The Engine of the Creation is an ancient artifact, which can allegedly change time and space, make stars burn again, and create whole planets, and even make dead planets support life. ("In Heaven Now Are Three")
When it was examined by the Andromeda Ascendant's sensors, her equipment could not determine what kind of matter it consisted of, and the only thing that her sensors could determine was that the engines weight is apparently that of the three galaxies.
A female Vedran scientist found the Engine of the Creation during an excavation on Kerpora Ven. The scientist discovered that the engine is apparently older than the universe itself, and that it was able to create a universe. After the discovery was made, and the tremendous power that it was able to wield became apparent, she broke the engine into five parts, which she then distributed throughout the universe.
In C.Y. 10088, Beka Valentine, Dylan Hunt, and Trance Gemini tried to find the Engine. Previously, the crew had believed that the engine was located on Tarn-Vedra. The attempt to locate the planet failed due to the extreme navigational risks required. ("It Makes a Lovely Light", "Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way")
They used a map that Beka had found in the Than artifact the Hegemon's Heart, which was on on Pierpont Drift. The map lead the trio to the planet Shintaido. According to the legend, the Engine of Creation can be found only by a team, which needs to consist of three people. ("A Heart for Falsehood Framed", "Machinery of the Mind")
The Temple of Souls
In a ravine the trio had to avoid triggers which were pressure sensitive; if the pressure on the trigger is reduced, poisoned darts from the mouth of a statue shot out. Beka barely survived this hazard, as Dylan had to throw Beka to the ground and use a hard backpack to block the darts.
On the way to a rock, they stumble over the remains of the last Expedition that tried to find the engine; it was under the command of Professor Mino Tabascalli, who along with the rest of his expedition, was beheaded. Apparently they could only flee into a "temple of souls", which was a trap that killed them all. Dylan, Beka, and Trance, decide to go to the temple. After they find their way into a ceremonial chamber, they come into the next room, and apparently the engine is in the next room. In order to unlock the room, a riddle must be answered: “Three souls turn like one and the key brought by the one”
Beka, Dylan and Trance turn three statues, which are in the room. Just as they turn the statues, a stone bowl lowers from the ceiling, which was described in the legend as a “stone container with the whole universe in it.” The plug of this container represents the key in the aforementioned riddle, with which Beka can open the room that leads to the Engine. However, the next trap was released: the hole that the key was in released a dust, which ran into a basin filled with a liquid. When mixed together, the two materials form cyanide, and only by removing the key from the lock can the chemical reaction be stopped. When Beka, Dylan and Trance want to leave the temple, they are surprised by the Shinta, a warrior people who protect the Engine of Creation. Since everyone on the team except Beka want to possess the engine, fighting challenge is arranged between a rival team that was also looking for the engine, in order to determine, which team will receive the Engine.
A member of each team must fight voluntarily against each other. It is made more difficult because there are guards that make sure that the rivals cannot leave the arena.
Dylan and Beka defeat their opponents but they spare them, and in doing so they prove themselves worthy and receive the engine. However, it is so heavy that all three of them need to carry it onto the Maru. ("In Heaven Now Are Three")
- In the novel "The Broken Places", the engine is destroyed.
- The engine was a unfinished story element left unsolved when the series ended, since the other components of the Engine were never mentioned or sought again, and its final fate was not revealed. This was addressed in Robert Hewitt Wolfe's Coda.