Author's Note: Hello, and welcome to a brand new story! This is an alternate take on the story of Steven Universe, set in the Danger Watch universe (which is essentially my take on an MCU-style narrative. More info in my bio, check it out!). I hope you're as excited as I am to take the plunge into this one, so I'll stop talking now. Enjoy the chapter!
Phase One, Book Three
Chapter 1 - Gem Hunt
For the average being, a 10 ton boulder blocking the pathway through an icy cavern would be an insurmountable obstacle. It was stuck, with virtually no room to budge, against the fragile, craggy walls of the cave, threatening to never move at all, or if it did, to bring down the entire structure of the cave in the process. For the average being, it would be impossible to move the boulder, let alone do so without disrupting the ice-sculpted cavern and confirming their own demise.
Garnet was not the average being.
She stood well over 6 feet tall, with her defining features being enormous, muscular legs, a blocky afro, and a pair of reflective sunglasses. Her clothing, like that of her two companions, seemed to morph into the form of her body, making the difference between skin and textiles ambiguous to say the least. Finally, in the palm of each hand rested a deep maroon gemstone: a garnet. She strode forward, nothing but confidence, and laid a hand on the boulder, before turning just slightly over her shoulder to the two other gems who stood behind her.
"Stand back," is all she said.
The other two gems; a slender, pale, and graceful seeming individual accompanied by a smaller, lavender gem with a wild mess of white hair and the baggiest "clothing" of the bunch. Unlike the other two, the smallest gem actually wore a material sweater over her form. Her slender companion found this strange. She, like Garnet, was adorned only in the shimmering, light-clothing of their homeworld. She was dressed in a practical yet elegant way, that made it seem as if somebody had spent a long and meticulous effort crafting her outfit. Both of them stepped back as Garnet, clearly the leader, gave the order.
"Garnet, you aren't going to punch the rock, are you?" The slender gem said.
"What do you think, Pearl?" Her shorter companion said with a snort.
Pearl touched the smooth, oval gem that was inlaid in her forehead; something she did when she was stressed, thinking, or about to kill something.
"I think that if she punches that rock, the entire Ice Fortress will collapse on top of us," she said, a heft dose of snark seeping into her voice.
"And I think you worry too much," the lavender gem said, turning her attention back to Garnet and clutching her fists excitedly. "Do it, Garnet!"
"Patience, Amethyst," Garnet said, her focus entirely on the stone before her. "Pearl is right. If I mess up, it will bring the whole Fortress down."
Amethyst's eyes widened, and Pearl's face took on a smug expression for a moment before the deep anxiety took root.
"Which is why," Garnet continued, taking a step back and winding up her fist. There was a burst of red light, and suddenly her right fist was covered by a huge, metal gauntlet. A little smirk crept onto her lips. "I won't mess up."
Garnet swung her fist forward, with precision and power. Pearl flinched, and Amethyst watched with excitement. Just before the pointed spikes on the knuckles of her gauntlet collided with the large stone, she pulled back ever so slightly, allowing the blow to become glancing. There was barely even a sound upon impact. The other two blinked. Garnet waited.
Then, a perfect square was cut out of the stone, crumbling into gravel and spilling out onto the icy path on either side. It was tall enough for even Garnet to walk through, but left enough boulder in every direction so as not to let the tunnel collapse on itself. Garnet straightened up, adjusting her glasses and turning to the other gems.
"Let's go," she said, the gauntlet vanishing in another flash as she turned and walked through.
Amethyst laughed giddily and followed, and Pearl took up the rear, taking dainty little steps through the rubble, trying to avoid getting too much debris on her ballet shaped feet.
"Erm, well done, Garnet," she said, as they cleared the boulder and continued down the tunnel. Garnet said nothing, but gave a thumbs up, and continued walking. Pearl blushed, and the trio continued its trek through the ice tunnel. It took 5 minutes of walking through identical icy corridors for Amethyst to lose her patience.
"Ugh," she said, "where's the freaking mutey already?"
"Amethyst," Pearl said, aghast. The smaller gem put her hands behind her head nonchalantly.
"Show some respect," Pearl scolded. "'Mutey', really! She might have been your comrade."
"Or a Homeworld dog," Amethyst said, refusing to look at the other gem.
Pearl sighed, and opened her mouth to speak before thinking better of it. Amethyst could be stubborn, and now was not the time to delve into debate. They had a job to do. She took a couple of quick steps ahead of Amethyst to gently put her hand on Garnet's arm.
"Um, Garnet?" She said.
"Mm?" The large gem asked, still looking straight ahead.
"Do you know where we're going?" Pearl asked. Garnet stopped walking, and turned to look down at her. There was a long pause, and Pearl felt a bit nervous by the time she spoke.
"We're going to find the gem monster," Garnet said matter-of-factly. Pearl blinked. Amethyst snorted.
"Yes, but… Do you know where it is?" She asked. Garnet straightened her sunglasses, and stared further ahead down the tunnel for a few seconds.
"I imagine its further down this tunnel," she said. With that, she continued to walk, Amethyst in tow, leaving a stressed out Pearl to take the rear once more, looking up and around, trying to parse out real movement from reflections.
"It's just that," Pearl said, unable to contain herself, "we've been down here for a considerable amount of Earth time. I worry that if we don't find the monster soon-"
"Relax, Pearl," Garnet said, a reassuring smile on her face as she glanced back. "We'll be back before he knows it."
Just then, there was a low, rumbling sound that echoed from further down the tunnel. It was some sort of hollow, cold, monstrous roar that sent chills down each of the gems. Amethyst and Pearl looked to Garnet, who grimaced, and then summoned her gauntlets. The other two responded in kind, drawing forth a spiked whip and a pearlescent spear from their gems respectively.
"Looks like you were right, again, G," Amethyst said in a low voice. The leader grimaced.
"Alright, Crystal Gems," she said, "let's do this."