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This box-shaped device was expected to hold the capacity to create unlimited source of energy which could be used to aid in the terraforming of New Vulcan. Its power allowed it to harness the power of stars and operated by being linked to draining the energy of a sun for its functioning. This energy was then redirected to reshaping the geology of a planet as part of its terraforming function. Whilst serving as a tool for terraforming, this same trait meant that it could be used as a doomsday weapon. One of the potential side effects was tampering with the fabric of reality and forming wormhole-like Rips in space.
The Machine was created by one of the chief minds of the Vulcan species and thus believed to be subject to their principles. Its goal was for the peaceful benefit of their civilization and the abuse of its power was believed to go against their principles. T'Mar of Vulcan believed the use of Helios would have allowed for the creation of a new home for her people on a planet that had never been previously inhabited. With its power, she saw the opportunity to create a haven for Vulcans. However, she faced problems with limited and insufficient resources being provided by the Vulcan High Council. She thus became desperate as she believed without another source that the greatest hope of the Vulcan race would be lost. Her father Surok, however, feared the potential abuse of the technology by less responsible parties and thus was glad that only one such machine existed. The existence of Helios was kept largely a secret with even an older Spock from a parallel reality being unaware of its creation.
This changed when the United Federation of Planets came to their aid. Commodore Daniels of Starfleet was noted to had lent assistance to the construction of the Helios Device though Surok did not believe he had the Vulcan peoples best intentions at heart. A number of engineers had been dispatched by him to help in the making of the device though it was believed that there was an expectation by the Commodore to control the Helios Machine. Despite Surok's fears, his daughter T'Mar intended to ensure that no attempts were made to compromise the use of the machine for the benefit of the Vulcan species. Despite her plans, Daniels campaigned for the active use of the device instead of allowing for further testing into its safety.
At some point, a solar collector designated Helios-1 was constructed around a nearby star and manned by Vulcan personnel in the hopes of gathering energy for the Helios Machine. However, a number of anomalies were generated and created the Rip in space where an extragalactic race known as the Gorn invaded New Vulcan where they captured the Helios Device. However, they were unsure how to fully utilize it and thus captured T'Mar to force her compliance. Chief engineer Montgomery Scott was deeply worried about the destructive capabilities of the Helios Machine after examining the scientific data and compared its power to Red matter. Ultimately, the crew of the USS Enterprise were forced to destroy the device to prevent a further Gorn invasion of known space. (TOS video game: Star Trek)