It was pandemonium. People ran for the subways, police sirens wailed as the cops tried to keep the panic under control and other emergency vehicles tried to keep up with the damage. Laser fire from the enormous purple-black ship in the sky burned buildings to a crisp and left huge smoking lines scored into the streets and parking lots. Locals and tourists alike scrambled to get out of the line of fire while others simply stood and watched, either frozen from fear or too fascinated to turn away. It was those who foolishly stayed who saw them first.
Black, yellow, red, blue and green, the five huge…cats?...circled the massive ship hanging in the sky and forced it away from the city. Smaller ships, more like flies than the gigantic terror, swarmed the five colorful new arrivals, only to light up the sky in a string of explosions when the yellow one plowed into them and the green one shot at them with a laser from the tip of its tail. The two cats chased the smaller crafts just above the roofs of some of the buildings, and the crowds ducked and screamed as they flew past. But when the wind from their passage died, a few foolhardy individuals looked up and gasped, urging those around them to look as well. One kid took out his phone and started filming.
The blue, black, and red cats were battling the monster that appeared only an hour previously. The ship fired and fired at them, but never managed to hit the three swift flyers. But now the ship's attention was diverted, and the lack of laser fire aimed at the city urged citizens to look up and watch as the red lion fired a laser at the tip of the ship's huge cannon and the tip seemed to blaze white hot, and then melt. The black lion flew down the side and left a trail of explosions in its wake. Responding to the attack, the ship released more of the fighters, only for them to be shot down within what looked like a few feet of the main ship by the blue cat.
Then the green cat joined up with the three in the sky still and blew up something at the top of the ship, and it must have been important because all the lights went out. Together, the cats all stopped what they were doing and flew to the bottom of the ship, the yellow one already there. A tourist took out his binoculars and watched as, one by one, all five cats put their heads against the bottom of the ship, started some kind of rockets on their feet, and pushed the ship away from the city until it was out of sight.
The Friday night that it happened, Mrs. Mcclain was alone in the house. The report of what had happened, of the ship appearing from space, the cats who'd fought it off, had been showing on all the news channels, with footage trending online and discussion about it springing up all over the house, with kids arguing about which of the cats was cooler, if they would ever come back, where the two sides came from. Her sister had begged for the whole family to stay in the city with her for a while, fearing that if the ship attacked in their rural area, that they wouldn't get to help in time. Mrs. McClain had acquiesced a bit, sending the kids to her, but she wouldn't leave. Who would take care of the animals without someone around?
She shuffled into the kitchen and started making a pot of chamomile tea. Her husband never understood how she could drink the stuff, claiming it was just hot water, and sometimes she agreed with him. The heat was most of the reason she drank it, along with the aroma. Calmly, she poured the hot water from the electric kettle, ripped open a tea bag, and was about to put it in when she noticed that the surface of the water, which had been undisturbed before, was rippling out from the center. Then the spoon she'd set next to the mug for stirring started shaking. She put down the tea bag. There was a low hum coming from outside.
Other women might have ran for the basement. Other women might have ran for a phone and called for help. But she had raised five children, one of whom had left for adventure and never come back, another who had broken three bones being reckless on the farm, and she wasn't about to cower without giving whatever was out there at least a good look. So she walked to the living room, which had the biggest window, and looked up.
The red cat, so familiar from the footage splashed on every electronic device for the past day, landed in the backyard as she watched, just shy of stepping in the garden. She reached for her phone with one hand and quietly got the baseball bat out of the coat closet by the front door. She didn't know what she'd do if those lasers started firing but if anyone came out of that thing she could definitely give them a lump the size of Cuba before they got to close to her home. To her increased anxiety, the cat's front legs bent in the middle where the knee would be on a regular cat and its head lowered. Opening its jaws, what looked like a ramp slid to the ground and she heard footsteps on the metallic surface.
She slowly cracked the front door open to get a good look at the figure so she knew where to aim her whack. Both her hands went limp. The phone and baseball bat clattered to the floor, the bat knocking against the door as it fell and swinging it open further, making the figure standing on the front lawn even more unbelievable. Her knees collapsed as she would have followed her phone and bat except for the arms that caught her. Strong arms, much stronger than she remembered, pulled her into a hug with a son who was taller than he should have been. She felt a bit of her heart, the part that had been silenced when, after six months of no news, they had pronounced him dead, warm again. Slowly, she reached up around the white armor into the familiar brown hair, and asked, "Lance?"
The arms tightened and he stuck his chin over her shoulder. "I missed you so much…Mom."
Fifteen minutes later, Lance had sat his mom down with a hot cup of her favorite tea and a mug of cocoa for him. Hey, it had been almost a year since he'd had the stuff, and as long as he was dealing with hot water anyway, why not? He was amazed she still kept the mix in the same spot. She gingerly lifted the rim to her lips, took a sip, and set it back down, equally slowly. Then she looked back at him, and pre-garrison Lance would have headed for the hills at that look. "Where have you been?"
The paladin took a deep breath. "You know that big warship we fought a day or so ago?" She nodded. "They're part of a race that has been enslaving the galaxy for the last 10,000 years or so. About a year ago, Hunk, Pidge and I were hanging out after dark and we saw a ship crash near the garrison."
"You snuck out," his mom scolded. Lance smiled. He could free half a galaxy and she would still berate him for sneaking out. He'd missed it.
"Mom, you can't interrupt me every time you think I did something wrong or I'll never finish."
He looked up at her with the puppy eyes that got Keith, Shiro, and Allura every time. She took one look and caved, though that might have been because she was just so happy to see him again. "Alright, I'll try to wait until you've finished."
Good enough for him. Lance continued. "Well, the ship had Shiro inside, that pilot I used to idolize. Anyway, we went in to rescue him and bumped into Keith who got kicked out of school a while back. After we rescued Shiro, we would up going back to Keith's shack and eventually finding the blue lion. I, uh, kinda felt her calling to me, so I walked up to her and the hatch opened. We all piled inside and I took off. Then she just took over and flew us through a wormhole that took us, like, across the galaxy. It flew us right to the castle's front door. That's our warship, by the way, where we live when we're not fighting. That was where we met Allura and found out about the Galra and Voltron."
He kept talking for a long while, telling her the stories of their first battle, the time they got into a food fight using goo, the mermaid planet, about the different races they'd rescued, how he'd ended up piloting the red lion instead of the blue one, what Pidge had found out about her brother and father, the space mall incident, and even that one time when the castle tried to kill them all. His smile widened with the memories, but he failed to notice how his mother's hands tightened around her mug with every new story of tomfoolery. "You should have seen Keith's face after we-"
SLAM! "And all this time, you didn't once think to contact any of us? If wormholes could take you so far, why didn't you ever come home to tell us you were alright?!" His mom's tea had sloshed all over the table when she'd slammed her cup down and stood up. She glowered at her son. All these adventures, all these months, and not one attempt to contact her, or any of the family?! "What do you have to say for yourself?"
Slowly, Lance got up from the table and looked her straight in the eye. "Mom, I wanted to. Hunk and I both. But there wasn't a lot of down time. I know it sounds like we were always goofing off, but mostly we were on the run, or fighting, or trying to make repairs. We were fighting a war with just the seven of us. And how would we contact you? Earth doesn't even know aliens exist. If we'd suddenly appeared in Voltron, or sent a signal from the Castle, Earth probably would have attacked us. You saw how people reacted after our battle." She had, and there'd been a lot of panic, knee jerk reactions, proposals of force, and other things she now knew would be directed at her son and his friends.
But Lance wasn't finished. "We finally did get a chance to contact you a few weeks ago, but the Galra got the message instead. That's why they attacked here, because Lotor knew that this is our weakness, our families. We're lucky we got here first, before he could build up a fleet to attack Earth with. Shiro's working with his contacts from his time before the Kerberos missions to help Earth fight back, but it's not going well. People are scared of us, of what they saw."
Mrs. McClain, all the fire sapped out of her, walked around the table and pulled him into a hug. "I'm not afraid, Lance. And I'm sorry that I yelled at you. Being apart from us couldn't have been easy." He squeezed back and they stood like that for a moment.
A buzzing interrupted them. "Lance? Are you there?" A voice came from the helmet on the kitchen counter where Lance had put it when he started making drinks. Quickly, he broke out of her hug and slipped the thing on over his head. His mom watched with a tightening in her chest as her little boy's face went hard and his posture straightened as he listened to whatever the voice told him.
"I'll be right there, Pidge." He walked back towards the door as he explained, "Another Galra ship has appeared. They need me back at the castle to help fight it off." He turned around and gave her another hug. "I don't know when I'll be able to come back to visit again, but I'll try. If Shiro did manage to convince them, we might be able to send more messages."
"You're going to fight, aren't you," she said with steel and misery in her voice. He nodded against her shoulder and she gave him a last squeeze. "Then you do a good job and come back when your siblings are here to hear that story." He nodded again and went back into his lion.
Mrs. McClain watched him take off and hoped she'd see him again before he was even more of a veteran and less of her son. But she'd seen him, and for now, that would have to be enough.
I was very disappointed, not to see any stories where Voltron and its paladins visit earth for a while, so I decided to write one. Personally, I feel like Lance misses Earth the most, or at least his is the easiest to see, so I gave his the second half of this. I'm not sure I got Lance right, but I've only known about the show for over a week, give me a break!