"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 23
Survival

Sven returned to consciousness about an hour after crashing in Blue Lion.  He was sweating beneath his helmet; that due to the hot sun beating down on Blue Lion unmercifully.

He slowly reached up and removed his lion helmet, and dropped it to the floor.  Opening up the COM, he called for anyone of the team that could hear his transmission...

"Keit, Lance, Hunk, Pidge, Princess..." he called weakly. "Iz anyone out dere?"

"This is Hunk!  Sven...thank God you're okay!" Hunk's voice echoed over the COM.

"Hunk, have you been able to reach anyone elze?" Sven asked, struggling to push up his harness, manually.

"No, I can't reach anyone!  I've been calling for awhile now!  You're the first person that I've heard from!" Hunk replied.

"Are you hurt?" Sven asked him.

"No, but this stupid harness has me trapped!  It's broken and I can't lift it off of me!" Hunk replied painfully. "And I'm baking in here like a pig on an open fire!"

"Iz your homing beacon still functional?" Sven asked, now getting out of his chair.

"Yeah, but...you heard Keith...don't get out in the Surbainian sun!  You'll roast out there!" Hunk said, his voice elevating with concern.

"I'll die in here too," Sven said. "Da temperature iz nearly 120 degrees in here.  If I stay here, I'll dehydrate!"

"I know," Hunk replied. "I'm feeling the heat myself."

"Turn on your homing beacon.  I'll try to find you using my mini computer." Sven said, walking to the back of his Lion to grab a jetpack.  "Just stay calm, and keep trying to reach the others! Sven out."

The communication terminated. Hunk grimaced

"Stay calm, he says..." Hunk whined.  "I wish he could tell me how!  I'm trapped and the rest of my buddies aren't answering!"

The COM suddenly came alive again. "Mayday, mayday...this is Red Lion...anyone out there?"

"Lance!" Hunk shouted. "It's me...Hunk! Are you alright?"

"My head...is...absolutely going to blow off of my shoulders!" Lance slurred.  "But...I'm alive, I guess.  Unless this is hell, and if it is, don't tell me."

"No, you idiot, it's not hell!" Hunk replied.

"Well, it sure is hot enough in here to be hell!" Lance spat back. "Someone want to turn on the air conditioners around here?"

"Sven is on his way..." Hunk interrupted Lance's groaning.

"What about Keith, Pidge and the Princess?  Anyone heard from them yet?" Lance questioned.

"Nope.  Can't reach them yet." Hunk said.  "I'm trapped in the Lion harness.  The lever is busted, and I can't get out of here. Sven is on his way to help me."

"I'm going to try to find Allura, Pidge and Keith.  They could be in serious condition." Lance said firmly.

"The sun will bake you, Lance!  Keith said to stay out of the sun!" Hunk shouted.

"When have you ever known me to obey a direct order, without bending it a bit?" Lance said, standing to his feet in Red Lion.  "I can't just sit around here, waiting for the sun to go down. That's not for another hour yet.  And once it does, the temperature is going to take a nose dive!"

"Just be careful, Lance!" Hunk advised.  "I've still got a tingly feeling about this!"

"Yeah, yeah.  Thanks for the tingly warning." Lance said sarcastically. "Don't worry, I'll keep in touch."

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

Allura was finally coming around in Black Lion.  She moaned softly as she lifted her chin up.

"Keith," she called out.  "Keith are you alright?"

When he didn't answer her, she called out more franticly.  "Keith!  Keith...can you hear me? Answer me!"

Still no answer... and she could see that he was slumped over in his chair.

Then she noticed it... the harness...it had come loose, and the chair was jarred slightly, tilted to the left, just a bit.

"Oh no..." she said out loud, now struggling to release the harness that was holding her in the chair.

It finally popped up, and she quickly pushed it over her head, then unbuckled herself from the safety of the chair.  Grabbing the bottom of her gown, she quickly stood up in the chair and rushed over to Keith's side.  His body was flung over the console.

"KEITH!" she screamed in a panic.

She reached over and took his pulse from this carotid artery.  Allura sighed a breath of relief to find he was still alive.

She gently shook him.  "Keith, Keith, its Allura!  Wake up, please!" she pleaded.

Slowly, Keith began to come around.  His began shifting rapidly beneath his closed eyelids.  But the pain he suddenly felt on his left side was so incredible, that he immediately cried out.  The
sudden burst of energy caused Allura to jump backward; suddenly startled by his outburst.

"Oh Keith," she said as she knelt down beside him.  "You're hurt...aren't you?"

His face grimaced in pain as he nodded his head.  "I...I...think...some of my... ribs are... broken." he managed to say in between breaths.

"Oh my goodness..." she gasped. "What can I do for you?" she gently laid her hand on his arm.

"Nothing...we have...to wait...for help." he gasped.

"No, we can't do that!" Allura objected.  "What if you're bleeding inside?  You'll die without medical attention!"

"No Princess!" Keith insisted.  "Stay here!  That's...an order!"

"I'm sorry, Keith, but this is one order I can't obey." she insisted.

Rising to her feet, she ran toward the back of Black Lion.  Keith struggled to push himself in an upright position, groaning painfully as he did.  Once there, he struggled to get her attention, determined that she wasn't leaving without him.

"Princess, take me...with you!" he coughed.

"You're hurt!" she shouted. "You shouldn't be moving around!"

"I'm...not letting ...you go...out there...by yours-s-self!" he sternly said.  "Help me...to my feet!"

"But Keith..." she protested weakly.

"Allura...just do it, please." Keith said again. "Don't argue with me!"

She walked back over to the chair and helped him up, allowing his full body weight to rest on her.  She struggled to keep him balanced.

He groaned with pain as he rose to his feet.  Lifting his hand up in front of him, signaling her to stop for a moment, he struggled to breathe.  Then, he turned carefully toward her.

"Princess...get me...a jetpack. Hurry..." he struggled.

"Right away!" she replied.

She brought him a jetpack, and he reached his arms back carefully, motioning her to put it on him.  Reluctantly, moved around behind him, and lifted the jet gently on his back. The weight was not much, but Keith found it nearly unbearable.  He winced once as she slipped it into place on his back.

She then reached around to his front and buckled it on him gently.  She then put one on herself.

"Princess," Keith gasped.  "The sun...will be...down shortly.  We can leave in...a few minutes..."

"I understand, Keith." she said as she reached her hand up to gently stroke his cheek.  "You don't have to be brave for me.  If you need to cry out, then cry out. I'll understand."

He smiled weakly at her.  "Let's just...get going."

Allura helped Keith to move to the cockpit exit.

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

Pidge had checked in with Hunk, as he finally came to.  Everyone converged onto Yellow Lion, to help Sven get Hunk out of the chair.

A bit of struggling...and Hunk was free once again.

Once that was done, they stood inside Yellow Lion's cockpit, contemplating their next course of action.

Keith and the Princess were the only ones who hadn't checked in yet.

"Pidge," Lance asked, leaning over Pidge's shoulder.  "Can you get a fix on Black Lion's position?"

"No, but I have a fix on two warm-bodied humanoids life-forces... moving erratically away from this direction." Pidge replied.

"Keith and Allura?" Sven asked.

"It's got to be them!" Lance shouted.

"But why are they moving away from the Palace?" Hunk asked.

"They may be flying blind, without computer sensors." Pidge deducted.

"Okay, let's move out and find them!" Lance commanded.  "We'll split up into two groups. Just in case the two of them get separated, we can converge on both of them."

"Right!" Hunk shouted.  "But we had better hurry.  Keith's suit will protect him, but Allura has only her gown on.  She'll freeze to death out there, now that the sun is setting!"

"Den we had better hurry it up and find dem!" Sven said, rushing out the door.  "Pidge, you come wit me!"

"And Hunk...you're with me!" Lance waved to him, signaling him to follow.


The four men flew out of the Yellow Lion...just as the sun was setting.

The temperature was beginning to drop rapidly.

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

Keith and the Princess jetted across the rugged terrain.

Keith's mini computer was damaged in the crash, and was useless in helping them establish direction.  Not knowing the land didn't seem to help matters either.

And the temperature was beginning to fall at a fast rate, now that the sun had set.

The air on Allura's face began to chill her.  Her gown offered her very little protection from the Surbainian elements.  Keith glanced over to her, checking to see if she was okay, forgetting about his own pain.  He could see she was starting to get cold.

"Princess..." Keith called out.  "We've got to find shelter for the night."

"Where can we go?" she shivered.

Looking toward the mountain ranges, Keith formulated an idea.  "That way!" he pointed toward the mountains. "If we can find a cave or something..."

"Let's hurry!" she gasped, her voice shivering and her teeth were chattering.  "I'm freezing out here!"

"Okay," Keith said, taking the lead. "Follow me!"
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