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Fan Fic / Seeds Of Rebellion

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Even the smallest things can send ripples throughout the cosmos and cause the Great Gem Rebellion

Seeds of Rebellion is an ongoing Steven Universe fanfic written by airamcg about the Gems before they were The Crystal Gems.

It details the lives of Sapphire, Ruby, Pearl, and Rose Quartz before coming to Earth, the growing unrest towards the current Homeworld order, and some lore about gem history and culture— all told in chapters that are exactly 100 words.


It's on Archive of Our Own and can be read here.

NOTE: Unmarked spoilers for up to Chapter 55.

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Seeds of Rebellion provides examples of:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Canon: of the Retroactive Discontinuity variant. The fic started during the hiatus after The Week Of Sardonyx, and was thus based on some popular theories during that time that were eventually Jossed in canon (i.e. "Pearls were mechanics", "Rose was Pink Diamond", at least until that turned out to be true, "Ruby and Sapphire had a rocky start to their relationship", etc.).
  • Anachronic Order: In the published, intended order. If read by POV, most of the scenes happen chronologically for the POV character.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Gems are hinted to be this, with multiple mentions of glitching and code relating to their health and biology
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  • Back Story: It's about the Gems before they came to Earth.
  • Benevolent Boss: Rose seems to be this to Pearl, to the latter's surprise (at first)
  • Blessed with Suck: Sapphire can see the future, but is plagued with images of her own death.
    • Later chapters reveal that as a defective gem, she should have been crushed immediately. Her Future Vision is the only reason she's still alive, but she is subject to Moonstone's experiments.
  • The Caretaker: Ruby may be turning into this for Sapphire, especially during the latter's blackouts.
  • The Conspiracy: There are hints that the other three Diamonds, especially White, are plotting against Rose.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Downplayed with Rose. The first thing she does when she hears about the dock explosion is to rush in to help put out the fires.
  • Disability Superpower: Sapphire's Future Vision is an anomaly related to her defective status.
  • Drabble: Every chapter is exactly 100 words. Yes, including the poems.
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  • Fainting Seer: Sapphire, on occasion.
  • Foreshadowing: Surprisingly, a lot of reveals were hinted before the actual scenes that bring them up.
    • The very first chapter implies that Sapphire is desperate to not die. Much later, it's revealed that she is fully aware she has nearly outlived her usefulness to White Diamond and will be crushed soon.
    • A variant of Future Shadowing, due to the Anachronic Order. In Chapter 37 (Pearl POV), Rose desperately clings to Pearl, much to the latter's confusion. Chapter 44 (Rose POV) explains her behavior, as it occurs before Ch 37 chronologically.
  • Goroawase Number: Uses this for gem designation numbers.
  • Great Offscreen War: Mentions of "The First War for Freedom" and "The Last Battle for Freedom" presumably against The Progenitors.
  • Insistent Terminology: A meta example. The author refuses to call it an Alternate Universe Fic, instead insisting it's an Alternate History to canon.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: A given, considering the story's structure and short chapters.
  • La Résistance: Doubles as Foregone Conclusion because of canon. Everything in the fic is building up to it.
  • Mad Scientist: Downplayed with White Diamond/Moonstone. While she isn't prone to mad cackling, she has no qualms about experimenting on Sapphire.
  • Meaningful Name: Gem designation numbers are given meanings through Japanese number wordplay.
    • Ruby and Sapphire shares the designation number 8291 which can be read as "First Love"
    • 24976 means "to become strong/let's become strong"
  • Poem Fic: Some chapters take the form of this.
  • Servant Race: Pearls, but they are more of an expendable slave class or all-around assistants here rather than the status symbols they are in canon.
    • Gems are implied to be this to The Progenitors
  • Shown Their Work
    • Carbonate System Planet 6 produced Aragonites, Calcites, and Pearls. All three share the same chemical composition— calcium carbonate.
    • In the story, Ruby works in the Corundum Kindergarten that produced Sapphire. In real life, rubies and sapphires are different colors of the same gem called Corundum.
    • Pearls in real life do break up into ashy nacre flakes when exposed to extreme heat, as seen in this video
  • Shout-Out:
    • Chapter 18's summary teaser was "What is this feeling, so sudden and new?" referencing a song from Theatre/Wicked
    • In The Dock 191 Incident reports, most of the ships are named after Gundams and battleships from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
    • But nobody came.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: for each of the POV characters, and maybe then some.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The chapters rotate between the POV of Ruby, Sapphire, Rose Quartz, and Pearl, with the occasional report file or fusion lore thrown in.
  • The Purge: The Pearl String Purge following the Dock 191 Incident, because the explosion was blamed on the Pearls
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Gems turning on The Progenitors is implied to have caused The First War for Freedom.
  • Wham Episode: The Dock 191 Incident
  • Wham Line: "Dispose String 24976"
    • And a few chapters before that: Rose walks back to Command in a daze, covered in ashy nacre flakes— the only remains of the pearls she couldn't save.
  • Wrench Wench: Pearl started out as a ship mechanic before being reassigned to Pink Diamond

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