Day One Thousand One Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed the furthest point of our path that we were able to see from last night’s summit. But that has made little difference to our progress today, due to the fact of very few branching paths.

What did slow us down, however, was the time we halted to investigate the flash and rumble of conflict far to the south.

We presume that the army of the East and that of the North were at one another’s throats.

What rooted us in place so long was curiosity over what the army of the world government would do, whose lines of defense were then in view to the east of our position.

When they did not budge, Elijah urged us on.

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 Sixteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Situations like this made me wish that Tomas was still with us, out front scouting. But that worry passed when I heard that gentle rebuke, and I realized I was transferring my trust off of where it should be.

I found Quasimo in the same dilemma. He was still hesitant about ordering us forward, thinking it perhaps too soon.

I believed his recent dreams were  robbing him of his confidence. I sent him to confer with Elijah, and  took up the task of moving us on.

Elijah sent his new pupils to assist me, and together we had everyone up and over the next hill in short order.

From the summit Quasimo saw that the next stopping point was free.

Day One Thousand Fourteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed the night in a cave. A little cramped, but no one was forced to stay outside.

There was frost on the rocks when we emerged to take up our trek, so we had to watch our footing. Even when it melted, the rock bed of our path remained slick.

Reuben and I took turns helping Elijah along the narrow stretches. Just about everyone slipped but our trio. Thankfully there were no serious injuries. If anything the hurts were to their dignity, and, thankfully again, those were not lasting. And when handled in the right spirit, instructive.

Reuben noticed this, and that fact pleased both Elijah and myself.

We passed the summit of this route and are now descending.

Day Three Hundred Twenty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

In my dreams, the world government official had no face. But it was not surprising that he turned out to be our old nemesis. He saw me, of course, but I am certain he does not realize that I saw him.

He disappeared as the ship entered the island’s single port.

Elijah and I were well away from the ship on our errands before unloading commenced this morning.

We passed through the town and made directly for the summit of the mountain, which is the whole reason behind the island’s existence. A caldera actually.

The minute we set foot on the trail, a tremor staggered us. We did not turn back, but pressed on.

Something is stirring within the mountain.

Day Eighty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Icicles on the tent this morning. The freezing level has dropped. And we have no way of knowing for how long. Thankfully there is no snow on the ground, just ice where any water had collected.

All were glad to see the sun later, especially Rufus and Clarissa. My guess is that all the ice will be gone before long.  So we decided to wait and give it a chance.

Lyle let me wander about without constant supervision, or what seemed to me to be strict scrutiny.

Finally, our patience was rewarded, a check of the path showed it again passable.

It is now looking the better part of wisdom to take the pass as the summit above remains white.

Day Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Drizzle fills the air and dampens everything. And farther away the mountain whitens beneath its crystalline form.

Already Lyle thinks we must alter our route and seek out the pass around instead of assaulting the summit. I point out that conditions may improve well before we come to the point where we have to choose.

Lyle takes my notion well enough, but just nods and doesn’t say a word. Ever since I got back from the village I feel he has been wary of looking my way. Dare I say he fears me?

He’s not unfriendly or anything like that. Rather it’s a coolness that is opening like the gorge running parallel beside us.

Or is it just my imagination?