”Please take a seat! I have some hot beverages that I cooked up just before you arrived.”
The Toa took their seats and waited for the Turaga to bring the beverages. She didn’t tell them what it was, and when she put the cups on a table before them Orxon thought it looked odd. He politely thanked and took a sip, but almost spat it out from his mouth. It was too strong for his liking, and although he tried to hide his expression Veerah noticed it and decided to not drink from her cup.
Once the Turaga of Water had taken her seat, she looked expectedly at her two visitors. An awkward silence erupted due to the dissonance between the Turaga who already knew they were coming, and the Toa that had no idea what was going to happen.
Finally, Orxon cleared his throat.
“So, um… why don’t we start with… who you are?” he asked.
“My name is Vilah, but some have called me the Seer, and I’m the sole inhabitant on this island. My people… well, I shouldn’t bother you with my troubles, but I’m all that is left on this island. Except for the Rahi, of course. But you are not here to listen on the ramblings of an old Turaga; you merely want some help to get off this island, am I right?”
“How… did you know we were shipwrecked?” Veerah asked the Turaga.
“If not because I saw it in a vision granted by the Great Spirit, then I would have known since it’s the only reason this island gets any visitors these days.” Orxon noted that Veerah rolled with her eyes slightly when Vilah mentioned the Great Spirit, which seemed odd to him.
The Turaga also seemed to have noticed this.
“My dear, I am sorry that your faith in the Great Spirit has dwindled, and I can’t blame you for that. No child of the Great Spirit should have to go through what you have.”
Veerah just looked at the Turaga with her mouth gaping, failing to muster a single word.
“Did… did the Great Spirit tell you that too?” Orxon asked instead of Veerah.
“No,” the Turaga answered while shaking her head. “The Great Spirit may tell me of times to come, but as for what has already happened… Well, all I can say is that when you have lived for as long as I have, you start to recognize some eyes.”
“Recognizing eyes?” Orxon asked confused.
“Yes, the eyes of a being can tell you so much about them for anyone who knows how to read them. They’re like an open book, except very few beings know how to read it.” Vilah rose from her chair and walked close to Orxon and looked right into his eyes, which made him nervous.
“When I look into your eyes, I see someone that has lost everything he once held dear and wants to have justice served on the one who killed your friends. I see someone that has spilled more blood than he would like to admit. And I see someone that is torn between accomplishing his personal quest or following his…”
Orxon had been so shocked at the Turaga gathering his deepest thoughts just by looking into his eyes, that he didn’t noticed he had dropped his cup before it hit the ground. It brought him and the Turaga back to the reality, as Orxon mentally face palmed himself.
“I sincerely apologize,” he said.
“No need to apologize, my dear,” the Turaga replied as she gave him a piece of cloth to wipe the floor clean.
“Anyways, you needed some help to get off this island?”
“Correct, we crashed with our ship and need some repair tools. You don’t happen to have any?” Orxon asked.
“Of course, I should have some tools lying around here somewhere. At this rate, maybe I should start charging for repairs, don’t you think?”
“I… suppose so,” Orxon said.
“Well, I don’t really have any use of widgets anyway, and besides, it would be against the will of the Great Spirit if I started acting for my own interests,” the old Turaga mumbled while looking for the tools. Eventually she brought the tools to them, and they left with the promise to return with the tools once they had finished repairing the ship.
As they traveled the way back, Orxon couldn’t help but think back to what the Turaga had said when she had looked into his eyes. While she hadn’t finished her reading of his eyes, he had a pretty good idea what she was about to say.
“The Turaga…what did she mean when she said that you were torn between accomplishing your personal quest and following your… what exactly?” Veerah suddenly spoke.
Orxon was quiet for a while, as he tried to figure out what he should say. Should he tell her the truth about his inner conflict and what he truly felt about her? Or should he lie to her? Neither option was comfortable to him, as he couldn’t muster to spill out his deepest thoughts to her, yet he knew he couldn’t lie to her.
She walked up to him and put her hand on his shoulder, which made him completely stop.
“Look, I get it if you don’t want to share whatever she saw in you, and especially at this moment. You don’t have to say it, but I just want to let you know that… The way you have been there for me, despite the fact we first met just a few days ago is something I can’t thank you enough for. I just want you to know that I’ll be there for you the same way you’ve been there for me.”
He took a long look at his friend.
“You’re right that I don’t feel ready to tell you about it, not now at least. But… thanks. I appreciate your kind words, I really do.” He said as he gave her a quick smile, but he couldn’t muster to keep up the appearance for very long. She seemed to understand this though, as they continued walking along.
The rest of the trip back to the ship was a silent one, as the Toa both seemed to mull about their past once again. When they returned to Rurak and the ship, the Matoran had taken just one look at them to see that something was not right.
“What’s with the long faces? Lost a bet against an Ash Bear?” Rurak asked. Orxon told him of the Turaga they had met, and upon hearing the full story Rurak seemed to drop his usual smirk.
“I see… I’ve heard a story about some kind of being living alone on an island that could read the past and the future, but... I didn’t think much about it. It’s best to just forget about it and move on. I know I don’t have much of a tragic past myself, so I can’t possibly imagine what it’s like to carry such a burden, but dwelling on your past won’t do you any good, nor will thinking about the future. Let’s just get back to repairing the ship and take our minds neither on the past nor the future, but rather on the present.”
Rurak was not a being you usually went to for a motivational speech, but sometimes his word brought some much-needed wisdom. He was right, because now they had to focus on the present if they were to leave this island, and eventually reach the end of Orxon’s quest for vengeance.
As the sun was setting, the trio had finally managed to mostly repair the ship. A few more things had to be fixed and checked, but since they didn’t need the tools provided by Vilah any longer, Orxon had offered to return those while Veerah and Rurak stayed with the ship.
The main reason Orxon had volunteered to return the tools were however of a different nature, as he suspected the old Turaga was the only one who could answer a question he did not know who else to ask.
When he finally arrived at the Turaga’s hut, the stars had started appearing on the sky. As he walked up to the door, Vilah opened the door before he could even knock, and he presumed she had already known when he would return.
“Thank you again for the tools,” he said as he returned them to her.
“I’m glad to see you managed to repair your ship, but I take it you’re here for a different reason?” Orxon had presumed right that she already knew a being’s real intention.
“Yes,” he admitted, “there’s something that’s been on my mind which… well, I just don’t know who to ask of this.”
“Why don’t you start from the beginning, and I’ll see what I can make from it.”
Orxon then told her about how he was seeking revenge for Narzhul after he killed everyone on his island, which seemingly was the cause for the recurrent dream he had had for the last year. The dream where he was fighting against some unknown being and was losing, and how he heard someone scream his name, yet everything felt very vague.
“And then, the last time I had this dream it was… the same yet it was different. Suddenly all those vague details that I didn’t make any sense of appeared crystal clear. That the mysterious being turned out to be Narzhul I suspected all along, but the fact that Veerah’s voice was in my dream long before I even met her… I just don’t know what to make of it.”
There was silence as Vilah looked thoughtfully, until Orxon spoke again.
“I don’t know, is this some kind of vision or have I just turned into a cross wired freak?” he asked.
“Well, I can tell you right away that there is nothing wrong with you,” Vilah replied. “You could be having visions of the future, or at the very least a possible future. Or maybe it’s just your deepest fear coming up to you when you are unable to suppress it in your sleep. But no matter if it’s a message from the Great Spirit himself or not, I’m pretty sure you understand what this message brings you.”
Orxon was in deep thought as he processed what she said, feeling both more confused and clear in his mind at the same time. He still had no idea what made him dream the same dream repeatedly, but at least he now knew what it really meant.
“So… my destiny is to… die?” he asked. Vilah looked thoughtfully before answering his question.
“If that is the message you get from your dreams, then… yes, that is how your journey is very likely to end.” Orxon sighed, as deep down he had always known that it was going to happen.
However, he had already pretty much accepted this path. To him, any thoughts of what was going to happen once he had confronted Narzhul simply didn’t exist. After all, they always said that if you were going for revenge, you should dig two graves.
“And I presume that is where the heart of your conflict lies, am I right?” Vilah asked. Orxon looked up from his thoughts, and then nodded.
“Yes… Had I known this just a few days ago, I probably would have shrugged and just accepted it. I knew what I was getting myself into, I’m not a fool. But now, I… I’ve started to question my quest for vengeance,” he said.
“Because of your love for your friend?” He nodded in response.
“And yet,” he continued, “I know I can’t let the Makuta just go… I know killing him won’t bring back my friends and my home, but all the lives I’ve taken throughout the journey… I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully live with myself for that, but if it all was for nothing… I just… I just wish I had taken a different path, or if there was another way…”
“What if I told you, that there might be another way?” Vilah asked the Toa of Gravity, who seemed to spill out his deepest thoughts like they had been very old friends.
“What do you mean?” Orxon asked, as a confused yet hopeful look spread across his mask.
“Vengeance isn’t just about a life for a life, although it is for most beings. However, most beings don’t consider that sometimes, there are more hurtful things than death. If you kill Narzhul, what have you really accomplished? Most likely not much. But what if you take out his army, destroy it, and make sure he will never be able to use such a force again? I would imagine that deals a much higher blow than simply killing him.”
“Besides,” she continued, “your island was not the first one to be destroyed by that army, and it will certainly not be the last.” As she said those words, a sigh of sadness left her. Orxon thought for a moment or two, until he realized it.
“Did… did that army came to your island as well?” he asked the old Turaga, who nodded in response.
“In many ways, my island was just like yours. Remote and isolated from the main islands of this world, just minding its own business. But one day the Makuta came, leading an army of mechanical beings to destroy all the life that the Great Spirit had created and held so dear. How I managed to survive I don’t know, but I’m all that is left of this island’s population.”
“I don’t know the true purpose of this army, as it has only destroyed two islands that shared nothing in common. There’s no sign for a grand master plan, it’s just random occurrences at random times.”
“Wait a second,” Orxon said as something clicked in his mind. “What if this is some sort of a prelude of things to come? As you said there are no relation to our islands, and as far as I’m aware there doesn’t seem to be any strategic importance for them either. They were destroyed, not conquered! What if… What if this is just a… test, of some sorts. A test to see what these… beings are capable of. A test to see any potential problems, so it can be fixed until… until a full-scale invasion!”
“I think you are on to something,” Vilah said. “I had suspected all along that there was more to this. What will be invaded I don’t know for certain, but I believe that it will affect all of us.”
“But if that is the case, then… then I can’t back down from this!” Orxon said.
“There is always a choice, but you are correct. If you don’t continue with the journey you have started, there is a great consequence. Your journey may have started as an act of revenge, but I think you have realized that you are to serve a greater purpose than you imagined.”
“If I… we, are right about this, then I need to find out where this army comes from and destroy it… But how I can accomplish such a task alone? I don’t even know where to start looking!”
The Turaga put a hand on Orxon’s shoulder before she answered him.
“First of all, you are not alone. You have your friends with you. And I dare say that you may have the will of the Great Spirit behind you, even with all the things that you have done in the past. As for your other point, don’t you have something that might help in that regard?”
Orxon was confused for a bit, until he realized she had meant the head of the being he had kept. He hadn’t even been aware that he was still carrying this head with him. He brought the head out and gave it to the Turaga, who inspected it thoroughly.
“Ah, I should have expected as much,” she said after a few seconds. “It seems to me that these beings are created by an extremally rare material, and there are only a few locations where these materials can be found. There is an island not far from here, which used to be unpopulated, where you will find the materials… and maybe where you will find where the beings are being created.”
“It will end where it all began…” Orxon murmured.
“I’m sorry, I don’t think I understand what you mean.”
“It was something that the Makuta had passed on to the… the last being I killed, a message for me. I thought it meant that it would end back on Kastra Nui, but… is it possible he could have meant the place where he had created his army?”
“Perhaps, perhaps not. It’s possible he could have foretold that you would find the birthplace of his army, but one has to wonder if that really is part of his plan.”
“It doesn’t matter anyway, I can’t even begin to thank you for… everything. You have given me something that I haven’t truly felt in a long time, something I never thought I would ever feel again,” Orxon said.
“And what is that, my dear?” Vilah asked.