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

As he waited for Dr. Sterling to return, Daniel scrolled over data on his Data Communications and Computer tablet. The DCC had picked up interesting readings from his ship during the contest and no wonder. The ships had been put through quite the workout. Several minutes later, he glanced at his watch. The lady sure was taking her time about getting water. She was probably comparing answers and making assumptions with her all-knowing colleagues. She might have even forgotten the water. About five minutes later, the door opened and Dr. Sterling walked through. Sure enough, there was no water in her hand.

Daniel wondered if this was a new technique. Offer something then don’t bring it to see how they react. Now he’d have to try to stop thinking of thirst.

“Are you ready for some more questions?”Sterling asked with a smile. She leaned back and crossed her legs, DCC perched in her lap with her epen at the ready.


“What is your greatest fear?”

Now this was starting to sound more like the realm of psych people. It was a bit surprising he hadn’t been asked that earlier. He was kind of hoping he’d been let off the hook with it. “I’d have to say my sister being killed or finding out my parents are really dead.” Now that was a pathetic way to say it. Really dead? Dead is dead.

“What is your favorite memory with your sister?”

Daniel flopped back on the couch. “Wow. There are so many. We’ve gone hiking, camping, invented together, schemed, had late night talks…school wasn’t always fun but studying had its moments.”

“What about with your parents? What was your favorite memory with them?”

“Together or separately?”

“How about both?”

“Probably family game night. Although the hikes through some of Mars’ cannons were fun. With my dad, it would’ve been the workshop talks. He used to try to explain physics to me, even back then.” Daniel smiled as memories filled his head. The smell of old wood, the sound of electrical humming and occasionally some boiling experiment. An ache hit him and he refocused. “With my mom it was probably those times she entrusted me with big responsibilities then celebrated them with me after I accomplished them.” He waited for the next question, but Sterling was sniffing. She blinked fast several times and sniffed some more. Daniel rolled his eyes. “Should I get you some water?”

“No, I’m fine. Moving on. What is your greatest regret?”

The sarcasm had obviously gone right over her head. Daniel sighed. “Saying I’d talk to you so I could join the ISF.”

She dropped her epen and her mouth hung open.

“I’m joking,” Daniel said. Somebody needed to give these people lessons in humor. “I’ve got a lot of them I guess. Sometimes I don’t think before talking and I snap at people. It’s caused some pretty serious problems.”

Sterling frowned and scrolled through her DCC. “I don’t see any trips to the principal’s office recorded.”

“I don’t mean those kind. I mean when I’ve walked past those needing justice when in a hurry and ignore them, or when I say the wrong thing to a bully and just make him more upset at others, or when I’ve accidentally put up walls between friends. Those kinds of regrets.” Why was he being so open with her? He needed to be more careful.

“Do you have a hobby or a hidden talent?”

This ought to make it easier; it wasn’t a personal question. “I enjoy stargazing. Does that count as a hobby? I also invent things. I don’t know about anything you could call a hidden talent. Perhaps it’s an ability to get on the good side with people in charge. Now that would be electrical.”

“Of course it would be. Tell me something. What do you think of puppies?”

“What kind?”

“Any of them.”

“I don’t need the responsibility of one, but some are cute. Of course, they become dogs quickly.”

“They do. Do you have any pets?”


“What is your most embarrassing moment?”

Daniel choked. “Um, probably the time I ruined a bunch of ISF computers and holographic projectors from space accidentally.”

“You did what?”

“It’s a long story and I’m sure you have other patients to see and more questions to ask.”

“Alright. What is your weapon of choice?”

“The Comet. Specifically the Star in my Comet.”

“I have no idea what you just said. Can you explain that please?”

“We named the starships we developed Comets. They have a powerful energy weapon that uses…well basically it can imitate either a star gone nova or a black hole, either over a wide distance or in focused beams.”

“My goodness! That sounds dangerous!”

“Tell me about it. It’s also classified to the highest level.”

“Well what about hand weapons?”

“Probably your standard LSRang. It’s a decent laser gun. Doesn’t have the range of a Laser Automatic Rifle but it works nicely. I’m working on an upgrade of it to adjust the distance and power setting on it. After that I guess whatever I can get my hands on. Knives usually work pretty good for throwing and short-range fighting.”

“Besides your twin, is there anyone you’re really close to?”

“David and Seth. We go back since way before I can remember. They’re like brothers.”

“They’re part of your team, the SSDF, right?”

“That’s right.”

“What about the rest of the SSDF?”

“Well, Rebecca is Kelly’s best friend and we only met Joshua a month or so ago, but I’m sure they’ll also become pretty close over time. And of course, Kelly is my twin.”

“Who would you consider your role model and why?”

“Commandant Chalmers I guess. He’s arguably the most powerful man in the galaxy yet he still cares for others beneath him.”

“At such a young age do you have problems gaining respect from elders?”

“Who are you calling young? I’m practically twenty!”

“It says here you’re eighteen. Not only are most commanding officers much older than you, they also have to spend quite some time building respect. At your age, does anyone even take you seriously?”

“Not usually,” Daniel admitted. “Although I’m hoping that this contest will change that.”

“If what I’ve seen spreads and the connection is made, I’m sure it will,” Dr. Sterling replied. “Is there anything that would crush your idealist outlook on life?”

“I’m not an idealist.”

“You’re an eager young man hopping at the chance to join the ISF and serve his people. You’re also hoping your parents are alive and believe in justice. You’re an idealist. Maybe tempered by life a bit, but trust me in this.”

“I suppose if Kelly died and nothing was done about it that could do it. Maybe if I see enough overwhelming injustice but I doubt it. I’ll still serve the people through the ISF and bring evildoers to justice.”

“I’m glad to hear that.”Sterling picked up her DCC and read something to herself. Then, “I have to go back for a bit. I’ll return shortly.”


Picture drawn by Mirriam Neal


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.

3 comments on “The Shrink’s Office (Interview with Daniel Grant part 2)

  1. Nice job Nathanael! I feel like I’m really getting to know Daniel. 🙂 Can’t wait for part 3!

  2. I’m not even going to bother trying to hyperlink it into the actual post: wordpress is giving me too much grief. lol. enjoy!

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