The 4th dimention and jumping
We live in a 4-dimentional universe, which allows for a form of "teleportation" known as jumping. Instantaneous travel from one place to another, though it is only as effective as your telescopic and gravitational sensors (about 15 minutes of scanning will allow for a jump to the distance of about 4 lightyears with average sensors). Jumping is untraceable unless you have the coordiantes of their destination and where their ship was at when the calculations were made (coordianates in a jump depend on your position, so if you calculate a jump coordinate and then move the ship 500 meters forward it will jump 500 meters in front of the target unless you have it auto correct).
Jumping is sometimes known as "worming" or "leaping."
Jumping into another object always results in the destruction of the parts of ships which come together, which is why ansible technology and jump points are so important. For those with jump-capible ships (only about 5% of all spaceships are jump ships), jump points allow for no fear of killing yourself on a routine jump. They are large spheres of light becons which are green when the opposite side of the jump point is clear and red when there is a ship inside, entering, or exiting the jump point. The Ansible technology allows for the instantaneous communication, so that jump points always know when it is safe to jump.
Although it happens much of the time, jumping into areas without using jump points is dangerous. Ships doing so have never been seen again, or found destroyed or stranded by other ships. Jumping into other items or having celestial bodies hitting or pulling in ships is far to common an occurance if jumps are made too close to a system.
The Ansible is possibly the greatest invention ever, even greater than jumping. It uses philotes (explaned next) just like jump drives and jump gates to launch a message instantaneously anywhere in the universe. This allows for communication across known space in instant time, both in video and audio forms, though the first were just typed messages, which are still used by backwater worlds and the military (due to extra security available). Without this, communication would be stuck in using jumpgates to send messages, taking from hours to days for messages to get from one point to the other (depending on if there was a direct jumpgate from one planet to the other, which often there weren't). With the invention of the ansible, humanity was able to spread across the stars, and it allowed for the Second Federation to begin its crusade for a unified humanity with syncronized militaries and the possibility for governments beyond a few star systems.
Arguements that such a device would break either Relativity or causality were disproved with the use of a recording device connected to both a speaker's mouth as he spoke into the ansible, and was also connected into the ansible itself. When slowed down to an almost infantesimal speed, a small but noticeable and verifible length of time is in existance between the spoken word and the recieved word. This showed that since the message is sent instantaneously, there must be time before it being resent, so a message can never be recieved as it is sent or before it is sent as was believed would happen with any FTL communication.
The philote, or philotic wave, is still controversial and sometimes still considered hypothetical part of the physical universe. In the most basic and most understood terms, a philote is an invisible string connected to one item which travels through the 4th demention to connect with an item elsewhere in the universe. These items can be right next to each other or on other sides of the galaxy, 3-Dimentional position does not matter, as a philote only exists in the 4th Dimention. It is theorized that every item sensed by a being (including sound and light) will be tied to them through pilotes forever (though there are philosophical and religious opinions that differ, see below). Due to this, Ansible technology, jump gate, and jump drive technology are possible, and instantaneous communication, reaching distant worlds, and ftl travel is all possible.
Ansibles and jumpgates use philotes similarly. They lock onto the reciever on the other end (either another ansible or another jumpgate) and use the philotic connection (ansibles send messages through this connection, jumpgates make links in space with this). Jumpdrives, on the other hand, use philotes to connect the drive to a 3-Dimentional position, and the drive pulls the ship along the philote to the new position. Unlike the ansible or jumpgate which lock onto the philote of an item and their 3D position doesn't matter, jumpdrives use philotes to connect to a 3D position, and so do require the philote to be connected to a 3D position. The ship is then pulled along with the drive in what is know as the Lightfold Field, which is generated by the jumpdrive to use the philotic connections between the ship and jumpdrive to bring the ship along.
Philosophical and Religious views on Philotes
While many believe that philotes are nothing but a physical reaction in the universe, some have taken on a more indepth approach to them. Some believe that philotes are the connections of life, and that all emotions, thoughts, and feelings are also philotes. A philote is believed to keep lovers together when they're separated over long distances, is the reason that friends who haven't seen each other in a long while say friends, and why those with similar personalities are drawn together. Some religious sects believe that every human's and Ik'Tae's soul is a philote connected to itself, and however round it is the better a person is ("Your philote is twisted" is a common curse).
Some believe that when you die, all your philotic connections break, and signal the loss to all those connected to you, so those that are sad for your passing are feeling the loss of the near infinite philotic connections between you and them. These people also believe that philotes are the soul's connection to the physical realm, and that when their connections are broken you head into the afterlife.
Others believe that when you die, you keep your connections and they go with you for all time into the afterlife. Many of these people believe that your destination in the afterlife affects all those that you had connections to in the physical world, and so those that go to the realm of torment may drag others with them. Some also believe that these philotes are how good and evil duel, pulling at the strings of the universe.