The Shrink’s Office (Interview with Daniel part 1)

Daniel entered the small room and sat down on the couch. He examined the sparse furnishings, obviously meant to relax without distracting. The waterfall wallvid was pretty cool. All-in-all, the standard shrink’s office. Well, if he was to be an ISF officer, he had to go through this, so he would do it.
A lady wearing a cheery blouse and knee-length skirt walked in with her Data Communications and Computer tablet ready. “Good day Daniel.”
Her voice was too happy. It was almost like falsified optimism.
“I’m Dr. Sterling. Commandant Chalmers has given me full clearance so that you can answer every question while maintaining integrity and secrecy.”
“He told me.”
Sterling paused then looked back to the notes on her DCC. “Well good! The other psychiatrists, scientists and strategists that have been cleared have compiled a list of questions that you should find interesting. The questioners will remain anonymous to protect the innocent. Are you ready to begin?”
Daniel glanced at his watch. “You mean we haven’t started?” he restarted his stopwatch and looked up. “Just kidding. Yeah, I’m ready.”
“Good. Do you have a motto Daniel?”
“For Him. Really it’s the SSDF’s motto, but as part of the SSDF it’s my motto as well. It means everything we do should be for God’s glory.”
“I see.” She scribbled something down using her e-pen then met Daniel’s eyes and smiled. “Are you a master of disguise?”
Daniel blinked. “Um, I wouldn’t call myself a master, no.”
“Could you be if the situation arose?”
“Well I haven’t forgotten my blending in class in the ISF Academy if that’s what you’re getting at. And before you ask, I got an A minus.”
“Do you want revenge and justice for what has happened to your family?”
Daniel paused. They were trying to trip him up. The key here would be to think before answering. “I want justice, yes. Who doesn’t? Revenge isn’t the way of the ISF though. That’s the way of the vigilante. The law will get them.”
“Are you more of the sneak-attack type or jump-in with guns blazing type?”
“I guess that would depend on the situation. I will say I’m rather fond of guerilla tactics, you know, where a small team strikes then quickly fades back only to repeat. Drives the enemy mad.”
Dr. Sterling stopped writing and stared at Daniel. He stared back calmly. “Alright then,” she cleared her throat. “Would you lay down your life for your team if it meant their safety?”
“Yes.”
“That was quick.”
“They’re like family. We look out for each other.”
“Do you drink coffee?”
Daniel frowned. “What’s that?”
“A drink that was popular in the twenty-first century. You can find it in some specialty shops around still. They used to use it for energy.”
“Oh. No, I don’t. If I need energy fast, that’s what ISF ration e-speed pills are for. Or I could get sleep.”
“I understand. Those are nice. What are your thoughts on elves?”
“Are they a snack from the twenty-first century?”
The psychiatrist grimaced. “Perhaps you should Google it.”
Daniel pulled out his DCC and entered the word then scrolled through the pages. “They’re a fantasy creature that was a huge element in writing several hundred years ago.”
“Very well, I’ll leave it at that. Tell me Daniel, do you have a romantic interest? Did you? Is there anyone who could interest you romantically?”
“No I don’t, and no I didn’t. I never had time.” Crazy psychiatrists and their questions. Even if he did have a relationship it wouldn’t impede his duties. “And how should I know? The galaxy is a huge place.”
“No one enters your mind right now?”
“I’ve given you my answer,” Daniel replied. An image had flashed across his mind, but it was nothing really. A bit of admiration, nothing more. And besides, he’d only met her recently, and he didn’t need the hassle of any relationship. No, there was no one. [author’s note: I do have that someone in mind for when he gets older for an interesting relationship. Of course, a lot can happen in several books so I don’t know if anything will really happen between them.]
“What is your favorite ice-cream flavor?”
Daniel’s mouth watered. “Homemade ice cream with real ingredients.” Great, now they were going to weaken him with food.
“What do people think of your driving skills?”
“How would I know?”
“Are you a good driver?”
“I’m a safe driver.”
“What makes everyone look up to you as leader?”
“Everyone? What everyone? No one looks up to me as leader. The only reason I lead the SSDF is because I organized it and the others were content with letting me take the responsibility.”
“Are you saying you’re a bad leader?”
“How should I know? I look after my team the best way I see fit. Call it whatever you want.”
“What kind of music do you like? You do like music, right?”
“My parents got me into the classical pieces by the masters and I don’t suppose I’ve ever lost that.”
“What’ve you been trained in?”
“Is this some sort of test to see how I’ve been doing in class over the past years? How detailed of a list do you want?”
The doctor shrugged. “Whatever you feel we need to know.”
“Ok. Well, I’ve been trained in the following, but it doesn’t mean I’m good at everything. Combat flight, starflight, hand-to-hand combat, basic survival, various weaponry but mostly laser weapons, mechanics and engineering, reconnaissance, interplanetary politics, interstellar trading laws and other basic interstellar laws, military strategy, basic computer programming, along with your standard school subjects.” Maybe he shouldn’t have put the interplanetary politics class in. He hoped they didn’t pull his records on that one. Politics was not his thing.
“That’s a nice spectrum.”
Daniel shrugged and leaned back. “It’s what everyone in the Academy gets.”
Dr. Sterling sipped some water then asked, “What would you do if something ever happened to Kelly?”
Daniel’s jaw clenched and his fists pressed into the couch. “What do you mean?”
The psychiatrist studied him with that annoying patronizing look they all seemed to have. “Something bad. Say she was blinded. Or got in a wreck and died.”
“If she was blinded, I’d request family emergency leave and help her through it. I’d make sure she had the best training possible for the blind while continuing to work with the ISF to pay for it, after she’s passed through the trauma of course. If someone caused it, I’d make sure he was brought to justice. If she got in a wreck and died…” Daniel tried to shove the thought from his mind. “I’d probably seek justice first. After that, I don’t know. She keeps my hope alive. I guess I’d try to continue looking after the others.”
“Why was your home attacked?”
Daniel took a few slow, steady breaths to get himself back on track. No need to disqualify himself after all this. “I was never told, but I’ve thought about it frequently. The facts seem to point to one thing. Sir Storm or one of his people attacked looking for my dad’s stash of erubies and they didn’t want any witnesses. Somehow my parents got us past them in escape pods.”
“Do you get along with the rest of the SSDF?”
Did she not pay attention? “Yes, we’re like family.”
“Even Rebecca Royce?”
“Her being a Royce doesn’t affect anything. She’s Kelly’s best friend, so she’s a friend of ours. It’s not her fault her brother is Karl Royce.”
“I see. What do you like to read? You do like to read, right?”
“Sure, I guess. Physics articles are usually interesting, along with other papers on scientific theories.”
Dr. Sterling blinked and gave him a weird look. Daniel stared right back. People and their assumptions…he got this reaction every time. “Let’s say you got stuck on a deserted island with Melgred, Judas, Eristor, Marhwil, and Valentine. What would be the outcome?”
“I’m not sure I understand the question. I assume we’d get off the island. Who are they?”
“They’re characters from twenty-first century literature. You know, the classics? Say they were real.”
“I was never really into fiction. Too much of a time waster. I have better things to do.” He paused, waiting for the next question. Dr. Sterling continued to wait for the rest of his answer. He sighed. “Who are they?”
“Melgred is an evil prince who believes fear is the best way to earn respect. Judas is a man with a split identity, one being soft and poetic, the other being a crazed killer. Eristor is an arrogant prince. Marwhil is a gryphon knight with a silver tongue who rose through the ranks quickly and had to run from his brother, who seized power. Valentine is a Finder who likes to talk a lot. He’s also a banished prince.”
“Well, assuming we stayed in our own corners of the islands, we’d find a way to survive I guess. If we worked together, we could probably create a craft to get us off the island.”
“You think you could work together?”
“Sure. They’d all see the value of survival and put it ahead of everything I’m sure. And Marwhil with his silver tongue could keep them all together.”
“Really. Here’s a similar question. If you were trapped on a deserted island with Valentine, Melgred, Judas, and Cayrn, what do you believe would happen? Who would be the first to die? Who would be the last standing?”
“Who’s Cayrn?”
“Cayrn is a Keeper who remembers everything she sees and reads.”
“I see. So why do we have to fight?”
“You have a crazed killer and an evil prince who doesn’t mind killing.”
“So it’s an arena?”
“If you want it to be.”
If you want it to be? What kind of an answer was that? “Well, I guess we’d meet up with each other and the more reasonable among us would try to explain the situation to the others. Considering I have a laser weapon, I’m pretty sure I could get us working together temporarily, at least long enough to get off the island and go our separate ways. They didn’t have lasers back then, did they?”
“Valentine may have had access to them but he prefers the bow.”
“I see. Well, assuming it was an arena, or we couldn’t get off, I’d probably try to team up with Cayrn and Valentine for survival’s sake. The lone killers would probably die first because they’d have no one to watch their back if wild animals came in the night. As to the last one standing, it would have to be one of us three, if it wasn’t all of us three. We’d have to trust each other with our lives and be willing to die for the rest to survive.” That would’ve made his strategist professor proud.
“What would you say is your best attribute?”
“My desire for justice, or maybe my care for those I’m responsible for, or maybe my inventiveness.” Daniel smirked. That ought to throw her for a loop.
“What’s your middle name?”
“Vero.” [Author’s note, I hadn’t thought about this before. I was quite tempted to give him an O name, like Orion. His initials would then be DOG. As it is, I’m not sure his middle name is set in stone. I’ll know in the third book.]
“What is your favorite color?”
“The color of the ocean and the color of the desert next to each other.”
“What brings you the most enjoyment?”
How was he supposed to answer that question? He’d have to think about it for it to be any accurate, but there was no way he was going to sit here mulling over it for an hour and prolong this any longer. “I’d say having success in an invention and sharing it with my sister and friends.”
Dr. Sterling gave him a serious look and asked, “Even with all these questions, if the author of them was shoved into shark infested waters by Melgred, would you save her?”
“Of course I’d try.” They must have a really low opinion of him to ask that question. Just because someone may be irritating or do something irritating gave him no right to stand by and watch them die.
The psychiatrist looked at her cup. “It seems I’m out of water. Wait here and I’ll be right back.” She got up, walked to the door then turned. “Would you like anything?”
“A bottle of water would be nice,” Daniel said.
The psychiatrist nodded and left.

Picture drawn by Mirriam Neal. Daniel Grant is third to the right from the left.

Part two is here:

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About Nathanael Scott

Nathanael Scott has been an enthusiastic reader of a variety of genres for as far back as he can remember, his favorite being science fiction. He uses writing to let loose his imagination in a way that glorifies God and benefits others. If you can’t get hold of him, he’s probably in outer space piloting a starfighter on a mission to save your life. He is the author of Though Storms May Rage, a sci-fi novel that is currently in revision.
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6 Responses to The Shrink’s Office (Interview with Daniel part 1)

  1. marvelousdiscovery says:

    Made me laugh! Love it! 😀 Can’t wait for Part Two! I feel bad for making Daniel mad at me.

  2. CCDragonKissedFiendishRattler says:

    Go Daniel! Haha can’t wait for part two 😀

  3. Pingback: The Shrink’s Office (Interview with Daniel Grant part 3) | scif1

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