by Robert Teague
Copyright 1999 by Robert Teague This story is written solely for the entertainment of Rainbow Brite fans, and no copyright infringement is intended. This story may be reproduced, providing no changes are made.
For fans of Rainbow Brite everywhere, and most especially for Onyxmoon, whose own story inspired me to finally finish this.
I have been a Rainbow Brite fan since 1986, when I saw the movie Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer on HBO. Something about the characters and situations appealed to me, and I have enjoyed watching the episodes and movie over the years, to the despair of my wife, who has no understanding of my interest. I don't understand it either, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying it.
I wrote thumbnail story outlines for an entire 24-episode second season of the show, and contacted Hallmark Cards about submitting them. I was told the division had been shut down, so I was out of luck. The stories ended up in a desk drawer, looked at occasionally, and sometimes I thought about them and made notes to use to expand them. Several of them seemed to be parts of a longer story. Slowly that longer story was pieced together until I had "Rainbow Brite and the Quest for the Past". In it, Rainbow set out to discover the origins of the Castle, the Belt, Spectra, and everything else connected to the color equipment. Parts of that story may be found in the present one. The story stalled after only a couple of chapters were written.
I thought I was alone in my interest, and no one would ever read my stories, even if I did finish them, so I quit working on them.
Recently, out of curiosity, I did a web search for Rainbow Brite, and I found the Rainbow Brite web ring, and a mailing list! Suddenly I was in contact with quite a few others who shared my interest, and I discovered that others who wrote fan fiction existed out there!
That inspired me to finish this first story, and see that it was part of a greater whole. The second and third parts are under way, so I'm sharing this first part with you.
I still have the episode outlines, and now may find inspiration to do something with them, as well.
Robert Teague January, 1999
Chapter One A Message Arrives
Rainbow Brite stood on the parapet of the Color Castle, and stared pensively out over her realm. It was a beautiful summer morning, and she walked around the parapet, taking in the view. The Sunrise Mountains were beautiful as always, stretching across the eastern horizon, and turning west behind the Castle. Rainbow Falls sparkled in the early morning light, even though the sun had not yet risen from behind the mountains. To the west, the land was green and peaceful, but fluffy white clouds on the horizon promised a summer thunderstorm by the afternoon. Far away on the edge of sight was a dark smudge--the Pits.
To the north were the homes and fields of the Sprites, laid out in neat patterns. The fields were bright green, like the forest beyond. Brightly colored vegetation was a hallmark of planets where Color Crystal is found.
She turned toward the stairs, and noticed a very old feature of the Castle. The rings where Twink's hammock had been were still there, embedded in the walls of the Castle. After the last Twink died of old age, the hammock was put away until needed again.
As she went down the stairs she smiled, remembering the first white Sprite to follow her; the original Twink. Many, many lives of the short-lived Sprites had passed, and somehow the genetics of the creatures was such to produce a white Sprite every generation. The Sprite was trained in the task of being her helper, taking the traditional name "Twink", and served her until old age. The new white Sprite was still an infant, far too young to bear the responsibility.
Returning to her room she got dressed. She was restless. As restless as she had ever been in her long life, which had already spanned a length of time measured in millions of years. She proceeded down the stairs to the main room of the Castle.
All the Color Kids were busy at their stations at the Console, and didn't look up. Rainbow noted with amusement that all the Kids were dressed in mauve clothes. Except on formal occasions, there was no rule they had to dress in the color they were in charge of, so they frequently changed their clothes and styles.
She saw with an eye made expert by long practice that there was a minor problem. Buddy Blue was frowning, and considering what action to take.
As she approached the bottom of the stairs, Indigo noticed her and gave her a smile. Then her eyes widened slightly, seeing what Rainbow was wearing.
"Problem?" Lala asked Buddy.
"More of that Crystal with the unusual coloring in the newest batch. The processing monitor wants to know what to do with it," he said.
"Route it to the Lab. I'll look at it later," said Shy Violet, who was as expert in minerology as she was in most other sciences.
"Done," said Buddy, typing some commands.
Rainbow reflected on just how little the Kids needed her now. She had long since finished her task of activating the color property of objects within her area of responsibility. The Color Kids maintained the colors with the Console, and now there was little for her to do.
Stepping out the door, Rainbow for a moment expected to find Starlite waiting for her. That moment of deja vue only served to increase her restlessness. Starlite's race of intelligent horses were long-lived, but not as long as Rainbow's. Starlite had gotten old and retired. He and Sunriser had foaled two, but neither was of a temperment to be her steed, so she used the rainbow to travel.
She wondered if Sunriser was still alive. The pink horse had finally had enough of Starlite's vanity, and left him to return to the mountains she came from. There had been no word of her for many years.
She walked through the Sprite village, saying hello to those who greeted her. She stopped by the home of the of the Sprite family where the infant Twink lived, and visited them for a while. The new Twink had grown a bit since her last visit, and was now sitting up and trying to talk. The parents were very proud; having a white Sprite was a status symbol among their race.
Leaving them, she wandered around seemingly aimlessly, then realized her steps were taking her to the Library. It was a building in the same style as the Sprite houses, just a bit larger. The Laboratory, next door, was much larger.
Inside, she went into one of the viewing cubicles, and hesitated a moment before asking the computer for the short-lived TV series about her that had been made on Earth years ago.
She had met the human boy Brian and brought him to visit Rainbowland more or less as depicted in the episode "Peril in the Pits". He had told his father about his adventures there, and his father had told an executive at an animation studio, and he got the 13 episodes and movie made. Nowadays Brian was a tall, grown man, with a wife and two children.
The show had been done without her permission, and at the time she had wondered what difference it would make for people to know about her; if they would be able to see her without her willing it. As it turned out, it didn't matter because the show wasn't very popular. In fact, with the exception of a few people who were obsessed with it, the show had been forgotten.
The early episodes were fairly accurate, but later ones had degenerated into pure fantasy. Rainbow guessed that was only natural, since the show had been aimed at fairly young human children.
Besides, Brian had not witnessed many of the events, and only knew what they had told him. In any case, little of the true events was suitable for children. The first episode, 'The Beginning of Rainbowland' started, and she settled down to watch. So much had changed since she and the Kids banished the King of Shadows, now so long ago it was just dim legends to the Sprites. He was still out there, she knew. She could feel him, sometimes closer, sometimes further away. That tale had not yet ended.
The violent nature of Murky and Lurky couldn't have been shown on the TV show--they were truely evil beings, ambassadors from the King of Shadows.
Murkwell Dismal had been an interesting enemy. In the early episodes he was shown to be competent, which was true, but his character got sillier in later ones. The one thing that had prevented his ever completely succeeding in his plans was the fact he was too single-minded. He would ignore opportunities to do great harm because his current plans were set.
He was also of a long-lived race, but he at last aged beyond his prime, but refused to accept it. He became less of a problem as time passed, and finally he attacked her while standing on the rainbow high in the air. This had been a remarkably stupid thing to do, since her will controlled it. When his gloom cloud rendered her unable to think clearly, the rainbow faded and he'd fallen to his death, while the failsafe device in the Belt protected her.
His sidekick Lurky, a mutant Sprite, wasn't stupid as the show had him, but was large, immensely strong, and dangerous. He tried to continue Murky's programs on his own, but his heart wasn't in it. He finally left for deep space, to try and escape his master.
The second story, "Peril in the Pits" was an antiseptic version of her meeting Brian, bringing him to Rainbowland, and fighting with Murky. It showed a number of things accrurately, such as the fact she couldn't control the Belt when not wearing it, and that her powers didn't work in the Pits. The rock of the Pits was the same as the grey stone Color Crystal was mined from, but very concentrated. It absorbed her power without being affected by it. Undoubtably Murky had known that as well. It was a major ingrediant of his gloom cloud weapon.
The Monstromurk still existed, kept in a 'magic bottle', so to speak--a very strong magnetic chamber, fed with Color Crystal to keep it occupied. It had been released twice, and while not as intelligent as the episode had it, was attracted to color, and could absorb it.
Ah, the Dark Princess. There had been a challenge! There was a planet named Spectra that she coveted, but of course the idea that all the light in the Universe had to pass through it was nonsense. It was made wholly of crystal, and was a major source of Color Crystal. Color Crystal can release immense power, and is used by several races as a power source. It also powered the high technology of the Color Belt,
Castle, Prism, Key, and On-X. Those items were so advanced, the technology was indistinguishable from magic. By stopping the Princess from acquiring Spectra, Rainbow had prevented an interstellar war. The Princess still blamed her for the loss of her star empire, and there was truth to the charge.
The Princess and her remaining followers, including Count Blogg, had reappeared several times, but failed to exact their revenge.
Krys was depicted accurately. His race resembled human children even more than Rainbow's did, but he was an adult during those events. His weapon, the Prism, was shown accurately, as was On-X. Orin still lived, little changed in all the time that had passed. She had wondered about that. He was far older than any Sprite had ever been known to live.
And here was Sorrell the Sorcerer. In the episode, he was depicted as rather silly, but the reality was far different. He was a powerful magician, and amoral, but he was extremely up front, and would stick to a bargain to get what he wanted. He had been a visitor to Rainbowland a couple of times, and they'd had to watch him carefully.
The Robot Rainbow Brite had caused confusion for a long time, not just the one time, as the episode showed. It was a perfect duplicate of her, and the only way to tell from a distance was by the slight hesitation between words the robot made. There was no key for winding it up, of course. It was kept in the Laboratory, and Violet had been tinkering with its programming for some time.
Wajah was a friend, but his race's color-absorbing ability had proven to be dangerous to her and the Kids several times. One thing the episode had gotten right was that both hers and Wajah's races needed color to survive, though not as food. Another fact gotten right was rather odd, that Wajah's race was forgetting how to maintain their technology. She didn't remember telling Brian about that.
Plock the peddler appeared, tricking Twink into trading him the Color Cave. Actually, he had tried to buy it, but gave up the idea when they showed him how dangerously unstable Color Crystal can be. He was shown accurately, since Brian had met him a couple of times. He was a lovable old rogue, the oddball grandfather that kids loved, and was always up to something. They'd shown him the cartoon once, and he was very flattered. He still kept in touch.
Suddenly Rainbow became aware of someone standing behind her. She looked around, and there was Shy Violet, face full of concern.
"Are you okay?" she asked, "I was going to the lab to check that unusual crystal, and saw you here"
Rainbow turned back to the screen. "Screen off. I'm restless, Violet."
"I thought so, when I saw what you put on," was the reply.
In surprise, Rainbow looked down at her clothes, and discovered she had put on her old work dress, including the Color Belt. "Huh, I didn't even notice."
Violet came up behind her, and began to kneed her shoulders. "You're tense. Would you like a massage session at Buddy's spa?"
"No, thanks, but that feels wonderful." Rainbow relaxed in her chair. All was quiet for a while, as Violet massaged Rainbow's neck then moved up to her face and head.
"Violet, I want to DO something! I've been cooling my heels for months now, and can't stand it any more. The Kids barely need me any more, and..."
"And you feel useless."
"Yes, I do."
"So you're watching these silly cartoons, looking for something."
"Sigh. I guess I am."
"Excuse me," said the computer.
"Yes?" asked Rainbow.
"There is mail arriving for you, marked urgent."
"Route it here, please"
Rainbow got up and went over to a slot in the wall, and took out a piece of paper. She read it, and as Violet watched, Rainbow's eyes widened,then teared up.
"What's wrong?" asked Violet.
"Plock has died."