"Happy Birthday, Keith."

Story by Adele
Story Copyright 2002
A story based on the series, "Voltron, The Third Dimension"

The characters of Voltron are the property of World Event Productions.  All other characters are the copyright of Adele.  Please do not use them without asking for permission.  Thank you.


Chapter 4
Whatever You Wish

Gem found herself standing alone in Castle Doom's throne room.  She looked around, wondering why she had been brought there in the first place.  Her eyes scanned the room rapidly, contemplating some sort of escape plan that might come to mind.  But with the Doom soldiers standing nearby, there was no chance of that happening.

So, she remained where she wasstanding perfectly still.

"So, you're the one they call, 'feisty' eh?" the great male voice rang out.

Gem turned around repeatedly, attempting to locate the owner of the voice.  It was literally impossible to do in such a vast room.

"Nothing to say?" the voice rang out once again.

"I'd prefer to do my talking to someone's face." Gem sited.

"Very well," the voice replied. "Turn around"

Gem did so quickly, and found Prince Lotor sitting on his father's throne.  She studied him for a moment, but made no further attempts to move.

"Wouldn't you say that I look grand on this throne?" Lotor asked.

The girl remained silent.

Lotor continued:

"I have always believed that I should be the one to be on this throne.  My father, King Zarkon, had a sadistic fetish about pretending to be a, 'goody-two-shoes'.  He tried to pass himself off as a good guy in the Alliance.  Imagine that...King Zarkon...turning good!   Makes me want to vomit!"

"Where is he now?" Gem said in a low voice.

"The old coot is resting...for all the good it will do." Lotor snorted. "But... I didn't bring you here to discuss my father's follies..."

Lotor leapt off of the throne and walked down the stairs to where Gem stood.  He addressed her as he approached her.

"I'm told you don't like our accommodations very much...is that true?"

Gem's lips pressed together.

Lotor stood face to face with the girl... "What's the matter?  Don't you have anything to say to me?  Or does the cat got your tongue?  I'm told that you're never short on words, describing how you feel about me, while in the bowels of Castle Doom.  Now, you choose to keep your sharp tongue still?"

Gem's gaze remained to the ground.

Lotor immediately turned to Captain Mogor. "I thought you told me she was a spit-fire!" Lotor scoffed to his captain of the guards. "Seems to me, that she's nothing but a drippy, leaky faucet!   I can't use her...find someone else!"

"Use me for what?" Gem finally spoke.

Lotor quickly turned to her. "Well, well, well...seems you do have a tongue after all."

"When it suits me..." she replied snidely.

"I see...well, I'm looking for someone I can use to do a small job for me." Lotor said. "Are you interested in the details?"

Gem's eyes narrowed with suspicion. "What do I get out of the deal?"

Lotor began to laugh uncontrollably. "How does your freedom grab you?"

Gem looked at him. "Why would you offer me my freedom?   Prince Lotor never gives up slaves."

"In this case, I'll make an exception." Lotor added. "Interested in the details, or shall I send you back to the slave pits?"

Gem's lips once again pressed together. "What do I have to do?"

"I want you to go to Planet Arus, and get...shall we say...friendly, with Voltron's Commander, Keith Hunter."

"What for?" she asked.

"I want you to gain his trust.  We have a little surprise for him, and I need someone to be able to pass it on to him for me." Lotor replied.

"Why not just send it to him yourself?" she said coldly.

"Because, he won't trust me!" Lotor replied. "He knows nothing from me can be good!"

"He's right about that." Gem's cool comment iced the room.

Mogor grunted angrily. "Master, shall I punish her?"

Lotor shook his head. "No...I like her frosty attitude.  She'll do just fine, Mogor.  You've done well."

Mogor bowed and stepped back to his place.  "Thank you, Master."

Lotor looked at the girl.  "What is your name, cold one?"

"I am Gem Sisto." she replied. "And I think I can help you...if you truly are promising my freedom in exchange for helping you.  After all, it is no secret that you hate the Voltron Commander with a passion.  Everyone knows it below.  And everyone laughs at you because
you can't seem to conquer that one single planet in the Azure Quadrant."

Lotor's eyes began to flame. "So, I'm a laughing stock?" he hissed.

"Well, in a matter of speaking, Sire." Gem replied. "And if I can help you conquer that planet, I want more than my freedom... I want to rule over it in Princess Allura's place."

"You ask for much, cold one." Lotor commented. "How do I know you can do what you say?"

"Captivity is a wonderful teacher.  I have learned how to be cold...angry...and vengeful.  If you give me this chance, I promise you success." Gem said convincingly.

Lotor looked at her for a moment.  Taking in a deep breath, and then slowly exhaling, he finally agreed.

"Very well, Gem Sisto.  Do as I say you can do...gain the trust of Commander Keith, then betray him to me...then, once Arus is mine, I will allow you to rule over my people there."

A slow, sinister smile crept over Gem's face. "You can rely on me, Sire." she replied.

"I had better, because if you fail me, I'll kill you...horribly!  Do you understand?" Lotor plainly said.

"Yes...I understand. I will not fail you." Gem smiled. "Just tell me your plan, and I will win this man's trust."

"Good, come with meand we'll discuss it over dinner." Lotor said, leading the girl to the dining hall, his soldiers right behind them both. "I can't imagine what you're fed down there.  Let me introduce you to some of the delicacies of fine dining."

They disappeared into the next room to discuss Keith's fate.