Chapter 1: The one where Lance get's kidnapped
Lance was in a shitty situation. First, he hadn’t eaten breakfast before the call of arms on the castleship. Secondly, his hair was an absolute mess of sweat and alien plant sap. And third? Thirdly, he was tied up in a chair on a hostile alien planet about to be assasinated to make a statement to Voltron. Yeah, today was the worst.
It started as any normal day on the castleship, except Lance was sprinting to the bridge with the other paladins as the alarms blared in distress. The door whooshed open as Lance skidded to a halt next to Keith. Everyone was in their armor, including Allura, although Lance knew she wouldn’t be participating since they had Keith for another three movements before he was sent back to the blade. Allura cleared her throat and began the briefing. The holo screen in the middle was lit up by an earth sized planet with six different colored rings orbiting around it. The planet was classified as “zYLL12-wwhdusy190x”. The information on the planet classified it as a mostly desert planet, so “dusty” for short. The planet also had several moons orbiting it as well. Two were classified as an “occupied planet” the others uninhabitable.
“-as the last planet in this system. As we can see. In ten thousand years, four other planets are new to this system. We mustn't count them out as a non threat. We have no idea of what distress Dusty is in, but the signal came from the portion of the planet that transitions from dust lands to a heavy dense forest near a river.” Allura shifted and zoomed in on the planet. “This is where we will converge to see what the threat is. Stay on high alert at all times. No audio recordings or writing came with the distress signal.”
The paladins broke rank and ran to their lions.
The flight to the outer rings of Dusty was swift. The planet had to be in Lances top ten best. The rings were a multitude of colors ranging between blue all the way to orange. It looked like someone threw up a rainbow with more of a watercolor feel to it. As he broke through the atmosphere he could see the harsh yellow of the sand below. The sand was mostly the same except for periodical bursts of blue or purple sand. The jungle was much the same. Plants of all different colors greeted him from below, some even appearing gray, although most were a lush green. Lance found a clearing to land in. Blue touched down with the grace and elegance that a something-odd-ton ship shouldn’t have,
Lance took stock of his surroundings. He followed the plan to a T and radioed the team his positioning. He activated his bayard and continued forward. He was met with an alien several feet in front of him. The alien had it’s back turned. Lance recognized the creature as a Gravite. He was amazed to see if looked exactly how Allura told them it would, apparently evolution on this planet was slow.
The creature turned to fully face him. It looked like a pangolin, only it was walking on two legs and had humanoid hands with sharp claws. Before he could call out to the creature, it let out a sharp whistle. In seconds, six other Gravites came barreling from the shrubbery. They surrounded him. Looking closer, Lance noticed each alien was a different color. He spotted a purple, gold, gray, and a pink Gravite. The others were two different shades of blue and a lush green the shade of the trees. Lance activated his bayard and got into his fighting stance.
“Hey! I’m not here for trouble. I’m here to help. My team got a distress call from this planet. I don’t want to harm anyone!”
The gray one smiled. Rows of sharp, jagged teeth gleamed in the sunlight. “Oh, we know who you are Paladin of blue.” They all charged him at once.
“Shiro! Anyone! I;m going to need backup! Hostile- I - oh my god!” his bayard was completely useless against their hard outer shell. Lance transitioned into his broadsword. “Backup please!”
Lance couldn’t hear his team in his ear as blood rushed through his veins. Surprisingly all but two Gravites stopped their charge, but it didn’t help his odds. No matter how many times he brought down the sharp edge of his sword, the Gravites scales wouldn’t crack. It was a lost cause. The purple one grabbed his head. Before they had a chance to break his neck. Lance released the helmet. He was met with humid air as the helmet slipped off and the Gravite went tumbling to the ground. Lance had no time to recover as the second Gravite kept their charge. His bayard was knocked from his hand reverting back to the grip. The last thing Lance registered before it went dark was the tree root that came into his vision as he fell.
Lance awoke in a room. He was dizzy and disoriented. The room was warm yet he could feel the cold floor through his shoes. Lance then blacked out.
Waking for the second time he was greeted by the same gray Gravite he met outside, well at least he thought so. What unnerved Lance the most wasn’t the razor sharp teeth, but the aliens two wide eyes. They were pitch black. Lance felt as if his very soul was being sucked in by the pupil-less void. The creature purred. Stepping closer it retracted its claws, leaving nothing but fingers as it raked its hand down Lance’s face. Lance didn’t even flinch, he refused.
“What do you want?” Lance rasped out. Voice scratchier than he would have liked.
“Wouldn’t you like to know, Paladin of blue. I’m Ravein. I Command this base along with several other colonies. It seems the Paladins have fallen for our trap. Hmmm.” the alien purred, “you will be a great tool. Tell me Paladin, how much does your team care for your life?” Lance sucked in a sharp breath.
“Do they think they’ll come for you? Or will they let you die here like the v’rpes you are? Only time will tell it seems.” Ravein took a step back. Lance tried to sit up straight to seem taller but the Gravites were at a minimum seven feet tall, Ravein having two feet on the shortest.
Lance tried to speak but was silenced by a scaled hand falling over his mouth. A sharp smile met Lance’s terrified gaze.
“Let’s play a game Paladin. You’ll be the perfect hostage. Start the recording Scholackse.” A Camera was placed in front of them. Ravein addressed the camera, completely ignoring Lance.
“Greetings Paladins of Voltron! I’m Ravein, commander of this base and the other great Gravite colonies. As you can see,” Ravein flourished his hand at Lance, “the Paladin of blue is in my custody.” The giant creature pulled out a test tube out of nowhere. The substance inside was a dark chocolate color.
“If Voltron refuses to surrender the lions to us, the Gravites, your precious teammate is good as dead.” Lance wasn’t liking where this was going. The rope bit into his wrists as he tried to wriggle free.
“This substance has theobromine it it. A high concentrated dose, and need I remind you it is highly toxic? The first symptom is nausea, then vomiting and cold sweats. You will soon be plagued by arrhythmia, seizures, internal bleeding and then,” Ravein paused, “ death.” Ravein’s smile was sharp, Lance’s eyes were wide.
“We will be expecting a call from you, the toxin takes several vargas to take full effect. Until then, you can cure him. Well Paladins…” Their posture swiveled to the camera, “I hope you like him enough to save him.” The blinking light of the camera cut out.
Before lance could utter a word in response a needle was injected into his neck. He expected to be knocked out, but all it managed to do was make his throat numb. Ravein stepped in front of him. The theobromine was dumped into a steaming mug while a tube was unceremoniously shoved down his throat. The process was over before it even began. Lance watched as the cup was poured into the tube and the substance slid down his throat disappearing into his stomach. Lance cringed as the tube was extracted, coughing all the way. After the object was gone, his throat didn’t hurt but the experience wasn’t pleasant.
That’s when it hit him. These motherfuckers just poisoned him! Oh my god he was going to die! With a quick swish of Ravien’s claws, the rope was gone and Lane was pushed to the floor against the wall.
“I hope you enjoy the pain, Paladin. I hope for your sake your team truly cares.”
Lance was left alone to his fate.
The nausea is what hit him first. His stomach protesting against the poison. He had stomach cramps. The poison being sent directly to his stomach didn’t help his cause. God, it felt like he was going to die! Lance hunched over himself looking for relief he knew wouldn’t come. The Gravites said the next thing would be vomiting. He hated when he was sick as a kid. Just the memory sent shivers down his spine. The cramps worsened and he felt awful. He now had a better understanding for how his sisters felt each month. Sweat beaded down his face, He couldn’t tell if he was hot because of the poison or because of the planets natural climate. His brain supplied that it was the poison. He laid there for what felt like hours sweaty and nauseous. Lance slowly sat up. Uncurling himself to prop himself up against the far back wall. He opened his gauntlet. He had only been poisoned for twenty minutes. He waited, and waited, and waited. Another thirty minutes went by without vomiting, arrhythmias, internal bleeding, or anything else the Gravites said the symptoms would be. In fact, even his stomach ache was gone.
In fact, Lance felt completely fine! He realized he was sweating because he was hot not because he was dying. With the thought of death out of the way, he surveyed the room one more time. Looking with more clarity he recognized a small window in the corner. Although, small wasn't the right word for it. It was small, for the Gravites, but not for a human like Lance. In fact, Lance bet his last GAC that he could fit through it with little trouble. Getting up from his spot on the floor, he leisurely strolled to the window to look through it. The drop to the ground wasn’t far. The drop looked to be around 10 feet (3 meters). It would hurt if he landed wrong but he would certainly survive, especially since this side of the compound gave way to sand, and not the unforgiving ground of the jungle. Before Lance could even begin to push himself onto the ledge he heard footsteps. His chance of prying the glass open in time were slim. He shot off to his original spot on the floor and curled up, feigning sickness.
The aliens lumbered into the room. Three flanked the alien known as Ravein. Ravein wore a razor sharp smile, clearly amused at lance’s “pain”. Lance let out a shaky whimper, (thanks high school drama club!), and cowered away from the hulking frame. Rough, scaled feet landed in front of him. Lance looked up, meeting eyes devoid of life. Swirling black voids greeted him. The third eye blinked a startling shade of green, well that was new.
“How does it feel Paladin of blue? Is it as bad as you imagined or worse? I’m surprised the other symptoms haven’t kicked in yet. Perhaps we haven’t given you enough!” before Lance could reply, two Gravites yanked him up by the arms as a sand colored Gravite gave Ravein a cup of a brown liquid.
If Lance wasn’t mistaken, and he was quite sure he wasn’t. It smelled and looked like hot chocolate. Memories flooded back of him and his siblings camped outside their house watching the stars as his mama brought out hot chocolate with churros or donuts. The memory was wiped out of his mind as Ravein stooped to Lance’s level. Looking closer, Lance would one hundred percent bet this was hot chocolate. Dios mio he missed it. Being in space brought no relief to his chocolate craving.
“Well little Paladin, Looks like you’ll get to taste it this time. We’ll see how well you’ll be doing after this next batch. Even more theobroma cacao is in your system. Within the next varga you will have suffered a painful death, and imagine how sad the other little Paladins will be. Voltron will be no more! Now DRINK!” The cup was shoved forcefully in front of Lance’s face.
“Before I drink this, did you say cacao? As in the plant?” Lance stared into Ravein’s sick, twisted face.
“Yes that very plant, now drink willingly or be met with the tube again!” Lance slowly blinked. Looking up at the cartoonish acting villain. A blinding smile covered his face.
With more strength than he thought he had, he wrenched his arms from the guards and took the giant cup, doubling in size in his hands, although looking so small in Ravein’s. The smile still plastered on his face. Man was Lance going to enjoy this!
“Well if you insist!” Before Ravein could even blink, Lance tipped the hot liquid into his mouth. The drink certainly wasn't what he was used to. It was the Americanized version of hot chocolate. It was watered down and had a little taste of cinnamon? Nice of them to add some flavoring. He couldn’t help but miss the creamy taste of his mama’s hot chocolate. However, after three years without it, this was a fine substitute. He drank it at a moderate pace, knowing if he downed the liquid he’d get a stomach ache like before.
He cast his gaze around the room and finally focused on a shocked Ravein in front of him. Their face went from a muted gray to an even chalkier gray. Their mouth hung open and their limbs seemed to droop in utter shock. The other aliens weren’t fairing much better. Lance was utterly lost to the hot chocolate. His worries melted away and he didn’t dwell on the fact that he was still a hostage and they were trying to kill him. Oh . His team! He forgot about his team! They probably thought he was dead, or on his way to death’s door!
He gave in to panic for a tick before realizing Pidge was smart. She and Hunk, (especially Hunk), started making a plant book on alien and human plants two years ago. They probably already knew it was harmless. If they didn’t, then, they’d soon find out, from context clues or since the blue lion hasn't gone into a rampage to get him. He’s already seen blue do it multiple times over the years. When he was ejected out of a Flavian ship the most recent. He was plummeting to his death, low on jet pack fuel, and blue swept him into her jaws with a rumble of love and reassurance. Now realization hit him like a ton of bricks. Blue had been in his mind the entire time he was captured to the present. He was just too freaked out to notice. She was far in the back of his mind portraying comfort and...amusement? She thought Lance being dramatic on his stomach ache was funny! When Lance gets out of here he’s giving her a stern talking too! And then a hug. Everyone needs hugs.
Snapping back to the present, Lance downed the rest of the drink with a satisfying smack of his lips. If he was with his team he’d probably lick the cup clean, but he wasn’t. He slammed the cup on the ground and plopped right back down into the chair to the right of him. The aliens gawked on. After several dobashes of content humming, the Gravites brought themselves back to the present. The green Gravite to the left of him named Sarchos, or at least Lance thought that was his name, was the first to move. They bolted from the room looking like they were about to be sick. It was funny. They fully planned to kill him, yet the moment Lance accepted his death, albeit excitedly, they got queasy and bolted for the door. If Keith was here he would have a field day.
Ravein was the next to make a move. Their head swivels from Lance to the cup, and back again. They shut their mouth, trying to form a coherent sentence. A smirk that doesn’t seem to have the same sharpness it had before forms on their face.
“Well, to see a Paladin give in to death so easily is quite astounding. Where has that fire gone? Perhaps you weren’t mentally prepared to be captured by the great Ravein!” Ravein laughed. “Defeating the Paladins will be easy! Then Voltron will be no more! The great Gravites will become the new Paladins and defeat the Empire! Voltron isn’t worthy of something like you! Your fellow Paladins will be treated to the same drink when they come for hostage negotiations! Voltron will fall! How do you feel little one? Is death painful? Is-” Lance soon tuned out the rambling.
His best option of getting back to the team was just calling blue, but she stubbornly wasn’t listening for his cries of help. In fact, all Lance felt between their connection was amusement and laughter. Jerk . His second option was to act like he was dying and they would leave him alone so he could escape from the window. As much of a good actor as Lance is, he wanted to have fun with this. If Ravein was acting like a cartoon villain, monologue and all, couldn’t Lance act just as funny? Channeling all his bad acting and Shakespeare he was ready.
Cutting off the monologue, Lance dramatically flew from his chair onto the floor. He clutched his stomach and threw his arm over his forehead.
“O, I am slain! Leave me! It hurts! I feel everything! EVERYTHING. What a cruel fate, you've left me. Leave me! For if you saw me in this state, you would surely die of shock!” Lance dramatically rolled across the floor. His arms splayed against the cold ground as he maneuvered his legs around like they were shaking. The Gravites slowly backed towards the door. With one more dramatic flair, Lance leapt forward onto his stomach. His face pleaded to Ravein with unshed tears, arm stretched out as if asking for assistance, “This is thy sheath, there rust, and let me die!”
His arm dropped pathetically and he began to shake on the ground. The Gravites were to shocked in the turn of events to even question the dramatics of the Paladins pain. With one last look over their shoulder, Ravein left the room with an uneasy smile.
Lance counted to three dobashes before extracting himself from the floor. He gave himself a pat on the back, literally, and walk to the window. Upon further inspection, the window wasn’t even sealed. He simply pushed the glass outwards and it easily went. Apparently the windows didn’t locked. Lance silently cursed himself the moment he did it. He didn’t think that the windows might be alarmed. No noise was heard, but he couldn’t be fully sure the alarms weren’t silent. If the windows weren’t alarmed… he could only imagine Pidge crying herself to sleep on the lack of security this building had. He quickly surveyed his surroundings before jumping. His feet hit the sand first and continued into a roll until springing up to his feet. Nothing ached and he counted himself lucky. He silently made his way into the jungle.
A varga of wandering finally led him to a familiar clearing. He saw the weird alien flower before scooping up his helmet that laid several feet away. His bayard laid under the tree that reminded him of a banana tree. Looking around he saw no aliens. Surprisingly, he didn't hear any Gravites in the area. Lance was feeling stupid for getting captured. These aliens spent zero amount of effort to even set up a perimeter, or anything where he was captured. Several feet in. Lance knew the blue lion would be waiting. She gave an affirmative that no Gravite was around her. For a group of aliens that wanted Voltron they sure didn’t act like it. They go through the trouble of trying to kill him, yet they have zero security around the blue lion. Blue didn’t even bother putting her shield down! How stupid were these aliens!
With a long overdue sigh, Lance fell into blue’s piloting chair. Warmth and affection ran hot through their bond. “I missed you too girl. Thanks for the help,” he snorted. Affectionately patting her control center.
With one last look around the area, Lance took off. The terrain down below was just as breathtaking as before, although he couldn’t say he’d miss it. After putting on his helmet he tapped into the com link.
“-hmm well I think I prefer the Quizlotentsae fried wizles more than the Arethian potmocker. Although a good potmocker isn’t without tree’xc.” Hunk hummed through the coms. Shiro jumped in with his own favorite food.
Lance jaw dropped. He was taken hostage and nearly killed and his friends, his family, sat in the castle talking about food! A pout over took Lance’s face. The Potmocker wasn’t even that good!
“Oh! Looks like Blue is coming back!” Pidge chirped excitedly.
“Lance, you there?” Keith’s warm voice whispered through the coms, “I- we, we missed you.”
“Wow guys. I’m captured by assassins and nearly die and this is how it is! Talking about our fav food! Hunk, you know potmocker isn’t even in the top ten of alien space food! C’mon man. Everyone knows those pink space churro things are the best!” The conversation revolved around food until Lance realized he was way off tangent.
“Wait a minute! I was complaining here!”
Pidge snorted, “aren’t you always?” If this was three years ago, Lance would have been offended, but he heard the warmth in her voice. Lance still managed to squawk.
“Excuse you! I was nearly assassinated to take down Voltron by a severely incompetent race of aliens!”
“That’s the whole point Lance. Severely incompetent aliens.” Pidge’s voice raised in amusement.
Lance landed in the hanger and immediately booked it to where he knew he would find his team. The coms went silent until he reached his destination; the lounge. He ripped his helmet off and found Hunk by the ‘coffee’ table with Pidge sitting across from him playing space uno. Shiro was slumped in the weird beanbag chair against the wall and Allura and Coran sat on the two persons couch. Keith was sitting two feet away from the end of the couch. Lance’s favorite blanket lay between the arm and his body while Keith held a cup of Lance’s favorite space drink. Lance plopped next to Keith snuggling up. Keith removed his leg, arm and chest plating while he took grateful gulps of the beverage.
After one more sip, Lance looked to Pidge, “Explain.”
“Well, when we first heard what was going down with you, we were obviously upset. Keith just wanted to rush in to save you, but Shiro wanted a solid plan to make sure you’d be safe. We spent several doboshes making a plan. I tracked your armor to a compound where the sand met the jungle. We couldn’t establish coms with you, so we knew your helmet was gone, and the blue lion was in the same place you landed.” Pidge shifted to get more comfortable. Lance did the same, leaning slightly into Keith.
“After establishing where you were, Hunk looked into your vitals from the suit. You were in distress, but not enough to warrant immediate action. We needed a solid plan, and schematic of the building. That's the kicker though!” Pidge was practically jumping, a mix between amusement and excitement in her honey eyes. “I hacked into the buildings main frame, and get this! It had like, zero security!”
“What?” Lance squawked, dumbfounded.
“I know! The only thing that could even count was the main entrance. They had two guards stationed up front and one locked door. It’s not even like that was the only way out of the building either, they had several exits! After establishing that it had crap security it only took us a minute to tap into the video feed. They had twelve cameras in the building! Twelve!”
Lance took a deep breath to comprehend this. This had to be the worst, poor planned kidnapping he had ever seen or taken part in. Pidge continued with vigor.
“The Gravites sent us that video. We knew you were about to be poisoned. Fortunately Hunk is obsessed with cooking.” Hunk jumped in before she could continue.
“Ya! So they said theobromine, which I was totally confused upon until I remembered my mom talking about it a couple years back. It’s found in-” Before he could finish Lance jumped in.
“Aww man. Way to steal my thunder Lance!”
“Sorry buddy, continue.” Lance shot Hunk an apologetic look.
“But ya, chocolate. They were trying to assassinate you with chocolate! Talk about a way to go! Coran informed us that high doses of the stuff are actually fatal to most species. Like our dogs and cats. Apparently its potent in space too. Too bad they don’t know how the human body works.”
“You mean fortunately.” Keith said drily.
“Ya… that’s what I meant. Also weird how it has the same name as Earth. I have a working theory that-”
“Anyways,” Pidge yells, “ we saw that you were in no danger. We had the lions on stand by and all cameras were up and pointing at you. I even sent down a couple Altean droid pods to keep an eye on you. You were safe the entire time. Allura turned it into an exercise to see how fast you could escape. Nice Shakespeare by the way.” she snickered into her hands, simultaneously putting down a draw four on Hunk. He looked like kicked puppy.
“Allura!” Lance yelled.
“What? It was good training! Tell me you didn’t learn something from this experience!” She huffed.
Lance crossed his arms, then flopped across Keith’s lap. “My friends betrayed me!” although it sounded like “My shrends beraed miff” as lance’s cheeks were squished against Keith’s legs.
“Well I’m glad your alive Lance. I would have come to save you if I didn’t think you couldn’t save yourself. Although you rarely need my help.” Lance hummed while Keith carded his fingers through chestnut hair.
“Glad to have you back Lance.” Shiro gave him a soft smile.
The team spent another varga talking until they realized they still had to deal with the “threat” of the Gravites. They all decided they weren’t worth the trouble. Although a video message was sent with stern words from the Princess.Before they left the orbit of the planet dubbed Dusty, Pidge sent out a radio probe that would transmit a signal to any craft that got into range.
Any craft in the radius of zYLL12-wwhdusy190x Code name Dusty
Be warned, planet is hostile
Do not engage
Turn back now
Planet is hostile
Turn back now
Date of recording xx/xx/xxxxx
You have been warned
The team spent dinner discussing what to do as a bonding activity. The team said their good nights and went to bed.If Lance dreamed about his mama’s hot chocolate that night? Well, the rest of the team didn’t have to know. Keith just held him tighter.
Lance chalked this experience up to the second most bizarre day he’s ever had. His first? Well, that’s a story for another time.
Just want to say, the teams reaction to Lance’s Kidnapping isn’t a “We don’t like/care abt Lance” and leaving him to himself. It’s a “Lance can handle himself because he is competent enough to do so” (also these aliens are incompetent) also the team had constant surveillance of his vitals on his suit and Pidge’s droids.
Def, coming back to fix some things up and add stuff to make the story flow better.