Day Eight Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our roundabout route via the wadi to the spot beneath the bridge consumed the rest of the day. But we remained there over night not because of the coming on of night, but because of the drone that was sniffing at our heels.

It was still present this morning. By the pattern of its movements we could tell it was combing back and forth, scanning each wadi. At one point it stopped midair as though contemplating something under its gaze.

Both of our hearts leapt with the thought that Quasimo’s cousin was the object of its scrutiny. And we both sighed with relief when it continued on without perpetrating any deadly action.

Elijah lowered his staff and we moved on.

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Day Eight Hundred Twenty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Half the encampment saw us off this morning. I believe more would have done so, but the flocks needed tending.

We let it be known our intent to strike out in a northerly direction from the camp, and Quasimo supplied us with knowledge of the wells along that route, plus signs to look for in the desert beyond.

Our parting was brief but warm. The sentiment of all I am sure. I even admit to a lump in my throat as we turned our feet northward.

Since the wadis all ran east west, our route took us up and down the sections in between. This slowed us down, and it was time to turn in before we reached the road.

Day Eight Hundred Sixteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I had been dwelling on the thought that Elijah was entertaining the idea of taking ship from this port, but perhaps that was just my nostalgia for our times at sea with our old friends Tomas and the Captain.

My hopes rose, when Quasimo’s route took us into this section, dense with warehouses bordering the docks. He has been most careful to keep us from unfriendly notice. But with the side effect of circuitous and slow progress.

When we settled in for the evening Quasimo presented several options for tomorrow. The best one in his estimation will take us east out of the megapolis, hence in an opposite direction from our desired destination.

We surprised him when we both concurred.

Day Eight Hundred Fifteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Both Quasimo and I advised against the move southward. But Elijah insisted. So the rest of the day we made our way out of the central district, and passed the night in a posh but deserted hotel.

Before we set out this morning Quasimo told us they would be on high alert since the explosion and surveillance would begin the minute we set foot in the southern sector.

Elijah said we would only be there long enough to deliver a message, then we would egress via his preferred route.

Thus, we ended up before an angry crowd and Elijah announced the continuation of the drought. Their anger boiled over.

But we disappeared before they could lay a hand on us.

Day Eight Hundred #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The nothingness of our surroundings continued right up until the afternoon. Then, a line crossing our road quite some distance ahead, joined it from the east. In distinction to our route it held a lot of activity, with many vehicles passing in both directions.

They were too small to make out at our remove. Only later could we identify the bulk of the traffic to be tanker trucks.

We halted for the night with this road in view, but taking pains that we were not.

We needed to decide our next course of action. Stick to the road or travel parallel out of sight.

Traffic continued without abatement. Most limited to our road ahead, very little on the western road.

Day Six Hundred Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tracks continued to precede us on the trail. Another set joined the first at the juncture of the path with a mountain stream. This second set came up from below.

We slowed our pace by tacit agreement. I believe none of us wanted an encounter up here in the mountains.

We all felt relief on that score when the path forked and the pair of tracks took the upward bound route. We will stay the course and keep in view of the pass below.

We are left curious though. Tomas told us that the upward branch was marked with signs of warnings about radiation – like those in the hills up from the town on the plain.

Elijah alone remains unconcerned.

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 Thirty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The caravan route has been easy to follow. And we have moved quickly upon it. When in the few instances it disappeared, Tomas unerringly led us to where it reappeared again.

There are magnificent mountains to the south of us, and no matter how far we progress, they remain stationary. We wonder if the army would be found on the march in that sphere.

Elijah has fallen into a new habit.  He rises hours before us each morning. Then lingers behind, joining us on the route later in the day at lunch.

I brought up the idea of night travel. Something Elijah and I have done in the past. But the others want to keep to daylight hours for now.

Day Six Hundred Twenty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The road has disappeared under the sands of a desert. This fact has gone a long way to explain the absence of an army on the march behind us. They must have taken another route.

We stood there briefly to consider our options. The Captain and Tomas volunteered to continue on upon whatever track there might be ahead. Elijah set a time limit for their foray, and at its expiration they were to return here.

Elijah and I found a cooler spot and there turned our attentions to things of the Spirit.

By the time of their return we were all in agreement that our way ahead lay through the desert.

They had found a well on a caravan route.

Day Six Hundred Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Some unusual activity today. The Captain and Tomas told us later about the waves of soldiers passing through the area. Thankfully they were not stopping anywhere along their route. Elijah and I missed it for we were off in the city for news.

Everything appeared calm and even dull there. We attracted notice in certain sections, but there was a marked difference in the willingness of the people to respond when we talked to them. It made us curious.

We discovered why on our way back. Fresh posters were mounted on the walls outside the temple. They announced that Stan would deliver a message to the world in two days and included a simple admonition – to be kind to everyone.