"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 24
The Lion Knights Return!


The old Castle of Lions literally trembled, as the vibrations from the surrounding explosions plummeted from the sky and onto the ground.

Coran and Allura led the way to the Castle's Control Room...the tactical operations center. The Space Explorers followed quickly behind them.  It wasn't long before they were all standing before a great steel door.

Coran stepped forward and entered a secret code into the keyboard that was attached to the adjacent wall.

Suddenly, the great door opened up, revealing the nerve center of the Castle of Lions.

Another earth-shaking explosion and an all-to-familiar thundering blast caused the small group to startle, as they quickly filed inside the Control Room, while more cement dust lightly sailed through the air from the ceiling above.

The door quickly slide closed behind the group, after the last of them had entered the room.

Keith gasped as he took a quick look around. "Holy Cow..." he murmured, just above a whisper.

"Would'ja look at that!" Pidge's voice echoed, as he gazed with all fascination at the command center.

"Whoa..." Lance said, as he echoed Keith and Pidge's enthusiasm. "Incredible..."

"This is some Control Room!" Keith added.

Before them was a enormous room...
nearly the size of a great hall.  Below
them, at the bottom of the stairs, was
the control center.  Before them was an
enormous main view screen.

"Incredible  is right, Lance,"
Sven added.  "This is fantastic,
Your Highness!"

"Yeah!" Hunk murmured.
"This is state of the art stuff!"

Coran smiled at the astounded group. "Our King made quite sure that we had the use of the best equipment, computers and sensor systems at our disposal.  He knew troubling days were ahead, and he took great care in providing for his daughter, in the event of his demise.  With
our long history of turbulant relations with Planet Doom, he somehow knew that he might not be here to see Allura grew into adulthood."

Keith slowly looked over to the Princess... she was smiling through the tears that were in her eyes.  He didn't want to interrupt, because it was obvious that the Princess still had unhealed wounds from the loss of her kingly father...but another close blast to the Castle, seemingly set up his next direction in the conversation...

"You said, back there, that Voltron had been broken up into five separate parts...with five separate keys to operate him?" Keith suddenly said. "Can you show us where the keys are?"

"The keys are in the Royal Crypt...in the tomb of King Alfor." Coran replied.

"My father," Allura added quietly, drawing Keith's attention only for a moment before he spoke once again.

"Can you show us where the lions are?" Keith asked.

Coran nodded.  He led the group down the stairway to the command center, where he took his place in the center seat.  There, Coran activated the main monitor before them.

As the monitor lit up,
the images of four lions,
each of a different color
and design appeared
on the screen...all of them
were in resting positions.
The fifth lion was in the form
of a cement statue, sitting
high upon the great Lion
Monument in the front of the Castle.

"As you can see," Coran said.
"They are each in their natural
element."

"Natural element?" Pidge asked.  "What's that mean?"

"Let me explain," Coran proceeded. "Each lion ship was created with a different, basic element of nature...an element that is infused in all living lions.  Black Lion is the lion of the air, and therefore, rests high atop of the Lion Monument.  Blue Lion is the lion of water, and its resting-place is in the great mote surrounding the Castle of Lions.  Green Lion is the lion of nature, and therefore, rests deep within the forest. Yellow Lion is the lion of the earth, and rests peacefully in a deep cave in the desert.  And finally, the Red Lion is the lion of fire, and its resting-place lies deep within the heart of a raging volcano.  Each of these lions brings a unique power to Voltron, as whole.  Only the most skilled Lion Knights will be able to pilot the robot lions of Voltron."

Allura added, "Yes...for it is more than mere skill alone that operates the robot lions of Voltron.  You must feel your lion... and its element. You must be one with the lion."

"One with the lion..." Keith replied slowly. "I've heard that phrase before."

"From where?" Coran asked.

"When we were prisoners on Planet Doom we met up with two Arusian prisoners.  One of them grabbed my arm, and he said that he sensed that I was, 'one with the lion', whatever that meant." Keith replied.

"What became of them?" Coran asked.

Keith paused, then let out a quick sigh. "Unfortunately, they died in the arena, victims of Zarkon's brutality."

"For certain?" Allura asked with a grimaced face, as she turned her gaze from Keith to his companions.

A nod came from Lance, Pidge, Hunk and Sven.

"Its true, Princess,"
Pidge said with a sad
tone of voice. "They were
killed..."

"They went without any reservation." Keith said quietly. "They died..."

"Bravely." Sven added. "Dey died wit honor."

"Yeah," Lance said sadly.
"They died with honor...
while Zarkon sat up in his
comfortable booth, and
watched the whole thing...applauding
and laughing...I'm sure of it!"

"They were the bravest men I've ever known." Hunk added. "They only thought of you, Princess."

"Yeah, they made us vow to find and protect you." Lance said. "They thought nothing of themselves."

Allura shook her head, and then, looked over toward her advisor. "Oh, Coran..." she uttered his name sadly. "More of our people..."

"Yes, Princess." Coran replied with a tone of sadness all of his own.

"But they sacrificed themselves, in order to give us a chance to escape." Keith added. "I think you should know that, Princess."

"You shoult be very proud of dem." Sven also said.

The kind-hearted Princess took the back of her hand and wiped her eyes once again, something the Space Explorers had seen her do at least a dozen times, since they had found her.

"Please," Allura said in a soft, sad voice. "We need your help.  Our poor planet can not last much longer."

"And, everyday, there are bounty hunters sent to Arus, seeking the life, or the capture, of Princess Allura.  She would be Zarkon's greatest prize, for to capture her would destroy the heart and will of the people. Arus would be doomed." Coran said to the group of Earthlings.

"He'll never get his filthy hands on her!"
Hunk said in a raised
voice. "Nothing doing!"

"Yeah!" Lance blurted out in
agreement, suddenly balling up
his fist in anger. "You just let
Zarkon come here and try that,
with us around!  He'll soon
find out what a real beating feels like!"

"The only way we stand a chance of beating
Zarkon, is to get at those keys and unite
Voltron together!" Keith replied.
"Voltron is the key to saving Arus!"

Allura stepped up to Keith, suddenly causing his eyes to gaze once again, into her face.  She suddenly reached down and took his left hand into her hands...

"Please..." she began to plead. "Please...help me stop wicked Zarkon, from taking any more of my people away into captivity!  Please...you must help me!"

Momentarily stunned by her actions, Keith gazed into her blue, tearing eyes.  Her gaze toward him was as sincere as her plea for help.

Allura's tears were falling like rain from her face.

As Keith continued to gaze at her, it suddenly became clear to him, that she was unlike any princess he had ever read about in any fairy tale story he had ever known.

But...it was that phrase that caught Keith's attention the most...


"Please...you must help me!"



Having to stop himself from touching her face with his hand, as a gesture of concern, he instead, crossed his right hand over his heart, and gave her a determining nod.

Allura released his hand, taking a step backward from him.

"That's exactly why we're here, Princess." Keith said to her. "We're here to help...but...we need Voltron..."

Suddenly, Coran had drawn
everyone's attention toward him. 
While Keith and Allura were talking,
he had taken the opportunity to
retrieve five large and long white
boxes. He now stood before the
group of Space Explorers.

Hunk looked at Coran...
"What's that in your arms?"

"A very observant question, Master Hunk.   In my arms, are five uniforms.  These uniforms are very special uniforms, the likes of which have been worn by all of the Lion Knights who had ever operated Voltron.  There were eleven brave souls who had the pleasure of wearing this design." Coran said.

"What happened to them?" Pidge asked.

Coran replied slowly, "Sadly, they were all killed."

Lance's body shook. "Ick!  You mean...we're going to wear uniforms that belongs to a bunch of dead guys?"

Coran's face frowned. "I beg your pardon!  These are replicas of the original uniform design! Certainly, these uniforms have never been worn before!"

Lance suddenly turned his head downward in a sheepish manner...in addition to drawing a disguised look from the rest of the team.

Coran cleared his throat...while resisting the urge to rolls his eyes at the 'youngster' with an attitude.

"As Lion Knights to the Princess, you will wear these uniforms with pride and honor as you fly in her service." Coran added.

"Uh, we really don't need new clothes,"
Keith said in a most serious
voice.

"We need Voltron!"
Sven added, also in a serious voice.

"It is royal tradition." Coran pointed out.

Pidge snapped his fingers, as he looked over to Princess Allura. "If it pleases the Princess... then I say, okay! Suit up, guys!"

Keith was the first to step forward.  Coran placed the boxes down on a nearby chair.  He carefully handed Keith the top box.

"Because you are to be the Commander of Voltron, you are to wear the Arusian command color of 'RED'. The color red has always stood for bravery and valor."

Keith nodded politely, but confidently, as he accepted the suit from Coran's hands.

He quickly stepped back, allowing Lance to come forward next.

"I have selected the blue uniform for you. The color, BLUE, in Arusian culture, means vim and vigor...a disciplined attitude.  I believe it will suit you, Master Lance."

Hunk leaned into Sven's ear, "Man, did Coran screw up that one!  Lance... a disciplined attitude?  Not on your life!"

Sven rose his pointer finger to his lips, silencing Hunk immediately.

Pidge moved up next in line. Coran looked down at the youngster and smiled. "I have selected the color of GREEN for you, small one, in honor of the Green Lion of ancient days.  Legend has it that the Green Lion was the most intelligent of all of the lion guardians to our first Queen, Ariela."

"Whoa!" Pidge beamed, as he used his forefinger to push up his glasses. "That's quite an honor!"

"Yes, it is!" Coran replied, touched by the young boy's enthusiasm.  "I have picked out the smallest size for you.  I believe it should fit you."

Pidge nodded with a smile as he reached up, and took the box into his hands, and slipped it underneath his arm.

Hunk came in behind Pidge, and as he stepped aside, Coran handed him his boxed uniform. "I have chosen the color, YELLOW, for you, for your strength of will and your courage and might."

Hunk's chest puffed up with pride as he took the box into his hands and then, stepped aside, joining his other friends.

Last, but not least, was Sven. Coran smiled at him as he handed him his box. "Inside, you find a BLACK uniform, which is no reflection on you personally.  Your demeanor, however, is one of mystery, so therefore, you shall bear the color, black, for being a warrior who works quietly, but efficiently."

Sven nodded his head calmly, as he accepted the box from Coran.

"Is there a place where we can try these on?" Hunk asked.

"Yes, let me show you to a place where you can change." Coran replied.

The five Space Explorers walked off with Coran, leaving the Princess momentarily alone in the Control Room.  A few more moments had passed by, and then Coran had rejoined her once again.

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

It wasn't long before the five of them had returned,
dressed in their new uniforms.

Allura's face brightened immediately upon
seeing them enter the room, bearing the
colors of the Lion Knights of Voltron.

Coran smiled as well, "Ah! This is good!
Our uniforms in action once again!"

"Yes," Allura said with a sighing breath. "Yes it is."

Coran then stepped forward. "Raise your right hands...all of you."

The five Space Explorers obliged him, by raising their gloved right hands.

"I charge the five of you, to protect Her Royal Highness, Princess Allura, and that by your oath, you swear allegiance to the Crown of her authority, and to the Royal House of Arus." Coran said. "If this is your intention, signify such by saying, 'we swear'."

Each of them, with hands raised, repeated in a unison voice, "We swear!"

"Then, as guardian of the secrets of Voltron, I now pronounce that you are Lion Knights of Voltron, protectors of Arus, and defenders of the throne of Arus, and of she, who wears the crown of Arus.  I dub thee, officially, the Voltron Force!"

After the sacred moment had passed, Keith nodded, and then looked back to Coran, "Now...if you please, can you show us the keys to the robot lion ships?"

"Yes," Sven said. "We haven't much time."

"Of course," Coran replied. "Please come with me." He then turned to Allura. "Princess, if you will excuse us, we shall not be long."

"I'm coming with you." Allura said in a determined voice.

Coran suddenly shook his head. "The tomb is a sad place, Your Highness.  It will only serve to bring on sad memories.  I beg you, Princess, please, remain here. We shall not be long."

It was now Allura's turn to shake her head. "I've been to the tomb on many occasions, Coran. It's not sad.  I get strength from being close to Father."

Coran shot her a questionable look, but then, decided not to pursue the protest any further.

He was sure that she was telling the truth.

"Very well, Princess." Coran said slowly. "If you insist.  But we must hurry!"

Coran nodded his head, and he turned to leave the Control Room.

Allura followed behind Coran, as he led the new members of the Voltron Force to the Royal Crypt...the final resting place of King Alfor DeVille.
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