A story based on, "Voltron, The Third Dimension"
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.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS THE LAST CHAPTER IN THIS BOOK. BOOK TWO,
CONTINUING THE SERIES, WILL BEGIN SOON!!!
"If Nothing Else, I'll Remember...Us."
Strangely enough...Arus saw a full night with no attacks...the first in many weeks. The sun rose, and with the dawn's light, a lone ship, upon receiving clearance, was on final approach toward the Castle of Lions.
The ship was from the Alliance...sent in response to Commander Keith Hunter's request for transport...back to Earth.
As the ship landed, a lone Alliance officer emerged from the hold, a young female of Asian decent. She pridefully walked up to the three Castle guardsmen that had come to escort her to the Castle.
As the four of them made their way toward the Castle entrance, another lone figure stared at the activity that had occurred, just outside his second-story bedroom window.
Keith Hunter watched as the young Alliance female was being escorted to the Castle. Soon, it would be time to leave.
A sense of dread came over him all of a sudden. It was a feeling of uncertainty.
Was he doing the right thing in leaving Arus... leaving them with one lion short to defend against Lotor's Doom raids with the G'Donar?
And...what of Lotor? He certainly would now, more than ever, come after the Princess. Was leaving now, at this time, a grave mistake, concerning Allura's freedom?
And what of Allura...?
What would become of Allura when he leaves? Would she be all right?
Keith sighed...heavyhearted, as he finished the last bit of packing he had left to do. He sat down at his desk and pulled the desk draw open, to gather his few remaining personal affects.
It was then that his hand found it...
The Arusian Metal of Valor...he had forgotten all about it, until now.
He grimaced as his hand squeezed tightly around it. The jagged edges of the Metal bit into the skin of the rough palm of his hand, as his mind quickly drifted back to the banquet in the recent past... the banquet where Allura had bestowed it upon him...for among other things, his
"Funny..." Keith snorted to himself. "I don't feel very brave, honorable."
He let out another sigh and opened his hand to look at the Metal. His intention was to pack it in his bag...but suddenly, thought better of it, and instead, placed it on the desk...to leave it behind. He certainly had no right to it now, in his eyes.
Lance was right. He was running away.
Keith quickly tossed the rest of his things into his bag and zipped it up, then throwing it on the bed with the rest of this luggage.
He looked solemnly around the room... then walked out to the compact living room area. His eyes scanned it carefully, as if he were making sure to burn every last detail of it into his eternal memory.
Keith had made sure that his quarters were as neat as they were when he first occupied them... a habit from his academy days that had served him well.
A buzz at the door broke his personal farewell to his quarters. He quickly turned and walked over to the door, releasing the security lock. The door immediately slide open to find a Castle steward standing before him...a younger lad of fourteen-years, whom he had
seen on countless occasions.
The boy was troubled as he stood by the door. Everyone in the Castle was, for that matter. The mood was dismal, at best. The end of an era had come... the end of the Voltron Force...at least, in its present form. With Keith's departure, there would be no one to fly
the Black Lion ship...and no way to form Voltron...at least, on a temporary basis, until a replacement could be found and trained.
"Commander Keith," the timid boy said. "Your transport has arrived and is waiting for you in the main lobby."
"Thank you." Keith replied. "Oh...hey, listen! Can you call someone to help with my stuff? I'm afraid its more than I thought I had...I'll need some help loading it onto the ship."
"At once, Commander." The boy replied.
He stepped away from the door and it slid closed suddenly. Keith turned and went back into his bedroom and began to move his bags from the bed to the area near the main door to his quarters. It would be easier for whoever had to move them...so that nothing was
accidentally left behind.
As he prepared to leave, Keith took a letter he had composed last night from his pants pocket and turned back to his desk. He carefully lifted the Metal of Valor up from the desktop and then, put the letter down on the desk. He then placed the Metal back down on
top of the letter.
Then, he swung his carry-on bag over his shoulders and turned to leave. At the last moment...his eyes caught sight of his lion uniform...his red uniform that he had grown so accustomed to...his command uniform. It was carefully laid over the couch back. He
placed it there to be stored away...but had forgotten to alert someone about it's whereabouts.
He decided to leave it there...just as it was...as a sort of shadowy reminder of his past presence in the room. He was sure Allura would find it later, which was why he had left the letter on the desk.
It was specially addressed to her.
Keith quickly sighed as he glanced one last time around the room. There were many things he would miss about Arus...
The picturesque countryside...
Flying his Black Lion...
But there was nothing he'd miss more than the beautiful blonde-hair, azure blue eyed Princess of Arus, whom he was sure he'd love eternally.
Her face would haunt his dreams for years to come. A curse he would now be forced to bare for the rest of his lifetime.
He girded himself up, and without another second thought, the door slid opened and he exited the room.
Coran met the Castle guardsmen at the main entrance of the Castle. He smiled at the young woman in attendance with them.
"Welcome to Arus!" Coran said boisterously. "I am Sir Coran Anderson, Minster of Royal Affairs and Royal Advisor to Her Royal Highness, Princess Allura."
The woman stopped in front of Coran and gave him a snappy military salute. "My name is Kakoh Fujiko, Lieutenant, Second Class, representing the Galaxy Alliance of Earth."
"Welcome, Lt. Fujiko, to the Castle of Lions." Coran replied back. "I'm sorry, but Her Royal Highness, Princess Allura, is not available to greet you at this time, but she sends her extreme regards and pleasantries to you."
"Please extend my thanks to Princess Allura." the Alliance officer replied.
"Would you care to rest up a bit in the guest lounge? I have arranged for refreshments for you, while you wait for Commander Hunter's baggage to be loaded onto your ship."
"Thank you, Sir." Lt. Fujiko replied. "That is very gracious."
"Very good then. Please, follow me." Coran said, motioning to the young woman to come with him.
As Coran led the woman down away, another entered the main hallway.
It was Pidge...
He had been waiting for Keith to arrive. He wanted to personally say goodbye, one last time. This was harder for Pidge then he wanted to realize. Keith had become something of a big-brother-type person in his life. Hunk would always be Pidge's friend, even though he was kind of mad at Hunk right now for his behavior toward Keith.
But Pidge had always looked up to Keith.
Now...he was leaving...for good...with no promise of when they'd meet again in the future.
The nineteen-year old turned quickly to find Keith walking up behind him.
Keith smirked. "What are you doing here, fraternizing with the enemy?"
"You're no enemy, Keith." Pidge smiled back in return.
Keith threw his bag down on the floor as he came to stand next to his younger friend. "Where's the pilot?" Keith asked Pidge.
"Coran took her to the guest lounge to rest a bit, while the servants load your stuff onto that ship out there." Pidge replied.
"Hopefully, that won't take long." Keith said quietly. "I'd like to get going as soon a possible."
Pidge was the only one of the force that had come to say goodbye to Keith. Lance and Hunk were strangely absent.
Even Allura had made her presence scarce for a proper goodbye. That suited Keith just fine, since he wasn't that entire sure how seeing her again before leaving would be taken by either of them.
The two friends stood quietly in the main hall by the main Castle doors.
Pidge was downcast. "Gee Keit...…I wish you'd change your mind."
"I wish I could, Pidge." Keith said quietly. "But...no sense wishing for something you can't have."
"You mean...the Princess." Pidge replied back.
"I guess that's what I mean." Keith sighed.
The servants suddenly arrived with Keith's luggage...out the door and to the ship they went.
"I'd better go find the pilot." Keith said to Pidge. "Wait here and watch my bag, okay?"
"Will do." Pidge replied back.
Keith walked off and made his way down the corridor to the guest lounge. As the door opened, Coran and the Lieutenant quickly rose to their feet. The young woman quickly stood at attention and shot Keith a very crisp military salute...
"Lieutenant Kakoh Fujiko, Lieutenant, Second Class, Sir!" she said with a shout to her voice. "I have been ordered to escort you back to Terran Space and to Planet Earth, Sir!"
"At ease, Lieutenant," Keith said, saluting her back. "We've got a long, three-day trip ahead of us. Let's just keep things simple, okay?"
"As you wish, Sir!" the woman replied.
"Good...so you can start by calling me, 'Keith', okay?"
"Yes Sir...uh...yes, Keith...Sir!" the woman stammered suddenly.
"Well...that's a start," Keith smiled and chuckled, then turned his attention to Coran. "The Castle's compliment have my things loaded and with your permission, I'd like to get underway."
"Of course, Commander." Coran replied in a solemn tone of voice.
Keith reached over and shook Coran's hand briskly. "I can't tell you what an honor it's been for me to serve next to such fine man as yourself. I'm going to miss you, Coran."
"As I will miss you, Keith. You will always be the finest Lion Knight that Arus has ever known. And you will always have a home here, Keith, should you ever feel the need to return to us." Coran replied. "Please, be certain to keep in contact from time to time."
"I will." Keith replied back. "And uh...say...goodbye to...to Allura for me, would you?"
Coran paused and then slowly nodded his head with a small smile on his face. "I shall, indeed, Commander."
"I know that I don't have to ask you take care of her, because I know you will. It just makes me feel better saying it." Keith added.
"Of course it does." Coran replied softly.
Keith bowed his head slightly... and then, lifted it back up again to look at Coran. "Time to go."
Coran nodded back once in return, but said nothing more.
Keith turned to the pilot. "Lieutenant?" he said in a raised voice. "Let's get going."
"Aye, Sir!" she said, quickly forgetting to refer to him as Keith.
The woman walked past Keith and Coran, exiting the lounge. Coran lifted his hand out to Keith… "After you, Commander?"
"Thanks." Keith replied.
The two men left the room, in silence.
Pidge had been waiting at the entrance to the Castle, just where Keith had asked him to stay. He had called his friends, Hunk and Lance, asking them, or more appropriately, pleading with them, to come say goodbye to their friend.
Lance wouldn't hear of it.
Hunk disconnected the link.
And the Princess...was no where to be found.
Pidge sighed, bordering disgust and anger over the lack of sensitivity shown by his friends. The man, who had come to their rescue, more than once...the man they called friend, was leaving...with little fanfare.
Pidge turned his head as his ears caught the sound of the heel-clicking noise of shoes against the floor of the main hall. It was the young female pilot. She walked up to Pidge and saluted him. He returned the courtesy, then she turned and exited the Castle, heading
on her way toward the ship.
A lump formed in Pidge's throat...
That meant Keith wasn't far behind. It also meant he was leaving...very soon.
Pidge sighed sadly, as he next saw, first Keith, and then, Coran, enter the main hall. Keith walked with his head held high. He turned and shook Coran's hand once more before turning to pick up his bag, lobbing it over his shoulder.
Keith looked at Pidge. "Well, this is it." He said quietly.
"Take care of yourself, Keith." Pidge replied sadly, before thrusting himself into Keith's arms.
Keith dropped the bag to the floor and quickly hugged Pidge in return. Stiffing up his lip, Keith patted Pidge a few times on this back before releasing him.
"You make sure to look after Allura, got it?" Keith said, trying his best to hold back the tears.
"You got it, Commander." Pidge replied, his voice cracking.
Keith nodded once, and then, picked up his bag, turned and exited the Castle. Coran joined Pidge at the entranceway...and both men watched Keith walk a steady path toward the Alliance ship.
Keith paused for a moment and looked up to his right. His eyes caught the sight of the mighty Black Lion ship...peaceably perched atop of the Lion Monument. The black robot warrior stood proud and tall, watching over the land directly in front of the Castle of Lions.
Keith smiled, feeling tears brim his eyes, as he paused and stared at his mechanical friend.
"Well, this is goodbye, big guy...I'm going to miss you like crazy." Keith sobbed. "Watch out for Allura for me. You know how stubborn she can be...especially when her mind's made up about something. Just...take care of her, as a favor to me. She's precious to both of us."
After a moment of looking up, Keith used his hand to wipe the tears from his eyes. Once his composure had been regained, he cocked his head past the Lion Monument to his soon-to-be old room...and several more beyond that... to Allura's chamber window. Somehow, he had hoped to at least, catch a lasting glimpse of the beautiful princess of his heart...something to remember her by when he closes his eyes at night.
But...she wasn't in the window.
Just as well. The memory would have been of her crying. He wanted to remember her smiling face, instead.
Keith turned his head down once again, and looked forward, toward the Alliance transport. It was time to go.
He took a quick breath of air into his lungs, and then, quickly pushed it back out again. Then, he began to walk, once again, on a path directly to the waiting ship.
As he reached the steps of the ship, he took off his bag and tossed it up to the ship's top stair. The awaiting Lieutenant picked up Keith's bag and walked inside the ship with it in her hand.
Keith started to climb up the stairs...one pain-staking stair at a time, until he had reached the top. But just as he was about to enter the transport...
Keith turned his head...
There she was...Allura...running like mad after him from the Castle's entrance...heading right to the transport to where he was. Her long hair was blowing in the wind.
"Allura?" Keith said in a softer voice, before finally turning and yelling... "ALLURA!" The former Voltron leader quickly ducked his head into the transport… "I'll be right back!" he shouted to the woman pilot.
Keith's heart began to beat wildly with excitement as he turned and jumped down from the ship to the ground, immediately taking off running, almost impulsively, toward Allura.
She had come to say goodbye afterall!
They met in the middle...and Keith picked her up into his arms, swinging her around, while she grabbed tightly onto his neck. Moments later, he had stopped spinning her around, and put her back on the ground, where they both held onto each other.
"I...I didn't think I'd see you...before I left!" Keith said, breathlessly.
"You didn't really think you'd get to leave before saying goodbye to me, did you?" Allura puffed.
They both held onto each other...saying nothing for several minutes. For a time, Allura had convinced herself that perhaps, by Keith's reaction to seeing her now, that he might change his mind, and stay on Arus.
But that thought was quickly dispelled, when Keith separated from her.
"Thanks for seeing me off." He said simply.
"You...you mean...you're still leaving?" she stammered.
"I hope you just didn't come here to try and change my mind." Keith said, somewhat coarsely. "I'd hate to disappoint you."
"I was...hoping..." she began to reply.
Keith quickly held her at arm's length... "I can't stay here. We've been over that."
"But...Keith...please...I...I don't want you to leave! The Castle won't be the same without you." Allura replied. "I'll miss you, terribly!"
"I'll miss you too," Keith murmured softly. "But you know I have to go. I can't stay...much as I'd like to. It just can't work for me like this, Allura. I love you...with every part of my being! It would tear you and me apart, if I stay...don't you see that? For
both our sakes, I've got to leave. Please...try and understand."
"I don't understand, Keith!" Allura wept softly, shaking her head at him. "If...if you say you love me...how can you leave?"
"I do love you, Allura...and its because I love you, that I can't put unfair pressure and strain on our work relationship. You'd always feel uncomfortable, knowing about my feelings for you. And...well... I'd be miserable, knowing that the woman I love was right in front of me...and yet, completely out of my reach. I can't live like that. And I don't expect you to live like that, either. Its better for us both, if I leave."
Allura said nothing in reply...she only bowed her head.
Keith took his hands and placed them on her cheeks. "Stay safe, okay? No unnecessary risks, you hear me? Remember...Lotor's not going away. And we both know he'll be coming at you, now that I'm gone. Just...listen to Coran's counsel. He's been your protector longer than I've known you. He knows what's best for you. Listen to his wise counsel, please?"
Allura rushed into his arms once again. He quickly surrounded her with his embrace.
"I wish you stay and see to that duty yourself." Allura whispered into his ear.
He could hear the tears in her voice suddenly...and just as suddenly, they began to come to his eyes too.
"If only there were a way." Keith replied softly. He quickly kissed her on the forehead. "I'm sorry...please, forgive me!"
He then tore himself free of her and ran straight for the waiting transport. Stunned, Allura stood still, watching Keith run in to the transport.
She was losing him...
And there was nothing she could do to stop it.
"Keith...I'll always love you." Allura wept in a whispered voice. "If things were different...I wish I could tell you forever that I love you. What will I do without you?"
The humming of the engines began to turn into a roar. The suddenly rushing energy of the engines began to kick up dirt and dust, carrying it through the air. Allura shielded her face with her hand, while she stood silently, as she watched the craft begin to lift off into the air...carrying away the only man she ever will love in her entire life.
Keith sat at the rear window of the transport...watching Allura...seeing her face...her expression of profound sorrow...as the ship slowly began to lift off of the ground.
"Goodbye, Princess Allura." Keith sobbed quietly. "I'll never forget you... and if nothing else...I'll remember...us...the way we used to be...the way we could have been."
Allura watched from the ground as the ship suddenly ascended upward...until if finally dipped into a cloud...completely out of sight...for good.
Suddenly overwhelmed, Allura crumbled to the ground.
First...her father's mysterious disappearance.
Now...Keith was gone...never to return.
She felt so lost suddenly... lost and alone.
Allura chose to take dinner in her room that night, although not really sure why she had requested it in the first place. It was a waste of food...she knew she wouldn't touch it. Her appetite was gone...and so was Keith.
The Castle seemed so big now...so much of him was still there...and yet...it wasn't.
Too sad to concentrate on anything else of a Royal nature, Allura decided to take a walk. With no real destination in mind, she exited her chambers...but unintentionally, she had every intention of stopping by Keith's now, abandoned quarters.
The door slide open as she came to stand in front of it.
The room still had his particular, 'smell' in it. She breathed deeply, as if to drink in the scent he had left behind of himself.
She turned on the lights and the room lit up instantly. Everything was as neat as a pin...and she expected nothing less from the organized commander.
He lived his life by it.
Allura glanced to her left...and suddenly saw his abandoned Voltron flight uniform, draped carefully over the couch back. Silently, she made her way over to it, touching it gently at first, then suddenly, picking it up into her hands, bringing it to her face, breathing, 'him' into her nostrils.
She promised herself that she wouldn't cry, if she allowed herself to come into his old room. She remembered when he had first left, more than five years ago, how sad she had felt and how she had found comfort in his room.
But somehow, it was different now.
She had betrayed him. She had hurt him.
But she had to...what else could she do to save him? The so-called, 'guardian angel' that had appeared to her, had been disturbingly silent these last few days. But it was her warnings that had bid Allura to break off the relationship between her and Keith...or risk losing him and Arus.
With his uniform in hand, the sad Princess walked carefully around the room, looking at things as he had left them. It wasn't until she had come to stand next to the his old desk that she recognized the Arusian Metal of Valor...the one she had awarded to him.
He had left it behind.
Slowly, Allura took her free hand and picked up the Metal. Why would he forget to take this with him...she wondered.
It was then, that she saw the white lettered envelope. The Metal had been laying on top of it.
Allura pulled out the desk chair and sat down at the desk. Placing Keith's lion uniform in her lap, she picked up the envelope and looked at the front of it.
It was addressed to her...
Allura looked around for a moment, as if she were checking to see if anyone was watching her in some fashion.
Then, she quickly opened the letter up, taking out the paper that was within it.
As she scanned it quickly...she realized in a moment that it was from Keith...specially written and left in a place where he knew she would find it.
As the tears began to fall, Allura read the letter from Keith:
I'm probably not going to make a whole lot of sense in this letter. I'm writing it at two in the morning. But I couldn't sleep. My mind is thinking of nothing but you. So...here I am, writing away, hoping somehow, you'll understand all that is in my heart, that I'm putting in writing on this piece of paper.
I know you don't understand, or even agree with my decision to leave. I know it couldn't come at a more precarious time for you, with war on Arus, such as it is. But, my reasons are clear. I can't command the respect of Hunk or Lance any longer...and therefore, can't command Voltron either. It's rather simple, actually, if you look at it, logically.
But...I'm a great one for logic. I'm always the guy who mills over every last detail, making sure I don't forget this or that...
Sorry about that...
The real reason I'm leaving, as you might have guessed, is perhaps, the most selfish of all.
I love you...I've always loved you...ever since the day I first found you here on Arus. It was more than pity and I knew it. When you and I started our relationship, I was cautious, at best, guarding my heart from hurt. A romantic relationship, such as the one that we had, was difficult for me to commit to. I'm a loner. Lance knows it and I know it. I've spent many years icing over my heart to protect it from harm. Then, along came you and your precious sweetness...and suddenly, the ice melted completely away.
I've learned so much about myself...just by looking into your eyes. Those beautiful eyes of blue... man...I get lost in them...really, I do! But...that's neither here nor there.
I don't want you to spend eternity blaming yourself because it didn't work out between us. At first, I was mad at you...really mad. But then, I realized that maybe, I had created my own monster, so to speak. I've always taken a special interest in you, going completely out of my way to see to your safety. On Earth, we call it the, 'Doctor-Patient' romance scenario. But basically, I save you... I look after you...and you feel an attraction to me for it. I'm guessing, of course...but maybe that's what you were feeling. Maybe, you were just in love with the idea of being in love. And I encouraged it...I dared to want it.
I was blind. I wanted you so badly, that I'd do whatever was necessary to have you! I'm sorry for that, my Princess.
But its because I really do love you, Allura, that I had to leave. And believe me, I didn't want to. But, you see... I've spent many waking nights dreaming that someday, you would be my wife...at my side forever.
There's an old song from a guy named Daniel Bedingfield, according to the search records of Earth's musical library. A song that he once wrote many decades ago, seems to fit my thoughts and feelings for you.
To quote the old song from the 21st century;
I don't want to run away, but I can't take it, I don't understand?
If I'm not made for you, then why does my heart tell me that I am?
Is there anyway that I could stay in your arms?
Oh Allura, I wish there were a way I could stay in your arms. There's no other place I'd rather be...and yet, no way I can possibly stay there.
In closing...I want you to be happy. That's always been my desire for your life. If there's someone out there who better fits as a suitor for you...then go for it. Forget about me.
But know that I will always love you. There will always be a place in my heart for you. Even if I do find someone else...she will never be you. No one will ever be you.
You are one of a kind. A diamond star, twinkling in the night sky of my life.
I only wish I could have been the one you ruled Arus with. But as the saying goes... so much for that.
I love you, Allura...and I'll never tire of saying it. I'll always remember Arus... and if nothing else...I'll remember...us.
Farewell, sweet Princess Allura...sweeter and fairer than the sweetest rose pedals.
God Bless..and eternal love always...
Keith M. Hunter
Allura burst into woeful sobs, as she finished the letter, grabbing it in her hand, while the other hand groped at the abandoned uniform.
She wished she could die. What was there left to live for now?
"So...Keith's gone, eh?" Lotor said aloud, as he sat at his dining table on his ship, sipping on a glass of Darnellian wine. "Well...this was a change of events...better than I planned!"
"Yes, Your Highness." Audra replied, bowing her head before Lotor, as she gave her report to him. "I am also pleased to inform you that the Red Lion pilot is also contemplating leaving Arus. I've been reading his thoughts and he is discontent in the Princess. He is beginning to feel little allegiance for Arus or the Princess. He
soon will be looking to depart Arus."
"That will leave only Pidge and Hunk!" Lotor said. "This is wonderful, Audra! You've done well! Getting rid of Keith Hunter in this fashion, was not my preferred way of dealing with him, but I have to admit, that it has served its purpose quite well. Agony for all! He
sorrows for her, never knowing what will happen to her in the future. She sorrows for him, making her an easier target to sway! And the hothead Lance...well, It never took much to set him off! And with Hunk and Pidge, soon to be out of the way too, she will have no
one left to run to...except to me, that is!"
"Yes, Sire." Audra replied.
"Go...make it so! Get those other two to argue and separate! I want Allura isolated! Then, I will come in and offer her a choice! One that she can't possibly refuse! Then, she will be mine! Her and her miserable planet will belong to me, at last, where I will bring her
both to her knees! She will worship only me!"
Audra whisked out of sight...leaving Lotor alone with his servant girls.
"At last, Allura! At long last... you are finally within my grasp!" Lotor said with an evil grin.
The wicked Prince laughed out loud...
and the sound of his voice echoed
throughout the room.
Without Voltron...Arus was doomed.
And with no united Voltron Force...
there was no united Voltron.
Voltron appeared to have finally been defeated...by its own human
THE END OF BOOK ONE