Day Four Hundred Fifty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah convinced me to accompany him ashore in search of Emil. This despite the Captain’s first inclination to leave post haste. Elijah persuaded him that it should prove fruitful to see to the provisioning of the ship.

In this he acquiesced, but unstated I knew his overarching concern was the potential return of the robotic warship.

Elijah led us to Emil’s residence. Along the way, I noticed an unfamiliar phenomenon – the shadows of people etched into the hard surface of the pavement. Unnerving.

The entrance to Emil’s home was on the ground floor of a building. We descended several levels from there. Elijah explained that the entire population though small, lived underground.

Emil and all his belongings were gone.

Day Four Hundred Fifty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We held our station until the robotic warship was out of sight. It was obvious to us that it was patrolling the route between the port cities. Perhaps on the lookout for us.

Then we immediately entered into the island’s port city. No other vessel was currently tied up at the docks. We had our pick of  berths and chose the one closest to Emil’s office. He wasn’t in, so we settled in for the night.

Elijah and the Captain went ashore this morning only to return almost immediately. Not only could they not find Emil, the dock was deserted.

There was a short debate as to what to do.

We decided to unload the three containers ourselves and wait.

Day Four Hundred Fifty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas kept an eye on the pilot as he directed the ship out of the harbor. And for good reason as it turned out. Tomas countermanded his order to increase speed at a critical juncture, and relieved him. The Captain then sent him back to his tug.

Tomas finessed the ship out to the channel. He set a straight course for the northern end of the island, but Elijah convinced Tomas and the Captain that a better strategy would be to continue north out to sea and to come at the island port city from out of the north.

So it was a long but uneventful passage. And we arrived in time to see the departure of a robotic warship.

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 Three Hundred Ninety Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

This has been the longest day. Mile after mile of bush, boring in the extreme for its sameness. Visibility only dropped off in the haziness of the distant horizon to our front. And we kept a wary regard as to what lay behind us. No longer did we see the wilderness through which we had passed, but, then again, neither did we see anyone following us. A good thing, but tempered by the thought of what that meant, that they were perhaps on the trail of the Purser and his family instead.

Elijah and I did use the time to catch one another up on our doings while we were separated. What he shared about the robotic warship haunted me.

Day Three Hundred Eighty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are all together again.

All of us under the blessing.

Our ship is gone, as well as every other vessel that was in the harbor. They took advantage of the narrow window of time granted to them by the robotic warship.

The Captain left word of their plan  to call at a port located on the opposite coast of this continent. We will have the opportunity to rejoin them there if we so desire.

Elijah just smiles. I am convinced that he knew all along this would come to pass. For our plan now is to set out on the trail of the Hamashiachites as soon as preparations can be made.

We soon learn not to reveal our plans.

Day Three Hundred Eighty One late morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah writes:

We had no opposition to our entry into the harbor. No signal nor any communication from the robotic warship.

A swift boat came out and ordered us to heave to. They brought a pilot to bring us in. Within the hour we were tied up at a pier.

The Captain was absent the rest of the day and all night chasing down the harbor master.

In the morning he reappeared. He now knows how and where to offload his cargo, but has also learned that although the warship allows ships in, none have yet been cleared to leave.

Day Three Hundred Eighty late morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah writes:

We arrived off our destination in a blinding storm. And as the rain moved off we discovered that we were not alone. The robotic warship has taken up station outside the harbor.

The Captain has ordered the ship all ahead slow.

Tomas tells me that just like the Purser, his boss is hopeful his family may have escaped to this city.

Day Three Hundred Sixty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The transfer at sea was an arduous process of delicate maneuvering and careful timing. It required all hands into the wee hours of the morning. I assisted what little I could.  

The warship lent no hands for the simple reason that there was not a single living soul aboard. It was all automated. Robotic.

The guard petitioned to join the warship, but was refused. He watched with longing as it turned south and we again took up our easterly course.

The Captain estimated that we have lost a day and a half, and should have the coast of our next destination in view come late tomorrow.

Both Elijah and I believe we shall cross paths with that robotic warship again.