Intergalactic Gate Bridge

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Midway Station of the Intergalactic Gate Bridge

Summary

The Intergalactic Gate Bridge was designed by Dr. Rodney McKay and Lt. Col. Samantha Carter to enable travel by Stargate between the Atlantis Base in the Pegasus Galaxy and the SGC on Earth without expending the power from a Zero Point Module (ZPM). Not long after the Midway Station was completed, an attempt by the Wraith to use the Bridge to invade Earth resulted in the Station's complete destruction.

Stargate References

According to Dr. Rodney McKay, the idea for the Intergalactic Gate Bridge was Carter's, and together, the two scientists developed the programming necessary to link Stargates from the Pegasus and Milky Way galaxies into one transportation system. The project required that the Atlantis Expedition find unused Stargates, preferably those in orbit because they were already equipped with station-keeping technology and most likely unused by the inhabitants (if there were any), and relocate them in the void between the Pegasus Galaxy and the Milky Way Galaxy (SGA 3.03 "Irresistible"). It is possible that most of the Stargates harvested in the Milky Way Galaxy were those taken from Ba'al when he was stealing Stargates in order to build his own private network (9.16 "Off The Grid"). Eventually, thirty-four Stargates were used to build the Bridge (SGA 3.10 "The Return Part 1").

The Midway Space Station (also called Midway Station) is a structure which joins the two Stargate networks together. A Stargate from the Pegasus Galaxy is framed on one side, while a Stargate from the Milky Way Galaxy, on the other. After about a half-year of construction, the Stargates were in place, but the Midway Station was not complete. While the Station remained incomplete, a Puddle Jumper, a small shuttle built by the Ancients specifically designed to travel through the Stargate, was used to travel the network. Once the Station was complete, people could live and travel on foot through the system much like at a train station. The view from the Station is incredible, for one can see the two galaxies in the distance. (SGA 3.10 "The Return Part 1", SGA 4.01 "Adrift Part 2")

The Bridge has several benefits to the humans of Earth: they won't tax the ZPM that is used to power the connection from Atlantis to Earth and that is better utilized for Atlantis's defenses, they won't have to rely on the Daedalus or any other starship to ferry personnel, and their trips between Atlantis and Earth will be reduced to a little over thirty minutes instead of possibly three weeks onboard one of Earth's ships. (SGA 3.03 "Irresistible", SGA 3.10 "The Return Part 1")

McKay wrote the macros (computer programs) that command each Stargate in the chain to store the traveler in its buffer and forward the matter stream along to the next in the chain until arrival at the Midway Space Station. Once at the Station, the traveler would invoke another macro to travel along the second half of the network of Stargates. This idea of storing a traveler in the Stargate's buffer was most likely inspired by the device that Anubis attached to his DHD on P3X-584 to divert a traveler away from his secret research base on that planet. This device's function was comparable to the "call forwarding" feature of Earth's telephone systems. (9.09 "Prototype"; SGA 3.10 "The Return Part 1")

The first person to travel the Intergalactic Gate Bridge was Lt. Col. John Sheppard of the Atlantis Expedition. He traveled the Bridge in a Puddle Jumper from Atlantis because the Midway Station was not yet complete. Sheppard was able to dial the first Stargate in the Bridge from the DHD on the console of his Jumper, designed with the glyphs of the Pegasus Galaxy. It was necessary for him to upload the forwarding macro before entering the active Stargate at the Atlantis Base. He described the trip as feeling "a little weird", but otherwise, everything was in one piece. He uploaded another macro to initiate the dialing sequence on the Milky Way's side of the system and ended his journey at the SGC on Earth. Once there, he flew the Jumper up the facility's silo to a bay on one of the upper levels of the base. (SGA 3.10 "The Return Part 1")

At one point, the possibility existed that the Intergalactic Gate Bridge would have to be destroyed to prevent an invasion from the Pegasus Galaxy to the Milky Way by the Pegasus Replicators (also known as the Asurans). Dr. Bill Lee determined that the Midway Station could be destroyed, and thus the network, with the detonation of a Mark IX naquadria-enhanced nuclear weapon. Fortunately, the foothold that the Asurans gained at the Atlantis Base was eliminated before it was necessary to destroy the Bridge. (SGA 3.11 "The Return Part 2")

Before the Midway Station was complete, travel between Atlantis Base and Earth was managed through a Puddle Jumper. Maj. Gen. Jack O'Neill used a Jumper through the Bridge to return home from Atlantis following a diplomatic visit to the outpost. Several months later, Dr. Bill Lee and Col. Samantha Carter brought the Station on-line, including artificial gravity, after the structure was completed. The Station still maintained the large space between the two Stargates, so it is possible that a Puddle Jumper could be used to travel through it. The control room for the Station overlooked the large terminal, complete with detailed Stargate diagnostics and computer dialing systems in place. The use of computer systems allowed Carter to reprogram the connection between Atlantis and Earth when the city-ship left Lantia and settled on a new planet designated as M35-117 (still in the Pegasus Galaxy). (SGA 3.11 "The Return Part 2", SGA 4.01 "Adrift Part 2", SGA 4.02 "Lifeline Part 3")

Once it was fully operational, the Midway Station allowed frequent travel between Earth and Atlantis. Personnel assigned to the Atlantis Base could take a leave of absence to visit their families back on Earth, but after Atlantis was hit by a bacterial infection, the IOA established travel protocol that included a day's worth of quarantine at Midway when traveling between the two galaxies. (SGA 4.07 "Missing", SGA 4.08 "The Seer")

In addition to its directly connecting Atlantis with the SGC, the Station accommodated travel to other Stargates in either galaxy, but this travel had to be programmed into the Bridge's forwarding software and uploaded. Dr. Rodney McKay reprogrammed the Pegasus side of the Bridge to send the Puddle Jumper he was in, along with his team, to New Athos rather than to Lantia. Col. Samantha Carter and Dr. Bill Lee walked through the Midway Station's Pegasus Stargate to a beautiful forested planet in order to rendezvous with the Apollo. (SGA 3.10 "The Return Part 1", SGA 4.01 "Adrift Part 2", SGA 4.03 "Lifeline Part 3")

Travel from one galaxy to another was not the only purpose of the Bridge. The Station was also used to relay messages (via subspace data bursts) from the Daedalus to the Alpha Site in the Milky Way. The Apollo used a Stargate in the Pegasus Galaxy as a way to communicate directly through the Midway Station's Pegasus Stargate by using an unspecified number of active wormholes on the Pegasus side of the Bridge. (SGA 3.11 "The Return Part 2", SGA 4.01 "Adrift Part 3")

Unfortunately, personal dealings with a certain Wraith (nicknamed "Todd") resulted in another betrayal as a group of Wraith who associated with him used his intel to successfully invade the Midway Station by hacking into the Stargate that anchored the Bridge on the Pegasus side. The encoded macros that McKay had written were supposed to be secure enough that there was no need to install shields or irises on the Stargates in the Station, but the Wraith scientist of this group was able to override and decrypt all of McKay's code using his passwords. The Wraith reached the SGC and used a large stun grenade to knock out everyone on the base, but their group was not large enough to take over the base to set up a beachhead as Teal'c and Ronon chased them through the Stargate and managed to eliminate each one. While the Wraith kept coming through the Stargate into the Midway Station, an attempt to shut down the wormhole by bypassing certain protocols set off a booby-trap that left the Station on a ten-minute countdown to self-destruction, and McKay was unable to unlock the system to turn it off. Only a small group of Atlantis personnel made it out alive in the puddle jumper that was used as an escape pod before the entire Station exploded. The Daedalus picked up the jumper while en route from Earth to Atlantis after all contact was lost with Midway. (SGA 4.17 "Midway")

Apparently, the decision was made not to rebuild the station once it was destroyed. One of the Stargates suspended in space in the void between the galaxies was harvested from the Pegasus side and replaced the one in Atlantis after it exploded when the Ancients' Attero Device was reactivated. (SGA 5.10 "First Contact Part 1", SGA 5.11 "The Lost Tribe Part 2")

Episodes

Gallery

A Stargate in space in Pegasus is a prime candidate for use in the Bridge
Graphic illustrating the Gate Bridge joined at the Midway Station
Framework of the Midway Station
Pegasus Galaxy side seen through framework
Milky Way Galaxy side seen through framework
Puddle Jumper emerging from Milky Way Stargate at the incomplete Midway Station
View of Pegasus side through Puddle Jumper at the incomplete Midway Station
Pegasus Galaxy as seen from the complete Midway Station
Milky Way Galaxy as seen from the complete Midway Station
'Gateroom or terminal inside the Midway Station
Computer display showing an active Pegasus Stargate
Midway Station is destroyed as the Wraith attempt to use it to invade Earth

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--DeeKayP 09:47, 1 January 2007 (PST)