"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!



CHAPTER 5
The Plan Goes Wrong

As the Lions approached the cloud, Pidge pulled up his computer's online scanners, investigating the target.  "Looks like a hydrogen base, Commander."  Pidge called out.  "It appears to be self propelled." 

"That's kinda weird, don't you think?"  Hunk said, his left hand tapping nervously on Yellow Lion's control panel.  "Keith, I'm getting tingles over here!  Shouldn't we be more careful and keep our distance from it?"  

"Yeah, at least for now." Keith said, still examining some initial data being transmitted to him from Green Lion's scanners.  "Everyone watch your step. Pidge, can you get any other readings on it?"

"Trying Keith, but the cloud's pretty dense in composition.  Maybe we can launch a probe for more data."  Pidge suggested.

"Excellent idea!  Go ahead Pidge, launch the probe."  Keith replied, still going over the data already collected.

"Will do, Commander!"  Pidge said, as he jumped up from his seat and went to the back of the cockpit.  He grabbed a data probe from a storage cabinet.  Using his mini computer, he programmed the probe, telling it what type of readings to collect.  He then set it in an elongated tube that was poised to shoot out of Green Lion's mouth. .

Pidge jumped back into his seat.  "Launching probe in three...two...one...now!" 

Green Lion's mouth opened wide, and the probe was launched toward its target.  As the probe entered the outer reaches of the cloud, it disappeared from sight.  Pidge tried to get readings.

"Hey."  Pidge said,  "I think I'm getting something audible over the COM. 

"What?"  Lance and Hunk asked at the same time. 

"What's it saying?"  Keith asked.  "Can you make it out, Pidge?"

"It's it's not really saying anything.  It's a magnetic signal."  Pidge replied.

"What readings are you getting?  Are you able to play it for all of us?"  Keith requested again.

"I'll put it on audio, hold on."  Pidge responded.  "Almost got it...there!"

(WHINE, WHINE, WHINE, WHINE, WHINE)

"What do you think it is, Keith?" Allura asked over the COM.

"I don't know, Princess."  Keith responded cautiously.  "Pidge, any signs of life?"

"Negative, Keith."  Pidge responded

"Then it's not living right?"  Hunk asked.

"That's about it, big guy."  Pidge replied, still reading over his incoming data.


"Well, this thing was sent here by something or someone.  It just wouldn't give off magnetic signals while wander aimlessly through the universe. And it's on a methodical course toward Arus. We have to find out what it is and stop it before it reaches the planet."  Keith said to the group.

"What if we try to communicate to whomever may be out there?  Send out a message of friendship perhaps?"  Allura suggested.

"Oh sure," Lance scoffed, sarcastically.  "We could see if there are little green spacemen who want to say hello, right?  Maybe offer them milk and cookies?  Get a clue, Allura! You heard Pidge; there are no life signs!  I say send it a lion boom as a welcome present, and let's get outta here!  That ought to send a message loud and clear!"

"Settle down, Lance."  Keith said to his feisty friend   "Allura, see if you can open a channel"

"Okay, Keith." Allura replied.

"You're wasting your time, Keith" Lance said again, with an 'I told you so' attitude.  "Let's blast it and get back to Arus.  I want to go swimming." He finished with a chuckle.

Keith ignored Lance and his continuous complaining.  "Go ahead, Princess.  Open the channel.  We'll stand by."

Allura reached over and opened a channel.  She then began to broadcast in all languages, a message of peace, just in the event that there was someone out there in charge of the cloud. 

"Pidge, what is the frequency of the probe?  I can lock onto it, just in case there might be a response that we can pick up on it."  Allura said.

"110 Mega-hertz, Princess.  But make sure you don't turn it up too loud.  The sound might throw your equilibrium off balance."  Pidge warned.

"Acknowledged."  Princess finished, as she tied into the frequency.




Meanwhile, back on the Revenge, Lotor gave Hagar the first affirmative signal. 

"Hagar, hypnotize her so that she can't respond to them any longer.  Send a signal through her COM link, using that probe's frequency.  Do it now!"

"As you command, my Prince."  Hagar sneered.  She raised her magic green globe and aimed it at the Blue Lion.




Allura was still listening for any responses.

"I'm not getting anything, Keith.  I thinkoh my" She started to hear a sound that was making her very woozy.

"What is it, Allura?  Got something?"  Keith inquired.

Allura started feeling nauseated and faint.  "Yes, I...I think I'm getting a response. But Keith I...I..."

"Allura, what are you hearing?"  Keith asked again.

"Yeah, don't keep us waiting,  what do you got?"  Lance said impatiently.

"Keith...I'm sorry, but I'm suddenly not feeling well....I'm feeling diz-z-y" Allura's voice faded off.

Pidge chimed in "Princess, turn off the probe frequency!  It's coming in too strong and causing your equilibrium to go off balance.  That's what's making you dizzy!"

They waited for her to acknowledge Pidge.

"Princess, are you okay?" Keith asked her.  He could hear her voice, but it sounded faint.  "Allura stay with mewhat's going on over there?  Allura, respond"

(No response.)

"Allura, what are you hearing?  Allura answer meAllura?"  Keith became more frantic, seeing only a grid of white and black static on his monitor.  Allura's image on the Ultra Wave had mysteriously cut out.

"What's going on over there?  Allura, you answer us now!"  Lance shouted.

"Princess. Did you switch off the probe frequency?"  Hunk shouted.

The three men were talking over each other, in an effort to get a response from the Princess. 

Suddenly, Keith shouted above everyone "ALLURA!   ANSWER ME!"  cried Keith.   Still no response.

"Pidge, scan Allura's vital signs!  I want to know what's going on over there, fast!"
Keith commanded.

"On it, Commander!"  Pidge shouted, his fingers dancing on the control panel.

Pidge scanned the Blue Lion.  At first, he had a hard time getting a fix on her position.  Then after much struggling, he locked in. 

"Got her!"   Pidge shouted.  'Princess, can you hear me?  Princess?"

Pidge became frustrated. He was not able to get a fix on her because of the interference the cloud's magnetic properties were producing.  "I don't like this.  I'm going to shuttle over to Blue Lion, Keith.  Her vitals are getting weaker, like she's in a trance or going into suspended animation!"  Pidge then paused.  "I can't hook up to her COM link either.  Communications are out.  I can't hear what she's hearing!"

"Deploy lion head shuttle!" Keith commanded, trying to remain calm and maintain a level head.  He started running possible scenarios through his mind.

The Green Lion's mouth opened again, this time sending out the cockpit shuttle that Pidge was in.  It immediately flew toward the Blue Lion, which appeared to be just floating in space.  Suddenly, Pidge felt dizzy too....queasy... almost nauseated.  His eyes fell away from the screen.  He tried to call for the others, but was unable to see the buttons clearly.  He knew he needed to save the Princess, but how?

Then, as suddenly as the feeling was there, it was gone again. Pidge moved in quickly on the Blue Lion.  "This sick feeling can't be from the probe. It feels like Lotor!  It's got to be him!"  Pidge thought to himself. 



Meanwhile, Lotor gave commands of this own. "She mine now!  Move the cloud closer to her, Hagar!"

"That's not wise, Lotor...we don't have full control of it power yet.  You could hurt the Princess...or worse!  Remember Lotor, it is a powerful magnetic-Laison essence and may not completely abide by our wishes.  You could be bringing Princess Allura to her doom!  This cloud acts with the force of a million magnets and could destroy..."

Lotor cut off Hagar  "Do it now!  I grow tired of your excuses!"

Hagar moved her wand.  "You may regret this.  If you do, don't blame me!" She hissed.
 
The cloud moved in on Blue Lion.

Pidge saw that the cloud was suddenly gaining speed.  He quickly accelerated to try to intercept it before it reached the Princess.

"I've got to reach her!"  He cried.  "I've just got to!"

Meanwhile, the Voltron Force was quickly moving in toward Allura's position as well.  Keith raised Pidge.   "Pidge!  Pidge!  Come in!  Wait for us!  You can't overpower that cloud by yourself in a lion shuttle!" 

"I've got to!  No telling what it's going to do to the Princess!"  Pidge cried.

"Connect back up with Green Lion!"  Keith ordered.

"But, Keith!  I'm almost there!"  Pidge shouted back, resisting the command.

"Pidge, I'm ordering you to return to Green Lion!"  Keith insisted.

Keith knew that by ordering Pidge back, it would severely reduce their chances of reaching the Princess in time.  But Keith couldn't afford to lose two of this team during one mission.  All the while, he was fighting his heart's urge to recklessly rush in and rescue her.  But that would place himself and his team in further danger.

Pidge moved reluctantly around to reunite with Green Lion.

Lance looked up and saw the cloud moving in on Blue Lion. "Its almost on top of her!  I can't sit here and watch it consume her!  I'm going in!"

"No, Lance!  Hold your position until Pidge is in place!"  Keith warned.

Lance didn't answer.

"I mean it, Lance...don't do it!" Keith again ordered.

"What are you trying to prove here?  Are you gonna just let her die, Keith?  I can't believe you're not going to do anything!"  Lance shouted in anger.  "Well Commander, I'm not going to sit here!  I'm gonna fly in there now!"

"Lance I said, stay your ground!  I MEAN IT!"  Keith was nearly screaming over the COM line, all the while trying to think of a course of action.

"Keith, Lance, Pidge, Hunk...can someone hear me?"

"PRINCESS!"  The team shouted through the COM.  Allura's voice sounded distressed.

"Someone...help me!"  She cried out.

Her voice was shaky and appeared frightened.  Keith suddenly lost control of his emotions and disregarded his military discipline.  He had to save her.

"Allura!  I'm coming for you!"  Keith cried out.  "Prepare to evacuate Blue Lion!" 

Suddenly, fear overtook him.  He couldn't bear the thought of losing her now, regs or nohe had to save heranyway he could.  He made a vow before her that he would always protect her and her planet from harm.  It became obvious to him that there was no other way to rescue her except to barrel into the cloud, as Lance had suggested.  Keith accelerated his lion toward the cloud, which had now overtaken the Blue Lion.

"Follow him!"  Lance shouted, as he went after Keith, shifting Red Lion into turbo.

Keith managed to get a visual on Allura.  She was crying.  She knew the end was near.  She could feel it.  Keith spoke to her in an effort to focus her attention on his commands:

"Allura, don't worry, I'm here!" Keith said to her, attempting to reassure her of his presence.  "Get ready to abandon Blue Lion.  Use your jetpack to pull away from Blue Lion when you evacuate and I'll come around to pull you into Black Lion!"

"I can't operate any of the lion's controls!  They're frozen...blocked out by the cloud!" she shouted franticly

"You can't even open the hatches and get away?"  Keith asked, trying to think of some other way to save her.

"No, I can't get out of Blue Lion!  I've already tried!  I'm not strong enough to manually push open the hatch!  I'm trapped, Keith!"  Allura cried.  "What'll I do now?"

"Don't panic Allura!  We'll think of some way to get you to safety!"  Keith said the words, but found doubt in them  "Stay calm, Princess.  I'm going to use my tractor beam and pull you out!"  He immediately activated the beam, but the magnetic interference from the cloud prevented it from locking onto Blue Lion.

"Come on, baby!  Come on!"  Keith shouted angrily at the control panel.  He suddenly slammed his fist onto it.  "I can't... get a fix on Blue Lion!"  

Keith suddenly felt an overwhelming panic sensation in the pit of his stomach.  Time was running out fast.  "Come on, Keith think of something else to do!" his mind screamed. 

Allura's voice broke his desperate concentration

"Oh Keith, I didn't want it to end this way!"  She cried,  "I'm not getting out of this one, am I?"

"Just hang on, Allura...you hear me?  Don't give up!"  Keith tried to reassure her.

Bright light was all around the Blue Lion.  It lit up Allura's face on the monitor.  Suddenly, the Blue Lion began to violently shake.  Allura became startled and even more frightened. 

"AH-H-H!" she screamed, " Blue Lion...is...oh no!   It's...breaking apart!  Keith...help me!"

"What in the world?"  Keith puzzled.  "Hang on, Princess, I'm coming in", now intending on going into the cloud himself

"No, Keith, it's too late!"  She cried.  "Take care of Arus!"  

"No, Allura!  Don't give up!"  He begged.  "Stay focused!"

" I love you, Keith, I always have and I always wi..."

Suddenly, her COM went dead.  Keith felt the blood rush from his face, fearing the worst has happened.  Uncontrollable with anger over his helplessness, he shouted aloud

"NO-O-O-O!   A L L U R A !"

"The Princess!"  The team shouted, as they all watched the horrible scene unfold.  Hunk closed his eyes tight, unwilling to view the destruction of Blue Lion...or the death of the Princess.

Suddenly, Blue Lion appeared from the bottom of the cloud, spinning out of control through space, heading for Arus and breaking apart, piece by piece as it hit the atmosphere, igniting into a ball of flames.

"Pidge!"  Keith shouted over the COM.  "Doesn't she have shields?"

Pidge's voice cracked with anguish"No, Keith, she has nothing!  She's diving through the atmosphere and its tearing her apart!  She can't possibly still be alive..."

"Dive!  Follow the Blue Lion!", cried Keith.  Black Lion was the first to dive, followed closely behind by Red Lion.  Green and Yellow Lions followed afterward.

In the Castle of Lions, Coran watched in horror"Oh no!" he moaned aloud. "Not my Princess!  Not my baby girl!"  For Coran, it was like watching his own daughter spin helplessly out of control...for he had been in charge of her since her father's death.  To him, Allura was his daughter, and she was dying and he was helpless to stop it.
________________________________________________________________________


As Hagar had feared, the Blue Lion was being torn apart by the magnetic force of the cloud, and now has lost full control of its ability to maintain an orbit above Arus.  Princess Allura was mostly certainly dead from physical trauma. 

On the Revenge, Lotor jumped up in anger. "What is this!  I wanted her lion disabled, not destroyed!  Get that lion!  I don't care if we burn up the Revenge in the process, stop that lionnow!"

"I can't, Lotor!  It's out of control and heading back toward Arus!  I can't stop it!  I can't save her!"  Hagar glared angrily at him. "I warned you, Lotor, that the power was unpredictable!  She's mostly likely dead, my Prince."

"Tractor beams!"  Lotor shouted.  "Lock on to the Blue Lionnow"

"Didn't you hear me, Lotor?"  Hagar shouted angrily.  "She's dead!  We must flee before the Voltron Force comes after us!"

One of the Doom Soldiers spoke.  "I'm sorry, Prince Lotor, there is nothing to lock onto.  The Blue Lion is breaking up." 

"I can't believe it!" shouted Lotor, "What have I done?   Allura, my sweet...Hagar, there must be something you can do to save her!"

"I warned you that the power of the dark cloud was too unpredictable, but you wouldn't heed my warning.  I can do nothing to save the Princess now."  Hagar finished.

"Allura." Lotor repeated quietly.  Shock had come to Lotor, as he could feel his body begin to tingle all over.   Then he turned to his crew of Doom Soldiers: "Get me a shuttle, I'm going down to Arus" 

"Are you mad?"  Hagar shouted, stepping in front of Lotor.  Her arms were now extended to either side of her in an effort to block his path.  "Sire, you'll be destroyed before you even reach the surface of the planet!  The remainder of the Volron Force will shoot you out of the sky!"

"I don't care!  I must find out her fate!" Lotor shouted back, dashing around the old witch. 

Hagar followed behind him. "Sire, you can't do this! You can't save her now, she's surely dead...let's get out of here, while we still have the means to do so!" 

"You will remain here until I return!"  Lotor commanded.  "I must see her!"

Lotor dashed through the door leading to his personal shuttle  "This wasn't suppose to end this way!"  He thought, regretfully.
________________________________________________________________________


Meanwhile, on Arus, Coran was tracking the debris of Blue Lion as it continued to descend toward Arus.  The cockpit was still in tact, barely.  But the haul was compromised.

Coran quickly reacted in an effort to attempt to save the Princess.  "Tractor beams! We must attempt to cushion the fall!"

Coran turned on the tractor beams that shot from the Castle.  Black Lion was now coming around to try to stabilize Blue Lion from the rear as Coran used the Castle tractors to stabilize the front of the damaged lion. 

The remainder of the team came up along side of the heavily damaged Blue Lion.

Suddenly, Pidge cried out in anguish.  "I'm not getting any vitals!  Her body's crashing too!" 
"Quick...get what's left of the lion down to the ground. HURRY!"  Keith shouted.

With a sudden, controlled drop, the Blue Lion landed on the ground, softly.

The rest of the lions landed, and Keith, Hunk and Pidge began to race for Blue Lion.  Keith attempted to climb up on top of wreckage.

"Be careful, Keith," Pidge shouted, "The lion isn't steady!  It could fall apart and kill you too!"

"I know! I know!"  Shouted Keith from behind, annoyed and cursing at himself for forgetting to grab his jetpack from his lion.

"I'm right behind you!" shouted Lance, who was using his jetpack that he had taken with him from Red Lion before he got out.  "Watch it, Keith!"  Lance shouted as he zoomed by.  "I'll get her!"

"Be careful with her, Lance, she'll be in rough shape!"  Keith shouted up to him, still struggling to get to the top of Blue Lion's head.

Lance flew through Blue Lion's open mouth, and jetted up to the cockpit.  He started plowing through debris, frantically looking for the Princess.  He gasped suddenly. "I found her!"  Lance shouted over the COM.   "I found her, guys!  Allura, Allura, its going to be okay!  We're here...oh no... KEITH!  COME QUICK!"

"Lance, " Hunk shouted through the COM link as he stood on the ground.  "Lance, are you okay?  Lance, talk to us"

Hunk looked over to Pidge.  Pidge's tearing eyes told Hunk why Lance didn't respond back.  The monitor was silent.  Allura's vital signs were gone.  No pulse, no blood pressure, no respiration.  Pidge started to shake his head.  Tears started rolling down his cheeks.  Then, he started repeating it.over, and over, and over again..

"She's gone!   She's gone!   Princess is dead!" Pidge whispered tearfully.

"No..." Hunk quietly said, shaking his head in disbelief. "Not the Princess.  She's not dead...you've made a mistake, Pidge!  Look again, you made a mistake!" he shouted at him, not wanting to believe it.

"No, Hunk, I didn't.  She's gone...gone!" Pidge sobbed.

Coran came running from the Castle of Lions with a full detail of palace guards and a medical team.  As he approached, he heard what appeared to be a ghastly scream. 

"KEITH!  COME QUICK!"

"That sounded like Lance" Coran thought to himself.  "Oh no...not the Princess, not OUR Princess!'  

Coran started running as fast as he could, yelling behind him "Come quickly men!  Medical detail, follow me!"

Keith had just made it to the cockpit, making sure to carefully walk so as not to cause the floor to come out from underneath him.  Suddenly, he too heard Lance's anguished cry.  Keith then moved less cautiously and ran for the front of the cockpit, hopping over debris that was in his way.  He found Lance holding Allura in his arms...tears streaming down his face.

Keith refused to believe anything until he moved closer to see for himself. As long as he had known him, Lance was always the kind of guy to jump to conclusions.  He NEVER examined facts.  Keith was sure he'd find a different conclusion.  He walked over to stand above Lance. 

Lance looked up with tears in his eyes, shaking his head.  Keith knelt down and scooped the lifeless princess out of Lance's arms.  Lance stood up and moved aside for Keith to move next to Allura.  Keith looked down at her face, which was covered with blood.  He gently began brushing some of the blood soaked strands of hair away from her eyes, as he held her broken body gently in his arms. It appeared by his touch, and the movement of her head, that her neck might have been broken.  He carefully cradled her head in his left hand, while using the read of his arm to support her injured neck.

Keith sat there silently for a moment, looking over the still form of the Princess.  He took a deep breath, as if to take it all in.  Then, Keith took her pulse.  He checked her eyes, each one, to make sure there was no sign of life. 

Lance angrily raised his hands, and wiped his tear stained face.  "She dead, Keith...she's dead!"

Keith didn't say a word.  He just silently stared at Allura, his eyes barely blinking.

"Did you hear me, Keith?  She's dead!  DEAD!  And it's your fault!"  Lance cried out in anger.  He took a few steps backward away from Keith.  "You!   Always following orders!  Look where it got her!  I hope you're happy now, Commander Regulations!"

"No, she can't be gone... " Keith replied quietly, still looking down at her.

"Are you blind?"  Lance stepped forward again, and was now bent over into Keith's face, shouting in his right ear.  "She's not breathing, and her heart is not beating!  She's dead, Keith!  Allura is gone!  Why didn't you let us get her before she went into the cloud?  This is your fault, Keith!"   Lance began pushing blame, in an effort to soothe his anguished heart.  "Arus's only ruler is gone!  You've killed her!  You let her die, Keith!"

"What?"  Keith said in almost disbelief.  "No Lance...she's not dead!  It's not true!"  Keith shouted back in anger at his friend.  "Just shut up, alright!  And let me check it out!"  Still in a state of denial, he checked her vital signs again, compulsively, and indeed discovered yet again, that Allura was not breathing, and her heart was silent.  He immediately laid her on the floor and began CPR.

In frustration, he looked up at Lance, "Help me!  Begin mouth -to-mouth! We've got to stabilize her life signs!  Move, Lance!"  Keith shouted. "Don't just stand there...help me!"

Suddenly, Lance's anger toward Keith mellowed into sympathy instead.  Allura was more than just a friend in Keith's eyes.  That was clear.  Now, she was gone from him, from all of them, and Keith's heart was breaking.  He placed his hand on Keith's shoulder, gripping it gently. 

"Keith, I know it's hard to take, but you gotta see reality, buddy.  Allura is dead.  We can't bring her back.  There's nothing we can do.  She's dead, Keith.  I'm sorry."  Lance said with a cracking voice, tears still coming down  "It's no use."

Keith again looked up at Lance.  And Lance could see in his friend's eyes, that what was said was making sense at last.  Keith looked back down to Allura's bloodstained face.  He knew she was gone, but for a moment, couldn't make himself believe it.  He began shaking his head slowly.  

"This is my fault, Lance!  I caused her death!  I ordered her to open the channel!  I ordered Pidge back!  I was trying to think of something that might save her, and yet not get us all killed in the process.  I...I let her die!  I let her down!" 

"Keith, I didn't mean what I said.  You didn't kill her!  You're not responsible!  It was an accident!"  Lance replied, feeling very sorry he embedded the thought into Keith's head.

Suddenly, Keith began to sob uncontrollably and buried his head into Allura's broken body. "No, Princess, oh no...please don't leave me...you can't leave me, Allura...Allura...please... I'm so sorry I caused this to happen!" he cried.  "I didn't even get a chance to tell you...how much I...no, Princess...no!"

On the ground, Pidge and Hunk were standing with Coran and the palace guards.  Suddenly, they heard another crybut this time, the voice was definitely Keith's

"AH-H-H-H.... PRINCESS....NO, PRINCESS     AL-L-L-LU-U-U-RA!"
________________________________________________________________________


Nearby, Lotor sat, hiding in the bushes near the scene.  He too was welled up with tears.
"Oh, my darling Allura." He heaved.  "This was not suppose to happen!  I've lost you forever!  My darling Allura!" 

Lotor, knowing there was nothing he could do to bring her back, slithered away in the bushes, back to his shuttle to return to the Revenge.  Why he should return, he didn't know.   For in his heart, he knew that it was his greed that cost Allura her life...just as Hagar had warned him. 

"You were right, Hagar, you were right.  What have I done!"  he said to himself.   Lotor stopped and looked up to the sky.  "Allura, please forgive me!"  Lotor walked on.



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