A Street Dog vs. The Paladin Within

Summary: Trapped in an underground prison surrounded by hostile aliens that force him to partake in hard labor, Lance must rely on the fire inside of him to survive. This was a requested work.

BTHB Prompt: Made a Slave

Timeline: Late season 1 - early season 2.

Disclaimer: I do not own Voltron: Legendary Defender. Because obviously the beautiful show we know and love is owned by the teenaged, amateur writer.

When Lance woke up in the morning, he was certainly not in his bedroom.

The fetid stench must have been the determinant that aroused him from his peaceful slumber. Before bed he would always spray his chamber in deodorizer and freshen it with pleasant Altean herbs smelling of roses. Such actions ensured the most peaceful slumber on his part, that and the everyday facemask he put on and the classical music he played during sleep. Pidge would scoff at him for such ridiculous practices, but in reality she was a terrible judge, considering how many nights she would struggle to achieve shut-eye, in contrast to his pleasurable hours of rest.

However, this morning in particular he awoke to a horrible malodor wafting up his nostrils. The room was so reeking in opposition to the regular fragrance he slept in that he jolted awake, his hand clasping over his nose with a hiss of repugnance. There were few things as distasteful as waking up to a miasmic bedroom. His free arm grabbed for his nightstand, where he always kept his freshener nearby.

Oddly, his fingers only grasped onto cold, hard flooring. Lance blinked his eyes open, turning to his night table, quite puzzled indeed. Where the table normally would have been was empty rick ground in shades of boring glaucous and covered in odd, bioluminescent moss. Even more bizarre, no longer was he lying on his soft, fluffy cushions, but he was sitting on hard earth. Maybe that was why his back felt so achy.

Lance scratched the back of his head. Am I dreaming? He wondered, blinking his tired eyes. Because this clearly isn't the Castle of Lions. In fact, he glanced up at the stalactites dripping water into the crooks of the rocky terrain, this looks much more like some kind of underground dungeon.

He climbed to his feet, stretching his long arms and dangly legs. His eyes instinctively turned toward the door, made of dark metal and bolted shut with heavy looking hinges. The sound of monotonous, marching boots seemed to carry through the barrier enough so that he could recognize it as such, although the noise was muffled. He was unsure he could understand what another was saying from where he stood, locked in the mysterious cell.

Lance shivered. Whoever had put him here clearly wanted him to stay in, and for likely ill-natured reasons. He was not a genius, but he was sensible enough to know that he would rather not be present when those reasons came to light.

Think, Lance! He knocked on his noggin as if it were a door. What would Pidge do? Of all the Paladins, she was the most capable of finding faults in the enemy's plan and working them to her advantage. While Lance certainly lacked her intellect (in fact, he could be pretty stupid) she was the best role to follow of all the Paladins.

He tapped his chin. Well, being Pidge, the first thing she would do is check the room for any panels she could open and hack into. He searched the cavern-like chamber with uncertainty. The cell seemed to rely more on compact stone walling than any technology to keep prisoners inside. The blocked ingress seemed to be nearly impenetrable. Perhaps with Keith's sword or Pidge's katar he could slash through the metal, though his Bayard was for taking targets out from afar, not ripping holes into enemies, and walls. Not that it mattered; he was sporting his casual wear rather than his Paladin armor.

Now that he thought about it, it was really unnerving that his captor had gone and stolen him from his own bed in the dead of night. That train of thought brought up more questions. All of the Paladins had been in the Castle of Lions during his abduction, easy prey for someone who had managed to break in in spite of the ship's advanced and intricate defense mechanisms. Now that thought spooked him: That someone with the capability to sneak under the noses of the Paladins of Voltron had specifically taken him for their sadistic intrigue.

Lance was just starting to agonize over being stuck in an olid room, waiting for a likely heinous outcome when the clinks of the door unlocking echoed through the prison.

The Blue Paladin stood at the ready, bowling his fists and scrunching his face in a fruitless attempt to look menacing. Pidge, Hunk, or Keith would have mocked him, but it sure as heck was better than looking like he could be pushed around.

The door swung open and in entered several fairly diverse aliens, each bearing oddly different features that filled him with a strange sort of dubiety… and apprehension. The only of the group that bore any sort of resemblance were two pistachio green humanoids with seafoam dotted scales and reptilian snouts. Lance would refer to them as the lizardlings. The backs of their necks were covered in frill-like spikes that jutted out in all directions. Both wore long, dark red cloaks that draped down their backs elegantly. The cloaks were covered in fine, golden designs, much like diamonds in appearance. They wielded honed sasumatas, with chakrams hooked onto their belts. These were likely the guards.

The third figure was small, tinier than Pidge even, but much more pudgy in comparison to her thin frame. He was analogous to a gargoyle in a way, with skin in shades of gray, sunken eyes, and stout little horns cracked at the ends. This one wore the least amount of clothing among the aliens, so little that he was practically nude lack a little fur wound around his waist. He looked particularly irked, like a grumpy businessman drunk on coffee.

But the fourth figure was the one that stood out the most. Somehow he was both the most hideous of the group and yet wore the most lavish clothing. The beast was a disgusting, bloated mess of skin, much like an enormous slug with tiny eyes. He was dressed in blindingly shiny robes speckled with expensive gemstones of differing colors. An opulent crown was set on his thick head, reminiscent of a tiara from a princess movie back on Earth. Lance would have laughed had it not been for his situation.

The gargoyle coughed to get his attention. "Ahem," he spoke, giving Lance a significant glance. "You are in the presence of the legendary Udoziros Vankashkmun, head of the Barzugian Court, great warlord of Svertas, Emperor of the Eleven Astral Opals, and your new owner. Bow."


Lance went blank, awash in a lack of comprehension… until he was bashed with a spiked sasumata.

He jerked backward, his hand grasping where the spiked pole had dug into his skin. He was fortunate to have not been hit by the half-moon blade; a good strike to his skull could have been fatal. He clutched his chest, where his shirt was ripped and stained with blood.

"Hey!" He protested, somehow managing to stand upright after the hard blow. "What was that f-" Another hit, this time knocking him to the ground entirely. The spikes weren't quite long enough to pierce any vital organs, but they sure as heck ripped his skin like a meat grinder. The guards seemed to be intentionally avoiding striking him with the edge, and through that not leaving him with a mortal wound. It was obvious now; his captors wanted him alive and working.

"Bow!" One of the soldiers cried in a highly squeaky voice. Lance dragged himself to his feet and glowered at the speaker. I'm not going to bow! He thought indignantly, bowling his fists into a tight ball. I'm a Paladin of Voltron, not someone's property! They can rot in a ditch for all I care! I'm not going to-

The sasumata slammed against his kneecaps and knocked him to the floor. This time the blade nicked his skin; an intentional action. He flew back and slammed against the cold stone, and before he could react the lizardlings were on him. A metal collar, much like that you would put on a dog back on Earth, clasped around his neck, tightly pinching his skin. Lance screamed, kicked, and fought, but the sinewy arms of the guards kept him locked on the ground.

Udoziros slid before the prisoner, covering the floor in a slick coat of slime wherever he passed. His miniscule eyes glared down at Lance disapprovingly, his thick tongue running over his swollen lips. "I thought Azeras said this one would willingly give in." He stretched his pudgy fingers. "I am disappointed. This one is nothing but the average street dog. It should be treated as such."

Lance shivered. It? He blinked. He's referring to me like he would an object… like a toy he can just throw around. That's… that's cruel.

"Have it wash the floors," Udoziros ordered, turning away. "If it resists, strike it. I lack the patience for animals that disobey." The lizardlings nodded, lifting dull-eyed Lance to his feet. He was trembling, his knees shaking so unsteadily that had his arms not been grasped by the guards, he would have fallen over.

They're making me a slave! He felt nauseous, his stomach churning with an overwhelming sense of despair. And they're acting like I'm less than them, a nobody that they have the right to own. On the front lines of the war against the Galra, I knew that the enslavement of planets was bad, but never that it was this-this despicable. Like I was fighting for something, but I never really completely understood how much was at stake.

I guess I'm about to find out.

One of the guards, the leaner, taller one that was much like Keith in form, handed him a mop and a bucket of water. "You are to clean the slime from the floor," he hissed, his tongue flickering out of his mouth. "Get used to it, slaves like you are meant for this sort of hard labor."

Clearly not, considering I became a Paladin of Voltron. Lance opened his mouth to retort, but clamped it shut immediately afterward. He was already in a lot of trouble, and mouthing his distaste was sure to get him hurt. His friends were likely on their way right now; he could pretend to be all sweet and innocent, until Voltron came, and then he'd throw a few punches and be like ka-pow!

With that thought on his mind, he took the mop and began to clean.


His friends had not arrived yet.

It had been at least 12 vargas, and nothing had happened other than the lowly tasks given to him by his slavers. The lizardlings were relentless, intent on making sure he stopped working not a single moment. Even when he doubled over, dripping in sweat and gasping for a breath that he had lacked moments prior, they would poke him in the ribs, careless as to whether they left their prisoner even weaker than before. It hurt.

The tasks given to him were so repugnant and menial that they made him want to barf. At first, he had been sure that ridding the floors of Udoziros's slime would be the most disturbing challenge, especially since he assumed he would be broken out in the next few vargas. While the smell was worse than that of his cell and the ooze clung in the smallest of fissures, he was certain that he could survive until he heard the Blue Lion's pleasant roar.

Of course, he had been wrong.

Once he had finished the enervating chore, he was brought to the kitchens and handed a seeping green sponge. The lizardlings directed him toward the sink, where a pile of dishes smeared in what looked like alien spit resided. This was certainly a job that gave him quite a bit of trouble, along with a few smacks from the guards standing nearby. By the time he was done he was bedaubed in saliva and bleeding lightly.

His last burden of the day was digging a tunnel with several other servants. His sponge had been taken away and replaced with an overly heavy mattock. Already sweating from his other duties, Lance was left struggling to remain upright as he chipped away at the ground ahead of him. A few of his companions turned to him uncertainly every once in a while, but never spoke, and averted their gaze every time the eyes of their captors were on them.

Half way through his third task he collapsed completely onto the pebbly floor, panting heavily. The guards had taken no time to approach with their sasumatas bared. When he struggled to get back up they hit him repeatedly, every strike earning a gasp or whine for their pleasure. They were sadistic, the lot of them, never missing out on a chance to hurt their captives.

I won't let them break me, Lance decided once he had finally been taken back to his cell. I let them push me around once, but I won't let them again. I'm a Paladin of Voltron, and I don't give in to wrong-doers. Even if it means I will be punished and beaten, I won't give in. I can play the game, too. I promise.

And Lance kept that promise. The next morning when the guards came to retrieve him, he fought. A slash to his side was returned with a punch to the assailant's face. When he was kicked in the ribs he threw his foe into the wall. They didn't expect it from him, and that was what made it all the more refreshing.

He was going to show them who exactly they were messing with.

His foes were persistent, and powerful. Sure, he managed to wound a few of them, even incapacitate a particularly small one, but every time he knocked one down two more took their place. The soldiers were much like Hydra, in that regard. There surely had to be at least a thousand in the dark, underground settlement, infesting the caverns like a legion of vicious fire ants.

The lizardlings finally managed to guide him to his next chore, or rather drag him, due to how much they had beat him up. They had chosen an especially nasty one for today, likely in response to his misbehavior. The job was to clean the bathrooms, and much like every other assignment given to him, was covered in Udoziros's unpleasant discharge. It was disgusting, and that was why it was chosen.

His captors' eyes glistened as he picked up the scrub brush reluctantly. Already it dripped with slime, and likely would need a good washing before it could be utilized for cleaning. Not only that, but he knew all too well that the excretion easily stuck to skin and was highly difficult to get off. He did not want to go through that again.

"This is the one that was causing all of the trouble this morning?"

He turned to see Udoziros standing behind the guards in the doorway. He looked awfully bored, his fat fingers tapping against his stuffed skin in rhythm. Lance despised how the giant slug looked down on him as if he were a mere insect, when he had more soul than his conceited slaver ever would. He doubted his friends would arrive any time soon, a factor that was unfortunate on his part, but he couldn't mourn over it. He was the pilot of the Blue Lion, and he was adaptable to his surroundings, like water. He was neither an it nor a bondservant, and he wasn't going to let an abominable creature think he was more than him.

That was far from the truth.

Udoziros slithered forward, his small eyes nearly entirely hidden underneath his blobby eyebrows. "Street dogs are meant to be domesticated." The slime alien grabbed his neck and yanked him forward. "They are meant to be bought and sold for the pleasure of their masters. Those that bite are shot and killed." The slug pulled him into the air, giving him a slight shake that hurt his throat. "That is what you are," he spat. "A street dog."

"N-no," Lance gasped, his fingers latched into his straggler's floppy arm. "I'm a Paladin of Voltron." He glared at the revolting blob. "And when my friends break in and find me, you'll wish you hadn't captured me, or all your innocent servants." He swung a kick at the giant mass of fat, but it was more blubbery than he realized, and his attack caused little damage.

Udoziros smiled at him haughtily. "I do not care for who you were before you arrived in my underground castle," he hissed. "When it comes down to it, you are nothing in comparison to my wealth, power, and leadership, and you will never be anything more. Your friends will never find you." His grin became larger. "My domain is hidden by technology the Galra Empire would fawn over. No one except my soldiers and I knows the way in or out. You are hopeless." He tightened his grip around the prisoner's neck, earning a gasp and watering eyes.

"R-remember when I asked for your opinion?" Lance managed to choke out, his lips curved upward in the slightest if grins. Udoziros blinked, looking slightly confused. "I don't, either."

The slug raised an eyebrow, quite befuddled indeed, and unable to tie the pieces together. Lance could see Pidge laughing her head off in the corner of his vision, tears flecked in her eyelids as she struggled to hold her tongue. He could also see Keith, stumped in a similar way as Udoziros, and Hunk smiling alongside Pidge. The image made him smile even wider, until he was laughing right in the face of his oppressor.

It took a few moments for Udoziros's face to finally grow red with rage. His fingers dug into Lance's neck so hard that the areas touched were left with painful bruises. With one hard swing the enslaver flung the Paladin into the wall with such force that the prisoner heard the snap of one of his bones breaking, likely a rib. He clutched his chest, coughing weakly, his eyes trailing up toward the glaring beast above him with a sense of nervousness.

"It is time the dog learned who its master is," Udoziros growled. "Xenargh! Phaat! Brand the slave! Make sure it feels the painful burn on its skin."

Lance's eyes shot open. No- The two guards were already marching forward, one wielding a baton and a bucket of flaming coals in his hands. No, no, no, please! The other guard grabbed his arm and pulled up his sleeve. He screamed in fury and desperation, fighting for a release unlikely to reach him. Already the rod emerged from the bucket, the brand red and dripping with what he assumed was liquid metal. The fire reflected in the eyes of the guards and their pointed teeth as they laughed at his obvious terror. He was not getting out if this undamaged.

"Maybe after this you will no longer retaliate against your master," Udoziros derided, his uncleaned teeth showing for the first time above his large lips.

My friends aren't going to get here in time! Lance began to drown in his hopelessness, his eyes widening as he watched the brand approach his exposed skin with a mocking lengthiness. Even if they do find me, they won't be able to save me from this. Tears began to well in the corners of his eyes. Blue, I'm sorry I let you down.


Lance looked up, immediately afterward hearing an explosion and screams sounding in the distance. Udoziros turned around, only to get smacked in the face with a green katar crackling with energy. The slime alien recoiled, clutching his bleeding face with a growl of rage, before he was knocked out by a small, green spitfire of rage. He two guards next to him leaped to their feet, their weapons pointed toward the petite girl. The one with the brand was abruptly taken out by a red sword, while the second was dispatched by the Yellow Bayard.

They came! Lance's face lit up like the sun. They actually found me! The relief that washed over him was like nothing he had ever felt before. Like he had been released from the greatest of weights on his back and open to pure freedom.

"Lance!" All three of his saviors yelled at once. Pidge was the first to rush over, with Keith and Hunk close behind. She grabbed his shoulders and pulled him forward in one of her famous bone-crushing hugs. "Are you okay? I'm going to kill whoever hurt you, I swear!" Her eyebrows narrowed as she examined the bruises on his neck carefully. "What exactly did they do to you?" She questioned.

Her eyes trailed down to the brand lying on the floor, and she froze instantly with just the slightest of quivers. Keith tensed up as well, and Hunk struggled not to vomit. "Oh gosh," the Yellow Paladin gagged. "Did they- Did they- Don't tell me they-"

"They didn't," Lance interrupted, and Hunk sighed. "I've got a few broken bones and a lot of bruises, but other than that I'm mostly undamaged." (Externally, he was fine. Internally… Well, he would have to think about that.). "I just need to get back to the Castle and I'll be fine." His chest was hurting, likely due to his broken rib, and made speaking a bit of a struggle.

Keith helped him to his feet, taking care not to hurt the injured Paladin. Pidge offered support from below, her tiny fingers winding around his hand comfortingly. Hunk stood guarding the door, talking into his earpiece.

"Allura, we're going to need an extraction," he said. "Lance is injured. We're going to need to put him in a cryo-pod ASAP!"

"Thank you, Hunk, we're on our way."

The larger Paladin looked back at the former prisoner with a kind smile. "Come on, guys," he whispered. "Let's go home."


Considering this is my first time writing solely Lance Whump (The Strongest Chains in Carceri was both Lance and Pidge) this isn't half bad! Request sent by ashkazora on Tumblr! Send me a BTHB prompt here! .com

Here is the rules page for my requests. Make sure to read it before sending one in! NOTE: It does not show the requests already taken! You must look at the top of my blog for that! Rules post/617417967759720448/here-is-your-card-for-bad-things-happen-bingo