Day One Thousand One Hundred #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

My thoughts turned to Quasimo today. No doubt prompted by our new surroundings.

Tomas and Mr Kagi have ensconced us in a palatial villa very much like the one in which Quasimo had us pause for a meal on our way out of Babylon, not long after Stan thought he had eliminated Elijah and myself.

To get to it they led us by immense holding pens in which many loyal citizens of the world government had been incarcerated. The stench from within was horrific.

Apathy and neglect can be as deadly as overt hostility.

Tomas no sooner had left when he returned with another guest in tow. Quasimo’s cousin.

She had been sent from the hiding place to retrieve us.

Day One Thousand Ninety Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All the other members of our group concur, even those who feel their purpose on this mission has been fulfilled. This despite other factors that mitigate against our continued presence here in Babylon.

We had two such encounters yesterday on our outing. Elijah learned that an internment camp for world government soldiers was nearby and asked our guard to take us there.

The guard was reluctant and after more persuasion gave in. Afterwards he exuded an air of vindication having been forced to rescue us from assaults aimed at Elijah, “the great Disturber of the nations.”

Mawuli said it was much the same treatment meted out to the group led by his parents on their journey to the promised land.

Day One Thousand Eighty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All we saw along the way were signs of the passage of the massive army. We were in its wake and evidently far from its point of contact with the world government’s forces.

I, for one, was glad of it. For I know that the day will come when I shall be face to face with the ultimate carnage. Sooner than it has ever been.

Sy and Elam alternated turns in the advance with Mawuli. The lad is indefatigable.

Mei is greatly buoyed in spirit by our brief sojourn with Lung and her old unit. She was talking with the Captain and asked what he hoped for from our mission.

As one could guess this raised the topic of Tomas.

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.

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.