by JoAnn

Disclaimer: WEP owns Voltron.

Notes: Taryn and I had a discussion a while back, about Allura....

Thanks to the vying list for the comments.

Warnings: POV switching. No m/m. Ends in the same place it did when I first posted the snippet.




***** introduction

On the eve of continued war between the planets of Doom and Arus, two rulers speak.

One is ancient and unhandsome. A mantle of power wraps around him, born of the conquest of many planets. King Zarkon of the planet Doom.

One is young, beautiful -- all blond hair and big blue eyes, a princess who has recently ascended the throne upon her father's death. Her father was unbending in his opposition of King Zarkon, and Arus has paid the price. Yet, for all her youth and deceptive fragility, the promise of strength surrounds Princess Allura of Arus.

***** begin transmission

"What are you willing to give, for peace?" King Zarkon watches Princess Allura carefully; he is canny enough not to assume her youth means ignorance. Her request for peace may be trickery to lull him into easing the attack, giving her world a chance to break free of the tenuous hold he has over it. Right now, Arus is vulnerable; he has killed their King and razed their world. But if this young princess chooses to rally them, rather than sue for peace, her people will follow her.

With a proud lift of her chin, Princess Allura replies in quiet tone of steel. "I am of the Royal Line of Arus. For my people's well being, I will do anything."

King Zarkon's gaze sharpens. "Because of your honor, I offer you peace between our worlds, sealed by marriage to my son. Are you willing to accept this?"

"I ... I would like time to think ... By your leave?"

Graciously, he agrees to her request. "Of course. A holo and history shall be sent for your perusal -- I would be most appreciative of one from you."

"Of course."

***** end transmission

A formerly calm and dignified princess collapses into the control room chair. No tears -- all of them were shed a long time ago. She wears a face of stone that hides her despair. *I must remember. I must do the best for my people. But to marry his son...*

**** begin transmission


Gathering her courage, Princess Allura takes a deep breath. "I would ask for some conditions."

"Really. Do go on." King Zarkon hides his tension better than the Princess, his hand clenching into fists out of view of the screen.

Swallowing, she obeys. "I ask that more than one child must be conceived. One for your Line's continuation. And one for mine. Yours to be raised by who your son sees fit, mine to be raised by who I see fit." Deep breath, and she continues in a formal tone of voice reserved for oaths. "I and mine will have no rights to the child to be your Line's continuation beyond what your son grants me as you and yours will have no rights to the child that is my Line's continuation, beyond what I grant."

A pause, while King Zarkon considers her conditions. Setting that aside in favor of an anomaly, he observes, "You do not ask for a time limit to this marriage."

"That would be between your son and I. It has nothing to do with you."

The old King's eyes narrow, delight well hidden. "Ha! A girl with spunk. Just what he needs. I agree to your conditions."

The Princess refuses to give him the satisfaction of a reaction. "Now, all we need is your son's agreement."

He snorts in amusement, relaxing now. "He will do as I say."

Her eyebrow lifts. "You know him best." Bowing as she cuts the connection, she manages to convey both respect and doubt of his abilities.

***** end transmission

Laughing softly, King Zarkon speaks to the dark screen. "Yes, you are exactly what my son needs."

***** interlude

"What!" Prince Lotor of Doom, conqueror of many planets for his Father, King Zarkon, just manages to keep from becoming incoherent in outrage.

"She's perfect." King Zarkon has a look about him that everyone knows not to contradict -- except for his son.


Sighing, inwardly pleased at his son's will, Zarkon gives up on intimidation, and appeals to Lotor's reason. "What do you sense about Arus?"

"I don't...." From painful experience, Prince Lotor learned to think about the questions his Father asks, rather than just dismissing them. As he thinks about Arus, ideas seem to rise in him that he never knew before. "It is the planet that will never break..."

Satisfied, King Zarkon begins to relax. "Just so. I have pushed them as far as I dare. I have no wish for them to spring back at us. Now, with her options narrowed, if we treat her honorably, she will treat us honorably -- and our blood will rule in Arus. Arus may never break, but under her, it may well bend."

Lotor nods, understanding his duty, however distasteful it may be. "For our Line."

*Good boy. Though if I could have allowed you your choice... She did seem sensible. Perhaps this will work out.*

********* Formal meeting, face to face for the first time, on a ruined world.

"Your highness." Prince Lotor bows formally. He makes no attempt to take her hand.

"Your highness." Princess Allura bows gracefully in return, eyes focused on her hands. Had he offered to take her hand, she would not have seen it.

Looking at both of them, King Zarkon snorts in amusement. "The two of you are going to be married. Instead of not looking at each other, why don't you just start getting acquainted."

Lotor winces. Sighing faintly, he carefully offers his arm, looking at her fully for the first time. "As far as I know, Father's never learned manners..."

She smiles slightly and cautiously takes his arm. "Not at all. He's a good match for my former governess. Where is your esteemed mother, by the way?"

For a moment Lotor freezes. Then he chuckles. "She is actually ruling in a planet named Pollux.."

Blinking in startlement, Allura asks with growing ease. "So, my requests were not uncommon?"

Relaxing in turn, Lotor responds "Not at all. My Line doesn't often produce children; we require new blood every so often, or run the risk of becoming senile. As you can tell by Father's actions..."

King Zarkon, left behind as the two stroll off, smiles in deep satisfaction. Now, the unbreakable planet is part of his empire.


Any comments or suggestions for JoAnn should be sent through me with either the story name or JoAnn in the subject line. I'll make sure it gets to her, and I won't even peek!^^

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