• Published 13th Sep 2019
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My Little Universe II - EquestrianKirin

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Friends and Enemies

"O-Okay, if you can move that just a tad to the left," called Rarity at one point, waving her hoof in said direction. A shadow was casted down to the ground near her hooves, moving in said direction for a bit.

"How's this?!" a voice called from a distance away.

"Ehh … no, actually, a inch to the right," Rarity replied after a little bit. Whoever she responded to moved it a little bit to the right as Rarity instructed. When they stopped moving, the unicorn squinted, her keen eye for detail getting to work.

"Wait, wait. … Uh, maybe you could -"

"Rarity," nudged Amethyst. Rarity blushed a bit.

"Oh, sorry. Uh, nevermind, you can put it down now!"

"Finally."
Now finally given the order to place it, the roof to the latest part of the Castle of the Two Sisters was now finally complete, and as such the crowning jewel of today's construction was now done for the two Quartzes as some Pegasus and Aquamarines got the nails and screws to work for the top.
The world itself never stopped moving, even while Steven was away. Beach City and Ponyville, for the last couple of weeks since Homeworld's fiasco with Grogar, had been put under quite a bit of change, namely construction and groundwork for Ponies and Gems alike. And for this point with much of the Harmony Gems it was work right in the middle of it all, plenty of Ponies from Ponyville and Gems from Homeworld lending a hand in making this all work. Rarity and Amethyst, in their case, were going through a good amount of their progress, which mainly was the interior of the old castle within the work-in-progress town, having features from Gem and Ponykind mixed within it. Though in a way, normal Gems wasn't correct in a sense, as many of these Gems had some more unique details on them: one Gem for example, a Sapphire, had her hair in a bit of a flowy manor similar to the tentacles of a squid or jellyfish. One of the Quartz soldiers too looked a bit different, having a set of stubby horns on her head. Interesting details indeed.

"Oh Amethyst, just look at that castle," Rarity sighed, "It almost looks like it never was abandoned at all."

"Yeah, good call making this a new Gem Hud. It's a lot better than letting it just sit here counting dust or something. I'm telling ya, I already feel at home," Amethyst replied, leaning against one of the statues within the main room. Which she suddenly fell back as Topaz picked it up and carried it away. The statue may be nice, but it was too worn out.

"Sorry," said Topaz.

"It's all good," Amethyst replied, giving the thumbs up.

"I know what you mean," agreed Rarity (not realizing who she was talking to), as she was getting some areas dusted clean to make it looked better, "You know, I've always wanted to tidy up this place for the longest time, but never had the time to get around to it."

"Whatever you say, Rar," Amethyst shrugged, pulling out what looked like an iPhone, "this is your world's castle. Hey think you can give me a pose for a second?"

Pearl insisted progress pictures, and Amethyst had nothing better to do. Rarity did give her what she wanted, and just gave a smile and good pose to present the castle, Amethyst taking a quick picture (not before adding herself with a funny face of course).

"Alright, coming down!" called a voice nearby. Amethyst and Rarity looked, and sure enough there was Applejack over nearby one of the castle's main doorways, pushing what looked like a larger Homeworld create towards the edge of the upper balcony. Lucky for her though, as she pushed the box over, a waiting mega-fusion Fluorite got it on her back, and she got herself moving along with several others off towards the door.

"Great, that's about seven Homeworld storage units," said Spike with a smile, another mark handled on the list. Applejack wiped away some sweat off her forehead from all of the work, her specifically having a bit of dirt in her fur from working plenty of hours in this project. AJ then saw Rarity and Amethyst down on ground level.

"Hey you two!" AJ called, "Y'all get that top roof on?"

"After three hours, yes!" Amethyst called back, which that remark earned her a rough nudge from Rarity.

"It was two hours, and you know it," Rarity stated. It still was a long time just to get the roof placed. Anyway, Applejack grabbed a nearby rope, and slid right on down to see them, Spike following her down and both meeting up with the Pony/Gem duo.

"And I see they got more deliveries from Homeworld?" Rarity pointed out, seeing the one on the wagon, along with at least several others being unpacked and used for more work outside the door.

"You bet," Applejack replied, "We're getting more deliveries for Little Homeworld than we give delivering Zap Apple Jam. And let me tell ya, they got QUITE the motherload."

And Applejack wasn't fooling much either, as one of the Gems opened up one of the storage units, getting easily a good ton of building materials for the other workers to handle with. In this case, it was compacted metal beams and a good week's worth of welding tools.

"They're looking more and more like those building kits, huh?" Amethyst pointed out.

"I thought of the exact same thing after delivery eleven," Spike admitted. Amethyst even saw a few pieces she swore came right out of a puzzle, two sets of Rubies carrying the pieces in question. It did seem that they did get a lot of work handled throughout this part though, as Rarity trotted over towards the central Warp Pad.

"Well, anyway," said Rarity, "this side of Little Homeworld is going pretty fine, why don't we just hop back to Earth and see how their side's going?"

"K, but only fer a minute: somepony's got to keep handling these orders coming through, and Starlight and Jade's already got their necks up in work," Applejack said, as they got themselves on the Warp Pad. Applejack got the coordinates handled with a few clicks with her hooves. Connecting this Warp Pad to Earth barely took much time to do, and AJ hopped to join the others just as the Warp Pad activated right then and there.
It hardly took much time to get them from Equestria back to Earth, and they soon got themselves from one plenty-built town of Little Homeworld, to a … more in-construction state of Little Homeworld. The Warp Pad was probably the most complete things so far, with many other buildings still a bit behind. They got the main constructs and colors handled, but many details were still missing on some of the areas. Some buildings were still not even made yet, most construction steps and some cranes still in operation.

"Huh. Well it's getting somewhere," said Spike.

"I know hard work when I see it, and I say it's looking just fine," Applejack said.

Many Gems were still handling a few pieces of the work here, but that wasn't the only thing as the four checked the area, walking off of the Warp Pad and seeing what they can see. And the first one they seen was Bismuth working with one of the much larger buildings, hammer hand in, well, hand, and keeping a good pace on getting a metal beam in place. The main work frames for what can easily be the tallest building in the Earth half of Little Homeworld, which itself looked like a tall tower with a spinning structure built at the very top courtesy of Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Lapis Lazuli with instructions from Peridot and Starlight. But that wasn't the only thing they were seeing going on in this part of Little Homeworld, as there was actually some activity inside the building.

*FLASH*

This was probably the best part of their work as of late. Sure all the buildings were fine and good, but as the four looked inside, they saw that the fusion Nephrite was keeping to their promise. The four smiled, seeing Nephrite focusing on another Corrupted Gem inside. The next un-corrupted Gem to come out (three familiar Citrines in this case) were more than pleased to be back to their normal selves, only after the healing that Nephrite split up, and the fusion returned back to Jade and Flint. The Citrines were quick to come in and give their thanks and admiration, mostly in hugs and cheering.

"Garnet and Steven would've loved this," Amethyst commented, smiling on seeing the Gems back to normal. They couldn't help but chuckle too as Flint was all flustered from such a big thanks.

"Uh … you're welcome," Flint simply said, patting one of them on the head.

"Need a hand there, Flint?" joked Jade.

"I'm fine Jade," Flint insisted. Eventually though Jade did help in getting the Citrines to give him some space as the other four arrived to them. The three Citrines stood in a row, happy to see some good company since Grogar's invasion on Homeworld.

"Where're we?" asked one of the Citrines, not recognizing many of the buildings in the area.

"You three are in, what will be, the new Little Homeworld," introduced Rarity, "Nice of you three to come back to us."

"Little … Homeworld. … Wait, what about big Homeworld?! I-It's not destroyed is it?" one of the Citrines asked nervously.

"No, no, no," insisted Amethyst, "It's still standing, they're just clearing out the mess Grogar made that's all. That, and we're helping make a sort of "Homeworld away from Homeworld" here. You can still go back to Homeworld Homeworld if ya want."
The Citrines gave a big sigh of relief from that news. Last thing they wanted to find out was their home in wreck by that demonic Ram.

"But we are a bit busy making Little Homeworld work," added Applejack, "I mean y'all don't have -"

"Say no more!" one of the Citrines said, "You just saved us from corruption, we'll get Little Homeworld looking great in no time. Just point us in the right direction."

"Oh! Well, in that case, there's several deliveries to Equestria's Little Homeworld so, just use the Warp Pad and th Off-Colors can get you started," Rarity said. The Citrines gave a quick salute before they went off to do just that, the Warp Pad going off quick in no time.
Meanwhile with Bismuth ...

"Now this is some fine work, if I do say so myself," Bismuth said proudly, getting another beam in place. The four from the ground up can easily see the work being done up there. Bismuth whistled up to the crowd above.

"K, Rainbow, fly on down and start hammering!" Bismuth announced. Rainbow Dash was happy to oblige, and after getting her hooves ready started to dive down from the top of the building to the ground. In her falcon dive, her hooves slammed down each nail into the beam like it was nothing. From the very top, down to the very bottom, and not a single nail missed.

"HA! Count em out: twenty five nails in five seconds. See you top THAT," Rainbow stated smugly.

Just to hear a whistle off nearby. Bismuth had gotten a few more beams set up, and who better to challenge Rainbow Dash in a game of speed-building than Fulgurite herself. Fulgurite simply gave the cocky Pegasus a wink and she not only bolted up the building and right back down, but also used her quick-timing hair "arms" to hammer in at least three beams in a row, getting them all sealed up tight.

"Bet against Fulgurite and lose, Rainbow ol buddy," Fulgurite said, nudging the loser Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash didn't feel too well about hearing that, as Bismuth came back down from her position on the Scissor lift.

"Okay, let's not turn this into another contest guys, but I do have to say everything's coming together," Flint said tiredly, going over to see AJ, Rar, Amethyst, and Spike as the others from the rooftop came down to see them too. Lapis Lazuli held Peridot as Fluttershy held Starlight Glimmer on their way down. Jade's tiredness didn't go unnoticed for long.

"Hey, you okay? You look a bit worn out," Spike pointed out. Jade sighed.

"Well, I am, and Flint too. It's wonderful we're healing all of these Gems, but it's just a bit … exhausting," Jade explained.

"Using a lot of energy eh?" asked Amethyst. All Flint and Jade did was nod on that answer.

"So what's the story behind this building?" asked Spike, looking to the very top of this building.

"Every town needs a capitol, so we got this beauty built up as Little Homeworld's top building," Lapis explained, "Just needs the interior worked on and we'll be good as golden. We even got the windmill installed up top."

"It's called "wind turbulence", but yep it's going to help power up Little Homeworld without draining resources out of Earth," Peridot explained.

"Sweet. Hey, where're the others at? I want to show them our digs back in Equestria," Amethyst asked. Lapis put her memory to good use here.

"Well last I've heard they're kinda all over the place: we got Pearl and Pinkie Pie checking in on Twilight back in Canterlot on her recovery; Jasper took Emerald, and Diopside off on some Mystical Creature mission somewhere; and I think Star Quartz is over with Greg, and Pink Pearl to talk things over with Nanefua about Little Homeworld."

"Isn't politics Flint's thing?" questioned Applejack.

"But we don't have any politics on retainer, so we had to make do," Fulgurite said.

"That, and I got my work cut out for me as it is," added Flint. Fair enough.

"By the way, how's Little Homeworld coming along on your end?" asked Bismuth.

"Well we're actually almost done," said Rarity. "All we really need right now is how to work out the main -"

"Wait wait, how're you almost done?!" gasped Fulgurite in surprise, "We're only half way through over here, and we got even more advanced stuff to boot, how're you ponies faster than we are?"

"Nothing but good Ponyville work ethnic and plain ol hoofgrease," said AJ, acting like it wasn't that big of a deal. Fulgurite still didn't believe it, so instead she went straight for the Warp Pad, activating it right away. And it only took her about twenty seconds before coming back, looking wide-eyed and … well, shocked.

"You even got the fancy doors already. … HOW DO YOU EVEN?!"

"Fulgurite, you are talking about a race who can plan three national holidays in just one week," reminded Starlight Glimmer, speaking as a Pony herself about things like this.

"... I'd be more mad if that weren't true, but still: Building half a town in just under two weeks, is not something that just "happens"," pointed out Fulgurite, which in a way was true given the odds against them. But then again, how many holidays did Ponyville celebrate given their timeframe anyway?

"Now who's winning the bet, eh ol buddy?" said Rainbow Dash, now nudging the loser Fulgurite. Fulgurite just gave the cocky pony a little zap with her hair on that one.

"Laugh it up, but we got a surprise for your Cutie Marks," said Fulgurite, which got the four's attention.

"You do? What is it?"

"Now, behold. Our vision into the universe, I give you: Little Homeworld' very own GALACTIC TELESCOPE!" announced Peridot.

That was their main message once they all got to the top of the capitol building. It was a quick flight for them all to get to the top, and low and behold they got their eyes set on Peridot's own addition to Little Homeworld. The Telescope did not appear like any normal one. It was a bit bigger than a typical telescope for one thing, the main lens appearing like the top of a jewel.

"A Telescope?" asked Amethyst.

"Yep, and I had it set for 110% better efficiency than any Human Telescope can remotely comprehend. You can even see the surface of Homeworld with this masterpiece," Peridot explained, feeling very confident about her creation.

"But don't you all already travel through space," smirked Starlight. Peridot flustered and cleared her throat.

"Well, yes ... B-But it's still the most efficient Telescope Gemkind has ever made. Come on, try it out!" Peridot insisted. That probably wasn't true, but it'd been long enough since Peridot actually had some time for tinkering so they didn't push it. Besides, it did look pretty neat to try out after a day's work.

"Just let her do her thing," chuckled Lapis.

"Alright, Peridot, I'll take your offer. Let's see what we got," AJ decided, strolling over to the Telescope to try it out. Could be fun.

So Applejack began to check out the world through Peridot's fancy Telescope, the green Gem giggling in glee as the look of impressiveness came to Applejack's face. Clearly a lot of work was put into this thing, and it worked wonders too, the orange mare looking around all over the place. To give an idea, Little Homeworld was off in the countryside, a bit ways away from Beach City, and she can actually make out the people on the boardwalk as if she was just standing right there.

"Well, look at that. Peri, this thing's amazin: I can see the Lighthouse front door from over here," Applejack said, as she kept checking things out.

"I've had the lens of the Telescope modified from the same materials that make up my visors," explained Peridot.

"Really? Mind if I have a look?" Rarity asked. Applejack stepped aside and allowed the mare a turn with the Telescope, equally as impressed on the detail as Applejack was.

"Oh my, you're right. This is very impressive, Peri - *gasp* oooo, they finally have my fashion line on sale at the T-Shirt Shop!" Rarity noted, seeing some of her designs on display over in the shop's windows. Applejack smirked: she didn't want to say it, but she would figure Rarity would catch that before long.

"Well don't leave us out, what else can you see through that?" asked Rainbow Dash. Rarity took a gander some more, moving the telescope around a bit.

"Hmm … aww, Lars and Sadie are having a lunch out together. So cute. … I think that's the Rutile Twins playing one of the Funland games, and … I think Ronaldo's on one of his alien campaigns again."

"We're never telling him about this," commented Amethyst. That was universally agreed upon. They didn't need Ronaldo with THAT kind of viewing range outside of his own Lighthouse. Anyway, Rarity continued to check things out with this telescope for a bit, eventually bringing it up to the sky.

"Oh my Celestia, even during the day the stars look beautiful," exclaimed Rarity. While this did give another stroke to Peridot's ego, the white Unicorn herself began to continue her look through many of these stars. Since it was midday though, it did give of a slight blue hue of the afternoon sky. But as she moved the Telescope over just slightly, the sky and stars suddenly turned completely white … and a single eye looked back at her.

"AAHH!" Rarity yelped, stumbling back from the Telescope. "Eye!"

"... Eye?" Fluttershy asked.

"E-Eye! White eye! There's a eye in the sky!" Rarity insisted, hoof pointing to the Telescope.

"Rarity don't start this all over again, we got enough work to do -" Fulgurite was cut short when she felt Flint's hand grab her, and turn her to look off into the sky.
It turned out, after a minute or two, that this "eye" did not need to be seen through a Telescope anymore, coming close enough for them all to see it from the sky itself. Something was coming in from the stars, and coming down fast. Something HUGE. Something pure white from the hair to the torso, and they all knew what it was almost immediately.

"WHITE DIAMOND'S SHIP!" gasped Fluttershy and Jade.

"For stars sake, what's she doing coming in with that?" Flint wondered, bringing out his pistol in defense, and maxing out the power in case it got too close. The White Diamond Space Station was NOT slowing down at all, but something didn't seem right at to how it was flying. It seemed aimed, but … not aimed at all, like a stray missile or something. Peridot was the first to catch it.

"No one's piloting it. EVERYONE DOWN!"
The luckiest call of the day, and just in time too. White Diamond's Space Station flew in close, WAY TOO CLOSE for any of them, and with them all so high up all they could do was duck down for the oncoming behemoth. They all just barely got missed by the giant station, hearing the VERY LOUD deafening hum of the entire construct, it striking off the spinning piece from the tower top. Once it cleared Little Homeworld (somehow), it flew above ground for a good ten more seconds before it inevitably struck ground. It was like Earth was struck by the Dinosaurs' meteor all over again (only no mass extinction this time).
Everyone held on as much as they could to whatever they can as the earth itself shook up a storm, shaking the entirety of the coast out of its mind. All snow on every roof was shaken off onto the ground, every foundation threatened to tumble, and the weaker buildings in Little Homeworld were at more serious risk, especially when the wave of tossed up snow was launched into the air in a wave of flurries thanks to the impact. Anything flying would be tossed right off into the rip tibe gusts easily across a good mile or two, snow by the tons washing over all of them. The entire countryside was given at least two more feet of snow thanks to the tossed up wave of it.

And everyone was buried in snow, only after recovering from the shaking poking their heads out.

"Another adventure, anypony?" said Rainbow Dash, shaking off all of that snow from her wings.

"How did that get here?" wondered Lapis, "It couldn't have flown here by itself. We cut the power on it last time we were in it, didn't we?"

"Looks like White Diamond wanted to surprise us again," Flint said, wiping the snow off of himself and helping Jade out as well. As they got the snow off of the rooftop, and Bismuth mourning over the wrecked addition to the building nearby, Amethyst then felt the iPhone in her pocket go off. She answered it, and …

"Hello?"

"WHAT IN THE STARS JUST HAPPENED?! IS EVERYONE OKAY OVER THERE, PLEASE TELL ME YOU'RE OKAY!" Pearl screaming was enough to make Amethyst fall on her back.

"We're fine Pearl, just a bunch of snow and a wrecked tower spinning thing," Amethyst said, picking her ringing ear before getting back to the iPhone. Pearl would react with such a tone after feeling everything shake in Beach City WITH the wave of snow.

"And over there?" asked Fluttershy over the iPhone.

"We're alright," they heard Greg say, "But I think Jack Frost worked a bit more overtime now."

"Who's Jack Frost? If he has this much power ..." asked Pink Pearl to Greg.

"No, no, it's just a figure of speech," Greg replied. But they didn't have time to check in on Jack Frost now, not with White Diamond's Space Station just outside of Little Homeworld.
Speaking of Little Homeworld, it didn't take them very long to see that their side of Little Homeworld was more of a mess now, snow covering both Gems and buildings alike, some buildings completely wrecked.

"We were doing great! But no, she just HAD to fly in and wreck everything," Bismuth exclaimed in distress.

"Ok, ok here's what's gonna happen: Flint decided quickly, "you guys get the rest of the team, Elements of Harmony and Crystal Gems whoever you can, and go check out the Space Station and see what's going on. The Pearls, Bismuth and I will check and see if everyone's okay here and in Beach City and catch up with you later."

"Aye-aye boss," said Amethyst.

~~~~~~

It took a good half an hour for them to do just that and, with the exception of four Gems and an Alicorn for now (Starlight was her stand-in), the entire Harmony Gem team got themselves together and were now standing in attention right in front of the White Diamond Space Station. Or at least the area where it landed.
The whole farmland field it seemed was replaced by a gigantic crater left by the station itself, the colossal station left slightly standing up, but leaning due to the rough landing. Snow all around the area no longer seemed existent, with a slight wall of it built up nearby the space station, leaving much of the team standing a good twenty feet off of the ground. Speaking of, the ground itself looked dried up down to the dirt thanks to the hit.

"What a sight for sore eyes," said Jasper, "So you said this just "crash-landed" here?"

"It didn't really look like anything was piloting it, with how it was flying. But I don't get it: it didn't exactly just slam into the ground either," noted Peridot.

"Falling in style?" shrugged Fulgurite.
They began to venture a bit closer to the Space Station, them all keeping an eye out for anything that might've came out of the thing.

"YO WHITE, YOU IN THERE?! IF YOU WANTED US HERE, THE CALVARY'S WAITING!" called Amethyst. Strangely though, no one responded to the yelling.

"I don't think she's in there," Fluttershy said.

"What? But who else can pilot this thing? I've been in there already, and everyone's either clustered up or corrupted outta their minds," Fulgurite said, remembering her last trip to the place rather prominently.

"Hang on," said Jasper. She was gonna try something a BIT bold, and maybe a bit stupid as she walked up to the thing itself. Cracking her knuckles, and readying her arms, she brought her hands to the closest side of the Space Station. Her fingers tightened their grip on the wall, and she began to pull it and pull it as much as she could.

"Let me know if you want to help," Jasper groaned.

"Oh, right, I gotcha," Starlight Glimmer said, getting her horn up and working as magical aura wrapped around the area where Jasper was pulling. Soon, and with a loud crack, a huge chunk of the wall was pulled off, revealing the interior of the Space Station. a bit dark, and at first a bit quiet. None of them can see what was inside. But one thing they did see: a few distant lights from deeper in the station.

"Light? So there's still power in this station?" wondered Diopside.

But then …

"WHITE DIAMOND?! YOOOWHOOO?!" shouted Pinkie Pie. Her high-pitched voice echoed all over the interior like a vast cave. Pinkie's muzzle was quickly slammed shut.

"No, Pinkie, bad idea," said Starlight.

"What apart of calling for White Diamond in a dark spooky hallway inside an experiment Space Station sounds like a bad idea?" Pinkie asked.

… Then they heard the rumbling.

*RAAAAWWW!*

Then came out the stampede! hundreds of Corrupted and Cluster Gems suddenly appeared to the noise called to them by the pink mare, making everyone standing there having to bolt aside to let them all pass. Corrupted Gems of all shapes and sizes poured out of that exit like flowing water. Some of the Harmony Gems barely got out of the way in time to the rampaging Gems inside, some flying out like bees while others just ran out, making some of the team trip in their scramble. It was probably lucky for them that none of those Gems wanted anything to do with them, and only wanted out of that horrid hive of a place, scattering like a cattle stampede. Some of them even trampled over eachother just to get out, they were that desperate to get out of there.
They all covered up with whatever they could, hoping this giant herd wouldn't just go after them.

"Are those … ALL of the Corrupted Gems?" asked Rainbow Dash.

"We better tell the others," suggested Diopside.

"I think they'll know," Jasper simply said. Not even being serious about it, and saying it more bluntly. But that wasn't the only issue.

"Guys, there's one more! Up there!" pointed out Diopside. The whole group took a look up away from their make-shift exit, and it turned out there was another exit from the Space Station, only this one was VERY high off of the ground, out of the White Diamond Space Station eye. Most of them couldn't exactly make out what it was, but Peridot and Diopside both got a good idea once they looked up at the figure.

"It looks normal for a cluster Gem. Or a Corrupted Gem," said Peridot.

"What's she doing?" wondered Diopside, her Gem eye readjusting to get a better look. The thing was still too far away to even see properly. But the two did see one thing go on: a few sparks flying out … and the figure jumping right into the air, right out of the Station!

"She fell out!"

"On it!" Rainbow Dash said, quickly taking off into the air as fast as a Pegasus could fly. The figure spurred into the air a bit, freaking out and spazzing a bit before gravity started making it come down. Luckily for the figure, Rainbow Dash got under it just in time.

"Gotcha!" said Rainbow Dash, a grunt escaping her muzzle as she got whatever cargo "shot out" of that giant station. The Pegasus kept her flight at a more glide than flapping her wings, in part because she had to keep her wings spread to keep whoever this was from just falling off of her. It took a bit for Rainbow Dash to get to the ground below, a little roughly thanks to the extra weight, but soon as she landed her passenger stumbled off of her, and just flopped onto the ground.

"Oh my. Um, are you uh … okay?" Rarity asked, cautious in approaching her. One little tap on the head and …

*zap* "HELLO!" Suddenly the new figure bolted upright, the scream making everyone jump.

Now they got a better look at her, standing there in a stiff way, arms straight down her side as if she was in some line-up. She appeared human in appearance, though strongly pink in overall complexion. Her eyes stared in magenta color, irises shrunk as if freaking out at first. The hair on this being matched those eyes of hers, styled in a way of a spiky set of ponytails. As far as clothing went, she had a bit of an odd mix of "Yellow Diamond esque royalty" and "early 60's cartoon character" vibe: A dark magenta top companied by hot pink pointed sleeves along with magenta pointed knee-high boots, but she also had puffy magenta shorts reaching passed her stomach, and hot pink wrist-length gloves. It was a weird mashup.
With this though there were still a few odd details: on her face were three black lines, starting from under her eyes down her cheeks almost like mascara, and there was a clear gemstone right on her chest in shape of an upside-down heart. As for that zapping noise, that seemingly came to an attachment on her head: a bit metallic and looking almost like it was forcefully pulled out of a wall or something.

"OoooOOOOoooo," said Pinkie, very curious over this person. Pinkie was gonna go over and check her out, but Starlight and Applejack quickly grabbed her and pulled her back.

"Wait, wait, don't set her off again. Here, let me try," Starlight said. Making sure not to freak out whoever this was again, Starlight only took a few steps closer, clearing her throat.

"Hello. I am Starlight Glimmer, and these are my friends. We are NOT here to hurt you," Starlight Glimmer made sure this was slow speaking to not overwhelm her right away. But oddly, this Gem was … quiet. Not even uttering a word, and just kinda staring at the unicorn. The others were kinda stuck too, glancing to one another, but they kept going anyway.

"If you're looking for somewhere safe, then you found the right place," said Amethyst.

Nothing.

"Uhh … So, who are you?" Starlight asked, putting on an awkward smile.

Nothing. Again.

"Hmm … STARLIGHT GLIMMER. FRIENDS. … Anything?"

Still nothing. A bit rude, but Starlight even waved her hoof frantically in front of the Gem's face … which only tilted her head like a confused puppy.

"Maybe she can't understand us," whispered Fluttershy.

"Well that's dumb: Gems are compatible with numerous spoken languages," pointed out Peridot.

"Then why ain't she talking?" Applejack asked, pointing to the dumbfounded Gem just standing there. Applejack then tried her luck.

"DO YOU. UNDERSTAND. PONISH?" Applejack asked, again good and slow just in case there was a sort of language barrier here. Again, nothing much out of her except for a puppy head tilt. They weren't getting anything except for a stare, and nothing else. However, they did start to notice a bit more on the weird thing attached to her head, when it gave off a tiny spark.

"Maybe this thing has something to do with it," said Amethyst, going over to investigate it a bit more.

"Wait, Amethyst, don't touch that," warned a worried Jade. However, Amethyst's curiosity just got the better of her, and she did eventually give it a little touch. All it took was just one to suddenly give the purple Gem a good hard ZAP!, sending her flying off back to the Space Station wall. The zap did show something happen to the Gem, making her shutter as if getting some crazy goosebumps or going through a mini tremor, but that was about it.

"Well that did something to her," shrugged Diopside.

"Her and Amethyst," added Fulgurite, seeing Amethyst seeing stars a foot away.

"Darn it, there's got to be some way to make her speak," Applejack said, getting impatient with this silent Gem. But before she could go up to her, Pinkie Pie was actually the one who pulled AJ back. The pink mare had her gears going for some time now, and seeing this Gem like this …

"I know that look … I know it VERY good," Pinkie said, surprisingly serious as she moved in closer to the Gem. Silence hung in the air between Gem and Pony, as Pinkie moved in close, eyes squinting as if trying to see the very essence of the Gem's soul through those blank eyes. The mare even stood up on her back legs briefly, and even climbed up the Gem (as much as the others didn't want her to) to look her right in the eyes. Looking in so close, she finally reached her verdict.

"... Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. …"

And nothing.

And then Pinkie blinked. And just like that -

"I WIN! HA! I'm the champion starrer, babe!" The Gem beamed, suddenly coming to life as Pinkie bounced off of her, this Gem all giddy and bouncing in place herself.

"A staring contest? THAT'S why you didn't talk?" questioned Spike. The Gem laughed a little bit before calming down a bit.

"Yeah, sorry, sorry. It's just I haven't played a good game in SOOOOO LOOOONNNG -" she said "so long" while suddenly giving her arms and legs a VERY long stretch, her arms long enough to wrap around the entire group if she wanted to, only to suddenly whiplash back to normal length, "- I wanted to give it a go. It can be so boring in a dictator's flying head, you know what I mean?"

"Ehh … sure," said Starlight, taken aback slightly.

"Well, on the bright side, at least she isn't going to attack us," said Rarity.

"Oh yes," agreed Fulgurite. This new Gem hadn't forgotten what questions they wanted answers to, so she cleared her throat and spoke a bit herself.

"Hello, I'm a polymorphic sentient inorganic lifeform, member of the family "Gemisus" or "Gemisis" hehehehe - *zap* - if you can't tell I'M A GEM!" her sudden shout thanks to another zap from that thing on her head made her own head expand and shoot forward, making a number of the group jump back from the surprise only for her head to return to normal size moments later.

"How the hay are you doing that?" Rainbow asked.

"Doin what?" she asked, her arm stretching and curving into a circle before her hand scratched her head.

"... You know what, nevermind. I think we'll just figure it out later," Rainbow figured. That usually was how it worked anyway, as her arm retracted back.

"Well I got a question: WHEN'D YOU GET A HOLD OF THIS THING?!" Emerald asked, referring to the GIANT White Diamond Space Station she parked on their planet. The Gem turned around, looking all the way to the very top of the monument.

"OOOHHH, that? I've been in that head for thousands of years, and when I got free I took it for a ride. Next thing you know, here I am," she said.

"Thousands of years?" gulped Jade.

"Yep, been cooped up but I'm back and I'm flying free!" the Gem said, her arms flapping like a bird and her actually airborne briefly. "Here I know, let me tell you a story that's all about -"

*ZAP* before she could even finish her sentence, the attachment suddenly went off again, making the Gem freak out as if someone just punched her in the gut, her cheeks puffed up before puffing out a bit of air. Whatever that object was doing was clearly messing with her head.

"Whoawhoawhoa, easy," said Peridot, hands up to try and calm her down. But this Gem was NOT going to stick around, and all of a sudden, while wrapping her arms around her mouth, collapsing down into a heap on the ground. She looked terrified now: shuddering, covering her mouth and looking around as if everyone was gonna kill her.

… for about five seconds.

*ZAP* Rap mode engaged. The whole world (for the song's sake, not real life) turned vibrant in color, everyone and everything in more bright and exaugurated colors.

(02 "Batty Rap" - Robin Williams parody)

YO! My nickname's crazy!
The logic's all erratic

After the standard rapping steps, her arms suddenly stretched again and wrapped around herself, looking like one of those madman coats.

Tornado in a jacket

And suddenly she retracted, and shot into the air like a spring, joining Rainbow, Fluttershy, and Lapis up in the air for a bit, a freaky big smile on her face as she saw them.

Toys in the closet

Once getting back to gravity, she took a few steps forward while singing (everyone keeping as MUCH distance between them and her as possible), as she used her hand like a cake mixer to twist her hair into a swirl.

I'm rocking and ramble
My coding's SCRAMBLED!

And on the word "scrambled", she pulled back hard, her hair and head stretching like taffy for a bit before she released it, her hair now looking like a beanie. She then "warped" right next to Pinkie and Jasper, and while Jasper was weirded out, Pinkie was actually digging it as she listened from on Jasper's shoulder, her body bobbing to the music.

Rap like an animal

In another jump, she was suddenly over by Diopside, wrapping an arm around, and pulling her close, having a more "questionable" bedroom expression.

BUT, I'm no mammal~

CREEPY! But this Gem was not done yet, as she squeezed Diopside so some of her eye goo gel came out. A bit brutal, but the Gem got said goo, and suddenly applied it onto her eyes and lips as if it was mascara and lip stick.

"All of our cosmetics and non-cosmogenic -" *zap* "- AAHH!" another zap launched her in the air, only to land nearby.

I've been deep-fried, electrified
panicked and inject-ified!

Each "fied" word only got her stepping closer to a very troubled Starlight Glimmer and Rarity, the Gem actually taking steps almost like a boxer, fists up and doing punches until she neared Bismuth and Peridot.

deep-corruptified! And popped forcified!

She appeared over by the Space Station, seeing the reflection of herself briefly, the reflection morphing into some of the others as she turned away and kept singing.

My face is all cut up
cuz my radar's all "SHUT UP"!

"NURSE!" the Gem shouted, an arm branching out and grabbing hold of Fluttershy, bringing one hoof to her head, and a wing to her gemstone.

I need a checkup, from the gem up
I'M BATTY!

Another quick zap later and she was suddenly huddled on the ground again, looking into the reflection as she was making some sort of shadow puppet show.

"It seems to have no effect, my diamond," the Gem said, seemingly working off what looked like a Gem working for a particular diamond.

"Then put her away, and find me another one."

They used, and abused me!
Battered, and bruised me!

Her attachment aided her this time, as flashes of color aided in her next sentence.

Blue wires
Pink wires
Stuck em right through me!

Reality JUST managed to break into her final verse, everything looking normal except for the nutty Gem and her singing.

So hear my rocky words
and excursive a little eluss
when dealing with -

*ZAP!* And just like that, another zapping from her head made to song abruptly stop itself with a twitch of the Gem's head. This zap of her head made her completely shiver and shake, collapsing onto the ground in a heap with her spaghetti arms and legs sprawled out. Silently, Starlight waved her hoof for the others to come over to her in a huddle.

"Okay, it's obvious she's a little too unstable right now to go off on her own, what do you think?" whispered Starlight, concerned very much over this Gem's state of mind. She may not be any expert on this Gem, but she knew a corrupted mind when she saw one (she did work in the space station briefly after all).

"Really? What makes you say that?" Amethyst asked, not too keen of being thrown at the wall.

"Amethyst, it wasn't her fault she blasted you into the wall. In fact, I don't think she knew what happened there," noted Lapis, glancing back at the Gem, who while back standing was scratching close to where that attachment was on her head, only for it to let off another spark.

"I get ya. I bet she's been stuck inside that madhouse since she came out," figured Jasper, slightly bitter in her voice.

"That actually wouldn't surprise me at this point, but what do we do? We can't just leave her here," Starlight asked.

"Not to mention she did kinda release an entire zoo full of Corrupted AND Cluster Gems out near Little Homeworld, so we might wanna check on that too," noted Peridot.

"Peridot, we released them," corrected Starlight.

"But what even is she - … Where'd she go?" AJ was cut short when she looked back. They all looked back to the Gem at this point, but the Gem was suddenly gone. Not even any actual footprints, or disturbance to say she was even there at all, she was just gone.

"SHE'S GONE! … Oh wait, there she is," said Pinkie, only needing a brief look-around before finding out where she ended up … pointing at Jasper's head.

"Eh, Pinkie Pie?"

"Dang it, how'd you find me? I was so quiet and everything," the Gem suddenly said, popping out from Jasper's hair and falling on the floor (wait what?). Jasper immediately jumped back away from her as she did that, keeping her hair away from this pink Gem. Times like this she wished she cut her hair. Immediately after seeing this though, Fulgurite immediately got their answer.

"Congratulations Pinkie, you've been selected to keep an eye on her for us," Fulgurite decided, picking up the pink mare and placing her right by the hot pink Gem.

"You sure about this?" asked Spike asked.

"Guys, it's Pinkie Pie, and she just found her hiding in Jasper's hair like it was nothing. I can't think of anyone better to keep to party game Gem busy," Fulgurite figured. The group checked back with Pinkie and the Gem again briefly, who both were looking eachother over for a bit.

"You know, I can't argue with that. At least until we get her back to Homeworld," figured Lapis.

"Yeah, and NO WAY Pinkie Pie can make her feel bored -" before Rainbow Dash finished, one other look, and they both were gone. That was, until they both popped up behind Diopside.

"You all talking about me?" the Gem asked, appearing from one side of Diopside.

"And I think I heard me in there somewhere," added Pinkie, popping in from the other side. Diopside of course spun around to face them. It took a little gesturing from Starlight, and Jasper got the news down for them.

"Okay, so we've decided that uh … whoever you are -"

"Spinel," said the new Gem. Guess that was her name.

"Right. Spinel, you can stay here with Pinkie Pie for a while until we work this out. You need time to get your mind straight before we get you back, so you can wait here if you want."

"Wait … they're gonna send me back home?" the Gem thought, suddenly in a bit of a cold sweat.
All of a sudden, Jasper felt the Gem's arms wrap around her at least three times before she pulled her body right to her, the Gem's eyes locked with Jaspers and literally an inch away.

"Nonononono! I don't wanna go back to Homeworld, I-I wanna stay here with you!" The gem pleaded. Now this was a bit of a turn.

"... First off, can you let go of me?" Jasper asked, the new Gem complying and getting her arms off of her in one motion up, the arms sliding off of her and retracting as Jasper continued, "And secondly … why?"

"Why? What kind of question's that, I don't want to go back to Homeworld anymore, I'd rather stay here! … Or is it a bad time?"

"No, no, it's not at all it's just kinda … sudden," said Rarity.

"But I get it. She was stuck in there for thousands of years, who wouldn't want to get out of there and stretch their legs? I know how that felt while I was stuck in that Geode," Fulgurite said.

"Yes, exactly! Besides, I can be myself here, and not how my home wants me to be," Spinel said, giddy about the idea with a big smile, hands together.

"Let's slow down for a second here, you don't even know who we are," Jasper questioned.

"Yes I do, the guards complained about you all the time: you're the Crystal Gems - a group of awesome Gems who fight against the system, sing a lot, and be whatever YOU wanna be even against that beast of a Diamond. THAT'S a group I wanna hook up to! PLEEEASE?" the new Gem said. Well that at least confirmed that she wasn't lying about how long she was in there if she overheard that from the guards of the White Diamond Space Station. It still was a little questionable though all the same.

"That does sound like us," said Fluttershy. It took them a minute to consider, Spinel standing there and waiting for an answer.

"Alright sugarcube, you're in. Pinkie Pie can help you get settled in wherever you like," Applejack decided, Pinkie nodding her head. Spinel was sure pleased, stars in her eyes.

"AWESOME! Thank you thank you thank you!" she said, actually grabbing AJ and giving her a big kiss on the cheek. Applejack blushed a bit.

"Uh … you're welcome," AJ said, as she was placed down on the ground. Spinel was then picked up on Pinkie Pie's back, the mare more than ready to go.

"Okie dokie partner, let the tour begin!" Pinkie beamed.

"Let's go!" said Spinel, and soon they both were on their way from there, Pinkie and Spinel off and out of sight on their tour together. The rest of the group simply watched her go off on her way.

"... We're gonna go tell the rest eventually right?" asked Diopside.

"Oh yeah," replied Jasper.

…….

Unfortunately, while the Harmony Gems might've been busy on their end, that didn't mean members of Grogar's Army weren't any more relaxed. This whole conversation was caught by peering ears, a familiar trio just managing to overhear the entire ordeal with Spinel. One donkey, one bird Gem, and one broken Unicorn.

"Grogar would want to hear this."

~~~~~~

"Weeeee!"
Pinkie and Spinel had a nice little ride from one world to another, sliding in from one of Pinkie's Portal Key doors. On their landing, they both got themselves right into the middle of Ponyville, landing conveniently into a big pile of snow somepony had just finished getting together.

"So you can do that all the time? I wanna go again!" said Spinel, still hyped from the long slide down. Pinkie hopped out of the snow pile, shaking the snow off like a dog (though her tail spun like a fan to get the snow off of Spinel).

"Well, we could do that again … or I can bring you around Ponyville, show you around, bake cupcakes, and then we can slide around again. How's that sound, eh?" Pinkie offered, nudging Spinel in the side and giving her a wink. Spinel paused, thinking a bit about the idea.

"Have more fun instead of one fun. … Yep, forget my plan, let's do that. So where do we start?" Spinel asked. She did glance away for a moment though to see the ponies around, which gave Pinkie Pie enough time to bolt away to another spot in town. Since it was nearby, the first place to start was the fountain in town, which since it was winter was frozen now.

"Over here, Spinny!" called Pinkie Pie.

"Spinny? Is that my code name?" Spinel asked, strolling over to her.

"Nah, it's a nickname. Rainbow and Amethyst always come up with them, so it's my turn to give you one. You like it?" Pinkie asked. Spinel thought about it.

"I dunno. It sounds a little … Twisted," Spinel said, suddenly spinning in place and basically turning into a spring shape. Someone could practically hear the "ba dum SH" from a mile away, but Pinkie Pie still laughed it up, making Spinel smile.

"Spinny it is," Pinkie said, "Now, about Ponyville …"
Pinkie Pie pulled a trick of her own, and out of her own mane she pulled out a book it seemed (don't ask), and after skimming over a few pages she managed to get the information she needed. Though, she could probably recite it herself without the book, it looked better for the role as teacher. Spinel sat down and looked to Pinkie as she sat on the rim of the fountain.

"Ponyville is founded by Granny Smith many moons ago, selling lots of yummy Zap Apple Jam to anypony coming by. Lots of ponies decided "hey, this is a great gig, let's stay and keep this going". And so, more and more ponies stayed right here, and soon we got ourselves Ponyville," Pinkie Pie explained, Spinel working out much of the details on her own head. There was probably a LOT more to it, but who wanted to just sit in the snow and listen to history anyway?

"Huh, that sounds nice. That Zap Apple Jam must be really good to get them all to hang out," Spinel said curiously. Pinkie Pie closed her book and suddenly she hopped off of the fountain.

"It is! And you're lucky, because I just so happen to have a jar of Zap Apple Jam back in Sugarcube Corner. Which just so happens to fit in our little tour, and it's just right down the road," Pinkie offered, pointing just down the road a ways. Spinel scratched her chin in thought, eventually nodded. But just before she could give her answer to the pink Mare, suddenly her headpiece sparked on her again, making her spas out all over again, limbs flailing like noodles.

"Spinny?" Pinkie asked. Spinel suddenly curled up on the ground.

"NO NO NO, I'm sorry I'm sorry, I'm sorry, don't hurt me anymore please!" Spinel pleaded, as if Pinkie Pie was ready to kill her for no reason. Pinkie was taken aback by such a quick response.

"Hurt you? Why would I - … OOOOHHHH." she took more careful note about the thing on her head. It did seem to just go off every time Spinel gone a bit off the deep end. Despite the pleads, Pinkie brought her hoof over to the device.

"No, no wait I'm - *flick* *ZAP!* "GAH! Ooohhh ..." Spinel relaxed again after that, coming to her senses.

"Feeling all better, Spinny?" Pinkie asked. Spinel needed a minute or so, taking a deep breath and relaxing her limbs to calm down. She no longer saw Pinkie Pie as very dangerous anymore.

"It … did I have an episode again?" Spinel asked, rubbing her head.

"Well if "getting your head all sparked up, and you acting very scared for a minute" is an episode … then yep," Pinkie replied. Spinel got back up, cleaning herself off.

"Sorry about that. Ever since that … Diamond got this stuck on my head, it keeps happening to me. I go all nutty when it happens. Well, more than people say I usually do. … I didn't hurt anyone, did I?"

"You don't remember?" Pinkie asked, confused. Spinel unfortunately shook her head. Pinkie Pie though shook her head as well.

"Nopony hurt around here," Pinkie Pie reassured. This made Spinel feel a lot better, though they both did still hear a few stray sparks come out of the headpiece again, which did bum out Spinel slightly. Pinkie Pie would have to keep this in mind for later, but there's even more important matters to attend to. Pinkie Pie got to moving, prancing along towards Sugarcube Corner at a more brisk pace to give Spinel the satisfaction of a delicious treat. It just wouldn't feel right if she didn't.

"Hop along, Spinny, the sooner we get to Sugarcube Corner, the sooner you get to experience a whole new taste that is cupcakes," insisted Pinkie Pie. Spinel was willing to go and give it a try, but on the way Spinel glanced off alongside the road, making her stop on the spot. While staring at her target, her arm stretched out a good ten feet, grabbing Pinkie Pie and pulling her back.

"People here are usually happy, right?" Spinel asked.

"Well yeah," Pinkie said, being held off of the ground by the Gem.

"So what about her?" Spinel asked, moving Pinkie Pie so she could see who Spinel was seeing.

… Connie.
She was off a little bit away from the main path, but both Pinkie and Spinel could see her just fine, as she was just sitting there by herself. The Gems may have kept themselves busy for the last week or so, but Connie was left with little energy to actually do much of anything. Well, outside of just moping that is. One good news though, they did indeed manage to cure Connie of her slight corruption by Grogar and physically looked normal. But that still didn't mean that she was recovering all too well mentally.

"Connie? Uh, excuse me, Spinny, BRB," Pinkie wondered, getting herself out of Spinel's grip for a brief moment. The pink mare bounded right over to Connie, the girl not really paying enough attention to note her even coming. Not that it mattered.

"Hi Pinkie," Connie simply said.

"Hiya. … Uhh, whatchu eating?" Pinkie asked, pointing to a bowl that Connie had in front of her. Connie stuck a spoon into it and got the contents into her mouth.

"Macaroni and nothing," she sighed.

"Again?" Pinkie asked, troubled, "can't you at least put some cheese on it?"

"Don't want to," Connie replied, taking another bite of the bland food. Pinkie Pie took a seat down besides Connie, the pink mare already knowing what was wrong with her.

"Still bummed out about Steven huh?" Pinkie asked. Connie rested her head on the table, but she did nod her head anyway. Her sadness might not be on par with how Steven handled it, but it still was there and still was eating her up in its own way.

"Why did they have to go? I mean I know why they did, but … why?"

"Aww, come on Connie, turn that frown upside down. Steven wouldn't want his sweetie to be so sour," Pinkie encouraged, hoof on her shoulder. Connie grunted, straightening up to look at the mare.

"Pinkie. Steven's gone, and Garnet's dead, one of which was partially my fault, and the other thing I didn't do anything about to fix it. What do I have to be happy about?" Connie asked.

"Aha, okay but look at what happened now: you and Steven are alive, Homeworld's goat-free, and look we even got Corrupted Gems not so corrupted anymore! You gotta admit, that's pretty good. Things could be worse, right?" Pinkie pointed out, hint of sincerity in her voice along with the usually bubbly demeanor. Connie thought about it a little bit more, but eventually she did get a slight smile.

"I guess. … I mean, I could've been Grogar's princess. Why did he want me for a bride anyway?"

"I don't know. Steven did say before how cute you are, so that might have something to do with it," Pinkie joked, fluffing Connie's hair a bit. Despite herself, it did end up making Connie smile and even giggle, much to Pinkie's joy. Nothing better than seeing someone smile, even for a little bit.

"Thanks. I needed that," Connie said.

"No prob, bob. And you know, Spinny and I are gonna fetch some cupcakes, you like some?"

"Well, sure but … Spinny?" Connie asked.

"Oh she's this Gem we found inside of White Diamond's Space Station that crash-landed earlier this morning. A little bit experimented on, you know how it is," Pinkie explained nonchalantly. Connie looked passed her, and there was Spinel waving hello to her. Connie could already tell her state thanks to the item stuck on her head.

"Swell to meet you," said Spinel, extended a hand to her. While her hand was just in front of her, her body was two feet away. Still, Connie wasn't too deterred by that and shook her hand anyway.

"You too, Spinny. Welcome to Ponyville," said Connie. Spinel was feeling more welcomed again, as Pinkie saw them both smiling at eachother for a moment or two. The mare eventually nodded.

"We all know what this means …"

(one scene jump later)

"Time for a friendship baking!" Pinkie concluded once they got to the kitchen. Been a VERY long time since Connie had been in Sugarcube Corner, let alone inside Pinkie's kitchen, and both Connie and Spinel have their own special Chef hats and aprons on. Spinel was looking at a spatula for a bit, not sure where to start.

"Do we need this for cupcakes?" Spinel asked, seeing her reflection in it.

"No, you can put that away. Don't worry, we'll show you how it's done," said Connie. Spinel shrugged and got the spatula put away, as Connie took a nearby bowl to begin the process.

"Spinny, can you get some salt? I'll go get the -"

"WAIT!" Pinkie suddenly said, snatching the bowl away from Connie in a slide across the countertop.

"Pinkie?"

"Before we do ANY baking, one must learn the one thing. THE one thing before anything can start making and baking any cupcakes," Pinkie revealed, her tone overly-serious about this. Spinel looked to Connie for an answer, but Connie already had an idea what was going on now, resting a hand on Spinel's shoulder.

"... The Cupcake Song," Pinkie revealed.

"Song. More singing. … Ok, how's it go?" Spinel asked, intrigued. That was more than enough to get Pinkie started.

All you have to do is take a cup of flour!
Add it to the mix!

With that, she went and did just that, snatched a cup of flour and got it right into the bowl no problem in a good flip, before snatching some sugar.

Now just take a little something sweet, not sour!
A bit of salt, just a pinch!

Pinkie then went and got a cupcake cooking pan, spinning it on her nose like a seal would with a ball

Baking these treats is such a cinch!
Add a teaspoon of vanilla!

With the teaspoon of vanilla, she flicked it off of the table, the contents landing into the bowl again with pinpoint accuracy.

Add a little more, and you count to four,
And you never get your fill of...

And then basically Pinkie Pie was dancing all over the place.

Cupcakes! So sweet and tasty!
Cupcakes! Don't be too hasty!
Cupcakes! Cupcakes, cupcakes, CUPCAKES!

Spinel and Connie gave Pinkie a round of applause for the job well done, all of the mixture in the bowl like it was nothing at all. Which to Pinkie it probably was. The pink mare then pushed the two back to the countertop.

"Okie Dokie Lokie, now it's your turn," Pinkie Pie said.

"We get to sing that song too?" Spinel asked.

"If you want to," Pinkie said with a wink.

For the next half an hour, it was namely a lot of baking going on for the day. Connie and Spinel were going into the project in their own way, as Pinkie Pie happily included herself in their cooking: though while Connie was keeping her mind busy with calculations and right measurements of ingredients for her stuff, Spinel mainly just followed lead to her and Pinkie Pie, not entirely knowing what she was doing for most of it. Not that she was complaining at all, this beats all those years being stuck as some WD experiment any time.
During the baking process, Connie and Spinel were both at pretty much the same pace in mixing their ingredients together, Connie working her mixture into the cooking pan while Spinel was working mixing her bowl still. Sure seemed they both were having fun, much to Pinkie's relief.

"This cooking thing's not so bad. Especially the mixing part," said Spinel, though she was mixing it a bit roughly, making some bit of it spill out onto both the floor, the counter, and Connie nearby.

"Easy Spinny, you don't have to be so rough with it," said Connie, "Here like this."
And Connie showed Spinel the way to mix up the dough, firmly yet gently and without making so much of a mess. Spinel did start copying her a little bit, but the slower pacing of the stirring did make it less interesting. She did however lift her spoon out of the bowl and gave it a little taste, a quick lick of her tongue.

"mmmMMMmmm! This sure is yummy. Way better than the junk those guards would give me," Spinel said.

"Guards? … Oh wait, you were from the Space Station, that's right," Connie remembered.

"Yep, all I get out of that was this gray stuff made to look like you can actually eat it. Nasty."

"Wait a minute, I thought Gems don't need to eat," Connie pointed out. Spinel groaned.

"Yeah. …"

Spinel only needed to say that for Connie to work out the rest for herself. But then something else started going on, as Spinel continued stirring up the mixture inside of her bowl, which by the way did look familiar to that gunk she was given back in the White Diamond Space Station.

"Sorry you had to go through that, Spinel," said Connie.

"Say, Spinny? There's something I think we gotta tell ya," Pinkie said. Or tried to say, but Spinel was already talking.

"I'm just glad to get away from them for once, Connie. … Those liars. I mean, Sure they say they like ya, and want to play with you, and they got you thinking "aren't they just the bestest friends in the world?", and yep it's fun at first -" the more she spoke, the more anger started filling her voice, the stirring slowly turning more and more rough again. "- but one day they got a game you wanna play, and when they got the nerve to tell you to just stand there, THEY DON'T. BOTHER. SHOWING UP -"

*snap* And the spoon Spinel was holding, which near the end she was just stabbing the mixture by that point, broke in two with the front end in the bowl, and the back end on the table. There was a bit of silence for a moment, Pinkie and Connie kinda just staring at her. Spinel giggled nervously.

"... Uh … you have another spoon? Someone broke this one," Spinel asked, feeling embarrassed for that outburst. Still wide-eyed, Pinkie did get Spinel another spoon, this one metal instead of wood so it wouldn't break so easily. Spinel simply took it and started stirring again, more relaxed this time as to not make a mess again. Still, this did raise a bit of warning to both Connie and Pinkie Pie.

"I don't like the Diamonds," Spinel then said.

"No, we got it," Connie simply said, not wanting to push the matter any further.

"Did you want to say something, Pinkie?" Spinel asked. Suddenly though, the pink mare no longer felt as confident about the news anymore, which was rare for a mare like this one to feel.

"Eeeeee … you know, the snapping of that spoon and that yummy dough flying everywhere made me forget what it was," Pinkie meekly stated.

"Oh. Okay," Spinel said. Pinkie Pie didn't know if she was gonna regret it or not, but, there was a time and place for everything. And the death of Mr. Spoons was not a good time for the news.

Especially since they still had a shadow standing just outside the nearest window. It took a world jump from Earth to Equestria, but she still heard everything.

"A Gem who hates the Diamonds, huh? Well this should work well. …"

…….

*psst*

after things had calmed down, Spinel paused her mixing upon hearing that noise. Spinel glanced off one way and then the other, but not seeing anyone outside of Connie and Pinkie, who were focusing on their own cupcakes. So if it wasn't them, then -

*psst*

Now it was a bit more focused, and Spinel turned over to the window, seeing someone standing just outside. Standing there and waving a hoof for her to come out for a minute. Spinel was a bit curious, and taking one more look to Pinkie and Connie, she actually opened the window and "bounced" out. Curiosity got the better of her.

Spinel was a bit further away now from Pinkie and Connie, the *psst* noise luring Spinel further and further away down some of Ponyville's alleys, away from Sugarcube Corner.

"Okay, who's playing game? Where're you?" Spinel asked, trying to see where the sound was coming from, or who was making said noise. The alleyway was remote as Ponyville can make it, not many ponies anywhere that would see her right away. The most common thing around was snow. At least at first. Spinel's messed-up mind got to work a bit more and she tried to figure out who was around. Well, except for a VERY big pile of snow.

One that looked recently made. Spinel started getting a little smug.

"OH WHERE, OH WHERE could you be? HMMMM, they're not hiding in the giant pile of white stuff, are yee?"

And she dug away the snow quick.

"AHA!" Spinel shouted … only to find nobody. Spinel was confused, but then she heard the noise of hoofsteps coming up from behind her.

"I wasn't in the snow," said a pony. Spinel turned around a bit quick, and saw the unicorn who was luring her away from the start. Instead, the pony just strolled out from another alleyway, revealing herself as the Commander Tempest Shadow of Tambalon's army! Though that would be a bit more of a shock to Spinel if she knew who the hay this even was, as Tempest walked up to her.

"Oh, hi there. Was that you?" Spinel asked. Tempest nodded her head, but did check once more to be sure she was alone.

"Yes it was ... Spinel is it? I want to have a word with you," Tempest said, having a seat over nearby the experimented Gem. Spinel took a bit to see what kind of pony this was, seeing that this Unicorn was a bit more rugged than many of the ponies she seen so far with the scar and horn. The question had to be asked.

"Geesh, what happened to you?" Spinel asked.

"I was gonna ask you the same question," Tempest pointed out, seeing the cuts on her face and the thing on her head. Spinel looked to the headpiece on her, which she did touch a little bit before it sparked a tiny bit again.

"Ehh, don't worry about it, it's something I got from … things. I'm kinda stuck with it anyway," Spinel said, waving it off. Though she did hope another episode didn't happen to her while a new Unicorn was here. Tempest of all ponies knew scars when she saw them, and even if she overheard the story behind the device earlier she didn't bring it up just yet. She had her plan figured out already.

"I see that. … and does that bug you?" Tempest inquired.

"Uhh … sometimes. But it's nothing to -" Spinel suddenly stopped talking when Tempest's horn began to glow a little bit, producing the same sparks as the device would make.
Without hesitation, Tempest Shadow connected the tip of her horn to the device itself, and the sparks from both suddenly caused a crazy reaction: lightning bolts shooting everywhere like live wires to water. Spinel freaked out a bit from this sudden reaction, but wasn't able to get herself free for the next three seconds as Tempest held her in place before … something fell off.

"Huh? What ... the …"

"It shouldn't bother you anymore now," said Tempest, presenting the detached headpiece in her hoof! Just like that. The device she had been stuck with for who knows how long was now off her own head, Spinel staring wide eyed at what just happened. Sure it still stung slightly given she had to zap it off of her, but feeling the open space on her head revealed that Spinel was free of it.

"You freed me. … You freed me! OHMYSTARS!" Spinel beamed, immediately grabbing Tempest in a wrapping hug and hugging her tight. "YOU'RE A LIFESAVER! You have no idea how nutty that thing makes me! I knew it was a good idea to join the Crystal Gems!"

Tempest was caught off guard by the hug, but did get herself out of it, drawing the line there.

"I'm not with those fakers, Spinel, believe me. I'm better than them," Tempest made clear.

And just like that, Spinel suddenly switched gears.

"Fakers? What fakers, the Crystal Gems?"

"You heard me. I know we hardly know eachother, but believe me. You don't want to be with them," Tempest explained to her. Spinel was side-struck by this change. She thought for a second or so, thinking to what the guards were saying about them and how they're willing to let her join fairly quickly despite circumstances. That, and Pinkie was so fun.

"Whaaat? Nah, they're cool. And I think they're gonna start missing me if I don't go back now," Spinel said, starting to go back. However, Tempest got in her way with a few questions for her. Time for the plan to hit.

"And how do you know they miss you?" Tempest questioned.

"... Because they do," Spinel simply said, shrugging. Tempest sat down, quizzically judging this Gems' decision making.

"If that's true, then why did they bring you here instead of keeping with them back on Earth?" Tempest asked.

"They have their reasons!" Spinel reassured. Overly-trusting this Gem. Something Tempest might be able to work with. Tempest Shadow shook her head.

"Spinel, face reality for a moment. They left you behind, and they weren't planning to ever get you back. If they did go into that -"

"Hold up. … Were you eavesdropping?" Spinel asked. Tempest just huffed.

"Yes. Anyway, if they did go into that White Diamond Space Station, then why didn't any of those times they ever found you? They could've stayed to look for you, but they didn't."

"Huh? … Well, *pfft* they didn't know I was there," Spinel figured. Tempest sighed and shook her head.

"I'm gonna let you in on a secret of theirs I've worked out," Tempest said, walking to her side, "The Diamonds? They're friends with them now. And from what I know, they've been friends with them for a long time. And yes, that includes White."
Spinel could feel a horrid chill run through her back when she heard that information, especially that name. The same diamond that made her an experiment than a play thing, and the Crystal Gems are friends with her now? Spinel eventually shook her head.

"That's stupid: the guards always complain how they wreck her things, and keep fighting her every time they met. There's NO WAY they're friends! … Right?"

"I know it's a stretch, but I'm only trying to look out for you. … Now, if you really want to be free and be yourself, then I think I know someone better. Grogar," Tempest suggested.

"Who?" Spinel asked. Tempest then lowered her head and showed her horn to Spinel, it letting off the same sparks that Spinel's head device once did.

"Look at me, Spinel. A Unicorn without her horn, and with no one to help her in life. But Grogar found me, and he agreed to help me. And now, I'm one of his commanders for his military force. I doubt anypony would've given me that kind of chance in my state. ... He can give you the same chance, if you'd let him."

"... Really?"

"Of course he would," Tempest said, "Especially after hearing what you've gone through. Being experimented on by the diamonds, stuck with wires, being fed nothing but muck."

"You heard that too?" Spinel said, humbly this time.

"You were screaming in there," Tempest pointed out, making Spinel fluster a little, rubbing her arm. The unicorn then looked Spinel in the eyes for a moment or so, but before she could talk again, she then heard someone starting to come over.

"Here, I'll give you time to think it over, but consider your options, okay? Watch yourself now."
And Tempest galloped away, leaving Spinel to thinking about it all.

The Diamonds, and the Crystal Gems. Friends. … Is that a thing now?

~~~~~~

Back in Little Homeworld, the progress on the Earth Side of the settlement to get this all fixed was still in a slow process. Bismuth, Flint, and now joined by both Pink Pearl and Pearl. All of the excess snow wasn't doing much for the settlement at all, Bismuth getting out both arms to act as a snow plow to get much of it out of the place as the Pearls got a few smaller Gems out of the snow.

"How're we doing so far?" Flint asked.

"This is the tenth one," said Pearl, helping what looked to be a Carnelian to her feet, who herself was covered from head to foot in snow.

"I guess snow … doesn't come in like that all of the time?" Pink Pearl inquired.

"Not really," said Pearl, "And this really doesn't help anyone either. So much work, just swooped away by this … snow wall."

"Nevermind the snow, why would White Diamond just show up in her own Space Station? We lost contact with it months ago," Flint wondered, more concerned about that than just some random snow. In fact, they could still see the station from afar from where they were, which only begged the question even further.

"Okay, I think we got the main plaza cleared up," said Bismuth after pushing another bit of snow aside. But unfortunately there was a ton of snow to get through, a huge chunk of it over one particular building that got Bismuth ticked.

"COME THE HECK ON, not the new forge too!" Bismuth said, rushing over to see if her new forge was still in one piece.

"I didn't know she was moving her forge," said Pink Pearl, only vaguely hearing that Bismuth had a forge at all, let alone this.

"Neither did I," Flint said, legitimately surprised actually. But the fact there was a new forge in the place was the least of their problems now.

*mmmoooooooo!*

As if getting a tidal wave of snow wasn't bad enough, Pink Pearl started to hear a very distant call from ... something, further away from the Little Homeworld settlement. The distant call turned Pink Pearl's gaze towards the same place as the White Diamond Space Station. She tried to keep her own gaze up to the sky, as a dark mass started to form …
It was enough to make Pink Pearl back up a bit, eyes fixated on the approaching mass. Her hand reached out, and tapped the closest person on the shoulder to get their attention as well. Slowly, more residents of Little Homeworld began to notice the oncoming wave. Only this time the wave was alive!

"Corrupted Gems!" shouted a nearby Gem.

"Everyone, get behind me!" Bismuth shouted, already bringing up the snowplow hands up like a shield.

*RAWWR!* And not a moment too soon, as the Corrupted Gems started running their way through Little Homeworld. Unlike earlier though, the Gems running was slower, and were a lot more wide spread, but the rumbling of the earth still told them that there was A LOT of them coming through. Bismuth's shield stopped any Corrupted Gem from just charging over them, forced to run around or even jump over. However, with so many buildings set up, the Corrupted Gems were stuck trying to figure out where to go like panicked cattle.

"There's so many of them," Pink Pearl said, covering her head as she kept close to Bismuth

*MMMOOOO!*

"Whoa, big boy!" Bismuth said, and that was all she had time to say before a VERY big Corrupted Gem just slammed right into Bismuth's blockade. The large buffalo-like Gem trotted through and over the four Gems, its large hooves barely missing all of them as it moved with the other Corrupted Gems, running into the same problem. They were lucky not to get trampled, but still were frazzled nonetheless, Pearl stiff as a board as she was laying there.

"Where'd all these come from?" wondered Flint.

"That doesn't matter right now, let's get them corralled before they wreck the town," Bismuth said.

"Right!" the Pearls said. They had to do something, but as the four tried to get close, the "herd" of Corrupted Gems weren't giving them a chance to even do much, scattering away while some were bucking them back. It was basically a mad scramble to try and get these Corrupted Gems under control, one of which other Gems in Little Homeworld had to help with (they didn't want Little Homeworld wrecked either). Much of their involvement though was mainly grabbing the Corrupted Gems and trying to weigh them down however they could, which of course wasn't easy. At all.
Pearl and Pink Pearl for instance tried keeping a Quartz Corruption from running off too far by grabbing its back legs, only to keeping getting tossed around by its thrashing. Bismuth tried a similar tactic with her snowplow hands to keep them from wandering too far, but they were pushing very hard against her to try and get away.

"C-c-c-c-calm d-d-d-d-down! H-H-H-H-H-HELP!" shouted Pearl, shaken like a ragdoll on the bucking Corrupted Gem. Flint took action and tackled them away before the Quartz corruption could swing around and attack them.

"This is getting out of hand," said Flint.

"B-But can't you control them? You and Jade were healing them for days!" Pink Pearl exclaimed.

"Right after Fluttershy and Star Quartz calmed them down, but they're not here," Flint replied, only for all three of them to scatter when a set of Corrupted Gems raced by them in fear. Flint and Pearl may have gotten out of the way, but Pink Pearl found herself struck by the buffalo Gem, making her slam into a nearby building. Pink Pearl slowly came to, the giant Gem just about to turn and trample a pebble. Just before it could charge though, something suddenly flew right in between it and Pink Pearl …

"We got em!" shouted Rainbow Dash. The gang had fully assembled now. Now with the odds more even'd out, Gem and Pony alike began their work in getting the Corrupted Gems under control:
Rainbow Dash and Fulgurite were weaving their way through the herd, getting the animals to come together, their speed catching any strays off guard to bring them back to the main plaza.
As for those fighting, Applejack and Jasper handled much of those with vigor, accompanied by Amethyst who (alongside AJ with her lasso) used her whip to pull some of the more troublesome beasts over to the group again.
After getting the group together, Lapis, Starlight, and Rarity got to work making a fence around them so they all can have a moment to stop running around and calm down.

"Huh … well thanks," said Bismuth.

"It's nothing. Everyone okay?" asked Peridot.

"I think so. But what about you, what happened at the station?" asked Pearl. Jasper just got it out there.

"All of the Corrupted Gems came from it for one thing," Jasper said, pointing to the Gems contained. "And there's … something else."

"Like what?" Flint asked.

"Um … we found a Gem that brought the ship here. Her name is Spinel," revealed Fluttershy.

"... Spinel?"

…….

"Okay, what do you know about her?" asked Lapis.

After the small catch up back in Little Homeworld (and getting the corrupted Gems calmed down), the remaining top tier Harmony Gems were brought right back from Little Homeworld to Ponyville. Bismuth, Pearl, Pink Pearl, and Flint were glad to be given a break from the Corrupted Gem rampage, but given their recent information about Spinel, Flint and Pearl were a little bit on edge about it.

"Okay, so let's just be on the same level here: we ARE talking about the same Spinel right?" Flint asked.

"Hot pink color, metal thing on her head, heart-shaped gemstone, looks like a cartoon character in a goth phase. Ringing any bells?" Emerald asked. Flint and Pearl looked to one another, feeling a bit more humbled on hearing that description, though Flint seemed more humbled than Pearl was about that. Pink Pearl was a bit humbled too, hand covering her mouth briefly.

"Spinel … I can't believe it," said Pink Pearl.

"AHA, you do know her," said Amethyst, "Okay, what's up?"

"Well I don't know. I mean, I know one Spinel, but -"

"Don't tell me, is this another thousand-year old enemy coming back for revenge, or what?" added Fulgurite.

"No, no!" Pearl exclaimed, and after taking a breath Pearl began to tell her side of the story through a projection from her gemstone, showing both Pink Diamond and what looked like some sort of Spinel there, acting silly and playing with her.

"Spinel is a Gem from thousands of years ago, a perfect cut of her kind. And she was made to be Pink Diamond's little playmate before she got Earth as her colony."

"A … playmate?" Peridot asked.

"Well it explains why she was so giddy with us, but uh, I thought Homeworld wouldn't want a Gem like … that," figured Starlight.

"They didn't, normally," Pearl said, "but Spinels are a very special occasion only made for a very specific Gem. To put it simply, they are extremely rare, and I've only seen one through my whole existence - Pink Diamond's Spinel."

"She and Pink were so happy together," said Pink Pearl. "They would play games all the time in her Garden …"

"Garden?" asked Jade.

"It's a Gem place out in space," said Pearl.

"And you both know her," pointed out Rarity. Both Pearls glanced to one another.

"Hmm … Well I … only met her once or twice. Before I was taken away," Pink Pearl said.

"And I haven't seen her in over six thousand years," added Pearl, working off what memory she knew about her Spinel. But if this was the same Spinel or not is still hanging in the air.

"Well that's very nice, but we're still wondering how she got in the Space Station?" reminded Rarity. The Pearls were a bit puzzled again.

"I don't know, it doesn't sound like the same Spinel to me - It can't be," Pearl said.

"It might be though."

Everyone then turned over to Flint, who until this point was just quiet about this Gem in particular. What a name from the past this is for him, and considering where she came from Flint didn't have much doubt in his mind who this was (to a point at least).

"Flint?" asked Bismuth. Flint instead got more to the point, and made a projection of his own which overshadowed Pearl's projection. This time it showed someone inside a sort of lad, wires on her, and the Spinel standing there under test by a few other Gems nearby, giving this Spinel a nasty electrical shock. The others were taken aback by this sudden shift from playful Spinel to tortured Spinel.

"While I was working under White Diamond," Flint explained, "there was this one Spinel that showed up one day. Even for a rare Gem, White Diamond still wanted to test a few things on her: electrical currents, re-coding, fusion mixtures, whatever she wanted to do to her. She only held back a little bit because she was so rare and didn't want her shattered … like me."

"That sounded a lot less scary when it was in a song," said Applejack, unnerved.

"But why didn't we see her in there? We've been in the Space Station before, a few times actually," said Amethyst. Flint shook his head.

"I don't know, I think White Diamond kept her in solitary and just didn't talk about her," Flint said, though come to think of it he wasn't so sure himself. He hardly did talk to Spinel during her "stay" on the space station anyway. This news didn't suite well with everyone though.

"This is just peachy," said Fulgurite, "not only is this another thing about Pink Diamond, but White Diamond too? I thought we were done with all that already after that big space trip."

"THAT only got White Diamond to stop experimenting, and stop killing us, that doesn't get rid of the experiments themselves. Besides, it's not like that Spinel, and this Spinel are the exact same Spinel," Pearl said, dismissing the idea they could be the same thing almost right away. Such polar opposites sounded just too off-putting to her.

"But … should we discount it?" Jade asked. The group was a bit quiet. This is White Diamond they were talking about, and the Gem did kinda brain-wash other Gems before, not to mention the kind of experiments she had done already in that Space Station. It didn't sound too out there …

"Well, maybe she is, maybe she isn't," confirmed Diopside, "But let's not get too hasty. We don't exactly know what's going on in her head right now. Maybe if we show her the other Diamonds, we can try and help her understand things are different now."

"I hope it's that easy," said Starlight, troubled a little.

"What do you mean?" Jade asked.

"Well, I mean, obviously we should try to help her out, but, and this is a shot in the dark … what if she won't? She's been experimented on by White Diamond for thousands of years, going through who knows what? W-What if she's still hating them?"

"... Oh boy," sighed Applejack.

"How do I know?" wondered Spinel.

It seemed rather unfortunate too, but at this point the very Gem in question was starting to come up from the next corner over. Spinel had been thinking up and down about it all day long since her encounter with Tempest not too long ago and, while she did want to not believe her, she wasn't sure. What exactly was the deal, and why was she left for so long anyway? She hadn't gone out to the main street just yet, but the stretchy Gem then started to overhear that same conversation from the Gems, stopping just shy of the next corner thus no one saw her there.

"We'll never know unless we try, Starlight," said Jade.

"Yeah, and let's face it: Spinel does NOT look like the fighting type to me," added Rainbow Dash.

"I'm just saying that if the Diamonds are coming here to check on things, I don't want her to get the wrong idea that's all," Starlight explained, wondering how would a gem like Spinel would react to seeing all of the Diamond Authority on Earth so quickly.

"Come on, Starlight, it won't be that bad. It wouldn't honestly be the first time," reminded Jade.

"Hmm … yeah good point. I mean, it took me months before I stopped trying," Starlight realized.

"I'd say it took me a day, day and a half," said Bismuth in a shrug.

"I'm still on the fence," joked Flint. They shared a chuckle briefly about it, but the point was still there: they all were in a fight with them before and now they're good joes.

"Seriously though, I think we need to ease it in a bit more, give Spinel time to settle down before we get the plan started," Flint confirmed.

"But aren't the Diamonds coming tomorrow?" asked Fluttershy. Fulgurite quickly got an idea.

"Well okay how's this: when we go to meet up with them back in Little Homeworld, we'll leave her behind on Earth until they're all ready. For now, let's just keep an eye on her. Sound good?"

… Leave her behind. Spinel stayed quiet, starting to walk away from the alleyway. It took a moment for her to actually take this information in, over what she just heard them say. The Diamonds were coming, and they were going to bring her to them at a point. Her face was blank at first, just staring off into the distance … But eventually, ever so slowly, her eyes narrowed into a glare. A very. Angry. Glare.

"So that's it. They're with them after all. … Well, if THAT'S the game you wanna play." Spinel's voice was almost growling by the end of it, but she didn't have to finish what she had to tell herself. With this in mind, she turned around and launched right off out of sight, disappearing far before anyone could have a chance to even realize she was there. Spinel landed off at least a good twenty feet into a alleyway, away from the Harmony Gems.

"Reconsidered, Spinel?"

Tempest. Seemed she didn't leave too far since last speaking with Spinel after all. The unicorn walked out to see Spinel, similar manor as before, but with her was someone else. Someone she wasn't sure of. yet this time Spinel had the answer more prominently this time.

"Where's that Grogar? If they think they can one-up me, they got another thing coming," said Spinel. Rather than Tempest speaking to her, the unicorn stepped aside, and allowed the other figure to walk out.

"You're looking at him."

"... OH! HI Grogar, didn't know you were right there. Tempest said you take Gems like me in?" asked Spinel. Grogar looked Spinel over.

"Are all the Gems in the Space Station like you?" Grogar inquired, examining this Gem a bit more, thinking about the situation. A bit of an odd question though to Spinel, though Spinel was curious over the gemstones around his neck.

"I … I guess?" Spinel shrugged, "Most of em are Clustered or Corrupted, I'm just experimented on."

"Experimented how?" Grogar inquired. Spinel actually sighed in annoyance.

"You want me to sing it again? Alright, give me a second," Spinel said. She cleared her throat, and took a deep breath to start, only for Grogar to shove his hoof in her mouth.

"Hey hey, if I wanted to hear a song, I'd go to the opera. Now just talk to me," Grogar made clear. Spinel was admittedly taken aback by the response, but didn't deny the request.

"Ok, have it your way. Basically, I got myself injected, wired up, code-warp'd, whatever by that wrenched White Diamond. And after all of that what do I get? Getting completely ditched!" Spinel summed up. Grogar didn't need to be told anymore to figure out the trouble Spinel went through, taking a glance over towards Tempest Shadow.

"And you want them gone, do you?" Grogar inquired.

"They're not taking me. Call in the army captain, they're going down," Spinel made clear. Grogar smiled, bringing his hoof up, but he had to draw the line on her command.

"I can handle it without my whole army behind me. But if you want to join me, then let me help you out," Grogar said, his hoof cutting a portal right by him. It took him a bit more effort than he had before, straining a bit to finish up cutting the portal opening.

"You doin more than get rid of that device on my cranium for me?" Spinel asked.

"Much more," Tempest answered. Once Grogar got the portal opened up, he turned back to Spinel. Before he could talk, Spinel peeked through the portal, seeing something on the other side, seeing that it was out of Equestria and back to Earth. This surely showed what power Grogar had.

"Absolutely. Just submit your loyalty to me, and I'll make sure the Harmony Gems are at your mercy."

"You mean the Crystal Gems," corrected Spinel.

"Sure, whatever works," Grogar said, though it honestly didn't matter to him which name they call themselves now. Spinel paused and thought about it some more, thinking what Tempest said earlier about Grogar. But at the end of the day, she'd rather be anywhere else except for the Diamond Authority's hands. So, she did a "regal" bow to Grogar.

"A pleasure to be with you," she said in a coo. Grogar smiled.

"Good lad. Now I want them gone, same as you. I'll gather them in one place … And I want you to join me in wiping them out. You think you can handle that, Spinel?" Grogar asked. Now it was Spinel's turn to give a sinister grin.

"Just leave those clods to me."

"Lovely. Let's prepare for their "homecoming"," Grogar said. Grogar and Spinel got themselves through the portal to discuss some matters, Tempest thinking about the situation herself before she too went back to Earth.

~~~~~~

Time ticked by, and still there was a lot to do. As if building up Little Homeworld wasn't enough to work with, the arrival of even more Corrupted Gems gave Nephrite far more work than she anticipated, not to mention the time to rebuilt the damages was quite a setback too throughout the day, them only getting a quarter way through the rebuilding by day's end. That, and they had to put some work on it aside to aid Beach City in cleaning up their snow, which was also time-consuming. With all of their work however, they were left just a bit too distracted to think about Spinel. The stretchy Gem had been gone practically all day long, doing who knows what, and after talking about what to do with her the group weren't checking in on her as much as they should. Even Pinkie Pie couldn't tell them there was so much to do …

If there was one person that wasn't doing that much work on her mind was Connie. Pinkie Pie's little cooking time with her did give her time to relax and take her mind off of things, but that was really all she got to do. With how much she had gone through already, she was lucky to even go into Ponyville without trouble. But she couldn't stay in there forever, and she was soon off at home and passing the time away by just looking into one of her Spirit Morph Saga books. She read it plenty of times, but it still kept her mind somewhat busy as nighttime approached. She went through at least half the book by the time she heard someone knock, and open her door.

"Connie?"

"Oh, hi mom," Connie simply said. She did notice that her mom had a drink for her, setting a warm glass of milk by her bed. Connie kinked the page she had, and then closed the book for another time.

"How're you holding up, sweetie?" Priyanka asked, being a while since she did ask about it since Connie got healed. Connie placed her hand on her head.

"Well, better that I don't have my horns anymore. Thanks for the milk," Connie replied, seeing it by her bed.

"I've read online that this can help you sleep better. I hope it does," Priyanka said, as Connie took a few sips of the warm milk. As Connie was drinking, she looked to her mother, who was herself still trying to help her own nerves herself. This became a bit more apparent when they both heard the curtains move, which got Priyanka looking to them almost in a jolt.

"Mom, easy, it's just the window," Connie said.

"Oh … yes. … I'm sorry, I-I've just been a bit more jumpy lately," Priyanka admitted, as Connie went and closed the window for a bit. Considering her own daughter was almost forced into a marriage with a tyrannical ram after being turned into some monster, Connie can't find a reason to blame her for being worried.

"Don't worry, I'm here now, and Grogar's been gone," Connie reassured her. But at the same time, Connie felt the guilt of Garnet come at her all over again, though she tried not to show it in front of her mom.

"I know, and I believe you. I believe you. …"

"You sound like you don't."

"Ok … I did promise I'd give you more freedom and all, let you go on these "adventures", but Connie … don't you think it might be too … I don't know ... dangerous?" Priyanka asked, trying not to simply say 'don't do this'. Connie paused and thought a little bit about it, but she did turn back to her worrying mother.

"Well, I can't promise it won't be dangerous again, but I can promise I'll always be safe and careful. I won't let what happened with Grogar happen to me again," Connie promised. It was a promise Priyanka simply had to hold on tight to, for her and Connie's sake. Priyanka got back up.

"I know you won't, sweetie," Priyanka said with a smile. After stating that, they both took a moment and looked outside to the falling snow. Even if dimly lit from the night sky, it still looked pretty for what it is. Priyanka walked over to the window, and opened it back up for Connie. Now, she would leave it at that, but that moment to look outside of Connie's bedroom gave Ms. Maheswaran a sight that left her stopping cold.

"Mom? What is it? Is dad back from work yet?" Connie asked. Curious, Connie too got up and moved over towards the window to see outside for a minute. Outside of the room, they got a bit of a view of the front road despite the night sky and snow. It was no blizzard by any means, but still a decent snowfall for anyone to be out in right now. But alas, some people were still outside at this time of night.

"Wait. … He's back!" Connie gasped.

"Connie, wait, don't go anywhere!" Priyanka tried to say, but Connie was already out of her room by the time she turned around. Priyanka was still right behind Connie by the time both of them got to the door. The figure himself needed time to gather himself before confronting them, being more than long enough since he saw Connie at all.

"... Steven? … STEVEN!!"

"Connie!" gasped Steven. Steven was back, at last. And Connie was the first to welcome him back home, giving him a hug almost immediately on seeing him. And while humbled still, he too returned the gesture with just as much relief. Priyanka just stayed over by the door, but she started to calm down realizing who it actually was.

"Steven, I'm so glad you're okay. … And you've grown," Connie realized, looking him over for a second, him now about as tall as he was during his Birthday Party (or at least his attempted height). Steven kinda noticed something similar to Connie too, both matching height now.

"Yeah, I guess I did. You grew too," said Steven. "And how's the rest?"

"They've been keeping themselves very busy. Believe me, there's a LOT to show you. I can't wait," Connie said. As nice as that might sound, now wasn't time for casual talk just yet, Steven had some things to say.

"Connie? Listen, I'm so sorry for running away on you, again. it's just -" before Steven could continue, Connie actually brought her hand up, Steven pausing just to see Connie's smile.

"Oh no you don't," Connie said, though it wasn't in a threatening tone, "You don't have to explain anything to me. … I missed you, Steven."

"... Yeah. Me too," Steven simply said. The two stood there for a moment or two, smiling to one another before Priyanka caught their attention again, walking out onto the front steps.

"You two want to come inside? It's much warmer in here than standing out in the cold," Priyanka offered, feeling her heart swell a bit on the reunion. Steven and Connie found the offer nice, and while Connie was ready for it, Steven had to decline.

"I'd love to, but there's something I have to do first," Steven said.

"Getting your eye healed at the fountain?" Connie inquired. All caught up, and Steven almost forgot about that.

"Well, yeah that, but -"

Before Steven could properly explain the situation to Connie and Priyanka, he took a look down the road a bit from Connie's place. Connie was outside, and so was he, but there was one more person starting to come in from the darkened snowfall. It was a bit of a blur at first, but even with his one eye, Steven Universe recognized the shape as she moved out into the light. Steven only recognized her more from the day he left Beach City, but when Connie followed his gaze to the figure she had a more prominent memory of this figure from her time in Grogar's prison.

Tempest Shadow.

As if Steven's return wasn't shocking enough. Priyanka, worried over the children, got out and stood in the way almost immediately, though Connie and Steven were a little indifferent with her. They didn't like her, but they didn't jump at her either.

"Sumu said this was the place," Tempest said to herself, glancing to the people in front of her. Tempest took one more step before she realized Steven was there too, making her retract her step.

"Who're you?" Priyanka asked. Tempest stepped at a reasonable distance.

"Evening. My name is Tempest Shadow, I'm only stopping by for a minute," Tempest said. Oddly formal and straight-forward, but eventually Connie and Steven moved over to Priyanka's side.

"Steven. You came back," Tempest said. Steven stepped forward, presenting a shield not in attack, but just in case she would hurt anyone there.

"Good to be back," said Steven, "Now what do you want Tempest?"

Tempest paused for a moment.

"... You look healthy Steven, since running away. And are you holding up well, Connie?" Tempest asked. Connie was a bit beside herself. Sure she was Grogar's commander, but Tempest wasn't exactly like the others in his ranks. At least from what she knew from Twilight. Still, she kept it safe.

"Why should you care, pony? Connie told me about you, you're one of that dead ram's commanders," Priyanka said, keeping Connie and Steven closer to her.

"I still am, and he's still alive my dear, so I'd be careful," Tempest warned. Not that she needed her troops behind her to deal with these three if she had to come to that.

"Alive … Grogar's still alive? HOW?" Connie gasped. Well so much for Steven giving her the news. Tempest took a step or two forward towards them.

"He may be muscle, but he has a few tricks too: he simply played dead while you two were there and snuck away after you all were gone. … But that's not the game I'm here to tell you about," Tempest made clear.

"Then what's the game this time?" asked Steven.

"And what're the rules?" added Connie.

"Grogar is planning his next attack on both the Diamond Authority and Harmony Gems tomorrow morning with a new recruit. And he's going to wipe them all out this time. The only rule you have to follow is to stay away. Don't let him catch you in his way again," Tempest explained. A bit of silence hung in the air on her explaining this. She did say she was with Grogar still, but yet she'd tell them all of this?

"You're just telling us this? But you're from Grogar's Army, why should you care what we do?" Steven asked. Tempest sighed.

"Because you two suffered enough under his hooves fighting him all the time. He's making you obsessed with him, and he'll gladly take you out with him if you keep fighting him. Besides … I'm not on the same stoop to torment children."

"Tempest. …"

"... Anyway, just stay out of the way. For your own safety," Tempest advised. The word "obsessed" seemed to stick in Connie's head, but Steven was more focused on the now. She was just about to go, but after a few more steps -

"NO! We can't just leave them to him!" Steven retorted.

"You're not listening -"

"I'm listening fine," insisted Steven, "Tempest, I know what you're saying, but what good is that if it means letting everyone else get killed by him? I have to do something."

Tempest should've expected this from him, and just huffed.

"Fine. Be like that," Tempest scoffed. She turned to go, and took a few steps before she paused and said one more thing to him.

"You wounded him a bit back at your final fight. He's weaker in the chest these days."

"Uh … thank you."

"Don't thank me. He'll kill you anyway."

Connie and Steven just stayed there, letting Tempest go off to meet with her comrades, as they all took a moment to get this information in. Steven and Connie both just stood there for a moment, but while Steven readied to continue going off, Connie didn't really move … and actually started going back to the house.

"What're you doing?" Steven asked.

"... What're WE doing?!" Connie exclaimed, spinning back to Steven.

"We're going after Grogar, we're going to beat him at his own game," insisted Steven. But Connie then started putting that into question.

"I know, but … why do we even have to play his game?"

"Because he's just ... just … AUGH!" Steven said, angry all over again at him.

"I know! So then why should he have any say over how we feel?" Connie insisted.

"He doesn't!" Steven retorted.

"But he's the reason we're out here right now. The reason I had my horns, the reason you ran away! … Steven ... he's the reason we fused."

The reality of the situation struck Steven like a tidal wave, the truth sinking into him fast as a gasp escaped him. The entire fight went through his head all over again, but now their reason for using Stevonnie for the fight was no longer just to get back Homeworld. It was just about Grogar.

"We are obsessed with him," Steven realized, in a quiet hush. A silence kept in the cold night air for a bit more, nothing but the sound of the breeze going across the road by them. Both of their training, both of their injuries, both of their anger. It all connected back to a demonic Ram who probably wanted them to focus so much on him. To give them a reason to lose sight of what was important …

"... Connie? I want to finish this. … But not for him."

Connie looked over to her mother too, who at this point already knew where this was going. She just nodded for a silent answer. Connie smiled, and walked over to Steven, hand out.

"For us."

~~~~~~

Dear friends: meet us at the northernmost fields outside of town. We'd really appreciate meeting with you all for the reunion there.

This message was what got much of the Harmony Gem team up and moving the next morning. The whole group as instructed was there for this little meeting on Earth, ponies and Gems alike with the exception of Star Quartz. The morning was a bit chilly according to some, the snow covering the open fields around them as they got themselves to the meeting point. Which in this case was the open fields, with a Warp Pad placed further along the path. Not exactly the same Warp Pad as the one in Little Homeworld, but still a Warp Pad all the same. However, it still would be a bit before the Diamonds would show up, leaving much of them still out in the open and waiting.
Including Twilight Sparkle.

"Sure you feel alright enough for this, Twilight?" Applejack asked her.

"Don't worry, I'm fine. Just a little bit sore still," Twilight replied. Though admittedly she was mostly being modest about it, given her injuries were still fairly evident on her thanks to Grogar's army, most notable damage done on her wings. Still enough to fly, but only just enough.

"Your feathers are growing back nicely. You'll be back in full flying shape by next week at this rate," said Jade, gently holding her wing gently.

"Well mostly thanks to you guys," said Twilight.

ONLY NOW did they ask the one question though …

"What do you mean you don't know? Pinkie you're supposed to be watching Spinel," stated Pearl.

"I was watching her: I watched her ride on my back, I watched her make cupcakes with me and Connie, and … oh. Oops," Pinkie said, realizing her little mistake. Such an unstable Gem out on her own didn't suit well for many of them now.

"Who knows what trouble she's gotten into now? And with the Diamonds just showing up," said Jade worriedly. Fulgurite though went over to them.

"Well look on the bright side: she isn't here, so she isn't gonna freak out seeing the Diamonds. We were gonna leave her behind during this chat anyway," Fulgurite said.

"Oh, right, it was your idea to leave her with Pinkie wasn't it?" Flint pointed out.

"How's I supposed to know?!"

Luckily Fulgurite and Flint stopped butting heads when another one of the Mane Six got in between them in the form of Applejack, pushing them both away.

"Guys, stop! Look, we already got the Diamonds coming here any second, so can we not start a fight right now? We'll look for her later."

"Are you sure about that? I mean, if I remember her right, Spinel can be … what's the word? ... unpredictable," Pearl asked.

"So's Pinkie Pie, and she's okay," AJ pointed out, Pinkie Pie nodding and agreeing.

But both Twilight's status and Spinel's location would have to be put on hold for a minute, as they then all heard the Warp Pad go off not far ahead of them. The full warp needed a bit more time to handle, considering who and what it had to bring over. The silhouettes of four giants appeared from within the warp stream. Pink Diamond, Blue Diamond, Yellow Diamond, and White Diamond had finally showed themselves, all at once.

"The Diamonds are here!" announced Pink Diamond.

"Pink!" said Starlight. Pinkie Pie, Starlight, and Pink Diamond met with eachother first, as the other three Diamonds moved off the Warp Pad to meet with the other Gems and Ponies.

"Hello everyone," said Blue Diamond, as she went down on her knees to be on better level with the rest, "You're all looking better."

"Hey Blue. Yeah, we're getting by. How's Homeworld holding up now?" Amethyst asked casually.

"Much better since Grogar left it," remarked Yellow Diamond, "everything was so out of place: cleaning out the Kindergarten of animal fur, sanitizing Blue Diamond's bath -"

"AND cleaning my room of all those vines," cut in Pink. "They could've at least trimmed some of it while they took over."
Yellow felt a shiver run through her on that part, dealing with so much disarray and ... plants. Lots and lots of plants.

"You're lucky that's all they did," said Jasper. As they were standing there, a cold breeze went by them, making Emerald shiver a little.

"Nice to meet you all again, but uh ... why'd you want us to meet THIS far away?" Emerald asked, scratching his head about the invitation. This statement did give the Diamonds themselves a pause for thought.

"... Isn't this where you wanted us to be?" Blue Diamond asked, a little confused on the question.

"Uhh. We got your message saying you wanna meet here, see?" Starlight said, showing them the Gem message as they got it. The message they got was purely Gem writing, something the Diamonds could read fairly easily, Pink Diamond checking it first before the other three saw it themselves.

"I ... don't remember writing this," White Diamond stated.

"You … what?"

"Look, we got your message right here," Pink Diamond said, showing them their version of the message, this one rolled up in a scroll and everything. Twilight opened it up and checked it out herself. The ponies saw this weird, sure, but when the Gems saw this …

"Hang on a call … Starlight, can I see the Gem message?" Pearl asked. Starlight presented the Gem message with her magic again. Pearl got the scroll and compared it side to side with the Gem message. One written by Equestria, one written by Homeworld. And they said the exact. Same. Thing.

"... This is a set-up."

"You darn right it is."

*ZAP!* What a way to make an entrance. Before any of them could do anything, the Warp Pad nearby suddenly let off a gigantic explosion, making them all brace themselves. The debris flew everywhere, some of the group scattering while others managed to hold their own and block the falling pieces. But no doubt that this Warp Pad was destroyed, leaving them with no immediate escape as someone began moving out from the cloud of smoke.

"GROGAR?!" exclaimed ... pretty much everyone. Grogar, Bray, and Budgerite went along towards them, the gemstones of Ruby and Sapphire glistening in the morning light.

"I-I thought you were dead," gasped White. Grogar growled.

"Heh. And I thought you gave up. But life's full of disappointments, isn't it?" Grogar said, making his approach towards them. It hardly took them much time to arm up in his presence, the fighters more than ready to go and get him.

"I will rebuild my empire, and unless you want to be apart of my new necklace, then you better kneel before me. NOW."

"Come try us, goat, I dare you!" Rainbow Dash warned, hooves up and ready to get him. Grogar snarled.

"Goat, goat, GOAT, can't you pathetic mules -" Grogar readied to go forward, but the gemstones swayed a bit, hitting the scar on his chest. It was enough to make him stop and regather himself.

"What's with him now?" Twilight asked, suspicious. Grogar did eventually get himself together, but the hesitance did give Diopside a moment to see what was around his neck. It was enough to drive any Gem up a wall.

"You got Garnet around your neck … you sick freak!" Diopside hissed. Grogar chimed the gemstones.

"Do I need to go over the Harvesting horrors your kind did again? KNEEL!" Grogar demanded.

"We will NOT fall before you again. We're ready for you this time, and you will yield!" Yellow Diamond said.

"Well it's a good thing I brought a worthy challenger." Grogar huffed.

"Worthy challenger? You mean you're not fighting, coward?" Jasper questioned. While he'd love to get her for that remark, a nudge from Budgerite reminded Grogar on who was actually coming, getting him back to focus.

"I'm all worn out from your human doll hybrid already - the only one I KNOW can actually kill me. Fortunately for you," Grogar growled, straightening himself up and showing the gash in his chest in between Ruby and Sapphire.

"You mean human Gem hybrid," corrected Peridot.

"Gem, doll, whatever. He's not here. Which means she's going to tear your heads off."

"Who. Is. She?" questioned White Diamond. Before Grogar could answer, his ear flicked up at the sound of something spearing high up in the sky. It started out very small, but opened up into a decent-sized "black hole" high in the sky.

"Well here she comes now," said Grogar, before he actually joined his buddies in bolting off for some cover, leaving everyone else exposed.

"Is that a … warp tunnel?" wondered Twilight, unsure of what she was seeing exactly.

"Oh no," gulped White Diamond.

Then they saw it.

It warped a bit passing through its own tunnel, but it didn't take long for it to fully take its shape for all of them to see. The clouds swirled and moved aside to let the giant object slowly float in. They've seen objects like this before: the same large hourglass-shape body, the same three foldable spider-like legs near the base, which swirled open upon reaching the main surface, the same specialized gem-like piece at the very top of the construct. The accents were as black as night, the stone hot pink, and within the glass casing appeared to be a form of pink liquid. And it's size. It towered over every organism present for its arrival, so large and vast that it can wrap its legs around Brooding Hill with ease, and it dwarfed even the largest of Dragons.

"Holy smokes," gulped Peridot. The colossal titan of Injectors everywhere slowly started to move once again, taking dead aim directly at the entire group below, the legs stretching out across from the base, preparing to make their first contact with Earth. Each legs alone cut right into the ground, shaking up everything in sight, everyone covering up in case something were to fall on them. However, the injector didn't crush any of them, but it was extremely close to them no doubt, their backs over towards the sea, and the injector covering the countryside with its mere presence.

"Don't remember that being part of the deal," Grogar thought suspiciously.

"Oh no, this is bad," gulped Pink Diamond.

"Look! Up there!" called Amethyst. Everyone down below looked right on up the entirety of the structure, ALL the way to the very top of it. All the way up there, they all saw a teeny tiny silhouette of a Gem standing right up at the top, looking down at them all with a more than satisfied face. Or at least, she will be satisfied once this is all handled. Peridot and Diopside were the first to figure out who this was.

"Wait a minute. Is that …" Diopside couldn't get the answer out fast enough, as the figure gave a sinister grin before jumping right off of the top! A fall from that far, and that fast would kill anyone, but this Gem was not gonna be taken down like that. The whole machine echoed as the metal was struck by the Gem herself, her gemstone glistening in the light as that, along with the upside-down heart of hers, made everyone realize who this was.

"Spinel?"

"Well well well WELL!" said Spinel, her tone having all sorts of emotions mixed in it, "Look who decided to come out and see the BIG surprise. Let's just see what's the menagerie this time."
Spinel brought her hand up to her eye, which stretched and warped into what looked like a telescope, the end of said eye like that of a reptile as she checked out who showed up.

"We got the "Crystal Gems" here, the "Elements of Harmony" over there, and OH WAIT, we even got the O SO GREAT! DIAMOND AUTHORITY! We got ourselves a full house here, folks, isn't that. JUST. SWELL?"

"She's gone mad. Very, very mad," shuttered Emerald. Only a true madman could have such a crazed-sounding voice, mixing anger with so much energy, saying "swell" like she was ready to pull the trigger to any gun in range of her any second, despite the smile.

"It can't be," gasped Pink Diamond, taken aback a bit. Spinel heard her Diamond loud and clear, and just laughed, having ALL THE POWER to herself now, and not with those four.

"Oh but it can be. And it is! I got myself a brand new style -" she leaned back, and ran her hand through her hair. "- and a few new TOYS -" she then slammed her hand on the machine, again making it echo as her hand almost "splat" on it, "That's gonna put an end to your wonderful, "happily ever after" ONCE AND FOR ALL!"

"Spinel where'd you even get that thing?! Put it away before you hurt somebody!" shouted Bismuth, but Spinel was not having any of it.

"I ain't putting away nothin! And for where I got it, let's just say someone should've kept a lock on their little toy box. Isn't that right, WHITE?!"

Everyone turn to the blushing White Diamond on that remark.

"... I uh … got bored one day, so I … made time?" White said humbly.

"ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?!" Yellow Diamond shouted. Pinkie actually felt heart broken.

"How could you?! After everything we did today together, you and me! WE SANG THE CUPCAKE SONG!" Pinkie screamed.

"Oh, oh really? Just like we were going to go out on a playdate in Las Pegasus, but wait a minute. That wasn't going to happen, because you were going to send me RIGHT BACK to that White head over there, and have me RIGHT BACK WHERE I STARTED!"
A vague idea, but it's still just enough to tell the majority of the Harmony Gems what was wrong here. Or at least how she came to that conclusion.

"Spinel! Clearly there's a loss in translation here. In case you haven't heard, I've already made peace with -"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'VE HEARD," Spinel scoffed, unamused again, and actually shocking White Diamond, "I got your little message that you decided to go all goodie-two-shoes and ditch everything, and leave everything you and all your diamond preppies did behind them. ON LOOP!!" Spinel's angry voice echoed across the entire field, showing just how angry she was in front of them all. And to everyone's shock, Spinel had the absolute nerve to bring her fist out, expand it to the size of White diamond's head, and slam the diamond right in the face! It was like getting a direct hit by a wrecking ball. The hit itself was so strong, and so sudden, White Diamond actually was knocked back onto her knees, shaking the ground. WHITE. DIAMOND. Was knocked off her own feet!

"I just loooove that part. When you actually think you can just walk away from all the bad things you've done and say everything's all hankie dory, like it never even HAPPENED AT ALL!"

"You're wrong! Spinel, get down from there, and we'll explain it to you!" Flint called.

"DON'T YOU EVEN TRY ME! Why in the universe's butt would THE DIAMONDS, the QUEEN CLOD OF CLODS, would want to actually enjoy their time on this NOWHERE PLANET, with a BUNCH. OF. NOBODIES?!"

And her first assault was a leap right off of the platform. Here she comes.

That's right, I've heard your story
over, and over again!

Upon landing on the ground, Spinel's elasticity became her working piece again, moving very much like a slinky, with Applejack trying to grab her but to no avail except face-planting the ground on a second jump, as she went straight for Pink Diamond herself first, her assault enough to actually knock Pink Diamond onto the ground, Spinel still doing a sort of jig to the beat of her own song.

Gee, it's swell to finally meet your
OTHER FRIENDS~

Unfortunately, now they had to fight her, but Spinel had got them more than well-matched. Her first assault was directed right to Bismuth first, who tried to use hammer arms to get her, only to keep missing as she wormed and swayed to avoid every hit like it was just a dance or something, very loose and boneless.

That's right, I've heard your story
DON'T really like how it ends

*flick* she popped up by Pearl next, and with a wink she actually flicked Pearl's honkin nose. God was that an annoyance from the past, and pure disrespect! Spinel bounced over to the big fighters Jasper and Amethyst next, and all she had to do to them was grab their hair, and swing them forward, giving them both blocked view by their own colored hair. Spinel was not giving them a chance to breathe, let alone fight back.

Gee, it's swell to finally meet your
OTHER FRIENDS~

Time for a more direct approach: extending her arms, she suddenly had a grip on both Pink Pearl and CG Pearl, yanking them close. Next thing the two knew, they were upside-down by Spinel, who wrapped herself up in one of the injector's legs, hands holding Pearl, feet holding Pink Pearl, both being shaken up as Spinel watched on.

What did she say about me?
What did she SAY?

Rainbow Dash and Lapis tried to get her from the sky, but Spinel bolted aside before they could fetch her, instead both hitting the Pearls mid air. As for Spinel, she targeted the ponies next, and suddenly Applejack, Rarity, and Starlight were being juggled around radically like a bunch of performance balls, Spinel again dancing to the beat in a sort of in-place prancing.

What did you do without me?
What did you DO?

She'd continue if not for Starlight shooting down a magic blast at point-blank range. Still, Spinel dodged it easily, making her stop her juggling and all three of them falling to the ground, but Spinel targeted someone else in the group, this time being Jasper, Flint and Bismuth, who she did a bit of a unique routine with all three of em on her arms. She made her arms all wavy, making all three unable to connect as she just stood there with such a grin on her face.

Did you play games without me?
what did you PLAY?

This time Yellow Diamond tried grabbing her, but Spinel moved too fast and her hand only slammed into the ground. Lucky for Flint, Jasper, and Bismuth Spinel yanked them aside (why, who knows). Spinel became completely flat next, slithering on the ground directly back to point A to Pink Diamond. With one main question as she sprung out.

Did you think all this time
that I wouldn't find out about YOU?!

It was enough to scare Pink Diamond outta her mind. If she did had any memories of Spinel still in her, then NO WAY was this that same one. Spinel went in for a full team blow now, all her limbs branching out all over the place and wrapping around every member of the Harmony Gem team. All she had to do was recoil herself, and all the team slammed together in one big pile.

OH, that's right I've heard your story
Over and over again!

Letting them go, the crazed elastic Gem got a grip on the edge of her injector, and landed right back where she started her assault. Right back at square one, only one it was her who was standing and them down on the floor.

Gee, it's swell to finally meet your
OTHER FRIENDS~

"Holy oak, you're right Grogar. She's taking them down," said Budgerite in absolute amazement. Spinel wasn't even trying by the look of it.

"YEAH, down and out," agreed Bray.

"Of course she is. So satisfying. C'mon lads, let's get a front row seat," Grogar snickered, really enjoying himself and gutsy enough to actually walk out. Very risky, but with Spinel doing everything for him, they were too busy anyway. He and his comrades sat down by the injector, getting a show. As for the group, they did get themselves shaken off from all of that, but they can tell this challenger wasn't any normal Gem fight like before - at least THEY gave them some opening!

"She's running circles around us," said Flint.

"Believe me, we can see that. Any clue how to stop her?" Rainbow Dash asked. As they were trying to recover, White Diamond was still left in a bit of a troubled state, and shocked still by the fact Spinel struck her at all.

"I … it really is her," White Diamond said, "I can't believe it …"

"Believe what? White, Pink, who even is this Spinel?!" Yellow Diamond asked.

Spinel was TRIGGERED. And now she was more than ready to kill. So she didn't even say ANYTHING about her. To the point of twitching she was so angry, she leaped up and, throwing Pink Diamond onto her, landed right on top of them both.

Who am I? WHO AM I?!
WHAT'RE YOU EVEN SAYING?!

Spinel marched forward with them both, until Pink Diamond felt her back press against White Diamond's chest. Spinel literally was on toe with Pink AND White at the same time, and her hammering wasn't even close to being done.

I'm the loser of the game you
didn't know you were playing!

But then the playing field got even harder, as Spinel then pulled out something from the confines of her gemstone. Something that, for the Harmony Gems' worry and Grogar' pleasure, turned the tide entirely into her favor.

Let's play another game
this time, I get to WIN!

A object. A handle, you can say. Similar color to that of Spinel herself. She tossed it a bit before getting a good grip on it. On this, the object started right up right in front of them, revealing what this really was. A Gem weapon. But not just any Gem weapon, not even close. a long, dark magenta pole extended from the grip with a gemstone-like object on its tip. From there, two beams of pink energy extended from either side of the "faux" gemstone, with one of the beams coalescing into a short, v-cut blade, and the other becoming much longer and scythe-shaped. A Gem Scythe!
And this scythe was all powered up, energy sparking like electricity. OH Spinel was ready for cutting up some snitches.

LIVES ON THE LINE!
WINNER TAKES ALL!
READY OR NOT!
LET'S BEGIN!

ATTACK! And Spinel's first target was the whole group right behind her, rapidly spinning like one of those throwing stars with the scythe nothing but a blur. Everyone was quickly forced to scatter away, Spinel still spinning and slicing anything that was close. Gem weapon or not, NOONE wanted to get sliced! Any none Gems that got close she just kicked or punched aside with ease, making it almost impossible to get close without either or.

OH, that's right, I've heard the story
Over and over again!
Gee it's swell to finally beat your
OTHER FRIENDS!~

This was getting far too out of hand. Spinel then went for a final blow: charging forward to make the team split, her feet hooked on one of the legs of the injector, making her swing all the way back around (and nearly striking Grogar in process) and rushed passed them, again narrowly missing them. But the momentum swung her right at White Diamond, wrapping around her until her body was right at the top, ready to release.

That's right, I've heard your story
DON'T really like how it ends
Gee it's swell to finally beat your other ...

Part of the Gem team started for her, and it would've been the rest of Bismuth didn't keep them back first.

Other ...

Spinel then released.

OTHER … friends~

*POOF*

The count: Pearl. Amethyst. Jasper. Peridot. Lapis Lazuli. Pink Diamond. ALL OF THEM were struck down at once, Spinel's scythe slicing them all right in half, each and every one, yet somehow avoiding the gemstones of each one of them.

"HOLY SSSSSHHHHE GOT THEM ALL IN ONE HIT!" shrieked Starlight. It was a major shock, Spinel laughing maniacally at this setback she had just created, Grogar actually applauding her for her efforts. But that didn't stop them by a long shot.

"HEY, we're still here, spaghetti arms!" shouted Rainbow Dash, the ponies making a circle so Spinel and Grogar won't reach the fallen Gemstones. They weren't sure what Spinel will do if she reached them, but they knew what Grogar will do and weren't having it.

"Did I hit a nerve, pony?~" Spinel joked. She then made her bolt for them, scythe at the ready, but unlike before, Starlight, Rarity, and Twilight all at once got their aura out and caught her midflight. Just in time.

"Easy Spinny," called Grogar, "You go and play with your own toys, I'll take it from here."
And to prove it, his horns lit up and shot all three unicorns at once, getting Spinel out of the catch with ease.

"I thought you said you're too worn out to fight," questioned Blue Diamond coldly. Grogar laughed.

"To fight ALL OF YOU, sure, but looks like the field's more even'd out. The plan's working like a charm if I do say so myself," Grogar said, ready to charge in and get the fight started. Everyone else armed up and readied for a double-battle between Spinel and Grogar, but while the ram got it all handled and figured out, Spinel had different ideas, seeing some of them scared over their friends.

"Awww, you miss your friends already? Don't worry. YOU'RE RIGHT BEHIND THEM!" shouted Spinel.

Time for the true surprise: Spinel warped her hand, stretching and curling it into what looked like a blowhorn, and didn't hesitate to give it a good hard blow. The horn bellowed across the countryside, stretching for miles around the empty plains, and the great injector heard the ringing loud and clear. Triggering from the noise, the injector's bottom piece started to extend downward into a sharpened drill, making Bray and Budgerite go and bolt for it. The drill, glowing the same hot pink liquid, The ground gave way with ease, sizzling and blowing smoke, as the drill injected into the ground. The process began.

"BOOM! Now you'll get what's coming to ya," Spinel said wickedly.

"Get what? A new Gem outta the ground?" asked Applejack. However, the Gem Injector nearby kinda answered the effect for them, as some of the pink liquid actually seeped out of the drill like a leaky faucet, which happened tp splash nearby Budgerite and Bray. Budgerite was fine, but Bray got his tail in the stuff.

"... Yow … oh yow. Yow. YEEEEEOOOOWWW!" Bray shrieked, galloping and bucking in panic as his tail felt like it was on fire. Whatever the liquid was, it was VERY painful.

"Wow, you really don't know anything, do you? Soon as that thing's empty of all that poison, there'll be NOTHING of your precious, happy Little Homeworld LEFT. This hunk of rock's gonna crumble away, and ALL OF YA are goin with it!" Spinel explained, her smile and eyes saying how much she enjoyed all of this. So THAT was the real revenge plan she had in mind, the others looking to the gigantic Gem Drill.

"WHAT?!," Grogar roared.

"Not if we can help it: get that thing out of the ground, now!" Twilight shouted, galloping over to the Gem Drill and starting a magic beam on one of the legs. Rarity and Starlight followed the lead, rushing to each leg and used their magic to pull as much as they could.

"Oh no you don't!" Spinel shouted, leaping up to slice them all into ribbons with the Gem Scythe, only for something to suddenly slam into her, knocking her weapon far away, and digging his teeth into her and dragging her into the ground. Immediately she reeled up and kicked her attacker off, only to see who it actually was: Grogar!

"You traitorous excuse for a predator!"

"Traitor? Hold on, I'm on YOUR side, you wanted them dead don't ya?!"

"I'm taking over the world, not destroying it!" Grogar yelled, before charging her again. As before, Spinel dodged each and every attack Grogar tried at her, which was a bit … odd for the Gems to see. Ironic almost.

"Should we do something about them?" asked Diopside.

"One crisis at a time, Dio. Come on, help em getting that drill out," instructed Bismuth, already getting over to the base of the drill to try and make it get out, her hand turning into a crowbar. At least they can say Grogar was distracted right now and won't bother them. So the remaining Gems joined the Ponies in trying to get the Gem Drill out of the ground, the Gems at the actual base. This piece was extremely heavy, and at first none of their efforts were remotely moving this huge chunk of metal, everyone trying their absolute hardest to even budge the thing. But they did eventually got some extra help, feeling the entire thing become easier to lift thanks to Yellow, Blue, and White coming in to lift the drill at the base.

"We can handle this," said Blue, "Go get your friends before Grogar does."
The Gems and Ponies looked back towards the others, seeing the two fighting with eachother for a bit more. They have to get them quick, because the liquid seeping from the drill was dangerously close to the gemstones on the ground.

"Holy hay!" Rainbow gasped, before quickly flying in. She and Fulgurite were quick to go in and snatch up all of the gemstones off of the ground, Rainbow barely saving Pink Diamond from falling in by snatching both with her muzzle.

"Got em!" Rainbow managed to say through a closed muzzle, with Amethyst and Lapis in her front hooves.

"Me too," said Fulgurite, holding Amethyst, Peridot, Pearl, and Jasper in her arms. With their tussle, neither Grogar nor Spinel actually noticed what was actually going on, even while the ground was shaking from the force used by the diamonds to move the mentioned drill. At one point, Spinel in all of her jumping and dodging actually (and this was ridiculous) literally tripped over her own foot. This made her stumble, and Grogar FINALLY got her pinned down.

"What're you doing?!"

"What does it look like I'm doing - getting rid of some worn out toys," Grogar snarled, ready to tear Spinel to pieces.

"B-But I thought you wanted me! You said we're friends! Right?" Spinel pleaded, trying to make sense of it. Grogar though could care less, his hoof pushing her head down and almost flattening it.

"Don't you put words in my mouth, lad, I never said that! I just wanted someone to kill the Gems for me without me getting killed again. And now that you did it, I don't need you anymore."

"You … you just wanted to use me? TEMPEST LIED TO ME! You don't want to keep me alive even if I'm super rare!" Spinel gasped in shock. Grogar laughed.

"Oh lord, you're as bad as Steven! Of course she lied to you! Did you honestly think that a warlord like me would want a "playmate"? I got Bray and Budgerite for that," Grogar said, pointing to the two nearby, who by this point Bray finally calmed down with his tail in a crisp. Spinel's face turned from realization to anger in three seconds flat, killer look to Grogar but still had tears.

"And besides, as rare as you are, loyalty and worth is a bit more important. And thanks to that -" Grogar pointed to the Injector, which the Diamonds were still trying their hardest to budge "- I don't think it's worth it to have a toy like you with me."

Spinel got her strength up, and kicked Grogar off of her, and quickly got him pinned down fast, VERY angry.

"OH NO YA DON'T! You think it's gonna be that easy to get rid of me, then YOU GOT ANOTHER THING COMING!" Spinel shouted. Grogar then began to get himself beaten down, and while Budgerite and Bray were freaking out about it, Spinel's punching actually didn't last very long as Grogar finally got one of her fists locked in his teeth. Even though she was elastic, Grogar made sure she wasn't moving anywhere and bit by bit forced her back on the ground, THIS time making sure her arms and legs were pinned down, but she still managed to give Grogar a strong headbutt, just enough to make him get off of her, and her springing up to her feet after unraveling herself. Grogar got up and prepared himself.

"If you were just a bit more obedient, I would've liked you as my captain. Too bad it had to end this way."
Not like it would matter anyway. Spinel saw Grogar make a mighty leap right for her, horns at the ready -

*BAM!* "OOF!"

The moment was almost slow motion. Spinel was about to jump back, but as Grogar was so close to tearing her to pieces, something from out of nowhere just met Grogar right in the head. Something very fast, rounded like a disk, and shaded a very peculiar look of … pink. Spinel didn't know where it could've came from, no Gem out that could match it, or any pony capable of bringing that up. Grogar was launched a good twenty feet, slamming over and over again on the ground before stopping. Everyone around watched the object fly high into the air, making its B-line back to its owner.

"What just happened?" Grogar grumbled, still seeing stars from such a blindsided hit.

"I happened."

There was the owner, coming in from the direction of Beach City, standing tall once again. There was no mistaking this being this time, and now no blind eye, or horns remained on her anywhere. Whatever reminder to her of Grogar's control were now removed, and she wasn't wavering.

"STEVONNIE!" gasped her friends.

"S-Stevonnie?! She's back?!" gasped Bray.

"I thought they ran off!" added Budgerite, holding Bray in fear.

"Huh? Who?" Spinel wondered. The ONLY one who wasn't scared or confused from the enemy side was confident Grogar. The scars might be gone, but Grogar still had his trump card around his neck, and at least somewhat knew how to handle Stevonnie.

"This is our home, Grogar, and if you're not going to respect it, that means you have to pack up, and go," Stevonnie said boldly. Grogar snorted.

"PAH! This again?" Grogar huffed, amused this was done twice on him, "So how you wanna handle it now? Is this gonna end in another bloodbath again?"

Stevonnie smirked, and much to everyone's confusion, actually tossed the shield aside.

"Nope. Don't have to. I can get you to leave, I just don't have to beat you up to do it," Stevonnie said, almost smugly. Grogar blinked, and as Stevonnie expected him to, started laughing hysterically.

"So it's back to square one for you. So tell me then "hero", if you're not here to fight, then what business do you have here?" Grogar questioned. Stevonnie took a glance down to Grogar's neck, seeing Ruby and Sapphire glistening in the dim light. The smugness was replaced by seriousness, and Stevonnie took a step forward.

"I'm here to look you in the eye, and tell you that you have no power over us. We will no longer be scared of you."

Grogar decided to test that. And in a terrifying roar, charged forward, hooves kicking up the dying dirt, eyes red and glowing in a glare. Many of her friends suddenly got alarmed, and readied to rush forward to help Stevonnie, who actually suddenly felt a flash of fear run through her in Grogar's charge. THAT look though was all Grogar needed, and he halted his fake charge on the spot.

"HA! You sure look scared to me," Grogar growled, grinning in satisfaction on seeing Stevonnie's jump. Stevonnie did feel afraid rather quickly, knowing well both what he can do, and what he had done to both Steven and Connie. But Ruby and Sapphire were there too, and with how much she had done, Stevonnie took a deep calming breath.

"Well … I'm not. I'm not scared of you Grogar, and I'll never be scared of you again."

"Is that right? … Well maybe YOU SHOULD BE!"

And now for an ACTUAL charge at them, Grogar roaring and charging forward again. Stevonnie did jump out of the ram's way, only to have to dodge again when Grogar blasted them with one of his electrical charges, burning her feet almost. Spinel wasn't sure exactly what the beef was between Grogar and Stevonnie, but she did begin to quietly tip-toe away as best she could. One step after another. …

"I'M NOT DONE WITH YOU!" Grogar snapped, jumping at Spinel. Spinel freaked out on being spotted, getting zapped by the ram. The electricity shot through her and while it would've been enough for a normal gem to poof, her elasticity made it like she was rubber, making her shake but still keep together. It still hurt a lot though, and the stinging gave Grogar time to actually grab her, and try to strike Stevonnie with her.

"Seriously?" Stevonnie thought. She dodged a few of the hits, but each time she did meant Spinel was getting hurt from being used (literally) as a hammer several times, her yelping "OW" with each hit on the ground. After the hammering, Grogar swung her in a circle, tossing her like a Hammer Throw ball. This again missed, but it swung Spinel right at her own injector, splatting right on one of its legs before peeling off and plopping onto the ground in a daze.

"Are you okay?" Fluttershy asked worriedly, going over to her.

"Besides being abused, and betrayed. Peachy," she grumbled, before laying down on the ground. Stevonnie looked concerned for Spinel as well, but this only gave Grogar an opening for a dirty trick: scraping the dirt up and tossing it at her eyes. No more honorable fighting. With Stevonnie blinded, Grogar jumped her.

"Stevonnie!" gasped Blue Diamond.

"We're on it big B, just keep lifting! metal B, hold these," Fulgurite said, giving the gemstones to Bismuth, electricity flying off of her hair as she readied to charge for the fight. As the fight was going on though, Stevonnie did see Fulgurite about to run into the battle, Fulgurite already running towards them both and knocking Grogar off quick. That may be good, but Stevonnie got her out of the way quick.

"Stevonnie!"

"This is my fight, Fulgurite, just focus on the injector," said Stevonnie. And just in time for another blast, this time a green bomb, to be launched at them. Stevonnie dodged it just fine, but turned out the bomb wasn't aimed at her.

*BOOM!*

"GAAHH!" Yellow Diamond suddenly collapsed when the bomb blew up right at her foot, which made the injector itself suddenly drop down, digging deeper into the ground below and cracking the entire area. Everyone had to keep balance while avoiding the going cracks in the earth, branching out all over the place like cracks in an icy lake, and even more fatal as the pink liquid quickly filled in each one, giving off a ominous glow around all of them.

"WHOA! Hold on," said Rainbow, her and Fluttershy quickly flying up behind her and pushing her back up and balanced. Yellow Diamond had to really put herself into it, lifting as hard as she could to regain herself.

"Don't you fall on us now!" Rainbow added, groaning a little to keep Yellow Diamond up.

"What's it look like I'm doing?" Yellow replied, adding some extra strength that actually, combined with the other two, started to force the drill piece out of the ground again. As they were focusing on the drill, Stevonnie and Grogar were still in the middle of their tussle, though it was mainly Grogar attacking and Stevonnie defending whenever she could, not willing to put up a punch or kick, and using the shield as it was supposed to rather than a throwing disk. She did push Grogar back with it rather roughly, but that was as far as she did. Besides, her goal wasn't just to beat up Grogar anyway. Fulgurite was keeping up the fighting too, only more forcefully. This also meant though she was getting hurt more than Stevonnie, being launched back several times until, finally, Flint and Diopside grabbed hold of her to keep her back.

"Hey, HEY!"

"It'll be fine. Believe in Stevonnie," said Diopside.

"Fight you coward!" Grogar mocked, his hooves slamming over and over again into the shield at one point, making it crack up over and over again. Stevonnie wasn't going to listen though, and kept her more level head, even smirking at him much to his anger. After another pushback from her shield, Stevonnie removed her shield and finally charged at Grogar first. The ram was more than happy to rush at her, leaping to her like a enraged lion … and Stevonnie slide underneath him last second, making Grogar stumble upon landing.

"Lucky cheek. You really think -" Grogar would mock her further by chiming Ruby and Sapphire around his neck, but as he tried doing that, he realized one little detail that made him stop and check himself and the ground around him.
Only to find Stevonnie holding Ruby and Sapphire in her hands, getting rid of the string and leaving only the blue and red gemstones. Stevonnie began to feel tears come up freely as she saw them both like this. Garnet didn't deserve this.

"Garnet? I'm so sorry for what happened. Please come back. I'm here! I love you!" Stevonnie held them both close to her.

Out of all the surprises today, this one had to take the top spot: as Stevonnie held them close to her, as if it was a response to her words, started to slowly come to life and glowed bright. Stevonnie's own body too started to glow a bit more. They all knew what this could mean. The whole world seemed to pause briefly, seeing Stevonnie's glowing body morph away slowly into a vibrant fiery blaze, stretching taller and stronger than ever. A full head of fire branched out from its, strong arms stretched out. But just before it could be complete ...

"NOOO!"

Interference. Grogar, refusing to have THAT kind of advantage on him, leaped out of nowhere and slammed down on top of this figure in a huge explosion.

"Stevonnie!!" Diopside shrieked.

"Wait … I don't think so," said Flint.

"... Garnet. … Garnet, I'm so sorry for what happened, I never meant to take it that far. … I didn't want to hurt you. Can you forgive me? ...

"Oh Steven. Connie. We already love you."

"AAAAAWWWWWW YEAH! You better step off!"

And eureka, there it was, launching Grogar off of it, the ram slamming into the ground nearby. A new fusion, never seen before to any of those still standing there in awe. A very tall, humanoid figure stood tall and bold, standing easily half the height of Blue or Yellow Diamond. The skin was as bright as the sun, a valiant bright orange with patches of dark and normal orange within it. Her very head itself was a grand inferno: no details like a nose or ears, but a prominent hairstyle to mirror a campfire, tied into a ponytail. Since this was a fusion too, two sets of arms were present: a stronger, larger upper pair and a smaller, slimmer lower pair.
Steven's signature star shirt and blue pants were on the body, evident of a dull blue and dull red inner pocket peeking out from the rims of the shorts, with Garnet's gloves on the smaller lower arms, and dark red shades.

"Relax, my dudes," she said, giving a peace sign with one of her smaller hands, "Your rocking pal Sunstonnie is holding it down."

"... YOU'RE ALLLIIIIVVVVEEE?!?!" screamed Grogar, his screeching voice echoing all across the plains. He may not know too much about Gems, most gained from Sumu and Budgerite, but THIS is only supposed to work with alive Gems, not one alive and two dead! Spinel nearby was almost speechless seeing this fusion standing in front of her.

"U-Unbelievable," she muttered. Sunstonnie heard her pretty well though, but rather than be upset, she gave Spinel a smile and lifted up her shades. One would expect multiple eyes, but instead there was still only three of them, one eye in the middle, with two side-by-side with the pupils somewhat fused together.

"Oh, you better believe it, friend," Sunstonnie said with a smile and a wink.

"F-Friend? … OKAY," Spinel simply said, astounded Sunstonnie would even say that. Sunstonnie smiled and patted her head, giving Spinel a shiver but still starry-eyed all the same. No member of the Diamond Authority would just do this and NOT get apprehended for it. Even the Diamonds though weren't doing anything, taking a bit to take in what they were seeing as they tried keeping the drill in the injector.

"They're not jumping at her?" Spinel thought. As Bray and Budgerite were getting Grogar back from his shock, the others went over to her.

"Sunstonnie, what're we gonna do? Grogar's NOT gonna listen, and that injector's gonna tear open this place," Twilight said, needing SOMEONE to figure out.

"If he won't listen, we'll make him listen," said Sunstonnie.

"And HOW are we gonna do that?" Rainbow Dash asked. Sunstonnie took a glance up to the giant injector first. Even if the diamonds kept the drill part up, the actual liquid was still coming out bit by bit, the diamonds finding it a little hard to keep it up there with the stinging. Blue Diamond looked, seeing that the injector fluid was overflowing from the drill itself! Sunstonnie, adjusting her shades briefly, already began to see what was about to happen.

"They can't hold it!" gasped Fluttershy.

"I'm way ahead of ya. Charging in!" Sunstonnie said, starting to make her way right over towards them, not showing any fear.

"White, what did you put in this thing?!" Yellow Diamond asked, cringing from the liquid getting on her hands. White Diamond didn't answer, almost crying from how much this stuff stung her. It was like holding a boiling pot of water by this point. Sunstonnie got to them just in time, summoning a GIGANTIC shield courtesy of Steven Universe, and in one motion, she managed to get enough strength to push White, Blue, and Yellow out of the way in one motion. And just in time before the injector overflowed completely, and the drill jabbing right back into the ground, adding more devastation to the plains like an earthquake.

"Thank you, Sunstonnie," White Diamond muttered.

"All in a day's work," replied Sunstonnie.

"It's too dangerous here. Rainbow, Fulgurite, get them out of here and fast! I don't care where, just NOT here," Flint instructed.

"Got it, chief," Fulgurite said, getting the gemstones back. And they had to be fast, as the ground kept opening up all over the place, Rainbow Dash and Fulgurite having to dodge and weave before racing off to safety. As for the injector itself, the liquid within the machine was starting to slow down a little bit, but a TON of it was still in the ground, that liquid flowing through the cracks like water in a fast-flowing river.

"King, we gotta go before we get kabob'd! Please?!" Bray pleaded, freaking out some more as he almost got covered in the stuff thanks to the overflow. Grogar was not up for it though.

"If you wanna leave, then go, but I'm NOT going away empty hoofed," Grogar growled.

"... Good enough for me! Let's hit it!" Budgerite decided, hopping up onto Bray and the donkey started galloping away. Grogar, while annoyed all the same, almost couldn't blame them for wanting to stay alive. Underline almost. One of these cracks was eerily close to a backwards-walking Spinel, and suddenly she lost her footing right at the edge.

"Gravity, no - AAAHHHhhhhh-huh?"

She thought that would be it for her, but Sunstonnie was NOT going to let that happen, and in a slide already grabbed her by the foot. Firm grip, yet gentle.

"I got you, buddy," Sunstonnie said. Again, an act of kindness to a Gem who caused this to happen in the first place. Spinel couldn't believe it. Sunstonnie lifted her out, Spinel holding onto her arm like a koala and not letting go, starry-eyed again.

"You're helping me … again? Even after I was so cruel?"

"No one deserve to get stuck in all of that, and you don't need to be bullied," Sunstonnie said, adding some playfulness to her statement by fluffing Spinel's hair. Such a ray of sunshine. Then Sunstonnie too remembered Grogar nearby, who himself was trying to keep from getting touched by the liquid.

"But always remember kids, if you ever have to deal with a bully, be sure to tell an adult," Sunstonnie said to the audience.

"Forget the bully Sunstonnie, let's focus on the doomsday device here!" Emerald shouted. Spinel was placed down by the others, safe and sound for now, and Sunstonnie saw the challenge that laid in front of her.

"Kids: don't try this at home. BUNGACOWA!" Sunstonnie, without any fear, leaped right up into the sky and right to the injector itself. Once she got onto it, she got her own specialize gem weapons out to give her a hand. Well "weapon" might not be right: it was Garnet's gloves with a set of bright pink suction cups attached to them, but they were just her ticket to start climbing up the giant injector. Grogar snarled at such a display, but as he looked around, one more item presented itself to him. He considered his options a little bit, and in the end just snouted.

"Screw ruling this planet, they're dying tonight!" Grogar decided, rushing for the object. Spinel though saw it just beforehand, and snatched it away.

"Give me that!" Grogar demanded.

"Sorry, my mind's in a weird place right now," Spinel admitted, rubbing the back of her head.

"Then let me clear it for ya," Grogar snarled, charging for her. Spinel readied to jump, but the injector's fluid and drilling shook up the ground again, making her hesitate briefly, and giving Grogar the chance to yank the weapon out of Spinel's hands.

Which he didn't hesitate to slice her clean in two! Half of her head, shoulder and arm slid slightly to reveal the light within Spinel just before she poofed altogether, catching their attention.

"Spinel!" shouted Pinkie Pie. The luckiest for Spinel that Grogar wasn't wasting anymore time in shattering her, and would rather go for the gold instead. With the Gem scythe locked in his teeth, he made his mad run right for Sunstonnie, who by this point was still climbing up the glass surface of the injector.

"You stay away from them!" Flint demanded, before immediately drawing out his pistol and began firing at him to make him stop. However, Grogar proved just capable enough to dodge the shots, and even spun around to use the Gem scythe to slice one shot in two, it exploding beyond him.

"Ok, seriously, how's this old guy STILL GOT IT?!" Emerald had to ask. That question became even more needed an answer to, when Grogar started to climb the injector himself, starting from one of its legs and then to the base in just two mountain goat leaps.

"Sunstonnie! Look out!" Jade shouted, trying to reach her. But the fusion was too far up to hear them properly. Unfortunate for her, as Grogar needed a few more bolts up the glass to be on the same level as her. Sunstonnie only had time to look back and see him.
One slice for Ruby, one slice for Sapphire, and one more for Steven. The Gem Scythe did its job, and in a huge cloud of this new fusion, Steven and Connie fell right out of the sky, with Ruby and Sapphire's gemstones flying into the air nearby. The fall took a long time, but lucky for them Twilight was quick to jump in, using her magic to catch all of them before they could hit the ground. As for Grogar, he landed very hard on one of the injector's legs, Gem Scythe locked in his teeth. Upon landing, he tossed the Scythe aside.

"First Stevonnie kills me. Now Sunstonnie defies me. Have you ever tried fighting me WITHOUT your pathetic trump cards?"

"You're one to talk!" Yellow Diamond snapped, trying to attack him, only for the ground to shutter once again, making her aim off and shooting the injector's glass by mistake.

"Yellow, stop! Don't attack him," Steven called.

"WHAT? WHY NOT?!"

"Because he knows I can kill you all right now, Diamond. Or did you forget the festival?" Grogar answered. As angry as Yellow Diamond was, she knew he was right about defeating her, at the least. Then the ram looked to Steven.

"We're all here for you, Steven," Connie quietly said. Steven nodded, and managed to get back up, as Grogar closed in. Grogar snarled good and loud, hoof scraping the ground as he was just about to rush in for them, but he paused to check on the menagerie as Spinel put it.

"I don't get it: Why are you fighting so much for literal objects?"

"I'm going to keep giving you the same answer Grogar: because they're my friends. My family, and I love all of them. I'm not going to watch my family die because of you, and nothing's going to change that," Steven made clear. Grogar had enough.

"I didn't want to play this card yet, my boy. But you left me no choice. … Steven. You're half Human, right? Some self-aware ape with Gem components in him?"

"Okay, I am, that has nothing to do with this. Why should that matter?"

"OH OF COURSE IT MATTERS!" Grogar roared, finally having enough of this, "What you have there are inorganic, mechanical weapons and tools that out-live ALL LIFE elsewhere on this hunk of rock! That spike-haired runt is over five-thousand years old! And the diamonds there lived well over that fifty fold! They. Will. Out-live you and everything else, and by the time you're too old to even breathe they won't look no older than what they are now!"
The more Grogar kept shouting about this, the more Steven's mind was taking in this information. Steven knew they lived for a very long time, that's not exactly a secret, but that didn't prepare him for what he said next.

"And you know what else? YOU are going to do the exact same thing to your girlfriend right there!" Grogar shouted, pointing a hoof at Connie, "Gems lived for thousands of years, how long do Humans live? Like what ninty years? A hundred at best? That hardly a blink of an eye compared to those dolls!"

"Don't listen to him Steven, he's just trying to drive you away again!" Twilight shouted. A bit funny she would say something.

"YOU SHUT YOUR MUZZLE! But you know, kinda funny that you're gonna do the same thing too. You're an Alicorn, your friends are made up of Unicorns, Pegasus, and ponies."

"They're still my friends!"

"Friendship can't fix that! You may be her student, but even Celestia didn't make any close friends because she knew well they'd turn to dust before she could even grow a wrinkle. Try and make a friendship lesson out of THAT."
Twilight actually stepped back from such information, backing up to her friends as well before the ram turned to them all, the reflection in his eyes showing Steven and Twilight.

"You seem to always have something to put me down, so tell me then: when you're up by that Brooding Hill, looking out onto some abandoned beach, knowing all the friends you knew there are long gone without you, what're you gonna do then?"

*creeeeek*

"Oh no … now you've done it," gulped Bismuth.

Rather than remark, Grogar turned around on hearing that creaking noise, everyone looking up towards the Injector itself. The abuse it gained from the Diamond interference, and damage onto its leg was more than the gigantic structure could take. Slowly, the groaning sounds of metal aching rang across the now silent field of cracked earth and pink liquid. The injector was moving. Leaning ever so slowly, more and more pressure building on its injured leg. Then came the inevitable ...

*crack*

"Oh sweet Luna - somepony grab Spinel and HIGH-TAIL IT!" Applejack called.

The metal leg Grogar landed on moments before finally succumbed to the pressure, and snapped off like a twig, broken metal flying off and near the others as they all had to scatter away from the falling structure. They didn't get too far away though when they all felt the gigantic collapsing of the injector striking the ground. The earth shook, and many chunks of the ground overflowed with the gigantic wave of liquid, wiping away any and all life in its way before pouring into the cracks of the earth.
In this dash to try and get away, Grogar began to get his own comeuppance as the heavy metal flew near him. He jumped left and right, but his back hoof just got itself slipped right in the pink liquid, searing the bottom of his hoof and making him collapse in a roar.

"That'll teach him. Get to high ground!" ordered Flint. Many of them had no problem in getting themselves moving, but the roar from Grogar made Steven stop and look back at him. He could see Grogar struggling amongst the devastation around him, more cracks forming in the earth. His injured hoof made it too hard for him to get a proper footing. One flow of this pink liquid created a crack right behind the ram, and next thing he knew he was left hanging on the ledge.

"Steven, what're you waiting for?!" shouted Starlight Glimmer.

"... This won't teach him."

And Steven ran, not towards his friends this time. But this time towards Grogar of all things! The ram tried everything to keep from falling into the flowing river below, but his hooves couldn't get a grip, and not even his teeth gave him enough to hold onto. The hot steam from the flowing pink magma below made it hard to breathe for him, him starting to cough and strain, sliding more and more off of the edge.

And Steven Universe caught him just as he lost his grip. It was a last second grab he just managed to pull off. Grogar thought that would be the end of it, but feeling Steven's hands grab hold of Grogar's front hoof left him … confused. Him and almost everyone else there. Getting his grip handled a bit stronger, Steven steadily pulled Grogar right out of what would be his grave, tossing him out of danger. Grogar, straining from the fumes in his throat and the severe burn on the bottom of his back hoof, just laid there at first trying to catch his breath. Steven didn't attack him, and simply stood there. Waiting.

"Why did you save me? … You should've let me fall," Grogar managed to say. Gathering his strength, Grogar pulled himself to standing, Steven stepping back to actually let him do so.

"You'll only regret it later, you know … I didn't decide not to kill you yet …" Grogar would lunge at him, but he just coughed some more and turned to Steven, wanting to knock him back into the pit and letting it finish from there.
Steven just stood there, looking into Grogar's eyes. The same eyes of a monster that tortured, killed, and wanted to traumatize him and Connie so they'd always fear him. … The same eyes who saw death everywhere he went. …

"So it doesn't matter to you, does it? To you, it makes no difference if you kill someone or not," Steven said.

"... So what?" Grogar questioned. Steven paused and looked back to the others nearby, wondering what he was going to do. Steven had him weak, and right where he wanted him, but Steven already had gone through all that …

"I don't know what to say to you … but there is one thing that I can say."

"What's that?" Grogar huffed. He expected some sort of insult, or something about "they'll never stop for him" or something like that. But Steven didn't have to, nor did he want to. Instead, he took a deep breath, and then extended his hand to him.

"I forgive you."

Did Grogar hear him right? This same kid who he kept trying to kill, and made him believe he too was a killer for a good while … forgave him? Silence hung in the air a bit more, Steven waiting for Grogar to give a response. Slowly, Grogar began to lift up his hoof towards his hand …

And swatted it away.

"Nice try," Grogar growled, making sure Steven backed away so he had more room to move. He saw the others ready to jump in, but the Ram didn't jump at Steven right away. In fact, he actually turned around, glancing down at the receding liquid within that same ditch, absorbing down into the ground and settling in a pool of rose magma. He silently thanked his lucky stars for being alone without an army for the moment with what he did next ...

"You know what, lad? If you want to keep your playground and play things ... then take them."

And with that final statement, Grogar turned around, and after one more glance back to Steven, began moving off on his way, limping with his bad hoof but still long gone after a while. Steven silently watched him go with a bit of dismay, though eventually his friends did come back to him, Connie placing a helping hand on his shoulder before they all stared off to the ruined land ...

Author's Note:

... In case you ask, yes, Ferngully: The Last Rainforest had some influence (okay, a lot) on Spinel. It was a headcanon of mine before the movie that Spinel was this complete nutcase of a Gem after comparing the song to her. Guess it was how she looked? Either way, i might've been dead wrong, but at least I can put it in this story here ^^

Speaking of which ... A LOT IS GOING ON: Connie and her issues, Grogar's return, introduction of Spinel, Stevonnie's rematch, Little Homeworld from Earth to Equestria, White Diamond's Space Station?! That's a lot to take in, but I'm not holding back any longer - whatever I got thinking up is gonna happen one way or another!