A Gravity Pump is a tool used by both subluminal and superluminal civilizations as a means of transferring energy to starships or stations located far from any other large gravity well.
The Third Conclusion of Spatial Mechanics states conclusively that matter or energy passing through space lose information about their structure at a rate proportional to the cube of curvature of space they are passing through. Gravity pumps exploit this law to transfer energy very long distances almost instantaneously by curving space sufficiently to almost completely randomize the structure of the energy passing through it. The practical upshot is that regardless of the energy inserted into the input end (“intake”) of the gravity pump, a similar amount of energy will emanate as a consistent electromagnetic wave at the output end of the gravity pump (“nozzle”).
Point-to-Point Gravity Pumps
Because gravity pumps rely on extreme distortion of spacetime on at least one end, transmission of energy from planetary body to planetary body requires a relay station in the middle. Instantaneous transmission of power, however, has given otherwise subluminal civilizations an opportunity to create a meaningful interstellar energy economy and the ability to relay information (at exceedingly low bitrates) over interstellar distances.
Point-to-Starship Gravity Pumps
Once starships are sufficiently outside the gravity well of any star, they are able to receive power from a gravity-pump system. This has allowed many species to radically decrease the size of their starships, replacing bulky fuel and reactor power systems with comparably compact gravity pump receivers.
Because gravity pumps necessarily and “perfectly” randomize any matter or energy that passes through them, gravity pump failures can be catastrophic. If a significant amount of matter enters the pump on the source end, the energy equivalent of that matter will be released at the nozzle’s end, which can cause serious damage to the receiver if the amount of extraneous matter entering is more than a few micrograms.
Natural Gravity Pumps
The Blowhole in the Bottlenose Nebula is particularly remarkable in that it appears to be a naturally occuring gravity pump. The input end of the Blowhole gravity pump is unknown, but the pattern of the Blowhole flares suggests a regular periodicity to the source station. The Blowhole also has a directional nature, suggesting the output end of the pump is spinning, although so far no expedition has traveled close enough to directly observe the spacetime curvature at the nozzle.
Gravity Pumps in the Bottlenose Nebula
No currently existing civilization in the Bottlenose Nebula has been confirmed to possess gravity pumps, although a few groups, such as the Transition Protectorate, are tantalizingly close. The abrupt breakup of Lowali Eloth has been suggested as a possible consequence of gravity pump development.