Allura watched the various readouts from the blue lion's computers as the team headed to the distant end of the system. Even at the speeds that they were traveling, it would take a few more hours before they would reduce to approach speed.
Satisfied with the lion's efficiency levels, Allura pulled up information about the various systems they passed. The gesture was intended to distract her from the nagging thoughts at the back of her mind.
Sighing, she cleared the screen of the unread information. She found various views of the other lions. She leaned harder against the chair, watching the images flash across a corner of the screen.
"What are we getting ourselves into?" she murmured.
She knew that they had to investigate this phenomenon. Due to the additional ships from the Galaxy Garrison, Arus would be sufficiently defended if this were a Doom trap.
'Which is exactly what we can could be heading for,' Allura thought glumly.
"Check in, Princess."
Allura rechecked the various key levels. "Everything is running smoothly, Keith."
There was a pause before the youngest member of the team came on the comm link.
"Okay, here, Keith. Our instruments haven't picked up any abnormalities, but we're still a good bit away from the phenomenon. Dr. Hamilton and I will inform you of any developments."
"See that you do," the captain replied. "Lance? Hunk?"
"Just peachy, Cap'n," answered Lance.
"Everything's fine, Keith," Hunk responded.
"Keep your eyes open, everyone," Keith reminded them.
"Any news from Arus, Keith?" Allura asked, her worry seeping into her voice.
Keith gave her a sympathetic smile. "Coran says everything is fine back home, Princess."
Allura smiled, grateful for that piece of information.
"Okay, team, slow to approach speed," Keith ordered.
Each of the lions slowed to the appropriate speeds and assumed a loose battle formation. The pilots began to recheck the status of the lions and their surroundings. When everything checked out okay, they began to run the specific examinations needed.
"I've initiated the gamma and radio scans, Pidge," Keith added.
"Commencing UV and infrared analysis," informed the princess. "You should be getting the readings, Pidge."
"We're getting them, Princess. Dr. Hamilton is analyzing your and Lance's data now."
Hunk came on. "How about my readings, little buddy?"
Pidge nodded, looking over his shoulder. "Yep, just received them. Keep the scanners going, though, everybody. We are getting some pretty interesting figures the closer we get to this thing."
"Any ideas?" Lance asked.
The young Space Explorer shook his head. "Nothing definite. We may need your input later, Hunk."
"I don't know what help I could be," the big man stated with a shrug, "but, sure, I'll give what opinions I can."
"That's all you can do, Hunk," Catherine called.
"Wow," Hunk said, scanning the various figures Pidge and Catherine sent him. "Those are some pretty impressive numbers there."
"You're telling me," exclaimed Pidge. "Sergeant, any ideas?"
"This is becoming more interesting the closer we get to this thing," she said, absently pushing her glasses further up her nose. "There is so much conflicting data that I am at a lost for even a guess about what is going on."
"Really?" Allura asked.
"I'm 'fraid so, Princess," replied Hunk
"I just don't get it," Pidge cried in frustration.
"Neither do I, little buddy," the pilot of the yellow lion added sympathetically. "We just have to get closer."
"I have the feeling even if we get in the center of this thing, we won't have a clue what it is," Lance muttered.
Keith sighed. "We will just have to keep the scanners running and hope that some of the information begins to support some kind of hypothesis."
"We'll do, Keith," said Pidge, a hint of weariness in his voice. He cut his comm link and glanced over at Catherine. "Are we still getting the readouts from the other lions?"
"A steady stream," she replied, her eyes still scanning the running numbers. She occasionally scribbled on a notepad but her eyes rarely left the data.
Pidge turned and checked the status of the green lion. The recent maintenance and slight adjustments had improved the all of the lions. He would have to congratulate Coran and the castle technicians for a wonderful job.
"Well, will you take a look at that?" Lance said with a whistle.
"It's . . . It's beautiful," whispered Allura with awe.
Keith gave a slight smile until something beeped. He quickly located the cause. "What the . . ."
"Keith," Pidge said excitedly. "I don't think we're alone. I'm getting . . ."
Suddenly the young pilot slouched forward in the chair with a moan.
"Pidge!" Hunk cried. "Hey, little buddy!"
Suddenly the comm link to the green lion was cut off.
"What the hell is going on in there!" Lance demanded.
Without warning, the green lion turned and fired at the red and blue lions. The missiles found their marks. One of the blue lion's back legs was immediately crippled, smoke rising from the battered limb. The red lion had taken the blow on its side, but it had fared a little better.
The green lion prepared for another attack as Doom ships began to fill the area.
"So, it was a trap."