Day One Thousand Two Hundred Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah with his staff and Mawuli with his sling made short work of the wild dogs. Dispatching fully half of them before the remainder scampered away in a panic.

Things returned to normal after that. The new normal anyway.

As a plus the incident seemed to restore Mawuli’s equilibrium.

And the cold snap ended. Another welcome circumstance.

But it all changed again in the middle of my morning watch. Out on the perimeter the wild dogs reappeared. Everyone responded to my alarm. Thus, we all saw them stop in their tracks, turn and flee.

None of us had time to ponder this as immediately the ground shook and the terrain around us undulated like the waves of an unruly sea.

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Day One Thousand One Hundred Ninety Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Sy and two of his people have joined us thanks to the skills of our intrepid Tomas. But they brought with them an even greater tale of deliverance.

One day behind us, they were also caught in the region of the earthquake. They had been spotted and pursued by an army patrol. Cornered in a dead end canyon they had given up all hope – when the earthquake struck. Before their eyes the ground split and swallowed their adversaries. Closing over them with a crash.

After a brief rest Sy and Tomas went down to our observation lookout.

They brought back the news that a truck had arrived with a huge crate strapped to its bed. And an automobile carrying Mawuli.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Ninety One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas does what Tomas does best. He scouted and kept us all on a safe track. He had just returned to assist me with Elijah up and over a difficult section when the ground shuddered.

I could tell it was only beginning and told everyone to stay down. The earth shook violently. It seemed it would never stop. All around fissures were opening with horrendous rending sounds.

Then as fast as it started it was over. The fissures closed on themselves and the earth ceased rocking.

And moments later all that was left was the memory. It felt so unreal. So fleeting.

And then my thoughts turned to those back at the hiding place.

Elijah told me not to worry.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Because we observed much activity in and around the other well in the vicinity, we gave it a wide berth and passed over ground we had previously not covered.

Elijah kept us on course despite its newness and brought us back into more familiar territory. Looking back further along, we discovered our little detour kept us from crossing paths with not one, but two patrols.

We slowed our pace after that realizing that there were most likely similar units prowling the area.

At one point we froze when we heard a firefight erupt ahead of us. We think neither side noticed our presence, but we stayed in place long after the noise died down, then concluded to pass the night there.

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.

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.