Day One Thousand Two Hundred Thirteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

During each of our turns on watch through the night, we observed the army passing by in the plain. And they ceased to throw out units to their flanks.

In the light of day we finally could ascertain that these troops belonged to the world government. Most looked fresh and ready for action, but there were a few that appeared wasted, just limping along. And those were prodded forward mercilessly. Prisoners.

The units left behind in ambush waited unmoving all day. We could see them for we knew where to look, but invisible, we were sure, to anyone below.

Their trap looks to be a failure. The end of the retreating army came in view with no one in pursuit.

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Day One Thousand Two Hundred Twelve #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas called everyone to his lookout point at midday. The sounds of conflict had reignited and movement could be seen on the horizon in the direction of Babylon.

It was soon apparent that we were observing a retreat. But a retreat of which army? The coalition of the armies of the North and East? Or that of the world government?

Whichever the case, the Captain estimated that this movement was not a rout, but rather a strategic repositioning. Units were breaking off and taking up positions on the high ground to each side.

I had a moment of consternation when I realized that our position might be desirable for their purposes.

But by evening they were well short of us.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

From the safety of a dense thicket Quasimo sent the drone aloft to join the stream passing near the Temple. The surroundings thereabouts were too exclusive and affluent for us to wander around.

The pictures sent back were inconclusive. The cages on the grounds all held animals – no sign of Mawuli.

Ordering the others to remain, Elijah and I, walked up to the Temple.

Ignored at first, that all changed when a passerby recognized Elijah and ran from us raising a hue and cry.

Stan’s image materialized at the gate and announced that the one we sought was now with his army and would do a good service for him.

Guards tried to seize us but we were whisked away.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A fine powder coated everything out of doors in the city. No one could identify it. So the unease of yesterday returned.

Elijah and I were kept quartered close to the Supreme Commander’s command center. Tomas stopped in and out throughout the day and gave us updates. He had been tasked to analyze the powder. Was it by design from the enemy?

He had a breakthrough come afternoon. The material in combination with another compound is highly combustible when water is present.

It made little sense until someone else realized the attack may be directed at the river coming into the city or the tanks fed by the desalination plants.

Thus the army must decide whether to evacuate or not.

Day One Thousand Seventy Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Sy and Mawuli did not return until this morning. Though we expected that they might be very late getting back, we did not think they would be gone the whole night.

So we were relieved and thankful for answered prayers when they rejoined us after a successful reconnaissance.

They mapped out a way ahead for us, but at present we will have to wait for the passage of the army of the world government.

By the fading of daylight we could just make out the rear of the government forces. And we judged that by night’s end they will be past our position. Then we will be free to move.

The Captain and I passed the time talking about Tomas.

Day One Thousand Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

From our observations of yesterday we formed a good notion of how we can cross the great plain ahead and follow in the wake of the army of the world government. We shall have to continue in the hills a bit longer in order to swing beyond the limits of the patrols sent out from the forces left behind.

Sy seconded the plan, for he knows of several wells along that arc that may provide water.

He accompanied Mawuli in the forward advance while we kept up the best we could.

I walked with Mei and we fell into a conversation about former times. The topic – her former position in the army of the East and where Lung might be.

Day One Thousand Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We stayed put today. For we awoke this morning to discover a sight that riveted our attention for the entire day.

A black mass lay across the landscape. A mass that teemed like the sea in restless movement. It was the army of the world government.

It was splitting. About a quarter of it was remaining at the mouth of the valley at its back. They were digging in and throwing up fortifications.

The much larger section was wheeling – unit by unit- and taking up the march to the east.

The Captain put forth the theory that the army of the East must be threatening Babylon and the world government must be going to its aid.

We are to follow.

Day One Thousand Fifty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Jordan had taken a long time to get his people into Galilee.  Months had passed hiding out from the army of the East, looking and praying for an opportunity and a way through the lines of that vast army. Finally they skirted around its northern flank, just before that direction was closed by another army coming from the North.

His tale, also told to Sy, is why the latter is reluctant to leave. He feels his destiny lies here.

So this morning we have agreed. Raj P will take Jordan and his people on to the hiding place. And Quasimo shall take Sy’s people there.

Sy shall remain with us, for his vision matches exactly the dream given to me.

Day Nine Hundred Seventy #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I knew before Elijah told me that we would be going out westward to check for the Purser and his band. It was all the more logical since they were originating from that quarter.

But first we saw the others off, counseling them to stay together until the staging yard for the tanker trucks. Elam and Magwich would continue on to the Galilee from there, and if the army’s presence doesn’t prevent it, Jezer and Reuben may be able to go on short runs in and around Damascus to check that area. Otherwise they’ll go on foot. Jezer knows what to do.

And we will be leaving the hiding place under the capable direction of Meesa and Mei and Quasimo.

Day Nine Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Jezer helped us out of the tank at a remote place in the wilderness. The guards in the other vehicles soon joined us. From here we’ll make our way to the hiding place, while our trio of rescuers return the tanker trucks.

Before parting Jezer took pains to caution us. There had been many less checkpoints than usual, so he fears they have been shifted, possibly athwart the route we would be taking. Or perhaps something more sinister was afoot.

Magwich asked and was allowed to accompany Raj G.

Reuben took to the trail, walking up front with Elijah and me. With his uniform and that of the other guards we could pass for an army or a police unit.