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.

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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 But Elijah was eager for news, even if it were more than likely hopelessly out of date.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.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I puzzled over the meaning of Mei’s dream. Even after Elijah pronounced it sound advice. Right up until the time that Jordan led the last group out of the way station. It was then that understanding dawned in a rush.

Our small group will remain behind to cover the tracks of Jordan and his people, and hold off any pursuit.

I couldn’t say for sure from what quarter they will come at us. Yet I strongly suspected that we needed to watch the skies.

When silence fell over the camp after Jordan’s departure, Elijah put us to work dismantling all the rigid structures.

By day’s end we had progressed markedly in making the way station disappear. Mei proved very helpful.

Day Seven Hundred Forty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our attention was driven to another topic today – the cold. We are so thankful for the extra clothing that the Supreme Commander had ordered for us. We kept moving as the best means to combat it, lingering long in those areas we could stay out of the wind.

From each respite we pushed on in silence. Something easy to do, for we wrapped our heads, covering our mouths.

I had a lot of time to think as we went along. I have a growing burden – to talk with Mei, and relay to her some small insights that should help her through the days ahead.

I am thankful for this time to formulate my ideas into a cohesive and comprehensive expression.

Day Seven Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

At the least we were not taken down to the chamber to be locked up again. The unit attached to the tanker truck held no interest about the dam other than their immediate security.

Once its commander had his mission underway, the collection of water from the lake, he finally deigned to speak to us.

Tomas had been insistent with anyone within earshot until cuffed into silence by one of our guards.

So he was gratified at last to have the chance to request a communication with the Supreme Commander.

The unit commander was at first skeptical and almost dismissed his request out of hand.  That is until Tomas pressed him with the emergency code word.

The message was sent.

Day Seven Hundred Nineteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I could not stop thinking about G and his people and the road ahead of them. And wondering if we forgot to relate to them anything that might make their pilgrimage less perilous.

Tomas, thankfully, had given him valuable information for dealing with the Supreme Commander should they run afoul of his massive army. And Elijah wonderfully encouraged him.

This train of thought halted when the Captain spotted movement ahead of us, and for all appearances coming directly for us.

After the briefest of discussions, we continued on our course.

At one point they halted for no other reason I can think of, except they saw us.

It was a caravan of merchants. We passed one another in absolute silence.

Day Six Hundred Fifteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The stamp of feet no longer reverberates throughout the house. The last soldier column passed our crossroads around midnight during my watch.

The silence was welcome.

After my turn on guard I slept and actually got some rest.

Upon rising, Elijah was just returning from some time apart on the causeway. He reported more strangeness.

The farmers were on the roads again, but instead of being bound for the city, they were headed towards the army camp.

We decided to postpone our departure for today. Instead we dispatched the Captain into the city to reconnoiter.

The news he brought back was disconcerting. Not a single man of military age remains in the city, only women or children or old men.