"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 9
Another Player Enters the Game

Coran's hands quickly dance over the main console of the Control Room.  He sees the fleeing Black Lion, as it makes its way toward the planet surface. And...he also sees the attack ships that had just devastated the Arusian air fleet...suddenly turn and make their way up into the sky, on an intercept course with Black Lion.

Coran's concern was for the Princess and Keith, who were literally running for their lives, outnumbered...and with the Black Lion's weapons matrix disabled...outgunned too.

"There must be something else that we can to do help them!" Coran shouted, banging his hand into the console panel in utter frustration.

Suddenly, the door from behind him opened up and as Coran quickly turned his head, to see who was heading down the stairs to where he was...


"CORAN!"



Coran's face lit up with excitement...

"PIDGE!" Coran shouted, as he looked over to the approaching Green Lion pilot. "You have returned! Thank God you have returned!"

Pidge ran up to the control center.  "I saw the commotion from where I was!  Then, I saw the Black Lion race up into the sky and a bunch of Doom goons following after it.  I knew it had to be Allura piloting it!  And that's when I knew I had to come back, Coran!  But I couldn't make it back on the ground, with all of the fighting going on out there!  So, I snuck through the underground caverns to get back to the Castle.  I just couldn't leave the Princess, defenseless!" he said.

Pidge then walked up to the control console, where Coran was seated. He quickly punched up a few displays on the monitors as he said, "So, what's the situation?"

"You are correct, Pidge. The Princess
has taken Black Lion to confront against
the enemy, but in the process, we had
discovered a problem..." Coran began
to say, when he suddenly saw Pidge's facial
expression deepen. Coran nodded and
put his hand on young Pidge's shoulder.
"Yes...we are aware that you did not have a chance to
finish your work on the Black Lion.  But that is of little
consequence now. Commander Keith has taken
the Blue Lion to..."

"KEITH CAME BACK?" Pidge shouted suddenly.

Coran rose his hand up to quiet the 19-year old.  "Yes...and has engaged the enemy on behalf of the Princess.  But now, I fear for his life, as the Blue Lion of which he pilots, is the only lion that has defensive weapons.  It appears that he is going to try to buy time for the Princess's escape…with his life."

"NO!" Pidge shouted, shaking his head.  "I've got to get up there! They need me!"

Coran reached over on to the console…and as he turned back, lifted his hand up to Pidge.  In it, was the operating key to the Green Lion. "I thought you might come to that conclusion, Master Pidge..."

Without another word, Pidge grabbed for the key and took off running for the number three chute.

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

Keith turned and avoided the enemy fire of six Doom ships, while veering once again to miss running into another attack squad of G'Donar fighters.

All the while, he kept a watchful eye on the Black Lion, as it fled toward Arus.

"She's got to make it!" Keith grunted to himself, as he watched a group of G'Donar and Doom fighters suddenly change course from their ascent from the ground...and now heading to an intercept course with Black Lion.

Blue Lion opened fire on a ground of Doom ships, heading his way.  He quickly destroyed several of them and caused several more to crash into each other, destroying themselves.

But while his focus was on them, a stray G'Donar ship came up behind the Blue Lion, paralleling Keith's movements and preparing to fire on him.

"Keith!" Allura's voice cried over the COM link, seeing the attack ship on her sensor as she retreated. "Look out behind you!"

Keith quickly turned his head toward the left monitor.  There was no time to react...

The G'Donar opened fire on Blue Lion, sending a static shock throughout the robot lion ship…attempting to short out its power supply.

Inside Blue Lion's cockpit, Keith cried out in pain, as his body absorbed the static shock from the inside of the ship.  Reaching his hand over, he quickly cut power to the lion, attempting to fool the G'Donar ship into believing that it had succeeded in taking him out.

The old, 'Helen of Troy' move, as Keith referred to it as.

Blue Lion floated in space, seemingly helpless.

Allura's voice came on over the COM. "KEITH!" she cried. "KEITH... ANSWER ME!"

"I'm all right!  Stay your course, Princess!" Keith ordered.

Blue Lion listed to the left and the G'Donar ship came in closer for the kill.  But Keith was ready for him.

Instantly reactivating his systems, Keith released a barrage of magnum torpedoes.

"Let's see if you guys can take it, as well as you can dish it out!" Keith shouted, suddenly.

The torpedoes sailed through space and found their target...but as the G'Donar ship was hit, it released a round of missiles...and in the confusion of the explosion, Keith didn't see them coming toward him... until it was too late.

The missiles slammed right into Blue Lion...scoring a direct hit, with the shields still lowered to a minimum setting.

Inside the lion, Keith was thrown from his seat as a result of the abrupt impact...then, slamming his head directly onto the floor.  He was knocked unconscious, instantly.  Only the sound of Allura's calling voice could be heard throughout the cockpit of the Blue Lion...


"Keith...come in, Keith! Can you hear me!  Answer me!  Come in!  KEITH...WHERE ARE YOU?  ANSWER ME...KEITH!"


Inside Black Lion's cockpit, Allura began to think of how to react... should she go back for him?  But what could she do that could possibly help him now?  Her weapons were non-functional...and to turn back would mean being captured. The exact thing that Keith was
fighting to prevent from happening.

But...if she did nothing...

Suddenly, her ship's sensor alerts came on... alerting her to the fact that there was another ship heading up to her position from the ground.  Allura activated her scanners to get a visual on the approaching ship.

Her heart, once again…skipped a beat...

"PIDGE!" Allura shouted into the COM.

Allura's sensors suddenly focused in on the Green Lion, streaking through the atmosphere...

"Pidge!  You're just in time!" Allura said to him. "Keith's back there!  He needs your help...right away!"

"I'm coming!  Meanwhile, I'll distract these guys while you keep heading back to the ground!" Pidge's voice replied back.

"Pidge...listen to me!  Keith's been hit and he's not responding to my hails!  He might be hurt, Pidge!" Allura shouted suddenly. "You've got to help him!"

"I'll take care of him!" Pidge reassured her. "Just get down to safety and let me handle it!"

"Hurry Pidge!" Allura said in a near frantic voice.  "Keith could be hurt in there!"

"I'm on it, Princess!" Pidge repeated.

Black Lion turned for home, while Green Lion fired a round of missiles into the middle of the pursuing ships, distracting them and momentarily confusing them.  Black Lion zoomed through the atmosphere of Arus.

"Come on, you oversized pack of squids!" Pidge shouted taunting insults to the G'Donar ships that were now chasing after him.  "Come and get me!"

Meanwhile, Keith was coming to again in Blue Lion.  Sitting up on the floor, while holding his head in his hands, he suddenly realized that he had been hit.

"Allura!" Keith said in a groggy voice.

He quickly scrambled to pilot seat and pulled himself up into it, feeling his head beginning to clear, somewhat.

He activated his scanners, trying to get a trace on the Black Lion's whereabouts.  It was then, that he detected the presence of the Green Lion on his scans.

"Pidge!" Keith shouted into the COM.  "Is that you?  Where've you been?"

"Sorry, Commander!" Pidge replied back.  "I heard you were sleeping on the job, so I took it as an opportunity to get up here and make an example out of you!"

"Funny, Pidge!  Real funny, ha-ha!" Keith chuckled in a somewhat serious tone. "But...where's Allura..."

"By now, she's halfway back to the Castle of Lions," Pidge replied.  "And I've got all of her, 'friends' on my tail, looking to make me one of their new, close buds!"

"I'm not sure I'd want to be friends with them," Keith snorted back. "They seemed a bit fickle to me!"

"Yeah... they want to be our friends and then, the next thing you know...they're trading us in for Lotor!" Pidge laughed while dodging incoming Doom ship fire.

"Yeah...in a literal sense." Keith replied back, pulling the Blue Lion on a direct course heading to rendezvous with Pidge and the Green Lion.

"Hey, listen...if you don't mind giving me a hand here, Commander?" Pidge said with a chuckle. "I could use the help in ditching these guys!"

"Coming around!" Keith advised his young friend.

Keith activated the Blue Lion's systems to resume full power once again.  Once he had a confirmation that the dyno-therms were at full power, he quickly zoomed around to trail after the enemy ships in pursuit of Green Lion.

"Okay...you guys have had it!"
Pidge shouted aloud.

Blue Lion released several rounds
of isotopic missiles, rockets and a
round of lion torches, impacting
several ships all at once, sending
them to a fiery grave.


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


Inside the Revenge, Lotor pounded his fist into his command chair arm.

"Why am I always surrounded by IDIOTS!"
the wicked Prince of Doom shouted, angrily.
He then tilted his head upward, and cried out,
"AUDRA! WHERE ARE YOU!"

Suddenly, the air in front of him began to shift.
A green smoky hue appeared in swirling fashion.
Lotor grew impatient. "Audra! Appear
before me...NOW!"

Instantly, the smoke took on human form…and Audra stood before him.

Lotor rose to his feet and walked up to the enchantress.  "Two of them have returned!" Lotor cried.  "They were supposed to be gone, Audra!"

Audra closed her eyes, remaining absolutely calm in stance.  She raised her head up, and with a sigh, she replied, "I sense...a strong camaraderie within them.  And, they both share a strong desire to protect the Princess of Arus.
Their flame and passion for Allura are individual...
each unique in its own way. The young one...Pidge...
seems drawn to her in a protective sense, while the
older one...Keith...…is drawn to the Princess in an
entirely different
fashion."

"Yes...yes!  I know he loves her!" Lotor shouted bitterly.
"But I am the only one who must HAVE her!"

"Patience, wicked Prince." Audra said with an evil smile, opening her eyes to look at Lotor. "You shall have yet another chance to capture her."

"And when would that be?" Lotor snarled.

"Soon, Oh magnificant one." Audra said, as she bowed before him.

"And how will that come about?" Lotor growled in a low voice.  "Allura's companions are returning...one by miserable one!  What bargaining chip do we have...and how can you be so confident that we will have another chance to capture her and Arus?"

Audra continued to smile. "Because Sire...I have something she desperately wants returned to her."

Lotor paused...and then, a slow and deliberate smile made its way to his face.  "Alfor's ghost!"

"Yes, Sire." Audra replied.  "And she will do our bidding, if for no other reason then to free her father's captured soul."

"Outstanding!" Lotor shouted.  "Then, she will be mine!"

"As you desire, oh mighty Prince." Audra replied...a gleam present in her eye.  "May I suggest....recalling the remaining squads...allow the Voltron fools to return to Arus.  Then, make your demands to Princess Allura."

"An excellent idea!" Lotor replied back.  He then turned to his captain of the guard. "Recall the remaining squadrons!  Order a full withdrawal!"

"At once, Prince Lotor!" the captain of the guard proclaimed.

As Lotor proceeded to carry out Audra's request for withdrawal, the enchantress was deep in thought...concentrating her thoughts and directing them to the Prince.

"Mind manipulation is so easy with this inferior." Audra thought to herself. "If only he knew that I was in control of his decisions!  I will use this foolish young Prince to obtain what I want.  And what I want...is total domination of the universe... beginning with the total domination of Planet Arus!"

Audra shifted her weight as her mind's eye caught the sight of the black hair pilot in command of the Blue Lion ship...the one known as the leader of the Voltron Force.

"And this stunning young man, shall be at MY side...and Lotor and Allura...my personal slaves!"

Audra continued to watch Keith, as he focused his efforts on taking out more of the now retreating enemy.  She smiled as she allowed her thoughts to remain on him.

"Young Keith Hunter, Commander of the Voltron Force...Hero of Arus... Champion of Allura's heart...you shall sit with me in glory, and rule with me, as my subservient slave...and, watch helplessly, as I destroy those who oppose me and dare to stand in my way!  And you shall watch, as your precious princess bows to me!  But, you shall be
stubborn...I foresee it ....but...if you fail to bow to my whims, strong-willed human, your young and beautiful Princess will wish she had lost her life out there today, when I'm through with her!  She...will pay for your defiance!"

Audra suddenly vanished from sight...having more work to do on Arus.

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

"Keith!" Pidge's voice echoed through the COM link. "Is it my imagination...or are they pulling back all of a sudden?"

"You're right, Pidge!" Keith affirmed.  "My sensors show they are pulling back!"

"Well...guess they've had enough of us!" Pidge chuckled, playfully.

"Don't count on it, Pidge." Keith returned. "They've got something else up their sleeves, I'm sure.  We're not so important, anymore.  Not with the Princess safely back on Arus.  My guess is that they'll be back...and soon.  And we've got to be ready for them, when they
do!"

"Agreed, Skipper."

Blue Lion joined up with Green Lion...and together, they headed for the surface of the planet.

"So...what the heck's going on, Pidge?" Keith asked his Green Lion pilot.  "Where were you?  And where's Hunk and Lance?"

"Well, it's a long story, Cap," Pidge replied.  "Hunk's still on Arus.  Lance, however, has gone to Pollux.  And from there...I have no idea."

"When did this all take place?" Keith asked him.

"Right after you left." Pidge replied.  "That's when the bickering started.  Lance got mad at the Princess for wanting to be the leader.  Hunk got mad at me for taking a tool we always use.  It got real crazy."

"And Allura?" Keith said to her.

"She's been silent...ever since left, Keith." Pidge replied.  "She hasn't said two words to anyone.  She's spent most of the time in your old room."

"My room?" Keith said with a note of surprise in his voice.

Keith paused for a moment.  The realization of why he had left in the first place came to life within his heart.  If she didn't love him anymore, like she had proclaimed…what was she doing in his room in her spare time?

Maybe the answer lied within her soon-coming confession…the reason he had returned to Arus.

That question...and many others…would hopefully be answered soon.