"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 19
A Surprise for Lotor

Keith ducked and dodged another thrust of Lotor's laser sword.  The evil Prince had ordered his robot soldiers on standby, insisting that he would be the one to take out the long hated Voltron Commander.

Lotor released a primal scream as he charged at Keith, missing him as he stepped aside at the last moment.  Lotor's sword penetrated only the air.

He turned to Keith,
"Its no use, human!
You can't outrun me forever!"

"I don't intend to, Lotor!
If I can, I'll destroy you,
for what you've done to
Allura and to her planet!"
Keith shouted back.

"Simple words from a
simple man!" Lotor
shouted back. "Come then!
Meet death head on!  You
can at least show the Princess
that you died as a warrior!"

Lotor charged at Keith, leaping into the air, and pointing his sword at Keith's heart. Keith pointed his blaster at the descending Prince of Doom, and fired a round at him.  Lotor easily deflected the blast with his laser blade.

"Foolish human! You're nothing!
I'll show Allura what her mighty
Lion Warrior is truly made of!"
Lotor shouted, as he landed on his
feet, and prepared for a frontal assault.

"Give it a rest, Lotor!" Keith shouted back.
"You'll never defeat the Voltron Force!
Even if you kill me here and now,
someone will rise up and take my place!
Voltron will never die!"

"Perhaps not, but it will give me great
pleasure to see to it that you do die...
here and now!" Lotor screamed as he
dashed forward toward Keith once again,
his laser sword blazing.

Keith moved to leap out to of the way, but instead, lost his footing, having stepped on the pieces of the destroyed keypad.

He stumbled backward, and fell to the ground.

Lotor dashed toward him, the blade once again aimed at Keith's heart.

"I will dig your heart out from your body, and display it as a trophy in my new Throne Room!" Lotor hissed hatefully.

Keith rolled to avoid Lotor's sword, but was struck by the tip of it, tearing at his right forearm that held the blaster.  He instantly cried out in pain, his hand losing the grip of the weapon.

Lotor smiled and let out an evil laugh as he extended his foot and kicked the abandoned blaster out of Keith's grasp.

"You see, Keith!  I am victorious!  And now..."

Lotor's foot came down on top of Keith's chest to hold him in place, as he lifted the sword above his head. "...Say goodbye to this world, former Voltron Commander!"

As the sword began to swing downward, Keith grabbed Lotor's foot, that had been holding him in place to the ground, and with all that was within him, Keith forced Lotor off balance, freeing himself.

Lotor stumbled, but did not fall.

Keith rolled again, attempting to scramble out of the way of the sword's deadly bite.

Lotor followed relentlessly, chopping at the floor and narrowly missing Keith with each stroke.

Keith kept rolling until he finally rolled himself up against the wall...with no place to go next.

Lotor grinned fiendishly. "I've got you now!"

Keith gritted his teeth, angry that he wasn't watching where he was rolling, and disgusted with himself for getting into this position.

Lotor raised the sword slowly above his head once again...

Keith's eyes focused in on his death sentence hovering just above his enemy's head... his mind however, was focused in on something else much more precious... more consuming then death's sway...

A vision of blonde hair
and smiling blue eyes...

a princess...
a dream...

His love...
His life...

"Allura..."

Hs mind repeated her name, as he waited for death to come to him.  If he was going to die here and now, he wanted hers to be the last name on his mind as he breathed his last breath.

"I'm sorry, Allura," Keith's mind called out to her.
"I guess I have to break my promise to you after all..."

Keith closed his eyes and waited for the end...


"LION CLAW!"


Keith's eyes suddenly opened...
and he saw her...Allura... as if she
had walked out of his mind and into reality.
She stood behind Lotor with her family's
ancient Lion Claw... the most powerful object next to the robot lions.

Allura finished the command... "DESTROY THE LASER SWORD!"

A bright blinding light flashed around the Lion Claw. Lotor turned and caught a glimpse of the Princess...standing directly behind him.  The light was so intense, that Lotor had to use one of his hands to shield his eyes.

The Doom soldiers were also blinded.
They had been caught off guard
while watching what they thought,
were the final moments in Commander
Keith's life.  They never saw her appear
on the scene.

The light energy focused in on Lotor's sword, and upon contact, the light shorted out the energy of the laser sword that Lotor had been holding.

The metal conductor blade shattered instantly in Lotor's hands.

Keith ducked to protect his head from the flying debris.

Allura turned to the robot soldiers. "LION CLAW!" she shouted.  "DISINEGRATE THOSE MECHANICAL ROBOTS OF EVIL!"

She pointed the claw at the soldiers, and a much wider-angle beam flashed from it, enveloping the robots.  They began to twist and turn, losing their shape, and finally, disappearing from sight.

Keith scrambled out of Lotor's grasp and toward his blaster.  He grabbed it and shoulder rolled to his feet, joining Allura at her side.

"Lotor!" she commanded.
"I hereby order you to leave
my Castle...and leave Planet Arus!"

"You are ordering me?" Lotor hissed.
"How dare you order me!  I am
your master... you will obey me,
and give me that weapon...now!"

"Leave at once, or be destroyed!"
Allura warned.

"And are you going to just wipe me out of existence with that Lion Claw of yours?" Lotor said coolly. "Do you really wish to destroy someone who admires you very much?"

"Your admiration leaves much to be desired, Lotor!" Allura replied angrily, her Lion Claw still pointed toward her aggressor. "You have hurt my people and my friends long enough!  You and your father have destroyed those that I held dear in my life!  I will not allow you to take any more of the people I love away from me!"

Keith hesitated for a moment, listening to what she had just said.


"I will not allow you to take any more of the people I love away from me!"




"Could she mean... me?" he thought quietly.
He felt a flush coming over
his face, and he fought to control it.


"I will not allow your evil to continue any further on this planet!  Therefore, I will destroy this Castle... and everyone in it, unless you agree to leave immediately!" she demanded.

"I don't believe you, Princess!" Lotor chuckled. "And just how do you intend to do that?"

"I will order the three lions hovering outside of the Castle, to open fire on us.  Defenseless, the Castle will be destroyed under the fire power of the robot lions!  And you will have gained
nothing!" she replied, her eyes angry and determined.

"You wouldn't dare!" Lotor scoffed. "Why destroy the very Castle your father had built?"

"He understands, I'm sure." Allura replied with a serious tone. "What is your answer, Prince Lotor?"

"I dare you!" he challenged.

Allura looked to Keith. "Give the order, Commander."

Keith paused for a moment, but without a word, he quickly lifted his wrist and activated his COM link.

"Yellow Lion, Green Lion, Red Lion... this is Commander Keith.  Do you read me?  Over..."

The next voice heard belonged to Lance. "Voltron Leader...this is Red Lion responding.  I read you! Over..."

Keith swallowed hard as he began to give the order.

"Red Lion... you and the other lions are hereby ordered to open fire on the Castle of
Lions.  Enact Emergency Procedure Alpha-One.  Do you copy?  Over..."

A long pause came over the COM.  Keith sighed anxiously before repeating his command.

"I repeat... Red Lion... you are hereby ordered to open fire on the Castle of Lions!  Emergency Procedure Alpha-One. Respond...over..."

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

Inside Red Lion, Lance was
shaking his head.
"What's he doing?"

Pidge's voice came over the
ship-to-ship COM. "That's the order to
destroy the Castle! Why is Keith
giving that order?"

"Is he crazy?" Hunk replied angrily.
"Doesn't he know that he'll be
killed, along with everyone else in the Castle?"




"I repeat...Red Lion... you are hereby ordered to open fire on the Castle of Lions~  Emergency Procedure Alpha-One. Respond...over..."



"What do we do?" Hunk asked. "He wants us to blow up the Castle...and he wants us to go along with it!"

Lance hesitated for a moment...


"Lance...Lance...do you read me?  Respond... over!" Keith's voice called again over the COM.



Lance decided....

Something must have happened that would cause Keith to give the order.  He finally responded to Hunk and Pidge.

"We're going to
follow orders, guys."

"Now you're crazy!"
Hunk shouted. "We'll kill
everyone inside if we..."

"Something's happening over there!  I don't know what it is, but I know Keith!  This is the order that we all agreed would only be used if there were no other options!  Lotor must have them cornered!  For the sake of Arus...we must obey!"

"But...Lance," Pidge stammered.  "If we do that...Keith, Allura, Coran...and the children... they'll...they'll all be killed..."

"Its better then letting that mad man down there get away, and try this again with some other planet, in another part of the galaxy!" Lance replied.  "Besides...we all took an oath!  We agreed that if Keith or Coran ever gave the order, we'd obey it...without question!"

"Do you agree with it, Lance?" Hunk asked quietly.

"No, of course I don't!" Lance barked back.  "But...if Lotor's got Keith and the Princess trapped down there...do you have a better plan to get them out, without getting them killed, and Lotor getting a chance to escape again?"

Reluctantly, Pidge and Hunk agreed with the Red Lion pilot's reasoning.  There appeared to be no other alternative.  

Lance returned the hail... "This is Red Lion!  Commander, we have received your order,
and are preparing to carry it out. You are aware of the consequences to this order... over..."

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

In the Castle, Keith looked back to Allura, and she gave him an affirmative nod, her eyes still locked with Lotor's gaze.

Keith then gave the final confirmation to his team, "By order of Her Royal Highness, Princess Allura, ruler of Planet Arus, and of myself as Commander of Voltron, you are hereby ordered to carry out your instructions immediately,..and completely.  Do you copy, Red Lion...over..."


"Commander Keith... we copy the order. Attack will commence in one minute." Lance's voice rang through the COM.


"Acknowledged.  Take care of yourselves... and... good luck in the future.  Keith out."

"Good bye, Keith." Lance's voice said softly over the COM.  "Red Lion out."

Lotor's face went blank. "You...you can't be serious, Allura!  What of all the children still in the Castle?  They'll never have time to escape!"

"Even now, Coran has led them out
by way of a secret underground
passage.  They will be safe in the
caverns below the Castle." Allura
replied calmly, still holding Lotor
at bay with the Lion Claw. "I am
prepared to die.  I have been since
your father began this miserable
war.  Are you just as prepared to
die as I am?"

Lotor bit nervously on his lower lip. "I'm not afraid, if that's what you mean!"

Keith held his blaster up, pointed at Lotor. "I hope you're prepared to meet your maker then," he said as he looked at his watch. "Bombardment will begin in 30 seconds..." he announced aloud.

Beads of perspiration began to appear on Lotor's brow.  His blue hue skin began to slick over, becoming almost as shiny as his metallic body parts. "I can't believe you'd destroy your own Castle!" he finally said.

Allura smirked. "Believe it!  I will do what is necessary to prevent you from going any further. If that means sacrificing this Castle and myself, then I will do that!  I have no choice, Lotor!
You've left me with none."

"Your only alternative is to leave
Arus, Lotor..." Keith advised.

"I won't give up my claim to victory!"
the evil Prince shouted back.

"Then...you had better enjoy your victory.  Because it's about to be cut short!" Keith replied as he turned to Allura. "Commencement in 15 seconds."

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

In Red Lion, hovering above the
Castle of Lions, Lance began the
finally countdown.

The Robeast that had been on the
attack, was suddenly still, hovering
a safe distance away.  Its objective
was unclear, as Hagar had stopped
sending signals of destruction to its
positronic brain.

Lance gave the final word... "Prepare to fire in ten seconds..."

"I can't believe we're actually doing this," Pidge said somberly.

"The Princess...Keith...Coran and the children...they'll all be...killed," Hunk replied.

Lance sighed over the COM.  "But at least Lotor and Hagar will be stopped here.  Commence firing in five... four... three... two... one... OPEN FIRE NOW!"


From the arsenal of the mighty robot lions, came an initial barrage of missiles, proton ray blasts and plasma bombs...all directed at the Castle of Lions.  Each Voltron Force pilot grimaced helplessly as they reluctantly carried out Keith's command to destroy the Castle.

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

The first wave of firepower impacted the Castle, sending debris falling from the ceiling all around where Keith, Allura and Lotor were standing.

The tremors from the impact were shaking the Castle so violently, that the three of them were tossed to the ground.

Keith crawled quickly to Allura's side, grabbing on to her and pulling her close to him...not for protection, but to lend her his support.  There was no protecting her, now that the Castle was being destroyed as ordered.

Soon, they all would be gone.

Lotor attempted to shield himself from the falling debris.  His face was aghast. "Are you out of your mind, Allura?   We'll all be killed!"

Keith looked up, "That... was the idea, Lotor!" the Voltron leader replied smugly.

Lotor began looking around as yet another wave of ammo hit the unprotected Castle.  Lotor's COM beeped, and he lifted his wrist to answer it.

It was Hagar... "My Prince!  The three robot are attacking the Castle!"

"Where's the Robeast?" Lotor shouted.

"Hovering near by...waiting for instruction!" Hagar replied.

"Well, instruct him to destroy those lions...before they destroy us!" Lotor replied.

"At once!" Hagar shouted.

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

In Castle Control, she lifted her globe wand.

"Sky of blue, and black as night,
observe right now this awful
plight!  Evil beast that hovers
near, destroy the lions, Arus holds
dear!"

The wand began to glow and a bright
beam shot forth from it to the ceiling.



Outside of the Castle, the green beam straightly found its target, impacting the Robeast with full force.  It suddenly came alive with anger; its eyes lighting up as it made a sudden strafing run at Red, Yellow and Green Lions.

Pidge sounded the alert. "Lance!  Incoming Robeast!"

Lance focused in Red Lion's view screen toward the coming challenger.  He gave the order. "Hunk and I will handle the Robeast!  Pidge, you keep pelting the Castle!"

"But... Lance!" Pidge protested.

"No buts, Pidge!  We still have a duty to carry out our last order!" Lance replied firmly. "Yellow Lion...follow me!"

Red and Yellow Lions broke formation and turned to meet the attacking Robeast.  Green Lion remained steadfast, continuing its pounding of the Castle of Lions.

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

"Hagar!" Lotor shouted, shielding his head from more falling debris. "I told you to send the Robeast out to finish those miserable lions!"

"I have done so, Prince!  But the Green Lion is still bombarding the Castle!  The Robeast is engaged with Yellow Lion and Red Lion!  And our Skull ships are afraid to approach the Castle!  What do we do?" Hagar cried.

"DO?" Lotor shouted angrily.  "You will tell the Skull ships that I am ordering them to attack Green Lion...or else!"

"They are in retreat, Lotor!" Hagar shouted back. "They fear that either the Robeast or the Green Lion will destroy them!"

"This is mutiny!" Lotor shouted, shaking this robotic arm.  "They'll pay for the insolence!" 

"You have but one alternative, Lotor!  You must surrender the Castle!" Hagar's voice echoed.

"I'm not giving up my claim on the Castle!" Lotor shouted angrily, suddenly pounding his metal fist into the cement floor.

"If we do not leave, there will be no Castle...and no us!  We have minutes only to escape!  If Allura wishes the destruction of Castle Arus, then so be it!  But I'm not dying with her!  Or with you either, Lotor!" Hagar hissed nervously.

"HAGAR!" Lotor shouted. "YOU WILL NOT ABANDON ME!"

"Either you are coming with me, Lotor, or you are staying behind to meet your doom!  I intend to live another day!" Hagar replied dryly.

Lotor growled angrily.  His gaze swung over to Keith, still holding Allura closely to himself. Allura still had the Lion Claw pointed toward Lotor.

"It's over, Lotor!" Allura replied with an almost joyous grin. "Your evil shall go no further!"

Lotor rose to his feet, shakily towering over them both. "I will not be defeated!  You've won today, Allura!  But I swear that one day...I shall be victor!  And just as assuredly...one day, you shall be my bride!" He then spoke into his wrist COM. "Hagar...get us out of here!  Now!"

"At once, Sire!" she shouted, fear evident in her voice.

Keith and Allura watched as Lotor disappeared from their sight.  Allura held the Lion Claw out in front of her. "Lion Claw!  Produce a shield about us, to protect us from harm!"

The Lion Claw lit up once again sending an invisible shield that suddenly surrounded both of them.  Keith, still holding the Princess as they both were crouched on the ground together, suddenly saw that falling debris was bouncing off of the shield now protecting them both.

Allura looked at him and gave him a tender smile. "This won't last long..." referring to the Lion Claw's protective shields.

Keith nodded raising his wrist and activating his personal COM. "Voltron Force!  This is Commander Keith...do you read me?  Over..."

"Green Lion...go ahead Commander..."

"Discontinue Emergency Procedure Alpha-One!  Repeating...discontinue Emergency Procedure Alpha-One!  Do you copy?  Over..."

"I copy, Keith!  I copy!  Halting destruction procedure!"

The pounding immediately ceased and the shaking stopped.  Keith smiled at Allura, and both of them let out a laugh of relief.  Impulsively, they clutched onto each other, holding each other in a powerful embrace.

"We did it, Keith!" Allura laughed, somewhat breathlessly.

As they separated, their faces shone smiles of victoryand something else undefined.  Keith cupped Allura's chin with his hand. "I'm very proud of you, Allura.  You were very brave today."

Allura's eyes began to tear. "I couldn't have done it without you, Keith.  You've always been my support."

"And I always will be, Princess." Keith replied, suddenly taking her free hand and gently kissing the back of it.  Allura blushed at his gesture of tenderness.


"You guys okay?" Pidge's voice asked, suddenly intruding in on the special moment.


Keith suddenly let her hand drop.  His commander hat was back in place. "Yes!  We're fine! Give me a status report, Pidge!  We're blind here!"

"Commander, Lotor's fleet is on the retreat from Arus.  But Hagar's Robeast is still here, and causing plenty of destruction of it's own!  Yellow Lion and Red Lion are engaging it...but we could sure use Voltron!"

"On our way, Pidge!  Hold on tight!" Keith replied, severing the link and looking at the Princess. "Are you ready to fly?"

She smiled back. "Let's get going!"

She dropped her hand that held the Lion Claw, and instantly, the protective shield disappeared.

Keith rose to his feet and grabbed Allura's free hand, pulling her up to her feet as well.

Together, hand in hand, both of them ran down the hallway toward Castle Control.
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