When Orxon woke up, he was trying to piece together what his dream had consisted of. It had felt the most unusual, since it hadn’t been his nightmare with Narzhul again. No, this dream had been much more… happier. But aside from the warm and fuzzy feeling he now felt, he couldn't remember what his dream had been about. Confused, he sat up in his bed and looked across to the other side of the cabin.
He saw that Veerah was still sleeping, and with Rurak nowhere to be seen he was presumably still up on deck. He looked back at Veerah again, and noted that while sleeping she looked very calm. He had noted that on Xia as well, but he found it impossible to look away.
Eventually, he did have to turn his gaze elsewhere. He couldn't tell what time it was, but he presumed that it was morning. Maybe the sun was still rising, which was a sight he wouldn't mind seeing. As with the sunset, while both events were beautiful, there was something special when witnessing them on the ocean where it was just you and the sea around you.
He still remembered the lovely sunset from the previous day, but something weird had happened at that time. When Veerah came up and watched the sunset with him, his eyes had slowly drifted from the horizon and towards Veerah instead. He couldn’t tell how long he had just stared at her, but once he realized that her head had turned towards him, he had quickly set his eyes towards the sunset.
It was very unusual the way he had felt. Time had almost seemed to have moved slower, and his heart had skipped a few beats. It was a strange experience, and he had trouble figuring out exactly what had happened with him. He had never experienced anything quite like this before.
His mind then drifted back to the previous day, when he had first spoken to Rurak that day. He remembered the remarks his friend had made when he had told him about Veerah. He had simply brushed them off, and made repeated attempts to make him stop doing that.
“But what if… he’s actually right?” he then thought. At the time, he was very sure that he didn’t have any feelings for his companion. But now, with the strange experience of yesterday, he wasn’t as sure.
He got up from his bed, while his mind really tried to comprehend the happenings of the last day. He supposed that Rurak could possibly be right about this, but on the other hand he felt really unsure if it really was the case. He took one final glimpse at the sleeping Veerah, and sighed.
“But even if that would be true… it wouldn’t change anything.”
And with that final thought, he walked to the door of the cabin and went out.
As he came up to the deck, he saw that the sun had risen almost completely from the horizon, casting its bright light everywhere. Unlike yesterday, he could see land towards in the distant, but he had no idea what island it was. It surely was a beautiful sight, but seeing it made him think about the sunset from yesterday, which he now felt he couldn’t think about anymore.
He then went up to where Rurak was steering the ship. He wondered if his Matoran friend had gotten any sleep at all, but from what he could see it wasn’t a problem for the captain. He always had a look of alert when he was on the sea, for as much as the Ta-Matoran ironically loved the open sea, he knew as any other experienced sailor that the sea was not to be taken lightly.
When Rurak saw Orxon coming up to him, he had smirk on his mask. Again, Orxon was reminded of things that he for the moment didn’t want to think about.
“Good morning to you, slept tightly eh?” Rurak asked, with the smirk still on his Pakari.
“Good morning to you too, and yes, I’ve gotten a decent amount of sleep,” Orxon replied. But then Rurak’s smirk went wider and wider.
“So… nothing interesting happened?”
“What are you…?” Orxon began, until realizing what his friend was meaning. Now he just felt annoyed.
“I’ve told you already that I don’t…” he began before getting cut off.
“Please, I know love when I see it. And for someone who is denying it all, it didn’t look like it was nothing yesterday when you two gazed at the sunset.”
Orxon didn’t know what to say, because deep inside he knew that there was no way he could try to dispute that. He still wasn’t sure himself, but he could tell that at this point, there would be no way to change Rurak’s mind.
“Listen, I don’t…” he began but was once again cut off before he could finish. This time though, it wasn’t by Rurak.
There was a loud smash, and the ship was rocked violently. Orxon struggled to keep his balance, and Rurak held on tight to keep his balance. When the ship settled back, they were both scanning around their surroundings.
“What was that? Did we hit something?” Orxon wondered.
“Nay, I think something hit us,” the captain replied with what seemed to be slight fear on his mask. Orxon had never seen him like this before, so it had to be very serious.
“Wait, what do you…?” Once again Orxon was cut off by another loud smash which made the ship rocked again. When it stopped, Orxon made his way to the railing to try to spot whatever it was that seemed to want to sink their ship. What he saw made him gasp in horror.
He saw a big white fin sticking out of the ocean, and while the whole creature was hidden beneath the waves, he immediately knew what had targeting the ship. It was the Great White Takea Shark, and it was swimming towards them. As the creature came closer and closer, it popped out from the waves and displayed itself in full glory. It was easily bigger than any Takea Shark he had seen and the white scales and red eyes made it look like something from his deepest nightmares.
He had seriously thought that maybe Rurak had exaggerated somewhat in his stories. Clearly, he had been serious all this time.
“We’re gonna need a bigger boat!” he shouted to Rurak, before the shark hit the ship again. Orxon held tightly against the railing as the ship rocked once again. When it stopped, he frantically looked around but couldn’t see the shark or even its fin anywhere. But he knew it was far from over.
“Hey, what’s going on?” For a little while there, Orxon had actually forgotten about Veerah, who must have woken up thanks to the boats violent movements.
“Veerah, grab something and hold on tight!” Orxon said as she was getting up the stairs to them.
“What are you…” she began, but then there was another smash against the hull of the ship, she managed to get hold of the railing before she could get thrown in the sea. When the ship stop moving again, Orxon thought that Rurak’s ship was surprisingly steadfast and hadn’t seemed to be taken any major damage thus far.
“Okay, what is going on?” Veerah’s tone had turned from confused to worry.
“Remember that Take Shark in the story Rurak told?”
“Well, it seems that we’ve run into it.” Veerah looked around trying to catch the sight of the shark, but couldn’t see anything.
“I don’t see anythi…” she began, but as if on a cue the Great White jumped out of the water, jaws wide open, and lunged into the ship once again. The two Toa held on tight to stay aboard the ship whilst it moved violently.
“That thing… it’s much bigger than I imagined!”
“You’re not the only one thinking like that… Wait, where’s Rurak?” Orxon had discovered that the captain was gone when he glanced over his shoulder.
“You don’t think he’s…” Veerah couldn’t bear to finish that sentence, but they both knew what she was about to say.
Quickly, before the shark would lunge again, Orxon ran to the other side of the ship and searched in the water after the Matoran with his eyes. But his friend was nowhere to be seen.
At that moment, grief struck him. While Rurak was quite pretentious and annoying, Orxon had always regarded him as a friend ever since Kastra Nui was destroyed, and for a long time he had also been the only friend he had. And now he was… gone. Lost in the very ocean he loved.
As he was about to turn around and confirm to Veerah what she already suspected, he heard some steps coming up from the stairs, and when he did turn around he saw the last thing he had expected to see at this moment.
Coming up from the cabin was Rurak. Orxon couldn’t help but look in shock. For a second, he had really thought the Ta-Matoran had fallen overboard, but as it turned out he hadn’t.
“Rurak, you’re alive!”
“What… why wouldn’t I?” he asked confused like it was the most obvious thing.
“I… never mind about that.” Then he saw that Rurak was carrying a harpoon in his hand, which explained where he had gone. The harpoon was of a relative size though, for Rurak it was probably your average harpoon, but for a Toa it looked incredibly small. And he hadn’t even factored in the size of the shark.
“Is THAT the best weapon you got?” In just a few seconds, Orxon’s emotions had changed completely.
“Well, it’s not like I can afford a Cordak Blaster!”
“There’s got to be a better idea,” Veerah interjected. Orxon fell silent for a moment, thinking hard how to get out of this situation.
“I think I do…” he simply said, before searching around for the shark again. The attacks had stopped momentarily, and now the Great White was circling around their ship, with its fin sticking out of the waves as if it was trying to scare them into defeat. Now was the perfect time to execute his plan, the question was just if it was really going to work as good as he hoped it would.
He reached out his hands and pointed them towards the swimming shark, whilst concentrating really hard. Since the creature was swimming around the boat, he had to lead his hands just before where it was going to make sure that his Gravity powers would hit it. He knew that gravity was still a factor even in the deep blue sea, but exactly how useful his powers were in this situation, he was about to find out.
At first, it seemed that his efforts were fruitless. But eventually, he saw that the shark was slowly but surely getting deeper down in the ocean, and its movements got slower and slower until it practically stopped, and he could see how the Great White was struggling against his power until it got deep down enough to not be seen.
“I suggest we get out of here, I don’t know for how long the shark is unable to follow us!”
“Aye, aye… well, me I suppose,” Rurak awkwardly remarked once he figured it his response wouldn’t work at all since he was the captain. He took control of the ship’s wheel and in a matter of moments, the wind unexpectedly picked up as from nowhere and they were on their way. Orxon just hoped that they would be able to get as far away as possible before his gravity powers couldn’t hold the shark down anymore.
When several minutes had passed and there was no sign of the Great White, Orxon finally felt relieved and when he looked up he saw that Veerah had a similar look on her Kakama. Rurak though, had a somewhat different expression. Orxon could see on his face that while the captain was happy to have come out of this alive, there was something else as well. Exactly what his expression was off Orxon didn’t know, but he had a feeling that it had to do with Rurak’s first encounter with the Great White.
He couldn’t blame him; in fact he held a deep understanding for his friend. While of different reasons, they both wanted vengeance for something they had lost. Orxon for having lost his home and all his friends to, and Rurak for having lost his eye to the creature. He would have helped his friend without a single hesitation, if only Rurak had possessed a weapon that was not made to harpoon much smaller creatures.
He then swore to himself that as soon as he had gotten his vengeance on Narzhul, he would help Rurak enact his vengeance against the Great White.
“Hey Veerah, could you just check quickly if we’ve gotten any damage?” Rurak asked her.
“Of course!” she replied. She leaned over the railing to where the shark had lunged at their ship and made a quick check on the hull.
“It doesn’t seem to have taken any damage, at least not any major. What is this ship built by? Something that large should have made a big dent on a ship this size.”
“Well, let’s just say that I made some upgrades after my first encounter,” the captain replied, not wanting to go into any more details for some reason.
“Hey, wasn’t it very timely for the wind to pick up just as soon as the sail was set?” Orxon asked.
“Aye, it was, but the great sea works in…” he began, but was cut off by Veerah.
“Or we’re about to sail right into a storm!” she said and pointed towards the approaching clouds. As they got closer and closer, the sky went darker by the second. Soon the wind was howling loudly, and they could hear lightning strikes in the distant. It was almost eerily how quick this storm had appeared out of nowhere.
“Out of the frying pan and into the fire…” Rurak remarked, but they could barely hear him over the howling wind.
“We need to get out of this storm!” Orxon shouted in order to be heard.
“Aye, and in my experience the best way out of a storm is right through it!” Rurak said almost cheerfully.
“What, are you crazy?!” Veerah exclaimed.
“Crazy is my middle name,” the Matoran replied as a grin grew on his mask. “Now, I think the two of you should get back into the cabin, and make sure everything is tied up… well, at least everything that hasn’t already flown across the room…”
“What about you then?” Orxon asked.
“Don’t worry about me; I’ll get us out of here! Now go!” Without hesitation, the two Toa went to the cabin as quickly as they could. Before Orxon walked down the stairs, he looked up to make one final check on Rurak, who he saw was tying himself to the boat’s wheel. Undoubtedly this would stop him from getting washed overboard if a huge wave would hit them.
Once back in the cabin, both Orxon and Veerah made their best to tie everything up so every object wouldn’t start moving in case of a violent movement, and the things that had moved when the shark attacked were placed back where they had been before.
But once their task was fulfilled, there wasn’t anything else they could do other than to sit down and wait for Rurak to take the ship out of the storm. They sat close to each other, but neither said a word to each other. But eventually, Veerah broke the silence.
“Do you think that… he’s really going to get us out of the storm?”
“Yeah, I’m sure of it…” Orxon said, but even he wasn’t entirely sure.
“You don’t sound too convinced,” Veerah remarked.
“Well, I’ve never been out on the sea during a storm, but… if there's anyone that can sail through a storm like this, it’s definitely Rurak,” he said, while giving a slight smile of assurance. Veerah just nodded, and then they both went back to silence. Now they could only hope that their captain would indeed successfully manage to take them out of the storm alive.
“He has to,” Orxon thought to himself.