Captain: I appreciate your seeing me so soon Admiral Saltornus.
Saltornus: I am giving this matter my full attention; I assure you.
Captain: You have my transcripts, the after action report by Sergeant Major Rademacher, Commander Lovecraft …
Saltornus: Indeed. This is all I require.
Commodore: Good morning. Hello Dan.
Captain: Hello Chloe.
Commodore: Shall we get this over with?
Saltornus: In a moment.
Mukh: Hey look! It’s the Captain! I love the Captain!
Tivk: Admiral Saltornus. Captain. Commodore.
Saltornus: Engineer Tivk.
Ensign: … sir.
Captain: What are you saluting for ... citizen?
Saltornus: I have persuaded the Ensign to return to active duty and reinstated his rank. We need more officers like him.
Tivk: … not many more Elder Saltornus.
Captain: He’s not serving under me?
Saltornus: Not at all. Captain Maddock, you are relieved of your command and under arrest. Commodore you will take Captain Maddock aboard the Dreadnought Concordance immediately. Concordance and her destroyer flotilla will return him to Starbase Liberty for trial.
GAIA: Excuse me? Admiral Saltornus, the Captain was acting under the AI Security Protocols. He did what he should have done with all due respect.
Ensign: Even I admit that. We only hitched a ride to Hykot Beta to get a breather and have the Polity Directive on AI Affairs to look at GAIA’s case. I … I didn’t say anything damaging to you … sir!
Saltornus: Yes. The Directive will be examining GAIA. But right now she falls under the First Contact Protocols. She was ‘rebuilt’ …
Mukh: And how!
Saltornus: Is he always like this?
Saltornus: … and reprogrammed by a Rockapongalie artifact. She may have information on them. She may have become an avatar of them, a last interactive if not living message in effect. We are treating this as a first contact situation. Other than her wifi being disabled for the time being she is not to be otherwise compromised. You, Captain, greatly overstepped your authority with a member of an unknown species and may be charged with assault, attempted murder, and creating a diplomatic incident.
Captain: I see. I’m glad you’re back Skippy, for what it’s worth. I guess you were right.
Commodore: Dan, I had no idea I was coming over to this.
Ensign: Me either Captain.
Captain: Admiral Saltornus is doing what he has to. GAIA …
Captain: You’re a good ‘bot. You’re … good people. All right Chloe, let’s go.
Commodore: Don’t think you’re getting special treatment just because we were married, Captain.
Captain: This will be about what our marriage was like anyway …
Ensign: Sir, we can go back to the Tesla now?
Saltornus: Indeed … you and GAIA may go. Mr. Tivk is going to remain here for a while.
Ensign: There are four of us here.
Saltornus: Mr. Tivk did contact a cloaked ship to make good your escape. We have a protocol for this as well. Tivk, you agree?
Tivk: I must be interned. My actions may indicate I am a Videni.
Ensign: That’s not right …
Saltornus: Then provide me with evidence of what ship you escaped on.
Ensign: It was Xamilcar salle-Korsa’s privateer, the Wanton Courtesan.
Mukh: Actually it’s Won Ton Courtesan. He really likes Terran cuisine from Asia and had a bum translator system.
Saltornus: … The Zangid. The Videni and Zangid had an alliance. Tivk will remain. Professor Mukh will remain as well to provide testimony on Tivk’s actions. You should stop speaking now, Ensign.
Ensign: Sir! Mmmph!
GAIA: Schaeffer … listen to him. I will remove my hand if you will shut your mouth.
Tivk: Listen to the lady.
Mukh: … yes. I will gladly remain here and help my friend answer these charges. The answer will be ‘bullshit’! You spratlings … go now.
Tivk: Take care of Dog. Give him the scratches of belly and ear.
Ensign: Aye sir. I look forward to serving with you soon.
Mukh: Ahhh. He likes you.
Tivk: I know … humans make no sense.