Day Eight Hundred Twenty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The skies were clear above the megapolis for most of the day. Only the occasional drone could be seen making the rounds on its patrol. Quasimo opined that the warplanes were no doubt back to their job of running sorties against the army of the East.

I asked him if he had knowledge about the conflict.

He replied that any contacts between these forces were minor by Stan’s design. And only used as a means to draw the army of the East where he wanted it.

We ended our day near the point of our parting from Tomas and the Captain, and Mei and Raj P – where the road to the west crossed the northern approach to the towerless city.

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Day Eight Hundred Sixteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I had been dwelling on the thought that Elijah was entertaining the idea of taking ship from this port, but perhaps that was just my nostalgia for our times at sea with our old friends Tomas and the Captain.

My hopes rose, when Quasimo’s route took us into this section, dense with warehouses bordering the docks. He has been most careful to keep us from unfriendly notice. But with the side effect of circuitous and slow progress.

When we settled in for the evening Quasimo presented several options for tomorrow. The best one in his estimation will take us east out of the megapolis, hence in an opposite direction from our desired destination.

We surprised him when we both concurred.

Day Eight Hundred Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We avoided the center of the riverbed. It was too swollen with dust, making movement nigh impossible. In addition staying on the edges had the happy result of insulating us from the roar of the road traffic.

Our friends were much in our thoughts and prayers as Elijah and I went along. I must say I miss Tomas’s intrepid oversight of our band. And the thought that he doubtless continues in that capacity, cheers me.

As we trekked onward, the soil became more sandy, the air more arid. Yet the view ahead did not look at all like a desert. Instead the landscape was green and lush, stretching to the horizon across which was spread the megapolis that is Babylon.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I confess there were tears in my eyes at our parting this morning. Our hugs were marked by whispered prayers for one another. Our parting, though real and painful, we know to be temporary in the greater balance of things. Our shared hope buoys us all.

I watched them as they and their groups disappeared in the west.

I was cheered by my belief that they were ready, especially Tomas and the Captain.

We had the road to ourselves all day. Nothing and no one crossed our view – on the ground or in the sky.

We shed our heavier garments as it warmed, only to put them on again at the sinking of the sun.

Our next destination- the Capital.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We covered a good deal of ground today. The terrain changed. We have left the hills behind. Now we have entered into the prairie – still on our southwest trajectory.

Our resting place this evening finds us at a crossroads. The six of us gathered for a meeting. Each one knew before a word was spoken that a momentous shift was afoot.

Elijah looked from one to the next in succession, and lastly to me.

It fell to my lot to make the announcement.

Tomorrow, Elijah and I were to part from them. They – Mei, Raj P, Tomas and the Captain and their groups will take the road west. Elijah and I shall head south.

There were no questions, just assent.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas kept charge of Mei’s group overnight at Elijah’s request. And Mei talked long into the night with Elijah and me.

Well, mostly Elijah. I did turn in before everyone else.

I was first to awaken at dawn, however, provoked by a sense of unease. I drew aside to pray, but mere moments later Elijah joined me. Before we could exchange our thoughts a sleepy Mei arrived, wondering if we had heard the Spirit also.

Elijah turned around and looked up, pointing to the faintest of lights moving across the darkness. He invited her to point at it.

She did. And the light stopped as though struck, and tumbled from view.

Elijah sent Mei back to the front to lead.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We encamped in the dark last night upon the instruction of our talented scout. Tomas was quick to promise that we would thank him in the morning.

And so with the dawn we did. The ground he had chosen was on a rise with a stunning view of our road ahead. It continued to skirt the hilly country at the edge of the prairie, running towards the southeast, our desired direction.

And Elijah and I had ample time to admire the view to the east as we waited to take up our position at the end of the column. There the towering mountains we had come through glowed in the beams of the sun on its rise.

So did we.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Settling into camp last night had been a ragged affair. Hardly unexpected given we were a large group trying to do something together for the first time.

The five of us, plus P, met early in the morning to talk about better co-ordinating our movements. Thus we were able to lumber off with the minimum of aggravation, taking up the same marching order as yesterday.

We agreed to maintain the same order when we halted.

The one question we did not resolve right away was Tomas’s position in the column. Both Mei and the Captain wanted his help with their groups.

At the last I decided that he needed to be out front where he does best, scouting ahead.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

P milked all we could recall about his brother G in our recent time with him. He longs to see him again. I assured him that his desire would come to pass.

Elijah added that he was initiating the first step to that coming day. He announced that all who desire to go up to Jerusalem be ready to depart tomorrow. To that end he dispatched Mei and Tomas to circulate among the camps seeking those who will go.

Elijah then turned to the Captain and asked him to do the same in the city by the prairie.

This astonished our old friend and I saw him waver. But to his credit he shook his personal feelings off and acquiesced.

Day Seven Hundred Eighty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We waited until mid morning to set out and put Elijah’s plan into motion. It took those earlier hours to sort out and stabilize the situation in the hunter villages, reeling from the power vacuum created by the loss of their leader.

His overall unpopularity among his own people made a realignment of relationships among the rings of villages easier to negotiate.

We left Mei and Tomas behind to continue organizing. The Captain accompanied us again at his insistence. (I was concerned that his motivation wasn’t what it should be, but Elijah said to let him come anyway).

Soon after we arrived at the entrance to the city, the head of the tribunal rushed to meet us.

His attitude submissive.