Day One Thousand One Hundred Ninety Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The terrain we have traversed is deserted. So Tomas’s job has been easy with not much to warn about or shield us from.

His focus, therefore has changed.  With yesterday’s earthquake there have been changes to the landmarks we have used in the past to direct our steps. Whole sections of rock have uplifted obliterating entire pathways.

The course of the sun is his best indication of direction.

I am left wondering how much this will slow our passage. And what it means to those who are and will be following us.

Tomas says I worry too much. And Elijah agrees.

Most likely so. I prefer to describe it as caring. But that’s not to say my companions care less.

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 Nine Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The news brought by Jezer and his companions was grim, but not unexpected. Damascus has turned into an armed camp, the focus of hundreds of army units flooding in from the countryside roundabout. (Many, I am sure, we saw on our way here).

Jezer had more challenges than usual getting back here with his tiny flock, but he has his ways. And it certainly helped having the clearances that come with driving tanker trucks obtained through Elam’s influence.

Elijah questioned them closely about what they had seen and heard. I could tell he was sifting for any leads on the Purser. I took more time with them afterwards to explain what finding these people will mean to all of us.

Day Seven Hundred Forty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lung and Mei parted company from us midday. I thought I detected a little reluctance on the part of Mei to do so.

As I thought, their destination was the glacier on this mountain. They will survey the feasibilities of getting the water locked within, down the mountain to their tanker trucks.

The Captain told me that he saw a flamethrower in the pack that Lung was carrying. He lamented to me that he hoped that they knew what they were doing.

We kept on our way with frequent backward glances. And soon we could no longer make out the figures of our former companions trekking up the mountain, for our trail took us around and down the other side.

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 Six Hundred Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As soon as we had things sorted out yesterday we parted notwithstanding the daylight and the heat. The ex-soldiers headed back the caravan track in search of a northern branch that will return them to their villages.

We continued west to answer our call.

We pushed on after nightfall and put as much distance between ourselves and our last camp as possible.

A wind storm lent a helping hand. It blew in from the north and crossed the track behind us on its way southward, obliterating all signs of our passage. We all pray that our recent companions were not swept up in it.

I called a halt only a couple hours into the new day.

Elijah required rest.

Day Two Hundred Fifty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

There is something about mountain tops. One wants to linger there, and is reluctant to descend into the valleys below. (I can understand that fellow’s desire to put up tents for the Ancient of Days and Elijah and their companions on that peak in the desert a few days ago). Just like that time came to an end so must this one. But not today in any event.

Timing is everything. Elijah tells me that circumstances are not yet ripe for our next foray. Which news is alright by me. I am content to linger – with the caveat that I not look backward, but forward.