Day Four Hundred Eighty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were lifted on the wings of the Spirit and borne over water and the city itself. And deposited gently in a field beside a road running from the city.

Elijah wasted no time in taking up the advance down the road. I asked why we were bypassing the port city. He explained that he already knew that any followers of Hamashiach had left long ago. And that we no doubt had a long way to go before encountering any, if at all.

Miles and miles of dusty road, and not a village, nor even a house did we pass by. It was like the city behind us had sucked its surroundings into its sprawl, leaving the vast countryside empty.

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Day Two Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our journey from the oasis was nothing like our trek there. We stood side by side and set our faces towards the city. Elijah raised his staff and the next minute we were in the vineyard on the outskirts.

The once great city is gone – except for the east end where a few buildings still stand.

We see movement in the field, our next stop.

Day One Hundred Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All await the ultimatum. It’s dependent, of course, upon when Moglen and the others discover their latest gambit has collapsed. In the opinion of most, it has already occurred. Four drones instead of the usual two buzzed the encampment and spread out from there.

Lyle called a meeting of his leaders, but even more people came. Hardly anyone reported to the fields. Everyone wanted assurance. Not just for the future. But for their next breath.

Lyle was the calm in the center of the storm. He directed their focus to where it should be.

Afterwards we went off together. I asked him what we were going to tell Moglen when he asks to speak to Flowers.

“The truth, of course.”

Day One Hundred Sixty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our immediate household is all in the field today. Lyle, the widow and her son, and myself. Grazie when she learned of our return, joined us. She became very concerned when we explained the recent developments. She wants to know if anything can be done for those like herself still in the west end. Lyle asked her for the particulars.

We all clammed up, as at that moment the two east enders bearing the mark arrived at our camp. They offered their services as mediators. Lyle told them that it would never work out, as Moglen, claiming control of the whole city, needn’t bargain with anyone.

They left, and we talked long into the night.

What to do next indeed.

Day One Hundred Sixty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Thick cloud cover moved in overnight. Dawn came but it remained darkened, and a heavy downpour greeted us instead of the sun.

Word came in from the field that some of the late crops were beat down and ruined. Concern is spreading that the latter harvest will fall short of our needs for the year.

On the heels of this grave news, we were notified that a meeting has been granted to us for tomorrow. Not with Stan, but with Moglen again, in his new capacity as the supreme leader of the entire city.

Lyle is going. I may not. Frankly  I think that Moglen has gotten this position because of his unyielding stance. So what would be the difference?

Day One Hundred Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The movement back into the east end is under way. After reconsideration, only two thirds of the work force will return. The rest will remain behind and prepare for the latter harvest.

Lyle plans to contact Moglen and ask if he can meet with the representative of the world authority. He believes it to be only logical at this stage. For my part, I doubt that Stan has the courage to meet with us.

I helped the widow and her son back into their home. Grazie lent a hand, and though she knows she is welcome to stay, she has volunteered to remain behind in the field.

Later I had the urge to check the first district.

It was closed.

Day One Hundred Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The first district gate was wide open when we arrived mid-morning. Kip was not waiting for us outside. We found him inside, seated in the square.

Lyle had wanted to come alone and leave me with the harvest crews in the field. There is some wisdom to such a course of action, but I could not acquiesce. Still he made me state my case before relenting. I brought up two points: one, Kip was expecting both of us, and two, Grazie, if there, was expecting me.

As it turns out, Kip was alone, and he has never heard of anyone named Grazie. But he did share the same warning, beware his fellow leaders, especially Moglen. He returned with us.