Disclaimer: I do not own either Voltron or its original Japanese version Golion. I'm just borrowing them for some non-profit entertainment.
(A/N: In case you have not seen the Japanese Golion anime, things you need to know: This fiction begins in the middle of the third to last episode of the series. Daibazaal (Zarkon in the English ver.) has finally gotten fed-up with Sinceline (Lotor) and arrested him for incompetence. The following attack on Altea (Arus) is then lead by Daibazaal himself and not a laky of any sort. There is no 'Galaxy Alliance' or 'Galaxy Garrison' instead there's something called the 'Leo Alliance' but that has only just recently been formed at this point in the story. Things I am 'retconing' from the Golion series are that Hys (Nanny) did not die (she was shot and killed by a spy pretending to be Raible's (Coran's son) but in this fiction I think I'd rather have her alive and then Earth was not destroyed by World War Three but rather was instead concored by Galra (Doom). I think it would just make more sense and be more relevant to the anime if that had been what happened. That WW III story just seemed so random and out of place in the original.)
Daibazall's capitol ship fired another lazer blast at the enormous energy cannon, chipping away at the bedrock on which it was precariously perched. Kurogane counted it a small miracle that the dreaded Galra command ship hadn't hit the cannon directly but still, one more shot to its foundation and it would go tumbling down into the ravine over which it had been placed and then it wouldn't matter whether or not Daibazaal's ship had hit it or not. It would still be lost to them. In retrospect, perhaps the edge of a deep, dark chasm wasn't the wisest place to set up their captured super-weapon but he could worry about that later, now he had to figure out how to save the cannon from certain destruction. Without it they had no hope of breaking the energy field that surrounded the Galran capitol and launching an attack on the heart of the evil empire.
If he could actually get to the cannon Kurogane might manage to take down Daibazaal's capitol ship. If he did that this battle would be won, the Galra ships would retreat and they'd be left with enough peace to plan their attack on the capitol. A capitol which would suddenly be thrown into disarray by the death of their Emperor. The Red Lion pilot attempted to stand and run to the cannon from where he crouched behind the protection of a sizable boulder. Pain lanced through his right leg as he did this, that bit of shrapnel from the first blast had caught him in the calve and impeded his mobility enough to render him utterly useless. He could try and run back the other way, back to Red Lion and join Fala, Seido and Shorty in aerial combat. That way the four of them would be closer together and would be all the more ready to form Golion when Kogane showed up.
Speaking of the Cheif, where the hell was he?
Kurogane, back behind his boulder of protection now, cast his gaze skyward scanning for any sign of Black Lion. Blue Lion, piloted by Altea's own Princess Fala was engaged in some impressive aerial acrobatics with a squad of Galra hook-fighters. Seido, in Yellow Lion was throwing all its earth-based might against the giant Mecha-beastman that Daibazaal had deployed shortly after breaking atmo. Green Lion, piloted by Shorty, was meanwhile buzzing around the command ship systematically taking out its guns until it had nothing to fight with but its one-man fighters and mecha-beastman. But where was Kogane? Where was Black Lion?
Kurogane nearly jumped out of his skin when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He wheeled around, blaster in hand to face whomever had snuck up on him in the midst of his distraction.
"Whoa there!" A startled Kogane looked back at him, his arms up, his face just as startled as the Red Lion pilot felt.
"Kogane!" Kurogane sagged with relief. "God, I could have shot you!"
"I'm glad you didn't." The Black Lion pilot replied soberly. He cast an appraising glance over at the cannon teetering on the edge of the chasm, up at the battle going on in the skys above them and back down at Kurogane, noting his lame and bloodied leg. "C'mon, the best thing we can do now is form Golion."
Kogane offered his hand to the Red Lion pilot and Kurogane accepted it gladly. With Kogane's help he made it back to his Lion in half the time he thought it would. From inside the cockpit of Red Lion, Kurogane watched Kogane climb into Black Lion and the two were back in the air with their comrades in no time. In his rear view screen, the Red Lion pilot saw one final shot hit the foundation supporting that cannon and it collapsed in to the chasm. So much for their plan of attacking the heart of the Empire. What were they gonna do now?
"Everyone," Kogane's voice crackled over the radio, "we're here. Let's combine."
"'Bout damn time!" Seido's baritone growled in answer.
Red Lion and Balck Lion were quickly joined by Green, Yellow and Blue and the five of them flew up into the planet's stratosphere in an inverted V formation. But before they could combine to form the formidable robot Golion they were attacked by a squad of Galran hook-fighters. They came at the Golion team from the flank, lazers and machine-guns blazing.
"Scatter!" Kogane shouted. "Split-up and give them moving targets. Don't let them get a lock on you!"
The five Lions each flew off in separate directions forcing the squad of enemy fighters to likewise split-up to pursue their quarry. Kurogane inside Red Lion had three of them on his tail as he broke off from the rest of the group but those three were quickly joined by a whole new squad as Daibazaal's capital ship deployed more fighters. Kurogane was hard against his crash safety harness by a blast to the aft of his Lion. He called up a quick schematic of his mech to access the damage. An enemy missile had impacted on the joint of Red Lion's right leg, it would make combining into Golion difficult, but not impossible, he turned his attention back to the battle at hand. Even still, he couldn't help but smile grimly at the irony of both his and Red Lion's right leg being damaged in this battle. Like the ancient samurai of his home world, his weapon was his soul.
A streak of blue on the edge of his peripheral vision drew his attention to Blue Lion being hounded by her own squad of hook-fighters and he swore under his breath. It seemed they were all being mobbed by bright yellow and orange hooked-T shaped fighters so that none of them could fly to each other's or anyone else's aid. And that, Kurogane realized with deadly clarity, was Daibazaal's plan. To keep them all separate, keep them from helping each other, keep them from guarding the castle and most importantly of all, keep them from combining. A sudden panic rose in Kurogane's stomach. What if this time Galra succeeded? Daibazaal, it seemed was a much better strategist than Sincline had ever been. And where was Sincline, by the by?
The Red Lion pilot didn't have time to ponder the absence of one devil, not when he had the other breathing down their collective necks poised to kill them all and re-concore Altea. He slammed on his radio.
"Chief!" He shouted into his transmitter. "We need to regroup! They're making it so we can't do shit!"
"I know, I-" Kogane's reply was interrupted by the sudden sound of a blast and Kurogane's ears were graced with a string of colorful Japanese swears. "Everyone! Converge on this point!" A small blip appeared on a map readout on Red Lion's console. "Be ready to do some fast maneuvering and bring your tails!"
Kurogane pulled up an image of his own squad of Galran 'tails', he examined their formation as best he could while dodging their many lazer, missile and machine-gun blasts. Finally, when he was sure he had found an opening in their line he cut his forward propulsion and kicked it backwards through their lines towards the point Kogane had indicated on his map. He flipped and righted his Lion so that he was actually facing the direction he was flying just as he neared the point and came almost face to face with Yellow Lion. Another wave of panic shook him and he glanced around frantically. Blue Lion and Green Lion were also coming in fast, their hook-fighter pursuers hot on their tails as was Black Lion. All five of them seemed to be on a collision course with each other. So that was it, a game of 'Chicken' then.
Kurogane focused his attention back on his main view-screen and the sight of Yellow Lion bearing down on him and he silently dared Seido to pull up before him. On his flank he saw Blue Lion and Green Lion converging on them quickly too and Black Lion was almost on top of them. Kurogane's blood was pumping in his ears and for one brief moment he feared that this wasn't a game of 'Chicken' but rather a kamikaze, the Divine Wind. Was Kogane trying to destroy the Lions rather than let them fall into Galran hands? Did he think the battle that hopeless?
And then their Cheif's voice crackled over the comm. "Pull up! Everyone pull up!"
Five colored Lions suddenly turned towards the heavens, ascending at almost perfect ninety-degree angles while the Galran fighters that have been dogging them all collided with one another in a spectacular display of pyrotechnic inaneness. They reformed their inverted V formation and once again prepared to form Golion. Red Lion's damaged right hind leg made an awful grinding sound as warped metal scrapped over warped metal to fold the legs in tight to the body. But he still managed to fold into a useable arm.
"Let's Go-Lion!" All five of them shouted in unison.
Unfortunately for the Golion team, no sooner had those words crackled over the comm channels than they were suddenly and abruptly punctuated by a shrill feminine shriek of terror. Apparently, a single fighter had also managed to pull up at the last minuet and escape destruction with his fellows. The lone Galran fighter landed a lucky shot on Blue Lion's flank and she was now falling back down to crash on the planet bellow.
"Fala!" Kogane's panic stricken voice roared over the radio.
"Princess!" Seido and Shorty echoed each other.
All Kurogane could think was, 'Damn it, why is it always Blue Lion?'
He watched as Blue Lion plummeted earthward, the lone Galran hook-fighter descending after her at a much more controlled pace. Black Lion also broke from formation to fly to the princess' rescue. Two more squads of fighters came in from both the left and right flanks and cut Kogane off from rescuing Blue Lion and its beautiful blond pilot. Kurogane had to wonder just where all the fighters kept coming from. They had already destroyed allot and a single battle ship couldn't hold that many, could it?
"Fala!" Kogane cried over the radio as Blue Lion finally impacted on the ground making a rather impressive looking crater where she fell.
The hook-fighters buzzed around her in a holding pattern while the original one whom had shot her down landed. Kurogane watched lamely as the Galran pilot climbed out of his fighter and stalked up to Blue Lion's dust incrusted head.
"Get away from her!" They heard Kogane snarl over their comms. Whether the Galrans were listening to the Altean channels or not didn't seem to matter, the Galran pilot pried open the hatch on top of Blue Lion's head and pulled out an unconscious Princess Fala all the same. Black Lion charged the line of enemy fighters in a vain attempt to break through to his princess in peril but was repelled by sheer force of numbers. Individually the Galran hook-fighters didn't stand a chance against the Lion-mech, Black Lion being able to easily crush one with his massive paw. But with so many it was like being routed by a swarm of killer-bees and Kogane was helpless to do anything more harass the formation and shout into his comm.
One of the Galran fighters must have called the capitol ship to inform Daibazaal that they had managed to capture one of the Lions and its pilot because the massive command ship suddenly appeared in the skys above where Blue Lion had fallen. Kurogane watched as the pilot that held Fala's prone form climbed back into his fighter with the sleeping beauty and ascended back into the air on a course to intercept the command ship.
Kogane's voice crackled over the radio once more passionate and determined. "Run interference! Everyone, don't let that fighter get to the ship! If they get the princess then its all over for Altea!"
Seido, never one to back down from a fight, threw the full force of his Yellow Lion into the shifting wall of hook-fighters that hovered between Princess Fala and the other four Lions. He scattered volleys of his Gatling Missiles into the enemy lines creating enough chaos for Kurogane in his Red Lion and Shorty in his Green Lion to push through to the fighter that carried the princess. But no sooner had they a lock on it then the capitol ship fired its main gun at them, nearly vaporizing the two lions with his high intensity lazer beam. In their effort to dodge certain death the fighter carrying Fala managed to make it to the Galran command ship and land securely in the hangar bay. The ship's sheilds snapped up then, trapping all the fighters that were still deployed outside but more importantly preventing the Lions from any chance of rescuing their princess.
"Son of a bitch!" Kogane swore over the comm.
And all Kurogane could think was, 'Why is it always the princess?'
The remaining four Lion pilots met in the Control Room and turned their eyes to the massive view screen that look up most of the forward wall. On it the image of Daibazaal's capitol ship hovered ominously. After capturing the princess the fell Galra Emperor had issued a cease-fire to all his troops still trapped outside the ship. They now hovered in a defense formation around the command ship. Kogane had been more than ready to continue the fight after the cease-fire had been issued from the Galran side. He was gun-ho to blast through their lines and rip open the massive Galran ship with Black Lion's claws in an attempt to reclaim the captured Altean princess. But Raible had ordered them back. The only reason for Daibazaal to order a cease-fire was because he wanted to negotiate and the Altean strategist wanted to know what the Emperor had to say. So he had recalled the Lions and Kogane begrudgingly returned to the castle.
He stood with his arms crossed over his chest, his foot tapping irritably on the immaculate steel paneled floor. "What's taking so damn long?" He snarled. "We shouldn't even be in here. Now's our chance to go in there and rescue her!"
"If Daibazaal wants to negotiate then we should try and negotiate." Raible sternly informed the Black Lion pilot. "The princess would want us to try and resolve this conflict as peaceably as possible. And with the loss of the cannon we no longer have a means of launching an attack against the Empire's capitol."
"I would just like to remind you, Raible..." Kogane began dangerously, "... that Daibazaal has not expressed any such desire to negotiate as you're inferring. And you know as well as I do what kind of terms Daibazaal will demand. He doesn't want to treat with us, he wants to rule us!"
A silent shutter ran through the members of the Golion team. They had all been slaves of the Galra Empire, they knew exactly what it meant to be ruled by Daibazaal and they never wanted to live like that again. They would rather die. It was not a melodramatic statement, there are things in life that are far worse than death and slavery within the Galra Empire was one of those things. All four of the earth-born space pilots would gladly commit ritual suicide if they failed to protect Altea and the Galra Empire was aloud to waltz in and take control.
"I know. I know." The royal strategist admitted soberly. "But even if there's just the sliver of a possibility I have to try. Peaceful solutions are always the best solutions. Altea is not a war-like nation by nature. If Galra wishes for peace than we can try and agree on terms for peace that would be mutually beneficial."
The comm began to buzz and a red light, one among many on the Control Room's main board, began to flash signifying that Castle Gradam was receiving an in-coming call. This went ignored, however as Kogane's low gravely voice commanded their attention muttering more to himself than to anyone else.
"Galra will make corpses of us all."
Raibal really didn't know what to sat to this morbid but entirely plausible prophecy. He may prefer peace and peaceful solutions over violence, but he was not naive and he was not a fool. He had lived through the first Galran invasion of Altea and he knew all to well the sadistic cruelty of the Empire. He understood not just Kogane's but all the Golion team's loathing for Galra and everything about it and he sympathized with it. He himself had lost his wife and infant son to the Galran death-squads during the first terrible invasion. But Princess Fala and the late King Raimon would want him to pursue any and all peaceful avenues whenever possible. The war had already cost Altea many lives. No more of his people's blood needed to be shed over this. The strategist answered the call.
The image of the capitol ship hovering on the main view screen was suddenly replaced with a forward view of the command bridge of the ship in question. A menacing looking Galran glared down at them from the view screen. He was clad in a black tunic and breeches ensemble and draped over one shoulder was a deep red cloak the same shade as blood and atop his bald reptilian brow sat a heavy looking spiked gold crown. It was not other then the fell Emperor of Galra himself, Daibazaal. At his left had stood another villainous figure those gathered knew very well, the occult-science witch Hornerva and behind them both and a little to the right, almost out of frame, was Princess Fala. Conscious now with her helmet removed so that they could clearly see her strained and apprehensive face. But no one saw any sign of Sincline of the bridge and there had been no indication that he'd been present for the battle either. Just what had happened to their frequent and familiar tormenter anyway?
"Is there anyone among you that has the authority to treat with me?" Daibazaal drawled almost lazily as he glared down at them with distain.
Kogane stepped forward, a silent snarl on his lips but Raible held his arm out to hold the Black Lion pilot back lest he say or do anything to end peace talks before they began.
"I am Raible the Strategist." He said. "And in the absence of her Highness, Princess Fala, I act as Steward and ruler of Altea."
Daibazaal glared down at the Strategist, appraising him. If Raible was made uncomfortable by this scrutinous gaze he did not show it outwardly. He remained standing tall and strong, an immovable object to the Galran Emperor's unstoppable force. Behind the fell Galran Emperor, Fala also studied her Steward and guardian. Her eyes taking in his impassive expression and looking past it to see the strained tension behind his eyes. He was worried. Her eyes also swept over the four Lion pilots and lingered significantly longer on Kogane than any of the others. After a prolonged pause Daibazaal spoke.
"I demand the immediate and unconditional surrender of Planet Altea." Silence followed this statement, the Galra Emperor gauging their reactions.
"The hell we will!" Kogane shouted up at the view screen.
Daibazaal seemed unperturbed by the earth-born space pilot's outburst. His eyes remained focused on Raible, as Steward of Altea it was he and not the Golion team who could decide the fate of the planet. The strategist's eyes drifted from the Galran's to focus on the princess visible behind him. Fala said nothing and made no clear motions to indicate what he should do, but her face clearly showed that she would never consent to surrender. She knew as well as Raible did what would happen to the people of Altea should the Empire take over. She could not and would not give her people over to slavery, torture and death.
"We refuse." Raible answered in a calm level voice that was a million times more placid than he actually felt.
The Galran Emperor smiled a cruel smile. "I'm afraid I'm going to have to insist." He said. "You see, I now hold your princess, the last surviving member of the royal household aboard my ship. If she were to die tragically..." Here he paused for dramatic effect while one of the two soldiers holding her shoved her forward ever so slightly so that Raible and the Golion team could clearly see how utterly powerless she was. "... then your little planet would crumble like a house of cards."
The strategist bit the inside of his cheek in an effort to hide his tension. Though he may not have said it bluntly, Daibazaal's message was clear: 'Fala is my hostage. Surrender and she lives, continue to fight me and she dies.' It was true that if Fala were to die that there wouldn't be anyone to succeed the thrown. But in a war time such as this he could retain power as Steward and hopefully see them through. Then the question of who would lead after the war was over would be raised. But that would be then, this is now. Then there was also the problem of Blue Lion. If Fala were to be killed then not only would Altea be short one monarch but also one of the five pilots that form Golion. True, pilots could be replaced, Fala herself had replaced the original pilot, Shirogane, after he died at the hands of Hornerva the Occult-Science Witch. But there were so few people left with the training and natural ability necessary to pilot a Lion. Before Raible had the chance to say anything in response to the Galran Emperor's veiled threat Kogane snarled out a retort.
"And what would Sincline say if you killed her?"
To this Daibazaal merely laughed. "Sincline will soon no longer be my problem."
That sent a ripple of unease through everyone in the room. Sincline had been the one leading all of Daibazaal's forces for the past two years. He was the Emperor's only son and heir and Daibazaal thought of him as his 'problem'. What's more he heavily implied that said problem would soon be gone which could only mean that the wicked king was planning to kill his own son (if he hadn't done so already). Just what had happened on the Galran home world to drive such a wedge between the Emperor and the Prince Imperial that one would wish the other dead? And what did that mean for Altea? Sincline had been a handful but they were familiar with his tactics, his strengths and his weaknesses (both mental and emotional). He was the devil they knew and the one that they were better prepared to fend off. But if Sincline was no longer the one leading the attacks, if Daibazaal was... Well, they had just seen how much more effective Daibazaal's tactics were compared to his son's and what's more, he didn't have the emotional weakness of fancying himself 'in love' with the princess like Sincline did. Could the Golion team really fend off such a foe?
Once again, before Raible could say anything someone else answered for him. Princess Fala wrenched herself free from one of her guards and launched herself toward the main view screen shouting with all the fire and passion of her very being.
"Do not surrender!" She ordered. "Raible if you surrender Altea I'll kill myself!"
That comment earned her a hard smack across the face from the Galran Emperor and the pilot princess fell to the floor from the force of the blow. Daibazaal towered over her menacingly and for the briefest of moments everyone feared he was going to kill her right then and there. But he did not. Instead he straitened and ordered the two that had previously been restraining her to remove her from the bridge. Or, at least, that's what they assumed he had said; the orders had been given in the Galran language and those of Altea and Earth had no idea what he had really said. For all they knew he could have been ordering them to take her out and shoot her. It was a real possibility and one that Kogane feared might be the reality.
"Where are you taking her?" He demanded.
Daibazaal did not answer the Black Lion pilot's question. Instead he fixed his glare upon Raible once again and said, "I can see that you still need some time to think things over. I will withdraw for now. Your princess shall remain my guest on Galra until you have come to a decision. But I warn you, Steward, I am not a patient man."
And with that, the transmission ended. The screen once again showed the command ship hovering in the atmosphere. Then its engines flared, it ascended from the outer-atmosphere in to space, kicked in its warp-drive and was gone... and Fala with it...
(A/N: I'm actually not sure If I'm going to continue this story or not. I'm kinda in the middle of one for a different fandom at the moment and I figure, if I'm gonna be wasting my time on fan fiction, I might as well finish the one I already have started. But I wrote this first chapter anyway and so I wanted to post it just to see what people had to say and if it was ever worth continuing or not. )