"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.


Chapter Seventeen
"Code 54"

Allura remained huddled in the corner with her six subjects, watching as Drago and two of his men spoke in whispers in the other corner on the opposite end of the room.

Prince Constantine was off to the side, laser gun in hand, pointing it right at the group of hostages.

It was just as the meeting between herself and the six village men was to begin, that the door suddenly closed shut...seemingly on its own.

Allura was caught off guard.  She was about to go for her blaster that she kept beneath her skirting, but it was too late.  Before she could even think about reaching down, the air shifted and the images of four men suddenly appeared before her and the villagers.

The two men pointed laser guns at the villagers while Prince Constantine separated the Princess from the others.

Drago immediately locked the door and then with his laser pistol, blasted the override from within, disabling it completely.

Now, it was a waiting game...

And then there was Keith's order of 'Code 54' to her....

She bit nervously on her lower lip...and habit she only did when she was anxious about something.

Code 54, as Keith had called out, was part of a special set of directives developed specifically by Keith and Coran.

It communicated a special set of instructions to the person receiving the order.

In this case... Allura was the recipient of the directive.

Code 54 meant, that no matter what took place, Allura was now to see to the lives of the villagers in danger.  The remaining Voltron Force would do whatever was necessary to free her.

It was developed, in case a hostage situation arose, involving citizens of Planet Arus and a member of the Voltron Force, specifically... the Princess of Arus.

However, Code 54 had a stipulation to it...

The lives of the remaining Force members were expendable... now especially, in comparison to the Princess's life.  So, no matter what was to happen, Allura was not to attempt to come between the attackers and any Force Member.  They were, in essence, to sacrifice themselves for her safety and the safety of the villagers.

And she was to escape...not to assist in the fight.

Allura never liked that part of the directive.  It made her feel cowardly.  She fought it when it was first introduced.  But was outnumbered in her objections.

In essence...someone, or everyone on the Force would die to free her and the villagers...if it came to that.  The remaining team members were to act as 'human shields', offering a field of protection, and securing a window of escape for Allura and the villagers.

And that was what made her nervous.  She had always hoped that nothing would ever happen, that would place her in that position...

Allura looked over to Constantine...

"There must be a way to reach him," she thought. "I must be able to win him over  somehow!"

Allura cleared her throat for a moment, gathering the attention of the four intruders.  "May I have a glass of water, please?" she asked.

Drago looked at her suspiciously...then nodded.  He then called out to the Prince. "Constantine...assist the Princess with her...drink of water.  And Princess...no funny stuff, please.  I'd hate to see one foolish move on your part cost the life of one of these poor village men, who I'm sure have wives and children at home...waiting for them to return."

The comment drew a foul frown from
Allura as she moved slowly over to the
refreshment table.  She quickly grabbed
a glass with one hand while lifting the
pitcher of water with the other.  She
poured the water into glass slowly.
Constantine moved up toward her,
pointing the weapon at her mid-section.

Allura took a sip of the cool water.  She then leaned into Constantine.  "I wonder, Prince Constantine...how is it that you can live with yourself after what has taken place?"

Constantine made no attempt to explain himself.  Allura decided to continue.  "I'm sure your father loved you very much.  What could have caused you to conspire against him in this manner?"

"Drink your water, Princess." Constantine said in a low tone.

"You must have been angry about something," Allura replied.  "Did your father mistreat you in some fashion?  Perhaps, you felt abandoned while he and your mother attended to royal duties?  If so, I can understand how you must have felt...being a royal princess myself.  I too, experienced such separation."

"Princess...you know nothing of what I've been through..." Constantine replied in a strained whisper.  "You can't imagine what it was like to be ignored by your own father..."

"No, you're right.  My father never ignored me...that is, he never did so intentionally.  But there were plenty of times that I had wished with all of my heart, that he had spent more time with me.  I missed that while growing up.  And after my mother died, it was worse
then ever for me.  My father had to run the kingdom by himself, and raise a daughter to be Queen in his place someday.  Often times, I found myself alone, with only the comfort of the Castle mice as my companions." Allura said.  "My father attended to royal matters. He seldom had time to play with me. He was busy securing the future of Arus by building the robot lions of Voltron, and by preparing a new state-of-the-art Castle, to replace the old stone one I grew up in. I was often left to the care of my Nanny."

Constantine looked at her.  "Where's your father now?"

Allura let out a heart-felt sigh.  "He's...he's dead.  Killed during a battle with Zarkon.  I was left to rule Arus at the age of eleven.  I lost my childhood and my both of my parents, all before I should have.  Zarkon's attacks were brutal, and he took most of my people
away to Planet Doom to be slaves.  I was forced to rule, not only way before my time, but also under the gravest of circumstances.  But through it, I've become strong.  When the Voltron Force came to Arus to help us in our struggles with Planet Doom, Lt. Commander Sven B'Yourn, who was originally dubbed pilot of the Blue Lion, was critically injured in a confrontation with Zarkon's Witch, Hagar.  I then stepped in, and became Blue Lion's pilot in his place.  I had a lot to learn about combat.  But Commander Keith helped me every step of the way. He's not only my leader, but he's my dearest friend."

"Your friends do seem loyal to you, Princess." Constantine whispered.  "Especially the Voltron Commander."

Allura smiled.  "He's very special to me." She said thoughtlessly.  "He and I are... kindred spirits.  He too, lost his parents at a young age."

"I see..." Constantine said slowly.

"I'm right now concerned for you, however." Allura said to him.  "I want to help you, Constantine.  But in order to do that, you must help me."

"To do what?" he asked.

"To end this tirade... before someone gets killed!  Drago is using you, Constantine!" she replied in a whisper between sips of water.  "You must help me stop him!  I can't do this alone!"

"I can't help you!" Constantine said aloud, drawing the attention of Drago and his men. Constantine realized his response was louder then he intended.

Drago turned to Constantine and the Princess.  "I think the Princess has had enough water!" he bellowed.  "Prince...see to it that the Princess returns to her place with the other hostages!"

Constantine turned his head back around only to find that Allura had already placed her glass on the nearby table and was now walking back over toward the villagers.  Constantine hurried to catch up to her.

As she stopped next to the others, she looked up to him.  "Do you really think Drago can help you achieve all your dreams and desires?" she asked him.  "He'll only lead you down a path of hate and destruction.  You must help us defeat him...before its too late!"

"He's promised me that I would be ruler over Meridiana Two!" Constantine grunted in a whisper.  "I won't give that up!"

"Remember this..." Allura replied.  "Those who have evil intentions always end up deceiving and eventually, betraying those they wish to gain power through.  King Drago has been at war with your planet for years.  Do you really believe that his only wish to get rid of your father was so that you could rule in his place?  Surely, you can't believe that!"

"I do believe him!" Constantine snarled.  "Don't try and turn my friend against me!"

"Don't you see?" Allura whispered abruptly.  "He's not your true friend.  He's not a friend to you like my friends are to me!  He only wants you to help him take your planet, and now mine!  Once he's through with you, you'll end up like your father...dead!"

"NO!" Constantine shouted aloud, once again drawing attention from Drago.

The evil king walked swiftly over to the hostage corner and placed his hand on Constantine's shoulder.  "Prince, return to the other side."

Constantine turned and walked away in a huff.  Once out of earshot, Drago turned to Allura.  "I have a special surprise for you, Your Highness," Drago sneered at her.  "Unless you agree to join me, and place the might of Voltron at my disposal, you may simply just... disappear."

"I'd rather die then be party to your evil plans!" Allura said firmly.

Drago raised an eyebrow at her.  "As you wish..." he said.  "But first, you will have the pleasure of watching me kill each of these poor villagers...slowly!"

Allura's jaw dropped as she gasped aloud. "Let these men go!  They mean nothing to you!"

"Ah, but they do, young princess!" Drago replied with a hint of glee in his voice.  "For you see, they do mean something to you!  And as long as I threaten them, it tears away at your soul...weakens you... until you will finally give into my demands!"

"I will NEVER bow to your wishes!" Allura growled.

Drago smiled and turned away from her.  "We shall indeed see, proud Princess Allura!"

Allura watched Drago walk back to the other side of the room.

Suddenly, Keith's voice echoed in her head...

His last command...

Code 54.

"Oh, Keith..." Allura sighed under her breath.  "Please don't do anything foolish!"