Day Eight Hundred Fifty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I twisted my ankle on our transit last night. Elijah caught me before I hit the ground. Otherwise the injury would have been more serious.

As I sat there he rubbed his hands together creating heat from the friction. Then seized the point of the swelling. I could sense warmth radiating from there throughout my body.

In moments I was able to stand. He loaned me his staff as a precaution against further missteps.

We called an end to our night walk early for we came upon a well at a crossroads.

We drank our fill and found a place nearby to rest and pass the day.

Given the crossroads we had another decision to make, hopefully not under duress.

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Day Eight Hundred Twenty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We divided our attention today between watching our steps and observing the activity in the skies over the megapolis. The ground was uneven, so at times treacherous. Hence our caution. But the presence of fleets of drones and circling warplanes over the city were a another source of concern.

Quasimo thinks we have no need  to worry.  He was certain that they are celebrating his “successful” assassination of Elijah and myself. Even if he had to bring down the building to accomplish that end. (Though he joked that Stan would not be above charging him for the value of the structure).

I just hope we can make it out of the area before they ascertain that our bodies aren’t there.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I confess there were tears in my eyes at our parting this morning. Our hugs were marked by whispered prayers for one another. Our parting, though real and painful, we know to be temporary in the greater balance of things. Our shared hope buoys us all.

I watched them as they and their groups disappeared in the west.

I was cheered by my belief that they were ready, especially Tomas and the Captain.

We had the road to ourselves all day. Nothing and no one crossed our view – on the ground or in the sky.

We shed our heavier garments as it warmed, only to put them on again at the sinking of the sun.

Our next destination- the Capital.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We covered a good deal of ground today. The terrain changed. We have left the hills behind. Now we have entered into the prairie – still on our southwest trajectory.

Our resting place this evening finds us at a crossroads. The six of us gathered for a meeting. Each one knew before a word was spoken that a momentous shift was afoot.

Elijah looked from one to the next in succession, and lastly to me.

It fell to my lot to make the announcement.

Tomorrow, Elijah and I were to part from them. They – Mei, Raj P, Tomas and the Captain and their groups will take the road west. Elijah and I shall head south.

There were no questions, just assent.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We encamped in the dark last night upon the instruction of our talented scout. Tomas was quick to promise that we would thank him in the morning.

And so with the dawn we did. The ground he had chosen was on a rise with a stunning view of our road ahead. It continued to skirt the hilly country at the edge of the prairie, running towards the southeast, our desired direction.

And Elijah and I had ample time to admire the view to the east as we waited to take up our position at the end of the column. There the towering mountains we had come through glowed in the beams of the sun on its rise.

So did we.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We set up camp in the dark last night. It took us that long to reach the spot designated by Tomas.

It was a comfortable place in many respects. In fact we may have waited til sunup before rising if it had not been for Mei giving the alarm.

She rousted us all after waking from a dream in which drones were descending upon us. Her dream was reality.

Elijah calmed and held us in place. “Let them get a look at us,” he said.

When they ringed us, he raised his staff and they tumbled out of the sky.

With no sign of pursuit visible on the ground behind us, we broke camp and took to the trail again.

Day Seven Hundred Fifty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A bone weary day, with lots of ground covered, despite some down time when Tomas brought word of an army patrol. We hid easily while they passed us by.

I am sure they were looking for sources of water and not for us or their enemy.

Later, down the trail we crossed a footbridge that spanned a narrow gorge. Water rushed within its course far below.

I assume the leader of the patrol took one look and gave up on this path. There’s just no getting a tanker truck close to this source. They’ll probably find an easier access to it somewhere else.

At day’s close, Elijah predicted that sometime tomorrow we will definitely arrive at our destination up ahead.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were feeling abandoned. And losing track of the time since we last saw our captors.

Then something happened that interrupted the passage of time. The sameness we had been locked into. The ground beneath our feet shuddered and heaved.

Was it an earthquake? Or something manmade and more sinister?

When the chamber quit shaking, the door fell open. It had sprung free from its frame.

We lost no time in exiting. Nothing and no one impeded our scramble up and out from the bottom of the dam.

All the sentry points in the area were deserted and a pungent odor pervaded everywhere.

We made one attempt to reach the city, but turned back at the sight of bodies everywhere.

Day Six Hundred Ninety Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed through the first encampments of the army with ease. They subjected us only to mild scrutiny. But as we arrived at the next ring of army units we were challenged, brought to their commander and kept waiting for hours (the individual was tied up with other pressing matters, or so we were told).

All was uneventful until the arrival of an officer to make his report. He saw Elijah standing there, staff in hand, and demanded that he relinquish his “weapon.” (I believe he recognized Elijah from the broadcast).

When Elijah didn’t comply, the officer attempted to take it by force. The second he touched the staff, he fell to the ground.

The commander no longer ignored us.

Day Six Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The open tableland  came to an end, and with that our ease of movement. Our progress slowed with much time taken up in the descent to a lower elevation.

When the pass below came in view, no one was in sight.

We wondered if we had outpaced the army.

The Captain suggested we halt to wait and see. Elijah, however, said we had things to do further along.

And so it was before the daylight faded, Tomas spotted another force, hidden in ambush in a defile off the trail of the pass.

Elijah took up a position above them and struck the ground with his staff. The mountain quaked and the defile below filled in with an avalanche of rock.