Teleportation, as most people understand it, is the molecular dissassembly of a person or object at one location and their reassemply at another point almost instantaneously. Such a method of transport is certainly not new to the imagination, and has been a popular staple of science fiction since the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries. Unfortunately for authors, teleportation by that method is impossible, or at most impracticle. The molecular dissassembly process would effectively kill the original body, creating an identical duplicate of the original at the reassembly point, and while biologically indistinguishable, scientists still have yet to understand how the most minute variations in the brain affect personality and memory, never mind how to replicate them. There are also problems with transmission - the lightspeed barrier is as absolute as it ever has been, and transmission across star systems would take years or decades, and still require a reciever at the other end for reassembly.
The only civilisation that has even come close were the Forerunners, and even their method was, while technologically advanced in theory and impressive in application, certainly less complicated. Rather than disassembly and reassembly, Forerunner translocation technology encapsulates the user or object in an extremely small-scale slipstream space field projected into this universe. The user is then physically moved through slipspace to the intended destination intact. Under normal conditions, slipspace is an environment that is extremely hostile to virtually all forms of life in this universe, and it is still not known how Forerunner translocation technology preserves the user in this environment, or whether it even uses slipspace as humanity knows it. What is known is that it is efficient, flexible, and incredibly fast - smaller distances, over dozens or hundreds of kilometers, may take only a few seconds at most.
The secret to the Translocation Grid is its advanced manipulation of slipstream space, or at least one of many such dimensions. The sender node envelops an object or person standing upon it in an extremely small-scale localised contained slipspace field projected into this dimension. This field is manipulated to project the occupant back into our dimension at a reciever node, also enveloped in a small-scale slipspace field - the process is not instantaneous, but over the distances involved, dozens or hundreds of kilometers rather than lightyears, certainly may feel so. The method by which the Forerunners manipulated slipspace remains extremely difficult for the UNSC to replicate, and although the Covenant have had millenia to accomplish the task, even they have still made only limited successes in the field. For now, and in the near future, translocation technology is likely to remain an elusive, if attractive, endeavour.
The effort that goes into constructing these translocation grids is considerable, encompassing entire planets, and with ranges extending further out into orbit. So far, these grids have only been observed in use on Forerunner Halo and Shield installations, but may have been more common than this would suggest; the hoverthrone of the Prophet of Regret utilised translocation technology in a limited capacity, primarily as a defensive measure, enabling the Prophet to evade potential threats to its life, or to confuse an assassin should one get past its Honour Guards. Exactly where the Covenant appropriated the technology from remains unknown, but the fact that it is not used more widely throughout the Covenant military indicates that this was either extremely recent, or that it is a well-kept secret. It may even be that the Covenant had little idea that the technology existed - given the fact that Covenant technology makes liberal use of Forerunner technology, Regret may simply have been tapping into the already present Delta Halo Translocation Grid. The Prophets aren't the only species known to use Translocation technology - the Gravemind, recruiting Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 and Arbiter Thel 'Vadamee to stop the activation of Delta Halo, also displayed proficiency with the technology, transporting them to the orbiting artificial planetoid High Charity and the Installation's Control Room respectively, likely improved by the capture of the Installation's Monitor, 2401 Penitent Tangent.
- Installation 04/Alpha Halo - used by Monitor 343 Guilty Spark to transport the Master Chief from a Flood-infested swamp facility to the Installation's Library, and then from the Library to the Control Room. Also used by Cortana, using the Master Chief's own shield generators as a power supply, to transport him to the Covenant Cruiser Truth and Reconcoliation.
- Installation 05/Delta Halo - used by the Prophet of Regret in an unsuccessful attempt to survive an assassination operation by the Master Chief and members of the UNSC Marine Corps. Used again by the Gravemind to transport the Master Chief and Arbiter to High Charity and the Installation's Control Room respectively. May have been used to transport the Gravemind and numerous Flood forms directly into High Charity.
- Onyx Shield Installation - used by Doctor Catherine Halsey to transport the Spartan-II and Spartan-III forces across Onyx, tactically crippling the exterior Sentinel operations, and then to transport themselves to the Shield World's core antechamber.
- Unknown Shield Installation - Used by Professor Ellen Anders to evade her Covenant captors.
- "Sometimes accidents happen. Back on Minorca, my platoon ended up upside down, half of us barfing our guts out, the other coughing like the air had been punched out of their lungs. I guess that's what happens when people other than a monitor try to use them."
- "They say that the Prophets can vanish at will, and that they can appear anywhere, at any time. This is, of course, superstitious nonsense. Before the second Sacred Ring, they had little idea their chairs could even be used in that way - and afterwards, they lacked a grid to make use of."
- "Its gotta be useful, huh? Instant movement of troops and supplies from one point to another. A shame we can't mount 'em on ships - it would be nice to get deployed without having to keep a paper bag over my face in the back of a Pelican."
- "The science involved is beyond anything we can even comprehend, and we still don't know the precise mechanics of it. Technically, it should be impossible for a slipspace field to enter this universe, never mind being maintained for an extended period of time. But, then again, the Forerunners seem to have built their empire with impossibilities as the foundation."