Day One Thousand One Hundred Sixty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Everyone has made the leap of logic and lines up the rumored sacrifice with the person of our young friend.

I was at the point of second guessing and backing off on that conclusion, banking on the fact that any hard evidence to the connection is completely lacking, when Elijah interjected that Mawuli is indeed in Moglen’s clutches and it is Stan’s intent to sacrifice the boy.

Then I knew in my heart that the altar had been replaced once again up on the heights above Sy’s old redoubt.

And I knew that we would be returning there.

Thankfully before that thought could immobilize me, Elijah set me some tasks around the hiding place that could benefit from my attention.

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Day One Thousand One Hundred Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah called for an end to the demolition of all the remaining passages into the hiding place area. The Captain started to protest, but Sy stepped forward and by his argument convinced our friend that such measures were no longer necessary.

Mei and Meesa asked to meet with us to discuss the state of our provisions and the water supply here. After they expressed their concerns, Elijah was able to put them at ease, stating that, given the time remaining there is more than enough to care for the 120,000 people, called to be here.

Afterwards I had so much to think about, that I drew away to the set apart place to intercede for Mawuli and, yes, Mr Kagi.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Here at day’s end and I’m still recovering from yesterday’s surprise appearance of our young friend. Elijah kept our greetings brief, enforcing a strict regimen of silence and driving us onward by his example. Continuing through the night.

Our pace only slackened with the dawn of the new day, yet we kept onward. At one point it was as if we entered a space of our own reality in which nothing else and no one else existed. Only then did Elijah allow us to converse.

Everything came tumbling out as we pressed Tomas for information.

Most startling was the news that the Supreme Commander is dead. And the army of the East has allied with the army of the North.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Thirty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The struggle to our south has dropped completely from our view, instead we can see rank upon rank upon rank of the army of world government massing behind their defenses at the mouth of the valley below.

Reuben expressed to us his dismay at the sight of this vast array of power and might. I feared that this feeling would sink him into a kind of paralysis.

That’s when Elijah took him aside and talked to him. By their gestures and the look on Reuben’s face afterwards, I knew that my old friend had introduced him to the angel in whose shadow we move.

The change in Reuben was complete. And I took the opportunity to counsel on other things.

Day One Thousand Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another day of waiting has passed slowly. Everyone has taken it in stride, considering it a trial of patience.

Sy, though, grew unsettled by day’s end. By his calculation Elam should have arrived back here today at the latest. He’s beginning to think that he’ll never see his friend and his tanker truck again.

When I tried to point out to him other possibilities, he left and went up to the heights. Elijah followed him.

They remained up there for quite some time. Long enough to witness a flurry of activity in the air above the plain.

The Captain, Mei and myself caught the end of the display when the crash of distant explosions drew us out of the redoubt.

Day Nine Hundred Ninety Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Jezer and Tomas passed through again this morning to refill the tanker truck. They reported that Reuben was working himself to the bone in service to the injured. So Elijah thought it best to select some of his ‘pupils’ and send them on ahead to lend a hand.

When he had assembled them, they all volunteered. Elijah picked twelve and sent them out.

The rest he dismissed asking them to return later and to each bring a friend to replenish their numbers.

I sought out the Purser and together we came up with a list of ideas to take to Mawuli and his advance team. We sent a messenger with this list aboard the tanker truck upon its way through.

Day Nine Hundred Eighty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another day and everyone in the Purser’s camp should be recovered enough to travel.

Everyone, that is, except that ex-army surgeon. He died. Shriveled away to nothing during the night.

The Purser now believes he was working against us and was the one behind all their losses, including his daughter Retha.

When I sensed that our friend was slipping away to a very dark place, Elijah and I took him and his wife aside to comfort them.

At the last, Elijah was able to convince them that in no manner were they responsible for the dead man’s perfidy.

Afterwards I joined Mawuli at his sentry station and helped him through this renewal of grief by simply standing with him.

Day Nine Hundred Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The last leg of our journey was exceedingly difficult. Mawuli led us into a narrow canyon that from a distance appeared to split a massive table plateau.

We left the camel with some others in a pen situated at the widest spot, and continued on.

Our path dead ended where the two walls met. We then made a switchback that climbed the face of the canyon wall.

Tomas and Mawuli had to boost, first Elijah, then me, up and over the last obstacle at the top.

As we walked the slope to the higher end of the plateau, our friend the Purser, ran down to greet us.

Arm in arm he lead us to his encampment and his wife Mary.

Day Nine Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As preparation for the next stage of our search, I suggested we replenish our water skins at the desert crossroads before heading into the desert.

As we all deemed it necessary, it was an easy decision to make the detour. As always Tomas was happy to go anywhere he’d never been before, especially with the additional incentive of seeing where we had first encountered Jezer.

It took longer than we remembered for it was late in the day when we finally arrived. We had the spot all to ourselves and set up camp.

While we filled the water skins, Tomas explored the area.

Our surprise was great when he returned minutes later with a struggling youth, my youngest friend Mawuli.

Day Nine Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our friend could talk of nothing else but the explosion. He was well past the town where it went off when it went off. He turned around and ran back to investigate. But he couldn’t get any closer than the fields outside. Nothing stirred, except the raging fire – everywhere. It seemed to be feeding on something within itself.

When he passed through before, not a soul would answer him. So he had wiped his feet and left in search of us.

When Tomas had unburdened himself, Elijah had us all turn in. Only with the new morning did we open up about our journey and about the rumor we had heard.

We parlayed and unanimously decided to pursue the lead.