Day One Thousand Two Hundred Twenty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah called for Tomas and tasked him to scout a new position for us on the route back to Sy’s old redoubt. He set up a camp with Mawuli a day’s march away.

It was late in the evening before Mr. Kagi, the Captain and Elijah and I caught up with them.

Yesterday the army of the East was stopped and held at bay by the elite forces of the world government. And it was clear today that Stan was sacrificing that group because the troops supporting them were being withdrawn.

They did so in perfect order and easily outpaced us.

The din from the opposing forces increased even as they dropped from view.

All was left to our imagination.

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 Thirty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We stayed atop one of those dead-ends last night. We were too tired and it was too dark to make our way back down.

So when the morning dawned clear and bright we had an uninterrupted view down the plain. The army of the North had pivoted towards Babylon and appeared to be preparing an assault in that direction or setting up to receive one.

I admit I stared upon the scene with fascination.

But Elijah did not allow us to linger long. The view of our route ahead was also clear, at least as long as we could carry the memory we thought we should be able to avoid the next few dead end paths.

And so it proved.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were on our own again. The Supreme Commander escorted the three of us to the river side entrance. There Tomas gave us one last rundown on our route.

And we made our goodbyes.

In dismissing us the Supreme Commander intimated that he knew we would not see one another again. And went on to explain why he had put off the offer from Tomas. Long ago he had the call to do what he is about to do. He still awakens in the night to the sound of someone whistling. A call to follow.

And he added to Tomas that he will soon be released also.

It gave me much to ponder on the first day of our trek.

Day Nine Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Jezer helped us out of the tank at a remote place in the wilderness. The guards in the other vehicles soon joined us. From here we’ll make our way to the hiding place, while our trio of rescuers return the tanker trucks.

Before parting Jezer took pains to caution us. There had been many less checkpoints than usual, so he fears they have been shifted, possibly athwart the route we would be taking. Or perhaps something more sinister was afoot.

Magwich asked and was allowed to accompany Raj G.

Reuben took to the trail, walking up front with Elijah and me. With his uniform and that of the other guards we could pass for an army or a police unit.

Day Nine Hundred Ten #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were all overjoyed at the arrival of Mei with her group. She had mistaken the route through the similarity of some land features. And upon discovery of her error, took even longer retracing her steps due to the necessity of dodging police patrols.

Our celebration was tempered by the absence of Jezer and Tomas. As of this morning they still have not returned.

We debated sending someone to look for them, but decided to give them more time. No sense repeating the pattern of sending out searchers for the searchers that we have fallen into of late.

I did allow Quasimo to take the drone out for another look around. Something he was most willing and glad to do.

Day Nine Hundred Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Meesa and Mei surprised us by entering the refuge in the wee hours of the morning. And it was very propitious for all concerned.

They brought intelligence about a movement of soldiers in the area of our planned transit. She counseled holding off our starting time to allow them to pass through ahead of us.

This we did. And we also broke up into smaller groups taking advantage of these unexpected extra guides.

Elijah and I called Tomas and the Captain in, to once again go over our route, in light of a few tweaks suggested by Meesa.

We held back while Meesa set off with the first group. Then in measured intervals Tomas – Mei – and the Captain.

Lastly us.

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.

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.