"Noooo! This can't be happening! This has to be a dream!" I cried in dismay and distraught. I ran over to my friend and threw my arms around his waist, "Lars! Lars! Please tell me I'm dreaming!"
"Get off me, man. I'm stocking here." Lars told me, walking off and leaving me to face-plant the ground.
Oh, I'm sorry. I should introduce myself. My name is Steven Quartz Universe. I'm 13 years old and... Well... I'm not really your average human boy. I'm half-Gem, my mother is a magical alien being named Rose Quartz. But I never got to know her.
Lars is one of my friends in my hometown of Beach City. He's quite tall and skinny. With ginger hair styled in some kind of poofy mohawk, fairly tanned skin and dark brown eyes.
"I'm sorry, Steven. I guess they stopped making them." Lars' colleague, Sadie, apologized and explained.
Sadie is actually nicer than Lars. Unlike him, her build is more short and stout. Nearly the same height as me. Sadie has shoulder-length curly blonde hair, pale skin and deep blue eyes.
I sat straight up again, "Stopped making them? Why in the world would they stop making cookie cats? They are only the most scrumptious and delicious ice-cream sandwich ever made! Don't they have laws for this?"
Lars sighed, continuing to stock the shelves, "Tough bits, man. Nobody buys them anymore. I guess they couldn't compete with Lion Lickers."
Wait. Did he say 'Lion Lickers'? I groaned in slight annoyance. You can't be serious, "Not Lion Lickers! Nobody likes them! They don't even look like lions! Kids these days. I'll tell you what!"
"Well, if you miss your wimpy ice cream so much, why don't you make some with your 'magic belly button'?" Lars joked with a laugh.
"That's not how it works, Lars!" I argued. Concerned, I lifted my redish-pink shirt to look at the large, round pink gemstone embedded in my naval, "...Right?"
I squeezed my stomach for a second, but nothing happened. I sighed and walked over to the Cookie Cat freezer, "Oh, sweet cookie cats, with your crunchy cookie outside..." I drew the symbol on the glass of the door, "Your icy creamy insides, you were too good for this world."
I kissed the symbol and hugged the freezer. Sadie spoke up, "Uh, Steven? Do you want to take the freezer with you?"
I looked at her and nodded.
*A Little Bit Later...*
With Sadie's help, I was able to get the Cookie Cat freezer strapped to my back and made my way home, which was a bungalow built over the Gem Temple.
Gems are a magical alien race that are personifications of our own gemstones; garnets, spinels pearls and even quartzes. They take humanoid forms with different colored skin, elven ears, color-coded attire, fangs and gemstones embedded in their bodies.
I entered through the front door and I spoke up, "Hey, guys! You won't believe this!"
Before I could continue, some centipede monster attacked me. I tried to pry it off me, until it was tied and pulled back by a black and purple whip.
I looked behind it and saw the whip belonged to Amethyst. "'Sup, Steven?" She greeted, then threw the monster across the living room.
Amethyst is a purple Gem. A Quartz, like my mother, but she's about the same height as me. Maybe about an inch or two taller than me. And her gem placement is in the center of her chest.
Her skin is a shade of purple. Her long, wavy hair reaches past her ankles and bangs cover her left eye. It's a very pale lavender color.
She wears a darker purple tank top with the right strap hanging over her shoulder. Under her tank top, Amethyst wears a pair of black overalls with purple stars at the knees and white boots.
I looked around and saw Pearl and Ellie fighting off more of the monsters at the Warp Pad with their spear and scythe.
Pearl is a tall and skinny Gem. Her stature gives her a crane or swan feel. Her gem placement is her forehead.
Pearl's skin is white, or a very pale cream. Her short pointed hair is a pastel orange and she wears a lace-y short dress over a pastel blue tube top and pastel pink shorts. Pastel blue socks and pastel green shoes.
Ellie is a Spinel Gem, but she goes by 'Ellie' to make her feel more human and forget her old life. Like Amethyst, Ellie's gem placement in in her chest, but its in the shape of an up-side down heart.
He skin is a light pink color with magenta eyes and dark magenta hair tied in pigtails. She wears a white shirt under a black, sleeveless hoodie. Dark magenta pants and matching boots. And dark pink, finger-less gloves with black trimmings.
Pearl knocked a monster over toward Garnet. Garnet broke its back and threw toward another. She continued fighting more of the monsters near the kitchen, using brute force and her gauntlets.
Garnet is the tallest Gem out of my guardians. She has a slim torso and a thick lower body. Calm and mysterious as she is beautiful. She's unique because she has two gems. One in each palm of her hands.
Her skin is a brick red color. Black square-shaped afro. You can't see her eyes because she wears a pair of shades that hide her eyes.
She wears a black and red body suit with a star on her chest, dark red sleeves and black gloves under her gauntlets.
One of the monsters leaped on top of Garnet's head. She calmly grabbed it, ripped it in half and it poofed like a cloud, so the monsters must be involved with Gems.
It turns out the entire house was infested with the monsters. I put the freezer on the couch next to me.
I gasped with an excited smile, "Awesome! What are these things?"
Another monster crawled past me. Pearl picked one of the monsters, "Ugh! Sorry, Steven. We'll get these centipeetles out of your room." Then she turned to me, "We think they were trying to get into the Temple."
"You don't have to get rid of them. They are really cool!" I encouraged.
However, the monster, centipeetle, spat acid at me. I stepped back and the acid hit the floor, melting a hole through the floorboards. Ellie sliced her scythe through its head and it poofed.
Amethyst threw another centipeetle into a wall and the monster poofed. "Um, you guys? These things don't have gems." She alerted.
"That means there must be a mother somewhere nearby." Garnet summarized.
Another monster tried to surprise-attack her, but Garnet punch-poofed it without flinching.
"We should probably find it before anyone gets hurt." Pearl suggested.
I got excited and asked, "Ooh! Ooh! Can I come? Can I? Can I?"
Pearl looked at me and grabbed the centipeetle's head, "Steven, until you learn to control the powers in your gem, we'll take care of protecting humanity..." She snapped its neck and dropped it, "Okay?"
I sulked and sighed, "Aw, man." Then I heard the refrigerator door open and noticed a centipeetle was going through it, "Hey! Get out of there!"
I chased it off, "Go on! Shoo! Shoo!" Once it was gone, I looked at the mess it made, "Aw! They got into everything!" I looked at the bug and shouted, "Not cool!"
Garnet punched it toward the temple's door.
I looked into the freezer and saw familiar pink wrappers with a smiling cat on them. Wait a minute! Are these... They are!
Stars appeared in my eyes, "No way! I-It can't be! What-" I grabbed one from the freezer, "Where did you get these?! I thought they stopped making them!"
Pearl closed the door and smiled with a shrug, "Well, we heard that, too, and since they are your favorite-"
"We went out and stole a bunch." Amethyst finished.
Pearl glared and corrected, "I went back and paid for them."
"The whole thing was my idea." Ellie smiled, as Garnet made her gauntlets disappear into her gems.
"It was everyone's idea." Amethyst interjected.
"Not really." Garnet answered.
Pearl folded her arms and sighed, "All that matters is that Steven is happy."
I was so happy, I broke into song of the Cookie Cat theme,
'Ahhhhhh! He's a frozen treat with an all-new taste,
'Cause he came to this planet from outer space.
A refugee of an interstellar war,
But now he is at your local grocery store.
Cookie cat, he's a pet for your tummy.
Cookie cat, he's superduper yummy.
Cookie cat, he left his family behind.
"Now available at Gergins off Route 109." I finished.
Garnet and Ellie clapped their hands while Amethyst and Pearl giggled.
I looked at the wrapper and smiled, "I can't believe you did this! I'm gonna save these forever!" Then I opened the wrapper, "Right after I eat this one. Hello, old friend."
I took a bite off the left ear of the ice cream sandwich. Yum. Strawberry and vanilla ice cream in a chocolate cookie wafer. So good!
Happiness and delight filled me to the brim, "So good! I like to eat the ears first."
"Uh, Steven..." Amethyst called me with wide eyes.
I looked and noticed a bright pink glow coming from my stomach, "Wha-?" I lifted my shirt and the glow got brighter. It was coming from my gem. I gasped, "My gem!"
"Quick! Try and summon your weapon!" Amethyst encouraged.
"I-I don't know how!" I replied.
The glow must be responding, because it was starting to fade.
"Aah! It's fading! How do we make it come back?!" I panicked, jogging on the spot.
"Calm down, Steven." Pearl told me calmly, "Breathe. Don't force it."
"Yeah. And try not to poop yourself, either." Amethyst added.
"Please, don't." Garnet agreed.
Unfortunately, the glow vanished. I sat down and sulked, "Aw! I was really close that time!"
"There's always next time, Steven." Ellie assured me.
I put my Cookie Cat sandwich back into its wrapper and put them back into the freezer.
I looked at my guardians, "Can one of you just explain how to summon a weapon?"
Pearl quickly raised her hand, "Oh! I'll go first!"
*A Little Later, In Front of a Cherry Blossom Tree...*
Pearl lead me out of the temple and to a cliff with a cherry blossom tree.
"Pay attention to these petals, Steven. The petal's dance seems improvised, but it is being calculated in real time, based on the physical properties of this planet. With hard work and dedication, you can master the magical properties of your Gem and perform your own dance!" Pearl told me.
She closed her eyes and summoned her spear from her Gem. Then she caught a petal with ease, "Like so."
I looked at the ground and picked up a group of the fallen petals.
*Later that Evening, Outside the Big Donut...*
I started practicing with the petals. However, I'm not having much luck. Amethyst came by from picking out donuts from the garbage.
"Did Pearl tell you the petal thing?" She asked me.
"Yeah, I need to practice really hard so I can dance like a tree..." I answered, "I think..."
"Listen, Steven. All that practice stuff is no fun." Amethyst told me. She took a bit from the donut and continued, "Whenever I need to summon my weapon, it just happens!"
She closed her eyes and reached for her gem. Her gem glowed and she summoned her whip. She used her whip and sliced the dumpster in half.
"See? Didn't try at all." Amethyst smiled.
I scratched my head in confusion. Try hard and try nothing at the same time? I don't get it.
My train of thought was broken by a loud gasp. Lars just arrived, with a bag of leftover donuts, "Again?!"
Amethyst and I quickly left the scene, before he found out how it happened.
*Later that Night, On the Beach...*
I strolled with Ellie down the beach. "I don't understand it, Ellie. Am I supposed to practice really hard, or not try at all?" I asked, "How do you summon your weapon?"
Ellie stopped in her tracks and looked at the moon, "Mine is more of an emotional state of mind. Whenever I feel the need to protect those important to me, my weapon is ready to summoned, to help me defend against anything that tries to hurt me or my friends."
She reached for her gem and did a twirl, summoning her scythe in a graceful movement.
"And that's how I summon my weapon, Steven." She smiled.
I scratched my head in confusion.
*The Next Morning...*
I joined Garnet at the lighthouse, at the top of the Temple.
"So, I'm supposed to work really hard and not try at all at the same time? Link summoning my weapon with my emotions?" I asked her.
"Yes." She answered, then her Gems glowed, "Or you can link you mind with the energy of all existing matter, channeling the collective power of the universe through your gem, which results in..." She summoned her gauntlets, "At least that's my way of doing it."
I just stared in dumbfound. Work really hard, don't try at all, work with my emotions, link my mind with the energy of the universe?!
Okay... Now my head hurts.
*Later That Day...*
"I think the best bet is to re-create what happened the last time your Gem glowed." Steven theorized, as he gathered me and the other Crystal Gems around the fridge, "So Garnet, Ellie and Amethyst were here." He strategized, as Amethyst sat on the counter, "Pearl was next to the fridge." Then thought for a moment, "Hmm, hmm." He pointed at Amethyst, "Amethyst, I think your arms were crossed?"
Amethyst nodded and folded her arms, "Okay, your majesty."
"And, Pearl, your foot was like this." Steven spoke up, moving Pearl's right foot a small angle.
"I don't think it works this way, Steven." Pearl shrugged.
But Steven didn't listen and turned to Garnet, "And, Garnet." He grabbed her face and re-positioned it, "Uh... Uh... Yeah." He opened the freezer and grabbed the Cookie Cat he took a bite of yesterday, "Then I took a bite of this Cookie Cat." Then he remembered, "Oh! Wait! I sang the song first!"
Then he started singing again, "Uh, he's a frozen treat... All new taste... Interstellar war... And now available at Gergins." He sighed, "Aw! It was funnier last time!"
Steven lifted his shirt and checked his gem, there was no glow. He lowered his shirt and sighed, "Maybe I'm not a real Crystal Gem."
Pearl knelt to Steven's level and assured with her hand over his shoulder, "Don't be silly, Steven. Of course you are."
Amethyst nodded, "And you're fun to have around, even if your gem is useless." Pearl growled and Amethyst corrected herself, "I mean... You're one of us, Steven. We're not the Crystal Gems without you."
Garnet and I quietly nodded in agreement.
Steven regained his smile, "Yeah, even if I don't have powers, I've still got... Cookie Cat!" He took another bite of the sandwich and smiled in delight, "Mmm, so good."
Within seconds, Steven's gem glowed again. It glowed brighter than yesterday, and something popped out in a flash of light. It was a small pink shield with Rose's emblem. A white rim and a vine spiraling to meet the emblem in the center. Everyone gasped.
Pearl gasped, "Steven! It's a shield!"
Steven opened his eyes and saw the shield in front of him, "Whoa, what?!" He smiled with stars in his eyes, "I get a shield?!" He jumped into the air, "Oh, YEAH!"
The shield launched into the air and ricocheted all around the room, until it hit Steven's television in his room. Pearl facepalmed in disappointment, while Amethyst laughed. I folded my arms and shook my head. Guess I have to fix it again.
Steven looked at the Cookie Cat in his hand and exclaimed, "Cookie Cats! I can summon my weapon by eating ice cream!"
"I don't think that's your secret, Steven." I spoke up.
Pearl picked up the wrapper on the floor, "What's in these things?"
Then the ground started shaking. But it wasn't an earthquake. Shadows of the centipede monsters crawled up the window. And there was a huge one following them.
"What was that?" Steven asked.
We ran outside and there was a giant centipede monster on top of the Temple. This one had a gem in its mouth. Longer green-ish white hair. And it was angry.
"It's the Mother." Garnet alerted, as she jumped into action.
Pearl looked at Steven, "Stay in the house, Steven."
Steven shook his head, "No way! I'm coming too!"
Steven ran inside and grabbed a bunch of Cookie Cat treats and the themed fridge.
Garnet delivered a flying roundhouse kick to the Centipeetle Mother's face. The Mother growled in anger and chased after Garnet onto the beach. Pearl, Amethyst and I leaped in to join the battle. The Mother turned to face us and sprayed a stream of acid towards us. Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and I jumped out of the way and took refuge behind a broken hand statue of the temple on the beach. The Mother continued spraying acid, dealing considerable damage to the hand statue as it began to melt.
"We could really use Steven's shield right about now!" Amethyst told us.
I slithered myself under the Mother, expanded my hand and delivered a powerful uppercut to the Mother's lower jaw, making her stop spraying acid and recoil back. I summoned my scythe, ready to fight back. The more I looked at the Mother, the more familiar it looked. I gasped and lowered my stance a little, "It can't be..."
Just then, I noticed Steven approaching from behind and threw a rock at the Mother's head, "Hey!" The creature turned to face him, as he slammed the Cookie Cat freezer into the sand, "Leave them alone!"
"Steven! No!" Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and I shouted.
"Cookie cat crystal-combo powers, ACTIVATE!" Steven shouted, as he grabbed a treat from the fridge, unwrapped it and stuffed it into his mouth. Steven lifted his shirt, but his gem wasn't glowing and there was no shield. The Mother aimed to attack Steven. I slithered past the Mother, grabbed Steven's hand and ran from her.
Steven dragged the freezer behind him and opened the freezer to grab two more of the treats and unwrapped them.
"Goodbye, my friends." He whispered.
"Steven..." I tried to speak, but he stuffed the two treats into his mouth.
Steven swallowed the treats, and his stomach growled. Still no gem glow or shield.
"Why isn't it working?!" Steven exclaimed.
The Mother spat acid at me and Steven. I grabbed my best friend's hand and jumped out of the way.
"Steven! Spinel!" I heard Garnet call, but she got caught by the Mother's tail-pincers.
The Mother turned her attention back to the Gems. Steven picked himself up and looked at the Cookie Cat fridge. It was melted half-way through. No more Cookie Cats.
"Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no!" Steven cried, running toward what was left of his gift from Big Donut.
He reached to touch the machine. It sparked and shut down. Steven sulked and started sobbing.
"Cookie cat, he's a pet for your tummy..." I started singing, as anger started burning in my heart, "Cookie cat, he's super duper yummy..." I picked up a the wire connecting to the fridge, "Cookie cat! He left his family behind!" I charged toward the Mother, "Cookie c-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-t!"
I threw the fridge toward the Mother. Direct hit and shocked the beast.
"Now available nowhere..." Steven finished, falling to his knees in sadness.
"Yes!" Amethyst shouted in cheer.
"Gems. Weapons." Garnet instructed. She, Amethyst and Pearl burst out of their hiding place, weapons summoned, "Let's do it."
Garnet, Pearl and Amethyst charged toward the Mother and defeated it. The Mother poofed with only a green sphere remaining. Garnet bubbled the Gem and teleported it back to the Temple.
Steven buried the last wrapper of the Cookie Cats, "Farewell, sweet Cookie Cats." He put a leaf over the small grave, "I'll always remember the time we spent together."
Steven's stomach growled. He put his left arm over his stomach and put his finger over his mouth, "Shh. Hush now."
"Are you crying?" Amethyst asked him, joining us.
"Only a little!" Steven shouted
She sat beside Steven, "Well, I guess your powers don't come from ice cream."
"Of course they don't come from ice cream!" Pearl nodded in a 'I-Told-You-So' tone.
I glared at Pearl for a second, then sat beside my best friend, "Don't worry, Steven." I put my hand over his shoulder, "I'm sure someday you'll figure out how to activate your gem."
"Yes." Garnet nodded towering over us, "In your own Steven-y way."
Steven regained his smile, "I'm okay guys. I just-" His stomach growled again, and this time, Steven doubled over, "Ugh, I think I ate too many Cookie Cats."
Pearl, Amethyst and I laughed, until Steven doubled over again and threw up over his Cookie Cat grave.