Day One Thousand One Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed the furthest point of our path that we were able to see from last night’s summit. But that has made little difference to our progress today, due to the fact of very few branching paths.

What did slow us down, however, was the time we halted to investigate the flash and rumble of conflict far to the south.

We presume that the army of the East and that of the North were at one another’s throats.

What rooted us in place so long was curiosity over what the army of the world government would do, whose lines of defense were then in view to the east of our position.

When they did not budge, Elijah urged us on.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Thirty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We stayed atop one of those dead-ends last night. We were too tired and it was too dark to make our way back down.

So when the morning dawned clear and bright we had an uninterrupted view down the plain. The army of the North had pivoted towards Babylon and appeared to be preparing an assault in that direction or setting up to receive one.

I admit I stared upon the scene with fascination.

But Elijah did not allow us to linger long. The view of our route ahead was also clear, at least as long as we could carry the memory we thought we should be able to avoid the next few dead end paths.

And so it proved.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah made the decision. No discussion beforehand. Of course, neither Reuben nor I objected. Rather we were more than glad to comply. Because of what Reuben had told us, we turned our back on the path before us and headed back towards the bivouac of the army of the North.

Elijah had noted another path that branched off near there, so we took that path.

It wound higher into the hills. As we continued we always chose the forks that we judged would parallel our desired course, but avoid the approaches to Sy’s redoubt.

We met no opposition, no patrols. Not even any animals, wild or otherwise.

What did slow us down were those paths that dead ended atop hills.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our path as directed by Reuben guided us away from the plain for the morning hours. When we crossed back over the ridge the main body of the army of the North filled the plain. We took the main concentration centered on the side towards us to be the headquarters.

I asked Elijah if we were going to curse them per the wishes of the Supreme Commander.

He replied, “No. They are already cursed.”

With that Reuben hastened our pace to put some distance between us and them.

As they disappeared in our rear view, I could not help but wonder what our adversaries looked like up close. Were they the bloodthirsty barbarians of every report we had ever heard?

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Reuben skillfully tiptoed us around the lookout posts of the army of the North on these heights above the plain. However he did not know the routes nor schedules of their foot patrols, so we did have a couple of near collisions.

In the end I feel it was the hand of the Spirit that hid us from view. For I cannot fathom how otherwise one group failed to see us. They were headed down to a command outpost situated at the base of the hills, and should have been more attentive. Only one soldier at the rear of their column ever looked back. And I know, for one instant, he stared directly at me.

We pressed onwards silently rejoicing.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Stop and go all day, in effect slowing our progress greatly. Many units of reinforcements have crossed our line of march, forcing a halt. Sometimes for as long as an hour. The longer halts were occasioned by caravans of wounded returning from the front.

We then knew for certain that we were behind the lines of the army of the North. In one instance we were close enough to see the insignia on their vehicles.

The image of Moglen again haunted my thoughts in between times. When Elijah noticed my absence from the present, he called me back from my revery. I do believe that had I not responded immediately each time he would have rapped me with his staff.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Far to the west skirmishing between the two armies was ongoing throughout the day as we pushed into the plain.

We proceeded with caution. Our guess that we were behind the lines of the army of the North went unconfirmed, for thankfully we saw no one. Or more importantly – no one saw us.

The sounds of conflict dissipated the further we ventured into the expanse. Our confidence rising we picked up the pace.

Strangely after that my thoughts wandered and I found myself thinking about Moglen and Stan. I recoiled as though burned by just thinking the thought.

I told this to Elijah. He confessed to something similar. But added, “I am certain that they are thinking evil towards us.”

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Both Elijah and I agreed that today would be the day, and though we were prepared, we were not expecting deliverance in the quarter from which it came.

Tomas had returned and I confess my focus was totally on what he had to tell us.

He had neutralized the artillery quickly. Then he went beyond his assigned task and scouted the near elements of the army of the North.

As he described their configuration, a picture formed in my mind’s eye, and I saw Elijah and me easily trekking our way through to our destination.

Before I could even consider the “how” the Supreme Commander rolled in and asked if we could curse the army of the north for him.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It’s just the three of us now. But with Tomas constantly on the move, for all practical purposes, it is just Elijah and myself. And because the guards outnumber us every way we turn, I can’t help but feel a prisoner even though we can go anywhere we please.

Paramount to me is the timing for our departure. Elijah is less concerned. He is preoccupied with being ready to counter whatever designs Moglen and Stan have in store for us.

He thinks that as soon as they have the situation in hand as regards the army of the North, they will again turn their focus on this city.

Strange, it propels me to pray for those who aren’t with us.