No one knew where they came from, we only knew where they ended up. Besides the objects, this planet was unremarkable in every way, pretty worthless even in terms of mining materials. Terraforming it had failed on multiple occasions, and eventually Terracorp just gave up. They ended up just building a large dome encasing the Zero Point and called it done. The facility was essentially large antechamber housing the ZP, stretched a few miles outward on the face of Sigma II, a star composed of an iron core with little else to speak of. The ZP had been discovered when mining ships started extracting the core for unrefined materials, tossing the iron back through hyperspace to a plant on Antali IV. Upon settling the first few thousand worlds in the sector, uninhabitable planets had been simply sucked dry of any building materials, but Terracorp stopped short here on Sigma II.
On the equator of the planet, at the highest point in it’s bulge, an extractor ship had been basically ripped in half. Well, it wasn’t ripped at all. It just lost its entire midsection and floated off into space as soon as the hull was breached. But it wasn’t torn apart, or shot with anything, it simply lost pressure as a large section of the ship disappeared. What replaced the previously occupied space was a thick, glass-like capsule that popped into existence on the planet’s surface at this exact point, the Zero Point. A new capsule has appeared in this spot every 26 hours since Terracorp’s arrival, usually filled with junk, but interesting junk at that. After the accident that killed the entire crew of the excavator, they stopped mining operations and instead built a research center outwards from the ZP and started cataloguing every item sent through.
These items include technologies we haven’t managed to get working, marked with indecipherable characters, alien flora, the occasional bowl, or vase, all made out of unheard of material. It was basically interplanetary extraterrestrial junk, as no one could figure out a use for it besides pure interest.
As far as the specialists can figure, every 26 hours, the space gets replaced with a carrying device filled with one object at a time. They have been unable to answer any questions about where the objects come from, how the ZP functions, what any of the objects are for, and whether they are being sent to us manually by another race or not. They also haven’t been able to answer whether the point is two-way or not. That was my main fascination, and the reason I accepted this labor job here on the site. See, the ZP is curious and all, but working here has some heavy drawbacks. No one working in the facility is allowed to leave, due to containment of the by the Alien Contact division of Terracorp.
With thousands of planets colonized, and still no contact with another race, or any proof of one’s existence, the ZP was immediately locked down as a possible threat of alien influence. Most people were excited about the prospect of finding another race, rather than frightened, but that didn’t keep the bureaucrats from setting up a perimeter around Sigma II and hiring contractors with huge pay scales, but no promise of ever being allowed to spend it. The vast majority of people working here are sending money back to their families and essentially said goodbye to anything they ever knew in order to do so. And then there’s people like me; people who really don’t need the money, but had nothing else going for us to make the thought of being stuck on Sigma II forever very daunting.
Anyway, voices were screaming through my headset, which I had previously tossed into the bottom of the capsule. I was sweating from the heat inside, after sealing the glass back up with its new cargo. People were rushing around the antechamber just outside, screaming at me, trying to get equipment to move the capsule out of the ZP before it was too late. I just smiled. I had planned this much too well to allow them time to ruin it. The capsule was sealed up, me inside, sitting on the ZP, without about a minute until Arrival. No one had ever made a scheduled Departure, so I had planned this very carefully. I had been here, stuck on Sigma II for months, wondering where the space that occupied the ZP before Arrival went to, if anywhere. That was the thought that kept me up at night. What if it didn’t go anywhere? What if it just ceased existing? What if it was sucked into a black hole?
Well, I was going to find out.