"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 18
Destructive Intentions, Devastating Results

The children gathered quickly into the main auditorium of the school, immediately taking their assigned seats.  The mood was pure excitement, as everyone anxiously awaited the introduction of the Commander of the Voltron Force.

Principal Joshin Gibbs came out and immediately nodded to Mayor Kuhn, who was sitting in the front row with several teachers and school administrators.  Mayor Kuhn smiled and nodded to Joshin to begin the program.

Joshin cleared his throat and then, tapped ever so lightly on his mini audio-chip mic.

"Okay children, please settle down." Joshin said with a smile.

The atmosphere was charged with excitement, but the children managed to calm things down enough for their principal to speak.

He smiled as he continued.  "Many of you have been waiting for this day for a whole week now, and I just know that you are so anxious to hear from our very special guest.  So I won't prolong this.  He's known as the great Black Lion Knight...and he's the Commander of the Voltron Force! Please put your hands together and welcome our special guest,
Commander Keith Hunter!"

The room immediately erupted into wild applause as Keith stepped out on stage, dressed in his red command uniform.  He waved to the kids in the audience as he moved in next to Joshin.

Joshin transferred the audio chip to Keith's collar and allowed him to take over the show.

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

Allura sat on her throne, listening
to the dispute between the two
countrymen, who in truth, were
kinsmen...brothers of the same
family.  Their dispute was both
unique and complicated.

Brother number one had built an
irrigation ditch onto brother number
two's claimed land.  Allura listened
intently to the arguments, made
recommendations, and when that
didn't seem to satisfy the two feuding
brothers, she then agreed to take the papers of both parties to further examine their contents and make a determination and a near future date.

After the two were dismissed, she rose from the throne and headed back to her room to change back in to her jumpsuit, preparing to make the trip to Kardel, to join up with Keith.

On the way to her chambers, she stopped by the Castle Control room to see Coran.  With a heavy sigh, she looked at her advisor, who was attending to the security boards and sensor systems.

Coran looked at Allura. "Princess?  Is something wrong?"

Allura sighed. "Please have a look at these when you get the chance, Coran.  These are the land agreement papers of the case I just heard.  I think I'm going to need some help in deciding this case."

Coran extended his hand forward and accepted the papers from the Princess.

Allura shook her head.  "I don't understand, Coran.  How is it that two people from the same family can be so cruel to one another?  They should be thankful they have each other.  What I wouldn't give to have a sibling to even think of arguing with!"

"Indeed, time is so short in the this life, as it is.  To shorten it further with silly squabbles seems so futile." Coran agreed.

As the two spoke, the monitors behind Coran had blipped...only for a few short seconds. Something had just entered the atmosphere...and had become detectable for only just a few moments of time.

But Coran did not see it.

Because the unidentified objects were shrouded, the alarms did not sound and the planetary defense systems did not initiate.  The systems were fooled into believing that nothing was there to detect.

Allura turned around and began to walk away.  "I'll be right back, Coran." She said.  "I'm going to change into my flight suit.  I'll be leaving for Kardel in a few minutes."

"Very good, Your Highness." Coran replied.

He then turned back to the Control monitors, and laying the papers to the side, he quickly evaluated the sensor sweeps and logs.

Nothing was out of the ordinary. All appeared to be quiet.

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

Keith stood on the stage of the auditorium, speaking to the children.  A digital protection diagram was being shown.  Keith was now near the end of his presentation...and now hoping that the Princess was on her way.  He'd soon run out of material to present and he wanted the children to hear about the tales of Lions of Arus, prior to getting a tour of Black Lion, itself.

Keith pointed to each diagram, noting this and pointing out that.

"The main energy of the robot lions is dyno-therm power, generated to the infracells.  Each lion has a specific power source to regenerate this power.  Black Lion gets its energy from lightning and from the air we breath...and its resting place is on top of the Lion Monument
pedestal that sits in front of the Castle of Lions.  Blue Lion's source is water.  Red Lion's source is fire. Green Lion's source is the elements found in nature, itself.  And Yellow Lion's source is the earth beneath our feet." Keith said.

The children were fascinated by the presentation.  Even the adults seemed to be fixated on Keith's description of the lions and their power sources.


"Where the heck are you, Allura?" Keith wondered to himself.


Joshin rose to his feet and the children erupted in wild applause as Keith had finished his presentation.  He quickly made his way up to the stage, joining Keith there.

"My!  That was a fascinating presentation and explanation!" Joshin said to the children. "Did you enjoy that?"

The room erupted in applause once again.

As Joshin was about to say something else... the sound of a low humming engine could be heard...and it was growing louder by the second. It was coming from outside the school.

Joshin smiled as he leaned over to Keith.  "Sounds as if the Princess has arrived!"

Keith smiled, but his keen ears tuned into the approaching sound...

He was very familiar with the turbine thrusters of the lions.  However, the sound that they were hearing, now growing steadily and rapidly closer to them, was not coming from the Blue Lion...or any of the other lion ships, for that matter.

Keith shook his head ever so slightly.  "Joshin...that isn't the sound of Blue Lion." Keith said quietly.  "And its more than one...it sounds like several engines."

The crowd erupted once again in applause.  The children and adults in the room began to hear the sound as well, and were now assuming it to be the Princess, arriving in her Blue Lion.

Keith shook his head, suddenly on alert.  He turned to Joshin. "This isn't right."

Suddenly...a loud and thunderous explosion erupted, turning the applause into screaming and shouting.

Several more explosions followed the first...and now, the ground beneath the feet of those gathered within the auditorium began to quake suddenly.

"We're under attack!" Keith shouted. He then turned to Joshin . "Get these kids out of here...now!"

"What is it?" Joshin screamed.  "What's happening?  Who's attacking us?"

"I'm not sure...just get moving!" Keith shouted again, pushing Joshin ahead of him.  Keith then lifted up his arm and activated his wrist COM to the Castle of Lions.

"Castle Control! Alert! Repeat...Alert!" Keith shouted.  "We're under attack! Kardel is under attack!  Come in, Castle Control!  I'm blind over here!  What's happening?"

"Commander, sensors are picking up an attack fleet!" Coran's voice replied.

"Doom ships?" Keith screamed.  "Why wasn't it detected?  Why wasn't I alerted?  Where's the Princess?  Did she leave the Castle yet?"

"The Princess is here within the Castle, and as far as the ships are concerned, the configuration is not from Doom, Keith!" Coran's voice echoed through the COM.

"Then, from where?" Keith shouted back.

"Unknown, Keith!" Coran replied back.  "I have just alerted the Force!"

"Get them over here, on the double!" Keith screamed back.

Keith suddenly felt something hit his face from above, and looking overhead...he saw that the ceiling above their heads was being to crumble.  It wouldn't be long before the whole thing came down on them.

Keith quickly jumped down off of the stage and began gathering as many children as he could, moving them quickly along.

"COME ON! MOVE! HURRY!"
Keith shouted above the screaming
children and adults. "WE'VE GOT
TO GET OUT OF HERE...QUICK!"

As Keith turned to push more
children from behind, he saw little
Jennica, scrunched down in the
seat she had been sitting in.  There
was no time to call for her.  Instead,
Keith quickly jumped over the
seats and grabbed for her.

"NO!" she cried. "I WANT MY MOMMY!"

"Come on, Jennica!" Keith said in an elevated voice.  "Your Mom's somewhere ahead! Let's go catch up with her!"

"Mommy...Daddy!" Jennica cried.

Keith lifted her up into his arms and made his way through the seats, heading for the center isle to join up with the back end of the existing mass of children.


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

Allura had just finished putting on her pilot's uniform, when the Castle's alert systems began going off. She quickly turned to her wall monitor and activated it.

"Coran! Coran, what's going on?" she called into the wall.

"Princess...forty unidentified warships are attacking the city of Kardel!" Coran's voice replied.

Allura's face went completely white...

Keith was there...alone!

"I'm on my way!" she screamed, deactivating the wall monitor.

She turned and ran from the room.


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


Lance had been asleep when the alerts began going off. He groaned as he came to his senses.  Flipping on his overhead monitor, he began speaking into it.

"Wh...what's going on?" Lance tiredly asked. "Coran?"

"Kardel is under attack!" Coran's voice echoed back.  "Commander Keith is there...he needs back up!  Report to the Control Room...immediately!"

Lance suddenly forgot about his brooding disagreement with Keith.  He flipped back the covers abruptly and grabbed for his clothes.  All he knew was that his friend was in trouble...his best friend.

"On my way, Coran!" Lance shouted back.

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

Pidge and Hunk were running furiously down the corridor.  They were the first to arrive in Castle Control. They ran up to Coran.

Hunk was anxious.  "Where's Lance and Princess?" he shouted.  "We've got to get out there!"

"Right behind you, Hunk!" Lance's voice cried, as he ran up behind his two friends and the Castle Advisor.

"Me too!" Allura shouted after Lance, as she was following quickly behind him.  Allura came to stop at Coran's side.

The monitor showed several warships...they were attacking different in areas of Kardel, destroying buildings...most likely filled with people.

"I have a fix on the Black Lion," Coran said.  "Keith's biorhythms indicate that he is trapped somewhere within the children's school!"

"Launch the lions!" Allura ordered.  "We've got to find Keith!"

Coran rose the tunnels up
and the team immediately
ran to their individual chutes,
each riding down the T-bar
to the lion shuttles, below
the surface of the Castle of Lions.


The shuttles were loaded
with their passengers, and each one took a rapid ride through the tunnel that lead to their individual lion ship.

Each pilot was quickly loaded into a lion ship.  Lance gave the command to insert keys.

The lions came alive suddenly, roaring and bucking as they took off into the air, and upon joining up with one another, the lions headed for a direct course to Kardel.  Estimated arrival time was five minutes.

Allura opened her COM link  "Keith...Keith...can you hear me?"

"Allura!" Keith's voice frantically replied back. "Where are you?"

"Coming!  Just hang on tight!" Allura responded back. "Can you make it to your lion?"

"I doubt it!  I'm pinned down here inside the school!" Keith's voice replied.  "The school's beginning to fall apart!  So you guys better move it and get here...quick!"

"We'll be right there!  We'll cause a distraction...then, you get to your lion!" Lance shouted, interrupting the conversation.

"I can't leave these kids!" Keith returned.  "I've got to help get them to safety!"

"Do what you can and we'll back you up!" Pidge said.

"Roger that!" Keith shouted.  "Just get here...on the double!"

"Almost there!" Allura confirmed.  "Just hold on!"

"I'm picking up the ships now," Hunk relayed.

As Hunk looked at the screen...he suddenly got the feeling that he had seen these ships somewhere before.  But he couldn't think about that now.  He had to concentrate on the impending fight.

"I've got to get these people out of this building, somehow!" Keith's voice shouted.  "The school's coming apart!"

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

Keith still had little Jennica in his arms as he shouted up ahead of everyone.  "Listen to me! We've got to keep moving!  Get to the exit! Keep moving forward!  You'll be alright!"

While Keith was speaking...another powerful explosion rocked the school...sending down more debris onto the floor, from the ceiling. He quickly lifted up his wrist COM again, while his other arm held Jennica.

"Guys...I'm running out of time!" Keith cried.

"We're almost there!" Allura's voice replied.

"Hurry...or there'll be no need to worry about me or the kids!" Keith replied back, looking upward as more of the ceiling fell down around him and the fleeing children.

Keith started to push his way through to the front of the line of children and adults. As he reached the doorway to the outside, he put Jennica down to the ground. S he instantly clutched to his waist.

"Jennie...Jennie, listen to me!" Keith said to her, looking down to where she was.  "I need you to be really brave!  Can you do that for me?"

"I...I don't know!" she shivered in fear.

"I know you're afraid...I am too, but I've got to take a look out there!  I need to see where my friends are...and I need you to stay in here until I tell you that its safe to come out, okay?" Keith said to her.

Jennica nodded her head, and then turned to clutch onto another one of the adult teachers. Keith then pushed open the door.  The smoky air immediately filtered into the building.

He stepped outside cautiously

There was Black Lion...intact and ready for action.

"If I can just make a run for it..." Keith thought to himself, summing up the short distance he'd need to run to get to his lion.

Once he was close enough, he could extend the lion's protective shields around him as well, to act as a barrier, buying him some time to get into the lion's cockpit once again.

Keith started to move along the building wall.  There were pieces of the building lying around on the lawn, and thick, black smoke billowing up from different areas, all around the city.

Whoever was responsible for this attack, had it well planned.  It was a specific attack, targeted in many areas, and it's apparent aim was to cause city-wide panic and destruction.

When Keith had reached the end of the building's exterior wall, he prepared himself to dart across the lawn...

But suddenly...

Keith turned reflectively...startled... after feeling someone come up from behind him and grab his arm.

As he turned...

"JENNIE!" Keith screamed. "I told you to wait inside with everyone else!"

"I can't find my Mommy or Daddy, Keith!" she wept.

"You're not going to find them out here!" he returned.  "You've got to get back into the school, now!"

"NO!" Jennica screamed.  "I'm scared!  I want to stay with you!"

"You can't stay with me!" Keith shouted at her.  "Its too dangerous!"

Suddenly, the sound of a roaring engine came up near to them...and Jennica screamed at the sight of the alien ship that had taken position between Keith, Jennica and the Black Lion.

Keith quickly turned back around...and found himself staring at the one of the enemy attack ships.  He reflexively pushed Jennica behind him, in a feeble attempt to protect her.

But the reality was...if this ship fired on them...which was sure to happen...Keith and Jennica were both goners.

It was then that Keith got a good look at the attack ship... and something jarred his memory.


"I know this design!" he thought instantly to himself.  "It looks like...no...it can't be! What would a 'G'Donar' ship be doing this far out into the galaxy?"


Seconds later...a laser cannon fired from somewhere behind Keith and Jennica's position. The laser impacted the alien ship...backing it up, forcing it away from Keith and Jennica.

That was the break Keith was looking for.  He turned and swept Jennica into his arms and ran with her back to the school.  But as he reached the door...

"It's...locked!" he screamed.

"Let us in!" Jennica cried, near hysteria.  "Mommy!  Daddy!"

"Open the door!" Keith shouted again.

The people inside had closed and locked the door, most likely assuming that Keith had made it to his lion.  There was so much screaming on the other side of the door, that no one could hear Keith and Jennica crying out with their lives for someone to open it up again.

A stray laser blast zinged through the air...whizzing past Keith's head.  He put Jennica down again and with all his strength, he began to high-kick at the door.  It took four good shots before he finally got through it, kicking the door in.

The door flew open and the adults and children screamed.  Justianna and Joshin were among those in the front of the crowd.

Keith grabbed Jennica by her arm and practically threw her inside the building.  Justianna and Joshin immediately clutched for Jennica, crying out for their child.

The frightened girl groped at her parents with savage intensity.

Keith grabbed his blaster and
pointed it forward and out the door. 
He then looked up to the ceiling...

The building's structure was begninng
to give way.  Keith turned and saw
Mayor Kuhn, standing in the midst
of a crowd of children.



"We've got to get out of here!
The whole thing's going to come down...soon!" Keith shouted at the Mayor.

"Where do we go?" Mayor Kuhn shouted.

"Aren't there any escape tunnels?" Keith asked.

Kuhn shook his head.  "No...they were closed up, long ago!"

"Show me where!" Keith motioned.

"I don't know where!" Kuhn screamed.

Justianna turned to Keith.  "I know where they are!"

Keith grabbed Justianna and motioned for everyone to follow them both...quickly.


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

Blue Lion and Red Lion double-teamed a group of enemy fighters.  Blue Lion released a blast of water, dowsing the oncoming enemy, sending them crashing to the ground, while Red Lion's fire torches melted many more.

Yellow Lion came around, and as it did, an ion knife had formed in its mouth.  Yellow Lion passed by each enemy, digging its knife deep  within the alien ships...utterly destroying it.

Green Lion was torching several ships with rounds of isotopic missiles.

Blue Lion swung back around toward the children's school.  Black Lion was still on the ground...and the school looked as if it were structurally unsound and about to topple over.

Allura opened up the COM.

"Keith...Keith...can you hear me?" she said frantically.  "Keith... come in, Keith!  Where are you?  Answer me!"

"We're trying to find some sealed tunnels to escape in!" Keith replied back to her.  "Keep this channel open!"

"The building won't hold for long, Keith!" she warned.  "You've got to get everyone out of there!"

"This is it!  Allura...we've found a way into the caverns...but... it's blocked off!" Keith's voice responded.

"WHAT?!?" Allura shouted with a gasp in her voice. 


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

Once again, Keith lifted his leg up into the air, and with several swift kicks, he finally managed to break open the boarded entranceway to the caverns.  He stepped aside and began signaling for kids and adults to get into the caverns.

"Allura...I managed to kick down the door!  Activate the wrist COM locator!  Its the only way you're going to find us, once the building comes down!" Keith shouted, looking up over his head.  Then, he quickly began grabbing children and was now practially throwing them into the cavern.  Time was short...and growing shorter with the passing seconds.

Mayor Kuhn, Justianna and Joshin helped Keith to get the children into the caverns first. The process was much too slow...and Keith took notice that the ceiling was now beginning to buckle under the stress.

He turned his attention back the crowd of fleeing children. "HURRY!  MOVE!  YOU'VE GOT TO MOVE FASTER!" he screamed.

Little Jennica was clinging to her mother's waist, as Justianna continued to hurry children through the tunnel entranceway.

More of the ceiling began to come down...now in much larger pieces.

Keith's brow broke into a sweat...and the very real possibility began to surface in his mind that he and some of the people, both young and old, were probably going to die, as the building was about to collapse all around them.

Several more children ran through the opening, as Keith lifted his COM up once again. "Princess!  Can you read me?  Come in, Allura!"

"Here, Keith!"

"Listen to me...there are several kids in the tunnels.  You're going to have to dig them out!"

"Where are you?"

"At the entranceway...just follow my COM signal for as long as it will relay the tracking information!  But when this building falls, those kids will be trapped inside the tunnels.  You and the guys have to dig to free them.  But first, get rid of these attack ships!  Understand?"

"What about you?" her voice trembled over the COM.

"Never mind about me!" Keith shouted back.  "Take care of the children!  That's an order, Allura!"

The walls began to crumble...

"Did you read me?  Princess!  Reply!  Did you get my last order?"

"Yes Keith...we....we read you," Allura's voice replied back, now in obvious distress.

Keith looked over to Joshin, Justianna and Mayor Kuhn.  He nodded to all of them, conveying with his eyes that this was it...time was up.

Joshin ripped Jennica away from her mother...and shoved her over to Keith.  "SAVE OUR DAUGHTER, COMMANDER!" he screamed.

Keith looked at Joshin...both men were wide-eyed with fear.

The ceiling began to come down...

"RUN, KEITH!" Mayor Kuhn shouted.  "TAKE CARE OF OUR CHILDREN!"

Keith froze...suddenly unsure of what to do. Jennica was now screaming...trying to run back toward her Mom and Dad.

"WE LOVE YOU, JENNICA, HONEY!" Justianna screamed.

"LIVE, JENNICA!" Joshin shouted, as he leaped forward and with a shove of his hands, pushed Keith and Jennica into the entranceway of the tunnels.

The two of them fell on some of the other fleeing children. Keith struggled to his feet...
screaming and turning to look behind him...

"NO!" his voice waned.

The ceiling gave way and fell, sweeping much of the debris into the entranceway of the caverns.  Keith instinctively fell on top of Jennica...as she cried for her Mom and Dad.

Many of the other children fell to the ground as well, coughing, as the thick dust and debris fell down all around them.  Much of the debris that had managed to fall within the entranceway fell on top of Keith's legs...pinning him down so that he couldn't move.

Jennica was knocked unconscious, as were many of the children who were near the entranceway to the caverns.

Keith lifted his arm...trying to respond to his team members' frantic cries.  But the dust and debris overcame him as well.  He fell unconscious.

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

They all watched in horror...

The building had collapsed!  Keith was inside...
the kids...all the lives... how many were dead,
this time? 

Lance took care of the last attack ship,
sending it to a fiery end of existence. 
Allura immediately directed the team to
land the lions near the school.


Pidge activated Keith's COM tracker...it was apparently still working.

The building was destroyed...crushed beyond recognition.  The lions landed close to the untouched Black Lion.

The cockpit entrances opened up and each of the four pilots ran from their lions...each on a direct course to the now, demolished school.

Lance reached what was left of the building, first, and immediately began calling out...

"KEITH!  KEITH! WHERE ARE YOU?" his voice screamed.

"I've got a fix on his COM sync!" Pidge advised his teammates.

"Where?" Allura asked.

"Ten degrees to the right...and about seven-hundred feet beyond that!" Pidge replied.

Allura signaled them.  "Let's go find Keith!  Hurry!  He could be hurt!"

"Watch yourselves!" Lance warned.  "This place is unstable!"

The four Voltron Force members followed right behind Pidge and his scanner...targeting and homing in on the place where Keith's COM tracking device said he was at.

"Hurry, Pidge!" Allura shouted after him.  "We've got to find Keith!"

After several more minutes and a ton of climbing...Pidge shouted..."This is it!  He's in here!"

"At least...we hope he is!" Hunk cried.

"Don't just stand there!" Allura bellowed as she reached down, beginning to remove large chunks of rock.  "Help me dig for him!"

Hunk, Lance and Pidge wasted no time in digging.  After several more minutes...they finally were able to see the entranceway into the tunnels...and after another twenty minutes of rock removal, Lance made the discovery

"I'VE FOUND HIM!  OVER HERE!" Lance shouted.

Hunk moved over and began clearing debris from around Keith's buried lower body.  There was suddenly a whole in the rock, and Allura looked inside.  She saw several children standing around in the back of the tunnel...crying and sniffling.

"It's alright, children!" Allura assured.  "We're going to get you out!"

Hunk had freed Keith from the debris that had been piled on top of him.  As Hunk rolled Keith to the right...they found the body of a small little girl, just beneath him.  Lance leaned down and took the girl's pulse.  She had one...a strong one...she was alive.

And so was Keith.  His pulse was weaker...but steady.

"They're alive, Princess!" Lance reported, bringing a sigh of relief to Allura.

While Lance and Hunk worked on getting Keith and the frightened children out of the tunnel, Pidge began poking around in the rubble beneath them...as if he were looking for something. It wasn't long until he found something he didn't really want to find.

"Oh wow..."

Everyone turned to Pidge. His face was white...as if he had seen a ghost.  Allura looked over to what he was looking down at.

Her hand flew to her eyes, closing them off suddenly, as if to protect her mind from capturing the horrendous sight.  But it was too late. She had already seen it.

Pidge had pointed to a single hand...sticking up from the debris on the ground.  The hand was covered with plaster dust and blood.  Pidge made his way over to the hand, and took it in his hand, trying to feel for a pulse.

He quickly pulled his hand away and grimaced.

"This person's dead, Princess." Pidge reported grimly.

Lance bit down on his lower lip.  More than likely, there would be many people dead today.
Back