"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 7
The Obvious Suspect

Morning dawn broke on the horizon as another day began.  It was to be a busy day for the Voltron Force.  This was the day they would have to seek out Queen Serena Octavia, and try to convince her that joining the Alliance would be in the best interest of her planet.

Pidge was already up and about before dawn.  He was stretching and running, in an effort to get rid of some jitters. 

Hunk was still asleep when he left.

Lance was also still asleep when Keith started to come around.  Keith opened his eyes, seeing the light of dawn start to fill his tent.  Rubbing his eyes, he sat up on cot.  His body was cramped.  The cot was not very comfortable at all. 

He stood up and stretched out, first one leg, then the other.  Next, he stretched out his back by doing some bending exercises.  His spine cracked a few times as he limbered up.  Then he dropped to the hard ground and did a few push ups to wake up his muscles a bit. 

Unfortunately, his present surroundings hadn't the luxury of a full gym, as he was used to on Arus. 

Suddenly, Keith heard Pidge screaming outside.  "Keith, Hunk, Lance!  Come quick!"

Keith opened his tent and ran halfway to meet Pidge, who was running up the dirt path, practically tripping over himself. 

Keith grabbed onto Pidge,  "Pidge, what's the matter?"  He shouted. 

Pidge couldn't catch his breath.  He just pointed to Allura's tent.  Keith could see his face was white with fear.

"Pidge, what's the matter?  Talk to me!" He shouted at him.

"A-A- Allura...Allura's missing!"  He pointed, bending in half while trying to catch his breath. "I went to check on her...and she wasn't there... in her bed!  Someone...I think someone..."

Keith left Pidge standing where he was, and dashed back into the tent and shook Lance awake...

"Get up!  Pidge said that Allura's missing!"  Keith grabbed his shirt and slipped it on as he dashed out of the tent again.

Lance jumped out of bed and ran barefoot out the door.  "I knew she couldn't be trusted!"  Lance thought about Amy, as he ran to help Keith look for Allura. 

Hunk too came dashing out of his tent immediately.  He ran for Pidge, who was still trying to catch his breath.  Hunk put his hand on Pidge's back.  "Are you okay, little buddy?'  He asked.

Pidge looked up, sweating from the run.  "Not me, Allura she's  missing!"

"Missing?" Hunk repeated, as if he were an echo.  "Are you sure?  Maybe she just went of a walk or something!"

Pidge pushed air in and out of his lungs.  "We're on strange planet!  She...she wouldn't just...take off on a leisure walk...not without one of us!  And there's big footprints in...in her tent...in the dirt....someone's... been there!"

"Oh Geez!"  Hunk shouted. 

He too took off running for the tent.  When he got there, Keith and Lance were already running through the woods, shouting for the Princess.

"ALLURA!  ALLURA...CAN YOU HEAR ME?"  Keith shouted from one direction.

"PRINCESS!   PRINCESS!   ANSWER ME!"  Lance shouted from another direction.

Keith met Lance, as they exited the woods near her tent.  Hunk just stood there, not really sure what to do next.  "Where's the Princess, guys?" Hunk asked them. 

Keith was looking around in the trees for some reason.  "I'm not sure!  Someone's made off with her!"

Lance gritted his teeth.  "Yeah, and I'll bet I know who's responsible for it too!"

Keith looked at Lance, "Amy..." Keith said somberly.

Lance nodded.  "Why not?  She had motive and intent!" 

Keith turned toward the village.  He motioned his team.  "Come on, let's go!"

The group quickly ran to the village and straight to the house that Amy lived in.  Keith started banging on the door with brut force.  "Open up, Amy!  What have you done with her!"

The lock clicked and Amy opened the door a bit.  She was still in her nightclothes, rubbing her eyes, half-asleep. 

Keith forced open the door, pushing her out of the way.  He then motioned to Lance and Hunk. "Check the rooms!" 

Lance took one room to the left, while Hunk took the room to the right.  Pidge arrived after his friends did, slightly winded, but ready to help search for clues.

Amy started running her hands through her brown hair, unsure why they were searching her house.  She walked up to Keith, demanding to know what he was looking for, "What's all this about, Keith?"

Keith turned around and violently grabbed her arms.  "Where's the Princess?  What have you done with her?" The force of his words was so intense, that his breath could be felt on her face.

"Me?  I...I..." Amy started to answer, startled by his anger.  "I don't know what you're talking about!"

Keith shook Amy.  "What have you done with her... answer me!  You've got to tell me!"

Amy wrenched free from his grip.  "What are you talking about?  Done what with the Princess?  I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about!"

Lance entered the room "Oh sure you don't, Miss Innocent!"  He looked at Keith.  "Nothing in here."

"And nothing in here, either!"  Hunk shouted from the other room. 

Pidge ran in from outside.  "No sign of her anywhere, Commander!"  He shouted.

Keith turned his head and looked back to Amy.  She appeared to be confused.   Keith again asked her...this time, his tone was calmer, "Amy, please...  All I'm asking is that you tell me the truth!  Please, tell me where Allura is!"

"Has something happened?" Amy asked innocently.

"Okay, that's it!" Lance stormed over to her.  "I've had enough of this crap!  Tell us what you did with her!"

Amy finally screamed at the top of her voice.  "I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!"

Keith sighed in frustration.  "Allura...is...missing!" he said, emphasizing each word he pronounced.  "Pidge discovered her gone!  We found large footprints in her tent!  Now...tell
us where she is!"

Amy backed up.  "I can't believe you, Keith.  You think I took her... is that it?"

"That about sums it up!"  Lance said dryly.  "Now, are you going to tell us, or do we drag it out of you?"

Amy looked at Keith, throwing her arms in front to her.  "You've got to believe me!  I don't know where she is. Really I don't!"

Keith closed his eyes, his face becoming strained.  "I want to believe you, Amy.  I... I... just can't!"  He then opened his eyes and looked at her.  "Look, I know you're jealous of Allura.  But please, don't take this out on her!  I'm the one you should be angry with!  Not her!"

"I'm not angry at either of you!  Don't you understand?"  Amy started to shout now. 

"No!  I don't understand!  I don't understand why, with a whole planet to explore, how we happened on your village first!  I don't understand how you can still have this false hope of love for me, even after all of these years!" 

Then Keith walked up to her and grabbed her hands.  "I especially don't understand why I'm starting to believe you now!"

She squeezed his hands in return  "Because, you know in your heart that I didn't do this horrible thing you're accusing me of doing!"

Hunk started to get mad again,  "Yeah, well I don't believe you!   Now, tell us what you did with her!"  Hunk demanded.  "And you better tell us now!"

Hearing Hunk's anger, she focused in on Keith   "Believe me, if I knew where she was, I'd tell you.  But I don't!  I had nothing to do with her disappearance!  Are you sure she just didn't go for a walk and get lost... or something?"

Keith shook his head.  "That's not like her she wouldn't just wonder off without saying anything."

"Besides, I know you had something to do with it!"  Lance jumped in, now getting into Amy's face.  "I see how you carefully thought this whole thing out!  If you got rid of the Princess, then Keith would be open for you to move in on.  Isn't that right?"

Amy grabbed her head with her hands.  "No....no that's not it... that's not it at all!"  She then turned to Keith, tears in her eyes.  "Please Keith, you have to believe me... I'd never hurt
you like this!  I know what Allura means to you... much like what you mean to me!  I know I made an idiot out of myself last night, but I had no intentions of hurting her!  I realize that you've always been honest with me.  I haven't been honest with you or myself.  The love I carried for you was wrong."  She said in a whispered voice.

Keith looked at her he looked into her eyes.  He took a deep breath in and held it for a moment.  Finally, he released it.  "I... I believe you, Amy."

"What are you saying?"  Lance shouted.  "Keith you can't believe her!  I'm telling you, she had something to do with it!"

Keith turned and looked at Lance.  "Someone kidnapped Allura.  And it wasn't Amy.  I'm sure of it.  My heart is sure.  That means... it was someone else!  Someone who lives in this village!"

Hunk spoke up.  "You don't suppose it was Lotor, do you?"

Keith shook his head.  "No...at least not directly, maybe.  He wouldn't know where to find her on this planet."  Then Keith walked to a nearby window.  "But that doesn't mean he couldn't have found someone on this planet to find her for him!"

Pidge added a thought to the conversation.  "Maybe not even that, Commander.  He has scanners too, and I'm sure he could flush out Voltron just as easily as we can flush out his ships."

"That means, he could destroy Voltron, if he found him!"  Hunk shouted.

Lance walked up and smacked Hunk playfully in the back of the head.  "Hello?  Are you in there?  Did you forget that we put the shields up before we left?"

Hunk turned to look at Lance with a disgusted expression. 

"No one is going to do anything to Voltron!" Lance repeated. 

"But someone could turn the Princess over to Lotor" Hunk added crisply.

"For the right price..." Pidge said. 

Keith thought.   "What if...what if it was Lotor...getting someone to do his dirty work for him?"

Keith motioned to everyone to follow him, as he began walking out of the house. 

Everyone gathered outside.  Keith turned around and looked at his team.  "Alright, we have to act as if Lotor is behind this.  Spread out and search the entire area!"

"But, that could take hours!"  Hunk said.

Keith snapped back at Hunk.   "Don't waste the time telling me how long it will take... just do it!"

"Geez, Keith.  Okay!  Remember, I'm on your side, alright?"  Hunk shouted back.

Keith bowed his head and sighed.  "Yes...I know you are.   I'm just frustrated.  I should have guessed this might happen!   I somehow felt it when I got up to check on her last night.  Sorry...I shouldn't have barked at you." Keith said to Hunk.  Then he addressed the team as a whole.  "Spread out and look for her, everyone!"

Hunk put his arm around Keith.  "I know, I'm worried too.  Let's find her together."

At that moment, Amy came running out of her house.  "Keith, wait Keith!"

He paused and huffed at her.  "What is it, Amy?"

"It's about Utan... one of my men that lives here in the village!"  She exclaimed.

Lance walked up to Keith and Hunk, followed by Pidge.  Lance looked at Amy, "You mean the guy you told to prepare for us to stay here overnight?"

"Yes, that's him."  She replied.

"What about him?"  Keith impatiently asked.

"He's gone too!"  She said.  "He's not in his house!  I went to go get him to help with the search, and when I ran to his door and banged on it, I found no answer.  I opened the door.  His house was empty and his bed hadn't been slept in!"

Pidge moved up to Keith.  "Why would he make off with the Princess?"

Amy thought about it for a moment.  "I don't know..."

"Great!  Do you know where he would have gone?"  Hunk shouted.

"No.  It's a pretty big countryside.  He could have gone anywhere."  She replied to Hunk.  "Although..."

"Yes?" Keith pressed her.  "Go on!  Although... what?"

"Well, there is a place he likes to go when he wants to be alone.  It's in the woods...somewhere to the west, I think.  I'm not exactly sure of the location, but he has mentioned from time to time that he has a special place he likes to hide out in."

Keith turned to his team.  "Okay, let's get the jetpacks!"

"We could do an aerial search!" Lance shouted

"Exactly my thinking!"  Keith added.  "Come on!"

As the team turned to leave, Amy shouted behind them "Good luck!"

Keith stopped dead in his tracks, and walked back over to Amy.  He looked at her, feeling very low for accusing her of kidnapping Allura.

"Amy, I...." he started.

"I know, Keith.  I understand, and I guess I would have felt the same way too.  Don't worry about it.  Just find your Princess!"  She winked. 

He leaned over and kissed her forehead as he had done in the past.  Her heart skipped a beat, and for a moment, she found herself back nine years ago in his arms.

She looked at him and smiled.  "Go... Go find her."

Pidge came up behind him with his jetpack in hand.  "Commander!  We've got to go!"

Keith grabbed his pack and pulled it on.  He and Pidge immediately flew into mid-air, and out of sight. 

Amy sent a silent prayer up to heaven.  "Oh please don't allow Utan to do something terrible to that girl!"   

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