“War…WAR?!” Zarkon’s bellowing increased in volume, surely people in the next providence over could hear him. “Are you happy now Lotor? We’re at war!”
“We’ve been at war for years father.” Lotor pointed out. “Our whole civilization is based on our species lust for conquest. We live for violence, as the other planets who have felt our bloody caress know very well.”
“Well yes…you speak truthfully…” Zarkon admitted. “But this time, they declared war against us first! They’re the aggressors!”
“In war, everyone is in a position to be both aggressor and a defender.” Lotor shrugged. “It just means whoever excels at their task, will be the winner.”
“Ah, you’re just drunk!” Zarkon snapped, annoyed. “Hagger!”
“What did you judge of Anador’s mood? Is he open to reforging the terms of our treaty?” asked the King.
“He was angry…” The witch decided that was too tame a description. “Nay, infuriated!”
“So you’re saying he won’t be reasoned with?” asked Zarkon glumly.
“Oh I didn’t say that.” Hagger slowly smiled. “Underneath all that rage I could sense a more rationale frame of mind. He would be willing to abandon this war, provided the marriage went through.”
“I told you I’m not marrying her!” shouted Lotor.
“Hmm…so..if we marry them off to each other, we’ll have…” Zarkon choked. He never liked saying the P word.
“Peace sire? Oh yes.” Hagger said. “He wants his daughter to be happy, and for some reason Lotor does just that.”
“Hmph!” Zarkon glared down at his son. “I’ll never understand this catering to you child’s whims. It should be the other way around!”
“The King is soft in only this regard.” Hagger replied. “I have looked into my crystal ball and seen the past. Corral’s mother died when she was young…Anador never remarried, instead doting upon his daughter. A good match for her would please him well.”
“And he thinks Lotor is a good match?” Zarkon snorted in disbelief. “He’s a lazy, womanizing, booze hound. The only way she could do worse is to marry a good guy!”
“Perish the thought!” shuddered Hagger. Good guys made her skin crawl.
“I guess if you ignore Lotor’s quirks for what she’ll be inheriting…money, power…it is a good match…” Zarkon shrugged. “Call him back. Tell him the wedding is on.”
“HELLO!!” Lotor shouted. “Can you idiots hear me all the way up there?” He started up the staircase. “I said I would not marry her.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “And you can’t make me!”
“Lotor, you sound like spoiled three year old.” His father snapped.
“I don’t care! I’m not marrying her!”
“Lotor, you’ll marry her or else…”
“Or else what?!” demanded Lotor.
“I’ll…I’ll…have you executed for treason!” Zarkon shouted.
“Go ahead.” Lotor told him. “I’d rather die than marry Corral!” He suddenly smirked. “And you’d still be at war then, without a way to peacefully appease Corral and her father.”
“I think they would understand we killed you for failing to comply with the terms of the treaty.” Zarkon said gruffly.
“Oh, eventually, I’m sure they would.” nodded Lotor. “But not before doing some damage. And with me dead, you’d still have to give back the dowry.”
Zarkon cursed, his greedy heart aching at the thought of giving back those riches!
“Check and mate.” smirked Lotor.
“I could still throw you into dungeons.” Zarkon said. “A little solitary confinement would go a long way to changing your mind.”
“Don’t waste your time.” Lotor said. “My mind’s made up. It’s Allura for my bride, or nothing at all!”
“Hmph, you’ll end up all alone, chasing that foolish dream Lotor!” muttered Zarkon.
“It’s my life to ruin.” Lotor proclaimed coldly.
“And you’re doing such a splendid job of it…” Zarkon scowled. “And taking us with you! Hagger, how long do you see these little drama playing out?”
The witch hesitated. “WELL?!” He prodded her with his scepter.
“My crystal ball is cloudy at best when it comes to this war.” Hagger sighed. “But I can tell you this. If Lotor does not marry Corral, there will be trouble. Plenty of it!”
“Wouldn’t have it any other way.” Lotor headed back down the stairs. “Life is so much more interesting that way. And besides…” He paused, to toss them another cocky look. “It will not be much of a war, with the shield around our planet barring unauthorized entry. These Demosians are…mosquitos at best. Annoying, but easily crushed.” He continued walking. “They’ll give up when they realize how hopeless it is to try and break through to the surface.”
Hagger shook her head, and softly murmured to herself. “No good can come of this. No good at all…”
Two weeks later, and Lotor learned just how wrong he had been. Oh, he was right about Demos not being able to break through the planetary shield, but that didn’t deter them in the slightest. Huge amounts of effort was put into finding the shield’s weakness, never attacking the same spot twice. The shells of the bombs falling harmlessly to the ground, the sound being the only thing to get through. Which made the population restless, and uneasy. Paranoia’s seed slowing being sown throughout the streets…
Even now, they flourished, the nonstop bombing of the planet causing Doom’s skyline to be lit up as though the planet had finally gotten a sun in it’s orbital path. For centuries, the Drules had been evolving, their eyesight being honed to near perfect night vision. Many had never been off the homeworld, so the need nor the desire had never offered itself for them to adapt to a sun filled world like Lotor and his soldiers had. It amounted to the citizens stumbling about, almost completely blind whenever they ventured outside their homes.
Sunglasses, never a popular item on Doom, were now in high demand, merchants frantically importing the small but important merchandise from other planets. And then it happened.
The mosquitio’s began sucking the supply routes dry. Smaller ships, capable of stealth and speed, orbited all known cargo routes to Doom. Usually striking alone, these ships swooped down, raining a hailstorm of fire that ultimately caused the ships to blow up. This caused even more problems for Doom. One being, merchants not wanting to waste ships and resources on a death run. Not only did they lose out on good men, but Doom would not pay for goods that were never delivered. Not that Doom COULD get money out to them, without risking those ships getting blown up. Which meant Doom couldn’t export stock, and bring more money to the castle’s coffers. The people were starting to feel hunger pangs, as Doom’s land was not exactly hospitable to farmers and cattle ranchers.
As if being hungry enough wasn’t bad enough, they were thirsty too. Oh, they had water, and other such liquids. But…they were running low on alcohol. Sober, unhappy peasants were a lot harder to control than inebriated ones. So then Doom was forced to put more foot soldiers out on the ground to stop troublemakers. But…Lotor really scowled about this! They were to leave alone the ones who denounced the prince! His father’s handiwork, hoping to cow Lotor into the loveless marriage.
“Not bloody likely.” snorted Lotor, wishing he had some wine, even of the foulest brand to drink away his troubles. His stocks at home were still safe, although he suspected his father was stealing from him to entertain his friends. However…he was on yet another mission to Arus, and he couldn’t risk a drink. It might drive his crew to mutiny!
“Times were tough indeed.” Lotor noted with a sour expression on his face. This was the first time he had been to Arus since that coffin fiasco! They hadn’t been able to muster enough manpower for a respectable showing. Too many ships being sent off as escorts when they should have been subjecting new worlds!
And the worst thing of it all was…he hadn’t had one blasted opportunity all day to go out and corner Allura! She had shown remarkable sense for once, keeping blue lion close to the other four. Her way of being angry with him, he supposed. He knew the Arusian Princess had to feel something for him. Besides hatred! Allura didn’t think he noticed, but he saw her responding to him. How could he not? He was an expert at watching her. Once he even caught her smiling at him! And those times she had wandered into his traps, he couldn’t believe his golden angel was that stupid. She had to have done it on purpose! But…he sighed. Here she was, in a snippy mood today, refusing to even answer his hailings. A lesser man would give up under all these hardships and go off to marry Corral. It wasn’t like it would be a hard task, she was pretty, and liked him. But…He sighed again, loud enough for all aboard the deck to hear. She wasn’t what he wanted!
“Release the Robeast!” ordered Lotor, resting his head on one hand. He was already bored with watching his ships chase the lions around. Allura wasn’t planning on separating from the pack today.
“You’ll never win Lotor!” Keith appeared on the view screen, his eyes blazing with righteous fury. “Because good will always prevail!”
“Yeah yeah yeah.” Lotor rolled his eyes. “Haven’t I heard this before? Recycling old material? You must be desperate, captain.” He said the word captain as if it was the most vile curse known in all the galaxy.
Keith ignored Lotor’s words. “Time to form Voltron team!” In the background, Lotor could hear the other four enthusiastically shouting, “Let’s go Voltron Force!”
“Don’t they get tired of saying that?” Lotor said out loud, to no one in particular.
“FORM FEET AND LEGS!!” Keith was screaming.
“Turn it off.” Lotor scowled. “He’s giving me a headache. I’m sure the peanut gallery knows by heart what happens when they form Voltron. He doesn’t need to keep screaming it at them.”
“I guess it adds to his self importance.” Allura appeared on the screen, and actually winked at him!
“Al…Allura!” Lotor stood up, shocked. But before he could utter anything else, she was gone, leaving him to wonder if she had ever even been there. He frowned. Odd…he didn’t usually hallucinate like this when he was sober.
With blessed silence, Lotor’s crew watched the five lions form the mighty robot, lion heads roaring as the black one’s jaws dropped down, revealing a face. With an even louder roar that penetrated through to the men’s ears, the winged robeast attacked, swinging a ball and chain about.
Voltron ducked, the iron ball swinging back towards the robeast. Luckily this was a smarter breed of Robeast, and it managed to avoid hitting itself in the face. It hissed, a forked tongue emerging from it’s pig like snout. Red Lion let loose with the flame throwers, and Lotor could just imagine Keith making some joke about it being barbecue time.
The robeast patted it’s chest frantically, smashing out the flames with one clawed hand. Eyes flashing, the weapon glowed, changing form. He now held a sickle, it’s curved tip gleaming as it reflected the sunlight. The monster dashed forward, it’s body bending downwards as Voltron tried to do a two handed fist smash into it’s face. Safely avoiding the blow, the robeast straightened, driving the sickle upwards with the speed of a cheetah. The robot could not duck, and the sickle slashed open the chest plate, wires tumbling out, as it sparked and burst into flame.
“YEEEEEESS!” Lotor cheered, slamming his fist on his command chair. Now this was what he called progress!
Voltron backed away from the robeast, as it’s crew frantically began forming a plan. The arms came up, green lion and red lion’s eyes flashing as they inched towards each other, intent on forming blazing sword.
“Oh no you don’t!” muttered Lotor, praying to all the Dark Gods he knew.
His prayers were answered as the robeast came forward, both it’s legs bending up tight to the chest. Breath caught in his throat, Lotor watched as the robeast executed a bicycle kick, both legs frantically pummeling Voltron over and over again. One leg kicked red lion, forcing it out of position, the other smashing green lion against the chest. Then, it arched backwards, planting a foot down where the robot’s groin would have existed, and pushed. The robeast was propelled into the air, somersaulting over and over, until it stopped, it’s position upside down now. Screaming a battle cry, it flew foward, it’s claws growing to be about seven inches long, and aiming at Voltron.
Lotor’s crewmen booed, as Voltron managed to get out of the way. But barely, the right shoulder having been nicked by the claws. The robot turned around, to face the robeast, and blue lion and yellow lions’ eyes lit up, as they prepared to launch a lion head attack. The robeast’s wings fluttered, and the lion head’s detached from the body, propelling themselves at the monster.
The monster’s blood red wings wrapped about it’s body, and it began spinning, faster, and faster. The lion heads hit that twirling mass, and were deflected in opposite directions, yellow lion’s head being embedded into the top of a mountain, while blue lion head hit Voltron, forcing it backwards. More damage was apparent, as each lion was now flaming up.
“YES!!” Lotor could not contain his glee. “At last! Arus is ours!” The ship erupted into wild cheers. Many of these soldiers would be glad to not return here, long since sick of the mere sight of the blue planet. They were also relived that they would no longer add any more of their comrades to those who had been killed on this planet.
As for Lotor, his heart was singing in joy. Allura was finally his! His father would have to shut up about that Corral business, when he returned with Allura as his bride. No, better yet, he’d stay on Arus. Radio Zarkon the news. If Demos couldn’t deal with it, tough! Arus was a fertile planet, unlike Doom. He could live happily ever after with Allura on this planet, even if the trade routes were sabotaged by Anador’s people.
Yes, Lotor was already hearing wedding bells, and picturing the delicious imaginings of his honeymoon when it happened. The robeast had Voltron by the throat, it’s grip starting to separate the head from the rest of the body. The arms and legs were so badly damaged, they just hung there limply. Although it’s snout couldn’t manage a smirk, it certainly tried, bearing two tusks, and many sharp teeth. It pulled back it’s right arm, intending to further impale it on black lion’s body, when…laser fire rain down upon both giants. The robeast glanced up, and started screeching in pain, as it’s eyes were burned by heat seeking missiles. It dropped Voltron, which tumbled down to the ground.
“WHAT?! NO! NO! NO!!” Lotor screamed, his hopes dashed. “WHO DARES?!”
“Sire…they came up from behind that mountain…” A technician said. The ship suddenly rocked with the force of an explosion. “They appear to be firing upon us as well…”
“Thank you for stating the #&)# obvious!” Lotor snarled. “WHO THE HELL IS IT?! THE ALLIANCE?!”
“Um…” Everywhere, crewmen were fumbling with monitors, trying to be the first to deliver the news. Maybe that would spare them from the prince’s notorious temper. Suddenly all the monitors on the ship were filled with images of a new fleet of warships.
“That’s not the Alliance.” Lotor muttered. “Galaxy Garrison doesn’t employ those types of ships.”
“Sir!” One man exclaimed excitedly, an insignia appearing on his viewscreen.
“Oh no…” Lotor whispered, recognizing the crest. “Demos…” Shocked, he fell down into his chair. His easily crushed insects had apparently grown a backbone when he wasn’t looking…