"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 23
The Revelation of Discovery

Coran stood up from his chair in the Control Room.  He had been tracking the movements of the strangers, who were approaching the main gates, since he first picked up their presence on the Castle's scanners.

Princess Allura had been standing beside him; her hand shaking as she gripped her throat gently.

"Coran!" Allura quivered. "Who are they? And what do they want with us?"

Coran shook his head in bewilderment. "I do not know, Princess," he replied firmly. "They may be renegade bounty hunters, here to desecrate what's left of the Castle...or..." Coran turned around and looked at Allura. "Or possibly those whom Zarkon has hired out, in
search of your life!"

Coran immediately rose to his feet and grabbed his cane in his hand.  He then grabbed the young Princess's arm.

"Allura...I want you to head to the underground caverns...and remain there until you hear further from me." Coran said.

"And what do you intend to do, Coran?" Allura said in a shaky voice.  "You certainly can't defend the Castle on your own!"

"I will buy you the time you need to escape."
Coran said calmly.

"NO!" Allura shouted, reaching her
hand up to cover his hand, that
had been holding her other arm.
"You must come with me!"

"I am sworn to protect you, Princess."
Coran replied calmly. "You must escape...
live to fight on."

"Not without you!" she cried.
"Please Coran! Don't leave me!"

"Princess Allura!" Coran suddenly said in an elevated voice. "You do as I say...now!  You may be my Princess, but I am your guardian, and you will obey me on this occasion!  I have no time to argue with you!  They will be here soon, and I must be ready to defend against them!"

He quickly dragged the Princess against her will, to the exit of the Control Room.  Together, they both hurried down the hallway to the main entranceway of the Castle.

As they arrived, Coran momentarily regarded the staircase before him, and then, looked up to the top of the stairs.  There stood a large painting of King Alfor, posing in a triumphant position, with his sword drawn, as if prepared to do battle.

Just behind the painting was a lever upon the wall, when once pulled, opened up a secret passageway to the underground caverns.

Coran swiftly grabbed Allura's hand once again, now pushing her in the direction of the staircase.

"Go on, now!" Coran shoved her. "Up the stairs!  You must flee the Castle, Princess!"

"Please come with me, Coran!" Allura whimpered. "You must come with me!"

"Go on!" Coran shouted at her. "Time is running out!"

"I can't make it without you, Coran!" Allura wept.

"You will...you must, Princess...for the sake of Arus, you must survive!" Coran replied. "Now, off with you!"

Allura was pushed up to the first step, where she then gathered her gown with her hands, so that she could ascend the staircase, unhindered by her trestles.

Coran watched as she climbed quickly to the top of the stairs.  Allura reached her hand around to the back of the painting and pulled the hidden lever.  The metal door just behind the painting rose upward, giving entrance into the secret caves.

Coran saw Allura look at him from the top of the stairs...and then, she disappeared behind the painting.

Once she had gone, Coran quickly walked around the great hall, putting out all of the candles...
save one.  He grabbed the last one for himself, and then quickly darted to a room located just to the right of the staircase, preparing himself to meet the strangers who were nearing the Castle doors.

Allura, however, had not gone into the caves.  Determined to fight for what she had left in this world, or die trying, she allowed Coran to believe that she had safely escaped to the caves.

She quickly and quietly made her way to the shadows of the upper floor and crouched down low in a darkened corner.  Allura now focused her view on the great door, just below her....and then...waited.

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

Meanwhile, just outside, the five Space Explores had just crossed over the mote by way of the bridge over the top of it.

They were slowly approaching the main door...when...

Some falling debris fell... just in front of them.  All five of them halted immediately, spears drawn in front of them for protection.

"Rocks!" Keith warned his teammates.

The debris was coming from a nearby ledge.

Keith looked up, and thought he
saw something moving up there. He
looked to Pidge, and motioned to him...
"Check it."

Pidge nodded his head. "We'll do, Commander!"

The young boy genius began to quickly make his way up to the ledge, by jumping and climbing in a rapid fashion.

Pidge's hand found a solid part of the balcony to grab onto, and he quickly pulled himself up onto the ledge.

He suddenly chuckled...as his eyes
beheld four little mice, standing in the
shadows on the balcony, appearently
trying to enjoy a quick meal of stolen cheese. 
The four tiny creatures were shaking,
apparently surprised to see Pidge.

Doing as all mice would do, they quickly
scattered out of sight,  leaving Pidge to giggle
at sight of their frantic departure. He then
made his way back downward to where his team was standing.

"Well?" Keith asked Pidge.

Pidge smiled, wiping the stone dust off of himself.  "It was only a couple of space mice."

"Space mice?" Lance repeated.

"Yeah," Pidge answered. "They must live here."

"I wonder who else...lives here?" Hunk said slowly, as his eyes scaled the Castle wall.

Keith focused his attention ahead.  "The Castle's main door is just over there.  That's where the answer to your question is, Hunk."

"What are we waiting for?" Sven asked, suddenly anxious. "We've got to get in dere!"

Keith nodded his head and then began walking forward once again.  The others quickly followed right behind him.

The five of them quickly moved forward, shifted back and forth as they walked, watching from the front and back, with spears in front of them.
They soon found themselves standing directly
in front of the main door.

"Well, we're here," Lance replied.
"But it looks like no one's home."

Suddenly...the Castle doors began to
open slowly. The Space Explorers
quickly jumped backward, as the d
oor opened up wide before them. The
creaking sound gave an ominous eerie
feeling to the five of them.

Now, they were getting a glimpse of the inside of the Castle.

Keith held out his hand in front of the others, halting everyone's movements.  He then turned to his team...

"Someone's alive in there," he said to them all. "That door just didn't open up on its own!"

"Someone's giving us an invitation?" Hunk added, phrasing it more like a statement then a question.

Keith poked his head inside...

It was a giant room, with a few tapestries on the walls, and a large staircase straight ahead of them...with a large picture of someone at the top of the staircase.

"Come on... carefully," Keith ordered.

The five of them slowly made their way inside.

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

At the top of the stairs, Allura's vision was frozen on the five intruders, who were now entering the Castle. 

Her heart was beating wildly... and she quickly closed her eyes once again...sending out a silent plea to no one in particular...

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

Below... standing in the doorway, the five Space Explorers began to look around the enormous room, trying to get an idea of what was ahead of them, before proceeding forward.

It was then that Keith could hear it...once again...

That strange female voice, calling to his mind...



"No...not now!" he thought to himself, as she slightly shook his head back and forth.



But the voice remained, and then, suddenly proclaiming a fearful plea for help, more vivid then he had ever heard from her before...



"They're here!  Oh, they're here!  What can I do now?  Where can I find help now!  Can anyone hear me calling?  What now...help me...I'm...I'm so afraid!  Are they here to kill me?"



Keith shook his head, trying to clear his mind of the fleeing plea for help.  There was nothing he could do for the pleader, whether she was real or only an imagination in his mind.  He had to concentrate on his task at hand...

The five Space Explorers had cleared the door, and were heading toward the stairway.

Allura crouched down even lower then before, desperately regretting not having followed Coran's directive to find shelter in the caverns.  Now, she was forced to deal with whoever these five people were.

She covered her mouth with her hand, attempting to keep herself from crying out in fear.

Pidge and Keith reached the stairway first.  Keith tilted his head upward toward the top of the stairs. "Pidge, get up there and take a look around." Keith ordered.

Allura's eyes suddenly grew wide with fear...for someone was now going to come up the stairs. She would surely be discovered, and then, handed over to Zarkon.

She began to shake...

But as Pidge started to step up, suddenly, Hunk began to shout for
their attention.

"GUYS!" Hunk screamed. "THE DOOR...IT'S CLOSING!"

Keith only needed a split second to respond...  "Stop that door... NOW!"

The five Space Explorers ran back for the door, but before they could reach it, the door slammed shut, trapping all of them inside the Castle.

Hunk began to pound his fist on it first,
and everyone else followed
his lead.

"Let us out!" Shouted Lance,
as he pounded with all his might on the
heavy door.

Pidge pulled on the handle with
all he had within his small body. But
the door wouldn't budge.

"Come on, everyone!" Keith relied.
"Grab somewhere on the door and
pull!"

"Hunk can pull the door open!" Pidge shouted, as he pointed ot his muscular friend. 

"Stand back... Give me room!" Strongman Hunk shouted, as he prepared to give it all he had to open the door.

Keith quickly directed everyone backward a few steps away from the door, giving Hunk room to work.

Hunk first wiggled his fingertips into the cracks of the doorframe, and then, he began to yank at the door, grunting angrily as he pulled.

It was then, that the five heard a mysterious, deep voice, echo throughout the hall...

"You can not escape!" said the mysterious voice from behind the group.

The five Space Explorers suddenly turned around, and saw a figure of a man in the shadows.

Who's there?" cried Keith, facing
toward the unidentified figure, his
spear pointing forward for defense.

"You are strangers to Arus!
You are not welcome here!"
The voice proclaimed, echoing
endlessly through the hall that
they were all standing in.

The other space explorers
turned their spears at the
man in the shadows.

Keith began to scan the
area with his eyes, but it
was impossible to see anything.
The entire area was dark...
with the exception of a single ray
of light that was coming from a whole in the ceiling.

As Keith continued to scan the area with his eyes, his keenly attuned ears suddenly caught the sound of the direction that the voice was coming from.

"I said, show yourself!" Keith threatened again, this time, projecting his own voice in the direction of the threatening voice.  "We don't want to harm you."

"Who are you, and why have you come here?" the voice said.

"We crashed on this planet!" Keith said, his eyes squinting as he tried to focus on the direction of the unknown man's voice.

"You must leave here at once!" The voice unpleasantly demanded. "You
are trespassing!"

"We'll be happy to leave!" Pidge said. "Just let us out of here!"

"Listen!" Keith tried again, as his spear was still pointed forward.  "We've come here to help the people of this planet!  We're not your enemies!  We crashed here while trying to escape King Zarkon...and now..."

"You have escaped Zarkon?" the voice called out suddenly, with an obviously changed tone.

"Yes!" Keith called back. "Zarkon took us prisoner...while we..."

"Are you...from Earth?" the voice called back.

"Yes!" Keith shouted back. "We were sent here...by the Galaxy Alliance!"

Lance took a step forward, motioning his hand from side to side.  "What happened to this place?  It must have been beautiful at one time."

"Yes, it was beautiful once, as was our
entire planet.  This was the Castle of Lions,
and those who dwell here are of the
Royal House of Arus."  The man
stepped from the shadows into the
light that was shining from a hole in
the roof. In his hand, he held a dimly lit
candle.

Pidge leaned into Hunk...
"He must mean, the Princess
we we're supposed to look for!
That means she must still be alive!"
Pidge whispered.

Hunk's only response was his nodding head.

Lance quickly elbowed Keith gently, as he suddenly caught a glimpse of the mysterious man in the shadows.  The man looked very stately, and once again, addressed the group of Space Explorers...this time, with a more polite tone of voice.

"We...we feared you were dead!" The man said to the five.

"Almost," Sven said calmly. "We barely made it here wit our lives."

"Zarkon's forces are hunting for us...even now." Keith added. "We had hoped someone would be here, but...judging from the exterior of the Castle, we didn't know.  That's why we came inside."

"Forgive me," the stately gentleman replied. "We live fearfully, these days, and trust no one. We thought you were bounty hunters, sent here to seek the life of our Princess."

"On the contrary," Sven replied. "We've been ordered to find da Princess, and work wit her to restore da planet."

"Are you a scientist?" he asked the mysterious man, now standing before them all with a walking stick in his hand.

"No.  My name is
Sir Coran Anderson.
I am keeper of these ruins. And
protector of the secrets of Voltron."

"Voltron? We know about Voltron!
Do you still have it?" Keith
jumped in.

"Yes, but alas, King Zarkon's evil witch, Hagar, placed a spell on mighty Voltron and separated him into five robot lions.  They now sleep throughout Arus.  We have no champions to unite them together."

"Help us stop Zarkon!  Give us Voltron!  We can save your planet!" Keith shouted insistently.

Coran, still very skeptical about these strange young men standing before him, kept looking to the staircase, and then, up into the darkness of the balcony overhead.

He had heard the shuffling of feet above him, just short time ago.  And knowing Allura as he did, he knew she was up there.  He was disappointed, however, in the fact that she did not flee into the caverns, as he had directed her to do.

But then again... he never really expected her to flee in the first place.

"We can be your champions!" Keith said again, gathering Coran's attention back to the group. "We can reunite Voltron again!  Just tell us how!"

Coran hestitated, turning his head away once again.  Keith again pleaded...  "You've got to trust us!  I know you have no reason to, but if there's any chance that Arus is going to be free again, you must trust us!"

Coran turned his head back around...and stared at Keith.


"Good Lord...could he be the one?  The one foretold would come...the one King Alfor said he envisioned would be Allura's...no...it just can not be...how can I believe such a thing of anyone who is a stranger to our world...our customs!  No..."


Coran thought quietly, as he looked into Keith's face from a safe distance away.  The light was dim, making eye contact difficult.  Yet...Coran couldn't shake the thought...


"Could he be the Lion Knight, foretold in the archives, that would come to Arus in its greatest time of need?  And, if I should turn these men away, would I inadvertently destroy what is to come?"

Coran sighed gently...  "I...I...reluctantly will trust you." he said.

Keith smiled slightly, then lowered his spear.  The others followed his lead, lowering their spears as well.

"Where are the lion ships?" Keith asked.  "How can we reunite them again?"

"Each robot lion has a specially designated operating key.  But the five keys for Voltron are with our beloved King Alfor.  He has been laid to rest, and his wish was that the keys be laid to rest with him." Coran said quietly.

"We've got to have dose keys, Keit!  It's da secret to Voltron!" Sven said, grabbing onto Keith's arm.

"We will, Sven." Keith reassured his friend.  Then, Keith took a step forward from his team and met Coran half way.  "We want to help you!  But you've got to help us too!  Give us the ability to save your planet!  Give us Voltron!"

"I will give you all of the help you need." Coran said. "And I'm sure you have the help and blessing of the only surviving member of the Royal family.  Her Royal Highness... Princess Allura."

Coran swung his hand upward toward the stairway.

Out of the shadows came a lovely form.
Beauty to behold. Her beauty
instantaneously mesmerized
the five Space Explorers.

The broup of Space Explorers
couldn't believe their eyes.

"She's beautiful!" Pidge said quietly,
staring at the lovely Princess
descending the staircase.








Her beauty fascinated Keith,
especially; and his heart was
immediatelycaptivated,
as were his eyes.

The beautiful Princess of Arus
was dressed in an elegant pink gown,
with a bell skirt.  The dress flowed
with her as she moved.  Her long, golden
blonde hair flowed too, spilling
over her shoulders. 

Keith found himself getting lost in
her deep blue eyes.

Upon reaching the last few steps
of the staircase, she paused and
looked at the tattered strangers
standing in her Castle.  She shot
Coran a troubled look of fear.
He quickly nodded to her, and her
fears disappeared.

"It's alright, Princess...these
brave young men are here to help us
fight evil King Zarkon."
Coran said as he took hold of her
hand on decent of the last few stairs.

She had a jeweled crown surrounding her head. Her golden blonde hair was shuffling with the drafts of air that were moving through the old Castle.

She stared curiously at the dashing young man with black hair and
mysterious dark eyes.

Upon watching the exchange from where she hid at the top of the
stairs, it appeared that this handsome young man standing before her
was the group's leader.

Princess Allura took a few steps
ahead of Coran and addressed
the Space Explorers.

"What are your names?" she asked.

One by one, each of them identified
themselves to her.

"Welcome to our poor planet. I am Princess Allura, ruler of Planet Arus.  Coran has told you what a beautiful place Arus once was.  I'm glad my father is no longer alive to see it in ruins."



"I know this voice..." Keith thought to himself, as he focused in on what she was saying.



The kind Princess turned and gazed at a portrait that hung at the top of the staircase.  It was a portrait of what appeared to be a king; standing on a hill with what they assumed was a royal flag.

Tears started to stream down Princess Allura's face.
She was truly missing her father.  And yet, her
sincerity was evidentà insisting on protecting the
good memory of her father's reign over the fine land
that once was.

"It would break his great, noble heart.
He loved this world, and was  a kind and gentle ruler.
Zarkon destroyed everything, but his
memory." She finished, weeping.

As Keith listened to the Princess speak, he closed his eyes for a moment...and recalled the familiar voice in his mind...the one he had just heard in his head, as he was entering the Castle. The voice, that had once again, called to him for help.

Now, he was hearing the melodic voice of Princess Allura.

The mysterious voice...
The Princess's voice...

The Princess's voice!

Suddenly...it hit Keith...like a ton of bricks...

Then...the picture of woman in the shadows...the one he drempt back in the forest.  The mysterious woman that his mind had placed a face on. 

He began to compare the vision verses the woman now standing before him...














Identical ...in nearly every way!


"Now I know where I've heard this voice before!   It's the mysterious voice from my dreams!  It's her voice I've been hearing all these years!  Its her face that my mind produced!  She must have telepathic powers!   She's the one who's been talking to me!  It's her!  She's the one who's been calling to me all this time!  I know I'm right!  I can feel it, somehow!" Keith suddenly
thought, as his heart began to beat nearly out of control. "She's the one...the one calling for help! I would have never thought..."



Coran's voice interrupted Keith's thoughts, and he suddenly found himself back in the conversation, as Coran continued to speakà

"Kindly King Alfor died during one of our planet's most historical battles.  The Battle of Zohur was where King Alfor of Arus fought against King Zarkon of Doom.  Zarkon bested our king using treachery, and something else unexpected.  Long ago, our king had fallen in love with a beautiful alien woman name, Hagar.  She came from another dimension.  When our people spurned her, Alfor had no choice but to abandon his love for her.  Enraged at his abandonment, Hagar joined forces with Zarkon.  In the years that past, as Hagar worked for the evil king, her heart hardened, and so did her appearance.  She became old and ugly.  At the battle of Zohur, she distracted our king long enough for Zarkon to strike him down. Alfor was felled by Hagar's
evil, as he once was by her beauty."

"How awful." Keith somberly said, focusing his attention on the Princess, her head down and her eyes closed.  He felt as if he were in a dream, himself.

To have finally found the source of the pleading voice...after all of these years.

Coran continued his taleà...

"The Princess was a mere child when her father was killed.  Her mother, our beloved Queen Angelica Camille, died of illness a few years earlier.  Princess Allura was orphaned at the age of 11 years old, and left to rule Planet Arus alone, with only the guidance of the palace compliment and myself." Coran finished. "Now, King Zarkon seeks the live of our Princess...
some six years after he had killed King Alfor.  If he can destroy her...or imprison her, he has
all but succeeded in conquering Arus."

"Coran," Allura said quietly. "I'm sure these brave men do not need to be bored with such details."

"Oh, bore us, please!" Lance blurted out suddenly with an anxious smile...earning him an abrupt nudge in the side from Keith.

But Lance was right...she was breath-taking...

Princess Allura was the most stunning person that Keith had ever seen.  She was truly beautiful beyond words.  There is truly none her equal.

Keith tried not to stare so heavily.  He was amazed at how much this princess has gone through.  No wonder she had cried out for help, all this time.

He and his comrades had no right to complain about their own ordeal as captives of Zarkon. This young woman's heart had been captive for a long time with personal tragedy.

Coran continued...

"Voltron was Arus's protector. He was the defender of the universe.  But as I stated earlier, Hagar, cast a spell on him, breaking him up into five individual robot lions.  Those five lions
came falling down to Arus from the sky.  Each one buried itself in a different part of our planet as it landed. Blue Lion crashed into the mote surrounding the Castle.  Red Lion crashed into a volcano.  Green Lion landed in the forest. Yellow Lion slammed into the dessert.  And Black Lion turned into a lion monument outside of the Castle gates."

"That lion growled at us when we came close to the Castle!" young Pidge noted.

Coran nodded. "Yes, the noble Black Lion of Voltron.  He still watches over us."

Still mesmerized by the Princess, and the fact that he had finally found the source of his agonizing dreams, Keith forced himself to focus in on what was being said.

"Continue, Coran." Keith beckoned him. "Tell us more about what happened here...after Voltron was split up."

The five of them listened carefully to Coran, as he continued his story.

"Without Voltron to protect us,
Zarkon was able to defeat us. 
But now that you're here, there's
hope again that Voltron may live
once more to fight for justice!"
Coran concluded.

"That's right." Keith added.
"Those five robot lions are the
key to Voltron. And there are
five of us to pilot them!"

Coran looked at the Princess with a smile.
"Princess," he said. "I think we have found
Arus's champions. From this moment on, you five
shall be known as THE VOLTRON FORCE!"

Keith walked forward and knelt in front of
Princess Allura.  She extended her hand toward
him, and as he gazed upward into her face,
he could see that her eyes were warm and tender...
a young woman, who
was full of compassion.

He took hold of her hand and gently
kissed the back of it... pledging to protect her and her planet, from the evil forces of Doom.  He looked up at her, once again, after he had kissed her hand.

She was now staring at himàin the most peculiar way...

Keith released her hand and rose to his feet...with a questioning expression on his own face.

"Your Highness?" the young captain asked her.

"I...I know this is going to sound rather... well...strange...but," Allura stammered. "I...I feel as if I...as I know you, somehow."

The young Princess suddenly began to blush, shaking her head slowly, as a simple smile crossed her lips, "But surely...that can't be.  I've only met you a few short moments ago."

Keith smiled in return, choosing to keep his discovery a secret, at least, for now. "Perhaps, I remind you of someone, maybe." Keith replied.

She returned his smile with one of her own, and then nodded her head. "Perhaps..."

Keith was amazed...

How is it that he recognized her voice immediately...and yet...she didn't even realize that it was him that she had been communicating with all of this time?



"She doesn't know it's me she's been talking to," Keith reasoned. "She must not be able to sense it...but how...how could she have reached my mind, over the thousands of parsecs of space?"


Keith chose to put the thought aside for now.

He suddenly found himself captivated once again, as he looked into the richness of her eyes. They were as blue in color, as the deepest ocean he had ever seen.

She had a kind heart, and a gentle way about her.  She was as radiant as the sun.

It was her melodic voice that finally bade him to return to the present...

"And are you the leader of this group?" Allura asked, attempting to direct the conversation in another direction.

"Yes, Princess. I am." Keith responded, standing proudly.

"Hmm...they seem very disciplined.  I admire your command abilities." The Princess said.

"Thank you, Your Highness." Keith replied, bowing his head slightly.

"No, it is I who should be thanking you...Captain Keith." She warmly smiled.

"It's an honor to serve you, Princess Allura." Keith replied back. "I'm just very sorry that I...uh...we...couldn't get here sooner."

He quickly made the correction, catching himself stressing, 'I' rather than 'we'.

"Our troubles have long-since existed, before you were old enough to fly," Coran interjected. "Planet Arus has been at war for many years with Planet Doom.  Our planet has suffered much devastation...and the Princess, herself, has suffered greatly, in the way of personal tragedy."

"Coran," Allura suddenly said to him, as she turned her head to sternly look at him. "Perhaps now is not the time to go over that."

"Its okay," Keith replied, seemingly defending Coran. "If you ever feel like you need to talk to any one of us about anything...please...feel free to."

Affirming replies came from Sven, Lance, Pidge and Hunk.

Allura tilted her head and looked at the young commander.  Then she smiled once again...but the smile was short-lived.

The Castle suddenly began to shake violently!

Allura looked up toward the ceiling, covering her mouth quickly. "Oh no!" she gasped.

"Its them!" Pidge hollered. "The Doom goons!  They've tracked us here!"

"Quickly!" Coran shouted.  "Come with me!  We will be safe in the Castle's Control Room!"

Allura turned, taking hold of Coran's awaiting hand. Keith motioned to his group to follow the Castle advisor.

It appeared that company had arrived.
back