Day One Thousand Two Hundred Thirty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We depended upon Mawuli to lead us around to one of the last remaining approaches to the hiding place. Besides the difficulty of negotiating the terrain of the route he had another problem to deal with.

Small groups of soldiers kept impeding our forward movement. It was apparent these men were no longer organized patrols, and all were moving in one direction. Up to Jerusalem.

We were halted waiting for one such group to pass, when Mawuli led a guest back to us.

We crowded around Mei, overjoyed to see her.

Then it fell to me to break the news of the deaths of the Captain and Tomas.

Hiding tears she put on a brave face and led us in.

Advertisements

Day One Thousand Two Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We found the road unencumbered by patrols or checkpoints until we neared the area of the stone bridge. Well before then, Tomas guided us up to the level above the destroyed altar.

Though still in ruins people were hard at work attempting to make it serviceable. All the more ugly.

Mr. Kagi was the first to notice. Then I recognized the people being forced to work on the edifice – the prisoners paraded through the world government camp but a few days ago.

After a quick calculation in my head (and my memory of the shape of last night’s moon) I knew that tomorrow marks the return of the new moon.

My blood ran cold over the fate of these prisoners.

Day One Thousand Two Hundred Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have had no sightings of any troops in pursuit of us. Nor, thankfully, any sign that any adversaries are aware of our presence.

There have been some patrols on this road, but Tomas pulled us from view well in advance of any danger.

Tomas tells us that tomorrow we shall alter course to the south and Babylon. All Elijah advises at this time is that we stay on the high ground as in our other journeys and avoid descending into the plain until absolutely necessary.

I hiked beside the Captain and we conversed. It has been an age since we have spent any time sharing the details of our lives. He too feels an urgency to help Mr. Kagi.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

There were many roving patrols we had to dodge up on these heights above the altar. And we had to set up even further back as Moglen had positioned an outpost where we hid when last we were here.

After we were in place, we sent Tomas back down the trail. From the hills on the way here we had spotted Sy’s group emerge out of the village into the wilderness. He will meet up with them and lead them up to this position.

Elijah and I made a quick trip down for a closer look. We saw that all its stone work appears to be back in place. But as of yet no golden idol.

Five days to go.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed the night under the stars. And stars were all we could see, for our only view was straight overhead from a dirt floor at the bottom of a rocky depression.

I traded the early morning watch to Magwich who wanted to take in the view. He remarked to me afterwards that he had thought he’d never see it again.

Throughout the day’s hike Magwich overflowed with joy and thankfulness, an infectious feeling that sped us along.

Reuben kept the advance, dropping back only twice to hold us in place while two patrols passed through.

Quasimo is optimistic that we will be back at the hiding place before the meridian tomorrow.

Elijah and I had much to talk over.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Because we observed much activity in and around the other well in the vicinity, we gave it a wide berth and passed over ground we had previously not covered.

Elijah kept us on course despite its newness and brought us back into more familiar territory. Looking back further along, we discovered our little detour kept us from crossing paths with not one, but two patrols.

We slowed our pace after that realizing that there were most likely similar units prowling the area.

At one point we froze when we heard a firefight erupt ahead of us. We think neither side noticed our presence, but we stayed in place long after the noise died down, then concluded to pass the night there.

Day One Thousand Eighty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Off to our right today we saw elements of the army of the East. They were hard at work digging in and setting defenses for the main army which must be within Babylon, now visible to our front.

Sy brought back word from Mawuli that forces were on their way for a similar purpose in this area, and advised we skirt this development by swinging even further east.

We lost no time in complying, finding ourselves nearing the river Elijah and I had followed to the megapolis many months ago.

Thus we found it necessary to regroup and move as a single unit around the increasing number of patrols.

I suggested that we make our way down to the river.

Day One Thousand Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our movements we feel were well beyond the army’s patrols. And the lack of drones too, was a comfort.  All the more so as we came down from the hills and onto the plain.

Sy directed us to a well by midday, but it proved a disappointment. He said the water was simply too deep to reach.

Thankfully our need is far from pressing. There was a point after Sy had spoken when I looked to Elijah, but he shook his head, so I knew that it was not quite the time.

Elam was a great help. For he had driven his tanker truck through this area many times, and knew the best places to pass over those routes undetected.

Day One Thousand Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

From our observations of yesterday we formed a good notion of how we can cross the great plain ahead and follow in the wake of the army of the world government. We shall have to continue in the hills a bit longer in order to swing beyond the limits of the patrols sent out from the forces left behind.

Sy seconded the plan, for he knows of several wells along that arc that may provide water.

He accompanied Mawuli in the forward advance while we kept up the best we could.

I walked with Mei and we fell into a conversation about former times. The topic – her former position in the army of the East and where Lung might be.

Day One Thousand Twenty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Quasimo directed our steps with expertise the rest of the way to the hiding place. The few outposts are known and hence easily circumvented.

But that is not to say there were no incidents.

The patrols hereabouts kept no discernible schedule.

Reuben’s sweep in our advance prevented our stumbling upon them unprepared in all but one instance.

It was during a tricky descent. Most of our party were confined to ropes, but there was a specially rigged chair for Elijah. At a critical time we held him still, so that his presence wouldn’t be noticed by a passing patrol near the bottom.

It’s a miracle they never looked up.

Soon after, we were celebrated by Mei in our happy refuge.