Heal the Crystal to Save Us All

Heal the Crystal to Save Us All

I own nothing that is familiar to the movie Dark Crystal. I own only the unfamiliar and the story here. No flames please, unless they are constructive. Thanks!! DC

Chapter 1

"These are Podlings. They are my clan."

"Kira!"

The Podlings, all with bright red hair that seemed to go anywhere it wanted unless the people wore a thick hat, gave the call to the blonde Gelfling as she led her dark haired companion into their home. The blonde listened as they told her of a few flying creatures that helped to protect them. Jen's thin eyebrows came together in a thoughtful frown.

"What did they look like?"

Kira translated the questioned as her Podling sister related the story of a few creatures that would fight to protect them, but when the Podlings tried to get close enough to thank them properly, the creatures would retreat into the forest's shadows.

"They have two legs and two arms as far as we can see, but sometimes they moved on all fours, crouching low to the ground. They have cloths tied about their heads and faces. We leave them be, for the most part. They seem to like us and we leave things for them. Nikkek got close to one not too long ago. He thinks it was female from the way it was speaking, but once she noticed him there, she took off. When we start to play our music, they sit outside and listen. Sometimes they sing for us, but we never see them clearly."

Jen tipped his head to the side as Kira chewed her spoon, her eyes far away as she tried to make a picture of the unseen guardians in her mind.

"They certainly don't sound like they are allied with the Skeksis. Maybe we should go look around…"

As she spoke, some of the Podlings began to play their lively tunes, some watching at the tiny rounded windows. Despite their seemingly nonchalance about their protectors, the two Gelflings could see that they wanted to see them as close as they could. Just as Jen rose to his feet to suggest that he go and look around, he heard five voices coming from outside.

The voices were all female as far as the collected Podlings and Gelflings could tell, the language was something he couldn't understand himself, but Kira was translating under her breath for him.

We keep our watch in the night,

We see what you can not,

Our eyes follow you when darkness comes.

We are the women of the war.

None can do what we do,

As we fight our whole lives through

Take to the skies, sisters!

We are the women of the war…

Jen smiled as the singers went silent, save for one.

We are strong,

We live on,

Sing on sisters, sing on!

We are the women of the war…

We keep our watch in the night,

We see what you cannot,

Our eyes follow you when darkness comes,

We are the women of the war.

None can do what we do,

As we fight our whole lives through

Take to the skies!

We are the women of the war…

Then again the solo voice called into the dark as Jen carefully peeked out as the voices moved a little closer.

Every night we sing for you,

We call for the stars to hide you

And the light to guide you.

Live on, peaceful doves, live on.

We are strong,

We'll live on.

Sing on, sisters, sing on!

We are the women of the war…

The singing faded and Jen quickly dashed out the door, his loose shirt fluttering around him. Outside was so dark, he was surprised that the Podlings had any idea what their shy guardians looked like at all. Jen thought he heard a faint rustle and looked up to the star-filled sky just in time to see a head being pulled back into the trees.

"Who's up there? Are you the ones who protect the Podlings?"

A Podling man came outside carrying a large tray filled with strange fruits and bowls that gave off a heavy aromatic steam. The man spoke and a shadow detached itself from one of the trees and came a step closer. Jen decided to test the theory of these being the Podling's protectors. He would admit later that, in hindsight, this had been foolish indeed.

He gave a shout and brandished a heavy stick as though he was going to beat the little man's head in, and the Podling gave a frightened squeal. Kira came out the door just in time to see something flash out of the shadows and embed itself in Jen's sleeve and pin it to the ground while a second knocked the stick from his hand.

"The next one will take your arm, dirt-walker."

It spoke his language.

Jen's eyes widened and he looked toward the shadows and he could see something glinting there.

"Will you please come into the light? I want to meet you."

The shadow laughed and Kira went to Jen and pulled at the object holding his sleeve. After a brief fight, she finally freed it and held it up to a light to examine it.

The item was a long dart with long wicked spurs coming off it. The dart itself was light and made of a black glassy material that shone in the light. Kira set it on the tray of food and looked out into the darkness where they had heard the shadow laugh. Then the voice came again.

"In the moonlight I felt your heart. You will not see me in the sun's light."

"Why not?"

"We don't want to be seen. It is safer for all."

Jen crossed his arms and looked into the darkness for a long time before turning and lifting his impromptu 'weapon' from before and turning toward the door that lead back to the Podlings.

"So you won't mind if I-"

"You will not make it three steps, dirt-walker. I warned you the first time, I will not do it twice."

Before either Jen or Kira could open their mouths to reply, a high grating shriek split the air. In the time it took to take a breath, the sound of clattering claws and scampering legs reached their ears. All three spoke in unison.

"Garthim!"

"Can you fly, girl?"

"Y-yes?"

The speaker came out of the shadows and grabbed Jen, turning and taking wing before the male Gelfling could protest.

"Then follow me. My sisters will defend the Podlings while I take you to our place of rest and alert the others that there are Garthim. Hurry!"

Kira lifted off and tried her best to keep up with the flying female, studying her as they flew. Her entire face was wrapped in long thin bandages with only enough of a space in them to allow her to see. She had a hood pulled over her head as well, covering her ears and hair. Kira was surprised to see that their protector's arms and legs were also heavily bandaged, not an inch of skin to be seen. She wore a long tunic of a color that Kira couldn't really see, but was assuming it was black or grey and leggings like Jen's. Her feet were covered with soft cloth shoes that laced up to her knees. From her belt hung several of the glinting darts and a long curved blade made of the same material. Then Jen noticed something. The hands that held on to him tightly had four fingers.

"Who are you?"

"There isn't time for that now. There, I see the camp."

She gave a sudden shriek and Jen felt her grip on him loosen. When he looked down, he saw that the camp was smoldering and he thought he saw bodies in the light of the burning tents.

Jen yelped as she hurtled down toward the ground. When he felt his feet touch, he tried to move like he was running so he wouldn't lose his balance when she dropped him back down. Kira landed lightly beside him as their new 'friend' folded her wings as she ran about the camp, calling names.

"Skera? Lillana? Wren? Qeno? Anybody?!"

The winged warrior sat down hard amid the wreckage of a home, her hands limp on the ground. Kira took a step toward her when the girl flung her head back and howled in misery. Jen watched as Kira closed her eyes and put a fist over her heart as if she felt the female's pain, but got no closer. The dark haired Gelfling crouched down beside the female and pushed on the hood she wore, his hand catching on the knots in the bandages that she wore around her head.

"Are there more?"

"Here? No…there are no more of my brothers or sisters here…"

"Should we help you look?"

He asked this before realizing that Kira was already poking through the remains of one of the burning skeletons of a tent. The hooded female rose and pushed her hood back and let her hands fall to her sides, unaware that the bindings on her hands were coming loose and fluttering in the breeze. Her whole head was bound like her face, but they could see where her hair and ears were, but the shape of her ears weren't discernable.

"No. They aren't here."

"What about the Podlings?!"

"They'll be gone too. You know that, girl."

Kira nodded and took one of the stranger's hands as the cloth under her eyes darkened. At first Jen couldn't see why Kira's eyes had darkened before she had put her arms around the girl, making the female go completely stiff. Then Jen saw the signs of tears, though they were soundless, and touched her wrist.

As soon as he touched her, pictures and sounds flooded his and Kira's minds, almost knocking them over with their force. Long days spent training to use her weapons, hiding, running, learning how to make antidotes and poisons, finding out how to dislocate her joints and put them back… So much violence and anger… Could she have been a Gelfling?

The stranger shut her eyes, trying to will the pictures from her mind as they rushed into her, not wanting to see the lives of others. None of her people wanted to see or be seen, so to prevent it, had kept their distance from all others. Finally she was able to break away, severing the connection violently.

"You've seen so much pain…"

Kira's dark eyes looked into the bandaged female's own green ones, searching.

"You are Gelfling, aren't you Inora?"