"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 Twenty-Four
Ariela's Arrival

King Drago had determined in his heart that the sweetest revenge against Princess Allura would be to destroy her future as she knew it.

In order to do that, he had to find baby Ariela before the Princess did.  Once the future Queen was dead, Allura's life would come to a halt, since her birth was a direct result of Ariela's bloodline.

He had been searching since last night.  But who was this Ariela that he heard Allura speak of, and where was she to appear?  Drago had many unanswered questions, but his quest to find the infant ruler of Arus continued.

But now, after searching for so long, Drago had tired.  The dessert was cool, as the Arusian sun had not been up for long.  A cave lay dead ahead in the distance.  Perhaps, he could find shelter there for a time, rest, and then continue his search for the future Arusian monarch... whoever or wherever she was.

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

Keith and Pidge, meantime, had reached the end of the forest, and were now walking the dessert sands, on route to the cave, but still out of sight of it.  Keith was sure of his steps and their course, but Pidge was not so sure.  He assumed that Keith knew what he was doing, but
wasn't completely confident.

Both of them were drenched in sweat from the long journey, and both felt the heat beginning to beat down on the unprotected heads.  Keith used his hands to cup over his eyes, attempting to shield them from the reflective sands, that was now bouncing the sun back into his face.

He walked with determination...he had to find the Princess, somehow.

A lion's roar from behind took them both by surprise, and Pidge fell to his knees, too weak to run.

Keith turned quickly and prepared to fend off the creature with whatever strength he had left.  Pidge turned his head, assuring himself that he was about to be devoured by some sort of wild animal.  His gaze met that of a huge lion's.

Pidge blinked as he stared at the lion... "Keith!" Pidge shouted.  "Its...it's a blue lion!"

Keith paused for a moment to look at the lion.  Their eyes met...

"Allura..." Keith murmured softly.

Pidge looked at his commander with a confused stare. "Keith!  Are you seeing things?" Pidge said to him.  "That's a lion...it's not Allura!  And its about to invite us to breakfast...
only we're the menu, not the guests!"

"No, Pidge!  It is Allura...kind of!" Keith replied.  "Not exactly her...but... I think I understand now!  This has to be one of the legendary Lions of Arus!"

"You're not making any sense, Keith!" Pidge hollered back.

"The Lions of Arus, Pidge!" Keith shouted back to him.

"You...you mean...this is one of the lions, Allura always talks about from the archives?" Pidge said slowly.  "This is one of them?  They're real?"

"It would appear so," Keith said quietly.  He then looked at the Blue Lion.  "You know who we're looking for.  Do you know where she is?"

The Blue Lion bobbed his head back and forth, and then knelt toward the ground...

Keith cautiously smiled, and glanced quickly at Pidge before looking back to the lion before him.  "Can you take us to her?"

The Blue Lion lay down on the ground before Keith.  The Voltron Commander turned to Pidge.  "Well, I guess this is our invitation."

Pidge huffed.  "Or our epitaph..."

Keith gently got onto the lion's back, and motioned for Pidge to do the same.  Pidge cautiously got up off of the ground, and walked over to the lion.  He frowned suddenly...

"Commander, are you sure this is such a great idea?" he said to Keith...  "What if this...this thing... is taking us back to his den to feed his pride?"

"We'll just have to take that chance, Pidge." Keith replied.

"This is so totally NOT like you, Keith!" Pidge said with a slightly elevated voice.  "The 'Keith' I know, would be running like crazy right now, or drawing his blaster, getting ready to kill this thing!"

"I don't think we have very many alternatives right now, Pidge." Keith replied back. "Besides, I feel something, Pidge...something about this lion...I sense an intelligence about him.  If he had meant us harm, I think we'd be lion meat by now."

Pidge grunted in a low toned voice.  "I might regret this...but..." He then gently climbed onto the blue colored lion's back, right behind Keith.

The lion stood to his feet, and then turned. He then began to gallop away deeper into the dessert.

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

Allura had cried herself back to sleep once again...

A vision of her father, King Alfor, appeared to her in a dream...


"My daughter...you have been
sent here for a purpose.  You must
save Planet Arus...and future
generations...from destruction by
those who intend to do evil."


Allura rose to her feet in her
dream and faced the direction
where her father's voice was
coming from. "But Father...
I'm all alone!  What can I possibly
do to save Arus?"


"Daughter...you must find and protect the child, Ariela, who would be our Queen.  If you fail, all will be changed forever." Alfor's voice echoed.

"Father...what must I do?" Allura asked determinably.

"Find Ariela...before Drago does!  You must find her, Allura."

"I don't know where to search!" Allura replied.

"Ask the Lions of Arus to help you." He replied to her.  "They can help you find the child. Protect her... with your life!"

"But Father..."

"Protect her, my daughter!" Alfor's voice began to fade.  "Protect her...you must, Allura.
Arus's future...depends on you!  But...know that you will never be the same again."

"What do you mean?" Allura said.
"Father...will I ever see my friends
again?"

"Farewell, Daughter..."
The king's voice suddenly faded.

Allura's eyes suddenly teared. 

"Goodbye, Father."





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

Allura woke suddenly, sitting up and grabbing her throat with her hands.

"Ariela!" she called out in the cave.  "I must find Ariela!"

She rose to her feet and began to run through the cave, mindlessly, half-awake, and half-asleep.  She only knew one thing...her father's warning was real.  For the sake of her beloved planet, she had to find Ariela, before Drago did.

As she moved toward the entrance, she saw a figure of a human standing there, shadowed by the sunlight shining behind them.  Allura stopped suddenly...and then called out.

"Hello?" she shouted. "Who's there?"

The echo of her voice finally ceased, and the response made her shiver in fear.  "Ah, Princess Allura!  Tell me you haven't forgotten me!"

Drago...

Allura gasped and turned around, running back into the cave to hide.  Drago followed after her.  This was perfect!  She will take him to Ariela, wherever she is, and then he would watch her die as he killed the child! And her last memory will be watching the destruction of her world, as she knew it!

Drago ran full speed after her into the cave.

"No use running, Princess!" Drago called out after her.  "I will find you...no matter where you hide, I will find you!"

Allura frantically ran through the cave, seeking cover.  Her royal gown proved cumbersome in her effort to run quickly through the cave.  No matter, she had to find safety...

She found a small out-cropping near the area where she had slept.  Allura quickly hid herself into it, ducking down low.  The area was very small, and she quickly grabbed the remainder of her gown and tucked it behind her.  She then ducked down, and softened her breathing to near silence.

Drago had arrived only moments later.  He quickly looked around for signs of Allura.

He found none.

He started to run away again, when he noticed odd markings in the ground... like swish marks...marks that would be made by a large leaf...or a gown!

He nonchalantly turned his head in either direction to look to see where the marks had lead. Instantly, he found her, and with a rushing motion, he ran over and grabbed her by the arms, bringing her to her feet.

Allura cried out, with terror and anger both evident in her voice.  She struggled with the evil king...attempting with all of her might not to be taken by him.  She reached down and with her teeth, bit hard into his arm

Drago screamed out in pain, and released her.  Allura turned and began to escape again...but was stopped by the sudden and immense pain she felt from her head.

Drago had reached up and grabbed her long flowing hair,swinging behind her as she attempted to run.  He entwined it around his fist and began to pull on it hard, bringing the now helpless Princess to her knees.

"Let me go, brute!" she hissed at him, now bringing her hands up to grab at his.  "I command you to release me!"

"You command nothing, Your Highness!" Drago shouted, pulling at her hair more furiously now, bringing her into submission.

Allura groaned... "Kill me, then!" she screamed.  "If that's what you came to do, then why wait?"

"Oh, no, Princess Allura," Drago said in a calm voice.  "That's not what I came to do.  I came to ask you for help."

Allura huffed, the pain from his grip on her hair intensifying.  "What...what help?"

"I'm looking for...for a small, female child.  I believe you know of her.  Ariela?" Drago teased.  "Yes...I believe you do know of her!"

Allura gasped, wincing in pain.  "NO!" she screamed.

"Oh yes, Princess!  I want the child!  And you are going to help me find her!" Drago shouted.

"I'd...I'd rather die, then help you destroy Arus's future!" Allura shouted back.

"It's not just your planet's future, Princess... but you!  I wish to destroy you for condemning me to living here for the rest of my life!" Drago shouted.  "I'd rather live out my life knowing that the very person who stranded me here is dead!  And her retched planet's future, as well!"

"Kill me!" Allura screamed.  "Kill me...here and now!"

"What good would that do?" Drago shouted.  "There's no sport in that!  But...if I destroy Ariela, that will destroy your future...and your very life with it, and the lives of all those you hold dear!"

Allura struggled momentarily, only to have her hair yanked on once again, bringing her again into submission.

"I won't help you!" she screamed.

Drago said nothing more, but instead began pulling on her hair in an upward motion, forcing her to her feet.  Once she was standing, he grabbed her arms from behind, and twisted them behind her back.  Painfully, she yelled out.

Drago began to move her back toward the mouth of the cave....

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

Forty-five minutes had passed, and Keith and Pidge had arrived at the cave on the back of the Blue Lion.  The two space explorers dismounted the lion quickly and ran for the cave entrance, shouting out as they
ran

"Princess!" Keith shouted.

"Can you hear us?" Pidge added.

The two of them ran into the cave.  The damp air greeted their nostrils.

The mold on the walls and the dirt-sand mix on the ground gave the cave a very unwelcome feel to it.  Keith motioned to Pidge to move off to the left, while he continued to move forward into the cave.

"Allura!" Keith called out into the darkened air. "Allura...can you hear me?"

There was no response, other then the sound of his own voice echoing back and forth on the walls, and Pidge's voice doing the same in the distance.

Keith quickly continued to search, now picking up his pace as he moved further into the cave.

After searching for nearly ten minutes, Pidge finally met up with Keith near the back of the cave.

"I don't get it!" Pidge wondered. "The Blue Lion told you that she was here?"

"Well, I thought that's what he meant too...but I..." Keith suddenly paused in mid-sentence as his gaze met the ground.

He quickly grabbed for Pidge's arm to gain his attention, and then with his free hand, pointed to the ground.

"Do you see that?" Keith shouted.  "The markings on the ground!"

He referred to the swish marks in the dirt.  Pidge looked at them too.  He then turned around to look...

"They lead over here..." Pidge said, as he pointed to a out-cropping nearby.

Pidge walked over to it, and Keith quickly followed behind it.  As they both looked at the ground, there appeared to be more swish marks in the dirt...plenty more.

"She spent the night here!" Keith shouted.

Pidge nodded his head slowly as he bent low to examine more closely the markings in the dirt.  "Or...this was where s struggle took place...look down here!"

Keith crouched down low to Pidge and looked where he was now pointing.

Pidge looked over to Keith.  "This footprint is small enough to the Princess's.  But this one..." he said, pointing to one specifically in the several prints that were present...  "This one looks too big to be hers!  This one looks like it came from a man."

"A native to this planet?" Keith asked, knowing full well that that wasn't the answer.

Pidge confirmed his thoughts.  "No, because I remember once the Princess told me that the humans on this planet at the time when Queen Ariela ruled, were not like they are in the future.  They were more like...what you guys native to Planet Earth called, 'cavemen'.
Civilization didn't happen until near the end of Queen Ariela's life, and her son became King after that."

"Drago..." Keith breathed his name.

"I'm thinking so, Commander." Pidge replied.

Keith quickly rose to her feet.  "We've got to find her!" he said with a tone of urgency. "Drago is going to kill Ariela, and he's trying to use Allura's knowledge to find her!"

"That's not good!" Pidge said rising to his feet.  "We have no idea where baby Ariela landed!  I've never heard the Princess tell us any of that, have you?"

"No.  But..." Keith said and then turned his head.  "Maybe the Lions of Arus can help us."

"How?" Pidge asked. "You think they can find Allura for us?"

"I'm not exactly sure...yet.  Come on!" Keith shouted.  He turned and ran back for the mouth of the cave...several hundred feet away.

Pidge turned and followed.

The two of them run back to the cave entrance.  When they arrived, they found another not just the Blue Lion, but four others with him now.

Keith and Pidge stopped suddenly and saw the lions before them. Keith gasped...

"Pidge!  They're all here!"

Pidge nodded his head slowly.  "Black, Red, Green, Blue,, Yellow..."

"The Lions of Arus!" Keith murmured.  "The archives... they were right!"

Suddenly the Black Lion moved forward to Keith.  Pidge stepped backward, but Keith remained firmly in his spot.  The lion stopped just in front of him, standing nearly as tall as he was.

"Oh great Lion Knight and Future Prince of Arus, you have come to us at last!" The Black Lion roared.

"Why do you call me, 'Future Prince of Arus'?" Keith asked back.

Pidge moved forward.  "You...you can understand him?"

"Yes...I...I don't know how, but I do!" Keith said with surprise in his voice.

The Green Lion suddenly moved forward toward Pidge, and stopped as he came along side of Black Lion.

The Green Lion roared.  "I sense in you, small one, a powerful mental ability."

Pidge blinked his eyes rapidly.  "Keith!" he shouted.  "That lion... just...just spoke to me!"

"Young one, open your mind!  Rely on your heritage and use the gifts bestowed upon you. You can communicate with us, and we to you!" the Green Lion growled.

Pidge turned to Keith.  "Green Lion said he knows I have the gift of telepathy." Pidge said. "But how does he know that my people could do that?"

"Just do what he says, Pidge." Keith advised.  "Use your gift and speak to them."

Pidge gazed back to the Green Lion.  "We're looking for Princess Allura." Pidge said to Green Lion.  "Can you help us?"

Black Lion looked up and bobbled his head back and forth.  "Blue had left her here last night to rest in the safety and the warmth of the the big den.  But it appears by your spirits that she is no longer here."

"Not only that, but we think someone who came here with her has taken her away." Pidge replied.

"That is not good," Blue Lion roared from behind them.  "She was afraid of a certain human male who came here with her.  She revealed to us that a human female cub would soon fall from the skies above our heads.  She would fall to Arus and become our Queen.  We were to
rescue her and the Daughter of Arus was to help raise her with us."

"Daughter of Arus?" Pidge replied.

Keith looked to Pidge.  He had only been able to hear what Pidge was saying, and what Black Lion thought to him.  Keith couldn't hear any other responses.

"What's he saying, Pidge?"

Pidge looked over to Keith. "Blue Lion said Allura told them all about Ariela's coming, when her spaceship would crash here.  They also said that she was afraid of the Drago.  You mean, you can only hear what Black Lion says to you?"

"Yeah, that's it. But what did you mean, when you said, 'Daughter of Arus', Pidge?" Keith asked him.

"I was repeating what the Blue Lion thought to me.  They refer to the Princess as the Daughter of Arus." Pidge replied.

"Wait a minute!  In a dream last night, Black Lion appeared to me, telling me where to find Allura.  He referred to me as the Son of Arus and future Prince. What does that mean?" Keith asked.

The Black Lion suddenly roared at Keith, gaining his attention. "I know who you are.  I've sensed it since before I saw you.  But my spirit was aware of your presence.  You are Arus's future, young Lion Knight.  You should not fear your destiny, but embrace it, and she
who is to rule by your side."

Pidge looked over to Keith.  "I'd say they mean you are going to be Arus's next king in the future."

"Allura and me...reigning Arus...together?" Keith gasped.  "Can...can that be true?"

"Apparently, it is." Pidge replied.  "Sounds like fun to me!"

"Yeah...but...ruling a whole entire planet!" Keith gasped.

"We all know how much you love her, Keith!  Even if you're not willing to admit it to yourself or her." Pidge asked him.

Keith said nothing in reply...no really sure if there was anything to say.

"We all can see there is something between you both, but neither of you have the guts to admit it!  But one thing's for sure...the love that you two share will see you through it all." Pidge replied with a smile. "I always knew it in my heart, Keith, that you and the Princess were destined for each other. Now, it's confirmed."

"Son of Arus...do not be afraid of your destiny.  Embrace it...for from you shall come forth three more Lion Warriors." Black Lion added.

Keith suddenly paused...

Something came to his remembrance.  It was a dream, or so he thought, about three young teens he once saw while lying in recovery in the infirmary.  It was the time he had returned to save Allura from being killed...when he traveled back through time...

Not wishing to be foolish, he allowed his mind to recall their names only...

Andretta...
Kyle...
Kevin...

"Yes, Son of Arus.  They were not a dream, but a vision of the future.  They depend on you to bring them to pass." The Black Lion roared.

Pidge looked at Keith.  "What does he mean?"

Keith smiled.  "Never mind, Pidge.  Someday I'll tell you all about it." Keith then recalled Allura.  "Can you help us find her again?"

"We shall find her...but we must go..." Black Lion paused, and suddenly cocked his great ears to the sky. "Something is coming...something loud!"

Pidge and Keith looked at each other.  "Do you hear anything?" Pidge said.

A large sonic boom sent Keith and Pidge falling to the ground and the lions down as well.  Keith rolled over and looked up into the sky.

"The ship!" Keith shouted, pointing upward.  "Look, Pidge!  Its the ship!"

"Ariela!" Pidge shouted as well, cupping his eyes trying to shield them from the bright sun.

"We've got no time to waste now!" Keith cried, watching for the apparent direction the spacecraft was falling.  "We need to follow that ship!"

"What is that?" Red Lion roared.

"Another weapon against us?" Yellow Lion joined in.

Black Lion shook his head about.  "No, it was is the arrival of the human cub that the Daughter of Arus foretold!  Quickly!"

Black Lion crouched down to the ground.  "Get on my back, and we shall all follow the strange house that flies!"

Keith and Pidge quickly got on Black Lion's back, and together with the other four lions, the group followed the direction that the ship was falling in.

"We have to find her before Drago does!" Keith shouted.  "He'll kill Ariela and Allura!'

"Be brave, Lion Knight!  We shall find them all!" Black Lion roared as the five lions galloped on.

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

Drago and Allura had seen the ship falling too...

"Ah!" Drago hissed.  "Its not far from our position!  Come on, Princess!  Let's go and greet your Queen!"

Allura had no choice but to go, as Drago still had her arm bent upward behind her back, while the other hand was pinned behind her as well.

Allura closed her eyes, the tears forming instantly, and her mind began to think out to Blue Lion...


"Blue Lion...Blue Lion...if you can hear me...follow my thoughts...come to my aid!  We must not allow King Drago to destroy Ariela...or all of Arus will perish!"



Drago led Allura back into the forest...

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