(covers information from several alternate timelines)
The Sphere-Builders were a humanoid species native to a trans-dimensional realm. One of the factions in the Temporal Cold War, they were responsible for the creation of a network of massive spheres in the Delphic Expanse as the first step in their plan to colonize the Milky Way Galaxy.
Sphere-Builders were humanoids with yellowish hairless skin, blunt features, and pale blue eyes. Due to the different laws of physics in their native realm, when in normal space they suffered rapid cellular degeneration leading to total disintegration. However, when in normal space Sphere-Builders had the ability to pass through solid objects and damage technology by reaching into them. They could also attack by generating large energy pulses from their hands. Most weapons fire passed through them harmlessly, though phase weapons set to modulate at a rotating frequency of 32.6 teracycles could deal enough damage to force their retreat. (ENT: "Harbinger", "Zero Hour")
In the mid-12th century, the Sphere-Builders created a network of spheres designed to generate spatial anomalies that would reconfigure space to suit their needs. The reconfigured space would in turn be inimical to all existing lifeforms. The spheres' activity isolated the surrounding region behind a barrier of thermobaric clouds, creating the hazardous Delphic Expanse. (ENT: "Anomaly", "Azati Prime")
Using their ability to examine alternate timelines, the Sphere-Builders discovered that, in the 26th century, their invasion of the galaxy would be repelled by the United Federation of Planets. To avert this future, the Sphere-Builders decided to manipulate the Xindi species into destroying Humanity before the Federation's founding. (ENT: "Azati Prime")
Appearing to the Xindi following the destruction of their homeworld Xindus in 2033, the Sphere-Builders guided the survivors to habitable planets and valuable resources. The Xindi came to all but worship their mysterious benefactors, calling them the "Guardians". Similarly, the Triannons thought of them as gods called the "Makers," and believed that they were transforming the Delphic Expanse into a paradise for their eventual return. (ENT: "Chosen Realm", "The Council")
The Sphere-Builders told the Xindi Council that Humans would destroy the new Xindi homeworld in the 26th century, and advocated a preemptive strike using a planet-destroying weapon. They showed a fabricated visual record of their claims, which served to convince the reluctant Xindi-Aquatics. The Sphere-Builders assisted the Xindi in constructing a prototype weapon, which was launched against Earth in 2153 and killed over seven million people. A representative of another faction in the Temporal Cold War warned Captain Jonathan Archer that the Xindi were building a far larger weapon, leading Starfleet to send Enterprise NX-01 into the Delphic Expanse to stop them. (ENT: "The Expanse", "The Council")
The Sphere-Builders also surreptitiously aided the Xindi-Reptilians in their attempt to synthesize a bio-weapon with which to destroy Humanity, a plan that had been rejected by the Xindi Council. To keep their efforts secret, the Sphere-Builders transported Damron and two others to Detroit, Earth in the year 2004, where they could experiment freely on Humans. Facilitated by Daniels, a temporal agent from the 31st century, Archer and T'Pol traveled to the past and stopped the project. (ENT: "Carpenter Street")
Eventually, the Sphere-Builders sent a test subject in a small pod to gauge whether they could survive in a trans-dimensional disturbance produced by the spheres. The test subject was discovered by Enterprise, and experienced rapid cellular degeneration as soon as he was removed from the disturbance. Before he died, he unsuccessfully attempted to destroy Enterprise to stop its crew from completing their mission. (ENT: "Harbinger")
The Xindi-Primates and Xindi-Arboreals began to doubt the Sphere-Builders after Archer, who had been captured at Azati Prime, gave them information and evidence he had obtained from Daniels. Realizing the timelines were shifting against them, the Sphere-Builders promised the Reptilian Commander Dolim that his race would reign supreme at the head of a new Xindi empire if he and the Xindi-Insectoids hijacked the Xindi weapon and destroyed Earth. When Enterprise and the remaining Xindi species sought to stop the weapon's launch, the Sphere-Builders intervened by using their spheres to create anomalies that shielded the weapon from the enemy fleet. (ENT: "Azati Prime", "The Council", "Countdown")
While Archer took a team to stop the weapon, Enterprise targeted the primary sphere in the network, Sphere 41. The sphere was protected by a large trans-dimensional disturbance, and once Enterprise entered nine Sphere-Builders boarded and attacked it directly. Nevertheless, they failed to prevent Enterprise from disabling an interspatial manifold on the sphere's surface with a deflector pulse. This resulted in a chain reaction that destroyed the entire sphere network, causing the Delphic Expanse to dissipate and forcing the Sphere-Builders to retreat to their native realm. (ENT: "Countdown", "Zero Hour")
The Sphere-Builders possessed time travel technology and the ability to examine alternate timelines, allowing them to monitor the probabilities of various possible futures. They could transport between their native realm and trans-dimensional disruptions in normal space. For communication, they used a transmitted hologram. They constructed the advanced Delphic Expanse spheres, and provided a component from 2573 for the prototype of the Xindi weapon. (ENT: "The Expanse", "Carpenter Street", "Harbinger", "Countdown")
|Consciousness parasite • Edo God • Nucleogenic lifeform • Solanogen-based lifeform • Species 8472 • Sphere-Builder|
The Sphere-Builders were initially conceived as a race of devious aliens who were pitting the Enterprise crew and the Xindi against each other. "[That] was something we knew from the very beginning we were gonna do," explained Brannon Braga. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 151, p. 33)
In the final draft scripts of "Harbinger" and "Damage", the Sphere-Builders were described as being "hairless" and having smooth skin that (in the case of the "Harbinger" script) was referred to as being "almost fetal-smooth".
The Sphere-Builders appear in Star Trek Online as originally a Delta Quadrant species called the "Tuterians". In a disastrous attempt to use the technology of the solanogen-based lifeforms to defend themselves from the Borg, they inadvertently altered their own physiology to become incompatible with normal space.