"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! 
RATING WARNING:  PG-13 (for some violence)


Chapter 19
A New Threat

Keith's eyes slowly began to roll around in the back of his head, beneath closed eyelids.

Hunk and Lance had carried Keith out of the building, while Pidge helped get some of the children out of the caverns and through the rubble of the unstable ruins.

Keith had been laid out on the front lawn of the Children's School.  Several more of the wounded children and adults had been lined up on the lawn as well. Other nearby citizens of Kardel, who had witnessed the attack and subsequent collapse of the school, had since joined
Lance, Hunk and Pidge, as they desperately searched for survivors.

Princess Allura had become somewhat of a nurse, attending to as many people as she could...
all the while, keeping a watchful eye on Keith, as he lay unconscious on the ground.

The air was thick with smoke, and the smell of burning buildings filled the air, while the sound of screaming and agonizing cries of anguish could be heard from many nearby areas of the city.

Allura's heart was broken...all of the hard work by these noble people...destroyed in one moment's time...by a group of alien ships that she knew nothing about.

She instructed Pidge to send digital images from Green Lion's visual logs to Coran, back at the Castle of Lions, for him to do an investigation on who or what had hit them.

And then...there were all of the lives, snuffed out suddenly...not just those buried beneath the wreckage of the school...but all over the city.

She only knew one thing...these weren't Doom ships.  It was some other type of alien race: a new threat to this part of the universe.

Just what Arus needed...

The Princess's ears suddenly heard the sound of Keith's low, vocal moan, as he began to come around, finally. She quickly rose to her feet and ran to his side.

"Keith...Keith, can you hear me?" she said to him, just above a whisper.  "Keith...open your eyes...Keith...can you hear me?"

The Voltron Commander began to slowly rock his head back and forth...and then, slowly, his eyes began to open.  The sun's warmth was upon his face...but the sun's intensity was dimmed. His vision seemed to be clouded.

Allura noticed that Keith seemed dazed and confused.  Then...with a suddenly gasping breath...Keith turned his head and began to violently cough.

"Yes, Keith, that's it," Allura encouraged, as she placed her hand on the top of his head. "Get it all out.  Cough it out, Keith..."

It was certain that he had sucked in quite a bit of plaster dust when the building had collapsed around him.  His lungs were full with it.

After a few minutes, the coughing began to subside, somewhat, and Keith began taking in deep, cleansing breaths of air.  He removed his gloves from his hands, and began wiping his eyes of the tears that had formed there from the force of coughing.

"Wha...what's happening...where...where are we?" Keith tried to say.

"Easy, Keith," Allura soothed. "You're going to be all right, now."

"Where...how did I..." Keith stammered.

"You're lying on the lawn, safe." Allura said, stiffening her upper lip to fend off oncoming tears that were threatening to fall from her eyes.

"Pidge...Hunk...Lance?" Keith said in between coughs.

"They're looking for survivors." she replied.  "Oh Keith...I thought we'd lost you!  When I saw you, buried beneath the rubble...I...I...but...its going to be all right.  Everything's all right now."

Keith found her eyes...and looking deep within them, he knew things were far from all right. He could see the worry in her blue eyes and hear it in her voice.  She was stunned...just as he had been.

"How many are dead?" he asked her, bluntly.

She shook her head. "I don't know the answer to that yet, Keith." she replied sadly.  "Many, I'm sure.  We've only begun to find the survivors in the caverns.  Some of the children and adult are here on lawn.  Some are still being brought out.  Many others are still
trapped inside..."

Keith suddenly bolted up into a sitting position...suddenly hysterical.

"Jennie!" he cried, suddenly remembering what had happened moments before the school caved in. "Jennie!  She was underneath me!  Did you find her?  Where is she?"

Allura reached over and grabbed Keith's shoulders, trying to calm him down.  "Yes! Yes...we've found her!  She's fine, Keith!  Just fine!  Now, just relax and..."

"Relax?  Are you kidding?" Keith said to her.  "There's people all around the city that need our help!  I can't just..."

"Oh no you don't!  You're just going to lay here and relax...you're hurt!" Allura scolded him, pushing him back down.

"No...WAIT!" Keith cried out suddenly, grabbing Allura by the shoulders as well.  "Did you find Jennie's parents...Joshin and Justianna?  You remember them, don't you, Allura?  And Mayor Kuhn...and...and..."

Allura gave Keith a petrified look...

"We haven't found Mayor Kuhn or Justianna." Allura replied, as tears came to her eyes. "But..."

"But...but what?" Keith said in a whispered voice that suddenly elevated louder . "What? But what, Princess?"

"But...we did find Joshin."
Allura replied quietly.

"You mean...you found him...dead."
Keith said slowly, suddenly closing his
eyes.

Her facial expression was
all Keith needed to see.

"Ohhh....no...no..." he moaned,
closing his eyes tightly.  His
head to drop. "That must mean that...
Jennie's mom..."

Allura nodded her head slowly. "We just haven't found her to confirm that yet."

Keith slowly laid back down on this back. "Where is she?" Keith asked Allura, referring to Jennica.

Allura pointed toward a small group of children who were sitting solemnly on the lawn, a short distance away.  A few local neighborhood women, who had come to lend a hand, were attending to the children.  Jennie was among those in the group.

Keith groaned and looked at the Princess.  "Do we know for sure that she's...she's an orphan?"

Allura shook her head slowly.  "But, not finding any sign of her mother yet, doesn't give me much reassurance that she is alive."

Keith closed his eyes again and sighed.  "Wonderful...this was supposed to be a fun day.  Instead...it turned into a day from Hell."

Allura turned her head to wipe her eyes of tears.  Then she turned back to Keith.  "Pidge...he sent some information to Coran, back at the Castle.  He's doing an investigation to see if we can determine who these aliens were that hit us."

"Don't bother, Allura," Keith replied suddenly...his tone now more angry than sad.  "I already know who they are."

"You do?" she said with a look of astonishment.  "Who, then?"

"I recognized them as soon as I saw one of their ships," Keith replied.  "It had been awhile since I'd seen them, but...they're called, the G'Donar.  They're a race of aliens from the Milky Way Galaxy."

"The Milky Way?" Allura asked.  "You mean...Terra Zone?"

Keith nodded slowly.  "Yeah, its been awhile, but you don't forget a wicked, ruthless enemy, even after many years of not seeing or hearing anything about them."

"I've never heard of them." Allura replied.

Well, I have, and believe me...they're nothing to take lightly.  Before I came here eight years ago, my first assignment was patrol duty, and we often ran up against the G'Donar fighters." Keith said.  "Lance and Hunk had been assigned to my first command.  They saw some limited action with the G'Donar."

"Why didn't anyone else figure this out?" Allura asked, suddenly annoyed.

"Pidge was new to the academy.  His first outer space mission was to Arus, if I remember right.  Hunk and Lance would be the only other two that might have recognized them.  But what I don't understand is how G'Donar got way out here, in the Diamond Galaxy." Keith
questioned.  "They've never been this far away from their home world...to the best of my knowledge."

"I wish I knew," Allura replied, looking around the city.  "Or what grudge they hold against Planet Arus.  Our people are innocent...why attack us?  Surely, if this G'Donar race were attacking other planets in the solar system, we would have heard about it by now."

"Yeah, maybe..." Keith thought out loud.

Pidge had now approached the group in a sulky mood.  "Um...I've positively identified the dead we've found, so far." the young Green Lion pilot said, handing over his mini-computer to the Princess.

It had the names of all of the identifiable deceased.

Allura scanned the list...and then, her free hand suddenly flew to her mouth.  Keith's eyes were focused in on her face.

"What's the matter, Allura?" Keith asked her.

Allura's lower lip buckled, as she suddenly found a voice to speak with. "Jennica is an orphan, Keith...positively." Allura wept.  "Justianna Gibbs is among the dead."

"And Mayor Kuhn?" Keith asked her.  "He was right there with all of us when..."

Allura paused for a moment...then slowly nodded her head yes, as she closed her eyes tightly, allowing the tears to slide down her cheeks.

"The Mayor's dead too, Keith." Pidge replied.  "His hand was sticking up from the debris. I found it when Hunk and Lance were digging you out.  He wasn't far from the cavern entrance."

"Poor little Jennica," Allura sadly wept.  "To lose your parents...in such a needless attack..."

Keith's lower lip quivered.  The thought of having to tell little Jennica that her parents were killed, was suddenly, the hardest thing he had ever faced.

"We've got to tell her, Keith." Allura said quietly.  "Do you want me to do it?"

Keith shook his head. "No...I've got to." He replied softly. "But...we'll get her back to the Castle of Lions, first."

"And if she asks about her parents?" Pidge said suddenly.  "Then what?"

"We tell her we'll have information for her soon." Keith replied.

"You're just delaying the inevitable." Allura said. "That might not be a very good idea."

"I'm not telling her here, in the middle of all of the devastation." Keith said sternly.  "We'll tell her back at the Castle.  I'll...tell her, back at the Castle."

Allura turned her head to look at Pidge.  He shrugged his shoulders and then, grabbed for the mini-computer.

"I'm going to see what else needs to be done.  But frankly, I think we've found all of the people we're going to find, alive." Pidge announced.  Then he looked down at Keith.  "These people should be lucky that you were in the right place, at the right time.  Your being here is the reason that half of these people are still alive."

Keith breathed a sigh. "Yeah, I suppose.", was all he could say in response.

As Pidge turned to walk away, Keith suddenly sighed again. "Looks like we've got a new enemy to deal with.  Between the two of them, I'm not sure whose worse...Doom or the G'Donar."

"I'd say there's no difference." Allura suggested.  "They both can destroy without so much as a thought or care of who or what they are destroying.  If you ask me, this G'Donar is just as bad as Lotor and his cruel bunch."

"Or...worse." Keith added.

"What do we do, now?" Allura asked Keith.

"We get the survivors and the wounded back the Castle for further attention.  Then, we try to find out why the G'Donar have taken up residency in this area of the universe.  And we'd better find out, fast." Keith said.  "The G'Donar are not a patient species.  They look out mainly for themselves.  They've even been known to kill each other."

"Nice race of beings." Allura commented.  "What else do you know about this G'Donar?"

"Not much." Keith sighed.  "Earth Alliance has never been able to get much information on them."

"Well, that's not very helpful." Allura said in a semi-joking manner.

"Yeah, not very nice of them, leaving us to do all the work." Keith chuckled back.

Keith then glanced back in Jennica's direction. He shook his head.  "Poor kid."

"Yes," Allura agreed. "Are you sure that you don't want me to break the news to her?"

"No, I really should do it." Keith said to her. "I was with her when it happened.  I think it might come off better if it came from me."

"Well, if you change your mind," Allura offered.

"No, I'll do it, just as soon as we get settled back at the Castle." Keith repeated.

Allura nodded her head. "Of course."

Keith lay down once again and turned his head toward the collapsed building...just in time to see some of the people bringing out the dead in body bags.  Keith's stomach turned, as the thought of having to tell a little girl, who just days ago, was alive and happy, that she was now an orphaned child.

Life would never be the same for her again...much like his own life had become...

Another solemn reality of life and war.
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