Two 01

“No more.” King Zarkon, ruler of Planet Doom rose from his gold gilded throne. “I’ve had enough of your weak, foolish excuses, Lotor.” His mouth twisted into a displeased grimace, as he stared down at his son. From this height, the features of the young prince was but a blur. But Zarkon knew what expression Lotor was wearing, what his son always seemed to display…anger. Eyes blazing in anger, sometimes a combination of fury and shame, a scowl decorating those lips, as he tried to repress his fury at being scolded for his countless failures on Arus.
It WAS true that Arus was the only blemish on Lotor’s record of accomplishments. Before encountering Voltron, Lotor had earned Zarkon many planets, their wealth and citizens being vast enough to spread out to encompass the entire galaxy several times over. But that did not matter to Zarkon at the moment. Past triumphs meant nothing to a man whose limited awareness could only focus in on the present. “Quit sending robeasts to destroy Voltron. You must do the job yourself!”
“I know I’ve had…failures…father.” Lotor knelt in submission at the base of the throne’s dais, staring at his face in the reflective surface of the floor. “But I’m working on a new plan of attack that doesn’t involve robeasts.”
“Let me guess…” Zarkon sighed. “You’re going to try to capture that princess again. Use her to negotiate Arus’ surrender.”
“….” Lotor was silent, for capturing Allura was ALWAYS his number one priority. But not so that Doom could acquire her planet. Oh no! That was just an added bonus. No, Lotor wanted Allura all to himself. How he’d love to spend some time alone with her, proving his undying love to the princess, and finally persuade Allura to marry him!
Such ideas were an alien concept to Zarkon. He was always saying, “You don’t marry for love, but for power!” But then again, when you looked like Zarkon, it was probably next to impossible to find someone to love you.
“Even if you did managed to catch the princess, how will you hold onto her?” demanded Zarkon. “You’d have to get past Voltron, and they would never let you off planet with her onboard your ship.”
“True father, but only if they can form Voltron. Without Allura, they will be down one pilot.”
“They have dealt with similar situations in the past.” retorted Zarkon. “Two will go out in the lions, while the others rescue the princess. They won’t be shorthanded for long.”
Lotor inhaled sharply. Now that hurt. He knew his father had little confidence in him of late, but to be so sure they’d take Allura from him so quickly…”Even if they get Princess Allura back…” Which he would do his utmost to ensure would not happen. “They will still be short one pilot.”
“And how will you manage that?”
“I will challenge their captain to a man to man duel.” Lotor replied. “It will be child’s play to defeat him. I will strike my winning blow…and KILL him!!”
“Ki…Kill him?” Zarkon sounded surprised.
“Yes.” Lotor nodded his head firmly.
Lotor almost fell to the floor in shock. His father NEVER laughed.
“Kill Captain Akira! HA!” Helpless with laughter, Zarkon collapsed onto his throne. “That’s a good one! Even funnier is the thought of you being brave enough to challenge him!”
“Father!” Angered, Lotor straightened up, breaking out of his submissive stance without permission. “I have fought Akira before!”
“That was some time ago.” Zarkon said, in-between what Lotor hoped was NOT giggles. It was disturbing to think of his father giggling like a school girl. “And you lost.”
“I did not lose!” Lotor’s nostrils flared. “I beat him, and left him blinded, to bleed to death in that canyon!”
“What a remarkable fast recovery he made then, to go from blind and near death, to being able to pilot Black Lion within minutes.” retorted Zarkon.
“It’s an entirely different matter to sit in a chair and push a few buttons, then to go out and fight physically.” Lotor calmed himself down with images of Keith bleeding all over Black Lion’s control panel. He hoped Allura made Keith pay for the clean up out of his own pockets.
“Speaking from experience eh?”
Lotor flushed. How dare he?! He, who just sat on that throne all day, lording above all other’s, never doing anything actively to contribute to battles! “I get out and fight, plenty of times!”
“Usually just to chase after that princess.” Zarkon said snidely. “And even then, at the first sign of trouble, you run away…like a dog with it’s tail between his legs.”
“You heard me.” sneered Zarkon. “You’re a coward Lotor.”
“Why you…” Lotor started up the dais. “Arrogant, senile, old fool…!”
“Oh, what are you going to do?!” demanded Zarkon. “Beat up on your OLD man? That’ll show the world how brave you are!”
Lotor paused. Patricide was not in his plans…not yet anyway. For one thing, with Zarkon dead, he’d have to take his place as ruler. It would leave him with a lot less time, and tons more paperwork. Having to take care of Affairs of State would leave him tied on planet…he’d have next to little chance of chasing after Allura!
“The home world would throw a parade in my honor for getting rid of you, you miserable old fart!” hissed Lotor.
“Name calling. How trite.” Zarkon folded his arms across his chest. “So you’re not only a yellow bellied coward, but an immature brat as well!”
Glaring into Zarkon’s eyes, Lotor’s breath came out in angry little hisses. “I want to know when…”
“Eh? Speak up, I can’t hear you.” Zarkon’s teeth flashed, as he smiled. how he loved to goad his son to the brink of HIS death. He just knew Lotor would never actually lay a hand on him, and if he did…he had ways of dealing with his son’s insubordination.
“I said…” Lotor growled through his gritted teeth. “I want to know exactly when and where, I have shown this…this cowardice you speak of.”
“Hmph!” Zarkon looked away. “I don’t have to answer to you! Besides…” He turned back towards his son. “Everytime you come home empty handed is proof enough.”
“That…that’s it?” Lotor was almost whispering.
“THAT’S IS ALL I NEED!” screamed Zarkon. “Do you know how it looks on ME to have once held all of Arus’ captive, only to have lost it?”
“Yes, well, you cannot blame me for THAT.” Lotor smirked. “YOU bungled up the loss of Arus all by yourself, father. How does it feel to have no one to blame but yourself for such INCOMPETENCE?!”
“You tread too far Lotor!” snarled Zarkon. “Know this! At least I held Arus for a time in my grasp! You cannot boast the same.”
“However, you cannot claim the defeat of Voltron for your own.” retorted Lotor. “You may have taken Arus, but Hagger was the one who took care of Voltron for you.”
They angrily stared at each other, silence stretching out for an eternity…or so it seemed.
“Hmph!” grunted Zarkon. “Hagger will take care of Voltron for you as well, my cowardly son.”
“And I, my beloved, butterfingered father, will ensure you do not let Arus slip through our grasp once again, when you have that fertile planet beneath your fumbling fingertips.” Lotor replied smoothly.
“Right.” Zarkon said, feeling like Lotor had one upped him in the insult department. “Go to Hagger. Your mind may be feeble, and rapidly deteriorating thanks to your late nights of drunken debauchery, but for once you may have stumbled upon an idea worth pursuing.”

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