Imogen tracks down Egon so they can start working on the repairs Jim Raynor needs. Lilly sticks around, helping to lug heavy chunks of metal around the garage and admiring the power armor—no matter how beat up—on the repair racks. Imogen inspects the damage, and Lilly muses that her partner is probably as handy with a wrench as Rory.
None of the first set of metallic patches meet Imogen’s standards. She grumbles about their quality to Egon, who claims he does not know what the problem is. “Well, it’s not the fault of the superior Umojan catalyst,” Imogen tells him. “It’s your crummy—”
“I think your catalyst is just formulated differently from the type of neo-steel we need,” Egon counters.
“I think the sludge here that you’re having me add it to is a mix of melted-down Confederate suits,” Imogen fires back.
“I agree! But that’s what the commander brought me, so that’s what I have to use. Do you have Umojan metal we could borrow? Uh, I won’t give it back, actually. Can I just have it?”
“Not in this volume,” Imogen tells Egon. She had hoped to use her Umojan stun rifle as bargaining leverage to gain access to his zerg research. Such a small amount of metal would barely scratch the surface of what they need here.
“What volume do you have? I’ve been working on a shrink/expand ray, too.”
Imogen takes the stun rifle out of her backpack and shows it to him. As she expected, it piques his curiosity. “What is that?!” Egon demands.
“Wouldn’t you like to know.”
“Do we need to do a salvage op?” Lilly says suddenly. “Get some material?”
“Aye, that would help,” Imogen agrees. “The quality of the metal we have here is just not cutting it.”
Egon describes in scientist talk what they need, and then Imogen translates that to practical terms: uncorroded scrap metal. “If you see something shiny, it’ll work,” Imogen tells Lilly. “Enough to fill Old Red’s spidermine compartments should do it.”
Lilly is happy for any excuse to take her vulture bike out for a spin. She roars out of Jimmy’s base and heads across the wilderness to a set of old abandoned structures. As she pulls up to them, she sees some salvage with a lot of potential for Imogen’s needs. And conveniently, she does not see or hear any zerg around.
A promising I-beam sticks out of a collapsed barracks. Lilly dismounts and immediately gets to work. Zerg have been in this area in the past; it is best not to dawdle. She cuts the I-beam into manageable chunks and loads them into Old Red. The rubble shifts, revealing a real prize. Attached to a crushed and useless set of power armor is an intact reactor. She hears the first growls just as she is placing it aboard Old Red.
Lilly looks around, but all is still. She turns back to her vulture bike and starts shutting the spidermine compartments. Suddenly, a hydralisk spine slams into the cover of the one she just closed, rending the metal. If there had been a spidermine in there, the hydralisk might have set it off. Lilly spots the zerg, who looks to be lining up another shot. She hastily snatches up Sweetpea, which has been dangling at her side on its strap. The hydralisk is just at the edge of her reliable range with the protoss laser rifle, so she squeezes the trigger. The blue beam of light strikes the zerg, burning a hole in its carapace.
Lilly drops her cooling weapon and hops on Old Red. As she races out of the ruins, the hydralisk pulls himself together enough to launch one more spine in her direction. She feels the vulture bike shudder with the impact. Glancing over her shoulder, she sees another spine stuck out of the back of the vehicle. Old Red does not slow down, but Lilly leaves a trail of smoke behind her across the countryside. Imogen is not going to like the annoying rattling sound the bike is making now, either.
The gate guards at Jimmy’s compound snap to alertness upon seeing her approach. “Were you attacked? Is everything okay? Did the Dominion find us?”
“Hydralisk,” Lilly explains.
“Are the zerg coming?” The voice, edged with panic, cracks a little. A couple of the marines exchange concerned glances.
“No, no, this was at Backwater Station,” Lilly says, assuring them that the zerg are not right at their door.
“Ugh, that place is a hellhole,” one of the guards grumbles.
“But I got metal,” Lilly says, proud at having done her job.
One of the marines is happy to hear this news, as his power armor definitely needs repairs. His vulnerable terran arm is visible, sticking out from the side of a suit torn apart at the shoulder. Fortunately he was not wearing it whenever that happened. The former owner ended up at St. Maria’s clinic, Our Lady of Perpetual Agony. Lilly sympathizes; she has seen firsthand what sort of place that is. Staying out on the frontlines might have been safer. She chats with the guards a bit longer, power armor being a favorite topic of hers. There are the usual superstitious comments about the dangers of reusing a dead soldier’s suit, and one marine says he heard about someone getting trapped in their power armor. Lilly does not think that sounds so bad.