Corundum is welcomed into a secret sociey.
- Captor Base
- Tourmaline's Room
“Wake up, Master Corundum...” Was the first thing that Corundum heard.
He opened his eyes to see the Pearl who had escorted him here calling to him. Corundum got out of his seat, stretching and yawning.
“You don’t normally sleep on trips,” said the pearl, “ You must be exhausted.”
“More than you can imagine,” he replied. He felt much more stable after the rest. Both physically and emotionally.
“We have reached our destination,” she announced, “Your own pearl will be waiting outside for you.”
Mildly excited, Corundum followed the Pearl outside of the ship, looking outside and taking in the view.
This is no citadel he thought. After all, that was where he worked most of his life.
For one, the place was a Sky Spire, floating in a sea of clouds. The ship was solely docked on a circular pad, connected to the structure.
Yet another Pearl confronted them, however this was Corundum’s Pearl.
“Greetings master,” she said, “You may follow me into the facility.”
“Okay,” Corundum responded, “But weren’t you supposed to be back at the citadel, waiting for me?”
“All will be answered when we get inside.” And with that, she left for the Spire, not answering another question. Corundum followed, seeing as it was the best thing to do. However, the other Pearl stayed behind, walking back to the ship, which then lifted off into the clouds. There is no return.
When they reach the entrance, Corundum is surprised to not see an activating pedestal. Instead, the door has a sort of mural showing a star with five gemstones on each point. On either side of it were murals of two gems, both high is stature, and from the vibe Corundum was getting, power. Off to the far left was yet another mural similar to the other two, and Corundum immediately recognized the colors of the murals and what they meant. The murals were of the Diamonds, blue on the left of the star, white on the right, yellow isolated. Below the star Corundum expected the fourth Diamond to be shown, Pink Diamond, yet instead he found several other anonymous gems, smaller in stature and power, looking up to the star and the two diamonds accompanying it.
As Corundum mentally scrambled to figure out what this mural meant, his gemstone began illuminate, as well as the gemstone depicted at the peak of the star. The door broke into 5 parts, opening clockwise.
“Congratulations,” said Corundum’s Pearl, “You have been accepted.”
He didn’t even bother responding with a question as of what was going on, as he doubted his Pearl would tell him.
Upon entering, Corundum is astounded by the view: Even in gem means, this facility was extremely technological, and excelled the standards of even the most elite research and tech spaces even Homeworld itself could provide. There was an abundance of Olivine gems, most of them Peridots, some Chrysolite, and a few miscellaneous here and there, viewing tech screens opened to maps, scales, communication networks, com channels, tracking feeds, detective systems, news ports, statistics, structural plans, secrecy files and anything else that a gem could think or even dream of viewing.
This was just on ground level. Above head were several floating conveyance mechanisms transporting items such as ships, technology, weapons, maintenance supplies, even entire shipping-sized crates of gems, and fully assembled injectors. The area seemed to have no ceiling, but simply a cylindrical matrix of items and gems extending eternally upwards.
“Good day, Corundum,” a high, yet groany voice interrupted, “I am Chrysolite Cut 28JID, Facet X0 at your service. I will be your guide until we reach the meeting room.”
Chrysolite was not hesitant on literally dragging Corundum along, spouting out facts and details about the place. She finally stopped when they got to the opposite side of the Spire.
“... AND this lovely place is the warp to the second level,” she finished.
“Second level?” Corundum wondered, looking up to the seemingly nonexistent ceiling.
They entered the warp stream before Corundum could process anything.
They warped into a large, empty room, equal in size to that of the first. At the end of the hall was a door, similar to the one Corundum first encountered. Chrysoprase sped to the end of the room, and grinned at Corundum.
“What is it?”
“The door… Behind this door is where you will confront him.”
“Oh, you already know him. By the way he talks about you. I think this should be a good surprise…”
Corundum dared not ask any questions, and simply waited for something to happen.
“...Um, Corundum, you wanna open the door right now?”
“Oh, yeah. Now how did I do this earlier…” he wondered, then staring into the mural of this door, which showed the same star in the center, this time murals of the gems themselves instead of their gemstones. The one at the center peak once again triggered Corundum, the gem on the bottom left reminiscent to someone he knew….
His gem glowed with a bright light, activating the mural on the top, opening the door in the same five-way-split style as the first. It opened up into a pitch-black room. Corundum hesitantly entered, immediately regretting the decision as the door closed behind him.
“Don’t be scared”, a voice said.
“I know you’re confused, Corundum, and I can see how badly you want to go back to your daily life. I can feel your fear.”
“I-I-I-I’m not scared”, he lied.
“Hehe, you are almost as good as an actor as me… We’ve alway been alike in one way or another.”
Corundum then recognized the voice.
The lighting improves enough for Courndum to see Tourmaline, his back facing Corunudm. His eyes well up with tears as he runs to his friend. However, the moment is interrupted as Tourmaline yells, “STOP!”
He freezes in place. Was this not his friend, who he has not seen in decades? How much had he changed?
“Walk with me,” Tourmaline said, as he began to walk through the room, which seemed to be an endless chamber filled with white clouds and a blue sky.
Corundum followed directly behind his friend, afraid to walk right beside him.
“I see you are new to the facility,” Tourmaline finally spoke. “So was I, but I got over my astoundment quickly, as I knew a calamity was at hand. This is only your first day, and you have met a friend, seen the facility… You should probably know where we are before we do anything around here.
“We call this place the ‘Center Coms’, it’s the central base for 'Captor'. It is a secret society that works for White Diamond, made to ‘spy’ on the other two and keep them in check. She often uses the Order rather than her own army, you know, for the sake of classification. Our latest research pertains to an escapade among gem criminals, and we think that there are some ties of this to one of the diamonds as well. Tell me something, how many gemstones have you had to judge on average within the past 10 years?”
“50-60 a day, why?” Asked Corundum, noticing Tourmaline’s sudden change in attitude. Why was he so serious?
“Have you not noticed the sudden spike in gem deaths and captivities? It’s the rallies, riots, and fighting going on beneath the Diamond’s noses. White Diamond fears that this will break out into another civil war. We must prevent this. Seeing how violent the Gem Empire had become within itself, White Diamond called for a recruiting. She asked that a group of five extraordinary gems be handpicked and put on a special task force for handling these situations, one by one.
“They called it ‘Project Reciprocal’, the planners having the ideal that not only White Diamond, but the deities themselves would choose five courageous gems to end this madness and bring forth the true victor of this bout. You, Corundum will be one of these five.”
“Why me?” Corundum asked.
“Your special power, gem absorption, is yet to be tapped into. I have no conception on how useful you would be had you reached your full power. You could be god…”
After a moment of silence, Corundum spoke up, asking, “Are you one of the chosen five too?”
“Of course,” he chuckled for once, “Who wouldn’t put on such great of a show without me! So thrilling, so much plot. And do you know what makes it even better?”
Tourmaline turned around, streams of tears rolling down his cheeks. “I got a great co-actor, you.”
He wiped his face, and said, “Let’s hurry, Chrysolite is probably wondering why we’re still not at the meeting.”
With that, Tourmaline’s gem glowed, activating a little bit of the room’s magic. A doorway shimmered into existence. It seemed to be leading into a hall of some sort.
“You go first,” Tourmaline said.
Corundum hesitantly walked into the hallway, feeling the cold air once again wash over him.
What was to happen next on this adventure, and what new people might Corundum meet? Find out next time on Rarity!