Day Seven Hundred Fifty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our two young people talked freely, so freely that the Captain and I excused ourselves and left them to Elijah to chaperone. Feelings were expressed on both sides and each was gratified by those mutual yearnings. But as Tomas emphatically explained it, the times were such that any normal relationship was impossible.

So with the new day Tomas was again looking after every one’s well being. He lead us out by the road from the lake having ascertained its safety. We made good time and at the approach of any intruders, he had us well hidden.

Mei appears non-phased by it all. In fact, I sense a subtle change in her demeanor. She seeks to serve each of us.

Day Seven Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

     We had to dodge a patrol last night that was coming towards our position. We used the situation to skirt around the compound in the opposite direction with our ultimate goal a track Tomas said we could use instead of the main road.

     We rested the remainder of the night safe from view.

     The track took us by a lake fed by mountain streams. On the far side two tanker trucks were backing in to fill up. A third waited its turn.

     At the sight of them Elijah called a halt. This applied to Tomas too.

    While the Captain kept watch, I thought it an appropriate time for our two young people to dispel the tension.

     So they did, quietly.

Day Seven Hundred Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Waited all day for an opportunity to talk to Tomas alone. I would have accompanied him on one of his jaunts, but didn’t want to leave Elijah and the Captain without my support. Lung has been outwardly calm, yet I can tell agitation is festering just below the surface. Every step is taking us further and further away from his unit. If only he would talk to Elijah again. Lung has been avoiding him ever since the glacier.

Thankfully, Tomas brought word of another path branching off this one. He is certain it will take Lung back down. If not to the lake, at least to the desert.

I also decided to put off my talk with Tomas until tomorrow.

Day Seven Hundred Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We finally relented, and allowed Lung to go back down the trail, accompanied by Tomas. They reported that the trail was washed out by the force of the water from the glacier.  And that a huge chunk of the glacier had cascaded down to a lower elevation.

Still, Lung desires to get back to his unit with this intelligence. And to see if any of the runoff has made its way down to the lake.

Elijah advised him to continue on with us until another way down can be found.

At the same time, Mei let it be known that she does not want to return.

This caught Lung completely by surprise.

We put further discussion aside and continued on.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

By the time we went into camp last night, the view of our surroundings was cut off by a thick fog. Or they may have been clouds, given our elevation.

This morning, whether it was clouds or fog, they had all dissipated under the gaze of the rising sun. And we could then see the lake winking at us far below.

The way ahead was more difficult, narrowing down to a mere track. Beside us water splashed down the rock bed of the ever present brook.

I looked ahead and could see Tomas stopped on a precipice. And guessed the destination our army companions.

Flashes of white behind Tomas drew my eye to a glacier on the next mountain peak.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The lake has shrunken. Due to our distance from it, not because of the water taken out of it. Though I suppose, given time, that will have its effect too.

Three tanker trucks were visible, applying their pumps, upon our last view before we descended into a valley the other side of the foothills. Perhaps we will see it again when we climb into the next pass.

Our road parallels a river which carries scarcely a trickle. If it ever reached the lake below, I don’t think it could now.

It seems to me that Tomas is returning to check in more often than he used to. He converses with Elijah almost always. And sometimes the Captain.

Mei notices him.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas led the way, as usual, around the lake and into the foothills. Our guests carried on behind us. Each fully armed and with heavy packs. They’ve been instructed to follow us until they reach the goal of their mission. Besides themselves, Elijah is the only one with that knowledge.

Their names are Lung and Mei. I really was bowled over to learn that Mei is not a man, but a woman. Both had been guards over Elijah, and Mei was always barking commands and gave no hint of her gender.

Elijah knew, of course, and was greatly amused at my discovery.

Our road is a good one. It has been surfaced for vehicles, and we are making good progress.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

At the least we were not taken down to the chamber to be locked up again. The unit attached to the tanker truck held no interest about the dam other than their immediate security.

Once its commander had his mission underway, the collection of water from the lake, he finally deigned to speak to us.

Tomas had been insistent with anyone within earshot until cuffed into silence by one of our guards.

So he was gratified at last to have the chance to request a communication with the Supreme Commander.

The unit commander was at first skeptical and almost dismissed his request out of hand.  That is until Tomas pressed him with the emergency code word.

The message was sent.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We kept on the move all night, and only stopped (or dropped) when exhaustion overtook us.

Our discussions along the way had not yet resolved the two different options that divide our company. Tomas and the Captain were for seeking out the help of the Supreme Commander. Elijah and I thought we should not go back the way we came, but rather continue north.

The decision was taken away from us at the appearance on the road of a tanker truck. Its support troops had us surrounded before we had a chance to react.

Though clearly harmless they kept us with them to their destination, the dam at the end of the lake.

Thus we landed back where we began.

Day Seven Hundred Twenty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

There is a body of water at the back of the city, a lake that has shrunken due to the drought. The river that feeds it is running low, and at the other end stands a dam that impedes outflow.

This source of water is most precious to the inhabitants and it is what they intend to protect and preserve at all costs. So we conclude after observing the comings and goings of the local militia all day, and in particular their concentration in the vicinity of the dam.

Over on that side of the city Tomas was a witness to their opposition to some tanker trucks he recognized.

Though they retreated we are sure they will return in force.