Day Five Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The crew is scared witless. Elijah has been sharing with them portents of future events. He did temper his vision with reasons to hope, but they have only been able to focus on the downside. I took every opportunity to share with them out of our experience about how that hope is real and has the power to see us through anything.

I passed part of my time today with P to instruct him in the duties of a purser. (Yes, he has been approved for the position by all concerned). He has asked a lot of questions – always a good sign. I encourage him to ask more, as it gives me the best insight into what I should teach.

Day Five Hundred Nineteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were no sooner settled in than we were out again. Some barracks space has been made available to us, Elijah and myself, among the crew for as long as the ship is on the stocks. Or as Tomas has come to call her lovingly “the rust bucket.”

She may need more than a fresh coat of paint, however. All depends upon what they find upon a closer examination.

All hands will be called to help.

We have conferred at length with Tomas and the Captain. Time is not on our side. Just as we have witnessed the aggressive movement in our journeyings of the global faction, so too have they been dogged by similar actions upon their coastal cruise.

Day Five Hundred Eighteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A whirlwind of happenings since yesterday. I’ve hardly had the time to sit down and consider it all. And I’m not sure I will have the time to put it all down. So I’ll have to keep to those things of the most importance.

We had a magnificent reunion.

The crew is all hale and hearty and little changed since last we saw them.

And Tomas declared he was more glad to see me than I him. (I think he is counting on me to take up the Purser’s office again).

We’ll leave that for a future discussion.

We were no sooner settled than the ship was unmoored and taken into dry dock.

We may catch our breath by tomorrow.

Day Five Hundred Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Raj twins, (for such they are), awakened us early and led us on a serpentine crawl across the face of the city. I would not like to make the trip any later.

Elijah reflected an unruffled demeanor upon entering the shipyard. I, by contrast, could not contain my excitement at the prospect of reuniting with the Captain and the crew of the ship.

Two vessels were on the stocks in the dry docks, but neither one was ours. The twins left us at the shipyard office to make our queries.

To our joy the Captain emerged from the office as we were climbing the stairs.

To our questions he gestured to the first in a line of waiting ships.

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 Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah tells me I worry too much. I had been explaining to him my concern about the mysterious container, and the fact that it is buried so deep in the hold that we cannot get at it while we are underway, that he stopped me mid-explanation and told me to forget about it until such time that I can do something.

Sage advice. But how to put it into practice. I feel such responsibility to the Captain, to the crew, and to the ship.

After expressing this sentiment, Elijah gave me a sterner talking to, but in the end let me down gently. I felt more peaceful afterwards. And I realize now I can last til the next port.

Day Four Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The crew has switched to lighter summer attire, and Tomas has allowed the heavier work details to put off  those chores until the cooler parts of the day. Meanwhile the only breeze stirred comes off the bow of the ship.

Elijah spends time with Tomas and those in the crew he has known from before: renewing acquaintance, strengthening and encouraging their walk in the Spirit.

I made my daily report to the Captain. Routine. No changes from yesterday.

For his part, he apprised me of a change in course. Tonight he will order the ship to a northerly tack (to confuse potential pursuers), before resuming our easterly course.

There are possible clients along coastal areas that could signal for services.

Day Four Hundred Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We followed the Captain back around to the main gate. And were admitted without ceremony.

I could not help but think that had we shown up unaccompanied our reception would have been much less friendly.

Inside the city was as silent and eerie as it seemed from outside. Elijah shared this observation with the Captain, who waited until we were back aboard ship to explain. The city for the most part is empty, very few inhabitants.

I saw this for myself when I accompanied the Captain ashore today. The members of our crew helping to unload outnumbered by far those from the port. And in my new capacity I was limited to one of their counterparts. His name is Emil.

Day Four Hundred Forty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We’ve had our reunion. Of sorts. While Tomas remained on duty, the Captain came out to us. It was a joyous occasion.

Especially as we have ascertained that the Captain as well as his crew, remain free of the mark. They have consequently since our parting been forced from some ports which were wholly given over to the world government, including this city’s sister port across the water.

I gave the Captain the messages from his former purser, which he received with thanks. And he greeted my offer to serve in his place with enthusiasm.

Elijah was glad to learn that the ship’s future course remains the same. He was relieved enough to surrender his reluctance to enter the city.

Day Three Hundred Seventy Nine late morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah writes:

The crew is happy to be back on normal shifts. The Captain tells me we are a day away from our next port, barring any unforeseen difficulties. The Purser, in hope, cherishes the thought of being reunited with his family there.

In my wanderings about the ship I chanced across the government guard and spoke to him about the warship. He confirms that the container did indeed contain ammunition.