Day Three Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain was concerned about the narrowing gap ahead between the bloody morasses on both sides of us. Elijah pointed out that the gap is narrower behind us, and indeed has closed off at a couple points.

We are committed now. The Captain has ordered both vessels to full speed ahead.

Some time in the afternoon we came upon the missing lifeboat from the grain ship. The Purser wanted us to close and investigate, but the Captain denied that notion. Timing is too crucial.

When still a ways off we could see nothing but birds on that craft. As we passed near by our wake rocked it, setting the birds to flight, revealing the picked clean bones of three men.

Day Three Hundred Thirty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The sea continues calm. With the grain ship in tow, our speed has dropped, despite that favorable circumstance.

Seabirds discovered the locust laden vessel and gathered from all points of the compass to partake. This alarmed Elijah. He insisted that a watch be set to shoo them away.

The Captain had to go over anyway to help his First Mate with a problem (which slowed us down again, as they had to stop to effect a transfer), so Elijah made the trip too, to practice what he preaches.

They have succeeded in getting the grain ship underway on its own power.

And Elijah has returned with the Captain. But only after a crewman was assigned to fend off the birds.

Day Two Hundred Fifty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

When last in this vicinity we were hounded by drones. Nothing flies above our heads now, not even birds.

Our host explained everything to Elijah. He is related to the woman who had helped us. She disappeared a few days before the deluge from the skies took down everything electronic.

Elijah in his turn explained the mystery behind the woman’s disappearance. It was a great comfort for our host. The time was indeed ripe for him to believe.

When we told him our intent to continue moving onwards into the city, he balked and practically begged us not to. He does all within his power to avoid drawing attention to himself and his people.

We decided to acquiesce for now.

Day Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Back on track. After a night of rest and careful packing (we’ve made some hard decisions as to what to take and what to leave behind), we’ve pointed our noses towards the summit again. We intend to go over the top, unless unforeseen circumstances force us to go around.

At least we’ve come to one mutual decision. The last few days have been filled up with situations that called for solo decisions, so we had forsaken our practice of conferring one with the other before jumping.

We stay on the path that shadows the gorge that once stood between us and our goal. I think it prettier from this side. It grows cooler the higher we go. The birds shiver.

Day Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I confess an uneasiness throughout the day. It was a very narrow path, I mean like walking a tight rope in places. No view has any depth but that which is ahead or behind. To our sides are nothing but trees. And that is the source of my uneasiness for I felt as if our every step was under surveillance from that quarter.

The birds were markedly quiet also, a fact that bothered Lyle even more.

That all changed after the trail took a climbing switchback, crossed a stream, and rose above the tree line. The weight of oppression fell off all of us at the same instant. And the sing song between Rufus and Clarissa continued loud and clear.

Day Fifty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We finally made it off the ridge and down into the valley. And we have an excellent idea as to where we are going and how we will get there.

The drones as you may well imagine performed flawlessly. We were able to eliminate one of the trails and select one between the remaining three as the most likely to lead to the village we saw from above.

No other movement has been observed on any of the trails. All must have been evacuated already. Not sure who or what we will find in the village.

The only animals we’ve seen are the birds which travel with us. Hopefully that will all change the further we get from the city.

Day Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our trail rarely takes us in a straight line. It runs at the mercy of the terrain. I take point, so I see it all first. We’ve grounded our mechanical “birds” and depend on the live variety instead. They keep us sharp.

Our packs are full and heavy, but they will get less so as we slowly consume the foodstuffs. We are on the lookout for means of replenishing these supplies, but nothing comes to sight as yet. Lyle thinks that we should run across some towns or hamlets out here. I think we made need to do some gathering from the land itself. I also think we will need an education along those lines so we don’t poison ourselves.

Day Forty Four PM #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We arrived at an area where there were no intruder sightings all day long. We felt safe enough in the afternoon to put our drones up. This whole end is a solid wall. Lyle feels and I concur that we’re not likely to find anything different any place else up this way. Therefore we are going to look for a good place to climb over or lower us down from that wall.

While Lyle minded all the “birds,” I took the opportunity to forage, and stumbled upon enough foodstuffs to replace that which we consumed these past few days.

Lyle informed me at day’s end that he had sent his drone out to its limit. Other people are out there.