Woah. Ok, guys, I have no idea where this came from. I went on a Voltron Legendary Defender binge almost exactly one month ago, and I've already watched all four seasons. I need a life. Anyway.

I love, love LOVE the whole Altean!Lance idea, so voila! This is my take on an Altean!Lance. It will follow the canon events of the show, except for the obvious fact that Lance is not actually a human.

This should be interesting. I gave Lance a different birth name, but once he meets the team, he'll go by Lance, so you won't get confused by that.

His Altean name is Atreyu, by the way. No, I have not seen the Never Ending Story. Yes, I do know that's the name of the main character. No, this has nothing to do with that. It just sounds cool and it means ancient, bold guardian. He's a protector of the universe, and he's over 10,000 years old. It fits, ok?!

I also disregarded the canon Paladins from Alfor and Zarkon's time. I made one of Lance's sisters the Green Paladin, and totally made up a new Yellow Paladin.

And guys, this first chapter is SAD. REALLY, REALLY SAD. I made myself cry. It was bad.

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing but Arianwen. And some random, irrelevant OCs.

SPOILERS: None for this chapter. I'll let you know as they come up.

WARNINGS: Blood, battle, and character death. Nobody canonically major, but dude, it's freaking sad.

These are their name translations:

Atreyu : Ancient, Bold Guardian(Lance)

Arianwen : Blessed Silver(Random sister I made up)

Kon: was Zarkon's nickname.

Here we go! Brace for tears.


Arianwen staggered down Green's ramp, heaving for breath and hacking up great lungful's of blood. Zarkon's bayard had torn through her armor like it wasn't even there.

She clamped her not-broken arm around her shredded abdomen and set off for the control room as quickly as she could.

The doors opened at her touch. She could see Alfor, and Allura. Coran, the royal adviser, was there as well. That was all she had time to see before her legs gave out.

"Ari!" She heard Allura cry out, and then strong arms were slowing her descent. She looked up wearily, seeing Coran's concerned face.

She gave him a tiny, broken smile as he helped her back up.

"Thanks, Coranick," she said softly, and was rewarded with a snort at the ridiculous nickname that her brother had come up with.

Her heart lurched.

"Have we heard anything from Blue or Atreyu?" she asked, making her way over to her chair and sagging into it, prodding at her wound. She muffled a cough into the crook of her arm.

"Yes," Alfor answered grimly. His blue eyes darted to her green ones for a moment, and she could see her own grief reflected in them. "Zarkon…."The Altean King closed his eyes for a moment, and Ari felt her heart stop.

"He's didn't—Ayu's not—"she started, fear crawling up her throat, gut wrenching and all-consuming. She could not lose her brother. She couldn't.

"No!" Allura sprang forwards, hands on the Paladin's shoulders. "No, he's alive, Ari. He's alive."

Ari's eyes closed without her permission, and she slumped against the Princess. "Thank the Ancients," she muttered.

"He's in a healing pod," Coran said, crouching in front of her and pulling her arms away so he could inspect her injury. The usually jovial man's face was twisted with sorrow. "It's very bad, Ari."

She swallowed hard and nodded. "How bad?"

Coran's jaw worked for a moment before he managed to get out an answer. "The two of them were battling up on one of the Galra cruisers. Zarkon got lucky. His bayard—"Coran closed his eyes. "His bayard went straight through Atreyu's body. He then kicked number three off of the ship onto the rocks below. I don't know how far he fell, but it was a long way. The skin on his back looks like he's been flogged, and the bones are utterly shattered, along with most of his ribs. Zarkon's bayard did an incredible amount of damage to his lungs and stomach. And he hit his head, though to be frank, that's the injury I'm the least concerned with."

Ari took a shuddery breath, covering her face with her hands. "I didn't feel anything…."

Allura took her hands and squeezed them comfortingly. "That's because all of you shut down your bonds, remember? So Zarkon couldn't get into your heads?"

"Right, right," Ari said. She took another breath, significantly steadier. "Thank you, 'Lura."

The other girl smiled at her.

"Have we heard from Yseult?" Ari asked, returning her attention to her injury. She turned her head aside as a coughing fit brought up another mouthful of blood.

Alfor shook his head. "Which isn't good," he said softly. "Yseult isn't one to miss deadlines, especially in situations such as these."

Ari snorted. "As though we've ever been in a situation like this before." She raked her hands through her silvery curls.

Alfor shot her an unamused look, and she grimaced in apology.

"Any word from—"she faltered, then shook her head harshly. "Any word from him?" She all but spat out the last word, unable to say his name after all he had done to them.

Alfor's jaw clenched, and he shook his head once.

Arianwen nodded.

Then there was a massive impact, throwing Ari, Allura, and Coran to the ground. Ari gasped as she landed on her broken arm, stars exploding before her eyes at the pain. But she didn't have time to be hurt. She dragged herself up and leaned against her chair. She pressed her hand over her wound again, and focused on her quintessence. Green for life.

Her hand began to glow with a rich viridian, and slowly, the injuries began to heal. Atreyu was much better at this, being the Water Paladin and all, but she was almost as good. She was running low on energy, though, and Allura could see that. The Princess pressed her hands over the Paladins, lending her more strength. While not able to heal it completely, she had mended her lungs and at least patched the damaged organs and ribs. That would do until the battle was over. And one way or another, it was ending today.

"Alfor." The voice that rang through the control room had every occupant going stiff.

Allura's eyes blazed, and she made to step forwards, but Ari caught her arm and held her back with a sharp look.

"Zarkon," Alfor didn't try to hide the pain in his voice, and it made Ari's heart hurt even more when Zarkon showed no sign of caring—or of even hearing it. "What do you want?"

"Your fleet has been decimated, Alfor," Zarkon said, unnatural eyes glowing with a sick delight. "Altea has fallen. I will be there to claim Voltron shortly."

The Green Paladin closed her eyes, fighting back the tears. This man had been a brother to her, to both of the Talyn twins. But this monster was not the Zarkon of old. This monster was something else entirely.

"Or rather, what's left of it."

Ari's eyes snapped open. "What do you mean?!" she demanded, shoving herself up and stepping in front of the viewscreen. "What do mean, what's left? What have you done?!"

Zarkon's grin widened, and for the first time, she noticed that his face bore a new, bloody scar down the right side of it.

"Arianwen Talyn. You survived." His eyes glittered. "I'm impressed. If only the others were as resilient, hm?"

Ari's heart jumped into her mouth. "What are you talking about?"

"It's such a shame that Yseult is such a trusting and forgiving being, isn't it?"

Ari staggered back. "What—"she croaked. "What did you do to him?"

Yseult. The Yellow Paladin. The most friendly and loving being she had ever met in her life with the exception of Atreyu. The giant Balmeran was as gentle as could be, and had been a father figure to literally all of them.

Zarkon's grin widened. "I ripped that great big heart right out of his chest."

Tears stung her eyes, and hatred filled her heart as pain blazed through her spirit. "No," she whispered, desperately reaching out for her fellow Paladin's minds. There was Alfor: warm red, usually brilliant, but now dim with grief. There was Atreyu, peaceful blue, normally glowing with love and laughter, now a cold, cold icy mindscape of pain. There was Zarkon—a pit of swirling darkness and madness, streaked through with that awful glowing purple that she didn't dare get any closer to. But where Yseult's bright, cheerful Gold should have been…There was a ragged hole, and Ari desperately opened her mind farther, reaching, seeking desperately.

That was when she heard it—the soft, broken sounds of a Lion mourning its Paladin. Yellow's soft cries were suddenly deafening, and she couldn't hear anything above them except her own pounding heart. She could feel Alfor's rage behind her, along with Allura and Coran.

"How could you?!" She exploded, quintessence blazing to life in her hands and in her eyes. "We were a family! We loved you! How could you do this to us?!"

"How?" Zarkon's grin faded. "You would have left my beloved to die! My precious Honerva! The Paladins betrayed me, Arianwen! And now you will pay! I will be there to collect Voltron within the varga!"

The transmission cut out.

Ari stood there, shaking with rage and pain and fear, until a warm hand clasped hers, unconcerned with the green quintessence coursing over her skin. Alfor pulled her into his chest and wrapped his arms around her tight. She clung to him, the quintessence fading as tears slid from her eyes.

"Father, we must fight!" Allura said strongly from behind them. "We must form Voltron!"

"No, daughter," Alfor said gravely. He pressed his and Ari's foreheads together in the traditional Altean display of sibling love. They stayed there for just a moment, letting the pain and love and grief and determination flow across the Paladin bond.

Ari inhaled sharply when she saw his plan, and felt more tears sting her eyes, but she nodded anyway, promising him her help.

They released each other and Alfor turned to Allura. "We must hide the Lions. Zarkon cannot get his hands on them."

"We cannot form Voltron anyway," Ari reminded her, wiping the tears away from Ari's ocean-blue face markings. Yseult is—"she closed her eyes. "Yseult is gone."

"But Father—"

Alfor turned to Allura and reached out, placing a hand on her shoulder. "No, Allura," he said again. There was a brief flare of quintessence, and Allura's eyes widened as she realized what Alfor had done.

"Father—"she gasped, reaching out to him.

"If all goes well, I will see you again soon," Alfor promised. He forced a smile. "I love you, Allura."

The girl collapsed, Alfor sweeping her up into his arms and cradling her. Coran's mouth was hanging open, but before he could speak, Alfor deposited Allura into his arms. "Put her in one of the cryo pods," he said. "She'll be safe there."

Coran nodded numbly and strode from the room.

Alfor turned back to Ari. "I need more time, Ari," he said, eyes burning. "I need more time to hide them."

"I can—"she swallowed hard. "I can give you that."

His eyes were too bright, and all she could feel was pain, spiraling out from where her heart used to be until it was all she could feel.

Alfor strode back to the command console and put his hands on the sensors. The blue light shone from the crystal and he looked at her.

"Fly for the banner of Altea once more, Green Paladin," he said gravely. "One day, may our paths meet again."

Ari clasped her arm over her chest and bowed. Words would not come.

She staggered back to her feet and looked him in the eye.

"Until that day, my King," she whispered.

The Castle rocked with a particularly vicious blast, and Arianwen Talyn fled for her Lion.

There was nothing else she could do.


Atreyu distantly realized he was falling, but the thought had barely registered before someone was catching him, carefully setting him back on his own feet. Whoever it was gently carded a hand through his tangled, bloodstained white hair, and he unconsciously leaned into it.

Someone was speaking. "….don't know what happened, you shouldn't be out yet—"

"….Kon?" he mumbled, still mostly unaware.

The hand jerked briefly, before resuming its gentle touch. "No, lad. It's Coran."

Ayu made a soft noise of response, the words not really registering.

Zarkon usually caught him after he was injured. He would check all of his injuries over himself and then proceed to give him a twenty dobosh lecture on how reckless he was and how much he meant to all of them. He'd give the Altean a gentle, careful embrace and tell him, "You're my little brother, Ayu. I need you to be more careful with yourself." Then Yseult would worm his way in, one hand on Zarkon's shoulder, the other on Ayu's with a huge smile and a "It is good to see this one awake. My heart was not easy until I saw that you were well." After him, Alfor would come raging through the door, yelling about how much of an idiot he was and what was he thinking and that was so stupid and reckless and Ayu would laugh as Alfor gave him a rib-breaking hug. Then Arianwen would slip up to him and give him a heartfelt embrace and a kiss on the forehead, gently yet firmly telling him to be more careful.

Ayu rested his head on Coran's shoulder as he waited for the others to get there.

Zarkon's face twisted with sick satisfaction as Yseult's body hit the ground, the gentle Balmeran's eyes still wide with shock and betrayal.

Ayu gasped, stumbling, as memories started crashing into his head.

Atreyu howled in agony and rage, leaping forward and bringing his bladed bow down on Zarkon's face with all the strength he had left in his broken body.

"No, no, no, no," he whispered, dropping to his knees with his hands ripping at his silver hair.

"Are you alright, Atreyu?" Coran's voice sounded like it was coming from far away. "Ayu?"

Zarkon roared in pain and anger, and his bayard flashed. Their battle was bitter and long and painful. So, so very painful. Finally, in his exhaustion, Ayu made a fatal mistake. His foot slipped, and his weapon dipped towards the ground. In the single heartbeat that his guard was down, Zarkon's bayard lashed out, and Ayu could do nothing but gasp as the cruel weapon tore through his body like he was made of water vapor.

His Lion was screaming in his mind, but her voice felt fuzzy and far away, and her words were unclear.

Ayu stared up at Zarkon as he approached. "Kon….." he whispered, one blood-stained hand reaching up to the one he'd once called brother.

Zarkon snarled at him. "Goodbye, Brother."

An iron boot collided with his chest, and he felt bones snapping as he started falling…..falling…falling…..

And then he hit the ground. The last thing he saw before darkness took him was Zarkon, standing on his ship, laughing as fires of death and destruction raged around him.

"Zarkon…." Ayu whispered. "Oh, brother, what have you done?"

"Oh, Ayu," Coran murmured, choking up. He pulled the boy into his arms and held him tight for a long moment.

A distant explosion rocked the Castle, and the Paladin straightened. "What was that?"

Coran sighed, looking about fifty deca-phoebes older. "That would be the Galra army."

Ayu closed his eyes and bowed his head.

The doors to the medbay flew open, and Alfor came in at a run. He slowed when he saw the younger Altean. "Oh, thank the Ancients," he breathed, jogging over and pressing their foreheads together. "I had to turn off all the minor functions to keep the particle barrier up. I didn't realize it would turn off the healing pods as well." He pulled back, hands on Ayu's shoulders.

"How are you feeling?"

The boy grinned. "I'm fi—"

"If you finish that sentence with fine, I swear to the Ancients, Atreyu," Alfor warned.

Ayu looked away and didn't answer.

The older Altean sighed and embraced him again, but another explosion made them jump apart again.

"Alfor, what's happening?" Ayu demanded.

The king's mouth pressed into a thin line. "I'm hiding Voltron," he told the other Paladin. "Zarkon is after the Lions, so I'm splitting them up and hiding them as far apart as I can. I need you to take Blue to this planet." He passed him a hand-held navigation device with coordinates already punched in. "If all goes well, I'll see you soon. If it doesn't—"

"Don't even say it," Ayu interrupted. "Please. I can't lose you, too."

"I can get the Castle to a safe place where Zarkon won't find it, but—"Alfor swallowed hard. "—but I need time. Ari and Green are already out there wreaking havoc, but they're not enough, and I have to fly the Castle. Would you—"

"No," Coran interrupted. "No. Nah-ah. No way. He is injured, and exhausted and in pain and—"

"I'll do it," Ayu pulled himself upright, ignoring both the pain still coursing through his body and the tears coursing down his cheeks. "I can do it."

Alfor's face twisted with sorrow and grief. "I'm so sorry, Ayu. I am so sorry, I would never ask this of you if I didn't have to—"

"I know," Ayu cut him off as tears beginning to slide from Alfor's eyes as well.

Alfor reached into the Paladin bond and showered the boy in all the love he could muster, marred with pain and grief as it was. Ayu returned it with a shuddery gasp.

He dropped to one knee, arm clasped across his chest. "My King," he choked out.

Alfor stood above him, stained with tears and battle. "Blue Paladin of Voltron," he said gravely. "Will you swear to do all in your power to keep the Lions of Voltron from falling into the hands of the former Black Paladin, the Galra Emperor Zarkon?"

"I swear," Ayu said.

"Even at the cost of your own life?"

"Yes."

"Even at the cost of the lives of others?"

Ayu closed his eyes and bowed his head. "Yes."

"Will you swear to defend this Castle, its people and all it stands for, with all of your strength?"

"Yes."

"Will you swear to defend the defenseless, guard the broken, and protect the innocent?"

"Yes."

"Will you swear to fight for justice and truth for all the Universe until your last breath?"

"I swear," Ayu said hoarsely. "I swear to fight for Justice and Truth, but also for Love and Family and all that is good in this universe." He stood and clasped Alfor's arm.

"I will fight until my last breath and beyond," Alfor said.

Ayu gave him a broken smile and answered. "I will fight until the sun goes out."

"Then I shall turn to the stars—"

"—and they shall guide me home."

Alfor swallowed hard and released him.

Ayu saluted him one last time. "May the constellations guide you on your journey."

Alfor locked eyes with him. "And may the stars guide you home."

Ayu choked back his sobs and stood straight. He summoned his bayard, and clapped Coran on the shoulder before running to Blue's hangar and climbing into the cockpit.

"Let's go, girl," he said. "Alfor needs some time, and we can give him that. Let's take out as many of them as we can on our way out. We have to get past Zarkon's fleet before we can open a wormhole, anyway."

Blue purred. Together, my pilot.

"Together," he murmured. He leaned back and closed his eyes, merging his mind with Blue's until the two became one.

They blasted out of their hangar, soaring and twisting through the seemingly endless army of drones that was swarming the Castle. They roared a challenge, crushing one in their jaws and slinging it into three others. They blasted and clawed and bit and destroyed a countless number of drones before they finally found Ari/Green.

Sister? They called.

I am here, Ari/Green answered. They swooped down next to them, and they faced the enemy side by side, just like so many times before.

Together? Ayu/Blue asked.

Always, Ari/Green answered.

Until the end, then, Ayu/Blue said softly.

And beyond. Ari/Green promised.

And with that, they launched themselves into the battle. Lions blazing with quintessence, pilots melded perfectly with Lions and each other. They were undefeatable.

Until they weren't.

Lightening blazed down out of Zarkon's command ship—a horrible, purple/black lightening that Ari/Green just couldn't dodge in time.

NO! Ayu/Blue roared, because it was all they could do.

Ari/Green spun through the air until they crashed into the ground.

Lightening cracked down again.

Then Ari/Green screamed. And screamed. And screamed.

Until there was only silence.

Not from Green—Green was hurt, very badly, but Green was alive.

Ayu clawed his way free from Blue's mind, howling into the comms. "No! NO! Ari! Arianwen, you answer me right now! Ari! Ari, ple—"his voice snapped. "Ari, please, answer me. Ari, please, sister mine, answer me! Please….." his desperate cries and pleas faded into nothing. His eyes were wide and full of tears, but he couldn't feel anything. Surely not. Surely not. This was all just some sort of horrible training simulator. Any moment now, the door would open and Ari and Zarkon and Alfor and Yseult and Allura would come running in and hold him and promise him that they were alright, they were all alright, it was just a nightmare.

But the star studded sky outside his viewport remained the same.

"Ari…" he whispered.

"..A….A…Ayu…." came the barely audible response. "Ay—Ayu, I'm—I'm here."

"Hold on," he ordered desperately. "Hold on, Ari, I'm coming."

"I love…."her breathing was slowing down. "I love you."

He slammed Blue into a full-speed spiral towards the ground, towards the helpless, broken form of his sister and her Lion. "I love you too, okay? So you can't go leaving me like this, alright? That's not allowed. You—you have to stay with me, okay?"

"I….I'll….I'll try…."her voice faded out.

"Ari! Don't go to sleep! Stay with me!"

"I….love you…..so…..much," she rasped.

There was a horrible coughing noise, and Ayu winced in sympathy as some of the pain slid into the paladin bond. He quickly took as much of it as he could.

She sighed in relief. "Thank you…I'm getting….sleepy…."

"No, Ari!" He shouted. "No, don't go to sleep! I'm almost there. I'm almost there, sweetheart. Just hold on for me a few ticks longer, alright? Just a few more ticks."

"I don't think…..I'm gonna make…..a few….more…..ticks."

"Don't you talk like that! You're going to be fine!"

"I…..love….you….."

"No! Ari, don't—"

"Atreyu….Brother….."

"Ari, please…."

"I….love….you….."

"I love you, too," he whispered, tears strangling his voice. "I love you so much, Arianwen. You are my precious, beautiful little sister. I love you more than I have words for."

"Say it…..again."

"I love you."

"A….gain.."

"I love you."

"One…..more…..?"

Ayu felt his heart break. "I love you more than I love the stars," he whispered. "More than I love the sea. I love you more than I love anything in existence. I love you till the day I die and beyond. In ten thousand years, when all that's left of us will be legends scattered throughout the stars, I'll still love you. Forever and always, sister mine. Arianwen. I love you forever and always."

"Forever…..and….and al….always." she gasped back. "Ayu…..when…you see…the stars, shining….on you…remember me. I'll leave…the love…..I….have…..for you…in the stars. They'll…..hold onto it…for me. And then…you can always…see it….Even in…..ten thousand…..years…..they will…..still hold….my love…..for you….Atreyu, brother mine…."

"Ari," he choked.

"Atreyu," she whispered, voice so faint he could barely hear it.

"Arianwen."

"Atreyu….."

"I love you."

"Atre…..yu…"

"Ari?"

"…"

"Ari?!"

"ARI!"

Blue landed beside Green, and Ayu was leaping out of her mouth long before they'd landed. He sprinted to the broken Lion, her jaw hanging askew. He dove inside, taking no notice when broken edges of metal or glass tore at the skin not covered by his armor. He crawled into the destroyed cockpit, and couldn't muffle the wild scream of grief that ripped from his throat as his blue eyes met glassy, empty green ones that would never smile again.

He crashed to the floor, pulling his sister's body into his lap and sobbing into her hair, broken pleas to "Come back," and "Please, don't leave me," spilling from him in floods.

Green was howling, he realized dimly. Blue and Green were both howling their grief and pain to the sky and Ayu thought his heart was going to be crushed beneath the weight of the absolute agony that carved and gouged its way into every corner of his being. There was no end to the pain. It was all consuming, all encompassing, never ending. He couldn't do this. He couldn't live like this.

Green was too wounded to get up, and too heartsick to care.

Blue could do nothing but weep with her sister, and her paladin.

Ayu felt paralyzed by the agony gripping his body.

Was this what it felt like to die?


Ayu didn't know how long he sat there, ticks or doboshes or vargas. It didn't matter.

But eventually, he dragged himself to his feet, cradling Ari's empty body in his arms. He started walking. He made it out of Green, being oh so careful to make sure nothing touched Ari. Nothing would ever hurt her again. Nothing could hurt her again.

The thought made him falter, and almost fall, but he didn't let go of her.

He didn't let go of her when the Galra drones surrounded them, on the ground and in the air.

He didn't let go of her when he heard a ship landing behind them.

He didn't let go of her when he realized he wasn't going to make it back to Blue.

He didn't let go of her when he heard the familiar sound of a bayard activating.

He didn't let go of her when he turned around to face the traitor.

Zarkon's smile was firmly in place, but Ayu saw the way his eyes couldn't stay on Ari's empty ones.

"Why?" he croaked, unable to say anything else past the grief that was slowly strangling him.

Zarkon's eyes glowed. "Why not?" he purred. He raised his bayard. "This time, I'll make sure you're dead."

Ayu spun around as the wretched weapon whipped past them.

Zarkon would not touch her.

The Altean leapt forwards, arms outstretched, as Blue shook off the drones that had been swarming her and reached for him, opening her mouth. He threw Ari in, mentally apologizing for the rough treatment. He was about to follow her when something hit his back and knocked the breath out of him. He looked down and found the tip of Zarkon's bayard sticking out of his chest. Again.

That's not good.

His legs gave out, and he sagged to the ground, fingers grasping uselessly at the wound.

Zarkon stepped around him, sadistic smile still in place. "You fought hard, Little Blue," he said mockingly. "But it wasn't enough. You weren't enough. You couldn't save Arianwen. You couldn't save Yseult. You couldn't save Alfor. You are useless. You are a failure. Think on that, Blue Paladin, as your life bleeds away before your eyes."

He probably would have said more, but Green snapped. She surged up from the ground, roaring her pain and rage for all to hear. Her golden eyes locked onto the one who was the cause of all this, and she attacked with all she had left.

Zarkon ripped his bayard free of Ayu's chest to defend himself, and as he started to fall, Blue caught him. The bigger Lion leapt into the air, grabbing Green in her claws and retreating as quickly as she could.

Green struggled and roared, begging to go back, begging for vengeance.

Blue refused to let go.

Ayu dragged himself to the pilot's seat, Ari safely in his grasp. He leaned back against the seat, lacking the strength to climb up into it. He pulled his sister's limp body into his arms and tilted his head back as he fought for breath.

A warning went off on Blue's console, and her paladin turned his head to see it. Alfor appeared on the monitor, his eyes growing wide when he saw no Paladin in the seat.

"Atreyu?!" he called sharply. "Ayu!"

"Here…." Ayu gasped out.

Alfor looked down, and horror and grief twisted his face. "Ayu," he said. "Is Ari...She's not..."

Ayu let out a hysterical laugh, blood choking up his throat and staining the pilot's chair.

"She's gone," he croaked. "But I have Green. If Blue helps me, I can heal this—"he gestured to himself, "—and still get both of them hidden."

Alfor stared at him, and Ayu felt something sick in his stomach as he realized that Alfor wasn't in the Castle anymore. He shot a quick look at another screen and barely managed to contain his shout of fear. The Castle was completely surrounded by Galra ships and taking incredibly heavy fire. Then a hangar opened, and the Red Lion blasted out.

"Alfor, what are you doing?!"

"I'm sorry, Atreyu," Alfor said, eyes locking onto the younger Altean's. "I'm so, so sorry."

"No, no, no," Ayu panicked. "No, we can come and get you!"

"No, Ayu," Alfor said firmly. He pressed his hand against one of the controls, and suddenly Blue was flying faster towards a wormhole that had just opened up above the Galra fleet.

"What are you doing?!" Ayu shouted, lurching up in desperation. "No! Alfor, please!"

"I love you, Ayu," Alfor said. "I love you, little brother."

"No! Alfor, please no!"

The King smiled.

"May the stars guide you home, my friend."

"NO!"

The screen went dark, and Blue flew around Altea, weaving through the flaming mech rings that encircled the once peaceful planet, now with fires raging over its surface.

They were almost to the wormhole when there was an explosion behind them. Ayu's head snapped up as Blue turned to look back, Green motionless in her claws. And Ayu felt his heart stop.

Altea was burning.

Altea was gone.

What had once been a place of peace, beauty, and joy was now reduced to nothing more than a flaming debris field.

Allura.

The Castle was nowhere in sight.

Coran.

Probably incinerated like everything else.

Mother.

Like everyone else.

Father.

Everyone he loved.

Javen.

Everything he knew.

Seri.

Gone.

Valen.

Never to return.

Lyren.

His home was gone.

May the stars guide you home.

How could the stars guide him to a place that was burning as brightly as they?

Distantly, through the smog and fire, he could see something being dragged up from the wreckage of his planet.

The Red Lion. Motionless, with dull eyes. The Lion—and his Paladin—disappeared into Zarkon's ship.

Alfor.

Ayu distantly realized he was screaming, but he didn't know what he was saying. Blue and Green were screaming, too.

Then the force of the explosion finally reached them, and Ayu curled around Ari as tightly as he could as they were thrown around the cockpit. Blue was spinning head over tail, but Ayu kept his eyes on the view port, watching his entire life die.

Atreyu Talyn, Blue Paladin of Voltron finally made it through the wormhole with his Lion, his sister's Lion, and his sister's body.

Behind him, Altea burned.


Ahem. Ok, yeah, that was a lot more angsty than I had originally planned.

Ari actually wasn't even supposed to die, but then...Yeah, that happened. Anyway. Also, the list of names that he reels off when he's watching Altea burn? Those were his family members, if that wasn't clear. So yeah. There you go.

Love it, hate it, let me know!