“King Anador I presume.” Lotor said through gritted teeth.
“That is correct.” Anador bowed his head slightly.
“So what now?” Lotor demanded, with a pointed glare at the guard currently poking him in the chest with a gun. “After going to all this trouble to get me here, you’re going to shoot me?”
“I was actually rather hoping we could talk.” replied Anador. “Discuss my plans for YOUR future.”
“No one plans my destiny but me!” hissed Lotor. The guard cocked his gun. “Though I suppose it couldn’t hurt to just listen.” He added hastily.
“That’s a good fellow!” smiled Anador. “Keep that attitude up, and we’re going to get along fabulously!”
“Yeah, right.” muttered Lotor. “You do realize this is all pointless. A waste of valuable time, both yours and mine.”
The King smiled. “I suppose it’s your prerogative to hang onto that fragile thread of hope of escaping.”
“That or of rescue.” replied Lotor. He was shocked when Anador threw back his head, and let loose with a hearty laugh.
“I do not see anything amusing about the situation…” Lotor hissed. “Or of my words.”
“Forgive me.” Anador settled down, wiping at his tearing eyes. “I see you are being serious.” He nodded at the guards, who lowered their weapons. “Walk with me.” He gestured for Lotor to stand by his side. The young Prince hesitated, but was prodded forward by a guard. On his approach, the King startled him by looping an amicable arm around his shoulders. “Now Lotor, SON…” They began walking down the hall. “Who exactly do you think will stage this rescue?”
“My father.” answered Lotor promptly.
“Oh, your father, eh?” Anador couldn’t resist smirking.
“Yes! He won’t stand for this!” continued Lotor, confidently. “Even as we speak, he is marshaling the troops, preparing to launch a counterattack. Between this, and what you pulled on Arus, he will not be in any mood to be merciful.” Now Lotor smiled for the first time since meeting Anador. “However, I could be persuaded to ask him to spare your planet. I cannot assure you he will agree, but if you return me…AND loan us ships and manpower to recapture Arus, Zarkon just might be put into a favorable frame of mind.” Feeling triumphant, it was Lotor’s turn to smirk at the Demosian Ruler.
Anador was silent for a moment. Then suddenly, he began to applaud. “A marvelous performance Prince Lotor! One could be tempted to believe the lies you just spun.”
“Wha…what?” asked Lotor confused.
“Under normal circumstance, I suppose I would be frightened by the thought of Zarkon’s rage turning towards me and my own.” He stroked his beard. “If not for one reason…”
“And that is?” asked Lotor.
“I have Zarkon’s word he will not offer any interference.”
“Not only that, I have his whole hearted approval of this scheme.” Anador exclaimed, which caused Lotor to erupt into several potent Drule curses. From the way he was snarling, the King was glad he couldn’t understand what exactly was being said. Though he could hazard a guess about how the Prince currently felt towards Zarkon.
“I should have known he had something to do with this!” Lotor’s hands curled into fists. “Your men got through the planet’s shielding, not once but TWICE!! And without a hitch! Avoiding detection and capture. Not even the Alliance has managed to accomplish this. You HAD to have had inside help!” Suddenly an awful thought occurred to him. “That…that incident on Planet Arus…did my father…did he KNOW about that beforehand?!” He grabbed hold of Anador by his shirt’s collar, pulling him up eye level. “Did he plan that as well?!” Lotor was oblivious to the guns that were once again trained on him. Oblivious to everything, but the stark cold truth that his father had betrayed him. And most cruelly so, by not only dangling Planet Arus before him, but snatching Allura from his grasp as well. “TELL ME WHAT HE DID?!” Besides tearing out his still beating heart…
“Calm down Lotor…” Anador gently, but firmly took hold of Lotor’s wrists. “Your father did no such thing.” He shook his head. “Surrender a chance at regaining Arus? Good Heavens no! Zarkon wouldn’t agree to THAT!”
With a deep sigh of relief, Lotor let go of Anador. “Thank goodness!” Lotor murmured softly. It was good to know the old boy wasn’t THAT far gone!
“No…” Anador stroked his beard, trying to calm his rapidly beating heart. An angry Lotor in your face was a scary thing! “He didn’t know anything about Admiral D’artan’s attack on Arus.”
“Then why…” But Lotor already knew. D’artan said it was to capture him. Bring him back to Corral. But…he had a hard time believing Zarkon would still want anything to do with Demos, after they ruined the one time the attack on Arus had went well.
“Why what?” asked Anador. “Why did I allow my men to interfere with your mission on Arus?” There was several answers. The most truthful one was that if Doom captured Arus, they might not go through with the truce. They wouldn’t need to. They’d have Voltron. Doom was already a formidable power, having captured 95 percent of the Denubian Galaxy. They had even acquired planets in the Milky Way Galaxy. It was only through efforts of the Voltron force that the Galaxy Alliance had been able to halt Doom’s advance. Once they had control of the Mighty Robot, Doom would then be unstoppable.
Not only would they no longer need to honor a truce made to acquire further fire power, but Zarkon’s greedy eyes might turn to conquering Demos. Most likely they would succeed…though not until after a long and bloody war occurred. And then where would his people be. Where would HE be? And what of his beloved daughter. He didn’t even want to think what Drule soldiers did to pretty women. NO!! He couldn’t allow Doom to have Arus until AFTER the wedding. When his daughter’s position as future Queen of Doom was assured. Then, and only then, with Demos’ HELP could Arus be conquered.
“Anador?” Lotor’s voice snapped the King out of his musings. “Hmm..what?” He glanced up at Lotor, and realized the young Prince was still waiting for his answer. “Well…it was…It was to prove we were serious.”
Serious! Lotor choked back a sarcastic retort. “Yes, you certainly proved yourselves.” Lotor said bitterly. “How long did it take my father to contact you? Before or after the first missile was launched?!”
“You do not give your father enough credit.” answered Anador. “Despite what you believe, Zarkon is not eager to plot or celebrate your downfall.” Lotor let out a snort of disbelief. “And he did not contact us. I called him…” He help up a hand to stifle Lotor’s reply. “He agreed to the kidnapping AFTER my men already had you in custody. So you were half right. They had some help getting OFF the planet. But onto it…” He smiled, feeling a tinge of patriotic pride for his well trained forces. “Was all due to their ingenuity and sneakiness.”
“I see.” Lotor said, his face tight and stiff, his clenched fists down by his sides. He was so angry, he had to fight to keep from shaking. However a pretty picture Anador attempted to paint, he couldn’t erase the truth that his father had AIDED in his kidnapping. He was an accomplice after the act. And he was planning to not lift even one finger to get Lotor out of this mess!
“No…no you don’t.” Anador studied his expression. “Not yet. You can’t see past your anger. But once you’ve clamed down, and are able to think clearly, you will see this could very well prove to be the best thing that could have happened to you.”
“HA!” Lotor glared at Anador.
“My daughter will make you a wonderful wife.” continued Anador. “She is kind, accommodating, and well mannered. Not to mention extremely beautiful. She is also in love with you, unlike a certain blonde.”
“What’s love got to do with it!” snapped Lotor, feeling to depressed to even bother to correct the King on Allura’s feelings.
“Exactly.” Anador sighed. “But…given time and attention, I think you will grow to accept Corral. Like her…and it is my fondest hope you will be able to return her love one day.”
“I wouldn’t count on that!!” Lotor retorted.
Anador shrugged his shoulders. “We shall see…after all…time is one thing you will have here in abundance…as long as it takes…”
“You can force me to marry her…” interjected Lotor. “But you can’t force me to feel ANYTHING for her! Anything that is, except contempt!”
“Perhaps.” Anador favored him with a pitying look. “You can choose to be miserable in your marriage. But I wouldn’t recommend it.” There was a stern warning in his voice that made it clear the King did not want that course followed. “Get to know her, before you make up your mind.”
“How can I?’ demanded Lotor. “We can’t even speak to each other!” He bit back the comment of saying Corral was too stupid to learn Basic.
“Then you’ll just have to learn our language.” Anador paused by a door. It appeared they had finally reached their destination. “Actually…you can teach each other. I’ll admit, my daughter has one flaw…”
“Only one?” demanded Lotor sarcastically.
Anador chose to ignore the interruption. “And that is that she hasn’t learned Basic yet. It hasn’t proved a disability yet…but now she is old enough to be expected to deal with dignitaries and emissaries from other planets. Not to mention, as future Queen of Doom she will need to be able to communicate her needs and demands.”
“And you think I will be able to accomplish what years of schooling have failed to do?” asked Lotor in disbelief.
“Corral was never one for school. Her teachers bored her. You however…” He grinned. “Will not have that problem. I think you will have her undivided attention.”
Two guards stepped forward, pulling open the doors. Anador signaled for Lotor to enter first, and seeing as how he didn’t have anything better to do (or much room for declining.), did just that. His golden eyes scanned the room, picking out dozens of bookcases. It was a library he realized, just as a happy squeal sounded.
“LOTOR!!” His survey of the room was cut short, when Princess Corral threw her arms around him, pressing in close. “Oh! I missed you so!” Standing on toptoe, the redheaded princess managed to plaster his face with kisses.
“Now Lotor…” Sounding amused, Anador clapped a hand against his back. “Isn’t that a better welcome than the laser fire your ice cold Arusian Princess bestows on you?”
“Allura gives off plenty of warm reactions.” Lotor said, struggling to get free of Corral’s grabbing hands.
“Hmph! Well…Allura’s not here…” Anador begin.
“But I am!” finished Corral.
Someone get me out of here! Lotor screamed to himself.