Day Six Hundred Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We all made the trek to the city. Beforehand we prepared by rehearsing among ourselves what to do if stopped and confronted. We intended to scatter and make our way back individually.

Elijah was silent throughout our time in the huddle. We took it for his tacit approval.

None of us knew what to expect actually regarding this announcement. We saw giant speakers mounted in the square, so it seemed natural to assume a satellite radio connection.

We were shocked along with the whole crowd when Stan’s moving image appeared above the speakers on the walls of the building behind them.

Stan declared peace to the world, and made extravagant promises.

We had no problem returning through the cheering crowd.

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.

Day Four Hundred Ten #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Well, perhaps Elijah meant instead that we would catch up with the settlement of all the Hamashiachites. For that indeed was what we made out from the edge of the salt flat yesterday.

It was a welcome change to walk on firmer ground and without that incessant crunching noise.

The settlement grew enormously upon our approach. It seems much more had been hidden from our sight as it extends around to the east behind a rock formation that juts out onto the plain.

A crowd greeted us when we entered the encampment. Elijah immediately pushed on further into the maze of tents, leaving me here.

Hold on, as I am writing this, Elijah has returned with the Purser in tow.

Day Four Hundred One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A raucous rally kept us awake last night. We could hear Stan’s voice excite the crowd with his promises. As he wound up, he announced his intent to hold enrollments at the riverfront inn later on this afternoon.

Elijah and I debated whether or not to drop in on this event. He wanted to. I didn’t. I could see no reason to want to do so. As for his reasons, they sounded to me like simple curiosity. When he confirmed that understanding, I countered with the observation that the only reason to be there at all would be for an all-out confrontation. This brought a twinkle to his eye.

And so he went. I await here for his return.

Day Three Hundred Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Almost too much has happened today for me to write about.

And the sights I was witness to crowd out all else.

The storm clouds have moved on, leaving behind them a new reality.

The great city is no more. Its structures razed down to ground level – and below. The deepest depression appears to be in the area of the administration building. And there is no movement, of man or beast across the landscape. No fires burn and no smoke fills the air above. Silence only spreads its wings, flushing out the sighing of the wind.

Elijah and I returned aft to our cabin in the superstructure of the vessel, as the ship’s engines rumbled the deck beneath our feet.

Day Three Hundred Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The message of Elijah is spurring some action on the waterfront. People are lining up seeking passage away from the city.

I was among them, and had just secured a place for us on a container ship departing in six days, when the soldiers showed up. They waded into the crowd and began dispersing it right and left.

Elam saw his opportunity. He collected the remnants and led them apart and offered to take them all out another way.

I was successful in keeping the soldiers occupied elsewhere. Stan had joined those guarding the piers and sent the extra to “look after me.”

I asked him where he planned to be in seven days.

His look told me “not here.”

Day Two Hundred Ninety One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We decided to visit one of the construction projects today. It was Elam’s idea. He arranged our arrival to coincide with the noon lunch hour.

One can see order and purpose being reimposed out of the haphazard jumble. The small square at its entrance filled with hungry workers at the appointed hour.

They were hungry for more than just a meal. Elijah spoke and no one interfered.

Elam was encouraged and I saw him set off into the crowd. He conversed with any and all comers. Soon he disappeared from sight, and would reappear at intervals with those listening from perches on higher stories.

I was thinking more yet may escape in these last eighteen days.

Then they took Elam.

Day Two Hundred Eighty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Twenty three days remain. We got that point across readily enough. For emphasis, Elijah stepped towards the government officials, and they cowered back.

In response the leader told us to leave, as we had delivered our message, and as to our ultimatum, they refused to comply. He turned and pointed to the guards and said, “These guards are not here to protect us, but to hold back the crowd from assaulting you.”

I don’t think Elam would have found any likely candidates today; all in sight bore the mark and were present for the express purpose of supporting the officials.

I have a sense that the speaker is not the true leader, but rather the glowering woman, lurking behind him.

Day Two Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elam, the name of the former madman, goes where we go and lives where we live. He hangs on every word that Elijah passes on to him.

Sy’s parents invited us (Elam included) around to the back of their residence where they supplied us with food. Elijah again tried to persuade them to go to their son, adding that the city’s days are numbered. They declined again, but this time I sense some hesitation.

We turned our faces to the city center. Along the way Elam stopped at each cross street and called out the dire warning. “Twenty nine days!”

Elijah spoke on the administration building’s steps. They still deny us access.

The crowds are getting bigger and linger longer.

Day Two Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We did not return to the home of Sy’s parents last night. ¬†We did not want to chance jeopardizing them.

Instead we passed a quiet night in the square. No one disturbed us.

Come the morning we had a little incident. A raving maniac rushed Elijah, but fell at his feet when Elijah turned and stared him down. The poor fellow has been tagging along after us ever since.

We took up a position in front of the administration building, and waited. A crowd soon gathered when word circulated that a former madman sat docilely with us.

Then, Elijah stood forth and announced, “In thirty days this city will be destroyed!”

The crowd drew back and we left through them.