"Where Have All The Children Gone?"

Story by Adele
Story Copyright 2002
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.


Chapter 3
The Announcement Is Made

Capri was buzzing with the news that Princess Allura had decided to resurrect the tradition that was once part of the Festival of Lions during the reign of her father, King Alfor.

A small group of children gathered in the Village Square to joyfully talk about it.   One of them, 14 year-old Kentell, was very excited about the Princess's coming.  He could hardly contain himself.

"I can't believe it!" Kentell cheered. "Princess Allura is coming here!  She's actually coming here to spend the day with us!"

Another child, 13 year-old Jacqie, was thrilled at the possibility that some of the handsome pilots of the Voltron Force would be attending with the Princess.

"Do you think that Commander Keith Hunter will be coming too?" Jacqie asked, blushing slightly. "He's so handsome, and so strong!"

"Maybe," replied Brian, another 13 year-old boy, who was part of the group. "I hope that the pilot of the Green Lion comes too!   He's smart as a whip! I'd love to talk to him!"

"You would, computer geek!" Angeline replied, another 14 year-old girl standing nearby. "Now Lance..wow...he's dreamy!"

"Get back!" Jacqie screeched at Angeline. "Keith's way more handsome then Lance!"

"In your dreams!" Angeline teased with a giggle.

Suddenly, from behind the group of young people came the voice of the village mayor, Daemon Sonnet. "Well, we have a lot of planning to do in the next few days.  Would you kids like to help out?"

A resounding agreement came up from the crowd.  Mayor Sonnet nodded.

"Good! We have welcome signs to hang, wood to gather for the bonfire, and of course, we'll need food preparations.  You girls can help with the food, and you boys can help with the labor."

"This is great!" Kentell shouted. "I'm ready to move a mountain!"

"Me too!" Brian yelled.

"Well then, let's put all of that rare energy to work, shall we?"  Mayor Sonnet replied. "Come on.  I'll show each of you what you can do.  Meanwhile, you girls can join the women in the banquet hall kitchen.  I'm sure there's lots for you do to there."

Angeline reached out and tugged on Jacqie's arm. "Come on!"

The girls ran toward the banquet hall, while the boys followed the stout-looking mayor to where the banners were being made.  Other men of the village had gathered there already, as did many other boys.

All were eager to do what they could to make welcome Princess Allura.

Meanwhile, at the Castle of Lions, Allura had received word, that Pidge and Hunk would be accompanying Keith and herself to Capri tomorrow.

She quickly had arranged for the Castle attendants to take several gifts out to the woods near Capri, and hide them there for the scavenger hunt.

Keith was in the control room, mapping out a plan of security with Lance, who would staying behind to monitor things from Castle Control.

Keith was still not real convinced that Allura was doing the right thing by enacting this old tradition. He was very uneasy about not having any recent information on Lotor's whereabouts, either.

"Relax, Keith!" Lance nudged him in side.
"What could be better then
a day in the sun with your beautiful lady?"

"Lance...not now." Keith murmured.
"Concentrate on what we're here
to do."

"Admit it!  You're in love with her!"
Lance needled his commander
again, referring to Allura.

"I'm going to punch you out
in a minute!  And I'll freely admit that!"
Keith fired back angrily. "Now come on!
We've got to plan this out!  I'm not
leaving the Castle tomorrow without
having everything in order!  And I'm
depending on you to keep a watchful
eye on the skies of Arus!"

"Don't worry!' Lance said, waving
his hand around. "You worry too
much, you know that?  You're going
to get gray way before your time!"

"If you don't start taking things more seriously, you're going to die way before your time!" Keith once again shouted at his second. "The Princess could be at risk!  I don't want any surprises.  Now, come up!  Get serious, Lance!"

"Okay, okay...Geez, what a grouch!" Lance teased.

Later that day, while Allura was putting the final touches on some last minute things in the lounge, Keith entered into the room, and quietly sat next to her on the couch.

"Allura, can I talk to you for a minute?"

"Oh... this isn't a good time, Keith." Allura huffed, busy trying to finish things for tomorrow's visit to Capri.

"Its important, Allura." Keith said firmly, grabbing her attention with the sternness of his voice.

Allura looked up and turned toward him, changing her attitude suddenly. "Alright, Keith.  I'm sorry.  You have my full attention.  Now, what can I do for you?"

Keith sighed, dropping his eyes away from her face.
"Look, I know you're all excited
about this trip to Capri, but I've
got to tell you,...I'm not."

"Why?" Allura asked innocently.
"Oh Keith!  You'll have lots of fun!
I've received word that the children
are very excited about having the
lion ships in their village for the day!"

"It's not that, Allura.  I'm concerned
because I have no intelligence
reports on Lotor's whereabouts.
It makes me uneasy not knowing where
he is!" Keith replied. "We're taking
a big chance doing this.  You do
realize that."

Allura impulsively reached her hand out and cupped the side of his face. "Keith...I can't run from Lotor forever.  I need to do this.  I hope you can understand."

"I do...to a point." Keith said cautiously, still not meeting her gaze. "Its just that...well...I don't want to see you get hurt.  Is that so bad of a reason?"

"I appreciate your concern, Keith." the young Princess smiled. "But I'm sure everything will be fine.  You'll see."

"I hope so, Princess." Keith replied with a half-hearted smile. "I have a bad feeling brewing in my soul."

"Is everything ready, old witch?" Lotor harped.

"Yes Majesty." Hagar replied. "No one suspects we are here on Arus.  The Skull tanks are safely hidden away, and our cloaks on our ships that hover around Arus seem to remain undetected...from everything that I have heard."

"Excellent, Hagar!" Lotor nodded.   His yellow and black eyes shifting back and forth as the two of them lay in wait. "So...Allura is going to resurrect her dead father's customs, eh?  Well, we'll just use that opportunity to our advantage!  Neither she, nor those dolts of the Voltron Force had any idea that we're even here!"

"A perfect setting to nab the Princess, eh, Sire?" Hagar hissed.

"Yes...and this time, I'll have more then just her.  If I'm successful, I'll have the little brats of this puny village as hostages too!  I'll make that old fossil, Coran, in Castle Arus give up the robot lions to me... or else!"

"A perfect plan!" Hagar laughed.

"Yes...perfect!" Lotor hissed.

It was a good thing that Lotor's loyal operatives had provided him with the information that they gathered from Capri concerning Allura's intended visit.  Although he was sure that knowing Commander Keith as he did, he would not allow Princess Allura out and about without armed escort.

Lotor would deal with him later.