The sky above him was chaotic, half a dozen ships hovering in the air, various lights lit up along the sides of the buildings, laser being volleyed down towards the ground. It was unfortunate that Lotor happened to be standing right where the lasers would strike, the prince staring at the incoming fire with a look of determination in his eyes. His sword was in hand, the blue adding another bright light to the surroundings, but he couldn’t hear it’s hum over the sound of the sub automatic laser gun.
At his feet where she had dropped, Nanny lay cowering, arms placed over her head in a futile effort to protect herself. No one, not his friends, and not Allura, had made a move towards the woman, the three making their fast escape into the building. Allura hadn’t wanted to leave him, and ordinarily such a thought would warm Lotor’s heart, the prince taking it as a sign of the princess’ burgeoning fondness for him.
But this was not a time for warm feelings, Lotor forcing himself into a zen like state, concentrating on the lasers. There was so many, and he knew he couldn’t block them all, but he had had to try, if only to give Allura the time to escape. His sword became an extension of his arm, moving at blindingly fast speeds, the blue an ever moving blur that seemed to suck in the light of the lasers.
He couldn’t hear the sound of the lasers ricocheting off his sword, but he could feel them hit, the strikes heavy and setting his arm off balance. He cursed at that unexpected side effect, finding that though he block many, some got through, tearing into his clothes, and signing his skin. Lotor bit back cries of pain, continuing to move his arm, nudging Nanny with his foot.
She didn’t move, simply content to scream her head off, and faintly he could make out her words. “Stop shooting! I am one of you!” Nanny still didn’t seem to understand the people she had tried to ally with, failing to realize that to Tristan it didn’t matter if she lived or died for she had served her purpose in leading him to Allura.
He didn’t waste words on her, continuing his blocking of the attacks, even when his arm grew tired and sore, and his body burned from far too many places singed by the lasers. The pain was intense, but it let Lotor know he was still alive, the prince briefly registering that the lasers used weren’t of deadly force. But he didn’t dare set down his sword, clinging to it even when his knees began to buckle.
The roar of engines were heard, land bound cruisers arriving on the scene, their lights added to the chaos, nearly blinding him from their shine. It was enough, a laser hit his wrist, and his sword went flying, three more lasers striking him in the chest, Lotor flying backwards. Nanny screamed, now unprotected, her bathrobe shredding as a few lasers hit her in the back before the fire power abruptly stopped.
Lotor was dazed and confused, and struggling to sit up, alarm bells ringing in his ears. He didn’t miss the sudden quiet, broken up only by the slam of doors opening and closing. Booted footsteps on the cobbles were heard, a thunderous deafening sound as something close to a hundred men approached. And then, he heard the distinct sound of one man clapping, an oily voice speaking.
“Well, your highness….you’ve certainly led us on a merry chase….”
“Tristan…” Lotor growled, pushing up onto his knees, and squinting in the prince’s direction.
“But it ends tonight.” Tristan had stopped applauding, staring at Lotor. At least, Lotor assumed that was what Tristan was doing. The light was too bright for him to make out any details, save for the shadowy figures of Tristan and his men. “Where is Allura?” Tristan demanded. “Where is my beloved fiancee?!”
“Safe from you!” Lotor spat out, satisfied at the angry sound Tristan made.
“You will answer me!” Tristan snarled, his shadow taking a step forward. “Or I will put you down like the wounded dog you are!”
“Careful Tristan…” Lotor managed to sound mocking, offering a wry smile. “Don’t you know animals are at their most dangerous when injured?!” Tristan made a scoffing sound, surely thinking Lotor defenseless.
“You’re bluffing.” He said, continuing to approach, Lotor spying a glint of steel held by Tristan’s side. The man was armed, and Lotor had no doubt the prince would use that sword on him.
“Am I?” Lotor asked, eyes casting about frantically for his own sword. He could hear it’s lazon blade humming, which meant the sword was near. His eyes were still blinded by the lights around him, Lotor unable to see the tell tale blue of his sword’s blade.
“Yes, you’re…” Tristan suddenly cut off by a shout, Nanny having moved surprisingly fast considering her injuries. “Get off me woman!” Tristan snapped, struggling to remain upright as Nanny latched onto his legs.
“I’ve had time to think…” Nanny began, her voice holding strong conviction. “And something doesn’t add up….” Tristan was trying to jerk his leg free of Nanny’s arm, his patience dwindling. “Why would you have your men shoot at me? I’ve been helping you!”
“Merely an unfortunate downside of being in close proximity to that criminal!” retorted Tristan. “Now let me pass!”
“It wasn’t just me…just now…they opened fire while the princess was still in the area…She could have been hit!”
“I will be sure to personally reprimand any of my men that dare place my beloved fiancee in danger” Tristan told her, angry voice hissing through his teeth.
“There’s more…” Nanny continued, struggling with the man. “Why were you so sure Lotor would come for me? He had what he wanted, why would he bother with me now?”
~That a girl Nanny, keep asking questions!~ Lotor thought in approval, knowing the woman was buying precious time for Allura and the others to escape.
“The Princess says she is afraid of you…” Nanny added, staring up at Tristan’s glaring visage. “That you’ve done horrible things….and I’m inclined to believe her.”
“More is the pity for you!” Tristan snapped back, and struck forward with his sword, slamming the bejeweled hilt into the side of Nanny’s head. To her credit, Nanny didn’t immediately let go, Tristan having to strike her three more times before the woman slumped downwards with a moan. Lotor was already moving, doing a shaky somersault forward, rolling in the direction he hoped was his sword.
He didn’t find it, but his hand close around a length of pipe, Lotor struggling to stand. It wasn’t his preferred weapon, but left with no other choice he’d make do. He was just fortunate that Tristan’s sword wasn’t lazon, Lotor knowing a lead pipe wouldn’t stand up to that kind of assault.
Kicking himself free of Nanny, Tristan turned to track Lotor. The Doom prince took up a defensive stance, trying not to wince at the pain he felt at moving his right arm. Tristan laughed, and began stalking toward Lotor, the Alazne Prince cocky and confidant he could win with these evened out odds. “You’re such a fool Lotor!” sneered
Tristan, driving forward with his sword. “You should have just taken Allura and run!”
Lotor couldn’t argue against the validity of that kind of argument, bringing the pipe up to block Tristan’s blow. The Alazane prince continued, mocking Lotor. “Didn’t you suspect the slightest thing was wrong when you were able to hack into my home’s computer system?!”
“You let us in….” Lotor realized, holding back his curses. He should have realized sooner, the ease in which Drake had manipulated the villa’s computer systems, not to mention the lack of guards in the building, and the piddling amount of pursuit they had had to evade. “It was all planned from the start. To let us lead you to Allura…!”
“And it worked brilliantly!” Tristan boasted, striking again with his sword. Lotor parried with the pipe, watching Tristan for an opening. So far there was none, the man keeping his guard up. “To think the famed prince of Doom could be that trusting, that easily mislead, that…” A pause, Tristan smirking. “Stupid.” Lotor growled but did not rise to the bait, not wanting to lose his head to a foolish charge at Tristan. “And now it ends.” Continued the prince of Alazne, raising his sword high.
It left his front exposed, Lotor doing a sudden forward swing, catching Tristan in the mid section. The breath was forcefully expelled out of the prince’s lungs, the man somehow retaining his grip on his sword. Lotor kicked out with his left foot, his leg sweeping Tristan’s feet out from under him. The prince of Alazne fell to his knees, and Lotor let out a triumphant cry, slamming the lead pipe down on Tristan’s head with enough force to rattle the man’s teeth.
Tristan seemed to moan, falling face first into the ground, Lotor turning to look for Nanny. And stopped, spying the woman dragged up to her knees, one of Tristan’s soldiers holding her up by her hair. A laser pistol was placed to her bleeding temple, Nanny barely conscious, and even less aware of her situation.
“Put it down.” The soldier order, and Lotor hesitated enough for the man to prime his laser. Lotor let out a growl, but dropped the lead pipe, reluctantly raising his hands in surrender. “Check the prince.” Came the orders, a few men hurrying towards Tristan.
“Princess!” called the soldier who had a hold of Nanny. “Are you in there?!” Silence from the hideout, leaving Lotor to hold back a smirk. “Come out if you are.” Men approached Lotor, cautious and leery, a pair of manacles being produced. He had to endure them wrestling his aching right arm behind his back, the men fastening the manacles into place around his wrists.
Tristan was groaning, blood in his hair, his men helping his swaying form to stand though they couldn’t stop him from stumbling as he walked. “You’re too late.” Lotor announced, and this time he did grin. “She’s long gone. And you’ll never see her again.”
“Than what good are you?!” Tristan demanded, voice slurred. “What good are any of you?!” He tried to glare, but the look came out more cross-eyed, more comical then menacing. His words not so much, a threat issuing out of him. “Kill them. Kill them both!”
Immediately a dozen guns were trained on Lotor and Nanny, he could hear them charging up their lasers to maximum power. He couldn’t believe it would end this way, and he wished he had gotten a chance to smash Tristan’s brains in once before dying. But Lotor wouldn’t cry, wouldn’t simper and cower, or beg for his life. He looked straight ahead, the proud Drule prince, and issued out a threat of his own.
“This act cements war between my people and yours. I will be avenged, make no mistake about it.”
“STOP!” An interruption to his claims of vengeance, Lotor’s eyes widening as Allura appeared in the doorway of the hideout. “Don’t shoot!”
“Allura!” Her name came out more curse than praise, Lotor wondering where the hell the Baron and Duke were. “Why aren’t you gone from here?!”
“I couldn’t leave you!” Allura confessed with a shake of her tousled hair. “Not like this…not after all you’ve done…”
“Allura, I did it for you…” Lotor told her. “So you could escape….so you could go on and live a happy life…”
“I couldn’t have been happy if you died!” She protested, hands clasped together. The sound of running was heard, the Baron and Duke appearing behind her. Allura hurried forward before the two Drules could grab at her, and Lotor realized she was on the verge of tears.
“How very touching this all is…” Tristan interrupted, his voice snide with anger. “And I’m sure both your sacrifices will keep you warm in the nights to come, hearts flooded with good feelings. But it ends here. Now Allura, come to me!”
“This is no time for hesitation!” Tristan all but shrieked. “Come here or else watch him die!”
“No, Allura, don’t!” Lotor warned her, and she shook her head.
“There’s no point in you dying…he’ll kill you and then what? Take me anyway?”
“Damn it, don’t make it easy for him!” Lotor shouted, frustrated with her. “Fight him, fight him with your very last breath!”
“Shoot him in the leg, to show I mean business.” Tristan said calmly, his voice carrying over Lotor’s shouts.
“No don’t! I’ll come to you. Right now!” Allura cried out a hasty protest, rushing towards the prince of Alazne.
“Silence!” screamed Tristan, and at a gesture from him, one of the soldiers surrounding Lotor back handed him across the face. The blow stung more than it should have, Lotor swallowing any further protests, Allura gasping but not faltering in her run. She reached Tristan’s side in a matter of seconds, the man shrugging off his aides to seize hold of her arm. “Ha ha ha!” A triumphant laugh issued from him, the prince pulling Allura against him. “I win!”
“If I go with you…” Allura began, still trying to negotiate as though she wasn’t now a prisoner too. “You will not hurt Prince Lotor. Neither will you harm Nanny, or the Duke, or the Baron, is that understood?!”
“And what will you give me in return?” Tristan demanded, tracing the line of her jaw with his finger. “Hmm?”
Allura seemed to shudder, closing her eyes for one brief moment. “If I promise to marry you…you will not harm them. You will let them go, let them leave this planet and return to Doom and Arus.”
“I think that can be arranged.” Tristan said, finger now touching Allura’s lips. Lotor growled at that intimate touch, knowing Tristan would demand more than just Allura’s mouth before this nightmare was done. “But not until after the wedding. You see my dear bride, they are going to be hostages to your good behavior! If you so much as look at me funny, I’ll kill them. Kill them all!”
“You monster!” gasped Allura, and Tristan laughed at that.
“Do we have an understanding!?” He demanded, and she frowned at him. That made him shake her, Tristan leaning in to hiss in her ear. “Do we have an understanding!?” The repeated words were spoken slowly, hissed out and punctuated by exclamation marks.
“I have one more condition.” Allura said bravely, and Tristan pulled back to stare at her.
“You have some nerve Allura!”
“You are not to touch me until the wedding night.” She looked levelly into Tristan’s eyes, her resolve strong. “If you cannot agree to that demand, than you might as well kill me along with my friends.”
“You’re serious…” noted Tristan, Allura giving an emphatic nod of her head. “Very well then Allura. I think I can manage to hold off for a few days more. After all….virgins are so overrated…”
“You scum!” Lotor growled as Allura turned red at Tristan’s slur. “You better kill me the first chance you get—”
“No, Lotor no!” gasped Allura in protest.
“Because so help me, I will most certainly kill you!” swore Lotor, his eyes blazing with his promise. Tristan merely laughed, and took Allura by the arm, already dragging her towards one of the land bound cruisers. Lotor was shoved towards one too, the moaning Nanny being taken into another one. Duke Alistair and Baron Krieg were quickly chained together, the two Drules being dragged into the same cruiser as Lotor.
“What the hell happened?!” Lotor exploded before them, a furious look in his eyes. “You were supposed to get her out of there! Not allow her to hand herself over to Tristan!”
“Forgive us!” Alistair said, both he and Krieg bowing as best they could inside the cramped cruiser.
“Yes, a thousand apologies your highness.” Krieg said sorrowfully.
“Your sorries aren’t worth the breath needed to voice them!” Lotor sneered, testing the strength of his manacles. They rustled and clanked, drawing the attention of a guard, the soldier placing a gun between Lotor’s shoulder blades in warning. “How could you let this happen?!”
“We tried!” said the Baron, when Duke Alistair faltered. “Allura had a differing opinion on what to do. She fought us…”
“And you mean me to believe that slip of a girl was strong enough to defeat two Drule men, grown and muscled and used to combat?!” A skeptical Lotor demanded. The sheepish looks persisted, the men exchanging awkward looks.
“It didn’t go down like that exactly…” said Alistair.
“Then how did it go?!” Lotor asked, watching his friends hesitate. “Well? Answer me!”
“The entrance to the underground tunnel was blocked by furniture….” began Krieg. “Alistair held on to Allura, while I began moving some of it….but…”
“But it was taking too long.” Alistair finished with an apologetic look. “I let go of the princess to assist Krieg, but I made sure she understood the importance of staying with us!”
“Clearly she lied to you.” Lotor said sourly, the two Drules nodding at him.
“She chose the moment we were lifting the couch to make a break for the door…” Sighs all around, all three Drules disgusted and disappointed by Allura’s behavior. “With our hands full…” continued Alistair. “We couldn’t exactly lunge after her. Not until we dropped the couch.”
“Wonderful.” Lotor grumbled, glancing past the Drules to stare out the window. The other cruisers were following this one, Lotor knowing Allura was onboard one of them, and left all alone with Tristan. Would the pervert prince keep his word, or would his hands stray, the man beginning a new molestation of Allura? “She’s a very brave princess…” Lotor said softly, the Duke and Baron crooking their heads.
Admiration was in Lotor’s tone, the prince knowing what it cost Allura to go to Tristan, to make that deal, and allow the man to touch her even in brief. “Very brave, but also stupid.” He sighed then, wondering how–if there was a way to save Allura, to save them all. Right now he couldn’t see one, Lotor’s body aching in pain, though it was mild compared to the worry and stress he was experiencing for Allura’s sake.
“Your highness?” Duke Alistair was begging for Lotor’s attention. He gave it to him, fixing his eyes on the Drule’s face. “I’m glad you’re not dead.”
“Shut up.” Lotor said, but it was without anger. In truth, he was glad too, knowing how close he had come to ending his life on this miserable planet. The two Drules accepted Lotor’s words at face value, falling quite once more. They didn’t try to soothe him with false words, the Duke and Baron surely realizing how hopeless the current situation truly was.