Day Eight Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Over night Elijah and I separately received confirmation that today was our day to enter. We timed our arrival at the gateway to coincide with the morning rush. However, we were intercepted on the way by Meesa and our guest at the desert well, Jezer.

She had been on the way out to our spot to introduce us, and to inform us about the best strategy for entry.

A few awkward moments ensued, then we were talked into entering later in the day as part of a labor crew bringing scraps from outside for reuse.

The stratagem worked. This evening we are within Damascus. And thankful for the Spirit’s timing, for without Meesa’s intervention we would have been turned away.

Day Three Hundred Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Storm clouds blew in this afternoon. And appear to go on forever, encircling and closing in on the city. It seems too early as there yet remains three days to run.

Elijah and I discussed plans to get through the cordon and into our ship. We had just settled on a stratagem, when the said ship cast off from the dock and pulled away out into the roads.

Obviously Stan has identified it as ours and ordered her off. At the same time he has reinforced the troops on the perimeter around us.

I admitted disappointment, but Elijah remained non-plussed.

At that moment the storm broke loose. Lightning and hail fell from the turbulent skies.

They both spared us.

Day One Hundred Eighty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It is obvious to both Lyle and myself that Moglen and Stan are angling for leverage. Despite their promise to the contrary, they count on everyone in the encampment giving in and accepting the mark if Lyle were to set the example.

The fact that Lyle did not dismiss the plot out of hand must give them hope. The same fact gives me pause, more so since Lyle won’t discuss why he didn’t.

Moglen did not set a deadline for the decision, yet. I believe Lyle sees it as an open door to bring more longing souls out of their clutches.

But I see a deeper stratagem on their part to bog us down, knowing we won’t abandon the helpless.

Day One Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle and the others were all occupied in the fields today. The latter crops are ready for harvest, those that remain standing after the driving rains.

I was excused for the day. I went back into the east end at the prompting of an impulse or impression, say what you will.

The once crowded streets and thoroughfares are now less so. I passed by the marketplaces where there was much activity. At least at present they do not require the mark for any transaction. I wonder if Moglen is aware of this. Or is it a stratagem on their part?

I stopped by my walled courtyard. The vision returned.

This may be the time. I went in search of Lyle.

Day One Hundred Fourteen AM #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle writes:

Enough returned from the west end today after an overnight absence. It was a little disturbing that he did not get back last night. But that passed quickly after the thought came to commit him to the Spirit.

We were all thankful when he rejoined us, and were happy to be introduced to his new friend Kip.

When we were alone later, he informed me that the city rulers may be actively avoiding any contact from outsiders. Something he said made me think of another possible stratagem.

I was joking of course.