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Somewhat surprisingly to 7XB, it seemed as if neither of them had the nerve to say what needed to be said, any proper, sensible response to what she has just said completely losing it's way in transit from brain to mouth, leaving the serious, sober Quartz gem opening and closing their mouth in a fashion very similar to a fish before they caught themselves doing so, warm color bluing their cheeks. What were they doing, the two of them? In their logical minds, the pair of them knew that indulging this urge could only lead to their ruin.
But beneath it all, underneath the quivering dread, a stronger feeling was brewing, a positive force that warmed them and drove them to act.
“W-well..” they began, breaking the silence with the clearing of their throat, “this phenomena definitely..well, it definitely deserves further testing.”
The silence was cold for her, as she waited for them to tell her, no, your clarity. It was too much weight for her to carry, she couldn't. Yet, it already felt heavier as she waited, having pushed 7XB to be the one to deal the final blow to this intangible thing that had grown between them. Her shoulders sank as she watched them flounder in silence, becoming more flustered than she'd seen them since that not-so-long-ago moment, and her eyes widened slightly as she realized this battle-hardened warrior seemed afraid, like she was; that, she knew, was no small matter. Her lips parted as she felt increasingly guilty, knowing she should say something, or take back what she'd said.
Her eyes widened even more as they summoned the strength to push their words out, and her lips remained hanging slightly open as she processed it. It seemed by all her analysis to be sincere, but she couldn't believe it, she just looked at them for a moment. Then, her lips came back together, and her eyes glimmered. She gave a deliberate, single nod of her head, and thought on how they might be able to go about testing this ethereal thing that couldn't be so directly observed. Her flushing face grew hotter.
"It...erm, it seems we're here for data collection, at any rate-- a-and...it couldn't hurt to add another, ah, research project to my scheduling..." She paused, eyes flicking to the ground as she tapped her chin. The sapphire had suddenly remembered the other gem she'd sent into the city, without a very thorough briefing. She would have to devise a plan to deal with that, but for now, she had to do something with this growing mass of lightheaded confusion churning in her mind. Her hand moved to rest over her lips as she fell into a spell of thought.
Meanwhile, Amethyst sauntered down the street, still not exactly sure what in the name of the Authority she was suppose to be doing, but she was determined to do it well. She glanced over, and pursed her lips when she didn't spot 7XB somewhere ahead of her on the other side of the street. With a glance backward, she immediately caught sight of the towering gem, and her eyes trailed down to the sapphire whose pink motif popped up between the movement of people. The two of them seemed to be embroiled in some kind of staring contest. She gave a shrug, and kept walking forward, looking for anything interesting to report on, when a man carrying a sign ambushed her with a spiel about protein shakes.
That feeling only grew with her affirmation, and though it was clear that the two gems were hiding the true reasoning behind this decision behind a wall of false pretenses, choosing to believe instead that they were still walking the narrow line of simple between duty and a very inappropriate indulgence by deciding to cite 'data collection’ as the reason for humoring this any farther.
Still, though the dread was there, it proved a much easier concern to crush compared to before. If they were going to do this, they might as well.. do it.. right? “Right. Data collection that..is the mission Your.. Padparadscha..”. Though they had long since forgotten about Amethyst in the past few hectic moments, they would be thankful for privacy the crowd provided. “Do you have any idea as to how we might research this?” Even as they spoke, their sharp eyes danced back and forth between she and the crowd, almost as if they feared the surrounding humans could present some threat to either of them. Would there even care about such a secret?
The sapphire remained in thought for a moment, shifting her weight unconsciously before looking up at them once again. Knowing that both of them were on the same page-- the same fear, the same need to press on despite it-- gave her a surge of comfort and confidence. This gem had seen her near her worst; they'd seen her show sides she would've never shown if not for the circumstances, sides she didn't even know existed, and she guessed it was very likely the same for them. Though, she had to wonder, if in all their swathe of experiences, they had ever come across something like this before. It made her a bit uncomfortable to think it, something like a pin prick of envy, so she instead decided to think about how the two of them would actually proceed at this point.
"Hmm," Should she treat it like any other research project? "Typically, I would begin with the mission statement, the purpose of the research. I suppose our purpose would be to gain an understanding of these...phenomena, as you've put it," Her eyes trailed around their form as she recalled their moment by the water, the nexus point where those emotions had culminated. But had that been the beginning, or had it all started somewhere else? "I'll be honest 7XB, this is a rather large thing to tackle. I don't know, I've never dealt with something like thisbefore. Perhaps we should start by just...talking. You know, to analyze the data we've already got, maybe that'll help us figure out how to create the conditions in order to better observe--"
"Ooh, hey there," A peppy voice she found oddly familiar piped up from nearby, the sapphire jumped, and swiveled her head. A human who seemed vaguely like someone she'd seen before, though she really hadn't any clue from where,"You're the lady who gave me this!" He pulled a plasma coin out of his pocket. It sparked her memory, but she found herself perplexed as to why he'd kept it-- and as to why this creature had decided to start talking to her in the first place. Perhaps she should've gone farther with her disguise..."What'er the chances, eh? Ya know they ended up just giving me some cash anyway, nice place your people got." The man glanced up and smiled to 7XB, "You're a tall one, I betcha get that all the time. Anywho you two going to the event tonight? Or off on some Bourne Ultimatum type stuff eh?"
"Oh, erm-- you're--" She tapped her chin and squinted,"That pilot, when I was trying to detain..." Hematite. Her hand went to grip her midriff again as her skin prickled,"Uh, the event?" she glanced back up toward 7XB,"Y-yes, we're going to...the event. I assure you, there isn't anyone named Bourne, nor any ultimatumsinvolved, we're just...er..."
The man waved dismissively,"I getcha no problemo, my cousin was in the CIA, crazy stuff. Anywho you two enjoy the evenin' now ya hear?" The interrupting human just smiled, bobbed his head at both of them, and kept walking.
Padparadscha gave 7XB an apologetic, embarrassed grin. "Anyway...what do you think?" She managed,"Lets keep moving, I think there is a plaza up here..." She sighed. It seemed like something was always interrupting her time with this gem.
It was perhaps fortunately that Padparadscha took advantage of the momentarily shock that overtook 7XB to converse with the bold human, their incredulousness at being approached preventing the quartz from bringing a sudden, scathing end to this especially unwanted encounter. Instead, the clear gem found a heavy brow lifting in silent confusion, put off from cutting in by the fact that the Sapphire seemed to have some knowledge of this harmless, if annoyingly chatty, creature. The language was easy enough to understand, sure, but half of what they seemed to be spouting seemed to be nothing more than human gibberish, talk of ultimatum and something called a 'bourne’; They couldn't help but bristle as the attention was then turned to them, but the attention of the twitchy creature had already departed before they could make up a more suitable response than the one issued by the sapphire.
“Well,” began the clear gem with a bit of a edge, clearly annoyed at that unforseen interruption, “ there a story behind that?” even now, after that, they couldn't possibly imagine that she was friendly with a human.
She gave a small grimace, and embarrassment grew tenfold as she realized 7XB wasn't going to just let that little exchange go, their tone bit at her confidence. She found herself wishing she would've just ignored the human, and wishing more so that her quartz companion wouldn't push the subject.
Arms pinned to her sides, her shoulders rose as she glanced away from them. "Oh!" She uttered, as if surprised, and flipped through her mind for the story she'd give them. Telling the whole thing was certainly out of the question; she had already admitted to one failure today, and that one had been much less cataclysmic. "A few days ago I was doing contract work for a Homeworld extension base here in Empire City, you might be familiar with it," She gestured toward the tower that loomed over the rest of the city,"and I happened to come across--"
She paused as she realized there wasn't a way to make this sound good, no matter how she spun it. Her mouth hung open for a moment, before she decided she would try anyway,"--a rebel. Not just any rebel, but an escaped experimental model, connected to one of my internal affairs suspects-- erm, but anyway I realized that this would be a high-priority suspect, I couldn't let her get away without at least dragging some information out of her, but the target gave chase. That human ground pilot happened to be the one operating a taxi nearby, I took advantage of the opportunity to close ground between me and the suspect. He made it difficult, to be sure, but eventually...uh...well I found the target..." Padparadscha's lips came together solidly, as if they'd been suddenly glued shut. She hoped that would be enough to sate their curiosity, and to explain why she would've had such a casual encounter with a human.
Flustered as she was, it became harder for her to return to the topic at hand. For a moment, all she could recall was that fateful moment, just days ago. Her fists clenched as her teeth did, the strange sensation of that moment, something entirely different than she had ever experienced radiating through her as she relived that horrible failure. Suddenly her body halted up, as if she'd hit a brick wall. Inspiration burst through her mind, and she swiveled her head to glare at 7XB for a moment. The emotion that this soldier evoked in her was like the antithesis of the emotion that she felt whenever she thought about that rebel, yet both of those feelings shared a similar nature and intensity.
Since they could easily tell just how uncomfortable their acknowledgement of the situation made Padparadscha, 7XB refrained from saying anything else as she spoke, though it was much more difficult to keep their expression from speaking for them. Eyes followed her gesture, lingering for a moment upon the tower that stood out above all else, a building that struck the Quartz gem as familiar for a reason other than it's vaguely gem-like hybrid construction. They had seen it before, had they not? The memory was fuzzy, and their eyes narrowed as the recollection refused to come easily.
The opal, the one who called themselves.. what was it? Chip? And their master, they had mentioned the gem who constructed that tower, the so called 'protector’ of the city, at least at that time. “Morion..” They looked to her for a yea or nay just a moment later, only to find her so suddenly frozen, hanging still onto the final thread of her sentence. Their desire to know every little detail of what trouble Padparadscha had gotten into since they parted ways drove them to dig deeper..but they did not. Besides, they reasoned with themselves, they had both lingered for too long in the same spot.
“So,” they offered her a hand then, and an almost sheepish look, “this plaza you mentioned?..”
Her shoulders settled back down and the tension in her loosened as they extended a hand. The smile that blossomed onto her expression told of her relief, that 7XB had seemed to take her story at face value, and that she hadn't outright offended them with her unorthodox interaction with primitive creatures. Aside, she doubted they'd fault her for using any means necessary to complete a goal. But, the smile told also of her giddiness; her slender fingers threaded into their warm grasp, and she found that she couldn't contain her smile, or her excitement to have this moment.
It was a a bit of a surprise to hear that 7XB knew of the shadowy figure that she'd only heard of through rumor and second-hand information, but perhaps she shouldn't have been. Now, her dealings in the past had uncovered that perhaps this Blue Diamond hold, M-Tower, shouldn't have been so trusted by her. Eager to leave behind her own stories of naive debacles, botched missions, meetings with questionable gems and humans, the sapphire was in favor of returning to the task at hand, or perhaps even hearing more about this seasoned soldier's exploits. Her new plan of action began to churn in her mind.
"Right, the plaza," She said, her tone considerably more uplifted as she stepped off to lead 7XB into the direction of it,"I'm not so sure what we'll find there, but apparently there is an event. Culturally speaking, humans do this sort of thing often, I would say there is good data for that objective to be found there," Her head tilted as she looked at them,"and, I suppose, it could give us an opportunity to see aboutthis research project along the way. I would really like to get to the root of the, um, phenomenon," Eyes trailed down to their intertwined hands, a small smile lingering on her lips. She wasn't sure why she liked it so much, perhaps the closeness, the memories it invoked, or the reassurance their warmth gave her. Was this something she should've been contemplating out loud, for data's sake? Even if that was the case, she found herself a bit shy about doing so, her tone got a bit softer, "You just needed to get me from point to point the first time I took your hand. But I have to keep being honest, it comforted me then, and every time after that. I've wondered if you knew that, or if you could've possibly felt it," She peered expectantly at 7XB, hoping to hear their honest thoughts on it as well. She had a few questions that could be answered in a single swoop by whatever response they gave.
As long ago as their first, ill-fated mission to the Earth had been, 7XB was quite surprised they had been able to remember such obscure names at all- but they supposed it only went to show just how strong their suspicion had been and remained for that tower and it's supposed Blue Diamond loyalty. Again, they wondered, what was a contingent of gems under Blue Diamond doing on this planet at all?
Thanks again, they really had no room to talk about not belonging did they?
7XB’s face was calm, and distantly contemplative, as they allowed Padparadscha to lead them through the swarm of humans, though their grip upon her tiny hand was no weaker than it had ever been. “I wonder how these humans ever get anything done, “ they muttered scornfully, “between this currency they demand and..” The quartz paused, looking down at their joined hands as she made mention of it, their entire face dyed a deep, oceanic blue as they wore a rather 'deer in headlights’ expression. “Oh, right, I..uhm..” why was it so hard, so embarrassing, for them to simply agree with what she had said? It's not like they had to say it themselves, and even if they did what was the problem? This was just another one of Padparadscha's research projects, right? “I..do..also..feel ah..” they turned away, looking out over the crowd even as they squeezed her hand more tightly, reassuring, “I agree.”
Padparadscha's eyes flicked up to the direction they were heading, before settling on 7XB's bewildered expression as they tried to get their words out. The sapphire already knew to some degree that this sort of thing was difficult for them to talk about; it was difficult for both of them, but for 7XB it sometimes seemed to be a particularly labyrinthine task to talk about their emotions. She kept herself patient as she listened, quietly delighted with the fact that they tried, despite their discomfort, and having her internal suspicions more or less confirmed. As for why that was, she would have to figure it out. She wanted to be more intent with her analysis, but she also wanted to find a more convenient place to talk.
"Hmm, good! Our first bit of data," She gave a short, quiet laugh, somewhat out of relief for the fact that it had been the same for them. Part of her had been a little worried yet. After all, everything about this was so strange, she didn't know what to expect. Their grip supported their words with all of the assurance she would need. It seemed that comfort and understanding were key components to this phenomenon. "You're a gem of few words, but your actions speak so boldly," She gave the observation alongside a demure smile, her eyes glittering.
She would move on to confirm or deny her next suspicions at a more opportune moment, aside she knew they would probably need some respite before she started challenging them to open up any more than that. It would take small steps. Padpara tapped her chin while her boots clicked against the concrete, bringing the taller gem along with her as they made their way along the tree-lined boulevard. "As for how humans get anything done, I'm sure my associate in the Organic Research department would be able to demystify some of it, though honestly I can't say. It's a mess out here," Her free hand gestured lackadaisically toward the mess of the human city. "Our Homeworld is so elegant and pristine in comparison,"
The burn upon their cheeks was a stinging reminder of just how fiercely this anomaly had them in it's thrall. The thought of anything, other than their radiant Diamond, of course, having such control over their mind and faculties was causing 7XB a great deal of distress. Even justifying it as an experiment did not comfort them as much as they had initially hoped it would. In this, Padparadscha was their only hope: 7XB knew that a gem like her would be much better suited to solving this problem and..fixing it? Was that what they wanted?
“I agree,” said the Quartz with a sudden, sweeping look around, glad for the distraction, “this entire.. city if you can call it that, is so mismatched and irregular, like it wasn't all constructed at once or.. even out of the same materials!” They scoffed at the idea, shaking their head. “All of this nonsense will turn to rubble before the next thousand years is up. Maybe that's why they never get anything done?” They posed quietly, casting a downward glance in her direction, “because they have to continually rebuild their civilization?”
Her eyes flicked up to meet their gaze as she listened to them, and she nodded, her expression coming together into one more pensive as their words sparked a chain of thoughts for her,"You know, that may be the case. If it were, I would expect to find a relatively enormous construction caste, dedicated to keeping this cycle afloat-- continually gathering the same resources and applying them, to keep building over what they already built. We should keep on the look out for what might appear to be constructors, or resource gatherers, and see where the common link between them is. As for why that cycle would exist, it's clear they're terrible at information management, and I've heard that they suffer from copious amounts of infighting--" Saying that reminded her of the pit that welled in her every time she thought about the rebellion,"...which is part of the reason we're here. I've gathered intel that suggests that rebels might have been influenced by this human habit. As for how, well, I'm just not sure yet..."
As she rambled on, thinking out loud, she began to get a little homesick. She sighed, it had been some time before she could lay eyes on her lustrous Homeworld, "I've been in this solar system for nearly a century. Most of that time was spent on base, but what I've seen of human civilization, it certainly seems finicky, unable to pull itself into one commonly beneficial direction,"
She hoped this event would shed light onto the other castes of human culture, but it was extremely difficult to tell which caste humans were organized into. Then, her eyes brightened a bit,"Have you ever come across something comparable to humanity in your travels?" If they had, she may have cause to rethink her hypothesis.
A human construction caste? Now that would be something interesting to see. As far as 7XB had ever seen, this species didn't seem to have anything comparable to, say, a Bismuth, the dedicated builder-class of gem. Even so, as they rounded a corner that brought them ever closer to this plaza the Quartz gem couldn't help but look around; As of yet they saw nothing, coming only to the same conclusion as ever: humanity was a small, squishy race of beings, with little to no real noteworthy difference from one example to another.
Thinking deeper, the clear quartz soldier wondered how such a soft race as this had evolved, and if they shared any similarity with any of the other mammalian races they had encountered both on this planet and..elsewhere. Her questions apparently give them reason to pause.. but what that reason was, exactly, remained to be seen. Lips pursed for a moment, their phrasing came slowly, as if by intent. “Ah..hmm, no, no I haven't seen anything quite like humans anywhere else.”
As 7XB thought about the question, she found her curiosity growing. "Hmm, nothing quite like them?" Though her hypothesis wouldn't have to be entirely rethought through yet, the way they spoke made her even more curious. Surely any alien species 7XB would've come into contact with on campaign would now exist in the databases of the many research departments dedicated to different types of aliens, but first hand observations were always valuable,"I have to imagine that you've seen quite a few aliens in your days, would you say there had been any with similarities, even if they weren't quite comparable? Or perhaps, aspects that are starkly different?" She realized she was asking a rather large question, and knew they weren't one to hold onto information that wasn't practical for their line of work, but part of her just wanted to hear about their past encounters.
As they moved farther down, she could see the crowd gathering more tightly, compacting around an area where the boulevard seemed to break off into different streams. There were people moving further down, or in and out of buildings, or simply milling around. Little gusts of wind continued to sprinkle snow across the scene, but there was so much movement here that the little flakes hardly had a chance to hit the ground before they melted into the slurry on the street. Enormous screens lined the buildings, and she could sense the presence of ionized gases around in greater density here as they passed within her range; her brows lifted a bit as she realized the humans had found out how to harness plasma themselves, though it seemed to be for the simple purpose of displaying a menagerie of strange symbols and images that she didn't have the cultural context to understand. Accompanying this was the ever more grating sensory assault that droned on around them; chatter, flashing lights, cars and the peculiar notes of human music-- or rather it seemed several songs booming off at once, coming from all directions and volumes.
She calculated the distance to their chosen destination, but wondered if she were heading in the right direction. Now that she had her new holotech, she wouldn't have to guess about it, and with a small smile she reached over with her free hand to tap her wrist and project her holo tablet. She glanced over her map, confirmed it was the correct course, then decided to keep it up for data collection purposes, pulling up her new documentation apparatus.
As was to be expected, their rather graceless attempt to dance around her question didn't quite hold up beneath her razor-sharp scrutiny. Truthfully, there was a lot about their expansive travels across the universe that 7XB simply couldn't be expected to bother remembering, but even among the things they did remember, there was little enough the quartz felt up to discussing, and the different types of.. organic..life they came across was certainly quite high on that list, for one reason or another. As with many other such inquiries, they normally would have decided not to answer at all, brutally snubbing the entire question. But..even if they had wanted to do such a thing, that wouldn't fly with Padparadscha, but they couldn't see themselves giving a polite, elusive response, either.
The Clear Quartz sighed. Why did it seem like nothing was ever as easy as it used to be? “I..I couldn't possibly remember every race I've ever come across,” they insisted quietly at first, “and..I wouldn't want to anyway.” That being said, “There have been..some other similiarly intelligent races. I..it's fuzzy.” The Quartz gem seemed almost defensive in their response, though the reasoning behind this was not yet clear.
They squeeze her hand lightly anyway, as if the sudden fear of her slipping away has planted itself into their troubled mind.
Blue Quartz: That was the worst hi ever XD Why ..?
Sept 18, 2019 20:49:34 GMT
Blue Quartz: How the heck is everyone?
Sept 18, 2019 20:49:58 GMT
Ruby?: I’m good! Just trying to get some threads and arcs started up
Sept 19, 2019 1:17:24 GMT
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