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A Great Debate

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Humans had such a quaint vision of space exploration that Peridot almost felt bad for them. It wasn't until Steven had started asking questions about vessel technology that she realized that she had been missing out on a very interesting (if not hopelessly inaccurate) facet of Earth culture.

She had to admit that, while Camp Pining Hearts was indeed a bold and glorious declaration of the human race's creative power, it was perhaps due to it's detachment from anything in her reality that made her cling to it. But after nearly a year of watching and re-watching, she found herself craving something more familiar.

Especially today. Peridot's barn-mate (and probably her closest friend, if she were honest, and saccharine sweet, ugh) Lapis Lazuli had decided to take a "sky trip" (as opposed to a "road trip") across the planet for an undetermined amount of time. She had reassured Peridot that she would be back soon, that she merely wanted to begin exploring Earth the way she had originally intended. This had left Peridot without a fellow Camper for nine whole days- well, almost. Steven was familiar with the show, but not nearly as invested as his two Gem friends.

So when Peridot found herself snorting in amusement at concepts such as "matter/antimatter reactions" and "tritanium alloys", or "transwarp" conduits, she had to ask...

"Where in the galaxy do you come up with these half-cracked notions, Steven?"

Luckily, Steven was familiar enough with his friend to simply smile and offer out his hand, pulling Peridot off the couch of the Beach House. He dragged her up the stairs to his loft and positioned her in front of the small viewing cube with lagomorphic audio sensors atop it. She watched as he rifled through a box in the corner, digging right to the bottom before whooping, "Aha!"

She watched as he dug, pulling out items at random. "I have to hide them because Pearl gets obsessed with Voyager and Garnet has to pry the remote from her hands."

He clambered to sit in front of her, spilling a number of DVD cases on the ground in front of her.

Clearing his throat for effect, Steven waved his arm in front of him, over the small mountain of cases. "Presenting, for your discerning tastes, the height of human sci-fi entertainment..."

"Star Trek?"

"Star Tre--- er, yeah?" He raised an eyebrow, which she mirrored as she examined one of the cases in her hand.

"What's sigh fye?"

Steven chuckled. "Sci-fi." He said, then
spelled it for her. "It's short for science fiction."

"Oh! Of course!" Peridot brightened. "I have become familiar with some of your race's practictioners. Art-hur Clark and Eye-sack Ass-i-"

Steven snickered and Peridot glowered.

"Yeah, you got it Dot. But now you get to see what humans thought space was like a looooong time ago."

Peridot raised her eyebrow again. She pointed to the cover of the box she was holding, which was labelled as an "anniversary edition". "Fifty years is not a long time, Steven."

"We-ellll, not for Gems," he replied with a shrug. "But for humans, that's like five thousand years!"

Peridot placed the DVD case she had been inspecting back down on the pile.

"All right. I'm curious." Steven's face brightened. "Show me your Star Treks."

"Okay!" Steven exclaimed. He spun around on his rear to turn on the vision cube and power on the DVD player. "TOS or TNG?"

"--Er, what?"

Lapis had to admit that, while she took great satisfaction in being worshiped as a deity by this small cult of followers, it was a little boring to find nobody willing to match wits with her. So she took her leave from Sri Lanka and made her way back across the globe to her home in Beach City.

The first indication that something had happened in her absence was the flag by the barn. It had been, for her entire stay, the flag of the Great North, where Camp Pining Hearts took place. But now she spotted a new flag, which she recognized immediately. She felt elation flood through her at the thought of Peridot finally discovering Lapis' true human entertainment love.

Grinning to herself, she focused on her form modifiers, shifting into a standard gold Starfleet uniform. Gold form-fitting shirt with Starfleet insignia over the left breast. Black slacks and boots. Satisfied, she landed in the back of their truck-cum-loft, looking for Peridot but finding the truck's bed empty. She swept the rest of the barn, then the property outside, but found neither Peridot nor Pumpkin.

She frowned before an idea struck her and with a smirk, she zipped off to the warp pad and, with a affected "Beam me up Mr. Scott," warped to the Beach House.

"Captain on the bridge!" she declared as she materialized. She scanned to room and found Steven up in his loft, goggling her with starry eyes.

"Cool! I didn't know you liked Star Trek!"

Lapis smirked, leaping up to land beside Steven at the foot of his bed. She ruffled his hair as he wrapped his short arms around her waist.

"You were gone so long!" In reality, she had been gone for 35 days. "Did you have a good trip?" he asked excitedly.

"Of... course I did, Miiiister... Universe," Lapis drawled in a Kirkian delivery. "The people of Gamma... Arrrrrrc....turus were very... hospitable."

Steven snickered and pulled her onto the floor. She kept him in her lap and told him about the people she had met in Biloxi and Bogata and Beijing. She was about to tell him about her cult, whose temple was located at the basin of Bambarakanda Falls, when the warp pad activated, depositing another Starfleet uniformed Gem.

"Captain on the bridge!" Peridot announced, much to Steven's amusement and Lapis'...

Oh dear, she cringed, taking in Peridot's uniform. It's shirt was red, sandwiched in black at the shoulders and below the abdomen. There were pips adorning her collar - four captain's pips - and the Starfleet insignia was actually a metal badge.

Why hadn't she expected Peridot to be a Picard fan?

Why couldn't she be a Kirk fan?

Peridot seemed to be reviewing the situation internally as well. Her frown was more curious than disappointed.

"Well..." she said, rather mechanically.

Lapis raised a brow. She wondered where this was headed.

So did Steven, who remained silent, merely looking up at Lapis from her lap, before looking back to Peridot. Back and forth, as if the tension between the two Gems were roiling wave.

A minute into the tense silence, the door to the Temple opened on Pearl's room. She took one step out the door before espying the situation and almost immediately let out a squeak and scrabbled out of the room. The temple door closed with a soft pop.

Steven, Lapis and Peridot all stared for a moment before returning to the matter at hand.

"Seriously Lapis? Kirk?" Peridot sighed and stepped off the warp pad. She took her customary seat on one of the counter stools, arms folded across her chest. "I cannot believe that you would prefer the command of a vacuous, oily, lust filled cro magnon with an obviously false fur covering on his head, to the disciplined, coolly rational and charmingly humble rule of Captain Jean-Luc Picard."

Lapis smirked. "You mean Captain Boring O'Moldypants? The one who doesn't have enough play to bed any of the women he meets?"

Peridot's face flushed dark green. "Not that it matters," she sneered, "but Captain Picard has had his share of..." She floundered, looking to Steven for help.

He shrugged. "First contact situations?"

"Yes! Thank you Ensign Steven! But my point is that frivolous human reproductive rituals have no bearing on a Captain's ability to command."

Lapis shrugged. "I dunno, I think I'd rather take orders from a Captain with a big ole, swingin' d-"

"LAPIS!" Peridot barked. A moment later, Steven felt his ears being cupped by two metallic... things. He couldn't see them, but suspected they were jar lids, as he could feel the metal lip pressed against his head.

Lapis plucked them away and tossed them at Peridot before rising, Steven still in her hands up to his armpits. She placed him down and leaped down to stand on the other side of the kitchen island.

"I only have two words for you, Per-card."

"Oh, and what would those be?"

Lapis knew that this would hit home with her friend because it was the exact sort of thing Peridot might do under the same circumstances, and she had to concede to the brilliance of James T. Kirk, even if only for this one thing. These two words.

"Kobayashi Maru."

It was like watching Peridot become a figure in a Dali painting. She simply melted off the stool with a groan.

"Fine. You win," she muttered into the floor.

Lapis whooped and grabbed Steven, tossing him into the air. He giggled fondly before she pulled him into a hug, then set him down again. She reached down to Peridot, who rolled over, face still burning teal. She accepted the hand, but kept her eyes down. Once upright, she tugged her uniform shirt down before assuming an at ease stance.

"I suppose there's more to Kirk than I am willing to admit, but my admiration of Captain Picard is steadfast."

Lapis nodded. "It's fine Peri. We have our own preferences. And besides, Picard is a good captain too." She winked at Peridot, adding, "And he is sorta sexy in a sexy old man way."

Peridot rolled her eyes. She was about to retort when the temple door opened once more, and out strode Pearl. In another Starfleet uniform. Steven recognized it from Voyager.

"I didn't know you two were Trekkies!" Pearl squealed. She reached for her Gem and pulled out a wicked looking, two handed weapon, which she twirled in a grand display.

"Bat'leth duel anyone?"