It only took a moment.

Steven watched as the Crystal Gems, cut in half with expressions of horror on their faces, poofed. Their gems dropped to the grass. The unfamiliar gem stood there in a pose, the odd scythe still raised.

"THAT'S ENOUGH!" The shield came easily and Steven soon stood, battle-ready. Anger burned through his veins. He had been so, so ready for all of this to be over. He was so sick of battles and fighting and problems and losing innocence. He thought it was over!

The gem giggled, slinging the scythe over her shoulder. For some reason, the giggle sounded warped to Steven- like that wasn't who this gem was supposed to be. Like something had twisted until it finally broke in her. "Aw, what's the matter Steven? Miss your friends already? Well, don't worry…"

She jumped into the air with a vicious grin.

"YOU'RE RIGHT BEHIND THEM!"

The scythe slashed. His shield broke and Steven felt the funny jolt that usually came with messing with a destabilizer. Glancing down and patting himself over, he saw pink disappearing into his veins. He couldn't help but let out a chuckle. "That was nothing!"

For some reason, she chuckled, looking rather pleased with herself. "Oh? Then I guess you won't mind if I do it again!"

The scythe came too fast for him to dodge. Over and over and over again, the scythe slashed as she laughed maniacally. Finally, Steven managed to grab the handle, the pink lingering. The motion brought him face to face with her.

"Cut it out!"

She raised a brow, still smirking. "You don't poof, do you? Figured as much." Then she moved so they were eye to eye. "But just wait! Your human half won't stand a chance against my injector! Not after what I just did to your gem."

He grunted, trying to stay in place. "What are you talking about?"

"You weren't always a powerful hero, were you?"

Then she pressed some sort of button, releasing the scythe. Steven fell on his butt with a grunt, still holding onto the weapon. He watched as the blade disappeared into the handle. "Anyway," she said, stretching. "It'll be funny to watch you try. See ya around, Baby Pink!"

Steven watched with wide eyes as her arms looped around to create springs. Then she fell onto them. The springs launched her onto the ship and out of sight. He let out a grunt as the pink finally finished disappearing. Now that he was alone, he lifted his shirt up. That line about his gem worried him.

A small light in his gem was flickering.

"Oh no…" That couldn't be good.

Steven glanced back at the injector. The gem was out of sight still. Then he sighed, gathering the gems and grabbing the weapon handle.

Then he started his way down the hill.


He called Bismuth, Lapis, and Peridot about the injector. Then Steven set the gems on the table, then sat down to wait. It had felt like hours had passed before Greg hurried in. "I heard what happened! Did you beat her?"

"No."

"Who?"

"Don't know. I think she was a Pink Court. She hit all of the gems with this weapon…" Steven pulled out the handle and pressed the button. Greg let out a yelp at the scythe. He pressed the button again and tucked the handle back into his pocket. "Then she hit me. I tried summoning my shield earlier. It didn't work- none of my powers are working! I have no idea what's going on."

His dad chuckled. "Now you know how I feel. But where is she?"

"She jumped onto the injector outside. I called Bismuth, Lapis, and Peridot to keep an eye out."

"Well, don't worry." Greg picked up Pearl's gem. "Wait a little and then the gems will be back, good as new!" There was a glow as Pearl's gem lifted up. "See, here she comes! Good old Pearl-" The two blinked when a blue seashell form appeared around the gem. "That's new."

"Please identify yourself." a voice said. It sounded like Pearl, but robotic.

"Um…Greg Universe?"

"Welcome, Um Greg Universe. Please state customization options."

"What should I say?" Greg whispered. Steven shrugged. "I don't know-"

"Setting your Pearl to default mode. Please hold."

Then the shell opened and Pearl stepped out. "Pearl!" The sixteen-year-old cried, running up to her. She didn't look at him. Instead, she walked past him up to Greg. Then she opened her mouth.

And then Steven couldn't help but think:

Oh no.