"Baroness--" Oberleutnant Schaungrazz stopped in mid-step as a wet scarlet flower blossomed from his right shoulder, then another erupted from his left thigh. Sparks jumped from a three other spots where his cuirass deflected a hail of bullets.
"Death has found you Margaret!" yelled a burly man in blackened chain-mail as he cast aside his modified six-barreled fowling-piece and drew forth a pair of short but heavy sabers and charged directly at the Baroness. The fowling piece clattered and clicked as parts of it retracted or rotated or slid into new positions. It took on the form of a sort of candelabra, only with fluorescent tubes flickering into life in place of candles. Then a stick-man figure crafted from cunningly crafted brass rods peeled itself out of it's notch and began the process of reloading each of the barrels. The six glowing tubes started to hum with a menacing electrical current.
Bujilli caught the wounded officer as he crumpled to the catwalk and dragged him back, away from the impending carnage. Leeja started ripping off sections of the Oberleutnant's jacket-lining to bind his wounds. They were stopped by the railing. In order to get away, they would need to get past the attacker or else go the long way around, past the Baroness.
The attacker stalked right past them. He clearly didn't consider them worth his attention. But the Barnoness was staring at them both in surprise through reflective golden eyes.
Sparks ricocheted from the catwalk to the man in black chain-mail. Tiny blue arcs leaped form the man's armored arms and shoulders to the railings and metal fixtures. Bujilli could feel the surge as power built-up around the candelabra that used to be a gonne. The stink of Ozone assaulted his nostrils.
The Baroness brought up her hands, not to surrender but to ward off the crackling blue cascade of electrical energy that washed past her attacker to form a globe about her and him...and Bujilli, Leeja and the wounded Oberleutnant...and the surly Ourang.
The aeronautical homunculi stood in mindless obedience while the gargoyle screeched and scrabbled at its chains trying to get free.
Pink flames rose into the electrically-charged air from the Baroness' out-stretched hands, but it was not enough to counter the crackling globe of energy that surrounded them now. With a nod she relinquished her efforts and withdrew the flames as though she were merely playing a game of chess that had only now gotten interesting.
"You have no right to invade my ship!"
"I serve the Keepers of the Keys--"
"Liar! You answer to the Faceless Lords of Zevaq. You always have. Pawn."
The man in black halted three paces from the Baroness. His sabers shimmered like glass or ice as electrical arcs skittered along their edges. The globe of electrical power pulsed. The candelabra-device at the center of the globe hummed more loudly. Bujilli felt the immense powers coming into play. His hair was standing on end from all the static. They needed to get out of here. Fast.
"Take his feet. We're getting out of here." He hefted the unconscious Schaungrazz, adjusted his grip and began to trot toward the nearest exit-point he recognized; back the way they had entered this chamber, past the candelabra-device. Bujilli hoped against hope that the man in black-mail would ignore them a little longer, so they could make their escape. This was not a fight he anted to get caught-up in.
"Alowawa ullititi gan-gosh-i-rosh." The surly Ourang rose to it's feet and drew forth a wicked looking club fitted with hundreds of screws with their pointed ends jutting out every which way and spinning madly.
"Silence. Beasts should not talk in rude imitation of their betters." The man in black-mail thrust one saber in a sort of looping motion directed at the Ourang. Lightning sprang from the super-charged floor to blast the creature in its mid-section...
Bujilli and Leeja carried Oberleutnant Schaungrazz back along the catwalk encircling the central glass globe, putting as much distance between them and the Baroness and her attacker as they could.
The Ourang wobbled on its feet and lurched towards his killer, but dropped to its knees after four shuffling steps. Dead.
Screeching and struggling furiously, the gargoyle managed to snap one of the links in its chains and flew up into the durallium rafters overhead.
The door closed and they were in the corridor hung with tapestries, so they kept going. They passed two dismembered aeronautical homunculi and a cluster of combatants in mis-matched uniforms whom they managed to avoid by the simple expedient of ducking down another passage and waiting for them to pass.
"Where are we going?" Leeja whsipered.
"There." Bujilli nodded his head in the direction of a familiar doorway. The sick-bay where Leeja had been treated upon arrival. They carried Schaungrazz inside and the nurses quickly took over, leaving them standing in the foyer all alone.
"Those crew-members we passed..."
"Pirates. Or worse." Leeja nodded.
"Their uniforms and insignia seem to be almost random. I spotted Franzikaner things mixed-in with Nagrothean and some stuff I've never seen before, as well as the Pruztian and Voldarian things...and I thought Voldaria was a country only active where I came form originally..."
"There were two of them wearing White Guard armor, but I'd swear they were neither Jeelo nor Pallid. This makes no sense." Leeja went to the door to keep watch on the corridor.
"Well, we can stick around and try to sort it all out, or we can get out of here while the Baroness is occupied by her ungentlemanly caller."
Hot blue arcs leaped up from the floor panels, scorching the carpet, and singing the walls as the electrical currents coalesced into a narrow oval aperture.
Four gray blobs wiggled and jiggled through the aperture. Each of them wielded a variety of melee weapons in their pseudopods that surrounded a single glaring yellow eye.
"I doubt they're going to want to be our friends..." Leeja laughed as she drew forth her hand-axe...