Day Six Hundred Seventy Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have stayed put today in the nice dry cave Elijah found for us. We need to sort through some issues before making our next move.

Just as we had our news to share with Tomas and the Captain, so too have they returned the favor.

They had observed various scouting patrols in the area, each one checking out the routes up to the mountain pass. All have hastily beat a retreat back down to the plain.

Tomas went out on his own to see what was what. He brought back some unsettling news.

Dire warnings are posted on the roads westward. They warn that radiation is present at dangerous levels.

It must be why the army has not budged.

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Day Six Hundred Fifteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The stamp of feet no longer reverberates throughout the house. The last soldier column passed our crossroads around midnight during my watch.

The silence was welcome.

After my turn on guard I slept and actually got some rest.

Upon rising, Elijah was just returning from some time apart on the causeway. He reported more strangeness.

The farmers were on the roads again, but instead of being bound for the city, they were headed towards the army camp.

We decided to postpone our departure for today. Instead we dispatched the Captain into the city to reconnoiter.

The news he brought back was disconcerting. Not a single man of military age remains in the city, only women or children or old men.

Day Five Hundred Ninety Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We arose early and went in search of our friends. Only a few farmers in carts heading to market shared the roads with us.

We said little on the way in.

When we came to a temple we had passed by yesterday Elijah insisted upon entering. It bore all the signs of rededication to the cult of Stan. An acolyte motioned us forward but we skirted around the morning crowd and made our exit.

With the citizens across the city tied up in similar meetings we quickly got through to the civic center. There the Captain and Tomas were penned in a cage. Their surrounding captors fainted away at Elijah’s approach.

We released them and together returned to the country.

Day Five Hundred Seventy Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have arrived near our destination, but though the way in is clear, we won’t rush.

The Captain put us on our guard earlier this morning. When we had the whole archipelago in view, certain areas glowed brightly in the dark. Very ominous.

The largest island and home to our next port of call looked normal.

We were still the only vessel plying the waters. On our first peek into the harbor, we could see several ships moored at the docks.  And no signs of activity.

The Captain ordered the anchor down in the roads. He wants to wait to see if a pilot boat comes out. He’ll send Tomas in tomorrow.

Elijah and I want to accompany him ashore.

Day Four Hundred Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah won’t be dissuaded. He plans to go on shore at the earliest opportunity.

Our ship has been waiting in the roads all day. The Captain has been giving the authorities a series of excuses as to why we haven’t left yet. Any longer and their patience will be used up.

Neither of us can swim that far, and Elijah doesn’t want to show off by walking in from here.

Tomas thinks our only option would be to go on to the next port and perhaps we will be allowed to land there.

Elijah and I drew apart to discuss that option. Neither one of us felt that was the answer.
We climbed to the highest point on the ship.

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.

Day Four Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I too, caught sight of the ship that Elijah spotted yesterday. And I also believe it to be our former vessel.
It appears now to be holding station off the harbor, awaiting a pilot or permission to enter. On one hand it is reassuring, giving us more time to get to the city; and on the other (at least in me) engendering a concern that it may be gone before our arrival.
Our progress is much as before -stumbling along in starts and stops. Elijah and I now use the down time in different ways. He meditates. I continue the search for ways up.
Recently the presence of homes on the heights raises hopes that they are serviced by roads.

Day Three Hundred Eighty evening #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Enoch writes:

Mary had enough to pay for passage on a riverboat down to a riverfront town which is a hub for roads in the area.

Many refugees have preceded us, but we are told they are keeping to roads that run further inland. They are avoiding the one that we must take to our intended destination.

No one knows why.