"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 25
Blue Lion Takes Over

Keith had radioed the team, clueing them in on what was to come.  He tried to convince them that Princess Allura was okay, without betraying his new found communication link to her.

"How can you be so sure?" Lance asked skeptically. "You don't really know that for sure!"

"I know," Keith replied back through the COM. "I can't tell you how I know, but just trust me that I do."

From Blue Lion, Sven had grinned from ear to ear.  He knew how Keith had known that Allura was okayalthough he too was not willing to reveal the secret.

Romelle had told him about telepathy.  Her ancestors had developed and practiced the art long ago on Planet Pollux.  Arus was the sister planet to Pollux, and her bloodline extended to Arus.

Although he never was gifted enough to be able to master it himself, he surmised that Keith must have, and that he had developed some sort of mind link with the Arusian Princess. Telepathic thoughts were deeply personal and Sven understood why Keith chose not to reveal his source of assuredness to the rest of the force.

Blue Lion began to turn instinctively to the left,
suddenly picking up speed.  The other Voltron lions
did the same, following Blue Lion's lead.

Keith had instructed his team to place the
lions on autopilot, and let them lead the way
to the Princess. She was guiding them through
Blue Lion.

"Whoa, how is this possible?" Lance gasped,
as Red Lion seemed to act as if it had a mind of its own.

"Do you remember when the Princess
showed us all how to communicate
with each of our robot lions?"
Keith reminded them all. "She's doing
the same now, guiding us to her through her telepathic contact with the Blue Lion. The other robot lions are following her thoughts as well."

"How can that be?" Hunk said from Yellow Lion. "I mean, with so much distance between us, how can they sense her thoughts that far away?"

"I don't pretend to understand, Hunk," Keith replied through the COM. "I just can tell you that it's happening."

Pidge watched with fascination, as Green Lion seemed almost to come alive, submitting itself to the will of the Princess...even at thousands of light-years away.

He began to reflect on the power of the mind, as he knew it.  His people on the former Planet Balto knew well of the power to communicate telepathically.  Pidge, however, was never able to grasp the gift, as his family and friends had, while growing up on Balto.

He even scoffed at the Princess once when she tried to show the team how it worked with the robot lions.  It wasn't until he developed the long overdue gift himself, that he appreciated his ancestry of the people of Balto.

He began to open his mind to Green Lion... "Hey there Green Lion!  Its me...Pidge.  Come on, big kitty, you and your buddies bring us to the Princess...okay?"

Acting as if it understood, Green Lion
let out a lofty roar as he traveled through
space with the others, seemingly acknowledging
Pidge's communication with him.

Pidge believed as the Princess did...
the robot lions were much more then machines.
They were infused with the spirits of the
lions that served Queen Ariela over a
thousand years ago.

And they've never left Arus's side.  They are still there...

He didn't pretend to understand it all completely either, but Pidge was content to know that Allura was right about it.  And he respected her beliefs.

In Red Lion, Lance thought about the one who seemed to be a catalyst in all of this... Gem. He reflected on the life that she said she once used to have before Lotor came and took it all away.  The family that she lost...

Lance began to remember his mother, brother and sister, lost in a raid on his village when he was only a small boy.  He recalled his mother's face, and how much he resembled her in appearance.  He reflected for a moment on the times when he was sick, and how she would stay up virtually the entire night to take care of him.

He also remembered what life was after returning to Earth with his father, and having to adjust to his mother's missing presence in his life.  In one form or another, everyone on the team had suffered a loss of family.  Some of it at the hands of Zarkon and Lotor...some
just by life's normal circumstances.

But for Gem, it was different somehow.

She was offered a price of freedom from Lotor in return to do his evil bidding. The temptation
was too great, and she accepted.  But when the price became too high, and required someone's death, she chose to turn against Lotor.   Seeing evil up close and personal was too much for her, and morality overtook her senses finally.

And now, she was a running fugitive.  If Lotor ever got his hands on her again, he would kill her for certain.  Lance gritted his teeth at the thought, and silently vowed never to let that happen.

In Yellow Lion, Hunk too reflected on his life...especially without the Princess.  He saw her taken away, and it nearly killed him.  She had been a source of kindness in his miserable life. Allura never failed to thank him for menial tasks that were done.  Always compassionate, grateful, considerate...

Truly a Princess...truly a friend.

Hunk had been silently reprimanding himself over and over again for allowing her to be taken by Lotor.  And yet, he marveled at the fact that she was so willingly to let herself go with him to save another.

That's Allura... never thinking of herself.  If only her subjects would see that as much and as often as he did.  Seemed to him that they were more demanding of her, then grateful to her.

Like the time when the robot commandos were sent to Arus to terrorize the people across the countryside.  He became angry when the tremendous crowd of frightened people began shouting 'Down with the Princess! Down with Allura!'', as they gathered around the Castle
perimeters. Keith and Coran were there with him, and watched her face become sad at the bitter words being shouted at her.

Allura cringed; the young princess was perplexed as to why they were blaming her suddenly for the commando raids.  Hunk recalled defending the Princess, shouting back at the verbally abusive hecklers, and even wanting to take them all on in her honor.

It was Keith's wisdom that prevented him from carrying out his angered intentions.

As he sat in Yellow Lion reflecting on all of these things, he realized that life would never be the same without her.

No matter what, they had to get her back.

In Black Lion, Keith was also reflecting on his life...

He recalled at age 13, his parents had disappeared during a military mission, and how he never heard from them again.  He recalled joining the academy...meeting Sven and Lance...graduating with honors and being proud of his achievements.

His life had always been focused on the military's rules and regulation.  t was the only way he knew to protect himself from harm especially the emotional kind.  He couldn't bear allowing himself the luxury of loving, and trusting his heart to someone again.

He did that with his parents, and all too soon, they were gone from his life, and he was left crushed... and alone.

He vowed it would never happen again.

And so, Keith had spent many years waxing his heart cold to prevent the warmth of love from touching him...and hurting him once again.

But all of that seemed to change when he first arrived on Planet Arus more then eight years ago.

The first time he saw Princess Allura, as she descended the staircase of the burned out castle she was living in, suddenly...all of the years of wax that surrounded his heart seemed to melt away instantly.  

There was a reckoning of sorts... as if he had known her for a very long time.

Her love and compassion for her people seemed to reach out to him, and somehow comforted the hurt in his own heart that he had harbored there the years that followed the loss of his parents.

Each night thereafter, his dreams produced the vision of her loveliness to him.  And his heart found itself consumed by her beauty, and the love she had for all people.  He developed a special bond with the young princess, and when the war with Zarkon ended, and he and the others were recalled back to Earth, it nearly destroyed him again.

His heart grieved having to leave her behind... and hers did as well.

Arus had become his home, and Allura had become a special part of his life.  Perhaps even more special then he had realized at that time.

He thought of what Coran had said before he left the Castle to search for her...

What was it he said?

That his destiny lied with hers...

Did that mean marriage to her?   Did that mean he would become the next king of Planet Arus?

Keith recalled his dreams from another time, when he was injured trying to save Allura after he had returned in time.  The dream revealed to him the future Voltron Force.  Was it just a dream...or a vision of things to come?

And what of his vision of the daughter
that had grown so dear to him since the dream...


He never forgot her.

He wasn't even sure Andretta was real, but to him,
she was.

Blonde hair, blue eyes, just like her mother... Allura.

Then, there was the spit of fire and a deep sense of duty in her attitude...just like her father himself.

Could it be possible that he saw the future in that dream?  He smiled as he sat in Black Lion, happy at the thought of being together with Allura forever.  Nothing could be more pleasant. But he also feared it as well.

The duty and weight of bearing a royal crown could restrict his freedom...as it does for Allura.

Keith didn't know if he was ready for that.  But he knew one thing for sure he did love Allura. He loved her with all of his heart.  And hoped that someday, he might be able to admit it to her when the time was right.

For now, he concentrated on being her protector.  That was his job for now.  And he had his work cut out for him.  Together with his friends of the Force, they would have to come up with a way to rescue her from Castle Doom.

And he hoped he wasn't too late to protect the one thing he valued most of her... her innocence.

The thought of Lotor laying his hands on her brought anger to his heart.  It would never happen, so long as he had breath left in his lungs.

Keith steadied his thought energy toward how they were going to rescue Allura once they had found her location.  They had to have a plan before reaching Castle Doom.  Going in with blasters firing was not how to do it.  That could get someone killed.  There had to be a well
thought out plan of action.

He closed his eyes again, concentrating...

"Allura? Allura, can you hear me?"

Moments passed by without a returned
thought, and Keith suddenly felt as if he
had lost the gift that he had just acquired.

"I'm here, Keith...I read you." Resounded the voice of the Princess in his mind.

Keith sighed, relieved that she was still attuned to his mental waves. "Are you okay?" he thought to her.

"I'm frightened, Keith!  A guard just sent word that Lotor would be summoning me soon.  I'm afraid!"

Keith pressed his lips together, wishing silently that he could be there to guard her from Lotor.  He instead took on a brave appearance, and attempted to pass it on to Allura.

"I know you're afraid, Princess.  But you must be brave!  Remember I'm here!  We're coming as quickly as the lions can carry us.  Just hang on until we get there."

"But what if Lotor tries to..."

"Fight him off, Princess!  Don't let him take advantage of you!  Remember your self-defense lessons that you've been taught!  Don't hesitate to use them to defend yourself!"

"Alright, I'll try.  It's just...with all of that metal on his body, I could be overpowered no matter what I do."

"You won't know until you try, Allura!  You must try!"

"I'll try, Keith."

Keith could sense the desperation in her voice.  His heart cried out to protect her, and he felt helpless to do so.

"Just hang in there, and keep your thoughts focused on Blue Lion.  He'll lead us right to you!"

"Yes...I will."

"That's my girl..."

Keith thought it without even thinking of what he meant by that.  It didn't matter.  She was his girl...even though she didn't realize it yet.

"Someone's coming!" Allura's frantic thoughts rang out to him. "I have to go now.  Please hurry, Keith!"

"I'll be there as soon as I can...I promise, Allura."

Dead silence filled his mind, as he felt the communication between himself and Allura fade away.

He opened his eyes, feeling tears suddenly fill them as he sat frustrated in Black Lion's command center.  Deciding to be proactive, he opened up the COM to his team.

"This is Black Lion. I want everyone
scanning the quadrants surrounding us.
We must find Castle Doom's flying fortress
as soon as possible. The Princess is
depending on us finding her. We can't
let her down!"

"Roger that, Keith." Lance replied from Red Lion.

"Check chief," Hunk answered from Yellow Lion

"I'm on it, Commander." Pidge replied from Green Lion.

"I'm scanning too," Sven added from Blue Lion.

"Report anything you may find to me immediately.  Black Lion out."

Keith disconnected the COM, and sat forward in his chair.  He too was going to scan the quadrants, just in case his four comrades missed something.  He had to find the Princess...he had to.

It was now the only birthday wish, that he wanted more than anything, to come true.
Picture of "Andretta"
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