Review: Portal Jumpers by Chloe Garner
Where would you go, if you could go anywhere? Portal jumpers are elite folks—young, fit, well-trained, and guided by the best principles of humanity. If you don't believe that, just ask them. The transit technology, the portals, could take them anywhere, but somehow they go to only a selected few places.
Jumpers are few, supported by dozens or hundreds of scientists, analysts and officers in a quasi-military structure. Many of them are like Cassie, aged out, forever barred from the step through a portal to the far side of the universe. Cassie's ability to find the pattern in a stream of events is all that has kept her in the portal program.
She may be too old for jumping, but with her pattern-tracing abilities, she manages to track down the alien Jesse, who has been running the portal police ragged. When Jesse meets the analyst who caught him, he argues her into a contract that binds them both. While on Earth, he will be be subordinate to her, and assist analysts in the various labs with his advanced knowledge of the portal technology. Her commander nearly orders her to take the deal; the scientists are eager to get access to Jesse's expertise.
Cassie isn't sure she wants to be saddled with the laid-back alien escape artist while on Earth. By the terms of the contract, though, Cassie must accompany Jesse when he transits through the portals, and she will not be required to report on where they go or what she observes. From aged-out and bored, Cassie just landed the plum job of all time: she can jump again!
She'll discover that traveling with an intersteller B-Type personality has its own issues; the worlds to which Jesse takes her seem distressed, even damaged. By the time Cassie identifies the pattern, it may be too late—for the worlds, for Jesse, for the Earth portal base, and even for Cassie herself.