Snow 05

He had watched with a helpless rage as his beloved princess was dragged from the room, Allura letting her alarm show both on her face and in her voice. It nearly broke something in his heart to hear her scream out his name, Allura so panicked and frightened of being separated from him. But Lotor could do nothing to come to her aid, he was surrounded by sword bearing guards, the blades all pressed into various points on his body.

Lotor could feel the pressure of the sword tips digging into his skin, forcing himself to be absolutely still lest he get cut. The soldier’s faces that he could see were apologetic, they were merely doing their duty as dictated to them by their king. And yet he wanted to kill them all, Lotor memorizing the faces in front of him, vowing that when the time came, there would be accidents befalling all who had trained their weapons on him.

The great doors to the throne room slammed shut, he could no longer hear Allura’s screams. But he felt attuned to her upset, mirroring it inside his heart as though they shared a psychic bond. He knew he had to get that under control, Lotor couldn’t afford to show just how bothered all this made him. Certainly not to the court, and definitely not to his father.

He steeled his expression to be ice, Lotor evening out his breathing as the nobles chattered on, voices loud but mingling together so that not one word could be made out clearly. From behind him, he heard his father’s scepter pounding on the floor of the dais, Zarkon calling for silence. He got it almost immediately, the chatter dying down as the court turned their attention to their king.

“I’ve done you a favor, Lotor.” Zarkon said, having switched back into Drule now that Allura was gone from the room. The swords fell away from Lotor, but the guards did not stray far. They were ready in case Lotor should try to charge up the steps of the dais, not wanting one royal to attempt to kill the other.

“A favor?” Lotor hissed as he turned in place, facing his father once more. He made a scoffing sound at Zarkon’s nod, Lotor not understanding what his father could mean. “What favor?!”

“Your bride will appreciate what she has with you more, after a lengthy stay in the dungeons.”

There was so many things he could seize upon in that statement, Lotor choosing on the most promising. “My bride? Then you mean you’ll recognize our union?”

“Perhaps.” Allowed Zarkon, laying his scepter across his lap. “But first there are things you must do for me.”

“Of course, anything.” Lotor said, inwardly wincing at how eager he sounded. Of course his father noticed, his shrewd gaze narrowing even further.

“I meant it when I said that girl is a weakness for you. But I also see the opportunity she presents in motivating you to do your best.” Zarkon leaned into the stiff back of his chair, the King preferring it’s hardness to the softness cushions would give him. “And you will do your best, if you want to ever be reunited with her again.”

“Yes, father.”

“So quick to agree, when I haven’t even told you what it is I want you to do.” Zarkon’s smirk looked smug, but the King’s eyes seemed angry. “That’s foolish behavior Lotor, even for you.”

Wisely Lotor kept silent about how he would do anything for Allura, anything to keep her safe and with him, no matter how foul and degrading the task might be.

“Tell me Haggar…” Zarkon continued to talk, his attention shifting from Lotor to the witch. “Just what exactly happened on planet Mieve?”

A glance to his right saw Haggar shuffling forward, the brown robed figure of the witch glancing at Lotor before speaking. It wasn’t exactly a promising look, the witch wasn’t asking his permission to speak freely. If anything she had been almost apologetic, as though she understood what she was about to say would only get him in even more trouble.

“We tracked the runaway slaves to the ice world of Mieve.” Haggar began, voice not showing any of the hesitation her look had held. “As per protocol, we killed them for the crime of trying to escape their Drule masters. Only the slave Romelle was left alive, her value recognized as a tool to lure the others into a trap.”

“Go on.” Zarkon said, when the witch paused for effect.

“Before the slave’s stolen vehicle was shot down, they managed to put out a distress call to planet Pollux. It was intercepted by the Voltron Force, and they arrived at nearly the same time as we.” She cracked a smile, seeming proud. “Fortunately for us, we were just a few minutes quicker and able to set our plan in motion.” Another glance at Lotor, and Zarkon frowned.

“Don’t look to him for permission on what to say!” hissed the king. “You report to me, not my inept son!”

“You’re right, your highness. I do apologize.” Haggar said smoothly, with a bow of her head. “All was going according to plan, not only was the slave Romelle in our possession, but her brother, prince Bandor as well. The lions were led to where our robeast was hidden, and all we needed to do was spring the trap to destroy them.” Unspoken was the words that both Arus and Pollux would have fallen that day if the robeast had been successful in destroying the lions.

“And let me guess….” interrupted Zarkon, tone snide and sarcastic. “My bumbling fool of a son, let his lusts get the better of him.”

Haggar wisely did not choose to agree with the phrasing Zarkon used, though she did nod her head. “He wanted to trade the two prisoners for the princess of Arus.”

“Father!” Lotor quickly interjected himself into a conversation. “You know our previous track record with the lions! They would have formed Voltron and defeated Haggar’s robeast!”

“You can’t have known that for sure!” Haggar protested, angry at the implied insult to her creation.

“I was merely taking steps to make sure that they would not be able to form Voltron!” Lotor continued, ignoring the witch’s protest.

“By sacrificing two hostages for one?” Zarkon demanded.

“We would have won them back…” Lotor muttered, and Zarkon scowled.

“I believe you were thinking of nothing beyond bedding that princess of yours. You better pray she’s worth all this trouble son.” He hissed out that last word, sneering down at Lotor. “I suppose it’s a waste to ask why you didn’t get her lion or the key that controls it. Why you allowed her to leave it behind.”

Lotor kept quiet, unwilling to admit he had wrongfully assumed Allura would bring the key with her, Zarkon made a noise, a disgusted hmph before asking another question.

“I understand the captain of the Voltron Force was injured. How did that come about?”

“Ah….that.” Haggar risked a smile at the king who did not return it. “Your son engaged him in combat. Sire, you would have been proud to see the vicious and quick manner in which the prince disposed of his enemy.”

“And yet neither of you stuck around to make sure he was dead.” Snapped Zarkon, and Haggar’s smile faltered as he placed some of the blame now on her shoulders.

“He was bleeding profusely!” Lotor pointed out. “He had sustained numerous cuts, and a blaster shot to the chest. There was little chance of survival even before I threw him over the crater’s edge!”

“And yet there’s a slim chance he could have survived!” Zarkon pounded his fist on the arm rest of his throne. “You disappoint me Lotor. After all the lessons I’ve given you, the numerous times I’ve drilled it into your thick skull not to leave even a sliver of chance of recovery for the people you are attempting to kill.”

Lotor had nothing he could say to that, nothing that would prevent him from putting his foot deeper into his mouth. The best he could do was stand there and glare back at his father, his hands forming fists at his sides.

“You should have remained on Mieve to over see the robeast fight.” Continued Zarkon, his voice still heated with his anger. “You should have been there to lend it support with your fleet, not sneak away just as the battle started. For all the many faults you have, I know you are not a coward who turn tails and run from a battle. It’s that princess you captured that made you so foolish and neglectful.”

“Father, I…”

“Don’t try to deny it!” Zarkon’s eyes blazed, the man looking incensed at the thought of Lotor attempting to lie to him. “We can all tell what happened just by looking at you!” Lotor shifted his weight between his feet, hiding a scowl. “You come here besotted and bloated on sex, swaggering with a confidence you did not earn! As far as I am concerned, the success of this mission hinges on one thing, and it’s not on the shoulders of a princess who admitted her value to me as a hostage is useless! Haggar!”

“Yes, sire!?” Haggar straightened to attention, body stiffening as Zarkon fixed his gaze on her.

“Just what is the status of the robeast on Mieve. Does it still live?”

I…I regretfully have to inform you that it does not.” Haggar said, bowing her head so that her cowl cloaked her face in shadows. “I used my magic to get a reading on it before we departed the flag ship. It was….totally destroyed.”

“Even with only three lions remaining to fight it?” Lotor was aghast, and unable to keep quiet. “What kind of useless robeast did you make?!” That got Haggar to jerk her head upwards, Lotor seeing the anger flashing across her face.

“It’s not my magic that is at fault here!” She snapped, and Lotor snarled.

“Are you implying it’s my fault, old witch?!”

She didn’t answer, Zarkon was suddenly laughing. They both glanced up at him, Zarkon holding a hand over his eyes as he gave in to his amusement. “Three lions…” He was almost jovial as he said it, laughing away. “THREE FUCKING LIONS!” The humor erupted into an outraged scream, Zarkon leaping from his throne, scepter clattering to the dais’ floor. “Neither one of you can get the job done when there are only three lions left to fight? They couldn’t even form Voltron with that number!”

“Forgive me sire…” Haggar began nervously. “My robeasts aren’t made to fight in arctic temperatures. Surely that played a part in it’s defeat.”

“So you admit you’re at fault.” Lotor quickly said, wanting the blame to land on her shoulders.

“Only partly…” Haggar muttered, shooting him a glare. “It wouldn’t have been a problem if the fleet had remained behind to lend my robeast the support it needed!”

“It shouldn’t have needed support, it should have been able to do the job on it’s own!” Lotor retorted, voice being drowned out by Zarkon’s shout.

“Enough! I’m in no mood to listen to you two play a game of pinning the blame on one another. As far as I am concerned, you are both at fault.” Zarkon was scowling, still standing, hands on his hips now. “Lotor for leaving, and you witch, for not talking any sense into him!”

“Sire?!” gasped the witch.

“You should have stopped him.” Zarkon told her. “Made him realize the foolishness of his ways.”

“I doubt anyone but you would have been able to get through to him.” Haggar pointed out.

“That may very well be true.” Zarkon smiled, a cold, cruel look in his eyes. “And if not me, then the threat to his beloved princess will work.”

“Father..” Lotor couldn’t keep the worry out of his voice, staring up at his father’s figure a top the dais. “What…’re not going to harm Allura. She’s my bride!”

“She’s not anything to you until I make my final decision!” Zarkon retorted, and Lotor grew angry on top of being worried.

“I’ve claimed her as my own. We’ve spent the trip back from Mieve reaffirming the vows of our bodies. By Drule law she is to be recognized as my wife!”

“Yes, I’ve no doubt you spent the last week doing just that. But son?” Zarkon smirked, though he hardly looked amused. “If sex alone was enough to make you take a bride, you’d be married a dozen times over.”

“Those other women were different!” Lotor protested. “Allura is different!”

“Then you will prove it!”

“Prove it how?” Lotor wanted to know, unable to keep from sounding suspicious.

“Out on the battlefield.” Zarkon answered. “You are going to go to Arus. Take as many ships as you feel you need, but you are not to return unless successful. I want the lions either destroyed, or brought back to Doom. The planet Arus must fall to the might of Doom, I want it in our possession by the end of this month!”

“It will be done father.” Lotor promised.

“It better be….or I’ll see your bride to be tortured and then killed in the most gruesome way possible.” Zarkon said, an evil grin on his face. His words made Lotor want to shudder, the prince unable to keep from protesting.

“But father, she has done nothing to deserve such a fate!”

“Nothing?! Nothing?! She is our enemy, in case you’ve forgotten it! A rebel and active terrorist against the Doom Empire. She deserves far worse than marrying the crown prince of our nation!” Zarkon exclaimed, voice roaring out with angry passion. “Now go! Make what preparations you need….Haggar, that applies to you to. You’re going with him…”

“Yes sire.” Haggar bowed, and moved to back away from the foot of the dais. Lotor bowed as well, though it was stiff and not as respectful as he could have managed. The court attendees began to talk again, he could pick out speculations about this upcoming invasion attempt. Some were actually betting on his chances for success, many believing that even with the incentive of Allura, he would not succeed.

Lotor gritted his teeth, moving to walk with his head held high. His father’s voice stopped him, the man sounding amused once more. “You needn’t worry about your bride in the meantime Lotor.”

“What do you mean?” Lotor demanded, whirling around to face him. Zarkon smiled at him, the look all fang and cruelty.

“We’ll take good care of her. She’ll enjoy the hospitality of my dungeon for the duration of your mission.”

“Father no! At least let her stay in my chambers!”

“Don’t you tell me no!” snapped Zarkon. “It’s decided Lotor. She will not be lavishing in comfortable surroundings. She will be treated as the enemy of Doom that she is, her life dependent on your success. If that doesn’t move you to accomplish the impossible, nothing will!” Lotor opened his mouth to protest, but Zarkon was waving him off. “Now be gone from my sight before you make me really angry!”

Guards were already moving towards him, ushering him out of the throne room. Lotor scowled, and turned, stalking ahead of them to rush out into the hallway. General Morgor joined him outside, the Drule looking far too sympathetic for Lotor’s liking.

“Start getting the ships fueled and stocked.” Lotor told him, Morgor nodding. “Get as many soldiers as you can off of standby. I want to leave for Arus come tomorrow morning.”

“So soon?” Morgor raised eyebrows at that, looking surprised. “But Sire, that’s not nearly enough time…”

“We’ll make it enough time!” Lotor retorted. “I will not have my bride spending one instant longer than necessary in the dungeons. The sooner we get this mission over with, the sooner I can return to her side.”

“Yes, Prince Lotor…” Morgor’s tone was blank, devoid of emotion but Lotor was sure the Drule thought him foolish for rushing.

“Get on Haggar’s bony ass, and make her load as many robeasts as our ships can carry.” Continued Lotor, stalking through the hallways of castle Doom. “I want this assault on Arus to be like no other.”

“But sire….Haggar claims she can’t easily enlarge more than one robeast at a time.” Morgor said, and Lotor smirked.

“The witch will just have to push herself for once. I don’t care if she works herself into a state of magical exhaustion, she will be of use to us.”

“Yes, prince Lotor.” Morgor continued to follow him, alert to any requests the prince might make.

“Have her scry for word on the Voltron Force’s captain. I want to know going in, if he’s alive or dead.” Lotor told him, Morgor nodding. Lotor almost hoped Keith was alive, it would give him the unique opportunity to kill him a second time. “It’ll be a busy time General. Arus is about to see a war like no other.”

Lotor would be absolutely ruthless too, the prince smirking a grim smile as he left Morgor behind. With the princess safely off the planet, he no longer had to worry about holding back. He could unleash his most devastating tactics, destroy any and everything in his attempts to capture the planet. His father refused to see the good in his capturing Allura, but Lotor would prove him wrong.

His father was right about one thing, Allura was his weakness. How often had he let Voltron slip through his grasp, all because Lotor couldn’t bear the thought of the princess being harmed? How often had he bungled plans, all to chase after the girl, jeopardizing mission after mission all for the chance to get near Allura? Too many, but now he had a chance to make amends, to prove he was still the strong, capable leader he had been before being given the Arus assignment.

He would recapture his early glory days, success after success would follow, Lotor earning his right to Allura. And yet he was impatient, and fighting not to hurry the mission along any faster, Lotor knowing he could still make a mistake in his haste. He didn’t like the thought of leaving Allura alone on Doom for any length of time, let alone leaving her trapped inside a dungeon cell.

He’d take measures to protect her, even now, Lotor heading to the dungeons now. He intended to intimidate the soldiers there, make it known that Allura was his, and not to be touched. Lotor would allow no hair on her head to be harmed, the prince vowing to kill any who so much as looked at her funny. Which is why when he arrived at the floor of the castle dungeons, and hard her screaming, he broke into a run, hand drawing uselessly at the empty sword sheathe as his side.

He kept from bellowing her name, not wanting to alert her tormentors to his presence, wanting to catch them in the act of whatever foul deed they were attempting to do. His feet pounded down the dirt floor of the dungeon, Lotor skidding around a corner, and coming across Allura’s cell. She was huddled in a corner, two large aliens crowding in close to her.

Lotor couldn’t see their faces, but he could hear the words they were speaking, lewd suggestions and salacious offers, the aliens harassing the princess to do them sexual favors. Allura’s eyes were bright with her menace, she stared straight at the aliens, not noticing Lotor had arrived. Neither did the two men, they were so busy advancing on his princess, hands reaching to grab at her body.

There were no soldiers around, the Drule guards elsewhere in the dungeon. Lotor growled, and grasped hold of the bars, fingers flexing as he prepared himself for a feat of Drule strength. The wrenching of the gate was heard, iron metal grinding as he ripped it free of it’s hinges. The sound drew the attention of all three in the cell, the aliens turning to look at the enraged prince of Doom.

“Lotor!” Allura gasped in relief, but she stayed huddled against the wall.

“Get away from her.” Lotor snarled, tossing the gate onto the floor. It stirred up a cloud of dirt, Lotor waiting for it to settle before stepping into the cell. The aliens were staring at him flabbergasted, eyes wide with shock, mouths hanging open in slackened dismay.

“Lotor?” One said, not taking his eyes off of the prince. “The prince Lotor?”

“I recognized him!” The other said, clenching his hands into fists. “He’s the bastard what threw me in here!” That alien with his mottled red skin began advancing towards the prince, seeming eager to exact some swift vengeance on him. Lotor was calm, thinking the alien a fool for trying to engage an enraged Drule, even if that Drule
was half human.

They came together within seconds, fists clashing against one another. Lotor got a hard right to his stomach, the wind almost being knocked out of him. It didn’t matter, Lotor was already slamming his fists into the alien’s face, pummeling him over and over again. He took his own blows with grace, only allowing them to fuel his anger, Lotor beating the alien until his fists turned purple with blood and ichor.

The other alien took one look at the carnage the prince was doing, and wisely chose to run, shrieking past Lotor and out into the dungeon. Lotor didn’t try to follow him, too busy making sure the first alien would never menace Allura again.

His fists kept on punching, even when the alien ceased resisting, limbs dangling as Lotor held him up by the collar of his netted shirt. He only stopped when he became aware of Allura shouting, his princess trying desperately to get through to him.

“It’s done!” She was screaming, and the fear in her voice caught his attention. He looked up from the half dead alien, the man dropping in a heap at Lotor’s feet. Allura screamed one last time, eyes looking frightened and full of tears. He didn’t completely understand the look she was giving him, Lotor frowning.

“Monster!” Allura bit out, shying away when Lotor stepped towards her. He growled at her, incensed that she would insult him when he had just finished defending her so thoroughly. “You could have killed him!” She added, then seemed to shudder. “He may still die.”

“It’s the least he deserves.” Lotor muttered in response. “He wanted to hurt you…”

“Whatever he wanted to do to me, it would be no more than what you’ve already done!” Allura retorted, her tears starting to fall. She seemed on the verge of hysteria, Allura hugging her arms around her body.

Her words were like a slap in the face to Lotor, the prince’s jaw dropping. “You cannot be serious!” He all but snarled his response to her, glaring angrily at his princess. “You cannot be comparing me to that….that creature!”

“Why not?” She whispered. “You made me have sex with you…why is that any different from what these two wanted to do?”

His own eyes narrowed further, Lotor wondering why Allura couldn’t see the difference, couldn’t understand his reasoning. “Because!” He bit out, words coming out louder than he intended. “Because I love you!”

“That makes it all the worse!” She retorted, giving an angry shake of her head. “You don’t do that to people you love!” Lotor didn’t understand, and he let that show in his eyes, earning a sigh from her.

“I suppose you would have me do things differently.” He said stiffly, holding his arms still at his sides. He could feel the alien’s blood coating through his uniform’s sleeves, and knew he must disgust Allura in this moment. She nodded, and it was all he could do not to scowl.

“We can’t change the past…” Allura began, sounding hesitant. “But we can work on the future. Please Lotor…let me go. Send me back to Arus, to my home.”

“You’re home is now here on Doom.” He told her, and her eyes seemed to well up with even more tears. “Your place is by my side, as my wife.”

“Then why am I in the dungeons?!” She cried out, eyes showing her anguish. “Why was I left here to be assaulted by my cell mates?!”

“That never should have happened.” Lotor told her, tone serious. “I will find out who is responsible for putting you in a cell with these….lower life forms and make them pay.” His words didn’t seem to soothe Allura, the girl raising her hands to cover her face and muffle her sobs. It made him feel even worse to hear her cry like that, Lotor taking a step towards her.

“Don’t!” She gasped out, trying to plastered herself further into the wall. She had heard his footsteps, and reacted with fear, Allura gazing at him frightened. It only served to make him angry, the prince ignoring her plea and pulling her against him, locking his arms in place around her. She struggled and squirmed in his arms, Lotor only holding on to her tighter until Allura tired herself out of her struggles.

“I will be leaving you for a time.” Lotor began, watching as the princess lifted her head to look up at him. His announcement made her tears dry up, Allura looking surprised.

“Leaving? What for?”

Lotor didn’t allow himself to be fooled into thinking she was disappointed he was going, the prince giving her a bitter smile. “I must go to Arus. I have to finish what we started on planet Mieve.”

“No….” She shook her head, and once again tried to pull free of his arms. “Lotor, no! Don’t do this! My people are all but defenseless now!”

“And that’s exactly why we must strike now!” Lotor retorted. “With two pilots down, and only three lions functional, we must push on for total victory. My father will not settle for anything less….” He felt her shiver at the mention of his father, Lotor shifting his hold on her to pet her hair. “Allura…you will have to stay here a while…at least until I return victorious.”

“And if you don’t win?” She was shrewd, staring at him worriedly. “What happens to me then?” He didn’t answer, trying to school his face to be impassive. But that was enough for Allura, she moaned in fear, nearly sagging in his arms. “I’m doomed…” She whispered, and now he frowned at her.

“You have so little faith in my ability to win this war?” She quickly shook her head no, and he demanded almost impatiently. “Then what?”

“I’m doomed either way. Doomed to die or doomed to be your bride….”

“Being my wife is hardly a fate worse than death.” He was sarcastic in the moment, hurt by her comparison of the two fates that awaited her. “I thought I proved that to you on the ship?”

“You can’t sway me with sex!” She told him, giving a shake of her head. Her response only succeeding in frustrating him, Lotor’s hand caressing her cheek now.

“I could prove you wrong…” He said, though he knew the dungeon was hardly the ideal setting for a seduction. “Your body responds to mine. It ENJOYS what I do to you.”

“You force a reaction I neither want or like.” Allura told him, looking just as frustrated as he felt. “And I hate you for it!”

His eyes blazed in the moment, Allura letting out a fearful gasp. “Don’t ever say you hate me Allura.” He warned her, gripping her chin in a cruel hold. “Especially if you don’t mean it.”

He felt the tremble of her body against his, Allura wide eyed and staring back at him. He almost sighed then, but kept quiet. He had known taking a bride that wasn’t a Drule would be difficult under the best of circumstances. It was made worse by the fact that Allura wasn’t willing when she came to him, the girl stubborn and fighting her own feelings. Lotor knew he had to be patient and kind with her, work to melt her defenses and make her love him back.

So he forced a smile he did not feel, leaning in to brush his lips gently overs hers. It took every ounce of will power not to deepen the kiss into something more, Lotor feeling the tremble of Allura’s lips against his. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” He told her, fingers reaching to brush away her tears. “And then we can start our new life together.”

Her look was one of pure sorrow, Allura hesitating to speak. “I don’t know what to hope for.” She admitted, Lotor tucking her hair behind her ears.

“Pray for my success.” Lotor suggested, and then was letting go of her. He had much still to do, the least of which was getting Allura transferred to a new cell, one without any other prisoners. As much as he would like to linger and spend every last available second with his bride, he knew he had to get to work on planning the invasion of Arus. After all, his success, and her life depended on it.

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