the revealed mask

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The Robot wheeled his way through the rocky scenery followed by Will headed on the familiar path. The familiar rocky quality, the sound of pebbles crunching underneath them, and the familiar hot beat of the sun against them made it a long walk. Will came to a stop in front of Smith's campsite noticing the dying flames beside the improvised tent. There was a pair of clothes rolled up covered in sand indicating it had been some time since they had been removed.

"Warning," The Robot said. "Warning."

"What is it, Robot?" Will asked, looking up.

"Danger," The Robot said. "There is danger headed toward the campus."

Will looked ahead in the distance to see the large planetoid in the distance.

"Oh no," Will said. "Right where Doctor Smith is."

"I do not like it," The Robot said, shifting toward Will. "I do not like it."

"We don't have to like it," Will said. "He is letting himself be used."

"For money," The Robot said.

"Greed," Will said. "Sadly."

"Will Robinson, is not what I am bothered by," The Robot asked.

"What is it?" Will asked, tilting his head with a intrigued look on his face

"A very good question," The Robot said, turning toward the campus. "How far are they willing to go with Doctor Smith?"

"We should check on him," Will said.

"Affirmative," The Robot said.

The two made their way after the campus. They came to a stop behind one of the large medium sized rock formations once observing humanoids in unique gear and outfits. Some of them didn't seem to be human at first glance and at second glance and at any further glances taken. A few of them had bone sticks standing out of their backs. A man came to the entrance of the campus with his hands linked behind his back. His aged, blue eyes scanned the dozen so aliens who were making offers. Will looked up confused in the direction for the familiar, older man. The confusion faded covered by horror, dismay, then alarm. There was a young woman beside him holding onto her fingers.

"Calm down, calm down," Gampu said. "One at a time." he shook his hands then linked his hands behind his back.

The crowd became silent.

"Excellent, gentlemen, ladies," Gampu greeted the crowd with a smile.

"We like to borrow a humanoid!" came a shout.

Gampu visibly cringed at the reply.

"I am Commander Gampu," Gampu said. "The head of Space Academy."

The crowd roared.

"Unfortunately, that cannot be allowed," Gampu said, with a dismissive wave then relinked his hands behind his back. "Resume seeking for humans to gather because you will find a fight here should you try." A line of aliens came forward. From behind him the door flew open allowing the passage of several cadets in red shirts coming out with light weight, golden boxes that had the shapes of the components then knelt down. "I don't want to do this but you are forcing my hand," they continued climbing up the stairs. Gampu stared them down. "Fire."

A series of shots sent the aliens tumbling away from the steps of the academy as Gampu watched on. Gray smoke erupted from the stair steps. The Robot whirred his head toward Will and Will looked over toward the Robot. His once graying short hair had turned to brown with a gray highlight from the right hand corner and the lower half of his hair was gray. He had a gray mustache that contrasted against the brown theme. The man was dressed similar to the young woman except the uniform was black and blue with a fancy jacket. The aliens stepped away from the campus and some of them vanished into thin air before the boy's eyes. Gampu's eyes watched one by one vanish until there was none.

"Now, Laura," Smith said, unlinking his hands from behind his back and held them in his lap. "How was that?"

"Could have fooled me, Doctor Smith," Laura said, with a smile. There was a chirp from her pocket then she took out a small white device. "Laura here."

"This is Tee Gar," Tee Gar said. "Is Doctor Smith a surgeon by any chance?"

Smith took the device from her hand.

"Why yes, I am," Smith asked.

"Professor Allen is out," Tee Gar asked.

"Hmm, and that is important because?" Smith asked.

"Professor Allen normally oversees surgical operations done by cadets," Tee Gar said. "This operation needs a experience physician."

"And you don't count, Tee Gar?" Smith asked. "These rules do not apply. And it is very critical they get capable surgeons on them."

"It is not just that," Tee Gar said. "I would do it, believe me."

"But. . . ." Smith rolled a eye.

"There is pipes in them," Tee Gar finished then Smith's eyes grew large.

"Pipes are a very tricky object to remove," Smith said.

"I know," Tee Gar said. "I never did that before."

"How about I teach you?" Smith asked.

"That would be great!" Tee Gar said.

"Don't remove the pipes under any circumstance until the patient is in a operation room," Smith said. "we will need appropriate surgical tools."

"We got more than one operation room," Tee Gar said. "Walsters will bring you to the operation room that was set up. Tee Gar out."

Smith handed the young woman the device.

"Doctor Zachary Smith," Smith said, as she put the device away. "A teacher," he seemed touched by the notion. "Laura, I will retrieve my belongings over that hill after the operation but when I return. . ." he narrowed his eyes toward her. "you better be catching up on some beauty sleep."

"I will," Laura said. "'I don't have any patients to see. So it is a great time to catch up on some z's."

Smith was turning away when he stopped in his tracks then spun around toward her as though something had just occurred to him.

"Your parents, haven't you talked to them?" Smith asked. "They must be concerned about you."

Laura gasped, covering her mouth.

"I completely forgot!" Laura said, lowering her hands down to her lap. "I will get to them before I hit the hay."

Smith turned then waved his hand in front of the panel and the door opened before him that he went through.

"The real question is. . ." Will said, as Laura followed Smith in. "How far is he willing to go?"


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