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.

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Day One Thousand Thirty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Meesa came in with our host when he returned from the daily foraging. We had been indecisive as to what we should be doing, so we were actively waiting. We each individually had come to the conclusion that something was immanent.

Though Elijah was prepared for the news she brought, I was not.

The sight of her reminded me that there was something I should have done. Once we had made contact with Elam I should have sent word to Quasimo that his mission to the Galilee was no longer necessary.

And here Meesa was reporting that Quasimo was now underway.

Elijah took it in stride. He was more interested that army units were thronging the roads to the east.

Day Nine Hundred Fifty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are still in the dark. It was a day of waiting and hoping for something to happen. But no one reported any contacts from the outside (for most cannot conceive of it as happening otherwise).

With the number of guards dropping again today, it seemed that an opportune time to put a plan into motion had passed us by.

And Reuben has deepened the mystery by his revelation that the fact of their disappearance has not been reported beyond the walls of this prison. Though there is little mystery as to why our jailers would prefer it that way, (their very lives no doubt depend upon hiding it), it further clouds how it was accomplished.

And can it repeat?

Day Eight Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

None of us sat idly by waiting for our rumored expulsion from the city. We each had more than enough to do.

Meesa continued to improve communications over the fragile network of individuals.

Elijah continued a round of meetings in which he did more instruction than any other activity. He also deputized Jezer to travel to our future hiding place and come up with multiple routes for our people to migrate there.

I am trying to help anyway I can. Helping in turn Meesa or Elijah.

And in going to and fro, I was saddened by visions of the destruction soon to be visited upon the city. Visions in which the sounds of construction will be stilled, replaced with weeping.

Day Eight Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As such things often work out when you give yourself to waiting, so the problem with Quasimo corrected itself. And in such a way that it gladdened both Elijah and myself.

Quasimo came to us this morning with the news that one of his cousins now believes. And he credited the joyful outcome to instructions received in a dream over night. He was given the very words to speak to the daughter of his mother’s brother.

This changed the complexion of our thinking too. We no longer feel the necessity to leave today. Rather Elijah considers it paramount that we spend the day with Quasimo and his cousin to prepare them for the task, and train them for the journey.

Day Seven Hundred #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our captors were more uneasy than us. They had rushed to the side of the stricken officer, and were relieved that he still breathed. They kept their weapons trained on us, but at a respectful distance.

The commander was at a loss as to what to do with us. Once he settled it in his mind that what had happened was defensive and we had no inclination to go on offense, he put us in a room with twelve guards.

This morning he dispatched us with our detail to appear before the Supreme Commander of the army.

It was a long hike through ring after ring of army units to its hierarchical center.

Our weary day ended in more waiting.

Day Six Hundred Ninety Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed through the first encampments of the army with ease. They subjected us only to mild scrutiny. But as we arrived at the next ring of army units we were challenged, brought to their commander and kept waiting for hours (the individual was tied up with other pressing matters, or so we were told).

All was uneventful until the arrival of an officer to make his report. He saw Elijah standing there, staff in hand, and demanded that he relinquish his “weapon.” (I believe he recognized Elijah from the broadcast).

When Elijah didn’t comply, the officer attempted to take it by force. The second he touched the staff, he fell to the ground.

The commander no longer ignored us.

Day Six Hundred Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas hammered away all morning at Elijah with reasons why we should travel to the other side of the city and seek refuge with Mr. Kagi’s uncle.

After Elijah dealt with each argument in turn, Tomas proposed going by himself. This idea in particular upset the Captain greatly. Tomas reminded him that nothing can happen to either of them apart from one another, if they are to believe the prophecy spoken over them.

The Captain countered by agreeing with him in that instance but was at pains to point out that other outcomes equally undesirable were also possible.

“Like Tomas,” I interjected, “being scooped up as an army conscript. What would we do then?”

Waiting can test the best friendships.

Day Five Hundred Seventy Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The port has been a study in contrasts today. All the other ships were abuzz with activity, while ours was just sitting by the dock, waiting.

Waiting for the Captain and P to return. (If they return at all). Waiting for news of what comes next.

Small boats were plying the waters constantly between the warship and the shore. We spotted one unit coming in that we were sure will be paying visits to the shrines of the city, claiming them in Stan’s name.

At one point Tomas was called for. He brought back word of the Captain’s imminent return, and a suggestion that we depart.

Neither Elijah nor myself sense that our time aboard has come to an end.

Day Four Hundred Fifty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

My time ashore yesterday had been brief and under heavy surveillance, more than on the ship where one of them watched all of us. Ashore it seemed like each of us had its own team of three, scrutinizing our every move.

In short order with my reporting done I was back on the ship.

It was an uneasy night. A battery of spotlights were trained on the ship the whole time.

And we have endured more waiting today. Elijah queried me about what I saw. By my estimation I believe the population of this port is even smaller than its sister city. Are they trying to hide that fact?

By sundown the three containers were secured aboard.

Tomorrow we leave.