Enterprise. Quantum throws a supplemental star log on the fire and reports that they've picked up a warp trail that could belong to the Fortunate, but they still don't have their long-range sensors. So, in essence, nothing new under the nearest sun. "Anythang?" Trip asks Mayberry in Engineering. Mayberry answers negatively and gives some technobabble direction to another officer as he and Trip walk off. The other officer responds with an "aye, sir." Hey, isn't Mayberry just an ensign? Who does he get to command? Trip says he doesn't get what's going on with Ryan: "I can understand taking on those pirates -- I probably woulda done the same thing, but firing on a Starfleet vessel? He's got a lot more than pirates to worry about now." Mayberry says he never thought he'd be pursuing an errant cargo freighter and, since it's been nearly four minutes since he worked his "boomer" background into everyday conversation, he says, "When I was growing up on the Horizon, anything that happened on board, you handled yourself. [Isn't that exactly what the Fortunate is doing?] If someone on the crew got into a fight, you just worked it out. You took care of your own. If Starfleet suddenly showed up and told my father what he could and could not do on his own ship --" "Things are changing -- Ryan's gonna have to figure that out," Trip interrupts. "There's a battle outside and it's ragin'. It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls," Mathra Dylan whines, "for the times they are a-changin'!" "Maybe he already has and he just doesn't like it," Mayberry says in Tones Of Portent. There's a blippity-bleep and Trip says, "Got it. Sensors are back online," before dashing off. Mayberry does some smell-the-fart acting.
Quantum's cabin. Mayberry requests an audience. "I think I can squeeze you in," Quantum says good-humoredly. He gestures at a chair. Mayberry sits down and doesn't say anything. Finally, Quantum asks him what's on his mind. This should be a good scene; if the teasers were right -- and we all know they ALWAYS are -- this should be the scene where Mayberry replicates a spine and stands up to the Captain. Mayberry asks if he can speak freely, and Quantum says, "Anytime." Mayberry says he's worried that they're not handling the Fortunate situation correctly. Quantum prompts him to continue. "You know I'd never question your orders," Mayberry says. "You served on one of those freighters, I want to hear your opinion," Quantum tells him. But, you know, the rest of us really don't. Mayberry mewls that Ryan could be right about this situation being none of Starfleet's business, so why force their help on the Fortunate? "So you think we should just let Ryan take on the Nausicaans?" Quantum says, getting up to start The Stride Of Morality around his miniscule cabin. Mayberry tells him not to underestimate a freighter crew, adding, "My father never ran into any trouble he couldn't handle himself. Nausicaans included." Quantum asks Mayberry what will happen to the Nausicaans. That puts Mayberry in a bit of a quandary. "Sir?" he asks. Quantum asks him what Ryan will do if he tracks down the attacking Nausicaan ship and is able to outgun it. "He'd probably try to blow them out of the sky," Mayberry says, still in "boomer" la-la-land. "I don't know about you, Travis, but that doesn't sit right with me," Quantum tells him with the quietude of ethics. "Human beings have a code of behavior that applies whether they're Starfleet officers or space boomers. And it isn't driven by revenge. Just because someone isn't born on Earth doesn't make him any less human." Mayberry gets The Look Of Enlightenment on his face and says, "You're right, sir. I supposed I should understand that better than anyone." "Any other orders of mine you'd like to question?" Quantum asks, giving him a grin. "Not today, sir," Mayberry says, getting up to leave. He pauses at the door and says, "Thank you, sir," before humbling off. What a piece of rot. We all know how the teasers made it look. Hell, they even had this conversation set on the bridge, with Mayberry looking extremely angry as Quantum recites most of the "any other orders of mine you'd like to question" bit off-camera, so we wouldn't have caught sight of his goofy, indulgent smile. UPN manipulation.