"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.

Enjoy!


Chapter 6
Let the Hunt Begin!

After the scrumptious meal had been consumed, the mayor once again rose to his feet, publicly thanking the women of the village for their hard work on the feast, and proclaiming how delicious it was.

He then leaned down to Allura.

"Shall we begin the hunt?" the mayor asked. "The children are quite anxious!"

"Oh yes!" Allura replied then rose to her feet to address the crowd.

As she once again gave thanks and praise to all of those who prepared the meal, she then addressed the children in the room

"Who's ready for the hunt?" she asked joyfully, already knowing the answer.

A resounding shout came up from all of the youngsters in the room.

Allura smiled. "Well then, let's not waste any time!  We need to work off this meal...so there's no time to be lazy!  I would like all of the children to met me outside at the edge of the forest!"

The children barely heard the words escape from her mouth when they shuffled their chairs, trying to scramble out of hall, and head for the forest.  Even the older children went to join in the hunt.

Kentell led the way, followed by Jacqie, Angeline, Rayna, and Brian.  Kentell knew what kind of stuff might be out there in hiding, and he wanted to be part of those finding it.

Allura rose from her seat, and started down the steps, when she felt an arm restricting her movements.

She turned and saw Keith.  One look into his eyes told her that he was nervous about this part of the event.  She quickly quieted his fears.

"It'll be fine, Keith.  You three just watch over the village people." she said.

"I think one of us should be in the forest with you, Allura." Keith replied.

"Fine..." Allura sighed, tired of fighting with him about his concerns of security.

Keith turned to Pidge. "You accompany the Princess and the children."

"Aye, aye, Commander!" Pidge replied.

The four members of the Voltron Force exited the hall with Mayor Sonnet at Allura's side.

The children were waiting in the distance...the sound of laughter and joyfulness could be heard throughout the village as the children giggled and played, awaiting the arrival of the Princess to begin the hunt.

Allura gathered the adults around with the children and explained the tradition of the hunt.

"My father, King Alfor, thought that if children were given a sense of adventure seeking, then life for them meant something.  The hunt, although meant to be fun and exciting, is also a sort of adventure ...a treasure hunt if you will. 
Only the bravest will accompany me into
the forest! And by glancing at all of you, I can
tell that there appears to be several adventure
seekers here with us today! Therefore, I shall
lead the children into the forest, and when
I give the word, they may begin seeking
their treasures.  There is treasure enough
for each child hidden in the forest."

The children laughed and jumped around...
excited about the hunt.  Allura didn't want to
keep them waiting, and so she turned to
children...

"Are you ready?" she asked them.

"YEAH!" the mighty shout broke forth.

Keith leaned into Pidge. "Keep an eye out for Allura, got it?"

"Got it, Keith." Pidge replied, patting gently on his blaster at his side.

"At the first sign of trouble, alert us.  Hunk and I will be standing by with the villagers." Keith said.

Hunk leaned into Keith. "What are you worried about?  Everything's going to be fine."

"I have a gut feeling...and I always trust my gut." Keith replied. "Just stay alert."

Hunk shrugged his shoulders, believing Keith to have gone off the deep end this time.  He almost wished it had been him to get the nod to go into the forest with the Princess.  Then he could look for the hidden stuff with the rest of the kids.

"Alright children!" Allura shouted above the tremendous noise. "If you're all ready, let's head into the forest!  But no one is look for anything until we get to a designated spot.  That will be home base.  You will have half an hour to search."

The children followed Allura into the forest, and Pidge followed the kids.

Keith watched them until they disappeared from sight.  He then opened a COM link to Castle Control.

"Castle Control...this is Keith.  Do you read me Lance?"

"Castle Control here, this is Lance.  How's it going, Keith?"

"Lance, anything in the skies above Arus?"

"Well, nothing that I can see visually, but Coran and I had noticed within the last few minutes, a kind of...I don't know...shifting of space.  Like as if something was out there, but not really." Lance replied.

"Cloaked maybe?" Keith asked, now starting to scan the skies with his eyes.

"I don't know.  I don't want to say that, because I'm not sure.  But it might be a shrouding device.  Better stay on guard, Keith.  Where's the Princess?"

"She in the forest with the children. Pidge is with her.  Hunk and I are out here with the villagers.  See if you can boost your scanners to penetrate that space shift.  I want to know if it's a ship under cloak." Keith replied.

"I'll keep you posted." Lance replied.

"Good.  I want 10 minute updates for now, until the Princess is back out of the forest."

"Roger that, Commander." Lance replied.

"Keith out."

Keith terminated the link and held his breath.  Then he leaned over to Hunk. "We may have trouble brewing...keep sharp."

"Right..." Hunk replied quietly, his hand on his blaster.
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