Author's Note: Hey! Thank you SO MUCH for reading until the end! I posted the last few parts in a flurry because I was THAT excited! The amount of support for the series has been absolutely amazing, and I am so happy to deliver this story to you guys! As always, stick around after the epilogue for a post-credits scene, which will give you some hints at upcoming titles in the series!
Steven sat, his feet dangling off of the edge of the hand of the temple guardian, the enormous gem that was carved into the face of the cliff. There, plugged into just about a trillion feet of extension chord, were a washer and drier, and inside the latter was a batch of red shirts with yellow stars on them. They were technically his father's leftover merchandise from his hey day, but Steven wore them proudly. Usually, a beautiful midsummer day like this would have made Steven so happy he would whip out his ukulele and sing. However, today, the teen had pressing thoughts on his mind.
It had been about a month since the Hand Ship exploded. In that time, he had accidentally adopted a lion, the Rubies had escaped, the gems had scoured the bottom of the ocean for any signs of Jasper, and they had destroyed what was left of the galaxy warp so that it could not be used again. Along with near constant training with the Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl , and even some strange one-on-one time with the captive Peridot, he was beginning to really feel like a Crystal Gem.
However, glancing down at the flip phone and scrap of paper in his lap, a lump began to form in Steven's stomach.
This was the one thing that he could have never trained for.
The familiar sound of the warp pad chimed, and Amethyst stepped out. She raised her eyebrows gently at Steven, and then shrugged, walking over and sitting down with a little grunt, gently nudging him with her shoulder.
"'Sup," she said, looking out onto the sparkling teal surface of the ocean. Steven kept staring at his lap, and eventually, the purple gem noticed. She gave him a sly grin. "Oh, hey! Finally gonna call that Connie girl?"
Steven groaned, falling backwards and throwing his arms up to shield his eyes from the sun. Amethyst whistled.
"Oh, it's like that, huh?" She nodded sagely. "I getchu little guy… But, uh, you really don't wanna know about that. Talk to me, how are you feeling?"
"It's just… The last time we hung out, I almost got her killed. Then, I never called her because I was trapped in an alien spaceship? It's like… What do I tell her? Hey, I'd love to be friends, but I can't promise that a U.F.O won't show up and snatch me up while we're out for donuts?" The words tumbled out of his mouth, and Amethyst listened like a therapist. "I really like her, and I really want to be friends but… I don't know if I want her to be in danger."
The warm, salty sea breeze blew through the guardian's finger's, causing ripples in Amethyst's hair. There was a silence between them: Steven's anguished and Amethyst's pensive, before finally the purple alien broke it with her wisdom.
"Listen, Steven. For the most part, we gems have had a pretty no-to-low contact rule with humans. You know that. Rose… made exceptions. So have I, but for the most part, we have tried to stay out of the public eye. Like you said, we put people in danger. The more attention we draw to ourselves, the more trouble we cause." She winced. "That deal with the Guardian monastery was a nightmare."
"Monastery?" Steven asked. Amethyst waved it away, realizing she had gone off track.
"Never mind," she said, "my point is: you're like, technically a human. You don't have the same rules as we do. If you ask me, you should be spending way more time with human's than you are now. A friend will be good for you. And, besides: you'll always have us around to protect you. If you think Garnet would let anything happen to you two, you didn't see the way she was looking at Connie when she talked about you."
"What does that mean?" Steven asked, sitting up suddenly. Amethyst made a face, trying to hide her guilty smile as she covered her face with a hand.
"I've said too much! I gotta go, my pop-tarts are done burning!" She said, standing up and walking backwards to the warp pad. She gave Steven a chest bump and a peace sign. "Call her dude!"
Steven laughed, returning the peace sign as the warp pad sent his friend back down. Then, he looked back to his phone, standing up confidently as he punched in the phone number written on the scrap of paper. He could do this. He would call her, ask her to hang out, and then warp downstairs and continue to grill Amethyst about her cryptic comment.
Oh, he thought, as the phone began to ring, that's another thing he had learned how to do.
He could use the warp pad now.
End of Book 3
And the Crystal Gems...
In Steven Universe 2
Post Credits Scene 1
The icy, bitter cold caused the hulking orange gem to flinch under her cloak. She had been trudging through knee deep snow for days, now, and it was starting to take its toll on her. Even with all of her strength and endurance, Jasper would need rest soon. Luckily, she spotted a looming shape in the distance: a structure, dark against the barren white of the frozen, snowy landscape. Bracing herself against a particularly jarring blast of cold wind and snow, she hunkered forward, and in minutes, found herself pushing open the doors of the structure.
It was a temple, she knew, judging by the shape of the building, with its square design and diamond shaped spires.
It was also, she knew, the temple of her very own Diamond.
Stomping off snow on the torn pink entry rug, she heaved the large, metal doors closed behind her, trapping in what little warmth she could. Looking around, she found no fire, no blankets, and no equipment of any kind. The rebels, she knew, would have cleared this place of anything valuable a long time ago. Grumbling to herself, the orange gem discover that, to her luck, there was still a small bundle of firewood and kindling.
Damning the consequences of a dead god-queen, she tore some of the highly flammable trim of one of the tapestries down, and set to work creating a small fire for herself. It was deathly small at first, but eventually, Jasper had worked herself a sizable flame, and curled around it pitifully. If her gemstone froze, it could crack and shatter, and that would spell her doom. As Jasper lay on the cold stone floor that night, she shed tears of light. She was cold, yes, but more than that.
She was alone.
Post Credits Scene 2
The red teardrop slowly floated it's way through the orbit of Earth, a slow but steady pace that eventually brought it to hover above the pale surface of the moon. The ship coasted along the rim of the space rock, until eventually, it seemed to find what it was looking for, and descended. Moments later, with a hiss of exertion from the landing gear, the red spaceship touched down on moon sand, and moments after that, a quintet of stout, red aliens climbed out. They had arrived right on target.
The supposed leader of the group, who wore a yellow visor, discarded from the crew's previous supervisor, and who had a ruby gemstone inlaid in her chest, led the way, walking over a few acres of craters before they dipped down into a particularly large divot, and arrived at their destination.
The gem moon base was a looming, dark grey tower, a single-spired fortress that had intimidating replicas of three (once four) figures at its corners. Here, the Rubies had reckoned, they would seek refuge. However, as they approached, one of the Rubies spoke up, having spotted something strange.
"Uh, Ruby?" the Ruby, who had a gem where her eye ought to be, said. The leader turned to look at her questioningly. "Whose ship is that?"
The whole crew turned to look to where the gruff gem was pointing, and they all gazed upon a sleek, dark, spaceship. It was a deadly black color, shaped like a stingray, with shining, bladed edges. It was parked at the entrance of the moon base, and the door to the base was cracked ajar. The leader looked back to the crew.
"Alright, Rubies," she said, "combat formation. We're going in.""
With that, they each summoned a weapon from their gems, and began to quickly dash towards the door in a tactical formation, A bulkier Ruby with her gem on her arm delivered a flying kick to the door as they entered, and they all tucked into combat rolls, brandishing their weapons and delivering battle shout as…
Nothing happened. They glanced around. They saw nothing but a layer of fog seeping across the ground. The Rubies squinted, checking in with each other before continuing further into the base. As they did, their formation grew tighter.
"I got a bad feeling about this," one of them said.
Then, with a heavy slam! The doors closed behind them. The Rubies whirled around to find a pair of large, orange-red robotic drones slamming the doors. They turned to face them, but even more of the industrial looking automata arrived on their every flank, and soon, they were surrounded, with the drones showing off deadly weaponry that was aimed at them. One Ruby gulped. Then, the ranks of drones parted, and a strange machine was wheeled into view.
It was something like a large, cylindrical tank, full of bubbling goo. Inside of the goo, there was what appeared to be the upper half of some kind of huge alien. The torso alone was easily 6 feet in length, and while only one arm was present, it was large, muscular, and green. The body ended in what was left of a strange, tentacled head, which was covered by a large, black, metal breathing mask, which bubbles were constantly streaming out of. Its eyes were closed, but somehow, the Rubies were glad for that.
When it spoke, the words seemed to thunder in the ears of the gems, though there was no sound.
GOOD. YOU WILL DO NICELY. I AM IN NEED OF… MINIONS.
Next Time: Phase 1, Book 4
Ben 10: Origins