Original Idea by: Scraps
Collaboration work with: Cleverun
Characters Created by: Rebecca Sugar
Chapter 6: A Gemian Apart
Tribunal Temple, present day
As the van rushed out of the portal and came to a screeching halt before the temple, the Gems within it stepped outside. First was Topaz, carrying Connie within their arms, then came Emerald, followed by Garnet and then Amethyst. As the Gems walked towards the temple, Garnet and Amethyst looked at a crater they were passing by; it was the same crater that was created from the Agate they fought a long time ago. Garnet bit her lip as she looked to the temple; the very sight reminded her of her failure to Steven and to Pearl. Amethyst noticed this and placed a hand on Garnet's shoulder. Garnet looked to her Gem sister and then continued to walk to the temple.
As the Gems entered the Temple, Thorn, Spinel, and the other Gem refugees greeted them. Upon seeing Topaz, the Gems quickly bowed to their leader.
"There is no need for that at this time." Topaz said as they continued walking, "Where is Turquoise?"
Thorn rose from the floor and approached Topaz. As the Gemian looked into her eyes, they knew what had happened.
"You combined your Vitae…" Topaz said as they stepped before Thorn, they brow furrowed in disbelief "Serpentine, how could you do this, do you realize that what you have done is permanent?"
Thorn flinched at the Gem Master's exclamation before speaking. "I...I hand no choice Master. Master Diamond attacked Venatio and killed both Turquoise and Sapphire; Azurite would have become an Agate if I did not intervene. I could not stand to see her as a mindless puppet."
"As what I can tell, this form is no different." Topaz said coldly as they turn and walked away, leaving a distraught Thorn behind them.
As Emerald looked to the crying Thorn and then to Topaz, he quickly rushed to his Creator, with Garnet and Amethyst tagging behind him.
The three Gems found Topaz in their study, standing before their desk. Topaz then turned his head lightly as the contents of their desk were thrown off the table. They then placed Connie onto the table and stood back up. As Emerald approached Topaz, he could see tears running down their face.
"Master Topaz?" Emerald said cautiously to the Gemian, choosing his words carefully, "Is she going to be all right?"
Topaz looked down at the Gem child before them; they could see her eyes were hollow and cold. Her face was without expression and her gaze was as if she was dead. Just the very sigh of her face caused fresh tears to run down Topaz's cheeks.
"She is in so much pain, Emerald." Topaz whispered, wiping the tears from their eyes with their hand "The trauma my brother gave to her has brought her into a catatonic state. I do not know if I can fix this."
Emerald watched as Topaz placed their hand over Connie's forehead. He watched as a small yellow light began to flicker from their hand onto Connie's head. As soon as the light touched Connie, her chest rose up and she gasped lightly. Garnet and Amethyst watched in suspense as Connie's body returned to its natural state and her eyes close.
"What did you do?" Amethyst shouted as she approached the Gemian, grabbing them by their suit and aiming her fist at them. "TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?"
Emerald and Garnet quickly grabbed Amethyst and held her back, allowing the Gemian to continue his work.
"Let me go!" Amethyst shouted as the Gems pulled her back, "They're hurting her."
"No they is not." Emerald replied as he pulled the purple Gem towards him, "They're is using a Gemian ability called Somnium Eo, it will allow Topaz to enter Connie's mind and heal her. You have to trust them."
Amethyst glared angrily at Emerald as tears began to form in her eyes, "How the fuck am I supposed to do that? Every Gem I know is a traitor." Amethyst said with a light scoff as she pulled herself free of Garnet and Emerald and slumped on to the floor, cupping her hands to her face. "Steven's dead, Pearl is a traitor, how could she do this to us? We were a team for years. YEARS and all this time, she was…she…"
Garnet sat down and comforted her Gem sister, cringing at the thought that nine months ago she was a carefree Gem who barely took anything seriously. Now, it was almost if that carefree Gem was long gone.
As Emerald looked to the two Gems, he noticed Smoky approaching him; she had a small hesitant look on her face.
"Not is not a good time Smoky." Emerald sighed, "Can you give is a few minutes? I will speak to you later."
"I apologize Master," Smoky said as she lightly bowed, "But this is urgent, it involves Beach City."
The very mention of the city caused both Amethyst and Garnet to look to Smoky. Amethyst quickly rose up and grabbed the large Gem by the robe.
"What is it, what happened to Beach City?" Amethyst shouted as Garnet quickly grabbed her Gem sister away from Smoky.
"Well, one of our scouts reported that there was an attack on the city." Smoky said to the three Gems, "It involved a small group of humans known as G.E.R.M."
Emerald eyes widened at the mention of the name "They attacked beach city? Why would a group of humans attack a Gem fortress, it would be suicidal unless they had help from the inside."
Smokey then looked to her right as she prepared her next words carefully, "Well…about that…um…I was meaning to tell you that…uh…Howlite is here for you. She had just arrived after helping liberate the humans of that city.
Emerald froze; a small smile began to grow on the Gem Master's face.
"She is alive?" he whispered before hugging Smoky. "SHE IS ALIVE! OH THANK GEMIA!"
Garnet and Amethyst looked in confusion as Emerald broke form the hug and rushed away, eager to find the aforementioned Gem. As they looked to Smoky, her expression was a mix of joy and concern.
"What is wrong with Howlite?" Garnet asked the large Gem as she approached her
"Well, after talking with her for some time, I have reason to believe that she has become….unstable."
"Unstable?" Garnet replied with a confused look, "What do you mean by unstable?"
Tribunal Temple Training Room, present day
Master Diamond staggered back as he received a heavy punch in the face from another Gem. This Gem, which was known as Howlite, had silver hair with black highlights and white skin, with only the left side of her face, which appeared to be cracked. She had a grey gem on the back of her left hand that also appeared to be cracked. As she pulled back from the punch she had thrown, Diamond stood back up and held his jaw in his hand. Just then, a voice suddenly boomed in the room.
[CRITICAL IMPACT TO JAW…DAMAGE RECEIVED: BROKEN JAW…ESTIMATED DAMAGE PERCENT: 8%.]
Howlite grinned as she summoned her large battle-ax. Diamond then spat at the ground before summoning his mace and charging at Howlite. The cracked Gem quickly dogged the attack and slashed at Diamond, cutting into his back.
[LARGE CUT TO BACK OF TARGET…DAMAGED RECEIVED: CRITICAL CUT TO BACK…ESTIMATED DAMAGE PERCENT: 19%]
Diamond turned to Howlite as she brought up her ax. A large grin stretched across her face as her silver eyes widened. Diamond gritted his teeth as he brought up his mace and swung it towards her. As he did, the head of the mace detached and bolted at Howlite. The cracked Gem simply dogged each attack as Diamond flung his flail at her. However, Diamond then pulled his weapon back, causing the flail to swing back and smack his opponent in the head. Howlite staggered and knelt to the floor as Diamond retracted his mace and began to approach his target.
[LARGE IMPACT TO SKULL…DAMAGED RECEIVED: MODERATE CONCUSSION…ESTIMATED DAMAGE PERCENT: 23%...OPPONENT HAS RECEIVED AN OPENING.]
As Diamond stood above his victim, lifting his mace to give the finishing blow, he swung his weapon down upon the Gem before him, hearing a large clang as she quickly blocked the attack. Howlite looked up at Diamond with a wide-eyed grin, her head bleeding from Diamond's earlier attack. She then quickly pushed forward, causing Diamond to fall back as his opponent began to rise up, as the Gems pushed against one another, Howlite finally used all her strength to spin her ax around and parry both her ax and Diamond's mace out of their hands.
[BOTH PARTIES ARE DISARMED…PROBABILITY OF DEFEAT: 43%]
Howlite quickly pounced and tackled Diamond as she sat on top of him, with a large grin, her reached behind her back and pulled out a dagger. Diamond watched in horror as she lifted the dagger with both hands.
[TARGET HAS BEEN DEFEATED…DEFENDANT IS VICTORIOUS.]
The booming voice had no effect on Howlite as she let out a large shriek, plunging the dagger into Diamond's chest. Diamond shouted and gurgled as Howlite stabbed the Gemian repeatedly. Howlite watched as her prey flicker from master Diamond to a crystal based figure. She then took her dagger and sliced it across the hologem's neck. Slicing left and right until the head fell off. Howlite smiled as she picked up the head and pressed it to her forehead. As she did, she envisioned the Hologem's head as that of Master Diamond, imaging herself looking into the dead eyes of the Gemian she desired to kill.
Howlite's fantasy was cut short by the intrusion of a new voice, once that sounded very familiar.
"Howl?" said Emerald, who moments ago arrived to watch the spectacle before her.
Howlite turned to the green Gem beside her. As she looked into his eyes, she suddenly remembered who this Gem was to her. A smile crept on her face as she stood up, rushing over to the Gemian and embracing him with a large hug around her waist.
"Emey!" Howlite squeaked as she tightened her hug
"It's good to see you too." Emerald said with a smile as he broke the hug and looked down to his friend. He immediately noticed her cracks and frowned at the sight. "What has happened to you? The last time I saw you, we were fighting on Insidiae."
As soon as Emerald mentioned Insidiae, Howlite's smile faded quickly, replaced with a large scowl towards the Gemian, Howlite then turned away from her master, fidgeting with a Hologem head she lifted off the floor.
"You left me to die on Insidiae, remember?" Howlite said with a flat tone, tracing the lines of the Hologem head with her fingers. "You left me to rot with those rogue Gems we were going to "save."
"Howlite…" Emerald said, taken aback from his friend's response, "I did not know that…I thought you were…"
"Dead?" Howlite said as she turned to Emerald. "No…No…I didn't die, I never did. You knew this and you abandoned me!"
Emerald was speechless, he had no idea what had happened on Insidiae after he left, in fact, and no Gem knew what had happened on that Colony after the war. After what felt like hours, Emerald finally broke the silence.
"What happened on Insidiae Howl?" Emerald said hesitantly, trying to be careful and not enrage the already unstable Gem.
Howlite chuckled as she began to pace the training room. "What happened to me? What happened?" Howlite then glared at Emerald and chucked the Hologem head at him, missing the Gem master, and smashing against the wall.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENED?" Howlite shrieked as she held her left hand over the cracked portion of her face.
Emerald gasped lightly as his head a hand up to his mouth. "What did Master Diam-"
"DON'T CALL HIM THAT!" Howlite screamed at Emerald, her face flustered as she held up her hands. "HOW DARE YOU CALL HIM "MASTER" AFTER ALL HE HAS DONE!"
Peridot was frozen; he did not know what to say, nor how to react. All he could do was watch as his friend paced the room angrily. She then turned back to Emerald with wide eyes and a half smile.
"You…you are just like Topaz and Rose. You claim that you understand but you do not. You think that just because we are lesser that we are just pawns to your little game of "King of the Universe. However, you do not know what happed at Insidiae. Sure, you fought there, but were you captured like the rest of us. Like me, like Hematite, do you even remember what happed to him?"
Emerald froze as he remembered about Hematite, Emerald's second in command alongside Howlite. The very though cause Emerald to rub his hand over his eyes in guilt.
"But then what about poor Howl, the one that you assumed to be dead for years, when in reality she was alive, on Insidiae, the Gem Colony of "Monster Diamond", who had been using the Colony as a laboratory to create a perfect army for himself. I saw what he was doing with my own eyes. What he did to Jade, Tourmaline, Alexandrite, all of them, I saw them tortured and warped into monsters, while the rest were placed into those Agate drones. As for me, I received some of the Monster's "Special Treatment.""
"Howlite…" Emerald said as he placed a hand on the side of his head, "I didn't know…"
Howlite gave Emerald a smile and shook her head lightly. "You didn't know Emerald, you didn't. While you were fighting on the front lines, did you even THINK of trying to rescuing me? All the years and not *once* did you even think of finding me? You did not care Emerald; all you cared about was to prove to Topaz that you were a worthy son. No matter how many Gems you sacrificed to prove it."
"That is not true Howlite." Emerald interjects, pointing his finger at the Gem before him, "I do not know what Diamond did to you, but he has warped your mind. I did not stop looking for you; even after the war ended, I ended up captured in a containment camp because I believed you were there. Not once did I put my life before you, or Hematite, or any other Gem. I am sorry for leaving you on Insidiae, but you need to know that I had no intention of abandoning you."
Howlite glared at Emerald for what felt like hours, her expression then softened as her attention was focused on the headless Hologem lying on the floor. As she looked around the room, Emerald followed her gaze and noticed the surroundings as well. He looked in shock at the entirety of the training room that was littered with Hologems, many of which were torn apart and scattered some were barely recognizable. As he watched Howlite walk around the room, he noticed her expression was warm and satisfied, as if she had completed a lifelong task she always wanted to finish. Just then, one of the Hologems, one which was pinned to the wall and was missing it's lower legs and left arm, Sprung to life and startled the two Gems before it. As it reached for them, it transformed into the image of Master Diamond, only missing his left arm and legs.
[SEVER DAMAGE TO TARGET…DAMAGED RECEIVED: LOSS OF LEGS AND LEFT ARM…TARGET IS CRIPPLED AND DEFENSELESS…DEFENDANT IS VICTORIOUS]
Howlite looked down and scooped up a large shard of holocrystal, clutching it like a dagger as she stormed up to the wounded Gemian. As she looked into his eyes, she jabbed the shard into his chest. Diamond gasped loudly as Howlite dug the shard in deeper.
[IMPACT TO HEART…DAMAGED RECEIVED: INTERNAL BLEEDING…TARGET IS WOUNDED FATALLY…DEFENDANT IS VICTORIOUS]
Howlite pulled the shard out of Diamond's chest and examined it, looking at the shard that was coated in blue blood. The Hologems were designed to mimic their chosen avatars to the letter. This meant that attacking a hologem that took the guise of Master Diamond was supposed to be like attacking the real Diamond. Emerald watched as Howlite turned her attention back to the Gemian before her.
"Why did you do this to me?" Howlite asked Master Diamond
Diamond responded with a grunt before being stabbed again with the shard
"Why did you do this me?" Howlite asked again as she pulled the shard out and plunged it back into Diamond's chest.
Emerald watched with horror as Howlite continued to stab Diamond repeatedly. As she continued, her stabs became more and more erratic, until she was simply stabbing random points of his body.
*stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab**stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab**stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab**stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab**stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab**stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab**stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab**stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab**stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab**stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab**stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab**stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab* *stab**stab* *stab* *stab* *stab*
Emerald slowly walked up to his friend, still stabbing her shard into the body of the Hologem. Until he finally grabbed Howlite's arms as she was about to plunge the shard again. He noticed that from clenching the shard too tight, her hand was bleeding from the cuts. As Howlite looked to Emerald, he saw her eyes pouring with tears.
"Howlite…" Emerald whispered in a saddened tone "What in Rose's name did he do to you?"
Howlite looked down to the floor before breaking her grip from Emerald, and plunging her shard into the head of Holo-Diamond. As the hologem deactivated, she looked back to Emerald, and stormed out of the training room.
Emerald watched as she left the room and sighed, he then looked back at the hologem and furrowed his brow.
"I promise Howlite, I promise that we will stop him. We will bring that…monster…to justice."
Crystal Catacombs: Heart Chamber, present day
Diamond stood before the Crystal heart, feeling the energy flowing from the large artifact before him. Diamond them opened the front of his robe, exposing his bare chest. He then placed his hands before his chest and a large black serpent emerged from his chest. The Serpent looked around the chamber and hissed before turning towards the Crystal Heart, and then to Diamond.
"Pristis! Custodire mandata mea!" Diamond said to the serpent, "Concedo tibi cor Gemia enim ad vescendum, et revertimini ad antiquitatem vestram gloriam!"
The serpent hissed before turning back to the heart, suddenly, it shot out of Diamond's chest and burrowed itself into the heart, causing the heart to turn into a much darker color. Diamond could see the serpent inside the heart, Curled up in the center like an infant in their mother's womb. As he relished in the though, he felt the presence of another behind him. Diamond then turned to see Lion standing behind him, his expression as solemn as Diamond's.
"Ah, the familiar of Rose." Diamond said to lion, "I was wondering what happened to you, perhaps my servant was not as effective with your demise as she told me. But that does not answer the question as to why you are here?"
"Because I brought him here." A voice said to Diamond.
Diamond turned to the direction of the voice to see his sister, Rose Quartz, walking into the room. She approached Diamond and brushed his mane.
"You are still as much of a nuisance dead as you were alive, little sister." Diamond hissed in anger, the very presence of Rose was enough to irritate him. "You and that creature of yours have no place here."
"You forget brother, that this is my home" Rose said as she turned to Diamond with a smile "You did turn our homeworld into your personal experiment for the Leviathan." She then tilted her body to examine the Crystal Heart. "Which I can see you used our own mother's heart as an incubator."
Diamond stood up in front of Rose, towering over her as he glared downward to her. "Why are you so persistent in allowing corruption to conquer this Universe? Are you that naive to the truth?"
Rose looked up to Diamond and smiled, "When you created my Room from your own emotions, I was able to realize that it was your idea of a perfect Universe. A Universe where the one in control would be able to get and do whatever they wanted and that everyone else obeyed his commands. However, as I used the room, I found it had a hidden purpose, it would not only give you what you wanted, but also what you needed."
Diamond scowled as she continued her remarks, her words reminded him of the very emotion he despised: love.
"Diamond, I know you want me to hate you, that when I do, you will be free of your love for me. All I can say is that I will never stop loving you. I love you because you are my brother, You and Topaz are my family, You may have killed my husband and son, butchered my successor, killed my grandchildren, and destroyed my home, but I will not hate you. Topaz may hate you, but I will not, and some day, when you ask me for forgiveness for your sins, I will be there to accept them. Nevertheless, all I ask of you is to stop this madness. This Universe may not be the one you want but it is the one we need."
Diamond looked down to his sister, as he glared into her warm smile; he felt tears form into his eyes. Rose saw as his eyes changed color from red to grey as he sunk down and hugged his little sister. As she embraced his hug, she felt as he wept upon her shoulder.
"I know that what I have done cannot be forgiven." Diamond said as he broke of the hug and turned to the Crystal Heart, "But when I fix this Universe, then such problems will become a forgotten memory.
Rose frowned in disappointment as she approached lion, whispering something to him before he disappeared into a portal. Diamond immediately turned towards Rose, his eyes returned to molten red as he stormed towards the Rose Gem.
"Where have you sent him?" Diamond hissed at Rose, "Why was he here?"
Rose simply smiled as her brother, "He was here because of his intended purpose." Rose explained, "Did you forget that our familiars have the ability to revive us should we fall?"
Diamond scowled as he bent down to look Rose in the face, "How clever of you, but I know for a fact that you cannot bring yourself to kill me."
Rose smile faded slightly as she looked down to the floor, "That is true, although you need to be stopped; I could never bring myself to kill you. It would go against everything I stand for as a Tribunal…"
"…but he will not have the same problem."
Diamond furrowed his brow in confusion, before he could respond to Rose, a though sparked in his head, If Lion was meant to revive a Tribunal, and if Rose was unable to go, then …
Rose looked up to see Diamond's face turn pale, his eyes filling up with Rage, along with another emotion he despised: fear.
"No…" Diamond whispered as he stood back up, walking back a few steps away from his sister. He glared at Rose until He gritted his teeth in anger.
"VESTIBULUM!" Diamond roared as he disappeared in a blinding flash of light. Rose then turned back to the Crystal Heart and watched as the black serpent inside twitched like a fetus in the womb.
"I am sorry for the pain he caused you, and the betrayal he made you endure." Rose said as she opened a pink doorway, "But I know that everything I have taught you in our short time together will be enough to stop him." Rose then proceeded to walk into the portal, but stopped halfway and turned back to look at the ceiling of the chamber.
"Take care filium meum, she will need you now more than ever, and I want you to know that your father and I will pray for you."
With that, Rose entered the doorway and closed it behind her.