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      I, in no way, mean to violate any copyright or trademark laws. Jonny Quest and the Quest team are owned by Hanna-Barbera. I'm not getting any money for this.

Note: I'm a language buff... expect lots of language junk in my fics, so I'll be translating as I go along. :-)

THE POWER OF LIGHT
PART 1
by Cricket

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

      In the National Bank of Belgium, Le Banque Nationale de Belgique, buissness was closing down for the night. As the tellers were all closing down, the last customer approached the desk quietly and calmly. He was a tall man, fairly well built with a large, menacing scar over his left cheek. The scar was like a great rift running down the side of his face.
      The man looked around casually, confirming that he was in fact the last customer of the night, pulled the colar of his coat up over his scared cheek and approached the desk.
      "Bonsoir, [Good Evening]" the teller smiled to him.
      "Bonsoir," he returned.
      "Comment puis-je vous aider? [How may I help you?]" she smiled widely, setting aside her stack of check stubs she had been counting.
      "Je voudrais de faire une prendre-epuise, [I would like to make a withdrawl]," he smiled and reached into his coat.
      The teller looked down to her computer screen, then back up to come face to face with the silencer-barrel of a handgun. "Open the vault," he demanded quietly in English.
      The teller volleyed glances between the gun and the man, noticing the deep scar. "Y...yes, M'seur," she shuttered, retrieving the keys to the vault.
      "And no funny buisness, madam. Comprenez-vous? [Understand?]"
      She shook her head ferociously and rose from her seat. "Vous me suivrez, s'il vous plait. [Please follow me.]" she croaked.
      The man hid the gun in the folds of his long coat as they crossed the room to the vault. The other tellers were buisy packing up for the night, and did not notice the two heading off, the teller absolutely petrified.
      They reached the vault and she began to nervously unlock the huge, metal door. The lock fell with a dull, echoing thump and she stood aside as the door began to slowly swing open.
      "Come on," he gestured to the inside of the valt with the gun.
      A bit reluctantly, the tellere entered into the vault.
      "Open this one," he pointed with the gun.
      "But M'seur ... "
      "Open it!" he said between clenched teeth.
      She turned the key in the lock and removed the saftey deposit box. The man took it roughly and opened it.
      Inside was a box, about the size of a pop can. He carefully removed the lid. Winking back at him was an enormose ruby ... about 15 karates.
      He smiled widely and pocketed the box. "Now, open this one," he pointed with the gun again.
      Reluctantly she obeyed. And in this one, the Marquis de la Fontaine Diamond, the largest diamond in Europe, worth over 8 million dollars sat neatly nestled in a royal blue velvet box.
      The man carefully pocketed it and gestured to the vault door. The teller closed the vault as they left and walked stiffly back to her counter as the scar-faced man almost ran out of the bank.
      She tripped the silent alarm, and as soon as the door to the bank door closed, she screamed at the top of her lungs.

      The Belgian night was fairly cool as the man rushed out of the bank to a waiting car. He threw the car door open and dove inside as the car sped away before he could even close the door
     . "Did you get them?" the driver asked, clearly a woman. She smiled over to him with black eyes under equally black hair.
      "Sure did ... sure we have to give these to your dad?"
      "That's what he hired you for, Tom."
      "Yeah, but Reyden Barnes ain't nearly as beautiful as you, Kitty."

WASHINTON D.C, USA

      It was about 6:00 pm at the Smithsonian Museum. Numerous visitors were gathered in a room in a prestigous jems exibit surrounded by armed guards as far as the eye could see. "And I'm sure this is what you're all here for," the museum curator announced. "The Hope Diamond."
      He reached behind him to a royal-blue velvet cloth laid over a bullet-proof case. He wipped it off like a magician would when reveiling a magic trick.
      The room let a collective gasp.
      The case sat completely empty, a softball sized hole cut through the bullet-proof glass.
      "Oh good Lord no!" the museum curator gasped. "Seal the room!!"

ROCKPORT, MAINE; USA

      The newspaper landed firmly on the library table. The headline read: Hope and Fontaine Diamonds stollen last night. "Someone's about 30 million richer," Race said, sitting on the table almost directly atop the newspaper. "The artical says prescious jems all over the globe were lifted last night."
      "Well ... " began Dr. Benton Quest, taking a deep breath and surveying the newspaper. "They obviously weren't after money."
      "You're kiddin', right Benton?"
      "If you take a minute, who would you sell a 7 karate diamond to? Or a 15 karate ruby? It would be difficut to collect money on such large and extreamly rare jems on the black market. Who would buy traceable jems?" Quest turned in the large leather chair and gave Race a knowledgable grin.
      Race took a moment and smiled. "You've got a point there. But the question still remains. Why?"
      "That's a good question. Couldn't be for show."
      "Ever read 'Congo'?" Race asked out of the blue.
      Benton threw him a look. "Michael Crichton, I think. Why?"
      "I was just thinking. They were collecting diamonds in the Congo region to use in a laser capable of hitting a target 200 miles away."
      Benton sat back in his chair. "The technology for a diamond laser has already been thought up by a company in Japan."
      "What do ya wanna bet that we'll be getting a call from Washington in about 5 minutes."
      And on cue, the phone rang. Benton and Race each raised an eyebrow.
      Mrs. Evans, the housekeeper, strolled into the library quailtly, humming the last few bars of a cheery tune. "Dr. Quest. There's a call for you from Washington."
      "Thank you," he turned to the video screne that hung on the wall directly behind both himself and Race. "How DO you do it, Race?"
      "All in the wrists, Benton," he smiled, also turning to the video screene.
      "This is Doctor Quest speaking."
      The screen flicked on and a man in a dark suit appeared, scowling at them from the screen.
      "Ah, Agent Kinski, how can we help you?" Benton greated the image.
      "I take it you've seen the paper?"
      "Yes, I have. Someone's stealing highly valuable jewels from all over the world, and we think we might know why."
      "Do explain, Dr. Quest."
      Benton took a deep breath and Race smiled.

      "JESSIE!! Get out of the bathroom!!"
      "Go away, Jonny. Use the one down stairs!"
      Jonny Quest ran a hand through a serious case of bed-head. "What's taking you so long!!"
      The bathroom door flew open and a blue towel-headed Jessie poked out of the door way. Jessie Bannon gave him a look. "You are so annoying!!"
      "I know. Now, get outta the bathroom!" He took her by the arm and pulled her into the hallway just enough so he could squeeze by and stake his claim on the bathroom. He slammed the bathroom door shut and locked it.
     Once inside, Jonny smiled widely and flicked the locked door the thumbs-up. "And once again, Jonny Quest rules the bathroom," he congradulated himself.
      The bathroom sink was littered with brushes, shampoo bottles and soap as he undressed and hopped into the shower.
      Meanwhile, Jessie had made a bee-line for the basement a nd had reached the water heater. She listened for the familiar sound of water trickling through the pipes. With the biggest and most sly grin she could muster, Jessie reached for the hot water valve and turned it completely off...
      And three seconds later...
      "JESSSSSIIIIIEEEEE!! I'm gonna kill you!!"
      "Serves you right," she whispered to herslf.
      Jonny dove out of the ice-cold shower, hit the towel spread across the floor and went sprawling forward, face first onto the tiled floor in a huge, wet 'splat!'

      "You think a diamond could actually concentrate light enough to burn through a cement structure?" Agent Kinski asked, scratching his chin.
      "Yes, I do. There's a company in Japan that has been testing a prototype capable of such a feat." Quest answered.
      "It's a good bet," Race began," that Japan will be the next target here."
      "There's not much we can do about Japan, Mr. Bannon... even if we sent a team over there, the Japanese aren't into too much that interupts with their regular buisness progress."
      "Then what do you suggest we do?"
      "Well, someone's going to have to keep an eye on that prototype in Tokyo, Japan."
      Dr. Quest leaned forward on his elbows. "Let me guess, that 'someone' happens to be us, right?"

      Jonny walked briskly out of the bathroom, a towel wrapped tightly about his waist. He reached Jessie's door and pounded on it furiously.
      "It's open," she sang.
      Jonny burst in. "You set me up!!"
      "You set yourself up, Jonny. I told you to go to the downstairs bathroom, but you never listen to me." She returned to brushing her long, red hair, feeling quite proud of herself this morning. "Guess you'll think twice before kicking me out of the bathroom again, huh Jonny."
      "For your information, Jess... "
      Jessie whirled around from the mirror. "Nice towel, Jonny," she regarded the hap-hazard display around his waist.
      Jonny turned a rather interesting shade of red and rushed out of Jessie's room.
      "Works every time," she smiled.

      It was nearing 11:00 in the morning by the time Race and Benton had packed and were getting ready to board the 747 from the Augusta Airport.
      "Now you two behave, and don't drive Mrs Evans up the wall," Dr. Quest said, shouldering his carry-on.
      Race turned before sliding into step behind Benton as they began to board. "And Jessie... leave the water pipes alone, kiddo."
      "Sure thing dad," she smiled.
      "Ha, you got in trouble," Jonny whispered, leaning over her shoulder.
      "Did not!"
      "Oh, and Jonny," Dr. Quest added. "Try to keep the damage to a minimum!"

TOKYO, JAPAN

      It was nearly 2:00 in the morning at Takeshi Systems, Limited, responsible for designing much of Japan's technology in the field of laser equiptment research.
      Outside the walls of the building, two large men checked their watches, both Russian. "Vy gotovi [Are you ready]?" one asked quietly.
      "Da [Yes]" the other answered. He reached into a back pack and pulled out a harpoon gun. He aimed and shot, sucessfully securring the prongs to the roof.
      The larger of the men, Ivan, began up first, with his buddy, Vetali following. Ivan made it to an open window rather quickly and climbed inside.
      He poked his head out of the window and called down to his buddy. "Vy medkeneoy chem oleetka!! [You're slower than a snail!!]"
"Merniy! [Shut up!]" Vetali bit back.
      The two eventually made it into the building. A quick discussion sent Vetali into a storage office and to a digital safe. Cracking safes was a hobbie of his. He had designed all his equiptment by his own hand, and it brought with him a certain proud flare for being so inventive.
      Ivan nervously checked his watch for about the tenth time in the past 15 seconds. What was taking so long? Boy, he hated to wait.
      A hand came down firmly on his shoulder.
      He whipped around, gun at the ready, only to find Vetali grinning widely.
      "Vy poloochelee eto? [Did you get it?]" Ivan asked as the adrenalyn began to receed from his veins. Vetali cradled the contraption in his arms, it being about the size of a three month old baby.

      The small commuter plane took off from the Tokyo International airport with Ivan and Vetali on board. With them, another Russian traveled silently untill they were out over the East China Sea. He turned to Vetali. "Yak nazivayet'sya tse? [What is that thing?]"
      Vetali looked up, eyes like a childs in a candy store. For a lack of better jugement, he answered, "Novoye oovlecheneeye deyoy! [ A new diet fad!]"
      "Litayetyes shoote? [Trying to be funny?]"
      Vetali cleared his throat.
      "Gentelmen, gentelman!" someone soothed. A tall and handsom man entered casualy into the cabin and placed himself precisely in a seat. He glanced at Vetali and smiled. "Excellent, I see you have the prototype. Well done." He reached into his suit jacket and pulled out two letter-envelopes and tossed one at each of the two thieves. "There's your payment as promised. 20 thousand American."
      The other Russian retrieved the prototype. "Mister Barnes ... " he began.
      "Oh please, call me Reyden." Reyden produced a tiny metal box from his pocket and took the prototype. He opened the box and pulled out a perfect 1.5 karate diamond and placed it in the prototype. He looked keenly around the cabin. The food cooler caught his eye.
      With the light of a child in his eyes, Reyden flipped a switch and a low hum filled the cabin. He aimed and pulled back on the laser controll... and the cooler exploded into several different pieces, showering the cabin in smoldering rubbel. "Absolutely amazing," he mused. "And that was only 1.5 karates. Imagine what I could do with a 10 karate diamond... or a 15 karate ruby!"

On to Part II

© 1997 by Jimminy Cricket Presses