Day Seven Hundred Seventy Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Yesterday was a refreshing day of rest for all of us. We each drew apart at times for communion with the Spirit.

Both Tomas and Mei desired to venture on to see what lay beyond our line of sight, but we prevailed upon them to just wait.

This morning, therefore, we were more than ready to depart. So, we let loose the young people to tumble down the mountain ahead of us.

More switchbacks eased our descent and we remained bundled up against a bracing cold. And thankfully no sign of Stan’s presence, brooding or otherwise, disturbed our peace.

The Captain and I lagged behind and filled our time with conversation on many topics. But  at their center was Jerusalem.

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Day Seven Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I startled awake at an early hour, for a moment disoriented, left wondering where I was. That I was in a cavern was immediately apparent. But I must say I was flashing back to another time and another cavern – when Elijah and I were accompanied by the young bearded man, Stan.

I could not but conclude that he was somewhere near at hand, roaming about seeking our trail.

I arose and cautiously went outside. The sun’s morning rays were stretching over the eastern horizon, feeling their way around the mountain towards our position. Nothing else stirred, not even on the winding path just emerging from the darkness.

Elijah joined me and declared we would stay put for one more day.

Day Seven Hundred Seventy #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I saw him perched atop the fearsome beast winging between us and the moon and stars. Just like in the dream related to us by Mei.

Stan was searching, flying in a pattern to and fro across the sky.

On a sudden I sensed a presence at my elbow. Elijah had joined me.

He told me to pay him no heed for he had blinded him as to our location. And that he was only striking out randomly in his frustration. It seems the easy explanation of what has been happening to the various routes out of this valley.

We apprised the others upon rising. Mei was gratified to have the confirmation.

At Tomas’ recommendation we tried another northern route.

Day Seven Hundred Fifty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas brought back a lot of intelligence about the habitation in the clearing. We sifted through it, point by point before making our decisions.

The habitation is marked by signs of the presence of the world government. Tomas saw their flag at the entrance on the far side of the compound. So, the Captain’s advice seemed most appropriate.

There is a very good road leading out of this area upon which Tomas had observed tanker trucks. Thus Stan and his people have the same idea as the Supreme Commander’s army.

And so, we will have to steer clear of that access. More’s the pity.

We wait again while Tomas searches another exit.

All of us, including Mei live in hope.

Day Six Hundred Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah remained in one of the two rooms we have taken in the inn, while the rest of us went out to look around the town. I don’t believe he will stir from there for the next few days. I am considering leaving our room solely to him and joining our friends in theirs.

We split up upon leaving the inn.

Tomas visited the town center, its marketplace and civic buildings. He reported an encouraging lack of presence on the part of the global authority. And no posters of Stan anywhere.

The Captain checked for transportation alternatives over the mountains. We have several possibilities.

I walked down by the river. It was even lower there than upstream.

We returned exhausted.

Day Six Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lots of bushy scrub in the area we passed through over night. Much easier to avoid mishaps when the moon was up. Or so the Captain learned. He was tripped up twice.

I did see lights in the sky that were not stars, flitting from one side of the sky to the other. More of those machines that Elijah says are looking for us. And per Tomas, guided from within by men.

I sense the hand of Stan at work. Perhaps not directing each individual action, but setting the pattern as they perform his bidding.

We called it an early night and went into camp before the sun cleared the horizon.

Elijah stood vigil while we ate, then turned in.

Day Six Hundred Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We all made the trek to the city. Beforehand we prepared by rehearsing among ourselves what to do if stopped and confronted. We intended to scatter and make our way back individually.

Elijah was silent throughout our time in the huddle. We took it for his tacit approval.

None of us knew what to expect actually regarding this announcement. We saw giant speakers mounted in the square, so it seemed natural to assume a satellite radio connection.

We were shocked along with the whole crowd when Stan’s moving image appeared above the speakers on the walls of the building behind them.

Stan declared peace to the world, and made extravagant promises.

We had no problem returning through the cheering crowd.

Day Six Hundred Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Some unusual activity today. The Captain and Tomas told us later about the waves of soldiers passing through the area. Thankfully they were not stopping anywhere along their route. Elijah and I missed it for we were off in the city for news.

Everything appeared calm and even dull there. We attracted notice in certain sections, but there was a marked difference in the willingness of the people to respond when we talked to them. It made us curious.

We discovered why on our way back. Fresh posters were mounted on the walls outside the temple. They announced that Stan would deliver a message to the world in two days and included a simple admonition – to be kind to everyone.

Day Five Hundred Ninety Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Despite our entreaties to the Captain and Tomas to stay out of the city, they left the safety of this place for that very destination. The Captain in particular was miffed that we had done the very thing we were denying them.

In the end Elijah extracted a promise from them to return before sundown.

While they were gone we had a visit from a neighbor. He, like Mr. Kagi and his friend, is an exile from the islands. He is very bitter about his loss, and felt comfortable in our presence to vilify Stan the one who had taken everything from him.

Our neighbor departed with the setting sun. And our concern grew at the absence of our friends.

Day Five Hundred Eighty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Complaints were lodged with the authorities against Elijah and myself by someone or “someones” with whom we talked yesterday. They claimed that we attempted to seduce people away from fealty to Stan and the world order. And made even wilder accusations that we were kidnappers.

This hubbub has made the Captain’s negotiations regarding the ship all the more difficult. He’ll go back tomorrow after they have  some time to calm down.

Then there were some consequences. He has confined us to the ship for the immediate future.

Elijah was compliant for the space of an hour, before deciding to go ashore by himself. I prevailed upon him to go to the Captain with his plan.

He relented and we went.