Two 04

“Lotor…” Hagger entered the small space allotted for the Command Ship’s gymnasium area. “What are you up to now? We are less than an hour away from Arus, and you’re busy fooling around in here?!”
“It’s not fooling around Hagger, it’s training.” Lotor said, his spandex clad body, covered in a fine sheen of sweat.

“It looks like useless exertion, when you should be conserving energy for the upcoming battle.” Hagger said disapprovingly. “Both of you should be resting!”

“I’m too excited to rest!” announced the clone. “It will be my very first battle!”

“And my final triumph over those eggheaded goodie-two shoes on Arus!” The real Lotor chuckled. “Now is no time to be resting.”

“Yes, we will rest AFTERWARDS.” The clone said, already savoring his inevitable victory.

“Well, you can.” Lotor’s lips quirked into a smile, thinking of how once the battle was over, sleep would be impossible once he had Allura in his arms. “I’ll be busy.”

“I’ll bet.” Hagger said frostily. “I would think that in anticipation of that…eh…event, you would be making careful preparations.”

“Oh, ye of little faith!” Lotor hooked a towel around his neck. “That’s exactly what we’re doing.”

“You are?”

“Yes.” The clone nodded his head. “I have to past one final test…to prove my readiness for battle.”

“Oh…what sort of test?” asked Hagger.

“Why explain, when I can show you.” Looking more lively than she had seen him in months, Lotor walked towards the wall-com unit. “Cossack?” He spoke into the intercom.

“Yes Prince Lotor?”

“Send them in, we’re ready for them.”

“Right away sire.”

“Send in who?” asked a confused Hagger. “Slaves?”

“Slaves!” The clone frowned in distaste. “They present no challenge, those weak willed, simpering drones!”

“I quite agree.” Lotor grinned, as two very confused looking soldiers were ushered into the room. “Gentlemen!” With a wave, their escort was dismissed from the room. “I see Morgor saw fit to reassign you to my command. How are you enjoying space travel so far?”

“It’s…uh…a unique experience.” One said, his face looking slightly greenish. An obvious case of space sickness.

“Yes, we are grateful to serve under one such as you.” brown nosed the other.

“Such as me?” asked Lotor. “Whatever do you mean by that?”

“A fine, fearless leader, wise in all his decisions, smart, charismatic, handsome, always impeccably dressed…”

“Enough!” Lotor cut him off, rolling his eyes in annoyance. “Did you make that up on the spot, or do you practice that little speech beforehand?”

“Wha…what?” The soldier looked confused.

“Never mind!” Lotor said, exasperated. “Just get over there.” He pointed at the sparring ring. “Oh, and…” He gestured at a rack of weapons off to one side. “Feel free to choose any armaments you’d like.” A snicker escaped past his lips. “Not that it will do you any good.”

Growing more confused by the second, they ignored the weapons display, climbing into the ring. “Uh sire…what is this about exactly?”

“Oh, just a little lesson in exercises…” Lotor’s smile was nasty. “Kill them.”

“With pleasure!” The clone grinned, and forward somersaulted into the ring.

“Lotor, what are you doing?!” exclaimed Hagger.

“Oh, don’t get squeamish on me now, Hagger.” Lotor said, watching in amusement as the hapless soldiers rushed to the weapon’s rack.

“I’m not!” She protested. “I’m just curious as to why you are wasting these men, without any just cause. It’s so unlike you.” Hagger frowned. They looked familiar…

“I have reason enough.” insisted Lotor. “And I do need to be assured that my clone can take the final step.” added Lotor. “Be able to strike that killing blow…OH MY!!”

“It appears that he can.” breathed Hagger, eyeing the messy remains of one guard.

“Even for a lazy, barely trained castle guard, that one died rather fast…didn’t have much fight in him.” Lotor watched impassively as the remaining, space sick one screamed in terror.

“I say he’s ready.” Hagger said, as the screams literally died down.

“Excellent!” Lotor said.

The blood splattered clone was frowning. “Is that all they had to give me? How disappointing.”

“Hagger, send in a crew to clean up this mess.” Lotor ordered. “We have to go change.”

“Got to look our best for Arus.” agreed the clone.

———————————————-

Coran, chief advisor to Princess Allura, had been busy monitoring the Voltron force’s training session, when all of the castle’s computer equipment experienced a massive surge in power. “What in the world…” He murmured, as programs began failing, and all the energy readings went haywire. “I can’t make heads or tails of this–OH!!” Unable to take the strain, a computer somewhere in the castle, exploded. The lights flickered, than went out completely. “BLAST! That was our energy core that just went out!”
With a hum, the back up generators came on, dimly illuminating the control room.
“Coran!” Princess Allura ran into the room, her four companions hot on her heels. “What’s going on?”

“All our ship’s equipment went off the scale, and then back to normal, before dying out on us altogether! Are you testing something in here?” accused Keith.

“What?!” Coran exclaimed, shocked. “The lion’s have been affected as well?”

“As well?” Pidge asked. “You mean there was a power breakdown in the castle too?”

As if in reply to the Green Lion Pilot’s question, the room suddenly plunged into darkness.

“Oh no!” gasped Allura, just as the lights came back on.

“Look!” Lance pointed at the room’s huge viewscreen. “The monitor is coming on by itself!”

Indeed it was, the large monitor, which took up enough space to warrant being called the fourth wall in the control room, was flickering to life, showing them…

“Another one of Zarkon’s robeasts!” exclaimed Hunk, his hands curling into fists.

It was ugly, even by robeast’s standards, already having been blown up to giant status by Hagger’s magics. It was also one of the few, non flesh and blood creatures Doom had sent, looking to be a gigantic robot. It was mostly colored gray, as steel plating was everywhere. Although it’s arms were a black rubber material, leading down to claws, that at the moment were closed. Every so often it would pause, and the hands would unfurl like flower petals. It would orient on the castle, drawing out massive amounts of energy, which then fell down in red and blue sparks, setting fire to everything. If that wasn’t bad enough, sticking on top of his head, were two gigantic dish like apparatus. They constantly swirled, sending out beams, that didn’t seem to harm anything…not yet anyway!

“That…thing is setting up a forcefield!” exclaimed Coran, just before the monitor blew up. “And we’re right dab smack in the middle of it!”

“Why didn’t our radar pick it up?” Keith asked, as palace guards rushed in with fire extinguishers.

“That thing has it’s own electro magnetic field. Quite obviously, it blocks out all our equipment, radars included.'” deducted Coran.

“Then we better get out there, and take care of him, before he really starts to do some damage!” Hunk said.

“We can’t.” Allura placed a hand on Hunk’s shoulder.

“Why not?” The Yellow Lion’s Pilot demanded.

“For one thing, it sucks out all power…without it, we can’t even fly our lions, let alone use our weapons.” explained Allura. “We’d just be sitting ducks out there!”

“There has to be another way to defeat it! Come on team, THINK!” urged Keith.

“Better do it fast.” Coran said gravely. “Without a permanent source of power, the castle’s forcefield will soon shatter. We won’t be able to hold out once that happens.”

“I think I got the answer!” Keith turned, and ran out the room.

“Wait! Keith!” exclaimed Allura. “What are you doing to do?”

“Go under water, and catch up to the robeast before it reaches the castle!” replied Keith.

“Not all alone!” gasped Allura, horrified.

“Underwater, are you mad, or just plain stupid?” demanded Lance. “Right now, the robeast is still miles from the castle! You’ll tire out long before you can reach him!”

“Not if I use the underwater sleds!” Keith retorted. “They may not be much, but they’re power cell operated. That robeast won’t affect them, and hopefully I can then provide a distraction for you guys…maybe even lead the robeast away!”
“It’s sheer madness! That’s what it is!” Lance shook his head sorrowfully. “Must you take your hero complex to such extremes?!”

“It’s the only choice we got! It’s all or nothing team!” Keith’s eyes shined with his, “Good will always prevail!” belief.

Lance sighed. “Well…it’s your life to throw away…”

“I think I can repair the other sleds…” Pidge spoke up. “Then we can go out and help you.”

“Oh great.” Lance rolled his eyes in exasperation. “Group suicide. Just how I always wanted to die.”


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