Day Five Hundred Ninety Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Despite our entreaties to the Captain and Tomas to stay out of the city, they left the safety of this place for that very destination. The Captain in particular was miffed that we had done the very thing we were denying them.

In the end Elijah extracted a promise from them to return before sundown.

While they were gone we had a visit from a neighbor. He, like Mr. Kagi and his friend, is an exile from the islands. He is very bitter about his loss, and felt comfortable in our presence to vilify Stan the one who had taken everything from him.

Our neighbor departed with the setting sun. And our concern grew at the absence of our friends.

Day Five Hundred Eighty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Complaints were lodged with the authorities against Elijah and myself by someone or “someones” with whom we talked yesterday. They claimed that we attempted to seduce people away from fealty to Stan and the world order. And made even wilder accusations that we were kidnappers.

This hubbub has made the Captain’s negotiations regarding the ship all the more difficult. He’ll go back tomorrow after they have  some time to calm down.

Then there were some consequences. He has confined us to the ship for the immediate future.

Elijah was compliant for the space of an hour, before deciding to go ashore by himself. I prevailed upon him to go to the Captain with his plan.

He relented and we went.

Day Five Hundred Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Another surprise has surfaced after the Captain broached the topic of the global transport service. The port authority here has not even heard of it, and were at a loss how to advise him what he should do next. They promised to look into the problem.

So we may be here well after the unloading is finished.

The Captain handed the payments to Tomas for research.

He was astonished to discover that the monies were due Mr. Kagi.

Tomas informed the Captain, who turned the funds over to our passenger with an explanation. Mr. Kagi was bowled over. And greatly amused. For he was sure it all would have been confiscated by Stan in his take over of the islands.

Day Five Hundred Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah agreed with the Captain’s decision to avoid the next port of call.

We were surprised that these were the first words out of his mouth upon emerging from the special cabin. For he had held up in there for the past two days.

He then added cryptically that this port will be the end of the voyage. For everyone.

The Captain began to protest. And stated that the end was always supposed to be on the tropical islands at the center of this immense ocean.

To this Elijah answered that the people awaiting the shipments were no longer there. All the inhabitants had been removed forcibly on Stan’s orders. He now holds the islands as his personal possession and retreat.

Day Five Hundred Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The atmosphere on this island is distinctly unfriendly. The Captain is puzzled by this and he admits to a battle within himself to not be hostile in return.

The cleanup on shore goes on around the clock. So perhaps the attitude could be ascribed to exhaustion and a seemingly unending undertaking.

But Elijah and I made a couple more forays and brought back another explanation.

The prevailing talk points to their deep sense of guilt over their lukewarmness towards the cult of Stan. (Some attribute it to their abandonment of the past, but they are a minuscule minority).

Because they will do anything to appease Stan, we predict things will get uglier.

The Captain concurs. We need to leave – soon.

Day Five Hundred Thirty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

By Elijah’s estimation we have passed the three quarters mark on our way around the world. I have noticed that judging by these last two encounters, the region we are now entering is in every way rebellious. And are targets of the global authority to add them to their sphere of influence.

To my mind the challenge is not only to get out ahead of Stan and his minions, but also to avoid being used by them in their plans for subjugation.

Elijah, however, on the second point sees this region as too far gone to be concerned about their independence. He feels they are enslaved already and are just coming to their true master.

The Captain just wants to go.

Day Five Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

In the end it was G’s team that uncovered what we were looking for. We had emptied the container completely, discovering only a poster depicting a triumphant Stan pasted on the back wall.

G’s team had been charged today with putting everything back into place. They brought their discovery to Tomas who identified it as a transponder carried on naval vessels. (We assume that Tomas was absent when it first was taken out of the container).

Tomas said the device is in contact with a warship that is also on course to the same port to which we are headed.

We are all certain – the Captain, Elijah and myself – that the second container holds a weapon resupply for that vessel.

Day Five Hundred Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The current realities are sending ripples of distrust and agitation through the slums, making it very hard to gain the good will of anyone we question. Most dismiss us outright, which frustrates Elijah.

But he won’t give up.

It seems the closer we come to the edge of the metropolis the more recent are the sightings of the lone follower of Hamashiach.

We’ve agreed to give it one more day here in the slums, then we will depart the metropolis and again take up our march to the other coast.

Others are also circulating the area in our wake announcing the rule of new masters in the city and handing out photos of the supreme leader, our “old friend,” Stan.

Day Four Hundred Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are exhausted. I believe we got better than a day’s march in. So we are very close to the end of this wilderness. Perhaps by midday tomorrow.

There are now indications that a great number of people have passed this way. Such a fact goes a long way to explain why we have had no sightings of wild beasts. They have fled deeper into the wilderness.

I will take the first watch while Elijah turns in. Throughout the day our discussions revolved around what may lie behind us. So my vigilance will be focused in that quarter. And not simply because we believe Stan will eventually follow us.

We have passed by sojourners from the west bearing the mark.

Day Four Hundred Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We have reached the last village on this plateau. Ahead a vast wilderness awaits. I figure it must be part of the other one we crossed a few days ago further to the west.

The locals tell us that we must plan for at least three days to pass through to the other side. They also inform us to be prepared to ward off wild animals.

As we have dealt with that type of problem before, we are unconcerned. I am concerned, however, if Stan is in pursuit. It wouldn’t do to be overtaken in such a place.

For now Elijah thinks he is probably too busy trying to pull things together after his failed meeting in the riverfront town.