It was nearly the middle of the new week, a journey totaling four days when Allura got her first up close glimpse of planet Quevra. She remembered being astounded by the planet’s colors, the world a pretty pattern of purple and green. It was so different looking from the blues and whites of Arus, and the dismal grays and browns of planet Doom.
Her interest in the planet didn’t last nearly long enough, her friends from Arus exchanging concerned looks. Allura knew they were worried about her, the four spending much of the trip trying to engage Allura’s attention. So far they had had little success, Allura too busy grieving, the girl moving about the ship a former shell of herself. She spent much time alternating between staying in her cabin, and wandering the public areas of their transport, Allura prone to breaking down in tears in an instant.
She wasn’t capable of being fine, the memories were too strong, Allura recalling memories of her daughters. The brightness of their smiles, the innocence in their eyes, their tiny statures. Her arms longed for the feel of them, Allura wishing she had them to hold, to snuggle, to kiss. She often walked around with one of their baby blankets, the cloth smuggled away from Doom, and bearing their sweet scent.
She would hug it close to her chest and sniff at it, inhaling the memory of her babies’ scent. She grew even more despairing when Allura noticed the scent was fading, the girl almost breaking down in tears when she realized that this too would be lost to her. So powerful had her moment of panic realization been, that Allura had almost gone to the ship’s captain, ready to ask, to beg, to plead and barter with him to return to Doom.
Somehow she resisted the urge to do so, Allura holding steadfast to her decision. Vaguely she was aware of her friends attempting things to draw her out of her depression, not quite trying to cheer her up but at least working to get Allura to stop her crying and endless pacing. She couldn’t even remember their numerous attempts, nothing seeming to stand out.
The days on the ship seemed to pass in an odd kind of blur, Allura hardly aware of the passage of time, though on some level she was registering the minutes she spent separated from her daughters. The distance widened between them, the ship carrying her further and further away from Doom. She couldn’t eat, she could barely sleep, often spending hours laying in bed, just staring up at the ceiling. The blanket cuddled to her face, her tears wetting it’s fabric.
She learned to weep silently, Allura far too considerate to disturb the other’s sleep with loud sobs. But inwardly she screamed, ranting and railing at the unfairness of it all. It left her wishing Lotor had been a different person, that circumstances had been different between them. That she could have stayed, that she could have been a family with him and their daughters. That she could have loved him.
Sometimes she wondered if she hadn’t been too greedy, too demanding. People couldn’t always get what they wanted, Allura knew that. Especially on Doom, the people having to learn to settle for less, to try and get happiness the best they could. She wondered if something was wrong with her that she couldn’t do the same, Allura turning her back on what little family she had left to try and forge a new life. A happier life.
She wondered if she could have learned to be happy with Lotor, learned to tolerate sex with him. It would cost her a part of herself, but the reward of her daughters might almost be worth it. Almost, Allura thought, sighing to herself. But one glance at Romelle, and she doubted it all, seeing her cousin a former shell of her once bubbly self. Lotor had left his mark on them all, Allura most of all, though Romelle came a close second to the damage he had done.
Romelle was different now, not quite the princess of Pollux, but neither was she the determined, angry woman who had sought revenge on Allura. She was almost subdued, quiet for the most part, and speaking little to Allura. She had been reluctant to speak about Lotor, growing flush faced and agitated when prodded about the night everything went to hell.
She spoke only enough to confirm Allura’s worse fears, the girl learning the King had raped her cousin. It was the worst thing he could have done, the assault different from all his others, somehow worse, more tragic. His claims to have changed were revealed to be nothing more than an illusion, one that had shattered at the first disappointment offered to him by Allura. She had thought he had come to understand the effects his actions had on the women he abused, but now she knew, he had learnt nothing, nothing at all. Not if he could revert so easily, not if he could attack Romelle like that.
He was a danger to be around, no slave was truly safe from him when he was denied what he wanted. That he wanted Allura so badly frightened her, the girl fearing that at any moment Drule ships would surround her transport, the King sending them to bring her back. But save for a few freighters that they passed by, no ships bearing the insignia of Doom ever appeared, the transporter traveling unmolested to Quevra.
It wasn’t long after Allura got her first viewing of the planet, that the ship began it’s descent to the surface. Slowly details began to become clear to her, Allura standing on the bridge of the ship, hands gripping the railing as she stared at the view screens. They flew through the sky, it;s color a pale lavender, filled with the pink mist of clouds. They streamed all around the ship, breaking apart at it’s dive. At that height there hadn’t been much to see, the open sky extended for miles in all directions, broken up only by clouds and a few other ships.
Eventually they pulled free of the layer of clouds, their soft substance thinning out even further, allowing her to spy land. At first she could only make out the land masses, green continents broken up by purple waters. There were no details to them, not until they descended further. And then she was able to make out the tops of mountains, snow capped peaks the ship had to maneuver around.
Soon she could spy other things, Allura making out forests, beaches and cities. The cities seemed cluttered with tall buildings, a million tiny ant sized people walking it’s streets. There was even a few quaint towns, small suburbs placed along the countryside, though that wasn’t the ship’s destination. Instead it flew towards what looked to be the largest of the cities, flying over the tops of the buildings, it’s reflection shining on the glass surface.
Allura could see on the outskirts of the city, several villas and mansions, separated from each other by miles of acreage. They were just far enough from the city’s bustling center to maintain a sense of privacy, far enough that one couldn’t walk the distance, needing to rely on some mode of transport.
The ship didn’t draw near to them, instead gravitating towards a large landing strip. There was a few stray buildings located near it, the space port of Umeso. The transport slowed it’s descent even further, the time ticking to a crawl before it finally set itself down gently on the tarmac. Allura didn’t quite breathe a sigh of relief, realizing she had a white knuckle grip on the bridge’s railing.
“Well…” Sumetra said from behind her. “We are here.”
“And not a moment to soon.” Added Andais, the poor girl having proved prone to travel sickness during the long flight between planets, A glance at her face showed the redhead had a green tint to her skin, the woman still queasy.
“It looks like a very nice city….from what we were able to see as we made our descent.” Sasperella turned to Allura, the look in her eyes hopeful. “Don’t you agree princess?”
“Stop it.” Allura said softly, the girls all turning to look at her. “I am no longer your princess. I am merely a woman….just like you are.” There was an uncertain hesitation from the girls, and finally Romelle spoke, voice just as soft.
“You still hold power.” She reminded Allura. “We’re still your slaves.”
“Not for much longer.” Allura said firmly. “Now that we have arrived at our new home, I intend to get the paperwork started to grant you all free status. You’ll earn a fair wage working at my new home….at OUR new home.” She corrected hastily.
“It’ll be nice to get this collar off…” Sumetra said, bringing her fingers to touch the metal. “And to get a dress that fits right.” It was just another detail to take care, Allura realizing she would have to fund a few outfits for the girls, regardless of their protests to want to earn their own fortunes. She had wanted to gift them with money, knowing Lotor had provided her with more than enough to part with some of it at their arrival on Quevra. But the girls had refused, neither wanting to be slave nor pampered.
“What I’m looking forward is to actually having the chance to do something.” Her twin Sasperella said. “I did get tired of life in the harem, the endless boredom of having nothing to do but sleep, eat, or talk.”
“If you’re that bored of free time…” Andais was mischievous, voice teasing the blonde. “I’m sure Allura can find plenty of housework to keep you busy!”
“Ah….maybe I am not THAT bored.” Sasperella quickly said, to the muted laughter of her friends. Allura didn’t quite smile, already tuning out the chatter of the girls. She was back to staring at the view screen, wondering what life would be like living in the capital. The approach of footsteps drew her attention away from her thoughts, Allura turning to see the captain of the ship approaching them.
He was a handsome Drule, with bold red hair tied neatly back with a velvet ribbon. His emerald green uniform was neatly pressed, lines of gold etched into the material, giving it an accented flair. Allura’s friends all curtsied to him, the man nodding back at them. Allura waited until he stopped before her, the girl drawing herself up to her full height and still coming up short before this tall Drule.
“Good day Captain Wresja.” She said politely. “We will be departing the ship soon?”
“Yes.” He answered, giving her a nod of his head. “The ramp is attaching now. Your luggage is ready to be unloaded. If you care to come this way, I’ll escort you personally off the ship.”
“Thank you.” Allura replied, taking the arm he offered her. Romelle and the Arusians moved to follow her, forming a five figure shadow behind Allura and the captain. She had to force herself to pay attention, realizing the captain was talking to her.
“King Lotor has arranged for most of the arrival procedures to be done away with.” He explained, Allura looking at him in surprise. “There should be no problem with your travel papers. They do bear the king’s stamp of approval after all.”
“I see…” murmured Allura.
“Your luggage will still have to go through inspection, but if you like, you can go on ahead to your home.” Continued the captain. “I know you must be very tired after this long journey.”
She was tired, but not from the reason he assumed, Allura’s grief having exhausted her more fully than even a week long space flight could have managed. But she simply nodded to show her agreement with his words.
“We radioed on ahead to prepare a transport for you.” Added the captain. “A Duke Solaran has offered to be your guide in the capital. If you have any questions about Umeso or it’s people, any pressing concerns that need to be taken care of, don’t hesitate to make use of the Duke.”
Allura wondered if Lotor had called in a favor with the Duke, or if this Solaran was hoping to score points with the King by catering to Allura’s needs. Either way she was glad she wasn’t being left alone to flounder in the city, Allura close to crumpling into a mess of tears.
“I think you will enjoy Umeso.” The captain seemed content to fill in the silence Allura maintained. “It’s a bustling city, full of shops and people. It’s been prospering since it’s peaceful merger with Doom, and there is always some kind of event occurring.”
“Event?” Sumetra echoed, unable to keep the curiosity out of her voice. “What kind?”
“Oh, concerts, theater performances, dinners and parties held by the nobles of the city. That sort of thing.” Wresja explained, seeming to take no offense to being questioned by a slave. It was one reason Allura liked him, noting he was kind to not only the slave girls of Arus, but to the many slaves that worked on his ship. “You won’t want for much living in the capital.”
From the way he talked, Allura knew that Umeso would only be lacking one thing. But such an important, vital thing to her life’s contentment it was. She held back a sigh, thinking of her daughters, and wishing she hadn’t packed away the baby blanket. Instead she had to content herself with touching her finger to her locket, the metal’s surface cold and hardly comforting.
They continued their leisurely walk through the ship’s corridor, deck hands and slaves hurrying about, seeing to various tasks. She even spied the luggage rack being wheeled by the slaves, it’s shelves packed high with suitcases. They ended up following behind it, and soon arrived towards the ship’s open side. Allura thought Captain Wresja would leave her then, but he merely smiled and patted her arm, continuing to lead her forward.
The clang of their footsteps on the metal ramp resounded loudly in her ears, as did the hum of other ships as they landed or took off into the air. The ships’ passage stirred up the air, the breeze blowing her hair about, and making her skirt billow around her. It forced Allura to use her free hand to hold down her dress, Allura not wanting to flash anyone needlessly.
There was a few people waiting down at the base of the ramp, Allura noticing a man and a woman dressed in an official looking uniform. “Officers of the space port.” Wresja explained, and then let out a greeting to the people waiting.
“Captain Wresja…” The woman nodded, glancing at Allura. “Is this…?”
“Allow me to introduce Allura.” He made no move to name the slave girls, the two officers barely glancing in their direction. Allura murmured a brief hello to the officers, feeling nervous and shy.
“Hello Allura.” The woman said, a smile on her face. “If you would just show me you and your slave’s paperwork, we can get things moving.”
“Papers?” Allura asked, feeling nervous. She didn’t have any on her, and the only documents she knew of was the ones that Lotor had given her to transfer ownership of the slave girls.
“It’s all right Allura.” Wresja said, reaching into his coat. “I have them.” A sheaf of papers were revealed, the captain handing them to the woman. She immediately halved them, giving part of her burden to her male companion. The two then set to reading over the paperwork, rustling through the documents at a rapid pace. Allura tried not to fidget in place, wondering what would happen if all was not in order.
At last the man nodded, and handed the papers to Allura. “Everything checks out on my end.” He said. The woman was just finishing up her own scan of the documents, eyes lingering on something.
“‘And mine as well.” A brighter smile crossed her face, the woman giving Allura the remaining papers. “Welcome to the city of Umeso. We hope you will enjoy your time here.”
“Thank you.” Allura said, clutching the papers to her chest. She didn’t know what they said, but realized they were important, something that should be safeguarded to facilitate easy traveling to and from planet Quevra.
She heard beeping from behind, the luggage rack rolling out onto the ramp. Wresja smoothly escorted her out of it’s path, the rack making it’s way towards a small hover craft that stood parked on the tarmac. People dressed in matching brown uniforms waited, men and women who would load the luggage onto the hover craft, the small ship carrying it to wherever it would be inspected.
There was another vehicle waiting nearby, a long, lean land cruiser, metal a gleaming white. She realized the captain was guiding her towards it, a man stepping out of the front seat to hurry towards the passenger rear. Once open, a set of long legs leaned out of the cruiser, someone slowly extracting themselves from inside. Allura found herself looking at a human man, his salt and pepper hair starting a slow recede from his brow.
He was one of those men who aged gracefully, nary a wrinkle on his face to hint at his true age. Only the gray that streaked his temples let her know he was older than he appeared, the man lean with muscles that could not be hidden by his expensive gray suit. He looked at Allura, the girl noting the way his eyes traveled down her body, studying everything about her before returning to her face. A hint of a smile curved his lips, and he lifted his hand in greeting.
“Ah, this is the Duke Solaran.” The captain was waving back to the Duke, the man waiting patiently for them to reach him. Allura couldn’t hide her surprise, having expected another Drule to be her escort. “Don’t worry.” Wresja added with a laugh. “Solaran is quite fluent with the Drule tongue. All the nobles are.”
“Lady Allura.” Solaran had a strange accent to his voice, a not quite lisp to his Drule. “It is indeed a pleasure to meet you.” He was already coming forward, taking her hand to bend over it. A quick kiss was brushed over her knuckles, Allura blinking surprised at him.
“Duke Solaran…” She said, and performed a hasty curtsey. “The pleasure is all mine.”
He laughed at that, brown eyes dancing with joy. “I doubt that very much. I’m sure you would have preferred someone a lot younger and handsome to escort you around the city….but I’m afraid you’ll have to make do with me.” She realized he was teasing her, Allura not quite blushing in response to his words. “How was your trip?”
“It was fine.” Allura told him, hoping he wouldn’t press her for details. Not when she could barely remember the excursion.
“That’s good to hear.” Solaran looked at the captain, and suddenly clapped a hand on his shoulder. “Wresja you old devil! Why didn’t you let me know you were bringing me not one, but six beautiful girls?” Allura heard the pleased sounds from her friends, the girls flattered by the Duke’s praise. Wresja stuttered out an answer, exchanging pleasantries with the Duke for a few moments.
Allura let her mind wander, looking across to the buildings that made up the space port. They were shorter than the towers that were built to lofty heights, barely even three stories high, a design that was made to allow the ships the clearance to land amidst them. She had a vague idea of what went on in the space port, figuring that most people had to present their paperwork to officials inside the building. It was only a favor granted to her by King Lotor, that they had come to her, easily facilitating her arrival to the city.
“I’m sure you have business to see too.” Solaran was saying. “So I won’t keep you any longer.”
‘That’s fine.” Wresja said, at last disentangling his arm from Allura’s. The captain than bowed to her, a smile on his face. “It was quite a pleasure to have you aboard my ship. I hope you will consider booking me for any future journeys.”
“I will.” Allura said, wondering if he had ever gone as far as Arus in his travels. She waved to him as he left her, the captain walking briskly up the ramp. She couldn’t give him her full attention, the Duke was taking her by the arm, gently leading her towards the white cruiser.
“I was thinking of taking the scenic route to your villa.” He said conversationally. “Allow you to see some of the city before you get settled in your new home.”
“All right.” Allura agreed, allowing him to usher her inside the cruiser. Her friends followed after him, looking wide eyed at the expensive looking inside of the small craft. It was fancier than anything they had rode on Doom, with leather encased seats and a shag rug on the floor. It was long too, with more than enough room for all of them to stretch out their legs.
“Would you care for something to drink?” Solaran asked, positioned by a small bar in the corner of the cruiser. She could see it was all alcoholic drinks, Allura blurting out a refusal.
“No thank you. I’m still nursing…oh….” Her face saddened, Allura realizing that was not the case anymore. Not with the babies so far away.
“Princess…” whispered Dominique, touching her knee in sympathy.
“I think I’ll have that drink after all.” She said, and took the proffered glass from the Duke. She quickly gulped the contents down, intent on distracting herself from the need to cry. The duke didn’t offer drinks to the other girls, surely their slave status barring them from this pleasure. Instead he pressed a button on the roof, speaking into what Allura realized was an intercom.
“You can leave at any time, Falsom.” It wasn’t even five minutes later, before the engines hummed to life, the cruiser lifting off the ground. The ride was smooth, the small ship gliding over the tarmac, weaving it’s way around the various ships. Soon they merged onto the streets of the city, Allura turning in her seat to peer out the dark tinted windows. She realized they were a special kind, allowing her to see outside, but keeping her hidden from those who would peer inside the cruiser.
Duke Solaran began pointing out various land marks to her, Allura nodding and making sounds, feigning polite interest. She could barely muster up the energy to care about the shops, even though a part of her knew she needed to order more clothes for her friends. It wasn’t just clothing shops, the large grocer was pointed out, along with the smaller stands that hawked the local farmers’ produce.
Solaran called attention to all the best eateries, and to the theater district, where Allura spied several Drule plays being advertised, including one that had to be Romeues and Junipa. They passed by a park, it’s greenery extending for miles, playground equipment being viewed from a distance. Couples were on dates there, sharing picnics or enjoying the local musicians.
Everywhere they passed, it was a mixture of Drules and humans, the two races seeming to peacefully coexist. She marveled at that, wishing the Doom Empire could treat more of the planets in it’s grasp in this way. And yes, there was slaves even here, Allura spotting a few collar clad humans walking about, their arms laboring to hold up packages, or cleaning the sidewalks.
She spied a woman pushing a stroller, and Allura craned her neck frantically, trying to catch sight of the baby inside the basket. A pang of longing went through her, Allura wishing that was her and her daughters walking the sidewalk. Now more than ever she wished for the blanket, needing to wrap her arms around something, and having to settle for playing with her locket.
Solaran continued to talk, Allura making distracted sounds out of polite necessity. He didn’t seem to mind her distraction, either too kind or too eager to please King Lotor with a show of good behavior. Allura didn’t care what his motives was, just so long as he didn’t press her to talk at the moment.
The cruiser visited not only the shopping and theater districts, but the business one as well. Allura could vaguely recall the Duke saying something about her finances being housed in one of the banking institutions here.
Soon enough they emerged from the business district, to enter the area where the middle class of the city was housed. And there was many, building upon building leaning on one another, and reaching high in the sky. Allura learned that the rich circled around the city, looking inwards from a distance. The farther they traveled, the more the apartment buildings thinned out until there was nothing but forest on either side of the cruiser.
“We’re almost there.” The Duke announced, glancing at his pocket watch. “Shouldn’t be more then two minutes before you can spot the villa.” He was true to his word, Allura spying her new home, and the gardens that surrounded it. A cobblestone pathway made up the driveway, the cruiser speeding faster down it. It only slowed to a crawl when the iron gate loomed large, the ornate metal slowly opening to admit the cruiser onto the property.
They still had some distance to travel, the pathway to the villa an impressive hike. But at last they reached it, and Allura saw a smattering of people lined up before the front doors. “Who are they?” Curiosity drove her to speak, the duke smiling.
“Ah, a few servants I’ve taken the liberty to hire for you.” The Duke explained. “They’ve been getting the house ready in preparation for you. I hope it will be to your liking, but if there’s anything you want change, just feel free to ask the servants and they will do it for you.”
“All right…” Allura said, glad that for now she wouldn’t have to worry about decorating or getting groceries. “Thank you.” She added, forcing a smile at the Duke.
“It was no problem.” The driver, Falsom came around to open the side of the cruiser, holding out his hand to Allura. She took it, allowing him to help her outside, the girl smoothing down her dress. She could smell the perfume from the gardens, the balmy breeze blowing the pollen about. Her eyes kept glancing towards the flowers, but for once even they could not lift her heart up in joy.
Instead she waited quietly for Solaran and her friends to join her, the Duke taking her arm and guiding her towards the servants he had hired. They all bowed and curtsied to her, echoing respectful greetings. Allura was just as polite, giving them leave to return to their duties. Solaran walked her and her entourage into the house, the head of the house staff following them.
“I don’t know if you’ll be up for it, but Lady Esmeralda is holding a dinner banquet tonight. It will be a great chance for you to meet some of your neighbors.”
“Thank you…but…no.” Allura said, seeing her refusal disappointed the Duke. “I really am quite tired, and would like to get settled in before attending any social events.”
“Quite all right my dear.” Solaran assured her, patting her hand. “I will be on call to help you get settled, and make your introductions into society”. Again she repeated her thanks, grateful for his offered guidance.
“Please…” He interrupted with a grin. “Call me Solaran.”
“All right…Solaran…” She said, offering a weak smile to him. “I was wondering you could recommend a lawyer to me…I…I want to make some arrangements regarding my slaves.”
“Arrangements?” He echoed, sounding confused.
“Yes. I’d like to free them.” He looked surprised at that, but held back whatever thoughts he had on such a task. “I intend to set them up as gainfully employed servants in my household.”
“That’s very generous of you.” Solaran said, with a glance towards her friends. “I’ll set up an appointment for you with my lawyers.”
“Thank you.” Allura hesitated, not wanting to be rude, but wishing he would leave so she could go to her room, wherever that may be.
“Ah, you’re tired.” The Duke said, stepping away from her. “No need to argue, I can see it in your eyes. I’ll let you be for today. Maltilda will show you around the house when you’re ready.” He was referring to the head of the house staff, the woman nodding.
“All right. Thanks again.” Allura told him, bidding him good-bye as he turned to show himself out of the house. She then turned to look at Maltilda, the woman an older human, with curly chestnut brown hair. She was smartly dressed, clothes a navy blue dress suit rather than the lighter grays of the servants outfits. “Please…I am tired. Can you please show me to my room?”
“Of course miss.” Maltilda said, and gestured for Allura to follow. She and her friends moved, walking behind Maltilda as she headed towards the staircase. Various doors were open, Allura spying opulent rooms with tasteful decorations and gorgeous furniture. If she wasn’t in so somber a mood, she would have enjoyed exploring her new surroundings. Instead she gave only a cursory glance into the rooms, more interested in following Maltilda to the second floor.
It was what had to be the biggest bedroom in the villa, Maltilda pausing on the threshold. “If the room is not to your liking, there are others we can move you to.” Allura gazed at the pale blues and lavenders of this room, seeing the curtains tied back so that the sun shone brightly across the bed spread.
“It’s fine.” She said at last, not wanting to point out that right now it would not matter where she stayed. Her room could have been a simple dungeon cell and it would have invoked the same amount of emotion from her. “Maltilda?” The woman was alert for her requests, Allura glancing at her friends. “Please…find them suitable rooms to stay in. I want them to be treated with respect….”
Maltilda pursed her lips together, as though she wanted to protest this kind of treatment towards slaves. But wisely she kept silent, saving herself from Allura’s anger, and the potential loss of her job. “All right miss.” She curtsied, then turned to Romelle and the girls from Arus, clapping her hands together. “All right girls, follow me.”
Allura didn’t pause to watch them leave, the girl entering the room. She closed the door, and walked towards the bed, falling over backwards onto it’s soft mattress. For one long instant, she just stared up at the ceiling, fighting the urge to break down. She was pleased when she didn’t cry, Allura thinking she was getting a handle on her emotions.
Her hand raised to the locket on her throat, Allura lifting it up off the chain to open it and gaze at her children. She knew it must be close to feeding time, the familiar ache in her breasts telling her that more thoroughly than any clock could. It left her wondering how they were handling the switch to bottle feeding, Allura fretting that a store bought formula wouldn’t be as nutritious as her own milk could be.
She brought the open locket to her lips, kissing the pictures there. It couldn’t make up for kissing her actual daughters, but Allura liked to hope they would somehow sense being in her thoughts. She sighed and let the locket fall back into place, continuing to stare up at the ceiling. How much time went by, she did not know, only that the sun’s rays seem to lessen in brightness.
Wondering if she should shower, Allura pushed herself up onto her elbows, body in a half seated position. She froze as she caught sight of the portrait over the fireplace, the faces smiling at her directly across from the bed. It was faces she never thought to see except in her memories, Allura knowing that all the paintings and portraits had been destroyed, the pictures burnt or otherwise ruined.
And yet here they were, her parent’s beauty restored, the canvas no longer slashed. Between them, holding their hands was a child, a little blonde girl that Allura knew to be her. Her hands lifted to her mouth, Allura gaping in astonishment. That was before the first sob trickled out of her, Allura shaking as she realized Lotor had gone to the efforts of restoring the damage painting they had seen on the view screen months ago.
Her eyes overflowed with tears, Allura overcome by Lotor’s final gift to her. She didn’t know what to make of it, not sure if it was an act of love and generosity, or one designed to make her break down further. She cried all the same, loud body wracking sobs that shook her whole body. She wasn’t even aware of falling back against the mattress, her hands covering her eyes as she sobbed her heart out. It felt like all her wounds had reopened, leaving Allura to wonder how she would ever endure the pain her choices had brought her to.