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[Last Round 2008] The Man Behind The Ram - part 2


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Sharee: What do you want to tell me?

Ramirez: Huh... So it's like that... You really want me to talk about whatever I want? You know I can go on about a lot of subjects for a long time...

Sharee: It's a good thing I have such extensive training to listen for a long time then isn't it?

:: The Ram laughed out loud. Stubborn indeed ::

Ramirez: Convincing too, I'll admit. Alrighty then... Grab a seat, it might take a while...

:: He sat back down on his chair, picking up the guitar on the way and keeping it in his hands, Delinda taking one of the other chairs and bringing it closer. ::

Ramirez: You want to know how it works in that big noggin' of mine?

Sharee: Where do you want to start?

Ramirez: I figure it's a good start. Understand the man, you might figure out the person... :: He pointed outside through the barn's main gates :: Look out there and tell me what you see...

Sharee: ::looks outside, and then back at Pedro:: What?

Ramirez: Humor me.

Sharee: I see a beautifully maintained farm house, a well, horse coral, scrub lands, and pastures. It is all rather pretty really.

Ramirez: For me, what you see out there is life, plain and simple. Of course, you're telling yourself that it's a normal response since I was raised here. What I mean is that it's the perfect idea of what life should be. Everything is simple in a place like this. Do your job, get things done, benefit from the fruits of your labor. No laziness, nobody superior to anybody else, everybody pulling their weight and doing their part. We take care of the beasts, they help us with our work. Everybody working for the greater good, you know?

Sharee: The greater good, what does that mean to you?

Ramirez: Oh, I'm no religious man. It's just the way I was raised. Didn't matter much how we did things as long as the work was done with the expected results. Lots of freedom as long as we did what we had to do. My father used to say "When you're working, you're on my time. And I hate to lose my time." I've seen him deal with a few hired hands that were a tad too lazy to his liking, and trust me, they either worked their butts off from then on or they never came back. Those who worked harder never regretted it because they learned the value of hard work and the satisfaction of a job well done.

Sharee: It sounds like you had a rather structured up bringing, and appreciate it. But I have to be honest, anyone who can write in your psych report seems to agree you have a discipline problem. Why do you think that is?

:: He gently stroke his guitar as he spoke ::

Ramirez: Never had a problem with discipline myself, despite the looks of things. I'm actually quite disciplined if you consider everything I was able to learn in my lifetime so far. Working on the ranch since I was a kid, school, dancing, music... all that stuff always required discipline. I actually never had a problem with authority until I got in Starfleet. All those people thinking they're better than everybody else because they got some pip on their collar telling everybody else they're "superior"... My dad, great authority figure that never asked anybody more than he asked of himself. He never gave up on anybody, though. He kept pushing people so they'd push through their own limits, to make them realize that they could be more than they believed they could be. Never went overboard, always there to help people in need. And trust me, no rank insignia can compare to that kind of authority figure.

Sharee: Your father actually sounds like a model for a senior officer.

Ramirez: Yeah, that's why I don't care about rank. People assume too much based on things like that. I prefer to judge people on their actions. And even though people might say they got promoted because they were good at their jobs, doesn't make them respectable. Life ain't always about performance. People tend to forget that they aren't just workers, they are people too. It's easy to be what people expect you to be. Much harder just to be yourself. When I look at someone, I don't want my opinions to be shallow as to be based on what people are looking like or what they're wearing. I want to see the people behind the uniforms, know what I mean?

Sharee: I think so, but why don't you tell me.

Ramirez: People want to look all perfect all the time, and it's frustrating...

Sharee: Frustrating?

Ramirez: When people want to look perfect, they expect you to be perfect based on their standards. The main subject here being me, because someone expects things to go a certain way, the fact that I do things differently makes me look incompetent based on their standards. Like I'm under-qualified because I say "Yeah" rather than "Yes sir". :: He stopped strumming the guitar and looked at Delinda straight in the eye :: You want to know how many people's lives I saved during the couple of years I've been in Starfleet? Wanna know how many successful missions I've ran? All of them. How many investigations I've solved? How many science experiments I've ran? :: He started strumming again :: None of that matters in the end because I don't do things the way they expect me to. All that positive put aside because I'm not the typical wannabe model officer.

::Delinda thought a moment on what Pedro had been saying. His opinions towards structure and the merit of promotions were widely held, both inside and outside of Star Fleet. But Pedro's personality, and impressively strict personal moral code was not allowing him to let go of his frustrations. Delinda was careful with her wording and tone for her next question. She did not want it to sound condescending, as that was certainly not her intention.::

Sharee: So why would you join, much less stay in an organization that has such a strict structure?

:: Again, Ramirez laughed ::

Ramirez: THE question everybody's askin'... I'm still here because that's the right thing to do.

Sharee: Why is Star Fleet the right thing to do for you?

Ramirez: Yeah. See, I talked about my father a lot, but at this point I'll give you some insight about my mom. She's a saint to have been able to put up with my father and I all those years, that's for sure. My mom knew long ago that I was special. Not the "Every mom thinks her kids are special". No. :: He stopped playing for a moment, tapping on his temple with his index, then started playing again :: She knew I had something special in my head... That I was a fast learner... She made sure I could use that to its full extent... But she also taught me to use all of it for the right reasons, the right causes... Oh, I'm no angel, I've used everything I know for my personal benefit more times than I can remember, but she'd always been there to put me back on the right track, to make me realize that there was better uses for my gifts, whichever they were... As much as I love this place, there isn't much I could do... That greater good, for me, it was bigger than this ranch... Starfleet was just an easy way into that bigger greater good...

Sharee: But there are many ways to work for the greater good. Why Star Fleet?

Ramirez: Oh, I could help doing jobs here and there like I did in the past year... Wasn't enough... Starfleet's got so many contacts with lots of problems, keeps me much more busy... Not to mention that it allows me access to more resources... :: Again, he stopped playing, but this time he looked down to the ground, grinning :: Not quite the image I project, eh? Right now I sound like that good guy with the good intentions and everything, but outside this holodeck I'm just the crazy science guy who doesn't play by the rules... :: he laughed :: "Hell is paved with good intentions" they say... But I'm far from hell if you ask me... I'm having a blast out here. Not a day goes by without a challenge and I thrive on that. Life continuing my father's work of making me push back my own limits all the time. And the harder things get, the more I'm motivated to get through them. Whether it's a physical challenge, an intellectual puzzle, I'm always in for it. Not like people who have technology do all the work for them...

Sharee: Technology is a tool, is it not?

Ramirez: As you can see around here, there wasn't much technology to do the job. We had to do things by ourselves. Had to get creative too to make our lifes easier. Why do you think I get around so easily when things start to break down? Because technology always breaks at some point, and you need to learn how to live without it to be able to live with it until it breaks. Of course, I'm not stupid either, I won't put technology aside if it can help me do what I have to do, but I usually go for my brains and my brawns first to try and solve a problem. Not to mention that I'm dependent on technology to some extent...

Sharee: Yes, your file said something about implants?

:: He started strumming the guitar a bit louder this time around ::

Ramirez: Ocular and hearing implants... I've gotten used to it and I'm at peace with having to rely on them to be in contact with the outside world. Even found some advantages in having them too. But it also makes one realize how much we can take things for granted in life. Sight and hearing... Losing both at the same time, trust me, you wouldn't like it... Imagine not being able to see everything you're able to see on a daily basis, how much you'd miss it... Can you actually imagine a guy like me unable to hear anything? That pains the heart and the soul, believe me... Imagine yourself completely in the dark all the time and not even a sound can let you know if your friends are around, where you are, what's happening, no familiar sounds to let you know everything is going to be fine...

Sharee: That sounds like a nightmare.

Ramirez: That happened to me... Was kidnapped by some group who switched me with a shapeshifter for a while on the station... All they came up to do with me is destroy my eyes and s[...] my hearing so I couldn't identify them... And there were the beatings... Only time I knew someone was in the room with me was when I was feeling the first hit of the day... Well... whatever the time frame was, when you don't have any idea of how much time passes, you can't tell... Got my body literally broken to pieces, pretty much all my bones were shattered to some extent... People say the worst pain a person could feel is giving birth... I never gave birth, but I'm pretty sure they can guess again... And they didn't bother giving me any painkillers either, that would've been beside their point... It's hard for anybody to understand, but try to picture what it would be like to have your whole existence downsized to feeling pain and no other perception of the outside world... The only thing you're able to feel being pain... I don't know why they let me live, even less why they left me for dead... But I can assure you, after that episode, I appreciate life a whole lot more and I care even less about trivial things like what people expect me to be or want me to be... The name's Pedro Alonzo Sanchez "The Ram" Ramirez, and that's who I am whether people like it or not...

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