AN: I do not own The Dark Crystal. All credit goes to Jim Henson.

"Wow, it's bigger than I thought it would be!" Hoz breathed, staring at the looming white castle before him. Fizzgig whimpered in his arms, obviously remember what had occurred ten years ago. "Oh, it's fine. Nothing bad will happen, trust me." Running across the field separating him from the structure, Hoz deposited the shivering ball of fur on the ground. "Come on, we're almost to the Crystal." Growling, Fizzgig cautiously entered the castle, the young Gelfling following him.

After taking several wrong turns, they finally found the chamber that housed the Crystal. It hovered above a shaft filled with magma, steam wafting into the air. Both it and the walls cast a permanent glare that made Hoz squint. Slowly inching forward, he reached out his hand to touch the gleaming object. Yapping loudly, Fizzgig grabbed his trousers, tugging insistently. "Let go, you miserable pup!" Shaking his leg, the boy lost his footing and fell, narrowly escaping a deadly plunge into the magma. His fingers brushed against something cool, its texture like water. Peering through the haze, Hoz saw that he had made contact with the Crystal. "Ha, I told you nothing would-" Suddenly, intense tremors gripped the chamber, interrupting him. Jumping to his feet, the Gelfling watched chaos unfold around him.

Losing their brilliant sheen, the walls of the chamber quickly turned black. In front of him, Hoz saw the Crystal changing color, going from white to a pulsing purple. Recalling the legend his parents had told him of the sundering of the Crystal, he tried to swallow the fear in his throat. A hideous crack rent the air and a glinting object flew upward, vanishing out of sight past the triangle in the ceiling. "Fizzgig, let's get out of here!" Whirling to bolt from the quaking chamber, Hoz halted when seven beams speared the gloom, resolving into hunched shapes. As they straightened, he felt his heart sink, tears in his eyes. "S...Skeksis."

SkekUng took a deep breath, his keen eyes quickly focusing on the cowering Gelfling child. A cruel smile twisted his mouth, needle-like teeth visible. "It seems there is an intruder in the castle." Lithely advancing, he and the other Skeksis closed on Hoz, hissing. The boy's scream of horror was drowned by the sinister hum of the Crystal.

Next chapters will be longer.