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Chapter III – Thunderbolt

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

 

 

Yellow Diamond was not happy.

True, her very personality would dictate that she rarely enjoyed any gem pleasures granted by her position, however as this war with the Crystal Gems continued, her mood only grew worse and worse. It had been nearly three hundred years since the whole ordeal began, though it had truly only been one hundred years since Homeworld had openly declared war on the gems who held Earth under siege.

As commander of Homeworld’s military forces, Yellow had taken great pleasure in sending out the official word of war, bolstering her militia with rewards of glory for every traitorous gem they destroyed on the battlefield. And she made sure her soldiers gave no edge to these rebellious heathens – when engaged in combat, these Crystal Gems were to be captured or shattered.

No exceptions.

You would think her command to be clear, concise and without error or confusion. Apparently, you and she would be wrong. Time after time, the commander would receive a report in which hundreds of her solider had been beaten by Rose Quartz’ forces, which didn’t even number a quarter of what Yellow sent down to that miserable planet. And just today, the diamond now learned why and how.

Rose Quartz had healing abilities.

It explained why despite having so few numbers, her rebels were able to take on battalions of soldiers and come none the worse for wear. It was extraordinary – no other gem had ever shown this capability before and it was certainly unheard of for a quartz. Quartzes – jaspers, amethysts, and the rose variety – were grown for the specific purpose of being soldiers. Their job was to fight for their diamonds and for their kind.

Rubies were just throwaways that helped to slow down and tire opposing forces; throw enough rubies at someone and they would need to stop or were soon overrun. Rubies were fierce, no doubt – their hot-tempered personalities always ensured they thought nothing of plunging head first into battle – but they weren’t the main attraction.

No, the quartz soldiers were. Created to be large, formidable, and intimidating, these soldiers came at you with a purpose and that purpose was to win. It seemed Rose Quartz was an anomaly – a soldier who healed.

Yellow couldn’t help but smirk. Was it any surprise this entanglement had lasted longer than it should have?

It was unheard of. Many things in this conflict were unheard of. And that lead to the other discovery and the one that caused Yellow’s constant frown to deepen.

Fusion.

Fusion was a standard practice on Homeworld for battle and fighting formations, period. There was no use for it outside of a battlefield and was only to be used with the same gem types. But now…now Rose Quartz was parading that disgusting display that had been created in Blue’s court. Since that day, the ‘Formidable Fusion’ – as they called it – enjoyed belittling everything Homeworld stood for.

If that wasn’t enough, other members of the rebels were now fusing with each other.

Yellow even read one report where the fusion had fused with the pearl. Only the resulting scowl on her face had kept her from becoming sick all over herself. They were perverting everything of Homeworld and of their authority. Quartz even had those puny organics on the planet fighting for and with her!

Yellow was growing very tired of it.

Fine. If Rose Quartz wanted to play this game, then play they shall. The Diamonds had indulged this behavior long enough; it was time to even the playing field.

 


 

Gems never kept track of time. It was useless to beings who were immortal and could never truly die unless shattered; it was inconsequential.

However, in the ongoing conflict with the rebels on Earth, every gem now seemed to know how long the passage of time was. Nearly three hundred years had been devoted to trying to stop these two infidels from smudging the good name the Diamonds had built for Homeworld and its people and for three hundred years, the rebellion had grown to include even more brain washed simpletons who thought they stood a chance against the force and might of the Diamond Authority.

But in those three hundred years and counting, the Crystal Gems had managed to upend everything gem society held dear. From two wayward miscreants to the now two hundred and fifteen membered army, Earth’s rebels had managed to not only thumb their noses and gems at Homeworld society, but had manage to sway so many to their side. Yellow’s own soldiers had reported that spires and architecture had been abandoned, thanks to their bismuths flocking to the rebels.

Kindergartens had quickly ground to a stop – the Prime Kindergarten in facet nine had all but been abandoned, with a number of those amethysts being split between Homeworld and Rebel forces. Even the newly built Beta Kindergarten hadn’t stood a chance – it had stopped producing jaspers once Pink Diamond had been shattered and those who emerged were quickly put into service under Yellow’s military banner.

Most were defective – only one perfect jasper had been created and thankfully she had been so angered by the rebels’ actions that day, she declared herself the weapon Yellow needed to avenge her Diamond – while others truly only worked well as fusions, their combined height and mass able to knock around anything the rebels threw at them. But the rebels weren’t, by any means, playing the way they should.

And that’s what led Yellow to call in a group of soldiers for most of the day. For years, most gems had no idea what had occurred behind closed doors; many assumed those soldiers were being punished. Why else were their broken shards removed and repurposed? Others thought they were suspected sympathizers or traitors in disguise and had finally been caught.

The truth was even more disturbing.

Since discovering the rebels employed cross-fusions as their main weapon of choice, Yellow was determined to fight fire with fire. As disgusting as the practice was, the commander wasn’t above doing whatever it took to beat back and beat down these insurgents and if cross-fusing was the way to do it, so be it.

So, she had brought in a mix of soldiers – jaspers, amethysts, rubies, topazes, emeralds, beryls – and told them to fuse.

Naturally, everyone in the room was immediately appalled by such a command. Surely their Diamond wouldn’t, couldn’t request this of them! But she was and she wanted it done now. Those that refused were immediately broken, right in front of their comrades. The rest were then at least willing to listen, of course. Yellow first wanted confirmation – these gems had been on the battlefield, had fought against the rebels, and thankfully, lived to tell the tale – she wanted to know if it was true that the rebels were using fusions.

They all said it was true – many of the rebels would fuse with unlike gems to create new and hideous monsters. The worst was the fusion between the Formidable Fusion and the Renegade Pearl (so it was true) – it never behaved in a manner befitting a true soldier, but it took down more of their forces than the others, thanks to an unorthodox giant, two fisted hammer. It always smiled, made jokes, and laughed.

The laugh was the worse.

Soldiers familiar with it knew the worse was coming when they heard that ear splitting cackle.

Yellow tried not to let her emotions show, but inside she was seething. They were losing a war started by their own people and by a large margin. Never in the history of Homeworld had the Diamonds or their forces faced such overwhelming odds, never. And they shouldn’t have been overwhelming in the first place! This all started with two, no-name gems! Two, no-name gems had managed to disrupt production on an entire planet and the proceeded to lure hundreds of others to their cause!

How was this happening!?

Well, Yellow was done letting these rebels walk all over her and them! She asked the soldiers how these abominations came to be and then to do the exact same thing in order to create their own. She knew what she was asking and any other day, she would feel badly at having to put them through this, but today was not that day and that day would never come during this conflict.

And this day was very long. And extremely unproductive.

Out of the twenty or so soldiers that were left, only five of them were actually able to complete a fusion, however they only lasted for about a minute. None of them could sustain their form – the revulsion of being in a fusion with a gem that wasn’t theirs seemed to be too much – and they immediately broke apart.

In the midst of apologies and determined air to get it right, Yellow had every single one of them destroyed.

It almost seemed as though nothing could lift her spirits. Then a report came in, followed by another and then another.

After almost three hundred years, they had finally managed to capture a few of these Crystal Gems. Yellow’s first inclination was to have them shattered post haste, but she paused. The key to this war, she was sure, was the fusion. Its disgusting presence had caused her to put it out of her mind, least she become ill, but now…

Thinking back, she remembered her conversation with Blue and White. Blue had said the fusion was made of a ruby and her personal sapphire; that would certainly explain the rebels’ ability to know when forces were coming, as well as when and where to strike her soldiers, and her tenacious fighting skills. A ruby’s stubborn nature mixed with the seeing abilities of a sapphire. It shouldn’t be possible or even work.

But yet…

Yellow ordered those captured to be interrogated and if they refused to reveal information, they were to be shattered. However, she wanted the shards kept.

If she couldn’t discover the secret to the rebels’ fusions, she would create her own.

 

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