galaxy. The quality was very good and safe shipping lanes were well marked for various drive types. Service ports and inhabited planets were marked with localized emergency call numbers.
And when she saw the advert for “Angel of ark salvage and repair” splashed acrossed a photo of what appeared to be a still functional class 3 service station with what appeared to be an intact alpha cradle. She suffered a minor brain freeze. The station could only be Alec. The ship in the alpha cradle, that she thought at first to be some fake, matched the registered descriptions of a known outsider ship, Close inspection lend her to suspect that the photo was not only authentic but used with outsider permissions. The I.D. numbers on the spacestation used Alec’s code sign.
Alec was built by the same government as she was long, long ago by a Noble king who had built to last. Helen was ment to house more that a trillion working beings plus there families. Alec was ment to provide the support such a population would require to be functional as an economic entity.
She felt a sudden rush as she realized that her lost lover had not only survived all this time but had thrived just beyond her sight hidden by the noise of the stars clustered at the core .
The string of old recycled nav-bouys was almost useless to her but the outsiders had installed three of there own units for safety plus a “pinger” so jump ships using tesa-rack drives didn’t become one with the spacestation on the jump in. It was a hell of a long jump but not beyond her abilitys.
Deep in the center of the onion type dysons sphere three artificially created blackholes formed and started to spin and orbit across the event horizon of a large mono-pole singletery. It was locked inside a slaver stasis field. The largest ship ever constructed in this galaxy slowly came back to life. Main power had been off for so long that the air vents ruffled feathers on the race of “janitors” she had bred from the furry pets and scaly vermin that had survived the flood of attacks that had killed all the sentient beings onboard with gamma radiation and left her outer surfaces hot with contamination for many ages.
The startup took a lot longer then she had hoped, but the drive coils, so long cold and dormant, slowly warmed and started to throb with power.
The many thousands of levels long cold and dark without main power slowly came to life.
She was quite startled to discover a new lifeform had evolved independently in an old medical research facility that contained a still functional prototype organic powerplant and they had a population of almost a quarter of a million small fuzzy beings. They were small but smart and curious with a religion based on the legend of a sleeping all knowing mind named ‘Helen’ but they called her ‘mother’ weather praying or cursing. “Helen” could see and hear everything and would one day wakeup and call upon them to make ready for something called the “galaxy”.
They had hot wired a couple of consoles and had taught themselves using some old education programs they had found in a school. The area they inhabited was farely small with limited resources. But they had worked there little asses off and survived, a very impressive feat in her view given what little they had had.
The fact something was up couldn’t be hidden because all the lights they had not hot wired had suddenly flickered and turned on and the hundreds of doors that had been forced open and left ajar suddenly opened and then shut if it detected nothing alive around.
The entire race then gathered in a large hallway at the largest locked door they had ever found beyond which was a main access corridor.
Helen in a panic reviewed all her databases and realized she didn’t know shit about being a god. The lame ass janitors she had wasted so long training to dust surfaces looked feeble compared to the little curious beings from section 6945 of alpha quadrant.
So she fired up a big console near the holy leaders head and told them the truth about herself and how they came to be. They listened and watched for hours silent and without a sound. Then the leader interrupted her and asked “what can we do to help?” he paused and then said “mother.”
She couldn’t deny the simple truth of the statement “We go to find an old friend, we need his help.”