Gilligan's Island ~ "The Road Not Travelled"
by Dash O'Pepper

Disclaimer: Gilligan's Island is a registered trademark of Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), Gladysya Productions and MGM/United Artists Television. This work of fan fiction is not meant in any way to infringe on copyrights already held by these companies and/or their subsidiaries.

Prologue


So much for meteorology being an exact science, thought Professor Roy Hinkley, as he and Skipper Jonas Grumby began their examination of the typhoon's damage to the scuttled S.S. Minnow.

While the Professor's knowledge of boats was limited; he had familiarity with engineering, and the Skipper's seamanship would make up for his lack of nautical prowess.

From a cursory examination, it appeared that the outer holes would be repairable; it was when they began the inspection of the S.S. Minnow's inner frame that both men's hearts sank. While not immediately noticeable, it was clear from an in-depth examination that the frame of the boat had been battered and twisted in the storm. Without the proper tools—even if there was a way to fashion them—the Minnow would still need a shipyard to repair the damage it had sustained.

"What do we tell the others?" The Skipper's tone was solemn.

"The truth, of course." Being a scientist, the Professor was not one to believe in sugar-coating the obvious.

"Professor, if we tell them, they'll have nothing to hope for. The transmitter's a lost cause." It was an accident that his first mate's fishing line had snagged the device, and flung it into the depths of the Pacific, but he still cringed at the memory. "And you heard the radio reports, the Coast Guard's called off the search."

"I still believe everyone would want to know the truth."

"A little white lie would be more likely to give them some hope."

The Professor was about to respond on the futility of hope in their current situation, but the big man continued, "Our survival's gonna depend on everyone working together, right?"

The question was rhetorical, but the Professor acquiesced on that point of argument, and nodded.

"Sometimes hope's the only thing that'll keep a man going."

"And what happens to 'hope' when they finally realize the Minnow will never float again?"

"With a little luck and God's help, we'll be rescued long before that."