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Far Beyond

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    Percy groaned as he shifted his weight into a better stance. Across from him stood his half-brother, Alex, who was standing in a very sloppy version of a battle stance. For the life of him, Percy couldn’t figure out why his brother sucked at fighting. A flash of light reflected off the sword in Alex’s hand before he brought it down in a sloppy swing.

    Dodging it easily, Percy swung Riptide towards the youngest’ waist. A very bad block resulted in Alex sprawling on the ground. Running his hand through his hair, Percy simply looked at Alex, silently telling him to get up. The sixteen year old took longer than Percy would have hoped for but was up after a few moments.

    “I think it’s safe to say you need more practice.”

    “That’s all I do is practice.” huffed the boy quietly. “While you are in school, I train with Clarisse and Jason. I can never get the hang of this.”

    In frustration, the teen threw the sword to the side. Stalking off, he headed out of the ring and towards the showers, wanting the smell of sweat off him. Percy didn’t seem to be following him so he took that as a sign that the older teen didn’t want to talk to him right now.

    To be honest, Alex wasn’t sure why he couldn’t fight. He couldn’t remember anything from before coming to Camp Half-Blood. Everything was blank. Every now and then, he would get a glimpse of something but it would fly away before he could grasp it.

    “Yo! Alex!”

    Breaking from his thoughts, Alex turned towards the source of the voice, only to be ran over by Leo Valdez. Grumbling, the ocean eyed teen pick himself off the ground and turned towards Leo, a glare on his face that didn’t phase the Latino Santa Elf.

    “I heard from everyone that you suck at basically being a demi-god!” Alex’s glare got worse, obviously annoyed that Leo brought the issue up. “Have no fear! I’m almost positive that I can find you something that you are good at!”

    Alex wasn’t able to say anything else as the hyperactive older teen dragged him across Camp, looking into different things to see if he would be able to complete the activity. After five exhausting hours, Leo and Alex came up short. Basket-weaving, knitting, sword making and, even, archery were tasks that the youngest son of Poseidon couldn’t accomplish.

    “Give it up, Leo.” said Alex as he ran his hand through his blue and white streaked brown hair. “I’m a failure as a demi-god! If Camp were attacked today, I would be an easy target!”

    “Maybe you just haven’t found the right weapon yet.” Leo shifted his weight, obviously thinking about something. His face lite up as he seemed to get an idea. “Follow me!”

    Alex wasn’t given much of a choice as Leo pulled him towards the armory. While he had been practicing with Percy, Jason and Clarisse, they always grabbed the swords for him. They were always light-weight and never felt right in his hands. He just hoped that Leo wouldn’t give him a sword the shot spikes out of the hilt.

XXXXXXXX

    Hunk Garret sighed as he continued to work on the Yellow Lion. Their group had made it safely to Earth and the Garrison was helping them repair their Lions. Thankfully, the Galra hadn’t attacked yet due to the chaos that was caused by Lotor. Leaving him in the Quintessence field wasn’t something that they wanted to do but they didn’t have a choice. He briefly wondered if Lance would have made a difference in their battle with Lotor.

    Shaking his head, Hunk returned to the task at hand. The Lions had sustained lost of damage on their flight back to Earth. During their road trip, they all found out how much each other had changed. Keith was calmer, having a more level head on his shoulders since his time in the Quantum Abyss with Krolia. Shiro was more quiet, obviously thinking of his time in the Astral Plane when the Black Lion saved him.

    Lance would have freaked out about that, had he still been alive. That sour thought killed Hunk’s good mood instantly. It had been about a year since they lost their Blue Paladin, a recon mission gone wrong. Lance had been sent to find out more about the planet the they were near at the time. He was also trying to figure out more information about Shiro’s disappearance. However, after three days of no contact, Keith had decided to go to the planet himself.

    Hunk knew that Keith believed Lance was goofing off instead of actually gathering information. However, Hunk knew that Lance wouldn’t do something like that. Especially since they were down a Paladin. Keith returned from the planet alone, carrying a bag of blood-stained clothes and a look of despair on his face.

    After that, things seemed to go up and down. The very next week, they had found Shiro…. What they thought was Shiro to be honest. They found out very quickly that it was a clone created by Haggar and sent to infiltrate their team. Thankfully, the real Shiro was able to communicate with Keith long enough for him to learn the truth. Allura used her alchemy to draw the real Shiro from the Black Lion into his clone’s body. After that was a lot of non-stop events leading to the loss of the Castle of Lions.

   Allura piloting Blue, using a pink bayard that her father had created, the blue bayard being lost with Lance. Keith taking over as the Black Paladin, Shiro taking over as the Red Paladin. The only original Paladins left in their own Lions were himself and Pidge. Lotor turning on them and creating the Lotron, Allura unknowingly helping with it’s creation.

    A crash drew Hunk from his thoughts as he looked over towards the Green Lion. Pidge was currently picking up her tools, grumbling under her breath as Matt ran away from the scene laughing. However, he wasn’t laughing long because a wrench connected with his head soon after. Now, Pidge was the one laughing.

    “You know.” Hunk spoke up, gaining their attention. “If you keep fooling around, Keith will murder you both. And, yes Matt, you both. Just because you aren’t on the team doesn’t mean he won’t try.”

    “He’d have to catch me first!” exclaimed Matt as he took off running down the hall.

    Sighing in defeat, Hunk turned towards Pidge, who was looking after her brother with a pained expression. It didn’t take much for Matt to remind them all of Lance, though their personalities were different. He had the easy-going attitude and love of jokes and pick-up lines that Lance had before he died.

    “Let’s go make sure Keith doesn’t murder him.” said Pidge as she slowly walked towards the exit of the Garrison. Hunk followed shortly behind her, silently telling Yellow that he would be back.

    The two didn’t have to look to hard to find Matt, who had ran into Shiro and was talking about different plans. From what Hunk could hear, they seemed to get more and more crazy as each plan was shot down. Keith was standing off to the side, talking to Krolia about visiting his father’s grave once they were able to. That set off a very depression thought in Hunk’s mind. It must have shown on his face because the others looked at him confused.

    “We have to tell Lance’s parents.”

    Keith dropped his head, fist clenching in anger at the revelation. Shiro looked like someone had struck him in the face, eyes wide and unseeing. Pidge looked like she would burst into tears, her tiny shoulders silently shaking. Matt looked miserable but couldn’t give much else. He didn’t know Lance like they did.

    “I’ll call them.” Everyone looked towards Shiro as he bowed his head slightly. “It was because of me that he died. If I hadn’t-”

    “None of that was your fault.” came an accented voice behind the group. “You couldn’t help that the Black Lion pulled you into her. If she hadn’t, you would have died.”

     Allura walked over to their group and looked around at the others. They were all wearing looks of grief, ones that mirrored her own.

    “If someone needs to call, it will be me.” Allura held her head high, daring the other Paladin’s to argue.

    “No. I have to call.” Hunk shook his head, quickly finishing his thought before Allura could interrupt him. “I’ve known him the longest. I’ve known his parents for years, having lived next door since they moved from Cuba. Also, his parent’s don’t speak English well. I know enough Spanish to let them know.”

    The group all shared looks with one another, silently questioning if anyone would object. Hunk hoped that wouldn’t be the case. He felt like he needed the closure, needed to tell Lance’s family so that he could honor his friend one last time.

    “Very well.” Allura looked towards Hunk, grief clouding her purple-blue eyes. “Contact them as soon as you are able to. If you wish, you can even visit them. Telling them in person would be best. Take his things as well. That way they have something to remember him by.”

    Nodding, Hunk headed towards Yellow, wanting to get the task done quickly. They had washed the clothes that Keith had found on the planet, a group of rogue bandits having captured Lance and killed him. They hadn’t known that he was a Paladin of Voltron. He was just a random stranger who they decided to mug and kill. They weren’t able to track the people down. Keith had tried but only found a few piled of ash in the warehouse where he had found Lance’s things.

    Hunk squared his shoulders once he was at his Lion. There was work to be done and he couldn’t afford to let his emotions get the better of him. No matter how much he wanted them to.