Fargate, The
The Fargate
Image from Steve Bowers
The Fargate has no apparent external support structure, yet is completely stable; if it is the product of alien technology, it is extremely sophisticated and presumably very ancient.
Location: Taurus, 4291 ly from Sol, near HIP 21575.
Radius of throat; 25km.

The Fargate is a long-distance wormhole of presumably alien manufacture, discovered in the rimward periphery. This object had been observed by telescope for several thousand years, but at first it was wrongly identified as a black hole; when the event horizon was examined in detail by the Argus Array, detectable emissions from the far end of the 'hole were observed. A long-range exploration ship was sent from the Metasoft outer volumes, arriving in 10233.

Travel through the gate transports one to a location in intergalactic space. The exact location in relation to the Milky Way galaxy is unknown, since instruments sent through the portal have been unable to pinpoint any familiar configurations of galaxies. It is hypothesized that the Fargate may exit beyond the edge of the observable universe, although this cannot be confirmed. In the Current Era, the entire observable universe has been mapped in some considerable detail by telescope; but of course the most distant observable galaxies are more than forty billion light years away in proper distance, and are seen in the state they existed in more than 13 billion years ago. This means that the current state of these galaxies, and indeed the majority of galaxies in the observable universe, cannot be predicted accurately, so it is not possible to tell whether any of the galaxies observed from the far end of the Fargate are the same as the ones which can be seen from the Terragen Sphere.

Possible origin of the Fargate

There is no detectable control infrastructure inside the Fargate, but it is apparently completely stable and is therefore qualitatively different from any other wormhole yet discovered. One possibility is that the Fargate is an entirely natural phenomenon. In the earliest phase of the existence of the universe, the Inflation Era, extremely high energy events may have caused a wide range of topological defects such as primordial black holes, cosmic strings, domain walls or textures, and wormholes of various kinds. A wormhole created in the earliest stages of inflation could have been separated by the expansion of the universe into two distant mouths which could be millions or billions of light years from each other. Most estimates of such wormhole pairs predict that the wormhole mouths would not be traversable, and could collapse when particles passed through the throat; but certain rare topological defects might contain enough natural exotic energy to remain stable for an indefinite period.

Another possibility is that such a topological defect may have been found, and artificially stabilised, by an early xenosophont civilisation, perhaps the hypothetical Alpha civilisation that may have existed in the Inflationary Era (or even earlier). There may even have been several such civilisations which may have co-operated in this early era, or they may have fallen into conflict (perhaps using the Fargate as a means of communication or escape). The Fargate may even be a completely artificial construct, a theory which is very popular among Metasoft researchers.

Conditions at the far end

Since the far mouth of this wormhole opens into intergalactic space, there are no nearby stellar systems. This means that the Fargate is not particularly useful as a means for colonising new territory, unlike the other xenoholes which have been discovered within the Milky Way. The closest star is sixty light years away and has a low metallicity and few planets, having been probably ejected from a distant galaxy many billions of years ago. Other stars are more distant. The interstellar medium in this location is very sparse, and there is a net flow of particles from the Milky Way to the far end, though this is very small.

Some researchers have suggested that the Fargate connects to a different universe, but there is of course no evidence for this and most commentators are confident that the coordinates for The Other Side, as it is called, will be pinpointed eventually.
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Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner
Additional material by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 08 April 2002.

minor canon edits August 2023