“My dear Allura,
I wish I could be the brave hero of the legends we used to act out - remember that? - and tell you tales of my most brave and daring conquests and exploits! But that would be superficial, and I don’t want that. Not with you. Remember, when we were kids, and you made me swear to always tell you the truth? Well, I am determined to honour that promise. Then, now, and for always as we begin our life together. I can’t wait for that time. I think of you every moment of the day and dream of you at night and I’m not just saying that to be romantic. It’s true. I want to know what you are doing and thinking and how you are finding ways to be a part of this war even though your father insists you stay safe on Altea.
Oh, that being said, I suppose I should explain, well, this. If I could speak to you in person, I would, but the Galra are controlling the radio waves right now and this is has been my first and probably last time to record this before the next battle. I hope you don’t mind. Your father will be here soon. Maybe by the time this recording reaches you the war will already be done. Heh...imagine that?
I’ll come home, marching to you in my armour and say, “Dear princess, how wonderful to see you this fine morning.” And you, trying not to laugh, will say, “Stop pretending to be gallant, Noren, it doesn’t suit you.” But you’ll be charmed and start laughing anyway. You love my play and you know it.
I really do want to know what you’re doing. What you’re learning! Hands on experience in wartime diplomacy! Accomplishing great things every day! Probably against your father’s wishes, right? I’m sure you wish you could be here right now. I’d love to have you next to me, but at the same time, I need to say, I’m glad you’re safe at home. This war, it...it...it’s more terrible than I could have ever imagined. War, it isn’t...it’s not the fun we used to play at or even anything like what we used to read about. It’s constant fear and foreboding and anger and...huh…
Allura, I’m feeling emotions I’ve never felt before. Fear and anger, of course, to a great scale, but I can manage it. But then there’s...hatred. I never thought I could hate another being so much. I...I never thought I’d hate at all. It seemed to be something dark and foul to shove in a corner and ignore. But the Galra, the things they’ve done…
They’ve destroyed planets.
Killed millions of innocents almost in the blink of an eye. One minute and they’re just gone...gone.
I hate them all. Especially Zarkon. Every time I think of who he was, what he did, I...ah!
I can’t even begin to speak of it! He defies everything a Paladin of Voltron is meant to be! I...Allura, listen. I could kill him. If I met him in person and I started thinking I could do it. Of course, he’d probably destroy me before I could lay a hand on him. But if I could get just one...one wound, I think it would be worth it.
My only regret would be that I’d never see you again.
Do you ever wonder what it may have been like? We would be wed already, exploring the universe together, picking names for our children! Able to be just two lovers, with nothing between us!
There I go again. Imagining. There’s no use imagining what might have been, though, and I keep telling myself. Maybe someday we’ll do all those things but it won’t mean we’ll forget this. This war...I...I...I can’t pretend it away.
I hope you respond soon! I want to know what you think, your frustrations, your new dreams. Mostly I just want to see you again. I miss the way you smile, how your eyes light up when you’re excited, that determined look when you find a need that needs filling, the sound of your laugh, the softness of your hair, the way you always blush when you tell me that my ears are cute, the fact you think my ears are cute! The way you treat the people, your desire to explore and your love of knowledge.
I’ve told you before, but you are going to be a great queen someday. You’re going to do incredible things! I believe you will ultimately be the one to finish this war. You have the power, Allura!
I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.
Don’t worry about me. I’m always with you, no matter what.
With all my love,
The next recording began to play, unbidden before the echo of Noren’s farewell had faded away. The voice spoke hesitantly and softly as if to avoid provoking its listener,
Noren has been killed by Zarkon. We lost the battle. We’re coming home to make a last stand. I pray we reach Altea before the Galra do.
I am so sorry, my darling. No father should ever need to bring this news to his daughter. No woman should need to hear it. My only comfort for you is that he died heroically. He managed to wound Zarkon, and it will take some time for the mark to heal.
I reached him before he passed, and he gave me a message for you. “Don’t imagine what might have been.”
I will see you soon, my darling.”
Allura stroked the device as Alfor’s image faded away. When he had returned, on that evening ten thousand years ago, they hadn’t had time to grieve. Zarkon was just behind the Altean fleet. It had been a time for action, and for difficult decisions. Not mourning.
Startled, Allura quickly turned around and saw Lance at the door, looking part concerned and part apologetic, as if he felt bad about disturbing her. “Are you…” His tone suddenly changed from matter-of-fact to soft. “...okay?” He said, instead of whatever he’d originally planned.
Allura straightened, set the recorder back on the dresser and said, “Yes. Is it time to go?”
“Yeah, I, uh, if you’re ready.”
“I am,” Said Allura. She picked up a single bag, already packed with mementos, and walked past Lance into the doomed castle’s hall.
He remained in place, “Are you...do you not want…?”
For a moment, Allura wondered how much he had heard. Then, she said, “No.”
Neither of them moved.
“There’s no sense imagining what might have been.” She finally said, quietly.
Lance nodded and wordlessly followed her away to the hangars.
Five minutes later, the five Lions of Voltron took off, for the last time, from the Castle that hurried towards its destruction.