Day One Thousand Sixty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain had been correct that a dramatic event would be the sign. And everything else lined up after that.

The direction Mawuli indicated, coincided with the unstated one held by Elijah.

(I think he was actually taken by surprise).

So, the morning found our group climbing up the mountain, not down as everyone originally thought, but hiking up the path beside the stream bed.

Elam and Sy took pains helping Elijah and me over some of the trickier sections.

Something was still flowing down the rocks of the stream bed. Yet slowly, for it was drying in the sun.  And the heavy metallic odor gained in intensity as we reached the top.

Where carnage was spread out before us.

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Day One Thousand Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We left the redoubt, but did not leave the area. Here, at day’s end, we still await a sign. So, we set up a camp with the intent to stay until we do.

We can see activity down on the plain, but Elam tells us that it is only minimal. And he is sure it can mean that more are operating beyond the rear guard well beyond our field of view.

Sy concurred and added that he expected to see more troops being moved up from Damascus soon.

Mei asked if that might be the sign we are awaiting.

The Captain weighed in and said he was sure that it would be something else, something dramatic and unmistakable at once.

Day One Thousand Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another day of waiting has passed slowly. Everyone has taken it in stride, considering it a trial of patience.

Sy, though, grew unsettled by day’s end. By his calculation Elam should have arrived back here today at the latest. He’s beginning to think that he’ll never see his friend and his tanker truck again.

When I tried to point out to him other possibilities, he left and went up to the heights. Elijah followed him.

They remained up there for quite some time. Long enough to witness a flurry of activity in the air above the plain.

The Captain, Mei and myself caught the end of the display when the crash of distant explosions drew us out of the redoubt.

Day One Thousand Fifty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another long day passed slowly. To all outward appearances – boring and pointless – but to our inward beings – rich and satisfying – and all the more so as we shared with one another around the evening meal.

We are agreed as to the direction of our next move, down to the route we will take – supplied by Sy.

What remains is the all important timing. We all agree. We will not set out, or should not set out until there is one more addition to our party.

But as to who that may be, we are not in agreement.

The Captain thinks it will be Tomas; Mei opts for Meesa; Sy and I are certain it will be Elam. Elijah remains silent.

Day One Thousand Fifty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I keep looking around to see if someone is coming out to join us. Someone else trekking up the road, called to be with us for the perilous time ahead. For both the Captain and Mei left the hiding place compelled by a dream on the Captain’s part and by a vision on hers.

But, currently we are only on the first step. None of us know what we should do next. Other than wait.

Elijah and Sy have taken the Captain and Mei with them into the set apart place. I have taken it upon myself to stand guard here atop the redoubt.

Though by myself, I am not alone. Alert to my surroundings, and alert to the Spirit.

Day One Thousand Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah took us up to the heights above the redoubt where Sy used to station his sentinels. The magnificent view from which was made all the more so by the beautiful day dawning upon us.

In the far distance I could make out what I took to be tanker trucks plying back and forth on a plain.

I took the time to note the lay of the land from here to there and asked Sy about the best routes.

During this endeavor two figures appeared down on the road that we came in on.

Sy remained in place while Elijah and I went down.

Recognizing them at the last we hurried down the road to greet the Captain and Mei.

Day Nine Hundred Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I left before the sun was up. We took Tomas with us. He knows the way in and out so much better than us which was especially helpful in the twilight.

The Captain, we have left behind. Grumbling to be sure but all for the best for any number of reasons. (I overheard him remark once recently he is getting too old for such adventures- I feel the same sometimes).

Tomas brought us by a way that came out onto the road by which we originally travelled to Damascus. From the heights we could see the string of villages laid out along its length.

With military activity so readily apparent we crossed the road and into the desert.

Day Nine Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was so good to be in the company of the Captain and Tomas, Quasimo and Raj P, and Mei and Meesa again. And they were so glad, and relieved to see us. We were up late with our friends, catching up. And introducing Reuben and his men.

Meesa had them settled in their own quarters in no time at all. And I soon slipped off to sleep myself.

But Elijah kept awake the night through and was still going strong when I awoke this morning. For a new problem had arisen and on the way to the set apart place to pray, he sent me to Mei.

She had had a vision of others trying to come to us.

Day Nine Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our sendoff was a somber affair, attended only by the leaders and those in the vicinity of the entrance to the hiding place. Everything needing to be said had been said last night. Only Elijah spoke and that was to reiterate his instruction from our conference to dispatch Jezer after us upon his return.

We left the remaining drone behind. Elijah says it won’t be necessary. Indeed, he feels it would be a hindrance. (Another decision vouchsafed by the vision given to the Captain).

Upon emerging we saw the predicted sign – two thin clouds, crossways to one another, and the longer one, pointing towards our goal to the north.

Elijah set the pace and I had to step up mine.

Day Nine Hundred Twenty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain provided the signal to the timing for our departure. I am thankful for it – not only for the confirmation itself and the confidence it provides, but also for the sense of belonging that it gave to my friend. I rejoice with him that he was chosen to aid the fellowship for this important step.

Both he and Tomas will provide valuable leadership in our absence.

We gathered them with Meesa and Mei for a conference in advance of our expected leaving tomorrow. Meesa will continue in overall charge. And Elijah had very specific instructions for the others to support her in seeing to the well being of the community.

Then all gathered around to pray for our mission.