Day Five Hundred Thirty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As predicted we arrived just off our destination in the early afternoon. There was a lot of traffic – more coming out than going in. We took our place in line, and waited our turn.

The Captain came to me to ask after Elijah. The last I knew he was going to the special cabin, so I replied that he was more than likely still there. The Captain then inquired if Elijah had any plans to go ashore.

I had to plead ignorance.

Not wanting to disturb him, we waited.

Elijah emerged around the time our turn to enter port came up. Unbidden he declared we were not going ashore, saying this city is completely given over to the dark one.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are hopeful that the danger from pirates is past. The Captain thinks this likely as we are now headed towards the seat of the world government.

It is not our destination. Indeed, we shall not be heading into the gulf off of which it is being built. But we assume there will a strong naval presence, and hence a deterrent to piratical activity.

I am still pulling extra watches.

During the afternoon one I split my attention between the sea around us and the shoreline on our port. At one point some movement alarmed me – among the dun-colored rocky hills shoreward, streams of white dots were swarming.

An amused Elijah told me they were only flocks of goats.

Day Four Hundred Seventy One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

When Tomas joined me on my afternoon watch, he was expecting our imminent arrival at the next destination.

During the ensuing wait he floated a guess as to the purpose of our latest shipment. He believes they are meant for use in the manufacture of satellite communication equipment. Word was circulating in some recent ports of call that the world government was looking to re-establish the global networks.

Although neither Elijah nor I had heard any mention of this in our travels, it certainly seemed reasonable.

But when the Captain passed word that we had arrived, the sight of the small village before us seemed to belie that notion. Again small boats were utilized to transport the goods ashore.

Day Four Hundred Forty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Heavy rains moved in today. The Captain’s concern grew when the wind picked up. He ordered the ship underway after a thorough checking of the lashings. In charge of that detail, Tomas had some of them doubled.

I watched from the bridge as the shoreline slid by. Elijah pointed out the rickety staircase by which we climbed up off the beach. The wind then died and a mist settled in along the coast of the island.

We were no sooner into the channel between the island and the mainland when the wind freshened. And within seconds day turned to blackened night and the wind mounted in ferocity.

The Captain commanded the ship about and we sailed away from our destination.

Day Four Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Today was a day of confusion and frustration. Though we could see our ship, that was all. We had arrived at our desired destination by the time the sun reached its zenith. There is no access into the city on this side.

We did gain the attention of those on watch by jumping up and down and other such similar antics. Tomas appeared at their call and we tried shouting to one another across the distance, to no avail. Elijah took his consequent pantomime to mean that the Captain was ashore and that we should enter the city by the main gate. A course of action I was all for, but one that Elijah rejected most vehemently.

We waited instead.

Day Three Hundred Eighty late morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah writes:

We arrived off our destination in a blinding storm. And as the rain moved off we discovered that we were not alone. The robotic warship has taken up station outside the harbor.

The Captain has ordered the ship all ahead slow.

Tomas tells me that just like the Purser, his boss is hopeful his family may have escaped to this city.

Day Three Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The transfer at sea was an arduous process of delicate maneuvering and careful timing. It required all hands into the wee hours of the morning. I assisted what little I could.  

The warship lent no hands for the simple reason that there was not a single living soul aboard. It was all automated. Robotic.

The guard petitioned to join the warship, but was refused. He watched with longing as it turned south and we again took up our easterly course.

The Captain estimated that we have lost a day and a half, and should have the coast of our next destination in view come late tomorrow.

Both Elijah and I believe we shall cross paths with that robotic warship again.

Day Three Hundred Sixty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The lone guard sent word to the Captain that he desired to speak with him.

He was quite agitated when the Captain, in the course of his rounds, at long last arrived. He demanded to know what exactly the Captain planned to do to ensure the security of his government’s container. He was aware of our shadow and the reports of various crew members have been feeding his suspicions.

The Captain explained his thoughts on the matter, much to the guard’s dissatisfaction.

I chimed in with the possible explanation that the warship may just have the same destination and only appears to be following us. And that we should not read anything more into it than we have evidence for.

Day Three Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was in error.

The other ship was not moving at all. It was the motion of our ship, its momentum, that created the impression in my mind that the other vessel was approaching. The Captain saw it right off.

And he also slowed our approach to better evaluate what we were getting ourselves into.

The bloody morass still lay off in the distance on our right. And it now appeared that we had a similar phenomenon far to our left. Was the way ahead the only channel through to our destination?

The Captain decided to press on. Perhaps our answer lies with the becalmed ship.

The Captain has ordered all hands on the alert, both day and night crews.

Day Three Hundred Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are underway. It was a swift passage out of the harbor. We were in the open sea in short order. Next stop – our island, in about three days, according to the calculations of the Captain. And that soon only if all goes well.

The Purser informs us that we have a new passenger. One of the world government officials has stayed on to accompany their container to its destination. He has a berth forward with the night crew. The Captain insisted on the arrangement.

Elijah pressed the Purser for a description of its contents, but he said he can’t. It’s a matter of his integrity. We understand completely.

We trust that whether we know or not will not matter.