Day One Thousand One Hundred Forty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The wisdom of the directions only became clear after the events unfolded. I received confirmation of the instructions as related by Reuben (and reiterated by Elijah), but they gave me great difficulty, for they required me to break the covenant struck between Elijah and me – to never separate.

But I set my mind to obey and we did.

When Moglen left the high place, I crossed over to it while Elijah and Reuben distracted the drone.

I crushed the idol with any rocks that came to hand and tossed the pieces into the fire.

After giving the drone a chance to record the proceedings, Elijah brought it down with his raised staff.

Swiftly I rejoined my friends and we departed.

Advertisements

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Stop and go all day, in effect slowing our progress greatly. Many units of reinforcements have crossed our line of march, forcing a halt. Sometimes for as long as an hour. The longer halts were occasioned by caravans of wounded returning from the front.

We then knew for certain that we were behind the lines of the army of the North. In one instance we were close enough to see the insignia on their vehicles.

The image of Moglen again haunted my thoughts in between times. When Elijah noticed my absence from the present, he called me back from my revery. I do believe that had I not responded immediately each time he would have rapped me with his staff.

Day One Thousand Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Finally word came down that our long-awaited audience would come to pass today. So we were notified and given leave to prepare ourselves. That is, we were each expected to see to our ablutions. And more than just our dusty feet.

The guards who were to accompany us were not exempted. (If anything they needed it the more, or so was the considered judgement of our own Mei).

I volunteered first, then held Elijah’s staff as he saw to himself.

Not long after we had finished we were ushered up to the penthouse and seated in a reception area. And again waited.

Soon the double doors swung open and in walked the Supreme Commander and at his elbow, our Tomas.

Day One Thousand Eighty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We haven’t budged from where we were captured yesterday. Our captors haven’t been too harsh beyond the first encounter. The bruises on Sy’s and the Captain’s heads notwithstanding. Despite our protestations that we are not spies, nor hold any animus against them, we are kept corralled together and forced to be quiet under the constant vigil of three guards.

The leader of the unit has no time for us and is intent on setting his defenses. So we have no one with which to plead our case to be taken to the Supreme Commander.

At least they are not curious about Mei’s presence with us. And they have not confiscated Elijah’s staff. Evidently they assume he needs it to walk.

Day One Thousand Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We wandered the rest of the day without striking Sy’s well. I could tell his frustration was mounting at his inability to locate it.

Finally Elijah signaled for a halt in an area we all judged fit for a camp.

Sy, however, continued to roam about, muttering he was sure it was near at hand. The next morning the Captain stumbled upon it. Actually he tripped and fell on his face.

The well had been filled in, packed with rocks. We gathered around it on our knees to remove them. Only to discover the water there had been befouled too. Unfit to drink.

Elijah took up his staff and stirred the water with its tip, drawing out all the impurities.

Day One Thousand Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was not the carnage of battle that we surveyed on the summit of that mountain, but rather the aftermath of a wanton sacrifice. An altar had been raised over the source of the stream and an untold number of bodies lay strewn about – the bodies of animals contorted in their death agonies. All under the sparkling gaze of an idol of Stan, which presided over the scene.

Mawuli toppled it with a well aimed stone from his sling, and we crushed it under foot.

Elijah had us return to our camp near the stone bridge for the night, and from there this morning we set out towards the east, following Mawuli’s lead.

Elijah held his staff aloft in praise.

Day One Thousand Fifty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I went for a walk. First up to the heights to look around. Elijah scanned the view, paying attention to the road that runs to the East.

We then came down and struck out in the direction upon which we had mutually agreed. As we climbed away from the redoubt, I noticed Elijah was making heavy use of his staff. We stopped frequently so he could catch his breath.

Cresting the ridge and descending the other side, he picked up the pace. We halted on a stone bridge that spanned a dry stream bed.

One look at a path that ran beside the stream bed and we knew we had found the way to the plain far below.

Day One Thousand Twenty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are across. I feel as if I were swept up in a whirlwind. It all happened so fast.

The road was still throttled with traffic when Elijah turned to me and said that it was time. He directed me to summon the others.

I was glad for those dry runs.

When I arrived back at the relay point, Reuben already had his people alert and prepared to move.

Time seemed to standstill as we raced back to our waiting friends.

Elijah was then in the middle of an empty road holding aloft his staff, and commanding us to cross.

Quasimo met us on the other side and guided us around a platoon of sleeping soldiers.

Soon we ourselves rested.

Day Eight Hundred Fifty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I twisted my ankle on our transit last night. Elijah caught me before I hit the ground. Otherwise the injury would have been more serious.

As I sat there he rubbed his hands together creating heat from the friction. Then seized the point of the swelling. I could sense warmth radiating from there throughout my body.

In moments I was able to stand. He loaned me his staff as a precaution against further missteps.

We called an end to our night walk early for we came upon a well at a crossroads.

We drank our fill and found a place nearby to rest and pass the day.

Given the crossroads we had another decision to make, hopefully not under duress.

Day Eight Hundred Thirty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Despite our times on and off watch through the night and then the daylight hours, Elijah and I continued to gain strength. Partaking of the well water liberally, helped tremendously.

I was on the last watch before our departure when the jackals returned. I nudged Elijah awake.

As it was still light, we had a better view of these animals than last time.

They were horribly deformed, as well as emaciated. Their obvious hunger was spurring them to the attack.

Elijah cracked the lead one on the head with his staff. Its skull fractured in pieces and its body fell in a heap. The other jackal turned and fled.

We set out as planned, remaining on guard against its return.