"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!

Chapter 23
A Little Help From Friends

Pidge was tracking the direction the lions were taking the group.  Blue Lion still had the lead, streaking forward with confidence in its heading. 

All Keith could think about was what Allura may be going through right now...what was Lotor doing to her right now?  Keith knew that Lotor has always waited for his chance to snatch the Princess for himself, and take control of Planet Arus in the process.  It would make it very easy for him to conquer the galaxy with Arus as Doom central. 

But, not if Voltron could help it!

Keith opened up a channel to Pidge over the COM: "Pidge, where are we?"

"We're about 200,000 parsecs from Arus.  The lions are heading northeast at 1.50 degrees."  Pidge replied.

"Hey, Red Lion is slowing down!"  Lance shouted over the COM, interrupting the conversation.

Keith looked at his instruments again.  "Copy that, Red Lion.  It looks like we're all slowing down!"

"Look at dat!" Sven added.  "It looks like a ship over dere!  A ship of Doom!" 

"I can't believe it!" Pidge said.  "This is awesome!  The lions really did sniff out Lotor!"

"Yeah, well Blue Lion did most of the sniffing."  Lance corrected.  "It's like Blue Lion knew right where to find her!"

"Looks like one of Lotor's main Doom cruisers, all right." Hunk said.  "Let's take it out!"

"Wait a minute, Hunk!  We can't do that!  Allura's on board!"  Keith replied, cautioning his comrades.  "We've got to be careful.  I don't want to take the chance that Lotor will hurt her."

"You've got to be kidding, Keith?  You know Lotor would never hurt the Princess."  Hunk said.

"At least, not intentionally..." Lance first thought to himself before speaking out loud... "Guys, Keith's right.  We've got to have a plan." Lance agreed, remembering the previous timeline that took the Princess's life on a backfired plan of Lotor's to conquer Arus and posses her.  They couldn't go there again.

"Alright, Lance, Pidge... you're with me.  Sven... you and Hunk stay here and keep watch.  If anything weird happens, hail us." Keith said, as he slowly rose from his command chair and grabbed his jetpack.  "Use coded signals for any communications.  But keep the communications to a minimum."

"Wait a minute, aren't you forgetting something?"  Lance's voice echoed in Keith's lion helmet.  "You're still recovering from major surgery!  You can't go out there!  Let Sven go instead!"

"No way, Lance, I'm going and that's it!"  Keith snapped back.  "Lets go!"

"Keith, I think you're letting your personal feels get in the way of your better judgement."  Lance tried to reason, now up and putting on his jetpack in Red Lion.

"You're darn right they are!  I said I'm going and I mean it!  If Lotor has so much as laid a finger on her, I'm going to be the one to take him out!" Keith was starting to become agitated with Lance.  "We're wasting time!  Let's get going now!"

The argument was settled.

Out of the lion's heads flew Keith, Lance and Pidge.  It took several minutes to reach the Doom cruiser.  It was quite a distance away, because the lions had to remain out of scanner range of the Doom cruiser.  As they approached, Keith hailed Pidge through his helmet COM...

"Pidge, can we find a way into that cruiser?  We need to deactivate the security system so we can get inside.  Think you can do it?"  Keith asked his late teen, techo-whiz.

"Yeah, give me a minute to lock onto the frequency, and reconfigure the alarms."  Pidge said.  He used his hand held computer to calculate the figures.  He looked up at Keith when he was ready.

"Got it!  We can fly through that window over there." Pidge said, pointing toward a close by window portal.  "Stand by...we'll only have ten seconds to get in without being detected."  Pidge motioned to Keith and Lance.  "Ready?"

"Let's do it!"  Keith said, sternly.  "Let's go Voltron Force!" 

The group flew over to the window sphere, which was surrounded by a security force field, rather than glass.  They waited for Pidge's signal.

Pidge's fingers danced across the mini keyboard.  "Now, hurry up!"

The group entered in through the window portal... Pidge first, followed by Keith.  Lance flew through with only a second or so remaining.  They paused, making sure the coast was clear.

After a few minutes of low-key activity, it became apparently that they had made it through undetected as Pidge had hoped.

Keith headed for the corner of the hallway.  He motioned for the other two to move up with him.   "Pidge, find Allura!"  Keith whispered, drawing his blaster, while motioning Lance to do the same. 

Pidge reconfigured his computer to pick up humanoid life signs.  He then looked up with a glow on his face, "Got her!  She's about 460 feet away from our present position, but she's not alone.  I'm reading two additional life signs: probably Lotor and Hagar." 

"Which direction?"  Lance said eagerly, blaster in hand.

"Follow me!"  Pidge said.  He jetted off down the hallway with Keith and Lance quickly behind him.

They arrived at a doorway that entered into a large room.  It appeared to be a gathering hall.  Pidge again entered first... followed by Keith, and then Lance.  Then they darted behind a large computer that was close to the entrance.  Keith peered around the corner to see the activity that was taking place nearby. 

"What do you see?" Lance asked, straining to see too.

"I'm not sure.  It looks like someone dressed in a black gown with a black head dress.  Can't see who it is.  Hagar is there, too."  Keith whispered.

"Pidge, you said Princess was in here!  Well, where is she?"  Lance snarled quietly.

"The readings give indication that she is, but...I don't see her anywhere!" Pidge said, looking around  "Hey, Keith, see if you can listen in on who or what that is dressed in black over there."

"Stand by" Keith said as he leaned forward to hear.

Keith listened to the beginning of a conversation that Hagar was having with the mysterious person in black.  "Soon, Lotor will be here and we will begin." 

Lance and Pidge peered around the other side of the giant computer they were all hiding behind, to get a better look at what was going on. 

Keith turned around, and tapped Lance's shoulder.  "I'm gonna sneak over there." He pointed to the far side of the room.  "I need to get closer.  You two stay put right here, and don't move.  And stay alert." 

Keith began to slide on his stomach toward a console that was positioned closer toward the conversation at the center of the room.  It was hard to do, since he was still experiencing pain from his mishap earlier with Blue Lion.  Plus, the restraining belt that he had on was not allowing him to move very fast. 

Keith finally crawled under the console and poked his head out to watch the scene unfolding.  He winced in pain as he positioned himself to observe the area, now directly in front of him. Who was this mystery person?  Was this a new villain siding up with Lotor's group?

Lance and Pidge were looking around the corner of the computer.  They didn't hear him walk up...

"Well, well!  So, it appears that there was a guest list after all!"

Lance and Pidge jumped up and found themselves face to face with Lotor and his guards. The guards quickly confiscated their blasters, and grabbed them forcefully.  Hagar quickly turned around too.  The figure in the black gown began to turn around.  Keith knew Lotor had discovered his friends, but he also wanted to find out whom he was up against in the black outfit.  The figure turned around and faced front.

Keith nearly stopped breathing...it was Allura! 

What was going on? "Why in the heck is she dressed in that get-up?"  he thought to himself.  Then it hit him, like someone hitting him in the stomach "Oh my gosh!  That's a wedding dress!  Lotor's going to marry her!" 

Keith remained out of sight and watched as the Doom soldiers brought his friends forward to the front, and then forced them both to their knees before Allura.  She started to move toward them. 

"Pidge, Lance!  Thank heavens!  How did you ever find me?"  She cried, overjoyed to see them, yet terrified at what Lotor would do to them now.

Allura was still being restrained by Hagar from moving forward, and it was all Keith could do to restrain himself from jumping the old witch.

Lance called out to Allura; "The lions lead us right to you!" 

Lotor moved up to Lance and Pidge. "So, you've come to wish Allura and me well?  How nice, but I'm afraid that you won't be able to stay for the wedding reception.  That's reserved, you understand, right?"  Lotor had a smirk on his face.

"Lotor, you let the Princess go!"  Lance shouted in anger.

"Or what?  What can you possibly do that would frighten me?  You are in a position to demand nothing!  But if you're good boys, I'll let you stay for the wedding."  Lotor laughed.

"What wedding?"  Pidge puzzled.  "Who's getting married?"

"Why Allura and I, of course."  Lotor said matter-of-factly.  He was enjoying every minute of this, all the while, looking for any sign of their heroic commander.  He had to be nearby.  It wasn't like Keith to miss out on all the action, even if he was hurt.

"You'll never get away with it, Lotor!"  Lance shouted as he struggled to get free.  The guards were holding them both down firmly.  That didn't stop Lance from struggling.

"And who's going to stop me?  Certainly not you, little man!  You'll be dead shortly."  Lotor said sternly, leaning into Lance's face.

"No, Lotor, don't hurt them!  Please set them free!"   Allura cried, reaching her arms forward toward her two friends.

"I can't do that, my dear. They've caused me enough trouble."  Lotor replied to Allura.

"If you really love me, then set them free!"  She shouted back. "Let them go, Lotor!"

"Silence!  A wife is to be seen and not heard!  The sooner you learn that, my dear Princess, the better you and I will get along!"  Lotor barked at her.  Allura suddenly coward back, afraid he would strike her again.  Lotor turned back to Lance and Pidge.  "And as for you two, you can be witnesses to the greatest event of the galactic century, and then...you die.  Fair enough, I'd say."

Lotor then turned his focus to Hagar.  "Well, what are you waiting for?  Bring in my Master of Ceremonies and let's get on with this!  I'm anguish to take my bride away to the bridal suite!"  He laughed as he lifted his hand to Allura's valed face.  He lifted up the vale and tried to steal a kiss from her.   She quickly spit at him.  "You're a monster!  I'll never give myself to you...you fiend!" she shouted crossly at him.

"Oh, my dear...haven't you figured things out yet?  You are mine!  I don't need your consent to take what is mine!" Lotor said as he wiped the spit off his face with his good hand.  Then he turned back to Lance and Pidge.  "By the way, where's your foolish commander?  I'm sure he wouldn't miss this for the world!" 

"He's not with us right here!" Lance said with a bit of evasion. 

"He's lucky to be alive after what you did to him!" Pidge shouted suddenly attempting to further the diversion.

"Oh, so what you're telling me is he doesn't care what happens to your precious Princess?"  Lotor scoffed. "I can't believe that!  I'd much rather you tell me the story of the boy who cried wolf.  At the end of that story, I believe the big bad wolf ate the little boy!  Such a delicious little Terran tale!"

"Lotor, please let them go!" Allura shouted.  "If you do...I'll marry you without question.  But you have to let them go first."

Keith, still hiding nearby, mumbled quietly to himself... "Don't do it Allura!  He'll kill them, anyway..."

Lotor turned to Allura.  "Allura, you don't understand.  I have all of you where I want you.  It doesn't matter if you marry me willingly or not, I am marrying you, with or without your permission."

Allura became infuriated.  "I HATE YOU!"  She screamed furiously.  She suddenly ran toward Lotor in a fit of rage, her arms swinging with intent to hurt him.  "You won't take me that easily...you...you beast!"

"Allura, stop!" Lance shouted, as he struggled to get away from the guard's restraint.

The Princess ran up to Lotor and with her clenched fist, she swung at the good side of his face. Lotor took a step backward.  Hagar then tugged on the energy rope that was still around the Princess's waste. 

When Allura swung, she missed Lotor, and as Hagar pulled on the rope, Allura instead ended up falling into a table that collapsed as she made impact.  She fell hard to the ground, screaming.

"Princess!"  Pidge hollered as he went to get up to help her, but was forced back down by the Doom guards.

Keith once again resisted the urge to get up and face off with Lotor.  But it wasn't time yet.  He waited to see Allura get up from the fall, all the while gritting his teeth in anger.  He wanted to take Lotor on for all he had done to her.  Instead however, he forced himself to keep his cool and wait patiently for his chance.  He continued to watch the events unfold from the shadows.

"Pick her up!"  Lotor motioned to the old witch, as he pointed to Allura lying on the floor. 

"You leave her alone, Lotor!  I've about had enough of you!" Lance shouted, his own fists clenched. 

"Lance, I have certainly had enough of you!" Lotor replied aloud as he drew his laser gun.  "I'm going to blow you away.  Say goodbye, Lance!"

"No, wait!" Allura shouted, as she scrambled to get up on her own.  "Please don't hurt them, Lotor."  Allura began pleading for Lance and Pidge's lives.  "IIbeg you.  Please"

Lotor turned around and faced her.  She had tears in her eyes.  The one thing that he couldn't stand was to see her cry.  His heart melted at the sight of her concern for the two 'spores' she called 'friends', and lightened up a bit.  "Very well, I'll spare them for your sake."

Lotor then turned back to Lance and Pidge. "After we finish here, I have a work mine I'm going to send you both to.  Then you'll be out of my hair, permanently."

"Oh that's real nice, Lotor.  You're too kind." Lance responded back sarcastically. "I'd rather you killed us instead."

"Believe me...nothing would be sweeter."  Lotor rebutted.  "But, I'm giving you your miserable lives as a wedding present to my bride."  Lotor turned back toward Allura.  "Come, my dear.  Its time to get married. We've wasted too much time."

He hooked onto Allura's arm and dragged her over to the Officiate who was waiting to begin.  "Oh Allura, I've waited for this moment for a long time.  You're finally mine!" 

Struggling, Allura looked into his eyes, "You'll never really have me!  I hate you, Lotor!"
Allura spit into Lotor's face again.    

"That's not very lady like.  Didn't your daddy teach the proper way to pay homage to a royal Prince?"  Lotor shot a quick glance to Lance and Pidge.  "I suggest you behave yourself, my dear Princess, or I might take back my wedding present and kill these two viruses after all...and right in front of you!"  Lotor then glared angrily back at her.  "There's only so much that I'll tolerate, my love, and you are fast approaching my limit!"

Allura coward at him... again the anger in his words frightening her into submission.

The Officiate was now waiting for Hagar's signal to begin.  With tears in her eyes, Allura shook her head in disbelief.  She turned her head and looked helplessly at Lance and Pidge, who were immobilized. 

The only one who had a chance was Keith, hidden somewhere nearby. 

Keith meanwhile, was looking for something to distract Lotor for a moment.  He had hold of his blaster, but was unwilling to risk firing into the crowd for fear of hurting Allura, or Lance and Pidge.  He waited quietly, and hoped his chance would come before he had to do something that would please Lance to no end...

...spontaneously run out and start shooting up the place.

Allura's head was down, tears streaming from her eyes.  As the ceremony began, she began to repeat another silent plea in her mind.  "Blue Lion...hear my thoughts.  You're my only hope.  Help me, Blue Lion.  Help me, please."

It was at that moment, Blue Lion's eyes lit up as it hovered undetected in nearby space, along with all the other lions.  Blue Lion started acting funny...as if  it had a mind of its own.  Sven noticed the odd behavior and contacted Hunk in the Yellow Lion.  

"Hunk, sometink's wrong!  I'm losing control of Blue Lion!"

"Huh?" Shouted Hunk.  "Sven, take it off auto pilot!"

Sven flipped the controls over, and Blue Lion stopped.  Sven regained control again.  "Okay, I've got it now."  Sven reported, at ease that things were back under control.

But then, Blue Lion started again, this time moving toward the direction of Lotor's ship. 

"Hunk, it's happening again!  I can't stop it!" Sven shouted, realizing he had no control over the lion any longer.

"Hold on!  I'll hook a tractor beam on you!" Hunk shouted over the COM. 

Then, as if it understood what was happening, Yellow Lion froze up too, refusing Hunk control over it. 

"Hey, hey, hey! What's happening here?"  Hunk shouted, suddenly confused and grabbing onto Yellow Lion's controls.

"Blue Lion, stop!" Sven wailed.  "Hunk, I can't make it stop, Blue Lion's arming itself and iz preparing to fire on Lotor's ship!"

"Yellow Lion too!  What's going on here?" Hunk shouted.  Then, Hunk thought about the time that Red Lion thrashed about on its own, when it sensed Allura was in danger.  He realized that this must be what was happening: Allura was in trouble.  The lions were moving into position in an attempt to defend her.

Hunk raised Sven over the COM... "Sven, the Princess, she's in trouble! She must be!  The lions sense it...check out the other lions!" 

Black, Green and Red Lions were also powering up weapons to fire on the ship. 

"Hold on!" Hunk shouted.  "They're on their own!" 

Blue Lion targeted the ship and opened fire with torpedoes.  Black, Green, Yellow and Red Lions followed suit and opened fire on the unsuspecting Doom Ship.

It was at that moment that Lotor was about to say his vows to Allura.  Suddenly...


Everything shook violently and sent those who were standing on their feet, down to the floor.  Keith held on to the table he was hiding under by grabbing onto one of its legs.  He looked up from his position, and saw that chaos had erupted where the main action was going on.

This was the moment he was waiting for.  The Doom guards were caught off guard, and had lost their weapons.  Lance and Pidge were sliding around on the floor. There was mass confusion. 

As Keith quickly assessed the situation, he determined one thing: it was now or never to do something.  The robot lions were giving him his chance to act...

"Don't blow it, Keith." He said to himself, eyeing Lotor.

Lotor, meanwhile, after slamming to the ground, shook off the shock and looked around. 

"What was that!" he shouted in fury.  "Someone's opened fire on us!  Check it out, you idiots!"  He commanded his Doom guards to get up and find out what was going on.

Allura blink a few times as she sat up.  She then smiled with tears in her eyes "Thank you, Blue Lion." She said softly. 

But this was now her time to make her escape.  She saw a blaster nearby and quickly went crawling for it.  Unfortunately for her, Hagar also saw it.  Hagar hovered quickly to intercept the Princess. 

"And just what do you think you're doing, pretty Princess?" Hagar questioned sarcastically.  "I'm afraid your valiant attempt is not going to pay off...get-AAHHH!"

A bright light flashed past Hagar.  She blinked quickly and backed up.  "Ah-h-h-h!  What was that?"  She screeched. 

"Back off, Hagar, now!"

Lotor turned around and gasped.  "Its you!" He shouted. 

Keith had jumped out from his hiding spot and ran quickly up to Lotor, who was still on the floor. He knew Keith was somewhere around, but the sudden attack on his ship distracted him.  He found himself staring down the barrel of Keith's blaster.

While Keith and Lotor were squaring off, Lance and Pidge jumped up and grabbed their blasters from the floor.  Lotor glared at Keith with an evil eye.

"You fool!  Do you really think your feeble attempt at a rescue is going to work?  Where do you think you're going to escape to?" Lotor shouted.

"Lotor, I promised myself that I wouldn't kill you for what you've put the Princess through.  But now I should blast you out of existence anyway." Keith said with a subdued voice.  "You've tried this over and over.  When are you going to realize that she doesn't want to be around you?"

"That's not your concern, Lion boy!"  Lotor shouted, helpless to defend himself.  "You have no right to destroy my wedding!"

"You have no right to destroy her life!  You did it once, I'm not going to let you kill her again!"  Keith shouted holding the blaster with his finger prepared to open fire.  With so much hatred for Lotor inside, Keith completely lost track of what he was saying.

"What are you babbling about, you moron?" Lotor shouted.

Allura looked up too.  She remembered Keith telling her about how he returned in time to save her from death.  She had died in some previous timeline.  She thought for a split second what death felt like.  She couldn't fathom it in her deepest imagination. 

And now, here was Keith defending her life, for what appeared to be the second time.  Still, she knew what agony felt like with Keith's own life in the balance.  She still remembered how he looked when he was so near death within seconds she came back to the present and the things taking place around her.  And Keith was on the verge of blowing Lotor away...

"No, wait Keith!"  Allura shouted, stretching her right arm forward to him.  "You don't want to do this!"

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't blast him out of existence!"  Keith shouted, staring straight at Lotor, holding his life at the end of the blaster.

Allura rose to her feet.  "Because if you do, you'll be no better than he is."

Lance and Pidge stood up by now, looking at Keith and Lotor.  Hagar was also staring toward the center of the attention, unwilling to react with her Prince's life on the line.

Keith stared at Lotor, who was sweating profusely.  He tried to put his anger aside, but he just couldn't.  He wanted to see him dead...once and for all, silencing his evil reign on the galaxy, paying him back for what he did to Allura...and to him

"I'm not dead, Keith, I'm right here.  Killing Lotor will not avenge the past in your mind.  Reality will.  The reality is that I am alive.  You can't do this, Keith.  You're an Alliance Commander." Allura reminded him. "Remember your training! You're always quoting regulations, Keith... you're not like this!  Remember what you once told me...keep your head!"

Lance chimed in: "Listen, Keith, Allura's right.  You can't destroy Lotor. This isn't right. I know he deserves it for what he's done.  But if you do this, you'll regret it for the rest of your life."

"Let's get out of here, Commander."  Pidge added lastly.  "We've got what we came here for."

Lotor looked at Keith.  "I agree!  What would your life be like without me around, hmmm?"

Keith disregarded Lotor's comments and struggled to hear his military training.  His anger was clouding his judgement.  He could finally see that now.  It was Lance's comments that brought him back to his senses...

"If you do this, you'll regret it for the rest of your life.

Allura tried again "Keith, please don't do this!  Lower your blaster."

He looked at Lotor; his eyes focused on his cowling enemy.  His head began to clear, and he found himself regaining control once again.  He pulled his blaster back away from Lotor's face.  

"You're not worth it."  He finally said.  Lotor breathed a sigh of relief that the Voltron commander had changed his mind, seeing the voice of reasonfor his benefit.

Still holding the weapon toward Lotor, however, Keith motioned to Lance and Pidge.  "Get the Princess out of here."

Lotor angrily looked at Keith, suddenly caring very little that his life was just spared. "You'll not run far enough in this galaxy to get away from me...Commander Keith Hunter!"  Lotor spat out.  "I'll find you and you'll pay for this insult!"

"Spare me the melodramatics, Lotor!  Just be glad you're still sitting here alive, mouthing off at me!"  Keith seethed.

"G-R-R-R!" Lotor growled.  "I won't let this rest, Keith!  I promise you, this is not finished yet!"

"It is as far as I'm concerned!" Keith barked back.  Then he looked at Lance and Pidge who now had Allura by their side.  "Well, what are you two waiting for?  I told you to get Princess out of here!" 

Pidge shot Keith a concerned look, "You too, Keith.  We're not leaving without you."

"I'll stay behind and wait for you guys to signal all clear."  Keith responded with his eye still on Lotor.

Allura became distressed.  "Keith, please come with us!"

"Princess, I said go!  Get going with Lance and Pidge."  Keith blurted back.  "I'll cover you!"

Allura looked at the two young men at her side.  Their eyes told her they didn't want to leave him here either.  She couldn't help but notice that Keith sounded almost desperate in his request to the others of leave him behind. 

"What is he trying to prove here?" Lance thought to himself.  "Come on, Keith!" he finally said aloud. 

"I told you, get the Princess to safety!"  Keith shouted in anger. "You're wasting time!  I've given you an order...now do it!"

Lance was glaring at Keith, clearly bewildered by the young commander's orders.  But he nodded to Pidge and grabbed onto Princess's arm.  "Come on, let go."

Allura became enraged, yanking her arm free of Lance's grasp.  "You've got to be kidding!  None of us are leaving without Keith!  I refuse to leave!"

"GET OUT OF HERE, ALLURA..NOW!" shouted Keith at the top of his voice.  "I'M NOT GOING TO REPEAT MYSELF AGAIN!  NOW GET OUT...ALL OF YOU!"

Allura quickly reacted in fear at his anger toward her, and turned to Lance, burying her face into his chest with a loud gasp. Tears were welling up in her eyes.  She'd never seen Keith this angry before.  Lance quickly covered the Princess with his arms.  Then he looked at Pidge, who was equally stunned by Keith's behavior. 

"Let's go, Princess" Lance quietly said, as he continued to hold Allura in his arms.  "Pidge, you too." 

"Don't worry, Princess.  Keith will be along shortly."  Pidge said, trying to reassure himself of that as much as he was trying to convince the Princess.

Allura lifted her head up slightly and gazed over at Keith.  His expression was now one of hurt, not anger.  It looked as if he was regretting shouting at her.  She looked up at Lance and nodded.  Whatever Keith had planned, it obviously didn't include her or the boys.

Lance lifted the Princess up in his arms, and activated his jets for a speedy escape.  Pidge followed closely behind them.

After the three were gone, Keith concentrated his gaze back to Lotor.  "Now, it's just you and me, Lotor."

"You're really a big shot with that blaster in hand.  Why don't you put it down and show me how brave you really are, little man!" Lotor sneered.

"Do you really think I'm stupid enough to do that?  Your Doom Soldiers would be all over me in a second.  Don't worry, Lotor, I'll be leaving too, but I wanted the Princess to get a head start out of here." 

Hagar raised her wand.  Keith caught her out of the corner of his eye. "Cool it, Hagar.  Before you even get me, I'll have him.  So, back off, old witch!"

Hagar growled and looked over at Lotor.  "Do as he says for now."  Lotor commanded.

Hagar lowered her wand and remained where she was.  Lotor, meantime, looked back at Keith..."Where do you think you are going to go, Commander?  You've sacrificed yourself to save Allura, but where did it get you?" 

Keith looked at Lotor.  "What are you babbling about?"

"I mean, there's no one to rescue you, Commander.  You're trapped here.  Eventually you've got to give up.  This was a rather incomplete plan.  It's totally out of character for you, Keith.  You must be slipping."

Keith just stared off, as if he was looking right through his advisory.  Lotor could see that Keith appeared dazed somewhat.  This could be the break he was looking for.  With Keith as his prisoner, he was sure to get Allura back quickly. 

"What's the matter, Keith?  Feeling a bit tired, are we?"

(Keith stirred in his bed, back in the medical lab.  He then settled down and returning to his dream...)

Keith suddenly shook it off.  "You just keep your place while I head out of here.  And to ensure you do just that, let me show you what else I've 'incompletely planned' for you!"

Keith took out a mechanical device from this pocket.  It looked like a button.  It had self-adhesive on both sides.  Keith tossed into the air and it stuck to the ceiling of the ship.

"If you so much as move a muscle, I'll blow this ship apart!"  Keith threatened, beginning to slowly back away from Lotor.

"What, with that little button?  You must be joking, Commander!"  Lotor laughed as he looked at it, stuck to the ceiling.

"That 'little button' as you say, is an explosion device.  All I have to do is push another button I have in my pocket and you're gone!  You and this whole ship!'  Keith said.

Lotor tried to call his bluff... "Then you'll go too...and Allura's dearest love will be no more."

"The Princess's life is worth more than mine.  Her life is the most important.  As long as she's safe, I'll gladly give my life for her.  Especially if it includes taking you with me!  Go ahead and test my theory!"  Keith dared, reaching his free hand into his uniform pocket.

Lotor held his hand out in front of him "Alright, Commander.  You've sufficiently made your point."

Keith's COM beeped.  "Go ahead."  He said.

It was Lance.  "We're out.  All's clear for you come out now."

"Copy that, Lance.  I'll be right there!"  Keith replied.  "Prepare to form Voltron.  Out."

Keith still had his focus on the evil group.  "I'll be taking my leave of you now.  It's been fun, Lotor!  Next time, our place, okay?" 

"I'll destroy Planet Arus!  And Allura will be mine again!"  Lotor shouted.

"Talk is cheap, Lotor.  You'll never have Allura...or Planet Arus!  Both of them will always be safe, so long as I'm living there!"  Keith remarked. 

"Perhaps that won't be for long" Lotor grunted to himself.

Keith slowly backed up to the doorway of the hall, heading in the direction where he and the others first came in.  His blaster was still on Lotor and his other hand, still in his pocket on the detonator button.  He activated his jets, hovering for a moment, then zooming out of sight.

When Keith left the room, Lotor dashed for one of the blasters on the floor and took aim at the explosive. 

"Does he really think he can beat me?"  Lotor shouted as he pulled the trigger.  The blast of energy came out of the weapon and disintegrated Keith's threat on the ceiling. 

Lotor turned around to Hagar and the Doom Soldiers.  "I want him dead!  Kill him now!"
Referring to Keith.  "And bring me back his head!  I don't care what you do with the rest of him!"

Hagar bowed her head and hovered off into the direction Keith jetted off to, as did the Doom Soldiers.  Lotor turned to the window and looked at the robot lions off in the distance.  "Soon you'll be mine again!" he said as he thought of possessing Allura once more.  "And this time, your hero will no longer be here to save you!"

Keith reached the same window that he and the others had entered earlier.  The security system was now disarmed, thanks to the lion attack.  The force field no longer an issue of detection, but he suddenly found he couldn't get through the field. 

But then, Keith looked down and saw that Pidge had left his mini computer there for him to use to disarm the force field.  He quickly picked it up and punching the code Pidge had entered in.  The force field dropped, but only for a short time.  The Doom ships autonomic systems would reactivate it shortly.  So he immediately dashed out into space, his rocket zooming him as fast as it could go. 

He knew he was still a good distance away from the safety of the robot lions.  Keith turned his head around and caught a glimpse of Hagar with his peripheral vision, coming out of the window too, now in hot pursuit of him. 

He reached in his pocket and pushed the button.  Nothing happened.  He figured that Lotor destroyed the explosive left behind for insurance.  He twisted his head around again to look at Hagar, coming ever closer to him.  His only hope was to outrun Hagar somehow. 

Back in their lions, Pidge, Lance and Allura concentrated on what was to happen next.  No amount of planning however, would prepare them for what was about to take place.

"Come on, you guys!  Keith's out there trying to get away!  We gotta help him!"  Hunk shouted, frustrated at the amount of time wasted already.

Allura was still stunned with disbelief.  Why would Keith have yelled in anger at her?  She thought perhaps, he was trying to get her to agree to leave with Pidge and Lance. "But he was so harsh.  Does he really think this way of me?" she thought.  "Am I just an annoyance to him always needing to be rescued?" 

She shook it off, realizing that she had more pressing matters to attend to.  She now had to be the pilot of Black Lion again.  It was her turn to save Keith.  And Hagar was quick on his tail. 

"We've got to go after him!"  Shouted Allura, taking her place in the Black Lion's command chair.

"We can't fly over there, if we do, Lotor is going to fire on us, and he might hit Keith!"
Cried Pidge. 

"Well, we just can't sit here doing nothing!" shouted Lance.  "Keith's never gonna make it back here before Hagar blasts him into oblivion!"

Allura bowed her head.  "What can we do?"  She said to everyone.  "If we don't do something soon, Hagar will kill him!"

Just then, Keith hailed the group over the COM.  "Hey guys, I could use some help here!"

Allura spoke up: "Keith, hold on!  We're going to get you out of there, somehow!"

Keith closed his hail.  He dodged another of Hagar's blasts as the rest of the force looked on.  "She's getting closer!" Keith said to himself. "Come on team, I'm running out of time!"

Pidge chimed in over the COM to the group, "What if we send a proton missile at them?  That should distract Hagar long enough to get Keith out of there!"

"Then we need to do it now!"  Lance shouted as he armed his missile bay. 

"You have to aim it just right, Lance."  Pidge said.  "I'll send you the coordinates."

"That's too dangerous!  What if you miss and hit Keith?"  Hunk hollered.

"If we don't do something, Hagar won't miss Keith for much longer!"  Lance fired back.  "It's our only option!  We have to do it, now!"

While Lance prepared to fire, Hagar continued to pellet Keith with blasts from her magic globe.  It was then that she decided to take aim at Keith's oxygen pack on his back. 

"With his oxygen destroyed, Commander Keith will parish!"  She laughed hideously.  She took aim at him with her globe.  "Bye bye, brave young space explorer!"

(Keith's vital signs in the medical lab started to elevate, as he continued to dream...)

Hagar fired at Keith and connected, instantly disabling his oxygen tank.  Keith jolted forward, crying out from the pain his body felt from the impact. Then looked behind him to see what damaged he sustained. 

His face grimaced, but this time... not from pain, but in horror.  The oxygen tank was heavily damaged.  Keith quickly checked his digital air gage.  The level was dropping... fast. 

With no oxygen supply, he knew he would suffocate in a matter of minutes.  Not exactly the way he figured on going out of this world.  "Hey guys, I'm out of time, and oxygen!" he struggled.  "I'm finished!  Protect the Princess.  Don't...don't let Hagar..."

"No, hang on, Keith!"  Lance shouted, gritting his teeth, as he prepared to use Red Lion to rescue him, knowing he would be in firing range of Lotor's cruiser.  "I'm coming in!"

"No...no Lance...don't... do-o-o... it" Keith wheezed.  "Stay... where you...are!"

Keith could feel himself losing unconsciousness.  He began gasping in the last amounts of air left to him.  He opened his COM to the whole team, speaking what he knew were likely his last words...

"You guys will survive!  You...have to. (Cough)    Allura...I'm...so sorry.  (Gas-s-sp.) Please for  give m-me...." 

The COM connection terminated.

"KEIT!"  Sven shouted angrily.  "KEIT, NO!"

"Keith!"  Allura cried through the COM.  Silence still filled the air.  "Oh, Keith.  I do forgive you.  Please don't leave me!  You can't!" She tearfully pleaded in silence.

It was then that Pidge looked at his radar.  There was a disturbance fixating itself near Keith's position.  Pidge hailed the team.                       

"Hey" Pidge shouted over the COM.  "I'm getting some strange readings here.  It's a shifting of the space continuum...60 degrees port!"

"What's going on?"  Sven shouted.  "Dat's where Keit iz!"

"Well, whatever it is, its about to materialize right in front of him and Hagar!"  Pidge finished.

Lance raised Keith on the COM... "Keith listen, if you can hear me, take evasive action immediately!  Pidge is picking up a shift in space. There's something coming toward you... watch yourself!"

There was no response from him. 

Allura feared the worse.  "We have to save him, now!"  She couldn't leave him out there to die in space.  "Cover me.  I'm going in!" 

"Wait, Princess, don't move, something's out there!"  Pidge shuffled his fingers across his lion's computer board.  "It's about to materialize."

Space began shifting right in front of Keith and a dark portal opened up.  The object began to form and take shape.  As space settled and the portal began to close, it became clear what the object was....

Meantime, Keith was breathing shallowly, his oxygen nearly gone.  His eyes were partly opened when he saw it materialize too...just to his right.  Shaking his head,  he glanced weakly to the left... and saw the robot lions, hovering in space. 

"Wh-h-hat?   Two... two... can't be..." Keith thought as he slipped into unconsciousness. 

"I can't believe this!"  Hunk said bewildered, staring right at the object that appeared near by. "Am I seeing what I think I'm seeing?"

"What in the world" Lance added.  "Is that...us?"

From that space portal entered what appeared to be...Voltron!  But how could Voltron be in two places at once?

Lotor saw it too from the bridge of his Doom cruiser.  He couldn't believe what he was seeing either.  "How can this be?  Two Voltrons?  This is impossible!"

The Blue Lion's mouth of the second Voltron opened and swallowed Keith up inside, as Hagar and her Doom soldiers stopped dead in their tracks.

"How can there be two Voltrons?"  Hagar shouted.  She turned around and headed back to the ship, realizing she couldn't confront it and win.

Meantime, the present Voltron Force members stared at the unfolding events...in shock.  If they were here, how in the world can they be there too?

"I'm confused!"  Hunk said, rubbing his chin.  "Who's piloting them... us?"

"But, how can that be if we're here?"  Pidge replied; running an analysis on the other robot giant.   "Whoa... I'm reading totally new equipment over there!  It's not our robot lions at all!  They've been overhauled with some new technology, the likes which I've never seen!"

"What do you mean, Pidge?"  Sven asked.  "Tell us, what are you picking up?"

Pidge paused a moment, reviewing his readings again.  "It's totally new...that Voltron isn't
the same Voltron we know and love.  I'm reading technological energy patterns that I've never seen before in my life!"

"Where's Keith, Pidge?  Can you get a reading on him?"  Allura asked.

"I think so, Princess.  He's in the Blue Lion's mouth, and his vitals seem to be stabilizing now."  Pidge continued to view the feedback from his analysis.  "This is incredible stuff...
I can't wait to see who's piloting this baby..." Pidge thought. 

"Well, it appears we owe dis Voltron a debt of tanks for saving Keit's life."  Sven sighed quietly, but cautiously. 

"Yeah, well I won't say thanks till we get him back safely with us!"  Lance sneered back.  "For all we knew, this could be a trap."

"You think everything's a trap."  Pidge butted in.

"Okay boys, that's enough. Pay attention to what's happening here" Allura said, gazing curiously at the new Voltron.  "Pidge, could that be us from an alternate dimension?"

"I don't know, Princess."  Pidge mindlessly replied, still examining the data from the technology of the newly appeared robot defender.

"Well, is it possible?"  Hunk asked.  "I mean could this be... ourselves?"

"Of course its possible... but I just don't know how its possible..." Pidge replied, still preoccupied by the readings.  "It's too weird... the technology is so advanced.  I doubt that's us over there.  Someone else from somewhere else in time maybe?"

Keith regained consciousness, and began to crawl up to the cockpit of Blue Lion, gasping and coughing as he ripped off his helmet to breathe processed air.  In his confused state, he assumed it was Sven, who, when he left, was piloting Blue Lion. 

When he reached the cockpit, he saw things were very different in the lion.  New gadgets, new instrument panels, a new command chair.  When the chair swung around, Keith gasped and moved backward...a new pilot at the controls too! 

"Who are you?"  Keith asked, bewildered at the site of the beautiful young woman who was apparently piloting Blue Lion.

"Tell you later.  Right now, lets get you back to your team, fast."  The young woman said.  She had brown hair flowing down around her shoulders.  It wasn't confined in the lion helmet, as regulation required it to be. 

"But, what are you doing in Blue Lion?  And where's Sven?" Keith asked, now becoming more insistent  "Answer me!  Who are you, and what have you done with Sven?"  He now pulled out his blaster and took aim, but not releasing the safety lock.

"Just relax, we're on your side!"  The woman replied, waving her hands in front of her.   "Put your blaster away!  Do you think I'm really going to hurt you?"  Then there was a COM message.  A screen popped in front of the woman in the command seat.  It was another woman. 

"Did you get him?"  The woman on the screen asked. 

Keith stared blankly at the woman "What the...she looks like...Allura!  What's going on here?"  Keith thought to himself, finding that this was going to be some explanation.

"Yeah, I got him.  He's a bit weirded out though, but none worse for the ware.  We better get this over with." Said the brown-haired woman in Blue Lion.

"Agreed. I'll send word."  Said the woman on the screen.  The image suddenly disappeared and the transmission terminated.

Keith stood there...not sure what to do.  Did someone take Voltron?  And where was his team? 

"What have you done with my friends?" shouted Keith, now becoming concerned for their safety.

"They're out there still, probably as confused as you are, Your Highness."  The woman responded.  "Just have a seat, we'll explain things soon."

"Your Highness?"  Keith replied, now even more bewildered then before.  "Are you sure you've got the right person?"  

Keith said, lowering his blaster while finding somewhere to sit. "This ought to be good...and why did she call me 'Your Highness'?  Who are these people and where do they come from?"   Keith thought.

The woman turned and looked at Keith.  "You just won't believe it when you hear who we are."  She said as she shook her head and turned back around.   "You just won't believe it."

It was a timely response to Keith's thoughts on the matter.

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