It was after breakfast and Penny and Judy were tending to the hydroponic garden. Sweet-tempered girl that she was, Judy was wonderful at gardening, her nimble fingers plucking away any dead leaves and lovingly tending to the hungry roots. Penny would much rather have gone out to play with Will, but she understood that in their little community everyone had to help out. Besides, she'd rather be watering the plants than helping her mother tidy up the kitchen area, like Will had been enlisted to do.
"Careful!" Judy's voice interrupted her straying thoughts and Penny realised that she had just tried to water her sister.
"Sorry," Setting down the watering can, she went to her older sister's aid. Judy's shoes were wet through. Laughing, she helped her sister out of them and they set them down on a nearby rock to dry before carrying on with their tasks.
"Look Penny, I've managed to get a strawberry plant growing," Judy proudly drew attention to a little green shoot nestled amongst the other various leaves, small red shapes bulging from it at irregular intervals. Her slender fingers ruffled the greenery as she reached in to pluck one free. "It's very small. I guess we'll have to adjust the soil to help them grow better. But just think, soon we could be eating fresh strawberries!" Smiling, she offered the strawberry to her sister.
"Mmm, that is good," Penny managed to get out around her mouthful of fruit.
It was at that moment that Major West walked past, a few metal poles slung casually over his shoulder. He paused to admire the hydroponic garden. "It's looking good, Judy," he commented before moving on.
Penny watched curiously as the older girl giggled and coquettishly lowered her eyelids. Sighing, she thought about watering her sister again. "Gooey," she muttered to herself, "Positively gooey."
Evidently, Judy was far too preoccupied with her own thoughts to hear and asked "What do you think of Major West?"
With studied indifference, Penny ventured a shrug, annoyed by the wistful tone of her sister's voice. "He's okay."
"I think he's dreamy."
The younger girl was rather glad that the conversation was prevented from going any further by the timely arrival of their mother. "Have either of you seen Will?" She fretted, her brow furrowed. "I asked him to bring in the breakfast plates over ten minutes ago and he still hasn't come back." The three women looked around, but the immediate area around the Jupiter was deserted apart from them.
The two girls confessed to not having seen Will since breakfast.
Their ears were assailed by the sound of approaching footsteps and they turned expectantly towards them, only to find to their disappointment that it was Doctor Smith and the Robot. Unusually for him, Smith was approaching the camp at something of a run, but on realising that he was being observed he abruptly slowed to a walk and assumed an expression of innocence so pure that it was almost believable.
"Good morning ladies, my dear madam, I hope you are all well," he hailed them with the kindliest of smiles, crinkling the corners of his eyes in a manner most avuncular.
"Doctor Smith, have you seen Will? I told him to stay close by the ship; John and the Major have gone out to do some blasting at the drill site and I didn't want him getting in the way."
"Will? Why, I'm afraid not, I haven't seen the dear little boy all morning. I've been terribly busy. My back is simply a disaster area today; I must go and rest if I'm to be expected to keep up this relentless pace all day."
"Warning! Doctor Smith does not tell the truth; Will is…" The Robot fell silent mid-sentence as Smith leant over and pulled out his power pack.
"What was that he said? It sounded like he mentioned Will."
"It was nothing, madam, simply a little dust in his circuits, I'm sure you understand." Smith aimed a few gentle puffs of air in the general direction of the power pack. "Wherever Will may be, I'm certain that he wouldn't have been so foolish as to go to the drill site."
Maureen would have replied, had not the air then been rent by the deafening sound of an explosion…
Coming soon to a computer screen near you: It has been twenty-five years since the Robinson party – excluding the stowaway Doctor Smith – made it back to Earth. Now the time has come for them to reunite and head for the stars one last time in order to rescue the doctor. How will time have changed them? Will they be able to rescue Doctor Smith? What foul horrors await them in the blackness of space? Only time will reveal the answer to these questions and more!