It was late one evening when a baby’s cries echoed through a Galra work camp prison barracks. Groans filled the rooms as the other prisoners were awoken to the noise. A young alien girl with light blue skin, three arms, and lavender hair was trying her best to calm the little one.
“Shut that thing up now!” A Galran soldier demanded as he banged on the wall. The loud noise made the baby cry even louder.
The girl did not say anything, but continued to rock the baby gently. “Shh, it’s okay sweetie, auntie Odani isn’t gonna let anyone hurt you. Please baby, go back to sleep,” she pleaded with the small infant. The baby continued to cry.
“You better shut it up quickly before I decide to kill it.”
“I’m doing the best I can!” Odani said angrily. “I’m not her mother, that’s why she’s crying. She just wants her mother.”
The Galra soldier chuckled. “You think I give a crap what that thing wants?” He bent down and grabbed her free arm, lifting her and the crying infant off the bed and pulling her face close to his. Her terrified face reflected in his yellow eyes. “If it doesn’t stop screaming in a few more ticks, I’m gonna shut it up for good.”
He shoved Odani and the baby back onto the bed. She knew if she didn’t stop her niece’s cries the soldier would kill her without so much as batting an eye. Odani cradled the baby close to her chest, humming a soft lullaby in her ear. Within moments the baby’s cries began to grow quieter, the lullaby starting to calm her, and it wasn’t long before she had stopped crying entirely.
“That’s better, now back to bed,” the Galra soldier ordered before marching off.
Odani gave a sigh of relief as she laid back on her bed. She retracted her second set of arms and wrapped her remaining arm around the baby.
“I’m sorry I can’t give you much milk, Zurea. I hope you can forgive me,” Odani whispered to the baby as she laid beside her cradled in Odani’s arm. “I know you miss your mommy too, but I’m just gonna have to do for now little one.”
“Is she alright?”
Odani looked up to see an older Earthling standing beside her bed. She sighed and looked back down at her niece’s now sleeping face, stroking Zurea’s cheek gently. “I haven’t been able to produce enough milk for her. My sister was able to feed her before, but since I’m all she’s got left it’s up to me to make sure she gets taken care of. I’m still new to it all, so maybe that’s why Zurea’s been so fussy lately. What if I stop producing milk altogether and she cries even more? I can’t let the Galra hurt her.”
Dr. Holt watched as tears rolled down Odani’s face. She had been trying so hard to care for her niece but it was taking a toll on her. Both emotionally and physically.
“Okay. So, when we get there, what do you think? Do we just roll up and start blasting? Or do we land and have some kind of public address system, like, ‘Attention, Galras, this is Voltron. Turn yourselves in,’? No. Blasting, right?”
“Hunk, calm down. And, yes, blasting,” Keith said.
“It’s our first big rescue mission, he’s excited,” Shiro said with a smile.
“Excited to see his new girlfriend,” Pidge teased, leaning back to look at Hunk.
“UH! She’s not my girlfriend!” Hunk said defensively. “She’s just a rock that I met and I admire very much.”
The Castleship was flying through space on it’s way to the Balmera. The paladins were huddled together while Coran and Allura managed the controls. Yzeera was sitting on her own next to the large window, her face resting on her arms over her knees. She feared going to a planet full of Galra soldiers but knew that it was inevitable. The paladins of Voltron were defenders of the universe after all, it’s their duty to save those in need. Yzeera was startled by an alarm suddenly blaring, her body flinching at the sound.
“What is it? Are we being attacked?” Shiro asked.
“No, it seems to be a distress beacon,” Coran answered.
“It’s coming from a nearby moon. Apparently a ship has lost power,” Allura explained.
“I wonder who it is,” Pidge thought aloud.
“Whoever it is will have to wait. Shay has first priority. We can check back on them when we’re done,” Hunk said decisively.
“The Paladin Code states that we must help all those in need,” Allura said sternly to Hunk.
“Wow! This is so cool,” Lance said excitedly. “It’s like we’re space cops on space patrol. Coran, do we have a siren we can turn on?”
Yzeera looked over at the paladins. Lance seemed to be the most childish of the bunch, yet his childish personality brought a sort of comfort to Yzeera that she couldn’t explain. His behavior felt so familiar to her, yet she could not place why.
“Uhmn no. But we could record you making a siren noise and broadcast that to them,” Coran answered Lance.
“Perfect!” Lance began to make a siren sound and Shiro quickly covered his mouth.
“Nope, not doing that.”
Yzeera found herself laugh softly at this. When she realized this, she shook her head. “What is wrong with me, this is no time to be laughing!” she whispered to herself. She stood and placed her hand against the window. “I have to stay focused. I have others depending on me.”
Keith looked over at Yzeera and saw her mumbling something to herself. “Hey Shiro, why are we keeping that girl around? I know she was one of Sendak’s prisoners but I don’t think we should let her have free reign inside the Castle.”
“I understand you’re worried, but she says she has information that Zarkon wants and it might be information that we can use to defeat him once and for all,” Shiro told him. “Yzeera is still scared and deserves to be given a chance.”
“For all we know she could be lying just to get us to trust her. And she hasn’t told us what she wants our help with,” Keith insisted, looking over his shoulder to Yzeera. She was gazing out at the stars, seemingly uninterested in everything going on around her. “I just have this bad feeling that she’s hiding something from us.”
“Keith, listen, I know we’re all still a little on edge after what happened with Sendak, but Yzeera was a prisoner and she has clearly suffered a lot because of it. We don’t know what she’s been through and we don’t know how long it’ll take to earn her trust. Until then, we just need to make sure she feels safe so she knows we really are on her side. Maybe once she trusts us she’ll tell us what she wants our help with in exchange for the information.”
As the ship began to land, Keith went over to Yzeera. “Don’t try anything while we’re gone,” he warned her.
“Like what?” Yzeera asked, clearly offended by his insinuation. “I’m not going to try and steal the ship. I’m not a Galra.”
“No, but we still can’t trust you, not yet anyway.” Keith turned to walk back to the group when Yzeera spoke up.
“You don’t get it, do you?” Yzeera asked. “I know my reasons for not trusting you yet, but you don’t want to trust me.”
“No, I don’t trust you because you’re hiding something from us,” Keith corrected her. “Not to mention I think you’re lying about having information that can defeat Zarkon.”
“Believe what you want, I can’t change your mind.” Yzeera walked past Keith, heading toward the group as they got ready to disembark the ship.
“Stay aboard and try to get as many of our systems clear of that Galra crystal energy as you can,” Allura instructed Coran. “We’ll see who hailed us.”
“Yes, Princess,” Coran responded.
As they left, Lance looked over at Yzeera and gave her a smile and wave goodbye. Suddenly, Yzeera felt her heart leap and then a knot caught in her throat.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. I promise I’ll come back home.”
A familiar voice echoed in her ears, tears began streaming down her cheeks. The voice, so strong and sure, unknowing the fate that awaited its owner. Yzeera fell to her knees, her eyes full of pain and loss.
“Yzeera, are you alright?” Coran asked worried as he rushed over to her.
“Asha…” Yzeera mumbled, unaware of Coran beside her. She stretched out her arms as if she was reaching out to something, trying desperately to grab onto it. “Don’t go… I can’t do it alone…”
Coran cautiously tapped Yzeera’s shoulder. She looked over at him and suddenly realized she was crying.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me,” she cried as she wiped her tears away. The tears, however, continued to fall. “I don’t understand why I’m crying, this isn’t--”
“It’s okay,” Coran said gently, his hand on her shoulder.
“What do you mean?” she asked confused as she continued to wipe away her tears. “I’m being so stupid, crying after all this time.”
“It’s okay to cry over someone you lost,” Coran told her. “Allura and I are the only Alteans left. Everyone we knew is gone.”
Yzeera looked down at her hands. She had lost everything. Her home was destroyed, her family torn apart, the life she once knew was gone.
“How do you manage to keep going?” she asked.
Yzeera looked up at him, her eyes meeting his. “What reason do you have to keep fighting?”
“Well, we have to defeat Zarkon and save the universe from the Galra Empire. If we don’t keep fighting, everyone in the universe will die,” Coran replied.
“Of course… I should’ve guessed that was your reason to fight,” Yzeera said, turning her gaze to the dark sky out the windows. “But is fighting to defend the universe all that you’re fighting for? Is there nothing else driving you to continue a seemingly hopeless fight?”
“I don’t understand what you mean,”
“The Galra took my home, they took my family and tore us apart,” Yzeera said. “I managed to stay true to myself and continue to fight because I have something worth protecting. I have something I have to do in order to make things right. My will won’t be broken.”