Trade 02

It was with a sway of his hips that the host moved, confidant and mimicking the seductive walking of a harem girl as he led Lotor and Cossack down a narrow corridor. This stretch of hall held several masked guards, the men standing with their hands behind their back, within easy reach of their blasters. Lotor was once again reminded of how he and Cossack had been forced to leave behind their weapons, the prince fighting the urge to clench his fists in annoyance.

Instead he focused on the host, noting the narrow shoulders that should have belong to a woman. And yet he wasn’t entirely sure he was dealing with a woman, the voice an odd distorted mix of male and female tones, a fitting match for the mix of parts that could have belong to either sex. The host’s gender continued to be a mystery that plagued Lotor’s mind, along with the questions of just how this insipid creature had gotten it’s hands on Allura. There had been no word from his spies to hint at the princess having gone missing from her castle, Lotor vaguely recalling reports that the Voltron Force had flown off to another sector of the galaxy to deal with a potential Doom threat. Lotor himself had been on route to intercept them, hoping for another chance at winning the fair princess when he got word to come to Autrusca.

Even with Atrusca so near to where his original destination had been, Lotor had had to scramble to make it there in time for the auction. He shuddered to think what would have happened had he arrived too late to bid on Allura. And yet part of him had the suspicion that the host had purposely been saving her to be displayed once Lotor was there. Even the dumbest of fools had to know Lotor would pay just about any amount to save his beloved princess from being sold to another.

The host could have sold Allura directly to Lotor, but the prince knew without a doubt that the genderless creature had wanted to drive up the price, force Lotor to pay top dollar for she who by all rights was already his. It was enough to make Lotor want to lunge at the host, barely containing his growl as they reached a doorway at the end of the corridor.

The host pulled out a key card from one of the elbow length gloves he wore, sliding the piece of plastic through the looking mechanism that guarded the door. It let out a beep, a long withdrawn sound as it read the information off the card. And then it flashed from red to green, door unlocking with an audible click.

“This way.” Said the host, gesturing for Lotor and Cossack to step in before him. The prince grudgingly did so, not liking having the host at his back, but trusting the creature would not harm him until after payment was assured.

The lights flickered onto the room, and for a second Lotor lost his stoic composure, hearing Cossack make a shocked sound. He didn’t blame the commander for being stunned, Lotor himself felt similar looking around the room. He had expected to be led to an office, but this place seemed more suited to the harem or boudoir, with it’s sheer curtains hanging everywhere, colored in pale oranges, reds, and purples. They clung to the walls, and brushed against his body as he moved, Lotor frowning as he inhaled the perfumes on the sheets.

Cushions were everywhere, in place of chairs, round bags of feather down that one could sink into as they sat. In the rear west corner of the room, was a whole pile of them, with what had to be a slave laying a top the pillows. A chain was attached to the slave’s collar and the wall, Lotor a bit unnerved to see it was a young boy, barely even into his teens that lay there naked and waiting for them.

That wasn’t the only shocking thing about the room, pictures hung on the wall, all naked portraits of young male flesh, boys barely old enough to leave their mother’s sides. They were all races and colors, an eclectic collection of boys that shared one thing in common. Their eerie, vacant eyed smiles. Statues were about the room, some merely broken bits that highlighted a man’s erect state, marble representations that painted an all too realistic picture of just what sexual preferences their host held.

“He’s a child lover.” Cossack was swearing in Drule, obscene words slamming out forcefully to show the commander’s distaste of their host. Lotor echoed his upset, knowing there was few things Drules found abhorrent, the sexual servitude of children being one of those things. Now more than ever Lotor wished for his sword, wanting to slowly dissect the host into pieces,

The host gave no sign of being disturbed by the two Drule’s exchange, walking nonchalantly to the make shift bed of cushions. He carefully knelt down, the slave stirring, rising up so that the host brushed a fond hand down his chest. Lotor felt ill to see him touching the slave, taking a step forward to growl.

“I thought we were going somewhere to verify the money transfer.” Lotor gestured, unable to keep his disgust off his face.

The host looked at him, jade eyes amused. “Calm down your highness. This is my private office.” A smile then, lips twisting into smirk. “I’ve always been one to mix business with pleasure. I’ve heard you’re much the same as I.”

Lotor bristled at that, but before he could speak Cossack was snarling. “Prince Lotor is nothing like you. He doesn’t deal with children, doesn’t put them on display and do God only knows what with them behind close doors!”

The host was hardly bothered by Cossack’s outburst, shoulders doing an elegant shrug. “So the rumors aren’t correct? Prince Lotor doesn’t try anything at least one time?”

“Even I have my limits.” Lotor retorted, glaring at the host. There was simply no other place to look, Lotor refusing to gaze at the picture of the male youths in their wanton poses. “Now…the transaction if you please.”

“Never thought the prince of Doom would be so eager to part with his money.” The kneeling host reached past the slave, gloved fingertips snagging a black metal casing. The host drew it towards his lap, flipping open the case so that a holo was activated. Numbers and letters floated in the air, green in color as the host began typing something out in his computer system.

“This is my business account…” The host said, rising to stand. The host walked towards the two Drules, holo floating before him as the information changed to reflect what he had typed in. “All I need if for you to input your account information, and the transfer of money can begin.”

“Very well.” Lotor said, tone grudging as he reached for the computer. The host held it before him, wearing that insipid smirk as Lotor bent forward to type out his private information. The room was silent save for the click clack of keys, Lotor gritting his teeth as each number of his account was inputted into the computer. He didn’t hesitate when it came time to confirm the transaction, listening as the computer let out a series of beeps.

The holo changed, the words written in basic, as it thanked them for their business. With a flick of his wrists, the host snapped the case closed, holo being vanquished in an instant. “I thank you for your patronage your highness. I’m sure you will be very happy with your new slave.” Another mocking smirk, the host turning solicitous. “And should you ever be in the market for another unacquirable jewel, please let your interest be known and I will do my best to secure that one as well.”

“Just how did you capture Allura in the first place?” Lotor demanded, ignoring the sales pitch.

“It was merely a matter of chance.” The host said. “Agents of mine happened to be in the right place, at the right time.”

“I want details.” Lotor hissed, taking a menacing step forward. “The time, the place, the hows and why.” The host was unfazed by Lotor’s closeness, letting out a giddy laugh.

“My so inquisitive. I could tell you for a price, though I am sure you’ll get the dirty details from your new slave. Ah…” The host looked past Lotor to the door. “And here she is now.”

Turning, Lotor spied Allura being escorted in the room, hands on both arms as though helping to support her. She looked pale, Cossack’s wool cloak trailing down to her feet which stumbled as she moved. Lotor was already moving towards her, the host giving out a command that had Allura’s escorts releasing their hold on her. She pitched forward, nearly losing the cloak, falling down into Lotor’s arms.

She did not try to right herself, just laying there like a doll, limp and unmoving in his embrace. Lotor grew concerned at this, a hand tilted her head back to peer into blue eyes that were glassy from being drugged.

“What have you done?!” Lotor snarled out, gathering Allura up into his arms. Her arms and legs dangled, the girl’s cheek resting on his chest as Lotor turned to face the host.

“Done?” A blinking of kohl rimmed eyes, the host trying for a mask of innocence.

“Don’t play dumb with me. She’s been drugged!” Lotor snapped out, wondering if Allura was even aware of what was going on around her.

“Oh that. It’s merely a precaution for an easy transport.” The host answered with a smirk. “We want our slaves docile until we can get them to their new homes, do we not?”

“Allura wouldn’t have made a scene!” Lotor growled. “She’d be glad to be getting away from you and whatever nightmares she experienced while in your care.”

“Could you really be assured of that?” The host asked. “The princess of Arus does have a reputation for causing problems, and it’s a known fact that she is an expert at giving you the slip. Why risk it, when a mix of chemicals can assure her compliance until you get her back to your ship.”

Lotor fixed him with a murderous kind of look. “Just what did you give her?”

“Oh…..a little bit of mangepita, and some alcurean powder. Don’t worry your highness. Nothing that will do any lasting harm to your slave. She should be able to recover her wits in a few hours time. That’ll give you plenty of time to decide what to do with her first.”

Lotor continued to glare, and the host clapped his hand together. “Now if you don’t mind, I have other business to see to.” It was clearly a dismissal, Lotor snorting as he turned. Cossack muttered something under his breath, and turned to chase after his prince, the host calling out a mocking good-bye to the trio.

“This isn’t over.” Lotor hissed quietly to Cossack.

“Didn’t think it was.” The commander said, keeping his expression blank as they traveled through the corridor. Lotor kept a similar mask of indifference on his face, though inwardly he was seething. The treatment of Allura, the money, and the interest in boys for pleasure slaves all cemented the decision in Lotor’s mind. The host would not live long enough to properly enjoy the credits earned from tonight’s slave auctions.

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