From: Quad-Doctor Jillian Sae-ron, PhD⁴
To: Amalgamated Joint-Chief Robert-Kim-Ian Donner-Baxter-Aensland
CC: Jump Room Project Staff, Psych Eval Archive Input
Another very mixed bag. It's a shame the Jump Dome project gets first dibs now.
Staff Sergeant Jion Killslaughter III
How far the Killslaughter dynasty has fallen in only two generations. Jion the third has mostly been warming a dropship seat with an understudy search and rescue squad in the 93rd battalion.
It's probably for the best he hasn't seen much action, given his responses to the psych eval test suite. Nonetheless, beggars can't be choosers, and it is unlikely that his obsession with breeding the perfect Syclorian puppyhound to tear out his ex's throat will interfere with testing the Jump Room. Approved.
Corporal Sarah "Eye-Gouge" Miller
You have one guess how she got that nickname! What you probably didn't guess is that she has gouged over two hundred and forty eyes in the six months since she enlisted, and six of them belonged to her three martial arts sparring partners during training. I did some research and eye gouging is not standard procedure in Lunar-Brazilian kickboxing.
Also one time she reportedly threw one rogue colonist's eyeballs at another one, I guess to stun him before she gouged his eyes too? A terrifying person all around. Rejected.
Private Samuel "Sammy" Samuels
A pleasant surprise, possibly overlooked by the Jump Dome bastards due to his goofy name. Earned a Syclorian Alloy Star for various heroics during the siege of New Akron, which was his first deployment out of training! Stoic but empathetic and loyal, his psych eval suggests a bright future as an officer. I almost feel guilty using him as a glorified lab rat! Hope we don't jump him into solid rock or anything. Approved.
Speaking of lab rats, this is a literal actual one. This better have been a clerical error, or heads will roll. I will literally decapitate whoever is responsible if they sent us a normal-sized space rat on purpose. Adorable, but rejected.
Colonel Richter "Rictus" O'Ghoul
It is really fucking dark that they're just sending us heroes of the Third Conflict who are of retirement age. I guess it's cheaper than paying out his pension?
He's fit and stable enough to do the job, though the eval suggests he has some suppressed trauma that he doesn't consciously remember. Like a third of the answers had a rambling non sequitur tangent about "the whistle of falling cluster charges" and how the planet's weird atmosphere made it sound like screaming? But like really flowery and several run-on sentences.
It's also quite clear that no one should ask him about what happened in the mushroom forest clearing. A couple of the tangents referenced that as being more horrifying than the screaming bombs that made his squadmates who weren't vaporized wish they had been. Sounds bad! Approved.
Major Jesse Van Liuwen
I thought this was another clerical error and/or prank from whoever was responsible for the rat, but no. There's documentation in his file that the I.W.V. Pyrrhic Victory went through the "Fountain of Youth" anomaly in the Strega sector before it was charted, and Van Liuwen was aboard at the time. He's just physically 8 years old forever now, I guess?
Might be a mercy if we (accidentally!) jump him into the center of a star. A highly decorated 14-year career and the last 6 years of it people keep offering him juice boxes until he snaps a couple of their fingers off, because he looks like a kid. Approved.
If I may speak frankly, Joint-Chief: This is a shitshow. I went to four-dimensional grad school for 10,000⁴ perceptual years, and my thesis documented the first successful intentional alteration of consensus reality with no unplanned body transformations. These psych evals could be administered by a veterinary technician, a research assistant, or a Hlorfraxian idiot-mastiff. Transfer me somewhere I can do something useful.
Or at least transfer me to the Jump Dome project. Their break room has a fucking space pinball machine! All we have is the smart microwave that can't even run Doom.
It's rare enough these days that a search and rescue squad needs to be rescued themselves by their understudy squad, but the 93rd has been assigned to the Cremlor-Zaeon border in the outer rim for a couple decades now, and spacegod knows the Cremlor would have to have a death wish to try any shit again after Cyberlord Zae gave the Cremlian prime minister a swirlie on a live intergalactic broadcast. ↩︎