The Shrink’s Office (Interview with Daniel Grant part 3)

And now, the final part that you’ve all been waiting for:

part 1 can be read here:

part 2 can be read here:

(Please pardon the links not being hyper. I tried a dozen times and wordpress won’t let me right now for some reason)

Dr. Sterling didn’t take quite so long to return this time as she had before. She started on the questions right away too.
“Who do you think is responsible for your parents’ disappearance? What exactly would you have done to them?”
“I thought we weren’t supposed to speculate in the pursuit of justice?”
“Just answer the question Daniel.”
“Well, I’d guess Storm had an inside man go after the erubies, which would’ve given him power beyond what you can imagine. If he actually killed my parents, then he should die. But if he just caused them to go into hiding or locked them up, then he should spend the rest of his puny existence locked up in a dark hole somewhere.”
Sterling raised an eyebrow as she wrote. Finally she asked the next question. “Would you rather take a beating or watch one?”
“It depends on who is getting it and whether it is just or not. If it is unjust, then I’d rather take one. But I wouldn’t like to watch a beating whether it was just or not. And depending on who it was, I might take it for them.”
“Here’s a challenging one. If you had to choose between your sister’s life and the rest of your team’s, what would you do?”
Daniel stared. That was one of his worst nightmares. And if he didn’t figure it out, they’d probably both die to his indecision. “I’d probably say my sister’s. Our relationship would never be the same, she’d probably never speak to me again after that, but at least I’d know she’s safe. It’s not that I don’t like my team, they’re like family to me too. I grew up with two of them. First I’d give my own life if possible. But if not…they’d understand.”
“You really think so?”
She didn’t believe him, but he had to believe it was true. “Yes.”
“Ok, I think we should go to a little lighter topic for now. Would you rather have a timber rattlesnake bite on your arm, or a Brazillian wandering spider bite on your foot?”
“Uh, how bad are they?”
Dr. Sterling wrinkled her nose slightly. “Google it.”
Daniel pulled out his Data Communications and Computer tablet once again and Googled the snake first. “It says here that there’s a high possibility there wasn’t any venom in the first bite, that it was only a warning bite. I say we’ll go with a bite on my left arm. ISF doctor could patch it up quickly, I’d think.”
“You’re not going to look at the spider?”
Daniel shook his head. “No need.”
“Mm-hmm. How do you like your eggs?”
“Real. I tried ship rations before once…ugh.”
“And you want to be an ISF officer?”
“You asked how I liked them. Real eggs or processed imitation won’t make me a good or bad officer.”
“Would you describe yourself as having a silver tongue? Or would you rather someone else do all the talking?”
Daniel nearly laughed out loud. “Ha! After all this you ask if I think I had a silver tongue? Not to my knowledge. At least not normally. Someone else can do the talking.”
“Considering all the questions I’ve given you and the time that it’s taken so far, and we’re not even done yet, what would you do to us questioners if you had us alone and helpless in a dark room, right now?”
Daniel thought about that. That was a hard one. So many things to choose from. He’d pick the first safe one that wouldn’t get him into too much trouble. “An image of the sprinkler system comes to mind.”
“Would you like us to go jump off a cliff right now?”
Daniel rolled his eyes. “If I’d save you from shark infested waters, you think I’d want you to go jump off a cliff? Unless you actually do some of these bad questions to me, I don’t care anymore. Let’s just get this finished.”
“Whatever you say. How important is it to you that your parents might still be alive?”
“I’d say it’s really important to me. I just can’t come to terms with them being dead. They said they’d be back.”
“Some of the people back there are curious about the ISF Academy, considering how nothing definite is really listed anywhere on the –nets. Is it a special school for privileged people or does it accept anyone/everyone?”
“It’s only for special people. IQ scores must be high, as do normal school test scores, and the admittance test has minimal room for error. Also, you must have military connections.”
“How can you afford to go there?”
“Commandant Chalmers is a rich and generous man. As you know, he started the ISF officer orphanage and is a major donor. He’s the main reason we got into the Academy in the first place, but the orphanage does support its members into the Academy, including the entry fee. They allow us to room there even when we should’ve left if we’re still in the Academy and doing well. It is also an investment of the ISF, as everyone who graduates goes to the ISF, and not many drop out. So I’m really not paying much at all.”
“I have another relationship question. Do you try to include Kelly in everything you do, or do you think that the closer she is to you, the closer she is to danger?”
Daniel leaned back. The assumptions people made. “Unless it’s a guy-only get together, Kelly’s always welcome. I tend to prefer she doesn’t hang around me at the school much because of Karl Royce and his cronies, but I’m not too worried about her. She’s had training too. It’s part of why she’s on the team. And besides, it’s easier to protect her when she’s closer to me than when she’s somewhere I can’t see.” And she was fun to hang out with. As if she’d let him push her away because of safety. The corners of Daniel’s mouth twitched and he held back a smile.
If Dr. Sterling saw the expression she didn’t comment on it. “Let’s say the world was thrown back to ancient days before most technology came into existence. What would be the one thing you’d want to bring if you had a choice?”
“Well, if I brought something with electricity when there was none that’d be rather pointless now, wouldn’t it? However, considering my Comet can charge itself by flying near the sun if it needs charging, I’d probably bring it. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about protection and I could always check the other worlds for advanced tech if I decided I needed to move.”
“What do you do for fun?”
“Well, there’s the physics papers I read and inventing.”
“Besides that.”
“Um…I like strategy games. Oh, and racing! Especially obstacle course tracks.”
“LC or cycle or spacecraft?”
“Well before it used to be an LC, although a cycle would be fun. Never could afford one of those though. Now that I’ve tried space races in the Comet though, I think they may be more fun.”
“I see.”
“All legal, of course.”
“I think we should go back to the relationship questions.”
Daniel felt his face drop. Great, just what he needed.
“Do you zealously guard Kelly’s time, or do you share her with her other friends?”
“I value her time, but she has every right to enjoy her friends without me around. We do keep track of each other and set general time limits, but if I guarded her time like a jailer, our relationship would be very strained. We make time for each other to talk and encourage and stuff.”
“So what would happen if a fellow started showing interest in your sister romantically? Like now or sometime later when she’s a bit more grown?”
“I’d stick very close to them at first and try to get to know him. Probably have the guys perform a background check on him too. And see what her best friend has to say about it. Girls seem to have so much more insight into these things when they’re not caught in the midst of it.”
“That’s an interesting viewpoint.” She looked down at her DCC. “We only have a few more questions. If you were to have a choice between having Valentine or Theloq handcuffed to you, which would you choose? The handcuffs would be impossible to get out of. And you can’t gnaw your hand off or anything to escape.”
“Remind me who they are again?”
“Valentine is a finder who talks way too much, Theloq is a silent, pushy warrior type who’s a recluse.”
“Um, probably Theloq. He sounds safer.”
“I wouldn’t know about that…here’s a tough question. Would you rather lose your best friend who isn’t a family member or a family member?”
“That is a horrible question! Who came up with that? It’s almost identical to the other one!”
“I’m not at liberty to say. Just answer the question.”
“Fine, but this better be the last of its kind. I’m getting tired of these nightmarish questions. I have two best friends, David and Seth. It would be hard to lose either. We almost lost David in the contest. But Kelly’s the only family member I know that I have left and I don’t know if my parents are alive. I guess I’d have to say best friend. There’s a possibility of finding a new best friend. You can’t get a new family member. But I wouldn’t want to lose either and I value all of them.” Daniel crossed his arms. They were trying to break him down and it was starting to work.
“Don’t worry, I only have four more questions. I’ll give you the easy question first. Do you like kittens?”
Daniel stared. “Kittens.”
“Yes. Is there a problem?”
“No, no problem.” Except that her method of asking vastly different questions right after another was absolutely confusing at times. “They’re ok. Some are cute. Their claws hurt.”
“I see. Every starfighter has a weakness. What are the Comet’s weaknesses?”
“How is this a question for a psychiatrist or psychologist or whatever you are?”
“I gauge your reactions and responses, and in addition, the weaknesses of a ship can tell about the builder.”
Daniel sat up straight. “Well it wasn’t intentional I can tell you that much. Currently the only major weakness we know of is our shields can be overpowered with a lot of concentrated fire. This is usual for starfighters because they don’t have as many emitters for their shields as larger ships which makes overlapping a damaged emitter difficult. We make up for this though with our enhancer mirrors installed in the solar panels. They’re a back layer so if a laser hits the panel, it will be directed back off at an increased rate of strength. This is assuming it doesn’t hit only a power cell, but we believe we’ve spread them out in the most efficient manner so as to lessen that possibility. Also, our Star has a very limited positive beam before it needs to recharge, usually via the negative beam.’
“You seem quite confident in your ship’s abilities,” Dr. Sterling commented.
“I am. We designed her well, and had six people to look over potential mistakes and problems we could run into.”
“That is nice. What would you do without tech? Say if you somehow got stuck in a backwoods planet with no electricity or even flint or metal. Just sticks and stones.”
Daniel’s mouth felt frozen as his brain scrambled to find a response. “Uh, try to survive I guess. I’m not really sure. I’ve never really had any training in that area. Possibly try to find locals to help.”
Dr. Sterling leaned forwards. “Alright, this is my last question: Do you prefer sunrise or sunset?”
“I would have to say sunset. It’s when the moon and stars are starting to come out, and the colors are usually brilliant. Reminds me of some of the nebula pictures I’ve seen.”
Dr. Sterling stood and held out her hand with a smile. “Thank you for you time Daniel.”
Daniel shook it. “You’re welcome. I hope you got everything you needed.”
“We’ll see. Don’t worry, I’ll call you back if I need to ask more questions. Good day.”
She turned and strode into the back room. Daniel stared after her. More questions? Don’t worry? He had to get out before she thought of something soon. He checked his pockets then strode out of the main entrance. Hopefully the rest of the SSDF hadn’t gotten out early and been waiting for him too long. They still needed to look over their equipment before they could go home.

That’s the end of the interview with Daniel…at least for now. 😉 I hope you enjoyed it!


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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2 Responses to The Shrink’s Office (Interview with Daniel Grant part 3)

  1. Amanda says:

    *laughs* I can’t tell whether Theloq is offended or relieved Daniel chose him over Valentine. 🙂

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