Day Eight Hundred Fifteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Both Quasimo and I advised against the move southward. But Elijah insisted. So the rest of the day we made our way out of the central district, and passed the night in a posh but deserted hotel.

Before we set out this morning Quasimo told us they would be on high alert since the explosion and surveillance would begin the minute we set foot in the southern sector.

Elijah said we would only be there long enough to deliver a message, then we would egress via his preferred route.

Thus, we ended up before an angry crowd and Elijah announced the continuation of the drought. Their anger boiled over.

But we disappeared before they could lay a hand on us.

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Day Eight Hundred Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

With each step the city seems to grow taller, towering over everything in sight and blotting out half the sky to the south of us. One can sense the hum of industry going night and day without cease emanating from its presence. I commented on it, but Elijah brushed off my sense of foreboding and remained focused on our march to the city.

Posted signs appeared after that with the message praising the one responsible for all this plenteous new growth, printed beneath the smiling picture of our nemesis, Stan.

Next a drone confronted us. It stood stock still, scanning the two of us.

Elijah stood at ease; his staff remained at his side.

The drone went vertical and fled.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Word was received back from the Supreme Commander this morning. The commander of this unit has been ordered to supply our needs and to release us to go our way.

This outcome has greatly relieved the mind of my young friend. Tomas had been called for, told the gist of the message and asked to list our needs.

After a brief consultation with us – so as not to forget anything essential – he submitted our requests.

In short order the commander supplied our needs and knowing that we were heading into the mountains added some warmer clothing. However, he also made one request himself. He wants us to take two of his men with us.

To our surprise Elijah said yes.

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 Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The leader of the army’s advance units took it upon himself to place us out front. Obviously he sees us as a shield and intends to wield us as such.

Of course, we actually are his shield and for the army at large wherever they place us or wherever we would choose to place ourselves.

I scanned the mountains on the right and the Captain those to the left. Elijah just forged on ahead.

This first day nothing out of the ordinary happened. At its end we set up camp and sent back word for the rest of the army that it was safe to advance.

The message was acknowledged and an additional communication was handed to Elijah from Tomas.

Day Six Hundred Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Some unusual activity today. The Captain and Tomas told us later about the waves of soldiers passing through the area. Thankfully they were not stopping anywhere along their route. Elijah and I missed it for we were off in the city for news.

Everything appeared calm and even dull there. We attracted notice in certain sections, but there was a marked difference in the willingness of the people to respond when we talked to them. It made us curious.

We discovered why on our way back. Fresh posters were mounted on the walls outside the temple. They announced that Stan would deliver a message to the world in two days and included a simple admonition – to be kind to everyone.

Day Five Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our hosts had much to explain. They made it a condition before our entry.

We sent G back to the ship with word that we would be spending the night ashore, and with the additional message to the Captain that Elijah and I would ship out with him come the end of the week.

The long and short of it is, the hospital has few patients left, all of them Hamashiachites, brave souls who tended the sick. Their entire community is tolerated only if they remain secluded for they are blamed for the coming of the plague.

First thing this morning Elijah entered the wards and raised the ill from their sickbeds.

We then gathered together to discuss the future.

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.

Day Four Hundred Eleven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Purser took us into their commodious tent where we shared a meal, then turned in for the night.

First thing in the morning he and Elijah went off to a meeting with the many leaders of the settlement, while I stayed with Mary and the children. I caught them up on our adventures and they filled me in on theirs.

Only a couple of days after our parting they had met and joined a large party from the north. This group rejoiced greatly over the message her husband shared with them, and made him their leader upon learning its source was Elijah.

Retha proudly informed me that her brother is famous among them for his prowess with the sling.

Day Three Hundred Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The message of Elijah is spurring some action on the waterfront. People are lining up seeking passage away from the city.

I was among them, and had just secured a place for us on a container ship departing in six days, when the soldiers showed up. They waded into the crowd and began dispersing it right and left.

Elam saw his opportunity. He collected the remnants and led them apart and offered to take them all out another way.

I was successful in keeping the soldiers occupied elsewhere. Stan had joined those guarding the piers and sent the extra to “look after me.”

I asked him where he planned to be in seven days.

His look told me “not here.”