Day Eight Hundred Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our series of meetings have started to bear fruit. Word comes through Meesa that many people are contacting her, to ask when they can leave.

This ground swell burgeoned throughout the day.

However, we still had the problem of meeting to coordinate our actions to reach our desired goal.

That’s when Jezer reappeared. And he had a solution.

Wherever he had been, he was in position to hear all about our efforts to contact Hamashiachites. He identified those who were the most effective in spreading the word. And now Meesa has a list and a method for pulling us all together.

But Jezer also brought the intelligence that the authorities will soon be clamping down on movement within the city.

Day Eight Hundred Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We avoided the center of the riverbed. It was too swollen with dust, making movement nigh impossible. In addition staying on the edges had the happy result of insulating us from the roar of the road traffic.

Our friends were much in our thoughts and prayers as Elijah and I went along. I must say I miss Tomas’s intrepid oversight of our band. And the thought that he doubtless continues in that capacity, cheers me.

As we trekked onward, the soil became more sandy, the air more arid. Yet the view ahead did not look at all like a desert. Instead the landscape was green and lush, stretching to the horizon across which was spread the megapolis that is Babylon.

Day Seven Hundred Nineteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I could not stop thinking about G and his people and the road ahead of them. And wondering if we forgot to relate to them anything that might make their pilgrimage less perilous.

Tomas, thankfully, had given him valuable information for dealing with the Supreme Commander should they run afoul of his massive army. And Elijah wonderfully encouraged him.

This train of thought halted when the Captain spotted movement ahead of us, and for all appearances coming directly for us.

After the briefest of discussions, we continued on our course.

At one point they halted for no other reason I can think of, except they saw us.

It was a caravan of merchants. We passed one another in absolute silence.

Day Six Hundred Ninety Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Every once in a while we could make out two figures on the ridge above us shadowing our movement. We soon outdistanced them, as they were forced to follow the contours of the mountain.

Midday we finally sighted what we thought to be the rear guard of the army, but it turned out to be a field hospital. From what we could tell as we skirted the area there were no battle casualties, only footsore stragglers.

A couple of guards spotted us and came out to check, but upon closer view, dismissed us, I believe, as wandering nomads. They returned to their posts without a backward glance.

Toward evening, Elijah noticed that the two figures were back.

With a third.

Day Six Hundred Twenty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas and I left camp before sunup to get a bearing on the army. We didn’t have to go far before catching sight of them spread across the horizon. Already there was movement and the clatter of preparations.

We reported our findings to Elijah and the Captain. I floated the estimate of a million men making up their force. Tomas thought their number to be less, but concedes they will pick up more on their way and will then probably surpass a million.

When we set out, Elijah held us to a path that paralleled their line of march on the right. There is much more cover to that side.

Elijah believes within three days we can pass them by.

Day Five Hundred Fifteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

This city is a jumble. The people are milling about everywhere. Many have taken up residence in the streets, and thereby impede all movement.

We have spent a good part of the morning trying to find a way through to the harbor area. No street runs straight. We would choose a likely prospect only to be disappointed when it lead to a dead end or took a turn to the opposite direction.

Everyone we ask either doesn’t know where the harbor is located  or didn’t even know there was one. Seems we are all new to the city. And all strangers.

Then turning one corner, first Elijah then I heard the melody I had awakened to just two days ago.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are hopeful that the danger from pirates is past. The Captain thinks this likely as we are now headed towards the seat of the world government.

It is not our destination. Indeed, we shall not be heading into the gulf off of which it is being built. But we assume there will a strong naval presence, and hence a deterrent to piratical activity.

I am still pulling extra watches.

During the afternoon one I split my attention between the sea around us and the shoreline on our port. At one point some movement alarmed me – among the dun-colored rocky hills shoreward, streams of white dots were swarming.

An amused Elijah told me they were only flocks of goats.

Day Three Hundred Twenty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah was the first to spot it. Movement in the waters dead ahead. The Captain looked and saw something else in addition and immediately ordered a course change.

He moved the ship onto a westerly tack, and remarked that it would add a couple more days to our transit.

I asked him what it was.

He answered that the movement we saw was hundreds, maybe thousands of sharks, thrashing about seeking the source of the blood in the water.

And before I could ask why not just go through, he added that it must have spread from further south where he had encountered it before and was nearly bogged down in its congealed mess.

Elijah glanced my way and nodded.

Day One Hundred Ninety morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle writes:

From the minute we took down our tents, more drones joined the ones patrolling. And as we finished packing, these flying sentinels positioned themselves on our perimeter.

Some of our people froze in place at being hemmed in this fashion. Others turned and pressed into the center of our position.

Calm was restored at my urging as I passed among them. I then moved to the perimeter facing the city and waited.

Grazie was the first to detect movement across from us. I looked up to see Moglen and his contingent.

We waited. And I sorted through my thoughts, formulating my questions.

Day One Hundred Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The movement back into the east end is under way. After reconsideration, only two thirds of the work force will return. The rest will remain behind and prepare for the latter harvest.

Lyle plans to contact Moglen and ask if he can meet with the representative of the world authority. He believes it to be only logical at this stage. For my part, I doubt that Stan has the courage to meet with us.

I helped the widow and her son back into their home. Grazie lent a hand, and though she knows she is welcome to stay, she has volunteered to remain behind in the field.

Later I had the urge to check the first district.

It was closed.