Day One Thousand Two Hundred Sixteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I am proud of Mawuli. He is exercising supreme control over his compulsion to wade down through these elite troops to get at his chief tormentor.

He has taken to heart Elijah’s advice (and warning) that any vengeance we could imagine to inflict upon Stan for his deeds would fall short by an infinity to the true justice he shall receive under the full weight of the Word.

For now he is content to share the vigil with Tomas and await developments.

He is as keen as I am to witness what is coming.

Later the Captain stirred more excitement when he brought news of more visitors.

I hurried to Elijah. Two of his disciples were there fresh from Babylon.

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Day One Thousand Two Hundred Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Insufferably cold today. We kept sequestered in the redoubt. Huddled by the fire, for the most part. And the duration of the watches were shortened to limit exposure.

For the better part of the day we did not see Elijah or Mawuli. So, they missed the beginnings of the excitement when Reuben, on his tour, called for our help.

A pack of wild dogs had been feeding down in the garbage pit, when they caught Reuben’s (or perhaps our) scent.

Originally he had seen only a half dozen or so. By the time I joined him it grew to a hundred starving beasts circling the redoubt.

I broke in on Elijah and Mawuli to enlist their aid against the threat.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Fifty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have arrived at the parting of the ways. The last trio of disciples is off to Jerusalem, resigned at last that Elijah will not be of their number and affirming our individual responsibilities to the Spirit.

The drone activity continues nil. Our watches throughout the day reported no one stirring anywhere. We have the main Damascus – Jerusalem road in sight and this total lack of people and vehicles is striking.

The four of us debated the merits of continuing on in the daylight and without resting. In the end we agreed to continue with our present plan.

In talking with Tomas and Reuben, there is excitement and anticipation about being with their friends again. I share the same feelings.

Day Nine Hundred Eighty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I almost didn’t recognize him, he’d grown so much in the past year. But he had no difficulty recognizing me, and positively could not stand still in his excitement in our presence.

After a brief exchange he filled his water skins and begged us to remove our camp away to where he had set up.

It was a caution he always practiced. And as it proved, a more comfortable place to pass the night.

Today we filled the rest of his water skins and we set off for their place deep in the desert.

Mawuli explained that they have been stranded there for months now. Their numbers keep growing as his parents invite injured and castoff people into their group.

Day Nine Hundred Seventy Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I had much to ponder as Elijah and I plodded along. What was left that would fit the description of Mei’s words? Perhaps Damascus? But we would not know anything from that quarter until we heard from Jezer and Reuben.

Somehow I don’t feel they are there.

I contented myself with interceding for the Purser and his family and their charges, wherever they might be.

Shortly after we came across a shepherd and his flock. The aged man told us a story about a large group of people away off deeper in the desert. Our excitement was squelched when he added they were in uniform.

The sighting was repeated by the next encounter, a traveling merchant.

What do we do?

Day Eight Hundred Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

More barking. And not just one or two. The thought that a pack may be trying to work up the courage to attack caused us to greet the morning with thankfulness.

We stood down in a valley between two ranges of dunes. We were pleased to see that our hill had gained in stature, in great part due by comparison, I am sure, to our position within this sort of valley.

Elijah pointed down its length and said, “Tomorrow we shall turn the corner.”

On my watch I resolved to rein in my excitement at the new step ahead of us. I knew if I were to fail, it would only eat away at me and sleep would be impossible.

Day Seven Hundred Twenty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The speck on the horizon has taken on a more recognizable form. Buildings spread out in a line, conforming, I surmise, to the presence of a river or some other feature out of our sight.

The Captain bubbles over with excitement at the prospect of fresh fruit. For he believes he sees groves of trees grouped around the approaches to the city.

Tomas stayed awake late last night smelting the gold from the satellite components. This morning he showed us the results of his labors – four small, shiny rectangles of the precious substance. One for each of us if we wanted to divide them up.

We will make a short day of it. We prefer to enter tomorrow in daylight.

Day Five Hundred Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Raj twins, (for such they are), awakened us early and led us on a serpentine crawl across the face of the city. I would not like to make the trip any later.

Elijah reflected an unruffled demeanor upon entering the shipyard. I, by contrast, could not contain my excitement at the prospect of reuniting with the Captain and the crew of the ship.

Two vessels were on the stocks in the dry docks, but neither one was ours. The twins left us at the shipyard office to make our queries.

To our joy the Captain emerged from the office as we were climbing the stairs.

To our questions he gestured to the first in a line of waiting ships.

Day Four Hundred Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Many of the villages we are passing have lights within. And dogs which bark at us. A few even chased us. But not for long. When Elijah turned on them, staff in hand, they stopped in their tracks and bolted for home.

The image of Stan continues to haunt us. His visage stares out from posters plastered on walls throughout the villages and towns. Some have incense burning before them and offerings of bits of fruit. It turns my stomach. Elijah does not even deign to look.

Some are wary of us. Most are just curious.

Elijah learned that there is excitement about the upcoming census. And I learned that the prospect of renewed global communication is all the buzz.