Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All quiet today on the plain. No sign of conflict by sight or sound. By the end of the day it had been so quiet we had relaxed our vigil, especially when we sighted what we took to be the halfway point of our journey – the well to which Sy had led us – the one whose water was too low to access.

To our relief its water table had risen and we easily refilled our water skins.

Elijah volunteered for the first watch but I had no sooner turned in when he raised the alarm.

Alarm turned to joy when we recognized our intruder was our friend Reuben whom we first knew as a guard in the prison near Jerusalem.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A fine powder coated everything out of doors in the city. No one could identify it. So the unease of yesterday returned.

Elijah and I were kept quartered close to the Supreme Commander’s command center. Tomas stopped in and out throughout the day and gave us updates. He had been tasked to analyze the powder. Was it by design from the enemy?

He had a breakthrough come afternoon. The material in combination with another compound is highly combustible when water is present.

It made little sense until someone else realized the attack may be directed at the river coming into the city or the tanks fed by the desalination plants.

Thus the army must decide whether to evacuate or not.

Day One Thousand Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Off and on we caught views of the megapolis from the lower elevation of the riverbed upon which we have been traveling. Not much has changed from the memory I carry of Babylon when we skirted around it on our escape out of the citadel. The skyscraper that came down on that occasion has not been replaced. A great void in the skyline marks its absence.

Our forward progress ground to a halt where the water filled the riverbed from bank to bank, forcing us up and out into the open.

It was more water than we have seen in an age.

And its level appeared to be rising as we watched.

Elijah decided we must make for the road.

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 Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We wandered the rest of the day without striking Sy’s well. I could tell his frustration was mounting at his inability to locate it.

Finally Elijah signaled for a halt in an area we all judged fit for a camp.

Sy, however, continued to roam about, muttering he was sure it was near at hand. The next morning the Captain stumbled upon it. Actually he tripped and fell on his face.

The well had been filled in, packed with rocks. We gathered around it on our knees to remove them. Only to discover the water there had been befouled too. Unfit to drink.

Elijah took up his staff and stirred the water with its tip, drawing out all the impurities.

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 Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

From our observations of yesterday we formed a good notion of how we can cross the great plain ahead and follow in the wake of the army of the world government. We shall have to continue in the hills a bit longer in order to swing beyond the limits of the patrols sent out from the forces left behind.

Sy seconded the plan, for he knows of several wells along that arc that may provide water.

He accompanied Mawuli in the forward advance while we kept up the best we could.

I walked with Mei and we fell into a conversation about former times. The topic – her former position in the army of the East and where Lung might be.

Day One Thousand Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas and Jezer passed through on their last trip from the well. The last until the drought ends or a miracle intervenes – it would take one in Tomas’s estimation.

Jezer thinks it may recover before then.

But now it is apparent we shall need to move on as soon as possible.

Mawuli and I met with his father to calculate how long our water will last. We concluded that we must begin to ration.

The matter had me thinking back to that snowfall in the desert. It had not been what I prayed for, but it was what we needed.

I was kept so busy over these issues that I forgot to discuss my suspicions with Elijah about the drone.

Day Nine Hundred Eighty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have settled in for the night after a long day of travel. So thankful for the camel Mawuli has with him, as we thus were enabled to offload our burdens.

Unlike usual Tomas kept close contact to us throughout the day. Still he was the first to spot a young man approaching on another camel.

Thus we met one of Mawuli’s counterparts on his way to the well, one of the volunteers on the all important rotation that supplies water for the Purser’s group. Unlike Mawuli he wore a uniform.

When I asked Mawuli about it, he laughed and said there are more than one type of uniform in their camp, from practically every land they have passed through.