Rather than follow Imogen into the engine room, Lief lingers in the hall a moment, eying something of value farther down the hall. Then the clatter of bullets behind him causes him to spin, and he sees that the protoss guy has gone down in a heap. “Don’t worry! I’ll save you!” he cries, wanting to ingratiate himself to the alien with the cool technology. Imogen rescued Malorn and got a psi-gauntlet; maybe the same can work for Lief. He runs back down the hall to where Aiden is tussling with the marine and fires, hoping to not hit his cousin or the person he wants to impress. He does not hit the marine exactly, but at least the fellow drops his weapon.
Meanwhile, Lilly’s side of the battle has turned into a pistol duel. She gets distracted for a moment when Malorn goes down. The protoss has found a worthy opponent, just like he wanted, but she thinks he could probably use a stim shot right now. Lief seems on top of things, shooting the rifle out of the marine’s hands. Lilly wonders if Imogen taught him how to do that. Must be an Owendoher thing. A searing pain in her neck draws her attention back to her own situation. The bullet wound hurts like hell, but even worse is that a wound right there could draw attention to her resoc tattoos.
Finally, Sweetpea is ready to go again. Lilly drops her pistol—she will worry about retrieving it later—and brings her protoss laser gun up to bear, firing it longer than she probably should in her eagerness to get rid of this guy who has potentially exposed her. She knows she is risking damaging the weapon with these repeated short pulses, but right now, she does not care. To her surprise, Sweetpea does not heat up as much as usual. Maybe something in the atmosphere here, like that creepy fog. She presses back between some of the decorative columns along the walls of the corridor, dodging away from return fire. Gotta keep moving, she thinks, trying not to present as much of a target to the marine. He only has a pistol, but his power armor is making it difficult to wear him down, even with the energy output Sweetpea has.
Lilly ducks out to take another shot. Farther down the hallway, she sees Aiden back away from his fallen target, probably to avoid Lief’s wild aim. The marine also tries to clear the area, rolling a little ways across the floor. The little thermonuclear reactor on his back gives the tell-tale sound of powering down, and he comes to an abrupt halt. “Aw, hell,” the man groans. Power armor is heavy; without its inbuilt mechanisms, only the strongest of soldiers can move it around. “Good thing I paid for the upgrade!” He slaps at controls on his torso, bringing the backup system online.
The lights in the hall flicker in a way Lilly recognizes, the pirates’ cant version of Morse code. “They’ve taken the back; seal the front!” is the message. Lilly flicks her comm, quickly relaying the message to Imogen, “Some techie’s telling them to seal the front.”
Back in engineering, Imogen snorts in amusement at the translation. Little does he know, it’s the back we want. She smiles to herself as she sets to work with her tools. One barrel for us, one barrel for you. Just taking the fuel is not good enough in her opinion. Better to leave their engines a molten wreck so that even salvage from nearby Umojan ruins will be insufficient for repairs. Jury-rigging a bomb with highly refined vespene is nothing to sniff at though. Imogen’s first approach does not pan out, so she trades that small barrel for the one she had already crammed in the top of her backpack. Hopefully no one will mind about all the wires now attached to it; she does not have time to clean that up right now. The second barrel works out better, despite some of the awful-smelling gas escaping. When everything is ready, Imogen sets the shortest fuse she possibly can, just in case that pirate sticks his nose back out of the bathroom. With that smoking, she turns and runs.
As another bullet nicks Lilly, the marine grunts in annoyance at his unsatisfying sidearm. “Man, this ain’t cutting it!” he complains, diving back into the armory, presumably for something with more kick. From Lilly’s angle, she can no longer track his movements. That just means it is time to switch from strategically falling back to recklessly advancing. Lilly charges right up to the AV room door and lets the frying pan laser do its thing. The heat from Sweetpea, the various nicks and cuts, the smoke from the earlier grenade, it is all running her down, but she pushes through it. The marine does not. He looks down at the hole in his power armor in surprise for a moment, then topples over with a thud.
Lilly hears Lief shouting that the other marine will not get away from him, followed by the sounds of his little gauss pistol and then the report of a much heavier sidearm. Several shots hit Lief, who stumbles back against the aft wall of the corridor, where Aiden catches him. The rest of the marine’s bullets ping uselessly against the bulkhead door that has just clanged shut, sealing that corridor with him on the other side. The AV room, too, is now blocked off, and Lilly’s idle dreams of salvaging her own set of power armor die with the marine on the other side of the emergency seal. The front of the ship is now inaccessible to the boarders without a lot more effort.
The sound of the doors is dwarfed by a loud explosion from the starboard engine room.