"A Christmas to Remember"
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.
Too Close for Comfort
Blue Lion was now on a return approach to the Castle of Lions. It would only be a matter of moments before touched back down into the lake...
Suddenly, the lion jerked forward....violently.
From inside of the cockpit, Allura desperately attempted to gain control of the now faltering robot lion.
"Uh-oh!" she gasped as she struggled with the throttle controls. "This can't be good!"
She quickly raised Castle Control...
Lance and Pidge were preparing to head out after Princess Allura. Lance and Coran had been alerted to the Princess's sudden impulse to take off in the Blue Lion... apparently in an attempt to try to find Keith on her own.
Suddenly, Allura's voice came in over the COM link in Castle Control...
"Mayday! Mayday! Blue Lion in distress! Repeat! I'm going down! Over!"
Coran quickly responded to her distress call...
"Princess! Princess! What is going on up there?" Coran replied.
"Coran! Blue Lion's experiencing mechanical failure! I'm going to crash to the ground!" Allura's voice shouted through the COM link.
Lance quickly ran to the COM...
"Princess! This is Lance! Adjust your heading... point two degrees east! Then turn and bank! Try and keep the nose up!"
"I'm trying!" she shouted, her voice straining. "The lion's becoming too hard to steer! Blue Lion's out of control!"
"Don't panic!" Pidge's voice shouted, as he ran up to where Lance stood. "Pivot the lion! Don't fight with it! Work with each turn!"
"I'm losing steering control!" Allura's voice echoed.
Lance turned to Coran, who had already turned to pull up the radar, getting a fix on Blue Lion's position and altitude.
"She is better than a thousand feet from the ground!' Coran gasped suddenly. "She could be killed if she..."
"Not if I can help it!" Lance shouted, as he immediately began running for the number two chute that led to the Red Lion.
"Right behind you, Lance!" Pidge shouted, running as well to the number three chute to Green Lion.
Lance and Pidge were immediately loaded in their lions and seconds later, lifted off, heading for the now, out of control Blue Lion, as it bobbled up and down in mid air, gaining and losing altitude with each moment that passed.
Inside Blue Lion, Allura desperately worked at the controls, attempting to keep the lion's nose pointed upward, with what little control she had remaining.
The warning sirens were screaming at her in the cockpit, as the gyro-clutch began to give out completely. Once it was gone, steering control would fail with it, and the lion would drop out of the air, like a rock falling to the ground.
"Keith!" she began to call out in her mind. "Keith! Can you read me? Where are you?"
"Princess! I'm here!" Keith's voice echoed back in her mind. "What's going on, Allura!"
"I'm losing control of Blue Lion!" her thoughts screamed back to him. "You were right! What'll I do? I'm going to crash!"
"Don't panic! Keep your head!" Keith's voice encouraged her, with a worried tone of its own. "Are you keeping the nose up as you descend?"
"Yes! But I'm losing steering control...I'm going down!"
"Listen to me, Allura! Get ready to abandon the Blue Lion! Do you read me?"
It was then that Allura saw her destination... The Castle of Lions.
The Blue Lion was on a direct course for it. If it crashed into the Castle, it would kill a lot of people...including the children and adults of Candor, who were still inside, making merry at the party. The Castle's protective shields would not stand up against such a blow.
The sweat began to bead on her forehead as she desperately yanked at the throttle controls...
"I can't abandon ship, Keith!" Allura announced in her thoughts.
"What do you mean, you can't abandon..."
"The ship is heading for the Castle!" Allura proclaimed to Keith. "I have to try and steer it away from the Castle, or many people will be killed by its impact!"
"Princess! What's your situation now?"
"I've barely got flight control, Keith! In another moment or two..."
The 'moment or two' that Allura had spoke of quickly ended, as the lion's gyro clutch finally burned out, ceasing to function. The lion jerked forward, and then, pivoted in a free-fall manner toward the ground... and the Castle of Lions.
Allura halted her conversation with Keith, and instead, quickly raised Castle Control...
"This is Allura! Blue Lion is out of control! Repeat... Blue Lion is going down! I'm on a direct heading with the Castle! You must shoot me down, Coran!"
Coran's voice replied back in a frantic manner* "Princess! I can not shoot you down!"
"You must, Coran! You have no choice! You must defend the Castle!" she shouted back through the COM.
"I will not shoot at you, Princess!" Coran shouted in return. "Shields are up..."
"The shields will not hold against the impact!" she hollered back. "I'm ordering you to shoot at me...destroy the Blue Lion! Quickly, Coran..."
"I...I can not, Princess!" Coran replied hesitantly.
"You must!" Allura's voice again pleaded, almost begging Coran, now. "The children, Coran! You must think about the children's safety first..."
In the sky nearby, Red Lion approached from east of the volcano, while Green Lion came in from the north end of the forest, near the Castle. The wind and snow hampered the two Voltron pilots from getting there sooner, as the visibility was zero.
But not so much so, that they couldn't see what was happening before them...
"Lance!" Pidge shouted through the COM. "My sensors read that Blue Lion's on a collision course with the Castle of Lions!"
"Quick!" Lance shouted back through the COM. "Get along side of it! You take the left, and I'll take the right! Hurry, Pidge!"
"I'm on it, Lance!" Pidge shouted back.
Blue Lion tilted, and pointed downward, spiraling toward the ground. In a matter of seconds...it would be all over.
Suddenly...the lion jerked once again, and Allura's voice yipped in response to the unanticipated forward and backward thrust.
She saw her monitors and gages begin to level out... and the Blue Lion, now seemingly started to take a turn away from the Castle.
Allura checked her monitors, and suddenly smiled, sighing a breath of relief...
Red Lion and Green Lion had managed to grab onto Blue Lion, by the front legs. Together, the three lions headed down safely to the ground.
Meanwhile, Keith's voice resounded frantically in Allura's head...
"Princess! Come in, Princess! What's happening? Allura...come in...please!"
Allura sighed, adrenaline still coursing through her veins, as she attempted to concentrate her thoughts to respond to Keith's pleas.
"I'm... I'm already, Commander!" she proclaimed to him, mentally. "Situation under control! Red and Green Lions are assisting me to the ground, over?"
"Thank God..." Keith replied.
In just seconds, the three lions touched down on the ground, directly in front of the Castle of Lions...all three were safe and sound.
"I'm fine, Keith! We're on the ground. Repeat..."
"I read you, Allura!" Keith's voice replied. "Get inside the Castle...and stay there!"
"Keith...I was so close! I could feel that I was so close..."
"Allura,,,it's too nasty outside! You should have never tried this! Stay where you are for the night! Do not...I repeat...do not attempt to come after me again tonight! Do you understand?"
"Oh, Keith...its Christmas Eve... how can we abandon you on the holiest night of them all..."
"Because for your own safety, I'm giving you a direct order to remain in the Castle for the night. All of you are to remain there. NO one is to leave the Castle again, understand?"
"Keith...if the storm lets up a bit, then we could..."
"NO one's to leave the Castle for the rest of the night!"
"But...you're all alone out there!"
"I'm not alone, Princess. I've made a new friend. His name is Gabe, and he's taking good care of me. You must stay in the Castle for the night. I forbid you or anyone else to come out here again tonight to look for me! Those are my orders...and they're for your own good, Allura, so I expect you to follow them...to the letter!"
Allura sighed as she powered down the Blue Lion's control board. "I...I understand, Commander." She replied reluctantly. "I will not come out again tonight after you."
"Allura, I'm not trying to be overbearing. I appreciate the effort, and the thoughtfulness. But I can't have you out here, flying around in a raging snowstorm. This incident proves just how dangerous that is! But don't' worry, I'll see you tomorrow. Just know that I'm with you. My thoughts are on all of you."
"We won't open any presents until we're all together!" Allura thought to him.
Silence filled her mind... until she heard his voice softly respond to her...
The tears suddenly welled up in her eyes, as she realized that he wouldn't be home this night. She could feel he was beginning to break the mind bond between them...
"Merry Christmas, Keith." Allura thought suddenly.
"Merry Christmas, Princess." Keith thought in respond.
She listened...and realized that Keith had severed the link with her... and she was suddenly feeling alone in her thoughts once again.
She lowered her head on the control board...and began to weep.