"The Ambassadors of Arus."

Story by Adele
Story Copyright 2002
A story based on the series, "Voltron, The Third Dimension"

The characters of Voltron are the property of World Event Productions.  All other characters are the copyright of Adele.  Please do not use them without asking for permission.  Thank you.

Enjoy!


Chapter 15
Regretful Recognition

Keith rested on the couch in Amy's house.  Amy had fallen asleep, nestled close to his side. Drifting between sleep and awake, he suddenly saw the figure of a beautiful woman in an elegant pink gown. She was moving toward him in his mind.



He struggled to hear what she was saying to him. "What? You have to speak louder!" He shouted at her.

He cupped his ear, in an attempt to hear what she had to say.

"Its me...Allura!  Do you remember me, Keith?"

"Allura?  What are you doing here?"

"I'm trying to keep you from throwing your life away!"

"What do you mean?" He shouted, as he grew angry. "Go away! I told you I have to stay with Amy!"

"No you don't. Your mind thinks you do, but your heart tells you otherwise. It tells you that you belong to me. Listen to your heart, Keith. It knows the way!"

Suddenly, he looked at her and she began to fade away.  In her place, he suddenly sawwhat appeared to be...himself...now walking toward him at a steady pace. His own image was now standing only a few feet away.

"What do you want?" he asked himself.

"You have to snap out of his, Keith!"

"I love Amy, I'm telling you!"

"No... you don't."

"Who are you to say what I should feel?"

"I'm your heart, Keith. I'm what Allura told you to listen to.  I can help you find the truth. But you must trust me, Keith!"

"Why should I trust you?" Keith asked.

"Because, you know deep down that I'm right. Something has happened to you. Your true feelings are not for Amy. Think about this, Keith! You're throwing away your military life and your true love for something you think you want!"

"Something I think I want?  What do you mean by that?"

"Keith, your head is clouded by delusions. You have to overcome them fight it, Keith!"

Keith slowly turned around, facing the opposite direction. "I...I can't fight. I don't have the strength to."

"Yes you can!  Rely on your heart...it will show you the way!"

"Huh?"

"Your heart will show you the way. Follow your heart... follow your heart, Keith."




"Follow your heart... follow your heart, it knows the way..." he mumbled in his sleep.

Amy stirred, awakened by the sound of his unintelligible mumbling.  When he finally stopped, she settled back down and quickly fell back to sleep.

Keith returned to his dream. He was still standing before the image of himself.




"Keith!  I'm telling you! You have to focus your mind! Listen to what your heart is telling you!"

Keith argued with himself. "Will you just leave me alone! I don't want to hear anymore!"

"I'm sorry, but there is more for you to hear!  I'm going to take you back to a time not too long ago.  A time that will help you see things more clearly."

"I just want to be left alone!" Keith shouted.

"I'm sorry, but that's not possible. Your heart will not rest until you see things the way they really are!"

Keith huffed aloud. "Okay, okay! Show me what you want to show me!  But after that...will you leave me alone?"

The image bowed its head. "Yes.  If you see nothing from this, then I will cease from reminding you of anything further, and you can go on with the life you have chosen."

Keith smirked.  "Agreed.  So... show me what you want me to see!"

"Very well." His image approached him again, stopping short of his face. "I want you to close your eyes and concentrate, Keith."

He obeyed the request.  As he closed his eyes, he felt like he was moving rapidly through time and space.  The darkness seemed to streak past him, but he was not sure where he was headed.  He almost became dizzy...then he heard his voice again...

"Keith... open your eyes!"

As he did, he now found himself standing in a field, filled with wild flowers.  It all seemed so familiar to him, like he had been here before.

He turned his head as heard his name being called again...but the voice was different.

"Keith..."

He smiled as he saw Allura walking across the field to meet him. "I know this woman!" he thought.

He looked at her; her face was downcast. She approached him. "I heard about your new orders."

He stared at her for moment.  He instinctively knew what she meant, and began to play out the scene.

Then he nodded his head. "I don't want to leave." was all he could find to say. "I can't leave!"

Her lips pressed together, forming a thin line. He raised her chin to bring her focus to his eyes. "I don't think I can go through with it, Allura."

"Yes you can. You have to follow orders. Galaxy Garrison needs you elsewhere. Now that Zarkon and Lotor are defeated..."

"Now that Voltron is no longer needed, you mean." He added with a hint of sarcasim to his voice. "That's what the Alliance thinks. I spent most of the morning trying to convince the Council bureaucrats that Voltron is needed to keep the peace. They flatly refused to
acknowledge that we still have a job to do in rebuilding Arus."

Allura walked up to Keith, placing her hands in his. "When do you leave?"

He tucked his chin to his chest. "Right away. A shuttle is already on route here, and I'm told it should be in Arus's airspace within a couple of hours."

"That soon?" She asked. "But, we haven't even had a chance to say goodbye properly to all of you! I'm sure Nanny wanted to throw some kind of victory celebration!"

"I know.  I wish I could stay.  But I'm afraid the Alliance is making that impossible. I'm sorry, Princess." Keith sighed.

He released her hands, and turned around to look back on the field.  It seemed endless to him. The flowers seemed to go on forever.  There was a slight breeze that he could feel rustling through his shoulder length hair. The air smelled fresh and sweet to him here on
Arus... not at all like the air on Earth.

He sighed out loud. "I'm going to miss Arus." He said quietly, trying to take it all in.

Allura stepped up and stood next to him. "Arus will miss you, Keith."

Keith closed his eyes "You are Arus, Princess."

He took a deep breath of air into his lungs. He held it for moment, then slowly let it out. "I'm going to miss you most of all, I think." He said. "There's no place I'd rather be, then right here with you."

She regarded him quietly. "I'll miss you too, Keith. I'll miss you most out of everyone. You've become my best friend the person I turn to for advice, encouragement, and an occasional shoulder to cry on. I can't even think about what life will be like without you."

He looked to her, and saw that beautiful smile that just lit up his whole life.  It was hard for him to believe that he wouldn't see that smile tomorrow...or the next day...or any other day.










He shook his head. "I can't leave! I don't care what happens to me!  Let them court-martial me! Arus is my home! I have nothing on Earth... Here on Arus, I have you! I'll give up my commission...then they'll have to let me stay!"

She grabbed hold of his arm "It's your duty! You are an Alliance officer! You have to go! They need you, Keith! You can't give up your commission...not for anything... even for me. I won't let you!"

He sighed. "I know you're right. It's just..." he turned around and placed his hands on her shoulders. "I may never see you again, Allura. That's what scares me about leaving here!"

Tears began to form in her eyes. "If you can return to Arus, you will. And I'll be waiting for you."

He pulled her to him, embracing her in his arms. "I wish I could take you with me."

"I wish I could go with you. But I have my duty here on Arus. These are my people. I can't abandon them not when they need me the most. And you can't abandon Earth and the Alliance. It needs you too."

"I'll always have you in my heart, Allura."

"And you'll always be in mine, Keith. Please...promise you won't forget me."

He held her close to him. "I promise you, Allura.  I'll never forget you...never."



"Don't forget me, Keith... Keith..."




The vision started to fade from sight.  Keith suddenly became distressed. "No! Allura! Please don't go!"

He turned around and saw he was standing before himself once again. He had a regretful look over his face

"I take it you remember..."

He suddenly fell to the ground, slamming his fists repeatedly into it, "I...I sent her away... what a fool I am! I sent her away! I saw Voltron leaving! I saw her go! And I did nothing to stop her!  My friends left me! I made them go, too!  What was wrong with me?"

"You were under a powerful spell.  But now, you remember your heart's desire!"

Keith bowed his head. "But... I sent her away!  What am I going to do now?"

"Do?  You go after her!  Go after all of them! You know how to find them!"

He lifted his head and looked at himself. "Thank you." He said tearfully.

"Go!  Find your heart's desire! She needs you!   She's calling for you even now!  Listen... can't you hear her?"



He began to stir again in his sleep. He shifted his position a bit on the couch. As he drifted in and out of deep sleep, he could still hear the voice that was calling him...


"Help me!  Help me,  Keith!  Don't let her take me away!"



He moaned quietly, suddenly becoming uneasy in his sleep. He dreamt that he was standing in a large area, dark and dismal.



"Allura? Is that you?"

"Help me, Keith!  She's taking me away! Please help me!"

"Allura... Allura...!  Answer me! Who's taking you away?"

"Help me!"

"Who's taking you away?" Keith repeated.

"Save me, Keith! Please!"




The voice grew further and further away, until he could no longer hear it.  He rolled over on the couch away from Amy, bringing his head to  rest on the arm of the couch. A quiet whisper came from his lips, as he began to talk in his sleep between breaths...


"Allura... Allura... Allura...where are you?"



As the dream progressed again, he could see someone he was very familiar with. An enemy that his heart knew very well was standing in front of him.  He was laughing.



"I have the Princess now, Keith! 
Since you just threw her away,
I now have the clearance to take her as my own!"
The evil man in the shadows said.

Keith shook his head wildly. "You can't have her!"

The enemy stood stepped into view, and Keith recognized him immediately It was Lotor! And chained to him, he had Allura!

She was struggling to free herself. "Keith! Keith! Please help me!  Please... don't forget me now!"

Keith struggled to get around Lotor, but he wouldn't let him near. "Oh no, Keith!  Your woman is next to you! This is whom you have chosen!" he said, as he pointed next to Keith.

Keith turned and looked to his side. Amy was standing next to him, grinning. "You're finally mine, Keith! You can't leave me! You love me!"

Keith stared at her. He started shaking his head. "No Amy! I told  you...I can never be more to you than just a friend!"



Amy frowned. "But...
you told your team you loved me!
You told Allura you loved me!
You told her you were staying here with me!"

Keith grabbed his head. "No! I...I... can't stay here!  I'm not staying here!" He turned to Lotor and the Princess.  He started dragging her away.  Keith ran after her, but Amy grabbed his arm, restraining him from leaving.  He reached out his hand toward Allura, who was still screaming for Keith...

"Keith!  Please!  You can't give up your commission!  You have to do what your heart is telling you to do! I know your heart knows who you truly are, Keith!   Look for yourself! Before it's too late!   Please...don't forget me, Keith!"

Lotor scooped Allura up in his arms, and she instantly fainted.


Keith still struggled for Amy to let him go. 
He pushed at her, straining to be released...

"No! Amy!  I can't stay here! I'm sorry! Allura needs me!"

Then, when Allura was out of sight, Amy jumped in front of him. "You promised...you would stay here... with me!"

"I... I can't! I love Allura! I always have!"

(His mind struggled while he slept)



"Allura!" He shouted, as he took off running toward the area she disappeared to. 

Instead of finding her, he found Lance. He was just standing there. Out of breath, he grabbed Lance's arm. "Lance!  Where did Lotor go?  He has Allura!"








Lance stood there quietly. Keith grabbed Lance by the shoulders and shook him hard. "For God's sake, Lance!  Where's Allura?"

He looked at Keith, then finally spoke. "If you change your mind, we're following our original plan and heading toward the palace today. We should reach it by tomorrow."

"Huh?" Keith said.

"We'll be there!  Come on!  We're waiting for you there!" Lance said.

Keith turned his head, as he heard a faint voice in the distance "Keith!  Please don't forget me!"

He turned back to Lance but he was now gone to.  Keith stood alone in his dream. He looked back toward the area of the faint voice.

"Keith... please! Don't forget me!"






Keith shook his head, tears starting to come to his eyes. "I won't Allura.  Never!  Never! Allura... Allura, can you hear me?

ALLURA! ALLURA, WHERE ARE YOU? I'M COMING, PRINCESS! I'M COMING
FOR YOU!"




Keith was screaming at the top of his voice. When he woke up, he found Amy on top of him, shaking him awake.

"Wake up, Keith! Wake up! You're having a bad dream!"

Keith took large, deep breaths, trying to calm himself down. He wiped the sweat from his brow.

Amy had a worried look on her face. "Are you okay now?" She took her hand and used her thumbs to wipe his  face from perspiration. It was then Keith remembered everything.

"Tears... crying... Allura!  She's in trouble... I know it!" he thought as he quickly sat up, pushing Amy to one side of him.

He stood up and looked down at his hands. They were shaking. "What's been happening here?  What did you do to me?"

Amy looked at him with a puzzled expression. "I'm not sure if I follow you. Do what?"

"You know what I mean! What kind of spell did you put on me?  And how did you do it?" he demanded. "You knew I was in love with Allura, and yet you deliberately tricked me somehow into believing I was in love with you!"

Then, Keith walked over toward the window and looked out into the night sky. "Worse then that, I made her leave. I hurt her... I hurt my friends too." He turned around back to Amy. "Why Amy?  Just answer me... why? What would make you do this?"

Amy's eyes began to tear up. She knew she had lost him once again.  The spell wore off somehow. She tucked her head down toward her chest. "I...I...I don't know.  When Hagar offered me..."

"Wait... Hagar?" Keith immediately rushed back toward her as she sat on the couch.  He knelt at her side. "You saw Hagar? Here?  When?"

Amy nodded. "She came to me. She said she could make my dreams of having you come true. It was too good to resist!" Amy suddenly threw herself to him. "All I ever wanted was your love, Keith! I never wanted anything as badly as I wanted you!  Please understand!"

Keith pushed her off of him. "Understand what? You used me, Amy!  If you really loved me the way you say, how could you think of doing that to me?"

Amy looked down again. "I didn't think about that, I guess. I just thought about me. I didn't want you to leave me again."

"Amy... I'm an Alliance pilot! I'm the Commander of Voltron! I have made a vow to protect Princess Allura and her planet!  Do you mind telling me how I'm going to do that if I'm here with you?"

She shrugged her shoulders in response to him.

"I can't do any of those things now! Not here! And you have jeopardized my ability to do my duty and to bring peace to this planet!" He stood up and walked away from where she sat and walked back to the window. "I have to go!  I have to go now!" he said, running his hands nervously through his unruly black hair.

Amy jumped up and ran for him. "No, please! Don't leave me again!  I won't let you leave me again!  Please, Keith!  Forget that life!  You have a new one with me!  You were happy with me here!"

"I was under a spell that Hagar created and you consented to!  I have no real desire to stay here! I belong with my team!  What you've done is...is... inexcusable and irresponsible! I can't believe I almost fell for it!"

He looked back out the window again into the night sky. "I can't believe what I did to them.  I only hope they can forgive me and take me back."

He cleared his head of his thoughts of regret. Then he turned to Amy. "I'm sorry.  I have to go!  You know I do!"

Amy stood silently for a moment. Then took a deep breath in. "Keith, I'm so sorry.  Can you ever find it in your heart to forgive me?"

Keith grabbed her shoulders. "I forgive you, Amy.  But right now, I have a job to do and I hope I'm not too late." He ran into the other room and grabbed his jetpack. He had forgotten to give it back to Lance when he left. It obviously was meant to stay with him.

"I'm jetting out right now!" he said to her.

"But... how will you know where to look for them?" she asked.

"I know where...Lance told me before he left this morning." Keith said as he opened the door to step outside. He started to put on his jetpack, then looked down at his clothes. He realized he didn't have anything else to where, since he gave Allura back his military uniform. "I'll bring these back as soon as I can," he said, referring to the clothes he had on.

"Don't worry about them. But could you do me a favor?" she asked.

"What favor?" he said as he buckled his jetpack in place. "Hurry! I have to go!"

"Please... could you remember to come back and pick me up?" she said quietly.

"Amy... I can't take you to Arus.  I already told you that!" he snapped at her.

"I... I don't want to go to Arus.  I want to go home... back to Earth." Tears formed in her eyes. "I can pick up my education training back at the academy."

Keith slowly smiled. "Of course we can. I promise I'll return to get you." He leaned over and kissed her forehead. "I've got to go now.'

"Goodbye, Keith. I hope Princess Allura is alright." She added, tearfully.

Suddenly, Keith's face went blank. He recalled his dreams Allura.

"She's in trouble... I know it!" He thought. "I have to go, fast!"

Keith switched on his jetpack, hovering above the ground. "Goodbye, Amy!" he shouted from mid-air.

She reached her hand up toward him. "Remember your promise!  Don't forget me!"



"Don't forget me..."

Allura...



"I promise!  I'll be back as soon as I can!"  He immediately jetted off, leaving her standing in the chill of the evening air.

Amy watched as he flew out of sight, realizing that he was gone for good. He would return to get her, as he promised.  But her life's dream had ended.  He was never coming back to her.

She sank to the ground; regretting the terrible pain she had brought to him.  Suddenly, she sent up a silent prayer toward heaven, as she gazed at all the stars above. "Please, make sure he's safe."

Then, she bowed her head in silence...and began weeping bitterly.




As Keith hurried through the air, his mind ran a thousand thoughts through it.  But one remained quite clear. And his heart repeated the echo...

"I hope I'm not too late!" He thought sadly. "I've got to find the Princess. I've got to!"

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*Picture of 'Amy' above, created by Amber.  Please visit her website, "Son of Keith" from my links page.