Worth Savingby Patty
"And so," Hagar concluded her speech, "that is how I plan to defeat the Voltron Force."
"Interesting. . ." Zarkon stroked his chin. This plan ought to work perfectly, if only. . .
"You sent for me, father?" Speak of the devil. . .
"Yes, Lotor. Hagar here has come up with a brilliant plan to cause the surrender of Arus. You will leave within the hour."
"Yes sire." The contempt in the prince's voice was well hidden, but still apparent. He rose stiffly and left the throne room.
"You're absolutely sure he can't botch this, old witch?"
"Not in a million years, your grace. He has no idea what the the real plan is!" With a hauntingly evil cackle, the witch disappeared to prepare for the impending attack.
As the alarms blared, all the members of the Voltron Force rushed to Castle Control. It was unnecessary for any of them to ask what was wrong. The alarm could mean only one thing- an attack from Doom! An attack had not been entirely unexpected- things had been awfully quiet lately.
"Something is not quite right about all of this," Koran mused. "Instead of openly attacking, they wish to speak with the princess."
"There's a catch there somewhere," Keith frowned, "but until we know what it is, we'll just have to be on our guard. Allura will meet them, and Voltron will have her back!"
Allura jumped gracefully down from her lion and approached the open field where she was to meet with Lotor and Hagar. The other pilots kept a keen eye out from next to their own lions, blasters at the ready.
Hagar watched from the hilltop as Lotor stood waiting at the edge of the field. She had told him not to move without her, and the pitiful fool was actually listening! Little did he know that Hagar had no intention of meeting with the princess.
"Sniper beast," she hissed, "get ready for your shot!"
Lotor fidgeted, uncomfortably. Allura had already reached the center of the field and was just standing there, waiting. Where was the hag? Something was fishy about all of this. . . He turned his head to look back up the hill and his heart nearly stopped. Hagar's Sniper robeast was taking aim at something and he could think of only one target- Allura!
He then realized that he was just a diversion. While Allura and the other Voltron pilots were watching him, Hagar was preparing to attack. No! He couldn't let that happen- not to Allura!
What to do? She was too far to hear him shout- probably wouldn't believe him anyway. He only had a few moments to act! A thought suddenly came to him with a clarity rare to the Prince of Doom.
Allura was afraid of him. If he ran toward her, surely she would retreat! He only needed her to move, just take one step forward or back, and the shot would miss. True, he might be killed by one of her friends, or the princess herself; but, it was a price he was willing to pay. He took a deep breath, and ran.
The princess was taken completely aback by the sudden charge. What was he doing? He was closing in fast, but for some reason she didn't move. It was as if she could sense he meant no real harm. Keith, however, did not have the same sensation.
He fired two shots in quick succession. The first cut through the prince's right knee. Lotor fell forward and the second shot hit him low in the right side of his chest. Allura was moved by the look of utter shock, pain, and confusion on his face and took an involuntary step forward.
A huge blast hit the ground where she had just been standing, searing the back of her left leg and propelling her forward. She landed, face first, a few feet from where Lotor lay.
He was trying to save me! Realization dawned on the princess. He wanted me to move so I wouldn't be hit!
Lotor, who had managed to roll over onto his back, turned his face toward the sprawled form of Allura.
"You. . . all right," he gasped, having trouble focusing his eyes.
"Yes," Allura whispered back, tears in her eyes, "I'm so sorry!" She gasped as the prince's eyes rolled back and his breathing became increasingly labored. "Lotor?!" Beneath the panting sounds of his breathing she heard a sucking noise and realized that the chest shot had pierced a lung. She dragged herself over to him, ignoring the pain in her leg.
She vaguely sensed that three of the lions, Red, Green, and Yellow, were fighting Hagar and her robeast nearby. Keith rushed up to her, blaster still in hand.
"Princess! Are you badly hurt? Can you walk?"
"I'll be okay," she said, pressing her palm firmly over the wound on Lotor's chest, "but Lotor needs a doctor urgently!"
"But, Allura, he-"
"If we don't help him he'll DIE!"
Keith wanted to blurt out, "SO?!" The expression on Allura's face stopped him cold. Tears were streaming down her cheeks.
"PLEASE, Keith! He was trying to save me," she sobbed, "He was trying to get me to move! I can't just leave him here!"
"Okay, Princess," Keith soothed, kneeling next to her, "Okay." Together, they crudely bandaged the chest wound and dragged Lotor over to Blue Lion. Allura flew him to the castle, and left him there with hasty instructions to "help him if they could." She then returned to the battle, where Voltron was formed, and the robeast eventually vanquished.
Allura was lying on a bed in the castle infirmary. She hissed as the doctor finished cleaning the burn on her leg. It extended from her ankle to just above the back of her knee.
"You should have had this treated immediately," he scolded her as he reached for a salve and some bandages, "you're lucky things aren't much worse!"
"I know," the princess sighed, "but the team needed me"
"I just hope it doesn't become infected."
At that moment, a gurney was wheeled in, surrounded by various medical personnel. There was a flurry of activity as the patient was moved to a bed and a monitoring system was set up.
"Is that Lotor?" Allura paled. She knew his wounds had been serious- but not this bad!
"Yes," the doctor replied, still bandaging, "there was extensive damage to the knee joint, and the right lung collapsed. He's lucky to still be alive. Shouldn't be long, though."
"What do you mean?"
"There's fluid in his good lung. In his state, it's very likely he'll develop pneumonia. Besides that, he's lost a lot of blood."
"But," Allura reasoned, "can't he just be given a transfusion?"
The doctor shook his head. "His blood type is O negative. Rh negative blood is very rare on Planet Arus. We've arranged for some to be sent, but it may not get here in time."
Allura awkwardly got to her feet and limped over to the still form of Lotor. He was on supplemental oxygen, and was very pale.
You can't die, now, she thought at him fiercely, not after all of this! I won't let you!
"Doctor," she questioned out loud, "what is my blood type?"
He blinked. "I'm not sure your highness. I can find out for you, though."
She pulled up a chair and sat next to the prince's bed. "Please do."
Allura stayed by Lotor's bed in a constant vigil. She had been disappointed to learn that she could not donate blood personally. Fortunately, the blood that was requested would be arriving the next morning. Lotor had developed a slight fever, and sweat glistened on his brow. Allura reached to brush a strand of hair away from his face, and jumped when his eyes snapped open.
"Jen sunol n'ouredé?" His eyes were glazed and unfocused. He tried to sit up, but Allura pressed him back down.
"Please," she tried to calm him, "you must rest!" His gaze shifted, and for a moment he seemed to focus on her face.
"Muran?" Then, he collapsed against the pillow once more. Allura was puzzled. She spoke very little Drule, but she was almost certain he had called her 'mother!'
"Allura?" She turned toward the figure in the doorway.
"Nanny is concerned about you. She wants you to get some rest now."
"But," Allura protested, "I don't want to leave him alone. . ."
Keith gave an exasperated sigh. "You're taking all of this way too seriously, Allura! It wasn't even your fault-"
"Yes," she cut him off, "It was! I should have done something!"
"I- I don't know." A single tear ran down her cheek.
"Don't cry, Allura. I know," he comforted, "why don't the other guys and I take turns watching him for you, so you can get some rest?"
"That would be wonderful!" She gave him a hug on her way out. Keith sighed and sat in the vacated chair. Why was he such a sucker for crying women?
Lotor did not wake again that night. Allura made it a point to stop by his room at least once a day, looking for any change. His color had improved after the transfusion, but he remained unconscious. The fever grew worse before finally breaking and fading away
Allura often found herself speaking to Lotor on these visits, even though she knew he probably could not hear her. It was mostly senseless babble; but, Allura felt anything was better than the awful stillness.
Almost a week had passed since the battle. Everyone was surprised that there was no word or action from Planet Doom. Did they think the prince was dead? What would happen when, no one dared say "if" around Allura, he recovered? There was only one way to find out. . .
Allura slipped quietly into the room and sat in the chair she had placed next to the bed. Lotor's face was turned toward the wall, away from her. Something seemed different today. . .
Allura jumped. The voice was hoarse from disuse, with an undercurrent of hostility. Lotor turned his head toward her, and Allura found it impossible to meet his gaze.
"Why," he repeated, "why did you save me?"
"I, I don't really know. . ."
"Everyone would probably be better off if you had just left me to die." He turned toward the wall again.
"How can you say that?" Allura couldn't believe her ears.
"Easy," he sighed, "if I were dead, your and my father's lives would be a lot easier, and I could have died happy, knowing that you survived the attack."
"Well," Allura tried to keep her voice calm, "I'm not sorry I helped you! Surely you realize this is better than being dead?"
The Prince of Doom laughed humorlessly. "Two things I hate more than almost anything else are being helpless and being sick. Right now, I'm experiencing both. Forgive me if I'm not particularly thankful!"
Allura stood up stiffly and turned to leave. She stopped half-way to the door. "I can't believe I went through so much for someone so ungrateful! The rest of the Voltron Force probably think what I did was stupid- especially Keith! Now, I'm beginning to think that I was stupid, too!"
Outside the door, she ran into Keith. She was in no mood to talk, and just brushed past him and hurried down the hall toward her room. She blinked furiously, trying to keep back her tears until she was alone.
"What did you say to her?" Keith glared at Lotor, who glared right back.
"Not much. By the way," he turned back toward the wall- it was becoming quite familiar now, "Allura thinks you're angry with her."
"Do you expect me to believe that you care?!"
"No," Lotor shrugged, "I expect you to believe that Allura thinks you're mad at her."
"I still want to know what you said," Keith stubbornly persisted, "she looked very upset!"
"I was being ungrateful. I said everyone would probably be better off if she had left me to die."
"She's done a lot for you. I can understand why that would make her angry." Lotor appeared to be ignoring him, but he continued speaking anyway. "Would you really have rather died?"
"Do you expect me to believe you care?"
Having his own words thrown back at him caused Keith to be temporarily speechless.
"In any case," Lotor continued, "you'll probably see Allura again before I do. Could you tell her that I'm sorry I'm such an ungrateful, royal pain?"
Keith couldn't help smiling a little at that. "I guess I could."On to Parts 3-4