Day Seven Hundred Seventy Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We took the Captain’s usual advice and gave wide berth to the hunters’ village. Yet time after time Tomas had to adjust our way again as village after village cropped up across our path.

The whole process moved us steadily away from our desired compass point.

Finally, Tomas brought us all atop one hillock to see rings of villages between us and a city at the edge of the prairie.

I looked to Elijah and he nodded.

I knew this city was our next stop. But then we debated how to get there.

Did we dare enter one of these villages? They were more than likely responsible for the attack we had overheard.

And had they driven out the Hamashiachites?

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Day Seven Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were hopeful that our pursuers had given up. Or perhaps even lost and off on the wrong track.

Thus we were thinking as we entered this mountain valley. Strange to see such rich pasturage on either hand, and no flocks being shepherded. In fact it seemed untouched, as though undiscovered. But surely that could not be the case, for many groups of Hamashiachites must  have crossed this very meadow.

Mei came to me in the afternoon. She was troubled, but not about what troubled me. She had dreamed again last night about the dark shadow coming between us and the moon and stars.

Unlike before, the telling of her dream raised the hackles on the back of my neck.

Day Six Hundred Twenty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A mass of clouds seemed to threaten rain this morning, but the hidden sun burnt its way through and melted them to nothing.

Elijah and Tomas in talking with our newly found Hamashiachites learned about another passage through the area ahead. A mountain track, actually, but one they have often traversed.

They were eager after Elijah’s urging to begin his prescribed pilgrimage, so we agreed to depart immediately.

Thus we have found ourselves this evening with an unparalleled view of the surrounding territory.

The army can be seen struggling through the narrow pass below us. Like a bloated snake caught in a rock crevice.

Elijah holds out hope that we shall emerge out in front of that million man army.

Day Five Hundred Fifty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I met with the Hamashiachites early. We had exciting news. Our queries had led us to a group that meets under the sign of the fish. They are eager to meet with and join our people in their pilgrimage.

We have much to prepare before tomorrow. And we will have to adopt the same strategy to get them ashore as we did to get them on the ship, sending them out by twos and threes.

And all by the end of tomorrow, for the Captain tells us our business will be complete here and we’ll no longer have a reason to remain.

He also learned the other ship needs our help. They do not bear the mark either.

Day Five Hundred Fifty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Several vessels passed us this morning, traveling in the opposite direction. They were not within hailing distance, so the Captain attempted to raise them on the satellite radio, but there was no response.

Later, another flotilla of ships appeared on a track inward from ours, and like the first batch on an opposite heading from our ship.

As none acknowledged our radio hail, the Captain brought us to within hailing distance of the lead vessel.

After the customary niceties, we learned that all ships sailing under the protection of the mark have been ordered to proceed to the world capital.

This news made Elijah all the more anxious to get the Hamashiachites to the next port and on their way.

Day Five Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain took the ship out in the forenoon. We are a little lighter again, for we had nothing but deliveries in this port. There were no new shipments.

Our progress was slow and cautious as Tomas navigated the other end of the inward passage. Delighted by the view of the bright green islands floating on the blue, blue sea, the Hamashiachites lingered long at the rail.

Once we reached the open ocean, Elijah collected them in the mess hall and introduced them to other believers from the crew. Some strong bonds were forged today. In fact, the Raj twin G may leave at the next port to accompany them.

Elijah approves, but I wonder what his twin brother thinks.

Day Five Hundred Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We began our plan’s implementation today. First, I paid a quick visit to the ship to ask the Captain’s permission to bring aboard the Hamashiachite contingent. Upon my assurances that none carried the plague, he whole-heartedly approved, and I returned to Elijah with his blessing.

Second, Elijah briefed these people fully in the steps they are to take to fulfill their role in the end of days. The ship shall deliver them to the next port down the coast. There they shall gather other Hamashiachites and set out for their long journey.

From the noon hour onward, we sent these dear people out by twos and threes to the docks.

By day’s end we were all safely aboard ship.

Day Five Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our hosts had much to explain. They made it a condition before our entry.

We sent G back to the ship with word that we would be spending the night ashore, and with the additional message to the Captain that Elijah and I would ship out with him come the end of the week.

The long and short of it is, the hospital has few patients left, all of them Hamashiachites, brave souls who tended the sick. Their entire community is tolerated only if they remain secluded for they are blamed for the coming of the plague.

First thing this morning Elijah entered the wards and raised the ill from their sickbeds.

We then gathered together to discuss the future.

Day Five Hundred Sixteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

That melody discovered to us the sought after Hamashiachites. When I think of the teeming masses around us, I marvel that Elijah and I are now among these precious people.

We call them simply the Raj – again on account of our inability to reproduce their sentence long name. Three generations of a single family with almost as many members as letters in that name.

They confess they have been like sheep without a shepherd and rejoice to finally have direction and a purpose. (Through Elijah’s ministrations, of course).

And the benefit has been reciprocal in their willingness to look after our needs.

And wonder of wonders, the two youngest men have found work in a shipyard.

Tomorrow they take us.

Day Four Hundred Ten #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Well, perhaps Elijah meant instead that we would catch up with the settlement of all the Hamashiachites. For that indeed was what we made out from the edge of the salt flat yesterday.

It was a welcome change to walk on firmer ground and without that incessant crunching noise.

The settlement grew enormously upon our approach. It seems much more had been hidden from our sight as it extends around to the east behind a rock formation that juts out onto the plain.

A crowd greeted us when we entered the encampment. Elijah immediately pushed on further into the maze of tents, leaving me here.

Hold on, as I am writing this, Elijah has returned with the Purser in tow.