I was thinking about it recently and I came to the conclusion that I think I’m gonna rethink G.E.M. from the ground up a bit
A bit back, I realised it could be cooler than what I was planning at the moment, a bit more interesting and suiting—something I realised for the silliest reason.
Like. Are you prepared for this reason
I decided to rethink the project because
Jasper wasn’t in it
“Where is the comrade,” I said to myself.
And so… here we are. :p
A bit of background.
The story for G.E.M. as it stands is that the Crystal GEMs (“Geologic Entities of Mystery“) are trying with the help of Steven to get reunited with Rose Phoenix, who locked herself up in the Strata* after believing she screwed up royally.
In Stablehand, MBs and humans don’t have a lot of contact except in chance encounters where the MBs are often causing trouble. Rose Phoenix sees that and is like hey guys how about instead of this we get to know the humans and get along, and ushers in a bunch of GEMs. She assumes a human form and has a pretty good time, getting the impression the others are doing the same. But, after a while it turns out a bunch of them get bored and start fucking shit up again, which gradually tips all of them over the edge and causes them to go “chaotic”. In this new state they seem to be locked into humanoid form and are heavily Undirected, with a tendency to use their powers destructively just because they can.
Rose is appalled. It sure looks to her like what happened is all the GEMs got corrupted from spending time around humans, and the human form itself is linked with this corruption. And that basically, this gigantic mess is all her fault. On top of that, she just had a kid. She’s highly concerned that by being half human, he’ll be born the most corrupt of them all.
Reverted to her original form, she tries with all her heart to convince her three remaining companions to come back home to the Strata with her where they’ll all be safe and far away from humans and neither can hurt the other. But, they refuse to leave Steven or the humans without anybody to protect them (even if Rose is gonna take him with her to be contained they don’t like that any better), and remain in their voidbeast forms to fight the chaotics. And that’s basically where they are when things start.
So, about Jasper. My thinking previously had been that if Rose Phoenix and the other diamondbosses are not really against each other and the diamondbosses are just chill in the Strata not really making it their goal to conquer or harm the earth, there would basically be no reason to include Jasper because while I could justify Peridot as being a member of HQ Nitriya under Brass Cimaerra (YDHQ; YD), even a receptionist-type person, her mission would not be a thing so she wouldn’t need Jasper. I didn’t really think about whether Jasper-types would still be doing stuff at Nitriya or what’s going on there (which honestly should have been a consideration) so I was just like guess I’m just gonna forget her
The plan for G.E.M. at that time was for it to be… basically very focused on Steven. The Crystal GEM squad of course was gonna be a big part of it, and I wanted to explore them being a few different possible MB archetypes and sorta they can choose to show different sides of themselves that affect what Steven becomes like. I was unclear how exactly Steven having different emphases was going to come into things, so it was kinda up in the air how all the set-up was going to connect to the resolution, except for I had this idea that depending on how Steven reacted to what the other three did to the chaotics, it would feed into a better or worse ending. (Because MBs care about each other even less than Gems do, the Crystal GEM squad could end up using the chaotics in various ways that weren’t very considerate—Pearl would turn one of them into potting soil for trees, Garnet was going to do something to Tremolite to keep her from making the air unsafe like maybe put her in a lantern [tremolite is a type of asbestos], if you told Lapis you were gonna take her out (as opposed to help her) after defeating her Amethyst could turn her into a chain and carry her around to hit things with.)
Ok so now the new version
I realised that in order for Jasper to wedge her way in, she’d pretty much have to be a central character with a story structured around her. And I imagined this ridiculous image that like she’s this Nitriya member that got bored and started to sneak off and do her own thing but then this little hovery hummingbird (Peridot) came out of nowhere and started following her around suspiciously to make sure she’s not doing anything she’s not supposed to (their backgrounds are a little bit reversed, Peridot is the experienced one and Jasper is not exactly a newbie but doesn’t have a very wide range of experiences)
And I just imagined this story where Jasper can like try to mess with her, or try to befriend her, or do any number of things, and at some point you become able to tell Peridot to do one thing or another too and sorta just shape the overall course of things and watch what happens as utterly none of the decisions are handwaved as ‘I don’t know why I did that’
There’s of course a thread where the Crystal GEM squad is looking for Rose Phoenix too, but it’s less unnecessarily elaborate than it would’ve been originally. There’d be sort of an interplay between the two threads where you’d have a few chances to switch to one or the other and for instance set things up so one of the side people gets recruited by one side or the other (tbh there’s only Lapis and the lion but he IS his own creature in this AU – a post to follow will explain this better!). One thing it has me kinda looking forward to is what Team Jasper decides their opinion of Rose Phoenix is and whether her self-opinions are justified
I like this idea because it’s MUCH more like the actual story design for Stablehand (though I didn’t initially predict that much thread-switching, I thought each character would kinda have a neat chapter in each part), as well as way more… self-contained? such I’m not stuck adding detail to make it more interesting, a thing that kinda messes with a circumscribed test story (in the initial one I focused too much on them actually fighting the chaotics which created something not really doable).
Chalk another one up to the diamond grunts and Lapis, I guess.