One thing I do with BBcode issues is I will write whatever I want to in Word but then, when it's time to post, I will pop it into notepad and do some find/replace with code. E. g. I italicize all ship names, so I will have it find Enterprise
and replace it with [i]Enterprise[/ i]
I would also suggest that, with unfamiliar aliens, you might want to do some exposition, at least so that the reader doesn't get too lost. Personally, I don't do a lot, even with original species, but I will sketch people and then let the reader fill in the blanks. Hence the Daranaeans, who are my own creation, are described as sentient marsupial canids. Whether you think that means they look more like dogs, or like kangaroos, or even like wombats or wolves, far as I'm concerned, it's all good (my avatar, a flying fox, is supposed to be an infant Daranaean).
I liked the story - I love intimate stories set against larger events. After all, what is history, when you get past memorized dates and the names of battles? It is personal experiences. Well done; I hope you will stay.