Day One Thousand One Hundred Ninety Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have left behind the area affected by the earthquake and passed the village at the edge of the wilderness, which we note had been severely damaged. We should arrive above Sy’s old redoubt tomorrow.

I had to remind Tomas we needed to select a pathway just outside the village to obtain the heights above our destination. He had another in mind farther along, but agreed that this selection best met the intentions behind our plan.

I asked him if fatigue was overtaking him and if so suggested a halt.

He protested that we had not the time. That’s when Elijah broke in and ordered a halt.

We set him down and laid hands on him, praying for his strengthening.

Advertisements

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Stop and go all day, in effect slowing our progress greatly. Many units of reinforcements have crossed our line of march, forcing a halt. Sometimes for as long as an hour. The longer halts were occasioned by caravans of wounded returning from the front.

We then knew for certain that we were behind the lines of the army of the North. In one instance we were close enough to see the insignia on their vehicles.

The image of Moglen again haunted my thoughts in between times. When Elijah noticed my absence from the present, he called me back from my revery. I do believe that had I not responded immediately each time he would have rapped me with his staff.

Day One Thousand Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Off and on we caught views of the megapolis from the lower elevation of the riverbed upon which we have been traveling. Not much has changed from the memory I carry of Babylon when we skirted around it on our escape out of the citadel. The skyscraper that came down on that occasion has not been replaced. A great void in the skyline marks its absence.

Our forward progress ground to a halt where the water filled the riverbed from bank to bank, forcing us up and out into the open.

It was more water than we have seen in an age.

And its level appeared to be rising as we watched.

Elijah decided we must make for the road.

Day One Thousand Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We wandered the rest of the day without striking Sy’s well. I could tell his frustration was mounting at his inability to locate it.

Finally Elijah signaled for a halt in an area we all judged fit for a camp.

Sy, however, continued to roam about, muttering he was sure it was near at hand. The next morning the Captain stumbled upon it. Actually he tripped and fell on his face.

The well had been filled in, packed with rocks. We gathered around it on our knees to remove them. Only to discover the water there had been befouled too. Unfit to drink.

Elijah took up his staff and stirred the water with its tip, drawing out all the impurities.

Day One Thousand Seventy #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah called for a halt today. On the face of it, there was no compelling reason due to any overt threats, but we obeyed without question.

Perhaps it was because of our current surroundings. Except for the absence of water, we were in a depression that shielded us from the constant wind, descending from the mountains at our back.

Or maybe Elijah just saw our need. One which was so close under our noses that we were blinded to its impact.

So, it was with gratitude that we each were able to take time to draw apart. To intercede for those behind in the hiding place, and then for those whom we yet seek, the focus for our united mission.

Day One Thousand Twenty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I again joined Mei to help in any way I could, within my capabilities. Since Meesa and the Purser were expected back some time in the morning, the tasks were small and easily completed, so there was a good number of them to fill up my time, and could be assumed any time by our absent friends.

Every thing ground to a halt when they returned, as they had news. Not at all related to their reason for going out, but of great interest to us all.

Early on their mission they heard an account of a tanker truck immobilized in a narrow pass on the Jerusalem-Damascus road. They adjusted their route to check.

They are sure it’s Jezer’s.

Day One Thousand Fifteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed the night in the second relay station set up by Mei. Quasimo said we will have one more before the hiding place. And he fears we are now too close behind the next group ahead. Therefore he has called a halt for the day so that we don’t overcrowd there.

So while Elijah sat teaching some new pupils, I sat across the way wondering how Tomas and Jezer were faring, trying to fathom why they had not abandoned the tanker truck. Surely we don’t need it for the hiding place, we have deep springs there.

That’s when Quasimo interrupted me. He explained about having unsettling dreams about his old life as an assassin, since dealing with the traitors.

Day Eight Hundred Fifty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I got us out of there as fast as we could go. Which meant climbing down from the rock shelf and feeling our way around its base until we sensed a level path beneath our feet.

At that point the snowfall slowed and soon turned to mist. We kept going. Through the rest of the day and through the night.

Elijah called a halt in a valley created by towering rock formations. They appeared to stretch onwards forever, corralling the slow moving sea of sand within the boundaries dictated by their will.

We looked back from whence we came. The sky was empty, holding the promise only of another hot day.

That’s when Elijah asked if I had any confirmation.

Day Eight Hundred Forty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We continued sometime past sunrise to be sure we had not missed the second mountain peak in Quasimo’s instructions. We were encouraged that no such landmark lay over on that side of the horizon. Yet.

We had decided between us that we will not switch to daylight travel, but will continue our nocturnal strolls, with a couple of adjustments. We will start well before sundown and not call a halt until an hour or so after sunrise. We are confident that will be enough to keep us oriented properly.

We also were helped along in our decision by an occurrence over the night. I again heard noises trailing us. Not barking, rather this time, clearly voices on the desert air.

Day Seven Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

     We had to dodge a patrol last night that was coming towards our position. We used the situation to skirt around the compound in the opposite direction with our ultimate goal a track Tomas said we could use instead of the main road.

     We rested the remainder of the night safe from view.

     The track took us by a lake fed by mountain streams. On the far side two tanker trucks were backing in to fill up. A third waited its turn.

     At the sight of them Elijah called a halt. This applied to Tomas too.

    While the Captain kept watch, I thought it an appropriate time for our two young people to dispel the tension.

     So they did, quietly.