Great little scene here and I definitely see what you mean about it standing on its own. This could most certainly have been a chapter in and of itself.
I like JQ, he is unlike most Starfleet officers we are used to and it is nice to see someone who cares so much. Although that may play foul with his objectivity, it also makes him very likeable. So far he seems to be doing pretty well, but as you said in your response to tau, we still have no idea how this is going to pan out in the end.
Well worth the wait and can't wait for the rest of the chapter!!!