|Gem Weaponry Development II - The Cluster|
|Title||Gem Weaponry Development II - The Cluster|
|Date of Publication||February 9, 2016|
|Previous||Gem Weaponry Development|
|Next||Gem Corruption Theory|
In my first article about Gem weaponry development, I talked about how the style of Gem melee combat changed over the duration of the Rebellion/Gem Wars. In this article I shall be talking about the geoweapon known as The Cluster.
The Origins Of Gems Used As Weapons
It could be argued that all Gems are basically weapons:
"We're Gems, we're a space-faring race designed to conquer other worlds. Our physical forms adjust automatically to the gravity of any planetoid." - Peridot, It Could've Been Great
However not all Gems featured in Steven Universe are warriors. Some are designed to serve other Gems whilst some are used to power Gem technology for the use of conquering worlds. The best examples of the latter of the two types of Gems are the units that were used to power ancient Gem space ships (Friend Ship), modern Gem space crafts (Jailbreak), as well as power the research facility, Facet Five (Marble Madness). The gemstones that powered these places appear to be much larger than the gemstones of Gems with humanoid forms we have seen so far. One could assume that these gemstones were manufactured without conciousness, however we have seen at least one example of a sentient and concious Gem bound to an object that is used as a tool by other Gems: Lapis Lazuli and her mirror. It is very clear by the words of Garnet and Pearl during Mirror Gem and Ocean Gem that they knew that a sentient/concious Gem was bound to the mirror and was forced to obey commands, the concept appeared normal to them.
Gem ShardsGem shards are a much darker outcome of the Gems' useage of their kind in weaponry. Gem shards are the remenants of shattered Gems, esentially dead Gems as they cannot be healed. Both Homeworld and the Crystal Gems used Gem Shards in the development of weapons. "These Shards have a powerful partial consciousness that has been harnessed by Gems throughout history in order to create semi-sentient drone soldiers with the capacity to follow basic orders. Gems once created an army of these drones, but found their obedience waned as the shards overdeveloped inside their uniforms and turned on their commanders. You see, any shard imprinted by any kind of container could become a monster. That’s why it’s very, very important it’s kept away from any kind of garment..." - Pearl, Frybo
It is unclear if Pearl meant that the usage of Gem Shards dates back to before the Rebellion, however it is clear that Rose Quartz has utilized that technology with the Armor of the Fallen.
In "The Answer" we see the early days of the Rebellion as well as an example of how Homeworld Gems used Fusion as a weapon, basically combining two or more Gems to make a bigger version of themselves with which to fight stronger opponents.
This changed when Sapphire and Ruby (who later joined the Crystal Gems) accidentally fused to form Garnet. It is not known if other Gems had fused together this was in the past, however it was clear that Blue Diamond thought such an act was worthy of the Gem equivalent of the death penalty. When Garnet found her way to Rose Quartz and Pearl, she found a more accepting response of her new form.
It is likely that Sapphire's and Ruby's first Fusion at the Cloud Arena was what triggered Homeworld Gems to experiment with fusing different types of Gem shards together. It is not clear why using shards of different types was favoured, however there has not been a forced fusion experiment seen that involved shards of the same Gem type. In "Keeping It Together" Garnet said that the Gem shards they had found at Facet Five had belonged to former Crystal Gems and that the forced fusion experiments were done as a punishment for the Rebellion, however a much simpler explanation for the use of fusion can be found.
"It's all of both. When two gems combine, it creates something greater than the sum of their parts. That's why I'm so great." - Garnet, Keeping It Together
Likewise, if two gem shards are fused together, it too would create something greater than the sum of their parts. Unlike regular fusion, there is no need for Gem shards to remain in harmony as they are forcibly fused together, which in turn makes the number of shards that can be fused together almost limitless which explains how a fusion like the Cluster could be created.
Regardess of which Diamond was in control of the Earth colony, it is clear that only Yellow Diamond and her minions had access to the hidden research facility at Facet Five, underneath the Prime Kindergarten. There are no examples of Great Diamond Authority sigils within the facility, only Yellow Diamond's personal sigil can be seen. Despite Pearl's knowledge of Ancient Gem structures, she was completely unaware of this underground Gem laboratory. It is at this place where the research data on the Fusion Experiments is kept, along with the many of the actual experiements, data which lead to the creation of the Cluster. It is highly likely that Yellow Diamond had carried out these experiments behind the other Diamond's backs. This is backed up by Yellow Diamond's own words:
"I want my Cluster, and I want that planet to die. Just make that happen." - Yellow Diamond, Message Received
Yellow Diamond's choice of words are clear; the Cluster is hers and she wants that planet [Earth] to die. Earth's desrtuction is a mere consquence of the emergence of the Cluster. Afterwards Yellow Diamond will still be left with a giant geoweapon, which makes it very unlikely that the creation of the Cluster was solely meant to destroy the Earth. Yellow Diamond has another target for the geoweapon and it is a target that she wants kept secret from the other Diamonds.
What Is The Cluster
The Gem mutants (formed from forced fusion experiments) were the prototype of The Cluster and we can expect much of their behaviour to be the same as the Cluster, if it ever emerges. What is very clear about Gem mutants is they act very similarly to singular Gem shards used to possess clothing or armor. They too have a powerful partial consciousness which was probably what Yellow Diamond and her Gems were attempting to harness without having to deal with the issue of the Gem shards over developing and turning on their commanders. However the Gem mutants have only been emerging very recently and they are already showing signs that they cannot be controlled by other Gems.
In "Nightmare Hospital", "Keeping It Together" and "When It Rains", we see examples of how Gem mutants work. Items possessed by gem shards will attack anything, Gem or human, whereas Gem mutants only target other Gems. In "Nightmare Hospital", the Gem mutants only became aggressive when Steven entered the hospital, before they relentlessly tried to hunt him down. In "Keeping It Together" both Steven and Garnet were targeted. We see a similar thing happen in "When It Rains", however this time Peridot is attacked and she (at the time) was marked as one of Yellow Diamond's followers. It is clear that the Gem mutants will hunt down and attack any Gem, regardless of who they are and it is highly likely that the Cluster will do the same. This may not have been Yellow Diamond's intention when she created the Cluster as she too is likely to become a target of her own Geoweapon.
- The Cluster is based on pre-existing Gem technology, i.e. the use of Gem shards as drones which was utilized by both Homeworld and Crystal Gems.
- The fusion experiement was an attempt to create a giant drone that would not have the problem of becoming over developed and turning upon its commander/creator, Yellow Diamond.
- Fusion was used to create a Gem mutant from lots of Gem shards that would be more powerful than if a single gemstone the size of the Cluster was used and without the issues of having its components being in harmony with each other like regular Fusions.
- The Cluster however is just like its Gem mutant protptypes; a Gem-hunting creature who will attack any Gem, regardless of which Diamond they serve. It is unknown if Yellow Diamond is aware of the problems that her Geoweapon may have if it emerges.
- Despite Garnet's claims that the experiments were a punishment, both sides of the Rebellion have been shown to treat gemshards and even some Gems as mere tools.
- Yellow Diamond's punishment for the Earth is its destruction when the Cluster emerges, but that is just an added bonus for her as she intends to use the Cluster on another target, which is most likely to be the other Diamonds.