Planet of Dragons
and Make Up
had found a tiny unused section of the cargo bay, some leftover parts in
a small crate and a blueprint of the jet pack and was putting together
one of his own. His
concentration was complete, his mouth set in a hard line, his eyes
narrowed. Nova sat atop one of the original jet packs that leaned
against the wall, squeaking a query.
But even this didn't penetrate into Will's consciousness. He had been working almost non-stop all day.
a noise from another part of the room, the thirteen-year-old peered
around the box of parts and saw his father and Max, working together on
the other jet pack. As he
was about to make his presence known, he heard his dad inform Max of his
intentions to explore their old landing site alone.
It was then that he saw his mother approach.
seemed totally flustered by his dad's decision and Will could feel the
fear in her mind as well as in her words.
Slightly guilty at the unintentional eavesdropping, he crept
further back behind the crate and listened.
What little he could pick up from his dad was a seething cauldron
of anger, frustration, tension and fear.
Fear? he thought to himself.
It was hard to imagine his father fearing anything, but he knew
that it was so, especially when it came to their own welfare.
the argument progressed, Will sat, stunned.
He could perhaps count on one hand the number of times that his
parents had spoken this angrily to each other.
When both parents had left the bay, he looked back at the second
jet pack leaning against the bulkhead and realized that he, too, was
probably under a bit of compulsion, not totally understanding the reason
for suddenly wanting to build a jet pack of his own.
hadn't taken him very long, except for the combustion chamber, and he
was almost through with that. Pondering
the larger jet pack, he looked in the crate and pulled out a few parts
that looked as though they might be useful in fixing the larger machine.
you require some assistance, Will Robinson?" Max asked in his tinny
sneak up on me like that!" Will
Max, hand me that wrench," he said pointing. Soon they were finished.
your father informed me that perhaps you might want me to teach you some
forms of martial arts that I have stored in my memory banks," the
eyes lit up. "You bet,
Max. Could you teach
me a little bit before dinner?" he asked.
Will Robinson, I would be happy to."
several hours, Will felt that he had the rudiments of the foot fighting
techniques that Max was patiently teaching him. "Wow, that was some workout!"
is almost exactly what your father said, Will Robinson.
But because of your youth, you are more agile and are learning
this chi-chi-nah form of fighting much more quickly than your father is.
Come back anytime and I will show you more.
Now you must do the cooling down exercises to keep your muscles
from tightening up," Max explained and showed the boy.
followed the robot's instructions implicitly and by the time Nova
informed him that dinner was ready, he had cooled off and caught his
breath. He sincerely hoped
that his parents had cooled off too, or else dinner was going to be very
it was held outside, dinner was eaten in relative silence, only the
sounds of the forest breaking into the silence around the table. Will realized that his thought about his parents cooling off
was made with a poor choice of words.
They had cooled off all right; the atmosphere was downright
alternately stared at her mother and father, unable to totally figure
out what was going on. Will
kept his eyes on his plate, and she could get no telepathic clues from
anybody. Don and Judy
seemed to recognize what was going on, but they weren't letting any
clues escape either. Even
the lizards had retreated to the arboretum.
Will could stand the relative silence no longer.
"Dad, I've built my own jet pack.
When you go exploring, can I go with you?"
Maureen and John answered, "NO!"
They looked morosely at each other before continuing their meal.
at least we agree on something,'
Maureen thought sourly. John
looked up in surprise before returning to his meal.
He saw that Maureen's eyes held more sadness than anger in them.
about then, Maggie streaked into the clearing where they were eating.
Behind her zipped a tiny gold-tinted green lizard.
Maggie landed on Maureen's shoulder, but seeing itself amongst
strangers, the little lizard desperately tried to backpedal and fly back
into the safety of the forest. Instead
it landed in the gravy boat.
Judy cried out, dipping her hand into the bowl and gently removing the
poor thing. Thank goodness
the gravy has cooled." Using
her napkin, she gently wiped the gravy off of his wings first and then
cleaned the rest of the tiny creature's body.
squeaked pensively at first and then seemed to calm down as though
sensing it was among those who would not hurt him.
Hopping out of Judy's hand, the little creature squeaked at
Aurora, who was sitting on the young mother's shoulder and then stared
at the playpen sitting near the dinner table.
Spreading his gossamer wings, the lizard floated gently over to
the edge of the playpen and cocked his head at the baby sleeping
peacefully inside. Looking
back at Aurora, the two chirped and crooned at one another until the
newcomer floated down into the playpen, walked over to Mark and curled
up near him. The baby slept
on, a slight smile on his cherubic face.
think we may have another member of the family," Don announced,
happy for the interlude that brightened up the otherwise morose mood of
our lizards grown that big in a year?" Penny asked.
The newcomer was only half the size of their own nine.
would appear that way," Maureen observed, smiling slightly at the
little newcomer resting comfortably next to Mark.
"I have noticed lately that Maggie has seemed a bit heavier
on my shoulder." She surreptitiously glanced at John, who was
looking at her over his glass. His
features seemed softer, his eyes less angry.
agree on something else, too, Mo,'
he told her mentally. It
was her turn to look surprised. 'We
love each other,' His thoughts then caressed hers tenderly.
startled was she, that a single tear slid down her cheek. She got up and quickly went into the spaceship.
John soon followed. The
rest just sat quietly, pondering.
Mom and Dad have an argument?" Penny asked.
I were a gambling man, I would certainly bet on it," Don
John said, sitting down next to her in their cabin.
before you say anything, are you going to try to tell me how silly I am
about my fear of you going off alone?"
Her eyes were large with unshed tears.
dear, I'm not. There was a
great deal of truth in what you said," he said softly. "I'm sorry about the way I treated you."
Taking her gently in his arms, he held her for several minutes,
not only physically embracing his wife, but letting the tendrils of his
deep love for her flow like a warm summer breeze into the corners of her
mind. She gasped at the
intimacy of his 'embrace', and the unshed tears finally rolled down her
cheeks. Holding his hands
on each side of her face, John carefully wiped the tears away before
tenderly kissing her.
his example, Maureen let her feelings flow into his mind, and they
enjoyed a closeness that they would never have believed possible.
Finally Maureen murmured, "John, what are we going to do
don't know, dear," John said, slowly coming out of the spell they
had cast on each other. "The
Robot caught me sleep-walking a couple of nights ago and then added all
of the little incidents together. He
came up with the theory that there is something at our old site that is
drawing us to it. I'm
afraid that after the other time I was 'possessed,' it really bothers me
to feel that something out there has the capability to do it
again." John sat
quietly, savoring the warmth of his wife's body against his.
The argument had left him feeling drained and depressed.
He still was to some extent, but at least he didn't feel alone.
"You already know my reasons for not taking Don, and I'm
certainly not going to take Will, so I have no choice but to go
looked a bit indignant before answering. "John, I may not be able
to fight a womgrantiod, but I am not helpless.
Let me come with you. I'm
not affected by this force as much as you are, and I think that I may be
able to help you fight it," she reasoned.
he stared pensively at the far wall of their cabin. "One of the reasons that I wanted to go alone is I
didn't want to put any of the rest of you in danger."
know that, John, and I appreciate your concern for us, but this is not
the time to go solo."
was what seemed to be an eternity before he answered. "All right, but only if you promise to follow my orders
explicitly if the need arises," he said.
if you're not under any type of alien or telepathic compulsion,"
looked at her in surprise for a moment before smiling. "I can go along with that.
But we'll have to go in the chariot, which means that the trip
will take a bit longer."
problem," Maureen replied, leaning her head on his arm.
He laughed and took her in another embrace.
go the day after tomorrow. That
will give Don and I more time to get the chariot ready," he
they left their cabin and headed for the cargo bay, Maureen noticed that
everything had been cleaned up and put away from dinner.
Inside the large room, Don was watching Will work out with Max.
John and Maureen also watched for a while.
It was only when Will called a halt to his lesson that he noticed
Will. Max told me that
you'd be quicker at learning this chi-chi-nah than I am.
He's right," John told his son.
Will beamed with pleasure.
Dad. I really am enjoying
this," he said, breathing hard.
"By the way, do you want to see the new jet pack that I
jet pack? Of course,
son," he said, wondering at the purpose for Will's sudden desire to
build one. Turning to Don,
he said, "We need to
check out the chariot. Maureen
and I are going to take it to our old site the day after tomorrow."
John, don't you think that the two of us should go? Might be too dangerous to take Maureen," Don argued.
I really don't want to get into an argument with anyone else on this.
Just accept that I have two very good reasons for wanting you to
stay, not the least of which is the fact that I want you in charge here,
taking care of our family."
closely into John's eyes, Don realized that he wouldn't be able to sway
him. Finally, he just
shrugged. "Okay, John,
Dad, I forgot to tell you. Max
and I fixed the other jet pack, too," Will told his father.
three adults looked at him in wonder.
"Why am I not surprised," Don murmured.
"Well, you two, what's your pleasure?
To fly the friendly skies or take the scenic route?" he
added with a chuckle.
skies. I don't want to be
away any longer than I have to be," John said quickly. "And no offense to your abilities, son, but Don and I
will test the jet pack tomorrow."
understand, sir," Will replied.