Day Six Hundred Twenty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We emerged down from our mountain track onto another wide open expanse. Our path has diverged greatly from the lower altitude passage used by the army. We cannot even see from here if they have yet made it through.

There is a good chance that Elijah’s desire to pass up the army will happen.

We continued on at a good pace, with Elijah answering the eager questions of our guides, and instructing them in the ways of the Spirit.

When our path arrived at a fork, we held up for the night, for we have some important decisions to make.

The southern branch intersects with that of the army.  The other leads to a village where our guides have relatives.

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Day Six Hundred Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We actually saw the squad of soldiers coming a minute before our neighbor’s signal. And like he thought they tackled his home first.

The Captain and Tomas had plenty of time to hide themselves in the tunnel.

When the soldiers finished banging around our neighbor’s home, they regrouped outside, conferred briefly, then entered our dwelling.

Elijah stood immovable in the middle of the great room. The soldiers ignored him, peppering me instead with their questions.

Because we are obviously foreigners, I believe they stayed longer than at our neighbor’s, scouring through our things.

At long last they departed, and when they did, they took the guards at the crossroads with them.

Our friends emerged, having spent the whole time praying.

Day Five Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The crew is scared witless. Elijah has been sharing with them portents of future events. He did temper his vision with reasons to hope, but they have only been able to focus on the downside. I took every opportunity to share with them out of our experience about how that hope is real and has the power to see us through anything.

I passed part of my time today with P to instruct him in the duties of a purser. (Yes, he has been approved for the position by all concerned). He has asked a lot of questions – always a good sign. I encourage him to ask more, as it gives me the best insight into what I should teach.

Day Five Hundred Ten #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

One plus about this jungle – we do pass other travelers, and thankfully none of them are officers of the global government. They are either merchants or peasants traveling to or from the metropolis.

Elijah queries each one upon encounter about Hamashiach. But so far all have hurried on, expressing no curiosity by asking any questions in return.

One merchant even became belligerent, and would have struck Elijah except that he clearly saw that Elijah’s staff was bigger than his.

With a snarl he continued on towards the metropolis.

I am sure he fully intends to report the encounter to the authorities.

But we should be through this jungle and well on our way before anyone can get up a pursuit.

Day Five Hundred Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are being hemmed in. By other people, by circumstances. Our expectations and plans lie in tatters.

The global security forces have locked up the ingress and egress points around the entire metropolis. Which puts us in a dilemma. We are closer than ever to catching up to the Hamashiachite. But if we stay another day to make that happen, we may never be able to leave.

Elijah remains upbeat, exhorting me with the truth that it will all work out for the good.

He is especially moved by the fact that the attitudes of some of the people in the slum are changing towards us. A few are even responding by asking us questions.

For now we will stay.

Day Four Hundred Ninety Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have moved again. The area of the river has proven a disappointment. No shop under the sign of the fish has yielded any followers of Hamashiach, though we have one lead that has taken us further into the metropolis.

It took longer to find a place to stay, as this new area is central and quite populous. So many people chase the same vacancies. However, we were able to ask questions as we went about that business.

The bigger crowds were thronging the temple-like structures similar to the one we were in five days ago. I learned they have all been recently converted and are now places to honor the supreme leader.

With that knowledge we avoid them.

Day Four Hundred Sixty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Questions abound. Should we go after Emil? And his people? Should we destroy the three cargo containers? Many think we should reload them and drop them in the sea.

I guess, to state it simply, the question is what do we do next?

The Captain had made his decision to depart when word passed up from below deck that Elijah and Tomas had slipped ashore earlier.  The Captain was furious. And he proceeded to take it out on me.

I had come to a decision myself.

While we awaited their return I thought we should reload the containers. I argued that they just might prove useful, and we could always jettison them if necessary.

So we did, and then waited.

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 Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A momentous day of broadening horizons. We indeed did turn our steps southward and revisited the tiny fishing village.

Elijah inquired of one of the villagers if there were any port cities further to the south. The villager was in the midst of enumerating three such cities when I noticed for the first time a huge land mass stretching across the ocean’s horizon in front of us. And I realized that cloudy weather had obscured it from us ever since our arrival.

Elijah switched his questions to this large island, and learned that there is a major port on its northern side.

Before leaving we made arrangements to ship out to said port with the fishing fleet early tomorrow morning.

Day Four Hundred Fifteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The base camp for the drone may have been found, but that left some questions unanswered; such as, who placed it there – who tended it – and are they still in the vicinity.

It had occurred to me that it may not be just one individual. Elijah supported my supposition and advised setting a watch on the accesses to the promontory heights. The Purser made the assignments.

I again went out to finish my canvass of the settlement. But instead of Mawuli, Elijah accompanied me. (So I surrendered his staff back to him).

We were at the furthest reaches of the camp when Elijah raised his countenance and his staff to the sky. And a flaming star fell from its height.