Day One Thousand Seventy Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mei recognized him first, and resisted her impulse to rush to greet him. For we all knew the need for caution. But when she saw that it was her old unit with their tanker truck she called out to him.

We were welcomed into their camp and made comfortable.

Lung asked to meet with Elijah and myself.

He spent the night detailing all that has happened to him since he parted from us on the mountain on that long ago day.

When he shared about his transformation we called Mei in to hear the news too.

And as his crew continued pumping water at daylight, we heard the rumors that Stan had been fatally wounded in the battle before Babylon.

Advertisements

Day One Thousand Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our pace has been slow and deliberate. And as we went along I marveled at our collective reaction to the horrors we had seen atop the mountain. Anything more conducive to panic and fleeing headlong to escape, I find hard to imagine. Instead we were united to follow on, calmly and with hope, looking forward to accomplish that for which we have been summoned.

Mawuli began the morning huddled with Elijah. And ranged out ahead of us, much like Tomas used to do.

He expressed to me his awe at being used as a blessing to us. And I in turn reminded him of what has passed before, and how those times of small things are rewarded with increased responsibility.

Day One Thousand Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was not the carnage of battle that we surveyed on the summit of that mountain, but rather the aftermath of a wanton sacrifice. An altar had been raised over the source of the stream and an untold number of bodies lay strewn about – the bodies of animals contorted in their death agonies. All under the sparkling gaze of an idol of Stan, which presided over the scene.

Mawuli toppled it with a well aimed stone from his sling, and we crushed it under foot.

Elijah had us return to our camp near the stone bridge for the night, and from there this morning we set out towards the east, following Mawuli’s lead.

Elijah held his staff aloft in praise.

Day One Thousand Sixty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain had been correct that a dramatic event would be the sign. And everything else lined up after that.

The direction Mawuli indicated, coincided with the unstated one held by Elijah.

(I think he was actually taken by surprise).

So, the morning found our group climbing up the mountain, not down as everyone originally thought, but hiking up the path beside the stream bed.

Elam and Sy took pains helping Elijah and me over some of the trickier sections.

Something was still flowing down the rocks of the stream bed. Yet slowly, for it was drying in the sun.  And the heavy metallic odor gained in intensity as we reached the top.

Where carnage was spread out before us.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah was out before I arose this morning. He took Jezer and Elam with him for a walk up the mountain. I know the plan was for him and Jezer to point out the way to the hiding place, but I think that Elijah had an additional reason for the hike, a more personal one.

I had everything prepared for our departure by the time they returned. We would have left right then, but Elijah called for a last minute meeting with Sy, in which he asked him to consider lending his support in freeing the imprisoned group.

Sy promised to put out a fleece on that request.

Elijah thanked him. They bid us Godspeed. And we left with Elam.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The road at last straightened as the tanker truck climbed onto a plateau, and finally Elam opened up the throttle. And we sped on towards a vale at the base of the highest mountain in the wilderness.

As we closed on the vale, Elam pointed out the sentinels up on the heights. I looked and saw nothing, until three flashes glinted sunlight.

Our driver explained we had the go ahead. And as he pulled up behind another tanker truck and parked, the denizens poured out of their tents and surrounded us.

The wall of flesh gave way as the commanding figure of Sy waded through them. And he lifted me in a massive embrace and did the same to Elijah.

Day Nine Hundred Sixteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were on lockdown still when he left to take up the thread on our queries. He left me with a whole set of drone components to tinker with. It kept my hands busy and my mind occupied.

Elijah even lent a hand, off and on. It reminded me of the days when I knew Elijah as Lyle, and he called me ‘Enough.’ Back when we built a pair of drones. And left the city behind for the mountain.

When I voiced my recollection, Elijah said it elicited a different memory for him. It made him miss his pigeons, Rufus and Clarissa.

And that touchstone released a new flood of memories about people we hope to see again before long.

Day Eight Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Snow remained atop the mountain to our front, lasting well beyond that which has disappeared down here on the desert floor. We should arrive at its base in one more night march.

That occasion will mark the extent of the instructions given to us by Quasimo. Elijah intimates that he has a sense for our next immediate destination, but thus far has not divulged it to me, wanting instead that I confirm it independently.

I am asking, but no answer has been forthcoming. Neither between my first and second watch, nor after the second.

I was tired and nodded off.

Perhaps during tonight’s march. I pray for a revelation.

Before drifting off again my thoughts turned to our absent friends.

Day Seven Hundred Seventy Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Yesterday was a refreshing day of rest for all of us. We each drew apart at times for communion with the Spirit.

Both Tomas and Mei desired to venture on to see what lay beyond our line of sight, but we prevailed upon them to just wait.

This morning, therefore, we were more than ready to depart. So, we let loose the young people to tumble down the mountain ahead of us.

More switchbacks eased our descent and we remained bundled up against a bracing cold. And thankfully no sign of Stan’s presence, brooding or otherwise, disturbed our peace.

The Captain and I lagged behind and filled our time with conversation on many topics. But  at their center was Jerusalem.

Day Seven Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I startled awake at an early hour, for a moment disoriented, left wondering where I was. That I was in a cavern was immediately apparent. But I must say I was flashing back to another time and another cavern – when Elijah and I were accompanied by the young bearded man, Stan.

I could not but conclude that he was somewhere near at hand, roaming about seeking our trail.

I arose and cautiously went outside. The sun’s morning rays were stretching over the eastern horizon, feeling their way around the mountain towards our position. Nothing else stirred, not even on the winding path just emerging from the darkness.

Elijah joined me and declared we would stay put for one more day.