The sky looked as though someone had spilled an ink blotter across it, the pale blue canvas littered with dark gray and beetle black objects. Those furthest away looked like tiny dots, insects that one would shrug off as inconsequential. But others loomed closer to green lion, revealing the curled inward design of the black and gold ships known as star cutters.
They swarmed all around green lion, their engines a constant buzz in the air, reminding Allura of bees. More and more appeared in the sky, tumbling out of dark gray ships, huge transporters that were each stocked with 15 or more star cutters. The smaller ships were perfect for attacking and stealth, flying towards green lion, lasers blasting away at three bursts per second.
It took a steady hand to evade the brunt of the attacks, green lion’s shields deflecting the rest. Allura herself tried to keep her hands from trembling, concentrating on flying green lion, her eyes on the monitors before her. Her attention was divided, paying attention to read outs, monitoring green lion’s shield output, and fuel intake, as well as watching the air to make sure she didn’t crash into any enemy ships.
A huge ship that rivaled prince Lotor’s flag ship loomed close before her, Allura going into a dive that sent green lion barreling downwards. The men behind her let out loud exclamations, bracing themselves against the walls so as not to tip over. Allura herself was biting her lip in concentration, hands sweating beneath her gloves as she gripped the steering mechanism.
The ship steadied, and all breathed a sigh of relief, Allura firing the shoulder canons at the star cutters that rushed head first at green lion. Behind her, Keith was pulling off his nun’s uniform, bristling with impatience. She knew he was on pins and needles watching her fly green lion, knowing that he longed to take the controls from her and take command of their escape.
But there simply wasn’t time to exchange positions, the laser fire from Doom’s fleet was constant, photon blasts exploding in the air all around them. Allura knew that only Lotor’s desire to capture her alive kept the star cutters from using deadlier attacks, giving green lion a lucky break.
“Keep an eye on your left shoulder cannon…” Keith advised, hand on the back of her seat. “It’s using up an enormous amount of energy every time it fires.”
“I’ve been meaning to get that fixed.” Pidge, the normal pilot of green lion said. The ship rocked, a photon blast hitting the rear of the lion. Even strapped into her seat, Allura bounced from the shock waves, hearing Father Deacon let out a loud exclamation.
“Oh Lord have mercy!”
“Perhaps the father would feel better if he said a prayer for our safe return to the castle?” suggested palace guard Jensen nervously. Pidge and Keith exchanged glances, the smaller pilot shrugging.
“Can’t hurt.” Keith said at last, and immediately the priest launched into a long prayer, gasping and moaning with every bump and shake of the ship.
“There’s too many of them…” Allura cried out in despair, resisting the urge to scream as another photon blast rocked the lion. “They’re herding us further and further away from the castle..!”
“Keep advancing forward…” Keith ordered. “We’ll make it, one way or another.”
“How?” Pidge wanted to know. “We’re just one ship against hundreds! It’s hopeless!”
“It’s never hopeless as long as all five lions are free!” Keith insisted.
“We have to get back to the castle and to the other lions first….” Allura pointed out. “Otherwise we can’t form Voltron.”
“We’ll make it.” Keith said determinedly, patting her shoulder. “I know we will.”
Allura continued to fly, wishing she had Keith’s faith. The castle itself was swarmed with star clusters, the ships exchanging fire with the structure. Palace guards were out on the towers, firing off the turrets’ guns in a desperate attempt to destroy as many ships as possible. Green lion continued to fight it’s way to the castle, doing jerky jumps to avoid blasts, swerving and diving at the last second to avoid sudden laser fire.
Suddenly a roar was heard in the sky, Allura’s eyes lighting up with hope. Green lion let out an answering cry, and then a third voice was heard. The cries of yellow and red lion seemed to revitalize the group inside green lion, Allura flying with renewed energy as she fought to get to the other lions.
“Lance! It’s about time you showed up!” Keith exclaimed, and the brown haired pilot’s face appeared on one of the monitors. He was grinning, eyes jubilant. “Good to see you away from your stalker princess.”
“Lance…” She said his name warmly, lips curving up into a smile.
“Keep heading for the castle…” The screen split in two, Hunk appearing on the monitor. “We’ll take some of the heat off of you.”
“What are you going to do?” Keith asked, and Lance smirked.
“Oh just some good ole fashion hot dogging like they taught us at the academy.”
“Don’t be reckless.” Keith admonished. “Unlike green lion, they won’t care if they hurt you or yellow lion.”
“Relax.” Lance looked as confidant as ever, grinning wider. “I’ll be so fast they won’t even be able to touch me. I’m just worried that Hunk won’t be able to keep up.”
“Hey!” Hunk’s loud protest made them all smile, the stout man holding a challenge in his eyes. “I’ve got more than a few smooth moves of my own. You just worry about yourself, and leave the rest to me.”
“I’ll do that.” Lance retorted, and then cut the transmission. Red lion put on a burst of speed, shooting flames at the star cutters in front of him.
“Sorry princess…we’ll talk later.” Hunk said, and then he too disappeared from the monitor.
The appearance of two more lions seemed to confuse the Drule soldiers flying their war crafts, the forces starting to split up to attack all three lions. They were still using less than lethal fire, conscious of green lion’s approximaty to them.
Lance was true to his word, making red lion a blur of speed. He seemed untouchable, flame blasts emitting from red lion’s mouth, setting enemy ships on fire. Occasionally he would get in close, and slash the claws of red lion across the metal of the ships, tearing them open. The exposed pilots quickly jettisoned from their damaged crafts, parachuting down to the woods below.
Hunk and yellow lion were just as impressive, sand canons forcing dirt showers on the star cutters, making it difficult for the pilots to see. Yellow lion would then move in close, and chomp down with it’s mighty jaws, ripping wings of the ships even as claws tore into the metal, spilling out the ship’s innards. Sparks flew, and wires spilled from the holes, fuel leaking down below.
It was unfortunate, but several parts of the woods ignited, the spilt fuel increasing the forest fires speeding towards the castle. Allura knew blue lion could put out those fires, and she began performing a daredevil maneuver of her own to reach the castle quicker.
“Allura what are you doing?!” demanded Keith, his hand touching her shoulder in concern.
“Hang on Keith, I’ve got an idea!” Allura said, her tongue sticking out the corner of her mouth. She began leaping off the backs of the star cutters, the weight of green lion unbalancing the ships, causing each one to spin out of control. Allura used them as stepping stones, running across and maintaining laser fire as she fought to get closer to the castle.
A few ships began turning to attack her, their weapons increased in potency as they disobeyed orders and sought to take out the threat that green lion had become. Allura dodged them as best she could, hearing Jensen swear as Father Deacon crashed into him.
“Nice shooting princess!” Lance’s voice over the airwaves, admiration in his tone. “Keep it up, you’re almost to the halfway point!”
“I will!” Allura said, taking out two more star cutters. A transport ship suddenly swerved in front of green lion, Allura pulling up on the throttle, green lion’s claws skirting the side of the ship with a shower of sparks. They landed on the roof of the behemoth, and for a second she just considered her view, seeing the pathway to the castle was not as obstructed as it had once been.
“Here we go!” Allura called out, and took a flying leap off of the transporter. Two star cutters emerged from behind cloud coverage, hot on the lion’s tail. Their tacked on laser canons firing as rapidly as possible, trying to take out green lion’s rear thrusters.
“Quick, focus more energy to the rear shields!” Pidge exclaimed, and Allura nodded, hitting a switch. The lion still shook from the force of the blasts, shield starting to weaken. To the front loomed another star cutter, and Allura grinned, a wicked thought in her mind.
“Let’s see who scares first.” She muttered under her breath, flying head on towards the star cutter. The other two remained behind her, desperate to take her down. Allura kept urging green lion to go faster, speeding towards the star cutter. At the last possible second, she jerked on the throttle, causing green lion to go spinning upwards out of the way.
The two ships that had been chasing her had no time to react, crashing into the star cutter that had been charging her front. A magnificent explosion occurred in the sky, orange flames and black smoke changing the landscape.
“Good thinking.” Keith praised her, breathing a sigh of relief.
“Wow princess, you’re really good!” Pidge exclaimed, making Allura grin.
“Well, I am a member of the Voltron Force.” But there was no time to bask in their praise, red lion and yellow lion were approaching, firing at the ships around green lion. Allura guided the ship forward, holding back her sighs as they flew the last few feet towards the castle.
Between the lions and the castle turret guns, there was a noticeable difference in enemy ships covering the area. Allura fired off a few more photon blasts, trusting the palace guards to cover them with laser fire.
Green lion circled the castle, hurried as it looked for a place to land. It’s metal claws landed on the cobblestone roof, green lion’s head lowering to the ground. “Okay…let’s go…” Keith said, as Allura unbuckled herself from her seat. “Jensen, get Father Deacon to a safe spot.”
“Will do Captain!” Jensen acknowledged.
“Pidge cover us as we make a run for the entrance.” Keith ordered as Pidge slipped into his rightful place, the pilot seat of green lion.
“Yes, leave it to me!” Pidge said, hands a blur as he began adjusting things on his monitor.
Allura and the three men exited the lion, leaving via it’s mouth entrance. For a second they stood underneath the lion, hearing the explosions and smelling the laser fire in the air. Green lion roared, and then hovered in place, shoulder canons firing as the small group ran towards the nearest turret. They managed to make it inside the castle without any casualties, Father Deacon collapsing in relief once he was safely behind titanium walls.
“Come on Keith!” Allura said, trusting Jensen to take care of the priest. “Let’s go get the lions so we can form Voltron!”
“Right behind you princess!” Keith said, running after her and down the stairs.
The bridge of the flag ship of the forty-second fleet of Doom was a flurry of activity, people running back and forth, voices shouting as they gave status reports on the battle. The view screens showed the fight from every possible angle afforded to them, leaving the Drules to despair at how quickly the odds had turned against them. With the addition of red lion and yellow lion to the battle field, numerous ships had been lost, Drule lives wasted in an instant.
For once Haggar wasn’t laughing, standing next to the commander’s chair, her staff clutched tightly in her hands. Her expression was grim, her yellowed eyes intent on the screens. Occasionally she seemed to flinch as more losses were occurred on Doom’s side.
A few feet to the right of her, Lotor paced, his hands behind his back. His feet trampled across the spilt bouquet of Allura’s, crushing the beautiful flowers into fine pulp. He wasn’t saying much, but when he did spoke, his agitation was clear.
“What’s taking so long?!” demanded Lotor, pinning his glare on Haggar. “It’s only three lions. Surely our hundreds of ships can handle three lions!”
“There’s some…difficulty sire…” Haggar said, her tone nervous. “They are proving an effective match against our fleet.”
“Then do something to bring them down to size!” snarled Lotor. “Don’t you have a robeast or two you could spare?!”
“Yes, prince Lotor. I do have one handy although…” Lotor interrupted her, growling.
“I don’t want to hear excuses, I want results! Launch this robeast of yours immediately!”
“I’ll get right on that sire!” Haggar said, and she hurried towards the bridge’s elevator, her cat Coba hot on her heels. Lotor didn’t even turn to watch her go, resuming his angry pacing. He was furious with this turn of events, angered at Allura for betraying him, and incensed with himself for letting her do it. He knew he should have kept a better hold of her when the chaos broke out on the bridge, a thousand what ifs running through his mind.
He was growling to himself about not checking the nuns to make sure they really were holy women when a technician called out. “Sir! Green lion has reached the castle! The princess and the others are currently disembarking.”
“Damn it!” Lotor yelled, whipping around to glare at the monitor. “Alert all ships…green lion is now an open target for destruction!”
Lotor stopped by the railing of the bridge, his hands gripping the metal tubing fiercely. “If I can’t have you today, Allura, I’ll settle for destroying what took you from me!” A cruel smile was on his lips, eyes cold as he stood watching the view screens intently.
Upon arriving at Castle Control, Allura was greeting with enthusiastic cries, Nanny rushing forward to throw her arms around the princess. “Oh my baby! Thank goodness you are safe!”
“Not safe yet Nanny.” Allura told her, giving her a quick squeeze in return before disengaging from the bear hug. “Not until we turn back Lotor’s fleet.”
“Of course, of course.” Nanny agreed. “Let Keith and the boys take care of it, you need to rest after your horrendous ordeal.”
“I can’t do that Nanny. They need me to pilot blue lion.” Allura said, and Nanny gasped.
“NO! You’ve been through enough this day!” The older woman protested, grabbing hold of Allura’s left arm. She tried to pull her back, keep her from running to the chute that led to blue lion.
“Don’t try to stop me Nanny. I have to do this.” Allura said, gently but insistently untangling her arm from the woman’s grasp.
“But…” The woman looked close to crying, tears of frustration brimming in her eyes.
“Don’t worry Nanny…” Keith said, already standing by the chute that led to black lion. “Allura has proven she can take care of herself on the battlefield.”
Allura smiled at Keith, running towards her lion’s chute, hearing Nanny make a strangled noise. “Please be safe princess.”
“I will!” Allura assured her, already latching onto the trapeze swing inside the chute. Her weight immediately brought the swing downwards, a spiraling arc that left her dizzy every time. She circled down the chute until she hovered over a small transport ship, dropping down inside it’s hatch. She sat down, activating the controls, the ship’s engines soundless as it moved.
It was a short distance to her lion’s lair, a tunnel being burrowed under the castle’s lake. Allura smiled as she climbed inside her lion, sitting down in her familiar spot behind blue lion’s controls. She ran a nervous hand through her unruly bangs, smoothing them out of her eyes’ way.
Blue lion came alive with a touch of the controls, it’s jets propelling her up and out of the lake. Allura turned on her radio, announcing her arrival to the battle. “Blue lion ready for action!”
“Just in time princess!” Hunk answered her. “It was getting a little tight up here with just three lions.”
“Uh oh guys….looks like we have a party crasher…” Pidge said, sounding worried.
“Don’t they ever run out of robeasts?!” demanded an annoyed Lance.
“As long as they keep tossing them at us, we’ll keep knocking them down!” Keith said, black lion joining Allura’s in the air. Blue lion and black lion began fighting their way to the other three lions, Allura pausing occasionally to blast streams of water on the burning parts of the forest. Keith covered her, black lion materializing a silver dagger in it’s mouth, cutting into ships and clawing them open.
“That is one ugly robeast.” complained Lance, and Allura glanced in the direction of the monster. It was as large as the castle, with scaly green skin, and a yellow shell on it’s back. Beady red eyes twisted about on black stalks, and once it got one of the lions in it’s sight, it emitted an eye beam at green lion.
“AHHHHHHH!” screamed Pidge, green lion bouncing back from the attack.
“Pull it together Pidge!” shouted Keith, rushing to green lion’s aid. His lion landed in front of the stunned one, Keith launching photons from the lion’s tail blaster. The photons smacked into the robeast’s chest, causing it to stumble back a few steps.
“Let’s not waste anymore time.” An impatient Lance said. “Call the order to form Voltron!”
“All right, all right!” Keith grumbled. “Everyone ready?” Confirmation came from the other four pilots, Keith nodding his head. “All right then…..let’s go Voltron Force!” The five lions began flying straight up in the air, black lion at the lead. Green and red lion were to it’s sides, and slightly below it’s mid section. At the bottom by it’s back legs flew blue and yellow lion, colors lighting up the sky as they flew higher and higher.
“Form feet and legs!” intoned Keith, black lion hovering with it’s paws straight out. Blue lion and yellow lion began compacting on themselves, paws tucking inside their body as they formed L shaped objects. They then connected to the back paws of black lion’s body, even a Keith shouted out another command. “Form arms and torso!”
Green and Red lion began the transformation process, quickly attaching themselves to black lion’s front paws. “And I’ll form the head!” Keith finished with a flourish, black lion’s jaws parting to reveal the silver face of Voltron. The lion heads each roared a challenge, Voltron flying back down towards Arus, intent on fighting the robeast. It used it’s eye beams at Voltron, the mighty robot dashing to the side to avoid being hit.
Instead the beam took out one of the towers of the castle of lions, stone crumpling as it toppled to the courtyard. Allura was incensed to see the damage to her home, growling softly under her breath. “Water cannon!” She said, blue lion’s mouth opening to splash water on the robeast.
The creature coughed and sputtered, temporarily distracted by the water. “Form blazing sword!” Keith shouting, the heads of green lion and red lion coming together. White light glowed around them, and when they pulled apart, an immense sword was in hand. Together as one, the Voltron Force screamed out a challenge, the robot running towards the recovered robeast.
It didn’t stand a chance, blazing sword slashing from right shoulder to left hip, blood spurting free of the mortal wound. The robeast let out it’s death rattle, a horrific scream of pain on it’s lips as it slowly fell backwards, smashing trees into the landscape. Red lion’s jaws parted to shoot it’s flame canon at the remains of the robeast, setting it ablaze.
Voltron turned, intent on taking out Lotor’s fleet, blazing sword a constant blur of movement as it attacked the various war crafts in the sky. They were slowly making their way towards the flag ship, when the star cutters and transporters began to pull back. Even the flag ship was making a hasty retreat into the sky, and for one brief instant Voltron chased after it.
Rear cannons fired at them, trying to delay their pursuit, and a few stray star cutters began attacking the town closest to the castle. Voltron was forced to halt their pursuit of Lotor, and rush to the people’s aid.
Lotor stood gripping the rail so hard, it nearly snapped from his strength. No one spoke, sure their heads would roll if they caught the prince’s attention. Lotor stared at Voltron on the monitor, and with a muted curse was turning. He stalked towards the elevator, a promise in his heart that next time he would get Allura, and he wouldn’t ever let her go.