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.
In addition, I dedicate this third part to Katy Cartee, aka Rainbow Brite, whose love of the show has brought together a great group of people on her mailing list.
This third part of the trilogy was the most difficult to write. I am not comfortable writing violence, so hesitated a long time before reporting the events as they happened. Even so, I've spent a long time rewriting parts of it. I hope the reader will find the whole story to be an entertaining one, and will notice the philosophy that slipped in, surprising even me.
Robert Teague November, 1999
Chapter One Reception
It was a special time in Rainbowland, and there were more guests and more excitement than had been seen in a long time.
A pavillion had been set up on the lawn to the right of the Color Castle, with tables and chairs for the guests, and a small stage for the Sprite band that would be providing music.
The sun was setting, and Sprites were setting up all of the Japanese-style lanterns that had been hung on poles to provide light.
Each lantern had a globe of Starsprinkles in it that would be activated and provide clean, heat-free light for hours.
On the other side of the moat were three spacecraft; Sorrell's blue and yellow one, Wajah's saucer, and Plock's wagon.
The members of the band were warming up, and adjusting the lanterns so they could read their music when it grew dark.
Red Butler made a final mark on his checklist, and looked over at Lala Orange, who was putting some final touches on the tables laden with food and drink.
"Well, that finishes that," he said.
"Did everyone invited show up?" she asked, putting a bit more orange on the flowers edgeing the table.
"Uh huh," he answered, "Brian and his family arrived just a little while ago."
"Just in time, then," she said, glancing at the Clock, just visible through the tent's opening.
"Well, I wouldn't expect Brian, Junior OR Senior, to be late for a meal," said Red with a smile.
Lala laughed. "You're right. Both of them have a special fondness for the food here in Rainbowland."
Red stepped over to her and put his mouth close to her ear.
"Especially when you make it," he said in a low voice.
When she turned to look at him, he kissed her, making her blush. His purpose accomplished, he turned away and pretended to go over the list again.
Behind him, Lala got a sly look. She picked up a loose flower, and tickled his ear with it. When he reached up to swat at whatever it was, she grabbed his wrist, turned him around, wrapped her arms around him, and planted a lingering kiss full on his lips. When she let him go, he stepped back, red-faced and gasping.
She stood there, arms crossed, a smile on her face, daring him to do something about it.
As Red recovered from the surprise, a slow grin spread over his features, and he advanced toward her, reaching to grab her.
"AHEM!" said a voice behind them.
They turned and saw Rainbow standing in the opening of the tent.
"Is everything ready?" asked Rainbow, ignoring their embarrassment. Secretly she had been amused.
"Everyone who was invited is here, Rainbow," said Red.
"The preparations for tonight and tomorrow are as ready as they can be," said Lala.
"Good work, you two," Rainbow said, smiling. She turned to Ojay, who had been standing outside, and said, "Would you please go tell the Kids and the guests things are ready?"
"Sure, Rainbow!" said Ojay, and scampered away.
She looked around. "Things are perfect!" she declared, "This will be a good memory for a long time."
A blue Sprite came up to her.
"Are the lanterns ready, Champ?" she asked.
"Yes, they are, Rainbow!" was the reply.
She touched the star on her Belt, and a rainbow appeared. They all watched as it went around touching all of the lanterns, activating the Starsprinkles within. They began to glow, and as the sky grew dark, the cheery light took over. Overhead, Moonglo had gotten to work, and the stars were shining brightly.
The reception was indeed, perfect. The food and drink and conversation as people who had either never met before, or had not seen each other in a while, got caught up with the news.
Sorrell the Sorcerer stood next to the food, nibbling at everything, and glowering at anyone who came near. Across the room, Stormy glowered back. Rainbow came by, and saw her expression.
"Relax, Stormy, enjoy yourself," she said.
"I'm gonna keep a eye on him. Let him step out of line just once..." Stormy said.
"It's okay, Stormy, really. It wasn't his fault the King of Shadows had taken him over."
"I know, but still..."
Rainbow sighed, and moved on.
In just the couple of times she had visited, Brian's wife Shelly had struck up a friendship with Canary Yellow. The two of them sat together now, with five year old Tina beside her mom, asleep.
"Something wrong, Shelly?" asked Canary, "You look kind of dazed."
"Oh, it's just this place, Rainbowland. I still can't believe it's real. I've watched the cartoons a dozen times since Brian first brought us here, but they don't come close to showing the joy and happiness here."
She looked around at the brightly-glowing lanterns, the Sprites playing a spritely tune, clearly enjoying themselves, the colors of the clothes of the Color Kids as they danced.
Red and Lala were dancing vigorously, like they were competing, instead of dancing together. Red was still trying to get Lala back for that kiss, but she was matching anything he did. Indigo was dancing with Hammy, Tickled Pink with Dee Light. Patty sat by Wajah, talking to the small-statured alien who wore goggles that blocked color, and short-circuited his color-absorbing ability. She was the only one who wasn't still nervous around him. Violet sat alone, nibbling at a plate of fruit slices. Buddy was standing by the punch bowl, drinking a glass. He nodded to himself. He had made the punch himself, and was pleased it had come out so well.
Orin sat nearby, and the old Sprite was enjoying himself. He had spent the day in the company of Rainbowland Sprites, telling them about his life on Spectra. Now the Sprites were almost fighting each other for the privilige of serving him.
Standing and studying the activity was a person that at first glance would be taken for a Color Kid. She looked like Rainbow, but her blonde hair was tied in a ponytail, and was wearing a white dress with rainbow trim on the cuffs and hem. It was Doris, the computer program from Plock's Asteroid, copied into Robot Brite. It had turned out her program format was incompatable with the Rainbowland computer, but worked fine in the robot.
They had finally decided to copy Doris, rather than transfer her from the asteroid. Plock's ship now served as a relay to keep the copy in touch with the original, and she regularly uploaded her experiences to the asteroid.
The song ended, and another, a stately waltz, began. Red turned to Lala, but she whispered something to him, and gestured at Violet.
Red turned and looked at Violet, and Lala nudged him. Red went over and made a sweeping bow.
Violet blushed, but took his proffered hand and went with him to the dance floor. They took up the dance, and Violet proved to be a graceful and accomplished partner. Red didn't seem to be surprised. Lala had gone over to the table and munched a carrot stick as she watched them.
"I've been meaning to ask," said Shelly, "There are eleven of you, but why only two boys?"
Canary sighed. "On the planet we are from originally, the number of males and females are about the same, but being a Color Kid is unusual for a boy. It takes a certain kind of person."
She looked up at Shelly. "You've probably noticed that each of us is a...a certain way. There's a word for it, I think it starts with an 's'..."
"Stereotype," said Shelly, blushing, "Yes, I've noticed that, but I wouldn't have used that word; it's rather insulting."
Canary shook her head and smiled. "Not to us. You know that different colors affect different emotions?"
"Well, different emotions affect Color Crystal magic. I was chosen for my color by my personality, and I am the best at using and getting the most from my yellow Starsprinkles. If we Color Kids had different personalities than we do, we wouldn't be the Color Kids we are. So you see? Saying we're stereotypes is a compliment to us."
"Would you be able to use the Starsprinkles if you were different?" asked Shelly.
Canary started to answer, but the dance ended. Red and Violet bowed to each other, then Violet took Red's arm and went with him over to Lala, who gave each a glass of punch. The three of them started talking. On the other side of the table, Sorrell picked up his plate and moved away from them.
"I thought Red and Lala were an 'item'," said Shelly.
"That's right, they are," answered Canary.
"Then why did Lala send Red to dance with Violet?"
Canary looked at her, puzzled. "Because Violet is their friend, and they want her to have a good time too."
Shelly shook her head. "That wouldn't work very well at a social event on Earth."
Canary suddenly laughed. "I think I see! Violet is no threat to take Red from Lala! She would never try to, any more than I would!"
Shelly blushed. "I guess we're too primitive, culturally, compared to you."
There was an awkward pause, then Buddy, who had come up behind them, said, "May I have this dance, Canary?" And seconds later the two of them were on the dance floor, surrounded by sprites.
A few minutes earlier, as she went out of the pavillion, Rainbow looked around. Canary and Shelly were deep in talk, while little Tina had fallen asleep beside her mom. Kids and Sprites were having fun dancing, while Stormy watched Sorrell, and Sorrell glared at everyone. She had hoped the beauty of the night and party would help Sorrell relax, but it didn't seem to do any good. At least he had shown up.
Patty and Wajah were laughing at some joke or other, and Orin was telling another story to a throng of mesmerized Sprites.
"Excuse me, Mistress," said Doris.
Rainbow turned to her.
"Is this...activity...a normal thing?" she asked.
"Yes, it is, Doris," replied Rainbow, don't you have any references or memories about it?"
"Yes, a few, but nothing quite like it. I'm having a good time," she said.
"I'm glad to hear it. It's interesting to talk to you now; it's like talking to myself in a mirror, only to have the image answer," said Rainbow.
"And being mobile is so strange to me, but I see there are advantages," answered the robot.
Rainbow smiled. "Yes, there are. Excuse me, please."
Rainbow left the tent.
Outside, she spotted her friend Brian Senior standing at the edge of the moat, looking up, glass in hand.
"Hi, Brian," she said, coming up to him.
"Hi, Rainbow," he replied, taking a sip of punch.
"Where's Brian?" she asked.
"Krys is giving him a ride on On-X," Brian answered. He pointed at a spot of blue flame moving across the treetops. "There they are," he said.
They watched the distant robot horse and its riders as they moved back and forth across the darkened land.
They stood together looking up at the stars, washed out a bit by the light of the lanterns. The same star-patterns seen on Earth were visible here, distorted very slightly.
"How far from Earth are we?" asked Brian.
"One light-year," answered Rainbow.
"Hmmm...I don't know much about astronomy, but I do know the nearest star is supposed to be four light years away," he said.
Rainbow shook her head. "No, this is it. Our magic keeps it hidden." She looked up at him. "You know about us, so the magic wouldn't work on you. You should be able to see our sun."
"Come to think of it, I have seen a bright yellow star."
"That's it," said Rainbow.
"Where is my sun?" asked Brian.
"Wrong time of year to see it from here," answered Rainbow.
"Oh. How bright would it be?"
"You'd have to ask Violet. She's the expert," was the answer.
"I'm in trouble, then," said Brian, laughing.
"What do you mean?"
"She usually has an answer, but I never understand it!"
Rainbow laughed with him. "Everyone has that problem!"
Brian looked up.
"Moonglo did a great job, tonight," he commented.
"Why thank you, Brian!" said a new voice.
They turned in time to see Moonglo and Nite Sprite appear, accompanied by a tinkling sound.
"I wanted to contribute to the reception," she said, wiping her brow, "Now if you'll excuse me, I want some punch." They headed for the pavillion.
"Are you going to stay for awhile, Brian?"
"Sigh, we can't. We all have to leave right after the ceremonies and council are finished, day after tomorrow."
Rainbow's face fell, and Brian saw it. "We'll come and stay for a week, as soon as we can arrange it."
Rainbow's smile returned. "That would be great!" she said, "We always look forward to your visits."
He looked around. "I've often wished I could live here," he said, wistfully.
"You could, you know," she answered.
"I know. You've made that offer before. But we have family, friends, and obligations back home."
"If you ever change your mind, you'll be welcome!"
"Thank you, Rainbow."
Brian finished his drink, and they headed back to the tent.
Behind the Color Castle, on the other side of the moat, a pair of wide-set red glowing eyes watched them. Within the deeper shadows of a low bush, nothing else of it could be seen. Taking a chance, it moved to the edge of the moat to get a better look, and watched as Brian and Rainbow went back inside. Nobody saw it. Finally it seemed to melt away into the night, and was gone.