Day Seven Hundred Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

What a day! A veritable sea change in the power structure of this area.

And at the center of it, our friend from the subcontinent, Raj P, the twin brother of G.

Mei noticed the resemblance before we could say a word, and was able to fill in many of the blanks herself as our discussions began- discussions that lasted until we were too tired, and recommenced this morning.

P told us that he had wandered far and wide after escaping from the East, only to fall into the clutches of the hunters. He was turned over to the tribunal, and was being held as their hedge against the victor between the army of the East and the world government.

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 Seven Hundred Nineteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I could not stop thinking about G and his people and the road ahead of them. And wondering if we forgot to relate to them anything that might make their pilgrimage less perilous.

Tomas, thankfully, had given him valuable information for dealing with the Supreme Commander should they run afoul of his massive army. And Elijah wonderfully encouraged him.

This train of thought halted when the Captain spotted movement ahead of us, and for all appearances coming directly for us.

After the briefest of discussions, we continued on our course.

At one point they halted for no other reason I can think of, except they saw us.

It was a caravan of merchants. We passed one another in absolute silence.

Day Four Hundred Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are exhausted. I believe we got better than a day’s march in. So we are very close to the end of this wilderness. Perhaps by midday tomorrow.

There are now indications that a great number of people have passed this way. Such a fact goes a long way to explain why we have had no sightings of wild beasts. They have fled deeper into the wilderness.

I will take the first watch while Elijah turns in. Throughout the day our discussions revolved around what may lie behind us. So my vigilance will be focused in that quarter. And not simply because we believe Stan will eventually follow us.

We have passed by sojourners from the west bearing the mark.

Day One Hundred Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The harvest in the west is done. Ours is still days away from completion.

Kip said that the west end leaders will likely approach us when they are finished with an offer to use their machines. He is certain that it will come with an innocuous “price,” but its true cost will be hidden.

Lyle concurs, but he added that some of his leaders are longing to have their own.

I then proposed to pay a visit to the gates into the west to see if they have reopened. To which Lyle re-iterated that without him I must refuse any important discussions with Grazie, if we perchance meet.

I agreed and went.

All for nought, as it turned out.