There was no noise in the desert. No revving engines, no gunfire. There was only the wind on the sand and the crackling of the fire. There wasn't a soul for miles, and that's how it was meant to be.
The voices still came to him, the visions, too. They were unlike any he'd had before. The long night on the war rig, the whispering of weary girls, and the blanket wrapped around Furiosa's shoulders. He was sure he could hear her shout "Fool!", and the echoes that followed. Max rubbed his hands together and held them in front of the flames.
No, there was nothing here.
He wasn't even sure how long it had been since he walked away. Every day blended into every night. He could have aged a year or ten years, and he'd never know the difference. There was no place for him in the Citadel, that he knew. There was no place for him anywhere.
No place, except for the war rig.
He slept, but it was still dark when he woke with the start. His fire was merely glowing embers and the first light of dawn was visible on the horizon, but made little difference. The engines were only in his dreams, weren't they? He sat up and turned in every possible direction. Had the Rock Riders followed him out this far?
The engines grew louder and Max wrapped his hand around the gun on his hip. There were only four bullets left.
Now, he could see it, the light from the impending motorcycles, but -- was it only one? He squinted into the light as it broke through the darkness. One, he could take down. And then he would have a bike.
He pulled out his gun and held it up. He was ready.
The bike stopped about ten yards away from him, and the engine kicked off, but the light remained on. He couldn't see the details of the shadowy rider. And then, "Put down your gun, Fool."
The light shut off and his eyes began to adjust once again to the darkness. "Furiosa?"
She climbed off the motorcycle and walked toward him. Her goggles were placed up on the top of her head, and her blanket, the same one given to her by the Vuvalini, was held securely in place with heavy pins. "You're a hard man to find."
He clenched his jaw as she approached him. She was so real, but he still couldn't be sure she was actually there. "Don't you have a world to run?"
"Toast and Capable have a world to run. It's what they were meant to do," Furiosa said. She paused and when he said nothing, she said, "Your fire's gone out."
"It's morning," he replied. The light of the sun was approaching quickly.
"Then we should eat." She pulled a rucksack out from beneath her blanket and sat down next to the fire. She stared up at him until he joined her. She dug into her bag and retrieved found a dried fruit and meat wrapped in a cloth.
The fruit leather was too sweet and the meat too salty, but Max ate it anyway. He drank deeply from the canteen of water she'd handed him.
"I couldn't stay there," she said after minutes of silence, "and I had nowhere left to go. Except you."
He looked up from his food, and she stared unflinchingly into his eyes. He felt something, but it had been so long since he had felt anything except pain that he didn't even know what it was.
"The motorbike can carry two," she continued. "If you're interested."
"Yeah," Max said. "It's good."
She smiled, but still gave away nothing. "Good."