Day Five Hundred Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The sun gave promise of burning through the fog by the late hours of the morning.  And indeed were dispelled the minute that the transport service official stepped onto the deck.

Much to the relief it seemed to the local denizens, whom we at last saw milling about in the sun.

Elijah and I took it as our cue to stay out of sight.

The official asked the Captain if he would continue with the ship. As this would require taking the mark, he declined. So did Tomas.

Mr. Kagi spoke up and volunteered himself for consideration. The official was noncommittal and went off to canvass the crew.

He left word that those not staying needed to depart by tomorrow.

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Day Five Hundred Eighty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Though the port authorities signed off on our proposal, we did have one more hurdle to overcome. The commander of the warship, as the senior representative of the global government at this location, needed to grant his permission.

He kept us on tenterhooks all morning as he mulled over his decision. At last it came in the affirmative, with one proviso – we must carry some supplies for their ships at our next port.

The Captain agreed, and was happy to, as that meant taking on less ballast for the voyage.

Later, upon observing two containers being lashed to the deck rather than placed in the hold, I remarked to Elijah that it appeared we would be resupplying that robotic warship.

Day Five Hundred Fifty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Strangely uneasy all day.  But no one else aboard shares my apprehension.

It started this morning over breakfast. The dawn was slow arriving. The darkness clung everywhere, refusing to lift and give place to the light.

I mentioned this to Elijah. He only shrugged his shoulders and kept eating.

I planned to take some exercise on the deck, stopping first to check in on the bridge. Both the Captain and Tomas were present. But each was irritated about something, so I took the cue and launched into my walk down below.

It seemed to me that the storm of a couple of days ago had returned, only this time it was internal instead of external.

Time for the special cabin.

Day Five Hundred Thirty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I had a dream in the early morning. I was jolted out of a deep sleep by a rhythmic pounding reverberating throughout the ship.

I left our cabin. There the pounding became muffled, but I could see a globe of light glowing as though through the bulkheads, emanating from somewhere below.

My footsteps took me to its source – the first container strapped to the deck.

The minute I touched its door, I awoke for real.

I looked to Elijah’s bunk. He was not there.

I encountered Tomas in the passageway. He had been on watch and saw a light down on the deck.

We found Elijah peering in through its open door.

We passed the day combing through its contents.

Day Five Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our time of departure was a busy one. It was another long wait in line.

We were riding a little higher than before, due to offloading a full third of the containers we had been carrying. What we took on from this port was not even half that difference.

Tomas is pleased with the progress P is making in the Purser’s position. He didn’t even have to recommend that the two containers destined for our next port be placed on deck. P made that decision without anyone’s tutelage.

However, his brother G is having a struggle in his position. He has not been accepted by the men assigned to serve under him.

Elijah and I will meet with him tomorrow.

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 Forty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain has signed off on transporting Emil’s special container. It has been maneuvered out to the dockside.

There it is undergoing its last review. Emil himself is running through the checklist prior to its placement atop the pyramid of containers secured to the deck. After all, last on, first off.

Elijah looks on. Approving and very satisfied with himself.

As part of the deal, we will be returning to this port with two or three containers in an agreed upon trade.

The Captain watches our endeavors from his perch on the bridge high above us. He is too distant to make out his feelings at this moment.

I look forward to the end of this day. And time alone.

Day Three Hundred Eighty Two late morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah writes:

I paced the deck all night waiting for the hour when I would be allowed to leave the ship. I had to wrestle with the Captain over the issue. Though I won the point I had to agree to return before nightfall.

The price of not having Enoch with me.

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.