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How Emerald Lost Her Smile by AMX-269 How Emerald Lost Her Smile by AMX-269
Free Spirit. Heh. As if even the concept of such a thing was feasible where I came from. Was I born defective? I don't think so. I was following orders. I was doing what they told me to do. I didn't know any different. At least...not at first.

It's not like anyone else around me said it was wrong. Our leaders encouraged it. As far back as I can remember, that was what warriors like me were told to do: strike anyone down who wasn't loyal to Homeworld. We were all different factions, but we all had the same goal. I was in a partnership. Peridot's job was to obtain knowledge and any information that would help further our creators' goals; my job was to remove any obstacles that stood in our way. That's how it was for...a long time.

Then that day happened.

I was performing my "job" as per usual. Peridot was expecting me to report back once my mission was complete. I had just finished eliminating a so-called enemy with my scythe, when something caught my attention. There was a smaller versions of the planet's inhabitants nearby...a "youngling," I guess...and there was a look of complete horror on its face. I didn't understand why...I was just doing my job. This was normal, right? That's when I noticed a nearby reflective surface, and decided to see what was wrong. I saw myself, covered in the fluids that were commonplace in my line of work. Nothing out of the ordinary.

And then I smiled.

Never in my life had I felt such overwhelming sensations of terror, disgust, anger, confusion, hopelessness, hatred...

When I went back to Peridot's and my base, she said all I did was come in and stare at the wall for hours. She said I looked stupid. Looking back now, I'm not sure if she was ever really cared about me, or if she just liked me for how good I was at helping advance her research.

The next thing I knew, I was sent out on another mission, along with other similar factions. But once I was on the battlefield...I just froze. For the first time, I saw exactly what was really happening around me every time I performed my duties. All the screaming. All the looks of confusion morphing into terror. All the body parts. All the destruction...

And all I could do was watch in silence, barely even reacting as my body became riddled with wounds. Suddenly, I had an idea. It wasn't the best idea...but I couldn't stay there. Not anymore. I'm sure there were other Gems who saw me take the escape pod assigned to Peridot and me, but I didn't care what they thought. I wasn't listening to a word they said anymore. Not ever again.

As I was soaring through space, I was desperately trying to not retreat into my Gem. I couldn't. Not yet. I had to figure out where I could go. It had to be somewhere they couldn't find me. Somewhere where nobody could ever see me or my horrifying, disgusting smile. That's when I remembered the alert that was recently given to us. Apparently, a powerful Gem warrior named Rose Quartz, along with some other rogue Gems, had defected from Homeworld to a planet known as Earth.

I couldn't think of any other option. Either way, I was now a traitor to Homeworld. If they wanted to think I had gone to join Rose Quartz, let them. I didn't care. All I cared about was trying to find somewhere I could make sure nobody found out about the horrible things I had done.

I ended up landing in a bare clearing on Earth...I think it's what's known as a "meadow." As I emerged from my ship a wounded mess, I was able to limp over to the shade of a nearby large Earth plant...a "tree," as I later learned. It was only then that I finally retreated into my Gem.

It was just as well. Since I no longer wished to be affiliated with Homeworld, I needed to get rid of all the features that associated me with it. As I rested inside my Gem, I was able to glimpse outside...and I saw something surprising. Little Earth creatures...creatures with fur, and wings, and tails...they were gathering around my Gem. And none of them were afraid of me, even though I was such a disgusting creature who had committed atrocities without even thinking. These little creatures...I felt the need to protect them. To not let them see that horrible smile of mine.

It was then I vowed to make sure that once I was reformed, nobody would ever see me smile again.


Steven Universe (c) Rebecca Sugar
Emerald (c) AMX-269
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July 13, 2015
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