She sighed and looked back one last time. "No you stay in your cave. I'll be fine."
He grinned. "You don't look it. What will you do if it rains?"
She turned to adjust her too large rucksack. "Find a different cave."
"I doubt you'll find a better one than mine, but good luck."
She had had to force herself not to turn back. It wasn't that she missed him as such, but after living in close quarters to someone you get used to certain things. "It's not safe anymore. Can't put him in danger. Mustn't." Her jaw was clenched in resolve. I must look scary as a Rottweiler. So why did she still feel shaky as a lamb? Two people alone wasn't much better. Was it? At least she had an entrance code now. She remembered what he had told her about the torus and the droids and the distant planet they came from. Were these weird space machines watching after her? Maybe they were aware she had stolen her mindcraft chip. Then again, they could be on her side. Maybe that was enough.
She'd hardly forgotten her urban roots, but now she dreaded discarding the cow hide cloak given to her by Rogan. It was better than the black duffel coat from before but too conspicuous, despite the wild bandits she'd seen roaming around. The duffel coat however, had long become a stove cleaning implement of Rogan's who had looked in disdain at her functionless garb. She began to regret this fact. She hugged the cloak around her against the bitter wind. Praying no-one would find her as she trudged along she strained to make out the way ahead.
Everything seemed abnormally bright and harsh, but there was a certain beauty in these barren surroundings; a haunting cacophony of ferns slowly unfurling; an interminable littering of broken bracken. To the right was a scree-ridden cliff edge. To the left a narrow stream and a steep hillside. There were no trees except for twisted blackthorns and gnarly haws. She would have to find somewhere to sleep soon. Rogan was right: she wouldn't find a better place than his.