Second Variable

Close to noon the sun burst through the clouds in full force. I thought about what the lady said about her needing water and sunlight for her plants. Then I thought about how stupid I was for giving her my water. Not only was I without hydration, but my canteen was gone too. I should’ve at least kept my canteen.
But more than anything I couldn’t shake the realization that this robot beside me could have carried that woman with ease into the city where help might be found.
I stopped.
If I went back it would mean I’d surely have to spend another night on the plains, but I couldn’t talk myself into leaving her to die in the sun. I might go a bit mad without water, but nothing I haven’t endured before. In any case I could get my canteen back. So we turned and walked back.
The robot advised against it but I was firm.
But when we got to where we first met her, she had vanished. She was far too weak to travel any distance out of sight but she was simply gone, and in her place was the empty canteen- and just ahead of the canteen stood the most perplexing structure I had ever laid eyes on.
This was definitely not here before…
How? Water and sunlight?
We sat down at the base of the magnificent plant and decided it would be a good a place as any to stay the night. There was still a good four hours of sun to the day, but without water it was better to stay still and hope for a spurt of rain. This was good shade.
As the day drew on, I struggled to understand the phenomenon we rested under when suddenly I was hit on the head with a small, rounded object. It smelt sweet. I bit into its hollow core and out sprung a well of sugary water. And with that, a downpour of these fruits extracted from the top of the flower.
My three small birds hoped off of their nest on my backpack and took advantage of the feasting opportunity.
I immediately bundled as many as I could and put them in my bag. The robot did the same with her storage compartment and soon after I fell asleep soundly.
In the morning, upon packing as many fruits as we could carry, we headed out for what we hoped to finally be the last bit of walking before a long rest in the city…
It was a shame to leave this anomaly of nature, but it had given me enough sustenance to make it to the city. Only a few more hours of walking.

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