Day Seven Hundred Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It took quite some time to clear away the obstructions. An engineering unit was brought up for the heavy lifting to that end. Until they arrived the leaders of this unit set down the best path for the endeavor.

This left us with a lot of free time. Elijah suggested that we all fast. We agreed.

Our non-eating went unnoticed among our army companions until our absence at evening mess.

It created no little stir.

We were each interrogated about what we were not doing. Something about this behavior unsettled them, making them very suspicious. And in a way I believe they somehow intuited the power that lies behind it.

I finally convinced them they had nothing to fear.

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Day Seven Hundred Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was all over practically before it began, but we have been dealing with the aftermath clear into today.

It had taken us all by surprise. Even Elijah.

Timed explosions on both sides brought the towering canyon walls down upon the army unit behind ours. The perpetrators made a gigantic mistake, however, perhaps too big of a charge – for they also brought down the very rock upon which they were standing.

We discovered this fact when we turned back to investigate. (Only when we felt assured the threat had passed).

Things became clearer as the day went on. Not only had our attackers been taken out, but also every one of the leaders of the conspiracy against the Supreme Commander.

Day Seven Hundred Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The communication from Tomas was already opened and we assumed read by other interested parties. On the face of it Tomas was assuring us of his well being and inquiring after ours. But there was a subtext that I was sure had eluded anyone other than our eyes.

It was much in my thoughts as we set out once more.

If I was correct in my assumption, the Supreme Commander was about to suffer the same fate as David at the hand of his son Absalom.

I was discussing the implications with Elijah and the Captain when the surrounding mountainsides of the pass sprang to life. And our attention was riveted on the threat around us.

Where was the Spirit?

Day Seven Hundred Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The leader of the army’s advance units took it upon himself to place us out front. Obviously he sees us as a shield and intends to wield us as such.

Of course, we actually are his shield and for the army at large wherever they place us or wherever we would choose to place ourselves.

I scanned the mountains on the right and the Captain those to the left. Elijah just forged on ahead.

This first day nothing out of the ordinary happened. At its end we set up camp and sent back word for the rest of the army that it was safe to advance.

The message was acknowledged and an additional communication was handed to Elijah from Tomas.

Day Seven Hundred Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We had no sooner noticed that activity throughout the camp had increased, when Tomas brought word that orders were circulating for the army to advance.

At that juncture the Supreme Commander came to us with a request. He wanted us to assume a place with the advance units as they go through the next pass.

Or specifically Elijah, the Captain and myself. For he had decided to keep Tomas back in the rear of the army by his side.

(Obviously to keep us from wandering too far).

After a brief conference we acceded to his request.

I knew from my ongoing talks with Elijah that this fit exactly with our goals.

Even in the position that Tomas will find himself.

Day Seven Hundred Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas had noticed my frustration yesterday. So he pulled me aside to explain a few realities.

The Supreme Commander is only supreme in matters pertaining to the army. He is the servant of one of the global factions and must answer to them. He has made a very risky decision in our regard, for each of us are wanted individuals by those same authorities.

For now, the Supreme Commander’s sense of debt towards us has dictated his stance. And Tomas is reasonably certain he will stand by his decision in the face of opposition.

Still there are factions in the army that would delight to see him fall and assume his place.

Elijah confirmed Tomas’ analysis with a wistful smile.

Day Seven Hundred Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Just because we were set at liberty did not mean that we were free to leave. Our guards were dismissed to other duties which meant that instead of being under their sole observation we had the attention of the entire army wherever we turned.

The Supreme Commander had decided for reasons of security that we would not be allowed to depart from the camp. And orders were issued accordingly.

I was surprised at Elijah’s complaisance in the face of these strictures. However, Tomas and the Captain were unperturbed and welcomed the opportunity to take it easy.

Finally I realized I had my sights too attuned to the end goal and was not directing my immediate focus where it should be.

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 Ninety Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed through the first encampments of the army with ease. They subjected us only to mild scrutiny. But as we arrived at the next ring of army units we were challenged, brought to their commander and kept waiting for hours (the individual was tied up with other pressing matters, or so we were told).

All was uneventful until the arrival of an officer to make his report. He saw Elijah standing there, staff in hand, and demanded that he relinquish his “weapon.” (I believe he recognized Elijah from the broadcast).

When Elijah didn’t comply, the officer attempted to take it by force. The second he touched the staff, he fell to the ground.

The commander no longer ignored us.

Day Six Hundred Ninety Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We hadn’t realized it. We’d been traveling for over an hour without any contact of any kind along the road. Soldier or peasant.

The Captain spoke up first. He had a feeling that he could not shake off. An oppressive sense of impending danger.

Our surroundings had changed subtly. From open country to something else that none of us could describe.

After the Captain shared his apprehensions he suddenly blurted out the thought that perhaps Tomas was being held by the great army to our north.

Elijah stood there and smiled at him, then he turned to me and said that the time had come to turn our steps towards the center of the valley to seek our friend Tomas.