Since the Exodus Project, the United Navy has ruled humanity with a loose and benevolent hand. With the entire population of the human species currently numbering only twenty million, spread from venus orbit to the Oort, the Navy isn't interested in autocracy. For most chafing under martial law, freedom is just some delta-v away. Of course there's just all the little details like needing a spaceship, fuel, and somewhere to live in the hostile vacuum of space.
Major Gustavson is the Hive's commanding officer in the United Navy. Based out of his own space station in Jupiter's Lagrange Point 5, he's got the unenviable task of being in charge of a Hive exponentially smarter than he is. Good thing he's up to the job.
He might believe in the Hive's abilities, and he might think they do great work, but it's his job to keep the Hive in line. That might be a rebuke, it might be a reprimand, or it might be a thumb on a killswitch. That's up to you, and the choices you make as the Hive of Padua Station.
More importantly, though, he's your best ally against the command structure above him, the one that doesn't trust Hives as far as they can throw them. Slip up once in their eyes, and there'll be a lot more hands hovering over those killswitches.
Major Gustavson's a good man, but he's a Navy man. Sometimes that means doing the wrong thing, for the sake of his Navy.
Sometimes sticking to regulations will save your life, and sometimes it will get you killed. Every choice the Hive makes will be scrutinized, and every mistake examined.
But you know what they say.
You can't save a species, without breaking a few regs.
The speed of light delay between Jupiter Lagrange Point 4 and 5 is about 74 minutes. The round-trip for transmissions is 148 minutes. That makes conversations a little awkward. The solution is an AIgent, a weak AI that does its best to anticipate and emulate Major Gustavson, and serves as the intermediary between Hive and Command.
It does a good job of emulating him, but most people who know Major Gustavson could tell him and his AIgent apart in a few minutes. His wife could tell them apart in three sentences. To the Hive, it's about as dumb as a sack of hammers, and they don't get along. But the brass up top don't want a Major too close to the clutches of a Hive, either, and so an AIgent is the uncomfortable compromise.
The Hive might be fond of Major Gustavson, but it despises the AIgent, and the feeling is mutual.
He's an atypical product of the United Navy's officer culture. Professional, and as risk-averse and diligent as anyone raised in environments where a mistake can kill, he's nevertheless warm and pleasant to deal with. He's also the closest thing the Hive has to a friend.
And the Hive needs a friend, now more than ever. There's a lot more eyes on the Hive than just Gustavson's; humanity doesn't trust Hives, and for some good reasons. Gustavson's job is as much to keep the Hive of Padua Station in line, as much as it is to help them. And while the Hive might be smarter than him, Major Gustavson has the courage and conviction to stand up to them when need be. Or stand between them and the brass higher up.
Which is a damn good thing, because there's more than one killswitch waiting to be thrown at the first sign of a Hive gone bad.