A Lost in Space Christmas Synopsis
part of a contest where the entries were only in the form of
synopses. Someday, I might have the time to enlarge this into a
short story... hopefully before next Christmas.
Lost in Space Christmas story….
The Jupiter II has just landed on a seemingly barren planet to effect repairs on the ship. This planet is cold and harsh and for the most part, the family is relegated to staying inside the Jupiter except for times outside repairing the external navigational equipment.
The children are restless and finally, when the
weather, which has been not only cold but also windy and snowy, moderates,
Will and Penny are allowed out. Smith
is coerced into going with them. They
are admonished to stay within sight of the ship.
They try to make snowmen, but the snow is too cold
and dry to pack, so they walk through the powdery substance toward rock
formations that they have seen a couple of hundred yards distant. The sun peeks out of the clouds for short times making
the snow look almost like a field of diamonds and the children are
enchanted, even as they make their way toward the natural formations. Penny remarks that this looks like what she always envisioned
the North Pole to be, but Smith quickly squelches that happy sentiment by
saying that Santa is not real.
When they reach the formations, they discover a
large cave, one seemingly devoid of snow inside, despite the blowing wind.
In spite Smith’s warnings, the children walk inside and explore.
At the far end of the cave, which is fairly shallow, they find a
much smaller, almost hidden entrance and enter it.
It is dark for a short while, but they walk toward a faint light in
They continue walking, Smith right behind Will,
clutching onto the boy’s parka as though his life depended on it.
They round a bend in the corridor and find themselves in a well-lit
corridor, one that is also warm and seems joyful-beckoning for some
reason. They begin to hear
friendly sounds in the distance and they also smell things they haven’t
experienced since before they left Earth.
Excited, the children walk faster and faster until the corridor
ends in an enormous cavern that is so huge that they cannot see the end of
it. It is bustling with
activity, small entities running hither and thither in a sort of organized
chaos. Will, Penny and Smith
watch in amazement as a variety of things seem to travel in huge numbers
down conveyor belts that stretch from one side of the cavern to another. And while the things on the conveyor belts seem strange, yet
they are very familiar.
A booming voice behind them startles the trio and
they all jump in surprise. The
voice is not threatening, but jovial and friendly.
Still, when the children and Smith turn around, they are totally
shocked to see a white bearded humanoid only slightly taller than Penny,
greeting them with a hearty laugh and a broad smile.
His red robe is lined with a rich looking white fur, his physical
appearance could only be described as rotund.
Will is speechless and Penny can only whisper, “Santa Claus?”
The man laughs again and nods, telling them that Santa is only one of his names. He welcomes them to a room nearby where they can rest, have treats and something to drink. The children, and indeed Smith, are totally in shock, but they follow. In the room, they suddenly find themselves filled with questions, which Santa answers readily. “How did he get to this remote planet?” they ask.
He answers very plainly. He was chosen by a more advanced race of space-going beings to be an emissary of good cheer and charity on various planets through the galaxy. He spent time on Earth, establishing gift giving and good will to the already extant holiday of Christmas. It was natural, he told them, to take something that already celebrated selflessness and happiness and make it even more beautiful than it already was. He took over from the bishop who gave gifts to the poor and then developed even more, leaving for assignments on other planets for a time, but going back to earth periodically. He took some of the Gorlinens from Gorlin, pointing to what the children took to be elves and that is where the legend of Santa’s elves came from. He used animals that resembled earth reindeer and they were the means of delivering the toys to the poor and children of the civilized world. When he finally left to work on another world, the legend of Santa was firmly entrenched, especially after he made a visit to a poet named Clement Moore.
Will asks him how old he is, and Santa laughs
again. “Old as the
mountains, but younger than time,” he responds.
Penny wants to know who he is helping on this world.
Santa looks sad for a moment and then brightens and explains.
The people of this world are all underground because the planet’s
orbit has drifted further away from its sun in its elliptical orbit.
They can only come out every three or four generations when the
planet is in its close phase. Santa
is there to help bring happiness and cheer to the inhabitants who spend
their whole lives underground.
As they all eat their goodies, Santa asks them
what has been happening to Christmas since he left over a hundred years
previously. Will and
Penny tell them about modern technology, and Rudolf, and Frosty and all
the other things that have added to what Christmas was like when Santa was
there. He is happy that he
and his mission are still remembered, but saddened that there seems to be
so much commercialism involved with the holiday.
Then he leans back in his chair and asks them all what they would
like for Christmas since it is near that time on earth.
Penny and Will are flabbergasted that Santa would
still be keeping up with that, but Santa chuckles and tells them that he
keeps up with all the worlds he has been to.
He peers at Smith and shakes his head, telling the older man that
he has been extremely naughty but he will give him a gift even so.
Smith asks, indignantly, how Santa knows all of this.
Santa pushes a button on his chair and one whole wall opens to
reveal a huge communications center.
He pushes another button and a replay of a few of Smith’s
activities show for all of them to see.
Smith looks thoughtful.
Will thinks a moment and then says that he would like something
nice for everyone in the family, including Don.
Santa smiles and then asks the boy for specifics.
Will complies, an inexhaustible battery pack for the Robot, a
kitten for Penny (who beams, since she misses Debbie terribly), a nice new
outfit for Judy, Judy for Don, (knowing that he is sweet on his sister), a
replicator for his mom, a star chart that will get them to Alpha Centauri
for his dad, and nice massage chair for Dr. Smith’s back.
Penny wishes for a lab kit for Will, makeup for Judy since hers has
long since been used, more food in the pantry so her mother won’t worry
so much, hyperdrive unit that will work for her dad and Don, all terrain
treads for the Robot, then she gazes carefully at Dr. Smith, who looks
very anticipatory at Santa. He has been thinking about his gift. She wishes that Dr. Smith be sent home as he has wished for
that all the time they have been lost.
Smith looks at her in surprise and finally says, “You would do that for me?” She nods and smiles, telling him that she wants him to be happy. For a moment Smith is taken aback and says nothing. He then tells Santa that he indeed would like to go home, but that he would also wish that the same thing be granted to the Robinson’s or to go to Alpha Centauri if that is where they would rather go.
Santa beams and says that the only thing he
can’t accomplish is to make Judy and Don fall in love.
“That is someone else’s department,” he explains.
But he can do all the other things.
He then calls several of his “elves” to escort the children and
Smith back to the Jupiter II and invite the entire family to celebrate
Christmas with him in his underground workshop.
The next day, the entire family gathers around a
table loaded with a feast of gigantic proportions.
They sing carols familiar to them and then listen to Santa sing
songs of celebration of other worlds.
They eat, talk about their travels and celebrate this Christmas
that they met the real Santa Claus.
A week later the family is finally on their way to Alpha Centauri, while Smith is being taken by other conveyance to his hometown on earth.
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