Day Five Hundred Thirty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain has ordered the ship to full speed, day and night. The engineer has been up a couple of times to express his concern about the impact on the engines. Only the most crucial repairs had been undertaken at the time the ship was in the dry dock. There were some minor issues that were glossed over due to their haste back then. The engineer is fearful that pressing them to the limits of their endurance may eventuate in more serious problems.

The Captain listened politely, asked if there was any more speed to be had, and when the engineer replied in the negative, dismissed him back to the engine room.

Elijah keeps himself occupied in the special cabin.

Day Five Hundred Thirty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A robotic warship lay off the port. Beyond it fortifications at the harbor mouth were smoking ruins.

A message came over the satellite radio from the warship – an order for us to come alongside. At its direction we delivered the second container over the side to them.

Thus our surmisal proved correct.

We were cleared to enter the harbor to drop off the first container, which we did in the quickest manner possible.

It was eerie being the only ship at the port. The local authorities were very differential.

I guess they wanted us gone as soon as possible.

When we returned to the ocean the warship disappeared in the direction towards the port we had quitted four days ago.

Day Five Hundred Thirty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I had a dream in the early morning. I was jolted out of a deep sleep by a rhythmic pounding reverberating throughout the ship.

I left our cabin. There the pounding became muffled, but I could see a globe of light glowing as though through the bulkheads, emanating from somewhere below.

My footsteps took me to its source – the first container strapped to the deck.

The minute I touched its door, I awoke for real.

I looked to Elijah’s bunk. He was not there.

I encountered Tomas in the passageway. He had been on watch and saw a light down on the deck.

We found Elijah peering in through its open door.

We passed the day combing through its contents.

Day Five Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

There were no overt signs, no indication on any level that this place was given over to the enemy. Not even any posters of Stan’s image staring down from the walls.

But a brooding sense of malignancy made its presence felt at the edge of our senses.

Elijah and I remained in the ship. One look over the ship’s railing was enough for us.

Tomas took P ashore to school him in the purser’s responsibilities with the dispatcher. The other Raj twin G wanted to accompany them, but was told his charge was to remain with the ship.

Tomas brought back surprising news – we will be allowed to load several containers whose owners don’t bear the mark either.

Astonishing indeed.

Day Five Hundred Twenty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Raj twins are fascinated with the workings of the ship. They followed me about everywhere, from the depths to the heights.

The one, whom we call G, was particularly enamoured of those things that are done routinely for the maintenance of the ship, as a result, most likely, from his experiences in the shipyard.

His brother P expressed more interest in what Tomas does when functioning as Purser.

This would be fine by me, for I have not felt right about taking it on this time around. As long as the other parties involved agree – Tomas, the Captain, but especially Elijah.

For now, Elijah feels we are beyond the reach of the global government. And hopes to stay ahead.

Day Five Hundred Twenty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain sent Tomas ashore to confer with the dispatcher about taking on again the cargo that had been off loaded prior to the ship’s entry into dry dock. And to discover if the port is now under global control.

He brought back answers for both questions, plus one other. The Captain had hoped to add some new shipments, but we will only be allowed to take on the old shipments. Indeed the global government is now exerting control – no new shipments will be allowed without “the mark.”

We had a short debate whether to go back in or not.

The Captain brought the ship alongside the cargo dock after the Raj family and Elijah and I were secreted away.

Day Five Hundred Twenty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

When the Raj twins failed to return from the shipyard over night, the rest of their family begged us to seek them out.

Since Elijah and I were aware of the push to finish repairs on our ship, we weren’t too concerned, and explained our reasoning. This calmed them until rumors electrified the streets that global security forces were entering the city.

We left immediately for the shipyard, taking the family with us. They realized that now is the time.

We were the first to arrive at the yard with the news, and in turn were surprised to see our ship again afloat.

The Captain brought everyone aboard, reuniting the family with the twins.

We standby for our next move.

Day Five Hundred Twenty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I returned with the Raj twins to their family last night. We have a lot to do in a short time.

This morning we stayed with the family rather than going back to the shipyard. (We would only be underfoot and in the way if we tried to help with the ship’s repair).

Elijah has laid out for the family a plan and a route for their future journey. They are eager to comply and are pressing us for a word on when they should depart. All we can tell them is that they will know within themselves when the time is right.

They have balked however at Elijah’s insistence that the twins accompany us on the ship.

Day Five Hundred Nineteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We were no sooner settled in than we were out again. Some barracks space has been made available to us, Elijah and myself, among the crew for as long as the ship is on the stocks. Or as Tomas has come to call her lovingly “the rust bucket.”

She may need more than a fresh coat of paint, however. All depends upon what they find upon a closer examination.

All hands will be called to help.

We have conferred at length with Tomas and the Captain. Time is not on our side. Just as we have witnessed the aggressive movement in our journeyings of the global faction, so too have they been dogged by similar actions upon their coastal cruise.

Day Five Hundred Eighteen #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A whirlwind of happenings since yesterday. I’ve hardly had the time to sit down and consider it all. And I’m not sure I will have the time to put it all down. So I’ll have to keep to those things of the most importance.

We had a magnificent reunion.

The crew is all hale and hearty and little changed since last we saw them.

And Tomas declared he was more glad to see me than I him. (I think he is counting on me to take up the Purser’s office again).

We’ll leave that for a future discussion.

We were no sooner settled than the ship was unmoored and taken into dry dock.

We may catch our breath by tomorrow.