Day Five Hundred Ninety Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Despite our entreaties to the Captain and Tomas to stay out of the city, they left the safety of this place for that very destination. The Captain in particular was miffed that we had done the very thing we were denying them.

In the end Elijah extracted a promise from them to return before sundown.

While they were gone we had a visit from a neighbor. He, like Mr. Kagi and his friend, is an exile from the islands. He is very bitter about his loss, and felt comfortable in our presence to vilify Stan the one who had taken everything from him.

Our neighbor departed with the setting sun. And our concern grew at the absence of our friends.

Day Five Hundred Ninety Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Both the Captain and Tomas have finally gotten their land legs. The wait has been beneficial, for it afforded them time to concentrate on plans for the future. Elijah has been very supportive, preparing them for being on their own. For our paths may soon be diverging.

I took a walk around the immediate vicinity to get my bearings. This proved helpful for when Elijah and I made our way back into the city, we didn’t fall off the causeway into the rice paddies, going out or returning.

The city which had seemed empty from the ship in the darkness has transformed into a teeming anthill of people.

Strikingly, we each came away sensing the presence of a hostile spirit.

Day Five Hundred Ninety Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A day for goodbyes.

Most of the crew will be staying with the ship, if only to return to their homes whose ports were announced in the future itinerary. Others with no attachments want to spend their money and look about before shipping out again. Elijah met with them all after the transport service official’s time with them. It was a time to encourage and wish one another God speed.

We debarked with the Captain and Tomas in the heat of the afternoon. Mr. Kagi accompanied us to the gangplank in his first duty as captain. Before parting he gave us the name of a fellow exile from the islands.

Through his compatriot we found this place in the country.

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.

Day Five Hundred Ninety One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The darkness barely lifted yesterday, and has returned with a vengeance today. It appears darkest at the point of the compass that marks our heading.

The Captain remarked to me that if he did not have Elijah’s strong word of confirmation, he would have turned aside.

Elijah and I took turns in the special cabin. Time spent here in our estimation is an indispensable preparation for the ordeal ahead. I know for my part I emerged energized and confident.

We divided our remaining time between the crew and P.

P informed us that he has been treated well. (This, under the guard’s watchful eye). I did note a few facial bruises, but said nothing. His devotion to Hamashiach is unwavering.

Day Five Hundred Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

No one liked the look of the sky today as we set sail.  It was dark and menacing.

Mr. Kagi haunted the bridge, hovering over each and every decision made by either the Captain or Tomas. And almost precipitated an incident by his insistence that we ignore a directive from the warship to halt.

The Captain sensibly put him in his place.

Thus, we received aboard three more passengers- two guards and their charge, the Raj twin P. We are to deliver them with our cargo.

Thankfully P is not being held under close arrest. So Elijah and I will be allowed to meet with him as long as at least one guard is present.

We will take every opportunity.

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 Eighty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Complaints were lodged with the authorities against Elijah and myself by someone or “someones” with whom we talked yesterday. They claimed that we attempted to seduce people away from fealty to Stan and the world order. And made even wilder accusations that we were kidnappers.

This hubbub has made the Captain’s negotiations regarding the ship all the more difficult. He’ll go back tomorrow after they have  some time to calm down.

Then there were some consequences. He has confined us to the ship for the immediate future.

Elijah was compliant for the space of an hour, before deciding to go ashore by himself. I prevailed upon him to go to the Captain with his plan.

He relented and we went.

Day Five Hundred Eighty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was the same warship that loomed over us at the last port. Manned, not robotic. They brought instructions for how our ship is to be handed over.

The port authority briefed our Captain this morning. We are to sail to the mainland, the gateway to the East, and turn the vessel over to the global transport service, based there.

Elijah is elated. He says it is exactly where we need to be next.

However the Captain thinks we won’t be able to go right away. He refuses to make the trip without shipments, and currently there are none from this port. And then there’s the matter of our trading without the mark.

It may be the final stumbling block.

Day Five Hundred Eighty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I wandered around the port today trying to converse with people. I noted a higher than usual distrust toward strangers.

In a couple of instances Elijah was able to penetrate their defenses and gain an understanding of their predicament.

After the time of the Glorious Appearing a great many people  on this island disappeared. (We know what happened. They don’t.) Those left moved into the vacant properties and businesses, and are plagued by the notion that the rightful owners could return at any time.

We tried to explain the truth, but that made them all the more fearful.

All this was forgotten upon our return to ship at the sight of a warship tied up next to us.