Slave 013

Doom’s arrival on Planet Pollux was met with little fanfare, the landing strip outside the castle gates looking lonely except for the five ships from Doom. It had been a struggle to get the King of Pollux to agree to this many, Lotor’s commander arguing with the king’s representatives that the prince would not set foot on Polluxian soil without a proper escort of guards.

Grudgingly, word had come back allocating five of the fleet to land, the rest forced to remain in outer space, continuing their orbit of the planet. The shield that protected Pollux was lowered only for an instant, a small time frame of ten minutes to allow Lotor and his escort to enter Pollux airspace. It had taken several hours for the ships to make their descent, Lotor spending that time with Allura.

He had been almost desperate as he had sex with her, frenzied beyond belief, and aching with need for her. Afterwards he had merely held her in his arms, stroking his fingers down her back as she lay content in his embrace. She had relaxed enough to sleep, not quite smiling as she eagerly awaited for them to reach their destination. Lotor had been most reluctant to leave her side, sending in slaves to dress her as he went to stand on the bridge.

He got his first glimpse of Pollux via the ship’s monitors, Lotor noting the many soldiers that stood to attention down on the landing strip. They held laser rifles in their hands, weapons trained on the ships though at best they could only prove a nuisance against the lazon enforced metal. The ship’s engines roared loudly, rear thrusters stirring up dust and dirt as the craft slowly lowered itself onto the tarmac.

“Haggar.” Lotor was still staring at the view screen, his hands behind his back, posture rigid as he spoke. “Are you ready?”

The old woman stepped forward, clad in a dirty wool robe, a crystal ball in hand. She lifted her head, eyes flashing a sickly yellow as she looked at him. “Yes, Prince Lotor. My spells have been prepared…it will take but a moment to unleash it’s full effect.”

“Then do it.” With that Lotor was turning, white hair whipping about from the force of his movement. He stalked forward, hardly hurried as he listened to the engines start to quiet down till they were only a soft hum echoing throughout the ship.

He wouldn’t be exiting the ship just yet, first the soldiers would leave, alert to any potential threat against Doom and the prince. If nothing presented itself, Lotor’s personal guards would be the next to descend down the ramp. Then would come the first of Lotor’s servants, carrying a selection of food and fine wine that had beensampled by the prince’s personal meal tester. Lotor wasn’t about to trust any of the food on Planet Pollux, quick to be suspicious of any poison attempts.

Finally, the prince himself would emerge, surrounded by harem girls. The pretty slaves had been brought with him, ten in all excluding Allura. He had them dressed in their finest outfits, scraps of silk and satin, a multitude of colors that would leave him surrounded by a living rainbow.

Already his entourage was gathered by the ramp, staying just out of sight as the soldiers prepared to march off the ship. Lotor turned from them, eyes seeking out Allura’s, finding the girl standing off to the side. She wore a long white cloak, a soft velvet material that had bold splashes of red on the bottom fringe. Right now it hung straight down around her body, covering her completely. Her hair was swept up in an elegant bun, a few curls escaping it, to frame the sides of her face.

She looked excited, body seeming to bounce in place as she waited for her chance to exit the ship. Lotor stepped towards her, speaking her name softly. She blinked at him, a question in her eyes as he reached for her shoulders. “Allura…you are to do exactly as I say. Do you understand?” She just looked at him, eyes showing she did not catch on to the meaning of his words, Lotor sighing.

“Just stay close to me.” Lotor told her, his hands reaching for the hood of her cloak. He pulled it over her hair, leaving her face to be cast in shadows. She would be unrecognizable so long as the hood remained in place, Lotor reaching for her hand. He laced his fingers with hers, large hand dwarfing her much smaller one, and led her closer to the ship’s exit.

It was now open completely, the soldiers’ feet echoing as they walked down the metal ramp. No gunfire was heard, nor was there any cheers of acknowledgment, or hateful booing. The soldiers of Pollux were quiet, standing like statues as they watched the Doom soldiers spread out around the ship.

Lotor watched the next wave of soldiers exit the ship, his free hand on the sword by his side. Both he and Avok had agreed to come to the meeting armed, Lotor feeling better to have his favorite sword by his side. He wouldn’t mind cutting the throats of some of the Polluxians, wondering if their blood really was blue like the tales told.

He had been studying up on Pollux, learning of the key political figures that governed the planet. Aside from Avok, there was one other son in line for the throne should something happen to the young king. The next in line was still just a boy, barely twelve years of age. There was also a sister, a princess Romelle who was inconsequential. She held no power, even if the young prince was to die, the throne would not fall to her but a distant cousin.

It was strange, but Lotor learned that Arus and Pollux had a past history together, the two royal families able to trace their blood back to a single ancestor they both shared. Brothers who had had a falling out, one being vanquished to planet Pollux. The other had remained on Arus, and it was from his blood line that Allura’s family descended. The brother who had ended up on Pollux had fought his way to gaining a crown for himself, wresting control of the planet from it’s previous rulers. It was King Avok and his family that traced their ancestry to that brother, rendering them cousins to Allura.

Lotor found it strange that the Polluxian King was willing to practice incest, a concept that was distasteful to the Drules. The mixing of so closely related blood tended to weaken a family’s line, promoting mental and physical ailments. Now they were willing to turn a blind eye, King Zarkon eager for the lazon King Avok offered them. Lotor knew Doom needed access to Pollux’s lazon mines, and yet his lips curled into a sneer, Lotor angry over the terms of the bargain between the two planets.

He was still snarling silently to himself when the servants finished their exit from the ship. Lotor forced himself to take a calming breath, composing his expression to be devoid of his emotions. He stepped forward, harem girls surrounding him, the lower halves of their faces veiled. Only their eyes showed, the women looking around in wide eyed interest.

“Come.” Lotor said pulling Allura behind him. Nervous giggles came from the slave girls, the circle of women moving, huddling close around Lotor and Allura. It made for awkward walking, but they managed to get down the ramp without anyone falling down.

A man was waiting impatiently for them, Lotor recognizing him as the representative of Avok’s. There was no one else to greet Lotor, the prince inwardly seething at the insult. At the very least they could have sent the princess to welcome him to their miserable planet.

“Be quiet.” Lotor told Allura, feeling her tense up besides him as she recognized the man waiting to greet them.

“Prince Lotor, your highness.” The man with his pale skin, and rust colored hair dropped into a bow, hand sweeping out before him in an embellished flourish. “Pollux bids you welcome, as does her King, the mighty lord Avok.”

“Greetings representative.” Lotor said, pretending he could not be bothered to remember this man’s name. “Tell me, is the weather always so dismal here on planet Pollux?”

“Alas you have come during the season of rain.” The representative said. “I do apologize, but there is little we can do about the overcast of clouds.”

“Hmph.” Lotor said, having barely spared a glance at the storm cloud filled sky. “Where is your King? Why is he not out here to greet me himself?”

“Forgive me your highness.” The representative bowed again, clasping his hands together as though in prayer. “My lord and master is currently busy with affairs of state. But if there is anything you require, I will be happy to assist you while you wait.”

“I take care of my own needs.” Lotor said, referring to the goods brought by his servants. He barely reacted when thunder boomed, signaling the approach of a storm. “Now, can we please get inside before the sky opens up over our heads?”

“But of course.” Agreed the man, turning his back to Lotor. A gesture from him had the Polluxian soldiers clearing a path to the castle gates, Lotor’s escort moving to follow him. Lotor looked up at one of the towers that lined either side of the gate, catching sight of blonde hair, a woman’s face peering worriedly out a shadowy window. She pulled back as she noticed his attention on her, crushing the curtains closed in the process.

Lotor smirked, somewhat amused by the fear displayed by the woman, listening to the gate as it lifted. Again that cautious procession, Doom soldiers going first to scout out the courtyard of the castle. Lotor heard the thunder crash again, the storm drawing nearer, lightning appearing in the sky.

The representative was standing by a huge archway, waving for Lotor and his escort to approach. The prince felt the first drops of rain hit his shoulders, little plops echoing off his helmet an instant before he stepped into the castle.

“A room has been prepared for the exchange.” The representative said, trying to get as close to Lotor as possible. The crush of female bodies around him, prevented the man from accomplishing that goal, Lotor looking coldly at him.

“I do hope your King doesn’t intend to keep me waiting long.” Lotor said, an unvoiced threat hanging between them. “My time is valuable, and it could be put to much better uses than waiting around.”

“Ah King Avok understands this, his time is also valuable. He will not keep you waiting long.” The man said, leading them towards a staircase. It was narrow, forcing Lotor’s harem slaves to line up single file, five before him, and five behind him. They hurried up the stairs, reaching the second floor, and here they were ushered into a large room.

“I’m afraid some of your soldiers will have to remain outside.” The man was apologetic, bowing and scraping before Lotor. “King Avok will have his own escort, and there simply won’t be room for both yours and his.”

“Of course.” Lotor said, a gesture from him signaling all but his personal guards to exit the room. His servants were setting up a small feast on the table in the center of the room, laying out fine silverware and expensive porcelain plates. A chair made of dark mahogany sat at the head of the table, positioned to view the door. Lotor marched over to the chair, settling himself onto it’s cushioned seat. He actually hooked a leg over the arm rest, making himself as relaxed as he could manage under the circumstances.

“I’ll go alert the king to your arrival.” The representative bowed again, then turned to hurry out the room. Lotor rolled his eyes at his exit, knowing Avok could not have missed the sounds of the ships’ arrival.

At a nod from Lotor, Allura sat herself down to the right of him, head lowered as she stared at the table. She started to move to remove her hood, but Lotor spoke up, preventing her from completing the gesture. “Leave it.” Her head turned in his direction, but he couldn’t see her face, wondering what sort of expression she showed him.

His people were taking up positions all over the room, busy with tasks they had been previously appointed with. A harem girl took up the spot to the left of him, large palm frond fan in hand as she began gently waving it in Lotor’s direction. The breeze was a welcome relief in an otherwise stifling hot room, Lotor enjoying the cool air on his skin.

Two of the harem girls busied themselves with tending to the food laid out before him., one reaching for the jug of wine and a goblet, the other slicing meats to pile onto a platter for Prince Lotor. These two were dressed in green and purple, a blonde and the only raven haired slave he had in his harem. Two more came to kneel at his feet, a red haired slave dressed in silver, and a blonde that was dressed in gold.

The remaining harem slaves set about to posing around him, draping themselves onto pillows, taking up seductive positions. It was a calculated move, their poses arranged to artfully display their bodies in an attempt to capture the attention of Avok’s men. They were a delightful distraction, one Lotor was sure would work.

His own men were long used to seeing the scantily clad harem slaves, and though they were not immune to their charms, they were able to ignore them. The guards were spread out through the room, the majority of them staying against the wall behind Lotor’s seat. They eyed the room’s only entrance, prepared for any event, their hands by their sides so as to be able to draw their weapons at a moment’s notice.

The servants were standing off in the shadowy corners of the room, trying to be unobtrusive and unnoticed. Only one remained in sight, a minstrel dressed in dark blue. She had a small lute clutched in her hands, her manicured nails plucking at the strings. It was a merry tune she played, a happy song that was a direct contrast to Lotor’s foul mood.

His temper increased in intensity as the minutes ticked by, a slow torturous crawl of time that spread into an hour or more and still no sign of Avok. For someone that had been so eager for Allura, he sure was taking his sweet time coming to claim her. It made him angry, Lotor chewing viciously on the meat, his agitation apparent. It made the servants shift, uncomfortable with the tension in the air. They could read the signs, and knew Lotor was in what they deemed a head rolling mood. Their innocent necks could very well be on the line if the prince were to lose his temper.

Finally when it seemed Lotor had had enough, the doors to the room opened, the representative having returned. “If I may have the honor of presenting to you, King Avok and the Prince Bandor of Pollux.” He lowered himself into a bow, soldiers walking past him into the room. They took up positions on the wall closest to the door, keeping their eyes trained on Lotor and his men.

Lotor himself remained seated, shunning the young king and his brother, as the man and boy strode into the room. Allura looked up, and made a sound, a small ah of recognition. She started to stand, and Lotor reached out to touch her shoulder. The pressure from his hand forced her to remain seated, Allura turning to look at him. He gave a curt shake of his head, a gesture of refusal that had her sagging in her seat.

Hand still on Allura’s shoulder, Lotor studied the new arrivals. King Avok was dressed in white, with a purple cape that flowed down to the floor and dragged several feet behind him. His hair was a reddish brown, and gold medals decorated his chest. The young prince at his side, bore a slight resemblance to the king, with his hair in curls, and freckles spread across his face. The boy was dressed in some kind of light blue tunic, Lotor at first mistaking his outfit for a dress!

“Prince Lotor of Planet Doom.” Continued the representative, gesturing towards Lotor. King Avok turned from his study of the room, his attention now on Lotor. Lotor caught the slight narrowing of his eyes, the young king annoyed with Lotor’s lack of respect.

“Your highness.” Avok said, choosing to return the blatant disregard Lotor showed him, by refusing to bow before the prince. Avok’s hand landed on Bandor’s shoulder, stopping him from bowing as well. “It is good you could join us. And so quickly.”

“Pity I can’t say the same about you.” Lotor retorted, fingers flicking at an imaginary speck of dust on his knee. His eyes flashed with incensed anger when he spoke his next sentence. “You’ve kept me waiting for over an hour your highness!”

“A thousand apologies.” King Avok said, moving towards the table. The representative hurried to pull out the chair, Avok sitting down without a glance at the man. “Someday when you are king, you will understand the responsibilities of the court, and all that entails.”

Lotor bristled, annoyed at Avok’s implication. “As prince I have plenty of duties, living to serve the court. Your delay has cost me time away from other projects I could have been tending to.”

“Ah forgive me….on both accounts.” Avok said, offering a thinned lip smile. “I’m sure you have plenty of other planets you must see to, I won’t keep you long.” Avok paused, now looking over the women Lotor had brought with him. “Tell me? Where is Allura?”

His hand kept it’s pressure on her shoulder, fingers digging into her skin in warning, Allura silent at the mention of her name. She had little hope of following the conversation, Avok speaking in halting but adequate Drule.

“All in good time your highness.” Lotor answered, maintaining eye contact with Avok. “But first…I demand a gesture of good faith on your part.”

“Of course.” Avok nodded. “You want the lazon. My servants are already prepared to load the shipment onto your vessels. The first of many I can assure you.”

“Words alone are not insurance enough.” Lotor replied, and waved two fingers in the air. A servant stepped out of the shadows, a sheaf of papers in his hand. “Doom has taken the time to prepare legal documents, detailing our exchange. You’ll just have to sign your name as guarantee that Pollux will continue to honor the conditions of our deal.”

“Very well.” Avok said, the papers being slid across the table to him. “You of course, won’t mind if I look them over first.” A smile then, polite humor in his dark eyes. “Doom does have a reputation for trickery after all.”

“A reputation well earned.” Lotor laughed, and gave a negligent nod of his head. “Take all the time you need. I am sure you won’t find anything amiss with those papers.”

Avok nodded, and turned over the cover sheet, his eyes scanning the papers. Lotor selected a piece of meat from the platter the green clad harem slave held before him, chewing quietly on the tender steak. He turned his attention from Avok, to glance at the boy standing beside him. Bandor was slack jawed, his eyes practically popping out of his head as he ogled the scantily clad harem slaves. The women were practically naked, giving the boy more than just an eyeful. If Bandor had yet to show an interest in women, he would do so after this day.

Minutes went by, and at last Avok nodded. “All seems to be in order. I will sign your papers.”

“Then do so.” Lotor said, lowering his leg so he sat up normally. He leaned forward in his seat, eyes intent on Avok’s hand. The pen was steady in his grip, Avok confidant as he signed his signature to the document. He handed it to his representative, the man approaching Lotor to hand over the document. The prince took it from him, sparing a glance to make sure Avok had really signed his name down on the papers.

“And now, Allura?” Avok asked, meeting Lotor’s gaze. “Is she still on your ship?”

“Oh no.” A faint smile from Lotor, his hand landed on top of the Allura’s head. “She’s very close at hand.”

“Where? Where is she?” Avok said, the first hint of impatience in his tone.

Two things happened at once, Lotor speaking to Allura. “Stand up my dear.” He tugged on her hood, causing it to fall back and reveal Allura’s face to the room. Lotor heard a sharp inhale of breath, Avok rising to stand.

“Allura!”

“Avok!” Allura actually smiled at him, Lotor gritting his teeth as he felt a red hot flare of jealousy spike through him. Allura had never smiled at him in that manner, indeed she had never looked at him with such tenderness, not even in the midst of lovemaking.

“Allura, come here.” Avok switched to Arusian, his accent making the words sound harsh to Lotor’s ears. The king waved at the princess to approach him, an urgent stream of words accompanying his actions.

Allura hesitated but a moment, turning to glance at Lotor. He forced himself to nod, eyes terrible as they reflected the angry jealousy he felt. Allura seemed to cringe back from the look on his face, spinning about to take a hurried step in Avok’s direction. The King had his arms spread out, waiting for Allura to fling herself in his embrace. Lotor stood up, watching her cross the distance, Avok quickly enfolded her in his embrace.

He kept up a constant stream of her language, surely whispering soothing entreaties in her ear. Avok actually closed his eyes, rubbing his chin against the top of her head, his actions messing her hair. Allura seemed to tremble, and with a voice that held a tremulous note to it, began speaking to Avok, Lotor wondering what she was telling the king.

Lotor watched the sickening sweet reunion with growing rage, eyes narrowed as the pair pulled back to look into each other’s eyes. Avok began smoothing back the curls that kissed Allura’s cheeks, Lotor damning him for each and every touch. Avok was all eyes for Allura, content to ignore everyone in the room as he spoke to her. The representative sidled up to Lotor’s side, coughing to get the prince’s attention.

Lotor barely glanced at him, eyes boring into Allura’s back. The man shrugged and began speaking. “As this concludes our business with Doom, I shall escort you from the castle grounds immediately. We have no……” His words were cut off with a sudden choked out gasp of pain, everyone looking up at his moan. Allura’s eyes went wide, staring at the representative who’s eyes bulged out in disbelief.

A glance downward revealed Lotor’s sword in the man’s chest, the blade pushing all the way through to come out his back. Grim satisfaction in his eyes, Lotor gave a jerk on his sword’s handle, a spray of blood arcing forward to drench the table as the sword was removed.

The representative was still making that horrible gurgling sound, dropping to his knees as he clutched at his wound. He went pale from blood loss, toppling face down on the floor. The instant he hit the ground, it spurred everyone into action, Avok drawing Allura behind him, his men and Lotor’s guards each drawing their weapons at the same time. Neither side had been allowed blasters, the men pulling lazon swords from their belts.

“What is the meaning of this?!” roared Avok, his own hand hovering over the sword at his side. Lotor considered him for a moment, noticing the furious way the king glared at him, and the look of absolute terror in Allura’s eyes. Slowly Lotor smiled, raising his blood stained sword.

“I’ve changed my mind.”

His words spurred Avok to draw his sword, the man wearing a sneer as he bit out an angry retort. “You can’t change your mind this late in the game!”

“Oh but I can!” Lotor laughed, stepping around the table, his sword humming in the air. The lazon was electric blue steel, a bright glow of color that coated the entire length of the blade. “I’m taking it all. The girl, the lazon, and the planet.”

“You would betray me?!” Avok demanded, a low growl escaping him at Lotor’s retort.

“In a heartbeat!”

“You have no heart fiend!” Avok raised his sword, end pointed in Lotor’s direction. It was all the motivation the soldiers need, the men from Pollux rushing to swarm past the royals. Allura huddled behind Avok, the king staring at Lotor as Doom soldiers surged forward to clash their swords together with Polluxian lazon. Battle cries were issued, loud challenges that alerted the soldiers outside the room that fighting had broken out.

The Doom soldiers moved to prevent the men from Pollux rushing to Avok’s aid. Fierce fighting began both in and out of the room, Lotor and Avok standing ignored by the soldiers. Lotor kept a confidant smirk on his face, but inwardly he was impatient. “Any time now witch.” He muttred to himself.

The Drules were twice as strong as the humans, but Avok’s muscled guards were no slouches when it came to skill with the swords. It seemed the two sides were pretty evenly matched, the battle could go either way.

He was just beginning to think the witch had failed him when it happened, the Polluxian’s getting a nasty surprise as the witch Haggar’s magic activated. She had coated the blades used by the swordsmen of Doom with her power. It was metal reinforced by magic that clashed against lazon, shorting out the metal’s electric properties, rendering it nothing more than a simple steel sword.

Steel that could not stand up against active lazon, swords being broken in half as they did battle. King Avok’s men were forced to retreat, desperate to save their own lives. The soldiers from Doom pursued them, stabbing lazon tips into their backs, searing internal organs with lazon infused metal. Inside the room, it was a veritable blood bath, the screams of the dying echoing around them as Lotor stepped around the table.

King Avok was left untouched, no one save Lotor approaching him, a smile on his face. Avok held his arm bent before his chest, taking up a defensive stance though he had to know it was pointless to match his sword against the prince’s. Lotor considered him for a moment, then barked out a command. “Someone give me a spare sword.” A soldier approached, the Drule looking uncertain as he handed over his sword to prince Lotor.

“Never let it say I am not a fair man.” Lotor offered the sword to Avok, the man snatching it out of the prince’s grip.

“This was very foolish of you Prince Lotor.” Avok said, twirling the blade in complex patterns before his chest. “It’ll be the last mistake you’ll ever make.” He stepped away from Allura, still doing those complicated twirls, trying to intimidate Lotor with the ease in which he maneuvered the sword.

“We shall see.” Lotor said, and nodded. “En guarde!” The two crossed swords, sparks being kicked up from the brief touching of lazon to lazon. The men stepped back from each other, eyes wary as they began circling around each other. Nothing in their expressions gave away their intentions, each one looking for an opening to strike. Lotor tested the waters by feinting forward, Avok quickly bringing up his sword to defend himself.

A tap of their blades, a hiss of the lazon, Lotor stepping back. They kept on a constant move, trying to read each other’s body language. Lotor stepped forward, another feint, this time aimed at Avok’s belly. The man blocked him, Lotor rebounding off his sword, spinning in place. His arm was brought up high, Lotor thrusting the point of his blade at Avok’s face.

Avok hastily brought up his sword, causing Lotor’s to go off target. And yet reddish brown hair fell to the carpet, the closeness of Lotor’s blade singing off a few strands of Avok’s hair. Avok’s face went pale, the man taken aback by the close call he had just had. But there was no time to reflect on what ifs, Lotor roaring out a challenge, his sword arm swinging.

A shower of sparks cascaded down from the crossed blades, Avok grabbing Lotor’s wrist. The prince of Doom mimicked his move, his strength greater than Avok’s They were locked in battle, arms entangled as they moved about, one instant Avok pushing Lotor back, the next Lotor forcing Avok to take a step back. They seemed to do this for an eternity, though the shoving lasted only a few seconds.

Lotor grinned, a merciless look in his eyes as he shoved Avok against the table, bending him backwards across it’s edge. Avok struggled briefly, then let go of Lotor’s wrist, free hand grabbing a handful of some mushy white substance. With a shout, he threw the soft food stuff in Lotor’s face, the prince letting out a cry as he was blinded. Avok kicked out with his legs, knocking Lotor off him.

A few of Lotor’s guard started to turn, ready to leap to their prince’s defense. Lotor straightened, the back of his arm rubbing across his eyes, removing the food from his face with his sleeve. “Don’t interfere!” Lotor ordered, and at his command the guards fell back.

“An effective but desperate move.” Lotor told Avok, shaking the last of the white substance from his fingers. “But it will do you little good.”

“We shall see.” Avok said, and this time he charged Lotor, a scream on his lips. He stabbed his sword forward, forcing Lotor to go on the defensive, the prince parrying Avok’s thrusts. Their arms were a blur of movement, lazon blurring about.

A block from Lotor, bringing his full strength to bear down on Avok’s sword. The King was forced to grip his sword with both hands, sweat appearing on the side of his face as he fought to not be knocked off his feet.

The muscles in Lotor’s arms bulged, Lotor calling on his Drule strength, and with a twist, sent the sword flying from Avok’s grip. The King let out a cry, “No!”, gaping in shock at being disarmed.

A smirk on his face, Lotor kicked out with his legs, sweeping Avok off his feet. The King fell to his knees, hands limp by his side. But his eyes were defiant, staring boldly up at Prince Lotor.

“I was a fool to ever put my trust in Doom.” Avok said, his words making Lotor laugh.

“You were a fool, but not because you trusted Doom.” He pressed the tip of his sword against Avok’s throat, the blade slicing into the cravat around his neck. “Risking it all for a woman….that is what truly makes you foolish.” Lotor pushed down on his sword, seeing a trickle of blood run down Avok’s throat. “How does it feel to know love has cost you everything? Your planet, your people….your life?!”

“I regret nothing.” Avok retorted, and Lotor quirked an eyebrow.

“Oh really? Is she really worth that much to you?”

“I love her.” Avok said simply, and Lotor snorted.

“Love?! Love is for the weak….the powerless. Men in our position cannot afford to give in to such a damaging emotion.”

“Then I pity you.” Avok told him.

“Really? It is not I who is at the end of a sword!” Lotor pointed out, a humorless grin on his face.

“One day you too will know love, and what it is like to risk everything for that love.” Avok actually smirked. “For a man such as yourself, you will fall harder than most….and I pray that you suffer the same fate as I.”

“Then go and give your prayers directly to your God!” Lotor said, and stabbed forward with his sword. Avok’s eyes went glassy, the light fading from them as he made a gurgling sound. He couldn’t quite manage a scream, his vocal cords being severed by the lazon. Allura managed it for him, a high pitched shriek that hurt the ears of all who heard her.

Lotor pulled back his sword, blood spraying the front of his body, even as he swung his arm, severing Avok’s head from his neck. Allura screamed again, flinging herself at Lotor’s back. Lotor thrust his sword into it’s sheathe, feeling her fists beat against his back as she ranted and wailed in her language at him. He let her land two more solid thumps before he turned, catching sight of her tear streaked face.

“Allura! Stop!” He ordered, grabbing at her wrists. She screamed like a wounded animal, trying to pull back from him, jerking hard against his grip. Allura continued to scream, eyes flashing with grief as she fought him. Lotor held back a sigh, and let go of her hands, the girl immediately resuming beating his chest with them. He wrapped his arms around her in a hug, conscious of everyone watching them, Lotor pressing Allura against his chest.

Her screams were muffled somewhat, her fists still smacking against him. She shook with rage and fear, and Lotor let out a soft croon, trying to calm her down. His one hand ended up stroking along her back, rubbing in soothing circles. Higher and higher it went, until it was on the back of her neck, fingers searching out a spot between shoulder and neck. A pinch of her nerves had her relaxing, Allura slumping forward, her body already sagging like a sack of potatoes.


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