Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Because we observed much activity in and around the other well in the vicinity, we gave it a wide berth and passed over ground we had previously not covered.

Elijah kept us on course despite its newness and brought us back into more familiar territory. Looking back further along, we discovered our little detour kept us from crossing paths with not one, but two patrols.

We slowed our pace after that realizing that there were most likely similar units prowling the area.

At one point we froze when we heard a firefight erupt ahead of us. We think neither side noticed our presence, but we stayed in place long after the noise died down, then concluded to pass the night there.

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Day Eight Hundred Thirty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Quasimo’s instructions as to the next waypoint on our desert crossing were somewhat vague. We were to direct our march towards the first mountain peak in a grouping of three until a single larger one came into view in the west.

It was easy enough to set our course in the dying light before setting out, but we were left wondering how we could detect the second in the dark. We may have to consider walking in the daylight hours.

We were able to hike for a couple of hours on the bedrock before it was subsumed again by the desert sands.

Then our pace greatly slowed. Whereas we had been quite talkative before, we fell silent with the exertion.

Day Seven Hundred Nineteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I could not stop thinking about G and his people and the road ahead of them. And wondering if we forgot to relate to them anything that might make their pilgrimage less perilous.

Tomas, thankfully, had given him valuable information for dealing with the Supreme Commander should they run afoul of his massive army. And Elijah wonderfully encouraged him.

This train of thought halted when the Captain spotted movement ahead of us, and for all appearances coming directly for us.

After the briefest of discussions, we continued on our course.

At one point they halted for no other reason I can think of, except they saw us.

It was a caravan of merchants. We passed one another in absolute silence.

Day Five Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas broke into the ward room mid-breakfast to alert the Captain to the presence of a lone ship on the horizon. At once the Captain left for the bridge. Elijah and I followed behind.

The speck was a ship, but whether merchant or a tanker it was impossible to make out for certain, even with binoculars. But by all appearances it was blocking the channel to our next port.

Pirates are not unheard of in this region, so the Captain made a snap decision to change course and make for a port on the opposite side of the island we had been heading for.

Much to everyone’s relief, the speck did not pursue us. It remained steadfast on station.

Day Five Hundred Fifty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain should have known better. Only if Elijah were to change ships would I even consider taking the first mate position on the other ship. Besides its course is counter to ours.

Elijah chided the Captain and suggested that the Raj twin P be offered the position instead. P was called for, but upon hearing the proposal, turned it down.

Another assistant to Tomas was proposed and he accepted.

We dropped him off before our departure this afternoon.

We are a day late leaving port. So both the Captain and I are concerned with what that might mean for us. The Captain sent down orders to crack on with all speed.

Elijah and I repaired to the special cabin.

Day Four Hundred Thirty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are making much better progress. The road keeps within a stone’s throw of the cliff edge as it runs its course, passing a whole series of widely spaced villas. Noticeably it passes by those properties built on points of land that jut out towards the sea. Points that often cut off our advance when below on the beach and held us up until the tide retreated.

We have yet to encounter anyone on the road. Elijah thinks that everyone from out this way has moved into the city. The properties seem all well kept and cared for, so if Elijah is correct it could only have happened recently.

We picked up the pace upon sighting the ship in harbor.

Day Three Hundred Ninety Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

While awaiting direction, Elijah kept to himself and remained at the inn. I roamed the streets of the riverfront town. I think I had it covered all before noon.

I’d hardly seen any of it my first time through with the Purser’s family. Now I consider myself an expert. I could give tours.

Our inn is surrounded by markets, which are constantly supplied by traffic from the river. I took notes on schedules and fares, should we be led up or down river.

Moving out from there I finally came upon the route used by the followers of Hamashiach in their flight from the area. I have the strongest feeling that our course lays along that way.

Let Elijah decide.

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.

Day Three Hundred Sixty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Soon we will be released to be on our way.

In no way were we assured of this outcome at the beginning of our ordeal.

Some time in the night our shadow had slipped around to our front and by morning lay athwart our course. To the Captain it was clear that they would have us halt. Tomas concurred, identifying for the Captain its lone weapon trained on us. A rail-gun.

The guard burst in. The ship had contacted him, following expected protocols. Its recitation of the password removed all of his doubts. His orders required him to transfer his container to its deck.

At that moment Elijah came in to advise the Captain it was safe to accede.

Day Three Hundred Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We began the day by identifying the vessel behind us. Tomas brought in the verdict. It is a warship. The mere knowledge of which fact colors our perception of her as a threat, even though there have been no hostile actions nor even a hint of any.

The Captain’s orders for course and speed remained unchanged throughout the day. He is resigned that little opposition could be mounted in the event of the worst case. His major concern is to keep everyone safe.

He did not come right out and ask Elijah for his aid, but we could tell he was angling for any favor in his power.

Elijah has tried to explain that it does not work that way.