A portal (sometimes capitalized, as "Portal") is a weakness, either artificial or natural, in the fabric between dimensions — that is, a point of Inter-Dimensional Fatigue, specifically between HyperSpace and QuasiSpace.
Known instances of portals are the portal generated by the QuasiSpace Portal Spawner, the fifteen unidirectional portals that lead from QuasiSpace to HyperSpace, and the bidirectional portal to QuasiSpace (at HyperSpace coordinates 043.8 : 637.2). Since the Arilou Lalee'lay homeworld, Falayalaralfali, is suspended in an eddy of TrueSpace within QuasiSpace, it is possible that its intrusion into QuasiSpace could also be classified as a portal. The Orz dialogue also contains a possible reference to portals as "*slippery places*".1
While the term portal has only been used in the context of moving between HyperSpace and QuasiSpace, it could also apply to the points of transition between TrueSpace and HyperSpace. TrueSpace gravity wells create "transdimensional vortices", also known as "stellar vortices", that allow ships to return to TrueSpace from HyperSpace, similar to the unidirectional portals from QuasiSpace to HyperSpace (though the vortices are not circular). Likewise, in something similar to the Portal Spawner, movement from TrueSpace to HyperSpace apparently involves the creation of a transdimensional "hole".2
Notes and references
- 1The Orz say, "Then the Androsynth made some *slippery places* and then Orz can *smell* [the Humans' *level*]."
- 2This was seen when the Androsynth fleet fleeing Sol disappeared in a "big red hole" over 500 meters across (Star Control II PC manual, p. 10). It is also seen in the opening and closing 3DO videos .