"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 21
Once Again...The Voice Returns


After more then five hours of travel on foot, the five young Space Explorers concede to the nightfall, and because of the
heavy fog, traveling in the dark soon
became impossible.

"We'll never get anywhere in this
...pea soup!" Lance huffed out
loud. "I can't see
a thing!"

"That's good," Keith replied
calmly. "If we can't see through it,
chances are, the Doom ships won't
be able to see us either."

"What about dere scanners?" Sven asked. "Dey don't depend on fog conditions."

"Yeah, but they can locate us with them, but actually finding us on foot in this stuff is going to be difficult." Keith replied confidently. "I think we can rest here for the night. Tomorrow, we should reach the Castle."

"Then what?" Lance asked. "So we find the Castle. It looked as if it was destroyed. What if no one's left alive?  Then what'll we do?"

"Then, we'll do our best to find out if Voltron is real...or is a myth.  And we'll have to do it without any help from the locals." Keith replied. "We've got to find Voltron, and if its real, we've got to somehow figure out how it works."

"And ...then what?" Lance asked again, this time, in a more sarcastic voice. "So we find Voltron...and make him work!  We can't lead these people...a whole planet full of them!  Not by ourselves!  You saw them earlier!  They want nothing to do with anyone!"

"Wait!" Pidge shouted. "What about Princess Allura?  We're acting as if she were dead! Maybe she's the one responsible for slowing down our ship earlier!"

"There has to be someone alive in that Castle," Hunk deduced...  "Otherwise, we wouldn't be alive right now!  Something stopped us from crashing into the ground earlier!  Someone or something bought us some time to land!"

"Someone or...something?" Lance repeated slowly. "I don't think I want to know what the 'something' might be!"

"The 'something' was a statue of a lion, near the Castle." Pidge said, matter-of-factly.

Lance turned to Pidge. "How do you know that?"

"I got a glimpse of it on radar...before we abandoned ship." Pidge replied. "There was an energy beam.  It slowed our decent to the surface."

"I saw it too, Lance." Keith added as he looked around.

"Nice of you guys to tell me now!" Lance hollered back. "In the future, little details like that might do me some good, especially from you...boy-genius!"

"What am I...your mother?" Pidge blurted out angrily.

"Listen, don't you get..." Lance began to say, shaking his finger in Pidge's direction.

"Okay you guys," Keith suddenly interrupted. "Arguing about it isn't going to answer any of your questions.  We need to get to that Castle.  That's where all the answers are.  For now, we'll rest here for the night.  We'll sleep in shifts.  I'll take the first watch.   Hunk, you're will be next.  Followed by Lance, Sven and then, Pidge."

Everyone nodded in agreement.

"Okay, let's make this area here the sleeping area.  Watch will be over by that big tree." Keith proclaimed.

"What about a fire...to keep us warm?" Hunk asked.

"You want to get us discovered?" Lance barked suddenly. "If you do that, you might as well send up a signal flare to flag the Doom goons down with!  A bonfire is just as good!"

"Listen, smart guy!" Hunk began to say.

"Enough bickering!" Keith shushed his team. "I'm serious!  This has got to stop! We're a team, and we have to act like one!  We can't bicker amongst each other! We've got to keep our heads!  We can't give up!  And we sure can't make each other into enemies!"

Hunk and Lance were looking down at the ground in a guilty fashion.  It was Hunk who finally spoke up first...

"Hey, uh...Lance. Gee, I'm sorry..." Hunk said.

"No, I'm sorry too." Lance added. "I...I lose my head sometimes, ya know?"

"Yeah, I understand." Hunk replied. "Me too..."

"Okay, get some sleep, you guys." Keith said with a half smile on his face.

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

The night was dark.  The clouds that covered the night sky hid the moon.

Allura lay curled up in her bed, crying, once again.  She had seen the Doom ship spiraling out of control, when suddenly, she witnessed the energy of the Lion Monument slowing down the progression.  She had wished that the ship had crashed to the ground.

Her mind was troubled, and her heart, heavy with grief and guilt over the disappearance of the Space Explorers, who had come to help her earlier.

Surely, they were dead, having been captured by Doom's forces.

The young Arusian Princess's silent tears suddenly became audible, as she sobbed...as her anguish stretching forth from her mind...

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

A few hours had passed, and soon Hunk was on duty.  Keith had laid his head down on his arm, converting his arm into a makeshift pillow.  He fell asleep quickly.

It was then that Keith's mind began to focus in on the all too familiar sound of the mysterious voice in the night...once again, calling out for his attention.


"Someone...please help us... I'm losing heart... I feel...so lost!"

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

As Keith sub-conscious began to focus
on the voice in his mind, his
sleeping state of mind began to
put the voice to the reality that
only dreams can make up...

In his dream, Keith suddenly
opened his eyes...

"Where am I?" he questioned himself.

Keith found himself standing before the shadow of a young woman.  She was sobbing, in an almost desperate manner.

Keith started to walk toward the woman, but suddenly ran up against a barrier that was blocking his path to her.  He tried calling to her...

"Hello!  Why are you crying?"

"Someone has stolen my dreams
...all of my hopes are gone!  My only
chance for hope has disappeared,
and now, I fear I'm doomed!" The
voice of the woman proclaimed.

"What do you mean?" Keith replied.
"What's happened to you? Why have
you been calling to me?"

"I'm all alone." the young woman's voice replied solemnly. "I have no where else to turn to...except to you!"

"Please!  Tell me how to help you!" Keith said to her. "How can I find you?  Where are you?"

"Please!  Someone help me!  I have no one else to turn to! They are plotting to kill me!" the voice wept frantically.

The shadowed figure began to fade from sight.  Halted by the barrier between them, Keith suddenly began to shout to her...

"NO! DON'T LEAVE!  LET...LET ME HELP YOU! AT LEAST, TELL ME WHO YOU ARE!"


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

Keith's eyes opened instantlyàsomeone was shaking his arm.

"What...what's going on?" Keith said, groggy and disoriented.

It was Lance.  He had taken the watch from Hunk nearly two hours ago.

"Doom patrols!" Lance whispered.
"They're circling around above us!
We need to get further into the brush...
for cover!"

Keith sat up right away, and immediately,
his ears tuned into the all-too-familiar
sound of a Doom Cruiser engine.

Lance began waking the rest of the group. Keith rose to his feet in a hurry and quickly began looking around.

"We need to find better cover, and quick!" Keith said to the rest of his team, as they also rose to their feet, and now hearing the sound of the Doom cruiser engines.

"I know where to go!" Lance blurted out loud. "Come on! Follow me!"

"Follow you...where?" Hunk shouted. "We're in the middle of nowhere!"

"I found a better hiding place...it's more camouflaged then this area is!" Lance hollered as he turned his head upward. "Hurry!"

Bewildered at how Lance had discovered this, so-called, 'better hiding place', he ordered the team to follow Lance's lead for cover.

With spears in hand, the Space Explorer team quickly ran behind Lance, following his moments.  They ducked in and out of patches of trees and scrubs, as the fog concealed their moments.

Suddenly, a floodlight beamed down in a distance...an apparent attempt by the Doom cruisers to penetrate the heavy fog conditions.  The beam began to slowly move toward the fleeing Space Explorers.

From behind one tree, running to a large rock, and then to a group of bushes, each Space Explorer moved quickly, avoiding the search lights that suddenly began to flood the area from the approaching cruisers, flying in the skies above them.

"Over here!" Lance whispered, motioning with his hand to a large thicket that was nearby.

The four others followed closely behind Lance, crawling into a large
patch of trees. They became a perfect cover for them all, concealing
them from the searching Doom ships.

All five Space Explorers huddled close to the ground, as the ominous sound of the Doom cruisers began to pass overhead.  No one made a move...and no one made a sound, just in case the cruisers were scanning for audible noises as well.

After several long, pain-staking minutes, the engine whines of the cruisers began to ground lower and lower, as they flew away in the distance, having missed them completely.

Keith was the first to let out an audible breath of relief. "That was too close." The young Captain replied.

"How'd you know about this place, Lance?" Hunk asked as a point of curiosity.

"While you guys were sleeping, I went out and scoped out the area." Lance replied. "Good thing I did, too! We were almost toast!"

"You mean to say," Pidge began, "That instead of keeping watch over us, you were out playing hero, by looking for somewhere else to stay?"

"Playing, 'HERO'?" Lance grunted. "Listen, pipsqueak!  I just saved your tail! And this is the thanks I get?"

"You put us all in danger by leaving your post!" Pidge said in reply.  "You were supposed to be taking your turn to guard us while we restedànot to go out and be, 'Mr. Adventure'!"

"Listen to me, 'Mr. Know-it-all'!" Lance barked back, now approaching Pidge where he had been kneeling. "If it weren't for me, we'd have been caught!  I'd say it was a chance worth taking, right?"

"Lance, you had no authorization to go out and scout out da area!" Sven suddenly said to Lance. "You coot have gotten us all caught by acting so recklessly!"

"You'd be the last person I would have thought would take sides with...HIM!" Lance shouted, pointing his finger in Pidge's direction.

"You're always taking matters into you own hands, Lance!" Sven shouted. "One day, you're going to go too far!"

"Fine!" Lance shouted. "Sit around here and get your head blown off, if you'd like!  As for me, its every man for himself!"

"Lance," Sven started to say.

"No, Sven!" Lance shouted. "This was between me and mighty-mite over there! You keep your nose out of it!"

"Okay guys," Keith began to say. "Just...calm down..."

"You know what your problem is, hotshot?" Pidge shouted at Lance.  "You're a hothead, and you're too undisciplined to fall under orders!  Why High Command chose you to come along is beyond me!  You're military record speaks for itself...a long list of disciplinary actions for doing things the wrong way!  They should have never picked you to come along!  You're reckless, undisciplined behavior will end up finishing us off!"

Lance suddenly jumped forward, bringing up his balled fist into Pidge's face. "Suppose I show you just how much of a hothead I can be!"

Hunk immediately stepped forward, shoving Lance back away from Pidge.  Then, Lance takes a swing at Hunk's face.  But Hunk, highly educated in combat skills, anticipates Lance's attack, and quickly jerks his head backward. Lance's fist sails past Hunk's face, only by inches.

Now it was Hunk's turn. With the swiftness of a gazelle, his large hand becomes a fist as well, and he takes a quick swing at Lance.  The swing connected with Lance's chin, sending him sprawling out on the ground.

Rubbing his chin, Lance stares at Hunk. "Come on!" Lance blurts out.  "You want a piece of me?  Then, come and get me!"

Lance then started to get back up onto his feet.

But before Lance could get off of the ground, Keith swings his face into Lance's, and with his hand, he shoves Lance back down onto the ground.

Keith was now enraged by the whole situation, and he suddenly began pointing his finger at Lance as he spoke...

"You have deliberately gone ahead of us without an okay to do so!  What are you thinking about in that head of yours?  You get captured, and we've all had it!  You try that again, Lance, and I swear that once things settle down here, I'll send you packing back to Earth!"

"Oh, you're such a big man on campus, Keith!" Lance shouted back from the ground. "New rank...new attitude!  You think you're so tough with your promotion!  You're the one who's always holding me back!  You did at the academy...and now you want to do it to me here!"

"You've got a major chip on your shoulder, Lance!" Keith barked. "And you better get rid of it...NOW!"

Keith then turned his attention to the rest of the team. "And that goes for all of you! I'm tired of this bickering that's been going on!  I'm warning you... all of you... straighten out or risk getting shipped back home!  The people of this planet don't need any more conflict!  We've got to have our acts together in order to help these people! If we find Voltron, we have to operate it, all of us together... as a team!  The only way this going to work is if we work together! And we ARE going to work together! And if it kills each of you to do it, then, let it kill you!  Because, I won't tolerate any more disorderly conduct, lacking discipline, or moving ahead against orders! We do it my way! Or you won't go at all!  Do I make myself clear?"

Silent heads began nodding with agreement.

Still crossed, Keith reached down his hand at Lance.  He grabbed Lance's wrist and hauled him up to his feet.

"Do you think I can trust you to guard for the next two hours...without taking off in search of a better way to do things?" Keith grumbled.

Lance hesitated for a momentàthen nodded his head with a sigh.

"Good!" Keith blurted out. Then he turned to the rest of his team. "The rest of you...
get some sleep! Tomorrow...we find the Castle."

Suddenly...dead silence pronounced itself upon the group, as each one found their spot to restàor in Lance's caseàto resume his guard post.

As Keith settled himself down against a nearby tree, he tried to focus his thoughts on the task ahead...getting to Castle Arus...before the Doom squads found them.

He closed his eyes, intending to sleep, but instead, his mind continued to plague his dreams, just as before...

The voice...that haunting, pleading voice...

Keith quickly opened his eyes once again. Would the voice ever leave him alone?

He pulled his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them.  He was sure he wasn't going crazy...at least, he had hoped he wasn't.

Now was not the time to lose one's mental stability.