"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.

Enjoy!


Chapter 5
An Unfriendly Reception

Planet Zorn was not unlike Earth or Arus.  An atmosphere rich in oxygen, and plenty of flora. There was also plenty of violence on the surface of the planet.  In some spots, smoke was so thick from burning cities, that it could be seen from above the planet.

Voltron moved quickly into place, hovering just above the first layer of atmosphere.  Keith hailed his team first before opening a channel to the planet. 

"Okay team, this is it.  Depending on the reception we get here, we either go in as friends, or foes.  But we are going in, regardless."

"Got it!"  Lance replied first.

"Okay, let's do it!"  Hunk said next.

"All set here, Commander!"  Pidge also replied.

"Ready when you are, Keith." Allura replied lastly.

Keith nodded his head.  "Alright, here we go!" 

Next, he opened a channel to the surface.  Clearing his voice in an effort to sound more diplomatic, he then spoke clearly through the COM. 

"Planet Zorn... come in Planet Zorn.  This is Commander Keith Hunter of Voltron.  We have been sent here by the Galaxy Alliance to offer you peace and friendship.  Please respond."

There was no response.  

Keith tried it again.  "I repeat, this is Commander Keith Hunter, speaking to you from Voltron.  We have traveled a great distance from Planet Arus.  We are hovering above your planet, and would very much like to offer you our friendship, and the friendship of the Galaxy Alliance.  The Alliance has been monitoring your situation and is ready to offer you assistance.  Please respond!" 

Suddenly, there was static.  Keith boosted the gain in an effort to bring the sound in clearly.  Then, the response came through.

"This is Queen Serena Octavia of Zorn!  You are not welcome, Voltron!  Return from where you came from.  We have no desire to hear anything you have to say!  Repeat... you are not welcome, Voltron!   Leave Zorn at once!" 

Then the communication cut out.

Keith lowered his head. 

Lance hailed the team.  "Well, not a very friendly sort, are they?"

Allura sighed out loud.  "A whole planet in utter chaos, and they refuse help.  I don't understand."

"I know, it makes no sense to me either, Princess." Keith agreed while adding a sigh of his own.

"So now what?"  Hunk asked.  "Do we just sit up here, or do we really go in?"

"What do you think?"  Pidge replied sarcastically at him.  "Of course we go in!"

"Keith?"  Allura asked.  "We have to go down there, whether they want us to or not.  There must be at least one person down there who wants peace!"

"Our orders were to go in, and adequately offer peace.  That hasn't been done yet.  We have no choice. we have to go in.  Ready, team?" Keith commanded.

"We're with you, Skipper!"  Pidge shouted.  "I've scanned the ground surface and found an excellent spot to land.  I'll feed you the coordinates."

"Prepare to enter the atmosphere!"  Keith called out, as he moved Voltron into the first layer of atmosphere. 

Layer after layer, they made there way toward the planet surface.  Keith had focused his sensors to the ground as they approached, just in case there wasn't a warm reception waiting down there.  The ground grew closer and closer.

"Okay team... landing in 5...4...3...2...1..."

"Touchdown!"  Lance shouted.  "And the crowd goes wild!"

Allura checked her sensors.  "What crowd?" she commented.  "There's no one around for miles!"

"It was a joke!" Lance snorted back.

"I don't get it." Allura replied innocently. 

"Uh, never mind, Princess," Keith cut in.  "I'll explain it later."

"Over dinner maybe, Chief?" Hunk snickered.

"All right, all right!  Just settle down and let's get down to business here!" Keith said in an obviously annoyed tone.


Voltron landed quite unceremoniously, and no one appeared to be in sight. 

"Okay" Keith said through the COM.  "Equip yourself each with a blaster, your jetpacks, and make sure your wrist communicators are operational.  We're going to stick together, but just in case we need to separate at some point, I want a way to keep in communication with one another."

"Right!"  A boisterous shout came from everyone.  

The escape hatches opened on all the lion heads, and one by one, the team emerged from the shelter of their lions.  Lance was the last to land on the ground.  Pidge, Hunk, Allura and Lance lined up in a military stance, awaiting orders from Keith. 

"Pidge, get me a read out of life signs in the area."  Keith directed first.

Pidge turned around, and used his hand held computer to scan the area.  Suddenly, Pidge shouted "Commander, there are humanoid life signs over that next ridge.  About two dozen or so."

Keith stepped forward and looked at the computer reading in Pidge's hand.  Then he looked up.  He took a few steps forward from the group and stared toward the area Pidge had pointed out.  All eyes were on the Commander.

He suddenly turned around, a determined look on his face.  "Okay team, we didn't just come here to look at the scenery.  Activate jetpacks, and set them for low level air travel.  We'll land just over the ridge, before we hit the group of people."

Keith then turned to Pidge.  "Pidge I want you to take the lead.  Find a spot with trees where we can land first and evaluate the situation.  I don't want to fly in directly before seeing what we have to deal with."  He then turned to the rest of the team.  "Stay low to the ground to avoid detection."

"Got it!  Let's go!"  Pidge responded, activating his jets.  The rest of the team followed. 

They all approached the ridge, glided through the air swiftly, while staying close to the ground, zigzagging between trees and brush.  Pidge's computer homed in on a spot near the small village.  He led the team to a batch of trees. 

Each one landed quietly in the bushes nearby.  Keith and Pidge hid behind one bush, Hunk took another one, and Lance and Allura behind a third bush.  Keith looked over Pidge's shoulder to see the readings. 

Pidge looked up at Keith.  "It's a small village of people and it seems that they are behaving themselves...no sign of violence.  What do you want to do, Keith?"


Keith thought for a moment.  And what he was thinking about was risky.  '

Safety in numbers...he remembered his academy training had taught him that.  But how safe was safe? 

He grabbed the computer from Pidge, and called up some additional readings using the keypad.  He was, by no means, as proficient with it as Pidge was, but he managed.  He scanned for variables of male -verses- female numbers.  He smiled when he found that the male population appeared to be only three men in the twenty-two-person community.

Satisfied with the odds, he opened up his wrist COM to the others.  "Looks like there's only three guys over there.  The rest are woman.  I think we can all safely approach.  But be on guard, and watch over each other.  This is risky, but we didn't come here to sit in the shadows."

"Works for me!"  Lance replied.  "The sooner, the better!  I hate all this sneaking around."

"Okay, let's move out.  I'll take the lead.  Pidge is behind me, Allura, Lance... and then Hunk, you bring up the rear.  Got it?"

"I'll cover your butts, don't worry!" Hunk chuckled.

"Let's go!"  Keith said, as he cautiously stood up, waving everyone to fall in line. 

The village was a short jog from their position.  Keith deliberately made lots of noise, to alert the villagers of their presence. 

Hunk remained at the back end of the procession.  His eyes wide open for any sign of trouble. His hand was covering his blaster just in case.

As they entered the village, they noticed the people had disappeared from sight.  "Hello!" Keith shouted, his voice echoing.  "Hello!  Is there anyone here?  We've come in peace!  We won't hurt you!" 

Just then, Allura's foot tripped something on the ground in the dirt.  Suddenly, a net flashed out from beneath her, scooping up herself, Lance and Hunk.  Keith darted around, nearly running over Pidge. 

Allura screeched as she suddenly found herself underneath the body weight of Lance and Hunk.  Her face was pressed up against the netting.  She struggled to get her hands up in front of her.

The net trap had them hoisted nearly 20 feet in the air.  Keith stood under it, Pidge right behind him. 

"Okay, stay calm!"  Keith called up to them.  Then turned to Pidge, "Help me find the line!"  referring to the rope end and where it was attached to.

Pidge and Keith scoured the area looking for the rope end.  The rope appeared to be looped through the trees somehow.  Then, Pidge spotted it, attached to a large limb nearby. 

"I found it, Keith!"  Pidge called out to him and then turned around to head over to where it was tied off. 

Suddenly Pidge let out a yell, feeling the ground beneath his feet give way.  He was now falling into deep pit. 

"Keith!  Help me!"  He shouted just before he hit the ground. 

Keith turned around with a jolt, hearing Pidge's cry for help.  "I'm coming, Pidge!  Hang on!" 

As he quickly made his way to the pit, the thought came to his mind... "Well, this was a great idea!" 

He reached the pit and found Pidge in it.  Keith quickly pulled a long nylon rope out of his utility belt.  He extended it down to Pidge, who then grabbed it.  Keith steadied himself, digging his feet into the ground for leverage before Pidge began his climb. 

"Come on, Pidge, hoist yourself out of there!  Hurry!" 

Pidge placed his hand computer into his pocket and grabbed the rope.   He began to climb up the steep pit; his feet up against the wall as his arms pulled him up.  Keith strained to hold his ground while Pidge climbed. 

As Pidge reached the top, and dug his fingers into the soft dirt, he suddenly noticed the person approaching Keith from behind. 

"Look out, Keith!  Behind you!" he shouted.

Keith quickly started to turn around, but was shoved with great force to the ground.  His lion helmet flew off of his head as he landed face first, into the dirt.  The rope was still attached to his belt, and Pidge was left hanging on by his fingers at the edge of the pit. 

The attacker was shrouded in a black mask.  Keith winced as the attacker jumped on top of him, pinning him to the ground. 

As Pidge climbed out of the pit, someone else came up behind him, grabbing him and holding him.  "Let me go!"  Pidge shouted, kicking and screaming. 

Keith struggled to gain ground with his attacker that had him pinned.  No chance of that, though.  The guy had him, sitting squarely on his middle back. 

Keith decided to try and reason with his foe,  "Look, we didn't come here to hurt you!  I know that's all you've been use to seeing, but trust me!  We're on your side!  If you'd just listen to me and give us a chance, we can help you!"

"Keith...these guys aren't listening!" Pidge struggled. 

The grip loosened suddenly, and the figure got up off of Keith's back.  When the attacker was clear, Keith rolled over quickly into a squatting position, waiting for the next move.  He stared at the shrouded figure.  He could clearly see the outline of a female body beneath the black outfit. 

The attacker backed away suddenly, then turned and motioned the other larger figure to release Pidge. 

Pidge then quickly ran over to join Keith.   "Keith!"  Pidge shouted.  "Are you okay?" 

Upon hearing his name spoken again, the figure stepped forward, and knelt before Keith.  Curious, Keith stared at the mask.  "Please..." he pleaded.  "We don't want to hurt you.  We're here on a peace mission."

The masked attacker looked at Keith.   Then, from beneath the mask, a female voice uttered out loud.  "I thought it was you...your voice...but it's been so long...that...I just wasn't sure!"

Keith looked at the attacker.  Pidge too, was curious about the female voice, claiming to know his commander.

Keith squinted... "Is is that you?"  He knew that voice.   "Amy?"

The female removed her mask, revealing the face of a beautiful young woman with brown shoulder-length hair... about Keith's age. 

"Yes... Keith, its me!"  She then through herself into his arms,  "How did you find me?"

Confused, Keith put one arm around the young woman.  "By accident, really!" 

Pidge was really confused.  Who was this strange woman?  How did Keith know her, and what is she doing on this planet? 

Finally, Pidge couldn't take the suspense any longer.  "Okay, someone want to explain what's going on here?"

The woman stood up.  "My name is Amy Johnson.  I'm the leader of this village and a special friend to Keith."  Then she turned her head and glanced at him.  "At least, I hope I still am." 

Keith's mouth was hanging open.  She was the last person he expected to find right off. 

"Amy I... I can't believe it!  What are you still doing here?  You were supposed to be here for only a few months!  Why are you still here?  Why didn't you go back to Earth with expedition team?"
 
"I couldn't leave, Keith.  These people needed my help.  They were lost souls."  She responded.

Keith got himself off the ground and looked at her.  "You abandoned your commission?  But you worked so hard for it!  Why give it up to stay here?" 

"I thought I could make a difference in some way."  She quietly said.

"The whole planet's in war with itself!  How could you possibly think you could make a difference?"  he argued back.  "You're one person among millions of people!"

"Well, you obviously thought you could make a difference otherwise, why would you be here?" she replied.

"I'm here because Galaxy Garrison sent me here to offer peace and admittance into the Alliance.  But my orders state that if I can't accomplish that, I'm to leave.  You should have too!"  Keith put his hand on her shoulder.  "You should have left a long time ago!"


She shook her head.  "No Keith, not after what I've seen in these people.  I couldn't turn my back on them."  A tear came to her eye as she looked at him.  "I'm so glad to see you!  You don't know how glad I am to see you!"  Then she again threw herself into his arms.  "Hold me, please!"

Keith, feeling very awkward, put his arms loosely around Amy.  He wondered how he was going to explain this to the others especially Allura.

Allura...

Lance...  Hunk...

Oh no!

Suddenly, Keith remembered the others, still trapped in the net! 

"Allura!"  He quickly shouted.

Amy pulled away from him suddenly.  "Allura?  Who's Allura?"  She asked, her eyes becoming defensive.

"She's one of my team!  She and two others are stuck in the net" Keith pointed over Amy's shoulder.  "Up there!"

Amy turned around, and began to walk over toward the net dangling in mid-air.  She was interested to see the woman who Keith suddenly remembered was trapped.  It was also curious to hear 'Allura and two others' ...no names except 'Allura'

Amy suddenly felt jealous.  Her love for Keith was still quite strong.  The idea that someone else could occupy his heart instead of her...

As she approached, she looked up at the struggling threesome.  "Keith!"  Hunk shouted.  "Get us down!" 

Keith looked at Amy.  "Please..." he said.  Amy stared at him, then motioned for one of the men to unhook the rope from a nearby building, and slowly lower the netted group to the ground. 

When they had reached the ground, Hunk rolled off the pile, and Lance struggled off of the Princess.  Keith and Pidge ran over to help them up. 

Keith came up to Allura, who was sitting up by this time.  "Are you okay, Princess?"

She shook her head a bit, placing her hand to her forehead.  "Well, I sure found out how it must feel to be a sardine!"

Keith stood up and grabbed her hands and pulled her to her feet.  His hand gently on her back, he walked her over to where Amy stood.  "Princess Allura, I would like to introduce you to Amy Johnson, an old acquaintance of mine."

Allura looked at the very attractive, brown-haired, shapely figured young woman standing before her, and suddenly felt intimidated.  "So, this was the woman Keith spoke of..." she thought.  "She's quite attractive..."

She extended her hand.  "Nice to meet you, Amy." she said with a smile. 

Amy also extended her hand and a fake smile in return,  "And a pleasure to meet you, Princess Allura...Princess of..."

"Of Planet Arus."  She added.  "My planet is home to Voltron.  Keith commands Voltron, and these are our teammates, Lance Andrews, Pidge Villatoro, and Hunk Simon." 

Amy looked at them.  "Nice to meet all of you."  She said lethargically.   She really wasn't very interested in any of them...only in the woman that Keith appeared to be fond of.

Lance noticed her unusual response.  "Did you forget who I am?"  He said to Amy.

She regarded him.  "No, of course not, Lance.  Its just its been so long since I've seen Keith and well...I just passed over you by accident.  Sorry."

"Hey, I might forgive you, but my ego sure won't!"  Lance jested.

"Okay, I'm a bit in the dark here.  How do you know Keith and now, Lance?"  Pidge asked, scratching his head.

"I think we have a few things to explain here."  Keith said. 

"This should be good!"  Hunk laughed out loud. 




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