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Aeternus Lamnia Voltron

Chapter Text

Aeterna. Eternal. The word used to instill people with hope and power. Now, it caused nothing but fear and hate. Eleven creatures bearing unthinkable power control this world, but have turned on the mortal beings they used to protect. They are elementals, able to summon crushing waves and deadly storms with a flick of their wrist. Something has disturbed them from their long slumber, and they are not happy.

"The drought has gotten worse!" A woman screamed, clutching her daughter close to her bosom. "We have no food, no water!"

"My son... my poor son..." A man cried, grasping at the charred remains of his beloved child. Brimstone rained down upon him, pyroclastic flow devouring the small village.

The oceans boiled, the skies struck down their electric fury. No one was safe from the wrath of Aeterna. Men aged from child to elder, then to dust in the blink of an eye. Survival was dictated on being as far away from the Aeterna as possible. But even that meant certain death.

----

"We have... no other choice." The king said, wiping his brow. Beautiful daylight streamed in through the decorative stained glass windows behind him, hiding the horrors that had transpired just last night. "Shiro, you and your Paladins must do something. Not just for our kingdom, but for the entire world." He sighed a heavy sigh, collapsing slightly in his throne. "I've lost all of them... all of my sons. The Aeterna are insatiable."

Shiro stood ramrod stiff, sweating as well. He edged a look at Keith next to him, who was also at attention. To his left, Lance and Pidge were considerably less formal, but rapt on the king's words nontheless. Hunk stood by Keith, attempting to copy his posture with considerable success.

"My king, what do we do? We are only five Paladins-" Shiro was interrupted by the king himself.

"Find the Aeterna. Kill them." The king said simply. "It can be done."

Shiro gulped and Pidge gaped. "Kill the Aeterna?" He gasped in shock. "My king, that's not feasible-"

"Please. You are honor sworn as Paladins to do as I say. You have your orders." The king waved them away, the guards escorting them out immediately.

Pidge folded her arms as the large oak doors closed behind her. "Are you serious? This is a suicide mission!"

"A long suicide mission, too." Hunk said nonchalantly. "The eleven Aeterna are located very far from each other."

"Great." Lance added, throwing his hands up in frustration. "I like my death to be drawn out. I prefer it, actually."

"Stop being dramatic, Lance." Keith said, pulling his iron helmet off his head, letting his black hair flow down his neck. "We have to do it. We took an oath."

"What does Shiro think?" Lance countered. Shiro only sighed, pulling his helmet off as well.

"Let's get started. Pidge, Hunk. Get the horses. Lance, Keith. The supplies."

Lance flushed bright red before tossing his helmet onto the hard marble floor.

"Ugh!"

Chapter Text

"We've been on this trail for two days!" Lance moaned, sliding his face into his horse's long mane. "Why is it so far away?"

"Aeternus Aqua was the closest to us, actually." Pidge said, enthralled in her large spell tome as her own horse bobbed along. Shiro led the other four in a procession, meaning he was the only one who really had to pay attention to the path.

"That would explain the drought." Keith muttered, pulling a piece of jerky from a pack on the side of horse. "I'm just glad we're not like those poor people in Retas. Compared to them, a drought is almost preferable."

Lance sat up, intrigued. "What happened to Retas?"

Keith snapped into his jerky. "They lived at the foot of the volcano Aeternus Inflammo is. Didn't last a minute when the lava started rolling in." He said nonchalantly.

Lance winced, but said nothing.

"All those poor people..." Hunk said quietly, staring into his own horse's mane. Shiro nodded from his place up front.

"That's why even if we fail, we have to try. For everyone who's died to these creatures." He said, voice trailing through the procession.

"I thought Aeterna were supposed to be nice? Watering the crops, bringing Spring? That kind of thing?"

Pidge nodded thoughtfully. "That was the truth before something happened. For some reason, they're behaving more like demons than Gods."

"The worst part is, no one's actually seen them. We just have vague locations and descriptions. Finding them is gonna be tought." Shiro continued.

----

"What a lovely stream!" Hunk exclaimed, the last to dismount his horse and land on the soft, sandy banks of the river. The peaceful stream flowed down from a nearby mountain, dotted with ruined pillars and half-finished statues.

"What's with all these decorations?" Lance asked, digging up a marble woman's head from the sand and attempting to place it back on her decapitated body.

"I heard this place used to be an observatory for the stars. People would sit on the banks and sculpt, paint, sing. All kinds of art." Keith said. "But I guess the river flooded and ruined everything."

"I wouldn't say everything." Lance said, having positioned the head perfectly on the statue. "Quick, Keith. Help me find her arms. She'll be smokin' again in no time!"
Keith snorted. "It's not even a full statue, Lance! How desperate can you be?" He joked, pushing Lance playfully.
Lance smirked, cocking an eyebrow and Keith. "Maybe come closer and find out?" He said seductively. Keith blushed bright red and looked away, pretending to dig in the sand for the stone woman's lost arms.

"Ugh, you two. You're grossing me out." Pidge said from her crossed legged spot on the sand. "Humans and their courting habits."

"As if you're not?" Lance countered, adjusting the head of the statue slightly.

"I'm half elf, thank you very much!" Pidge said, snapping her book shut.

"That's why she's so short!" Keith whispered.

Now it was Pidge's turn to blush. She opened her book again, not dignifying Keith's words with a response.

"Guys, can we keep it down? There's some sort of immortal God-monster crawling around here somewhere." Hunk said, almost as skittish as his horse. "I'd rather not attract any attention."

Shiro placed a comforting hand on Hunk's shoulder. "Relax, Hunk. I'm sure the Aeterna aren't the ambush kind of folk."

Pidge nodded. "Yeah, not really. Especially this one. Aeternus Aqua is more of an oppurtunistic predator. If it even bothers to show at all."

Hunk's tension did not lessen. "Still... how big is this thing?"

"No one knows. That's why I have this!" Pidge help up a rectangular piece of glass, reflecting in the sun.

Keith and Lance halted their combination sand castle and excavation project to look at Pidge's glimmering object.

"What is it?" Lance asked, temporarily putting his hunt for the arms on hold.

"A scryer's glass!" Pidge exclaimed, presenting it proudly. "When Aqua shows up, I can snap a magic picture for my journal with this! Then, everyone can know exactly what it looks like."

Everyone stared in silence for a bit before Shiro spoke up. "That's actually really smart, Pidge."

"I know, I know." She said proudly, placing the glass on the sand next to her. Then, her face was buried in the book again.

"Look, Keith! I think I found the arm!" Lance yelled, leaning over the river bank. He could see a marble arm shimmering just below the surface. "Hold on, let me get it!"

"Okay! I found the other one in this bush!" Keith responded, waving his own marble arm. Shiro laughed quietly.

"You guys are really into this statue, huh?" He said, smiling as Keith attempted to balance the arm on the statue's disjointed body.

"Don't mock her. She's beautiful!" Keith said jokingly, stepping back to admire his work. "Lance, she's ready for the piece du resistance!" There was no response to Keith's call. Immediately, Pidge placed her book down and stood up. Shiro and Hunk tensed and searched around as well. It was not like Lance to pass up a joke of any kind.

"...Lance?" Keith called, anxiety creeping into his voice. "Lance, where are you?"

In response to his call, the center of the stream began bubbling. Keith stepped back, reaching for his sword. The others back up as well. The the froth rose, billowing streams of water forming large hovering bubbles. In the center of the biggest and centermost one was Lance, struggling to escape from the surface tension of the water. Various stones and marble appendages rolled in the bubbles, being tossed into the air and juggled between the smaller bubbles orbiting the biggest one.

"Lance!" Keith yelled, darting towards the river.

"Pidge, what is that?!" Shiro yelled, preparing his own broadsword.

"I think we just found our Aeterna!" She said, hovering her hand over her book, the pages flipping and landing on a page marked 'Combusta' on their own.

Lance gasped in his bubble prison, air escaping in large columns from his mouth. Keith ran up the river to the creature, but a large blast of water shoved him back onto the bank.

"It's got Lance!" He coughed, sand and water coming up instead of air.

"Combusta!" Pidge yelled, magical runes drawing themselves in the air before coalescing into a fast spear of fire. It launched itself into the main bubble, a burst of steam exiting the other side. A loud gurgling sound was heard as the bubbles rearranged itself into a rudimentary fist, slamming down mere inches from Keith.

"Fire spells aren't working!" She yelled, waving to another page in her book.

"Hunk, help me get Lance!" Shiro yelled, retrieving a rope from his rider's satchel. Hunk nodded in understanding, grabbing the marble head from the statue and tying the rope around it. Hunk hefted it back and began spinning it around his head like a bola before swinging it into the creature with brutal force. The head entered the bubble easily, gently smacking into the drowning Lance. In desperation, Lance clutched for it, grasping it in a deathgrip.

"Now!" Shiro and Hunk pulled, pulling Lance into the surface of the bubble. The surface stretched, as if it didn't want to let Lance go. Then, it split with a loud pop, freeing Lance and sending him tumbling into Keith, soaking wet. He choked, spitting up a large volume of water before his airways were clear.

"Lance, breathe!" Keith said, hauling his friend behind Shiro and Hunk to tend to his injuries.

"Pidge, what do we aim at?! It's all water!" Shiro yelled, withdrawing as the water creature attempted to heft itself onto the bank. "It's getting closer!"

"Um... let me think- incoming!"

A myriad of jets spiraled out of the top of the bubbles, arcing down onto the bank with brutal force. Sand flew up from each impact, leaving huge craters in the soft surface. Pidge rolled out of the way, narrowly avoiding being obliterated. Keith held up his arm shielding him and Lance from the wave of marble debris that cascaded on them.

"Pidge, I need something to aim at!" Shiro said, using his considerable strength to deflect a water jet back into the river. Hunk was blocking a brunt of the deluge with his shield that he was able to heft from his horse, grunting with each impact.

"Yeah, that'd be great- oof!" A water jet slammed his shield into his head, but Hunk stood fast with redoubled effort. Pidge's eyes darted all over the water monster, unable to discern any sort of face or limbs, just a mass of floating disconnected bubbles. But then, she saw it. A small, indistinct object floating lazily in the main bubble.

"Heart..." Lance croaked, coughing up more sand.

Upon further inspection, it was a literal heart meandering it's way around the bubble, passing itself between the smaller orbiting ones.

So we can't track it. Pidge thought, squinting. Then she turned to Shiro. "There's a heart in the bubbles! It's shuffling around- Ah!" Her yelling was interrupted by a well-placed jet between her and Shiro, obscuring their vision with sand and marble. She coughed, clearing it away from her face. "Hit the heart!" She finished, pointing at the organ in question.

"You've got it! Keith!" Shiro called, signalling his swordsman to engage in combat.

"On it! Hunk, take care of Lance." Keith passed Lance to Hunk, who knelt protectively over the smaller boy, shield angled into the air to intercept any attacks that came their way. Then Keith stood, drawing his sword.

"You heard Pidge! Get the heart!" Shiro said, grunting as he took another jet to the flat of his sword. "Go!"

"How do I get to it?" Keith yelled, nimbly side-stepping jet after to jet to make his way closer to the bubbles.

"Let me handle that!" Pidge raised her hand, more runes sketching into existence. "Cryosa!" Sparkling white jets of pure cold arced out of the runes, targeting the smaller bubbles. They instantly froze solid, suspended in the air.

"Bwoooo!" If bubbles could frown, that is what the creature did.

"Hup!" Keith hopped onto the nearest ice bubble, sliding slightly as it wobbled in the air. The heart spun around the perimeter of the main bubble, sliding near and far. Keith hopped again onto a higher bubble, dodging a low-swept watery pseudopod.

"Pidge, we need a distraction!" Shiro said, watching as more pseudopods jabbed at Keith menacingly.

"You got it! Kinecto!" Black tendrils reached from Pidge, blindly grabbing any rocks or marble debris they could find and chucking them full-force at the bubble. They passed easily into the bubble, floating harmlessly in it's watery mass.

"Oh. Well that was disappointing." Pidge said, arm dropping sadly.

The rocks and debris began swirling quickly inside the bubble, aligning themselves on the surface. Shiro's eyes widened, releazing what was about to happen.

"Take cover!" He grabbed Pidge by her collar and tossed her behind Hunk, sheltering both of them underneath the mighty shield.

"Hunk, brace yourself!"

Hunk grimaced. A loud tone was heard, and Hunk and his shield were bathed in yellow light. "Braced!" He groaned.
Then the rain of marble missiles descended on the huddled party, crashing next to them and into Hunk's shield, who stood fast against the heavy projectiles.

"Good job, Hunk!" Pidge yelled. Hunk just nodded, brow wet with sweat as his energy was drained by the enhanced shield. Once the battering was over, the yellow light dissipated. Hunk planted his shield into the sand, breathing hard.

"Excellent Brace, Hunk!" Shiro said smiling.

"Yep." Hunk gasped, trying to not collapse on the sand. "Been practicing."

Meanwhile, Keith was near the top of the bubble, balancing precariously on the last frozen platform.

"Whoa!" He wobbled, digging his sword into the ice for balance. His eyes tracked the heart as it followed it's usual course to the top of the bubble, waiting to stab it with his sword.

"Now!" He thrust in, feeling the blade slip into soft flesh. He pulled his arm out of the water, drawing the heart up with it.

"BWOOO!" The air and water reverbated with energy as the the surface of the bubbles shook, quickly dissolving into mist. The icy bubble Keith was balanced on dropped to earth.

"Ahhh- oof!" Keith looked up to see Shiro's grinning face. Then water came crashing down, soaking them both in the metaphorical blood of their enemies. "Nice catch." Keith said sardonically, moving his soppy black hair from his eyes.

Shiro smirked but said nothing.

"Oh my Gods... we did it!" Pidge cheered, jumping up from her bunker behind Hunk. "We really did it! We killed an Aeterna! I- I can't believe!" She was giddy, pulling the scryer's glass from her pocket and dancing with it. "And I caught it! On the glass! Ahhh!" She plopped down, opening a small notebook on her side. She placed her hand on the glass and whispered, "Mobilus!" When she drew her hand up into the air, a ghostly image of the creature came with it. She placed it gingerly in the book, where it became rendered in lifelike detail with ink and graphite. "Perfect!"

"Ugh..." Lance groaned, sitting up slowly. "That was... intense."

----

"One down, ten more to go." Shiro said, rotating a sausage over the fire. The night air was warm and welcoming. They had set up camp on the beach, enjoying the nearby waves now that they had defeated Aeternus Aqua.

"Shiro..." Pidge whispered, gesturing to Lance and Keith. They were locked in a lovers embrace behind the bushes, almost out of sight. Loud kissing sounds could be heard.

"They're doing it again."

"Let them. We've got to celebrate! The first mortals to defeat an Aeterna! Good work everyone." He patted Hunk on the back, who paused from his steak. "That Brace spell was amazing, Hunk."

Hunk blushed. "Thanks, Shiro. Just doing my part."

"And Pidge! Those destruction spells? Perfect."

"You're flattering me, Shiro." Pidge blushed as well and nibbled on her roasted onion.

"And Keith-" Shiro stopped when he remembered Keith was currently occupied. "Ah, whatever. He knows." He leaned back, relaxing into the night. "What's next, Pidge?"

"Um... Aeternus Caelum." She said, flipping through her book. "Even less is known about this one. Ugh, and I thought Aqua was hard to find!"

Shiro waved her anxiety away. "We'll figure it out tomorrow. For now, let's rest."