It would take nearly two weeks for Lotor and his forces to make the journey from Doom to Arus, even with the engines being worked to full throttle, burning fuel at an alarming rate. Lotor did not care about the cost, insisting on using liquid lazon to give his armada the added boost needed to shave a full day off their travels. He knew his father would most likely bitch about the outrageous expense, but Lotor didn’t care.
The only thing that did matter was getting to Arus, and launching a successful campaign against the lions, all done in a timely manner. Never before had Lotor been as aware of the press of time as he was now, the prince counting down the days to the exact second the full month would be up. He knew his father would be doing the same, the king overly gleeful at the thought of snuffing out Allura’s life.
Lotor couldn’t allow that to happen, couldn’t allow himself or his men to fail. Never had anything so important been riding on the outcome of any battle, Lotor wanting the reward of Allura’s life to be a token of lady luck that drove him onwards to victory.
And so he pushed himself, and he pushed his men, holding meetings that went on for hours as they journeyed to planet Arus. He went over plan after plan, devising tactics and schemes, straining the brains of his generals and tacticians. He rejected just as many plans as he approved, until he narrowed it down to one he was sure would not fail and would not take more than another week to carry through.
Time was of the essence, it followed him like a shadow, Lotor always aware of it. He could practically hear it counting down the days left to Allura, making him frantic and nervous. Those reactions were not good, they caused him to doubt, to fumble with ideas. Lotor had to shove aside thoughts of Allura to concentrate on war, and that proved difficult indeed.
He couldn’t seem to stop thinking about her, especially at night when alone in his bed. It angered him to be without her, Lotor having thought that once he caught her, he’d need never part from her again. More than the anger and the worry he felt, was the fact that Lotor missed her, the prince surprised at how attached he had become to the princess in so short a time.
He went to sleep dreaming of her, delicious, decadent dreams, full of sinful pleasures. They’d leave him painfully aroused, Lotor waking up erect and needy, angry at having to tend to his own desires in his least favorite way. He wished he could see her, even for a second, but his father had been strict on limiting their contact. Zarkon would do nothing to help Lotor alleviate his need for Allura, not even allowing them a few seconds time on a view screen.
Of course, unbeknownst to his father, Lotor had taken measures to keep abreast of Allura’s condition. He had personally selected a man, a trusted soldier who was being paid a king’s ransom to keep an eye on Allura. The solider had been stationed in the dungeons, a guard on Allura’s cell, able to protect her and let Lotor know just how she was doing during her imprisonment.
For weeks now, the soldier had called twice a day without fail, giving Lotor progress reports. The prince savored what he learned about Allura, finding she was keeping her wits about her, and had only had a few fits of weeping. She wasn’t eating as well as she could be, the girl turning her nose up at the slop they served in the dungeon. Lotor had his man sneak her extra rations, making sure she understood just where they were coming from.
She hadn’t thanked him for it, but at least she wasn’t starving herself anymore. Other gifts came from Lotor, a blanket and pillow snuck into Allura’s cell. She didn’t dare shun them, the dungeons kept at an icy cold temperature, the floor hard and uncomfortable. He worried for her health, Lotor knowing the dungeons festered with illness, germs spreading from prisoner to prisoner like wildfire.
And soon he had new worries about his bride, the man he had stationed to guard her ceasing all communication with the prince. For over three days he had been left to worry, wondering at the reason behind the silence, and fearing his father had discovered the plant. Such an outcome didn’t bode well for either Allura or the soldier, and all Lotor wanted to do was return to Doom and steal Allura away from her cell.
He damned his father often, hating that he must earn the right to have Allura as his reward. Once he had his victory over the lions, he intended to take a long break from conquest, his father’s wishes be damned. He deserved a vacation, and what better way to spend it then with Allura in his arms.
But first he had to deal with the situation at hand, Lotor holding back sighs as he leaned back in the seat that overlooked the command center. His men were everywhere, various personnel working machines, getting read outs and inputting orders. Conversation was a constant, people relaying orders, obtaining information from the other ships that made up Lotor’s armada.
Scurrying one deck below him was General Morgor, the Drule trying to keep things running smoothly. He had his orders, personally given to him by Lotor himself, and the prince expected there to be no screw ups.
The view screens were made up of several windows, each one showing a different part of Arus. Robeasts were running rampant in the towns, six in all unleashed,
draining the witch Haggar to the point of collapse. For all her exhaustion, she still found time to complain, her nasally voice could be heard screeching along the corridors leading to the medical facilities of the ship.
Haggar was not happy about be pushed to her limits, the witch angry and as weak as a kitten now that she had enlarged and enhanced so many robeasts. She had practically threatened Lotor with death if the lions somehow managed to win this day, but so far the lions weren’t making a dent in destroying the robeasts. They seemed unsure of what to do, of where to go first.
Wisely they did not split up to tackle the monsters individually, the lions eventually choosing a target, the city closest to the castle. There the robeast was a lizard like monster, a behemoth with clawed fingers that raked through the air, easily slicing through concrete. Houses had been reduced to rubble, people were trapped or dead, and those able were fleeing the city.
They didn’t all make it, the monster whipping it’s tail about, launching groups of stragglers into the air. It roared and lunged with it’s jaws, snatching a man from the sky, and swallowing him down in two gulps. That only horrified the panicking populace, the people growing even more desperate to get away. The robeast’s feet stomped on the ground, causing the ground to shake and more ruined houses to crumple.
Red lion was the first to arrive at the city, the fire spewing feline seeming faster than the other two. Lotor was hopeful that no sign of black lion was to be found, the prince wondering if that meant captain Keith was really dead. He leaned back in his command chair, a pleased smile on his face as he watched the monitor. His smile didn’t falter when red lion’s flames set the lizard robeast’s back on fire, the creature screaming in pain and taking wild swipes at the air.
More flames spouted from red lion’s mouth, the pilot flying in close to the robeast. Too close, the robeast slashing at it’s side with it’s claws. Sparks shot off the metal, ugly gashes appeared that revealed the colorful insides of the lion. It didn’t slow down red lion, though it made the pilot cautious, Lance backing away from the robeast to land on a collapsed roof.
The robeast’s tail lashed angrily, it’s back still flaming. Lotor leaned forward and called out a command, impatient for the fire to be put out. “Have our ships douse red lion’s flames!”
“Yes, Prince Lotor!” came the answer, a technician contacting the appropriate ships. After two years of dealing with the lions, the ships from Doom came prepared for their attacks. several ships flying in close to dump cold water on both the lion and the robeast. The lion sent up more sparks as the water got into it’s exposed insides, and the robeast seemed to sigh in relief.
But the fight wasn’t over, green lion and yellow lion were finally arriving, having paused to take out some of Lotor’s ships. It didn’t matter, he had more than enough to replace the ones lost. He had come prepared, with several flag ships, battle ships, destroyers, and carriers that held hundreds of fighting star cutters. Some would say Lotor had over done it, the prince bringing with him nearly half of Doom’s military.
He would have brought more, but his father had put his foot down, forbidding him from emptying their home world of their defenses. He supposed Zarkon had had a point, someone might be so foolish as to attack planet Doom. So Lotor had reluctantly conceded to his father’s orders, still managing to bring more ships than Arus had ever had the misfortune of seeing before this day.
The ships were occupying the eastern hemisphere of planet Arus, lending support to the robeasts, and attacking additional towns. There was also two fleets worth of ships surrounding the castle of lions, exchanging laser fire with the building. Arus was pitifully outnumbered, too used to relying on the lions to have it’s own space military. Already calls were being put out to Galaxy Garrison, Arus pleading for help.
But help would not be coming anytime soon, Lotor’s ships using jammers to block the signals from traveling off planet. A few of his men were laughing at the pathetically worded pleas, amused at the desperation the people inside the castle were showing. Lotor couldn’t relax enough to join them in their mirth, the prince knew all it took was one call to get past their jammers and Garrison would come.
They needed to end this, and fast, but time seemed not on their side. The lizard robeast continued to do battle with the lions, the trio taking turns zig zagging by it’s claws. The monster was constantly spinning about, trying to get a bead on a lion to do some damage. As the lions passed by, they each did their own elements special attack.
Those attacks served to agitated the monster more, it was screaming in rage, tail lashing about angrily. At one point it took a lunging step towards green lion, trying to close it’s mouth around the metal feline’s body. It got a broken fang for it’s effort, Lotor fighting not to snarl.
“Haggar! Are your robeasts that stupid?!” She wasn’t present to answer, but he could imagine the kind of excuses she’d give him. “Someone! Herd the robeasts from the nearest two towns to this location! We’ll see how the lions do when there are three of Haggar’s monsters to contend with!”
General Morgor was already relaying his order, and on the view screen, Lotor could see ships breaking away from the safety of the fleet. They began firing on the creatures, lasers coming close but not harming the monsters. It left the monsters outraged, and though they tried to fight, they eventually began to move to avoid the lasers. It would take close to an hour for them to walk into the city where the lions were, daylight was fast fading away, the first day of the battle ready to draw to a close.
Lotor wanted a decisive victory, the prince glaring at the screen as he watched the lions battle with the lizard like monster. For all the injuries they had managed to do to the creature, they had not been able to completely take it down. They needed Voltron for that, and without all the lions, Voltron would not be saving the day for once.
The other two robeasts were very different looking from the lizard creature. One seemed a strange marsupial animal, with bright red fur, and carrying two swords in each hand. The other was a creature that had eyes in the back of his head, allowing it to see in two directions at once. Green, snake like tentacles covered it’s head and it’s body, and they slithered about as though they had minds of their own.
When they arrived at the city, the three lions seemed to do a double take, green lion just missing getting hit by the tail of the lizard robeast. The three lions quickly flew away from the robeast, seeming to regroup to think up a plan of attack. Lotor imagined the pilots sweating in their seats, and he had to fight back the urge to laugh triumphantly.
“Open up a channel to the lions.” Lotor ordered, wanting a chance to gloat. No one argued with him, technicians working to secure contact with the lion’s pilots. Over on the view screen, three angry faces appeared, the pilots annoyed and hostile at seeing the Drule prince.
“Lotor! What do you want?” demanded the pilot of red Lion, Lance openly glaring at him. Lotor was annoyed at how familiarly these youths spoke to him, leaving off his title as though they were equals.
“Just calling to see how things are going.” Lotor smirked, watching as the three robeasts rushed towards the lions. Regretfully, the lions took off into the air, firing missiles at the monsters. “I think now would be a good time for surrender.”
“Sure blue boy. Anytime you’re ready, the castle has a dungeon cell all picked out for you.” Lance retorted, earning a scowl from Lotor.
“I wasn’t talking about me surrendering!” He snapped, then tried to regain his cool. “Come now Voltron Force, even you must see the futility of this endeavor. You’re outnumbered by both my ships and Haggar’s robeasts. There will be no Voltron to save the day, even if you could form the robot. You must know that to continue in this way will only bring death and more destruction to you and the people of Arus.”
“We will never give up!” Hunk, the pilot of yellow lion said. “We will fight you to our last breath!”
“So be it.” Lotor said, prepared to cut off the transmission when green lion’s pilot spoke up.
“What have you done to the princess, you fiend?!” Pidge demanded.
Lotor allowed a slow grin to cross his face, knowing his look was one of smug satisfaction as he thought of Allura. “My bride is fine, thank you for asking.”
“Bride?!” The three pilots gasped at one, hardly daring to believe what he had just said.
“No way would the princess marry you.” Lance said.
“Yeah, she has standards!” added Hunk. “Lots of them!”
He didn’t let his annoyance show, just kept smirking at them. “How very fortunate that on Doom a bride’s consent is not required then. Now do hurry up and die, for I am most eager to return to my sweet darling’s side.”
They made all kinds of protests, angry and insulting ones, but Lotor was already gesturing for the transmission to be cut off. It died on Lance’s curse, the pilot making a gruesome threat on just what he would do to Lotor if the prince had laid so much as a finger on Allura.
“A pity for him it was more than just my finger I touched her with.” Lotor muttered, than broke into laughter. He spied General Morgor out the corner of his eyes, the Drule looking uneasy at his prince’s amusement. “What?!”
“Permission to start bombing the castle of lions, sir!” Morgor exclaimed, and Lotor stood up.
“No! We’re not resorting to that measure just yet!” He was saving the bombs in case they got really desperate, Lotor knowing how much Haggar and his father wanted the castle of lions intact. The witch had filled Zarkon’s head with the idea that there was secrets and magic to be found inside the castle, leaving the king to lust after power. For Haggar’s continued well being, Lotor hoped the castle really did contain those things, lest his father punish her in some gruesome fashion.
They had come prepared with all kinds of bombs, from relatively harmless explosives to nuclear weapons. But Lotor didn’t want to devastate the planet, any more than his father did, the Drules hoping to use it as another fertile world that could feed their people. He knew if he lost the planet to the destruction powers of their nuclear weaponry, his father would see it as a total defeat. Allura would pay the price. Lotor needed to win the battle, capture the planet, and make sure both the world and it’s people were able to serve the Drules.
He turned his attention back to the lions’ fight with the robeasts, seeing each one taking on an individual monster. Yellow lion which was slighter bigger than red and green lion, fought with the marsupial creature, a curved blade in it’s mouth. The blade clashed into the marsupial’s swords, and then yellow lion was rebounding backwards, the marsupial chasing after it.
Red lion continued to shoot flames at the lizard robeast, it’s speed helping the lion to avoid it’s claws and tail. That left green lion to fight the tentacle robeast, the feline shooting out mini tornadoes in an attempt to blow the robeast from him. But even that couldn’t keep it at bay, several of the tentacles lashing out, smacking into green lion’s body.
More tentacles were adding, some curling around green lion’s neck, others around it’s leg and tail. It left green lion immobile, the tentacles slapping over and over onto it’s head and body. Over the airwaves they could hear Pidge shouting for help, the young pilot panicking over not being able to free himself. The other two lions couldn’t help, too busy engaging with their own opponents.
Lotor gestured for General Morgor to come closer, the prince smug and ecstatic at what he perceived to be a victory. “It’s started!” He told his general, smirking as he pointed at the view screen. “Green lion will be the first to fall, and then the other two will go as well. Victory is ours….!”
“Sire!” A technician interrupted his gloating. “There’s movement coming from the castle of lions!”
“Sire! We have a visual…it’s…it’s black lion!” The technician exclaimed, sounding far too excited for Lotor’s liking.
“How can this be?!” Lotor demanded, nearly falling back against his seat. “Keith should be dead! And even if he lived, his injuries were such that he’d be in no condition to pilot that lion!”
“I don’t think it is Captain Keith…” Morgor said, staring at the view screen. “Look at how shaky it’s flight path is…as though an amateur is flying it…”
“I don’t care who’s in the pilot seat, just shoot that lion out of the sky!” Lotor shouted, right hand making a fist. “Do it now!”
“Yes, sir!” came the chorus of answers from several of his men. They relayed his order, star cutters breaking away from the castle to pursue black lion. The lion continued it’s shaky flight, seeming not to know how to avoid the laser blasts that came it’s way. Lasers scorched it’s metal, flames licking on it’s back as the lion continue to barrel forward, at times barely clearing the tops of the trees that made up the forest.
The forest separated the castle from the city, miles of it to go before the black lion could get aid from it’s comrades. The star cutters continued to chase after it, lasers and photon blasts a steady stream that harassed the lion. Occasionally black lion would fire it’s tail laser, but it’s attack was easily dodged by the Drule ships.
The sun had set on Arus, the sky black and making the Drule ships nearly invisible save for when they fired their lasers. Only then would the area around them light up, fluorescent greens and reds, the star cutters speeding, almost riding on black lion’s rear paws.
Black lion was almost clear of the forest when a shot seemed to take it down, the lion suddenly pitching face first into the trees. Lotor’s men onboard his flag ship stopped to cheer, the star cutters hovering over the fallen figure of black lion. Lotor had a split second to make a decision, knowing his father had told him to either capture the lions or destroy them.
“Bomb it!” Lotor decided, and Morgor looked surprised.
“Sire, are you sure?”
“Damn it, I’m sure!” Lotor snapped. “Bomb it until there’s not even scrap metal left of the lion!”
“Yes, Prince Lotor.” The order was carried out, a deluge of explosives being sent down to blow apart the lion. Pieces flew through the sky, it would take several hours for the lion to be completely destroyed.
The other lions would not fare much better, green lion’s head being twisted off by the tentacle robeast. It’s body went lifeless, sagging in the tentacles’ grasp. And still they worked to destroy the lion, tearing it apart until it lay broken in over a dozen pieces. Red lion continued to give the lizard robeast trouble, forcing the tentacle monster to join and help him defeat the feline.
Soon only yellow lion was left, woefully outmatched when surrounded by three robeasts. The pilot fought valiantly though, lasting for several more hours before being cleaved in half by the marsupial’s sword. Once the lions were destroyed, the robeasts set about on continuing their destructive rampage, decimating the city to nothing more than rock and sand.
The other three robeasts did the same to their cities and towns, and soon grew bored of their surroundings. They began wandeirng the planet, seeking out new locations to devastate. The people of Arus were forced to evacuate to caves, hiding away until the Drules got the robeasts under control. It was then that the true nightmare would begin, the Arusians enslaved.
The castle of lions would be the last to fall, Lotor releasing ground troops to wage battle with the pitifully small army that tried to defend the building. His ships picked off the turret guns, and soon they were docking on the property, rushing in to claim the castle as headquarters for Doom’s military outpost. Lotor watched from his flag ship, feeling more relieved than smug at the success he had managed.
The rest of the planet would soon follow, it would take only days to subdue the other kingdoms. Somehow Lotor had pulled off the impossible, and with days to spare on his father’s time limit. At last he could sit back and relax, even celebrate, Lotor smiling as he thought of just who awaited him back home.