Facing the Snare
Facing the Snare

"So, it was a trap," Allura said.

She maneuvered her lion out of the way of the next strike. She was grateful that Lance had, too. However, she realized that agility of the both crafts had greatly been affected.

The comm link of the green lion opened and Catherine appeared on the screen.

"Not a pilot, huh?" Lance demanded, his tone angry and sarcastic.

"I demand your immediate surrender," she said while expertly manipulating the controls of the green lion. "If you refuse, I'm afraid that further force will be used."

"Why are you doing this, Catherine?" Allura asked, her voice pleading.

"Princess Allura, if you surrender now, my father will be merciful."

"Your father!" the princess cried in shock.

"Yes," she replied, the yellow-green eyes still filled with anger. "King Zarkon will be merciful to both you and Arus, if you will surrender now."

"There is no way I will surrender to Zarkon," she retorted hotly.

"Even it means the death of your friends?" Catherine asked pointedly.

Allura gasped. If she surrendered, there was no guarantee that Zarkon would be merciful to her and Arus, no matter what Catherine promised. Yet, she was unwillingly to sacrifice the lives of the team, especially since they were so greatly outnumbered and down to four lions.

'Father, what do I do?' she thought, looking down at the controls of the blue lion.

"Don't do it, Princess," Lance said. "Don't even think about it."

"We can't give up that easily, Allura," Keith cried angrily. "Not without a fight."

Catherine closed her eyes for a moment before facing the screen again. "Then you leave me no choice."

The green lion aimed for another series of strikes. To her horror, Allura realized that the target was Lance and Keith. "Catherine, no!"

Suddenly, Catherine gave a muffled yelp, her eyes rolling into the back of her head. She slid out of the flight chair and Pidge appeared in front of the scene. The green lion relaxed from its crouch.

"Hi, everybody!" the young pilot greeted cheerily. "If you guys will buy me some time, I will have things secured here."

"Will do, Pidge," Keith stated, his tone relieved. "Team, let's get to work."

* * * * *

With great relief, Allura watched the last of the Doom ships flee from the area.

"Do we go after them, Keith?" Hunk asked.

"No," the captain replied. "Maybe it will be a warning for Zarkon and Lotor."

"Yeah, like they have learned their lesson all the times before," Lance cried sarcastically. "So, Pidge, how's your passenger?"

"Restrained and unhappy," the younger pilot replied, glancing over his shoulder. "Very unhappy."

"I don't doubt that," Hunk said.

"It really is beautiful," the princess stated thoughtfully.

"What is, Princess?"

"The phenomenon, Keith," she answered. "Pidge, any idea what this thing is?"

He shook his head. "Sure don't, Princess. Maybe some of our data will help the experts back at Galaxy Garrison. I don't have any definite ideas."

"Well, who gets to name this thing?" Hunk asked. "It's getting kinda old referring to this thing as the phenomenon."

"Since we did most of the investigating, I guess we do," Pidge replied. "Until the real brainiacs decide on what this thing is."

"So, what are we going to call it?" Allura asked.

There was a pause, as the team contemplated the marvel before them.

"Cat's Cradle," Lance said finally.

Keith nodded. "Okay, team, let's go home."