Day One Thousand Two Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We found the road unencumbered by patrols or checkpoints until we neared the area of the stone bridge. Well before then, Tomas guided us up to the level above the destroyed altar.

Though still in ruins people were hard at work attempting to make it serviceable. All the more ugly.

Mr. Kagi was the first to notice. Then I recognized the people being forced to work on the edifice – the prisoners paraded through the world government camp but a few days ago.

After a quick calculation in my head (and my memory of the shape of last night’s moon) I knew that tomorrow marks the return of the new moon.

My blood ran cold over the fate of these prisoners.

Day One Thousand Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We ran into someone today who actually deigned to talk to us. He took one look at us and the direction in which we were traveling and crossed the road and stopped us.

He came off as someone  concerned for our well being, but his gaze kept lingering on Elijah, as he warned us about an army checkpoint ahead. He said that they were allowing people coming in, but, except for the military, all egress was forbidden.

And then he came to his point. He knew a way around the checkpoint if we could see our way to make it worthwhile for him.

Elijah thanked him for his offer, but declined it, saying he was quite familiar with the area.

Day Nine Hundred Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Jezer had guessed right. Indeed, there were checkpoints where hitherto there had been none. But they were easily spotted and the terrain was such that we had no trouble screening our passage around them.

Reuben took the extra precaution of sending scouts forward to locate any lone sentinels positioned as lookouts. Thankfully there were none.

All these extra exertions were very taxing and slowed our progress as half the time we were headed away from our goal. This frustration we took in stride and made us the more thankful for Jezer’s thoughtfulness in supplying each of us with a water skin.

As we went along Elijah and I discussed with Reuben the things he should know about our mutual future.

Day Nine Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Jezer helped us out of the tank at a remote place in the wilderness. The guards in the other vehicles soon joined us. From here we’ll make our way to the hiding place, while our trio of rescuers return the tanker trucks.

Before parting Jezer took pains to caution us. There had been many less checkpoints than usual, so he fears they have been shifted, possibly athwart the route we would be taking. Or perhaps something more sinister was afoot.

Magwich asked and was allowed to accompany Raj G.

Reuben took to the trail, walking up front with Elijah and me. With his uniform and that of the other guards we could pass for an army or a police unit.

Day Nine Hundred Sixty #DiaryoftheEndotheWorld

Elijah and I rode inside of Jezer’s tanker truck. We had wanted to ride in the cab with him, but he explained that it would not be possible. There were too many checkpoints, and we would have looked out of place.

Reuben was in the truck behind us, driven by Elam, and Magwich behind them, driven by Raj G.

We were cautioned to speak and move as little as possible, which was difficult, for the jostling at times was bone rattling.

It’s hard to imagine how those fared who made the trip before us. There were so many more of them.

We were more than glad to be out of the confined space at the next leg of our journey.

Day Two Hundred Eighty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The group with Elam was smaller today. So when he returned he accompanied us to the city’s nerve center. He wants to hunt up more people who desire to leave.

We went looking in the immediate area of the administration building. We discovered that a cordon of armed forces are blocking access to the government sector. Checkpoints have been set up where government business is conducted, mainly issuing the mark. It also explains the lone government official of yesterday.

Elam went among the throng, to see where he might help. Elijah and I marched back to confront the official again. To get rid of us he agreed to a meeting at one of the checkpoints tomorrow.

Twenty four days remain.