The Exam

by Neil Fraser, September 2002

Final Exam, Space Force Marines, Section G, 2166 AD

You have trained for six months as a cadet. One third of your class didn't make it to this point. Another third of your class won't make it through this exam. Read the exam all the way through before beginning. You have 15 minutes. Good luck.[HST photo of N44C nebula]

  1. List all seven known sentient species.

  2. For each of the above species, name the recommended munitions required to neutralize them.

  3. Standard parking orbits around the remaining planets of the Brora Federation are clockwise or counter-clockwise?

  4. What is the quickest and simplest method of making a star go nova?

  5. Rank in order of importance the reasons why triggering a nova is usually a bad idea:
    1. It identifies your current location to the enemy.
    2. The blast wave disrupts communications with your superiors.
    3. The treaty of Kilmuir defines it as 'rude'.
    4. The amount of paperwork required afterward.

  6. What is the only important skill for a Space Force Marine?
    1. Ability to shoot accurately.
    2. Ability to think clearly.
    3. Ability to follow orders.
    4. Ability to run quickly.

  7. If you are eaten by a Gigha, what should your next move be?

  8. Discuss how the destruction of Earth at the hands of the Kessock affected humanity's outlook on other races. Be brief.

Sign your name at the top, leave ALL the questions blank, and return the exam to the officer in charge. The only important skill for a Space Force Marine is to follow orders. Congratulations and welcome to the Marines.

If you answered any of the questions, you didn't follow the instructions at the top which said to read through the exam before beginning. You are discharged back to civilian life. You will receive a bill for your training.


All the 'alien' names are actually the names of places in Scotland.
Image credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Last modified: 15 September 2002