My Better Halfby Dr. Kat
Nowhere to Go
"I could have sworn I picked up something on the scanner, sir."
"Well, it's gone now, sir."
"Must be an instrument malfunction. Have the computers checked."
The lights from Castle Doom flashed in random patterns. The thick gray haze swirled up the walls, eventually joining the circle of vultures at the four-horned top. The Princess of Arus crouched in the dark shadows. She could hear her teeth chattering, not from the cold, but from fear.
"What am I doing here?" she kept asking herself over and over. This was insane; following a face in a mirror. She couldn't get into the castle, not with all its defenses. Even if she could find a way in, what was she looking for? For Lotor? Why? Why?
But, she had to. She MUST get in somehow. If only she knew...
"Okay, Allura, think rationally." Allura sorted through the thoughts in her mind. "Who can get into the castle? Well, the warriors, the guards, and the slaves. Can I pose as one? Yeah, maybe, but who's going into the castle right now? No one, that's who!"
She pressed herself closer against the wall as a guard passed close by. "Maybe I could snag him. But, how long is his shift? Would they let me in? Would they ask for a report? Oh, this will never work!" Her head turned away from the castle, towards a shape in the background.
"Or will it?" She thought a little bit. She smiled. "It might. It might!"
"Allura!" Keith hollered into his com link, "Allura, are you there?" Black Lion was investigating the farther right side of the search field Coran had devised, according to Blue Lion's exhaust trail.
After hours of searching, he still came up empty handed. Why are you doing this, princess? he thought to himself. What makes you do these crazy stunts?
Yellow Lion pulled into view. "Any luck, Keith?"
"None, Hunk. Not a trace."
Captain Untor arrived in the infirmary and immediately inquired for the whereabouts of the king. The assistant pointed to a chair near one of the beds.
The captain was momentarily taken aback by the king's extremely fatigued appearance, but approached nonetheless. "King Zarkon?"
"WHAT?!" the monarch snapped back. "What the hell do you want, you miserable excuse for a biped?"
This response made the captain nervously wring his hands. "Well, sir I...uh just w...wanted to..." he stuttered.
"You worthless MORONS!!!" Zarkon bellowed. He glared at the quivering man. "I should execute the lot of you!"
"But sire, I..."
"WHAT DO YOU WANT?!"
"I just wanted to inform you that the scout team from Eko-Parm was back." His voice audibly shook with terror.
"Well, let them in, you warped rotten maggot! Is that so hard?"
"But, you did tell me before that you wanted to oversee..."
"Are you in charge of the project?"
"Then, get those slimeballs in here!"
"But, the report said you wanted to personally oversee..."
"I CHANGED MY MIND! Okay? Who's the king around here anyway?"
"You?" the captain squeaked.
"Very Good! Just for that, I won't kill you right away. Now, get out of my sight!"
"But, what do I do with the scouts?"
"Send them to bed! I don't care!"
"But, the info..."
"OUT!!!" To emphasize his last word, the king threw the chair he had been sitting in, just impacting the captain's left knee. Untor hurriedly limped out of the room, a red trail following behind him.
Later, at one of the entrances to the castle, Captain Untor, still bleeding through the makeshift bandage, quickly called in the last of the scouts. The pain in his leg made him forget to record the identifications of the men, but they were all there. Satisfied, the captain stumbled back towards his quarters to get some medical attention for his wound. He passed the last scout, not even noticing the stray golden curls escaping the confines of the helmet.
"I hate those bastards! I HATE THEM!!!" King Zarkon plopped back into his new chair: "Oww! Damn it!" and was immediately back up again. After the pain subsided, the king sat down more slowly.
He looked to the side at his son. Lotor seemed to finally be asleep. At least someone could sleep.
"What I go through for you, you brat," Zarkon murmured under his breath.
"Sire, we all need rest." Hagar yawned and approached the king's side. "The doctors can watch over Prince Lotor, and I'll stop by later as well."
"I'm not watching over him, old witch. I could care less," the king grumbled. Then, he noticed his hand was, for some reason, resting on his son's hand. When did I put it there, Zarkon thought as he quickly removed his hand and dizzily stood up. "All right, Hagar. I guess I don't want to pass out."
"We'll inform you if his situation changes," Doctor Jannick told both the witch and the king as they exited the infirmary.
"Where would he be?" Allura wondered. She had a computer map of the castle pieced together from knowledge derived from the raids on Planet Doom. But Prince Lotor's chambers weren't on the map. Only the main rooms were given: the throne room, the torture chambers, the communications control, the infirmary...
"I can walk, Hagar!"
King Zarkon was approaching! Allura couldn't find any escape, so she lowered the face visor and bowed in reverence to the king.
"Let go of my arm, you old witch! I don't need a nursemaid," Zarkon continued.
Thank heavens! They were walking past her. Oh man, her heart was pounding from that!
"Sire, you're almost falling over," Hagar pointed out.
"I am not," he insisted, shaking free of her grip at last. But, Hagar soon had hold of him again as he stumbled and just stopped the king from falling forward.
"Ha!" she declared, "So, you don't need my help?"
"Hagar," he growled.
"You don't want to have to join your son in the infirmary with a broken skull now, do you?"
With Zarkon still grumbling in discontent, the two walked out of sight of the disguised princess.
"The infirmary," Allura breathed.
The last assistant left the main room of the infirmary after switching off the lights. The doctors connected the machinery monitoring Lotor's sedatives and vital signs to their personal alarms, and they would take turns monitoring for the rest of the night. If any change came to the prince's condition, they would know immediately.
The assistant nodded at the guard as he took his place by the door. She yawned and started back to her quarters. It had been a long day, and the night would be even longer.
Inside the infirmary, the prince still struggled to regain consciousness. No matter how hard he tried, the drugs thwarted his efforts. Then somehow, perhaps a small fluke in the machinery, the flow of tranquilizers was slowed. It was soon corrected by the doctor in charge, but not before Lotor's eyes opened slightly and a smile crossed his face. Someone had heard his cry for help. Someone would...help....him....esc.......
The alarm clock kept buzzing. No matter how hard he hit the damn thing, it kept blaring on. He smashed it with his shoe, but, it reformed and danced across the bedstand, its voice as strong as ever.
"Shut up!" he screamed at the annoying clock. Then, he realized he was asleep.
Doctor Jannick finally woke up, figuring out that the sound he heard was not an undying alarm clock, but his personal alarm. He had already altered the prince's drug flow once during the night. It was probably another fluke. He slowly got out of bed, carrying his small beeper with him.
Upon reaching his desk, Jannick plugged the beeper into the computer. He punched the readout for the drug flow.
"That's funny," he murmured, "All seems to be in order." So, he proceeded to check the other readouts... "Oh hells!!"
Allura heard the warning alarms throughout the infirmary. Thankfully, there was no one but that guard at the door. The micro-needle patch for the IV lay dangling off the side of the bed. Allura was working on the magical bonds when she heard a groan.
She removed her helmet and bent to look at the awakening figure.
Allura watched as the prince moved his head, shaking off the sleep. What was he doing in the infirmary? And chained up as well? The bonds looked like Hagar's handiwork, but why?
"Lotor?" She dared to reach out a hand and shake his shoulder. "Lotor, wake up!"
"Lotor!" I can't believe I'm doing this!
"Doing what? Huh?" His eyes opened. He looked at her. "You!" He smiled at her. She was the one! She had heard his cry for help! But why was she suddenly afraid? Allura had backed up when he smiled and reached for her blaster.
Oh, why was she so foolish? If this was a trap, she had walked right into it!
Lotor tried to sit up, but couldn't because of the bonds. He looked at them. It took a little effort with the drugs still in his system, but he heard the satisfying snap as he broke the restraints with his powers. With that, he sat up to get a better look at his rescuer. But, she seemed to be even more fearful of him than ever.
"Why are you afraid?" he questioned. He could see her memories; a man chasing her, holding a glowing sword to her throat, threatening her...HIM??? "Do you know me?"
The fear changed abruptly to confusion. "You don't...know who I am?" she asked him.
"I don't remember ever seeing you before."
"You are Lotor, aren't you?"
"Yes, that's my name. What's yours?"
What was wrong with him? First, he performed a magical feat by deactivating the bonds, then he seemed to be suffering from some sort of amnesia. Something's very wrong with him, Allura thought.
"What's wrong with me?" Lotor looked at the young woman, studying her face.
"Can you read my thoughts, too? What's happened to you, Lotor? What have they done to you?"
Lotor just stared at her, trying to remember.
Allura looked into his cat eyes. But...she looked closer. His eyes! There was white around the edges of his eyes! What the...?
Lotor was also looking at eyes. Those crystal blue eyes. Blue eyes...blue eyes...gold hair...gold...gold...so pretty...and who are you, my pretty? "A..."
"Lotor, you're changing!"
"Your eyes, they used to be..."
"ra?" He looked at her for some response. He saw it; her eyes had widened, and he felt her recognition. "Is that your name? Allura?"
"Yes," she whispered. So, he did remember her. She took a deep breath to help her think. "Okay, you called out to me?"
"You needed help?"
"Yes! I need help! Someone has trapped me here! They say they know me, but I..." He shuddered, remembering his fight with the old woman. Then, that person...Father? But, it was so horrible to be here! It felt like death everywhere! "I want to leave!" he told her.
"Leave?" Leave his home?
"I can't stand it here! If it is my home, I don't remember! I don't know anyone or anything! Allura, please help me! I know you will, please!"
Realizing that time was probably short; they would soon find out the communications throughout the castle had been disabled by the princess, Allura decided to trust him. She stuck the helmet back on her head. "All right, Lotor. Come on!" She extended her hand to him. "We're getting out of here!"
Doctor Jannick came tearing down the hallway just as Hagar was approaching from the other direction. "Your Highness! The life signs of the prince have been suddenly cut off. It's like someone severed the IV connection..."
"And someone has broken my magic bonds!"
"I tried to call for guards, but..."
At this time, a guard also ran to the king's chambers. "Sire, the control panel for the intercom communications has been destroyed! So have the back-ups!"
"QUIET!!!" Zarkon yelled at the three. What a way to wake up!
"But, sire..." Zarkon grabbed the disobedient guard by the throat and slammed him against the wall.
"*Cough* We have a saboteur!"
"A saboteur?" Zarkon dropped the guard to the floor and turned to the witch.
"It must be Prince Lotor," she declared, "He has escaped! There's no other explanation!"
"Call the infirmar...no...(no intercom), get a team down there! Bang on all the door if you have to. IMMEDIATELY!!" Zarkon then returned to his chambers to get dressed.
As the doors slammed behind the king, Doctor Jannick turned to the witch. "The prince sabotaged the communications equipment? I find that hard to believe, Witch Hagar."
"Well, who else could have done it? He broke free of my magic bonds, thus he must be conscious."
"But, his IV drugs and level of consciousness were steady until the point that the connection was severed."
"Your point being?"
"Someone else must have pulled the plug. But who? And why?"
"You know what I think?" asked the witch.
"I think we need to stop speculating and find out for ourselves who's responsible." The witch then turned to head to the infirmary.
"I couldn't agree more," replied the doctor as he followed.
Soon afterwards, the king reappeared and, with his personal guards, started towards the infirmary as well.
"They're coming." Progress was slow for the princess and prince. He was still slightly incapacitated, barely able to walk without running into the wall or Allura. She finally gave him her shoulder to lean on as they tried to find a way out of the castle. The princess had hit yet another dead end when Lotor made his supersensory announcement.
This new bit of news was not something she wanted to hear at this moment. "Where are they?" she asked him.
The prince was silent for a moment, his eyes looking up. "They're above us, heading down a staircase."
"Not that one in front of us?" she questioned.
Lotor looked at her as they both began to hear footsteps. "Yep," he replied.
Chapter Five"Stop where you are!" came a voice from the stairwell.
"Oh no..." The princess looked around and found no escape save down the lone corridor, which ran right into the stairs. Behind them was only a window, and that was at least twenty stories up.
Allura pulled out her blaster, wondering if there was any way they could run past the stairs before...
The first soldiers came into view. "Shit!" she whispered under her breath.
They both backed up against the wall. "You don't happen to have any suggestions, do you?" she asked Lotor. It was then she realized that he did not seem to share her concern. Instead, he looked at her and smirked.
She felt his arm go around her waist. "Hold onto me," he told her.
"What?!" She felt herself tremble slightly.
"Hold onto me," he repeated. The soldiers were now running towards them.
"STOP!!!" they yelled at the two. Allura had no other choice but to do as Lotor said. She wrapped her arms around his back. He now held her tightly with both arms and started to lean back... Out the window?
"What are you do...AAHHHhhh!!!" Allura's stomach did somersaults, the helmet flying off of her head and the wind whipping through her hair, as they fell down...down...up? They were rising! She opened her eyes and stared at Lotor, who was still smiling at her. They were now hovering a few stories below the window.
Soldiers stared, flabbergasted, as Lotor took them both farther away from the castle.
"So, where do we need to go?" he asked her finally.
"You can FLY?!" Allura clung tightly to him, her cheek pressed against his chest, still not believing her own eyes.
"Is there somewhere we can go?"
"But...I...yes! Yes, go right a little, then straight across the wasteland. My ship is out...you can FLY?!"
"What are you staring at?" yelled Doctor Jannick as he approached the still stupefied soldiers. "Why are you looking out the window?"
"They went out the window," said one of the guards.
"WHO?!" demanded the monarch.
"The...the prince and...someone else. I couldn't see who..."
"They JUMPED?! But, the window is at least..."
"They didn't fall, though. They...flew."
"OHHH!" the witch groaned in anger. Of COURSE an elf would be able to fly!
"GET A TEAM OUTSIDE!"
"Now he's escaped!" continued Hagar. "Now what'll we do?"
"WHO HELPED HIM?" bellowed Zarkon.
"We couldn't see the face," replied one soldier, "It was covered by a helmet. Then, it was too dark outside.
"From the scream, I would guess it was a woman," another soldier chimed in.
"I'm ge...getting..." The prince's magic was taxing his already depleted strength. They were flying slower and closer to the ground. "Getting tired..."
"Hang on, Lotor. It's just ahead. Over that ridge. There!" Blue Lion came into view. Allura's feet were scraping the dusty rock in the ravine where the lion resided. She stumbled as Lotor powers finally gave out, then rose to her feet and looked around her.
"That's odd," mumbled the princess.
"I don't remember seeing a forest here the last time I looked, let alone anywhere on Doom." Yet, there were trees, popping up out of nowhere a short distance away from the wall of the chasm. She turned to Lotor, who lay on the ground, his eyes open and glassy.
"We're here, Lotor, thanks to you."
He smiled weakly. "Nothing to it," he stammered out.
With some effort, Allura managed to get Lotor inside Blue Lion. She lowered him carefully to the floor and placed a spare blanket underneath his head. He looked at her as his eyes were closing.
"You're...so...beautiful." Lotor fell asleep.
Allura felt herself blush. She watched the prince to make sure he was only sleeping, then activated Blue Lion and quickly prepared to take off.
"Princess!! Where have you been?" Coran stared for a moment in disbelief. "And would you mind telling me why you're dressed like a Doomanian soldier?" he asked.
"Well, Coran," Allura started out, "it's a long story." She disappeared from the hatch for a minute, then reappeared half carrying the unconscious prince.
"Princess! Who is...WHAT THE DEVIL?!"
"Uh, that's an even longer story, Coran."
Chapter Six"Would you care for something to drink, Prince Lotor?" Coran knew at least he'd need something strong to deal with this very odd situation.
"Well," said Lotor, "I suppose..." But, as Coran opened the bottle, Lotor smelled the scent of alcohol, "NO! Uh...no, thank you."
Coran eyed the prince for a moment, then shrugged and poured one glass. He downed it in two seconds.
"By Jove, I needed that!" he declared, wincing slightly at the burning taste of the alcohol. Oh, what a day! The princess suddenly disappears, then a day and a half later reappears. And who with but their enemy Prince Lotor!
But, he had changed so much. His skin was no longer the tint of a Drule but an ivory color. His eyes, after he awoke, were found to look human, with a circular iris and pupil. His ears were still similar, but they had a finer point to them.
And what of his lost memory? Lotor had awakened in the presence of all the Voltron force and Coran himself, and the only one he was able to recognize was the princess. Scans of the prince's brain indicated that a great number of his memory storage sites were, for some reason, inaccessible to Lotor. They were still there but somehow were pulled away and replaced by new empty ones.
It seemed like half of his entire memories was dislodged by this process, while the other seemed unaffected. His brain also seemed to have increased in strength, the mental pathways becoming hyperactive. Enormous amounts of energy were detected in his mind, known to be associated with supernatural power.
It was a good thing that Lotor's amnesia and new magic abilities could be scientifically explained. Keith looked about ready to kill Lotor, and Coran himself was skeptical, thinking it was a trick.
Princess Allura went through a great deal of explaining, about her leaving in Blue Lion unannounced to her "rescue" of Prince Lotor. Apparently, Lotor had sent a signal to the princess, asking for her help. How could she deny a request for help, Allura had explained.
Coran wasn't altogether convinced that that was the only reason for helping the prince, but how could he say? And what could he say to this...elf, as he called himself?
"Okay, Prince Lotor," Coran started out, "We need to talk." But, what about?
"I don't know."
"I don't know 'what about.'"
"Oh." That's right, thought Coran. He can read minds. He probably knows quite well that people here think of him as a threat.
"Yes, I do," Lotor responded.
"A word of advice, Prince Lotor: only respond to what we speak, not what we think. If you have to read our minds, keep it to yourself. It's...it's just confusing to us non-mind readers."
This confrontation made Coran feel so weird. Lotor had changed so much. He still acted similar to the old Lotor. That was evident in the clinic when the prince first threw Keith's drawn gun, then Keith himself across the room with his mind powers. But, at least he was listening to them instead of trying to blow them up. He seemed to have more respect, only acting in self defense, but...oh, Coran didn't know. He was just so confused by the prince's appearance and actions.
Lotor was listening. The Prince of Doom was listening to others, and actually asking for help from the enemy. And the princess was willing to protect him? How could Coran make sense of this?
"All right, Lotor, you know that we think of you as a threat."
"Yes, but I don't know why."
"You can't remember?"
"And, you can't read the cause in our minds?"
Lotor paused for a minute. "I'm sure I could," he began, "but..." He remembered what he had sensed from Allura. He had attacked her? Lotor hadn't attempted another deeper mind probe since his encounter with Allura's memories. "I don't know if I want to. I know I want to know what's going on, but the memories are...disturbing."
"I understand," Coran told him. "Well, you know that we're going to be a little antsy about trusting you."
"So, I suggest that you be careful of how you act. Don't start, you know, levitating objects or people or otherwise showing off your magical abilities. At least, don't make a habit of it.
Since you don't prove much of a threat so far, and you are here under, as it were, amnesty, I'll let you have a free run of the castle and surrounding grounds. I would suggest you be accompanied by either myself or perhaps Princess Allura, if she feels comfortable with such an arrangement."
"No problem with that," Lotor said, hiding a slight smile.
"Don't give me cause to change my mind about this," Coran warned, and he received a head nod from the prince. "And another thing: do you remember the others you saw in the clinic?"
"Uh...Keith, Hunk, Paige, and..."
"Pidge and Lance?"
"Yes. I would suggest you be extremely polite to these four. They really have a grudge against you. Especially Keith, whom you earlier..."
"But, he had that..."
"I know. I know. Just be respectful. Don't upset them. They've been through a lot; trying to find the princess, then discovering that you were here. They're still peeved by you, so just watch out."
Lotor shrugged. "Okay," he said.
Chapter Seven"Hey, gremlin! What're you doing up there?"
Lotor paused in his reading and looked down. "Lance, is it?" he asked.
"Last time I checked it was." Lance continued to look up at the elf, who appeared to be sitting in mid air with a book in his hands. "You know, normal people just use a chair."
"Really?" Lotor questioned, "What an interesting concept." With that, Lotor closed the book and lowered himself to the floor. Then, he walked over to one of the couches, sat down, re-opened the book, and continued to read.
"Very talkative, aren't we?" Lance continued. "I seem to remember you had a lot to say while destroying our..."
"Lance?" Allura had just entered the library. "Lance, Keith's looking for you."
"I don't know. He just said for you to get over to the command center right away."
"Oh. Okay, thanks." Lance turned to leave. "Talk to you later, Lotor," he said in a nasty tone.
"You seem to be a man of few words. I wonder how you ever convinced the princess that you were anything but a lowlife and a filthy scumbag."
Lotor looked up to watch Lance exit the library, slamming the double doors hard behind him.
Allura looked at the prince. Lotor seemed to have a look of confusion on his face. Probably, he was wondering why Lance was being so nasty to him.
"Why did you tell him a lie?" Or, he was wondering about that.
"He was being quite rude to you, Lotor," she explained.
"I know," he said, "He hates me." Just like everyone.
"Well, no. He always has an attitude that needs..."
"He hates me."
"And he...hates you, yes." Allura sat down on the couch and looked at the book Lotor was reading. "Did Coran get this for you?"
"Find anything interesting?" she asked.
"Mmm-hmm. Zarkon, the King of Doom seems to be quite intent on getting your planet."
"My father, right?"
"Yes, Lotor." It must be hard not to remember his own father, Allura thought to herself. Then, she heard him chuckle softly.
"Bean-eating contest of the Harvest Festival?" He was flipping through the cultural part of the history book.
"You don't want to be around that," she warned with a grin.
"It says Hunk won the last one."
Allura edged closer to look at the page. "Yeah, that's right. We couldn't let him into the castle for a week afterwards." She laughed at the memory. Allura wondered if Lotor had any such times on Doom, if he could remember them.
He looked so different now. He still looked like Lotor, but...his eyes. They were a very light brown. When the light hit them, they sparkled like gold. And his skin was...and his face. It looked softer. Well, not softer, but the tension and sinister taint was completely gone. She wondered how he was taking all of this; all of the changes and the gaps. It must be hard, she thought. She wished she had his gift to see into a person's mind. Just to see what he was thinking about.
Allura noticed that he was moving closer to her, almost like he was going to... "Don't!" she snapped, moving to the far side of the couch. "Don't...don't try to kiss me, please." Well, at least now she knew what he was thinking about.
Lotor was confused as he heard her words and felt her fear of him grow again. "But why? I wasn't going to hurt you."
"But Lotor, it's wrong."
"Wrong?" Lotor stopped to think of her words.
He looks so innocent, thought Allura. He just doesn't know about their past...encounters.
"But, it feels right," he told her. "How can it be wrong?"
"It's not proper," Allura tried to explain. "You don't just kiss someone for no reason." She sighed and stared at her hands, afraid to look into those blameless eyes.
"I love you," Lotor said. Allura looked up. "Is that a reason?" he asked her.
Allura shivered at the words. "Lotor..."
"But, it's true. I love you, Allura." Why can't she see that? She just didn't understand.
"It's a fading memory, Lotor. Nothing more."
"But, I feel it so strongly. Not only in my thoughts, but...here, too." He placed his hand to his heart.
"Lotor, you just can't speak like..." She turned away, not knowing how to put it into words. He just didn't understand. Allura then felt fingertips lightly brushing her cheek. It sent shudders all the way down her spine. The fingers moved back behind her ear, slipping through the loose locks of her hair. She turned towards him, her eyes looking into his. She tried to shift her gaze, but she couldn't. He was so...she didn't know.
His eyes. His eyes, so mesmerizing and soothing; she couldn't turn away. Oh, he was handsome! And he was so gentle now. Caring. He wasn't like that before.
His other hand reached out to touch her face. Oh, her skin was soft! He just wanted to touch her skin. Just look into her crystal blue eyes. Just kiss her sweet lips. What was wrong with that?
Lotor drew her closer. She was so kindhearted. So innocent. So very beautiful.
Their lips met. Her eyes closed as the sensation swept her away. His awms reached around her, holding her against him.
Allura felt herself melting at his warm touch, her mouth opening to his. She could feel his heartbeat, almost as fast as her own. He was so strong, yet so tender. She touched his angelic face, letting her hands wander back to his silky white hair. Her mind was a blur. It felt so heavenly...
The next scene was one of sheer chaos.
After successfully dodging a couple of swings, Lotor stood facing the tyrant Nanny, who in turn stood between him and his beloved Allura. Actually, Nanny would still be trying to punch the lights out of the prince, only Allura was holding her back.
"I break him in haff! How dare he take atvantige of a princess?!"
"But, he didn't take advantage of me!" Allura insisted.
"Vell, he tried to!"
"He didn't try anything, Nanny. I...allowed..."
"You let him?" Nanny's eyes went wide with shock.
"How could you let zat MONSHTER put his handz all ofer you?"
"Und kiss you? You are zee princess! Shtay back, elf-boy!"
Lotor had tried again to reach Allura, but Nanny was too quick. He was considering using stronger force to push the burly woman away...
"No, Lotor! No magic!" Allura yelled after seeing the elven light.
Lotor hesitated, then called off his powers.
"Zat dirty imp!" Nanny took another swing, just grazing Lotor's shoulder. "He probably used a shpell to zeduce you."
"Nanny! Stop it!"
"I von't let him harm you!"
"HARM her?" Lotor was confused. "Why would I want to harm her?"
"Don't try to veasel out of zis!" This time, she landed a perfect swing on his jaw.
"Aughh!" Lotor went down, cupping his bruised chin in his hands.
Allura yanked Nanny away from Lotor's side. "Nanny, you're acting foolish! He's not doing anything wrong!"
Nanny whipped aroung to face Allura. "He's alvays doing things zat are wrong! Don't you forget zat!" Nanny then turned to her victim. "Now, you shnake, get out!" she hissed.
Lotor looked at Nanny, then at Allura, wondering what he did wrong.
"Go on!" Nanny shouted.
With a sigh of defeat, the prince finally left the room.
"Und I talk to Coran about locking you up, yah?" Nanny yelled after him.
Lotor walked slowly down the corridor away from the library. He thought he had escaped from hell. But now...he touched his chin gingerly, now he had found another hell to replace it.
Arus looked like a paradise. It was beautiful. She was beautiful. But everyone despised him! Everyone! He sensed someone following him and turned around just in time to see Lance take a swing at him. Lotor quickly raised his hand, a magic force shield appearing to block the punch.
"Damn!" Lance yelled, cradling his fist, "What the hell did you do that for?"
"You were trying to hit me," Lotor explained.
"Nooo! Really? And what have you done? Pillaged! Raped! Murdered! Over two billion people one time just recently!" Lance noticed he had hit a nerve with the Prince of Doom. He grinned in satisfaction. "I see the princess gave you a little warning clip." Lance pointed to his chin.
"Actually it was a woman called Nanny, not Allura."
"She probably got to you before the princess could. Oh, come on! When are you going to get it through your thick skull?"
"Listen to me carefully, Lotor: she HATES you! She LOATHES you! You are the most disgusting, cruel, vile demon she has ever met!"
The words stung Lotor deeply. "But, she rescued me," he said softly, trying to find some argument against the harsh reality.
"She has a kind heart. Something a person like you would never understand. She didn't rescue you out of love, just out of pity for your black soul." With that, Lance turned around and disappeared down the corridor.
Chapter NineCoran closed the door after the princess, then summoned for Nanny to return to the conference room. He sat down at the table and awaited her arrival.
"Good evening, Nanny," he said as she stepped in.
"Yah, yah, yah. So? Vhen are you going to..."
"Nanny, sit down."
"I von't shtand for zat..."
"He is a vild..."
"Nanny, please calm down, and take a seat." Coran watched as Nanny huffed, then dramatically sat in the chair opposite of him.
"Nanny," he started, "I just had a talk with the princess."
"Oh good! Zen she has come to her senses!"
"She me told he kissed her."
"Yah! Can you believe zat monshter? If I vasn't looking for her, he..."
"That he ONLY kissed her. Nothing more."
"Isn't zat enough?"
"Nanny, when you came in here earlier, you told me he was grabbing at her."
"Tearing her dress off."
"And even threatened to kill you?"
"His handz glowed!"
Coran put his hand on his forehead. "Princess Allura told me you punched him in the jaw."
Nanny turned pale. "Uh...yah...but..."
Lotor sat in the grass, just outside the castle. He hugged his knees to his chest and stared out over the moat towards the woods. The cool breeze blew his hair over his shoulder, and he reached to push it back. He needed time to think.
"They all hate me here," he mumbled. He rested his chin, now fully healed, on his knees in thought. "Why? Why? Why? What did I do to them?" It was so frustrating! He couldn't remember. And he couldn't make himself re-learn; to turn to the book's chapter entitled "Lotor, the Dark Prince of Doom." He was just afraid to read the pages of his life, of the person who made his dearest Allura so terrified.
Those memories...half of his life fading from him. Only small clips remained. A few strange monsters. A few harsh words. But, who was speaking them? Was it his father? He couldn't tell. The older man's face was disappearing. Then, he was in a room, looking for something. He found a door and beyond that, a smaller room. Inside was a creature talking to a wall. Lotor pulled out the glowing sword and...and what? What?
"Why do they hate me? Why? What am I?" He tried to understand. He tried so hard to understand them. But, they shunned him, like he was some sort of monster. WHY?! He didn't even know their NAMES until they told him!
All except for Allura. Allura! "Oh, Allura," he moaned, "Why do they want us apart?" He lay back on the grass and looked up at the stars. "Well, do you have any idea?" he asked the stars. When they didn't answer, he closed his eyes and sighed. "Does everyone hate me?" he wondered.
"I don't hate you," came a voice from the woods.
Lotor opened his eyes. "Aunt Mari?"On to Part 4