"Can You Hear Me Calling You?"

Story by Adele
Story Copyright 2003
A story based on the series, "Voltron, Defender of the Universe."

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 15
Surprise Attack

The spacecraft containing the five
young travelers from Earth was on
final approach to Planet Arus. 
From space...the planet appeared
to be as normal as any other planet. 

But Sven knew better...especially after the sensor sweep.

"Keit!" Sven alerted his captain.  "I'm reading heavy fighting and unrest on several areas of the surface of the planet!"

"Give to us straight, Sven!" Lance shouted.  "What's it like down there?"

"Miserable, Lance!" Sven replied.  "Da planet has suffered greatly.  Dere are several cities and towns on fire.  Scans also reveal several thousands of human remains down dare too."

"Human...remains?" Hunk said slowly.  "As in..."

"Dead people." Sven replied, finishing Hunk's horrific thought. "Yes...dat's correct."

"What about the Castle, Sven?" Keith asked.  "Do you get a reading on Castle Arus yet?"

"What's left of it." Sven replied to Keith.  "Da Castle is in ruins.  It's sitting on da northern side of da planet.

"Do you even think this princess is still alive?" Lance said slowly.

"Don't say that, Lance!" Pidge blurted out suddenly.  "She has to be!"

"Alright everyone!" Keith finally spoke up.  "Let's remain focused here!  Sven...any Doom squadrons on the planet?"

"Yes...but day don't appear to notice us." Sven replied.

"Not yet!" Keith added.  "They will see us soon, and we've got to be ready for them!  We've got to get to the surface of the planet as soon as we can!  Everyone...prepare to enter the atmosphere!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Are you sure, Coran?"

Princess Allura uttered the question, as she stood behind her advisor in the Castle's control room.  It was the only place in the Castle that had been modernized. 

King Alfor supervised the refit of the new control room, where he could command his new creation, Voltron, during the time of his reign...when Allura was an infant.

The control room still served its purpose...but now, there was no Voltron to oversee.  And with much of the Castle's weaponry destroyed, the only things that did work...were the sensors. 

Coran returned her question with the answer she had waited to hear for several years...

Help had finally arrived.

...at long last.

"It is them, Princess!" Coran rejoiced.  "The Space Explorers are here!  They are breaking the planet's atmosphere as we speak!  And it appears that they are heading toward our direction...yes...yes!  They are on a direct heading for the Castle of Lions!  Princess, this is wonderful news!"

"Oh, Coran!" Allura replied, beaming with the joy that a child has over a new toy.  "At last... Arus has a chance to be free again!"

Suddenly...Coran's jubilation turned sour

"But wait...no...NO!" Coran said suddenly.

Allura leaned into the panel.  "What is it, Coran?"

He made no immediate reply.  Instead, several seconds had passed in silence, before Allura impatiently asked him again....

"Coran?  What's happening?"

"Princess...a group of Doom fighters...they are moving to an intercept course with the Earth craft!" Coran replied.

Allura quickly called up the screen.  The monitor showed the position of the moving Earth vessel...and several Doom ships moving into position to surround them.

"Can we warn them, Coran?" Allura asked frantically.

Coran shook his head, "No, Princess.  We are as helpless as they are!  We can not warn them!  Our communications system was damaged immediately following your last contact with Earth!"

"Then, what will happen?" Allura asked.

Coran rose from the control board, vacating the seat.  Allura looked at him as he began to walk the length of the room.

"Coran?" Allura called for his attention a second time. "I asked you a question!  What is going to happen to the Space Explorers in that ship?"

Coran let out a deep and sorrowful sigh, then said, "I fear...that they shall meet the fate that many of our people have met, Allura."

"Coran?" Allura repeated his name.

Coran turned to her "They shall be captured...killed perhaps...once Zarkon determines who they are, and why they are here."

Allura slowly shook her head negatively, then quickly ran toward the door, where Coran now stood. 

"There must be a way to warn them!" she shouted.

Coran reached out and grabbed the young Princess by her upper arm as she was passing, suddenly restricting her moments.  "There is nothing you can do, Princess."

"I must try, Coran!" Allura shouted.  "I can't allow our only hope to slip away from us!  I'm going to try to reach them on one of the Castle's military ships!  Perhaps, the signal will be strong enough to hail them, and warn them of the danger heading their way!"

Coran sighed at the impetuous girl's idea.  "It will do you no good, Allura.  They are as good as captured...even now."

"I must try!" Allura shouted.  "Why are you opposed to trying?"

"I am opposed to this, if it will inflict harm upon you!" Coran replied back. 

"I'm tired of being safe and sound, Coran!" Allura blurted out.  "I'm running out of places to hide away!  These five may be Arus's salvation...and all you can do is pretend as if there are no options at all!  I'm going to try to reach them on one of the Castle military ships!  You can either join me...or get out of my way!"

Coran raised an eyebrow at Allura.  "Perhaps...you are even more like your father than I originally had thought." Coran replied, releasing his grip on her arm.  "Come...we must hurry."

Allura smiled at Coran, and together, both of them hurried from the control room to the ship graveyard...as it had become known as. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Keith!"

Hunk shouted over to Keith's direction.  The team leader looked over toward him

"Got something, Hunk?" Keith asked.

"Yeah!  Someone's trying to contact us!" Hunk replied.  "I'm picking up a signal!"

"Let's hear it!" Lance replied. 

Hunk shook his head.  "The signal's too weak.  Can't really make much out...but it sounds like a girl's voice."

"A little girl?" Pidge asked.

Lance couldn't resist  "Pidge, now's not the time to be looking for a girlfriend!" he said with a laugh.

"No...you idiot!  I'm talking about that princess we're supposed to find!" Pidge shouted back angrily.

"Calm down, squirt..." Lance began to say.

"Who you calling a 'squirt', you moron?" Pidge shouted back.

"Enough, you two!" Keith cut in, bringing an end to the exchange. "Hunk...boost the gain.  Then channel it over here.  Let's hear what you do have!"

Hunk nodded his head and did as Keith requested.  As the garbled sound began to broadcast, it was evident to all that it was the badly distorted sound of a female's voice.

Keith tilted his ear, struggling to make out the message...but something else caught his attention...


"Her voice sound's familiar to me...but...where have it heard it before?"



Sven close his eyes to concentrate on the words...


"IF..........HEAR.........UNDER............ ATTA.........DOOM..........MUST GO......NOW.."


The sentence wasn't coming through.  Keith suddenly blurted out "Can any one make out what being said?"

"I can't..." Hunk replied.

Suddenly...Pidge spoke up slowly.  "It's a warning...and I know why!   The scanners are picking up several ships approaching us from all sides!  And they don't appear to be like any of the Arusian designs we were all briefed on!"

"Evasive action!" Keith quickly shouted, as he turned back to the command controls, grabbing the throttle and attempting to dodge the approaching ships that were on an intercept course.

The rest of the team carried out his orders. 

"That message must have been a warning of some kind!" Hunk shouted out over the confusion.  "Someone was trying to warn us!"

"Later, Hunk!" Keith bellowed.  "I have a visual on our 'welcoming party'!"

"Well, they're here for anything but that, Keith!" Lance replied.  "They're charging up weapons!"

"And all we have are C-code blaster guns on this thing!" Keith shouted.

"What good will that do?" Lance shouted back.  "The Alliance knew we were going into a war zone!  Why did they send us in a ship with sub-standard weapons to defend ourselves with?"

"I don't know...and frankly, dare's no time to tink about it, Lance!" Sven shouted back.  "Contact in one minute, Captain!"

"They've surround us from all sides, Skipper!" Pidge shouted.  "I'm showing no escape routes!"

"We're receiving a hail, Keith!" Hunk suddenly interrupted.

"From who?" Keith yelled out.

Hunk gulped...and then replied, "They say...they're the voice of Doom...and they're ordering us to land and surrender...or be destroyed."

"Then we'll be destroyed!"
Lance cried.  "They won't take us alive!"

"Agreed!" Keith replied.  "Brace yourselves!"

Keith looked over to Sven, and
Sven gave him a nod of the head. 
Keith then turned back to his control panel. 
"Okaylet's see if you guys have ever
heard of the old Earth game called,
'Catch me if you can'!"

The Earth ship immediately took
a sharp turn to the left, and then dove
under the approaching Doom fighter. 
The maneuver was enough to throw the
Doom ships off guardbut only momentarily. 

They immediately picked up on the escape pattern and adjusted course for pursuit.

"Pidge, how many are following us?" Keith shouted.

"Six in all, Commander!" Pidge replied in his high pitch voice.  "And they're gaining on us!"

"Okay..time for a little 'roller coaster' maneuvering!" Keith replied.

"Do we have to?" Hunk shouted. "I just ate!"

"Hold on to your stomach, Hunk!" Sven shouted, as he and Keith began to bank the ship in an upward motion.

The ship began to jet straight up into the air.  Two Doom ships followed right behind them.  The other four stayed their course, as if waiting for the other two to chase the Earth ship down.

"Hold on, everyone!" Keith shouted.

He quickly began a fast, radical turn, looping the ship upside down, and then back down toward the ground.  The two Doom ships followed the pattern perfectly, matching course and speed to the Earth ship. 

As they neared the ground, Keith called out for distance  "Sven, count it down!"

"Got it!" Sven replied.  "Ground impact in twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen..."

"What are you doing Keith?" Hunk asked in a nervous voice.  "We're going too fast!  We'll hit the ground!"

"No we won't, Hunk!" Keith shouted.  "Trust me!"

The ship was nearing the ground...fast.  The two Doom fighters were right behind it.

Sven kept counting  "Ten, nine, eight, seven..."

"Veer off, Keith!" Hunk shouted. 

"I know what I'm doing!" Keith shouted back. 

"Three...two..."

"Hang on!" Keith shouted, pulling back on the throttle as far back as it would go.

The ship suddenly swooped upward again, skimming the surface of the ground.  The two Doom ships had no time to react.  They slammed into the ground with a brutal force that destroyed both ships utterly.  The blast left nothing remaining of the once pursuing ships.

Inside the Earth ship, assorted hoots and cheers exploded from the five Space Explorers. 

But it wasn't over yet.

There were still four Doom fighters...and they were circling around fast.  Suddenly, they began to open fire on the Earth ship.

"New trouble!" Keith shouted, as he turned the ship out of the line of fire. 

"They're surrounding us again, Keith!" Lance shouted. 

Moments later, an artillery assault began.  The Doom ships opened fire, and the Space Explorers returned fire, in an effort to defend themselves.  But the Earth ship's blasters were no match for the sophisticated Doom fighters' weaponry. 

A suddenly, violent jar sent a message to everyone on board the Earth ship...that they were outgunned.  A barrage of ammunition struck the ship's engines, shorting them out...

"We've been hit!" Lance cried.

"I have no flight control!" Keith shouted.

"Navigational systems are shorted out!" Sven added.

"Look out!  We're going to crash!" Pidge shouted.

The Earth ship hit the ground...skipping a few times, as a rock skipping across the water.
Fortunately, the ship was not far from the ground after the previous maneuver that destroyed the other two Doom ships

After several seconds of skidding around the ground, the ship finally came to the halt on the ground.  The four remaining Doom fighters landed nearby the now heavily damaged Earth ship, as it lay silently.  Billows of smoke were coming out from the back end of the ship, while dust and dirt clouds began to settle around the disabled ship.  

From out of the Doom ships, emerged four robot fighters, dressed in black pilot suits and helmets.  The four Doom guards quickly surrounded the Earth ship.  Three had their blasters pointed at the door, while one forced open the entry hatch.

As the hatch gave way, the quickly moved into the ship...only to find five unconscious Earth men, knocked out by the impact of the crash.

After a moment of looking around, one of the Doom guards opened up a COM signal. 

"We have them.  They are unconscious.  Send the slave ship down here to collect them.  Inform Commander Yurak of their capture.  Further inform him that all five appear to be alive, as King Zarkon had commanded."

"Acknowledged."was the reply from the receiving end.

The Doom guard disengaged the COM link, then nodded to the other three standing near by. They each took a Space Explorer, dragging them by their feet out of the damaged ship.  The last one to be dragged out was Sven.

The five Space Explorers were laid out on the ground, bound at the wrists and feet by electrical restraining force fields. 

Several minutes later, a large spacecraft appeared from the clouds, and began a steady decent upon the area of the crashed ship and the Doom fighters.

The new ship was enormous in size, and kicked up quite a stir of dust, smoke and debris as it descended to the ground. 

As the new ship landed, a huge door unfolded, revealing the dark inside of the ship.  Several more Doom guards came charging out.  They ran over to where the Space Explorers were lying. 

They bent down to the unconscious humans, and they began injecting a sedative into each of them, which contained something to keep them unconscious for a few more hours, while they made the return trip back to Planet Doom. 

Then, the Doom guards abruptly began to carry Keith, Sven, Lance, Hunk and Pidge into the mysterious ship. 

As the last Doom guard entered the ship...the hatch slowly closed...sealing them all inside.  The ship lifted off of the ground and up into the skies of Arus, preparing to take its cargo back to the impatient tyrant, King Zarkon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Inside the broken remains of the Castle of Lions, Allura peered out of the broken window, watching silently, as the Doom slave ship lift off into the air, a distance from the Castle of Lions. 

She and Coran had witnessed the chase...

The crash and explosions they had heard were presumably to be the ship from Earth.  They had no idea that the explosion came from two the pursuing Doom fighters.  Princess Allura and Coran had assumed that it was the Earth ship that had crashed, and that everyone on board was now dead...or now captured...by the presence of the slave ship from Planet Doom. 

As the slave ship lumbered upward, Allura turned her head, and laid it on Coran's shoulder.  She wept...feeling a horrible sense of guilt, believing that the Space Explorers were dead, and feeling that it was somehow her fault, because she had asked the Alliance for help.

"Oh, Coran," Allura wept.  "Those poor men!  What will we do now?"

Coran took in a deep breath of air, and then slowly released it, shaking his head as he did.  "I truly do not know, Princess."

Tears began to form in his eyes as well, as he held the grieving Princess, as a father holds his childwhile watching as the Doom slave ship silently fly upward through the skies of Arus.

What...indeed would they all do now?
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