Chapter 10

For the life of his, Orxon couldn’t tell why it hurt so much.

He was inspecting the wound he had acquired from his battle against the mechanical being, no doubt sent by Narzhul to find and presumably kill him. At first glance, it looked like just a minor wound and not something to think too much about. But for seeming like just a light wound, it hurt much more than it should have had.

The blade that had caused the wound had looked fairly ordinary, aside from the fact it appeared out of nowhere from the beings hand. He wasn’t sure what material it had been forged with though, but whatever it was it hadn’t looked like anything special. The wound had still been cut deeper than he had thought, but aside from that the wound didn’t look too unusual so the blade couldn’t have been poisoned.

He simply couldn’t wrap his head around this, and thus decided to just drop the matter and take care of the wound instead. He applied some salve to the wound and then bandaged it quite thoroughly.

Now then, let’s attend to another matter, he thought.

At his feet lay the severed head of the being, which he picked up and scanned. Since the being had been entirely mechanical, it had to have some sort of database located in its head which may hold some information about these beings and possibly where they were made. Tracking down Narzhul, who had seemed to return to Kastra Nui, was still his top priority. But finding the place where the army had been created would serve his purpose as well, and he thought that in the event that he failed his quest of vengeance, at least he may have stopped the production and thus what had happened to his home island wouldn’t happen again. That is, if he managed to figure it out where this place was located in the first place.

He carefully checked every inch of the head in search of something that would let him open it up, and finally he found some sort of small button. He pressed the button, which made the top of the head open up and reveal what was inside. There were several cords that presumably functioned like veins for this being, but the rest of the stuff he had no idea what it was.

He had no real knowledge of how technology really worked, since they had lived a simple life on Kastra Nui. Perhaps it would be better to show it to someone in Metru Nui, which wasn’t too far from Xia, but they were headed for the opposite direction. Venturing there first could perhaps help revealing the location where the army had been produced, but now that he had a possible lead on Narzhul’s whereabouts he couldn’t risk delaying for too long.

He found some sort of button and decided to press it. What could possibly go wrong?

“Self-destruct protocol initiated,” some voice from the severed head said.

“Oh no, I shouldn’t have done that.” The head gave off some red blinking lights. Frantically he pushed the same button again with no result. He then pressed another button, and luckily the lights went off.

“I think that’s enough for today,” he sighed and put the head back on the floor. It seemed that he had to find a technician after all. He sighed again, and then went thoughtfully into his own mind.

The sun was setting, casting its orange light on the ocean. Orxon had to admit, it was quite beautiful and very calming. It didn’t take long for him to forget about his frustration just by taking in the scenery. There were no other islands near in sight, just their ship and the ocean. That did really put some perspective of how big the world was. He had never felt the call of adventure outside of his own home island, just content with the life he had had on Kastra Nui. So when he was chosen as a Toa that would protect the island, he hadn’t really minded that.

Yet here he was, in the middle of the ocean having had traveled to different islands to track down the Makuta. His relaxed mind then went back to the very day where his home had fallen alongside everyone living there, including his brothers and sisters.

Luckily, he was disturbed from his thoughts when someone approached him. Orxon looked up, and couldn’t help but smile when he saw who it was.

Veerah had decided to give Orxon some space throughout the day. She had proposed to try to patch up his wound after the recent battle with the mechanical being, but he had turned down her offer. He also mentioned that he would try to figure out if he could get some information from the beings severed head, and she felt that she would just be disturbing him.

But there wasn’t really anything to do here, aside from maybe talking to Orxon’s Matoran friend. But she didn’t feel comfortable with him just yet, since when whenever she saw him, he had looked at her rather… strangely. She couldn’t tell what it was, but it really made her feel uneasy.

So out of boredom, and that she saw that Orxon was just gazing out towards the horizon, she walked up to him. When he noticed her approach, he turned around and smiled at her. There was something about his smile that always made her smile back.

“What are you thinking about?” she asked, since it had looked like he had been deep in thought before she approached.

“Just how calm it is out here,” he replied, but it looked like there had been something else that he didn’t want to share. She nodded in agreement and looked out towards the horizon for a few moments, before turning her eyes back on him.

“How’s the wound? Is it any better?” she asked out of concern.

“Well, truth be told, it hurts quite a bit.” It looked like it hurt more than that though.

“But I’ll manage; I have survived worse than that.” She didn’t take her eyes off him for a moment, and then asked him another question.

“Any luck with that… head?”

“No, I have no idea how the thing works. Besides, technology isn’t really my area of expertise,” he said. It looked like there was something else that he didn’t mention, again, but since she didn’t have any knowledge on the subject either it was probably of no big importance. Even then, she might not have completely understood it.

“I see…” She then leaned against the railing next to him, and silence lay between the two Toa. Veerah enjoyed the quiet moment.

“Can I… ask you something?” Orxon broke the silence with.

“Of course,” she said.

“Back on Xia, when I… fought against that Skakdi, there was a moment when… I’m not sure what happened, but… for a moment, it seemed that… I…” He then trailed off.

“Yes?” she motioned for him to continue.

“There was a moment where I… I did not think at all. You saw that I was… very close to killing him. But it was like… I went on an automatic response, like it was my natural instinct. I almost killed him… I almost got another life on my consciousness.”

Then another moment of silence passed before Orxon spoke again.

“What if it’s too late for me to stop? What if it’s too late for me to steer away from that path?” It was there that she put a hand on his shoulder, which made Orxon stiffen up a little bit and unless she was seeing things it looked like he was blushing.

“I don’t think it’s too late, not yet. If it were, you wouldn’t have spared that Skakdi’s life.”

“I suppose...” She didn’t take her hand away from his shoulder, and Orxon just stood as still as he could. The sun had almost disappeared from the sky, casting an orange light on the surface of the ocean. Veerah finally took her hand away from his shoulder, and they both turned around to watch the sunset.

“That sunset is really beautiful,” Veerah said, changing the subject.

“It really is,” he agreed. The only sunsets that she had ever appreciated where the ones that she could see at her special spot on the island she used to live on, but this one took the price. There was nothing else around them, just the ocean, which really gave the feeling of how big the world was. Besides, she wasn’t alone anymore but now had a friend at her side.

She glanced towards Orxon, when she saw that he was looking right at her. When he saw that she was now looking back at him, he quickly turned his gaze back to the sunset. Veerah did as well, all the while feeling some sort of warmth spreading inside of her and blushing quite heavily.

What was that about? She thought to herself, confused of the emotions she felt now. And why had he looked at her in that way? She didn’t know what to think of this, so eventually she didn’t and concentrated back on the setting of the sun.

They just stood there while taking in the view until the sun had gone completely down and replaced the day with night. Once the first stars appeared on the sky, Orxon turned against her.

“I’m going to get some rest. It’s been a long day, and I don’t think it wouldn’t hurt my wound either.” She nodded, as he bent down to pick up the severed head and then he went to the small cabin of the ship to get some rest. She wouldn’t say no for some rest too, but she felt like watching the stars for a bit. There was also something else that she needed an answer for, but she doubted that Orxon would give her one…

What they didn’t notice was that Rurak looking from above, with a big smirk on his mask. If he wasn’t sure before, he surely was now…

“How can they be so blind?” he murmured to himself.

Well, soon enough at least one of those bone-headed Toa will realize what’s going on, he thought to himself. He then went back to fully concentrating on steering the ship towards Kastra Nui where his friend Orxon might finally take his vengeance.

After a few minutes, he saw that Veerah was climbing up the steps up to him. Their introduction had been very brief, and he had noted that so far she had mostly stayed away from him. She was pretty though, he had to admit.

“Hey,” she simply said. Rurak nodded back.

“What’s on your mind?” he simply asked. She seemed slightly taken back that he knew her intention, but since that seemed to be one of his talents she nevertheless asked him her question.

“Back at the inn… on Xia, I saw that you and Orxon were talking to each other. About something that apparently Orxon didn’t want to let me know anything about it. I don’t know, but I kind of got the impression that it had something to do with me.”

Ah, I see, Rurak thought. No doubt, females always wanted to know what were said about them. He could of course tell the whole truth, since he thought it was very obvious that the two Toa felt something special about each other, so really he would just give them a push. But on the other hand, he figured that it could be funny, as well as more “true” he supposed, to let them figure it out by themselves.

Besides, Orxon would probably kill him if he told her.

“Aye… When our friend first mentioned you I immediately made some remarks about your gender, not in the way you’re thinking, mind you. More of the classical “hero meets the girl” stuff, you know. He just didn’t want to give you the wrong idea and scare you off because of me, so… Well, that’s basically it really. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Veerah looked thoughtfully at the Ta-Matoran, and from what he could gather from the look on her mask she didn’t seem to be sure whether she would believe him or not. She better be, for he knew that if she wasn’t satisfied with his answer, she would probably user her Psionic powers on him to force the right answer out.

Luckily for him, she finally decided that the answer was good enough.

“Thanks, I suppose.”

“You’re welcome,” he grinned at her. She then turned around to go down to the cabin for some rest presumably.

Rurak grinned from ear to ear for the thought that popped up in his head, and then went back to steering the ship once again, all the while whistling an old sea tune for himself. And for the ocean as well of course, no proper sailor wouldn’t pay respect to the great ocean in some way. And maybe even that blasted Takea shark, if it were anywhere near. Which it better not be…

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