mad max!

Jun. 12th, 2015 09:14 pm
jaebility: (zelda // battle)
[personal profile] jaebility
He goes back for a car. The bike the Citadel gives him is... fine - it roars under him like it reads his thoughts - but he wants more wheels, an engine he can slid under, a roof to get the damned sun off his face. So Max goes back, the third time on the same trail. For a car, he thinks like a mantra, for a car.

There's no storm and there are no armies, so he makes good time and before long the cliffs rise out of the sand like they were waiting for him. And smoke that gets in under goggles and through the bandanna, but Max doesn't slow down even when his breaths start to burn. Nothing's chasing him this time - at least, nothing that's still alive - and there's no reason for him to ride the bike hard and fast enough that the engine burns along, too. He could've stayed at the Citadel - they would have let him, and maybe even wanted him to - or he could've found some place in the desert, waited out a few days until whatever War Boys had survived had crawled off to die someplace else.

He needed a car - that was his reason. The smoke was a signal all right, and the other gangs would be coming to take their own bite of the war party's remains. So he'd left as soon as they'd arrived. He'd come to get what they owed him, what he'd started with.

Max slows down at last, giving the disaster a wide enough berth. Everyone could be dead, he considers, but Max has never been a positive thinker so he reaches down to touch the two guns at his hips, pulls one out. He has a shotgun on his back like a second spine and a rifle behind him, strapped over his water. He slows down bu doesn't kill the engine, just quiets it enough to listen - And wait, and wait, while the fire crackles and eats guzzoline, and metal shrieks as it bends.

Even from his distance it's easy to see how it happened: the rig came through and the Doof Warrior's stage crashed in behind it, and the trailer took down the rocks and the sand, and anyone else too close to brake. He finally turns off the engine, even scratches behind his ear to show what a good target he is, but there's nothing in the smoke.

"Max!" says a voice that he shouldn't be hearing. They'd been quiet for once, or maybe the noise of the chase had blotted them out, and although he tells himself that he shouldn't be surprised that his ghosts haven't been purged, he still feels sick and damp from it, slick with sweat that doesn't evaporate despite the heat.

He climbs off the bike and takes the rifle, but there's nothing threatening enough for a bullet. Just rock and sand, fire and smoke. He makes himself study Furiosa's rig, then forces himself to consider if it's worth saving. No real conclusion there, some good reasons to save it, some good reasons to keep going, but either the ghosts start pushing or his feet don't listen to reason, because Max keeps walking up to it.

"Why'd you leave, Max?"

"So I could come back," he says to the blood on the ground.

A ghost hisses at that. It might just be the sand as it pours from one end of the world to the other, but Max thinks that it's too deliberate to be accidental. It's the ghosts again, digging out from where he'd buried them. He's better prepared for them now, though, and Max digs his boots in to keep himself from running.

"Why, Max? Die die die - we died, Max. You should be dead too!"

He shrugs under his coat. "I will be."

"Not soon enough!"

Furiosa'd built the rig good, damn good, built it strong enough to survive the apocalypse all over again. Max ducks down to peer at the metal skeleton of it, bent but not ruined. The whole top of the machine was gone, but it had allowed sand to get in, smothering the flames. it was luck, or maybe it wasn't - Max can't tell and he isn't going to start laying bets.

"Why don't you die?"

"She decides, she witnesses. I did it for her, for them, for her, even though it hurts. s it supposed to hurt this much?"

"I don't know," Max says and almost dislocated Nux's arm as he pulls the War Boy out.
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a jar of jae

November 2016


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