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Voltron Goretober 2019

Chapter Text

It was rare when those in positions if power wished to fight one of the seasoned gladiators of the ring.

Especially when that gladiator is a favorite of one of Emperor Zarkon's highest ranking commanders. It would almost be suicide to request to battle one of them, especially this one who has managed to overcome odds and rise to the top despite being an inferior species.

Hepta quietly waits for the gates to open into the arena quietly, hatred for this creature bubbling away in his stomach.

Ever since he came, Sendak has seemed distracted and distant. It was to the point that he hardly touched Hepta or Haxus ever since he had been put in charge of breaking the Champion. After that, it was all Sendak was focused on when he wasn't in battle or in war meetings with the others.

The second lieutenant had tried to be patient, had tried to heed Haxus' warnings about getting involved. But when he had seen them in the training room, seeing Sendak pinning the other down in the had mats had made something inside him snap.

Now he waits for battle before the eyes of the Emperor and his inner circle of his most trusted commanders.

Hepta gripped his sword and glares forwards. He was dressed in an armored vest and snug fitting pants that held the sigil of Sendak's crest. He summons every ounce of animosity and jealousy that's built up inside him before the arena's gates creak open to the sound of the cheering.

The second lieutenant steps out, swinging his blade lazily in a circle as he walks towards the center. Walking towards him clad in prisoner wear and gripping a sword as well, a tuft of hair beginning to turn white and a scar over his face was the Champion.

Shiro had his eyes on his opponent while he tries to hide how his body was shaking. It's only been a week since his arm was replaced. The prosthetic twitched slightly at his side as he tries to keep calm. After so long fighting so many different aliens he would think he'd be ready to fight one of the galra...

But Hepta wasn't any Galra.

He had never met anyone who held such hatred directed at him. It made Shiro shudder a bit before he gets into a battle stance. Even as his stomach churns when the crowd shouts his new alias here.

Champion! Champion! Champion!

It echoes through his skull.

"Nnngh..."

"What's the matter?" Hepta smirks slowly, "You look a little shaken, Champion."

Shiro's flesh hand clenches into a fist as he raises the sword with a glare. He says nothing to the galra before him. The one who barged in on his 'training' session with Sendak. The one who always looked ready to kill him whenever they had to pass each other or overhear him talking about what a weakling he is.

He remembers every detail.

SCHWING!

Hepta raises his blade in time to block the Champion's, "Hmph. Sendak was right you are easy to rile up aren't you?"

Shiro tensed before Hepta moves back and thrusts his blade forwards. The Champion barely dodges the next strike before he tries to swipe at him again. A soft chuckle leaves the galra as he barely has to move to block his opponent.

This is almost too easy...

...

"It seems the lower life form isn't as much as a Champion as we thought."

Sendak lowered his ears before looking at a bored Trugg with his intact eye narrowed. Haxus had his eyes on he ring, his fingers clasped and pretending not to notice how tense Ladnok was as they watch the fight.

Despite the overwhelming noise of the crowd, it was easy for Haxus to observe the fight. He watches the Champion and Hepta's movements, discerning what they were feeling as their swords meet. With a soft approving hum, the corner of Haxus' mouth twitches as he watched Hepta punch the human in the jaw. He was so skilled with a sword in those hands that intertwined so well with his and Sendak's and yet could gouge out eyes with just the fingers alone and shatter bones with a well placed strike of his palm.

He hears his commander take in a sharp breath while gripping his knee with his flesh arm.

"Well, Hepta does have more battle experience," Janka huffs while munching on a bowl of sweets, "Besides I'm he wouldn't want to disappoint his superiors."

"Shhh! I'm watching," Ladnoks hisses through grit teeth, before turning back to watch, "I'd really appreciate if you all shut up."

"Aaaw, is Laddy worried for her baby brother?" Sniv taunted her, before ducking a swipe from Sendak's claw.

The commander's sudden lash out has the others immediately go quiet before he turns his attention back to the fight. Theres a look of conflicting emotions only Haxus could read.

The pride that their Hepta was doing them proud, the annoyance that it seemed the Champion wasn't living up to his potential, the anger that all his months of training the unworthy creature would go to waste and, the most hardest emotion to read, the worry that something would go wrong for Hepta.

Haxus touches his arm and says low enough for Sendak to hear but not the others around him, "Hepta won't die. He's a trained fighter and the Druids will keep him from dying should he suffer great injury. Which is a very low risk."

"...Let us hope it is." Sendak rumbled.

...

Hepta laughs as he sends Shiro flying with a punch to his jaw.

"Wow you're truly so pathetic! I expected more of you after you defeated Myzax!"

The Champion grunts as he gets up, tasting blood in his mouth. He reaches up and covers his slowly swelling lip and bruised jaw. He barely moves fast enough for Hepta's blade to sink into the wall as he stumbles back. The galra grunts before he pulls it out and charges him again.

"I expected more knowing you're trained by my commander! How dare you shame him with your pathetic fighting skills! After he's spent so much time with you."

Shiro stumbles back as be raises his sword this time to block and firmly plants his feet on to the floor. He hisses as Hepta leans in, those eyes of his glowing with rage and contempt.

"You are such a pathetic thing! You can't even defend yourself against me!" the Champion's sword begins to crack, "I'm surprised you're still even standing. The witch gives you a prosthetic, you get the greatest warrior to train you and give you all his free time and attention..."

Shiro shakes as his prosthetic starts to twitch.

CHRINGK!

He shouts when the sword breaks, losing his footing and stumbling back into a crouch.

Hepta moves to him slowly, watching his opponent gripping the twitching robotic arm while hissing in pain when a headache starts to form.

"What a sad sight you make. It's truly no wonder you and your lowlife friends were captured so easily."

Shiro suddenly tenses, his brown eyes widening as the twitching stops. Slowly he looks up at Hepta.

He was smirking down at him, "You're nothing but some gladiator brute. You even hurt one of your own in your thirst for blood, and look where it gets you," He raises his sword, "Maybe...I'll look for them..and send your little friend your head. I might even be nice and kiss it for good luck.l

The blade comes down—

CLUNG!

Collective, loud gasps sound from the crowd. For a long moment after all was silent.

Shiro looked up slowly, his eyes turned yellow as his prosthetic glows purple. His flesh hand was bleeding on the blade as be grips it harshly to stop it. A stunned look crosses Hepta's face for a moment before it twists into fear and anger.

"You—!"

The human moves so fast that when one blinked at that exact moment it seemed like he teleported behind Hepta.

The second lieutenant was still a moment, eyes wide now. No one was sure what had happened...until blood spurts on to Hepta's face as the arm gripping the sword falls to the ground.

His face goes pale before he looks back, "Ghhh..."

An actual growl leaves the Champion before he charges again.

Hepta only manages a few steps back. There's a blurred curve of purple light from the human's right side.

Thump!

Fresh blood spurts when Hepta's other arm hits the ground. His eyes widen when it gets on his face as the crowd starts to shout loudly.

No...no no no it's not supposed to end like this...it..it wasn't! I can't lose...! I can't, I can't, I can't—

"I can—!" He barely turns his head to look at the Champion when he attacks again.

...

Sendak and Haxus tense up as they watch Shiro passing Hepta a third time.

Ladnok was gripping her thighs so hard that blood began to seep through the fabric of her suit. Everyone was on the edge of their seats, even as Sendak looks back towards the Emperor's Box at Zarkon and Haggar. The Emperor looked on with a glint of interesr while his Witch's expression was hidden by the shadow of her hood.

Everything seems to go still for just a moment.

When blood spurts from Hepta's mouth and from around his waist, Haxus almost breaks Sendak's arm with how had he grips him in order not to lose his quiznaking mind. Their second lieutenant, their lover, looks up slowly towards them.

Both watched, paralyzed and numb from shock as Hepta's torso slides from his lower body on to the ground.

Shiro's bloodied prosthetic shakes as the purple glow disappears. Slowly he falls to his knees and breathes heavily while ignoring the blood around him.

Sendak watches the arena handlers pull Shiro out. He clenched his hand into a fist, gritting his teeth.

...

Hepta was still twitching and choking on his own blood when a Druid and Haggar teleport beside his dismembered form. The Druid raises his hand, causing Hepta to levitate with blood dripping off him.

"...Can this one be saved?" Haggar rasps softly.

"Yes, High Priestess. We can fuse his torso and lower body back together like it was never cut in half. As for his arms we can—"

"Leave them."

Blood gushes from Hepta's mouth, stopping him from shouting in protest.

The Druid look at her, tilting his head eerily, "Are you sure? If we hurry we can reattach them."

"No," She slowly walks around and looks Hepta in the eyes, "As punishment for disgracing his commander and thinking he could defeat my experiment, we will replace his severed arms with prosthetics. I want him to remember that an experiment of mind is nothing to underestimate no matter how inferior they are."

Hepta wheezes and chokes as he's carried out. He looks back at his severed arms as a sentry picks them up and disappears with them.

"It shall be done, High Priestess."

Chapter Text

The saws above him were still and quiet.

They gleam menacingly in the dim violet light as the distorted figures of the Druids reflect off the metal. Their voices were hushed as they seemed to be talking with what looked like one if the medics while looking over a screen with them.

He's been in this room for a long time. The days seem to pass on outside between being interrogated and tortured constantly, with no way of knowing how long it's been since he had been accused of treachery. No one told him anything that went on beyond his prison walls.

There was no pity, no kindness from anyone around him. As far as anyone is concerned, the once proud commander Throk was long gone and no longer of any importance to anyone. Just another prisoner with no escape strapped to the witch's table.

Throk feels a chill down his spine when the doors slide open and she enters.

The Witch doesn't look at him as she enters and walks to the medic.

"High Priestess," The two Druids bow to her while the medic saluted her.

She just stares at them before looking at Throk with narrowed eyes, "...Did you explain to him what is to be done?"

"Yes High Priestess," the medic speaks up, bowing his hesd, "They were very clear on how to proceed. Should all go well then you shall have the information you seek."

"And should it not?"

"...Let us hope it won't."

Haggar raised her hand and with the curl of her fingers the straps holding Throk down tighten.

"Nnnngh!" Two curl over his neck and forehead tightly, the suddenness of it making him coherent again, "Wha...What...!?"

The medic approaches him with a syringe but it stopped from injecting whatever was in it when one of the Druids grabs his arms.

"That won't be necessary, Medic. Haggar wants him to feel this."

Throk looked back and forth as the medic gives the druids a sour look but complies. Haggar moves around the slab until she stops besides Throk. A bright light is turned on, shining in his eyes and making it impossible to see her expression.

"Wh-what is this?" He hisses before the medic picks up a marker, "What are you planning?!"

Haggar was quiet a moment before she rasps, "Since you can't seem to recall how you came to be in this position...you have forced us to take a more...invasive approach."

Throk stiffens then the marker draws a line between his ears. One of the Druids brings a strange device and walk out of Throk's line of vision to stand beside the Medic. Fear grips him and he tries to tug on the straps keeping his arms and legs down. If he could just manage to loosen them then maybe he'd have a chance.

His body suddenly seizes and he is unable

The many hours of begin tormented through electrocution had weakened his limbs and body, exhausting it and making him unable to move any further.

"Now, now if all goes as planned and we find out how your memories were erased then we can see if they are retrievable."

Ssszzzzzzzzzzzz!

The saw above him activates, the disc spinning into perfect circles as the medic reaches up and grips it to pull it down.

"No...No no...! Please I beg of you..." He rasps, his eyes darting back and forth as his breathing becomes shaky, "Please..."

"Breathe commander," a gloved hand rests on his forehead, "It will hopefully go smoothly and quickly should the gods decide to favor you this day."

Throk shakes as the saw is lowered down slowly on to the marked lone between his ears.

Haggar didn't flinch as blood splatters on to her cloak. She tilted her head down at Throk as as scream rips from his throat. The black galra blood seeps out down his forehead and into his eyes as the skin is cut open. A hand reaches down and carefully smears his blood over his cheek as he screams.

He could feel his skull cracking painfully from the saw, feel the looseness of his cut skin as if splits to allow access inside.

Unable to speak in his shock and horror, Throk could only lie there slack on the table as tears well up in his eyes. Blood and tears gush down his face as his fingers dig into the table.

Please...please no...! I don't want to die! I don't want to die here! I don't want them in my head...!

As sudden as it had started, it ended as the saw is pulled from his opened skull. He lies there completely still as his teary eyes stare at the ceiling.

The medic hums as he pushed the saw away and carefully pulls the skull open, "Ah there we are...perfectly intact. Now let's ease the device inside and then we can see what were dealing with..."

Throk became catatonic to the point he can't hear anything or anyone. All he could do was stare ahead and try to escape into himself as his skull parts before something is slowly inserted.

When he looks over slightly and sees Haggar, he is greeted by the most haunting image he's ever seen.

She was giving him a smile.

Chapter Text

He never asked to be placed as an assistant medic for this mission.

In all honesty, he had hoped to be placed with the soldiers like Thace or under Janka's command where he could get more information without anyone questioning his reasoning. Besides, he was an assistant? Did Kolivan really have to put him as an underling despite his experience as a doctor for the Blades?

But now he can't really get out of it without suspicion being on him.

"Ulaz, get in here!"

The assistant medic's ears pin back despite his stoic expression.

The Head Medical Officer he had been placed with stood in full uniform in what was considered the "operation" chamber. The smell of old blood and decay assaults his nose as he walks forwards slowly. A shudder runs through him quietly before eh stops beside his superior.

"Vrepit Sa," he salutes, "I have reported for whatever duty you have assigned me sir."

"Very good," the older galra adjusts his mask, "Our Emperor has given us orders to punish one of his Warlords for attacking his newly appointed Commander of the Third Fleet."

Ulaz just nods to show he heard while his stomach churns in disgust. He has watched his superior perform unnecessary surgeries and amputations under command from Zarkon and his witch. They were the cause of many nightmares when he attempted to sleep at night.

He watches his superior opens the door as Ulaz slips on his own mask and follows him in to the surgical suite...

"Hhrrggghhhhh!"

Poor Ulaz jumps slightly when he sees Warlord Ranveig on the table. He was in a straitjacket with is legs bound together as well strong straps holding him down firmly. He had a bit in his mouth that he was biting down into and by the stars he looked angry.

"Now, now Warlord. You knew attacking Sendak would warrant a surgical punishment. Ulaz, I'm going to set him up, will you please get the tongs and the needle as well as make sure they've been sterilized?"

"Yes sir," Ulaz barely kept his voice steady as he picks up a scanner to ensure the tools were indeed cleaned.

Just because these people were the enemy did not mean Ulaz wasn't sympathetic to their predicaments. No one should be subjected to such terrible fates no matter what they did to warrant punishment.

Ranveig grunts when two prongs force his right eye open and a bright light shines into it.

Before the Warlord can try to shake it out, two powerful hands grip his head and forces it to stay in place.

"Oh no you don't. I'm not about to let you ruin my assistant's first surgical removal."

It takes all of Ulaz's self control not to drop the tray with the syringe to drain the eye and make it shrink a bit, the tongs to pull it out and a scalpel to sever the root of the eye. In his time here he has never been asked to perform the procedures and he never showed much interest in doing it, moatly because they were unnecessary and cruel.

"S-sir I am flattered but I do not think this is necessary..."

"Ulaz. You are not strong enough to keep his head still and I've seen how steady your hands are. I think you're going to be fine."

Ulaz grimaced behind the mask as he looks at Ranveig. He has to resist the urge to not ask about anesthesia for the Warlord, since it was never offered for punishment surgeries.

If I refuse to do this it will look suspicious...I can't afford suspicious... "I understand sir."

"Mmmm! Nuuuh! Nuuuuh!"

The Head Medical officer rolled his eyes, "Ignore him, Ulaz. Just proceed as you would a normal patient. You know what to do."

Yes, but that doesn't mean I WANT to.

He slowly approached the Warlord, holding the syringe in his hand and looking down at him. With the bright light shining in that one eye, Ulaz can see the outline of a pupil hidden by yellow. It begins to water slightly as Ulaz tries to calm his nerves. He goes over the procedure over and over in his head while standing over the victi—the patient.

There's anger, fear, hatred and begging in Ranveig's other eye. He tries to speak around the bit but it only comes out as gibberish as Ulaz carefully holds the syringe over the eye.

Every inch of Ulaz was screaming not to proceed with this. It went against his oath as a healer and his morals that he hid from everyone but his own side.

...I have a mission to complete. I am a Blade. I am here for knowledge. I...

I must do this to protect my mission.

He injects the needly into the middle of the outlined pupil and starts to drain it.

"NNNNNUUUUHMMMM! MMMMGHHHRRRR!"

Ulaz bites his lip as Ranveig screams. He watches the eye begin to darken and dehydrate while violet fluid fills the syringe. He can see the eye shrinking slightly and showing that it was loosening enough for Ulaz to use the prongs.

"Very good Ulaz..."

He swallows thickly as he pulls the needle out and picks up the prongs to carefully slide them into the socket. For a moment he hesitates as Ranveig continues to roar and shout.

Then Ulaz begins thinking of all the people Ranveig has hurt. The planets he has destroyed, families he's ripped apart and other unspeakable acts. As his hands shake softly he crushes the eye when he tightened his grip and watches blood and other fluids gush out like he had popped a pimple.

Instead of cutting it, he puts his hand on the Warlord's forehead and rips the eyeball clean out.

For a moment there's pure, righteous hatred and rage in Ulaz's eyes as he has Ranveig's torn out crushed one hanging over the shaking and gargling Warlord under him. He sharply drops the tongs and eyeball on the tray before he closed his eyes and took in a deep shaky breath.

For the mission, The words echo through his head, piercing through Ranveig's screams and overwhelming his suprior's nasty laughter.

It is all for my mission.

Chapter Text

Before stepping off the space terminal, there was a dull ache in his jaw.

It came from the gums, which had looked a little strange when he had looked at them in the mirror before leaving. He had asked Regris to check them, and his husband said they were fine so Keith just waved it off as nothing.

He didn't want to focus on something negative during his visit to Earth.

A nice month long visit to take a break from Marmora duties and catch up with his friends since they had all confirmed they would be on Earth when he arrived.

He takes a moment to try and admire the progress of Earth's technology and all the alien and humans interacting amicably. It had taken such a long time for them to get to this point and he can't help feeling a bit proud. He pushes his braid back as he takes in a deep breath of the cool air..before wincing when it hits his gums.

"Oooh...bad idea...bad idea Keith.." he murmurs to himself, "..I should do what Regris says and get a dental appointment when I return to Daibazaal..."

He straightens himself and then walks up to claim his baggage and become registered for his stay. A good feeling washes over him despite the irritating ache in his mouth.

This would be a good trip for him.

...

Once he had finished registering for his time on Earth, got on to the bus, was brought to his hotel and checked in for his stay the ache remains in his gums.

It had started to become more bearable as he focused on the things he would get to do. Like hover biking with Shiro, bickering with Lance, taste testing for Hunk, seeing what Pidge is up to and then gathering with his friends for dinner the night before he leaves for Daibazaal.

Besides what would a little soreness do to ruin his good time? He was sure nothing was going to damper his good mood.

At least...that was until Keith flops on to his bed.

"...Aaaaargh...!" he hisses when the pain spreads to his jaw and three of his left molars, "What..what the fuck?"

He slowly reaches up to touch his jaw...only to wince when the action seems to make the pain worse. Immediately he goes to the mirror and checks his mouth. Despite some increased inflammation, his gums still looked how they did when he had left.

"..Just a bad toothache..yeah...that...that's it. Just a really bad tooth ache...I'll just brush my teeth and it should be better in a few days..."

He nods to himself before he goes to make his call to Regris to tell him he made it. Talking with his husband will help distract him from the ache for a while and as long as he focused on the good stuff and taking care of his mouth and teeth then it will be better than before.

As soon as he presses the green button to start the call, he beams when he sees Regris smiling at him,

"Hey Handsome!"

"Hello Hot stuff," Keith leans back on the pillows, "Missing me already?"

"Hmmm, yes. And I'm a little worried about your mouth. Has it gotten worse?"

"Not too bad. It aches a little but I don't think it will get any worse."

Regris nodded before he sits back and smiles lovingly, "I'm sorry i couldn't join you. I really want to see Earth one day with you."

"We will," Keith touched the screen, "I promise we will the moment our free time lines up. And I'll bring home presents."

His husband's laughter reassures Keith further that everything was going to be ok. That this small inconvenience wouldn't affect his time here and that he was going to have a good visit

What was the worse that could happen?

...

"..Keith? You ok man?"

It had been about a week in and the pain didn't stop. In fact it was steadily growing worse as it spread from his bottom left molars to the top ones. Then the ones to the right before getting to his incisors. His jaw was tense as he only sips soup from a spoon and drinks some water through a straw.

Hunk had been the one who spoke, holding some more food for him.

Keith blinks before he clears his throat, "Ah...yeah...yeah things are fine Hunk...I just have a bad toothache..." More like an entire mouth ache...

Hunk frowns and puts down the meal as he pulls out a chair to sit across from him, "Have you gotten it checked out?" he gently reaches up and tilts his head a bit this way and that as gently as he can, "What about pain killers? Have you told Shiro or Pidge yet?"

He pulls his head free and huffs softly, "No...not yet. I didn't want to worry them when I saw them. Besides, it should be gone soon since I've been good about brushing and resting it."

"How long has it been bothering you?"

"Well...a week since I got here. But it's not as bad as when I arrived, I swear! Besides your soup is so good I think it's help..." He freezes when he gives a small nudge of his teeth...and the one he nudges wiggles.

It. Fucking. Wiggled.

"...Excuse me Hunk," he turns and rushes to the bathroom.

The moment he closes the door and locks it, he runs to the mirror and opens his mouth to check and makes sure it wasn't his imagination. Much to his dread he gives the same tooth a nudge and feel himself go pale when it wiggles. Slowly he starts to press on other teeth and with each one that wiggled he grew pale.

He shakes his head before he takes in a deep breath.

He had to be hallucinating. That's what was happening. He lost all his baby teeth a long while back, he was good as brushing his teeth and another explanation was that it could be some form of space lag.

I just need to wait it out...

...

It was only the second week and the agony he felt from his mouth instigated a terrible headache.

It was so bad that he had to cancel plans to spend the third week at the beach with his friends.

He felt sick to his stomach as he slowly hugs it, his jaw seeming to pulse slightly from the utter pain his mouth was putting him through. His teeth felt uncomfortably loose, to the point he was afraid to press his tongue on them even slightly. It hurt so much he couldn't bring himself to move except to go to the bathroom or attempt to answer texts from his friends and family back on Daibazaal, since Regris was currently on a mission and his mother was busy.

Speaking of the bathroom...

He grunts softly and staggers through his dimly lit room and steps into the bathroom to prepare himself for a shower. As he took his shirt off a sudden piercing pain hits his jaw and he finds himself leaning on the sink. He gasps and out of reflex he presses at the sore spot eith his tongue—

Clack!

Keith went completely still when he hears something's hit the sink. Slowly he looked down.

It stopped just short of the drain, a little bloody white shape that was followed by a drop of blood. Something warm and metallic fills his mouth as he looks up...

Right there he sees a gap where one of his incisors should be.

Before he can react, pain erupts in that spot and Keith loses his footing. He shouts in pain when his jaw hits the sink...and more of his teeth come out in his mouth. He spits them out while gagging in horror and disgust when they're as bloodied as the first one. He attempts to uses his tongue to touch the spaces only to cries out when the action only causes more to fall out.

"Aaah...aah...!"

Blood floods his mouth before another sharp pain is felt. Like..something was growing where the now missing teeth were. Like needles were stabbing through his gums from the inside out.

Keith collapses to the floor with a weakened sob as he reaches in to his mouth to find out if something was growing there. When his fingers press to where a molar once was, the action seems to cause another to pop off and almost go down Keith's throat.

He gags again and this time dry heaves as it comes out.

"Wha...What...what is...?" he wheezes when the pain only increases.

...

"I'm surprised you didn't join Keith on Earth, Regris."

The agent looks up from working on molding out something before he smiles, "Ah well, I noticed his gums were inflamed. I think his new teeth are coming in and I wanted him to have some privacy since I know it's a very personal endeavour."

"Ah. I see. That's a good idea. I shall make sure Krolia knows so she can make a care package for his new teeth."

Regris nods softly. It was never easy for galra to lose their old teeth and grow new ones. It was such a painful but necessary process for them, and with the threat of deformed or crooked teeth galra were not allowed painkillers, otherwise theh won't be able to know what was wrong.

"But...you know you're welcome to join him Regris."

"Oh I know..but I think he would be better off relaxing on Earth and with close friends around him giving him comfort in his time of need. Besides when they're done growing we'll be here to let him adjust."

Kolivan smiles softly before he turns and walks away, signaling Regris to continue his work.

Regris couldn't wait to see the new teeth.

Chapter Text

Ranveig's base was like a maze.

With the command ship out of range and this base currently blacked out, any poor soul currently left alive needed to be careful and crafty about hiding from that...that thing. There was only enough back up power to keep the base alight and nothing else.

Jaxar slips into one of the storage rooms, panting heavily from running and the rush of adrenaline.

He doesn't waste time hiding behind a few boxes of food goo, hoping it would hide his scent as he catches his breath.

Why...why would Ranveig create that thing? Why is it hunting us? Did he not train it well?

Shakily he bites his nails, ears pinned back as he breathes shakily. He can hear the heavy footsteps from outside this room. Hear the claws dragging slowly across the floor, hear the faint growling from outside and the hiss of it's tail dragging.

Fear clutches him as he swallows thickly and his legs shake. Then he feels disgust at how afraid he was.

He was Trugg's lieutenant, stars be damned. He earned his position after working for it for so long and he was not about to lose his nerve now. The likeliness of that monstrosity finding him or his Commander was slim to none if they were careful and waiting for back up to come for them.

Still. He didn't know this creature. He didn't know how it worked or why it waa made. What he did know is that it wanted to kill them..

Please. Please let Commander Trugg survive long enough to escape. The fleet needs her...I am replaceable but she isn't.

The door creaks open and he almost wets himself when he hears that trill.

Slowly Jaxar reaches his hand down for his sword. The Creature's breathing fills the room as it drags it's feet across the floor. Immediately Jaxar puts his hand over his own mouth to shield the sound of his own breathing. He could almost hear his own heart beating a mile a minute.

Oh gods, oh gods, oh gods...

He needed to just keep it contained...if he did that then the fleet could escape this monster and look for another way to gain more power over the rest of the Empire. He just needed to wait for the opportunity to strike...if he could land a blow then he could buy himself and his Commander more time...

There's a loud clicking sound, that sends a terrible chill down his spine as he tightens his grip on the blade.

He needed to strike at just the right moment. To hurt the creature badly enough it can't chase him down.

Wait for it..wait for it...

"Krrrrrrrrrrr..."

Jaxar turns his head to look, before his stomach drops at the sight that greets him.

There it was. Poking it's massive monstrous head over one of the crate, before it's lip pulls back in a snarl. Jaxar can feel his own breathing stutter seeing the mouth open and breathing heavily. Like it was sniffing the air with it's mouth.

As the tongue slowly grows close to his hand, Jaxar grips his knife and moves to stab it into the floor.

Victory or Dea—!

One minute the tongue was under his blade...then it was gone just as quickly, his blade making a loud sound when it sheathes into the floor. He freezes a moment too soon when he hears a soft snapping noise above him...then giant claws closing around his head

"N—!"

CRICK!

...

Trugg gripped her injured shoulder as she leans against the wall.

She blows hair from her face while looking around cautiously. Who knew where that beast of Ranveig's might turn up...

No, she shouldn't think of that right now. She needed to focus on finding Jaxar and returning to the fleet so they could get away as far as they could. No amount of glory was worth losing her men and her fleet over.

Slowly she turns on her comm. link, "Trugg to Jaxar. What is your position?"

Skkkkkkkkk...

One day when she died she would going to kick Ranveig's ass for creating something so despicable. Sure she knew he was a sadistic man but this...this was something else. Her hands start to grow sweaty the longer the static continues on. It takes every fiber of her self-control not to bite her knuckles and panic.

She would never admit it, but she needed Jaxar by her side. He was her closest friend who has been by hee side since the start of her career as one of Zarkon's inner circle. Without him she would fall apart from the stress of leading and if she fell apart then the whole fleet would follow.

"Jaxar...do you read me? Are you alive?" her voice starts to waver.

Skkkkkkk...skkkkkkkkkkkk...skkk...

...What if it got him? What if it had mauled him, leaving him injured and bleeding out somewhere to die a pitiful death?

She shakes her head to push those thoughts out, "Jaxar, please...please answer me...signal me...anything. I just need ro know you're alive."

"...Commander?"

She almost drops her comm. when she hears his voice. She twitches her ears a moment, eyes big and looking around for him.

"I'm here lieutenant, are you injured? Where are you?" She looks back and fort to try and find anything that would alert her of his presence.

"Commander...over...here..."

Trugg crinkled her nose when she smelled fresh blood coming from around the dark corner. She walks over slowly while keeping on alert. After all she didn't want to alert the creature of her presence if it was nearby. If Jaxar was injured..she may need to put him out of his misery.

"Hold on lieutenant," she reaches out and picks up a light, "How badly injured are you? I can have a medic back on the fleet patch you up..."

As she turned the corner and shines the light she feels a moment of relief when she sees his face, "Stars Lieutenant you...really..." she trails off.

Drip...drip...drip...drip...

Trugg freezes up at what she sees. Her hands slowly started to shake and when she steps back she then hears that horrid growl.

The creature steps forwards, and in it's bloody clutches it held Jaxar's head. She could see where the bones of his neck snapped and the frozen look of shock on his face. Trugg dropped the flashlight, her eyes growing big.

"No...No...!"

"Commander.."

Bile rises in her throat when Jaxar's head talks, the eyes glowing purple.

"Oh...Oh gods no..." She hisses.

"Help me Commander..."

The creature makes a noise that sounds like a snicker.

Trugg felt her legs give out as she falls to her knees and stares at the monstrosity. This creature..it..it made Jaxar's head...talk..it...it lured her over like a fish to bait...

Her voice cracks, "...Jax...I..."

When she blinks there's a snapping sound and the creature suddenly was gone while there was a wet thud. The head rolled over to her and she found herself staring into her friend's soulless, opaque eyes. Gently she reaches down and picks it up before holding it to her chest.

"...I'm...I'm so sorry..."

The last thing she hears is that snapping sound from behind...and then she feels large claws close over her head.

The last thing she remembered before all went black was her head being twisted completely around.

...

"Commander Trugg to the Fleet."

"We read you commander."

"Lieutenant Jaxar and I require assistance bringing the weapon aboard. Please land near Ranveig's base and follow the signal of my comm."

"We hear you loud and clear. We shall arrive in a few minutes."

"Good. Commander Trugg over and out."

The creature slowly reaches out and deactivates the transmission.

Then it gently strokes the fringe of hair on Trugg's head whole purring quietly.

Chapter Text

The moment he hears that eerily giddy laugh, it's a sign of something terrible on the way. Sharp, long gnarled fingers slowly trace over his suspended body as their owner licked over his dried lips and chuckles quietly.

"You know...it's been such a long time since I last tormented someone."

Kolivan jerks his body slightly but the action only serves to make him sway back and forth before those claws run down under his stomach. The touches send anger shudders through his body as he bows his head with a choked snarl.

"With so much battle going on, I rarely make time for my subjects. Very little time to open them up and see what makes them tick, you see," Those hands reach up and trace down his spine next, "I do wonder how you've been alive so long considering how much stress you've been put under, being the leader of so many rebel galra."

Macidus hums as his fingers knead into the Marmora Leader's back, "Ah but not to worry. With some of my quintessence treatments you should start to feel more relaxed in no time. Then the real fun can begin. Quintessence can be quite the affective relaxant and numbing agent...but don't worry I won't kill you too fast..after all it would ruin the fun for me!"

The Marmora leader tried to raise his head so he could look back at his enemy but with how his arms are tied up spread eagle it made it very hard to do so. Especially with his hair down and in the way.

He's given a small moment of relief when those fingers move away and Macidus disappears. Even though he knows that twisted Druid would return he could relish a few moments of blessed silence.

Unfortunately they were too short.

Kolivan winces when his hair is grabbed and he has his head yanked back. He winces and hisses aa Macidus is in his face. He feels his stomach churn at the Druid's rancid breath in his face before his cheek is tapped.

"Now now Kolivan, no need to worry. You'll live. No matter how much I torture you, nor how you beg me for death, I will not kill you as long as you keep me entertained," He pulls harder on his hair before he runs a nail under his chi, "Now..let's begin shall we?"

Macidus then held up two glow fingers and after a moment Kolivan realizes that they have quintessence coming off them. The Druid moves out of sight before tracing his fingers down his captive's spin slowly. It was..a warm feeling actually. One Kolivan wasn't expecting as it spreads from his neck to his tail bone, effecting his entire spine.

"Tell me, Koli. How does it feel hmm?"

Kolivan grits his teeth at the condescending nickname.

Without thinking his spits on Macidus' feet, "Go fuck yourself up, you freak!"

The Druid freezes completely in place. He was so still that for a moment Kolivan thought he might be having some sort of attack. Then he snaps his neck in Kolivan's direction before a creepy smile forms on his face. He then slowly held up a finger and held it up to Kolivan's face.

"Why don't you look and see what is awaiting you, my little toy."

Kolivan feels his stomach drop when he sees the nail slowly extend and grow long. It sharpens and glints before his wide eyes before he feels Macidus' breath against the shell of his ear.

"Did I mention that the moment I finish cutting the skin, you will feel everything after?"

Kolivan swallows thickly and just goes completely pale, "..No..no no no..."

Macidus just starts whistling before he uses his free hand to grip the long hair and force his captive's head down. He smiles widely, his tongue hanging out as he slowly pushes his long claw into the nape of Kolivan's neck and devastatingly closely drags it down the entirety of his spine.

He watches the blue fur covered skin part and black blood gush out before pulling it open tp look at the little nobs of the spine. And as he promised, the moment he removes his nail from the spine, pain comes in full force.

Kolivan coughs and wheezes as his entire body shakes in pain. He could feel everything against his spin. The painful flicking, the cruel, sharp cold air and his own blood dripping down his back.

"Gods..it would just be so easy to remove like this..." Macidus reaches in and calmly grips the spinal array, lightlt touching the organs through the ribcage, "..Ah but as I said I want to keep you alive until I am bored."

Kolivan shakes, his eyes wide as he gasps, pinning his ears back and whimpering. This..this cannot be happening..it just can't be...

This is a nightmare...just a terrible, terrible nightmare...

At least he wished it was until Maxidus flicked his spine again and dragged him from his wishful thinking. As he shakily turned his head and hissed in pain, Macidus was suddenly on his face, his crooked teeth on display and snickering. It struck fear deep inside Kolivan's being.

"Maybe perhaps...if you're a good little toy..." He leans in, "I will sew you back up good as new."

Chapter Text

"GO!"

She grits her teeth as she turns away from the moving underground car with the needed supplies for the Garrison. As she fires on the enemy she can hear the cadets shouting from behind her as she watches the robots fall. She knows she needs to buy time, to make sure the team got far away from here.

"Kill the enemy! After that vehicle, we need to find out what's inside! There could be weapons in there!"

Veronica narrowed her eyes before taking aim at the soldier barking orders at the sentry, gritting her teeth when he ducks down from the attack. The sentries turn their attention on her, ignoring the craft driving away.

As she aims to shoot another sentry she notices something small land near her.

It was a cylinder shape that had a glowing purple light flickering and some smoke coming off of it. It was enough to almot fog her glasses as she grits her teeth and attempts to clean them to see what these aliens had thrown at her.

It beeps a moment, a moment too late as Veronica realizes what it is. Her eyes widen and she starts to step back—

BOOM!

The next thing she knows, she's flying back and she can hear James muffled shout of her name as the large chunks of rubble fall around her. She can feel her uniform ripping and an intense heat. Her vision blurs, glasses cracking before she lands on the unforgiving concrete floor.

Following her, a large piece of debris lands on her arm with a sickening crack.

"Urgk...!" Her eyes widen and she gives a fusion of a gasp and scream as she feels a snapping sensation where the rock lands.

Fuck...fuck fuck fuck I'm stuck... Her breathing starts to shake as she tries to move. But with every shift of her body she finds herself biting back whimpers and grunting in frustration as she pushes at the large chunk.

She pulled her legs in and tries to use those to push at it, only to be met with disappointment. That's when foot steps could be heard approaching her as she looks back.

"She must have landed over here."

"Quiznak she really took out a lot of our droids, for one stinking inferior human."

"Don't underestimate this species. After all they are the Paladins species and look what they did to the Empire alone."

Veronica starts to tremble before she tries again. The more she moved, the more the pain started to grow. She could feel her fingers snapping as her arm twists around. The bone could be felt piercing at the skin the more she managed to twist and pull.

Just a little more...come on Veronica...you have to be there for when your little brother comes home...You...you need to make your family proud wherever they are...you...you have to...

Tears drip down her face she she weakly hits the debris keeping her there. She could almost feel the unnatural angles her broken fingers were in beneath this damned hunk of rock.

"There! I see her!"

No no no no...!

She can see them sliding down towards her, their lights shining on her.

No please! Let me see my family one last time! I just want to see Mama and Pop Pop a-and Marco, Luis, Rachel..Sylvio and Nadia...Lance..please..let me see them before I die...I don't want to die yet...

If only she had a weapon, if only she hadn't been careless, if only she had ran away in time...

The heated end of the gun presses into her temple as she bites her bottom lip.

"Well well well, what do we have here hmmm?" The corporal smirks down at her, some of his jagged teeth showing.

The second one with him, a taller one with and over bite just huffs, "Honestly, if your planet wasn't almost completely taken over I might almost be scared. Though I am impressed by your resolve. It's not every day we meet someone who can take out a battalion of sentries."

She slowly glares at them, breathing shakily from the pain, the hatred and rage that was inside her. If only she had moved fast enough. If only she had pulls her arms in to keep one from being crushed.

Something warm and wet seeps out from under the rock when there's a painful feeling of skin being punctured through. Veronica freezes before she looks down and sees blood forming a puddle under her.

"Huh...so that's what color human blood is...it's not every day we get to see enemy blood spill," The jagged tooth galra snickers, "Perhaps in the next life you'll come back with your impressive marksmanship skills and be born galra, hmm?"

The blaster starts to thrum to life as fear flashes in Veronica's eyes.

...Little brother...I'm sorry I couldn't be there to greet you when you come home... she closes her eyes.

BANG!

Her eyes snap open and she looks up as the corporal holding the blaster to her head collapse with blood dripping from a wound in his head. The other one raises his blaster and is about to fire—

BANG! BANG BANG! BANG!

Veronica's eyes widen when she sees him stumble back with bullet wounds in his chest and then fall back out of sight. When she hears more footsteps it's then she suddenly feels dizzy. Her vision starts to go in and out a moment.

Next thing she knows she's gasping loudly in pain when she feels the debris suddenly being moved. The skin was scrapping off with the way it was pushed, and when she tries to pull it out she is only met with pain.

"Easy there sweetie, easy..." A gentle voice soothes her as hands gently cradle her head..soft...soft human hands.

Slowly she looks up and blinks when she sees a middle aged woman with long black hair smiling tiredly at her. The tears well up new at seeing a new human face. It..it had been so long since she saw a new person. Every since the takeover began she just...she had resigned herself to the idea that she would be on a base with the same people for a long long time fighting this war.

Slowly she turns her hewd and looks up. There were two men and another woman pushing at the large chunk of debris to move it.

It was...it was so surreal...

She screams when her broken arm and fingers were freed and she had tried to move her arm.

She turns her head to try and see the damage, only to have her head moved to look away.

"Don't look honey. It's very bad right now..."

"Ah poor thing...Let's get her to the base and we'll have a medic look at the damage..."

Veronica looks up shakily, "Is...is it really...?"

The woman nods and she winces as she herself looks at the terrible injury: A fractured arm, broken fingers and pieces of bone sticking out through the skin as blood gushes out.

"...It will be a long recovery."

Chapter Text

Darkness greets the new Emperor when he opens his eyes.

Pain echoes through his head as he quietly sits up and tries to look around and find some form of light. He feels the familiar mattress of a medical bed beneath him and grimaces quietly as he turns his body to slip off it.

Why would he even be in here? Why did his head hurt? And why was it so dark!?

As he starts to walk and feel for a wall though he starts to remember some things. Like his head being struck from behind when he was looking over the edited speech Princess Allura had given him. Plus judging by how his shoulders and back hurts he was dragged away.

A soft growl leaves him before he huffs...and almost jumps when he hears his comm. go off.

He hisses softly as his ears pin back from the ringing that forms in them, reaching up to grip his hair and wince. Carefully ne feels along his scalp to see if he could get an idea of what might be happening. A small sigh of relief leaves him when he only feels a sore bump before he reaches up and answers the comm.

"This is Emperor Lotor."

"Lotor! Oh thank goodness you answered!" Allura's relieved voice says over the comm. gently.

Only to be followed by the Blue Paladin's voice, "About damn time! Do you know how worried everyone was!?"

"Oh good we got Lotor! Hey do you think you could help us find a way to turn the power back on in the Main Fleet? Pidge has been trying and so far it's been tough to crack. Especially since she can't hack into anything with the Fleet's current state..." Hunk started to ramble before there's an audible smack upside the head.

As he listens to the Paladins, he starts to grow calmer. So he wasn't the only one lost in the dark then..

"Do not fear. I was..well I was knocked out and the next thing I know I wake up on a dark room..but never fear, just tell me where you all are."

"Well..Hunk and I are currently in the docking bay for ships, ah Allurs and Shiro went to look for you and Lance is with Keith in the kitchens."

"...How did you know all that, Pidge?" Keith asked slowly, sounding a bit perturbed.

"Your paladin suits have tracking remember? Now Lotor can you help us?"

The new Emperor sighs before he smiles, "Of course. There's a power station in every docking bay. You'll find dials to different functions of the ships power core. Make sure to turn everything on between five second intervals."

"Ah! We see it! Come on Hunk!"

Lotor sighed before he sits back on the bed with a fond smile. Soon the power would return, they could track down who had come after him and bring them to justice and then he can relax in his room and read.

Yes...yes that would be so nice to do for a while..

His ears perk again when he can hear their shouts of joy over the comm. A smile forms on his face as he makes himself comfortable. By the sound of things there would soon be light coming to his area. He just needed to wait...

And wait...and wait...and wait...and wait...

"All right looks like that's all the dials we need!" Hunk sounded cheerful from his end, "Thank goodness I was afraid of the effect this would have on the troops!"

"...What do you mean? I still do not have light."

"Oh?" Allura sounded worried.

"Perhaps the light in here is damaged. I would stand to go snd turn it off myself but I a afraid of hurting myself eith how dark it is..."

"Of course. I have your signal already on my pad so we'll be with you soon to check on the lights. Then it's off to a proper medic!"

Lotor snorted before he slowly shifts a bit. As Pidge said they would be there to come and check on the lights. They would come and find him, turn on lights. He knows they will...

...

"I hope he's ok."

Lance's eye twitched a little bit when he hears Allura, but he manages to shake his head to push back his jealousy as they walk forwards with their comm's open. He and Keith had managed to find Allura and Shiro as Pidge directs them through this maze of a fleet.

Honestly how could Lotor's location still be out of power? Like if he wanted them to come find him he could have just said that! He's pretty sure everyone would come to him.

Ugh..why am I even getting worked up over this? He's not a bad person and he's pretty much trustworthy...so why am I so jealous?

"All right make a left and you'll see doors leading into the medical room. Lotor should be there!"

"Got it," Keith grunted.

Lance suddenly felt a sense of forboding deep inside himself when he follows the group. He starts to think about yesterday when he saw a strange masked galra carrying an unconscious Lotor and when he had asked what was going on the galra had explained that he was taking Lotor in for a check up.

As he started to think more on the exchange now as the doors open, the sense of dread starts to grow.

Did...did that Galra might have done something? Would anyone even dare to lay a hand on the new Emperor?

"Lotor?"

Lance grunts as he runs into Shiro's back.

Lotor's ears perk and he sighs in relief when he hars a familiar voice, "Ah. Paladins I'm so relieves. Please if you could shine a light so I could find you? It's completely pitch black in here."

Silence answers him and Lotor blinks as he tilts his head in confusion.

"What? What's wrong? Are your lights not working?"

"Lotor..." Shiro speaks up softly, "The power isn't out in here."

"...What?"

"Like Shiro just said, the lights and everything in here is on. Are...are you all right?"

He frowns a moment before he slowly puts his hands on his face, "That...that's not right...why is it dark...?" he starts to feel along his temples.

Perhaps someone was playing a joke on him? If they were he will return the favor tenfold he would!

A small alarmed sound leaves him when he can't feel anything covering his eyes.

"Lotor? Hey..." he can feel the princess' hand gently touch his shoulder, "Turn around please, maybe I can be of assistance?"

He rolled his lips a moment before he nods and turns around, "Is there anything covering them? I can't feel anything but maybe they are just..."

A loud gasp can be heard from Allura that makes him trail off. He blinks in surprise when her horrified gasp is followed by a gagging sound...then the a thunk that sounded like someone's body falling to the floor.

"Oh...oh my god...oh good fucking god...fuck...fuck...!"

Lotor frowns and reaches up slowly to touch at one of his eyes...and feels his stomach drop when instead of feeling a familiar orb of wet skin and vein...it's just a hollow socket.

"Lotor...what...what..." Allura couldn't even finish her sentence.

He feels his stomach churn and he started to shake before his knees gave out. He gags a little bit but no bile came qs he tries to fill for his eyes again but only emptiness greets his fingers before he raises his head,

"Where...where are..."

A broken sob interrupts his question for a moment. He can feel himself start to fall apart as his world around him had disappeared into pure darkness. When his face turns to the direction of the paladins, he can hear their breaths hitch when his empty eye sockets look at them.

"Where are my eyes!?"

Chapter Text

The very first thing that comes to her when she wakes up is a low buzzing sound.

It fills her ears as she slowly opens her eyes, only to be greeted by a blurry purple light above her. The sight makes her head start to hurt even as it slowly starts to clear for her.

The overhead lights came into focus as she blinks slowly. She tries to move her hands...only to find she can't move as her wrist is held down. In fact when she tries moving her other limbs she finds it hard to move them as she starts to loom around.

Shivers run through her from the cold metal underneath her body.

"What...what is...this...?"

"Ah so the little traitor finally wakes up."

Romelle feels a new cold settle in her body. It tightens in her chest and spreads from there through her arms as her fingers curl and shake.

Standing over her was a woman with a sharp face and red markings that went down her face like red tears of blood. Her yellow eyes were narrowed in cold loathing as her white hair is back in a ponytail. There was a dark aura of power that surrounds this woman as she slowly walks over to tower over the young lady bound to the table.

"You...you're...you're Honerva..." Romelle swallows thickly, her throat growing dry in terror.

"And you're the one who told the universe your sad little lies about my son."

She stiffened at Honerva's words, forgetting she was tied down as she tried to jerk up towards the witch. All it managed ro do was get her blonde hair into her face as she grits her teeth.

"They weren't—!"

Suddenly Honerva was up close and personal, making Romelle freeze completely in place as sheer amount of quintessence coming off this dangerous woman sends tingle through her. Those eyes glare at her hatefully.

"Yes, they were. You saw something you couldn't explain. Something some shut in, selfish brat like you could never understand or even comprehend. And instead of asking questions or searching for the truth you just opened your mouth and spouted whatever little fantasy made sense. Was it some little revenge stunt because your family left you behind to fulfill their destiny?"

The more the witch spoke, the angrier Romelle became. She tries to struggle more, to find a way to get free and strike this woman. It was an admirable and futile endeavour on her part.

Honerva waited until she tired...then grabbed that pretty blonde hair and pulls on it.

"...It...it is not..." Romelle swallows thickly, "It's not true...it can't be...my family wouldn't abandon me of their own free will!"

"Aaah..but they did Romelle. You lie to yourself even though you know that's exactly what they did. They had happily gone to the second colony the moment they were chosen, freely and of their own will. They didn't even give a second thought about how you felt...just like how your filthy lying tongue killed my son..."

She tightens her hand on the girl's hair, watching those eyes well with tears when Honerva's nails dig painfully into her scalp.

"..So now I'm going to make you repent for your crimes," she released her head before she stands up, "I bet you're wondering what happened to the Paladins and the Princess who broke my son's heart."

Romelle scowls at her when her friends were mentioned. Whatever this insane woman had in mind, the others would never fall for it. The universe needed Voltron and Allura. Romelle was just a single peraon, her death wouldn't matter if it meant Voltron would save millions.

"When I had you here, it was almost too easy for me to lure them here," Honerva hums as she walks to another slab, "When I captured them, I had to think to myself, what the best way to punish you and them for what you all did to my baby..and then it hits me. The best way to hurt the woman who started my son's downward spiral and punish the paladins was simple. Though it was a messy endeavor."

She stops before a slab that was covered by a sheet.

"I want to make you feel exactly what I felt when I found him in his Mecha. After he had been abandoned and died from the exposure. To see the ones you care about mutilated beyond comprehension..."

The sheet was grabbed and pulled off.

"Behold. Your precious paladins of Voltron."

Romelle feels all the color draining from her face at the sight that greets her.

At first glance it looms like Allura lying back on the slab as she was still breathing lightly on it. But as Romelle processes what she is seeing she feels vomit crawling up her throat.

Four limbs had been sewn alongside her own: sewn into her right hip and twitching beside the right leg was a dark tanned massive leg that had some softness to the thigh with samoan tattoos on the ankle.

On the left was another tanned skinned, but thin and smaller leg that had been attached at Allura's knee.

On her left arm, was two extra arms that were pale. A muscular one with scars on it that was shaking and the second was thin one that was twitching it's fingers.

Finally on the right shoulder was another arm that was gripping Allura's actual arm, and looked to ne squeezing it. There was a Marmora marking on it.

Allura's eyes looked...vacant. Like she had checked out completely and when Honerva touches her head she doesn't even relax.

"You...you..." Romelle was shaking in terror.

Honerva hummed softly, "Aren't you happy Romelle? Allura managed to truly become one with her paladins."

At hearing that, Romelle vomits and shakea, "You..you witch! You monster!"

She ignores the cursing, blonde Altean in favor of ensuring the limbs had attached perfectly with her technique before smiling to herself.

After all the Heart of Voltron shouldn't be apart from the other paladins.

Chapter Text

Something hadn't felt right when she woke up.

Like something very strange was about to happen. Though as she was getting ready to work with her paladins and the coalition, everything seemed to be going normal. At least the morning where she sat in meetings and was trying to be diplomatic with their many different allies.

It was when afternoon came around and she decided to train with Coran and Kolivan keeping track of her.

When she had changed into her training suit it was then she had felt it on her stomach. A strange, barely there lump.

It was tender to the touch, making her wince in pain before she finished changing. She just needed to get through her training and then she would go to the medical wing to see what was there.

If she was careful and kept the training drone from hitting that area then she could get through her training session hopefully without incident.

That's what she hoped anyway.

"Allura, are you coming out?"

She jumps when Coran speaks over the speaker, calling for her. She takes in a deep breath, straightens her posture as best she can and prays all would be ok.

...

Kolivan narrowed his eyes as he watched the Altean Princess with concern.

She was...acting strange. Instead being her agile, skilled self she was barely dodging and staggering as the gladiator drone keeps coming after her mercilessly. If he hadn't seen how skilled she was himself, the Marmorite Leader wouldn't be as concerned as he was now.

From the corner of his eyes he looks at Coran and is a little surprised at the unusual stoic look on the normally animated man's face. The advisor had a serious grimace on his face as he watches his princess before he presses the button to the speakers.

"Princess, you seem a bit out of it. Are you well?"

She seems to wince before she looks back towards the observation/control deck, "I...I am fine Coran, just a little sore today—!"

THWACK!

Allura feels the wind being knocked out of her as pain erupts from her side where the Gladiator's staff meet's her stomach...and hits right over the lump. She wheezes loudly and drops her own staff before falling to her knees, gripping at her stomach.

Coran seems to stiffen as well, "Allura!"

"Princess, are you injured!?" Kolivan asked, "Should I call a medic here?"

She was shaking as the gladiator deactivates and she slowly moves to kneel. Her fingers prod shakily at the source of pain, before she stiffens. The lump...the lump had grown bigger. When she slowly pulls her hand back she feels it shift around and grow, earning a panicked cry.

Immediately, the advisor pulls off his headset, "Kolivan, I'm going to take the princess to the medical bay. You remain here and see if anyone else wishes to train and advise them."

Kolivan frowns deeply, but something tells him to trust what Coran says before he sees the Altean man leave.

...

Allura grows pale as she continues to prod at the spot while her hands were shaking. This...this can't be happenig...not now. It just couldn't...

Why was it happening?

"Princess..." Coran was by her side and he carefully helped her to her feet, "Come on now, let's get you out of here...can you move?"

She licked her lips and nods shakily as she puts her arm on his shoulder...and groans when the lump moves again and seems to spread out slightly over to form under her belly button.

She was thankful though when Coran moved as if to shield her from view as they moved through the halls. It was started grow more painful as they moved to the medical bay and by then when she looked down she could see the once golf ball sized lump had grown into the size of a melon.

"Coran...Coran..!"

"Easy my dear girl. There's nothing to fear. I have seen this before and I know what to do...but I will need your completely cooperation and your trust.." he opens the door to the medical bay.

Then he locks the door when it closes behind them and takes her to a bed to sit upon.

Allura hisses as she sits there. Her hands shook as her eyes follow follow Coran.

He washes his hands thoroughly in the sink, then quietly he pulls open a drawer and takes out a scalpel in his hand. The
Princess' eyes widen before she swallows thickly.

"What..what are you doing with that?"

Coran turns to her, "Well Allura...I know what's happening to you right now, because it happened to your mother as well. Its a strange thing that runs in your family since the Ancients time."

He slowly walks to her and carries a large bowl with him as he stops beside her with a comforting smile. Allura shakes softly as she looks at the scalpel.

"I promise though, it won't kill you and that when I'm finished you'll feel better. Though I had hoped this wouldn't happen so soon and at such a stressful time. I suppose though it's better it's here instead of while you're in battle. Now please lift your suit up so I can make an incision, Allura."

She freezes, "I...Incision!?"

Coran slowly touches her shoulder, "Yes my dear girl. But it will only hurt a moment, then I'll patch you back up and you'll be good as new. Well...at least until it happens again but that won't be for a few decades."

Allura blinks a bit, looking very confused. But...but she trusted Coran. He has never shown her any ill intent, nor malice. He wouldn't do something like this unless it was to absolutely help her. Plus this was beginning to hurt even more the longer she sat there and allowed it to grow.

With a slow, shaky breath she carefully pulled the midriff up on her it. She feels her eyes widen when she sees that the lump is now glowing. It glowed a pale blue color through the skin as she touches it slowly and trembles softly.

"Allura, look at me dear."

She does so, swallowing thickly.

Coran offers her a soft smile, "Everything will be all right my dear. Your Mother had to go through it when she was your age and became Queen. It's a part of being the ruler of Altea and being connected to the ancients...now please breathe and try to brace it."

She stares a moment before closing her eyes slowly and gripping the edge of the bed.

The moment the scalpel begins to cut open her skin, what came out when she opened her eyes leaves her speechless.

Stardust come out of her and into the metal bowl Coran held under the incision. He himself didn't looked shocked at all as it comes pouring out of the Princess. Allura's eyes widen when the incision is spread open further and she could see inside of herself.

It was like gazing into a galaxy inside her body. Stardust, and nebulas seemed to be move inside her core as the cause of the lump seeps out of her.

"...Coran...how..."

"As I said, Princess..." Coran smiles, "It's all about being connected to the Ancients..and they're all apart pf the vast universe...just like the one inside you..."

Allura stares down at herself, a mix of awe and shock coming over her.

So this is what my mother went through as Queen?

Chapter Text

Every muscle of Kolivan's body was frozen in the moment of watching Antok being blasted through his side.

The mask around his face felt tight. His heart starts to pound and a ringing forms in his ears. He barely hears himself shouting his mate's name in his shock.

His strong, mighty mate who he always thought could never be brought down even with the world on his shoulders. It felt so surreal now watching him fall to his knees and then on to the floor with a weak grunt.

The Druid responsible stands over him as his hand was glowing menacingly. He plants his foot on Antok's back right over the wound on his shoulder and putting weight on it to listen to the shout of pain. Above him the witch stood with a malicious hand raised and a smirk on her lips.

Allura breathed heavily before she growls and moves to jump at the Druid but Kolivan puts his arm in front of her.

"He's mine..." he hisses.

The Princess gives him a questioning look..then understanding dawns on her before she nods solemnly. She jumps towards the witch while Kolivan jumps in front of Antok's form. His sword gleams in anger as he crouches down with a hiss at the Druid.

The Druid tilted his head almost abnormally as he slowly moves back and forth in front of Kolivan.

"Goodness, goodness...you really care about him don't you?"

Kolivan growls, reaching down to put a hand on Antok's chest.

It will be ok...His blade is still glowing...we just need to get out of this and...and he'll be ok. He will be safe...just keep him alive.

The Druid snorted before he stops and just observes the two of them as the Princess and Haggar could be heard battling from behind them. He seemed pensive as the large traitorous galra he injured groaned under the smaller one. Even with those masks, the Marmorite's leader was following his every move.

"Tsk, tsk, Tsk..." he waved a finger rather insultingly at him, "Don't you know how dangerous it is to get attached to your comrades? You never know when they might meet an ugly fate."

"Shut up."

"Ohohoho~ someone is certainly is touchy! What even is he to you hmmm?" The Druid starts to circle as Allura's shouts can be heard in the background, "A comrade? An old friend?" The druid tilts his head again, "Is he your love?"

Kolivan stiffens before he feels Antok's hand slowly close over his. His mate's breathing had grown ragged as he tries to stay awake despite the pain coursing through him. Even though he wants to comfort his mate right now he had to make sure this bastard didn't interfere with Allura's fight.

From the corner of his mask he could see her jumping and using her staff like a skilled warrior.

"Ooooh! He is hmmm? How very tragic then," The Druid seems to study his nails a moment before he hums.

CRACK!

Kolivan stiffens when his opponent teleports, putting him on edge. He looks around with wide eyes whole tightening his grip on the blade. Antok grunts and wheezes softly under him and he takes a moment to look at his mate.

"Koli.."

"Shhh...don't talk right now. We're still in a battle.." He gently gripped the larger hand in his.

"But.."

CRACK!

The enemy appears before him and Antok and takes aim. Kolivan ducks from the blast—!

CRACK!

He stiffens before slowly standing to his feet, still standing over Antok while letting go of his hand. The small whimper Antok makes makes Kolivan wince but he needed to be ready. He needed to prepare to fight and fight hard against this monster. If he didn't it could put them and everyone else in jeopardy.

The fur on his neck suddenly stands up—!

CRACK!

Druid was by his face, "Boo!"

Kolivan didn't think as he jerks back and moves to strike, his blade a blur of blue light as he almost manages to hit his stomach. The Druid pivoted causing Kolivan to stumble and almost roll off the platform they were on.

Leaving Antok open to attack.

No no no no no...! He turns and looks back with big eyes, seeing the Druid grab Antok's head and hold him up.

"Nnngh..."

"Put him down!" Kolivan snarled, "Put my mate down you bastard!"

He freezes as those sharp claws lightly caress over Antok's mask, making is disappear with a twitch of his fingers. The familiar scarred face of his mate on display makes Kolivan feel like ice was forming in his body, making it still.

The feeling of sudden fear gripped at his heart, seeing his love in the grasp of a dangerous, powerful individual.

The Druid hums softly, "You know...because of you blades, the Empire has lost many good soldiers. Commanders who would lead the Empire into victory. All your interference has set us back, and cost us. So..." Those hands on Antok's skull glow a dangerous red, "...I think it's time you suffered more losses, little marmorite."

Antok suddenly makes a choked sound suddenly. The red glow slowly seemed to spread into his veins, giving him a sickly look. Kolivan starts to go forwards, holding his hands out as if to try and snatch him away—!

A warning blast hits the ground where he was about to move.

"K..Kolivrggglll..." Antok's speak starts to grow garbled as the red magic in his veins starts to fade

Fluids slowly start to come from his mouth..then slowly from his nose, his eyes...even his large ears start to leak. His eyes starts to darken with what looked like blood and leak from the sockets. Then it's like his skin starts to slide off his face and liquify into a bloody goo.

Kolivan feels his stomach churn. His mouth opens and closes behind the mask as he watched the scene before him.

Antok reaches his hands slowly, but what ends up happening in the skin practically melting off, like the wax of a candle. Thick and gloopy a as it comes off the bone. Then the bone starts to follow to form a puddle on the floor.

"Urgggglllll...gllbbllr...mmrrgggl...!" Antok was trying—oh how he was trying even though it was in vain—to reach out to Kolivan.

The Druid releases him, and watches his work continue. Antok didn't even make it to his hands in knees as he falls to the ground. He slowly tries to move to Kolivan, leaving messy streaks as his arms start to follow his hands in melting. He can already feel his senses starting to fade and his brain starting to turn to mush.

It was like someone had lit him up inside and now...

He never makes it to Kolivan. When he was only a mere few inches from him his body collapses as darkness starts to set in...

The galra that once filled out the suit, ends up a bloody, mushed puddle the leaks out of the now flat and empty suit.

Kolivan opened and closed his mind as he stares at the thick puddle that was now his mate. The scent it gives off makes the poor marmora leader sick as his body shakes. Antok..Antok was...

He..failed him. He failed to save his own mate from such a horrible death.

"..Hehehehe...hhheeehehehaahahahahaha...AAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

The Druid's laughter makes Kolivan start to shake as he tightens the grip on his blade handle. He feels the hot tears dripping down his face under the mask as he lifts his head.

"You..." He then vaults forwards, "MONSTER!"

The blade meets the Druid's arm as Kolivan's horror is replaced by a murderous rage.

I...will destroy you...and everyone like you...!

His eyes meet the Druid's mask as a snarl leaves him. He would never stop fighting. He wouldn't stop until the Empire and the disgusting druids were no more.

Chapter Text

"This...might have been a mistake..."

Then again, if seeing a bunch of alien merfolk lying around with widened pupils, dopey smiles and/or swimming around and about each other like a bunch of drug addicts...then yes this was a mistake.

Ahead of him, Plaxum turns and just offers a warm smile, "It won't be. Come now Lance it's not like you're going to be hurting anyone. Besides you did tell me you wanted something to cheer you up. Well this edible coral os very good at doing that."

Ah, he had told her he wanted to be cheered up while visiting the planet again. It had been a long time since he had a small vacation from his life on Earth. As much as he enjoys working the farm, he just needed time away from it. From the people who praise him as a hero, from the fans and pretty much everything related to his life as a former Paladin.

Here though he could just relax and forget for a while.

He just wasn't expecting...this.

Plaxum smiles as she takes a nice large chunk of the luminescent grey coral and swims over to him, "Trust me Lance. Thus won't cause any harm to you. It's said that this coral helped our people find inner peace with themselves."

Ha...inner peace. Like I'll ever get that.

He takes the offering though, squeezing it with his fingers. It was rather mushy in his hands, but then again he was underwater with an air bubble on his head so it was bound to be squishy. As Lance stares at it, Plaxum looks at him with a hopeful smile.

Well...he didn't want to disappoint the pretty lady.

With a small smile he takes a big bite of the coral with a soft hum. He chews it slowly, humming at the strange, grainy texture before he hums curiously at the unique taste.

It wasn't that bad, actually..

Before he knew it he had eaten the whole piece. He hummed a bit and smiles to himself as he licks some off his fingers.

"Well? How do you feel Lance?"

He stills a moment to think...then he smiled, "Huh, not half bad. I can feel my body relaxing already..."

"Good! That means it's working! It will last for about four hours so just relax a while. Though I should warn you, if there's any side effects please go to a medic so he can inject some of the black powder coral and it will stop the effects."

Lance bows, "Thanks, beautiful lady. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some relaxing to...to..."

His pupils slowly went wide. The colors of the room start to twinkle and seem to slowly float off the walls like little jelly fish and swim around him.

The ex paladin slowly sits down and watches everything shifting and changing around him. It was like he was in a kaleidoscope as he leans back and slowly closes his eyes. This..this is just was he needs.

A quiet place to relax and forget his worries.

...

"..Lance..."

He frowns suddenly and opens his eyes when he hears his name, "Mm?"

"Lover."

He goes still a moment before he lifts his head. Who was calling for him? Why was that voice so familiar to him? Did someone come here he knows and wants to chat? Yeah chatting would be good.

Lance raised his head and looks around the kaleidoscope room...

"Over here lover boy."

When he turns his head, Lance freezes when he sees him; walking towards him, dressed in a silver loin cloth, with luxite earrings in his ears, and long white hair in a braid...was Lotor.

His eyes widen as calloused purple hands hold his face and gently trace over the altean markings. Those purple eyes were so warm as Lotor drapes himself over him and nuzzles his nose to his.

"L...Lotor...you're...you're here...but how is that...?" A finger presses to his mouth.

He almost melts from how real it felt. In the back of his head something told him it was all part of the high. That this was what he wanted to see. A kiss is pressed to his forehead, then his cheek making him shiver as his skin tingles from the contact.

Gods even if it wasn't real he was loving it.

He could never tell his former teammates about what had happened between him and Lotor. Even when he had started to date Allura he still couldn't bring himself to tell them the truth. He was...was ashamed after what had happened in the rift; ashamed of not listening to Lotor, ashamed that he had been left behind, ashamed that he didn't speak up more, ashamed for allowing Allura to use him as a rebound...maybe if he had said more...said something...then maybe...

"Do you still love me?"

His eyes grow so soft as he reaches up and gently touches the soft hair, "...'course I do...you know I do..."

He basks in the feeling of wispy white hair on his face as he reaches up and strokes his cheeks...

A shadow seems to cast over Lotor's face, as his hair hides it. Lance blinks a bit when the room seems to grow more sinister...more grey and dark as the colors mix together to form terrible neutral colors. Slowly Lance pushes the white hair from his face.

Wide, blank yellow eyes look at him as the once perfect face becomes deformed with looks like blistering burns.

"Then why did you leave me behind?"

Lance scrambles away, his eyes widening. Slowly the image of Lotor distorts, his skin seeming to stretch off him, like it had been burnt off...like...like in the witch's mind...so long ago...

He shakes before he stands and starts to stagger away. The figment moves after him as the world starts to distort and change. The fish start to split in half and bleed out, he sees Plaxum and Swirn, with Plaxum's innards splitting open as her jaw was missing and Swirn's ribs punctured out while her tail was separated from her body—

"Don't leave me...please Lance! I will never forgive you!"

He bursts into a room, pushing aside images of coalition members, all dead from the years of war. He stumbles forwards, falling to his back as Lotor continues to follow him. The words that fall from his mouth cut into Lance's broken heart.

"You abandoned me."

"You said you loved me."

"I suffered so much..."

"How could you, Lance? How could you!?"

He grabs his head crying and shaking harshly as tears stream down his face. His worst nightmare leans down fowards him with the straggly strands of hair touching his face.

"...Lotor...Lotor please...I'm so sorry..."

"I don't believe you."

Lance hiccuped softly, "Please...please...believe me...I never wanted to leave you...I...I'll do anything for you to believe me...!"

Lotor suddenly gets in his face and then slowly pokes at something in Lance's pocket. Lance pulls out his switch bkade shaking harshly.

The deformed prince leans in and whispers quietly in his ear, "Cut out your tongue and present it to me...then I will forgive you..."

Lance shakes and stares at him, swallowing thickly. Cut out...his tongue? He wanted him to cut out his...

He..he said he will forgive me...I..I can do it...I don't care if I live as a mute as long as he forgives me and stays with me...

He looks into those yellow eyes as he slowly sticks his tongue out. Carefully he grips the tip of his tongue and holds it in place before fiddling to open the switchblade. For a moment they stare at each other...

SCHLICK!

"Ghhlk...!"

He bows his head as blood fills his entire mouth and spurts on into his bubble then into the water. Tears swell up in his eyes as he shakily holds his hand up with the tongue presented to his love...

"...I forgive you."

A screams causes Lance to snap his head up and see who it was screaming.

Plaxum's horrified face is the last thing he sees before passing out to the sound of Lotor's laughter in his head.

Chapter Text

When they had arrived at their Commander's personal office they had a sinking feeling. It was rare that they had their presence requested to the office instead of the command deck or their commander's person quarters either to discuss reports or...other activites.

But this time was different. There was something coming and they were sure they weren't going to leave this office unscathed.

Gnov had her back to her lieutenant as the transmission screen was on, showing their Emperor's face.

She looked...tense. She had her hands clasped behind her and she stood straighter than a pole. Every inch of her was radiating quiet rage while she keeps her face stoic.

The sight struck fear in Dek's body as they swallow thickly.

"...Hence why I expect you to give proper punishment to your subordinate, Gnov. I do not tolerate disrespect towards the High Priestess whether intentional or not."

"Of course Emperor. I shall deal with my unruly lieutenant immediately for their insubordination," Gnov's voice was worryingly calm, "And issue a formal apology to High Priestess Haggar once they have understood the error of their words."

They swallowed thickly at how she kept herself so utterly composed on the face of their ruler and yet the aura of unadulterated rage beneath.

When she was like this, it was time to be afraid.

Damned witch...I should have kept my mouth shut! Dek continues to stay out of sight while shifting their weight anxiously.

"Good. I shall leave you to it. Vrepit sa."

Gnov saluted sharply, "Vrepit Sa."

The transmission cuts out to black with the lights turning on automatically. Dek immediately stands at attention, swallowing thickly as Gnov slowly turns around to face them. Her eyes are narrowed and have a wrathful glow as she cracks her knuckles and walked out from behind her desk.

"Dek."

"Commander," They stand at attention.

Gnov slowly walked over to them, practically circling them like an angered yalmor cornering her difficult prey. They could feel her watching their every move, looking for the smallest sign of weakness in her subordinate. She circles around to be on front of them before leaning in slowly.

"You idiot." her voice drips with heated venom, "You absolute quiznaking moron. How could you do something so stupid?!" Despite the rage, her voice was a hiss.

Dek looks ahead while trying hard not to tremble.

What happens next they weren't expecting. The wind is knocked right out of them when Gnov punches them right in their stomach hard enough to gag. They can feel the food goo ration they ate rise up their throat as they hunch over with a cough.

"C-Commander I d-didn't mean to—she m-made me so a-angry—UNGH!" Dek grunts when they are shoved back.

"I don't want to hear your excuses! I don't care what she did to make you angry! She is your superior!"

A fist connects to Dek's cheek and sends them slamming back into a wall. They cough and wheeze as they blink blearily and tried to process what just caused them pain in their right cheek, "Nnngh..!"

"I didn't make you my lieutenant to make me look like a Commander who has no control over her underlings!" this time dhe gave them an uppercut that made their teeth clack uncomfortably and their head hit the wall, "You could have soiled this Fleet's reputation or worse got me demoted from my position as Zarkon's advisor!"

Dek jerks a bit, before looking up with a painful grunt.

A frighteningly, maliciously sweet smile suddenly graces her face as she then lifted them up and softly ran a claw down their cheek, gently touching the bruise forming there.

"You really need to pick your battles more wisely Dek. Because sometimes there's no good outcome for you."

Suddenly Gnov grabs their shoulders and begins slamming her knee into their sternum. It makes Dek wheeze in pain before their commander did it again. The again. And again and again and again...!

CRK!

They can feel their armor cracking from their arm as Gnov grips their wrist while scowling.

GnovbeatsDek

"You. Completely. Embarrassed. Me! You wretched, uncouth little fucker!"

Dek coughs and gasps as they slide their hands down to press at their bruised abdomen. Blood dribbles from their mouth before hands grip their ears and pulls them away to throw them into the desk. They shout when they hit it hard enough to make it tip over.

Gnov breathed heavily as she moved towards them, "You represent me, Dek! When I am not here you run this fleet in my absence! But oh no you just have to open your big mouth and give the witch something to get back at me for! I am surprised she even allowed you to live!"

A wheezing gasp leaves them when Gnov's sharp heel stomps into their back. That was before she started to twist her heel into the center of their lower back, making them cry out as pain courses through them. They claw at the floor helplessly as their body aches.

"Does it hurt Dek? Hmm? Does that hurt?! I bet it didn't hurt as much as when you decided to drag my names as a conqueror who brings feral, grown yuppers down to their knees!"

Dek grunts before they hiss when a hand grabs their neck and raises them up off the ground. They gasp with a wheeze when Gnov squeezes their throat, their neck making an alarming creaking sound. They reach up shakily and grips her wrist with a wheeze.

"C-Commander..."

"You're lucky I even let you keep your title...you wretched thing. Be thankful I vouched for you against Zarkon..."

Their eyes widem before they shout whem they're slammed down into the ground.

"I am the one who stands between you and certain death, Dek. Remember that the next time you decide to speak out of line or lose your insubordinate tongue!"

Dek wheezes and shakes as pain wracks their frame. Bruises were already forming on their neck and cheeks as blood dribbles from their nose. Gnov slowly started fixing her sleeves and her uniform as she stands over them with a hiss. Dek lied there breathing shakily.

She beat me up...beat me up like it was nothing...

Slowly a small smile forms.

Good.

Chapter Text

It would have been so easy to just end everything.

Maybe if he hadn't been such a weakling, if he had just stopped him, or perhaps took his place fighting Lotor then maybe he wouldn't be imprisoned. Ah but that would have just ended up with him on the execution block for crimes against the Prince if he lost in his place.

Not that it really mattered now...

He carefully flicked his claws together, little sparks coming off the tips as he sits at his computer console.

Things in the Empire had truly begun to fall apart.

Zarkon was not yet awake from his injuries, no one would tell him where Throk was and they were losing important territory to the damned Paladins. All the while Lotor seemed to be tending to his own personal agenda instead of leading them.

It was like the moment their Emperor fell, it was causing the Empire to follow slowly but surely.

C.G. didn't know how much more he could take this. Forced to pretend everything was fine when it was just slowly becoming worse and worse.

The only thing keeping him from losing his shit was the fact that in a few days..in a few days Throk would be released back to him. He would be safe and he could protect him better this time...

He stares down at his claws before gently he brings up an image of their leader...and scowls at it before he starts to growl and runs his claws down over it.

Fucking brat...he can go to hell for all I care...

...

Nothing could have prepared him for this.

The sight of Throk being brought to him, barely able to stand as he's half dragged, half carried to him. It fills C.G. with horror as he reaches out to take him in his arms. His arms are shaking as he rubs his back and strokes his fur with his claws. When his lover wheezes, he feels his heart almost stop as he rubs at his back.

"Mmmmm..."

"Shhhh shhh...I've got you...I've got you..." he picked him up and carried him away, "Are you thirsty? Hungry?"

Throk coughs softly as he's placed on the bed, wrapped in warm blankets and having pillows gently placed behind him to support his head. He mumbled softly before closing his eyes when the claws stroke his ears and head.

"C.G..."

"I'm here."

He slowly looked up at his mate, yellow eyes softening as he reaches up his shaking hands to hold his face. When he breathes his breath is rattling before his body starts to shake.

"...Throk..."

"They...they didn't believe me..."

"What?"

"The Druids...they didn't believe me...I...I can't remember...what happened..." he whispered quietly, "They think...they think I am a traitor...b-but they can't prove it...ha..."

C.G. slides into the bed, and gently holds him close, stroking his head, "...You're not a traitor...you could never be a traitor Throk..."

He sniffed softly as he felt Throk's body begin to shake. He gently takes his mate's hand and rubs over the bruises on his wrists carefully with a claw. He allows Throk to lean on him, to be safe and weak. This was their place...

"...It was Lotor..."

He squeezes Throk closer, "Are you sure?"

"It...it had to be him...him and those soldiers of his..."

C.G. holds him close, resting his chin on the other's shoulder. He grimaces at the wall angrily as he strokes Throk's shortened fur tails on his head. He hides the tears of wrath threatening to drip down his face as he feels him shaking again.

I will make him pay...I will make him pay...for you I will make him pay...

Throk closes his eyes and slowly nods off.

...

Lotor sighed quietly as he was looking over the information given to him by his informants. He hummed to himself as he skims through it, those indigo eyes scanning over everything to make sure he takes in every detail.

As acting Emperor, he had to take some things seriously while trying to keep his own plans from coming to light. With every risk he was taking it only became more dangerous. For him, for his generals and all that he has built in his exile away from the Empire.

He huffed before he puts the data pads away with a nod.

"There we go," Lotor sighs before he pinched the bridge of his nose, "Stars this is such a headache..."

But it's also less for him to worry about. Like the rebellious Galra in the Empire who wanted to dethrone him. Like Throk.

As he walked out of his office, he was so deep in thought that he didn't notice the quiet footsteps following in time with his own.

A small smirk forms on the Emperor pro-tem's face as he remembers hearing Throk's screams...hearing his pain and rage and hopelessness as Haggar tormented him for his failure.

A punishment befitting the cri—

Something grabs his head and before he can react his head is slammed hard into the wall in front of him. He shouts in pain, caught completely off guard before his arm is grabbed and twisted behind him. He grunts as his ears pin back to his head before he's suddenly having his head forced back by a hand pulling his hair.

"Ghhh!"

"You..."

Lotor stiffens and freezes at the voice in his ear.

"You bastard. " What every grips the long white hair, tightens enough to make his scalp hurt, "You absolute quiznaking half bred scum bag..."

Lotor grit his teeth, "Let go of me! I am leader of the Galra and you will unhand me and maybe I will—!"

CRNCH!

He cried out when his head is slammed again against the wall this time his nose breaking, "Ulk...!"

"I speak. You listen, you ungrateful, selfish little worm..."

Lotor chokes as a body larger than his pins him to the wall. It was so clean he could see some of his reflection in it as his attacker pins him completely. He could make out two angry yellow eyes as the assailant's face is hidden by shadows.

"You broke my mate."

He freezes when one of those sharp claws appears in front of him.

"You broke him. You reduced him to a shell of himself...I spent months waiting for him to be returned to me after you sent him away!," the tip of one claw lightly traces under his eye, "I watched you humiliate him in the arena, then you send him to the Ulippa system and then...then you framed him! Framed him so he would be tortured! They called him a traitor! My Throk! You RUINED him!"

Lotor grits his teeth as blood drips over his mouth, "He deserved it...! He was disloyal...!"

"To you. But then again...why shouldn't he be? You're just the temporary replacement. It must make your blood boil little halfling..." he pulls harshly on the hair, "knowing you'll only be second best as long as your Daddy is alive..."

"Fuck you," Lotor hisses venomously, "He will die on that bed and then what will you do? I can find out who you are and make you pay for attacking me. You're just a Galra soldier!"

The claws flick together in front of him.

"That's true...but I've lived a long life. Hmmmmm..." suddenly his face comes into view as he leans down and rests his chin on his shoulder, "...You never did like this Galra half of yours did you?"

Lotor's eyes widen, "G-General C.G..."

"Tsk Tsk Tsk, don't interrupt," C.G. glares at him, "You shouldn't be forced into the mold of a galra. It seems unbefitting of you...I think I can fix it, bring your Altean half out..."

The claws holding his hair lit go and grip Lotor's throat, holding his head in place so he's looking at his reflection.

"What are you—!"

There was no warning. What happened next no one could have fathomed of they had seen it for themselves. Lotor couldn't even finish his sentence when those claws move.

They sink into his unblemished violet skin. They pierce in deep enough that he felt them scrape against the bone as a choked cry escapes him. His blue eyes grow big as C.G. slices the skin as jaggedly as he could.

The usually stoic, calm, and reasonable General of the Inner Circle starts with a curve under one eye...before he drags it down his cheek. He could feel the sharp tip through the skin inside his mouth when it pokes at his tongue.

"Uuuulllkkk...!"

"There's one..."

Lotor feels the claws on his neck press at the skin there threateningly. A warning of what happens should he try to break free.

This isn't happening...this can't be happening. Everything was going so well why why why is this happening!?

A choked scream escapes Lotor when the other side of his face is given another laceration that goes past his chin. Lotor breathes shakily as he feels tears gather in his eyes when his neck is finally released. He feels his legs giving out as he leans against the wall.

He breathes shakily and reaches up slowly to touch the cut marks on his face. He feels cold when C.G. leans in slowly.

"Now you look just like your mother."

Chapter Text

"Hey! Hey you!"

A grunt leaves Keith when he feels something connect with his shoulder.

He had just been walking back his hover bike to the stocks so he could return to his room and study. It seems though that he had people who would rather interfere with that.

First he makes sure he has his knife ready before he turns with a scowl to see who had thrown whatever at him. He bites back a groan when he sees James walking towards him.

James points at him with a scowl on his face, "What the hell is your problem man!?"

"Wha—my problem?" He was stunned and starting at him incredulously, "You're the one with the problem here, you jerk!"

"James...let's just go man, come on..."

"No Kinkade! I have been waiting all day for this!"

Standing a couple feet away, Kinkade looked like he wanted to be anywhere else except here. In fact he looked uncomfortable with this entire situation as he keeps his eyes averted and doesn't meet Keith's gaze,

Keith grimaced, "If you're hoping for another fight—"

"No," James cuts him off, glaring him down, "I want to race you. On that hover bike that Lieutenant Shirogane let you have."

"..." His grimace turns into an ugly scowl, "And what makes you think I would race the likes of you?"

"Because I want to prove who the better pilot is! Because ever since you come here I've been out in your shadow all because you got Shirogane's attention and he always gets you out of trouble no matter what! So let's settle this here and fucking now! Because I am so sick of some emo reject being given all this opportunity without having to work for it like the rest of us!"

Keith grits his teeth as he listens before he growls softly, "...You..." he pushes James' chest, "You son of a fucking bitch..." he leans into the other boy's space, his blood boiling, "Fine! You want to race?! You and me right now!"

Kinkade face palms, shaking his head slowly. This was such a bad and stupid idea...why does he always go along with his boyfriend's ideas? Why?

"Ryan! You'll be the start and finish line!"

Fuck me and my life.

...

It didn't take long for them to get the hover bikes ready. Keith was waiting as James was climbing into the dark maroon hover bike beside his red one.

It wasn't as new as his or Shiro's but it was in perfect condition and if handled right could be a speed demon. It was all about skill though and how to maneuver theses things with a clear head...

Kinkade slowly walks between the two, holding his jacket up, leaving him in his undershirt, "All right. Where I drop this jacket and stand is the start and finish line! First one back here is the winner and proves who is the better pilot. Ready?"

"I've been ready," James turns on his bike with ease.

Keith keeps his eyes forwards, gripping the handles and waiting. He needed to make this quick so he could get back and start to study. He didn't want to disappoint Shiro and he really wanted to be able to show he was capable of keeping his grades up without help.

Kinkade raises his jacket, frowning before he drops the jacket.

The poor guy almost loses his balance from the sheer force of the two hover bikes blowing right by him. He grunts before he looks after them with dust gathering up. He sighs and shakes his head.

"One of these days, I'm going to make a documentary. And it's going to be about the Recklessness of James Griffin..." he shakes his head before he stretches his arms and turns to watch the two race.

...He really hopes James is careful...

...

James is grinning as he manages to get ahead of Keith, when they both have to turn.

He...he was ahead of him! Ahead of the best flier in class already! It was filling him with pride and made him want too puff up his chest. He knew training with Adam would pay off!

The young man turns his head and sticks his tongue out at Keith, before he passes over a large pile of rocks when turning again. He yells when his bike tilts slightly and he almost loses his balance. He manages to steady himself...

In the process though it, the air from the hover bike sends a large rock Keith's way.

A shout sounds as Keith is hit by the rock and falls off his bike.

...

Kinkade freezes when he sees Keith fall and go down a steep hill of rocks.

"Oh no, oh no oh no oh no...!" He pulls his jacket on and starts to run down, "JAMES! JAMES STOP THE RACE!"

Please don't die Keith! Shiro will murder us if you die from a stupid race!

...

When James hears Kinkade, he looks back...and sees Keith's hover bike on it's side and with a crack on the windshield.

He sees his boyfriend running to the edge of the ravine below.

Immediately he stops his bike and jumps up to run over. He feels a sudden fear grip his stomach as he runs up beside Kinkade and sees a cloud of dirt from below. If Keith is seriously injured or worse then they would be court marshaled...

"Fuck fuck fuck fuck..." he murmured quietly under his breath.

"Keith! KEITH ARE YOU ALIVE DOWN THERE MAN?!"

James ours a hand over his eyes to see if he can get a better look...and then he sees Keith. He was curled up and had his head down as like he clutching his stomach. Kinkade cursed and rushed to the capsized bike to grab a first aid, while James jumps and carefully rushes down.

Fuck fuck fuck, please tell me he didn't break anything please I can't be expelled after working so hard to get here, please please please...!

"Keith! Hey! Are you ok!?"

"Nnnnngh..."

He stops in front of the other boy and looks him over for serious injuries, "Keith!? Keith! Hey! I need to make sure there's no serious damage! If anything is injured, tell me or show Goddammit!"

For a moment, Keith doesn't answer...then slowly he looks up at James.

He took in a sharp breath when he sees Keith's hands.

The skin had been completely scraped off along his palms and under his fingers. Blood gushes slowly from them, glistening through his torn up fingerless gloves.

"...Fuck..."

Keith was shaking as blood drips on to the ground.

As Kinkade was rushing down, James could only stare at the damage done to the other pilot's hands...

The worse part though was as his boyfriend was tending to Keith's injury that James felt the smallest bit of relief. Not that Keith wasn't too injured, not that Kinkade had found the first aid kit.

No what he felt relief over was that he wouldn't be expelled for this.

Which just made him feel worse.

Chapter Text

When they had taken the ship no one really knew who would come after them next.

The trio only knew that they needed to survive long enough to recover and get stronger. Especially since they had Galra of the Empire still out there and trying to hunt them down.

Especially since they didn't have a crew to help run the ship they took over.

Acxa took in a slow breath as she walked with Ezor through the planet that was considered a neutral zone while Zethrid was guarding the ship. They had to swipe and gather resources after all and hopefully avoid the soldiers here.

Ezor was acting particularly on edge while her eyes follow each person they pass. She easily swipes things off unassuming aliens around them: GAC, food, items to trade and whatever else could be of use but not sorely missed. Her large antennae moves back and forth anxiously.

It was honestly a mystery to Acxa why these two still trusted her. Especially since her choices almost got them all killed a few times. But...she was thankful they still trusted her and she only hoped that they could keep each other safe.

"...H-has Zethrid comm. linked you yet?" Ezor asked quietly while rubbing the back of her neck.

"No Ezor," Acxa quietly turns a corner, though from the corner of her eyes she notices someone.

She turns her head to try and get a look but whoever it was stepped out of sight. She frowns before she slowly hooked her arm with Ezor's.

Ezor gulps softly, her ears twitching when she hears heavy footsteps. The way Acxa squeezes her arm tells her that someone was definitely following them, and keeps her alert.

They walk like nothing was going on.

The footsteps start to grow closer as they walk further down towards the less crowded areas of the market. If whoever this was wanted a piece of them then they would bring it away from the designated neutral grounds.

"Do you see who it is?" Ezor whispered.

"No. Just keep moving," she whispers softly, "Wait until we've turned into an alleyway..."

She nods though she squeezes Acxa's forearm hard enough to almost crush it. They both turned into the nearest alleyway.

Ezor runs to hide first, hiding behind a dumpster, while Acxa moves behind a trashcan across from her. They saw each other clearly while their stalker turns and walks after them.

Judging by the size, the one following them was a large one. On the hood covering their head was the Empire sigil that immediately puts the two ex generals on edge.

Acxa looks at Ezor before she slowly signals her.

When they are close enough we strike.

The two wait and get low while listening. They wait as the footsteps grow closer and closer and closer...

Ezor pulls out a dagger and moves as fast, as Acxa pulls out one of her guns—

...only to find their target gone.

Slowly Acxa walks forwards, confusion on her face. She could have sworn that they were coming down this way and had been very close. Close enough for them to strike and attack.

Ezor narrowed her eyes and moves to follow her fellow exile—

A thick arm wrapped around her neck and lifted her off the ground with ease before a knife is pressed to her neck. She grunts and starts to squirm, her feet kicking the air as she tries to get momentum to strike.

"Tsk. I wouldn't try that, halfling."

Acxa turns, pointing her blaster at the Galra, "Put her down!"

"Oh you'd like that wouldn't you? Do you know how long it took me to track you deserters down after you took over my big brother's ship? I can tell you it wasn't easy, especially with the new Kral Zera approaching."

Ezor grunts as she continues to try and break free, "Put me down...you empire bitch!"

She smirks before she tightens her arm around Ezor, "Drick is my name, half breed. You two and your third friend really did a number on Mar before you stole his ship...enough of a number that he died on Haggar's table after we rescued him."

Acxa clenches her hand into a fist before she growls softly. Dammit...Dammit!

Why was it whenever they thought they were safe, it turns out something they did was back to bite them? Why did they keep fucking up like this!? It...it wasn't fair...

Drick now was frowning, "You little fuckers took away my brother. Once I'm done here, I'll go and find that third one of yours and show her why you shouldn't mess with a commander's family."

"Well, maybe if he hadn't been stupid maybe he'd still be around, heheh..." Ezor wheezes when the knife presses further into her neck.

Acxa tensed, her hands starting to shake around her gun.

"All right here is what is going to happen. You there are going to drop the gun. Then maybe if you two do what I say and lead me to your third friend, I'll make sure you three have a swift and merciful execution."

"Oh how very thoughtful of you," Ezor drawled sarcastically.

Drick ignored her, keeping her eyes on Acxa, "Oh believe me you don't want me to take my time torturing you three."

Acxa grimaces as she tries to weigh her options. If she worked fast then maybe she could manage to get Ezor free and they could make a break for it. She looks slowly around the alleyway to see what she could use.

Ezor bites her bottom lip before she looks at Acxa. She knew that face, it was the face of strategizing. Unfortunately Ezor had no patience for strategizing right now and wanted to be free of this commander's grip.

She looked down a moment...then smirked.

"Well? You going to drop your gun or am I going to have to give your friend her a smile on her fa—AAGK!"

Ezor's foot connected with Drick's knee, making the Galra woman lose her footing and fall to her knees with a grunt.

A hiss leaves Ezor as her knees painfully hit the ground as well. Without hesitation she wiggles out of Drick's grip as Acxa lowers her gun.

Ezor laughs a bit in relief and slight hysteria. She's sure if Acxa took any longer to figure out their escape she might be dead already or worse on a ship back to the witch and the Main Fleet. Immediately she starts to move to get away as quick as she can—!

"Ezo—!"

There's a very ugly crushing sound when Ezor only manages to move a few feet and ends up with something piercing clean through her thigh. A choked cry escapes as she is forced to stop with a jolt.

"You're not getting away that easy!"

Acxa feels something inside her go cold with fear when she sees Drick's glave impaled through Ezor's right thigh. There was a sickening wet sound when she pulls it up slightly, moves the blade part around before she slams it down again.

CRNCH!

"Aaaaah...!" Ezor chokes, her eyes going wide in panic.

"What was it you did you my brother? Hmm? You three left him to freeze in space...when all he wanted was to know where Lotor was. Though I suppose that doesn't really matter now does it? I really shouldn't be surprised you deserted your leader..."

Ezor screams when Drick twists the glaive more, cutting through skin and muscle as slowly and painfully as she could. With it now through the bone it was able to be moved in a sawing motion.

Acxa begins to shake as she raises her gun once more but she's frozen.

Drick just hums, "I really was going to let you have a quick death...but you just had to try and escape."

Blood starts to pool under Ezor as she weakly kicked at Drick. She can feel herself growing slightly numb from shock before she looks back at Acxa pleadingly.

"Ac...xa...help...me...!"

"Oh and what do you expect her—OOMPH!"

Acxa shot Drick in her shoulder, sending her stumbling back in shock. Without a second thought she vaults forwards and pulls the glaive from Ezor's thigh as quick and skillful as she could so not to cause any further damage. She took her companion's hands in hers and helped her up to her feet...

Her stomach churns when she sees Ezor's leg hand by a thin piece of skin where the glave had not cut through. The broken femur and bloodied torn muscle.

Their ship had no healing pods to put her in and by the time they would get back to the ship, it would be too late to remove it.

"Acxa..."

Without hesitation she points her gun and shoots off the rest of the limb. Ezor stiffens and whimpers before Acxa picks her up and rushes her through the crowd before Drick could make another grab for them.

She ignores hands that try to stop her while Ezor is going further into shock.

There was no time to stop, no time to get help, there was only escaping to survive. They needed to get off this planet with what they currently have.

I..I can't protect them...I can't protect them no matter what choice I make...

As she approaches the ship, she forces the tears back from dripping down her face.

Chapter Text

Let's play a little game, Admiral.

Her heartbeat was thrumming in her head as she tries to run as fast as she can through the unfamiliar alien ship. Every noise put her on edge, when footsteps could be heard not her own she felt her adrenaline increase.

Even with years of military training, her body was old. She wasn't as strong or fast as she once was...

No she can't focus on her weaknesses. Not now. Not with Earth in the line.

If she allowed herself to be caught now by the enemy then all would be lost. The Garrison needed her to live, the entire world needed her or else everything they knew and loved would be gone!

"There you are."

She looks back, feeling her heart stop a moment.

The Lieutenant stands at the other end, his blaster held up and smirking at her. There's a strange, almost feral look in his eyes as his weapon whirs to life and glows menacingly.

Sanda barely moves in time as she ducks down. The heat of the laser fire could be felt on her neck as she runs and uses the wall to give her momentum when she turns.

"Oh please, you think you can get away that easy? Your Paladins maybe skilled at surviving impossible odds, I will give you that, but you're not like them are you? You're on our ship, with no support, Admiral. You best not get caught too soon, my Commander tends to get bored easily."

She breathes heavily as she listens for his footsteps before she moves as quietly as she can to the next corner to turn.

Hepta hums before he sniffs the air, "Hmmm...I can smell you you know...that perfume...and your natural scent that your body gives off. I remember it so well...and how you taste Sanda."

A shudder runs through her as she tries to keep her breathing calm. She couldn't be loud...she needed to be calm...to be quiet...

If they catch her then she loses this twisted game they were playing with her.

"You know, Commander Sendak would like to keep you...maybe he'll even let me have another round with you if I caught you..." She jumps when she hears him kick the wall loudly, "Or better he would let me help train you...Oh let me tell you, he is a brutal and efficient one when it comes to the bedroom. Ruthless, strict...like he would be in battle," Another loud kick, "Ooooh just wait..."

Sanda slides her feet quietly hall, keeping her back pressed to it.

Just a little further...just a little further and maybe he would pass her.

I need to get to a control panel...I just need to find the docking bay...then...then I can escape...and I'll win...I will win!

Hepta's footsteps start to fade away as she waits. She jut needed to wait before she moved. Wait for a clear path and to keep listening to make sure she doesn't run into anyone else.

...

Hepta's pupils dilate when he hears her. But he doesn't move after her as he reaches up and turns on his comm.

"Lieutenant Hepta reporting in, sir."

"Did you direct the prey where I wanted?"

A smile forms on the lieutenant's face, "Yes Commander. You should see her in view very soon."

"Excellent work, Hepta. You will be richly rewarded for this."

A chill ran up his spine before the comm. turned off. He feels excitement run through him as he smirks softly. Everything should go well...yes...

Then he could have his reward.

...

So much was on the line now...

She starts to run as quietly as she could. There is no room for error, for failure.

I will not give in. I will not stop. I will get out and save Earth. I can defeat them and I will win! I am Admiral Sanda and I will win!

With a deep breath she starts to run faster. She can see a console up ahead at the end of this hallway. Something inside her swells with hope as she starts to run forwards, panting softly as her feet hit the floor hard.

No sentries were present, no drones. She had a shot, a chance to get away. She can do this...!

The world around her seemed to become slow when she jumps forwards. Everything was coming together with each step she took, slowly out stretching her hand as she smiles in relief. She would find that docking bay! She would!

She just needed to—

Pain erupts across her back. A choked gasp escapes her as the blow senda her falling and skidding across the floor. She wheezes when she hits a pillar, shaking and coughing harshly.

What...what was...?

"Did you really think I would ever allow you to get away Admiral?"

She stiffens when she hears his voice. Slowly she rolls on to her back, gasping in pain as she looks and sees that god forsaken monster of a claw hovering a few feet from fear. Standing even further away was Sendak.

He stood, regal and powerful as he has always been, a sadistic glee glowing in his eyes as he slowly approached her.

She stiffens and hisses before she tries to stand back up...only to screech when that giant claw comes down on her again. It tears through her uniform, over her breasts as blood splatters on to the floor.

"You know I rather liked how desperate you were the first time you came to me, Admiral...it certainly surprised me you would sleep with my Lieutenant and I to seal the deal as humans put it...but this? Hunting you around and you being as frantic as a Olkarion blue hare...Well," Sendak swipes his prosthetic down again, "Hepta and I certainly enjoyed the chase. But now it is over...and you have lost Admiral."

The claws close over her body and pierce hard into her shoulders. They break through bone and crush her organs before throwing her towards Sendak.

She chokes when he grabs her in his flesh arm, and bites down hard into her jaw. She gurgles as there's a sickening crunch of her mandible breaking, as those fangs rip into her bottom lip.

"Uuuulggrrkkk...!"

His real hand claws down her back, making the large incisions from the prosthetic larger as he makes her scream incoherently. He bites his bottom lip as he listens and growls softly.

"Oh don't worry...you may feel like you're dying but you're not going to. I'm going to take you to our doctors who can fix you up again...and again...and again..."

She feels blood pool in her mouth as she chokes softly, "Nnn...nnnuuuh..."

"Now now Admiral...we had a deal. Plus Hepta and I were so looking forwards to training you once the Druids have worked their magic."

He grips on to her and drags her away slowly, her blood leaving a trail on the floor as he takes her.

Sanda is trembling and gurgling as blood fills her mouth over and over. Tears well up on her eyes.

She failed.

Chapter Text

"Uuuh, Ina that might not be fully cooked."

She looks up from her taujeerian steak and looks at Rizavi a moment, holding a fork full to her open mouth. Her girlfriend has a nicely seasoned lemon pepper chicken breast on her plate.

Ina quirks a brow at her, "I ordered it rare. It won't hurt me too much, besides I love rare steak you know that and how many opportunities will I have to try alien meat?"

"Well yeah, I know, but maybe you should have it cooked a little more since it's an alien food?"

"Hmm..." She looks at her current piece, before looking at her plate, "...I don't think so," she bites down and hums happily as she chews, "Besides I trust the cooks to keep an eye on their food. Despite some setbacks after our war with the Galra, the Garrison still has been careful about what meat they serve so I trust them to know when it is contaminated. Besides it's been a while since I had something this good."

Riza sighs as she watches Ina continue to eat, "Yeah yeah ok. But if you get sick, I am not cleaning up the puke."

Ina rolls her eyes before she shakes her head with a slight smile. Although her girlfriend's worries were reasonable, and appreciated she trusted the Garrison to keep their soldiers and cadets from getting sick in anyway.

What was the worse that could happen?

...

It was about a month when Ina started to get terrible abdominal pains.

It was right as she was doing sit ups, with Kinkade keeping her knees down and coaching her. When she had sit up a particular way, it hit her like someone was twisting the skin of her intestines wrong.

She winced as her hands go over her knees.

"Ina?"

A hiss escapes her as she shifts to sit up more and holds her stomach, "Nnngh..."

The pain lasts for another minute, making her bite her bottom lip as she tries to rub it away. When the pain began to disappear, there was still something that felt off. It made her shake softly.

"Hey hey hey..." Kinkade moves to sit next to her, frowning, "You ok Ina? You look a bit pale there."

Ina nods, "Y-yeah...I think I just got a bad stomach ache is all. I...I think I should take a break yeah?" She slowly stands up, though she has to catch herself when she almost loses her balance.

After all she was in space now, not on Earth so her equilibrium would be off. She sighs softly before stretching her arms in hopes that maybe stretching would help keep any more cramps from her stomach.

Kinkade offers her some water, "Here, why don't you take the rest of the day to chill a bit? Try eating some soup too, in case those cramps keep acting up."

"Thank you, Ryan, I appreciate that." She smiles before she turns and walks out...

...and she doubles over when she's out in the hall. She grunts as she grips at her stomach and shakes harshly. Oh...oh that hurt bad...

She bites her bottom lip and squeezes her stomach while shaking softly, "Ghhhnnngh..."

This felt worse than that first one. This time it felt like something was shifting around painfully. Her stomach growls and she leans her head against the wall. She staggers a moment before she starts to make her way back to her quarters that she shares with Rizavi.

Hopefully she was still out training with the others.

She just...she just needed to lie down...yes that would help. She needed to just lie down and have a nice nap before it was time for dinner. That should help her stomach...yeah that should definitely help her stomach.

I hope it doesn't turn into something serious. We all have enough to worry about with the Alteans and Honerva...no one needs to be bothered with my problems...

...

The pain only became worse. She started to grow nauseous when she would stand up too fast or went to pilot her MFE jet. And it didn't help that her stomach felt like it was slowly being torn up from the inside...

She takes in a slow breath as she stands in the elevator leading up from the flight deck. Just four more floors...four more and she would be able to relax in her bed with her heated comforter and watch a documentary on the history of space crafts. She bites her bottom lip at a particularly loud growl.

The elevator suddenly opens and Hunk steps on board holding a plate of cookies in his hands.

"Oh hey Ina! What's up?"

She straightens her posture and then smiles weakly, "Only the Atlas as far as I know...hehe."

The yellow Paladin blinks a moment before he looks over her, "Are you ok? You look a bit pale there. Is your stomach still bugging you?"

Ina winced before she sighs, "Did Riza tell you? I swear..."

"Actually, Kinkade said you were having stomach problems when you ran to the bathroom the other day. "

"..." she sighs and leans back, "I suppose I am not as discreet as I think hmmm?"

Hunk puts a hand on her shoulder, and offers a comforting smile, "Why don't you go down to the lab? Pidge might be able to make you one of her mom's stomach settling veggie smoothies. I know it helped me with my nausea."

Ina looked thoughtful a moment before wincing when her stomach gives a particularly harsh ache, "I think...I think I will...thank you Hunk."

Then maybe she could finally get some peace of mind.

...

Fate was not smiling on her as she has Pidge on a face screen call.

She was lying against Rizavi with the green shake given to her for her stomach. Her girlfriend was rubbing her rumbling stomach and Ina just looked worse than she did before. The shake had worked for a little while but after three weeks of drinking it, it only seemed to only make things worse.

Any momentary relief she had before drinking it seemed to no longer come to her. Her poor intestines were rumbling in agony,

"Ah hell Ina, I don't know what you caught but whatever it is seems serious."

Rizavi gently pushes some blonde hair from Ina's face, "I think it's time you went to see the doctor Ina. This isn't getting any better and whatever is affecting your stomach isn't going away..."

"I know..." Ina groaned softly.

"Well I could make you an appointment with Dr. Ulaz or Dr. Fema if you'd like. They know a lot about alien diseases and can help."

Ina blinked a moment, looking thoughtful, "...Dr. Fema sounds fine to me...I'd like to see her as soon as possible."

Rizavi rests her cheek on Ina's hair, "Just let us know when the aappointment is ok?"

"You got it."

The screen goes blank as Rizavi then pulls Ina closer, kissing her forehead hits putting the heated blanket on her cramping stomach. Though she frowns when she starts to rub it and finds she feels her ribs.

This only increased her worry as she gently strokes her hair and hums to her, kissing her forehead.

Ina smiles weakly, "I know...I've lost a lot of my body weight...but hopefully the doctor finds out what is causing this and then I can get better..."

Rizavi nods before kissing her forehead and pulling her close to her, "All right, lets watch one of those documentaries on the Vikings yeah?"

She closes her eyes and slowly relaxes with her love while praying that this doctor can help her.

...

When she got to the waiting room of the medical wing a few days later, Ina was hit with the worse wave of nausea.

At first she was able to stave it off after checking in and sitting down. But the longer she waited the worse it seemed to get and she could feel her body shaking from how hard she tries to keep it down.

When it started to become too much, she gets called in. She practically staggers to Dr. Fema's room, shakily taking a seat.

The doctor was a female Galra, with dark purple fur and light lavender stripes going down her back. She wore a BOM uniform and smiles at Ina sympathetically.

"Hello there dear. I hear you've been having stomach trouble for the past seven weeks."

Ina just nods and jerks a bit. She can feel something coming up her throat and she was trying hard to keep it down as she covers her mouth.

"Well judging from what miss Holt told me, you have been suffering terrible stomach pains, nausea and have been rapidly losing weight as well. Is there anything else you would like to add?"

Ina jerks a bit and she make a small choked sound. Fema blinks and then she runs to grab a waste bucket.

"There there now, just let it out and ride through the nausea until it passes ok? Maybe whatever comes out we can test and find out what's making you sick..."

She grips the basket shakily before she opens her mouth to vomit...

...and gags when she feels like something crawled out from her throat. It gives a high pitched chitter as it writhed it's way out. Ina gagged and her eyes widen in horror at the long, dark blue centipede like creature that was covered in her blood and stomach fluids while moving around.

"Ulk...! URK...!"

Fema wasted no time grabbing a pair of prongs and using it to grab the monstrous parasite and she puts her hand on Ina's head carefully. She was frowning and as she manages to grip it's head she then gripped it's body and yanks,

"UULLKKRRMMMMRRGH!"

Whatever this thing was it seemed to be very, very long and as the doctor pulls it out, she feels like it would be never ending. Her face starts to get red as blood and spit gushes from her mouth...then the last of it snaps out and the doctor then squeezes the tongs so hard that that there's a sickening crunch and popping sound as dark green lucid gushes on to the floor.

The monstrous parasite stills before Fema huffs.

Ina coughs and ouches her abdomen, shaking and gagging.

"Ah...so that's what it was...if that thing had stayed in you any longer it would have started to on your organs. Though I do want to scan you to ensure there's not lasting damage..."

"Wha...what was...that?" Ina coughs harshly.

Fema blinks, "Ah...this is what we call a Taujeerian stomach dweller. It's normally found in undercooked meats and will slowly eat whatever their host eats, until the host stops eating. Then when that happens it will starts to eat you from the inside out...but don't worry! Now that it's out of you, we can set to work..."

Ina stares at her, then at the giant parasite...

THUMP!

And promptly fainted.

Chapter Text

The prison had grown quiet as they evacuated all the alien scientists.

When Shiro had come to Pidge and Matt with the information Lotor had given them about Sam, they were quick to act. To get there quick and avoid too much Galra fire they had taken Pidge's Lion, hence why they were here now.

The Green Lion could be heard landing as explosions sounds landing on the ground after doing so. Shiro assumed it Galra attack ships that had been taken down as he stands with Matt, waiting for her.

Pidge comes practically running down while the scientists load up on to the Green Lion.

"Have you found him yet!? Is he ok!?" She looks around frantically, her eyes wide.

"Not yet, we wanted to wait for you since we needed our best hacker to get into a deeper part of the prison," Matt hummed, "I mean not that I couldn't but with two of us we could get through it much faster!"

Shiro nodded, a small smile forming on his face.

Finally after so long they would see Sam again...He only hoped he wasn't seriously injured. Thankfully their doctors were on standby in the coalition and hopefully they could help Sam.

Pidge practically bolts ahead of her other brother, pulling up a screen to try and get an idea of how it worked while Matt matched up with her to look over the coding and programming. Shiro looked around the area, his arm glowing as he keeps guard.

Even with the two Galra ships destroyed he didn't want to risk them being spotted should back up arrive.

Hopefully Rolo and Nyma can hold them off should that happen.

There's a positive beep from the door as it opens before Pidge runs forwards with a grin.

She's waited so long to find their Dad and after so long waiting it was finally happening!

As she runs, checking each cell, she imagines hugging her father once more.

She imagines the look on their Mom's face when they return home with him, hearing his voice telling them how proud he was of them and to just be together as a family again.

Now they just needed to find him.

"Dad!"

"Dad where are you?"

"Sam!"

With each empty cell they pass, Pidge starts to grow anxious. After all long searching for him, only to find another dead end...no no she can't think like that. She needed to just keep her chin up and breathe.

Their dad was here somewhere, she could feel it deep on her gut.

Matt runs ahead of her and pulls out a light when he comes to some closed cells, "Come on, come on...Dad! Dad were here! Say something!"

Shiro bites his bottom lip. He tries to listen for Sam, looking around a bit. He just wanted to reunite him with his kids, he can only imagine what the man who taught him and encouraged him for so long to be a pilot has been through. He grunts when Pidge rushes past, nudging Shiro our of the way as they approach the large cell at the end.

She jumps up and looks through the bares, shining her light in. She grimaces when she sees it doesn't reach all the way to the back of the cell...but then she spots a pair of feet clad in socks.

When she brightened the light a bit to get a better look and raises up her scanner her eyes slowly widen.

"I FOUND HIM!"

Shiro and Matt run over to her and look at her scans. On it it showed an exact match of the foot's shape with their Dad's foot exactly. As Matt takes the screen, he starts to tear up in a mix of relief and excitement.

They were so close...and they would be with their dad soon...!

"Pidge help me hack into the keypad!" Matt pulls out the paneling covering the wires and just sets to work putting them together.

He pokes his tongue out as he looks over the wires, Pidge looking over his shoulder and quietly whispering and directing him around.

Though while the twins were engrossed in freeing their father, Shiro couldn't felt but feel something was off. He took in a slow breath and pushes the thoughts aside. This was Sam. He would be ok and soon he would be reunited with Pidge and Matt.

Then they could take him back home...

The light on the keyboard glows green, the cell door unlocking.

When it slides open, the first thing that hits Shiro is the smell. It was a foul odor, a fusion of released bodily fluids, and something rotting. It sends a shudder through him as he watches Pidge running into the cell.

"Dad! DAD!"

At first glance with the light of the prison shining it, it showed part of Sam's face and his body as he was unresponsive. His glasses were still on and it seemed like he appeared to be asleep.

Something is wrong, Shiro is frozen as Pidge jumps in to hug her father.

"Dad! Oh my god, Dad, we've been looking for you everywhere! Are you injured? God you feel so thin..don't worry Dad, were going to get you help..."

Matt moves to join in the hug...but he freezes half way there.

"...Dad?" His brows furrowed as he watches their father's form.

Why wasn't he moving?

Pidge sniffs and looks up at their father's shadow hidden face, "Dad? What's wrong? Why aren't you answering us?"

She reaches up and touches his head.

The action causes it to turn towards the light, his glasses falling off on to the ground.

Shiro feels bile running up his throat as his knees give out in shock. Matt just froze in place while staring with his eyes widening in mortified anguish.

Pidge is mouth is agape when she sees half of their father's face was rotting and fall from the bone. Purple maggots were shifting and eating away at the decomposing flesh, sliding over Sam's teeth and going for the already half eaten tongue.

"...Dad...Dad...please...we can fix it...we can fix it and b-bring you to the castle..." she reaches up as tears start to gush down her face, "Y-yeah Matt and I c-can fix it Dad...please dad just say something...let us know you're ok...Dad?" She touches his shaggy hair on his head, giving a small ruffle.

There's a quiet snapping sound as the neck snaps and falls to the floor.

Pidge's hand freezes as she holds clumps of grey hair.

...

Deep in the castleship, Lotor leans back and closes his eyes as he frowns softly. He wonders if they went to the prison with the scientists and found what they wanted.

He sincerely hopes so. Then maybe they would start to trust him more...

"...I hope those idiot guards didn't leave him to rot in that one cell."

Chapter Text

There was a reason she was skeptical.

When some of the Olkari had given her this seed, she had at first been quite ecstatic to receive it from these aliens who were so in tune with nature. It was her chance to grow an alien plant from a planet her daughter loved and study how it works.

However it was what they told her she needed to do with it that made her a bit perturbed and skeptical.

After all why did they want her to eat a seed that she could easily grow in her lab?

The Olkari man who had given it to her touched her shoulder, "It's a very sacred seed, only reserved for those who truly love nature and are connected to it. Only people held in high regard are allowed to eat it."

Colleen raises a brow at them then she hummed a bit and gave the seed a look over. It was about the spice of an acorn but it was shaped like an apple seed. It had little glowing green markings on it.

"...Are you sure you don't want me to grow it in my lab?" She asks gently. She didn't want to insult anyone, but she also had to be sure.

"Please, Mrs. Holt. It would honor us much more if you ate it. You just have to swallow it down."

Colleen raised a brow at him before she looked down at the seed. It killed her to have to eat such an interesting specimen but she didn't want to be on bad terms either. Besides maybe in the future she could get another and grow that.

With a sigh she puts it in her mouth and swallows it dry.

The Olkari man smiles at her, "You honor us, Mother of the Green Paladin. May you live a long and prosperous life."

She smiles and reaches out to shake his hand, though she can't help that she has an off feeling when he squeezes her hand a little hard. With a polite bow, she turns and walks away to go back to her lab.

As he watches her leave, the Olkari man sighs and puts a hand to his heart, "May this gift treat you well."

...

At first things were normal for about a week. Well mostly normal.

Colleen had started to eat more nutrient rich foods and drinking very clean water that she would filter twice before drinking. Of course her son, daughter and husband weren't too troubled by it as they were used to her testing and tasting different plants for a while,

She hums as she sits with her plants and smiles at them happily. They were all getting so big and strong now, especially the ones she was hybridizing. She smiles as she gently touches the juniberry flower she was growing for Allura.

It was still a little bud, but it was promising.

She gently touches it and makes sure there was no signs of wilting.

Just some tender love and care and soon this little one will be blooming in now time!

...

That night, Colleen winces as she feels a small cramp in her back and stomach. A soft hiss leaves her as she grips her pillow and winces. When she tried to move to get up and go get her heating pad she feels a small snapping sensation as her back went out.

She wheezes a bit and groans in pain.

From behind her Sam stirs and turns over to wrap his arm around her gently.

"Honey suckle?" He yawns as he sits up and puts on his glasses. He grows concerned when he sees her lying on her front now, and groaning in pain.

"I think I threw my back out..." she admitted, a little embarrassed.

Her husband's warm hand gently rubs over her back, being carefully not to be too hard on it, "Want me to get you a heating pad? Some pain killers?"

"Heating pad. And some warm tea please," she winces as her back gives another pop.

"Whatever the little lady wants, she shall have~" he chuckles before kissing her temple and standing to go get her what she needed.

Colleen smiled softly as she puts a pillow under her stomach and rests her head down with a content sigh. She was so lucky to have such a doting husband...

Though she winces when there's another small cracking sensation and her back just throbs.

A sigh leaves her before she makes herself more comfortable.

She just needed to rest and she would be ok.

...

As the week progresses though, Colleen starts to feel the pain spread from her back to her shoulders and thighs. Then it went down her harms to her fingers and the. Her hips and thighs.

The pain just seemed to be spreading through her. No amount of painkillers seemed to be helping, the heated pad only seemed to give her temporary relief and any time she tried to move without it she just felt worse.

Please don't be arthritis...

Now here she is sitting in the doctor's office.

"Hello, Mrs. Holt, I am Dr. Grun. I just looked over some of your test results from your urine and saliva so far say you seem to be in pretty good health. But to rule out anything else, we would like to take some blood samples if you are up for it?"

Colleen sighed before she nods and holds her arm out. She hated blood drawing but she knew it was necessary if they wanted to find out what was making her sick.

Dr. Grun, an unilu Galra hybrid, gently picks up a needle and carefully takes her arm. Gently she flicked Colleen's arm to get the vein to show...

A frown comes over the doctor's face, "...That is strange."

"What?"

"Your veins are a different color Mrs. Holt."

Colleen blinked slowly and then she looks down slowly, "What? What do you mean?"

Dr. Grun looks at Colleen a moment before she carefully injects the needle into it. Slowly Colleen's eyes widen when instead of normal red blood, what came out was a a dark greenish black liquid that fills the vial.

"...Mrs. Holt I am new to human biology but I am sure that your blood isn't supposed to be this color," she removes the needle with a click.

The small wound caused by the needle bleeds slowly over the skin...and suddenly the blood starts to gush out of her and on to the floor. A choked sound escapes her as she watches her veins suddenly darken to an almost black color before the Doctor puts a bandage over it.

"There we go. Now I will have the results back to you soon Mrs. Holt. For now just rest your body and don't strain yourself all right?" She pats her shoulder.

Colleen could only nod before she turns and walks away with a soft sigh.

Hopefully they could get to the bottom of this and she prays that it isn't anything serious.

...

It was like all the pain in her body had gathered where she had blood drawn, making the agony in her body feel like a dull ache in comparison.

She was resting it and trying not to move it too much while watching a movie. She had left work in her botany lab to Pidge and Matt until the doctors could find what was causing all this pain and Sam had left her Beezer who would bring her food and tea while he went to work with Slav.

A sudden pulse of pain hits her and she hisses quietly as her arm was pulsing. She gulps softly as she pulls up her sleeve...and freezes when she sees the skin around the wound had started the color of algae. When she reached down to touch the wound...something moved.

She gasps in pain when it nudges at the entry wound.

Right then the phone goes off and she picks it up quickly, "C-Colleen Holt, how can I help you?"

"Mrs. Holt, it's Dr. Grun. Your blood tests have come in and we found something strange in your blood."

"O-Oh?" She grits her teeth when there's a sharp pain coming from her arm now.

"Well...we found what we assume is plant matter and chlorophyll in your arm Mrs. Holt. We're not sure what but it is definitely plant related. Would you care to come back to the med. bay tomorrow for more tests?"

Her mouth shakes as she tries to answer yes...only to drop her phone when she feels a very painful popping sensation from her arm. She gives a small shout as she grabs her arm and then looks down.

A mix of red blood and the strange dark green blood gushes from the wound as something comes out of it. It was moving and shifting upwards.

"....Mrs. Holt!?"

She cries out as she falls to the floor and curls up. It didn't stop as it just continues to grow from under her skin and moving towards the small source of light. Her fingers twitch as she can feel it shifting and moving from everywhere inside her.

Little leaves and small white flowers starts to form on this...this vine growing from her arm.

"Aaah...Aaah...!"

Her eyes are wide as she watches the plant slowing down it's growth when it wraps round the lamp. Her fingers twitch and she can't move an inch, swallowing thickly.

She could hear Dr. Grun continuing to call out to her, trying to get her attention.

With her other arm she slowly touches one of the flowers, lightly stroking the petals as tears well up in her eyes.

Chapter Text

"I am telling you Allura, I heard something down there!"

The Princess sighs as she has a light turned on from her helmet, looking around the area with her head tilted, "Well so far I don't see anything, save for some residue from the crystals we use...Oh!"

She can hear Hunk grumbling over the comm. as she walks through the familiar engine room. She smiles as she sees small crystals growing along the engines due to the increase in residue. It was a normal, if not beautiful sight to behold for her as she gently touches the glowing crystals.

"Do you see anything?"

"Well I see some smaller crystals growing here, but other than that nothing else. Are you sure you aren't hearing things? Sometimes eating meat from Puig can cause you senses to act a bit weird," she says gently.

"It is not the food! Please Allura could you please just keep looking? It will make me sleep better knowing."

She sighs before she walks further, "All right Hunk."

She carefully starts to head forwards. Even if she was a little skeptical, she wanted to ease Hunk's fears as she continues to find the source of his concerns.

...

Whirrrrrrr.

Bweeeeeeee!

That's the first sound that greets him as he comes to. His head pounds softly and he hisses softly as he reaches up and touches his aching head. It felt like a large bass beat was pulsing from inside it. He wouldn't be surprised if his head was cracking from it.

He opens his eyes...and grunts when he finds he could only see out of one.

From what he could see from one side, he was in a large room that was filled with crystals that grow from the wall. He narrows his eye a moment before he hums quietly and tries to raise his other hand...

Suddenly he can see fully. But the other eye was looking up at the ceiling instead and was and everything seemed to be like a blue screen and it was scanning round the area as he lies there.

"..Wh...what...?"

He slowly looked down at his hand.

Every inch of his body he could feel freezes when he finds that recoded drone that he...he had grabbed it as he was falling and the damned thing had shut down...he had fallen...

He squeezes the drone.

DWEEEE!

When he tries to throw it at the wall, it wouldn't detach from his hand. He tries to shake it off, gritting his teeth as he finds he still can't get it off. When he looks closer though he feels a numb surprise come over him. His hand shakes when he sees that the skin of his hands were attached by what looking like a thin layer of hardened crystal.

The drone beeps before it makes his hand turn to look when he hears footsteps approachinf.

...

Allura blinks when she hears the beeping and whirs a head of her.

Slowly she walks forwards, and as the follows the sounds she notices the crystals growing were getting larger and larger. She frowns a bit.

Normally crystals don't get this large from the residue unless they had something for them to feed off of. Small sad thought hit her that something must have climbed in and died down here and the crystals fed off the energy from it.

"Are you ok Allura?"

"Yes, I'm fine Hunk. I think when we go back to the Balmera we should ask them to remove the crystals growing here. If they get any bigger they might cause damage."

Hunk hums, "Did you find anything?"

"Well I did hear something. It sounded like Pidge's drone Rover, and I am hoping maybe he somehow reactivated. "

"Aw nice! Maybe he was the one whose been startling me so much. Pidge will be really happy too when we tell her."

Allura smiles to herself as she turns the corner. She smiles when she sees the familiar blue light in the darkness before she activates her light.

"Rover! There you are you silly thing! We thought you..."

She trails off as she shines her light on him...and freezes.

"...It's so rude to stare Princess."

Lying there, Rover fused to his hand, with crystal growing along his back, one protruding from his eye, and particularly large one growing from his back was lieutenant Haxus.

Allura covered her mouth in horror.

Haxus' remaining eye was glaring up at her before a bitter smile forms on his face.

"What's the matter, Princess?" He slowly raises up a beeping Rover in his hand, "You look like you've seen a ghost."

"Allura?!"

The only thing Hunk hears before the comm. goes off was a loud scream.

Chapter Text

It had started with itching.

She had just been sharpening some crystal cooking knives for grandmother and was excited to learn one of her recipes when the itching started on her right hand.

Shay quietly scratches her knuckles and frowns a bit. That was odd...

"Shay, come in now dear. Come and help me cut these worms up for the cake."

"Yes grandmother!" Shay rushes quickly into the kitchen with a smile, just as the holoscreen comes on.

"And we are back with Hunk's Kitchen Adventures!"

Her smile grows warmer when she sees Hunk come on to the screen as she places down the knives and carefully she starts to cut...only to stop when she feels the itching returns and she winces. She stops to scratch at her hand and then her arm.

"Shay? Are you ok?.

"Ah, yes Grandmother, I am just itchy I believe."

"Hmmm," she turns and gently takes her granddaughter's hand and rubs over the back of it gently, "If it gets worse I will make you a cream for it."

Shay just nods and smiles before turning her attention back to the screen.

...

The itching didn't stop. It didn't stop for a span of three weeks.

During that time it seemed to only spread up her arm, along her back to the other arm, and then on to her chest. She tried to put a soothing ointment to it but it only seemed to get worse.

She then tried to rub her body against the crystals in hopes the energy from them might help. Instead these strange lumps started to form.

When she tried to remove them they hurt and only grew back bigger than before and she started to feel sick when some of the wounds became infected.

Then came the spores. They had started to come off her when she had gone to take a mud bath with her mother and grandmother. The moment she had sat down, a strange red powder comes off her sore lumps.

When her mother looked over, she immediately got out of the mud and wraps a large blanket around her in worry.

"Shay, get home now," her grandmother stepped out and started to gently nudge Shay away, while make sure not to touch her sore spots.

"Wh..what?" Shay winces as she staggers forwards, "Ow..."

"You need to stay in your home, Shay. I will summon your brother to look after you...gods I had hoped you wouldn't have to go through this..." her mother shakes her head sadly.

Her grandmother moves around having her muddied hands now covered in cloth as she holds her granddaughter's hand gently.

"What do you mean?" Shay looked worried before she coughs harshly.

"It's something many balmerans go through, dear. But it's important we get you inside to rest and give you medicine," her grandmother waves for others to step aside.

Her mother smiles reassuringly, "You just need to rest and let us use a special mud that will make this pass faster."

Shay suddenly yells and both balmeran women stop and keep her up as the strange lumps seem to grow and expand slightly from her skin. Grandmother and mother look at each other, wincing in sympathy for her.

They remembered going through this as well.

...

Hunk sighed softly as he made his way to the caverns, humming softly as he holds a nice plate of cookies that he had decorated with rock candy on them.

He smiles to himself as he waves to the Balmerans who had stepped out of their small homes to greet him. He felt nostalgic when he sees the new crystals growing along the ceiling and acting like glowing lights above him.

It had been so long since he saw Shay. With his galactic cooking and spreading peace throughout the galaxy he seemed to not have as much time anymore.

When he had time he owed Romelle for getting him time off to see his lovely lady.

"Hunk?"

Vrax was waiting at the entrance, with some sone tea in his hands and looks rather surprised to see him.

"Hey there man!" He beams, "Long time no see! Is Shay in? I made her her favorite cookies!"

The balmeran man blinks softly before he puts the tea down and slowly steps out, "Ah...now is not a great time Hunk. Shay has fallen ill."

He blinks and almost drops his plate of cookies, "Wh...what?"

"Ah it's nothing serious. At least to us it isn't," Vrax sighs, "Shay just needs rest and a Balmeran skin cream for the next couple days," he takes the plate of cookies from Hunk, "I will tell you when she's ready for a visitor..."

"W-wait! I only have enough time to visit her today because of the time traveling to here and traveling back. Please I just want to say hello and talk a little bit...please?"

Vrax looked like he was going to refuse but then he looked Hunk in the eyes before he sighs and steps aside, "All right, but you have a few minutes. Please be careful not to breathe in any spores."

Hunk raises a brow, Spores?

He lead the human through the kitchen space, where Hunk sees the crystals kitchen knives and other utensils were hung and he sees where the fire is going quietly with what looks like a cauldron.

Vrax then stops in front of a curtained room and gently pulls it back.

"Shay? Hunk is here."

Hunk smiles as he moves to step in, "Shay! I came by for a day visit—"

He stops in his tracks when the smell of blood fills his nose. He blinks a moment before he looks at Shay sitting on her bed and her Grandmother was rubbing something on her back. Hunk's eyes widen slightly as he stares completely stunned when he sees what looks like that strange fungi that looked like half a plate and could be found one trees and some rocks.

Shay looked terrible. They hung off her shoulders and back and chest and where some were missing it was bleeding and covered in the mud. Some of the fungi plates were on the floor around her.

She looks up slowly and then smiles weakly, "Hi Hunk...long time no see."

"Hey...oh my god Shay are you ok?" Hunk walks over to her without thinking before he's stopped by Shay's grandmother.

"I'm sorry yellow Paladin but we don't know how this disease will affect you. I suggest you sit down and not touch Shay please."

He blinks a moment then he nods and does so before offering a smile at her. Shay makes herself comfortable and she smiles weakly back.

"What..what exactly is happening Shay?"

She sighs softly, "It's...it's a type of fungal disease balmerans get. Since we are more stone like here, it can have a very severe affect on us depending on how long it goes untreated...and as you can see mine is a bit of a severe case...but Grandmother says it will get better as long as I rest."

It was taking everything for Hunk to keep his mortification in check. He had never seen this before and it was scaring him seeing her in obvious pain and discomfort.

He can only hope that whatever her grandmother was doing would help her.

Chapter Text

The entire Kral Zera had fallen into chaos.

Sendak and Lotor had begun fighting. The Blade of Marmora had tried to tamper with the Kral Zera's sacred grounds before being discovered and thus all the Galra turned on each other to begin battle.

Haggar clenched her hands into fists before she grits her teeth and looks down slowly. This was NOT what she had been planning for. This was a complete catastrophe and now everything she knew was going to fall apart.

When Acxa rushes to her after shooting Gnov to the ground, she stops and turns her gaze up to Sendak still battling Lotor.

"Should we get Sendak?"

Haggar sneers, "Forget about him. The Empire has fallen."

If he wanted to stay and act like a fool then he can stay and die like one before the Empire. He was no longer of use to her if he can't even hurry to light a damn pyre.

Why had she ever thought that he would be a good candidate for Emperor?

As she returns to the ship, she slowly looks at the Generals and feels a swell of anger. She had depended on them to find someone and they had brought her Sendak who turned out to be a failure...

"You three, wait for me. I have things to attend to."

She didn't miss the uneasy look on Ezor's face, Acxa's averted gaze, nor the way Zethrid's eyes narrow at her before they turn and leave her to her own devices. As the doors close behind her, Haggar grabs the nearest crate and sends it flying into the wall with a crash.

...

"Do...do you think she's angry at us?"

Zethrid looks at Ezor gently and tries to offer her a comforting look.

Acxa took in a deep breath, "I'm sure she is just angry with the situation we're in. Since Lotor is now the new Emperor, she doesn't have much power and we will have to wait for the next plan of action."

Ezor sighs before she leans back against the wall. It just felt like they got out of one bad situation just to get caught up in another. She rubs her temples before releasing a breath and looking at the ceiling. Honestly she wished they had stayed out in space.

She looks up when she feels Zethrid's knuckles against her cheek. She looked up at her before she holds her hand and rubs her lover's knuckles. Acxa then sits beside Ezor and touches her friend's shoulder.

At least they had each other...

The moment was quickly interrupted when the sliding doors slam open and Haggar comes in in a flurry of her robes.

Slowly the Witch enters as the three stand at attention. Her head is bowed as she approaches the three former generals of Lotor and stops in front of them.

The room is silent for about a minute before she looks at them.

"I gave you three one task."

Ezor gulps and seems to sink back a bit. She carefully holds Zethrid's hand out of sight as she takes in a deep shaky breath.

"One. Simple. Task," she raises a sharp finger, her teeth grit, "Find me a suitable leader of unquestionable Galra heritage to fight in the Kral Zera. When you brought me Sendak, I thought you did just that...instead you bring me a failure."

"We didn't know he would fail—"

She raised her hand up and suddenly Zethrid was in the air, her eyes wide as she is cut off. She can hear Ezor gasp as Acxa wraps her arm round her to keep her calm.

"I gave you three a chance to redeem yourselves...I spared you even after the fiasco with what happened to put Emperor. Yet you can't even manage to do the one thing I wanted!"

Zethrid is gritting her teeth as she glares down at Haggar, her eyes seeming to gleam, "It's not our fault Sendak went fucking crazy! Or that Lotor had people who would help him win! You can't blame us for those two fuckers fighting each other!"

The witch's fingers twitch suddenly and Zethrid went stiff as her chest was out and her eyes widening. A choked sound escapes her as she feels her heart starting to beat a mile a minute.

"Perhaps I was too merciful with you three...I thought perhaps we would benefit each other...but it seems..."

Zethrid gives a wheezed gasp as she feels like her ribs were slowly cracking from the inside out.

"..that I perhaps misjudged you three. You must not be as desperate for redemption as you so claim."

Ezor starts to hyperventilate as Acxa squeezes her tight to her almost protectively. She swallows thickly. This wasn't good..this wasn't good in the slightest...

"Maybe I should just end things here and now."

SQIRKSH!

Zethrid grows pale as she looks down, wheezing softly at the sight before her. She hears Ezor's muffled scream as Haggar has a small smirk.

In her hand, with the veins still attached to Zethrid and still beating was the large warrior's heart. It pulses in her grip, beating faster as it's owner starts to panic.

"It would be so easy...Just one hard tug and it will stop completely."

Acxa holds Ezor tight. She knows that any movement to stop Haggar right now might end Zethrid's life. No matter how much she and Ezor wanted to help her.

Zethrid hyperventilates as she looks at Haggar, eyes big as she watches Haggar's claws dig slightly into her heart. It was a dark blue color with the ventricles and veins dark black and magenta.

Haggar slowly traces a finger down over the organ and looked at the fear and shock in Zethrid's face before she slowly moves to get in her face.

"Let's try this again: whose fault was it for not finding me the candidate I desired to become Emperor?"

Zethrid wanted to growl and repeat what she said earlier...but as she looked at Ezor, saw her wide blue eyes looking at her pleadingly, she bowed her head.

"...Ours, High Priestess," Zethrid murmured quietly.

Haggar slowly smiles before releasing the heart and with a painful shove it returns into Zethrid's chest. Her magic slowly knitted the skin back together over the exit wound, bones painfully snapping back into place like they had never been broken to begin with.

Haggar turns her back to them, "You three shall await my orders. For now keep the ship on its current course to avoid the deserters. Is that understood?"

"Y-hes high priestess," Acxa answers.

Ezor just nods, but her eyes are still on Zethrid. Haggar gives all three of them a quick look over before she turned and seemed to disappear.

Zethrid falls to the ground the moment the doors close, before she puts a hand to her chest panting heavily. Immediately Ezor and Acxa were at her side. Ezor checks her over carefully before she hugs her tight, shaking.

Acxa looks at the doors as she has her hand on Zethrid's shoulder. She grimaced before looking down.

That had been too close.

Chapter Text

The moment that fire spice shot goes down his throat, he knew something was up.

As he leans in his mate, he feels his stomach churn suddenly as he holds the empty shot in his hand and slowly coughs a little bit. He feels Blaytz's arm around him as he listens to his drunken rambling to anyone who was listening.

Lumin blinks blearily as he puts his hand on his stomach, rubbing it soothingly to try and stop the ache it was giving off. After a few minutes it started to dissipate before he takes another and throws it back.

It's right then he's given a kiss on the cheek.

"Heeeey gorgeous. You enjoying that drink?" Blaytz smiles at him before nuzzling him lovingly.

His breath smelled of sweet rum and salt water as he hugs Lumin closer. He peppers warm kisses on his shoulder and head before lifting him up on to his lap. Lumin blinked blearily when he's moved so suddenly, feeling his stomach churn and ache worse than the last time.

"Mmm..." Lumin winces a bit before he reaches for another shot, "Yesssshhh...lil' spicy though..."

He rests his head on Blaytz's, nuzzling him softly. He didn't want to ruin a night of fun due to a bad stomach ache. Besides it was all probably because he hadn't had alcohol during his time with child. A dopey smile comes to his face as he thinks of his abs Blaytz's son who was being watched by his mate's parents.

"I loooooooove our Koli sooooo much!" Lumin giggles and hiccups.

"Aw yeah?" Blaytz laughs softly, "I love him tooooo..."

He boops his nose lightly against his husband's with a happy giggle. It was just...everything was just finally coming together after everything they've had to overcome to be together. Enjoying a night of drinking and being happy was worth his stomach cramping up.

When he kisses Blaytz's forehead he catches a glimpse of a galra watching him.

This stranger seemed to be looking at Lumin's drinks then back at Lumin before sipping his own drink like he wasn't expecting something. This made Lumin frown before he picks up another shot and sips it.

He couldn't place it but something about the way he looked at him made Lumin uneasy. Blaytz blocks his view by kissing his lips softly before hugging him close.

"Eh, bartender...'nother round for Minny~"

Lumin blushes before he spots the stranger doing...doing something. Like a small signal...

But he doesn't give it much mind when the drinks arrive and he's cuddled up to Blaytz. Why should he worry about some stranger when he has his mate close to him for protection?

...

By the fourth round of shots, Lumin feels like his stomach was trying to physically kill him from the inside out.

It growls and shrugs as his vision grows bleary and very unfocused. Blaytz was rubbing his back while drinking his own rum and seeming to be tapping his fingers to the beat of the music. Lumin smiles a bit before he covers his mouth.

The stranger hadn't moved from his spot and was still sneaking glances Lumin's way. It only continued to make his unease grow as his stomach just erupts up into his throat. He covers his mouth a moment before he tries to force it down.

Dammit, no no not tonight, it's out date night and I don't want to ruin it by throwing up... he tries to take in a deep breath to calm himself down.

But when the stranger moves, Lumin feels his stomach give a particularly bad rumble as his eyes seem to make out a strange sigil. Huh...it looked like the kind of sigil that belonged to an assassin' guild...

Assassin...

This time he couldn't keep it down. Bile fills his mouth and dribbles down his thin in a foamy mass. He coughs and shakily reaches up to touch his mouth.

Then if happened again, but instead of tasting alcohol, he tastes fresh blood in his mouth as he throws up again. He coughs and gags before he bends double. He felt dizzy as he slides off Blaytz's lap and to his knees on the floor.

"...Minny? Hey...hey Minny you ok?"

Lumin coughed and wheezed before he vomits again on to the floor. A dark puddle of bile and blood forms as he feels his stomach emptying itself out his mouth. As he tries to catch his breath he chokes as his fingers dig into the floor.

Blaytz suddenly is squatting beside him and rubbing his back, "Hey...hey...Minny hey..." he looked at him, sobering up a bit as he tries to sooth him.

"Ulk...!"

The ruler of Nalquod's eyes widen before he stands and looks around, "I need help! My mate is sick! Please! He's vomiting blood!"

Lumin's mouth is open in a silent scream when fresh pain erupts on his body, gasping and wheezing. He could feel a coldness setting in the pit of his stomach and sending chills throughout his body before he vomited up a fresh amount of black blood.

What has that bastard put in his shots...?

...

Outside the bar, the assassin quietly walks away to the corner of the street.

He pulls our a cigarette and smokes quietly as he waits for his employer to deliver his money. Although there was no guarantee that Galra would be dead, he had done his work in doing as he was ordered.

He almost felt sorry for that servant of the Emperor, but he had a job to do.

Maybe if that Nalquodian's Galra mate survives the lethal amount of snow viper's genome then he would form quite the immunity to it in the future.

Ah but what does he know?

Chapter Text

He knows he should respect Zarkon's privacy.

Just because they were lovers, didn't mean he had to know all of his secrets. But how he had been acting recently had set Alfor on edge as he tried to figure out what was causing his lover to be in a foul mood. It's been only building up in the weeks that have passed, up until today.

When Zarkon had passed him in the hallway he had looked rather exhausted and headed to a part of the castle even Alfor and their other friends haven't been to.

So when he had confided in Trigel, she had been a terrible enabler in getting him to finally go and investigate.

"Hmm..." Alfor looked at the walls of the tower they had followed Zarkon into quietly.

The walls had ancient Galra runes engraved, ones that Druids used in prayers and hymns they sing in their temples. He ran his fingers along them, shuddering at the amount of energy that radiates off them. Trigel walks ahead of him looking just as fascinated as she touches the dark marble.

"This is incredible..." she whispered, smiling, "I didn't know Zarkon had a place like this in his palace..."

"Neither did I," Alfor hums softly, "There's a sense of alchemy like energy here...yet it's much different than the kind from home."

"I think Galra have a similar magic like alchemy," Trigel picks up one of torches and hands it to Alfor, "But it's based on darkness rather than light like Altea's is."

He nods in agreement as they approach a door. It actually made Alfor happy that Daibazaal seemed to share a similar magic like energy as Altea that wasn't exactly the same. But different magic can be just as fascinating and endearing as familiar magic.

Perhaps that's why Galra and Alteans got along so well.

Trigel turns and motions Alfor to be quiet before she slowly opens the door and steps inside.

What greets them is a room filled with statues, a circle made of the great Galra deities that are worshipped on this Planet: He Who controls Fate, the Mother Darkness, He Who Devours the Sun, He who Swallows the Stars, She who Guards the Night, The Living Shadow and Kaltor the Mighty Conqueror.

The floor of this room had an entire map of Daibazaal engraved on it within this circle and above was a star map of their shared galaxy.

Standing in the center is Zarkon. He looked...very stressed as he's gripping what looks like a hammer while murmuring. Trigel moves behind the statue of the Mother Darkness, Alfor leaning out from behind her to watch.

"Those...those stupid diplomats from Pexil...why why do they insist on playing games when I am good and ready to sign the peace treaty? Have I not been patient? Have...have I not made it clear that we are willing to work with them?!" He slams his foot down and growls, "Why am I always the one who keeps fighting in politics and battle while everyone gets to live so carefree!? I just...I just want to be happy too! I...I want to be able to enjoy company with my friends without...without this constant pain in my head..."

Zarkon grips his nose and breathes sharply, "I..I just want to have fun and relax with my friends...I want to be able to not have this weight on my shoulders...I want to enjoy life why...just WHY!?" He slams his foot down on the ground.

As Alfor listens he feels sympathetic to what Zarkon was saying. After all it isn't easy to be a leader trying to do what is best for his people. He understands the stress Zarkon is going through, since he too has had to go through the same thing.

He almost steps out to go to him...

"I can't...I can't take it...! My head is fucking...I can't take this anymore!" He brings the hammer up, "I just want to go one day where I don't have to deal with stress and my head hurting! Is this some kind of punishment for becoming emperor!?"

Trigel freezes, Alfor stiffening slightly.

He...he wasn't going to...!

Zarkon brings the sharp end of the hammer down on his head as hard as he can. He growls as he continues to do so, right before the gods. Some blood dribbles our as he does it over and over and over, unaware of the audience he had around him that wasn't the Gods' statues.

Alfor is frozen in shock, eyes wide as he finds himself unable to move. Trigel was vert much in the same predicament as her hands tremble slightly.

Then as sudden as he had started, Zarkon stops. He breathes heavily as the hammer now hung from his blood soaked fingers and arm before he finally drops it.

"Haaa...haaa..." he breathes heavily before he reaches up and digs his fingers into the sides of the terrible wound on his head.

His fingers lightly push past the broken scales and slowly pull on the broken skin...and crackled bone of his cranium.

"Zarkon...!" Alfor barely breathes out, almost taking a step.

Suddenly he sees something. Something that appears to be wiggling from the terrible wound on Zarkon's head...

Trigel grips Alfor's shoulder, her own hands shaking as she dug her nails into his shoulders.

There's the softest cracking sound before they all burst from his wound; a large flock of beautiful small little black birds that move as a stream from Zarkon's wound. They were a rare species of Galran jumping finches.

Small, quick and delicate.

They fill the room with soft chips and whistles, like a large cloud that starts to swirl around the ceiling.

Zarkon now was kneeling on the floor, eyes closed as he slowly begins to relax. His body was shaking slightly but he was smiling in relief. Like the many bad things in his head were finally leaving if only temporarily.

Just like when they empty Melenor of the stars... Alfor thinks, eyes big as he watches in wonder.

Although he can't help but wonder of there was more similarities between Galra and Alteans than was originally believed.

Chapter Text

It wasn't fair.

No matter how much she had tried to rekindle their past relationship, had tried to reach out to her in hopes she would give her another chance, she was always rebuked or ignored by the one woman she loved.

It was torture just standing beside her whenever they were being addressed by the Emperor, or at a rally for cadets. Even in war meetings it took all her control not to look at her longingly, in fear of showing a weakness to the others.

Because what she was feeling, was a weakness. One that she keeps private even though it was killing her that Ladnok seemed to want nothing to do with her outside the Inner Circle's work space. Each icy look both aroused and broke Trugg, every time she turned the other cheek like her data pad was far more important than what Trugg had to say made the woman's heart clench and teeth grit.

But that love and lust had changed when she saw Ladnok with him.

Out of all the intelligent, powerful people like Gnov, Branko or even Sniv, that Ladnok could have taken as her next lover she chose a person Trugg had detested for many years; General Herreh.

Not only was he just a general under Ladnok's command, he was far from a perfect specimen. For one he had a physical weakness from the wound in his left eye that rendered him half blind. Then there was the way his face was shaped and his fur was styled that made Trugg want to roll her eyes in obvious annoyance.

Sure he was strong and he was efficient in the field but he wasn't worthy.

For a while after Trugg had heard about their relationship, she and tried to deny it and act like it wasn't happening. She refused to believe Ladnok would ever stoop to having someone like him in her bed and receiving her love.

That is until she and seen them in the hallway. Had seen Ladnok holding his face and gently stroking her fingers through his fur as she kisses him deeply, her knee between his thighs as he holds her waist.

Seeing them so blatantly intimate and almost loving..it made Trugg's heart break and her stomach churn.

That was when she became jealous. As their Emperor hunted Lotor, she started to keep tabs on the pair through medics and soldiers who owed her favors, by quietly stalking them and finding all their hiding spots.

It soon came to the point where she had thoughts of...killing Herreh. Just ideas of finding him and making him suffer for taking what was hers away from her. To see his shock and horror as she did tore him apart.

And each dream had her doing different ways of doing so.

Of course she hadn't acted on them. Not while they were still trying to figure out what to do after losing Lotor and then Zarkon dying. Right now the Empire needed the Inner Circle acting together, not plotting to destroy each other.

Then came the Kral Zera.

At that point, Trugg's emotions were brewing away inside of her, all mixed as the ceremony ended with Lotor as the Emperor.

Seeing this, she realized...there was no long and Empire to lead. The Inner Circle was practically in shambles and it was every Galra for themselves..

From the corner of her eye she could see Herreh escorting Ladnok away...and slowly she smirks to herself.

Now is my chance.

...

"I-is everything in order? I-is the crew prepared...?"

Herreh manages to catch Ladnok before she could hit the floor in shock at the Empire's current predicament. She trembles quietly as she leans against the wall and feels his hand on her back.

"Commander..."

"Please tell me the state of our ship...please Herreh..." she whispered shakily.

It was like everything she and lived and worked for was falling all around her. It was slowly killing her as she puts her hand on her chest and shakes. It just wasn't fair...it wasn't fair that they were losing everything they fought, killed and bled for.

"...The crew is preparing for launch. We just need to arrive on the ship and they will begin hyperdrive to the nearest settlement where we can begin to plan. Do not fear a Commander, all will be well..." his voice was very soothing as he looks at her with nothing but respect and adoration.

Slowly Ladnok took in a deep breath and tried to manage a smile, "I...I know. At least I hope so."

Herreh gently reached up and held Ladnok's hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze. He knows that as long as they remained vigilant and waited, they could ensure all would be well. That's all they needed to do.

"Come, my Commander. We have much to do before Lotor tries anything," he leans in and kisses her softly, feeling her squeeze his hand gently.

SNP! SNP!

There's a sudden pain against Ladnok's neck and from what she saw in a split second, was a hand coming down on Herreh's as well. She feels her body just stiffen before she groans and slumps down, her lover following suit beside her.

"Herr...Herre..." she trails off as her eyes starts to close forcefully.

He reaches out for her hand weakly, his fingers barely brushing before he loses consciousness completely. The last thing she sees is someone standing over Herreh with an almost maniacal grin on their face.

...

"Wake up."

Wet, icy water is thrown on her face and draws her out of her state of rest. She coughs and opens her eyes almost frantically, looking around in confusion.

This was not her ship. This was also not the Main Fleet due to there being a difference in lighting for this room. As her eyes adjust, she starts to notice similarities between this place...and the Druid's interrogation chamber.

Despite how cold the water was, it didn't compare to the sudden cold shock that overcome Ladnok as she tries to move only to find her body was pinned down. It was then a finger sharply flicks her forehead before a hand grabs her chin and squishes her cheeks.

"Rise and shine sweetheart. It's been a long long time since I had you tied down like this hmmm?"

"Trmph!?" Ladnok grunts when she finds her mouth is carefully gagged so she can't really say anything. She glares up at her ex lover as she tries to jerk free of her grip and snarls.

"My my, still so feisty aren't you?" Trugg chuckles and she slowly circles her, "How long has it been now, Laddy? One hundred years? Two hundred since our break up? That might seem a lot of time for other species but not for us, right?" She studies her nails quietly a moment, like she was making sure nothing was in them.

Ladnok glares at her, her body shaking with rage. When she got out of this...she was going to fucking kill this damned bitch!

Trugg then moved out of sight before she turns on more lights.

The moment they came on, Ladnok feels her heart stop at what greets her.

Across from her, tied similarly on a slab, but with no gag and still unconscious was Herreh. He was completely limp and had his head low as he groans weakly.

She glares at Trugg with more rage as she tries to pull free. Why did she bring Herreh here!? Why, why did she have them tied down like prisoners would be and why was Trugg acting so off!?

A hand slams down beside Ladnok's head as Trugg now glares into her eyes.

"...I said I was sorry," Trugg hisses quietly, "I tried so hard to make up for what had happened. I never meant to ruin your chances of becoming Advisor to Emperor Zarkon and I tried so hard to show you I regretted it. But instead of trying to understand my repentance..." she pulls back and then walks to a small table on the center, "You instead tossed me out like yesterday's meat and replaced me."

Every hair on her body stands on end when she sees the massive hook Trugg lifts up and lightly twirls between her fingers. The tip of it glints in the dim light as she slowly approaches Herreh.

"Oh don't worry, I heavily sedated him and used a little anesthetic so he won't feel a thing. It will be like he died in his sleep," she hums softly, "...I would have fought the cosmos for you you know."

"NMMMMGH! NMMMMGH!"

"But instead you replace me with this...this son of a yupper bitch," she twirls the hook in her hands, "Such a shame really. You must have really pitied him for his weakness when you took him as your lover hmmm? Ah well at least he gets to die without feeling anything...just lying here, not fighting...heh."

Ladnok tries harder to break free, tears starting to form in her eyes. Trugg wouldn't. She wouldn't DARE do it...not to her Herreh...!

"What a dishonorable death."

She the slams the hook into his side. A weak grunt leaves Herreh...but he doesn't react. The heavy sedation and live anesthetic made him blissfully unaware of the death that was taking him.

Thus the hook drags over his stomach and makes a large line under it. It almost reminded her of a smile.

Ladnok grows pale and sick as she is forced to watch. Watch as blood comes gushing out of the wound. Watch his organs just spill out of him: his intestine wriggles as it hits the floor, moving like a dying snake as a little blood dribbles from his mouth. Then his other organs slid from his cut open stomach and jut seemed to hang out of him, touching the floor.

No...no no no dear gods please no...not this..please stop this..!

"Aaaaah~ you have no idea how long I've wanted to kill this bastard," Trugg sighs, looking relieved, "Oh don't worry, I'm not going to kill you...I'm going to let you go actually...once I am sure he actually dies. It would be so cruel if he didn't die right away and actually woke up to this."

Ladnok's body shakes as she feels vomit pool in her mouth and deep out the gag, bowing her head shakily.

It's then Trugg touches her head, "Oh don't be like that...I'm sure you'll replace him as quickly as you did me."

In that moment, Ladnok's hands clenched into fists.

When I am out of here...I'm going to find a way to kill you...

Even if I have to die doing it.

Chapter Text

The depths of Nalquod were a mystery to those from alien planets.

None were allowed to even explore it unless they had a willing guide to lead them through it safely and return in one piece. What lies below are predators and monsters that roam and wait to hunt other creatures that dare to enter their hunting grounds or their nests.

Unfortunately, it's the depths that the Paladins had to enter in order to figure out what has been hunting outside the depths and going after the people of Nalquod.

"I do not like this."

Alfor rolled his eyes as he flicks on the lights of his helmet, "Zarkon, please."

"I mean it Alfor. I don't like this, not in the slightest," the Galra Emperor fixes his helmet with a grunt as they follow the others through the sunlit water around them.

"Zarkon, come now. We have Blaytz leading us through and he knows the depths almost as well as his beast master friend does."

"That is what's making me uneasy," Zarkon hisses as he moves to catch up,

Another exasperated sigh leaves Alfor, "Have some faith in our Blue Paladin, Zarkon. This is his home planet and we have to find out what is hunting his people. Besides, you wouldn't want him to know you're afraid of the big scary monsters now do you~?"

Zarkon's eye twitches and he slowly raises his fist, "Hey Alfor, watch this," he slowly makes a winding motion as his middle finger slowly stands at full mast.

The Altean king shakes his head before he swims ahead of him to join their friends. Trigel was looking around in awe at the reefs they pass while Gyrgan swims beside Blaytz looking at all the fish.

"This is incredible...oh that big blue one looks like he's make a good meal~" the Rygnirathian chuckles.

Blaytz snorted, dressed in his native attire for once and rolls on to his back to swim as he faces them, "I wouldn't do thar. It takes a while to remove their poisonous glands and you have to make sure not to burst them or else they're inedible. That's why predators tend to avoid them."

Gyrgan hums in fascination before they all stop before the edge of the abyss. Zarkon makes his way up to the front beside Blaytz and slowly looks down. He swallows thickly when he hears a deep rumble from below that did not sound like pieces of rock falling.

Trigel's eyes seem to almost bug out of her skull, "It's so deep, Blaytz..." she whispers softly.

"Yeah. It's said it's where our Gods and Demons reside," Blaytz hums softly before he turns to his fellow Paladins, "All right. Here are a few rules; hold on to each other. This place is very deep and can be a maze at times if you're not familiar with it. The Serpents tend to go after those who stray from the group, especially during this time when it's hunting season. If you see a strange orb of light, do NOT go anywhere near it. It is most likely attached to a predator trying to lure you in. And the most important rule; if you feel anything touch you like tentacles or something do not move, do not speak and keep calm. Do this and whatever grabs you will think you're another predator and release you. Down here in the depths, fear is what prey give off. Am I understood?"

Alfor, Trigel and Gyrgan nod in agreement while Zarkon seemed to have grown rather pale.

Blaytz nods before he reaches our and takes Zarkon's hand, "All right. Zarky hold on to me. Alfor hold on to Zarky, Trigel hold on to Alfor and Gyrgan hold on to Trigel. We will begin our slow descent into the depths."

Zarkon seemed to just give into his fate despite the week sound of distress leaving him. He knows he shouldn't be afraid but there was something...something very unsettling about this place.

"Ah Blaytz, if we do get separated, how do we signal each other?" Alfor asks, tilting his head curiously.

Blaytz looks back and then grins, "Oh you'll be able to see me just fine."

Alfor raises a brow in confusion but brushes it off in favor of their descent. After all they had a job to do and this was Blaytz's home, with his people who were being hunted and killed.

It was their duty of Paladins to put a stop to it.

...

As they go deep into the abyss slowly, Zarkon starts to feel the coldness when the light starts to fade.

It had only been an hour and the pressure was slowly beginning to build on top of them. His ears ring a bit and he can feel Alfor shivering a bit as he holds tightly on to his hand. The lights of their helmets help them bit as Blaytz starts to whistle quietly.

The rumbling came and went, though it seemed louder the deeper they go. It made he Galra Emperor uneasy, a feat few things can achieve. The uneasiness though also irritated him. After all he was the Emperor and he has done much worse things than this.

Beside Gyrgan was busy being in awe of the fish that swim around him, Trigel was observing and taking in everything around her and Alfor seemed excited to be exploring what he has never explored before.

Seeing the others so calm starts to relax Zarkon.

He turns to Blaytz when they become enveloped in near complete darkness, opening his mouth to ask him a question...and freezes with said mouth hanging open.

Instead of Blaytz, what he instead sees is what he assumes to be a glowing skeleton. He could make out all the bones from the strangely shaped cranium to the phalanges that make up the end of the feet. Upon closer inspecting there's the slightest outline of organs as well.

Zarkon almost let's go, the sudden fear gripping him making him want to scream and swim up as fast as he can.

"Ah! Blaytz you didn't tell me you could do that!" Alfor laughs from behind Zarkon.

The skeleton snorts a bit, "You guys never asked! Besides I don't go down here this often so you all get to see right through me for a change."

Zarkon can't stop staring as he's just led along. The nalquodian skeleton called Blaytz continues to lead them, acting as a sort of beacon.

"Fascinating! I have heard that when in complete darkness Nalquodians produces a chemical in their skin, bones and organs that makes them see through. It's usually to make predators think that you're already dead yes?" Trigel is utterly fascinated,

Blaytz laughs, "Pretty much! Now turn off your lights."

Zarkon sputters, "I beg your pardon?"

"You heard me, cat turtle, lights off!" Blaytz turns to him and in his current state seeing the outline of his eye balls in their sockets and his skull talking was just making Zarkon want to shudder.

"You...you can't be serious," He hissed.

The ruler of Nalquod huffs, "I am. Lights attract unwanted attention the deeper we go. So unless you want to draw one of the big mean serpents to us, I suggest you turn that off now."

Oh how he wanted to argue. But he can't really bring himself too especially with the threat of attracting something to them. Besides the others had already done as Blaytz asked, leaving Zarkon no choice but to comply.

However as he reached up to do so, something suddenly seems to bite down into Blaytz's side. Zarkon feels himself freeze when he can see massive teeth pierce through, watching the glowing bones of Blaytz's rib cage breaking from the fore and seeing the tips of those teeth brushing over his organs, narrowly missing them.

Alfor shouts as he pulls out his sword, Trigel following suit with her weapon and Gyrgan bringing out his staff.

Zarkon gets at the monster first. His blade swipes it across the nose, watching as it readers back with a hiss. Those long, sharp fangs were stained in glowing blue blood as it roars.

He can feel the water shifting around them as the creature writhes in pain, the only thing alerting them of it being there being Blaytz's blood. Then the monstrous creature seems to move away, the glowing fangs growing farther away until they join the darkness.

Whatever kind of abyssal monster that was, it was pissed now.

"Aaaaaah...fuck!" Blaytz hisses as he puts his hand on his wound.

His blood was glowing as it starts to fill the water. It was like seeing a shifting blue cloud as Trigel swims over to check him over. Zarkon sheathes his sword, while putting pressure off the wound.

"Dammit...I forgot that the old bitch might be roaming the depths today..." he grunts softly, "Stupid old, cranky fucking serpent..."

Gyrgan stands behind Blaytz, his back to his, "That was one of the serpents!?"

"Stars...how big do they get?"

"Well that one is an old one...but she's not the oldest one. That old bitch is at the way bottom and she is still hibernating from her last meal about three years ago," Blaytz grunts as Trigel pulls out the first a kit and starts to clean the wound.

Alfor huffs...then he starts to look pensive, "...Do you think the one that just attacked you has been the one attacking those people?"

Blaytz snorts a bit, "No. When Serpents hunt they leave a mess. Whatever is doing this...it's sneaky and it doesn't leave much of a trace...and I have a feeling I know which beast it is," he grunts as more of his blood.

Zarkon blinks then looks him in the eye, frowning, "...Which one do you think it is?"

When Blaytz turns to look at him, he sees his teeth gritting and watches his spine grow straight.

"One I really hope we don't meet before we have prepared a plan."

Chapter Text

Nothing could prepare him for what the Druids had planned.

Sometimes they left him for days he couldn't count. Others they would torture him for who knows how long, in many different creative and devastating ways. His body was still shaking from the non stop electricity coursing through his body only hours earlier.

He wonders if they would ever let him just die or keep him alive to suffer for the next millennia before they get bored with him.

Today, lying in this slab he is facing through a one way window.

How does he know what it is? Because he used to oversea the interrogations through it in his glory days as a commander. Throk glares through at the room that was currently empty.

Honestly is amazed him that this place was still in tact, especially since it hadn't been used in so long...at least as far as he knows.

"Well, well, well."

Throk's ears perk before he turns his head slightly to see who had entered. His eyes widen in surprise when he gaze falls upon Ranveig, the Warlord looking like he had come fresh off the battlefield. There was blood still dripping from his weapons before he sheathes them with a hum.

"Warlord...Ranveig...?"

"In the flesh," the large warrior chuckles as he slowly walks up beside him, "You seem a bit shaky there Throk. Has Haggar been harsh with you lately?"

The ex commander grunted as another spasm goes through him. The table beneath him rattles from the force of it, gulping thickly and coughing. All the warlord does is watch with an almost pleased smirk at watching him in pain.

As the seizures die down, he slumps as his breathing shakes.

"What do you want?" He practically spits out.

The Warlord pulls our a dagger and appears to be studying it, "Hmm...well the Druids tell me you've been a tad bit difficult lately to break, so I've been called in to try and see if I can loosen your tongue."

Oh...this again? Did the Druids really think that by sending him in he would ever admit to being a traitor? They must be looking for more excuses to make his existence hell.

"Well...if you truly think you can do better than Haggar herself, then you're welcome to try you damned, uncouthed, blustering oaf," he manages a very crooked, sneering smile, "Take your best shot at me."

Ranveig stares at him a moment...then he snorts and slowly it morphs into a snicker. Then that snicker turns into a cackle and soon he is guffawing like he had heard the best joke in the cosmos. It unsettled Throk to see this brooding, serious man being reduced to tears in a fit of malicious laughter.

"Oh! You think I'm going to do something to you? Oh no no Throk. What I have in mind is having you sit back, relax and watch one of my experiments take place. I think you're going to recognized my latest subject." He chuckles softly, "But first..."

Throk shouts when his wrists as suddenly released and grabbed by Ranveig's large hand before cuffs with a strong chain attached to the table. When Throk tries to test it he wheezes in pain when he finds he can't break it. It would only allow him close enough to place his hands on the window as he struggled to stay standing.

"There. Now then," Ranveig steps back to lean agains the door, out of reach of the chain.

Throk looks up when he sees a door slide open. He frowns heavily before someone is throne right into the room.

He squints a moment, the person having fallen into a crumpled heap on the floor. Around the figure, two scientists enter and stand over them. One only had part of his face covered, his eyes a dark yellow and having long dark purple hair that goes down to his waist. He holds a syringe in his hand, with what looked like a strange glowing blue substance. The other had a full mask on and was shorter than his assistant, his sigil showing he was head doctor in there.

Both appeared to be waiting for something, giving their subject space to move.

Throk narrows his eyes a moment.

The subject slowly uncurls, a long tail unfurling first. His eyes widen when he sees the subject sit up slowly and something in his mind clicks. He takes in a sharp breath before he starts to shake hard enough to make the chain rattle.

I'm going to erase your memories for now Throk...but when you see me again, they will appear. I promise I will return for you...be safe.

His eyes slowly widen and he his claws dig right into the glass.

"Narti..." his whispers, everything starting to flood his mind as his eyes grow big.

She shaking stands up, and when she turns her body he sees a stitched up wound along her neck. Her hands feel along the floor blindly as her tail tries to reach out. Trying to feel out what this place looks like.

He..he had allowed her to erase his memories...because she knew he would be captured and it would keep him safe from being killed...to keep their leader Lotor safe...in case...in case...

"...what are you doing to her?" He whispered.

Ranveig just smirks slowly, "Just watch."

...

Narti feels along the unfamiliar cold floor.

The stitches around her neck stung and she could feel them tugging on her skin. If she could just find Kova...or someone nearby to use as her eyes...

Slowly she starts to move across the cold tile floor and tries to find something to help her stand. She needed to get away...to find Throk and get them both away from here...then...then they can both return to Lotor and explain to the generals their plan...

With her damaged through she can't make noise to echolocate.

Soon she reaches a wall and she slowly stands—

There's glass. She can feel glass under her fingers. Her ears twitch softly a moment to try and listen for anyone approaching her. Then she hears something faint and almost muffled.

It comes from the glass.

Slowly she presses her ear to it and listens close, her fingers lightly tracing the glass. She can't make out the words...but the voice...

There's a sudden pain in her shoulder, a weak, garbled, ugly screech escaping her.

"Injection of experimental quintessence inside a living subject successful. Awaiting results, Warlord Ranveig."

Narti wheezes when she feels it.

At first is just feels like a heavy, thick fluid was slowly filling her body and limbs as she slides down a bit. Her mouth opens slowly her body starts to stiffen and still a moment. A choked noise escapes her when the heaviness starts to feel like acid burning from inside her.

"Hhhwweerrrrrr...!"

...

"What did you do to her!?"

Throk feels his heart beating a mile a minute in fear as he watches what is happening before him. His body is shaking as he watches her, watches her clawing weakly at the glass.

She was so close to him, close enough he could almost touch her...if it wasn't for this damned glass...!

He hits it weakly, with both his cuffed hands his eyes wide.

"Ranveig! What did you DO!?"

"You will see Throk...though I could put her out of her misery if you tell me what it is the Druids want. I could make it so quick and merciful...for the both of you. But you have to talk to me Throk..."

He bites his bottom lip. It was then he saw her skin slowly starting to break along her arms. Like something was making it split open like a fabric would if pushed through hard enough. Something starts to protrude from her shoulders as we tail smacks the ground and slowly what looks like fur starts to grow rapidly from her head.

He can see the pain with how her mouth was opened. Blood floods from it as her teeth starts to change, new ones erupting in the back as her face seems to shift.

"I...I can't..." he whispers, feeling hopelessness overcome him, "I don't know..."

Ranveig sighs heavily, "...Then you can watch her suffer."

...

"RREEEERRRAAAAAGH!"

"Subject appears to be suffering internal bleeding and her body is going through a rapid change."

She can feel her teeth changing, her skull breaking and rearranging itself as her snoight s tarts to elongate. She could feel her skin sliding from her arms, as they seem to be expanding from the inside and only continuing to grow.

There's a terrible eruption of pain from her back as she feels her spine break and grow. She could hear her bones snapping and piercing the skin as her body starts to stretch.

Her organs seem to rearrange. Somewhere in this painful, mind rendering process she felt smaller arms erupt from her sides as her own had grown large. She bumped her face against the glass her breathing growing ragged and heavy.

"...rrrrr...rrr...rrr..."

"It appears that the quintessence has completely changed the subject's physical form, though very painfully. We shall wait for subject to collect itself."

...

Throk's hands shake harshly.

No...no no no no...this wasn't supposed to happen...this wasn't supposed to happen...she wasn't supposed to...what...?

"She was cast aside by Lotor. They found her floating in space. Barely alive after Lotor's ship was destroyed. Someone had almost cut her head off...ah but thankfully we were able to sew it back on and now...since you refused to admit to your crimes Throk...well. The last thing you're going to see is her suffering. Any final requests before I put you out of your misery?"

Throk looks at her, his lip wobbling before he bows his head and grits his teeth.

A large hand followed by two smaller ones touches the glass. Narti shakes harshly from the other side.

"...Let me...let me touch and talk to her...please."

He didn't realize Ranveig had come up behind him when a hand touches his shoulder, "...Very well."

...

There's a loud sound of laser discharge that goes through the glass, shattering it. She can feel the heat of it going past her cheek.

Narti hisses in pain when she feels a frail body fall against her sore, pained one. She shakes a moment when she can feel a familiar form in her arms. It was smaller now, but as she reaches up and feels along the chest and face her breathing hitches.

"...N..Nar..."

Her hands shakes softly as the smaller pair slowly touches along his sides...then she feels it. A warm fluid that when she sniffed, smells metallic. Slowly she lifted him up and nudges her face against his.

No..

She can hear Throk breathing weakly, hear his heart starting to slow, feel the warmth of his blood as he was starting to fade, and feel his mind as it was slowly starting to shut down.

In vain she tries to keep it from slipping away, but each attempt to latch on only showed how far gone he was.

She hears a chuckle from in front of her.

"You two. Get my latest new weapon under lockdown once that traitor's breathed his last breath. Continue testing it so we know what it can do to benefit my glorious reign when it come time for the Kral Zera."

Narti...I...m...sor...ry...coul...dn't...hold...

The moment he went limp, there was no longer any thoughts. No feelings, no consciousness...he was just gone before she could even hear him.

Gently she reaches up to touch his face, gently feeling over his eyes. His still opened eyes...gently she makes them close before she feels another pain in her shoulder.

"Preparing to transfer the Weapon to lockdown, Warlord. We will dispose of the body."

Narti hisses before she feels it start to kick in. Her tired, pained, new body slowly slips to the ground. As she feels everything starting to close in as sleep forcefully takes her, a rage filled hatred starts to swell up inside of her.

All. Galra. Must. Perish.

Chapter Text

The last thing she remembered was running.

Running and dodging laser fire that scourged the planet as a terrible heat had erupted around her in flames. She remembered her bare feet hitting the scorched ground that once was Rygnirath, how it burned her soles as she could hear those damned sentries catching up.

She had been headed to her husband's ship, seeing her daughter waiting up the waiting ramp for her. Her joyful face when she had only managed a foot on the ramp...then came that giant explosion...

There was only darkness between then and now.

The sound of chants is what pulls her out of her own subconsciousness. When her eyes opened she had only seen the dim purple lights of a galra ship. The Queen of Altea blinks blearily before she turns her head.

Beside her was a tall figure, in a dark maroon cloak and a strange bird like mask with six eyes going down. They look down at her, before their head cracks when they tilt it. A very loud gasp leaves her as she tries to move away...only to find her ankles and her wrists are tied down making her body form an 'x' shape.

"Wh..what...!" When she looks around she sees she is surrounded by others just like this one.

All circled around erm singing that eerie chant. Her ears lower before she tries again to break free from her bindings. She looks down at her body and grits her teeth when she sees her dress had been removed, reduced to wearing her under garments and seeing strange runes written upon her stomach in what she assumes is paint.

She pulls harder, "Let me go! Let me go now!"

"Now now your majesty...there is no need for struggle."

Her entire body stiffens when she hears the familiar voice of her husband's dearest and closest friend. The one who tricked him and the others, the one they had held a funeral for, the one her husband had cried over as she held him in her arms upon his return to Altea.

"You...You bastard...!"

Zarkon shakes his head, "Now now, Queen Melenor. There is no need for insults."

The one who stands over her now, eyes glowing an unnatural purple as they were narrowed down at her. A smaller figure stands behind him, hunched over other long white hair and in purple and gold robes. She seemed...familiar to Melenor.

"How much longer until we proceed?"

"Soon my Lord. We can begin the ritual soon."

Melenor bristles at the words, the strange woman's voice setting off her alarms, "What ritual? What are you talking about?"

Blank yellow eyes look at her from under the hood, a face with dark purple skin and red markings just looking at her with a stoic contempt. Slowly the woman raises her hands and dark violet quintessence sparks between her fingers as she slowly raises a dagger that was made of pure, white luxite with a dark hilt. Runes were engraved in it, ancient Galra ones that only Druids could decipher.

"Has your warrior been chosen my lord?" She asks quietly.

"Indeed. Sendak please enter," Zarkon rumbles softly.

A large, Young Galra walks in quietly from the shadows. He wore specially crafted armor, that had the same runes put into what looked like luxite that had been molded and shaped to fit him...save for his arm. That one has the runes carved into his arm.

It was then Melenor realized the chanting had stopped.

"My most loyal soldier," Zarkon touches Sendak's arm, "Will you accept the honor of piercing the heart of Altea?"

Melenor feels ice shoot through her. The Heart of Altea...what every Queen of Altea has carried within them...passed down from mother to daughter for millennia in order to keep Altea alive...

If they harvested the energy from it then...

Sendak doesn't look at the Emperor, but there's a look of determination in his eyes, "If my Emperor wishes, I shall obey."

A twisted smile graces Zarkon's face, before he nodded to the woman in robes, "Haggar."

Melenor feels her heart starting to beat a mile a minute. Her hands shake as she attempts to try and pull her hands free again as she watches Haggar kneel and present that dagger. She needed to escape...needed to get away...!

"Make sure to pierce directly into her core as we cast the spell. With the energy all gathered up inside her we will be able to keep the Galra fleets running for millennia as we gather more."

They...they wish to drain me of...?

Haggar raises her hand and starts to whisper to herself. Something...dark was slowly starting to rise from her as she then places her hands down. It was then Melenor realized she was chained over an alchemist's circle. It was painted in dark red colors and it began to glow menacingly when the other cloaked figures kneel to join her.

"Druids of the four Directions; North, West, South, East. Lend me your power," she hisses, her nails lightly digging into the floor, "Let the Deities of the Rift accept this tribute made by the chosen warrior."

Melenor starts to shake, "No...no no no please! I have a family! My daughter is waiting for me! You can't please! SHE NEEDS ME!"

She feels tears welling up in her eyes as Sendak slowly enters the circle. He looks down at her as the magic of the circle begins to make it glow brighter.

Zarkon stood and watched. The shadows illuminate his face as his eyes glow like that of a demon's. When her eyes look at him pleadingly, he smiles. He smiles in a way that distorts his face, twisting it into something sinister and insane.

Melenor's eyes brim with tears as she starts to hyperventilate, "No...No please...my daughter...Just let me see her one last time...!"

Sendak took in a deep breath before he kneels beside her and slowly lifts up the dagger. It was then a soft blue glow comes off Melenor's body as the magic sweeps into her. It begins to glow brighter and brighter, spreading over her skin to her hair and her eyes,

"Now.." Haggar whispers, "Reap out the quintessence from the Heart of Altea!"

Melenor looks into Sendak's eyes pleadingly, tears dripping down her face.

Please...please let me live...let me see my people, my family...my little girl...

For a moment, a soft, sad look crosses his face...then it hardens before brings down the blade it's the uncovered arm directly into the markings on her stomach.

Melenor chokes when she feels the dagger cut through the skin and hit her spine through her stomach. Her eyes grow big as she shakes weakly.

"Now..." Haggar whispers, as the blue energy gives way to an ominous purple.

Melenor feels it. Feels all her energy, her life force begin to gather up into the dagger. She could feel her skin growing dry and wrinkly, her eyes drying out as her lips began to grow chapped. Blood gathers in her mouth before she wheezes weakly.

Sendak's eyes widened as he watches her..then he shouts when he feels the magic suddenly wrap around his arm and starts to squeeze it. He grunts and tries to pull free only to cry out when it only continues to constrict.

"What is this!?"

"Do not fret, Sendak. It is all part of the ritual," Zarkon rumbles,"You must sacrifice something as well."

Sendak coughs and shakes when he feels his bones starting to break from the sheer force and bows in head in pain, "Aaaaaaaaarrghhhh...!"

Melenor's head lolls back as her sunken in eyes stare up at the Druid. There's a loud snapping sound and the feeling of something warm and wet splattering on to her drained, withered body.

I'm dying...I'm dying...

The dagger removes itself from the Queen's core, glowing and pulsing with her life force. It slowly returns to Haggar who gently takes it.

She looks down at Melenor a moment..then she raised her hand, "Thank you, Heart of Altea...your sacrifice will keep us going for eons to come...now..."

There's a grip on Melenor's neck yet no one had moved to grab it. Sendak had been removed from the circle and was being tended to by the Druids for his bleeding stump. Zarkon was still standing and observing and Haggar now stood in front of her

"Rest...you'll soon be joining your daughter."

CRACK!

...

Alfor made a choked sound and falls against the ships controls, his eyes widening when he falls to his knees.

"Alfor?!"

"Father!"

He could feel it. He could feel the moment when it was gone. When he felt his wife...Melenor's life...

Coran barely manages to catch Alfor in his arms, feeling the King shaking against him. Allura gently touches his shoulder, concerned as she looked at her father. Something wet stains Coran's shoulder as Alfor had his face against it.

The King is Altea is looking off into the distance, as he shakes quietly in his advisor's arms and breathes raggedly. He had felt her...her life force...

"...she's dead...the Heart of Altea is dead..."

Allura freezes completely and stares at her father. Her eyes are wide and her hands shake as she swallows thickly. She reaches out and hugs her father as she processes the news...

Coran feels his heart break when he hears a wail escape the bereaved princess.

Chapter Text

"My goodness, the Dyrulians really know how to show hospitality, eh Gyrgan?"

The leader of Rygnirath just laughs as he walks with the Altean advisor into the royal dining hall of the Dyrulians royal family. The entire room was a soft lavender color with red flags holding the family crest colored in gorgeous silver threads.

The Queen sits at the head and smiles at her guests, a large, slim alien with her mouth going sideways down her face and having two lovely green eyes on either side of it. On either side of her we're her children, the adult prince with a more colorful looking form and with pretty feather protruding from his head and the little princess who was eating what looks like jellied candies.

"Your majesties," Gyrgan bows to the three royals politely, smiling kindly.

"We are most honored to be here, your Highnesses," Coran follows his companion with a chortle.

The Queen smiles, "And we are pleased to have you both here. I am just sorry King Alfor could not be here to join us."

Gyrgan sighs, "He regrets his absence but he only gives his best to you and your own,"

She smiles before she motions to the empty chairs around them, "Please do have a seat. Relax, enjoy the refreshments. You both deserve to rest after such a long journey."

Coran bows again before he goes to take his seat and hums as he is given something to drink. As Gyrgan sits, he looks utterly enchanted with the elegant feast before him. These new and different dishes around him were so exotic and lovely, as well as smelled absolutely delicious.

Thus they began speaking of diplomacy. Gyrgan nibbles into food and hums as he listens to the Dyrulian Queen when she was explaining the problems they have been having with their neighbors.

The dishes are soon switched out for the dessert plates. Immediately the prince grows excited as she picks up a plate that looked like a breaded stick.

As Gyrgan finishes up his dinner, he suddenly smells the sweetest thing to ever grace his nose. He shudders happily and looks at the princess's dish.

"What...what is that wonderful meal you are eating Princess?" He smiles at her softly.

She blinks, then she beams, "Bi-Bi sticks! Would you like to try one sir Gyrgan? They are very popular here on Dyrula! Especially amongst children."

She pulls the plate from her brother's reach, and he gives her an annoyed glare before mumbling and crossing his arms, murmuring about her hogging the sweets.

"Why yes please!" Gyrgan extends his hand to take a particularly large piece.

The Queen chuckles, "Ah yes. They are truly a delicacy that's become practically a household favorite. Even my court of nobles love to eat them."

"Hmmm..." Gyrgan sniffs it, before he takes a bite.

The moment he bites in, his mouth is filled with a burst of flavor. It tasted so sweet and floods his mouth as he chews slowly and hums happily. A shiver of delight runs through him as he takes another bite.

Coran tilted his head before he also takes one to bit, "...Great Quiznak! This is amazing, your majesties! Holy Squalt!"

The Royal family looked quite pleased with their guests reactions.

Gyrgan suckles off the delicious red juices from his fingers, "Mmm..Goodness that was quiet delicious your majesties! I must say you truly know how to treat your guests. I shall make sure to inform Alfor of the visit and make him aware of the problems here so that he can help you and the other planets find peace."

The Queen claps her hands together, smiling brightly, "Oh thank you! Thank you so much, Lord Gyrgan! If there is anything we can do for you, do not hesitate to ask it!"

Gyrgan tilted his head in thought a moment. He didn't like people feeling indebted to him but he also felt guilty if he asked anything of others. He fumbles a moment, trying to think while Coran takes more candies to eat and hums happily.

...Wait! He had it!

"Could I perhaps know the recipe behind these delectable jelly sticks?"

The prince is practically beaming, "Oh of course! Please do follow me! Our cooks should be making some now!"

"Well! I think I will join you Gyrgan! Alfor should get to try this cuisine as well! I'm sure he would enjoy these Bi-bi sticks a lot."

As the two stand to follow the prince, the Queen leans back on her chair and looks very content. Her daughter reaches out and touches her arm with a warm smile. Hopefully the chef wouldn't make too much of a mess while showing their guests how to make such a treat.

...

There's a lot that Gyrgan is willing to try when it comes to how cultures prepare their dishes. He's eaten raw jellyfish in Nalquod, sucked in the nectar of juniberry flowers, eaten Galran blood pudding made from the blood from boars and has tried every type of plant given to him by Trigel used in a variety of ways.

The universe had flavors to try, dishes to eat and through that he made connections with people.

Today though. This was the day Gyrgan had reached his limit.

He stops dead in his tracks when he sees the chef picking something up. At first he had thought that he was picking up some kind of stick until he sees it moving. Then he thought it might be a snake.

That is until he notices small arms and legs flailing in the air.

All the color drains from his and Coran's face when he sees the chef raising his cleaver.

"You see we found this planet called Bih, and we discovered those delicious, sweet creatures," The prince beams, "They May not look like much but their insides are absolutely delectable~"

CLUNK!

There's a very ugly gurgling noise coming from the cutting board as the chef moves the cleaver around. Something blue and sweet smelling gushes out from the small alien as he gurgles and chokes softly.

"Oooh~! You got the one with the blue insides? Oh what a treat! Thank you chef!" The Prince laughs softly, reaching out and picking up the upper body.

Coran looked extremely pale when the prince wraps his lips around the opening of the wound and slurps.

Gyrgan feels his insides churn and he covers his mouth when he feels the bile rise up in his throat. He...he had eaten...

The Prince blinks as Gyrgan keels over and vomits on to the floor, looking alarmed as Coran just faints in shock.

"...I guess they don't like blue filling," the prince shrugs and then sucks up what is left of the dying alien life form.

Chapter Text

Thace never liked scary holidays.

Well he loved to bake yes and he loved seeing what the kids came up with with their costumes but the scary aspect...well let's say on Halloween he avoids the horror movie themed things like a plague.

So when he found out he and his husband were invited to a human halloween party he was less than thrilled.

"Come on now Thace, it will be fun!" Ulaz called from the bathroom.

A grumble left the cranky Galra as he was frosting cupcakes, "Says you."

"Come now Thace, have I ever lied?"

"...Hmmmmmmmmm..."

"Don't answer that."

Thace snorted softly before he quietly puts the cupcakes aside and sighs quietly. It wasn't that he didn't want to go with Ulaz. He normally liked parties especially with his friends and his husband where he could show off his baking and decorating skills, his favorite time to do it being the winter seasons such as Winter's Gifting and Christmas.

But Halloween...it always set him a bit on edge. Especially with the mad doctor stuff...

Normally he wasn't bad with doctors, especially since he was married to one. Ever since his time with the Druids though, he could still remember the doctors they would send in to try and interrogate him in between sessions with the shock treatment.

He just can't help his reactions when he sees those mad doctors on the posters of movies, the costumes in the aisles, or having some jerk try to scare him in a mad doctor uniform. The last one who did that ended up with their teeth punched in and Ulaz bringing his cane down on their head.

Thace took in a slow deep breath before he sits down to add more intricate details. It would all be fine. He would be fine. He was going to a Halloween party with old friends and comrades. They wouldn't do anything to make him crazy...

It was then he hears footsteps and he looks up from his work.

"You ready swee—holy fuck!" He puts a hand on his chest, with a sharp gasp.

The familiar Galra doctor mask and bloodied up uniform is what greets Thace as he almost knocks over his baked creation. After a moment of deep breathing and trying to get his fur to go down, he then grows.

"Ulaz! What the fuck!?" He stands and stomps up to him, "You KNOW I hate mad doctor stuff! What the hell is this!?"

There's no answer, which only made Thace's fur puff up angrily. He growls and then rubs his fingers through his head of fur. With all the things he has to deal with, why did Ulaz think dressing up like this would be ok!?

Slowly he took in a deep breath, "Laz, please go change, I really can't deal with this."

When he looks up, he frowns when he sees he hasn't moved, "Ulaz. I mean it. Please go change. You're making me really fucking nervous. Hey!" He waves his hand in front of his face, "Do you hear me under that mask? Please go change honey!"

"I haven't even come out yet Thace!"

He freezes when he hears his husband's voice from the bathroom before he looks at the person in front of him. Confusion crosses his face a moment as he frowns a bit. If Ulaz was still getting ready in the bathroom...then who...?

A hand shoots out and grabs Thace's neck, squeezing it.

"Ulk...!"

...

Ulaz sighed as he closes the bathroom door, while shaking his head. Honestly, Thace needed to calm down, he wasn't even in his full get up yet.

He sighs as he tugs at his costume: it was a full body suit of a skeleton. He just needed to finish drying the fur around his head and then he can start painting his face. A smile graces his face as he picks up the blow dryer and starts to dry his head.

Tonight he wanted him and Thace to just relax and have fun. He had already told their friends that if even one of them decided to dress as a mad, murderous, blood or all of the above then he would raise hell!

...

Thace tried to scream as his throat is squeezed by the person in a mad doctor costume. When he hears the blow dryer turn on he feels dread fill him.

A shout escapes him as he's thrown across the room and into the table with a small cracking sound. His back goes out as he falls to the ground. Though when he sees those mud caked and blood soaked boots approaching he tries to move away.

He grunts when he is grabbed again and then thrown on to the table, only making his back worse. The lights over him like those of an operation table. He starts to hyperventilate as he feels his heart pound a mile a minute.

"No..! NO! NO NO ULAZ HELP ME—!" a gloved hand smacks over his mouth, "MMMPHNN!"

The doctor standing over him slowly presses a gloved finger over his masked mouth before waving it back and forth in front of his face. Thace watches as the doctor reaches back by his hip and slowly pulls out a knife.

Immediately Thace attempts to shove him off. He had to get free he just had to! He needed to run! Run and get Ulaz, then get help! He needed to—

The hand squeezes his mouth harder, before slowly the knife pokes at Thace's exposed stomach. A loud whimper escapes him when he feels it glide over the skin, remember the scalpels that would be stabbed into his side or how his back canines had been removed by gloved hands just like this...!

"It appears, Commander Thace..." the doctor hisses softly, voice hidden by a vocoder, "...that you will require emergency surgery."

Thace's eyes widen when the knife pierces into his stomach and slowly drags up. He is stiff and still. Blood immediately seeps our and gushes over the fur of his stomach, before going down his sides and bleeding out on to the table. A muffled gurgle leaves him as his hands flinch on the table and he gags.

"Hmm...I bet you believed you had only seen the last of me...do you even remember me from your time being interrogated?" He chuckles sinisterly, "You have no idea how long I have waited to finish what I started with you, traitor. To think you believed you could ever escape...that you could live our a normal life after so long...that you even deserve one. Well...you almost did."

He tries again to push him off, but feeling the sharp, cold steel piercing into his flesh, lightly prodding at his intestines and then hitting the end of his sternum makes him shake weakly.

His eyes start to fill with tears.

It's like the world around him flashes between being back on the Main Fleet and here. Having those doctors prodding at him, threatening him with the scalpels, telling him how they would cut him open and leave him open and dying...

"It's almost funny. Your beloved mate has no idea you're down here, being cut open and hollowed out. Getting ready for a night of fun...what a shame that it's ruined."

The knife twists making Thace flinch. The tears stream down his face as blood gushes out of his mouth and starts to pool on to the table, staining the cupcakes and the goodies he had made.

He...he had just wanted a night to have fun.

"It's almost poetic. Instead of dying on the battlefield, in a blaze of glory, you get to die here like a coward...just what you deserve," that masked face leans over him, pushing the blade into the bones of his ribs, "Where is your precious Ulaz, hmmm?"

CLUNG!

Something very hard connects to the attacker's head. He hisses and stumbles back, gripping at his mask. It starts to crack softly as he grunts.

Then there's another strike. Then another, and another, and another...

"Don't. You. Ever..." CRACK! "Touch." CRCK! "My." CRNCH! "Husband!"

Thace is shaking, as he raises his hands up. He stares at his own blood staining them before he coughs and gags helplessly.

Standing in front of him, make up half on and holding up his now blood stained cane was Ulaz. The intruder was on the ground down, his mask broken and some blood slowly pooling under his head.

"Ghhh...ulk...nnngghkkkk..."

Ulaz brings it down again with a growl, his yellow eyes seeming to brighten as he watched this...this bastard choking on his own blood from the head trauma. He breathes heavily a moment, before he hears a wheezed whimper coming from the table.

Slowly he looked over, his eyes widening.

The sight that greets him is his husband, his mate, the one who he went through hell and back with...cut open along his stomach and bleeding out while choking on his blood in his mouth.

That last thing Thace hears is Ulaz's cane dropping to the floor...and then his scream as he fell unconscious.