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More than a hundred years after its discovery, the Guardian of Forever remains an almost total mystery. Discovered by Captain Kirk in 2267, the Guardian was located on an uninhabited planet. It was roughly ring-shaped, approximately three metres in diameter. Sentient and apparently highly intelligent, the Guardian spoke in fairly ambiguous terms, claiming that its answers were being tailored to the level of Human understanding. It claimed to simultaneously be both a device and a life form and said it was "its own beginning", possibly indicating that it had somehow evolved by itself rather than having been constructed by others. Although it was located the middle of ruins which dated back one million years, the Guardian claimed that it had been awaiting a question since "before your sun burned hot in space", a span of some five billion years. It therefore seems that the city was built around the Guardian rather than vice versa.
The Guardian could show images of distant times and places, and was apparently designed to act as a portal which allowed travel to those locations. Several Enterprise crew members used the Guardian to travel to 1930s Earth and return safely.
Many questions remain concerning the Guardian, not least that of who might have built it. If its claim as to how long it had awaited a question is correct, it would pre-date even the Progenitors by at least a billion years, and may in fact be the oldest entity in our universe. Given its tendency to talk in riddles it seems unlikely that the Guardian will be more forthcoming about itself in the future.1