Day Seven Hundred Forty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our attention was driven to another topic today – the cold. We are so thankful for the extra clothing that the Supreme Commander had ordered for us. We kept moving as the best means to combat it, lingering long in those areas we could stay out of the wind.

From each respite we pushed on in silence. Something easy to do, for we wrapped our heads, covering our mouths.

I had a lot of time to think as we went along. I have a growing burden – to talk with Mei, and relay to her some small insights that should help her through the days ahead.

I am thankful for this time to formulate my ideas into a cohesive and comprehensive expression.

Day Seven Hundred Fifteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our path turned and we chased the sun in its movement westward.  We had intermittent views of the desert in the distance on the up cycles of our up and down progress.

But on one of those occasions something else was revealed – a village or hamlet sat astride our path a few ranges ahead. Wisps of smoke curled above it.

Tomas was all for running ahead to investigate. But we held him back for we judged it to be a couple days’ journey away.

As for the Captain he wanted to go around it altogether and not call attention to ourselves.

Elijah and I advised staying the course.

A hauntingly familiar melody played in my thoughts before sleep claimed me.

Day Seven Hundred Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The communication from Tomas was already opened and we assumed read by other interested parties. On the face of it Tomas was assuring us of his well being and inquiring after ours. But there was a subtext that I was sure had eluded anyone other than our eyes.

It was much in my thoughts as we set out once more.

If I was correct in my assumption, the Supreme Commander was about to suffer the same fate as David at the hand of his son Absalom.

I was discussing the implications with Elijah and the Captain when the surrounding mountainsides of the pass sprang to life. And our attention was riveted on the threat around us.

Where was the Spirit?

Day Seven Hundred Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Just because we were set at liberty did not mean that we were free to leave. Our guards were dismissed to other duties which meant that instead of being under their sole observation we had the attention of the entire army wherever we turned.

The Supreme Commander had decided for reasons of security that we would not be allowed to depart from the camp. And orders were issued accordingly.

I was surprised at Elijah’s complaisance in the face of these strictures. However, Tomas and the Captain were unperturbed and welcomed the opportunity to take it easy.

Finally I realized I had my sights too attuned to the end goal and was not directing my immediate focus where it should be.

Day Six Hundred Eighty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We crested a ridge this morning and got a look down into another section of the pass. We could see a mass that just might be the rear guard of the army.

Tomas departed from us down a side track to a better vantage point.

He rejoined us later with the news that it was the object of our interest. Or a section of it. And further, it appeared to be not moving. Stalled.

We were heartened that we could soon catch up, but at the same time concerned for what the reason might be for their inactivity.

Our attention was soon back to navigating the trail with Elijah pressing us onward. Tomas ran ahead hoping to find a shortcut.

Day Five Hundred Sixty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another day drenched in darkness. But I sought the remedy early on. At least earlier than on that past occasion.

However, the troubling of my soul continued. Visions of wholesale disaster claimed my attention at every turn. I would recoil from one scene of slaughter only to run headlong onto ground heaving under the force of a mighty earthquake.

I cried out and was immediately lifted up out of the chaos and tumult.

And there I spent the remainder of my time in an enveloping peace. I could see our ship sailing along unimpeded though challenged on every side.

Upon emerging from the special cabin I sought Elijah and shared with him my vision.

He had the same experience yesterday.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are hopeful that the danger from pirates is past. The Captain thinks this likely as we are now headed towards the seat of the world government.

It is not our destination. Indeed, we shall not be heading into the gulf off of which it is being built. But we assume there will a strong naval presence, and hence a deterrent to piratical activity.

I am still pulling extra watches.

During the afternoon one I split my attention between the sea around us and the shoreline on our port. At one point some movement alarmed me – among the dun-colored rocky hills shoreward, streams of white dots were swarming.

An amused Elijah told me they were only flocks of goats.

Day Four Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Loading the ship ran smoothly throughout the day. It was gratifying to have drawn up a plan that was servicing our needs so completely. That is, until a hitch cropped up. A crewman, with intimate knowledge of every nook and cranny of the vessel, brought it to my attention before it could blossom into a catastrophe.

It did slow us down a bit, so much so that by day’s end we only succeeded in filling the holds. We shall leave off securing our deck cargo until tomorrow.

There was another factor that impeded our progress. Elijah paid a call on Emil, and after a brief conversation they went off into the city.

I sensed a significant change upon their return.

Day Four Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Today was a day of confusion and frustration. Though we could see our ship, that was all. We had arrived at our desired destination by the time the sun reached its zenith. There is no access into the city on this side.

We did gain the attention of those on watch by jumping up and down and other such similar antics. Tomas appeared at their call and we tried shouting to one another across the distance, to no avail. Elijah took his consequent pantomime to mean that the Captain was ashore and that we should enter the city by the main gate. A course of action I was all for, but one that Elijah rejected most vehemently.

We waited instead.

Day Four Hundred Twenty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have the mountain behind us and it is well after dark. We pushed on through to be out of the pass and well below the tree line before settling in. The exertion of walking kept us warm through the snow and ice.

The view before me now has captivated my attention. I’ve completely forgotten the sights and sounds of the day that got us to this point. The port city stretches in both directions along the coast. So many tall buildings and all of them intact. The ravages of the great destruction are strikingly absent.

However there is one disappointment- nothing is visible in the harbor. I mean to say, we cannot even see the harbor much less any ships.