"What the Future Holds"

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 Previte.  Please do not use them without asking for permission.  Thank you.  Enjoy!

The Black Lion Moves In

As they moved closer to the cloud, Prince Lotor looked on eagerly.  He had waited for this moment since the creation of the cloud.  At long last, Princess Allura would be his bride.

Hagar had just once again reminded him of the awesome power of the cloud.  And as he had in the previous time line, Lotor ignored her counsel.  He had only one thing in mind, capture Allura and take her to Castle Doom, where she would be a slave to him forever.

As the Blue Lion approached with the rest of the team, Lotor was unaware that Keith was its pilot, and that Allura was still on the ground.

"Alright team," Keith said over the COM link.  "We've got to get rid of this thing.  But first, we've got to find Lotor!   Pidge, scan the area for any sign of Lotor's ship."

"Gottcha, Commander!"  Pidge replied.  "Scanning..."

Pidge's scanners searched the whole area.  Suddenly, he found it, the Revenge.  It was hiding along the far side of Arus's moon. 

"Got him, Keith!" Pidge shouted. "He's on the other side of the moon."

"What do you suppose he's doing there?" Asked Hunk, nervously tapping on his controls.

"He thinks he's hiding from us.  I think what we ought to do is fly in and blow him right out of the universe!"  Lance said, a bit more like himself then he had been. 

"Hold it!  No one's going anywhere until we have a plan." Keith said, signally Lance to stay his ground.   "Lotor is going to think that Allura is in this lion.  He may not suspect that I'm piloting the Blue Lion.  I think we should take advantage of that.  Pidge, run an analysis on the cloud, its strengths and weaknesses.  What can we use to defuse it?"

"Already ahead of you, Keith." Pidge responded.  "Remember, the cloud is a vapor, more or less." 

"Alright then."  Lance interrupted.  "Let's shoot a few ion charged Lion bombs into it and scatter it harmlessly."

"Are you crazy, Lance?"  Pidge shouted.

"What?" Lance barked back.  "Do you have a better suggestion, techno-dweeb?"

"Yeah, like not getting killed for starters!"  Pidge fired back, now angry at Lance. "Lion bombs wouldn't 'harmlessly' scatter it!  They'll scatter us and Arus too!"

"Hey, Pidge...if you think you know it all..." Lance started, but suddenly got cut off.

"That's enough, you two!  Stay focused!" Keith reprimanded.  "Don't forget, Lance, that thing also has liason added.  Lion bombs will destabilize it and react violently with the liason.  An eruption like that could rip away part of Arus's atmosphere!  We need something better!"

"What about ice?" Hunk chimed in. "Ice from Blue Lion?" 

"Hey, Hunk old buddy!" Pidge cried, realizing Hunk might have stumbled onto the answer. "That might work!"  He immediately started to run it through his lion's computer for analysis.  "Checking on it...yes!  If we sent in ion charged Ice bombs from the Blue Lion, that will defuse it and then freeze the composition.  We can then tractor beam it away harmlessly!"

"Okay." Keith said, satisfied with the new plan.  "We'll need a diversion to keep Lotor busy while I shoot the Ice bomb."

"No problem, Keith!"  Lance replied.  "Hunk and I will keep Lotor busy while you and the know-it-all-whiz-kid take care of that cloud!"

"Lance, I'm warning you." Pidge vented. 

"I said to knock it off, you two!  Starting acting like a team!  Let's just get this over with."  Keith said, becoming anxious.  He shook his head, and regained focus.  "Alright... let's go Voltron Force!"

Pidge and Keith headed toward the cloud, while Hunk and Lance headed toward Lotor's ship. 

On the Revenge, the helmsman noticed the approach of the lions.  "Prince Lotor, the Yellow and Red Lions are on fast approach to our location."

"Alert!"  Lotor shouted.  "Where's the Princess's Blue Lion?"

"Currently heading for the cloud, Your Highness."  The gunner said.

"Prepare to activate the cloud!  I want the Princess pulled inside!" Lotor commanded Hagar. 
Hagar stared at her magic ball.  The approaching robot lions appeared to be minus one very key member.  "How curious..." Hagar thought to herself, realizing Black Lion was mysteriously absent.   She immediately turned around to tell Lotor.

"Prince Lotor," She sneered, "There are only four lions present.  The Black Lion isn't among them.  Are you so sure that Princess Allura is flying Blue Lion?  I can't believe that Commander Keith would remain on the ground while his team flies without him."

"You may be on to something here, old witch!"  Lotor shouted, thinking that very thing...  "Keith, my advisory, what are you up to, eh?"

"Do you think that the Princess is still on Arus?"  Hagar asked, trying to think why Black Lion would be missing.  "It could be a trick, Sire, to lure us away from Arus and the Princess!"

Lotor looked into his monitor.  "No matter, continue with our operation to capture Blue Lion!"

Lotor mused to himself.  "If it's Allura, then I have her!  If it's Keith, I still have her!  She will surrender herself quickly if I have him as my captive! That would be a special treat!  Then I can really see how Galaxy Garrison trains their officers in dealing with extreme methods of torture!"

Keith and Pidge were nearly at the cloud.  "Pidge, I'm loading the Ice bombs now.  Preparing for launch!" Keith said,  "I need coordinates!"

"I'm sending the coordinates now, Keith."  Pidge radioed, calling up the information for transmission.  He quickly sent them to Blue Lion.  "You should be receiving them." 

"Got them."  Keith replied, calling up the information.   He adjusted Blue Lion's course heading, and hovered near the cloud.  "I'm ready.  Launching in 5...4...3..." 

Keith stopped his countdown, hearing Pidge's frantic voice...

"Keith!  I'm reading the magnetic field building up around Blue Lion!  It's trying to draw you in!  Abort Keith!  Abort now and get out of there quick!" Pidge cried.

Keith immediately stopped his count, and reversed Blue Lion.  Suddenly, the lion jolted forward, then backward.  He looked at his course monitor, and realized the lion was now heading toward the cloud.   "I can't get away!  It's got me!"  Keith shouted, trying to reverse the lion.  "My thrusters are in full reverse, but I can't get free!" 

Lotor watched from the Revenge.  His face proclaimed victory with a smile.  "Success!  The Blue Lion is mine now!  In a moment, Allura will be mine too, one way or another!"

"Sire, the other two robot lions are preparing to fire on us."  A doom solider alerted.

"Hagar, send out your special arachnid Robeast to devour those two little bugs!"  Lotor replied.  "And bring the Blue Lion into the cloud.  I want it's pilot aboard the Revenge quickly!"

Hagar turned and with one wave of her magic wand, she sent the fierce Robeast out of the ship's hull and toward the Red and Yellow lions. 

Pidge was coming over the COM to Lance and Hunk.  "Hey guys!  Keith needs your help!  He's being pulled inside!"

"Oh no! We've got to stop it!"  Lance shouted.  "It'll tear Blue Lion apart and kill Keith!  Come on Hunk, abort attack on the...  YEOW!"


Lance didn't get a chance to finish his statement.  He was so distracted over Keith being in trouble, that he didn't realize Hagar's Robeast was upon him.  It grabbed on to Red Lion and held tight.

The Robeast was a giant version of a hideous tarantula.  It had used one of its robotic spinners to shoot out netting that held fast to Red Lion. 

"I can't move!"  Lance shouted, trying to coax the big robot cat into retreat.  "It's got me!  Hunk!  Help me!"

"I'll get it!  Just hold on, Lance!" Hunk cried out as he took a straight run at it.  The Robeast took one of its forearms and slammed it into Yellow Lion, completely knocking it away, like a fly being flicked aside.

Meanwhile, Pidge was trying to use his tractor beam from Green Lion to slow Keith's progression into the cloud.

"Keith...   I ...can't hold you for long!  I'm losing power!"  Pidge shouted over the COM, struggling to redirect reserve power to Green Lion's tractor beam.

Blue Lion continued to be pulled toward the cloud.

While all of this was going on in the skies above, thousands of miles below on Planet Arus, Princess Allura was still asleep in her chambers, unaware of the impending danger.

While sleeping, she had a dream.  A very vivid dream that included Keith...

It seemed that he was trying to protect her, when all of a sudden, he was gone.  She didn't know where he had gone to, only that he was gone.  She followed a long path.  This path seemed to be lit up with a bright light.  When she reached the end of the path, she saw Keith and her Blue Lion.  They were in trouble!  She didn't know how she knew this, only that they were in trouble.  She tried to run to help Keith, but it was too late.  Blue Lion, in one major blast, was destroyed, and Keith, in a flash of brilliant light, was gone as well.  Allura started to scream uncontrollably in horror.  She began shouting, tears streaming down her face...


Suddenly, Allura awoke abruptly.  She sat up in bed, sweating and breathing heavily, with tears drying on her cheeks.  It was such a terrible dream.  She couldn't imagine why she would have such a terrible nightmare.  She brought her hands to her face and wiped the tears from her cheeks.

Allura then laid back down and tried to get comfortable again.  Her spirit was so upset however, that she couldn't go back to sleep.  She decided to get up, put on her bathrobe and slippers and search for Keith.  She wanted to make sure her dream was only a dream.

Her door slide open and she walked down the hallway toward the control room, where she knew Keith would be.  When she entered the room, however, she heard Coran shouting, almost in a hysterical manner.

"Pidge, come in Pidge!  Were you able to stabilize the Blue Lion?"

"No Coran...and we're running out of time!"  Pidge replied over the COM. "We need the Princess, now!"

Allura overheard transmission exchanges and immediately rushed over to Coran.  "Who's flying my Blue Lion?"

Coran turned to his Princess with a pained look on his face.  "Commander Keith is in the Blue Lion, and it is about to be dragged into a cloud-like formation that is hovering in our airspace!   And if that should  happen, Princess, the force of that cloud will destroy the Blue Lion, and Commander Keith with it!"

Allura became distressed.  "Why didn't anyone come to get me?  Why was I left behind?"

"Commander Keith thought it best not to disturb you, Princess."  Coran solemnly replied

"What in the world was he thinking?"  She shouted: her hands flying to her face.  "He's been acting so strange lately...and now this!"

Then, she remembered her dream.  Keith had died as a result of Blue Lion's destruction.  And now, for some reason, Keith chose to take Blue Lion, and allow Allura to remain on Arus.   Her dream must have been a warning to her of some kind.

"Coran, I have to go up there!  You know I must!"  Allura urgently replied, preparing herself for the battle above her planet.

"Of course, Your Highness.  You must take the Black Lion!  But, you must be prepared to form Voltron as soon as you free Keith and Lance."

"Red Lion's trapped too?"  She hollered.  "This truly is a nightmare!" she thought.

"A Robeast has Lance pinned down, and Hunk is trying to free him.  Meanwhile, Pidge is holding Keith in a tractor beam that certainly can not last for long.  After that, Keith will be dragged into the cloud, captured by Lotor, or destroyed completely." Coran replied.

"I've got to go!" Princess shouted, and she swung herself around, running for the Black Lion shuttle.  "Tell them I'm on my way!"  She shouted behind her.  "Hold on KeithI'm coming!" Her thoughts rang out in her mind as she quickly entered the shuttle bay.  The thought of losing him came over her, and she flashed back to her dream...  

"I won't lose you, Keith..." The desperate plea rang in her mind.  "Just hold on!"

Keith was slowly being dragged toward the cloud.  Pidge's systems in the Green Lion were starting to reach critical.  His tractor beam was sucking all of the energy out of his lion.  Soon, he'd have no power left, and then he too would be target for the cloud. 

"Keith, I can't hold on much longer!  Any chance you can get free?"  Pidge shouted over the COM.

"No way, Pidge I'm stuck!"  Keith shouted back a reply.  He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to concentrate on what to do next.  Suddenly, he remembered more words from King Alfor, just before he had made up his mind to return in time to save the Princess:

"In order to prevent my daughter's death, you must be willing to sacrifice yourself as         well, trusting that your friends will find a way to save you too.  But, the risk you must be aware of is, if they are unable to do so, it may cost you your own life in exchange of Allura's."

Keith returned his thoughts to his present situation.  His main screen was fixed on the cloud, dragging him toward it.  His side monitor had the Green Lion, struggling to keep him from what appeared to be the end of his life.  Keith took a deep breath and slowly released it, nodding his head and resigning himself to his fate.  He knew it wouldn't be long now.  He had to do what was best for the team.  Since it was obvious that he was going to die soon, he decided to give Pidge his final order:

"Pidge, listen to me." Keith started.  "Its hopeless here!  Drop the tractor beam and go help Hunk free Lance!  Then come back and finish off this cloud!  You guys have got to save Arus!"

"No way, Commander!"  Pidge shouted. "I'm not gonna abandon you now!"

"Pidge that's an order!  Drop your tractor beam and get out of here, now!"  Keith commanded.  "The cards are dealt, and I lost the hand!  Go help the others, and together, you guys get rid of this thing and save Arus.!   I'm finished here!"

"But Keith..." Pidge protested. "If I drop the tractor, you'll be pulled in!  The magnetic forces will destroy Blue Lion andand kill you!  I can't do it!"

"GO!"  Keith shouted.  "I'm giving you a direct order, Pidge!  The game's over for me!  You must save Arus and protect the Princess!"

"Not so fast, Keith.  You haven't been dealt the last card just yet!"  The familiar voice came over his COM.

"What the...?"  Keith said as he turned to look at his radar.  Suddenly, he saw it.  He wasn't sure if he should be elated or angry.  The Black Lion had arrived with Allura at the helm. 

"Come on, Pidge!  Let's pull him out of here!"  Shouted Allura as she added the mighty power of the Black Lion to help with the rescue.  She turned on the tractor beams, and together, they began to pull Keith slowly away from the cloud.

"Allura!"  Keith hollered over the COM. "What are you doing here?  You weren't ordered to leave Arus!"

"What are you doing in Blue Lion, Keith?"  She reprimanded.  "Never mind, we'll talk about it later.  Right now, Pidge and I are saving you.  Hold on!" 

"Allura, it's too dangerous!  Go back to Arus where you'll be safe!"  Keith shouted.

"I'm sorry, Keith, but I can't obey that order!  You know I won't leave you here!"  She replied, ignoring his pleas.  "Pull, Pidge!"

Keith grunted loudly as he shut off the COM.  She had no idea that he was trying to keep her from harm's way.  Keith flung his head forward, as his fists slammed against the arms of the command chair, certain now that since Allura was here to join the team, she was now in danger.

"Allura... why couldn't you stay on Arus where I left you?"  He agonized.


Keith looked up suddenly.  He heard the voice of King Alfor.  Keith looked forward at his monitors, seeing Black Lion with Green Lion.  He turned his head quickly from left to right. 

"King Alfor!  She's gonna get herself killed!  You've got to stop her!"

"My young friend, there is nothing more powerful than the power of love and friendship.  Allow yourself to feel the love around you from your friends.  Together, you will succeed in vanquishing this evil!"  Alfor responded.  "You must now all work together to survive. Farewell."

Keith now realized that the only way to get out alive was to worry about the team as a whole, not just the Princess.  He had been thinking two dimensionally all this time. He now realized he had to ignore those feelings, and command everyone equally...

"Allura," Keith radioed through the COM. "Turn up Black Lion's infracells to maximum capacity."

"Got it!"  She replied.  "Now this is the Keith we all know and love!" she thought with a smile on her face.  "Welcome back to reality, Commander!" she answered him.

"Save it...get me out of here, and let's get Lance!"  Keith repliedsmiling himself.

"Its good to be back."  The thought remained private in Keith's mind. 

In the meantime, on the Revenge, Lotor observed the activity of the Black Lion, and the impact it had made in weakening the pull of the magnetic force on the Blue Lion.  He still wasn't sure who was Blue Lion's pilot...but made an assumption it had to be Allura.

"Send out missiles! Target the Black Lion, and DESTROY IT!"  He shouted.

"At once, Sire."  The gunner replied, carrying out the wicked Prince's command.

Missiles darted out from the Revenge, on a course straight for Black Lion. 

Pidge picked them up on radar. "Incoming!  Look out, Princess!"  He shouted.

Keith looked up and saw the missiles coming toward Black Lion.  He had only one chance.  No time to radio Black Lion.  Checking his sensors, he realized that Blue Lion was far enough away from the magnetic cloud, and that he was able to maneuver his lion somewhat.

He kicked the Blue Lion in high gear and accelerated it forward to intercept the missiles.  He only needed to move a few yards, then he could swing the lion in the path of the missiles, bringing Black Lion slightly behind him.  Keith flipped on what was left of his shields, in an effort to protect himself.  He had very little power left from his struggle with the cloud.  All he could do was hope it would be enough to save himself.

"Come on big fella...move it over..." Keith said as he coaxed the Blue Lion's controls.  The Blue Lion roared as it moved into position.

"Keith!  What are you doing?"  Shouted Pidge.  "You don't have enough shields to protect yourself!"

"Keith... NO!"  Allura screamed watching the Blue Lion move to intercept the missiles meant for her. 

It was like things were happening in slow motion...

The missiles pelted into Blue Lion.    The shields failed and the hull was suddenly compromised.   Inside the Blue Lion, Keith was jettisoned from the chair, and then slammed abruptly up against the wall.  His lion helmet was knocked off as he crashed his head into a panel.   He was finally flung to the floor...  knocked out cold from the force of the blow.

"You idiot!"  Lotor shouted to the gunner.  "I said the Black Lion, not the Blue Lion!  If you've hurt the Princess, I'll put you off the ship, and let you blow up in space!"

"I'm sorry, Your Highness!"  The gunner said apologetically.  "The Blue Lion moved into position to intercept. It wasn't me, Sire."

"SILENCE!  You miserable worm!'  Lotor shouted back.  The gunner slipped back into his seat. 

"Lotor, the Blue Lion isn't moving."  Now that it's stunned, we may be able to send our Robeast to destroy the rest of the lions, starting with Red Lion.  Planet Arus will be all ours!"  Hagar sneered.

Lotor looked out the bay window toward Blue Lion, now disabled and listing.  "My beautiful Princess..." he quietly said to himself, unsure who it was in the damaged lion.

He then turned to Hagar.  His face twisted in anger.  "Do it!"  He said with a low, sinister voice. "Destroy the robot lions!"

Black Lion and Green Lion were surrounding the Blue Lion, which was now motionless.  The magnetic pull had stopped for the time being.  Suddenly, Lance came over the COM.

"Hey guys!  I need your help!  This Robeast is trying to make me into a space pizza!"  Lance shouted.

"Pidge, go help Lance and Hunk!  I'll stay here with Blue Lion!"  Princess commanded.

"Gottcha!"  He shouted.  "Be careful, Princess!" Green Lion then darted away.

Allura turned her attention back to her COM.  "Keith, come in Keith, can you hear me?"

Keith, meanwhile, started to come to.  As he lifted his head up off the ground, he began feeling something warm running into his left eye, with a stinging sensation.  He took his hand and wiped his head, which now felt like it was going to blow off of his shoulders.  He looked at his gloved hand...blood.  Lots of it.  He pushed himself up so that he was on hands and knees.

Looking down on the floor where his head had been, he saw a large puddle of blood, running lazily from where he was, to the command chair.  It was then that Keith realized his lion was listing.

"Got to get...control!"  His thoughts raced in his mind.  He reached up his hand to try to grab onto anything that would give him leverage to get off of the floor.  Stabbing pain shot through his left ankle.  Felt like a break or a fracture.   No time for that now.  He had to get off the floor and back into the chair. 

"Come on, Keith, come on!" he told himself.  It wasn't until his mind concentrated on the sounds in the cockpit that he heard her voice.  It was in the helmet, coming over the COM. 

He grabbed for his helmet and placed it on his head.  It slid on painfully, as it passed over the head wound.  Then, Keith heard the call loud and clear.

"Please Keith, answer me!  Keith...  Keith, are you there... come in Keith...please come in!"  It was Allura's  anxious voice.

"I'm here, Allura."  Keith responded in a raspy voice.  "I'm here!"

Allura was overjoyed to hear his voice.  "Oh Keith!  Thank goodness you're all right!  Can you send me a visual?"

Keith squinted as he looked down at his controls.  There was a lot of damaged from the hit.  His ultra wave link was out.  Some of his weaponry was out too. 

"No, it's been blown away."  He responded.  It was probably a good thing that he didn't have visuals...Allura would only panic if she saw how much damage the lion's cockpit had sustained.

"Can you move Blue Lion?"  She asked, holding her breath for a reply.

"I got it going now...it's slow, but moving.  Where's Lance, Pidge and Hunk?" 

"Pidge and Hunk are trying to free Lance from the Robeast."  She updated him.  "You stay back, I'll help them.'

"No way...we do it together!"  He hollered back, determining that he wasn't going to let her fly off on her own.

"Are you sure you're alright?"  She asked with concern.

"I'm fine, let's get going!  Not a moment to lose!"  He struggled back, hoping he could convince her that he was all right.  Nothing could have been further from the truth at this point.  Keith was feeling sick to his stomach now; he could feel that his body was crashing from injuries that were probably far worse than he might have imagined.   But he had to stay with it...for Allura's sake; he just had to keep going.

The two lions started forward.  Keith's head was still fussy, but functional.  He flipped on the internal controls to help him navigate and assess his damage.  The lion security showed the hull breach.  He flipped on a force field and secured the hole.  At least that was still operational.  Thrusters were out though.  All he had was minimal thrust capability. 

"Allura...I need a tow if I'm going to go any faster than this!"  He shouted.

"Okay.  Hang on!"   Allura flipped on Black Lion's tractor beam again and towed Blue Lion behind her.  The two lions quickly hurried to Lance's position. 

As Keith and Allura made their way, Lance was feeling the pressure on Red Lion.  "It's squeezing me guys!   Get it off!"

"I'm trying" Hunk shouted over the COM.  "Its too strong!"

"Sting Ray missiles!"  Shouted Pidge.  Out of Green Lion's mouth came several specially designed missiles.  They struck with brut force on the Spider-like Robeast.  The Robeast turned around and again lashed out one of his long legs, this time at Pidge.

"Look out, little buddy!"  Shouted Hunk.

It was too late.  The arm swung into Pidge with a force that sent Green Lion flying.  It smashed into Yellow Lion, sending the two whirling around out of control.  The Robeast then turned its attention back to Red Lion. 

"What are you waiting for?"  The Robeast could hear Lotor's angry voice through its electronic ear....  "Destroy the Red Lion...NOW!"

The Robeast, obeying Lotor's command, started to spin a web tightly around Red Lion.  With each strand came a crushing blow.  Soon, Red Lion would cave in.  Lance was trying everything he could to free himself to no avail.  He was stuck...and unless someone did something soon, his lion would be a crushed eggshell within minutes.

"Help!"  Lance winced in pain from the pressure.  "It's crushing me!"

"We're here, Lance!"  Keith replied over the COM.

"Keith!  How did you get free?"  Lance shouted, overjoyed that his friend made it okay.

"Later, Lance.  Brace yourself!"  Keith responded.  "Allura, use Black Lion's tail lash lasers to draw its attention.  I'll use Blue Lion's claws to get Lance free."

"Be careful, Keith!"  Her voice was just above a whisper.

"You just watch out for yourself!  I'll do the rest!"  He responded back to her.

Black Lion's tail lifted over its head, pointing toward the ugly Robeast.  "Tail lash, fire!", the Princess shouted, letting loose the powerful laser weapon at the monster holding Red Lion.

A bright beam darted out of Black Lion's tail and directly hit the Robeast.  The monstrous creature looked up and immediately gave chase after Black Lion.  Keith quickly moved Blue Lion into place.  He used the lion's claws to tear away at the netting holding Lance down.  Within seconds, he had freed Lance.

"Thanks, Keith.  I owe you one!"  Lance sighed with relief.  "Another moment and I'd been space pizza!"

"Thanks 'Chef Lance', but I personally never cared for space pizza."  Keith said, trying to joke a bit.  "Come on, its time to return the favor to Black Lion for saving your skin!"

"Right!"  Lance shouted. Red Lion jetted toward Black Lion, leaving Blue Lion behind.  Yellow and Green Lions had regained control of themselves and were already chasing the Robeast, now in pursuit of the fleeing Black Lion.

Allura came over the COM.  "Okay boys, now I need some help!"

"We're coming, Princess!"  Hollered Hunk, preparing to fire at the Robeast.  "Take this, you ugly piece of mechanical junk!"

"And some of that, too!"  Pidge added, also getting ready to let out a round of fire.

They shot a few rounds of laser guns at the Robeast.  The monster became distracted and broke off its pursuit of Black Lion.  The four robot lions hovered around it in a wide formation, then swung themselves around to meet back up with the disabled Blue Lion.

Lotor was furious on board the Revenge.  "Fire weapons!  Fire now, you idiots!"

The Revenge came about with all weapons to bear on the lions.  The Robeast too was preparing to attack. 

Lotor hailed the lions: "It's no use to run!  Surrender your Princess to me now, and I'll stay my attack!"

Hunk spoke over the internal COM "Is he kidding?  Surrender Allura?  Never!"

Lotor again repeated his demands "Your Blue Lion is badly damaged.  Even if you do form Voltron, you have a weak link in your armor!"

In the Black Lion, Allura looked down at her controls as she listened to Lotor's threats.  She knew he was right about Blue Lion.  And even more than that, she wasn't fully convinced that Keith was physically able to do battle.  "If only I could get a visual of Blue Lion...if only I could see if he was okay..." she silently thought.

"You have 30 seconds to accept my generous offer, Allura.  Otherwise, I'll blow all of you away!"  Lotor finished, and disconnected the link.

"That does it!  Allura, I think its time for the big guy!"  Keith commanded.  He was still wiping blood away from his eyes.  He also discovered a new injury, in addition to his left ankle's possible break, he started to feel a sharp pain in his side.  If he had to take a guess, he might say a ruptured organ.  This wasn't good at all.  He continued to shake it off. "I've got to get through this!" he kept telling himself. "For the Princess"

"Allura, you need to start Black Lion's systems to transfigure to Voltron.  Can you do it?"  Keith asked Allura over the COM.

"I've got it, Commander!  Just awaiting your orders!" She replied.

"Okay, let's get rid of Lotor and his playthings!"  Keith responded weakly.  "Ready to form Voltron!"

"Activating interlocks." Allura called out over the COM. 

Allura activated the Black Lion's control console.  Lights were flashing as the cockpit came alive.  She had only done this once before, nearly five years ago.  Keith had shown her how it was done, in the event that she would have to fly command.  It was all up to her now.  She waited for a moment as the Voltron sequence began.

"Dyno-therms connected. Infracells up..."she continued.

The team waited quietly for the last words...

Allura watched as all five of the sequences, Red, Green, Yellow, Blue and Black came together.

"Mega thrusters are go!"  She cried.


The lions fell into formation one at a time.  They raced into mid-air above Arus, streaking their individual colors behind them.  Suddenly, the lions began to change and form to fit to the torso that was once the Black Lion.

"Form feet and legs."  Allura shouted.  The Blue and Yellow lions moved into position and attached themselves to the body.  The came to rest in place with an enormous, metal click.

'Form arms and torso."  She called out next.  This was Red and Green Lion's cue to fall into position as the arms of Voltron.  One after the other, they attached themselves into place as well. 

"And I'll form the head!"  She finished.

Black Lion's mouth opened wide to reveal the face of mighty Voltron.

Amazing!   But now was not the time to celebrate. She regained her composure and prepared to receive orders from Keith. 

Keith meantime was having trouble focusing on the objective of getting rid of the Robeast and send Lotor packing with his cloud.  The intensive pain in his side was growing stronger.  He started becoming shaky, feeling an overwhelming chill in his body.  Yet, he was sweating profusely. He shook it off.  "Come on, Keith, stay with it!"  He coaxed himself.  He looked up and saw the Robeast heading toward their position. Then his head drooped down again, involuntarily. 

Allura hailed him.

"Keith, are you with us?"  She asked.  "I need your orders!"

"Come on, buddy!"  Lance added, becoming suspicious that something might be wrong with Keith, when he didn't respond to the Princess.   He waited for a moment longer, and then tried again to reach Keith "Commander, Commander?  Are you okay over there?"

Keith raised his head, shaking out the cobwebs in his mind and desperately fighting off the urge to go to sleep.  He was so tired now.  "Alright, let's get rid of this thing.  Heat missiles!"  He shouted, his speech obviously slurred now.

Out of the mouths of Red and Green Lions flew heat-seeking missiles, launched and headed for the Robeast.  The monster tried to dodge them, but the thing was too slow. They slammed right into the gruesome looking Robeast.  BOOM!!!

"Direct hit!"  Shouted Pidge.

"Hey, look!  Its still there!" Hunk alerted everyone.  "Look out gang!"

The Robeast came out from the cloud of smoke and used one of its spinners to shoot out netting, like the stuff that caught up Lance earlier. Allura tried to maneuver Voltron away from it, but the netting caught onto Yellow and Blue Lions.  It started to spin a web around Voltron's feet. 

Hunk and Keith were trying to move their lions apart to give some slack, but the Robeast pulled on the net and slammed both lions into each other.  Keith cried out in agony as his lion shook his already injured body around like a pillow being thrown on a couch. 

Lotor shouted commands into the Robeast's electronic ear "Robeast, attack the Blue Lion first.  He is your focal point of attack!" 

The Robeast took its giant fangs and dug hard into the Blue Lion's head...where the command center was.  With no shields to support the exterior surface, the fangs started to penetrate the sides of the head.  Realizing he had very few weapons to help him, Keith cried into the COM: "Allura, form Blazing Sword...hurry!"

"Got it!" she replied.  She took quick, deep breaths and hit the controls.  "Form Blazing Sword!"  She commanded.

Red and Green Lions came together at the mouths and Blazing Sword appeared.  Allura instinctively gave the next command.  "Slice the Robeast...now!"

With one mighty swing, Blazing Sword slammed into the Robeast's head, shearing off its fangs, and leaving pieces of them imbedded in Blue Lion's head.  At once, the Robeast backed away from Voltron. 

"Slash that web...now!"  She next instructed.

The Blazing Sword came down hard and with two swipes, the netting was severed and the Blue and Yellow Lions were free. 

"Now, lets get rid of that Robeast.  Prepare to slice through it."  Keith commanded, with all the strength he had left.  "Get ready" Voltron moved his sword above his head in attack position.  "NOW."  He shouted.

With a force that defied the zero gravity of space, Voltron swung the mighty sword in Green Lion's mouth and slashed through the Robeast like a knife through butter. 

In one swift moment, the Robeast exploded in front of Voltron, ending the threatening evil.

"Hagar!" Lotor screamed, turning to her from his command chair on the Revenge.  "Send the cloud to destroy Arus!" 

Lotor watched as Hagar waved her wand, and the cloud started a fast approach toward the Arusian atmosphere.  "Now, lets see where she will hide with no planet to run to!"  Lotor hissed, as he let out a sinister chuckle. 

Voltron's head turned around.  "Oh no!"  Allura shouted.  "The cloud...it's heading for Arus!"

"Keith, shoot out the Ice bombs.  Quick!"  Pidge cried.

The COM was silent.  There was no motion from Blue Lion.

"Keith, did you hear me?"  Pidge tried again.  "The cloud is moving toward Arus!  Shoot out your ice bombs, hurry!" 

Still nothing: This was not good.  "Keith... Keith, its Allura!  Answer me!"  She shouted through the COM.  "Something's terribly wrong!"  She said to the rest of the team.

"I'll jet over from Red Lion to see what's happening.  Allura, open Blue Lion's mouth with your override button.  I'll jet threw and up to the cockpit!"  Lance said, acting quickly, and already fastening his jetpack onto his back.

"Hurry, Lance!"  Shouted Hunk.  "That thing's getting closer to Arus!" 

Lance jetted out of Red Lion's hatch located at the top of his head, and shot over to the Blue Lion.  Allura had already opened its mouth to allow Lance to get inside.  Once he was there, he started to make his way to the cockpit. When he opened the security door, he froze.  There was blood all over the floor, and a trail was leading to the pilot's chair.  He quickly made his way up to the front.  Lance gasped in fright...

There was Keith, slumped over in the chair, with blood dripping down his face.  He was unconscious. 

Lance pushed him aside a bit, and reached over him to activate the ice bombs.  Then he radioed the group.  "This is Lance, Keith's badly hurt!  I'm preparing to fire the bombs, stand by!"

Hunk and Pidge fell silent.  In Voltron's torso, Allura's eyes started to tear.  Then she hailed the Castle of Lions on visual COM.  Coran answered the hail.

"Princess, the cloud is heading toward us!"  Coran exclaimed. 

"Coran, we are preparing to fire Ice bombs into it to freeze it, and then tractor beam it away.  And Coran, I need to you to hail Dr. Gorma immediately!  Keith has been injured and will need medical attention the moment we return!" She said.

"I understand, Princess.  Be assured that Dr. Gorma will be here awaiting your arrival."  Coran replied. 

"Voltron out."  Allura shut off her COM.  Her tears were streaming down her face.  She was faced with a dilemma.  If she saved her planet, she could lose Keith, and yet she knew she had to save the millions of lives on Arus, verses the one life she cherished more dearly than her own.   She shook her head to clear her thoughts.

The bombs flew out of Blue Lion's mouth and exploded inside the cloud, instantaneously freezing the liason and water vapors together.  Now, they had to tractor it quickly, before it got caught in Arus's gravitational pull. 

Allura hailed Lance in Blue Lion.  "What's his status, Lance?"  She asked.

"Not good.  Looks like he's going into shock.  His left ankle is broken, and his head is split open.  I'm trying to apply direct pressure to slow the intense bleeding.  But Princess, he's lost a lot of blood.  And I can't tell if there may be any internal injuries either.  We've got to get him back to the Castle, fast!"

"Suggestions?"  Allura said to the group. 

Pidge spoke up.  "We should only need two lions to tow this ice chunk away.  But we still have Lotor out there.  Not sure if we should risk separating Voltron with him still out there. We need to get rid of Lotor first.  Then we can separate the lions, and Hunk and I can clean up out here."

"Well, whatever we do, we gotta do quick!  Keith's in bad shape, and needs help now!"
Lance added.  "I don't know if he'll last that long!"


Lance looked down. Keith was opening his eyes very slightly.  "Wh-h-hat are y-o-u  do-ing here?" he said, disoriented.  His body began to shake.

"Easy there, Keith, you're gonna be okay."  Lance replied, trying to comfort his friend.

"A-Allura...where's Allura?"  He asked, becoming exasperated suddenly.

"She's fine.  The Robeast was destroyed and the cloud was frozen.  Now we just have Lotor to deal with. You just lay still."  Lance replied as he gently pushed Keith down. 

Keith looked around.  Everything was fuzzy. It seemed unreal, like a dream.  "I'm so... cold..." he mumbled, moments before his head involuntarily slumped back down. 

"Guys, we gotta do this now!"  Lance shouted as he watched Keith go out again.  "He's going into shock!"

"Blazing Sword, prepare to slice into the Revenge!"  Shouted Allura.

Lotor was astonished that Voltron was once again triumphant.  He was really getting tired of defeat.  "Let's get out of here!"  he commanded.  "One day, Allura  one day, you'll be mine!  I promise that!" 

The Revenge turned around as Hagar opened a time warp to make a vector jump.  The Revenge slipped through it as Voltron approached.   

"Goodbye to trash!" Shouted Hunk.

Blazing Sword was withdrawn.  Allura prepared to separate the lions. "Lance, can you fly Blue Lion?  I'll tractor Red Lion to Arus." 

"I'm ready... let's do it!"  Lance responded.

"No, wait!"  Pidge shouted over the COM.  "Blue Lion's shields are out.  It'll never survive the re-entry into Arus's atmosphere!"

"Well, what can we do?"  Allura frantically asked.  "Every precious moment we waste is one less moment Keith has left!"

"You can extend your shields to cover Blue Lion as well as Red Lion.  It'll be tight though, and you'll be expending a lot of power, but I think you can make it that way." Pidge advised the Princess.  "Set Black Lion's shields for maximum, wide-angle coverage.  It should just be enough to get you through the atmosphere."

"Allura, I'll piggy-back on top of Black Lion.  Then you can minimize power loss."  Lance said, as he gently moved Keith to one side of the command chair, so that he could handle the controls of Blue Lion. 

"Excellent idea, Lance!"  Pidge said.  "Allura, separate the lions!"

"Beginning separation sequence...now!"  She commanded.  "Extending Lion shields"

Voltron disassembled and returned to the five robot lions once again.  Red Lion had not returned to its proper form because there was no pilot to command it to do so.  Hunk and Pidge turned on their tractor beams and began to drag what was left of the cloud to the sun, to harmlessly be destroyed.  Lance maneuvered Blue Lion into position, so that it rested on Black Lion's back.  Allura then hooked onto Red Lion, and towed it behind her. 

Allura and Lance returned to Arus with Keith.  Dr. Gorma and the emergency medical crew immediately took Keith to surgery upon return to the Castle.  Allura feared that her dearest friend might not survive. Keith was very weak, and had lost a lot of blood. 

When they returned to Arus, both Hunk and Pidge volunteered some of their O positive blood for Keith.

Surgery lasted for several hours into the day.  Everyone sat in the Castle lounge, waiting for word of Keith's condition.  Allura's eyes were swollen from crying.  "He was protecting me!" She agonized silently.  "Why did this have to happen?"

She sent a silent prayer to heaven... "Please, don't let him die!"

At 4:07pm, Dr. Gorma appeared before the Princess, Coran and the rest of the team.

"Majesty, we've completed the surgery.  Commander Keith's condition is critical at this point, but stable.  He has a bruised left kidney.  Further, he had a ruptured spleen, which we did have to remove.  We reset the broken bones in his left ankle and placed a suspension field on it.  His ankle should be healed in a few days.  We closed up his head.  He required 24 laser staples.  Also, he had some internal bleeding from the spleen that we had to control before removing.  He had lost nearly 5% of his body's blood supply.  Thanks to a combination of synthetic blood, and the human blood of those who gave, we have managed to replenish some of the loss...  but not all of it."

The group looked at each other as Dr. Gorma shook his head..."With all this, I'm truly surprised he's made it this far.  He's a strong-willed young man.  Most people would have perished from such trauma.  Now, it's all up to him and his will to live.   I'm afraid I can do nothing further for him, Princess."

"Can we see him, doctor?"  Allura asked, now standing to her feet. 

"Perhaps your presence will make a difference in his recovery."  The doctor replied.  "However, I must tell you that he will not respond to you, Princess.  He is in a deep coma."

"I understand, Dr. Gorma." She quietly replied.

"Thank you, Doctor, for all you have done."  Coran said.

"Please, it's not up to me now.  I can correct injury, but I can't heal it.  Keith will live or die now.  The next 12 hours will be the most critical."  The doctor said.  "I'll be in frequently to check on him, Your Majesty."

"Again, thank you."  She said quietly.

Dr. Gorma and his attendants bowed their head in respect to the Princess, and walked away.  Allura and the others quickly moved to the intensive care unit in the infirmary, which was on site in the Castle. 

When they saw Keith, gasps shot through the room.  He was hooked up to an assortment of life support systems, which included a respirator that was regulating his breathing.  His skin color had a gray hue in appearance.  He looked...dead.

"Oh Keith..." Allura gasped at his appearance, feeling her heart begin to sink, shocked at the way he looked.  The group quietly walked over to his bed, and gathered around. 

"You're gonna make it, Keith, you've just got to!"  Lance wept, wiping tears from his eyes.  "You hear me?  You get better fast!"

"Yeah, we need you, Commander."  Pidge added, wiping away tears of his own.

"The team won't be the same without you leading it."  Hunk added solemnly.

Allura remained silent.  It was Coran who suggested that everyone leave Keith alone to rest. The medical staff was taking good care of him.  But Allura insisted on remaining behind.

"I'd like to sit here awhile, Coran.  You all go on.  I'll see you later."  She said as she took a seat next to his bed. 

Long into the night, Princess Allura remained at his side.  It was now early dawn, the next day.  The medical RN just took Keith's vitals once again.  "He could be this way for days, Princess.  You may want to get some sleep and return later." Said the attending nurse. 

"Thank you, but I'll remain here."  She responded.  The attending nurse left the room. 

Allura looked back over to Keith.  Tears once again started to fill in her eyes.  She leaned in toward him...she had been told that people who were unconscious could sometimes hear what was going on around them.  Allura decided to give it a shot, and talk to him.  She leaned toward his ear, and spoke just above a whisper...

"Keith..." She began.  "I don't know if you can hear me or not, but...I want you to know that I'm here for you now.  I'll stay here as long as you need me.  I'm so sorry that all of this happened to you." 

She grabbed his hand and held on for awhile.  She put her head down on the bed next to his motionless body.  Suddenly, Allura felt like she wasn't alone in the room any longer.  She looked up. 

"My Daughter"  the voice said.

Allura turned to the direction of the voice.  "Father...Father is that you?"  She said.

"My daughter...your friend has risked his very life to save you.  He is a true friend.  Together, your love and friendship will keep you both strong.  Keith is a very brave young man.  He cares for you deeply, as I suspect you do for him, Allura." King Alfor said.

"Father, I'm afraid!  What if he dies?   I can't lose him!  "What will I do?  If I had only known this was going to happen" she sobbed.

"Allura, it is not for us to know the future until it happens.  You will get through this my child, and you will be stronger from this trial.  Keith did what he felt he needed to do for the love of his friend.  You, my daughter, have a true friend in Keith."

"Oh Father, I feel like I'm losing my friend" Allura wept.

"Remain positive my daughter, and pray, for only prayer and your love will improve Keith's chances for survival.  Farewell, my daughter."

"Wait Father...don't leave now!"  She exclaimed.

Allura was once again alone in the room.  She felt that what she had just heard her father say was right.  She needed to remain positive, for Keith's sake.  She bowed her head... 
"Please God, let him be okay.   Don't take him now, please."

She turned her gaze back toward the bed, her hands clasping Keith's hand.  "I know somewhere in there, you can hear me, Keith." she said to him quietly, tears filling her eyes...

"I won't leave you...so you make sure you don't leave me either."

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