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).
It had been a number of weeks since 7XB and their team had accompanied the Padparadscha Sapphire on her ill-fated recovery mission to the jungles of Earth. By all accounts, the experience should have been forgotten, fading away into the background alongside the countless other operations and experiences of ages past; The mission itself, subtracting the dangerous corrupt gems, was not all that different at it's heart.
But some things, well, apparently they couldn't be forgotten.
They stood at the edge of that familiar gravel pit, the training arena situated somewhere near the central hub of the Moon base, arms crossed behind their back. They were training again today, though with other quartz rather than their own team of rubies. It was a pleasant change, working with their own class of gem, and it reminded them very much of their earliest days, with one chief exception: they were the senior gem now, the one passing on combat tips. And there was no mistaking the pink diamond emblazoned upon the young gem's uniforms for a yellow one like theirs.
Her light feet tapped down the wide corridor, Pink Pearl in tow as the two of them neared the enormous blast-doors of the Headquarters' arena. Though she'd considered coming to this wing of the base more often before, she hadn't found much time to do so. The past few weeks had blown by in a blur of dispatch after dispatch, though many of those missions had ended up being tests of her skills in combat anyway. Now, she had a bit of time in her schedule, but rather than sit around flipping through records, she decided this would be a good chance to get over there; particularly to see how Amethyst had been faring. Padparadscha half expected to walk in and see the guard making a mockery of her station-- 6UE was notoriously thoughtless and easily amused. If it hadn't been for the gem's talent, the sapphire would've seen fit to get a different guard already.
Her first choice would've been obvious. Walking down this hall reminded her of them, and the first time she'd met them. But, a gem such as them would be stifled on such mundane endeavors as guarding a moon-base office, nor would it be possible given their dedication to their Diamond. Part of her hoped to see that gem here today, but another part of her hoped not to. As she got closer, she became increasingly nervous.
There had been plenty of time for the investigator to mull over what had happened between them, and she decided firmly where that encounter fit into her life. It had been a whimsical distraction from what had otherwise been a terrifying mission, some kind of momentary glitch in the grand scheme of things. But trying to think of it that way didn't make her feel much better; ever since then, she'd felt as if she were missing a piece. Despite her yearning, she knew what she would have to tell them if she did ever see them again.
Just as the thought crossed her mind, she passed through the threshold of the arena and swept her eyes across the cavernous room-- then froze as her eyes snagged on the very gem she'd been stewing about. Pink Pearl nearly stumbled over the sapphire,"Oh dear!" the servant uttered,"M-my sapphire?"
Padpara ignored the servant, racking her mind. She had overwhelming, yet conflicting trains of thought that crashed into one another, nullifying any actions she felt she wanted, or needed to take. Should she turn around and leave before the quartz would notice her? She couldn't-- every emotion she had worked to dull over the past few weeks now erupted back into her mind.
From the way they were oriented, gazing outward into the arena with their back towards the exit, the quartz had yet to spot the Sapphire, and likely would have not seen her regardless, focused as they were upon the coordination of the sparring between the Amethysts, a potential potent force even if it was abundantly clear that they were in serious need of a guiding hand. While it was well within their skill set and they were honored to assist Pink Diamond as their own had so commanded, being honest with themselves found the Quartz a bit chaffed, bothered that their time on-base was wasted upon gems who would rather list about aimlessly. They contented themselves with the fact that if nothing else, the task kept them from being idle as well.
They seemed to be doing well with the routine, just about matching each other blow for blow. It made sense after all, they were all the same. One gem though, stood out, not necessarily because of skill, but the unorthodox nature with which she went about her task..6UE. Her forte seemed less skill as wit. She, for example, distracted her partner with the claim that something important was happening behind her, sucker punching them as they turned to look.
Pink Pearl's thin brows furrowed, her patron stood as if she had suddenly become vacant for a long moment before she swiveled on her heels, and made to walk back out into the hall. The servant flipped around as well, "Your clarity, weren't we going to, uh..."
"Yes, yes-- she's doing fine, let's get back," She muttered, irritated that her pearl felt the need to question her on this. In the usual fashion, Pink Pearl remained quiet, though her befuddled expression told of her inability to grasp what was going on. But, then the servant decided to keep pushing the subject.
"Well," the pearl cleared her throat,"My sapphire, I noticed that the clear quartz you hired some time ago had been working with our new recruit. Perhaps we could get a status directly from them?" Padparadscha's brow arched, giving her pearl 'the look' that meant she should stop talking. Though, it was also in that moment that the sapphire realized how ridiculous, not to mention suspicious, she was acting. Was she going to spend the rest of her days avoiding that gem? If she did, she would never have answers to the questions she had, and aside, it was an unnecessary expenditure of her energy to worry about such things-- she should just face them like the sapphire she was.
"Apologizes pearl, you're right. I suppose I'm in haste after all of those reports we filed earlier," Truly, she hadn't realized just how unready she was to face them. But, perhaps it would be now or never. She rolled her shoulders, held her back straight, clasped her hands, and turned back around to face not only the rest of the arena, but the gem who had been a source of her emotional turmoil over the past few weeks.
Now, she had to figure out how to approach them. It was a matter of importance for socialites to know how to handle any sort of situation, but this one was nearly unprecedented for her. It seemed 7XB was focused on their task, and she had half a mind to let them be, and go to the stands unannounced. Though, they'd put up with her impositions before, perhaps they'd do it again. Her feet tapped at a leisurely pace as she came closer to the pit, and with each step she became more giddy, and daring bubbled up in place of where hesitation had been. It wasn't exactly a great idea to sneak up on a specialized and experienced soldier, especially when she knew they didn't like to have their concentration interrupted, but she wondered how they might react.
A small grin formed on Padparadscha's lips as she stepped up to be right beside the overseer of the drill. She tilted her head up, and cleared her throat,"Well Commander, how are they faring?" 6UE's eyes flicked up from her duel and widened as she spotted her patron, before she was given a left hook as pay-back.
Her words struck them like lightning, just a shock at first, steadily growing in strength as it radiated outward from their core until the tips of their limbs felt fuzzy and numb, like static electricity. Of course, it would be hard to tell by the look on their face- the slight pursing of their lips the only obvious, outward sign of the effect that the sapphire's words, that familiar mask of impassivity hiding the turmoil that burned through them. “Sloppily, as of now, Your Clarity,” they began, casting a cursory glance in the direction of the gem who had saddled up alongside them, and a respectful nod, “But I'm hoping we could channel that into something at least slightly useful.”
The good natured scrape didn't seem very likely to escalate, but 7XB stepped forward to force a halt to it anyway, “A good trick,” they began, both crisp and sharp as to draw the attention of the wrestling, laughing gems, “but it won't do much more than give you a cursory advantage.”
The brawling quarts gems, even if it was a bit disgruntledly, stopped what they were doing as the senior soldier began to chastise them again.
The smile on her lips grew the slightest bit as they spoke and took their eyes off of their task to regard her. It gave her cheeks a bit more color, she nodded as they finished speaking. Her gaze followed them as they went on to direct the group of quartz gems; there was the same stoic, hardworking soldier she'd first spoken to, and the one she'd admired so much. Though, they were again unreadable, the passionate gem she knew was there somewhere had gone dormant. As she stood with her hands clasped in front of her, she began to feel something alongside her giddiness, a pang of regret as she made a realization-- perhaps she should've left when she had the chance.
A sapphire had no real business in the arena at times like these, and there was the distinct possibility that 7XB had already worked to put that strange connection behind them. Perhaps this intrusion would be more than just that; it would be a full affront to their efforts to return to the norm. The two of them may have made promises back then, but had either gem been thinking straight? Aside, she had been trying to do the same herself, to leave it where it was in the past. The color on her cheeks now came from her embarrassment. For now, she let her eyes drift over the clear quartz, then the other soldiers. Standing quietly next to her pearl, she tried to think of a way to save the situation.
6UE straightened up as the clear quartz stepped up with their advice, though her eyes darted between her senior soldier and the sapphire, having a bit of an internal kerfuffle about where to apply her attention. After 7XB finished speaking, the amethyst shrugged and gave a big smirk,"That's all I need before it's light's out, bam!" she flexed her arms while her amethyst compatriot rolled their eyes.
"Psh, as if!" the other gem commented, giving her a playful shove at the shoulder.
Padparadscha pressed her lips together as she leaned back on one hip. She wondered how long the amethyst had been overseen by 7XB-- she hoped that her guard hadn't been acting like this the whole time. The sapphire couldn't stop herself from saying something, "I do hope you're not giving the commander trouble, 6UE," She remarked, arching her brow at the young soldier, who tensed and flicked her eyes to look at the sapphire.
"No way ma'am!" She answered and gave a broad smile as she looked back to 7XB,"Right?"
7XB looked distinctly unamused, gravel shifting, parting, beneath their feet as shored up the distance between themselves and the dusky, purple gems. “No trouble, no,” began the clear quartz gem in a tone that would have been poorly described as anything other than chillingly scathing,.”utter lack of true combat ability, tactics, or work ethic? Yes.” This would no doubt make the Amethysts, all of them, a bit angry.
But that was good, 7XB wanted them to get riled up, to be defensive and prideful, to care about something other than milling about the moonbase for eternity. Truthfully some of them, most of them had been doing quite well, but this was a team exercise, and a team was only as good as its weakest link. “At this rate, Your Clarity,” they turned suddenly, dismissively, away from the gathered soldiers and towards the Sapphire, “I'd be surprised if they were fit to guard an airlock in the next century. Much less a kindergarten.”
It was a harsh thing to say, but these gems were going to come across much worse things as they walked across the stars, colonizing them for their Diamond. Few enough of them were going to make it anyway, they needed all the help they could get.
The soldier's jaw dropped as the overseer made her out to be a good-for-nothing, in front of a gem who very much had the power to replace her, destroying her record and relegating her back to simple guard duty around base at best. Her teeth came together as her fists curled, and released. It wouldn't help her case much, but she had a mind to see if she couldn't go toe-to-toe with this clear quartz right here and now. Any hint of mirth on her expression was occluded as she made the serious consideration, despite knowing the older gem had been given this position for a reason. In her mind, all the better-- if she could beat this gem, then there was no way the sapphire could consider her to be faulty.
Padparadscha's eyes stabbed into 6UE while the clear quartz spoke. She knew first hand that 7XB was a hard-nosed mentor, but she didn't want anything less than flawless from a gem on her entourage. The sapphire's eyes flickered up to meet 7XB's austere gaze as they stood facing her. She crossed her arms, then brought a hand to her chin,"Hmm, well, that's no good. You see, that one," she gestured casually toward 6UE, whose fists clenched as tension rose in her,"I'm going to need in top form for the next few assignments on my roster. I can't be bringing less than stellar gems into a field situation, commander-- I'm counting on you to whip them into shape," She gave a small, inward sigh. Every quartz would be sub-par compared to them, but she had to work with what she was given. With a quick glance toward her pearl, she looked back,"In fact, I've come here to get a full status report on her performance, in order to see if she's fit for duty in my upcoming dispatch,"
The words Amethyst was hearing set her on edge. She'd heard horror stories about gems who'd been cast off of the retinue of higher ups, only to never be heard from again. Being talked about like she wasn't there made her wonder what she had been so excited about when she'd first been assigned to guard this sapphire. "Guh! I'm doing fine," She uttered right as the sapphire stopped speaking, gesturing haphazardly in front of her with both hands,"Look, I-I'm sorry about last time, I'm definitely getting better, I just--"
"The commander will be the judge of that," Padparadscha said, her brows slanting upward as the amethyst spoke out of turn. With that, 6UE's eyes dug into the quartz gem who had set her off.
The sharp voice of the Amethyst rose up like an angry viper behind the clear quartz, eager to challenge the gem who had rebuked them and heal her wounded pride. The milky-hued gem pursed their lips, nodding again for the sapphire before they turned suddenly to face their fellow quartz, noting that, minus the much wilder mane of hair, that 6UE was more than an inch shorter than them.
Knowing that this Amethyst was going to be guarding Padparadscha, aside from the quickly trounced sting of jealousy that welled up in their gut, didn't change much of what 7XB had to say to this gem, unrelenting in the face of this purple Quartz gem who would no-doubt love to suckerpunch them. “Then show me,” 7XB challenged coolly, backstepping just a pace so they could direct that speech not just at 6UE, but the entire squad of gems, “show me that you're worth the minerals that you're made of, show your Diamond that you were worth creating.” they motioned to the great mural of said Diamond upon the wall, one of the many that existed throughout bases like this.
If Pink Diamond was anything like their Diamond, 7XB had no doubt that she had ways of watching. “And you, 6UE,” they added finitely, cross their arms over the bright yellow diamond on their chest, “show Her Clarity that you have what it takes, whatever it takes, to keep her safe.”
As 7XB flipped around to face the unit of amethysts, 6UE was given a bit of a start, straightening up to hear the commanding tone of her senior reverberate through the spacious air of the arena. She had to admit to herself that they were one of the most intimidating gems she'd come across, and they sure seemed to have a lot of clout; she'd been quick to notice that there hadn't been an introduction between the clear quartz and the sapphire, they were already on speaking terms. But, that just fed her urge to punch them in the face. Who were they anyway? What made them more special than any other quartz? Then, as the drillmaster addressed her specifically, her eyes narrowed.
The sapphire listened, whirling a strand of hair around her finger as she contemplated what was said. Her eyes flicked up to the mural and passed over it as she thought. Their words inspired her to take a moment to look at her own failures and successes, but then her mind started to wander as her gaze drifted back over to the quartz. Their voice was dominating in the arena, but it could be warm and gentle. Being near this gem knowing she'd never get to hear them talk like that again became increasingly difficult. She wanted answers-- and if she was more honest with herself, she just wanted to be close to them. Especially with the artistic visage of her Diamond peering down, she wondered if she should've been letting herself have that thought.
But, seeing them at work had been an unexpected treat. For now, she would enjoy the moment, until she would have to collect her report and go back to the office. Padparadscha gave a small smirk, and a nod as 7XB finished speaking, though her eyes were still on the gem she already knew could provide that security. 6UE shifted, absently cracking her knuckles,"Fine," She grumbled,"I'll show ya,". Knowing 7XB's tactics were getting to her new recruit, the sapphire folded her arms, and quietly shifted her attention, hoping she'd be able to trust this amethyst soon enough.
“We will see about that.” it was difficult to say if 7XB was talking to the whole group, or merely 6UE. The other purple gems looked something between embarrassed and disgruntled as well, unhappy that the seemingly-harmless actions undertaken by 6UE had brought such a harsh and public reprimanding down on them. One of them, at least, murmered faint complaints towards their squad-mate for bringing this down on them all.
7XB, whether they knew it or not, had been like these gems once, whether they knew it or not. Millennia ago another gem, an Agate in their case, had stood before them and others of their cut, and the countless times they had been subjected to similarly humiliating speeches had helped mold them into a proper soldiers.
“Now back in line, all of you. Weapons away." 'What would my Diamond thing of this batch of miscreants?' they wondered. Oh, how they longed to return their proper place amongst Yellow Diamond and her colonies at the conclusion of this rebellion. The sooner Pink Diamond got her army sorted out, the sooner they could get this wrapped up.
Maybe one day she'd really show em but for now, she kept herself in line. The amethyst followed orders, buzzing with discomfort; not only because of the grumbling she could hear going on around her, but the fact that the clear quartz seemed to have a disdain for her, or perhaps all of them. On top of that, the sapphire who had employed her seemed to show up out of nowhere at the most inopportune time. She let up a huff, and eyed 7XB, then shifted her attention to the sapphire who seemed to be uncharacteristically distracted. It was mighty strange to see both an investigator and her frail servant standing around in the arena for one, but why hadn't the sapphire simply sent her pearl to do little things like requesting reports?
As her eyes passed over the neatly formed line of purple gems, Padparadscha considered that this guard had only been in her service for a matter of days. Amethysts were a mundane sight in Pink Diamond's moonbase, they could be found standing in every hall. But, this particular amethyst had worked in the judicial court, lining the wall during numerous trials that the sapphire had herself been the prosecutor of-- in effect, this amethyst already had a bit of knowledge about how the sapphire's job worked. She wanted for this guard to prove herself as an acceptable field entourage, fully because she knew that Yellow Diamond would have need of the elite veteran that was Padparadscha's first choice.
The sapphire peered over her shoulder, thinking more about Yellow Diamond. The trials, the experiments, the exponentially compounding evidence-- dots she shouldn't have ever seen, nor even tried to connect. Her gaze slid back over to the clear quartz, and the yellow sigil of their Diamond. She wondered what they would think of her if they knew. The thought was accompanied by a slow, dull ache. She decided that she should've just sent her pearl to do this.
"Pearl," She suddenly spoke in a low volume, taking a step back from the line that separated the pit from the rest of the arena to stand next to the servant. Pink Pearl leaned slightly over her thin figure, to peer toward the smaller gem,"I need to begin preparing for my dispatch. Check to see if my replacements have been completed-- Olivine said he'd have it done by now, though the damage was extensive. I'll determine Amethyst's status here,"
Yellow Diamond, what could 7XB have said about their own, radiantly enlightened diamond? Despite only having been in her physically presence once, the Quartz gem could go on for days about the graces of their Diamond, having been in her service for..well, a very long time to say the least. She was regal, stern and menacing- the sight of her majesty in person had caused even the seasoned quartz to practically quiver. Her booming voice had easily commanded the attention of every gem in that chamber as she had, ever so briefly, spoken directly to 7XB themselves.
The warm memory of the honor that has been bestowed upon them inspired the soldier, causing them to drive the Amethysts even harder as the drilling and the training continued. They touched, it seemed, on every combat-related technique under the sun, from how quickly you summoned your weapon, to gem on gem combat (a technique that 7XB had thought of as a rarely needed skill, until recently.).
Pink Pearl had scurried off with her list of things to acquire, and the sapphire remained on her own in the arena. The longer she lingered, the harder it became for her to ignore the discomfort that distracted her. Thoughts about the Diamonds, her work, and this gem who she couldn't get her mind off of. She'd wandered along the edge of the pit with her hands clasped behind her as she observed the quartz unit work together.
Soldiers-- such gems had been built to intrinsically understand one another, to work eye-to-eye on the same field. From her vantage point, it seemed effortless the way they handled the other gems, they even seemed to enjoy it; the quartz soldiers communicated in the same language, one that the sapphire herself was removed from despite her own efforts to try to learn it. 7XB was entirely absorbed in their work, something she expected of them, and she wondered if the quartz' task-mindedness had caused them to forgot her presence all together. She remembered what the quartz had confided in her before, that they had forgotten large pieces of their past, things she couldn't ever imagine forgetting herself, and with that she realized something that made her discomfort grow deeper. A pit welled in her core, growing colder the longer she mulled it over.
She tried to rip her thoughts away from that. It wasn't good for her to keep dwelling, nor was it becoming of her to be ignoring her own task while the gem she'd so admired had been so honed in on their own. Her eyes darted around the arena in search of her guard among the Amethysts, and let a quiet sigh up as she clasped her hands over her lap. 6UE certainly seemed to be more fired up now; focused, though she did more than her fair share of grandstanding, as usual. With all of the willpower she was crafted with, Padparadscha focused on Amethyst's performance, though it seemed that the purple quartz was too in the zone to notice her either; rather, it was 7XB and the other amethysts who the young soldier had been trying to get the attention of.
Like a tidal wave crashing down over her all at once, it became more than she could bear. Her deliberations whirled around her, and she had no holoscreen replacement to take her mind away from it. The aristocrat decided she'd seen enough. The guard would be acceptable at the very least for her next assignment. Her shoulders turned toward the door, but she paused momentarily, her thoughts still anchoring her down. Should she announce her departure, or simply leave? While the quartz were still enthralled by their task, she would attempt to step toward the door without disturbing their focus-- and escape the embarrassment of being caught in the midst of a break-down.
If there was anything positive that could be said about the countless centuries they had lost in the several millennia they had served, it was that 7XB rarely took time away from their tasks to think about what they had lost. Despite appearances, despite seeming to be completely and utterly absorbed with the gems that stood before them, the quartz soldier still found the time to dwell upon the unexpected intersection between Padparadscha and themselves upon that soggy riverbed back on Earth.
As such, they were overly aware of those shimmering, peach-colored eyes dancing across them as they worked, a sort of heat lingering over them even if they couldn't possibly know the turmoil the Sapphire was experiencing such internal turmoil. A turmoil, as it turned out, that 7XB had been dealing with in their own, subdued away since their triumphant return to the Moon base some weeks ago. It was truthfully much harder to focus with her around, though thankful even a less-focused version of themselves could get the job done. They noticed right away when the Sapphire departed, 'casually’ glancing over their shoulder just in time to see the familiar peachy dress scurry past the automatic doors.
Lips pursed outwardly, despite their first instinct being to pursue her. Appearances, as painful as it was sometimes, had to..be kept up. “Enough. Weapons away,” they declared, suddenly deciding that the extensive session would be enough, for now.
Melody: here is a link if anyone is interested
Jul 29, 2020 21:45:23 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"'s Origin is still unknown, some suspect it was a viral infection, other claim it was a Diamond experiment gone awry and other suspect the organics were behind it. Regardless no one seem to have a proper answer about what it was and why its only isolated to Earth
*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