"Forever..."

A story based on, "Voltron, The Third Dimension"
Copyright 2004
By Adele Previte

"Voltron" and its characters are a trademark and copyright of World Event Productions
All other characters are copyrighted by me and can be used with my permission.

Thanks! 

Enjoy!

Chapter 7
Kardel Welcomes Its Princess


After dressing back into their clothes, Keith and Princess Allura mounted their horses and headed for their next destination...the city of Kardel.  Once there, they could find an eatery to dine in.

Keith was still fuming over the, 'joke' played upon him and the Princess, courtesy of Lance and Hunk.  Additionally... he was starved.  Thanks to Lance and Hunk, the horses enjoyed his lunch.

There'd be hell to pay when they returned to the Castle of Lions.

Keith had been pondering the many torturous punishments he could inflict on the two pranksters, while Allura, meanwhile, encouraged Keith to just let it go and enjoy the rest of the day.

Despite his anger, he managed to let it go and concentrate on enjoying his time with Allura.

Kardel wasn't more than a half an hour away from Crystal Lake, situated near Claw Mountain.  The city was enormous in size and a bustling hub for industry and tourism.

Kardel had suffered greatly during the Doom Wars, nearly being destroyed in the terror raids. The inhabitants spent the last seven years rebuilding the city.  Industry had almost become a thing of the past on Planet Arus, but with the help of the Galaxy Alliance relief teams, the Arusian rebuilding programs and of course, the Voltron Force, cities like Kardel were able to rise above the ruins to emerge as now, thriving metropolises.

As they rode their horses into the city limits, it didn't take long for some people to recognize the famous visitors, and word began to spread like wildfire.

Keith checked in their horses at a stable near the city entrance and the two began to walk a bit through the surrounding neighborhood.

Some of the populous had gathered to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Arusian Princess and the steadfast and incredibly handsome Voltron Commander

A group of children had gathered at the windows of a nearby school.  The announcement soon came from the school's principal, dismissing the hundred or so children from their classes, in order for them to go to meet the members of the famed Voltron Force, one of which, being the
Royal Princess of Arus.

The children charged the pair, laughing and giggling gleefully.

Allura and Keith braced themselves for the onslaught of children, and greeted as many as could get close.

Minutes later, the children parted, allowing the adult teachers and the school Principal admittance and room to speak to the Princess and Commander. The Principal bowed low to the Princess and Commander Keith.

"Welcome to Kardel, Your Highness!" the sprightly man greeted them.  "My name is Joshin Gibbs.  I am principal of Kardel North Children's School."

He then extended his had to the left, welcoming the approach of a young woman to his side. "Allow me the pleasure of introducing my second-grade teacher...and my wife Justianna Gibbs!"

Allura and Keith looked at the pretty blonde-hair woman that stepped forth.  She curtsied to Princess Allura as she spoke.  "Your Highness, it is indeed an honor that you grace our city with your presence. And may I present our daughter..."

The woman extended her hand to the crowd of children...and one child was singled out.  A shy little child with brown-blonde hair...her blue eyes sparkled as she saw Princess Allura and Commander Keith.

The little girl walked up, taking her mother's hand and curtsying before the Princess, following her mother's lead.

"This is our daughter, Jennica." Justianna replied.

Allura smiled. "Very nice to meet you."
She said to Joshin and Justianna. And
then she leaned down to the little girl. 
"And it's especially nice to meet you, Jennica!"

The small child beamed, ear to ear, with a
bright smile.  Keith crouched down toward
her as well...

"How old are you, Jennica?" he asked
the child.

"Seven years old...next week!" she smiled.

"Seven, eh?" Keith replied thoughtfully.
"Well, I remember when I was seven...
I'll bet you have a ton of fun playing with
all of your friends, huh?"

"Yes, I do!" she replied gleefully.

"Would you grace us with a visit to our school?" Joshin asked.

Allura turned to glance at Keith...and got his approval almost immediately. She then turned and smiled at the Principal. "Oh, that sounds grand!"

"Well, then! Come with me, Your Grace! Commander..." Joshin beamed joyfully.

The group of children and teachers gathered around Allura and Keith, escorting them into the school.

Jennica seemed to find a friend in Keith, sticking closely to his side during the entire tour. Allura enjoyed seeing the techniques that the school was using to teach the children. The programs were well orchestrated and executed.

"Mommy, maybe Princess Allura can come back to our school to tell us all about Voltron!" Jennica suggested enthusiastically. "You know...how he works and how he's able to defend Arus!"

"That's a wonderful idea, Jennica!" Justianna replied. "How about that, Your Highness?"

"I would be honored, Mrs. Gibbs!" Allura replied.

"Can you tell us all about the cool technical stuff that makes Voltron do what he does?" a young boy asked.

"Can you show us the Blazing Sword too?" another excited youngster asked.

"Oh my, I'm afraid that would better be served in the hands of our noble Commander, here." Allura replied. "Commander Keith is highly versed on the workings of Voltron."

"I'd be happy to," Keith replied. "The Princess and I could come back in one of the robot lions and give a personal demonstration."

"In the Black Lion?" Jennica asked, beaming brightly.

Keith chuckled. "Yes...we can bring the Black Lion!"

"Oh, wonderful!" Joshin replied. "When would that be possible?"

"How's next week sound?" Keith asked the Princess.

"I'm sure something can be arranged." Allura replied sweetly.  She turned her attention to Joshin...

"Joshin, when we return to the Castle of Lions this evening, I'll check my schedule and have my Castle Advisor contact you with the details on the visit."

"Very good, Your Highness!" Joshin replied. "I'll await anxiously for the arrangements!"

Jennica pulled on her mother's sleeve... "Mommy, can we give Princess Allura and Commander Keith a tour of our city?"

"Oh, Jennica, I'm sure the Princess and the Commander have other plans..." Justianna replied.

"Yes, and besides, you're supposed to be in school, my dear!" Joshin replied. "Would you make the Princes think that we allow the school children to take off of school at any moment they wished?"

Allura giggled, saying, "I don't believe I would think that!" the Princess replied,  "However, I do agree with your Mother and Father, Jennica.  Your place is here...to learn all that you can, so that you can grow up to become a vital part and an active member of society.  You certainly won't be able to do that if you're missing school lessons."

"Besides, you'll see us again!" Keith replied, patting the young child on her head, gently. "We'll be back next week."

Jennica looked up at Keith and smiled at him. "I like you, Commander Keith!"

Keith returned the child's smile with one of his own. "I like you too, Jennie."

"You called me...Jenny." The child replied with a giggle to her voice. "I like that name!"

"Well, it'll be just between you and me, okay?" Keith replied with a winking eye.

"Okay!" she replied, winking at the Voltron Commander.

"Good!" Keith whispered back.

Allura looked at Keith and grinned.

"Well, we should be going, so that you can return to your school activities." Allura proclaimed.

"Then, we can expect word tonight?" Joshin asked.

"Yes, indeed you will!" Allura affirmed.

"Here's my ultra wave contact address. Tell your Castle Advisor that I can be reached at this dialup location.  He can brief me of the details this evening or during the day tomorrow. I carry my ultra wave response unit on me at all times, so I can be reached anywhere on Arus." Joshin replied.

"I'll see to it that Coran contacts you with the details of our next visit!" Allura said.

Keith looked at his watch and then looked to Joshin, "Can you recommend a good place to eat around here?"

Allura turned around and smiled. "Yes...some place close by, preferrably...if you don't mind."

"Well, we have a wonderful teacher's dining facility here in the school, Your Highness!" Joshin said, beaming with pride. "Our chefs would be honored to serve you both!"

"Oh no," Keith refused, poitely. "We don't want to impose..."

"No imposition, Commander!" Justianna replied . "As a matter of fact, our cooks would be highly disappointed, if they were refused the honor of serving you!" Joshin added.

"Please say you'll stay, Your Highness!  Commander Keith!" Justianna added.

Keith and Allura looked at each other...exchanging twisted expressions.


"Please?  Won't you please stay?"


Keith and Allura turned their heads and looked down.  Before them, was Jennica, standing in front of them, with her hands clasped together, and a pleading look upon her face.

"Please say you'll stay with us!" the child repeated again. "Please?"

The two smiled at each other and instantly could sense what the other was thinking.

"We'd be honored to accept your gracious invitation to lunch!" Allura beamed back at Jennica.

"Yippee!" she exclaimed joyfully.

The little girl instantly grabbed onto Allura's waste and held on tightly.

Justianna and Joshin suddenly were aghast at their child's behavior.  Justianna quickly grabbed for Jennica, peeling the child free from her grip on the Princess.

"Jennica Gibbs!" Justianna shouted. "Mind your manners!  You're acting irreverently to the Princess of Arus!"

"Oh, it's quite all right!" Allura soothed. "I don't break!  And I'm certainly not untouchable! Please, let the child come here."

Justianna gave a quick look to her husband, and Joshin gave her the nod to release their daughter. Jennica looked up at her mother...and with the smile on her mother's face, Jennica knew she was not in trouble any more.

The young girl looked to the Princess and smiled at her as well.  Allura crouched down toward the ground and extended her arms to the young girl. Jennica came running to the Princess, joyfully.  Soon, the other children that had been there quickly ran to her as well, embracing her as if she were a long lost friend, who had returned home at last.

Allura quickly gathered as many as she could to her...laughing joyously at their excitement.

Keith watched the Princess, as she interacted with the children...and instantly, he knew he had made the right decision to bring her to Kardel...where she could be among her people.

Keith sighed, suddenly feeling very emotional...and thoughts of his own mother crossed his mind.

He did miss her...

"Excuse me, Princess, but..." Keith started to say,  "If we don't eat now, it'll be near dinner time before we finally do!"

Allura looked up at Keith and shot him a quick smile. "Of course, you're right, Keith."

"Come then!" Joshin exclaimed. "Let us treat you to some of the finest institutional food this side of Claw Mountain!"

"I'd be delighted!" Allura replied back as she rose back up, the children still gathered around her.

Keith walked up to Allura and nodded, grabbing a few hands of a couple of the children. One hand in particular that had grabbed onto Keith's...was that of little Jennica.

'Jenny'...as he now called her.

"Sit next to me, Commander Keith!" young Jennica proclaimed.

Keith tilted his head down and smiled. "My pleasure, Jenny!"

The children began to escort the Princess and Voltron Commander to the dining area, following Joshin and Justianna.
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