Diplomat 12

It was always busiest in the days that followed a raid. Especially a raid that had been as successful as the one the Drule pirates had just enjoyed. There was treasure to be tallied, wealth to be divided, future slaves to be trained. Inquiries had to be made, identities learned, along with just how much value could be placed on each individual person. Not everyone would be able to pay the ransom the pirates would demand, not all the people identified coming from rich families, or families that were willing to pay.

Those that couldn’t be ransomed, would be sold into slavery. Of that there was no question. Lotor’s pirates would be busy, training, BREAKING the spirits of a group of people who had never been meant for a life of servitude. Even those who had been hired hands, would balk at the thought of a life of slavery, of working with no wage and no freedom to their name. They would be just as hard to break, if not harder, than those fat cats used to a life of luxury.

The slave training would take up the most of the pirates’ time, but it wasn’t always unpleasant work. Especially where the women were concerned, many of Lotor’s pirates enjoying instructing the women on how to get used to the idea of existing as nothing more than an outlet for their master’s pleasure. Even some of the men, the more handsome, or prettier males, were being trained for this type of future. Most of the men trained to become sex slaves, would never again know the touch of a woman, though on occasion there were females who were interested in the purchase of male flesh. But more often than not, regardless of the gender and preferences of the slaves, their potential buyers were almost always male.

There had been quite a number of beauties among the people captured, more than enough to earn Lotor and his pirates a pretty penny for the sale of them. And even the ones that weren’t fit for the life of a pleasure slave, would be sold. They’d spend the rest of their lives as household slaves, or work in mines or plants, even farming lands. Beasts of burden they would become, worked hard, dying young, and sold cheap enough that it was more lucrative to replace than care for the slaves that fell sick or got injured.

Not much profit to be made from those type of slaves, Lotor much preferred dealing with those interested in paying for pleasure. He could make five times off of one sex slave what he could off a handful of those destined to work, and sometimes, if the slave was attractive enough, a bidding frenzy could be reached, potential slavers fighting each other with their bank accounts for a must have beauty.

It was all about the profit, the money he could make. Lotor cared little for the actual people, both the slaves and their masters, the pirate wanting their gold. Needing it, amassing it, saving it for the day he would make his own move, the day he would start his campaign against at least one of the two Empires he was lusting for.

Thinking about the money, about the future he wanted, Lotor was almost able to forget the memory that was haunting him. The memory of pained eyes, the beautiful blue ripe with hurt, and somehow holding back the tears the woman had to be struggling with. That kernel of sympathy he had felt, faded more with the distance he put between himself and the woman, Lotor able to focus somewhat on the things he had to do. The repairs that needed to be made, in addition to making stock of the merchandise currently spread among his pirates.

Many of them were hung over, sick from too much drink, or suffering from too few hours of sleep. Unlike their captain, they did not have the luxury of lounging in bed, many of them having duties and shifts to tend to. Such was their discipline, that they attended to the matters placed before them, although not many could work with anything less than a scowl. Lotor almost laughed to himself at what a miserable picture these pirates painted, none of them showing visible signs of the wild, lecherous fun they had had the night before.

It was no better on the command deck, many of the afternoon shift staring bleary eyed at the monitors before them. But they were active enough, squinty eyed though they were, fingers moving on the keyboards, buttons pressed, and voices calling out readings and instructions to one or another. The fact that the ship flew smooth enough, was a sign of the recuperative powers of his crew. Lotor even had confidence that should they run into trouble, the pirates would be able to deal with it all, though he wouldn’t go so far as to try to raid another ship until the majority of his pirates were over their hangovers.

Lounging, with a half finished bottle in his hand, was one of the only pirates to not be affected by his drinking. Even after the three years Lotor had known him, he was still amazed by Cossack the Terrible’s inability to get sick from his excessive amount of drinking. Even during the worst of his benders, half a week spent doing nothing but drinking and whoring, Cossack had walked away from it all with nothing more than a limp in his walk. Cossack could drink on end for days, yet skip over completely the period the other Drules needed in order to recover from such wild amount of partying.

“Did you get ANY sleep or have you been up all night and day?” Lotor inquired, approaching where Cossack sat.

Cossack took his time answering, downing a few more swallows from the bottle. “I snuck a nap here and there.” He finally grinned in acknowledgement. “In between enjoying myself.”

Lotor looked him over, noticing a few scratches on Cossack’s face. He didn’t ask, already guessing at to how those marks had been gotten. “Here.” Lotor said, and tossed the sky blue and gray clothing he had been carrying. The maid’s uniform struck Cossack in the face, the drunk pirate having not anticipated the throwing of it.

“What’s this?” Cossack said, pulling down the uniform and staring at it with a wrinkled brow.

“A clue.”

Cossack only seemed more confused, frowning at Lotor. “A clue eh? For what?”

“A little mouse refuses to tell me her name.” Lotor explained. “I want you to find out what you can about her.”

“Isn’t that more Ryder’s area of expertise?”

“But I don’t see Ryder here.” Lotor retorted, and that was something else for him to wonder about. “And this matter can’t wait for him to decide to be of some use to me.”

“What’s the rush?” wondered Cossack out loud. “We still got time, don’t we? Time to go through everyone’s identification papers…”

“I’m going to have to unload some of the merchandise sooner than later.” Was Lotor’s cryptic answer.

Cossack stared at him. “You want to get rid of that beauty?” It was too accurate a guess, Lotor uncomfortable with the searching look the Drule gave him. “Why not just pass her to some other guy?”

Lotor felt the possessive rage rise up inside him at Cossack’s question, but somehow, just barely, he managed to control his expression. “That’s not going to happen.” Lotor said tersely. “She stays with me until I say otherwise.”

“She might not even be anyone of importance.” Cossack pointed out. “Then what?”

“Leave that worry to me.” Lotor told him, dismissive. “But there’s a profit to be made. I’m almost certain she is someone we can ransom.”

“Okay…if you say so…”

“Do you have reason to doubt my intuition?” Lotor demanded.

“Of course not captain!” Cossack quickly protested. “You’re almost never wrong about these things. It’s why we have had so many successful raids.”

Just barely appeased, Lotor nodded at Cossack. “Then get on it at once. See what you can find from the gathered ids. She didn’t keep any papers on her, but I’ll be damned before I believe she is merely a maid.”

“There were other women with this kind of clothing on too…” Cossack frowned, as though trying to remember. “Not a lot, but enough that we could maybe get answers from them.”

“Do that.” Lotor ordered. “Find and make your inquiries. Someone HAS to know something.”

Cossack nodded, rising up from his seat. “I’ll report back shortly.” His walk was a little unsteady, but Cossack was still far from the point he’d collapse into a drunken sleep. He was more than able to function to the point of doing what Lotor ordered him to do, to not only function but get the answers his captain so desperately desired.

Lotor refused to think on what would happen once he had the answers to who that woman was. He refused to think on the parting that might happen, or to dwell on the fact he wasn’t as eager as he professed to be to rid himself of the woman. Not when he still lusted for her, the strength of his desires for her body, almost equal to the ones that told Lotor to rid himself of her.

Instead he busied himself with other things, seeing to the ship’s repairs. The pleasure yacht hadn’t had much in the way of defense or of offensive capabilities, but had still managed to do some minor damage to the pirates’ ships. There was laser scarring all on the side of one of the ships, and a few panels had been blown off, exposing important wires. Members of the maintenance crew would be sent out, properly suited up, and secured to the ship by a long coil of strong but flexible cable. They would work to replace the panels, and check on the exposed wires to make sure none had been severed, or were close to tearing apart.

It wasn’t the only order maintenance had to fulfill. The weaponry had to be checked, some of the laser guns replaced. The supply levels of photon energy had to be checked, and one outside tank would be discovered to have sustained a small hole that was still big enough to leak out it’s contents at an alarming rate.

Even the ion cannons were checked, Lotor relieved to see that none of them had been dealt any disabling damage. And then of course was his father’s weapon, the secret the Doom Empire’s best scientists had been working on for years. Encased inside the ship, it had only been exposed during the times needed to fire it. Short though that time was, it was still a large enough to be an unmissable target, requiring much of the ship’s shielding to be diverted to protect it during the times it was exposed to enemy fire.

Like the ship, it had an abundance of laser scarring on it’s metal hide. But it hadn’t been blown apart, the thick metal and the shielding protecting it. It had only had to be fired twice, before the pleasure yacht had succumbed to the weapon’s attack. As amazing at it was to have so easily destroyed another ship’s defenses, it was almost more so astonishing that such a powerful weapon had held together. That it hadn’t torn apart the casing that kept the energy contained.

By all angles, the testing had been a success. The weapon had preformed as it was meant to do, and it hadn’t fallen apart during the use of it. The energy levels used had been registered, the readings would prove fascinating to Doom’s scientists. But King Zarkon would not be pleased. Not when he learned it had been used on so defenseless a ship, and used at the borders of enemy territory. Lotor could already imagine the yelling he would be the recipient of. The ranting and raving, the scolding. He would endure it all, make excuses, use this inadequate test as the reason why the weapon should remain in Lotor’s hands. Even if Zarkon suspected the real reason behind Lotor’s poor judgment where the weapon was concerned, he wouldn’t be able to act just yet. He’d have no choice but to leave the weapon in Lotor’s hands.

It was exactly what Lotor wanted. He had no intention of handing over the weapon to his father. Not now, not ever. And when that became apparent, it would be on, the gauntlet thrown down between them, war erupting between the King and the crown prince of Doom.

It was moving things along faster than Lotor had first wanted. But the weapon was such a game changer, that Lotor knew he couldn’t allow it to ever be returned to King Zarkon. Father and son they may be, but Zarkon wouldn’t hesitate to use it against Lotor. Just as Lotor wouldn’t hesitate to use it against Zarkon.

The weapon was able to tear through a ship’s defense easily, blow to bits the hardest of metals. It was even rumored to have the capability to shut down a shielding powerful enough to protect a whole planet. Supposedly with just one of these, you could take on a small fleet with only star cutters for back up, and WIN. Lotor had seen enough of it’s power, to believe the hype. And thus he had one of his crew report back to Doom, making excuses to Zarkon and his court, Lotor claiming to be too busy at this time to actually talk to his father.

It took time, not just for Lotor to be done with his inspections, but for Cossack to look over the gathered ids. While Lotor waited for Cossack’s findings, he enjoyed a late lunch, and even took the time to have his chef prepare another aphrodisiac heavy meal for the beautiful captive locked in his cabin. It gave Lotor quite the chuckle to imagine her reaction to the meal, to the glare she would give young Smythe.

He even wondered if she would eat it, or if it would end up on Smythe and the floor. But it wouldn’t stop him from antagonizing her, on making sure that all future meals featured known aphrodisiacs in some way. As though he wanted the woman raging as lustful as Lotor himself felt whenever he so much as looked at her.

That out of control lust, that intense desire? It downright disturbed him, Lotor unused to wanting that badly. It almost knocked him off his routine, Lotor unsettled by his reactions to the woman. It made him feel as though she retained some upper hand, as though it was she not him that was in control. And though he could drive her wild in the midst of sex, she was dispassionate before and after. Her emotions ran from hot to cold, the woman struggling with her anger. But for all the passionate responses she did show him, the woman had yet show any true enthusiasm for the acts they did together save for when she was on the verge of achieving a climax.

It was almost an insult, Lotor annoyed by the fact she could remain so unaffected by the thought of sex with him. He was used to women swooning, women clamoring for a morsel of affection thrown their way. Hell, he was used to women growing wet just from anticipation of his touch, and even those that had refused him the first time, had grown to enjoy, to love the things Lotor did to them.

But not the woman. Not even after seven or so times. She acted as angry, as put upon as she had the first time. It was reluctant, the enjoyment she did take from him, and it maddened Lotor so. He wasn’t used to being in a woman’s power, to being the one desperate for a favorable response. And yet wasn’t that exactly the appeal of the woman, her lack of typical reactions, and the challenge she was presenting him? As much as it bothered Lotor to not have her turning cartwheels at his command, it also intrigued him. He enjoyed himself too much when in her company, and not just for sex, but for the mere act of talking. She fascinated him, and that was the danger, Lotor needing her to be gone before he completely lost his head.

He was all too eager to talk to Cossack, grabbing at the pocket communicator he always tried to carry. With his thoughts about the woman, and his own reactions to her, tormenting him, Lotor all but growled into the communicator.

“What’s taking so long?!”

“There’s a problem.” Came Cossack’s answer. Lotor tried to keep from snarling, counting to ten in his mind, before demanding Cossack elaborate. “We’re missing a few of the merchandise’s identification papers.”

“Let me guess. That includes my guest?”

“And the other three who were dressed similarly to her.” Cossack confirmed with a sigh. “So far none of them are talking. Hell, none of them even acknowledge that there was a fourth among them.”

“Which means either my pet stole a spare uniform, or they’re covering for her.” Lotor grinned, but it lacked any true warmth or humor to that expression. “Interesting. The mystery gets more intriguing.”

“It just a pain in the ass, if you ask me.” Cossack grumbled, leaving Lotor to wonder just what had happened when the pirate had made his inquires to the other women. “What’s to be gained by all this cloak and dagger nonsense?”

“What indeed.” Lotor murmured to himself. But his intuition was humming, practically screaming at him that there was more than just the normal profit to be had. He just didn’t know what, but Lotor was eager to find out. To gain whatever it was he could get from exposing the woman for who she really was.

“Gather those three in the hold. You know which room.” Lotor said to Cossack. There was a pause, a slight hesitation before Cossack the Terrible spoke.

“Are you sure?”

“Are you actually questioning one of my orders?” Lotor demanded coldly.

“No…not exactly.”

“Then what?” Lotor asked with a sneer.

“Just want you to remember your own rules where women and merchandise are concerned.” Cossack muttered.

“I am not going to do anything….permanent to them. I’m just going to make my own inquiries.” He could almost imagine Cossack shivering in response, Lotor’s tone of voice that cold and menacing. Hell, he himself would be chilled to hear it, but it was more than just curiosity driving him now. The need, the desperation he felt because of the woman, and the ingrained instincts that told him to do everything he could to carve her out of his system before it was too late, was goading him on. It mixed with the voice, that intuition that told him there was something more going on, something that would lead him to bigger and better things than a mere ransom ever could.

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