CAUGHT IN HIS OWN TRAP
I’ve always loved to write “what ifs.” What if things had happened differently from the way that they had in the series. This is one such story, based on the second-season episode, “Wild Adventure.”
Smith had changed the course. Again. Upon discovering the fact, Robinson gave him chase, skillfully vaulting a chair in his pursuit. Smith screamed and ran blindly, realizing too late that his course was as misdirected as that of the ship: he was heading straight for West. The latter grinned fiendishly and lunged to grab him. Smith veered crazily, nearly losing his balance, barely evading the Major’s grasp.
Horrified, Smith pelted madly down the ladder and tore into his quarters. Unthinkingly, he dove under the bed. Only after it was too late did he realize that the distance between the floor and the bed was inadequate for such an activity. Squashed and thoroughly stuck, Smith lay face down against the cold floor, his heart banging fearfully in his chest. He waited. As the minutes dragged on with no sign of pursuit, his breathing and heart rate slowed slightly. But the gradually ebbing terror of the Professor and the Major was replaced by an engulfing wave of claustrophobia. Smith had successfully wedged himself in by sheer adrenaline determination, and now there was none left with which to extricate himself.
He called out hesitantly, hoping that whoever heard him would be friend and not foe. Luck was with him as Will and Penny entered the room. But try as they might, they could not wrench Smith from under his bunk. Even the Robot, whom they summoned, while well-endowed with strength, did not possess the skill necessary to dislodge him.
The suggestion was inevitable, and Will was the one that made it. John and Don were needed.
“No! No! You mustn’t! Don’t call them!”
“But they can help you.”
“No! They’ll hurt me!”
“Why should they do that?”
“Oh my dear little Will, they are the reason why I am under here; I’m hiding from them! They are very angry with me! They’re more likely to take advantage of my predicament and crush the life out of me, than rescue me! They have only to sit upon the bunk above me, and I shall be tortured at the very least!”
“Oh, they wouldn’t do that.”
“You didn’t see their eyes! When they chased me! I ran…!”
“Well, they didn’t chase you all the way down here. They never came down at all. So they can’t be that mad. Penny, stay here and comfort him, while I go for help.”
“All right, Will. Now take it easy, Dr. Smith.”
“No! No! William, come back here! I’m doomed! Doomed!!”
On the upper level, Will addressed the men hesitantly, “Dad? Don? Dr. Smith is in trouble.”
“That’s for sure,” Don agreed. “Just wait ‘til we have time to go after that devil.”
“Even I’ll go along with that this time,” John concurred. “He went too far when he changed our course.”
“No.” Will tried to explain, “I mean he’s stuck in his quarters.”
“Oh no.” Don shook his head. “We’re not going to settle for mere confinement to quarters. He’s finally going to have a close encounter with my five favorite fingers.” West clenched a brief fist in demonstration.
“And mine.” John nodded. “I’m not going to stop Don; I’m going to join him.”
“But he’s trapped….”
“Right! He can’t get off the ship.” Don smiled in satisfaction.
“No caves for him to hide in, out here in space.” John grinned.
“…Under his bed.”
“That’s not a good hiding place.”
“Especially now that you’ve told us.”
“I’d better start over.” Will shook his head. “When Dr. Smith ran from you, he fled to his quarters and hid under his bed. Now he’s jammed in, and he can’t get out.”
After a brief combined stare at Will, the two men competed to see who could laugh louder.
“He needs help.”
“Oho! I want to see this!” Don declared.
“But he needs your help!”
John held up a restraining hand. “Now just a minute, Son. Is he injured?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Yeah, real uncomfortable. And scared. Plus he’s having a claustrophobia attack.”
John and Don chuckled in enjoyment.
“So will you rescue him?”
John thought for a moment, and then decided, “You tell Smith we’ll be down to rescue him.” After a pause, he added, “In a half-hour.”
“Why a half-hour??”
“That’s his punishment, Will,” Don told him. “He gets to suffer a while longer before we’ll rescue him. And Will,” he added meaningfully. “This is instead of a beating, so you tell Smith he’s getting off easy.”
“Yes, sir.” Will was sure that that was true.
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