Day Eight Hundred Sixty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have Damascus in sight. Meesa led us off the road to a ridge above its outskirts, where we have a commanding view of the road and a neighboring one to the west. We can see where each enters the city. And are in a good position to evaluate our options.

Meesa had listened to our explanations with avidity, and peppered us with questions. Before leaving she had proposed another solution by offering to affix a mark like hers upon our persons – an offer we both declined.

We shall not stoop to subterfuge, but we shall oppose Stan and his ilk face to face.

That being said, we shall stay put until we have clarity as to when and how.

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Day Eight Hundred Sixty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We did not make any progress towards Damascus today. We encamped on the outskirts of a larger town last night – the capital for this district, as we soon discovered. For we decided to begin the day’s journey by strolling through rather than around it.

The telltale posters of Stan hung everywhere with extra added touches of adornment.

We were no sooner in its central square than we were surrounded by a convergence of celebratory citizens that clogged all the exits.

We were a captive audience.

When the officials spoke we learned that they were collected to celebrate the anniversary of the world government coming to their rescue in the drought.

When it broke up, the day was too far gone.

Day Seven Hundred Twenty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We exercised the usual caution today.  At first light Tomas went into the city to scout, while we stayed on the outskirts.

The Captain was focused on the fruit trees that were indeed on the approaches to the city. Very little fruit was left to glean. What there was, was green or in one instance mealy.

Tomas brought an end to our foraging upon his return. With a long explanation he hustled us into the city.

The city was in the throes of preparing to stave off an invasion.  He convinced us that we needed to be settled as soon as possible.

Thankfully we found an inn. Though Stan’s image was everywhere no one asked if we bore the mark.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

While the small boats were transporting the cargo, Elijah hopped a ride to visit the village. I kept count of the items to ensure nothing was missed.

The Captain accompanied the last boat this morning to collect payment and to retrieve Elijah. The Captain confirmed Tomas’ guess as to the future use of the tin and bauxite. The village is merely a way station on its journey to a manufacturing facility.

In his tours of the outskirts, Elijah noticed that camel caravans were coming and going hourly. They will no doubt be the next mode of transport for that shipment.

Elijah also told me that there were absolutely no followers of Hamashiach in the village.
This saddened him very much.

Day Three Hundred Ninety Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was relieved to leave the desolation behind. And I think I speak for Elijah too. He hasn’t commented directly about it, but for a while there, he was holding his arm across his face. Now he walks unencumbered and without stumbling.

The last long stretch before the riverfront town, though lonely was a refreshing walk. I still wonder why there are no villages on its outskirts. They have the look of prime farmland.

The riverfront town has emptied out, comparatively speaking. We were probably the only ones around that could be considered refugees. We had no trouble finding a place to stay, an inn down beside the river.

We as yet have no leading as to our next step.

Day Two Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our journey from the oasis was nothing like our trek there. We stood side by side and set our faces towards the city. Elijah raised his staff and the next minute we were in the vineyard on the outskirts.

The once great city is gone – except for the east end where a few buildings still stand.

We see movement in the field, our next stop.

Day Sixty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We reached the village by mid-morning. We’d seen it all already through the cameras on our drones. There was nothing left to discover on the outside of the buildings. Each of us was burning to know if there were something or someone inside of any of them.

Lyle took point this time and I covered. All the homes in the outskirts on this side were empty.

We’d been moving at a good clip, but once we hit the Main Street area we bogged down.

There was so much to check. We still have not encountered a soul. And our search for foodstuffs proved a little more rewarding.

Only completed half our search because an alert required a rotating watch.