"What the Future Holds"

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 Previte.  Please do not use them without asking for permission.  Thank you.  Enjoy!

The Aftermath

Keith could hardly believe it to be true.  It had to be a dream or more like a nightmare.  How could this have happened?  Why did it happen to her?  He kept waiting.... hoping...even praying...that somehow,  he would awaken from this dream.

"She's too young, " Keith kept repeating to himself.  "This can't be happening...not to her!"  His swollen eyes welled up once again with tears.  As he took the back of his hand and wiped the tear tracks from his face, he kept shaking his head  he didn't want to believe what was happening.

But it was happening.  There she laid the young and beautiful Princess of Arus, as if she really were asleep.  She had no idea of the outpouring of grief that had struck her planet, or the grief that had struck all of the planets in the Galaxy Alliance.  The news rang far and wide And everyone, who knew of her and her love for others, cried at the news of her sudden and tragic death.

Princess Allura Adrianna DeVille, Planet Arus's only reigning monarch, had just turned 25 years old last month.  Her subjects had waited for her 25th birthday eagerly.  For this was the year, according to royal tradition, that she was to select a prince consort to marry.  Many of her subjects had fondly imagined that that the handsome young commander of Voltron might get the nod.   Everyone who had eyes could see that there was a silent attraction shared between them.  Now, it really didn't matter. 

Keith Hunter, 27-years old, Commander of the Voltron Force, and pilot of Black Lion, stood next to Lance Andrews, the 27-year-old daredevil pilot of Red Lion.  Lance was rarely emotional, but on this day, he could not hold back the tears.  Keith tried his best to console his long-time friend, while trying to maintain his own sanity.  The devastated commander looked up, as tears from his eyes, once again, were running down his cheeks, as he gazed at Lance.  Both men were standing before the beautiful wooden coffin, which had been adorned on the inside with a delicate eggshell colored velvet lining.

"You know, Allura wouldn't have wanted us to be like this." Keith consoled, placing a gentle hand on Lance's shoulder.

"Yeah, I know, " Lance sobbed, grief-stricken.  "But I just can't help itshe was so much to so many people...our teammate, our Princess... my friend." 

No one had known that sad truth more than Keith.  He had often fancied the thought of what it would be like to ask the beautiful Princess Allura out.  But how would that look?  She was a Princess, of the noble House of Arus.  He was a commander from the Galaxy Alliance of Planet Earth.  Hardly a perfect match.  But yet, one that Keith often pondered.

He knew Allura had thought of it too, as did many people on Arus. Even his teammates knew there was a special bond of friendship that the two had shared.   But she, being of royal birth, kept her place and didn't pursue the idea either.  But deep inside, Keith knew from her eyes that she longed to be more to him then just a friend, as he did for her.   Perhaps the future might have yielded something more for them both.  But no longer.

Suddenly, Keith recalled the many times he and Allura shared brief moments of solitude, away from the hustle of military life and royal duty.  They would speak of deep subjects, and occasionally, held each other's hand for a brief moment in time.  So brief, it seemed that Keith was now having trouble recalling if it was truth, or fiction.

Princess Allura was adorned in her favorite royal robes.  The pink was her favorite color of all her gowns.  She adored wearing it frequently.  Around her were many different kinds of flower arrangements, some native to Arus, and some sent over from other planets.  Allura especially fancied the rose.  She always thought it the most beautiful of all flowers created.  She was sure to pick up several bouquets whenever she visited the villages in the valley below the Castle. Her room was always adorned with them. 

But most of all, she was proud to be a part of the Voltron Force and the pilot of Blue Lion.  She would have it no other way, actually.  Allura took pride in believing that her father, the late King Alfor DeVille, would have supported her decision to pilot Blue Lion.  His daughter was not only Princess of Arus, but defender of the people of Arus as well. 

The Royal Crown of Arus had been placed on the head of the Princess.  It was an elegant piece of head jewelry that had been worn by her mother, Queen Angelica Camille DeVille.  Allura's mother passed away many years ago, when she was a small child.  King Alfor was left to rule alone, and also left with the task of raising their daughter on his own. 

The crown was made of pure gold, and lined with hundreds of the purest of diamonds known to Arus.  Allura cherished it fondly in life.  It was only fitting that it should go with her in death.   There were no other living heirs lefts to pass it on to.

Keith looked over across the room to Pidge Villatoro, the 19-year-old genius pilot of Green Lion, and Hunk Simon, 29, and the pilot of Yellow Lion.   They were standing with Sir Coran Anderson, Princess Allura's advisor, and Chief Magistrate, and protector to the secrets of the robot warrior, Voltron.  His tears covered his face as he gazed onto the departed princess that he had grown to love as his own daughter.  Coran was charged with guardianship of young Allura after the tragic death of her father, the king, at the battle of Zohur.

"I've always known that she would meet her doom by flying that confounded lion" He thought tearfully.  "From the day she announced her determination to fly the Blue Lion in Sven's place, I had always had a very bad feeling that someday, something would go wrong.  Why did I have to be right?"  Coran bowed his head in silence, still wrestling with his tormented regrets as he wept uncontrollably. 

It was a good thing that the Princess's governess of many years, Nanny, was not able to attend the funeral due to health reasons.  She had returned to Earth, unable to continue her duties on Arus.  Yet even from that distance, she too was heart-broken with grief, sending a message of regret upon hearing news of her young mistress's death.  Coran took great comfort in hearing from Nanny; recalling the message he read from her, received only yesterday

Dearest Master Coran,

It is with sadness that I send you this message.  Our baby is gone?  How can this be so?  I still shutter at the news of her death.  Although I have many regrets about having to leave my service of the Princess, my deepest regret now is for Arus.  What will become of Arus without her ruler and champion of peace? Indeed, what will become of us all?  I will hate myself for the rest of my days, for not being there to counsel her against her continued insistence at flying those dreadful robot lions.   Yet, even if there, it probably would have done very little good. 

I understand that Commander Keith and the rest of the Voltron Force witnessed her tragic end to life.  I am only sad to say that it was indeed hard enough to hear of the news of her passing.  I can't imagine what I would be like if I had been still on Arus and witnessed it first hand myself.  She was like our child, Coran.  You and I had raised her since we lost King Alfor that awful day.  I still recall it all. 

Coran, my prayers and thoughts are with you and the people of Arus in this great time of loss.  I further regret to tell you that I will be unable to attend the funeral. My health these days, is not what it used to be I'm afraid.  Just as well, I wouldn't want my last memories of her to be this way.  I want to remember Allura, as she wasbright, beautiful and stubborn.  She was always so stubborn, that girl!  You couldn't tell her anything!

I must close now. I grow tired again from my illness.  Please pass my love to the Voltron Force.  I know they must be heart-broken, as we all are.

With sincere sorrow and deepest regret,

Coran took his handkerchief and wiped his eyes once again.

To Coran's right stood Princess Romelle DeVille and her brother, Prince Bandor DeVille of Planet Pollux,  Allura's cousins.   And next to both of them stood former Voltron Force member Sven B'Yourn, the former pilot of the Blue Lion.  He became a friend to Romelle after she helped him escape with her from Planet Doom.  He had been taken there against his will after he was hospitalized from injuries he suffered at the hands of Hagar, the evil servant of King Zarkon of Planet Doom.

All in attendance were uncontrollably sorrowed.  Pidge was heaving deep sobs of anguish.  He too was stunned by the events.  In some strange way, Pidge blamed himself for the death of the Princess. 

"If I was only quicker...just a little" Pidge sobbed.  "Why didn't I just Keith Why Keith?  why didn't you let me save her?"  Pidge was shaking his head in frustration, anger and perhaps, guilt.

Hunk, the strong man of the team, gently laid his hand on top of Pidge's small shoulder in an attempt to comfort his little friend. 

Keith looked up toward the sound of a single voice, now loudly speaking to the tremendous crowd that had gathered.  The Archbishop of the Kingdom of Altaer gathered the attention of the people.  His voice trembled, as it seemed that the he too, was heavy with grief. 

"Please bow your heads in a word of prayer, " the Archbishop prayed.  "Dear Lord, please accept the soul of our departed Princess of Arus, Allura, daughter of the Great King Alfor.  Have mercy on those of us who are now left behind, and grant us peace, oh Lord, in our time of uncertainty. Amen"

Keith awaited the final signal.

The somber Archbishop slowly lifted his head.  Tears were streaming down his face too, as he struggled to say the final words.  "And now, in tribute of Princess Allura's life, the Arusian national anthem."

Keith now knew it was time.  He paused and listened for a moment. The beautiful anthem now being played, became a mournful tribute, as the orchestra's somber tune bellowed from the balcony of the tabernacle.  Keith, along with the other Voltron members, quietly approached the coffin containing the body of the Arusian Princess.  Princess Romelle, Prince Bandor, Sven, and Coran also approached to say their final farewells. 

Keith took one last look at her face.  Even in death, she looked so beautiful.  He laid a bouquet of red roses in the coffina tribute of the silent love he carried for her.  He reached out and gently touched her face with his finger.  She was so cold.  Her skin was no longer soft, as he had always known it to be.

"How could she be gone?  This has to be a trick.  Like the time Lotor tried to fake her death and kidnap her shortly after the funeral" he thought. "If Lotor is in any way involved in this again."  Keith snarled to himself, "I swear..."

But he never finished the thought.

Coran closed the casket lid and sealed it with the clasp.  He gave the Royal flag to Hunk, and he unfolded it carefully, sharing a corner each with Lance, Pidge and Keith.  The four men perfectly draped it over the coffin.  Then, the team turned around and waited to escort the Princess one last time out the door, as the Royal pallbearers approached them to carried the casket on their shoulders

"It's over..." Keith had thought.  He'd never see her again.  Never would he see her smile so beautiful again.  He couldn't bear it any longer. His quiet weeping turned into more prominent sobbing, and could now be heard by all around him.  Lance, Pidge and Hunk came up along side of their comrade to console him as much as they could, despite their own devastating grief.  Lance had remembered Keith sobbing this way when he first saw the Princess dead.  It was Lance and Keith who tried to save her life...to no avail.  Lance shook off the incident that took her away from themhe couldn't bear to think about it again.  He couldn't even describe it to Pidge and Hunk, when they asked what had happened that day.

Sven too, approached his former commander, and placed his arm around his shoulder in an effort to comfort him.  Sven, however, was feeling inadequate in his attempt, since he would soon be leaving Arus with his love, Princess Romelle.  At least, she was still alive.  It didn't help that Romelle looked as if she were Allura's twin sister, a constant reminder to Keith each time that he looked at her.  Nevertheless, Sven offered what comfort he could.

And all the while, Keith kept thinking to himself,  "This can't be the end, it can't be!  There has to be something I can do!" Keith struggled to gain composure. "I can't accept this!      I won't accept this!" 

Princess Allura was brought into the Royal Burial Crypt, located below the Castle of Lions.  She was laid to rest next to the tomb of her father, King Alfor.  Now, there were no ruling heirs for the throne. 

What would become of Arus now?

Later that evening, Keith sat alone in the courtyard beneath Allura's chambers.  He pondered the events that lead them all to this terrible day.  He thought long and hard.  What did he fail to do correctly?  He knew that all of this was his fault.  And he was going to think until he couldn't think any longer.  He owed that to her memory.   How could he have let all of this get so out of control?  Keith was determined to know what really happened to Alluraand, what he could have done to stop it from happening in the first place. 

Keith was not ready to let himself off the hook, or lay her to rest in his mind...not just yet. 

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