Day Eight Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Over night Elijah and I separately received confirmation that today was our day to enter. We timed our arrival at the gateway to coincide with the morning rush. However, we were intercepted on the way by Meesa and our guest at the desert well, Jezer.

She had been on the way out to our spot to introduce us, and to inform us about the best strategy for entry.

A few awkward moments ensued, then we were talked into entering later in the day as part of a labor crew bringing scraps from outside for reuse.

The stratagem worked. This evening we are within Damascus. And thankful for the Spirit’s timing, for without Meesa’s intervention we would have been turned away.

Day Eight Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our observations of the last day and a half have brought up something very curious. The two main roads are often backed up at certain times as the vehicles are checked before entry. A third way into the city lies between them. A steady stream of people on foot depart the main roads on either side to join the path to this gateway.

So, to my mind without a vehicle ourselves, this looks to offer the best way in, leaving the only decision as to the morning or the evening busy times.

But Elijah hasn’t ruled out one of the vehicle only entries. In fact he rather prefers it.

In which case I think it calls for a closer look.

Day Eight Hundred Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah’s prediction came to pass. By late afternoon we stood in the city gates. All by ourselves.

We had noticed immediately this morning that the air overhead was free from man-made objects. And we climbed up from the riverside to the road to investigate the sudden outbreak of silence. There were no movements in either direction. No vehicles nor even pedestrians.

So, we passed through the formidable gateway, unopposed – except for the glare of the fantastical beasts (or demons) etched into the surface of the walls.

The gateway opened onto a large market area. Its stalls or shops all shuttered and again marked by the absence of people.

A long hike followed to the gigantic skyscraper selected by Elijah.

Day One Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

An eventful day. I doubt if I can write it all down. Hopefully I won’t forget or leave out any important details.

I have met Grazie, the woman who waved to me from the western fields. Lyle was not with me, as he had wished. It happened on my inspection of the gateways into the west end. All were still shut, except for the one into the deserted first district.  Decorations were spread everywhere. It made no sense. I was at the point of leaving when she materialized at my side. She had not expected seeing me either. Of all she shared the most riveting was her warning – not to submit to her leaders.

And that the gates reopen tomorrow.

Day One Hundred Forty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The whole east end is camped outside. The first day of the harvest is in, with many more days ahead of us. The leaders tell Lyle that the harvest will be a very great one this year.

For my part, the physical exertion was welcome. It relieved my mind of troublesome thoughts. Though my gaze wandered from time to time over to the western fields. There is a noticeable increase in the number of their laborers. But I saw no one look up from their work, nor look over our way.

Comparing their numbers to the size of their fields, I don’t see how they can get it all in.

Lyle wants me to check the west end gateways tomorrow.

Day One Hundred Thirty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The decision has been made. Tomorrow we will all repair to the fields and there camp through the harvest. Today was given over to preparations to that end.

Last night the lights from the west end seemed even brighter than the evening before. They especially lit up all the approaches to their gateways. What do they have to fear from our small quarter? From us?

I guess we fear them too. Not knowing what their intent is toward us.

Lyle becomes more concerned with each passing day that Kip and Moglen may be lost to us. Could they indeed be swayed?

Later I sought the grace and peace that flows in my walled courtyard, sensing there may be no return.

Day One Hundred Thirty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

No word from the west.  Lyle and his leaders have decided not to change their normal routine.

As Lyle went out to the fields, I checked out the different gateways.

All was quiet and still. They were all closed except the gate into the first district of the west end. The same district I found empty and devoid of inhabitants on my first foray into the western half of the city.

Still no inhabitants, but now in the once empty square, a pedestal now stands at its center, awaiting a statue.

Lyle doesn’t think it has any significance for now. But then again he was more concerned about the person he saw waving to him from the west end fields.

Day One Hundred Eleven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was Lyle’s turn to stay and help the widow today. I explained to him where I had left off, and what is left to be done.

He gave me some tips on what I might run into as I tour the western half of the city. He wants me to keep a look out for any sign of authority. He wants to meet with them and ask questions about their future plans.

It turned out to be a long day with little progress. I chose the district that I thought would lead to the other gateway. As it turned out, this district has no inhabitants and no gateway link.

The west end must be much bigger than we estimated.

Day Fifty PM #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Clarissa is taking to our new camp with great ease. For me I feel anything but ease.

I am waiting again for Lyle to reach us. I am convinced that wherever he is, when he can seize the opportunity he will join us.

Meanwhile I placed my drone in orbit around our perimeter. There was absolutely nothing in its scanner. Therefor I increased its coverage, staying on this side of the wall.

Today it was able to cover a sizable distance in both directions. By its means, I pinpointed the exact location of another gateway, one that perhaps does not involve a trap.

And best of all I have seen a sign that Lyle may already be on this side.