Carl Stevens Universe is a Steven Universe crossover fan fiction by Great Pikmin Fan, his fourteenth story overall and slightly part of the Crconikals continuity. Unlike Crconikals, however, this is not a Stylistic Suck work, and any typoes one might find are by complete and utter accident. That doesn't mean it's not a Crack Fic, however; the main work being crossed over is Hellsing, or particularly, Hecksing Ulumate Crconikals.
Taking place nearly three years after the events of HUC's first twelve chapters, Carl, Rip, and Seras decide to move to Beach City for a chain of reasons. Seras doesn't like Carl's newfound habit of practicing his sonic wave guitar practically daily (as a vampire, that's when she sleeps) and due to the lack of getting paid for taking out supernatural forces now that London has another chain that deals with them better and faster than Hellsing, she can't get any special sound-proofing material for her room. Rip, and likely Carl, just want a place with monsters to fight. And thus the trio moves to Beach City, and believe they find themselves a goldmine when it comes to the monsters that frequent the particular place. For them, it's all a path of heroism, music making, and (mostly for Carl) self-assumed fame....
But for the Beach City residents, it's a path of loud music in the dead of night and one extremely obnoxious Martian vampire who seems to be unable to make a compromise. To make matters worse, the higher-ups have been bribed by Carl to leave them alone. Which leaves the Crystal Gems to step in, but the only way Carl would accept a shake in what he wants to be the status quo is if he, Seras, Rip, and a familiar of the Captain will take on the four Gems in a match of paintball.
This fan fiction has examples of:
- Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Hellsing's backstory is the events of HUC, except everyone's portrayed closer to their canon characterizations. Considering how much of the plot was driven by everyone being incompetant morons, (Doctor not firing Rip because he found her hot; Rip and Zorin joining Hellsing because they found Carl hot; and that's not getting into the events that are just flat-out stupid like Alucard dying because his tank stalled on him) several bits of the backstory become mysterious. Rip was about to give a lengthy, detailed recap before Carl interrupts her and gets Seras to do a rather shortened summary that doesn't really deal with these.
- Adaptational Villainy: Carl. Captain too compared to HUC, being more dead-set and stoic than his SBIG counterpart. (Though he still seems friendly and is generally a better sport about the paintball games than the other three, so he could also fit under Adaptational Heroism compared to HUC and definitely compared to canon.) Seras and Rip notably avoid this, while Rip is more rude than her HUC counterpart she (and Seras) is still nice at the core... in a very, very strange way.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-universe. The beginning shows Carl as being a trigger-happy music-themed guy who — green skin and antenne aside — actually does seem like he would fit alongside the average Hellsing character. Contrast to his appearance in HUC (and later in this very story), where one of his main gimmicks is how he sticks out of the cast (even their deliberately derailed incarnations) like a sore thumb.
- Batman Gambit: The Gems' plans for the third match is almost entirely dependant on Hellsing behaving the exact way they thought they would, considering how much of the town had been set to make traps for them. Steven's plan is very much reliant on Carl both thinking Hank "accidentally" hiding behind a newspaper and taking the idea, as well as just so happening to grab the right book. Also, Steven's plan is reliant on the other Gems eliminating Seras, Rip, and Captain first, before the train is scheduled to arrive at a very specific time.
- BFG: Onion uses a paint cannon against Seras. He doesn't actually get her eliminated, but he does shake her away.
- Big "NO!": Carl's reaction when he finds out that the book he tried to hide behind was coated in wet paint, eliminating him on a Loophole Abuse.
- Bigger on the Inside: Beach City itself is portrayed like this through implication, as its train station quickly leads out over a huge metropolis. This is never explored directly within the events of the story, and in fact the only character to go there is Amethyst — by paintball-powered air travel. And possibly Garnet too, if a little more willingly.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: While the rest of Hellsing (at least Seras and the Captain) could be Jerks With Hearts of Gold, Carl is definitely this. He seems like an Ace, but under that is a loud an obnoxious musician... and under that is a cold guy who has a rather strong reaction to "being cheated" and loves inducing overkill, and under that is a perverted sleaze who hits on every woman he sees, including Peggy Hill.
- Bowdlerize: The recap of Hecksing is rather simplified and leaves out some of the more violent details, yet it still mentions death. (Understandable, as to explain what happened to Alucard, Integra, and Kamina.) Zorin isn't mentioned at all, although she does appear in a would-be scene. The worst offender is the fact that the foursome between Carl, Seras, Rip, and Zorin is referred to as a negotiation, though in Seras's defense she was recapping with Steven as her audience. And she generally seems uncomfterable with admitting to this.
- The Cameo: Hank Hill appears thrice. First to help the Gems come up with a way to outsmart Hellsing, second when Carl was trying to hit on Peggy, and third to give Steven a refill for his paintball gun.
- Cargo Ship: Carl really likes his electric sonic wave guitar, and cries over it after it gets destroyed. This is all an act he invokes so that he can eliminate the opposing team; it works on Amethyst.
- Chekhov's Gun: When the Gems are studying for Hellsing's weaknesses over the three days between the second and final games, their notes seem fairly obvious as to how they will play. However, when Steven is searching on Carl, he notes two things: His disrespect towards women, and dislike to literature. Carl's demise? He yanks a book from Connie that was deliberately covered in paint at part of a disguise, instantly eliminating himself before he gets the chance to fire at Steven.Steven: How can you shoot at me... when you're already dead?
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In the games, Hellsing as a whole is associated with teal, while the Gems are associated as a whole with tyrian-pink. Word of God said in Sweet Jade and Hella John that those were his favorite two colors.
- Continuity Nod:
- While coming up with strategies for the third round, Amethyst suggests using someone as bait. This doesn't go through. Sending in someone as "bait" was done in the King of the Hill episode this was based on, with Bill serving that role in question.
- Steven utilizing Carl's disrespect to books and girls was faintly similar to Hank utilizing teenager's resrespect to people in uniform, only instead of serving as a distraction for the good guy to know where the bad guy is, it's an insta-elimination for the bad guy.
- Continuity Porn:
- Just about every characternote who has appeared in the first seven episodes has showed up in some way, particularly playing a role in the third game.
- The author loves King of the Hill. Not only is the paintball idea taken from it, not only does Hellsing share the "loud and annoying" bit that the teens did, (only Hellsing didn't actually bully anybody, they were just extremely obnoxious and Carl set the stakes up high enough to get the Gems interested) not only does Amethyst flat-out suggest one of the strategies that Hank and the guys used in the episode this was based on, but Hank himself appears and gives the Gems the same general strategy of studying the enemy before the final battle.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: A variant from what one might expect: The Crystal Gems utterly floor Hellsing at the beginning. Pissed, they train up in the resulting three days while the Gems feel they have almost nothing to worry about, and as a result the second match in one-sided on Hellsing's favor. That's when the know-your-enemy tactacs from the Gems begin, however Hellsing is still just as competant — if not better — than before.
- Crack Fic: Word of God says that the pun regarding the title was the only reason for coming up with this idea, and for actually going through with it.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: To the perspective of the Beach City citizens, Hellsing seems like a complete joke at first; Carl falls off of the motorcycle in their introduction, their army is composed entirely of Pikmin (who look like this◊), and Carl and Rip are a rock-obsessed idiot and a childish opera fan respectively. Amethyst even laughs her ass off when they first meet. Then they're shown in action... And even then, they're terrible at paintball before training.
- Carl specifically, especially given how he's unable to contribute in the battle against the Eldritch Abomination at the beginning due to not getting his Sonic Wave Guitar yet.
- Despair Event Horizon: All of the Gems bar Steven are at the point of giving up after getting curb-stomped by Hellsing in the second match and seeing the news report where Carl kills an "Eternity Wraith." Amethyst even considers bailing out on the third game alltogether, finding it to be pointless and a needless life-risk. It's implied Steven himself would have been broken had nobody came up with any advice on how to win the third match, before Hank comes along.
- Development Gag: Carl almost getting killed by a train is not only a nod to Charlie Sheen's Two and a Half Men character getting brutally McLeaned, but also to an idea of an alternate ending to HUC where Pip would turn out to be alive, and kill Carl by pushing him in front of a train.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Steven and Connie ranting to Carl at the end is reminisent to a couple telling off their child for misbehaving, minus the whole "you lost so get out of Beach City" bit.Great Pikmin Fan: Demonstraiting Carl's complete lack of maturity and resemblance of a 13 year old's self insert AND toying around with random ship teasing! Two birds one stone.
- Door Stopper: Averted; this was originally going to be this when it was a single-chapter, but the sheer length prompted the author to split the story.
- Eldritch Abomination: The giant white thing that attacks the Gems' temple. It's also an Expy of Slender-mode Aranea from Sweet Jade and Hella John.
- Everyone Has Standards: Steven actually saves Carl's life near the end, even though during the game it's clear that Carl doesn't really give a damn about anyone else's lives (as seen when eliminating Amethyst; he shoots her at point blank range sending her flying off the train) and only does most of his crime fighting for fame. He refuses to let him die. But he does tell him to get the hell out of Beach City right after.
- Fake Crossover: While flipping channels, the Gems come across a number of Pikmin Fan's past works as television programs; the channel numbers corresponding to the order they came out. In order: The Eds' EDventure, Kids Fit the Trolls, Sweet Jade and Hella John, and Total Zeksmit Plains.
- Faux Symbolism: Invoked for laughs during Hank Hill's cameo, where he first shows up from behind a bright light, giving him an angelic appearance.Steven: Are you an angel?
Hank: No, but I work with God's gas. Hank Hill, assistant manager of Strickland Propane.
- Compare Seras to Rip. While Rip revels in destruction, mostly supports Carl's actions and openly stops him when he gets too obnoxious, and overall acts as a troll, Seras is for some reason still very often pushed around, hates it when Carl annoys others but just rolls with it, doesn't like using her powers unless it's needed, and is the most sensable out of Hellsing's survivors.
- Each member of the Crystal Gems also has a "foil" member of Hellsing to which they primarly target. And the member of Hellsing corresponds to their respective Gem's plan in terms of what eliminates them in the third round. Steven has Carl, Pearl has Rip, Amethyst has Seras, and Garnet has Captain. With Amethyst and Pearl's "rivals" switches, these lineups also fit them the most in terms of their personalities in the story. (Steven and Carl are central leads yet polar opposites; Pearl and Seras are the most uptight out of their groups; Rip and Amethyst are the most troll-ish; and Captain and Garnet are silent, powerful, and have the most experience. And arguably Rose Quartz to Alucard, as they are both aces who are dead by the events of the story.)
- Steven's own Batman Gambit in the final match had some leadup to it. Like his reaction to finding out what train he and Carl were fighting on top of. He's in complete horror about the incident.
- Less than halfway through the first chapter, Carl says "Oh, also, books aren't exactly my best friends" after Steven suggests that he should get into reading. Guess how he gets eliminated?
- To a different story. When first meeting Hank, Steven asks if he's an angel. In Crconikals, which takes place in the same world as this, Hank isn't exactly an angel (as Walter shows, they are something completely different), but he is a part-light being. The kicker? His introduction is from Steven seeing him behind a sun.
- G-Rated Drug: Carl's "heavy stuff." And his "tiger's blood."
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: When Seras confronts Amethyst in the third match:Seras: I know this is your doing! Show yourself, you... you... you're a coward, do you know that?
Amethyst: Some talk! Didn't you used to be one yourself?
Seras: I used to be a cop!
Amethyst: Yeah, I know. And like I always say...
* Numerous people appear from under the bleachers, all armed with paintball guns of their own.*
Amethyst: Forget the police! Well, that's not what I always say but there's kids around and-
- Irony: Rip's final elimination takes place in a dark forest, where she seemed to feel at home while stalking Pearl there in the third round. Seras's elimination happened surrounded by humans, even though thanks to this AU's backstory she's the most I Just Want to Be Normal of the four. Carl, a borderline Hollywood fanatic, is eliminated in a "big" spot: a train over a huge city.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Why Beach City puts up with Hellsing (really just Carl) more than they would otherwise; because they actually helped the Gems in their first appearance.
- Killer Rabbit: Hellsing's Pikmin soldiers, apparantly.
- Loophole Abuse:
- Carl says that he'll bet his stay in Beach City with the Gems' over any game ending with "—ball." His examples are football ("The American kind, the other kind is 'soccer' and don't you forget it"), basketball, and baseball. Steven (by accident) choses paintball, which Carl is openly surprised at before rolling with it and allowing it as the only competition.
- "Touch paint, and you're out." The paint doesn't have to even come from the Gems; as before the third match, they got the various citizens to help out, which they then ambush Seras. And this loophole is used again when Carl is tricked into touching a book stained in still-wet paint, which is counted as an elimination.
- Mythology Gag: The entire story.
- This is a pseudo-sequel to Hecksing Ulumate Crconikals. As the majority of Housestuck Hurrcain Crconikals (until season six) is Another Side, Another Story, this is pretty much the closest thing HUC has to a direct sequel so far. Or rather, an interquel, counting the Distant Finale.
- The Gems end up watching The Eds' EDventure, Kids Fit the Trolls, Sweet Jade and Hella John, and Total Zeksmit Plains, as mentioned on Fake Crossover.
- While Hank and Rip have yet to meet in person onscreen in Crconikals, their rivalry from Sweet Jade and Hella John is implied here, with Hank talking about a certain opera singer. Speaking of Hank, he's now confirmed to be a powerful, magic being. It is not known if he still is here.
- The Mario and Luigi masks from Jan and Luke's attack also make a return.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The "Eternity Wraith," a creature that — whatever it is — was promtptly killed by Pikmin.
- Newspaper-Thin Disguise: Exploited. Steven makes Hank Hill do this, and act surprised by this, so that Carl will be convinced to use a similar technique to try to hide himself from Steven after outrunning him.
- Off the Rails:
- "Ed Paintball" is this to paintball in general by design. According to Carl, "Ed ____" is whatever "____" (any game; fill in the blank) is but without "a ton of restrictions." In the case of paintball, it allows unlimited range, gun customization, and the only rule is "if you touch paint, you're out."
- The Gems completely derail Hellsing's plans in the third round, by simply avoiding the usual forest for the most part.
- Only Sane Man:
- Seras appears to be one of the only characters with complete rationality, affection for Carl aside.
- This is Pearl's depiction. She seems disgusted at Hellsing on their first impression alone (especially Carl), and openly objects to the idea of betting whether the Gems or Hellsing leaves based on a paintball match.
- Connie's oppinions towards Hellsing seem like a standard reaction to noisy neighbors. Her refusal to go into the football stadium and ambush Seras there along with most of town also implies a lower revenge drive.
- Paintball Episode: The story boils down to this.
- Paper-Thin Disguise:
- Seras and Rip try this with the return of the Mario and Luigi masks, using them to sneak into a movie they've been explicitely banned from. It doesn't work.
- Carl tries this during the train portion (the one the battle takes place on, not the one it was following close behind that he almost gets killed by), hiding himself among the crowd by holding Connie's Wrinkle in Time book up to his face. This does work, despite somehow being an even crappier disguise and how his green skin, antenne, and arguably muscular build give him away. Then again, seeing as the book was a trap (coated in wet paint), Steven letting him go was likely intentional.
- Parody Sue: Carl keeps this up, even in a setting where most of the characters hate him. His music is even described as being legitimately good, it's just that he plays it too loud. In the middle of the night.
- Polyamory: Carl is explicitely stated to have both Seras and Rip as his girlfriends. Nobody makes a comment about this.
- Posthumous Character: Everyone who died from HUC.
- Precision F-Strike: Given near the end. It's a more minor swear — which was part of Hellsing itself's name — but it's still notable considering all the Gosh Dang It to Heck! present:Carl: But still... you saved my life... is there anything I can do to repay you?
Steven: Yes... BY GETTING THE HELL OUT OF BEACH CITY!
- Running Gag:
- Carl losing track of time. Happens thrice. Whenever another character (Garnet, Lars, Rip) reminds him, he looks up at the sky and says "Shoot. I gotta lay off the heavy stuff."
- Carl refering to Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl by the wrong names. At one point he calls the second "Indigo," which as she points out isn't even the name of a gemstone (unlike most of his previous name-messups). Averted with Steven; he just calls him (and, confusingly, Connie) "Kid."
- Self-Deprecation: An entire paragraph is devoted to mocking Total Zeksmit. (As it appears as a Show Within a Show; it's not stated outright that it is TZ, but the line that is heard is the same line Ezekiel says at the very beginning, word for word. Right down to calling himself Zeksmit.) Specifically, it insults Ezekiel and the show's general pacing, and mentions that the "hiatus" it entered after only three episodes should end soonnote . The partial irony is that Steven Universe itself entered hiatus after three and a half episodes worth of short pairs.
- Serious Business: The two groups have a paintball match determining which of them leaves the city permanently. And according to Carl, it isn't a regular match. It's "Ed Paintball," meaning "almost anything goes." This includes battles on the top of trains.
- Shaped Like Itself: Carl calls his matches "Challenging challenges."
- Shower of Awkward: Mixed with Shower of Angst. During said trope, Rip yanks the curtains back, and Carl get embarassed to find that Captain is there too. (He doesn't mind Rip of Seras's presense, as... well, they've outright slept together.)
- Shower of Angst: Carl has one after losing the first match and shortly after that figuring out that he's hated by almost everyone outside of London, played for laughs.
- Stealth Pun: The title. Carl Stevens Universe. Put in an apostraphe, and you have Carl Steven's Universe. Fitting as Carl is very much designed as a Parody Stu and he would naturally think he owns the universe.
- Suddenly Voiced: Inverted; this is the first time the Captain is actually silent. He resorts to writing to Sadie, though.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Subverted. Towards the climax of the story, both Steven and Amethyst have an open shot at Carl while he is weeping at his broken guitar. They stand there in confusion, then ready to aim... only to find that they are both out of ammo.
- Testosterone Poisoning: Everything Carl does, natch. It's revealed that Hellsing apparantly navigates across from country to country in a motorcycle (playing the Mute City theme from Super Smash Bros., natch) so fast that even the Crystal Gems are unable to really do anything about it at first.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In general, there's players from both groups who enjoy shooting others with paint far more than they should. Or using other methods of weapondry. Like puppets that explode in a huge blast of it.
- Time Skip: Takes place over two years and ten months after chapters 1-12 of Hecksing Ulumate Crconikals, matching the day it takes place up to essentially the same date it was published.note
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The end to the game. Buff Martian runs through a train car and tries to hide himself with a book, while a boy runs in. Martian shoots the boy with paint, before boy tells Martian he's already dead. Martian looks at hands and finds that they're slightly pink. Martian overreacts by falling to his knees and shouting at the ceiling of the train. Connie doesn't say anything for that part, and nobody else is even there. Then again, seeing as there was some extent to which this part was staged for Carl to be eliminated, this was likely invoked.Great Pikmin Fan: So, regarding Connie. I'm tempted to write a third chapter to this that shows the ending scene from her perspective. I mean, how would you feel if a guy who looked like a football-playing knockoff of Invader Zim (or a green Charlie Sheen) stole your book, shot a kid you knew with teal paint, got told he was dead, then looked at his hands and then acted like he was in a bad soap opera and his wife died or something, all because his fingers were covered in tyrian paint? Well, granted, said kid would have told you to paint the book first so you might have been expecting something, but still.
- Walking Spoiler:
- Hank and Peggy Hill make brief cameoes. This is intended to be unexpected, making mere mentions of either of them this.
- Given how she doesn't come into play in the story until contributing to Carl's elimination and ending the entire game, Connie is essentially this.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: This doesn't have anything really resembling an epilogue. (According to the author, this was deliberate on his part, in a sort of experiment.) So, we don't know the following:
- Where Hellsing goes after they leave Beach City. If HUC's epilogue is any indication, it's London. Or at least they settle for London in 2041.
- Generally the fates of the Gems after they each get eliminated one by one in the third round. What happens to Pearl and Greg after the train takes off and what happens to Garnet after she jumps off said train seem obvious, but Amethyst's fate isn't: she's shot by Carl with enough force to throw her off a bridge suspended high above a city. Granted, in the show she survived getting tossed at a giant metal eye and falling into the ocean multiple times, but the ambiguity....
- Whether or not Garnet, Amethyst, and/or Pearl believe that Steven's plan worked or if they think Hellsing left for some other reason is never adressed, even though Steven discussing this with Connie was the final conversation before the story ends.
- Straighter example: Rip threatens to break Carl's guitar if he doesn't join her, Seras, and Captain in training for the second and third matches, and Carl goes on regardless of the threat because he knows it will work out. However, he says that if it doesn't work, he'll come up with some form of retribution for her threatening to break an instrument he liked so much. While they win the second match, they lose the third one. Carl's "payback" never comes up again. Which is odd because Rip (and Seras) appear next to him in the end.
- Whole Plot Reference: "The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteburg." Hank himself appears. Thrice, even, though the second was hardly anything plot significant. (Though Peggy's appearance from said second scene was arguably more important.)
- The Worf Effect: Invoked. Hellsing completely dwarfs the Crystal Gems in almost every way at first, as they are able to trump the Eldritch Abomination attacking the temple, and in the second match they prove themselves to be so good at stealth and, most importantly, speed, that it leaves all of them but Steven completely hopeless. To hammer this in, when Steven unveils his plan given to him by Hank Hill for the third match, the others return from a battle with a planet-sized beast made of fire. They were able to take that down but Hellsing still left them hopeless and dumbfounded.
- Would Hurt a Child: Carl is an asshole to Steven. Like when he blows up a huge paint-filled puppet in the second match, giving way more overkill than needed.