Smith woke with a start. The last thing he could recall was the strange metallic junkman on the planet they had just left. He looked around, somewhat confused to find himself in bed. Mrs. Robinson sat next to him, concern etched on her face.
As he tried to sit up, dizziness and weakness overcame him.
“John!” Mrs. Robinson called out. “John, come quickly!”
The door to the cabin flew open. “What is it?” The Professor entered, followed by the rest of the Robinsons and Major West.
“He's finally awake,” she announced.
Smith gave her a quizzical look. “I fail to understand, madame, why my awakening is cause for such attention.”
“You've been unconscious for three days, Smith,” the Major answered.
“Three…” Smith's brow furrowed in disbelief. “Three days? I was perfectly healthy when we left the junkyard planet. What could possibly have…”
“Junkyard planet?” Will questioned.
“What are you talking about, Smith?” the Major added.
“The last planet we were on. It seemed to attract all manner of space debris and it was all tended by an odd little metallic man. Don't you recall?”
Mrs. Robinson slowly shook her head.
“Doctor Smith,” Judy said quietly, “we were never on such a planet.”
Smith's eyebrows raised in surprise. “But, I have such vivid memories of it.”
“A dream, doctor,” the Professor asserted.
“A dream? Then what of Tybo?” he asked.
“Tybo?” Penny repeated. “Who is he?”
Smith's nose wrinkled in displeasure. He realized how ridiculous this would sound and wondered if, perhaps, it was a dream as well. He answered anyway, hesitantly. “He was a… large, talking carrot man.”
Everyone burst into laughter at the absurdity of it.
“A talking carrot man?” Will giggled.
“Boy, Smith, when you get delirious, you get some bizarre dreams,” the Major replied.
“Delirious?” Smith repeated. “No, it was so real.”
“Another dream,” the Professor stated.
Smith began to doubt his sanity. Surely I couldn't have imagined all this. If so, why was I delirious? He was determined to sort out what was real and what was imagined.
“And what about the space hippies?” he inquired.
“Space hippies?” Penny giggled. “Doctor Smith, I think you have an even better imagination than I do.”
“We never returned to Earth? Traveled back in time?” he continued. He'd find out where reality ended and delirium began if he had to recount all their adventures for the past three years.
“Negative,” the Robot confirmed.
“What about the green lady? Or the androids we met? Admiral Zahrk? Sagramonte? The space vikings?”
Mrs. Robinson put her hand to Smith's forehead. “Space vikings? Doctor Smith, you're not making any sense.”
Frustrated, Smith snapped at her. “Madame, I'm perfectly well. I swear to you, these things happened. I am not delirious,” he insisted.
Everyone stared at him as if he'd lost his mind. They were so adamant these events had not happened and he was just as adamant they had. Surely they couldn't all be wrong though. He couldn't be the only one that remembered them.
“What is happening to me?” he muttered.
“We've told you, doctor,” the Professor said with a sympathetic tone to his voice. “You've been delirious. We found you unconscious and brought you back here.”
“Unconscious? How? I… I don't remember,” he asked.
“The fruit,” Will answered. “It made you ill and you ran off.”
“Fruit?” Smith pondered a moment and then understanding dawned on his face. “Yes, I ate the fruit you left out. I remember now… It made me thirty feet tall.”
“Thirty feet tall?” Will asked incredulously.
“Smith, you were never thirty feet tall,” the Major confirmed. “John and I carried you back here after we found you. You've been unconscious most of the last three days, slipping in and out of delirium, mumbling all sorts of nonsense.”
“Delirium. It was all delirium?”
“Yes,” they all answered in unison.
His brow furrowed and he thought silently for a few moments. That certainly made more sense than the possibility of a real talking carrot and his slow transformation into a giant celery. What were the odds of his cousin finding him in the vastness of space? And those ghastly space croppers. Their spaceship could hardly be space worthy.
He considered it all carefully. All the bizarre adventures they'd had, or he thought they'd had, for the past two years began to fade from his memory. Perhaps it was just delirium. That would explain it.
“Delirium,” he repeated. He nodded. Yes, that would explain it. “Thank God!”