Day Five Hundred Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

No one liked the look of the sky today as we set sail.  It was dark and menacing.

Mr. Kagi haunted the bridge, hovering over each and every decision made by either the Captain or Tomas. And almost precipitated an incident by his insistence that we ignore a directive from the warship to halt.

The Captain sensibly put him in his place.

Thus, we received aboard three more passengers- two guards and their charge, the Raj twin P. We are to deliver them with our cargo.

Thankfully P is not being held under close arrest. So Elijah and I will be allowed to meet with him as long as at least one guard is present.

We will take every opportunity.

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Day Five Hundred Eighty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The crew is restive, in part due to idleness, as all the cargo has been unloaded and for the other part, dwelling on the uncertainty of their future.

Two men from the engine room were listed as overdue from their shore leave. But they should be back for the Captain has decided not to pay off the crew until he knows our final disposition. There is the possibility that we will be sent somewhere else for the handover.

Elijah and I helped Mr. Kagi settle his affairs and set up in a nearby residence. He is unsure what he wants to do next. He has let it be known that he would be willing to ship out with us again.

Day Five Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We took on some cargo unexpectedly.  Actually we had carried it here. The owner, one of the refugees from Stan’s tropical island requested passage and transport of his belongings.

The port authority granted him permission. And shortly after loading was completed we were cleared to leave.

The Captain didn’t waste any time taking us out.

We felt all eyes trained on us as we passed the warship. To our relief they remained in place.

Two other ships departed at the same time. But they soon split from us to take a northerly course.

We were all alone as we headed south.

Our passenger, Mr. Kagi, asked for an audience with the Captain. He proposes we make a run for it.

Day Five Hundred Seventy Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Container after container have been lifted out of the hold. They were transported away as soon as they hit the dock.

By day’s end only the cargo meant for the port we skipped, remained below.

The Captain spent the day ashore chasing down leads for possible buyers for his ship. In so doing he learned that all the other ships at this port had been purchased by the transport service of the global authority, and are awaiting the arrival of their new owners.

This fact laid to rest everyone’s fear of an attack on the port.

Elijah kept out of sight in our special cabin in the daylight hours.

I entered after he emerged, in response to a growing dread.

Day Five Hundred Seventy Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Upon entering the harbor yesterday the Captain sounded the ship’s whistle. And Tomas again led an expedition ashore to find a mooring and to help in the process.

The new day found us settled in. And there were signs of life returning to the city.

Just the curious at first, but soon after some dock workers who went to fetch their bosses.

The main port official made ready to receive our cargo. He also informed us that refugees from the original terminus of our voyage have immigrated here, and are elated at the prospect of claiming their property.

Late in the day, Hans returned to his ship. Scared off, it is said, by stories about Elijah told by the crew.

Day Five Hundred Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We arrived in port in the heat of the day, the harbor completely empty. Before we tied up, however, we were sent packing. And warned to remain at sea until the danger of a tsunami had passed.

An earthquake had struck the island yesterday, centered on their opposite coast. The lone ship we had seen was out there to warn other ships.

When we attained a safe distance, the Captain called us together for a conference.

The Captain felt it necessary that we switch back to the other port, arguing that some of the cargo consigned there may well meet some crucial needs. We all concurred.

And Elijah advised that we remain off the other coast yet one more day.

Day Five Hundred Fifty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

All day the ship has been a veritable hive of activity. We took on a full complement of cargo, for there is a great backlog of containers that ships bearing the mark have refused.

It was also a long day for goodbyes.

Elijah and I each conducted three of our guests to the sign of the fish, and brought back a local to lead more groups. The Raj twin G accompanied the last group to leave after a tearful parting from his brother.

The Captain shared with Elijah the dilemma of the other ship’s captain. He has a pressing need for a first mate and is resisting those with the mark the local authorities are promoting.

Our Captain suggested me.

Day Five Hundred Twenty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The cargo was loaded back in the holds, with room to spare, no need to place any of the containers on deck. An official from the world government stood by watching everything. He even made a pitch to the Captain extolling the benefits of bearing the mark. The Captain declined politely without explanation.

We managed to take on a pilot without an accompanying government representative.

He missed the boat.

When beyond the harbor, Elijah met with the Captain to talk about the next port up the coast. The Captain wanted to skip this port and strike out eastward. But Elijah argued for the risk as he judges it the best port from which the Raj family can start their journey.

Day Five Hundred Twenty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain sent Tomas ashore to confer with the dispatcher about taking on again the cargo that had been off loaded prior to the ship’s entry into dry dock. And to discover if the port is now under global control.

He brought back answers for both questions, plus one other. The Captain had hoped to add some new shipments, but we will only be allowed to take on the old shipments. Indeed the global government is now exerting control – no new shipments will be allowed without “the mark.”

We had a short debate whether to go back in or not.

The Captain brought the ship alongside the cargo dock after the Raj family and Elijah and I were secreted away.

Day Four Hundred Eighty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah wants me to accompany him. Not just ashore, but to continue across this subcontinent and perhaps rejoin the ship at a port on the other side.

I want to go, but not before discharging my responsibilities.

Elijah will wait, but will wander around the waterfront in the meantime.

We have landed the cargo for this port and that of the prior one. Due to our status (i.e. No mark) we will not be allowed to take on any other business. That cuts our time short here. The Captain and I had to battle the port authorities for more time and space to get down to that mystery container.

They only relented, when we shared our suspicions of potential danger.