Day Six Hundred Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As the night came on, we saw the light from that campfire still in the same place. It occasioned a lively debate.

The Captain, backed by Tomas’ judgement, wanted to find a way around it. To that end Tomas volunteered to run in advance of us to reconnoiter.

Elijah and I, however, held a different opinion. We wanted to continue on and catch up to these people – all based upon the revelations that Elijah has received, and the confirmation that I’ve been convinced to accept.

What I had to say on this matter resonated with our friends, and they at last acquiesced.

At the end of this night’s trek, we estimate the camp to be only one  more night away.

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Day Six Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We took stock of provisions at the end of our trek this morning. The Captain thinks there’s enough water for three more days. We all hope we can replenish before then.

It was a hard passage last night. The trail left the side of the dry river bed to climb up unto a low tableland. An hour later we descended down to what Tomas considers to be the same dry river bed. The trail has merely cut off a wide loop of the same, saving us some miles and time, but the way up and the way down made it all the more arduous.

Crossing the tableland under the stars I thought much about that star on the belt buckle.

Day Six Hundred Forty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The terrain has changed. Much less vegetation. And the trail has taken a turn to the south, following what I make out to be a river course – dry with not a lick of moisture.

Tomas was fully recovered and ranged far to our front, vigilant to protect us.

The night air was cold. We had to keep moving to keep warm. The Captain feels it most keenly.

I remained by Elijah’s side. (He no longer hangs back to pray, rejoining us at a later time). He has added a wealth of detail to what he told me yesterday, but I still await an independent confirmation.

We halted at the first streaks of dawn and prepared ourselves against the coming heat.

Day Six Hundred Forty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are on our way again. We had set out in the heat of the afternoon. At the insistence of Elijah.

Tomas has recovered. I will not say completely, but I will say he is very willing, and hardly requires any assistance. At those points when he does the Captain is first by his side to help.

I stayed close by Elijah and we conversed. He had many things to share with me, revelations that have come to him in dreams. Many things concerning me. My spirit quivered within me as he spoke. Some things I have known, but for others, and for one in particular, I will need to seek confirmation.

Perhaps during this night’s trek I will hear.

Day Six Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have spent the whole day here. Barely moving. And shall spend the night too, rather than travel on.

The Captain has seen to the comfort and rest of our young friend Tomas. His condition and the weakening constitution of Elijah will keep us here overnight and possibly a few days more.

It is now clear why the discipline of fasting was denied me. My strength was necessary to tend to the needs of others in our group.

One item of curiosity has surfaced from among the many things Tomas related to us about his recent trip. Tanker trucks, traveling with the army are draining every body of water they pass by.

They take seriously the drought proclaimed by Elijah.

Day Six Hundred Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

After the briefest of rests, we set out. But within minutes the reason for our backward movement was removed when a lone figure appeared on the horizon.  Even at a distance we knew it was Tomas.

We rushed to him.

I have never seen a more bedraggled and emaciated individual. Yet the Captain fell on his neck, weeping in gratitude to see his friend again.

Elijah and I had to assist them both back to the caravan stop.

Tomas reported there had been a clash between that huge army and many warplanes. With devastation on both sides – but particularly fatal to the flying force as their wreckage lay everywhere.

He is grateful to have escaped being under their renewal of hostilities.

Day Six Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Through a mutual agreement Elijah and I kept an eye on our friend lest he do something rash. I kept him engaged in conversation and later accompanied him to the cave. There we prayed for Tomas.

Later upon our return, the sky to the south was filled with more lights than ever. The Captain asked Elijah how long it had been going on. His reply upset him. And the Captain demanded to know why we had not been fetched. Before he could answer, a string of flashes lit up the foothills below the high mountains.

There was no stopping the Captain at that point. But we managed to limit our travel backward to the amount of night left to us.

Day Six Hundred Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We all saw them last night. Lights in the sky over the high mountains.

I was making my way out to the meditation cave when I spotted them. I ran to tell the Captain, but he had already noticed them and stood there gaping.

Before we could go out to notify Elijah, he was by our side.

Our immediate concern was for Tomas. The Captain wanted to set out and retrace our steps.

Elijah dismissed his wishes out of hand and refused to let him depart. We did reach a compromise instead. We agreed to wait another day in our present position.

We won’t decide until then our course of action, whether or not to allow the Captain to return.

Day Six Hundred Forty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Twenty-four hours have passed in our new location. It has proven a very pleasant choice. The Captain found a water well some distance from the caravan trail. It’s on a well worn offshoot from this main route.

The water is a bit brackish, but drinkable. Perhaps traces of minerals are leeching into it.

There was evidence that a group of travelers had passed through here recently. Ashes from cooking fires, and bits of garbage collected in a pit.

Elijah found a nearby cave, or rather an overhang just beyond the well. It is now our place of meditation.

But it has no view southward, so the Captain sticks to the caravan trail. He doesn’t want to chance missing Tomas.

Day Six Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We covered much less distance than usual last night. I think that the Captain and I slowed our pace consciously, both for the sake of Elijah and to hopefully keep the distance between Tomas and us as short as possible.

When Elijah joined us later, as has been his habit lately, he made no comment on this fact. He simply slowed to our pace.

It was still dark when we came upon the perfect place to pass the next two days. It was an unanimous decision.

The Captain oriented himself to best advantage to observe the quarter from which we expect Tomas.

And I exercised more caution this time, making sure that no scorpion nests were in my chosen spot.