Day Seven Hundred Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It took quite some time to clear away the obstructions. An engineering unit was brought up for the heavy lifting to that end. Until they arrived the leaders of this unit set down the best path for the endeavor.

This left us with a lot of free time. Elijah suggested that we all fast. We agreed.

Our non-eating went unnoticed among our army companions until our absence at evening mess.

It created no little stir.

We were each interrogated about what we were not doing. Something about this behavior unsettled them, making them very suspicious. And in a way I believe they somehow intuited the power that lies behind it.

I finally convinced them they had nothing to fear.

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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 Eighty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah awoke first, and came and roused me. We collected Tomas and the Captain and departed our captors.

Both soldiers were in a deep, sound sleep.

Outside the crevice I had to hush our puzzled companions until we were further down the trail.

Later to my explanation the Captain said it was like one of the passages he had read to me recently. I concurred.

We looked for the army but the pass below was empty. Elijah told us it was imperative for us to catch up to them.

We picked up the pace, but I was not convinced it would make any difference. Another path at a fork looked to suffice and we took it despite its radiation warning.

Day Six Hundred Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tracks continued to precede us on the trail. Another set joined the first at the juncture of the path with a mountain stream. This second set came up from below.

We slowed our pace by tacit agreement. I believe none of us wanted an encounter up here in the mountains.

We all felt relief on that score when the path forked and the pair of tracks took the upward bound route. We will stay the course and keep in view of the pass below.

We are left curious though. Tomas told us that the upward branch was marked with signs of warnings about radiation – like those in the hills up from the town on the plain.

Elijah alone remains unconcerned.

Day Six Hundred Eighty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The advance units of the army arrived at the point of the avalanche this morning, and passed by oblivious to the danger that had lain in wait for them.

We pressed on ourselves, resigned to the fact that we will be falling behind again, especially as the trail ahead was climbing.

With the gain in elevation this time another problem arose, snow was on the ground – not on the path – but standing off to the side – not melting, for it was very cold. We wrapped ourselves in our blankets and continued on.

I fell in with the Captain and we picked up our studies from the day before. It kept our minds off the cold.

Elijah stayed close and listened.

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 Thirty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our path took a sudden turn northward near the middle of our nightly trek. I had an intimation that the turn was purposeful and was glad when Tomas reported a well ahead.

From that point we were again on a westward course.

The lights in the sky returned again. This time, however, they were concentrated in the area towards the high mountains. And from that quarter a series of flashes lit up the ground beneath those swarming lights in the sky.

The Captain and Tomas both tell us that a massive attack is going on over there. Against whom or what is the question.

I can only think that the million man army may be the focus of their wrath.

Day Six Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Although it is difficult to measure how much ground we are covering each day, both the Captain and I feel it to be less and less. I made another plea to switch to night time travel.

This time the consensus was favorable, but we will wait until the day after tomorrow to implement.

We were crossing a flat expanse with Tomas in the lead, when the young man caught a flash of silver in the sky. He followed its path as it passed our position, circling to our rear.

Tomas ordered us to take cover.

However, Elijah stood his ground, raising his staff over his head. And the diving machine crumpled and fell to earth as though striking a wall.

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.

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.