"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 12
Never Forget...

The mayor's car traveled to many different places within Kardel.  The first of which was a specially designed historical museum.

The structure was all white-laid brick, with very large white cement columns on either side of the entrance to the museum.  There was also a special tribute... five all white cement lions, each designed to resemble each of the robot lions of Voltron.

Allura and Keith were fascinated by the layout of the building.  Allura turned to Mayor Kuhn,  "This must be the surprise!" she said with a smile.

"This?  Oh no, Your Highness!" the mayor replied with a chuckle.  "This is merely our tribute to the robot lions!  No, the surprise is in the main circle of City Hall.  That will be our last stop, as I hope to impress you both, by keeping the best for last!"

"Can't wait to see it... whatever it is!" Keith said anxiously.  "Sounds awesome!"

"Oh, it is, Commander Keith!" Mayor Kuhn replied with a smile.  "I assure you, it is!"

"Where to next, Mayor Kuhn?" Allura asked.

"Next, we are taking you to a special place...our city's pride and joy." The mayor replied. "It's a public park, completely restored, to its original beauty.  But the attraction is a giant wall, and the inscribed names of thousands of former citizens of our city, prior to the Doom war.  They were killed or were listed as missing, with their whereabouts unknown.  Their names are there, so we can honor the memory of them, and to help us never forget their sacrifices to our community.  Its official name is Jetties Park, but the locals prefer to call it, 'The Park of the Ages', because the names represent many ranges of ages, both young and old, who met an untimely end during Arus's turbulent period."

Allura remained silent, while Keith glared out the window in silence.

"I've often asked myself why it was that Zarkon chose to destroy our home world." Mayor Kuhn mumbled.  "I too, lost family during that time."

"Who?" Allura asked softly.

"My sister." Kuhn replied.  "She was forty-seven years old and left behind a husband and two boys.  Actually...we can only assume she was taken as a slave...and had died somewhere along the line.  We hold to that belief. Its far better than the thought that she was alive on Planet Doom, in some unbearable slave pit.  But when King Zarkon was
defeated, and Prince Lotor arrested for war crimes, the slaves of Planet Doom were rescued by Voltron.  Our hope soared, praying that at last, my sister would be returned home to Arus.  But my sister was never among the living."

"No trace of her?" Keith asked suddenly.

The mayor solemnly shook his head. 
"Nothing.  Not even a body to mourn
over.  She's dead, I'm sure of it.  But as
to where she was at the time, or how she
died...it will remain a mystery in my lifetime."

"I'm so sorry," Allura replied sadly.

"Oh, my dear Princess Allura! 
You are so kindhearted...thinking of
me and my grief, when in fact,
you have suffered, as did we all.  We
had thought that the saddest
day of our lives, was when Queen
Angelica passed away.  But when
we lost King Alfor too..."

"I know," Allura replied softly.
"I know."

"Many of us had only one thought during that savage period...someone must protect our Princess." the mayor said quietly.  "You were all that was left of the Royal family.  Fears escalated with the pain of loss."

"Yes," Allura quietly sighed.  "It was a difficult time.  And I know, that as much as you try to get past it...you just can't.  The pain becomes bearable, after a time, but it never truly goes away."

"I'm sorry...look at what I've done!" the mayor blurted out.  "I've gone and turned a happy occasion into a mournful reminder of the bitter past!"

"No," Allura sighed quietly.  "Its all right."

"That's it!  We are not going to Jetties Park!" the mayor bellowed.

Allura suddenly reached over and took the mayor's hand.  "No, please.  I'd...I'd like to see it.  Maybe...I need to see it...to know and understand what my people have lost...and...to perhaps, remind myself that the war didn't just take its toll on me alone."

The mayor looked at her for a moment, and then smiled.  "If you're sure..."

"Oh yes, please!" Allura blurted out in a sudden burst of energy.

Keith turned to her and placed his hand on her shoulder.  "Are you sure you want to go through with this, Allura?  It's a sad reminder of the past..."

"I must, Keith." Allura replied firmly.  "I must know and understand what my people have gone through."

"I know, Allura, but...this is a reminder of what you've gone through too." Keith replied. "Are you sure about this?  Resurrect painful memories like that..."

"I'm sure, Keith." Allura responded, and then looked over to Mayor Kuhn.  "Please...let's continue our journey to the park."

The mayor nodded his head.

*************************


Jetties Park...a piece of wilderness paradise in the middle of a bustling city.

The park was lush with green trees, thick brush and beautiful flower arrangements in just about ever part of the park.

The hover car pulled into the entranceway leading to the park, and then, pulled over.  The hatch once again lifted up and the passengers disembarked.

"This way." Mayor Kuhn said to Keith and the Princess.

Keith reached out his hand and took Allura's in his, and together, they walked behind the mayor.  The three walked along a cobblestone pathway, until they came to an enormous cement wall.

Allura stopped instantly, and as Keith turned to look at her, her face was nearly pale white.  He turned to her...

"Allura?"

The Princess gathered her strength and mustered enough courage to continue the walk up to where the mayor was now standing.

"I'm fine, Keith." was her reply, releasing Keith's hand.

She walked slowly forward, with Keith right behind her.

They stepped up to the wall and stood next to the mayor.  He was deeply involved in thoughts of his own, as his eye concentrated on one particular section of the memorial wall.

The mayor suddenly took notice of Keith and the Princess, standing right next to him. Mayor Kuhn shook himself free of the thoughts he had been thinking.

"Uh...yes, well, this is it. The Park of the Ages." The mayor stammered.  "And this...is the Wall of the Honored."

"And...which one of these names belongs to your sister?" Allura asked him.

"Uh...um, well..." the mayor said, stumbling over his words...until he finally pointed to one signal name, hidden in the middle of many names.  "Here she is..."

Kuhn's finger paused at the one name that he had pointed out...


Santina Dolsen


Allura nodded as she then turned her head and looked at the portly man standing next to her.

"She must have been a grand woman." the Princess commented.

"They all were," Kuhn replied.

Keith stood with his arms crossed in front of his body...mesmerized by the length of names on the wall before him.

So many lives...now wasted casualties in the horrors of war.

He sighed with a heavy heart...and once again, the captive memories of his own loss drifted into the forefront of his mind.

Mom...

Dad...

It was as if the thousands of names on the wall were crying out for satisfactory justice, for the lives stolen from them, as a direct result of Zarkon's evil reign of terror.

What lives had these people once lived?

What were the aspirations and dreams left unfulfilled?

Who are the ones left behind, to endlessly grieve for their loss?

Keith couldn't shake the feeling that as he stared at the wall, so many of the dead who were once known by these names, were crying out to him...specifically...as if to say, 'Remember what you have been through, and don't let what happened to us, happen to another'.

"I think we've seen enough here." Mayor Kuhn spoke up suddenly.  "Let's move on, shall we?  We have plenty more places to go and see.  We've even building an arts and sciences institution of learning!  It's marvelous!  Would you care to visit it?"

Allura paused for a moment and then, looked at Mayor Kuhn.  "Yes...I would love to see it.  How about you, Keith?  Keith..."

Allura turned to the young Commander, only to find that his concentration was still held to the wall.

She looked over to Mayor Kuhn.  "Would you mind waiting for us back at the hover craft? We'll be there shortly." Allura said.

"Of course, Your Highness.  Take all the time you need." Kuhn replied.

"No, we won't be long." She replied sweetly.

As Mayor Kuhn turned and walked off, Allura turned her attention back to Keith.  He was still staring at the wall, seemingly lost in it.

The Princess walked up and stood next to Keith, gently laying her hand on his arm.

"Keith?' Allura said.  "Are you alright, Keith?"

The young Commander stood, staring at the names inscribed on the wall.

"Keith...you're thinking about your parents again, aren't you?" Allura said quietly.

Keith let out a long sighing breath.  "Not just that, Allura.  Look at what the war did.  All the lives...wasted...with no thought of who or what they were.  Did you know this wall was erected?  Because I sure didn't know."

Allura shook her head.  "I'm afraid there are probably a great many things that the people of Arus do, all around the world, that I'll never know about."

"Mayor Kuhn called this place, 'The Park of Ages'. I understand why.  Who were the children on this wall?  Who were the elderly?  How many of these names belonged to mothers and fathers, whose lives were abruptly taken away by some careless act of war, only to leave behind orphaned children with no home or family?"

"How many more people have to die, before we figure out how to stop war from happening in the first place?" Allura sighed.

Keith shook his head and breathed again.  "War is war, Allura.  As long as there are living beings in this universe...there will be war."

"Then, we must never forget the victims, or those who are left behind in its aftermath." Allura replied quietly.

"Never forget..." Keith echoed.

After another moment, Keith dropped his arms to his side and turned his head to look at Allura.  "We should get going home, soon."

"Yes, but the mayor said he had something else to show us." Allura reminded Keith.  "He called it, a surprise for me."

"Then, we better go and check out this surprise he's got in store for you." Keith replied back.  "It's nearly two o'clock."

"All right.  Let's get back to the hover car." Allura said, tugging at Keith's arm for him to follow her.

As they both turned to leave, Keith paused for a moment and turned around to get one more, good look at the wall.

His face grew determined.

"Never forget..." he thought, and then turned and hurried to rejoin Allura, just a short distance ahead of him now.

...Never forget.

This chapter is dedicated to the familes of the victims of 9-11, and to the families of the brave US Soldiers, who gave their lives, while fighting around the world to defend our freedom. 

May We Never Forget..
Memorial to September 11, 2001 Tragedy
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GOD BLESS AMERICA