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 Five Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The medical supplies were accepted with hardly a word of thanks. I did not consider this an indication of bad manners but rather the extent of the shock they had suffered, and by which they were still affected.

The fact that most of the supplies were machines and not immediately of use due to the lack of power to run them, may have colored their reaction. But there was no corresponding change in attitude when we handed over two container loads of generators.

Elijah and I did get ashore and did our best to walk the clogged streets.

It was on this outing that we came across an ancient temple, now repurposed and plastered inside with giant posters of Stan.

Day One Hundred Forty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Both Lyle and I sense that the future is crashing in on us. I, at least, want to stop and take stock. Lyle is all for charging in and removing Kip and Grazie from their situations.

And that is the question, is it time for action or time to wait?

Circumstances made the decision for us.

Some of the east end leaders came to Lyle demanding that he make a deal for the machines. So he was tied up meeting with them and for the most part he was successful in dissuading them from that folly.

It was afternoon before we met with Kip. Good news. He’s on track appointing a successor. Our remaining concern is how to help Grazie.

Day One Hundred Forty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle returned without Kip this morning, so we had lots to talk about on the way out to the vineyard. The gates closed while they were in Kip’s district, so they had to spend the night. And though Lyle was free to leave, Kip could not. However, he is confident that after completing some paperwork he will be allowed to depart.

Lyle reported that an offer for use of the machines was indeed made. As a condition we must all first receive a mark issued by the world government, a permit to do business with them.

We are both suspicious.

At the agreed time, Grazie joined us. She, like Kip, wants to leave the west end. And asked our help.

Day One Hundred Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The harvest in the west is done. Ours is still days away from completion.

Kip said that the west end leaders will likely approach us when they are finished with an offer to use their machines. He is certain that it will come with an innocuous “price,” but its true cost will be hidden.

Lyle concurs, but he added that some of his leaders are longing to have their own.

I then proposed to pay a visit to the gates into the west to see if they have reopened. To which Lyle re-iterated that without him I must refuse any important discussions with Grazie, if we perchance meet.

I agreed and went.

All for nought, as it turned out.

Day One Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle had to battle his leaders over their objections to Kip staying with us. They have taken his assurances, so Kip has joined our work in the fields.

He says he is never going back.

Working side by side, we were able to continue probing into his knowledge of conditions in the west end. And I gave him a description of Grazie. This jarred him. He then told us that this sounds like Moglen’s eldest daughter Terresta.  He added that she is known to work in the western fields.

I turned to observe that area and was surprised to see many machines at work in their harvest.

Kip confirmed that they are gifts from the world government to obedient signatories.