Do not discuss spoilers about new episodes within the Cbox until at least a week after the episode has aired, if you wish to discuss spoilers simply make a thread about it (Keep the title spoiler free aswell).
7XB had always enjoyed these small, intimate moments that always occurred between themselves and Padparadscha, savoring them as they came along, yet the Quartz gem couldn't help the underlying unease that accompanied them- the unshakeable feeling that what they were doing was somehow even more dangerous and wrong than they had imagined. Even the tender moments they shared were not immune to the suspicious nature that the Quartz soldier had erected around themselves, and they found themselves treating each intimate encounter with wariness, as if were on a hook to be yanked away and replaced with scorn. As much as they tried to alleviate this fear, it was too deeply engrained in their mind
They moved to pull away at first, only to find themselves captivated by her fragile gaze, and the warmth that radiated from her small hand upon their much larger one.
Her voice, gentle as it was, carried something much deeper than she let on, and it was easy for them to recognize it was separate from the aforementioned suspicion. They wanted to badly to reassure her, to consent to her every, soft-spoken wish as she desired..but their blunt practicality warned them against promises that they could not keep.
“I..I will try.” That was all the promise they could muster, but the weight behind those words was no less than if they had just promises her the universe on a platter. “I promise.” What else could she ask of them?
Their initial reaction to her advance hadn't gone unnoticed-- it hit her with a dose of her own neurosis, a pang of burning cold struck in her chest, until their acceptance dulled the sensation. But she continued to try to make sense of their motives. When they spoke with such conviction, amplified by the heft of natural gravitas, she knew they were giving the best answer they could. They gave the truth, as she had wanted them to, but the truth was often unsettling. It was good that she was use to that fact, and even an unsettling truth was soothing for her. Hearing them make a promise did something to lift some of the weight from her mind, but a sizable mental burden remained.
There was a question that lingered as she looked back at them, and her eyes lowered as she thought. She still had yet to know many important things about this connection, and she could guess that 7XB too had their questions. After today's events, would they continue investigation? For the moment neither of them asked anything, indulging in a simple moment for as long as possible before the inevitable reality became an increasing pressure. That pressure to ask them the question heightened with every moment, it would only take her servants so much time to get their order complete, but there was something else. The last time she had asked that question, they'd given no answer to it; perhaps due to the heat of the moment, as the two of them had tried to work through their misunderstanding, or perhaps, due to the fact that they had no answer. The thought of that again conjured her neurosis, the thought of plunging forward into unknown territory with a very incomplete map. She swallowed, and her eyes trailed back up to them.
Padparadscha released the comm to 7XB's custody as she shored up the courage to ask again, to prepare herself for a raw truth. Gently, she pulled one hand from theirs, and let her other slip downward across the surface of their hand, with some reluctance, receding in pessimistic defense more than anything else. Looking into the soldier's gaze that had once been so intimidating to her, a wistful gleam still drifting over her eyes, voice a breathy whisper,"But what do you want, 7XB?"
Who would, or could, possibly imagine that such a simple question would prove to be so frustratingly impossible to answer? Or at the very least, for such a stoic and serious Quartz gem as 7XB. They had barely a moment to relax, leaning back into the seat they had occupied, before her question fell heavily upon their furrowing brow.
Through the following silence their frustration grew, though it was directed less and the Sapphire and more the apparent impossibly of answering this question. Though was that not an answer in and of itself? “I..I just..” how were they to say this in a way that made sense? And not only that, but come across as they meant it, and not as sharp and harsh as they knew it would.
“I.. don't? I don't want, Padparadscha.” Aware as they were of their own sharp tongue, 7XB knew that clarification was immediately required. “It's not that I don't care, Padparadscha, I do..but I don't want.. anything.” it was clear that the realization was coming to them as the words left their lips by their troubled expression. “I wasn't created to want anything.”
Her hands withdrew to her sides, she straightened up, grabbed the white cube on her desk, and turned to settle into her seat. Chewing on the words given, and the behavior she'd seen from them in the past, she found herself at an impasse, and a loss for words. She fidgeted with the cube, her eyes wandered around the surface of her desk, then flicked up to look more directly at them.
Something didn't add up. If they didn't want anything, why bother with her? It seemed to her that they had wanted something do to with her at the very least. Or else, what reason was there to care about something like her? Had there been a misinterpretation? What were the right questions to ask to find her answers? In a normal criminal investigation, it was sometimes much easier for her to think of the right words. But here, in an investigation like this one, it felt impossible. Nonetheless, what it came down to was that the sapphire couldn't understand what the quartz was getting to; whatever questions she asked needed to illuminate this issue. The realization sparked another underlying worry she had been clinging onto, and with a quiet puff of air she leaned onto the armrest. She stewed on all of the things she knew she wanted, but it was hard to surmise how she might yet get them.
"Why did you volunteer yourself for a mission like this?" She asked, her tone withdrawing into a more firm manner. The aristocratic detective had too many questions, and too little time to answer them. But, there were a few that were more pressing than others. "You could've very well determined a better use of your time," She paused, thinking over every interaction they'd had. Had she misunderstood them and their intentions? What she needed was answers, and they were both technically in an interrogation room.
It was becoming clearer and clearer that the Quartz was running on empty, the gears and pistons of their brain firing and grinding until it seemed as that they were all but burned out. Questions, question did it ever, ever end?! As 7XB sat it had always been easy enough for them, at least for the most part, to accept the status quo as simply the way things are; Such a determination allowed them to focus on their duties with little concern for affairs that were, for all intents and purposes, above them.
“I.. because I just did? Is that not an answer itself?” After all that had occured, 7XB was content, for the most part to act as they were want, though obviously some thought was put into keeping it inconspicuous but..well, that was different, wasn't it? More time was spent stifling their own guilt in that regard than anything.
“Can nothing be taken at face value?* They question themselves, fingers tightening around the small, shimmering cube so tightly that it threatened to fail, the light pulsing and sputtering. “I am a Quartz, I'm not..not made to spend my time..wanting. It's not in my programming, Padparadscha.” It was clear that 7XB believed that. Quartz gems were designed with strength and, though less so than Agates, strategy in mind. What point, what purpose, could a soldier serve if they were to spend all their time wanting this and that, or questioning every step they took?
“I just do, or don't, and I know that..” they paused, stringing it all together on their mind. “That I'm doing what a Quartz is supposed to do, because that is what I am capable of. To question that would be to question my Diamond's trust in my abilities."
Fascinated with what she heard, the sapphire paid close attention, canting forward as they spoke, and indubitably she saw that 7XB wasn't taking well to being in the hot seat of an interrogator's office. Padparadscha didn't particularly know what to do about their distress, as she continued to have her own mind-space numbed by the cube fiddling between her fingers. She didn't have comforting things to say, only analysis or observations, and a strong desire to get to the root of this issue. The quartz had seemed to leave their intimacy back on Earth, so she wondered if physical comfort would even be an option. Stumped, she decided to take another route,"Nothing can be taken at face value, especially not in an investigation," She stated, her voice carrying the heft of a fact she thoroughly believed. She gave a small smile, knowing that it wasn't a sentiment they would particularly like, but she wasn't being contrary just for the sake of it.
"Can I level with you?" She asked, tilting her head slightly. How plain it was to see that the gem she so admired had their stress exacerbated by this situation put her on edge; her need for answers ran up against her desire to see them at ease. But this was not a Diamond-sanctioned investigation; it was an independent operation, wherein she and 7XB were the only detectives. Though it wasn't imperative to have answers for these questions that had assailed her since her dispatch with them weeks ago, to her it certainly felt as if the weight of the Earth would be pressed upon her mind until she could seize those answers, and conquer this problem once and for all.
She didn't wait for 7XB to give her an answer to her question before she went to level with them,"If you want me to simply leave the issue, I will, but I warn you that will leave this investigation incomplete. This issue is a facet that can't be ignored going forward. So I ask this now, do you want to continue this investigation? Now, later, or not at all? If you wish to proceed I'll tell you what I make of your sentiment," As the sapphire's eyes swept over the quartz, she scrutinized their cues, and realized just how off kilter they seemed to be. Without saying anything, she lifted the small white cube between her thumb and forefinger, and pressed it to the center of the gem core on her neck, to demonstrate its use to them. She held it there only for a second, but in that time, the light that made up the cube had absorbed into the sapphire's gemstone until only half of it was still in a corporeal form, disintegrated along the edge that had pressed against her. She quickly set it aside, so that she wouldn't continue absorbing it in any capacity before she could assess its affect on her.
The smile she offered could easily have come off as patronizing, especially in 7XB’s particularly heightened state of annoyance, but the conviction with which she spoke gave them pause. From what they now knew of the Sapphire, there was absolutely no doubt in their mind that she believed that, but the Quartz was not nearly as convinced. Perhaps it was due, at least in part, to some cultural or political differences between the two gems? The general mood and difference in the methods of operation between the gems of Pink Diamond's court and their own, glorious Diamond became more striking by the day; Even this moonbase, for all it's splendor, seemed lax and ill-kept, not to mention the Colony itself.
Still, the barrier of ideals, seemingly insurmountable for all their connections, ground their nerves to a messy stub.
“Yes,” the Quartz clipped uneasily in her offer to 'level’ with them, “I would prefer it, actually.” All the whys and wherefores of politics drained the Quartz to no end, and investigating was no different, or so it seemed. As she made a point of demonstrating the use of the inconspicuous little cube, eyes turned to their own, nearly crushed in their grasp. Somewhat sulky, they copied her movement, though it did succeed in blunting the jagged edge of the soldier's temper.
Their gaze was allowed to soften somewhat as she laid the question out before them, though the cold, matter of fact nature still chafed them. “We will continue.” They stated absolutely, wearily, “ but not now.”
Her brows floated slightly; their words had come as both a surprise and a relief, hitting her simultaneously like a sudden gust of air. It seemed she'd underestimated their stubborn resolve in this matter, and her more detached, interrogative aspect began to falter under that realization, as well as the effect of the medication. Now that her guard had been lowered, she wondered if that momentary shield had been too rigid; she had been a continued source of agitation for them-- her eyes lit as she made an internal connection, but she didn't speak up, it was too late for that now.
But, what she could determine from her connection, was that progress had been made. Beneath the overt frustration of her dear comrade, she could see something else. It would be another matter entirely to interpret that, since she couldn't read minds-- much to her chagrin at times. For the sapphire, clear explanation and solid truth was always preferable to this nebulous notion of interpretation; much like the trivial procession of aristocratic pomposity, she found it to largely be overshooting the point of things. But what happened when interpretation was all she had? Would her quest for absolute truth, especially in something so complex as this exchange of emotion between she and them, drive her mad before she could find it?
"I see," She managed through her disintegrating guise of professionalism. Part of her wanted to give them an excuse to stay, and allow themselves to relax; but especially after today, she wondered if sitting idly would be any sort of relaxation for a gem like them-- like her, for that matter."Thank you-- for your advisory, your valor...for spending your time with me. I apologize for, um...well, sometimes I get carried away," Sometimes was an understatement. There wasn't a need to give them reminders at this time, their acceptance of the comm she'd given them was perhaps the most relieving part of this exchange. She gave a sigh, and drummed her fingers on her desk while her eyes traced the edges of the holo-docs that appeared there.
Padparadscha wanted to give them something to chew on before they would move to their next task. "7XB," Her eyes flicked up and focused on them,"I'll give you a fun fact, as to why these devices aren't yet widely available," She made a gesture toward the half-cube remaining on her desk. She didn't think they were particularly wondering about such a thing, rather she had a point to make,"It's because they only really work for gems who are like us," A wistful smile lingered on her lips as she eyed them,"Gems who are catalysts for an astronomic, indomitable force. A power that can only be harnessed under unfathomable pressures,"
Was she really so surprised by their conviction? Had they not both come to the same conclusion as to the importance of their illusive, etheric connection? It coiled and danced around the pair, a very real and present anomaly until, like smoke, it fluttered out of sight, but never out of mind. Initially, it had seemed as if it only occurred when the two mismatching gems were within a certain proximity to each other, or some phenomenon caused by the Earth itself..but as time carried ever onward, as it always had, 7XB found that the sapphire was becoming a constant resident of their thoughts, even when duty required a razor focus on their part.
And this new word, 'love’, what part did it have to play in this mystery? Whatever the answer may reveal, it would have to wait until the two gems could return to it with fresh eyes, and clearer minds.
She seemed just about ready to send the Quartz on their way; They prepared their body for that moment: Not quite rising, they sat up straighter, preparing, longing, for a time when there would be no eyes upon them. “It's no trouble at all, Your Clarity, truly.” Yet the hesitation in her voice, it served as another reminder of their intimate moments. “We can all get a bit..ah.. overzealous.” Especially when this was concerned. As she drew their attention to the forgotten little piece of tech, 7XB turned their steely gaze downwards upon it for a moment, then back to her. “I see.” Power, strength, astronomical or not..what did it mean?
Anticipating the impending return of the two servants, they rose. “I think, perhaps, it's time I return to my team and duties, Your Clarity.”
Her smile widened as her spirit was lifted with their reassurance. It was easy for her to get wound up into the doubts, the questions, the impossibility of it all, so much that she could lose sight of the bigger picture. 7XB had a way of grounding her, reminding her of that more expansive perspective, and now was no different; the momentary frustration between them wouldn't stand in the way of continuing to forge this enigmatic bond.
They, step by step, prepared themselves to get back into motion, while she internally wrote an entire list of ways she could get them to stay longer. The sapphire stood on a precarious edge, knowing they were going to leave again, wanting to reach out and keep them from the vast unknown ahead. But it wouldn't do for either of them to be late for their next assignments. They were a gem who had faced countless dangers without her, she knew they could handle what came their way, but she also knew that it would be difficult to harness concentration once they did leave. She eyed her comm, and trusted that they would make good on their promise to stay in contact with her.
Among her other thoughts, she wondered what they would interpret from her small parable as they ruminated. Perhaps it wouldn't be the same, or it could even become an entirely disparate message that they would draw than she had intended, but it would still be indicative of her point. As they rose, her body willed her out of her seat as well; she didn't intend on going anywhere, but she did have a strong urge to go to them a final time before they would be off again. Any minute her servants could walk in, so she hesitated, before making her way around the desk, and clasped her hands in front of her.
Her eyes trailed passed the patch on their lower left, but flicked up to meet their eyes while they spoke. She gave a solid nod,"I'm sure they'll be anticipating your return, send my regards," She managed to keep her tone light and breezy, despite the melancholy that still bubbled up in the back of her mind. However, her words gathered a weight as she gave voice to her worries,"Stay safe out there, 7XB, don't push yourself too hard,"
Electricity arced quickly through the space between the two gems, quickening into a heavy pulse of static as Padparadscha drew ever closer, moving with such a fiery intensity that region between the two gems, Sapphire and Quartz, grew astronomically warmer as at her approach. It was tempting, to cross the short distance between them to take hold of the sapphire, an idea that they Quartz soldier was sure the diminutive peach gem shared, but if such was the case, then the two returning gems were not far from either of their minds.
The Quartz would need their focus die what was to come, a sudden return to the normalcy they so craved, to their dedicated team of Rubies; Yet, for all their trying, 7XB was having trouble concentrating on anything but..her. It was unusual for them, even in regards to their connection, to be so spacy.
Either way, she was right: they would be expected back soon.
“Me?” Began the Quartz gem with a grin, lighting up their face, “You know I never work too hard, Your Clarity.” As great as their desire was to linger, they could do so no longer. As such, they would cross a final salute across their chest, before wrenching themselves away to make for the chamber's exit.
The charged magnetism that drew her to 7XB made it a herculean task to stifle her impulses, the electrifying buzz of free energy coursing through the void between them made her ask if she, a sapphire, couldn't simply do as she willed; as the quartz did, so often taking will into their own hands, walking with her down an uncharted path of expression. All she wanted was to close that space, to be swept into the unyielding gravity of their presence. The unprecedented nature of this exploration, and the intensity of her attraction, sometimes made it difficult to imagine what the consequences of it all could be. However, especially after the day's events, fear of a single outcome carried enough heft to block her from taking actions she may regret.
It came as a relief then, that they would leave her with a smile; one so precious and meaningful, with the power to single-handedly heave her up from any depth, even if it meant they had to go for now. She would hold in her heart, crystalline eyes sparkling as she took in the sight of their smile, their strong visage, their entire form, and their words. Her own smile lingered; this gem would have her believe that they were limitless. Despite knowing that everyone had their ceiling, it truly did feel at times that 7XB's sheer power couldn't be restrained by something as abstract as limitations. They had helped her move passed her own in many ways, showing her how conceptual such an idea could be. They were the perfect gem, one she would continue to strive after in her own acts. She mirrored their salute.
Her core plummeted as she watched them turn to go, every fiber of her pulling toward them. Instead, she flipped around, and interfaced with her desk, making sure the door wasn't locked, and eyed what was left of her medication. She would hope for at least a few moments alone until 6UE and Pink Pearl would return, to grasp for mental grounding on her own before the next assignment.
As she did, pairs of light and heavy feet tapped down the hall, closing in on Padparadscha's office.
Like a sinister, creeping fog, the shadow of what might have happened, what very likely could have happened, hung heavy upon the mind of the sober, serious gem, and, despite the ethereal nature of their needless guilt, they could not help but feel a very real and present weight upon their broad shoulders. The memory of their previous, regrettable fusion, though it had seemed long suppressed by sheer force of will, had clawed it's way to the surface after what had happened at the human 'Cube’, and was back with a vengeance, threatening to assail the clear Quartz with doubt and regret.
But then she smiled, like a newborn star shimmering through the bleakness of infinity, and they couldn't help but to bask blissful in the serendipity she provided.
Admittedly, it would not be easy to pry themselves away, but they pace was brisk, heels driving themselves downwards with great purpose as the doors slid open before them, and behind them. Nodding respectful to the two returning gems, 7XB’s steps led them ever farther from the Sapphire's office.. but to where? Steps became slower, and less directed as the Quartz found themselves in the room that contained the cubbies reserved for the soldiers of the moonbase- unusually empty for once.
Their eyes moved upward, dancing between each and every impersonal opening on the wall. Each of this soldiers- Jaspers, Amethysts, other types of quartz- were likely to see heavy service in the war for Earth that was, in their experience, sure to occur.
Battle after battle after battle..they leaned back against the smooth wall with a thud, only now allowing their legs to fail, sliding down.
“War..” they mused bitterly upon hitting the floor, “I grow weary of war..”
This Roleplay is a prequel to Steven Universe to an extent with some slight retconing and its own progression to the story that will turn out differently to how stuff plays out in the show.Thanks to the message by Rose Quartz several gems are rising up to protect Earth and have labelled themselves as the Crystal Gems. Others on earth are remaining aligned to Homeworld though despite the isolation of Earth from Homeworld
All gems on earth are still stranded, the communication hub is still offline and all the space warps are shattered, it has now been revealed that this is the work of Rose Quartz and her small group known as the Crystal gems. They have rebelled against Homeworld and have chosen to protect the Earth (Trapping themselves on Homeworld to keep the warps down).
Now both sides are fighting among themselves along with fighting against the 'Corruption' a virus is infecting many gems turning most of them into mindless monsters, but those with a stronger will seem to becoming something more sinister.
The Game has changed now. The question has finally been posed, are you against Homeworld or allied with them. Or do you have your own agenda that may or may not been assisted by the ‘Corruption’. Regardless the seeds have been placed down and although it is only the beginning the fight for or against Earth and the corruption has begun. The choice is yours for how it is shaped on the Original Steven Universe Roleplay Site.
Orginal Opening Plot Here Thread That Changed Everything
Differances Between the Roleplay and the Show
*Thanks to Rose Quartz' message the Gems on Earth are entirely aware that the Homeworld Gems intend to wipe out the human race.
*The "corruption" is being treated like a virus due to lack of info about it on the show.
*Garnet, Pearl and Rose are assumed capture on Homeworld
*Garnet,Pearl and Rose broke the space warps to delay Homeworld
*Thanks to Roses Message gems now know what the Kindergarten was used for