"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 Sixteen
Intruder Alert

The remaining night crept by slowly.

Once Amalgamus had settled the Voltron Force down in a new and slightly bigger room, for what amounted to nothing more then a nap for a few hours, he quickly sought out the arrest and interrogation of King Drago and Prince Constantine.

Meanwhile, the members of the Voltron Force sat in different areas of the new room that was assigned to them for the night...on alert for anything that might seem strange.

Sleep was impossible.  The instinct of the preservation of life took over, and they remained awake and on guard, keeping a constant watch on each other.

Finally, morning dawn was
breaking over the horizon. 
The new room afforded them
the luxury of viewing the
beautiful landscape Earth had
to offer.


As dawn approached, Lance, Pidge and Hunk afforded themselves a few moments to relax and play some vid-games.  Once again, Keith stood at the window, looking over the outside area for anything that looked suspicious.

A gentle hand on his shoulder startled him for a moment, and as he turned his head, he met the gentle smile and ocean blue eyes of Princess Allura.

Her honey-blonde hair was down and around her shoulders, having taken it out to the bun it was in earlier.  She was in her jumpsuit... a very casual appearance.

Her smile was as warm as the sunrise outside, and Keith delighted in seeing it.

"I'm ready to go home." He said quietly.  "I need a rest."

"There is no rest from evil, Keith," she said to him.  "It will always require our attention."

Keith sighed.  "Yeah...I know.  I just wish that just once, I could be free from command duties, and responsibility, and worry... worry most of all."

"Keith, I think you need some time off!" she said.  "And as Princess of Planet Arus, I'm ordering you to take a few days off and get away!  Go wherever you want to go!"

"I would like to catch up on my reading" he said thoughtfully.  Then he shook his head suddenly.  "What am I saying?  I can't take off now!  Arus is on high alert!  I'm needed!"

Now Allura sighed.  "Keith...always worried about everyone else, but never about himself. You need a vacation!"

"I can take a vacation after we determine that Arus is safe." Keith replied in a firm voice. "For now, I'll be content just enjoying this sunrise."

She moved in next to him and watched it with him.  Keith was mesmerized by the affect that the sunrise had on him.  Ever since he was a boy, he loved to get up early and watch the sun rise up in the morning. It was his favorite time of the day.

But then...Keith felt Allura's head lean against his left arm, and his concentration immediately shifted from the lovely view outside, to the lovely view inside.  Allura sighed as she watched the sun rise with himcontent to be at his side.

Keith smiled and reached his arm around her to hold her tightly to him.

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

Just three hours later, Amalgamus had dismissed the Voltron Force to their robot lions. Keith and his team stood in a row and looked at the cyborg.

"Thank you, Amalgamus, for everything." Keith said with a snappy salute.  Pidge, Hunk and Lance followed his example with a salute of their own.

"Safe journey back to Arus." Amalgamus replied, as he approached the Princess.  "Thank you, Princess Allura.  I know that this has been a difficult trip for you, but I hope it won't deter you from coming to Earth in the future."

"Not at all, Amalgamus." She replied.  "I'll come back!"

"Amalgamus..." Keith interrupted.  "Any word yet on the capture of King Drago and Prince Constantine?"

"Sadly, nothing." Amalgamus replied.  "When we went to apprehend them, it was as if they had disappeared into thin air.  And I'm not sure where in this facility they think they can hide!  You five are the last of the delegation to leave.  Once gone, we will do complex
lockdown and an intense scan for them.  They'll be found, I assure you."

Keith nodded, then turned to his team.  "That's it then." He said, then turned to Pidge. "Deactivate the security system around the robot lions."

Pidge nodded and took out his mini-computer from his pocket.  With a few quick strokes of his hand he confirmed to Keith the system was now disarmed.

"Okay team, let's go!" Keith ordered.

Lance, Keith and Allura jogged to their lions. But Hunk waited for Pidge to catch up.  Pidge was on his hand computer, punching in computations on it. Hunk took a few steps back and met him where he stood.

"What's wrong, Pidge-o?" Hunk asked his pal.

"Uh...I don't know...it just doesn't look right" Pidge replied as he looked at his computer. "When I disabled the security force field from around the robot lions...it just didn't look right..."

"What doesn't look right?" Hunk asked.

"The readouts...they're wrong.  The security inputs around Blue Lion are off by fractions, but... I can't figure out why the micro-laser sensor didn't compensate for the change and make the correction." Pidge answered.

"Geez, Pidge!" Hunk blurted out suddenly.  "You know I don't understand all that tecno-dweeb stuff!  Speak the King's English, will ya?"

"Blue Lion's security matrix.  It looks...well...like its been compromised somehow...as if someone was trying to tap into the security codes to gain access to the Blue Lion." Pidge replied.

"You mean, someone was trying to get into Blue Lion?" Hunk questioned.

"That's exactly what I mean." Pidge confirmed.

"Well...why didn't you just say that?" Hunk exclaimed.  "Instead of using all this scientific mumbo jumbo that I don't... hey, wait a minute!  Someone was trying to get into the Blue Lion?  Do ya think they got in, Pidge?" Hunk asked.

"I don't think so...." Pidge replied slowly.  "It would seem that whoever it was, only altered the pattern, and didn't deactivate it."

"Is the Blue Lion okay to fly?" Hunk asked.

"Well, I don't think there's anything to worry about.  But just to be safe, I'd better let Keith know about it." Pidge replied.

Pidge opened his wrist COM link to Black Lion and radioed Keith. "Keith, this is Pidge ...come in Black Lion, over."

After a momentary pause, Keith's voice radiated over the COM. "Are you deciding to stay here for a vacation?" Keith asked jokingly.

"Well, no," Pidge replied.  "I..."

"Well, you and Hunk better get to your lions and do your pre-flight checks." Keith said to him.  "We take off in five minutes..."

"Wait Keith...when I deactivated the security system around the robot lions, I noticed a strange fluctuation in the energy levels of the security matrix of Blue Lion." Pidge informed Keith.  "It's probably nothing, but I wanted you to know...in light of the circumstances."

"Pidge, you and I installed the matrix system ourselves," Keith said.  "We've tested it over and over.  There shouldn't be any fluctuation at all..."

"But it was there...I saw it!' Pidge replied firmly.  "The matrix gave off a signature pattern... as if someone had been messing with the systemtrying to gain access to Blue Lion!"

"Pidge...did someone gain access?" Keith said cautiously.

"I don't think so, Commander." Pidge replied slowly, as if unsure of his answer.

"Pidge...I need to know what you think!  Since you were the one who saw the fluctuation, you'd know best!  If the Princess's life is in any kind of danger..." Keith added.  "I'm calling of the trip home until we do a full diagnostic on the Blue Lion's systems!"

"I don't really know, Keith." Pidge replied again.  "I don't think someone tampered with anything, but...then again...I can't be sure without running a diagnostic.  I'd advise not to the initiate start up sequence in the Blue Lion until the systems have been thoroughly checked out first."

"Hang on, Pidge..." Keith stopped him and opened up a COM link to Blue Lion.  "Princess, do you read me?"

"This is Allura." she replied back to him.  "What's the matter, Keith?"

"I want you to get out of your lion...
as quick as you can, do you
understand me, Princess?"
Keith directed her.

"But why?" she asked, her
face now coming up on his ultra wave
monitor.

"No questions now, Allura." Keith said firmly. "Just get out of your lion and do it now!"

Allura nodded and the ultra wave link went dark.  Moments later, Allura was jumping down from her lion's cockpit.  Once on the ground, she walked over toward Pidge and Hunk, who were still on the ground.

"What's going on?" Allura asked Pidge and Hunk.  "Why did Keith order me out of Blue Lion?"

"I found a discrepancy in the security matrix of the Blue Lion." Pidge replied. "Someone's been tampering with the codes...trying to gain access. I can't be sure that no one did something to your lion's systems, so to be safe, Keith ordered you out until we can do a
diagnostic on Blue Lion's mother board."

Allura gazed blankly at him.  "You mean...someone was trying to..."

"We don't know for sure what someone was trying to do, Allura." Keith's voice echoed out toward them.

Pidge, Hunk and the Princess turned
around immediately to find Keith
and Lance walking up behind them.

Keith read Allura's face and saw
the concern in her eyes. "We don't
know if someone gained access to
Blue Lion.  Just to be safe, I'm ordering
a full diagnostic evaluation.  I'm not
letting you fly that lion until I know
that every system has been checked
and double checked."

"My poor Blue Lion!" Allura replied.
"Who would do such a thing?"

"I bet I know who!" Lance said over the COM,
still sitting in Red Lion's cockpit.

Keith began walking past the
team, waving to them as he
past them by. "Come on everyone,
let's go find Amalgamus."


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

"You must be joking!"

Amalgamus's response to Keith's news
was tempered, when compared to
his response to the news he had just received from his security officers.

"This situation is continuing to get worse and worse." Amalgamus added.  "I have just sent Queen Josephilina back to Meridiana Two, and I had the horrific task of facing her to tell her that I...we seem to have not only lost track of King Drago, but of her son, Prince
Constantine as well."

"What?" Keith gasped

"What do you mean,
you can't find them?"
Lance added. "I thought
you said they were hiding
out somewhere around here?"

"It would appear that they
are no longer within the
confides of the facility."
Amalgamus replied. "I am
at somewhat of a loss..."

"How could they have gotten away?" Hunk said.

"And what of Princess Allura's life?" Lance continued. "And Keith's as well?  This guy wants nothing but harm and misery to them both!"

Keith turned to his team. "Calm down everyone!" He then looked back to Amalgamus. "What happened?  I thought they were under surveillance?"

"They were, Commander." Amalgamus replied. "They were under heavy guard.  When my security teams went to apprehend King Drago on suspicion of murder, and detain Prince Constantine for questioning, my men found no trace of them.  They simply disappeared."

"They can't just disappear, Amalgamus!" Lance blurted out. "Someone wasn't doing their job and let them walk away!  That's what it amounts to!"

"Lance!" Keith scolded. "That's enough!"

"Commander...I feel as awful about it as you.  Perhaps you had better finish your checks on the Blue Lion and get the Princess back to Arus as quickly as possible." Amalgamus responded.  "It is not safe for her here."

"How could they have just...disappeared?" Keith thought aloud.

"I truly wish I knew.  Unfortunately, it would seem that they have eluded us for the moment. Our security details are still checking every inch of this area.  If they are here, we will find them." Amalgamus confirmed.

"And it they're not?" Lance asked.

"Then," Amalgamus said with a pause to his electronic voice...  "I'm afraid we will have to start from the beginning and retrace our steps.  Drago and Constantine must be found!  They are a danger to the entire galaxy!"

Pidge came running into the situation room just as Amalgamus finished his last sentence. He looked at Keith.  "Drago?"

Keith nodded to his teen genius.  "Still out there." Keith replied quietly.  He then asked Pidge,  "What's the word on Blue Lion?"

Pidge shrugged his shoulders.  "I ran three diagnostic checks on all of the instruments...I even widened the scan to include a look of the Dyno-therms, Mega-thrusters and the COM system.  All looks okay...no abnormalities to report."

"You're sure?" Keith asked again. "You've checked everything?  Even did a check on the mother-board itself for any corrupted programs?"

"Everything's been checked, double checked and triple checked." Pidge confirmed.  "Every system on board has been thoroughly looked over.  Nothing's there."

Keith sighed.  "Okay...then I guess we're good to go." He looked over to Allura.  "Why don't you fly Black Lion home.  I'll take Blue Lion."

Allura shook her head.  "I'm satisfied with Pidge's checks.  I feel okay to fly her."

"Are you sure?" Keith said slowly.  "I don't mind you taking the lead..."

"I'll be okay, Keith." Allura confirmed.   "Really.  I just want to go back home."

Keith smiled cautiously.  "Then lets not keep you waiting." He then turned to the rest of his team. "Let's go.  To the lions!"

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

The Voltron Force once again was where they were only a few hours before.  Each member boarded their lion, did their pre-flight checks, and waited for Keith to give the word to lift off.

"Okay team," Keith said cheerfully. "Next stop...Planet Arus!"

A rousing group of whistles and hoots came over the COM system.  Everyone was very happy to hear it was time to leave for home. 
Keith grabbed his key from the spot on
his uniform where it was kept.

"Insert keys!" he gave the order, then
he inserted his key into the special area
that accepted it gladly.  Black Lion came
to life with a mighty roar as if to tell Planet
Earth that it was nice to visit, but
not live.

The other four lions also roared to live.
One by one, they followed Black Lion into
the air, and within moments...they were leaving
Earth's atmosphere...on the long trip home.



Hours had passed...

But Allura still couldn't shake the feeling like something was in the cockpit with her...and yet she knew that couldn't be the case.

Yet...she still carried the feeling. 
She began feeling it after only
twenty minutes into the trip back
home...as if several spirits were
with her there...all of them close
enough to touch her.

But now, she could see Arus on
her screens...bright and blue.  She
longed to run in a field of wildflowers
all by herself.  And she was determined
to do so...whether her over-protective
Commander-guardian thought well
of it or not.




Soon, the lions had returned home,
and Allura's cockpit traveled the
winding underwater tunnel the mote,
leading back to the lion caves that were
under the Castle.  The cockpit's
protective covering opened up, and she
stepped out of it and began heading
toward the T-bar that would bring
her back up to the Control Room.

As she removed her helmet,
Allura stopped suddenly...almost fearfully. 
She could have sworn something just
rubbed up against her...just now as
she was getting out of the cockpit travel pod. 
And there was a mysterious breeze too...

The Princess grabbed her blaster and aimed it in front of her.  But there was nothing to aim it at.  The only sounds now heard were those of the air currents moving through the tunnel, and the sounds of  water swaying back and forth on the tunnel tube down just a short
distance away, created by the mote... where Blue Lion now rested in.

Jittery, she decided that she should quickly rejoin her friends up in Castle Control.  A few moments later, she emerged from the tunnel, to find her friends glaring at her with worried looks on their faces.

"What took you so long?" Hunk asked her.

"We were starting to get worried, Princess." Keith said to her.  He suddenly took notice of her expression.  It was a look of fear. "Are you okay?  You look a bit shaken..."

"I...I'm okay." Allura sighed.  "I thought I sensed something here with me, like something was following me, a presence of some sort...but I guess I just need some down time.  I think I'll go to my chambers and rest awhile"

Coran stepped up. "I'm afraid that will
have to wait, Your Highness."

Allura turned to her advisor with a frown.
"Oh Coran....now what?"

"You have a meeting with the
representatives from the village of
Andorra.  You had promised
them that the moment you
returned from Earth, you
would meet with them regarding
evacuation procedures in
case of attack." Coran reminded her.
"You have been promising them
an audience for weeks now."

Allura sighed. "I know..." she said quietly, sighing exhaustively.

Keith moved up toward her. "Coran...Allura's been through a lot these last few days.  We all have. Isn't this something that can wait a few hours?"

"I'm afraid not, Commander." Coran replied.  "Her first duty is to her people.  She must make the time to attend to their issues.  She can rest after the meeting.  They will be here shortly."

"I can meet with them instead." Keith offered.  "I know what needs to be reviewed.  I can do it for her..."

"I appreciate your kind gesture, Keith," Allura interrupted.  "But Coran's right.  I'm the Princess.  I must make the time to listen to my people, or how can they possibly trust me?"

Keith hesitated, then finally nodded in agreement.

Allura smiled...  "Besides...it give me a chance to think about something else other than poor Queen Josephilina.  My poor heart breaks for what she must be going through right now."

"I know," Coran replied.  "Perhaps a sympathy transmittal might be in order from Arus."

Allura smiled gently. "Would you see to that, Coran?" she asked.  "Please convey to her that Planet Arus grieves with her and her people at the lose of King Ashland."

Coran bowed.  "Very good, Princess."

She nodded.  "I am going to my chambers to change quickly.  Please escort the villagers to my sitting room when they arrive.  I will there shortly."

"As you wish, Princess." Coran replied.

After Allura had left the Control Room, Hunk yawned loudly.  "Oh man... I could sleep for a week!"

"Well, at least till dinner time!" Pidge teased.

"Watch it!" Hunk faked anger.  "I might just pound you to the ground!"

"Yeah...if you could only catch me!" Pidge teased right back.

Pidge darted out the door, leaving Hunk a general invitation to run after him.  He wasted no time in doing just that.

Keith and Lance turned to each other and chuckled. 

Keith then said to Coran,  "We'll see the villagers to the sitting room, Coran."

"Thank you, Commander." Coran said graciously.  "I appreciate it."

Lance piped up... "Hey, it's definitely not a problem!"

Keith eyed Lance, and doubted his sincerity.  As the two men walked together out the door, Keith again eyed Lance.  "Don't even expect that I'm letting you tag along so that you can take this as an opportunity to scope out unsuspecting young ladies!"

Lance puffed his chest out a bit.  "And why not?  Just cause you've got your princess doesn't mean I can't go out and find one of my own, does it?"

"Not by staring her down, or making annoying advances at her, Lance!" Keith replied. "Remember the last girl you tagged after?  She nearly cold-cocked you with her carrying bag!"

"Carrying bag!" Lance shouted.  "That was no carrying bag!  That was a lethal weapon registered in six planetary systems!"

Keith couldn't help but laugh at Lance's comment.  The lady did have a pretty big purse at that!

The Castle guards brought in the six villagers and Keith and Lance met them.  All of them were males.  Lance grimaced.

"The Princess will be with you shortly," Keith said politely.  "Please follow us to Her Royal Highness's sitting room."

The six villagers were shown to the sitting room where refreshments were waiting.  Allura appeared a few minutes later, dressed in her Royal pink gown with the sweeping victorian-style trussel that swept the floor as she walked.

Keith and Lance bowed to Princess Allura as a matter of formality.  Allura bowed her head to them and gave them both a quick smile in return. The six men rose and bowed to the Princess as wel...

That was the cue for Keith and Lance to leave.  But as they left, Lance suddenly stumbled forward.  He whipped around...and immediately got on the defensive.

"Hey..." he said to Keith.  "Did you feel that?"

"Feel what, Lance?" Keith asked.

"It was as if someone pushed me all of a sudden!" He replied defensively.

"You dreamed it." Keith chuckled as they both walked down the hallway. "You're just mad that there were no women for you to gawk at!  And now you want attention!"

"No!" Lance huffed.  "I swear I felt someone just shove me out of the way!"

"You tripped...you're tired," Keith replied back.  "We could all use a good night's sleep..."

"I'm telling you, Keith!" Lance said back in a firm, but raised voice.  "I didn't trip!  Someone shoved me forward...as if they were pushing me out of the way!"

Keith said nothing, but kept walking. 

Lance followed while he thought out loud.  "You know, the Princess seemed to be acting funny when we came back.  I really wish Coran wouldn't push so much of this royal
duty stuff on her at the wrong time.  I see no reason why this couldn't have waited until tomorrow"

"She's a ruler, Lance," Keith replied.  "We need to understand that her duty is not just to the Voltron Force.  Allura has other responsibilities that sometimes conflict with her personal time."

"Yeah, but everyone deserves a rest." Lance noted.  "I mean, did you catch her face when she came out of the tunnel to the Control Room?  She looked really out of it.  She was even imagining something was following her.  Man, she's really paranoid!  Someone better tell
Coran to let her rest before she really loses it!"

Keith turned back to Lance with a
curious look on his face. "What did
you say?" Keith asked him.

"About what?" Lance questioned.
"What did I say?"

"You said...Allura thought
something was following her...
and you just felt something
push you aside a while back..."
Keith reminded.

"I'm not following you, Keith..."
Lance replied.

Keith paused for a moment and recalled what the Princess said... when she had emerged from the lion tunnels...



"I thought I sensed something here with me, like something was following me, a presence of some sort..."



"No way!" Keith suddenly shouted, turning his head back toward the sitting room just down the hallway.  "He couldn't have managed...oh no!"

Without so much as another verbal thought uttered, Keith immediately turned around and began running back up the hallway toward the sitting room...

"COME ON!" he shouted at Lance.

"Where are you heading to?" Lance called after Keith.

"ALLURA'S IN TROUBLE, IF I'M RIGHT!" Keith shouted back as he ran down the hallway.  "COME ON!"

Lance turned back and followed Keith down the hallway back to the door.

When the arrived, Keith tried the door...but it would not open.  He tried the override switch...and it was jammed...from inside the room.  Immediately he looked at Lance, and both men began pounding at the door.

"PRINCESS!" Lance shouted.

"ANSWER US, ALLURA!" Keith shouted as well. 

"KEITH!  LANCE!  HELP US..." the Princess's voice cried out.

Next, a sharp and sinister laugh was heard for just a moment...the voice was male.  Keith and Lance began pounding more furiously at the door.

"ALLURA!  ALLURA!" Keith called out.  "WHAT'S HAPPENING?"

"PRINCESS!" Lance shouted. "OPEN THE DOOR!"

Almost instantly, the male voice stopped its laughter, and called out from behind the door. "I think you both should just walk away!"

The voice was very familiar...and Keith immediately knew he was right...

Drago!

Keith became enraged.  "If you hurt those people, or even lay a finger on the Princess, you'll have me to answer to!"

"Threats, Commander Keith?" Drago's voice spoke from behind the door.  "I don't believe you, of all people, are in any position to make threats to me!  I have your Princess...and the six villagers.  They are my hostages!"

"What do you want, Drago?" Lance barked.

"I'm talking over this planet!" Drago replied.  "I want a communication's module set up in this room with a direct connection to Gundahar!  You have fifteen minutes to do as I ask, or I start killing people!  And Her Royal Highness can watch as each one dies!"

Allura's voice shrieked out next... "NO!  You can't do that!  Monster...!"

"My dear Princess Allura, I can do whatever I like!  And your pretty-boy pilots can't stop me!" Then Drago replied back to Keith.  "And I have a few of my men in here with me, Commander, including His Highness, Prince Constantine of Meridiana Two!  He has seen the wisdom in my plans for taking over his planet.  He even gave me the necessary information I needed to kill his father, the King!  Now Meridiana Two is all but ours...and Arus is next!"

"Drago, you must realize that you can't possibly get away with this!" Keith tried to reason. "Your only alternative is to give yourself up to the Arusian authorities!"

The laugh started once again. "You must be joking, Commander!" Drago chuckled. "I'm in the perfect position to get what I want!  I have the lives of seven people at my disposal!  And although the six villagers are expendable, surely you will agree with me that Arus will fall into a chaotic state if something unfortunate were to happen to Princess Allura!"

Keith gritted his teeth. 
"You had better not hurt
her, Drago!" Keith warned.
"I swear, there won't be a
place in the universe that
you can hide from me if she's
injured!"


"I won't need to hurt her, Commander!" Drago said.  "Not if you do exactly as I say! Now...while you sit here and argue with me...three minutes of the time I've given you have expired!  You now have only twelve minutes to comply with my demands...or one villager will
die...and every ten minutes after thatanother villager will die.  And if I get to the Princess...I can promise you that she will be my pleasure before I get rid of her as well!"

Keith slammed his fist
onto the door in rage. 
"DRAGO!" he shouted.

"Go do as I command...and
she'll be safe, Commander.
Fail to do as I command,
and the killing begins!"
Drago replied. "And you do
understand...I do carry out
my threats, don't you?"

Lance pulled at Keith's arm... "Come on, Keith!" Lance shouted.

Keith called through the door. "Allura...code 54!  Do you read?"

A momentary pause...
And then... "I read you, Keith!"

Keith, still gritting his teeth moved away from the door and both men sprinted down the hallway toward Castle Control.

Allura stood stunned for a
moment Keith's command
echoed in her mind...

Code 54.

The Princess began shaking
her head, and the tears
began forming in her eyes
rapidly.

"No Keith...not that...
please not Code 54!"


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