Day One Thousand Two Hundred Twenty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed some tense hours awaiting the return of the Captain and Mawuli. (Which I sought to relieve by intercession). We were aware that their task might require a full day’s travel to accomplish. But as we were sure that they were aware of the advance of the army of the North too, our hope was that they would exercise the ultimate in caution.

Both, thankfully, did return safely – and with a fresh supply of water – from a situation that was even more harrowing than we had imagined.

Like we had surmised, they were aware of the northern army. And reached the well without being detected. But they were nearly trapped there when the army of the East rolled through.

Advertisements

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Far to the west skirmishing between the two armies was ongoing throughout the day as we pushed into the plain.

We proceeded with caution. Our guess that we were behind the lines of the army of the North went unconfirmed, for thankfully we saw no one. Or more importantly – no one saw us.

The sounds of conflict dissipated the further we ventured into the expanse. Our confidence rising we picked up the pace.

Strangely after that my thoughts wandered and I found myself thinking about Moglen and Stan. I recoiled as though burned by just thinking the thought.

I told this to Elijah. He confessed to something similar. But added, “I am certain that they are thinking evil towards us.”

Day One Thousand Seventy Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mei recognized him first, and resisted her impulse to rush to greet him. For we all knew the need for caution. But when she saw that it was her old unit with their tanker truck she called out to him.

We were welcomed into their camp and made comfortable.

Lung asked to meet with Elijah and myself.

He spent the night detailing all that has happened to him since he parted from us on the mountain on that long ago day.

When he shared about his transformation we called Mei in to hear the news too.

And as his crew continued pumping water at daylight, we heard the rumors that Stan had been fatally wounded in the battle before Babylon.

Day Nine Hundred Eighty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I almost didn’t recognize him, he’d grown so much in the past year. But he had no difficulty recognizing me, and positively could not stand still in his excitement in our presence.

After a brief exchange he filled his water skins and begged us to remove our camp away to where he had set up.

It was a caution he always practiced. And as it proved, a more comfortable place to pass the night.

Today we filled the rest of his water skins and we set off for their place deep in the desert.

Mawuli explained that they have been stranded there for months now. Their numbers keep growing as his parents invite injured and castoff people into their group.

Day Eight Hundred Eighty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We hadn’t quite gotten to the hiding place when another drone zeroed in on ours. In an abundance of caution Elijah made the call to veer away from our destination. And we ended up back on the road that we had followed to Damascus.

Before we reached the next village along that route, Elijah called a halt to stand our ground.

He turned to me and asked, “Do you want to do it, or shall I?”

“You mean sacrifice my drone?”

He nodded, then added, “Unless you think keeping it more useful.”

I thought only an instant, and crashed my drone into the interloper.

I collected some crucial parts and we doubled back and arrived safely in the hiding place.

Day Eight Hundred Twenty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We divided our attention today between watching our steps and observing the activity in the skies over the megapolis. The ground was uneven, so at times treacherous. Hence our caution. But the presence of fleets of drones and circling warplanes over the city were a another source of concern.

Quasimo thinks we have no need  to worry.  He was certain that they are celebrating his “successful” assassination of Elijah and myself. Even if he had to bring down the building to accomplish that end. (Though he joked that Stan would not be above charging him for the value of the structure).

I just hope we can make it out of the area before they ascertain that our bodies aren’t there.

Day Seven Hundred Twenty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We exercised the usual caution today.  At first light Tomas went into the city to scout, while we stayed on the outskirts.

The Captain was focused on the fruit trees that were indeed on the approaches to the city. Very little fruit was left to glean. What there was, was green or in one instance mealy.

Tomas brought an end to our foraging upon his return. With a long explanation he hustled us into the city.

The city was in the throes of preparing to stave off an invasion.  He convinced us that we needed to be settled as soon as possible.

Thankfully we found an inn. Though Stan’s image was everywhere no one asked if we bore the mark.

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.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas has relieved me from all watch duty. The danger from pirates has past. Though we still exert caution not to call undue attention to ourselves from the patrolling naval vessels which seem to be everywhere.

The Captain estimates that we are three days out from our next port of call. Therefore he asked me to prepare the list of containers that will be offloaded there.

In the process I discovered a listing for a container with no destination information on its original paper work. I queried Tomas about this. He told me he had discovered the same anomaly when he was filling in as purser, but hadn’t had any time to investigate.

I put it first on my list.

Day Three Hundred Thirty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and the Captain came to a compromise of sorts. Records on the grain ship indicate that it was also headed for our next port of call. So Captain and crew are exercising salvage rights and now have it in tow while a skeleton crew tries to get it operational again.

The locusts aside, the Captain is of the opinion that there may be a substantial amount of grain beneath the weight of their carcasses.

Elijah is confident that this action will prove out to everyone’s benefit. He has one caution, however. He recommends that we only partake of the locusts in immediate contact with the grain, and avoid completely those found near human flesh.

We will see to it.