Day One Thousand Two Hundred Twenty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mr. Kagi has taken over a couple of my watches at the lookout point with Tomas. Between them they discussed a couple of ideas, the results of which he brought to Elijah and me.

The well to which Sy once led us, is still viable and not too far distant. So, we thought it prudent to send the Captain and Mawuli ahead to replenish our supply of water.

No sooner had they departed when Tomas brought news of movement off on the horizon.

Mr. Kagi is certain they are the advance units of the army of the North. He finds that circumstance puzzling for the plan he was privy to, granted the advance position to the army of the East.

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Day One Thousand Two Hundred Twelve #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas called everyone to his lookout point at midday. The sounds of conflict had reignited and movement could be seen on the horizon in the direction of Babylon.

It was soon apparent that we were observing a retreat. But a retreat of which army? The coalition of the armies of the North and East? Or that of the world government?

Whichever the case, the Captain estimated that this movement was not a rout, but rather a strategic repositioning. Units were breaking off and taking up positions on the high ground to each side.

I had a moment of consternation when I realized that our position might be desirable for their purposes.

But by evening they were well short of us.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Ninety Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Sy woke us in the early morning with a report that explosions could be heard coming from the direction of Babylon. As we strained to see over the horizon we could make out the glow from the same. Then the many camps far below on the plain stirred to life.

We watched with interest the goings on throughout the day.

Moglen’s outpost on these heights packed up and descended down to the redoubt.

Another group operating from the redoubt, labored all the daylight hours, and succeeded in carrying the crate half way up to the high place.

Before the sun set Reuben and his team arrived, guided by Sy’s men sent down for that purpose.

Elijah and I made ready.

Day One Thousand Seventy Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Again over night we were treated to a display of lights somewhere ahead in the direction of Babylon. But this time there came the sound of explosions. Muffled and distant.

We all were eager to press on this morning.

Mei took up the advance with Mawuli. And she acted the go between, and brought us word that a huge force was now in view, filling the horizon from east to west.

We hurried to their position.

We stared in amazement as the mass seemed to increase in size before our very eyes.

And Sy was first to understand that this army before us was in retreat.

The Captain called attention to a motorcade that appeared to be fleeing before them.

Day One Thousand Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Throughout the night constant flashes split the dark, off ahead of us. No sound. Just light. Come the day, it was like any other. No indication of a clash of arms in any direction. Yet we knew it was out there.

Mawuli went out early and attempted to find somewhere to see over the horizon, but to no avail. It was good to know, however, that nothing was out there to oppose us.

We covered a lot of ground. And thankfully we no longer had the annoyance of that mountain gale blowing at our backs.

Mawuli reported back that we will change our heading come tomorrow to follow one of the great rivers of the region, a river of dust.

Day Nine Hundred Ninety Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I led the next group out during the first watch, thankful to have the moon up for the more difficult part of our journey. I remember wondering as it sank below the horizon how the Purser would fare with his charges, as I was sure that at the time of their departure the moon was well below the horizon.

Mawuli welcomed us and directed the group to their designated abodes. The whole process was much better organized this time around.

Come the hour of the Purser’s projected arrival we were disappointed. It came and then passed us by.

I can only assume that they have put it off until tonight.

Elijah is unruffled and talks of visiting Reuben.

Day Nine Hundred Seventy Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We decided that we had to keep to our original plan to meet up with Tomas tomorrow. Between what we have heard and what he may have learned we should have a better basis for our next step.

We did not have any encounters today, except at a distance. A very large flock of sheep was grazing beside a stream under the gaze of several shepherds. We would have passed through their midst but a flash of light followed by a fireball and the sound of an explosion over the horizon in the direction of the road, sent the flock into a panic.

Then, while two boys saw to the sheep, the rest of the shepherds rushed towards the road.

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 Eight Hundred Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We avoided the center of the riverbed. It was too swollen with dust, making movement nigh impossible. In addition staying on the edges had the happy result of insulating us from the roar of the road traffic.

Our friends were much in our thoughts and prayers as Elijah and I went along. I must say I miss Tomas’s intrepid oversight of our band. And the thought that he doubtless continues in that capacity, cheers me.

As we trekked onward, the soil became more sandy, the air more arid. Yet the view ahead did not look at all like a desert. Instead the landscape was green and lush, stretching to the horizon across which was spread the megapolis that is Babylon.

Day Six Hundred Sixty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The high mountains to the south are dropping behind us, and slipping below that horizon. At the same time we can finally see the end to this desert, and the beginning of a mountain range rising to block our way.

Of course, none of this was apparent during our night passage, but has now become so clear as we stop at a fork in the road to rest for the daylight hours.

We have some decisions to make before tonight. So, Tomas, ever the explorer, left us to see if the right fork would take us in a desirable direction.

Both Elijah and I think that the space between two of the peaks may indicate the presence of a passage.