"Forever...United."

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 8
Ready…Set…Action!

Blue Lion raced though the air at a fevered pace, feeling every bit the urgency to find Black Lion as its human element on the inside of it did.

Keith had Black Lion on his scanners…and if the Doom fighters capturing it weren’t bad enough, he was now detecting the presence of Lotor’s ship, the Revenge, now coming into range of their position.  No doubt Lotor thinks that he has his prize gift wrapped, courtesy of his Doom squadrons.

He didn’t want to tip his hand by activating his COM link to Allura…he wanted to keep the element of surprise for as long as he could.  The moment they detected him on their scanners, they would be all over him.  Hopefully by that time, he would have already figured out a way to free the Black Lion.

Such lofty ambitions, coming from one such blue lion ship and its eagerly ambitious pilot…but there was no way he was letting them take Allura. 

Over his dead body…


Inside the Black Lion…

Allura grappled and yanked at the controls, fighting against the energy net that surrounded her.  She realized now, that all of Keith’s preaching about military protocol was not just something he liked to hear himself say.  There was a real reason for it…and now, she knew why.

Caught by surprise with her lion weapons disabled, she was now faced with the very real fact that she was about to become Lotor’s slave.  Her scanners had just detected the presence of Lotor’s space cruiser…and it was on its way to her position. 

A pain-staking decision had to be made.  If she chose to allow herself to be captured, her planet would not benefit by it.  Certainly, she wouldn’t, either. 

And, Lotor would have the means to destroy Arus…the technology of a robot lion.

The Princess couldn’t allow any of that to happen.  She had determined, before she came out to fight that this was a do or die situation.  She would not allow herself to be captured. 

She’d rather die, than to be made into a slave or to be made to watch her people suffer affliction.  Her greatest service to them now, was destroy as many of these attack ships as possible.  And if her destruction could take out Lotor’s ship at the same time… all the better reason to become a martyr for Arus.

It was decided. 

Allura looked down at the Black Lion
console, once again, running her hands
along the many buttons on the control
panel.  Tears began to well up in her eyes,
as she thought about what she was about to do.

“I’m sorry, Black Lion.” Allura wept. 
“But I have to do this.  I must destroy us both.  If Lotor got hold of you or me, Arus would surely suffer.  You must understand that I can’t allow that to take place.  Please…forgive me, Black Lion.

She spoke to the robot-fighting machine, as if it was alive…and in some ways, it was alive.  At least, to her it was.

Allura quickly activated the auto-destruction sequence.  The computer board responded, displaying a one-minute countdown on the right side computer monitor.  All it needed to begin the countdown, was an authorized voice recognition that matched the six voiceprints currently on file.

Either herself, Keith, Pidge, Hunk, Lance or Coran could activate it, by nothing more than a command.

Allura looked to her left monitor.  Lotor’s ship was very close.  It was time.

“Computer…recognize and activate destruction sequence.  Code name: Alfor-Zero.  Acknowledge?” Allura said to the computer.

After a few moments, the computer suddenly displayed the following phrase:


VOICE CONFIRMED.  READY TO PROCEED, PRINCESS ALLURA


She took a deep breath of air, and let it out slowly.  Then, she made the sign of the cross before giving her final command…

“Computer…recognize and proceed.  Destruction sequence, Code name: Alfor-Zero.  Countdown to overload to commence…now.”

After another few moments… the computer displayed the following message:


VOICE COMMAND RECEIVED AND VERFIED.  BEGINNING DYNO-THERM BUILDUP FOR AUTO DESTRUCTION.  FINAL COUNTDOWN TO BEGIN IN ONE MINUTE.


Allura sat back in the command chair…and for the first time, wondered what Keith would think, when he found out she was gone.

But…there was nothing more she could do.  In this manner, she would be giving her life in some meaningful sacrifice.  The thought of becoming Lotor’s bride turned her stomach.  At least, this way, she could avoid all of that.

Black Lion’s alert signal suddenly began to beep repeatedly…attempting to alert the pilot that an overload was in progress. 

In this case, that’s what the pilot wanted.  Allura chose to ignore it, sitting back and waiting, as the computer’s digital readout began to count down the final minutes of her life.

Five in all…



Blue Lion’s sensor array began beeping, calling Keith’s attention to it.  He looked down and immediately activated the lion’s onboard sensor display.  He had set it to detect any build up of energy in the Black Lion…if and when it began to occur.

“NO PRINCESS!” Keith cried out loud,
as he saw the energy overload in progress,
in the Black Lion’s dyno-therm chamber.

He thought to open a link to her…but then,
wondered why she hadn’t detected Blue Lion
on approach to her position.  Probably because
she wasn’t expecting him…

If he tried to contact her, telepathically, she might not receive the message.  Now, there was no choice…he had to break radio silence, knowing his transmission would be detected by the Doom and G’Donar fighters.

Without a moment’s hesitation, he quickly flipped on the COM link to Black Lion…

“Princess!  Princess…this is Keith!  Blue Lion to Black Lion…are you reading me?  Over?”

In the Black Lion’s cockpit, Allura’s eyes suddenly flew open, as she heard the audible voice coming through the COM in her helmet.

“Keith?” she said back.  “Keith…is that you?”

“Allura!  Discontinue the overload!” Keith’s near frantic voice shouted in her ear.  “Repeat…Black Lion…discontinue power overload!  Hurry, Princess!”

The thought of it being a Lotor trick, aimed to fool her came to her mind.  So, to prove her theory wrong, she called up her scanners…and quickly scanned for the presence of Blue Lion.

Her heart skipped a beat…

It was Keith!  It really was! 

Her visual display showed Blue Lion, streaking up toward space from the surface of Arus, on a direct, head-on course to her position.

Keith’s voice blared once again in her ears…

“Allura!  Do you read?  Cut the power overload!  Repeat!  Cut the overload!”

She quickly activated the computer…

“Computer!  Recognize and abort auto destruct sequence, code name: Alfor-Zero!  Repeat… abort destruct sequence!”


VOICE RECOGNITION CONFIRMED.  GIVE THE TERMINATION CODE.


“Computer!  Termination code is Nortlov!  Acknowledge!” she replied back, careful to pronounce ‘Voltron’ backwards, accurately for computer recognition.

Allura patiently watched as seconds turned into minutes…until finally…


TERMINATION CODE…CONFIRMED.  AUTO DESTRUCT SEQUENCE…ABORT…ABORT


The countdown ceased almost immediately…with forty-five seconds to spare.  The dyno-therm pressure quickly began to drop back to normal.

“Great work, Princess!” Keith’s voice said over the COM, obviously seeing the drop in pressure.  “Are you okay?”

Allura took a few deep breaths before replying.  “Fine…but trapped!  And, my weapons system is disabled!”

“Yeah…I know…Coran already gave me the low-down.” Keith replied.

“I…I can’t believe, you came back.” She said in a quieter voice.  “I’ve missed you, Keith.”

There was a momentary pause on the COM, before Keith finally replied to her…

“Be sentimental later, Allura!” he said, in a less-than-compassionate voice.  “Right now, we’ve got to get you out of here…and I think I have just the plan that will do that.”

Allura suddenly detected the movement of several G’Donar and Doom ships…breaking formation from around her trapped ship.  They were now heading toward the approaching Blue Lion. 

“Keith!” Allura suddenly alerted.  “I’m reading…”

“I see it, Allura!” Keith replied, also detecting the presence of the approaching Doom and G’Donar fighters.  “Looks like I’m about to have some unfriendly company!  Listen to me, Allura…get ready to move!  I’m going to try to confuse these guys, just long enough to get around them and fire Blue Lion’s spinning laser blades at that net that’s holding you.  When I do, get ready to buzz out of there… fast as you can, got it?”

“What about you?” she said suddenly.  “You’ll be left alone to fight…”

Keith’s face suddenly appeared on the visual ultra wave. 

“Never mind about me!” Keith responded back, his face, contorted.  “Just do what I say!  You’re the one with no weapons…not me!  Besides, I don’t plan on entertaining my company for long!  Just long enough to get you out of here!”

“Understood.” She said back to him.

“As soon as you’re free, you make a be-line for the planet surface.” Keith said to her. “No stops…no hesitations…just fly like the wind…got it?”

“Yes, Keith.” she said to him in reply.

“Wait for me to give you the signal!” Keith replied back.  

“Okay.” Allura replied.

Keith saw the attacking units approaching his position.  “Okay…here’s where the fun begins!”

Pulling Blue Lion into a steady course…Keith began to parallel the movements of the enemy.  His plan was to force them to veer off course…or slam right into his lion ship.  He quickly rerouted all unessential power to his shields.  He knew they would be firing upon him soon, trying to force him off course and into a more vulnerable position. 

That just wasn’t going to happen...if he had anything to say about it.

“Be careful, Keith!” Allura’s voice cried over the COM.

“Just get ready to move when I give the signal!” Keith’s voice bellowed back. 

Then…Keith began to receive an incoming message…of another point of origin.

“You’re too late, Hunter!”

The voice belonged to Lotor…taunting Keith in a triumphant manner.  “She’s mine, at last!  And there’s nothing you can do to stop it, this time!”

“We’ll see, Lotor!” Keith said in a whispered voice. 

As if driven by will, Keith suddenly increased speed, as he now, more rapidly then before, flew directly into the path of the oncoming attack ships.  His eye was on Lotor’s approaching vessel, as well…heading directly for the defenseless Black Lion.  Time was running out. 

“Okay…let’s see if you guys have the stomach for a game of chicken!” Keith called out over the COM. 

Blue Lion’s speed increased again. 

The G’Donar ships began to open fire first.  The Doom ships followed their lead.  Soon, there was a barrage of lasers flying out at Keith’s approaching ship.  The lasers bounced off of Blue Lion’s holding shields. 

Keith had his eye on the power levels… they were beginning to decrease. And if he saw it…he knew the enemy did too. 

He looked up to the right side view screen.  Black Lion was suddenly being pulled forward by the three Doom ships that had netted it.  And Lotor’s cruiser was right there, preparing to receive its most precious cargo.

Not if Keith could help it!

Keith increased speed again…now better than Mock 8.  His body was feeling the G-forces…and without the added benefit of a protective space suit, he could feel it even more intensely. 

His heart was beating faster and faster…and the pressure in his head was increasing as he opened up the lion’s speed to Mock 9. 

The attack ships remained on course…steady as she goes.

“Come on…come on…” Keith’s voice shook.  “Veer off…veer off!”

The ships drew closer and closer to each other.  Now it was time to see who had the nerves of steel.  And the prize of victory… was the Princess of Arus.

Keith increased speed again… to Mock 10.  Now the pain was mounting, as his body began to take the full brunt of the G-force.  It was now a struggle to take a breath… to move his body…to move his hands….

If the enemy didn’t veer off…Keith would not be able to do so in time.

Suddenly… one by one, the enemy ships began to stray off course…avoiding the oncoming, seemingly out of control Blue Lion. 

The G’Donar and Doom ships parted like the Red Sea…and Blue Lion sailed right through the middle of them. 

Keith activated his spinning laser blades…locking on his new approaching target…the energy net that was holding Black Lion and dragging it to Lotor’s awaiting ship.

The Revenge suddenly opened fire on the approaching Blue Lion…but the speed that Blue Lion was traveling was too great… and the laser cannons missed their target. 

“GET READY, ALLURA!”  Keith shouted suddenly…his voice fighting the G-forces as well.

The Princess readied herself, setting a course for the planet surface.  Now…she waited…

“Blue Lion… please make your mark true!” she said in a whispered voice.  “And protect the man that I love…the man that you carry within you…please Blue Lion… return him safely to me!”

As if the mechanical robot heard and understood, Blue Lion’s robotic mouth opened up, releasing a mechanical lion’s roar. 

Keith’s fingers steadied as his ship swung around to its target.  With deadly accuracy, Keith opened fire on the netting as he passed it.  The spinning laser blades found their mark perfectly, slicing the energy netting in half and defusing it.

That was Black Lion’s signal to move out.

And move out, it did.

Blue Lion swung back around, reducing speed down to Mock 7.  Keith watched as Black Lion suddenly moved backward, away from the Doom ships and away from Lotor’s cruiser.  Instantly, Black Lion turned and began to retreat toward the Planet Arus. 

But Lotor wasn’t giving her up that easily. 
The Doom ships turned and headed after the retreating Black Lion ship.  But Blue Lion was closely on Black Lion’s backside, intending to make sure that Black Lion had a chance to escape to the planet surface.

“GO, PRINCESS!” Keith shouted.

Allura increased speed to Mock 5…with Blue Lion now flying right beside her. Both lions retreated back toward the surface of the planet…with several Doom and G’Donar ship, following right behind them.

“Keith!” Allura shouted in the COM.  “I’m showing more ships…coming up at us from Arus!  Those are the ones that had been attacking the Castle!”

“Stay cool, Allura!” Keith replied, tempering her emotions. “Just…set a course and fly out of here!  While you’re doing that, I’ll swing around and get some of them to follow after me!  That should hopefully, give you enough time to escape!”

“Not all alone, Keith!” Allura cried.  “That’s too dangerous!  You’ll be an easy target!”

“Just get yourself out of here!” Keith cried back.  “Don’t worry about me, I told you!”

“But…Keith…I can’t just…” she shouted back. 

“Save it!” Keith shouted in commander style.  “You’re a pilot…I’m a pilot!  Act as one!”

“But…you’ll be vulnerable!” Allura said suddenly.  “You could be killed!”

“You’re the one that’s got to survive!” Keith cried out through the COM.  “Just do as I say!  No buts!”

Allura’s lower lip quivered.  For the first time…she saw, very clearly, that Keith was intending on sacrificing himself to give her the chance to get away.  It has been his plan all along. 

Black Lion continued to race toward the planet surface, while Blue Lion suddenly veered off course, preparing to meet the enemy, head on…single handedly.


Meanwhile… on Arus… a lone figure makes his way through an unused tunnel entrance, located in the secret caverns of the Castle of Lions.  The figure steps out from behind the painting of King Alfor in the main hall and now begins to run down the great staircase.

His steps are sure…and he knows what he is there to do. 

And he must do it quickly…