"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 33
"Perhaps...Its Time to Go."

Princess Allura angrily stood in the center of the room, her arms crossed.  Coran was blocking her exit from the Control Room.

"I want to see it, Coran!" she said calmly, but sternly.

"The hour is late!" Coran scolded her.  "It is already nightfall!  You must get some rest!"

"I want to see it, Coran!" she insisted once again.

"The creature is hideous, Princess!" Coran argued.  "You must not be exposed to..."

"Be exposed to what...reality?  Coran, you and Nanny have spent much of my younger years, protecting me from reality!  This creature is reality for Planet Arus!  I must see what it is that's destroying my people!  Now, let me pass!"

"Princess, please, I beg you!  Commander Keith gave his full report!  You have access to the G'Donar profile, included in the Commander's report, on your terminal!  You may call up a picture of the creature, if you wish..." Coran argued.

"My people do not see a picture, Coran!" Allura shouted.  "My people are not being destroyed by a picture! They are being killed by the reality that is in science lab!  And that thing almost killed Keith and Pidge!  Now...I want to see it...I demand to see it...this
instant, Coran!"

"Princess...please, be reasonable..." Coran began to say.

But Allura immediately barraged right past him, ignoring his pleas.

"WAIT, PRINCESS!" Coran shouted, now turning to try to catch up with her.

Allura jogged down the corridor, heading to the science lab, which was on the west side of the Castle of Lions. The trek took nearly three minutes.

When she had arrived at the door to the science lab, she keyed in the security code.  The door immediately slid open, revealing a smaller, and much darker room.  She entered in with great haste, knowing that Coran was not very far behind her.

Just in front of her, was yet, another security door.  This one, however, had a guard posted next to it. Seeing the presence of the Princess in the room, the Castle guard bowed before her.  Allura walked up to the guard.

"I would like to enter." ...was all Allura said to him.

"At once, Princess." The guard replied, crisply.

He turned and entered in the special security code.  The door instantaneously opened up. Allura quickly made her way into, what was now, the interior security hold of the science lab. She saw several royal technicians, rapidly running about...and yet, another security door. She suddenly moved toward one of them...

"Excuse me," Allura said, halting a young woman.

"Your Highness!" the woman startled.  "This is quite a surprise!  What can I do for you?"

"I'd like to see the G'Donar being that was brought in earlier today."
Allura replied.

"Oh, certainly!" the young woman replied.  "Let me get Dr. Seneco for you."

Allura bowed her head affirmatively and the woman trotted off.  The woman technician entered a security code on the keypad located near the entrance. The door slid open and she stepped on the other side of it.  The door then quickly closed behind her.

The Princess stood eagerly, her eyes moving back and forth, as she waited to see Dr. Seneco.

Allura recognized Dr. Arnoff Seneco as being one of Arus's most renowned scientists.  He was one of the original inventors of the robot lion technology and together with King Alfor, was instrumental in the successful launching of the lion ships...back when her father
had created them.

Her father...



"Father..." she thought fondly of him, and yet, sad, unsure why she had seemingly lost touch with him. "Where are you?  I need your counsel so desperately..."



But...Allura was beginning to realize that with her father's recent and noticeable absence, she had to stand on her own.  Whatever had caused him to vanish from her life...apparently was permanent.

And she didn't even have a chance to say goodbye...again.

Allura felt the tears beginning to brim in her eyes, when suddenly, the familiar voice called to her from behind.

"Princess Allura!  There you are!"

Allura didn't need to turn to know who it was...

"I'm going to see it, Coran." she said suddenly, in a most calm voice. "Whether you agree or not."

Coran walked up to her at the same moment that Dr. Seneco had begun to open the security door to the inner experimental room.  Allura's eyes widened...but not at the doctor...but at the person who was stepping out of the security lab, closely behind the doctor.

Even with the sterile mask and white sterile clothes on...she recognized him immediately.

"Pidge?" Allura said the name of the teen genius of the Voltron Force.  "What in heaven's name...?"

"I'm working with Dr. Seneco, here!" Pidge replied...a note of prideful strain in his vocal tone.

"But...Pidge...that thing..." Allura started to say.

"Its dead, Princess.  It can't hurt anyone now!" Pidge said, matter-of-factly.  "But...what are you doing here?"

"I'm here to see the G'Donar." Allura said, bluntly.

"I wouldn't suggest it, Princess." Pidge replied.  "We've already started examining it...and well...its kind of...gross...at least, maybe to the average person who's not interested in the scientific benefits of research."

"Your Highness," Dr. Seneco said suddenly, bowing before her.  "If I may agree with the young man...this specimen is quite the ugly creature. I strong advise against seeing it in person."

"I understand and thank you for your warning," Allura said calmly.
"But I am here to see it."

"Your Highness, please reconsider!" Coran said, suddenly grabbing her arm.

Allura wrenched her head toward Coran.  Her face held a look of aggravation, signaling to the Castle Advisor to stand down.  He quickly did so, releasing her arm at once.

"Now then, Doctor." Allura said quietly.  "I understand that this creature almost killed Commander Keith and Pidge.  Its race is also responsible for the suffering of thousands of my people. I'm interested in seeing it."

Dr. Seneco glanced at Coran. Coran's head bowed, nodding slightly.

"Very well, Your Highness." Dr. Seneco replied.  "If you will step this way, you can observe the creature's remains from behind the viewing glass.  The smell is quite atrocious, otherwise, I would invite you to the lab floor."

Allura nodded.  "That would be fine."

"Good, then, please...follow me." Dr. Seneco replied...leading the Princess and Coran into the security room.

Pidge followed immediately behind them all.

The security door slowly closed up once again.

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

The observation room was dimly lit.

Dr. Seneco had led the Princess and Coran into the room, instructing them to stand by the window. There was a black screen that seemed to be in place, preventing them from seeing anything. The doctor instructed them, that once all was ready, the screen would slide back, revealing to them both, the inside of the experimental room.

Allura leaned up against the window, waiting, somewhat anxiously for the screen to move so that she could see the alien, first hand.

Coran pressed his lips together, preparing himself to look at it.  He had viewed Keith's report for himself, but somehow, seeing the creature in person, seemed to give it a whole new perspective, first hand, on what Keith, Hunk and Pidge actually experienced for
themselves.

Suddenly, Dr. Seneco's voice boomed over the COM speaker.  "Are you ready, Princess?" his voice echoed.

"Ready, Dr. Seneco!" Allura replied back.

Suddenly...a low humming sound began to build in the room… and the screen began to slowly move aside...revealing the room, inch by anxious inch.  When the screen had completely moved aside... Allura and Coran could see...nothing.

The room was dark...but for only a moment.  Suddenly, the lights in the room beyond the window lit up.

Allura screamed, suddenly startled by the sight of the hideous creature on the examination table.  She quickly cupped her hand over her mouth and turned completely around.

"It's...its awful, Coran!" she said, just above a whisper.

Coran was frozen...aghast at the sight of the G'Donar body.

The body had been stripped of its clothing.  It was a ghastly purple colored creature with many tenticles. The head was deformed in shape and covered with brown ooze...and split open, revealing the skull of the creature.

Dr. Seneco had been standing near the examination table, observing the responses of the two onlookers. He quickly spoke into the COM link.

"Your Highness?  Minister Coran?  Are you both all right?" Dr. Seneco said to them.

Pidge, who had been standing down on the floor with Dr. Seneco, saw Allura and Coran's reaction.

"Its not too bad, once you get used to seeing it!" Pidge called up.

After what seemed like an eternity...Allura quickly nodded her head and slowly began to turn back around. She looked out of the window, her face grimaced with disgust at the sight of the alien creature.

Dr. Seneco walked around to the feet of the alien. "As you can see, it's not a handsome looking thing, to be sure."

"Yes...I suppose...not." Allura's voice quivered.  "And...this...thing...nearly killed Keith and Pidge."  She shivered at the thought.

"Is this necessary, Dr. Seneco?" Coran asked, cautiously.  "This...examination, that is?"

"Absolutely." Dr. Seneco replied firmly.  "From what I've been able to ascertain so far, it appears that the creature's ability to think comprehensively as we do, is somewhat limited."

"Meaning?" Allura said, cautiously.

"Meaning...that it appears that it's not a quick thinker.  Judging from this one specimen, the G'Donar are an instinct breed...they act, mainly, on impulse." Dr. Seneco replied.

Pidge stepped in.  "We've started a brainwave scan on it.  We should know more soon...and we're going to investigate it's brain mass."

"Then you are planning on...dissecting it?" Allura asked, feeling a lump in her throat. "Completely...?"

"That is the best way to proceed, Your Highness." Dr. Seneco replied.  "It would reveal to us many answers about their structural anatomy."

"It'll help us find out more about their physical weaknesses." Pidge added.

Allura nodded slowly, but said nothing more.  The thought of seeing the creature...as hideous as it was, being subjected to such cruel forms of scientific research, did nothing but turn her stomach.

"Thank you, Dr. Seneco." Coran said in a softer voice.

Dr. Seneco bowed his head.

Allura quickly moved for the door. Coran turned and followed her.


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

After a few moments, they both had exited back through the security door.  Allura held her stomach with her right hand, shaking her head.

Coran came along side of her...

"I had tried to protect you from this horror, Princess!" Coran said sternly.  "But, as usual, you insisted on being stubborn!"

"But you can't protect our people from it, Coran." Allura said quietly.

Instantly, Coran's anger subsided and he chose not to battle against her any longer.  Allura quickly left the room...leaving Coran standing alone, with only the company of the guard on duty.

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


It was once again nightfall and Keith stood silently by a large picture window in one of the lounge rooms.  His own reflection against the window had been cast back to him, showing him the image of a very troubled young man.

It also showed the image of yet another...standing directly behind him in the distance.

Lance.

"Can't I go anywhere around here to think, without someone interrupting me?" Keith said in a low and unfriendly tone of voice.

Lance smiled from behind.  "Sorry...it's in my contract to be a pain in your neck."

"No kidding." Keith replied sarcastically.

Lance walked up to Keith, coming to stand next to him.  "So...where were we?"

Keith sighed.  "Look...I appreciate you're wanting to help.  But this is something I have to deal with...on my own."

"You have girl trouble." Lance said.  "And I'm just the guy that knows all about that!  You need me, Keith!"

"I don't need anyone, Lance." Keith replied smugly. "I NEED to be left alone.  That request hasn't change from the last time we've talked."

"Come on, Keith!" Lance said.  "So, she dumped you!  So what?  There are plenty more girls on Arus to pick from!  Plenty more all over the galaxy!"

"Not for me," Keith groaned.  "I'm not interested in looking for a replacement."

"So then...what are you going to do?  Just stand here and sulk for the rest of your life?" Lance asked.

"No." Keith said quietly.  "I'm going to...resign."

Lance paused...as if a thrown brick had hit him right in the face.

"Say this again?" Lance asked.  "You're going to...what?"

"You heard me." Keith replied quietly.

"I thought I heard you...but the Keith I know wouldn't have said what I thought I heard. You must be an imposter!" Lance replied.

"No, you hear right.  I said...I'm resigning, Lance." Keith said again...a sad tone to his voice.

"You mean, you're giving up!" Lance said, suddenly angry.

"Call it what you'd like." Keith replied.

Silence filled the room suddenly. Lance looked out the window to the horizon.

"I can't believe I'm hearing you say that." Lance finally said.  "You...you of all people! Mr. Rules and Regulations!"

"I'm of no use here anymore, Lance."
Keith replied.

"So...Allura dumps you...and
now, you're just going to take your ball
and go home, is that it?" Lance grunted.

"Yeah...that's a good way of looking at it."
Keith said, nonchalantly.

"I don't believe it!" Lance blurted out
suddenly.  "I've never seen you back
away from anything in your life!  Now...
you're turning tail and running...because
some girl just dumped you?  Are you serious?"

"Completely." Keith replied back.

"She needs you!  We all need you!  And now...you're ducking out on us...just when we need you most!" Lance shouted.  "I can't believe you're that narrow minded!"

"Lance, you have no idea what I'm going through!" Keith shouted back.  "I'm dying inside, okay? There... are you happy now?  You know the truth!  I'm not a machine!  I'm not a robot!  I'm a man...just a man...a flesh and blood man, with flesh and blood feelings!"

"You're letting your emotions sway you!" Lance barked at him. "You're the one who's always telling me that you can't do that!"

"I know what I'm always telling you!  And I'm telling you again that I can't stay here!" Keith shouted.

"You're really serious.  You're really going to leave, aren't you?" Lance said in a more mellow tone.

Keith said nothing in reply.

"What did Allura say?" Lance asked him.

"She don't know, yet." Keith replied back.

"When are you going to tell her?" Lance asked.

"I'm telling Coran tomorrow morning.  He can tell her." Keith said back.

"Coward!" Lance snorted.  "The least you can do is tell her yourself and see what your leaving will do to her!"

"Why?" Keith grunted, angrily.  "So you can rush in and be the hero for her?"

"That's got nothing to do with it!" Lance blurted back.  "She deserves to hear it from your mouth!"

"Let me handle my own affairs!" Keith shouted.  "And I'll thank you to keep your comments to yourself and your big mouth, shut!"

Lance's face strained with instantaneous anger.  He turned around and left the room.

Keith sighed as the door slid closed after Lance's leaving.  He'd get over it, Keith said to himself. He was going to have to. His mind was made up.  Nothing left to do now, except to tell Coran.

But...there was one just one more person he was pondering about...how to tell her that he was leaving...

Little Jennica...she'll undoubtedly be crushed by the news.

But Lance was right about one thing...

He felt like a coward.

He could force himself to tell Jennica that he was going to leave Arus forever...

But he couldn't bring himself to tell Allura.  He couldn't bear to see her expression once she had heard he was resigning.  He loved her... so very much...even now…and couldn't stand the thought of hurting her.

Couldn't stand himself...for what he was about to do.

But there was nothing more he could do.  In his mind, his effectiveness as the team's leader had come to an end.

He made some pretty bad decisions last night...decisions that almost cost the lives of two of his teammates. He couldn't allow that to happen again...for their sakes.

Keith told himself that this was the only way to deal with it.  If he stayed, he'd think of nothing but Allura...and the fact that she no longer loved him.  It was enough to destroy his ability to command,
objectively.

He only wished it had been different between them.  Whatever it was that had soured Allura's love for him...happened quicker then he could understand or comprehend.

One day...she loved him.

The next day...she didn't...and with no good reason as to why the sudden change in heart.

Keith turned for the door, deciding that maybe, he should tell Coran tonight, instead...get it over with.

In the morning...he could tell Jennie.  A task he wished he could have avoided as well.

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