Day One Thousand Two Hundred Twenty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

None of us closed our eyes last night. We were too alive to the moment.
The silence of the night early gave way to the sounds of hasty preparation. While the first rays of light revealed rank upon rank of the opposing armies stretched out in endless lines.

The blood trickling down the rocky stream bed under the stone bridge was only the harbinger of what was to come, down in the valley.

Elijah stood to his feet and raised his staff over his head and intoned judgement on both armies.

Then across each rank and down each line, blood sprouted like a crimson bloom above each individual, a veritable fountain as they fell.
Like grapes in a wine press.

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Day One Thousand One Hundred Forty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was shocked to hear all that Elijah’s disciples have been through. They have borne the brunt of the enemy’s fury in the region. Steadfast and uncomplaining. And they have kept the hiding place safe. No word of its location has escaped their lips.

Elijah was deeply affected. He went around the circle and hugged each one and prayed over them.

We agreed with their advice that it would be good to set out in the dark immediately, and we concurred to do our traveling at night going forward.

We maintained a strict silence enroute to where they passed last night. And held up there through the day.

Lots of martial activity-in the air, and down in the valley.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Here at day’s end and I’m still recovering from yesterday’s surprise appearance of our young friend. Elijah kept our greetings brief, enforcing a strict regimen of silence and driving us onward by his example. Continuing through the night.

Our pace only slackened with the dawn of the new day, yet we kept onward. At one point it was as if we entered a space of our own reality in which nothing else and no one else existed. Only then did Elijah allow us to converse.

Everything came tumbling out as we pressed Tomas for information.

Most startling was the news that the Supreme Commander is dead. And the army of the East has allied with the army of the North.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Reuben was the one who discovered the cave. He said afterwards that it was as though he was pulled into it. And I marvel that he did, for no way was the entrance visible from the path below on which we were fleeing.

And we gained its safety none too soon for otherwise the swarm of drones would have overtaken us.

And here we have stayed put through the night and all of today.  Reuben was restless and made frequent forays to take a peek around. He reported the movement of soldiers in the distance, happily, headed in the wrong direction, but was shaken to his core the last time when he spotted Moglen standing nearby, watching in silence, alone.

Day One Thousand Forty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The silence in the wilderness was highly unusual. Not even a breeze disturbed the air around us. And one had the sense that if there were any noise out there, at however great a distance, we would have plenty of time to prepare before we made visual contact.

Thus we heard the footsteps. But we weren’t prepared for what came.

By the sound we knew it could only be a single individual, making his way across the bedrock of the ground to our front.

We halted and waited, confident we would be hidden from view until whatever it was, was past us.

So, we did not see that it was Raj P until then. I bounded out to greet him.

Day One Thousand Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The matter of the tribal discord weighed heavily upon me. So I made it a point of intercession all the way back to the second village and on through half the night, taking it up again upon waking.

All the while, Elijah kept a respectful silence, breaking into it only as necessary when attention was demanded elsewhere.

The situation dictated the topic as the Purser saw it. Everyone has now arrived at this second stage and are settled in. His thinking calls for a longer stay to prepare for a longer transit around the ruined city.

And two further complications were added when Jezer and Tomas reported that the well at the crossroads was failing and a drone was sighted.

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 Forty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We had the wind in our faces all day. Few words passed between us while we were moving. The couple instances when talk was necessary we stopped and huddled on the ground.

The first time we discussed how long to keep going today. We decided to press on while it was light.

We halted the second time when the village at the edge of the wilderness came into view. I wanted to alter course to avoid it and the nosy villager. But Elijah was eager for news, even if it were more than likely hopelessly out of date.

He just had a sense that something important awaited us.

Thus we forged on in silence, retracing our path to the village.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elam squeezed the three of us into the cab beside himself, and began the long tale of the pilgrimage across sea and land of the group led by Sy and himself. A story that continued this morning by the mere dint of the wealth of detail Elam wanted to share.

And we listened with great interest, plying him with our many questions.

There was one note of sadness – Sy, the former soldier from whom Elijah removed the mark, lost his aged parents on the ocean passage.

During the times of silence I marveled at the work of the Spirit in their lives. And Jezer, to my surprise, burst forth with outright praise.

Then came our turn to share our stories.

Day Eight Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are one night’s march along the corridor of this valley, and the ‘hill’ at the far end has indeed “grown.” We are more confident than ever we are adhering to the path laid out for us by Quasimo. Hence today we have brought our fast to a close.

I had much to ruminate about in my times on watch. Over night it was much colder than ever before. Elijah thinks we may see snow in the next day or so. I can believe it.

The barking has ceased to dog our steps. Whatever they were must have continued on north. Silence instead muffled our ears – then and now.

Two more night marches should bring us out of the desert.