A region of space in the far reaches of the Delta Qudrant, a vast cloud of gas and dust. It lay on the path of the starship Voyager during the vessel's journey back to explored territory
Because of its vast size, the Expanse functions as a natural barrier, limiting contact between species on either side of the cloud. This accounts for the limited exposure of cultures on the far side (defined relative to Galactic Centre) to many of the technologically superior species on the near. These include such powers as the Borg, the Voth, the Etanians, and the Krenim, which would otherwise be able to wrest control from the ruling nations across the Expanse - the technologically primitive Kazon and the disease-stricken Vidiians.
The Expanse itself is unclaimed.
Ships entering the Expanse from the far side are serviced by the Nekrit Expanse Depot.
The Depot is constructed from a series of interconnecting hexagonal and circular structures. These are smooth and light-grey in appearance. Interlocking plates form the various sections, connected at right angles to the main hull. The design is modular, indicating that more units can be added if desired; for example if thriving business demands greater accommodation.
Due to the station’s distance from other outposts, visitors are likely to spend a period of time there. The management therefore provides a quantity of storage space for cargo, as well as refreshment facilities in the form of a tavern. However, many visitors stay aboard their own vessel, as was the case with Voyager, which held position within transporter range of the Depot. It’s not uncommon for traders to travel between the Depot and each other’s ships - in the conduct of their business, much of which is carried out by barter, flexibility is an asset. The Depot’s structure is designed to allow space vessels to dock directly into the outer sections of the station, but due to the wary preferences of many visitors, the outer docking ports are rarely used. This fact is exploited by those trading illicit goods; criminals frequently use the outer ports in which to conduct trade meetings.