Day One Thousand Two Hundred Thirty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mei writes:

Today was beyond dark. To me. The sunny blue skies open to everyone else were closed behind the shutters of my denial.

I can still hear the sounds of celebration around the city – voices raised in laughter and exultation. Happy throngs weaved about the streets calling to their fellows, congratulating one another for their triumph over their foes.

Then they began to lavish gifts on one another, declaring their independence from any and all restrictions.

I kept well away from them all.

I would almost despair if I did not have faith in the promises. There was a time before when these feelings would have crushed the very life from me.

I tell myself it will all be over soon.

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Day One Thousand Two Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Had we entertained beforehand the thought of going to Damascus, we would have changed our minds when the city came into view. It was a city no longer. What was left was little bigger than a village. A village broken down and smoldering.

I had a flash of concern for our people in the hiding place. And wondered if what befell Damascus had spread its impact that far afield.

Elijah spoke up and put my mind at ease with his assurances.

Tomas, soon after, diverted us onto another path and what was left of Damascus slipped from our view.

I wish I had talked once more with Tomas before he and the Captain took the lead and departed this life.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I understood Elijah’s decision. It was a nod to the concern held by the majority within the hiding place. Though I was willing to go along, I felt that a latitude should be granted to those who will operate the drones to utilize them when and where necessity dictates.

I insisted that he and I go out with Quasimo on a test run. We chose to take a peek at Damascus.

We put some distance between us and the hiding place before launching.

Though the city was small in the viewfinder, a stream of activity was clearly discernible going in and out – unmistakably tanker trucks.

On the way back, Elijah asked if we could take a look at Jerusalem tomorrow.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Eighteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The events of the day blurred the moment artillery shells crashed down into the city.

The day began with the decision to somehow displace the powder from critical areas throughout the megapolis. Tomas had made lists and sent out units with the assignment.

The fact that Tomas had guessed correctly was confirmed by the falling artillery shells on those specific targets.

Thankfully they had been able to clear all of the targeted areas, except one. Otherwise the resultant conflagration would have been much wider spread. As it was, ironically, it impacted most severely the loyalists of the world government. Little effort was expended on their behalf.

Elijah and I waited for Tomas’s return to inform him we had our sign.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A fine powder coated everything out of doors in the city. No one could identify it. So the unease of yesterday returned.

Elijah and I were kept quartered close to the Supreme Commander’s command center. Tomas stopped in and out throughout the day and gave us updates. He had been tasked to analyze the powder. Was it by design from the enemy?

He had a breakthrough come afternoon. The material in combination with another compound is highly combustible when water is present.

It made little sense until someone else realized the attack may be directed at the river coming into the city or the tanks fed by the desalination plants.

Thus the army must decide whether to evacuate or not.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It’s just the three of us now. But with Tomas constantly on the move, for all practical purposes, it is just Elijah and myself. And because the guards outnumber us every way we turn, I can’t help but feel a prisoner even though we can go anywhere we please.

Paramount to me is the timing for our departure. Elijah is less concerned. He is preoccupied with being ready to counter whatever designs Moglen and Stan have in store for us.

He thinks that as soon as they have the situation in hand as regards the army of the North, they will again turn their focus on this city.

Strange, it propels me to pray for those who aren’t with us.

Day One Thousand Forty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Few pedestrians were walking the roads. Almost none were headed away from the city like we were. Any we saw were fleeing the countryside. They cast suspicious glances our way in passing.

Our only occasional companions outward bound were the army convoys. Thankfully they ignored us.

We paid particular attention to the tanker trucks lumbering by. Those inward bound. None were driven by our old comrade Elam.

I found another shady spot for us to pass the most grueling part of the day.

A couple of city bound groups stumbled upon us in turn. They collected themselves, all the while averting their gazes, and walked on without a word.

None of them seemed to like the look of Elijah’s staff.

Day One Thousand Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We went out with the morning work force. Elijah wanted to look about those debris fields again.

Some other groups coming up from the valley, left the road and mingled with those from the slave quarter. Filthy rags hung on their emaciated frames. They attempted to shoulder their way among the workers from the city. It was obvious they desired to gain access to the slave quarter but in their weakened state they were easily forced away.

They looked pitiful, yet cunning, as they slunk back down the road.

Who knows what they would be capable of given the strength and the chance to wield it.

And for that matter, those opposing them were little better.

Things are spiraling downward.

Day One Thousand Thirty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I isolated ourselves today as best we could to seek guidance from the Spirit as to our next move.

His pupils, on his order have gone without the city to a place where they can do the same.

Elam had shared that the frequency of his trips has dropped in half. And he has heard rumors that what is coming in is being redirected to the fields around Babylon. Fields elsewhere are drying up at an alarming rate.

Elijah’s pupils down from the north echoed these facts, and talked of a schedule for towns to be cut off of supply.

And Tomas reported through them that all army units at the outposts were being removed and ordered elsewhere.

Day One Thousand Thirty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We made the rounds with Elijah’s pupils loading up on scrap metal and returning early to the city. I could not help but notice that the scrap heaps were less extensive and may well soon be depleted. And then what will become of those in the slave quarter of the city?

The pupils had met with both Tomas and Jezer some time ago, but don’t know their current whereabouts. They had passed them off to the other group to coordinate an idea that Tomas had come up with.

Elijah and I set off to search for Tomas and Jezer this morning. And to check for Elam at the tanker truck staging yards.

Our quest today proved fruitless on all counts.