"Forever..."

A story based on, "Voltron, The Third Dimension"
Copyright 2004
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! 

Enjoy! 


Chapter 5
Let the 'Fun' Begin!


The Black Lion soared past the Green Lion in a flight maneuver specially designed to act as a near miss.  Green Lion then turned and flew past Yellow Lion, in turn, flying past Blue Lion, and lastly, Blue Lion nearly hitting Red Lion in a right side pass.

Red Lion suddenly released a round of firepower at Black Lion, including claw and isotipic missiles.  Black Lion side-stepped the attack, allowing the missiles to sail cleanly past.

"Is that the best you've got, Lance?"
Keith said over the COM.

"Hey, I was going easy on you,
smart guy!" Lance chuckled.

"Easy on me?" Keith snorted
back playfully.

Suddenly, Black Lion's red wings
detached from its back, and without
so much as a warning, their special
computer flight guidance system
steered them right into the unsuspecting
Red Lion.  The wings thumped Red Lion, somewhat abruptly, while it hovered in mid air.

"Hey!" Lance blurted out over
the COM.  "Was that really necessary?"

"Maybe that'll teach you to stay with the
program, Lance!" Keith blurted back,
now somewhat annoyed.  "We're running
drills...not playing air-tag football!  Besides,
if you'd pay more attention to you sensor
panels, you'd have seen me coming back after
you.  You've got to be alert at all times,
Lance!  How many times have I told you that?"


Lance didn't reply to Keith's reprimand...but instead, thought to himself....


"We'll just see who's paying attention later, Keith!"


"Okay, if Lance is done playing games," Keith said over the COM,  "We can get back to our drilling. Blue Lion?"

"Here, Commander!" Allura replied crisply.

"I'm coming after you next." the Voltron Commander advised.  "Get ready to fend off my attack."

"I'm ready, Keith!" Allura exclaimed.

Blue Lion suddenly turned and hovered in mid air, ducking its head down, with its back end upward in the air...and waited.

Black Lion then turned and let loose a round of claw missiles aimed directly at Blue Lion. Blue Lion skillfully leaped out of the way, allowing the missiles to sail past.

Inside the Black Lion, Keith called out the practice commands...

"Blue Lion...Yellow Lion...prepare yourselves for a frontal assault!" Keith warned as he charged up Black Lion's arsenal.

"Ready, Commander!" Allura replied in a confident voice, through the COM.

"Give it your best shot, Chief!" Hunk added from Yellow Lion.

"In this exercise, Black Lion's going to fire a spread of ion torpedoes, targeted right at you guys.  But I'm not saying in which direction I'm programming them to come at you.  That's for me to know, and for you to find out! So, get ready!" Keith added, as his hands danced across the command console in Black Lion.

"Blue Lion, ready!" Allura cried.

"Yellow Lion's ready too!" Hunk added.

"Okay," Keith said slowly, as he
looked at his screen, with his finger
over the firing button on his control
levers.  "Here it comes!"

Suddenly, a mounted cannon emerged from a hidden compartment on Black Lion's back. Then, two side cannons phased in to view...one on each shoulder.  An ominous red glow quickly appeared within the haul of the cannons.

In the distance, hovered the Blue and Yellow Lions...poised to react.

Seconds later...a spread of ion torpedoes shot out into the sky from the three mounted cannons.  At first, it appeared that the torpedoes would fly straight on into to the awaiting robot lions...when suddenly, they scattered rapidly, some beginning to circle around toward the back of the lions, while others headed toward the sides.

And still a few more were heading dead on into them.

Blue Lion shifted position suddenly, activating its tail guns, while laser cannon fire began to easily shot out the side and frontal torpedoes.  The Blue Lion ducked, missing two of them, and fired a tail blast to destroy them, all while handling the other approaching torpedoes.

Yellow Lion fired a round of ion darts, while activating rear Mega-blaster cannons, disintegrating the torpedoes as they approached.

Yellow Lion flipped out of the way, avoiding a direct hit, and then destroyed the torpedo as it passed by.

Blue Lion took out the last torpedo...but not without some difficulty in doing so.  Skillfully, Princess Allura guided her robot lion into a sideways, midair roll and with careful precision, target and destroy the last torpedo, just before it was about to impact into the Blue Lion's side.

Keith smiled...but sequestered his
enthusiasm. "Nice job, you two...but..."

"But?" Hunk replied as his face
now appeared on Keith's ultra-wave
screen.

"But...what, Keith?" Allura asked as well.

"But, you're response time was a bit slower than last week's." Keith replied back, his face betraying no secrets.

"Hey!" Hunk snorted.  "We got them all, isn't that the idea?"

"The 'idea', Hunk, was to avoid getting pelted, by destroying the torpedoes at a safe distance away!  You two were cutting it a lot closer than you did when we ran this exercise last week. Remember, you're shooting at live ammo...not firecrackers." Keith lectured.

"Aw, come on, Keith!" Lance blurted back over the COM.  "I think they did a great job!"

"They destroyed the targets...but lost efficiency in the process," Keith replied back calmly. "Lotor's not going to stop at one attack, you know!  He's going to give it all he's got...and then some!  And its our job to make sure we're as ready as possible to meet any kind of threat that Doom sends our way."

"Oh man," Lance replied.  "Here we go..."

"Listen, Lance!" Keith blurted out, suddenly annoyed.  "You know as well as I do, that just one wrong move on our parts, could mean the destruction of a town, a village or city!  And worse than that...what we fail to do, will trickle down to the people of Arus!  Our mistakes
could cost lives!  Remember that, hotshot!"

"Okay, okay...I get the idea." Lance replied, suddenly backing down.

"Now, let's run that scenario once more!" Keith replied, as he began to fire up Black Lion's weaponry.  "Blue Lion...Yellow Lion...prepare for attack!"

"Blue Lion ready, Keith!" Allura cried boisterously.

"Yellow Lion also ready, Skipper!" Hunk replied with equal enthusiasm.

The cannons on Black Lion's back once again erupted in a deep red glow.  Then...torpedoes blasted out of the cannons, and just as before, quickly separated and began to fly out in different directions toward the two awaiting robot lions.

But this time...the lions began to react quicker than before.

Blue Lion's arsenal opened fire almost immediately, taking out many of the torpedoes before they even had a chance to change flight direction.

Yellow Lion did likewise, opening fire on the approaching torpedo attack, disintegrating nearly all that were approaching.

Blue Lion's tail fire lashed out at the last remaining torpedoes, sending them to a fiery end.

"Now that's what I wanted to see in the first place!" Keith cried.  "You reaction time is near perfect!  Great job, guys!"

"Thank you." Allura said, quite matter-of-factly.

"Yeah! Thanks, Keith!" Hunk bellowed back joyfully.

"Just remember one thing, though," Keith advised.  "You knew my attack was coming.  You have to expect the unexpected.  Be ready, as if you're expecting to get targeted in battle. Zarkon and Lotor aren't going to radio ahead to tell you they're about to fire on you.  Be prepared...got it, everyone?"

"GOT IT!" everyone replied.

Keith checked his onboard digital dial...the time was almost nine o'clock in the morning.  He smiled fondly as he looked at the Blue Lion from his side monitor.

"Okay everyone!  I think that's enough practice for today." Keith said. "Let's head for home."

The five robot lions roared loudly as they headed back to their individual dens.

******************

The team arrived back in Castle Control, just in time to meet up with Coran, who was apparently waiting to see them.

"Welcome home!" Coran said boisterously.  Then, he looked to Keith.  "Commander...a word with you, if I may?"

Keith nodded and walked over to where Coran stood.  The two men suddenly began to part from the rest of the group.

Allura smiled sheepishly, as she looked at Hunk, Lance and Pidge. "Well, I have a few things to do today.  I'll catch up with you boys tonight at dinner."

"Dinner?" Lance said with a smirk.  "Why dinner?  Where you going, Princess?"

"Oh...just somewhere," Allura said while suddenly covering her mouth to halt an impending giggle.

"What, 'somewhere', Princess?" Lance probed further.  "Does that, 'somewhere' require an escort?  You know that Keith's real big on not letting you go out, unguarded!"

Allura continued to smile.  "Keith approves of my escort." she replied.  "And as to the 'somewhere', I'll detail it all later at dinner!"

As she walked off, Hunk looked to Pidge.  "Get over there an find out what they're taking about!"

"Me?!?" Pidge squealed quietly, while pointing to himself.  "Why me?"

"Because you're the only one that can read lips!" Hunk replied sternly.  "Hurry!"

Pidge groaned.  "Look...I told you guys that I'm not helping you out on this...and I meant it!"

"Spoiled brat!" Lance blurted out in a hushed voice.  "If you don't get over there, I'll tell Coran that you used the control console's motherboard last week!"

"Hey!  Now, you guys know I only borrowed it to test that new cloaking device I'm working on!" Pidge defended.  "I needed more gigs then our regular equipment could handle!  Besides...I put it right back!"

"Yeah, but you borrowed without permission or approval!" Hunk whispered.  "And we all know that Keith has told us, at least a million times, not to monkey around with the Castle security systems!"

"Yep, and just what would we have done, had there been an attack of some kind, and opps...
looks like we have no motherboard to power up the main defense computers!" Lance added. "Keith would have rolled you over a spiked nail bed!"

"Yeah, and we could have told on you...but we didn't...until now, that is..." Lance said.

"All right!  Okay!  I get the message!" Pidge groaned in a low voice.

He then turned to the control board and grabbed a mini hand-held computer and walked over toward the area near where Coran and Keith were both standing.

He walked over to a nearby wall computer and began to run a fake diagnostic.  He tilted his eyes upward, and stared nonchalantly at Keith and Coran as they talked in whispers, shifting his eyes to the left, where he could observe them, quietly.

Their lips were clearly visible, and Pidge had one eye on his mini-computer and one eye on them.  His eyes shifted as he took in the information being relayed between their Commander and the Castle Advisor.

Seconds later...the conversation was over, and Keith and Coran were parting company, with Keith making his way toward Hunk and Lance, and Coran, heading back to the Control Board.

Keith walked up to his two friends, in a rather anxious mood.

"Got to go do some things today.  You guys be alert and if there's any problem, Coran will contact me on my COM link." Keith said.

"What's up, Keith?" Lance asked his friend.

"Nothing that you need be concerned with," Keith replied.  "I've just got stuff to do today, that's all."

"Why the secrets, then?" Hunk asked with a smirked expression.  "If its no big deal, then we should be in on where you're going...just in case something happens..."

"No deal, Hunk." Keith interrupted.  "Don't worry...I'll be fine."

"Should we...uh...look after the Princess today?" Lance asked, trying not to look like he knew that something was up.

Keith paused for a moment...and then replied,  "No, that's not needed.  I arranged for...um...someone else to take care of that today."

"Who?" Lance blurted out, still trying to look as innocent as possible.  "Shouldn't we know who's watching over her?"

"Lance..." Keith groaned.  "Just let it go, okay?  I said that she'd be okay today.  Now, leave it at that.  I'll worry about the rest."

Hunk and Lance exchanged smiling glances at one another before Lance turned back to Keith.  "Okay, Keith.  Whatever you say!"

Keith nodded while looking at his digital watch.  The time was near nine-thirty.  "Well, I'm off. I'll see you guys at dinner." He then tossed his head over to where Pidge was standing.  "Say goodbye to Pidge for me, okay?"

"We'll take of everything, Keith!" Lance replied.

"Yeah!  We'll make sure we take care of things for you...real good!" Hunk echoed.

Keith nodded with a smile, and then left the room quickly.  Hunk and Lance looked at each other again, then, turned to wave for Pidge's attention.

Hunk then turned and stuck his head out of the door, watching Keith jog down the corridor, and out of sight.

Meantime, the teen genius began to walk slowly over toward where his other two friends were standing.  Suddenly, Lance grabbed onto Pidge's arm, whisking him out of the Control Room in a swift manner, with Hunk trailing right behind them.

The three companions marched down the corridor without saying a word.  Suddenly, Lance led them into a deserted conference room.  As the door slid closed behind them, Lance and Hunk circled Pidge.

"Okay, spill it!" Lance said.  "What's going on?"

Pidge's expression waned as he began to think that getting in trouble over the motherboard might have been a better alternative to what he was about to do.

"Well...Keith and the Princess...they...uh...they're going out...um..well, they're going out on the picnic outing." Pidge replied.  "Then, they're heading to city of Kardel after that.

"Kardel City?" Hunk blurted out.  "Wow!  I'd love to go there!  It's a great tourism city, filled with all kind of things to do..."

Lance elbowed Hunk in the side, regaining his attention back to the conversation.  "And where are they going to picnic?"

Pidge shifted his feet for a second before finally giving up the information.  "They're heading for Crystal Lake.  They're going to picnic and do some swimming."

"Swimming, eh?" Lance echoed.  "When are they leaving?"

"Keith's supposed to meet the Princess over at the Royal stables at ten." Pidge replied softly.

"EXCELLENT!" Lance shouted gleefully, slapping his hands together in a joyous mood. Then he looked back to Pidge.  "Get over to the stables and watch for them!  When they leave, call us on the COM links!  Code the message so that it's private.  Do it on frequency 10-C.  Got it?"

"Aw...look fellas...I've got better things to do then this," Pidge stammered.  "You know where they're going.  Why not just leave now and meet them there."

"Because...I want them to go first...to get started on what they have planned!  If we leave first, they might catch up with us!" Lance replied.

"Yeah, and ruin the whole thing!" Hunk added.

"Now, get down there and help us out!" Lance demanded. "Otherwise, we'll tell Keith you were in on all of this!"

"I WAS NOT!" Pidge shouted.  "I told you I was out of it!  You can't blame any of this on me! I'm not involved!"

"You are now!  You gave us the information!  You were the one that read Coran and Keith's conversation!" Lance proclaimed.

"So, that makes you as guilty as us!" Hunk added.

"If we tell on you, that is," Lance said.  "If you help us out here, I swear, that's it!  And Keith will never know you were in on it!"

Pidge's eyes shifted as he squinted.  "Promise?"

Lance nodded. "Promise!  But only if you get your butt down to the stables!"

Pidge sighed heavily.  "Oh...all right.  But this is it!  I'm not doing anything else!"

"You won't have to!" Lance chuckled as he hit Hunk in the arm.  "Come on, I've got some stuff ready in my quarters that we'll need for our little, 'trip'!"

Hunk laughed back and the two of them ran from the room, with Lance shouted behind him, "Get going, Pidge!"

Pidge turned and headed toward the
door, shaking his head the whole
way. "What I have to go through to
keep myself out of trouble..."

Back