I've got a ticket to the moon

The Rise of Voltron - Part 1: The Arrival

Galaxy Garrison boarding school- Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia. September 14th, 2025. 12:30 PM

A skinny young man named Lance McLain slept under his desk in the classroom as his friend, a heavyset man named Hunk Garrett took notes of the teacher's droning speech. Something about Kerberos. Oh sure, for a while, he was listening, but after the speech turned to something other than Captain Shirogane, he was right to sleep. Not a very good way to start your first week of Level Three, is it? I don't really think so.

A younger, smaller boy who really should have been in Level One, Pidge Gunderson, tapped his fingers on the table, wanting to get up to the roof for his nightly radio chatter. He stopped tapping, then fiddled with the only remaining drawstring on his backpack, still strapped to his back and looked very old, threadbare and well-loved. It was probably why he had a second backpack to carry his books or recording gear. He was pretty angry when the mission was described as a failure, though. I wonder why...

The bell rang and Lance's head shot up, accidentally banging his head under the table and he screamed in pain as most of the other students laughed. It was time for dinner. Hunk put his notes away and helped Lance to his feet as Pidge, along with almost everyone else, left the room and disappeared into the hall. Lance thanked the larger man and the two left the room to eat.

Later on in the simulator, Hunk was really regretting eating that beef stroganoff at the cafeteria, because of Lance's awful driving. He tossed his cookies in the gearbox as Lance recklessly made the shuttle simulator crash and burn. Pidge kept falling over and arguing because he kept getting up without the seatbelt and acting on what his gut told him to do.

The door opened. ''Move out, asses!'' the class instructor, Commander Mitch Iverson shouted. When the three stepped outside the pod, he turned to the other cadets who were watching, all the while, insulting the three. ''Can anyone please tell me the mistakes these three made?''

One cadet, a young man named Vince, raised a hand. ''The engineer puked in the main gearbox!''

''YES!'' Iverson hammed. ''As you all know, vomit is NOT'' he glared at Hunk with his good eye and the young man looked ashamed. ''an appropriate lubricant for engine systems! Did you see anything else that these three did wrong?''

A brown-haired girl, Larmina, raised a finger. ''The communications officer stood up without warning.''

A shorter, gray-haired girl named Dani jumped up. ''The pilot crashed!''

''RIGHT!'' Iverson shouted again. ''And worst of all, they were arguing with each other the entire time! Hell, if you're going to do this wrong, DO IT AS A TEAM! It's idiotic things like these that cost the Kerberos team their lives.''

Pidge's eyes narrowed. ''That's not true, sir!'' he shouted in a vocal explosion that made Lance and Hunk cover their ears and wince in pain.

''WHAT!?'' Iverson turned around to face him. Behind him, a random kid faceplanted into the wall.

''I said- MMPH!'' Pidge started, before Lance cut him off by slapping a hand over his mouth.

Lance tried to hide his disgust at Pidge licking his hand by forcing a smile. ''I think the simulator crash got him riled up, Señor, but he'll be fine in the morning.''

''Hm. May I remind you, McLain, that the only reason you're here is because your class' best pilot had a discipline issue and was expelled. So I expect you to have your act together by next day.'' Iverson then turned away and led Dani, Larmina and Vince inside the simulator for them to try flying it.

Later on, just before lights out, Lance and Hunk stood in a hallway, both wearing completely different outfits. Mainly blue for Lance (Blue and gray pajama shirt and matching pants with a brown hoodie and silver boots) and yellow for Hunk (Old yellow sweater, brown sweatpants, silver fingerless bike gloves and sneakers and a green vest).

''I don't think we should be doing this.'' Hunk said quietly, trying not to attract attention as the lights shut off.

''Come on, Hunk!'' Lance said, soft and stern. ''It's the end of Summer! We should enjoy it while we can! Besides, we need to get to know Pidge. So I say, we sneak into town with fake IDs, hit the bars, meet some cute girls and then call it a night. And you're the only one of us who can actually drive!''

''You do know it's supposed to rain tonight, right Lance?'' Hunk asked.

Lance looked around suspiciously. ''Yeeeessss.'' he lied.

Hunk ran a hand through his dark brown hair, deciding that he needed to be "the parent friend" as Lance called him on a previous excursion, and reluctantly agreed. (Said excursion involved nine purple masks, four cartons of eggs, three cartons of milk, a deck of cards, six fistfulls of jalapeño nachos and several gallons of blood candy syrup and ended with them and Pidge covered in what they hoped was butterscotch pudding and glitter)

Lance checked around the corner, then froze. A guard was coming right their way. He motioned to Hunk to find some place to hide, then spotted two trash cans. One for actual garbage and one for recycling. He got an idea and pointed to them with a Cheshire Cat grin. Hunk looked at what his buddy saw and nodded. Once inside the trash cans, which were conveniently empty, the guard was none the wiser.

When they were certain she had left, Lance and Hunk both got out and ran around, looking for Pidge (Now in a green and white long-sleeved shirt, gray jean shorts and orange sneakers), who had just left his own room without his old, ratty backpack, and instead with a metallic silver Yoshi egg-looking thing with glowing green glass panels on his back. In his arms was his second, less rat-eaten backpack, which he seemed to be trying to smuggle away. He looked around, not seeing the other two boys, and ran off to a set of stairs closed off by a locked door, then looked around one more time.

Lance and Hunk looked at each other, both pretty confused. Their confusion turned into surprise when the upper two green glass panels slid open and two shiny silver, rail-thin, triple-jointed legs with spiked ends with the same green glass connecting the three silver metal poles and spikes. He used the two spiked ends of the poles to unscrew the the nails of the ventilation shaft and climbed through, screwing the nails back in as he left.

Both Lance and Hunk looked at each other, wide-eyed. The one coherent thought running through each of their heads and that they both voiced in hushed shouts was this: ''Pidge is a cyborg?''

Lance, now interested, picked the lock with something gross and pushed the door open, then dragged a nervous Hunk up to the roof. As they reached the roof, they saw Pidge crawl out of the vent and towards the edge of the roof on his metal backpack legs. Once there, he sat down, retracted his metal legs, took a small but powerful-looking satellite from his bag, a set of headphones and two small boxes connected to the satellite, set them down and connected them to his metal attatchment. He put his headphones on, closed his eyes and focused on something.

Lance walked over to him after two minutes, bored, pulled one of the ear covers away and said loudly: ''You come here to rock out, kid?'' which made Pidge jump.

''Oh!'' Pidge gasped. ''Lance! Hunk!'' he stared at them for a couple seconds before looking around, his headphones now around his neck. ''No, just looking at the stars.''

Hunk poked around with Pidge's satellite and computer boxes. ''This doesn't look like Garrison tech. Where'd you get it?'' he asked.

Pidge slapped Hunk's hand with a metal leg. ''No.'' he said sternly, as if telling off a naughty puppy. ''I built all of this.''

''Really?'' Lance asked and knealt down to look at Pidge's attatchment, his chin resting in his palm. He saw the words "Personal Assistant and Kubernetes" etched into it. ''So I guess you built your PAK too, huh?''

''Yep.'' Pidge nodded. Then he noticed Hunk poking around with his stuff again. Another slap to the back of the hand. ''Second warning, Hunk! Quit it.''

Lance turned to Pidge, impressed. ''Nice.'' he smiled. ''So what's the satellite for?''

''STOP TOUCHING MY EQUIPMENT!'' Pidge yelled at Hunk. He turned back to Lance. ''With this, I can pick up transmissions from the edge of the solar system.'' He was about to say more, but;

''All the way to Kerberos?'' Hunk asked. ''I-I dunno. That doesn't seem too likely.''

Pidge's eyes narrowed, and he said nothing more.

Lance raised an eyebrow. ''What is it with you?'' he asked. Pidge knew what he was talking about, but didn't answer. ''You go ballistic every time someone brings it up, so what gives?''

Pidge sighed. He knew he couldn't lie around Lance. ''Okay.'' he said, adjusting his glasses and putting his headphones on. ''I come up here to look for clues as to why the team went missing by using the satelite. I didn't find what I was looking for. Instead, I've been picking up alien radio chatter. I built my PAK to sneak around easier and to try and translate what they're saying. It worked, but they might have been speaking English anyways.'' He paused for a moment while he pulled out a green diary. ''They keep repeating this one word-'' He flipped through the pages until he found what he was looking for. ''-Voltron.'' In red, green, blue, yellow and pink was the word "Voltron", surrounded by flames and badly drawn sketches of robots. ''And tonight, it's going crazy! Crazier than I've ever heard it before.''

''Just how crazy is it and how crazy are you?'' Lance asked.

Before anyone could say anything else, something broke the sound barrier and something pink and glowy appeared in the sky, startling the three. ''What is that, a meteor!?'' Hunk shouted as a PA announcement told the whole building that they were under lockdown.

Pidge pulled a pair of binoculars out of his PAK and squinted. ''No. It's a ship.''

Hunk hugged Pidge for comfort. ''It's one of ours, right? Please, please tell me it's one of ours.''

''No. Sorry. It's one of theirs.'' Pidge said. The ship crashed in a very grassy clearing, setting the surrounding area on fire, which was quickly put out by the soft rain, that had just started falling. Pidge put his equipment back in his bag regardless, knowing it would be raining harder in a few minutes. Pidge stood up, held his bag in his arms and smirked at his teammates. ''Let's go check it out!'' Then he turned around and took off into the ventilation shaft again.

''Hey!'' Hunk shouted. ''Pidge, we can't sneak around like you can!''

Lance ran past him. ''It doesn't matter, Hunk! Just come on!'' Then he disappeared through the door.

Hunk sighed and ran ahead reluctantly, swiftly catching up with his friend.

Sometime soon, the three lay belly-down on a ledge, camouflaged by Pidge's PAK, watching the crash site, which was now surrounded by armoured vehicles and guards.

Lance used Pidge's binoculars to spy on the largest vehicle, which looked like a makeshift medical center. ''Now, let's see what's going on.'' he whispered to himself. ''What are you hiding from- Whoa, who the hell is she?'' He saw a silver-haired woman through the green-lensed specs, then zoomed in on her breasts.

Pidge smacked him over the head with a PAK leg while he messed around with a laptop. ''Lance! This is no time for your stupid flirting!'' he said as he snatched the binoculars away with said leg. My thoughts exactly.

''I-I don't know if this is such a good idea, guys.'' Hunk said nervously. ''What if someone sees us? What if someone notices that we've gone out? What if-''

''Hunk!'' Lance shouted. ''We're not going to get caught. Pidge knows his tech, so I say that we trust his cloaking device.''

The Hawaiian man sat up and poked his fingers together. ''I do trust him, it's just that I'm worried about people seeing a light distortion.''

Pidge's head jerked up. ''Guys, sit down!'' he said as Hunk did as he was told, though still uneasy. ''Look.'' he pushed the laptop over to Lance and Hunk. ''They set up a camera in there and I grabbed its feed.''

The video showed a skunk-haired, scarred, muscular Japanese man in purple, strapped down to a table. ''Hey!'' he shouted. ''What the hell are you doing?''

''That's Captain Shirogane!'' Lance said loudly, grabbing fistfuls of his hair as he sat up. ''That guy's my hero! He's a legend! Why aren't they doing anything to help?''

''Calm down, Captain.'' a doctor said. ''We need to keep you quarantined until we can figure out what's happened to you. Do you kow how long you've been gone?''

Shirogane bit his lip. ''I don't know! Months? Years, even? Look, there's no time!'' he then rambled on about the aliens that took him prisoner, cat-people and giant women, who he claimed destroyed entire worlds.

''Sir, come look at this.'' another doctor said coldly, examining Shirogane's right side. ''It appears his right arm has been replaced with a cyborg prosthetic.''

The first doctor thought for a moment, before turning to the other. ''Put him under until we can figure out what it's capable of.''

The Captain gasped and screamed for them to not put him under, but the doctors were not concerned with his fear.

''They're not even going to listen to him?'' Lance asked, holding his chin in his hand. His eyes closed for a minute as he thought. ''What should we do, tunnel in?'' he voiced.

Pidge smirked. ''We could get some hazmat suits and sneak in, like med-techs!''

''Or, here's an idea.'' Hunk said, nervous. ''We could sneak back home, dress up like chefs, sneak into the kitchen and get some food.''

Lance looked at him with an "are you serious" expression. ''No.'' he said. ''What we need is a distraction.''

Then, loud explosions shook the ground and almost shorted out Pidge's gear.

Lance, Hunk and Pidge looked up, staring silently at the bursting light that seemed to cut through the rain.

''What happened!?'' Hunk shouted, panicked. ''What's going on? Did they find us?''

Pidge shut off his cloaking device and picked up his binoculars. ''No!'' he said, as most of the trucks sped off to the right, toward the flares. ''Those explosions were a distraction. For him.'' he pointed to a long-haired Korean man in red and black who came in from the left on a hovercraft.

Lance pulled the binoculars away from Pidge's face, then looked through them. ''Oh NO! Not him!'' he spat. ''That mother- UGH! Jeez, that guy is always, always trying to one-up me!''

''Who?'' Hunk asked.

Lance dropped Pidge and ran off. ''Kogane!''

''Are you sure?'' Hunk asked. ''I mean, how do you really know it's him?''

''Oh, I'd recognize that mullet anywhere!'' Lance grumbled.

''Wait!'' Pidge yelled as Hunk ran off. ''Who's Kogane?'' He thought nothing of it and put his gear back in his bag.

Inside the medical center, the door opened, revealing knocked-out doctors behind Kogane, who had a red scarf pulled over his mouth and a serious look on his face.

''What?'' the doctor asked. ''Who are you!?''

Kogane said nothing, instead punching the man's lights out, then knocking out the other two doctors. He pulled the scarf down to his neck, turned to the Captain and turned his face toward him to get a good look at the man. ''Shiro?'' Kogane said. He pulled out a dagger and cut the man free, then held him up by his right arm.

''Nope! No no no no no, noo, no no no no no!'' Lance shouted, barging into the room. ''Get outta here, Akira! I'm saving the Captain.'' he shoved the table away and held Shirogane up by his left arm.

''Two things. One, who the hell are you?'' Kogane asked. ''And second, my name is Keith.''

''Me? My name's Lance.'' he said. Keith raised an eyebrow. ''Lance McLain! We were in the same class last year?''

''Really,'' Keith said. ''Are you an engineer?''

''No, I'm a pilot!'' Lance shouted. ''We were rivals! Y'know, McLain and Kogane, Wonder Teams!''

Keith picked something out of the corner of his eye. ''Oh wait, now I remember you. You're that jerk who keeps dumping blood candy on the teachers' desks.'' he said, stonefaced.

Lance looked at him, dumbfounded. ''How did you know about that!?''

Keith smirked, satisfied with Lance's confusion and the two walked off.

When the two got outside, they found Hunk and Pidge waiting for them, a few feet away from Keith's red vehicle. ''Oh man.'' Hunk said, holding Pidge's bag and looking very nervous. ''They are coming back and they do NOT look happy! We have to go!'' Keith and Lance had already lugged the unconsious man to the hovercraft and were ready to leave, when Hunk and Pidge almost held the thing down with their weight. ''Hey, are we all gonna fit in this thing?'' he asked as he handed Lance the bag.

''No.'' Keith said, very matter-of-factly, as he handed Shirogane to Pidge, whose PAK legs dug into the sides of the craft.

As the Korean man put the pedal to the metal and flew away, the Garrison soldiers pursued.

''Hey, we did all fit!'' Hunk remarked.

''Why am I holding this guy!?'' Pidge yelled.

Lance looked behind them, annoyed. ''Can't this thing go any faster!?''

''No.'' Keith said again. Then, suddenly, ''Big man, lean left!''

Hunk leaned left and, because the Garrison officers refused to slow down, half of them crashed into each other.

''Big man, lean right!'' Keith yelled again, Hunk doing as told and getting the rest of the officers off of their tail.

Everyone cheered and Keith smirked. Victory for the team. Then Hunk pointed at something, ahead of the group. ''Guys,'' he stuttered. ''Is that a cliff?''

Lance's and Pidge's excitement faded and the colour drained from their faces. They both shouted and screamed at Keith to stop, or just screamed "no" over and over like Shia Labeouf, but Keith's smirk widened. ''Yep.'' he said, just before he sent them over the edge.

The next morning, on another cliff somewhere over Lake Superior, was Shirogane in a black and gray bodysuit, gloves, boots and vest, taking in the sights as he sat cross-legged on the edge. He had no reason to go over to the cliff, other than he wanted to relax under the sun. Keith tapped him on the shoulder with a fork and handed the man glass of milk and a plate, filled with some bacon, bologna and eggs. ''Koh.'' Shirogane said with a smile, as he greeted the younger man. ''Nice to see you again.''

Keith sat down as soon as Shirogane took the food and drink. The man then wolfed the food and downed the milk, not even bothering with the utensils. ''Easy there, Shiro.'' Keith said. ''No one's going to take it.''

The man coughed and groaned. He rubbed the back of his neck and smiled sheepishly. ''Sorry.'' he said, smiling wider as he realized that he probably had a milk 'stache. ''But it's been a year since I had anything to eat but some scraps of what I hope is meat.''

Keith's stony expression softened slightly as a ghost of a smile played on his lips. ''Good to have you back, big brother.''

Shirogane coughed again and smiled. ''Good to be back.''

''That's what you get for not breathing while you eat!'' Keith laughed and cuffed Shirogane on the back of the head. They both laughed. The younger man's expression hardened back into his stony glare. ''How did you get back to Earth?''

''I wish I could tell you.'' Shirogane said, as he slouched over his forearms. ''My head's still pretty scrambled.'' He raised an eyebrow. ''How did you know where to find me when I crashed?''

Keith helped Shirogane up and picked up his dishes. ''Come on. There's something you need to see.''

In the middle of the forest around the cliff was a small, simple-looking shack with a few windows. It looked like it only had one, maybe two rooms. The little shack in the middle of the woods was what Keith called home.

Inside the quaint little house, was the group of five. Pidge and Hunk sat on a cherry-red futon in couch mode and Lance sat on a makeshift coffee table, one leg tucked under the other. Keith stood in the part of the room that he called a kitchen, washing his dishes. Shirogane leaned his back against a wall, covered with a white tarp. It was pretty quiet for awhile. So quiet and peaceful that Hunk and Pidge almost fell asleep.

Keith walked over to Shirogane's wall and ripped the tarp from the thumbtacks holding it up, startling Lance, Hunk and Pidge and leaving gaping holes in the fabric. Under the tarp was a photograph of some unidentified mountain range in Nevada, as a large map told them, threads tacked to pictures of carvings in a cave, ranging from a "V" symbol, to a teardrop-shaped drawing, to a metal lioness and a mishmash of sticky notes.

Shirogane crossed his arms. ''What exactly have you been working on?''

''I felt pretty lost after the Garrison kicked me out.'' Keith began. ''I found myself drawn here, to take care of your now burnt-down house, then to these mountains.'' He pressed a finger against the respective photograph. ''It felt like some kind of energy was telling me to search for something. There was a cave at the base of one of the mountains, and inside was a ton of carvings. Each one told a slightly different story of a blue lion and a pilot destined to fight alongside her. They gave me some hints that something big was going to happen last night and today, then you showed up. I can't really explain much beyond that.''

The badger-haired man turned to Lance and held out his artifical hand. ''I guess I should thank you for getting me out of there.'' he said. ''Lance, right?''

Lance hesitated. He couldn't believe that his hero would actually acknowledge himm, much less thank him at all. He suddenly snapped back to reality and shook the man's hand, which didn't feel like metal at all, despite how it looked. It felt more like soft plastic. ''Yes, sir.''

Shirogane smiled. ''No need for formality, really.'' he said in a fatherly tone. ''Please, call me Shiro.''

The two let go of each other's hands and Shiro turned to the other two. ''The nervous one's Hunk. I'm Pidge.'' the boy shook the man's hand. ''So, did anyone else from your crew make it out?''

''I don't know.'' Shiro said, trying to remember. ''We were separated some time after we were taken. I remember the mission, then being captured. After that, it all became a blur. I don't even remember them taking my arm.''

Hunk piped up. ''That's probably gonna be something to mull over later. For now, we should get back to the aliens! Like, where are they now at this very moment? Are they coming for us? What do they want?''

Shiro rubbed his temples. ''I don't really know or understand what they want. I remember the word "Voltron". It must be some kind of weapon they're looking for, but I don't know where it is or why they want it. I think we should find it before they do.''

Hunk shuffled through Pidge's bag. ''Well, last night, I was going through Pidge's stuff and I found this picture.'' he held up a photograph of a blond boy that looked like Pidge and a young, brown-haired woman in a purple, long-sleeved shirt with her right shouler bared and white pants. ''Look, it's his girlfriend!''

''Hey, give me that!'' Pidge snatched the photo away and yanked his bag out of Hunk's hands. ''What were you doing in my stuff, anyways?''

Hunk gave Pidge a sheepish look. ''I was looking for some chocolate.'' he admitted. ''But, then I started going through his diary and-''

''WHAT!?'' Pidge screamed.

''And I noticed that there was a repeating sequence of numbers,'' Hunk continued. ''It kind of looked like a Fraunhoffer line.'' After a confused look from Keith, Hunk explained that "voltron" must have been some kind of element not found on Earth. He theorized that he could use Pidge's gadgets to look for it. ''It's pretty fascinating, really.'' he said, then pulled out a piece of graphing paper from his pocket. ''The wavelength kind of looks like this.'' he showed it to everyone.

Keith snatched the wavelength diagram from Hunk's hands. ''Give me that.'' he turned around and held the paper up to the photograph of the mountain range. It was an exact match.

Using Keith's hovercraft, they swiftly made their way to the mountain range and began their search, using Pidge's PAK, binoculars and satellite. ''Okay.'' Lance said. ''I admit, this is super freaky.'' It wasn't long before they reached the cave, with Lance's ringtone playing over the scene, so he excused himself for a minute.

Inside the cave, Keith blew the dust off of a few of the carvings and explained that they were everywhere. Lance noticed something about the carvings and accidentally brushed his thigh up against a hollow carving of a teardrop. He was stuck. He pressed his hand against the wall to try and pry himself loose, but only managed to brush dust off the wall.

Suddenly, the carvings all glowed blue and a hole crumbled away beneath their feet. All except for Lance, strangely enough, who was rooted in place by his hip, only for the hollow carving to crumble and let him fall with them, face first.

No one expected what came next. Lance stuck his arms out, bracing for impact and closing his eyes tight, only for a literal water slide to form out of a shallow pool of water on the ground below, giving them a safe landing.

Covered in water and disoriented by what had just happened, it took everyone some time to process the situation.

''What just happened?'' Shiro asked between shrill coughs and making technicolour lawn out of his breakfast. He looked around, then raised an eyebrow when he saw Lance, passed out in the middle of the pool. There was a teardrop-shaped something glowing through the right thigh of Lance's pants. It pulsed softly, in time with his breathing. What Shiro knew was weird was a blowhole on the back of his throat that seemed to act as a set of gills.

''I dunno.'' Hunk said as he swam over to Lance, then stood up and held him gently in his arms. He noticed the pulsing and put two and two together. ''Oh. So that's what that was.''

Pidge clung to the cieling with his PAK, then dropped down and landed gracefully on his hands and knees. ''What what was?''

Hunk turned to him, then waded to the edge. ''Lance told me, when I first met him and saw the teardrop thing, that it and a double helix of blue lines around his leg were tattoos, and something weird that might have been a bruise or a scar and it was no big deal that he had them.'' he explained. He set Lance on the ground and climbed out. ''But then I remembered I had this.'' Immediately, he rolled up a pant leg and revealed a yellow double helix around his left leg. A solid, round yellow-orange, hexagon-faceted thing poked through a destroyed pocket of his soaked pants, in the same spot as Lance's teardrop, but on the opposite leg.

Keith swam over to Hunk and Pidge, Shiro not far behind him. Pidge adjusted his glasses and rolled up his left sleeve. ''And I thought I was the only one with these birthmarks.'' his left arm, from his shoulder to his wrist, was covered in a spiral pattern, like Hunk had described his own birthmarks. A green double helix. A smooth, tiny, triangle-shaped green stone seemed embeded into his shoulder.

Keith shook his head to get loose water out of his hair, soaking Pidge through his shirt. Without a word, he climbed out of the water and helped Shiro out. He lay his jacket on the wall to dry off, revealing a red double helix on his right arm and a round, square-faceted thing under the tight sleeve of his black shirt. Not a word was said from him, then he smiled slightly.

Shiro unzipped his vest and took it and his shirt off. ''I remember my dad and stepmom telling me about these crystals.'' he said. Dead center in the middle of his heavily scarred, muscular chest, was a smooth, shiny black stone. Two black double helixes began there, then criscrossed around his shoulders, which made a bizarre-looking X-shape. ''They're called Gems, a r-''

Lance decided that it was the perfect time to wake up and interrupt Shiro. ''Abuela?'' he said drowzily. ''Is it cookie time?'' and passed out again. He was met with a very confused stare from Keith, a throat-laugh from Pidge and amused chuckles from Hunk and Shiro.

As the four walked further into the underground cave, now dry and fully-clothed, Lance woke up piggybacked in someone's arms. His nose was buried in two inches of thick blackish purple hair that smelled like strawberries and vanilla. He knew who this was. No one else in that cave washed their hair with whipped cream. ''Keith.'' he yawned. ''Can you put me down? Please? I can walk.''

''No.'' came a short, blunt reply.

''Why?'' Lance whined, pulling at Keith's hair and generally being a little brat.

Keith was annoyed, tired and he had a headache. His eye twitched. It would have been so easy to drop the kid on his butt. But he just shook his head. As annoying as he knew Lance could be sometimes, he was still a good person.

Hunk pried Lance off of Keith's back and shoulders, the put the Latino on the ground. ''Thanks Hunk.'' Lance said. Then he stuck his tongue out at Keith, who then grabbed it with no hesitation. Lance tried to wrestle his tongue away from the man, but he failed. Tears were shed and the boy called out to Shiro to help. Repeatedly.

Shiro gently pried Keith's hand away from Lance's mouth, so that the two wouldn't hurt each other. ''I don't want to see anything like that from either of you.'' he said. ''I know that you two have some kind of history, but you have to put that aside. At least until we know what-'' then he stopped, awestruck.

Lance and Keith looked around, confused. Pidge and Hunk had the same look on their faces.

The Latino and Korean turned their heads to what their friends saw. Keith was impressed. Lance smiled.

What the five saw was a gigantic, metallic blue lioness inside a glowing blue barrier made of hexagons. Her bright yellow eyes flickered on and she trained her eyes on Lance.

''Is this it?'' Pidge asked suddenly. ''Is she the Voltron?''

''She must be.'' Shiro said, almost uncertain.

Keith walked over to her. ''This is what's been causing all this crazy energy out here.''

The other four followed him. ''Does anyone else get the feeling that she's staring at them?'' Lance asked, moving around to try and escape the lion's glare.

'Smart boy.' A woman's voice said to him in a coy tone.

''Wait!'' Lance shouted. ''Whose voice was that?''

Pidge looked at him skeptically. ''What voice?''

''I don't know.''

Keith had reached the barrier and pressed his hands against it while the lion watched. ''How do we get through this?'' he thought out loud.

Lance walked over to Keith with his hands on his hips. ''Maybe you just have to knock.'' he said, as he tapped his knuckles against it.

That caused the barrier to flicker, then dissipate. The world faded away as the lion showed the five exactly what she could do. She and four other lionesses flew up into the sky and merged into a giant robot woman.

Lance looked around. ''Did anyone else see that?'' he said, voice cracking.

''Voltron is a robot woman!'' Hunk shouted. ''Voltron is an awesome, awesome giant woman!''

''She's an angel?'' Keith asked.

Pidge's glasses glowed. ''She's only one part of Voltron! I wonder where the other four are.''

The lion crouched down while Hunk and Pidge cowered with their arms over their heads and she opened her mouth. Lance smirked and ran inside.

As Lance explored the lion's head, he discovered a sealed-off room. The doors opened and revealed some kind of cockpit with a chair in the middle of the room. He sat down. ''Let's get started.'' he said, cracking his knuckles. Then he screamed as the chair suddenly pulled him over to the control panel, where blue touchscreens hovered over the dashboard.

One panel with something that looked like a keyboard caught his attention. An alien language flickered into view, then translated inself into English.


Lance tapped on the keyboard and typed in his name.


The alien language came back when he pressed what looked like the "enter" key, then translated itself again.


Lance turned his head to another panel. The language had already translated itself.


'Why do you not have a name?' Lance thought.

'It's been so long... Lance, is it?' the coy woman's voice said to him. 'It's been so long, I forgot my name.'

Lance thought for a moment. 'I'll give you a name.'


It was then that the other four decided to come into the cockpit as a set of handlebars rose up from two panels in the floor.

''Hey guys!'' Lance said. Then he smirked. ''Took you long enough!'' he made a sweeping motion with his hand. ''This lovely lion is Azul.''

''Isn't that Spanish for "blue"?'' Pidge asked.

''Yup!'' Lance smiled.

Azul purred and turned on the windows so that they could see through her eyes.

''Guys, guys I feel the need to point out,'' Hunk said, ''That we're sitting in a giant, futuristic alien cat head right now.''

'Lance. I need you to turn on my systems.' Azul said. 'Forgive me for this.'

Lance's eyes glowed yellow and he moved his fingers to the keyboard again to punch in a startup code. His eyes turned back to normal as Azul stood up and roared loudly. ''Got it.'' he smiled. ''Now let's try this.'' he grabbed onto the handlebars and pushed forward.

Azul burst through the rocks that held her and flew around happily, flipping around and nosediving in a corkscrew spiral.

Keith got very close to Lance's ear. ''YOU ARE. THE WORST. PILOT. EVER!'' he shouted as Azul leaped and somersaulted through the air.

Azul then landed and ran around the desert in random directions.

Hunk looked pale and pretty sick. ''Make her stop!'' he shouted. ''Please Lance, make her stop!''

Lance was ecstatic at how fast Azul was going. ''I'm not making her do anything! She might be on autopilot!''

Suddenly, the lion took off and flew up into space. ''Where is she going!?'' Keith shouted.

''I just said, she's on autopilot!'' Lance said.

Azul purred as they entered the stratosphere, drawing everyone's attention to a huge scythe-shaped warship the size of a city.

Keith whistled lowly. Shiro's eyes widened. ''They found me.'' he whispered.

Then, the ship's targeting system booted up and started to fire on them with purple laser beams. Pidge pulled up to Lance, his backpack in his arms. ''We've gotta get out of here!''

''Don't worry Pidge, I got this!'' Lance insisted.

''Be careful, man!'' the boy shouted. ''Azul isn't the simulator!''

Lance laughed. ''Oh, that's good. I wrecked the simulator.''

For some reason, Lance's eyes forced themselves shut. 'Why can't I see!?' he thought-yelled to Azul.

'Lance,' Azul said impatiently. 'I don't want you treating me like a toy.' She flew around, dodging more lasers and dove onto the surface of the ship.

Lance had no idea what she meant. He then heard two sets of bursting explosions from outside of Azul's head, each within about a minute of each other.

''Nice job, Lance!'' Shiro said happily.

''Okay.'' Azul said through her pilot. Lance's voice turned more feminine as she took control. ''Let's get these creeps away from our planet.''

Pidge looked confused. ''What's going on with your voice?''

Lance's eyes snapped open and he found himself in control again. Just as the alien ship came chasing after the team. ''What the hell, Azul!?'' he exploded.

''Um Lance,'' Hunk stuttered. He looked confused and scared with one hand in his fringe, and the other on the back of his neck. ''I think we should focus on the.. aliens that are following us?''

''Forget that!'' Pidge yelled as he pulled at Lance's hood and hair with the backpack straps in his teeth. ''Where are we?''

Shiro pointed to Azul's viewscreen. ''Edge of the solar system.'' he said softly. ''There's Kerberos.''

Pidge let go of Lance and gently pulled his bag from his mouth. ''How? It takes months for us to get this far! We got here in maybe 90 seconds!''

A swirling blue wormhole opened up with a roar from Azul.

'Where does that go?' Lance whispered.

Hunk looked pale. ''Oh man.'' he said. ''I've got a bad feeling about this, guys.''

''Well, we don't have much time to decide!'' Azul snapped through Lance. ''We need to lose these bastards behind us and that wormhole is the only. Way. OUT!''

''Calm down, Lance!'' Shiro said. ''You're right. We need to act fast. I'm trusting you to get us out of here.''

Lance's eyes closed. Then he turned his head back and smirked. ''Everyone in?'' Azul just wanted to make sure.

''Yes.'' Keith said immediately and very bluntly.

Pidge shrugged. ''Why not?''

Hunk sighed. He was scared. Shaking. He waited to gather his wits. He nodded, too fearful to say anything.

Azul opened Lance's eyes and let everyone see what she could do with her pilot. She looked back toward the window. ''I guess it's unanimous.'' she released her hold on Lance and he flew her into the wormhole, too excited to care about her hijacking his body again. ''We're all missing school tomorrow.'' he smirked wider, the feminine edge in his voice gone and his eyes back to normal.

A few turbulent seconds later, Azul and her five passengers found themselves on the other side of the wormhole. They all looked shocked.

That shock was broken when Hunk vomited onto the floor. ''So sorry.'' he said, then kept ralphing.

Pidge adjusted his glasses. ''I'm just surprised it took this long.''

Shiro focused on the stars around the new solar system. ''I don't recognize any of these constellations.'' he said. ''We must be a long, long way from Earth.''

Azul flew into the atmosphere of an earth-like planet. Lance let go of the handlebars, now slick with palm-sweat. ''Guys, Azul's pulling us to that planet there.'' he said. ''I think she's going home.''

Pidge looked at Lance with one eyebrow raised. ''You think?''

Lance bit his lip. ''She's not talking to me anymore.'' he said. ''Wait, waitwaitwait! Shhh. I think I hear something.'' he smirked.

Hunk looked around. ''Yeah, I hear it too, kinda like a high-pitched squeal?''

Everyone knew what Lance tried to do and covered their noses when the squealing stopped and the punchline came. Lance had farted. Loudly. They all shouted at him, annoyed and disgusted with that stupid joke.

Lance knew the joke was bad, but he still laughed. ''But seriously, there's a castle up ahead.''

The lion landed on a land bridge that led to the castle. In front of them was a heavyset, blue-skinned young woman with a green-tinted visor and pink tattoos on her left cheek, her neck and arms. Like Hunk, she seemed to have more muscle on her than fat. Her short, wavy white hair framed her face beautifully. Her curves were very pronounced because of a very tight-looking sleeveless blue bodysuit with a white star on either thigh. Embeded into her chest was a smooth, blue, pink and green hexagon-shaped stone. ''Everyone in the blue ship, come out right now!'' she shouted.

Inside the ship, Lance stared at the woman, clearly drooling. ''Whatever you say, gorgeous.'' he said. Pidge smacked him over the head with a PAK leg. ''Ow!''

''Ten-four, m'am.'' Shiro said. ''Be on your guard, boys.''

Lance stood up. ''Something wrong?''

Shiro turned away and started to walk off, motioning with his hand for the rest to follow. ''My team was captured by aliens once.'' he said. ''I'm not letting it happen again.''

The woman saw the group of five people walk out from the mouth of the "ship". She looked confused and narrowed her eyes. ''What are you?'' she asked.

Shiro walked toward her. He felt small compared to her, as she was about a foot taller than his six-foot-two stature. ''We're humans, m'am.'' he held out his right hand. ''My name is Shiro. These are Keith, Lance, Hunk and Pidge.''

The woman looked at Shiro's hand, then at his face, then back at his hand. She shook it. ''Ocean Jasper. Nice to meet you, Seerow.'' she smirked. ''And don't call me "m'am".''

Shiro shrugged and let go of her hand. ''Fine.'' he laughed. He shrugged. ''Don't call me Seerow.''

Azul stood up and roared. ''OH NO!'' Hunk shouted, covering his face with his hands. ''Oh man, I knew she was gonna eat us!'' he felt someone tap on his shoulder and he turned around. ''Oh. The castle door is open.. Sorry, Azul.''

Ocean looked confused. ''Hunk, right?'' she asked. ''Can I ask you something, Gem to Gem?''

''Yeah, you can ask me anything.'' he said kindly.

''What's an "Azul"?''

''Azul is Lance's ship.'' Hunk said. ''We found her on our planet, Earth.'' he looked at Ocean, somewhat confused. ''How did you know about my gem?''

Ocean looked away with one hand on the back of her neck. ''It's poking through your clothes. You're a Heliodor, right?''

Hunk was about to correct her, when Lance called out to them. ''Hey guys!'' he shouted. ''You coming inside?''

''Wait a bit, Keith!'' Ocean shouted back.

''I'm not Keith! I'm Lance!''

Ocean's eyes widened. ''Sorry!'' she turned back to Hunk. ''He's right, Hunk Helios.'' she smirked. ''Let's go.''

When they walked into the castle, they found themselves in a room with a stairway. It was big, almost the size of a ballroom, but compared to Azul, it was barely the size of a kitty carrier.

''You know what?'' Pidge asked, his bag in Ocean's arms. ''From Azul's size, I thought the room would be bigger.''

The lines on the floor lit up. Everyone either jumped back, looked around very fast or let out a confused squeal. I'll let you decide who did what.

''HOLD FOR IDENTITY SCAN'' a mechanical voice said as a blue light passed over them from their feet to their heads.

''Who are you?'' Shiro asked. ''What are we doing here?''

''SCAN COMPLETE'' the voice said. ''PROCEED''

The lights in the ballroom switched on and the glowing lines on the floor switched off. Now lit up, the six saw a dark hall at the top of the stairs. Curious, Shiro walked up to it and the others followed, in almost a mix of excited and cautious. As they walked further and further down the hall, what looked like blue flames lit up and let them see.

'You're here.' a woman's voice spoke to Shiro through the same kind of bond Lance shared with Azul. She chuckled. 'It's been a long time since we had any visitors. I guess I'd better wake everyone up.'

'Wake who up?' Shiro thought.

'You didn't think the castle was empty, did you?' the woman said again. 'Don't worry. I can tell you're confused. The people who live here will explain.'

Several blue flares lit up the room at the end of the hallway. A pillar rose from the middle of the floor. Carved into the four sides and the top were what looked like handprints. The group walked over and studied the block of what looked like smooth marble.

Shiro found himself drawn to the top of the block, which glowed purple. Slowly, he rested his artificial hand onto the carving on top and his gem glowed magenta in response. One by one, Keith, Lance, Pidge and Hunk pressed their hands on their sides of the pillar. Their gems glowed as they did.

After what seemed like an eternity, three pods rose from the floor. Lance walked over to the one in the center as the pillar retracted back into the floor. ''Are these guys dead?''

As if to prove him wrong, the pod opened, revealing a dark-skinned elf woman in a powder-blue dress with white hair. Her eyes opened. They were blue. She gasped. ''Father!'' she shouted.

And that's where we're leaving off for now. I'd like some feedback if you have the time. Obviously, this is going to be very different from canon in several major ways. The knights having gems and Ocean and the mystery third Altean being here is the least of the changes I'm making. As is giving the Lions their own colour-based names in the Paladins' languages.

One of the biggest changes is something going on with Shiro. But I won't spoil anything.

That's all for now. If you have anything to say, please don't hesitate to say it. Bye!