Day Five Hundred Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We left the metropolis today. But only for the day.

Jordan tells us that one minute Elijah was explaining that we would return, then we were gone, vanished.

Upon our reappearance he asked if he would be able to do the same thing some day. We told him we couldn’t say and could only advise him to stay close to Hamashiach.

As for us, we passed the day in a cold country which was covered in a thick layer of snow. There Elijah poured himself into a gathering of followers of Hamashiach. To judge from appearances they have assembled from several countries.

Strange to think that for a time we were free, and now willingly are back in our problems.

Day Four Hundred Eighty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were lifted on the wings of the Spirit and borne over water and the city itself. And deposited gently in a field beside a road running from the city.

Elijah wasted no time in taking up the advance down the road. I asked why we were bypassing the port city. He explained that he already knew that any followers of Hamashiach had left long ago. And that we no doubt had a long way to go before encountering any, if at all.

Miles and miles of dusty road, and not a village, nor even a house did we pass by. It was like the city behind us had sucked its surroundings into its sprawl, leaving the vast countryside empty.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

While the small boats were transporting the cargo, Elijah hopped a ride to visit the village. I kept count of the items to ensure nothing was missed.

The Captain accompanied the last boat this morning to collect payment and to retrieve Elijah. The Captain confirmed Tomas’ guess as to the future use of the tin and bauxite. The village is merely a way station on its journey to a manufacturing facility.

In his tours of the outskirts, Elijah noticed that camel caravans were coming and going hourly. They will no doubt be the next mode of transport for that shipment.

Elijah also told me that there were absolutely no followers of Hamashiach in the village.
This saddened him very much.

Day Four Hundred Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The last of the boatloads was winched up and stowed aboard this afternoon. I’ve lost track of the amount of trips they’ve made, but I have an exacting account of the amounts of tin and bauxite.

Elijah made a trip ashore to look around and meet the people. He brought back news about the Purser. Some people from the village had heard about his passage northward, and being followers of Hamashiach went out and joined his group.

The shipper has paid half of the shipping costs, and we are to collect our other half from the consignees. (The metals are in trade for items that they have received already).

An eleven hour trip across the mouth of the gulf awaits.

Day Four Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another day ashore, fulfilling my duties as purser plus any other role you could think of. Scheduler, bean counter, nursemaid. Anything to grease the skids.

This was the last day for unloading. Tomorrow we will begin to load outgoing cargo.

The Captain took Elijah with him to review together what cargo that might be. Ever since the incident with that container for that robotic warship he has been wary as to what he will accept.

My day with Emil passed quickly. He will talk about anything to do with our jobs, but turns aside any questions about him personally or what life is like in the city.

I thought I caught him tear up when I mentioned Hamashiach in passing.

Day Four Hundred Twelve #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

While Elijah again accompanied the Purser to meetings, he assigned me the task of going through the entire camp seeking for people bearing the mark.

They have been plagued by lone wolves coming into their midst, feigning allegiance to Hamashiach, and sowing discord instead. My mind sprang back to the man we rescued from the quagmire as a likely example.

Elijah deputized me with his staff. I will take it with me on my assignment as a sign of authority.

It was not long before I knew that this was going to take more than a day to accomplish. At the same time that realization was paired with an unshakable burden. I feel that my every movement is being watched.

Day Four Hundred Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are on the road, and traveling the route that other followers of Hamashiach have taken before us. We left shortly after Elijah returned from Stan’s meeting at the riverfront inn.

The whole town had been there and eager to receive the mark.

However, Stan was only able to bestow the “honors” upon one couple – the very ones who possess the inn in which we last stayed. Stan had no sooner finished with them when the meeting was broken up by a hoard of bees that filled the riverfront area.

Elijah sensed an immediate release. Me too.

Unlike the other route, there are lots of villages lining the road. We shall look for an inn in the next one ahead.

Day Four Hundred #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I have come to the same conclusion. Stan is here to extend and widen the reach of the world government.

But we disagree on what to do next. I believe his appearance was the answer to our “when to leave” question. Now.

Elijah clings to the notion that we still have a responsibility. What that is exactly, remains a mystery.

In my considered opinion, all followers of Hamashiach are safely out of his reach.

A case in point, the former owners of this inn were believers that left. The current possessors, we have learned, simply took over.

All the remaining denizens in this town are ripe to receive the “mark” for his promises.

What is left to do?

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 Ninety One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The decisions have been made. We parted. The Purser took his family up to the escarpment eastward. Elijah and I took the harder climb to the north, our immediate destination the riverfront town. 
We are all comfortable with our decisions. Each party discerns the hand of the One upon them. Before parting, Elijah took the Purser aside. In particular he entrusted to him a message that is to be passed on to any followers of Hamashiach they may come across. 

Meridian had come and gone by the time we bid each other God speed. We were atop the escarpment with the city still in view when night fell. 

Far below a large party exited the city. 

Are they in pursuit?