"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!
Once again, reliving the past
Keith found himself off on another adventure. But this one looked very familiar to him, in a strange way. It was like he had also been here before
Keith seemed to find himself back at a familiar spot. He looked around. People were moving in slow motion. There was much sorrow here. Keith started to feel a little uncomfortable about being here. Why was everyone so sad?
He turned around and looked to his left. There was Lance, Hunk and Pidge. They were crying too. Coran also was there...obviously grieving over something. Keith looked up and saw a person coming down the isle. It looked like the Archbishop of Altaer. It was then that Keith realized that he was in another church of some sort. He just couldn't figure out why.
Then he saw it...coming down the isle on the shoulders of the Arusian Royal Guards. It was a wooden coffin. Suddenly, Keith's throat was full of lumps. He started to shake. It couldn't be who he thought it was in there, could it?
Keith waited and watched the coffin make its way down the isle. People were now wailing in agonizing grief as it passed by. The coffin was set down on a platform in front of an altar.
Coran came into Keith's view again. But this time, he looked different, much younger! Keith then turned around and found that Hunk, Lance and Pidge were gone. As he started to turn back, his eyes past by the image of a little girl.
The child was crying. She was dressed in a pink and white ruffled gown, with a crown on her head. Next to her was a middle-aged woman.
"Nanny?" Keith thought to himself as he recognized the Royal Governess. He fondly remembered the stern woman he first met eight years ago, when he first arrived on Arus. He returned his attention to the scene unfolding.
Coran motioned for the little girl to walk toward the coffin. As she came near, Coran opened up the coffin. Keith stepped back...he was trying to believe his eyes. In the coffin was what appeared to be the body of King Alfor of Arus.
"Does this mean this little girl... is...Allura?" Keith thought to himself.
The small child was maybe 11 years old. She had long blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail. She was crying and grabbing Coran. "Why Master Coran?" The little girl sobbed. "Why did Zarkon take Father away? Why?" She cried.
"My dearest, little Princess, I do not know why. I am as sad as you are." Coran answered. "Come along with me now, Princess Allura."
Keith shook his head in unbelief. It appeared he was back in time when Allura was a small child, and had just lost her father during a battle with Zarkon. He looked around the huge sanctuary at all the grieved faces. The people of Arus loved King Alfor, as they would his daughter in years to come.
He turned and watched as Coran placed his arm around the young Princess. Impulsively, Keith approached the young child. He walked in front of her, Coran looking on. Keith knelt down in front of the royal child. "Are are you okay, Princess?"
The small child just looked at him, and continued to sob. "I miss my father... I don't want to rule Arus! I'm...I'm frightened! Please...hold me!" she quietly wept.
Then, she threw herself at Keith, wrapping her arms around his neck tightly. Keith instinctively returned her affection by hugging her back as tightly as he could. Suddenly, he at once realized, probably for the first time, how hard and scary it was for Allura to suddenly find herself the sole ruler of such a big planet, and without the love of her parents.
Keith released the young Princess, and looked into her big blue eyes, now red and swollen from tears. She gave him a pained look. "Please, protect me... don't let the bad people hurt me, too! Please, promise you won't let them get me!"
Keith returned her smile with one of his own. Grabbing onto her small hand, he squeezed it gently. "Don't you worry, Princess. I won't let anything happen to you. I promise." Keith then gently kissed the back of the little Princess's hand.
At that moment, Coran tugged at the little girl. "Come along now, Princess. The funeral is about to begin."
The little Princess nodded her head sadly. She then looked at Keith. "I have to go now. Thank you, kind sir." She then curtsied to him before moving along. Keith stood to his feet and watched her take her place next to her Nanny in the front row.
The Archbishop began to speak. "Dearly beloved..."
Keith suddenly jerked his head around and focused on the Archbishop. Closing his eyes, he began to wonder... "Where have I heard that phrase before?"
"We are gathered her to pay our last respects to Alfor, King of Arus, and pray that his only heir, young Princess Allura, be granted a long and healthy life." The Archbishop said, continuing the eulogy.
Keith cautiously took a few steps forward to look at the figure of King Alfor in the coffin. He then turned back to young Allura... but now she was gone! And Hunk, Lance and Pidge were back. Coran had aged too. Keith shook his head, confused by what he was experiencing. But where was Allura now?
Keith started to scan the crowd for any sign of her. It was then that he heard the words that cut him like a knife. Now he remembered where he was. It was clear now, all too clear. He became fearful to look back as he heard the Archbishop conclude his eulogy.
"Please bow your heads in a word of prayer, " the Archbishop prayed. "Dear Lord, please accept the soul of our departed Princess of Arus, Allura, daughter of the Great King Alfor. Have mercy on those of us who are now left behind, and grant us peace, oh Lord, Amen"
The Archbishop slowly lifted his head. Tears were streaming down his face as he struggled to say the final words. "And now, in tribute of Princess Allura's life, the Arusian National Anthem."
Keith turned slowly around. He looked down into the coffin. He gasped in horror. There was Allura! She was dead ...
"NO! NO THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING!" Keith shouted, backing up suddenly. "SHE'S NOT DEAD. SHE'S NOT! I SAVED HER! THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING AGAIN!" He grabbed his head with his hands his whole body now shaking with fear.
Lance walked over to Keith and put his hand on Keith's shoulder. "I know this is hard. But Keith, she's not coming back."
Keith looked at Lance with astonishment. "Lance, what are you saying? You helped me save her, don't you remember?"
Lance looked at Keith with bewilderment. "Uh, Keith, I need to make this as plain as possible. You will never see her again."
"I don't believe this! Lance, what's happening here? Why is Allura in the coffin?" Keith again tried to make some sense out of this. He grabbed hold of Lance by the shoulders and shook him.
"Keith, its okay. We know you didn't mean to kill her." Hunk said, placing his hand on Keith's shoulder from behind. "We understand."
"But I didn't kill her...don't you see? This is all wrong!" Keith tried to reason with the three of them. He looked around at everyone crying. Then he looked back at Lance. Pidge and Hunk had now moved behind Lance, nodding their heads in agreement.
"You can't go back, Keith. You just can't." Pidge said.
"What do you meanI can't go back? A minute ago you guys were saying 'she couldn't come back'. I don't understand what's going on! Something's not right!" Keith said.
Still looking around, Keith focused in on a very faint voice, calling from the distance. Hunk added his comments next. "Keith... buddy, it's over. Let's go."
Keith felt it wasn't good advice. But what else could he do? Yet, in the distance, the voice was still faintly calling...
"Come on, Keith, turn around and leave this place! You can never go back." Lance said, as he tried to turn Keith around. "You're too far gone!"
"Yeah, no way you can go back now. Turn around and leave, never to return." Pidge added. "Life is over for you, Keith. You tried, and you failed. You have to accept it and move on."
What did that mean? Keith was trying to figure this out. "I don't understand this. Why are you guys telling me this? Why can't I go back?" Then, he heard the voice again. He couldn't make out what it was saying. There were too many other sounds around him.
"Leave, Keith." Lance said.
"Your life is over, Keith. Time to give up and go now." Hunk said too.
"Turn and leave this place, never to return." Pidge said again. "Just give up."
"Keith," Lance said. "You must let go of life. It's your time to go. Let go, Keith."
The thought of giving up unsettled Keith. He had never given up on anything before. He certainly wasn't about to start giving up now. But what was he giving up on? Then he realized...he would be giving up his fight to life perhaps. Something must have happened to him...something life-threatening. Then his mind began recalling the battle over Planet Arus...the cloud...
Blue Lion...he now remembered he was injured in the Blue Lion...
"But then...this isall a dream!" Keith reasoned. "You...you guys...can't be real."
"Let's go, Keith." Lance repeated.
The voice continued to call from a distance. Keith looked all around. For certain, he knew he wasn't going to hear the voice calling with all this noise going on. Suddenly, in frustration, he shouted aloud;
"BE QUIET, I CAN'T HEAR! QUIETALL OF YOU!"
Suddenly, silence fell upon everyone there. Keith then concentrated on hearing the voice calling. It started to grow louder, and stronger. Keith started to walk toward the voice. He somehow knew that it was the right thing to do. He wasn't sure how he knew he just knew it was right.
Then, Keith started to hear it more clearly. Someone was calling his name. There was also another message. He could barely hear it he couldn't make it out. He decided to start running toward the voice. As he ran, the voice started to grow even louder and stronger. Now he could understand what it was saying
"Keith...come back, Keith! You're not going to die, do you hear me?"
"I know this voice" he said to himself. 'It belongs to to..."
"Keith, please don't leave me... you just can't leave me now!" The voice called for him.
It was then that Keith realized who the voice was. He suddenly remembered the tearful pleas of the little Princess. These were the same pleas, coming from the same Princess... now all grown up. He knew that he had to go toward that direction. She was calling to him... she was waiting for him in the distance. He had to get to her somehow. His heart began to show him the way back to her.
"Keith! Can you hear me? Please! Come back to me!" the voice of love called to him again.
And he had to go now, or never. Keith started to run as fast as he could toward the voice calling for him.
"Keith...Keith. I'm here for you!"
Keith started to feel a sensation of someone nearby holding his hand. His world suddenly became very dark. But it was that hand that he felt holding his tenderly... that voice he heard whispering gently... it was all leading him back back to the living... back to a woman's heart who was waiting there for him.
A special love...
Allura had her head down on the bed, still holding Keith's hand. It was then that she felt a slight squeeze as his hand suddenly gripped hers. She passed it off. It was surely part of what the nurse described earlier.
But then it happened again. It was another squeeze. She looked up and saw Keith's eyes moving around behind his eyelids. She watched him carefully for a few moments. Suddenly, it happened....Keith started to open his eyes once again. This time, however, he started to look around.
Allura, afraid that this was yet another involuntary reaction, held her breath. She was still unsure if Keith was looking around, or if it was more muscle reactions. He hadn't said a word yet. Suddenly, Keith's gaze stopped at Allura. He smiled weakly at her.
Allura then looked toward him and said gingerly, "Keith?"
Keith looked as if he were a million miles away. But then suddenly responded to her... "P-Princess, is...is that you?" His voice was dry and raspy.
Allura's eyes immediately started to water again. A huge smile passed over her face. There hadn't been one there for the two days she was at his side. "Yes Keith, oh yes its me!" She cried and hugged his arm tightly. "You came back to us! I knew you would!"
His throat was feeling scratchy from where the respiration machine had been in place.
"I'm thirsty." Keith said, licking his lips together.
Allura jumped up and once again shouted for the nurse. The attending nurse came running to the bedside. "You're awake!" She said as she took Keith's vitals. "You had quite a few rough days, young man."
Keith nodded his head in agreement. He was starting to feel some pain and discomfort as his other body parts started to come around. The nurse placed a patch on his arm with medication that started to absorb through his skin. "This will ease the pain." The nurse said. Almost instantly, she was right. The pain was going away.
Allura pulled her chair closer to the head of the bed. Keith turned his head to look at her. Her face looked pale to him and her eyes looked very tired too. He took a breath and spoke in a scratchy voice: "H-How long have you been here?"
Allura gently smiled. "Long enough to make sure you were okay."
"How long have I been out of it?" Keith asked, coughing a bit, still quite groggy.
"A little more than two days." She replied, a smile still on her face.
"Oh, wow..." Keith swallowed and continued. "And...you've been here...for that long?"
"Don't worry about that right now, Commander. You just worry about taking care of yourself. Isn't that what you told me?" She giggled, taking her hand and gently pushing his unruly black hair away from his eyes.
Then Keith remembered. What happened to the cloud? To Lotor? Was the threat gone? Who was going to fly Black Lion while he was out of service?
"Princess, what's happening? What happened to the Lotor?" Keith asked with concern in his voice. "Where's the Blue Lion?"
"Don't worry, Keith. Everything is fine. Arus is safe. Hunk and Pidge got rid of the cloud once it was polarized." She responded, placing her hand on his shoulder to calm him down.
"But I don't remember sending the ice bombs into the cloud to polarize it. How did it happen?" He said, rather confused.
"Lance flew over to Blue Lion and launched the bombs. We also chased off Lotor. We did fine. We were more concerned about your condition. Do you remember at all what happened?" She asked.
Keith turned his head back, his eyes focused toward the ceiling. He stared up for a moment, then he closed his eyes. He drifted off for a second, and then came back around, trying to recall the past events. His head was still fussy, and the medicine was starting to make him very sleepy. Suddenly, he saw itor at least bits and pieces of what happened.
Keith took a deep breath and sighed. "I think...I saw that there was a discharge coming toward Black Lion. I assumed that Lotor thought I was in that lion. And I'm his favorite target. My impulse was to protect you from harm. That's why I placed Blue Lion in the path of the blast...to shield you."
"Keith, that was quite foolish!" She said sternly. "You almost died! For a while, we didn't know if you would survive."
Keith turned his head back to her. "If I didn't take the hit for you, you'd be lying here instead of me. Your planet doesn't depend on me to survive. I'm expendable. But Arus can't risk losing you. You are the surviving ruler. You HAVE to be protected!"
"It's not like you to be a daredevil, Keith. I can't believe you would do this! And you complain about Lance taking chances! Couldn't you just yell at me over the COM to get out of the way?" Allura said.
Keith looked at her. The medication was making him very sleepy and incoherent.. "I was running out of time...no wait...I mean, I don't think there was enough time to tell you...something like that." he said as he started to drift into sleep again. "I couldn't lose you again."
"What do you mean by that?" She asked with a puzzled look. "Lose me again? I don't understand, Keith. What do you mean...tell me!"
Keith was nearly asleep. He began mumbling as he drifted off... "Allura, I couldn't bear it if you died again. I needed to go back to save you. I promised...your...father..." His speech concluded.
But Allura was left to wonde...what did Keith mean by dying again? He promised her father...something. But what was it? When did he see her father? And what was promised between them?
She watched Keith as he peacefully fell asleep, leaving her with more questions then answers. The answers would have to wait.