"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 15
The Enemy Now Within

The word spread rapidly through all of the villages and towns around the Castle of Lions... Lotor and his forces of Doom had finally secured the capture of Planet Arus.

One village in particular was very distraught over the news, and wondered further if their missing children would be returned to them unharmed.

Capri's mayor had just finished a village meeting in the banquet facility, and the people were just beginning to exit to head for their homes.

Many adults clung frantically to their children...the very children that had escaped capture.  Other women cried uncontrollably, their arms empty, denied the right to hold their children because Prince Lotor was holding them captive, instead.

And what of the Princess?

The evil Prince of Doom had also taken prisoner Arus's only surviving monarch, and it was no secret to many that Lotor harbored a dangerous obsession for her.

Still, Mayor Sonnet preached hope to his people, reciting endless stories of Arus's troubled past and glorious recovery...thanks to the Voltron Force.

But even with the continued encouragement, there was a sense of great despair, like nothing they'd ever experienced before.

For even with the reminder of the great achievements of their robot defender, Voltron, the people knew that two of the pilots were in Lotor's sway.  Without five pilots, there was no Voltron.

Mayor Sonnet stood alone outside of the village banquet hall, recalling that only a day ago, this place was filled with laughter and joy.

Now, there was only misery and sadness in its place.

He clasped his hands together, and offered up a simple prayer...


"Please God, protect our children who are in danger.  And place a hand of protection on our dear Princess Allura, and on Commander Hunter.  Please,somehow, let this all turn out alright."


He bowed his head solemnly before walking home.

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

Coran stood outside of the Castle gates, attended by Lance, Hunk and Pidge.  Standing on the Castle grounds were the hundreds of palace guards.  They had been ordered to lay down their arms when Lotor arrived with his captives.

High above their heads, the Arusian Flag had been lowered and removed.  In its place, was a simple white flag of surrender...raised to half-staff.

Arus was still...waiting for whatever fate befell it.

Lotor's security detail had already come, and had now successfully taken over the Castle of Lions.  Now, everyone awaited Lotor's arrival, accompanied by his hostages.

The air shifted suddenly, and a brightly began to yield the images of a group of figures, now beginning to materialize on the Castle grounds, just to the left of the guards.  The brightly colored shapes took form and became recognizable.

The smaller children were huddled around Princess Allura, and she grabbed as many to her as she could. The older children stood near to the smaller ones, and Keith was standing next to the smaller children as well, one little girl hoisted up into his arms.

Lance impulsively took a step forward, but was suddenly restrained by Coran's arm.  A fierce glance from the Castle Advisor warned Lance to keep his place.  Lance immediately, but reluctantly, stepped backward once again, resuming his position.

Lotor stood behind Princess Allura, his laser sword drawn and pointed toward her.

The Doom Soldiers, armed with plasma blasters, stood behind all of them, their blasters pointing at the heads of the hostages from Arus, poised for action if needed.

Lotor suddenly stepped forward from the crowd and called out to Coran. "Order your men to disarm!"

The Castle guards looked to Coran for a command.  Allura looked at Coran too, hoping he would not order them to disarm, but knowing in her heart that he would...and rightly so.  She would do the same if faced with the same no-win situation.

Coran nodded to the Captain of the Guards, and loudly gave the order...
"You are to disarm immediately!  Lay aside your weapons!"

One by one, the Castle guards threw down their blaster rifles, plasma guns, and laser swords.  The ground at their feet was soon cluttered with weaponry.

Lotor immediately signaled for some of his robot warriors to pick up the fallen weapons and gather then in a pile.

He then turned to the stately advisor. "Order the Voltron Force to their knees...now!"

"Now... wait just a minute!"
Hunk shouted angrily.
"Just who do you think you're
talking to?"

"I'm not bowing to you, Lotor!"
Lance also shouted. 

Lotor swung back around and without
warning, grabbed Allura by her throat. 
Keith shifted his weight, quickly
lowering the child he had been holding
to the ground and turning to face off
with Lotor.

Lotor squeezed the
throat of the Princess,
and she cried out in pain.  "Now then," Lotor said in a low, angry voice. "Shall we try this again? I order the Voltron Force to their knees...now!"

Hunk shifted his weight, preparing to charge impulsively at the half-metal demon in front of him.

But then...he stopped suddenly,
and gasped out loud.  Pidge and
Lance did likewise... as they
observed their leader suddenly
falling to his knees.

Keith's eyes met those of his team,
and his gaze told them to follow
his example...for Allura's sake.

She cried out again, as Lotor shook
the arm that he held her throat
by.  The children began crying all
around her.

Lance grunted, and dropped to his knees as well, followed by Pidge.  Hunk hesitated for moment, then finally knelt down as well.

Lotor smiled, "Now...that's much better!" he said, as he turned to Keith. "I commend you on how well disciplined your team is, Keith!"

"You've got what you asked for,"
Keith said in a low, stern voice.
"Release the Princess!"

Lotor paused, and then smiled. "What's the magic word?" Lotor mused, suddenly emotionally charged by the power he now possessed over his foe.

Keith's teeth gritted together.
Closing his eyes, he growled out the
word Lotor was waiting to hear...

"Please!"

"Very good, Commander Keith!" Lotor grinned.

Then, Lotor shoved Allura down to the ground next to Keith, taking a few children down with her.  She yelped as she fell to the ground, clutching at her neck.  Keith instinctively reached for her.

"Leave her!" Lotor hollered. "Leave her, or one of these little roaches gets it next!"

Keith's face beamed with anger, as he reluctantly retracted his assistance to the Princess.

Lotor shot him an evil smile. "Good!  You're learning!" Lotor then addressed the entire group of people. 

"Hear me, people of Arus!  I am your new master!  Obey me, and live in peace.  Resist me, and the rebellion you forge upon me shall be revisited to you tenfold!  And your Princess shall feel my wrath in each case!  So... I suggest you behave yourselves...for her sake!"

Lotor's robot arm swept down and clutched Allura by her wrist, yanking her back up to her feet.  She held her tongue, refusing to allow Lotor to know that he was hurting her.

Lotor pulled her closely to him. "Come, my darling Allura!  Show me this marvelous castle of yours!  I'm just dying to see it!"

The evil Prince began shoving children out of his way with his good hand, as he made his way toward where Lance, Hunk and Pidge knelt, and where Coran still stood.  As Lotor reached the elder, he shoved him out of the way too, sending him sprawling to the ground.

"No Lotor!" Allura shrieked, as she tried desperately to reach her advisor, and her friend.

"You maniac!" Lance shouted. "He's done nothing to you!"

"Nothing... except to thwart my every plan to dominate this universe!  Nothing... except keep the one thing from me that I've always wanted... Planet Arus!" Lotor grunted, as he tugged at Allura's wrist. "And you, dear Princess Allura, as my wife!  And now...I have them all in my very grasp!"

"You'll never have me!" Allura cried out angrily. "I'll never submit myself to you!"

"Silence!" Lotor shouted angrily as he jerked her hard by her wrist, snapping her neck forward with brute force.

Allura struggled against him. "Release me at once, you...you monster!"

"I said, SILENCE!" Lotor screamed.

He reached around with his good hand and slapped Princess Allura hard in the face. Her head flung backward as the blunt force of the hit caused a yelp to escape her.

Hunk and Lance were rising to their feet almost immediately....

But...someone else beat them to it...

"Leave her alone!" Keith shouted, rising to his feet, suddenly finding he couldn't stand by and watch her be abused any further.  He stood face forward toward Lotor in a defensive position.

Lotor turned around and stared at the Voltron Commander. "Ah, my brave young space explorer!  Are you challenging me?"

"You bet I am!  I've seen enough, Lotor!" Keith barked out fiercely. "You want to abuse someone...come and abuse me!"

"A wonderful idea, Commander!" Lotor chuckled. "Say good night!"

Lotor raised his hand, and from behind Keith, a robot soldier raised his blaster rifle to Keith's head.

"Keith!" Allura shouted.

"Watch out!" Pidge cried.

The handle of the robot soldier's
rifle slammed hard into the back of
Keith's head.  Keith's eyes rolled
backward, and he dropped to the
ground unconscious.

Allura screamed, trying to wiggle free from Lotor's grasp. The children began screaming uncontrollably, and were now being restrained by the Doom soldiers.

Lance, Hunk and Pidge immediately rose up to their feet and ran to the aid of their friend and leader.

Lotor smiled, and turned to Allura. "Come...I want to see my new Castle!"

"NO!" Allura screamed again. "Turn me loose!  I must go to him!"

"You are coming with me!" Lotor shouted back, jerking her along like a dog on a leash.

Allura weep bitterly as she was forcibly dragged away from aiding her best friend.  She cried for him. "No!  Keith!  Let me go!  Please, Lotor!  Let me...go!"

He said nothing more, instead continued to drag her to the front gates of the Castle.

Allura screamed one last time behind her...

"Take care of him!" she called out to Lance, Pidge and Hunk concerning Keith.

"We will, Princess!  Don't worry!"
Lance shouted back reassuringly.
"We'll take care of him!"

Allura disappeared through the front doors of the Castle. Coran quickly jogged out to help the Voltron Force.

Lance had rolled Keith over to look at his head, while Pidge, Hunk, and the older children kept the smaller ones occupied.  Robot warriors still surrounded the group.

Coran knelt down to Lance's side. "How is he?" the advisor asked.

"He's got a pretty good size bump on the head..." Lance replied, then shot the Doom soldiers a disgusted frown. "No thanks to you tinheads!"

"Quickly, let's get him inside!" Coran replied.

Coran called for Hunk, and the Yellow Lion pilot quickly lifted the fallen Voltron leader over his right shoulder, beginning to carry him toward the Castle.  Lance and Pidge followed with Coran and the children.

The Doom soldiers followed right behind all of them...right into the Castle.


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