To: RADM Quint, E. (@Quint)
It would seem that you have acclimated into your role. Yours was a particularly accelerated career - one founded upon necessity rather than anything else. So far, the ship of state has proceeded slow and steady and we have managed to avoid a real crisis. Rumor has it you are adopting the mannerisms of flag officers as well, with how your PADDs are becoming projectiles and targets.
Emery, I have served in this office for almost two years. In my tenure here, you are the third flag officer to occupy that seat. Everyone talks about the importance of the captain’s chair, and the weight that falls upon it. But a relatively autonomous ducal title is nothing compared to the weight of the crown. So many people clamor to be the leader, to be at the top of the pyramid. They seek to engorge themselves on power. So few truly understand that power is not a gift, but a responsibility. Insofar, I am proud of your accomplishments, along with your modesty and restraint.
But word of mouth does not escape me. Stress is often much worse in the heart of our sphere than on its edges. In a ship, the problems and opponents are clear. Here, everything is mired in shadow. It is like a game of chess, but nobody can see any of the pieces.
I have seen that office ruin your predecessor, Admiral. How it turns someone cynical, distrustful, and crushes their life and soul out of them. So now, allow me to undertake another duty as adjutant. I shall impart a piece of advice, along with another offer.
When your duties begin to weigh upon you too heavily, stop and take a look around. See the interior of your office and understand that you are not confined to it. I have found that dealing with reports while taking a walk around the station does wonders for personal morale, and it may benefit people to see you around the halls even if you do not interact with them. I have personally found the arboretum to be of paramount importance to my success in my current posting.
Secondly, do not forget the people around you. The captains are often both subordinates and adversaries, as we are engaged in a perpetual struggle with them over responsibilities and autonomy. But it is important to remember that there are people attached to names and statistics and a large mass can be moved with simply the most precise of pressure. Around you are people whom trust is necessary for survival. Admiral Bishop has his own agenda and beliefs, but he will march according to your orders. Captain Varley does not much care for the political intricacies of social maneuvering, and can be trusted should you desire someone more direct and blunt. Sometimes, a sledge hammer smashing through the web can be useful to realize the situation as it is.
Finally, there is myself. I have found you to be an agreeable admiral, someone who understands the bigger picture rather than an obsession with honor or propriety. I have been pleasantly impressed, and I feel the need to now help you as you have helped the fleet.
I do not want you to go down the path that Konieczko went. We can do so much more if we do not lose ourselves to the machine we operate. Allow me to invite you to lunch and we can speak candidly and without the trappings of rank, duty, or authority.