Porcelain 60

She hadn’t even had time to properly register what had just happened, Zarkon’s body still warm but rapidly cooling as the life fled from him. She had sighed in relief, speaking on how that monster of a man would never hurt her, never hurt the prince again. Lotor had agreed, letting go of his sword and then it happened. He fell, toppling backwards onto the floor, his blood splattering in great big drops around him.

“Lotor!” Allura forgot herself enough to speak his name, status be damned. He didn’t respond, only fluttered his eyes at her, the slits thick with his disorientation. She moved before she realized it, rushing to his side and dropping to her knees. His eyes fluttered once more, and then they were closing, leaving Allura to worriedly kneel besides him.

She took a good look at his front, seeing the torn ruin of his shirt, and the blood that seemed to bubble up out of the wound across his stomach. There was so much, and she knew the wound on his back was adding to his blood loss, Allura letting out a shrill scream for help.

Even as she cried and shouted for someone to come help her, she was moving into action, taking hold of her silver skirts, and tearing them apart so that the lacy under skirts were revealed. She tied a strip of skirt around his arm, but the shallow wound there was already seeming to scab over. The real points of danger was his stomach and back, Allura pushing down on the bleeding wound with a huge section of her skirt in an attempt to stop the bleeding.

“Someone help us!” She screamed again, knowing guards had been left outside the room. At least they had been when she had arrived, though she wondered why no one had come sooner to investigate her screams, and Lotor and Zarkon’s shouting. “The prince….!”

Tears began to blur her eyes, Allura sniffling as she looked down at Lotor. She had a conflicting array of feelings in the moment, but ultimately she was frightened for him. “You have to live…” She told him, not bothering to whisper. “Damn it, you can’t die!”

She let some of her anger seep into her voice, Allura remembering how frightened she had been when she had been brought to this room and left alone with King Zarkon. It didn’t compare to the terror she had felt when she realized Lotor had intended to reveal who she really was, and a part of her was angry with the prince for doing that to her.

She’d trade away the anger she felt in an instant if it meant Lotor would live, Allura pressing down harder on his stomach wound. Her silver skirt was turning red, the blood was bleeding through despite all her efforts. “HELP!” She shrieked, and wasn’t sure how much time had passed when the doors suddenly flew open. Allura felt like sagging in relief, though she didn’t stop her attempts to keep Lotor’s blood inside his body.

“Help him.” She pleaded, her tears making it impossible for her to tell if the uniforms were that of Zarkon’s private guard, or of the regular palace guards. She heard the murmur of voices, footsteps hurrying forward, and then she was pulled away from Lotor’s side. She wanted to scream and fight them, but realized that wouldn’t help the prince, Allura nearly sagging in the grip of the one who held her.

“Get a stretcher in here.” One of the guards had taken charge, ordering the others about. Communicators were brought out into the open, various voices being added to the mix as they called down for back up and medical assistance.

“Don’t stop putting pressure on the prince’s wounds.” Continued the guard, the others murmuring agreement. Two men knelt over Lotor, grabbing fresh pieces of Allura’s skirt to try and slow the flow of blood.

Others approached the King, and one swore a steady stream of curses in Drule, making a holy symbol over his chest with his hands. They touched Zarkon only long enough to verify he was dead, and then left him pinned to the wall. Allura realized they were leaving the body for forensics to deal with, the guards being careful not to disturb anything about the scene around the king.

Eventually the medics arrived, Lotor being lifted onto a stretcher that took three Drules to lift. The remains of his shirt were cut away, gauze bandages being wrapped around his torso, the white fabric turning red far too quickly for Allura’s liking. They didn’t linger to change the bandages, merely hurrying out of the room, Allura hearing them say something about he would need stitches and a blood transfusion.

She tried to follow, and the hands that had been supporting her turned harsh, gripping her tightly. Allura attempted to twist free, letting out a wild cry. “Let me go! I have to go with him!”

“You’re going nowhere.” A guard said, Allura realizing it was the man who had taken charge of the proceedings. “Not until we get some answers!”

“Answers?!” She blinked rapidly, her hands held in place so she couldn’t even wipe away her tears.

“Yes. Just what happened here?” The Drule asked, giving a gesture towards Zarkon’s body.

“The….the prince….and the king, they fought.” Allura began, words coming out hesitantly.

“Fought? Fought about what?” demanded the Drule, and she paused. She didn’t know if she was supposed to reveal just what had gone down, if Lotor wanted the
truth to be brought out.

“About many things…” She finished lamely.

“What kind of things?” He questioned sharply, and she shrugged. “You have to give me more than that!”

“It is not my right to speak on royal secrets!” Allura retorted. “If his highness wants it to be known, then HE shall be the one to reveal what they argued about.”

“That’s if his highness survives the night.” The guard muttered darkly, and Allura felt a fresh wave of tears spring into her eyes.

“What do you mean?” She gasped out her question around a sob, staring horrified at the guard.

“You saw the amount of blood he lost. The amount he continues to lose. They’ll be lucky if he doesn’t die before they get him to the medical wing.”

“NO!!” Allura shook her head, eyes wild with fear. “No, he can’t die!”

“It’ll leave the kingdom without a heir…” Another guard said, and she fought back a growl, not giving a damn if Doom had a royal to sit on it’s throne.

“If that happens, it’ll be the start of civil war.” Said a third, a female guard. “Nobles fighting, scrambling for the crown.”

“Times will just get bloodier…” sighed the one in charge, then eyed Allura. “Unless she’s pregnant.” Her own eyes went wide, Allura shocked by the suggestion.

“What?”

“You’re the prince’s mistress. Accidents happen. You might be carrying his heir as we speak.” A humorless smile, the guard speculative. “That might be the only thing that saves you….for now.”

“Saves me?” Allura repeated, then shook her head. She’d argue later about the fact she had been using preventatives daily to make sure such an accident would not happen, Allura more confused with what the guard meant. “Save me from what?”

“It doesn’t look good for you. The lone survivor in what looks to be a massacre.” The guard tsked. “And a royal one at that.”

“What are you saying?” Allura asked, not understanding.

“It’s just suspicious how the King and the prince could both come away at death’s door, and yet you don’t have a scratch on you. It’ll make people wonder…”

“Wonder?” She echoed, still not getting it.

“It’s not the first time an assassin has come to the castle disguised as a beautiful woman.” Clarified the guard, and she gaped at him, astounded.

“An assassin?” A quick blink of her eyes, and then she was letting out a choked out laughter. “You think I did this?!” She glanced at Zarkon’s body, seeing him pinned in place by the two swords. “You’re insane if you believe that! How could I ever hope to get the drop on two men, let alone Drules! You think they just held still while I attacked them?!”

“They could have been drugged.” One suggested, and a thrid had an idea of his own.

“She might not be completely human.”

“We’ll have to get a blood sample to verify that.” The female guard decided.

“Here’s my theory…” Began the one in charge. “You goaded them into fighting, and then finished them off after they had exhausted themselves.”

“And just how would I do that?” Allura demanded, earning a shrew look from the guard.

“It’s common knowledge you stirred the King’s interest. It was all the nobles could talk about for days at a time. Let’s say you roused a little jealousy over time, till it got to the point neither the king nor the prince could handle it.”

“You’re reaching for a conclusion that is insane!” Allura snapped. “I am not an assassin and I didn’t lead them to fight…” She hesitated, realizing in a way she had. The guard’s shrewd gaze noted her hesitation, the man flashing her a humorless smile.

“Are you sure about that?”

“The food….it’s drugged….” Guards moved into action at her words, hurrying to check on the food. “His highness, the prince laced it with some kind of truth serum.”

“And why would he do such a thing?” The guard asked.

“He wanted answers from his father.” Allura explained. “Answers the King would be hesitant to give him. I cannot say anymore without the prince’s permission.”

“Right…” The guards seemed doubtful of what she was saying, Allura narrowing her eyes.

“It’s the truth!” No one agreed or argued with her, the forensics team arriving. Allura and her small entourage of guards shuffled over to the far corner of the room, well out of the way of the team of Drules who set about documenting everything. Pictures were taken of the King’s body, and of the blood stains spilled all over the floor. Even the food was photographed, and Allure herself had to pose for one as her torn skirts was of great interest to the Drules.

She listened as the forensics team talked to one another, wearing plastic gloves and booties to keep from tracking evidence all over the place. Allura realized it would be a long time before the team of Drules finished their investigation, and all the while Zarkon’s body continued to remain pinned to the wall.

“Please…” Allura begged the guards, having tired of their interrogation. “I need to see the prince. i need to know if he’s doing okay.”

“You’ll find out sooner or later whether he lived or died.” The guard in charge said. “But for now, you’re coming with us.”

“Coming where?!” Allura asked, alarmed and finding herself pushed forward by the guard who was holding onto her arms.

“To the dungeons.” Came the answer, the Drule not turning to look at her. “I think a night or two in a cell might loosen that tongue of yours. Maybe then you’ll be willing to tell us what really happened.”

“I’m telling you the truth, and all I can without the prince’s permission!” Allura was just this short of shouting, glaring angrily at the guard’s back.

“That remains to be seen.” Was the guard’s answer, leaving Allura to want to scream in frustration.

“Just where were you when all the fighting was occurring?” Allura demanded, thinking a whole lot of aggravation could have been saved if the guards had come in earlier.

The Drule hesitated, then turned to look at her. “Dealing with a disturbance among the prince’s guards.”

“A disturbance?” She was confused now, looking questioningly at him. He just shrugged, seeming leery to share the details with her. “Is it common practice to leave the King unguarded for such long periods of time?” That jab seemed to annoy the Drule, he glared at her before turning his back to her.

She was dragged through the castle, the guards occasionally asking her more quaestiones, trying to see if she had changed her mind about sharing the story of what had happened. She didn’t, Allura steadfastly refusing to tell them any more than what she had already said.

At last they reached the dungeons, and her breath seemed to catch in her throat as they began the descent into that foul pit. Old fears seemed to surface, Allura remembering a time when she had been locked in darkness, alone and hysterical, frightened for reasons that had more to do than just being in castle doom’s dungeon.

She managed not to whimper as she heard the sounds of the prisoners crying out, people being tortured, and people begging for mercy. There was even people damning the Drule, bold and not caring if they were beaten or killed for what they were saying. And when they caught sight of Allura, they began cat calling, shouting out graphic suggestions of what they wanted to do to her body.

“Put her in an empty cell.” Decided the guard in charge. “She’s not to be harmed for now.”

That was the only mercy she got, Allura almost sagging in relief to think she would not be sharing a cell with any of the more perverted prisoners. She could still hear them shouting, could feel their eyes on her, undressing her with their dirty looks.

The cell’s door was open, and she was unceremoniously shoved to it’s floor, the gate slamming shut before she could rise up off her feet. She rushed forward, wrapping her hands around the bars and glared at the guards who had escorted her to this cesspit.

“For your sake, I hope this experience loosens your tongue about what happened.” The guard said, almost looking sympathetic. “If you don’t start talking soon, we’ll have to take measures to get the information out of you.”

“Measures?” She shivered where she stood, Allura hazarding a guess at the kind of torture they might do to her. “Please….the prince….can you not find out for me how he is doing?”

“Worry about yourself for now.” The Drule advised, and started to move past her cell. She reached out with her hand, snagging his arm, the man stiffening at her touch.

“I can’t do anything but worry about his highness!”

A look was exchanged, and then the guard was sighing, whipping out his communicator. “Fine…” She heard him speak into it, a voice answering. Several more minutes would pass, the two conversing before word came of Prince Lotor’s condition.

“He’s still in surgery.” Explained the guard. “They’re still trying to stabilize him…”

She supposed no news was good news, Allura sighing. “Thank you.” The guard just nodded, and walked away, Allura staring after him until she could no longer make out the light he carried. Then she sighed, and backed away from the bars, sitting down gingerly on the grime covered floor. She brought her knees to her chest, hugging her arms around them and shivered.

“Oh Lotor…” She whispered, a silent tear working it’s way down her cheek. “You have to survive…..you just have to!”

She heard something skitter across the floor of her cell, Allura stiffening. Was that a rat? She didn’t know, and she was glad for the darkness that hid the creature from her sight. Trying to ignore the sounds, and the fear that something would run across her foot, she began to pray, clasping her hands together. It was after all, the only thing she could do in this strife ridden time.


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