Day Seven Hundred Thirty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mei remained at the rear of our troop, while Lung kept by Elijah’s side most of the day. He had many questions and appeared eager to listen to Elijah’s answers.

At one point I dropped back to keep her company. She remained taciturn to most of my comments. She only became animated either during those times when Tomas returned from the advance, or when she raised her rifle at the slightest hint of danger. And she almost blushed when Tomas joined us to inform me about a fork ahead in the road.

We left her company to confer with Elijah and the Captain about which direction we should take.

The main road continues paved. We will take the unpaved one.

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Day Six Hundred Seventy Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Of course I had lots of questions for Elijah. But he would not answer any of them. He said we needed to save our breath.

We headed north on the far side of the river course and walked all night. I kept my peace and my questions to myself.

We took a roundabout route to the place he had stashed the Captain and Tomas.

With the new day came a new excuse about answering my questions. Elijah thought it best to wait until we rejoined our friends.  He didn’t want to retell it over and over.

They had seen the aerial display as it happened and asked my burning question – why not destroy the army too?

His answer – “Not yet.”

Day Six Hundred Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our innkeeper was curious as to why only three from our party ever come out of our rooms. As more questions followed I realized he was concerned that we may be spies operating in advance of the much talked about army.

Tomas and the Captain have reported to me that it was definitely headed our way, and that most in town are speculating about whether to flee or stay put.

I was very insistent to the innkeeper that he has nothing to fear from us. He nodded acceptance of my assurance, but I doubted his sincerity.

When we were all together again, I sought to warn them about our predicament.. Elijah stopped me and declared all will come clear tomorrow.

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 Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We actually saw the squad of soldiers coming a minute before our neighbor’s signal. And like he thought they tackled his home first.

The Captain and Tomas had plenty of time to hide themselves in the tunnel.

When the soldiers finished banging around our neighbor’s home, they regrouped outside, conferred briefly, then entered our dwelling.

Elijah stood immovable in the middle of the great room. The soldiers ignored him, peppering me instead with their questions.

Because we are obviously foreigners, I believe they stayed longer than at our neighbor’s, scouring through our things.

At long last they departed, and when they did, they took the guards at the crossroads with them.

Our friends emerged, having spent the whole time praying.

Day Five Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The crew is scared witless. Elijah has been sharing with them portents of future events. He did temper his vision with reasons to hope, but they have only been able to focus on the downside. I took every opportunity to share with them out of our experience about how that hope is real and has the power to see us through anything.

I passed part of my time today with P to instruct him in the duties of a purser. (Yes, he has been approved for the position by all concerned). He has asked a lot of questions – always a good sign. I encourage him to ask more, as it gives me the best insight into what I should teach.

Day Five Hundred Ten #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

One plus about this jungle – we do pass other travelers, and thankfully none of them are officers of the global government. They are either merchants or peasants traveling to or from the metropolis.

Elijah queries each one upon encounter about Hamashiach. But so far all have hurried on, expressing no curiosity by asking any questions in return.

One merchant even became belligerent, and would have struck Elijah except that he clearly saw that Elijah’s staff was bigger than his.

With a snarl he continued on towards the metropolis.

I am sure he fully intends to report the encounter to the authorities.

But we should be through this jungle and well on our way before anyone can get up a pursuit.

Day Five Hundred Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are being hemmed in. By other people, by circumstances. Our expectations and plans lie in tatters.

The global security forces have locked up the ingress and egress points around the entire metropolis. Which puts us in a dilemma. We are closer than ever to catching up to the Hamashiachite. But if we stay another day to make that happen, we may never be able to leave.

Elijah remains upbeat, exhorting me with the truth that it will all work out for the good.

He is especially moved by the fact that the attitudes of some of the people in the slum are changing towards us. A few are even responding by asking us questions.

For now we will stay.

Day Four Hundred Ninety Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have moved again. The area of the river has proven a disappointment. No shop under the sign of the fish has yielded any followers of Hamashiach, though we have one lead that has taken us further into the metropolis.

It took longer to find a place to stay, as this new area is central and quite populous. So many people chase the same vacancies. However, we were able to ask questions as we went about that business.

The bigger crowds were thronging the temple-like structures similar to the one we were in five days ago. I learned they have all been recently converted and are now places to honor the supreme leader.

With that knowledge we avoid them.

Day Four Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Questions abound. Should we go after Emil? And his people? Should we destroy the three cargo containers? Many think we should reload them and drop them in the sea.

I guess, to state it simply, the question is what do we do next?

The Captain had made his decision to depart when word passed up from below deck that Elijah and Tomas had slipped ashore earlier.  The Captain was furious. And he proceeded to take it out on me.

I had come to a decision myself.

While we awaited their return I thought we should reload the containers. I argued that they just might prove useful, and we could always jettison them if necessary.

So we did, and then waited.