Save Yourself, Part 3

Disclaimer: Voltron belongs to WEP and the lyrics to the song Save Yourself belong to Stabbing Westward.


My life has been a nightmare
My soul is fractured to the bone
So if I must be lonely,
I think I'd rather be alone

You cannot save me. You can't even save yourself.

Lotor stood in the middle of the empty control room and contemplated what he was about to do. The drones had escaped in a frightened rush after the death of the first. He glanced blankly at the crumpled body pushed into the corner, his eyes absently following the flow of the bright red blood across the shining stainless steel of the floor. Shaking himself out of his reverie, he turned to the control board and began to rapidly type in his commands. If his father thought he would stand by and watch his love die a painful death, he was horribly mistaken.

*****

Hagar stood meekly by Zarcon's side, biding her time patiently. She watched with satisfaction as Lotor's ship raised from the valley floor and shot into the atmosphere, effectively out of range of the battleship's weapons. Zarcon growled in frustration, but continued to sweep the weapons across the smoking valley floor. He chortled with absolute delight as the three remaining lions dove out of the sky, trying frantically to protect both the downed lions and their trapped teammates.

"I want them all down, do you hear me? All of them! Concentrate on the blue lion first. Her death will break the others."

Hagar smiled patiently, one hand straying to brush something under her robe before she forced it back to her side. 'It's almost time.'

Zarcon, his attention fixed on the progress of the fight in the valley below, failed to notice the sudden reversal of Lotor's ship. The ship turned in the atmosphere, seeming to pause in mid-air before selecting a collision course with Zarcon's cruiser. Her eyes widened slightly as the ship picked up speed, searching for the pod that would signify Lotor's escape.

The com board began to beep, pulling Zarcon's attention away from the raging battle below. He turned to the source of the noise with annoyance. "What is it now, Cossack?"

"Sire, Lotor's lost his mind! He's sealed all the escape pods and is on a collision course with your ship!"

"What?"

Cossack trembled visibly under the weight of his sovereign's anger. "It's true. I've tried to get into the bridge, but it's completely sealed."

Zarcon turned to the monitor and the image of the rapidly approaching flagship. "Change course!" he barked at the drones.

"It's too late," the drone informed him. "This ship was built for strength, not speed. I recommend you evacuate immediately."

Zarcon started to jump to his feet, his sword brandished in one hand. He slumped back down into the throne as an intense pain suddenly seared into him. He stared dumbly at the blade protruding from his chest. Through the blackness flickering around the edges of his vision, he heard an insane cackling laugh.

"You," he whispered, staring accusingly at his faithful witch.

Hagar leaned over and gently kissed his cheek. "You ruin everything, Zarcon. Me, Lotor, your planetů I won't let you take your son's only chance of salvation."

The light faded from his eyes and his head lolled to one side. "Meiden," he whispered, as his eyes slid shut for the last time.

Hagar's shriek of enraged betrayal echoed through the bridge over the shriek of grinding metal.

*****

Lotor closed his eyes at the moment of impact, holding an image of Allura in his mind. "I love you," he whispered. The air around him erupted into a wave of fire.

I cannot save you. I can't even save myself.

Epilogue

Allura sat on the rim of crater, staring blindly into the distance. Celebrating villagers had decorated the remains of the two flagships of the Doom force with streamers of wildflowers. The bright red and orange blossoms swayed in the breeze, calling back the awful memories of the racking explosions as the two ships were torn from the sky.

She shook herself, turning to wave at a group of children running through the valley behind her with sparklers under the careful supervision of their parents. The children and adults both waved back, their laughter echoing up from the depths of the crater.

Allura turned back with a sigh, unable to tear herself away entirely. She was needed at the castle. The war was over, but a few pockets of resistance remained on some of the planets deep in the Doom Empire. In most cases the sight of even one of the lions had been enough to quell the fighting instantly, but some worlds would have to be taken by force to ensure that their newfound fragile peace would be allowed to grow.

Why, then, did her thoughts keep returning to the image of Lotor's ship ramming into his father's? Why did his face keep flitting across her mind during the quiet moments? She couldn't shake the sound of the desperation in his voice.

"Come back with me as my bride and the attacks will end. With you by my side, I can find the strength to defeat him."

'He did it for me. He gave his life to save me. How could I have been so wrong?' She pulled her knees up to her chest and rested her cheek against them. Tears began to sting her eyes, already raw with an unexplainable grief.

"Hey, princess! We've been looking all over for you!"

Giving herself a mental shake, she turned to smile warmly at Pidge. "Sorry. I must have lost track of the time."

Pidge joined her at the rim, his eyes sweeping quickly over the blackened earth. "I can't believe it's over. It seems like a dream, you know?"

"I know," Allura agreed. "What's up?"

"Oh!" He laughed, slapping his head. "I almost forgot! The Alliance brought two more worlds back under its control. A peace conference is going to be held at the Garrison next week."

Her face lit up with a genuine smile. "That's wonderful!"

"There's more."

Pidge paused for dramatic effect, watching her with wide innocent eyes.

Allura shook a finger threateningly. Pidge laughed again, his eyes dancing behind the thick lenses of his glasses. "Dr. Gorma released Lance. He said Keith's getting better, but he doesn't want to let him out of his sight for a few more days."

Allura sighed with relief. "I imagine Keith's not thrilled."

"Nope. He did quiet down after Lance threatened to slip tranquilizers into his water, though." He turned back towards the castle, nearly bouncing with impatience. "There's going to be a vid conference to prepare for the talks at the Garrison. We should really get back."

"All right, I'm coming." Allura took a deep breath and glanced over the crater one last time, letting her eyes linger on the flower-bedecked wreckage of Lotor's ship before following Pidge back up the hill.

The children's laughter continued to ring through the crater, echoing the promise of new life down the corridors of the ships from the world known only as Doom.



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