Day One Thousand Nineteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are up against it. The road is a solid mass of slow moving traffic in both directions. How any of the groups ahead of us got beyond this point is a mystery.

Reuben took everyone back to the relay point, except Elijah, Quasimo and me. Thankfully it is not that far away. I shall summon them if circumstances arise favorable to our passage.

Our observations so far are not promising. The few breaks in the traffic were filled by attending drones keeping vigil overhead.

Throughout the day I made two trips back to the relay point to familiarize myself with its turns and doglegs that I may all the easier navigate it in the dark.

Now we must wait.

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Day Nine Hundred Seventy Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We decided that we had to keep to our original plan to meet up with Tomas tomorrow. Between what we have heard and what he may have learned we should have a better basis for our next step.

We did not have any encounters today, except at a distance. A very large flock of sheep was grazing beside a stream under the gaze of several shepherds. We would have passed through their midst but a flash of light followed by a fireball and the sound of an explosion over the horizon in the direction of the road, sent the flock into a panic.

Then, while two boys saw to the sheep, the rest of the shepherds rushed towards the road.

Day Nine Hundred Seventy Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We continued our journey through the desert while Tomas inspected the villages along the road. We agreed to reconvene in the desert to the east of the last village two days hence.

Elijah thought that the day after should land us at the crossroads where we first met Jezer. At that point we could decide whether to  return on the side to the west of the road, or retrace our steps to Babylon.

Our discussion out of the way, we trudged on in silence. But now a new thought was stewing in my mind.

Finally, I asked Elijah why we just did not wing to Babylon on the Spirit to check my hunch.

He replied that he had already asked.

Day Nine Hundred Seventy Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We encountered no one today. Not even a lone sheep without its shepherd. Tomas returned to ask if we should head back into villages nearer the road.

At first, Elijah refused his suggestion for he believes our friends are held up somewhere in the desert.  But he at last relented and said if Tomas was moved to do so, he was free to go off on his own.

Tomas, hesitated, for he wanted us to go together. And stated he would be very reluctant to be out of contact with us.

I was touched by his love and concern, and took pains to assure him that nothing untoward was going to happen to any of us. Remember whose we are.

Day Nine Hundred Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I left before the sun was up. We took Tomas with us. He knows the way in and out so much better than us which was especially helpful in the twilight.

The Captain, we have left behind. Grumbling to be sure but all for the best for any number of reasons. (I overheard him remark once recently he is getting too old for such adventures- I feel the same sometimes).

Tomas brought us by a way that came out onto the road by which we originally travelled to Damascus. From the heights we could see the string of villages laid out along its length.

With military activity so readily apparent we crossed the road and into the desert.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The road at last straightened as the tanker truck climbed onto a plateau, and finally Elam opened up the throttle. And we sped on towards a vale at the base of the highest mountain in the wilderness.

As we closed on the vale, Elam pointed out the sentinels up on the heights. I looked and saw nothing, until three flashes glinted sunlight.

Our driver explained we had the go ahead. And as he pulled up behind another tanker truck and parked, the denizens poured out of their tents and surrounded us.

The wall of flesh gave way as the commanding figure of Sy waded through them. And he lifted me in a massive embrace and did the same to Elijah.

Day Nine Hundred Twenty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our transit today was a little more adventurous to my taste than usual. We had not travelled too far yesterday. Only far enough to emerge from the wilderness surrounding the hiding place.

Come mid morning we attained the road but soon became uncomfortable under the gaze of so many police patrols. We decided to veer off into less travelled tracks, but we found patrols operating there also.

Thankfully Elijah always sensed their presence before they came into view, and so far we have had  cover to shield us from notice. Especially from the occasional drone.

In those times in which we had to wait, Elijah would point out to me the landmarks and sights, familiar to him from long ago.

Day Eight Hundred Ninety One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The road up to Jerusalem was crowded, and at times choked in both directions. Military vehicles held precedence and we pedestrians yielded the center whenever they appeared. Which was often.

The pedestrians were numerous and thankfully we blended right in.

Along the way we discussed strategies for locating our missing people. Elijah listened patiently to all my ideas. Until another interruption, this time, by a passing tanker truck.

That’s when Elijah announced the plan.

“I think we’ll walk to the center of the Holy City and announce ourselves.”

I turned to face him and he added, “And proclaim that the drought has not ended, but will continue.”

“And then what?” I asked.

“As always follow the lead of the Spirit.”

Day Eight Hundred Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We started out yesterday via a route aimed at Damascus. I followed with no comment. Rather my thoughts flocked around a recurring vision that revisited me over night.

Then, about midday, Elijah took us off the Damascus bound road and onto another.

In one action we reversed direction and are now on the way up to Jerusalem.

With this change I felt it appropriate to broach the topic of my vision to Elijah.

My unease increased when he shared his similar vision – rising rivers of blood flooding a broad plain.

He was quick to add that though it’s time was near, it was not immediate.

As we continued, I pondered my need to beware leaning into my own limited understanding.

Day Eight Hundred Eighty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We hadn’t quite gotten to the hiding place when another drone zeroed in on ours. In an abundance of caution Elijah made the call to veer away from our destination. And we ended up back on the road that we had followed to Damascus.

Before we reached the next village along that route, Elijah called a halt to stand our ground.

He turned to me and asked, “Do you want to do it, or shall I?”

“You mean sacrifice my drone?”

He nodded, then added, “Unless you think keeping it more useful.”

I thought only an instant, and crashed my drone into the interloper.

I collected some crucial parts and we doubled back and arrived safely in the hiding place.