The Crystal Gems wanted to relax but did not expect to be drawn into a new adventure...
|After their ordeal on Homeworld, Pearl, Amethyst, Steven, Lapis, Peridot, Connie, and Garnet were ready to collapse and rest. Convincing Blue, Yellow, and White Diamond, intergalactic imperialists, or dictators as Steven had called them, to heal the corrupted gems and change their entire system of governance was a deep emotional toll, and a physical one too. They planned a short trip to a surprise part of the planet for well-deserved relaxation using Lion, a black-eyed and pink furred mammal with a light-pink mane and a magenta-brown nose, who had been resurrected by Steven's mom, Rose Quartz/Pink Diamond, just like Steven accidentally did for Lars. Bismuth and the other un-corrupted gems would stay in Beach City to protect the Earth from possible threats.
Each of the Crystal Gems were unique in their own way. While Steven was a stocky 14-year-old boy with black eyes, curly dark hair, a salmon-pink-colored T-shirt with a gold star in the center, cuffed blue jeans, and sandals the same color as his shirt, Amethyst, one of his guardians, was different. Close to Steven's height, with bright lilact skin, dark indigo eyes, and messy pale lavender hair that flowed down to her ankles, a large bang obscuring her left eye, she wore a black tank top opened in the chest to show her gemstone, dark mauve shorts with black stars, white-colored boots. In contrast, Garnet, a fusion of Ruby and Sapphire, another guardian, had three eyes, colored medium ruby-red (on the right), medium sapphire blue (on the left), and reddish violet (in the center) covered by a half-star-shaped orange visor, a deep violet cube-shaped afro, purplish-red skin, and had her gemstones embedded in her palms. Another of Steven's guardians, Pearl, had a different physique from Steven, Amethyst, and Garnet. As a slender Gem with ivory-skin, sky-blue eyes, peach-colored hair, and a pointed nose, she wore a cyan poofy blazer, with a yellow star on the back, covering a teal-blue top piece, indigo leggings, and light pink ballet flats. Her gemstone, which had its own form of internal organization, sat in the middle of her forehead.
There were a few other members of the Crystal Gems which were glad to join them in this quest for relaxation. One of them was Lapis Lazuli, a slim figure about Pearl's height, with cyan skin, cobalt blue-colored hair at chin-length, with long bangs and a fringe covering her forehead, royal blue eyes, and a water droplet-shaped gemstone in her back, where her dark-blue water wings could emerge. She wore a blue-shaded backless halter crop tank top, dark blue puffy pants tied up with a bronze-gold ribbon, and sandals of a matching color. By her side, as a loyal friend, was Peridot, a lime-green skinned gem about as tall as Ruby or Sapphire, and only slightly above Steven's height. She had pale chartreuse hair in the shape of a tetrahedron, a bluish-gray tongue, an inverted-triangle gemstone in her forehead, a butterfly-shaped yellow-colored visor, bright-green leggings with dark green stars on the knees, and pale chartreuse boots. Connie, Steven's friend and one of the members of the temporary "New Crystal Gems," or the "New Crystal Temps" as she had called it, with Lapis, Peridot, and Pumpkin, would stay by Steven's side, as a good and loyal friend, coming along on this quest, wherever it took them. A slim 13-year-old girl, with dark brown skin, black eyes, and dark brown puffy hair, in a chin-length bob with bangs, she sported a stylish dress and her father's pale brown jacket.
While the Crystal Gems planned on staying Earthbound, Lion had other plans. He readied himself to warp them to another dimension, not far away, in a sense, from Earth itself. Steven spoke to Lion. "Lion, warp us out of here!" Soon, all seven of them were being warped by Lion, whose eyes and mane emitted a white glow. He knew of something they didn't: the Panama Wormhole, which could only be accessed by beings like himself. Legends said it led to a planet named Etheria, a place without stars. Although these stories were often derided as a cruel joke, these stories were true. Once they had reached the Panama Wormhole, which started on the Moon, he let the wormhole warp do its magic rather than using up his own energy. Steven realized something wasn't right since the warp was taking much longer than he had expected, but he couldn't do much of anything. They all screamed and landed on the floor with a thud. They were in Bright Moon, one of Etheria's many kingdoms, and the center of the Rebellion, although they did not know this at the time. This magical world shared almost nothing in common with Earth. While the gemstones of the Crystal Gems, the princesses they were about to meet, whose runestones were elemental, were tied to the planet itself, grounding them there, limiting their ability to travel to other dimensions if they so choose.
Looking at Garnet, Steven, Connie, Lapis, Pearl, Amethyst, and Peridot were the members of the Princess Alliance. Like they did every week, they were discussing their next move against the Horde, as part of their war council, and checking in on their progress. Glimmer, Adora, Bow, Netossa, Spinnerella, Mermista, Frosta, Sea Hawk, Perfuma, and Swift Wind looked at the Crystal Gems with astonishment. Frosta wanted to freeze them, Netossa readied her net to capture them, and Glimmer readied her magic to confuse them with her ability to distort light just like she had done with Adora when they first met. Luckily for the Crystal Gems, Perfuma felt differently.
"Let us accept these unexpected visitors with open hearts. With love and understanding, we can solve anything. Let's all form a drum circle and hold hands, making love, not conflict."
While the other princesses shook their heads in what seemed like "hippy-logic" to them, Steven nodded, since he would have said something similar. This means that Perfuma, without knowing it, acted like "the Steven" as Peridot had dubbed Connie in the past. Smiling, he introduced himself, explaining they had been brought to Bright Moon by accident, and that as the Crystal Gems they worked to defend Earth from evil attacks. Queen Angella, heading the table, with Castaspella beside her, considered this.
"Very well, Crystal Gems, as you call yourself, you are our guests in this Bright Moon castle."
She paused and continued. "As prisoners!"
They were quickly escorted out of the room, into a separate area of the castle, before they could process this shocking turn of events and fight back against this brazen declaration. Angella tasked Adora, Bow, and Glimmer with the interrogation of the Crystal Gems.
Adora asked them what they knew, Glimmer threatened them with her magic, and Bow readied his bow and arrows, including a sonic arrow and an arrow with a grappling hood. No one wanted to answer them. Steven stepped forward.
"Don't do this. We just want to go home and came here by accident. We don't want to cause you any trouble."
Bow, taken in by this sympathy, realized the Crystal Gems didn't want conflict, but Adora and Glimmer were not convinced. Seeing the Gems as a threat, the cry of "For the Honor of Greyskull!" echoed across the room. Like she had time and time again in the past, Adora transformed into an eight-foot-tall warrior named She-Ra. The Crystal Gems were ready for anything Adora or Glimmer would throw at them. Adora went on the attack with the Sword of Protection. Energy blasts were fired across the room, most of which Steven blocked with his shield and others that hit the wall behind the Crystal Gems. Garnet fought back, able to block the sword's blows with her gauntlets, with Pearl at her side, using her pearlescent spear to jab at Adora. At the same time, Amethyst, easily tied up Glimmer with her whip, so she couldn't attack them with magic, while Lapis used her ability to control water to throw Glimmer against the hard stone wall, making her dizzy with confusion. Peridot, with her power of levitation, ferrokinesis to be precise, trapped Bow under his metallic bow, moving him up the ceiling, where she held him. Connie joined in, fighting beside Pearl and Garnet, thrusting at She-Ra, overwhelming the eight-foot-tall warrior.
While the Crystal Gems were clearly winning, this fight dismayed Steven. His loud, and commanding, voice, resonated across the room.
"Everyone, stop fighting! This isn't right! We need to understand and accept one another, not try and hurt each other. Let's be friends."
The other Crystal Gems listened, withdrawing their weapons, with Bow gently let down to the floor by Peridot, Glimmer taken out of the grip of Amethyst's whip, and Adora putting away her sword, reverting out of the She-Ra form, while Connie put her sword, which had a golden pommel, purple hilt, a gold star emblem at the base of the crystalline pink blade, into its scabbard. Lapis, of all people tried to lighten the mood.
"You all have...unique fighting skills...but no wonder you haven't defeated the Horde...you are no crack security team," echoing Glimmer's description of herself and Bow after they had captured Adora, then a Force Captain for the Horde.
Even though she often didn't trust strangers when she met them, Lapis's true personality was extremely laid back, despite what you might believe. Letting out snort, then a laugh, she joked that their fighting skills would be better on the dance floor than on a battlefield.
Everyone came together and hugged each other. They weren't enemies. They were potential friends who could work together. After all, if Adora, Glimmer, and Bow could be friends, why couldn't the Crystal Gems be friends with them and vice versa? Adora and Glimmer were still skeptical of the new visitors but had calmed down. Adora came forward, apologizing for fighting them, blaming her repressed rage and emotional trauma, and asked the Crystal Gems if they could help the princesses defeat the Horde. Each of the Crystal Gems nodded in agreement. Steven showed them his bubble, spiked bubble, and told them of his healing powers through his magic spit. Glimmer grimaced. "Ew! That's weird, but disgusting." More interesting to her than Steven's magic healing spit was Garnet's future-vision, as she could see the benefit to the Rebellion, while Amethyst, Pearl, Lapis, Peridot, Connie, and Garnet passed at the opportunity to show their abilities, recalling they had already shown what they were made of in the previous scuffle.
"So...interesting! We should show you the rest of the princesses!"
Peridot chuckled, as these princesses were nothing like the gems they had encountered and less powerful than the diamond overlords on Homeworld by leaps and bounds. She told them this much, almost jeering them.
"Princesses? The Diamonds would reduce you all to dust. Maybe the other princesses are more impressive than the three of you."
Bow ignored this comment as he wasn't a princess, but Adora and Glimmer, who were princesses, were clearly peeved by this comment. They glowered and continued leading the gems through the castle's halls. But they didn't get far. They were soon stopped by Angella.
"What are you doing with these prisoners? You are supposed to be interrogating them!"
Adora whispered in Angela's ear, telling her that the Crystal Gems were not their enemies but only wanted to help. Of course, she was still skeptical and promised to keep an eye on them. Angella sighed.
"Very well, Adora, if you think of them that way, then they can meet the other Princesses...again...and under better circumstances than before. I won't interfere this time."
Everyone had someone to talk to. Connie and Steven talked to Perfuma about her ability to control plants, flowers, and nature, while Garnet chatted with Netossa and Spinnerella about her fusion, consisting of two gems who loved each other (Ruby and Sapphire), intriguing them. Pearl turned to Adora, praising her for her fighting skills, showing her methods to fend off the enemy and offered to teach her better swordfighting techniques, where she would award "Pearl points" for punctuality, perseverance, and positivity. Adora chuckled at the suggestion but acknowledged she would consider the offer. Amethyst laughed with Glimmer about their powers, interested when Glimmer explained her ability to teleport and control light. Each of them praised each other's appearance, even their hair styles. Predictably, Peridot jested Bow about their respective technology abilities. Even Lion and Swift Wind were getting better acquainted with each other. Of all the gems, Lapis stole the show. When she brought out her water wings, the princesses peered with curiosity. Adora, Glimmer, and Bow were especially amazed, looking at her adoringly. Lapis blushed not from their adoring looks, but, when Bow praised her for her beautiful, majestic wings. This impressed Mermista. "Ugh, I wish I had wings like that! The ability to fly would make my job, like, so much easier. Controlling water and having a trident is great and all, but water wings are...AMAZING!" When Lapis showed her ability to freeze water, able to manipulate the state of water itself, which neither Mermista nor Frosta could do as flawlessly, Frosta looked upward, slack-jawed.
After a quick chat, many of the princesses said their goodbyes, while Adora, Glimmer, and Bow remained with the Crystal Gems. They continued to walk around the castle, with Adora and Glimmer showing them their bedrooms, a sign they were more comfortable about these visitors than before. The Crystal Gems were surprised by the beauty within their rooms. The orderliness and tidiness of Adora's room, especially the symmetry and organization, impressed a bug-eyed Pearl. This love for organization was appreciated by Adora, who tried to follow rules and stick to plans, apart from her life decision to leave the Horde and join the Rebellion many months before. Similarly, Pearl, who often had low self-esteem, thinking she had little power to influence others and felt weak compared to the other gems, saw a kindred soul in Adora, who seemed to feel the same way about organization that she did. Although they were not the same age and had different upbringings, clearly something between Pearl and Adora clicked, a spark of friendship. They continued to chat with each other about organization, planning, and swordfighting.
In the same room, Bow and Peridot chatted about technology, he showed her the tracker pad he had created. While she remained gracious, she chuckled. Such technology seemed primitive to her, as her tablet, in her opinion, had much more power.
"I've built robots and helped engineer a drill which reached the center of the Earth to stop a cluster of gems from destroying the planet. And...you could only, with your touch stumps, build this?"
Bow, annoyed and hurt she had described his work that way, calmed himself down so her arrogant, bragging, and slightly condescending attitude wouldn't affect him. He admitted that while he didn't know everything about technology, he served as the tech master for the Rebellion, since Entrapta, a princess with a brilliant and technical mind, adept at creating new technology, had defected to the Horde.
"I still miss her everyday and am inspired by her technological mindset to tinker with technology as part of the planet's maker community. Someday, I'd like to introduce you to her, but I'm not going to the awful Fright Zone anytime soon. Last time, the Horde held me in a prison cell after kidnapping me. It was awful. I have to thank..."
Peridot cut him off and looked at the recorder sitting on a nearby table.
"You have one of these too! Wow, I never thought I'd see one of these again. Do you record your intimate thoughts and observations on this...thing?"
She played back one of the entries. "Future Bow, Mara...Serrennia...I don't know what this message means." Interjecting, she asked Bow if she could record something using the device and he consented.
"Log date 7 24 19. Today, I was transported to this planet which has many unique properties which I would like to explore, meeting a group of elemental princesses and one person with a tanned complexion, kinky dark-brown hair, and dark black eyes. It calls itself Bow and says it is a tech master on this planet. Clearly, it is knowledgeable about technology, which I did not expect from these creatures, and not a clod. I would never much like to learn more from this person that calls itself Bow..."
Bow mildly added to the recording.
"And I met a short light-green skinned being today and hope to learn from her about new technologies from another dimension. It's so exciting!"
Peridot understood and spoke once more. "End entry. Facet-2F5L out." They both embraced each other and continued talking, as Lapis, Steven, Garnet, Connie, and Amethyst walked into a different room, while Adora and Pearl, Bow and Peridot each were talking to each other.
These other Crystal Gems didn't really know where to fit in, as they had not struck up conversations on their own. While Glimmer had a friendly demeanor, she didn't really share much in common with any of these other Crystal Gems, except for Amethyst, as they had talked a little earlier. She explained that Angella was her mother, who grounded her when she disobeyed. Amethyst, who loved to joke around and do pranks, had an idea. Slipping outside the door, unseen, she shapeshifted into Angella. Glimmer heard a knock on her bedroom door and opened it. Amethyst walked in, still with the appearance of Angella.
"Glimmer...you shouldn't have invited these gems into your room. I told you to watch them closely, not bring them here! You disobeyed me once again and are grounded for ONE MONTH for this transgression."
Glimmer huffed, thinking her mother stood before her.
"You never listen to me...or let me do what I want! Why do you have to be so stubborn!"
As it got serious for a moment, Steven sternly addressed Amethyst.
"Come on, Amethyst." He paused. "Stop that."
Amethyst transformed back to her usual form.
"Man, it was supposed to be a surprise, Steven! Why did you have to ruin it!"
She let out a great howl of laughter. Glimmer didn't fully understand what had happened, except that she had been pranked, the first time she had experienced that since princesses could not shapeshift like the Crystal Gems. Despite the prank, Amethyst tried to understand Glimmer's feelings, even though they had only known each other for a short time, and cheer her up by shapeshifting herself, which Glimmer thoroughly enjoyed, showing her effort was a success. Perhaps, they could both share a love for eating food, although she doubted Glimmer felt the same way about eating and wasn't sure if Glimmer acted impulsively. She didn't know that Glimmer had often been impulsive, the primary reason she had been grounded by her mother in the past. Glimmer and Amethyst continued to talk and talk, with the other Gems excusing themselves, as they didn't know what to say or what to do next.
The castle felt peaceful and the surroundings were serene, but they felt out of place, unlike Pearl, Peridot, and Amethyst, each of whom had started conversations with Adora, Glimmer, and Bow, respectfully. They began walking around Bright Moon, observing the landscape, buildings, and everything else, including the magical nature of the kingdom itself. Angella saw them and asked if they wanted a tour of the castle, with her acting as a guide, telling the history of their people and their struggle against evil. This sounded fun and exciting, better than walking around the kingdom and sight-seeing. Connie, the most enthusiastic, ecstatically spoke to Angella.
"I love history! I'd be honored to go on a tour of this castle with you, ma'am."
Steven nodded in agreement, with Angella glad to hear such sentiments.
"I'm relieved that you would love to learn about our wonderful history and I'd be glad to tell you about it! Follow me into the depths of knowledge! History isn't just one event, but its an experience everyone can enjoy."
Lapis and Garnet were not as eager about this proposition. But they went along since a history tour outranked, in their minds, aimlessly wandering around the magical kingdom. So, they tagged along for the ride.
As they walked toward the castle, Angella explained the importance of the massive and opalescent moonstone, glowing a blue-white color, which hovered over one of the castle's spire near the castle.
"This runestone is the source of my powers, and those of my daughter, who both have the power of light. It can be, in extreme emergencies, used to protect this castle against attack, but that is not its ideal role."
Steven and Connie listened intently while Lapis and Garnet were blithe, indifferent to her stories. As they walked into the castle and through the castle's hallways, she showed them the bas-relief telling the story of her people and husband, King Micah, who died at the hands of the Horde.
"I think of my husband almost everyday, because I...ordered the battle where he died. But, I have, in some ways, forgiven myself because if I had died in his place, this kingdom would not be any better off."
She then shifted to the discussion of the Battle of Bright Moon, only a few months before, with Swift Wind, Bow, Glimmer, Adora, Netossa, Spinnerella, and herself defending the castle from the Horde's attack with the Whispering Woods freezing over.
"It looked as if we were going to lose, and this castle would be destroyed, but in the nick of time, Princesses Frosta, Perfuma, and Mermista came to our aid, with friends like Sea Hawk. With their assistance, the castle only sustained minor damage, we dealt the Horde their biggest defeat to date, apart from various skirmishes."
Luckily for Bright Moon, since that battle the Whispering Woods had regrown, making it harder, than ever, for the Horde to retake Bright Moon, especially with a strong and united Princess Alliance.
On the last part of their tour, Angella showed them her private library, with books and materials of all sizes and shapes. Glimmer had never seen them herself because she didn't care much for such intellectual pursuits, unlike Adora or perhaps Bow. Steven and Connie, thinking back to the Buddy Buddwick Library in Beach City they had visited and where Steven found the wonderful journal of Buddy Buddwick, the first mate on the ship that founded Beach City, loved this most of all. Lapis and Garnet, on the other hand, who were not against libraries, or books, were not in the mood for such intellectualism at this time of day. Angella explained the importance of her library, which she had curated herself.
"These books mean so much to me personally. Some are diaries written by the first settlers on this planet, others are books of spells used by sorcerers, histories of Etheria I commissioned during my reign as Queen, and other assorted materials I like to read for fun."
Turning to Steven and Connie, she handed Connie one thick diary, titled The tale of Rainbow Quartz and Pink Diamond.
"I've tried to understand what this book means, but from all the Etherian history I know, I've never heard of these names before. Perhaps you can figure out what it means since you call yourselves gems and the people in this book are a bit like all of you."
She paused and continued.
"Just remember to bring it back within a week, because it's one of my most prized possessions."
Connie responded radiantly and politely.
"Can do, ma'am!"
With the tour coming to an end, Angella led them to their quarters, an extra room in the castle where they were to sleep. As she walked away, Connie, Steven, Garnet, and Lapis ran to the rooms of Glimmer and Adora, finding Amethyst, Peridot, and Pearl. What happened next was unexpected, even for the Gems. Perhaps the gems wanted to get to know their new friends, or maybe Adora, Glimmer, and Bow felt similarly about these new visitors. Whatever the reason, a slumber party came together. Adora, Glimmer, Bow, Peridot, Amethyst, Pearl, Steven, Connie, Lapis, and Garnet all slept in the same place: Adora's room. While they were not sleeping together in one bed, they were huddled in different parts of the room. While the Crystal Gems hoped that the next day would allow them to relax in this strange new land, where they had met some of the nicest people, Adora, Glimmer, and Bow had similar hopes, learning more about this visitors, who were almost like alien invaders from outer space to them. As they drifted into deeper and deeper sleep, with Lapis snoring like she usually did, Pearl's projecting her dream across the room, although no one saw it since they were fast asleep. It showed her teaching Adora to improved swordfighting skills and awarding what she called "Pearl Points" for her progress so far, indicating the bond of friendship between them had strengthened.