Day Seven Hundred Seventy Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We took the Captain’s usual advice and gave wide berth to the hunters’ village. Yet time after time Tomas had to adjust our way again as village after village cropped up across our path.

The whole process moved us steadily away from our desired compass point.

Finally, Tomas brought us all atop one hillock to see rings of villages between us and a city at the edge of the prairie.

I looked to Elijah and he nodded.

I knew this city was our next stop. But then we debated how to get there.

Did we dare enter one of these villages? They were more than likely responsible for the attack we had overheard.

And had they driven out the Hamashiachites?


Day Seven Hundred Seventy Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The sound of two gunshots and an answering fusillade crashed out of the pathway to our left.  Before their echoes trailed off, we made our easy choice, the right-hand fork, and hurried out of the area.

Tomas ran ahead to sweep the path and to ensure we wouldn’t come up against another surprise.

Mei took up her favored position,  keeping a constant watch behind us. The Captain dropped back also to keep her company and lend additional support.

Thus we continued all day.

I walked with Elijah. With not a word between us. A whole new vista was opening up before us – the hills flattening into rolling prairie to which we could see no end.

“Almost there,” said Elijah.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our path has become easier. More level. And word  from Tomas reported that a descent to a mountain valley lies ahead.

Still no pursuers visible behind us. But we can’t shake the feeling that someone is back there.

In a couple instances, Mei dropped behind to observe, but each time the trail remained empty.

She talked most of the time with the Captain.

He later told me that she was fixated on Elijah’s staff. At the first, he recounted the times that he had witnessed great deeds with it in Elijah’s hands, but then he realized she was forming a wrong idea about the two.

So he sent her to Elijah who gladly dispelled the false notions she was forming.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mei made the sighting. She was watching the skies, but was drawn to flashes on the ridge line far to the east of us. When I looked I thought it was the water survey party we passed a few days ago.

So it was good that we were all set to leave. Tomas had covered the tracks of Jordan’s group per the plan and had selected another path away from the area.

On Elijah’s order we torched the pile of debris and stepped out again for points north on a trail that must have been used by those fleeing from that direction.

Tomas stayed with the group to help us over the tricky parts.

We should have a solid lead.

Day Seven Hundred Fifty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A bone weary day, with lots of ground covered, despite some down time when Tomas brought word of an army patrol. We hid easily while they passed us by.

I am sure they were looking for sources of water and not for us or their enemy.

Later, down the trail we crossed a footbridge that spanned a narrow gorge. Water rushed within its course far below.

I assume the leader of the patrol took one look and gave up on this path. There’s just no getting a tanker truck close to this source. They’ll probably find an easier access to it somewhere else.

At day’s close, Elijah predicted that sometime tomorrow we will definitely arrive at our destination up ahead.

Day Seven Hundred Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas did find another path. We have taken it and left behind the busy road and its dangers. It is pointed due north and looks to keep true to that orientation.

Early on I remarked to Elijah that the terrain we were passing through looked familiar. He replied that there was a good reason for my recognition of our surroundings. And stated that we were on the approaches to the place in the north we had visited by the power of the Spirit many months ago.

The memory of that time flooded me with peace. We had been there less than a span of a day, yet it was unforgettable.

And I’ll never forget Jordan’s astonishment at our sudden return.

Day Seven Hundred Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Waited all day for an opportunity to talk to Tomas alone. I would have accompanied him on one of his jaunts, but didn’t want to leave Elijah and the Captain without my support. Lung has been outwardly calm, yet I can tell agitation is festering just below the surface. Every step is taking us further and further away from his unit. If only he would talk to Elijah again. Lung has been avoiding him ever since the glacier.

Thankfully, Tomas brought word of another path branching off this one. He is certain it will take Lung back down. If not to the lake, at least to the desert.

I also decided to put off my talk with Tomas until tomorrow.

Day Seven Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas had been making as many trips back down the trail as forward. A fact that had not escaped Elijah’s notice.

Tomas just returned from a long absence in the rear and Elijah stopped him before he could set off into the advance again. Instead he dispatched him to trace our path all the way back to wherever Lung and Mei may be.

I accompanied him. And Elijah and the Captain set up camp to wait.

We came to the brook, a torrent of rushing water. And there ran into Lung descending off of the mountain. He begged us to return with him to help rescue Mei. She had slipped into a crevasse they had opened accidentally with the flamethrower.

Day Seven Hundred Fifteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our path turned and we chased the sun in its movement westward.  We had intermittent views of the desert in the distance on the up cycles of our up and down progress.

But on one of those occasions something else was revealed – a village or hamlet sat astride our path a few ranges ahead. Wisps of smoke curled above it.

Tomas was all for running ahead to investigate. But we held him back for we judged it to be a couple days’ journey away.

As for the Captain he wanted to go around it altogether and not call attention to ourselves.

Elijah and I advised staying the course.

A hauntingly familiar melody played in my thoughts before sleep claimed me.

Day Seven Hundred Fourteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas has taken up his wanderlust again, traveling in advance of us, sampling the paths that branch off of this main one. None have been judged better than the one we are on.

Elijah has ended his fast so he kept up with our brisk pace.

Tomas did beg us to join him up on a vantage point, a short distance off the beaten track.

It offered a full view of an hundred eighty degree arc of the mountain ranges west of us. They look for all the world like waves frozen in place on its march to the sands of the desert off in the distance.

But more importantly we could see that our path veers towards the west.