A starlock is a device capable of creating temporary stable wormholes in spacetime, allowing virtually instantaneous transport to another starlock (regardless of distance) or to open space within ~1,000 ly (solar reckoning) of the starlock's position in space.
A typical starlock consists of an elliptical ring ranging from 1,000 to 1,600 kilometers in circumference. The ring is from 10 - 14 kilometers thick.
Their primary ring is constructed from Neutronium; one of the densest known substances. Neutronium naturally occurs only in the cores of dead neutron stars. However, it can be synthesized using Commonwealth technolgy.
The ring is constructed to define the event horizon of a quantum singularity, the power source located in the center of the ring.
Along the outer side of the ring, a vast cityscape is typically constructed; comprising control centers; power relays; laboratories; living accommodations; garden parks; recreational areas, hangar bays; transportation, utility, and waste processing systems; and fabrication facilities. It is estimated that well over a million people could inhabit the outer ring of a Starlock. The cavernous hangar bays are able to accommodate Aves and Aquilae type shuttlecraft, and even interstellar liners.
Their size also makes it possible to use them as Tachyon Pulse transceivers. (Worlds Apart Book 05: Aurora).
An exploring expedition led by the Pathinder Ship Sapphire discovered a Starlock under construction in the Perseus Sector. It was discovered that armies of machines ranging from nanobot size to the size of starships are involved in the construction of Starlocks. The machines dismantle planets, asteroids, and other celestial bodies and process the raw matter into the materials of the Starlock. The machines, in this instance, seized Sapphire and tried to incorporate the pathfinder ship into the machinery of the starlock. The ship was able to break free after using a Nemesis missile to disable the construction command ship.
Technologists have estimated that the construction of a Starlock takes approximately a solar century. They theorized that each Starlock represents an entire star system, with all planetary bodies torn apart and processed to build the ring, and the star at the center collapsed into a singularity.
The Aurelians are believed to have successfully constructed a Starlock. It is believed that this starlock was later used to build a Nova Bomb that destroyed the sun at the center of the Aurelia Prime system. [Worlds Apart Book 11: Charlemagne]
Each Starlock functions as a node in a transportation network. Each starlock can connect to any other Starlock across, theoretically, infinite distances in space. It can also transport a starship to any point within approximately 1,000 light years of its location. The ring of the starlock functions as a lens for harnessing and focusing the energy of the singularity at its center, creating stable wormholes in spacetime, which can be directed to connect to another Starlock in the system, or a point in space.
Defensive systems include a panoply of energy weapons protecting the starlock and its inhabitation areas. Energy-based shielding protects inhabitation areas and critical systems. Starlocks are also equipped with remotely operated and autonomous defense craft -- Sentinels -- capable of defending the station from assault from fleets of spacecraft. [Worlds Apart Book 05 -- Aurora].
A dormant Starlock requires as long as two years to be restored to functionality. [Worlds Apart Book 11: Charlemagne]
Each Starlock contains a Control Center. To preserve the neutrality of the StarLock, operational control (as well as technical, engineering, and maintenance functions) are handled by an independent consortium that is supposed to be free of New Commonwealth or Free Worlds interference. By custom, not by law, persons from less-populated, non aligned, and minor worlds make up most of the staffing. The StarLock Operations Consortium is headquartered on Chapterhouse StarLock.
Starlock technology took centuries to develop. The theoretical principles were worked out by a physicist named Chadhoury who lived on Earth in the 26th Century. Actualizing the principles required energy sources and materials that took another Millennium to develop; developments interrupted by the Thousand Years Crusades. The first Starlock was constructed in a star system 4.3 light years from Earth in the 42nd and 43rd Centuries. The device failed many, many times before finally transporting test-probes to Earth and the Inner Colonies. By the 44th Solar Century, the technology was finally considered proven enough to permit the construction of additional Starlocks close to the major colonies of the Orion Quadrant.
144 Starlocks were completed in the time of the Commonwealth, most of them (84) located in the Orion and Centaurus Quadrants.
- Chapultepec Starlock (Perseus Quadrant, Lyra Sector) – Discovered, charted, and activated by the crew of the Pathfinder Ship Pegasus. Chapultepec later became the headquarters of the New Commonwealth of the Galaxy.
- Chanticleer Starlock (Orion Quadrant) – Discovered, charted, and activated by the crew of the Pathfinder Ship Pegasus. Pegasus spent nearly two years at the Chanticleer Starlock trying to find a means of navigating and exploring the Orion Quadrant. [Worlds Apart Book 07: Yronwode]
- Charlemagne Starlock (Orion Quadrant) -- Base of Operations for exploration of the Orion Quadrant. Charlemagne Starlock was attacked by a fleet of Aurelian attack ships in the Solar Year 7381, resulting in a disastrous loss of life. [Worlds Apart Book 11 - Charlemagne]
- Chapterhouse Starlock – (Perseus Quadrant, Perseus Sector)Discovered, charted, and activated by the crew of the Pathfinder ship Ark Royal. The pathfinder ship Odyssey was destroyed while defending the Chapterhouse Starlock during the Second Aurelian War.
- Chrysaor Starlock – (Perseus Quadrant, Pegasus Sector)Discovered, charted, and activated by the crew of the Pathfinder ship Ark Royal.
- Chinook Starlock – Discovered, charted, and activated by the crew of the Pathfinder ship Ark' Royal.
- Chadhoury Starlock – (Orion Quadrant) Oldest known starlock, located in a trinary system near Earth in the Orion Quadrant. Chadhoury was the first Starlock.
The survey ship Astra Cartographer used the Chadhoury Starlock to beat Pegasus to Earth.
- Chronos Starlock -- Located in a parallel dimension; the Chronos Starlock was necessary to coordinate the other Starlocks and ensure that that ships passing through them arrived in the right time coordinates as well as space coordinates. Matthew Driver and Lear Trajan Lear of the Pathfinder Ship Pegasus spent two years stranded in the Chronos Starlock, although only a few weeks past in the Prime Universe. They were unable to remember much of their experiences there. [Worlds Apart Book 05: Aurora]
- Chromatic Starlock -- (Perseus Quadrant) Located at the edge of the Perseus Quadrant, the Chromatic Starlock was the rendezvous and staging area for the ill-fated Caelum Exploring Expedition.
[Worlds Apart Book 11: Charlemagne]
- Chrysanthemum Starlock -- (Orion Quadrant) Built in the vicinity of Alpha colony in the 45th Solar Century.
- Chamakan Starlock (Orion Quadrant) was built near Asha in the 45th Solar Century
- Chandelier Starlock (Orion Quadrant) was built near Atlas in the 45th Solar Century.
- Chamberlain Starlock (Orion Quadrant) was built near Avalon Colony in the 45th Solar Century.
- Cherrystone Starlock (Orion Quadrant) was built near Han Colony in the 45th Solar Century.
- Cherry Blossom Starlock (Orion Quadrant) was built near Han and New Dawn Colony in the 45th Solar Century.
- Chorus Starlock (Orion Quadrant) was built near Pacifica Colony in the 45th Solar Century.
- Chainlink Starlock (Orion Quadrant) was built near Parallax Colony in the 45th Solar Century.
- Chamorro Starlock (Orion Quadrant) was built near Proxima Colony in the 45th Solar Century.
- Checkmate Starlock (Orion Quadrant) was built near Terra Nova Colony in the 45th Solar Century.
- Charity Starlock (Orion Quadrant) was built near Vesta Colony in the 45th Solar Century.
Under the Convention on Access to StarLocks (Solar Year 7270), the StarLocks are considered the common heritage of all of humanity, and may be used by any space-faring colony.