Day One Thousand Two Hundred Thirty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

When Mawuli failed to return over night, all of us went down to look for him. Vermin which had joined the scavenger birds slunk away at our passage. We found him on the far side of the valley on the one spot of ground not soaked in blood.

He said not a word as the Captain gathered him into his arms.

Rather than return to the heights right away we skirted the edge of the valley until we made out the stone bridge far above. Mawuli was recovered enough to walk on his own and he aided Elijah and myself. After a short search we located the stream bed and took the path that paralleled it up to the heights.

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Day One Thousand Two Hundred Twenty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas had to reposition himself at his lookout point to stay out of view of an observer set up further down these heights and closer to the skirmishing.

The Captain, after talking with him, was just about to do something to this interloper, when Elijah appeared and settled him down. Indeed, he said there was no need, as we would soon be departing back for Sy’s redoubt.

As though to confirm his point, the army of the East burst forth from their forward positions at that very instant. Just in time to vacate ground that erupted under an artillery barrage.

I turned to see my friend already consumed in the throes of intercession.

It proved to be an interesting day.

Day One Thousand Two Hundred Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

What we had long expected came to pass today. An army unit, perhaps a relief column, appeared on the road leading up to the redoubt.

Elijah decided it was time to leave. And time for us to part company.

Sy and Reuben with their men set out for the heights. From there they will trace their way back to the hiding place. On Elijah’s order Mawuli was placed in their hands. And they had to bodily restrain him.

Elijah and I took to the road that goes over the stone bridge, accompanied by Tomas and the Captain.

I have a strong feeling that we shall continue on to Babylon. Poor Mr. Kagi has been much in my thoughts of late.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Ninety Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Reuben is heart sick. Not only for the loss of his friend and the others, but perhaps more so because he failed to meet them and bring them up here to the heights.

We are thankful that Sy had the presence of mind to restrain Reuben when he wanted to run headlong down to the aid of his stricken comrades.

Elijah has Reuben with him now and is counseling him.

I will confer with Tomas. Reuben, upon his arrival two days ago reported that the Captain and Jezer had returned. So I will send Tomas out to intercept them. And Mei.

Thankfully all conflict remains far away from the distant valley below.

Time to prepare for the new moon tomorrow.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

There were many roving patrols we had to dodge up on these heights above the altar. And we had to set up even further back as Moglen had positioned an outpost where we hid when last we were here.

After we were in place, we sent Tomas back down the trail. From the hills on the way here we had spotted Sy’s group emerge out of the village into the wilderness. He will meet up with them and lead them up to this position.

Elijah and I made a quick trip down for a closer look. We saw that all its stone work appears to be back in place. But as of yet no golden idol.

Five days to go.

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.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Sixty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Everyone has made the leap of logic and lines up the rumored sacrifice with the person of our young friend.

I was at the point of second guessing and backing off on that conclusion, banking on the fact that any hard evidence to the connection is completely lacking, when Elijah interjected that Mawuli is indeed in Moglen’s clutches and it is Stan’s intent to sacrifice the boy.

Then I knew in my heart that the altar had been replaced once again up on the heights above Sy’s old redoubt.

And I knew that we would be returning there.

Thankfully before that thought could immobilize me, Elijah set me some tasks around the hiding place that could benefit from my attention.

Day One Thousand Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another day of waiting has passed slowly. Everyone has taken it in stride, considering it a trial of patience.

Sy, though, grew unsettled by day’s end. By his calculation Elam should have arrived back here today at the latest. He’s beginning to think that he’ll never see his friend and his tanker truck again.

When I tried to point out to him other possibilities, he left and went up to the heights. Elijah followed him.

They remained up there for quite some time. Long enough to witness a flurry of activity in the air above the plain.

The Captain, Mei and myself caught the end of the display when the crash of distant explosions drew us out of the redoubt.

Day One Thousand Fifty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I went for a walk. First up to the heights to look around. Elijah scanned the view, paying attention to the road that runs to the East.

We then came down and struck out in the direction upon which we had mutually agreed. As we climbed away from the redoubt, I noticed Elijah was making heavy use of his staff. We stopped frequently so he could catch his breath.

Cresting the ridge and descending the other side, he picked up the pace. We halted on a stone bridge that spanned a dry stream bed.

One look at a path that ran beside the stream bed and we knew we had found the way to the plain far below.

Day One Thousand Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah took us up to the heights above the redoubt where Sy used to station his sentinels. The magnificent view from which was made all the more so by the beautiful day dawning upon us.

In the far distance I could make out what I took to be tanker trucks plying back and forth on a plain.

I took the time to note the lay of the land from here to there and asked Sy about the best routes.

During this endeavor two figures appeared down on the road that we came in on.

Sy remained in place while Elijah and I went down.

Recognizing them at the last we hurried down the road to greet the Captain and Mei.