Day One Thousand Eighty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The way I saw it, we had two choices. We either had to swing farther east and retrace the route of our original escape, or go straight in and allow ourselves to be taken, we would hope, to the Supreme Commander.

Our concern for Mei naturally predisposed us to the first option. But Mei herself thought the latter to be the best overall option. And since her part in the mission had been fulfilled in the matter of Lung she was willing to separate from us and allow us to go in and make contact.

We turned to Elijah for any revelation he could share.

But what he had to say was rendered moot when an army unit surrounded us.

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Day One Thousand Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was not the carnage of battle that we surveyed on the summit of that mountain, but rather the aftermath of a wanton sacrifice. An altar had been raised over the source of the stream and an untold number of bodies lay strewn about – the bodies of animals contorted in their death agonies. All under the sparkling gaze of an idol of Stan, which presided over the scene.

Mawuli toppled it with a well aimed stone from his sling, and we crushed it under foot.

Elijah had us return to our camp near the stone bridge for the night, and from there this morning we set out towards the east, following Mawuli’s lead.

Elijah held his staff aloft in praise.

Day One Thousand Fifty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I went for a walk. First up to the heights to look around. Elijah scanned the view, paying attention to the road that runs to the East.

We then came down and struck out in the direction upon which we had mutually agreed. As we climbed away from the redoubt, I noticed Elijah was making heavy use of his staff. We stopped frequently so he could catch his breath.

Cresting the ridge and descending the other side, he picked up the pace. We halted on a stone bridge that spanned a dry stream bed.

One look at a path that ran beside the stream bed and we knew we had found the way to the plain far below.

Day Eight Hundred #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The nothingness of our surroundings continued right up until the afternoon. Then, a line crossing our road quite some distance ahead, joined it from the east. In distinction to our route it held a lot of activity, with many vehicles passing in both directions.

They were too small to make out at our remove. Only later could we identify the bulk of the traffic to be tanker trucks.

We halted for the night with this road in view, but taking pains that we were not.

We needed to decide our next course of action. Stick to the road or travel parallel out of sight.

Traffic continued without abatement. Most limited to our road ahead, very little on the western road.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mei made the sighting. She was watching the skies, but was drawn to flashes on the ridge line far to the east of us. When I looked I thought it was the water survey party we passed a few days ago.

So it was good that we were all set to leave. Tomas had covered the tracks of Jordan’s group per the plan and had selected another path away from the area.

On Elijah’s order we torched the pile of debris and stepped out again for points north on a trail that must have been used by those fleeing from that direction.

Tomas stayed with the group to help us over the tricky parts.

We should have a solid lead.

Day Seven Hundred Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

After seeing the latest group off, Elijah and I sat down with Jordan for a long talk. We asked about his trip here, and then about the conditions in the countries from which the followers were fleeing.

It was a dark, dark picture. Persecution, torture, and death.

When I think back on our wanderings I consider how well we have been protected and cared for.

Jordan’s journey was attended by war and conflict as brought by the world government in subjugating all the local regions within their reach. In town after town capitulated to the mark, they await secretly the great army from the East as their liberator.

But as Jordan reads it they just want to be lords themselves.

Day Six Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The notion that this area was all so familiar came back to me when I stood at the western end of the town and took in a 360 degree view. The flatness to the east and the mountains to the west spoke to a reservoir of memories within. Similar in all respects except for the presence of the town. My recollections for this spot in my consciousness held only open fields.

My reverie was interrupted by the Captain tugging at my sleeve. He wanted to discuss our departure from here.  He had learned a truck with room for all of us would be heading west sometime in the next two days.

The next moment Tomas brought news about the army.

Day Four Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The sea has flattened and the sky ahead has cleared. We have outrun the storm. We saw its track behind us where it had vectored off to the east. We also saw three other merchant vessels, also refugees of the weather.

Elijah wanted us to turn around then, but the Captain cautioned patience. In response Elijah drew apart to our special cabin.

Tomas wanted to turn around too, but for different reasons. He had heard rumors of pirates in the waters ahead.

Not until the other ships behind us turned about, did the Captain order the same.

When we were on our new course, Elijah emerged. He advised the Captain to make every attempt to enter port with the others.

Day Four Hundred Twenty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I guess Elijah was listening to my jabbering a few days ago. For one of the ideas that I threw out during my monologue, he actually brought up today.

At the front of our column we could see that the river ahead is taking a decided turn towards the north. A road from the east joins it at that juncture and follows it north.

Elijah says we will continue east taking that road. It leads to the port city on the eastern coast where we hope to catch up with our ship.

So believing that there must be someone from there amongst the followers of Hamashiach with us he sought them out.

We now have a contact name. Praise God.

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.