"This place gives me the creeps," Stefanie could be heard to remark as she and the Crystal Gems, along with Ametrine and Nephrite Jade, wandered through the foggy canyons that composed the Kindergarten where Amethyst had been 'born'.
Garnet had sensed something important could be found in the old Kindergarten, and had assembled their primary team. Pearl had insisted on calling in two of their allies for back-up, especially following what had occurred during two prior trips to this same location. Stefanie was originally to be left with Connie, only to insist on coming along, as she had heard tales of this area from her mother and Amethyst and wanted to see, first-hand, what was so special about the birth place of her 'sister'.
"Heads up people," Garnet instructed, "I have a bad feeling about this place."
"Make sure you don't touch anything," Pearl said to Stefanie and Amethyst.
Amethyst rolled her eyes, the action earning a warning glare from the taller Gems. "It's not like we're gonna find Peridot or that chamber again," she grumbled.
They came to an opening in the canyon, and Garnet put up a hand in caution, as the fog in this area was particularly thick. She motioned for Nephrite to fire into the fog and see if he could either dispel some of the mist, or at least give them a beacon into the miasma.
The male Gem stepped forward and summoned his crossbow, green light suffusing his gem as he drew the weapon forth. Shouldering the crossbow, he took aim before firing several glowing bolts into the fog. Something in the miasma roared, propelling the team into action.
Garnet adjusted her visor as a large shadow loomed up before them to tower over their group. "Hell," she muttered under her breath as she summoned her gloves / gauntlets. "Nephrite, take Stefanie and run," she instructed, her tone all business.
"What?" Nephrite asked, "What is that thing?"
"Trouble," Ametrine replied, summoning his halbard. Glancing at his partner out of the corner of his eye, he added, "Partner, take the kiddo and make tracks. Leave this to us fusions."
"Garnet?" Pearl asked, her voice cracking slightly.
"Protect Stefanie," Garnet replied, her gaze fully focused upon the shadow.
"But..." the pale Gem began to protest, only to have her question both cut off and answered by Garnet's and Ametrine's stances.
"Pearl, c'mon!" Amethyst said, taking Pearl's hand to more or less drag her along.
Nephrite threw Stefanie over his shoulder, the half-gem scrabbling into a piggyback position as he ran. "What the hell was that thing?" he asked Pearl as she and Amethyst matched pace back toward the warp pad.
"Something that we all wish had remained forgotten," Pearl replied, fear evident in her voice.
The earth around them rumbled and shook as something behind them exploded. Tears sprang to Pearl's eyes as Amethyst grabbed her hand and nearly wrenched her arm out of the socket when she stopped. "We need to form Opal and help them!" the shorter gem cried. "Garnet is gonna..."
Pearl shared a look with Amethyst that spoke volumes before looking to Nephrite and Stefanie. "Go," she said, her voice shaking.
"Pearl," Stefanie whispered.
"We'll be fine," Amethyst added with a grin that never reached her eyes. "Just... fix up a together breakfast that we'll share when we get home."
"With extra strawberries," Pearl added as she and Amethyst began to run back toward where they had left Garnet and Ametrine.
Nephrite nodded and took off running. "Be safe," he whispered under his breath as he leaped onto the warp pad and teleported back to the shrine.