"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 22
Voltron's Final Battle?

Black Lion arrived just in time to see Blue Lion take a nasty hit from the Mega-Robeast. Keith heard Allura gasp behind him.  He quickly turned around.

"Are you okay?" he asked with concern.

"My Blue Lion...and poor Sven!" she said sadly.  "That Robeast is so monstrous.  How can we ever defeat it?"

Keith turned his head back around. "Don't worry, Princess.  We'll figure something out!"

Red Lion flew around to distract the Robeast so that Blue Lion could get balanced out.  Lance let loose a round of ammo as he passed by the monster. Frustrated, he called over to Black Lion through the COM...

"Okay, I'm getting real tired of this cat and mouse game!" he said angrily. "Let's waste this Robeast!"

"I agree!" Hunk shouted. "I'm tired of being on defense!  Time for some offense!"

Keith nodded in Black Lion.  "Okay... Pidge said you guys had a plan.  Let's hear it!"

Sven's image came up over the ultra-wave.  "Keit... we've got to form Voltron once again! I have an idea!"

"Shoot, Sven!" Keith encouraged.  "What's the plan?"

Blue Lion maneuvered once again away from the Robeast's grasp.  "If we form Blazing Sword, and redirect all of our energy to it, we can fire a blazing beam out of it, right at dat Robeast!" Sven replied.

"Will it be strong enough to destroy the Robeast?" Keith asked, flying left to dodge the monster's clutches.

"It should be..." Sven replied.

"Should be, isn't good enough!" Keith said sternly.  "We have to be sure!  If we redirect all power, we'll exhaust Voltron's reserve energy.  Once that happens, we can't recharge!"

"Then, does that mean we'll be trapped here on Surbain?" Hunk asked, puzzled by the suggestion.  "And we'll have to hitch a ride home some other way, and leave the lions here?"

"That's what it means, big guy." Pidge replied.  "If we tap out Voltron's reserve batteries, then we won't have enough power for the return trip to Arus.  Maybe not even re-entry to Surbain."

Keith looked as his power gages again.  "And Black Lion is already on reserve energy.  My main power cells were tapped out when Lotor captured me.  I made it worse when I went down to rescue Allura."

"Then we can't do it!" Lance shouted.  "I'm not leaving Red Lion here for Lotor to scavenge!"

"We have to try, there's no alternative!  If we don't, that Robeast will destroy Planet Arus, Planet Surbain, and us!  We have to risk it!" Keith said.  "Pidge, analyze it...do we have enough power to destroy the Robeast by redirecting all of our remaining energy to Blazing Sword, even with Black Lion's reduced energy?"

"Checking..." Pidge said.

He called up the on-board computer to feed the information into it.  He fed every variable and calculation he could think of...and awaited for an answer.  The screen suddenly beeped and began to flash.

Pidge smiled.  "Yes!  According to my calculations, we will have enough power to destroy it! But then, we sacrifice getting home with Voltron.  We can't do both."

"So, in affect, what you're saying is, if we choose to save this planet, we don't have a prayer to return to Arus with the lions, right?" Hunk summarized.  "Is that it?"

"That's about it, Big Guy.  We will eventually find transport back, but not right away.  Not for several months, perhaps.  These people are poor.  Making the trip to Arus to get us was a feat in itself.  For them to find a way to get us back there will take some time to do." Pidge confirmed.

"We could call Galaxy Garrison, and arrange a ride back to Arus," Allura suggested.

"Yeah, but without the robot lions!" Hunk said again.  "The Alliance doesn't have enough manpower to tow all this weight, all that distance, back to Arus! Voltron will be finished, right here...right now."

"Well, Skipper...it's up to you.  Do we stay and fight, or save Voltron and head back to Arus?" Pidge asked the Voltron Commander.

The COM became silent as everyone waited for Keith to make the decision. Keith looked down at the planet surface.

He thought for a moment...

Finally, after a long, deep intake of breath, and a slow exhale, he announced his decision to everyone.

"We came here to save this planet
from Zarkon and Lotor, and even
though we were brought here, mostly
against our will, we have a duty to
fight and protect defenseless planets
from the forces of Doom.  We knew
that there was a risk involved when
we came.  Even though we're here under
protest, we're here.  Our mission and
our duty is to protect the weak from evil. 
That's what we vowed to do.  Voltron is the defender of the universe...not just the defender of Planet Arus, or the Azure Quadrant.  I don't really see any alternative, team.  We have to sacrifice our return home with Voltron, for the safety of this planet... and the galaxy.  If we allow this Robeast to survive, he'll destroy half the quadrant in a week...maybe less. Opinions?"

In Blue Lion, Sven heard the words, affirming his plan.  His heart was saddened...

"Romelle," Sven thought sadly. "I am sorry, Romelle.  It looks like it will be a little longer before I can return to you, my love."

Several months time, perhaps.

After that, he jettisoned the thought from his mind, resolving that this was the only way.

"I'm wit you, Keit!" Sven announced.

"Me too!" Pidge added.

"Count me in, Skipper!" Hunk also said.

"Let's get this over with," Lance sighed reluctantly, but agreeing nevertheless.

Allura was the only one who hadn't spoken her peace yet.  Keith leaned back and addressed the quiet Princess. "Well, you're part of this team.  What do you think?" he asked her.

She sighed. "We have no choice, Keith.  But, without Voltron, I'm afraid Arus and the rest of the galaxy is doomed.  Lotor will regroup at some point.  And when he does...we'll be defenseless to stop it."

"Yeah, I had thought about that, too.  But if we don't destroy this Robeast here and now, there might not be any Voltron left to protect anything, anyway." Keith reasoned. "Better to make the sacrifice now...rather than not get the chance to do it ever. No guaranty that
we'd escape death...even if we turned tail and run."

"You're right, Keith," she sighed once again. "We have to destroy this thing, once and for all."

Keith addressed the team entirely, "This is it, team.  Prepare to form Voltron!"

He reached over to his console, and activated the Voltron sequence.

"Activate interlocks... dyno-therms connected... Infra-cells up..." and he silently waited for the five-point star to flash all of the Lion colors in sequence. "Mega-thrusters are go!"


"GO VOLTRON!" everyone shouted.


Once again, the lion ships united to form mighty Voltron... for what appeared to be the last time.

Keith sighed again. "Once this is done, gang, we have to deactivate and disassemble Voltron. We'll have to land on Surbain as lions.  We stand a better chance of survival that way."

"You mean, the lions will be useless?" Hunk asked.  "We could get killed while landing?"

"Check!" Pidge shouted. "If we don't do it just right, we do.  It'll be just like flight simulations back at the academy."

"I'm getting tingly..." Hunk added
with a shiver in his tone.

"Well, put your tingles aside for now!"
Keith hollered. "We have to concentrate!
We're going to have no power left when
this is over!  Each of you are going to
have to manually plot a course for the
Palace... and... hope for the best in terms
of landing."

"Oh great..." Lance mumbled.
"So, we could very well get ourselves
killed doing this."

"Dat's about the size of it, Lance." Sven added.  "We've no time to belly ache.  We have to move, now!"

Keith sighed loudly once again, and Allura could feel his heart breaking.

It was much the same as her own.  She sat quietly behind him, thinking about never using Voltron again... thinking about never being able to go home again with Voltron.

With her Blue Lion...

She closed her eyesà "Please, let everyone one of us make it out of this, alive..." she silently prayed before hearing Keith's voice again.

"Form Blazing Sword!" Keith shouted the
command.

The Red and Green Lions came together
with a bang. A bright glowing beam of energy
appeared between them as they separated.
As the beam disappeared, Green Lion was
holding Blazing Sword in its mouth,
preparing to strike the Robeast.

"Pidge, redirect all power to Blazing Sword!"
Keith commanded.

Pidge quickly followed the order, his hands dancing across Green Lion's control panel.  When he had completed the redirection, he notified Keith.

"It's done, Keith.  All of Voltron's power is at your command." Keith sighed again.  "Let's... hope this works..." he said quietly.

"Keith, look!" Allura shouted from behind him.  He turned to her, seeing her pointing toward his front monitor.

Keith quickly turned back to see the Robeast rapidly approaching them in attack mode.

"Hold on everyone..." Keith said calmly. "Firing Blazing Sword energy...NOW!"

He reached down and pushed a button on his instrument panel.

Outside, Blazing Sword began to light up like a lightning rod.  Green Lion pointed the sword in the direction of the charging Robeast.

The lights inside the cockpits of the lions were flashing on and off rapidly, as all of the energy began to build up to Blazing Sword.

Suddenly, the swelling light from Blazing Sword turned into a giant energy beam, shooting straight out of the tip of the sword, directly impacting the attacking Robeast, halting it in its tracks.

The Robeast began to shake, and its form began to twist under the pressure of the energy beam.

"I...can't... hold...it!" Keith shouted, trying to keep Voltron in position as the beam operated. "I'm... losing power!"

"Me too!" Pidge screamed.

"We've got to hold on!" Sven shouted.

Lance had his eyes closed tightly.  He opened them when he heard an explosion, coming from his console.  He looked up at the beam impacting the Robeast, and noticed the affect it was having on it.

"Guys!" Lance shouted. "Look!  The Robeast is twisting apart!"

"Hold on, everyone!" Keith shouted.  "I'm shooting our last bit of energy at that thing, in one concentrated blast!"

The beam suddenly intensified, and as it did, the Robeast began to shake more violently. Small explosions began to take place on the Robeast.

"Get ready, team!" Keith warned, his finger ready to deactivate the Voltron sequence. "Brace for explosion!"

With a mighty force, the Robeast exploded, sending debris hurling through space.  The force of the explosion sent Voltron tumbling helplessly out of control toward the planet.

Keith deactivated the sequence, and the lions immediately flew apparent, each continuing to tumble helplessly toward Surbain.

"We're out of power!" Keith shouted.  "Navigate yourselves to the planet surface!  Try to get as close to the Palace as possible!  And whatever you do, don't leave your lion in the heat of day!  You'll risk exposure!"

"Right!" shouted Lance.

"Check, Chief!" Hunk replied.

"Got it!" Sven also shouted.

"Gottcha!" Pidge shouted finally.

"Good luck, everyone!" Keith said as
he terminated the COM link.  He
turned around before grabbing his
controls. "Hang on, Princess.
This is it!"

"I'm ready!" she said bravely.

Keith huffed as he grabbed his controls,
attempting to gain control of the falling, powerless robot lion.

"Come on, baby..." he grunted, struggling with the controls, attempting to level out.  "Come on!  Work with me here!"

Allura gripped the sides of her chair, bracing herself, as she began to feel the ride starting to turn violently bumpy.

Black Lion entered the outer most layers of the planet's atmosphere. Keith had minimal power remaining, enough to activate forward shields, attempting to protect himself and the Princess from burning up in the descent.

The lion began to jolt around violently, causing Allura to begin screaming involuntarily.  Keith too, uttered out cries of fear, as he attempted to point the Black Lion toward the Palace.

"Keith!" Allura shouted. "I'm frightened!"

"Me too, Allura!" Keith shouted back.  "Just hang on!"

"We're going to die, aren't we?" she questioned, fear ladling her voice.

"No, we're not!" Keith shouted again, still attempting to level off his lion.  He looked to his left and then to his right.

He saw out of his side monitors Blue, Green, Yellow and Red Lions...all trying to do the same thing he was doing.

"Come on, Black Lion!" Keith called out in the cockpit. "You can do this!"

As if the lion heard him, it finally leveled off. Black Lion sailed downward, but now, instead of diving straight down to the ground, Keith was now gliding with Black Lion to the ground. But no matter what he did, he still was going to crash...abruptly.

All of the lions would.

Nearing the ground, Keith activated his safety harness bar.  The passenger seat bar also activated, flipping over Allura's head.

"Grab the bar and pull it over top of you... quickly Princess!" Keith said frantically, as he grabbed his own and locked it into place.

Allura pulled hers down as well, locking it in place over top of her.

Keith's eyes grew wide with fear as the ground grew ever closer. "Get ready, Princess!" Keith warned.

"I'm ready!" Allura replied, hanging on to the bar in front of her body.  She suddenly chose to close her eyes for the remainder of the way.

Black Lion's descent accelerated, now in free-fall.  Keith gripped tightly to the arms of his command chair... completely out of control of the situation, and praying that they would survive. They would land at least a mile from the Palace by his estimation.

"If only I could navigate...we'd be closer to the Palace!  But crashing this far out..." Keith thought to himself, trying to review what steps he had taken so far, to see if he had left anything out that could still be done.

The other lions fell out of his sight.

"This was a good idea..." Keith snorted to himself. "If we survive this, it will be a miracle."

The ground was almost upon them. Keith closed his eyes... not willing to see what could be the end.

One final command to give:

"Allura, if you survive and I don't..." he began

"Don't say that, Keith!" Allura shouted, her voice thick with tears and fear.  "You will make it! We both will!"

"If I don't make it, promise me you'll try to survive!" he finished his sentence. The ground was fast approaching... only a few more seconds....

"PROMISE ME, ALLURA!" Keith hollered at the top of his voice. "HURRY! PRINCESS...
PROMISE ME YOU'LL TRY!"

Allura was frightened by his scream. "YES!" she screamed reluctantly. "I PROMISE!"

Black Lion crashed with full force to the surface of the planet, taking two bounces and then scraping the ground, before finally, coming to an abrupt halt.

Inside, Allura was held in place by her harness, but knocked unconscious by the impact.

Keith was also held into place for the majority of the crash, but his command chair suddenly shifted, releasing the bar.  His body flung forward into the control panel, crushing his ribcage.

He shouted in agony before he too, fell unconscious.

Black Lion lay resting like a sleeping giant on the ground nearly half a mile from the Palace.

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

Elsewhere, Blue Lion and Green Lion had
crashed only a few hundred feet from the
Palace grounds.  Sven and Pidge were both
unconscious
from the impact.

And Red and Yellow Lions had both come
to rest in some nearby foothills, a quarter
of a mile away from the Palace. Lance was
knocked out too.

Hunk was still conscious, but sore.  His harness was stuck around him and the release lever was broken off.  Unable to get free, he sat quietly.

When the realization of the event hit him, he suddenly and uncontrollably broke down in tears... thankful he was still alive.

The five depleted robot lions lay baking in the hot Surbainian sun, alone and defenseless.

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