Cost of Protection, Part 7

by Tiki

Quick Disclaimer: Voltron is the property of WEP.

Lance lost track of time dancing with Kay. Just for once he didn't think about anything. He didn't worry about Sven or Arus Inc. or Voltron. He just got lost in the moment. He missed the looks going on around him and Kay.

Which should have been an indication that trouble was about to happen.

The trouble started when some guy grabbed Kay and pulled him away from Lance. Another guy got in his face. "I recognize you. You came to Club Doom a couple of times. What do you think you're doing pretty boy?"

"Enjoying the party with a friend."

"And you," the first guy shoved Kay backwards, "Sven's not going to be happy when he hears about this." He grabbed Kay's shirt. "And I'm going to love telling him."

"What, I can't have friends?"

"Not a little whore like you."

Pidge pushed his way through the crowd surrounding them. "Oh come on guys, there's no need for any of this."

The man holding Kay turned to Pidge."We make the decisions here. I'm sure your master is going to love to hear about this." He smirked. "He might even give me you as a reward. Wouldn't you like that you little shrimp?"

A disgusted look crossed Pidge's face and Kay just looked pissed. "Don't even think about it." He broke free of the guy's grip and punched him in the face.

"You broke my nose." He wiped the blood off of his face. "Oh I'm going to enjoy beating your ass."

Suddenly cries of "Police!" and "It's a raid!" rang out. The two guys stared at Kay and Lance for a moment. Then the second man grabbed the first by the arm. "Let's get out of here. We don't need trouble with the cops."

The guy with the broken nose let his pal lead him away. He shouted as he disappeared in the crowd. "I'll get you back black lion! I'll make sure you pay!"


"Pidge, where are you?"

Kay and Lance scanned the fleeing crowd for the smaller boy. He appeared right before them. He grabbed Kay and Lance's arms and dragged them through the crowd. He looked back at Kay. "Are you alright? When I saw what was about to go down, I made an anonymous call to the police."

"How did you do that? There's no phones in this place."

"I stole your cell phone back at your place." Pidge let go of Lance and held up the phone. "It came in handy. You can have it back now."

"Thank you." The crowd spilled outside of the warehouse. Police and partygoers were running everywhere. Lance looked around for his bike. "I have to get you guys out of here."

Kay smiled. "Don't worry about us, take care of yourself." He grabbed Lance by the shoulders and pulled his face close to his own. "I like you." Then Kay kissed him.

The kiss left Lance gasping for air. Kay turned him around and gave him a push in the direction of his bike. "Now go. Pidge and I can take care of ourselves. We've done it before," he whispered in Lance's ear. He shoved Lance's shoulders.

Lance stumbled forward in the crowd. By the time he got his feet back under him and turned around, Kay and Pidge were nowhere to be seen. The police were rounding up what partygoers they could get their hands on. It was time to get out of there.

He got to his bike with almost no trouble. "I hope they're okay."


When Lance got to the office on Monday, the place was a mess. Over the weekend, someone had broken into the R&D department and stolen the plans and prototype to the Voltron system. Security was running around trying to figure out how such a thing could happen and nobody notice. Everything in reference to Voltron was gone and there was no clue as to who had stolen it. Lance took the bad news to the CEO.

"All of it is gone? Nothing else was stolen?" Allura sat behind her desk in shock. "You're certain Voltron was the only thing?"

"Only things pertaining to Voltron are missing."

"Oh no, this couldn't happen at a worse time." Allura put her head in her hands. "It was hard enough figuring out a way to keep this company going, but if it gets out one of our projects was stolen..."

"I'm sorry." Lance just didn't know what else to do.

"I don't blame you." Allura raised her head and massaged her temples. "It wasn't your fault. This isn't the end yet. Just start over on the project. You were almost finished anyway, right?"

This was a statement Lance knew how to answer. "Voltron kept thinking its own coding was a virus and tried to delete itself. Once we get past that problem it should be ready for production."

"Good. I'm counting on you Lance."

Lance went back to R&D and gathered together everyone in the department. "I know the theft of the Voltron project was a major blow to R&D. We can get past it. I'm sure some of you took copies of your work home. Bring whatever you have and we're going to rebuild Voltron. I know we can do it and Arus Inc know we can do it."

A little pep talk was all the people in R&D needed to get them motivated. Within a day and a half things were once again normal in R&D. Voltron was refusing to cooperate and Lance was ready to shoot the computer.

Thursday evening brought a surprise for Lance. He was reviewing the latest reports on Voltron's progress. The department was empty since he had sent everyone else home. He looked up as the lights suddenly went off. "What in the world?"

"Where is he?"

Lance's head swung around. There was someone out there. "Who's there?"

"I said where is he? Answer my question."

"I don't talk to people I can't see."

"Very well." Footsteps walked slowly towards Lance. He saw a brief flare of a lighter as it lit a cigarette. The cigarette was being held by Sven. He took a long drag and spoke again, "if you want to play that way. Hunk lights."

The lights came back on. Next to Sven stood his partner Lotor. A short distance away Hunk was standing. Lance began to get nervous. "Where is who," he asked shakily.

"Don't play with me. You know who I'm talking about. Where are you hiding Kay?"

Kay was missing? Lance keep his shock from showing on his face. He had to find out how long Kay had been gone. "Why don't you ask Pidge?"

"The little bastard is missing too." Sven took a step towards Lance's desk. "I want them back. Now where are you hiding them?"

"I told you I don't know where they are."

Sven leaned in very close. His face was inches from Lance's own. "I'm warning you, don't lie to me. It's dangerous to lie to me." He straightened up. "Let's go, I have two little mice to catch."

Sven turned and walked away. Lotor stood there staring at Lance for a moment. "If you hear from them, tell us or else you find out how we deal with problems." Then he turned on his heel and left the room. Hunk just glared at Lance and followed Sven and Lotor out.

Lance's heart was racing. They had come to his office and threatened him. He couldn't believe how calm Sven had been. "Lance, what have you gotten yourself into? And where are Kay and Pidge?"


Friday Lance went to Dante Park. He looked everywhere but there was no sign of Kay or Pidge anywhere in the park. He drove over to the apartment Pidge had shown him to on Friday.

He knocked on the door to the apartment and it slowly swung open. He stepped inside. The place was a shambles. The furniture was overturned, cushions were ripped apart. Anything that was breakable was broken and papers littered the floor.

Lance carefully walked through the room. "Damn, Sven must have been pissed." The bedrooms were worse. Clothing was thrown all over the place. The pillows and mattress were destroyed. Sven had taken his rage out of the inanimate objects in the apartment.

Lance picked up a broken picture frame. The picture inside was of a younger Pidge and Kay. It looked like it had been taken at an amusement park. A roller coaster could be seen in the background.

He felt a slight bulge in the frame. "What's this?" He broke apart the damaged frame. A disk fell out the back. "How did he manage to miss this?" Lance had to find out what was on that disk. It might be a clue to where Kay was hiding.

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