2017-07-27 - Mirror Gem Prelude

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Title: Mirror Gem Prelude

Family Game Night ends in disaster as the secret of Steven's Laughing Mirror finally makes itself known to the rest of the Crystal Gems.


Steven Universe and Garnet (and Pearl!)


The Beach House

OOC - IC Date:

Thurs July 27, 2017 / Thurs Feb 5, 2015

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

The Beach House next to the Crystal Gem Temple hasn't been as bustling as of late. Steven now attends Juuban Public School and with the rigorous Japanese school schedule, he's far from home for most of the day, six days out of the week. Without Steven around to make the house feel like a home, the rest of the Gems don't spend as much time there during the day while he's gone.

Garnet in particular has taken on more Gem missions and magical warrior obligations to spend the time, and Amethyst and Pearl, (when they aren't accompanying her on Gem missions) each have found their own hobbies outside and within the home. Unfortunately their activities often bleed into the nights, and though they try their very best to be around as much as they can day to day, in recent weeks it hasn't been as easy to arrange much quality family time with so many busy schedules.

Tonight however, Pearl and Garnet have decided to make a special effort to spend some time with their favorite Steven. (Amethyst has gone out for the night, but there's nothing particularly unusual about that.)

They've spread out a little feast of snacks: They've ordered a Pi- they ordered a -zza! There are Cheese balls, pickles, special Japanese Crab, Corn and Spicy Mayonnaise flavored Chaaaaaaaps! They made s'mores! They have a variety of sodas, and though it's not finished, there's the distinct smell of a pie baking in oven.

They've set out some of his books and toys, and set out one of their favorite boardgames: "Citchen Calamity!" on the dining room table!

Garnet and Pearl are sitting around it with cups of tea, (not drinking, but enjoying the smell) and chatting softly with one another, waiting for Mr. Universe The Younger to make his nightly debut!

<Pose Tracker> Steven [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

The gentle plucking of a distant Ukelele can be the first sign of an elusive Steven, as they skulk back to their lair. For he feeds off friendship, and must dine multiple times a day. The others msut wait their turn for the Steven to gather his fill. Ripe after the hunt, it returns to its lair to slumber, for the next day could be difficult to find sustenance.

On a more accurate note, Steven went to see some friends and is now returning home with Lion, having enjoyed his outing.

"Well, that was fun! But I think my legs are a little too short for that dancing game. At least you had fun with that game where you have to hit the flashing buttons as fast as you can for points!

Cue Lion sitting in front of a cabinet, pushing buttons. It is quite the sight.

The pair come up the stairs, cheerful and jovial. A strange object juts from the back of his hamburger backpack, halfway open. "I'm hoooome!" he says, opening the screen door to find Pearl and Garnet inside. The smell of assorted goodies gets his attention. "Are you guys trying food again?"

Only Amethyst seems to like food. But she isn't here. Hum. "Is this some sort of bribe? Is that all you think I am worth?!" he says suddenly. "...cause yeah I am totally up for negotiations." Smells soooo gooood.

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Howdy!" Garnet says in her usual cool tone, and points a finger gun at Steven.


She fires off the deadly imaginary ordinance.

"Steven!! You're back! How was your night?! Did you enjoy your "The Arcade"?! Pearl exclaims excitedly and waves! "If you'd like to play more games, there's a Kitchen that needs cleaning!"

There's a moment of silence, but the actual Kitchen of the Beach House sparkles in its cleanliness, providing certainty that Pearl means the board game in front of them, and isn't suggesting actual housework.

Garnet takes a single sip of her tea, but Pearl seems to wince and shudder slightly at the suggestion that they are the ones eating the food. But because there is so much of it around for Steven's sake. Pearl makes a visible effort to fight her urges, and laugh and wave it off with her hand: "Of /Course/ not! It's all for you Steven! We didn't know if you'd eaten but we know how talk of Bachelor meals can make you hungry! Pull up a chair! How was your day? Has anything interesting happened this week?!"

Pearl seems to be doing her very best.

<Pose Tracker> Steven [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Steven pretends to take a bullet for a second, before Pearl greets him! "Hi Pearl! It was great! Some of our friends we have met in fights invited me out!" A glance at the kitchen. It doesn't need anything. It doesn't have that Amethyst contamination thing going on either. You know, where she cooks something outrageous and it looks like a tornado came through. "Oh!" he says, noticing the game. "Sure! I call the map though."

"All for me? You shouldn't have!" he adds coyly. The boy bats a hand in a girlish manner.

The child takes a seat and gathers some foodstuffs. "It was good!" He puts down his backpack. "Boy, have I got to catch you up on things! So much has been happening in Tokyo."

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

"I can't /wait/ to hear all about it!" Pearl replies simply, and sits back down in her chair. Though her voice does carry a natural sass and sarcasm at times, she puts both of her hands back on her teacup, and does indeed look eager to listen.

Garnet for her part also puts her hands down and though trying her best to look relaxed, also appears attentive. She smiles and nods to Steven.

"Go for it."

<Pose Tracker> Steven [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Steven begins to enjoy a few pieces of snackfoods as he shuffles the board game cards. Not that he doesn't trust the two others playing! It is more out of habit than anything. "Okay! So. I have been getting in to some preeeeetty intense stuff lately! People summoning monsters, badguys trying to capture things... but there is a really bad thing happening right now. We probably should help when we can."

A long gulp of drink, and the boy begins. "So! Get this. Theres a magical tree here in Tokyo! And there's big things that happen with it every thousand years!" A pause. "I think it was a thousand. Anyway. Theres these spots around Tokyo that if goodguys or badguys have it, whoever has more of it can do something to the tree, and whatever they want becomes true!"

The boy pulls out of his backpack a golden seed. The mirror accidentally falls out onto the floor. "Look-it this seed! A kind old lady gave it to me and some of our magical friends." Fuu was there, and it entailed going into dangerous areas, so all the girls there must have been, right? Maybe. "I gotta take this seed to one of the places bad things hold and put it there. But this place is no joke. There were these blob things everyone was scared of, and all of use combined couldn't even stop one of them! It will be super hard!"

"We can't let bad people have the tree though." Steven takes a deep breath. "Anyway, sorry, that probably wasn't a story you wanted to hear. But it is important. Also Lion came."

Lion looks up from his spot by the door. Whatever, kid.

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Garnet looks a little disappointed hearing Steven relay this news. She'd hoped tonight would be a break for all of them, but to Garnet this news of magical conflict was a little like getting an unexpected evening call from work to talk about new accounts.

Pearl's reaction becomes progressively more pronounced as she listens to Steven's story. If she recognizes any of the specific details Steven mentions such as the seed or the World Tree she gives no indication, instead caught up by the descriptions of the dangers he'd faced.

She'd no doubt expected him to tell them about something simple and mundane that had happened to Steven at school, and instead...

"What?! Bad guys?! Blob things?! What do you /mean/ you couldn't stop them?!" Pearl turns to Garnet

"Garnet! Say something! I don't want Steven eaten by a-a BLOB!"

Garnet steps forward and puts her hand on Pearl's shoulder to help her calm down, Pearl puts a hand over Garnet's to hold it.

"Steven. I know we've been going on more and more non-gem Missions, and you've been making great progress, but you're still not in full control of your powers. I appreciate you telling us about this, but next time, don't get involved in something this big and dangerous without telling me or Pearl. If you're fighting monsters you can't stop, they might have hurt you. They might have.." *she pauses*

"Don't do it again."

"If you're going somewhere dangerous. Tell us first. Give us the opportunity to go with you, or determine if it's too dangerous. Understood?"

Garnet looks /very/ serious and is speaking not only as SquareMum Universe, but with the authority of the Leader of the Crystal Germs. She doesn't expect a "No." She likely will not /accept/ a no. So while waiting for Steven to answer she goes. "Let's talk about it more later. Tonight, we should relax."

She pauses. "Is there anything else? Any good news?"

At those words Pearl looks over at Steven, her shimmering pupils filling with hope that his next anecdote is one that will help her calm her nerves.

<Pose Tracker> Steven [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Maybe tha twas a bit of a mood killer. Perhaps he should have saved it for later. "I-I'm sorry! Most of those were rather sudden. Okay! Let's turn this around!" He takes a big breath. "We saved some nice girls from thse badguys!" Wait, that is the same subject. "Okay! The nice lady that gave me the seed like, she had this tea, and it dasted like..." Steven's eyes are filled with stars. "Cookie cats. And she had this giant fluffy creature thing that was super soft!"

"I also got to meet more people with magical powers! There suuuure are a lot of them here." Steven lets out a small cough. "School exams are coming up! Everyone is excited about them! Or maybe it was frightened. People here worry about a lot of stuff."

This isn't going well. He crashed the mood. What to do, what to do...!

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Pearl looks confused and concerned with these stream-of-consciousness answers that still seem mostly related to the dangerous subject he mentioned before. She doesn't seem to change her expression as Steven finally changes the subject to exams, if anything it seems to slightly worsen because he immediately follows it up with talk of being afraid and there being lots of things to worry about in Japan.

Garnet doesn't look as serious as she did before, she seems to have accepted his apology, but as most of what he says is the same subject she suggested they talk about later, she also doesn't seem impressed his efforts so far.

Still, rather than swoop in to take control of the conversation, she gives him more time and space to think, as if she's confident he'll think of a way to get himself out of his predicament, and it will be a good learning experience,

<Pose Tracker> Steven [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Steven turns red, as he looks to the board for ideas how to make this fun again! Then to the food, then to someone annoyed and/or frightened caretakers. Okay. He's god this. His eyes trace around from anything concievable that could work! "Uhm... heh. Wait!" His eyes light upon the mirror on the ground. That thing Pearl give him! It is so much funner than she said it was!

Surely it would be worth a laugh!

But it didn't seem thrilled to be shown to them... maybe it was just shy!

"This mirror!" a pause. "Pearl, you were so right about it! It showed me cool stuff! It showed me an important story someone was trying to tell me! And it taught me things!"

"The best part though has to be its jokes!" The boy starts talking to the mirror. "Come on! Tell them one!"


Steven begins to sweat some, putting on a cheeky smile. "Anything?" A look to Garnet and Pearl. "Excuse me a moment. We need to talk." The boy turns around in his seat. "Come on. Weren't we best beach buddies? Come ooooon!" he coaxes.

Eventually, a farting noise seems to come from Steven's vicinity. and the boy starts laughing. It definitely wasn't him. Kinda. Its complicated.

"Just couldn't help yourself huh?!"

"Just. For. You. Steven! Hahahahahaha!" the mirror "says", piecing together a sentence from replayed video clips of words from various speakers, some Steven himself, some not. Disjointed, but clear enough to be understood.

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Rather than be amused by its antics or elated that the mirror is operational. Pearl is visibly horrified at the sight of the recording of Steven playing black and seeming to form thoughts from disparate images and sounds.

"It's TALKING to him?! It shouldn't be able to do that! It should only be following orders?!" Pearl says to herself, and to Garnet in a frantic whisper and then in a whisper lower still: "Garnet do something..!"

Garnet stands up, walks around the table.

"Steven!" She walks forward

"You should just give us back the mirror. It will be safer where we can watch it."

Garnet holds out her hand for Steven to surrender the mirror to her.

"What do we do.. do we-... should we bubble it?!" Pearl whispers from behind at the table, as she also leaves her seat and moves towards Steven.

<Pose Tracker> Steven [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Steven giggles to the mirror as it forms small sentences from the bits of wording it has picked up around town and from him. Though he hears Pearl talking in her frantic way, it worries him, and he begins to turn around. A looming shadow, one that can only be Garnet's casts over him. "Noooooooo!" the mirror calls out, using a mimicing of Steven to portray some combination of dislike or fear. Something negative. Something to do with Garnet.

"I... I don't know! It is a good mirror! Honest!"

The hand comes closer, and closer. The mirror continues to call out. "It... it doesn't want to go with you! Can't you hear it screaming?!"

The boy begins to panic! This is Garnet we are talking about. She always does good! But the mirror is making it clear it does not want to be anywhere near her. What to do now?! This fun night has gone to the birds!

He begins to take steps back. His back hits the screen door. Sweat begins to form on his brow. He feels cornered...!

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

"Steven, it's just a mirror. A tool. It can't /want/ anything!" "But it could be dangerous. Don't /make/ me take it from you."

Garnet waits a single second and then begins to put this threat into practice.

She reaches for the mirror slowly, her descending hand and the gem in her palm reflect on the mirror's surface.

<Pose Tracker> Steven [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

The mirror doesn't want to go with her! What did they do to it?! The boy looks back and forth from the mirror, to Garnet. What can he possibly do?!

The mirror's screams intensify. They begin to have swirling faces of Steven, the screams begin to reverberate and repeat as if on loop.

As the hand descends, a final 'Steven' appears on the face of the mirror, letting out one final scream.


Steven shrinks away as much as he can from Garnet, but it is no use. In a fit of panic and fear for the mirror, Steven does the unthinkable. "It wants to be with ME!" he shouts, and in a moment of anger, strikes out at Garnet with the back of his hand! A firm face of resolution overcomes him, but moments later realizes just what he has done.

Oh man. He is in trouble now.

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Steven's slap knocks back Garnet's hand back across her own face, and her visor launches away. She winces in pain and surprise, then opens her eyes, all three eyes.

In rage.

The face of Garnet, normally a model of stoicism, serenity and balance now twists in betrayal and anger, crystallized into that nightmarish visage that is the terror of all children.

That Look of parental fury your Mum dons when she has had...


<Pose Tracker> Steven [Juuban Public School (5)] has posed.

Fear. Fear can be a great influence to do stupid things. RIght now for instance. If Steven was a good boy, he would hand over the mirror and apologize profusely. What he did was wrong, but he can't help but worry for this mirror! It is like it has a mind of its own. And that mind is saying 'Don't give me to them'.

The boy, staring right back at Garnet's three eyes, sweat pouring down his forehead, frantically reaches for the screen door handle. His wet palm grasps it, and he quickly fumbles for it, and the wedge gives way. The boy stumbles out onto the deck, and then immediately bolts down the stairs to the beach.

"I'm sorry! So sorry! I'm sorry!" he keeps yelling as he takes off down the beach as fast as his little flip flops will take him.

He has no idea where to go, or what to do. He is in super trouble, but he has to find out what this mirror is all about, and why it is afraid of the Crystal Gems!

<Pose Tracker> Garnet [None] has posed.

Garnet snaps her fingers in front of her face, and another visor appears in the place of the one Steven removed. She hulks and hunches forward with anger. Her fists clench togther and she looks at the door, which is still shaking slightly from the urgency of Steven's escape.

"That little boy...

...is in BIG trouble."

Garnet stomps out the front door after Steven.

Pearl, left behind alone, rushes her way to and through the door as quickly as she can.

Then she remembers the pie in the oven and sprints back! She takes it out, puts it on a towel on the counter turns off the oven, and checks the kitchen for other active elements.

At long last she rushes back through the door and desperately calls after them: