"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 8
KeithGone Crazy?

Keith had been missing from the Castle for several hours after dawn had broken.  The remaining team was becoming concerned about his whereabouts.  They all met in the control room.

"We should form a search party and comb the area."  Lance said, concerned for their commander.  "He was pretty upset last night."

"Youyou don't suppose that he would do something rash...do you?"  Asked Pidge.

"Yeah, like in Romeo and Juliet?"  Hunk said,  "Has someone checked the tomb?"

"Get a life, Hunk!"  Lance barked back.  "You've been watching too many old romance discs!   Keith is smarter than that!  He wouldn't bump himself off!  And he sure wouldn't be spending his time in such a depressing place."

"Well, wherever he is, he has been gone too long."  Coran advised. "I believe a search party is in order here."

"There's no need for that" said a recognizable voice from behind them

Everyone turned around at once

"KEITH!"  Pidge, Hunk and Lance shouted out loud; relieved to see their commander and friend had returned safely.  Then came the barrage of questions.

"Keith, where the heck have you been?"  Lance scolded.  "Can't you use your COM link to let people know where you are?  We were worried!"

"Geez, Lance!  Back off...you sound like his mother or something!"  Hunk stepped forward between Lance and Keith.  Then Hunk turned around and faced Keith, "And what's the big idea scaring us all half out of our wits like that?"

"Look who's talking now...Mother Hunk!"  Lance teased, sporting a crooked smile. 

"I'm sorry, gang.  I didn't intend to worry everyone."  Keith interrupted, still looking very downcast.  His face was drawn, probably from lack of sleep.  "I had a lot of thinking to do, that's all." 

Lance looked at Keith for a moment and decided that he probably never made it to his quarters after they parted company earlier. 

"You worry us, Keith!  It's just not like you not to report in."  Pidge said.  "If that had been one of us, you'd have killed us!"  Pidge then paused, realizing he probably used the wrong choice of wording in light of the circumstances.  "Hey, where were you anyway?" he quickly added, attempting now to change the subject, before Lance carried out the threat of bodily harm that his eyes were flashing in Pidge's direction.

"I was at the Royal Crypt."  Keith said quietly, turning his eyes toward the ground.  "I was visiting Allura...but I sure didn't expect to face the Spanish Inquisition when I returned!"

Everyone looked at each other, not saying a word.  Hunk leaned into Lance, whispering into his ear,  "I'm getting a tingly feeling here, Lance.  I thought you said Keith wouldn't think of going there!"

Lance puckered his lips together, trying to think of something to say to Keith

"Uh, Keith...buddy...you can't spend each night there."   It was a bad attempt at humor, and Coran shot Lance a disapproving gaze.

"I don't intend to.  I have to go back in time and fix this mess."  Keith said frankly, moving his gaze forward toward Coran.

Lance turned around to face the others.  "Uh-oh...Keith's losing it!"  Lance said with a hushed voice.  "I knew something like this might happen!"

"What do we do now?"  Hunk whispered.  "If Keith loses it, then we're finished!  Lotor might as well come over for tea first before he takes over Arus!"

Keith's voice interrupted the silent exchange. "I saw King Alfor."   Everyone's attention suddenly focused on Coran.  What is he going to think about this one? 

Lance moved up along side of Keith.  Keith's eyes however, were fixed straight at Coran, hardly blinking, waiting for Coran's response.  Coran said nothing, except to stare awkwardly back at Keith.

Then Lance turned back to the others.

"See, I told you he was losing it!"  Lance whispered back to Pidge and Hunk. 

"Keith, maybe you should lie down for awhile.  Things might look different after a nice nap."  Pidge coaxed, winking at Lance to grab onto Keith. 

Lance did so, and Keith looked at him queerly.  "Come on, Keith, let's put you to bed."

"I'm alright, Lance!  I know what I'm saying!"  Keith said defensively.  He knew no one believed him, and that was what he expected.

"Wait" Coran spoke up at last, moving forward and approached Keith.  "Where did you see King Alfor?"

"At the crypt.  I was so upset that I couldn't sleep.  Actually, I was afraid to sleep. I started wandering around last night.  I wasn't sure what was real and what was imaginary.  But I know he was.  He called me by name, Coran!  I was standing right in front of Allura's tomb when he appeared to me.  Just exactly the way Allura said that he appeared to her from time to time!"

Coran looked long into Keith's eyes. 

"Coran, you've got to believe what I'm saying!"  Keith begged.  His eyes appeared sincere.  'I know it sounds crazy but it's true!"

Coran remained silent for a moment.  He turned to his right and walked in the direction of an old picture of King Alfor.  He was pictured standing at attention with the Royal flag of Arus in his hand.  The portrait was hanging there in the control room.  It had been there for many years.  Coran walked up to the portrait and gently laid his hand on it.  Lance, Pidge and Hunk watched him look at it.  Keith also watched.

"Please Coran, I beg you...you have to believe me!"  Keith pleaded once again.  "I'm not going crazy!  I know what I'm saying sounds like I am, but I'm not!  Alfor told me what I have to do to get back to the past and rescue Allura.  But I need your help...and the help of everyone in this room!"

Coran said nothing for several minutes.  He just stared at the picture of Alfor on the wall in front of him. He then turned to look at Keith and the others.

"I...believe you, Commander.  I believe what you say is true."  Coran spoke cautiously, his face contorted.

"This is insane!"  Lance huffed in disgust.   "How can you believe this?  It doesn't make sense!"

"Sometimes the most obscure sounding things are the things that are true."  Said Coran.  Then he approached Keith.  "What did Alfor tell you to do?"

Keith gave the summary:

"He told me that I have to travel back in time in order to stop the events from happening.  He said it might be risky in that none of you will remember any of this, and I can't tell you, or it could affect future events.  I need to use the Black Lion and make a run at the sun and then pull away at the last moment to travel backward in time.  I need to plan it just right, or I could end up going way beyond where I need to be.  That's why I need everyone's help.  I need calculations so accurate that I can't possibly miss."

"What will happen when you get...uh... back in time?  And how can you be sure this will work?  What if the Princess was meant to die?"  Pidge asked.

Keith shook his head no, and continued.

"She wasn't meant to die, Pidge!  She died because of my error in judgement!  That can be changed too.  I have to have a plan in place to prevent us from chasing after the cloud.  We need to find out what it is without sending Allura into it.  King Alfor said that it had been sent by the forces of Doom in order to capture her."

"I might have known!"  Hunk said.  "Lotor!  That dirty, rotten..."

"But I don't get it."  Puzzled Lance.  "Why would Lotor destroy the Princess?"

"Like you said; he didn't intend to."  Keith said.  "He intended to take her away.  But instead, the cloud ripped Blue Lion apart, causing her death.  But the problem is that if we don't allow Lotor to think that he is surprising us, then he might use the cloud on Planet Arus.  We need to find out the strengths and weaknesses the cloud has before we send anyone into it.  I can't repeat my errors in judgement either, and allow Allura to go down again."

Lance shook his head. "Keith, this isn't your fault!  How many times do I have to say it? Just except it!  Allura's gone and that's that!"  Keith disregarded Lance's comments.

"But Keith" Pidge said.  "The cloud is massive!  How are we going to investigate it if I'm on night watch?"

"By changing the order of things before this scenario unfolds.  That's why I've got to go back before you take the evening patrol.  I need to send Allura on overnight flight patrol instead of you.  This way, she will be too tired to stay awake and the rest of us will be fresh.  We can then deploy the lions without the Princess.  We'll leave her here in the Castle, safe and sound." 

"That might work, Keith."  Lance said sarcastically.  "But what if we get into trouble and need her Blue Lion?  If she's dead on her feet."

Lance paused and re-thought his choice of words...

"I mean, if she's too tired, wouldn't she be in danger of slow reaction time?  That could get her killed too."

"If we have to use Blue Lion, then we can all protect her..." Keith said.  "I need everyone to understand...I will not allow Allura to fall into Lotor's hands, nor will I allow her to die again." 

Everyone remained silent, thinking things over. 

Keith sighed aloud. "If you don't want to help me, then I'll try to do it on my own."  His voice was filled with determination.  "But I hope you will help me..."

Pidge looked up and glared at Keith.

"I'm with you, Commander."  Pidge said, reluctantly.

"Yeah, me too."  Hunk said, throwing in with Pidge.

"This is crazy...you're all crazy!"  Lance shouted, throwing his arms up over his head.  He turned around and started to storm away.  Then he stopped suddenly and turned around again.  He just stared in disbelieve at everyone.  Then, he exhaled loudly  

"And I'm JUST as crazy for even thinking that this is going to work!"  Lance sighed heavily.  "Okay, might as well count me in too."

"Great!"  Keith said, happy that his team was behind him. 

"You can also be assured that I will offer my assistance."  Coran added. "If it will bring our Princess back, then I will do whatever is needed to accomplish that goal.

"Okay."  Keith said with a spark of hope in his voice.  "Let's get to work.  Next stop...the past!"



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