It’s Connie’s first official mission with the Crystal Gems, so naturally things don’t go according to plan.

SU 95-2

Steven: It’s Connie’s first mission! Her parents asked me to take lots of pictures.

Connie: Thank you so much for letting me come on this mission, Pearl! It’s such an honor to work alongside you.

Pearl: Well Connie, your skills have far exceeded my expectations. And with my careful supervision, of course, I’m confident that you can handle a simple gem recovery mission like this.

Connie: Thank you so much! I promise I won’t let you down, Ma’am!

Connie and Pearl make a pretty reliable team, mainly because they both appreciate order and structure.  Steven might occasionally be reckless and/or stupid, but Connie’s first instinct is to follow the plan.

Connie: Garnet sensed some corrupted Gem activity in these woods. It is our job to defeat it, destabilize its form, and bubble it.

But their plans are thwarted almost immediately, as they discover there are two monsters to take care of.

SU 95-3

Pearl: There weren’t supposed to be two…

Connie: Oh, oh! I have an idea! We could split up! You can go after one of them, Pearl, and Steven and I will go after the other one.

Pearl: Connie, you are my pupil, so I know your combat skills are excellent, but I’m afraid this is too risky. You’ve never been in a real fight before.

Steven: Well that’s not true! Connie defeated those Gem experiments at the hospital!

SU 95-4

Fortunately, Steven happened to bring walkie-talkies for just such an occasion, and between that and Connie’s general persistence, Pearl agrees to the proposal.

Pearl: But as soon as you find the monster, contact me immediately! I don’t want you fighting this thing alone. One more time. What are you looking for?

Connie & Steven: A monster.

Pearl: What do you do when you find it?

Connie & Steven: Call you.

Pearl: And who’s your favorite Gem?

Steven: Pearl!

Pearl: Why thank you!

SU 95-14

But Steven’s clearly been doing a lot of thinking now that he has a better idea of what these “monsters” are, so of course these two end up chatting about it.

Connie: So these corrupted Gems are like wild animals, just a bundle of fight-or-flight reflexes and survival instincts.

Steven: Well, they’re like that now, but before they were different. They used to be normal Gems, like Pearl, Amethyst, and Garnet. They had thoughts, feelings, friends…I don’t really know how the corruption works. It’s like they’re sick. They don’t remember who they used to be. Maybe they don’t even know how to look like themselves anymore.

Steven is a sweetheart, but it’s a little concerning that he seems to be the only one taking any thought or initiative when it comes to helping the corrupted Gems.  That’s just not the sort of thing a kid should be trying to do alone!

SU 95-5

Then they run into the aftermath of a struggle of some sort, which they’re left to contemplate as they take shelter from a snowstorm.

Connie: So, why were there humanoid tracks out there? They weren’t ours, and they weren’t Pearl’s. It couldn’t have been the monster, unless it’s just some guy in a monster suit. But that kind of thing only happens in cartoons, usually over a property dispute.

Steven: Maybe it is a guy in a monster costume.

Connie: You think so?

Steven: I don’t mean literally, silly! What I mean is, there might be a conscious Gem still inside there somewhere.

Connie: Is that possible?

Steven: What if the monster is turning back and forth into its original form? It might not be as corrupted as we think! There might still be a chance to save it.

Connie: How?

Steven: I can’t heal Gems that are corrupted, at least not all the way, but if it’s half corrupted-

Steven sweetie, please don’t do this to yourself.  Although his theory about a partly corrupted Gem might not be as far from the truth as it seems…

SU 95-7

Then they finally catch up with their monster.

Connie: It seems scared. Is it running from us?

At first, it doesn’t seem to notice them in its terror, but then Pearl calls in on the walkie talkie and Steven can’t seem to turn it off with his mittened hands.

Steven: Wait! Let’s try talking to it.

It actually seems like that might be working for a moment, as the monster stops and calms down a little…but then Connie reaches for her sword and any progress gets thrown out the window.  I mean, I can’t blame her for panicking a little, but it triggers an attack which they only barely manage to fend off.

SU 95-9

Fortunately, Connie regains her sense (and the walkie talkie) and alerts Pearl to their predicament.

A predicament which soon becomes much worse.

SU 95-10

Jasper makes terrifyingly quick work of the monster (and it seems she’d already dealt with the other one).

Connie: Those footprints…the monsters were running from her!

SU 95-11

Pearl shows up before Jasper can zero in on Steven, and facing two blades is enough of a deterrent for her to opt to go about her business after one taunt.

SU 95-12

Jasper: Hey Rose, look what I got!

SU 95-15

Pearl: Oh, thank goodness! What a disaster! I never would’ve let you come on this mission if I knew Jasper was out here!

Connie: I’m sorry.

Pearl: What?

Connie: I thought I’d be ready to fight, but I wasn’t. I failed.

Pearl: You weren’t supposed to fight. You were supposed to call me, and you did! This was a total success.

So it seems we can expect Connie to join in the action more often going forward…and then Jasper’s around plotting something nefarious, and no longer stuck in the ocean.

Until next time…

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