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Stepping Stones
Posted on February 28th, 2018 by Alexis Wright

Lexy was sure she’d be tired at the end of such a chaotic day among the treacherously beautiful quantum filaments, but her mind hadn’t stopped buzzing with possibilities ever since Kate and Kuari had spoken to her of publication. She hurried through a dinner with Kate in a rather preoccupied state and excused herself, against protestations that they’d planned to watch a movie together that night, to depart for her little-used office. Once she had prepared her workspace just so (according to her custom), she settled down to compose her thoughts.

More months than she cared to count had gone by since she’d started thinking about returning to academia long enough to earn her Ph.D., and somehow there had always been a reason to delay. It never seemed to be the right time, although she knew that the obstacles and roadblocks were almost entirely of her own making and in her own mind. She’d always prioritized other things, largely because the process of pursuing that final credential terrified her. Taking the command test had been one thing; it was something she had never aspired to, and so the prospect of failure had not been alarming to her. But this? This was something she’d been working toward since she was a child, and now that she was so close to the end, it was more difficult to muster the nerve to submit herself to her peers and mentors to be weighed and judged and potentially found wanting. More than that, her heart was set on asking someone whose opinion she deeply valued and respected to be part of this process, and something within her trembled at the thought of disappointing that person.

But in rare moments of fortitude like this, Lexy knew that these fears and anxieties could not, should not dampen her conviction or interfere with her goals. On a day like this, she was confident in her abilities, and she knew with complete certainty that her quick thinking in developing the sensor parameters to detect the quantum filaments had likely saved lives. It was because she stood on this solid bedrock of proof of the prowess of her mind that she was able to pass the next hour, and then another, and yet another in her office that night, her eyes clear and her voice strong, dictating her paper on the detection of these anomalies with the precision and clarity that she prided herself in.

When she finally made her way back home and climbed into bed next to an already-sleeping Kate, she did so with the knowledge that she’d created something she was excited to publish upon their return, another step on the path that she knew she wanted to walk despite her fears. She was asleep moments after her head hit the pillow, the darkness hiding the smile of satisfaction that curved her lips.

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  • Kathryn Harper says:

    Bravo! Nicely ties some of the events of the sim with her ongoing plans. Well done!

  • Kuari says:

    I love it! Continuing her thoughts from sim worked well here, and your thoughts (like Wright’s) are clear and concise. =P

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