Chapter One: Ronaldo's Big Discovery
"Oh no! My white board! Peedee, have you seen the white board containing those latest facts about the sentient rocks I found on Rockipedia?" Ronaldo Fryman called out to his younger brother.
"It's being used as a bench over there," his younger brother sighed, pointing to the corner of the room.
The Fryman Brothers are but two of the very special individuals who live in a small community known simply as Beach City. However, Ronaldo took it upon himself to look after the small community as its lone hero. It's knight.
You can read about it on his blog at "Keepbeachcityweird dot com!"
Of course, Ronaldo and Peedee are but two cogs in the great machine that is Beach City. Take Onion, the small mute kid who tends to appear out of nowhere to do things that amuse only him. Ronaldo had a few theories about him, but he was not ready to release them to the public. There are people like Lars, who works at the Big Donut and was a former acquaintance of Ronaldo. Emphasis on "former."
Yes, it was Ronaldo's duty to inform his neighbors of everything that he knew. He knew that it was due to him and him alone that the people of Beach City sleep well at night.
Well...him and the Crystal Gems...
Who are the Crystal Gems? Well...Ronaldo can't really say. They are three women (and a boy) who help Ronaldo keep Beach City as weird as it can be. Without them, there would be no blog. Without his blog, Ronaldo would have to go back to a life solely full of cooking fries.
One Crystal Gem of note, Steven Universe, was possibly Ronaldo's biggest fan and champion. Ronaldo prided himself on mentoring the youth and taking him under his wing.
That's what he tells himself and he will not change his story.
As Ronaldo got lost in his own thoughts, he almost didn't hear his brother let him know about the most important piece of news he had heard up until that point.
“You got a new comment on the blog Ronaldo,” Peedee mentioned in passing as he left the room.
“I’ve got to get back to the store and realize the futility of a wasted childhood.”
“Okay, tell Dad that…DID YOU SAY I HAVE A COMMENT ON MY BLOG?!” Ronaldo yelled. He rushed over to his computer and typed faster than he ever typed before. At once, his blog appeared on the screen. He scoured the page for the comment his brother mentioned and discovered a lone comment from a “Gee Gee Loo Loo.”
“’Your work is interesting. I am curious…can you apply your expert knowledge to places BEYOND Beach City?’” Ronaldo read aloud. He blinked and stared at it again. “This means only one thing…I HAVE FANS OUTSIDE OF BEACH CITY! MY WORDS ARE REACHING THE MASSES!” He started laughing loudly and shaking his fists in the air.
“But wait!” Ronaldo paused. “Do I ruin my journalistic integrity to report solely about Beach City to help this mystery person or do I keep myself grounded here?”
The choices of life are often hard, and poor Ronaldo agonized over responding to the comment for over three agonizing hours. Finally, he made the call:
“All right Mister or Miss LooLoo, Ronaldo Fryman will play your game! I shall accept your challenge for the good of my blog!” Ronaldo continued to type as he verbally praised himself. Suddenly, a voice called out to him.
“Hey son, can you come work at the shop today? I can use the extra hands!”
Ronaldo shook his head. When would his father learn that he had more important things to do with his life than work at a fry shop?
“I must pretend like I am not here!” Ronaldo whispered and hid himself in the corner.
“…son, you know you were yelling a minute ago, right? I know you are there,” the voice called out once more.
“But Daaaaad!” Ronaldo cried out. “I’m doing very important things! I’m expanding my enterprise past the borders of Beach City! This is very sensitive work!”
Ronaldo heard a sigh and muttering as the door closed. Ronaldo immediately got up and went back to his typing.
This was going to be a serious task.
“Hey Ronaldo, it’s almost time for the…what the heck have you been doing?” Peedee asked his brother, simultaneously intrigued and mortified.
Throughout Ronaldo’s room, the pictures and files about the sentient rocks have been cast aside and replaced with new pictures of a place that was decidedly not Beach City. “Is this Japan?”
“Peedee! I knew you’d come eventually! This is amazing! There is an entirely different level of weird going on over there! I’ve gotten so much information that it isn’t even funny! People cannot ignore the truth: Japan has aliens!”
“…okay, you got me. What makes you think there are aliens in Japan and why does that matter here?” the younger Fryman asked, taking a seat close to the new white board. He knew the drill by now.
“About a year ago, there was a great beam of light that launched into the sky! Not even a week later, the Great Seto Bridge collapsed and was destroyed under strange circumstances! Do you see?!” Ronaldo pointed to a blurry picture of a beam of light and then to a newspaper clipping detailing the crash.
“So it was a laser?”
“NO! That’s what they WANT you to think! I think it was a beacon! This leads me to my next piece of evidence: a faint image the Hubble took two months later!”
He pointed to a picture of a grey blob in the sky. It looked like a large metal mass, but Peedee couldn’t see. It was too distorted, which is odd for a sophisticated piece of technology like the Hubble.
“Let me guess, that is the alien spaceship?”
“You are catching on Little Bro! One minute it is there, the next it is gone. However, wreckage was found floating in the sky soon after. You know what crashed down near Sweden from the sky?”
“WRONG! It was a tree!”
Peedee blinked and rubbed his eyes. “That…that doesn’t sound right. A tree? Wouldn’t it burn up if it came from space?” He paused. “And why would a spaceship have a tree?”
“That is the great mystery! Gee Gee Loo Loo has compiled so much information and documentation about this. It is amazing how detailed she is!”
The boy’s eyebrow rose. “’She?’ You know Gee Gee is a girl?”
“It’s what she told me! It’s amazing! She is just like me, but without my technological skills and star power to back me up. She wants me to come to Japan to investigate it all with her!”
“Back up…repeat that last part.”
“You mean the part where Gee Gee is a girl?”
“No, I mean the part where you are entertaining going to Japan of all places!” Peedee yelled at Ronaldo “How the heck would you even GET to Japan?! You don’t work enough with Dad to get enough to have a one way flight, let alone a round trip!”
“Lies! I know exactly how to get there without paying for it!” Ronaldo cheered. He pointed to a lone picture at the corner of the white board. It was of a young boy and three women. Peedee stared and shook his head.
“…you’re serious about this? Going to an unfamiliar country and dragging a boy younger than you to meet a person you have never met to investigate something you don’t know is there?”
He considered it for a second. Ronaldo moved to the window and stared out it, longing and waiting.
“I am surer about this than anything I have ever knew in my life.”
“You said the same thing about the lizard people…”
“STOP IT! I TOLD YOU NEVER TO SPEAK OF THAT AGAIN!”
The youngest one in the room shrugged. “Still, you are not taking one thing into account: they would NEVER let him go with you.”
“If you think I’m going to take no for an answer, you don’t know Ronaldo Fryman!” he laughed triumphantly.
"Hey Ronaldo, what's up?" Steven Universe asked innocently.
Ronaldo had journeyed down to the beach where the Gem Temple resided to find the young Steven Universe playing with his friend Connie Maheswaren (OR WERE THEY MORE THAN FRIENDS?!). Upon arrival, Steven had offered him a glass of lemonade and the three sat down inside to talk business.
"Steven, I have the most important news in the world!" Ronaldo drew up his documents and handed them to the two small children. "I know that it sounds crazy, but there are aliens! Real aliens! In Japan!"
Steven stared at the images in awe. "That. Is. Amazing!"
"Do you think it can be other Gems?" Connie asked while examining the "Sweden Tree."
"...Gems?" Ronaldo picked up on her wording. "Steven, have you neglected to tell me that the Crystal Gems are actually distantly related from aliens?!"
"...I did what now?" the youth scratched his head.
"Regardless, Steven I need your help. I need to get to Japan to help with this problem before it affects Beach City! Are you brave enough to help me with this task?"
Ronaldo took Steven's hands and stared deeply into his eyes. He needed him to know how serious this was to not only him, but the city.
"But Ronaldo, I don't even know how to get to Japan!"
"Can't you, I don't know, do Instant Transmission or teleport or something? You Gems do that all the time!" he pleaded.
Connie, who continued to look over the pictures and chat logs, put down the findings and shook her head. "This doesn't seem like a good idea. You don't know anything about this Loo Loo person. My mom always warns me about strange things in the Internet."
"But that's why I have to go!" Ronaldo enthusiastically defended himself. "If the whole things wasn't weird, it wouldn't be worth checking out! Steven, you are my only hope!"
"What's this now?" A concerned female voice rang out.
The three youths turned to see three women enter the house. The tallest wore sunglasses and had her hair styled like a square afro. The shortest had purple skin and a gem on her chest. The final woman had blonde hair and a gem protruding from her forehead. They were Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl.
The Crystal Gems.
"What's all this I hear about Steven being someone's last hope? Are you playing a game based on that space movie again?" Pearl asked in an interested tone.
Steven's attitude brightened up even more, which seemed odd as he was perfectly happy before. "Oh, hi guys! Ronaldo here just wanted to know if we could warp to Japan! I'm his last hope!"
"JAPAN?!" Pear choked the word out. "Why would you want Steven to go to a place like Japan?!"
"I think the bigger question is why you would want to go to Japan in the first place," Garnet noted solemnly.
Steven laughed. "Oh, he's been talking to some girl in Japan and they think there are aliens there!"
"Sounds about right," Amethyst shrugged. "Wait, Frybo is talking to a girl? Good for you big guy!"
"Aliens? That's preposterous!" Pearl said pompously.
Connie raised an eyebrow. "Aren't YOU an alien?"
"What?!" Ronaldo said flabbergasted.
"She's right you know," Amethyst laughed, ignoring Ronaldo completely. She stopped, though, when she saw the glare of death that Pearl was giving her.
"Ronaldo, may I look at these?" Garnet asked in a flat voice, motioning to the pictures. He complied as she combed the images for details.
As she did that, Pearl shook her head. "I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but there isn't even a Warp Pad in Japan. Even if we would consider such a ludicrous idea, it would simply be impossible."
"Peal, you need to see this," Garnet spoke suddenly.
Pearl's face dropped as she looked at the faint picture of the space ship. "Is that...?"
"The Ruins Buster," Garnet nodded. "But how did he find us?"
"What's 'The Ruins Buster?'" Steven asked.
"'Who' Steven. She said it was a 'he,'" Connie corrected.
"The Ruins Buster is an intergalactic criminal who has terrorized the universe for centuries, roughly around the time we came to Earth," Pearl started to speak.
"So you admit you come from another planet!" Ronaldo interjected.
A pained silence filled the air for a moment before Pearl resumed her explanation. "As you know Steven, we've been on this planet almost 5,000 years, but right as our own war with Homeworld ended, we were caught in a serious issue. Several high ranking Gems that were going to provide us key aid were captured and presumed...well they were never heard from again. Because we lost those Mystery Zone Gems, we couldn't truly win our war in the way we wanted."
"Mystery Zone?" Steven asked.
"It's on the planet Beta, a Gem controlled world," Pearl shrugged it off. "What matters is that we learned it was the work of a criminal known as The Ruins Buster who helmed a ship just like that one."
"So you're saying this dangerous criminal made his way to Earth all these years later?" Connie asked. "Why?"
"'Made.' Past tense," Garnet corrected, acknowledging the picture of the debris. "That image was taken last year; right before Jasper and Peridot returned to take us back home. We would have noticed if he invaded."
"But didn't you only just see this now?" Connie tried to figure out all of the loose ends. "What happened a year ago?"
The Gems all looked at each other, with Pearl and Garnet sharing worried glances. Amethyst and Steven, on the other hand, looked lost and confused.
"We...don't know. I thought we were better prepared for this. What if it were Homeworld?! We could have been invaded and not even known it!" Pearl frantically ran her hands through her hair.
"See?!" Ronaldo said, again trying to remind the magical space women that he was there. "This is exactly what I mean! The polymorphic sentient rocks might have already struck back at us! It's all part of the Diamond Conspiracy. You can read about it at my..."
"Frybo, please," Pearl begged him. "We appreciate you bringing us this information but now isn't the time for childish games. If there is an invasion, we do need to look into it!"
"No buts," Garnet said sternly. "Pearl and I will warp near Japan and head there on foot. This isn't a place for humans. You too Steven."
"Wait, what about me?! You're leaving me behind?!" Amethyst wailed.
"Yes," Garnet said curtly. "Watch over Steven and Connie."
The purple Gem rolled her eyes but did not challenge her leader. With that, the two other women returned to their temple to warp to the Land of the Rising Sun.
"Aw man, I hate when they leave without me," Amethyst pouted. "No offense Steven."
She looked to the lad, expecting him to reply with a "None taken." But he was too busy trying to console Ronaldo, who had broken down.
"This is terrible! The biggest story of my life and I'm missing it!" Ronaldo wailed. "Do they even blog? Will they ever tell the world?"
Steven went over and patted his back. "It's okay Ronaldo. It will all work out."
"Why don't you just tell what's her face that you can't go?" Connie asked.
He sniffed and stared at her. Finally, he hung his head in shame. "Then she'll know I'm a failure."
"There will be none of that talk here Mister!" Steven wagged his finger. "Now log into my computer and message her from your blog!"
"Girls like honesty!" Connie hastily added.
"You guys are weird," Amethyst shook her head in confusion. "Why don't you just ask Greg or something? Maybe he can fly you there on one of those plane things."
The kids looked at each other, and then to Ronaldo, who was definitely not wiping away manly tears. Steven shrugged and said "Dad? Why not? But only if you tell that girl Ronaldo!"
"You want me to buy Ronaldo a ticket to Japan? Ronaldo, as in not my son? Why the heck would I do that?" Greg Universe asked in bewilderment.
The man was balding with an impressive amount of facial hair. The children, Ronaldo, and Amethyst had went to his van to pester him about the idea.
"Dad, Ronaldo needs to go to Japan to help stop aliens from invading or something and you are his last hope!" Steven begged.
"Why doesn't he ask his own Dad?" Greg asked again.
Ronaldo grabbed the man and shook him. "Mister Universe, he doesn't get me like you do!"
"...this may be the only time the two of us have ever spoke Ronaldo..."
"REGARDLESS!" Ronaldo waived it off. "I am a great judge of character and I know you can help me! So, what do you say?"
"Look kid, even if I wanted to help you, I live in a van. What makes you think I have enough money to fly you out to another country?" Greg appealed to reason.
With that, Ronaldo slunk to the floor. "It's useless! I'll never impress my fans and expand my blog's horizons!"
"Well," Connie started to say. "Didn't you say that Lee Lee or Lola told you that she would work on it?"
"Well yeah!" Ronaldo sniffed. "But I can't ask for charity like that!"
"Isn't that what you're doing now bro?" Amethyst pointed out.
It was at that moment when a blonde haired older woman came over to the motley crew. In her hand was a bag containing a plethora of letters. "Hey Greg, I got something interesting for you today!"
"You do Barb?" Greg asked, slightly bemused while grateful to have a distraction from Ronaldo's odd request. "Nobody writes to me anymore."
"It's the strangest thing. One second I thought I had all the mail, the next a new letter was found!" Barbara the mail woman laughed. "Crazy, ain't it?"
"I suppose it is," he shrugged, waving her off as Steven offered his own greetings. He stared at the letter and opened it. At once his jaw dropped and he shook his head in disbelief. "Uh guys?"
"By Sadie's mom!" Steven waved encouragingly. "Did you say something Dad?"
Shaking slightly, he showed his son the letter. He held onto five thick pieces of paper, darting his eyes from them to the letter in Steven's hand.
"'Dear Mr. Universe,'" Steven read. "'You have won the Cabbit Monthly raffle contest! Enclosed are five tickets for a round trip...to Okayama, Japan..."
The boy gasped out loud and pointed to the tickets. "Japan! It’s tickets to Japan! It's amazing!"
"It's mind boggling!" Connie narrowed her eyes, clearly suspicious of the events transporting.
"It's out of my element," Greg confessed as he ran his hands through his hair.
"It's worth looking into!" Amethyst cracked her knuckles, clearly anticipating a fun adventure.
"It's a miracle!" Ronaldo cried to the heavens, happy that on a quest to prove that things are weird beyond Beach City, he himself had just witnessed such a weird event.
All was right in his world.