Cost of Protection, Part 8

by Tiki

Quick Disclaimer: Voltron is the property of WEP.

Lance inserted the disk into the computer at his office. There was just one very large file on it. He opened the file and took a look at it. There were several breaks in it with dates at the breaks.

Lance took a closer look at the file. It appeared to be some kind of record. He decided to read the first entry.

I don't know why I'm doing this. I guess because Pidge went through so much trouble to get a this thing for me I should use it. He says he did it because I done so much for him. He's really a sweet kid.

It's a journal. I would have never thought Kay kept a journal. Lance went through the file, his eyes just glancing over it. He stopped when he saw his name.

Pidge brought this guy to meet one last Friday. His name was Lance. I thought his face looked familiar. While Sven was going over his latest scheme with Lotor I remembered. He's part of that company Sven's interested in, Arus Inc., a vice-president of some kind. I guess Pidge likes him, he's never brought anyone to meet me before. I think he's cute too.

The final two entries in the journal sent chills down Lance's spine. He read them twice just to make sure his eyes weren't playing tricks on him. In the first one Kay talked about how much fun he had spending the afternoon with Lance and Pidge. He also mentioned how torn he felt between about Sven wanted him to do. It was the last entry that worried him.

I can't believe I'm even thinking about this. I have Arus Inc.'s secret project right here. Sven wants it ruined so Arus will go under. All I can think about is him. I can see what the problem is and I know someone who can fix it. I'm going to do it. Sven'll kill me. I don't care anymore. This has to end. Forgive me.


Sometime in the middle of the night, Lance was woken up by the insistent ringing of the phone. He rolled over to answer it. "Hello, do you know what time it is?"

"Lance, I need you to come down to the office right away."

Lance sat up. He looked over at the clock. It read 4 am. "Allura? What is it? What's happened? Do you know it's 4 in the morning?"

"Just get down here Lance."


When Lance arrived at the main offices of Arus Inc., the fire department was just cleaning up. He looked up at the destruction. The building had been on fire. There wasn't much of the place left. He found Allura talking to the police.

"How did this happen?" Lance gestured towards the burnt husk that used to be Arus Inc. "What happened?"

"The police and the fire department are still trying to figure out the details. They do know the fire appeared to start in your department." Allura looked at Lance. "It wasn't an accident."

Lance didn't like the way Allura was looking at him. "What are you saying? You think I had something to do with this?"

"You have been acting strange lately. And you left early and then came back to the building. Why were you here so late on a Friday, Lance?" Allura took a step closer to Lance.

I can't tell her the truth. It would cause too many questions. I have to come up with something. "You know about all the problems we've been having with the latest project. I just came to pickup some paperwork to work over this weekend, that's all."

It didn't look like Allura was buying the story completely. "Still it's strange a fire would break out so soon after you left."

"Why don't you ask the security guards?"

"I will." Allura turned away from Lance. She walked off, leaving Lance staring after her.

What the hell is going on?


By Monday afternoon, Lance was ready to throw in the towel. The fire at Arus Inc.'s main offices had taken a turn for the worse. The bodies of the security guards had been found in the rubble. They had been shot.

Whoever had set fire to the building had meant business. They had left no witnesses. Allura still didn't believe he had nothing to do with the arson and was shutting him out.

The situation with Kay wasn't much better. The disk hadn't given Lance many clues to where Kay and Pidge may have gone. There was the name of the hotel they had hid out at last time they had run. It was the only lead he had.

Checking out the hotel yielded nothing. They weren't there. It makes sense, Lance thought. Why go back to a place Sven already knows about? Talk about suicide. All I can do now is wait. Maybe something will turn up.

Several days went back without a word coming in from anyone. The only information Lance got on the situation at Arus Inc. came from the newspapers and any other employees he happened to run into. From what he was hearing, things weren't going well.

There was still no sign of Kay and Pidge. A few veiled threats had been left on his answering machine. One was even from Sven himself. Lance felt strangely honored. He got the impression Sven didn't get personally involved in things and he was being threatened by the man personally. It could go to a guy's head.

Finally one afternoon when Lance was returning from his bike ride, his phone rung. He didn't rush to answer it. "Probably another death threat from Sven. I'll let the machine get it." Then he nearly broke his neck getting to the phone as a voice he hadn't expected began speaking.

"Uh, hello Lance. It's Pidge. Kay and I need your help."

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