Day One Thousand One Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Here at day’s end and I’m still recovering from yesterday’s surprise appearance of our young friend. Elijah kept our greetings brief, enforcing a strict regimen of silence and driving us onward by his example. Continuing through the night.

Our pace only slackened with the dawn of the new day, yet we kept onward. At one point it was as if we entered a space of our own reality in which nothing else and no one else existed. Only then did Elijah allow us to converse.

Everything came tumbling out as we pressed Tomas for information.

Most startling was the news that the Supreme Commander is dead. And the army of the East has allied with the army of the North.

Day Eight Hundred Thirty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I asked Elijah if we could rise before nightfall and  go off our current vector to check over in the area where the barking had ceased.

It also meant a little back tracking, but ended up worthwhile. The sand gave way to bedrock and after a short search we found some water in a pool on the rock surface. It had been fouled by the presence of animals. Unclean for sure.

Elijah found the close by pump and basin whose spillage fed the other. (He practically tripped over it in the darkness).

We were back on track, so we decided to halt and rest.

With the dawn we were able to reacquire our bearings before taking up our alternating watches.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas kept charge of Mei’s group overnight at Elijah’s request. And Mei talked long into the night with Elijah and me.

Well, mostly Elijah. I did turn in before everyone else.

I was first to awaken at dawn, however, provoked by a sense of unease. I drew aside to pray, but mere moments later Elijah joined me. Before we could exchange our thoughts a sleepy Mei arrived, wondering if we had heard the Spirit also.

Elijah turned around and looked up, pointing to the faintest of lights moving across the darkness. He invited her to point at it.

She did. And the light stopped as though struck, and tumbled from view.

Elijah sent Mei back to the front to lead.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We encamped in the dark last night upon the instruction of our talented scout. Tomas was quick to promise that we would thank him in the morning.

And so with the dawn we did. The ground he had chosen was on a rise with a stunning view of our road ahead. It continued to skirt the hilly country at the edge of the prairie, running towards the southeast, our desired direction.

And Elijah and I had ample time to admire the view to the east as we waited to take up our position at the end of the column. There the towering mountains we had come through glowed in the beams of the sun on its rise.

So did we.

Day Seven Hundred One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The detail of soldiers given charge of us was beyond strange. I don’t think any of them shut their eyes at any time. Nor did they, in our hearing, say a word. They filled the night with their unblinking stares.

As for our side I was the only one who had trouble sleeping. Elijah and the Captain didn’t stir.

Come the dawn we were remanded into the charge of the Head Quarter’s guard, and the strange detail departed.

We didn’t have to wait long for our interrogation before the Supreme Commander. He had only one question for us – why were we there.

Elijah answered him with another question – were they prepared to release our friend.

Then Tomas was ushered in.

Day Six Hundred Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A momentous day. Advance motorized units of the army came roaring into town at dawn. The townspeople, those who had not fled, stayed inside. Only a few were brave enough to venture out.

Seeing that these soldiers were non-threatening, more denizens, their curiosity whetted, joined those already out gawking.

The main body of the army came through at noon, and for the next six hours filled up the plain towards the mountains.

For most of that time, Tomas and I were out and about, looking for the Captain. Elijah wanted us to stop him from arranging our truck transport. His only explanation being that we cannot yet leave the area.

We were successful in both objects.

Now to wait.

Day Six Hundred Forty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The terrain has changed. Much less vegetation. And the trail has taken a turn to the south, following what I make out to be a river course – dry with not a lick of moisture.

Tomas was fully recovered and ranged far to our front, vigilant to protect us.

The night air was cold. We had to keep moving to keep warm. The Captain feels it most keenly.

I remained by Elijah’s side. (He no longer hangs back to pray, rejoining us at a later time). He has added a wealth of detail to what he told me yesterday, but I still await an independent confirmation.

We halted at the first streaks of dawn and prepared ourselves against the coming heat.

Day Six Hundred Thirteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas entertained us with tales of his adventures on the road before turning in. He found the conditions the same as reported by our neighbor. And no one bothered him.

We showed him the map to the other exile’s place and he recognized most of the landmarks therein. He was excited at the prospect of leading us there.

We intended to leave at first morning light and join the farmers in their daily movement to the city. However, come the dawn not only weren’t there any farmers and their produce heading to market, but the roads were clogged with columns of soldiers.

I pointed out the obvious conclusion – construction of the army camp must be complete.

We are waiting again.

Day Five Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Strangely uneasy all day.  But no one else aboard shares my apprehension.

It started this morning over breakfast. The dawn was slow arriving. The darkness clung everywhere, refusing to lift and give place to the light.

I mentioned this to Elijah. He only shrugged his shoulders and kept eating.

I planned to take some exercise on the deck, stopping first to check in on the bridge. Both the Captain and Tomas were present. But each was irritated about something, so I took the cue and launched into my walk down below.

It seemed to me that the storm of a couple of days ago had returned, only this time it was internal instead of external.

Time for the special cabin.

Day Three Hundred Twenty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The night was tremulous, but not uncomfortable as the climate is tropical.

At the hour of dawn it became darker still. I detected a swirling motion in the clouds but then realized it was actually a massive swarm of insects being flung far and wide overwhelming the horizon. I traced its source to a fissure in the mountain dome, and there directed Elijah’s attention.

Elijah simply said, “It is time.” And pounded the butt of his staff on the rocky ground.

The fissure gaped open and a chained monstrosity issued forth.

“Could this be Abaddon?” was my single thought.

Stan charged by oblivious to us and placed a collar around its neck.

Elijah struck the ground again releasing its bonds.