Day One Thousand One Hundred Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

This last leg of our journey has sapped our strength and taxed our comprehension. Every where we turned our way was blocked. We had exhausted, it seems, all the approaches to the hiding place from the west and down towards Damascus.

Finally we gave up going in that direction and doubled back around to the north. There, at last, we found a way clear that was headed in the right direction.

The night had ended long before and we were tired. But we wanted to struggle on after a brief rest. (Besides, the path was more of a track – better traversed in daylight).

So, with Tomas in the lead and Elijah right behind we gained the hiding place by day’s end.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Thirty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We returned to familiar ground today. Territory that Elijah and I remembered from our journey down to Babylon. From my calculation we were only two or three days from Sy’s redoubt in the mountains.

We described Sy’s fortress to Reuben and he said that he had come across a place of that description on his way through the Galilee region. In fact, he had stopped to spend the night, having been invited to do so by another man whom he took to be someone who belonged there.

Elijah asked our friend to describe this individual.

After he did, Elijah and I looked at one another. His description matched our nemesis Moglen.

I asked Reuben if Moglen had inquired about us.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All quiet today on the plain. No sign of conflict by sight or sound. By the end of the day it had been so quiet we had relaxed our vigil, especially when we sighted what we took to be the halfway point of our journey – the well to which Sy had led us – the one whose water was too low to access.

To our relief its water table had risen and we easily refilled our water skins.

Elijah volunteered for the first watch but I had no sooner turned in when he raised the alarm.

Alarm turned to joy when we recognized our intruder was our friend Reuben whom we first knew as a guard in the prison near Jerusalem.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

In our meeting of yesterday the Supreme Commander revealed to us news of the conflict raging far to the north, as the forces out of that fastness have been engaged by those of the world government. He was content to sit out and let them weaken one another, all the better to step in later and destroy them both.

We welcomed this news but for another reason, and advised Quasimo’s cousin and Mei that now would be the best time for them to depart on their journey.

They agreed and Tomas concurred and together we escorted them to point outside of Babylon to the west.

As we were parting, Lung appeared and committed to accompany the women on their journey.

Day One Thousand Ninety Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All the other members of our group concur, even those who feel their purpose on this mission has been fulfilled. This despite other factors that mitigate against our continued presence here in Babylon.

We had two such encounters yesterday on our outing. Elijah learned that an internment camp for world government soldiers was nearby and asked our guard to take us there.

The guard was reluctant and after more persuasion gave in. Afterwards he exuded an air of vindication having been forced to rescue us from assaults aimed at Elijah, “the great Disturber of the nations.”

Mawuli said it was much the same treatment meted out to the group led by his parents on their journey to the promised land.

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 Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The last leg of our journey was exceedingly difficult. Mawuli led us into a narrow canyon that from a distance appeared to split a massive table plateau.

We left the camel with some others in a pen situated at the widest spot, and continued on.

Our path dead ended where the two walls met. We then made a switchback that climbed the face of the canyon wall.

Tomas and Mawuli had to boost, first Elijah, then me, up and over the last obstacle at the top.

As we walked the slope to the higher end of the plateau, our friend the Purser, ran down to greet us.

Arm in arm he lead us to his encampment and his wife Mary.

Day Nine Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our friend could talk of nothing else but the explosion. He was well past the town where it went off when it went off. He turned around and ran back to investigate. But he couldn’t get any closer than the fields outside. Nothing stirred, except the raging fire – everywhere. It seemed to be feeding on something within itself.

When he passed through before, not a soul would answer him. So he had wiped his feet and left in search of us.

When Tomas had unburdened himself, Elijah had us all turn in. Only with the new morning did we open up about our journey and about the rumor we had heard.

We parlayed and unanimously decided to pursue the lead.

Day Nine Hundred Seventy Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We continued our journey through the desert while Tomas inspected the villages along the road. We agreed to reconvene in the desert to the east of the last village two days hence.

Elijah thought that the day after should land us at the crossroads where we first met Jezer. At that point we could decide whether to  return on the side to the west of the road, or retrace our steps to Babylon.

Our discussion out of the way, we trudged on in silence. But now a new thought was stewing in my mind.

Finally, I asked Elijah why we just did not wing to Babylon on the Spirit to check my hunch.

He replied that he had already asked.

Day Nine Hundred Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elam came to me early. I could tell he was distraught and agitated. So desirous was he to be on his way, he was already dressed and equipped for his journey.

I understood the feelings that were coursing through his mind, and took pains to express them back to him. And I followed that with the reminder of what happens when we let emotions blind us to the leading of the Spirit.

In that very moment I knew that indeed this was the Spirit’s prompting him. And said so, just as Elijah and the others joined us.

Elijah then released them to follow up what we had discussed yesterday. For the timing was right.

Then he told me to prepare.