Day Six Hundred Fifty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We thought those flying lights had given up, but they had only moved back their appearance by a couple of hours. They were unhurried in their movements, making wide, lazy turns over one particular area, closer to us than last night, but far enough away not to raise our concern.

However, what was markedly closer was that campfire out in front of us which we assume marks an encampment. They must not have moved at all yesterday.

We were about to turn in for the day, when Tomas discovered a source of water. He had been watching a flock of birds when of a sudden they left the sky. They led him to a pool fed by a small stream.

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Day Six Hundred Fifty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lights appeared in the sky again last night. Not concentrated anywhere, but criss-crossing haphazardly.

We were left wondering. Were they looking for us? Or for the army?

Tomas was hard pressed to believe that they could miss anything the size of that juggernaut of an army. So he concluded that we were its object.

Neither Elijah nor I felt concern as all of them were very wide of our mark.

What we did have concern for was the pinpoint glow of a fire off in the distance. At a point for which we were headed.

It could only be the mysterious group whose camp we have come upon twice now..

We turned in with much to fuel our dreams.

Day Six Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We took stock of provisions at the end of our trek this morning. The Captain thinks there’s enough water for three more days. We all hope we can replenish before then.

It was a hard passage last night. The trail left the side of the dry river bed to climb up unto a low tableland. An hour later we descended down to what Tomas considers to be the same dry river bed. The trail has merely cut off a wide loop of the same, saving us some miles and time, but the way up and the way down made it all the more arduous.

Crossing the tableland under the stars I thought much about that star on the belt buckle.

Day Six Hundred Fifty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We called a halt in the middle of our trek last night. We had come across what we thought was another caravan camp. But changed that estimation when we discovered abandoned military equipment among the camp refuse. Uniforms mostly. Though there were a few spent cartridges.

Upon pressing on, I wondered if this was the group whose refuse we had noticed at the caravan stop a few days before. And what would happen if we came upon them.

Elijah asked me if I had seen anything familiar. Only then did I tumble to the fact that among the uniforms I had seen were belt buckles with insignias described beforehand to me by Elijah.

Was this the confirmation I’ve been awaiting?

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 Forty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are on our way again. We had set out in the heat of the afternoon. At the insistence of Elijah.

Tomas has recovered. I will not say completely, but I will say he is very willing, and hardly requires any assistance. At those points when he does the Captain is first by his side to help.

I stayed close by Elijah and we conversed. He had many things to share with me, revelations that have come to him in dreams. Many things concerning me. My spirit quivered within me as he spoke. Some things I have known, but for others, and for one in particular, I will need to seek confirmation.

Perhaps during this night’s trek I will hear.

Day Six Hundred Forty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A welcome time of rest and recuperation today. Tomas is bouncing back nicely, he may be ready to continue on much sooner than we first believed.

Elijah did not come back to the camp beside the caravan trail until very late in the day. He kept to the cave for what he tells us was an intense preparation for the hardships ahead.

I kept myself busy, trying to be helpful for everyone, shuttling back and forth between our camp and the cave. It was readily apparent that Elijah did not require any ministrations from me. So I did not disturb his peace, rather I was folded into it for the brief times I was present.

I had time to wonder.

Day Six Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have spent the whole day here. Barely moving. And shall spend the night too, rather than travel on.

The Captain has seen to the comfort and rest of our young friend Tomas. His condition and the weakening constitution of Elijah will keep us here overnight and possibly a few days more.

It is now clear why the discipline of fasting was denied me. My strength was necessary to tend to the needs of others in our group.

One item of curiosity has surfaced from among the many things Tomas related to us about his recent trip. Tanker trucks, traveling with the army are draining every body of water they pass by.

They take seriously the drought proclaimed by Elijah.

Day Six Hundred Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

After the briefest of rests, we set out. But within minutes the reason for our backward movement was removed when a lone figure appeared on the horizon.  Even at a distance we knew it was Tomas.

We rushed to him.

I have never seen a more bedraggled and emaciated individual. Yet the Captain fell on his neck, weeping in gratitude to see his friend again.

Elijah and I had to assist them both back to the caravan stop.

Tomas reported there had been a clash between that huge army and many warplanes. With devastation on both sides – but particularly fatal to the flying force as their wreckage lay everywhere.

He is grateful to have escaped being under their renewal of hostilities.

Day Six Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Through a mutual agreement Elijah and I kept an eye on our friend lest he do something rash. I kept him engaged in conversation and later accompanied him to the cave. There we prayed for Tomas.

Later upon our return, the sky to the south was filled with more lights than ever. The Captain asked Elijah how long it had been going on. His reply upset him. And the Captain demanded to know why we had not been fetched. Before he could answer, a string of flashes lit up the foothills below the high mountains.

There was no stopping the Captain at that point. But we managed to limit our travel backward to the amount of night left to us.