This is a birthday ficlet for a Tumblr anon, they wanted to hear more about Gem heirarchy, and I chose to filter it through living conditions on Homeworld. Hope you enjoy this, anon, Happy Birthday!
Naturally, the Diamonds have their pick. Diamond Core once lived in the very heart of Homeworld, in a temple she raised from the ground herself, and as a mark of respect it has remained empty since her demise.
Pink Diamond, as is natural to a gem of her disposition, chooses to live in a skytower to be close to the common gem. She has the top floor of the skytower, seventeen chambers for her personal use, which is rather humble considering her position.
Yellow Diamond lives where she always did, at the edge of the military complex. A new building was erected for her, twenty-two rooms in all, where she hosts many meetings with commanding Flourites and investigative Kunzites. It is an austere building, fitting for such a stern gem.
White Diamond lives further out of the centre of Homeworld activity, on the Verge. Her mansion is a sprawling, opulent affair, and though she doesn't use her thirty-five rooms for entertaining as one might think, she is very much a patron of the arts and hosts many of the most talented of Homeworld's performers. An invitation to join her for a three-cycle is very much coveted and fought over amongst the performing community.
Blue Diamond lives under the Mantle, in a subterranean expanse carved from the bedrock of the planet. She has declined to state why she chooses to live so far from gem society but it is theorized that she likes to be close to the vibrations of the Homeworld's core. Many of the Sapphire cloisters have been built close to her chambers. Although the blueprints say she has forty rooms in all, it is likely she has more.
It is most common for gems in the performing arts, such as Lapis Lazuli, Aquamarine and Almandine, to take the highest situated apartments in the skytowers. It is less common for these gems to take manors on the Verge but it has been known to happen with the most successful gems. Depending on how much wealth they've accumulated during their peak performance times, they can afford to keep these dwellings past retirement.
The second level in the skytowers are often given over to gems that fought bravely in the war, such as Emeralds, Beryls and Flourites. These are given free of charge, as gratitude for how these gems defended Homeworld from its enemies.
The third and fourth level of the skytowers are modest five room apartments, these are reserved for moderately successful gems in the merchant class, Tourmalines, Hematites, Diopsides and the like. It is common for these gems to own more than one apartment as their business properties can be far from each other.
It is not uncommon for the five-room apartments to be given to attractive gems that have partnered with a wealthy upper-caste gem. Larimars and Carnelians are common, but especially attractive gems of any type have been known to secure property in this way.
In the subterranean sectors of Homeworld, the Sapphire cloisters are built into the mantle. The Sapphires require the magnetic shift of the core for their rituals. The cloisters house up to thirty gems, and although the rooms are comfortable they are not overly ornate.
The lowest levels of the skytowers are reserved for the lower ends of the merchant class, employees such as Larimars, medical sector workers such as high-end Peridots and Sodalites, researchers such as Kunzites and Jet, and squadron leader Amethysts.
Amethysts have purpose-built squad bunkhouses with individual rooms for each Amethyst and communal rooms for recreation; each bunkhouse can house two hundred gems.
In a similar fashion, Jaspers have their barracks. A regulation barracks can house between one hundred to five hundred gems, including their commanding Flourites. They share rooms, between four and ten to a room, because they are simple gems and need very little to thrive. Some of the more modern barracks have replaced the individual rooms with long dormitories, and this has proven efficient.
Chalcedonies are housed in the magnet buildings. Similar to the skytowers but nowhere near as opulent, these are one and two room flats with built in holo-networking equipment so that even newly-emerged Chalcedonies can begin work as soon as a flat is available. One magnet building for every ten square district blocks is enough to supply holo-signal to all of Homeworld.
As the lower ranking gems of the working class are small and need little room, the buildings that house them have evolved to meet their needs efficiently.
Spinels and Jades are often found together, as they were compatible during the war, and stacked cubicle living suits them well. Beyond their rest pods, there's not much need for additional space. Cubicle blocks are built on the outskirts of the districts, for efficient as they are they can be noisy. They are often placed near tracer tracks to minimize noise pollution for the other residents.
It has often been necessary to split Rubies by district, as they gather in large numbers and can be belligerent. They have been known to cluster as many as four Rubies in a single cubicle, time-sharing the rest pods. They have also been known to gather in storage facilities in makeshift living conditions, which is obviously unacceptable. For this reason, they are often sent offworld on terraforming and small-time guarding positions, for all their troublesome natures they have excellent work ethic.
Manufacturing Peridots and processing plant Sodalites have their living facilities built into their work stations, maximizing their output with utmost efficiency. This is rather troublesome in the case of Sodalites, as they are large gems, but they don't complain that they are cramped. Peridots complain often, but it's been proven that they will complain about anything. If it does not impede their workload, it can be ignored.
The real genius of pearl manufacturing is that they do not require living spaces. A pearl can be left in a warehouse for over a hundred cycles before it starts to show signs of atrophy, and its charge pad is so much more efficient than even the smallest rest pod.
A pearl is capable of being housed anywhere; Skytower, bunkhouse, barracks, cubicle, as long as there is space for it to stand up it will function as required.
And if there's not enough space, the solution is simple. They can be made smaller by shaving down the gem. In fact, this procedure has grown popular in recent times as, done correctly, it can produce a miniature pearl, or 'seed pearl', roughly the size of a Sapphire.
It's a model of efficiency. If only all gems could be so simple.