Rules 26

Once free of the castle gate’s, the wedding procession slowly wound it’s way through the streets of it’s Capital City, Pravokia. It seemed all of the residents of Pravokia, not to mention those of the next three county’s over, were out that day, all eager to get a glimpse of the wedding party. The paved roads were lined with soldiers, each one urging the citizens back behind hastily erected barriers, keeping the hustle and bustle of the people under control–barely.
A cool breeze blew, lifting up the confetti and flowers strewn about, twirling the colorful objects in such a manner as to resemble minuscule cyclones. Anador, ever the proud parent fondly waved at his people, even Lapis managed a stiff smile on her face. Hagger beamed with imagined flattery, loving the attention even though none of it was focused at her. As for the father of the groom, he sat slouched over, crown titled forward to cover his eyes, a snore emanating from his lips. The others wisely left him to his sleep, not wishing to be bored to tears with any more of his gripes about what the twin suns were doing to his scaly complexion.
Behind them came the float that the four bridesmaids rode upon. Each maid was paired off with a handsome gentleman, his tie and cummerbund the exact shade of the maiden’s dress. The ladies giggled and waved, shooting coy looks at their partners. The men stood tall and proud, hiding their excitement over the honor of being chosen to do this.

And directly behind them came the gold gilded carriage of the soon to be newlyweds. The castle’s head horsemaster sat up on an elevated perch at the front of the roofless carriage, the reins of the two horses tightly gripped in his hands. Corral and Lotor sat side by side, the princess alternating between giggling, waving, and cuddling ever closer to Lotor. The poor prince had not much room to shift away, couldn’t even stretch his long legs, the bride’s skirts took up nearly all space in the seating area.

The loud excited cheers of the crowd did well to mask Lotor’s deep sighs of depression, and if Corral heard, she made no mention of them. She probably doesn’t even care. Lotor thought, and the irony was that once upon a time, he would have done the same to Allura. Forced her into marriage with him, regardless of how she felt, or what she wanted. He knew now he would never try something like that again. The experience had made him a wiser man when it came to the pursuit of love, had even given him the validation of Allura’s love from his angel’s own lips, only to taunt him by separating them forever. Allura… Feline like eyes shot up skywards, beseechingly I hope you’ve made it to safety…

It would have been cold comfort to Lotor to learn that his love was still on the planet, still intent on rescuing him. Allura has always been what you call headstrong, and while others looked on it as a fault, she embraced it head on. She reasoned it away by saying nothing would ever get accomplished if you hid away from the unknown, sticking to what was safe, walking the well traveled paths. She gave a slight shake of his head, a rueful look in her eyes. For that was what she had been doing with Lotor, wasting far too much time in staying away from him because he was different from anything she had ever known.

But I WILL make up for that wasted time!!

promised the Princess of Arus, blue eyes fierce with determination, as she flew her invisible lion with practiced ease. Mind only half focused on the open sky before her, her eyes darted back and forth from monitor to monitor. One showed the procession from a birds eyes view, the people no bigger than ants, making their way through a labyrinth of multi colored blocks. The other was an extreme close up of the carriage Lotor rode in, the sad look in his eyes enough to make Allura want to weep of the pain shared by both, that of two heart’s slowly breaking apart.

Her computer monitored the close circuit broadcasts the soldiers were making. They were being careless, their security codes far too easy to decipher. In a matter of minutes, she had confirmation of what cathedral the wedding was to be held in. Her fingers tips caressed the flat screen surface, lingering on Lotor’s lips. “I’ll see you soon my love…” She murmured, shifting speeds.

She shot way ahead of the procession, eyes alert for many things. Other ships in the sky–it would not do to have a mid air collision, places to land…She considered landing in the midst of a large forest, but the thought was dismissed almost as soon as it had entered her mind. The distance to the cathedral was too far on foot, a quick get away vehicle was essential to her plans.

She reached the large cathedral, hoping there might be some sort of suitable landing surface on it’s roof top. But the curves, and steep inclines of the three towers offered nothing, except a quick slide off to one’s death. About halfway down the towers was the roof that went across the chapel. It was situated between the three towers, a small square shaped, pivoted about to resemble an odd diamond. It was unfortunately not large enough to hold her lion.
Blue Lion started circling about the area, each pass widening the net, Allura growing more and more on edge as the procession grew closer. Soon she would no longer need the monitors to see them…and all too soon they would be taking the final steps into the chapel.

“Ah screw it!” Allura cried, desperation taking away the delight she would have normally felt for using such an un-lady like expression. She was on her fifth pass, nothing promising was about, except for spread thin trees. She sat Blue Lion down next to a Weeping Willow that looked like it had seen better days. The hum of the lion’s internal engine faded away, as Allura dug through her belongings. “Here it is…” She clutched at her holster belt, her laser pistol in it’s hilt, a few smoke grenades, and stun darts dangling from it. She cinched it around her waist, and then struggled out of the shirt Lotor gave her. In it’s place went on the pink and white top of her pilot’s uniform.

Making sure she had her lion’s key on her, she popped the hatch of Blue Lion, and slowly climbed out. To outside observers, it would have looked as though a young woman had appeared out of thin air. The princess walked across the metal back of her lion, taking a short leap off it’s tail. Approaching the tree, she wound Lotor’s white shirt around one of it’s branches as a marker. With one last tug on the knot, she turned and ran as fast as her legs could carry her.

————————————————————————————————————-

The wedding had not even started, and already Admiral D’artan was sick of the whole affair. His feet ached from standing, unused to having a job that required him to do much leg work. He knew he was supposed to be grateful that he hadn’t been demoted after the debacle with Lotor on Arus, but he couldn’t muster much enthusiasm. Being in charge of the Chapel Guards was supposedly volunteer work. After one particularly nasty talk with Lapis he had learned the term volunteer really meant it was compulsive.
All this running around, having to personally make sure no one was slacking off their posts, or sneaking sips of the free alcohol was starting to get to him. Especially with Lapis threat of death also being a word she’d be glad to educate him about personally, should the wedding, God Forbid, suffer any mishaps. So here he was, running willy nilly about the premises like a bloody messenger boy!

The sounds of retching broke into his worried reverie, eyes narrowed, D’artan turned around and saw one of his men hunched over, what looked like pea soup dribbling onto the floor. “Private!!” D’artan said, his voice almost but not quite reaching girlie shriek level. “Must you do that here?!”

“Sorry sir…” Private Hwangson said, the back of his hand wiping at his mouth. “It…it just happened…I..I haven’t been feeling well since last night…”

“I don’t want to hear your sob stories about your late night, drunken carousing, just clean that up!” snapped the Admiral.

“I would but…” Hwangson still looked a little flush, his eyes glassy. “I think I’m gonna…puke some more…” His cheeks puffed out, but it turned out to be a dry gag.

“Then go do that somewhere else!” snapped D’arten, who was beginning to feel a little ill himself.

“I will sir…” Hwangson was headed towards the chapel’s entrance, when a trumpet sounded, heradling the arrival of members of the wedding party. Panic in his eyes, D’arten grabbed Hwangson by the arm, jerking him away from the still pristine red carpet. “Not that way!!” D’arten hissed.

“Then where sir?” Hwangson was getting that “about to vomit” look in his eyes again.

“As far away as possible!” D’arten decided, giving him a shove away from the cathedral.

“But what about…”

“As of now, I’m relieving you of the day’s duties. Now get!” D’arten snarled.

“Right you are sir…” Hwangson stumbled away without a backward glance, missing the sight of D’arten frantically scrubbing at the floor with a handkerchief. When he was out of hearing distance, Hwangson smirked to himself. Works like a charm. He thought, having had many years of hangover experience. He knew he always felt better after a little barfing, but what his uptight superiors didn’t know, couldn’t hurt him! In fact, it got him the day off, without being docked a paycheck!

“Yes indeedy…” He laughed, lapsing into singsong. “Oh…I know a girl whose name is Mindy…with bee stung lips, and a little quiver in her hips…With dazzling green eyes that always shine…when she feels me bag of coins…and experience the heat from my loins…”

It was at that point that a laser blast slammed into his back, bringing him to his knees. His eyes were wide with shock, as he tried to comprehend what was going on. A shadow fell on him, and he turned to look at his assailant. His eyes blinked in rapid succession, and just before he passed out, he said, “Why you’re an even prettier lass than Mindy…”

—————————————————————————————–

The outside of the cathedral was a gigantic, gleaming white edifice made of ivory. If not for the gold accents on the window sills, the black marble tops of the roofs, and the colored stain glass on it’s windows, the building would be entirely invisible to the naked eye in the midst of a snow storm.
There was a red carpet, long and rolled out to cover the yellow cobblestones of the floor. Lotor walked over them, his footsteps slightly muffled, his head bowed in despair. He passed unaware through the entrance, not even realizing it was his father who guided him inside.

Behind him there was a struggle going on, Corral was partly trapped in the carriage due to the weight and size of her dress. Her bridesmaids stood about, useless beings, fretting with worry while other worked to pull her out. A great sucking sound was heard, the skirts popping free of the cramped inside of the carriage. A relieved Corral fell forward into a man’s arms, Lapis and the bridesmaids immediately surrounding her. Fussing about her, readjusting her veil, smoothing down her skirts. A pair of twin girls, about 8 years of age, took hold of the long train of the princess’ gown. While someone made sure a precocious child of three still had hold of her basket of petals.

Lotor missed all of this, already inside the chapel. His father left him standing alone at the alter, an almost but not quite smile was on the old man’s face. I won’t be able to relax and enjoy myself until after the I do’s are exchanged. Zarkon thought, resisting the urge to cross his arms over his chest.

Even one as classless and devoid of good taste as Zarkon, had to admit the inside of the chapel was just as beautiful as the outside. And he was please to see Doom’s flag, blood red splatter over a back drop of black was hanging behind the alter. Right next to it was Demos’ flag, an emblem of deep purple, with silver stars, and twin suns decorating it. Various portraits of both Doom and Demos’ Royal family were hung up, covering the stain glass windows. Zarkon did not have much use for religion, but from the looks of this room, it apparently paid well. His greedy heart was already wondering what treasures might be hidden away in the towers, when the wedding march was sounded.

Everyone stood up, turning towards the doors. There was a collective “aw!” as the little girl half walked, half skipped into the room, sparsely dropping flowers onto the floor. Behind her came the Bridesmaids and their escorts, all eight were beaming with pride, wide smiles on the four ladies’ faces, though the veils hid their expressions from all prying eyes. A hush fell over the room, as everyone looked expectantly. Two more beats of music, and then Corral appeared in the doorway, left arm linked through her father’s arm.

They started walking forward, and a loud sobbing was heard, as one woman could not take it anymore. Soon more tears joined, until there was seven women, and one man who claimed he just had something in his eyes, crying over the beauty of matrimony.

Corral and Anador walked slowly and calmly towards the alter, but to Lotor it seemed as though they were racing towards him. “Who gives this woman to be married?!” A loud voice boomed behind the Drule Prince. Startled, Lotor turned and saw a priest with an impossible tall hat had entered via a side door, while he had been watching his impending doom creep ever closer.

“I do.” Anador said, planting a kiss on Corral’s veiled cheek. He then handed her over to Lotor, clasping his daughter’s small hand into his large one. The priest nodded gravely, then launched into a long speech. Lotor zoned out somewhere along the part where he was listing all of his and Corral’s titles, and surnames. He focused his eyes on a spot above the priest’s shoulder, idly wondering what it would be like to see through walls, when he suddenly became aware of silence.

“Well Lotor?!” The priest prodded.

“Well what?” Lotor asked, reluctantly returning to the situation at hand.

“Do you or don’t you?”

“He does!” shouted Zarkon to that awful question. A few male snickers broke the silence, angry females shushing them silent.

“It doesn’t count if he says it.” Lotor said, a bit panicky.

“No.” The priest agreed, much to Lotor’s short lived relief.

“Quit stalling, and make with the kissing!” Another man shouted.

“Lotor…I’ll ask you again…” The priest said ominously. “Do you Prince Lotor of Doom take the Princess Corral of Demos to be your lawfully wedded wife?”

“I…” Lotor swayed slightly, wondering if he was going to faint for the first time in his life. “I…”

“Lotor!” angrily barked Zarkon and Anador in unison. Hagger just let out a cackle, and Lotor swore Lapis made the sound of a whip cracking.

“I d…d…”

“He DOESN’T!!” Another voice rang out, one that was loud and confident, and definitely female! Angry muttering was heard, the spectators’ voices rising in pitch as they turned to see who had dared issue that negative answer. One by one, the wedding party also turned. One by one, Zarkon, Anador, Hagger, and Lapis turned their necks to see who it was. Until, only Lotor and Corral stood frozen at the alter.

“Lotor?” Corral asked, trying to keep the panic out of her tone, a perfectly manicured hand reached up to touch his shoulder beseechingly. That spurred him out of his statue like state.

Lotor turned, blinking his eyes rapidly. He shook his head, as though to clear away what he thought was a hallucination. And then, for the first time since entering the church, he, who had been the only one the timeless beauty of his surroundings and the loveliness of his companion had been lost on, truly saw something. And what a vision it was! For it was none other than his true love who had interrupted the wedding. It was Allura in the accouterments of a Demosian soldier!


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