Day Six Hundred Sixty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah remained in one of the two rooms we have taken in the inn, while the rest of us went out to look around the town. I don’t believe he will stir from there for the next few days. I am considering leaving our room solely to him and joining our friends in theirs.

We split up upon leaving the inn.

Tomas visited the town center, its marketplace and civic buildings. He reported an encouraging lack of presence on the part of the global authority. And no posters of Stan anywhere.

The Captain checked for transportation alternatives over the mountains. We have several possibilities.

I walked down by the river. It was even lower there than upstream.

We returned exhausted.

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Day Six Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lots of bushy scrub in the area we passed through over night. Much easier to avoid mishaps when the moon was up. Or so the Captain learned. He was tripped up twice.

I did see lights in the sky that were not stars, flitting from one side of the sky to the other. More of those machines that Elijah says are looking for us. And per Tomas, guided from within by men.

I sense the hand of Stan at work. Perhaps not directing each individual action, but setting the pattern as they perform his bidding.

We called it an early night and went into camp before the sun cleared the horizon.

Elijah stood vigil while we ate, then turned in.

Day Six Hundred Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We all made the trek to the city. Beforehand we prepared by rehearsing among ourselves what to do if stopped and confronted. We intended to scatter and make our way back individually.

Elijah was silent throughout our time in the huddle. We took it for his tacit approval.

None of us knew what to expect actually regarding this announcement. We saw giant speakers mounted in the square, so it seemed natural to assume a satellite radio connection.

We were shocked along with the whole crowd when Stan’s moving image appeared above the speakers on the walls of the building behind them.

Stan declared peace to the world, and made extravagant promises.

We had no problem returning through the cheering crowd.

Day Six Hundred Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Some unusual activity today. The Captain and Tomas told us later about the waves of soldiers passing through the area. Thankfully they were not stopping anywhere along their route. Elijah and I missed it for we were off in the city for news.

Everything appeared calm and even dull there. We attracted notice in certain sections, but there was a marked difference in the willingness of the people to respond when we talked to them. It made us curious.

We discovered why on our way back. Fresh posters were mounted on the walls outside the temple. They announced that Stan would deliver a message to the world in two days and included a simple admonition – to be kind to everyone.

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.