Day Seven Hundred Thirty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The lake has shrunken. Due to our distance from it, not because of the water taken out of it. Though I suppose, given time, that will have its effect too.

Three tanker trucks were visible, applying their pumps, upon our last view before we descended into a valley the other side of the foothills. Perhaps we will see it again when we climb into the next pass.

Our road parallels a river which carries scarcely a trickle. If it ever reached the lake below, I don’t think it could now.

It seems to me that Tomas is returning to check in more often than he used to. He converses with Elijah almost always. And sometimes the Captain.

Mei notices him.

Day Seven Hundred Thirteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our track southward took us well away from a view of the pass, so we surmised as we set out again this morning that the bulk of the army must have passed by the point at which we left it.

It is hard letting go of past responsibilities and moving on to the next. Especially when that next one is not clear. But as Elijah is fond of expressing we are alive to the ultimate end, and even though such knowledge is valuable for weighing various opportunities as they present themselves, the Word of the Spirit is the final arbiter.

Struck by this the Captain read to me from the history of a man called Paul, a friend of Yeshua.

Day Seven Hundred Twelve #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The consensus among us was unanimous. The time is past for our oversight of the army’s safety. Elijah shared his confidence that it is on track for its rendezvous with history.

We have our own appointments to keep. And all we know is that we are to go northward.

But we had no other choice than to keep traveling west in the pass. With eyes and hearts open to wherever the Spirit would pull us.

We passed by three offshoots headed northward. The Captain liked each of them, but one or the other of us was not in agreement. So we continued on.

So strange to say, the one we all agreed upon was directed southward.

We obediently took it.

Day Seven Hundred Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The communication from Tomas was already opened and we assumed read by other interested parties. On the face of it Tomas was assuring us of his well being and inquiring after ours. But there was a subtext that I was sure had eluded anyone other than our eyes.

It was much in my thoughts as we set out once more.

If I was correct in my assumption, the Supreme Commander was about to suffer the same fate as David at the hand of his son Absalom.

I was discussing the implications with Elijah and the Captain when the surrounding mountainsides of the pass sprang to life. And our attention was riveted on the threat around us.

Where was the Spirit?

Day Seven Hundred Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We had no sooner noticed that activity throughout the camp had increased, when Tomas brought word that orders were circulating for the army to advance.

At that juncture the Supreme Commander came to us with a request. He wanted us to assume a place with the advance units as they go through the next pass.

Or specifically Elijah, the Captain and myself. For he had decided to keep Tomas back in the rear of the army by his side.

(Obviously to keep us from wandering too far).

After a brief conference we acceded to his request.

I knew from my ongoing talks with Elijah that this fit exactly with our goals.

Even in the position that Tomas will find himself.

Day Seven Hundred Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I think the Captain practically cartwheeled for joy at the sight of our friend Tomas, clearly hale and hearty, sound of limb and mind.

And we noticed that the Supreme Commander relaxed with relief to realize that we were known to Tomas from whom he had learned many things. Including the fact of our actions that had averted disaster to his army in the pass. He gratefully set us at liberty.

We spent a better part of today, catching up on Tomas’ adventures.  He had been following up a promising path when he ran into our former captors and their leader. His hasty retreat ran him headlong into the clutches of an army patrol.

He’s been with them ever since.

Day Six Hundred Ninety Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We arrived at the end of the pass today. And caught up with the army. It was spread across a wide valley. A valley that was hemmed between two mountain ranges. And the only exit appeared to be a pass on the far side.

The army did not appear to be ready to tackle that next leg of their journey.. Or so we hoped.

Elijah still desires to get out in front of them. We have found a place apart where we can observe and plan our next step.

The Captain can’t help but want to stay in this area because he can’t shake the belief that Tomas is somewhere behind us.

We plan but we look to the Spirit.

Day Six Hundred Ninety Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A number of vehicles passed by today. We had plenty of notice, so we were well out of sight before they came into view.

Many more came from the hospital behind us than came from the army ahead on the pass. I concluded that meant that things must be going very well for the army.

This appeared to be confirmed shortly after when trucks lumbered by carrying the elements of the mobile hospital.

And we were once again dropping further and further behind the army.

So, with Elijah’s consent I dispatched Tomas ahead for the express purpose of finding a better way to catch up.

But when the time came to camp for the night, Tomas was nowhere in sight.

Day Six Hundred Ninety One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was the one who stumbled upon the right path this time. Tomas had just returned from an unsuccessful attempt to find a way down when I arrived with the good news.

After an hourlong descent we  were on the level of the pass. Signs were everywhere of the army’s passage: abandoned and broken down equipment, strewn trash and spent fire pits. The area must have been used a multitude of times by different units of the army as it passed along.

After the briefest of rests, we took to the trail again. It was very easy going, our only impediment, having to walk around garbage dumps.

We hadn’t gotten far when the Captain noticed that we were being watched.

Day Six Hundred Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas returned after one of his side jaunts. He had come upon a section of this mountain that in his estimation we should avoid at all costs.

An enormous crater spans the area between our side of the range and the next ridge that would be our desired destination.

Though judging by its topography we would be able to cross it easily, he is convinced it is a radiated area about which we’ve been warned.

A cloud of fine rock dust floats in a continual agitation above the crater, and one can sense a source of heat somewhere beneath its screen.

Elijah decided then and there, that we must descend down into the pass itself.

Even if we must backtrack.