Day Eight Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Snow remained atop the mountain to our front, lasting well beyond that which has disappeared down here on the desert floor. We should arrive at its base in one more night march.

That occasion will mark the extent of the instructions given to us by Quasimo. Elijah intimates that he has a sense for our next immediate destination, but thus far has not divulged it to me, wanting instead that I confirm it independently.

I am asking, but no answer has been forthcoming. Neither between my first and second watch, nor after the second.

I was tired and nodded off.

Perhaps during tonight’s march. I pray for a revelation.

Before drifting off again my thoughts turned to our absent friends.

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Day Eight Hundred Thirty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Quasimo’s instructions as to the next waypoint on our desert crossing were somewhat vague. We were to direct our march towards the first mountain peak in a grouping of three until a single larger one came into view in the west.

It was easy enough to set our course in the dying light before setting out, but we were left wondering how we could detect the second in the dark. We may have to consider walking in the daylight hours.

We were able to hike for a couple of hours on the bedrock before it was subsumed again by the desert sands.

Then our pace greatly slowed. Whereas we had been quite talkative before, we fell silent with the exertion.

Day Eight Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

As such things often work out when you give yourself to waiting, so the problem with Quasimo corrected itself. And in such a way that it gladdened both Elijah and myself.

Quasimo came to us this morning with the news that one of his cousins now believes. And he credited the joyful outcome to instructions received in a dream over night. He was given the very words to speak to the daughter of his mother’s brother.

This changed the complexion of our thinking too. We no longer feel the necessity to leave today. Rather Elijah considers it paramount that we spend the day with Quasimo and his cousin to prepare them for the task, and train them for the journey.

Day Seven Hundred Twenty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas made a couple of jaunts to our rear to head off any surprises from that quarter. Satisfied he changed his focus to the direction ahead.

In between two such forays Elijah collared him, whispered some instructions and sent him on his way.

I guessed that the thrust of their exchange had to do with the smudge that was then open to our view off to the right of our track.

I know I was curious about it.

It was quite some time before Tomas returned from his exploratory errand.

And I was correct Elijah had indeed dispatched him to discover what lay behind that ‘smudge.’

Tomas was excited. He wanted the Captain to return with him for a look.

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 Four Hundred Fifty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A tug chugged out early to the roads where we three vessels were waiting for entry. We were surprised to see that each vessel received two men from the tug. The mystery was cleared up come time to receive our own charges. One was a pilot, the other was a political officer representing the world government.

The latter made it very clear that we could not enter and conduct any business unless negotiated by someone bearing the mark.

The Captain countered that we were not desirous of entering for any purposes of commerce, but rather only delivering a shipment to the city’s governor from his sister city on the island.

This stymied the duo. They returned to port for instructions.