"Last week as you recall, the Jupiter 2 was caught in a strange cosmic force which kept the Robinson family helpless to break away. With tension building, the family of castaways find themselves pulled toward a gigantic alien spacecraft ..."
"One more thing, Maureen" said John. I sent Don down to the Core to check the thrusters again. I don't think he can hear the intercom, so would you mind sending him up?"
"Not at all, John" replied Maureen. "I'm on my way to the Core. Signing off. Acknowledge?"
"Acknowledged" replied John. He then turned his mind to the wiring check he was making on the astrogator.
"J-john, h-h-elp m-me!" came the distressed voice of Don West. "H-help m-me, p-lease!"
John was totally unprepared for the shocking sight before him. There, leaving the lift, was Don, engulfed in flickering blue flames. West was obviously trying to say something, but the words had become inaudible.
Snapping out his startled trance, John rushed for the extinguisher, but when he turned around he saw only the smoking fire resistant space suit of what used to be Major Don West.
When the suit was examined shortly afterward, no trace of West could be found. It was as if he had been reduced to atoms. To add to the bewilderment of the Robinsons, the metallic suit was cold. No trace of heat was noted. A complete lab examination proved nothing. The fate of Don West was on everyone's mind. Even Dr. Smith regretted his actions concerning his relationship to West.
When Don had received the message from Maureen, he took the lift to the top level. It was while in the lift that it happened. He suddenly became dizzy and found it difficult to breathe. The ship seemed to glow a piercing blue. When the lift stopped, West managed to stumble forward and stammer a plea of help to the startled Professor Robinson. Then he grew colder as he felt himself fade into the floor of the Jupiter 2, leaving his clothes behind.
West fell into a sea of unconsciousness and peaceful darkness. He tried to cry of help, but no sound passed from his lips. West felt as if he were falling through icy water and fire simultaneously.
When he returned to reality, he found himself garbed in a strange suit of armor composed of tiny bits of metal like scales on a fish. He was lying in a large semicircular room of undetermined size. The walls seemed to glow dimly, the ceiling the most, but the floor - not at all.
West suddenly realized he was having difficulty breathing and he felt himself growing weak. He slumped to the floor.
From the air above him a soft voice asked "What is it Minor Creature?"
There was a slight pause.
"Doesn't the Sendivian atmosphere agree with you?"
West had no time to puzzle the identify of the voice.
"I'm suffocating!" he cried. "The atmosphere is p-poisonous." His lungs ached as if on fire.
The mysterious voice spoke again. "Atmosphere change is now in progress. Respiratory difficulties will soon cease." West gulped in quantities of pure, earth-like air. His chest pains vanished and he rose to his feet.
"Who are you?" he shouted. "What do you want of me?"
"Silence, Minor One" purred the voice again. "Your blaring voice is annoying. If your voice is not toned down to reason, we will be forced to remove it."
West took several deep breaths and forced himself to relax. He spoke again, but much more softly.
"I am from the planet Earth," he said slowly, glancing about. "Why have you taken us prisoner?" West could not locate the source of the voice.
"Much better, Minor One," came the voice from the air. "Much, much better. You are inquisitive, aren't you? So much like a child you are. But you have asked questions, and it is polite to answer."
"We who inhabit this Quartox craft are uncountable as well as incomprehensible by your kind. We are known as The Sendivians, and or origination is another galaxy which, I'm sure is unknown to your kind. We are the oldest race in the Known Universe. You couldn't begin to understand our exact age."
"This craft you are now within is, you might say, is an outpost. It is a symbol of control over this galaxy."
"Control?" objected West. "Earth doesn't recognize your control!"
"Of course you fools haven't" the voice continued. "We do not let ourselves be known to a world until it is out of its primeval state. All of the advanced worlds recognize our authority."
"Why have you brought us here?" asked West. He was straining to keep his voice down.
"Mostly out of curiosity, be we have other reasons. You will soon know them. I must be frank with you, Minor One. I am quite impressed by your spacecraft. Your world might actually become civilized in a million years or so. You will now be taken to the Hall of Knowledge for the tests. Good luck, Minor One. I'm sure you will need it.