Delphic Expanse Sphere
The Delphic Expanse spheres (or simply spheres) were artificial objects the size of a small moon that were scattered around the Delphic Expanse.
First detected by Captain Jonathan Archer and the crew of the Enterprise NX-01 in 2153, these machines were responsible for various spatial anomalies throughout the Expanse and even for the existence of the cloud-like anomalies that defined the edge of the Expanse. According to the Xindi, there were 78 spheres.
The spheres functioned by generating waves of gravimetric energy. Where waves from different spheres intersected, spatial anomalies were formed. These anomalies usually took the form of "ripples" in space that caused damage to mechanical systems and created localized distortions in gravity. Spheres were also surrounded by cloaking barriers that rendered them invisible to the outside world.
The spheres were controlled by a network of artificial intelligence that was housed in a redundant memory core. The spheres' exhaust was funneled out of a conduit, whose opening on the outer hull was holographically disguised as another piece of the hull. To protect their internal structures, the inside of the spheres possessed gigantic claws with the ability to disintegrate intruders. The spheres were connected by a subspace energy grid. Four of the spheres were integral to this connection, as they contained the interspatial manifolds that allowed the spheres to tie into one another. Sphere 41 was such a sphere.
The spheres were discovered to have been built by a race of transdimensional aliens trying to adapt the Milky Way Galaxy to their own needs. In one possible future, these aliens succeeded and had huge parts of the galaxy adapted in the 26th century.
Spheres encountered by Enterprise
- Sphere 1: This sphere, encountered in 2153, was being used by raiders as a base.
- Sphere 2: Had levels of gravimetric energy that was much higher than that of Sphere 1. Measurements of this sphere allowed the Enterprise to calculate that there must have been at least fifty spheres in the Expanse.
- Sphere 12: As far as Enterprise could establish, it was completely identical even in the smallest details to sphere 1 and 2.
- Sphere 41: The Enterprise determined that this sphere was a key to the sphere network's energy grid, and developed a means of destroying it using the navigational deflector array. This plan was successful, and triggered a chain reaction, destroying all of the spheres within the Expanse. The destruction of the spheres returned the Expanse to normal space, devoid of anomalies.