As Sendak’s cruiser drifted closer to the last known location of the other Voltron lions, Keith noticed that he had taken to sitting just outside of the Red Lion’s particle barrier more and more often during his off-duty vargas. Ever since the Champion’s escape, the young half-galra soldier was becoming increasingly worried that his involvement would be found out, and he always felt more calm in the presence of the lion.
Which only added to his mounting confusion, if he was being honest. He had never felt like he belonged with the other galra, sure, and they never bothered to try and include him (citing his mixed heritage as reason enough to shun him, and so leaving him alone for most of his life), but then he had come across the Champion. An encounter that had shaken his limited understanding of his place in the universe.
Because the older gladiator had looked almost like what Keith saw when he looked at his reflection. It was the first time he had even a hint of what his non-galra half might be.
This, of course, raised another problem. Just as he would not leave another galra imprisoned, he could not leave the Champion now. And so, impulsively and recklessly, without giving himself the time to think about it too much, he had helped the Champion escape.
He knew that if his actions were ever discovered, he would most likely be executed. Yet, he could not bring himself to regret them.
That did not mean that he did not fear for his life, though. Hence, he stayed with the lion. Any sense of calm and safety was a welcome relief from the turbulence of his mind.
Though it also meant that he was with the lion when the paladins of Voltron re-emerged and attempted to retrieve it.
At first, all he heard were the alarms. Intruders. And he knew the only things they were likely to be after was either the prison block or the lion. Maybe even both.
He was unarmed, his weapons lying on his bunk on the other side of the ship. He heard running footsteps and blasting guns just outside the hanger door.
The door hissed open and a small person in full green and white armor darted in, pursued by a half a dozen sentries.
Suddenly Keith was filled with a rush of warmth and moved on pure instinct. There was only one way to protect the lion and prevent the green one from being shot down (though he didn’t understand the source of his priorities. Why was he helping a stranger over his own duties?).
Clutching the control panel as if his life depended on it, he slammed his fist down the control button for the bay doors. The sentries and the intruder were immediately sucked out into space, and Keith’s legs were ripped out from underneath him. He risked a glance and saw, to his immense relief, that he had guessed correctly that the green one’s suit was void-proof.
He also saw them get eaten by a green lion much like the red one in front of him.
In his shock he loosened his grip on the control panel. Not by much, but enough that when a stray piece of debris collided with his arms he was knocked out into space.
Tumbling head over heels out into the endless vacuum of the universe, Keith could not help but think that it was a kind of karma. He had betrayed his Empire, not once but twice. It only stood to reason that he would die in infinite nothingness now, alone and adrift like he had been for most of his life.
But then, all of a sudden, his mind was filled with a rumbling roar, something red filled his vision, and everything was consumed by darkness.