Original Idea by: Scraps
Collaboration work with: Cleverun
Characters Created by: Rebecca Sugar
Chapter 7: Sometimes, I Dream About Topaz
Beach City High School, present day
Connie sat at her desk as she waited for the teacher to begin his lesson, as she waited, her listened to the chatter of the classmates as they laughed and shouted at each other, boasting about small things that would be forgotten. She smiled as she looked out the window, the sun was shining, and there was not a single cloud in the sky. This has been the perfect day of her life so far. Aside from a small stomachache, nothing could ruin this day. Her moment of bliss was interrupted by the sound of a door opening as a man with blond hair and a blue suit entered the classroom. As he approached the desk, he placed the briefcase in his hand onto the table and then turned his attention to the class.
"Alright students, settle down now." The teacher said to the students, who quickly returned to their seats and stared at the teacher before them. Connie noticed the way the students stared at him, one moment they were exclaiming and teasing each other, the next moment they were deadpan and stoic, like statues. Connie then turned to the teacher who began to write his name on the board behind him.
"As you all know, I am your substitute teacher for the day. My name is Tom Pazali, and I will be enhancing your minds for the day.
"No one told us about a substitute teacher for the day." Connie objected as she felt her stomachache pang a little.
Tom turned to Connie and tilted his head. "Well, if you looked on your syllabus, perhaps you would understand, or perhaps you should focus on the teacher."
Connie was stunned at the response from the teacher, what kind of teacher would act like this?
As she looked back to the window, she saw clouds beginning to form and block out the sun, the whole sky turned grey and gloomy. Connie frowned as she clutched her stomach; a small throbbing was now beginning to intensify. It soon felt like her stomach was on fire. Connie tried to focus of Tom Pazali's lecture, but all she heard were low mumbles. She looked to her students and saw them staring at the teacher in the same deadpan expression. They were like robots, machines that responded without any form of will.
"Ms. Connie, since you are so interested in looking at things, could you please read the board out loud for the rest of the class?" Tom Pazali exclaimed to Connie, snapping her attention to the teacher before turning to the board.
As Connie looked to the board before her, she immediately realized that all the writing was a blur. Connie tried to adjust her glasses, only to realize she had no frames in them. She then remembered that her eyesight was healed, healed by…
"Steven…" Connie whispered
Suddenly, she felt a large agonizing throb in her stomach. Connie yelped as she fell onto the floor. As she looked up, she saw all the students staring down at her, their faces and bodies began to transforming into other people. Connie watched in horror as they all transformed into the image of a tall man with grey hair, a pointed nose, molten red eyes, and a long beard. As they all towered over her, she suddenly felt the pain in her stomach cease. As she looked down to her belly, she watched in horror as her shirt began to become stained with blood. She then looked up to the men above her and remembered whom those men truly are.
"You have stolen something from me, Furem!" the men shouted to Connie as they grabbed at her,"You are not worthy to be a Gem! You failed to save your beloved Steven! You! Are! A! FAILURE!"
"STOP IT! LEAVE ME ALONE! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? " Connie screamed as she shut her eyes and wrapped her arms over her head.
She suddenly felt a draft of air as she opened her eyes. She found herself on a beach side. As she looked around, she could see a young man in the distance. It was Steven, and he was naked. Upon looking down at herself, Connie realized she was naked too, just like in her nightmare.
She watched at Steven ran towards her, realizing what was going to happen, she extended her hands towards him.
"Steven, stop! It's a trap!" she shouted to the Half-Gem, only to realize she was already sinking into the sand below. As she sunk into the sandy depths, she could see Steven trying to dig her out, only to be stopped by a huge titan. To Connie's shock and horror, she noticed that this time, the titan had the physical appearance of Master Diamond. Connie tried to dig up toward the two Gems, she felt her body freeze up. Connie tried and tried, but she could not move a muscle. She then noticed her "Teacher" Tom Pazali, who soon transformed into a gold haired figure in a gold suit.
"You!" Connie shouted to the figure, "Your that Gem in Washington, you're Topaz!"
Topaz smiled as they nodded their head, as soon as they did, both of them were on the front steps of Steven's house. Connie noticed she was wearing a cream-colored dress and even her glowing bracelet. She soon realized that they were now at the night that Connie and Steven went on their big date, the night that changed their lives forever.
"This is…when I went on that date with Steven." Connie whispered as she touched the door to Steven's house, "Am I…are we…?"
"No, we are not." Topaz replied, "This is just a memory, however, I thought that this would be helpful in your recovery as to remind you of why all of this happened."
Connie stepped away from the door and walked up to Topaz. "I know I made a huge mistake, and it cost the life of the only boy I will ever love, and it's all because of Diamond."
Topaz placed their hands on the angry girl's shoulders, watching as tears began to form from her eyes. Topaz then embraced Connie in a hug as she broke down before the Taskmaster.
"Connie, my sweet child, there is something you need to understand." Topaz said to the weeping child before their. "What you assume to be a mistake, what happened that night, was one of the most miraculous moments in your young life's, you proved to Steven that despite his faults and his failures, not to mention his linage, you saw him as not a gem, but as a human being. Your love for him is not a mistake, but a miracle. If you embrace your love for him, your love for Steven, you will be able to forgive yourself." Topaz broke away from the hug and leaned against the balcony, looking up at the star filled sky. "I know what it is like to blame yourself and hold on to past mistakes."
Connie looked up to Topaz and wiped her eyes. "I know that Diamond was responsible for your sister's death." Connie interjected.
As she did, she saw Topaz's eye darken as they stared into the stars.
"From the moment were conceived, my siblings and I had a purpose to defend the Universe. As much as I tried to be more like my brother, I found more of a connection to Rose, my sister. The more I bonded with Rose, the more I realized that her ideal of protecting and aiding the Universe was a great opportunity. Diamond though otherwise, he proclaimed us as traitors and tried to kill us. If I was not so obsessed with preservation I could have…"
Topaz looked down at their hands, clenched into the wooden balcony.
Topaz then turned to Connie who had a look of determination upon her.
"Connie, you are the only one who can stop him. I kno-"
Topaz stopped as Connie had her hand extended before the Gemian. She had a warm smile on her face as she walked towards the door, as she could hear the voices of Pearl and Steven from behind it, Connie took a deep breath, and grabbed the door.
The second she turned the handle and opened the door, there was a bright light, followed by the sound of Amethyst calling Steven. The next thing Connie knew, she was lying on a table, with Topaz standing next to her.
Tribunal Temple, present day
"Welcome back Connie." Topaz said warmly as they helped Connie to her feet, "I believe you have some catching up to do, right after we inform Garnet and the rest.
Connie nodded in agreement, as she walked alongside the Gemian. Just then, a thought popped in her head.
"Say Topaz," Connie said to the Gemian, "In my dream, you were the Teacher, right?"
Topaz looked to Connie and nodded. "Of course, I thought the name "Tom Pazali" would be a dead giveaway, I was trying to stimulate your sub conscience."
Connie thought for a moment before responding again. "I can see how that would have worked, but here is my question: If you can easily disguise yourself as a man, then are you…I mean, you are…well…I remember Diamond saying something about finding out one day."
Topaz smiled as they looked forward as the two of them entered a doorway. "Perhaps when this is all over, I will tell you. Now come, we have some training to do."
Crystal Temple Catacombs, Present day
"HOW DARE SHE?" Diamond shouted as he paced the chamber that he resided in. "She thinks she can betray me like that? I will show her. But first…"
Diamond reached into his robe and pulled out a silver colored pair of Gemstones. As he cupped them between his hands, he then tossed them onto the floor before him. The stones began to rise up and form into a grey figure.
"Haematitem, habita ad mihi!"
Within an instant, the figure transformed into a tall grey Gem, he wore a black suit of body armor, which bore a gold star on the front. Both his hair and goatee was as black as coal and his eye were pitch black as he looked to the Gemian before him. Upon seeing Diamond, the Gem quickly bowed before him. This was a Gem known as Hematite, who was at a time long ago a proud warrior of EMPE, but now a servant of DI.
"Master, you have summoned me." Hematite said to his master in a toneless voice. "How may I serve you?"
Diamond turned and faced a table before him. On the table, layer Onyx, her body strapped to a table and her chest cut open. The child of DI whimpered as Diamond walked over and began to trace his hand on Onyx's heart, which was a large black Gem.
"I have called upon you because I am lacking in servants." Diamond replied, "Vestibulum has betrayed me and run off to fight with Topaz, Zirconia is dead, Lapis's indoctrination was a failure, and now Onychinos has…other uses." He looked to the Gem before him, looking into her eyes that poured black burning tears, and slapped her across her face. He then turned to the still kneeling Hematite. "I was hoping I would not need to resort to using you, but recent actions have forced my hand. I am hoping you will be able to make up for the incompetence of my servants."
Hematite continued to kneel before his master as he spoke once again.
"How may I serve you Master?" Hematite said in the same tone.
Diamond pointed his hand to Hematite and gestured for him to stand up, which the Grey Gem did without hesitation. As he did, he looked up to see the Gemian once again at the table with Onyx, Hematite could hear Onyx whimpering as Diamond was crouching over here, a small hissing and clicking could be hear as well as well as a sound of slurping. As Diamond rose up from Onyx, Hematite could see Diamond's jaw split open as the tendrils of his jaw retracted to their natural form.
"First, you will go to Insidiae and recover the rest of my Agate army. Then, after I recover Vestibulum, you will attack the Temple. By then I will have enough Vitae to birth Obsidian and destroy those traitors once and for all, especially that little Furem. I will not allow…children…to carry that which belongs to me."
"Of course Master." Hematite said with a nod as he summoned a portal. As he was about to step into it, Master Diamond's voice stopped him."
One more thing Haematitem, I almost forgot to mention that both Emerald and Howlite are fighting with Topaz; will they prove to be a problem for you?
Hematite paused before looking to his master; Diamond noticed the look of hesitation as a black tear ran down his cheek. "Of course not master, they are as good as dead." With that, he entered the portal and closed it behind him.
Beach City Outskirts, present day
Pearl could not stop looking behind her as she rode on the back of Lion. She was so worried about how Master would react once he found out about her betrayal. Suddenly, she heard a loud rumble which was followed by a louder voice as it boomed into the sky above here.
Pearl froze in fear at the sound of her master's voice, but soon shook off the hesitation and continued forward; no longer would she become a puppet of a mad god, no more suffering, no more death. The death of Zirconia was enough to convince her to do what had to be done.
"VESTIBULUM! I COMMAND YOU, TURN BACK NOW, OR YOU WILL REGRET IT!"
"I am not going to serve you anymore!" Pearl shouted into the sky, and to the one she called master, "I can't do it anymore, you don't control me anymore."
As soon as she finished her sentence, she then felt her neck tighten as she began to suffocate. Pearl gasped as she fell off lion. As she struggled on the ground, she felt her throat burn as she spit up black Obsidian. As the long-nosed Gem cried in pain like a wounded animal, she looked up to see Lion approach her. He then turned his attention to the Gemian that was approaching both of them. Master Diamond looked to Pearl as she tried to crawl away, only to quickly summon his mace to block an attack by Lion. Diamonds then shoved Lion away, swinging his mace in retaliation, only for Lion to doge the attack, and swipe his claws at the Gemian. Pearl watched at the two attacked and dogged each other. It was surprising to see that a pink lion who could teleport could prove to be a match for a Crystal God.
Lion then pounced forward onto Diamond, tackling the Gemian and biting his shoulder, Diamond shouted before shoving lion off. Diamond gritted his teeth in anger as he summoned another mace. He then took both of his maces and swung them together, summoning in their place a mighty War-hammer.
"I had enough, enough of little cretins like you taking what belongs to me." Diamond said to his opponent. As Lion pounced at Diamond, the Gemian dogged the attack and smashed Lion in the face with his hammer. Lion flew across the air and smashed into the ground below him. This time however, he did not get up.
Pearl watched in horror as Diamond approached the body of Lion and looked down upon it. He then looked to his hammer and lifted it above his head, bringing it down and crushing the head of lion into a pink pulp, he continued to bring the hammer down repeatedly, smashing the poor animal's skull into the earth below him. Diamond then dissipated his hammer and turned his attention to Pearl, who was still trying to escape despite the Obsidian that was choking her. Diamond stormed up to the Gem and lifted her up by her hair, punching the screaming Gem in the face before kneeling on top of her. Pearl tried to struggle free as Diamond placed a hand onto Pearl's throat, choking his rebellious servant as he began to unfasten his robe.
"You think you've outsmarted ME? You're the one on a leash; you always were and always will be." Diamond hissed to Pearl as he tightens his grip, causing the long nosed Gem to spit up Obsidian bile. Diamond slapped the Gem in the face before grabbing her by the hair.
"I…I am sorry master." Pearl begged as she felt warm blood trickle down her face "I was trying to…to…"
"Escape? No! That cold hand on your throat is mine. It always was and it always will be." Diamond said drawing his hand away from Pearl's throat to rip open her skirt, as he did; he grabbed both of her hands to pin her down and position himself before her gemhood, pushing himself in and out in an aggressive motion. As Pearl struggled in agony, she noticed a pink flash of light from behind Diamond. Although it was brief, it seemed to emit from where lion was killed.
"You can't escape from me! You were always under my control!" Diamond hissed to the prey below him, moving his head so that it was inches away from Pearl's "Do you hear me Vestibulum? DO YOU HEAR ME?
As Diamond continued to punish his servant, he did not expect the figure that had appeared behind him.
"No matter what you do, I will control you. I have had my control over you since I spawned you. I will always have control. You can rebel, and fight back, but it will only be in vain. You have no means of escape. I am your master and I will always be your master. Do you really think you can escape from me? You are min-"
A large pink blade stabbing him in the chest interrupted diamond's monologue. Diamond shouted in strained agony as he looked down to the sword before him. Within an instant, Diamond teleported away from the attack and reappeared a few feet away. As the injured Gemian clenched his chest, he looked to his assailant, his eyes widened in shock, there standing before him was a figure in a pink jacket of sorts, and He was wearing a pink helmet shaped like a lion and was welding a large pink sword and a round pink shield, both of which looked a lot like Connie's weapons. Diamond then looked to where lion's body was and saw that the carcass was nowhere to be found. All that remained was a small patch of bloody grass and a crystal rose. Diamond then turned back to his attacker with a look of shock and to his own surprise, fear.
"No." Diamond whispered as he starred at the figure before him. "No…NO!"
As Diamond disappeared before the figure, he then turned to Pearl and knelt before her, placing his hand on her chest as he bowed his head. Suddenly, his hand began to glow and Pearl felt the burning in her body began to cease. As she watched the figure stand back up, she then realized whom it was, which caused her to well up with tears. Pearl then stood up and approached the figure hesitantly.
"I…I am sorry…" Pearl said quietly, wiping tears from her eyes as she tried to choose her words carefully, "I never meant to…to."
Pearl stopped as she felt the figure wrap around her in a tight hug, this was then followed by a simple response from the Figure that gave Pearl a strange feeling of reinsurance and comfort:
"I forgive you."
Pearl smiled warmly as she embraced the hug for a few moments; she then broke off from the hug and repaired her clothing. As she turned back to the Figure, she watched as he removed his helmet, revealing his curly black hair.
"Do you know where we are off to?" Pearl asked the figure.
"Of course I do!" The Figure said with a smile as he looked to Pearl, summoning a portal before himself "We going see Connie."
As Pearl watched the Figure enter the portal, she smiled warmly as she felt fresh tears run down her face, only this time, these were tears of joy.
"Welcome back Steven." Pearl whispered to herself as she entered the portal and closed it behind her.