A matter of choice – 5

The great ball room was prepared for the welcoming committee. There were tables filled with a wide variety of arusian delicacies. Many of the guests arrived early from different parts of the arusian kingdom. Soon the hall was filled with a lot of people engaged in animated conversations about the new arrival. After the music had begun, many of the guests were starting to fill the dance floor and move elegantly to the rhythm of the music. Among them were Princess Allura and Coran. The princess was enjoying the company of her caretaker and fatherly figure. Some of the Voltron pilots were lurking around the tables eating and commenting among themselves.

Lance made gestures to Hunk when he saw the princess dancing for the second time with Coran.

“Hunk, aren’t you gonna ask the princess to dance?”

“What? Me? Well…I don’t know.” Hunk seemed undecided.

“Oh come on big guy. Don’t tell me that you’re scared of dancing with her?” Lance teased.

“No, it’s not that” Hunk cleared. “I’m waiting until she gets tired of dancing with Coran. Besides, she seems to be willing to dance only with him.”

“Liar, you don’t want to admit that you don’t know how to dance.” Lance accused. “If it was true, you could just cut off while they’re dancing.”

“Just leave me alone, Lance. Go find a maid and hit on her instead of bugging me.” Hunk was annoyed.

Lance chuckled. “Yeah, why not? Or maybe I should go and ask the princess to dance with me instead.”

“You wouldn’t.” Hunk grimaced.

“Why not?” Lance winked.

“Bah! Whatever…” Hunk feigned not being interested in Lance’s suggestion about dancing with the princess. He thought: “Would he dare to cut in between Coran and Allura?”

“What are you two doing?” Pidge interrupted while holding a glass of punch in his hand.

“Oh nothing…yet” Lance shrugged. “It’s just that Hunk doesn’t know how to dance and he doesn’t want to admit it.”

“You prick.” Hunk’s voice was menacingly low.

“Oh come on guys.” Pidge was concerned. “Don’t start fighting” Then he looked at Hunk and said: “I know Lance doesn’t mean that, big guy.”

“I won’t let him get to me,” Hunk shrugged while looking at Pidge. But gazed at Lance briefly before adding: “I’ll ask the princess to dance with me whenever I feel prepared.”

“That’s the spirit big guy!” Pidge cheered.

“Talking about big guys,” Lance looked at Pidge. “What do you think about that new general?”

“Hmmm… intriguing,” Pidge answered. “He must’ve been a spy for the alliance. I would really like to know more about his background. It must be very interesting.”

“Well, we’ll get our chance of knowing him well. He’s here to stay for awhile, at least.” Lance added. “But what I mean is…how is he gonna survive here? Haven’t you noticed how some people look at him?”

“I have,” Hunk answered. “And I don’t think it’s gonna be easy for him.”

“No it won’t.” Pidge said. “You should’ve seen Nanny’s face. She doesn’t like drules too much.”

“She doesn’t like ANYBODY too much” Lance added. “I wouldn’t care that much about what she thinks. She doesn’t work for him… we do. Nanny works for the princess.”

“I know,” Pidge said.

“But I understand what you mean Lance. Not everyone will trust our new general. I don’t think that’s fair. I mean, it’s not his fault that he’s a drule. Isn’t it?” Hunk commented.

“You’re right Hunk. It wouldn’t be nice to judge him for his race. If he’s an alliance general, it must be because he has fought against his own people.” Pidge added.

“Well, we still have to know him well,” Lance said. “Nobody’s perfect”.

“What do you mean by that?” Pidge was wondering.

“Nothing wrong little buddy. Just that we have to get to know him well and how he works,” Lance cleared.

“Hmmm…you’re right.” Pidge answered. “I guess we will get to know him and work with him from now on”.

“Yep, it’s unavoidable.” Lance shrugged. “So Hunk…about the princess. When are you asking her to dance?”

Hunk grimaced at Lance, turned his back and sighed; then he approached a nearby table to go get a glass of punch, completely ignoring Lance’s question.

Lance looked at Pidge and asked gesturing: “Was it something I said?”

When Keith entered the ball room, his dark eyes scanned the place to see who were already present. He couldn’t help but notice how beautiful Allura looked. She seemed so happy dancing with Coran. That’s the only way he wanted to see her: happy and peaceful. He would do anything he could to keep her feeling that way. From the distance she noticed him looking at her. She smiled waving her hand at him so he waved back but immediately felt ashamed of being caught watching her. He would have to dissimulate better next time…

Then he noticed Space Marshall Graham greeting some guests. So he decided to go to him. He wanted to know how much time he was staying in Arus.

“Marshall Graham sir” Keith greeted when he reached him.

“Captain,” Graham answered. “This party is very nice.”

“Yes it is.” Keith agreed. “The people of Arus are quite hospitable. You might want to get to know them better. For how long are you staying sir?”

“Oh, I’m leaving tomorrow first thing in the morning. Weather forecasts are favorable for leaving the atmosphere in the early hours. We have to catch that. You say that the people of Arus are hospitable now… Do you think our general will be welcome among them?” the Marshall wondered.

“I can’t say for sure, but when they start seeing the purpose of his assignment, they will ease up. I’m sure of it.” Keith stated. Keith had worked with drule half breeds before and he knew that if General Sincline had reached such a high rank among the alliance; it must’ve been because he had fought hard to accomplish that. He knew that being a general in the Alliance was only achieved after a long life of service, 30 years minimum, plus having an excellent record in the military.

“And talking about the general, have you seen him arrive?” the Marshall asked.

“I just arrived to the party, but I haven’t seen him”, Keith answered.

“Oh, he’s probably lost in the castle,” the Marshall was concerned. “Did you or Coran give him a map of the castle?”

“I don’t know about Coran, but I haven’t given him anything. But don’t worry, I will seek him out and escort him here if necessary,” Keith suggested.

“Please do. Thank you Keith.” the Marshall answered.

“You’re welcome,” Keith said before leaving the ball room in direction of the dorm’s floor.

Lotor finished unpacking most of his things. He liked his room, it was very accommodating. Much better than he had expected. There was a small window with a view to a nearby forest, he felt luckier than when he was a young soldier and had to stay in barracks. That was a long time ago, but he could still remember. His journey to be a general wasn’t an easy one. More than 60 years of service… being a drule really sucked sometimes. For humans it was 30 years, but for drules the alliance increased it to 45 years because of their lifespan. The alliance still had much to learn. But anyway, he needed to get away from those guys for a while. And Arus was just as far away as he could go.

He didn’t have too much things of his own; learning during his long life not to get attached to material things. Another suggested lesson from his mentor Korzak. He brought his clothes, photos and personal computer. He had what he needed and needed what he had. That was enough for him. He still considered himself a low rank soldier and a wanderer. Life was so fleeting…

He was accommodating the photo of his family beside his bed. The old photo was taken decades ago when he was initially starting his military career. His parents and sister were still young and strong. A blue tall young soldier among peach colored humans. They were all smiling at the picture, reflecting the happier times when he still had a close family. Now they were all gone. But they still existed in his mind and heart. A knock on the door brought him back to the present time.

He went to open it and found the young captain of the Voltron Force saluting him respectfully.

“At ease Captain Kogane,” Lotor said. “Is it time to go already?”

“Yes sir. I came to escort you to the ball room, sir.” Keith answered.

“Sure, I was almost ready. It’s good that you came though. I’m still not familiar with this castle,” Lotor answered.

“Marshall Graham supposed you wouldn’t sir,” Keith answered while Lotor closed the door of his room. “I volunteered to escort you.”

“Good. We can go now. I can finish accommodating my few stuff when I come back,” Lotor added.

Keith nodded while signaling Lotor the way through the castle’s corridor.

“This place is absolutely amazing, captain,” Lotor commented. “I bet you like being assigned to Arus.”

“Well the place is comfortable, but the work is…should I say, challenging,” Keith wanted to be cautious of his expressions before the general. He didn’t want to insult the drules directly and make Lotor feel uncomfortable. It was kind of awkward but Lotor was his superior, after all.

“It must be… war is never easy; on either side,” Lotor seemed pensive. “I’ve been researching about Arus but I still have to learn a little bit more. I hope you guys will help me accomplish that.” Lotor said with an informal tone.

Keith was a little puzzled when he heard Lotor talk that way, but still he answered: “We will help you in anything we can, sir.”

“Great. I guess this will be the beginning of a fructiferous relationship. What do you think captain?”

Keith looked up at the general with a puzzling gaze just to find Lotor smiling back at him. He thought that the general made that informal comment, in an apparent attempt to inspire warmth and comradeship. Hence Keith felt intrigued by him. What kind of person might this general be? He was a drule allegedly raised by humans; maybe partly human too. So Keith smiled back at him and answered:

“I really hope that too, sir”

Both officers arrived at the ball. Lotor was greeted by the Marshall and Coran upon entering the great ballroom. A little bit later, Princess Allura called for the attention of all the guests and presented officially the newcomer to all the gathering.

Lotor still noticed the mixed reactions to his presence. But through all the whispers and comments, he kept his head high. He was there to accomplish a mission and nothing would deviate him from his purpose.

During the evening he briefly shared with each of his subalterns, whom he found very lively and intelligent. He could perceive Capt. Kogane as a serious but responsible leader. Lt. Holgersson seemed to be as serious and disciplined as the captain. Lt. McClain reflected the characteristics of being an impulsive young man but smart nevertheless. Lt. Garett was undoubtedly the strongest of them all, an asset very useful in battle. But he was impressed by Lt. Stoker’s brilliance. The youngest of them all had the characteristics of a genius, making questions and statements that really amazed Lotor.

Henceforth his perception of the Voltron Force completely changed that night. He felt sure that his mission on Arus had a good start. Only time would tell if his mission would end the same way…

-To be continued-

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: