Day Seven Hundred Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

What a day! A veritable sea change in the power structure of this area.

And at the center of it, our friend from the subcontinent, Raj P, the twin brother of G.

Mei noticed the resemblance before we could say a word, and was able to fill in many of the blanks herself as our discussions began- discussions that lasted until we were too tired, and recommenced this morning.

P told us that he had wandered far and wide after escaping from the East, only to fall into the clutches of the hunters. He was turned over to the tribunal, and was being held as their hedge against the victor between the army of the East and the world government.

Day Seven Hundred Eighty Three #DayoftheEndoftheWorld

Mei wanted to march right in and take the Captain back by force. I succeeded in calming her. However, Tomas surprised her further with his wait and see attitude, but then again he knows that they cannot perish apart from one another.

Our hosts had no insight to offer when we met with them this morning. Neither could they tell us what might happen to our friend. They have kept well away from any direct entanglement. All of their contact with those in the city has been through the auspices of the hunters.

That was a confirmation of sorts for Elijah. He asked directions to the village of the hunters’ leader. And set out for it with me in tow.

Day Seven Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our hosts who accepted us into their village are refugees from the East and thus have an affinity to Mei. Indeed, we learned that most of the inhabitants on the rings of villages are new to the area, but unacceptable and kept out of the sprawling city. Only the hunters, having been here longer are allowed into the city. And that for trade only.

That intelligence set off warning bells in my head, and I made the case to Elijah that we waste no time in going to the city.

But Elijah was not persuaded. He confirmed that we would indeed enter the city. Just not yet.

Instead he wants to explore the reason behind these people’s reaction to him.

Day Seven Hundred Seventy Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The wide prairie was lost to our view as we wandered among the hillocks. There being no clearly marked path, Tomas kept us pointed in a northerly direction as best he could. To that end he would climb one of the hilltops to check at regular intervals.

On one such occasion, he returned to us to report an armed group passing through on the other side.

We stayed in place while Tomas and Mei climbed to the top of a higher hilltop to observe them.

They were gone quite some time.

It turns out that Mei left Tomas to follow them, bringing back the news that they entered a village not too far distant.

She believes them to be hunters.