"Obligation."

Story by Adele
Story Copyright 2003
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.

Enjoy!


Chapter 13
Planet Surbain Meets the Queen


After a three-day journey, Planet Surbain was finally in sight.  The planet appeared to resemble Arus from a distance.

The journey to Surbain had another forty-five minutes yet remaining.

The time remaining seemed like forever to Allura...much like the rest of the journey...as a heavy sigh escaped her.  She watched the final approach from the window in her private chambers.

***********

As the convoy began to enter the Surbainian atmosphere, Anserrot made his way to the new Queen's chambers.  His mind was moving almost as rapidly as his feet were carrying him. His thoughts fell on the plan that he and a certain Prince of Planet Doom had devised.

Somehow, Anserrot had to deliver Allura of Arus to the waiting arms of Prince Lotor of Doom.

Once that was completed, Anserrot would be given reign over Arus and its miserable people, as a reward.  But the deception had to be completed first, and Surbain must accept Allura as their Queen.  Then, with Queen Allura at his side, Lotor would take over Surbain, and dethrone King Augusta.

It was a perfect plan... almost.

There was the matter of the melding Voltron Force.  They had to be eliminated.  Lotor and his Doom cyborgs would then be able to pilot the robot lions, once the Voltron Force was out of the way.  Then, victory would be all but assured.

Anserrot arrived at the royal chambers, and buzzed the door, asking for audience with the Queen.

"Your Majesty," he timidly began.  "We have arrived to Surbain.  Your people await your presence."

The door swished open, and Allura stood on the other side of it.  She as dressed in her royal pink gown that she favored.  On her head, she wore her tiara...the Crown of Arus.  Anserrot frowned upon seeing the Arusian tiara on her head.

"Begging your pardon, Your Majesty, but I believe you were provided with the Surbainian crown, were you not?"

"I was." Allura said smugly.  "But I have chosen to wear the Crown of MY people, and MY ancestry.  After all, it was a vow between your King of long ago, and our Queen Ariela, that has united our people together.  I can think of no more befitting tribute to that vow, then
for Arus's Monarch to wear the Arusian Crown, to meet her new subjects of Surbain."

Anserrot stifled a grunt. "Very well, Your Majesty.  Whatever you wish.  Please, follow me."

Anserrot escorted Allura down a long corridor.  As they passed by a bay window, she looked out and saw Planet Surbain once again.  And just over to the left, the Voltron lions hovered, awaiting to follow the decent of the convoy to the planet surface.  Her heart yearned, more than anything, to see her friends once again.

"Your Majesty?" the Surbainian advisor said, clearing his throat.  "Please follow me.  Your King awaits you on the observation deck."

Allura nodded slowly... and a stray thought came to her head...


"No, my king should have been the man piloting the Black Lion."


She clearly was thinking of Keith once again.

Allura and Anserrot entered the observation deck, and were immediately met by Augusta. He smiled at her.

"My Queen," he said with a bow. "The people of Surbain are indeed excited to, at last, meet
their Queen!"

King Augusta extended his elbow to her, and she loosely took hold of it, allowing him to escort her to the large window to enjoy the spectacular view as they descended down to the planet.

Allura seemed less interested in the view of the planet, as she was in looking for the robot lions.  She wanted to make sure the boys were all right.  She remembered Keith telling her back on Arus, that Anserrot was behind all of this.

Lotor had to be somewhere nearby...

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

An hour later, the convoy had landed near the Royal Palace.  A rousing crowd had gathered in the hot Surbainian sun to greet the Royal couple.

The crowd seemed to not mind the scorching sun.  All of them were wearing some sort of protective clothing, shielding them from the deadly sun.

The lions had landed nearby the palace, unceremoniously.

"I'm hurt," Lance teased through the COM. 
"No one seems to care that I'm here!"

"These people didn't come out to see
you, Mr. Conceded." Pidge scoffed.

"Okay, settle down, guys." Keith said,
hushing his team.  "Power down the lions,
and let's get out there.  I smell Lotor
somewhere around here, and I don't
want to be caught off guard."


One by one, the lions powered down. Each pilot evacuated his lion,
and gathered near Black Lion, waiting for Keith to lead the way.

"Come on," Keith signaled. "Let's get over to the Augusta's cruiser."

"Wow," Hunk said, wiping his brow with his gloved hand.  "It's really steamy here!"

Pidge nodded. "According to everything I've read about Surbain, this planet's atmosphere is less dense then that of Earth or Arus.  The sun can get pretty intense.  Likewise at night, the air can get pretty darn cold."

"How cold?" Hunk asked.

"Cold." Pidge replied firmly.

"Nice." Lance huffed. "So, we fry by day, and freeze by night."

"Will our uniforms protect us from da sun?" Sven asked, wiping his brow as well.  The lion helmet was starting to heat up from the outside, in.

"They should," Pidge replied, "for a while, at least.  But I wouldn't recommend prolonged exposure."

"Fine." Keith cut in suddenly.
"Okay guys...the Princess should be
coming out soon.  Everyone move out!
Your orders are to protect the
Princess at all costs.  Her safety
is our top priority!  Everyone clear?"

Everyone nodded affirmatively.

Keith, Lance, Sven, Pidge and Hunk
walked over the lead ship, waiting
for the moment when Augusta and
Allura would come out to greet the
crowd.

Keith leaned over to Pidge, "Any sign of trouble?" he asked his techno-whiz kid.

Pidge had his scanner in hand.  "Nothing that I can detect... unless they're shrouded. And if that's the case, we may never detect them, Commander."

"Hey, I'm starting to molt out here!" Hunk complained, feeling the burning heat on top of his head. "It's got to be over 100 degrees out here!"

Pidge took note of the heat factor.  "Actually, the exact temperature is 127 degrees and rising.  The Royals better not spend too much time out here unprotected."

Keith sighed. "Alright everyone!  Be on guard, and watch out for the Princess!"

"You mean, the Queen, don't you?" Lance said sarcastically.

"No...I mean the Princess!" Keith whispered back in an almost hostile tone.

"Okay, okay!" Lance snapped back.  "I was only kidding!  You don't have to bite my head off!"

Keith bowed his head.  "Sorry, Lance, but I'm just not in a joking mood right now."

"No sweat!  Its nice to hear you admit you're wrong once in awhile!" Lance teased Keith.

"Hey, hey, guys!" Pidge warned. "Head's up!  The hatch is opening!"

The team turned their attention over toward the lead ship.  The hatch was opening slowly. Suddenly, King Augusta appeared from within the ship.  The crowd's applause roared as they caught a glimpse of their King.

Augusta moved his hands above his head, almost triumphantly, in an attempt to quiet the crowd.  Then he addressed his subjects:

"People of Surbain! T hank you for your warm greetings!  I would like to now introduce to you, my wife, and your Queen!  Please make welcome, Her Majesty, Queen Allura Adrianna!"

Allura stepped out of the ship, and as
she did, the crowd erupted into wild
cheers and applause.  She smiled at
them, waving her hand toward the
crowd graciously.

The King turned and motioned for the
Voltron Force to join them on the
platform of the ship.  Keith nodded,
and they fell in line, single file, walking militarily to the platform.

As the arrived, Keith quickly allowed himself a glance at Allura.  She smiled briefly at him, and the rest of the boys.  King Augusta continued:

"Our people have suffered much at the hands of Zarkon and Lotor.  That is why, it is with great pride, that I introduce to you, the legendary members of the Voltron Force, now the protectors of Surbain!  First of all, may I introduce our brave leader of the group, Commander Keith Hunter!"

Keith bowed his head to the crowd,
then returned to a military
stance.

"His 2nd in command, Lt. Commander,
Lance Andrews. Also, Lt. Hunk
Simon and Lt. Pidge Villatoro, and
also with them is Lt. Commander
Sven B'Yourn of Planet Pollux.
He is flying the Blue Lion in our
beloved Queen's place." Augusta said.

"Together, they will use the
power of Voltron, to fight off the
evil that has invaded our planet!"

The crowd erupted once again
with rousing applause.


Then the King held up his hands
once again to quiet the crowd down.
"Once again, thank you for coming
out to greet us!  Now, please excuse
us.  We have journeyed a long way, and must retire now.  Farewell, my people!"

Augusta grabbed Allura under the arm and quickly whisked her away into the palace, surrounded by several palace guards.  The Force walked in single file right behind them. The palace doors closed after the last Force member made his way into the building.

Allura marveled at the sight of the palace.  Everywhere she looked, there were gold and silver decorations.  She turned around to make sure the boys were close byà and they were.

Augusta halted all of them as they approached the palace throne room.  Anserrot turned to the Force, giving them stern instruction; "This is the Royal Throne Room.  Only those authorized are allowed to enter.  You are not authorized.  Therefore, you will remain here." \

He turned and followed Augusta and Allura inside, leaving Keith and the others to stand outside of the room.

Lance scoffed.  "Guess that means we're not invited!"

Hunk turned around, pretending not to care.  "So what?  You've seen one throne room, you've seen them all!"

Sven leaned toward Keith, who was staring into the room, keeping a watchful eye on Allura. Sven placed his hand on Keith's shoulder, giving it a firm squeeze.

"She'll be okay, Keit." Sven said quietly.

"I know... but I'm still going to make sure." Keith replied, not willing to remove his eyes off of Allura.  "I need to make sure she's okay."

"Keit," Sven started to say. "Dere's not much you can do from out here."

Keith sighed.  "I don't care.  She needs to know we're here for her."

Sven nodded his head, removing his hand from Keith's shoulder.  Keith continued to look at Allura.



Meanwhile, in the throne room, Augusta was bragging about how majestic his palace was...

But Allura was not listening.  She tried to keep her mind off of her circumstance.  But how was she going to ever return to Arus now?  And what about Lotor?  Where was he?

Then, she nonchalantly glanced over toward the door where the boys were standing, just outside of the throne room.  She saw Keith's gaze...and suddenly wished with all of her heart that she could run to him now... that he could embrace her now... that he could dry her tears and tell her once again, that everything was going to be okay.

She knew he loved her.  She decided to take comfort in the fact that she was not far from her champion's watchful eyes.

"Allura?"

She jumped suddenly, returning her thoughts to her present surroundings.

"Yes?" she replied to an obviously agitated Augusta.

"You haven't even heard a word I've said, have you?" he scolded.

"I'm sorry, Augusta," she sighed softly.  "It's just that I'm so tired from our long trip.  Please forgive me."

"Of course, beloved." The King said.  "Perhaps a walk in the our palace garden would help to clear your mind."

"Yes, perhaps that would help." She said uncaringly.  "But first, I'd like to see the rest of the palace... if you wouldn't mind."

"Of course not.  I'd be only too honored to show you around!" Augusta said.  "Please, follow me!"

Throughout the afternoon, Augusta showed his Queen and his guests the high points of his palace.  The garden was especially beautiful; a masterpiece of floral arrangements.

It was the garden that suddenly held a special attraction for Allura.

She again remembered her encounter with Keith.  Her mind also took her back to the small eatery back on Arus... and she smiled as she recalled the afternoon that she and Keith had spent together.

Those days were gone.

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