Well that was certainly a nice chunk of writing.
Tight and concisce battle sequences and now they really have to scramble if they want any chance at getting home. (Something tells me they'll suceed)
Personally I prefer your character sequences over the battles. My favorite part in this post was Ariel's reaction to the rather insulting Mister Saleb. She does have her pride after all. I find her a very intriguing character.
I was a bit concerned over Leone's decision not only to take sides in this internal conflict but also actively helping the other side by handing over an enemy vessel to them. You gotta stretch that annoying Prime Directive at times, but I wonder if she isn't overstretching it in this instance.
Looking forward to more.