• Published 3rd Jul 2016
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My Little Universe: Season 4 - EquestrianKirin

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The Deep Six

"Now let's see ... Saturn ... Jupiter ... Mars ..."

"Come on, this is taking forever!"

"Where are we going?"

"You asked that question ten times! Ugh, why are we stuck with this new one, again?"

"Let's not be too hasty - she's brand new. We're heading to Earth, honey. Sounds like a lovely planet.~"

"You say that about EVERY planet we go to! The last five planets, and it's always -"

"Stop yelling back there! I think we're getting close to Earth; the scanners are getting stronger."

"How wonderful."

"About time!"

~~~~~~

"SWING!"

With a hit from the bat, the baseball went flying off in the air, as Applejack galloped across the bases, just reaching second base by a short stretch. With some setup, and explaining of the rules, the Gems and Ponies were giving the base ball game a try: Gems vs. Ponies naturally. On one team was Ponyville's Mane Six, and the other team was Beach City's Crystal Gems. The team for the Gems consisted of Steven, Lapis, Amethyst, Pearl, Sapphire, and Ruby. At the point, the Mane Six were the batters, while the Crystal Gems were the pitchers. Emerald was the "empire" at the home base, not in hand and all.

"Okay, that's three rounds; switch sides!" Spike said, who was keeping score for each round past. So they did, with Amethyst being the first up to bat, and ready to swing. Pinkie Pie, at the pitcher's mound, readied up her swing as Amethyst blew a bubble from her chewing gum. Pinkie Pie gave her a good pitch, fast as lightning. For Amethyst it wasn't much trouble; one pop of her bubblegum, and the swing knocked the ball good and high! Everypony tried to catch it, but by the time Rainbow Dash caught it, Amethyst was already at home base, hitting every other base with a quick roll around the diamond. Impressive, sure, but a bit annoying to the opposing team. Amethyst didn't seem to mind though, and moved smugly off to the bench. Next up to bat was Ruby, her baseball cap curved backwards. Ruby was all confidence, mainly because Sapphire was watching, and Ruby wanted to impress (like she needed anymore impressions towards Sapphire anyway). Pinkie Pie got the ball in her tail, rallied it up, and swung the ball lightning fast. Ruby, firm grip on the bat, gave a mighty swing which sent the ball flying. Now, what'd normally happen here was the ball flying off outta the field, Ruby getting a home run unless Rainbow or Twilight was fast enough on the fly to catch it and get Ruby out. Here's the thing though; the ball itself launched off in the air, but it hit ... Something. And zoomed back to the ground. It didn't fall in any natural way, looking like it was hit about half way up, and falling to earth at fast speed. Those watching the baseball manage to just catch it, as Ruby made her runaround up to home base. She was ecstatic about her home run, but the object the baseball had hit started to come into view, halting the focus on the game for many of the other Gems and Ponies. It took a little bit longer before Ruby actually noticed anything wrong.

The object, for one, had just appeared seconds before the ball hit it. This thing was floating above the ground, looking at its surrounding apparently. Its body was pure red, shaped like a carrot almost, with a yellow eye with a hexagon iris. It didn't seem to have any known method for flying around - the only visible part on its body was a few very stubby legs. It did have a small yet visible dent in its side from the baseball so that would explain it revealing itself to them. Ruby, realizing she had the bat right next to her, threw the bat over her shoulder and pretended it wasn't there at all. They all moved away slowly, wondering what it was going to do to them. Strangely though, after observation that lasted just a minute, it landed down on the ground, balancing the body on its stubby legs. It didn't attack them, nor had much of a Method to attack all things considered.

"What the hay is that?" Asked Rainbow.

"Search me," replied AJ. A short bit after fully landing, the "eye", turned out to be a hatch. This thing was a type of ship, possibly an alien one, and the occupants inside were about to come out. Many of the Gems and Ponies moved out of sight first.

The first one was a shock for them; peering out of the ship was another being - a small Gem! This was a Gem ship, and the occupants were Gems themselves. The first one to exit was a brightly colored Ruby (of all things), though her colors were lighter and brighter than CG Ruby. Another thing was that her Gemstone, like Diopside, was replacing her right eye! She didn't say much of a word, as she jumped out of the ship and onto the earth, looking around with a rough and serious expression. All that came out was a sighed groan, as she looked around the area.

The second occupant was, actually, another Ruby. Her skin hue appeared more orange in color, and her gemstone was on her left shoulder. Her outfit seemed to be the general Homeworld design; with red shorts, and a top with a deep triangular collar, with black trims that meet to form a yellow diamond sign. She also had a unibrow, unlike the first Ruby. When she got out, she saw a flower, tore it from the ground, and gave it a strong kick, saying "Hiya!", as sheshe did so. Guess she was the more violent one.

The third occupant, another Ruby as it turned out, soon came out of the ship. Her gemstone was in the umbilical region of her stomach. As for appearance, her outfit consisted a backless, red shawl-like top on her torso that opened around her solar plexus, and had a yellow diamond on the collar. While the first Ruby was a light red, and the other a orange red, she had a odd shade of blue to her, giving more of a cherry complexion.

"What a lovely planet," she praised, and she humbly skipped along around, humming a sweet tune to herself. For any Ruby, her behavior was pretty odd to say the least, and seemed more fitting to an aristocratic Gem like Sapphire or Lapis, rather than any soldiering Ruby.

After her was, yet, another Ruby. Her outfit, like the aggressive Ruby, was the regular Homeworld uniform, with her gemstone on her left thigh. Her complexion was, compared to the others, was the darkest, being more of a burgundy color really. Once more, she seemed a bit reluctant to just leave the safety of the ship, poking her head out to look around.

"Wait. Do we just walk around or - OOF!"

A quick push from the last Ruby got her tumbling out. The last Ruby looked more "important" than the others; her outfit consisting of suspenders, and a orange visor over her eyes to signify her captain status. As far as colors went, the leading Ruby was a perfect match to CG Ruby. It was hard to say exactly why they were here, or why they took the ship rather than the Warp Pad, but these five Rubies had arrived to Earth for some big reason they weren't sure of. Not often would a fleet just arrive unannounced to one's doorstep without any reason. The captain, Doc, began looking around.

"Now, where's the Gem the scanners locked onto?" Doc wondered, scoping the area in question. She looked to her team sometime later, counting out to be sure they were all there.

"One, two, three, four, -"

"Hello!"

The sudden voice caught many of the Rubies off guard. Army Ruby got ready to fight the second she heard the voice, fists at the ready. Navy Ruby and Leggy Ruby though just seemed a bit surprised more or less. As for who said anything, Pinkie had come out of hiding to greet the rubies, hoof out in front, and a smile across her face.

"A Equestrian Pony?" Doc noted, stepping down on the ground.

"UGH, again?! This is the wrong planet!" Army groaned, hand to forehead.

"What planet? Earth? You're on Earth if you like Earth," Pinkie said.

"Oh, we are? Eh, never mind then," Army replied, as some of the others moved out of hiding. Eyeball Ruby was the first to catch the others coming out, and got Doc's attention on the matter, only pointing to them. They seemed a bit indifferent at first, but when the Rubies saw Sapphire and Lapis, both members of Blue Diamond's court mind you, their behavior seemed more cooperative.

"Who're you guys?" Rainbow asked.

"Ruby; captain of this fleet," Doc said. Some of the other Rubies looked at the other Ponies with intrigue, some of them not even familiar with the species. As Leggy Ruby checked out Pinkie Pie (following her eyes), Navy went over to see Rarity, quickly noticing the diamond cutie mark on her flank.

"Such a Devine pony. Though, did you meet Blue Diamond to earn your symbol?" Navy asked, impressed with the high-ranking mark.

"I did, darling, but not to earn my cutie mark. I got my cutie mark when I was just a filly - long before I even knew about Homeworld, or Blue Diamond," Rarity explained. Navy smiled in understanding, with her hands behind her back.

"So what're you doing here?" Pinkie asked, who was upside down at the point to mimic Leggy. Leggy was doing the same thing.

"Yeah, what are we doing here?" Leggy asked as well.

"That doesn't concern you," Doc stated, adjusting her visors.

"Well ... What are you not doing here?" Rainbow Dash asked.

"Oh. Well, we're not doing a Earth mission given directly by Yellow Diamond, of course."

Well, that was easy.

Doc realized her mistake when she saw Rainbow smirked, and just groaned in defeat. So much for keeping that quiet. Navy, feeling sensible and subtle about the subject, decided to go over to the group of Gems and Ponies. They basically blabbered what they were doing, she might as well try to get some information.

"Excuse me, but, is this apart, or near the Tunguska Gem facility?"

"The Ting-ga-what?" Applejack asked, tilting her head. None of the ponies had ever heard of the place before.

"Really, Ruby?!" Army snapped.

"You're in Delmarva. You just have to move to the east, and you'll find the inland sea. You should locate it from there," Sapphire answered. Doc snapped her finger upon hearing the revelation, smiling.

"Alright then. Come on Rubies, to the inland sea!" Doc announced, going right towards the ship again. Army and Navy started to head off to the ship, going inside, but Leggy and Eyeball waited a moment, Leggy unsure what to do, and Eyeball suspicious over the group of Gems and Ponies. Considering something dented their ship before landing, she had her doubts over leaving who could possibly be responsible for that. Ruby tried to look innocent, but Eyeball seemed to feel a bit strained.

Instead of saying anything, she just turned away. Sapphire was more focused on seeing Leggy, and how she seemed just scared, and new to everything. Sapphire took a quick second to think over on these five, as Eyeball started to drag Leggy away back to the ship. Eventually though, Sapphire began to reach her own decision.

"Ruby?" Sapphire asked, poking CG Ruby's shoulder. Ruby turned to her beloved.

.......

"OOF!"

Suddenly, after a small talk and explanation from Sapphire's side, Ruby herself ended up heading inside the ship with the other Rubies. It was an odd tumble inside, but Ruby sat up straight when she got inside. It didn't take very long before the other Rubies noticed her ...

"Wait a second," Doc said suspiciously "There seems to be ... more of us than usual."

"There's supposed to be five of us," Navy said.

"Five, Rubies!" added Army. Ruby still wasn't sure about this little plan, but Sapphire seemed happy for it, and she knew who to trust. Doc took a moment to think and started counting them down ...

"One, two, three, four, five ... tch, nevermind," Doc concluded, not counting herself amongst the Rubies. Ruby gave a sigh of relief.

Outside, the others watched as the ship started to lift off the ground, and begin to fly away rather quickly. Sapphire nodded a bit, smiling as they left.

She knew they'll be back ...

~~~~~~

As they were flying, the Rubies inside were waiting the moment they land at the site in question. Doc kept the controls of the ship on the right path, as the other Rubies, including the Crystal Gem Ruby, were basically waiting inside. The ship the Rubies were using was about as large as a van, so space was limited. Navy relaxed in her seat, thinking about the facility almost dreamily, Army was impatiently drumming her fingers on her knees, Eyeball remained firm yet bored in her seat, and Leggy just stared off into space, kicking her legs in her seat like a little kid would. Ruby just seemed like the odd one out, and tried to keep from giving herself away. Luckily for her, none of the other Rubies seemed to suspect anything wrong with her tagging along, and Ruby herself wondered exactly how long she was going to have to keep this secret tucked away for? All she could do was stay calm, relax, and wait until this task was done with. The only one having some suspicions over Ruby was Eyeball, who kept her one eye on her throughout the whole flight. Doc looked to her scanners, and as they continued on, they suddenly began to sense a ton of activity.

"Okay, Rubies! We've arrived at our destination," Doc announced.

"About time! For star's sake, let's get to it already!" Army said, almost ripping off the opening hatch, and just about to rush out. However, Eyeball quickly grabbed her by the leg before Army could jump off. Good thing too; when Army had a better look, she was simply staring off to the endless sea. Put it simply, they were in the middle of the ocean ...

"WHERE'S THE FACILITY?!" Army screamed, her voice echoing over the calm sea, as Eyeball pulled her back into the ship before they could fall in the water. Doc looked to Army and Eyeball, who were on the floor in front of Ruby, slightly dazed.

"Sit back down! We're about to descend," Doc ordered, as she closed the hatch, and started to work the ship's controls.

"Oh, this is so exciting," Navy said, as the ship started to go down. All the Rubies waited a bit more, the light starting to dim as they started to dive down in the sea. The amount of pressure the water was making didn't seem to bother the ship very much.

"Is it night time already?" Leggy questioned, as Navy giggled softly. Ruby was beginning to see the team dynamic between the five other Rubies, or how each one treated eachother, anyway. After going down deep enough, it became so dark, they couldn't see very much of anything. Doc quickly fixed that, and a few small lights lit up from the floor, just enough so they could see eachother, and the border of the ship. Doc began to look off to the scanners, as a picture of the land underwater showed her where she was, with a sort of radar green light. At first, Doc just saw the sand and rock of the sea bottom, but something else started to show up on the radars further ahead. Guided by the scanners and radars, Doc started to guide the ship along its way, getting closer to the spot in question. Soon, Doc stopped the ship after a bit. She opened up the viewing glass in front of the ship, and looked off outside along with the other Rubies.

Just outside, they could see the bottom of the inland sea, sandy bottom with a few large rocks scattered around the place here and there. Since they were so deep, it was pretty dark down below, like it really had turned nighttime. The sea had a deep dark blue color, just enough brightness to see some silhouettes of stuff further off. While they saw rocks, the Rubies also saw something much further away, a bit bigger and smoother than the simple rocks. Doc began moving the ship pass the rocks, and closer to the spot up ahead. After some quick clicks of the control pad, Doc activated the ship's outside light to see what was coming up. Turned out, the spot was not a rock at all, or just some sandy hill at the bottom of the sea. The dome belonged to the pre-mentioned Tunguska Gem Facility, and by the looks of it, it seemed to be either split apart from the main base, or the very top of it. Either way, Doc began to move the ship forward a bit, trying to find a way inside. However, the outside was covered in deep sea moss and weeds, and it looked deeply in disrepair for thousands of years since any Gem had been here. Each one of the Rubies, including CG Ruby, tried to find a route inside. Leggy and Navy practically had their faces on the front glass trying to see, but there didn't seem to be one. Even if there was, it was too covered by the vegetation to be used, or even seen for that matter.

"This facility needs some maintenance. Rubies, one of you go outside, and clear that stuff off," Doc ordered. Army was quick to accept the task, giving a soldier salute to do so. Army was the type of Gem to do any tough task right away, and this didn't seem like any exception to that. Ruby was a bit worried that they'll open up the top hatch and flood the ship, but Eyeball and Ruby were at the hatch, ready to shut it. Soon, Army swung open the hatch of the ship. As expected, water gushed in fast, and Army hauled herself outside the ship. With their combined strength, Eyeball and Ruby slammed the hatch shut behind her so no more water could get in. In the few seconds the hatch was open, a pool of water was left on the floor, Leggy hopping into Navy's arms in surprise. Doc rolled her eyes, and programed the ship to drain out the access water inside.

Army, being a Ruby, was heavier than the water, so she didn't need to swim. What was troubling though was how much debris was actually on the thing. With determination to her task, Army began grabbing, tearing, and moving aside the plants at one part of the area. These plants were rooted in, so, it wasn't as easy as it sounded. As she continued removing the plants, Army then began to see something come into view; a hand scanner. Army had seen these before, as with many other Gems, so she decided to give it a try, placing her hand on it to see if it still works. As if by a stroke of good luck, it did work; the main opening starting to slide open from the side. The inside was already full of water, and ominous due to the darkness inside. Army gave the ship the thumbs up (unable to talk clearly underwater), and Doc began to bring the ship in, with Army moving inside herself.

The inside of the dome, seeable by the ship's outside light, was about as ancient as it was outside. The interior was mostly blocked off thanks to the plants growing, as the light showed many of the windows covered by roots. Not that it mattered anyway for not much light coming in anyhow. Once the door closed, the only light was the light on the ship. After a little bit more, there was a strange draining noise from outside. The light from the ship showed the water beginning to be drained out of the dome, completely empty after about twenty long second. It wasn't until then did the Rubies venture out into the air. The air inside the place was both moist, yet stuffy all at the same time. Upon exiting the ship, the light still looming, they could make out a set of stairs leading down from the dome, so the spot was intended to go underground anyway.

"Good work, Ruby," Doc said to Army. All the Rubies went over to the stairs, the pathway itself heading down in a spiral from what they could make out with the stairs. Light was very limited, so they couldn't really see past about twenty steps down.

"Are we really going down there?" Leggy asked, a bit nervous, and hiding behind Ruby.

"There's no other entrance down. Ruby, lead ahead," Doc ordered. Ruby waited for one of the other Rubies to go, but turned out, Doc referred to her and not the others of the fleet.

"Yes, mam," Ruby said, moving towards the stairs. Ruby felt slightly reluctant to venture forward, but she gathered her nerves, and started down. Her fear wasn't for just going off down all on its own, but more of just trying to act the part of being under Doc's command, or risk getting caught. Leggy stayed right behind Ruby, not wanting to be too far front, or too far back, as the rest followed behind, with the order being Navy, Army, Doc, and Eyeball at the very back of the line. Why Doc picked Ruby to lead was really up to debate, since Doc had the visors to help her see, and the stronger ones were behind her rather than taking point. Any normal leader would either put the stronger ones around the weaker Gems, or at least have Doc be at the front for being the leader. The Rubies kept heading off down the circling stairs, each one keeping an eye out just in case for something to happen. What felt like forever only lasted five minutes until the group had made it all the way down the stairs, reaching down to a lighter room.

"Alright, fan out and search the area," Doc suddenly ordered just soon after they entered. The Rubies agreed, and they started to look around. The room they entered was, for a lack of a better word, huge. It was about four floors high, metal plates for the floorboards themselves underfoot. There were doors, twice their height, scattered around on the number of floors, so, they had some exploration to do here. The entrance they took got them on the second floor, which itself was pretty big, big enough to have Greg's van parked on it fairly easily. The room itself looked about as big as an air hangar, and twice as tall altogether. Army, Eyeball, and Doc went to the bottom floors of the room, as Navy, Leggy, and Ruby stuck around on the upper floors, almost immediately heading up a floor to look around. At least Ruby was with Navy and Leggy - two Rubies who seemed nice enough anyway.

"So ... What're we looking for, exactly? Another Gem?" Ruby asked. Navy gave a soft chuckle, a hand waving to her and Leggy.

"Oh, Ruby, you're so forgetful," Navy joked. Leggy seemed curious over it too, so, Ruby didn't know if Navy was talking to her or Leggy.

"What're we looking for?" Ruby repeated, this time joined by Leggy in unison. Navy sighed, and decided to give the recap.

"Just some activity being sensed here by our Diamond's valiant scanners, and she sent us to see what it is all about," Navy explained. Ruby and Leggy looked to eachother curiously, as Navy went over to one of the doors. The doors themselves were sliding doors, and the one Navy was getting open was heavier than thought. Navy just managed to get the door open enough to see what was inside, followed by Ruby and Leggy. However, the other room was just another hallway by the looks of things, other doors evident down a ways. The trio began to head in, Ruby glancing down to Doc, Army, and Eyeball first. Eyeball was the only one who saw Ruby before she followed Navy and Leggy into the hall. The hall itself wasn't anything special; just a hall going in about ten feet before getting to a door further down - sliding door to be exact. Navy took the lead here, gleefully skipping along without much of a care unlike the other two following. Once Navy glanced into the other room, she stopped herself all of a sudden, Ruby and Leggy walking into her, as she suddenly made a dramatic gasp, hands covering her mouth.

"What's wrong?!" Ruby asked, as Navy rushed in. Leggy and Ruby, a bit worried on what they stumbled on, peered into the room after Navy. The room itself looked like a two floored library, not too far off from what one would find in Twilight's library in Ponyville, if not a little more futuristic. Navy's eyes though were locked at a drawer within the library, which was slightly left open. As for what was inside that Navy caught in her sights, she got both hands in, and pulled out something from it. What it was, actually, was a left out, rather pretty sea necklace made up of colorful seashells, corals, and other things from the ocean, all of it let off a sort of shine as if polished up. How'd it get there was a bit confusing, but Navy's eyes twinkled on seeing it.

"It's so beautiful!!" Navy beamed. Ruby's worry immediately left her, seeing this way to familiar to a particular white unicorn she knew. Anyway, Ruby and Leggy ventured inside to look around. Ruby began to look around for some sort of "activity" as Navy said, but nothing really seemed to come up. The library was simply all books, shelves, and stuffy air with dust gathered up. She would go and look at some of the books if they weren't Russian. Strange to find the necklace though.

"Nothing in here," Ruby finally said, looking down to Leggy and Navy down from the second floor. Leggy was curiously looking around the books on the shelves, as Navy showed off the necklace around her own neck. They both heard Ruby, and the three started to head on out.

"What do you think, newbie? Doesn't it just shine?" Navy asked gleefully, her finger moving around the necklace. Leggy looked at her necklace with some intrigue.

"It is shiny, Ruby," Leggy said, liking it herself. Ruby was starting to like these two.

~~~~~~

Meanwhile, Doc, Army, and Eyeball were busy looking into another room down on the first floor. After opening up the sliding doors with ease, thanks to Army, the trio ended up inside another part of the Facility. The three had managed to find what seemed to be the control room of the Facility to keep track of things, although it didn't seem to be functional due to lack of care, and abandonment from the thousands of years. It looked mainly like a security camera room, multiple screens that'd normally show the rest of the Facility if working properly. Most of them were either static, glitched out, or not on at all. Doc took the lead inside the place, and almost immediately tried to get some of the cameras to work. However, they were so out of date, they wouldn't function right. Either that, or Doc just was too advanced to know how the ancient technology worked. Either way, the cameras won't show much of anything.

"Come on, you clod, work," Doc grumbled, trying her best at it. Eyeball kept her eyes on the screens, trying to see if any of them would show anything. As she was glancing around, Eyeball then noticed something just out of the usual line of sight; a opening in the metal control stand. Eyeball moved over, and peered her good eye inside. After moving the metal plate uoward, the wires could be seen, which looked tampered with, which was odd. Eyeball looked to the other Rubies, and got Army's attention to come over to see.

"What's with you?" Army asked.

Eyeball lifted the plate up, moving it over to Army to hold for her. Army didn't know what Eyeball was going to do, but she held the plate anyway, as Eyeball got to her own work. Army got bored fairly quickly, the plate lighter than air for her, as she heard Doc trying in vain to get the controls to work. Suddenly, Eyeball got the problem down, and she quickly got to fixing it. Sometime later, the screens started to suddenly become clearer. Some were still a bit blurry, but at least they were able to be seen easier.

"Yes! I knew I'd get it," Doc boasted. Eyeball just sighed, and allowed her to boast a bit as the three went on to look at the screens. The screens, as expected, showed the angles of different halls and rooms of the place. In one of these, the three saw Ruby, Navy, and Leggy heading down one of the hallways. They could just make out the same necklace Navy was showing off to the other two, not unfamiliar to a model showing off her jewelry to those watching her. Leggy stopped herself eventually, when she noticed the camera, staring into it like a curious child.

"Come on, Ruby, stay together," Ruby said.

"Okay," Leggy called, and hurried to rejoin the other two. Doc continued looking through the cameras a bit, yet not seeing much of anything.

"Nothing out of the ordinary," Doc commented.

"You can't be serious," groaned Army. However, Eyeball then noticed something about the cameras. Out of all the cameras, only one still remained off. There were other camera screens turned off, sure, but they turned on after the fix. They still were very weak in power, but still on none the less. This one in particular still was off though, screen black, and they couldn't see what was going on with it ...

"RUBY!"

Eyeball jumped up, and snapped back to reality. Turning around embarrassed, she saw Army and Doc moving on from the control room. Flustered, Eyeball just joined up with them, and moved on. Eyeball took one more glance at the cameras before they went off...

Just as they left, nothing seemed too out of the ordinary with the cameras at first, but about ten seconds after the Rubies had left, the cameras started to glitch again. This made all the cameras turn static again ...

And that one camera to work properly ...

~~~~~~

Navy, Ruby, and Leggy continued on for a bit until they reached another part of the Facility. There wasn't any doors to get into this room, so entrance into this part was pretty easy. This time, Ruby went in first, with Navy and Leggy coming in behind her. This room was wide open, fairly big, and resembled Blue Diamond's observatory in shape and structure. Unlike Blue Diamond's observatory, which was one hologram of the Homeworld planet, this one was more "Earth-like", with the constellations named and labeled around the walls and rounded ceiling. The names were different though, and written in Gem rather than in English, or any real Earth language.

"Well, looks like we found the star maps to this place," Ruby commented, as she, Navy, and Leggy, all began to look around at the constellations, and for any sort of clue. However, Leggy was more baffled by the shiny stars of the star maps than for any evidence anything was in here aside from the Rubies. Like a kid marveling at candy in a candy store, Leggy wandered around, looking up and around the star maps at the many constellation.

"Oh my, these surely are out-dated. Nicely kept though," Navy commented, as she looked around.

"It kinda does. Odd, isn't it?" Ruby replied. Even if Ruby had never been here, she would know if a place was truly abandoned for thousands of years, yet this place seemed well maintained for some odd reason. Leggy didn't even bother to notice that kind of detail, instead just enjoying the shiny stars of the star maps. As Leggy kept looking to the constellations, one in particular stood out. Looking to what seemed to be the Ursa minor and Ursa major in the constellations, one of the stars amongst the Ursa Major head began to move! Leggy kept her gaze directly on it, not saying a word, and not moving much, as the supposed star fluttered down to her. Turned out, the star wasn't a star at all, but instead a tiny, yet bright bug. A lightning bug. Leggy had never seen a lightning bug before, and the small insect flickered like a worn out light, as a lightning bug would normally do. The bug itself wasn't your typical lightning bug; the color of its exoskeleton a brighter yellow rather than similar colors to a normal one. Normally, Leggy would panic, and run for something (or someone for that matter) to hide behind. However, this light had a surprisingly soothing effect on her, like a bug to a lightbulb (go figure).

"Ruby, did you find anything?" Ruby called back. However, Leggy didn't respond. Leggy's finger gently touched the bug, only making the light shine a tiny more. Leggy took a step back, but didn't run away.

"Newbie, did you find anything?" Navy repeated. It was at this point, Leggy tried to catch the little bug, only to have the insect fly out of reach. Leggy gave chase, jumping multiple times to try to catch the bug. Ruby and Navy turned around, just to see Leggy chase the bug outside of the room. Navy and Ruby glanced to each other, before the two raced off after Leggy. Leggy kept trying to grab the insect, but to no avail, as the lightning bug zoomed about in the air. Leggy paid no mind to Navy, Ruby, and their attempts to keep together. The chase went down the halls, around a corner or two, until the insect ended up at a dead end. However, the bug found a way out, and slipped through a small crack in the wall itself. Like a cat, Leggy pounced forward, and got both hands covering the slit in the wall, only then Ruby and Navy catching up to Leggy.

"Ruby, where're you going?" Ruby asked.

"I found a cute thingy in here, I got it trapped inside -"

Suddenly, out of nowhere, and before they realized anything, the slit in the wall began to grow quickly! The slit turned into a rounded tunnel, widening and growing taller until Leggy began to slip, and slide in! Navy and Ruby tried to grab her, and Ruby just got her by the back leg, but the momentum ended up pulling them both down, and loosing balance! Navy gave a loud yelp just as the three Gems ended up tumbling inside, and the tunnel itself ended up closing back into the small slit shape beforehand.

And not a moment too soon.

"Ruby?! Ruby!"

Sure enough, Doc, Army, and Eyeball had just heard the yell, but were too late to save them. And with the slit back to normal, they didn't see really on where they went.

"I could've sworn I heard them," Doc noted.

"Well, they're not here - don't rile me up like that!" Army snapped.

"Watch it you, may I remind you who's in charge here," retorted Doc.

"But there's nothing here!" yelled Army. As Doc and Army bickered, Eyeball decided to investigate the only little clue they got; the slit in the wall. Eyeball moved over, as close as she could, and looked intently through it - main thing she could do. It was dark on the otherside, and the tunnel was still there, but oddly it began to turned back into a solid wall fast, and soon the tunnel was completely gone, and the slit in the wall covered. Eyeball gave a rough sigh, and turned to the others, giving a one-note whistle to get their attention.

"What now?" Army growled. Eyeball made a fist, and placed it on the wall. Her other hand pointed to it, giving the indication of what she wanted done. Before Doc could say her own thoughts, Army began moving over to the wall. Army looked over to Eyeball, who nodded to her, and gave her room to work. To finish the point, Eyeball punched the palm of her own hand twice to give the overall command. Soon as Army figured it out, a smug grin shown on her face, giving a salute.

"Oh yeah, you got it," Army said smugly, cracking her fists. As mentioned, she was quick to accept her tasks, and this one task she really needed, and really wanted. Rallying up her fists, she began to get to work; using her fists like sledgehammers, and punching into the wall. Army felt very good, and kept the fast punches coming, making their own tunnel to follow the previous one. A small bit of debris did go back to Doc and Eyeball, but, Eyeball made sure to cover her Gem eye to avoid anything hitting it. Doc and Eyeball nodded to eachother, and followed their own Army-made tunnel after the other Rubies.

~~~~~~

As for Navy, Ruby, and Leggy, the three ended up going down a sort of slide-like tunnel, the surface of the tunnel very smooth, and unable to get a grip on it. The trio didn't know where they were going, or how long the ride was going to be. After some stumbles, slides, and vain attempts to stop or even slow down, the end of the tunnel opened up to another room. Leggy landed first, with Ruby and Navy both landing on top of her. No one was hurt, and no Gem was cracked in the fall.

"Woo!" Leggy said, first time having a good thrill in the slide, and without getting deeply hurt no less. Navy and Ruby got off of her, Navy wiping off some dust on her arms, as Leggy jumped to her feet. It was here that the group began to look around where they ended up. The room itself didn't seem to be apart of the actual facility in question, but instead an illuminated underground cave, brightened up by bioluminescence. As for that little bug, it was nowhere to be seen, which bummed Leggy out a little bit.

"Where are we?" Ruby wondered allowed.

"Are we still at Tunguska?" added Leggy. Navy tried to think up where they were, but before they could get their answer, suddenly the three heard something breaking behind them. The tunnel on their end hadn't gone away yet, and soon three more Rubies; Doc, Army, and Eyeball, tumbled down inside. Eyeball landed on her feet, yet Army and Doc stumbled down inside.

"There you are! What happened?" Doc asked urgently, jumping to her feet. Army readied for a fight, but there was nothing to fight against, as Eyeball just rested her back on the cavern wall.

"One of us found ... Some cute thingy, or something? Then this tunnel opened up and now we're here," Ruby explained, feeling less worried after spending sometime with them.

"Cute? Ruby, you dunce, keep your mind on your work!" Army snapped, going right up to Leggy, making Leggy back up. Being falsely driven is one thing, but going on a wild goose chase was another.

"I am; I found something cute in here," Leggy insisted.

"Oh really? Then where is it?!" Army demanded. Leggy looked around for a bit, but she couldn't see the thing anywhere. Leggy could've swore she saw it come through that tunnel in the back, but with it now gone, she was on thin ice. And Army was more than willing to smash it. Army lost patience.

"You little pebble -"

"Wait!"

Everyone suddenly turned to Ruby, who couldn't stand to see Leggy get hurt from just a mistake. Army looked ready to beat the daylights out of Leggy, and Ruby wasn't going to let that happen to her. However, now that she got their attention all on her, Ruby tried to remain calm and get her words together correctly. One screw up now and they'll be all over her (or at least Doc, anyway). Ruby cleared her throat.

"Let's just get out of here first," Ruby finally got out heading to the same tunnel. Army just gave a rough groan to Leggy. Before they went off, Army made sure to give a "I'm Watching you" gesture with her fingers towards Leggy, which made Leggy herself gulp. After that, then they went off. Leggy stayed close to Ruby, away from Army to avoid getting hurt. Eyeball took one more glance inside the cavern before following the others back ...

~~~~~~

"OPEN UP!"

Sometime later, the six Rubies had found another door to venture into amongst the facility. However, this door was a bit hard to open, and it took the combined effort of Army and Eyeball - strongest of the Rubies - to get the door to finally open up. The door creaked and groaned for a bit, like a rusty iron gate, until the two Gems got it fully open. This room was on the very top floor here, and this room seemed ... well, scientific-based. Ruby and Leggy began to feel a bit troubled on seeing this place, as everyone else looked around a bit. The room looked like an experimental institution room, with some left over desks, testing tables scattered around, large test tubes, and other things that were once used by the Gems thousands of years ago. Not exactly the most high-tech items used, and perhaps even influenced by human tech (or perhaps the other way around), but it was still here, and still untouched until now. Doc went over to one of the desks to see what they got to offer. Perhaps they got some clue about the activity going on in this place? Doc opened up the desk drawer, just finding some paperback documents, which didn't seem to help her out very much. All the papers were written in Gem, so, Doc could read it pretty easily, especially with her visors on.

"Wait a second," Doc said to herself, reading over the reports. As she was, Navy calmly leaned over Doc's shoulder, hands behind her back, looking over the papers.

"What'chu got there?" Navy asked.

"Do you mind stepping back?" Doc said dryly. Navy, still smiling softly with her lady-like expression, did as she was told and stepped back so Doc could have her space. Doc skimmed through some of the pages, trying to see what the place has going for it, and what used to go on. Meanwhile, Army and Eyeball were looking over some of the old, huge tubes amongst the room. They were large enough for a Gem to stand inside, and a few of them seemed to be broken in a number of places. The openings in the tubes were big enough for one of them to fit through, so, Eyeball hopped inside one of them to see the damage a bit better. Army then turned to Leggy and Ruby, who still hung out by the door.

"Her, Rubies, come here!" Army ordered. Ruby and Leggy moved over to them, as Eyeball jumped out of the tube. Army then grabbed Ruby, lifting her off the ground, and placing her feet first in the tube, Ruby standing stiff inside, not sure what Army was going to do, or what she was trying to see. Eyeball did a sort of camera gesture with her hands; index fingers and thumbs touching eachother to mimic a TV screen. Both Gems were trying to get an idea on what could break out of this thing. Army grabbed Leggy, and stacked her on top of Ruby, Leggy standing perfectly on Ruby's head like she was a platform. Eyeball and Army looked at them both until Doc and Navy noticed.

"And what're you two doing?" Quizzed Doc.

"Trying to see what got out of this thing," Army answered. Navy gave a quiet giggle, making Army slightly fuming. Doc rolled her eyes, as Ruby and Leggy started to get out. It was then they noticed Doc's papers, which Doc was looking over for the last five minutes with Navy.

"What's that paper?" Leggy asked, hopping off of Ruby's head. Doc then presented the papers to the other Rubies.

"Our lead; Fulgurites and Peridots both used to operate this Facility, according to this," Doc explained, slapping the paper she was holding. Eyeball was given the paper, and she looked it over with Ruby next to her. Eyeball glanced to Ruby with a suspicious eye, as she kept looking to the paper.

"So what?"

"So, that means that whatever is in here is either a Gem experiment, or perhaps a corrupted Peridot or Fulgurite," Doc concluded. Leggy rested on Eyeball's shoulder, looking at the paper curiously. Eyeball, suddenly, jumped back, and readied to fight, only to find Leggy standing there, spooked. Ruby quickly pulled Leggy aside before Eyeball could hit her. Leggy had made the mistake of resting on Eyeball's blind side, so Eyeball didn't realize what was touching her at first.

"Ruby dear, try not to sneak in on her blind side. She gets a little jumpy," Navy warned, whispering at the end of it so Eyeball wouldn't hear them both.

"Good to know," Ruby said, as Leggy nodded, lucky to not get a black eye from Eyeball's punches. As for Eyeball, she calmed down after the attempted punch, and sighed as she gave the paper to Army. Looking to Leggy, Eyeball almost looked ... well, guilty ...

"So, there's some Gem Beast wandering this place?" Army summed up.

"That looks about it. Let's keep looking, we should find it somewhere in the facility sooner or later," Doc answered, folding up the paper, and placing it back in the drawer where she found it. The six Rubies moved on out of the room, and back in the hall leading to the main room where they started. Once they got to the main room (they were at the second floor at this point).

"Alright. Arm Ruby, take the two Newbies down the hall there. I'll take the other two with me for a bit. Meet back here when you find something," Doc ordered. Army gave her salute again to her, and Army started moving off with Ruby, and Leggy. Navy, Eyeball, and Doc went off in another direction. The only main switch that happened was Navy and Army switching groups, but, Ruby wasn't sure what Army was going to do to them both (considering she stacked her and Leggy up back at the experimental room). Ruby and Leggy looked to eachother, scared a little, until ...

"You two, let's go!" Army bellowed, already at the door.

Ruby and Leggy quickly caught up with Army.

~~~~~~

After some looking down the next hall, and heading to another room, Army kept herself in front of the pack, as Ruby and Leggy kept themselves behind. The room they ended up was still at the bottom floor, or maybe in the basement even by what room they got themselves into; a storage room. The crates were different sizes, and also differently written; some Gem writing, other Russian writing (possibly stolen Crates from the humans) The storage room hadn't been touched in a long time, with many sorts of Gem crates and large boxes around like a cargo hanger or something of the sort. Army crossed her arms, looking around for a little bit, before she pointed to the other two.

"Fan out; go in there and investigate," Army ordered, pompously. Leggy and Ruby both walked off from Army, as she stood waiting at the door. No one said she really had to go in with them, she was told to take the two with her. Leggy didn't want to get in trouble with her, and Ruby started to see how scared she was.

"Come on now, it'll be alright. Just stay with me," Ruby decided. Out of all the Rubies, Leggy was the most innocent of one, and Ruby herself should at least let her not go in alone.

"Really? Thank you," Leggy said, smiling and hugging her arm. Ruby smiled, and found the moment sweet a little bit. Ruby and Leggy continued on, with Army watching, tapping her foot and crossing her arms, waiting for a report from them. Ruby and Leggy kept going around the large crates and boxes of the Gem Facility, the two unsure exactly where the next thing will pop up. Leggy and Ruby kept going for a bit longer, unable to find anything in particular ...

"HEY! Did you find anything or what?!" Army demanded, making them both jump. Ruby peeked out from behind another box.

"No!"

"Well HURRY UP!" Army yelled impatiently. Ruby was just about to go off again when ...

*grrrrrrr*

"W-What was that?" Leggy asked, holding onto Ruby's arm. Ruby tried to see what was around, almost instinctively getting out her boxing glove Gem weapon. The growls seemed to come from everywhere, and Army quickly rushed over to them, only to see Ruby with her Gem weapon.

"what the - when'd you get that?" Army said, pointing to the Gem weapon. Ruby froze, and looked to the Gem weapon in her hand. She quickly hid it behind her back worryingly. Before it could go any further ...

*GRRRRRRRR*

The growls were getting closer and closer, and the three Rubies standing around began to get nervous a little bit. Well, Ruby and Leggy were - Army stayed firm, and readied for battle with whatever was actually around.

"ALRIGHT, BEAST! SHOW YOURSELF, I'M READY!" Army yelled confidently. It seemed she would rather fight than run away, whatever the risk. As for whatever was in the place, it seemed to be getting closer to them. Leggy started to back away a little bit, and soon they started to hear something begin to move around. One step at a time, there was the sound of hoof steps with iron shoes, like those of a horse, slowly moving forward towards them from the dark. Without any thought, Army made a battle cry, and blindly ran into the dark. Leggy and Ruby stayed put (which turned out to be the smart move). Army kept doing cries, and what sounded like punches, but then they both heard a huge hit being made, and Army was sent flying!

"Ruby!" They both gasped. The growls continued again, and the two then saw two pairs of glowing eyes in the darkness. After seeing Army fly off like that, the two weren't sure if sticking around will be good for their health. Soon as Leggy started running, Ruby tried to join her as they heard hooves scraping the ground behind them, and loud snarling. Army got herself out of some crates, and lunged for the beast, whatever it was, but she got hit hard again. This time, Army flew right into Ruby and Leggy, sending all three flying out of the room, and back into the hall. By the time the three got back up, whatever was in there slammed the door, and rushed over them in a giant blur of red, rushing off down the hall and out of sight.

"After it, rubies!" Army demanded, scrambling over the other two to chase it. Ruby and Leggy got up soon afterwards, and Ruby decided to follow, Leggy keeping close to her.

When they caught up with it, the thing had gotten into the main room again. And it was then did they get a good look at it. Seven feet tall, and nine feet long. Skin as red as raw meat. It had the entire appearance of a horse and rider. The rider without any legs, and attached to the horse's back! The human part turned to see them, eyes reptilian in appearance, and a long thin hand poked the horse's head so both side could see them. They both shared the same eyes, each set looking back to the Rubies, and it began to clamber back towards them, a mix of human growl and horse whinny escaping both mouths. The three can even see what appeared to be Gemstones on both heads. Not one, but two! This was no ordinary Gem monster.

This was a corrupted Gem fusion gone horribly wrong!

"Oh my stars," ruby managed to get out. Leggy quickly backed up, hiding behind Ruby, as Army charged at it again. All the Gem monster did was grab Army, and threw her far aside, smashing her into a wall on the tallest floor. Then it targeted Ruby and Leggy. Its long, bony arms reached over them, its face having a strong look of savagery. The horse head whinnied good and loud, as the hand targeted Leggy in particular. As Ruby watched, then her mind began to reply what happened just before she left ...

(earlier)

"What? Why should I go?" Ruby gasped.

"Ruby, please. It's best for her that you go," Sapphire said, referring to Leggy as she was put inside the ship.

"But, they're -"

"Ruby. It's time for you to go."

.......

If Ruby remembered ... She saw this. Sapphire kissed her forehead after that, and she saw this. The Gem fusion monster, towering over Leggy. That was playing out here!

"RUBY!"

In one quick move, Ruby rushed in, and shoved Leggy aside, just as the Gem beast grabbed her! Leggy tumbled a bit, and looked back to see Ruby. The beast had her in its grasp, and it wasn't going to let go of her! At this point, the noise had gotten the rest of the Rubies, and they quickly saw the beast as they rushed in.

"Ruby!" Navy gasped, helping Leggy up. Eyeball and Doc got to Army, but by this point, Ruby was dangling on the beast's hand, over its open mouth! Ruby got one idea, but it was a long shot...

She began to get angry.

And then the beast swallowed her up!

"RUBY!" They all gasped. Eyeball though didn't gasp. She knew what Ruby was going to do, and it won't be long for this beast at all. At first nothing seemed to happen, but eventually they began to hear something sizzling ...

Suddenly, the beast began to screech in pain, fire beginning to bellow from its mouths! This kept up for twenty long seconds, until it could take it no longer, and finally poofed. After the smoke cleared, all that remained was a steaming Ruby, and two gemstones beside her. Doc went over and grabbed the two gemstones off the ground, as Leggy rushed over to Ruby.

"Thank you thank you thank you!" Leggy beamed.

"What a Devine job," Navy complimented.

"Very efficient, Ruby," added Doc. This was when Army had enough.

"Hold it! I saw her with a Gem weapon - we don't have any Gem weapons yet! How'd she get one without us getting one?!" Army accused. Ruby began to tense up, as every other Ruby took it in consideration.

"You know. I don't even remember her being with us for the longest time, now that I think of it."

"What?! No no, I-I just been quiet," Ruby said nervously. Army didn't seem to bye it, and Eyeball's casual shake of the head didn't help either.

"What're you getting at, Ruby?" Navy asked.

"Oh, I'll tell you. She's -"

"A Crystal Gem," Eyeball suddenly said. First time Ruby ever heard her talk at all. As for Army ...

"NOOO! YOU TOOK MY THUNDER!" Army screamed. Ruby could only think of the worst now, but Eyeball walked right up to her.

"Y-You knew?"

"Since you stepped on our ship."

"You didn't inform me!" Doc yelled.

"She saved one of our own, and finished our task. Now we can go home, and so can she," Eyeball said. The other Rubies realized she was right about that, and while Army wanted to knock Ruby's gem to high heavens, she knew Eyeball was right. Ruby could finally give a sigh of relief, no longer having to act anything out.

"Well, Rubies, looks like we're done here. Just going to drop off Ruby, and we'll be on our way with the news," Doc decided.

"You kidding me?!" Army snapped.

"Ruby, remember that she did save Homeworld," Navy reminded. Army still seemed upset, but was subdued anyway.

"Let's go, Rubies!" Doc said, starting to go with the rest of the group. Ruby herself took a bit, but both Leggy and Eyeball got her going, Leggy smiling wide. On the bright side, Ruby was good with the others as they left the Gem facility ...

.......

".... Getting closer ...."

Author's Note:

:pinkiehappy: I had a lot of fun with this one ^^

Meet the Ruby Gang!

Yeah, I'm calling these five by their credit name, because that's the only main way by name to tell these Gems apart. Seriously, with the CG Ruby in the group, it'll be very confusing. And before you ask me about the Tunguska thing, I didn't make that name up (sort of). Check this out, you'll see what I mean.