The Weakest Link

Hello, readers! Welcome to my lovely haven, hidden away in the Infinite Layers of the Abyss (no one saw that reference there…). I am glad to share my twisted fanfiction ideas that no one asked for with yet another innocent audience! Before you skip this section and run off to the chapter, I admonish that my author's note will contain the premise of this fanfic and any warnings you should know. Please make sure this story is right for you.

This is a collection of short stories that my foul brain somehow came up with. Most of them will be Pidge focused (because she's my baby, and I tend to write up cruel experiences for my children. I apologize in advance, Pidge, for any content I may place in here). Every once in a while I will publish something about Lance or Keith, because I love them too, and we need some variety in life.

If you are sensitive to gore and brutal acts of violence towards others, do not read this. I promise I will never pass the T rating in this story. There is a line between what to write and what not too, and I will not cross it. However, keep in mind that my perception of this rating may be different from yours. Read the warnings for each chapter to make sure you don't read something you'll regret.

You will not find any of the following in these stories: Sexual assault, swearing, suicide, smut in general, racist, sexist, or homophobic slurs, and any other crap like that. You will also not find any ships that are not platonic.

I can guarantee that somewhere in here will be torture. Not every story will have it (I'm not that bad, folks!), but if this will bother you make sure, once again, that you pay attention to the warnings. My plan for this is that it will involve more angst and tragedy in some parts than violence. I tend to enjoy that much more.

Why am I writing this? Well, to put it simply, I have too many ideas to make them all their own multi chaptered fanfics. Some of these stories will be 2 parters/have sequels, but these won't be as common.

Hope you enjoy! Constructive criticism is appreciated!

Warnings: This chapter involves graphic descriptions of injury, attempted murder, character death, blood (and lots of it), and Altean cussing. You have been warned…

Disclaimer: Voltron: Legendary Defender is not mine.

Summary: The mission was simple enough. Retrieve data from a group of vicious mercenaries with connections to the Galra. But when a certain Paladin is separated from the team and critically wounded, not only her life is at stake. Takes place in season 4, before Naxela.

Pidge was not one to enjoy nature.

It was sticky. It was buggy. It was moist. I made her skin itch ceaselessly. The rain that poured from the sky and the rumbles that echoed from the ebony clouds were not helping in the slightest. Even wearing her armor, the heavy droplets of water slid their way through the gaps and dribbled down her back until she was a wet mess. The insects found these openings, too, and were more than happy to crawl all over her.

It was disgusting.

The Green Lion was the Guardian Spirit of the Forest. It was where she received her strength. The Olkari had taught her to connect with the world around her. But that was on Olkarion.

This was not the same place.

Pidge wiped her helmet, cursing the fact that she could not see in such vile weather and what had she done to have to endure this. Her vision was already blurred from the heavy fog, a property that made navigating the wretched wilderness nearly impossible. She could only barely spot the outlines of Lance and Allura through the mist.

The Paladins had been tracking a lead on a group of mercenary aliens who were connected to Galra communications. The plan was to find them and take them down for information, a factor that would give the Voltron coalition an eye at the Glara's plans. So much could be achieved if they obtained that data. Unfortunately, that had led them here, to this rotten, repulsive excuse for a planet.

This sucked. It really did. The squish-squelch of her feet on the mud was emblazoned in her brain. Was the other side of the planet this bad? If not, then why did she get stuck here? Shiro knew how much she hated the elements when he picked groups. He could have let her fly in her lion during the search, where it was warm, and pleasant, and not wet. But no, she had to suffer through this.

Up ahead, her teammates were not having as much struggle. Both walked through the slob like it was flat earth, paid no mind to the downpour around them. Although she knew neither of them loved it, it still was aggravating to know they could stand it more than she could.

Thump, thump.

Pidge swiveled her head around. She was sure she had heard other… footsteps. The squish of the mire was too recognisable to be imagination. Or, maybe not. No one stood behind her imposingly, no dangerous assailant with a knife held in hand. Could it have been simply an animal leaping through the gale? Biting her lip, she turned back to her friends, to find they weren't there.

She glanced throughout the surrounding trees, blinking rapidly. "Lance?" No response. "Allura?" Instinctively, her bayard clicked on and emitted its familiar virescent glow. It gave her the slightest sense of solace in her ominous surroundings. If cornered, at least she had some weapon for self defense.

"Guys?" This time she called into her communicator, though she already knew her sole response would be silence. Before their mission they had decided to shut off communications. The hirelings possessed a technology capable of connecting to transmissions. It sounded like the wisest idea at first, but none of them had considered the possibility of getting split up.

What was that? Pidge examined the trees to her right with uncertainty. She was sure she had just seen movement, a quick flash of autumn-red on a planet in glaucous hues. Someone was watching her. If the footsteps she had heard earlier weren't hints enough, then this certainly was.

She aimed her arrow-shaped blade toward the point of interest, and took wary steps back. "This isn't funny!" She shouted through the tempest. Her fingers shook violently. Posture did not match her miniacious glare. "If this is a trick, I'll… I'll-"

A figure emerged from the branches.

Caliginous, scarlet slits bore down on her. The emotionless stare she received was unnerving, as were the daggers that hung from his belt and the heavily spiked mace in his clawed fingers.

"Crap."

More aliens stepped into the light, about 50 of them if she guessed correctly, and way too many for her to face on her own. These were the mercenaries the Paladins had been looking for, except she didn't find them.

They found her.

The alien with the mace stepped forward, gesturing for his crew to do the same. "This is the one," the reptilian soldier slithered.

"Kill her."

The condottiere's mace had planted itself in her chest before she had time to react. Her breath was torn out of her. The spikes shockingly ripped through her armor like it was silk, drove into tissue and shredded it. She flew backwards and hit the ground, burying herself in the ooze. Lungs screamed, arms flailed, eyes widened. The agony was so severe she couldn't even scream, only watch small rivulets of crimson leaking from where her breastplate was breached.

Pidge rolled out of the way, barely avoiding a second attacker's katana. Heliotrope lazers blackened any folia they touched. In spite of the unbearable stinging, she forced herself to her feet, and sprinted as fast as she could away from the ambush. Green! She called. Green! I need help!

No response.

The ground beneath her began to crumble, dirt and trees and rocks flying in from the edge of a cliff nearby. The explosion sent her spinning, falling, tumbling toward the earth far below. Desperately, she tried to turn on her jetpack, but all she got was a flicker of cyan light, and the crash of her body on the rubble at the bottom.

/\/\/\

W-What happened?

Dreary eyes fluttered open to a blurry world. Everything spun uncontrollably. Sound was muffled, a cacophony of unexplainable moans and whispers. It was chaos, and yet it was stillness. Disarray, but peace. Mental confusion as much as the faint sharpness of hurting and panic.

It made no sense.

She groggily tried to pull herself up, crying out when agonizing pain shot through her mercilessly. She snapped back into reality. Pidge turned to her leg, where the torment had originated. Her stomach dropped, not only in disgust for the sight but also the realization of the peril she was in.

Her leg… It was smashed beneath a fallen tree.

The mere image made her want to vomit. Her right leg was mutilated in such an unnatural way it took a moment to realize it was her own. White bones stuck out in places where they could not bend with the appendage, tearing through skin every time the injury caused her to spasm. One of the branches had skewered her calf, further holding her in place. And the whole thing was coated in bright-red gore.

I'm going to bleed to death… If I don't escape. Already the wound was causing her awareness to waver. If she blacked out again, death would be inevitable.

I cannot die, she decided. I cannot die.

Her analytical mind began to click into place. Her bayard had fallen over 5 feet from her reach, so she couldn't use it to slash her way out, the most swift and safe option. And she couldn't call for help from the other Paladins.

Could I pull my way out? Pidge instantly ruled that thought out. There was no way without ripping through her muscle. That would be permanent damage that even a cryo-pod would fail to heal.

Green, she voiced again to her Lion. Green… Please…

She already knew from the last time she had tried: Her Lion was too far away. She wasn't sure she had a strong enough bond with the feline yet. That, or there was a hold-up back at the Castle.

Either way, Green could not get her out. Such a big Lion could not free her from a much smaller log without causing fatal damage.

Her mouth opened to yell for help, but she jerked almost instantly after the sound came from her throat. She doubled over in pain, a few globules of blood scattering with her spit.

It was a bad idea, anyway, she realized, remembering the psychopaths out for her head on a stake. It was more likely she lured one of them over then an ally. If she couldn't fight them easily with her normal physique, then she was sure as dead pinned under a tree and barely alert.

Pidge took no time to determine the only two logical solutions: Either she remained here until rescued, but risk discovery by the mercenaries (and potentially bleed to death), or she cut her way out with the only resources available and drag herself to a place she could recover, with the threat of irreparable injury if she made one wrong move.

Being the Green Paladin and the fierce teenager she was, she chose the later.

Pidge scanned the area until she had spotted a particularly edged rock within her grasp. Her nimble fingers clutched it and pulled to her chest, cautious not to move too fast and cause herself discomfort. She rotated so she could touch the wood above her leg, and began to carve.

A half-hour later, she had not made much difference.

The rock had only cut about an inch deep into the tree, and considering the over 2 foot diameter of the trunk… There was no way she would escape in time.

She was doomed.

Pidge panted, lying her head down on the dampened dirt. The branch stuck in her leg was keeping most of the blood inside, but blood nevertheless was being lost.

Was there any way to reach her bayard?

She couldn't pull it over with a stick; none of them were long enough.

Could she summon it?

She didn't put it beyond the realm of possibility. Paladins could do lots of unbelievable things with their equipment and Lions, and often those things revealed themselves in the most dire of situations. And if this wasn't a dire situation, then she didn't know what was.

Her eyes shut, facial features relaxed, tightness was released. The beat of the rain and the roll of thunder were merely distortion in the background. All she focused on was her breathing, shuddering and pained, but slow.

In… Out… In… Out…

She opened her eyes to see a curved handle resting in her palm.

She snatched her bayard up instantaneously and slashed the tree. Pieces of wood scattered everywhere and created quite the mess, but the work was done.

She was free.

But she wasn't safe yet.

She pulled several, especially long, leaves from a bush and used them to bandage her leg. It wasn't the best solution and would have to be replaced, but it would have to do for now.

And now, the challenging part.

Pidge seized the nearest root with both hands and used it to pull herself forward, ignoring the excruciating pain it left in her leg. The muscular strength in her arms certainly did not match Shiro's, but her determination and will for survival were her might. Her fingers buried themselves in the muck. Her nails cracked and bled from the amount of dirt getting stuck inside. She continued to move at her slow pace, leaving a trail of blood along her path. It was agonizing, but she endured.

She was going to survive.

To fight for the universe.

That was her will.

Boom!

Pidge looked up to a precipice that towered above her. Bright orange clouds, signifying an explosion, blotted the sky. She could feel the heat from where she was, hauling her decaying form through the wilderness. The fire, the vibrant, tangerine flames, reflected in her sclera.

At least one of them was up there.

But she couldn't go.

It wasn't just a question of physical capabilities, but also reasoning. If she somehow managed to climb her way up in this state, and then to enter a battlefield incapable of walking (or running, she might add) was sheer stupidity. It was more likely she would die than even spot a friend.

"I had a feeling you were still alive."

She recognized the voice before she saw the face.

The mercenary leader stood in front of her. He retained his familiar stoic stare, but this time his lips were curved upward with the faintest sense of amusement. The mace he had used to pulverize her torso was now at his side. Instead, he wielded a twisted, silver dagger rimmed with red.

Quiznak…

Pidge fired her bayard upward at the alien's face. She knew before she even launched: That her attack in her feeble state would be easily deflected. And like expected, all her foe needed to do was swing his blade upward and her arrow went clattering down into the browned grass.

He grabbed the back of her neck and lifted her into the air, ignorant of the pained squeal released from the negligence for her leg. She closed her eyes; she didn't want to see the dagger pierce her skin, the blood that shot out, the flesh and entrails that stuck out from the place of impact. She didn't want that gruesome sight, or a psychopath's face, to be her final sight before death.

"Don't worry, little Paladin," the soldier growled. One of her eyelids slid open, curious as to why she was not dying yet. To her surprise, her potential killer's weapon was strapped to his side, not in use. She blinked at him, startled by his change of behavior. She knew from experience that if he wasn't going to kill her… Then he had something else planned.

"You are Voltron's weakest link," he uttered, scanning her ominously. It sent shivers down her spine. "Every perceptive warrior knows you are only part of Voltron because the other Paladins hold you dearly. Care for you. To break you means to break the entire chain. You are a disadvantage to your team, little Paladin, and an advantage… To me."

Pidge didn't like where this was headed.

"I'll tell you what, small one," the thug hissed. "I'm going to threaten the rest of the Paladins with your life. Once they've given me the Lions, my members will slaughter them when they least expect it. And then I'll leave you to bleed to death here, alone in the forest, wishing you could have done something. How does that sound?"

Even in the midst of anguish, Pidge mustered a smirk. "Sounds like you're a wretched louse," was her reply.

A hard slap sent her head spinning. "You foul mouthed little fiend!" He spat. "You should be glad I'm leaving you and your friends to die rather than handing you over to the Druids. You wouldn't last a day, tiny one. I'd like to see your companions try and save you, only to fail." He sent a fist to her gut, more blood ejected from her mouth.

Little Paladin. Weakest link. Small one. Tiny one. An inferno was rising inside of her brain. She loathed people downsizing her because of her stature. She wanted to prove to this idiot that she was not weak like he thought, and that she would unleash all hell on him if only she could fight.

Her consciousness was beginning to drift. The blood loss and beating at the hand of this rat had made sure of that. The world spun, she was seeing doubles of everything, and the universe was blurred. She hated being so fragile. She had to show others that she was strong, and fierce, a trait she gained from being the youngest sibling and Paladin. She wanted the mercenary to know that when she beat him to a pulp.

Sadly, that goal seemed achievable.

The sadistic alien began to drag her through the forest like a ragdoll, in spite of Pidge's groans of protest. She wanted to throw up; the world spun so fast it made her sick. She knew her life was wavering, and quickly. Soon she would drift into dreams, unable to protect her friends, her world, even herself.

She felt like a failure.

She didn't stare at anything, completely lost in her mental bedlam. Every beat of her heart screamed at her to resist, but her body could not. Even the Green Lion's fury could not restore her dauntless character. She begged for strength. She wanted to rip her enemy's teeth out one by one.

Her hands wouldn't budge.

One of her legs was mangled to the point of no return.

Her lungs were burning from her ripped chest.

She was incapable of fighting.

"Quiznak," she breathed. It was the single thing she could do at the moment.

She wanted to yell. She wanted to run. She wanted to destroy. Most of all she wanted this insect to freaking die. That was her fate in the next hour, next 24 hours if she was lucky. All that would remain would be her dead corpse, drenched in the constant rain, the mud around her red from the blood that had shed from her wounds. That would be the last of the Green Paladin: a torn heap of flesh littered atop the forest floor. What a tragedy, indeed.

Already death was calling to her, an obscure whisper in her subconsciousness.

She welcomed it. Death was merely the passing into the sleep every being endured, a portal into the potential afterlife. Whether she existed afterward or not did not matter; either way it meant rest. She would be reunited with her friends, also to die, the people who deserved death the least. That was the source of her ire.

"Pidge!"

So lost in thought, she jerked unexpectedly at the familiar voice. Lance, she agreed upon, feeling no relief. The Paladin's were playing right into the mercenary's hands, a path that would eventually lead to their demise.

No! They cannot die! This is wrong! Yet, what power do I have to stop it? A cold blade pressed to her throat. She knew exactly what that implied.

"Give me the Lions," the heinous hireling threatened, "and maybe I won't terminate this pathetic child's life." Pidge heard a faint utterance of horror from who she guessed was Allura, a complaint of outrage from the Red Paladin.

"Get your hands off her!" Two bayards clicked on.

"Touch me, and she dies," the Tartarean mercenary pushed his dagger farther into the Green Paladin's exposed skin, drawing the barest amount of blood. "Give me the Lions, and she might not." Gosh, he's so close to killing me, she recoiled at the thought. All he's gotta do is slice a little harder and that'll be my end. And my friends won't be able to do anything. It's clear, my survival is up to me.

Impulse struck her, fueled by both her own animosity and the Green Lion's primal drive. Before she even knew what she was doing, energy fueled her veins and her fingers latched onto one of her captor's daggers. Pidge screamed and swung it back, colliding with his stomach, blood shooting everywhere, covering her hair, his wound, the earth.

"H-how?" The mercenary stared at her with wide, disbelieving eyes, before he collapsed to the ground, completely lifeless.

No longer having anything to hold her upright, Pidge tumbled down after him, dropping onto her maimed leg. She cried out in pain, and in a very undignified fashion, she noted. Her hands grasped her disfigured calf, eyes watered with tears.

"Pidge!"

Hands were all over her. Panicked comments echoed through her head, though the affliction. She was losing responsiveness, and she knew it.

"Oh my goodness, what happened to her? Pidge, can you hear me? Answer me!"

"Shiro! Hunk! Come here immediately! Pidge is hurt!"

"On our way!"

"Quiznak," Pidge cursed. "Quiznak, quiznak, quiznak...:"

"It's going to be okay, Pidge," someone spoke, though she paid no mind. "We've just gotta-"

She lost all sense.

/\/\/\

"Will she be okay?" Lance paced around the infirmary, keeping his eyes locked on the cryo-pod where Pidge resided. She looked peaceful, her chest rising and falling evenly with each breath. That was ignorant of her marred leg.

Her reparation was taking quite a long time. They kept having to take her out to make sure her bones were healing in the right place. It was a lengthy process, but it was worth it. If she mended wrong, she could lose an entire appendage, or worse, bleed to death from the punctures the bones would make. That was why caution was a necessity. The Paladins could not lose her.

"I hope so," Coran answered. "Either way, it'll leave quite a scar." Lance's grimace did not go unnoticed by the Altean, who placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. Pidge was resilient. They knew she would be able to move beyond the laceration and keep life going as normal. But her initial shock of learning she was left with a permanent scar would be hard to watch.

"Talk about a nature hike gone wrong," Hunk uttered, his face grave. True, the Paladins had completed the mission successfully and had retrieved information that would help the coalition for a good long while, but if the cost was Pidge's youth…

"She saved us, too," Shiro added, much to the surprise of the others in the room. "I studied the vicinity before we left. There were explosives planted all over the place, and it was the lead mercenary who held the remote in his hands. Had Pidge not killed him, we would all be dead and the Lions would belong to the Galra." He looked at the small girl behind the blue barrier. "I have a feeling she'll be fine."

"Yes," Allura stepped in. "Our enemies are wrong. The Green Paladin has always been one of Voltron's strongest links. What she lacks in strength she makes up for with an intelligence and vigor no other paladin has. Her vitality is her competence."

Woo-hoo! The first of many depraved short-stories has been completed! For those who are wondering: Pidge's fate is up to you. I prefer to believe my vicious gremlin is fine (especially considering what else I have in store for her), but if you already want to eliminate her soul then that is okay! I wanted to start less… Intense.

Any ideas? Requests? Send a message in the reviews (or PM me if on ) to tell me what you want! Please note that I never write above the rating of T, and any requests I find make me uncomfortable or are inappropriate/offensive I will not use. I do love dark things, though, so feel free to bombard me with all of that!

Have a lovely day!