Day One Thousand Two Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We found the redoubt empty and in disarray. It had been abandoned in a hurry. Whether it was to join the battle or to flee we didn’t know.

Mawuli and Tomas opted to keep vigil. Through the whole night.

But I took over at midnight and sent them in for a much deserved rest.

Actually there was nothing to watch or guard against. Save wild animals. And none put in an appearance.

Elijah led us out in the early morning. He wants to reach the village at the edge of the wilderness by tonight.

No matter how late.

Along the way the Captain shared a premonition. He doesn’t think he and Tomas will arrive at the hiding place with us.

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Day One Thousand One Hundred Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

This last leg of our journey has sapped our strength and taxed our comprehension. Every where we turned our way was blocked. We had exhausted, it seems, all the approaches to the hiding place from the west and down towards Damascus.

Finally we gave up going in that direction and doubled back around to the north. There, at last, we found a way clear that was headed in the right direction.

The night had ended long before and we were tired. But we wanted to struggle on after a brief rest. (Besides, the path was more of a track – better traversed in daylight).

So, with Tomas in the lead and Elijah right behind we gained the hiding place by day’s end.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Fifty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed into very familiar territory last night. By tomorrow we should be back in the hiding place.

Some things raised concerns and momentarily threw us off our stride. For instance, once we had to find another route when the normal one through a canyon had a collapsed wall. The debris had blocked off all access.

It had not been that way when Reuben last passed through.

And it was eerie to tiptoe around the abandoned army outposts that before had complicated movements in and out of the hiding place.

Tomas surmised that all army personnel have been collected into the valley of decision for the battle we all know is coming.

Thoughts about that coming event intruded my rest.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Just as Elijah had forced us on day and night, so now that we have reached the village at the edge of the wasteland, he has forced us into a prolonged rest.

The village is still deserted, yet strangely, any vestige of the sentry camps at either end have all been removed.

We had our pick of accommodations in the inn off the square. Reuben took the first watch and the one after that. To me the heaviness of desolation hangs over the place. Reuben felt this keenly too, a fact he confessed to me when I relieved him. And the reason he took the two shifts. I think he dreads the thought of closing his eyes in this place.

Day Nine Hundred Twenty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A day of peace and rest. Much needed and welcome.

Quasimo returned. On his own volition. He was not chased away by Jezer. Rather Jezer agreed with Quasimo’s suggestion that their job would go much easier if they took a drone with them.

I had to tell him that Tomas and the Captain took the only working  one with them. But added that if he could wait till tomorrow, he could help me finish putting the new one together.

He was somewhat disappointed about the wait, but thanked me and sought out his people to pass the day with them.

Mei and Meesa reported all was well and asked if there were anything they could do to help our search.

Day Nine Hundred One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

One of those momentous days. It seems that so many days come and go with little to report. Then one day comes along and it’s almost too much even to think about.

It started off when Jezer returned alone. He was looking very dispirited. We had to encourage him not to give up hope.

Elijah instructed him to stay and rest today. Instead, Quasimo and I accompanied Elijah to take up the search.

We took the drone with us. Quasimo was very curious about its operation. And, with the minimum of instruction soon had it mastered.

With its aid under his direction down in the desert from which we had plucked him, we located the mystery group.

And our Meesa.

Day Eight Hundred Eighty Five #DiaryofthEndoftheWorld

I launched the drone for a test late last night. It was a success. Then I fell into bed exhausted.

The rest was much needed for it was a taxing day.

As planned the exodus began with the first parties departing the city before sun up. Jezer lead those. They were followed by even bigger groups coordinated by Meesa.

Elijah insisted that he and l be the last to leave. So, we had the hard task of waiting. I put our drone up and monitored the activity of the other drones. Their movements were regular and deliberate. No sign of alarm.

When it came our time to leave, it was dark and we were all alone except for my drone.

Day Eight Hundred Fifty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I twisted my ankle on our transit last night. Elijah caught me before I hit the ground. Otherwise the injury would have been more serious.

As I sat there he rubbed his hands together creating heat from the friction. Then seized the point of the swelling. I could sense warmth radiating from there throughout my body.

In moments I was able to stand. He loaned me his staff as a precaution against further missteps.

We called an end to our night walk early for we came upon a well at a crossroads.

We drank our fill and found a place nearby to rest and pass the day.

Given the crossroads we had another decision to make, hopefully not under duress.

Day Eight Hundred Thirty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I asked Elijah if we could rise before nightfall and  go off our current vector to check over in the area where the barking had ceased.

It also meant a little back tracking, but ended up worthwhile. The sand gave way to bedrock and after a short search we found some water in a pool on the rock surface. It had been fouled by the presence of animals. Unclean for sure.

Elijah found the close by pump and basin whose spillage fed the other. (He practically tripped over it in the darkness).

We were back on track, so we decided to halt and rest.

With the dawn we were able to reacquire our bearings before taking up our alternating watches.

Day Six Hundred Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I guess, most would think I was panicked into numbing inaction, by concern for my friends. Or even paralyzed by fear for my own safety.

And perhaps so they would judge by my immediate actions.

But such would not be the case.

Yes, I turned in for the night.

But that was because I knew I was not alone. The One who is with us always, never leaves us.

And I simply followed His direction.

And out of that time of rest came the dreams. The dreams that old men dream.

Which came to pass today when Elijah came for me, and brought me out of the inn right under the noses of the guards called for by the innkeeper.