Day Six Hundred Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I guess, most would think I was panicked into numbing inaction, by concern for my friends. Or even paralyzed by fear for my own safety.

And perhaps so they would judge by my immediate actions.

But such would not be the case.

Yes, I turned in for the night.

But that was because I knew I was not alone. The One who is with us always, never leaves us.

And I simply followed His direction.

And out of that time of rest came the dreams. The dreams that old men dream.

Which came to pass today when Elijah came for me, and brought me out of the inn right under the noses of the guards called for by the innkeeper.

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Day Six Hundred Eleven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our neighbor returned in the wee hours. It was in the middle of the Captain’s last watch for the night.

He went out to greet him and learned he had indeed been to the other side of the city. In his travels he hadn’t crossed paths with Tomas. It is probably too much to expect that he would have, still we remain hopeful for our friend.

We invited our neighbor in and he gave us some valuable information. There was no military presence once he got through the city, not even any guards at crossroads.

When I explained our desire to relocate, he immediately offered the assistance of his fellow exile.

Now we just have to wait for Tomas’ return.

Day Six Hundred Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We actually saw the squad of soldiers coming a minute before our neighbor’s signal. And like he thought they tackled his home first.

The Captain and Tomas had plenty of time to hide themselves in the tunnel.

When the soldiers finished banging around our neighbor’s home, they regrouped outside, conferred briefly, then entered our dwelling.

Elijah stood immovable in the middle of the great room. The soldiers ignored him, peppering me instead with their questions.

Because we are obviously foreigners, I believe they stayed longer than at our neighbor’s, scouring through our things.

At long last they departed, and when they did, they took the guards at the crossroads with them.

Our friends emerged, having spent the whole time praying.

Day Six Hundred Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A different pair of guards were at the crossroads this morning. So we knew there had been a change during the night.

I was wondering what would come next and talking with the Captain and Tomas about their views when Elijah joined us.

He announced simply that the troops would soon be making an house to house search.

At that very moment our neighbor appeared out of thin air and said he had a way around that problem.

Recovering from our shock, he took us down to the cellar and over to his house via a subterranean passage.

He believes his will be searched first and can signal to us when our fugitives need to hold up in the tunnel.

Day Six Hundred One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah communed with the Spirit today. He went out to do so. He wandered about the causeways towards the city side of our dwelling. And out of view of the guards.

We kept an eye on him. And on the guards as well.

They scrutinized each passerby and stopped each and every cart, searching them thoroughly. But most of the time they stood about in the hot sun.

To his credit the Captain wanted to take some water to them. However, neither Tomas nor I thought that prudent for him.

Instead I took some out myself.

They eyed my approach suspiciously, but relaxed when they saw the water.

They said simply they had a sufficient supply, enough until their relief.

Day Six Hundred #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The normal rhythms of life returned this morning. Nothing stirred yesterday as the darkness never lifted, but settled seamlessly into the night.

We were watchful all day. All the traffic, such as it was, flowed cityward. We saw the same people and carts plod back at end of day.

We were about to breathe a collective sigh of relief when a small body of troops strode past our house. They continued down the road, but left a pair of guards at the nearby crossroads.

I went out to talk with the guards, but our neighbor reached them first. They rebuffed his curiosity, slamming him to the ground.

I helped our neighbor to his feet and supported him to his home.

Day Five Hundred Ninety Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Though by the ship’s clock, it was past midday when we arrived at the gateway to the East, the lights of the city were still lit against the cloying darkness.

The water was motionless and all sound muffled as we maneuvered up to our berth.

Workers appeared from nowhere to secure our lines and hurried back out of sight.

It was an odd welcome. Like they were fearful to approach.

This notion was indeed confirmed by the timid port official who finally dared to come aboard. Rumors were rife that we somehow were responsible for the unending night.

The two guards debarked with P as soon as they could. In one last audience we laid hands on him and prayed.

Day Five Hundred Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

No one liked the look of the sky today as we set sail.  It was dark and menacing.

Mr. Kagi haunted the bridge, hovering over each and every decision made by either the Captain or Tomas. And almost precipitated an incident by his insistence that we ignore a directive from the warship to halt.

The Captain sensibly put him in his place.

Thus, we received aboard three more passengers- two guards and their charge, the Raj twin P. We are to deliver them with our cargo.

Thankfully P is not being held under close arrest. So Elijah and I will be allowed to meet with him as long as at least one guard is present.

We will take every opportunity.

Day Three Hundred Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Despite the great distance from our last port, the night sky in that quarter was illuminated still by raging fires. It dimmed only with the rising of the sun.

The Captain informed Elijah that he expects to raise the next port within a week.

Elijah encouraged him to pay a call on the guards. The Captain queried them in turn about the contents of the container in their charge. Neither claimed to have any knowledge about its contents. Even the disaffected one was emphatic  that their orders prohibited the breaking of its seals.

The Captain challenged them that they no longer have to answer to a superior.

They countered that they will indeed have to answer at the next port.

Day Two Hundred Eighty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Twenty three days remain. We got that point across readily enough. For emphasis, Elijah stepped towards the government officials, and they cowered back.

In response the leader told us to leave, as we had delivered our message, and as to our ultimatum, they refused to comply. He turned and pointed to the guards and said, “These guards are not here to protect us, but to hold back the crowd from assaulting you.”

I don’t think Elam would have found any likely candidates today; all in sight bore the mark and were present for the express purpose of supporting the officials.

I have a sense that the speaker is not the true leader, but rather the glowering woman, lurking behind him.