quickie written in favour for the 'leaked' stevenbomb
its 1am so there's probably mistakes (ha) towards the end, but ill fix it another time
A Diamond's Descent
Before there was the Crystal Gems, the Rebellion, the Diamond Authority, there was the pre-Era One period. Before colonisation, before war, before order, it was just the diamonds. The first sentient Gem beings.
The first was the head of it all, with a wild mane of white to frame her; White Diamond, with her perfect gem on her forehead. The next came in a pair, two opposing colours and personalities spiralling out of the ground. Blue and Yellow Diamond, with their chest gems. And later, much later, the last diamond would come.
Under different circumstances, the diamonds might've been considered gods. Perhaps the diamonds were made by someone else's hands, by another alien race. But that is a story for another time.
That was over 10,000 years ago.
Pink Diamond came later than the other three, and when she did come, they were not alone. Somehow, the diamonds awoke already knowing what they had to do. They had to create more Gems. First, it was people who could build and think, like the architect bismuths and the scientist turquoises. Then citizens, and warriors, technicians, maids, and so much more.
Pink Diamond took after her fellow diamonds and began creating too. After a while, they had other Gems to create for them. When this time came, it was dubbed the first era, and the Diamond Authority was born.
However, despite the creation of Kindergartens and Gems to maintain them, some Gems were still created by the Diamonds and their subordinates. One such Gem was pearls.
Whilst pearls were still technically created by the Gems at the Kindergartens, they were still made in the image of their masters. Pink Diamond had no trouble designing her pearl, pink with a delicate dress and short but thick haircut.
Pink Diamond couldn't treat her pearl as an equal, but she treated her better than what she saw of Yellow Diamond. The other diamond merely treated hers as a subordinate, invisible in her soon-to-be gigantic room. Blue Diamond seemed to be taking after Pink and treating her pearl more fairly, yet silently. Pink didn't know how White treated hers; she rarely saw of the lead diamond.
Creating a pearl in your image and to serve you was exciting, but Pink Diamond wanted more. Not more power, per se, but to create what she would envision as the perfect Gem (despite everyone saying the diamonds were the perfect Gems).
Half way through the first era, Pink Diamond finally designed her vision of a perfect Gem. A new, yet powerful and passionate warrior. A new class of quartz. Rose quartz.
It was no secret that Pink Diamond loved Gemkind. She attended public meetings with her subordinates. She tried to communicate with them. And she gave her pearl access to files and places, even alone, that no other diamond had. Perhaps subordinate Gems hadn't given their pearls as much freedom as she had.
But it wasn't just her pearl she loved; she loved all Gems, even ones serving her fellow diamond's and not herself. She found their kind to be fascinating, from the limits of their physical body strength, to the magic stored in their gems. Each and every Gem was unique, with their different purposes and Gem make-up.
Pink Diamond admired the power and loyalty of other quartz gems, such as the jaspers, amethysts, and carnelians, but she wasn't impressed by their brutality. Her mission was to create rose quartzes as warriors out of compassion, fighting to save someone or something, rather than to destroy.
She never once considered she was making a mistake.
When she sent her plans to a squadron of peridots on another planet (since Homeworld had no active Kindergartens left), she waited in anticipation with her pearl. She hoped that the peridots would suffice and create the new quartzes to her exact plans. She received reports that the new Gems were incubating, and then later, countless Homeworld days later, news that the first of them had emerged.
She had never been so excited. So she travelled to the planet herself, rather than waiting for them to come to her. She suspected it took her many Homeworld days to reach the planet, but she wasn't sure, being away from the planet and all. She would later commission a peridot, or perhaps a turquoise, to create a universal clock for space travel.
Pink Diamond arrived with her pearl and a nephrite to pilot the ship. The trip might've been made easier if there was a warp pad on the planet, but it was still in production. The nephrite stayed, but Pink Diamond advised Pearl to come with her.
When they entered the Kindergarten, Pink Diamond almost collapsed in both shock and awe. Standing before her were a line of rose quartzes. They all had voluminous, curly pink hair, light skin, and dark pink outfits. Some had shorter shoulder length hair, whilst others had hair trailing down their back, and different shades of light skin, from peach to birch. They all followed Pink Diamond's designs, but had enough variety to be individuals. She liked that.
They saluted her by crossing their arms and creating a diamond over the diamond on their uniforms. Pink Diamond grinned. Oh yes, they were perfect.
A few hundred years later, almost a thousand, Pink Diamond finally decided on a rose quartz to be her closest warrior; a personal guard and one of the admirals of the platoon of rose quartzes. What she lacked in height she had in muscle, though that was not to say she was short, far from it, but there were other quartzes taller than her. Her eyes held no colour, but they were certainly not devoid of life; they had the same excitement that Pink Diamond had when she first ordered the creation of rose quartzes. Except she was excited about everything, whilst Pink Diamond was not.
The best of the rose quartzes in the training arena were brought to Pink Diamond, whom was lounging rather unceremoniously for a diamond in her personal headquarters. There were nine of them, lined up in front of her with their arms crossed, baring the diamond symbol over their uniforms. They all looked so eager and loving, but it was the one with the unstoppable excitement that caught Pink Diamond's eye. A personal guard was chosen.
Honestly, Pink Diamond loved this rose quartz; she was everything that she wanted. Someone whom wasn't threatening or brutal, but kind and energetic. Someone like herself.
Not once since she created rose quartzes had Pink Diamond considered any bad outcomes.
Why would she? She created the perfect compassionate Gem. What bad could come out of a Gem that could only love?
Pink Diamond offered her fellow diamonds rose quartzes for their courts. All refused. Could they not see the beauty of the Gems?
She shouldn't have been surprised. Although Blue Diamond was more compassionate than the other two, all three of them still valued order and class above all. They would have no use for a spunky gem like a rose quartz; they needed someone who would defend without hesitation in the name of the diamonds.
A few hundred years later (or thousand, time goes by when you're a Gem), planets were being discovered everywhere. Of course, planets populated the entire galaxy, and even beyond their galaxy. Homeworld had colonised many of the planets they found and erected spires and Kindergartens, but many died after a few hundreds years of Gem production.
Then, with the help of morganites, specialised in locating planets and mapping them, Pink Diamond found a planet in a distant star system. It seemed mostly green and blue from a distance. It would later be named 046A after finding it teeming with life. After some careful planning, Pink Diamond organised a journey to the new planet. Herself, her pearl, her personal rose quartz, and her quartz's pearl, along with other staff to man the ship and gather data on the planet, would come on the journey.
They left immediately.
Pink Diamond finally had that universal clock installed. It took three Homeworld days to reach the planet, using the warp speed on and off as to not damage their physical forms. When the giant pink hand ship arrived within the orbit of the planet, Pink Diamond and Rose Quartz were hopping from foot to foot enthusiastically. The hand collapsed against the ground.
The crew stepped out, and a wave of gasps sounded. The planet was beautiful. From Pink Diamond's eyes, it was beautiful because she knew it would make a great colony. From Rose Quartz, for the life and colour it yielded.
Pink Diamond watched the organic matter that had called the planet their home. Some were as simple as stationary wisps that created energy from sunlight and water, whilst others flew, jumped, ran, swim, barked, chirped, climbed— and of one particular species, create. The life teeming on the planet was interesting, but she could never value it like Gemkind.
She granted access for Rose Quartz to explore the planet with her adopted pearl, and to report to her later about her findings, whilst she ordered two peridots to scan the planet for possible Gems that could be created here. She allowed her pearl to wander as well, but Pearl shook her head, her wild - yet somehow neat at the same time - pink hair grazing against her face.
They spent six Homeworld days (which seemed to be seven or eight days on this planet) on the planet, Rose Quartz retreating back to the ship when the sky got dark each day and reporting her findings. Apparently the life form that could create was intelligent. It could communicate unlike any of the other life on the planet, and make buildings that weren't nearly as impressive as the spires on Homeworld, and seemed to be the dominant species.
Rose Quartz spent a lot of time with them, along with her pearl, and towards the end of their stay on the planet, she announced that she translated some of their language. She asked the creatures many questions, like what they were, what they did, and what it was like to be mortal. The last question just got confused glances.
They told Rose Quartz that the world was called Earth. They didn't seem to be aware they were on a planet, but named their home after the dirt beneath their feet, the greenery around them, and the life spurting because of it.
It was time to leave the planet, and when the crew returned to Homeworld, Pink Diamond immediately ordered for someone to create a warp pad on the planet. Earth was abundant with quartz, which would make it an incredibly useful planet for quartz Kindergartens. She was surprised when Rose Quartz expressed her dissent on the colonisation of the planet.
"My Diamond, that planet is rich in life, which would've taken millions of years to form from my knowledge of organic life. The Kindergartens would destroy all that progress; do we really want to do this?" she tried to persuade desperately yet strategically.
Pink Diamond frowned. "I think you forget, Rose, that I put Gemkind before aliens. That planet would make a great Gem colony and would house thousands, if not millions of Gems before it would disintegrate."
Rose Quartz seemed disappointed but did not press further.
Pink Diamond overlooked her zealous attitude. Perhaps another mistake.
Rose quartzes were made to be passionate fighters, but Pink Diamond never installed in their genetic code that they were meant to serve their diamond until they dissipated. What would happen if a rose quartz were to save something that wasn't related to Gems, and in fact rebelled against her diamond's orders in doing so?
Pink Diamond never contemplated that.
After the warp pad was installed on Earth, Rose Quartz disappeared more and more. Pink Diamond was annoyed with her constant disappearances; the quartz only sometimes asked permission, and she could be gone for days, and once even for a quarter (of a Homeworld year).
Pink Diamond continuously received reports that attempts to establish Kindergartens on the planet had been thwarted, and after a few of these reports she started to click things together.
Rose Quartz was defending Earth and the life on it.
A part of Pink Diamond found it amusing, another part was furious. It was exactly what Pink Diamond had expected of a rose quartz, but not. If Rose Quartz wanted to defend a species inferior to herself, then so be it. It would be their little game until Rose or herself got tired of the act.
After a while, Pink Diamond received a message from Rose Quartz.
"Please, retreat from Earth. Nothing on this planet deserves to be killed, and that's what will happen when the Kindergartens come. They're already coming, and things are already dying. I'm afraid if you choose to let this planet become colonised, I'm staying to defend. Goodbye, Pink Diamond."
Unfortunately, this little game of theirs was growing. Pink reported the message to her fellow diamonds, but neglected who the message was from. After all, she still cared about Gemkind, especially her rose quartzes. Especially her rose quartz. She needed to quell the threat of Rose Quartz without putting her in danger, but… it seemed impossible.
Until a few quarters later. Blue Diamond was getting tired of Pink Diamond's cowardice and retreated to Earth herself, along with her court and guards on a ship, to deal with the rebellious Gem and start colonising the planet. The two diamonds kept in touch over telecommunications, and some time later Pink Diamond realised that this was no longer a game between herself and Rose Quartz.
This was the beginning of a rebellion. It was no longer 'protect the humans and life on Earth', but that and anti-Homeworld ideals.
Blue Diamond's sapphire announced that the rebellion would be quelled, and Pink Diamond got increasingly worried. Not only would Rose Quartz and her small amount of subordinates be shattered for their treachery, eyes would turn to her for creating a Gem class that rebels.
But things did not go to plan. Of course, Pink Diamond was not on the ship, but she heard the news nonetheless. Sapphire's future vision had been wrong, she had formed a fusion with a ruby, and took off to the planet surface. The rebellion hadn't been crushed.
Pink Diamond knew she shouldn't have been relieved. She should've been enraged. Her planet, her colony, was being thwarted by her former personal guard. Someone she trusted.
But she was scared. She was starting to realise this now meant they were enemies. This rebellion would only end if one side was crushed, or if one side gave in. Despite Pink Diamond's engrossment with rose quartzes, she knew she couldn't give in. Not with the other diamonds now well aware that this was a small-scale rebellion.
Hundreds of years later, and the Rebellion has grown hugely. The Crystal Gems, they call themselves, now defend the planet and any Gem casted down by the Diamond Authority. There have been numerous battles on Earth, and each side suffered losses. The Crystal Gems also advocate fusion. Homeworld soldiers have reported seeing the infamous first fusion; Garnet, they say her name is. The sapphire and ruby fusion. But there are many others.
One thing Pink Diamond respects is that Rose Quartz, the leader of the now full-scale Rebellion, doesn't shatter Gems. Despite defending other organisms, she still cares so much for her kind that she wouldn't permanently destroy her enemies forms. She really takes after Pink Diamond.
Pink Diamond is in her human zoo. The Zoo. If the Rebellion is shattered and Earth is colonised, she wants to keep some humans. They're interesting creatures; nowhere near as important and beautiful as Gemkind, but interesting nonetheless. Their organic systems are very different to Pink Diamond and everyone else.
But Pink Diamond is not here for the humans. They're the least of her concerns right now. No, she's here for the rose quartzes. Ever since the other diamonds recognised that the leader of the Rebellion was a rose quartz, they pressured Pink Diamond into shattering the entire Gem class. Nobody had seen a Gem rebel before, and with the passionate attitude of a rose quartz, they pinned the blame on the Gem class.
Pink Diamond couldn't will herself to shatter her perfect Gem. One rebellious rose quartz did not mean all were. But even she too, was paranoid other rose quartzes would rebel. So regretfully, she had all her rose quartzes physical forms dissipated and bubbled, their perfect gems bound inside an eternal prison.
Now, she's staring at each and every one of them floating around and above her, and she can still not see her mistake. She refuses to see it. Rose Quartz is a good enemy - if that made sense.
It's a final goodbye. Pink Diamond turns around and escorts herself to a small ship. Pearl follows her, and there's a nephrite commanding the ship. She's shaking, like she knows that this is a death wish too. It seems everyone realises it.
The ship travels fast to a nearby planet, one with a warp pad. Warp pads are much more efficient than space travel, and with numerous ones erected on Earth, it's the best choice.
Nephrite bids farewell and launches away, one final time. Pearl still stays, her lithe form shaking with anticipation. It takes several warps, but the pair finally land on Earth.
It's quiet, but Pink Diamond knows where to go where it won't be. After all, she had her pink sapphire foresee the future.
It's a short walk, but Pink Diamond and her pearl take their time. They know it's the last. The trees are mesmerising, their pink flowers glinting in the light of the sun overhead. Everything is so… beautiful, but through someone else's eyes. Pink Diamond still would've preferred this planet as a Gem colony.
There it is. Pink Diamond's palanquin. It's been there since they first discovered the planet. Not the very first journey, but one of the first. Pink Diamond doesn't remember why she left it there, but she knows it was for a good reason. A souvenir? To mark a spot? Lost to memory.
She bends down and leans against the palanquin, very un-diamond-like. Pearl doesn't say anything, just stands there avoiding eye contact and fretting with her dress.
Pink Diamond speaks up. "Pearl, you need to go."
"My Diamond?" she asks, but she doesn't need to.
"This is my deathbed. If you stay, the rebels may conceive you as a threat. I can't let that happen. You need to go."
Pink Diamond chuckles weakly. "That's your choice. Rose Quartz won't hurt you if you go to her personally. She knows you, and I know her. You could join the rebellion. Or you could go back to the warp pad, back to Homeworld, and confide with the other diamonds. Perhaps have a new master."
"You're… giving me a choice?" Pearl is awestruck, her mouth almost hanging comically. Pink Diamond likes that - a bit of humour before it all goes.
"I won't be around much longer. Just go now. Choose. But remember, whoever you run to, you'll will have an enemy. So be careful."
Tears start spilling over Pearl's cheeks, her composure cracking. "My Diamond, I can't leave you!"
"You must!" she almost roars. "Please, Pearl, I don't want you hurt. Go now. That's my final order."
Pearl shakes, then hesitantly backs away, and keeps on backing away until she fades into the distance. Pink Diamond doesn't know her decision yet, but she hopes she'll stay strong.
A few moments of silence pass, and Pink Diamond thinks of the saying Rose picked up from the humans; the calm before the storm.
Then there's no more silence. The flying life forms squeak and squawk in the air, and the thundering of footsteps rumble in the distance, growing closer and closer, until Pink Diamond is surrounded by Gems.
"Give up Earth!" some shout.
"You can't stop us!" others shout.
There's only about ten of them, but they sound like a crowd of a hundred. Then Rose Quartz steps up, followed by her pearl, the same adopted pearl from hundreds of years ago. Pearl is now wielding a blue spear, her own unique weapon, and is trying to stand above Pink Diamond slouched on the ground. She doesn't seem afraid at all. Pink Diamond likes that, in an odd way.
"Pink Diamond, you need to leave," Rose commands, pointing her sword at her chest. "This is not a Gem controlled planet."
Pink Diamond stands up, towering over the other individuals. She notices the first fusion in the small crowd. It was probably her that predicted Pink Diamond would be here, being part sapphire.
"I cannot. The other diamonds will not back down so easily, and this would be a better Gem colony than this."
A moment of silence passes.
Rose is about to call off her rebels, when Homeworld Gems appear on the field. Pink Diamond didn't call for them… perhaps her pearl did. She smiles, but she doesn't know why.
The rebels instantly divert their attention to the attackers, a group larger than them. Two fusions form, and Pink Diamond can't tell if they're cross-fused or pure-fused. She doesn't care anymore.
Everyone is distracted, except for Rose Quartz and Pink Diamond.
Pink Diamond stares her down. Now the quartz wears a long, layered white dress, with a star cut out on her belly. She doesn't know how the quartz fights in it, but it looks good on her.
"Let's make this a fair fight," Pink Diamond says as she eyes Rose's summoned shield and breathtaking pink sword. The diamond reaches her hand in front of her gem and pulls out a saber of her own; white, with pink etchings in it. It glows bright pink, as if resonating with her core being.
"I'm sorry, I didn't want this," Rose whispers, and lunges forward.
Their fight is fast, brutal swings aimed at each other, but many dodged on Rose's behalf. Pink Diamond is too tall to dodge many attacks.
Rose slashes at her legs and Pink Diamond stumbles backwards a bit. Rose takes the opportunity to lunge at the diamond's torso now that she's lower. The force plummets Pink Diamond to the ground, and Rose stands over her. But it's not that easy, and Pink Diamond swipes at Rose with her sword, but something blocks the way.
It's the pearl.
The Renegade, protecting a quartz.
Pink Diamond almost laughs, but instead she backhands Pearl's entire body and sends her slamming into a tree. A part of her feels bad, but she's not going down without a fight.
She returns to her feet, but Rose is now crying. She's glancing between Pearl's gem resting against the tree and her arm hidden behind the shield.
Rose's attacks get savage and desperate, slicing at her legs and torso, and the occasional arm or hand. But still, Pink Diamond's form does not dissipate.
The tears are running freely down her face. Maybe it's true. Maybe a diamond's form cannot be dissipated. That only leaves one option.
"I'm sorry," Rose repeats from earlier, and reveals her arm from behind her shield. It's hidden behind a massive black box with a trigger and drill on it. "I wanted to save you, but this planet cannot be saved if you're still protecting it."
"You're doing exactly what I made you for," Pink Diamond grunts as she dodges a strike. "You're saving something. You're fighting passionately, not brutally."
Rose glances at the device on her arm, then floats to the height of Pink Diamond's gem.
"I'm so sorry. I wanted to save everyone. But I can't."
The plan was to use the Breaking Point on Pink Diamond's gem, but not hard enough to shatter, only to crack. Pink Diamond would hopefully retreat to her gem, and Rose could heal her before bubbling her away forever.
But that doesn't happen.
The Breaking Point splinters the gem, and there's a mortified sound between a howl and a gasp. Then the entire thing shatters.
The last thought Pink Diamond has before she disappears is that, maybe, she did make a mistake thousands of years ago.
Her shards clatter to the ground, and the Crystal Gems push back the Homeworld Gems. Nobody pays mind to Rose Quartz collapsed on the ground, eyes flooding with tears, because Pearl isn't there. But after the enemy forces are driven back, the rebels realise Rose's frantic sobbing. Garnet kneels next to Rose and places Pearl's gem on the ground. She has a terrified expression.
Rose cries over the shattered gem. She knows that she can't heal broken gems, but she has to try. Pink Diamond wasn't meant to die.
But nothing happens.
The rebels offer her support, some saying that she did the right thing, others saying Pink Diamond was the best of the diamonds. Nothing helps.
Her shattered remains are bubbled and sent to their home; a newly built temple. Pearl reforms later, and her and Garnet try comforting Rose. But she refuses it.
She can't stop crying, because she has realised she has made a mistake.
It took her far less time to realise that than Pink Diamond.