Disclaimer: I do not own Voltron: Legendary Defender or the Percy Jackson series. All rights go to Rick Riordian and the creators of Voltron. This applies to the whole fanfiction as I am likely to forget it each chapter.
A/N: This fic takes place a good few months after the end of the Giant War and starts Episode 9 of Season 1 of Voltron, Crystal Venom. Enjoy!
Chapter 1: A Very Rough Landing
Nico sighed contently as he threw his happy meal box into the nearby rubbish bin, watching the people walking by and looking as though they were all in their own little worlds; suited men and women rushed by with their early morning coffee, on their way to the office for a hard day's work, some talking rapidly into their mobiles or studying documents for the afternoons meetings. Students chatted with their friends as they sluggishly made their way to school, dark bags under their eyes from the late nights scrolling the internet, the upcoming science test seemingly forgotten. Street venders setting up shop for the day whistled merry tunes to their radios which played the latest hits, displaying their various colourful wares in orderly lines or preparing the delicious smelling food they would be selling come lunch time. A few runners in brightly coloured leggings jogged by, keeping pace with the music that played in their ears and checking their heartrate or mileage on their fitness watches every now and again. Bright red buses packed with people zoomed by, only to be stopped by the traffic lights along with the rest of the mornings commuters, those on foot crossing the street in one large pack like migrating wildebeest, more people flooding onto the streets as they hurried up the steps of the nearby underground station.
Just another normal, weekday morning in London, Nico thought with an air of novelty, his brows raising slightly.
He had shadow travelled to Oxford Street, London, in the early hours of dawn, seeking to sate his hunger with a Happy Meal (he found the ones in London to be particularly good) and now found himself in the midst of the morning rush hour. He didn't mind it quite so much now because no one paid any attention to him, and he found it was actually quite enjoyable to watch the world and people go by him in one busy blur as he stood still on the street corner, the only unmoving thing in that very moment in time; even the pigeons were scuttling about peoples feet, searching for any stray crumbs that may have dropped in the rush.
He took a few more moments to soak in his anonymity in this crowd before sighing and slipping around the street corner into a dark alleyway, preparing to shadow travel back to camp; he wasn't supposed to be using his powers so flippantly yet, according to his 'doctor', but surely a quick jump across the pond would be fine? And for such an important cause too!
Though, Nico thought with a slight grimace, I better hurry back before someone notices I'm gone.
It may have still been the early hours of twilight back in New York, but Will Solace could be rather unpredictable and Nico could never be sure as to when the son of Apollo would check up on him (he was oddly-and annoyingly-good at avoiding the harpies).
Gathering the shadows around him Nico pictured the dark obsidian walls of his cabin in his mind, his warm, comfortable bed waiting for his return now that he had a full stomach, and he willed the shadows to take him there. As the darkness engulfed him and took him towards his destination, Nico felt the creeping's of fatigue sink into his bones.
I suppose a quick jump across the pond really was too much, I shouldn't be this tired already… Guess Will was right. He thought, eyelids feeling heavy.
But his eyes shot open again when he felt something strong and enormously powerful tug at his gut, changing the direction in which his shadows were taking him. Panic and confusion swept over Nico's mind as he struggled to right his course, playing some kind of mental tug of war with this thing that relentlessly pulled him away from Camp Half-Blood. It felt as though a string or thread had been tied around his waist and was now pulled taut, the person or being on the other end reeling him in through the endless void of shadows; but to where Nico did not know, and he could not seem to break the invisible thread no matter how hard he tried.
His mind and body were growing more and more exhausted the longer he fought for control over the shadows, the longer he pulled back at the thread, and it almost felt as though he were stuck in some sort of loop, like when he had been at the Lotus Hotel. The same shadows passed by him over and over again.
The being at the other end, however, did not tire.
Suddenly, Nico was thrown from the shadows grasp. He found himself hovering just above the ground, but gravity soon caught up with him and he fell down with a heavy thud! The ground was cold and smooth, as though he had fallen onto a huge sheet of metal, and large metallic crates surrounded him; he'd been spat out from one of their shadows, it seemed. Nico groaned as his bones ached from the impact, but as he tried to get up he found he could not move a single muscle; the journey had taken every ounce of strength from him, unconsciousness threatening to take hold at any moment.
Nico struggled to keep his eyelids from drooping as he peered through a small gap between the crates, his vision hazy. There was a large, open doorway not too far off from the crates he had landed behind, but the blue lights in the corridor beyond were blinking on and off, flickering as though they couldn't make up their mind as to whether they would stay on or not.
It was only when Nico heard the faint panicked screams of someone from further down the corridor that he realised his ears had been ringing slightly, and he watched as two figures raced past the doorway; they appeared to be in a fight, the one in front defending himself from the others heavy blows as he ran, clearly outmatched by his pursuer.
That was all Nico managed to see before his eyes closed, the exhaustion overwhelming him and sending him into a deep slumber…
"Nico…"A voice called. It sounded a million miles away."Nico… you must wake up…"
Reluctantly, Nico opened his eyes and found himself standing in a dark, hazy room, the ceiling so high and the room so wide that much of it was shrouded in shadow; it appeared to be infinite. A pale figure robed in black stood before an obsidian throne on a raised dais, looking down at Nico with a stoic expression on his face; even though he was quite a distance away and Nico's vision wasn't very clear, his mind a jumbled mess, the demigod could immediately tell that the figure was his father, Hades.
Nico found himself unable to speak; not because he didn't want to or couldn't find the words, but because his body simply wouldn't allow him too. His mouth felt like it had been stuck together with super glue, and it felt like a frog really was caught in his throat. He felt… strange. His body felt more exhausted than it ever had before in a dream; the dream itself was hazy, and in the back of his mind Nico thought that this was very strange indeed and that he should probably be slightly alarmed by this.
"Focus, Nico." Hades ordered as Nico blinked slowly, struggling to do just that, "Your… aid is needed. You must wake up. If you do not do so now, you may never wake again."
It was even stranger still, but Nico could have sworn he'd seen a glint of anger in his father's cold black eyes; then again, he wasn't seeing things all that clearly right now.
"The Fates have landed you in this grief, but you must wake up. When you do, this exhaustion will fade. Do not let it consume you here, for I do not wish for judgement to be dealt upon your soul just yet."
The fog in Nico's mind cleared slightly as his memory returned to him; he had been transported to a location not of his choosing, quickly passing out upon arrival and it was unknown to him as to whether it was safe or not. He could be getting surrounded by hungry monsters at this very moment, his body asleep and vulnerable whilst he floated here in a dream, close to death. His eyes focused upon his father and his ghostly features, the haze clearing.
"Wake up, Nico." Hades began to fade from view as the dream slowly disappeared piece by piece, "And… good luck, my son…" His voice was now but a whisper on the breeze, and despite hearing the reluctance evident in his tone Nico's eyes went wide at the simple statement.
He didn't have much time to think on it however as he was suddenly pulled from the dream, his eyes snapping open as he took a deep intake of breath, finding himself on a cold metal floor once again.
He spun onto his back as fast as his body would let him (the exhaustion had indeed lessened, but Nico still felt a little shaky and weak) preparing to draw his sword at his side when he saw that he was alone. No monsters. No Gods. Nothing.
Taking a few steadying breaths Nico allowed himself to relax somewhat, propping himself up against one of crates; it seemed he had not been discovered yet and there was no immediate danger that he could see. He took stock of his belongings, making sure they were all present; his stygian iron sword was at his side, his skull ring still on his finger, the few drachmas he had still sat in his trouser pocket and the small cubes of ambrosia were still in the inside pocket of his jacket.
He took out one of those cubes now and popped it into his mouth, savouring its sweet taste as he felt rejuvenating energy flow into his bones; the jump through the shadows had almost sucked out every ounce of life energy in him, even with the 'help' the Fates had given him to bring him here. Wherever here was.
I must have travelled a long way to get into that kind of condition… Nico thought. And how long have I been asleep for? Days? Weeks? Months? With that level of exhaustion it could have been years…
But his father had appeared in his dreams to wake him, and no matter how cold Hades could be, Nico didn't think the God would wait years before telling him to wake up before he died… Hopefully. But there was a much more important question at hand, like why had the Fates thrown him here against his will and with no warning whatsoever? Surely he deserved some kind of explanation before being pulled to his death in a place that was quite possibly and probably hostile.
Right… Nico thought, standing slowly now that his energy had been restored, Time to find a way out of this place.
Shadow travelling to safety was out of the question. For one, he had no idea where he was, how big this place was, or where the nearest, safest destination may be; he could try shadow travelling to New York only to find that he's on the other side of the world entirely. And that was the other problem. Nico couldn't risk another big jump after the one that had brought him here, as even with the ambrosia he was still in his previous weakened state, as far as his powers were concerned. He could almost hear Will in his ear, yammering on about overexertion and the dangers of using his powers too much too quickly.
Well… it's not as if I had any say in the matter this time… Nico thought with a grumble, carefully and quietly moving from behind the crates and towards the doorway which was now closed.
It was here Nico encountered his first problem; how to open a door.
There was no handle, not even a gap down the centre of the metal to suggest there were two doors instead of one, which was likely for a doorway this large. It was an odd shape and it didn't even look possible for the door to swing either in or out. However, as Nico stood before the door and was about to try pushing it open, it slid up into the doorway with a small hiss of air.
Apparently, the doors were automatic.
Nico cautiously made his way into the corridor, a hand resting on the pommel of his sword, his eyes darting this way and that. The lights were no longer flickering, and the corridor was silent. There was no sign of anyone.
As Nico continued to walk through the endless, blue lit corridors he started to realise just how large this place was; it was almost like the labyrinth with all its intersecting corridors and rooms, though admittedly much more futuristic, and Nico was completely lost. He was starting to get bored and began tapping his leg as he walked, dropping his hand from his sword; he almost wanted a monster to suddenly appear around one of those corners and attack him, just to give him something to do other than plod down these quiet, never ending corridors.
As though the Fates had been listening (they probably were), someone appeared around the corner at that very moment. It was a small girl with short brown hair and round glasses, wearing a green jumper with loose, grey shorts. They appeared to be studying some kind of tablet with huge blocks of blue text on it, glasses glinting in the light as they made their way down the corridor towards Nico.
It was the first person he had seen here, and his hand drifted back to his sword as he continued to walk slowly down the corridor, watching the girl to see what she would do and trying to figure out whether or not she was a monster in disguise.
But he needn't have worried as all the girl did was say "Hey Keith." with a small wave of her hand as she walked by, completely ignoring Nico and focusing only on her tablet.
Nico stopped walking at this and watched as the girl turned a corner, disappearing from his view. His brows were furrowed in confusion but he was glad the girl hadn't tried to attack him or ask him who he was… though apparently they'd mistaken him for someone else, so he wasn't out of the woods yet.
I should find an exit, Nico thought as he continued down the corridor, I may not be so lucky next time… especially if I run into this 'Keith' guy myself.
Just as he was finishing that thought however, he heard another voice call out to him as he passed an open doorway:
"Hey, Keith! Want to try some of my freshly baked goo? I think I've really mastered the taste this time, you can hardly tell its goo at all!"
Nico turned in slight alarm to see a boy in his late teens looking at him from inside the room and offering a plate of weird looking green gloop to him. The boy was much bigger than Nico and wore an orange headband which held back his black hair, a messy apron covering his clothes; he appeared to be standing in the middle of a kitchen, and it looked as though he had been cooking.
"Er… no thanks." Nico said, quickly shaking his head before walking off, hoping the boy wouldn't follow him.
He didn't, but Nico did hear a disappointed and slightly irritated grumble from the kitchen. Nico was just thankful the boy hadn't realised he wasn't 'Keith'; that was twice so far, and Nico was definitely pushing his luck now.
Nico proved to be jinxing himself today as yet again someone turned the corner and started making their way towards him. This time it was another boy in his late teens, though this one was tall and slightly lanky with short brown hair, wearing an army green jacket and hoodie.
"Heya Keith." He said with a mischievous grin, hands in his pockets, "You're looking younger today… Shorter too…" His eyes narrowed slightly in confusion and he started to slow down as he got closer to Nico, "And what happened to your mullet?"
"I had a change of mind." Nico said, trying to sound nonchalant as he ducked his head and started walking rather quickly down the corridor, passing the boy before he could question Nico further.
"I mean, congrats on catching up to this century!" The boy called after him in a teasing manner, but Nico just ignored him as he turned the corner and kept walking, trying to get away from the perceptive boy.
Lance scratched his head in confusion as Keith hurriedly turned the corner. He was definitely shorter… But Lance simply shrugged and carried on in the direction he had originally been heading; that is, till he saw a certain mullet-head walking across an intersection ahead of him.
Stopping dead in his tracks Lance spun to look behind him, then ahead of him again, then back again, eyes wide and mouth agape. How was it possible for Keith to walk off in one direction and then appear in the complete opposite one the very next tick?! After a few more seconds of confusion Lance sighed and shook his head, deciding to brush it off for now; the castle could still be feeling the after effects of the Galra crystal, after all.
Nico meanwhile was no less confused; not only about the fact that he seemed to resemble some guy named 'Keith', but also by the fact that each of the people he'd met had spoken English and had had an American accent… though they were all slightly different and so it was hard for him to tell where exactly in America he might be. If he was in fact in the USA… it was too difficult to tell from an accent alone, and he'd have to find definite proof of where he was when he got out of here.
But he was also beginning to expect that finding the exit to this place wouldn't be as easy as it sounded; he had noticed cameras in nearly every corridor, and so the security of this place was clearly high. The exit wouldn't be easy to find, nor to leave out of, if Nico's suspicions were correct.
Yet soon enough, another man crossed Nico's path; he was much older looking than the others and had a huge ginger moustache on his face, and he wore a strange looking uniform, like something out of star trek or some other sci-fi film. As the man crossed the corridor in front of Nico he turned his head, and upon seeing the boy halted suddenly. He started to approach Nico with a huge grin on his face as he said:
"Ah Keith, I was just looking for you!"
"Oh." Nico said, ducking his head once again, mind going a mile a minute as he blurted out, "Er-Well I'm kinda busy so it'll have to wait till later… Sorry!"
Nico dodged around the man who was still walking towards him, picking up his pace as he turned the corner. Unfortunately, Nico heard the strange man calling out to him once again, and he soon heard the heavy thump of footsteps approaching from behind; the man seemed to be intent on following Nico, and so he started sprinting as fast as he could down the twisting corridors.
Nico turned corners blindly, trying to shake the persistent man that continued to call out to him; he sounded concerned, but Nico couldn't let him catch him or he would be discovered for sure.
Eventually, the man's footsteps began to fade from Nico's hearing, and as he looked behind him to check on his pursuer, Nico heard the unfamiliar hiss of a door opening. Panicked, he spun his head back around to find himself stumbling into a very large room.
Nico's eyes widened impossibly large and his mouth hung agape at the sight before him as he stood there completely dumbfounded. The walls seemed to be almost entirely made out of glass, though the outside world was completely dark at present (no luck there in finding out where he was), and Nico truly believed he had managed to travel into some kind of sci-fi filmset. There was a small gathering of people around an overly large chair to the left of him, and thankfully they were facing away from Nico, and so hadn't seen him yet. Three of the people were the ones he had pumped into earlier, the girl sitting in the chair with the others around her. The other two were a young woman with long white hair, wearing a rather fancy looking long dress, and a young man wearing all black with short hair that had a strange tuft of white at the front.
As Nico was taking this all in, the group continued with their conversation:
"I think we should look into Sendak's memories and see what we can find. There should be enough information in there to give us the upper hand in defeating Zarkon." The white-haired woman said.
"I agree with the Princess." The man all in black said, nodding slightly. He then addressed the girl in the chair: "Pidge, do you think you can get on that?"
"Sure, I can get on that right away." 'Pidge' replied. "Though, shouldn't someone tell Keith and Coran what we're doing? They should be here too."
"I'll call them on the intercom now." The woman said, turning slightly to move to another strange surface in the middle of the room.
As she did so however, she spotted Nico, standing in front of the doorway with slightly tense posture and a more reasonable expression on his face; he no longer looked as surprised as he once had upon entering the room, and instead his brows were now furrowed slightly.
"Oh, there you are Keith." The woman said with a smile, the others all turning now to also see Nico standing in front of the closed door. "I was just about to call you on the intercom because we're going to access Sendak's memories now. Have you seen Coran about?"
Before Nico could think of a suitable answer that would allow him to escape, the man with the moustache ran into the room right on cue. The door hissed open and closed, and the man put his hands on his knees, seemingly out of breath as he stood next to Nico saying:
"Keith! There you are! You were running like a Quizlewatt was on your tail!"
Nico's teeth gritted and his fists clenched at his side. He'd had just about enough of these strange people calling him Keith. Not only that, but his mind was entering a slight panic as to how he was not only going to get out of this whole complex, but this very room; there was just too many people here now, he was far too outnumbered for his liking.
As Nico stepped back slightly from a still panting Coran, Shiro's brows furrowed slightly in confusion and some suspicion. The younger boy before him had his eyebrows furrowed in what seemed to be unwarranted anger, and there was something rather off about Keith today…
"Keith…" Shiro said, moving slowly towards the other black-haired boy, "Are you feeling oka-"
"I'm not Keith!" Nico exploded; this was the final straw.
Whilst Nico was indeed panicked, his frustration and annoyance over everything overwhelmed it entirely. Not only were these people preventing him from leaving, but they had all been treating him as though he were their friend; he knew none of them and yet they were being so friendly! Who even was Keith?! His annoyance was only increased by the fact that none of them had realised that he wasn't Keith; he was completely confused by how they could possibly keep mistaking him for their friend. Surely, they would know?
What Nico didn't know, was in fact they had been about to realise he wasn't Keith. Shiro had realised it just as Nico exploded, and the others were quick to follow; over time they had seen how different the two were, as their accents were not the same and this 'Keith' was acting particularly strange and different from usual.
Even so, their similar appearances still confused them somewhat.
"I don't know who he is or who any of you are! Now tell me where I am!" Nico continued, managing to keep the panic from spreading into his angered tone as the shadows in the room ever so slightly warped towards him.
A tense silence spread across main deck, and it was only broken by the quiet hissing of the door opening and closing once again.
All eyes turned to the boy who had just walked into the room, and all eyes widened. The boy who now stood casually before them was indeed Keith, but the boy who stood tensely to the side of him did indeed have a strange resemblance to the red paladin. Nico's eyes widened slightly and his brows furrowed further as he realised that he did hold some resemblance to this boy; there was no doubt in his mind that the teen that had just walked in was Keith.
The paladin's brows furrowed slightly in confusion when he saw everyone staring at him, but his expression soon became guarded as he spotted Nico:
"Who's this?" Keith said, addressing his teammates whilst staring at the stranger beside him.
Nico's body tensed further as he watched the other boy's muscles do the same; this 'Keith' was preparing for a fight, and so he continued to watch the boy's body language as the two stared intently at each other, trying to figure the other one out through posture alone.
Everyone else just continued to watch, confused out of their minds; both at how they had all mistaken this boy for Keith, and at how similar the two looked on the surface, especially now they were standing next to each other.
Coran cleared his throat, now standing up straight as he said, "It appears we have a stowaway."
"Who are you?" Keith demanded, eyes narrowing in suspicion, "How did you get on this ship? Why are you here? Is it for the Lions?"
Nico's face became confused for a moment as he replied to the last question, "Lions? I don't know what you're talking about or where I even am! Who are you?"
"You're in no position to ask that question," Keith replied, "You're the enemy here."
"As far as I'm concerned, you're the enemies. Now answer my questions!"
Both boys were getting more and more frustrated, and Keith was about to reach his own breaking point when Shiro interrupted:
"Keith, calm down. Let's try to solve this peacefully." Nico noticed he had the air of a leader about him, and his tone was both stern and placating. He spoke kindly to his friend, but he looked at Nico with a stern face and with suspicion and wariness in his eyes.
Nico watched as Keith considered the older man's words, and he saw his muscles relax ever so slightly, his face becoming less tense as he nodded in affirmation, never taking his eyes off Nico.
"How did you get on this ship?" Shiro asked, taking the lead of the conversation as he looked at Nico; he seemed to be far more level-headed to the demigod, but that didn't mean Nico could let his guard down anytime soon.
"…Through the door?" Nico said, one eyebrow raising as he decided to try his luck with an obvious answer.
Unfortunately, it did not pay off.
"Don't play games." Shiro said, his eyes narrowing further. "Tell us the truth. How did you get on this ship?"
"…I can't tell you that." Nico said. He was confused enough by what kind of ship could possibly look like this, and by the fact it didn't feel like he was on a ship. And he wasn't exactly just going to tell a bunch of mortals he'd magically teleported here via shadows.
But for Keith, this boy's insolence and refusal to answer their questions had pushed him over the edge of his tolerance; he wouldn't allow this intruder to mess with them any longer, and his muscles tensed once again.
"Rgh, that's it!" With a small cry of anger Keith lunged towards Nico, hoping to get him into a headlock as he reached for his dagger behind him. However, Nico ducked and dodged out of reach of the paladin, his demigod instincts kicking in and he backed away with light footsteps, tensing his muscles as he prepared for a fight.
Keith was quick to pursue him, swinging at Nico with his dagger in hand as Nico continued to dodge and weave around him; there was a strange energy around the dagger that was being swung at him, and it was unlike any metal he'd felt before. Which meant these people (or at least this boy) were not ordinary mortals. Nico had been reluctant to use his sword at first because it could affect both mortals and immortals, but he soon realised that this boy was far more adept with a dagger than Nico assumed he would be.
As Nico dodged backwards once again he reached for the sword at his side, pulling it free of its scabbard and bringing it up just in time to stop the blow that had been heading for his throat. The two blades clashed together with a metallic Clang! pushing against one another as they became locked in combat.
The two teens stared at each other intensely, brows furrowed and teeth gritted as Nico said with a slight smirk, "It's nice to see a familiar weapon, but you're outmatched!" He suddenly pushed against the dagger with his sword, knocking Keith away from him. However, Nico gave him no time to recover as he swung at Keith again, forcing the boy to go on the defensive this time instead. Nico repeated his earlier questions, shouting them at the boy as they continued to fight; it only resulted in Keith demanding the same questions of Nico, and neither of them would answer the others questions.
Seeing this new threat and that Keith's small dagger would struggle against a sword, no matter how good he may be, Shiro barked out orders to the other paladins:
"Go get your Bayards, I'll help Keith until you get back!"
"Right!" The three remaining paladins called out, already racing to go fetch their weapons.
Shiro meanwhile charged up his arm, the purple energy flowing through it as he raced to Keith's aid. They had not helped Keith in his fight before as it was so intense that they couldn't intervene easily without hurting him, even though they had wanted too; but now, with Keith on the defensive, they had to deal with this threat as a team.
Coran stood protectively in front of Allura, who had tensed up and was trying to think of a way to end this fight quickly, and they watched as Shiro entered the battle, swinging at Nico with a glowing hand.
To say Nico was surprised by this development would be an understatement; he watched with wide eyes as a purple, glowing robotic fist narrowly missed his face, forcing him to back away from his opponent. He could feel the dark energy coming off it in waves, and whilst it made the hairs on the back of Nico's neck stand up, it held an odd sense of familiarity to it.
Any further thoughts on the intense purple energy were quickly swept from his mind though as he was once again forced to defend himself, now from two opponents instead of one. Nico ducked, dodged and parried, still unrelenting in his questioning; he had to get answers, it was now or never.
Suddenly Nico sensed a threat from behind him, and without thinking he ducked, throwing himself to the floor just as a blast of blue energy shot over his head. He leapt into a crouch, twisting to see that the other three had returned and now had their own weapons pointed at him; Nico wasn't sure whether to be pleased or not that they all seemed to have long distance weapons rather than close quarters ones. Either way, he was at an extreme disadvantage and hugely outnumbered by skilled fighters.
Nico fought desperately as they attacked him from all sides, twisting this way and that, his heart thumping in his chest; this was a well-worn team that had fought many battles together, and Nico knew he couldn't last much longer fighting on all sides as he was. He just didn't have the time to catch his breath, or even to plan a possible escape. Things looked dire.
Nico dived behind a console, pressing his palm against the cool surface beneath him and searching desperately for something dead as he breathed heavily. Even if he was on a ship, maybe there were some skeletons deep down beneath them from an old shipwreck, right? Nico desperately hoped so as he searched for anything beneath the earth's surface that he could use to help him fight and survive this in one piece.
But there was nothing.
Nico's eyes widened in panic as he was forced to dive into a forward roll, narrowly avoiding another energy blast. He was back out in the open, and had had no time to catch his breath. In a panicked and confused state, he stood, saying:
"There's no earth here! Why?!"
As Nico continued to frantically parry the onslaught of blows, Coran answered him with a rather puzzled look on his face:
"Well, that's because you're in space my boy."
"What?!" Nico cried, freezing in place as his eyes seemed to widen impossibly so.
This brief lapse in movement allowed Pidge to fling her grappling hook towards him, winding the green cable tightly around his legs, quickly tugging on it and bringing the demigod down to the floor with a heavy and painful thud!
Nico snapped his head around to see his legs tightly bound together, and he frantically reached down, tugging at his confines uselessly; as the shadows of his attackers fell over him, he knew he wouldn't be able to escape these constraints. He stopped pulling at them, and instead stared up at the people who now surrounded him on all sides, weapons still in hand. Nico glared at them as Shiro spoke:
"You will answer our questions, and if you continue to refuse answering them, we will have no choice but to keep you here."
Nico didn't like the sound of that. He wanted to get out of this place and away from these strange people as quickly as possible, Fates be damned! He didn't know what they wanted him here for but he didn't care to find out, not when his first interaction with people here went as well as this.
Then again… Nico thought, When doesn't a first introduction end with threats and violence where demigods are concerned?
Even so, Nico was desperate to leave. Will would probably be out of his mind right now if he knew Nico were missing. The others too would probably be mad at him for using his powers. And sure, he could escape from this place later when they locked him up somewhere and then just silently disappear when he had more energy to do so, but he didn't know how long that would be and Nico was far too impatient to just sit there whilst they bombarded him with questions he wouldn't answer.
The group had helpfully stood all around him though and cast their shadows onto him, so at least he didn't have to expend his energy drawing any shadows around him…
Decision made and deciding he had just enough energy for a short jump, Nico concentrated on a location, drawing the darkness around him and picturing the same cargo bay in which he had landed.
Before the paladins knew what was happening, Nico had vanished. They stood there, completely dumbfounded, staring at the space in front of them which was now empty but for their shadows, the vibrant green cable of Pidges bayard lying uselessly on the floor. The intruder had disappeared without warning, without a trace, without a single sound or mark left behind.
They all spun towards Coran and Allura, but they found they had just as perplexed and shocked expressions as they had.
"Is-is there an alien species that can just disappear like that?" Keith managed to stutter out.
"Hmmm… Well, there is a race that can essentially disappear by turning into a microscopic version of themselves… but no. I've never heard of a race that can simply disappear like that." Coran explained, shrugging as he finished his sentence.
"If he's still on this ship, he can't have gone far." Shiro said, "We'll have to figure out a way of restraining him later. For now, let's find him again."
With nods and words of affirmation the occupants of the Castle of Lions set out to find and once again capture their intruder.
Nico meanwhile, was stumbling about the blue lit corridors, and still trying to find an exit. When he had arrived in the cargo room he'd turned right instead of left, hoping that this would be the direction in which he would find the exit.
The short trip had taken more out of him than he had anticipated, and in the midst of the battle and in his desperation, he had forgotten about the cameras he had seen in the corridors. It wouldn't be long before they found him, and so he had to find a way out.
But Nico's muscles ached from the hard battle, and he'd received his fair share of grazes and bruises from it; there had been a lot of close calls. His breathing was heavy and his sword felt like an anchor weighing him down as he dragged himself through the endless corridors. Soon enough, he came across another large door, and decided he could hide and take a brief rest inside whatever room lay on the other side; there had been no alarms, or voices on an intercom calling everyone to arms against an intruder, and so Nico assumed that those he had seen were the only occupants of this ship. It would be safe to go inside the room.
As the door slid closed with another hiss of air, Nico slumped down against the wall. There lay another problem he had forgotten about when he lay tied up on the floor. Not only was he on a ship, but apparently it was a spaceship. If it were true, even if Nico found the exit, he wouldn't be able to leave out of it. But… it couldn't possibly be true. He couldn't believe for even a second that it was true! There could be no reason in Olympus why the Fates would decide he needed to help people in space, of all places! There couldn't possibly be a threat he had to face here, in the infinite void, right?
Nico shook his head, squeezing his eyes shut as he gripped the hilt of his sword. It wasn't worth thinking about, but if he wanted to escape, he had too…
His eyes snapped open suddenly as he once again heard the hiss of steam and the sound of clunking metal. He looked up to see two large robots walking towards him, a single, blue glowing eye in the centre of their heads, weapons in hand. They vaguely reminded Nico of the automatons the children of Hephaestus's made, however these ones were not made of celestial bronze and they did not look friendly.
Standing as quickly as he could Nico rushed to the door beside him, but found that it refused to open. He banged his fist against the door, urging it to open with all his might; he was too tired to fight, but as he glanced behind him he found that the bots were still advancing. He banged on the door desperately, the ringing of the cold metal echoing throughout the large room as he grit his teeth in frustration and panic.
Why… Why was this happening to him? Why had the Fates chosen him for this task? Why in Hades name did he have to be here, alone, when he was still recovering from the effects of the War…?
Squeezing his eyes shut once again, his shoulders hunched around his bowed head, Nico took a deep breath. When he released it, some of the tension left his shoulders.
Those questions didn't matter right now. What mattered was making it out of here alive. He couldn't shadow travel away, and he was trapped in this room. That meant he'd have to fight the bots. He was certain that those people wouldn't let them kill him; they had too many questions they wanted answering. But that didn't mean Nico was about to just give up and surrender. He'd give this fight all he had. And when he undoubtedly got captured again, perhaps he'd get the answers to his own questions, and find a way out of here.
When he opened his eyes again, they were set with determination. He gathered all the strength he had left, gripping his sword firmly in his hand. He turned to face the bots.
It hadn't taken them long to locate the intruder. When they saw that he was in the training room, all seven of them rushed down there. It had been Coran's idea to use the training bots.
The occupants of the Castleship stood behind the glass of the observation deck of the training room, watching as the black-haired intruder turned to face the training bots.
"Shouldn't we go down there ourselves? It doesn't seem fair on the guy, or right…" Hunk said, his brows furrowed slightly in concern and confusion.
"Yeah," Lance agreed, sounding a little more upbeat than his friend, "We're missing some quality action here!"
Shiro's brows were furrowed as well, "Hunks right. We shouldn't let training bots do our fighting for us."
"Yes… But I want to test his skills against the bots!" Coran said, standing by the control panel and twiddling the end of his moustache slightly, "This is a rare opportunity to see the enemy in action from a distance!"
"We don't know if he is our enemy, Coran." Allura said, her arms crossed as she watched the boy fighting the bots below, "He seems lost… However, I do think it's best to be on the side of caution."
"I think Allura's right," Pidge said, a hand on her hip as she looked off to the side, "Keith did attack him first so…"
"Hey!" Keith said, turning to Pidge and trying to defend himself, "He was a threat I decided to deal with."
"By getting your butt kicked…" Lance murmured with a smirk.
"I don't see you doing any better…" Keith grumbled as he crossed his arms, looking at Lance with slightly narrowed and disparaging eyes.
However, Lance's attention was back on the fight below. The boy seemed to be struggling; his movements were slower and his swings were sluggish, almost desperate in their erraticness.
"Wonder why he isn't disappearing like before…" Lance wondered out loud, a brow raising in curiosity.
"Maybe it has a cooldown?" Hunk said, shrugging slightly.
"He looks tired…" Pidge said, hand on her chin. She then looked at Hunk saying "Maybe using it uses a lot of energy?"
"Maybe." Shiro said. "I think we should stop the training bots before he gets hurt. He does seem confused enough as it is."
"We can't go easy on him," Keith reasoned, "he could give us the slip again. And we don't know what else he can do. I have a lot of questions for him…" Keith's eyes narrowed as he looked at the boy fighting below, however he was soon distracted by Lance again.
"Yeah… like why on Earth would he copy your style?" Lance said with a side-glance and a grin. Keith let out an annoyed and exasperated groan as Lance continued to smirk at him, however they forgot about their small squabble when Pidge said with urgency:
The two boys looked, and saw Nico getting thrown across the room by one of the training bots, his black sword flying out of his hand and clattering loudly across the floor. The boy himself landed heavily and painfully on the hard floor, rolling a couple of times before he came to a stop on his stomach. The bots continued to advance towards him, and the paladins watched as he struggled to get up; he was too exhausted, and every time he tried to lift himself with shaking arms, he would fall flat on his face again with a resounding thud.
Nico clenched his fists. He could sense the groups life forces above him, and he knew they had cowardly been watching from up there, letting these robots do the fighting for them. With the last of his energy he lifted his head, just enough so that he could look in the direction of their life forces. He glared at them. He glared at them as hard as he could, and the paladins felt the glare piercing their souls.
Nico's head then slumped to the ground, and his body went limp. He had once again passed out in enemy territory, and was completely vulnerable.
The group of seven were shocked that he had known they were up there, and it was only when he passed out that they could recover from the final glare he sent them. Seeing that the bots were still advancing on his unconscious body, Coran reached for the control panel, and with a more muted and stunned voice said:
"End training sequence."
A/N: Hi everyone! Hope you enjoyed the first chapter of my third ever fic (don't pay attention to that I just like to keep count) and my first without an OC! Please please please tell me if any of the characters are OOC and I will try to fix that (they may be a little in this chapter, idk?) but do remember that this takes place towards the end of Season 1, and in my opinion the characters of Voltron have developed a lot since then.
Also, I havnt seen Season 3 yet (I'll probably watched it in the next week or so) so no spoilers please.
I have been planning, and started to write this at the beginning of the year. However, college amongst other things got in the way (which will also be why an update will probably take forever). If anyone would like to know, this is the longest chapter I have ever written for any fic ever. Yay! Others probably wont quite be this long. This was inspired by some tumblr posts I saw. Before I had watched Voltron I saw a fanart of Keith, and mistook it for Nico. Others have also made this connection, and thus this fic was born (its developed a lot since then, this was simply the starting point).
Anyways, I'm blabbering on and so I hope you enjoyed this chapter and like the idea of my fic! Thank you for reading! Please tell me what you liked, what you didnt, what you think I can improve upon, and your thoughts! It would be greatly appreciated! So whether you liked what you read or not...
Hope to see you in the next chapter,