Day Nine Hundred Twenty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Quasimo and I made short work of completing the new drone. Then Elijah and I sent him off to rejoin Jezer to take up the search again.

We then had a brief respite to catch our breath before the next demand on our attention.

When it came, I shouldered it myself as Elijah had sequestered himself with the intercessors in their labors.

A dispute had erupted between members of Quasimo’s group and a few from that led by Mei over the distribution of the daily allowance. Unable to locate Mei, Meesa stepped in to help defuse the tempers. After Mei surfaced, a solution was quickly reached, and consequently the women announced their decision to administer rather than join the search.

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Day Eight Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our observations of the last day and a half have brought up something very curious. The two main roads are often backed up at certain times as the vehicles are checked before entry. A third way into the city lies between them. A steady stream of people on foot depart the main roads on either side to join the path to this gateway.

So, to my mind without a vehicle ourselves, this looks to offer the best way in, leaving the only decision as to the morning or the evening busy times.

But Elijah hasn’t ruled out one of the vehicle only entries. In fact he rather prefers it.

In which case I think it calls for a closer look.

Day Eight Hundred Fifty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I twisted my ankle on our transit last night. Elijah caught me before I hit the ground. Otherwise the injury would have been more serious.

As I sat there he rubbed his hands together creating heat from the friction. Then seized the point of the swelling. I could sense warmth radiating from there throughout my body.

In moments I was able to stand. He loaned me his staff as a precaution against further missteps.

We called an end to our night walk early for we came upon a well at a crossroads.

We drank our fill and found a place nearby to rest and pass the day.

Given the crossroads we had another decision to make, hopefully not under duress.

Day Eight Hundred Forty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We continued sometime past sunrise to be sure we had not missed the second mountain peak in Quasimo’s instructions. We were encouraged that no such landmark lay over on that side of the horizon. Yet.

We had decided between us that we will not switch to daylight travel, but will continue our nocturnal strolls, with a couple of adjustments. We will start well before sundown and not call a halt until an hour or so after sunrise. We are confident that will be enough to keep us oriented properly.

We also were helped along in our decision by an occurrence over the night. I again heard noises trailing us. Not barking, rather this time, clearly voices on the desert air.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

That question has been foremost in all our minds, from the minute we stepped foot in the confines of this way station. Jordan, ever since his arrival here, has always felt that he would be the last to leave. But now after the event of our arrival, has changed his mind.

And Elijah agrees.

So, Jordan has announced his departure for tomorrow. We will stay.

Though at first, the Captain and Tomas considered leaving with Jordan’s group, that was opposed by none other than Mei.

Her decision stems from a dream she experienced over the last two nights. In each instance all of us – just our group, were outside under the moon and stars. And a dark shadow passed overhead.

Day Seven Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lung parted from our little band this morning. He made one last attempt to persuade Mei to return with him. But she was adamant about remaining with us.

Lung accepted her decision at the last, and even offered to report that she had perished back at the glacier.

I, however, suggested he merely report that they had been separated and that he had no knowledge where she was.

I believe he understood the gist of my comment, and hope to trust in his discretion. Though I have a nagging doubt where Lung is concerned.

Mei spent the day with the Captain. He had a lot to share about Tomas.

I went out with our young friend for a long conversation.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The attitude of our guards changed after our interchange with their commander. They deferred to our needs in all interactions since then.

Another tanker truck arrived this morning, just as the first finished filling up. The commander will be staying here while sending the full one back. (The second belongs to his command also).

He will keep us here until he receives an answer to his communication.

Elijah has made it known to everyone his decision not to go backward. He is open to accepting any provisions the Supreme Commander may release for our use, but he won’t appear before him as a condition to receive them.

Tomas took me aside to ask if he had made the right decision.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We kept on the move all night, and only stopped (or dropped) when exhaustion overtook us.

Our discussions along the way had not yet resolved the two different options that divide our company. Tomas and the Captain were for seeking out the help of the Supreme Commander. Elijah and I thought we should not go back the way we came, but rather continue north.

The decision was taken away from us at the appearance on the road of a tanker truck. Its support troops had us surrounded before we had a chance to react.

Though clearly harmless they kept us with them to their destination, the dam at the end of the lake.

Thus we landed back where we began.

Day Six Hundred Eighty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We could not communicate with one another save through gestures and signs. Their weapons did most of the pointing.

After a few tense moments they seemed satisfied that we were not on a mission from their enemies which we took to be the army in the pass.

Thankfully they did not force us out into the night, but neither would they let us depart this morning.

The Captain had a sense they were waiting for someone else with the authority to make that decision.

Tomas went outside briefly with one of them and brought back news that the storm had passed.

Both Elijah and I sought to redeem the time in prayer. We were allowed use of the sleeping quarters.

Day Six Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We covered much less distance than usual last night. I think that the Captain and I slowed our pace consciously, both for the sake of Elijah and to hopefully keep the distance between Tomas and us as short as possible.

When Elijah joined us later, as has been his habit lately, he made no comment on this fact. He simply slowed to our pace.

It was still dark when we came upon the perfect place to pass the next two days. It was an unanimous decision.

The Captain oriented himself to best advantage to observe the quarter from which we expect Tomas.

And I exercised more caution this time, making sure that no scorpion nests were in my chosen spot.