The hum of the lion’s engines echoed softly in his ears, the metal walls doing their best to dim their volume. Other sounds could be heard, various beeps, bells and whistles, and voices across the airwaves. Lotor listened to them all, his ears picking out the words coming through in Basic, both Arusians and Drules giving out commands as the small lion ship flew through the sky.
There was other ships in the sky, huge black metal things, with the blazing red emblem of Planet Doom painted on their sides. Smaller ships floated in the air, star cutters that held back their fire as green lion slowly approached them. The lion’s speed was such that it would not be able to evade laser fire, nor was it one of aggression, slowly drifting forward to allow the ship to be caught in the tractor beam of the flag ship.
Lotor couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief to be surrounded by the magnetic pull of the tractor beam, his body relaxing slightly as green lion was drawn closer and closer towards the larger ship. It didn’t mean he let his guard down, Lotor keeping an arm secure across Allura’s body, left hand gripping her right shoulder as he pressed her against his chest. His other hand held onto his sword, the lazon letting out a hum with every movement of his arm.
Ahead of them by a few steps, sat the runt of the Voltron Force, green lion’s pilot, Pidge. His whole body was tense, shoulders hunched together in a reveal of how angry and irritated the young man was. He had complained bitterly while flying the lion, alternating between making threats and practically begging Lotor to let go of Allura and return them to the castle.
Lotor had ignored Pidge as much as he had ignored Coran, the royal advisor pleading with Lotor over the lion’s radio to release the two pilots and the lion back into Arus’ custody. Lotor had to bite his lip to keep from laughing in the advisor’s face, thinking the man a fool to even ask him to do such a thing.
Allura herself had been quiet, whole body stiff and unyielding in his hold, the princess staring straight ahead. She hadn’t wasted her breath on trying to beg him to free her, at least someone here realized how futile such a request would be.
The lion landed with a soft thump on the floor of the flag ship’s hanger, robotic arms immediately springing forward to latch onto the limbs of the lion. A wiry collar was looped over the lion’s head, cinching tight around it’s neck. The lion was immobilized, unable to do anything but shake in fury should Pidge attempt to break free of the metal holding his lion down.
“We’re here.” Pidge soud sourly, leaning back in his seat, arms crossed over his chest. “Now what?” He didn’t look at Lotor as he talked, but his voice held a sarcastic tone to it.
“Now?” A slow smile on Lotor’s lips, the prince relishing his next words. “I want you to disembark from the lion ahead of us. You are to hand yourself over to the care of my men.” That got Pidge to turn and look at Lotor, his eyes narrowed into a glare behind his glasses. “Don’t worry…” Lotor chuckled. “They will be gentle…provided you behave.”
“Right.” Pidge said, his voice holding a note of doubt to it. He started to unbuckle his seat’s straps, Lotor watching him carefully as he moved.
“Nice and slow runt…” Lotor said, enjoying the way the young man stiffened every time he called him that. Already they could hear sounds outside the ship, his men working to open the top hatch of the lion’s head. Tools made for cutting through metal buzzed, sparks surely being coughed up in the wake of their efforts.
“They don’t need to do that!” Pidge protested, heeding Lotor’s advice by not making any sudden moves. “We’ve surrendered. There’s no need to force entry into the lion.”
Lotor gave an uncaring shrug of his shoulders, seeing the frustration on Pidge’s face as the boy stood. His hands were clenched tight by his sides, angry fists as he walked over to the ladder that led to the roof’s hatch. Pidge gave an uncertain look at Lotor, who nodded his consent. With a weary sigh, the boy was pressing the button that opened the hatch, the sounds of Lotor’s men growing louder as it slid open.
Voices called down in Drule, and Lotor laughed, responding with a curt shout. His men backed away from the hatch, allowing Pidge room to climb through the panel. “Now you.” Lotor said, letting go of Allura. She hesitated long enough for Lotor to give her a gentle push in the direction of the ladder, the prince sheathing his sword for the moment.
“Allura…” Lotor said as her hands touched the ladder’s rungs, the princess pausing to glance sideways at him. He said nothing to her, instead stepping forward to grasp hold of her face. Her eyes widened in alarm an instant before he kissed her, Lotor putting passion and earnest feelings into that gesture. It was to his frustration that she remained unresponsive to his kiss, Lotor pulling back with a frown. “Know this….no matter what happens…no matter what I say or do, I do love you.”
“Lotor….what are you going to do?” Worry was in the blue of her eyes, Allura staring at him, concerned.
“I am Prince of Doom, first and foremost. There are…expectations of how one in my position must act.” Lotor told her, his gloved fingers doing a quick caress of her cheek. She stared searchingly into his face, but he offered her no further explanation. Allura let out a sigh, looking away from him at the precise moment angry shouts came from outside the lion.
“Pidge!” Allura exclaimed, the royal pair recognizing the sound of the young man’s challenging cry. Lotor frowned, and a curt gesture from him had Allura moving, the princess climbing the ladder swiftly. Lotor was quick behind her, emerging from green lion in time to see Pidge attempting to do battle with his men. Lotor would almost laugh at the comical sight, except for the fact the runt was proving to hold his own, doing acrobatic flips to avoid laser fire from the soldiers.
“Yah!” Pidge shouted, leaping high into the air, to slam his booted foot into the face of one Drule. The solider let out a grunt of pain, his grip on his blaster weakening enough for Pidge to grab hold of the weapon. The two began tussling over it, the tip of the blaster pointed towards the ceiling, dangerously close to shooting off laser fire.
“Enough!” Lotor shouted, annoyed by the spectacle green lion’s pilot was causing. Out the corner of his eye, he noticed Allura moving, the princess attempting to flee from Lotor. Lotor growled, unsure of what his beloved princess intended to do, wondering if she’d be foolish enough to put herself in danger by joining Pidge in his foolish fight.
Lotor sprang after Allura, his feet closing the distance between them as his hand lashed out to grab her by the arm. She made a sound, loud enough for Pidge to notice, the boy crying out, “Princess!”
That distraction was all the soldier needed, the Drule back handing the young man across his face. Stunned, Pidge fell back a step, the soldier wrenching the blaster out of his hand, and aiming the weapon at his chest. Pidge immediately froze, as did Allura, the princess ceasing her struggles against Lotor as her eyes went wide, staring at the predicament Pidge found himself in.
“Well…” Lotor said, voice cool and indifferent. “That was amusing. But utterly pointless.” A smirk then, looking at Allura’s pale face. “It only served to make me angry…”
“The Voltron Force will never just give in to you and Doom!” Pidge shouted defiantly, even as guards took hold of both of his arms. Weapons remained trained on the young pilot, the boy not daring an attempt at struggling so long as he was in danger. “We will fight you….and we will find a way to win, no matter what!”
“Oh?” Lotor arched an eyebrow, growing amused by his words. “Well…if you’re not going to behave, then I really have no further use for you.” Allura frowned at his words, Lotor turning to look down at his men. “Toss him out the airlock.”
“Lotor no!” gasped Allura, even as Pidge let out a shocked shout.
Already the Drules were moving to obey their prince, hauling a struggling Pidge along the floor. The pilot of Green Lion was snarling, shaking his head no as he tried to pull his arms free of the soldiers’ grip. He tried to drag his heels into the floor, an attempt to delay their progress but the Drules simply lifted him up so that his legs dangled over the floor as they carried him.
“Lotor, please don’t do this!” Allura said, her tone begging as she grabbed at his shoulder. She tried to force him to look at her, and only through his allowance did she succeed, Lotor glancing at her with an indifferent expression on his face.
“Why shouldn’t I, Allura?” Lotor asked her, noting the frantic expression on her face. “He’s admitted outright that he will continue to be a problem. A problem I don’t need, nor do I have the time to deal with.”
“Are you so afraid that he is right that you would kill him?!” Allura demanded, the Drules still moving towards the edge of open hanger, intent on doing Lotor’s bidding. “This is the cowards’ way.” Allura continued in the face of Lotor’s silence. “There is no honor in disposing of Pidge like this…it’s nothing more than murder!” Her eyes were growing wet, Lotor unsure if her tears were born of sadness or anger. “If you do this…Everything they ever said about you will be proven true!”
“Wait!” Lotor’s voice had the Drules freezing, just seconds from throwing Pidge off the ship. “Allura…” He dropped his voice to a low whisper that only she could hear. “If I spare him, what will you give me?”
She stared at him, and now he was sure those were angry tears in her eyes. “Always you expect things from me!” She snapped, annoyed. “Why can’t you ever do something without wanting something in return.”
“Mine is a give and take nature.” Lotor answered her, then repeated his earlier question. “What will you give me in return for sparing Pidge’s life?”
“……I….I….” She was thinking, he could see her desperately trying to work out something she could give him that would appease the both of them. “I’ll order Coran and the others to stand down and not fight you.”
“Not good enough.” Lotor told her, unable to keep from smirking. “With you as my prisoner, they would be fools to attack my fleet.”
She sighed, exasperated. “I have nothing else to give you!”
“Your love Allura…” Lotor said seriously. “You have your love…”
“Love isn’t an object that can be just handed over!” She protested.
“But you could be willing to try to love me back…” Lotor suggested, noticing her frown. “Fine then…I’ll settle for your obedience. You won’t fight me, you’ll do exactly what I say, with no complaint or back talking.” She looked like she was about to refuse him, Lotor whispering silkily to her. “Unquestionable obedience in return for the life of green lion’s pilot. It’s not to big a price to pay…”
“Easy for you to say…” Allura whispered, eyes looking anguished.
“Come now dearest….nothing I ask will be that great a hardship on you.” Lotor told her, but still she hesitated. “Fine, then the runt dies.”
“NO!! No…” She said softly, shaking her head. “Fine…I promise to obey you.”
“Excellent.” Lotor grinned, never taking his eyes off of Allura as he shouted down to his men. “Change of plans. The runt has earned a stay of execution for now.” The Drules were grumbling, but they began pulling Pidge back from the edge of the ship, the boy not struggling as he peered up towards the lion’s head. Allura was staring downwards, a dejected look in her eyes.
“Come Allura…” Lotor said, and before she could respond, he was sweeping her into his arms. He heard her make a startled sound, Allura grabbing at his shoulders for support. Lotor’s feet tensed beneath him, the prince springing forward to leap off the head of the lion. To her credit she did not scream, Allura all but silent as she clung to him. He landed on the shoulder joint of the lion, but did not pause, immediately pushing off it to leap down to the floor.
Lotor would have preferred to milk Allura’s clinging to him for all it was worth, but once they were safely on the ground, she stiffened and pushed out of his arms. He saw her glance at Pidge, the pilot staring back at her, straining against the grip on his arms.
“Let’s go.” Straightening, Lotor gave a command in Drule, ordering his men to accompany them to the bridge of the ship. His hand landed on the small of Allura’s back, Lotor urging her forward via the pressure of his hand. She tore her eyes away from Pidge, body reluctant as it moved. The soldiers surrounded them in a circle, two guards in silver armor leading the way deeper into the ship.
“Allura…” Pidge’s voice broke up the silence of their entourage, the princess attempting to pause to listen to the pilot. “What did you promise him?” Lotor felt the stiffness in Allura’s body at the words the runt spoke, the princess hesitating to answer.
“Nothing.” She said at last, refusing to look at either Lotor or Pidge. Lotor allowed her the small lie, his hand pushing her forward once more.
“I don’t believe you.” Pidge said from behind them. “He wouldn’t have spared me otherwise! Please, princess…whatever it was….I’m not worth it…Don’t….don’t compromise yourself for me!”
“Someone gag him.” Lotor said, growing bored of listening to Pidge’s words. A muffled squeak came from Pidge, a soldier crying out in pain as the pilot bit his hand. The sound of flesh meeting flesh followed, a resounding smack as Pidge was slapped by the angry guard. At Pidge’s pained cry, Allura whirled around, eyes upset and pleading with Lotor.
He bit back a sigh, and turned. “I simply said to gag him, not to beat him.”
“But….but sire….!” Protested the guard, hand raised to let another punch fall on the pilot’s cheek.
“He merely bit you.” Lotor pointed out. “He didn’t even break the skin. Now do as I command, and gag the brat!”
“Yes, sire…” The guard said, lips twitching as he fought to remain expressionless. He shoved a ball of cloth into Pidge’s mouth, quickly looping the ends around his head. Lotor rolled his eyes, then turned back to Allura.
“Satisfied?” She slowly nodded, Lotor turning her to face forward once more. “Then let’s not deal with any more delays.”
With those words, they marched the rest of the way through the ship, quickly passing through the entrance way of the hanger bay. The corridor outside the hanger was narrow and nondescript in appearance, with no known markers visible to allow one direction to or from this area. Lotor could see Allura turning her head left and right, surely trying to memorize the way they were traveling. It tempted him to take a detour, one with many twists and turns that would guarantee her confusion should she try to escape.
Instead he kept on their current path, eager to reach the bridge and return to Haggar with his prize. Soon they reached the lift, an elevator that transported them up one level and onto the bridge of the ship. Haggar’s triumphant cackle was heard, the witch greeting them as they stepped off the elevator.
‘Ah Prince Lotor…it’s good to see you again!” The witch said, having made herself comfortable in the commander’s chair. Her hand was moving, stroking the blue fur of her cat Coba, who lifted his head and yawned in Lotor’s direction. “You left in such a hurry last time, I wasn’t sure if you’d be coming back.”
Lotor made an indignant sound, remembering how the side effects of the potion had caused him to flee the ship in a blind panic, Lotor all but turning tail and running in the face of Allura’s lion. “I almost didn’t make it back….no thanks to you and your potions!” He strolled over to the witch, doing his best glower down at the cackling woman.
“Ah, but it all worked out, didn’t it?” Haggar asked, looking him over. “You’re no longer suffering the effects of the potion, and you’ve come back victorious. I think your father will be willing to overlook your momentary lapse of judgment.”
If his blue skinned could have changed color, Lotor would have paled. “He knows?”
“Oh yes…” Haggar grinned, surely enjoying the expression on his face. “I made sure to contact him the moment you were captured by the enemy. Heh….don’t worry your highness. I told him I was confidant you’d get yourself out of this mess, and you did! Not only that, you’ve captured the princess and green lion.” Her shrill laughter echoed on the bridge, Lotor grimacing at the sound of it. “With two pilots and a lion down, they cannot hope to form Voltron. We’ve won!”
“You mean I’VE won.” Lotor pointed out.
“Oh yes, of course.” Agreed Haggar. “It was after all, all your doing that awarded us this victory. Now…what will your next orders be?”
“For now maintain a close eye on Castle Arus.” Lotor advised. “If so much as one ship is launched from that structure, you are to blow them and the castle away with our full power.”
“Lotor no!” protested Allura, her heels clicking as she stepped towards him. “You cannot do that.”
“We’re still at war Allura.” Lotor said, back to her. “Arus has yet to surrender formally. It is necessary to take steps to make sure our side is not the losing side.”
“They haven’t surrendered?!” Haggar hissed, hand paused on Coba’s back. “What are they waiting for? We have their ruler! And they are all but defenseless!”
“No doubt they hold foolish thoughts of a rescue.” Lotor smirked, catching Allura’s hand in his. He drew her closer, Allura frowning up at him. “A rescue that won’t happen. Now….if you’ll excuse us Haggar, I think it’s time I negotiate the terms of surrender with my bride to be.”
“I’m not going to marry you!” Allura protested, trying to pull her hand free of his. Lotor frowned at her, but movement from Haggar caught his eyes.
“A moment your highness.” The witch said, reaching into the sleeve of her brown robes. Her face was a mask of concentration, searching for something. Lotor watched her, feeling Allura tug and pull at his grip. “Ah…here it is.” She held out her hand, a small vial laying across the palm.
“More potions witch?!” demanded Lotor, not moving to take it from her.
“Tis merely to help with the negotiations.” Laughed Haggar, directing a leer at Allura.
“I won’t need it.” Lotor said confidently. “Allura will give me everything I want, of that you can be assured of.”
“Pig!” Allura exclaimed, and slapped her hand against his shoulder. The soldiers around them fell silent except for a horrified gasp from one, all staring in shock that the princess had dared to strike their prince. “You’re assured of nothing!” She hissed. “I won’t compromise when it’s Arus’ welfare at stake!”
“Just take the potion.” Advised Hagger with a nervous chuckle, pushing the vial into Lotor’s hand. She closed unresisting fingers around it, patting Lotor’s closed fist in a comforting manner.
“Allura…for every time you dare to strike me….your little friend will pay.” Lotor all but hissed through clenched teeth. She actually took a step back from the look on his face, Lotor catching the eye of one of the soldiers. He gave a slight nod of his head, and the Drule grinned, turning to punch Pidge in the stomach. The green lion’s pilot’s voice was muffled, but a grunt of pain could be heard, the runt doubling over from the force of it.
“Do you understand?” Lotor demanded, as the guard moved to punch Pidge again. Slowly Allura nodded her head, and Lotor held up his hand, a signal to the guard to stop his abuse of the pilot. “Good….then come with me.” He was still holding onto Allura’s right hand, and her none too gently jerked her after him. “Haggar, in the meantime you are in charge of green lion and it’s pilot’s welfare.”
“Excellent your highness.” Haggar grinned. “I am most eager to explore the inner workings of the lions….and their pilots.” She all but screeched with laugher, the sound causing all but the hardiest of men to flinch from her glee.