Six Daysby Dr. Kat
Chapter Fifteen - Raindrops
I wonder if he's awake yet, Allura thought to herself. She cleaned her face and hands in the stream water.
"Yeah. I'm awake," came Lotor's unanticipated response. She turned to see the prince sitting up. "Your voice sounds like an echo for some reason."
Allura hid a smile. "That's because I didn't say anything."
Lotor was quiet for a moment. "Oh....uh... Your thoughts and....?" Allura nodded. Oh boy. "Hmm, well that's nice. Hope I can control it this time."
Allura approached the prince and tugged on his shoulders. "Come on. Sun's up!"
"How can you tell?" Lotor asked as he stood up. "The sky's pure gray."
"And has been getting darker, too. I sure hope it doesn't rain." As she finished her sentence, a giant raindrop splattered on her hair and trickled down her forehead. "Nice..."
"Those fools dare to harass me again?" Hagar stared in disbelief at the Drule controlling the communications relay. "Especially when I have their own dear pilot?"
"It is from Arus," the officer confirmed.
Hagar raised her right arm in a gesture of frivolity, then plopped her chin on her left fist. "All right. Let's hear what they're going to accomplish with FOUR lions, a missing princess..." She chuckled merrily. "And, one captured, no longer spunky, little boy."
The center screen flashed static, then displayed Castle Control. Coran stood in the foreground while four of the original pilots, Keith, Sven, Hunk, and Pidge, were in the back. Their faces carried no sign of emotion. Stoic. Except for one; the former and (Hagar supposed) new pilot of Blue Lion. That one carried a smug and rather disturbing smile.
"Witch Hagar." Coran nodded slightly as he addressed her.
Hagar straightened then glared evilly into the other's eyes. "Prime Minister Coran. What a pleasant surprise." She grinned. "And here I was going to contact you to discuss terms for your little trespasser's return. Thank you for saving me the trouble."
"A pleasure," Coran mumbled.
A gap of silence passed. What could they be planning, Hagar wondered. "All right. I confess: I'm curious. Why contact me now?" She leaned forward. "Are you planning to surrender?"
"You wish," the irritating nasal brat Pidge declared.
"Nothing like that, witch," confirmed Keith. They now all held smiles.
"What is this?!"
"Witch Hagar," Coran interceded. "Perhaps this would make it clearer." A small metal cage was brought to the screen by Sven. Hagar's eyes looked as if they would pop out.
"KITTY!" She couldn't stop herself in time, and cursed madly in her brain for making such a foolish remark.
"Yeah, well the little blue furball here has been missing his momma something awful. Shall we talk, or do you want me to skin him for you?"
Hagar's thoughts were shrieking with rage. Yet fear ran through her as well. DAMN them!! "Look...maybe we can work out a deal?"
Coran sat down in the nearby chair and steepled his fingers in front of a clearly contented expression. "We thought you'd say that."
"Aeeeiiii!! HAhaha!!" Allura and Lotor found themselves having to scramble from shelter to shelter to escape the frequent downpours. They stayed very close, holding the prince's cape above their heads.
They reached the safety of a tree with a thick canopy of branches.
"Beautiful weather today!" Lotor shouted over the rain.
"I am completely soaked!" Allura couldn't keep from laughing at the situation. So far, (knock on wood) there were no life threatening perils. It was warmer, so the rain felt pleasant at times; when it was not drowning them.
"Maybe we should have taken the swim at that cliff."
"We could have stayed drier, that's for sure."
"Touché. Okay, it's slackening. Let's go!"
Again came the mad dash through the open areas of the forest towards new safe havens. During this flight, Allura pulled her head out of the confines of the makeshift umbrella to look at the storm. The gray of the sky continued to be monotonous. Maybe she could find some end in sight. As she caught a few raindrops in her mouth, the princess instead spotted an even darker cloud above. "Look at that." It was not a cloud, but some flying creature.
"A dragon!" Sure enough, the giant black and gold reptile was riding the storm. Both Lotor and Allura stopped, watching and wondering. It didn't land, nor spew fire nor did whatever else dragons could do. It flew on, gliding for awhile, then beating its powerful wings, causing a stir even to the ground.
"It's flying in the direction of our path," Lotor remarked. Then, something....or rather someone caught his eye. "The Dweller."
But, dragon and mistress still did not stop. Continuing out of sight, the woman turned once. Lotor could swear she was smiling at them.
"We'll be reaching the planet's perimeter defense system soon, lord."
"Good." If that old witch thought she could fool every member of the Doom empire, she was wrong. Lord Otron, head of the most powerful planets and owner of the richest mining asteroids would no longer bow to the has-been King Zarkon. Now was the time to take his place!
And what better way then by capturing Arus and the remnants of Voltron. With that unheard of victory and the lions as his tools, well, one could say the galaxy would tremble at his name.
"Prepare to attack!"
Chapter Sixteen - Storms and Passion
The day grew muggy. The rain took on the guise of a thick steamy curtain, which clung to any and all passing by. The sun broke through the thinning clouds, casting rainbows everywhere. Some were just small fragments. Others formed arches that coursed the entire sky.
"It's like a dream world," Allura cooed. The raindrops not touched by colored bows shimmered white and gold in the sunlight. "An enchanted world!"
The two had followed the ever present stream, the waters always seeming to flow away from the rising sun. Its source was still unknown, though. Maybe it never ended, Allura figured. But now, there was a rushing of water, much stronger than the stream had ever made before.
It was a waterfall, they soon found out. The water cascaded down smooth white boulders in one large thin sheet and several smaller trickles on the sides. Behind the waterfall, the rock was hollowed out somewhat, and the basin held a deep pool as well as some carved shallower areas. Small collections of bright pink flowers grew in stubby bushes within the crevices, and still other flowers hung in long vines over the edge of the falls.
"We can find some shelter in there, I think." Lotor pointed out the protected grotto to Allura. "Need a break?"
"YES!" she affirmed adamantly. Both soon raced to the falls. Following a path of stepping stones and barely submerged slabs of rock, they made it behind the watery mantle.
"Damn, damn, damn..." Lotor tossed the drenched cape over his shoulder. He proceeded to wring quite a bit of water from his long hair.
"Hmm. It's not bad here. Less steamy." Allura dipped her hand in the deep pool in front of her. "The water is nice and cool." She pulled off her jacket and boots. "Might as well clean up, since I'm already soaked," she decided and plunged into the pool.
"I'll be right here, Allura," Lotor told her as he watched from the edge.
The princess could feel Lotor's eyes admiring her. She turned her head to look his way. Dripping wet. A big dopey mess. He was adorable! Recently, every time she saw him, no matter what indignities he had been through, he now always looked just so beautiful. A beauty that was as much a reflection of his soul as of his body. He had changed. And, he was growing more beautiful every day.
As Allura swam in the deep water, Lotor removed his own jacket and his swordbelt, placing the latter in close reach. He scrubbed at the bottom cuffs of his pants, cleaning off splashed mud and clinging leaves. He had just taken off his boots and set them aside (to hopefully dry) when two arms grabbed him from the waters of the pool. With a yelp of surprise, the prince tumbled head first into the water, the princess laughing in delight.
Lotor broke the surface with a gasp. "Gods! Allura? What is this?!"
"We're taking a break, my prince," she explained with a chuckle. "It's raining cats and dogs. There are no perils." She moved closer to Lotor. "For once, let's just enjoy ourselves." She saw the corners of his mouth start to turn up, but then he grew concerned and seemed to search the water.
"There is no moon in the water," she affirmed.
"Are you sure?"
He smirked. "All right." And, he took her in a passionate kiss.
"We are now approaching Planet Arus, Witch Hagar," the head pilot of the royal flag ship announced. Hell, if Hagar was to be humiliated into such a trade-off, at least she could retain some dignity by arriving in style.
Humans, the witch growled inwardly. Filthy creatures. Taking advantage of an elder. She resumed her place at the command post. "All right. Let's get this over with. Contact the..." A warning alarm cut her off. "WHAT IS THAT?!"
"We're not the only ones here," the second pilot announced, rapidly working on his control panel. "There's another ship...ships! They're heading for the planet's surface now."
The pilot stared at disbelief as his monitor displayed the answer: "It's a Doom fleet!"
"I have not dispatched any fleets!" Hagar pushed forward to see the data on the ships. "Lord Otron?!" she hissed in disdain. "What is he doing here?!" Then, her mind, sharpened from experience, recalled his name, his title, and his attitude and dangerous desires. "He is trying to overthrow the empire," she whispered to herself.
"Overthrow US?" The younger Drule turned to face her ancient visage. "But, why is he here, then?"
"You fool!" she spat out. "You don't see?! He wishes to capture the remaining Voltron lions and destroy Arus. Something that King Zarkon has not yet been able to accomplish." And, in this way, he'll prove himself worthy of seizing the throne, she concluded with a shudder.
"What do we do, Witch Hagar?" the first pilot questioned.
She surveyed the figures surrounding her, then searched her mind. Yet, every time...she could only think of one conclusion. Her face hardened. Damn you, Arusian bastards! "Prepare the ship for combat."
The figure beneath her breathed softly and deep. Allura folded her arms on Lotor's chest. Plopping her head down on them, she ran her fingers down the length of his torso while one ear listened to the young man's heart..
They had been here for a while now. The rain had finally dissipated to a slight trickle, the carressing winds shaking large collections of droplets from the tops of trees. Birds had begun to sing again. Allura smiled.
Such a beautiful day for a rest...
"Allura?" came a sleepy mumble.
"The rain is stopping."
"Mmm..." Lotor opened his eyes, then smiled, kissing her awaiting lips.
"Then, I suppose we should be heading..."
"Lotor, wait a minute. I have something to say..." Planting her arms on each side of the prince, she raised herself up and stared into his golden eyes. "Lotor?"
She took a breath. "Will you marry me?"
Lotor's face took on a look of silent surprise. "Well, gee..." he started out, "I don't know. I mean, this is all so sudden..."
"Oh you!" She burst out laughing, then kissed him full on the mouth. His arms wrapped around her and he rolled back on top of her. His kisses were became more potent and fiery, his flesh growing hot against hers. "You'd better surrender to me," she warned.
"And, what if I don't?" he asked.
"Hmm...then, I'll send a robeast to destroy your planet," Allura threatened.
"Take me, but spare my people!"
Chapter Seventeen - To Change and Compromise
The darkness crept into the mystic landscape. Chirps, like crickets filled the woods, along with the sound of night winds brushing against the leaves. Still, the two lay, arms upon arms, breathing in the softness and delicacy of the air. "Allura?"
His golden eyes opened, an odd...yet necessary question forming in his mind. "Which do you prefer of me?"
"What do you mean?"
"Which side do you prefer? The elfin side or the Drule side?"
The golden-haired young woman chuckled lightly. Aunt Mari had said to help him through his trials. So she shall. "Lotor, I prefer you."
"But, which side?"
"You." Allura gently stroked his white mane, which glistened in the moonlight seeping through the curtain of water. "Not one side or the other, but you as a whole."
Allura smiled and nodded. "You. All of you."
"The ships are in position, my lord."
"Excellent." Lord Otron turned away from the view screen, a triumphant grin upon his scar-ridden face. A perfect plan! There would be no way the lions could defeat him. Not without Voltron. "Prepare the troops as planned," he stated, going over his orders once again. "The lions are to be attacked and destroyed en masse."
"Squadron two and the battleships shall obliterate the Castle of Arus."
"Perfect." The Drule envisioned his plans in completion. Flames licking the surface of Arus. Blood staining the land. Wills bent and broken. And during this display of raw power, he, Lord Otron, would stand triumphant in front of the ailing king of Doom. Oh, the pleasure of crushing him under his heel!
Otron spun lightly on one foot, heading toward his docked private craft. Though he wished very much to see the carnage with his own eyes, he must head to Doom without delay to take his new position. The glint of putrefaction had seized his cat eyes. Soon, Arus would fall. Soon, Zarkon would fall.
Lotor heard the voices as he rose slightly from sleep, a snort escaping him. "Well now, I haven't heard you two in awhile," he commented within his mind.
"Well," the elfin side began, "I guess you haven't needed to."
"Why not?" Lotor questioned.
Both sides were silent. "Uh..." the Drule side began.
"Don't strain yourself," Lotor said, feeling himself grin. "I know why."
If the Drule had eyes, they would be bulging. "You do?! Then... Then you know why we are not manifesting ourselves as easily? This is the first time in over a day!"
"But, we're still around," commented the elf. "It just feels to me like we're taking root instead of roaming freely."
Lotor decided to enlighten his teachers. "It's because, through all our bizarre times together, I'm finally beginning to understand you two. And, I think you are understanding each other as well. Meaning there is less confusion in my mind. Meaning my mind can now return to normal."
"So... through our mutual... er... respect? We've been taking root?" the Drule queried.
"I should hope you're finally 'taking root,' after all you've put me through," the prince grumbled.
"Hey! We've explained all of..."
"Please," Lotor stopped the Drule in mid-sentence. "Now, you've done your job. It's time for you to return back to where you belong."
"What? After all your times and trials, you think you can just put us back into our spot, like pieces of a puzzle?"
"Yes, I do."
Both mentors were again quiet, pondering their owner's statement. "So...are you going to choose one of us over the other?"
"Choose?" Lotor asked, a smirk on his face. He finally understood them. He was in charge again. They were part of him. And, now that the mentors were cooperating...mostly, and that he able to understand both the elfin and Drule sides of his being, he could put them back. He could make his own decisions. "Very well. Then, I choose both."
"I need you both. I will not, as you wish, pick one over the other, no matter if you both drive me insane." Lotor sighed inwardly. "I will not push aside what I am. I am this way, I'm going to remain who I am, and I'll just have to deal with it. Now, get back where you belong, NOW!!"
A soft laughter was heard in his mind. "He gets it."
"He really does!"
"He finally understands who he is. I'm happy of his decision, aren't you Drule?"
"Very happy, elf. Though I still despise you sometimes."
"The feeling is mutual, you big jerk."
"I'm warning you!" came Lotor's commanding voice. "Get back where you belong, now!"
"You won't be able to talk to us like this anymore, you know," the elf added with a giggle.
"Trust me, I won't miss it in the slightest!"
"Oh, come on! Just lie, and say you'll miss us, please?"
"Okay, I'll miss you. I'll miss your nagging, your making me dizzy, your driving me..."
"All right! All right, we get the picture!" Then, a fuzzy feeling spread over Lotor's head, like a layer of thick velvet. A warm, soothing feeling, sewing up all the loose ends. "Good luck to you lad," wished the elf as its voice faded into memory.
"We'll be rooting for you," came the Drule voice, as it too disappeared.
"Goodbye," Lotor murmured aloud now. "And, good riddance."
"I'm getting pummeled here!!" Pidge frantically screamed over the intercom. "I could really appreciate some HELP right about now!"
"Hang in there, buddy. I'm coming," Hunk responded as Yellow Lion's razor-sharp claws sliced through another one-man fighter.
"I am running low on ammunition, Commander!" Sven's voice added to the panic of the situation. "We need a plan, and fast!"
"I'm thinking. I'm thinking." It was just too hard to form strategies while fending off twelve robotic sentries. Some deal. He should have known Hagar would try something. To inferno with that witch! She was never going to see her cat now!
"The south wall is crumbling," came a plea from Prime Minister Coran. "Voltron force, return at once!"
"We'd be happy to, if we could!" snapped Keith, his lion rocked by another blow to the hull. His left stabilizer was giving way, making flying very rocky. "Damn it! Get off, you disgusting hunk of metal!"
"There are soldiers in the castle!!"
"Hunk! Look out!"
"Oh shit! Not more fighters!"
"Hold on, team! Just hold in...oh...." Keith's eyes widened at the sight in front of him. A new flagship, of apparently great importance from the ornate gold and blood-red markings, had descended out of planetary orbit and into the melee. Something in a pod was soon ejected, a bright witch-light engulfing it. Making the creature inside burst the coffin-like casing and grow in size and power. What was that thing?!! "SHIT!! A robeast!"
"Why am I not surprised," Pidge muttered in despair.
"What'll we do, Keith?" Hunk asked. "Keith?"
Keith's fists pounded the panel sides. Damn. "Nothing to do but give it our all, guys," he muttered, preparing Black Lion to charge head-on against the filthy green insect-like monster plunging into the battle. Keith swallowed, briefly closing his eyes, trying to prepare for what was sure to be his last moments. "Just try to take out as much as you....can...?"
"What the hell?!!"
All pilots froze in their thoughts and combats, watching the extremely unusual sight. The six-legged robeast creature had screamed a horrid war cry...then had bitten the nearest Drule attack ship in half?!!
Then, the insect fired large web-like tendrils at six other fighters, including one of the large battleships. An electrical charge shot out towards the ensnared prey, melting them into useless lumps of metal.
"It's on our side?"
"It's with us?"
"It's with US!! HOOO HAA!! LOOK, KEITH!! It's actually fighting WITH us!!"
"I know! I see!" But, why? Another battleship fell in ruins to the surface. Keith grinned. Well, never look a gift horse in the mouth. "Should we help out, then?" he asked, turning his lion towards the fray.
"YEAH!! Let's go whoop some ass!"
"PIDGE?!!" the other Voltron fighters exclaimed in shock at the youngster's outburst.
"... Well???"On to Day Six