Lance loved giving people nicknames, it was his thing, whatever no big deal. So here Keith was, in front of Lance who was ignoring him in favor of his music that was probably some pop song.
After three minutes of being ignored, Keith growled and tore the headphones off Lance’s head. “Hey!” Lance shouted, scrambling to grab his headphones from Keith’s hand.
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Hollow footsteps echo outside his room and Keith looks up to see the door swing open, revealing Bolivian’s emotionless face. Keith stands immediately, ready for whatever mission he’s about to be assigned, but Bolivian just shakes his head.
“Lance!” he says just under his breath, trying his hardest to hide the smile that threatens to break across his face. “Hey, mullet.” He says it so softly, so gently, that Keith can feel his heartache.
He wants desperately to run to him, return to the castle and listen to his voice call him weird names over and over until he’s sick of them. At the very least, he wants to end the call and run back into his room before he starts missing them too much again.
“I’ve uh, been busy,” Keith says, darting his eyes to the left as he tries to calm the rapid beating of his heart. “Well, yeah, the team’s different now,” he reasons, using logic to get himself far, far away from emotions and feeling and everything else that terrifies him.
Keith closes his eyes against the prickle of tears that threaten to leak. “Soon, then,” Lance says, a desperation in his voice Keith wishes he hadn’t heard.
A man of few words and dry wit, Keith is a loner and rebel by nature with “discipline issues” that resulted in his expulsion from the Galaxy Garrison. He spent most of his time after his expulsion living alone in a shack out in the desert and searching for the source of strange energy he felt, leading him to explore a nearby range of mountains.
While Keith is imbued with a sense of justice and bravery, this can manifest itself in a stubborn personality, making him someone who refuses to back down from a fight despite any warnings from his teammates that he should flee. This trait is best witnessed during his battle with Carbon, who was using the Black Bayard to push Keith and the Lion beyond their limits.
Even with constant provocations from Lance, Keith shows only disinterest in a rivalry and makes attempts at bonding and working together with his entire team. Keith is truthfully as goofy and free-spirited as the rest of his teammates; it just takes a little longer for the somewhat Stoic Paladin to show this.
He has laughed freely at Hunk's jokes and enjoyed the food fight during training, throwing plates of goo onto Allure and Corn's faces while laughing wildly, and over time, warms up to the team to crack friendly jokes of his own. Keith is notably fond of the outdoors, finding the quiet of the forest and wild lands to be enjoyable.
Luckily for Keith, Allure came to terms with her own suffering and feelings towards the Gala, making amends with him by stating that she considered him and the Paladins her new family, and what is important in a person is who they are, not their blood. Due to his mother leaving him as an infant and his father's death when he was still a small child, Keith had some serious barriers that he kept up around his friends and teammates, which initially impeded his abilities as a leader during the first few missions as the head of Vol tron.
Keith embodies the Red Lion's elemental affiliation of Fire in his hotheaded personality, fierce instincts in battle, and often incendiary humor and remarks. But like fire, Keith's impulsive and explosive tendencies can be harnessed as a valuable tool and weapon to ensure the survival and victory of his friends and innocents.
After discovering his Gal ran heritage, Keith began to volunteer for increasingly dangerous assignments from the Blade of Marmara, seeming to feel the need to attach him to the closest connection he had to his biological family. Keith often felt the need to prove himself to his commanding officer and mentor, Bolivian, while simultaneously disregarding orders to put the mission first.
Keith shares key characteristics with his Gal ran mother, Kaolin, including a protective streak, a tendency to be impulsive, and a habit of incorporating his own emotional agenda into his missions against the advice of senior officers such as Shirt or Bolivian. Since returning from the Quantum Abyss, Keith's ability to connect to Black's consciousness directly seems to be indicative of his newfound maturity.
No longer possessed by his manic and frenetic mindset in battle, Keith is now a leader come full circle in his journey of self-discovery. It can be seen that he no longer is as anxious or aggressive in his leadership style, able to master control over himself enough to see through the eyes of the Black Lion, a feat only displayed among the current generation of Paladins by his predecessor, Shirt.
While the original series presented viewers with a fully-formed 30-something Keith who was “specially trained and sent by the Alliance” as a well-balanced exemplary leader, here Keith is being shown undergoing the trials and tribulations necessary to forge such a leader, like a blade made much stronger from being tempered in heat and cold. Thus far Keith's experiences and performance have given much promise that his inner struggles will at last crystallize into a beacon of hope, like grim percussion replaced by the clarion call of a trumpet.
A skilled martial artist, Keith is extremely capable on the battlefield as his Bayard takes the form of a Qatar that can slice through solid steel with ease. He is dedicated to maintaining his abilities and spends his free time on the ship honing his combat skills.
His combat skills allowed him to knock three Garrison military doctors out cold with minimal effort and incredible speed. He is also surprisingly strong despite his lean frame and his tendency to stress speed and agility over strength in a fight.
He is capable of handling the Red Lion not because of their shared ferocious and rebellious natures, but because of his instincts and respect for Shirt as a leader. Unlike the others, Keith had to earn his Lion's respect by fighting to protect it at all costs, thus impressing Red.
Keith's intense bravery and stubbornness allows him to bypass his normal limits and take opponents like the Quintessence -enhanced Carbon on even footing, but does leave him in a state of mind that prevents him from making sound decisions. However, as seen during his battle with the Gala Emperor, Keith's determination also allows him to connect more deeply with Red, unlocking previously unknown weaponry.
The power unleashed by Red's upgraded cannon was enough to inflict critical damage to Carbon's central base and large portion of his vast armadas. This shows that despite his typically reckless demeanor and approach that Keith is a capable guerrilla fighter and tactician of considerable skill.
Keith has shown himself to be quickly able to adapt his fighting style to whatever weapon he has on hand, such as his Lucite sword. This can be seen when he was able to see directly through Black's perspective, bringing out the Ephemeral Wings to fly from several galaxies away within moments to rejoin the other Paladins.
While The Vol tron Coalition Handbook states that a year has passed since Shiro's return to Earth, making Keith 19 by the time season six begins, his age is subject to his travels through the warped space-time of the Quantum Abyss, aging him two additional years. This was revealed explicitly in the Season Five Episode “Bloodlines” when Keith meets his mother, a Blade of Marmara operative named Kaolin, for the first time.
Keith’s Marjorie blade, when fully manifested, bears a resemblance to the future knife from Nepal. But now... we, the citizens of the Gala Empire, have an opportunity to make right all the injustices set into motion by our forefathers.
Because of the sacrifice made by Princess Allure, we have been given a second chance, to come together in rebuilding the Gala Empire by joining the Galactic Coalition and ushering in a new era of peace across the universe. Guardian Spirit of Fire Orphaned at a young age before enlisting in the Galaxy Garrison, Keith is somewhat of a lone wolf.
Considered to be the most talented pilot of his generation, he refuses to live by other people’s rules, instead choosing to carve out his own path. He has Gal ran heritage rooted in the Gala rebel faction called the Blade of Marmara, which he decides to join, leaving Team Vol tron so that Shirt can return as the Black Paladin.
Keith has the appearance of a lean older teenager with pale skin, black hair, fairly thick eyebrows, and blue-gray eyes that seem purple in certain lighting. The rest of his hair reaches the base of his neck, wildly flaring out in curved strands that tend to sit on top of his coat collar or armor.
Of the Paladins, Keith is the second-shortest, beating only Ridge in height, until he ages in the Quantum Abyss and becomes the third-tallest alongside Lance. Strapped to the belt at his lower back is a silver-colored and double-bladed knife with a black pommel, often kept wrapped in cloth and sheathed in a gray and silver scabbard.
While Keith normally appears to be completely human, he has displayed Gal ran traits such as yellow sclera, feline pupils, and sharpened teeth during moments of extreme stress and emotion. ” Normally reserved, quiet, and calm, Keith is quick to give sarcastic quips and blunt commentary.
He is a competitive and pragmatic person who favors following his instincts above all else and will take the initiative regardless of the danger and challenge, leading to impressive accomplishments. While a grounded and logical thinker, he is susceptible to his honest emotions: his rebellious and impulsive nature leads him to be foiled by his own frustration, temper, and unwavering desire to defeat the Gala Empire ; he often must reel himself in with patience and focus or allay input to cool his head.
He is capable of loosening up and enjoying a good bout of fun, happily engaging in or instigating some of the team's playful antics. He places as much value on his team members as he does his mission and makes an honest effort to connect with them no matter how often he scolds someone for their lack of focus.
He is not fond of the idea of abandoning a teammate, even if he considers thinking as a Paladin to weigh the greater good over single life. Keith is highly observant of his team's well-being and will rush to protect or avenge them when needed, even if it means putting himself directly in harm's way.
This self-sacrificial nature is something he extends to the Red Lion to prove his worth and when he confronts the mystery of Gal ran heritage. Keith is equally able to accept that one evil is not the representative of all of its kind but does not fault Allure's shunning of him for his Gal ran heritage and only uses it as fuel to prove he has a rightful place on the Vol tron team until they make amends.
Following his brief experience as leader piloting the Black Lion, his decision to leave Team Vol tron only occurs so that “Shirt” may return as the Black Paladin, as Keith constantly compares himself to Shirt, who guided him in his youth, and feels the man is a better leader than himself. It is only after meeting his mother, Kaolin, and bonding with her for two years that Keith stabilizes and matures as a person, returning to the mantle of Black Paladin once “Shirt,” truly a clone, turns against the team.
Keith has an immense sense of justice, selflessness, and the desire to fight alongside his team to bring light to the darkest time of the universe despite what costs may come. Paladin Armor that allows for safe travel in space; it contains a highly advanced computer system, a communication system, a laser gun, a grappling hook and tether, holographic capabilities, an energy shield for defense, breathable air, and a jetpack for brief sustained flight.
Combat Keith's specialty lies in close-combat with martial arts and bladed sidearms, using a fighting style said to be more Gal ran than human. He is a skilled and aggressive martial artist able to take down Garrison technicians in mere moments with a few powerful strikes.
Keith's agility stats are officially the highest; his battle strength lies mainly in his physical speed, trust in his instincts, quick adaptation to changes on the battlefield, and his sheer determination to succeed. While Keith's instincts allow him to react quickly, it makes him less observant of his surroundings and more susceptible to surprise attacks.
It should be noted that, although reverted to normal by the healing power of Quintessence, Keith's hand becomes an oddly-discolored and patterned purple-gray when he is injured by the dark magic of a Gala Druid.