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.

Advertisements

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.

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.

Day Eight Hundred Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

With each step the city seems to grow taller, towering over everything in sight and blotting out half the sky to the south of us. One can sense the hum of industry going night and day without cease emanating from its presence. I commented on it, but Elijah brushed off my sense of foreboding and remained focused on our march to the city.

Posted signs appeared after that with the message praising the one responsible for all this plenteous new growth, printed beneath the smiling picture of our nemesis, Stan.

Next a drone confronted us. It stood stock still, scanning the two of us.

Elijah stood at ease; his staff remained at his side.

The drone went vertical and fled.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our path has become easier. More level. And word  from Tomas reported that a descent to a mountain valley lies ahead.

Still no pursuers visible behind us. But we can’t shake the feeling that someone is back there.

In a couple instances, Mei dropped behind to observe, but each time the trail remained empty.

She talked most of the time with the Captain.

He later told me that she was fixated on Elijah’s staff. At the first, he recounted the times that he had witnessed great deeds with it in Elijah’s hands, but then he realized she was forming a wrong idea about the two.

So he sent her to Elijah who gladly dispelled the false notions she was forming.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We set up camp in the dark last night. It took us that long to reach the spot designated by Tomas.

It was a comfortable place in many respects. In fact we may have waited til sunup before rising if it had not been for Mei giving the alarm.

She rousted us all after waking from a dream in which drones were descending upon us. Her dream was reality.

Elijah calmed and held us in place. “Let them get a look at us,” he said.

When they ringed us, he raised his staff and they tumbled out of the sky.

With no sign of pursuit visible on the ground behind us, we broke camp and took to the trail again.

Day Six Hundred Ninety Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed through the first encampments of the army with ease. They subjected us only to mild scrutiny. But as we arrived at the next ring of army units we were challenged, brought to their commander and kept waiting for hours (the individual was tied up with other pressing matters, or so we were told).

All was uneventful until the arrival of an officer to make his report. He saw Elijah standing there, staff in hand, and demanded that he relinquish his “weapon.” (I believe he recognized Elijah from the broadcast).

When Elijah didn’t comply, the officer attempted to take it by force. The second he touched the staff, he fell to the ground.

The commander no longer ignored us.

Day Six Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The open tableland  came to an end, and with that our ease of movement. Our progress slowed with much time taken up in the descent to a lower elevation.

When the pass below came in view, no one was in sight.

We wondered if we had outpaced the army.

The Captain suggested we halt to wait and see. Elijah, however, said we had things to do further along.

And so it was before the daylight faded, Tomas spotted another force, hidden in ambush in a defile off the trail of the pass.

Elijah took up a position above them and struck the ground with his staff. The mountain quaked and the defile below filled in with an avalanche of rock.

Day Six Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed the night down by the river northeast of the town. It was quiet and uneventful as the army was far from us, spread from south of the town westward towards the mountains.

However with the new day the tanker trucks were back. But not for long.

As we were watching them, they suddenly halted their operations and left. The wail of sirens hurried them off.

I followed Elijah to the top of a knoll. The sky was filled with shell bursts directed at the warplanes overhead. They were vectoring in from all points of the compass.

Elijah stood there, raised his staff over his head and shouted.

Every single warplane shuddered as though stricken and plummeted to earth.

Day Six Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Although it is difficult to measure how much ground we are covering each day, both the Captain and I feel it to be less and less. I made another plea to switch to night time travel.

This time the consensus was favorable, but we will wait until the day after tomorrow to implement.

We were crossing a flat expanse with Tomas in the lead, when the young man caught a flash of silver in the sky. He followed its path as it passed our position, circling to our rear.

Tomas ordered us to take cover.

However, Elijah stood his ground, raising his staff over his head. And the diving machine crumpled and fell to earth as though striking a wall.