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 Twenty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Stop and go all day, in effect slowing our progress greatly. Many units of reinforcements have crossed our line of march, forcing a halt. Sometimes for as long as an hour. The longer halts were occasioned by caravans of wounded returning from the front.

We then knew for certain that we were behind the lines of the army of the North. In one instance we were close enough to see the insignia on their vehicles.

The image of Moglen again haunted my thoughts in between times. When Elijah noticed my absence from the present, he called me back from my revery. I do believe that had I not responded immediately each time he would have rapped me with his staff.

Day Eight Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Town police rousted us from our sleep this morning. We had chosen a place too close to the town for their liking. Thus we were a little earlier on the road than planned.

It worked to our advantage as we made good progress being the only ones on the road at that hour.

Ahead we could see a series of villages nestled along the road surrounded with fields under cultivation.

I debated with Elijah whether or not to leave the road and go around them. He felt no need or compulsion to do so. I wanted to avoid anything like yesterday that could hold us back again.

We concluded that walking in the fields would bring unwanted attention to ourselves.

Day Eight Hundred Sixty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We did not make any progress towards Damascus today. We encamped on the outskirts of a larger town last night – the capital for this district, as we soon discovered. For we decided to begin the day’s journey by strolling through rather than around it.

The telltale posters of Stan hung everywhere with extra added touches of adornment.

We were no sooner in its central square than we were surrounded by a convergence of celebratory citizens that clogged all the exits.

We were a captive audience.

When the officials spoke we learned that they were collected to celebrate the anniversary of the world government coming to their rescue in the drought.

When it broke up, the day was too far gone.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas led the way, as usual, around the lake and into the foothills. Our guests carried on behind us. Each fully armed and with heavy packs. They’ve been instructed to follow us until they reach the goal of their mission. Besides themselves, Elijah is the only one with that knowledge.

Their names are Lung and Mei. I really was bowled over to learn that Mei is not a man, but a woman. Both had been guards over Elijah, and Mei was always barking commands and gave no hint of her gender.

Elijah knew, of course, and was greatly amused at my discovery.

Our road is a good one. It has been surfaced for vehicles, and we are making good progress.

Day Six Hundred Ninety Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have wended by deserted farms and abandoned villages on this southern route around the bivouacked army. Nothing of value has been left behind. Either the inhabitants departed with their possessions, or foragers from the army scooped them up.

A number of times we were forced off the trail by the approach of patrols, and remained motionless until after they had passed. It makes our progress very slow.

On one of these occasions five peasants came up behind the patrol, in plain sight and made no move to avoid the soldiers other than leaving the road to them when passing them by.

As we were similarly attired, we were emboldened to do the same.

We quickened our pace after that.

Day Six Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The open tableland  came to an end, and with that our ease of movement. Our progress slowed with much time taken up in the descent to a lower elevation.

When the pass below came in view, no one was in sight.

We wondered if we had outpaced the army.

The Captain suggested we halt to wait and see. Elijah, however, said we had things to do further along.

And so it was before the daylight faded, Tomas spotted another force, hidden in ambush in a defile off the trail of the pass.

Elijah took up a position above them and struck the ground with his staff. The mountain quaked and the defile below filled in with an avalanche of rock.

Day Six Hundred Thirty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Though we could see our way by the light of the stars, our progress was slow. By a great measure our pace improved with the rising of the moon.

It was otherworldly to watch my companions’ shadows ascending and descending the contours of the land as I followed in their wake. Our silhouettes only recognizable half the time.

We were all still energetic with the coming of day, so we pressed on. Only stopping when the heat drained our resolve.

The Captain did well, so we no longer harbor apprehensions about his ability to keep up. And I marvel at Elijah’s constitution. I do believe he could easily outdistance us all.

Turned in without a morsel, but not really fasting.

Day Six Hundred Twenty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We watched the progress of the sun all day on its arc from East to West.. In one sense we were not progressing for on our southward route we were at a standstill in regards to our desired direction.

Still no sign of the army. No columns of dust, nor distant sounds.

We were confident that we will steal the march on them and from here on out maintain a lead over them.

Elijah brought us to a halt when we were nearing the main road westward. He stood looking heavenward and like his actions so long ago in my presence, he raised his staff over his head and a flaming object fell out of the sky.

A spy satellite.

Day Six Hundred Twenty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another brilliant blue day. We’ve made good headway and have come abreast of certain units of the army, left in the rear for some reason or reasons. Probably to recruit or coerce conscripts as Tomas has conjectured, or see to the supplies needed by the army at large.

We decided to keep our distance. To observe and not be observed.

The Captain reported that a narrow valley lies ahead and believes that the army’s progress will be greatly slowed. This impacts the schedule that Elijah had in mind. Since the lead elements are now in that area, we may have to wait until after they have all passed through. Meaning we will have to hold up somewhere on this side.