• Published 24th Dec 2018
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My Little Universe: Season 8 - EquestrianKirin



New Alicorn leader, New Diamond entorage, same old adventures.

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Diamond Days

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY'RE BACK?!"

That was the first exclamation that Bray and Budgerite had been given the second they got their message back to Grogar. Bray covered his head with his hooves, anticipating an attack from the angry ram. Grogar sure looked angry enough looking to them in their cowardice.

"B-But they are, we saw them and everything! And worse, the diamonds are on their side now, even WHITE DIAMOND HERSELF," said Budgerite.

"Yeah, yeah, and even some Gem mutants too," added Bray, "They even got a giant caterpillar. GIANT! CATERPILLAR!"

"Eh, that's just a Gem fusion," Budgerite corrected.

"I don't care, caterpillars of THAT SIZE are not to be trusted," Bray retorted.

"QUIET!" shouted Grogar, clamming both of them up fast. He didn't need to hear a debate over a giant caterpillar of all things.

"Did anyone of that group suspect anything yet?" Grogar questioned, walking towards them.

"Uh … nooo?"

Grogar growled a bit, but he didn't waste his energy clobbering the two for it. All that came out was a rough huff, but even that made them both flinch. Grogar had to sit there and think some more, trying to figure out what to do next.

"Idiots. Did they see you two at least?"

"Nope, don't remember getting killed today," said Budgerite. Only a Gem would make that report and make sense out of it. Grogar went passed them both.

"Good enough. … Prepare to follow me in."

"W-What?! Now? But we barely got the alien patrols together, and the salvaged Gems are still working things out, they'll know something's up if we just waltz in!" retorted Budgerite in a panic. Grogar then gave them a sinister grin.

"Not if we distract them."

~~~~~~

Day two of the festival. The start may have been a bit bumpy for them, but it seemed that the festivities were starting to better work themselves out, and in the throne room some bit of preparations were still being made to some degree. In this case, as Blue, Steven, and Yellow were keeping to their thrones. It seemed normal sure, though a few details: Blue Pearl wasn't by her Diamond's side; Lion was on Blue Diamond's lap; Steven and Connie were all smiles as they were right by eachother (Pink Pearl and CG Pearl standing right by them); and Yellow Pearl was actually in a pose.

"Are you finished yet, Blue Pearl?" Yellow Diamond asked, trying not to move too much.

"Almost complete, your clarity," Blue Pearl said, as she was continuing what they could simply say was her own masterpiece. An artist's work can't be rushed otherwise it wouldn't look all that impressive. As she continued, there was still some small talk.

"You know, It's good to see her express herself. Looks like she's really enjoying this," said Steven to Connie.

"Yeah. I know I didn't see her as much, but this is the happiest I've seen her," quietly agreed Connie. And it was evident as they saw Blue Pearl's soft smile the whole time she was drawing. Pink Pearl watched their interaction, but kept quiet as she kept her position for the portrait. Eventually, after a few more minutes of keeping still, Blue Pearl looked up to the Diamonds.

"It's finished."

"Really? Can we see?" asked Blue Diamond. Lion perked up once that was done, yawning and getting up, hopping off of Blue Diamond's lap.

"Yes, my diamond," Blue Pearl said, as Blue Diamond reached and was received the projection screen. Blue Diamond expanded the screen big enough so they all could see, Yellow and White going over to her as Steven hopped up with Connie (Pink Pearl aiding them both so Steven won't fly off again). For it being Blue Pearl's early stages of being an artist, it was actually looking pretty nice.

"Well, look at that. It's uh … adequate?" White Diamond said, trying to pick the right word. It was nice, but still simplified given what Blue Pearl could work with.

"I-Is something wrong?" Blue Pearl asked, worried a little. White Diamond realized that it was bothering Blue Pearl, and tried to recollect herself, clearing her throat as her face was slightly pink again.

"No! No, no no, I-I only meant it's a … simple piece. On it's own it's impressive with what you had to work with," White corrected, trying not to hurt her feelings anymore than she had before. The other Diamonds knew what she was trying to do.

"It's okay to have an opinion on something, White Diamond," Steven reminded "Just make sure it's not mean that's all."

"Oh! … Well. Ok," White simply said. Blue Diamond then spoke to her Pearl, who was keeping her gaze down.

"Pearl? … Do you mind if I keep this? I know you want to present this for the "art contest" coming up for the festival, but I'd like to make sure it's remembered."

"You … think it's good enough to be salvaged, my Diamond?" Blue Pearl asked, surprised. Blue Diamond smiled.

"I think it looks simply lovely," Blue Diamond said, her gentle hand reaching out and gently giving Blue Pearl a rub on the head with her finger. At first Blue Pearl was quiet, but she did gasp a little, hands on her cheeks and she smiled as a fluster formed on her face.

"S-So cute," Steven thought … and admittedly, this thought was shared amongst the others when they saw Blue Pearl. Blue Diamond gave the screen back to Blue Pearl, down-sizing it so it was more to Blue Pearl's size.

"Here. Once the art contest is complete, you can return it to me," Blue Diamond said. Blue Pearl was sure happy, closing the screen and keeping it with her. Blue Pearl was just about to go off and back to prepare for the upcoming contest when -

*knock**knock**knock*

"Whhhyyyy?"

"Who's there?" asked White Diamond.

Well, this was ill prepared, but might as well get out there. All of those in the throne room looked on to the front door as someone began to reluctantly move on in. He was keeping his gaze down, not wanting to look up just yet, and making sure not to look too suspicious as he brought in a small bag. Unfortunately …

"You again?!" White gasped.

"Eh … hehe," muttered Stubby.

Yes. Stubby. The same coyote creature that chatted with each one of those Diamonds before, and the same one that almost left with Steven on his birthday. They'd ask White Diamond, but that wasn't the point of interest here.

"Y-Yeah, hi everyone. Havin a good day?" Stubby asked. Steven was starting to think a little though.

"... Wait a minute. Do I know you from somewhere?" Steven asked, trying to think. The question wasn't supposed to be suspicious or malicious, but Stubby was too scared to consider it friendly. Especially with who he targeted in the first place.

"... NO. B-But they do - hi diamonds, good to see ya!" Stubby said, quickly changing subjects before Steven could suspect anything,. Unfortunately for him, Connie recognized him straight away, and was already by Steven.

"Does he look Familiar, or is it just me?" Steven quietly asked, as Stubby had the guts to go up to the four other Diamonds.

"Steven, be careful with him," Connie said, "He's the one that tried to kidnap you when you turned into a baby."

"Wait, that was him?! I swore he looked a lot bigger … but then again, everything looks bigger when you're a baby," Steven wondered.

"What do we do? Should we say something?"

"Um … If I can suggest. I can alert the guard and get him taken in for you?" Pink Pearl asked, trying to be helpful, but that made Steven nervous.

"No, no, let's see what he wants first. I don't want to jump to conclusions," Steven decided. Steven would give him another chance, but he was ready to come in just in case something would happen. Pink Pearl could simply listen and do what she was told, even if she couldn't do much for him.

"What're you doing back here?" Yellow Diamond asked. Stubby tried to keep himself together and NOT completely panic.

"Eh, n-nothing malicious if that's what you're thinking. Eh, just thought I'd stop by aaaand give you a little somethin," Stubby said, getting to the point as he held up the bag. He honestly just wanted this over and done before things could be suspected.

"So you expect us to just ignore the fact you've infiltrated the diamond palace without any consent, Not to mention tried to manipulate me and Blue against eachother, because you just brought something to us?"

"O-Oh that, water under the bridge!" Stubby insisted, trying to laugh it off. … No one else was laughing except for him. "...….. so will you take it?"

"How did you even get in here? We would've been given some indication," Blue Diamond asked. Stubby scrambled for an answer.

"O-Oh that, my old friends the ponies invited me here for your big festival, and this is one of those "spur-of-the-moment" ideas," explained Stubby. For a brief moment he was feeling a bit confident.

"But we've never met you before," stated Steven. Well so much for that. Stubby froze on that response, but quickly tried recovering.

"Oh, uh, well you and I never met before kiddo, but your ponies -"

"Yes we have, you tried kidnapping Steven before," said Connie. Stubby was shot down again. Steven wasn't sure how to feel about Stubby now, his guard a little bit up.

"You what?" Blue Diamond questioned, now suspicious herself as Pearl drew out a spear just in case. Now none of them were taking his words with a grain of salt.

"Uh, that, rumor," Stubby muttered. OK, Steven wasn't having it and went in Stubby's way.

"Stubby, wait. Is something wrong?"

"What, no no!"

"But why're you freaking out so much then? Or wait, no, why're you lying so much?" Steven questioned. Stubby went for broke, shaking off fear briefly.

"Because if I make ONE MISTAKE you'll all crush me under your foot and smear me on the floor, that's why! I don't want to be a bug …"

"True," said Yellow.

"Yellow," remarked Steven before he looked to Stubby, "Look, we won't hurt you, so you don't have to freak out ok? Just tell us what is it you want."

"You're … not mad at me for kidnapping you?" Stubby asked, actually surprised. Steven shook his head.

"Stubby, I've nearly been killed tons of times already, a simple kidnapping isn't really that much anyway. It's okay."

"What's with you people?" Stubby thought, gulping. First the other Diamonds, and now this Diamond hybrid? What next?! Either way though he was given the greenlight.

"Ok, ok, so I made mistakes! But guess what, I got a gift for you to make up for it, here see?" Stubby had to cut to the chase, and got the bag open and revealed the object in question.
The object looked fairly small, and appeared to look like some sort of odd Gem piece. It didn't look like any normal gemstone like they had on them, and once more, it didn't had any exact shape. If anything, it looked more like one of those Rubix cubes; multiple extensions of different colors put into one shape. Different sides showed different colors, and it made out different point like a chipped away, icy ball. Only Pearl found this item remotely recognizable, and Lion let out a muffled growl on sight of it.

"What's that?" Pink Diamond asked, curious a little bit and being the first to come over to check the item out.

"I know it's not too fancy, but I found it in a shop in town and thought "hey, this can be a cute gift" so uh … here you go," Stubby said meekly, holding up the object with his front paws in presentation to the Diamonds. There was some concern over the others, but Stubby's biggest concern was actually starting to walk over to him. White Diamond may have been doubting herself lately, but that didn't make her any less smart than she was before. She had him locked up away with the other aliens, so how'd he get out on his own? …

"... Uh. Wow. Thanks," White Diamond said, unsure how to take this tiny object. But her finger did eventually tap it.

That was all it took to suddenly make the thing start freaking out! The object started becoming very erratic in movement, falling off of White Diamond's hand and bouncing about rapidly and putting everyone on guard until -

*BOOM!*

…….

"M-My Diamond?"

"Steven!"

The others were just out of the way of the blast, mostly thanks to Pearl's help pushing them out of harm's way, but their biggest concerns were for their respected Diamonds (as Pearls typically do). The object itself was still there, inactive for the moment, but all of the Diamonds (the ONLY exception being Pink Diamond) looked a bit dazed from the blast, blinded briefly by the flash of light. Connie and the Pearls went out towards them, slowly starting to come over to each Diamond.

"MY Diamond! A-Are you alright, you're not damaged are you? Please tell me you're not damaged!" Yellow Pearl said, almost panic stricken as she went to Yellow Diamond. However, something just didn't suit well to her, feeling as if she didn't … well, belong with her.

"Pearl, what's wrong?"

"I … I dunno, I. Uh, w-wait," Yellow Pearl stepped away from Yellow Diamond, feeling uneasy, and she found herself starting to calm down when she began to venture over towards Blue Diamond instead.

"Much better."

"Better? But that's Blue Diamond," Pink Diamond said. The others Pearls were mainly doing the same, but they were more comfortable for seemingly the wrong Diamonds, finding a strange and uneasy feeling when at their respected Diamonds. The only one not under this trouble was Pearl herself, but something still didn't feel right either way. Lion and his instincts could already sense something wasn't right too, as Pearl went to Blue Pearl, who was by Steven.

"How is he? Is he okay?" Pearl asked.

"I think so … but … uh …….. she?"

She?

"Oh no. D-Did that blast alter your memory? They all think Steven's Pink Diamond again!" Connie said, worried.

"No! … you think so?" Pearl asked, starting to worry.

"We still remember that, thank you," retorted Yellow Pearl, "But … something doesn't feel right."

"You feel it too?" asked Pink Pearl.

"What do you mean?" Connie asked.

However, as the diamonds started to come to their senses, it slowly began to show the problem … especially when the first Diamond they saw was Steven … only with White eyes.

"W-Wha? … Did I shrink? Why's everyone - … why am I - " Steven began to go into a panic. "no no no no no, where am I?! What happened to me?!"

"Connie? Wait, why's everyone smaller?" White Diamond asked. And then she looked to her own hand and arm, as if never seeing it before in her life. But the minute she saw Steven on the ground, the realization started to settle in.

"Oh stars, NOT AGAIN!" Pearl cried.

"WHOA, what the hay?" Pink asked, dumbfounded.

Yep. Their bodies were swapped. Again. Pearl was getting a bad sense of Deja vu from all of this trouble, which now she was thinking she should've sense when Stubby brought that "gift" in.

"Ohmygosh, Steven is that you?" Connie gasped.

"Yeah, but … I'm in White Diamond's body? Oh boy, this is weird," Steven asked, not believing it at first. Sure weirder things had happened to him, but this took the cake.

"How did this happen? … Stubby WHAT DID YOU DO?!" demanded Yellow. Clear where she was, stuck in Blue Diamond's body, but Stubby was just too freaked out to actually know what was happening.

"I-I don't know Blue! Er- Yellow er, w-whoever you are!" Stubby stuttered, backing up in a panic.

"Change our physical forms back this instant!" Yellow demanded. Whether she meant to control herself or not, the blue aura was starting to shift around her, and making her look even more terrifying. Like an angry spirit or ghost coming back to haunt him. Stubby was seeing his life flash before his eyes (for the tenth time probably), but he shook it off of it and tried to follow instructions.

"I-I can't, even if I wanted to."

"But you just said you didn't know what happened, so how would you know you can't change us back," said Blue Diamond, who while in Yellow's body was actually the calmest outta all of them at the moment (someone had to be).

"Uh, right, I meant I don't know - how to fix it. …"

"... You're not good at this, huh?" Pink said.

"No."

Stubby's confidence was never good when on the spot like this. This just got him caught in Yellow Diamond's grip, bringing the mutt up to their level, Yellow looking ready to kill him. However ...

"Wait, stop, don't hurt him!"

Steven tried to reach for Stubby, but with White Diamond's body there was a bit more … well, complications. As he tried reaching for him, his hand suddenly began to grow a bit more than normal. Stubby panicked and just got out of their hands, just as a sudden blast of light energy shot right out of his hand, and blasting the nearest throne!

"DON'T HURT ME YOU SAID!" Stubby shrieked.

"My throne!" gasped White Diamond.

"Sorry, I'll get it back!" Steven said, trying to go and get the throne … just to accidentally shoot another energy blast again, this time shooting right out of the room, far enough to see Homeworld outside. White Diamond was terrified, and in a way so was Steven.

"... Oh shoot," he muttered. Someone was surely gonna notice that. It was a problem, but Stubby noticed that everyone else was distracted by the sudden blast attack. He was slowly backing away from the situation, making sure his own dog claws didn't scrape the ground. Just before he could get out though …

"Where're you going?" Blue Pearl asked. Stubby got a shiver running through him.

"Uh I uh was just gonna uh … uh … oh sod it, I'M OUT!"

Stubby couldn't figure anything else out, and Grogar was expecting him so he had no time to wait. His runaway was lightning quick, so quick that all that remained was a dustcloud.

"Hey, get back here!" Connie shouted, rushing to get him. However, the second she got to the hallway he was already long gone. The other Pearls went out to try and find him, with no sign of him anywhere. This was a rough situation to deal with, and while Steven was trying to control himself physically, and White Diamond trying to control herself emotionally, that left Blue and Yellow to give the proper order.

"Pearl, warn the guard and inform them a criminal is wandering the palace. He must not get out of these palace walls!" Yellow Diamond instructed, angrily.

"Pearl you too, and if by some chance it does reach the public or if he does reach outside, you try your best and keep them all calm. Tell everyone that it's under control," added Blue Diamond, calmer but still urgent. At first, Yellow Pearl and Blue Pearl were a bit confused, the behavior a bit backwards as much as their bodies were but orders were orders. Yellow and Blue Pearl went off to do that, leaving Pearl, Pink Pearl, and Connie behind to try and comfort White Diamond and Steven.

"My Diamond? E-Everything will be fine, I promise," Pink Pearl said to Steven.

"Oh no, no, no! H-How I - I can't go like this! Not like this!" White Diamond said, "What even was that used on us?"

That was a pretty good question, as Pearl went a retrieved the object in question. She paused and looked at it, cautious not to set it off again.

"So, we meet again."

"Again? This happened before?" White Diamond asked, afraid to use his hands in case of another strike. Pearl shuttered a little bit, but kept her composure.

"Let's just say it's wasn't the … best experience," Pearl simply said. She'd rather not go over all the details of her own body-swapping experience, but the point was she had some idea of what happened to them.

"Well, can you restart it? Maybe it can change us back before anyone else sees," insisted Steven. That was when Pearl's memory started to get fuzzy.

"Um. Well, I can try," Pearl said. But really, if her memory served her right, the object in question kinda had a mind of its own, and they didn't technically do much of anything to start it up. Looking it over though, there was something slightly off about it. The colors weren't as vibrant on this one as they were before, with not as many colors of course but the colors before didn't look as … painted. Pearl thought about it, and eventually tried to activate it somehow.

"Okay … maybe if I …"

"Pearl? I'm not sure what relationship you have with this device, but PLEASE tell me you know how this works," White Diamond said, trying to appear calm but shaking all inside.

"Well, it's been years since my last involvement, give me a moment," Pearl insisted, trying to figure out how to activate the thing without breaking it. How could she work it out? Connie and Pink Pearl tried to work it out too, looking at it up and down as the Diamonds waited on baited breath. She eventually just tried tapping it on one of the squares.

Nothing. Next she tried to "twist it".

Still nothing.

"Come now, I know you can work," Pearl said, as if it were voice-activated.

And it did try again. Only to just fizz out of commission.

"Uh oh."

"Uh oh? Why uh oh?" Steven asked. However, Pearl didn't exactly had to answer them, simply showing the slightly smoking. Blue Diamond needed a breath.

"In that case. There should be some Era 1 Peridots still on duty, bring that to them and see if they can mend it for you," Blue Diamond said.

"We'll be quick. come on Pearl, no time to lose," said Connie. Connie and Pearl went off to handle that, leaving only Pink Pearl left with the four mixed up Diamonds. White Diamond was gonna go and join them, but unfortunately Blue Diamond grabbed her.

"Blue!"

"The best we can do is remain here. It might not be good if all of Homeworld knows what happened. ..."

"Don't feel too bad. Maybe we can uh … play some games in the meantime? Get to know eachother better?" Steven shrugged. His shrug was close-handed so another blast won't shoot out.

"I don't know HOW you can just suggest that at a time like this," said Yellow, "Our physical forms had been forcefully switched, and you think we should start playing games?!"

"Well, there's nothing else we can do. Unless you wanna just sit here and be miserable the entire time," Steven said. However, he made a little mistake in moving his open hand in a direction, him seeing something charge up in his palm. This time though he was quick to react and covered it up before yet another blast could be fired. Yellow Diamond sighed.

"… Fine. The first thing we can do is make sure you don't blow up the whole palace in the meantime. No offense."

"No, no, I'm with you," Steven admitted, hands up again … and then glowing again. Blue Diamond quickly closed his hands before anything could happen. White Diamond gave a sigh of relief.

"Steven. I'm sorry, but perhaps you shouldn't use your hands until we figure out how this works."

"Sorry …"

"Pink?" Said Yellow to Pink Diamond, "As you're the only one not effected, you're gonna have to judge the upcoming contest for us. Can you do that?"

Pink Diamond immediately took the chance and went off to do just that. This was gonna be a tough time. The Diamonds began to go off, but Steven paused to look at his own closed hands for a moment, thinking a bit.

"Oh boy. I don't even got my own powers down, how am I supposed to figure this out?" Steven thought. Well, the only thing he can hope for is that the others can get that thing fixed soon so he can at least get back to his own body, and his own mind. …

What if you can't?

"Are you coming, Steven?" Blue Diamond asked, snapping Steven out of his thoughts.

"Yeah, coming," Steven replied, going off to join the other Diamonds now with one other question in his mind.

Who said that?

Well that wasn't really an important question right now. This left Pink Pearl with Lion, whom was getting a bad sense of Deja Vu from this whole thing. Lion knew what was going on, and perhaps even remembered who it belonged to. Too bad he couldn't talk, otherwise this would be over already. Pink Pearl wasn't really told to go, but eventually she was just about to go off when another noise from not too far away caught the Gem's attention. Even more so as a few figures slipped out into the open from their hiding place. Pink Pearl kept hidden just behind her Diamond's throne, observing what was going on.

"Alright, that should keep em busy for a while," said Grogar, coming out with Bray soon as the coast was clear.

"So THAT'S what that body-puzzler thingy do," Bray snickered. "Too bad Budgerite ain't here to see it, eh?"

"Yeah yeah, I know" Grogar scoffed, "Now where'd you say that statue was?"

"It's uh ……. wait, which one?" Bray asked. Grogar clocked Bray in the head, the hit making his eyes shake about like googly eyes. Suddenly Bray seemingly remembered.

"Remember now?"

"Yeah yeah yeah, that curvy Blue has it near her bath. But uh … you sure we even need it? That statue didn't move … at all," Bray asked. Grogar glared down at him, which silenced Bray. He didn't want to hear anymore questioning, not now at least. And Bray didn't want his head completely clocked off.

"I've said we're getting all of them out and with me. And I mean all of them. Got it?"

"Y-Yes king Grogar."

Grogar just needed to take a few steps before the Donkey spoke again.

"... Eh, how long are they gonna be flip-flopped like this?" Bray asked, trying not to sound insulting to Grogar. Grogar rolled his eyes.

"Why should you care?"

"I-I mean, how long we got in our mission here!" Bray corrected. Grogar huffed.

"Three hours at most, K? Three. Hours.. That's plenty time to get our statue and go, got it you donk?" Grogar made sure Bray remembered this time by holding his ear to his muzzle the whole time so no words were missed. Bray nodded quickly so Grogar could let go of his now sore ear.

"Good boy. Now get a move on before they get smart," Grogar instructed. Since Bray knew the place a bit better, Grogar allowed him to lead on as the ram followed behind. As they went to the door he paused and took one final look back to be sure no one was there. But nope, not a thing from what he could see. He took a few sniffs of the air, like a wolf would looking for prey. …

"... Yeah, they're all gone," he concluded. So with that said, he went off on his way.

"I-It … it was … him," Pink Pearl muttered. Horrified.

She and Lion had to check something.

~~~~~~

"... Can somebody tell me again why we're doing this?"

"Come now, Yellow, Steven wanted us to try this. There's no harm in trying something new."

"I know, but … THIS?"

"And I summon the whimpering Boiled Egg," White Diamond announced.

If anyone were to even predict this end result for the day, Yellow Diamond would've never believed it no matter the evidence. It was such a odd idea: the Diamonds sitting down and playing the Crying Breakfast Friends trading card game, but since they were a bit stuck in the palace with everyone else running around they got nothing else to do. It took some modifications of course - their hands were WAY too big for such tiny cards to hold - but they managed to make it work with some projection screens. White Diamond was the only exception who simply had the basic cards.

"So, this is one of the Human games?" White Diamond wondered, a bit confused (who wouldn't be?) about this seemingly friendly fun game about crying food.

"Yep," said Steven, "They're quite a hit back home. Maybe after this I can show you guys the TV show."

"TV show? Steven?"

"Yeah, sure, and it's one of my favorites too! A compelling adventure of all breakfast friends against the Angry Lunch Enemies and the lords of food for the perfect meal time for one and all. I just wish their hiatuses weren't so long everytime they have new episodes."

"What are you talking about?" Yellow Diamond asked, not believing her ears. The card game was weird enough as it is. Steven realized what she meant, a small blush coming up.

"Oh, sorry, forgot you're not familiar with TV," Steven said.

"It's alright, Steven. Now, is it my turn?" Blue Diamond asked. Steven nodded, and Blue Diamond took a look through some of the projections of the cards, working it out more like an online version of the game (which there indeed is one, so it wasn't too foreign for Steven).

"I'll use the ……. The blueberry overlord," Blue Diamond decided, getting the card activated. Take a wild guess what reference that could be? Steven gasped.

"Whoa, you had that one? Now all of our emotion advantages won't work anymore," said Steven, both exposition to explain and just the thrill talking. That was a rare card, after all.

"Is that a good thing?"

"For you it is. K, my turn," Steven said, looking through the cards he had on hand. He knew the activations, tips and tricks of each card, and he started to work out what the next move should be. If only it were that simple …

"Alright, I'm gonna summon the -"

Wrong move.

Steven paused on those two words briefly, moving his hand back. He glanced each way and that before he tried to think again.

"Wait wait. Uh … Oh, I know, how about -"

What if you don't know?

Steven stopped again, now second-guessing himself. What was he supposed to do?

"Steven?"

"Sorry, h-here." And without thinking much of it he ended up bringing out what appeared to be a orange sandwich character - one of the Angry Lunch Enemies. And then.

*hiss*

This noise wasn't exactly a roar, but not a hiss either, but more like a straining exhale ringing right in Steven's ear. Like that noise someone would make when seeing a bad mistake. It was enough to give him shivers, his face flustering pink again. Guess he made a wrong move, but who was making that call for him? No one's behind his head talking to him, and no one else was saying anything if there was.

"Is something wrong Steven? Well, aside from the new body that is," Blue Diamond said.

"Uh, yeah. You keep playing guys, I'll gonna … check on Connie and Pearl," Steven replied.

So, as they were doing that, Steven stepped out and tried to work things out with whatever this thing was talking to him. Steven went down the admittedly smaller hallway for a bit, trying to get his mind straight. One would think that after all the weird things Steven had gone through already, this would be more of a walk in the park, but that didn't mean that it wasn't any less out of the ordinary and distracting.

"OKAY. … So there's this voice talking in White Diamond's head? How long was this going on for her?" Steven wondered.

And as if hearing him, the voice spoke again.

Who do you think you are?

"Wait. It can hear me?" Steven realized, stopping altogether. So, Steven tried something else and brought his hands to his head.

"Oh random voice in my head, how long were you speaking to White Diamond for? … I'm kinda not her right now, so it would be great to know."

WHO ARE YOU?

"My name is Steven Universe. I was switched with her body a few minutes ago, so it's one of those Wacky Wednesday situations."

You're a disgrace.

"You need to be better."

Steven suddenly opened his eyes and found the same sort of hallway from earlier, yet this hallway was a bit less extravagant as the ones in the palace. Strange spot to suddenly pop up in, but he found himself walking forward anyway, partially curious as to where he actually ended up. Strange thing this hallway. It was foreign but in a way … not foreign to him. And then he heard another voice, but not the same one that had been yapping in his ear during the card game.

"It's all ready My Diamond," said the voice. Steven looked around but couldn't see anyone at first, until he then looked down, and saw Pearl standing there.

Pearlis. Where did she come from? He would ask what was going on, or why she was there, or where they even were but what came out instead ...

"Ah, is it now?"

"We've studied as best we could do. Eh, if you don't mind my asking but … are you sure about this? Not to impose, but this is risky. Even for you."

"Process waits for no one, Pearlis you know that. As soon as I make this work, everything will be exactly our way."

What am I talking about?

Well at least Steven thought the same, but everything else wasn't really working. He didn't speak out right, he didn't move exactly as he wanted to, and no one else was seemingly handling anything or answering any questions for him. The world around him was a bit blurry from there, as if fast forwarding time, and next thing he knew Steven was over by a … familiar room. A object was in her hand already, though what it was Steven had no idea, but this presentation was joined by a number of others of White Diamond's hybrid court. Steven began to think a bit more, but then he found himself activating the object in front of him, and then showing a projection screen … showing Stevonnie on the other end with LOTS of Gems behind her.

Stevonnie? Wait, White Diamond never saw her until after she … left her station.

That's when it struck him.

Is this White Diamond's memories? This is just after we wrecked her station!

And that was confirmed when he was hearing himself recite that same speech he heard a year or two back. That speech she proposed and promised to "break them" all, the same one during his time on the Jungle Moon! He heard every word of it, feeling the same emotions White Diamond felt at that time before connection was cut short. He felt angry. So angry at them for destroying his work. But also … angry at himself for not being able to stop it.
And he felt his fist slam into the wall, making the others nearby tremble. He had only one thing to say.

"I have to be better."

The world around Steven suddenly shifted and glitched like crazy, as if the world was cracking under that statement alone. All of a sudden, he wasn't looking through her eyes anymore, instead finding himself as his own entity in White Diamond's head. The world began to turn red, and looking on ahead he saw White Diamond frantically trying to work something out.

"White?" Steven gasped. White diamond looked awful: her hair in a mess, her eyes straining a little bit in this pursuit of hers, but one detail was that she wasn't glowing as she was currently. Not yet.

"Yes. Yes, this will work! I WILL be better, I promise!" She pledged, looking like she was on the edge of her mind as she brought out what looked like a Gem Destabilizer. Aiming it right for her head!

"WHITE!" Steven yelled, but he found he couldn't move. His legs were stuck on the ground. He couldn't move, his legs stretching like a Changling as he tried to move himself. White Diamond smiled wickedly, but Steven could still see the tear in her eye as she brought the weapon closer to her stone.

"NO! WHITE, DON'T DO THIS, PLEASE!" Steven pleaded.

But his words were on deaf ears.

And she stabbed her own head. Steven gasped as everything froze, his eyes locked on White Diamond's dangerous attempt to "fix herself". The sharpened edges of the Gem Destabilizer skewered right into her head, but White diamond still kept in one piece, her gemstone just in between the blades. Strangely, it didn't activate at first, as if the moment made sure to sink into Steven's mind. White Diamond, still with tears in her wicked grin, reached to the handle, and pressed a button along the length.
And that's when the electricity surged through her body. Steven stared in complete horror, unable to stop it from happening as White Diamond's body started glowing in her screams.

"STEVEN!"

*smack**smack*

"STEVEN!"

*SMACK*

"STEVEN, WAKE UP!"

Steven jolted up, still in White Diamond's body and in a cold sweat, breathing heavily as if just finishing up a nightmare. His eyes were slightly red still, but as Steven began to calm down that color faded back to the normal colors again. He was suddenly on the ground, dizzy but not physically hurt as the others were around him.

"What happened back there?"

"You tell us: we're playing that game, we hear a loud bang, and suddenly you're on the ground, freaking out," said Yellow Diamond, as Steven slowly started to get himself together. The images were still flashing in his head over what he just saw. He looked around at the Diamonds with him … and then he saw White Diamond. He froze on seeing her, not standing but crawling to her, looking her eye to eye as tears came to his eyes.

"W-White. … I saw what happened to you. I saw everything. How you ended up like this. … I'm sorry."

"… You did, did you? I-It's fine. That happened ..." White Diamond knew what he was talking about.

"No, it's not fine!" Steven said, both hands not on the ground with White Diamond now under him. "White, why didn't you say anything? No one here is forcing you to be better, you're wonderful how you are, it's not worth what you had to go through! … I'm sorry I had to make you go through all that White, if only I knew how much I hurt you I could've done something different earlier."

"Steven. …"

"You've been alone for a very long time, I know, but don't think no one else is anywhere to talk to about your problems. White, we've accepted you back, you can tell us if something's wrong no matter what it is, and we'll help you however we can. We're here for you."

"… I ……. Steven …"

There was a quiet moment that hung in the air between the two, Steven hoping this could go through. White Diamond eventually went forward, jumped up, and was now hugging Steven, who gently returned the gesture. Blue Diamond and Yellow Diamond may not be entirely in the know to what just happened, looking concerned.

"Steven? White?" Blue asked. Steven would answer, but he could tell White diamond didn't want anyone else to just go on and talk about it, so instead he kept his focus on White Diamond. The two looked to one another.

"… It's ok. I'll tell them."

"Tell us what?"

"I'll uh … tell you when we get back to the room," White Diamond said. Steven knew she would go and tell them anyway, but now he had a whole new outlook on White's new form.

He will try his best to help her from here on out. They all will be there for her.

~~~~~~

As the diamonds were trying to get their own act together, Stubby's little getaway still had Yellow and Blue Pearl looking all over the place to try and find the supposed assassin. As instructed, many guards that were left on duty - most of them were out at the festival. - were now up in arms and looking around for the assailant with a number of guards now going around all over the place, checking around wherever they could. Although not asked to, the two Pearls in question took it on themselves to check the area too. Blue Pearl, although scared as much as Yellow Pearl, was moreover just standing aside by the door to one of the rooms as Yellow Pearl was basically going crazy trying to find the creature.

"Come on, come on, It can't just "disappear" like that!" Yellow Pearl said as she continued looking up and down the whole room, looking under and over every little piece that Stubby could've slipped into. This even included the smallest bit of cracks in the foundation.

"Um … don't you think you might be … over-doing it a little?" Blue Pearl quietly asked, only briefly pausing as Yellow Pearl kept moving things out of the way, or bolting passed her in her task.

"Of course not, what would give you that idea?" Yellow Pearl asked … as she was looking through what they can only describe as a mouse hole.

"... I … don't think he can fit in there."

Yellow Pearl sprung up.

"It's our duty as the diamond's Pearls to fulfill the main desires of our diamonds with upmost precision," Yellow Pearl said matter-of-factly, "Meaning we can't afford ANYTHING to be left unturned."

"But we weren't told to look for him," Blue Pearl meekly pointed out. This just made Yellow Pearl more flustered.

"W-Well, I don't want him getting away!" Yellow Pearl insisted. No one messes up her Diamond and gets away with it! … Well, no one she can handle, that is. Blue Pearl stepped out of the room for the moment, seeing a number of the guards still running helter-skelter. A number of Blue Diamond's Amethyst and Yellow Diamond's Jasper soldiers go by, with only one stopping over to Blue Pearl.

"We've checked every room in the main floor, there's no sign of him anywhere, your clarity," the Amethyst reported, hands in the signature insignia. Normally it'd be caught dead to rights giving a Pearl respects like this but A.) she was Blue Diamond's Pearl, and B.) the festival insisted at least equality with everyone. Blue Pearl grew a bit nervous, but flustered on being called "clarity".

"N-Nothing? Not even by the throne room?"

"The throne room, the perimeter just outside, there's nothing of him anywhere. … OH! But we did find a big crack in a building nearby."

"Big? Crack?"

"You know, like uh, like uhhh, like a cavern! Kinda glowing a little too." The Amethyst probably didn't say it correctly, but considering what they were dealing with, it was a strangely big thing to consider.

"... Did you happen to … see? What was on the otherside?" Blue Pearl asked.

"Otherside? It's a crack in the wall, it didn't look like it went anywhere. Why, did Blue Diamond want us to check that?"

"...…. I-I know Pearls don't give orders but … you might want to keep an eye on it. Just in case."

"On it, your clarity," said the Amethyst, going off to catch up with the other soldiers to do just that. In a weird sense, Blue Pearl felt slightly empowered. It wasn't until after this did Yellow Pearl come back out, fruitless in her own search.

"Anything?" Yellow Pearl asked, hoping for some good news. Blue Pearl unfortunately just shook her head. Yellow Pearl groaned.

"This is terrible: how can such a lonesome creature get away so fast? If he's already outside, all of our Gems are gonna be shattered for it," Yellow Pearl said, shivering on the final thought. Blue Pearl wish she knew what to do, but she was about as lost as they were. At least now she might've gotten an idea on how they ended up in the Homeworld palace in the first place. Blue Pearl took only a short moment to consider this, when -

"AAAHHHHH!"

"Pink!" gasped Blue Pearl.

"Hey, hey, where're you going?! Pearl!" Yellow Pearl said as Blue Pearl was rushing off to see what the voice was about. Yellow Pearl simply had to trail behind Blue Pearl as they were following the scream to another area of the palace. This scream wasn't only heard by the Pearls, as some of the guards too were around the same area once the two caught up. They found them all over where "Blue Diamond's bath" was located, right in front of the main hallway. Pink Pearl amongst them was on the ground, already looking a bit hurt with a fairly nasty blackened mark dangerously close to her gemstone, her eyes looking right towards the door in a terrified expression. They soon found what was so terrifying once they saw what she found.
Or rather, what she didn't found.

And cue another scream by Yellow Pearl.

"WHERE'RE ALL THE WALLS?!" Yellow Pearl exclaimed. None of them really went to this area of the palace since the Diamonds last used it - no reason to. But now they found how grave of a mistake that even was, finding much of the hallway practically barren. It was still standing sure, but the specialized harvested Gems were all missing. Yellow Pearl and a few other guards went in to try and find some clue somewhere, but there wasn't much to be salvaged. The only other thing there is Lion over by the door, trying to claw his way inside. They could also see that the scanning lock for the door had been fried, sealing the door tight.

"No no no no no, how did this happen? GUARDS, YOU WERE ON WATCH RIGHT?!" Yellow Pearl shrieked, getting right up to one of the Jasper's faces in a mix of anger and panic.

"Hey hey, we checked this area ten times while you were away, NO WAY would anyone get passed us!" retorted the Jasper.

"Well something clearly did!" retorted back Yellow Pearl, arms spread to show what happened. Meanwhile, Pink Pearl was still left in shock over it all, Blue Pearl by her side.

"There, there," Blue Pearl said to Pink Pearl, trying her best to comfort her fellow Pearl. "We'll find everything and put it back."

But Pink Pearl couldn't think straight, as if she had just been struck by the most horrifying sight ever. Unfortunately some of the guards weren't as comforting.

"Wait, you were here, what did you see?" asked one of the Jaspers. But Pink Pearl couldn't even speak correctly with her nerves and mind all the freakout. All she got out at first was some mumbling, but then one of the more aggressive Jaspers got the pearl by the collar.

"Come on, out with it!" the Jasper said impatiently. Blue Pearl had to try the whole "ordering" thing again before someone could get hurt.

"W-Wait! Wait, don't do that."

"Hey, I know what I'm doing, I don't need a Pearl telling me what to do," the Jasper retorted. Spur of the moment, but they were in a bit of a rough spot as it is.

"What about Blue Diamond?"

… And just like that, the Jasper dropped Pink Pearl, who was frazzled but okay. Pink Pearl finally came around to her senses the second she struck ground.

"I know who did it!!" Pink Pearl yelped, bolting upright. "Who stole the walls here, who took all our aliens from the chambers, who just now nearly corrupted our Diamonds!"

"Well where is he?!" Yellow Pearl asked, excited.

And Pink Pearl pointed frantically towards the door Lion was trying to get into. The big cat even tried gnawing on the door, but he couldn't quite get his teeth into it.

"Guards, form up, we're going in," shouted one of the Jaspers. Both Jaspers and Amethysts were ready to go, and started to go to the door. Lion had to get out of the way as they were ready to do a combined ram at the door.

"How could that Stubby fry the door's lock system? He surely didn't appear as a type for that level of power. Or intelligence," Yellow Pearl wondered. Pink Pearl gulped as she was right by Blue Pearl for some security, what little there was.

"I-It's not Stubby doing this," Pink Pearl muttered.

"Huh?"

But before any of them could ask what, the guards started charging forward. The combined strength of all the troops was just enough to smash right through the door, making the doors fly into the room in question. The Blue Diamond bath was normally a very exclusive spot, but protocol said otherwise. Blue Diamond's bath wasn't as fancy or big as Yellow's sauna, but still had the main essentials as the main room leading to the bath (more of a Greek design over Egyptian). Of course there was another but of odd details: the room had a strange flowing aura lining the walls, ceiling, and floor, and nothing seemed to be there, most likely already "harvested" out of the room.

All but one. The statue looked like one of those Greek goddesses, frozen in place with the only sign of her existence being her blinking eye. She was lucky to even move her eyes, but closing them was all she could express as the culprits were trying to chip the bottom part of her off her position. And there they were: Grogar, Bray, Stubby, and Budgerite all working to get the statue off of the pedestal.

"STOP RIGHT THERE! That's diamond property!" shouted one of the Jaspers. If the door smashing didn't tell them they were here, the shouting did, and they all glanced over their way. However, Grogar himself stepped in.

"I didn't say to stop! Keep chipping," Grogar growled, that alone enough to make them get right back to it as Grogar confronted the guards. He sure looked ready to fight, and the guards were willing to comply as they charged right for him, much to Pink Pearl shock, Grogar's horns glowing.

"No, don't!" shouted Pink Pearl. However, it was far too late. Grogar's horn were glowing a eerily familiar yellow hue, coming out as a orb in between his horns and lightning bolts for the main attack. As for the attack, it only lasted about five seconds, but once it struck the first one in line it branched off to every single guard present. The effects was just the same as a Gem destabilizer, and poofed them all instantly, leaving only the scared Pearls. So easy, it was almost not fun.

"You call THAT a threat? I'd seen bears who were more threatening than that before I got their fur coats," Grogar scoffed, laughing as he began to close in on the three Pearls. Pink Pearl and Yellow Pearl were hiding behind Blue Pearl at this point, Grogar not really watching or caring where his hooves landed as he stepped on some of the gemstones.

"W-What're you doing? You can't take that," Blue Pearl said.

"And who's gonna stop me? You?" and Grogar laughed at their faces. They would at least try, but after seeing several of the guards get shocked so quickly none of them were ready to go in yet. While they weren't ready to fight, there still was one Lion ready to take him on.

"Grogar, Lion!" shouted Stubby in fear. And not a moment too soon, but while he did notice Lion coming in, he didn't move quick enough to avoid Lion's charge, knocking the ram off his hooves. Lion hissed and barred his teeth, putting himself between him and the Pearls. Grogar got up and instead brought his attention to the rocks.

"So this is all you are, eh? HA! No wonder you toppled so easily," Grogar stated, tossing some stones aside like someone would kick a pop can on the sidewalk.

"Don't take that statue!" pleaded Yellow Pearl, "If you take that away -"

"Then what?" Grogar cut in, "The diamonds will come in? That kitty cat will tear me to pieces? Don't make me laugh!" Grogar mocked. Lion gave a good warning roar, which made some of Grogar's followers shiver, which the ram seemed to notice.

"What're you scared of? That bugger's just another stupid animal," Grogar said, which only made Lion's blood boil even more. Blue Pearl then got one more idea.

"Just put that statue down and go, and we won't press anymore charges against you," Blue Pearl stated, Grogar a little amused if anything, "We'll only take Stubby in for his crime. No one else knows you're doing this, so if you just go peacefully we'll act like this never happened."

"You crazy?!" Yellow Pearl asked in hushed panic.

"I-I'm sorry. B-But do you want anymore Gems poofed?" Blue Pearl asked nervously. But Grogar just laughed.

"Or I can just take her and you keep your mouths shut anyway. That can work too and you get to live afterwards," Grogar retorted, finding it amusing that Blue Pearl was doing this card. The Pearls saw he was serious about this, and took a few steps back much to Grogar's amusement. The only one not backing away was Lion, standing tall.

"No one has to die!" gasped Yellow Pearl, "We just don't want our stuff taken anymore."

"It's a laugh that you think you can strike a deal. Let's see if you feel the same way after getting smeared on the floor," Grogar said, making Pink Pearl shutter and grip her gemstone. So close did she get shattered from that shot. Grogar then made a charge right for them, but Lion made sure he didn't get close, jumping right onto him with his claws digging into his horns! Grogar dug his hooves into the ground in Lion's attack, his front hoof just managing to strike the bell around his neck.

"STEP! OFF!" and suddenly Lion was launched off of the ram in a amplified field of magic thanks to the sounds of the bell. This hit struck lion pretty hard, sending him tumbling head over paws until he landed at the wall. He got up, barring his teeth as Grogar huffed.

"I gave you a chance to join up with me, Lion, but you're not changing your mind. … ARE YOU DONE YET?!"

"Just *grunt* about *grunt* got it!"

And with one more hot from Bray's back hooves, the statue was finally dislodged from its position. The harvested Gem felt itself move for the first time in millennium, Budgerite quickly making sure to catch it before it could shatter on the floor, though she did stumble in trying to do so. Lion tried to go and get them, but it was Grogar's turn to tackle him and the Lion was soon underneath his hooves.

"L-Lion!" gasped Pink Pearl.

*RRROOOOOWWWWRRRR*

Lion's following roar shook up the entire room, powerful enough to launch Grogar right across the room, dangerously close to the statue who could just shut her eyes quick. The roar shook everything, and when the soundwaves struck the wall, the strange aura started to crack and shatter away like glass. Bad time for a disadvantage.

"We gotta go!" Stubby pleaded.

"King, let's go, they'll hear us for sure!" added Budgerite. Lion rushed forward in another roar, but Grogar decided to get the upper hoof in his next move. And this one was cowardly as it was terrible.

He rushed in and grabbed, Pink Pearl, hooves keeping her still as she could only yelp.

"One move or word out of ANY of you, and I'll go and break her pretty little neck," Grogar warned. NOW there was a problem, and Pink Pearl couldn't move an inch without risking Grogar's sharp hooves or teeth tearing her apart.

"Y-You wouldn't," Yellow Pearl gulped. And to prove this wasn't just a fluke, Grogar sank his teeth into her neck and held her up, her toes just barely touching the ground. Lion was about to go in again, but Yellow Pearl clamped his mouth shut before another roar could be done.

"No, no, no, no, quiet," Yellow Pearl pleaded.

Good for him. Grogar gave the signal for his cronies to continue, and all three began to move the statue best the three could do. Rather than head for the door, they went right for Blue Diamond's bath instead. Grogar kept his eyes locked onto them to make sure they didn't do anything during the operation. None of them wanted to see another Gem hurt by this trigger-happy goat. As this was going on though, Blue Pearl moved to Yellow Pearl and Lion, and mouthed the two words they had to do next.

Get Ready.

"One. Two. One, two, three," said Budgerite, and on three they pushed the statue down into the bath (for some reason). All three were pulled into the deep empty bath, with a loud thud telling Grogar they've hit bottom.

"This is a lot deeper than it looks! And also, ouch!" shouted Bray. Grogar glanced back to the bath.

"You idiots break her, and I'll break your -"

*RROOOWWRR!* *BAM!*

It all happened so fast, and Yellow Pearl was borderline hysterical on such a move: Blue Pearl, launched forward by Lion's roar, kicked Grogar right in the eye! It was just enough to make him release Pink Pearl, making the ram fall into the bath Pink Pearl was free, but still in pain around her un-cracked eye. Grogar, now with a black eye from the kick, snarled to Blue Pearl.
It was revealed though when they all looked down that a portal was already there at the bottom of the bath, which they were already getting the statue through to who knows where? Grogar had one more warning for them.

"I won't forget about that, you harpy witch! You lot ARE DEAD!"

And with that roar, Grogar jumped down into the portal, shutting it up fast before any of them could follow them in. Lion tried to grab him, but the portal closed just too fast, and Lion was left with nothing. And then, everything was quiet: the four were gone, the last bit from the room now taken away, leaving a few Pearls and a disgruntled Lion to replay what just happened. Pink Pearl was simply left shaking in her shoes, burying her head into Blue Pearl's shoulder and whimpering a little bit.

"Don't let him get me," whimpered Pink Pearl.

"Don't worry. He won't," Blue Pearl promised. One look down there as Lion jumped out, and they had only one thing to do now.

"... We have to warn the rest."

Author's Note:

WELCOME BACK TO THE PLOT, everyone ^^. And some insight as to what happened to the Albino Diamond. Some were wondering how she got all shiny and overly-powerful, and now we got an answer through a ... eerily strange red vision. Intriguing.

Warning of the king too. Things are gonna get dicy. ...