Months had passed and they had traveled along the circumference around the lake, but success still eluded them. What do we do now? He asked himself. He knew there was only one way, one which he feared to think, leave the haven and try further. He felt a pang of anxiety inside him. It would be a huge risk, to risk the food, the water, the shelter, the sun, the peace and enter the unknown. He was a scientist himself, apprentice though but still a scientist. How can he fear the unknown? he questioned himself. But it wasn't a matter of fringe benefit but a matter of life and death.
If the lands outside was barren he might die. They might come across some wild animal or a robot again and get killed. He sounded ridiculous to himself. Don't be a mouse! he shook his head with helplessness. He did not want to make that decision himself. Can someone do it for him? He looked at her. Aerial was sitting in lotus position beside him and the little sun rays that filtered through the veil of ash took shelter in her hair. How easy would be if he was a robot? He would not have to think of death. And he would not die with a shame of being coward.
They had traveled a lot in past months, he thought back. Despite the perilous path, they survived. Aeriel had been resourceful, he had food and warmth at night. Aerial, she is resourceful. But what if lose her? He would not survive a day..or a night. But why would he lose her and how? That couldn't be possible. She was with him all the time. She is solar chargeable. And it was not that the sun was dying any sooner. So what does he fear? He did not know.
"We should to travel" she said to him.
"No. We don't", he replied irritated. Why does she insist so much?
"We might find someone" she said matter of factly.
"You are a robot...You don't need someone. And about me, I don't care... I command you to stop here" he shouted on top of his voice. She stood silent. No, this is not right, he felt guilty and sighed. "I am sorry. I shouldn't have shouted like that", he said.
"So are we going?" She asked.
"No", he shouted again which sounded more like a cry. Furious at her defiance, he stamped his way where his feet took him. Past few nights he had dreamed, most of them leaving a bad taste in his mouth. Last night he dreamed again. He saw himself, alone, crawling in the mud of ashes. His body was bare and so thin that he looked more like a carcass, he shivered as the picture replayed before his eyes. He was afraid. Very afraid. Would it be wise? Aerial was the answer. Until he had her, he was safe...However...when he turned back, she was missing.
He marked the place and ran left and right, searched all around the place but she was nowhere to be found. She was gone. He had scared her away. Scared? Impossible! She was a robot! Yet she was gone and that was the truth. He was alone now. Alone. He waited. And waited. Till he fell asleep.