Duty 29

Breakfast inside the mansion was always a crowded, claustrophobic affair. The room didn’t seem large enough to house all the Drules, every available seat taken. Not all of them could sit at one of the three tables inside the room, a few actually balancing trays on their laps instead. There was only the narrowest of paths to navigate between tables and seats, people couldn’t help but bump and brush against one another.

No one seemed to actually mind the crowded conditions. In fact, more people would arrive, latecomers who had spent the nights inside the cottages on the property’s grounds. With the wiring so damaged, and power all but nonexistent, a big group meal was the preferred method for feeding everyone. They spent their mornings crowded in the dining room, while lunch and dinner was usually held outside.

Allura preferred the outside meals for then she didn’t feel quite so overwhelmed by the number of Drules clustered around her. Outside on the property’s grounds, the people were spread out. Close but not so near as to give her a claustrophobic feeling. Of course there was other disadvantages to eating outside, chief among the lowering temperature as the night blew in.

It was hot and muggy this day. Sunlight tried to stream in through the windows, though the curtains had been drawn over them. It left the room in shadows, though couldn’t give them the illusion that it was cooler than it was. It was times like this, that Allura looked forward to the wiring being repaired. The simple luxuries she had taken for granted, were never more missed than they were now.

It really was like roughing it. Their lights limited to the sun and to the battery operated lanterns the Drule had brought with them. It would be a relief when they could adjust the building’s temperature, Allura thinking it a small blessing the plumbing was a separate system that still function independent of the damaged wiring.

She both wanted the wiring fixed, and didn’t. Because the sooner the wiring was repaired, the sooner the Drules could move on to the next stage of their plans. They would actively begin working on establishing new identities for the people present here. They would create and falsify documents, make the paper trails needed for someone to start their life over elsewhere. Allura couldn’t begin to properly estimate how long it would take for a group as large as this one to get the proper documentation ready. But whatever time she did have left, it was simply too short for Allura’s liking. Not only was her time limited, Allura felt she had near impossible tasks set out before her. How was she to escape, or be rescued when no one seemed to know she was even gone? Sometimes it felt like the only option left to her, was for Allura to convince Lotor and these Drules how wrong it was to turn their back on the Denubian Galaxy. What seemed like an easy realization for her, was not for these Drules. They were too scarred, too damaged by Zarkon’s evil. But Allura didn’t know how to help them to heal! How could she convince them to overcome their pasts, to not only recover from what was done to them and their people, but motivate them to want to fight the tyrant that had so abused them?

Allura simply didn’t know. Everyone was different. From their reactions to how they chose to handle the things that upset them. Allura herself was a fighter. Had been for most of her life. Her parents had been killed, her own father slain by Zarkon’s hands when Allura was still just a child. She had spent a good portion of her life living underground, afraid of open spaces for so long. Afraid to come out when the sun was shining, and rooting around in the darkness searching for enough food to keep on living. She had seen and heard the things that happened to her people, witnessed some horrors first hand. She had even fallen into the hands of a soldier, an event she didn’t want to think about too closely, but an event she could acknowledge as having survived.

All the adversity, all the suffering had shaped her. Molded her into the woman she now was. And though she sometimes got scared, depressed, even panic stricken, Allura had never thought of abandoning her life and her people. Running away was simply not an option for the likes of her. She couldn’t even properly understand Lotor and these Drule’s reasons, Allura feeling you only got stronger when you faced that which you feared.

She didn’t know how to make the Drules understand that though! Allura had the feeling she could talk herself blue in the face, and they would still insist they were doing the only thing they could, as if running was the only choice left to them. She didn’t know how to make them understand that they had other options, that now that Allura herself knew the truth, they had a champion in her, in Arus. Her planet would do everything possible to aid the Drule in their quest for freedom. Lotor didn’t believe in the people of Arus uniting to help the Drule. But Allura believed the best of her people, and knew they would look past their own fears and prejudices to help her help the Drule.

Allura knew she had to get these people to trust her. When trust came, perhaps the rest would follow. As it stood now, she wasn’t sure if they even LIKED her. And she couldn’t blame them, given how she had acted on the journey to Simestia. And even how she had acted just a day ago. Only one day ago, her eyes had still been blinded. Allura had still believed the worse of the Drule, and her attitude had reflected it.

Allura could admit when she had been wrong. Not only admit it, but move to correct such behavior. The Drules were clearly still adjusting to this new change in Allura, wary but open to accepting her. Of course she had set things back a bit, with her most recent attempt to facilitate a rescue. They all knew by now, that Allura had tried to use the priestess to get a message out to Arus. They knew she had betrayed the trust Lotor had had in her, and they were rightfully worried and wary that she would do so again. And she would, though her reasons were not born out of malice. Just as these Drule were doing what they felt they had to, Allura had to do what she felt was right.

It meant if given the chance, she would try to get out another message. It didn’t make her feel good to know she would upset these people, but the thought of their disappointment was nothing compared to the thought of the galaxy continuing to suffer under Zarkon’s tyranny. She was a responsible person, and at times the weight of it burdened her. Never had she felt a more pressing need, then when it came to saving the galaxy from that monster.

To fulfill that need, she’d do just about anything. Allura would earn the trust of these people, earn it with the intent to betray it, if it meant succeeding at the greater good. It didn’t mean she wouldn’t feel guilt. In fact, she already felt the stirrings of it, Allura not one to purposefully manipulate and betray. The fact that Lotor continued to try and believe the best of her when he had put her in an impossible situation? It both flattered and troubled her. She could acknowledge the value in his trust in her, recognize how hard it must be for Lotor to trust anyone after all he been through. It was downright surprising that he would maintain some sort of trust in her, especially given how recent Allura’s attempt to get rescued had been.

She wasn’t the only one surprised by that trust. The Drules gathered her had been shocked to see Allura enter into the dining room, alone and unaccompanied. If they had known that Ryder had gone to see their prince, it hadn’t registered that the dark haired Drule would insist on speaking with Lotor alone. That had been an interesting observation she had had, Allura more curious than ever as to what Ryder had wanted to speak to Lotor about. Especially given how the Drule had felt even speaking a language she did not understand, was not enough barrier for the privacy he wanted. It left Allura thoughtful, the girl wondering just what he was telling Lotor that he felt the prince’s reactions alone would betray what was being said.

Somehow Allura didn’t think a rescue was coming. It wasn’t anything Ryder had said or done. It was just a feeling Allura had to go on. It made her want to sigh, Allura sitting distracted at the breakfast table. There was a seat to her right that was empty. Everyone rightfully assumed Prince Lotor would sit next to her. In fact he would insist on it, the prince never far from Allura’s side without a good reason.

To the left of Allura was a woman, one of the more scale covered Drules. She wasn’t what would be considered pleasing to a human’s eyes, her features too distinctly reptilian and alien in nature. But she seemed nice enough, if quiet, the female answering Allura’s questions. Not that Allura had much to say! She was still getting to know these people, and it left her with the odd sense of being tongue tied. She didn’t want to constantly be bothering them about Zarkon and the life they had had on Doom. Allura was still a stranger, beloved by these people’s prince though she may be, it didn’t give her the right to badger them. Nor could she assume their friendships were a given. She had to earn it, as much as any trust she could get.

Across from her, and a little ways down to the right, sat the priestess. Two Drule males had taken the seats next to her, and more clustered in as close as they dared. They were all smiles and attentive looks, eager to please and impress Alexandria. It was rather amusing to watch the males preen and posture for her, the men quick to tell stories, and even quicker to fetch anything the priestess desired. Not that she abused this, Alexandria content to sit there and enjoy her meal with minimal assistance from the overeager males.

But they tried for more, handing her things on a pretext to touch her hand. It was the touching that got to Allura, the princess realizing the males were taking liberties they had never tried with herself. She wondered at that, not realizing or understanding that the Drule males were conscious of just who Allura was considered belonging to. None of them wanted to rouse Lotor’s jealousy, none of them wanted to be on the wrong side of an angry, possessively predatory Drule. Alexandria had no man. She was considered fair game until she made a decision if any, on who she would deign to belong to.

Not that Allura saw Alexandria as taking up with a Drule! The priestess wasn’t here for romance, and might very well have taken some kind of vows against that kind of behavior. Nor did Allura think Alexandria would be quick to take up a relationship that for all intents and purposes would be a one time fling. She was a holy woman after all, and rules and regulations aside, Allura thought Alexandria was the type who would insist on a true commitment.

Allura was the same way. She wasn’t the type of woman to just give herself over to quick nights of passion that would ultimately be meaningless. She wanted a real commitment, wanted a man who would love, honor and respect her. And not just her, but her people! Allura wanted a partner who would feel the same way she did, a man who would care beyond just herself. A man who could dedicate his energies towards improving the less fortunate lives. A man who was brave and bold, as well as generous and charitable. A man who would fight for freedom, a man who would stand up and stop a tyrant like Zarkon.

She was coming to realize Lotor had some good qualities about him. He cared enough about the Drule, to donate out of his own pocket the money needed to establish charities that funded all manner of programs. And he clearly cared about the Drules who had traveled with him to Simestia. He had brought as many as he could, all on the hopes to save them from Zarkon’s abuse. But there was negatives to what he was doing, Allura having pointed out he was leaving behind so many more of his people to suffer at Zarkon’s hands.

Lotor didn’t believe it was possible to save everyone. He’d rather save a few, than risk losing everyone. It wasn’t exactly a wrong thought to have, but Allura was the opposite of him. To her it was unacceptable so long as even one person was left behind to suffer. What good was saving a few, if millions more were in trouble? She knew the answer Lotor would give her would have them believe they couldn’t save everyone. It made her sigh just thinking like that, Allura an optimist, a believer who truly felt they had to at least make the effort to try.

As things stood now, Lotor was not her ideal man. He wasn’t even close. He would continue to distance himself from Allura’s ideals so long as Lotor insisted on running. He actually frustrated her with this kind of behavior and attitude. Allura understood Lotor had been through something terrible. All the Drules gathered here had. But so had Allura! And she wasn’t letting those terrible ordeals stop her from fighting.

Sometimes she wanted to push aside her plate, and start shouting. Scream at the Drules for not fighting. But it was an impulse she could restrain, Allura knowing she wouldn’t make friends that way. It had been bad enough what she had said to Ryder, Allura not dare hoping he’d keep quiet to the others about it. She truly didn’t mean to be judgmental, but neither could Allura stop from being disappointed. From understanding she was ready to do what these people were not.

The conversations around her didn’t stop. She wasn’t sure what alerted her to the fact Lotor had entered the room. Allura certainly hadn’t heard his or Ryder’s footsteps. But a new energy had filled the Drules, many glancing at the open doorway to smile in greeting. She looked that way too, locking eyes with Lotor. Her look was concerned, a question there as she gazed at him. Lotor would do a subtle shake of his head, which told her nothing of what had occurred with Ryder.

Besides Lotor was Ryder, the Drule’s jaw clenching. His eyes had sought out the priestess, and the sight he saw did not please Ryder in the slightest. The faintest of growling could be heard, the conversations not able to drown it out. Lotor would break eye contact with Allura to stare surprised at Ryder. The dark haired Drule didn’t apologize, didn’t offer up any reason for the sound. If anything he looked even angrier, stalking past Lotor to grab a seat out from under another man. That Drule looked like he wanted to protest, right up until he saw the anger on Ryder’s face. The anger was enough to back the other Drule down, the man grabbing his plate and hurrying over to a corner of the room.

Ryder had turned the chair, straddling it backwards. He was ignoring the food, letting his angry gaze sweep over Alexandria and the men around her. He didn’t say anything, he just glared. It was hostile enough to make several of the less bold males nervous. They turned visibly flustered, no longer paying quite as close attention to the priestess. It was all right, there were several other men who seemed not to care one bit about Ryder’s anger.

Alexandria seemed to falter in the midst of speaking, her gaze darting towards Ryder. His glare didn’t lessen. One of the Drules took it upon himself to distract the priestess from Ryder’s fit, taking hold of her hand in both of his. He was speaking in Drule to her, tone flirtatious and low as he gazed into Alexandria’s green eyes. She didn’t quite blush, Allura thinking Alexandria was trying to figure out how to get her hand free without giving the man insult.

“Hey.” Lotor was suddenly besides her, his presence drawing Allura’s gaze away from the men and the priestess. He was lowering himself into the empty seat, but his look was distracted. Was he thinking about the conversation with Ryder? Or was there something more that bothered him?

“Hi there.” Allura murmured back, watching as Lotor began piling fruits and cold grain into a bowl. “Are you all right?” She kept her voice low, so as not to draw attention to her questions. The conversation continued around them, no one trying to jump in to catch Lotor’s attention.

“I’m fine.” Lotor assured her.

Allura didn’t bother to point out that he didn’t look as fine as he claimed. Instead her brow furrowed, Allura unconsciously showing her worry, as she asked. “Is everything all right between you two?”

“Everything is fine.” Lotor answered. “Ryder was just concerned about some things.”

“Things? What things?” Allura wanted to know. She was prying, digging for answers that might let her know if the ruse the Drules had perpetrated was coming undone.

Lotor hesitated. “Just about this place. And about Simestia, and how interested Zarkon might still be in this world.”

“Oh.”

“It’s been a long time since Zarkon last set foot on this planet.” Continued Lotor. “I don’t see him as ever wanting to come back here. We’re safe.” The last was said as though Lotor needed the reassurance as much as Allura or the Drules did.

“Safe…” She repeated. “Maybe we are. But what about the rest of the Denubian Galaxy?” That made Lotor sigh, the prince picking at his food. Allura wanted to sigh too, especially when it became apparent that Lotor was just going to ignore the question! “Lotor…”

He was saved from having to acknowledge what she had said by one of the women present at the table. It was Tamestra, the Drule female who had been just one of over a dozen that had shared her own tragic past with Allura. There had been many stories, much sadness and grief. Allura had done her best to remember them all, to remember the faces that went with the stories.

“Princess, I am curious…” Tamestra was saying. “Just what is Arus like?”

“Arus?” Allura blinked in surprise. Several of the Drules closest to them had stopped talking, also looking interested.

“Many of us have never been to Arus.” Tamestra explained. “We’ve no experience with your world. We only know what Zarkon tells us.”

Allura had a feeling Zarkon hadn’t painted the best picture of Arus or her people. “What are the kind of things Zarkon has said about my world?”

Tamestra shifted in her seat. “Not nearly enough to justify his reasons for wasting so many lives in trying to conquer your world. We know Arus is farming planet, it’s lands rich and fertile. We’ve been led to believe the lands could sustain a great many people, food being grown to help feed the starving on Doom.”

“Arus is a fertile world.” Agreed Allura. “I’ve certainly thought over the years that we do not have enough of anything to merit the kind of attention Zarkon gives us. Yes, we have land…but what else is there? We have little resources, little money or gems…little to sell but the food we grow.”

“You have Voltron.” Vorlac had joined in on the conversation, the man having drifted closer to the table to hear what was being said. “That robot alone is enough to get many a person lusting for the power it can give them.”

“Voltron.” By this point Alexandria had gotten back her hand. “Is it really all that powerful?”

She was given strange looks. The looks turned understanding once Lotor explained. “Simestia is a world long cut off from most of the galaxy.” He reminded the Drules. “As such, I very much doubt any of the people here know of Voltron, let alone the power that mighty defender possesses.”

“Voltron is impressive.” Vorlac told her. “I dare say you’ll never see a robot quite like it in all of the galaxy.”

“My father’s creation is composed of five lesser robots.” Allura began. “Ships crafted in the shape of lions.”

“Maybe you consider them lesser creations, but I can tell you this much…the lions alone have caused Doom plenty of trouble!” Vorlac exclaimed. “I shudder to think of what would have happened if there had been more than one Voltron to contend with.”

“Lions…” Alexandria murmured.

“Lions are the symbol of royalty on Arus.” Allura told her. “They have blessed and watched over my family for generations.”

“Just how did Arus come to associate with lions?” Lotor asked her, an honest to God expression of curiosity on his face. “I’ve been to your world many times. Been to nearly all of it. I’ve never seen any sign of living lions prowling the land.”

Allura had to think carefully. “You know, I’m not sure exactly. We’ve felt the lions’ blessing for so long…they are a sacred and holy beast on Arus…long admired and revered. It’s different on Earth…lions are a plentiful species on that world.”

“Perhaps Arus has some connection to that world.” Mused Lotor. “The humans of Earth did help to settle many a planet…maybe Arus was one of them.”

“If they have, the records have been lost.” Allura sighed. “Zarkon has not been the first power mad tyrant to try and enslave Arus. He’s just been the most recent. Much of our history, the ancient records have been lost or fragmented during the many wars that befell Arus over the course of several hundred years. We’ve been shaped and molded by the people who have won those wars….”

“Ah, that I can understand and sympathize with.” Alexandria said. “When Zarkon first came to Simestia, he did his best to change our very culture. Even our religion was affected. Little remains of the original Simestia, and the people who remember the world as it was before Zarkon, many of them are old enough their memories are being affected.”

“It’s bad enough what Zarkon does, without having to destroy a people’s culture!” grumbled Allura. “You should try to take back what was lost… ”

“It is fear of Zarkon’s return that keeps most of Simestia honoring the changes.” Alexandria explained. “But there’s is also the fact that to the newer generations, we know nothing of the old ways. We were born into this changed culture, it’s all we really know. People cling to what is familiar….I believe many of the younger folk would resist this attempt at change.”

“The people themselves have been changed.” Pointed out Vorlac to Allura’s surprise. “Their blood has been mingled with the Drule. It may have been thinned out over the generations, but you and your people still retain characteristics of the race. You’re something more than human now.”

“What do you mean?” Allura asked, looking at him.

“We still consider ourselves human, though Vorlac is right. The breeding with the Drule has affected the very blood within our veins.” Alexandria lifted a hand, fingers caressing over her right ear. Allura glanced away when she heard Ryder let out another growl, the princess not knowing what Alexandria had done was considered very provocative to a Drule!

“It’s not just the ears.” Vorlac explained. “If you went to the city, you’d see. The people there are almost all changed. Some have the Drule eyes, some even have the Drule coloring their skin faintly. I wouldn’t be surprised if some didn’t have the fangs!”

“Some indeed do.” Confirmed Alexandria.

“It must have been shocking to your people when the first babies were born with these features…” Allura said.

“It was shocking, but expected giving what Zarkon had his men do to the women of Simestia.” Alexandria’s gaze lowered, one of the men sitting next to her actually putting a hand over hers in a show of comfort. It only drew another growl from Ryder, making a few people laugh nervously.

“Is there something on your mind Ryder?” Lotor asked, a hint of a grin expressed with his mouth. “Something you’d care to share with the rest of us?”

Ryder’s look was hostile, the Drule managing to take his eyes off the priestess. “No, nothing.”

“Are you sure?” asked Vorlac, not even bothering to hide his grin. It earned him a glare from the dark haired Drule, which only made Vorlac laugh harder. “Well, someone’s gotten up from the wrong bed this morning.”

“Don’t you mean the wrong side of bed?” asked Allura, surprised when Vorlac smirked.

“I got it right the first time.”

“Oh.” She didn’t really understand. What bed was Ryder supposed to have been in then?

Lotor placed a hand on Allura’s, smiling at her when she looked his way. He didn’t try to explain what Vorlac meant by that comment, Lotor just content to stroke fingers along Allura’s skin.

“We’ve never been a rich planet when it comes to money.” Allura looked at Tamestra now. “The situation grew even worse once Zarkon devastated our world, our cities ruined, our people hiding underground. Many died during that time, starved or needing medicine. Even once we reclaimed the planet, we don’t always have the money needed to buy medicines from other worlds, or to update our equipment. Arus is a pretty poor planet in that way…”

“No medicines?” asked Alexandria, a shocked look on her face. “Could you not find what you needed in the wild?”

“Once yes, but…” Allura sighed and shrugged her shoulders. “A lot of the land was or is being destroyed during the fights with Doom. Zarkon has no qualms about razing the land, burning down our fields and our crops. Some of the wild herbs are currently lost to us. They might never grow again.”

“Simestia was fortunate in that.” Alexandria said. “Our cities may have been destroyed, but the wild lands were left alone. We were able to reclaim from them seeds and saplings, using them to repopulate our greenhouse. Nearly everything we need for herbal remedies is available to us on this land. I dare say even this property has a few wild herbs growing.”

Qualenn the nurse, had entered the room in time to hear that. “I wouldn’t mind seeing some of those herbs.” She said. “We brought what we could with us, but our stock is not as complete as I would have liked.”

“You should give a list to Vorlac for when he goes into town.” Suggested Lotor.

“Herbs and medicines can be expensive.” Reminded Qualenn. “If we could pick some of what we need off the mansion’s grounds…” She looked at the priestess. “Would you know the herbs if you saw them in the wild?”

“I am a bit of an herbalist.” Explained Alexandria. “I would not know them all, but I would be able to recognize some of the more basic ingredients for the medical remedies.”

“Really?” Qualenn was visibly excited now. “Would you do that for me? Please?”

“If that is what you wish.” Answered Alexandria. “I could get on it right after this meal.”

“Not alone you won’t.” Grumbled Ryder, a look of distrust in his eyes.

“I wouldn’t try to escape.” Protested Alexandria, but the males near her were speaking. They were excited, offering their services to escort the pretty priestess around the property. Their eagerness to spend more time with Alexandria was apparent, might even be downright embarrassing. As was the fact the males were starting to evil eye one another, each one intent on being the priestess’ ONLY escort.

Tension was mounting among the males gathered around the priestess. Allura was beginning to wonder if there would be an out and out fight, when Ryder slammed a fist on the table. “None of you are going anywhere with HER.” He scowled, his look so angry it stopped most of the protests from being formed.

“I don’t know Ryder…” grinned Vorlac. “She can’t exactly go out there alone. She needs an escort.”

“Well, it’s not going to be any of this miserable lot!” Ryder said hotly.

“Hey!”

“Look at you all! Slobbering over her. Have you no shame?” Ryder demanded. “She’s got you all so bamboozled with a pretty smile, you’d let her walk all over you and right off the property if it suited her.”

“We would not!” one protested indignantly.
“Ryder, we NEED those herbs.” Qualenn said quietly. “Find someone suitable to send with her, but let Alexandria go out!”

“There’s no helping it…” Ryder grumbled, then let out a put upon sigh. “I’ll have to go.”

“YOU?!” It wasn’t just Alexandria who gasped. The males near her were growling, angry at Ryder.

“You got an objection to it?” Ryder challenged, and Alexandria nodded.

“Yes, I do! I don’t want to go anywhere with you!”

“Oh please, priestess!” Qualenn turned a begging tone on Alexandria. “Won’t you please do this favor for me?”

Alexandria hesitated. “You really need those herbs?” The nurse nodded. “All right. Then I suppose I can tolerate HIS presence, provided he doesn’t try to touch or manhandle me!”

Allura wondered what that meant, Ryder glowering at the priestess. “If you would just do as you’re told…” He growled. “There wouldn’t have been any need for that touching!” Allura’s eyes widened at that, even as Alexandria gasped. She had no idea what exactly had happened, but Allura was making a note to quiz the priestess the next chance she got.

“I don’t take orders from you.” Retorted the priestess. “Not now, not ever!”

“Which is why we’re stuck here with you.” Ryder retorted, and nearly lashed out when Vorlac put a hand on his shoulder.

“Ryder, chill out!” The scale covered Drule ordered.

“Yes, Ryder, calm down.” Lotor was frowning. “Alexandria is a guest of ours. Please treat her with respect.” Ryder muttered something under his breath, but other than that was quiet. It didn’t stop him from glaring at anyone who looked his way!

“So what’s on the agenda for today?” Another male asked.

“Not much we can do, until the power is restored.” Another pointed out.

“I’m thinking of riding out to check the wild herd of cattle that is roaming this property.” Vorlac said. “Anyone care to come with me?”

“I would.” Lotor said. “I wouldn’t mind taking a ride.” He glanced at Allura. “What about you, Allura? Care to come along?”

She hesitated, considering his question. Allura was surprised, having realized he had worded it as a request and not as an order. Lotor was actually giving her the option to say no, to spend time away from him. She felt happy that he would allow her a chance to be by herself, Allura feeling it was another sign of trust on his part. Even as Allura knew she would betray that trust if an opportunity presented itself.

“Hmm…I think I’d like to stay in.” She finally said. “There’s still plenty of time right? We can always go for a ride later….”

He looked disappointed, but Lotor didn’t pout. “All right. I guess I can’t expect what we’re going to do to be very interesting…”

“If the herd is big enough, we might not have to go hunting.” Vorlac said happily. “We can get what we need from them and the city shops.”

Conversation would continue, turning into talks about money and permits, and how the Drule might need to meet with the city’s leaders in order to obtain those permits. To Allura it felt like the Drules were settling in for a long rest on Simestia, which seemed to be a contradiction of Lotor’s plans to move on from this galaxy. She wouldn’t complain though, Allura feeling the longer they remained on Simestia, the better her chances were. To change Lotor’s mind, or to escape. Even rescue was not out of the question, so long as she wasn’t constantly being carted all over the galaxy. Allura knew she had to keep the faith, to keep on believing that things would turn out right in the end. And until that happened, she would continue to seek out new ways to manipulate the situation towards her successful return to Arus.


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