I’d like to know who the people are that captured the pair and why they wanted them both alive. What exactly were they deriving from Unid deciding to give up Kiana? Why give Unid the choice? They had full power there and could have done whatever they wanted anyway. Unid had to have something they needed and could only get by him giving up Kiana. Lots of this remains unexplained, which lowers the stakes in the story to the point of Unid’s choices being basically meaningless.
If you’re going to use the first 3rd of the story to tell what happened before the capture, you’ve got to use it to establish the high stakes of Unid’s eventual choice, as well as what in the world Unid and Kiana could be valued that highly for. Show Unid as being strongly opposed to being hooked up to that blue liquid and very devoted to Kiana. Then when they’re captured, you’ve got more to contrast with: Unid’s terror and consuming desire to find Kiana. You need to show Unid changing as well, to the point where he could give up Kiana.