Monoliths are a truly alien life form, existing in three dimensions of space and three of time. Monoliths generally take on the form of massive stone blocks or wooden trunks, carved or natural.
Through gentle guidance and cryptic hints usually given in the form of visions and dreams, Monoliths can potentially affect the course of all history, though the extent of their involvement remains completely unknown.
Public or Secret
Not a secret, they are all around us, yet almost impossible to encounter.
Monoliths communicate through visions and dreams.
Area of Operation
The entire universe and beyond, apparently.
To human eyes, Monoliths generally take on the form of massive stone blocks or wooden trunks, carved or natural. They can weigh anywhere from a few hundred pounds to a hundred tons. They can be found all around the Earth in places such as the Canadian tundra, the Salisbury Plain in England, the Mojave desert in California, and the cliffsides of Rapa Nui. Most planets in the Federation and probably beyond have similar natural/artificial formations scattered across their surfaces. For example, the giant tufa on Vulcan's Forge and the frozen helix spires on Andor.
Monoliths exist in three dimensions of space and three of time. They have no power of independent movement in the space dimensions, but can move freely in all three dimensions of time. Because of this fundamental difference, humans, with only a very few exceptions throughout the ages, are unaware of the Monolith's true nature. Ancient peoples, recognizing spiritual power in them, have used them for millennia as elements in temples or as totems, carting them at great cost all across the countryside. Some shamans and various other rare humans, sometimes through the use of hallucinogens and secret rituals, have learned to traverse the time dimensions and converse with the Monoliths.
Spacetime-6 is a continuum composed of 3 dimensions of space and 3 dimensions of time. The three dimensions of space are familiar to us. The three dimensions of time can be thought of as analogous:
- The forwards/backwards time dimension allows movement into the future or past. It changes your calendar date. (Illustrated in pretty much any time travel episode.)
- Left/right motion in time is like stepping sideways across to neighboring parallel universes. The farther you move, the more reality diverges. The calendar date remains the same, but reality changes. Call them parallel universes, quantum realities, or divergent worldliness. (Illustrated in TNG "Parallels" and many Stargate SG1 episodes.)
- Vertical up/down motion means venturing away from the plane of reality altogether into the realm of thought, dreams, and nightmares. The farther you travel up or down from Now/This, the farther you recede from actual reality into the Imaginary. Again, the calendar date stays the same, and your quantum universe doesn't change, but the Real becomes Imaginary. (e.g. TNG "Where No One Has Gone Before", TNG "Journey's End".)
Combining motion in the three time directions allows the Monoliths to travel to any time, in any quantum parallel universe, and in any way they can imagine it in their dreams.