Silver Age Beyond
Gateways between the stars, left by an enigmatic race
Jump gates are huge structures left behind by the Primmortal or Jith alien civilization. The jump gates are long ring-like structures that have a diameter of several kilometers across, they are opened by a device called a jump drive, and the route is controlled by another device called the Ingress Key. Post-Humanity has very little understanding of the principles at work behind the gates.
Jump gates are hoop shaped and vary in size between 200km to 1000km across. They are entered slowly, for safety reasons and always from the sun facing side. The image within is always of the target system at the time of the last jump. After a jump is made the gate needs time to reset itself.
A jump gate works (generally) by opening a gateway to folded space, or jump space, also known as the space between or colloquially, the Bleed.
What you see through a Jump gate
The view when a jump gate opens is a hologram image (from the jump gate’s data banks) confirming the jump route keyed in; it is not actually a current view of the system on the other side. So you could not, for example, see an ship waiting for you and decide not to take the journey. You see a view of the system at the time of the last jump made to it through the gate in question.
Jump gate Reset and Active and Passive Jumps
Using a jump gate to leave a system is considered an active jump; arriving in another system is considered a passive jump. It takes a jump gate a varying time to reset itself after an active jump (Anywhere from 1 minute to 1 week). No active jumps can be made while the gate resets itself, although ships can exit from the jump gate at anytime (passive jumps). For this reason, fleets tend to jump together, synchronized to go through the gate at once, rather than spread out in a long line.
Second Galactic Republic engineers solved the problem of gate resetting, but it requires a special key in addition to the destination Ingress Key. These keys are especially rare and held only by a few. Certain Shofar or Ingenium engineers travel from system to system selling the use of their reset keys, and most ships of the Imperial Fleet have them. Some Inquisitors also have them, to the dismay of those trying to escape their fury.
It is not easy to determine the location to which a previous ship may have jumped. This requires experience with jump gates and their routes (a successful Navigation+Mind roll). Obviously, if a jump gate only provides one road out to a single system it is easy to figure where a previous ship went, but most gates go to multiple systems.