"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 18
Never Alone


The sad Princess of Arus sat silently in her assigned chambers, weeping...her heart, broken, over the past several days of events.

Now trapped aboard Lotor's ship, and her freedom gone, she tried desperately to think of the good things her life had afforded to her thus far.

She had been fortunate enough to be blessed with a royal legacy back on Arus, and blessed with good friends from Earth, who have helped her through the hard times of her life.

And blessed to have such a wonderful, handsome man who loved her so.

"Keith..." she thought sadly, tears dropping like rain from her eyes as she thought of her champion and his fate.

She knew Lotor had him scanned to the planet below; unprotected from the elements of sun and scorching heat.  Her heart could only hope that somehow, he would be okay, and make it back to the Palace.

"Please Keith," she uttered just above a whisper.  "You have to make it.  You have to live to see tomorrow."

Then she began to examine her life as it stood now.  Her mind started placing blame on herself for all that has happened to her friends.

"If they hadn't returned to Planet Arus, then things wouldn't be where they are now!" she began to think.  "If I was a stronger ruler, none of this would be happening!  I always need someone to come to my rescue.  Someone always has to intercede to get me out of danger...
and it usually has to be Keith.  Now, because of me, he's in real danger and out of contact with the rest of the Force! He could die...all because of me!"

She suddenly threw herself onto the bed, pounding her fits into the mattress.

"Arus is doomed now without Voltron... the galaxy is doomed... the Alliance is doomed! And it's all my fault!" Allura shouted to herself.


"Allura...that is simply not true... and you know it."



The Princess lifted up her head suddenly, scanning the room through the tears in her eyes. "Father!" she cried.  "Is that you?"

"Yes daughter.  I am here."

Allura sat up, still looking for the image of her long since deceased father. She shook her head in frustration.

"Father!  Keith is on the planet surface, alone, and unprotected!  He's going to die out there! And I'm trapped in here on Lotor's ship, and the boys can't form Voltron without Black Lion!"

"Allura...when things look their worst, that is the time that you must have faith."

Allura spun around and hopped off of the bed. 
"But Father, Lotor is now in a position to
conquer Planet Arus!  How much worst does
it have to be, before I have your permission
to be upset?" Allura shouted, her fists clenched.


"Allura, you must have faith."



It was the voice of Queen Ariela, joining with the voice of King Alfor.  "You must trust in the spirit of the Lions of Arus.  You are one with them, Allura.  Use their strength to save your friend and our planet."

"Queen Ariela, I don't understand!" Allura said tearfully.  "How can the robot lions help us? The Black Lion is trapped in the haul of this ship, and its pilot is dying on the planet surface below me!"

"My child, do not take on this defeated attitude!" The voice of King Alfor sounded.

"Allura, you must call upon the Lions of Arus.  They will do your bidding, for they are sworn to protect the royal bloodline of Arus. Trust in them, or you will not survive." said the voice of Queen Ariela.

The air grew silent suddenly.  Allura looked up.  "Father...Father are you still there?" When she received no response, she panicked.  "Father!" she shouted.

"My daughter, you are never alone.  Call upon the Lions.  Farewell." Alfor voice rang in the room, then silence returned once again.

Allura silently sat and pondered what had been said to her.  "I know I should trust them.  It looks so hopeless.  But, I must...I must try!"  she thought. "I owe that to everyone that I love! I must try!"

She focused her thoughts to Keith on the planet surface.  Suddenly...an image in her head began to materialize.  Allura could now clearly see that the image was that of Keith...lying under some kind of rock... for shade against the sun.  She could actually see him there, in her mind.  She wasn't sure if it was real...or imagined....but she decided to trust her heart.

She next focused her thoughts on her beloved Blue Lion.

"Blue Lion... if you can hear me..." Then she paused, grasping on to a moment of determination that seemed to rise up within her from out of nowhere.  "No, I know you can hear me! Blue Lion... hear me!  Show the others where Keith is.  Bring them to him!  You're the only one who can save him, Blue Lion!  You must act now!  Show the others where Keith is!  Go quickly, Blue Lion!"

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

In the Palace on Surbain, Lance, Sven and Hunk jumped nearly out their skin when Pidge busted through the door of the leisure room, where the three men sat, trying to hash out a plan of rescue.

"Pidge!" Lance shouted. "What the.."

"Stuff it, Lance!" Pidge shouted back.
"It's Blue Lion!"

Sven rose to his feet. "What about
Blue Lion, Pidge?"

"It's thrashing around out there
like a chained animal!  I don't
understand it!" Pidge pointed
to the window that faced the courtyard.
The robot lions where parked out there.

Sven ran over first, followed by Lance,
Pidge and Hunk.

Blue Lion was parked between Yellow Lion and Green Lion.  And just as Pidge had stated, Blue Lion was in a standing position, its head moving back and forth, thrashing about.

"Come on!" Sven shouted, as he
motioned for everyone to follow him to
the courtyard.

As they reached the outside, Hunk
began scratching his head.  "Hey, do
you suppose Blue Lion knows
something about the Princess?"

Lance looked intensely at Blue Lion, still thrashing about.  Then he walked over toward Red Lion, sitting on the other side of Green Lion. He gently placed his hand on Red Lion's enormous metal paw...and paused for a moment.

"What is it, Kitty Kat?" Lance asked his Red friend in thought. "Something about Allura?"

"What iz it, Lance?" Sven asked him.

Lance closed his eyes and concentrated for a moment.  On more than one occasion, he had heard Allura say something about being able to feel what the lions felt... if you only concentrated.  He knew Blue Lion was trying to tell them something... but what?

Suddenly, as if like a flash of light streaked across his mind's eye, he saw an image.  It was fuzzy, and unclear, but it was definitely Keith.  He was in some sort of trouble... he could feel it.  And he could feel that he was no longer on Lotor's cruiser, but on the planet surface.

Lance's eyes shot open quickly, and he gasped. "Guys!" he shouted as he turned to them. "It's Keith!  He's in trouble!  That's what Blue Lion is trying to tell us!  Allura must have told Blue Lion to warn us!  We've got to hurry!"

"But Lance..." Hunk said.  "Keith's trapped on Lotor's ship with Princess..."

"No he's not!" Lance interrupted.  "He's on the planet's surface!  I saw him in my mind!"

"In your mind?" Hunk teased.  "Are you sure it wasn't that extra sandwich you ate for lunch?"

Lance turned defensively at Hunk.  "It was you who ate the extra sandwich!  And no, I'm not imagining it!  I saw Keith!  I really did, guys!  He's on the ground, somewhere!  And we've got to find him, fast!"

"But, da sun... he'll roast alive out dere!" Sven shouted.  "How are we going to find him?"

"Blue Lion will show us!" Lance pointed.  "He knows where Keith is!"

"Well, why are we just standing around?  Let's get going!" Pidge shouted, already running for Green Lion.

At that moment, Blue Lion settled down, anticipating its pilot's boarding.

The four robot lions screamed out of the courtyard, heading toward the most rugged part of terrain on Surbain.

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

Keith was still asleep beneath the shade of the rock he had found, when he felt a hand shaking him awake.  Being a light sleeper by nature, he immediately awoke, scrambling away from the hand that had grabbed onto him, while taking on a defensive posture, preparing to attack.

"Keith, relax!  It's us!" Hunk shouted, the owner of the hand.

Feeling the intense heat once again on his bare skin, he shuffled back into the shade of the rock. He squinted up at Hunk, who was now joined by Lance.

"Well, are you just going to lie around here all day?" Lance said with a smile, relieved that Keith was okay.  "We could come back later when you're all finished napping!"

"How...how did you guys find me?" Keith stuttered.

"We didn't find you.  The lions did." Hunk replied.  "They brought us here to you."

"But...how?" Keith thought aloud.

"Allura must have sent them somehow." Lance said.  "Other than that, I have no other explanation."

Keith shook his head clear of the cobwebs inside.  "Allura?  Where is she?  Did you guys rescue her?"

"No, we thought she was with you!" Hunk said.  "She must still be on Lotor's ship then!"

"How in the galaxy did you get away from Lotor?" Lance exclaimed.  "He bragged to us that he was going to kill you!"

"Allura...she...she convinced him that I'd be worse off living, knowing that Lotor possessed her." Keith replied.  "He bought it.  But instead of returning me to the Palace, Lotor had me scanned out here.  I guess he figured I'd die anyway."

"Did Allura know that?" Lance asked.

"Yeah, Lotor told her I would be scanned down to Surbain." Keith replied.

"It figures, then!" Lance blurted out.  "Allura knew you were alive down here, and she must have sent the lions after you!"

"But how did she know where to send the lions to find me?" Keith pondered aloud again.

"I don't know, but they knew where you were." Lance said, cupping his hand over his eyes. "Good thing, too.  Any longer out here, and you'd be a crispy critter!"

Pidge came running up to them, tossing Keith a spare uniform shirt and another red colored lion helmet. Keith slipped it on over his head, gently, gritting his teeth at the material came in contact with his wounded skin.  Then, stood to his feet, putting on his lion helmet.

The helmet instantly became a protective layer over Keith's head, shielding him from the sun's deadly rays.

Keith instinctively took command of his team. "Lance, I'm riding with you." Then he turned to Pidge.  "I want a reading on the exact location of Lotor's cruiser.  I want position, speed, and altitude, and I want it as soon as possible!"

"Got it, Commander!" Pidge shouted, turning on one heel and running for Green Lion.

"Hey boss," Hunk asked.  "Did you get a look at any of Lotor's technology?  Maybe, if we knew what he had, we can use his own power against him!"

"No...didn't see much, I'm afraid. I was a little...preoccupied." Keith replied dryly, suddenly becoming painfully aware of the irritation of his skin against the uniform shirt.

"You'll need a medic, Keit." Sven added. "Dat's got to smart."

Keith nodded with a smirk on his face.

"It must have been awful up there..." Hunk snorted. "How in the world did you get caught in the first place?"

"No time for Q and A now, Hunk!
Right now, there's two more of us we
have to get safely back!" Keith
said, pointing upward toward the sky,
referring to both Princess Allura,
and his Black Lion. "For now,
let's get back to the Palace!"

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