"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 2
The Alliance Calls on Arus

The midnight quiet of the Castle of Lions was suddenly interrupted by the incoming message from Galaxy Garrison.  Coran received the message first, then called the Voltron Force away from the warmth of their beds to the Control Room for a sub-space call from the Council of Elders on Earth.

Hunk, naturally, protested to being dragged out of his bed, for some political mumbo-jumbo that could have waited until morning. 

"Okay, this had better be good!  I need my beauty sleep!"  He whined

"Yeah, me too!  I was dreaming of being on a warm, sunny beach, only to wake up to find I wasn't surrounded by beautiful girls, just covers!"  Lance beefed.  "This better be worth it!"

Keith, now tired of listening to the belly aching, reprimanded his team members "That's enough, guys!  Obviously this is important, or they wouldn't have called us this early!"

Hunk and Lance twisted their faces in disapproval of the reprimand.  Hunk leaned into Lance, and whispered in his ear, so Keith wouldn't hear  "He's such a sour puss!" 

Lance leaned into Hunk's ear next "Yeah, but he's right.  Something must be up."

"Yeah, but why does something always have to be up when I'm not?"  Hunk said, referring to his slumber. 

Princess Allura, adorned in her pink bathrobe and fluffy pink slippers, walked over toward Coran.  "Well, we're all here.  Put the Council on visual." 

"Yes, Princess."  Coran replied, as he flipped open the ultra wave.  "Vice-Marshall Graham, are you there, sir?"

The giant main monitor came alive with a flash of bright light.  Then the picture focused in on a chamber room on Earth, containing the members of the Council of Elders.  Graham was at the head of the table.

"Yes, Coran.  I would like to start by
saying thank you to all of you, for allowing
us to drag you away from your sleep at
such an indecent hour."  Graham began.

Hunk again leaned into Lance's ear... "Yeah, he ain't kidding..." he huffed.

"We have a situation on Planet Zorn in the Crimson Quadrant.  War has once again erupted there.   With such an endless quantity of Laison on that planet, we feel Zarkon and Lotor may try to conquer them.  We are calling on you, Voltron Force, to be ambassadors for Galaxy Garrison, and offer friendship, and a place as a member in the Alliance." Graham concluded. 

Admiral Fiore, who was standing to the left of Graham, added:  "We should warn you that Queen Serena has made it clear that you would not be welcome on her planet.  But we are asking you to go, nevertheless, and offer peace to this warring world."

Graham once again spoke.  "You must understand that this could be a tricky mission.  But you five are the Alliance's best hope for peace.  Will you go and represent the Alliance?"

Allura signaled Coran to mute the conversation that she was about to entertain in the Control Room.  Coran nodded to the Princess when he had done as she asked.

She then turned to the boys...  'Well, what do you think?"  She asked then all.

At first, she looked to Keith, who had his chin down, and his arms crossed in front of him.  It appeared to her that he was in deep thought...or half asleep.  Either way, he obviously was not going to be the first to speak up. 

So, Allura interjected her own thoughts first.  "I think this is a grave situation.  We have to keep Zarkon and Lotor from getting their hands on this planet."

Pidge agreed, "Yeah, it could spell real trouble if we just let them get conquered.  We have to go, even if they don't want us to."

"Why should we risk our necks for a planet full of bitterness toward anyone who tries to help them out?  Give me one good reason why we should go!"  Lance shouted, clinching his fist upward.

Hunk spoke up next... "Yeah, I'm tired of going here and going there and for what?  So we can get our tails kicked in?  I'm with Lance!  Let 'em figure it out for themselves!"

Allura's jaw stiffened with anger.  "I can't believe what I'm hearing from you two!  It's a good thing for me that you didn't think that way about Arus, when you first came here to rescue us!"

"That was different!"  Lance snapped back at her.  "Your planet was already part of the Alliance!  We were obligated to come and help you!  This planet has no allegiance with anyone, and sounds like it doesn't want any, either!   I say let them figure out there own problems!"

"That's no fair, Lance!"  Allura shouted.  "How can you be so cruel?  There has got to be people on that planet who yearn for peace!   We must go, for their sakes!"

As the exchange came to a close, Keith finally lifted his chin up and looked at the group.  It appeared obvious which way he was going to go. His face had a look of determination on it.   He cleared his throat to gain attention from the floor. 

"Keith?'  Allura asked directly. "What do you think we should do?"

Keith looked at the Princess for a moment, then looked at the screen, where the Council of Elders awaited an answer.  He then turned completely around to face the group, placing his back to the screen. 

"We have to go... period." he said simply, but firmly.

"Oh, that 's just great, Keith!"  Lance flipped his arms in the air.  "Why bother to have a discussion, when the Commander obviously has the last word anyway!  You still haven't given me a good reason why we should go!"

Keith walked up to Lance, and gently placed his hand on his shoulder.  "Because, it's the right thing to do, and you know it."  Keith then turned and walked away from Lance.  He then took center floor to address the whole team. 

"Listen, we have a responsibility to help anyone who needs it.  Voltron is the defender of freedom and the champion of justice.  If we turn our backs on this opportunity to offer peace to a planet that so desperately needs it, we'll be turning our backs on humankind.  The people of this planet are human, not machines.  Allura's right...there has got to be someone on that planet that wants peace!  We have to go even if it's for one person we still have to go!"  

Hunk's angered disposition melted into a sigh.  "You're right, Keith.  We have to go.  I must be overtired.  I wasn't thinking about all of that.  Count me in."

"Yeah, well.... count me out!"  Lance shouted.  "I'm still not convinced that we need to go and stick our necks out for a planet..."

"...a planet like yours was... is that why you don't want to go, Lance?"  Keith turned around and got into Lance's face.  "There are villages on this planet!  We all know that.  Maybe one might look something like your home!  Is it that you're afraid it might remind you too much of your home that was destroyed, and the family you've lost?"

Lance just stared at Keith blankly.  "So what if it does?  Do you condemn me for my feelings?"

"Of course not!  I'm asking you to rise above them and come with us!  We need you, Lance.  This planet needs you too.  Don't turn your back on them!  Do for another what you wished someone could have done for you!  This planet doesn't have to be destroyed by Zarkon's evil.   We can make a difference.  All of us can!"

Keith's hand gently squeezed Lance's shoulder.  "Lance, someone else is going to loose their mother, their brother and sister...just like you did all those years ago.  Maybe we can stop it from happening again.  Maybe we can't.  But isn't it worth a try?"

Lance thought for moment about how much he wished someone would have arrived sooner to help save his village on Planet Ebb.  What if there was someone like him on Zorn, praying that someone would come to help save the planet they so desperately loved, before it was destroyed? 

An image of his mother came to mind.  He never saw her again, or his brother and sister, after the village was destroyed. 

Tears formed in Lance's eyes.  He took his hands and wiped his eyes quickly, nodding his head with Keith. 

"I knew we could count on you, Lance!" Keith said happily.

"Do you think she might still be there among them?"  Lance added while regaining his composure.

Keith put his head down and bit his lower lip. 

"She really loved you, you know, even when she left the academy to go live there, she said she'd love you forever."  Lance added.

Keith smiled and patted Lance on the back.  "That was along time ago, my friend.  Things change."  He replied quietly, so not to drawn attention from Allura.  Then he turned to Coran.  "Any thoughts?"  He asked.

Coran smiled, "None, Commander.  Just take care of our Princess."

Keith turned and regarded Allura.  "Don't worry, Coran.  I'll watch out for her."

"As if I need your protection, Commander!"  She chuckled.  "It may turn out that I should protect you!"

"From what?"  Keith chuckled back.

"How about another woman?"  Lance thought. 

"I think we should give the Council our decision."  Pidge interrupted.

Keith cleared his throat a bit, his face flushed with a rosy color of embarrassment.  "Yes, of course...  Coran open the COM."

Keith turned to address the Council, Allura now joining him at his side.  "Marshall Graham, we all agree to go to Planet Zorn and offer the friendship of Voltron and the Galaxy Alliance."

The Council members broke out in smiles and applause.  Graham breathed a sigh of relief at their decision. 

He then addressed the young space explorers.  "I want you to leave at dawn.  Remember that this is a very delicate operation.  All methods of diplomacy must be used toward these people.  If, however, they refuse your help at all angles, you are ordered to leave the planet at once.  You will inform them that if Zarkon does attack them, we will not interfere unless they ask us to.  Is that understood, Commander?"

"Perfectly, Sir."  Keith replied, giving a military salute to the Council. 

"Good."  Graham finished.  "And now, we bid you a good rest of the night."

Suddenly, the main screen blackened out, as Earth disconnected communications.  Keith turned to his team.  "Alright everyone.  Let's get some rest.  We have a big day ahead of us."

Keith lingered behind, as everyone left the room. He sat down at the control board...and stared mindlessly at it. 

Moments later, Allura poked her head back into the Control Room, to see why Keith was still here.  She quietly approached him from behind.

"Are you okay?"  She asked him, placing her hand on his shoulder.

He was just staring at the blank screen.  Without even looking at her, he confided in her.  "I'm concerned."

"About the mission?"  She asked.

"No... about someone I think may still be there."  He quietly replied.  "Someone I wasn't expecting to see again."

Now, Allura became concerned.  "Who?  Who are you wondering about?" 

Keith sighed heavily.  "Well, Princess.  Her name was Amy.  She attended the academy with Lance, Sven and I.  She and I dated a few times, but things just didn't work out between us.  She was crushed when we parted ways.  She was assigned to Zorn, because her main field of study required her to live among the people of Zorn as a mentor of peace.  I never heard from her again."  He bowed his head, his words seemingly filled with regret.

Allura looked away from him her heart finding its way to her throat suddenly.  "And now, you're thinking about her, and your feelings for her have somehow changed.  Is that it?" she asked calmly.

Keith quickly turned around to face Allura.  He rose to his feet and grabbed her shoulders to focus her attention on him.  "No, that's not it at all!   I haven't changed my feelings for her!  It wasn't meant to be.  She was my friend, that's all!"

He wanted to make sure that Allura didn't misunderstand his feelings about Amy, if they should meet.  His feelings were strong for Allura, although he had no idea if she shared the same feelings for him.  He had spent months trying gently to get to know her better.

Rides on horseback in the country...
Quiet dinners for two....
Silent evening walks through the castle gardens, just the two of them...

But in all this time spent together, Keith had never revealed to her how he truly felt about her.

He just couldn't. 

It wasn't his place to love her.  And yet, he found he simply couldn't help himself.  He resigned himself to remain content with his unshared feelings for the Arusian Princess, believing it was the right thing for herand him.

Even so, he wanted her to know in case they met up with Amy on Zorn.   "Allura, it's over and behind me.  She was a good friend.  That's all, okay?"

Allura frowned from within herself.  Outwardly, she kept a stiff upper lip.  "But what if you see her and, well..."

"No... nothing like that!  She's nothing special to me, Allura.  Please believe that!"  He tried to convince her, stopping short of saying what was truly in his heart for the young princess was love. 

"I'm not interested in her!" Keith repeated.

"Keith, you don't have to glean your soul for my sake," she said quietly, knowing well that if this woman did mean something more to him, Allura would be crushed.

"Princess, I'm not going to run off with her!  I'm in your service.  Arus is my home.  I think you know that.  And I would never do something to hurt you." 

He smiled at her, then took her hand in his, and in one quick motion, knelt in front of her, gallantly kissed the back of her hand.  "Shall I slay a dragon to prove my undying devotion for you, fair Princess Allura?"

Allura giggled playfully.  "If you think you can find one, go ahead!  But in the meantime, how about escorting me to my chambers?"

"Now that, I can do!"  He rose to his feet and extended his elbow to her.  She latched on, and they both walked out of the Control Room together, turning out the lights as they left.

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