Rivia turned to look at him, pausing for a moment, then her eyes went wide, "Oh, my..." She rushes over to him, "Elewa! Your alive! Thank the heavens, I was so worried about you."He stared at her dumbly, his brain still adjusting the idea of 'Hey, other people who are real. Whose voices don't cut through your mind like shards of broken mirror, reflecting their thoughts and words into your cells and changing your being. Hey. Hey... yo, this is new...'
Still, damp from his dunking in the lake, he shook his head to clear his thoughts. She offered him food and water but felt like... he didn't really need them anymore. I mean, a sandwich would be nice but it wasn't like... a need anymore. His body switched slightly and for an instant the dark outline was visible around his form.
Oh yeah, the not... human any more... thing. Yeah. Right, that... yeah.
Then Tabia spoke, answering his question.
A month. An entire month.
A lot of that time was unaccounted for. He had the curious sense of waking from a dream that had been going on much longer than he knew and now it all didn't seem real. He resisted the urge to look up and see if the colossal cloud formations of his father, brother and sister were still walking behind him. The oncoming storm, the monsoon, the silence in the rain as he had whispered to Kara.
A whole month.
He wasn't smiling. That was no longer his default expression. His features seemed harder, sharper somehow. Elewa Ballo was a serious man now, much less soft and easy-going.
"Well... it was... a long walk..." he said slowly to Tabia before turning back to Max. He
"No food... well... it'd be nice but... I don't tink dat I really need it no more y'know? S'been a long walk... lot of jabber jabber talking in my ears and... it was hot and I can... I tink I can like... walk on nothing now. Dat cool. But... yeah..."
His memory twitched as it struggled for a name. Sandwich, that much was accurate, she'd confirmed that much. He was worried that he might have to ask... well, less worried than he would have been in the past... somehow after going mad and all that walking, he didn't seem to much care about how he came across to people any more. Huh. That was new. But he was probably going to have to ask her; it wouldn't do to call someone by a nickname, however endearing, just because you didn't actually know their actual name.
But then it came. A burst of old memory. From the time before the heat and light of the desert.
A face, slightly nervous, but nonetheless extremely beautiful, framed by tresses of brown hair, looking at him with a certain amount of trepidation mixed with relief.
"Hello, I am Maxana. I apologize for not speaking sooner, but I was famished."
Maxana! That was it! It was her, the girl with the sandwich was Maxana. Maxana. Sandwich. Yes... fuck! That was her!
"So... where ya been Max...?" he said vaguely. He figured the ship had taken them somewhere. Wonder where.