Day One Thousand One Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Here at day’s end and I’m still recovering from yesterday’s surprise appearance of our young friend. Elijah kept our greetings brief, enforcing a strict regimen of silence and driving us onward by his example. Continuing through the night.

Our pace only slackened with the dawn of the new day, yet we kept onward. At one point it was as if we entered a space of our own reality in which nothing else and no one else existed. Only then did Elijah allow us to converse.

Everything came tumbling out as we pressed Tomas for information.

Most startling was the news that the Supreme Commander is dead. And the army of the East has allied with the army of the North.

Day One Thousand Forty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have covered all of Damascus and not come across any information on Jezer. And Meesa knew all of his contacts – only one could relate having seen him recently. And that occasion to the best of his recall was two months ago.

Also, employing various pretexts, she was able to check the police precincts and jails. None of which, thankfully, held him.

Speaking for myself, I now feel released from our call to this place. I only await my friend Elijah to concur, and I believe that should be forthcoming soon.

The three of us discussed at length today the importance of bringing Sy and Jordan and their peoples – and let us not forget Quasimo- safely into the hiding place.

Day One Thousand Twenty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I passed the morning with Quasimo. I wanted to gather as much information as possible about our missing friends. And Quasimo, for his part, desired above all else to be useful.

He told me that the tanker truck was little more than a carcass. He could make out where it had been placed in order to block the road, but its remains had been dragged from the center to the sides of the road in an area where it widened.

What puzzled him, (and it did me too), being in the vicinity of the hiding place, why did they not come in afterwards?

It then occurred to me – did they also cut off traffic somehow above our position that night?

Day Eight Hundred Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was an odd meeting. None of the invitees arrived or left at the same time. It might best be characterized as a serial meeting, for we were constantly reiterating the same information over and over.

Most agreed to contact others and pass on the information. However, there was one individual who resisted Elijah’s suggestions. Instead, he wanted Elijah to rid the earth of their oppressors.  To venture forth and bring the wicked city down to its knees.

Elijah told him that now was not the time nor perhaps would it ever be. His concern was only to get them out and on the road for Jerusalem. As to the coming wrath that was for the Holy One to decide.

Day Seven Hundred Nineteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I could not stop thinking about G and his people and the road ahead of them. And wondering if we forgot to relate to them anything that might make their pilgrimage less perilous.

Tomas, thankfully, had given him valuable information for dealing with the Supreme Commander should they run afoul of his massive army. And Elijah wonderfully encouraged him.

This train of thought halted when the Captain spotted movement ahead of us, and for all appearances coming directly for us.

After the briefest of discussions, we continued on our course.

At one point they halted for no other reason I can think of, except they saw us.

It was a caravan of merchants. We passed one another in absolute silence.

Day Six Hundred Eleven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our neighbor returned in the wee hours. It was in the middle of the Captain’s last watch for the night.

He went out to greet him and learned he had indeed been to the other side of the city. In his travels he hadn’t crossed paths with Tomas. It is probably too much to expect that he would have, still we remain hopeful for our friend.

We invited our neighbor in and he gave us some valuable information. There was no military presence once he got through the city, not even any guards at crossroads.

When I explained our desire to relocate, he immediately offered the assistance of his fellow exile.

Now we just have to wait for Tomas’ return.

Day Six Hundred Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our time here is drawing to a close. We all feel it. The Captain wants it sooner rather than later, before the path westward is closed off by the completion of the army base.

Tomas, however wants to explore other ways first.  Perhaps to go through the city and head westward on the other side.

I thought the idea commendable but wondered if there might be an easier way to turn up the information.

I asked Elijah about going to our neighbor to sound him out on his knowledge of the lay of the land. Certainly he has proven trustworthy.

Elijah was open to the idea, but cautioned to make no promises.

We called next door and found him gone.

Day Four Hundred Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our apprehensions for Elijah and Tomas were laid to rest upon their return in the dog watch before eight bells. Tomas brought back some information that went a long way to assuage the Captain’s anger.

They had climbed to the top of the tallest building in the city. From that vantage point they could see the robotic warship. Two other vessels were in its company. They appear to be blocking our exit.

At the other end of spectrum Elijah is pleased to report that Emil has safely set up camp in the interior, which he confessed was according to his plan.

Two vessels entered the harbor today. Tomas confirms they are the ones he saw.

We left before they docked.

Day Four Hundred Twenty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Late into the night Elijah and I discussed what to do. Before turning in we concluded that we would explore our immediate surroundings.  

First on our list was the northern road that runs out of the one open gate. In the hills just outside the city we discovered a series of villages and farms. In those that were closer to the city the mark was prevalent. But further out it disappeared. Good news.

We were able to restock some foodstuffs. And gain some information. Those without the mark had been driven from the city. They uneasily await a future expulsion from their current locale.

Come that time Elijah advised them to prepare to travel north to search out the Purser.

Day Four Hundred Twenty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have not seen anyone else on the road, in either direction, since we left the river yesterday. Judging by the calculations of the former merchant from the port city we still have three days to go.

Elijah tells me that the Purser had given him a message to relay to the Captain. A resignation – and an apology for doing so. Elijah raised an eyebrow to me at the finish of this information. I caught his gist and agreed to offer to take on the position if acceptable to the Captain.

My mind was filled afterwards with thoughts of what I would do as a ship’s purser – things that I learned from watching him, and things from my own experience.