"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 8
A Falling Out

Keith had everyone split up.  Each took a section of the forest, heading in a westerly direction.  Pidge had his scanner, searching for humanoid life signs, and it wasn't long before he found them.  It appeared that one was running from the other... 

Pidge radioed Keith and the others and gave them the co-ordinates. "I think I've found them!  Over the ridge!"  Pidge said.

"Great job, Pidge!"  Keith replied, viewing the co-ordinates Pidge sent... "Okay, let's go get her!" 

Keith's face became angry, as he tried to resist the urge to bash in the face of the person who took her to begin with.   "Hold on, Allura..." he whispered.  "Help is on the way!"



Allura, meanwhile, was running for her life...

She had awoken and found herself in a cave with this big lug.  Confused, she quietly stood up and made her way out of the cave.  She almost made it too, except for stepping on a twig that snapped in two, making a noise that woke up Utan.  He immediately gave chase after her.

She reached for her wrist communicator, but discovered it was gone.  He apparently removed it from her hand.

As she ran, she noticed in front of her that the ground seemed to drop off suddenly!  She slowed down as she reached the edge of the cliff.  

She screamed, as she almost slid right off the edge.  Turning around, she saw Utan approaching her...

There was no place to run.  She reached the edge, which appeared to be an outcropping of the ground... which meant, that no matter which direction she turned in, she would meet the same thing... death.  

He reached her finally, cornering her.  Looking around, she decided that her only option was to try to talk him down.  "Why have you taken me from my friends?"  She shouted.

Utan smiled... "Queen Serena want a word with you!"  His grin was sinister. 

Allura's face was troubled.  "If she wanted to see me, why didn't she send word for me and my friends?"

"Because, she say she only interested in you... not friends!"  His speech was somewhat limited and primitive.   

She decided to ask it in another way.  "Why?  What does she want with just me?"

"She say she have a special friend waiting for you at palace.  She say it a friend you know real well.  Someone that's been looking for you for long time!" 

"Who?  Do you know who it is?"  She asked, fearing she knew whom it was.

"She say... he a Prince, and you his Princess..."

"Oh no..." She choked.  "Lotor... how did he find me?"

She decided to try to reason with him again.  "Listen!  You and your Queen have been deceived!  That's Prince Lotor!  And he isn't my Prince and I'm not his Princess!  You can't do this!  You can't just turn me over to him!"

Utan darted at the Princess suddenly, without warning.  She screamed as she tried to duck out of his way, but there was no chance of that.   He grabbed her by her shoulders and lifted her up like a mother lifting a small child.  

She screamed again  "Please...put me down!"

Utan ignored her, as he finally reached the edge of the cliff.   "If you no come with Utan, then Utan throw you off cliff!  I will tell Queen that Princess jumped off on her own!"

Allura stopped kicking and stared into his eyes, her own eyes wide with fear. 

He had a grin again on his face.  She could see his rotted teeth.  The smell of his breath was foul.  "So you come with Utan?  Yes?"

Her feet were dangling over the cliff.  He asked again, this time shifting his weight, as if he were going to drop her off. 

She closed her eyes tightly, tears streaming down her cheeks. 

"I say You come with me then, yes?"   He repeated again, now becoming angry with her resistance.   She still didn't answer.

It was then, Utan heard screaming from the sky...

PRINCESS!

Allura opened her eyes, and looked up too, and saw the boys streaking down on top of them, each from a different direction from the sky.  She smiled ecstatic to see them at such a grave moment. 

She looked at Utan.  His face had an expression like a little boy being caught while trying to do something he shouldn't have.  He looked at Allura.  It was her turn to smile, as she thought to answer his question. 

But her smile quickly faded.  "NO!"  She suddenly screamed aloud.

But it wasn't to answer his question at allall of a sudden, she felt Utan's grip loosen around her ...

"NO!"  She screamed again, clawing for his hand as she slipped away from his grasp and over the cliff's side. 

As Keith was swooping in, followed by Lance, both men began shouting for Utan not to drop her. 

But, Utan became afraid of being caught, and chose to drop her anyway.  Then, he ran in a different direction.

Allura screamed as she slid down the side, unable to grab onto anything.  "AH-H-H!"

"Allura!  NO!"  Lance cried, still following behind Keith.

Keith, still in a diving motion, instinctively went down the side of the cliff after her, refusing to think of the danger he was placing himself into. 

She was on free fall, screaming all the way.  Her body swung around until she was facing forward toward the ground.  She knew she'd hit the treetops first before anything.  Her body would be crushed from the impact...

She screamed in horror...  "HELP!  SOMEONE HELP ME!"  She hadn't realized that help was approaching from behind.

Keith was in fast pursuit.  "ALLURA!"  he shouted... "SWING YOUR BODY TOWARD ME!" 

Somehow, through the wind and her fear, she heard him... but the ground was fast approaching...

"ALLURA!  DO IT NOW!"  He shouted again, trying to focus her concentration on his voice  "I SAID, DO IT NOW!"

It worked.  She suddenly forced herself to focus her attention on Keith's voice and obey him. She concentrated, and flipped her body around in a summer-salt like fashion, until she was facing Keith's direction. 

"REACH OUT YOUR HANDS!  I'VE ALMOST GOT YOU" Keith kept shouting, straining to reach for her.

"I'M TRYING!"  she screamed back.  "I CAN'T QUITE REACH YOU!"  

Keith saw they were almost on top to the trees. 

Lance was right behind him.  "Come on...come on!"  Lance shouted, gritting his teeth anxiously.  "Stretch Keith, stretch!" 

If Keith couldn't reach her, then it was all over.  Lance already knew he wouldn't be able to catch up.  He was at full speed now, and Keith was ahead of him, at full speed, trying to snatch her from certain death.

Keith again strained to reach her... it was now or never.  He couldn't lose her... not now... not ever...

She strained to reach him as well.  Then, by some small miracle, wind speed slowed her fall down a bit, and Keith was able to reach for her fingertips. He thrusted himself forward, using his feet to propel him, and she was now able to inch up toward him.  He grabbed for her arms, then she grabbed his neck with her hands, locking her fingers around him. 

Moments before hitting the treetops, Keith swooped upward, with Allura safely in his arms.  Lance howled in victory, and pulled out of the dive as well. 

He could see that Keith had nearly missed the trees when he pulled up.  The treetops rustled with the breeze that was created. 

Allura gasped, holding on tightly to Keith's neck as he began to return to the top of the cliff. 

She was crying aloud now, the emotion of near death overtaking her, and she buried her face into his chest.  He held her tightly to him, as he tried to stop breathing heavily from fear. 

"Don't cry, Princess... I've got you, and I'm not letting go," he quietly reassured her, as he continued to jet upward toward the top of the cliff. 



Hunk and Pidge had Utan at bay.  They were becoming worried about Allura's fate.  Suddenly, Pidge began receiving a message over the COM from Lance.  He was shouting joyfully

"Keith's got her!   She's okay... repeat.... The Princess is okay!"

Hunk and Pidge turned their heads toward the cliff.  And suddenly, Keith appeared from over the edge, cradling Allura in his arms. 

He flew upward until he was far away from the edge.  He touched down a good distance away, and set Allura's feet on the ground in front of him.  He put his hands on her face, using his thumbs to wipe the tears from her cheeks. 

"Are you okay, Princess?"  His voice was still shaking from fear.

After taking quite a few breaths, she finally was able to speak, placing her hands on top of his. "I... I think so!  I'm...uh... I...." 

Then she thought about her ordeal again, and quickly began to shake abruptly in Keith's arms.  "Oh Keith, if you hadn't found me... I'd... I'd be..." 

He put his hand over her mouth.  "Sh-h-h...  Calm down now.  It's over.  Everything's okay..." He reassured her quietly, while using his other hand to stroke her long golden blonde hair, now loose from the fall.

"I was so frightened, Keith..." she heaved.

"I know.  Me too.   Wow...I hope I never have to do that again!  I don't think my heart can take it!"  He grabbed her and pulled her close to him, never wanting to let go.  She clutched onto him feeling the same. 

When they separated a bit, she broke the seriousness of the moment... "Next time, I'm bunking with you and Lance!"

He smiled, tears coming down his face.  "You know it, Princess!  You know it" He grabbed her again and hugged her tightly.  "I'm not letting you out of sight again for the rest of this trip!"

"I'd really appreciate that" She quietly said, nestling her head back to the safety of his chest.  

Lance jetted down to the side of them.  "Hey, now that was fun!  Let's do that again, Mommy and Daddy!"  He teased. 

Keith turned to Lance and shot him a look.  "You go ahead, 'son', I'll join you later...much later!" Then a smile broke over his face.

"Okay, but before I do, I'm going to go check out our catch of the day!"  Lance said, pointed to Utan, being held at bay by Hunk and Pidge.  "His story should prove interesting."

Keith nodded his head.  "I'm coming.  Go ahead."   As Lance started to walk over, Keith looked at Allura.  "You're coming with me... no excuses!"

She wiped her face with her hands. "No arguments from me, Commander!"  She said as she clutched onto his arm. 

Keith shook his head.  "I'm just curious why he made off with you to begin with."  He thought aloud.

Suddenly, Allura tugged at his arm.  "He said Queen Serena had a special guest 'prince' waiting for me there.  Utan was instructed to bring me and me alone, to her."

Keith's face became angry.  "Lotor!  That dirty, no good...  And Utan's working for him!  I should make him pay for his choices!" He seethed.

"No, Keith.  He's a simple-minded man.  He had no idea that Lotor's intentions were evil, as were his Queen's.  He was simply doing what he was commanded to do.  I don't think you can blame this entirely on him."  She explained. 

He looked carefully into her eyes  Eyes of compassion.  How she could have such compassion for a man who nearly killed her, Keith would never know.  But that was one of the magic things about Allura that he admired so much in her.

Keith bowed his head slightly, and brought his eyes up to meet hers.  "Okay, Allura.  For your sake, we'll do it your way.  Let's take him back to the village."

He grabbed her hand, and walked over to where the others were... interrogating Utan.

Meantime, Utan had tears in his eyes, as Lance was laying into him pretty hard. 

"Okay I'm going to ask this again!  What did you think you were trying to prove by taking her?"  Lance was shoving his finger into Utan's chest. 

Utan sniffed and tried to answer again.  "I was doing what Queen told me, that's all!"

Pidge was shaking his head.  "It's no use, Lance.  I don't think he understands that he did something wrong."

Hunk stepped up, fists clenched.  "Well, maybe he'll understand a little brute force!" 

"NO...STOP!"  Allura shouted as she and Keith ran up.  She pushed herself between Hunk and Utan.  "No, Hunk!  Violence isn't the way to handle this!"

Hunk back off for a moment, bewildered why Allura would try to protect a man who just threw her off the cliff.  "Princess, are you out of your mind?  This guy just tried to kill you, and now you want to step up for him?  Is your brain still on free-fall?" 

She shook her head.  "No, I know exactly what I'm doing.  This man was only obeying orders that were given to him.  Queen Serena sent word to him to bring me to the palace.  He was just obeying." 

She turned and looked at Utan.  "His is the mind of a child.  He was only doing what he was told to do.  We can't be angry with him, boys!"

Utan looked into Allura's blue eyes.  He grinned "Pretty Princess... Pretty eyes!"  He said.  "I like Princess's pretty eyes!" 

She smiled "Thank you..." she said quietly.  Then she turned back to the guys. 

Pidge suddenly agreed.  "You guys, she's right.  He's like a kid in a man's body."

Hunk was skeptical.  "I don't know... how can someone be that simple?"

Lance looked at Utan, then gazed over at Keith.  The Voltron Commander had his arms crossed in front of his chest.  "What do you think, Keith?"  Lance asked his quiet commander.

Keith looked at Utan for a moment.  "Allura's right.  He's not capable of doing this on his own.  He's a pawn.  Let him go."

"Keith?" Hunk questioned.  "Just let him go?"

Keith uncrossed his arms and turned to Hunk.  "Yeah, just let him go."

Hunk pressed his lips together.  Then backed down. 

Keith approached Utan.  "We're going back to the village.  Would you like to come with us?"

Utan looked at Keith. 

"Its okay."  Keith gently laid his hand on Utan's shoulder.  "We aren't going to hurt you.  Come with us.  Amy is waiting."

Utan got a big smile over his face.  "Amy!  She worried too?"

Keith smiled back.  "Of course she's worried!  Come on, she'll be glad to see you!"

Utan started to walk with Keith, and the others followed.




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