"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-Five
Sacrifice for Her Majesty

The old-style space cruiser was lying in ruins; burning wreckage was scattered throughout the area of the crash.  The smell of burning flesh permeated the area.

There were no survivors...save one...a small infant.

She had been placed in an escape pod and jettisoned from the rest of the ship just prior to the crash, evidently in an attempt to give her a chance to live.

But now, the child was alone, with no parents to guide her... no one to raise her... no one to take care of her.

At age six months, this small child had virtually no chance of survival.  All the others who would have cared for her were dead.

The child was tucked neatly in the pod, with a single blank covering her up.  On the blanket was some type of Royal Insignia...and a name was sewn into the material, probably a means of identifying the origin of the ship and its passengers.

The child was crying and flailing about.  The sound echoed from the pod to the ears of King Drago...who had been approaching the wreckage with his captive, Princess Allura.

Allura suddenly stopped struggling with her captor...immediately overcome by the sight of the wreckage, overcome by the smell of death in the air.

The archives had suddenly come alive for her...and for the first time, Allura understood the passion in her father's voice that she recalled hearing, when he would tell her the stories of this event, excerpts directly from the Arusian Archives themselves.

This was how it all began...this one tragic event was the reason she was born.

As the two came to stand over the cradle pod, Drago released one of Allura's hands, then thrusting her forward toward the pod.  With steady, yet sinister voice, the wicked King ordered the Princess to open the pod.

Allura hesitated, knowing that if she opened it, Ariela would become instantly vulnerable to Drago's evil intentions.  Drago shoved Allura, twisting the other arm that was still gripped behind her back.

Allura winced in painful agony, crying out for him to stop.

"Do as I say, wench!" King Drago shouted at her.

She hated that word...Lotor once called her by that name.

She hated Lotor.

And now, she hated Drago too...

The Princess reached down with her one hand and flipped up the latches.  The lid popped open, and suddenly the muffled cries of the small infant magnified in the air.

Drago winced at the sound.  He released Allura, shoving her forward toward the pod, instructing her to reach down and pick up the noise bundle lying there.

Allura paused...only for a moment, now allowing her combat skills to take over.  She thought momentarily as she reached down and began to gather the baby in her arms, how Keith would have handled such an opportunity as this.

The answer came to her almost immediately...

She rose back up to her feet at Drago's command to turn and give him the child.  Allura did as he asked, turning slowly...appearing as if she would hand the child over to him.

As Drago stretched forth his arms toward her, Allura carefully used the hand that had been supporting Ariela's bottom, to gather up her long gown from below.

As Drago reached for the baby...

WHACK!

Suddenly, Drago cried out in agonizing pain, curling up to the ground in fetal position.  The kick that Allura delivered to Drago's groan had now given her the time she needed to attempt escape.  Allura turned and ran with Ariela, held tightly to her.

Drago rolled around on the ground moaning in pain, as he watched Princess Allura make off with the baby.  He weakly crawled on the ground, and with pain-staking motions, pushed himself to his feet.

The fire in his eyes burned as a raging inferno...

Now the stupid girl had gone too far!

He stumbled in the direction where the Princess headed off too...his heart now burning with hatred, and his need for revenge.

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

The Lions arrived to the scene too late.  Their passengers leaped off of the back of the Black Lion.  They quickly searched the area for survivors...and found nothing but the remains of charred ship wreckage, burnt equipment, smoky instruments...and the remains of several humanoids...all dead.

It was Pidge who stumbled across the cradle pod.

"Keith!" Pidge shouted to his Commander.  "Over here!"

The Voltron leader turned from what he was looking at to the Green Lion pilot, and immediately ran over to him.

Keith looked down at the pod...and sighed heavily.

"Empty." Pidge said.

"Drago's been here.  He must have Ariela!" Keith announced to the lions.  "We've got to track them...quick!"

The Black Lion stepped forward.  "Green shall find them...his keen sense of smell is superior to ours."

The Green Lion stepped forward and began sniffing the air.  Within moments, the mighty lion had hold of the scent of the three of them, and let out a resounding roar.

Keith and Pidge got back onto Black Lion's back, not needing an interruptation to know that Green Lion had a fix on them.  The five lions galloped away, with Green Lion leading them all.

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

Allura ran through the wooded area with the future of Arus in her arms.  Ariela seemed content for some reason to be with the Princess, and her crying and fussing had ceased moments after Allura had picked her up in her arms.

The gown Allura had on was cumbersome to run in, but nevertheless, she had to do what she could to escape from Drago.  Her only chance was to find the Lions of Arus.

But where were they?

Allura continued to run though the forest area...until she reached the outcropping where she had first arrived.  This is the place the Castle of Lions would be standing at in the future...and in front of her was the lake...the future resting place of the robot Blue Lion.

Her beloved Blue Lion...

Beyond that was a cliff, where in the future, villages would be built down below in the valley.

She turned her head to the right, and then again to the left.  To the right was the cliff.  To the left was the lake, and more forest area.  She glanced briefly at Ariela, who had somehow found the comfort in Allura's arms to go to sleep.

Allura began to run toward the forest....around the lake.

She heard a rustling of leaves behind her, and turned for one brief moment...hoping it was one of the lions

It was not.

Drago stood before heranger flared up in his face.  He slowly approached the now trembling Princess.

"Give...me...the baby...now!" Drago said slowly, his voice projecting sheer hatred.

"Never!" Allura shouted.  "You must kill me first before I give her up!"

A slow smile appeared on Drago's face.  "Now that sounds like a marvelous idea...Princess Allura!"

Drago darted out toward Allura, but she was ready for him.  With only the choice of the cliff or the lake, Allura chose the lake.  She dove into it with Ariela in her arms.  The shock of the cool water awoke the little baby, and she began to cry once again.

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

The sound of crying echoed through the forest...and reached the ears of the Lions of Arus, as they searched for the threesome.  All five lions immediately perked up.  Keith and Pidge also heard the sound of the baby's cry.

"Ariela!" Keith shouted. "That's Ariela!  Its got to be her!"

"Then...where's the Princess?" Pidge added suddenly, now looking back and forth for her.

The lions roared as they began to run toward the sound...and the sound of their roaring echoed back into the forest...

...reaching the ears of the struggling Princess, as she attempted to keep Ariela's head above the water while she escaped.  Allura's face shone with joy...

"The Lions!" she gasped, as water filled her mouth.

Then, the sounds of two very familiar voices could be heard from a short distance away...
calling out her name...



"PRINCESS!"

"ALLURA! WHERE ARE YOU?"



Drago paused...hearing the voices as well.

Allura blinked... straining to listen to their calls, but the sound of the baby crying seemed to drown them out.

Drago quickly deducted it was the Voltron Commander, along with one of his sidekick... and the lions.  Instantly, he wondered how they had figured out how to use the time portal.  But now, there was no time to waste.

Drago jumped into the water after Allura, attempting to catch her.

Allura struggled once again to hear the voices...

"That...that sounds like...Keith... and Pidge!" she said with a cry in her voice.

Seconds later, the lions appeared out of the forest, and on the back of the Black Lion sat Keith and Pidge.  They immediately hopped off of the lion's back.

Allura was so excited that she
began calling out to them as she
treaded the water...forgetting
for a moment that Drago was hot
on her heels.

"Keith!  Pidge!  How did you..."
she started to say.

"LOOK OUT, ALLURA!"
Keith shouted a warning.

Allura turned her head and found Drago almost upon her.  With a scream, she attempted to kick swim toward the shore with Ariela extended in front of her and above the water.  Allura placed her face in the water and kicked with all she had.

Keith and Pidge lunged forward in to the water after them.  The lions remained on shore.

Drago was sucking in more water then not, and began reaching for Allura's kicking feet. Allura felt him grab hold of one of them, and using an incredible burst of strength, Drago pulled the Princess toward him.  Allura kicked hard at the evil king...

Drago reached for Ariela.  "Give her to me...NOW!" he shouted.

The baby in Allura's arms was crying hysterically.  Drago clawed for her, attempting to loosen her from Allura's grip.  But Allura turned her head and saw Keith and Pidge on fast approach.


Without a second thought, she quickly hurled baby Ariela forward toward the approaching pair.

"SAVE HER!" she screamed at them, knowing in her heart that they would do nothing less.

Drago grunted angrily as he watched the baby sail several feet away from him and the Princess, toward the two Voltron pilots.  She hit the surface of the water...and began to sink under it.

Keith and Pidge saw Ariela begin to sink beneath the surface of the water... and the infant's cries suddenly ceased as her head went under.

"The baby!" Keith shouted, spitting water out of his mouth, pointing to the helpless infant.

Keith and Pidge dove under to get her.

Allura smiled, trusting that her friends would save Baby Ariela...and Arus's future...

Then suddenly...

Drago had his hands on Allura's head and neck, and with brute force, he dunked her underneath the water.  She struggled, clawing at her adversary with all of her might, while holding what little breath she had managed to inhale before unknowingly, forced underwater.

Flailing about, Allura felt a terrible feeling of panic well up in her soul, realized suddenly that the end of her life was very near...for she could no longer hold her breath.

As she began to exhale slowly below the water, her eyes beheld the sight of her dear friends, rescuing baby Ariela.

Keith caught sight of Allura under the water, and pushed off Ariela to Pidge, who began returning to the surface of the water with the child in his grasp.

Allura only smiled...as she forced out the last bit of air left in her lungs...only to begin sucking in water.

Keith screamed under the water as he neared the surface.  The last words Allura heard before she passed out were the sound of her name, muffled by the density of the water.

The Voltron Commander rose
to the surface of the water,
screaming out Drago's name in rage,
while agonizing tears fell like rain.
Drago looked up at him with a devious
smile.


"I've succeeded, Commander Keith!"
Drago shouted.  "You may have saved
the baby...but the Princess, all of you
hold so dear, is gone...gone at last!"

Keith slapped his hands on the top of the water.  "And you're going to join her!"

With fitful rage, Keith used every muscle in his body and every last once of strength to lunge toward Drago.  Drago released Allura from his grasp...and her body freely floated up to the surface, face down in the water.

Keith swam up to her and flipped her body around so that her face was pointed upward.  Then began to drag her with him as he went after Drago.


Pidge had returned to shore with baby Ariela.  She had sucked in some water, but was otherwise fine...thanks to the Princess.  Pidge laid Ariela on the ground and looked at the Green Lion.

"Watch her!" Pidge shouted.

The lion's great head bounced up and down as he watched the little child coughing, gasping and crying.

Suddenly, the five lions surrounded baby Ariela in a protective stance.

Pidge then turned around and quickly ran around the shoreline toward where Keith and Drago were.  Pidge's heart skipped a beat as he looked at the Princess... floating with Keith's aid.

Pidge pushed the thought of her death from his mind and ran with much more determination in his veins toward the three of them.

Drago crawled onto shore, Keith
hot on his heels.  Pidge jumped into
the water and grabbed the Princess from
Keith's arms.





Keith carried her on shore quickly, and set her down on the ground.  Pidge moved in quicky next to her. 

The Voltron Commander eyed Drago... and then looked at Allura's lifeless body.

"Pidge..." Keith said, wiping his dripping long hair back from his face.

"I'll do what I can," Pidge replied back, cupping her dangling head with his hand.

Keith nodded, then turned his attention back to the fleeing king.

Without any thought, Keith ran from the water, chasing Drago toward the cliff.  Drago knew he had trapped himself, but had one last plan up his sleeve...

"Commander!" Drago called out, suddenly halting as he reached the edge of the cliff. "Perhaps...we can work this out!"

"I'm placing you under arrest, Drago!" Keith said firmly, now thinking more rationally.  "For the murder of Allura Adrienna DeVille, Crowned Princess of Planet Arus!"

"Arrest...?  Me?" Drago chuckled. "What court of law do you purpose here!"

"You will return with us to the future.  There, you will face a trial by your peers for the deaths of Princess Allura, and King Ashland!"

"Really?" Drago mocked.  "I had no idea that I would be held accountable for a death some one thousand years in the past!"

"Don't make me come and get you!" Keith shouted angrily.

"Don't make me laugh, Commander!" Drago shouted back.  "The only way you'll take me back to the future is in a box!"

"That's your choice!" Keith replied back.  "Either you surrender, here and now, and face galactic justice... or face my justice!"

"I choose...this!"

Drago immediately bent down and picked up a rock from the ground.  He hurled it at Keith. The rock hit him in the head, stunning him momentarily.

Drago then leaped at Keith, wrestling him to the ground, and rolling with him to the edge of the cliff.

Keith got his second wind and shoved at Drago, who being so close to the side of the cliff himself, began to slip off of it.  Just as Drago went over, he grabbed hold of an out-rooted branch that was sticking out of the side of the cliff.

Seconds after, Keith's hand reached down toward Drago. "Give me your hand!" he shouted to him, as he dug in his boots into the ground, preparing himself for the added weight.

But Drago hesitated...the fear of dying penetrating his very soul.

"I said...give...me...your...hand!"
Keith shouted again, reaching out
for Drago.

Drago shifted his body, and swung
himself upward toward Keith...

But the branch could not support
Drago's weight. Without warning,
it snapped in half.  Keith desperately
clawed for Drago as he fell out of his
reach...

Drago screamed all the way down
the side of the rocky cliff to the
valley below, slamming into the
side of it every couple of seconds.

Keith closed his eyes as the
horrifying echo lingered in the air for moments afterward...then suddenly stopped.

Without looking further...Keith pushed himself back up and away from the edge of the cliff

Drago was dead.

Was it what he deserved?

Keith decided in that instant that he was not judge and jury over Drago.  He glanced up toward heaven.  Someone else...mightier then all, would have that job to do.

Keith turned back toward Pidge...and suddenly, his heart...even his very soul, felt an awful aching, as he caught sight of Pidge sitting on the ground, with tears rolling down his cheeks.

The Princess's lifeless body lay very still, and as he approached them both, Keith instantly knew...Allura was dead as well.

And his heart died also... a pain he had not felt since when she died in the Blue Lion incident. Only this time...there was no way to return in time to save her.  Perhaps...she was meant to die then, and his foolishness prevented that and averted destiny.  Now, apparently nature once again did what was needed.

The solemn Commander stooped
low to he ground, giving Pidge a
gentle pat on the head.   Pidge looked
at Keith and moved over, allowing
Keith to sit down next to the Princess. 
Keith gently lifted her body into his
arms and then finally, taking hold of
the delicate hand.  Keith sighed heavily...
his sorrow evident in his voice and his
actions.  He began to gently move aside
the heavy pieces of soaked golden hair,
revealing her lifeless face.

The tears began to fall as he looked
into her face....




As he gently took hold of her hand...and just
rubbed it.  Her face was beginning to turn a pale-gray color.

...the color of death.

Keith's mind began to think as he continued to gently rub her cooling hand... "But...Black Lion said...three were to follow me.  How can that be if Allura's dead?"


"Because, young Keith, Allura is truly not here."



Keith and Pidge were startled by the suddenly familiar voice that echoed just behind them both.  They both quickly rose to their feet, and immediately came face to face with the ghost of King Alfor, hovering before them both.


"My young friends," the late king
of Arus said, "My daughter is not
among you, she is in the future...
where she belongs.  By saving
Ariela from death, you have
inadvertently saved Allura as well.
The death of Ariela would have
meant the immediate termination
of all that you both knew in the future.
Ariela's destiny was to be Queen
of Arus.  Her son would be the next
ruler of Arus. And his two sons
would be at odds with each other,
starting a war between them that
eventually would escalate into the
banishment of the old son to the
planet, Pollux.  And then, eventually,
my time as ruler, and in turn, Allura's
as ruler, and the part she played in
the new found bond with our distant
relatives of Planet Pollux."


Pidge bowed his head respectfully, and then looked up at King Alfor's ghost.  "Your Majesty, how can Allura be here in body, yet be in the future as well?" the young Green Lion pilot asked.  "It doesn't make sense that the same matter can take up the same space in two different time periods.  Wouldn't that disrupt the time continuum?"

"You think two-dimensionally, young Pidge." Alfor replied.  "If you notice, she is not here. Oh yes, her body is here...but her spirit is not. What you are seeing is a three-dimensional view...this is merely an empty shell."

Keith bowed next.  "Begging your pardon, King Alfor," he said.  "But... if I understand you correctly, what you are saying is that we see her body, but because Ariela is safe here in the past, and Allura was not native to this time period, she is alive is the future?"

"Precisely, young commander."

"But Sir," Pidge replied.  "It defies all the laws of physics!"

"Not entirely, Pidge.  For you see, your mission started out as a mission to rescue Allura from the past.  Your plan would have been flawed had Drago succeeded in destroying baby Ariela.  Without her, Arus was doomed.  It became necessary for you to form a new planto
rescue Ariela.  And you have succeeded in that plan.  But...by changing your original plan from saving Allura to saving Ariela instead, you have in fact, saved all of Planet Arus, and perhaps the entire galaxy.  All from this one sacrificial decision to save the baby who you didn't know, and allow someone you both care for deeply to die in her place.  A brave decision.  You are both to be commended."

"I guess I don't completely understand, Your Majesty." Pidge sighed.

"So," Keith said slowly.  "Again, you're saying that by saving Ariela here in the past, we've preserved Allura's soul, because she belongs in the future.  And therefore, whatever happened here... didn't matter?  And nothing has changed in the future from what we are familiar with?"

"Then...there was no need to come back in time?" Pidge replied. "But, what about everyone who was forgetting her in the future?"

"An alternative timeline maybe?" Keith said out loud.  "Changed when Allura left us.  But the original timeline still existed."

"Or...maybe, a new timeline, because Allura never existed as princess?" Pidge said.  "But...what about her tombstone?"

Keith shook his head.  "Its too much for me, Pidge.  I just don't understand it all."

"Change is change, young Keith.  There will always be change when exact circumstances are not met exactly as they should have been.  King Drago is dead here in the past.  In the future, his planet and its neighbors...well, shall we just say...the change is a pleasant one."

"What do you mean, King Alfor?" Pidge asked.

"Go now, return to your future, and come away with a new found admiration for those in the past who have worked hard to make Arus what it is.  Farewell, my young friends."

Moment's later, King Alfor's image disappeared.

"I still don't understand how she can be alive in the future, Keith!" Pidge said, now starting to weep.  "What if he's wrong?"

Keith turned back to the lifeless body of Princess Allura.  It was hard to believe by looking at her now, that she could be alive in the future.  Keith knelt down by Allura's side once more.  Gently brushing his forefinger against her cold cheek, he closed his eyes for a moment...
pondering what has happened and what was said by Alfor's ghost.

It truly was too much for him to understand.  How could he feel Allura, dead right before him, and yet...believe Alfor's explanation?

He slowly rose to his feet again and walked several steps forward.  Pidge took off his glasses and wiped his tear-stained face, then looked back down at his lifeless friend.

"This is merely an empty shell..." Keith recalled Alfor saying.  He abruptly turned back to Pidge. "Well, Pidge? How about it?  Is she alive or what?"

Pidge shook his head.  "Keith, it goes against everything I've ever learned about physics...it goes against everything I know.  I...I honest don't know.  Logically, it can't possibly be."

"And what of Drago?" Keith said, glancing back toward the edge of the cliff.  "What happens to him?  Is he alive in the future too?"

"I'd say no," Pidge replied.  "He isn't native to Arus at all.  So whatever affects him here...I guess is permanent?  I don't really know the answer to that one either, Keith."

Keith turned his gaze back to the Princess's body.  His eyes began to narrow as he observed her carefully.  Something peculiar was taking place...

"Pidge...look at her coloring..." Keith said, as approached them again.

Pidge looked at it uncaringly.  "So?"

"Well...tell me what you see!" Keith said again, as he came to a stop right next to them both.

Pidge's sigh was full of frustration.  He looked again at Allura's body...

"Hey, wait a minute!" Pidge said, almost in a shouting manner.  "She should be growing cold, and her color should be turning blue by now!"

"She was...but now..." Keith said slowly, as he stooped low to the ground and took her hand in his once again.  "And you're right...she should be cool to the touch...at least, she was...I'd swear it!   I don't get it, Pidge!  How can this be?  She's as warm as you or I am!"

Pidge reached down and took her other hand in his.  His mouth dropped open with astonishment.  "Keith...she's not cold!  She's really not!  She's been dead for about ten minutes now!  She was discoloring!  You saw it, didn't you?  Her body temperature was dropping rapidly without the blood flow!   But...but....how..."

"Exactly..." Keith replied.

Pidge looked up with a hint of revelation in his eyes... "But...that can't be...unless..."

"Unless Alfor is right...and Allura is alive in the future!" Keith finished Pidge's statement.

"Whoa...this is so weird!" Pidge shook his head and dropped Allura's hand from his grasp. "It's giving me the creeps, Keith!"

"We have to go back to where we belong!"
Keith said suddenly, rising
back up to his feet.

"What about Ariela?" Pidge asked him.

"Do not worry, Lion Knights."
The Black Lion said. "We shall care for
her. We shall raise her as one of us.
We shall teach her all she should know
about the world she now lives in."

"We shall teach her the way of the lion." Blue Lion replied.  "And she shall know the sacrifices made here today on her behalf.  She shall know about the Daughter of Arus, and through the knowledge, the Daughter of Arus shall live on."

Keith and Pidge looked at the Arus Lions who had approached them from behind.  Keith nodded his head. "It was meant to be so."  He said to them as he watched Green Lion. Green had the baby's clothes by the teeth, and was carrying her around in cub fashion.

"The human cub will become a part of our pride." Red Lion announced. "And we shall care for her as one of our own."

"Return to your time, Lion Knights." Black Lion replied.

The Black Lion tilted his head down to Allura.  Then, he looked back to Keith. "Farewell, Daughter of Arus.  Your sweetness fills the air in my lungs.  We shall always be with you and shall never forget you."

The Lions turned, and with Baby Ariela, they ran off, disappearing into the forest.  Keith smiled at Pidge.  "Let's go home." He said with a smile.

Pidge rose to his feet, somewhat hesitantly.  Then, brought into view the time device.  "Are you sure about this, Commander?" he asked again.

Keith paused for a moment to listen to his heart.  The closed his eyes...

"Allura...I can feel you're still alive..." Keith thought to himself.

He then looked back at his teammate.  "I'm sure, Pidge.  Allura's not here anymore.  And even if that isn't the case...if Alfor's wrong... our work here is finished.  We can't do anything more to help her now."

Pidge sighed again, not completely sure if he agreed with Keith or not, but suddenly realizing that Keith was right... it didn't matter.  If she wasn't alive in the future, as Alfor's ghost alluded to, then it didn't matter anyway.

Allura would still be dead...or alive...past or future.  He lifted the device up into the air.  Keith walked forward to him and they clasped onto each other.

Pidge activated the mechanism, and within moments, the air around them began to shift.  Their physical patterns began to shift as well, growing thinner and thinner...until they disappeared from sight.

Only the body of Princess Allura remained...
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