Day Nine Hundred Thirty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Having covered the happenings in our lives (and the hand of the Spirit in those events) throughout the remainder of the day yesterday, we began the discussion of our mutual futures after breakfast.

Sy holds the decided opinion that all the Hamashiachites should come here to this stronghold in the wilderness. And he listed all the benefits, chief of which is their access through Elam to water from under the very noses of our adversaries.

Elijah listened, offering no interruption.

When Sy closed his case with a nod to Elijah for having touted this location to him in the first place, Elijah agreed to allow him to remain, but only if he learned how to escape to the hiding place.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The road at last straightened as the tanker truck climbed onto a plateau, and finally Elam opened up the throttle. And we sped on towards a vale at the base of the highest mountain in the wilderness.

As we closed on the vale, Elam pointed out the sentinels up on the heights. I looked and saw nothing, until three flashes glinted sunlight.

Our driver explained we had the go ahead. And as he pulled up behind another tanker truck and parked, the denizens poured out of their tents and surrounded us.

The wall of flesh gave way as the commanding figure of Sy waded through them. And he lifted me in a massive embrace and did the same to Elijah.

Day Nine Hundred Twenty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are in another wilderness. And are breathing easier, as the police presence has dropped to nil. However, there has been a corresponding rise in drone activity. But with that an increase in their regularity and hence, their predictability.

We had conversed with some villagers on the edge of this wilderness, and they shared with us their belief that a large group of people is held up somewhere within this wilderness.

One even offered to accompany us, claiming complete knowledge of the wilderness, including an almost certain sense of where they may be.

Elijah thanked him but politely declined.

We were no sooner out of sight of the village, when we discovered he was following us.

Elijah scared him away.

Day Nine Hundred Twenty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our transit today was a little more adventurous to my taste than usual. We had not travelled too far yesterday. Only far enough to emerge from the wilderness surrounding the hiding place.

Come mid morning we attained the road but soon became uncomfortable under the gaze of so many police patrols. We decided to veer off into less travelled tracks, but we found patrols operating there also.

Thankfully Elijah always sensed their presence before they came into view, and so far we have had  cover to shield us from notice. Especially from the occasional drone.

In those times in which we had to wait, Elijah would point out to me the landmarks and sights, familiar to him from long ago.

Day Four Hundred Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was a late riser this morning. Elijah, having the last watch, let me sleep in to recover from yesterday. So when preparations were complete, we got off to a good, though late start.

Even so we came out of the wilderness well before midday, which was ahead of our expectations. But the view that greeted us was completely surprising. An extensive and empty salt flat.

That it was empty was most unnerving. I had expected to see multitudes awash in this interior expanse. All of the evidence we had passed on our route called for that conclusion.

Elijah took in the scene and was pragmatic. All it meant he shrugged was that we still have a ways to go.

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 Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

So far, so good.

One day into the wilderness and with the exception of a boggy area, we have made good progress.

Wild beasts appear to go out of their way to avoid us. Leastways I think they are there because I hear rustling in the undergrowth.

At one point we overtook two other travelers. They were not as fortunate. One had been wounded, fighting off a big cat. Elijah applied a balm and bound up his wound. They wanted to pay Elijah for his ministration, but he refused.

We kept company until a fork in our path. They headed east towards the coastal port. We kept on towards the interior.

Had the Purser and his family passed this way?

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 Three Hundred Ninety Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

This has been the longest day. Mile after mile of bush, boring in the extreme for its sameness. Visibility only dropped off in the haziness of the distant horizon to our front. And we kept a wary regard as to what lay behind us. No longer did we see the wilderness through which we had passed, but, then again, neither did we see anyone following us. A good thing, but tempered by the thought of what that meant, that they were perhaps on the trail of the Purser and his family instead.

Elijah and I did use the time to catch one another up on our doings while we were separated. What he shared about the robotic warship haunted me.

Day Three Hundred Ninety Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The city has dropped from our sight as we have pushed on into the wilderness. I returned the sling to Mawuli before we parted figuring that they would require its protection should they pass through similar wild beast habitats. An easy decision. After all, we have Elijah’s staff with us.

As indeed it did prove to be an aid in keeping some ravenous mastiffs away from us. And some rather big cats.

We were able to leave them and the wilderness behind before we went into camp for the night.

I asked Elijah if he had any sense for our future course once we reach the riverfront town.

He says he is still open and encourages me to be also.