Chapter 1: Chapter One: Into a harsh Reality
“Hunk, three O’clock!” Shiro warned, taking down three more galra fighter jets.
“Got it!” Hunk yelled in return as he obliterated the jet about to broadside his lion.
The team was fighting Lotor in their first real battle since Shiro came back. It was a surprise ambush that no one suspected. Everyone was once again back in their respectful lion as they fought.
It had been about a week and a half since they had found Shiro, fighting alongside Matt on a rebel ruled planet. The castle had received an anonymous distress call from a strange planet at the time and were headed that way when Pidge realized it was the rebel group that had taken her brother from the Galra Empire. They hurried to the planet with all boosters, full throttle. Once they had landed they met with the rebel leader and were soon introduced to his second in command, Matt. Pidge cried when she saw how different Matt was. Lance and Hunk both started to tear up at the siblings reunion. Every one however stopped what they were doing when Shiro stepped out of a side room. Everyone rejoiced and Keith actually showed emotion for the first time in his life. After a week of convincing,Matt joined the Paladins.
The paladins awoke to the sirens blaring throughout the castle. Jumping into their lions, they were greeted by two of Lotor’s fleets. Everything felt weird for everyone at first because of the sudden change back to their original lions. Yet in only a few ticks there were working together better than ever. In only ten minutes they had managed to wipe out at least half of the combined fleets with little to no hassle.
“Team! Form Voltron!” Shiro commanded through the coms.
All the lions stopped at once and raced to meet Shiro halfway. Once Voltron was formed they took out the fleets’ main control ship with the Black Lion’s Jaw blade. With the main ship in pieces Voltron split up to take care of the remaining few fighter jets, fleeing the fight. In one last fighting shot, one of the larger jets managed to hit Blue directly where Lance was sitting. Electricity sparked all around Lance as he felt his bond with Blue fade then disappear. His heart pounded in his ears as memories of fighting Zarkon came back to him. Blue just floated, lifeless mid battle, with Lance inside freaking out.
He tried every button and switch on the control panel to wake Blue up after the impact, but couldn’t before Pidge took out the remaining few jets Lance was headed to take care of.
“Come on girl! Stay with me darling. I know you are still there. Don’t leave me hanging. Come one we just need to get back to the Castle then I’ll give you a manicure! Please, Blue! Come on Beautiful, don’t die on me!” Lance pleaded with his lion.
“Lance! What happened?” Keith demanded.
“I don’t know, a stray fighter jet hit Blue in the head and she won’t respond!” Lance spit out as fast as he could. Hunk turned and raced over in a panic to latch onto Blue’s tail and drag them back to the castle, as Lance still tried everything to revive Blue.
“I’ve got you, Lance.” Hunk said Softly, ushering Yellow to fly back towards the castle.
“Alright everyone! Great job out there, Paladins, let’s head back to the castle for some breakfast.” Allura congratulated the team as they trudged back to the castle.
Once back in Blue’s hangar, Lance stayed in her cockpit and spoke to her until she woke up. Once Lance’s connection to Blue formed, as she woke up he left her to join the others for breakfast. His connection with her had grown ever since Allura had begun to pilot her. He bonded with Blue as much as possible as to not lose his bond with her.
Lance walked out of Blue and stood for a moment, he did hurt a little bit but decided not to worry anyone. Replacing his pain, with a smile he walked into the dining room and found that everyone was already seated and eating away at some odd looking dishes. Keith was the only one still in his paladin armour, aside from lance, too hungry to even think about changing beforehand. Everyone else was in their normal attire as Lance practically skipped in the room. Matt heard him along with Hunk and looked up to greet his gaze.
“Are you alright? Sounded like something happened out there with you and Blue.” Matt asked.
“Nothing much. just some minor malfunctions, don’t worry we’re both fine, just a little battered up that’s all. Nothing too serious.” Lance reassured Matt. A sigh of relief left Hunk as he got up to make Lance a bowl of food. Coran, Pidge, and Keith looked up to see him when he spoke but only for a moment. Allura and Shiro were deep in a conversation about Lotor to even notice anyone else in the room. Lance sat down in his designated seat and thanked Hunk for the food as he handed him his bowl. Lance just stared at his food for a while. His new seat was right next to Matt and Hunk. Good thing because he got along with them both great. Hunk shook him out of his trance and pointed towards his food.
He practically inhaled his bowl, and headed back to his room. There, he changed out of his armour and put on his normal clothing. He sat on his bed staring at his helmet for a few minutes.
‘Am I just the 7th wheel?’ he thought to himself. All of his homesickness was hitting him, hard, along with his anxiety and depression-not a good mix. All he did this past battle was hang back and pick off a few stragglers and when he tried to act like a hotshot, he got injured. His bond with Blue faded, only for a few minutes, but it faded. That’s a problem. Is he even cut out to be a Paladin of Voltron? All he ever did was get hurt and make everyone mad. Sure, he did a few good important things once in awhile but no one really noticed. It was always hidden under everyone else’s accomplishments, Hunk and his ability to create anything at anytime or place, with anything, Pidge with deciphering important information and coding things in an instant, Keith and being an amazing pilot and fighter, then Shiro and being an outstanding leader and strategist. What was Lance good for? Yeah, Blue always told him that he was special, and that she chose him for a reason, and that he was a vital part of voltron, he would believe it for awhile. Until he screwed up again, then everything went crashing down once again and reality set in.
Allura was perfect flying Blue in his place while he flew Red. Now they had Matt in the picture as well everything changed. Sure, Lance got along with him famously, but Matt was a better strategist and could make the right decisions immediately. Lance however, just joked all the time and most of the times made wrong decisions. Why not have one of them fly Blue in his place?
He snapped out of his trance and walked down to the observatory, discovering that everyone was already in there huddled around a hologram in the center of the room. Planning, strategizing, actually being a team and creating a game plan to defeat Lotor. He walked in as Keith was saying something, no one seemed to noticed Lance enter. He listened to Keith and the others and caught up with the plan after a while. He noticed however one small but extremely crucial mistake. It would leave voltron open to any attack for only a few ticks, but it was a huge detriment as Lotor was their newest threat. He was extremely cunning, even more so than Haggar and his father combined, and seemed to have many tricks his sleeve.
“Hey, guys? You missed this hole in the plan. We could get ambushed here and it would screw everything up.” He spoke up as he stepped up next to everyone. All of their heads whipped around so fast you could actually hear the crack in pidges neck. They were all shocked to hear Lance’s voice. Hunks expression softened into a smile as he realized it was Lance. Keith, Shiro, and Allura immediately turned and started to look for this so called opening Lance was talking about. Coran walked to him and put an arm around his shoulders, giving him a delighted smile.
“There is no flaw there Lance, now please butt out and leave the strategizing to the real pilots here.” Keith turned and spoke with disgust laced in his voice. Lance looked at him in bewilderment, he ran up to the hologram of the entire plan, and began to zoom in and show everyone the opening in the plan. Only Coran and Matt saw it, but as they tried to speak up but Pidge and Allura shut them down with glares that no man could survive. Shiro joined Keiths side and confronted Lance.
“Lance I’m not sure what you are trying to do here, none of us see this so called “flaw” or opening you see in the plan. I don’t even know if you’re just scared because of this plan or of something else but please leave the planning to us for now.” Shiro spoke in the tone of a father scolding a child. Lance lost the light in his eyes and nodded as he turned and walked back to Coran. Coran took him to the back of the room where Matt followed them.
“I’m not insane, you both saw it too! So how do they not see it?” Lance asked them. “I just wanted to actually help for once and keep us safe during battle but I guess I’m just the guy who jokes about every little thing.” He started to walk away when Coran grabbed his arm and pulled him back in front of him. Holding him by the shoulders Coran looked at the saddened boy.
“Number 2, you are completely correct about the opening and I saw it too, now I want to help you prove that you were right and have them change the plan.” He stated firmly. Matt agreed and Lance nodded as he stood up tall and walked back over to the group. Hunk gave him a saddened smile but he shrugged it off. He walked back to Shiro and Keith and made sure they weren’t drawing anything on the hologram before he once again zoomed in on the opening.
“No, this plan has a flaw and I will not leave it be. We are a team and everyone deserves to be included in planning. I may be the jokester of the group but I am not joking about this opening when it could cost us our lives.” Lance glared at Keith. Once again he started to go over in even more detail how the plan had a flaw in it, once finished Keith piped up,
“Lance, For the second time, I don’t see any kind of “opening” or “hole” in this plan. We are completely protected by the castle there.” He zoomed in on the game plan. “Now I don’t know what happened with you and Blue out there today but obviously something messed with your eyes and your head because all I saw you doing was hanging back and barely doing anything. Then when you tried to show off to everyone, you messed up and got hurt in the process. Now please step aside and leave the planning to the actual strategists in the castle. And please try to act like a true Paladin of Voltron for once.” Keith got up in Lance’s face and glared at him with anger that could have killed Hitler on the spot.
“Keith-” Shiro started, stepping forward.
Lance shrunk back and said nothing as he turned and stomped out of the observatory. Coran, Matt, Hunk, and even Pidge tried to stop him but he just pushed past them as he ran back to his room. He finally realized the horrible truth that he had been fearing for a while. The team didn’t need him, there was only once option left. He grabbed a bag from under his bed and threw it on his sheets. He sat with his heads in his hands. He knew what he had to do.
He was going to leave Voltron.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2: Hello Goodbye
Lance began to grab the few items that he had with him, and stuffed them into a bag he had found a while back when roaming the castle. Suddenly, Matt burst into his room soon after Lance had started to pack, and was out of breath. Matt’s attempted to dissuade Lance, trying to tell him that he is important and wanted by everyone in the castle, but Lance just ignored him and walked out of his room. Making his way to the kitchen, Coran joined them in the hall on their way, collaborating with Matt and tried to talk Lance out of whatever he was going to do.
Lance quietly grabbed about a month's worth of rations and stuffed them in his bag. He sat in the kitchen listening to the two men trying anything to make him not do what he was about to do. Lance stood his ground and just slowly shook his head, no emotion showing on his face. After minutes of silence between the three of them the tension became too much.
“Look, obviously no one on this team besides you two believe that I should be a part of Voltron, so why even be here? I’ve decided that I should just take an escape pod back to Earth. It would lift the burden of a weak paladin off of everyone's shoulders, and I can see my family again. It’s a win win for everyone.” Lance spoke with a monotone voice.
‘Dear God what have we done to him, this kid is is so underappreciated that we’ve slowly just shattered him’ Coran pondered. He and Matt shared a knowing glance that spoke the horrible truth. They could not change this boy’s mind, he was lost in a sea of grief. Lance looked at Coran with a sadness in his eyes that could make anyone cry on the spot.
“I’ll set one of the pods for earth but I’ll rig it so that you can still have contact to me and Matt if you’d like.” Coran started to walk out of the kitchen and motioned for Lance to join him.
No one was in the halls as they made their trek to the pods, only the sound of footsteps could be heard. A sadness ran through them all as they realized that this would probably be the last time they saw each other.
A dark cloud of grief settled over them as Coran set the coordinates for Earth in the escape pod. It was estimated that he would arrive in about 17 quintents (About 2 ½ weeks). Coran quietly instructed Lance on how the pod works and what he would need to do in any situation. He focused mainly on how to contact himself and Matt at anytime. No other paladin would be able to reach him unless Lance requested it. Lance nodded understanding the elder man’s instructions. It made him feel safer knowing he could get ahold of them when he needed to, that he wasn’t completely cut off from the team still.
“I left my Paladin armour in my room on my bed for the next Blue Paladin.” Lance broke the silence, “I hate goodbyes, and even though we still have contact I’m still leaving you all. Coran, thank you for everything. You’ve been my father figure while I’ve been here, you were the one always worried about me when no one else was. I have to do this and I’m sorry.” Tears began to well up in the corners of Lance’s eyes while there was already a small puddle at Coran’s feet. They embraced in a bone crushing hug, willing the other to never let go. After a few dobashes they released each other and shook hands with sadness in their eyes. Lance then turned to Matt, and took a deep breath before he spoke.
“Please take care of Pidge for me, I know you will. Just so you know I’ve always looked up to you and your father ever since the Kerberos mission. You were so smart and I’ve just always been jealous since you left. God, it’s like I’m standing in front of a legend still. With all of the stories that Pidge has told me about you...” Lance trailed off, his voice softening. Matt leapt towards the boy, enveloping him in a deep hug. Tears brimmed the trio’s eyes, thus beginning the sniffling plague. One after another, each of them began to wheeze louder than the one before.
Coran and Matt said their motherly like warnings of ‘stay safe’ and ‘be careful’ with their eyes puffy and red. Lance stood at the door to the pod and looked around the room. He was actually leaving this place. He was leaving the people he’d been with for God knows how long. The tears came slowly from his eyes now as he looked at the two sniffling men in front of him, looking like his parents did, when he left for the Garrison. A faint smile etched upon his lips at the thought of seeing his family again.
“Well, I’ll try to keep in touch as much as I can, I cross my heart. It seems like no one else cared enough to come looking for me so I guess this is goodbye.” Lance spoke with a deep sadness. He walked in the pod as Coran pressed the button for his countdown. A robotic voice within the Pod began to speak
‘Commencing Launch Sequence’
He looked through the window at the duo, clinging together like they would fly away with Lance unless they held each other.
The voice began the countdown over the small intercoms in the pod.
Lance ran to his seat and strapped himself in.
He was actually leaving, He was going to see his family again!
The pod launched out of its bay and raced away from the castle. Coran and Matt dried their tears and cleared their faces as an alarm blared through the castle, indicating an escape pod had been used. Moments later Allura burst through the doors and frantically looked around. Coran just stood and watched as the rest of the team followed behind in close pursuit, looking around the room questioning what had happened.
Allura looked at Coran then to the empty pod bay and realized something was missing- no, someone was missing.
“Coran where is Lance?” She demanded. Coran just nodded towards where the team was standing, dumbfounded that Lance was missing.
“Well, did you try to stop him?” Shiro inquired sharply.
“Yes, of course we did Shiro. We weren't just about to let a Paladin of Voltron just walk out of here. We told him how much of a valuable asset he was to the team, but he shut us out and ignored us.” Matt told them. He was done with how everyone had been treating him ever since he set foot in the castle. Every paladin tried to deny that they had anything to do with Lance quitting Voltron, but Matt and Coran shot them each down commenting with the truth or how Lance saw it. Five minutes of arguing later everyone was close to tears as they realized that they had driven Lance away without realizing it.
Coran explained all the reasons of why he left but never told any of them that he and Matt still had contact with him secretly. The room became enveloped in a dark cloud of depression. No one met each other's eyes, everyone stood in silence as they all stared at the ground. Pidge was the first to break the silence.
The little Green Paladin charged at Keith with a death glare that even made him start to back away from the girl. “You did this Keith! You belittled him and shot down his contribution to the plan! You pushed him over the edge! You drove him away from us!” She spat at Keith, venom laced in her words, pointing an accusing finger at him. Matt ran and wrapped his arms around her shoulders, pulling her away before she mauled Keith. His eyes were full of fear as he backed up through the doors and turned to run down the hall. His sound of his steps echoed through the corridor as he ran down the hall full speed, eventually his steps died down as he got further away.
Everyone left the room one by one, trudging through the castle as they began to think, trying to figure out what to do for the rest of their day. Coran went to the main control room and began to mess with anything just to get his mind off of the Blue Paladin, Shiro went to Black’s hangar and had a deep conversation with him. Allura found the mice and just sat in her room thinking of where she went wrong, Matt took Pidge back to her room and consoled her there. Lance had basically been her replacement brother when Matt was missing. Hunk and Keith strayed from the rest and actually were productive. Hunk went down to the kitchen and just started to bake and cook with anything in sight. Keith put the training gladiator on the highest level and basically only blocked two shots before he lost the match.
Everyone was semi-coping in their own special ways to deal with their loss of a friend.
Lance sat in the pilot’s seat of the escape pod, quietly munching on a portion of the rations he had brought with him. He did his usual yoga exercises when he got bored of staring out into the never ending black void outside of the pod. That was until the Taniew came into his life. He was falling asleep in the pilot’s seat when he saw a ship appear in the distance. Worried it was a Galra ship he switched the pod into manual so that he could pilot the pod himself.
As he stayed a good distance away from the unknown ship when he noticed that it was not in fact a Galra ship, thankfully. However that ship did in fact see him and started to flag him down. A transmission made it onto the large screen in front of Lance, and a blue alien looking man popped on screen.
“Who are you, and why do you have an Altean escape Pod in your possession?!” The alien growled at him. Lance froze in fear, before answering, ‘How does he know that this is an Altean Escape Pod?’ He couldn’t let them know who he actually was, they could be teaming with the Galra Empire after all
“Hey, look man I just found this thing on my planet and wanted to leave so I cleaned it up, hot wired it, and took off.” He lied with ease. His natural instinct to play everything cool took over. The man squinted his eyes at Lance and gave a loud sigh.
“I don’t believe you, we are going to bring you onto the ship and inspect the pod, as well as question you.” The man said his final words and cut the transmission off. Lance sat in his seat, dumbstruck at what had just occurred.
’My lies never fail’, his mind screamed, ‘How could some guy he just met see right through it?!’ Ticks later the ship got extremely close to the pod and shot a light out towards him, pulling them into the ship. Aliens of all different varieties surrounded the escape pod immediately. He reluctantly got out of his seat and opened the doors of the pod, walking out into the room. Handcuffs were slapped on his wrist as he was told to walk. Following orders he trailed behind the ‘guards’ into a dark and stuffy room. The foul stench made Lance’s nose scrunch up in disgust.
“State your name, and your business here.” A voice broke out from within the shadows of the room.
“Well I already told you how I ended up there in the first place, but anyway I’m tall, dark, and handsome, but you can call me anytime.” Lance covered his fear with the joke, trying to lighten the mood.
“I’m not one for jokes so why don’t you cut it out, before I cut you and make you one of my servants until the day you die.” The man who had sent the transmission stepped into the light of the room.
“The name’s Lance. What about you?” Lance gave up the jokes, in fear of being hurt.
“My name is Renswa and I am the leader of the Teniew. A Galra Resistance organization devoted to destroying Lotor and his entire Empire.” He spoke with the utmost confidence Lance had ever heard.
“Well Ren, I too do dabble in the art of destroying the Galra. Its nice to hear that people other than Voltron are fighting against Lotor.” Lance tried to coax him into a friendly conversation.
“So the rumors are true? Voltron has returned after all of this time? This means the Castle survived, that means Coran and Allura survived! Wait. That means you were lying. They never set out any escape pods and if they did it wouldn’t have survived 10,000 years. You were on that ship. Tell me who are the Paladins of Voltron currently!” The man babbled on and on.
“Well the Black Paladin is a man named Shiro, the Red Paladin is a boy named Keith, the Yellow Paladin is Hunk, and the Green Paladin is a girl named Pidge. They are currently dealing with finding a new Paladin to pilot the Blue Lion.” Lance answered looking down at the ground as he mentioned the Blue Lion. He felt his bond with her flicker inside of him, even from this far they could still connect, which was dulling everyday due to their distance apart.
“What happened to the Blue Paladin? Has he perished in a battle?” Ren steps forward, his serious tone set back in. Lance thought for a moment, how was he going to phrase that he was the Blue Paladin and he had left.
“No he is still alive.” Lance met Renswa’s eyes.
“I am the Blue Paladin of Voltron.”
Chapter 3: Chapter 3: New experiences
“Alright everyone, I know that this is a very difficult time for us now that Lance is gone, but we need to figure out what to do now that he is away. We need to find a temporary replacement until we get him back somehow.” Allura instructed. It had been a solid week since Lance had left Voltron. Tension filled the castle constantly as everyone took their time to cope with the loss of a friend.
“Why don’t you just take over piloting Blue again? You have experience flying her, you have a bond with her, it’s the quickest solution” Keith’s voice cut through the air. Everyone seemed to agree since she obviously had chemistry with piloting the lion. Allura pondered for a moment before she made her choice.
“We will see who Blue will allow. She has kept her barrier up since Lance left so we will see if she opens up for anyone and if she does, that's who will pilot her. I don’t know if she will allow me to pilot her again.” She responded, standing from her seat. Everyone stood from their chairs and followed her as she made her way to Blue’s hangar. No one spoke as they made their way through the castle, it was too quiet for comfort, without Lance present to break the tension with some stupid joke that would annoy everyone but secretly, they all enjoyed his humor.
Now standing in front of Blue’s barrier Allura held her hand up to it, seeing if she would open up to her. Nothing happened, Coran and Matt stood to the side, they understood why it wouldn’t open for her. She had been one of the team who had hurt Lance all this time. Paladin after paladin attempted to open her barrier but to no avail. The Lion sat, silent, responding to no one’s attempts to gain her trust. This was until Coran and Matt were told to try. Coran shoved Matt to try before him.
Wonder and disbelief flooded everyone’s faces as the barrier started to disappear for Matt. He took a step back, she trusted him enough to allow him to pilot her. He looked back at everyone, worry etched across his face. Coran moved his hand out towards to the Lion, as if telling Matt to ‘go on’. He turned and ran to the Blue Lion, as he made his way towards her a small connection bloomed between them. It was a soothing feeling deep in his mind, he heard her and she heard him.
The Lion awoke and moved its head down towards its new pilot. She opened her mouth, allowing him to enter the cockpit. He made his way through and sat in the pilot’s seat. She spoke to him softly.
‘Do you understand why I am allowing you to replace my cub for now?’ She asked him.
“Not exactly. Would you explain please?” Matt replied, a sharp pain stabbed through his chest as he realized, he was going to be the replacement for Lance.
‘You have the closest personality to him, you were never rude to him, and you tried to console him as he was leaving. I’ll trust you, for now, just know we will never have the same bond as my cub and I.’ Blue communicated. Her voice was full of sorrow for her absent cub.
“I understand. Thank you. For trusting me enough to pilot you, for now I mean. I’m going to try my hardest to get him back, but for now, we have a war to fight.” Matt spoke. He truly believed they could get Lance back, and goddamn it, he was gonna get this lion’s cub back to her no matter what happened.
“You’re the Blue Paladin!? We must get you back to them! They need you, Lance, oh quiznack!” Ren babbled. He was about to give orders to make their way towards the Castle but Lance screamed out.
“NO! Don’t you dare! I left for a reason. They never needed me in the first place. There are two more people on the Castle that have the ability to pilot Blue. I just want to go home!” Lance stepped forward but was caught by the two guards behind him pulling at his handcuffs. He grunted at the resistance but glared at Ren, who froze in his tracks at the boy’s words. He slowly pivoted on his heel, turning towards the boy who was now being forced to his knees.
“What do you mean, there was a reason you left the only force in this entire multiverse that could defeat the Galra Empire once and for all?” He spoke in a deep threatening voice.
“Take these off and let me sit at a table alone with you and I'll speak up.” Lance winked at the alien. He was starting to quickly understand how things worked around there, he analyzed his surroundings, constantly seeing how everyone reacted to anything and everything. Ren seemed to contemplate this for a few ticks before he waved his hands at the guards, leisurely, instructing them to untie Lance and follow him. The boy was hauled off of the ground by his shoulders with a grunt and was shoved forward roughly.
He glared at him as he began to follow the rebel leader down a long dark hall. After what felt like an eternity the footsteps ceased and a door was opened. The light blinded Lance as he was pushed to the ground, and the cuffs around his wrists had disappeared and he was allotted just enough time to catch his fall. The room was filled with a small metal table and two cushioned chairs on either side. This reminded the earthling of the tacky interrogation rooms that he’s seen in cheesy cop movies. Slowly surveying the room Lance got up, and made his way to the chair opposite of Renswa who was impatiently sitting.
“Spill it.” He ordered. Lance collected his thoughts and chose what to tell the leader before him.
“I’m the Blue Paladin. Well... now ex-paladin, but anyway, I left the castle four days ago to return to my original planet, Earth. In the castle, I was being treated like trash. I tried my best to be apart of the team and crack jokes when it got too tense, or when it just was too quiet in the room. They labeled me the joker of the group who couldn’t take anything seriously. I was always immediately shut down and scolded” Lance felt his face begin to heat up, he was about to start crying. Holding back his tears he spoke on,
“On the day that I left, we had been waken up and shoved into a battle against two Galra fleets. Blue and I had been hit at the end of the fight and we were dragged back to the castle. Once there everyone began to plan for the next big attack. I was the first one to see a small but major flaw in the plan. When I spoke up they all basically called me an idiot and that I was seeing things. Coran and Matt told me to stick to my guns and force them to see the flaw. So I tried again but all I got was an even worse backlash. Keith practically told me I wasn’t a true Paladin of Voltron, so I made my decision. Coran and Matt tried to talk me out of leaving but I stood my ground and told them all the reasons why I was leaving. They both understood and didn’t try anymore. They helped me prepare the Pod for my escape.” Tears spilled over Lance’s cheeks. He was looking down as they made their way down to his chin, where they eventually dripped off and fell into his lap. Ren sat before him his face heating up hearing this kids story. He was broken and only wanted to be heard.
“Join us.” He spoke up. He wanted this boy on his side. He was hurting and Ren saw that, he had been through a similar pain. Lance’s head jerked up and stared at him.
“Join us, Lance. We can train you to be a fighter, here you will always be important, here your voice will be heard, no one will shut you out. I’ll let you have some time to debate this. I’ll be back in a while to check up on you.” Ren stood up. This all was going way too fast, Lance had known this dude for a total of maybe 30 minutes and he was already asking him to join his rebellion? The offer was enticing, though. He did care about defeating Lotor and his empire but... he really wanted to go home too.
Lance watched as Ren walked out of the room and closed the door, the sound of a lock could be heard soon after. A little voice in the back of his head urged him to stay. ‘Stay! You’ll become stronger! You can go back home anytime you want, you could make a deal that if you join them they have to take you to earth once the war is over!’ The voice pushed as a second little voice spoke up, ‘Lance think about this. You just left Voltron because they were treating you badly so you left and made your way to Earth. Why risk your life anymore than you have to just go to Earth where you will be loved?!’
Argh! Why was this so hard!? Lance needed to calm down. His heart was pounding and he was shaking. He was just offered the opportunity of a lifetime, but he wasn’t sure if he was suited for this offer, or even if he wanted to take it.
Lance stood up and moved the table and chairs to one side of the room. He began to create a rhythm in his breathing, as he went straight into a backbend, in the middle of the room. He popped his back in multiple places, it felt amazing. Relief flooded his body as he started to work out his muscles that had been tense for too long. He began to think about what each voice told him. He debated his position and what might happen in his future.
Going into his right splits, he thought over and over, about his current options. He had to make up his mind, and soon. On one hand he could go home and see his family for sure, but on the other hand he had the chance to save billions of lives around the multiverse. Win a major war, be apart of something big like he had always dreamed. He made up his mind.
He was going to join the Teniew.
“Hey, Renswa! I’ve made up my mind!” Lance yelled at the door. He heard shuffling on the other side, and only silence replied for the longest time. The door was all of the sudden unlocked and the it ripped open, revealing the blue alien leader himself. His eyes quickly found Lance, but to his astonishment, the boy was on the floor, and rolling out of another backbend. The sight made Rens back ache, he ordered Lance to stand at once and tell him what his decision was.
“I’m going to tag along with you guys!” Lance jumped, with his arms in the air like he just won a grand prize. “Only on one condition, however. When the time comes, you take me back to Earth.”
Ren stared at the boy before him, he was excited that he wanted to join but the condition wasn’t too keen, since he wanted this kid on his side, he actually contemplated the boy’s request, but eventually he agreed to it.
“When do we start training?” Lance asked, a look of wonder filling his eyes.
“Whoa there son! We have to get you used to the ship still, get you sleeping quarters, and input some of your info.” Ren chuckled, jovially reining the boy in. Lance shrunk back slightly, but he understood what had to be done before he could begin his training. Lance wasn’t sure why he wanted to become strong, maybe it was so that he wouldn’t be a walking doormat anymore.
Now following Ren around the ship, he learned that it had an extremely confusing layout. The ship had a huge training room, close to the size of the one on the castle, with an amazing armory, they had any kind of weapon you could ever want or need! It took Lance a few times of roaming the ship to memorize where everything was and how to get from point A to point B. Next on their list was finding Lance a room, as they had left for the tour around the ship, Ren had ordered for someone, without a roommate and wanted one, to step up and share their room. Only one guy stepped up to the plate, he happened to overhear Lance’s story and felt such compassion for the boy. He decided to take him in under his wing and help him blossom into a glorious soldier.
“Alright, we found your roommate Lance. He was the only one who signed up to take you in. He is also one of my most trusted soldiers here, it’s my son.” Ren informed Lance as they walked down the hall to his new room. To be honest he was actually a slight bit nervous to meet this guy. Sure, he was a trusted son of the man who he was with now but that didn’t mean he was going to treat him nicely. Soon they approached a door on their right, it was slightly larger than any of the other doors they had previously passed. This was his new room, Ren lead the way inside.
Inside was very cozy, almost like a college dorm room. Two beds, two desks, a window between the two. A guy inside stood abruptly, blue just like his father. A smile made its way upon his face as Lance entered the room.
“Hi! I'm Lenwra, your new roommate!”
Chapter 4: Chapter 4: Making Friends
“Alright, Lance so we’ve never met a ‘Human’ before, and we have numerous species aboard the ship if you look around. When we meet someone of an undocumented species, we like to run tests. Mostly on DNA but we would like to get your permission before we do anything because we want you to know exactly what’s happening. So if you don’t feel comfortable with us running the tests, we won’t.” Ren explained as they walked down a hall. Lance listened with curiosity, he had never been tested on in his life, to be honest. He was glad to help them learn, so it didn’t take much consideration for him to make his decision.
“Yeah I’ll let you run the tests, I’m happy to help you all learn!” Lance beamed at Ren. He had been on the ship for three days now and was adjusting well. He became instant friends with his new roommate Lenwra, he reminded him of Lance’s friends all mixed into one being. He found it comforting to know at least one person on the ship, other than their leader.
Ren was ecstatic with Lance’s reply. A huge smile grew across his face and gained a pep in his step, as he led Lance through the ship, towards the medical bay. Upon their arrival, Ren called out a few orders that sent the people in the room scrambling. He turned towards Lance and told him to take his shirt off and sit down on a metal table.
“I know it might be weird to have you take off your shirt, we just need all access to your chest. We need to regulate your pulse, take a picture of the inside of your torso, and take a blood sample. Takes no time at all, I promise. You can go have lunch right after this!” A woman explained to Lance as a needle was shoved in his arm. He winced at the sudden pain, but it ended just as fast as it came, as they began to take blood a few sticky pads were placed all over his chest, they all had a wire coming out of them that lead to a machine that lay next to Lance.
He began to concentrate on his breathing, not daring to move, just to make sure he didn’t mess up any of their calculations. The needle was pulled out of his arm and a machine was placed around his torso. He recognized it as an X-ray machine and sat up straight. Within seconds the machine disappeared and the sticky things were removed from his body. He sighed, and let go of the breath he hadn't realized he was holding in the first place. He looked at Ren who was staring at a screen, typing as though he were hacking into something like Pidge always did.
“Lance, what is your full name? You never told me.” Ren looked surprised. Lance did as well, no one had asked for his last name since he applied for the Garrison.
“Lance McClain. I have way too many middle names, you don’t need to know them.” he told him. He didn’t push the issue, so he just went back to typing away on his screen. The woman who ran the tests informed him that he could put his shirt back on. As he did so Ren stopped his flying fingers and walked over to Lance.
“Alright we are just waiting for your blood information, they should be ready to go after lunch. Let’s get going! I’m starving, you need food, and you need to make friends with the other people on the ship.” Ren patted Lance’s shoulder. A weak smile made its way onto his face as he slid off of the examination table, they walked out of the medical bay and made their way to the mess hall.
Lance had to admit, the food here wasn’t as good as the meals back at the castle, but it was still way better than the slop they were served at the Garrison. Lance shuttered at the thought of the nasty gray goop from Earth had labelled as ’food’, no one knew what was in it, and the lunch ladies who slapped it on your plate most likely didn’t know either! He cleared his mind when they ran into Lenwra, he was leaving the training wing. ‘Always training, just like Keith’ Lance thought. His hair was tied up in a small bun, that Lance had to admit, it was adorable.
“Like the Man Bun dude.” He nudged Len’s arm teasingly.
“What!? It’s to keep it out of my face while I train!” He defended, shock spilled onto his face. Lance just roared with laughter. He was finally able to speak once more as they walked into the mess hall. Some people from the middle of the room called and cheered for Lenwra as he walked in, he broke into a slight jog, acknowledging them. He looked back at Lance and waved him to join them. Lance was a bit hesitant but followed anyway, he was always good at making friends, but back on Earth, with humans. Lance was usually ignored by other species on most planets Voltron had helped.
Lance took a leap of faith, he had been here three days already, he’d made two friends who seemed to like him enough, so what was the harm? He left Ren behind and caught up to Lenwra, who was already at the table telling his friends who Lance was. Everyone’s eyes widened in surprise as they looked up at the boy approaching them. He immediately got nervous, were there rumors around the ship about him or something? Len turned and stretched his arm around Lance's shoulders, smiling at both his friends and him.
“Whoa… So you mean to tell me that you’re the Blue Paladin of Voltron?!” A shocked high-pitched airy voice spoke. They had blood red hair, dark multi color scales lining their body, and a long reptilian tail rested on the seat beside them. It took Lance a moment to realize why everyone was so shocked, he had left the universe's’ only chance of beating the Galra Empire, of course, everyone knew about Voltron.
“Erm, well yeah I guess. I mean, now I’m the ex- Blue Paladin of Voltron but yes.” Lance answered, his voice full of confusion. The table nodded as he spoke, their eyes wide, with childish wonder and excitement. Silence ensued, which turned an already nervous Lance into a great ball of anxiety.
“Whelp! He just had a bit of blood work done so we are going to go grab him some food. We’ll let him eat, then you guys can pile the questions on him, if he allows it.” Len piped up turning Lance by his shoulders towards the lunch line across the room. As he started to push the boy away, the table’s trance was broken, and they pouted until they turned towards each other and began to gossip about the Cuban boy walking away from them.
“Sorry, I guess they were a bit star struck by meeting you. You might want to get used to that, it’ll die down once they’re used to you… probably. Voltron is kind of a big deal everywhere.” Len apologized to Lance, walking towards the line for food.
“Nah you’re fine. I’m just not used to being stared at like that. And I’ll try, thanks for the heads up!” Lance replied, gaining his composure again as they approached the wall of food. He still had no idea what any of the food he was looking at, so he just grabbed a plate and took anything that looked edible. He also looked at Len each time he saw something that he thought was good, for confirmation. He shook his head at some and nodded at others, so Lance only added those to his plate.
“I’m trusting you with my life here Lenwra, you better have let me get the good stuff.” Lance informed Len, cocking his eyebrow up. Len just chuckled in response. Lance trusted him, for now that was.
Once back at the table Lance just picked at his food as the rest of the group either stared at him or struggled to open up a conversation. He found that it was extremely difficult to eat when there are about four different species in front of him, looking at him as though he would explode at any second. After a while, Lance just set his spoon down and turned to the table, whom all flinched at the sudden movement.
“Alright. Hit me with any questions ya got, I’ll answer what I can before I have to leave.” Lance allowed the group. Immediately about seven hundred questions came pouring out of everyone’s mouths. He put his hands up, motioning for them to silence themselves. All he could decipher out of the entire mess was, ‘Why did you leave?’, ‘What was it like to Pilot the Blue Lion?’, and ‘Have you ever been hurt in a battle?!’.
“Alright, I only understood a few out of the million you guys just asked so here’s what I got. I left Voltron because my Team didn’t need me and I was the weakest out of all of them and someone else on the ship was able to Pilot Blue better than me. So I left. It was really cool Piloting Blue. We had a great connection, I barely even had to pilot her, because it was like she read my mind and I read hers. I felt safe with Blue like I had known her all my life and that she would always be there for me. To be honest I can still slightly feel our bond in the back of my mind. She still reaches out at times, and I talk to her but the chats don’t last that long. Lastly, Yes I've been hurt in four battles. First time I was in the castle, during a celebration when a bomb went off and I leaped in front of Coran to take the brunt of the force.” He explained to everyone, they gave him confused looks when he said ‘Coran’, “Oh! He’s Princess Allura’s royal advisor. Anyway, the second time was when we fought Zarkon, Haggar had used her druids magic and managed to hit us when we had formed Voltron, and we split apart.
“It disabled our lions for a few ticks, but the magic really did a number on all of us. The third time was when our leader, Shiro, had disappeared after we defeated Zarkon. I got moved to piloting the Red Lion and Keith got moved to piloting the Black Lion. We were fighting one of Lotor’s fleets when I got distracted and got hit three times by a few of the Galra fighter jets. The fourth time was right before I left Voltron, I wasn’t really hurt but it was like the third time but this time I was in Blue again. I was out of commission for the rest of the battle and had to be towed back to the castle.” Lance puffed, taking heavy breaths as he reached for his drink. Gulping it down he looked back at the table, all of their jaws were practically touching the ground. Sweat began to pool at the base of his neck when Ren popped up out of nowhere pulling Lance away from the awestruck group.
“So sorry to tear you away from your new friends, but it’s been about thirty quintents and your blood work should be ready to look at.” Ren smiled at the table, placing a hand on Lance’s shoulder. The group snapped to attention at the sight of their leader and nodded as Lance stood up, saying goodbye to everyone as they began to walk out of the mess hall.
“I see you’ve made acquaintance with my son’s friends?” Renswa inquired, looking down at the boy with a kind smile.
“Yeah, I guess you could say that, though they are more interested in me being the ex- blue paladin of Voltron more than anything.” He shrugged. Ren hummed in response, placing a gentle arm around the boy’s shoulders, pulling him in an almost fatherly side hug.
They walked in a peaceful silence the rest of the way towards the Medical Bay. Lance had always wondered what his blood type was, and his mother never told him and neither did the garrison. Perhaps here they would be able to tell him! Once arriving he instructed Lance to go into a nearby side room so that they could discuss the results in private. After a while Ren joined him in the room, setting a little box onto the table, where they sat on either side. The diplomat pressed a button on the small box and a blue transparent hologram screen, of what looked to be Lance’s test results, popped up before them. The boy had no idea what he was looking at so he sat there in silence allowing the older man before him decipher what the results told them. After some unintelligible mumbling and confused looks, Ren’s eyes widened.
He pushed aside the screen and looked at Lance incredulously. He immediately got worried, had something gone wrong? Did he mess up the readings somehow? Was Ren just shocked at Human genetics?! Thoughts roared through his mind until Renswa opened his mouth to speak.
“It says here that, you are... Altean…”
Chapter 5: Chapter 5: Heritage of the unknown
“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you clearly. I’m what?” Lance leaned forward in his seat, his eyes narrowing at the blue man before him, not believing what he just heard.
“Well not fully, but it says here that you are at least part, Altean.”he began to zoom in on the hologram,”I thought you said you were from Earth?!” Ren’s head whipped towards Lance, who was now sitting in his seat with wide eyes.
“I… am. I’m human, I’m from Earth… My mother is Human…” Lance spoke slowly, in a soft voice. He nodded his head slowly, setting it in his hands, staring at the ground. Ren’s expression softened looking at the distraught boy before him.
“What about your father, Lance? Did you know him?” He crooned. Lance just slowly shook his head, slightly raising his head to look at Renswa.
“My mother told me that I was a surprise, she had a one night stand with my real father after my dad and her had gotten into a fight. She told me he died in a car wreck months after she found that she was pregnant. I mean I didn’t even know until almost, what is it now…. Probably a year ago? Does this mean that my real dad was Altean?!” Lance’s voice grew as he spoke. His eyes filled with confusion, as he looked at Ren.
“I mean, yes it obviously does. Did she ever tell you his name? I might know of him.” Ren stood and walked over to one of the walls in the room. He pressed a button, and a second hologram popped up. He began to swipe at the screen and type different things here and there.
“Wait, hold on there buddy. This is going way too fast. It’s been 10,000 years since the fall of Altea, how could I be Altean. Wouldn”t anyone who even survived the attack died by now?” Lance stood, and walked over to the Leader. He seemed to consider his words for a moment, freezing in his place with his hands still up from controlling the screen. Slowly he turned his head and looked down at the boy.
“Then I wouldn’t be standing in front of you right now.” He spoke in a matter of fact tone. It was Lance’s turn to freeze now. He stepped back putting his hands up slightly taking a defensive stance for no apparent reason, it was just instinct. His eyes grew ten times their original size as he looked at the man before him. ‘How was he still alive? He’s Altean?! Wait I’M ALTEAN!?’ So many thoughts flew through his mind. Lance watched as Ren finished typing on the screen, he couldn’t read anything on it but that was beside the point. Ren walked over to Lance and guided him to his chair by his shoulders. Once in his seat Ren stood by the projection on the wall, he looked at Lance whose face was stuck in a permanent state of shock. Ren blew up the screen so that he could explain.
“Okay so I take it you are extremely confused. I understand, being that you probably know nothing of the Altean culture. So i'm going to assume you can’t read Altean, so i'll explain what the screen says. Basically this is a database of Altea before Zarkon destroyed it. It tells the names of all citizens at the time, and all history behind them as we know. I am Altean for a fact, I just had a rare genetic disorder that caused me to be blue, that is why I look different from Allura and Coran.
“At the time of Altea’s fall I was a butler in the castle. I brought the royal family anything they needed when they needed it, so I was close with Allura as she grew up. When Zarkon began to attack King Alfor ordered me and another servant to place Allura and The Royal Advisor, Coran, into Cryopods. He had to put a sleep spell on Allura, but Coran went willingly so that he could protect Allura when they woke.
“Anyway, that's a bit off topic. I was ordered to use an Escape pod alongside a few other Altean Servants. Alfor refused to abandon ship, but also refused to form Voltron in fear of being defeated and losing the universe’s only hope. So he sent the Paladins along with their lions to different parts of the universe, far from the hands of Zarkon.” At this point Lance was fully enveloped in this story and listened to the man in silence taking in anything and everything he said, “Now while all of that was happening the rest of the staff and I were already about four vargas away from Altea, everyone upon the pod cried their hearts out, our only home was being destroyed as we were sent far away from the danger. After days of being out in that pod we found a planet that seemed peaceful, and we were running out of rations, so we decided to land. When we landed we found no one on the planet but we did find food, so we built a mini camp in the middle of a forest. After what felt like weeks Galra all of the sudden appeared, they took us all as prisoners, and made us servants under Zarkons orders. We were surprised that we were not sentenced death, but we didn’t question it.
“So now you’re probably wondering how we lived for 10,000 years. Well that is plain and simple to the fact that we were placed in cryo pods after about 10 years of serving the Empire. They wanted to preserve Altean existence so they placed us in them, but didn’t let us out until just a few years ago and put us back into Zarkons command. From there I had a baby with a fellow servant, she was killed by one of Haggar’s droids after she gave birth. Somehow I was able to escape soon after and land on a peaceful planet nearby. I still to this day can’t remember how I escaped, it’s all a blur in my memory. Anyway from there I gained the trust of the civilization and began to recruit people to join my resistance. The few that joined me from that planet helped me hijack a ship and turn it into our headquarters.
“Thus, began the Teniew!” Ren threw his hands in the air waving them in front of him gesturing towards the rest of the ship. Lance sat in front of the Altean, just staring at him, he seemed to be deep in thought as an awkward silence fell throughout the room. Ren took a seat in the chair opposite of Lance, waiting for him to say anything. It felt like an eternity but finally the boy began to nod his head slowly.
“Okay I’ve got it. You were a royal butler in the castle, Alfor sent you and some of the staff away to save you all, after you found a planet you set up camp but soon got captured by the Galra. You became servants under Zarkons command for the next ten years then were all put into cryo pods for another 10,000 years and then were just put as servants once again. You had a baby with your fellow servant, she was killed soon after giving birth, you escaped somehow then you hijacked this ship and built the Teniew.” Lance looked up at Ren with a straight face, making sure he heard the story correctly.
“Well, yes.That is what I just told you.” Ren replied, he was extremely confused. So was Lance but he was going to ask a question that would solve all of his confusion.
“Alright, then how was I born? Does my DNA match up with anyone from the Altean data base?” Lance seemed to be taking to this all a little too well. Though no one can read his mind. Ren’s eyebrow shot up for a moment then he got up to the hologram and began to wildly control it. Lance’s mind was going crazy. ‘Am I actually Altean? Ren was a butler to Allura! Ren is ALTEAN!?’
“Okay I’ve found one match. If you want to know what I’m doing I’m pulling up a family tree so that we can look at your heritage.” Ren looked over his shoulder at Lance who snapped out of his trance, he looked up at Ren and gave a curt nod. A picture of a tree popped up on the screen, almost a hundred branches, going every which direction. People’s faces and names written on each limb. Lance got up and began to scan his lineage, one face stood out among the rest. He knew that mustache anywhere, Coran. Lance pointed him out to Renswa who was looking at his older relatives.
“Hmm! Would you look at that!? Coran seems to be your Grandfather!” Ren spoke gleefully. “Who is your father though? I can’t place his face.” He tapped on the man who’s branch connected with Lance’s face. All background information popped up and Renswa gasped as he read the hologram.
“Ren what is it?! Who is he!?” Lance demanded. He stared at Ren with pleading, but concerned eyes.
“Your father was the original Blue Paladin.”
“So that’s why Blue chose me so quickly!”
“Lance, did you just hear me? You don’t seem to be understanding what I just said. Your father was the original Blue Paladin of Voltron.”
“I heard you the first time. This just means I was truly destined to Pilot Blue!” Lance felt their bond grow for a moment. Feeling her presence made him feel safe, he missed her the most out of anyone besides Hunk. He knew he wasn’t taking all of this as heavy as he should have been, but hell, he had been in the Garrison one day, and the next was flying an alien mechanical space cat in the middle of war against a purple fluff ball of fury. He just found out he is part Altean and that the insane man who he saw as a father figure on the castle was really his grandpa. He probably seemed insane in the eyes of the Leader in front of him. Ren just slowly nodded his head and sat down murmuring ‘okay’ and ‘alright’ over and over. Lance seemed perfectly okay with being part Altean. He just turned to Ren and simply asked in a polite, yet almost creepy tone,
“Can I go to the training hall please?” Lance knew he had pent up anger. He had just found out and done a lot of major things. He knew that he was too calm for his own sanity. He needed an outlet, and quick. So Ren gave him permission to leave and walk down to the training hall, and on his way there Lance mulled over everything he had just learned.
He was Altean. He was the son of the original Blue Paladin. Renswa was Altean. CORAN WAS HIS GRANDPA! That threw Lance over the edge, he immediately had a connection with the man, but he never could have imagined that this was a factor why.
Snapping out of his head he had already arrived in the training room and saw Lenwra, always training. ‘Just like Keith’ Lance thought to himself. Len spotted Lance out of the corner of his eye and stopped what he was doing and walked over to his friend, meeting him halfway. Sweat poured down his neck and back, Lance noticed.
“Hey Lance! Nice seeing you here for the first time! You looking to start training?” Len questioned Lance. He took off his jacket and thought about what he wanted to do.
“Yeah, actually I was! I just don’t know what I want to do. I’m stuck between, shooting and actually just working on hand to hand combat.” He spoke looking around the room. Not that many people were there, so he could do anything he wanted really.
“Well, let’s start with shooting. That’s simple enough. Do you have experience with a gun?” Ren asked as they began to walk to a closet filled with all types of guns.
“Yeah actually. My bayard turned into a gun, I was a good pretty good shot too, if I do say so myself.” He hopped a little bit off the ground as he finished his statement. Entering the closet Len moved his arm, showcasing all of the guns they had, Lance felt like a little kid in a candy shop.
“You can choose any one you’d like. The choice is yours.” Len informed Lance. He immediately ran towards the guns with a similar shape to a rifle, he picked them up carefully, examining them. He chose a thinner version of the gun his Bayard usually turned into, along with two pistol shaped guns. Len watched over him as he chose, but said nothing.
They walked in silence to the shooting range, it was odd not to say anything while walking. Lance never liked the quiet, that’s why he always filled it with his voice, anything to fill the void. Len walked up to a podium in the middle of the range and began to type.
“So this will be a three dimensional shooting course. Targets will appear all around you, when you hit them they will disappear. Im setting this to the lowest setting so you get the feel for it." Lance nodded and Len walked off the the side of the range. A voice came over the intercom.
‘Simulation Level 1 Beginner, Start’
Lance set down the two pistols and got the rifle ready. A small target about fifteen feet of him appeared, he blasted it away with ease. A noise behind him made him turn around and a new target about ten feet away popped up, gone in less than a tick. New targets slowly popped up around the room and he shot through each one without even having to aim hardly. Two minutes later the simulation ended and Lance’s attention was brought to Len who was walking towards him, clapping slowly.
“Amazing job bud. You passed level one!” Len spoke to Lance like he was a five year old and they both began to laugh.
“Come on man! Give me a challenge set it to like Level ten or something at least somewhat difficult.” Lance groaned, he wanted action. Len hummed from the podium and tapped a few buttons then walked off again, leaving Lance behind. Lance stood in a defensive stance, waiting for the simulation to begin.
‘Simulation Level 15 Advanced marksmanship. Start’
Chapter 6: New View of Treatment
“Well you seem to have adjusted well so far! I see that you prefer the shooting range when you train.” Ren began, turning towards Lance. It had been about two weeks since the boy had joined the rebels, and he already had a good reputation throughout the ship. He was a known sharpshooter, only bested by their lead weaponry officer, Bastok.
“Yeah, I mean my bayard was a plasma rifle and sniper. I took a shooting class back on Earth, at the Garrison, and I was okay but Voltron is where I really got good at shooting” Lance shrugged. He wouldn’t call himself the best but he knew he was above average. Ren hummed in understanding, hearing that Lance’s Bayard was a Plasma Rifle. It was an off day aboard the ship where the crew could do most anything they wished, basically a weekend to humans.
“So where exactly are we walking again? You kinda just kidnapped me from training.” Lance asked.
“Well I thought you would like to have your pod back. If you don’t we’ll gladly take it!” Ren hopefully told the boy.
“Well let’s see if we can remove one thing from the pod then you guys can have at it. There’s a communication device on it that I can contact Coran with, just incase I got into trouble, or needed someone to talk to.” Lance explained. A rush of excitement flooded Lance’s being, he hadn’t realized how long he had been aboard the rebel craft. He had to tell Coran so much! ‘He’s my grandfather after all!..... Oh god.. HE’S MY GRANDFATHER!?’ Lance’s head screamed. He couldn’t tell Coran about the whole being part Altean thing, he just couldn’t, not now at least. Maybe in person if he got to see them again.
“We documented everything in there, but having the systems themself would help even more! We will find a way to make the transmitter smaller for you so that you can contact them whenever you’d please.” Ren shrugged. It was a win-win deal. They fell into an awkward silence for a moment until Lance piped up.
“So what was Altea like? I mean I know how the Lions were made and how Dibazar was destroyed under King Alfor’s orders to protect everyone from the rift. Basically I know the Voltron side of Altea but I want to know about the normal unroyal side. What did you do in your free time?” Lance spat out. What?! The boy was curious! Coran only told him little bits and pieces that he couldn’t decipher.
“Hmm… Well it’s nice to know that Coran told the new paladins about the Paladins of old. My best friend had a huge thing for Blaytz, the Original Blue Paladin. Most of the time though I was around the royal family but I did spend a considerable amount of my life outside of the castle. I usually spent my time with my friends, relaxing and having fun before I was called back to the castle. It sounds boring I know but It’s just been so long that i've forgotten all what my life was other than castle life.” Ren’s smile faded into a frown, but back into a small grin as they approached the doors to where the Altean pod laid. Lance was opening his mouth to say something but the doors to the Lab ripped open, startling him.
The scientists in the Lab powered up the pod and let Lance walk in. He hadn’t left anything in there unless it was a ration bag. Ren stood by the door and let him take his time.
“Can I make the call now and see if they are able to talk?” Lance peaked his head out of the door. Ren nodded and swung his arm out towards the pod, shooing Lance away. He ran back into the Pod and sat in front of the control panel. The controls whirred to life as Lance set his hand on the identity scanner. He quickly pulled up the communication link between him and Coran. A crackling sound played through the pod as it connected to the Castle.
“Hello? Coran? Matt? It’s me.” Lance spoke clearly. He waited, nervous for any response. After what seemed like eons a voice came out of nowhere making the boy jump.
“Lance?! Is that really you my boy? I’ve been trying to get ahold of you for quintants! Are you alright? My data shows that you are not on Earth yet. The pod has been offline for a while now.” Coran’s voice sputtered through the speakers. Lance was relieved to hear his voice and chuckled at how worried he sounded.
“I’m perfectly fine Coran. Nothing to worry about. I was found by this rebel group called the Teniew and they took me in! It’s really great here, but I just called to make sure you know that I’m alright and to see how everything is at the Castle.” Lance told Coran and an audible sigh of relief could be heard over the com.
“Alright, as long as you are not being forced to do anything I’m okay with you staying there. Everything is not perfect on our side of things but I’ll let Matt explain everything to you later. He’s with the paladins right now but I’ll pull him away to talk to you later. That’s enough about us for now, what else is happening with you?” Coran’s voice was that of a concerned father’s. It made Lance feel content as he thought about what he was going to tell the advisor.
“Well, after I was brought aboard, I told them who I was and they were going to bring me back but I refused to let them. But they offered to let me join their rebellion and I accepted, I mean come on? Who doesn’t need a good lookin’ sharp shooter like me!? Anyway, they got me a room with the leader's son and I’ve made a bunch friends here! I’ve begun training with Lenwra, my roommate, and I’ve gotten even better at shooting! We are going to start hand to hand combat soon which I am excited for, but I’m a bit nervous of like not using the gladiators like the Castle has. Here we actually spar with each other.” Lance shifted in his seat clearing his voice, “I know we sparred with each other back at the castle but that was different, after a while you knew how everyone fought and you could easily take each other down. Won’t matter soon anyway, just have to deal with it. Everyone here knows me, it’s still a bit weird because not everyone has actually spoken to me.” He babbled on and on.
Ren popped his head through the open door and motioned with his thumb that it was time to end the transmission.
“Alright Coran, sorry this had to be so short but Ren is calling me away. I’ll call you back later then maybe you guys will tell me what’s been going on!” He chuckled as he said his goodbyes and ended the link. He stood up and met Ren outside the pod who was chatting quietly with one of their scientists.
“Ah! Good you got off your call. Sorry to pull you away from that, my team thinks that they’ve found a way to get that communicator out of the pod so they wanted to start on that right away. Now! We get to go eat, then go over some recent data received about Lotor and his generals.” Ren began to walk from the lab as scientists pushed past Lance and began to tear apart the pod. Lance jogged to catch up to the leader, ‘Why did they want him to go over new data with them? No one really ever liked him in important meetings like that’, he thought. He pushed it aside and focused on the task at hand, food.
“Keith! What happened with you and Red?” Allura confronted the team, worry and anger spread through her voice.
“I. Don’t. Know. Our bond, it’s- it’s like it at broke random times. It’s been weird ever since I took her back from Lance, the it got even worse when he left.” Keith growled, standing with his arms folded. Everyone looked at each other worriedly.
“Looks like Lance really did a number on, everyone in the castle.” Hunk offered. Everyone hummed and nodded their heads in agreement. They had just gotten through with another battle with one of Lotor’s fleets. They had won but there were some pretty scary moments in the fight. Blue and Matt were not a total trainwreck but they weren’t perfect either. Red and Keith are what caught everyone off guard. It was known that the two had an extremely strong bond.
At one point Red began to just, do her own thing. She wouldn’t respond to Keith at pivotal points in the battle. They all worked through the set back and managed to beat the fleet without too much damage to anyone. Matt and Blue were talking during the entire fight, trying to figure out what to do because their bond wasn't strong enough and things just weren't going right.
After everyone was already out of their lions and interrogating Keith, Matt stayed in blue and tried to talk with her before he went confront the group. He sat in silence focusing as hard as he could, he’d always heard his father and Shiro say that ‘Patience yields focus’ but he was having a hard time sitting still and waiting. He didn’t want to just be a replacement for Lance but he needed to at least be able to pilot Blue until they found her cub once more.
He willed his mind to connect with blue on a higher level. “I can’t be the one that slows the team back. Please Blue, as soon as we get him back I will leave nothing will be permanent.” He reasoned with the lion. She remained resilient of him. Her mind only saw that there was some unworthy person piloting her in place of her amazing cub. She missed him. Oh, how she missed him.
“Matt! My boy, are you still up there!? I need you to come down here! I have news!” Coran interrupted Matt's’ thoughts. He jolted out of the pilot’s seat and scrambled to catch his helmet that almost fell. He frowned as he took one last look at the chair he just left before he walked out of the lion. He needed to bond better than this. He didn’t want anything special but he needed to help the team and not get killed. He met Coran at the muzzle of the lion and asked him what it was he needed.
“It’s Lance, he contacted me finally.” Coran began in a low whisper. Matt immediately perked up at the mention of Lance. He wanted to know what was going on. He hadn’t contacted them in two weeks. It was worrying the both of them.
“Well don’t stand there let’s go! Now!” Matt turned and began to jog out of the hangar. Coran rushed up behind him and lead him to a quiet room that everyone had forgotten about, the old storage room.
“Alright what’s going on? What happened to him?” Matt questioned Coran in a low voice. Coran began explaining what had been happening to Lance and just as he was finishing he got a transmission. Lance. The advisor answered the call and shushed the worried Matt as he greeted Lance.
“My boy! How are you?” Coran exclaimed.
“You can hear me? Oh, good. Alright, I’m fine. The scientists here took apart the pod and converted the transmitter into a smaller and easier, hand held version for me.” Lance’s voice was layered with static but it wasn’t hard to understand what he was saying.
“Oh well that was kind of them! Are the rebels there anything like the rebels that took me in?” Matt joined the conversation.
“Oh hello Matt! It’s good to hear you voice, and yeah it’s a lot easier to use now. To answer your question, yes and no. They are rebelling against Lotor’s Empire, but they are very different in the personality and political aspect. A lot more lenient over here, no strict rules but there is an overall respect for everyone so there’s not much to control. But enough about me again! I’m sure Coran has already filled you in on all the stuff about me. He wouldn’t tell me anything about what’s going on over there!” Lance finished and gasped for air. Matt thought about what all had actually happened since Lance had left.
“Well to start off it’s really quiet here without you. Everyone is mopey and sad without you here to crack some jokes, but we’re dealing. After the first like three days Allura told us it was time to see who would pilot Blue. As soon as you left she put up her barrier. Everyone tried, but nothing happened, until I walked up to her. She’s allowing me to pilot her with a temporary bond of sorts. We actually just got finished with another battle with one of Lotor’s larger fleets. Nothing too bad, just some miscommunication with Blue and I, she still doesn’t like the idea of me piloting in place of you.” Matt explained to Lance.
“Ahhh I can see that, after we got you and Shiro back she told me how much she hated to shut me out and have me pilot Red while Allura piloted her.” Lance agreed.
“Oh she’s told me a little bit about Allura piloting in your place. With you saying that about you piloting Red, do you still have a connection with her?” Matt asked. The line went quiet for a moment before Lance’s voice broke through the static.
“We had a pretty strong bond when I piloted her I will admit. She was a lot harder to control than Blue but I made it work, why do you ask? Is something wrong with her?” Lance’s voice became increasingly worried.
“Oh nothing really it’s just today during battle she shut down a few times on Keith and began to pilot herself. He said it was like their bond disappeared for a few ticks.” Matt informed Lance. He hummed in response and let the line go silent for a while, as though he was thinking about something.
“Well, Lan-” Coran was cut off by a sudden alarm that began to blare on the other side of the transmission.
“Sorry guys! I have to go now. I’ll call as soon as I can! Matt remember Blue loves manicures, I don't know if it will help but try! Bye!” Lance’s voice sped. The link was dropped and the two men sat in the storage room, worried at what that alarm could’ve meant for Lance.
“I pray to the ancients that he’s okay.” Coran looked at Matt with a darkened expression.
He ended the transmission and bolted out of the room, almost hitting the walls as he turned corners. He burst into the control room where Len and Ren both stood hunched over some control panels, shouting orders left and right. People streamed in the room behind him shoving him back and forth grabbing things and putting on armour.
“Renswa. What’s happening.” Lance demanded walking towards them. People began to stand at attention with armour and weapons at the ready around them while others still scrambled about.
“The Galra are attacking, that’s what the alarm means. Everyone is getting for our instructions.” Lenwra told Lance. He stood up straight and turned around to everyone.
“Snorlok, take your crew ‘round the back of the fleet. Blatx, you’re ‘round the left; Kalor’s crew ‘round the right. My team… follow me. Lance, go with Rina she will explain what to do, you’re in my crew.” Lenwra ordered. Everyone immediately rushed out of the room and someone pulled Lance’s arm. He turned and saw a short feminine looking creature. She had short hair and had dark blue and silver scales all over her. Glaring at him she pulled him down a hall and began to inform him what was happening.
“I’m Rina, I’m Lenwra’s right hand. We are going to grab you some armour and find you a jet. You can pilot a jet right?” She looked back at him.
“Uhhhh yeah.” Lance hoped that was the right answer. He knew how to pilot his Lion and the jets on Earth but he had never flown a Galran ship.
“Alright then. Lets pray you catch on quick then. Captain told me you’re good with blasters. If it comes to it you will stay as far away from the fight and pick off the stragglers until you’ve had enough experience.” She sighed deeply. She walked into a side room that popped out of nowhere and started to throw some armour at Lance. He caught everything to the best of his abilities but dropped the helmet. He rolled his eyes and picked up the helmet and waited for her to tell him what to do.
“Go in that room down the hall and put those on now. We are heading to the hangars next, to get you a weapon and a jet.” She pointed down the hall and sure enough he found a small changing room. He put on his armour which wasn’t too different from Galra armour but it was darker and felt more like the Paladin armour.
He walked out in full armour except the helmet and met Rina who was already walking towards the jet hangars. They walked quickly in a tense and uncomfortable silence. Only the faint sounds of jets being deployed and their footsteps could be heard, and boy, did it sound like they were in stilettoes. When they reached the hangar doors Rina turned to him and set her hand on his shoulder.
“Just so you know, I know who you are, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to bow down at your feet, you’re still a newbie and I shall treat you as such. I don’t care how much special care Captian or Lenwra give you. You’re no one special to me.” She pulled him down to her face and growled from her chest. Her glare was just as fierce as Allura’s, if not even more-so. He gulped and nodded his head. She grunted and slammed the control panel to open the hangar doors.
She marched inside and pointed to the wall of gun racks which were, at the moment, extremely bare. Then she pointed at a jet on the wall next to the gun racks. He hurried over to the blasters a just grabbed one that looked familiar then ran to the jet she assigned him. They were all Galran jets. ‘Probably stolen’ He thought as he began to imitate the way that Rena was getting into her jet. He looked and felt like a two year old trying to work a building crane.
Finally they were both in their jets and Lance put his helmet on.
“Follow me and stay close. Try not to fly off.” She ordered him and he just puffed in response. The controls were basically, somewhat of a mixture, of the Lions and Earth’s controls. He flipped a switch and the jet roared to life, there were two bars in front of him. Just like in the Lion’s he found they were used for steering and throttle. He felt at home in the jet.
Rina began to move towards the exit of the ship and Lance followed close behind. It was a bit weird piloting something without a mental connection to the craft, but his instincts from Earth kicked back in. Flying out of the ship the fleet came into view and happiness flooded his body. It was smaller than the last fleet that he had fought with Voltron. ‘Piece of Cake’ He laughed to himself. The unasked question at the back of his mind was answered as he got closer to the battle and saw all of the rebel Galran ships intermingled with the actual Galran jets.
Each jet had a small outline of either red or green around them. Rina’s ship had a red outline, he took that as red, meant friend and green, meant bad guy. Rina joined a group of other red outlined jets and began to shoot green outlined jets. Lance decided to join them but from further back and pick off the ones that they missed. He had to get used to the blasters in this ship but it was easy enough to control after a while.
He felt great after he had the hang of everything in the fighter jet. He swooped under shots and ships while shooting others just as quickly. Every now and then Rina or one of his crewmates would yell at him for being a little bit too reckless or praise him for a great shot. He took their words with a grain of salt though. He knew that they were just looking out for his safety since he had never flown with them before.
It went on like that for a while until Ren came over the coms and ordered them to make the final attack. Lance stayed back and decided to watch what they do so that he wouldn’t screw up their attack.
All of the Teniew crafts made a large circle around the fleet. Anyone who wasn’t in the main circle guarded any other side that wasn’t protected. Len came onto the coms and began to count down.
“Three… Two… One… FIRE!”
Everyone aimed their ships at the fleet and fired their blasters. At full throttle, all of the jets together almost blinded Lance. He covered his eyes with his hand and looked away.
Looking back at the attack Lance had to chuckle. The scene he was watching mimicked most action movies back on earth. They always had one big last final blow with everyone giving it their all. Granted Voltron did the same thing but watching it unfold in real time before his eyes, Lance found it hilarious. He did have to admit, it worked great in the overall view of the battle. It took out the remaining fighter jets, while the surrounding supporting ships were obliterated, as well as taking the main control center out of commission.
Moments later whoops and hollers filled his ears. His chest filled with happiness, everyone sounded so happy, and everyone was congratulating each other, praising each other's work in the battle. Slowly but surely all the rebels began to make their way back to the ship. Lance was one of the first to land. He got out and walked into the control room, he wanted to ask Ren something. Rina had said that everyone bowed down to him and that Len and Ren had treated him specially.
“Captain.” Lance walked into the room and saw Ren, grinning, with his arms crossed, looking out at the remaining jets making their way back onto the ship. He heard Lance and turned around, his smile quickly turning into a frown as he realised what the boy had addressed him as.
“Lance you don’t have to call me th-” Ren didn’t get to finish.
“No that’s why I’m here. Look Rina told me that you have been treating me a lot differently than anyone else here. Now that she’s said it I realise you have. Other than Lenwra and a few other generals, I’m one of the only ones who get to call you Ren. Why is tha?!” Lance interrupted. Ren stopped and his arms fell to his sides. His eyes wide and staring at the boy he thought over how he was going to explain this.
“Fine. You remind me of my wife. I know humans have weird gender normalities and that’s weird for you to hear but you do. Alright? Plus you are Altean. It’s only Len and I here. Other than Honerva, Allura, and Coran you are the only Altean that I’m able to be around. I want to teach you about your culture and help you grow in those genes and in your own special ways…. You’re like a second son I never asked for but would never want to get rid of. I know I’m rambling but just know I care about yo-” Ren was interrupted by some of his men stumbling in with some glasses of what seemed to be the alien equivalent of alcohol or beer.
Ren and Lance stood for a moment staring at each other, as more men began to flood in behind the pair. The boy sighed deeply and walked out of the room pushing the excited people aside. They may have just won a battle, his first battle with them, but he was mad. He stormed towards the training deck shedding his armour once in the the room. He grabbed his usual plasma blaster and started up the shooting range where he had left off. “Heh. Turning out be be just like Keith aren’t I?” He muttered to himself, setting up his simulation.
“Commencing Level 27 Expert Marksmanship sequence. Start” The robotic voice announced over the intercom. Lance readied his rifle and got ready for the onslaught of attacks.
He had no idea how long he had been training but the simulation all of the sudden shutdown. He turned around and saw Ruthaly standing behind the control panel. Behind her stood, Lenwra, Kark, Kinna, Seriney, Platam, and Tylan, all standing with their arms crosses, frowns on their faces. He stood up straight and started to walk over to the group. The sweat that had pooled in his eyebrows finally crested and dripped into his eye; which he promptly wiped out.
“Do you know how long you’ve been in here?” Ruth frowned. Over time she had become Lance’s, rebel mom. She always made sure he had eaten, and made sure he didn’t over work himself.
“No. But how did you find me?” Lance grumbled, giving his rifle to Seriney.
“Well, Captain told us you had left soon after the battle, and that was two hours ago.” Platam spoke.
“So that means you’ve been training in here for roughly two hours. That’s not good Lance. You did well during the battle!” Kark whined.
“Yeah! I mean your piloting was amazing! Unlike I’ve ever seen before.” Kinna chimed in after her brother. Lance shuffled in his spot.
“It’s not any of that you guys.” Lance admitted.
“Then what is it Lance!” Len demanded, “You were amazing in your first battle! We are one step closer to beating Lotor. Please tell us what’s wrong.” he pleaded. Lance dropped his head and between the group, over to the rest benches. Everyone following in suite, they sat in silence awaiting for their friends answer.
“Look. Ever since I got here I’ve been treated differently than anyone else. I know I was a Paladin of Voltron and that’s all very exciting but that’s not me anymore. I want to be treated like everyone else here. Captai- Ren, and You,” Lance nodded towards Lenwra, “Have kept me close to you at almost all times, which I am grateful for. Don’t get me wrong, I love the attention, but if I’m being treated like an angel then it needs to stop. I am no such thing... I asked myself a question a while ago, and now I am able to answer it.” Lance paused. Tears welled up in his eyes, threatening to spill over any second, his voice caught in his throat.
“What am I? … I’m just a boy from Cuba. I’m a boy from Cuba who happened to be chosen by a mystical blue mechanical lion, and thrown into an intergalactic 10,000 year old war.” The tears dripped from his chin onto his lap. He couldn’t talk anymore, he just couldn’t. The group went into a depressing silence that was soon filled with sniffling and tears. He looked up and saw his friends, either crying or close to it.
“Lance… You may be a boy from… Cuba, but you are so much more than just that. You are an extremely loyal friend, you keep everyone around you happy and laughing, you are a crazy skilled sharpshooter. Hell, you are on Level 30! That’s higher than anyone else on the ship has gotten to! You are special Lance, and you have feelings too. We aren’t treating you like royalty, and if we are, then so be it. You. Deserve. It.” Platam spoke for the first time. Everyone's eyes widened at hearing his voice.
“You can talk!?” The twins yelled in sync.
“That doesn’t matter right now. What matters, is that who ever made Lance think this low of himself shall never hurt him again. Come on guys group hug!” He cheered. They all swooped in around Lance, crushing him in one of the warmest and tightest hugs he’s ever experienced. He began to sob as they all began to say sweet compliments about him.
“My god.. I love you guys so much.” Lance managed to get out through the tears. He never imagined that he would become close to this many people in such a short time span.
“And we love you even more, so don’t forget it!”