Day One Thousand Two Hundred Thirty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

When Mawuli failed to return over night, all of us went down to look for him. Vermin which had joined the scavenger birds slunk away at our passage. We found him on the far side of the valley on the one spot of ground not soaked in blood.

He said not a word as the Captain gathered him into his arms.

Rather than return to the heights right away we skirted the edge of the valley until we made out the stone bridge far above. Mawuli was recovered enough to walk on his own and he aided Elijah and myself. After a short search we located the stream bed and took the path that paralleled it up to the heights.

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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.

Day One Thousand Two Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We found the road unencumbered by patrols or checkpoints until we neared the area of the stone bridge. Well before then, Tomas guided us up to the level above the destroyed altar.

Though still in ruins people were hard at work attempting to make it serviceable. All the more ugly.

Mr. Kagi was the first to notice. Then I recognized the people being forced to work on the edifice – the prisoners paraded through the world government camp but a few days ago.

After a quick calculation in my head (and my memory of the shape of last night’s moon) I knew that tomorrow marks the return of the new moon.

My blood ran cold over the fate of these prisoners.

Day One Thousand Two Hundred Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

What we had long expected came to pass today. An army unit, perhaps a relief column, appeared on the road leading up to the redoubt.

Elijah decided it was time to leave. And time for us to part company.

Sy and Reuben with their men set out for the heights. From there they will trace their way back to the hiding place. On Elijah’s order Mawuli was placed in their hands. And they had to bodily restrain him.

Elijah and I took to the road that goes over the stone bridge, accompanied by Tomas and the Captain.

I have a strong feeling that we shall continue on to Babylon. Poor Mr. Kagi has been much in my thoughts of late.

Day One Thousand Two Hundred Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another change to our prospects. Sy and I did find some more foodstuffs, untouched under an opening clogged with rubble. Sy says it dates back to his former occupancy of the redoubt.

This development may not, however, influence Elijah’s decision. He still thinks most should be sent back – especially Mawuli.

We had more time to contemplate the situation on the way past the stone bridge. Tomas wanted to show us the extent of the forces that are tied up in this death struggle.

I was not prepared to see the aftermath of a battle spread out below that high position. A crimson carpet of bodies left drying in the sun, all bearing the uniform of the army of the East.

Day One Thousand Two Hundred Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Sy has re-evaluated our food stocks. Enough has been damaged or spoiled by the earthquake that we soon will be forced to make some decisions.

Half of us will need to be sent back to the hiding place. But no one wants to go. Or more importantly everyone senses the call to be with Elijah and myself.

Thankfully the others will be obedient to whatever Elijah decides. He has drawn apart to seek answers.

Sy and I looked into hitherto untouched chambers on the chance we come up with something salvageable. The Captain followed behind and kept a tally.

Tomas and Reuben again trekked beyond the stone bridge to gauge the activity of the contending armies, with Mawuli tagging along.

Day One Thousand Two Hundred Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mawuli has been deeply effected by his ordeal. The windows to his soul are filled with a vacancy that hurts others to see. It is for the best that he was not sent back to his parents in the hiding place. For now.

Elijah has taken him aside to seek his healing.

Sy has taken stock of supplies here in the redoubt. We can easily hold up for a month, barring other circumstances.

Tomas and Reuben scouted further east, going well beyond the stone bridge. They encountered no opposition.

The mouth to the valley is heavily garrisoned. And a lot of traffic flowed back and forth in the direction of Babylon.

Before resting I looked in on Elijah  and Mawuli.

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 Sixty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah gathered us together after breakfast. The general expectation prevailed that he would announce our departure immediately. All the more so since Elam’s revelation that he too had been given a vision of a rising tide of blood.

But Elijah caught us off balance. Though he concurs that our group is now complete, he does not agree that it is time to leave.

He has called for another fast and that it is to commence tomorrow when we set out on to the road eastward. We shall halt on the stone bridge and there hold a vigil and await a sign.

We then passed the day in preparation both physically and spiritually.

And Mei cheerfully lent a hand to all.

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.