The newcomer makes a quick gesture, so quick you can’t really see what it is. One of the other sailors responds by grabbing his hand, and they shake briefly. Then the two sailors step aside to let the newcomer through.
Somehow, this doesn’t strike you as standard protocol. Something weird’s going on. You’re curious, but your more immediate concern is getting up the stairs.
Maybe you should try the direct approach just to see what happens… wait, someone else is coming.
“Step aside, please,” the newly-arrived sailor asks. “Got a message for Mr. Resk.”
“Hand it over and we’ll see he gets it,” says one of the guards.
“Can’t, I was instructed to show it directly to him, and to no one else. Please step aside.”
“Afraid we can’t. We’ve got our orders, too.”
“Orders from who? We’re under attack, what possible reason is there for restricting bridge access?”
“We’re not permitted to say.”
Okay, something strange is definitely going on here. You think it might be good to step in, it’s your best chance at getting upstairs.
So how do you approach this?
Intervene in defense of the bridge guards.