THE ENCYCLOPEDIA GALACTICA
The origin of The Lattice is not known. It was already floating in the middle of the asteroid belt when the first miners reached the belt. The Lattice is a system of hollowed out asteroids linked together by a series of force tubes that support teleportation. Floating in space, it resembles a giant 3D model of a molecule with dark atoms (the asteroids) and frost covered links (the force tubes). The technology involved is still not understood.
Early would-be explorers were unable to figure out how to enter, and attempts to force entry inevitably resulted in destruction at the hands of the Lattice's highly efficient defences. Eventually, the entry puzzle was solved by Almond Ackroyd, one of the leaders of a then little-known alternative media commune.
The commune moved in and started to set up the media facilities for which The Lattice has now become famous. In the process it was discovered that the Lattice would defend Almond and her family against threats - both internal and external. As far as is known this is still the case, and is one of the reasons why The Lattice remains a free port, outside the remit of the Galactic Administration.
Today the Lattice is the hub of a vast media conglomerate with hyperspace broadcasting facilities. The original commune has stratified into three different layers - exhibs, techs and voys. All layers nominally have equal stakes in the conglomerate, but in practice the exhibs run the system.
Roughly speaking the exhibs create the entertainment material, the techs handle the technical aspects, and the voys run everything else. The head of the Ackroyd family is known as 'The Protector', and by convention stays on The Lattice after he or she becomes Protector.