Day One Thousand Eighty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our transition was only to a more lofty prison. Upon arrival our guards hustled one and all up to the floor beneath the penthouse. Promises were made of an audience above, immediately upon the return of the Supreme Commander.

The demeanor of our captors has improved towards us. They are cowed by these surroundings and no doubt in awe that their very presence here is in large part due to us.

We were allowed to converse and even given freedom to move about. The view was negligible though, given the darkness of the hour, but come morning it was unobstructed in every direction.

Far away in the dock area I saw what could only be the Captain’s beloved ‘rust bucket.’

Day One Thousand Eighty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We haven’t budged from where we were captured yesterday. Our captors haven’t been too harsh beyond the first encounter. The bruises on Sy’s and the Captain’s heads notwithstanding. Despite our protestations that we are not spies, nor hold any animus against them, we are kept corralled together and forced to be quiet under the constant vigil of three guards.

The leader of the unit has no time for us and is intent on setting his defenses. So we have no one with which to plead our case to be taken to the Supreme Commander.

At least they are not curious about Mei’s presence with us. And they have not confiscated Elijah’s staff. Evidently they assume he needs it to walk.

Day Nine Hundred Fifty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I have to shake off the creeping mindset that has been pushing aside the still, small voice of the Spirit. Vigilance is called for.

I have been so wound up in our own situation, wanting to be free, and desiring the same for our people here, that I was blinded to the turmoil in which our poor captors find themselves.

The very basis for their beliefs has been challenged, or one might say, ground to powder.

Reuben is helping me to see this.

Somehow we must show them the remedy to their disillusionment. And Reuben has pointed out what may be the key. They are men under authority, and with the one they know crumbling, they need the true one.

Day Nine Hundred Forty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was a bumpy ride to Damascus. We weren’t allowed to talk. And our captors were tight-lipped as well. There was little we could do but look out the windows at the passing scenes.

At one point outside Damascus we were inching along in the congestion when I saw a tanker truck by the side of the road. In the cab I saw Elam and he saw me.

I still dwelt on the chance sighting this morning as they loaded us into the back of a windowless truck. We were still forbidden to speak, but somehow I knew that Elijah was more in the know than he let on.

By evening we were processed into a prison cell somewhere.

Day Eight Hundred Seventy Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah offered no word of explanation for his actions of yesterday. Of course I knew he would’t. I learned of his ‘heroics’ from the widows via Meesa. Their captors succumbed to a heavy slumber upon his entrance. A similar condition marked all of their guards, they noted, as he led them out of the building.

But our leader did want to talk about our imminent departure. And we will not have to plan a lot of things as to organization. For the local authorities, wanting to be quit of us, will be forcing everyone out.

The best we can do is to try to be ready. And Jezer is already hard at work on that front.

I am assisting him.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were feeling abandoned. And losing track of the time since we last saw our captors.

Then something happened that interrupted the passage of time. The sameness we had been locked into. The ground beneath our feet shuddered and heaved.

Was it an earthquake? Or something manmade and more sinister?

When the chamber quit shaking, the door fell open. It had sprung free from its frame.

We lost no time in exiting. Nothing and no one impeded our scramble up and out from the bottom of the dam.

All the sentry points in the area were deserted and a pungent odor pervaded everywhere.

We made one attempt to reach the city, but turned back at the sight of bodies everywhere.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Hour upon hour passed by. And not a peep from our captors. Nor did anyone look in on us. Not even to deliver a morsel of bread that has been our daily allotment.

We can only speculate that they have their hands full elsewhere. My thoughts went immediately to the return of the tanker trucks with combat units.

Tomas tried the door at one point. It was still locked. But no one outside reacted to the ruckus it raised.

This inspired the Captain to again rummage through the chamber for anything that could jimmy the door. As in every time before there was nothing that wasn’t bolted down. His efforts only raised his frustration.

Elijah remained calm and waited patiently.

Day Seven Hundred #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our captors were more uneasy than us. They had rushed to the side of the stricken officer, and were relieved that he still breathed. They kept their weapons trained on us, but at a respectful distance.

The commander was at a loss as to what to do with us. Once he settled it in his mind that what had happened was defensive and we had no inclination to go on offense, he put us in a room with twelve guards.

This morning he dispatched us with our detail to appear before the Supreme Commander of the army.

It was a long hike through ring after ring of army units to its hierarchical center.

Our weary day ended in more waiting.

Day Six Hundred Eighty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah awoke first, and came and roused me. We collected Tomas and the Captain and departed our captors.

Both soldiers were in a deep, sound sleep.

Outside the crevice I had to hush our puzzled companions until we were further down the trail.

Later to my explanation the Captain said it was like one of the passages he had read to me recently. I concurred.

We looked for the army but the pass below was empty. Elijah told us it was imperative for us to catch up to them.

We picked up the pace, but I was not convinced it would make any difference. Another path at a fork looked to suffice and we took it despite its radiation warning.

Day Five Hundred Ninety Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We arose early and went in search of our friends. Only a few farmers in carts heading to market shared the roads with us.

We said little on the way in.

When we came to a temple we had passed by yesterday Elijah insisted upon entering. It bore all the signs of rededication to the cult of Stan. An acolyte motioned us forward but we skirted around the morning crowd and made our exit.

With the citizens across the city tied up in similar meetings we quickly got through to the civic center. There the Captain and Tomas were penned in a cage. Their surrounding captors fainted away at Elijah’s approach.

We released them and together returned to the country.