Day One Thousand Seventy Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Sy and Mawuli did not return until this morning. Though we expected that they might be very late getting back, we did not think they would be gone the whole night.

So we were relieved and thankful for answered prayers when they rejoined us after a successful reconnaissance.

They mapped out a way ahead for us, but at present we will have to wait for the passage of the army of the world government.

By the fading of daylight we could just make out the rear of the government forces. And we judged that by night’s end they will be past our position. Then we will be free to move.

The Captain and I passed the time talking about Tomas.

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Day One Thousand Seventy Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mawuli wanted to know if the army’s retreat meant that we were to go back also.

Everyone else shared their impression that our mission had not concluded. Decidedly we will press on.

Today we saw that the retreating army was that of the world government. And Elijah spoke the word, “Babylon has fallen.”

That’s when Elam shared his revelation – the motorcade we had spotted yesterday must have been carrying Stan.

We also decided to stay put for the day. With so much going on before us it seemed the much safer course.

Mawuli and Sy did go out, however. They felt their way further to the east to look for gaps, then planned a swing back to the restored well.

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 Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We stayed put today. For we awoke this morning to discover a sight that riveted our attention for the entire day.

A black mass lay across the landscape. A mass that teemed like the sea in restless movement. It was the army of the world government.

It was splitting. About a quarter of it was remaining at the mouth of the valley at its back. They were digging in and throwing up fortifications.

The much larger section was wheeling – unit by unit- and taking up the march to the east.

The Captain put forth the theory that the army of the East must be threatening Babylon and the world government must be going to its aid.

We are to follow.

Day One Thousand Eleven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All remained mute as Quasimo set us on the path out of the city. Jezer and Tomas stayed behind with a promise to catch up soon. They saw to the needs of the traitor to sustain him until such time as he can break his bonds.

And to take care of the problem, as they framed it, of the tanker truck.

On the rise outside of the city, Reuben fell in beside me and shared something gleaned from the prisoner. If we can believe his tale, he had been sent to investigate the explosion. They, the world government, had no idea who was responsible.

From the top I saw the tanker truck on the goat tracks far to the south.

Day One Thousand Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Mei has brought blessings to everyone, but especially to those suffering in their confidence. It was my honor to introduce her to the Purser and his people.

Her team arrived this morning and immediately set to work organizing our exodus. Each one will take a small group through to the hiding place.

She informed us that the way north is fraught with many dangers – many new security measures have been put in place by the world government.

She has already conferred with Jezer and Tomas to advise them to abandon the tanker truck down here as it would be neither necessary nor practical to take with them.

For the moment I can only imagine what their reaction was to that.

Day Nine Hundred Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah made the first move. Through Reuben’s good judgment he identified the guard with the most influence with the other guards. One who has resisted the despotic bent of the prison’s commandant. And no longer kowtows to the creeds and dictates of the world government headed up by Stan.

By the end of their meeting Elijah gave Magwich what he most desired, the removal of the mark.

At this change of status he immediately offered himself to his brother guards for incarceration.

This they refused to do, instead they joined him.

The word spread throughout the prison and the commandant finding no one left who was aligned with him, barricaded himself in his office (and his despondency) and hung himself.

Day Eight Hundred Eighty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Meesa had never seen a drone before. Knew of them, in theory at least, but had never laid eyes on one.

Jezer was startled upon sighting one on his return from leading four more groups out to the hiding place. He is re-evaluating his hunch that the contention between the governmental factions would give us more time. He thinks it’s a sign that the world government has gained the upper hand by bringing these machines in from the frontlines.

I think we will have to step up our departures.

Of course the others are looking to Elijah to thwart this latest threat to our safety. But he wants to put off his direct intervention for as long as possible.

Day Eight Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Jezer returned this morning.  He was expansive about our prospects for the future. In fact, he has already taken two groups out of the city to the hiding place. And they are hard at work making it habitable for those to follow.

But he also had a word of caution. Among those he led out were some men whose forced labor involved delivery of materials down in the civic center. There they gleaned that two factions, the world government versus the local, were at odds in regards to the disposition of our people.

The locals are for our expulsion. The world government officials want to round us up into concentration camps.

Jezer believes their disagreement will work in our favor.

Day Eight Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It has come to pass sooner than Jezer thought possible. Stricter controls have been dropped in place overnight between the various quarters within the city, and on all the ways in and out.

And demands have been stepped up for more work and longer hours from those who refuse the mark. Rumors are flying about that harsher measures will soon be implemented.

On the plus side Meesa has scheduled meetings for Elijah and me to reach out through the network leaders.

So Elijah and I were resting in preparation for the next series of meetings, when Jezer came in with news that a search is on for us, launched by world government forces in Damascus.

Someone has betrayed our presence.