Lowering his weapon, half-relieved not to be trying to pin a moving target at this range anymore, he scrambled to the helm. Steering the Maximum to where he saw them hit the water, he moved in close to see if there were any survivors. Power pistol already in hand in case— much as he hated to think it— Erix was the only one.
As he drew near the still-floating wreckage, as close as he dared, he waited for some kind of sign.
Just when he was starting to worry, he saw two shapes emerge near the edge of the debris. It took him only a moment to make out the form of Shades, who appeared to be hauling Max behind him. Apparently having to dive deep to help his friend. He could already tell Max was barely conscious, and Shades would need help getting him onboard.
Working together, the two of them hauled him up the rear ladder and onto the deck as carefully as they could. Max’s right arm was injured, and Shades feared it might be broken. They tried to lay him down on the bench seat so they could examine him more properly.
At first, Max insisted on sitting, looking anxiously seaward, fighting off the pain. Now that he and Shades had taken turns saving each other’s lives, he had no intention of losing it all at the last moment. Both Justin and Shades started at their own carelessness as they realized Max’s vigil was for Erix.
Whom both of them completely forgot about.
It wasn’t until after they watched for a good couple minutes without Erix turning up anywhere, that Max finally relaxed, succumbing to his own exhaustion. He looked over at Bandit, who had instinctively joined his vigil, and when his feline companion nudged up against him, Max reached out with his uninjured hand, mussing up the fur on top of his head. Max leaned back in the bench, at last unable to hold back the full extent of his injuries, his eyes flickering shut even as Sentry II pulled up alongside of the Maximum, and an Island Patrol medic came aboard.
“Relax, my friend,” Shades told him, putting one hand on Max’s shoulder and gently pushing him all the way up onto the bench. “You’ve earned it, man.”
That was the last part Max remembered before he passed out.