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Work never seemed to end. Peridot Facet 1L9C Cut 7AF huffed as her studies once again came back inconclusive, allowing the moment of annoyance at her own failure. The tall green gem closed the screen and turned away to her other many screens, most still active. The screens were all made of light, data running across the screens faster than most non-Peridot gems could keep up with. Peridot 7AF could already see the results of her most recent study in the writing. The human behavior had not evolved in hundreds of years, to her dismay not even the presence of human rebels had managed to gain any new data. They had not been in the containment area long enough.

Surely there was more to humans then she could see? How could the humans appear to be competent in meeting their own needs and then suddenly stop developing the chemicals they appeared to need? How could the mere act of socializing alter the way their minds worked? How could the Peridots fix the faulty human biology to be more efficient? If they could make the humans last longer, then the Peridots could study their biology more effectively. Preferably without the faults caused by inefficient breeding.

Not for the first time, Peridot 7AF longed for the return of her Diamond. Pink Diamond would have known what to do to fix them. Merely being in the radiance of her Diamond had made the humans happy in the past. Peridot 7AF remembered watching her Diamond sitting with the odd creatures and listening to their stories with a bright smile. She had towered over the tiny creatures, but she had insisted on sitting in the containment area with them.

Her Diamond had cared so much for them and their happiness.

Even if her Diamond was no longer here, the humans still had a role to perform. The studies Peridot 7AF had conducted had been inconclusive in many ways, but it was fascinating in other ways. Peridot 7AF found herself opening the files on the organics once again. At some point she would need to organize her screens and close what she wasn’t using, but that would not be happening anytime soon.

The Earth had to be able to replicate more resources to sustain such inefficient beings, creating an endless cycle of resources. Their feeble organic bodies were full of vital nutrients and minerals which appeared to be able to self-replicate. She wanted to know more.

She needed to know more.

If she could crack this study, Homeworld would have an unlimited number of resources at their disposal. She could end the Resource Crisis. Perhaps that was why her Diamond had been so desperate to stop the colonization of Earth, she had seen the planet’s potential in saving Gemkind and preventing the resource crisis before it had started. But there was nothing new, travel to Earth was still forbidden and the Zoo had to be careful about retrieving the needed humans.

If Blue Diamond ever learned that they had been taking humans to supplement the Zoo without her knowledge…

Well, it didn’t matter. The Zoo was still running at near maximum efficiency and now, with Holly Blue’s embarrassment at the hands of the rebels, 7AF was finally able to work in peace. The Agate was no longer storming through the labs screaming about working quicker, which made it easier to focus.

It burned 7AF to even think about how many experiments had been ruined because of that Agate…

Peridot 7AF made a small noise of thought before saving her work. She wasn’t going to discover anything new for now, so instead she would… indulge herself.

She brought a small video onto her screen and started playing it with a small smile, watching in joy as the fusion rebel attacked the Agate. Even though the attack had been a few days ago, the Peridots of the Zoo had saved a video of the attack from at least two different angles and one Peridot had added sound effects. A high-pitched squawk from an organic bird now played as the fusion punched her fist into the Agate’s stomach, knocking her onto the ground. The sound could be disabled of course, it was an illogical sound effect to add. It served no purpose, but it seemed oh so fitting.

It was a beautiful sight after 6,000 years of her demands and screams, watching the look of pain as the regal blue gem was knocked over. It was followed by Holly Blue Agate squirming on the floor, wrapped tightly in her own whip so her arms were pinned to the side. It had been a marvelous attack, even if the Amethyst was clearly a runt. Everything was made perfect by the look of hopelessness as a Pearl (High quality, white and pink coloring. So very famili… no, it couldn’t be) reminded the Agate why it would be a bad idea to inform the Diamonds of the rebels breaking in. The Pearl even tweaked Holy Blue’s nose with a smirk.

And that final ‘That will be all’ as they left? It was no wonder this video had been kept by all of the Peridots in the Zoo. Even the resident Quartzes had been invited into the Labs to watch. It was the closest the two groups of gems had ever been, before this it was unthinkable that the Peridots would allow Quartzes into their labs. It was an unbelievable thought, but they’d all been brought together by a random group of rebels and a human.

Peridot 7AF smiled and set the video to repeat. After all of those years of the Agate trying to order her lab around despite having no understanding or respect for the sciences, it was far too easy for 7AF to take pleasure in this. The mere act of watching this video was treasonous and could get her shattered, but honestly?

It was worth it.

Chapter Text

With hindsight it was easy to regret actions which had once made sense. It was easy to look at a memory and go ‘I shouldn’t have done that. We shouldn’t have done that’. It was harder to live with the memories though, especially when you were surrounded by the results of the war that had started through these good intentions.

Because the memories fed into guilt. They plagued you until all you could do was try to justify it in ways that honestly made no sense. It made you look at the results of your actions and go ‘I caused this’.

But when she had started leading the war, it had felt right. She had known what was best for Homeworld and had acted accordingly. It had seemed so obvious when she had stood in front of her army and directed them to fight. She hadn’t understood the meaning of consequences, or that sometimes you needed to stop and think ‘Should I do this?’

That was what led her to this. Staring at the edge of the world and looking down into the core of a once whole planet which had turned on an axis. It was hard to pull her eyes away from the destruction in front of her as she thought about her gems. Her companions.

They were shattered now, or they would be soon.

It was easy to regret. To look back and realize where she had gone wrong.

White Diamond finally understood the meaning of the word consequences, but that didn’t bring back the fallen gems who had fought in the name of their beliefs and their broken planet. It just made her regrets stronger, because everything could have been avoided.

It had been pointless. The war. The deaths. All of it. And all she could do was silently regret as she directed her forces to continue fighting for a war that would do nothing but destroy them all.

But at the start, when she had been younger, hopeful and Gemkind had been running off the high of winning the first war, it had all made sense. She missed that clarity, back when everything had been simple. When gems weren’t being shattered every cycle faster then they could be replaced.

Who know what would happen in the future though? Today they were fighting a losing battle with no sign of an end. She turned to look down at her Pearl, who was stood guard behind her. Her beautiful Pearl who had been at her side since the start, ever loyal and clever. Why the organics had limited her to looking after their hatchlings would always be a mystery to the Diamond.

“Summon my army.” She ordered.

Regretting the facts didn’t change what she had to do however. She was a leader now, not a gem locked in a room to be gawked at. She now had a duty to the gems of her Faction. Her gems looked to her for guidance and, whether or not she deserved it, she would offer it to the best of her ability.

Together they would survive the war.

Chapter Text

Her feet anchored to the ground by heavy vines, strong enough that if she had tried to step forward she would have struggled. They had grown over 6,000 years of neglect; the Garden now stood empty except for one small gem. Small, struggling to keep a bright smile for her best friend. Pink, with two small hearts resting on the top of her head. The gem hadn’t moved since the game had begun, waiting desperately for her friend to return.

Spinel didn’t like the game anymore. Spinels were designed to move, with their limbs able to stretch out and contort for their friend’s amusement. For a second the smile fell, the gem’s face became distorted with tears as she tried so, so hard to brighten up again. It was so lonely in the Garden, not a song or a whisper of laughter.

Perhaps she wasn’t playing the game correctly.

Spinel sniffed, tears falling down her cheeks as she forced her lips back into their bright, friendly smile. She wanted her best friend to be happy, and she would feel awful if she saw Spinel’s tears.

Perhaps if she kept smiling, Pink Diamond would return?

#~#

It had been years since she thought of smiling to bring her friend back. Then she had tried singing about how she couldn’t wait to see her friend. The song was the only sound Spinel heard aside from the rustling of long dead leaves. The grass that surrounded her was as tall as Spinel was, tickling her gem as it swayed.

The warp flashed, blinding Spinel.

The activation was sudden, but the sight of it immediately made Spinel brighten. Her friend was back! And she’d smile and congratulate Spinel for winning the game and Spinel would never be lonely again! She’d finally hear her friend’s voice again, laughing brightly or…

Reality was cruel.

Because it wasn’t her friend walking down the cracked stairs, it was a small gem. Spinel had never seen a gem like her before, dressed in a pink outfit with a star around her round, pink gem. Her hair curly like a nebula, black like the sky. Something new and fascinating, enough to make Spinel want to dance for joy and greeting.

Spinel shook herself and stood still. She had to wait for her friend, because if this little gem was here then she’d return soon as well right? And then Spinel could move again. She could chase the butterflies and dance like she had all those years ago.

The little gem looked around the Garden, her eyes moving over Spinel as if she hadn’t noticed her. Perhaps she hadn’t, Spinel was working extra hard to win the game now. When her friend returned, Spinel wanted the game to be perfect.

The little gem’s eyes were pink, with diamonds in the center. Like hers.

And just like that, Spinel’s world collapsed.

Chapter Text

Sapphire 1 watched the small robot dart around, its single glowing red eye zooming in on every single rock and scrap of metal. It was exhausting, watching both past and present to run across the scorched earth as if it had no time left. Around them were skeletons of buildings, the bodies removed shortly after the atmosphere had been radically altered. The air itself was different, the once life giving methane replaced with less useful oxygen by the terraforming machines that still covered the planet.

It had been ingenious, changing the atmosphere so the Creators would suffocate. By doing so, no more gems had been shattered and the losses had been minimal. Much better than the drawn-out war she had foreseen, which is why she had approached the Peridot to begin with. With the freedom to send out her… Robonoid, the Peridot seemed happier as well. Able to examine the little rocks and dirt that she had only ever seen in pictures.

The robonoid was smaller than the Sapphire, welding lines visible around its carapace showing how rushed the work had been. It had four legs, slightly more then the average gem but less then the original creator race. The result was an out of place creature that would have been smashed on sight if anyone other then the Sapphire had seen it.

It was almost sad that the Peridot’s fun would soon end. It whizzed past the Sapphire with small tappy legs, its creator releasing a loud yell of joy as it ran. The bubbling laughter reached a higher pitch as it missed a rock and rolled down the hill. The legs readjusted themselves and righted the robonoid, restarting the game.

Sapphire ‘hm’ed to herself, wondering if Peridot was aware of how much time she was wasting.

“I foresee that that robot will be crushed.” She announced loudly, a dusty breeze ruffling her silver hair. The vision had danced in front of her eye like a ripple, barely there although she could recount every small detail. Including the fact that Peridot 1 would not believe her. “A piece of rubble will land on it and render it completely useless.” There was more to the vision, but there was no point revealing the smaller details. Already the future was being changed with her announcement, her future vision shifting slightly as she altered what was to be.

As she predicted, the small robot that had been pieced together from scrap kept running around the destroyed buildings without a care. As it once again missed its footing, it hit a crumbling wall and a piece of it fell. The result was the once robonoid lying in pieces, wires and gears flying away as it was squashed flat. The metal crumpled weakly, losing its shape.

Such a sad sight.

Sapphire picked up the hem of her dress as she walked over delicately. One of her predictions had shown the small thing yelling as it twitched helplessly, its remaining leg flailing in the air like an organic in its dying throes. Part of her hoped that the robonoid would be doing that when she reached it. It would be entertaining after an otherwise dull day. Without the Creators giving orders or the fighting between gem and organic, she had found herself at a lose of what to do.

When she arrived though, she saw that the speaker had separated as well. The force had somehow forced the speaker to fly a small distance away. She leaned down and picked it up with a small sigh. “This was not a favorable outcome.” Disappointing, but acceptable. She would report the wreckage for collection so the resources could be returned to Peridot 1, then they would both continue their daily activities. If Sapphire was quick enough, she may even find more entertainment with the rescued Diamond.