Book II Lights of the Present
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.
This second part of my trilogy was much tougher to write than the first. Part I just flowed out of me and onto the screen. This one has been a slower process of thinking what happened in Part I, and knowing where it all is going, and putting it down as inspiration hit. But it's been fun. I've learned a great deal about the characters while writing this, and I hope you will learn something too.
Robert Teague April, 1999
Chapter One The Princess and the Count
Count Blogg sat behind his desk in his office, in his castle on his home planet, shaking his head and looking at the report of damages from the Princess' latest temper tantrum.
"She's becoming quite expensive to keep," he thought, "If I didn't need her power, I'd have done away with her a long time ago."
He put the report down and addressed the minister who was waiting for him.
"Very well. Replace what she's broken, and do it quietly and discreetly. You never know what will set her off again."
The minister bowed. "Yes, Count," he said, and left.
He stood up and looked out the window at the panoramic view of the mountains, past the cityscape. His subjects went about their business as usual.
"I'm getting very tired of playing the toady to her," he thought, "It's too bad the power she had, and will get again when the Jewel is restored, can't be transferred to me. I'd have better things to do with it. She's a bad-tempered, spoiled brat, and doesn't deserve it."
He sat down again and pulled out a locked pouch from a bottom drawer. He opened it and spread the papers out on the desk. He had been over the facts many times.
Item: the Princess wanted her empire back. This was a goal he shared, because his own power had been severely diminished when hers was.
Item: the empire had fallen apart with the loss of her magic Jewel. It had been the foundation of all her power; the Glitterbots, the fleet, even the maintenence of the Castle on the Throneworld. Sgt. Zombo had reported those kept on the Prison Planet had escaped when the Glitterbots quit functioning.
Item: Rainbow Brite and a warrior named Krys were responsible for the loss of the Jewel. They had used their powers to drain the Jewel completely.
Item: the Princess had beaten Rainbow Brite with the Jewel, but had neglected to kill her, or order her killed. This error in judgement had allowed the other brat a second chance at the Jewel.
Item: the fleet had been rebuilt, and was ready to take back that empire, but needed better fuel. The system where worthless minerals were used as fuel worked, but not as well as hoped. The prototype that the Princess herself had flown and nearly died in showed that.
Item: the better fuel needed was abundant on Spectra, in the form of Color Crystal. Unfortunately, it was guarded by this Krys, and Rainbow Brite was no doubt on call if needed.
Item: the fuel was also abundant on Rainbowland, but it was the home of Rainbow Brite.
Since the loss of the Jewel, he had put scientists and magicians working around the clock on a way to restore it. To date nothing had worked. It had been discovered that diamonds and other gemstones did give her back some magic, but it was temporary, and they were soon drained. That had put her in even worse temper, and she showed it at the least excuse. Some of them said their research indicated the Jewel was linked to Color Crystal in some way--the power that drained it could probably restore it.
That, of course, was another dead end. Any attempt to get Color Crystal would be prevented by Rainbow Brite and Krys.
Everything depended on restoring the Jewel. With it, Rainbow Brite and Krys could be disposed of, Spectra and Rainbowland taken and mined for fuel, and the empire restored, even expanded.
Put simply; without the power of the Jewel, they couldn't restore the power of the Jewel.
It was a riddle he had wrestled with for years now, without coming to any solution. He sighed. He had tried to explain that to the Princess, but all she knew was she wanted the Jewel, period.
He looked at the papers again, and smiled. A new factor had been added. He had hired a sorcerer named Sorrell to work on the Jewel. That worthy had been eager to do so, saying he had an idea where the solution lay. All it would cost was he being named to the Court as the Court Sorcerer.
Rediculous, of course, since Blogg was the Court Magician. He had neglected to tell Sorrell that, in order to secure his cooperation. The man was dangerous and powerful, maybe as strong as Blogg in magic. He had promised Sorrell the position, but would dispose of him when the Jewel was restored.
He had put spies on Sorrell, to see if his solution could be gained without him. As it turned out, it could. Sorrell had been contacted by an old peddler named Plock who offered him a set of books on Color Crystal magic. The spies had contacted this Plock, and tried to scare him into delivering the books to them. The ploy had failed and Plock was killed.
This brought Rainbow Brite into the picture, who apparently knew both Sorrell and Plock. Sorrell had somehow gotten the books over her objections, and taken them to his home in the Coal Sack Nebula. That was impressive, considering her power. It indicated just how powerful, or lucky, Sorrell was. Now he was home, presumably working on the solution.
Oh well. It came to the same thing anyway if Sorrell or the spies could deliver the solution. After all, neither Sorrell nor Rainbow Brite knew Blogg's spies were behind Plock's death and the attempt on the books.
It was just a matter of waiting to hear from Sorrell.
Suddenly the door burst open, and the Princess strode in, fire in her eyes.
"I want to know what you're doing to restore my Jewel!" she demanded.
"P-princess, I-I was just going over the papers and ideas," he answered. Inside, he was seething, but it wouldn't be a good idea to let her know that.
"You've been doing that for years! I'm tired of waiting, and I want my Jewel! Now!" She pointed at him, and her fingers glowed pink.
Evidently she had gotten hold of another diamond. He wasn't worried about what she would do magically. It would be temporary, and he was more powerful than she until she got the Jewel. He gritted his teeth, and continued to play his part.
"High-highness! Please! My people are working as hard as they can! Mercy!" A little begging would usually calm her down. A display of power was what she really wanted to do.
She paused and considered, and the pink glow faded.
"Very well. I'll spare you, for now. But I want my Jewel!"
"I know, Highness. I'm expecting to hear from Sorrell at any time with his solution."
Suddenly it began to grow darker in the room. They both looked at the lights, but they seemed to be glowing at the same intensity. Outside, the sun was glowing the same brightness as well. It was something else doing this--something in the room with them. They both could feel a powerful, evil presence all around them.
They looked at each other, than around the room.
"What's doing that, Count?" asked the Princess, worried.
"I don't know, Highness. Can you feel that?" he answered.
"Yes. Show yourself!" she demanded, "Do you know whom you are in the presence of?"
"I know very well," said a harsh and menacing voice from a corner.
They looked, and saw glowing eyes filled with evil in a shadow in the corner. It began to grow and take shape, and stood in front of them, finally revealed. Wrapped in a ragged cloak, the figure stood as tall as the room.
"I am in the presence of a spoiled brat throwing temper tantums like a child because her toy has been taken away," said the figure.
The Princess glared at him. "How dare you! Me, a spoiled brat?"
The mysterious figure looked at her. She opened her mouth, but the dark figure seemed to grow larger and more menacing, so she wisely closed it. The visitor turned his attention to Blogg.
"I am also in the presence of a clumsy fool who tried to circumvent my agent."
"What--what do you mean?" asked Blogg.
"Sorrell was my agent. You will not hear from him now because his interest in your problem was my doing. Your spies killed a...'friend'" he said the word with much distaste, "of Rainbow Brite's. She became involved, and drove me from Sorrell."
The Princess threw up her hands. "Always this Rainbow Brat standing in the way!"
"Perhaps not for much longer. Before I was driven from him, I learned the information you seek--how to restore your Jewel."
This got their full attention.
"We have common short-range goals," he continued, "And I want to bargain with you about achieving them. I will give you the solution and my aid in exchange for doing what I want."
"First of all, who are you?" asked the Princess.
"I am the King of Shadows," said the figure.
They gasped. They had heard of him, of course. Rumors abounded that such a being existed, but they never expected to be in his presence.
"A-and just what do you want, exactly?" asked Blogg.
"I want you to destroy Rainbow Brite, her friends, and most importantly, Rainbowland."
"Why is she important to you? She is a thorn in our side, but..." said Blogg.
"If you want to understand, open your tiny minds and try to take a wider view. Throughout the Universe, there are people who are Lights, who are powerful forces for good. She is one of the brightest of those lights, and I want her snuffed out."
"You said, 'short-range goals'. What are your long range goals," asked the Princess.
"Normally I would tell you it's not your business. But I want you both to understand. I want to be the greatest thing in the Universe," was the reply.
The other two looked at each other.
"Let me get this straight. You want to make the entire Universe dark like yourself?" asked the Princess.
"No! A Universe where I am the only living thing is of no interest to me, and that's what would happen if all the light was destroyed. For power to exist, there must be those over whom that power is exercised. For life to exist, there must be a certain amount of light. But I want that light kept to a minimum, controlled, and myself maximized."
"Wait," said the Princess, "Suppose we do agree to help you. What assurance do we have that you won't try and take over my empire?"
The King laughed, a sound that made them both shiver, and step closer together.
"Of what interest to me is your pitiful little empire? A few stars huddled together in the corner of an obscure galaxy. I exist throughout the Universe!
No, when Rainbow Brite and her friends are dead, I will leave you to your own devices. After all, there are many more Lights than her, and it will be long before they are all destroyed. You two will be dust, and your empire long forgotten by the time my ultimate goals are achieved."
"If you're so powerful, and we so weak, what do you need us for?" asked Blogg.
"Just as she is an agent of the light, you two are powerful agents of the dark. I find those who are such and help them achieve their goals, and they help me achieve mine.Because of my...nature...I work best through others, rather than directly. I tried to oppose her directly once, and the memory of the rainbow..." said the King, and shuddered.
"How do we know you aren't lying to us?" asked the Princess.
Blogg gasped, but the King looked at her mildly.
"Truth and lies are tools, child, nothing more. I have found through experience that the truth serves me better because those with whom I ally are more effective if they have accurate information."
Count Blogg looked at the Princess, who nodded.
"I want her destroyed too," she said, "And I will bargain with anyone who can help do it!"
"Very well, then," said Blogg, "Let us state the bargain!"
"I will give you the information you need to restore your Jewel, and help you take over Spectra and Rainbowland. You will destroy Rainbow Brite and the Color Kids. When that is achieved, our bargain is done, and I will leave."
"Agreed!" said the Princess.
"Agreed!" echoed Count Blogg.
"Agreed!" said the King of Shadows.
And the Universe grew just a little darker.