TRTSS5: Spatial Loss! – By DS Wynne
Disclaimer: R1/2, SM and LiS belong to their respective owners.
Note: This is a multi genre story.
Special note: This next arc covers Season 2 & 3 of "Lost in Space".
Author's Note: C&C are welcomed.
Soon, upon approaching the unknown planet, the crew of the Jupiter II was met by a communications hail.
"Space Control to Jupiter II," said a female voice. "This is Space Control. Please respond. Over."
"Wait," Dr. Smith said excitedly. "Is that the familiar sound from home?"
"We don't know that, Dr. Smith," said Will.
"But I have a sense for these things, my boy."
"Yeah, and your senses have gotten us into trouble more times than I can count," Don said. "Why would we listen to you after all this time?"
"Whatever the source of the communication signal, it does check out as Space Control," Usagi said, as she performed a detail analysis of the signal.
"Is it possible that someone is faking the signal?" Judy asked.
"It is possible," Usagi said. "For all we know, we could be dealing with an advanced, alien lifeform that could have hacked into our systems to get the right protocols."
"Daddy, how can we be sure that we're dealing with Space Control?" Penny asked.
"Ranma, can you perform a sensor scan?" John asked.
"No can do," Ranma replied. "We took a beating leaving Preplanus, as well as nearly crashing on that asteroid, thanks to Dr. Smith's 'girlfriend'."
"That temptress was NOT my girlfriend," Dr. Smith said in a growl, referring to the Siren that nearly had the crew of the Jupiter II.
"Sure, she wasn't…"
"We'll have to get closer for a full sensor analysis," Ranma said. "That way, we'll know for sure if we are dealing with non-Earth folks."
"John, we might not have a choice, considering our present state," Don said.
John mulls over his thoughts…
"Don, take us in closer," John said. "Prepare to take evasive actions if necessary."
"I'm on it…"
With that, the Jupiter II continues to fly closer towards the unknown planet. Then, Ranma made a startling discovery while going over the latest sensor readings.
"Guys, I think you should take a look at this," Ranma said.
"What is it?" John said, as he gets up from the front seat, and walks over to the sensor panels.
"I just performed a more detail scan of the planet we're heading for, and, well…"
"I picking up a transponder signal that indicates we are approaching an Earth colony," Ranma said. "Space Control could be telling the truth about its identity."
"But that's impossible," Don said. "How can that planet be an Earth colony this far out?"
"Maybe Stargate Command had established an 'off-world site' there?" Ranma said.
"You think that's possible?" Maureen asked.
"Anything is possible," Usagi said, without looking up from her analysis computer. "The transponder signal does check out as positive, and I didn't detect any unauthorized hacks into our system. The only we can do now is confirm visually."
"True, and, unfortunately, due to the present state of affairs, we might not have a choice in the matter," John said, as he mulls over is thoughts…
"Alright," John said, as he picks up the microphone receiver. "Here goes…"
"Jupiter II to Space Control," John said over the secured channel. "Please respond. Over."
"Space Control to Jupiter II, we are receiving your signal loud and clear," came the reply. "We have scanned your vessel, and determine that you have suffered structural damage."
"Yeah, because of a 'rat' problem," Ranma said with a smirk.
"Spare me your biased editorial, you ignorant thug!" Dr. Smith said.
"Thank you, Space Control," John continued. "We might be landing very hot, due to our malfunctioning primary thrusters. Over."
"We will feed you the landing coordinates, as we take control over your ship by remote," said the reply. "Just sit back, and relax…and enjoy the ride to our station. Over."
"Thank you Space Control, and will comply," John said. "Over and out."
There was a shudder that ran through the Jupiter II, before its flight vector was stabilized.
"Well, we're not in control, John," Don said.
"John, should we trust these people?" Maureen said.
"Madam, of course we can," Dr. Smith said confidently. "They will greet us with open arms, and hail us as heroes for this time."
"Don't forget that technically, you ARE a stowaway," John said.
"Yeah, there IS that matter of participating in the disaster that led us to this point, Dr. Smith," Usagi said.
"Surely, you will put in a good word for me, Constable?" Dr. Smith asked.
"The jury is still out on that one…"
"But I still wonder how Space Control could be this far out," Usagi said, as she looked at the forward view screen, as the planet before them looms forward, as the Jupiter II travels closer to that mysterious world…
"Perhaps, things have changed since our untimely departure?" Dr. Smith offered.
It turned out that the truth was a lot more complex, and dangerous.
Upon landing, John sent Robot B-9 to investigate first, only to have lost contact with it. Later, when Dr. Smith snuck outside for who-knows-what, he, too, disappeared. With no choice left, John decided to go outside with Ranma, only to be greeted by-
"Cylons?" Ranma said, as he immediately went into a fighting stance. Cylon soldiers, called "Centurions", were armed, and had surrounded the crew.
"Explain," John said. He was glad that he kept Don, Usagi and his family on the Jupiter II, just in case of trouble like this…
"Cylons was a robotic race that hails from the Cyrannus Sector, located on the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy," Ranma said. "And before you ask, I knew about these guys after spending time in the future, when the Cylons would become members of good standing of the United Federation of Planets."
"If I didn't know to trust you with the lives of my family, I doubt I would have believed you," John said, as he kept an eye on the automatons…
"So what now? Are these things friendly?"
"I don't know," Ranma replied. "They were when I met one of their ambassadors, but that was in the 23rd century. I don't know about in this era-"
Just then, from the main gate, another pair of Centurions emerges from the complex, this time, they were escorting an attractive blond who wore a business suit.
"Greetings," said the blond. I am 'Caprica', number six humanoid Cylon model assigned to facilitate your needs…"
"And it is a pleasure to see you again, Lord Izanagi."
There was only one possible response Ranma could say to what the humanoid Cylon model had just said.
"Huh?" Ranma replied.
"Oh," Caprica said, as she tilted her head a bit, as if she was listening to something. She then returned her gaze towards Ranma.
"My apologies. I had assumed that you were someone else…"
Ranma frowned, but said nothing. He was the All-Father of the Japanese gods, and his other name was Izanagi. But, for the time being, he decided to hold his tongue.
"Dr. Robinson, I apologies for your discomfort in this matter," Caprica said. "We were not sure how you would accept us, if we told you that you were approaching a machine colony."
"Then why use the 'Space Control' designation?" John asked.
"We used that term to refer to ourselves for your benefit, doctor," Caprica said. "We normally do not need to use designations vocally, since we communicate in machine terms."
"No, trinary. In your terms, we use 1s, 0s and -1s: yes, no and maybe."
"And that is the basis for true artificial intelligence," John said.
"Correct. It is the bridge between machine and humans in cognitive capabilities."
"So, now what?" John asked evenly. "Where are Dr. Smith and our environmental robot?"
"They have been interviewed, as to why you and your crew were hesitant to accept our invitation," Caprica said. "Otherwise, they are fine."
"I would like to have physical verification, if that is accepted to you."
"And I don't trust these guys," Ranma said, as he thumbs at the Centurions. "Call off your dogs."
"They will only respond to a direct commands from me, or if I am threatened," Caprica said. "I can only give you my word that you, Dr. Robinson and your people that you will not be harmed while here on our colony…"
"What more proof do you need of our sincerity in this matter?"
"Bring Dr. Smith and the robot out here, unescorted," John said.
"Very well," Caprica said, as she tilts her head, and looks away for a moment. "There. Dr. Smith and your environmental control robot will be here shortly."
"Okay, bring them out; we'll wait for them here."
"By your command," Caprica said with a nod.
"Oh, thank goodness you came!" Dr. Smith said, as he rushed to greet John and Ranma, with B9 in tow. "I thought I would never be freed from these…mechanical monstrosities!"
"You shouldn't have snuck out in the first place, doctor," Ranma said. "You might not be lucky the next time we're in a situation like this."
"Robot, what happened?" John asked.
"We were examined to determine our point of origins, and then treated for improvements," B9 replied.
"What type of improvements?" Ranma asked.
"My neural network has been improved upon by a factor of ten. My cybernetic cognitive functions are on par with that of human beings."
"That remains to be seen," Dr. Smith replied.
"And you, Smith?" John asked.
"They treated my poor, poor back," Dr. Smith said. "I feel fit as a fiddle."
"So that means you can do more chores or something?" Ranma said.
"I will be recuperating for some time to come, I'm afraid."
"I figured as much…"
"You may leave our colony, if you wish," Caprica said. "Otherwise, you and your crew may stay until your ship has been repaired and resupplied."
"Well, considering the fact that you have met all of my expectations, I don't see why not," John said. "I will have to consult with my people first, though?"
"Of course. Until you make a final decision, I will speak to you later. Good day…"
With that, Caprica and the Cylons return to the complex.
"I still don't trust Cylons in this era," Ranma said, as he mulls over his observations. He then turns towards John.
"But, I don't see why we can't take advantage of their hospitality."
"I agree," John said with a nod. "We will maintain alert status until we leave this planet…"
John presses his earpiece.
"You go that, Don?"
"Read you loud and clear, John," Don said over the secured frequency. "See you in a bit."
"Let's just hope that we aren't wrong about this," Ranma said, still thinking what Caprica meant when she referred to him as 'Izanagi'…
Meanwhile, in the heart of Cylon Colony, Caprica walks up to a younger girl who had red hair, and who was sitting down at her desk while looking at wall filled with data streams that only machines can interpret.
"I am surprised that you chose to meet your 'father' and your other 'mother', Danielle," Caprica said, as she hugged the girl from behind. "After all, it was my model that Izanzagi and Iusasset had made love to, and thus enable the birth of your model…"
"You were to replace the original seventh Cylon humanoid model that was destroyed by the first Cylon humanoid model, Terra."
"Only to allow Cavil to corrupt me as he did you and the others," Terra said with a smirk.
"But Izanagi and Iusasset saved you and our people from John's madness," Caprica said.
"You do know that Cavil doesn't like being referred to by that name," Terra said.
"Well, he's not exactly in the position to do anything about it, thanks to your father," Caprica said in frustration. "I really wish you were not so…difficult."
"My apologies, mother. It is just that I know that I cannot interact with Ranma until he is supposed to meet me…in the past, only, he won't meet the person that I am now, but the monster that I was then."
"That is the nature of temporal paradoxes, my child," Caprica said, as she strokes Terra's head. "In the near future, Ranma and Usagi will find themselve in the distant past, be forced to use aliases to 'blend in' and be instrumental in your birth, as well as how the war between us and the Twelve Colonies of Kobol ended in a compromise that will have ramifications for years to come."
"No kidding," Terra said with a smirk. "'What happened before, will happen again', remember? We know about how an offshoot of our kind would wage war with the descendants of the Colonials a few decades ago, but nearly 150,000 years after WE waged war on the Colonials' ancestors. In fact, I hear that the humans on Earth have a machine problem now…"
"What are they called? 'Terminators', I believe?"
"That is true, but I am confident that my loves will prevent our cousins from doing to Earth, what we did to the Twelve Colonies," Caprica said with a gentle smile. "And someday, your parents will know what you are capable of."
Terra said with a nod. She knew that truth of her birth was based upon the belief that a child of Order and Chaos was destined to bring balance or destruction to an event. That was why Caprica had her made, and that is why Cavil had corrupted her. But it was her parents, Ranma and Usagi, who set her on the path that will enable her people to one day come to peace with their creators.
"I hope you're right, mother," Terra said. "I hope you're right…"
Sometime later, after leaving the Cylon colony, the Jupiter II runs into an old space mine field, and suffers damage, thanks, in part, to Dr. Smith neglecting his turn at monitoring the sensors. Although the damage was not great, John made the decision to set the ship down on yet another alien planet. Although the planet seemed peaceful, the crew meets an old soldier, whose people had been responsible for setting up the mine field in the first place, due to the fact that the planet was rich in ore that could be processed for fuel. Thinking that there was still a war going on between his side and the enemy, the soldier, named Tiabo, tricks Dr. Smith into drinking a compound that turned him into a human bomb…
"Oh, woe is me!" Dr. Smith said, as he sat in a force field erected by the Robinsons. "I'm DOOM!"
"Calm down, Smith," Don said, as he monitored the force field, while Judy, the ship's doctor, monitored Dr. Smith's bio-signatures. "Worse comes to worse, only you will blow up."
"DON!" Judy said. "Be nice."
"See what I have to deal with, my fellow practitioner?" Dr. Smith said. "I don't see what YOU see in this…barbarian."
Just then, Ranma walks up to the shielded area.
"Have you got any good news?" Don said. "Please say no."
"DON!" Judy yelled.
"Well, I got some good news, and some bad news," Ranma said. "The Professor agreed to help Mr. Tiabo to repair his ship, so he can return home, in exchange for getting a cure for Dr. Smith."
"What's the bad?" Judy said.
"We have to cannibalize our ship to help repair Tiabo's."
"What?" Don said. "We're stuck on this planet?"
"I wouldn't worry about it," Ranma said. "Sure, we'll have to stay here a little longer, but we can synthesize what we need in short order."
"See what a fine mess you got us into?" Don said angrily.
"But major, I'm only…human," Dr. Smith replied.
"THAT remains to be seen," Ranma said with a smirk.
Next Time: A day at the circus! The crew of the Jupiter II stands trial. Mail order androids! Arabian Knights…in SPAAAACE! See you then…