*R.S.S. Republic, Situation Room. David is standing at the windows, looking out at the massive arms of the Citadel. The doors open as Ramez walks in.*
Ramez: Am I disturbing you?
*David turns around.*
David *surprise*: Admiral! No, of course not. Come in.
What can I do for you?
Ramez: This isn't an official visit, Captain. I was about to leave for Dalos Alpha Prime to take a look at the damage that R.I.N. News is blaming me for.
David: Because you sent our forces and the Iconians to Reach instead of Dalos Alpha?
Ramez: I knew it wasn't going to be a popular decision. I think, however, that it was the right one. 6 Billion lives saved on Reach, compared to 4 Billion lost on Dalos Alpha IV.
I made the decision by the numbers. The cold, merciless, uncompromising numbers. This time, we saved more than we lost, but what about next time?
David: Admiral, do you have a family?
Ramez: Seems to be my question of the week. Captain Forrester asked me that.
No, I don't.
David: That's surprising.
David: Well, you seem so invested in the future, but you don't seem as invested in your future. Most admirals I know who think like that have kids, or are at least married.
Ramez: I never found the time. It's something I start to regret at my age.
*Ramez looks at his reflection in the window, at his greying hair.*
How old do you think I am, Captain?
David: I... wouldn't like to say.
Ramez: Would it surprise you to hear that I'm 58?
It's true. A lot of people think it's the stress, but it's not. I actually am that old. Hell, I actually look younger than I am!
At this point, I wonder if things might have been different if I'd found the time. Do you remember the Calton Skirmishes, Captain?
David: No, sir. It was a little before my time. I remember reading about them at school though. One of our border fleets got into a fight with the Voth in the Calton Sector.
Ramez: The R.S.S. Victorious was leading the Battle Group. It was supposed to be a coffee-and-cake run to the Turanian Border to commemorate Tura Outpost 9. I was a Security Officer aboard the R.S.S. Clarkestown, with an Ensign Richard Allington.
David: Sam's father?
Ramez: This was nearly 30 years ago, Captain.
We were young, eager, and oh so naive.
Captain Orsak on the Victorious tried to resolve things diplomatically, but these Voth were a lot more aggressive than any I'd seen befored, or saw again. We were boarded. The brutality was shocking. It's something I never forgot.
Rich did. He got struck down by a Voth, and suffered a concussion. As far as I know, he was never able to remember anything after the Voth opened fire.
That attack started a brief shooting war with that Voth enclave, but it also showed a lot of people that the Republic was not like the Federation - that we were willing to push back if someone shoved us into the mud.
Now, the Voth we know are peaceful with us. They keep to themselves and we respect their privacy.
But I never forgot those few Voth that went rabid.
After that, I transferred back to BetaComm and earned a position in the Military Operations Command Council as a Liaison for a while. Eventually, I made Captain - got assigned to the R.S.S. Titan. Then I got promoted to Rear Admiral Lower and was assigned to the Republic Embassy on Romulus.
David: Sounds like a massive change, going from Starship Captain to being tied behind a desk.
Ramez: I figured I could do a lot to improve our relations with the Romulans. They appreciate duty above all else, and I met a lot of friends while I was there.
I helped negotiate the deal to give the Romulan Military our surplus K916 Thermal Explosives - which was NOT a reckless move OR selling our weapons to "anyone who'll buy them", no matter what the Federation says!
David: You're not fond of the Federation, are you?
Ramez: No, it's not that. I'm not fond of elitists. Ez'rak was an elitist. He would have taken any opportunity to discredit the Republic if he got one. A lot of people in the Federation are still sore over the Battle for DS61 during the Federation Civil War. A Starfleet Officer once tried to assassinate Ryan Allington during the Khitomer Conference prior to the Raiser Conflict. Did you know that?
He was acting alone, but I doubt he was the only one who saw DS61 as a rogue state. In fact, the Raisers proved that when they tried to seize the station for exercising its own sovereign rights.
In the same respect, I think some people don't recognise the Republic as a sovereign power either.
David: The Republic consisted of Solais V, DS61, the Dalos Star Group and several dozen independent colonies!
Ramez: A planet wrought with centuries of global conflict, a rogue Starbase, a small group of star systems that no one cared about and had a history of voluntarily rolling back their own clock to the Medieval Age.
Do you see my point?
But, President Allington took those unlikely allies and bought them together through one irrefutable fact; none of them matched people's preconceived notions. Allington had a skill about him. He could sit at a negotiating table, listening to the bickering of delegates, and then turn around and hammer out an agreement based on the facts and none of the bias they were spouting.
David: Sir, if I may?
Ramez: You're right, I'm rambling.
In short, Captain, the reason I'm so invested in the Republic's future, and that of the Galaxy, is because I recognise one simple thing.
I don't try to promote my own career by making the popular choices... because it's not about me. It's not about patriotism. It's not even about the Republic. It's about legacy. It's about leaving behind a world that the future generations can live in without the problems I've had to live with.
That's why I get so attached to those under my command, Captain.
*He turns from the window, and looks at David.*
You are my family. You, Captain Forrester, Samantha Allington, you're all a part of my family.
Speaking of which... I heard you're dating that Security Officer of yours...
David: Oh boy....
*OOC: I was just adding some character development to Ramez here. I( may not use him much, but he really is one of my favourite characters.
Oh, and I may have unintentionally used this as an opportunity to let out some frustration towards Ez'rak.
BTW, Logan, do you think it would be a good idea for the UNSC to formally invite the Republic Admiral who left his own Capital exposed to save a UNSC colony to visit Reach, and see what he saved? I'm just thinking, if our long-term plan is to have the Republic and C.I.S. be allies (or at least friends), perhaps that would be a good idea?*