Relative disclaimers apply


Redemption

by Caroline Garcia

Part Nine


CHAPTER 27

When Romelle, Bandor and the Voltron Force arrived in Pollux, they received a hero’s welcome. The Polluxian people wanted to celebrate the return of their princess and were grateful with Sven for rescuing her from Lotor.

“So Sven, you’re coming back to Arus, aren’t you?” Pidge said as he and the others headed for the quarters they had been assigned by Prince Bandor so that they could change out of the uniforms and freshen up. Sven glanced at him. “I don’t think so Pidge”. Hunk frowned. “Why do you say that?”.

“My priorities have changed. I want to stay in Pollux”. Keith quirked an eyebrow. “I suppose Princess Romelle has something to do with your decision?”. Sven groaned softly. “Well – she asked me to stay and help them with their defense system”.

“Sven, is there something going on between you and the Princess?” Hunk asked. “After all you two spent a lot time together in those caves” Pidge said with a playful glint in his eyes. Sven felt his face flush in embarrassment. “Er…of course not. Nothing happened between Romelle and I”.

A smile filled with mischief appeared on Lance’s face. “Hmmm…she’s just Romelle to you, not Her Royal Highness Princess Romelle”. “Lance, stop it” Keith said, but Lance continued, “Come on Sven admit it! You have feelings for her and they’re not necessarily feelings of friendship”. “Lance, leave him alone, I warning you” Keith said. Lance shook his head. “Oh no! I saw the way he was looking at the princess while she was talking to her people from the balcony. It’s the same goofy look you have when you see Princess Allura. He’s in love with her, I’m sure of it”.

Sven glanced sharply at Lance. “All right. I admit it! I love Romelle. Are you happy?” he blurted out.

All eyes were suddenly on him then. They had never seen this side of Sven. He didn’t like this kind of attention and swallowed convulsively. Keith placed a hand on his shoulder. “Do you think she feels the same way about you?”. Sven frowned. “I’m not sure. She has been very kind to me, she must be grateful because I saved her from Lotor”. Pidge scratched his head. “Well I don’t know…I would not be able to work for the girl I love and not tell her about my feelings” he quipped. Hunk gave him a thump on the head. “Shut up Pidge! Sven knows what he’s doing”. “Oww! Sorry” he snapped. “That’s Ok Pidge, I know you mean well”.

“That’s our room. Come on Pidge” Hunk said and grabbed him by the collar.

“Hey let me go!”. Keith and Lance laughed at them, but Sven just stared at the young space explorer being dragged into the room. Pidge was right, he would not be able to keep this secret any longer. He had to do something and quick. “Keith”. Keith turned to him. “What is it Sven?”. “I need to go back to Doom”.

Lance widened his eyes in disbelief. “ARE YOU CRAZY?!” he snorted. Sven frowned and looked thoughtfully for a moment. “No, I’m not. I spent all this time in those caves, waiting for a sign, and then Romelle came into my life”.

“Sven – where did you find her?” Keith asked. Sven lowered his head and clenched his hands into fists. “In the pit of skulls. Lotor threw her in there after he took advantage of her”.

“WHAT?!” Lance gasped. Keith was visibly shaken by Sven’s statement. Lotor had tried to abduct Allura many times, but fortunately the VF had always been able to come to her rescue. Images of Lotor hurting her came into his mind and he suddenly felt nauseous. He then gazed at Sven’s face filled with pain and frustration, and realized that he really loved Romelle, as much as he loved Allura.

“I promised her that he’s not going to hurt her anymore, and I’m going to keep that promise”.

“WE’LL TAKE CARE OF THAT ASSHOLE!” Lance spat angrily. Keith nodded approvingly. “RIGHT!”. Sven inhaled sharply. “Thank you, I knew I could count on you”.

Meanwhile, Romelle was in her bedroom. She had already changed. She was wearing a dark blue gown that matched her beautiful eyes. She stood silently in front of the mirror. She then sighed deeply and closed her eyes. “It feels good to be back home”.

There was a knock on the door. “Romelle – can I come in?”. She turned around. “Yes Ally”. Allura entered the room and smiled. “Romelle – you look beautiful!”. She bowed at her. “Thanks. You look beautiful in that emerald green dress”. Allura sat on the bed. “Thank you for lending me this lovely dress”. Romelle then walked up to the bed and sat next to her. Allura noticed the sadness in her eyes and placed an arm around her shoulders. “What’s wrong Romelle?”. She sighed. “I don’t know if I should tell you this” she said while looking at her hands. Allura felt a shiver down her spine. “Romelle – what is it?”. She began to tell her about her imprisonment in Doom…Zarkon forcing her to reveal the secret codes of the defense system…Hagar’s daily visits, torturing her, telling her that no one cared about her anymore, and finally Lotor ‘s lewd acts against her.

A look of horror marred Allura’s features as she listened to her cousin. She wrapped her arms around her and felt her sobbing against her shoulder. She closed her eyes and tears came running down her face. ~Poor Romelle! This is not fair!~. “Romelle – I’m so sorry” she said in a broken voice. Romelle lifted her head and then wiped her tears away with the back of her hand. “I was in that tunnel, and then I saw Sven standing there. He saved me from Lotor”. She closed her eyes briefly and sighed, “He nursed me back to health. He was so gentle, so tender”. “He’s a very special man” Allura said while wiping her tears.

“Ally - why did you give Sven my ring?”. Allura studied her cousin for a few moments before replying. “Because he loves you and I wanted to give him something that belonged to you”.  Romelle jerked her head up and whimpered softly. “He loves me?”. Allura smiled widely. “Yes!”. Romelle smiled at first. Those acts of kindness were his way of telling her how much he loved her. But then her smiled faded away. “Why didn’t he tell me the truth?”. Allura frowned thoughtfully. “Maybe he’s afraid”. “Of what?”. “That you don’t feel the same way about him”. Romelle winced. “But I do! I love him with all my heart and soul” she declared. Allura smiled triumphantly. “Romelle! I’m so happy for both of you” she said, “But maybe he needs some time. It wasn't easy for him to leave his post”.

“I asked him to stay here in Pollux. Bandor and I need his help. But he told me that he wants to talk you before making a decision”. Allura nodded. “I’ll talk to him. And don’t worry cousin, everything is going to work out, I promise”.

“I hope so”.

Allura stood up and reach for her hand. “Come on Romelle, they must be waiting for us in the ballroom”.

CHAPTER 28
7:30pm

Prince Bandor entered the ballroom. He stood at the top of the staircase looking down at the guests. They were happy that Princess Romelle had returned home. He noticed that the Voltron Force was among the crowd. He smiled mischievously and descended the staircase. “Good evening my friends” he said. They turned to him and smiled. “Good evening your highness” they said in unison. “I’m glad you decided to wear the uniforms” he said.

They were wearing Polluxian uniforms, togas like the ones used by the citizens of ancient Rome. Keith winced. “Well – we used to wear togas like these back in Terra” he said. Lance smiled wickedly and said, “Yeah - on frat parties. Those were the good old days”. Hunk sighed deeply. “Yes – there was a lot of drinking and eating” he said with a dreamy expression on his face. Pidge burst out laughing and said, “Yeah…and the next day all of you had a beastly hangover”. Lance narrowed his eyes at him. “You’re just jealous because you weren’t allow to go to those parties!” he sneered.

“You see Bandor – all five of us used to live together back in Terra” Keith said. Bandor quirked an eyebrow and said, “Sven seems so serious, I can't picture him in those parties”. “He was a party animal! You should see him dance!” Pidge quipped. Lance glared at him and said, “Pidge – don’t go there!” he warned. “But he is – I mean he was”. Keith rolled his eyes.

“Bandor – please don’t listen to him. All of us were a little crazy back at the academy, but we have changed our evil ways”.

“Speak for yourself” Lance said while exchanging glances with one of Romelle's ladies in waiting. Keith groaned softly. “Anyway - Sven is a great officer. He’s a commander of the Alliance” he said.

Bandor nodded. “I know he’s a great guy. He rescued my sister and for that I will be forever grateful. We have asked him to stay here. I hope he accepts”.

Lance smiled at him. “Your highness, I have a feeling that Sven will stay, and speaking of the devil, here he comes”.

Sven entered the ballroom and tried to get to their friends, but was mobbed by the guests. They wanted to thank him for rescuing their fair princess. Pidge frowned and said, “Hey – he’s not wearing a toga”.

Bandor turned his gaze to Sven. He was wearing a dark blue uniform. It was similar to the one he used to wear when he arrived to Arus, but it had the crest of Pollux on the left side of the chest. “That was Romelle’s idea” he said, “She wanted to give him a special uniform”.

Sven managed to escape the crowds and walked up to them. “Hello” he gasped. “Hey Sven – nice outfit” Hunk said. Sven adjusted his uniform and then brushed back a strand of hair that covered his brow. “Thanks”.

Bandor looked up and said, “Here comes my sister and my cousin”. Keith glanced at Allura and smiled widely. “If you excuse me, I’m going to ask my fiancée if she wants to dance” he said and went to the base of the stairs to greet his beloved.

“Wow! They’re breathtaking!” Pidge said. Lance placed a hand on Sven’s shoulder. “Sven – why don’t you go with Princess Romelle?” he whispered. Sven couldn’t take his eyes of her. “No – I’ll stay here. It’s better this way” he said.

Lance rolled his eyes at him. “Suit yourself. I’m going to ask her to dance” he said and hurried off. Bandor, Hunk and Pidge decided to raid the buffet table and left too. Sven looked on as Lance greeted the Polluxian princess and asked her to dance. She glanced at Sven and a faint smiled appeared on her face. Sven smiled back at her and then decided to go with her, but was intercepted by some female guests. He followed her with his gaze as she and Lance walked up to the dance floor. His head started spinning. Some women wouldn’t stop chattering. Others wanted to dance with the handsome space explorer {Me too!}. He wanted to run away from them. Romelle had the same luck. Everyone wanted to talk to her. The young men were on line waiting to dance with her. This was one of those times when she hated being a princess, always following the rules.

While Pidge and Bandor were enjoying the buffet, they talked about Sven. “You know Pidge” he said while glancing at Romelle and Sven, “I think Sven is in love with my sister”. Pidge nodded. “You noticed that too, huh? Well you’re right. He’s crazy about her”. Bandor frowned. “He has a funny way of showing it. He’s being avoiding her all evening”. Pidge shrugged. “I guess they need some time” he said while reaching for a napkin. Bandor narrowed his eyes and said, “Well – I’m going to give them a little push”. “What are you going to do?”. “You’ll see” he replied with a conspiratorial tone in his voice.

11:45pm

The celebration was coming to a close, when Bandor said, “My friends, may I have your attention?”. Everyone glanced at the young prince. He smiled politely. “We’re gathered here today to celebrate the return of my sister Romelle. The mighty Voltron Force was kind enough to help us. But…we can’t forget that all of this is the result of the courage of one man…” he trailed off and turned his gaze at Sven, “Commander Sven Asbjörnsen”.

Lance, who was standing beside Sven, pushed him into the dance floor. Sven glared at him, but Lance just smiled mischievously at him. “Come on Sven – enjoy your fifteen minutes of fame, for God’s sake!” he snorted.

Bandor smiled. “Everyone – please join me” he said and began to clap. The crowd followed suit and clapped loudly. Sven just smiled nervously at the guests. ~That prince is worst than Pidge and Lance put together~.

The prince stopped clapping and said, “What better way to bring this celebration to a close than to let my sister Romelle and Commander Asbjörnsen have the last dance”.

Romelle who was sitting on a table with Allura and Keith, gasped loudly. ~Little brother – I’m going to get you for this~. “Come on Romelle, this is your chance” Allura whispered into her ear. “I – I can’t” she replied. Allura smirked. “Of course you can” she said.

Sven, realizing that he couldn’t get away from this trap walked up to her. “Your highness” he said reverently while bowing to her. She blushed furiously. “Commander” she replied. Bandor signaled to the bandleader, he nodded and the music began. It was a waltz {Please insert your favorite waltz here. I wanted the Blue Danube - 11 minutes of pure glory}.

He took her hand and pulled her into his waiting arms. He gracefully lent them on the dance floor. Sven looked into her eyes. "I'm sorry about this Romelle" he said. She smiled back at him. "Don't be, I'm glad to be here with you". He smiled softly at her. She squeezed his shoulder affectionately, making him gasp softly {And that's only the shoulder}. ~I love you Romelle, God help me, I do~ he whispered to himself and held her tighter. She closed her eyes and rested her head on his shoulder. ~I love you Sven~. They seemed to be in their own little world. They wanted to kill Bandor for putting them on the spot at first, but then concluded that he had given them a chance to enjoy a few moments together, with no interruptions. The evening wasn’t a total loss after all.

INTERLUDE 5
Back in Doom…

A guard entered the docking bay of the castle as Lotor’s star cruiser finally came to a landing. “Make way for King Zarkon” he announced. The evil king stepped from the midst of the crowd to stand only a few feet from the ramp. He frowned. “My stupid son has returned” he spat. Lotor and Hagar descended from the ship. Lotor walked up to his father and slowly knelt down before him. “Lotor! You’re a disgrace!". Lotor growled through clenched teeth. ~I’m tired of your ranting old fool~.

“You have failed me once too often against the Voltron Force. You will receive your punishment”. Lotor sprung out from his kneeling position and glared at him. “Punishment? Don’t make me laugh!” he sneered.

Zarkon raised his specter to strike down his son for his insolence, but Lotor stepped aside and a look of pure hatred appeared on his face. “Father – you’ll never hit me again. I hate YOU. I have always hated you. When I was a child, I saw the way you treated my poor mother. Right then I made a promise, that I would take your kingdom away from you, and that’s what I’m going to do…NOW”.

Zarkon’s eyes blazed with fury. “WHY YOU – UNGRATEFUL LITTLE SHIT! GUARDS! TAKE HIM TO THE DUNGEON” he bellowed. But the guards didn’t move. He turned around and frowned. “What are you waiting for? Seize him!”. Lotor folded his arms across his chest and smirked. “My dear father, can’t you see? They are loyal to me! I’m their new king”. Zarkon widened his eyes in disbelief. “THIS IS HIGH TREASON! YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS!” he spat. He raised his fist to strike him, but Lotor captured his hand with his own and then twisted his arm, making him fall on his knees in pain. “Don’t waste your strength father, I have plans for you”.

Zarkon lifted his head and turned to the evil witch. “HAGAR! DO SOMETHING! LOTOR HAS GONE MAD!” he yelled. She just stood there with a grin on her face. “I’m sorry sire – there’s nothing I can do. I didn’t see any chance for advancement at your service, so I decided to seek another master, and I have found it in your son”.  He growled low in his throat. “HAGAR! YOU BITCH!”. She chuckled. “You mean WITCH, don’t you?”. Lotor released Zarkon from his grasp and then turned to the guards. “TAKE HIM TO THE DUNGEONS!” he ordered.

Lotor and Hagar looked on as the old tyrant was taken away. A devious smile appeared on Lotor’s handsome face. “Hagar – I hope you still remember the spell you used to turned Yurak into a robeast, because you’re going to do the same with my dear old father”. She nodded. “Of course, your majesty”. “I think this calls for a celebration. But first I have to make an announcement” he said and dashed off.

CHAPTER 29
Back in Pollux…

Romelle, Allura and Keith were in the conference room of the Polluxian Castle. The VF stayed for a few days while the technicians repaired Voltron, under Hunk's watchful eye of course.

“Do you really have to go?” Romelle asked. “I’m afraid so. Coran doesn’t like to be without Voltron too long. But we’ll be in touch” Keith said.

“Where’s everyone?” Allura asked. Keith chuckled softly. “Hunk and Pidge went to the kitchen. It seems that they struck a friendship with the cook. He’s preparing something for the trip back home. Lance is in the garden talking with one of Romelle’s ladies in waiting”. "You must be talking about Rachel, she couldn't take her eyes of him" Romelle said.

Allura winced softly. “Poor girl!” she quipped.

“And Sven?” Romelle asked. “Here I am”. They turned around and saw Sven standing at the door. Keith smiled at him. “Hey Sven – where were you?”. Sven entered the room. “I went to the village to look for a house. I was lucky, I just signed the lease”. Romelle looked up at him with surprise. “That wasn’t necessary Sven. You can stay here in the castle”. He winced. “Thank you princess, but I think it’s better this way” he replied. “I’m going to miss you” she whispered and averted her eyes.

Allura and Keith gave him a disapproving look that made him feel quite uncomfortable. He cleared his throat and then said,  “Princess Allura – could I talk to you in private?”. She nodded. “Of course Sven”. They left the conference room and walked toward the main entrance of the castle. When they reached the entrance, he turned to her and said, “Princess – when I was in Ebb, I only kept thinking about returning to Arus and flying Blue lion. But now that I have found Romelle, I don’t want to leave her. She and Bandor have offered me a job here in the castle. I hope you don’t mind”.

She smiled warmly at him. “You do love her, don’t you?”. He gazed at her. “I love her with all my heart and soul” he declared, his voice firm and serious. She gasped softly. ~They even talk alike~. She then took his arm and looked into his eyes. “Sven – you gave me the opportunity to prove to myself that I can be part of the Voltron Force, and I will always be grateful. But once I marry Keith, I will no longer be able to be part of the VF”. He nodded slowly. “Ah yes, Coran told us about the law” he said.

“Don’t worry, Keith and the rest are looking for a replacement. But I’m sure they aren’t going to find someone as loyal and brave as you”. He smiled down at her and said, “Thank you princess, I knew you would understand”. “Come on – let’s go back to the conference room” she said.

When they returned, Bandor and the rest of the VF were already there. Allura returned to her seat next to Keith, while Sven sat next to Romelle. “Well – I think we’re ready to go back to Arus” Keith said. “Yup. Our snacks are ready” Pidge said. “And I have a new friend. She even gave me her e-mail address” Lance said with a teasing smile on his face.

It was at that moment that a guard entered the room and walked up to Bandor. He appeared to be whispering something to him. The young prince’s face turned pale and he rose up from his seat. “What’s wrong Bandor?” Romelle asked. He walked up to the computer and pressed a button. “We’ve just received a message from Coran”. Allura gasped softly. “Don’t tell me that Lotor has attacked”. He frowned. “We’ll know in a minute” he replied.

There was a lot of static at the beginning…but then image became clear. It was prince Lotor sitting in King Zarkon’s throne…

“Greetings Coran, Voltron Force. I wanted to inform you that my father has been found unfit to rule this empire, and I, Lotor his only heir claimed his throne and crown. You will soon surrender Arus and Voltron to me”.

Everyone watched in horror at the screen…Lotor is now the King of Doom!

“Allura – I have waited long enough. You will be my bride, and I’ll personally kill your Captain and tossed his remains into the pit of skulls”.

Allura gasped loudly and gazed at Keith. “Keith!”. He inhaled sharply in an effort to calm his anger and placed his hands over hers. “Don’t listen to him, he’s bluffing” he said in a tight voice.

“Romelle you managed to escape from my grasp. But remember this my sweet, you belong to me and your stupid space explorer will pay for his interference”.

Romelle flinched at his words and swallowed convulsively. Sven placed a hand on her shoulder. “I will always be here to protect you” he whispered. She looked into his eyes and nodded curtly.

Lotor gave them a menacing look. “I have more surprises in store for you, I’ll keep you posted. Until then, have a good day” he finished and the transmission was cut off abruptly. Seconds later, Coran appeared on the screen. “Keith – what are you going to do?”.

“I know that Voltron was built for defense purposes, but the future of the galaxy is in jeopardy, we must go to Doom and stop him”. Allura winced slightly. “I know my father will understand our predicament”. Coran grimaced. “Do what you have to do. Our thoughts and prayers are with you”. Allura nodded slowly, a look of anguish dampening her face. “Thank you Coran”. The screen went blank once again. They had a heavy load on their shoulders. They had to act as quickly as possible.

Hunk frowned. “But what about the charged particles that protect the planet? Voltron wouldn’t be able to resist it“ he said. Pidge looked momentarily pensive, and then said, “We need someone who knows his way around the castle”. He then grinned mischievously. “He can reach their control room and deactivate that force field by placing a bomb in the main console”. Sven rose up from his seat. “I’ll do it, I’ll use the Doom destroyer to reach the planet undetected”. Romelle pushed up from her chair, using the table as a lever. “Where you’re going, I go” she stated. He nodded. “Very well princess”.

They began to organize their strategy. The VF would destroy the castle and fight the robeast. Sven and princess Romelle would sneak into Hagar’s laboratory to rescue the slaves held there and then destroyed it. Bandor and his soldiers would go to the dungeons and free the rest of the slaves. Afterwards they would lead them to the ships to take them away from that horrible planet.

“Bandor – we’ll need grenades, bombs, laser guns, rifles and knives” Sven said. “I’ll prepare the arsenal” he replied and hurried off.

Lance scowled deeply and glanced at Keith. “I’m sure that hag has created an ugly robeast for us” he sneered. Keith looked at him. “Don’t worry Lance, we’ll take care of it” he said firmly. He then turned his gaze back to the group. “Ok everyone - let’s get ready” he ordered.

CHAPTER 30

Lotor entered Hagar’s laboratory. He was becoming impatient. “Hagar! Where are you?” he bellowed. She came out of a cabin. “Here I am your highness”. He glared at her. “Well? Is my father ready?” he hissed. “Yes sire. Come, and let me show you my greatest feat”. She took him to a window and gazed at her masterpiece. “There’s your robeast” she said proudly. He directed his attention to the window, and his dark scowl was replaced by an evil smile. He would finally get his revenge on the ones who dared defy him. He would make sure of it.

“He’s going to fight Voltron, if he wins I’ll forgive him…if not, I hope he burns in hell”. She cackled. “I’ll call on the dark spirits to bring you victory over the Voltron Force”. He glanced at her. “You have done a great job Hagar”. She bowed to him. “Thank you sire”.

Sven and Romelle returned to Doom. They landed a few miles east from the castle. Sven gathered his laser gun and a few bombs and grenades. He then reached for a dagger. “Princess, take this dagger, I know you can use it”. She gave him a puzzled look. “How did you…?” she trailed off. He smiled softly at her. “Princess Allura told me”. He then turned his attention to the console and pressed a button to open the door.  “Are you ready?” he asked. “Yes”. “Let’s go” he said while taking her hand.

They reached the main entrance of the castle and hid behind a boulder. They saw two Drule guards. They appeared deep in discussion. “We need their uniforms if we want to infiltrate the castle” Sven whispered to her. “I’ll draw their attention” she whispered back. She picked up a pebble and threw it towards them. They reached for their weapons. “Who goes there?”. There was no answer. “Let’s go and investigate”. They walked towards the boulder and disappeared. They came out a few minutes later…

“I think this uniform is too big for me”. He adjusted her helmet and smiled down at her. “Don’t worry, princess”. She smiled warmly at him. “Come on, we have to find the control room” she said.

They entered the castle without been noticed. Lotor and his people were celebrating his ascension to the throne. The place was alive with music and activity. Sven and Romelle saw a group of harem girls being chased by Drule guards. There was plenty of drink and drugs everywhere. The new king spared no expense. He wanted to keep his men happy so they would fight better. The last thing in his mind was that someone would invade his planet.

They made their way along the wide corridors in the direction of the control room. “This way Romelle” he said. They finally reached their destination. “I can’t believe Lotor would leave this area unprotected” she said. He punched up a code on the control panel and opened the door. “He might be a king, but he isn’t that bright” he sneered. They entered the control room. “There’s the main console” he said and reached for a bomb. She looked on as he installed the explosive underneath the table. “I’ll set the timer, I think five minutes will be enough for us to escape”. “All right” she replied. Sven turned his back to her while checking the wiring and he didn’t noticed that someone had entered the room.

“Arghhh!”.

Sven whipped around and saw a Drule guard holding Romelle by the neck…

“What are you doing?!” the guard spat.

Sven stood up and glared at him. “I was checking the console, I was on my way to the party when I saw this female slave in here. I thought she planted a bomb or something, but I couldn't find anything” he replied. The guard narrowed his eyes at him. “You don’t look like a Drule”. Sven grimaced and said, “Hey! I am Drule all right. Is it my fault that my father had me with a Terran slave?”.

The Drule chuckled. “I guess not. Well – I’m going to take this wench back to the dungeon”.

Romelle widened her eyes. Sven groaned softly. “You don’t have to do that. We can have some fun with her” he said. The guard grunted. “I don’t want to get in trouble”. Sven folded his arms across his chest. “Nobody is going to find out. They’re having too much fun” he said, “Look at those eyes and those lips” he taunted. Romelle placed her hands on her belt, and slowly reached for her dagger. “She’s quite beautiful for a Terran” Sven said, his gaze alternating between the guard’s eyes and Romelle’s hands.

The guard licked his lips. He was getting aroused just thinking about having his way with this slave. Sven smiled mischievously at him. “Come on – we’ll share. I’ll hold her for you and then you do the same for me” he said. “Look at her eyes, she wants you” he breathed as she took out the dagger and held it with both hands. “Oh yes! She has something for you” he said. The guard couldn’t take it anymore and he whirled her around. “What do you have for me?” he said, his voice thick with desire.

She glared at him. “THIS!” she cried and buried her weapon in his belly. He widened his eyes and gapped his mouth and then dropped to the floor. She turned to Sven and released a sigh of relief. He smiled at her and said, “Well done – your highness”. He walked up to the guard and pulled out the dagger and cleaned the blood on the dead man’s uniform. “Here’s your dagger”. He then set the timer. “Let’s get out!” he said.

The five robot lions were stationed nearby, just out of scanner range, waiting for Sven’s signal. “They are taking too long” Lance said exasperated. “Relax Lance” Pidge said while checking the controls in his console. Allura inhaled deeply. “I hope they managed to enter the castle undetected” she said.

Another tense moment passed until…

“Voltron Force – This is Sven. The force field has been lifted!”.

“Great job Sven and Romelle!” Hunk shouted. “Thanks Sven, Keith out” he replied. “All right team, let’s form Voltron!”.

Lotor burst into the control room, it was filled with smoke. “WHAT HAPPENED?” he bellowed. A Drule guard walked up to him. “Your majesty! Two guards planted a bomb. Our force field has been neutralized!”. Lotor gave him a murderous look and reached for its neck. “FIND THOSE SABOTEURS! DON’T LET THEM GET AWAY!” he yelled. “Yes! Your highness!” he replied hastily and hurried off. Lotor stood there, while the drones were trying to extinguish the flames. He was lost in thought when a blast shook the castle. “YOUR MAJESTY! WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!” a drone yelled. Lotor clenched his jaw. “YOU DON’T SAY!” he sneered. He turned his gaze to the view screen and his face blazed with fury…Voltron was attacking the castle! Those foolish space explorers had invaded his planet!

“PREPARE THE ROBEAST!” he growled.

CHAPTER 31

The Voltron Force was busy destroying the castle, when Zarkon appeared before them. “Look! It’s Zarkon!” Pidge exclaimed.

“VOLTRON – I, ZARKON WILL DESTROY YOU”.

“In your dreams!” Lance sneered and fired a bout of proton missiles at the old tyrant. A cloud of smoke engulfed Zarkon, when the smoke dissipated he was still standing, with a smirk on his face. They tried a wide array of weaponry, but nothing seemed to hurt him. A dark scowl formed on Keith’s face. “Form blazing sword!” he bellowed. Zarkon drew an ax and rushed forward at the mighty robot. They went head to head for a few minutes. “I can’t believe his strength!” Pidge spat. “He has been taking his vitamins!” Hunk exclaimed.

“CAN’T YOU SEE?“ Zarkon began,  “THAT I’M INVINCIBLE!”. Lance gritted his teeth. “An imbecile? I’ve known that for a very long time!” he sneered.

“FOOLS! DON’T RESIST ME!” he howled and gave Voltron a whack across the chest, making him lose his balance. The five pilots were jolted back into their seats. Their cockpits began to fill with smoke and various alarms went off.

“Pidge! Run a diagnostic check!” Keith hollered. Pidge pressed a few buttons in the console and gasped loudly. “Keith! Our shields have been penetrated!”.

“God damn it!” Lance yelled.

“Keith! We have tried every trick in the book and nothing seems to work!” Hunk yelled.

“Someone or something is protecting him!” Allura cried. Lance frowned. “Hagar! She’s probably using her evil magic. We need to stop her!”.

“But how?” Allura asked.

“Sven and Romelle must be on their way to the laboratory” Keith said. He called into the comm-unit. “Keith to Sven!” he began, “Sven! Please respond!”.

Sven and Romelle were in a corridor. They had barely escaped from the control room. The castle was a total chaos. The guards were enthralled in battle with Bandor’s soldiers, but will all the drinking and partying they were losing miserably.

“Sven! Please answer!”.

Sven reached into his pocket and retrieved his communicator. “Keith! This is Sven! What’s wrong?”.

“Sven! Zarkon is gaining on us…he appears to be under some kind of spell…” he trailed off.

Sven frowned. “Hagar is behind this” he said. Romelle blinked at him. “They need our help” she said. He nodded and pressed the transmit button on his communicator, “Keith! We’re just a few steps from Hagar’s laboratory, we’ll take care of her”.

“Ok Sven, good luck, Keith out”.

The evil witch was kneeling, in a trance. “Oh! Evil spirits…give Zarkon strength and lead him to victory…” she trailed off. Her evil sidekick, Coba was sleeping on a nearby table.

She didn’t notice that two figures entered her domains. “There she is” he whispered and began to move towards her. “Sven, what are…” Romelle began, but he placed a finger over her lips. He then continued on his way. The princess reached for her dagger, just in case. Coba woke and hissed at him. He quickly reached for his knife and threw it at Coba, sending the blue cat to kitty hell {Excellent!}.

Slowly, he walked over to Hagar and stood behind her and wrapped his hands around her neck and squeezed with all his might. She gasped and tried to free herself from his grip. “What…are you…doing?!”. His eyes lit up with hatred. “This is for all the people you have hurt evil witch” he hissed. Hagar recognized that voice. “YOU!” she gasped. “Yes Hagar, it’s me”. Romelle’s eyes widened in shock. She knew it was wrong to take someone’s life, but Hagar was pure evil, she deserved to die.

Hagar felt that her life was leaving her body. She had channeled all her powers to help Zarkon and Lotor, and couldn’t stop Sven from killing her. A few minutes later she stopped struggling. Sven released her and she crumpled to the floor, her yellow gaze staring up at him blankly. A grin of satisfaction touched his lips. “I’m glad she’s dead” she said shakily. He turned to her and said, “Me too”. He then reached for her arm. “Let’s go and free the slaves” he said. She nodded slowly. “Yes, let’s hurry”.

Zarkon released an evil laugh. “HA! THIS IS MY TRIUMPH!” he declared in a thunderous voice.

Lotor looked on as the fight continued. Soon, his rule would begin and it would be absolute. And those foolish princesses would submit to him. But just as his father was about to finish Voltron with his ax, he noticed that he lowered his weapon. “What is happening? Why doesn’t he finish the job?” he hissed.

“He’s not attacking” Pidge said. “Come on! We need the blazing sword” Lance said. Voltron scrambled away, quickly grabbing the blazing sword. “Let’s finish him!” Keith yelled and the mighty robot swiped the evil king twice. He collapsed to the ground, his body broken, and finally he exploded into oblivion. Lotor stared at the screen. “Damn you Hagar! This is all your fault!” he said, his voice filled with rage.

A drone guard irrupted into the throne room. “My lord!”. Lotor glared down at him. “NOW WHAT?”. “There’s an incoming message from Marshal Kezor from the Drule Empire” he replied. “Patch it through!” he spat. The view screen flickered for a few moments, and then the face of Kezor appeared on the screen. “Lotor! I’ve been informed that your planet has been invaded by members of the Galaxy Alliance” he yelled. Lotor growled low in his throat ~Damn spies!~. “Marshal Kezor – my father was turned into a robeast to fight Voltron, but he failed. But I assure you, I’m going to destroy that robot and the Voltron Force will submit to me” he replied. Kezor scowled at Lotor. “Lotor! I think you’re as incompetent as Zarkon. Our deal is off!” he spat and the communication was abruptly cut off. Lotor clenched his jaw. “Go to hell! Who needs you?!” he bellowed.

A drone entered the room. “Your majesty! Hagar’s laboratory has been destroyed and the slaves have escaped”.

“Where’s Hagar?” he growled. “She’s dead sire. We found her charred remains”. Lotor was startled by the news. That’s why Zarkon stopped fighting, the spell was broken.

The Royal court entered and bowed to him. A representative stepped forward and knelt down before him. “Your majesty! Voltron has defeated us. Please, we beg you, surrender before it’s too late”.

“NEVER!” he spat.

A group of robot guards burst into the throne room. “Your highness! You must surrender! We don’t want to be destroyed by the Voltron Force and their allies”.

Lotor rose up from the throne and glared down at them. “FOOLS! I WILL NEVER SURRENDER! THEY’RE NOT GOING TO DEFEAT ME!” he bellowed.

The castle rocked again, sending a rain of small rocks and stones with it. The royal court and the guards ran out, leaving the dark prince behind. “DON’T GO! YOU IDIOTS!”. He crumpled on the throne once again and leaned his head against the back of the chair. “They’re going to pay for this insult!” he sneered. Then a devious smile appeared on his face. “They don’t know I have another surprise for them” he said and burst out laughing.

Bandor’s fleet was a few miles away from the Doom Castle. The young prince and his soldiers had already rescued the slaves from the dungeons and were waiting for the rest of team. A soldier walked up to him. “Your highness, two Doom guards are coming this way, they’re been followed by a group of slaves”. Bandor turned around and gazed at the approaching figures. He recognized them immediately and his face lit up. “Romelle! Sven! You made it!” he exclaimed. Romelle ran to him and he placed his arms around her waist. “Bandor! Is everyone Ok?”. He drew back and smiled at her. “Yes! The slaves are in the ships”. Sven smiled down at him. “Bandor – we’re proud of you”. “Thanks Sven!”.

“Where’s Allura and the rest?”. Romelle asked. “They’re giving the finishing touches to the main hangar and the pit of skulls”. Sven winced. They had defeated the Doom Empire, but there was something he had to do. He proceeded to remove his uniform {he was wearing his own clothes underneath} while Romelle and Bandor entered the main ship. Sven sat down on a rock and took out his communicator from his pocket. “Sven to Keith…Sven to Keith” he said.

“Keith here”.

“Where are you?”.

“We’re in the arena, the Doom guards have surrendered. We’re taking them to the dungeons”.

“Keith – I’m going to the castle”.

“Sven – the guards told us that Lotor remained in the castle after our last attack. He must be dead”.

“I want to be sure”.

“Don’t do anything foolish my friend”.

Sven glanced over his shoulder. Romelle was coming towards him. She was wearing a pink dress with white accents. He turned back and whispered,

“Don’t worry, I won’t, Sven out”.

“Something wrong?”.

“No, I was talking with Keith. I told him that I’m going back to the castle to check if there are any survivors”.

“I’m going with you”.

“No princess, it’s too dangerous, please stay here with your brother”.

She noticed a strange look in his eyes and a bad presentiment suddenly overwhelmed her. “I’m going with you, and that’s final” she said evenly. He groaned softly. “Very well, let’s go”.

CHAPTER 32

Sven and Romelle reached the castle. It was time for him to confront his destiny once and for all. “Romelle please wait here for me”. She grabbed his arm. “No! I’m going with you”. “I have to go alone, I must find Lotor”. Romelle’s eyes darkened with unshed tears. “Sven - please don’t go”. Sven reached out and touched her cheek. “Romelle – I’m doing this for us”. She placed her hand over his and gasped softly. She then handed him the dagger he had given her earlier and said, “Sven, my heart will always be with you”.

He looked into her eyes filled with love and confidence. He pulled her body close to him so that their entire lengths were nearly touching. He leaned closer and closer…he was about to kiss her on the lips, but relented. He took a deep breath and stepped back. “We’ll talk later Romelle min {Romelle mine}” he said and ran off. She clasped her hands and said, “Please come back”.

He reached the interior of the castle. He made his way along the wide corridors in the direction of the throne room. An overwhelming silence filled the place. He entered a darkened hallway and saw the entrance of the throne room. The doors were ajar and smoke was coming out of the room. He carefully open the door wider, his blaster ready.

Lotor was sitting on the throne. Sven narrowed his eyes and pointed his laser gun at him, and fired. Lotor shattered into a million pieces. Sven gasped loudly, “Faen!” {Damn!}. It was only a robot decoy!

“So Sven, we meet again. It’s been a long time”.

Sven whirled around and found Lotor pointing his lazon sword at him. “Drop your weapon!”. The laser gun touched to floor. Lotor chuckled deeply like the devil himself and sweeping his hand toward the stairs leading to the throne said, “Join me, and be witness of my glory”. While holding the sword to his throat, they climbed up to the throne. Lotor reached for the armrest and pressed a hidden button. The throne turned into an elevator, and they went up to a tall tower. “Do you see that?” the dark prince said. Sven’s eyes widened at the sight. It was a massive cannon, similar to the one built in planet Mora by Zarkon and taken away by the Galaxy Alliance.  A sardonic smile appeared on Lotor’s face. “Did you really think that by destroying Hagar’s laboratory and killing my father you would spoil my plans of conquest? You and your friends are so naive”.

Romelle, Bandor, and the Voltron Force ran into the throne room. Pidge looked up and gasped, “There they are!”. Romelle screamed in terror, “SVEN!”.

“ROMELLE!”.

“LOTOR! LET HIM GO!” Keith hollered. “NO! I WANT YOU ALL TO WITNESS THIS!”.

“ALLURA, ROMELLE, YOU WILL SURRENDER TO ME, AND THE VOLTRON FORCE WILL BOW DOWN AND BECOME MY SLAVES!”.

Hunk, Pidge and Lance erupted in vehement denials and virulent curses. “He’s gone completely mad!” Hunk sneered. “F*** you Lotor!” Lance growled.

“LOTOR – YOU MUST RELEASE SVEN!” Keith yelled.

“GIVE ME VOLTRON AND I’LL SPARE HIS LIFE”.

“NOOO! DON’T LISTEN TO HIM!” Sven screamed.

Allura turned to face her cousin and encountered Romelle’s blazing gaze with shock, her hands clenched into fists. “We must save him” she declared in a trembling voice. “Keith – we must listen to his demands” Allura said. “No princess! He’s not going to keep his word!” Lance shouted. Keith’s mouth tightened with frustration. If they try to reach the tower, that bastard would kill their friend. He glanced at Allura and she nodded slowly.

“ALRIGHT LOTOR…YOU’VE WON THIS TIME!” Keith yelled.

“KEITH! FORGET ABOUT ME! VOLTRON CAN’T BE DESTROYED!”.

Lotor began to laugh. “This so touching! You’re willing to give your life for your friends” he sneered. Sven gave him an icy glare. “That’s something you will never understand!”. Lotor quirked an eyebrow. “You’re much braver than I thought. Don’t worry Sven, I’ll take care of Romelle and Allura, trust me”.

“SHUT UP!” Sven spat.

Lotor’s saffron eyes had an evil glint. “Have you tried her? She’s quite good, isn’t she? I hope Allura is as good as her cousin” he taunted.

“GO TO HELL! YOU BASTARD!” Sven growled.

A strange look crossed Lotor’s face and then a small grin touched his lips. ~Amazing! Defiant till the end~. “ROMELLE! ARE YOU READY TO SEE YOUR FOOLISH LOVER DIE?”. Romelle gasped in pain. “LEAVE HIM ALONE!”. Lotor began to laugh uproariously and drew back his sword. “Did you hear that Sven?” he gasped, “She wants me to leave you alone. She must really care about you…the poor little bitch”.

Sven felt anger course through him. His dark eyes narrowed dangerously. ~I will not allow you to hurt her again~. While Lotor was still laughing uncontrollably, Sven slowly reached for Romelle’s dagger at his belt…and with a cry of rage he rushed forward at Lotor, and stabbed him through the heart. He gasped in pain and dropped his sword.

“DIE LOTOR!”.

Lotor widened his eyes. “INFIDEL! I…I’M TAKING YOU WITH ME!” he bellowed and wrapped his arms around him and they fell off the tower into the moat surrounding the castle. Romelle yelled “NOOO!” as the rest watched in utter horror. Is it possible that his quest for redemption has lead our hero to the ultimate sacrifice?

To Part Ten

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