The basis of the Machine came when alien transmissions were picked up on Earth thus making the world believe that they had found extraterrestrial life among the stars. Among the transmission was a series of blueprints which were actually instructions on how to build a device that became known as the Machine. This sparked the creation of a multi-nation effort into building the Machine and the start of the International Machine Consortium. Trillions of dollars were spent on the venture with a board being selected of individuals that would determine who the pilot of the mission would be in their quest to meet the Machine's true creators.
The Machine was a large building sized planetary based structure that was held together by scaffolding equipment. It consisted of sphere shaped device that contained a series of four or five rings that circulated when active. This was believed to be a transportational tool that would allow for faster then light travel to a single destination which was beleived to be Vega. As part of the machine was a sphereical pod that was held in a decarhedron shaped container. The pod was where the pilot resided who was sealed in the chamber for their protection. This pod was moved into place above the rings and, when activated, was dropped into the developing energy phenomena.
The first Machine was destroyed in a suicide bombing by religious terrorists. However, while this was devastating, a second Machine had been constructed which was ready to deploy Dr Ellie Anne Arroway into the mission to meet the alien intelligences that lived far away. Once the rings were activated, the Machine began in stages as the rings began to produce energy. At 50% output, visible changes were present with a resonating noise developing in the pod and as power developed, a beautiful energy phenomena was produced in the centre of the rings. This blue white phenomena grows in power as the Machine reaches 100% output. Disruptions start within the pod which had been sealed at this point with static interrupted with communications. Internally, the pilot begins to see a possible electromagnetic phenomena as light emerges from the base of the sphere beneath the chair the pilot resides in. The pods lower exterior becomes increasingly translucent after which the pod is launched into the Machine's energy vortex.
What follows was the pilot being projected into a tunnel believed to be a wormhole or an Einstein-Rossen bridge. After which they enter into space and then enters another series of wormholes where they are deposited around a world believed to be Vega then being sent into further tunnels similar to a subway. Finally, the pilot is deposited into an illusionary world where the alien inhabitants take Human appearance and make use of the pilots memories to make vocal exchange easier.
The Machine was a conduit that led users into a series of artificial wormholes created by an ancient unknown race. Other species made use of these wormholes to travel from one location to another with many meeting the race that projects the information on how to build the Machine. It was believed that the creators were gone many years ago and might return in the future at some point. The Human pilot was then however sent back to her world without any evidence or any time loss in Earth time. The aliens stated that this was the way they had been interacting with other races for billions of years and that Humanity needed to take small steps before they joined the intergalactic community.
After the pod dropped back through the vortex it fell into the water where it was believed by the IMC as well as officials to have suffered from a malfunction. An inquiry was held which questioned the pilot on whether it was a hoax or delusion on her part on what she witnessed as there was no evidence, all external video camera's recorded static and the pilots own camera showed nothing but static. It was eventually held that the Machine was a huge financial loss with the pilots words being held as possible delusions. However, it was later revealed that while the pilots camera recored static, it recorded over 18 hours of it which was the time the pilot spoke to have experienced while on her journey which leads to the credibility of her version of events.