Lost in Love:

Doctor Smith had been assigned the mundane task of digging the hole for the septic system. Knowing that Professor Robinson would be joining him shortly, Smith steeled himself to at least make an effort to put a dent in the project.

"It does not compute," the Robot said, as he rolled behind the ship. "Doctor Smith doing manual labor, my sensors must be malfunctioning."

"Malfunctioning, my foot," said Smith, indignantly. "You transistorized tin plated trash heap. This is all your fault!"

Smith dropped the shovel and crossed his arms in contempt, "Go pester Major West, can't you see that I'm busy?"

"Major West and Miss Judy are having a private conversation with Professor and Mrs. Robinson," replied the Robot. "The Professor asked me to bring you this."

The Robot lowered a container to the ground.

"What is that?" asked Smith.

"A liquid compound comprised of hydrogen, two parts, and oxygen."

"Hydrogen, two… H2O, bah," said Smith. "Your attempt at cybernetic comedy is despicable, you clumsy clod!"

"Professor Robinson asked me to remind you to stay hydrated, as the temperature is expected to reach eighty degrees in the next few hours."

"Oh, dear, I'll melt for sure."

"Hardly, Doctor Smith," prodded the Robot. "Physical exertion builds muscle and burns fat, something that you can afford to lose."

"How dare you! Be gone, ninny!"

As the Robot left, imitating laughter, Smith said, "Just you wait."

He picked up the shovel and continued to dig.


In the galley, Don and Judy sat across from her parents as an uncomfortable silence came over them.

West found his voice and began, "John, Maureen, as I remember, we weren't on the best of terms when we first met. My relationship with Judy only added to the tension. More than once, I expected to be cut from the running."

"It was a difficult time for all of us," said John. "But I chose you because you were the best man for the job. To this day, I have no regrets about that decision. As for you and Judy, well, it took Maureen and I quite a while to come to terms with it. When we realized that the two of you were serious, we realized that we needed to accept things as they were."

"I'll be honest, John, It wasn't until a few weeks before the launch that I felt comfortable around you. But since leaving Earth, you and Maureen have made me feel like part of your family."

"You are part of our family, Don," said Maureen. "Do you remember when John's parajets failed before we crashed on that first planet?"

"How could I forget? I didn't tell you then, but I was sure we had lost him."

"It was your strength which kept me from falling over the abyss," she continued. "While in my heart, I still believed that John was alive, my practical side was trying to cope with keeping my family alive and well on an unknown and hostile planet. Will was much too young to be the man of the family, so I looked to you. On that day, you became my oldest son."

Judy had tears streaming down her cheeks as her mother had never shared those thoughts before. Don looked as if he was struggling with his own emotions.

"It's funny you put it that way," he said. "In essence, that is what I'm asking for."

Don turned to look at Judy, "I love Judy, I knew I loved her from the day I met her. Almost losing her, last night, made me realize that I don't want to squander any of the time we have together."

"Judy?" asked John.

"I love him, Dad," she replied. "I want to build a life with him, it doesn't matter whether it's here, on Alpha Prime, back on Earth, or flying through space, I want to be with him."

West turned back to face Judy's parents, "Professor, Mrs. Robinson," he began, formally, "I would like to ask your permission to take your daughter's hand in marriage. You have my solemn promise that I will love, honor, and never forsake her."

Maureen took her husband's hand as she could sense the emotional turmoil he was dealing with.

"John?" she asked, the rest of her question was unspoken.

John Robinson looked to his wife's eyes for support and, as always, her steady gaze and knowing smile kept him grounded. For what seemed like an eternity, the wordless conversation continued. When Maureen finally nodded, Robinson knew that they had reached to point of no return. He turned to face his daughter and soon to be son-in-law.

"If you had asked us a week ago, we would have tried to convince you to wait. But in light of recent events, that would not be fair to either one of you." He turned back to his wife. "Maureen?"

"John and I have known that this day was coming for some time now. To be honest, we expected the two of you to ask when we were still on Priplanus."

"Major West," John began, as formal as Don had been. "You have our permission, and our blessings, on one condition."

"That is?" Don replied, warily.

"Give us two weeks to make the preparations. After all, Maureen and I would like the engagement announcement to at least make the local paper before the wedding."

John's quick wit broke the tension and brought them all to laughter. They stood from the table and John took Don's hand, "You've always been part of the family, Don. I guess this makes it official. Congratulations, to both of you."


A short time later, Don led Judy to the open field in the front of the Jupiter 2.

"Don, what are you up to?" she asked. "I'm supposed to be helping Penny, and I thought you were going to help Dad with the drill rig?"

"It's okay, Judy, I told your father we'd be back in ten minutes." He paused for a few seconds before continuing. "I had something much more romantic in mind for this moment. It's just that…darn. I had wanted to do this right, but with everything that is going on, we may not get time."

Don pulled a small box out of his pocket and opened it in front of her. Judy's eyes lit up when she saw the contents.

"The ring we had picked out! You went back for it?"

"Yeah, a couple of days before lift-off, you see, I figured it would be some years before any jewelry stores exist on Alpha Prime."

"Oh, Don…"

West held up a finger and took her by the hand. Dropping to one knee, he looked into her blue eyes.

"Judith Elana Robinson, will you marry me?"

"Yes, oh, yes. Of course I will!"


From the viewport of the spaceship, John and Maureen watched as Don dropped to one knee. As they witnessed the scene play out, John pulled his wife closer.

"Do you remember the day you proposed to me?" she asked.

"It's a day I'll never forget. I was so nervous that I dropped the ring in the spaghetti plate. I had always figured it to mean that our lives would take more than a few unexpected turns."

"We certainly have had our share," she said.


Maureen turned to him, "No, not one. I look at our lives and I can't think of one thing that I would change. We've raised three beautiful children together. We've survived, in three years, more than most couples do in a lifetime. And now, our oldest daughter is going to marry a wonderful man. No, John, I've no regrets at all."

They looked back out the viewport. Don and Judy were standing in the field entangled in a passionate embrace.

"It looks like Don managed to get the ring on her finger without dropping it. I'd say that bodes well for them."


A few minutes later, Don and Judy were walking back to the camp site and John and Maureen walked down the ramp to greet them. Off to the right side of the ship, Will and Penny were setting up the laser targets.

Maureen picked up one of the laser pistols on the table.

"Will, did you adjust the output power on these yet?"

"Yes, Mom, don't worry, Penny won't be able to shoot her foot off."

"Very funny, Will Robinson," said his sister.

"Now that's enough of that. Both of you," Maureen said, chastising them.

"I'm sorry, Penny, I was kidding," said Will.

"Will, would you go around back and get Doctor Smith?" asked Maureen. "Your father and I have an announcement."

"Sure, Mom."

Maureen strode back to her husband's side. Behind Don and Judy, a glint of light in the grove of trees caught her eye.

"John, I just saw something move in the trees."

Professor Robinson shifted his attention to the woods where his wife had spotted the movement. A few seconds later, four beings, humanoid in appearance emerged from the grove of trees and began walking towards the Robinson camp.