His bad mood continued, the new day doing little to ease the anger and sexual frustration he felt. It left him growling, grumbling curses under his breath as he stalked through the castle halls, servants and soldiers scurrying out of his way. All who took one look at the prince could see the mood he was in, knowing Lotor was this close to erupting into violence at the slightest provocation.
It was a mood that would translate well on the battlefield, Lotor wishing he had opponents he could actually fight. He’d welcome the chance for an attack by one of Merla’s assassins, eager to vent his fury with his sword. He could think of nothing more satisfying than plunging his weapon into a body, his fingers itching to grasp the hilt of his sword.
If he actually slowed down to think beyond his bloodthirsty hunger, Lotor knew he would realize his anger was aimed at himself. Anger over foolish choices and missed opportunities, Lotor knowing he had no one to blame for his current frustration except himself. Allura after all hadn’t invited him to her bed, she hadn’t given him any mixed signals that hinted at acceptance.
Indeed she had been quite vocal in her protests, Lotor choosing to ignore them for his own selfish desires. Those desires were raging out of control, grown worse by the near miss he had experienced the night before. To be so close to her, to practically be buried inside her burned, Lotor’s teeth grinding together as he thought of how he had forced himself to stop.
Haggar had been right about one thing, Lotor thought, slamming open the door to his office. Allura did need him, her mind unsettled by the recent things she had learned and seen. She craved a comforting touch, and he had bungled things by approaching her with sex on the brain. Lotor wondered if he’d ever be able to be all that she needed, or if he could only limit their relationship to bodily desires.
Lips a thin line of disapproval, Lotor stalked over to his desk, wrenching back the chair so violently it nearly toppled backwards. He had barely righted it when he dropped down on it’s cushioned seat, Lotor angrily grabbing hold of a pile of papers. He barely saw the writing, too busy flashing back to scenes of last night, trying desperately not to think of how Allura looked the instant before she started crying.
The papers he held in his crushing grip spoke on black lion, his Generals back on Arus eager to announce they had narrowed down the candidates to two people. Surprisingly it was a man and a woman, each seeming to be of equal skill and talent when it came to piloting the lion. The final decision was down to Lotor, everyone eagerly waiting for him to sign off on who would be the chosen one.
Lotor tried to concentrate on the words, reading carefully on the two candidates tests. The woman pilot appeared to be a daredevil of sorts, pushing black lion to it’s top most speeds, performing grand feats of evasion. The male pilot was a more cautious flyer, black lion slowing down in his hands, but seeming to score more hits on enemy craft than the woman did.
Lotor was left to wonder just what attributes would be better in the war. Evasion or attacking. Evasion would come in handy in avoiding Merla’s beam weapon, but it wouldn’t mean anything if they couldn’t get their hits to land on it. Lotor knew that it would anger his father to put a woman in charge of the lions, and that alone tempted him to pick the female candidate.
Ultimately, after an hour’s review of the film tests of both candidates run, Lotor came to a decision. The man would be the main pilot of black lion, the woman being put on a stand by as a back up pilot should anything happen to Lotor’s first choice.
He was just signing off on the papers, pen scratching out his signature when a knock sounded at his door. “Enter.” Lotor called out, barely looking up from his desk. The door opened, and Commander Cossack entered, Lotor sensing his eyes on him. When he looked up from the paper, he saw Cossak studying him, a look of concentration in his eyes.
“What?” Lotor demanded with a growl, and Cossak raised his eyebrows.
“I just thought you looked calmer than the palace gossips were claiming….” The Drule answered, approaching one of the seats before Lotor’s desk. “It’s been the talk of the castle, your bad mood.”
Lotor was silent, watching as Cossack flipped the chair around, so that he straddled it’s back from behind. The commander’s hands rested on the top, Cossack looking quite at ease in his current position. “Things didn’t go so well with Allura?” The commander wanted to know, seeming oblivious to the way his questions were causing Lotor’s anger to mount. “Or did something else happen that I’m not aware of?”
“What else could it be?” Lotor at last asked, and Cossack shrugged.
“I dunno…Thought maybe you had a run in with your father.”
“Nothing quite so unpleasant.” Lotor retorted, reaching over to turn on the transmitter on his desk. It beeped and whirred into activity, Lotor waiting for the lights’ flickers to calm down before holding the paper over it’s flat head. It set about to scanning the document with Lotor’s signature on it, the prince then being able to send it to his computer.
Cossack was quiet as he did this, waiting patiently for Lotor to speak. The prince busied himself with typing out the transmitter codes to the Carnage, wanting his decision to be made known to all on Arus. “The final lion’s pilot has been chosen.” Lotor said to break up the silence in the room.
“That’s nice.” Cossak replied, though he didn’t display his normal enthusiasm. “This means they’ll be leaving for Doom today, right?”
“Yes…with the lions speed they should be here in the next two days.” Lotor answered, reaching for another batch of paperwork. He busied himself shuffling through the documents, trying to see what was most important for him to read.
“You think Allura will have the symbols deciphered in time?” Cossack asked, Lotor sighing in response.
“I don’t know…”
“It would be nice to have that robot of theirs do the fighting for us…” Cossack added, tone wistful. “I’m looking forward to seeing it go up against Merla’s weapon.” Lotor just nodded, not attempting to hide his frown as he read a note from his father. “I bet Allura will be excited to see Voltron too.”
“Yeah…” Lotor glared at the words of his father, the King practically throwing a fit over how long it was taking the war to be over with.
“So what did happen between you two last night?” Lotor looked up from the note, his glare now aimed at his commander for his nosey question.
“What makes you think anything happened?” His tone was mild, Lotor staring at Cossak, eyes daring the commander to continue with this line of questioning.
“Come on it’s obvious!” Cossak exclaimed, hand gesturing at the air. “You were fine until you went to see her. Don’t try to pretend it’s otherwise.”
“There was some…..difficulties.” Lotor reluctantly admitted, seeing Cossack give an excited nod of his head. “But that’s all they were.”
“What kind of difficulties?” Cossack pried, and Lotor’s glare deepened. “Hey. I’m just asking out of concern for you and Allura. I want you two to be happy!”
“Sometimes I wonder if we can be…” Cossack looked surprised at Lotor’s words, the Drule tone growing more concerned.
“Of course you can….you just gotta put in a little effort to make the relationship work.”
“Tell me Cossack…have you ever been in a relationship?” A curious Lotor asked.
“I get around.” Cossak answered proudly, a grin on his face.
“I’ll take that as a no.” Lotor said, tone dry.
“Hey I’ll have you know plenty of ladies would like to get with me!” Cossack protested, voice an angry snap that showed he took offense to Lotor’s words. It seemed the commander’s ire amused Lotor, the prince risking a smile as he held up his hands, trying to calm Cossack down. “In any case…it’s different between you and Allura….”
“Yeah.” A displeased hiss escaped Lotor, the prince trying not to sigh. “I’m always misreading things between us.” He added, wondering if he could confess his shame to Cossack. “Like last night…” Cossack was all ears, leaning forward in his seat to watch the prince eagerly. “I…I almost…forced myself on her when she wasn’t in a receptive mood.”
“Well…that’s your prerogative to do.” Cossack said, tone guarded. “But…she’s not a slave anymore…her opinions, her wants and needs matter too now.” He shook his head, making a tsking sound with his teeth. “You have to take those things into consideration if you want to keep her with you long term.”
“It’s so hard though!” Lotor groaned, slamming a fist on his desk. A pile of paper fell over, stray documents slipping off the edge of the desk and onto the floor. “I feel like I’m going to go out of my mind with wanting her!”
“See, now that’s why you should be making regular visits to your harem.” Cossack replied, tone matter of fact. “To get rid of that pent up tension.”
“She won’t like me if I go to another woman!” Lotor protested, lowering his head into his hands. “Humans, especially their women are very clear on this. They like their mates to be dedicated to them and them alone.”
“Damn…that’s rough…” Cossack’s tone was sympathetic, the Drule frowning. “How are you going to make it through these next seven months without a little stress relief on the side?”
“I don’t know.” Grumbled Lotor, his bad mood returning in an instant at the thought of being without Allura for all those months. “Something’s going to give….and I’m afraid it’ll be me!”
Cossack was quiet, his face showing his intense concentration as he thought on the problem at hand. Lotor began straightening up the papers on his desk, his movents agitated. “You know…” The commander began, voice lowering to a whisper as though he was paranoid someone else would hear. “There are ways to get around this problem with Allura…”
Lotor glanced at him, eager for any suggestions. “What do you mean?”
“Well, I mean there are potions and pills….the kind that put a girl in the mood…Guaranteed.” Cossack grinned, leaning forward to the point his chair started to tip over. “They’re not easily available, but to a man of your status, you’d be able to get them…”
“You want me to drug Allura?” Lotor stared at him, and Cossack shifted, uncomfortable with the look the prince was giving him.
“Drug is such a harsh word….call it a little helping hand to make the relationship move in the direction you want it to.”
“I’m suddenly getting an idea just why you are so “popular” with the ladies, commander.” Lotor muttered, shaking his head no. “I can’t drug her…I won’t…I…I don’t want her love to be manufactured by some chemicals.”
“It was just a suggestion….” Cossack retorted. “No harm, no foul.”
“I appreciate your concern, but….no. That’s not the route I want to go down. Although…” Lotor trailed off, inwardly mulling over the idea.
“Although?” prodded Cossack, and Lotor smirked.
“Perhaps some outside stimuli would work towards garnering Allura’s interest in me…”
“You have an idea?” Cossack asked, and Lotor shook his head.
“Not yet….but if I have some time to think on it, maybe…” Lotor shrugged, then leaned back in his chair. “I haven’t had the chance to properly devote my time and my thoughts towards ways to win Allura’s love. Haggar is right, this blasted war is taking my attention away from the girl.”
“But you’re fighting so you two can have a safe and secure future!” pointed out Cossack.
“A future we won’t have if Merla wins this war.” Lotor replied, picking up the remote that controlled his office’s view screen. A tap of his fingers against the buttons had the view screen lower, it’s channel already tuned to the battle taking place in Doom’s air space. The remaining forces of planet Doom had dwindled down to almost nothing, Merla’s armada moving slowly but surely closer to the planet.
“Look at this…” Lotor said, tone disgusted. “She’ll be landing her forces on Doom by the time evening draws near. The reinforcements from Veneg weren’t enough….”
Cossack scowled, tone angry. “Just where are the rests of our reinforcements? Shouldn’t the armada from Mindigula have arrived by now?”
“Not yet…With any luck they’ll be here in time to trap Merla’s forces on the planet. She may be cutting off our supply routes, but once our back ups arrive, her people won’t be able to get the food and weapons they need for a long siege. The advantage will be back in our hands.” That thought made Lotor smile, the prince grinning from ear to ear.
“And of course, the lions will soon arrive as well.” Cossack added, mirroring Lotor’s smirk. “We should be able to devastate her ground forces with them and our robeasts.”
“That is my hope.” Lotor said, then rose from his seat. Cossack immediately sprang up, ready to follow Lotor where ever the prince was headed. “I think it’s time to check in on Allura. Perhaps she’s closer to a break through on those symbols.”
“Right, let’s go.” Cossack was already moving towards the office’s door, pulling it open for his prince. Lotor swept past him and out into the hall, Cossack following on his heels. “What do you think the key is to forming Voltron?”
“I haven’t the slightest clue.” Lotor admitted as they walked the halls of the castle. “For that matter, I am curious to see how those ships fit together to form one robot. I’m having a hard time imagining how they could possible make a larger robot.”
“I wonder what Voltron will look like…” Cossak said musingly. “Do you think it’ll be another lion? Even bigger than black lion?”
“Maybe. Who knows.” Lotor shrugged. “It should be very powerful though. It will after all hold the combined powers of all five lions.”
“Your father’s witch will be dying for a chance to study it’s magic.” Cossack pointed out with a laugh. “Remember how eager she was to go to Arus to see the lions up close?”
“I’m sure Cortana’s incessant bitching about her missed chance to do just that has driven my father nuts.” Lotor smiled at the thought, liking the fact that someone other than him could dare upset his father.
“No kidding!” laughed Cossack, and they turned the corner that led into the hall outside Lotor and Allura’s bedrooms. The guards there looked nervous to see Lotor, dropping into hasty bows as he walked past them. In a better mood, Lotor nodded his acknowledgment to them, and approached Allura’s apartment door.
She was quick to answer when he knocked, bading her guests to come in. Lotor and Cossack walked into the room, and found her kneeling on the floor, a frown on her face as she stared at the pictures. “What’s wrong?” Lotor asked, noting her skin was paler than normal.
Allura glanced up at him, and he could see she was disturbed by how troubled her eyes were. “It’s….it’s nothing…” She started to deny, and quickly looked away from Lotor’s piercing gaze.
“Now Allura, don’t tell us there’s nothing wrong.” Cossack began, tone kind. “Anyone can see that something is troubling you. Is it the symbols? Are they proving too difficult for you to decipher?”
“If only that was the case….” Allura murmured, voice almost too soft to hear.
“Is it Voltron?” Lotor asked, walking towards her, noticing the way she seemed to shrink back at his approach. “Is it you can’t figure out what we need to do to form it…?”
“No….no that’s not the problem….” Allura said faintly, letting Lotor take hold of her hand. He pulled her to a standing position, Allura clutching the note pad to her chest.
“Then what is? What have you discovered?” Lotor demanded, and she lowered her face, eyes staring at the floor. “Alllura…” He put his hands on either side of her face, forcing her to look at him. “Tell me…” It wasn’t his usual commanding tone, but an urgent plea to get her to open up to him. He was amazed when her eyes started to tear up, Allura stuttering out an answer.
“I know what is required to form Voltron…”
“What?” Lotor and Cossack both said, the prince noting Allura’s body had started to tremble violently.
“Blood…” She whispered, jerking free of Lotor’s grip. “Blood of an Arusian born royal….” He heard Cossack start swearing up a storm, the commander shocked and dismayed at her answer. Allura lifted her eyes to stare at a horrified Lotor, the girl backing into the wall with a whimper on her lips. It left Lotor wondering if any news could be worse than what she had told him, the prince wondering how he was going to keep this a secret from his father.