Day One Thousand One Hundred Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

This morning Elijah sent Reuben out again to check. He returned almost immediately. While he watched, Moglen who was still lurking, turned about and left.

With this news, Reuben and I thought we should leave as soon as possible. But Elijah surprised us by insisting that we wait a while longer. Adding that we have an appointment to keep.

He waved aside any further query and asked us to be praying for his two bands of pupils. He said they were in sore need of our support.

This we did until Elijah announced it was time to depart.

At every turn of the path I expected to see one of Elijah’s pupils. Imagine my surprise when we came upon Tomas.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Reuben was the one who discovered the cave. He said afterwards that it was as though he was pulled into it. And I marvel that he did, for no way was the entrance visible from the path below on which we were fleeing.

And we gained its safety none too soon for otherwise the swarm of drones would have overtaken us.

And here we have stayed put through the night and all of today.  Reuben was restless and made frequent forays to take a peek around. He reported the movement of soldiers in the distance, happily, headed in the wrong direction, but was shaken to his core the last time when he spotted Moglen standing nearby, watching in silence, alone.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

When viewed yesterday, the high place seemed only to be a day’s journey more, but the actuality turned out otherwise.

We got a peek at it every so often as the path weaved to and fro. It is unmistakable that the idol of Stan has been replaced. And it is now even larger than the one we destroyed days ago.

I am sure that it is clearly visible to his troops far below in the valley.

We saw no movement in its vicinity, but we knew something was going on.

A wisp of smoke commenced at noon, and thickened into a column by day’s end.

The uppermost question now is – what will we do when we arrive on the scene?

Day One Thousand One Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed the furthest point of our path that we were able to see from last night’s summit. But that has made little difference to our progress today, due to the fact of very few branching paths.

What did slow us down, however, was the time we halted to investigate the flash and rumble of conflict far to the south.

We presume that the army of the East and that of the North were at one another’s throats.

What rooted us in place so long was curiosity over what the army of the world government would do, whose lines of defense were then in view to the east of our position.

When they did not budge, Elijah urged us on.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah made the decision. No discussion beforehand. Of course, neither Reuben nor I objected. Rather we were more than glad to comply. Because of what Reuben had told us, we turned our back on the path before us and headed back towards the bivouac of the army of the North.

Elijah had noted another path that branched off near there, so we took that path.

It wound higher into the hills. As we continued we always chose the forks that we judged would parallel our desired course, but avoid the approaches to Sy’s redoubt.

We met no opposition, no patrols. Not even any animals, wild or otherwise.

What did slow us down were those paths that dead ended atop hills.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our path as directed by Reuben guided us away from the plain for the morning hours. When we crossed back over the ridge the main body of the army of the North filled the plain. We took the main concentration centered on the side towards us to be the headquarters.

I asked Elijah if we were going to curse them per the wishes of the Supreme Commander.

He replied, “No. They are already cursed.”

With that Reuben hastened our pace to put some distance between us and them.

As they disappeared in our rear view, I could not help but wonder what our adversaries looked like up close. Were they the bloodthirsty barbarians of every report we had ever heard?

Day One Thousand One Hundred Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Each of us has divined our path going forward. Elam and Sy shall accompany the Captain on the ship. Mei, despite a curiosity to see the world from a ship at sea has opted to go with Quasimo’s cousin via the land route. But first she desires to have one more talk with her comrade Lung and has asked for Tomas’s help.

Mawuli, however, desires to go with Elijah and me. And we have not yet given him an answer. (Which will be a “no”).  Elijah wants him to hear the word from the Spirit.

Tomas yet remains the problem. He knows he must go but is intent on persuading the Supreme Commander to step down and go with him.

Day One Thousand Sixty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain had been correct that a dramatic event would be the sign. And everything else lined up after that.

The direction Mawuli indicated, coincided with the unstated one held by Elijah.

(I think he was actually taken by surprise).

So, the morning found our group climbing up the mountain, not down as everyone originally thought, but hiking up the path beside the stream bed.

Elam and Sy took pains helping Elijah and me over some of the trickier sections.

Something was still flowing down the rocks of the stream bed. Yet slowly, for it was drying in the sun.  And the heavy metallic odor gained in intensity as we reached the top.

Where carnage was spread out before us.

Day One Thousand Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Since we had not arrived at the third relay point before halting last night, I asked Reuben to make a quick reconnaissance. What looked deceptively close higher up he had found to be much further away. Quasimo was at a loss for he does not remember it being more than one day’s journey distant from the second.

And a thornier problem had intruded.

Another outpost had been set up on the direct route.

He and Quasimo put their heads together and came up with another route.

And that is how we came to backtrack up the hill and down its other side. From there we have paralleled our intended path to keep hidden from the observation of the enemy’s outpost.

Day One Thousand Eleven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All remained mute as Quasimo set us on the path out of the city. Jezer and Tomas stayed behind with a promise to catch up soon. They saw to the needs of the traitor to sustain him until such time as he can break his bonds.

And to take care of the problem, as they framed it, of the tanker truck.

On the rise outside of the city, Reuben fell in beside me and shared something gleaned from the prisoner. If we can believe his tale, he had been sent to investigate the explosion. They, the world government, had no idea who was responsible.

From the top I saw the tanker truck on the goat tracks far to the south.