"What the Future Holds"
Story by Adele
Story Copyright 2002
A story based on the series, "Voltron, The Third Dimension"
The characters of Voltron are the property of World Event Productions. All other characters are the copyright of Adele Previte. Please do not use them without asking for permission. Thank you. Enjoy!
Reset the Clock, Redo the Past
Keith was loaded into the Black Lion and powered it up immediately. He took out a picture of Princess Allura that he had printed from his photo disc collection, and placed it on the control board in front of him. He looked at itwondering if this was really going to work.
"Maybe I was dreaming this..." He began reasoning silently, his hands gently brushing against the instrument panel. "Maybe I didn't really see King Alfor, after all. What if I'm so grieved inside, that I'm just imagining this is going to work? I could end up dead."
Keith turned and looked behind him. No one was there. Then he looked to each side. As he turned to look outside the lion, he saw him again...King Alfor.
"Keith...it was not your imagination. You must do what you must. If you believe you can, you will." The voice of the king said. "Trust your feelings." Then Alfor disappeared again.
Keith closed his eyes to clear his mind. He began to totally concentrate on the task at hand. Taking a long, deep breath in, and then letting it out again, he decided that he must attempt this unusual time vector jump.
"Trust your feelings, man." Keith repeated to himself, as he inserted the data disc into Black Lion's computer drive. The instrument panel came alive as the disc was loaded.
"Black Lion to Castle Control." Keith signaled on his COM link. "Ready for takeoff."
"You're clear, Black Lion." Pidge responded through the COM. "Takeoff at your discretion."
"Okay, let's do it!" Keith breathed aloud. 'Liftoff in three...two...one...now!"
Black Lion took off with a roar from its resting-place, where it once stood as a statue. Up into the sky it soared. Within minutes, Black Lion was out of Arus's orbit and heading for the Arusian sun. Keith activated the data disc in the reader. It immediately began to convey information to the lion's computer. He placed the lion on auto and let it do what the program told it to do. Now, it was up to Black Lion, and Pidge's calculations.
Closer and closer, Black Lion soared toward the sun. Keith activated the special protective shields that Hunk and Lance had installed. He hoped they would be enough to protect him from the sun's deadly heat. The hull temperature was already well over 1000 degrees. The atmospheric readings in Black Lion's cockpit remained stable. Good news for Keith, as he was hoping that he wouldn't have to find out what roasted pigs felt like while revolving on an open fire.
Suddenly, the lion jolted. Keith became alarmed as he grabbed onto the arms of his command chair. He watched his gages suddenly go crazy. His impulse was to pull the lion out of it and abort. As he thought about doing that, and within seconds of aborting the mission, Keith heard it in his mind...that phrase King Alfor said to him before he left Arus...
"Trust your feelings"
Nodding his head, he decided to close his eyes instead. He didn't want to see himself crash into the sun, if that was going to happen. He decided that if this were the end, it would be easier to take that way.
Keith started to feel very warm. He opened his eyes to check the cockpit temperature. 106 degrees Fahrenheit. He shook his head to clear it, and closed his eyes again, determined to let this go the course. He started to feel sick to his stomach. He took several big gulps to keep himself from vomiting. He could feel himself starting to black out from the intensive heat. He tried to stay with it, but the heat overtook him and he went out, slumping over in his command chair.
Black Lion continued toward the sun.
Keith was spinning...around and around...his mind saw spirals twisting and turning around in his head. It kept going and going and going...
Then he saw her...
She was as beautiful as he remembered. "Allura!" He cried. "You're here! You're alright!"
Then suddenly, a giant hand came out and grabbed her around her waist. She started screaming in pearl. Then, Keith turned around and saw a vision of...himself...holding her in the giant hand, crushing her! Did the hand belong to him? How could he have hurt her so? Then, he turned again, and saw that he was now holding her in his arms. She was dying. No wait...was she sleeping? "Allura...Allura! I'm sorry! I so sorry! Forgive me!"
Suddenly, he saw Lotor standing before him. He was holding a blaster in his hand, screaming at him in anger "You fool! I had the perfect plan, and you instead, destroyed her! If you say you love her, how could you have killed her? You must die!"
Then Keith turned and saw Lance, holding another blaster in his hand "Yeah, you killed her! It was your fault! And if you don't believe me" Lance paused, then pointed his finger to his side. "Ask her!"
Keith turned again and saw Allura! She was holding the bouquet of roses he had laid at her side in the coffin. They were shriveled up...dead. She appeared angry. Allura moved forward and looked Keith in the eyes. "Here! Take these back! I can't accept them!"
She threw the bouquet to his feet. He glanced down at them, then looked up at her again with a puzzled expression.
"I don't want them! How could you have ended my life? I'm as dead as these flowers! Who's going to rule over Arus? I have no heir! You have condemned Arus to death, too! I will never forgive you for that, Keith... Never!"
Keith was suddenly petrified. This was what he had feared he might see if he fell asleep. He began to stumble over an apology.
"I'm sorry, Allura! Please forgive me! You have to forgive me! I can't go on like this! Please!" He could see himself walking forward toward her.
"NEVER!" Allura screamed.
"But...you said you loved me!" Keith reminded her. "And...I love you too!"
"Love?" Allura laughed her reply. "How could I love someone who destroyed my life! You once told me that you would protect me! Now look at me!"
Keith blinked his eyes a few times...staring in horror at Allura. Her appearance suddenly had changed. She now stood before him, bleeding, with parts of her hair blood soaked, and now hanging in front of her face. She had on her flight uniform, which was torn in some spots, dirtied, and blood stained. She looked appalling, as she had looked when Keith had discovered her the Blue Lion's cockpit.
"This is how you love me? Look at me, Keith! I'm dead! Nothing you can say will ever make me forgive what you've done, Keith!"
She quickly turned and ran away from him, disappearing in the darkness. He started to run after her. And when he stopped running, he found himself standing in the royal crypt. He was in front of Allura's coffin. It was wide open...she was dead and the roses were gone.
Keith grabbed his head with his hands, throwing himself to the ground, crying and shouting aloud...
"NO! NO! I can't leave it like this! I have to do this! I have to make it!" He continued to sob "Allura...Allura...Oh, Princess! I'm so sorry... someone, help me!"
Things started to spin around again. Then, there was blackness...
Suddenly, Keith jumped up and cried out. He opened his tear-drenched eyes and looked around. It must have been a dream.
Then, he remembered the time vector jump! He must have blacked out in Black Lion! He looked around at his surroundings, puzzled by what he was seeing. Where were the instruments? Where was he? It didn't appear that he was in Black Lion any longer.
"Maybe, I'm dead too." He thought.
He sat up and looked around. It looked a lot like his room back at the Castle. Did he make it? Or was he recalling flashbacks of his life past? But that would mean that he was dead, but he didn't feel dead. Keith wasn't sure what was going on. He got up and walked toward what looked like the door to his quarters.
As he reached the door, it opened with a swoosh-sound. Keith poked his head out the door slowly. He looked to his left and then to his right. Everything looked normal. He decided he should walk around a bit to check things out.
As he approached the Royal Throne Room, he stopped. Should he enter? What if she wasn't there? What if he was just losing it, like Lance had suggested? What if Allura was still dead? What if
Keith nearly jumped out of his skin. He quickly turned around. He blinked several times to make sure he wasn't hallucinating...
"Princess? Is that you? Are you really here?" Keith said, his face white, believing he was seeing a ghost. He was sure this couldn't be happening.
"Well, of course its me! Were you expecting someone else?" Allura questioned, as she stood there watching him, not sure why he was acting so strangely.
She was in her pink gown. Ironically, the one that she was laid to rest in, as Keith recalled. His face was blank and pale as he looked at her. "Allura?" He thought to himself. "Am I insane? Or did this really work?"
"Are you okay, Keith?" Allura asked, breaking through the chatter of thoughts in his mind. "You look a bit pale. Do you need to sit down?"
Keith was overwhelmed with happiness! He jumped up and down, shouting "Yes! It did work! I can't believe it! It worked! You're here! Allura, you're here!" He fought the impulse to grab her and hold her tight.
"Well, where did you expect me to be?" Allura said, rather confused at Keith's behavior. "And 'what work'? What are you talking about?"
Keith had to play it cool now. He remembered Alfor's warning to him that no one must know what's about to happen.
"Uh, what?" Keith replied, suddenly pretending to be dazed, shaking his head: "Oh...I...uh must have been dreaming still. I just woke up from a nap and I'm a little disorientated. Sorry, Princess."
"Oh, I see..." she replied, still rather puzzled by his actions. "I was about to go to bed myself. Well, as long as you're okay, I guess I'll retire." She said as she scooted around him to walk off.
"Oh wait" Keith interrupted. Remembering what his plan was. He had to put it into action immediately. "I need to change the patrol schedules. I need Pidge for a special project in the morning, and he needs to be fresh. Would you mind if I asked you to take the night watch, Allura?"
"No, of course not. I'll be happy to." Allura smiled, carefully. "I'm confused though, did you just come up with this? Couldn't you have given me some warming so that I could sleep a little?"
"Sorry, Princess. Actually. I...uh..." Keith stammered over his words, trying to come up with a plausible tale that she would believe. He couldn't think of anything.
Keith just stared at Allura instead.
"You're not okay, are you?" Allura asked again, this time reaching for his hand.
Keith smiled. "Oh, I'm terrific!"
He suddenly reached over and hugged her tightly. He didn't care about protocol any longer. He wanted to feel her in his arms. She unconsciously returned his affection, wrapping her arms around him as well. He felt the warmth of her body as he held her. The feeling brought him close to fainting. He never wanted to go back. If this was a dream, he was determined to stay here. Allura was alive, she was soft and warm and smelled of perfume. That's all that mattered to him now. And he was determined to make sure that history didn't repeat itself...no matter what the cost.
When the embrace broke up, Hunk was standing behind them.
"Now, now, you two, not in front of the children!" Hunk giggled. Pidge was standing behind Hunk.
"Hey you big lug, who you calling a kid?" Pidge snapped back, smacking him in the arm.
"Hey, I was only kidding!" Hunk giggled back at his teen buddy.
"Pidge" Keith said. "I'm glad you're here. I'm switching your watch with Allura. She's going to take it for you tonight. I need you tomorrow in the control room."
"Sure thing!" Pidge replied. "What for though?"
Keith paused. He didn't plan on what to say if Pidge questioned his sudden change in schedule.
"Because I need you to run some system diagnostics on the lions. They're past due inspection. Any questions?" Keith replied sternly.
Pidge and Hunk looked at each other, shrugging their shoulders. Puzzled by Keith's sudden change in attitude, they shook their heads no.
"Good. Well, I'm going to bed." Keith yawned.
"But, I thought you just got up!" Allura asked.
"Uh...oh, yeah, right. I guess I forgot. Never mind. I'm gonna hit the control room for a bit." Keith again stammered over his words.
"I think I'm going to come with you" Allura said, directing her comments toward Keith. "Just to make sure you're okay." She sensed that somehow, he needed her company right now.
"Uh, sure, I'd love it!" Keith replied, trying not to look so obvious, while nervously running his right hand through his hair. It was good to be with her again...alive. He needed to erase the memory of her in the coffin, and no better way to do it then to have her with him for awhile. He wanted to talk to her, to feel her presence. He had missed that so much. He could still sense the guilt in the back of his mind.
Keith and Allura walked to the control room together. They said nothing to each other all the way there. When they arrived, Coran was there doing some final evening checks before he retired for the evening.
"Ah, Princess...Commander," Said Coran, as he turned to address her. "All appears to be well in our airspace."
"Not for long" Keith thought to himself. Then he looked up at Coran, and wondered how he was going to sell the assignment switch to him "Okay Keith, play it cool"
"That's good, Coran." The Princess replied, abruptly interrupting Keith's thoughts once again. "Keith needs me to take the night watch in Blue Lion."
"Here it comes...red alert, Keith..." he thought silently, waiting for Coran's objections to begin.
"I don't understand," Coran replied, bewildered. "Commander, why is the Princess going? Why not Pidge, as scheduled?"
"Objections on cue...like clockwork..." Keith thought again, reminding himself not to lose it, or roll his eyes up into the air.
"I need Pidge for some computer diagnostics on the lions tomorrow, and he needs to be fresh." Keith explained. "Its been quite a while since we ran some tests on our systems."
"I see..." Coran responded, curiously. "Well then, I assume that all is in order and I can retire for the evening." Coran finished, and turned again to face Allura.
"I've got it from here." Keith said, "I'll take night watch while Allura's on duty."
"Very good." Coran took this leave of the room, content that Keith would watch over the Princess. "Good evening, Princess. And to you, Keith."
As Coran left the control room, Keith slipped into the seat in front of the main monitor. Allura took her place next to him.
"Well," She said quietly. "I have a few minutes. I just want to make sure you're okay, Keith. You've been acting a little strangely."
"Me?" Keith replied, trying to sound like he had no idea what she meant by that. "I'm okay, just a bit tired. I haven't had much sleep lately."
"Oh, having restless nights?" She said with a concerned voice.
"You might say that." Keith somberly said as he stared at the controls, recalling flashbacks of the funeral. He adjusted himself slightly in his seat, trying to get the uncomfortable image out of his mind.
All the while, Allura wasn't buying this routine that Keith was portraying. She knew something wasn't right. She was starting to become frustrated with his evasion.
"Hello...it's me... Allura! You're friend, remember?" She said, nearly pushing her face into his. "You can tell me. Are you sure there's nothing the matter, Keith? I feel like you're hiding something from me." She was close enough to his face that he could feel her breath.
Keith avoided her eyes completely. Sometimes, the eyes can give away a multitude of thoughts. He couldn't afford to do anything that would jeopardize her safety again.
"I...I'm sure Princess I'm fine...really...just a little tired. I have a lot of things on my mind." He still couldn't bring himself to look into her eyes.
Allura got up and started to walk to the door, taking his evasion as a sign that she really wasn't wanted around. If only she had known how far from the truth that was. As she reached the door, Keith looked up at the same time she looked back.
Their eyes met, and for a moment, Keith had thoughts of never seeing her again...alive. She shot him a sweet smile, and noticed his face was twisted, in some sort of unknown anguish.
"Keith," Allura attempted one more time. "You know, if there's anything you need to talk about, I'm here for you. I just get the feeling that you're worried about something."
Keith blinked several times. His eyes began to tear slightly. Here is a woman who, back in the future that he came from, was about to lose her life, now she is looking to make sure he's okay. His heart melted at her compassion.
"Princess..." Keith sighed. "If only I could tell you." Then he bowed his head.
"But you can!" She replied as she hurriedly walked back to him where he was sitting. "If there's something that you need to say, just say it. I promise you, I'll understand, Keith. Please don't shut me out."
Keith thought about it. This was such a heavy burden to carry on his own. For a moment, he actually thought about telling Allura what would happen, or rather, what did happen; how he felt, how he grieved for her, how he risked everything to come back to make sure it didn't happen again. He wanted to assure her that he would watch over and protect her...now and always.
"Uh...well ...you see, Princess....uh ...I don't know where to begin." Keith struggled, nervously scratching his head. "It's all so...complicated."
Suddenly, behind Allura, Keith saw one of many pictures of King Alfor that were hanging in the Castle. He remembered Alfor's warning to him...
"I must warn you, young Keith. The danger to you will be great. If you are successful in returning, there are several things that you must take care not to reveal. You must be sure not to reveal to anyone of the past, that there is a calamity about to befall him or her, for only you must know."
R-e-v-e-a-l...... R-e-v-e-a-l ......
The word 'reveal' echoed deep in Keith's mind, and he realized at that moment, that he must remain silent. Alfor was right; no one should know his or her destiny. If Allura is suppose to die, then he would make sure that he died in her place. She must never know what danger she is about to face. "I'll protect you with my very life, Allura..." Keith thought, making his final decision on the matter, while struggling to free himself from the web of her deep, blue eyes.
"I...I think you should get ready to go on patrol now, Allura." Keith said softly, realizing that Allura would not understand why he changed his mind again about confiding in her. "It's getting late now. I'll stay up and monitor your patrol."
Allura looked puzzled at him. It appeared that for a moment, he was going to reveal something to her...perhaps his love for her. Her heart leapt into her throat with anticipation. But now it appeared that he was pushing her away again.
"Alright, Keith. I'll go now." Allura said with a depressed voice. "I understand."
Keith turned to face her. He didn't want her leaving with the wrong impression.
"Princess, please ...don't think that I'm avoiding you! Just the opposite: I...I.."
"Yes, Keith?" She said hopefully.
"I am...uh, very. much...um..." Keith hesitated. He was still thinking of sharing all that happened to him, but instead, suddenly thought of love. His eyes were fixed once again on her beautiful blue eyes. He wanted so much to tell her what he was feeling in his heart. But that might open a new can of worms. He was struggling to get the words out.
"That is...well ... what I mean is....I'm always going to protect you, Allura. I won't let anything hurt you." He finally finished, gritting his teeth and realizing he just made himself look far more foolish then he did a moment ago.
"I see." Allura smirked. "I appreciate that. And I'm very fond of you, too!" Allura added a wink and a smile. She assumed that this was hard for him. His rank and her royalty made things difficult to have a relationship.
If only she knew...
"Goodnight, Keith." Allura said. "I'll see you in the morning. And please for goodness sake, don't hang out here all night. I'll be fine. I promise to fly under the speed limit!" She giggled a bit, placing her hand in front of her mouth; covering up her beautiful smile.
Keith smiled back. "I can't promise, but I might get a wink or two."
Allura smiled again and walked out of the room. Keith turned back to his panel. He shook his head. No way he was sleeping tonight, no matter what Allura suggested. His duty was to watch her every move until the threat of the cloud formation had past.
"Hey" A voice came from behind him.
Keith turned around quickly.
"Lance! What are you doing up so late?" Keith asked as he returned his attention to the panels.
"Checking on you. Pidge and Hunk were concerned about you. So I was elected to come in and see what's bothering you." Lance said, crossing his arms in front of his chest.
"Why is it that everyone thinks there's something bothering me?" Keith replied without looking up at Lance. "I'm fine. I just need to get more sleep, that's all."
"So what are you doing here? You should go to bed then!" Lance responded. "Oh wait, that's right, someone has to watch over the Princess. I can do that for you."
"I'd rather do it." Keith dryly replied. "I have to, but thanks anyway, Lance."
"You aren't going to let this rest, are you? I told you it wasn't your fault but you won't let it go! How long are you going to torment yourself over her death?" said Lance, now putting his hands on his hips. "We can watch over her together."
Keith looked up quickly from his console. Could it be that Lance knows? But that can't be! When he left to return to the past, it would have erased all memory of the future out of everyone's mind completely. How would Lance have known?
"Lance, what are you babbling about?" Keith said, trying to play it cool. "You know I'm concerned about everyone on the team."
"Yeah, but you have a big stake in this one. We can't let Allura die again, Keith. And I'm certainly not going to let that happen again either." Lance then placed his hand on Keith's shoulder.
The Voltron Commander turned and glared at his second in command. "I don't get it...do you know about this? But how can that be? I didn't tell anyone!" Keith replied with bewilderment.
"I know because I couldn't let you do this alone. I had Pidge program Red Lion too, and shortly after you left, I followed you. I figure two of us who know what's going on can think better than one of us, half asleep!" Lance smiled at Keith. "Remember what I said to you the night we buried Allura...where you go, I go, amigo."
Keith became enraged: "Lance, do you know how dangerous that was to come back in time?" he hollered. "You could have been killed! One of us was enough to take that chance! You should have stayed behind...I mean...ahead...and let me handle this!"
"No way, Keith!" Lance struck back. "I listened to you whine, and watched you mope around after Allura was buried! No way am I gonna do that again! I'm going to help you, whether you like it our not!"
Keith was so angry that he turned away from Lance. He slammed his palms on the console and flung his chair back as he got up to walk around. He couldn't believe that Lance would do something like this. This was totally irresponsible. He could have gotten himself killed, and then where would the team be? It was bad enough that he, himself took that risk
Then, it hit him. What made Lance's decision to come along, more irresponsible then Keith's decision to do the same? Both ended with the same result. Both were trying to accomplish the same thing: protecting the Princess.
Suddenly, Keith calmed down and the fire in his eyes extinguished. He realized there was no difference in what he did and in what Lance did. They both were acting on impulse. Keith turned around and looked at his friend, with an obvious change of heart.
"Lance, look I'm sorry." Keith apologized. "I know you're only trying to help. Anyway, I appreciate your being here."
"Sure you do." Lance responded back with his usual 'I-won-the-argument' attitude: "And you can kiss my feet and give me a week off for good behavior when this is all over. Deal?"
"We'll talk about that later." Keith chuckled, much more relaxed now. "We've got other things to talk about first. We need to come up with a plan that's going to be fail safe."