Day One Thousand Nineteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are up against it. The road is a solid mass of slow moving traffic in both directions. How any of the groups ahead of us got beyond this point is a mystery.

Reuben took everyone back to the relay point, except Elijah, Quasimo and me. Thankfully it is not that far away. I shall summon them if circumstances arise favorable to our passage.

Our observations so far are not promising. The few breaks in the traffic were filled by attending drones keeping vigil overhead.

Throughout the day I made two trips back to the relay point to familiarize myself with its turns and doglegs that I may all the easier navigate it in the dark.

Now we must wait.

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Day One Thousand Eighteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Quasimo has come out of his crisis of confidence, partly helped by his skill in getting us to the third and last of the relay points, but I believe mostly due to the penetrating insight supplied by Elijah through their discussion.  Elijah was able to put him at peace, both for the present, and with his past. And most glorious of all, for the future.

Our passage today was for the most part uneventful. Reuben did sight a drone, but there was enough time to get everyone into cover. Quasimo said to expect more such sightings from here on out. Especially in the vicinity of the busy road that runs to Damascus from Jerusalem.

That will be the greatest challenge.

Day Nine Hundred Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Jezer had guessed right. Indeed, there were checkpoints where hitherto there had been none. But they were easily spotted and the terrain was such that we had no trouble screening our passage around them.

Reuben took the extra precaution of sending scouts forward to locate any lone sentinels positioned as lookouts. Thankfully there were none.

All these extra exertions were very taxing and slowed our progress as half the time we were headed away from our goal. This frustration we took in stride and made us the more thankful for Jezer’s thoughtfulness in supplying each of us with a water skin.

As we went along Elijah and I discussed with Reuben the things he should know about our mutual future.

Day Nine Hundred Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Unexpectedly we were not the last ones to arrive at the hiding place. Mei’s group still has not appeared. We were so late beginning our trek that our passage took the whole night. And somehow our group and those of Tomas and the Captain as well must have passed them by.

Jezer volunteered to go in search. And of course Tomas joined him. (Against Jezer’s usual complaint- the unfamiliarity of the other with the environs).

We gave them our blessing and set about organizing the available spaces to the various new groups.

That done, it was readily apparent that there is still room for myriads more.

Elijah introduced his set-apart place where many will be soon interceding for Mei.

Day Seven Hundred Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our young people returned with good news.  Indeed, there was a passage under this mountain that disgorges onto the other side.

With this comforting knowledge we settled down to pass the night in the safety of the cave.

Come morning we pressed onward led by Tomas and Mei.

There were a couple of tricky sections where we had to descend a good height by handholds chipped from the rock by persons who had explored this way before. Who knows how long ago?

Once through to the other side, Mei and Tomas waited for us to catch up. Tomas collected our firebrands and suggested that we rest up and spend the night again in the cave.

His thoughtfulness was very welcome.

Day Seven Hundred Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have turned aside after a long day of ascents back and forth across the face of the highest mountain in the area. Definitely our last choice for a way out of the valley.

We turned aside because the way ahead is choked with snow and ice. And Tomas judged it to be too hazardous. Instead he thinks a nearby cavern will lead to a passage that will take us to where we want to go.

So, we made camp inside the mouth of the cavern while he chases down the flutter of air coming from somewhere further on.

Mei begged to be allowed to accompany him, arguing forcefully that no one should undertake this particular task alone.

We agreed.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The majority of the camp structures have been dismantled. All that remains are our personal tents. And those can be gotten up in minutes.

Tomas, with our blessing, has surveyed the immediate vicinity, paying particular attention to the trail taken by Jordan’s people. He thinks he can obliterate all marks of their passage by precipitating an avalanche in that area. But he wants to find another way out for us first.

The Captain with Mei’s help has gathered everything combustible into one big pile. When we set it ablaze, if visible by our foes, it should focus their attention away from Jordan and place it square on us.

Elijah feels ready to rely on the Spirit’s capacity to defend us.

Day Six Hundred Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The ground we’ve been hiking has transformed from sandy soil to flat expanses of rock. We are thankful for rock cairns that have been raised every few hundred cubits to mark the correct passage. They kept us away from the sheer drops down to the river that parallels our path.

Of course there was not much water coursing through its channel at this time..

The Captain thinks that by month’s end it will be all dried up.

Elijah has been stopping more frequently. We stopped also, except for Tomas who would indulge his habit of wandering further afield after one curiosity or another.

On one such foray he discovered the perfect spot for us to hold up for the night.

Day Six Hundred Sixty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The high mountains to the south are dropping behind us, and slipping below that horizon. At the same time we can finally see the end to this desert, and the beginning of a mountain range rising to block our way.

Of course, none of this was apparent during our night passage, but has now become so clear as we stop at a fork in the road to rest for the daylight hours.

We have some decisions to make before tonight. So, Tomas, ever the explorer, left us to see if the right fork would take us in a desirable direction.

Both Elijah and I think that the space between two of the peaks may indicate the presence of a passage.

Day Six Hundred Twenty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We emerged down from our mountain track onto another wide open expanse. Our path has diverged greatly from the lower altitude passage used by the army. We cannot even see from here if they have yet made it through.

There is a good chance that Elijah’s desire to pass up the army will happen.

We continued on at a good pace, with Elijah answering the eager questions of our guides, and instructing them in the ways of the Spirit.

When our path arrived at a fork, we held up for the night, for we have some important decisions to make.

The southern branch intersects with that of the army.  The other leads to a village where our guides have relatives.