Eventually they came to a stockade of some kind.

It seemed to him that Asuka left them and went in, but he had no idea for how long. Time had stopped for him; all moments, past, present, and future, were the same as far as he was concerned. She reappeared, presumably after an interval, with three horses and a meagre supply of rations to enable them to continue their journey.

She didn't explain, and he could not have understood, that they had come to a settlement of survivors who had found ways of scratching a living from the remains. The settlers had helped out the travellers simply to enable them to be somewhere else when either rescue or capture caught up with them, in the hope that the settlement itself would not be noticed by Nerv or Wille - which they presumed would be the end for them.

He was on the back of a horse. Presumably Asuka had put him there. He'd never been on one before. He did nothing, and the horse moved, and was warm; and that was enough. He could see the other pilot on a horse as well. Presumably she had also never ridden horseback before, but she sat there with an air of accepting that people did this, and it worked, and there was nothing more to consider. Had Rei, his Rei, ever sat on a horse? Perhaps there had been an opportunity for her at school; but then, what did he really know of her? Had she also been a clone, like this other pilot? What would that mean? After all, his Rei wasn't like this other one. But what did it mean to be a clone? Were they human? Was he human himself? If he had spent fourteen years inside Unit-01, that was surely not anything a human could do - so what was he now?

They travelled on. He stayed alive, if this was life - he could no longer tell. The other pilot seemed to be more human than he himself. She silently followed Asuka's instructions, and led the horse that he couldn't conceive of controlling. But he still couldn't be sure what she was, really; he couldn't even be sure that Asuka herself was human, after what had happened to her so recently, as it seemed to him - but so many years ago in fact. He recalled that her eye seemed strange, even with the patch, but knew nothing more than that.

Thinking, if we may call it that, of eyes brought his mind round to Kaworu. Kaworu, whose eyes had looked deep into his soul and shown him trust. Kaworu, who had started to fill the void in his heart that the other one, so reminiscient of Rei, had failed to do. Was he starting to recognise some greater similarity between Kaworu and Rei, he wondered, and, the thought struck him, did that mean that perhaps Kaworu was a clone, if Rei had been? His heart quickened for a moment, but then he was overwhelmed again by despair - if there were to be another Kaworu, a clone, would that one be like... no, he couldn't bear that. Better not to think than to have thoughts like that.

They travelled on. It is not recorded whether he stayed on the horse himself, or whether the others had to keep putting him back up. It didn't matter to him.