Day Nine Hundred Eighty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another late night despite our best efforts to have everyone turn in early. At least we were ready to leave at first light for we kept busy all the while we talked.

As we moved out the Purser took a head count. The six I had identified were missing. And stranger still Jezer later told me he had recognized someone last night, but now they were nowhere to be seen.

Jezer had had other important news to share. And Elijah and I were overjoyed when we heard it. Sy, acting upon our request had gone in search of the Purser’s group but found instead the one led by Jordan. They are now safely with him  in the mountains above Galilee.

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Day Nine Hundred Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elam begged to leave today. He calculated that Sy and his people would be in need of a fresh supply of water.

Elijah and I gave our hearty approval, adding at the same time a request that Sy mount a search to the east beyond their stronghold for the missing Purser and his group.

At this juncture, Magwich stepped forward and volunteered to accompany Elam. They had become fast friends during their latest expedition.

To this we assented after referring the matter to Reuben first, who easily agreed. And then in turn he proposed himself to reconnoiter the area in and around Damascus.

Elijah called a halt to the proceedings at that point, saying we needed to wait a day.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah was out before I arose this morning. He took Jezer and Elam with him for a walk up the mountain. I know the plan was for him and Jezer to point out the way to the hiding place, but I think that Elijah had an additional reason for the hike, a more personal one.

I had everything prepared for our departure by the time they returned. We would have left right then, but Elijah called for a last minute meeting with Sy, in which he asked him to consider lending his support in freeing the imprisoned group.

Sy promised to put out a fleece on that request.

Elijah thanked him. They bid us Godspeed. And we left with Elam.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Having covered the happenings in our lives (and the hand of the Spirit in those events) throughout the remainder of the day yesterday, we began the discussion of our mutual futures after breakfast.

Sy holds the decided opinion that all the Hamashiachites should come here to this stronghold in the wilderness. And he listed all the benefits, chief of which is their access through Elam to water from under the very noses of our adversaries.

Elijah listened, offering no interruption.

When Sy closed his case with a nod to Elijah for having touted this location to him in the first place, Elijah agreed to allow him to remain, but only if he learned how to escape to the hiding place.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The road at last straightened as the tanker truck climbed onto a plateau, and finally Elam opened up the throttle. And we sped on towards a vale at the base of the highest mountain in the wilderness.

As we closed on the vale, Elam pointed out the sentinels up on the heights. I looked and saw nothing, until three flashes glinted sunlight.

Our driver explained we had the go ahead. And as he pulled up behind another tanker truck and parked, the denizens poured out of their tents and surrounded us.

The wall of flesh gave way as the commanding figure of Sy waded through them. And he lifted me in a massive embrace and did the same to Elijah.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elam squeezed the three of us into the cab beside himself, and began the long tale of the pilgrimage across sea and land of the group led by Sy and himself. A story that continued this morning by the mere dint of the wealth of detail Elam wanted to share.

And we listened with great interest, plying him with our many questions.

There was one note of sadness – Sy, the former soldier from whom Elijah removed the mark, lost his aged parents on the ocean passage.

During the times of silence I marveled at the work of the Spirit in their lives. And Jezer, to my surprise, burst forth with outright praise.

Then came our turn to share our stories.

Day Three Hundred Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We bid Elam goodbye and God speed, as we sent him off with the last group of those wanting to get out of the city.

Elijah advised him to tell Sy to move everyone beyond the wall, and explained how to do it.

We passed the day out walking in the streets. The crowds are gone. We only encountered workers, and they were easily outnumbered by the ever present soldiers.

We were unwelcome at every turn, yet they feared to oppose our movements.

Stan appeared when we returned to our quarters, and we watched as they put a cordon in place around the building.

Their obvious plan is to hold us in place for the next six days and beyond.

Day Two Hundred Eighty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elam brought back a message from Sy for his parents. It was a heartfelt plea. It has decided the father to send his wife with the next group. She would prefer to make the journey some time later before the twenty five days elapse, but she has agreed to go tomorrow.

I wonder if Sy’s father will ever leave.

When we arrived at the administration building, there was not a soul anywhere. But this time the doors were unlocked. So we entered.

It was an expansive area, designed to intimidate.

We approached the only occupant, a man of formidable size. Elijah asked to speak to the city ruler. He blanched on seeing us, and begged us to leave.

We did.

Day Two Hundred Seventy Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It would have been a quiet night in the square if not for the revelers at midnight. They appeared intent on hassling anyone in their path. Catching sight of us they came straight for us in a booze fueled fury.

Elijah stood to his feet and around the rock of his presence the subhuman tide split and fell to fighting amongst themselves.

We were not bothered the rest of the night, though we did take turns on watch.

With the dawn we took note of which residences surrounding the square did not disgorge any occupants. The second such house as it turned out belongs to Sy’s parents.

They invited us in. And listened eagerly to the news about their son.

Day Two Hundred Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was minding my own business, when a torrent of water splashed on my head. They explained that it was often the only indication they had of the weather outside. By the volume, they judged it to have been raining a good long time.

Several accompanied me up to twentieth floor for a look.

Pools of water were collected here and there. And heavy rain was still falling.

I judged it to be the perfect opportunity to lead them to safety beyond the river. I pointed to the bridge they should take and to their ultimate destination where they can join Sy and the others.

We descended, got them all together and ready.

I led them out into the rain.