Day Five Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

There were no overt signs, no indication on any level that this place was given over to the enemy. Not even any posters of Stan’s image staring down from the walls.

But a brooding sense of malignancy made its presence felt at the edge of our senses.

Elijah and I remained in the ship. One look over the ship’s railing was enough for us.

Tomas took P ashore to school him in the purser’s responsibilities with the dispatcher. The other Raj twin G wanted to accompany them, but was told his charge was to remain with the ship.

Tomas brought back surprising news – we will be allowed to load several containers whose owners don’t bear the mark either.

Astonishing indeed.

Day Five Hundred Twenty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are sitting in port at the end of a long day. This city has proven a surprise to all, not the least of which is the fact that it is under local control. Not a hint of the world government anywhere.

I wonder how long that will last.

We have filled the holds and will top off tomorrow by securing a few containers on deck. The Captain is pleased.

Elijah and I bid goodbye and God speed to the Raj family, who will depart from here upon their journey and mission.

They in turn committed to hold us up in prayer before the One. And had a tender parting with the twins, whom they have surrendered to our care.

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 Four Hundred Eighty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The light of the sun now shines into the depths of the ship’s hold. All to reveal a hollow space in the midst of the other containers. Was there ever a container there at all?

Tomas surmises that someone or “someones” on the crew arranged it in order to have a private spot for illicit activity. I’m not so sure. There are no signs that the space was ever occupied. And if ever there was a container to go with the paper work it must have been removed long ago. All that remains is the mystery.

I left Tomas to supervise the reloading and sought Elijah.

I found him only to learn we will not be allowed to stay ashore.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We should arrive at the next port of call sometime in the early morning. Plenty of time to prepare my lists. Or add to the one I had put together already.

In any case, I’ve been instructed to offload the containers due at the port we could not enter. The Captain reasons that someone who can claim them, may be at this “neighboring” port.

I’ve not seen Elijah all day. And Tomas repeated the same observation to me when he dropped in after dinner. He helped me plot a way to bring up the mystery container before making a search for our elusive friend.

Afterwards I swung by the special cabin. No Elijah.

I refreshed my soul before turning in.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas has relieved me from all watch duty. The danger from pirates has past. Though we still exert caution not to call undue attention to ourselves from the patrolling naval vessels which seem to be everywhere.

The Captain estimates that we are three days out from our next port of call. Therefore he asked me to prepare the list of containers that will be offloaded there.

In the process I discovered a listing for a container with no destination information on its original paper work. I queried Tomas about this. He told me he had discovered the same anomaly when he was filling in as purser, but hadn’t had any time to investigate.

I put it first on my list.

Day Four Hundred Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A whirlwind of a day. At the crack of dawn the tug returned with our guests of yesterday. We were granted permission to enter the harbor.

The pilot took us in.

A berth had been cordoned off for our vessel, and as soon as we docked, Emil’s special container was offloaded. All the while the political officer kept Elijah and I under close observation.

If the three containers we were to take back had been ready we would have been out of there in no time. But they weren’t. Granted they had an excuse, they had not been expecting us.

So we had to wait.

Elijah asked permission to go ashore and was denied.

My request as purser was granted.

Day Four Hundred Forty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A lot of prep today to receive the new containers for shipment. I dealt with the challenging puzzle of arranging the stowage so that those shipments last off will go under those off first.

Emil was very helpful in this matter. He has everything arranged on shore to that end. What may hold up things is waiting on the Captain’s final approvalsĀ as to what will go.

By end of day we had the ship ready to receive the new cargo. In our cabin after dinner, Elijah and I talked over our days. He had wandered off into the city to look around. He senses a great loneliness and dispiritedness in all whose path he crossed.

I shared about Emil.

Day Three Hundred Eighty Six late morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah writes:

The Captain has finished offloading this port’s cargo and is now loading containers for future ports.

He is convinced that his family did not come this way, so he will look elsewhere. So, he wants to get underway as soon as his freight is aboard (with or without Enoch’s party). To that end he is seeking permission to leave. So far the answer is in the negative.

We have re-evaluated at which gate to look for our travelers. The southern one seems the more likely.

Day Three Hundred Seventy Seven late morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah writes:

The Captain got us to sea with only a short delay. His plan had been to take aboard as many containers as possible, but curtailed that notion in favor of a few select ones with foodstuffs.

Once underway and with our course set southward, Tomas and I brought the government guard up for questioning.

Tomas doubts his truthfulness, but I thought him quite forthcoming. He had held up all alone at a barracks outside the city. There he found the communications that pulled him back to the ship. That marks the limit of his knowledge.

I know more. The container transferred to the warship was a weapon resupply.