The green energy signatures from the nova thrusters propelled the Off Colors Astral Cruiser, otherwise known as OCAC and formerly known as the Sun Incinerator, through the Earth’s atmosphere and into the planet's orbit. Ready to warp through the folds of space time, the ship’s video screen crackled. Everyone stood at attention, staring at the screen, which covered the central window on the ship’s bridge.
“Lars! Thanks so much for agreeing to go to Homeworld and find out if the Diamonds were lying in that message to me…I’d like to ask you for a more important favor…we are forming this new world government thing…and it would be great if you and the Off Colors could visit other planets as ambassadors for Earth…so this planet isn’t alone in the universe.”
Captain Lars grinned widely. His eyes sparked, reflecting light emanating from the screen in sheer joy over such a responsibility. With a grand gesture, he responded forcefully to Steven.
“Steven, we would be delighted to visit planets as Earth’s ambassadors! Those upper crusty Diamonds on Homeworld can wait. What comes next is…ADVENTURE!”
Eyes of the ship’s technical advisor, Padparadscha, head of strategic operations, Rhodonite, and pilots, the Rutile Twins, lit up, glowing with inner light. Rhodonite and the Rutile Twins let out a gleeful shout, while the chief engineer, Fluorite, slowly formed a smile.
Steven beamed playfully, touching his fingertips together, tapping them softly.
“Lars, that’s wonderful! Have fun on your expedition!...it shall be a star…trek…Contact me if you need anything else! I’ll let you know if anything new happens here on Earth.”
The video screen went dark and disappeared with the click of a button. Everyone could see the vast expanse of Earth, a beautiful blue planet on the precipice of peace. Padparadscha, boomed boisterously, her voice echoing across the ship.
“Steven will give us a new mission…to explore the stars as ambassadors of Earth!...and Captain Lars will accept…what a miracle!”
With the other crew members shaking their heads, Lars did what he could to reassure her, sweetly addressing her by her nickname:
“Thanks, Pappy. That’s the enthusiastic spirit we need as a crew!”
Fluorite, Rhodonite, and the Rutile Twins again shook their heads while Pappy’s cheeks began to be flushed with a light orange color, followed by some fidgeting. After Captain Lars ordered the Rutile Twins to activate the nova thrusters, allowing the ship to warp through space, she reported an irregularity which surprised everyone on board.
“I’m detecting a ship about to warp out of hyperspace…it will be arriving in Earth’s orbit within the next minute.”
Rhodonite shrieked, worrying that the Diamonds were coming back to Earth for their “revenge.” Boldly, Lars countered this sentiment, approaching the issue coolly, attempting to assuage fears of his fellow crew members, such as Rhodonite.
“Whatever this ship is or whomever is aboard…it is our duty as Earth’s ambassadors to welcome it with open arms…and express our gratitude.”
This message calmed the fears of everyone but Rhodonite. She worried that they could be caught in another trap again like the space battle with Emerald’s Destiny Destroyer all those years ago. She implored Captain Lars to reconsider.
“Captain, if we do what you are requesting, how will we be ready if the ship ends up being unfriendly…and attacks us?”
Pondering her question, Lars nodded curtly. He then tightened his fist, thrusting it upward, while planting his feet widely, stepping out of the captain’s chair.
“We can do both! We will extend the olive branch…and will prepare ourselves for any possible hostility…as the adage goes, the best defense is a good offense!”
A pink warp appeared near the OCAC, revealing a small, sleek grayish-pink ship. It had no visible armaments, although that could be a way of deceiving the enemy. Lars ordered the Rutile Twins to establish contact with the other ship. He hoped to head off any possible confrontation.
The communications device emitted static, while the Off Colors broadcast a message telling the other ship to identify itself. The nearby ship either was unable to respond or unwilling to do so. Lars ordered Rhodonite to discharge the laser cannons in front of the unknown vessel as a warning that the Off Colors meant “business.” She complied. The green energy signatures emerged from the ship’s two yellow wings and detonated adjacent to the nearby spaceship.
The two women inside the mystery spacecraft were perplexed. The one in the gunner’s seat had long midnight black hair that reached her feet, tiny fangs, and light blue-gray skin, all of which were illuminated by the laser blast. As a demon-vampire hybrid, the light caused her to shriek in agony, as her dark gray tank top, blue pants, and red boots didn’t shield her one bit from the bright green light coming in from the outside. The ship’s pilot, one of the Candy People, wore a self-styled pilot’s uniform, her magenta-pink bubblegum hair tied up in a bun. She growled while the light illuminated her light pink skin.
“Marcy, I won’t let these rascals hurt you…it’s not right! I’m turning the ship around. Prepare the sound cannon. We need to show them who’s in charge!
“Thanks so much, Bonnie! I have the BEST…guitar…licks in this universe. They will regret the day they crossed the duo of Bonnie and Marcy…the…
“Bubbline Duo…I know you like that name.
As the ship spun about, Rhodonite stared in horror. She feared the worst. Trembling, and her nostrils flaring, she demanded they launch a pre-emptive attack.
“Now, now, that wouldn’t be right. We should assume good intentions during our first encounter with a stranger, whether in a ship or someone we meet in person.”
Everyone agreed with the captain but Rhodonite, who narrowed her eyes, biting the inside of her lip. She didn’t trust the other ship, continuing to weigh the situation’s danger level, preparing a plan of attack. While everyone else appeared to be tranquil, she began recharging the ship’s cannons in preparation for a possible dogfight.
The greyish-pink ship faced the OCAC, and a cannon revealed itself, aiming at their fuselage, shaped like a hexagonal prism. While Bonnie had never encountered a ship like the one commanded by Lars, she determined, based on her trips to the Library, where the ship kept its fuel. For many late nights, she had read old aerodynamics books in the library until the institution’s sole librarian, Turtle Princess, kicked her out for “staying too long.” While Turtle Princess tried to be gracious, letting her freely browse the vast bookshelves at her leisure, she told Bonnie to leave because she lived in the building’s upper room and wanted to go to sleep. Even so, she honored the requests of Bonnie, the ruler and princess of the Candy Kingdom, the most powerful kingdom in the Land of Ooo.
Marcy cackled wildly, passionately strumming her ax bass guitar. She couldn’t resist bringing it on a trip with her new girlfriend, Bonnie, eager to keep her company the best way she knew how: through music. Inside their ship, named the Bonnibel Research, Investigation, and Observation Ship, known as BRIOS for short, a set of dullish rings on a greyish shaft lit up, almost like a set of neon lights. The shaft continued to the cannon's point, with concentric rings outside the ship also illuminating with bright color. A boom of energy sprang from the cannon, projecting a concentrated sound wave toward the OCAC. Lars told his crew to “brace for impact!”, unable to contemplate their next move.
The energy pulsed through the ship. Any outside observer would have realized there was no logical reason for this battle to continue. If both ships had taken more time to try and communicate, it could have been avoided. The desire to show force as a way to show strength served as a go-to for far too many commanders, and managers, a characteristic which Lars and the Bubbline Duo both embodied, albeit in different ways. No one on the OCAC realized the effect of the energy blast until Fluorite reported it in her typical slow manner:
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Lars ordered an immediate response, ordering Rhodonite to charge up the ship’s guns. Trembling, he didn’t notice that the cannons were already fully charged, fearing for his own life and that of the crew. Lasers whizzed through space, coming from the OCAC's wings, hitting the greyish pink ship on the nose.
On the BRIOS, alert sirens went off. Bonnie’s anticipation that this mission would be one of “peace,” allowing them to visit the new candy colonies across the universe, had been dashed. Their muscles tense and posture rigid, Bonnie and Marcy’s eyes locked, unsure of what to do. An idea came to her: activating the candy rocket arsenal. Marcy raised her eyebrows, unsure if she’d like to go to that length.
“Bon-Bon, are you sure you want to fire missiles? Maybe they got the message already…we don’t want a dogfight in the sky. Even with the weapons onboard, we are no match…its clear…”
With her blue eyes staring ahead, Bonnie asserted that she needed to protect their “honor,” feeling confident that they would prevail no matter what. Shaking her head, Marcy remembered how such excessive pride had blinded her girlfriend to consequences of her actions in the past. She anticipated that the upcoming battle would remind her of that fact..
“Ok, Peebs…please be careful.”
Rhodonite turned to Lars, alerting him that the enemy ship had revealed a new set of weapons. He recognized their only option: the Autonomous Bialate Bomber, a small grey ship with two wings extending from two engines on each side of the fuselage, and a vertical stabilizer behind the former cockpit. Also named ABB, it resembled the Star Skipper in appearance, but had a missile tracker and blasters, improved armor, an assortment of rockets, and other secret features. Unlike before, the ship could be controlled autonomously by Lars himself, without the need for another being. This ensured that the crew to didn't need to rely on Steven, Connie, Stevonnie, or any of their other friends, for assistance, although those people, and many more, could be contacted by traveling through Lars’s pink dimension and into Lion’s dimension.
He ordered his fellow comrades to send off the craft as soon as possible. Rhodonite, the Rutile Twins, and Fluorite pressed the appropriate buttons. A countdown began, with ten seconds to launch. Like she had a big revelation, Pappy spoke up.
“Captain Lars will give the order to launch the ABB!”
Everyone chuckled, glad that she was on top of her predictions. Bonnie and Marcy were caught off guard by the autonomous spacecraft which shot out of the OCAC’s hull. Lars, maneuvering the ship from his small control panel and viewing screen, accessible from his captain’s chair, discharged a barrage of laser bolts. Before the Bubbline Duo, a name Marcy enjoyed, could respond, the ABB’s attack damaged the BRIOS’s left wing, causing it to smoke. Not wanting to die and desiring to arrive on the planet’s surface, Bonnie turned the ship in a sharp downward direction, throwing Marcy out of her gunner’s seat and onto Bonnie’s lap, making them both uncomfortable. Of course, they loved each other, but the suddenness of the action caught both off-guard. The warmth of Marcy’s body soothed Bonnie. She lovingly pecked the place on Marcy’s neck where her two marks, showing her vampire bite, resided. Marcy’s green eyes stared at Bonnie’s light pinkish face, which she smooched vigorously, exhilarated about what would come next.
Marcy’s affectionate feelings distracted Bonnie, causing the spacecraft to rapidly descend, heating up as it raced through Earth’s atmosphere. Luckily, Marcy recognized the danger, stabilizing the BRIOS, stopping any further ill effects. She clicked a few buttons, closing a panel, covering up the smoke on the ship’s left wing. Bonnie began whistling and singing, then complimented Marcy on saving her. Marcy nodded, acknowledging her admiration. Both returned to their seats, Bonnie to the pilot’s seat and Marcy to the gunner’s nest.
Lars snarled. He wasn’t going to let the BRIOS get away so easily. He gave Rhodonite and Fluorite the order to prepare their ship for an attack on the “enemy” ship at a moment’s notice. At the same time, he told the Rutile Twins to keep the ship in the “hover” position. He pressed a button and 10 missiles jettisoned out of a launcher, underneath the ABB’s lleft wing, speeding toward the “enemy” ship. Pappy made a wise crack about how the captain had launched projectiles to produce a display of “fireworks” in the sky. Everyone laughed. June 14, 2019 would go down in the history as a glorious day for the Off Colors, Lars gloated.
In the meantime, on the BRIOS, Bonnie cringed and shook her head. She couldn’t believe skyrockets were heading toward their ship. She took a deep breath and sneered. There would be no way she would give up without a fight.
“Marcy, buckle yourself in, because we are taking evasive action…
Peebs, you’ve got it! Let’s take these fools down!”
Twirling through the air, the ship streaked through the atmosphere, descending near Empire City, within The Empire State, a neutral state on the east coast of the North American continent. Spotted by the radar, anti-aircraft guns surrounding the city let out a loud rat-a-tat-tat, sputtering to life, aiming at both ships. The ABB was unaffected because of its ray shielding. Rockets from the ship destroyed each anti-aircraft cannon, undoubtedly maiming some humans manning the weapons. Seeing this, Lars whispered “sorry,” little consolation to those on the ground. Meanwhile, Bonnie recklessly flew the BRIOS through crowded city streets, trying to escape. While Bonnie smirked, Marcy covered her face and clenched her jaw.
With one ship speeding past the skyscrapers, rockets exploding behind it, people fled in panic. The city streets soon became deserted. Bonnie got too cocky. The hiss of one missile made her shriek. It was too late. Even though the explosion did not affect the BRIOS directly, debris showered down upon the ship, causing some minor scratches. She grumbled and Marcy shook her head with a I-told-you-so look.
Lars glared at his screen and pounded his fists on the sides of his Captain’s chair. He shouted so furiously the fellow Off Colors shuttered in worry. While she often got stressed out and could be easily frightened, Rhodonite tried to be level-headed, attempting to assuage the Captain.
“Captain, we all want to get back at that ship too…but please don’t lose your cool”
Lars breathed deeply and sighed. He knew that she was right and accepted her counsel, glad she wasn’t losing her nerve this time, instead acting very kind toward him. He appreciated that, delightedly accepting the aid. While Lars could help those on his crew become grounded, they could reciprocate, doing the same for him.
“Rhodonite, thanks for putting me on the right track…I’ll approach this as coolly as I can…what do you think I should do?”
Such a question took her aback. In some ways the Captain had become immutable to her, able to make decisions and take risks on her behalf and that of Pappy, the Rutile Twins, and Fluorite. She stuttered, unsure of what to tell him, making sure that her unease or oft-paranoia didn’t get in the way of her job.
“Captain, you should engage in an action that isn’t too risky…draw the other ship away from Empire City…to minimize the destruction.”
Taking her advice to heart, he had the autonomous ship sneak up on the BRIOS, its blasters pulsating, almost striking the ship’s fuselage. Marcy yelped while Bonnie froze with indecision. She pulled Bonnie out of the pilot’s chair and took the ship’s wheel.
“Sorry P-Brains, but we need to get out of here. I love you, but I’m not gonna die on your watch…I won’t let us be sitting ducks.”
Turning the ship 360 degrees around, she activated the secret candy jets, jettisoning the craft outside the city streets, skimming just above the water’s surface. Bonnie shook her head, puzzled. She had no idea how she arrived in the gunner’s seat, strapped in tightly, and no longer piloting the ship. Marcy hollered at the top of her lungs, gunning the engine, like a person accelerating a car to a faster and faster speed.
“Yee-haw! We’re in for some fancy flying, Bonnie…and we’ll beat those jerks!”
Skimming near the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, the pitter-patter of laser bolts splashed the water’s surface, striking close to the ship’s rear. Unlike Bonnie, Marcy treated this almost like a game, trying to have fun before her expected death. Back on the OCAC, Lars scowled, pressing a button which fired the autonomous ship’s machine gun. One bullet struck near the time dilator, causing it to crack slightly. Bonnie screeched in fright.
“One more laser burst, and that device will send us through time! Marcy, and I mean this sincerely, you are our only hope.”
Snickering at her comment, Marcy didn’t know what Bonnie meant by “that device.” Inquisitively she asked, “Uh, Bonnie, what is the “device”?
“Oh! It’s the Bonnibel Time Dilator 5000, patented in the Candy Kingdom, 3012 C.E. Pressing it sends you back in time five minutes exactly…
“Why…would you put this on the ship?
“I’m a scientist…and it was part of my experiment. I haven’t tested it yet on humans…only some small animals and citizens of the Candy Kingdom.
“That isn’t good…
“Don’t get angry! I only thought this would be a diplomatic mission!
“That’s why this ship is armed to the teeth…right?
“Those are for…protection! I can’t let someone I adore…get hurt…
“You mean me, right?
Bonnie’s cheeks turned bright pink as she fidgeted and remained speechless, her mouth gaping open. She didn’t think her affection for Marcy would be revealed like this. She had everything methodically planned out, but the battle with the spacecraft ruined it all. Although often caring, decent, and well-intentioned, she could be volatile, especially when people “crossed” her. There was a dark part of her personality with an occasionally loose moral code, coupled with authoritarian tendencies and paranoia. Some of these tendencies were the reason why she originally saw Marcy as vulgar and unpolished, while Marcy perceived her as snotty and dull. As time went on, she began to care for Marcy more, starting as a dedicated friend and later as a girlfriend, assuring each other that they would always be safe. Both of these lovebirds shared a kiss in the middle of the fight against Golb. Since then, much had changed. They were both exploring the ins-and-outs of their relationship.
Bonnie didn’t like spontaneity in her social interactions and preferred to plan everything beforehand. Marcy acted differently. Despite her occasional sentimentality, she struggled to express her emotions, only doing so effectively through music. She tried to be more empathetic and mature, especially after turning into a vampire the second time. Even so, she enjoyed mischief and could be sinister from time to time. As such, she could adapt better to spur-of-the-moment social interactions than Bonnie.
This tender moment didn’t last long. The ABB’s cannons crackled, rippling the water’s surface behind their ship, snapping Bonnie and Marcy back to reality. Excitedly, she gunned the engine, speeding across the ocean, and into the upper reaches of the Great Scandinavian Republic and then the Union of Western Russia. The ABB followed in close pursuit. As they glided near the trees protruding from the landmass, covered with sparkling white snow, Bonnie played a sick guitar solo on the ax bass. It was so beautiful that Marcy cried with joy.
“Bonnie, that’s incredible! I didn’t know you could play the guitar like that! Why didn’t you tell me this when you managed my hella cool rock band, Marceline and the Scream Queens?
“I…wasn’t sure of my talent…and it was your time to shine…not mine…besides, you pushed me out as the band manager…don’t you remember?
“I’ve matured since then…times have changed…no matter what, I’ll encourage you no matter what…I can give you some guitar lessons sometime.
All right, it’s a deal! Let’s get out of this jam first!”
Unknowingly, Bonnie had activated the sound cannon through her guitar playing, sending shockwaves toward the ABB. With the ship rocking back and forth, it was caught in a wind tunnel formed from a reverberating guitar sound. Jealous of Marcy’s abilities, Bonnie felt honored to be praised, although she was more of a bookworm who didn’t typically take as many risks as her girlfriend. This trip had changed that completely.
Lars laughed maniacally. He pressed a button on his keypad, having the autonomous ship fire another volley of rockets. As Rhodonite watched him warily, he sneered..
“Those rascals won’t get away this time…we will catch them…and be heroes. Such rapscallions will rue the day they crossed the Off Colors!”
While Lars acted like a company CEO, those on the ship were not “yes women.” Some worried about the saneness of Lars, especially in a situation like this. The Rutile Twins walked over and tried to make their views plain.
“Captain, I’m concerned…Are you really that vindictive?
“No, no, my dear RT…I’m only having fun during this depressing situation. What else can be done? I don’t expect the other craft to be destroyed, but I hope it will push them to the negotiating table…that’s my approach.
That’s a relief. Thanks for telling us, Captain!”
Rockets tracked the BRIOS, making Bonnie anxious. Marcy’s chuckle served as a source of comfort. The ship spun around so quickly it artificially produced a violent squall. As the rockets twirled into oblivion, trees blew in the wind, while some of the snow turned into a hail of ice pellets, denting the craft. Enduring this man-made weather anomaly, both ships entered the air above the Tunguska Sea. Marcy and Bonnie gazed down in awe at six huge crystalline rock formations sitting on top of a massive plateau in the middle of the sea. Neither had any idea this was the Galaxy Warp, formerly the central hub on the planet which allowed Gems to travel across the galaxy from one of the 16 Warp Pads, most of which were inactive.
Peri and Lapis waved, sending their greetings as they sipped their hemp seed drinks. Lapis wore a wide tan sunhat with a blue ribbon, which blew in the wind, beige shorts, and a white cotton tank top. Peri wore a light green t-shirt, with an alien symbol in the middle, and blue jeans. Not wearing a visor, her pale chartreuse hair was down. Marcy opened a ship window and bellowed, “I like your hat!” Lapis shouted back “thank you!”
Marcy proceeded to pilot the ship across the water, rapidly moving inside the borders of the Republic of Eastern Russia. Projectiles continued to trace their ship. Peri groused and pulled out her remote controller, sending her attack drones to intercept the remaining rockets, shooting each down one by one. The ABB followed.
“Some excitement for once! When I came to Earth the first time, arriving at this very spot, thanks to my Robonoids, it was boring. This hasn’t been as stimulating as I anticipated…and these drinks are…weird…La…pis!…can’t we go somewhere better?
“You cute green ball of joy…we could but…you don’t want to see those Crystal Gems again…do you? I thought this was supposed to be a vacation and a chance to get Anthy to work her magic on those zombie workers growing our hemp crop.
“Fine. I guess you’re right…when you’re right that means you’re always right. Okay, what place do you suggest we go, then?
“There’s the Floridian Archipelago, where Carmen and Adora had that date…back in early May…or the beautiful Oceanic Republic of Rizalia, a nation consisting of over 7,600 islands. with only about 2,000 currently inhabited…or any of those various Gem locations.
“That sounds fun!...I heard Maynilà, on the island of Luzon, is a vibrant place, serving as a main hub, economically and financially, for the island, with production of crops like rice, pineapples, coconuts, mangoes, and more…according to my research on KIMPALNET.
“It’s a beta version of my new search engine, also called CLODNET in parts of the world which speak a language humans call “English.” Kimpal is apparently the equivalent of “clod” in one of the languages spoken in Rizalia, “Filipino,” although it can mean other things too.
“Ok…In any case, let’s get going!
“Alright! Everyone…jump in the Peri-Jet!
“Uh, I’m the only one here.
“…I wanted to make it sound better.
“And…you left the Peri-Jet back in Miura, where we have that hemp farm…
“I did…but this plane is powered by…LOVE!
“So, you’re saying you’d like me to fly you there…since your “jet” is invisible and non-existent.
“Why didn’t you just say that?
“You know, better than anyone, that I have trouble communicating…sometimes.
Whatever, Ms. Peri-scallion…”
Peri glared at Lapis adoringly, causing her cheeks to turn a lighter blue, caught off guard by her response. Her expression changed to a more relaxed one, as she began singing, humming, and whistling, followed by a squeal of joy. Fearlessly, Lapis outstretched her water wings, flapping to her heart’s delight, flying with her partner on her back, soaring to horizon’s edge.
Back on the BRIOS, Bonnie brushed aside Marcy’s compliment to another girl’s hat ware. After all, she and Marcy were attracted toward men and women. Although she acted wild at times, she didn’t have girls flocking to her. This differed from some she had heard about, like one girl who traveled between worlds, manifested in books housed in a grand magical library, on a quest for their long-lost companion. Marcy could float through the air but was more grounded than any person she ever knew!
They hadn’t outrun the ABB yet, although each of the projectiles had been destroyed, some by the artificial wind Marcy created with her “fancy flying” and Bonnie with her guitar playing, and others by Peri’s attack drones. Deciding to continue the chase, Marcy maneuvered the ship into the northern Pacific Ocean, alongside the State of Japan, dodging gunfire from the autonomous craft. Anthy and Utena spied this with a telescope, newly installed by Peri in their homestead. Utena recognized that the battle would soon be over, at least on the planet’s surface.
“I’d love to be back in the thick of it, Anthy. They are having so much fun.
“No, Miss Utena, you shouldn’t make a point you will regret. I wouldn’t want you to get hurt by those awful machines…
“FINE!...The least we can do is warn Lapis and Peri about it, to make sure neither one of them is hurt. After all, they are more than friends…forming the “L” and “P” of our “LUPA” companionship quartet…an unbreakable bond of dedication!
“That’s right! I’ll communicate telepathically with…
“Nah…I’ll send both a text. Plus, you don’t have that power, anyway.
You are right, Miss Utena…go right ahead.”
Utena sent Peri and Lapis a group text, about their observations:
Hey, Peri-dinkle, spotted two ships fighting in sea near Japan. Stay on lookout for possible danger. Utena out.
Peri responded with “got it!” and an alien symbol, making Utena giggle. She didn’t understand why Peri liked it so much, but it was cute like her, a thought she kept to herself.
As the two dueling ships approached the Oceanic Republic of Rizalia, they passed by the eastern edge of the isle of Ruzon. Miles away, at a small restaurant in Maynilà, Peri enjoyed her June Bug drinks, spiced up with ginger and a little vodka. Lapis drank some minted mango tea, another one of the concoction juices. It hit the spot for a hot summer day in the city. Peri ignored the “hey!” shouted nearby. Lapis peeked over and spotted two familiar individuals who were more dressed down than usual. Pearl wore a jean jacket, blue jeans, and black sunglasses, while Adora sported a matching jean jacket along with brown slacks and a Hawaiian shirt.
“Pearl! Adora! What a pleasure to see you here! What brings you two to Maynilà?
“I’m showing Adora sights of this wonderful world, carrying my “piece” around with me.
“Why a shotgun? Wouldn’t a pistol or another weapon be more effective?
I need to make sure no one harms my blonde princess…”
Adora cackled. “I wouldn’t call myself a princess anymore, but Pearl did shoot me with something…the arrow of love…This trip is what you Earthlings call a “honeymoon.”
“So, you both got married? Why didn’t you tell us?
“My dear Adora is a bit rusty on Earth words…this is only a date.
Yeah, sure, my peach-haired goddess…in any case, it’s a special trip for both of us!”
Lapis, Peri, Adora, and Pearl were frightened when a spaceship zoomed overhead. Peri could notice, even without her visor, that the ship was unmanned. She stared in amazement, with a deep fascination. Suddenly, another one followed, with candy cannons buzzing to life, exerting energy in such successive discharges that it scared the daylights out of Adora. She slunk behind Pearl and examined the situation frightfully. Summoning her shotgun from her pearl, Pearl shouted “for the honor of Adora!” As the armor piercing shells flew out the two barrels, the power of the recoil threw Pearl back, splashing in the nearby stream, groaning in pain.
As Marcy continued to move the ship forward, she heard a crackling sound in another part of the ship, followed by a mechanical warning:
Time Dilator has been critically damaged. Please repair to optimum state…Time Dilator has been critically…
The message kept repeating over and over until Marcy pressed a button which turned it off. This puzzled her because the craft they were pursuing couldn’t have attacked them. She turned the ship around. She wouldn’t let this go down in vein. Using the targeting computer, she calculated the trajectory and determined who fired it: Pearl, who she knew only as a peach-haired woman on her viewscreen. As she was about to order Bonnie to shoot the sound cannon at them, she demurred. She saw another woman, Adora, who only looked to be a blonde-haired woman from her point of view, shouting back at the ship, waving her arms wildly.
“I can’t do it, Bonnie. We can’t hurt those women…we must be better.
“Why? Didn’t that woman cause MY time dilator to crack?
She did, but only out of love…she is injured down there…and in pain…we can’t ignore those who truly care about each other. You taught me that, Bonnie.”
This comment flabbergasted Bonnie. She almost fell out of her chair. Unsure of what Marcy meant, she asked to peer through the view screen. The images shocked her. The peach-haired woman was being comforted by the blonde-haired one, with tears streaming down her cheeks. If the other woman was wounded by them, it could cause lasting trauma. As a person who had lived for over 827 years, she understood what this meant. She teared up and hugged Marcy, about 179 years older, a full age of about 1006, for support.
“You old sap. I’ll keep the ship in hover while you prepare the medical kit, using one of the auxiliary cannons to fire it toward them.
Can do, my sweet Marcy!”
Making her way to the other side of the BRIOS, she prepared one small first aid kit. . Wanting to make a personal connection, she paperclipped on a picture of her and Marcy laughing and having a good time, accompanied with a note written in beautiful cursive:
Dear Peach-Haired Woman and Blonde-Haired Companion,
I’m sorry to have caused you any trouble. A ship is chasing us, but we don’t want to harm anyone, whether here or in space. We are from a far-flung planet…and came to this blue planet of wonder to check on one of the colonies of my people from the great Candy Kingdom which landed on your planet surface. We wish you both the best. As a small act of gratitude, we are sending you this first aid kit accompanied by a photo of me (with the pink hair) and my girlfriend, Marceline (with the nightshade black hair) and a cool guitar. We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused you.
P.S. Marceline sends her love.
After stuffing it into the tube, she aimed the cannon, giving it a diagonal upward trajectory. The device then bellowed with a deep guttural sound. The first aid kit made a slow descent to the ground, Adora pulling it down. She opened it, finding an assortment of medical equipment and a handwritten note, which she read aloud. The letter and photograph astonished Lapis, Peri, and Pearl, especially after she saw their silly picture together.
“So, they are like me and Adora…or you and Lapis? Loving a person of their own “gender,” as humans call it?...Amazing!
Pearl, it’s not uncommon. Female humans call themselves lesbians if they have such relationships, and male humans call themselves gay. There are so many types of identities which excite me…Earth is a place where people can truly express themselves. The community of people who love people in that manner is strong…and I’m glad to be a part of it with my girlfriend, Lapis. Through the wonderful REZU network, we have met so many wonderful people, comparable to these two “Gems.””
Adora’s tears dried and she fixed her eyes on the ship, hollering two words: “THANK YOU!” Bonnie reached for the window, about to open it, ready to offer her compassionate words in response, but a computer alert interrupted this act of kindness:
Enemy ship approaching at SSW direction. Evasive action recommended.
Marcy scoffed at the alert, adding, “Ok, computer, I’ll punch it!”
The ship sped quickly across the ocean’s surface, heading out of Rizalia and into the Union of Indonesia. Marcy thought that going through the islands would cause the craft following them to get lost, allowing them to escape. Unfortunately, the resounding buzz of laser armaments continued to follow them like a snake trying to capture its prey.
The dogfight continued for some time, Marcy and Bonnie becoming tired with the chase.
Unsure of what else to do, Marcy violently steered the ship straight upward, causing the entire vessel to shake. She thought that the automated craft tailing them would be unable to make the descent, breaking apart in the atmosphere. As their ship whizzed through the atmosphere at unbelievable speed, the ABB began to falter, its engines sputtering.
Lars slammed his fist down, like he had before. He was annoyed that a newcomer ship had bested the Off Colors, who had hobbled Emerald, faced down the armies of the Diamonds, and stood together as a unit against all adversity. Rhodonite suggested that he rig their autonomous ship to drift toward the enemy craft and explode, after which they would release a barrage of lasers. He gave his consent to their plan, telling Fluorite to prepare the ship for battle. Pappy piped up, once again, as she often did, showing her value as the ship’s technical advisor.
“I predict Captain Lars will rig the ABB to blow up. Oh my!”
Nodding, Lars tussled her hair and expressed his gratitude.
Bonnie and Marcy breathed a sigh of relief. The Bubbline Duo, or the “B.D. Gang” as Marcy sometimes labeled it, thought the battle had been won. The ship, which had been chasing them, drifted aimlessly through space. Their reprieve was dashed when the engines of the automated ship suddenly reactivated, with the unmanned craft hurtling toward them at a staggering pace. Sensing immediate danger, she warned Marcy to prepare for an explosion, and attempted to move the BRIOS away from the kamikaze craft. Her efforts were somewhat successful but weren’t enough. The autonomous ship burst into thousands of pieces, in a beautiful panoply of orange, red, yellow, and a hint of green. Shockwaves shook the BRIOS, while wreckage battered the ship, now hobbling through space.
The OCAC opened fire as Lars yelled “BINGO, BONGO!” The green lasers streaked across the sky. The ship began to rattle and pop, terrifying Bonnie and Marcy. The fuselage remained unaffected, but the time dilator cracked, emitting a shining bright light. A wormhole opened, alarming Lars and his crew, who put their ship in reverse, and shot lasers inside the anomaly, in hopes of quieting it down. This only made it fiercer and more erratic, rumbling like a thunderstorm. Marcy attempted to pilot the ship away from the anomaly, but this failed, and she accepted their fate. Lars commanded Rhodonite to stop, ending their hasty plan of shooting into the wormhole. He told the Rutile Twins to move them away from the growing space storm, working with Fluorite who calibrated the ship’s engines. As the cannons grew silent, Pappy’s utterance amazed those on the spaceship. She recognized that her role was more than announcing events which had already occurred, resulting in her often relying on her predictions.
“I foresee that Captain Lars will release a probe to track the enemy ship. What a wonder!”
Cheery and gentle as always, she beamed while Lars scratched his head. He didn’t remember giving such a command. He appreciated her swift thinking anyway.
“Pappy, that’s a great idea! I hadn’t even considered it as an option. Rhodonite, aim the BB-T for the ship’s hull.
The BB-T, a technology Lars constructed while Steven and the Crystal Gems were on Etheria, had the full name of the Bingo Bongo Tracker. This would be its first real test.
Bonnie and Marcy were in utter panic mode. This ripple in the fabric of space-time wasn’t an event either had prepared for. Fearing their death in the vacuum of space, their lips touched as they hugged each other, and the ship continued to spiral out of control. The whirs and whooshes outside the ship were so loud neither heard the BB-T attach to their hull. As the wormhole fully encircled their ship, both screamed. No one would come to help them in this time of need, not even BMO, Jake, and Finn, who were light-years away in the Land of Ooo.
The jaws of space time had swallowed them whole. As the ship moved deeper inside the swirling anomaly, it began to close, pulling in some chunks of the former autonomous ship..
The wormhole opened and Marcy took a deep breath. She could see that Bonnie still looked tense, so she unbuckled her seat belt, floating toward her. She proceeded to nibble her neck, then licked under her ear with her tongue. Bonnie went into a state of ecstasy, since the area under her ear and neck was one of her most sensitive areas. More importantly, her arms relaxed as her tenseness faded away. Marcy floated away and moved back into her seat, re-buckling her seat belt. Bonnie had a big grin on her face.
“Thanks, Marcy. I really appreciate that…You made me feel so much better! Are you ok?
“I am. That nasty ship is gone…but where are we now?
Examining the measurements is key.”
Bonnie examined the ship’s records and discovered they were three days in the past. Using Earth calendars, it was June 9, 2019. Somehow, the dilator hadn’t been destroyed completely and had minimal functionality. Pressing a few buttons, she programmed the dilator to send them five days into the future: June 14, 2019. Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan. As soon as the button had been pressed, a bright glow surrounded the ship, causing the dilator to malfunction, twisting into a wormhole, moving like water swirling down a drain.
The situation left Bonnie immobilized. Marcy tried to snap Bonnie back to reality, as the ship began to crack and clatter. As a last-ditch effort, she jettisoned one of the ship’s heaviest items, a probe filled with candy beings for colonization, aiming it at the Moon. This probe would, thanks to the distortion from the crossing of the warp stream and time dilator, land on the Moon earlier that day. In one of their inspections of Gem locations, the probe would be encountered by the Crystal Gems, none of whom were aware Bonnie or Marcy existed.
Wailing as loud as possible, Marcy and Bonnie watched the time counter with alarm as it advanced quickly, in batches of 73 days at a time. After doing this five times in a row, the movement stopped. Bonnie did the calculations and made a startling finding: they had traveled one year in the future. If they had been using Earth time, the day would have been June 9, 2020.
Marcy flew their ship toward the planet below, picking up the signal from the Candy Kingdom colony in Yokohama, Japan, accelerating toward it at an unbelievable pace. Their transmitter received a message that both heard loud and clear:
Warning, you are entering Earth space. Please transmit your authorization codes now.
Unsure of what this meant, Marcy continued flying the ship through Earth’s atmosphere. Another message blared out of the ship speakers:
We are happy your enthusiasm for this planet remains unabated, but your presence is unauthorized. Under Chapter 9, Article 32 of the Charter of the World Parliamentary Assembly, the Earth Defense Force is authorized to defend the planet from threats from within and outside the solar system. All necessary force shall be used including, but not limited to, missiles and other Earth-defense systems as allowed under Chapter 9, Article 35 of the Charter. Lethal force shall be used to protect those on this planet from threat. You are ordered to…
The recording cut off as the transmitter exploded from excess pressure. The computer system on the BRIOS warned Marcy of incoming anti-aircraft fire. She tried to make sure the flak didn’t affect the ship. Distracted by that, a rocket which had cloaked itself from radar detection was less than half-a-mile away, heading toward their ship. Freaking out, she used her power to move objects with her mind to pick up Bonnie and hold her in her lap. As the projectile approached, she winced, listening to the computer system:
Impact from missile in 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…detonation!
The resulting blast, obliterating the ship’s engines, lurched Marcy frontward, still tightly holding Bonnie. She was rendered unconscious after hitting her head on the metal bulkhead. The ship continued to descend like a fireball toward the Earth’s surface, with the batteries of the Earth Defense Force standing by. An alert went out on the military radio, crackling:
EDF units, move to the Yokohama sector with immediate haste. Examine the crash site. If there are any survivors…take them into custody. We want to know why that ship arrived near Earth. Learn all you can.
The fate of Marcy and Bonnie appeared uncertain to soldiers on the ground and those watching at home on their television sets. Since Marcy and Bonnie had traveled through time, they had disappeared from radar and scanners on June 14, 2019. As a result, Captain Lars, the Off Colors, and the Crystal Gems were unaware of events occurring one year in the future.
Lars paced across the OCAC, contemplating the events that day, which delayed the beginning of their space trek. As he began typing in the number of Steven’s video phone, he received a call…from Steven.
“Lars…Pearl and Adora showed me this medical kit they received from some spacecraft…the picture within it…and a handwritten message…we need to talk…come to Maynilà, the capital of the Oceanic Republic of Rizalia instantly…coordinates are as follows.”
After receiving the coordinates, he put his hand to his forehead and gave a military salute.
“Sir, yes sir! It will be done, sir!”
The OCAC moved from their orbit around Earth, descending to Maynilà, unsure of what Steven and the Gems had in store for the Off Colors.