Freedom 28

Leaning against the wall, Lotor absentmindedly adjusted his pants, fingers playing with the lace that surrounded his zipper. He cast a critical eye towards the material, making sure there was no outward sign of what he had been doing with his wife. Allura moved just out of his range, fussing about Doctor Gorma’s desk. She had been spending the last few minutes cleaning up, outright paranoid he would be able to tell what they had just done.

Lotor didn’t really care if the doctor knew he had just finished loving his wife on Gorma’s desk, in fact one might say he looked forward to the reveal. Only the thought of Allura’s displeasure held him back from smirking, Lotor content to let her take things slow, let her reveal the nature of their relationship to her loved ones. It didn’t stop him from being amused by her antics, the girl practically shaking with nervousness.

He glanced at her, watching her long, elegant fingers righting picture frames, smoothing down papers, stacking folders on top of each other. She had no way of knowing what went where, and yet she was desperate to try and set things right. Any attempts made by Lotor to assist her had been brushed off, Allura insisting she could fix it better without his help.

Except for a few curt words, they weren’t really talking, Allura seeming incapable of speech. She kept turning red whenever she noticed his eyes on her, her hands would turn clumsy and she would knock things over. Even to Lotor it seemed strange, the Drule wondering why she was so nervous. She hadn’t reacted this way in the bedroom, she had been calm and at ease. It made him think the setting was what had her so distraught, Allura’s need for maintaining a prim and proper balance at all times.

His lips curled into a half smile, Lotor eyeing her discreetly. If sex outside of the bedroom was what unnerved her so badly, why he’d simply have to break her of the hang up! He could think of several more rooms he’d like to introduce her too, sure in no time she’d get over her shyness.

He was in the middle of plotting his next seduction, when the door rattled. Allura made a small sound, hastily standing up a figurine on it’s side. She was just coming round the front of the desk when Doctor Gorma stode in. He noticed her movement, his eyes landing on the desk, a slight lifting of his brow in question.

“There was an accident.” Allura offered lamely, her face red with her blush. “I tried to fix it as best I could….”

“I see.” He glanced at Lotor who merely gave an incline of his head, his expression betraying nothing of what had happened. “Well…” Gorma strode over to the desk, a bright green folder in hand. “I got the results of your testing here.”

“Does everything check okay?” Allura asked, quickly moving out of his way.”

“Let’s find out together, shall we?” Gorma laid the folder down on the desk, papers being pulled from it. He spread them across the desk, studying charts and neat handwriting scrawled on the parchment. “Well, aside from a rather high potassium level, your blood work reads okay. You seem over the poisoning. If any traces still exist in your blood stream, it’s likely too minute to be of any concern.”

“That’s wonderful Doctor!” Allura exclaimed, clasping her hands together.

“Indeed it is.” Gorma said, eyes studying the paper before him. “I’d like to see you both injected with the inoculation as soon as possible. Just as a safety measure.”

“Of course.” Lotor agreed, eager to get Allura protected from the poison.

“My assistant is preparing the proper dosage now.” Gorma paused when he noticed Lotor’s frown. “Is there a problem your highness?”

“You’re not preparing the inoculation yourself?”

“I assure you my assistant can be trusted.” Doctor Gorma said, quick to rise to the defense of his employees. “She’s been with me for many years. She would never do anything to harm a patient, nor risk her job.”

“For her sake I hope so.” Lotor couldn’t keep the ominous note out of his voice, Allura turning to frown at him. “You’d be surprised at what greed can do to a person, or how threat against a loved one can motivate a person to do something they might otherwise never even think of doing.”

“You are overly suspicious.” The Doctor’s words were said in an offhand manner, but Lotor responded, expression serious.

“It’s kept me alive this long.” Lotor sighed. “And though this may not be planet Doom, I am finding the Arusians quick to turn towards measures worthy of the Drule Empire. Poison, riots, rebellions….need I go on?”

“We still don’t know for sure that the poison is from anyone who worked at the castle for any amount of time.” Allura said, frowning.

“And as for the rebels, the people are frightened and with good reason given the long and violent history Arus has had with Doom occupation in the past.” Gorma added. “Is it any wonder they’ve taken to extreme measures to protest the changes about to be wrought on our planet?”

“Careful Doctor…” Lotor warned, fangs flashing in a humorless smile. “You come close to sounding as though you sympathize with the rebels.”

“I don’t approve of their methods, but I do feel for them.” Doctor Gorma said, unperturbed by the threat in Lotor’s voice. “Their champion has fallen, their princess taken, their planet overrun with soldiers. Tell me Lotor…how would you react if the positions were reversed and it was your home that was for all intents and purposes invaded?”

“I’d fight.” Admitted the prince, a knock at the door drawing their attention towards it. “Of course…” Lotor said, as the door swung open, admitting a chubby, cherub nosed woman with bright red hair and nervous green eyes. “I don’t see Doom ever falling from it’s lofty perch of conqueror.”

“Even the mighty fall eventually…” murmured Doctor Gorma, gesturing for the red head to approach him. She did so, casting a nervous glance at the prince, Lotor smirking at her. These humans and their outright fear of him and his men amused Lotor, the prince wondering when or if the servants of this castle would ever be able to fully relax around him.

“Ah Mercy.” Doctor Gorma said, naming the woman. “The inoculations are prepared?”

“Yes, Doctor.” Mercy said, her hands clutching hold of the vials to her chest. She approached the desk, giving a slight bow of her head in Allura’s direction. The princess smiled at her, moving out of her way as the woman laid down the vials within reach of Gorma’s hands. She reached into her pocket, proffering several clean needles to the doctor.

“Now…..who would like to go first?” Gorma asked, attaching one of the vials into place on the needle. Allura’s eyes were wide, and she looked decidedly uncomfortable at the sight of the large needle.

“I will.” Lotor said, pushing away from the bookcase to go sit down in a chair. He held out his arm, the assistant swabbing at the inside of it with a cleanser. Doctor Gorma approached, checking to make sure the dosage was strong enough for a male Drule. Lotor looked at Allura while the two fussed over his arm, smiling reassuringly at her. “It’s just a quick prick…” He said, not even wincing when the needle stabbed into his arm, tapping a vein directly. “Over before you know it.”

The vial was emptied of it’s contents, Lotor applying pressure with the gauze when the needle was removed. He turned down the offer of a bandage, remaining seated. “Your turn.” Gorma said to Allura, who sighed and took the seat next to Lotor. He reached out towards his wife, taking hold of her hand. She squeezed his in her nervousness, showing more strength in her small hand than Lotor thought possible.

The grip on his hand tightened, Allura seeming as though she was trying to break the bones in his hand. A small squeak escaped her when Gorma pricked her with the needle, the man working quickly but efficiently to empty the vial into her arm. The grip on Lotor’s hand did not lessen until the needle was removed, Allura taking a bandage which she covered with the long sleeve of her dress.

Wordlessly, the assistant collected the needles and vials, intent on disposing of them. “A moment Mercy.” Doctor Gorma said, pulling out another needle. “I still need to run some blood work on Allura….”

“On me?” The grip that had relaxed immediately tightened up at the mention of the doctor’s intentions towards her. “But why? I’m not sick!”

“Ah yes…but…” The doctor glanced away, unable to look Allura in the eyes. His words were the reason behind his sudden embarrassment, making the princess blush and hastily let go of Lotor’s hand. “You do want to start birth control, yes?”

She hesitated in answering, casting a side long glance at Lotor who nodded his head yes. He heard Allura sighed, her voice soft and unsure as she spoke. “Yes.” Doctor Gorma picked up on her hesitation, frowning as he spoke.

“You sound unsure. Have you two fully talked about whether this is the right step for you?”

“A little bit.” Allura said, looking down at her lap. “We decided that right now it’s what’s best for us…”

“Well….I’d normally advise towards being sure before you make any medical decision, but in this case it affects a potential third party. We don’t want any accidents while you two talk things over…” continued Doctor Gorma, still not looking at Allura. “I can start you on a pill, and if you two should change your mind…” He was reaching for one of the remaining needles, fidgeting with it between his fingers. “You need only stop taking the prescription.”

“Understood Doctor.” Lotor said, eager to get this over with.

“I’ll have to run some tests on your blood before I can prescribed a pill that will work.” Continued Doctor Gorma, approaching Allura’s side. She sighed, and rolled up her sleeve, looking anywhere but at the doctor. Lotor once again took hold of her hand, determined to lend her his strength whether she wanted it or not. The doctor quickly drew her blood, Allura muttering under her breath.

“I feel like a pin cushion.”

“Last needle for the day. I promise.” Doctor Gorma told her, withdrawing the needle, it’s vial full of her blood. He paused to put a label on the vial, scrawling out Allura’s name in his bold cursive. “Mercy, be a dear and run this over to the lab for me.” He handed it to his assistant, the woman nodding before turning and leaving the room. The door had barely closed before Doctor Gormas was continuing. “Of course….before I can advise you to start taking birth control, I need to check to make sure you are not already pregnant.” A look at Lotor, the blushing doctor boldly meeting his eyes. “Tell me, did you two practice any safe measures before deciding on this course of birth control?”

“No.” Lotor admitted, not letting the doctor’s look bother him. “We got carried away in the heat of the moment.”

Gorma sighed, striding back towards his desk. “I would have expected at least one of you to be responsible!” A shake of his head, the doctor frowning. “I suppose it’s too much to ask for you to abstain from sex until we get Allura safely on the pill. But in the meantime, there are other precautions you can take.” The doctor pulled open his top drawer, a displeased hiss escaping him at the messy state it was in.

Lotor and Allura said nothing, watching as the doctor began pulling out things, slamming them irritably onto his desk. He didn’t bother to question them about the state of his desk, a fact Lotor was sure Allura was grateful about! Instead he continued to search, muttering under his breath, “I know I have some around here…” A few more minutes of searching, and at last the doctor found what he was looking for, pulling out a small pack.

“Here….use these in the meantime.” Gorma tossed the pack in Lotor’s direction, the prince neatly catching them in his hands. He glanced at the pack, seeing the word condoms written in basic. “Just….be careful. Those are made for a human, not a Drule and you may find them easier to tear…” A sigh from Gorma. “They are only until we can order in some Drule strength condoms.”

“Understood doctor.” Lotor said, tucking the pack into the side pocket of his pants. He was amused by the doctor’s warnings, marveling at how flimsy the human’s condoms must be. “If that is all, Allura and I will be going now.”

“That’s all.” Doctor Gorma said, already dismissing them by turning to study the mess they had made of his desk. Lotor stood, pulling Allura to her feet, the girl still blushing as he all but dragged her towards the door.

“Good day Doctor Gorma.” Allura said, just before they stepped outside his office. The door swung close, but not before Lotor caught Gorma’s words, the doctor muttering under his breath about how he had never expected to order condoms for a Drule.

“That took longer than I would have liked.” Lotor said, Allura looking at him curiously. “Daylight is fast fading, and I’ve barely gotten any work done.”

“Work?” She echoed, frowning.

“Yes….I still have much to do, and so little time to do it in.” He sighed, a hand raised to ease back his hair from his face. He wondered if his father had tried calling the castle, wondered what they told him about Lotor being indisposed of. Surely Zarkon was eager for results, impatient for his army of Voltrons to be well on their way towards being created.

“I think you should rest some more.” Allura said, her hand touching his arm as though she intended to drag him off towards the bedroom. “You’ve been sick, and even Doctor Gorma felt worried about you moving about too much so soon.”

“I will be sure to do plenty of sitting.” Lotor assured her.

“I really think you should come back to bed.” Allura said, and now Lotor smirked at her, a slow, teasing smile that had her blushing at his next words.

“If I return to bed, it won’t be to rest.” He watched her duck her head so that her hair fell forward to cover her face, Allura embarrassed by his words. Lotor chuckled and reached forward to play with the curls that caressed her cheek. He lowered his voice, leaning into her so that his lips whispered into her ear. “It will be to make love to you, again and again and again.” A deep throaty laugh from him, amused by how she gasped and jerked away.

“Perhaps separate bedrooms would be best.” Allura murmured. “It may be the only way either one of us can get any sleep at night.”

“I won’t allow it.” Laughed Lotor. “Not now that I finally have you in my bed. I mean to keep you there!” She gave him a look, annoyance in her eyes that only made him smirk harder.

“I think we need to work out some kind of sleeping arrangement.” She said, and Lotor practically pouted at her.

“We can talk about it later.” He said, reluctantly pulling away from her. “Right now I really must see to my work.”

“Right later…” Allura sighed, turning to watch him leave. He almost wanted to step back to her, but Lotor restrained himself, forcing his feet to move forward. He began moving at a brisk pace, intent on returning to his office. It took him several minutes to reach it, and on the way he picked up several Drule scientists, each one fighting to get his attention.

Papers were shoved before him, Lotor barely having a chance to glance at the words before another stack replaced the one on top. The Drules were chattering a mile a minute at him, filling his head with a lot of useless information that left him more confused than before they had started speaking.

“Enough!” Lotor snapped, his voice a loud shout. Servants turned to look, and Lotor sighed, lowering his voice. “Enough. One at a time please.” He opened the door to his office, seeing the pictures of Coran’s family lining the walls, Lotor not yet having a chance to redecorate the office to his tastes. He walked towards the desk, seeing a stack of papers that seemed a mile high, Lotor sighing as he went to perch on the edge of the table top. He added the papers in his hand to the pile, turning his attention to the Drules before him.

Now that they had his undivided attention, they didn’t seem to know what to say, fidgeting awkwardly as they exchanged silent looks. “Well?” Lotor arched an eyebrow, impatient for news. “What is the status on the lions? Has there been any progress made?”

“No sire.” The one with black hair spoke up, multicolored beads in the strands that surrounded his face. “Our scientists have been unable to discover what their power source is. They run on no fuel that we can see.”

“Nor are they solar powered.” Added the bald headed Drule, adjusting his glasses nervously. “Their power drives remain at almost ninety percent charged, even after weeks of being inside our ships.”

“Hmm…I remember something…” Lotor mused out loud, his brow furrowed as he thought back to his many encounters with the Voltron Force. “That time our robeast drained Arus of all it’s waters…Blue Lion was unable to function…It couldn’t even lift off. Could the elements perhaps be the key to it?”

“Elemental magic is more the witch Haggar’s work.” A haughty sniff from the third Drule. “We deal in scientific fact. Not magic mumbo jumbo.”

“But the lions may indeed be magic.” Lotor replied. “You may have to expend your horizons if you wish to unlock their secrets.”

“But how do we test this?” The black haired Drule asked. “The red lion lives in a volcano. Surely it’s element must be fire. Do you expect us to freeze the land around it to see if that denies the lion it’s power source? And what of green lion. How do we stop the wind from blowing?!”

“Ah but that is why you are paid the big bucks gentleman.” Lotor told them with a smirk. “To figure out the solutions to these problems, and get me my answers. You do know my father, Zarkon is anxiously awaiting our findings.” The three scientists’ blanched, showing their nervousness over the thought of the King and his displeasure over any further delays.

“Now then…I understand from these reports…” He patted the stack next to his hip, offerig a quick glance at the writing on the top page. “That you have yet to allow anyone to actually fly the lions. Why is that?”

“Well…” An exchange of glances before the black haired Drule spoke. “We still have so many tests to run…we thought it best to keep our untested pilots from damaging the lions.”

“AH. but aren’t there tests you can conduct while the lions are in the air?” Lotor asked. “And my men do need to familiarize themselves with the lions controls.”

“But…”

“I think tomorrow the lions should be taken out for a test drive.” Continued Lotor, speaking over them. “The weather looks to be nice, and I’m sure it will do the people of Arus good to see their champions back in the sky where they belong.” A smirk then. “Even if it is the people of Doom who are piloting them.”

“All right sire.” The three scientists echoed, shoulders sagging as they turn to leave. Lotor watched them go, then slid off his desk, picking up a document. He flipped through the pages of the report, but his mind was distracted, Lotor taking frequent pauses to look out the window. Drule soldiers paced the length of the garden, rifles on their shoulders, ready to shoot down any threat that would appear.

He hated to admit it, but Lotor was worried, wondering what move the rebels would next take. It troubled him greatly that even in the castle Allura wasn’t safe, some assassin seeking to do her in via the food she ate. His hand curled into a fist, Lotor slamming it into the wall. He vowed to find out who was responsible, and make them pay. To be soft on the assassin would only send a message to others that it was okay to attempt such things. They would grow bolder without stern discipline to hold them back, something he could not allow.

He was about to sit down behind the desk, when a knock sounded on the door. Lotor looked up, growling out a command. “Enter!” The door was pushed inwards, revealing a serious looking Commander Merack.

“Ah Commander. Any news yet?” Lotor asked, though inwardly he knew it was too soon for that.

“None yet I’m afraid.” Merack sighed, closing the door behind him. “I just wanted to keep you updated on our progress.” At Lotor’s nod, the man was continuing. “We’ve removed all our soldiers from the kitchen. sent them to other posts in the castle. We’ve also commandeered the room on the opposite side of the kitchen, and are currently installing a two way mirror for our spies to use. Cameras have already been installed to monitor the staff in secret. It won’t be long now before we catch the culprit.”

“Good.” Lotor said, giving a brisk nod of his head. “What about the meals? Allura cannot risk eating anything that comes from the kitchen. Not unless it is tested first.”

“I’ve put in inquires towards a food tester.” Explained Merack.

“I’ve got a better idea.” Lotor said, Merack pausing for his suggestion. “Involve the kitchen staff themselves. Put them on a revolving schedule, a different person a meal. It’ll put the fear into them, and perhaps if we’re lucky, the assassin will balk at tasting his or her own cooking.”

“All right sire. If you’re sure about this.” Merack said, nodding his head.

“I am.” Lotor grinned, pleased with himself. “So tell me Commander. Has anyone been acting suspiciously since the soldiers were pulled back from kitchen duty? Or is it too soon to tell.”

“Too soon I’m afraid. Although there is one or two suspects we are watching more closely.” Explained Merack. “We’ve been fortunate that aside from this one isolated incident, there has been no further attacks. We can’t count on it remaining that way for long.”

“Yes….assassins and rebels….what a tiresome, troublesome lot they are.” Lotor sighed. “Has there been any word from the rebels since they issued their decree declaring my wife a traitor?”

“None yet. They’ve been surprisingly quiet, and have made no move towards the castle. Although there is unrest in the towns nearby.” Merack told him. “They are trying to incite the people to rise up against the Drule politicians you have installed in their towns. Many of our officials are uneasy and requesting extra protection. A few would leave the towns to come stay at the castle until the rebellion is quelled.”

“I will not have my people cowering inside this castle when they are needed out on the field!” snapped Lotor. “The sooner the Arusians get used to Drule rulership, the better.”

“Yes, Prince Lotor.” Agreed Merack. “Should I allocate a few more men to the towns?”

“Yes, please, but see that we are not spread too thinly elsewhere.” Lotor told him. “No more than a handful of soldiers per village. And only to those who have requested for more aide.”

“All right sire. I’ll get right on that.” Merack paused to offer a quick bow before turning on his heel, exiting the office. Lotor sighed, and returned to his chair, slumping downwards as he stared annoyed at the stacks of paperwork. Arus had always been a difficult planet to capture, and now it looked like it would prove even more difficult to tame…..


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