“A…Allura?” Lotor whispered, still staring dimwittedly at the green clad figure. Corral gave a startled gasp at the mention of the Arusian’s princesses’ name.
Anador stood, not knowing who this impertinent young woman was, and not particularly caring. All that mattered was that she had interrupted his daughter’s wedding. His daughter’s VERY EXPENSIVE wedding. “Arrest her!!”
Zarkon squinted his eyes almost shut, staring at the woman as well. “Hagger, is that…”
“I’m afraid so sire…” Hagger said, eyes wide with disbelief.
For one brief moment, Zarkon was quiet. His eyes were closed, and he took several deep breaths. Then suddenly his eyes snapped open, and he jumped on top of a pew, one clawed finger pointed at Allura. “KILL THE ARUSIAN SLUT!!” bellowed Zarkon, just as a mixture of Doom and Demos guards converged on the young woman.
“Allura, it is you, isn’t it?” Lotor murmured in wonderment, as the helmet was knocked free, and long, golden curls spilled out, and down her back.
“Of course it’s not her…” Corral said unconvincingly, tucking one arm under his arm, the other going across his chest possessively. “Let’s go on with the wedding…” Lotor took a step forward, and Corral came with him. “Please? Daddy’s men will take care of the intruder…”
“Lotor!!” The woman cried again, ducking under the arms of a soldier. Her leg came up, bent at the knee, and connected HARD into the man’s family jewels. He doubled over with a loud, “OOF!!” followed by some sympathetic cries from the males in the audience.
“Stay back!!” ordered Allura, fingers closing around a floor length candlestick. “I mean it!” She gripped the iron like it was a Bo, giving it a few expert twirls. One soldier did not heed her warning, eyes dancing with delight as he tried to tackle her. His laughter soon faded as she broke the iron candlestick across his kneecaps, her body pivoting halfway on her heels, to whap it against the base of his neck. Crying in pain, he managed to drag himself out of Allura’s reach. “Anyone else wanna go home with a migraine?” She taunted.
“I recognize that spunk anywhere!!” Lotor cried, a smile on his face. He was so relieved to have the ceremony interrupted, he had temporarily forgotten he had ordered her to leave without him!
“Uh Lotor…the wedding…” Corral reminded him, sounding helpless and desperate even to herself.
“There will be NO wedding!” Lotor angrily informed her, wrenching her hands off his body. One foot was on the topmost step leading off the dais.
“But…” He was already on the second step.
“No buts…Come Hell or Heaven, I’m going to be with the woman I love!!” Lotor announced. And right now, he was pretty sure both of them were going to end up dead before this day was done. And he’d be damned if he didn’t go out fighting right besides Allura!
The words, “woman I love” echoed several times in Corral’s mind, the beautiful princess watching Lotor move in slow motion…down onto the third and final step. Now on the floor, walking without hindrance, for no one was watching them, all were focused on the battling Allura. Her orange eyes narrowed, and she let out an enraged scream. “OFF WITH HER HEAD!!”
More guards were running into the chapel, a crowd so large at the entrance they caused a traffic jam of people! Allura was backed against a wall, with little room to maneuver and one shoulder bleeding, the leering guards were moving ever closer. Still holding onto her candlestick, Allura pulled out a grenade she had found on Private Hwangson’s body. She pulled out the pin with her mouth, and shook the grenade at her would be tormentors.
The live grenade gave them pause, and the screaming from the guests only added to the pandemonium. The people sitting on the side closest to Allura–ironically enough, it was the friends of the bride side–suddenly got up, making a mad dash to the other side of the chapel, eager to get away from this mad woman.
“Hagger do something!” bellowed Zarkon from his perch on the pew. His hands were curling and uncurling into fists. A good fight always got his blood boiling, and this most certainly was not a good fight! “She’s just a woman you yellow bellied pansies! TAKE HER DOWN!!”
Hagger had dropped her illusion of being an attractive older woman, in order to better concentrate. Her stave was out, glowing with arcane energies, and she muttered under her breath as she tried to think up a suitable spell. Lotor ran by, a blue and white blur. The prince skidded to a stop a few feet away from the guards, uttering some colorful curses in Drule. There was no way for him to get close enough to Allura, not when the guards couldn’t even clear enough space to back away from the live ammo the princess was packing.
“Idiots…” Lotor couldn’t help but think. This sort of thing would never have happened if men he himself had personally trained had been called in for assistance. No, it was embarrassments like this that let Empires crumble, and children become heroes. And right now, this was just the sort of debacle Keith would have needed to have come away with the day’s victory. And as much as he hated doing anything that the captain of the Voltron Force might try, he couldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth–especially when Allura was in danger!
“Excuse me…” Lotor tapped the shoulder of the nearest guard. This was a young man who seemed most eager to get to where Allura was. Clearly there was a communication mix up. The ones trying to get in, did not realize why there were so many people very eager to get out.
With a roll of his eyes, Lotor tapped the man on the shoulder again. “WHAT?!” The soldier turned around, an annoyed look on his face. “This.” Lotor said, his fist already connecting with the soldier’s jaw. That rock solid punch was enough to knock the man out.
“Somehow I don’t think sleeping on duty is part of your job description.” Lotor quipped, then let out a groan. “It’s gotta be a hero thing…makes them spout the stupidest lines in the heat of battle.” With a shake of his head, he reached down, helping the man free of his sword. All the while resisting urges to crack any more puns or plays on words.
“I’ve got it!” Hagger cried with glee, waving her stave about. “I know just the spell to use!”
“Took you long enough…” groused Zarkon. “Better be worth the wait.”
“Oh it is…” Hagger purred in satisfaction. “I’m going to trap the pretty little mouse inside a bubble…” Hagger let out high pitched cackles of excitement. “That way, when she drops the grenade, only she will go kA-boom!!”
“Excellent…” Zarkon hissed. “Makes me wish I had a front row seat to her demise!” It was just then that Lotor came running back towards the alter. One look at the grinning King, and the chanting witch, and Lotor reached out, and snagged the stave right out of Hagger’s hands!
“My staff!” She wildly shrieked. “That over grown brat of yours stole my staff!!”
“Lotor what are you doing?!” barked Zarkon, just before he toppled to the floor, courtesy of Lotor.
“What does it look like father?!” taunted Lotor as his father sat up. “I’m helping out, of course.”
“You’re supposed to help us NOT her!” shouted Zarkon, quickly ducking as Lotor accidentally on purpose swung Hagger’s stave at Zarkon’s head.
“Give that back to me whelp!” Hagger’s fingers were curled into claws, and she swiped at his eyes. “I can’t cast major spells without something to focus my magical energy through!”
“Thank you Hagger…that’s a very useful thing to know.” Lotor grinned.
“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!” She started to lunge forward.
“Back off Hagger…” Lotor warned the angry witch. “Or else I’ll introduce you to the pointy end of my sword.” His sword arm zig zagged across her cloak, slashing open the material over her chest. “Eeew…that’s a little more of you than I ever wanted to see…” He carefully prodded her backwards with the sword. “Guess it’s more to your liking, eh father?”
“Hey!!” protested a miffed Zarkon. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!!” (Sorry…couldn’t resist!)
“Liar!” Hagger snapped, and it was only the fear that Lotor might run her through, that kept her from reaching over and slapping Zarkon! “See if I ever do anything for you again…snookums!!”
“I’ll leave you two to your lover’s quarrel…” Lotor smirked, edging out of Hagger’s reaching distance. The sounds of the witch and his father’s angry words was music to his ears. He bypassed the steps, leaping up onto the dais, where only Corral and her female entourage remained. The four male escorts had run off to cower in a corner somewhere.
“Lotor, you came back to me?” Corral took a hesitant step forward.
“Yes Corral, I did…” The Prince of Doom moved closer to her.
“Oh Lotor I…” For a minute her anger melted away, and it appeared she would throw herself into his embrace. But then her eyes hardened, and she said. “Oh I see…you’ve come to help…” and this she hissed, “HER.”
“That’s true…” Lotor nodded, still moving towards her.
“Hmph!” She crossed her arms over her chest, turning her back to him. “I suppose you think by offering yourself to me, I’ll allow her to be spared.”
“Something like that.” agreed Lotor.
“Well think again!” Corral whirled around, arm ready to slap Lotor across the face. “I will not allow this humiliation to go unpunished!! Allura must die–!!” She let out a wordless shriek as Lotor suddenly grabbed her with the arm holding the wooden stave. She was forced against his front, the stave placed against her, as he held her captive. The sword was pressed against her neck, close enough that she could feel the sharp blade brush the skin when she breathed out.
“STOP!!” Lotor’s voice rang out, calmly and loudly. His tone was that of an authoritative command, one you could not help but obey. Everyone stopped what they were doing, albeit a bit confused as to why exactly. And then Lapis’ horrified scream rang out. “He’s got Corral!!” The cry was soon taken up.
“He’s taken the princess hostage!”
“What’ll we do?!”
“What can we do?!”
“Fear not princess!”
“We’ll save you!”
“Lotor! Let my daughter go!!” Anador cried, from way in the back, in the midst of swarming guards.
“Daddy!” Corral said, voice cracking with fright.
“Zarkon, get your son under control!” shrieked Lapis.
“I was never under HIS control.” Lotor said, with a dismissive look at Zarkon. “Now I propose a trade…Allura’s life for Corral’s.”
“NEVER!!” answered Zarkon.
“You monster!” Lapis screamed.
“Lotor, you must realize, if you kill Corral, than Allura’s life is forfeit!” Anador said. “So let her go…please…”
“Never!” retorted Lotor. “And how about you, brave soldiers? Would you see your princess dead?” The Demosian soldiers nearest to Andor, turned to face their King, eyes filled with uncertainty. “My liege, what should we do…?”
“Here is what I advise you to do.” interjected Lotor. “Step away from Allura…allow her enough room to pass, unobstructed to the alter, and once we have some distance from the castle, Corral will be released unharmed.”
“Don’t believe him!” Zarkon snapped, ignoring Hagger’s cries of, “What about my staff?!” “Kill the blonde bitch, and end this farce!!”
“Anador…” warned Lotor.
“I…” Anador was torn with indecision.
“He’s bluffing!!” Shouted a previously silent Admiral D’artan. “Prove it by killing the one the traitor prince loves!”
“No!!” shouted several people, all for different reasons. Allura bravely swung her candlestick about, but was unable to defend herself properly while holding onto a live grenade.
“It’s no bluff!” Lotor snarled, and Corral let out a small whimper. Once again everyone froze, watching as the sword was pressed deeper against the redhead’s throat, cleanly slicing off the U. N. I. T. Y. “Now do you believe?” Lotor bared his teeth, looking very feral at that moment. “Or do you require a few drops of her blood to usher in the start of a blood bath? I’ll ask again…back away from Allura!”
“Daddy do what he says!” Corral shrieked, skin turning incredibly pale.
“My baby!!” Anador cried. “All right, all right! We’ll trade…” The guards didn’t move. “You heard the man!” Lapis shouted, wanting her niece’s turmoil over as quick as possible. “MOVE!” The snap of her whip encouraged them to hurry out of Allura’s way.
Allura and the guards eyed each other nervously. “Come on Allura…” Lotor called encouragingly. The Arusian Princess took a hesitant step forward…and then another…and another…All eyes were on Allura, as though she was the star attraction of a cabaret act. Soon her steps went from slow to fast, until she was running down the aisle towards Lotor, heartbeat thudding painfully in her chest. She practically flew up onto the dais, ignoring the hatred in Corral’s eyes, as she stopped by Lotor’s side.
“Now what Lotor?” Allura asked, briefly squeezing his forearm with her hand.
“Yes Lotor.” Corral said in Demosian, imitating Allura’s dulcet tones. “Now what?!” She laughed sarcastically. “There’s nowhere left to run.” Her father and several of the soldiers were moving purposefully towards the stage. Hagger was nervously wringing her hands over and over again, muttering under her breath about her staff. And Zarkon had somehow acquired a sword from someone.
“There’s gotta be some way…” Lotor said, head turning left and right. It was then he noticed the priest had disappeared just as suddenly as he had appeared. “There must be a door here somewhere…”
“Of course there is! There’s always a vestibule to at least one side of the dais.” Allura exclaimed excitedly.
“I take it you’ve spent more time in a church than I have…” Lotor said, trying to be nonchalant.
“It’s a princesses’ duty.” Allura confirmed. “Look there!” She pointed, and he saw that the right wall had visible seams, someone had been too hasty to close it properly. “Then we go that way.” Lotor decided, and began dragging Corral towards the vestibule. “Allura come on!” He cried, when he saw she wasn’t following.
“Just a second!” Allura retorted, bending down.
“What are you doing?!” Lotor hissed.
“Arranging a diversion…” She carefully set the grenade down on the steps, leaving it perilously close to the edge of the first step. “Not any sudden moves…” She warned the crowd sweetly. “Or else we might have…a little accident…” The almost in-laws crowded in at the base of the dais.
“Damn you!” Hagger shrieked, eyes blazing with an unnatural light.
“You won’t get away with this!” Anador informed them, supremely confident.
“We’ll hunt you down to the ends of the universe if need be!” Lapis shouted.
“I’ll look forward to it.” Lotor said, still hanging onto Corral as Allura raced back to his side.
“Yes, but next time the odds will be decidedly more even.” Allura said, doing her best to sound haughty and arrogant.
“I wouldn’t try it!” Lotor suddenly snarled, glaring at Hagger, who had begun to murmur the incantation for a sleep spell. “Remember old Hag…I have your staff…try anything, and I’ll turn into kindling!”
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!” Hagger’s cry of pain was animalistic.
“Lotor…” A quiet voice spoke up, the Drule calmly looking at the Prince as he approached the dais.
“Father…” Lotor gruffly acknowledged. “I have nothing to say to you.”
“Then just listen…” Zarkon said, steeping his fingers together. “If you give up Allura, and continue on with the marriage…”
“NO!!” Both Allura and Lotor shouted together.
“Stay out of this wench!” snapped Zarkon.
“Don’t you talk to her like that!” hissed Lotor.
Zarkon grunted, and took another deep breath before he spoke. “You seem set to go down this path of self destruction…but know this my son…” The two Drules locked gazes with each other. “If you leave with that WOMAN now, know you can never come back…I will disown you, disinherit you, and take away your crown…I shall burn all records of ever having had a son…you will be dead to me…”
For two whole minutes they just stood there, staring into each other’s eyes. Then at last, Lotor turned away, he spoke calmly but quietly, and only those nearest to him heard the words he said in reply to the Mighty Doom King. “So be it.”
Allura had the vestibule open, and she turned with a gasp, shocked eyes staring up at the prince. “Lotor? Are you sure?” Her love gave a slight nod of his head. Lotor caught the sight of relief flashing in Allura’s eyes just before she ducked down into the entrance.
Still holding onto Corral, Lotor bent his body low enough to fit into the short passageway. “LOTOR!!” Zarkon boomed out in his best “Do not defy me!” voice. Witnesses later could not confirm if Lotor has paused for a second or not, before disappearing into the passageway.