"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! 


Chapter 21
Days of Darkness

As the weeks slowly passed, more incidents of attacks were being reported from every corner of Arus.  The new enemy, identified as the G'Donar, had been strategically carrying out their attack plans, reeking havoc upon cities, destroying towns and devastating villages.

The attacks were numerous...too numerous, in fact, for the Voltron Force to keep up with.  It seems that as they answered one distress call for help, another would come in, and then, another, and still another after that.

It soon became necessary for the robot lions to split up, two handling one distress call, while the other three headed for another.

Inadvertently, there were some towns, villages and cities that were without help at all, leaving them open for destruction and utter chaos, forcing the citizens to fend for themselves.

The death totals were beginning to mount, as Arus, once again, fell under the shadow of darkest evil.

In what little free time he had, Keith tried to at least get one visit a day in with Jennica... 'Jennie', as she became know as, throughout the Castle.

Princess Allura had assigned the girl a private room at the request of the Voltron  Commander.  She also was assigned a caregiver...to act as a nanny.   He didn't want to see the little girl end up in the orphanage, feeling somewhat obligated to carry out the wishes of the girl's parents...


Save of our daughter, Commander!


The last words he had heard Joshin utter, before he shoved Keith and Jennica into the safety of the caverns.  He felt he somehow owned it to Joshin and Justianna Gibbs.  They had given their lives in an attempt to save their daughter.

The least he could do was to make sure she was okay.

Keith walked up to the girl's assigned room and buzzed the door.  The door slid open, revealing the caregiver.  The older woman with salt and peppered hair stood at the door, smiling at Keith, welcoming him in for his daily visit with Jennica.

"Jennica!  Commander Keith is here to see you!" the woman called out.

Suddenly...Jennica bolted out of her bedroom and ran right up to Keith.  He knelt to the ground and enfolded his arms around her, hugging her close.

"Hey, Jennie!" Keith smiled.
"How are you doing today?"

"Hi Keith!" Jennica beamed.
"I've missed you! You didn't come to
see me this morning!"

"I know," Keith groaned.
"I was...busy."

Keith didn't want to worry the girl with news of the growing threat to her home world, or of the battles that he and his teammates had to face...afraid of it bringing back painful memories of her parents' deaths.

"Yeah, I know." Jennica replied.  "Master Coran told me you were really busy...but he didn't say what you were busy doing, though."

"Well, I'm not busy now." Keith said to the youngster.

Jennica wrapped her arms around Keith's neck, hugging him tightly, while planting a gentle kiss on his cheek.

"I love you, Keith!" the girl whispered softly into his ear.

Keith smiled...warmed to the heart by her comment.  He'd grown very fond of Jennica over the last several weeks.  It had been hard for him to split his time between being Commander of Voltron and being the self appointed guardian over Jennica.  His duty to the throne of
Arus had consumed much of his time lately, and with the growing number of attacks, they were still no closer to finding out why the G'Donar had come to Arus or what their ultimate goal was.

"I love you too, Jennie." Keith replied to her. "And I hate to cut this short...but..."

"Oh, Keith!" Jennica frowned. "You're not leaving, are you?"

"Afraid I have to, squirt." Keith replied affectionately, giving Jennica a gentle squeeze. "The Princess needs me."

"She always needs you." Jennica replied with something of an attitude to her tone.

"She's my Princess, Jennie, and yours too." Keith said to her.  "She needs my help right now."

"Do you like her or something?" Jennica blurted out with a pouting face.

"Oh, I think you're far too young to be worrying yourself over things like that." Keith replied with a smile.  "Princess Allura needs my help, and if she needs me, I want to be there for her. Just like I'm here for you, Jennie."

"You do like her." Jennica snorted.  "You
sit next to her at dinner all the time.  You give
her goofy looks...and Lance says that you are."

Keith stood up suddenly, looking down at the
young girl.  "Lance talkstoo much, Jennica.
And you'd do better not to listen to every little
thing he says."

Jennica continued. "He said that you and
Princess Allura are..."

"Okay, that's enough of that subject, young lady." Keith said, stooping down to her level once again.  "I think you'd better go get ready for dinner."

"Can I sit next to you at dinner?" Jennica asked Keith.

"Don't you like sitting with Pidge?" Keith asked her back.  "I thought you liked him."

Jennica shrugged her shoulders.  "He's not you."

Keith smiled suddenly.  "I don't suppose he is...is he?" the Voltron Commander paused. "Tell you what...I'll talk to the Princess and see if she can arrange for you to sit between Lance and me.  Would that be okay?"

Jennica smiled and nodded. "I'd like that!"

Suddenly, Keith's wrist COM began to beep.  Keith raised his wrist COM up to his mouth.

"Keith here."

"Coran, Commander.  The Princess is ready."

"Right.  Tell her I'll meet her in the throne room in a few minutes." Keith replied.

"Understood, Commander." Coran's voice replied.  "I will inform Her Highness."

"Thanks.  I'll finish up what I'm doing and meet you soon.  Keith out."  Keith then looked at Jennica.  "I've got to go now.  I'll see you for dinner, all right?"

"Remember where I'm sitting!" Jennica said, pointing her finger at him.

"I'll remember!" Keith smiled at her.  He then hugged her quickly before rising to his feet again.

Jennica watched as Keith walked to the door.  He suddenly turned back.  "I'll see you later, Jennie."

"See ya, Keith!" Jennica replied, as her nanny came up behind her and placed her hands on the child's shoulders.

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

Princess Allura walked into her throne room, directly followed by her adviser, Coran.  The Princess seemed distressed as she took her seat upon her throne.

Before Allura could breathe out another nervous breath of air from her lungs, she caught a glimpse of Keith walking into the room.

Her face beamed with delight when she saw him.

"Sorry I'm late, Allura." Keith said, walking up to her throne.  "Are we ready?"

Allura smiled nervously.  "About as ready as I'll ever be."

"Don't worry." Keith smiled at her.  "You'll do great.  Just listen compassionately, but don't let them walk all over you."

"Your Highness?" Coran said suddenly.  "Shall I escort them in?"

Allura turned to Coran, and with a lump in her throat, she nodded her head.  "I'm ready Coran. Please see our guests in."

"Very good, Princess." Coran said as he turned to walk out of the room.

Allura turned to Keith.  "This isn't going to be easy."

"Nothing ever is, in war, Allura." Keith replied solemnly.

"Yes...but in this case...if it were me, I'd probably feel the same way." Allura commented.

"You can't blame the people, Allura." Keith said to her.  "Their homes have been destroyed...they've been terrorized night after night by the G'Donar.  They're entitled to be upset and to demand answers.  So long as that doesn't turn into belligerence against you."

"I have a feeling that that can't be helped." Allura replied.  "I don't mind a call to action...
but...we just can't seem to get a break in this.  Their attacks are simultaneous, sometimes during the day, but mainly at night."

"When the people are most vulnerable." Keith added.  "Their strategy is well thought out."

"If only we can find a way to stop them..." Allura began to say, but suddenly stopped in mid sentence, as Coran entered the room, announcing those he had brought back with him.

"Your Highness, Princess Allura." Coran called out officially.  "May I introduce to you, the Council members of the town of Caprianna."

The five men that had accompanied
Coran back into the room stepped up
to where Coran was standing.

"Princess, these men have requested
audience with you." Coran continued.

"Let them approach, Coran." Allura
signaled to them.

As the five men approached her, Keith
took up a military stance to her left,
preparing himself for any possible
hostile actions.  By the looks on the
men's faces, they obviously had a lot
to talk about.



"Princess Allura," one of the men began.  "We demand to know what is being done to prevent these attacks!"

"Our people are being frightened from their homes, Princess!" Another man spoke next. "Something must be done!"

"You are the Princess!  It is your responsibility to see to the safety of the people, isn't it?" still another man shouted.

"Gentleman, please!" Allura said in a raised voice, raising her hands out in front of her.  "I know that you're upset, and you certainly have every right to be.  I want you to know that we are doing everything within our power to find out why the G'Donar have come to Arus."

"They've obviously come to destroy us, Your Highness!" the first man shouted.

"They've destroyed nearly half of the regions around Caprianna!  And our town has been the subject of two attacks, this week alone!  What more must they destroy before you decide that enough is enough?" the second man shouted.

"What is it that you'd like to see done, that isn't already being done?" Allura asked.

"We want peace, Princess!" the third man shouted.

"We want to be left alone!" a fourth man spoke up.  "My family hasn't slept a full night's sleep in weeks, fearing that they might never awaken again!"

"I have small children, frightened out of their wits!  My wife cries endlessly!" the fifth man shouted.  "How can a man protect his family, if the government won't help in that effort?"

"As Council president of the town of Caprianna, I demand you take action, immediately!" the first man shouted, pointing his finger toward Allura.

"Gentleman," Allura said.  "I understand your concerns..."

"You understand NOTHING...Your High and Mightiness!" the first man, identifying himself as the Council President, angrily replied.  "You stay perfectly safe and sound here in your Castle, surrounded by all of the comforts of royalty, while your people suffer and die all
around you!  Have you no heart?  Where is your loyalty, Princess?  If your father were alive, King Alfor would surely be ashamed of you!"

"Now wait just a minute!" Keith suddenly said, stepping forward.

"Gentlemen!" Coran bellowed.  "You will remember who you are speaking to!"

Keith continued, "Listen...I can report to you that we've been to nearly every part of Arus over the last few weeks!  There's just too many G'Donar attack ships for us to take out at once!  If you want to blame someone...blame me!  I'm the Commander of Voltron!  Shouldn't I be held to some measure of responsibility?"

"Commander Keith, we know you take orders from Princess Allura," the Council President began to say.

"...And she takes orders from me, as my Blue Lion pilot!" Keith replied firmly.  "When she flies the Blue Lion, I am her commanding officer, and she obeys MY orders!  If Voltron isn't doing a good enough job to meet your expectations, then blame me...not the Princess!"

"Keith," Allura began to say, but Keith instantly cut her off, continuing to firmly push his point.

"You guys haven't a clue what goes on up there!  The Princess risks her live in battle and you have the nerve to come in here and say she's not doing enough?  What about any of you! I don't see any one of you running to help join the Arusian military and fight against the G'Donar!  All I've heard are the complaints of, 'do-nothing' men like yourselves...afraid to fight for the planet you love...expecting someone else to pick up the slack for you!"

"We're civilians, Commander Keith!"
the fourth man shouted.  "It's not our
job to fight!"

"It is, if you truly loved this world,
and if you had any loyalty to your
Princess!" Keith sternly replied. 
"She's doing all she can to fight. 
What are you going to do to help her?"

The five men stood stunned for a moment.  The Council President finally replied, "Commander Keith...surely you know that we have not been through the properly trained that is required to act in the capacity of a military stronghold!  What of the royal guard units...what function to do they serve?  Do you need twelve-thousand men to guard the Castle of Lions?"

"The twelve-thousand men you
are referring to, have already be
deployed to different areas of the
planet, in an attempt to minimize
damage to towns, cities and villages."
Allura replied. "Only a small
compliment of guards remains at the Castle."


"And the robot lions are out there nearly all night, every night, battling off the G'Donar attacking forces." Keith added.

"What more can be done?" Allura asked.

"Well...I don't know!" the Council President shouted.  "But there must be a way to stop these attacks!"

"If there were, we'd have found that course of action," Keith replied calmly.  "If you come with any more ideas, you're welcome to share them."

Silence fell between the five men as they turned and stared at one another.

The Council President spoke again...  "What's to become of us, Princess?"

Allura stared straight ahead.  "We're doing all we can, and will continue with that course of action."

Keith returned to his military stance next to Allura's throne, having made his point, very clearly.  It was now up to the five men standing before him and the Princess.

The Council President turned, signaling
his accompaniment to follow him out
of the throne room.

When they were safely out of the throne
room, Allura rose from her throne and
stepped down the short stairway to the
floor.  She came to stand next to Coran
and then, shook her head.

"I wonder if there is anything more
that can be done." Allura wondered
aloud.

"We're doing all we can, Princess, short of sacrificing sleep." Keith replied.  "Which as it is, we've been getting precious little of."

"The people are angry, Princess." Coran added.  "They feel insecure, and with such a feeling, they want someone to place the blame upon, for their circumstances."

"But why her, Coran?" Keith huffed angrily.  "She bends in half for them now, as it is!  What more do they want her to do?"

"They want an end to the aggression on Arus." Coran replied quietly.

"So do we all," Keith said, dryly, putting his hands on his hips.

"They feel as if the Princess is not doing enough for their well-being." Coran added.

"Coran, come on now," Keith said.  "You and I both know that she practically kills herself for these people!"

"The people are not interested in how hard Allura works to protect them.  They can not see past their own fears." Coran replied.  "In their eyes, the Princess simply is not doing enough to stop the horrible attacks."

"Do they want me to throw myself in the path of the G'Donar fire?" Allura shouted suddenly. "Perhaps, if I got myself killed, maybe then they could see past their own selfishness..."

"Allura, you are talking nonsense now." Coran said to her.

"Am I?" she asked him sarcastically.  "They want me to be Queen!  They want me to marry! They want me to have an heir!  They want me to wipe their noses and tuck them in at night! I'm tired of it all, Coran!  I'm tired of being responsible for an entire planet and its people!
Just once, I'd like someone to step into my shoes, and see how it feels to live my life for a change!"

"Allura," Keith began to say.  "Just take it easy..."

Allura suddenly picked up the skirt of her gown and began to run from where Keith and Coran were standing.

"Allura!  Wait!" Keith shouted after her.

As she began to run from the room, and just as Keith began to follow after her, a royal guard appeared in the doorway of the throne room.

Allura quickly stopped, with Keith coming up right behind her.  Allura looked at the guard as he spoke to her...

"Your Highness, forgive the intrusion!  We are receiving an urgent message...someone who says they are, 'a long lost friend' of Princess Allura's." the guard said.

"A long lost friend?" Allura repeated.

"Any idea who that might be, Princess?" Keith asked her.

She shook her head.  "What did the message say?" Allura inquired.

"No more than what I have told you, Your Highness...other than to say, when you saw who it was, you would be very surprised to see them.  And, they claim to also have information on the G'Donar."

"Information on the G'Donar?" Allura said, turning to Coran and Keith.  "I'd like to see what this is all about."

"I'm coming with you." Keith replied.

Coran and Keith followed after Princess Allura, heading for the control room.

Perhaps...this strange hail would be the answer to some of the questions about why the G'Donar are there.  Then again...perhaps it would only serve to add more questions and mystery.

They were soon to find out.
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