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7XB gave a solemn nod of their head- the Sapphire gem’s words carried perhaps a bit more wisdom than she had even intended. “That's usually how it begins, Your Clarity,” spouted the clear quartz wistfully, “it never feels real to any of us at first. Combat, I mean, even Quartz gems.” Many Quartz gems, anyway. “It's sort of exhilarating and a bit foggy in the beginning, but it becomes..crisper I suppose, and more serious. Not as much of a whirlwind once you get used to it.” At least, that's how it was for most quartzes. But that exhilaration, that love for a scrap, while perhaps it becomes a bit more subdued as the ages wore on, never truly leaves them.
“Truly, it was an honor to train with your, Your Clarity.”
The word 'but’ fell like lead from her lips, and they found themselves repeating it themselves. “But?” Again an unseen dread threatened their calm, the clear gem whipping their head sideways in order to clear their round face of the wild whisps of hair. They saw her eyes widen with the closest thing they had seen upon her face to fear since they had faced the corruptions..but she seemed to falter before finally relenting. “Well, thank you for that.. Your Clarity.” A bit confused, the clear gem could hear voices steadily approaching.
Their words carried an innate weight, even more so when they spoke about their element. The sapphire listened with an intent, somber expression. Especially after her most recent battles, she wondered if she would ever get use to fighting. Her thoughts wandered on this gem standing in front of her, who had been crafted for, then faceted into shape, by war and hardship. A sharp pang struck her at the thought that even quartz had to get use to the terror of combat, the implications weighed heavily on her mind.
She pursed her lips as the voices projecting down the corridor, accompanied by dozens of marching steps, moved closer to the arena. By their tone, she could tell that the 7XB wasn't all the way certain what to make of what she'd said, and the press of time pushed her nerves closer to the edge. Her eyes flicked along the mural again, and thought on all the times she'd heard the march of guards filing into the trial chamber. She thought on every guilty gem she'd seen sentenced by Pink Diamond. Whatever happened, she would have to proceed carefully.
"C-commander-- I-- we--" Her lips drew into a tight line as a tall, golden agate strode into the room, followed by a group of jaspers. The agate drew to a halt, her brows flying up as she assessed the situation. For the time being, it seemed the sapphire had lost her chance to say what she should've said. "--We'll have to train again some day, no?" She ushered the words out quietly,"But for now, we should head to the field. I'm sure the others are already at the ship," With that, she stepped lightly across the rocks, toward the door as she tried to keep her anxiousness from projecting through her quick movements. She slowed to give a terse curtsy when the agate and her jaspers threw up salutes toward the gems in the room, then Padpara kept herself moving forward.
The sudden, though naturally expected, arrival of this new batch of gems seemed to put a halt on what Padparadscha was saying, and certainly upon anything they would have said in return. The time for talk had passed, and 7XB was rather swift to return the salute of the agate in kind, holding it for a long moment and giving a brief inclination of their head before allowing it to fall, turning on their heels immediately to follow the sapphire before the color upon their cheeks could be noted. It was in that moment, though truly it was a handful of moments, while they made their exit from the arena, that they realized how odd that entire exchange must have appeared to the other gems.
7XB couldn't remember the last time they had felt so terribly self conscious, and the dreadful feeling refused to part from them even as they made their way to the hanger in the Sapphire's shadow. Was it always going to be like this, they wondered? It was a forlorn thought, to be sure, a frown pulling at their lips.
On Earth, perhaps they would both find the strength to say what was required.
She fidgeted with her hands as her feet tapped along the corridor, followed by the heavier footfall of 7XB. The hanger wasn't far from this part of the base, but any sort of silence seemed to draw on for her, especially this particularly hefty silence that inflated as she tried to think of anything to say, any casual conversation that could be had. But her mind gravitated toward the subject she'd been unable to breach, something she certainly couldn't go on about now that the two of them neared the busy terminal, sending and receiving a myriad of colored gems from the hanger.
The sapphire grew increasingly perturbed. She peered up at them from her periphery, and wondered; she had more questions now than she had started with. The air buzzed with a cacophony of chatter and echoing steps, the sounds of gravity engines engaging or powering down, but she knew better than to think there wouldn't be other investigators like herself, tasked with scrutinizing suspicious words and behaviors among the noise. It made her think about what she'd felt had been so intrinsically off about something that had felt so right when she'd been caught up in the moment; what would she think if she'd seen gems acting as strangely as she had?
The majority of those in the throng of bustling gems made way for the sapphire and her quartz accompaniment. As she crossed into the hanger, her eyes darted to where her ship was, and let her gaze wander around until she caught sight of her two rather tall servants making their way to it. "Ah, there they are," She shot a quick smile to 7XB as she continued walking, "I do hope I'm not pulling you away from your duties, but I'd like to thank you for your interest in...6UE's aptitude," She tried to maintain her guise of normalcy, but the nervous fidgeting of her fingers slipped through her attempt.
Pink Pearl and Amethyst had already arrived at the small pink shuttle. While the pearl's back was turned, preoccupied with opening the hatch, Amethyst almost began to stare absently into space until she spotted a familiar, towering pale gem, and the small sapphire, giving her a start as her eyes widened. As Padparadscha slowed to a stop, 6UE's arms went up into a salute. "Uh, your clarity? What's going on?" The amethyst addressed her sapphire, but was blatantly staring at 7XB. The words prompted Pearl to peer over her shoulder, a bit of surprise showing in her expression as her alert vision bounced between the two quartz gems and the sapphire, but she quickly turned back to her task.
"Ah, commander, would you like to fill in 6UE while I chat with Pearl about my replacements?" Padparadscha gave a sweet smile, and gestured between them, thinking the soldiers might prefer to speak between one another. For the time being, she remained somewhat oblivious to the high-tension that now gripped Amethyst-- perhaps just pre-dispatch jitters, the sapphire would assume.
Another dreaded period of silence. 7XB would not even try to imagine the sheer amount of silence they had experienced in their day, but this was most certainly amongst the worst they had ever experienced, and the moment could not come soon enough when they would step into the bustling nexus that was the hanger. It was comforting, the familiar sights and sounds allowing the quartz soldier to reassume their cool, calm demeanor. By the time the pair of gems came upon 6UE and Padparadscha's pearl, they seemed back in their usual state of mind, ever sparing a cursory nod for the Pearl before slicing their gaze across the dusky purple gem.
“Of course, Your Clarity.”
As the Sapphire moved to sidebar with Pearl, they did the same with the Amethyst. “You are wondering why I am here, 6UE?” Truly it was more of a statement than a question- they could see the answer in her eyes. “Your Sapphire and I decided it may be prudent to come along and give you a final field assessment before you are entrusted with her life again.”
6UE continued staring at 7XB, and standing rigidly at attention, as they answered the burning question on her mind. She blinked, and realized that this assignment was going to be a lot more difficult than she had originally anticipated. Not that anything she could say would change the situation, it sounded that the matter was already settled, but she had the urge to protest anyway, on the off chance that this stern soldier might change their mind,"Fine, if you really think it's necessary..." She eyed the senior soldier, then pointed toward her chest,"But really, I can handle it. My sapphire hired me for a reason. Don't blame me if you're bored out of your mind the whole time," How hard could it be to keep track of a little sapphire in a place like Empire City? Aside, she decided this would be a good opportunity for her to show this gem that they weren't any more quartz than she was, even if they were from the yellow court military and a good five inches taller.
Hydraulics engaged, and the ship opened up to send down the ramp. Padparadscha and the pearl chatted softly as they stepped around, up onto the ramp and into the ship. While on her way to the ship's command center, the sapphire stretched her hand out and received the replacement tech that she'd been waiting for, and her eyes lit up with delight at the new design; it appeared more as a bracelet she could wear, and this time it was reinforced to prevent it from being shattered so easily. She tested it out with a bright smile, flipping through her new interface and checking out all of the new features Olivine had built into her device. Meanwhile, pearl continued rambling on about all of its facets as she began to rush around, preparing the ship for take off.
The sapphire, for the time being, was enamored with her new tech-- but she was still preoccupied, and wondered how this mission was going to go with 7XB there. She took a moment to change from her billowing, intricate dress, into her tight-fitting field attire, but considered how she would go about this particular investigative mission; perhaps a disguise would be in order, as she knew how strangely humans reacted to her in the past.
As any gem who was familiar with 7XB knew, and as this somewhat-shorter amethyst was going to learn very soon, the clear quartz was not the type to change their mind very often, and especially not at the thinly veiled behest of a common quartz soldier. It was easy to tell that 6UE was less than pleased about this, but that was entirely her own problem. “It's been decided,” said the quartz with their own brand of frigid absolution, “since you seem so confident in your own abilities, what's the point of worrying?”
If her abilities were as up to par as she claimed, this would only be a one-time occurrence. By that same token, however, none of this would have ever been deemed necessary at all had 6UE been as skillful as she liked to imagine. “Yes, well we shall soon see just how bored I am.” They inclined their head towards the dignitary and her Pearl as they ascended the walkway, eyes fighting to linger on this new, more form-fitting outfit the Sapphire had donned, “Lets get moving.”
They brushed then past the purple gem, moving to quickly catch up to Padparadscha with long strides.
6UE pressed her lips together, wishing she had more say in this situation. But it was as the other quartz said, and as she'd figured; input from her would do nothing to change it. From the cold tone of the clear quartz, she wondered if it had even been a compromising move. It was ever more difficult to keep herself from resenting them and the sapphire for this surprise. She crossed her arms, expression dour as she followed after 7XB. When every gem was aboard, the ramp followed, and the hatch closed as pearl made the arrangements.
Padparadscha looked up from her new holo-tech apparatus as she noticed 7XB glancing in her direction. She gave them a beaming smile, turning fully to face them,"Ah, welcome aboard once again commander. I'm eager to get things underway, data collection should be easy with some of these new features," There was some pep in her voice as she spoke. Her mood had been lifted considerably, and she decided to allow herself the liberty to feel the elation that 7XB's presence invoked in her. Though, there was another thought, and her eyes flicked between the soldier gems as they entered the bridge. Part of her had wondered how she'd gotten into this situation-- she was suppose to tell them that she couldn't work with them anymore, and yet here she was, feeling giddy about heading to Earth with them again. She cleared her throat, and decided not to let it bother her as she got into her working mind.
"Now, before we get going, I'd like to add that humans in Empire City are somewhat familiar with gemkind, but I believe our party is going to attract a bit of attention. We need to find these humans in their natural habitat and manner, so when we arrive, it would be appropriate to see what we can do to blend in a bit better,"
The young quartz scratched her neck, remembering the exact moment she'd seen her patron's holoscreen get smacked into the ground by the enemy, and the subsequent debacle. She stepped into the spot on the ship she normally chose, right by the window, and tried to take her mind off of that exchange as she listened to the sapphire speak. Her eyes kept flicking to the other quartz in the room as she tried to imagine how this was going to go.
Padparadscha stood near 7XB, tilting her head up to peer at them as she thought for a moment. Then, she pivoted and headed over to the seat at the center of the ship's bridge. Not far in front of her, Pink Pearl was already well at work, tapping through the control panel and selecting procedural lines to begin firing the engines, engaging shields and auto-guidance systems.
"Prepared for lift off at your order, my sapphire," Pink Pearl announced in her hushed tone. Padparadscha looked around to make sure everyone was settled in before giving the nod that would tell pearl to get the ship into action.
The Amethyst's silence was exactly what 7XB wanted to hear- or not hear, rather. As she would come to learn, part of being a proper quartz soldier was eating your feelings, putting them aside to focus on the task at hand; It may seem awful, bottling yourself up in such a fashion, but such was the life of a quartz soldier. In that regard, one’s anger became very much like a volatile bomb, a maelstrom of emotion that one could release at will. At least that's how it was for 7XB, anyway, and it had gotten them out of a tricky situation more than once..if with a little more collateral damage than initially expected.
7XB just hoped that she would learn this lesson quickly, as the battlefields of the universe were neither kind nor patient teachers.
Padparadscha's smile was practically infectious, the joyous energy that radiated from the small gem melting the stern gem enough to allow a small smile, “It's always an honor to serve alongside you, your Clarity.” though they both knew that there was much left unsaid between them, the Quartz would let that dog lie for now. Once the vessel lifted off, they continued, “What did you have in mind?” They weren't exactly a troupe that blended in.
As Pink Pearl guided the ship in her usual quiet fashion, and 6UE fell into her habit of staring absently into space, the sapphire found herself delighted at the fact that she had someone to talk to-- and not just anyone, but 7XB. Seeing them smile kept her cheerful buzz going as she answered them. "Truly an honor to have you," She began, giving a small smirk. Then, she crossed her legs where she sat in the center of the room,"As for what I'm thinking, it may seem unnatural, but we should do as they do. Human behaviors can seem...incomprehensible at times, but there are a few things you can keep in mind. They require compensation in order to carry out many of their functions, responding to tokens, mineral items most often but I've seen plant matter exchanged as well. On top of that, they have distinct patterns they appear in," She tapped her chin, sweeping her eyes up the clear quartz. They stood out in more ways than one, it was part of what she admired about them, but she wondered if blending in was going to be an issue,"Humans have a large repertoire of cultural activities whose natures are not always immediately apparent-- in general, the rule is to follow the crowd, and try to figure out why they're doing what they are. The better we can understand that, the better we'll blend in, and the more useful data we'll scrape up. If you have any suggestions or information at any point, I'll gladly hear it,"
While she chattered on, the ship had steadily exited the hanger, and pulled smoothly into the void between the moon and Earth, a small blue marble from this distance. Amethyst hardly listened as her eyes floated over to the window to spot the planet. Pink Pearl closed the distance, her eyes flicking up to peer at the other gems for a moment, the corner of her lip pulling down slightly as she noticed 6UE spacing out. Her keen eyes trailed onto Padparadscha and 7XB, then snapped back onto her task. "Shields engaging, nearing the atmosphere," She announced quietly as the Earth stretched across the central view pane.
The fact that Padparadscha had learned so much about humans showed once again how much more observant this radiant sapphire was in comparison to a common quartz. They were uncommonly bright for a quartz, maybe, but a gem like them was no match for the intellectual acumen of a sapphire. All the time they had spent on Earth, and 7XB would be hard pressed to tell anyone anything more than the most elementary of details about the squishy, smelly denizens of this backwater. Truthfully, the clear quartz couldn't imagine how much more gemkind really needed to know about the humans or any other race on this soon to be colonized planet; Padparadscha already seemed to know much more about it than would ever get needed.
But it was her mission that they had invited themselves on, so they really had no place to say anything about it. Instead they would listen, and with relative interest- if only because the ways of mankind were so backwards.
“Compensation?” The very idea was foreign to the stoic gem, how could a society press so far onward if each individual was out for themselves? “I can't fathom how we might better blend in, I'm afraid, Your Clarity. Have you any ideas?” Already they dreaded a potential answer. They doubted any option would be preferable.
She already knew more or less what she wanted to do, but she wondered if either of these quartz gems would be particularly happy about it. For now, she took the moment to keep chatting,"Oh, strange right? It would seem to me that their society is too disorganized to operate on the level of efficiency that gemkind has achieved," She paused and darted her eyes between the soldiers aboard the ship, and decided to give a bit of qualification for her idea,"At any rate, we should keep a low profile-- and, there are more than just data collection concerns, but also security reasons," Her eyes went to 7XB, remembering their mention of rebels before, then her eyes flicked to Amethyst, "Empire City is, without a doubt, littered with enemy holds. I'd prefer to avoid them if at all possible, as a run in with rebels will most certainly interrupt data collection efforts," It seemed runaway gems had a penchant for interrupting her work, she hoped this time would run smoothly.
6UE just nodded, still hardly listening as she watched the planet grow to encompass the entirety of the ship's view. Pink Pearl's hands slid along the control panel, and the ship flew through the increasingly thick atmosphere.
Padaradscha cleared her throat,"Now, you might imagine that two quartz and a sapphire would stand out. But, we should be able to come up with suitable disguises," Changing the appearance of her attire was second nature for her, she did it between every mission, and every time she felt her dress could be updated. But, she wondered if she'd ever seen either quartz wearing anything but their uniforms.
Lights twinkled across the view pane of the ship as it orbited, searching for its destination, until it locked on and the vessel darted down through the haze. Pearl avoided the airspace directly above the concrete towers, circling the troposphere until she found a suitable landing spot just outside of the city, a small copse of bare trees surrounding a nearly empty plane of frosted grass, if not for an old, lone bench. The ship came to a delicate rest on the ground. "Disembark procedures engaging," Pink Pearl announced.
Though the given answer had been no different than 7XB had expected, the quartz was still required to exert a great deal of willpower to keep from grimancing, for more than one reason. As the shields engaged and the ship began to enter the planets orbit with no more turbulence than before, the seasoned commander was once again reminded of their distaste for not only this cramped little pod, but any class of ship and the internal churning it caused them, a long lasting effect caused by too many years aboard starships. And then, of course, came Padparadscha's suggestion that they should use some manner of disguise, a term that immediately, in their mind anyway, led them to believe that the situation would necessitate the use of their seldom-wanted shapeshifting abilities.
Though it was a power that all, or most, gems possessed, and 7XB was once of the many gems who felt that the use of a power like that was an insult to a gem's intended form, to the shape that the diamonds has wrought for them. But certainly things were.. unfortunately necessary on missions like this, and they didn't want to set a poor example for 6UE.
“Disguise ourselves as..humans, you mean, your Clarity?” It was clear that words didn't come easy.
The sapphire stood up from her seat as the ship came to settle in this small interlude of nature amidst the sprawling human constructs. Her pearl initiated the procedures that would cool the ship's engines. However, pearl didn't entirely shut down the ship, she kept it at a hum while the door unlocked, and the ramp deployed.
Padparadscha had guessed 7XB wouldn't be too happy about the prospect, their tone had made it clear, but 6UE was still more or less unresponsive, nodding occasionally as the other gems spoke. It was then she realized she might have to explain things a bit better, both for 7XB's peace of mind, and 6UE's ability to stay on task. She gave a nod at the clear quartz's words, understanding their reticence,"I wont ask you to change your entire form. Humans come in many shapes and sizes, as gems do," Aside, she'd had some unpleasant shape-shifting experiences herself, and wasn't keen on revisiting those mishaps. "We just need to look the part, blend in enough to not catch the wrong kind of attention,"
"Wait, what?" 6UE suddenly came through as she realized the mission was about to be underway,"Uh...I dunno, I mean, couldn't we just bag em if they came at us? Why does it matter if they see us?" The sapphire pursed her lips, wondering if Amethyst had been paying attention at all for the entire ride.
"Stay sharp, Amethyst. Don't underestimate the enemy," She reminded. Her own underestimation of this place had lead to one of her greatest failures, and she refused to repeat it. With her impatience showing in the press of her lips and the quirk of her brow, she turned back to the quartz who had been paying attention,"Anyway, we should head out. Pearl will take the ship somewhere less visible, but she will be on standby. Be free with your questions or concerns, commander, I appreciate your experienced opinion," She gave them a long, purposeful look, suggesting with her hardened expression that they should do so, if not for her request, but for the efficacy of the mission. Then, she made her way toward the still, cold air that wafted up from the open hatch, and paused near the door, waiting for her entourage.
Already the gems were garnering some attention. The street across from the park was illuminated by the headlights of a car, who had slowed to a crawl over the pavement while the humans inside gawked at the pink ship that'd taken residence in the park-- then, it sped off, before another car had taken its place.
After imagining that they would have to shapeshift into something base and disgusting as a human, the idea of simply having to change their uniform, while they were not exactly happy about it, was not nearly as distressing of a prospect. If that was what needed to happen, and judging by the fact that they had already landed it was, they would accept it with some resignation.
“Should I think of anything pressing, Your Clarity, I shall be sure to let you know.” And truthfully, besides the fact that they true did not want to do even that, they did not have anything to say at this moment. Instead, they pursed their lips, struggling to remember what it was humans dressed like exactly..
Then it hit them. With a scowl, and a final glance downwards at their spotless uniform, they shifted.
The look they adopted changed next to nothing of their physical appearance, though their uniform split into two separate pieces, the lower half taking on the qualities of the coarse, sturdy blue fabric that humans favored, littered with holes, and the top dominated by a jacket that simulated the animal hide outer wear they had seen before..'leather’. their heavy boots changed little.
Melody: as usual, just waiting for posts
Feb 23, 2020 11:08:33 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