Day Nine Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Jezer helped us out of the tank at a remote place in the wilderness. The guards in the other vehicles soon joined us. From here we’ll make our way to the hiding place, while our trio of rescuers return the tanker trucks.

Before parting Jezer took pains to caution us. There had been many less checkpoints than usual, so he fears they have been shifted, possibly athwart the route we would be taking. Or perhaps something more sinister was afoot.

Magwich asked and was allowed to accompany Raj G.

Reuben took to the trail, walking up front with Elijah and me. With his uniform and that of the other guards we could pass for an army or a police unit.

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Day Nine Hundred Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Jezer was down to the last of his leads today. This he took care to explain before departing. He would like to move to another location as soon as possible to continue the search.

However, Elijah remained certain that the trail to Raj G’s group will originate here in Damascus.

Last night I had given Jezer a list of the last components I needed for the drone under construction. So not having anything to work on to keep me busy, my mind was filled up with other concerns. I felt more than ever that I needed to be out and about. But I stifled that feeling. And was obedient.

As it turns out, Elijah proved correct. Jezer returned with news.

Day Nine Hundred Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Meesa has reunited us with our friends – Mei, Tomas, the Captain and Raj P. Much to our joy and theirs. The trail she came across when north of Damascus led her at the last to their refuge here in the desert.

The group is almost four times bigger than everyone now in the hiding place. This simple fact has caused us to settle in to talk about how we can get them all into safety.

Of course it took awhile to get around to the topic at hand for we had so much else to discuss to satisfy each other’s curiosity.

Finally Elijah called us all to order. And while we discussed our options, Quasimo kept watch with the drone.

Day Seven Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I startled awake at an early hour, for a moment disoriented, left wondering where I was. That I was in a cavern was immediately apparent. But I must say I was flashing back to another time and another cavern – when Elijah and I were accompanied by the young bearded man, Stan.

I could not but conclude that he was somewhere near at hand, roaming about seeking our trail.

I arose and cautiously went outside. The sun’s morning rays were stretching over the eastern horizon, feeling their way around the mountain towards our position. Nothing else stirred, not even on the winding path just emerging from the darkness.

Elijah joined me and declared we would stay put for one more day.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We left the valley, but not for long. Tomas came to tell us that the trail ahead comes to an abrupt end. It was just fine when he checked yesterday. Now a cliff marks the end of the trail’s usefulness.

We returned to the valley to seek a new way out.

I stayed with Elijah and prayed while the others split up to better cover the possibilities.

Our focus was still northward, but if we were to exhaust all possibilities in that direction Elijah would prefer a westward trail that angles north.

At day’s end we collected for the night and compared notes. Two likely paths were also blocked.

Our concern is growing that an unseen agency is opposing us.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our path has become easier. More level. And word  from Tomas reported that a descent to a mountain valley lies ahead.

Still no pursuers visible behind us. But we can’t shake the feeling that someone is back there.

In a couple instances, Mei dropped behind to observe, but each time the trail remained empty.

She talked most of the time with the Captain.

He later told me that she was fixated on Elijah’s staff. At the first, he recounted the times that he had witnessed great deeds with it in Elijah’s hands, but then he realized she was forming a wrong idea about the two.

So he sent her to Elijah who gladly dispelled the false notions she was forming.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We set up camp in the dark last night. It took us that long to reach the spot designated by Tomas.

It was a comfortable place in many respects. In fact we may have waited til sunup before rising if it had not been for Mei giving the alarm.

She rousted us all after waking from a dream in which drones were descending upon us. Her dream was reality.

Elijah calmed and held us in place. “Let them get a look at us,” he said.

When they ringed us, he raised his staff and they tumbled out of the sky.

With no sign of pursuit visible on the ground behind us, we broke camp and took to the trail again.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mei made the sighting. She was watching the skies, but was drawn to flashes on the ridge line far to the east of us. When I looked I thought it was the water survey party we passed a few days ago.

So it was good that we were all set to leave. Tomas had covered the tracks of Jordan’s group per the plan and had selected another path away from the area.

On Elijah’s order we torched the pile of debris and stepped out again for points north on a trail that must have been used by those fleeing from that direction.

Tomas stayed with the group to help us over the tricky parts.

We should have a solid lead.

Day Seven Hundred Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The majority of the camp structures have been dismantled. All that remains are our personal tents. And those can be gotten up in minutes.

Tomas, with our blessing, has surveyed the immediate vicinity, paying particular attention to the trail taken by Jordan’s people. He thinks he can obliterate all marks of their passage by precipitating an avalanche in that area. But he wants to find another way out for us first.

The Captain with Mei’s help has gathered everything combustible into one big pile. When we set it ablaze, if visible by our foes, it should focus their attention away from Jordan and place it square on us.

Elijah feels ready to rely on the Spirit’s capacity to defend us.

Day Seven Hundred Fifty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A bone weary day, with lots of ground covered, despite some down time when Tomas brought word of an army patrol. We hid easily while they passed us by.

I am sure they were looking for sources of water and not for us or their enemy.

Later, down the trail we crossed a footbridge that spanned a narrow gorge. Water rushed within its course far below.

I assume the leader of the patrol took one look and gave up on this path. There’s just no getting a tanker truck close to this source. They’ll probably find an easier access to it somewhere else.

At day’s close, Elijah predicted that sometime tomorrow we will definitely arrive at our destination up ahead.