SPOILERS, don't read if you worry about that sort of thing.
I got to the part with the hostage situation after figuring out the riddle that the kidnappers had sent (only afterward learning I didn't need to solve the riddle at all). At the place I couldn't find ANY SIGN of the kidnapee or any hostiles. Not in the bar, not anywhere. I went directly from the bar, where I met the contact that told me about the kidnapping, to my ship, took off, spent a long time going to Bounty, and nothing after that. I didn't flirt with the contact, but I presume that doesn't have an impact on the progression to the endgame.
Also, my character's a chick, so the constant gender references were a bit distracting. Not sure if there's any way around that, though.