Waterworlds: Dive into Oryx – Home of the Orca

My ship hovers just above an undulating blue expanse.
Oryx, waterworld of the Cataclysm-changed orca, stretches to the horizon in all directions.
“This is it?” I ask the ship’s spirit.
“Yes, this is where you meet them.”
“But there’s nothing here.”
“There’s a shallow ocean shelf right under us.”
Hesitantly, I push through the ship’s skin. My boots sink ankle-deep. I’m standing on slimy rocks alive with coral and seaweed. Tiny fish dart away from me.
I take a deep breath. There are subtle shifts of wind on my skin. The air is alive, not canned like on the asteroids.
I look across the ruffled water to the curve of the horizon. This place is mind-blowing.
My attention flicks in front of me as bubbles break the surface.
A glossy black head rises with water streaming from it. An orca in battle armor towers over me, holding a morphium spear.
“You’re the smuggler?” his black lips peel back from conical white teeth.
I nod, aware of my plasma pistols if I need to make a fast getaway.
“Here,” he whistles and clicks, massive black fingers opening with a small disk. “Put it on your shield generator, and it’ll turn the carbon nanotubes into a filter to get air from the water.”
I take it thinking, what if it’s a trick? But the amount of credits I will make has me hesitantly touch it to my shield generator disk on my belt buckle.
“Come,” the orca says.
With slow steps, I move forward.
“Careful, there’s a three-hundred-foot-deep trench off the shelf,” the orca clicks. “I’m betting you don’t know how to swim coming from the frontier asteroids?”
I don’t answer, splashing forward. One foot sinks into the depths, and I pull back from the abyss.
“Relax,” the orca whistles. “Your shield now makes you buoyant or sink. You can control your descent with your gauntlet mind-link.”
Blazar it, I think, and step off.
Blue, mineral-rich water envelopes me. I look up at the undulating reflective surface above, moving further and further away.
The orca sinks alongside me. Its little black eyes watch me through the bubbles flowing over my shield.
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Who knows when we’ll visit this place in the Zantium Wars canon? Whenever it is, I’m stardam right there!