Psigates, often referred to as simply gateways or just gates, are ancient megastructures constructed by the early Aoshanti Empire which have allowed trans-galactic travel for tens of millennia in the Aegis Cluster.
In the modern day, the means by which to construct Psi-Gates have been obscured and lost. With this rarity and the mysteries surrounding them, Gateways have become strategic objects by which states are capable of controlling the flow of trade and throwing around their power. Although research into the objects has provided limited insight into their technicalities, the insurmountable cost of constructing them assures that gateways will remain a highly sought-after position to control for generations to come.
As the only convenient means by which to cross the void between galaxies, Psi-Gates offer near-instantaneous travel from one galaxy to another. As such, they allow the mass trade and transport of items and exports across galaxies, allowing for trans-galactic trade between states. If a gateway is rendered inactive or destroyed, then the trade which had been passing through said gate may not be able to if there is no alternative means by which to arrive at their destination, such as through another galaxy's gateways.
Some states may use gateways to their advantage in trade, using tariffs on exports which may pass through a gateway under their jurisdiction.
In the Conquest system utilized during war, a force passing through a Psi-Gate expends one turn to enter and exit on to the other side. Psi-Gates are perfect chokepoints; it is highly advantageous to hold the defending side of a gateway in a combat situation. Psi-Gates may be deactivated by an enemy force during combat using directed attacks of missiles, ramships, and other assorted means by which to damage or even physically destroy the gate. It should noted though that it is against galactic norms across most of the cluster to do such, and may have severe ramifications for decades to follow.
The Psi-Gates are given their name due to the fact that they have numerous fields of psionic energies which they utilize to remain self-sustaining, using extremely advanced and esoteric designs to manipulate them in methods unknown to the cluster at large. If a Psi-Gate is moved even in a minor change of placement, the psi-fields of the gate will cease to exist, and the gate itself will cease to function. The psi-fields within and surrounding a Psi-Gate are known to consist of and use all four psionic energy forms in some manner or another- what those methods may be, however, is still unknown.
The Aoshanti Empire of Abzu were the first and only power in the Cluster to construct Psi-Gates. These gates were constructed in a way that lacks any devices similar in nature to quantum breach drives, and is believed to have been derived from an unknown form of faster-than-light travel used by the early Aoshanti Empire.
During the early Aoshanti Empire, the infrastructure and society were developed far beyond what can be seen in the modern day. This allowed for the construction of the Psi-Gates across the cluster at an astonishing rate. In the modern day, a singular gateway is considered to be a monumental task for even a coalition of states.
The majority of a Psi-Gate is constructed out of strong interaction material-- a highly expensive-to-produce form of matter which provides durability to the megastructure. In order to produce the required SIM for a single Psi-Gate, the production cost is estimated to be within 𝔛100 sextillion, and the industry required across numerous states may take upwards of ten years to produce the total amount needed.
This, along with the manpower required, does not factor in the mysterious qualities of a Psi-Gate and the modern cluster's inability to reproduce them in any reasonable manner.
Once numerous under the reign of the Aoshanti Empire, Psi-Gates have become a rarity across the cluster, with many fewer sites untouched or not destroyed by wars or otherwise. These remaining gates and the etherlanes leading to them are heavily charted on modern galactic maps. While sometimes new gates to other galaxies are discovered, these are rare occurrences.