As the Off Colors are about to leave Earth and travel across the universe to discover if the Diamonds have deceived Steven, they receive a message. Steven wants them to serve as ambassadors to Earth. They happily accept, but before this space trek can begin, they encounter a mystery ship which appears in Earth’s orbit!
For the locations of places like the Great Scandinavian Republic, Western Russia, Eastern Russia, the Galaxy Warp, Empire City, the Empire State, the Floridian Archipelago, and Rizalia (present-day Philippines), please see the map here: https://imgur.com/gallery/6KJfCwj. I chose Rizalia because Shelby Rabara, who voices Peri, and Jennifer Paz-Fedorov, who voices Lapis, have Filipino roots. Rabara was born in the U.S. and with Filipino parentage while Paz was born in Manila (called Maynilà, in this story, which is the Filipino name for the city). Additionally, Deedee Magno Hall, who voices Pearl, and Charlyne Yi, who voices the Rubies, also have Filipino parentage. Also, Lars, canonically, has Filipino heritage.
The phrase “she didn’t have girls flocking to her immediately like those who traveled between worlds manifested in the books housed in a library on a quest for their long-lost companion” is a reference toward Hazumi searching for Hatsumi in the anime, Yami, the Hat, and the Travelers of Books. Alternatively, the anime is known as Yami to Bōshi to Hon no Tabibito. The pages on the Steven Universe fandom for the Sun Incinerator, Galaxy Warp, Star Skipper, Rhodonite, and Padparadscha, along with those on the Adventure Time fandom for Princess Bubblegum, Marceline, Princess Bubblegum’s Relationships, and the Library were helpful in this story. I used Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s book, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, as a reference for various words and feelings. The Reddit discussion “What color are Princess Bubblegum's eyes?” was used to inform this story, with that discussion concluding that Bonnie’s eyes are blue. The fight between the starfighters in this story is an homage to the spacefight scene between Anakin Skywalker and Asajj Ventress in Chapter 11 in Genndy Tartakovsky’s series, Star Wars: Clone Wars, one of my favorite animated shows as a kid. Some of the scenes are also undoubtedly inspired by scenes of the Millennium Falcon in the original Star Wars trilogy or scenes within the new Star Wars movies. I also used https://atchronology.com/ as a source for the date Bonnie mentioned. When Peri says “I guess you’re right and…when you’re right that means you’re always right” is a reference to Spaceballs where Barf says “Oh, you’re right, and when you’re right, you’re right, and you, you’re always right.” I took inspiration from the anime, Matross Frontier and reference the show, Tactical Roar, when Pappy says “Aye, shorty!” The whole interaction at the end of the story between the Bonnie and Marcy's ship and the Earth defenses was inspired by a similar interaction between the defense system of Magrethea and the Heart of Gold in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
This story is reprinted from Archive of Our Own, where I originally published it, for your reading enjoyment.