Chapter 4 Act1: The First Recruit
Count Bleck sat in his throne room, sighing as he looked at the Dark Prognosticus. The Castle Bleck was enormous… and empty… The castle was much too grand for a man and a book… Bleck was lonely… Without Timpani his heart felt black and as if a void had swallowed it hole.
A look of sorrow and boredom was scrawled across the Count’s face as he read pages of the book. The Count had only just begun to read the tome when he heard a rattling noise from outside. The Count at first dismissed the sound and read on, and then it came again.
Count Bleck looked around and saw the figure of a small animal outside his hall; out in the small void of a field, a small creature was trapped. The night before a strong wind had swept across the land, why? Because the Count was filled with sorrow. As he cried the weather in his world became treacherous.
Count Bleck stood and looked outside the window. The figure was lying on the ground, a large tree branch having pinned it down by what seemed to be its wing.
Bleck muttered to himself as he descended the stairs and exited his throne room. Then down the hall we walked, through a massive room of clocks, through another hall, down two flights of stairs, and through a maze of halls, then through a hall and out the door.
All the way the Dark Prognosticus floated by his side, as if a shadow to follow his every move.
Count Bleck worked his way up the hill toward the tree and saw that the creature that had been pinned to the ground was a bat, a small, frail bat.
Count Bleck bent toward the bat. “Hello there… Are you all right?” the Count asked the bat, as if it would answer. The bat made its normal sounds and pulled on its wing again.
Count Bleck made a slight click and put a gloved hand toward the large branch. He then muttered some words in an old language and the tree branch burst into a cloud of darkness and floated away. The bat fluttered up to the Count and seemed to smile at him.
The bat had one large hole in its wing, as well as a large gash in its center. Count Bleck grabbed the bat and looked at the wounds on it; the bat had lost a large amount of blood and still was. A small pool of blood sat at the Count’s feet.
Count Bleck frowned and raised his cane to the bat and began to mutter a few words. A burst of light jumped from the staff to the bat. The wounds glistened with light and slowly began to close. Once the wounds had healed, the bat chimed a happy tune and fluttered into the air. Count Bleck felt a slight smile cross his face as she watched the bat flutter around him.
“I am quite glad
you art all right… You must be more careful… Now run along… err… flutter,”
Count Bleck, said shooing the bat away.
Merlon stood at his bookshelf, pulling different books down and reading short lines from them, comparing them to another large, white book he held in his hand.
The butterfly Pixl floated near his shoulder, reading over the large white book. After a moment the Pixl fluttered to the window. “… Merlon?” the Pixl asked in a lonely sigh.
Merlon looked up at the Pixl and smiled. “What is it, young one?”
The Pixl sighed and turned toward him. “… Do you think I will ever regain my memory?” The Pixl hadn’t been able to regain her name, where she came from, or who she was, ever since she woke.
Merlon smiled at her. “Do not worry, my dear… It will all return in time… ”
Merlon placed a gloved hand on the Pixl. A sudden bolt of memory shot through the Pixl and she shrieked with joy.
“Tim… Tip… TIPPI!
MY NAME! I REMEMBER!”
The next day Count Bleck sat in his large throne room reading over the Dark Prognosticus. The Count sighed and looked out a window; rain whipped the landscape, creating a white drape over the normal black fields and sky.
Suddenly there was a loud bang, not a bang of thunder nor the sound of something falling, but a sound that the Count recognized as the beating of a hand upon a door. But not just any door, the door to his throne room!
Count Bleck shouted out into the empty air of the castle. “Door open!”
As if to follow his command, the door opened and revealed a girl in a white dress-suit with pulled back purple-red hair and wearing a pair of pointed glasses. She jumped, surprised that the door opened by itself.
Count Bleck stood and bellowed into the darkness of the room. “ENTER!”
The girl slowly moved forward. Once she had gotten far from the door it slammed shut behind her. Count Bleck grabbed the Dark Prognosticus and placed it on a podium next to the chair.
The girl stopped once she reached about a foot’s distance from the Count, and stuttered as she spoke. “H-Hello… ”
Count Bleck looked at the girl with a curious glimmer in his eyes. “Hello Madame… And just how did you get here?”
The girl smiled and had a serious look about her. “… Thank you… ”
The Count’s look of curiousness grew and he starred at her more. “Thank you? For what?”
“… For helping me yesterday… ”
The Count’s eyes showed a glimmer of memory- the bat!
“… I was the bat… and I want to thank you somehow… ”
The Count turned away from her. “… I need no thanks… ”
The girl smiled and looked toward the Count with a glance of concern. “… May I at least ask your name, good sir?”
“…Blumie… Count Bleck… ”
The girl curtsied to the Count.
“… Count Bleck… If I cannot repay you with something, then please… please allow me to stay by your side until I can repay my debt to you… ”
Count Bleck snickered and looked at his guest. “…Then you must know what I do… My name is Count Bleck, and I am destined, as the one spoken of in the Dark Prognosticus, to destroy all worlds! Now choose you must, Madame, join or run! For my path shall be a straightforward one! I will not defy my destiny!”
The girl took a long moment of silence.
Count Bleck looked the girl up and down before turning away and picking up the book. He tipped his hat back into place, lifted the book to float by his side, readied his cane, and turned toward the exit. As he slowly walked past the girl she spun around to him.
“W-wait!” she cried, running after him.
Count Bleck smiled as he and the girl walked through the door together.
“My name is Nastasia… ”
Count Bleck grinned as the door shut behind him; he turned toward a staircase to a large tower with many rooms. As he reached the top of the stairs the girl was at his heels.
Nastasia,” Count Bleck said as he opened the door to the balcony of the
tower overlooking the entire castle, “to Castle Bleck… ”
Chapter 4 Act 2: Memories
Count Bleck sat in his bedroom, a large room that held a small writing desk with a chair. and a large bed big enough for at least four people. The walls and floor were all black stone, or at least it looked like stone. The bed had a large sheet and comforter of the purest midnight, and the desk was covered in papers, as was the floor. Each paper was curled up into a ball and tossed around, featuring rejected ideas for something.
Count Bleck was writing on a large sheet of paper with a ballpoint pen. Suddenly he screamed and scratched out what he had been writing, and threw the pen and paper across the room. He rubbed a gloved hand across his brow in an agitated quiver.
The Count then looked over at a small easel that was propped against the wall. On it was a painting of a girl. She had long hair and wore a green dress; she was smiling and looked peaceful. The painting had been finished, but the Count had continued to work on it. Count Bleck sighed as he looked at it.
“… Timpani… Oh
how I miss you… ”
Merlon and Tippi, the pixilated butterfly of Timpani, sat outside Merlon’s house in Flipside. Merlon was reading over a book, the large white book that Timpani had seen before, and Tippi was resting on Merlon’s shoulder. After a short moment of silence Tippi spoke.
“Merlon… Do you think I will ever get my memory back?”
Merlon smiled a fatherly smile that blended with his white hair and made him look like a happy grandfather. “… Tippi, my dear, I’m certain your memory will return… Just give it time… Just give it time… ”
Tippi relaxed and remained on Merlon’s shoulder as her mind began to race. She saw a green field with many trees; she stood on a large, stone bridge looking toward a mountain. A figure was falling from it, he wore a top hat, cane, cape, and he fell onto the ground below.
Tippi seemed to squint into her own memory, trying to see the figure better. She tried to match a name to the figure, but it was no use…
“… Merlon?” Tippi said, again in a quiet voice.
Merlon looked toward the Pixl and smiled again.
“… How do you remember someone… like their name? I know what they look like… but… I don’t know their name or really who they are… They just… feel important… ”
the book and stood. “… Time, Tippi… Only time… ”
Count Bleck stood in his throne room, a large, black, blank room filled with nothing aside from a few platforms for standing and a few clocks and stained windows. A dull white torch lit the room, casting an ominous glimmer around each face and figure in the room.
Across from the Count was Nastasia. She stood holding a handful of files. Now that she had decided to work for Bleck until she repaid her debt, she had taken the duty of being a sort of secretary. She kept track of everyone and everything so Count Bleck could remain on schedule.
“… Um… Count?” Nastasia asked.
“… Yes, Nastasia? Asked Count Bleck.”
Nastasia used her free hand to push her glasses up and bore a nervous look about her. She took the files and lay them down onto the floor. Count Bleck lifted his cane and a table rose from the floor under the files.
“… Um… Well… This plan of yours… ”
“You mean destroying all the worlds?” Count Bleck asked as he stood with his back turned to her, reading over the Dark Prognosticus.
“… Yeah… um… Just how are you going to do it?”
Count Bleck stopped reading for a moment and glanced over his shoulder to her. A dark smile grew on his face as he thought over his wonderful plan. “… I am going to use the powers of the Dark Prognosticus, the book that holds all the powers of the future, to create a void to destroy all worlds. It will devour each one and leave a blank blackness… So is my heart… ”
Nastasia was taken aback; she had never heard the plan, let alone how emotional the Count had become about it. “… Um… er… Why?” Nastasia asked, in her usual nervous tone. She realized that Count Bleck was sweet, kind, and handsome, but also dark, evil, and with a shred of cruelty if need be. So still she kept her distance.
Count Bleck suddenly slumped slightly in his stance, looking tired. He turned away from Nastasia again and sighed deeply, a sad tone filling his voice as he spoke. “… A girl… ” Count Bleck said, as a tear began to form in his eyes.
Nastasia stepped closer to the Count. “A girl?”
Count Bleck sighed again. “… She was young… beautiful… We were meant to be with each other… But… my father said that we could never be together… Still I tried to see her… and… in the end… my father used his magic to make her roam all the worlds, never to stop, until she died… And… I lost her… ” The Count paused as Nastasia took it all in and looked as though she may cry as well.
Count Bleck sighed as tears flowed freely down his face; he could no longer hold them back. “… And so… I vowed to her that if I couldn’t find her… than… I would destroy the worlds… The worlds took her from me, so I shall take them away… And without them, I will use that blank slate to make a new world. A peaceful world… where love… ” The Count paused again, as if to catch his breath.
“… Where love can exist with no one to stop it… A perfect world… for all to live in… ”
Nastasia smiled at the thought of a perfect world. But Count Bleck took no notice of her and began to glumly walk away. “… C-Count Bleck!” Nastasia yelled to gain his attention.
Count Bleck had reached the door by now and muttered a whisper of words. “… Yes… Nastasia… ”
Nastasia walked forward and smiled at him. “… Thank you, Count Bleck… And… I just want you to know… I’m with you ‘til my games are over, K’?”
Count Bleck chuckled and smile at his friend… yes… friend… She was his first friend as Count Bleck.
“… Thank you,
Nastasia… Thank you… ”
Chapter 4 Act 3: Mimi, a Girl of Smiles
Nastasia was standing in the large throne room, which had been converted into a meeting room, on a large platform. Count Bleck stood on another platform higher up than her, looking outside at the purple sky he had created. The blackness of the castle cast an eerie shadow across the Count’s features, creating a dark and depressing man.
Today was the day that Count Bleck had planned for, today he and Nastasia were to go into other worlds to find people who hated the worlds… people who wished for the worlds to be plunged into darkness, people who wished… for the end of all worlds…
Nastasia sighed as she looked at the Count, in her head she thought over the story that the Count had told her… This girl… was he really doing all of this just because he lost his only love? Nastasia was just about to ask that question when the Count spoke, in a very sorrowful tone.
“… Yes… yes… I am doing this because of her, Nastasia… But you need not worry… All will be well soon… With my power, the Dark Prognostics’ wisdom, and your… what was it? Ability to control people?”
Nastasia nodded, although the Count had his back turned from her so he could not see, but he went on nonetheless.
“… We will find others that wish this world away… and… it will be destroyed… as told in the Prognosticus… And all of the worlds… all of them will see, just how wrong they are… And a perfect world will be made in their place… And my world will be the center of it! I can see it now, Nastasia, thousands of people from all worlds living together in harmony! Peace, happiness, and undying love for everyone! The world will be… perfect… ”
This was the third time that the Count had said that in an hour, and Nastasia was beginning to think there was something wrong with the Count. But then he suddenly burst into a volley of laughter as he turned toward her. “BLEH HEH HEH HEH BLECK! I’m sorry. Did I repeat myself again, Nastasia?”
Nastasia merely nodded with a dull smile on her face.
“Please. Forgive me, it is just… I’m so looking forward to this… Now. Where shall we venture first, Nastasia?” the Count asked as he looked up at the Prognosticus that floated by his side.
Nastasia adjusted her glasses and spoke in a tone that only secretaries used when they spoke to their bosses in person. “Well… if it suits you, Count… I thought we may go to a small, little… er… well… a small town on the edge of a forest. It has… beautiful scenery… and...um… after a small amount of surveillance there I think there may be someone who may join us. I think… um... her name is Mimi… ”
Count Bleck smiled
and called out loud, as though his voice could travel to that world. “Well
then, Mimi! Today you are to have guests!”
“BY THE WORLDS!” Merlon exclaimed as he dropped the Light Prognosticus that he had been reading. Tippi fluttered nearby and shrieked at Merlon’s outburst. He had been quiet until now.
“What is it, Merlon?” Tippi asked in a worried voice.
Merlon turned to Tippi with a worried look. “You said you remember something about this man, that he had some sort of magic, correct?”
Tippi nodded. “Yes… He said something about a Darkness… a Tribe… or… something… I can’t remember!”
Merlon smiled at her. “Well you have done a great job, my dear. Because the Tribe of Darkness is mentioned in the Light Prognosticus! According to this, there is a second book. A Dark Prognosticus! It was hidden away, for it held the secrets of the history of the world… as well as powerful dark magic. It says that it was given to a group of people who kept it safe for years, but the book was stolen by the Tribe of Darkness. The tribe didn’t use the book, but they kept it safe. The Light Prognosticus says that one of darkness from the book shall use it to destroy the worlds! If this is true then the sooner you remember that man, the sooner we can stop the prophecy in the Light Prognosticus!”
Tippi jumped in her flight. “But Merlon! Can I really do something like that?”
Merlon smiled. “Not to worry, my dear. It says here that there will be four great heroes that will stop the man of darkness. All we have to do is find the Man in Red, Princess so Pure, King of Evil, and Man in Green before the man of darkness does!”
Tippi smiled. “I will help however I can, Merlon… ” Tippi said with worry hidden in her voice.
What if the
man of darkness is the man I’m trying to remember…? What if… he… is…
Green fields and beautiful red and yellow flowers surrounded the Count and Nastasia as they flipped into this world. Everything was bright and happy. Count Bleck frowned at the color, of which there was none of in his world. It was almost blinding to see green, red, blue, yellow, pink, and light purple. Nastasia, however, didn’t mind the colors and smiled slightly as she looked around.
Count Bleck frowned as he pulled his cape over his eyes to blot out the light. “Argh! Why didn’t you tell me this place was so bright?” the Count said with disgust.
Nastasia smiled. “I don’t mind it that much… ”
Count Bleck turned to her and gave her a dark grin. “Light is bright, bright is life, love is bright! BLECK! Nastasia, you go and find this Mimi, if you don’t mind I shall remain over there! Under that tree, where at least there is some darkness!”
The Count slowly walked over to a large, leaning willow tree and stood under it, trying to blot out the bright colors that seemed to surround him. Nastasia sighed and shook her head as she walked over to a small yellow house.
She knocked on the door and a voice called from within. “Come in!” It was a girl’s voice, not very old, not nearly as old as Nastasia and the Count, merely a child to them. Nastasia opened the door and stepped inside.
The inside of the house was just as bright as outside. A large table sat in the center of the room, on it was a teaset with cups all around. Brightly colored chairs sat in four positions at the table. At the north end of the house was a kitchen, to the left was a bedroom, and Nastasia stood in a dining room and living room. All the furniture and walls were brightly colored. It looked like a can of rainbow paint had been dumped onto the entire house. Yellow, pale green, and red were the dominant colors.
A girl in a yellow polka-dot dress stood in the kitchen, her back turned. She had two ponytails, one on each side of her head. She was humming a happy tune to herself when Nastasia spoke. “… um… Hello!” Nastasia said.
The girl turned around, a small plate of what seemed like cookies in her hand, and saw Nastasia. “Oh! Hello! Who are you?” the girl asked in a bright voice.
Nastasia smiled at her as she walked to the table. “My name is Nastasia, what’s yours?” Nastasia asked, trying to start a conversation.
Great… Nastasia thought, the Count is just going to LOVE her personality!
“Oh, well Mimi, I came here from a faraway place to see you.”
Mimi looked surprised and smiled a sweet smile as she began to sit and pour tea for herself. “Would you like some tea Nastasia?” Mimi asked.
Nastasia smiled. “Why thank you,” she said in a sweet voice, trying to stay up to Mimi’s tone.
Mimi poured a cup of the greenest tea that Nastasia had ever seen. Nastasia could practically smell the sugar that was in it. But, swallowing hard, she took the cup and drank from it. It was sweet, not just sweet like chocolate, but sweet like an entire bowl of sugar poured into a drink that was made with half a cup of sugar. This isn’t tea… This is a cup of sugar! Nastasia said in her head as she smiled at Mimi, trying to make herself think the tea was good.
“So, why did you come to see me?” Mimi asked after a moment.
Nastasia then switched into the secretary mode that she normally ran in. “I work for a very powerful man, and he has this dream… ”
Mimi nodded that she wanted to hear a little more.
“He… well... um… Let’s just say that life hasn’t been to kind to him, K. So he has this book that foretells the future, and in it the book tells of a person who will gain great power and create a new world.”
Mimi was clearly interested, as she was leaning forward in her chair.
“You see… well… this new world the book talks of is supposed to be perfect. You know, peace, happiness, bright colors, all that stuff. Well the man needs people to help him do this, and I know about what happened to you… ” Nastasia said, trailing off.
Mimi suddenly frowned at Nastasia but nodded for more.
“So… we… he… needs more people to help him… So we wondered if you would help.”
Mimi sat in the chair a long moment. Nastasia began to wonder after a while if there was something wrong. But then she saw that Mimi was thinking over the option. After a long moment that seemed to last for weeks of silence, in which Nastasia became very uncomfortable, Mimi spoke.
“So this perfect world is gonna be all happy and peaceful and stuff? Like all smiles and bright colors?”
Mimi smiled. “Then let me meet this man.”
Nastasia smiled as she and Mimi began to walk out the house toward the willow tree where the Count stood.
One down… two
Chapter 4 Act 4: Dimentio, A Man of Mystery
Count Bleck, Nastasia, and new recruit Mimi all stood under a large willow tree. Count Bleck was trying to deflect the sun’s rays from his eyes; this world was just too bright.
Mimi curtsied to the Count and smiled. “Hello,” she said with great respect.
Count Bleck turned toward her and bowed a deep bow. “Ah, you must be Mimi. It is very nice to meet you, Madame,” Count Bleck said with a smile.
Mimi giggled. “What a gentleman.”
Nastasia giggled and Count Bleck directed his gaze at her. “Nastasia!” he bellowed. Nastasia snapped into attention and stepped forward.
“Yes, Count?” she asked slowly.
“Where are we going next…? I wish to leave this world as soon as possible, the colors are giving me a migraine.”
Nastasia smiled at the Count. “Our next destination is the Underwhere, the place where everyone goes when their game ends… ”
Count Bleck suddenly
seemed to sadden. … Timpani… please… don’t be in the Underwhere…
The Count, Nastasia, and new recruit Mimi flipped into a large, dark chasm. A large fountain was in the center and people were all crowded around it talking. Dark red, purple, black, and white made up the colors of the world, while deep, earthy browns and greens covered the cave floors. All around skeleton guards marched by, wielding lance and shield. Count Bleck smiled as he looked around.
“So dark… so hopeless… so dead… It has a rather… elegant take on death, does it not?” the Count asked to no one.
“Yes… It’s rather… depressing,” Mimi said, her brightly colored dress clashing horribly with the dark colors around her.
Everyone looked around. Nastasia had said that a man named Dimentio would be their next recruit, but there was no one around that looked like how Nastasia had explained.
Everyone suddenly turned as they heard a voice call to them. A woman in a black dress with long white hair was standing over to the side, looking the Count up and down. “… Do I know you?” the woman asked after a time.
Count Bleck turned away, trying to hide his face from the woman. “No Madame, you must have me mistaken with another,” Count Bleck said after a time.
The woman, instead of leaving as the Count had hoped, stared at the Count longer. “… Death shall ebe and flow in a tale none shall know, you hold with you powers true. Darkness is your cape, but light is your escape. Leave now! Find your path! Or soon you shall fall to the Book’s wrath!” sang the woman… It was a Sature.
Count Bleck became outraged and pointed his cane at her; a black cloud enveloped her and she screamed as tendrils of some dark being reached out and clutched her, trying to kill her. “I am none! None you know! Stop your rhymes or I will show, just what I am for all to know!” yelled the Count.
By this time everyone had crowded around Count Bleck, and a group of guards were running up to see what was happening Nastasia and Mimi tried to look away, to ignore the screams the woman let out as well as the others around yelling for the Count to stop. Finally Nastasia lost it!
“COUNT BLECK, STOP THIS INSTANT! YOU’RE HURTING HER!” Nastasia screamed, staring at Count Bleck with a fierce gaze. Count Bleck saw this gaze, and the sorrowful face that Nastasia and Mimi bore. He pulled his cane away from her, and his cloak enveloped him again; the woman fell to her knees.
“… I am sorry…” Count Bleck apologized, “… but please… go away.”
The crowd began to thin out. The woman stood and looked at Count Bleck with an old witch’s grin. “… As you wish… Lord Blumiere… ” she said, walking away. Mimi and Nastasia exchanged glances before looking at the stunned and suddenly sorrowful face of Count Bleck.
… Blumiere… Timpani… That life… seems so long ago…
Then from behind them came a voice.
“My my, you are quite a formidable man, Count Bleck. I shall try not to anger you with my time,” said a voice. Everyone turned and saw a man in purple, black, yellow, and white-checkered jester clothes standing there wearing a masquerade mask and chuckling.
Nastasia stepped forward, between the man and the Count. “Count Bleck, this is Dimentio, he is a magician of sorts,” Nastasia said, causing the Count to raise an eyebrow in question of this fact. Dimentio saw this and showed his magic; an orb of black nothingness floated around him and he hurled it at a passerby, causing them to scream from the pain of the substance hitting them. The orb seemed to burst into a small spark of flame as it dissipated. Dimentio then bowed to the Count.
“My name is Dimentio, and I hear that you are quite strong, as I have just seen, Count Bleck.”
Count Bleck smiled a crooked smile. “So Dimentio, why would you want to join us in our mission?” Count Bleck asked as he adjusted his monocle.
Dimentio frowned and turned away. “… People… All of them… Everyday you see them… smiling and happy… I hate happiness… I hate it all… People… They are horrid! They all treated me horribly! And… they… they need to be taught how to appreciate others… Others that are… different.”
Count Bleck smiled darkly and looked at Nastasia. Nastasia nodded in agreement and walked over to Dimentio. “My name is Nastasia, this is Mimi, and you’ve already met Count Bleck. Come… Walk with us,” Nastasia said, leading Dimentio into the group as the four of them began to slowly walk away, into the darkness of the Underwhere… into the darkness that seemed to fill Count Bleck’s heart.