The Human With a Gem

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StabbyKobold
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The Human With a Gem

Post by StabbyKobold » Wed May 23, 2018 4:18 pm

Well, don’t I feel a tad bit overdue. It’s been the better part of a year since Project A.F.T.E.R. closed down, and what have I done with all the time? I suppose all I can say is that I’ve managed to get my life sorted out. That, and I’ve toiled with propping up a WordPress page, where I’ve archived my old mocks, and will continue to do so in the future. Anyway, I’m getting back to doing what I enjoy, hence why I’m posting this.

Since this is a mock I already started long ago, I had better do a recap for both newcomers and returning readers alike. This is The Human With a Gem, a Steven Universe fanfic starring a particularly annoying Gary Stu self-insert by the name of Maxwell Ignitus. By ingesting a made up corrupted gem by the name of Obsidian, he has attained a slew of ridiculous powers, which he so far has utilized to beat up most of the main cast; mostly just because he wanted to. Through seventeen chapters, nothing didn’t happen unless it had something to do with Maxwell, and his oh so troubled past became grittier as the plot demanded it. Max also ended up mentally snapping and started killing people, which amounted to nothing as the author pulled a status quo reset via time travel. Currently, Maxwell is travelling randomly through alternate dimensions together with Steven, due to contrived reasons and the author wanting to rip off other fanworks of the series. If you have any interest in reading the previous chapters of this mock, you can do so by following this link. If you’re already up to speed, or simply want to jump right into the thick of it, then enjoy.

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Chapter 18: Swap

Max was expecting a rough landing, but it seems like he sticks the landing this time.

Please tell me the punchline involves him being partially stuck in a wall or something.

"Yes! Safe...and no one around to see it. Say, where's Steven?" His question was answered as the boy in question falls right on top of him. "Ow."

"S-sorry Max, I can't really control where I land."

Image

We know, Steven. We know.

"It's okay, we're warping across space and time, we're lucky that we haven't been torn to shreds. Speaking of space and time, where are we now?"

"Well it looks like Beach City, and the temple is there."

And it looks like the author is skimping on the scene descriptions.

"Well, no dystopia here. Let's check the temple to be sure." The duo head inside the familiar house, finding everything to be very similar, albeit lots of protien mix in the fridge.

Are we about to see some kind of alternate universe Steven that works out?

"Has Amethyst taking a liking to this junk? Well she enjoys gasoline." Max closes the fridge before bumping into Steven.

"Whoops, sorry dude….Steven?" Steven stares at him with wide fearful eyes. Max was about to ask something before...Steven walks out of the bathroom.

"The bathroom seems the same but…" Steven looks to see Steven...two Stevens…

Well, better pull out the shotgun and find the real one, Max. You’re jumping dimensions willy-nilly; this should not be surprising to you.

"Okay, it's safe to assume this isn't our world." Max says unamused before the frightened Steven yells out for help.

"Burglar! Clones! What's going on!?"

"H-hey calm down, we're not gonna hurt you." He looks to see the gems' door open, as three gems come out. There was Lapis, Peridot...who is taller? And...some orange gem. Max didn't know why, but he felt his pulse race when he saw her, just feeling the warrior spirit emanating from her.

Ah, the “Mom Swap AU” universe. Basically, the premise is having Steven be raised by the three homeworld gems rather than Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. But I fail to see how this explains the protein.

"Lapis! Peridot! Jasper!"

"Wait Jasper?" Original Steven looks confused as he sees Jasper with the other gems. Max remembered when Steven told him the story of Jasper, Malachite, and her corruption.

"Steven? Why are there two of you? What is going on?"

Poor decisions and life choices.

"Okay! Enough! I will answer everyone's questions if we just calm down."

Everyone was silent. Max sighed as he explained the current problem Steven and him were facing, traveling to different dimensions revolving around changes to the Crystal gems.

"I know it sounds farfetched, but the proof is in the pudding. We got two Stevens here."

"What does pudding have to do with evidence?" Peridot asked confused.

The author thought he could inject humor, by having his protagonist spout a metaphor that he wouldn’t use under any other circumstance.

"It's a figure of speech, I mean the facts are in plain sight."

"Well, it sounds plausible…may I ask your name?" Lapis asked politely. Max could see she was different, more motherly in a way, possibly from further interaction with Steven.

"Me?... I'm Maxwell Ignitus." He explains his story involving Obsidian and Rose Quartz. In return they explain that they joined Rose in her rebellion against Homeworld, and stayed on Earth with Steven when he was born.

This begs the question, if they don’t know Maxwell, what happened to him in this dimension? Please, tell me he jumped off the cliff.

"I-I see, so this is a world where the Crystal gems are switched. Interesting. Well, we need a way to keep traveling in hopes to get back home."

"Well human, it's not that easy, interdimensional travel is mostly theoretical, the warp pad only teleports us on Earth, to another warp pad. Unless you have an item or substance that carries the properties of warping, you're stuck here because we don't have this 'Lion' you speak of." Peridot informs,

"Hmm, will this do?" He explains the way his weapon cloak works, with how it travels his hand to grab from his weapon stash.

It’s cute you think the two are even remotely the same thing, author. But if the cloak still works, and it can “travel” his hand, what’s keeping them from getting more than a hand through?

"Well, this may work, but I will need some time to work on it."

"That's fine, I'm sure we can entertain ourselves."

Lapis and the Two Stevens play and interact with each other while Peridot gets to work on his cloak. That leaves Maxwell and Jasper alone.

They’re going to fight, aren’t they? Figures, since Max doesn’t have an excuse to brood, I guess fighting someone is his only other source of entertainment.

"...so an Obsidian? I will admit, their cutting skills are on a different level, but when it comes to real combat, it won't be enough." Jasper remarks.

"Hehehe, is that so? Well I'm more than some oversized letter opener, I trained myself to be stronger than any human.

For no reason, might I add. Wish fulfillment doesn’t count.

That may not mean a lot to a gem, but it is an achievement I stand by." The tension was obvious between them, the perfect soldier and the man with the fury of a volcano.

"Pretty spunky for a human. Words mean nothing though, at least not without action."

"Oh? Then let's settle this. We're both powerful warriors, we can end this debate on the beach."

Of the two of them, Jasper is the only one justified in being a battle hungry warrior. She’s a perfectly grown gem soldier from an inferior production site – the equivalent of reaching into a gene pool of inbred rednecks and pulling out Captain America. Max only has the trait, because the author doesn’t view it as a character flaw.

"Sounds fine by me." Jasper grins as she cracks her knuckles, glad to finally fight once again.

The two walk onto the beach, both silently agreeing to not do anything to Beach City, at least not on purpose.

Sure, don’t spend the ten seconds it takes to use the warp pad to take this fight literally anywhere else.

"I will admit, it's different to fight without my weapons, but it's better this way. No obsidian bullets or anything, only our own skills."

"Just try to last more than five seconds, I want to enjoy myself."

"Phrasing." Max chuckles after saying that, but then gets into his proper stance.

On a scale from one to ten, how anime are we talking here?

He rushed at Jasper before jumping and putting all of his force into a spin kick at her gut. Jasper just catches him with incredible speed and hurls him into the ground.

"Gah!" Max grunts in pain the looks up to see Jasper summon her battle helmet. Before her attack could make contact though, Max blows smoke into her face and gets out of the small pit.

"Sneaky move, but you're gonna have to try harder!" She growls as she does a spin dash directly at Maxwell. Max closes his eyes as he focused as summoned his flame form.

Figures, without his cloak Max only has one place to pull out deus ex machinas from – his superpowered ass.

Everything seems to slow down as he sees her spinning. At the right time he sees her exposed body and takes aim. With a roar he throws hundreds of powerful punches, stopping her in her tracks and doing a considerable amount of damage. With Jasper stunned, Max focuses his fire into his obsidian hand, making it glow dangerously.

"Eruption!" He releases, striking her with a powerful uppercut, his obsidian hand literally exploding and sending her high into the air. He jumps hoping to catch her mid air and continue his onslaught.

That’s two entirely new super moves back-to-back. Do I hear a third? Come on, you know you want to, author.

Before he can attack though, she grabs him.

"Nice trick, but try this one on for size!" Jasper starts spin dashing toward the ground while holding onto Max, the pressure of going from so high and rocketing toward the ground making him dizzy and weak. Just before hitting the ground, Jasper stops spinning and suplexes him so his head hit the ground, enough damage to easily kill a human, and shatter some gems. Max coughs up blood as he lays on the ground, struggling to get up.

Jasper pants heavily, her eyes widening as she sees him still trying to fight. "E-enough, it was a good fight but you're in no condition to continue."

Oh, Jasper, didn’t you know? Losing a fight is a humbling and character building experience. The Marty Stu rejects such trivialities.

"N-no! I-I refuse to give up. F-fifty years of training. I-I wanted to become the strongest so n-no one can never hurt me. I-I will win so the pain can stop!" Max looks at Jasper with tears and desperation in his eyes.

Image

What pain?! As far as I can tell, Max, you are the only one causing any. You are the reason and instigator for every single battle in this story thus far. Every trauma, every conflict, every loss of life your Rubik-scrambled past purports; all of it has happened because you decided to indulge in, enable even, your own sociopathic personality and solely destructive gem superpowers. Even now, you’re fighting and getting hurt because it was something you decided to do. You want the pain to stop? Then fucking stop!

Jasper can only look at him with shock in her eyes. She slowly smiles and puts a hand on his shoulder. "You already proved you're to be powerful...I was wrong about you, I admit that...but you trained to be stronger than humans. That may be impressive for you, but there are still plenty of incredibly powerful beings, some stronger than me. Instead of giving up, you should try to grow stronger. I may have came out as a perfect Quartz, but I still had to grow much stronger...Rose taught me to become strong in so many ways, and in some ways, her child helps me learn more."

Nice pep talk, but it’s the wrong one. Max doesn’t need to be told not to give up and grow stronger, because that’s literally his sole motivation as a character. What he needs to learn – what Steven and his friends could teach him – is that conflict can be resolved with other means than just violence. This speech is just the author using Jasper as a sock puppet, to validate his protagonist’s complexes.

Max only looks up at her with surprise, then slowly smiles. "...I trained myself in beating humans…" He looks at his obsidian hand and clenches it. "I wanted to become more than human, so I cannot rely on just human weapons and fighting techniques, I need to train my gem abilities too, and combine them to create more and more powerful skills to beat my opponents."

You’ve already done that! It’s what your flame form technique is all about! You told us this while fighting Garnet, you numbskull!

With determination in his eyes, he looks to Jasper and smiles. "Thank you, even if we never meet again, I won't forget this."

With that all said and done, Max rests his aching body, glad for his quick healing by Steven, even it was gross.

Oh, quit being a baby. You’re lucky Steven didn’t discover his healing body fluids while treating jellyfish stings.

Peridot soon finished making the adjustments to his cloak and presented it to him.

"There, now if it works properly, you should be able to teleport to a new dimension as long as you activate the warp pad as well."

The deus ex machina dispenser got an upgrade. Yay.

"Thank you Peridot, we just need to keep trying until someone can send us home, or we get there ourselves." Steven and Max look at the gems and other Steven with a smile before they activate the warp pad and move on to the next dimension.

They’ve already been through more dimensions than Max has as a character, and I only expect the number to triple.

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I’m not sure what future alternate universes the author has in store for us. Honestly, the Mom-Swap AU here was the only one that came to mind, when the dimension jumping began. Whatever comes next though, Max is sure to find some way to have it validate his already staunchly ingrained obsessions.

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Re: The Human With a Gem

Post by StabbyKobold » Mon May 28, 2018 1:50 pm

Max and Steven jump dimensions yet again, and they end up in someone else’s fanfic. A fanfic with hundreds of followers and more than a thousand reviews. Must be a good story, I guess. Too bad the author only tells us what fanfic it is, and not what happened in it. Enjoy.

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Chapter 19: A King?

Author's note: This AU is based off the fanfiction titled, "A Leader's Call" by skydarius11. Go check it out, it has all the heartache and love you could ever want and more. I swear, it made me cry a few times, now on to the story.

I’ll take your word for it. It certainly seems to be a lot more popular than your story.

A familiar scene appears as Maxwell opens his eyes. A sandy beach and a serene town.

I know dimensional travel should work like this, but would it kill the author to take us somewhere new?

"So far so good, this looks like home, but looks can be deceiving...Steven?" He looks around, then hears a groan as his Steven wakes up, rubbing his head.

"I-I'm okay, it's just that, the teleportation is about as bad as the teacups."

Going in nothing but circles? Sounds about right.

"Well don't go barfing on me, regain your bearings and we'll check out the temple."

After some time, the dimension hopping duo carefully walks toward the gems' household. They open the door and sneak a peek inside.

Ever heard of knocking?

"Nobody seems to be home."

"Best case scenario, this is home and the gems are out on a mission. Worst case scenario, zombie apocalypse."

I suppose it could fit in right after 'Maxwell murder spree' and 'Homeworld abduction'.

"Noooooo!"

"I'm kidding...mostly" Max just chuckles at Steven's multiple expressions of fear, relief, then fear again. Before they can take another step inside though, a loud yawn is heard. They look to see Steven in Steven's bed...wait what? On closer inspection, this appears to be an alternate Steven, one who looks...more experienced in a way. He definitely has a bit of muscle, yet Max couldn't help but feel a sort of...sadness emanating from him.

Is your thought process really, "But he has muscles, why isn't he happy?"

"Sooo...this isn't our dimension."

"I guess not, unless the gems somehow made a clone of you to compensate."

Nice of you to imply the gems would think Steven replaceable.

As the two converse, they fail to realize the sleeping Steven beginning to wake up.

"Uh….." The two gulp and look toward the now awoken Steven.

"Okay, I know this looks weird, but-" Max is cut off as he hears a certain roar. He turns and sees Lion growling at him, yet also gives a confused look to the two Stevens.

"Wait wait wait! I can explain!" Lion wasn't listening as he pounced at Max.

This is why you don't go into other people's houses unannounced, Max. Especially when you learn, like last chapter, that your existence isn't a constant in all dimensions.

"GAH!" Max scurries off the bed, running around in hopes of not getting his butt chomped off.

"Max!" Original Steven looks worriedly as the other Steven looks surprised."

"W-wait, you know him?"

Only in the loosest definition of the term, as his personality changes to suit the author’s needs.

"Yeah he's my friend. I know this sounds crazy, but we accidentally started traveling to different universes. Um, I'm Steven, nice to meet you."

"I'm Steven too." They shake hands while Mx gives them an unamused look as he hangs from the ceiling.

I guess Lion managed to chomp off his A.

"Well now that we are all acquainted, can someone help me!" The Stevens rub the backs of their necks embarrassed. Current Steven gets down from bed and goes to calm down Lion.

"Lion it's okay, he's a guest, I don't think they want to hurt us."

Just so long as you can prove you’re not made of tiny robots. Max is crazy like that.

Lion growls and somehow Lion and Steven communicate with each other with ease.

"Wow, you really bonded with Lion. Sometimes my Lion barely listens."

Clearly you don't have enough badges yet – Pokémon taught me as much.

"Well, we've shared an experience before." With Lion begrudgingly calmed down, Max hops down and sighs in relief.

"Okay, now what I was trying to say is-" Once again, he is cut off as the warp pad shines.

"Can I just say one thing?!" The light dims, to reveal 6 gems. Not only was there Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, but there was Lapis, a taller Peridot...and another Jasper.

Is there even space enough on the warp pad for them all?

"Steven, we're back and-" Pearl stops mid sentence as she looks at the scene of two Stevens, Lion, and a human with an arm made of volcanic rock.

Arm? Has Max been cutting off more pieces of himself?

"...were there always two Stevens?" Amethyst asked confused. In a flash, they all draw their weapons to fight the intruder.

"Oh come on." Max braces himself for a fight, with his Steven right next to him. Before anyone could clash though, the current Steven puts his fingers to his mouth and whistles loudly.

"Everyone stop! Please, no one needs to fight." Everyone listened calmly, almost as if his words held a spell over them. Even Max felt any will to fight, vanish from his body.

It's called 'making sense' and 'appealing to logic'. I understand these are foreign concepts to you.

"...thank you Steven. I'm sorry to have come here unannounced. I am Maxwell Ignitus, but Max is fine. I come from a universe where me and my Steven are good friends, and I happily became an ally of the Crystal gems. I understand my story may seem far fetched, but we plead for your help. Steven and I just wish to return home." With his speech finished, the gems looked at him cautiously, but the their Steven only smiles and goes to shake his hand. Max smiles and accepts the gesture of peace.

The fact that you couldn't display any of your own is unsurprising, Max.

"I'm sorry to hear you're far from home, but we'll do what we can to help."

"Thank you. All we need is to use the wap pad, then my cloak can…" He was going to show off his cloak but then sees how it is tattered and sparking.

You're telling me the deus ex machina dispenser was broken, and you only tell me these wonderful news now?!

"Damn, the transportation must have been too much. The Peridot from the earlier universe modified the transportational abilities of my cloak so…" He went rambling on about the scientific properties, confusing everyone except Peridot who was taking many notes on her holopad.

You could just invent techobabble, instead of covering up your own lack of scientific vocabulary, author.

"I see, well if you give it to me, I should be able to fix it. If one peridot can do it, then I certainly can fix it." Peridot boasts.

"Thank you, maybe we can exchange stories as we wait."

Why don't we start with you, Max? How about that time you slaughtered your family and home village?

"Yeah! Story for Steven!" Original Steven waits excitedly as the gems and current Steven share the long, over 40 chapters worth of an adventure.

Maybe you'd like to give us the cliff notes? I'm not going through forty chapters just to know what's going on in this dimension.

After some time, everyone was tired from such a tale and had some dinner together, although it was mostly the half humans who took part in the glorious feast of pizza.

Amethyst wasn't invited?

It was late at night as Maxwell walked outside to view the stars and moon. It was funny how similar it was, yet so different.

Ha-ha funny, or Max-thinks-he’s-being-deep funny?

"Hey Max...you okay?" The current Steven of this universe asked as he sat down next to him.

"Yeah, I'm just a it worried. Not just about getting home, but keeping my Steven safe. He's strong, kind, but so many things out there can hurt him. Infinite universes, infinite possibilities...I won't stop until I get him back to the gems safely."

Yes, back with the gems and as far away from your psychotic ass as possible.

After speaking, he looked at Steven, who looked exhausted. Max's eyes widen as he remembered from Steven's story, he was able to absorb the negativity from others and fight it.

"Steven stop! My negative emotions are too much."

Image

"N-no, I've done this a lot, it's okay."

"No it's not! I'm not from this universe, I'm not your concern, I won't let you risk killing yourself for me." With a heavy sigh, Max focuses on his obsidian hand. His eyes flash purple for a second, showing the insanity that resides within.

Thanks for proving my point.

With one swipe he knocks away Steven and takes out a black demonic looking creature, made entirely of his negative emotions.

"Steven, this monster is only a small fraction of the horrid storm that resides within me. I appreciate your help, but I cannot let you do this. This is the pain I suffered to become who I am, and I will solve it in my home, I can't let you hurt yourself for me." Max crushes the beast with his hardened hand.

Image

Max sure is full of himself, isn’t he? “Don’t help me with my problems, you couldn’t possibly handle it, what with I’ve been through.” This macho martyr bullshit is not just unhealthy, it’s downright moronic. Rant incoming, excuse the indignant outpour.

First off, Max has issues. Yeah, I know; grass grows, sun shines, and Max is fucked up, what else is new? The thing is, he is mentally unstable, struggles emotionally, and is a potential danger to people around him because of it. He is aware of all of this. And instead of allowing people to help him overcome these issues, he handles it all like a cross for himself to bear – as if psychological problems is a trial for him to prove himself against. But Max proves nothing by making this, once again, all about himself. The author clearly wants to paint Max in some kind of impressive light by having him “protect” Steven from the danger that helping him would pose, yet his unwillingness to receive help paints him as nothing but a prideful and self-destructive asshole.

Secondly, this whole “bringing out negative emotions and turning them into monsters to fight” thing. I have no idea how it was presented in the fanfic the author is ripping off, but the way it’s presented here is more than a little uncomfortable. Max isn’t a supernatural creature, nor is he possessed by demons; he’s insane, if not just suffering from depression in the given situation. For Other-Steven to conjure creatures of manifested negative emotions forth from Maxwell’s psyche completely denigrates emotional problems as something that they are not. Much like how the author handled Psycho Max, he provides hostile agency to something that should be without – just to turn it into an enemy that can be easily fought. But neither psychosis nor emotions work like that. Moreover, the proper way of actually combating them is to get help. But Max won’t allow himself to receive any, because the author thinks that will make his self-insert weak.

Steven shakes his head as he gets up. "I-I didn't realize there was so much...how come you don't want my help, doesn't it hurt?"

"...It's torture. But it helped me grow. I use this pain to grow stronger and wiser, and learn to smile wider. I'm really thankful for your help Steven...but trust me when I say I know what I'm doing."

But you don’t, Max. The stuff you are saying are the confessions of a future suicide victim. You even attempted it!

Max smiles as he hugs Steven close. Steven only nods with a heavy sigh.

After some time, Max's cloak was repaired and the duo get onto the warp pad. "Steven, gems, Lion, you're all wonderful beings."

And you are not. Thanks for low-balling the punchline for me.

Now for a song, it's cringe worthy, sorry to everyone, including Jacksepticeye and Schmoyoho

You are self-aware about it, yet you still include a song? Alright then, let’s see what you’ve got?

Hello everyone my name is Max Ignitus

My name is Max Ignitus.

Max Yes Max Yes MAX YES!

All the way

To freaking victory town

All the way

Feels good to be a winner

Every now and then

I believe in you

I believe

I believe in you!

I believe

I believe in Steven

In Steven!(oh yeah)

In Steven!

Grab the glory

All the way to victory

All the way(keep on a dancin)

All the way(keep on flyin)

All the way (keep goin, you got this)

All the way way, all the way (keep on a dancin)

All the way (keep on flyin)

All the way (keep goin, keep on)

(Keep goin, keep on)

AAAAAAAAAAHHH!

Simple challenge?

Life is nothing like that

Stand tall on your feet

You're all we need

Feel your heart beat

Life is nothing like that

Feel your heart beat!

Great, great Steven

You're great at being you

Great, great Steven

You're my best friend in the world

Great, great Steven

I hope you never die

Die, die, die, die

With any regrets

Oh yeah!

All the way(keep on a dancin)

All the way(keep on flyin)

All the way (keep goin, you got this)

All the way way, all the way (keep on a dancin)

All the way (keep on flyin)

All the way (keep goin, keep on)

(Keep goin, keep on)

AAAAAAAAAAHHH!

Hey there little potato boy

You're the one getting involved with magic?

See, you hanging out with those gems don't you?

You're cool, so cool

You have a shield?

Whoa!

Little potato boy, you were always my favorite

AAAAHH!

I believe (I believe)

I believe in Steven

In Steven!(oh yeah)

In Steven!

Grab the glory

All the way to victory

All the way(keep on a dancin)

All the way(keep on flyin)

All the way (keep goin, you got this)

All the way way, all the way (keep on a dancin)

All the way (keep on flyin)

All the way (keep goin, keep on)

(Keep goin, keep on)

AAAAHH!

All the way(keep on a dancin)

All the way(keep on flyin)

All the way (keep goin, you got this)

All the way way, all the way (keep on a dancin)

All the way (keep on flyin)

All the way (keep goin, keep on)

(Keep goin, keep on)

AAAAAAAAAAHHH!

I can't exactly fault a Steven Universe fanfic for including a song. However, I can fault the author for his poor lyrical choices. The original song is nice, a catchy tune too, but to have it be presented here with just a thin coat of Ignitus paint ruins the purpose that Steven Universe gives it’s musical segments.

Songs in Steven Universe are something special. Through them, we learn more about the characters and their personalities, often through direct interpretation of the lyrics. Aside from a few outliers, the songs express and exposit the singers’ emotions and motivations. Strong in the Real Way? Pearl's desire to be a good parental figure, and Steven's need to be a credit to the team. That Distant Shore? Lapis Lazuli's struggle with crippling fear and loneliness. It's Over, Isn't It? Pearl's grief over losing Rose's affections and later Rose herself, and her inability to move on more than a decade later. What did this chapter give us? An amateur edited rip-off that, while it expresses Max's faith in Steven, rings entirely hollow, as Max won't let the kid help out or fend for himself. It’s entirely wasteful and provides nothing to the story. I would end it here by saying, “Just like Maxwell”, but unfortunately everything in this story is about him; even this fucking song. It’s not about Steven. It’s about Maxwell’s thoughts on him. And they are condescending and insultingly simple. Just like Maxwell.

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I’m not sure what made the author think it was time for a song. Hardly anything noteworthy happened, and we already knew everything it tried to get across. I suppose it’s because the author couldn’t have Maxwell do or change anything in the current dimension, since Other-Steven seemed to have things well in hand. Still, not sure I’m keen on the well-intentioned mind control angle, but I’m not going to knock a story I haven’t read. I’ll just move onwards with the current disgrace of literary expression.

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Re: The Human With a Gem

Post by GorillaGamer » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:29 pm

The mocks looking great as always Stabby, keep up the good work. I found something from an old friend of yours you could tackle once you're done with this fic.

Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/40960 ... rs/9227032

If you ever need a helping hand with it, I could pop in to mock a chapter or two.
Jesus man what is up with you and all of those waifus! Are you secretly the "Ultimate Pimp"?
An old quote from Project PATREON.

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StabbyKobold
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Re: The Human With a Gem

Post by StabbyKobold » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:46 am

@GorillaGamer: Thanks, GG. I'll take that story into consideration for once I finish with this one. It's certainly tempting, but no promises.

Here comes yet another chapter of Max and Steven jumping between dimensions. And while I’m growing impatient with this nonsense, apparently so did the author, since we go through about a dozen dimensions in this chapter. No, it doesn’t make this chapter longer than the previous one, why would you ever think that? Enjoy.

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Chapter 20: This is Ridiculous

I’m sure I’ll be echoing the sentiment.

Warp

Max and Steven look around as they seem to be in Beach City but...everyone was either Max or Steven.

"Okay, this is weird. I know I said infinite possibilities but this is just strange."

It doesn't make a lick of sense either. Infinite possibilities does not mean the impossible is suddenly possible.

"Y-yeah, let's go find the warp pad and leave." They hurry to the temple and to the warp pad.

Warp

Feel free to put some whimsical montage music on, I can imagine no other time for it.

Max was about to say something, but then noticed the severe lack of oxygen and the water filling his lungs. Steven was about to panic before he summoned a bubble for them, complete with fresh air.

I'm pretty sure Steven can't do that last part. I'll just pretend the author decided to give new powers to someone else for a change.

"Gah!" Max pants heavily and coughs up the water as he tries to figure out what happened.

"W-why is there so much water?" Steven asked as he looked through the bubble, seeing Beach City submerged in the water.

"This seems to be a universe where Earth has been flooded. How are we gonna be able to get to the warp pad now?!"

Who knew global warming would be a bigger threat to humanity than the magical alien empire?

"Hmm….can you warp with just your cloak?"

"Well, maybe, but who knows what will happen?"

"It can't be that bad."

It's bad enough that the cloak is now a deus ex machina in itself instead of just dispensing them.

Max only sighs and activates his cloak.

Warp

They were on dry land...but everything seemed different, less ... animated. Max looked around and at his body. Steven looks at his hands with a scared look.

Your chapter also seems different, author; less written, if you will. If your dimensional jumping hijinks humor relies on a visual gag, maybe you should use more than two words to describe it.

"Okay I admit I was wrong, lets leave."

Warp

Max and Steven appear to be somewhere in space. Steven puts a bubble around them as they look around.

Did the Cluster emerge in this dimension, or is the cloak really this shitty?

"Where are we now?" Before Max could say anything, something knocks into the bubble.

"Gah! What the heck?" He looks to see a strange blue phone booth, labeled police box.

Sure, let's just ignore the physics that would have the two of them speed away from a collision with another object without gravity or friction to stop them. The author wants to make a reference, so making sense takes second priority.

"Sorry about that!" Said a british sounding voice from within the box before it spun around and flew off.

"...was that…no it can't be. Let's go."

Warp

They appear to be on a beach...but not the one they want.

"What is this place...and why do I have a bad feeling about it?"

I think its the overuse of ellipses.

"Hmm…" He looks to see boats loaded with soldiers coming from the sea. He then looks to see soldiers armed with machine guns and with swastikas on their uniforms. "Oh **** no"

Image

"Hey, no swearing."

" I don't think you understand Steven. We went back in time. This is World War II, D-Day!"

"What's that?"

"...remind me to tell Pearl to let me teach you human history."

Maybe you should attend a lesson yourself, Max. Because World War II has been confirmed not to have happened in Steven Univers' continuity. The show's writers weren't being thoughtless. They knew that making the Earth and its early civilization subject to alien colonization would irreparably change the course of the planet's history. And the signs of this are scattered throughout the show, from small things such as the symbols on money bills, to the vast geographical differences like half of Russia being underwater. But hey, since you’ve decided that dimension jumping and time travel for some reason are the same thing, why not go to a time and place with similar gravitas and effect on the lives of everyone in the show – like the Gem War, you schmuck!

That's when the guns started firing.

"AH! WE GOTTA GO!"

Warp

"Agh, we're getting nowhere!"

Neither is this story.

"Let me try, we'll go super fast."

"No wait!"

Steven grabs his cloak and starts warping them rapidly.

Warp

"Badoop badoop Banana Bus"

Warp

"Cowabunga!"

Warp

"Reality is an illusion, the universe is a hologram, buy gold. BYE!"

Warp

"Don't lose your way!"

Warp

"Yare yare daze"

Warp

"You gotta look inside yourself and say, what am I willing to put up with today? NOT FUCKING THIS!"

I couldnt have put it better myself. The author has now decided that making random pop culture references is somehow funny or counts as storytelling. It’s not a good idea to remind people there are more entertaining things out there than your own story.

Warp

"Grasssss tastes bad."

Warp

"Steven stop! This isn't working, I just feel like I'm gonna vomit."

"I already did a few dimensions ago."

I'd say the author has been vomiting on his keyboard since line one.

"There has to be some way to do this, maybe we're looking at this the wrong way."

"What do you mean?"

"Hmm...we warped with the warp pad at first, and we remained within stuff similar to the gems. When we relied only on my cloak, we went to those alternate worlds that had nothing to do with the gems."

Begging the question of how the cloak is related to these realities. The answer is its all nonsense.

"You're right…"

"We need an anchor or something to help us get home."

"An anchor…" Steven looks at his gem and gasps. "I got it! We use my gem! Maybe then we can go to our world."

Thank you, Steven, for further proving that Max has no connection with your reality.

"...you're right! Let's try it." He puts the cloak around Steven and the young boy focuses on his gem. A bright light covers them both, soon vanishing with them.

Warp

"...d-did we do it right?" The two look around the beach, seemingly near Beach City and the temple.

Do we dare hope the author ran out of crossover ideas?

"Well, there is only one way to find out." The two head into the house and see the gems huddled together."

"But we haven't seen him all day, what if he ran away, or was kidnapped!?"

Considering it was Max that got Steven into this mess, I’m sure you know which of those fit the crime.

"I promise you everything will be okay."

"How will everything be okay?!"

"This is the second time some human with a van has taken away my reason for living!”

Garnet just smiles and looks to Max and Steven who were at the front door. Pearl looks in surprise before smiling and jumping to hug Steven.

"Steven! You're safe, what happened? Did Max do this?"

"I haven't done anything to him, we've been trying to get home for so long."

You wouldn't have ended up lost in dimensions if you hadn't decided to try and upstage Pearl and Garnet. You fucked up, at least you could own up to it.

Max explains the story of how the warp pad backfired and transferred the duo across the multiverse. After some time reuniting, everyone went to rest, the large adventure finally over.

I would hardly call that an adventure. The author spent several chapters hiding his own ability to create an entertaining plot by reaching out to whatever meme he found popular. And it changed nothing about the plot – the only thing that got any kind of development was the fucking cloak!

------------------------

Hopefully that will be the last we see of that nonsense. It was just as I predicted. All that the last four chapters contained was consequence-free hijinks, a narrative detour of the author trying to support his story with the works of others. We’re now back to stomaching Maxwell’s presence in whatever time-bubble the author has fashioned out of the point in the show he injected his self-insert. It’s really annoying that the author keeps re-establishing status quo, when Steven Universe is all about constantly changing it.

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Re: The Human With a Gem

Post by StabbyKobold » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:37 am

Now that Maxwell and Steven have returned home to their rightful dimension, it’s only a matter of time before the next disaster of Max’s own making rears its ugly head. Until then, we must indulge in exploring Max’s personality. By that, I mean the author decided to add more angst to his Marty Stu’s backstory, even though it makes no sense. Enjoy.

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Chapter 21: Love

Can broken hearts be restored?

Ask your local taxidermist.

Max was sitting with Steven and Amethyst, sharing some popcorn as they watch the newest Lonely Blade movie. Max found the combat to be repetitive, but overall the movie wasn't too bad, Steven sure seemed to be enjoying himself, Amethyst on the other hand seemed satisfied eating 90% of the popcorn.

It's still sharing if everyone gets some of it, right?

The only thing that really made Max cringe was the newly introduced romantic subplot between Lonely Blade and Single Sword.

Something about their names makes me doubt it’s going to last.

"Aw, it's so cute. I really hope they can get together." Steven was deeply involved with the story and relationships. Soon came the weirdly animated kissing scene between the two characters, making Max feel sick as he got up and walked away from the TV.

Would you look at that, the immortal gem-creature of sixty-eight is made uncomfortable by romance in an anime. Are you telegraphing the contrived conflict of this chapter, Max, or are you just that immature?

"Max? You okay?"

"I-it's nothing really."

"No, Steven's right. Your face looks like Steven's when he tried motor oil."

"You said it was delicious! How was I supposed to know it'd make me sick?"

How dumb do you think Steven is, author? He's fourteen, he damn well knows what things he shouldn't put in his mouth, unlike your gem swallowing Gary Stu.

"And that's why either Garnet or Pearl have to check anything new you want to eat. So why do you look sick dude?"

"...it's just...I don't think love exists."

Amethyst looks at him a bit, before starting to laugh loudly. "Oh you're serious? I'm gonna laugh even harder, AHAHAHA!"

Stolen jokes and unnecessarily abrasive behavior aside, I can't take this seriously either. What previously inexistent maladjustment has Maxwell manifested this time?

"Why would you not believe in love? It's everywhere!"

"L-look, I understand that Garnet is a literal manifestation of love, and Rose and Greg were a beautiful couple who made a wonderful child….but for the human race, I can't help but feel it's just a big lie."

Is this a 'love is just a chemical' argument, or a 'waaah, no one loves me' argument?

Steven puts a hand under his chin, deep in thought.

"Hmm...do you love me?"

"Steven, that's a loaded question. I guess I do, I think of you like a brother."

"See, brotherly love! And you probably think of the gems as family right?"

Sure, let's make all his previous acts of violence count as domestic abuse.

Max blushes furiously as he looks away. He at first viewed the gems as goddesses, beings who were far too beautiful and powerful for him. Yet after coming back to them and living with them and Steven, he viewed them in a different light. They all had their flaws, but were still amazing.

Because they struggle to better themselves and overcome their flaws, Max. When was the last time you tried improving on something that wasn't your super powers?

Garnet can be mysteries, not very talkative, and a bit hardheaded, yet she was also powerful, protective, smart when it comes to relationships, and an all around great leader.

So why don't you ever listen to her?

Pearl can be a uptight, a perfectionist, and a tad judgemental about humans, but she is also very graceful, intelligent, a master of cleaning, and really sweet when she wants to be.

Don't mistake her being judgmental of you with being judgmental of humans, Max.

Amethyst can be a slob, can be rash, and not very brainy, but is very fun to be around, all around super funny, very friendly with humans, and sticks up for those she cares about.

Case in point, her rude laughter just moments ago.

And all three of them are very physically attractive, great dancers, and really care about those they call family. So with time, Max couldn't help but grow to become very attracted to the gems.

If he wants to get his rocks off with a gem, why doesn't he just ask Obsidian for a handjob?

"W-well…"

"Steven of course he like us, we're awesome." Amethyst says jokingly as she finds the bowl of popcorn empty. She shrugs and goes to her room. "Thanks for the free popcorn, I'll talk to you guys later."

Once she left, Max let's out a sigh and lays down.

On the floor, I imagine, as Max's current location is a nebulous 'away from the TV'.

"Max?"

"I'm okay, it's nothing."

"...so you never answered my question. What do you think of the gems?"

"...I think they're wonderful." Max replied with a massive blush on his face.

I'm not so sure the feeling is mutual, Max. At least it shouldn't be. You're still the cause of all the problems they've had as of late.

"Hmm, I got an idea!"

After a hour or so, Max was put into a tux and was sitting at a table where a fake candle is put up.

You rent a full tux, yet the candles is where you spare the expenses?

"I really don't think this is a good idea Steven."

"Trust me, this will help restore your faith in love."

I know candle lit dinner is the cliché, but where would Steven get that from? His father seduced Rose Quartz with music and dance, and he watched Lars and Sadie give in to their emotions after being stranded on an island for weeks. I'm just saying this is rather uncreative.

"But Steven-" He cut himself off as he sees the gems come in beautiful dresses, Garnet stoic as ever, Pearl smiling awkwardly, and Amethyst just scratching her head with a lazy smile.

"You all look perfect! Now we can start." Steven was dressed up like a little waiter and a drawn on mustache. He puts out a large pizza for them to share. "Bon appetite!"

Exactly what does Steven imagine that a triple date with all the gems will result in? Why isn't this just a date between Max and Alexandrite?

"T-thanks Steven." Max was nervous as hell as he carefully takes a slice.

Steven pretends to play the violin as he actually had a recording of romantic music playing from his phone.

Connie owns one. Has she really slipped so far out of this story that Steven couldn’t borrow it?

Amethyst happily starts eating without any table manners, Pearl doesn't eat, and Garnet seemed to stay quiet until looking at Max. "So Maxwell...what spurred these feelings?"

"Not beating around the bush huh? Look, I tried to explain this to Steven. I do think you three are beautiful and attractive-"

Image

"I'm flattered, but do you really think it's love?"

"I never said it was love I just-"

"Oh right, you don't believe in it, you think it's a lie."

"It's more complicated than that!"

Not from the way you were saying it. It's a simple logic equation. If love doesn't exist, then its false; a lie. Just like your likeability.

"Then what is it? Love is not something you play around with, it takes time and-"

"I FUCKING KNOW! JUST SHUT UP AND LET ME TALK!" Everyone stares at Max with wide eyes. His eyes were filled with tears as everything spilled out.

So this is why the author had the gems automatically agree to this farcical date. How else would Maxwell be justified in having a hair-trigger emotional outburst, if not for the three of them obnoxiously interrupting him constantly with, mind you, perfectly valid points against his nonsensical position on the subject. And now we're going to get a sob story about Max's terrible love life. Yay.

"I-I wanted to believe in love, I really did...but I was hurt...so many times…"

Everyone listened intently wanting to hear him out.

"I was 23 when I met my first girl. I was in college and trying to expand my knowledge, but then I met her.

And just like that, all blood flow was diverted to your other head. Anyway, you're telling me that after getting Obsidian stuck inside you, you then decide to go to college? I hope this at least leads into your theoretical physics bullshit.

She was beautiful, smart, kind, and I believed nothing could go wrong. We were together for two years, which may seem small to gems, but it felt like a life long journey for me. We were about to graduate in a few months, and I was going to propose to her...but then she came to me and said she wanted to break up. I asked why, and she fucking said it's because I was too slow. I wanted to take my time before asking if we can be…'intimate' but apparently she hated it.

You were dating this college chick for two years, and you never had sex or even broached the topic? What are you, a Catholic?! Who in their right mind would blame her for leaving you?

She said she found a man who took charge and made her feel like a woman. I was astonished and asked 'what about all those times you said you loved me?' And she just said 'honey, love doesn't exist.'"

That sounds rather contrived for her to say, given that she found someone else to love.

They were all in shock to hear about this. Garnet removed her visor and looked at him sadly. "Max, I'm sorry this happened to you, but you cannot let one horrible event stop you from-"

"It was far from just one bad experience. I've had my heart broken so many times."

Image

By all means, Max, carry on in your attempts at garnering my sympathy. I will relish withholding it as well as your misery.

"30 years old, still looked the same, yet I was mentally different. I was in a bad place. Sure I was making a lot of money with my job, but I had a bad drinking problem. Every day, trying different wine, swigging enough beer to kill an average man.

You have fucking superpowers, and you get a job and a drinking problem? What the hell happened to carving a name into history, to exploring land, sea and sky, to training your body and gem abilities with Obsidian cheering you on? Why is the author suddenly retconning your adventure years to be full of misery that was never a plot point until now?!

Eventually sweet girl found me. I tried hard to push her away, but she insisted on helping me. She helped me to her home and listened to my story. For 2 weeks she cared for me, listened to me, I thought everything would be wonderful. One morning though, I woke up strapped to a table, gagged and blinded. I tried screaming for help, but my blindfold was removed to show my captor was the girl who I thought loved me. She used a strange syringe on me, I was too weak to break free.

This is the same guy we were told broke doors by opening them too fast. How do you want us to take any of this seriously, author?!

I was her slave, helpless to do anything as she did...horrible things to me. She whipped me, raped me...just made her plaything.

One man's nightmare is another man's fantasy, Max. Kinks aside, are you sure you want Steven listening in on this conversation?

Eventually the serum wore off, and then I broke free in a terrible frenzy of rage, tapping into my abilities as a half gem. I'm not proud of killing her...but I don't regret it either."

I'd be shocked and abhorred, if I didn't already know you were an unrepentant murderer, Max.

They were horrified by his tales but he kept going.

"36 years old, I decided to give the dating scene a try, but this time it was a guy. I will admit, time made me a little bicurious, albeit the female form is still more appealing to me. It didn't matter to me at the time, he was nice, willing to give me the time of day.

Dude, you're being defensive about same-sex attraction in a Steven Universe story. No one cares.

But soon his father found out. Apparently his dad absolutely hated homosexuality.

Okay, so the identity-lacking strawman the author made cares. I stand corrected.

In order to avoid getting in trouble, he pinned the whole thing on me. He went so far as to call me…many awful names concerning homosexuality. His father bought it and used a gun on me, trying to kill me. It was that incident that helped me learn of my defensive powers, my obsidian hand blocking the bullets.

In lieu of praying the gay away, he turned to a more proactive alternative. Hold on, it took you 18 years to figure out the powers of your hand? What the hell have you been doing with your time?!

I retaliated and beat up his father, making sure to give that traitorous bastard the same treatment."

"Then so many more, a woman who was secretly a prostitute, made her pimp try to kill and rob me. Then a girl who only wanted my money….so many of them who hurt me. A minuscule part of me keeps begging me to try and find love, but every other part of me knows it's futile."

I'd be feeling sorry for you, Max, if it weren't for you being such a terrible judge of character. I'm sorry, but more than six disastrous attempts at love, and none of these sociopaths raised a red flag with you? Do you even try getting to know them before deciding they're the one?!

With his story over, he looks at the four. They had tears in their eyes, sobbing sadly before all hugging him close.

"I-I'm so sorry Max! I-I shouldn't have done this, I-I should have never set up this dinner date."

"N-no Steven, you were just trying to help, I appreciate it..but it's too late for me."

You're immortal, Max. It will never be too late. Get a grip. Speaking of grip, why aren't you dating your left hand, aka Obsidian? It's been ages since she had any kind of presence in this story.

"M-Maxwell, I-I was wrong to judge you, I had no idea."

"It's fine Garnet...don't blame yourself."

Garnet rarely didn't know what to do, her future vision was failing her, and Ruby and Sapphire were conflicted.

About fucking what; that love exists?! And how the hell is Max's failed relationships messing with basic causality?

She looks at Max and lightly puckers her lips, going closer to his. Max just smiled and put a finger to her lips.

"Thank you Garnet, but I do not want a kiss of pity. Just...lets hug for a bit more...it's nice."

It’s almost like this love thing does exist, huh?

Garnet just smiles and nods. Everyone agrees as they hold Max to comfort him.

After some time, Max lets them off. "I'm sorry for all this drama and stuff, I should just keep my mouth shut."

No, Max, you need to talk with a counsellor, and to get personality that doesn't attract villains at every opportunity.

"No Max, it was good that you told us. We think of you as a true friend, family too." Pearl smiles at him softly. "If you ever want to talk more about it, we're here for you."

"Y-yeah dude, we stick together," Amethyst gives a wide smile and thumbs up.

The guy literally confessed to murder just now! How are you all just fine with that?!

"...thank you all. This helps a lot, you don't know how much better I feel."

"Yeah….I'm just sorry I couldn't help you find some love."

"It's okay Steven. I don't need romance to be happy, just being with you all is more than enough."

Maybe because you've been looking for the wrong kind of love all along, Max. Actually, what kind of love were you looking for? In the first chapter, you narrated that you weren't looking for these kinds of bonds. What changed?

Soon everything is cleaned up and everyone heads to bed. Max lays down, thinking over what happened. He still had feelings for the gems, and they knew about it, but it would probably be better not to act on it. Maybe with time, things could get better for his heart.

That would require Max to be capable of character development that isn't retroactive.

Author's note: I'm really sorry if this was too intense. If it is too much for a T rating and should be M instead, feel free to say so.

We've had grizzly murder by immolation, psychotic rampages, and forcing lovers into a game of Russian roulette, but this is where you suggest increasing the rating? Mentions of rape and an absent swearing filter? Author, I'll give you props for acknowledging the severity of the topic, but Steven Universe handled abusive relationships and forced consent more maturely than you ever could.

If enough say the rating needs to change, I'll change it. I hope you all manage to continue to enjoy my bad story.

Low quality will appease those with low standards. Trust me, author, someone out there enjoys your story. Just don't take their admiration as something to be proud of.

------------------------

It’s really annoying when an author makes up a character’s background and motivations up as they go. I don’t usually rant in a chapter outro, but I’ve got to speak my mind about this fluid backstory crap. Mind you, having a time gap in a character’s past for important plot elements is not a bad thing. Heck, the gems themselves have five thousand years worth of it, and the show steadily reveals to us what happened during it. But unlike the gems, Max’s personality and actions are inconsistent with what we learn about his past. At the start of this story, Maxwell was just your typical archetype badass with something to prove. Then he suddenly had an abusive childhood. Then he was suddenly insane. Then his childhood was suddenly full of torture and murder. Now we learn his love life has been a cavalcade of breakups, rape, violence, and emotional abuse. And none of these things impacted his character until we were made aware of it.

Consider Amethyst for comparison. We learn long into the series, that she is a product of Homeworld’s colonization of Earth. Her entire existence is a result of the hostile occupation of the planet and the abuse of its resources, and she was made explicitly to perpetuate this cycle. Ever since she joined the Crystal Gems, she knew that what Homeworld did was wrong. She came to identify with it; viewing her existence as a mistake. And the result of this can be seen in her personality. She displays self-esteem issues, utilizing her shapeshifting powers to reinvent herself as anything but herself. Her issues with Pearl stemmed from Homeworld’s demonization, and thus Amethyst’s existence by extension. We see these symptoms long before we know the cause, but when we learn about this cause, we suddenly understand her character and recognize the symptoms to match her motivations. Maxwell on the other hand? With what we have learned thus far, he should have arrived to Beach City as a non-functional mess of PTSD and anti-social neuroses. Every badge of misery tagged onto Max’s past doesn’t help to make us understand his character, they make us wonder how it wasn’t affecting him before now. Any which way the author forces the plot of this story, he’ll wedge whatever cause of it somewhere into Max’s multiple-choice background story and call it a day – never considering if it matches up with what’s been established. Why would Max be motivated only by a dreary existence in the first chapter, when later we learn he murdered his family and burnt down his home town? Why, if his love life was so traumatic, would it not be one of the bullet points in his time travel plot fix? If he spent the last fifty years training to grow strong to “make the pain stop”, how the hell does he fit in college, jobs, drinking problems, and eighteen years of not knowing his hand can stop fucking bullets?!

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Re: The Human With a Gem

Post by StabbyKobold » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:59 pm

Are you ready for Maxwell to once more be the cause of everyone’s misfortune? Right, as if he ever stopped. There really couldn’t be a more apt description for this story. In this chapter, we have a reintroduction of a previous character due to the only popular demand that matters – the author’s. Enjoy.

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Chapter 22: Delirious

With time things became less awkward, everything seemed to be going back to the regular routine of training, hanging out, and missions of stopping corrupted gems.

No overarching threats, no looming conflicts, nothing of what the show featured so prominently. Author, ever since Peridot showed up, the main concern of everyone living in the temple has been Homeworld. Why are we ignoring it?

Max enjoyed his place with the Crystal Gems, he felt like a real part of the team, someone they can rely on… All it takes though, is one accident to possibly sever those ties.

Even if we weren't served this heavy-handed foreshadowing, I would still have to act surprised, since I expect nothing else from this story.

"Okay, now a little left, a little right, I said right, WATCH OUT!" Max yells for his life as Amethyst almost crashed the car into a tree.

"Amethyst, when you asked me to be your driving instructor, I didn't know you were gonna ignore me the entire time."

Driving instructors are actually trained for the job, Max. I'm sure Amethyst scrounged a license from one of her junk piles, but where did you get your certificate?

"I'm not ignoring you, I'm just filtering out the boring stuff."

"That sounds close enough to be ignoring me. You gotta focus when driving, if you're not careful you can easily end a life."

And steal your thunder, Max? I think not.

"Dude i'm like 5000 years old, I got this." She grins as she floors the gas pedal, making Max freak out.

"Gah! We're going too fast!"

"This is awesome!" Amethyst whoops and hollers as they drive on the wrong side of the road.

Sure sounds like a lot of reckless endangerment, even for Amethyst. I hope this is her revenge for the shotgun incident.

"Amethyst please just- LOOK OUT!" They were on a collision course with Buck, Jenny, and Sour Cream who happened to be driving as well.

"Wha? WHOA!" Amethyst swerves out of the way, but crashed instead into a brick wall.

Whoever left their brick wall in the middle of the road needs to be more responsible with their things.

"Phew, well this isn't so bad." She helps as the airbags deploy and hit her in the face. "Ow, you okay Max?"

"Um, no."

"What do you mean?" She moves the airbags out of the way and her eyes widen to see some of the wrecked car pierced through his chest, and he happens to be bleeding a lot.

"I've been impaled." He says in a state of shock.

Help me understand this, author. When crashing into a vertical surface, what exactly between the front bumper and the dashboard do you imagine will be shoved into the passenger seat for this to happen?

"Oh shit! M-max, y-you're gonna be okay, we can get help."

"N-no just, help get this out of my chest, I-I may pass out but I promise I will be-" he cuts himself off as he loses consciousness, his face pale from blood loss.

And he will be losing even more blood if the foreign object is removed from his body. So go ahead, kill him at his own request.

Amethyst gasps before getting him out of the wreckage. She hurried to the temple, tears in her eyes as she tries to think of how to explain that she just killed a good friend.

Tell them he fell in love with the car and it betrayed him; they'll buy it. Wait, whose car was it? And why did the cool kids just drive away from an accident?

Yet before she can knock on the door to the temple, Max starts to stir.

"Max! I-I knew you'd be okay." She lays him down, looking to see his wound seems to have closed, yet he was still a sickly skin tone.

Which is so much different from the normal never-fucking-mentioned color of his skin.

"...Max?" She asked cautiously before Max's eyes shoot open. He smiles wide and his eye color seemed to have gone from his average black to a dark shade of purple.

Clearly he knocked out his contacts during the crash. Or they where knocked in. Either option is a better explanation than what is obviously coming next.

"HELLOOOOOOOOO BEACH CITY!" He yells at the top of his lungs as he gets up with a spring in his step.

"Um...Max, did you hit your head in the crash?"

Replace 'crash' with 'infancy'.

"Hmm? Who's Max? Oh right, his new name. I keep forgetting that. And it's a pleasure to see you again Amethyst. Oh wait, we never met in this timeline, allow me to introduce myself, I'm Zero!"

Goddammit, author, why do you do this? Who was clamoring for you to bring back Psycho Max?! And yes, I’m not going to call him Zero, he’s Psycho Max, because it’s really just Maxwell with an insanity-excuse mask on. Why even give him that name? Even alternate universe Maxwell wasn’t called that, and when they mentioned the name ‘Zero’, it wasn’t acknowledged as their name, but what their family had called them. But never mind that, how about the fucking bullshit of Psycho Max remembering what happened prior to the time travel reset?!

I can’t say there is a “correct” kind of time travel ruleset, but no matter how you look at this, Psycho Max knowing what he does makes no sense. He went back in time and then destroyed the hourglass he was using, this resulting in him, word for word, “disappearing from existence”. He was gone. The events he altered made it so Psycho Max never got loose. Maxwell has not expressed any knowledge of those events, so why the hell would Psycho Max alone know? And you know what, I’m not done yet. We are told that Psycho Max is an entity that has existed since Maxwell’s childhood. That is prior to him bonding with Obsidian. Whatever these bullshit meta-knowledge insanity abilities are, they are not gem powers – so what the hell are they?!

Amethyst looked at him, for some reason feeling very cautious of this "Zero" and his strange attitude. Soon the ruckus had attracted the others as they look at him in bewilderment.

"Amethyst what's going on?" Pearl asked concerned.

"I-I don't know, we were driving, we crashed, Max was injured and I was bringing him here, and now he's acting weird."

"I'm not weird, I'm fabulous~" Zero said while posing dramatically. "But allow me to explain. This happens all the time. Whenever a gem is fatally injured, they return to their gem, but Max doesn't have this luxury. Instead his body is out in the open as it tries to heal whatever damage has happened. Unfortunately this takes a lot of energy so he can't protect himself or even speak. But that's where I come in, I'm the part of him where all of his despair and insanity accumulate. I take over whenever he is fatally wounded or is so mentally/emotionally traumatized that he cannot function properly. You can call me Zero, it was Max's original name before he left his awful family and legally changed it to forget his past, got a document and everything!"

Max isn't a gem. He's a human. Humans just fall unconscious from heavy injury – they don’t have suppressed split personalities that take the metaphorical wheel for them. Having Max’s alternate persona take over makes no sense, since the cause of its existence predates his super powers. How can Psycho Max even do anything, if he is reliant on the same heavily injured body that Maxwell is using?! Why isn’t he just setting himself on fire to heal, like we know he can do?! The author simply wants a cooky villain that can cause needless conflict, while still elevating his protagonist.

Author, if you want to do this, here's my suggestion. Forget Psycho Max, have it be Obsidian instead. Let me paint you a picture. Young, lost, traumatized boy wants superpowers. Young edgelord swallows corrupted gem creature and bonds with it, and it gives him gem powers. He then has what he always wanted. Here's the catch; ingesting a magical, unstable, sentient alien rock is a really bad idea. It would fight for control of his body, adversely affect his mental health, and worse yet, it might just be loyal to Homeworld and want humanity gone. There's your conflict. There's your unreliable insanity excuse villain. There's your Marty Stu's fucking reason for angst and emotional despair. It might not make the story better, but at least it would make sense!

With his explanation over, he smiled and pushed the confused family to the side as he walked inside.

"Don't worry about me slaughtering you all or something, Max the lovesick puppy won't allow me."

I guess Max wanted everyone dead the last time Psycho Max took over.

"W-wait, Max is still there?" Steven asked hopefully.

"Sorta, he remains in the body with the biggest influence, so I kinda have to not break his morals or whatever. If I do then he'll disconnect me from any control and risk letting the body die. He obviously cares more about all of your well being than his own life."

Which is exactly why Maxwell "Danger Magnet" Ignitus refuses to get help or take steps to prevent himself from causing needless drama.

"He...cares that much?"

"Oh yeah, poor guy sees Steven as like the best little brother ever. As for you three, his heart is always beating faster, he's completely love struck and even trusts you all."

But guess who's not going to trust him after this.

Some blushes can be seen from that fact being revealed until it is replaced with fear as they see Zero juggling knives nonchalantly.

"What are you doing? Shouldn't you rest?" Pearl asked while shielding Steven from any possible interaction with the sharp cutlery.

How whacky and random, I totally see the point of this character's existence now.

"Probably, but I haven't been in control for so long that I want to have some fun. Unfortunately I'm not allowed to burn anyone alive, so I'll settle with entertaining myself like this." He then engulfs the knives with fire while laughing wildly as he continued juggling.

If that's all needed to entertain him, why not just light some keys on fire and jiggle them in front of his face?

"Gems, as much as I would prefer not to harm Maxwell, Zero is a threat and he needs to be contained."

"Maybe we can talk to him?" Steven asked, always hoping for a more diplomatic solution.

"That's a nice thought Steven, but he seems…" Pearl searches for the right word.

"Crazy? Insane? Cuckoo?" Amethyst suggests.

"I was going for more, unstable."

The word you're looking for is cliché. I'm surprised his hair hasn't turned green yet.

As they discussed their plan of action, Zero gets nosy and pops his head into the huddle.

"What are we talking about? Favorite movies? I was always a fan of the Saw movies, but that Deadpool movie really speaks to me, I don't know why." The gems jump back in surprise.

Image

This is what you’re going for, author? Uncle Grandpa but with pyromania and worse jokes? Really?

"I'm sorry Zero, but in order to keep Max's body safe, we will have to detain you." Garnet said as she and the others summoned their weapons.

"Well isn't that cute, you all care about him. Or is it pity because of his little sob stories? I swear he is so overdramatic about them. Personally I hate the idea of romance." He continued to talk as if he were on a morning stroll while dodging any attacks from the gems effortlessly.

Insanity is the best superpower, kids! Kill your family today!

"I mean, you gotta use all of your money to get some chick some presents and fancy dinners so she'll like you." Ducks as Garnet tires to grab him, and rolls between her legs. "Then you gotta do all this mushy talking and promises to stay together forever." Parries Pearl's spear with one of the knives he used for juggling before disarming her. "Then once you do this ridiculous marriage thing, you have some fun in the bedroom, forget to use protection, and get stuck with ungrateful brats who bleed you of money, and the girl would easily choose to let you die if she had to choose between you or the children." Amethysts whips take away his knife before the three finally jump in him and pin him down. "Personally I don't see the appeal."

I could talk at length of how dumb this cynical view of relationships is, but I think Garnet put it best.

Image

They put a bubble around him, making him pout like a child. "Let me out of here, I wanna speak with my lawyer."

"Sorry Max, I mean Zero, but everyone says you're too dangerous, and I kinda agree."

"Plus, you're acting like a cartoon character. Who does that?!"

"You too Steven? Well I guess that's to be expected. Considering I almost killed everyone you love."

"W-what are you talking about?"

"Well, no one remembers but me. In fact, I'm surprised I remember.

That just makes it an even bigger plothole, you dunce!

What happened is that you accidentally released me from Max when you went into the dream world. Being without chains, I had some fun by killing everyone in Beach City, even forced little Ruby and Sapphire to aim a gun at each other. But then you tricked me, licking your fist so your punch would heal me. So using an hourglass I stole from that flooded chamber, I basically changed time so I was never freed and you all kept being friendly with Maxwell.

Here's my problem with that. Zero, Psycho Max, fucktard extraordinaire, is Max’s alternate personality. A mental manifestation, a bundle of malignant memories and an even worse character. If he remembers that Steven healed him, why isn't he still healed?!

I thought it would be too much of a dick move to leave him to clean up my mess. But when changing time, all memories should have been replaced, but it still left a seed of doubt. That fear when you look into my eyes, knowing that in one timeline I almost won."

Its not that memories should have been replaced, they just never existed in the first place. What bogus time travel rules are you working with, author?

They all looked in fear, their care for Max transforming into fear of Zero.

"It's okay to hate me, I'm used to it."

"...but you shouldn't." Steven said with a kind smile.

"What?"

I concur. That response doesn't fit the grammar of the previous sentence. He shouldn't what?

"You're only like this because you're so used to pain, but that can change. Max has been happier here, making friends and having fun. We can do that for you too, so you don't have to be hated, but have love instead." Steven and the gems all smiled, no longer in fear of him.

I know Steven is a good motivational speaker, but the gems are a bit more complex than emotional flip-floppers. Write them like actual characters!

"...hehehe, ridiculous. You're a good kid, I see why Max is happy...but it won't be as simple as that."

He stared into space before sighing.

"Who knows, maybe with time I can be a hero… until then, I'll leave the spotlight to Max."

It has never left him. Not for a single nanosecond. EVERYTHING in this story is about HIM!

He grins before his skin returns to a natural color and his eyes close. A few seconds pass before he opens his eyes and looks around.

"Um...why am I in a bubble? Did Zero act up?"

Did you never think to tell the gems what to do if he did?!

"Max!" The four smile wide seeing him back to normal and undo the bubble before all hugging him.

"We missed you!"

"Um, t-thanks, I'm sorry for not letting you all know about my recovery system."

Recovery system? What? Were you ever actually human, Max?

"It's okay, we're all here for you."

Max just smiles as he stays in the group hug.

Author's Note: well I haven't seen any death threats or pitchforks yet, so I guess I'll continue with the new romantic subplot for my story.

You mean the one that was entirely absent from this chapter, or was I right about the car?

I will give a heads up, if I get even more in love with the idea of giving the characters happy love lives, I may start writing nsfw sections of the story. I'm currently planning on putting any nsfw stuff in a separate story so I don't have to change my rating or put up warnings, but if enough followers say they want the smut here, I'll do it.

Author, I'd bet you that the people most vocal about you putting smut in your fanfic aren’t old enough to fit the rating.

Until then, I'll continue brainstorming ideas for the story in the safety of my negativity proof pillow fort with watermelon Stevens guarding the front. Feel free to send suggestions and ideas. *puts on helmet* Let's hope I don't have to suffer much of a shitstorm.

I suppose my mocking could be interpreted as such, but I'm not angry with you, author. You writing this fanfic shows your appreciation of the show and your love for the characters. I'm disappointed and annoyed at your lack of talent and entirely selfish characterization of your protagonist. Max doesn't offend me because he's been injected into Steven Universe, his mere existence is enough to warrant that.

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And like that, the genie goes back in the bottle, until the author decides to wish for more edge and fourth wall breaks. What was this chapter, really? A lesson about driving without a license? A justification for Psycho Max’s continued existence? Another super power handed to Maxwell?! All of the fucking above. Max was there, Max caused a scene, and Max escaped all blame for it. Max, Max, Max-Max-Max. Max. Fuck Max.

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