Day Two Hundred Forty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We found the camp of the East Enders split into two factions. None of them bearing the mark. But completely divorced from one another.

While Elijah met with them to straighten things out, I went into the city.

The West End is nothing but a hole in the ground, with the deepest pit in the locale of the First district.

A fire burns there in the depths.

Day One Hundred Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Yesterday Lyle brought out four more children. They added to our disquiet with tales of the removal of their grandparents and older people from their midst, some of whom bore the mark. The only explanation given – they are to populate the empty first district to make room in the other districts for the influx of people from without. An influx willing to receive the mark.

Beneath the surface, Lyle judges it to be the world authority’s way of strengthening its position. Remove a people’s memory and you can control and form them to your ends.

Lyle has decided to widen his net. I suggested he talk to Grazie first.

I can’t shake the feeling that something more sinister is transpiring.

Day One Hundred Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All witness accounts line up. The single column of smoke rising from the center of the first district made its first appearance two days ago.

I went into the city to investigate. I walked to where the gates to the first district once stood. They have been removed, and the gap walled up.

An easterly wind pushed the smoke in this direction filling the sky overhead. It bore with it the sound of cymbals and drums.

I turned my back on the sights and sounds and strode away. A man came out of his house and stopped me. He asked what it all meant. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Nothing good.”

Peace returned to me in the walled courtyard.

Day One Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle’s mission yesterday bore fruit. He emerged from the west with five children. They are now scattered to other families throughout the encampment for safe keeping.

We now know that by no means is the mark borne universally in the west. But people there reported rumors that those who have, are forming bands to sweep through the city to seek out those who don’t. And Lyle saw evidence of this on his way back through the district. A band surrounded one of the west end markets and checked each customer.

Talking with Lyle about this, I was feeling overwhelmed. There must be a better way to help.

I was unsettled further when he described smoke rising from the first district.

Day One Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Against my inclinations I accompanied Lyle to the meeting with Moglen. Lyle wouldn’t go without me. He told me that he needed “Enough” to be by his side to call “enough” over the proceedings, if necessary.

We entered the second district. Evidently Moglen was not required to change venues when promoted. The “Capital” is wherever he is.

He was friendly, but he spoke and it was our job to listen. In addition to taking the mark to be allowed to trade, we also will require it to remain in our homes. Then he insisted on taking us to the first district. He brought us before the statue, which pointed at us and said, “Bow.”

We both said “Enough,” and left.

Day One Hundred Fifty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle has put his request in with Moglen. Moglen declared he would do all he could to bring about the meeting desired, but stopped short of any promises.

On his way back, Lyle, like me, also had a prompting to go to the first district. But unlike in my case, he found the gate open.

A shiver went through me, even before he told me that a golden statue now stands on the pedestal in its great square.  It is a statue of a man, bearing the likeness of Stan.

I had to go see this for myself. I arrived to find the gate still open and many people milling around the square.

But a white canvas covered the statue.

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.

Day One Hundred Forty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle plied me with questions upon my return. And all the more so when I ignored his queries and went straight to the warning from Grazie. We talked long into the night and picked up the threads this morning.

Then Lyle conferred with his leaders and at his request they freed us from all responsibilities in the field for the day.

We entered the east end and walked directly to the second avenue entrance, but found the gates still closed. We stood waiting and debating for some time. Then we both had the same thought – to check out the first district.

Its gates were now closed also, but tacked to them was an invite from Kip to meet there tomorrow.