Day One Thousand One Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

After our comrades recovered from the suddenness of our return, we decided not to venture beyond our thicket – but pressed further back into its wild undergrowth. And there passed the night.

Come the morning we were surprised when Quasimo discovered a huge water reservoir nearby. Reuben recognized the structure and led us around to the other side where he knew of a path that could take us east.

We eschewed the side where the tanker trucks were adding their loads to the reservoir. Even then someone must have spotted us for a warplane dropped down from a great height and lined up on our position.

Elijah raised his staff and the jet tumbled from the sky – but not before firing.

Day One Thousand Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We took a day of rest yesterday as Lung set out with his unit and the tanker truck. It was a strategic decision.

Despite our entreaties Lung turned down our offer of refuge for him and his men back in the hiding place. And we understood when he explained with passion his need to obey. Not just within the hierarchy of the army of the East, but also that of the higher calling that keeps him there. Come what may.

We are confident he will be with us again.

Sy and Mawuli led us out into the wide expanse. Thankfully it was devoid of any army presence.

The Captain is certain the army of the East is coalescing around Babylon.

Day One Thousand Seventy Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mei recognized him first, and resisted her impulse to rush to greet him. For we all knew the need for caution. But when she saw that it was her old unit with their tanker truck she called out to him.

We were welcomed into their camp and made comfortable.

Lung asked to meet with Elijah and myself.

He spent the night detailing all that has happened to him since he parted from us on the mountain on that long ago day.

When he shared about his transformation we called Mei in to hear the news too.

And as his crew continued pumping water at daylight, we heard the rumors that Stan had been fatally wounded in the battle before Babylon.

Day One Thousand Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mawuli accompanied Sy on a side trip to check out a well. They found it easily enough, but so had an army unit. In fact, it looked to be a more or less permanent arrangement.

From what they could tell water was present, just no way to get to it. Tire tracks run to and from the site, and the soldiers looked to be expecting something – probably a tanker truck.

Sy could make out no flag or other designation that would tell us whose they are. Though who they are made little difference to our next decision. For we chose to avoid them and agreed to press further from our current path to another well Sy believes he alone knows.

Day One Thousand Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our movements we feel were well beyond the army’s patrols. And the lack of drones too, was a comfort.  All the more so as we came down from the hills and onto the plain.

Sy directed us to a well by midday, but it proved a disappointment. He said the water was simply too deep to reach.

Thankfully our need is far from pressing. There was a point after Sy had spoken when I looked to Elijah, but he shook his head, so I knew that it was not quite the time.

Elam was a great help. For he had driven his tanker truck through this area many times, and knew the best places to pass over those routes undetected.

Day One Thousand Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another day of waiting has passed slowly. Everyone has taken it in stride, considering it a trial of patience.

Sy, though, grew unsettled by day’s end. By his calculation Elam should have arrived back here today at the latest. He’s beginning to think that he’ll never see his friend and his tanker truck again.

When I tried to point out to him other possibilities, he left and went up to the heights. Elijah followed him.

They remained up there for quite some time. Long enough to witness a flurry of activity in the air above the plain.

The Captain, Mei and myself caught the end of the display when the crash of distant explosions drew us out of the redoubt.

Day One Thousand Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were in sight of Sy’s redoubt (for such it has now become) when we encountered Elam in his tanker truck. He stopped, picked us up and turned around.

It was as we guessed. He now operates out of a staging yard from the army’s rear lines to its front, and rarely goes to Damascus. He put off his return until tomorrow in order to hear all the news.

Sy was hospitable though reserved, for he knows the reason behind our visit. Jordan, by contrast, was ready to return with us that very moment.

Elijah called for a meeting after the evening meal.

We met, and cleared the air about many things. In particular I was keen to hear Jordan.

Day One Thousand Fifty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our surprise was mutual. Raj P recovered first, brimming over with thanksgiving for answered prayer before he even said a word to us.

He had accompanied Quasimo into the Galilee, and had been dispatched by him to go in search of us and bring us back to help persuade Sy to leave.

I asked if Elam had made it back and was overjoyed to learn that he was safe and sound in their midst.

We made it as far as the road before making camp.

We inquired about everyone else and buoyed by his good report turned in.

Today was an even longer day.  It takes so much longer when you’re not riding in the cab of a tanker truck.

Day One Thousand Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Meesa accompanied us to the tanker truck staging yard. While we waited to see if Elam might come in today, we made our goodbyes. She will return to the hiding place and give an account of our status, and at our request she will ask Reuben to travel up to Jerusalem to look for Tomas.

Perhaps he can give us a clue as to the whereabouts of Jezer.

We commended each other to the tender care of Hamashiach and parted.

The activity in the yard was noticeably less of a turmoil than our last visits. Elijah moved us to a shady spot as the heat of the day increased.

Come mid-afternoon and no Elam, we set out on the road.

Day One Thousand Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our return to monitor the tanker truck staging yard was interrupted by one of Elijah’s pupils sent to retrieve us.

When we asked the reason, we were told that two men from Elijah’s second group had come in from the north looking for Elijah. They have news from Jerusalem.

Reluctant to leave and chance missing Elam, we asked if he could bring one of the men to us.

He no sooner had left, when I spotted Elam roll in. As his tanker was filled, we moved outside and hailed him as he drove out.

We urged upon him our invitation for Sy’s people to come to the hiding place.

Before he dropped us off he had news to share too.