Rarely seen and yet the most powerful item in the hands of the Corps of Ringbearers, the Sky Vaults are system domination weapons, built to enter a reality and totally interdict an entire solar system when a threat of catastrophic potential is located and poised to move across space and dimensions.
Fully one-third the size of Earth's Moon (they are roughly 600 kilometers in diameter), Sky Vaults have the means to traverse hyperspace and inter-dimensional barriers easily. Essentially a movable world, a Sky Vault can stay on station for years or even decades (if necessary). They are staffed with Ringbearers, 'Gifted Ones' (those beings gifted with metahuman powers via Ring), Corps Security and Protection Division operatives, and large civilian contingents. (Sky Vaults are equipped to hold communities beyond the Ringbearer compliment, and possess massive metropolitan areas within the vessel which are indistinguishable from any planet-side major city; each Sky Vault also contains massive bodies of water and immense 'green areas' which are indistinguishable from major lakes on an actual world, complete with much aquatic life and even undersea communities.
They are also equipped with a fearsome arsenal of strategic weaponry, which includes:
- long-distance transmutation weapons (there is a dedicated network of short-range weapons used as a second line of point-defense weapons)
- point-defense vibratory weapons, capable of causing catastrophic explosive decompression through exposing the interior of the target vessel to hard vacuum
- 'quantum-crystal' projectiles which carry antimatter payloads capable of detonating with the force of strategic nuclear weapons for the purposes of capital ship engagements or planetary orbital bombardment (there are dedicated anti-ship projectile launchers that are used for mid-range assault, and to engage incoming ballistic missiles or fighters/bombers)
- 'Alchemic Feedback Pulse' generators (that do not affect the Sky Vault) that can shut down the technical capabilities of an entire world
- a ship-wide array of energy-shield generators that 'shunts' any form of energy attack directed upon the Sky Vault away from itself, or redirect it to power (or amplify the effect) of the 'solar cannon'.
- a point-singularity weapon (which can create a micro-sized singularity inside an attacking vessel)
- a 'solar cannon' (similar to the Defender Ring's ability to generate a solar beam, but capable of incinerating an Earth-sized world; the Sky Vault also possesses four smaller solar cannons which are not as powerful, but have a vastly longer range)
Before the events of the Judith Conflict, the Sky Vaults were also home to large contingents of Warhammers - Ringbearers specifically trained for general combat, as opposed to standard Ringbearer-of-the-Line duties or the specialty forces. Now, CSPD operatives are assigned in their place, while the remaining contingent of Warhammers are stationed only on Nova Valdris and worlds with major facilities that may come under attack (such as the sustainer arrays for Beacon Terra One that are located on New Sierra and Marrianis.
The existence of the Sky Vaults was one of the most hotly-debated points in the creation of the Nova Valdris Accords, and one of the few things that the Ringmasters would not place into discussion (as even they feel that only a few are needed). Much like the Warhammers (and the never-built [ Pulsar Stations] in the Star Wars Expanded Universe), the Sky Vaults are considered the only truly military-oriented part of the Corps of Ringbearers.
At present, there are only six Sky Vaults in existence. The first ever seen in-story is the Giza, which is standing interdiction duty over Earth D-517 (as seen in the fic 'With New Responsibility'). The second Sky Vault, the Tesla, is known to be on station in the D-1000 universe to interdict any attempts to land on Counterpoint in order to salvage advanced technology.
The third Sky Vault - the Andúril - was first seen during the Judith Conflict, but mentioned in the aftermath of 'Gimme Skelter', (when the Andúril was placed on a long-duration interdiction mission of the alternate Earth known as 'D-1969', which had suffered from a thirty-year global Class Four zombie outbreak that eventually decimated over ninety percent of all human life there). Even though the crisis has been dealt by the natives, the the Andúril has been ordered to maintain position behind Earth's Moon until further notice, and all personnel have been ordered to never set foot on the world. To that end, the only time that the Andúril has left its position was during the Judith Conflict (as seen in the Tales of the Ringbearers fic Spirit Stick.
The fourth Sky Vault is the Masada; it has the distinction of being the only Sky Vault to ever engage in actual battle, as it was the primary platform from which Operation Galactic Core - the combat drop of over one million Ringbearers at the climax of the Great Zack Walkabout (during the Class Four event on 'D-159') - was launched (as seen from the perspective of Tom Sloane in Legion of Lawndale Heroes Chapter 13:6).
The fifth Sky Vault is the Saleesa. The vessel's first appearance was in Spirit Stick, and was shown in 'Judith Strikes!', when it joined the Tesla as Judith makes a run on Counterpoint to retrieve as-yet unknown information and/or technology.