Once in the hallway with Imogen, Lilly asks whether she went into any of the other offices. “Only yours,” Imogen says. She indicates there was no computer, but she grabbed what she found. Lilly walks away without asking for any details, heading to one of the other offices. Imogen continues poking at the computer, trying to figure out how many “players” are involved. It is a frustrating interface, and she finally gives up, worried that someone will realize Elaina no longer has control of the equipment if she makes too many mistakes.
Lilly takes a quick peek in the rooms Imogen did not hit, hoping to find more computers that are controlling zerg. All she finds, though, are abandoned Confederate-issue machines that have been trashed. She returns to her partner’s side, and Imogen tells her, “You used to be the head of this facility.”
“You’re shitting me.”
“Whether anything here will still respond to you or not, I don’t know. It’s possible that since you’ve still got that thing in your neck, that something is still functioning that would.”
“That is Confederate,” Lilly says of her RFID tag, “but I don’t know if it has to do with this facility or not.”
Zagara overhears the conversation. She clops over and leans in really close to Lilly. “You created this facility?” Lilly throws a questioning look at Imogen, the one with all the answers. Zagara raises a claw menacingly. “You tortured countless zerg. This was your idea?”
“Probably not the whole thing,” Lilly tells the upset broodmother. “I have no idea.”
Imogen slips between Lilly and Zagara as much as she can, seeking to diffuse the situation before it comes to blows. “Zagara, you have killed and maimed countless terrans, but you’re not doing it right now, and that’s why we’re working with you. Because right now, we all have common goals. For what you need accomplished right now, it does not matter what Lilly did at some point in the past that she doesn’t even remember. You need to prioritize the health and safety of your brood that’s still in this facility, and not worry about whatever happened in the past.”
“Yes, I killed many terrans when I was enslaved by the Overmind and had no choice. And the Queen of Blades had to free herself from the grips of many, including fascist terrans.”
“So now you have a choice,” Imogen points out.
“I choose to serve the Queen of Blades.”
“Do you? Really?” Imogen asks, not quite sure zerg really have free will, given the psionic commands the lower level ones seem to automatically obey.
“You say this one was in charge of this facility,” Zagara growls, ignoring what she perceives to be a jibe. “Therefore, she is responsible for the plight of all these zerg.”
“And isn’t she working to stop that right now?”
“She lost control of this facility. She did not properly protect it. Should she not be punished?”
“She was taken out of command of this facility,” Imogen says.
“Was she?” Zagara looks past Imogen to Lilly. “Are you in charge of this facility?”
Lilly shrugs, looking to Imogen for help. She does not know what information her partner found.
“You were stripped of your responsibility for this facility by a man who is no longer alive, having been killed by the Queen of Blades,” Imogen says.
“What did I do?” Lilly wonders aloud.
Imogen rifles through her bag and produces a piece of paper that she hastily folds. “I don’t know if you can read terran,” she tells Zagara, as she holds up the reassignment letter so only the paragraph about the reassignment is visible. No need to show the broodmother the lines about Lilly’s ideas on partnering with zerg.
Lilly glances at the paper, unsure of what a director’s responsibilities would entail anyway. “I don’t know,” she says again, dismissively. “We’ll figure it out later.” They have people to rescue now, after all. “Do we have a problem?” she asks Zagara.
“We have a problem,” the broodmother growls back.
“What do you want to do about it?”
“I would like to rend you limb from limb.”
Lilly remains chill. “That wasn’t part of the agreement.”
“Helping someone who tortured zerg, who created this monstrosity, this perversion of zerg, wasn’t part of the agreement either.”
“Okay, so you’re stopping the agreement?” Lilly hefts the frying pan laser.
Still squeezed between the two, Imogen appeals to them both. “We accomplish nothing by fighting here right now! Whatever agreements we have are just for getting everybody out of here. Zagara, if you want to continue this fight and blame Lilly for things, you can do that afterwards. But we all still need each other to get what we want out of here. You cannot manipulate things the way we can. This is a terran-built facility with terran-built interfaces.” Imogen holds up the laptop to back her point, even though she herself finds the interface clunky and tricky to navigate. “You have pointy claws; we have fingers.”
Lilly’s fingers pat her protoss weapon, prepared in case Imogen’s words do not sway the broodmother.
Imogen continues, “We’re two groups acting here, not just one. We needn’t stay together. If one of us acts against the enemy, the other group is free to act unexpectedly. If the compound is being attacked by zerg, Neiman is not going to expect terrans to show up as well. And the reverse is true if the terrans act first. Maybe it’s best at this point if we work independently to both still get what we want but also give each other space. Perhaps that will even improve our odds of succeeding.”
Zagara narrows her eyes, glaring at each of the terrans. “Very well. We shall split for now. But we have more to discuss later after we have destroyed this ghost. You have much to answer for, terran.”
“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry,” Lilly says. Zagara is not wrong, after all. Lilly would be mad too, if she were her.
Before they part ways, Zagara informs them that their target room is a large one. She was only in it once, but she believes that it is where the ghost does his simulations. It has two entrances that she knows about, so splitting up at this point makes sense. The main entrance is up ahead where the hallway branches, and Zagara says the terrans should take that one.
Imogen suggests to Lilly that she have Snowball stand guard in front of Elaina’s door. That should help both of them stay out of trouble.
“Good idea. Snowball, stand guard,” Lilly says. He moves into place, retaining his short hydralisk form, and therefore not exposing his changeling nature to Zagara. “Thanks, little buddy,” she tells him.