Day Six Hundred Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

After the briefest of rests, we set out. But within minutes the reason for our backward movement was removed when a lone figure appeared on the horizon.  Even at a distance we knew it was Tomas.

We rushed to him.

I have never seen a more bedraggled and emaciated individual. Yet the Captain fell on his neck, weeping in gratitude to see his friend again.

Elijah and I had to assist them both back to the caravan stop.

Tomas reported there had been a clash between that huge army and many warplanes. With devastation on both sides – but particularly fatal to the flying force as their wreckage lay everywhere.

He is grateful to have escaped being under their renewal of hostilities.

Day Six Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lots of bushy scrub in the area we passed through over night. Much easier to avoid mishaps when the moon was up. Or so the Captain learned. He was tripped up twice.

I did see lights in the sky that were not stars, flitting from one side of the sky to the other. More of those machines that Elijah says are looking for us. And per Tomas, guided from within by men.

I sense the hand of Stan at work. Perhaps not directing each individual action, but setting the pattern as they perform his bidding.

We called it an early night and went into camp before the sun cleared the horizon.

Elijah stood vigil while we ate, then turned in.

Day Six Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We lingered long over breakfast before parting company from our new friends. They brim over with joy and thus are a pleasure to be around. They shall be missed. And the feeling is mutual.

Though the parting was tinged with sadness, the hope of our meeting again encourages all alike.

If any of their relatives remain in this world they are hopeful that they may win them to the truth.

Elijah for his part is confident that when we meet up again in Jerusalem, they will have added substantially to their number.

Our quartet had easy going on the southern route. We kept a constant vigil, scanning the sun baked horizon for the army on its march.

No sighting yet.

Day Six Hundred Twenty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas and I left camp before sunup to get a bearing on the army. We didn’t have to go far before catching sight of them spread across the horizon. Already there was movement and the clatter of preparations.

We reported our findings to Elijah and the Captain. I floated the estimate of a million men making up their force. Tomas thought their number to be less, but concedes they will pick up more on their way and will then probably surpass a million.

When we set out, Elijah held us to a path that paralleled their line of march on the right. There is much more cover to that side.

Elijah believes within three days we can pass them by.

Day Four Hundred Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The crunch of our footsteps upon the caked salt, kept us company as we stuck to the tracks of the many who have passed before us.

It was easier to keep our heads down and eyes focused on the patterns on the ground rather than the over bright whiteness stretching beyond, made worse by the glowing haze that hugs the horizon.

That’s probably why we did not see the muddy quagmire until we almost stumbled into it. I looked up to see a man buried up to his neck in the sticky mess.

Elijah and I freed him with some risk to ourselves. He barely nodded his thanks as he sped away.

Does bearing the mark always make one surly?

Day Three Hundred Ninety Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

This has been the longest day. Mile after mile of bush, boring in the extreme for its sameness. Visibility only dropped off in the haziness of the distant horizon to our front. And we kept a wary regard as to what lay behind us. No longer did we see the wilderness through which we had passed, but, then again, neither did we see anyone following us. A good thing, but tempered by the thought of what that meant, that they were perhaps on the trail of the Purser and his family instead.

Elijah and I did use the time to catch one another up on our doings while we were separated. What he shared about the robotic warship haunted me.

Day Three Hundred Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Land in sight. A continent by the looks of it, extending across the horizon to our front and wrapping around to our port side.

The Captain is puzzled. The port should be dead ahead, but with the onset of night, not a glimmer of light indicates its presence. Despite the Captain’s familiarity with these waters, Tomas advised him to hold off for daylight before venturing in any closer. The Captain agreed and ordered him to set a sea anchor.

No one saw the guard today. Though most thought he was catching up on some much needed sleep, I went down to check he intended no harm to himself and was pleased to find him resting.

No one saw Elijah today.

Day Three Hundred Twenty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have settled in for a lengthy stretch until our next port, at least two weeks per the Captain. A longer time is necessary to navigate the difficulties lurking in our course consequent to the Troubles.

And to his experience they are constantly changing.

Elijah wanders about talking to the crew, but spends more time scanning the horizon ahead. He thinks the passage will take longer than the Captain’s estimate.

I am inclined to agree.

And I tremble for those on the land. My times alone in the set apart cabin are filled with unsettling visions. Visions of clouds of insects falling upon ripening fields and consuming everything in sight. And those who are bitten run away in a frenzy.

Day Three Hundred Twenty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The night was tremulous, but not uncomfortable as the climate is tropical.

At the hour of dawn it became darker still. I detected a swirling motion in the clouds but then realized it was actually a massive swarm of insects being flung far and wide overwhelming the horizon. I traced its source to a fissure in the mountain dome, and there directed Elijah’s attention.

Elijah simply said, “It is time.” And pounded the butt of his staff on the rocky ground.

The fissure gaped open and a chained monstrosity issued forth.

“Could this be Abaddon?” was my single thought.

Stan charged by oblivious to us and placed a collar around its neck.

Elijah struck the ground again releasing its bonds.

Day Three Hundred Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Land, the very coastline, has dropped from view. The sea fills the horizon in every direction. We stay in where it is warm. Any time we’ve gone out, everyone avoids us.

It all hearkens back to when they picked us up. It wasn’t enough to witness the leveling of the city, but to have two men walking on water to the ship was over the top. They were paralyzed with fear. If it wasn’t for the insistence of the Purser who recognized us, no one would have lowered a line to haul us up.

He is the only one who will talk to us. He has arranged an audience with the Captain for early tomorrow.

Will he acquiesce to us?