"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!
All that night, Keith and Lance spent going over data logs that had been collected of the cloud phenomenon.
"The one thing I don't understand is where did it come from and where did it go after Allura hit it?" Keith questioned aloud, running his hands through his thick, black hair in a frustrated motion. "There's got to be a clue here, somewhere! There's got to be something here to help us figure out what happened to cause her death!"
"I still don't think Lotor would kill her, Keith." Lance added cautiously, wary of Keith's mood. "Lotor was obsessed with Allura. Why would he want to see her dead?"
"I don't know, Lance. Still, when I get my hands on him...." Keith grumbled, gnashing his teeth
"Keith, you don't even know if he was involved! But, then again, it kind of figures that he would be. You just make sure you leave me a piece of him to finish off for Allura!" Lance mused, pounding his fist into his other hand's palm.
Keith slammed the papers down on the desk in anger. He closed his eyes and took a deep cleansing breath. Then he slowly let it out again. He looked at Lance and said, "I'm not being very productive here, Lance. I need to rest. I think we should pick this up in a couple of hours. By then, Coran should be up. We could use his expertise as well." Keith yawned and started rubbing his eyes in an effort to get Lance to believe that he was retiring for the night. The truth was that he really wanted to be alone, and was trying to figure out a way to get rid of Lance for awhile.
"Keith, even if we do find out what happened, its not going to bring Allura back. She's gone forever." Lance quietly said, trying to bring Keith back to reality. He felt Keith was dangerously close to going overboard with his quest for vengeance. It concerned him, because in all the years they've known each other, Lance had never seen his friend act like this before now. He was always the prototype model of a disciplined person.
"For your own sake, Keith, stop blaming yourself!" Lance finally added. "She's gone! Nothing we discover is going to bring her back. You have to snap out of it, buddy! It was an accident, right? Now, go get some rest...or...read a book, or something!"
Keith glared at Lance with a twisted look on his face. "He just has to keep remind me, doesn't he?" Keith thought, his face still drawn with anguish. "I don't need to be constantly reminded that I'm responsible for her death that she's gone forever!"
Keith looked down at the ground and closed his eyes for a moment. Another flashback appeared...
He saw himself holding Allura's broken body in his arms...the fact that she felt so limp...the fact that she died at his command. The fact that he failed to keep his promise to protect her from harm...the fact that Lotor more than likely was responsible for taking away his heart's desire...
And it's your fault! You're to blame for her death! Always following orders...
Keith grabbed his head with his hands, and groaned, as if in agony...desperately trying to clear his head. Lance gave Keith a concerned look "Keith, did you hear what I said? She's not here to avenge and protect. Let it go."
"But I'm still here! And as long as I am, I will make sure those responsible for her death, pay for what they've done!" Keith said angrily, now glaring up at Lance with fire in his eyes.
"Gee, I thought I was a hot head." Lance thought, startled by his friend's obsessive attitude. "I've never seen Keith like this before"
Lance decided he'd better take on a more serious attitude at this point. His friend was on the verge of blowing a gasket. He decided now would be the time to say something that Keith would normally say to him: "Listen, Keith, I've got to say this; Don't let this get you so strung out that you can't think straight. Remember, Allura would never have wanted that to happen to any of us!" Lance tried to reason with him. "Especially you!"
"Lance, I'm not into lectures right now!" Keith responded dismissively, waving his hand off at Lance.
"Then what are you into, right now? Self torment? You keep doing this, and you'll lose it!" Lance continued: "I'm sorry I said you were responsible for her death! I was angry, and didn't mean it! You know it wasn't your fault, Keith! Got it? It wasn't your fault! Do you read?"
"I read you... loud and clear!" Keith shouted sarcastically. "Now, back off, Lance! I'm gonna try to lie down for a couple of hours! I suggest you do the same! I'll meet you later." Keith turned to leave the control room abruptly.
"Goodnight, Keith." Lance softly called after him.
"Yeah, whatever..." Keith half-heartedly replied. "He must be kidding...Goodnight... yeah, right." He immediately pondered the meaning of the word: goodnight. As if it was likely that he would be having a goodnight any time soon.
"No use trying to get through to him right now." Lance thought, as he watched Keith storm out of the room. "He's too self-absorbed. Poor guy..."
Lance headed to his room. Keith however, started wondering around the Castle, aimlessly. When he finally looked up, he saw that he was in front of Princess Allura's private chambers. Keith placed his hand on the door. His head was down and his face still drawn. "I can't believe it...I just can't believe she's not in there sleeping peacefully." He thought.
Keith started to walk away, but then turned around. It was almost like he felt compelled to turn around and go back to the door. For whatever reason, he decided to enter the room.
As the door quietly swished open, Keith paused. He knew he shouldn't enter. There was a creepy sort of feeling that came over him. It was as if he was intruding in on her memories. Keith took a deep breath. He knew he had to muster up his courage, and walk into Allura's room. Easy enough to do, and yet, not so easily done. Keith drew in another deep breath, and then put his right foot forward, stepping inside the room.
Realizing he was still breathing and not struck down by lightening he walked further into the now abandoned room. His heart raced with each step he took.
As he walked carefully forward, he looked around at all of the things that were hers. First, he walked over to her dresser. He took note of the things on it: perfume, hair clips, an assortment of feminine items. Looking down, he saw Allura's hair brush. He picked it up and took a look at it. There were strands of her golden blonde hair tangled through the bristles. Keith pulled a few of them outa sort of momento of her.
He then laid the brush down carefully and moved on toward the bed, while stuffing the strands of hair into his shirt pocket. The bed was covered with a velvet white overlay. The pillows were goose-down several of them were on the bed. Allura loved to keep an assortment of decorative pillows on her bed.
Keith reached down and touched one of the pillows very gently. He didn't want to disturb the peace on the bed. He closed his eyes for a moment, almost imagining that he could see her in that bed...sleeping quietly. When he opened his eyes, reality hit him and he realized it was once again, just wishful thinking.
On top of the brass headboard was a stylish, wood-carved shelf. On the shelf was a bouquet of red roses in a handcrafted vase. Keith's skin began to crawl, as he noticed that they bore a striking resemblance to the bouquet of roses he placed at Allura's side in the coffin. He glanced over to the other side of the room, where he saw another vase filled with pink roses. All the roses appeared to be dying wilting from lack of water and care. He started to see another flashback, then quickly shook his head in an effort to clear his mind of the awful thought.
Keith turned his head, and saw a holo-picture stand, directly in front of him. It was on the nightstand next to her bed. He reached over and picked it up, turned it on, and placed it back down. Looking at it as it hovered in mid-air, and recognized that the holo-picture had been taken before the team split up, more than five years ago. He and Lance had returned to Earth, while Hunk and Pidge went their separate ways, only to meet up later on a science planet.
The Princess was left to rule Planet Arus on her own. With Lotor out of the picture and Zarkon defeated, Voltron was retired. He remembered how hard it was to leave Allura and return to Earth. Arus had become his home, and she had become his family. He remembered her tears then...and remembered her tears before she died, along with her haunting last words...
"Take care of Arus. I love you Keith.I always have, and I always wi..."
Keith abruptly deactivated the holo-picture. Next to it, he saw a printed picture in a white frame. He picked it up and stared at it. The picture had both himself and Allura in it. They were standing side by side, arms on each other's shoulders, in a very casual pose. Both of them were wearing their flight suits. The photo was taken just after Allura had been certified as the Blue Lion pilot. He recalled how proud he was of her achievements. She had come a long way in the learning process. And he recalled how hard he had worked her, to be as good as she was.
As good as she...was.
He continued to stare at the picture for quite some time. Tears began to well up in his eyes. He shut them quickly, throwing the picture on the bed in a flurry of anger. Suddenly he could see in his mind the events that unfolded the crash, the Princess's body, crumpled and still, and the funeral. All of it was replaying over and over. He couldn't stop seeing it. It was as if he were there all over again.
"It's all your fault she's dead, Keith! It's your fault!"
Keith could hear Lance's piercing voice repeat the tormenting phrase to his sub-conscience. The words cut like a knife into his soul. Nothing he did could silence the haunting voice in his mind
Keith quickly opened his tear-filled eyes and looked around. He was back in her room.
He looked to the bed, and saw the picture that he had thrown down. Allura was smiling in it but her eyes suddenly seemed so cold to him...as if the permanent image of her in the picture was trying to cast blame on him as well. Closing his eyes for a moment, and shaking his head to clear his mind, he quickly looked at the picture again, and her image seemed to return to normal suddenly.
He was sure now that he was going insane.
Keith sank to the floor and wailed loudly. She was gone...dead and gone. Nothing could change that. Nothing he would do to find out what happened to her could change that. Lance was right, nothing was going to bring her back to him...to any of them. Rocking back and forth, his realization moved him to get up from the floor and walk toward the door. "It is my fault...my need to follow orders killed her!" he repeated blame to himself, as he turned back to look at her bed again. "I should have seen this coming...why didn't I see this coming? How could I have just sat there and let her die?"
"It's all your fault! You killed her! You killed Allura! She's dead because of you!"
He could hear voices in his head again, repeating the words...voices from Pidge, Hunk and even Coran, now joining with Lance. They were tormenting his mind continuously. He didn't dare sleep, for fear that Allura, herself, would enter his dreams, placing blame on him as well. He couldn't bear that from her. He knew in his heart that he had let her down, and well deserved her haunting anger.
He began shaking with fear, unable to determine what was real in his mind, and suddenly feeling very guilty about being in Allura's room, after what he believed was his failure to protect her. He realized that coming there, in an effort to find absolution, was a bad idea. Suddenly, he turned and bolted out of the room. The door swished quietly closed behind him.
Keith found himself moving, once again, mindlessly through the Castle. Not caring where he went, he just walked. He walked out of the Castle and moved aimlessly around outside, thinking. He then walked back into the Castle, uncaring of what time it was, or even how long he had been walking.
When he finally looked up, he saw that he was in front of the Royal Crypt, were Allura's body was laid, along side her father's tomb. He realized he had been drawn here for a reason. He had to face her...alone.
Keith thought long and hard against entering the crypt. But he knew he had to see her again. Even if it was just her lifeless body lying there, it was still Allura.. He had to talk to her. He had to tell her how sorry he was for more than likely causing her death. Coming to a decision, Keith finally slammed his body into the heavy door. He struggled and grunted, until finally, it yielded, opening up. It squeaked open with a creepy sound that resembled something like a monster movie that he had seen in the early days of his youth. His heart was beating wildly with fear and uncertainty. Nevertheless, he moved inside.
Keith activated his mini utility light, scanning the crypt. He began walking slowly forward, until he reached the place where the King's body was entombed. He silently bowed his head in homage to the fallen King of Arus. Glancing ahead of the King's resting place, he saw it at last...Allura's tomb. Keith took a deep breath, and moved to open it up, not wanting to talk to a concrete box. Then, he opened the coffin lid. Suddenly, he stepped back and gasped. There she was, just as he had left her when they brought her into this place yesterday. Her arms were crossed in front of her body and the bouquet of roses that Keith himself had placed there, were still resting near her head. They were wilting.
His eyes welled up with tears again as he took several deep breaths, trying to control his emotions.
"Princess," Keith started. "I know you can't hear me. But if you could, I'd want you to know that I miss you deeply. I'm so sorry for what happened! It was under my command that this happened to you! I should have done it myself. I would have rather died then you! I can only hope that wherever you are, you can forgive me, Allura!"
She remained still, frozen in an eternal, peaceful asleep.
Keith continued ..."Allura, I have loved you from the first time I saw you several years ago! I only wish that our ranks hadn't kept us apart. I'll miss the private times we had together. I'll miss your smile that greets me each day. I'll miss your laugh. I'll miss your funny jokes. I'll miss you."
"Oh Princess, I'll find out what happened to you, and I won't let it rest until I do! You can count on it, Allura! I only wish there was some way to go back in time and fix this mess...."
"Perhaps there is, young Keith"
Keith turned around fast. He didn't have a blaster with him...another stupid mistake. They were starting to add up.
He was totally defenseless. "Who's there?" he shouted. The echo was tremendous and gave him the chills. He took a defensive position, clenching his fists.
"Young man, you are a true friend. For only a true friend looks to the needs and the protection of others above themselves. My daughter has chosen her friends wisely."
"I'm not going to ask again" Keith shouted another time. "Who's there?"
"My son, it is someone who is able to help you find your way back to the past."
Keith heard the voice shift direction. It was now behind him, next to Allura's body. He spun around, determining he would not fail to protect her this time, even though she was already dead.
What Keith saw next astonished him. Next to Allura's body, was an image of King Alfor, Allura's father. At times, he had appeared to Allura to give advice for her to use to rule. And here he was, in front of Keith, offering once again his sound advice. "King Alfor!" Keith cried out and then dropped to his knees. "Your Majesty!"
"Stand up, young Keith, Commander of Voltron. There is much to discuss."
Keith's head was still down low to the ground, and he was still kneeling before the image. "Your Majesty, I've failed you and Planet Arus! I alone caused your daughter's death. I have no right to be the Commander of the Voltron Force!" Keith explained, attempting to make himself responsible for Allura's death. "I've failed in my duty to protect her. And as a result, I've left Planet Arus without a monarch."
"That is simply rubbish, young Keith! You have always been a protector of Arus, and a protector of my daughter. Your actions would have not prevented the incident from occurring, my young friend." Alfor said. "I however, am here to offer you an alternative to your self pity, and a chance to change what has passed."
Keith looked up, more focused on the King's words: "You're saying that perhaps there's a way to get back to the past? How can that be, Your Highness?" Keith asked.
"I will tell you. I know of your love for my daughter. It has been hard on her since her mother and I have been gone. I also know how difficult her death has been on you. Only you can make this decision. I can tell you how to get back to the past. But, 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. Secondly, in order to prevent my daughter's death, you must be willing to sacrifice yourself as well, trusting that your friends will find a way to save you too. But, the risk to you is that if they are unable to do so, it may cost you your own life in exchange for Allura's. Are you willing to accept this risk?"
"Yes, Your Highness, I am! I've been willing all along! I can't let her stay this way, not if I can do something to prevent it from happening in the first place! Tell me what I must do! I'll do whatever it takes to bring her back!" Keith's face was now full of determination.
"Very well. You are truly valiant, Keith. You are well suited for Allura."
"Thank you, King Alfor. Now, please tell mewhat do I have to do?"
"Come with me, young Keith. I will tell you exactly what you must do."
Keith remained behind in the crypt until dawn, gathering information from the King, and wondering to himself what his team would say to him about what he was about to do...
Lance would surely think he had gone crazy. As a matter of fact, the same thought had run across Keith's mind several times...
"Have I lost my mind? I can't believe I'm really thinking of trying this!" he thought. Then he glanced over to Allura's still form, lying in the coffin: death's shadow casting its darkness upon her face. At that moment, his mind was made up
If there was a chance of bringing her back, then he knew he had to tryeven if the attempt were to cost him his very life.
For the sake of the Princess he loved more dearly then his own life, he had to try, or die trying.