P226 Mk 25
“Sure, I care about the environment. Immediately around me, anyway.”
Though Porter wasn’t an exceptional student, aptitude tests revealed his propensity for sciences. Encouraged by faculty and his parents, he was able to follow a more unorthodox manner of education with tutors, home-schooling, and field science. He flourished in this break from formal classroom studies and quickly developed his skills in chemistry, biology, and math. Uninterested in pursuing a formal university education, Porter forged a fake ID and enlisted in the British Army. Though the rigidity of army rules wasn’t always a good fit, it was offset by the diverse range of training and experiences army life gave him. While he has been reprimanded for breaking rules, his superiors quickly recognized both his innovation and strategic perspective. He was then encouraged to join the SAS. Porter prefers to acquire knowledge and skills, such as language and music, in his own way and does not excel in a formal training capacity.
It’s important for me to not have any preconceived expectations before a face-to-face with any specialist. Since assessments of Specialist James “Smoke” Porter contain some contradictions, I couldn’t have settled into any viewpoint anyway. So essentially he entered my office as somewhat of a mystery. […]
Porter is consistently described as detached. I reviewed his files and found that his “aloofness” occurs during high-intensity situations. It’s likely not detachment, but focus. I’m reminded of my uncle who used to tap his forehead and tell me to master my mind. Porter, I think, is mastering his mind to stay on task and filter out dangerous distractions. He strives to keep emotions away from decision-making, opting for outlets such as live music events to deplete the tension, thus enabling him to be the person he needs to be on the job. […]
It’s clear that Porter’s parents encouraged him to be a free spirit and develop his education and personality on his own terms. While it resulted in some unfortunate mishaps – one science experiment left some physical scars but no emotional ones that I can see – there was great benefit in it. […] Porter’s free range education helped create a complex, dynamic person who isn’t easily categorized.
Porter is popular among his teammates and considered valuable despite some recklessness. Descriptions such as thrill-seeker and fearless seem simplistic to me, however. There’s more nuance to Porter than that. He’s measured and understands calculated risks. Porter – and our other operators – understand that it’s more important to respect fear than to try to pretend we never feel it. […]
Self-taught from an early age, Porter continues to spend time cultivating his own identity. He enjoys acquiring experiences and once he’s mastered them, moves on. The exception is his adopted daughter. He would only share one photo of her. I’ve never seen an infant surrounded by so much dangerous paraphernalia, but Porter assures me she is now in high school, excelling within the system he himself was unable to comprehend. Through her, he sees the world in new ways – exactly the kind of challenge he adores.
-- Dr. Harishva "Harry" Pandey, Director of Rainbow