Day Seven Hundred Twelve #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The consensus among us was unanimous. The time is past for our oversight of the army’s safety. Elijah shared his confidence that it is on track for its rendezvous with history.

We have our own appointments to keep. And all we know is that we are to go northward.

But we had no other choice than to keep traveling west in the pass. With eyes and hearts open to wherever the Spirit would pull us.

We passed by three offshoots headed northward. The Captain liked each of them, but one or the other of us was not in agreement. So we continued on.

So strange to say, the one we all agreed upon was directed southward.

We obediently took it.

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Day Six Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The notion that this area was all so familiar came back to me when I stood at the western end of the town and took in a 360 degree view. The flatness to the east and the mountains to the west spoke to a reservoir of memories within. Similar in all respects except for the presence of the town. My recollections for this spot in my consciousness held only open fields.

My reverie was interrupted by the Captain tugging at my sleeve. He wanted to discuss our departure from here.  He had learned a truck with room for all of us would be heading west sometime in the next two days.

The next moment Tomas brought news about the army.

Day Four Hundred Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are exhausted. I believe we got better than a day’s march in. So we are very close to the end of this wilderness. Perhaps by midday tomorrow.

There are now indications that a great number of people have passed this way. Such a fact goes a long way to explain why we have had no sightings of wild beasts. They have fled deeper into the wilderness.

I will take the first watch while Elijah turns in. Throughout the day our discussions revolved around what may lie behind us. So my vigilance will be focused in that quarter. And not simply because we believe Stan will eventually follow us.

We have passed by sojourners from the west bearing the mark.

Day Four Hundred Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have reached the last village on this plateau. Ahead a vast wilderness awaits. I figure it must be part of the other one we crossed a few days ago further to the west.

The locals tell us that we must plan for at least three days to pass through to the other side. They also inform us to be prepared to ward off wild animals.

As we have dealt with that type of problem before, we are unconcerned. I am concerned, however, if Stan is in pursuit. It wouldn’t do to be overtaken in such a place.

For now Elijah thinks he is probably too busy trying to pull things together after his failed meeting in the riverfront town.

Day One Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle’s mission yesterday bore fruit. He emerged from the west with five children. They are now scattered to other families throughout the encampment for safe keeping.

We now know that by no means is the mark borne universally in the west. But people there reported rumors that those who have, are forming bands to sweep through the city to seek out those who don’t. And Lyle saw evidence of this on his way back through the district. A band surrounded one of the west end markets and checked each customer.

Talking with Lyle about this, I was feeling overwhelmed. There must be a better way to help.

I was unsettled further when he described smoke rising from the first district.

Day One Hundred Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The gates to the west remain open, but no one from the east end, save Lyle pass through them.

People from the west are coming to our markets here. So Lyle is vindicated in the eyes of his leaders. The two former dissenting members are quite pleased.

How long this will last, I have my doubts. But I won’t hold my breath.

They allowed Lyle to meet with Kip. He reports he is in good spirits, though very much bored. Kip asked after Grazie and again stipulated that she stand fast and not return. As to his own case, he senses that Moglen doesn’t know what to do and is awaiting instruction.

I long for time in my walled courtyard.

Day One Hundred Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The harvest in the west is done. Ours is still days away from completion.

Kip said that the west end leaders will likely approach us when they are finished with an offer to use their machines. He is certain that it will come with an innocuous “price,” but its true cost will be hidden.

Lyle concurs, but he added that some of his leaders are longing to have their own.

I then proposed to pay a visit to the gates into the west to see if they have reopened. To which Lyle re-iterated that without him I must refuse any important discussions with Grazie, if we perchance meet.

I agreed and went.

All for nought, as it turned out.