Day Nine Hundred Twenty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain provided the signal to the timing for our departure. I am thankful for it – not only for the confirmation itself and the confidence it provides, but also for the sense of belonging that it gave to my friend. I rejoice with him that he was chosen to aid the fellowship for this important step.

Both he and Tomas will provide valuable leadership in our absence.

We gathered them with Meesa and Mei for a conference in advance of our expected leaving tomorrow. Meesa will continue in overall charge. And Elijah had very specific instructions for the others to support her in seeing to the well being of the community.

Then all gathered around to pray for our mission.

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Day Nine Hundred Twenty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Harmony crowns our community again. Meesa and Mei have implemented procedures that will hopefully handle any future disputes. Elijah will only be called upon to settle the more thorny ones. A development most welcome to my friend.

I had updated him when he emerged from intercession this morning. At the same time he alerted me that our next expedition is close at hand. And told me to make preparations for an extended absence from here.

This I told him I would do, but I also reminded him that we should time our departure for after the return of one or both of the other search parties.

His reply astonished me. He concurred, but only if that luxury remained to us.

Day Nine Hundred Twelve #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah kept his restriction in place. No one was to go out to look for Jezer but myself and Elijah. Even Quasimo was instructed to stay inside. No drone flying for him.

I had reclaimed that responsibility on this instance.

Before going out, Elijah settled the question over who would be in overall command in his absence. He appointed Meesa to be the servant of the people.

All the other potential candidates lent her their support. As I knew they would.

Once outside, I launched the drone and set about the task of locating our friend with the phony mark. Elijah promised that we would not return without him.

It was soon apparent it might be longer than anyone thought.

Day Seven Hundred Forty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

When we reached Mei, Lung estimated that she had slipped deeper into the crevasse since his absence.

We could see the problem right off. Her wedged backpack was pulling her down, even as the crack opened more.

Tomas wasted no time and descended to her. An agony of minutes passed before he could free her from the dead weight. But as soon as he did, we pulled them both up.

We had no respite to savor the moment, for Mei urged us to depart immediately. That whole section of the glacier she felt was in danger of collapse.

So we ended up back with Elijah and the Captain today.

We had to restrain Lung from returning back down the mountain.

Day Seven Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas had been making as many trips back down the trail as forward. A fact that had not escaped Elijah’s notice.

Tomas just returned from a long absence in the rear and Elijah stopped him before he could set off into the advance again. Instead he dispatched him to trace our path all the way back to wherever Lung and Mei may be.

I accompanied him. And Elijah and the Captain set up camp to wait.

We came to the brook, a torrent of rushing water. And there ran into Lung descending off of the mountain. He begged us to return with him to help rescue Mei. She had slipped into a crevasse they had opened accidentally with the flamethrower.

Day Seven Hundred Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It took quite some time to clear away the obstructions. An engineering unit was brought up for the heavy lifting to that end. Until they arrived the leaders of this unit set down the best path for the endeavor.

This left us with a lot of free time. Elijah suggested that we all fast. We agreed.

Our non-eating went unnoticed among our army companions until our absence at evening mess.

It created no little stir.

We were each interrogated about what we were not doing. Something about this behavior unsettled them, making them very suspicious. And in a way I believe they somehow intuited the power that lies behind it.

I finally convinced them they had nothing to fear.

Day Six Hundred Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Although Elijah and I were dismayed over the absence of Tomas, the Captain was beside himself with worry. Even the reminder that neither could perish outside the presence of the other, failed to alleviate his despair.

Finally, I persuaded the Captain that inaction was not an option and got us moving again. We would continue to keep on task by chasing after the army.

I had to rein my friend in a couple of times when we came across paths that Tomas may have taken.

The Captain gave in to our bidding, but only after insisting that we leave an indication of our passage in order to prevent Tomas from heading in the wrong direction should he return that way.

Day Six Hundred Twenty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The road has disappeared under the sands of a desert. This fact has gone a long way to explain the absence of an army on the march behind us. They must have taken another route.

We stood there briefly to consider our options. The Captain and Tomas volunteered to continue on upon whatever track there might be ahead. Elijah set a time limit for their foray, and at its expiration they were to return here.

Elijah and I found a cooler spot and there turned our attentions to things of the Spirit.

By the time of their return we were all in agreement that our way ahead lay through the desert.

They had found a well on a caravan route.

Day Five Hundred Ninety Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Despite our entreaties to the Captain and Tomas to stay out of the city, they left the safety of this place for that very destination. The Captain in particular was miffed that we had done the very thing we were denying them.

In the end Elijah extracted a promise from them to return before sundown.

While they were gone we had a visit from a neighbor. He, like Mr. Kagi and his friend, is an exile from the islands. He is very bitter about his loss, and felt comfortable in our presence to vilify Stan the one who had taken everything from him.

Our neighbor departed with the setting sun. And our concern grew at the absence of our friends.

Day Five Hundred Ninety Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Fog has settled over the area and unlike with the mysterious darkness, we know there is a sun somewhere up there. This, however, has not led to a change in attitude on the part of the denizens towards us.

The Captain went ashore (Mr. Kagi in tow) to initiate the handover of the ship.

In their absence, a robotic warship paid a call. And Tomas directed the transfer of the two deck containers to that craft.

The silence surrounding it was simply eerie.

Upon the return of Mr. Kagi and the Captain, we learned the fate of the ship. About the time we finish unloading Mr. Kagi’s possessions tomorrow, the global transport service official will arrive here to assume command.