Gotham Central wrote:
2) Why is Decker (and Kirk for that matter) demoted for this mission? There is no reason why anyone needed to be demoted for this event. Indeed, its not totally out of the question for an admiral to take command in such a critical situation.
I seem to recall an article in Trek
magazine speculating that the thinking might be: the unknown entities controlling this ship might take the Enterprise crew captive, and in that case, a captive Captain Kirk makes a less valuable bargaining chip than a captive Admiral Kirk. That kind of works as a rationale as long as you don't stare at it too hard. We do see other cases where Star Fleet folks are content to lie about the ranking officers in order to mess with the pests of the week.