Earth was annoying and everything in there was annoying. Now tied to some primitive type of barrier, Peridot had to rely on the rebel Quartzes for even a simple task like retrieving a tool, which was irritating her to no end.
“Rose Quartz!” She called.
The only one she couldn’t possibly be referring to was the only one to react. The Steven looked at her in confusion.
“Rose Quartz!” She tried again.
Now the three Quartzes looked at her, with expressions varying from surprise to annoyance.
“The… you!” She pointed to one. “Chest gem! I need a leverage optimizer!”
The Rose Quartz with her gem on her chest walked to Peridot, looking down on her with a serious expression. Peridot asked herself if she shouldn’t have called any other of them. The last thing she needed was to get a Quartz angry at her.
“No one has called me ‘Rose Quartz’ in over 5,000 years.”
“Moonlight, stop messing around!” The Steven exclaimed, apparently unable to read the metaphorical room.
The Rose Quartz stared at Peridot for another moment, then burst in laughter.
“Sorry, sorry.” She handed the leverage optimizer to Peridot, who took it hesitantly. “Relax, greenie. We are not gonna hurt you.”
History said otherwise. Peridot decided to say nothing and get back to work.
The three Rose Quartzes looked at her with tired faces.
“Shoulder gem!” Peridot clarified. “Let me see these plans.”
The Rose Quartz with her gem on her shoulder signaled for the Steven to untie Peridot from the barrier.
“You can just use our names, you know.” The Rose Quartz said as Peridot studied the plans on the blackboard.
“None of you has said properly introduced yourself yet,” Peridot grumbled. She straightened her back and turned to her. “Maybe we should do it again, from the start. I am Peridot Facet 2F5L Cut 5XG.”
The Quartz smiled at her. “Nice to meet you. I am Sunshine.”
“No, you are not!” Peridot exclaimed. “You are a Rose Quartz!”
The Quartz nodded. “I am a Rose Quartz, and my name is Sunshine.”
“This makes no sense! What is your facet? What is your cut?”
“Forgot them.” She said, but it was clear that she was just saying it to irritate Peridot. “What does it matter, anyway? I prefer Sunshine.”
“You don’t get to have a preference on who you are.”
“Yes, I do.”
With those words, she left to check on Chest Gem.
The more time Peridot spent on Earth, the better she understood why the production of Rose Quartzes stopped after just one try. If the three (or four?) gems Peridot met were a good sample, then they were certainly all defectives.
Abdomen Gem had taken the Steven to a broken Earth vehicle so he could have his sleep cycle, one of the requirements of the hybrid’s mostly human body. Instead of continuing the work, Shoulder Gem and Chest Gem were also resting and engaging in idle conversation.
Peridot used the chance to check the plans once again, this time without Shoulder Gem annoying her. She was startled by a large shadow behind her. Apparently, Abdomen Gem was back.
“You can take a break too if you want.” The Rose Quartz said.
“I would rather keep working.”
“If we follow the schedule Sunshine made, we will finish the drill in time. You can work overtime if you want to, but you don’t have to. You’re not on Homeworld.”
As if Peridot could forget it even for a minute. She nodded.
“Well, the choice is yours, Peridot Facet 2F5L Cut 5XG.” She said, gently patting Peridot’s back.
Peridot felt herself blush. She didn’t expect any of the rebels to remember her proper designation. “Wait, Rose Q-”
Abdomen Gem turned to her with a smile. “Rose Quartz Facet 5 Cut A12. But I really prefer Dawn.”
“I don’t get it. These ‘names’ and rest cycles… are you trying to mimic the natives? Why?”
“Not really. The natives have some interesting ideas that we borrow, but we are really just trying to live in the best way we can. Most of the rebellion was about becoming more than what Homeworld allowed us to be. I know you don’t share our ideas, but you may understand that for us, our ‘proper designations’ seem to refer to gems we aren’t anymore.”
Peridot listened quietly. She had no personal experience to draw from, but imagining a hypothetical scenario… yeah, she could understand.
“I doubt one of these three won’t give you a nickname in the next days we work together. If it makes you uncomfortable, just let them know, P- is just Peridot alright?”
Peridot nodded. “Thank you… Dawn.”