Day One Thousand One Hundred Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Each of us has divined our path going forward. Elam and Sy shall accompany the Captain on the ship. Mei, despite a curiosity to see the world from a ship at sea has opted to go with Quasimo’s cousin via the land route. But first she desires to have one more talk with her comrade Lung and has asked for Tomas’s help.

Mawuli, however, desires to go with Elijah and me. And we have not yet given him an answer. (Which will be a “no”).  Elijah wants him to hear the word from the Spirit.

Tomas yet remains the problem. He knows he must go but is intent on persuading the Supreme Commander to step down and go with him.

Day One Thousand Forty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed into the territory that lead to the village at the edge of the wilderness that surrounds our destination. Only at the sight of that town did I realize that we had not encountered the patrolling drones that plagued us on that former occasion.

I remarked on their absence to Elijah. Even as I did so we both knew the answer. They were needed elsewhere for a bigger military operation.

So too with the village. It was deserted. And there, signs were evident of abandoned encampments at both ends of the town. Neither of which had been there the last time we were in the vicinity.

We stopped to rest in the town square, then took up our march.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As for Elijah, there was no question over the decision. We were out here and very close to turning up another missing group. And that was the bedrock of his thinking.

Jezer expressed surprise over this decision given the concrete evidence for one versus the scant evidence of the wheel tracks for the other. Even when he added that rumors were afloat that the group in prison was facing capital charges, did nothing to budge Elijah off of his decision.

I was torn seeing the value behind both arguments. So I counseled to wait and pray for direction. My two friends concurred.

Thus we waited, prayed, and watched. And this morning we saw our answer – a tanker truck lumbering along.

Day Eight Hundred Fifty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Jezer bid us farewell in the late morning. Charming as ever despite his failure to strike a deal or two. He took the eastward road, saying that he was headed for Damascus. It was the first we knew that we were further west than we had supposed, which meant our final destination lay somewhere north of us.

But the mention of Damascus resonated in my being. And lingered. So much so that I  asked Elijah if that was the waypoint through which we must pass before ending in Jerusalem.

His answer in the affirmative went a long way in explaining his former reticence. I would not have wanted to go there either. For it has been long under the mark.

Day Six Hundred Seventy Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Of course I had lots of questions for Elijah. But he would not answer any of them. He said we needed to save our breath.

We headed north on the far side of the river course and walked all night. I kept my peace and my questions to myself.

We took a roundabout route to the place he had stashed the Captain and Tomas.

With the new day came a new excuse about answering my questions. Elijah thought it best to wait until we rejoined our friends.  He didn’t want to retell it over and over.

They had seen the aerial display as it happened and asked my burning question – why not destroy the army too?

His answer – “Not yet.”

Day Six Hundred Sixteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

From an early hour, Elijah was wrestling with the decision of what to do next. None of us could help him, for each of us had a different and conflicting answer. He listened readily enough, but shook his head at each suggestion.

But probably most surprising of all has been his decision to reverse himself about going to Mr. Kagi’s uncle on the other side of the city. Both the Captain and Tomas reacted as though Elijah had lost his senses. The Captain’s ire in particular has been awakened.

I stepped forward as peacemaker and pointed out that we do not yet need to take any action and that it is in our best interest not to at this time.

Day Five Hundred Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We met with the Captain to ask if he might have any medical supplies from the ship’s stores to spare for the sufferers at the city hospital. He was generous in response.

For his part he wanted to know what our future plans might be. He felt his business should be concluded by the end of the week. And would we be shipping out with him again or not?

We were not prepared to give an answer right then, but promised a reply before the deadline.

Tomas gathered the supplies and released G from his duties to accompany us.

Upon our return to the hospital Elijah insisted that we be allowed to enter for we intended to spend the night.

Day Four Hundred Eighty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

After our night in the shallow cave, we had to climb to higher ground in order to gain access to the road again. Standing water in the wake of the storm left the road inaccessible at the lower levels.

Elijah thinks it may take a month or more to reach the other coast. This gave me pause. Would we be able to rejoin the ship again if it took that long?

Elijah knew the answer, of course. The Captain had confided to him the ship was due for a lengthy refit at a shipyard when finished with their deliveries on that side.

We may very well arrive before the ship is prepared for the next leg of their voyage.

Day Four Hundred Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah won’t be dissuaded. He plans to go on shore at the earliest opportunity.

Our ship has been waiting in the roads all day. The Captain has been giving the authorities a series of excuses as to why we haven’t left yet. Any longer and their patience will be used up.

Neither of us can swim that far, and Elijah doesn’t want to show off by walking in from here.

Tomas thinks our only option would be to go on to the next port and perhaps we will be allowed to land there.

Elijah and I drew apart to discuss that option. Neither one of us felt that was the answer.
We climbed to the highest point on the ship.

Day Four Hundred Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The end of the salt flat is in sight. And so is the first hint of what is most likely the goal of our recent wanderings. In this long day Elijah has used the time more wisely than me – fasting both food and conversation. His attention has been elsewhere.

I have been chatty, voicing my thoughts out loud, though not really expecting an answer in reply. I can look at my friend and for the most part know what he is thinking. And for sure l know what his answer would be to my rather rhetorical questions.

Now we are stopped for the night, Elijah has ended his fast and declares to me that we will see the Purser tomorrow.