"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 27
A Guardian of Deceit

"Just WHAT did you think you were doing out there tonight?" Keith shouted.

He was standing in the conference room, pointing his finger at Allura, as she sat quietly across the room.  Coran was there too, his arms crossed in front of him and his head down.

Keith was mad...

The team had just returned from an all night defense run.  Seventeen locations in all had fallen under attack by the G'Donar and Doom forces, the most attacks ever recorded so far in this war. The casualty numbers were pouring in and Keith had asked Coran to bring what he had received so far, to the meeting with the Princess.

"I asked you a question, Princess!"
Keith said firmly.  "What gave you
the idea that you could suddenly
become a...a one-woman show out
there?  Just what were you thinking
when you broke formation out
there tonight?"

"I...I thought you might've needed
help, Keith." Allura stammered
back.


"The only help I need is for you to
follow orders!" Keith blasted back.
"I don't need any surprises out there!
Do you realize that your actions might
have caused your destruction...or capture...take your pick!"

"I just wanted to help..." Allura began to say.

"Help, how?" Keith shouted back.  "By becoming Lotor's plaything?  You know what he wants, Allura!  He's just waiting for an opportunity to snag you away!  And you about as much as gave him one tonight!  Those formations were specially designed for military defense!  We can watch
each other's backs while still fighting to defend against the enemy!  By breaking formation, you singled yourself out for attack, not to mention putting the rest of us in danger, in the process!"

"I didn't mean for that to happen!" Allura shouted back.  "You act as if I had betrayed all of you!"

"In a sense... you did...by not following orders!" Keith replied.  "We all depend on each other out there!  When someone doesn't follow the rules...we all suffer! How many times have you heard me preach that at Lance, until I'm blue in the face!  You were the last person I thought I'd have to worry about breaking the rules!"

"Rules shouldn't be so rigid, that they become a deterrent from seeing what might possibly happen!" Allura said back, somewhat calmly.  "I was thinking ahead...of the possibility that you might need help...that Black Lion might fall to the ground...that you'd..."

"Allura...none of those things existed!" Keith said to her. "Black Lion was not out of control!"

"I saw the rear compartment hit!" Allura said back.  "My sensors read that your shields went out!"

"Your sensors did read that," Keith added.  "But what you failed to read was that I immediately rerouted power to compensate for the fluctuation in the shields!  I was able to redirect energy to cover my entire lion...back compartment and all!  You should have picked up on that...or at the very least...called me on the COM and ASKED me if I needed help!"

"What if you were in a position where you couldn't ask for help?" Allura came back with.

"This is not a debate!" Keith shouted.
He then looked to Coran. "You
see if you can talk some sense
into her!"

"I beg your pardon!" Allura gasped
angrily. "I'm being completely
reasonable here!"

"Princess," Coran began. "I must
agree with the Commander. This is
another demonstration of your
irrational behavior, as of late."

"I am not irrational!" Allura volleyed back.

"Oh, I beg to differ with you," Keith
suddenly said.  "You've been acting
odd for days now! Take yesterday
afternoon, for example!  You still
haven't explained to me why you
showed up at my door, pounding
on it like crazy, and then, telling
me it was for nothing!  I say,
something's bother you and now,
its affecting your judgement and
reason!"

"I...I had a nightmare!" she replied.

"About what?" Keith asked her.

"Its...its...none of your business what it is that I dream about!" Allura proclaimed, angrily.

"It is my business, if it interferes with your effectiveness on MY team!" Keith pointed out.

"Is that all I am to you?" Allura snorted.  "A teammate?

"What are you talking about?" Keith grunted at her.

"I haven't seen you in days, in any other capacity, other than a pilot!" Allura said, suddenly turning her head from him.

"We're in a war, Princess!" Keith said in a frustrated tone of voice.  "I didn't think that now, was an appropriate time to romance you!  I hardly have any time to myself, these daywhat with planning
tactical strategies and 'what if' scenarios with Coran!"

"But I do see you manage to make the time for Jennie!" Allura snorted, turning her head back to reply.  "While you practically ignore me and my feelings..."

"You can't be serious, Allura!" Keith blurted out at her.  He then walked over toward Coran and picked up the report that he had laid on the table in front of him.  Keith began reading it aloud "Just from last night's raids, we've lost nine towns, two cities and one village!  The preliminary numbers alone show that we've lost fourteen hundred people...either missing or dead...and according to this in my hands, there's over twenty-one hundred wounded people!  Now...that's the figures so far. And while all this is going on, you're crying over my attention for a small girl?"

"Who has obviously become your main focus in life!" Allura shouted.

"Don't start pegging the blame on me!" Keith shouted, pointing his finger at her.  "And don't tell me that this is all about being jealousover a little seven year old orphan girl!"

"No...it's not about jealously over a seven-year old!" Allura snorted angrily.

"Then...what IS it about?" Keith asked her firmly.

Allura suddenly became silent...saying nothing more and now, choosing to avoid his gaze altogether.

Keith dropped the paper back onto the table and then, crossed his arms in front of himself and shook his head at her.

"There's something that's going on with you.  I can feel that there is.  But you won't let me in to help you." Keith said calmly.  "So...there's only one thing I can do to help you...and everyone
else.  I'm grounding you.  You're not to pilot Blue Lion, until further notice from me."

Coran raised an eyebrow, but made no move to comment.

Allura suddenly gasped...and then, rose to her feet, looking him straight in the face.  "You can't do that!" she blurted out angrily.

"Oh, but I CAN do that, Princess!" Keith replied back to her.  "The lions may be the property of Arus, which makes them yours.  But I alone, decide who flies and who doesn't.  If I can't trust you out there to fly with a clear head...you're not flying on my team."

"But...I'm needed!" Allura defended suddenly.  You can't defend the planet with only four lions!"

"Then I'll find and train someone else to fly the Blue Lion." Keith said firmly.  "Unless...you decide to come clean and tell me what's going on in your head that's got you acting so weird lately!"

"I'm fine, Keith!" Allura yelled. "I'm just...FINE!"

"You're not 'just fine', Allura! You're far from it!  Something's spooked you...and badly, too." Keith said to her.  "And I'll not have you in the air, manning the power of the Blue Lion where you could
possibly get yourself and the rest of us killed!  I care too much for you to allow that to happen!  And I have the lives of everyone else to worry about too!"

"Keith...please..." Allura began, trying
desperately to hold back the tears.

"I'll give you until four o'clock this
afternoon to come and tell me
what's bothering you. I don't c
are if it's over a broken fingernail,
or if it's about your father's
sudden absence. But, I want the
truth!" Keith said to her.


Keith turned to leave and as he reached the doorway...he paused and bowed his head. An audible sigh escaped him...

"I love you, Allura.  So much, in fact, that this is killing me inside." Keith said quietly as he turned his head to look at her.  "But love or no, I can't allow you to fly if your head's not on straight. And whether you understand or agree with my reasons as to why...makes no difference to me.  I have to do what's best for everyone...whether you like it or not.  I'm sorry."

Keith stepped out of the room and allowed the door to slide shut behind him.

Allura said nothing, but rose to her feet and left the room, leaving Coran there...shaking his head.

"Oh Princess," Coran said softly.  "What has become of you?"


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The door to Allura's chambers opened wide.  Her personal maid, Marie, was busily making ready the Princess's bed to sleep in.

Marie turned to greet the Princess...but one look on her face told the young maid that Allura was in no mood to be of good cheer.

"Your Highness?" Marie asked Allura.  "Are...are you well?"

Allura's chin quivered slightly as the tears began to form in her eyes once again.  "I'd like to be alone, Marie...if you don't mind." Allura said softly.

Marie paused for a moment... and then curtsied before Allura.  "Yes, Your Highness."

Marie exited the room, leaving Allura alone.  The young ruler walked slowly to her room. As the door slid open, Allura walked in carefully... looking around at the things she called, her own.

Her eyes caught sight of the holograph stand on her night table beside her bed.  Allura walked over and turned it on.  A picture of Keith appeared...one taken just recently while they were in the city of
Kardel.

She looked at him...studying his facial features...

It wasn't long before she placed the picture down on the night table...still running...and looked up to the wall COM.  She thought to call Keith... she wanted to tell him of her horrible nightmare...
to warn him, somehow...

But...she hardly believed it herself.  How in the world was she to expect him to believe her as well? And what if he were to think that she was crazy?  He would ground her anyway...perhaps, for good.

She retracted her hand back to her side, abandoning the thought of calling him.  Instead, she took down her hair from the confined bun style she had it in, allowing it to drape carelessly around her shoulders. 

Then, suddenly threw herself on the bed, bursting into tears and burying her head into her many pillows.

Several moments had passed, when suddenly, she started to hear the sound of another voice...
calling to her.  The sound had begun to overpower her weeping and she suddenly stopped crying, lifting her head up to look around.

"Who's there?" the Princess cried out.  "Father...Father, is that you?"

The room became still...

Allura paused for a long moment...as if, she were an animal that had been spotted in the woods... she remained absolutely still, listening attentively for the voice she had just heard.


"Princess Allura..."


Allura suddenly gasped and sat up quickly onto her bed.  She immediately leaned over to her night table and opened the drawer, drawing her blaster from it.  She held the blaster in front of her,
as her eyes searched the room for the owner of the voice that had just called out her name.

The voice was not from her father...in fact...it was unknown to her.

"Show yourself!" Allura shouted, deciding to take a chance and give an invitation to the intruder.

Suddenly, the air in front of her bed began to shift and distort.  Allura pointed her blaster carefully in front of her...and she waited.

An ominous green hue began to fill the room...and suddenly, a red and purple mist began to infiltrate the room as well, and then, something in the red and purple mist began to take shape...right in front of the Princess.

As the image materialized, a beautiful green skin-tone woman with short, dark hair stood before her.  She was dressed in a beautiful cream colored gown that flowed around her body...and she was mysteriously illuminated with light...seemingly, light, from nowhere. 

Unknown to Allura...it was Audra.

The mysterious woman bowed before Allura, and the Princess responded by pointing her weapon at her.

"Who are you?" Allura growled.  "And why are you here...and how did you get into the Castle, undetected?"

"My name, is Ti-tonya." Audra lied by saying.  "I have been sent here on behalf of your father, the late King Alfor the Great."

"Ti-tonya?  You know my father?" Allura gasped suddenly, now lowering
her weapon. "How do you know my father?"

"He has sent me here with a message, Allura." Audra said.

"A message?" Allura repeated. "What message?  Where is he?  Why can't he show himself to me?"

"Arus is doomed...unless..." Audra uttered softly, her voice echoing suddenly in the room.

Allura gasped again, as her hand flew to her mouth.  "That was your voice I heard in my dream!"

"It was not merely a dream, young Princess." Audra said.  "It was meant as a warning."

"What warning?" Allura said urgently.  "And how is Keith involved?"

"Keith Hunter is the focal point of Arus's continuance." Audra explained, beginning to weave her deceit into Allura's vulnerable heart.

"I don't understand..." Allura said.

"If Keith Hunter is to live and if Arus is to survive, you must abandon your love for him." Audra replied.

Allura blinked rapidly, suddenly feeling a lump develop in her throat. "What?  What are you saying?" Allura said slowly.  "Abandon my love for Keith!  But...why would I..."

"He is the focal point, Princess."
Audra continued.  "Your father
would have come to tell you,
himself, but his days of visitation
are over.  He has sent me, instead,
to warn you of what is to come, so
that you can control the destiny of
Arus and save your people."

"But...Keith?" Allura said softly.

"Keith Hunter will die, if you do
not renounce your love for him...
immediately." Audra said.

"What do you mean?" Allura said
in a raised tone of voice. "I love
Keith! I can't possibly..."

"He shall die tonight." Audra said
quickly. "In the evening raids...
a ship will target and fire upon the
already weakened area of his
robot lion ship, penetrating it.
The lion will crash and Keith
Hunter shall die."


"NO!" Allura shouted, suddenly
dropping her blaster on the bed and reaching her had forward.  "HE CAN'T DIE!"

"It will become his destiny...and after he dies... Arus will shortly follow, thereafter." Audra said. "King Alfor does not wish to see Arus die and has sent me to ask you to make the ultimate sacrifice.  Who is most important...you or your people?  If you chose yourself, then Keith Hunter and Arus are doomed.  But...if you chose Arus and all of its people... then renounce your love for Keith Hunter...and both he and Arus shall live.  But you have little time to decide.  If you do not renounce him by day's end...it shall be too late, and destiny will have its road to walk, undeterred. Once the sun sets on this day, whatever you have decided upon will be the destiny for all."

"But...how can my father leave me with such a choice?" Allura shouted.

"It is not his choice to make...but yours, Princess." Audra replied.

"I can't!  I love him!  I can't do it!  Don't you see?  What you're asking of me, would destroy Keith!" Allura wept.  "And me with him!  I can't tell him something that isn't true!  There must be another way!"

"There is no other way.  I have given you the choice.  If you do not choose, then you will automatically condemn him and Arus to death!" Audra responded back coldly.  "I have given you the warning in your dreams and now, I have given you the meaning of that warning.  It is now up to you to decide which destiny you intend to follow."

"There HAS TO BE another way!" Allura cried out.  "There must be!"

"If there were...I surely would have told you so.  Lastly, Keith must not know what has passed between us...or destiny will automatically be set and he shall die." Audra said with a smile. "I leave you to make your decision. And by the way...your father sends his regards."

"WHERE IS MY FATHER?" Allura shouted through the tears.

Audra smiled and then, her continence began to disburse, returning back to the red and purple mist that had originally formed her body.  The room took on the same green hue as the mist disappeared into the air.

"NO! COME BACK! COME BACK HERE! PLEASE...DON'T LEAVE!" Allura begged the mysterious woman.

But it was too late.  The green hue disappeared as well, leaving Allura, once again, alone in her room.

Only now, she had a choice to make.  One that she couldn't bare making.

"What am I going to do?" Allura wept quietly.
"How...how can I tell him something like this?
How can I lie to him and tell him that I don't
love him?"

Allura dropped down on her bed, once again,
weeping tears of woe. A
decision had to be made.

Which is more important to herher people...
or herself?  It was a decision she didn't want
to make.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And somewhere out there... a lone being smiles with content, as her evil seed of deceit begins to grow within her first victim of the Voltron Force.

One down...

Four more to go.

With the second one falling by sun set.
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