Side Sim: An Arboretum Picnic

Posted Jan. 27, 2021, 4:52 p.m. by Ensign Iyun Riani (Scientist) (Silke Fahl)

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Achilleas Petrakos (Chief Science Officer) in Side Sim: An Arboretum Picnic

Posted by Ensign Iyun Riani (Scientist) in Side Sim: An Arboretum Picnic

Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Achilleas Petrakos (Chief Science Officer) in Side Sim: An Arboretum Picnic


Achilleas smiled at Ria warmly. He didn’t mind talking work at all while being close with her. Science was their mutual passion after all. “I hadn’t given either considerations much thought. Not in the long term anyway. Short term will just be making sure the labs and sensors are in tip-top shape. I’m sure the new ship has been through a shakedown cruise before being handed over to us, but I never trust the readings or calibrations of someone not in my department. As for a personal project, well I haven’t had the time to really think about that with all of the department managing that’s been required as of late. What about you? How has your PhD project been going?”

CSO Petrakos

For a few moments Ria remained silent while helping herself to more food and thus giving herself time to think. She didn’t want to disappoint Achilleas. Yet she also didn’t want to lie. So with her eyes not quite meeting his she said, “To be honest, I haven’t been working on it at all since I arrived at the Starbase. There was just so much else going on and I feel like I shouldn’t be working on it while on duty. And then when I’m off duty, I’m usually to tired to get any work on it done. Or, like today, I’d rather spend my time differently. I’m sorry. I hope you aren’t too disappointed with me.” Bowing her head, she looked at her plate for a moment. Hiding her face as she tried to work through all the emotions inside her that were dragging her down.

~Ensign Iyun, Scientist

Achilleas looked at Ria in surprise. “Why would I be disappointed with you? I know exactly how busy you’ve been with work and I certainly echo the feeling of being exhausted when off duty. I’m certainly not going to have expectations that you work on your project when not having the time or energy. I’m not a school marm who will scold you for not doing your coursework.” He reached out to cup her chin and gently lifted her head so that he could see her eyes. “I’m proud of you for doing a PhD project. I’ll be even more proud when I have to call you Ensign Doctor Iyun… or would it be Doctor Ensign? But you take the time you need to finish, don’t rush it because of anyone else’s expectations, and don’t work yourself to death when you’re exhausted.”

CSO Petrakos

As he lifted her chin, a single tear suddenly rolled down her cheek and Ria tried to quickly look away. Why in the name of the prophets was she crying? Achilleas’ words were kind and supportive and showed how much he cared. And those three small words even more proud … she knew how he meant them. And at the same time she couldn’t help feeling like they put additional pressure on her. Not knowing what to say, but wanting to say something, she said the first thing that came into her mind: “I think you use either the title or the rank, but not both together.”

~Ensign Iyun, Scientist

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