"The Enemy Unknown"
A story based on "Voltron, The Third Dimension"
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.
More in Detail
Keith stirred around ten minutes before two o'clock in the morning. He glanced over toward Hunk, who made eye contact with him for a moment or two before quickly turning away.
The Voltron Commander stretched a bit and let out a yawn. Hunk began a silent prayer for one of two things to happen...
Either Keith would fall back to sleep, which was very unlikely...
Keith would not notice that Lance was gone from the room...which was also very unlikely.
Keith's first thought was to check on the Princess, and make sure she was okay. She was pretty upset earlier when she was on the vid-phone with Romelle.
He rose carefully and quietly to his feet, and began a steady course toward her room.
The door was still open, so he quietly glanced inside. He saw Allura fast asleep on the bed, in what appeared to be a very uncomfortable position. Without another thought, he walked into her room. He was about to move her over, when he stopped in mid-motion.
Realizing that he could possibly wake her, he chose not to touch her, but instead, he just grabbed the covers and pulled them over her.
Instinctively, Allura curled up in them, snuggly. He smiled at her... and to himself.
This was his life...she was his life.
He had made up his mind that he would do nothing to compromise her safety...or his. Thinking about his earlier run in with Lance, he decided in that moment while watching Allura sleep, that allowing Garrison to handle the investigation on their own was the best way to handle Drago.
No sense in being a dead hero.
Satisfied that he had done all he could to make Allura comfortable, within reason, Keith turned and walked out of her room, leaving the door opened as it was before he entered.
With another yawn, Keith slowly made his way back to the couch. He had two more hours of sleep before it would be his turn for watch duty.
Pidge was just rising up out of sleep when Keith got back to the couch. The room was dark, and Pidge grabbed his glasses and placed them on his face. He was squinting a bit, but then things began to come into view.
Pidge rose to his feet and headed over toward Hunk. The big guy stood up and quickly headed over toward where Keith was, watching his leader fluff up a pillow he had been resting his head on.
Without a word, Hunk sat on the other end of the couch and started to close his eyes, as he leaned back and adjusted himself into an awkward position. Several moments had passed and not a word from anyone in the room.
Hunk began to rest easy...
"Hunk...Hunk, wake up!"
Pidge was at Hunk's side of the couch, shaking him a bit. "Wake up, Hunk-head!" Pidge whispered abruptly.
"I'm sleeping..." Hunk said softly, but firmly, hoping it would be enough to warn Pidge away.
Pidge was persistent. "Hunk! Wake up!"
Hunk rolled up his head up and looked at his younger friend. "What do you want?" he asked, in a rather annoyed sounding whisper.
"Where's Lance?" Pidge asked.
The question grabbed Keith's attention, but he remained still to hear the response...
"How should I know," Hunk replied. "Maybe...maybe he went to the bathroom! I don't know! Leave me alone, will ya!"
Keith's eyes immediately
flew open and he sat up.
With near lightning speed,
Keith darted off of the couch
and toward the shared bathroom
near Allura's door. The
bathroom was empty.
Keith darted back toward
Hunk and stood next to him.
"Where is he, Hunk?" Keith
asked sternly above a whisper,
just enough that Hunk
could hear the anger in his voice.
"I want an answer now, Hunk!"
Hunk squint his eyes, and cursed Lance's name under his breath. With a heavy sigh, Hunk sat up and looked straight at his Commander. "Gone..."
Keith's eyebrows knit together. "Gone?" Keith replied in a raised voice. "Gone where?"
Hunk shushed him. "Shh-h-h! You're gonna wake the Princess!"
"I'm going to do a lot more then that, if you don't start giving me some answers!" Keith said angrily, his voice now elevated.
"Sh-h-h!" Hunk said, placing his finger across his lips . "Maybe he went for a walk?"
"HUNK!" Keith shouted, grabbing his shoulders with his hands. It was then that it dawned on Keith where Lance had gone, and the Voltron Commander quickly looked up toward the ventilation shaft on the other side of the room.
He then looked back to Hunk and said, "Did he go up there?"
Hunk nervously bit his lower lip...afraid to tell Keith the truth, but knowing things would go worse for him if he didn't tell him. Instead, Hunk just nodded... yes.
A rather long and angry grunt escaped Keith's throat, and he walked over toward
the door to the hallway. He stopped short of opening the door...and thought for a moment on what to do next.
Allura's voice was now heard calling from her room. "Is there something wrong?" she asked in a groggy voice.
Keith's head whipped around and he rolled his eyes at Hunk. "How did he do it?" Keith asked the Yellow Lion pilot.
"I...well...I...I boosted him up there...I guess." Hunk stammered.
"You GUESS?" Keith said in a raised voice again. "Either you did or you didn't!"
"Okay! I did!" Hunk shouted back. "Geez, what difference does it make!"
"Hunk!" Pidge replied. "Lance is out there all alone! How could you just let him go?"
"I can't believe this..." Keith said, placing his hand on his forehead. "We're under orders to stay here for our protection...and Lance decides to be, 'Joe, the Adventurer' and takes off! And you... not only did you let him go...but you helped him go!" Keith finished, pointing his finger angrily at Hunk.
Hunk said nothing more, except to huff as he frowned.
Allura stepped out into the room, a look of concern on her face. She reached over and turned on the lights in the main room. When she saw the look of disgust and anger on Keith's face, she immediately knew something was wrong. Before she could say a word, she quickly
noticed that Lance was not in the room.
Allura looked toward Keith. "Where's Lance?" she asked him.
Keith looked over to her. "Gone!
And Hunk felt the need to help him
"Lance made it sound like it was
my duty to you and the Princess!"
Hunk said in defense of himself.
"He said that someone had to dig up
dirt on this guy Drago, otherwise,
he'd be coming after you and the
Princess! Now, he's gone!"
"And you bought that crap, Hunk?"
Pidge chuckled, sarcastically.
"What?" Allura gasped. "When? How?"
Keith pointed up to the ventilation shaft. "Up there...that's how! And as to when...Hunk? Would you care to answer that question for the Princess?"
"Shortly after my watch began...something like around...twelve-fifteen or so." Hunk said quietly.
"That's nearly two hours ago!" Allura gasped again. She turned to Keith. "Shouldn't we alert security?"
Keith sighed as he crossed his arms in front of him. "I've thought about it, but I'm not so sure that Lance had such a bad idea."
Hunk blinked his eyes and turned ferociously on Keith. "Wait a minute! You've just spent the last five minutes chewing me out for being an idiot, and now...you think that Lance might not have had a bad idea after all? Are you kidding me!"
"I'm not saying that you two didn't act irresponsibly! I'm just saying that Lance may have a point. Garrison's trying to convict Drago on circumstantial evidence. We all know where that's going to end up. Maybe Lance was right... maybe... we should do some investigating ourselves." Keith said in response.
Keith looked up at the ventilation shaft. He then turned back to the rest of his team. "I'll go after Lance."
Allura stepped forward. "Take me with you!" she said anxiously. "You shouldn't go alone!"
"I'll take Pidge with me. You aren't going anywhere. Drago obviously has a dangerous obsession for you." Keith reminded her. "The last thing we need right now is for you to confront him!"
"May I remind you that Drago has the same dangerous obsession for you too, Keith!" Allura replied to him. "He wants you out of the way! That's obvious!"
"Maybe you and the Princess should stay here." Pidge replied. "Hunk and I can go after Lance."
Keith shook his head. "Negative, Pidge. The ventilation shaft is too narrow. Hunk's physique won't allow him to fit through."
"That's a nice way of putting it, Keith!" Hunk smiled as he puffed out his chest, sucked in his gut, and at the same time, he was flexing his muscles toward the group.
Pidge chuckled and covered his mouth... "Yeah Keith, a much nicer way of saying Hunk's too fat to get into the shaft!"
Hunk suddenly recoiled and snarled at Pidge. "Watch it, shorty!" Hunk replied with a bit of hurt in his voice. "Its muscle! I work hard to get my body at just the right physical appearance!"
"Yeah...lift right arm, shovel food in! Lift left arm...shovel food in!" Pidge replied with a loud laugh, while he simulated the motion with his own hands.
"That's enough you two! We don't have time for this," Keith reminded then with a bit of a chuckle in his own voice. "Let's go and find Lance." He then looked at Hunk. "Boost me up..."
Allura stood by and watched as Hunk lifted Keith into the air. Keith opened the vent shaft door and crawled inside. He then turned himself around in time to see Pidge being hoisted into the air.
He grabbed Pidge's hand to help him inside the shaft entrance as well. Keith and Pidge stuck their heads out and looked down at Hunk and Allura.
"I want you two to stay here!" Keith ordered. "Keep your wrist COMs open. If you don't hear from any of us by four o'clock, I want you to alert Amalgamus."
"That doesn't give you much time, Chief." Hunk reminded as he looked at his own watch. "Its about two-thirty now."
"I think I know where Lance headed off to," Keith replied. "It'll be enough time and then some. Hopefully enough to find out too what's going here."
Allura stepped forward toward the wall. "Keith...you and Pidge be careful!"
Keith shot her a quick wink of his eye. "Read you, Princess." he said with a smile.
"Don't worry, Allura," Pidge added. "We'll be back before you know it!"
"Just stay here and don't try to come in after us, got it?" Keith said to her.
"Got it..." Allura sighed, and bowed her head for a moment, before looking back up again.
Keith's head had disappeared first and then, moments later, Pidge's did too, and the shaft door slowly closed again.
Allura leaned against the wall and let her body sink to the floor. She pulled her knees up closely to her body and grabbed them with her arms.
Hunk joined her there next to her. He crossed his legs and sat there.
"You know, he can take care of himself." Hunk reminded Allura regarding Keith. "He's smart. He'll figure out where Lance is and get them all back safely. That's why he's Commander, you know. He does this all the time."
"Yes...I know." Allura sighed again.
"But you're still worried, huh?" Hunk asked her.
Allura said nothingexcept what her head said as she nodded affirmatively. Hunk sighed too, and leaned his head up against the wall.
"Yeah...I'm worried too, Princess." Hunk finally admitted.
Keith crawled through the winding shaft tunnels, with Pidge right behind him. Keith had a scanner in his hand that Pidge had handed up to him. He programmed it to home in on Lance's COM tracking chip.
It didn't take the thing long to locate him.
And they were in luck...it looked as if Lance was alone...which meant he hadn't gotten himself into trouble...not just yet anyway.
Keith and Pidge turned left, then crawled for awhile, then turned right and crawled for a while more. Neither of them said a word to each other.
Their mission was to move as quietly in stealth mode as they could.
Another quick left turn...and finally...
"Lance!" Keith whispered forcefully, doubting Lance could even hear him from that distance.
Lance was huddled over in the corner...apparently observing something going on. He was holding what looked like a recorder in his hand. Keith and Pidge quickly made their way over toward their feisty friend, joining him in the corner.
Lance glanced behind him and paused the recorder. The three of them began mouthing words to each other...no sound coming from their throats.
"Just what do you think you're doing here?" Keith mouthed. "Are you crazy or something?"
"No, I'm just not one to sit around and do nothing..." Lance mouthed back. He then pointed out the shaft doorway. "I'm recording them, Keith. Got some good stuff already."
Keith peered over top of Lance, steadying himself so that he wouldn't hit the roof of the shaft with his head, or do anything else that would make noise, causing them to be detected.
Inside the room, Keith caught a glimpse of King Drago, sitting in a chair. He had three other guys around him, two of which struck a note of recognition in Keith's mind. Two of them looked like the same build, as the guys that had jumped him the night before.
Keith bumped Lance, giving him the eye signal, and Lance turned the recorder back on to visually capture the conversation that was taking place inside...
Drago sat in the chair, feeling pretty smug about what was going on...
"Stop worrying," Drago replied. "They have nothing."
"Your Highness," one of the men spoke up. "What should we do regarding your orders concerning the Princess of Arus?"
Drago played with his fingertips for a moment then smiled. "Ah yes, the lovely Allura..." Drago sighed sinisterly. "Of course she won't come willingly, so perhaps a threat to another one of her friends..."
"Your Majesty, if I may be so bold as to remind you...King Zarkon has already explained that his son, Prince Lotor, has already done that on many occasions."
"Zarkon was the one who introduced me to the idea of the Princess in the first place!" Drago said angrily. "He's tired of his idiot son making mistakes in battle...all because of his love for this woman. But frankly...after seeing her myself, I must say she is a handsome woman at that. She does seem to have something going with that Voltron Commander, however."
"He's no concern, Sire." The one man replied. "My men are moving in on the Princess's room as we speak."
"And what of the guards that watch the room?" Drago said quietly.
"We have that plan in motion too." The man replied confidently. "They will be...taken care of."
Drago smiled. "Very good. See to it that you bring the Princess here to me. As for her foolish companions...kill them. I have no use for them. Only the Princess is important. Once we have her, we can bargain with the Alliance for our ships."
"And return home?" one of the other men said with a smile in his voice.
Drago nodded. "And with King Ashland out of the way, we can easily take over Meridiana Two. The Queen will give us no trouble. Constantine will see to that."
"And Constantine, sir?" the third man spoke.
"Once I've exhausted my use of him, I'll have him killed too, making my domination of his planet complete." Drago replied as he grabbed his cup into his hand. "Now, carry out your plans for the Princess. I want her here within the hour."
The three men bowed before the King and walked out of the room.
Keith grabbed Lance's attention. "We've got to go, now!" he mouthed urgently. "The only one left behind is Hunk! He's not going to be able to handle these guys on his own!"
Pidge had already turned around and scrambled quietly down the shaft tunnel...back towards the Princess's room. Keith motioned to Lance, and the two of the followed after Pidge, who already was out of sight.
The thought entered Keith's mind...the thought of anyone placing their hands on the Princess. Rage mounted in his soul...enough to kill if needed...if that's what it took to protect her.
He increased his pace as he crawled through the winding tunnels of the shaft praying they'd make it back in time.