Shattered Kingdoms 1: A New World Order

Horrid, inhuman and feminine roars and screams echoed across the volcanic, dry crag. Lakes of lava gave a tint of reddish orange to everything nearby under the dark blue night sky. Bright stars and vivid nebulas painted the dark canvas like a surreal painting. Molten rock shot upwards in a variety of impactful explosions. The entire planet looked like it was ready to blow at any point, but it was kept under control by the gems that inhabited it. Those that thrived there prided themselves as the strongest in the cosmos. The reason for that is their inherent, violent nature and lust for battle, instilled by the diamond of their planet, Red Diamond. The freedom to battle as they please, and weed out the week. Two gems, Gray and Akoya Pearl are the latest prey in this hunt. The slender gem was beaten to the ground by a large quartz while Akoya was thrown into a rock near the edge of a lava lake, cracking the stone from the impact of the attack. Their wicked tormentors laughed as they languished in their prey's suffering.

"Come on now you have to be stronger than this if you've survived this long!" The large, mint blue and black spotted Jasper taunted.

"You're giving them too much credit Dalmatian, they're just pearls. Probably just hid away like the useless clods they are." The brown quartz said back.

Akoya got back to her feet, but then stumbled as she grasped her stomach. Her long black hair drooping over her stern, golden face. Her loose uniform was torn in places by her tormentor. Her blouse was torn, exposing her bruised, bloody stomach. Her once intact boots revealed bruises on her shins. She had managed to survive for nearly a year after her conception, but the countless battles had left her tired.

The law of the land says that the battle should end in the case of a draw at least, but those battles have always been the ones that showed the sign of weakness. Winners are rarely challenged, losers are already killed, but those who suffer a draw are the ones that are almost picked on the most, right before new arrivals.

Gray wasn't doing much better. Her light gray skin was bruised black, her face battered, braided hair slightly obscuring head wounds. The hell she's gone through on a near daily basis is finally taking its toll.

Dalmation Jasper was a large bully with black hair tied into a long tail. She wore the standard Red Diamond uniform, a bright red tank top with her insignia, a blood red diamond cradled by a pair of black horns, and black pants separated by white belt. The uniform was an honor to wear bestowed on by only those who've proved themselves to be strong. Camel Jasper wore the same outfit, though she had shorter, sand colored hair. The two of them were mighty amazons that towered over the two weaker pearls.

"Can't you...stupid brutes pick on someone your own size!?" Gray spat.

Dalmation Jasper picked up the weakened gem and lifted her off the ground with one arm. She grinned maliciously at her.

"We could...but you twerps are a lot more fun to pound into dust." Dalmatian spat, "Your kind hardly lasts anyway, unlike us."

The blue and black jasper reared her other arm back, clenching her fist tightly as she prepared the finishing blow. Akoya's eyes widened at the sight of her friend about to be shattered, so she reached to her forehead gem, forming a small sword from light and threw the blade at the vicious quartz.

Dalmatian looked over just in time to see the blade pierce her shoulder. She yelled out in pain and dropped Gray Pearl. Camel Jasper pointed and laughed at her comrade.

"Oh wow! She managed to get you good!" She chuckled.

Dalmatian growled at her comrade. Gray Pearl tried to stand up, but was immediately kicked away by Dalmatian. The angry gem then turned to her still laughing partner.

"Shut it! It wouldn't have happened if you just killed her then and there! So stop being a moron and finish her already!" She barked.

"Tch, fine I'll stop playing." Camel sighed.

Gray Pearl got up and panted, raising her kusarigama up and praying she still had the strength to at least fend off her wounded foe. The giant gem charged at the injured Pearl, but suddenly something struck her knee. She tripped and fell over, rolling once and onto her back. She looked down to see a green curved blade stuck in her leg.

"What in the-!?" She shouted.

The line was cut short when she heard Camel Jasper's gagged yell. She looked over just in time to see a small, dark gem jump over her body, holding what appeared to be a thick, glistening rope. She fell to the ground in a crouching position, pulling down on the rope, yanking Camel Jasper down with her. Akoya and Gray Pearl looked just as surprised as the jaspers.

Dalmatian turned and saw a green flash coming towards her. She rolled away from the flash, narrowly avoiding a surprise attack from a green pearl.

Gray looked to see the green pearl's slender yet dignified form. One of her eyes was replaced by her bright green gemstone and a thin, dark green veil wrapped her spring green vest. Dark green shorts cut off at her thighs, leaving a small gap of mint green skin before ending with tall, dark green boots. In her hand was a curved, forest green sword.

Akoya looked to see her own savior stand up. She turned to her, her yellow, stern eyes showed power and authority she's never seen in another pearl. From her back she grabbed two more wires.

Camel Jasper got back up and leaped at the black gem, but from her torso six long, spider like legs shot out. The brown gem was impaled shallowly by the legs, and the black gem roared out as she lifted the mighty beast over her head and tossed her away. Camel rolled onto her stomach, pressed off the ground and looked at her attacker.

"Wait a minute...I know you! You're one of the leaders of that rebel group!" She declared.

Dalmatian managed to get back onto her feet, ripping the blade out of her knee.

"I was about to say that!" She added.

Akoya and Gray looked on at the two gems with awe.

"The rumors were true?" Akoya thought.

Green Pearl glanced over to Black Pearl

"Seems like our status has spread to the lower class." The green gem commented.

"Truly wonderful. Now even common quartzes can tell who we are by look." Black Pearl retorted.

"Well with strength comes reputation, no way of ensuring that we remain secretive with the jobs we do.."

Dalmation and Camel frowned.

"This is bad...these two freaks are above the usual threat." Dalmatian added.

"True...but we can't let them make fools out of us!" Camel shouted.

Green Pearl frowned.

"I think you may want to pay attention to the holes in your bodies." Green Pearl said as she aimed her sword at the two quartzes, "You can't beat us. So how about you just leave and forget you ever saw us?"

"Shut your trap!" Dal rushed towards the pearls, followed by her partner.

Black Pearl charged forward, her spider legs extending from her torso. The two jaspers attempted to grab her, but with a nimble twirl she evaded their attack and countered with the mighty blows from her legs.

Dal stumbled backwards, inching ever closer to the lake of lava. Green Pearl dashed towards the speckled gem and tackled her into the pit. The great jasper screamed out in pain as the lava seared her form. Camel Jasper turned to see her partner struggling to get out of the lake.

Black Pearl pulled some thread from her gem with her legs, creating a makeshift lasso. She then strung it around Camel's beefy neck, nearly strangling her as it dug into her flesh. With a strong pull, she sent the disoriented gem stumbling forward.

Akoya and Gray joined in the battle and tackled the remaining foe into the lake. She too began to scream out as she struggled to come back to shore.

"AAAAAAAHHHHH! IT'S HOT! IT'S HOOOOT!" She screamed.

With that the four pearls gathered together. Akoya and Gray could barely stand, but they still managed to smile.

"Thank you, but what are you two doing on Red-000?" Gray asked.

"Our duty." Black said.

"Yes, so let's finish our duty before someone else arrives. The screaming knuckleheads are bound to attract attention." Green said.

"You think they're gonna die?" Akoya asked.

"Nah." Green said as she sauntered off, "They're quartzes. They'll live."

"Can you two walk?" Black Pearl asked.

"We'll manage. Thank you." Akoya said.

Black Pearl walked behind the two injured gems and the four of them made haste to their escape ship. As they wandered across the dreadful landscape, Black Pearl was constantly looking over her shoulder. She was always cautious on these missions, but she felt like they were being followed. But each time she looked around, there was no one.

The gems made it to a giant cliffside. Vaguely human shaped holes littered the surface. The rock walls were jagged, and the holes were sloppy and all over the place. Green Pearl beckoned the three gems over to a small cave that was at ground level.

"I'll take watch. The two of them are far too injured to do so." Black offered.

"Got it. Ignition should only take a quick minute." Green said.

The three gems wandered into the darkness and the black gem guarded the entrance. All was quiet for seconds, and then a loud cracking noise echoed throughout the canyon. Black Pearl turned around to see the upper layers of the wall crumbling down. She rushed away from the rockslide, easily avoiding the disaster. She was unscathed, but the cave entrance was blocked off. She hoped that the entire cave didn't collapse on her teammates and the refugees, but it looked like only a small bit of the outer layer had fallen. Several of the human shaped holes were now giant. The large cloud of dust from the rockslide began to clear, revealing the crude pile of stones, and a large figure standing on top of them.

Staring down at her with a scowl on her face was a tall, muscular red gem. She had a skinned head, her square gem was located on the base of her neck, and she wore a red shirt with torn off sleeves that beared the red diamond insignia and long, black baggy pants with many tears. She was giving Black Pearl a very intense glare, her posture signaling that she was here to fight.

Black Pearl glared up at the new opponent, her spider limbs already extended.

"Who the hell are you?" Black Pearl asked.

The gem was silent for a few seconds before finally speaking.

"Fluorite." She said in a surly matter.

Black Pearl stood still. She didn't move an inch as the great monster of a gem looked down at her. Her eyes flashed down to the rubble pile and back to Fluorite, "You cause that?"

Fluorite nodded and her gem began to glow, the light trailing up her neck and into her mouth. In her mouth appeared a large set of blood red sharp teeth, "Let's go!"

Fluorite leaped from the rubble pile and towards Black Pearl. The nimble gem dodged out of the way from the crushing attack. The ground quaked and cracked underneath the red gem's feet. Black Pearl glared at the giant, taking the few seconds her opponent is giving her to analyze the situation.

"Okay, don't panic. Just focus on defense. Green will have the ship ready in a few, just have to dance around this." She thought.

Fluorite charged forward, teeth bared and roaring out. Black Pearl leaped over the giant gem, but the giant managed to grab one of suit's limbs. The pearl quickly noticed she had been caught. Before Fluorite could slam her to the ground, she retracted the leg and countered with a kick to the back of Fluorite's head. The blow was ineffective, as her opponent immediately countered with a backfist to her shoulder. Black Pearl flew through the air and rolled onto the ground. Her arm stung and her foot ached. Kicking Fluorite's head was like kicking iron.

The massive gem rushed forward again, throwing punches and bites her opponent's way. Black Pearl managed to keep up with Fluorite's wild offenses while spindling a new thread. Once it reached a perfect length, Black Pearl counter attacked.

The thrust four of her limbs at the red gem's beastly arms. They barely pierced her skin, and the pearl could barely hold them back. Fluorite snarled as she struggled to move in close enough to take a bite of Black Pearl.

"That's right big girl take the bait." The pearl hoped in her head.

Using her spare pair of spider legs, she threw the strong thread over the back of her opponent's neck. Before she could realize what just happened, Black Pearl retracted the legs that pinned her arms in place and Fluorite came flying forward, with the thick layer of razor wire pulling her forward. Mustering all her strength, Black Pearl punched Fluorite's throat. She could feel the razor thread sink into the back of Fluorite's neck, but it stopped too short despite her remaining pair of legs pulling as hard as they could.

"Shit! Come on just one more inch-"

Fluorite immediately countered with a powerful punch to her face. Black Pearl felt her nose break, her teeth crack and her skull shriek in pain. If she had a brain in her body, it would've been shaking around her cranium like a pinball. She was sent flying, a trail of purple blood flowing from her nose as she fell to the ground.

Fluorite's angry expression was now stoic as she stood straight up. She reached to feel the back of her neck, feeling the stinging wet spot on the back of her neck. It felt deep. She finished feeling her new wound and looked at the rust red blood on her fingers. She leaned her head back and felt the wound ooze more blood onto her nape. She smirked as Black Pearl stumbled to her feet.

Black Pearl growled as she unleashed her limbs again, having all the legs point directly at Fluorite in an attempt to look as intimidating as possible. She was about to go on the offensive, but she heard a loud grunt. She looked to see the source of the noise and saw a large blue spiked mace fly towards her. She leaped out of the way as the great mace slammed into the ground. As she landed, two giant gems fell down to greet her.

"Remember us!?" Dal shouted.

Black Pearl recognized the two gems as Dalmation Jasper and Camel Jasper. They were badly burned, but still managed to move. Camel looked over to the now irritated Fluorite.

"Don't worry about this ma'am! We got this tramp!" Camel shouted.

"Tramp?" Black Pearl uttered.

Fluorite stomped toward the two burned quartzes.

"You two, leave!" She ordered.

The two gems stared at their ally, confused at her response.

"But, we can easily stomp her if we all just-"

"You two had your chance and you screwed up. You're both a disgrace to the Red Diamond Dynasty and you're ruining this for me!" Fluorite yelled.

Dalmatian Jasper took a step towards her in a calming manner.

"I understand we messed up. But we can't just let her go off on her own like this. Capturing her can mean a lot for us in the war ef-"

Suddenly there was another loud boom. Another gem had appeared on the battlefield. Camel tensed up as she felt the tall presence stand behind her. Black Pearl recognized the new gem and felt a shiver run up her aching spine.

The new gem was around Dalmatian's height, had long silver hair, faded pink skin, and gray eyes decorated with extended lashes. She had a mischievous smile on her face. Black Pearl could see half of the new gem's outfit peeking out behind Camel's figure. She wore a large brown coat with Red Diamond's insignia on the lower corner of it with a large frill of white fur going around the collar area. There was nothing under her open coat but wrappings covering her breasts, leaving her muscular stomach exposed. She also had black, baggy pants that were rolled up past her ankles, and dark brown shoes.

The new gem leaned over and wrapped her arm around Camel. Her hand gently pinched her chin.

"Your friend was smart enough to start walking away. Why didn't you?" She asked in a sly tone.

Camel started to shiver.

"Be...Because she would've run away if I moved from here?"

The mystery gem hummed.

"Not a bad answer…" She swiftly and viciously dug her nails into Camel's face. They sank deep into the brown gem's skin. Camel could only scream for a second before the pink gem pulled backwards, twisting her head around like a corkscrew. With a disgusting snapping noise, Camel's form disappeared, leaving only her gem behind, "...but not good enough to justify being here."

Dalmatian and Black Pearl stared on in terror at the sadistic gem. Fluorite on the other hand was even more irritated.

"Crazy Horse! What the hell do you think you're doing?" She shouted.

"What do you think I'm doing? I'm here to see something exciting." Crazy Horse responded.

She looked back at the cautious pearl.

"And she looks likes she's loads of fun."

Black Pearl felt uneasy.

"Yeah she's fun alright. My fun. Now how about you piss off and let me-"

A loud explosion erupted from the pile of stones. The sound of crumbling rock echoed out and a huge cloud of dust formed behind the gems. Everyone looked to see a bright green light zoom through the cloud and towards Black Pearl.

"About time!" Black Pearl thought.

The ship ran through Fluorite, knocking the red gem down. Crazy Horse rushed towards the ship with her right arm stretched out, throwing her coat to the ground and revealing the long slender gem on said arm.

"Oh no you don't! I came here for some fun, and I'm getting it!" She shouted.

Before her weapon could form, the ship was already moving past her. Her nails shrieked as they raked against the outside of the ship, but she couldn't stop it. She recoiled in pain as the ship move towards Black Pearl. An opening appeared on the front of the ship and the gem dived inside. She was caught by Gray and Akoya and the ship began to make it's exit into space. Green looked down from the cockpit with an annoyed expression.

"Do I have to babysit you all the time? You're the leader here, so you should be more responsible and not get into big fights when you don't have backup." Green Pearl scolded.

"Just shut it and take us home." Black Pearl ordered.

The ship flew away, Fluorite grinding her teeth together as she scowled at what was now a green speck in the sky. She let out a roar and slammed her fist into the ground. She then glared at Crazy Horse, who was examining her hand.

Crazy Horse was oblivious to the escaped ship, more concerned about the chip in one of her nails.

"Ugh, that was a little too reckless of me." She said to herself as she reformed a new, perfect nail.

Fluorite got up from her crouching state and stomped towards Crazy Horse.

"You!"

Crazy turned around and had a bewildered expression on her face. She pointed at herself.

"Me."

"You damn showboat! If you or those idiot quartzes haven't shown up I would've had her! I was having an excellent fight before you all screwed it up!"

"Wow. I didn't know you were such a baby."

Fluorite grabbed the pink gem by her throat.

"You clod!"

Crazy Horse reached back and slammed her fist straight into Fluorite's gut. The red gem winced in pain and released her grip from the pink gem's windpipe. She staggered back and glared at the unamused gem.

"Really? You know how this ends." Crazy Horse said.

Fluorite seethed with anger, but decided to relent and phased her weapon away. Crazy Horse smiled and rubbed the back of her comrade's head and neck.

"See? Now you're thinking straight again. Don't worry about it, so long as more pearls keep popping up here, she'll keep coming back around."

Crazy Horse stopped rubbing her friend's head when she felt something wet. She looked at her hand to see Fluorite's blood on her fingers. She made a disgusted expression and wiped it off on Fluorite's shirt.

"Now how about we got to planet K-024 and have a little fun tonight?"

"Did you already send the request to Red Diamond?" Fluorite asked.

"Yeah it's whatever. They got the reserve soldiers to support Black Diamond's outposts so we're alright. Besides the Crystal Conquest is in a few months. She's gonna want her champions in top shape for the event." The pink gem said.

With that the two elites began to walk out of the chasm.

"I'm still pissed at you." Fluorite said.

"Aw come on if those two dimwits couldn't handle smashing em up before the mystery clods sprang outta nowhere then they weren't worth fighting over."

Alone, Dalmatian Jasper finally walked over to pick up her friend's gem. The chaos was finally over, and she let out a chuckle.

"Weird day huh buddy?" She said to the stone.

No response. Dalmatian Jasper began her trek out of the chasm.

"Hopefully you'll be ready to go on our mission later today."

/**/

A small green spherical ship slowly drifted in space amongst a sea of asteroids. Inside Black, Gray and Akoya Pearl were resting on cushioned pads while Green Pearl drove her wounded comrades through the field of giant rocks. Akoya leaned over to look at Green Pearl.

"Are we almost at the base?" She asked.

"We'll get there when we get there." Green Pearl responded.

"The sooner we can rest somewhere somewhat safe the better." Gray Pearl chimed in.

"Stop whining. We're already here." Green Pearl beamed.

The tiny ship was on a collision course with a massive asteroid. It was half the size of a small moon. As the great rock slowly moved towards them, Green Pearl reared back on the controls and aimed the ship at a small hole in the great rock. She accelerated to make it to the hole and managed to enter the crater. The seemingly shallow crater was actually a long tunnel. A quick minute trip and they entered the core of the asteroid. The two new pearls looked outside to see a hidden paradise. Fountains as large as waterfalls gave birth to lush foliage and other pearls underneath them attended to beautiful, ancient architecture.

The ship landed gently in a soft meadow, and a group of pearls surrounded the ship. Leading the group was a brown gem wearing a gold, silk hooded robe, blonde curls spilling out of the opening. A cylindrical doorway formed on the sphere and Green Pearl walked out with the same stern look. The other pearls cheered for their warrior, but she didn't give much of a response. She left and Black Pearl exited the ship with the others. The cheering stopped and the brown pearl ran up to them.

"Oh Black Pearl! You've found some really banged up gems this time didn't you?" She asked, touching the other banged up gems.

"Your intuition is as good as ever Champagne. We managed to flee before getting into a really ugly battle." Black Pearl responded.

Gray nearly fell over, only to fall onto Champagne. She groaned as her body still ached from the hasty escape they made.

"Oh my they sound so bad!" She turned to the others, "Come everyone! Take them to rest and recuperate."

"I leave them in your care. I'm going back to my personal quarters." Black Pearl said as she walked away.

The group of pearls assisted the two injured gems as easily as they could. As the pearls walked on, Akoya noticed that a pearl was assisting Champagne as well. Eventually the group made it to a large pool of steaming water. Other pearls were soaking in the water, and all eyes were on them. They slowly descended into the water. The warm liquid soothed their bodies and the gems let out a sigh of relief. Gray looked over to Champagne.

"So will this help heal us?" She asked.

"Oh no, this is only to keep your mind off of the pain. It will be awhile before your bodies naturally reform without needing to retreat into your gem." Champagne said.

Gray shrugged.

"Oh well it's better than nothing. Thank you for taking us in."

Champagne smiled.

"There is no need to thank us. We're merely helping out our fellow sisters."

"As they've helped out you I imagine." Akoya said.

"Indeed. Life is nearly impossible for a gem when her eyesight is absent." She admitted.

"You're blind!?" Gray exclaimed

"Mhm. Shocking I know, a blind gem sounds almost impossible to exist, let alone a blind pearl and yet here I am.." The brown gem smiled, "But I've don't let that get in the way of taking care of all who come here, even those slightly corrupted."

"Slightly corrupted?" Gray asked.

"Yes. Normally Blister would be around me, but for some reason or other she's not around. The poor gem's psyche is in shambles, so I can't really predict what she will do. She at least isn't violent anymore." Champagne went on.

"You'd take someone as far gone as that?" Akoya asked.

Champagne turned in Akoya's general direction.

"Of course! It's better than leaving her out in the wild to be hunted down like some animal or stars forbid captured by Black Diamond's scalpers." Champagne protested, "We can't afford to look down on anyone because we know how awful it is to be looked down upon."

Akoya looked down at the water, feeling guilty for her statement.

"It's fine my dear, it's those nasty ideals that have been implemented into your head by horrible people. You're fine here." Champagne assured her.

"Thank you." Akoya responded.

"So...how did you start this haven? I heard a rumor that Black Pearl was a member of Black Diamond's court that went rogue and broke a lot of gems away." Faceted asked.

"It doesn't matter why or how we do this, what matters is our mission."

"You're right. Do we have any other allies?" Gray asked.

"Not really. We're on our own in a mission to save our sisters from the oppressive nature of the diamonds."

"How is it that as soon as they come, the status quo goes back to this horrible mess?" Akoya asked.

"I wish I knew...I wish I knew."

/**/

Black Pearl entered a small square home. Inside was a single bedroom, the bed littered with fine pillows, a couch, a bookshelf filled with old human literature, and a door next to the bookshelf. She laid down on the bed and heaved a sigh.

She felt her shore nose and let out a sigh. The pain of the day was finally catching up to her and she was glad to be resting in bed. She heard the door slowly creak open. She looked up to see a small gem peaking from the door. Black Pearl smiled at the shy gem.

"It's alright, you can come in if you'd like."

The door swung open, revealing a hidden furnished room and a group of tiny gems. There was a small pink one with corn rows that ended in long braids that nearly touched the floor, a beastly looking red one with large clawed hands and huge teeth, a yellow one wearing a large cloak that covered her mouth, a blue one with long stylized hair and clawed hands, and a small orange one with big frizzy hair.

The five of them rushed onto the bed and surrounded their caretaker with huge smiles on their faces.

"How'd it go this time Bp?" The orange one asked.

"I'd say a little rough this time. We can help fix your nose later if ya want." The pink one said warmly.

"How many lives did you take." The yellow one asked coldly.

Black Pearl chuckled, sat up, and pat the yellow one on the head.

"You're in luck. Today was actually pretty exciting." She declared as she began her story.

/**/

In another part of the same galaxy, far beyond the hidden base of renegade pearls, a large violet planet drifted through the endless void of space. On the planet's surface, vivid seas of sand surround oasis after oasis. Great pyramids and smaller, beautiful homes gathered around each oasis. The beautiful villages were connected to each other by a series of rivers, bright blue water with vivid green reeds were spread across the entire planet, only connected to a few giant lakes. On these lakes the leaders of the planet dwelled, and at the largest was the planet's one true master, Purple Diamond.

Drifting on one of the rivers on a curved boat, a red gem and her sky blue ally were on their way to an orchard. The sky blue gem was wearing a crop top and long, dark blue pants. She also wore vivid green bangles and a long turquoise necklace. Her long, cloudy white hair nearly fell into the water as she leaned over the edge. Her red friend steered the boat across the river. She had long orange hair tied into a ponytail, wearing a blood red jacket with a black tank top underneath. Her flame orange pants tightly gripped her body, cutting off halfway at the shin, only to be met by dark red boots.

"Carnelian can you speed this up? I wanna get my fruit noooow!" The blue gem whined.

"Chalcedony I swear if you ask that of me again I'm throwing you overboard.", Carnelian warned, "The fact that you're dragging me away from our post just to get a snack for you is ridiculous enough, I don't need you being a child as well."

Chalcedony rolled over and looked up at the sky.

"Well it wouldn't be a problem if we had a fruit tree near our base."

"And as I've said, the soil near our base isn't good for growing crops. It's not a necessity anyway."

"Sodalite would disagree." Chalcedony joked.

Carnelian rolled her eyes.

"If that gem spent half of her time gorging on herself and instead on planning out her strategy and training she'd be unstoppable." The red gem laughed.

"And yet she settles on just being badass and powerful." Chalcedony chuckled.

"Haha, thank goodness for...wait what is that?" Carnelian pointed at the sky.

Chalcedony looked to see a meteor like object fall from the sky towards a nearby oasis. The impact created a large cloud of dust and sand, nearly blowing some of the trees down. The two laughing gems turned serious.

"Now can we go faster?" Chalcedony asked.

"Yes." Carnelian said as she pressed her hand onto the side of the boat.

The boat rose out of the water, a large vent underneath the vent expelled a force large enough to lift the ship above the lazy river. Carnelian stomped her foot down and the ship charged forward, ignoring the twisting path of the river and flying above the sand straight towards the crash site of the mystery object. Eventually they made it there, a group of gems looked at the object. Amongst the destroyed, splintered remains of a crushed tree was a very large, oval shaped pod. Out of the pod appeared five large quartz soldiers wearing the Red Diamond insignia, including Dalmatian and Camel Jasper. The surrounding gems stumbled back in fear as the Red Diamond soldiers started to laugh.

"See Camel, we may have had a rough start yesterday but at least we can cut loose and have some fun here!" Dalmatian exclaimed.

"Yeah yeah, we just got unlucky last night. We're better than that!" Camel yelled.

The ringleader raised her hand and pointed at a single gem in the group.

"I get her. The rest of you smash up and wreak as much havoc as you want!" She exclaimed.

The giant gem leached forward, but was stopped midair by a blue boomerang. She fell to the earth and the rest of the gems started to flee. Chalcedony walked onto the scene, spinning a blue bladed boomerang similar to the one that hit the large quartz. Following behind her was Carnelian, wielding a bright red rapier.

"Well what do ya know, we're gonna get a workout before our meal." Chalcedony commented.

"At least we have a valid excuse for being here now."

The leader got up, her angry green expression glaring at the two gems. She ripped out the boomerang and the other quartzes surrounded her leader.

"Crush them!" The leader screamed.

Camel was the first to run towards them but was interrupted by something hard slamming into her head. She fell over face first into the sand, creating a mound as she slid through it. The other quartzes growled at their new opponent. The new gem stomped and stared at her opponents.

"You little rotten shits crossed a line just now!" She bellowed angrily.

Carnelian and Chalcedony stared at the gem with a mildly tense expression.

"Sodalite's here…" Carnelian commented.

"She sounds like she's gonna go berserk." Chalcedony added.

The burly deep blue gem was as tall as the average quartz, but she was much thicker. Her arms were as thick logs, but were as toned as a professional bodybuilder's. She had a barrel chested body with large breasts and a large gut to match her overall chubby form, and stout legs as well. She wore tiny vest that only reached the top half of her ribs, a white tank top that stopped across her belly, but reached all the way down her toned back, and a pair of deep purple leather pants with torn knees. She had large, sky blue metal cuffs around her wrists and a white necklace with a purple insignia of her diamond, a round purple melon with a diamond carved onto it, hanging off the middle. The lower half of her head was shaved, but the top was styled into a large mohawk that curled in front of her forehead. Her thick lips were stretched into an angry grimace as she glared at the invaders with her deep purple eyes. It looked like her ocean blue skin was about to tear from how her muscles were flexed, luckily her spherical gem was safe on her pudgy belly.

She pointed a large finger at the group and growled loudly.

"You broke my favorite fruit tree!" Sodalite roared out.

Camel growled and charged at the large gem, her helmet formed as she rolled into a ball. She rushed to the giant gem with incredible speed and force.

"Who gives a shit fatass!?" She yelled out.

Sodalite turned to the angry gem, rearing her head back as she did so. The brown quartz was almost near her, but the great blue gem slammed her head forward with incredible force and speed. Brown bounded off the soft sand, her eyes wide and her helmet practically broken. Sodalite's gem then glowed and produced a blue grappling hook with a large purple chain. She swung the chain and it wrapped around the stunned gem at insane speed, the claw digging into Camel's arm to hold it together.

"You stupid other worlders don't understand what it means to mess with someone's food! It is the most…" She roared as she spun the gem over her head, to then lashed forward at Dalmatian Jasper, "...disrespectful thing you can do!"

The chain let go of Camel, spinning her around in the air as it unwrapped, ripping a chunk of her arm off as it did so. The large brown gem slammed into her black and white friend and the two of them went flying back into the pit near their ship, hitting the side of it hard enough to dent it. The other quartzes looked back at the great beast of a gem as she started to spin her chain around in the air.

"Come on I'll bash all ya heads in!" She yelled.

Carnelian and Chalcedony were stunned.

"Should we...should we help her?" Chalcedony asked.

"I'm not sure about that. She might end up smashing us by accident." Carnelian replied.

The ringleader let out an annoyed groan.

"Come on you idiots attack her all at once! She may be strong but she's just one gem!"

The other two replied by rushing forward, roaring out as they did so with the ringleader following close behind them. Sodalite was deciding which gem she was gonna smash first, but then two of them were sent flying into the air by sudden protrusions of stone. The ringleader stopped in her tracks as her two soldiers came crashing back down onto the hard stone. Sodalite cocked her head and turned to the right to see the source of the sudden attack.

"Oi! Stay out of this Sardonyx, I'm smashing them all up! I don't need you!" She called out.

Carnelian and Chalcedony turned with smiles to see the planet's champion Sardonyx, wielding her signature massive, studded club. She was a large gem, taller than most quartzes by a great margin, and just as muscular to boot. Her long red hair was tied into a neat bun by a golden band, though a few curls spilled out and lolled in front of her oval gemstone on her forehead. She was almost as muscular as Sodalite, but had none of the fat. Her powerful arms had a tattoo of her diamond's insignia on each bicep, she also had a set of four golden bangles on her forearms. She wore an ocean blue blouse that had no sleeves. It fluttered in the breeze, revealing her reddish brown skin, as well as her toned stomach. It was coupled with a long light brown skirt and a pair of string sandals. Her thick lips were pursed into a dark cherry smirk.

"Oh Sodalite sweetie. You think I would honestly miss an opportunity to crack some skulls when a group of idiots decide that this of all planets would be good to invade?" Sardonyx said in a sensual voice.

Sodalite cocked her head and had her hands on her hips.

"Awright fine you can jump in, but only because beating on em all on my own would really work up my appetite!" She relented.

The ringleader looked to Sardonyx, to Sodalite, and then back to her still recovering troops. She stomped her foot on the ground, kicking up dust clouds and growled in anger.

"Come on you lousy clods get up! We outnumber them five to four we can beat them if you stop messing around!"

She stopped when she heard the sound of her ship starting up. She looked back to see if lifting off the ground. She noticed that Dalmation and Camel Jasper were missing.

"Hey you two! That's just a simple cargo ship, it doesn't have any weapons." She stated.

The ship then flew straight up and appeared to be leaving the atmosphere. The ringleader started to leap up and down in anger.

"Come back here you cowards!" She screamed.

Suddenly she heard two loud poofs come from behind her. She looked to see that the four gems had taken down the rest of her team. Carnelian and Chalcedony bubbled the stones and sent them off to their base. Sardonyx and Sodalite stared at the last gem with mischievous gazes.

"Mind if I have this one?" Sodalite asked.

"Go ahead. You're the one with a vendetta against her." Sardonyx agreed.

A fearful expression came upon the enemy's face as Sodalite rushed towards her. She punched the quartz to the ground and began to pummel her. Sardonyx turned towards Carnelian and Chalcedony with a rather serious stare.

"I'm glad the two of you are alright." She said.

Chalcedony smiled and cokced her head to the side.

"Oh please those knuckleheads were no big deal. Just a bunch of muscle with no speed." She boasted.

A silver pearl appeared on a moderately sized, oval shaped ship. She looked completely distressed.

"Sardonyx! Sardonyx! We need your help now! One of our bases is under attack!" She screamed out.

Their smiles disappeared as they looked up at her stern expression.

"What base has been wrecked? How!?" Carnelian asked.

"Questions for later, get on now!" Sardonyx orders as she leaps onto the ship.

Sodalite finally finished off her victim by slamming her head into her their head, poofing them away. She grabbed the lone stone and leaped onto the ship. The others followed suit and the pearl sped off towards a rising column of smoke. The pearl looked over her shoulder to talk to the others.

"It was a single unit. The mercenary known as Number 08." She said.

"What!? I thought he was under our employment!" Chalcedony shouted.

"He's never under permanent employment. He just travels from faction to faction to get certain jobs done. Mostly he's just been doing nothing but destroying bases, making it easier for actual invasions of his employer's armies." Sardonyx stated.

Sodalite encased the stone in a bubble.

"Such a scumbag. No loyalty to anyone is worse than being loyal to a tyrant!" She yelled as she sent the gem away.

"What I want to know is what he does with the money. It's not like he has his own place to stay. I've heard he just drifts around in space in his ship." The small blue gem said.

"He comes to the diamonds with his business propositions. He gets results so I can't blame them for taking him up on them. And he hasn't shattered any gems...yet...so no one side can stay mad at him." Sardonyx said.

Chalcedony kicked the inside of the ship.

"Damn it we should've been there. We coulda stopped them!" She yelled.

Sardonyx put her hand on her friend's shoulder.

"Oh sweetie...no, you wouldn't have. That's why I'm stationed at the main military base, to make sure I can stall him until we have enough power to kick him off the planet." She assured her.

"Geez...is he really that strong?" Carnelian asked.

"Yes...I fear for the day he decides to permanently align with either Red or Black Diamond." Sardonyx said.

"The dumbass will probably pick our side. We're much better than the latter two, not wanting to be in this shitty war in the first place." Sodalite said, "All Black's fault for wanting more power and Red's dumbass lust for battle taking over."

Sardonyx sighed.

"I know...but that's how things have always been."

"Save your old timey stories for when I get my snacks ya old fossil." Sodalite teased, "Now come on let's get to what's left of the base and assess the situation."

The pearl pointed forward.

"There it is!" She exclaimed.

The gems looked over to see a smoldering pyramid. Once floating hedrons were now on the ground, cracked from the impact. Various gems were either fleeing from the wreckage or attempting to help others who were pinned in by rubble. The four gems leaped off the ship and rushed towards the base.

"I'll take on Eight! All of you help the survivors!" Sardonyx ordered.

"Right!" Sodalite agreed.

"Good luck!" Chalcedony added.

"You got this Sardonyx!" Carnelian said as the three finally dispersed and went to help the other gems.

Sardonyx rushed into the smoldering base in search for the intruder. Control panels, lifts, and weapons were damaged beyond repair. She was about to go underneath the base to confront the opponent but the lift activated and from the depths appeared the male mercenary. He had a mask of solid white on his face, masking the upper half of his face. His long brown and messy hair reached to his shoulders. He wore a dark green hoodie with three black rings on the upper part of each sleeve. No undershirt, revealing his tan skin, littered with green scars. Ending his outfit was a pair of black jeans and a pair of black, kung fu shoes. His gem was not exposed, clearly hidden by his clothing.

"Hello again…" He said in a stern tone.

"You're not getting away this time." Sardonyx declared as she summoned her club.

"Yeah yeah that's what you usually say, and then I beat you up and down wherever we may be and then I leave when someone comes to spoil the fun. How about we cut to the chase and you let me go?" He asked.

She raised her club skyward and aimed at the much smaller gem, "How about no."

She swung down at Number Eight, a great loud crash echoed throughout the ruins, but as the dust settled he was nowhere to be seen. Sardonyx looked behind her just in time to see two feet hurtling towards her face. They smashed into her and sent her flying into the lift. The masked gem then quickly rushed to the control panel and slapped the switch to send her back down.

"Goodbye and good luck." He said as she descended downwards at a rapid pace.

As she recovered from the mighty blow she realized what he had done. She leaped up from the descending ladder up the transportation tube. But when she made it back he was already gone. She grit her teeth and threw her club at a piece of rubble in frustration. If she had fought to the very last breath until reinforcements could come, that would be one thing. But she couldn't accept being tossed aside like she wasn't even worth a percentage of his time.

/**/

Some time later, outside of the violet planet's atmosphere, Dalmatian and Camel Jasper were flying back towards their own planet.

"Was that awful of us to do?" Camel asked.

"Nah, we were screwed the moment Sardonyx showed up. No point in sticking around to get captured as well. It was the best decision." Dalmatian responded.

"The others are gonna be pissed when they see we came back alone."

"Ah please they'll be fine. We'll explain that we tried our hardest against Sardonyx AND Sodalite but we had to retreat, otherwise Red Diamond would've lost five quality quartzes instead of just three. We may a proud warrior faction but we aren't flat out stupid or suicidal."

Camel laughed.

"Yeah you're right we oughta lighten up and-" The ship suddenly stopped, sending the two gems flying into the control console. A loud blaring alarm began to ring out as the two gems got back up. The two gems looked at the deck for a status report.

"What happened!?" Dalmatian yelled.

"We're stuck in a tractor beam!" Camel yelled back.

Dalmatian scrambled with the control panel.

"Stupid junk hunter has no idea what kind of trouble they're in for messing with two of Red Diamond's best!"

A hologram of a square screen appeared, showing a screen of static.

"Get ready to give em a piece of your mind bud!" Dalmatian exclaimed.

Both of the quartzs were angry and ready to yell with every bit of anger in their beings. Upon the screen appeared Number 8. The two of them immediately shut up when they realized who had captured them.

"Num...Number 8!" Dalmatian stammered, "Wh-what're you doing-"

"Shut it." He said in an annoyed tone, "You're my cargo now. If you you call me again, I'll come into your ship and beat you to near death. Accept your fate and things will be manageable for all of us."

"Where are you taking us?" Camel asked.

"Black Diamond." With that the transmission ended.

The two of them looked at each other with scared expressions.

"Dal...I've heard rumors about what Black Diamond does to gems like us…" Camel whimpered.

"Yeah?"

"It...it ain't fun!" She cried out.

/**/

On a bleak, ice covered planet, a dark citadel consisting of tall needle like spires and orbs as black as eclipses burrowed deep into the icy landscape. Here is Black Diamond's domain. A scout looked up to the dark, cloudy sky to see a triangular ship carrying an oval shaped one in a tractor beam. She raised her hand to signal the other guards to ready the defense cannons. They did so and in each spire a large cannon aimed at the ship, a core of energy ready to shoot out of each of them. The scout then typed at her personal control panel to talk to the person inside of the ship. The holograms appeared and revealed Number 8.

"Have you completed the mission?" The scout asked.

"Purple Diamond base Beta-024 has been destroyed. Carnelian and Chalcedony unfortunately were off base and I had to leave before the rest of the troops captured me. I did however find two spare quartz soldiers and a ship to offer her grace." Number 8 said calmly.

"Hm...wait there."

She stopped the transmission, pressed a couple symbols on her panel, and an audio only transmission was opened.

"Yes?" A mysterious, feminine voice answered.

"Number 8 succeeded in his mission in destroying the base, but he failed to capture Carnelian and Chalcedony. He said that they weren't on base. He's offering a cargo ship and two quartz soldiers as compensation." The scout said, "What shall we do with him."

"Let him land and pay what we agreed."

"But...my diamond he only completed half of what-"

"Pay. Him. What. We. Owe." She responded in an annoyed tone, "He has done nothing but the best for us and he shall be treated with the respect he deserves. We have a nice, mutual agreement and I will not sour it because he failed to acquire a few lower rank commanders."

"Ahm! Yes my diamond! My deepest apologies for second guessing you."

"Oh do not worry your little head. You're just thinking about my best interest, which is why you're going to keep your head despite going against me. Also, bring him to me. I have another job for him." The diamond said.

"Right away! Lava number 254 signing off!" Lava said.

The transmission ended and she reopened communications. As she did, she signaled the cannoneers to stop aiming at the ship. The hologram appeared once more, with Number 8 leaning into the camera.

"You're free to land. The money will be placed into your account. Before you leave however, Black Diamond wishes for you to speak with her."

"Understood." Number 8 said.

Number 8 lowered down towards the ice covered ground. A section of the land parted and revealed a metallic tunnel straight downwards. The two ships went down into the hole and the gateway closed behind them. Bright lights helped minorly light the overall bleak tunnel. The two ships finally landed at a small metallic platform surrounded by various ledges. On said ledges there were groups of large, black gems. Number 8 exited his ship and landed in front of two of the soldiers.

"Greetings Number 8." One of the soldiers said.

"Hello Jade 13." He said.

"We shall escort you to her grace."

"But of course. I'll go on ahead I know the way. Tell the other soldiers to be careful. Quartz are always so sprightly." He said as he walked away.

The masked gem walked through the bleak metal corridors and eventually made it to a lift. He stepped onto it, pressed his hand to the panel and it took him upwards. Eventually he made it to the top. The harsh cold metal was now replaced by a regal interior. Beautiful etchings on the white walls with well crafted furniture and artwork. Number 8 walked down a brightly lit hallway. He passed gems of all types and stances of power as he walked through towards his destination. Eventually he made it to a large stairway leading up to an even larger door. He leaped up to the door and opened up to a throne room. Large marble pillars decorated with the etchings of ancient gems lined both sides of the room. A large felt carpet led the way to a great throne, and on that throne was his client.

"Step forward." She beckoned.

Number 8 did so, stopping when he got within ten feet of the great diamond. He knelt before Black Diamond, bowing his head as he did so.

"Look upon me mercenary." She commanded.

He looked up at the beautiful diamond. Long, straight black hair dropped down to her shoulders, exposing her cold yet caring look. A long black robe with a large collar and large shoulder pads covered most of her body, save for her legs which were crossed in a casual manner. Her black boots were almost as big as Number 8. She also wore a tight black catsuit underneath her robe, which was bounded by a grey sash. Her gem was located on her upper chest. She gazed down at the masked gem with an assuring yet unnerving smile.

"You've done well enough in your last mission. But seeing as you failed to acquire the targets, I see it as you owing me another task. You'll be paid as handsomely as always mind you but you aren't in a position of saying no to this." She said.

"Fine then. What is your request?" He asked.

She reached underneath her robe and produced a small metal ball. She reached her hand outwards and let it roll off of her fingers. The mercenary caught the ball, and the ball produced an image of Black Pearl.

"This gem has been quite an...interesting nuisance to me for quite some time. Others are inclined to destroy her, but I would like her back. Find her, and bring her here."

Number 8 stared at the image of Black Pearl without saying a word. Black Diamond raised an eyebrow at his reaction.

"Is there a problem...Number 8?" She asked.

He shook his head and squeezed the ball, crushing it in his hand.

"No, consider it done." He said and made his leave.

"You should've kept that. I doubt you've memorized her yet."

"No, I know her." He answered.

With that, he left the throne room. Black Diamond slumped back in her chair and pressed her fingertips together.

"Hm...interesting." She thought to herself.