Wow, you're really playing the game without creating save files? Really? Is this your first RPG?
You could find out that you made a huge mistake 1+ hour(s) ago (like killing a character that would've been a companion), and have no way to correct it. Quicksaves and Auto Saves just aren't good enough to cover your bases.
That being said...
QUIT out of the game completely (not just to the menu), RESTART it, then load your Auto Save. Memory leaks can sometimes cause bugs that require this. Your Auto Save should be before speaking to the patriarch, perhaps taking you directly into conversation with him when you load it. Another possibility is that you need to restart your computer.
Best advice: SAVE YOUR GAME OFTEN
from now on! Multiple saves; not just one you keep replacing. I save all the time, especially at points in the game that I think are significant (leveling up, gaining a new companion, starting/completing a major quest, landing on a new planet, finding the next Star Map, etc.). There's no apparent limit on how many save files you can create.
You should use Quicksave/Quickload before you make a choice, so if you mess up you can go back and do something else, but it's not what you should be depending on
to save you. You may need to backtrack. You will
need to backtrack. This game only creates one Auto Save at a time (writing over the old one), so you can't even depend on those.