"The Enemy Unknown"

A story based on "Voltron, The Third Dimension"
Copyright 2002
By Adele Previte

"Voltron" and its characters are a trademark and copyright of World Event Productions

All other characters are copyrighted by me and can be used with my permission.

Thanks!


Chapter Six
Banquet Battle

Seating began nearly an hour after all the guests had arrived.

King Ashland, Queen Josephilina, and Prince Constantine were seated next to Vice Admiral Royce's immediate right.  Amalgamus rolled up to the table merely as a mediator.

Seated to his right were members of the Alliance Council of Elders, including Vice Marshal Jonathan Graham.

Next to Graham, sat the members of the Voltron Force, with Princess Allura seated between Marshal Graham and Commander Keith.  Lance, Pidge and Hunk sat next to their Commander.  Next, were Princess Romelle and Lt. Commander Sven B'Yourn of Planet Pollux.  To the left of Amalgamus were members of the delegation from Planet Gundahar.

King Drago sat to Royce's immediate left, with a constant eye in the direction of the young Princess of Arus.  The watchful eye did not go unnoticed.  Keith quickly homed in on it and placed himself of alert.

Lance also picked up on it.  "Uh-oh, don't look now," Lance whispered to Keith.  "But King 'Dragon-breath' has his eye on our Princess!"

"Yeah...I see that." Keith replied with a
very even tone.  "Keep on your toes,
got it?"

"Got it." Lance agreed.

Amalgamus started the banquet with a
few words, followed by a few more
words from Vice Admiral Royce.
Moments later, the feasting began
with a generous round of Italian antipasto.

As the plates were being passed,
Prince Constantine rose from his
seat and began walking over to where
Allura was seated.  Romelle saw him
coming, and quickly passed the word
down the line until it finally reached
Keith's ears.  He leaned over to her...

"Company...to your right..."
he whispered quickly to Allura.

She turned her head just in time to see Constantine come up behind her.  He greeted her with a smile. "Perhaps, a pleasant walk in the gardens after dinner, Princess Allura?" he asked.

Allura smiled graciously. "Oh, thank you, Your Highness.  But... Commander Keith already has that honor. But thank you all the same for your gracious invitation."

Constantine smiled half-heartedly, and then returned to his seat.

Lance leaned over Keith toward Allura. "Nicely handled, Princess!" Lance chuckled.  "Way to dump that guy!"

"He's so arrogant!" Allura huffed. "He thinks he can win me over with his suave charm! Well, he has another thing coming!  I'm not that easily swayed!"

"Not to mention, that someone else has already swayed you, way before this guy even thought about it!" Lance added, bring a slight flush to Keith's cheeks.

"As you were, Lieutenant." Keith said sternly.

"Aye, Aye, Sir!" Lance said with a snappy salute that wasn't fooling anybody.

Drago cleared his throat after he took a sip of the wine that had been poured by one of the waiters.

"Your planet is very beautiful, Amalgamus." Drago proclaimed.

"Yes, this planet is rich in natural beauty." The cyborg replied matter-of-factly.  "I believe it is the most beautiful in the Milky Way galaxy."

"To say the least." Drago replied as he took another sip of wine.  He then leaned forward. "And I have heard that Planet Arus is as lovely as her ruler.  Is that correct, Princess Allura?"

Allura smiled politely.  "Thank you." She said calmly.

"I think..." Lance mumbled to Keith, who was taking a sip of water.  "He's making the moves on Allura..."

Drago continued.  "I dare say that your beauty exceeds that of any woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing in my lifetime, Princess."

Lance leaned over to Keith again. "Red Alert! Shields up!"

Keith turned his head and gave Lance a stern look.  He then turned his gaze toward King Drago.

"Tell us about Gundahar, King Drago."
Keith asked, attempting to change the
direction of the conversation. "What is
your planet like?"

"Gundahar is not what it used to be,
I'm afraid, Commander." Drago
replied with a bit of a sigh in his voice.
"Once our planet was rich
with natural resources..."

"And would have been still, had you not purged your planet of them!" King Ashland suddenly interrupted.  "Now that they're gone, you want to plunder my world, in much the same fashion that you did yours!"

Drago looked at Ashland. "Strong words, coming from such a small man!" Drago replied.

"You believe yourself to be innocent of these matters.  Well, for the record, let me say that my people have and continue to be, prey to you!  You have kidnapped many, killed many... selling many more..." Ashland erupted.

"There is absolutely no proof of that, Ashland, and you know it!" Drago bellowed suddenly.

"Are you calling me a liar?" Ashland shouted.  "I say you have kidnapped our people, tortured them, worked them to death, and then come and get more to replace those that have died!"

"Gentlemen, gentlemen!" Amalgamus interrupted.  "This is a social occasion!  You are here to enjoy each other's company...not to argue amongst each other!"

"My husband speaks wisely!" Josephilina said suddenly.  "Drago is evil!  He must not be trusted!"

"I wouldst watch thy tongue, fair Queen, lest ye should lose it!" Drago hissed at her mockingly.

Josephilina recoiled suddenly behind her husband.  Ashland spoke out in her defense.  "You shall apologize immediately!  That tone shall not be taken with my wife!"

"Your wife has a big mouth...much like that of her husband!" Drago spat out.  "Perhaps you both could take a less or two from young Princess Allura down the way.  She demonstrates the proper way to behave as a royal!"

"Gentlemen, please!" Amalgamus said again. "I must insist that this bickering cease at once!"

"Yeah, why can't you guys get along...just for one night?" Lance asked. "Do you got to be at each other's throats all the time?"

"King Drago can not be trusted!" Ashland shouted.  "And as long as I have breath in my body, I shall not trust him!"

"Take care, old man!" Drago replied harshly.

"That is enough!" Amalgamus shouted.  "You shall not speak like this between yourselves this evening!  This conversation must end, immediately!  You are offending Princess Allura!"

"Of course, Amalgamus." Ashland replied.  He quickly looked down toward the Arusian delegation. "Please forgive us, Princess Allura."

Allura nodded toward King Ashland.

Drago said nothing.

Allura then turned to Keith.  "I need to step away to the ladies room."

Keith gave her a nod, but then turned his head to Allura's cousin.  "Romelle, will you go with her?"

Romelle nodded and excused herself from the table, and followed Allura out of the dining hall. Moments later, Drago quietly excused himself from the table as well.

Lance leaned over to Keith once again, catching Drago's exit route. "I smell trouble, skipper!"

"Yeah," Keith echoed his second's concerns. "Me too.  With a capital 'T'..."

"Shouldn't that be with a capital 'D', for Drago?" Lance replied back.

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

Nearly ten minutes later, the two princesses came out of the ladies room, and had began the short trek back to the banquet hall.

"Your Majesties!" the deep baritone voice said from behind them.

Startled, Allura and Romelle both jumped before finally steadying themselves to face Drago.

"King Drago," Allura replied innocently. "Shouldn't you be in the banqueting hall?"

"I needed to freshen up." He replied. "And you?"

"The same." Romelle replied in a smug tone, as she tugged at Allura's arm. "We must be going now."

"Not so fast," Drago replied, grabbing onto Allura's free arm.  "I would like to get to know you...both of you!"

"What is to know?" Allura replied.

"For instance...you both look so much alike. Are you sisters?" Drago asked.

"No, we're cousins!  And we must get back to the banquet hall before we are missed!" Romelle said, then turned to Allura. "Come, Cousin!"

"Yes, of course, Romelle!" Allura agreed. "Good evening, King Drago."

"I said..." Drago called out with a raised vocal tone, as he grabbed more forcefully at Allura's arm. "Wait a moment!"

"Excuse me!" Allura angrily
said as she shook her arm free.
"You are being very rude!
Unhand me this instant!"

"Allow us to continue!"
Romelle angrily said.

"Oh, by all means, Princess."
Drago bowed harshly to the
two of them. "I should not want to be the one who entices your boyfriends to a duel! By all means...leave with great speed."

"What are you talking about?" Romelle replied angrily. "Why do you refer to our escorts?"

Allura was now the one tugging at her gown's sleeve. "Romelle!  You know he's just trying to bring you to anger!  Let it go!"

Romelle wrenched her arm free from Allura's grip and then faced Drago. "Just who do you think you are addressing?" Romelle said angrily.

"A thousand pardons, oh feisty Princess of Pollux!  I truly meant no harm!" Drago said sarcastically while holding his hands in front of him, bearing a mocking look of fear.

"You are no king, not if you behave like that!" Romelle huffed, crossing her arms in front of herself.

"Princess Allura... Princess Romelle!"

Allura turned toward the voice calling out for their attention, and suddenly sighed a breath of relief to find Keith, Lance and Sven walking toward them.

Allura quickly tugged at Romelle's gown sleeve to draw her attention.  Romelle turned and saw Sven approaching them.  As she turned back to the King of Gundahar, she stuck out her tongue at him, then turned and walked quickly to Sven.

The king grinned falsely.  "Now that's attractive, Princess Romelle!" the King scoffed. "Sticking out your tongue!  Now tell me...is that the extent of your education, young Princess?  Why can't you behave with grace and poise...like your beautiful cousin, Princess Allura?"

"Okay, that's about all I can take from you!" Lance huffed as he showed signs that he was preparing to square off with him.

Keith halted Lance instantly. "Let it go, Lance!" Keith ordered.  "Let's get the Princesses back to the banquet."

"But Keith..." Lance protested.  "He's obviously making a pass at..."

"I said, drop it!" Keith said with a raised voice.

"Keit's right," Sven defended.  "We should get da ladies back to the banquet."

Lance stood for a moment with a puzzled look of annoyance on his face, then suddenly dropped his hands to his sides . "Fine," he said half-heartedly.  "You're in charge."

Keith nodded his head to King Drago.  A stern expression toward the King, however, remained on the Voltron Commander's face as he took Allura's elbow.  "You will excuse us, Your Highness." Keith said firmly.

The King gave a bow full of false appreciation.  Keith wasted no time in escorting Allura away from the area.

Sven, escorting Romelle, closely followed him.  Lance was last to leave.

As the group drew closer to the banquet hall, Keith stopped suddenly, then turned to Allura and Romelle.

"From now on, both of you are to be escorted wherever you go!" He spoke to them firmly.

Allura exchanged confused glances with Romelle before she finally turned her gaze back to Keith.  "I don't understand, Keith." she said to him. "Why..."

Keith pressed his lips together as
he turned his face away from her.
"I don't trust that guy, Allura.
And I would hope that after all
of this time, you would trust my
judgement."

"Of course,' she said slowly.
"You know that I do,"

"Then I expect that you will both make sure you are well escorted wherever you go, for as long as we are on Earth with this group of delegates. Understand?" he said sternly.

"Sven," Romelle turned to him. "What's going on here?"

Sven looked at Keith and
received a nod from him.
Sven then took Romelle
by the shoulders.

"Keit is concerned dat you
and Allura are in danger."

Romelle gasped, and her
hand flew to cover her mouth.
"Danger?  From whom and what?"

"We aren't sure yet, but we tink Drago's reputation precedes him.  All da same, we must be careful." Sven replied.

Allura paused, then spoke to Keith.  "Is it what you and I discussed earlier today?"

Keith's eyes shifted slightly then closed them as he nodded.  'I can't shake the feeling, Princess.  It's like what just happened with that guy..."

Allura turned her head back toward the direction
that King Drago went off in.

"Yeah, 'King Hormone' was definitely
making a pass at you, Princess!"
Lance said, stepping up to Allura and Keith.
"He's obviously got a thing for you, Allura.
He bolted out of the hall as soon as you and
Romelle left."

"And he's been obviously looking in your direction ever since you've arrived to the banquet tonight." Keith said.

Allura turned to look back at Keith, and suddenly starting to grab her throat with her hand. "Now, I'm frightened," she said in a whisper to him.

Keith reached his hand up to her chin, and gently brushed his finger underneath it.  "No need," he said with a smile.  "I promised I'd be here to protect you."

"Now can I sleep with you?" she said, not realizing how it came out.

Sven cleared his throat to stifle a chuckle.  Lance turned his head to avoid eye contact with Keith.  His expression would no doubt draw stern, disciplinary action for sure.

Keith smiled at her innocence, realizing that she didn't pick up on what she had said.  "I'll tell you what..." he started to say.  "I'll check your room over thoroughly before you retire for the night, just to make sure everything is okay. Will that help you feel safe?"

With a slight smile, she nodded her head.

"Now, let's get back to the banquet, before Amalgamus counts us all as AWAL." Keith said.

He reached down and grabbed hold of her hand, gently slipping it into the crook of his elbow. Sven did likewise with Princess Romelle.  The three men escorted both of the princesses back into the room.

From the shadow of the hallway, Drago let out an evil chuckle. 

"Try as you might, oh brave Voltron Commander, you will not be able to keep watch over her forever.  There will come a time...very soon, I think... when you will be unable to guard her with your life.  For your life will cease to exist!" he said in a low, sinister voice.  "When that has been accomplished, the Arusian Princess and her planet, will be mine, and mine alone."

With a smug feeling of control, he walked carefree across the hallway to return to the banquet, confident in his plans.
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