"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!  (THIS IS THE LAST CHAPTER IN THE STORY)


Chapter 29
What the Future Holds

The Doom Fleet was on fast approach to Arus, with Lotor's ship hanging behind with the Robeast.  On board his flagship, Lotor opened a COM link to Arus:

"This is Prince Lotor!  Surrender your Princess or I'll destroy Arus!"  

Keith, now in Black Lion, returned the hail...

"We don't recognize your authority around here, Lotor!  You can't have the Princess!  And you're not going to destroy Planet Arus as long as Voltron is around!"

"Miserable human!  You think that I can't carry out my threat?  You think I'm afraid of Voltron?  The first thing I'm going to do is have the Robeast destroy Voltron's head!  I won't miss this time, little man!"  Lotor barked back at Keith.

Lance chuckled a bit from Red Lion "Oh gosh, Keith!  Aren't you scared now?"  He was full of sarcasm.  "He's threatening to kill you!   HA!"

"Lotor, you do your best to destroy Voltron!   Go ahead a try!"  Hunk shouted back at Lotor through the COM. 

"I'm going to enjoy squashing all of you!"  Lotor replied back with an evil tone.

"In your dreams, plate-head!"  Pidge laughed aloud.  "In case you haven't noticed, there are two Voltrons up here!  Combined, we have more than enough fire power to blow you and your fleet away!"

Lotor ignored the 'puny' threats.  Instead, he appealed to the Princess directly, in hopes of shaking her up, by playing on her emotions...

"Allura... Allura, I know you can here me!  I have firepower that you can't begin to imagine!  My ships outnumber both Voltrons, 4-1!  You can't win, Allura!  Your only alternative is to surrender to me and be my bride!  Otherwise, I will waste your planet and take you anyway!"

Lotor continued, angrily  "You'll have to live with the deaths of millions of people, and the destruction of your home planet... all because you chose to be stubborn!  Do you hear me, my delectable beauty?"

"Dream on, Lotor.  There's no way you're getting Arus or Princess Allura!"  Lance shouted back over the COM.  "Beat it... while you can!"

"Fools!  You deserve my wrath!"  He slammed his fist on a console.  "Prepare for your miserable doom!  Remember Allura, you brought this on yourself!"  Lotor shouted into the COM, and terminated transmission. 


Meanwhile, Kevin came over the COM to the present Voltron team..."Wow, Lotor has always been miserable, hasn't he?"

"Yeah, he pitches a fit now and again.  But it does him no good."  Pidge chuckled.  "We still win in the end!"

"Okay everyone, cool it." Keith interrupted.  "Let's get down to business here!  This is serious!  Lotor is getting ready to mount a pretty vicious attack, and we'd better be ready for it!"

"Right Commander!  Got it covered."  Pidge responded more military in attitude now.

"Keith, perhaps if I talk to Lotor..." Allura interjected.

"Allura, I wish I could say that it would do some good, but I'm afraid you'll be disappointed with the outcome."  Keith said.  Allura could see a visual of him over the COM.  He was shaking his head at her.  "He won't listen to you, Princess.  Trust me."

"Yeah, he's not going to happy until he has you all to himself!"  Hunk added.  "It's no use, Princess."

"I just wish...that  he'd listen to reason."  Allura sighed aloud.

"Mom, it's nice to think about, but Dad's right.  Lotor is the same in the future as he is now.  Nothing will change him."  Andretta added.  "The less you coax him on, the better."

"Well said!"  Lance replied, in a joking manner...  "Spoken like true military offspring!"

"Knock it off, Lance..." Keith warned sternly. 

"So, what do we do?"  Susanna asked the group.  "Just sit here and wait for him to destroy us?  I say, let's get him before he can get us!"

"Simmer down, Susanna!  Voltron is a defense robot.  He protects: he doesn't start battles, just finishes them."  Lance reprimanded his daughter.  "Wait for orders."

The COM suddenly fell silent, as everyone waited to hear what Keith was planning... 

Keith thought for a moment.  The safest thing to do was to buy the kids time so that they could vector jump back to the future.

"Okay, here's what we're going to do..." Keith began.  "The present Voltron will distract Lotor's fleet.  This will give the future Voltron Force enough time to vector jump back to their home."

"No way!" Kyle protested.  "I want to stay here and blast Lotor!"

"Kyle, this isn't a game!  This is real!  This may be your only opportunity to get out of here safely." Keith responded sternly. 

"Yeah, but I feel like I'm running away from a fight.  I've never done that before!"  Susanna said.  "Its embarrassing!"

"I know what you mean," Lance replied back to his future daughter.  "But sometimes that's okay, if it's for a greater good."

"Wait!"  Kevin shouted.  "What if something happens to you guys?  Where would that leave us in the future?  We'd have no future...or maybe some of us wouldn't."

"Yeah...what if one of you gets killed?  What would happen to us?"  Kyle added.  "If Mom got killed, or worse, is captured and enslaved by Lotor, we won't have a future!  Arus won't have a future!"

"Now hold on a minute!"  Shouted Keith over the COM link.  "We've handled Lotor before.  The important thing is to buy you time to vector jump.  You were never meant to be here in the past in the first place!  Andretta, do you hear me?"  Keith was insistent that she follows through with his orders. 

There was a long pause of silence... 

Keith called again...  "Andretta, I know you feel like you should stay, but you can't.  It's not your time.  It's our time...our time!  And right now, its time for you to go back home... where you belong!" 

Andretta sat in her Black Lion; thinking things over as she struggled to make a decision.  Should she leave her parents here to face Lotor alone?  Or should she return with her team to their proper time? 

"Andretta, are you listening to me?  Answer me...time's running out!" Keith pleaded again with her.  "The mark of a good commander, is to know when to pull your team out.  You're
not retreating, but you're doing what's best for the whole team."  Keith paused again.  The COM was quiet.  "You know I'm right about this, Andretta...please respond!"

Tears started rolling down Andretta's face.  She realized the right thing to do was to go back...as Keith had asked her to do. 

"Okay Dad.  We'll go back."  She responded quietly.

Keith sighed quietly, relieved that his future daughter had made the right choice.  But in Blue Lion, Susanna wasn't satisfied with her commander's decision.

"We're leaving?  You're leaving them here to fight Lotor alone?  Andretta...are you out of your mind?   How can you do this to them?"  Susanna shouted over the COM, trying to guilt Andretta into reversing her decision.

"Because Keith's right!  It's not our time!  Our time is back on Arus in the future...25 years into the future.  We aren't supposed to be here guys!  This was stupid to do!  Our parents warned us not to do something foolish...  especially changing the past!  Don't you see?  What we decide here and now may effect our future for bad or good.  We should have listened to them.  Now, we're faced with having to leave them here to fight alone!"

"But sis..." Kyle said quietly.  "I don't want to leave.  I want to stay here."

"No Kyle.  Dad's right.  This isn't our fight...its theirs.  Just like in the future, it will be our fight, not theirs." 

"I can't believe this...you mean we're leaving right now?  Andretta, what if someone gets killed?  What if this changes our future forever?"  Kyle said, now angry over her decision.

"Truth is, it already has been changed."  Tyler finally spoke up.  "Even if we do go back, we've already affected future events.  The crowned King Keith of the future will no longer be required to remain on the ground.  We may have allowed the current Voltron team to remain Voltron's pilots for years to come, instead of turning it over to us.  I think that's what they were trying to tell us about changing future events."

"No, it's far more than that..."Andretta finally came back with.  "We've changed this future, but no one's future is written in stone yet.  The future is what we make of it.  And the only way to save our future is by getting back to it!  Prepare vector jump!"  She shouted.

Keith listened to the exchanges quietly, then said,  "I know that we will appreciate what sacrifice you have made here today!" 

He beamed a special pride in this team.  They were going to make it just fine...no matter what happened here today.

"Thanks Dad."  Andretta said.  "Hope to see soon..."

"You will, don't worry, Andretta.  You will....you all will!"  Keith said, his eyes beginning to water, as emotion suddenly overwhelmed him.

Pidge interrupted the conversation.  "Commander...Lotor's fleet is preparing to attack!  They've got to go... now!"

"Right Pidge!"  Keith responded, shaking off the emotion.  "Andretta, get your team out of here!" 

"Understood."  She responded.  "Prepare for vector jump on my mark..."

"Coordinates are on screen, Andretta."  Tyler said.  "Its up to you now." 

Andretta inhaled deeply... "Let's go home, team."  Then, she pressed the button on the control panel.  "Dad... I strongly suggest you move back at once!  You're too close and
you'll be torn apart when space shifts!"

With the words barely out of Andretta's mouth, space began to stir around them. 

"Okay team, let's move back some and give them room."  Keith said, quickly moving Voltron back at an accelerated pace. 

The space around future Voltron began to violently shift.  The ripples in space were shaking two thirds of Lotor's fleet about. 

Pidge came over the COM...  "Commander!  Lotor's Doom ships are going to be torn to shreds!  They're too close to the shift!"
 
"Get us back further, Keith!"  Allura shouted.  "We're experiencing turbulence and my instruments show the outer haul is being stressed!"

"I'm on it!" Keith said as he guided mighty Voltron further away from the danger zone.



Meanwhile, Lotor's ships began to crash into each other, blowing up on impact.  Lotor became enraged, seeing that the vortex waves were destroying his fleet  "What is this!  Get those ships away from that area!"

But it was too late.  The space around future Voltron was being violently shaken, sucking space debris into the newly formed vortex.  Much of Lotor's fleet was too close to the shift, and didn't have time to escape.  Space twisted and churned all around the doomed space ships, as they continued to either crash into each other... or be torn apart by the super
G-Forces that were surrounding future Voltron's vector jump.

Even Lotor's might Robeast was destroyed by the Super G-Forces, as the future Voltron slipped out of sight into the vortex. 

Lotor watched, agonizing over the destruction of his fleet and his Robeast.  He had nothing left... certainly nothing that could possibly stand up to the remaining Voltron Force. 

His fleet was left severely crippled.

With only a few ships remaining...Lotor had no choice but to retreat.  Voltron defeated him again, without even firing a shot.



As Lotor's remaining fleet entered into warp and disappeared off Voltron's scanners, Keith began to break out in wild laughter...

"What's so funny, Keith?"  Lance asked.  "What are you laughing about?'

"Yeah, let us in on the joke."  Hunk asked, as he watched Keith on the monitor.

Keith tried to compose himself long enough to tell everyone what had struck him so funny.

"Guys...don't you get it?   The kids were worried that we'd be left alone to fight Lotor's fleet!  And as they left us, they unknowingly destroyed nearly all of the Doom ships when they vector jumped back home!  It'll take years for Lotor to rebuild what he's lost!" 

"I don't get it, Keith."  Lance was bewildered.  "So, why is that so funny?"

"Because, they were worried about affecting the future...and we were worried about Lotor's affect on our future and the future of the galaxy.  I'd say that the kids took care of that...right here in the past!   Lotor is going to need many years to regain his lost fleet!  Just possibly, he won't regain it at all!"

"So, what you're saying is, that we may have affected Lotor's future?"  Pidge asked.

"That's exactly what I'm saying, Pidge!"  Keith affirmed, now gaining composure.  "Lotor's downfall may have started with this one single event!  That's your answer, Princess!  Remember what you said before?  Back on Mira?  About finding some way to change the past, so these future events wouldn't happen, according to what the kids said happen in the future?  Remember what they said would happen to Pollux...to Bandor... and to us?  I think that's all changed now!"

"That's right!  Without Lotor's Doom fleet, he can't reign terror on future generations!" Lance shouted.  "The kids help us... more then they know!"

"Oh, I'm sure they know now, Lance."  Pidge said.  "We'll probably tell them in the future."

"Oh, this is so wonderful!" Allura shouted gleefully. "Our future is safe...thanks to Voltron...from the future!"

Keith pondered a moment as he closed his eyes. 

Peace...he wondered what it would be like to have peace finally...

The future...the future is what we make of it... it's what we make of it...


As Keith thought about it...things started to spin out of control   "What's happening now?" he thought, as he felt himself spinning in what appeared to be blackness. 

Then he saw a brilliant light shining from somewhere.... 




Keith suddenly opened his eyes and gasped aloud...

"AH-H-H-H!"

He looked up at the ceiling, and then turned his head slightly to the right, then to the left.  He wasn't in Black Lion anymore. 

"Where am I?"  He thought.  Trying to make sense of it all, he rapidly blinked his eyes a few times.

"Wow, all of that was it just a  dream?"  He thought to himself.  He looked around.  He must have fallen asleep or something. 

"What a weird dream..." He said aloud, reaching his hand up to his head.  He then felt the bandage.  His hand rested on his forehead for a few moments.

"But it was so real..."  He thought, referring to the dream.  He began shaking his head, confused and dazed.  

As he went to get up, he slammed back into his bed, and hollered in pain.  Now he remembered where he was...in the infirmary bed!  He had recent surgery from a terrible accident in the Blue Lion.  His body was still hooked up to an IV, and the restraining field
was on, preventing him from moving around.  

Then he came to the realization that he had dreamed his romantic encounter with Allura, and his encounter with his children of the future. 

Keith fondly remembered his dream of Allura's kiss.  It was so real... so special.  He only wished it were real.  He continued to mindlessly finger the huge bandage wrap on his forehead. 

He turned his head gently to the right side again, and he glanced over toward his nightstand.  On it were beautiful roses...a dozen or so.  Allura must have gotten them somehow.  She
loves roses. 

"That was nice of her..." Keith thought of Allura's gesture.  He was still remembering vividly his dream of their encounter...and became saddened suddenly at the realization that none of
it happened.     

Still looking at the rose arrangement on the stand, he watched as a few rose petals became dislodged from the stem and fell down on to the table.  Keith reached over and picked one up...intending just to hold it.  Suddenly, his face became white...as if in shock.  He looked at the small single rose petal.  It had a small white spot on it! 

Suddenly, Keith remembered his dream...

"Andretta!"  He said aloud.  He remembered her...like she had wanted him to in his dream...



"I have something for you.  I want you to have this."

(Keith remembered opening up his hand.)


He stared at the item in his hand.  It was a small rose petal with a tiny white spot on the top.  "Thank you Andretta.   But forgive me, I don't quite understand its significance"

"I know you don't Dad.  But someday soon,  you will.  I know it's not much, and its message is vague, but it's something to remember me by, okay?"  Andretta winked.  "Remember me."
"Remember me..."



Keith smiled and closed his hand, wrapping the tiny petal safely in his palm.  He found himself smiling as he recalled the dream. 

"I do remember you, Andretta.", mentally recalling her voice from the dream.

He also remembered that he had saved the Princess from death.  That was real.  Things were starting to make sense in his head again. 

Just then, Lance rolled in for a visit.  "Hey there, Keith, old buddy!  How are you doing?"  Lance pulled up a chair and sat next to the head of the bed.

"I'm sore... but okay."  Then Keith panicked as he recalled part of his dream...."Hey, Allura's okay, right?"

Lance looked at him and nodded his head.  "Yeah, she wasn't hurt.  She's fine." 

Keith shook his head.  "No, no... I mean, Lotor didn't really kidnap her, did he?"

Lance looked puzzled as he responded back "What are you talking about?  Lotor?  How would Lotor kidnap Allura?"

"From inside the Castle!"  Keith replied, reaching up and making a large circle with his hand.  "Is someone watching out for that?"

"What are you babbling about, Keith?  Lotor can't get in here!  Security would flush him out in a second.  You must be having a reaction to the pain killers they've been pumping you with." Lance responded. "You're beginning to hallucinate."

Keith settled his head back into his pillow.  "Then I did dream it all, didn't I?"

"Must have been some dream."  Lance said smiling.  "I dropped by earlier and you were saying something in your sleep."

Keith turned his head and looked at Lance.  "Like what?  What did I say?"

"Something about you and the Princess telling Coran about something or another.  I'm not really sure what you were supposed to tell him.  I couldn't make it all out.  Sounded kind of garbled to me.  Anyway..." Lance finished.

"So, nothing happened between us...huh?  It truly was a dream, wasn't it?"  Keith said quietly, as he turned his head back up to look at the ceiling.

"Uh, no.  Nothing you've told me about, anyway."  Lance said, a smirk coming over his face  "Is there something I should know about you two?"

"No, no...  Something I must have dreamt, I guess.  It's just that it was so...  I can't get over it, Lance."  Keith started to daydream a bit, trying to recall it all. 

"Like I said, it must have been some dream then..." Lance laughed.  "But then, who wouldn't want to dream about being with the Princess!"

"Did I say anything else?"  Keith asked, still staring upward.

"No...well, actually, yes, now that I think about it.  I heard you mention one other name."  Lance said.  "Who's Andretta?"

Keith smiled fondly.  "Andretta..."

"Oh...some babe in your dreams, huh?"  Lance teased.  "Allura's going to be jealous!  Do tell, don't keep me in suspense here!"

Keith breathed in deeply "I dreamt that there was a girl from our future.  Her name was Andretta...and she was..." Keith stopped and smiled.

"Yeah...she was...what?"  Lance egged on.  "Oh come on, Keith, you aren't going to leave a guy hanging here, are you?  She was...what?"

"My daughter..." Keith finished.

Lance just stared at Keith.  "You're daughter?  That's it?  She was your daughter?  That's boring, Keith!  Now if I had some of that pain relief stuff...I'd find something much better to dream about!"

But Keith ignored Lance's comments.  He wanted to remember Andretta as she was in his dreams.  He wanted to remember his love for Allura in the same manner. 

It was then, as if on cue, that Allura came into the room.   And Keith's face lit up like a Christmas tree...

"Princess!" Keith said, smiling weakly.  "Am I glad to see you!"

"May I come in for a visit?"  She said, smiling winsomely.

"Of course!  Come on in!"  He said.  Then he kicked Lance out of his chair.  "Hey, where are your manners?  Let the Princess have a seat!"

"Oh, yeah!  Here you go,  Allura."  Lance said, offering his chair to her.

"You don't have to Lance, I'll stand."  She replied back.

"Nope, it's yours."  Lance finished, standing up quickly and bowing, holding his hand out to his side.  "Your throne, Your Highness!"

Allura giggled and swiftly seated herself down in the chair at the head of the bed.  "Thank you, kind sir!"  She chuckled, putting her hand in front of her mouth. She then turned her attention to Keith.  "How are you feeling today?"

"Okay, I guess.  I still ache a lot.  Are you okay?"  He still was concerned for her safety above his own.
 
"Oh, I'm just fine.  I'm even better now that we know you're going to be okay!"  She smiled at him.

"You really handled yourself well in Black Lion, Allura." Keith said to her suddenly.  "I was very proud of you."

"I knew what I had to do, and I did it." she replied, 'matter-of-factly' to Keith.  "I saw you were in danger, and my instinct was to take over.  I hope I didn't step on any toes."

Lance smirked.  "Oh yes, Princess... I was deeply wounded!" Lance replied faking injured feelings.  "After all...I'm supposed to command...not you!"

"Yes, but I'm the one who was trained to fly Black Lion!" Allura huffed back, playfully.  "So I think you've just been demoted!"

"I got to admit, though," Lance winked back at her.  "You did do a much better job than I would have done... flying that lion, that is.  The command thing, though...I'm still the boss while Keith's down!  But...I'll accept your two cents worth of any advice you want to pass on."

"Why thank you, Lance!" Allura smiled at him.  "From you....that's a compliment!"

"Well Allura, it seems that you are more than capable to handle Black Lion while I mend.   Have Sven take the Blue Lion when she's repaired." Keith said to her.

"Oh Keith that means a lot to hear that you have such confidence in me!  But the credit really goes to you.  After all, you taught me everything I know.  It's only right to say that my piloting skills come from your expert training!"

"Yeah, I guess." Keith sighed.   "But I can only train.  It's up to the person learning to turn it into something.  And you've done just that, Princess.  I'm very proud of you."

Allura blushed a bit.  "Thank you, Keith.  And...thank you for being my champion."

Lance, now feeling a bit left out of the conversation, decided to take his leave... "Okay, I
can see that I'm a third wheel here.  Catch you later, Keith.  Get some rest, buddy."

Lance left the infirmary room.  Allura, now much more serious, looked at Keith.  Her eyes showed genuine concern for him.  "I was worried about you."  She said quietly.  "I thought you were going to die."

"I was worried about you too."  He replied, somberly.  He found he was getting lost in her blue eyes again...like in the dream.

Allura looked down at the floor.  "The doctor says you're doing very well.  He said you may be able to return to your quarters soon."

"Great!  I'm looking forward to getting back to a normal routine."  Keith said. 

"Well, you won't be doing that for awhile at least!   As Princess of Arus, I order you to get some much needed rest, and stop worrying about us!"  Allura said, trying to reassure him that things were under control.

"Okay.  Hey, how soon before Blue Lion is back up?"  Keith asked, changing the subject.

"Soon.  Blue Lion will be back up and around in no time...just like you, Keith."  She smiled back.

"That's good."  Keith said, with a yawn.  He could feel his eyes growing heavy again.

Allura looked at him.  "I'd better go now and let you get some more rest."

As she turned to go, Keith reached out for her hand "Allura?"  He said.  "How would it look if a lowly commander asked a beautiful princess out for a ride sometime, when he's back on his feet?" 

Keith was now nervously waited for her response. 

Allura remained quiet for a moment.  Then she looked up with a smile... "I'd love to, Keith! 
I think I would enjoy that with you very much!"

Keith smiled back and released her hand.  Allura winked at him..."Now, you rest, and we'll talk about it more in the future."

Allura turned and left the room. 

Keith closed his eyes for a minute.  There was that word again...future. 

But what mattered most was that Allura was safe here in the present.  He had accomplished what he had set out to do.  The injuries he had suffered were simply immaterial compared to that.  He opened his eyes and opened his left hand.  The tiny rose petal was still there.  He closed his eyes and drifted once again toward sleep, hoping he could go back to his dream of the future and most especially... his romance with Allura.  He knew no matter what happened between them; his heart would always belong to her...forever.

And perhaps, Andretta was waiting in the not so distance future to be born, and begin her own destiny...as future Queen of Arus.

But was it all really a dream... or a glimpse of the future?  Could a romance ever blossom between the beautiful Princess of Arus and the dashing Commander of Voltron?  Only time would reveal the secrets the future holds for them...and for us all.

The possibilities.... are endless.


THE END



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