The sun shone brightly over the raging sea. Waves rolled back and forth, churning up great mountains of foam in their wake. Titanic chunks of ice were battered relentlessly by the restless sea, thrown around as carelessly as if they were mere stones rather than big icebergs and ice sheets capable of causing an unwary whale or seal serious injury or even drowning. Beneath the white wilderness, a completely different clash of forces was under way. Letting out an echoing roar before charging, a male narwhal sped straight at its adversary with its horn pointing at a perfectly straight angle. The opponent, a very large orca, swiftly moved to one side and only felt a small graze on its side as the narwhal's horn brushed against it. Before the narwhal could turn to once more face his enemy, the orca had chomped down on the back of his neck. The narwhal tried in vain to shake the leviathan's grip, but the orca was relentless and merely held its prey there. Once all struggles of life had vanished, the orca released his grip on the narwhal and swam over to where the narwhal's pod was watching. Another orca had swam out of the gloom to snap up the body of the dead narwhal before it sank to the sea floor. This orca was smaller in size than the first one and had a few unusual physical features; on the tip of the dorsal fin there was a red patch and on its white eye patches there were black dots that from a distance looked like the animal's eyes. The curvature of the dorsal fin and the smaller size indicated that this orca was a female, very different looking from the beast which was now advancing slowly upon the narwhal pod. His dorsal fin stood as upright as a tower of coral in the seabed and his eyes, instead of being below his white eye patches as was the case with all other orcas, were inside the patches. His eyes were shining with coldness very similar to the environment in which he was swimming as he cast a hungry eye over the pod.
"Now that I have taken care of your podmaster," he rumbled lazily, "which one of you shall I pick off next? Cariu, perhaps you would like first pick of this afternoon's banquet?" The female orca swam over beside the male and gave him a gentle nuzzle before casting her own hungry eyes over the narwhals.
"Hmm, Okura, you always treat me so well," she sang lowly, "first feeding me an adult male from this pod and then letting me have first choice. I really can't decide, they all look so tempting." The narwhals looked back in contempt with hatred and defiance shining from their eyes as they were being looked over by the greedy orcas. One of them, a double-horned male, swam out of the throng to face the predators head on.
"You shall not claim anymore of us, cannibals," he rumbled loudly, "if you value your lives, you shall leave our waters and never return. We may be smaller in stature than you, but we have a way of dealing with trespassing barbarians such as yourselves." The male was hit hard by the orca male's tail fluke as a response. This knocked the male unconscious and then Okura swam closer to the narwhal pod, paying particular attention to the calves that were hiding in the centre of the adults. Before launching another attack, however, he turned around abruptly and swam back over to where his mate was waiting.
"Later, perhaps, we shall return to have our meal," he boomed, "but for now, I feel the need for an exhilarating swim after that kill. Enjoy your last hours of life, fish-biters, for soon we will be back and we shall eat our fill." With these words, Okura swam swiftly into the dark gloom of the polar seas with Cariu following closely behind. The narwhals wasted no time in speeding quickly away further into their home waters. Hearts pounding, they dived deep and followed an underwater ice wall for as far as it went before it reached the steep wall which signalled dry land at the top of it. Along this rocky wall the pod swam before finally reaching a cave which appeared to be covered in thick impenetrable ice. However, the narwhals lined up side by side, facing the wall and they all sang their songs long and loudly at the ice. After a short time, the ice faded away for the entrance to the cave to be revealed. Once inside, the narwhals followed the completely dark cave before reaching the main entrance hall inside. In the centre of the hall there was a brilliantly blue light shining. The cetaceans were drawn closer to the light and upon closer inspection; they saw that the light was coming from a tall and thin crystal. Inside the crystal there seemed to be something blue and yellow and this caused many of the adult narwhals to click and chortle with excitement. Lining up once again side by side, they surrounded the crystal and sang not just relentless sonar, but an ancient song in a forgotten language.
"Mighty leviathan, come forth, reveal your cleansing presence to us, your humble servants. Cleanse this world of its evil, restore our rightful place as rulers. Awaken, mighty one, awaken."
As the pod finished their collective song, a loud and thunderous roar filled the cave and caused some of the rocks to fall off the ceiling. The light in the centre of the hall grew brighter and brighter, causing the narwhals to close their eyes. Once the light had faded, the narwhal's opened their eyes and they were frozen to the spot with fear. Once more, a tremendous roar rang out and then from the darkness, squeals of pain and death began to fill the cavern. Blood filled the polar waters, as one by one, each of the narwhals was slaughtered by the very thing they had arrived there to release.
The orcas swam speedily beneath the ice sheets of the north, Okura constantly swimming beneath and then above Cariu. These were young transient orcas that had recently set out to start a pod of their own, unlike the majority of their kind. Both had the same hunger for travel and the hunt but also loved to remain aloof from their birth pods and simply see where the seas would take them next. Cariu's heart swelled as she cast an eye over her ever attentive mate, it was his strength in the hunt and his gentleness with her which had attracted him to the white-eyed orca. Knowing the pain of being ridiculed by other orcas, she was extremely happy to meet another who could relate to that incredible feeling of loneliness and isolation. Okura had indeed become hardened by his aggressive past where the other orcas of his pod made sure to victimise and discriminate against him because of his white eyes. He sought no company from any other orca and certainly had not invited the same in return. Until he had came across a marked female with black spots in her eye patches and a red patch on the tip of her dorsal fin. They had become one another's universe, their songs fitting together like a primeval jigsaw and uniting them in the most harmonious way. The love they showed one another was slowly beginning to overwrite the pain that they held in their pasts, it was showing them a happier time where they were no longer mocked for being different but simply allowed to exist.
"My love, are you sure you did not want to have first taste of those fish-biters?" Okura cooed softly as he nuzzled his mate.
"Okura, I was content after that first one you killed and left for me to eat," Cariu rumbled lovingly, "I was more than happy to join you for a leisurely swim in celebration of a great hunt. We truly have become masters of the seas, no other creature in these seas can match us for speed and aggression." The orcas slowly continued their swim, unaware they were being watch from below. Sweeping slowly directly beneath the orcas, a set of the palest and coldest blue eyes were fixed upon the orcas, waiting for the right moment to strike. Once the orcas stopped for a breath at a break in the thick surface ice, the unknown spectator made its move. Not knowing what hit them, Okura and Cariu were hit hard from behind and Okura found himself suspended in midair precariously. His eyes wide with fear of the unknown, he began thrashing around, aware vaguely of very sharp teeth digging into his sides as the set of jaws he was being levitated in closed with swift determination. Cariu could only look on helplessly, as she had been knocked clean out of the water and had landed on the pack ice. Singing desperately, her cries were quickly swallowed up by the air instead of being carried to her mate. Her eyes never once left those of the malevolent force which had Okura in its jaws. Its neck was as long and slender as that of a moray eel, but several times larger. The eyes were the palest and coldest shade of blue that Cariu had ever seen and it was an unusual mixture of blue and yellow in colour, with a blue background which had yellow stripes on it. Then, as suddenly as it attacked, the beast withdrew below the ice, taking Okura with it. Once beneath the waves, the animal relinquished its hold on the orca. Incensed at being attacked by this thing and also afraid of something much larger than he, Okura attacked in a blind rage. His jaws sank into the beast's head, but didn't do as much as a scratch. The animal let out a low roar in a manner which showed it was laughing contemptuously at the pathetic creature attacking it. In an act of frustration, Okura began singing in the loudest and most aggressive song he could manage.
"WHO ARE YOU TO LAUGH AT ME!" he roared, "I DON'T KNOW WHAT MANNER OF CREATURE YOU ARE, BUT YOU SHALL PAY FOR ATTACKING ME AND MY MATE!" Launching himself again at the monster, Okura was instantly sent back the way he came with one swift smack from one of the animal's enormous flippers. Feeling incredibly dazed, he stopped and looked at this unusual oddity; it was the size of a blue whale at least, with a dorsal fin and gill slits on its noticeable neck and it had a tail very similar to that of any cetacean. The beast appeared to have lost patience and rounded on the disgruntled orca. Before it addressed Okura, the monster knocked the pack ice so Cariu was sent sliding back into the water.
"Silly orca," the beast's voice, which revealed it to be female, was ancient, singing a long forgotten language which the orcas could just make out, "As you may have seen, you are no match for a force such as me. Had I known what orcas you and your mate are, I would surely not have attacked. I'm here to give you both one chance, otherwise I shall be forced to kill you and sate my incredible hunger." Cariu advanced to the monster, her body arched ready for a fight.
"And what is this chance, big one?" she growled in deep aggression, "Would you also care to share your name with us? It would be nice to know whom we are dealing with before we rip you to shreds." The monster threw her head back and once more roared in her way of laughing, this time much louder than before.
"I am giving you one chance to join with me," she rumbled, "I'm calling to my orca children, for they are the only singers in these seas capable of the aggression they were destined for. It is also this simple. Join me or die." Okura roared in frustration, advancing upon the gigantic beast once more and this time, he was greeted by her cavernous jaws. Before she could take a chunk out of him, the monster turned her head so one of her teeth sliced into his face up the left side, forever removing one of his eyes and causing the strong male to emit a terrible screeching song of pain. Swimming away from the male before once more addressing them, the monster's eyes had lost their simple coldness and now contained a look of the greatest evil either of the orcas had ever seen. Then, she roared with authority so they would never wonder her name again.
As the moon went on its many cycles, turning endlessly so that it was partially hidden by darkness and then its full spectral light filled the night sky, songs of a hidden evil travelled far and wide among the many singers of the sea. The inhabitants of the ocean were restless and very alert to the slightest possibility of danger; the songs told of a danger so vast and so menacing that it had disembowelled a blue whale with one bite and simply left the majority of the carcass to rot on the seabed. Even creatures incapable of song heard of the horrors among their kin and were taking more caution until they could establish whether this was truth or merely the fanciful talk of the warm-blooded swimmers. It was in this uncertain and dangerous time that a young bottlenose dolphin was to be found playing freely in warm sunlit waters off the shore of a sloping sandy beach. There were a few things that were rather unusual in this dolphin's behaviour and appearance; he was the usual slate grey colour that his kind was renowned for being, but upon his melon shone five star-like markings as brightly blue as the sky above his head. He was also hunting by driving the small fish he was chasing onto the beach, sliding up after them on his right side to catch them in his beak. Once back in the water, the dolphin swam further out where there was another singer waiting for him. This was not another bottlenose dolphin, but looked like an Irrawaddy dolphin. It was not in the best of condition, with severe gashes along its sides and the breaths it took were pained and laboured. It took the fish which the bottlenose offered to it gratefully and a striking feature of this animal was its pectoral fins; instead of being small and pointed like the others of its species, the fins on this individual were broad and elongated like flippers. Its colouration was slate grey similar to that of its bottlenose companion, but was broken up by streaks of emerald green which made it look more enchanting and beautiful. The bottlenose back finned a short way while his friend ate slowly.
"Take your rest here, sweet singer," he sang calmly, "you have nothing to fear while in my presence. What is your name, fair one?" The irrawaddy surfaced for another breath, having ate her fill of the fish caught for her, and resumed her previous position in front of the bottlenose.
"I appreciate your kindness, starbrow," her song revealed she was a female and it was soft and gentle, "my name is Sarastro and I come from waters very far from here. I was cast out of my pod as soon as I reached maturity; they saw my flippers and my unusual markings as a sign of danger and did not want to be associated with me longer than was necessary. I have been swimming for many cycles and sunrises, trying to find some sanctuary. You are the first singer I have encountered who has not cast me away." Her song while the most beautiful the young bottlenose had ever heard was also the most mournful and filled with sadness which made his heart heavy with woe.
"I too know the pain of isolation, Sarastro," he responded gently, "I am called Ecco and I have only recently left the sanctity of my pod. They too saw my stars to be something shameful and I no longer wanted to stay where I did not belong. You are more than welcome to swim with me for as long as you wish; we can offer one another company in these uncertain times. Have you heard the fearful songs of the silent killer?" Before Sarastro could respond, a loud shrill song came from far off to the west of where the dolphins were. Then, a large number of the resident spotted dolphins swam swiftly towards where Ecco and Sarastro were drifting. Although much larger than the spotted dolphins, they were knocked back and forth quite roughly by the panic-driven singers swimming for what seemed their lives. Blowing in frustration, Ecco finally smacked one of the singers with his beak and forced it to stop in its tracks.
"Singer! What are you and your kind trying so hard to escape!" he forced his voice to remain calm and civil, although he was very irritated by the relentless smacking and hitting as the spotted dolphins bashed and hit against him. The dolphin which had been stopped began singing hysterically.
"It's coming, it's coming, the silent death!" it was a young male, singing frantically, "Must flee, must flee, will surely slaughter all spotted ones!" With these words, the young singer pushed past Ecco and zoomed faster than the bottlenose had ever seen one of these singers swim. All too soon, the spotted dolphins stopped coming and there was a deathly silence in the sea around Ecco and Sarastro. Then, a song which sounded older than those the mighty blue whales sang and colder than those of the transient orcas filtered into the waters. All too soon, the friends found themselves face to face with a creature the like of which neither of them knew existed. The cold, emotionless aqua eyes seemed to bore straight through Ecco and Sarastro and as it sang, Ecco could not understand a note of its song. Sarastro on the other hand had begun to backfin quite rapidly and sang softly to Ecco;
"Marked ones, carriers of Delphineus! I shall enjoy every second of your demise!"