The Gates were inter-galactic portals created eons ago by a species known as The Meginar. The Gates create an artificial link between it and another Gate, this link being another dimension that makes the distance needed to travel a lot shorter. Since the Meginar are long gone, these portals have become the most important and valueble conection between the galactic comunity. No one knows how many are there, and were all of them can lead. But what is known is that each Gate can take a ship to a determined number of other gates. If these gates were to be destroyed, when a person tries to travel to that gate in particular they would be trapped in the other dimension created by the gates.