Day One Thousand Seventeen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Since we had not arrived at the third relay point before halting last night, I asked Reuben to make a quick reconnaissance. What looked deceptively close higher up he had found to be much further away. Quasimo was at a loss for he does not remember it being more than one day’s journey distant from the second.

And a thornier problem had intruded.

Another outpost had been set up on the direct route.

He and Quasimo put their heads together and came up with another route.

And that is how we came to backtrack up the hill and down its other side. From there we have paralleled our intended path to keep hidden from the observation of the enemy’s outpost.

Day Nine Hundred Thirty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The tanker truck was still a good way off when we saw it halt at nightfall.

We settled in ourselves, and then arose early to cut across the land to meet it lower down.

We took up observation on the high ground, which gave us an excellent view of the slow moving tanker truck and the winding track, both the direction from which it came and ahead where we assumed it was going.

We were watching from our perch when it rumbled by. At the sight of the driver, Elijah jumped to his feet and seemingly flew down the hillside.

There behind the wheel in the cab of the tanker truck was the former madman from the great city, Elam.

Day Six Hundred Seventy Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The lead elements of the army are no longer in sight, but we are still ahead of the main body. Tomas reports that the bulk of it is building up where the way narrows and they have to pare down their marching order.

Still, over time all of it may pass us by.

Elijah is no longer concerned with this possibility. He remains confident that he can protect them for higher purposes.

Come the end of day, I noticed that the Captain seemed a bit downcast. He didn’t deny it when I talked to him about my observation. He went on to explain that he struggles with how to know the right thing to do.

We talked into the night.

Day Four Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We should arrive at the next port of call sometime in the early morning. Plenty of time to prepare my lists. Or add to the one I had put together already.

In any case, I’ve been instructed to offload the containers due at the port we could not enter. The Captain reasons that someone who can claim them, may be at this “neighboring” port.

I’ve not seen Elijah all day. And Tomas repeated the same observation to me when he dropped in after dinner. He helped me plot a way to bring up the mystery container before making a search for our elusive friend.

Afterwards I swung by the special cabin. No Elijah.

I refreshed my soul before turning in.

Day Four Hundred Fifty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A whirlwind of a day. At the crack of dawn the tug returned with our guests of yesterday. We were granted permission to enter the harbor.

The pilot took us in.

A berth had been cordoned off for our vessel, and as soon as we docked, Emil’s special container was offloaded. All the while the political officer kept Elijah and I under close observation.

If the three containers we were to take back had been ready we would have been out of there in no time. But they weren’t. Granted they had an excuse, they had not been expecting us.

So we had to wait.

Elijah asked permission to go ashore and was denied.

My request as purser was granted.

Day Four Hundred Forty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We followed the Captain back around to the main gate. And were admitted without ceremony.

I could not help but think that had we shown up unaccompanied our reception would have been much less friendly.

Inside the city was as silent and eerie as it seemed from outside. Elijah shared this observation with the Captain, who waited until we were back aboard ship to explain. The city for the most part is empty, very few inhabitants.

I saw this for myself when I accompanied the Captain ashore today. The members of our crew helping to unload outnumbered by far those from the port. And in my new capacity I was limited to one of their counterparts. His name is Emil.

Day Four Hundred One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A raucous rally kept us awake last night. We could hear Stan’s voice excite the crowd with his promises. As he wound up, he announced his intent to hold enrollments at the riverfront inn later on this afternoon.

Elijah and I debated whether or not to drop in on this event. He wanted to. I didn’t. I could see no reason to want to do so. As for his reasons, they sounded to me like simple curiosity. When he confirmed that understanding, I countered with the observation that the only reason to be there at all would be for an all-out confrontation. This brought a twinkle to his eye.

And so he went. I await here for his return.