"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 21
Anserrot's Evil

Yellow Lion took a direct hit from the Robeast, sending it spinning out of control.  Red Lion and Green Lion both stepped up to cover for Hunk.

Lance hailed Hunk for a status report...

"Hunk!  Are you okay, big guy?" Lance asked, concerned for his friend after the vicious hit he took.

Inside Yellow Lion, Hunk shook his head clear. "Yeah...yeah..." he said, sounding a bit fussy. "That Robeast packs a wallop!"

"Okay, we'll hold down the fort for you!" Pidge shouted.

"Sure hope Keith and Sven hurry back soon," Lance thought out loud over the COM. "The only way we stand a chance against this ugly piece of work is with Voltron!"

"Someone call for us?" Keith's voice rang clear over the COM.

"I tink dey missed us, Keit!" Sven added with a chuckle.

"Keith! Sven! Thank God you guys are back!" Lance sighed. "This guy's too tough for three lions alone!"

"We need Voltron!" Hunk said, bringing Yellow Lion along side of Red Lion.

"Where's the Princess?" Lance asked, dodging another round of Robeast firepower.

"She safe on da planet surface." Sven said. "And now dat she iz..."

"Right Sven... we've got a job to do! So let's do it!" Keith shouted. "Ready team?"

"READY!" everyone shouted.

"Let's form Voltron!" Keith commanded.

The Voltron Commander pushed a
button on his console, activating the
Voltron sequence. The five-point
star that was on the console flashed
alive as the sequence began.

"Activate interlock! Dyno-therms
connected! Infracells up..." Keith
shouted, pausing for a moment,
watching the sequence finish, as the
five-point star began flashing the
colors red, blue, yellow, green,
and black, simultaneously.

"Mega-thrusters are go!" Keith shouted, as the sequence completed.













LET'S GO VOLTRON FORCE!" the five men shouted at once.


The five robot lions streaked into space, their individual colors streaking behind them.  Black Lion roared fiercely as the wings on its back extended outward, and its arms folded into special compartments that had opened up beneath it.

"Form feet and legs!" Keith sounded.

The Yellow and Blue Lions began to form the feet of Voltron.  They slipped into place one by one, fitting to the Black Lion's elongated legs with a mighty mechanical click.

Meanwhile, the Black Lion took on the form of the body of Voltron.

"Form arms and torso!" Keith shouted once again.

This time, Green and Red Lions clicked into place and formed the arms of Voltron.

"And I'll form the head!" Keith announced, as the cockpit head of Black Lion opened up to reveal the face of the mighty robot warrior.

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


On the planet below, Allura watched with King Augusta, as Voltron formed at Keith's command.

"Go Lions!" the Arusian Princess whispered nnthusiastically.

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


Once together, Keith began to shout out a series of commands. "Okay team!  Form blazing arrows!"

Voltron's arms came together suddenly, and as they began to separate once again, Red Lion was holding a fiery bow in its mouth.  Behind Voltron's back, blazing arrows had formed in mid-air.  Green Lion reached behind and grabbed one with its mouth, and placed it in
launch position on the bow.

"Fire!" Keith shouted.

Voltron, using Green Lion, pulled back the arrow and released it straight toward the Robeast. The arrow slammed into the monster, exploding on impact.

When the smoke cleared, the Robeast remained, untouched by the attack.

"Come on!" Lance shouted. "This isn't funny anymore!"

"No one ever said it wuz!" Sven replied.

"But that thing should have been obliterated!" Lance continued to shout.  "How can it still be standing there?"

"Commander," Pidge chimed in.  "I'm reading a build up of mega-power! It's getting ready to fire back at us!"

"Royal Shield!" Keith shouted abruptly.

The Royal Shield extended from Voltron's chest, splitting into three parts, and taking position in front of the robot warrior.  The Robeast roared loudly, and from its mouth, shot out a powerful beam of energy, heading directly toward Voltron.

"Get ready, team!" Keith warned, grabbing onto the side of his chair, preparing for impact. "Grab onto something and brace yourselves!"

The energy beam slammed into the shield with such a force, that it sent Voltron hurdling backward out of control.

Inside the command center, Keith was hollering in pain, as the instruments sent shock waves of electrical energy throughout the cockpit.

The other Force members felt much the same thing in their lion cockpits.

Keith grabbed onto his controls, forcing himself to focus through the pain, and gain control of Voltron once again.  When things became more stable, he called for a damage report.

"We took a big hit, Keith!" Pidge said, reviewing his data coming through his console. "We're down to seventy percent power!"

"Whoa!" Sven shouted a warning. "Dat iz quite a hit!"

"We can't afford these power surges!" Keith shouted.  "We have to move more evasively...
avoid its fire...or risk power depletion!"

"And if that happens, Voltron's dead in the water!" Hunk added.

"And so are we!" Pidge replied. "Dead!"

"Look out, team!  It's coming for us again!" Keith alerted.

The Robeast was on the attack, crashing into Voltron, grabbing onto him, and squeezing him. Red and Green Lions were feeling the pressure.

"Keith!  My pressure gages
are going wacko!" Lance shouted in pain.

"Mine too!" Pidge added,
also in pain. "We've got to do
something!"

"Ion darts!" Keith commanded firmly.

A barrage of ion darts flew out at
the Robeast from the horns on
Voltron's head. It distracted the
Robeast long enough for Keith to
maneuver Voltron back away from it.
Now at a safer distance, Keith
began to evaluate the situation.

"Blazing arrows, ion darts... nothing works on this guy!" Keith shouted, searching his system for something else to use.  "Our only alternative is Blazing Sword."

"But what if that doesn't work either?" Hunk shouted. "We can't let that thing destroy Surbain!  The Princess is down there!"

"And what about all of the people of Surbain too?" Sven added.  "We can't let dem down eider!"

"There has to be a way to defeat this monster!" Keith shouted out loud, slamming his fist into the arm of his command chair.  "There has to be some weakness we're overlooking!"

"Don't look now, Keith, but that ugly monster is getting ready to charge again!" Pidge advised.

"Evasive maneuvers!" Keith shouted. "We can't engage him directly! Not yet!"

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

On the planet below, Allura watched the monitor intensely, her heart aching over not being up in battle with her friends.

King Augusta turned to her; his eyes fixed with fear.  "Your Voltron isn't doing a very good job at getting rid of that beast!"

Allura turned on him angrily.  "The Voltron Force is doing everything in their power to vanquish this evil... and all you can do is complain!  They're up there, risking their lives for this planet! The least you could do is be grateful!"

"Grateful?" the King whined.  "Grateful did you say, Princess Allura? The only thing I have to be grateful for is the fact that my planet hasn't been destroyed yet!  Your Voltron is doing a terrible job!"

"And I suppose you could do better in their place? Is that it?" Allura snapped at him.

"I'm saying, that everything I've ever heard about Voltron, suggests that he is so mighty, that nothing could defeat him.  Now, it would seem that the rumors were untrue, and my planet will be little less than rubble come this time tomorrow!"

"I have faith in Voltron!  The Voltron Force is highly skilled in using Voltron!  They'll know what to do!  And as for your planet...I can assure you...."

Suddenly, Anserrot, accompanied by a guard, interrupted the heated exchange. "King Augusta!  Your Majesty!  A new threat, sir!"

"Yes, yes," the young king shouted.  "What is it now?"

"Majesty... a large group of ground control units is marching toward the palace!  It's our estimate that they shall be upon us within twenty minutes!" Anserrot said frantically.

"Impossible!" Augusta shouted, directing his comments to his guard.  "Send out our robot warriors to meet them, you fool!"

"At once, Your Majesty!" the guard saluted, then ran off.

Allura turned to him in anger,  "Do you really think that your armies are going to be able to stop those robot warriors?  My planet tried that for years, and it wasn't until the Alliance sent us the space explorers, that my planet finally gained some ground against Zarkon's evil!"

"Princess Allura, you can mind your affairs on Arus!  This is our planet, and we shall run it as we please!" Anserrot shouted.  "Besides, our plight is entirely your fault!"

"MY fault???" Allura gasped.  "How can say such a thing?"

"If you would have remained with the Prince of Doom, he would not be tearing up our planet, in order to retrieve you!" Anserrot cried.  "Now, everyone on Surbain will perish under the fist of Doom, and even Voltron appears to now be on the brink of destruction!"

Allura paused for a moment...then turned to the monitor, seeing Voltron dodging the attacks of the killer Robeast above the surface of the planet.

Allura bowed her head suddenly...

"You're right.  This is my fault.  It's me Lotor is after!" Allura sighed.  She looked up at the monitor once again; a determined look came over her face.  "I must contact the Voltron Force at once, and advise them of the situation down here!"

Anserrot looked at her for a moment.

"That's right," he said, staring at her.  "It is you they want.  So perhaps... if we give you to them, they will leave peacefully and spare our planet!"

"Are you out of your mind, Anserrot?  Augusta, have you nothing to say?" Allura shouted angrily, turning to the frightened King. "How could you stand there and let him do such a thing?"

"I...I don't know," Augusta struggled.  "I'm unsure what to do next!"

"It is her they are after!  Why not give them what they are seeking?" Anserrot said matter-of-factly.  "It must be done!"

"NO!" she screamed, running for the COM on the console.  "Commander Keith left me here in hopes that you would protect me!  Not give me up to Lotor!" As she reached the console, she opened a channel to Voltron.  "Keith! Come in, Keith!  I need you!"

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

Voltron narrowly missed another swipe from the Mega-Robeast.  He leaped backward avoiding a direct hit.

"Keith," Pidge shouted. "I'm reading
an urgent message from the planet's
surface. Keith... it's the Princess!"

"Princess?" Keith thought. "Why's
she calling us now?"

Keith reached down and opened his
COM. "Keith here, Allura what's the
matter..."

"Keith! There are ground troops surrounding the palace... and Anserrot has this bright idea, that if he surrenders me to them, they'll withdraw their attack!" Allura shouted frantically. "And Augusta is just going to let him do it!  I'm in big trouble down here, Keith!"

"WHAT?" Keith shouted. "Put the King on!"

"Hold on..." Allura said, her voice fading off.

"Keith, what is this guy trying to prove?" Lance shouted.  "He can't turn Allura over to them!"

"Calm down, Lance!" Keith hollered.  "Let's see what this is all about first!"

The next voice they all heard was that of the King's advisor, Anserrot.

Keith calmly began to speak.  "Anserrot, where's King Augusta?  What's the meaning of this?  You must protect the Princess of Arus!  If Lotor gets his hands on her, then all of this quadrant will fall into the hands of Doom!"

"I intend to do what I must to protect our people, and our planet!" Anserrot said.  "And if that means turning her over to them, then I will gladly do so, immediately!"

"You can't do that, Anserrot!" Keith shouted, his tone more direct.  "Do you realize what her life would be like if she fell into Lotor's clutches?  Surely, you can't mean evil on another human being!  Please, in the name of everything deceit, think about what you're proposing! Are you willing to sacrifice another life to Lotor?"

"Keith," Pidge interrupted. "The Robeast is preparing another attack!"

Keith became sidetracked momentarily, as he adjusted is gyroscope to home in on Robeast's movements.

"This discussion has ended!  The Princess shall be handed over to the Prince of Doom immediately!" Anserrot said abruptly, terminating the transmission.

"NO!" Keith shouted. "ALLURA!"

"Great!  What'll we do now?" Hunk said angrily.  "Allura's going to be turned over to Prince 'Goofball', by King 'Idiot' and company, while we're up here defending their stupid planet!"

"No she's not!" Keith said angrily.  "Our first duty is to Arus!  We're breaking off the attack with the Robeast and going after Allura!"

"Now you're talking, Keith!" Lance shouted.  "I never trusted that miserable, tinsel-headed, green-faced twit!"

"Never mind the name calling, Lance!  We've got to get down there and save the Princess, before he hands her over to Lotor!" Keith shouted.  "Hold on everyone!"

Voltron began a methodical retreat, heading toward the planet surface.

The Robeast, however, was not so eager to let them get away.  He immediately charged after Voltron, following him as he headed for the planet.

"Keith!" Pidge reported. "Robeast!  Directly behind us!"

"Looks like he can't get along wit-out uz!" Sven commented.  "How are we going to shake him?"

"Okay team," Keith shouted. "Prepare to disassemble Voltron!"

"Disassemble?" Lance questioned. "If we do that, the Robeast will make mincemeat of us!"

"We have no choice, Lance!" Keith shouted.  "You guys stay up here, while I get down to the planet surface and rescue the Princess!"

"How come you get to do it?" Lance teased.  "Why do you always have to be the hero?"

"Got a thing for her, Keith?" Hunk blurted out with a hearty laugh.

An assortment of chuckles broke out over the COM, drawing a huffy response from their Commander.

"We'll talk about that later!  Right now, every minute we waste, is another minute less we have to save the Princess!" Keith said, as he deactivated the Voltron sequence. "Disassembling Voltron... now!"

In the same manner that they assembled together, the robot lions separated once again, becoming five individual fighting machines.

Black Lion immediately broke away from the group, soaring with lightning speed to the planet surface.

The other four lions swirled around the Robeast, drawing its attention away from the retreating Black Lion.

"Come on, you big, ugly dummy!" Lance shouted, as he maneuvered Red Lion to run around the Robeast in circles.  "Catch me if you can!"

"Catch us all, if you can!" Hunk shouted, bring Yellow Lion around to zigzag in front of the Robeast.

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

Meanwhile, King Augusta's guards had hold of the Princess, dragging her to the Palace entrance.  Anserrot himself was marching ahead of them, holding a white cloth in his hand.

Allura struggled relentlessly against the big Palace guards.  She began pleading with Anserrot.

"Please!  Don't do this!  You can't!" she cried.

"Be silent!" Anserrot shouted, turning his head around to face her momentarily.  "You have no choice.  WE have no choice!"

"There's always a choice!" she shouted.  "I have the right to be free!  You can't hand me over like a bag of goods!  Let me go, please!"

"When you are safely in their hands!" Anserrot shouted nervously.

"You won't get away with it!" Allura struggled.  "The Voltron Force will not allow this to happen!"

"They can do nothing to stop it!" Anserrot said firmly.  "How can they?  Even now, the monster above our planet holds them at bay.  Perhaps by giving you to Lotor, we can save Voltron, too."

"You're insane!" she screamed.  "You've lost your mind!"

Allura continued to struggle against the guards as they neared the Palace entrance.

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

Black Lion streaked through the Surbainian skies like a black flash of light, breaking the sound barrier as it flew into the atmosphere, at better than Mock 14.

Inside the lion, Keith nervously tapped
at his controls, hoping beyond
hope, that he could make it in time,
before that mad man turned the
Princess over to Lotor.

The only thought that ran through his
mind was how Allura looked when
he last saw her... her dress torn by
the hands of Lotor... her spirit
broke by his intimidating personality...

He swore on his life, to protect her, as her champion.

But now... it was personal.

She was his love... his life.  No matter what, he had to protect her... no matter what the personal cost.

"Hang on, Allura..." he thought angrily, gritting his teeth.  "I'm coming for you!"

He began to question his decision to leave her on the planet.  She would have been better off with him in Black Lion. 

"I should have never left her down there, alone!" Keith shouted out loud suddenly.

He could see that now.

"Come on, big guy!" he shouted again, coaxing more power from Black Lion's Mega-thrusters.  "The Princess is counting on us!"

The Black Lion roared in response to Keith's insistence.

Power levels were starting drop...rapidly.

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

The Palace gates opened wide.  Anserrot stepped out first... and gasped at the sight he was confronted with.  Before him were several thousand Doom skull tanks, poised to fire on the Palace.

Anserrot waved the white cloth up above his head, gesturing to the attacking forces that he wanted a momentary truce.  The guards exited the Palace too, with Princess Allura restrained between them.

Anserrot began to shout to them "Robot warriors of Doom!  I have the prize your Prince most desires!  I'm willing to give her over to you, in exchange for my planet's freedom and safety!"

"NO!" Allura screamed, struggling to get free, to no avail. "RELEASE ME AT ONCE!"

One Doom soldier held up his hand, signaling a halt to the approaching attack.  He spoke in a low, sinisterly mechanical voice...

"You can tell that to Prince Lotor, yourself!" the robot soldier shouted.

From one of the skull tanks, came the image of Prince Lotor, in holographic form.

Allura cringed in fear...

"Ah, Minster Anserrot..." Lotor began.  "I see, you have my property!  You will surrender the Princess immediately to my warriors, or we will level your planet... starting with your castle!"

"My plan exactly, Prince Lotor!" the cunning advisor proposed.  "She is yours, of course."

Lotor smiled. "I'm glad to see that we were able to reason together!"

"Yes, Prince Lotor." Anserrot said humbly, bowing before the image of the evil Prince.

Lotor then addressed Allura.  "My Princess, it was very rude of you to leave me before you were dismissed.  You will have to learn to eliminate that very bad habit from your lifestyle...if you and I ever hope to get along!"

Allura fearfully began to scan the skiesà looking for any sign of Voltron.  "Oh Keith," she wept silently.  "Where are you?"

Lotor saw that she was looking for Voltron.  "Looking for your pretty lion boys, are you, Princess?  Well, don't hold your breath!  Voltron is not going to come streaking out of the sky after you, this time!  My Mega-Robeast is going to destroy him!" Then Lotor looked at
Anserrot.  "Well?  What are you waiting for?  Hand the Princess over! NOW!"

"Don't just stand there, you fools!" Anserrot shouted to his guards.  "Bring the Princess to them, immediately!"

Allura dug her feet into the ground, allowing her body to become dead weight.  She wasn't going without a struggle.

"Very good, Anserrot!" Lotor laughed aloud.  "Very good, indeed!" He looked one last time at Allura.  "I'll see you on board very soon, Princess.  And for your sake, you had better not risk my anger further!"

Then, his image disappeared from sight.

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

Keith magnified the image on his monitor as he approached the Palace. He cringed as he saw the Princess being forcefully dragged to the awaiting Doom soldiers.

He pulled back on his controls, bringing Black Lion into a power dive toward the palace, with all weapons to bear.

The Black Lion's power began draining faster with the acceleration.

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

A low whining sound could be heard suddenly... growing stronger with each passing second... like a dive-bomb attack.  Everyone turned a waning eye up to the skies...

Keith's voice thundered on the exterior speakers as he approached... "Oh no you don't!" he shouted, his voice boomed, as he sent a volley of fire to the ground.  "Run, Princess!" he shouted through his exterior speakers.

Allura shook herself free from the now stunned guards, backing away from them quickly, and taking advantage of the frightened looks on everyone's face at the approach of Black Lion with a furious anger.

But Anserrot was not about to give up his chance for glory.  He decidedly kept the Princess well in his sight.

"Fire!" the Doom commander shouted, pointing to the descending Black Lion.

The Skull tanks opened fire, sending rounds of ammunition into the air.  They bounce off of Black Lion like rubberbands hitting up against a concrete wall.

Swooping low, Black Lion let loose another volley of firepower, successfully wiping out half of the attacking forces.



Allura was running in the other direction, but Anserrot was close behind her.  Overtaking her, he abruptly shoved her from behind, so hard, in fact, that she fell to the ground with a shriek.

Face down on the ground, Allura felt the angry hand of Anserrot, grabbing onto her hair, and pulling her up to her knees with a savage force.  She cried out in pain, as he pulled her into submission by her long blonde hair.  She tried to overpower him, attempting to rely on her combat skills of self defense.  But the horrific pain she felt from the pulling of her hair, rendered her powerless.

He turned her to face him. The anger in his eyes frightened her...

"You have caused me enough trouble!" he seethed at her.  "I'm going to give you to Lotor, one way or another!"

"I... won't... go!" she screamed at him, spitting in his face.

"Wench!  How dare you!" he shouted back, closing his fist and cuffing her hard in the jaw with a force that sent her flying backward to the ground once again.

"AHHHH!" she cried out, as she hit the ground with a thud.

Anserrot reached down and asserted near-deadly force on her once again.

"I'll make you wish you never heard of me!"  He grabbed her by the neck. "Such a fool you are, Princess Allura!  The plan was to get you away from Planet Arus, so that Prince Lotor could capture you!  How easy it was to prey on your noble sensibilities!" he scoffed
angrily at her. Using his other hand, he grabbed her by the hair once again, and hauled her back up to her knees.   "It's you he wants...and you he's going to get!"


"Let her go, Anserrot!"


Anserrot turned around, and found
himself staring down the barrel of
Keith's blaster.  His finger was on
the trigger.

"I said, let her go...now!"
Keith shouted. "Don't make
me say it again!"

Anserrot fearfully let go of the Princess's hair, and she dropped back to the ground, shaking in both pain and fear.

"Move away from her...slowly!" Keith commanded firmly, waving his blaster to the left.

Anserrot obeyed, stepping away from Allura.  Keith moved slowly around, his blaster still pointed at the cunning advisor.  When he reached Allura's side, he reached his free hand down to her.

"Can you stand?" he asked directly, his eyes still fixed on Anserrot.

Allura rose her head up. "Yes... I think so." she struggled.

She grabbed onto his hand, and he hoisted her up from the ground.  Out of the corner of his eye, he could see a bruise appearing on the right side of her face, just above her jaw.  He then shifted his eyes back at Anserrot.

"You coward!" he shouted.  "If I had the time, I'd give you back twice, what you gave her!"

"I was only trying to save my planet, Commander!  But you couldn't possibly understand that, could you?" Anserrot said, his fists clenched.  "You couldn't possibly understand how it is to serve a stupid, immature monarch, such as King Augusta!  Oh, then again, perhaps you do... it must be similar serving under Princess Allura!"

"The only thing I understand right now, is that I should pull this trigger and send you on your way to the afterlife!" Keith shouted angrily.  "What you've done to her infuriates me, to the point of physical violence!"

"You will ruin everything!  She must be turned over to Lotor!  Our planet's future is at stake!" Anserrot screamed at the top of his voice.  "You must let me finish my arrangement!"

"You're pathetic!" Keith shouted in anger.  "You can't possibly think that I'd let you turn her over to him!"

"Then perhaps this will change your mind, Commander, at this..." Anserrot said, as he pulled out of his pocket a small device with a switch. He flipped it on, and a light began to methodically flash on and off. "If Lotor can not have her, then no one will!"

Allura suddenly gazed at the ring on her finger that was given to her in marriage by Augusta. She had not yet removed it, after their marriage was annulled.  It suddenly began flashing with the same rhythm as the device Anserrot was holding in his hand.

She gasped. "Run, Keith!  It's a bomb!  The ring on my finger is a bomb!"

"Precisely, Princess!" Anserrot chuckled.  "And now, Commander...you either give her to me, or we all die!"

"No!" Keith gasped, as he turned his head to look down at her finger, then look at the device in Anserrot's hand.  "What are you doing?" he said angrily.

"If you do not allow me to complete my arrangement, I've been ordered by Prince Lotor to destroy her!  If that means taking you and me with her... then so be it." Anserrot said calmly.

Keith and Allura both struggled to get the ring off of her finger.  But somehow, the metal had changed shape, gripping onto the Princess's finger so tightly that it would not come off.

"You'd kill her?  What kind of monster are you?" Keith hissed, looking back to Anserrot. He pointed his blaster back toward evil lizard man. "I could take you out right now!"

"Do it, and the destruction of the device will trigger an automatic self-destruct mechanism, killing both of you instantly!" Anserrot warned. "Now, Commander...drop your weapon!"

"No!  Never!" Keith shouted, still pointing the blaster at Anserrot.

Allura put her hand on Keith's shoulder.  "We have no choice, Keith!  You must do as he says!"

Keith looked at Allura, his eyes full of pain, as he realized he was helpless to do anything. He grunted angrily, as he reluctantly threw his blaster to the ground.  "It would seem... I have no choice."

"Very good, Commander." Anserrot smiled.  "A wise decision.  At least, she'll live.  Dead, she would be of no use to either of us."

"I'm not giving up completely, Anserrot!" Keith growled.  "You may think you've won the fight, but the battle has only just begun!"

"Spare me your brave words, Commander." Anserrot scoffed.  "Princess, come with me now!"

Allura stood behind Keith, afraid to approach Anserrot.  She laid her head against his back, closing her eyes tightly as she clung onto Keith for dear life.

The ring on her finger began to beat faster.

"I said, come with me, Princess!  Or I'll destroy your precious Voltron Commander where he stands!" Anserrot threatened; lunging down and grabbing Keith's abandoned blaster.

"I don't think so!" Keith shouted, suddenly smiling.

"Me either!" said a voice from beside Anserrot.

"What?" Anserrot shouted, turning around suddenly, facing another blaster in his face.

Allura opened her eyes and said, "That sounds like... Pidge!"

She poked her head up and looked over Keith's shoulder.  A smile found its way to her face. "Pidge!  It is you!" she squealed with glee.

"Well, seems I got here just in time!" Pidge muttered.  He reached over and grabbed the device from Anserrot first.  "Now, throw down the weapon, or I'll blow you away!"

It was now Anserrot's turn to grumble.

Keith grabbed his blaster from Anserrot's hand.  Then, he turned to the teenage genius. Grabbing the Princess's left hand, Keith quickly held it up to Pidge...

"It's a bomb, linked with Allura's wedding band!  Can you deactivate it?" Keith asked hastily.

"No sweat. Commander!" Pidge said confidently. "Its pretty basic in design.  It consists of..."

"Pidge... just deactivate the thing!" Keith impatiently ordered.

"Oh, right!" Pidge said awkwardly.  

He opened it up, and after pulling a couple of wires out, the lights stopped, and the device was
rendered harmless.

Allura instantly felt the grip of the ring release from around her finger, and she quickly pulled the ring off, and threw it at Anserrot.  It bounced off of his head and landed on the ground.

"Are you happy now?" Anserrot said sarcastically.  "You've ruined everything!"

"Not quite happy yet," Keith said.

He reached behind, handing the Princess his blaster.  Then, looking him straight in the eye, Keith balled up his fist, and punched Anserrot, square in the face, sending him tumbling to the ground, unconscious.

Shaking his hand, pained by the impact, Keith nodded with a smirk of satisfaction on his face. "Now, I'm happy!"

He looked at Pidge, who couldn't help but start laughing out loud.

Allura too, roared with laughter.  Keith soon found himself joining in as well.

When the laughter subsided, Keith looked at Pidge.  "What are you doing here?  And where's everyone else?"

"Lance sent me down here to look after you, while you were looking after Allura." Pidge said as he looked down on the ground and smiled.  "Looks like it turned out to be a good idea after all!"

"Yeah.  But where's the Robeast at?" Keith asked, concerned for the rest of the team.

"They're holding down the fort, but they can't do it for long.  Sven had an idea how we could defeat that thing.  But we're going to need Voltron again!" Pidge said.  "Come on, I'll explain while we get back up there!"

Keith turned to Allura. "Are you alright?"

Pidge looked at her face, and the bruise on it.  "Whoa... did he do that?" he asked, pointing to Anserrot.

"Yeah, and he's lucky he's just unconscious, and not dead!" Keith grunted angrily.

"Good thing he's already out like a light... or I'd have torn his head off!" Pidge said, now also angry.

"Boys, brag about your manhood later!" Allura interrupted.  "Lance, Sven and Hunk are up there trying to distract that Robeast!  Shouldn't we get up there and help them?"

"Right, Princess!" Keith agreedà an embarrassing flush came over his cheeks.

Pidge turned to leave.  "I'll meet you two in the air! Don't be long!"

Keith waved Pidge on, then turned to Allura, examining her face.  "That looks pretty bad." he commented.  "If only I were here a second earlier..."

"Keith," Allura said, placing her hand on his mouth to silence him.  "Stop blaming yourself. I'll be fine, really.  It's just a bruise.  It will heal."

He gently touched the bruising area of her face.  "Does it hurt?"

"Only when I smile." she chuckled.

Keith suddenly found himself impulsively pulling her closer to himself.  "Oh Princess, I'm so sorry.  I should have never left you behind.  You begged me not to, and I didn't listen."

"Well, you did what you thought was best.  And frankly, I thought it was best too, even though I wouldn't admit it.  It wasn't until Anserrot took control away from the King, did I start to worry for my own safety.  That's why I called you." Allura said, clasping her arms
behind Keith's back.

"If I'd lost you..." Keith said, lamenting what might have happened.

"But you didn't." she whispered quietly.  "I'm still here."

"I know." he sighed, holding her in his arms.  He looked up to the sky, seeing Green Lion blast off into the air.  "We'd better get going."

"Yes," she sighed. "Can we pick this up later?"

"Sure." He said quietly, still holding her, not wishing to let her go, but knowing he had to.

They separated.  Grabbing onto her hand, Keith ran with Allura to the Black Lion, parked only a short distance away from them.

Once inside, Allura strapped herself in the passenger's chair just behind Keith's command chair.

Keith inserted the Black Lion's key,
making the lion roar to life.

"Come on, big cat!" Keith said
wryly. "We've still got work
to do!"

The lion lifted off into the air...
soaring upward to join its
companions.

And the power drain continued...



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