Day Seven Hundred Twenty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The speck on the horizon has taken on a more recognizable form. Buildings spread out in a line, conforming, I surmise, to the presence of a river or some other feature out of our sight.

The Captain bubbles over with excitement at the prospect of fresh fruit. For he believes he sees groves of trees grouped around the approaches to the city.

Tomas stayed awake late last night smelting the gold from the satellite components. This morning he showed us the results of his labors – four small, shiny rectangles of the precious substance. One for each of us if we wanted to divide them up.

We will make a short day of it. We prefer to enter tomorrow in daylight.

Day Seven Hundred Sixteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The melody renewed its hold on me upon waking.  Not from within. Instead Tomas was whistling the tune while preparing something for us to eat.

I made no comment, but felt it held a good portent for the day ahead.

We arrived near the village in the afternoon. Actually it wasn’t a village. It was more like a large compound. There were multiple buildings but all contained by a low wall around its perimeter.

The Captain hung back, grumbling and making his disapproval known. But he was the first to recognize one of the inhabitants as he walked across the courtyard of the compound.

And the Raj twin G also was surprised to see us when moments later we entered.

Day Five Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our uncertainty continues.

We accompanied Tomas ashore in the Captain’s gig. It took some time to find an appropriate place to dock. All the while we did not see a living soul.

What we could see of this city is promising. The buildings and streets appear to be new construction. I surmise it has risen recently from the great destruction.

After a brief detour through the streets near the docks, we returned to where a ship was moored.

We were hailed as we ascended the gangplank. A lone sailor was overjoyed to to see us.  And he demanded that we take him away to our ship without delay.

Which we did.

By his account, fear has caused the city’s evacuation.

Day Five Hundred Forty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I went ashore to follow up the lead that P brought to us yesterday. I was struck by how few people were walking about – given the size of the buildings and the sprawl of the city in all directions, there should have been a teeming population everywhere we turned.

It went a long way to explain the man power shortages down at the port.

And our arrival at the city hospital answered the other question we hadn’t thought to ask. Why?

P had heard that this hospital was run by some followers of Hamashiach. And so it proved to be true.

We were not allowed in, but they came out to us.

Thus we learned about the plague.

Day Five Hundred Forty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain has backed off on his order for all possible speed, much to the relief of the engineer. But not for the reason one might suspect.

We have entered the confinement of a waterway that restricts our movement a great deal. Our next port sits behind a cluster of small islands. We have slowed the ship the better to navigate this tricky inward passage.

As the buildings of the city come into view I am left wondering if we will go ashore here. Or might we even strike out on a journey inland in search of more followers of Hamashiach.

Elijah himself doesn’t know. However he did tell me that we shall receive direction from the Raj twin P.

Day Three Hundred Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

But the hail did not spare those surrounding us. To the last man they were swept away or crushed under boulders of ice.

And there is no sign of Stan. Elijah is sure he is well away from the city. I am sure we have not seen the last of him.

We made it down to the dockside where our vessel had previously berthed. Another was is its place, its back broken, as though dropped from the sky too.

Our ship rode at anchor still out in the roads. Elijah observed me watching it, then took me in tow.

We rounded some buildings and climbed down to the beach.

From there I followed Elijah as we walked to our ship.

Day Two Hundred Fifty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Found my walled courtyard easily enough. It is nestled among still standing buildings in the otherwise leveled East End. Having landmarks to go by prevented me from wasting the whole day looking for it.

Which was a good thing. Beforehand I had decided to allow myself just the barest minimum of time there. As it was, I was enabled to stay longer. What I learned I shared with Elijah and he in turn was able to warn everyone before we scatter to the four winds.

Day Two Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our journey from the oasis was nothing like our trek there. We stood side by side and set our faces towards the city. Elijah raised his staff and the next minute we were in the vineyard on the outskirts.

The once great city is gone – except for the east end where a few buildings still stand.

We see movement in the field, our next stop.

Day Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Useless, utterly useless. We had just passed two uninhabited cabins, outliers to our next goal, when Lyle decided to put his drone up to check the village proper. It crashed.

Lyle immediately ordered my drone be examined.

It was plain to see that it had been tampered with too. We will have to go through it carefully before — and if we ever use it.

We will need to reconnoiter every building in the village ourselves in person. This will slow us down, but Lyle is unwilling to loose the chance of finding someone to point onto the right path.

I agree. It would sure help to find someone who knows who is still in the area to speed things along.

Day Ninety Three #DairyoftheEndoftheWorld

We got an early start this morning at Lyle’s insistence. Trouble is, there are a few more things missing than we realized yesterday.

For one, the binoculars are gone. We assume that Stan never returned them when last he had them. Lyle says it’s okay and that we’ll just have to rely more on my excellent vision and what he calls my foresight. I’m flattered but think he is actually counting on our drones to fill that need.

About midday the first village this side of the mountain came into our view. Many more lay beyond, with the city on the plain farther still, beckoning before the desert.

We should be standing near its humble buildings this same time tomorrow.