Day Nine Hundred Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We believe this complex is much bigger than what we have seen thus far. And suspect many more people are behind its walls than the small number we have encountered.

Elijah surmises that we are being held outside the general population of the prison. And once we refuse the mark, we will be thrown in with them.

No one has called for our presence. We have blissfully been left to ourselves.

Many people have been paraded by our cell all day long. Each one sporting the mark.  We recognize them from the first day in the holding cell.

Plainly it’s all a piece of theater aimed at us.

Today it’s all been carrot, so I’m guessing tomorrow we’ll feel the stick.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are on to something. Our new track showed indications of the passage of wheeled vehicles. The first we have seen out here. And the other oddity of late has been the complete absence of drones.

Elijah is excited. He believes we may make contact tomorrow. I admit I feel the same way, but I don’t know what to expect. For I really don’t know what to make of those huge wheel tracks. Somehow I don’t think the people we are looking for would have access to anything like the vehicles that made them.

On another topic, the sighting of two pigeons brought forth memories of our pair – Rufus and Clarissa. Elijah fell silent for quite a spell after that.

Day Nine Hundred Twenty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are in another wilderness. And are breathing easier, as the police presence has dropped to nil. However, there has been a corresponding rise in drone activity. But with that an increase in their regularity and hence, their predictability.

We had conversed with some villagers on the edge of this wilderness, and they shared with us their belief that a large group of people is held up somewhere within this wilderness.

One even offered to accompany us, claiming complete knowledge of the wilderness, including an almost certain sense of where they may be.

Elijah thanked him but politely declined.

We were no sooner out of sight of the village, when we discovered he was following us.

Elijah scared him away.

Day Nine Hundred Nineteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Raj G’s joy at finding us was short lived. It melted away when he broke off my hug and fell to the floor sobbing uncontrollably.

There he remained. Begging for forgiveness between racking sobs. He confessed he had lost all of the people entrusted to him. They had been swept up by the government forces when they neared Jerusalem.

At this juncture Jezer excused himself to go out and seek those drone parts I needed.

It took the rest of the night for Elijah and me to calm our friend.

We succeeded shortly before Jezer’s return and immediately decamped for the hiding place.

Once there we discussed the situation with the leadership and formulated a consensus for our next move.

Day Nine Hundred Sixteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were on lockdown still when he left to take up the thread on our queries. He left me with a whole set of drone components to tinker with. It kept my hands busy and my mind occupied.

Elijah even lent a hand, off and on. It reminded me of the days when I knew Elijah as Lyle, and he called me ‘Enough.’ Back when we built a pair of drones. And left the city behind for the mountain.

When I voiced my recollection, Elijah said it elicited a different memory for him. It made him miss his pigeons, Rufus and Clarissa.

And that touchstone released a new flood of memories about people we hope to see again before long.

Day Eight Hundred Ninety Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

No news yet as to the whereabouts of Meesa. Before she left, she said only that she wouldn’t go further than some villages north of Damascus.

Well, Jezer has been there and back. But reports nothing concrete about her. Good or bad.

However, some people told him stories about strange people in their villages who have come and gone lately. He thinks that if she heard the same rumors, she would have stayed in the area to check them out.

When we heard this detail, we decided we had to go and look for ourselves. But Jezer prevailed upon us to stay put and give her another day to make her way back to us.

Elijah considered this wise counsel.

Day Eight Hundred Ninety Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were able to bring in Quasimo and his band divided into two smaller groups. They were welcomed by the others already here in the hiding place and given their own space.

Elijah and I accompanied Quasimo. He had much to tell us. Their group has suffered the loss of near half their number due to the direct action of the enemy. Yet neither he nor the remainder of his people are discouraged. Not one had wanted to turn back.

Both Elijah and I were amazed and overjoyed at the news. We hope that their example can steel our people here, as yet untouched by tragedy.

But another problem is looming. Meesa has gone out again and is now overdue.

Day Eight Hundred Ninety Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was a quick one day trip, a concession to the people left behind in the hiding place. With Jezer gone down to the desert and Meesa just recently returned, they are ill at ease when their leaders are constantly coming and going.

I believe that Elijah is finally coming to grips with his need to pour himself into their instruction.

Yet how much is needed?

Maturity can be such a mystery.

Thankfully our foray proved a blessing and most necessary, for we located Jezer in the desert with the band he was endeavoring to bring in. The minute Quasimo saw us, he ran to greet us. He was relieved to know that Jezer was indeed telling him the truth.

Day Eight Hundred Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I utilized my time to build my drone. Jezer has amassed an impressive array of options to add to it if I so desire. A monitor which I can strap to my wrist should prove quite useful.

But I hesitate to add any armament. Jezer’s contributions in that department are staggering.

I shall ask what Elijah thinks on that score.

Jezer did not turn up any leads on his swing through the north. He’ll try to the south tomorrow.

Meesa has offered to go out also. But was met with opposition immediately from the people she coordinates. They feel she is too valuable to chance losing.

I need to ask Elijah to teach them about where to place their trust.

Day Eight Hundred Ninety Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were transported to the hiding place. Much to the surprise of everyone. Except perhaps Elijah.

Now, he says, we wait a bit for the word to spread. He is certain that many of our people are in the vicinity of Jerusalem. And were just waiting for his arrival from our global journey.

However, he spoke out his concern that Mei and her group with Tomas, the Captain, and Raj P – and that led by Quasimo, should already be in contact with us.

When Jezer brought me some materials with which to build a drone – (for which I thanked him) I was struck by an idea, and brought him to Elijah.

It soon was agreed he would seek out news.