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 Ninety Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I are wanted men. So Jezer reports after his southern expedition. Our pictures are everywhere. Not as numerous or as large as those of Stan. And nowhere were there any reports of what Elijah had said. Instead we are listed as disturbers of the peace.

I launched my new drone. Not to disturb the peace, but to preserve our own. I’d like to send it out on a wider search for our friends too. But it doesn’t have the range.

What may help instead is sending Meesa out. And Elijah has just cleared her participation with those who had originally spoken against it.

We all agree that the specter of capture remains but finding our people overrules it.

Day Eight Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It has come to pass sooner than Jezer thought possible. Stricter controls have been dropped in place overnight between the various quarters within the city, and on all the ways in and out.

And demands have been stepped up for more work and longer hours from those who refuse the mark. Rumors are flying about that harsher measures will soon be implemented.

On the plus side Meesa has scheduled meetings for Elijah and me to reach out through the network leaders.

So Elijah and I were resting in preparation for the next series of meetings, when Jezer came in with news that a search is on for us, launched by world government forces in Damascus.

Someone has betrayed our presence.

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 Seven Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We only assume that a day has passed us by, now that they are leaving us alone. We have each in turn been taken away from the others for interrogation which was in a place somewhere also away from the light of day.

I was first. I assumed that their search of our room had turned up nothing. They wanted to know who we were working for and how we were communicating with them. I told them I had no answers for them other than that we worked for and communicated only with the Spirit.

Their time with Tomas and the Captain was even shorter. But with Elijah they spent the better part of the day.

We sense their frustration.

Day Five Hundred Forty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The crew was busier than usual putting to rights problems left in the aftermath of yesterday’s storm. I joined G’s team as they investigated a higher than usual level of water in the bilges. It wouldn’t do to have a leak.

All the hatches topside proved to be functioning properly. So we moved below. We soon discovered the problem.

A sliver of daylight was showing between two hull plates high up in the forward section. With a calm sea no water was coming in.

The Captain put a welding crew on it. And we completed our search. G wanted to be thorough.

Elijah came out of the special cabin and passed the remainder of the day building up our guests.

Day Five Hundred #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The one lead we had from the river district was a dead end. We have only a third of the metropolis left to check.  It seems more likely than not that no followers of Hamashiach remain to be found.

It is a severe disappointment to Elijah. Under his crusty exterior he is actually very tender.

We have moved again today. Our exit from the metropolis is only a day or two away. The slums will be the focus of our search next. Rather than stay in one place we plan to move about daily and stay wherever we land for the night.

I long to be back on the ship and among our friends. I wonder how they are faring.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We should arrive at the next port of call sometime in the early morning. Plenty of time to prepare my lists. Or add to the one I had put together already.

In any case, I’ve been instructed to offload the containers due at the port we could not enter. The Captain reasons that someone who can claim them, may be at this “neighboring” port.

I’ve not seen Elijah all day. And Tomas repeated the same observation to me when he dropped in after dinner. He helped me plot a way to bring up the mystery container before making a search for our elusive friend.

Afterwards I swung by the special cabin. No Elijah.

I refreshed my soul before turning in.

Day Four Hundred Fifty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah convinced me to accompany him ashore in search of Emil. This despite the Captain’s first inclination to leave post haste. Elijah persuaded him that it should prove fruitful to see to the provisioning of the ship.

In this he acquiesced, but unstated I knew his overarching concern was the potential return of the robotic warship.

Elijah led us to Emil’s residence. Along the way, I noticed an unfamiliar phenomenon – the shadows of people etched into the hard surface of the pavement. Unnerving.

The entrance to Emil’s home was on the ground floor of a building. We descended several levels from there. Elijah explained that the entire population though small, lived underground.

Emil and all his belongings were gone.

Day Four Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I too, caught sight of the ship that Elijah spotted yesterday. And I also believe it to be our former vessel.
It appears now to be holding station off the harbor, awaiting a pilot or permission to enter. On one hand it is reassuring, giving us more time to get to the city; and on the other (at least in me) engendering a concern that it may be gone before our arrival.
Our progress is much as before -stumbling along in starts and stops. Elijah and I now use the down time in different ways. He meditates. I continue the search for ways up.
Recently the presence of homes on the heights raises hopes that they are serviced by roads.