As I’m off duty right now, ignore my seniority for the time being.
Sorry if I disapointed you there. I know you’re serving with distinction, and your opinions so far earned my respect. Back in the day I was a scientist too, before I switched to military theory. Of course it’s sad to destroy something that’s so intriguing, but energy doesn’t have a notion of good or evil as most social individuals do. The only thing energy does is to release itself in some way, and the fact itself that it is so unknown and powerful means that we can’t hope to control it. No matter its intended use, if there’s a source of energy there’s a way to weaponize it, and it is normally easier to do than to use it as intended.
We almost lost the artifact this time. The alarming thing, come to think of it, it couldn’t just have been the escaped transport we picked up. Two different factions were aware of its location, as they were engaging in a fight. Of course it could have been a random encounter, but we can’t rely on that. Thus, even asuming the pirate handed over information to a faction, it means that the other (good luck figuring out if those are Arvonians or Caltrons, although I’d bet for the later) has a way to locate it.
In short, there’s a surprising ammount of aliens who seem to have a deeper knowledge than us on what this thing is.
Leaving aside the issue of whether to destroy it or research it in secret, there’s still some scientist left in me. So let’s get on with the interesting opinions, shall we? There’s one thing I’d like to hear your opinion on. This Artifact, even though we know was ancient, would you say that it’s a recent discovery when it comes to the galaxy at large, or one of the factions already had it and the other stole it?