As Kira and Nige were guided through the city complex by their Iconian guide Kerrin, Nige was amazed at what wonders surrounded them. The architecture of the Iconians was breathtaking to say the least. The whole city, from the buildings to the streets was fashioned from what seemed to be only white materials. The effect on the eyes of Kira and Nige was at first annoyingly bright, as it was high noon on the alien planet, however, as their eyes began to adjust to their seemingly monochrome surroundings they began to notice that the whites used in the city and the clothing of its inhabitants were of slightly different shades. Some were off-white; others were very light beige, and others had only the slightest twinge of color to them.
Nige theorized that the Iconians must have a slightly different perception of color saturation. Perhaps their eyes only worked in extremely bright light. Thus, all other colors that would seem rich and full to us would be discernible only as a deep black or deep blue, etc.
After meandering through the city complex for what seemed like an hour, the small entourage arrived at the large pyramidal structure that housed the gate room and communications center. Although this structure physically resembled the one that they had used to transport here from their own galaxy, it seemed as though this one was a lot cleaner and brighter. Granted, it was 150,000 years younger than anything they had seen before.
Just as they were entering the communications center, Nige lightly touched Kerrin's shoulder to get her attention.
"Yes, Tyran," answered Kerrin in response to his touch.
"I was wondering, how old are these structures, and how long did it take you to build up your network of gateways."
"This particular structure has been in place for nearly two centuries. It took many more centuries to build our network of gateways, as you would call them," answered Kerrin with a smile as she stepped over the threshold into the building. "Hurry, your friend is awaiting you."
"Of course," said Nige, "Thank you."
Nige caught up to where Kira was standing in front of a huge viewscreen that displayed a picture of a large Kelvan on it.
"What have you found, Lieutenant," said Kira to the Kelvan on the screen, which was obviously Benton. "Thanks to the Iconian's assistance in lending me a ship, I have managed to contact the Kelvans of this galaxy," rumbled Benton's naturally amplified voice through the communications console. "They are intrigued by my story, which is a miracle in itself, as intrigue is not one of my species more common emotions."
"Tell me about it," mumbled Nige under his breath.
Kira shot Nige a look that told him that he understood the joke, but that also said to keep it under wraps.
"Were the Kelvans able to verify your claims by scanning the galactic core?" queried Kira.
"Yes," rumbled Benton, "once their scans were centered to that part of the galaxy they were able to make out the early signs of a developing instability within two super-massive neutron stars. At this point they have calculated that their natural orbits will collapse within a few days, which will cause the beginnings of the destruction of their galaxy. Currently, they are working to find a way to prevent the disaster, but their technological prowess is nowhere near to the Kelvans of our time."
"Barring that any of the plans that they come up with don't pan out, can the Kelvans get the Commander close enough to the galactic core to contain the gamma dispersion?" asked Nige.
"Yes, they can get the Commander there, however, they have not yet developed transwarp technology. This advent must have been invented after they discovered their galaxy was in danger of destruction," replied Benton.
Kira turned to their Iconian guide, Kerrin, and asked, "How far away are we from the galactic core at maximum warp, Kerrin?"
"More than three days away, without utilizing transwarp."
"After nearly a day of expansion, I doubt that I'd be able to contain the resulting radiation," said Kira in a dejected tone.
"My people may be able to assist you in this matter, Kira," said Kerrin in a quiet tone. "We have the ability to travel at speeds that are much faster than transwarp engines are capable of. We could have you within the galactic core within the hour if necessary."
"Kerrin," asked Nige, "is there anything that your people could do to help with this situation?"
"I can think of no way for us to assist you other than helping you get to the core. We may be advanced, but even we do not have the ability to stop two stars from colliding," said Kerrin. "However, we do know of those who have that ability."
Kira and Nige looked at Kerrin expectantly and together stated, "Who?"
"Excuse me," said Kira. "You know of the Q?"
"Yes," said Kerrin, "we do. We have known the Q for as long as we can remember. We have been their allies for a very long time. You," she stated as she looked at Kira, "remind us of them very much."
Unsure as to what Kerrin meant by that comment, Kira dismissed that train of thought and instead asked another question. "Kerrin, do your people know how to communicate with the Q?"
"Of course," said Kerrin. "I will contact them immediately. However, I am sure that they are already aware of this situation and are working to remedy it."
Kira and Nige looked at each other with quizzical stares, at this cavalier description of the Q. That the Q would actively try to "remedy" anything was beyond their understanding.