I haven’t broken this many hearts since I had all my hair!
The Zoo has something of an air of a tropical resort, much to Steven’s surprise, but he clearly mistrusts the tranquility.
Steven: Let me have my dad back already!
Greg: Hey, don’t be like that! Relax. These people have treated me so well since I got here.
Greg: Steven, these people are the descendants of humans brought here by Gems thousands of years ago! They’ve never seen the Earth before, isn’t that wild?
The natives are all perfectly friendly and hospitable, but of course there’s still something off about them.
Voice: Greetings, everyone. It’s time to start the daily routine. Enjoy your meal during this designated eating period.
Steven: Who was that?
Wy-six: Ste-van does not know what a little voice is! Just like Ga-reg when he first arrived.
Jay-ten: Our little voices guide us through life here.
The Gems obviously started using the soothing voice to impose structure on the humans’ lives so they won’t get bored and potentially mess things up. It’s not cruel, save for what it represents: Captivity.
Voice: It’s time to stop and smell the flowers.
Steven: What if I don’t want to smell the flowers?
Jay-ten: Why wouldn’t you want to do that?
It’s that reasonableness, that inoffensiveness, that makes their lifestyle so appealing. Their days are filled with sweet nothings, so they never actually accomplish anything, but neither are they unhappy.
Steven: I can’t believe this. They’re all so happy. It’s like they don’t even know that they’re trapped here.
Greg: Well of course they don’t! They’ve never been anywhere else. They love it here – I mean, look at this place! Can you blame them? They’ve got everything they need and they never have to worry about a thing.
But of course, when everyone is supposed to be sleeping, Greg and Steven run off to find the other side of the service door.
They find it, but it seems just as impenetrable from this side as the other.
Steven: We need to get this door open.
Jay-ten: What is a “door”?
Steven: Like, this part of the wall, but open!
Wy-six: Walls don’t open! They are walls.
Jay-ten: There is a story of an opening wall. A very long time ago, a Gem came through a wall-hole to help someone who was…”hurt”.
Wy-six: What do you mean, “hurt”?
Jay-ten: I don’t know. I don’t know what “hurt” is.
Steven: I know what hurt is!
Even in this situation, that’s really not something to be proud of, poor baby.
Interestingly, this story is the only piece of history we hear of from the “Zoomen”, and that’s sad when you think about it. At some point, the Gems managed to quell any intellectual curiosity, and now there’s no trace of human history or culture. They don’t build anything because they never need shelter, and they don’t even cultivate their own food. Even their language is implicitly the same as their Gem masters, and they don’t have a written language at all. They have everything, and they have nothing.
Anyway, back to the problem of getting the door open.
Steven: It’s our ticket out of here! One of us has to get hurt!
Greg: Okay, well, then you hit me.
Steven: You sure?
Greg: Yeah, I’ll take one for the team. Come on, give me all you got! I can take it.
On second thought, it may not have been a good idea for the boy with super strength to punch a middle-aged man, but I have to respect a man’s resolve to not hit his child.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t have the desired results.
Voice: It is time for the Choosening! Please gather around the Circle of Choosening.
Greg: Wait a second…is this some sort of matchmaking thing? There’s always a catch to these utopias.
It’s unclear how long-term these pairings are supposed to be, but Greg wants none of it.
Greg: Hold on! This isn’t how it works on Earth! I…don’t want to be told who to be Choosened with.
Wy-six: Ga-reg, this makes no sense. Why wouldn’t you want to be Choosened?
Greg: Look, back on Earth, there was no voice to tell you who to be with. It was your own decision.
Steven: My Mom and Dad didn’t get together because someone told them to. They spent time getting to know one another and fell in love. They Choosened each other, because…that’s what they Choosed.
Wy-six: Hm, I see…if that’s how it’s done on Earth, then I choose Ga-reg!
Jay-ten: I also choose Ga-reg!
Greg: Wait! I get a say in this, too! You’re all very nice, and I’m flattered, and yes, you get to choose whoever you want, but I also get to say that I choose, uh, none of you.
It’s the logical conclusion of a life without choice or hardship – you don’t choose your own mate because that could potentially lead to regret. It would lead to hurt.
Wy-six: Could this be…is this…hurt?
Jay-ten: Why would Ga-reg…hurt us? Take this hurt away!
And with basically the entire adult population suffering from heartbreak, the Gems finally intervene.
But any hope of escape is promptly dashed.
Steven: Put us down!
Amethyst: You two are in big trouble.
Until next time…