The Life And Death of Onyx is a short story about the recently born gem Onyx.
Onyx awoke, and her first sight as she tumbled out into the world was of destruction, mountains and buildings crumbling into dust as her sisters began pouring out of the walls of the Kindergarten. Next, she saw the denizens of this world, small, fleshy creatures, scattering about, looking for shelter that would never come.
Onyx was a small, generic-looking gem, with soot-black hair and jet-colored skin, with an alluring slickness to it, as if she was made of oil. She had a trio of eyes, pure white, as innocent as that of a child’s.
“Prepare the ship for extraction, this planet has been drained of resources and the last batch is out of the Kindergarten. I want to get out of here before this whole place crumbles” said a gem, tall, with judgemental eyes fixated on a holographic screen.
“Hello?” Onyx said, approaching the other gem. She stared at her for a few moments, before saying, in a flat, robotic tone. “Onyx 435. State your business, and make it quick, this planet is about to implode”
Onyx turned around, taking in all of the destruction. She couldn’t imagine what it was like for just one of those creatures, to have their homes destroyed. And there were millions of them, each experiencing their own unfathomable sadness.
“Did I do this?” she said, pointing to the chaos behind her.
The stern gem chuckled softly at the absurdity of her question. “In a way, yeah. Gems come from Kindergartens, just like you did, and eventually, Kindergartens consume their home planets and destroy them”
“So for me to be born, all of these innocent creatures needed to die?”
“Yeah, whatever” she drummed her fingers on her arm, waiting for extraction to hurry up and arrive.
“Why would you bring me into this world, then? Now I have to spend the rest of my life knowing that my birth is responsible for the death of an entire planet?”
“If it makes you feel any better” she said, a new image appearing on her holographic screen. “This species had to eat other native animals to survive. And many of their mothers would die giving birth to them. Life has always required death, and we gems are no different. We’re just another part of the cycle”
“There has to be another way” she said, clutching her fist.
“Yeah, tell me if you find one” she said.
“Well, if I have to carry the burden of death upon the first moments of my birth, I’ll spend the rest of my existence trying to create and preserve life. It’s the payment I have to make for the sin of being born” The stoic gem put a hand on her shoulder, giving her a reassuring smile. “Of course” she said. “We need more Gems like you, you know”
Onyx smiled. The gem walked away, and muttered into her holographic communicator. “Extraction, Onyx 435 is a defective. Leave her behind”
- The stoic gem with the holographic screen is Peridot, or, at least, a Peridot.