Rating: T just to be safe
Spoilers: None that I can think of
Characters: Dr. Zachary Smith, West, the Robinsons, the Robot AND a whole cast of 'extras'.
Disclaimer: The folks who created LIS, pure geniuses that they are, are responsible for everything on the show. I'm just having fun with the characters. I figured they just needed to enjoy themselves for a change.
Summary: The entire Jupiter 2 crew get a chance to take a voyage on a luxury cruise.
Author's Note: This first saw print (yes I said print) back in the 90s. A fanzine editor…anyone remember those?...had put out several challenges, one for each zine she published. The theme for one of them was basically to take characters from one show and put them into another TV or movie universe. It could be a total rehash of an episode with other characters or just some references to another series/movie. Furball was my answer to this challenge. Muchas gracias to Lostinspacefan for the beta read.
A shriek in the vastness of space goes unheard and unnoticed. But within the narrow confines of the sleek metal saucer shaped Jupiter 2 the indignant sound reverberated against the bulkheads, causing several heads to turn.
"Will, dear," Maureen Robinson chided gently, "please stop irritating your sister." She sighed, and gave her husband a knowing glance. She'd just spent part of the morning trying to come up with ideas to alleviate the boredom ... unsuccessfully, she was forced to admit at that very moment. They'd played the same games a hundred times over, read the same books at least that many times, and rechecked the same equipment so often that even the girls were totally familiar with every component and circuit.
In his open cabin, Dr. Zachary Smith watched the two youngest children arguing over a Space Monopoly move in a most uncharacteristic manner. Had they not been brought up so properly by their parents, the two youths would undoubtedly have been hurling some choice words at each other. As it was, they were hurling daggers with their eyes and imploring their mother to choose sides. Wisely, the beautiful matriarch of the Robinson clan just sighed and said, "Why not re roll the dice, Will?"
Smith's thin lips hitched up at the corners as he observed Will's look of disgust. It was clear he considered re rolling to be a step backward rather than a "draw" in the debate. The red headed boy made a barely audible comment to his sister, who replied with another exasperated and equally high pitched sound. In a flurry of movement she stalked off into her cabin and closed the accordion fold doors with a resounding slam.
"John, maybe we should put down somewhere just to stretch our legs and get some fresh air," Maureen said softly, her eyes imploring.
"How about another party?" the Robot replied, with a joyful tone that sounded suspiciously strained.
From his reclining position, Smith yawned very loudly and called out, "Remember, it's NOT my turn, booby. Kindly select someone else for the honor this time, if you please!"
Dr. Smith's third birthday party that month had failed to boost his spirits, though he'd gone through with it just to humor everyone. They'd gotten a chuckle out of his feigned glee at the first one, his forced humor at the second one, and his banal acceptance of the last one.
Smith had just finished reminding the Robot that Judy hadn't gotten her third party yet when the mechanical man threw up his claws in disgust and 'stalked' out of the room. The poor Robot, who wasn't supposed to experience "a state of boredom or exhaustion," had nevertheless grown sick and tired of planning each surprise gathering and not receiving much thanks for it. Still, he had to admit to himself that perhaps ten celebrations in four weeks was a bit much. "Sheesh, I've worn out my circuit for this?" he muttered to himself as he rolled away from the youthful hissy fit still playing itself out before him.
"There must be something else we can do to redirect their energies," John said to his wife, who was looking weary and frayed around the edges.
"I hate to admit this, John, but I think Dr. Smith was right when he diagnosed the problem. We need to get ourselves out of this ship. This has become my home, and even I feel as if the walls are closing in."
"Need I remind you, madam," called Smith, "that rats enclosed in too small a container for an extended period of time will eventually turn on each other, tooth and claw, rending and tearing."
Maureen couldn't see the smirk on his face, but the "I told you so" tone was there. Most definitely there. A frown darkened her brow, which was already aching from so much use.
Seeing the angry arch on his wife's brow, John cupped her cheeks in his strong hands and whispered, "I know this is tough on all of us. And perhaps Smith IS right about the escalation in arguments being due to our inability to leave the ship for an extended period of time." John pulled her into a gentle embrace, speaking over her shoulder. "Believe me, I'd love to go for a moonlight stroll with the most beautiful woman in this entire universe. But in all honesty, I don't want to set down in some potentially hostile environment just to give us a chance to stretch our legs."
"AAAHHHH!" grunted Smith, as he stretched muscles bound up by disuse. He ambled over to them, disregarding the intimate embrace his "leaders" were in. "Professor! While it may seem crude to eavesdrop, I for one would like to cast my vote for a hasty planet fall. Right now, the presence of Herculean beasties and Jabberwockies might at least add some diversion to our routine!"
John's right eyebrow shot skyward, in vague mimicry of Smith's favored non verbal expression of disbelief. Though he knew Smith was being his usual sarcastic self, he couldn't help but say, "Sounds like cabin fever has gotten the better of your good judgement, Doctor! Perhaps it would be safer for you to stay on board even if we did find a suitable place to put down."
"Indeed!" harrumphed Smith. "Are you implying I've lost my senses?"
Maureen edged closer. She saw the way John's body had grown still and tense. And she noticed Smith's spine straighten and his blue eyes hurl icy darts at her husband. "Please!" she yelled in frustration. "Let's not argue. I've had enough of that to last a lifetime already!"
Though she doubted Smith would have ever taken her husband on in a fight, she knew that the principles explained to her by the doctor concerning rat behavior was being acted out before her very eyes over the last few weeks. And nothing she nor anyone else had tried was breaking the ever escalating cycle of anger, sullen retreat, calm, anger, sullen retreat ...
It pained her to do it, but she stepped between the two angry men. She was surprised to find that Smith didn't even use that as an opportunity to make his typical and expedient escape. That was a trouble sign all by itself, she realized, since she'd never seen the doctor seriously stand up to anyone before.
Despite John's gentle nature and kind heart, she grew worried that the "infection" was affecting him too. In fact, she wondered how she'd managed to avoid the growing plague herself. Perhaps it was because she'd been too busy corralling everyone else and trying to channel, with the Robot's help, the over abundance of "spare time" that was making everyone else so "edgy."
"Dear, let's talk about this in private." The gentle, imploring murmur brought her husband's hardened eyes away from Smith. She saw them soften almost immediately as love began to pour through them, caressing her with their warmth.
"Let's do that," he agreed, ignoring Smith who continued to stand there, arms akimbo, as the couple walked away toward their cabin.
Once safe in the confines of the dimly lit room, Maureen collapsed onto the bed. "Please, John. Let's give ourselves a break. Pretend we are on vacation if you like. Will isn't happy with nothing challenging to do. Penny misses the Bloop and might benefit from finding another pet ... a safe one, of course, and only with your approval. Judy misses the plants and her garden. I know Don is getting restless because he's been putting the ship through some unnecessary maneuvers just to change the pace a bit. And Dr. Smith," she concluded with a vague smile, "well, I know what he misses. But in the absence of a fast ticket home, he seems content being able to lie around in the sunshine."
John chuckled. "I guess the latter is in short supply around here lately, isn't it?
"As the good doctor would say ... 'Indeed.'"
A strong, masculine finger traced the line of his wife's jaw, savoring the little pleasures, like the satin softness of her skin. With her here beside him, and his family nearby, he was content. Yet he had to admit that perhaps everyone would benefit from a break, including himself. And, he amended silently, maybe the benefits would outweigh the risks. Despite the little voice in the back of his head expressing doubt, he smiled at his beloved spouse.
"All right, I'm willing to make a brief stop PROVIDED it's clearly a safe place to land."
Maureen hugged him for a good long while ... until she heard a few game pieces hitting the wall. With an exasperated sigh, she went to find the Robot. Maybe she could convince their mechanical friend to whip up just one more "Maple Surprise" cake ...
The never ending night surrounded the ship as it silently sped through the vacuum of space. On the bridge, Don monitored the scanners for any sign of a habitable planet. Pulling another sip from the coffee cup, he leaned back and fought off sleep. He could have slipped off to his cabin and set the sensors on "alert" mode. And the temptation was growing greater still, but he wanted to scan the distant star patterns one more time. Anything to break the "rut."
"Nothing!" he grumbled, though he knew the likelihood of finding a recognizable constellation was practically non existent. "Oh well, might as well turn in." With a grunt, he stooped over the console, set the alarm systems, and headed down the ladder to the now silent lower deck.
A cacophonous clangor resounded through the dreams of the five adults and two children sleeping below. Everyone, still groggy and sleepy eyed, hurried toward the upper deck. Don and John, unwilling to wait for the slow elevator, climbed the ladder. By the time they had gotten to the front view screen, Smith and the two women were just appearing at floor level. Will and Penny, excited to have something "new" happen, even if it might have been dangerous in nature, barreled toward the command chairs and shouldered their way past the grown ups.
Within seconds the lift had returned to the lower level and reappeared bearing the Robot, who promptly took up position behind the group. Will smiled up at him, relishing the presence of his true and totally loyal friend. If there was peril ahead, he knew the Robot would surely protect him while the other adults were busy making defensive preparations.
In the huge view port a small gleaming object was set like a silver jewel in a velvet, ebony backdrop. As they drew closer, a vessel took shape. They could see a faint glow emanating from four equidistant "barrels" at the stern end of the hammerheaded ship. The strange ship grew to enormous proportions before their awed eyes. Its sleek, seamless surface seemed made of whirling, red tinted mercury, complete with an almost reflective surface. The only detail that interrupted its appearance was the presence of hundreds of minute dots covering most of the aft section.
Don instinctively cut power and allowed the ship to drift past the vessel. A loud staccato burst of popping bubble like noises splashed out of the radio.
Without permission, the Robot sent a similar round of gurgling sounds back through the transmitter.
"Robot!" Will and John yelled in unison. John Robinson put a steadying hand on his son's shoulder, an effective plea to keep quiet while more mature individuals handled the problem.
"All right, Robot," the elder Robinson stated. "What's this all about?"
The glass bubble dropped down with a pop, but the red clawed limbs stretched out in a perfect imitation of a shrug. "I'm sorry, Professor Robinson. The ship's automated computer system was simply trying to ascertain if we were friend or foe. Our vessel is not part of their vehicle identification registry, and I was supplying it with some of the required information."
Crossing his arms, John faced the huge ship and then the Robot. "Information for what?" he asked patiently, hoping he was reading the Robot's calm demeanor correctly.
Before John could open his mouth, Smith growled, "Spit it out, you Secretive Simpleton!"
"For docking," came the succinct reply. As soon as the words were spoken, there was a gentle surge of the Jupiter 2's forward motion.
"Docking?" Smith almost choked on the word. "Why ever would we desire to dock with that ... that metallic monstrosity?"
Don was trying frantically to pull free of the tractor beam, but immediately realized that the pinkish beam of light was far more powerful than they were.
The Robot swiveled in a semi circle, as if to look at each of them in turn. "Because this is the answer to your prayers. Before you is the 'Gaelorian Gem', an intergalactic resort ship. You wanted a vacation — well, this is surely the answer to your dreams!"
John almost laughed at the joy in the Robot's voice, as if he too would enjoy a break from the lonely tedium of space travel. He waved a casual gesture at Don to totally cut power. "What do you think?" Robinson asked his grinning wife.
"Well, it certainly SEEMS harmless enough. Why not?" And she giggled at the prospect of possibly going to a resort after being three years away from Earth and probably six years from their last 'get away'. She felt the beam slowly pulling them toward what was presumably a docking bay. "Besides, it doesn't seem like we have much of a choice."
Frowning slightly, John glanced at his wife. He wondered what she meant. Did she acquiesce because they really did need to move around in larger quarters, or was it because she felt lured by circumstances, like that tractor beam, which were beyond her control?