"The Ambassadors of Arus."

Story by Adele
Story Copyright 2002
A story based on the series, "Voltron, The Third Dimension"

The characters of Voltron are the property of World Event Productions.  All other characters are the copyright of Adele.  Please do not use them without asking for permission.  Thank you.


Chapter 1
The Council of Elders

Far away, in the Denubian Galaxy, lay Planet Zorn, in the Crimson Quadrant.  Two warring tribes inhabited Zorn.  In recent years, war had escalated to the point where the Galaxy Alliance had taken notice.  With all the violence going on there, surely Zarkon and his forces of Doom would also take notice of the vulnerable state the planet was in, and attempt to conquer them. 

Zorn had never expressed an interest in becoming a member of the Alliance.  But then again, it never expressed an interest in not wanting to join.

Amalgamus, the Galaxy Alliance's genius cyborg robot, was out on a diplomatic mission elsewhere.

Replacing Amalgamus, Vice-Marshall Jonathan Graham would convene a meeting of Galaxy Garrison's Council of Elders, to discuss the situation on Zorn, and to discuss options that might be offered to the warring people of the troubled planet. 

The Council of Elders consisted of Chief Admirals, representing the nine hundred planets of the Alliance.  The Council was charged with keeping the peace within the Alliance factions, and offering help to planets, like Zorn, who are at risk of being over taken by evil forces of either the Drule Empire or the Empire of Doom.

It was Graham's duty as senior Council member, to bring up potential troubled areas to Amalgamus and the rest of the elders.  Zorn, however, had a fierce reputation on how it treats intruders from the outside. 

Convincing the Council that someone should go there to present an offer of peace, could prove to be a difficult task.

Admiral Antonio Fiore was a strong and cautious member of the Council, and always proved to be a formidable 'stick in the mud" when it came to matters such as these.  His opinions also gained much support amongst his fellow Council members.  Marshall Graham knew that unless he convinced Fiore first, there would be no hope that the Council as a whole would accept the idea to reach out to Planet Zorn.

And so, with that in mind, Graham invited Admiral Fiore over to his home for a personal meeting, for the purpose of presenting his point in private.  The two men sat down with a cup of tea, beginning first with idle chit-chat.  Then, the conversation got more serious...

"Antonio, I've invited you over to discuss a matter of great importance." Graham began.  "Our sources have informed me that Planet Zorn in the Crimson Quadrant, has again become out of control with its inner struggles amongst the people.  It's fast being thought of as an easy target for King Zarkon and Prince Lotor.  I would like to see us send a peace ambassador to offer membership into the Alliance."

Admiral Fiore finished a sip of the hot tea, and then, put it down on the living room table before him.  His silence was deafening. 

Graham pressed him for an answer.  "Antonio?"

"Why?"  Fiore finally muttered, refusing to make eye contact with Graham, but instead, smugly crossing his arms in front of him.

Graham mounted his defense  "Antonio, come now!  You know as well as I do, that if Zarkon gets his hands on that planet, it would be another stepping stone he could use to mount a serious attack against us!  That planet is rich with unlimited supplies of Laison, and if Zarkon gets his hands on that, it could spell trouble for us down the line!"

Fiore thought for a moment.  He inhaled slowly,  "Jonathan, I know you wish peace for all the planets in all the quadrants.  I agree that it is important to keep these resources out of Zarkon's hands. But tell me, old friend, who are we going to send to offer the olive branch?  Zorn's reigning monarch, Serena Octavia, has made it plain that she will not welcome strangers to her planet.  The Queen can be pretty stubborn, and very dangerous.  Who do you send?  Who will go?"

Graham already had that thought out.  "We could send Commander Keith Hunter."  He replied quietly.  

"From Arus?"  Fiore replied quickly, now making direct, wide-eye contact with Graham. "Why send him?  He's charged with protecting Planet Arus!  He's not a diplomat!  He's a soldier!  A pilot!"

"Yes, I know.  I wasn't thinking of just him, but Voltron.  He's our best Ambassador. "
Graham clarified.  "Voltron has always been well respected by many people in many quadrants.  His reputation as a defender of peace is renown.  Voltron's pilots..."

"...are far too young!"  Fiore interrupted.  "His team is made up of a young princess, a hothead daredevil, a late teen, and well...then there's Jonathan Simon."

"You mean, 'Hunk'.  That's what he goes by."  Graham corrected.

"Oh yes... Hunk.  He's a fabulous mechanic, but his IQ matches that of a mouse!  And you want to send him?  You want to send all of them?  These are the people you wish to send to represent us?   Princess Allura, I can see, perhaps, but the rest of them..." Fiore huffed as he shook his head.

"I know they can do it, Antonio..." Graham affirmed confidently.

Fiore thought for a moment, then looked up at Graham...  "I don't know, Jonathan.  This is a very risky operation.  I don't like the idea of putting these young kids in charge of it.  We should send someone with more experience if we are going to send anyone at all!"

"Antonio, Commander Keith Hunter is a brilliant young officer...the best that we've ever produced.  I saw him when he graduated from the Academy.  His IQ scores are higher than those of some of our most 'experienced' people.  And furthermore, Commander Keith will have the assistance of Princess Allura.  She too, has been well trained in the area of negotiation.  I believe we couldn't send anyone finer."

"Hunter hasn't had experience in dealing with such a hostile race of people!  Queen Serena will no doubt turn them away.  He's got to force the issue firmly, but reasonably!"  Fiore said.  "And Princess Allura is far too valuable to risk having her leave her planet.  To remove her presence for such an operation...  I think you would be hard pressed to convince Arus' Magistrate, Coran Anderson, that this is worth risking the Princess' safety."

"Put that fear to rest.  Coran is a personal friend of mine.  He'll agree to it.  He must... because if Zarkon gets hold of that planet, Arus will suffer just as surely as we all will."  Graham finally concluded. 

Fiore picked up his cooling cup of tea, and took another sip.  He then put it down again on the table, and thought things through.

"You know I'm right on this one, Antonio.  Otherwise, you'd be making a bigger fuss." Graham winked.

Fiore looked up and made eye contact again with Graham.  "I don't 'fuss', I simply point out the necessary oversights in your arguments!"  Fiore paused for a moment.  "And you're right.  I'm having a hard time disagreeing with you at the moment.  Do you really think that Commander Hunter can do this?"

"I'm sure he and his team can.  Keith is a well-disciplined Commander, and his team reflects his disciplines.  Besides, what do we have to lose?"  Graham added.

Fiore stared at him for a moment, then brought his gaze back to his cup of tea.  He picked it up again, and took a small sip.  He grimaced for a moment.  Then he held out the cup in front of him to his host...  "I'm losing the taste of this fine cup of tea.  I need a warm up.  And that's all I'll say further on this subject." 

Graham smiled widely, now quietly getting the approval of virtually the entire Council with just one man and his cooling cup of tea.  Graham stood up and took the cup from Fiore. 

"I'll just be a minute.  I'll have it warmed in no time." 

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