Day One Thousand Eighteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Quasimo has come out of his crisis of confidence, partly helped by his skill in getting us to the third and last of the relay points, but I believe mostly due to the penetrating insight supplied by Elijah through their discussion.  Elijah was able to put him at peace, both for the present, and with his past. And most glorious of all, for the future.

Our passage today was for the most part uneventful. Reuben did sight a drone, but there was enough time to get everyone into cover. Quasimo said to expect more such sightings from here on out. Especially in the vicinity of the busy road that runs to Damascus from Jerusalem.

That will be the greatest challenge.

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Day One Thousand Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Since we had not arrived at the third relay point before halting last night, I asked Reuben to make a quick reconnaissance. What looked deceptively close higher up he had found to be much further away. Quasimo was at a loss for he does not remember it being more than one day’s journey distant from the second.

And a thornier problem had intruded.

Another outpost had been set up on the direct route.

He and Quasimo put their heads together and came up with another route.

And that is how we came to backtrack up the hill and down its other side. From there we have paralleled our intended path to keep hidden from the observation of the enemy’s outpost.

Day One Thousand Sixteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Situations like this made me wish that Tomas was still with us, out front scouting. But that worry passed when I heard that gentle rebuke, and I realized I was transferring my trust off of where it should be.

I found Quasimo in the same dilemma. He was still hesitant about ordering us forward, thinking it perhaps too soon.

I believed his recent dreams were  robbing him of his confidence. I sent him to confer with Elijah, and  took up the task of moving us on.

Elijah sent his new pupils to assist me, and together we had everyone up and over the next hill in short order.

From the summit Quasimo saw that the next stopping point was free.

Day One Thousand Fifteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed the night in the second relay station set up by Mei. Quasimo said we will have one more before the hiding place. And he fears we are now too close behind the next group ahead. Therefore he has called a halt for the day so that we don’t overcrowd there.

So while Elijah sat teaching some new pupils, I sat across the way wondering how Tomas and Jezer were faring, trying to fathom why they had not abandoned the tanker truck. Surely we don’t need it for the hiding place, we have deep springs there.

That’s when Quasimo interrupted me. He explained about having unsettling dreams about his old life as an assassin, since dealing with the traitors.

Day One Thousand Fourteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed the night in a cave. A little cramped, but no one was forced to stay outside.

There was frost on the rocks when we emerged to take up our trek, so we had to watch our footing. Even when it melted, the rock bed of our path remained slick.

Reuben and I took turns helping Elijah along the narrow stretches. Just about everyone slipped but our trio. Thankfully there were no serious injuries. If anything the hurts were to their dignity, and, thankfully again, those were not lasting. And when handled in the right spirit, instructive.

Reuben noticed this, and that fact pleased both Elijah and myself.

We passed the summit of this route and are now descending.

Day One Thousand Thirteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

His message delivered, Elijah’s pupil took  leave and returned to his prime assignment.

Before we left this morning, Quasimo found the hothead’s mangled body at the base of the nearby cliff. All we know for sure is the dead man’s link to the traitor, that fact supplied by visions given to the first twelve. And can only guess that his actions were all an act put on to throw off suspicion.

I shudder to think we were leading him back to the hiding place.

Another messenger appeared on our path. This one for Quasimo. He brought a warning for us to change our route to circumvent a new outpost keeping a watch in that quarter.

And an increase of patrols.

Day One Thousand Twelve #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Quasimo assures us this first part was easy. The challenging difficulties still lie ahead – this after one passing patrol kept us pinned down for longer than was comfortable.

During that particular episode my attention was drawn to our problematic hothead, the one so filled with wrath. Something furtive in his manner seemed out of place then, as though poised to act at a signal.

At the end of a long day we came to Mei’s first relay point. One of Elijah’s pupils from the first twelve was waiting for us, or more precisely, for Elijah.

Afterwards Elijah collected Reuben and a few others to seize the hothead. He saw them first and bolted.

One should not run in the dark.

Day One Thousand Eleven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All remained mute as Quasimo set us on the path out of the city. Jezer and Tomas stayed behind with a promise to catch up soon. They saw to the needs of the traitor to sustain him until such time as he can break his bonds.

And to take care of the problem, as they framed it, of the tanker truck.

On the rise outside of the city, Reuben fell in beside me and shared something gleaned from the prisoner. If we can believe his tale, he had been sent to investigate the explosion. They, the world government, had no idea who was responsible.

From the top I saw the tanker truck on the goat tracks far to the south.

Day One Thousand Ten #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We set out immediately to answer Reuben’s call. Mei had caught us up on the problem (she did not return with us, but will guide the Purser and the last group out).

My heart was heavy at the news of a traitor among Reuben’s charges.

Providentially Quasimo had returned, so he accompanied us.  (He will see us and Reuben’s group through the dangers ahead). He kept quiet while Elijah and I discussed the options.

First thing on our arrival, Reuben insisted we hold off till this morning to allow tempers to cool. One man in particular is consumed with vengeance and was stoking the others’ indignation.

Our decision was unanimous. We’ll leave the traitor incarcerated when we move out tomorrow.

Day One Thousand Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Well, we did not depart with the third group yesterday, nor with the fourth or fifth today. Elijah and I agreed to wait for an answer to our disagreement before taking any further action.

We have not discussed it with any of the others, preferring to keep our own council. That being said, we did leave an opening for any of our friends to speak into the situation unprompted by us and hopefully free of any other influence except that of the Spirit.

We saw Malawi off with his group. His mother Mary, bravely held back her tears until they were out of sight.

About that time Mei returned from the ruined city with an urgent request for our presence.