"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 19
Thinking of You


Nightfall came upon Planet Surbain.  The men of Voltron were in the Palace war room, discussing the situation that befell them all...and how they were going to get Princess Allura back.

Keith, still weakened from his ordeal aboard Lotor's ship, was sitting down, playing mediator.

Lance was pacing back and forth, his arms crossed in front of his body as he walked.

Hunk was leaning up against the wall, while Sven and Pidge observed Lotor's cruiser on the planet's long range scanners.

"Keith, we have no choice!" Hunk shouted, still leaning against the wall.  "If we ever want to see Allura again, we have to give Lotor what he wants!  And what he wants is Voltron!"

"Hunk...Lotor wants everything!  Not just Voltron...but Planet Arus, Allura and the entire galaxy!  If we turn over the lions to him, he still won't give the Princess back to us!  He wants Allura as his bride...and everything else along with her!  He's just using her against us, to get what he wants!  You know as well as I do, that he has no intention of giving her up...ever!" Keith said, trying to add his voice of reason to the conversation.  "I'm not turning the lions
over to him!  And that's final!"

Hunk jumped right into Keith's face, leaning on his chair... "Do you want to see Lotor have her?  Is that what you want?"

Keith grew angry, shoving Hunk back as he rose to his feet.  "Are you insane?  Of course not!  But turning over the lions isn't going to prevent that from happening!  Can't you see that?  We need a more secure plan of attack!"

"All I see in my head, is our Princess, scared to death up there, with that raging lunatic!  She's got to be terrified, Keith!  Wouldn't you be, if you were in her position!  Oh no...wait...I
forgot... you're the FEARLESS leader!  You aren't afraid of anything!" Hunk shouted sarcastically as he turned to walk away.

The flame in Keith's eyes extinguished when he suddenly thought of her...  "You're wrong, Hunk.  I do know what fear is."

Hunk turned back around to look Keith square in the eyes.

Keith stared at Hunk as he uttered...  "I'm afraid for her..."

"Then let's doing something about it, COMMANDER!" Hunk shouted.  "We can turn over the lions, giving Lotor what he wants, then bargain with him for the safe return of the Princess!"

Lance stopped pacing for a moment and turned to Hunk.  "No one's taking my Red Lion!"

"Lance... you're an idiot!  What's more important?  A stupid robot ship, or the life and freedom of someone we all care about more dearly than our own lives?" Hunk shouted, now walking toward Lance in a threatening manner.

Sven and Pidge immediately ran to intercept the potential brawl before it began.  Sven took Lance, while Pidge blocked Hunk's approach.

Keith immediately rose to his feet, having had quite enough of the fighting...

"Alright!  Knock it off!  All of you!  We've got to stop fighting amongst ourselves!  There's no time for any of this!  We've got to think of a way to get Allura back, without giving Lotor what he wants!  We aren't going to surrender the robot lions!"

"Okay, fine, Commander!" Hunk spat.  "Suppose you tell us how, then!"

Keith sighed angrily.  "That's why I called this meeting...in hopes that we can all pull together and figure it out!" Keith then turned to leave the room.

"Keith," Lance shouted after him.  "Where are you going?"

"Somewhere away from here...where
I can calm down and think about this...
alone!" Keith shot back. "You guys
obviously are no help, and Lotor's not
going to wait all day to make his move
on the Princess!"

Hunk huffed as he watched Keith exit
the room in silence.



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


The night air was crisp... but not as clean smelling as the night air on Arus.

Keith found himself, once again, walking through the gardens of the Palace.  As he came to a halt, his anger began to subside, and his thoughts came to rest on the beautiful Princess that was so very much a part of his life.

The thought of losing her forever to Lotor soured his stomach.

He bowed his head as he stood amongst the flowers.  Unconsciously, he clenched his fists together, trying to force his brain to think of a plan to get back on board Lotor's ship.

The urgency was real... Allura was in danger the longer she remained on board.

"Come on, Keith..." he pushed himself, "There's got to be a way...any way to get her back! Think, Keith!"

But, he could think of nothing.  He grunted aloud in anger, frustrated at his helplessness.

Keith tilted his head up toward the sky.  Anger returning to his eyes, as he gazed above him.

The stars were out, and somehow, he thought if he stared long enough, he'd see Lotor's ship.

A vision of Allura's face appeared before him, and he closed his eyes suddenly.

He cursed himself, as his mind continued to conjure up the lovely image of the fair-haired, light-hearted Princess; yet still unable to come up with a plan to rescue her from Lotor's evil clutches.

"I'm sorry, Princess..." Keith grunted, angry with himself. "I...I've failed you. I'm sorry!"



"You have not failed her, Keith Hunter,"



Keith shot around reflexively, grabbing his blaster and holding it in a defensive position in front of him.

"Who's there?" Keith shouted.  "Show yourself, now!"

The night air in front of Keith shifted violently, then, the image of Queen Ariela appeared before him.  Half frightened, and half out of respect, Keith dropped to his knees before the image of the deceased first Queen of Arus.  He still wasn't used to her sudden appearances.

"Rise to your feet, Keith Hunter." the Queen said.  "There is much to discuss."

Keith did as he was commanded, resettling his blaster in its holster.

"Queen Ariela... what has become of Princess Allura?" he pleaded for an answer.  "Please, Your Majesty!  You must know!  Tell me if she is safe!"

"Allura is safe for now." Queen Ariela replied, nodding her head to the Voltron Commander.

Keith sighed with relief.  "At least Lotor hasn't forced himself on her yet..."

"The answer you are both seeking is in the Lions of Arus.  For only through them, can you hope to be reunited once again, and the evil vanquished." Ariela said.

"But, Queen Ariela, Black Lion is trapped in the hold of Lotor's ship!  And we're down here! How can we unite together and form Voltron if we don't have the Black Lion?"

"Even now, Black Lion senses the
danger to the present Princess of
Arus.  The Lions are sworn to protect
the royal bloodline, and Black Lion
will not allow Allura to be harmed by
anything that is evil.  You ARE Black
Lion, my young friend.  And you must
prepare yourself, Keith Hunter.  The
time will soon come, when you must
use all of your strength, and all of
your experience, to free your team,
and battle against this evil known as
Doom.  Be sure you are prepared for that.
The greatest challenge is yet to come."

Keith bowed his head, bringing his right hand to rest on his heart. "I will die for Arus... and I will die for the Princess, if that's what it comes to."

Ariela hovered over to Keith,  "Allura has chosen her champion wisely.  You are well suited for her... and well suited in wisdom to be a true Prince of Arus, and to rule at Allura's side. You will do fine, Keith Hunter.  I can feel your heart, the nobleness that is inside.  Let your strength flow to Allura's heart, even now as you think of her."

Suddenly, Queen Ariela disappeared from sight, leaving Keith alone again in the garden.

With a renewed confidence, he felt sure an idea would present itself to him.  He had to remain open-minded.

Keith tilted his head to the sky.  Covering his heart with his hand, he concentrated on Allura, trapped hundreds of miles above the planet's surface.

"Allura," he said softly.  "I'll find a way to save you.  Somehow, Princess, I'll find a way.  Just be strong... wherever you are.  And remember that my love is with you."

A shiver came over him, suddenly feeling the coldness of the air.  Crossing his arms in front of himself, he quickly made his way quickly to the sanctuary of the Palace.

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

On the ship above the planet, Allura suddenly had a feeling... a feeling that Keith was thinking of her that very second.  She walked to a nearby window in her quarters and looked out to the planet below.

"Oh Keith," she murmured, her arms clutched around herself.  Then she began to think to him. "I know you can hear me.  I love you, too, and no matter what happens, I will always love you."



"I can hear you, Allura. I'm with you."



Allura smiled, covering her heart with her hand.  "I knew Lotor couldn't destroy you, Keith!"

"He can't destroy you, either, Princess!" Keith's voice echoed in her head. "Stay strong!  I'll figure out a way to find you, Allura!"

The thoughts in her mind suddenly grew silent once again, as her heart pondered what Keith's heart had spoken to her.

All will be well...somehow.

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