Day Five Hundred Forty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Only a few ships are tied up in this port. From early on it was warm and humid, building to hot and oppressive by the end of the day. Life moves at a snail’s pace in consequence.

Though we have been here for some time, we are still waiting for men and equipment to begin the unloading process.

Tomas and P have been ashore twice to see the port authority.  On the first attempt they were not even given an audience. And on the second, though they saw the head man himself, they were dismissed until later this evening.

The pair did look around the docks, and P even ventured into the city.

As Elijah knew beforehand, P brought word.

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 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 Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our time of departure was a busy one. It was another long wait in line.

We were riding a little higher than before, due to offloading a full third of the containers we had been carrying. What we took on from this port was not even half that difference.

Tomas is pleased with the progress P is making in the Purser’s position. He didn’t even have to recommend that the two containers destined for our next port be placed on deck. P made that decision without anyone’s tutelage.

However, his brother G is having a struggle in his position. He has not been accepted by the men assigned to serve under him.

Elijah and I will meet with him tomorrow.

Day Five Hundred Thirty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

After Tomas and P reported to the Captain, they came to Elijah and me. Both were shaken, nervous and on edge. We had expected their reaction despite their attestations beforehand that they could handle going ashore in that dark place.

We spoke in turn to encourage them. I pointed out that their reaction was a sign of maturity. P wanted to know if we ourselves were fearful of going ashore. To this Elijah gave the reason that it was not required since it did not fall within our call. There being no Hamashiachites for him to collect in this city – indeed the entire country – he feels free to bypass it.

Elijah did drop a hint about a return one day.

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 Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain was conflicted. With the satellite network re-established the ship’s navigation will be so much easier and exact – no need to rely on the old methods. But it does mean we will be tracked wherever we turn – wearing “a mark” of another sort.

He turned to Elijah for his advice. Elijah thinks that at this stage their system will lack the sophistication  to be used against us. He is all for using it to speed us on our way and to perhaps increase our lead. Still, as a precaution he suggested that Tomas be assigned to monitor any changes as they manifest themselves. And then revisit the decision.

Later, Tomas brought word that we should make landfall tomorrow.

Day Five Hundred Twenty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

At the end of my time in the special cabin today, I was comforted by the realization that it still looked and felt the same, but then I wondered for a moment was I still the same or have I changed. However I shook the notion off when I realized that I was falling to the temptation to judge myself and not placing my reliance where it should be.

A lesson learned long ago, but needing to be relearned. I am such a leaky vessel.

Tomas was coming in as I was going out. We had a brief exchange – momentous news from the bridge – the radio has sprung to life – a sign that the global authorities are extending their reach.

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 Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It feels good to be underway again – out in calm seas under sunny skies, especially as the Captain has decided to take the risk and put in at the next port up the coast.

Elijah has invested all his waking hours with the Raj family, which he gathered into our cabin to go over the slightly different route they will be taking.

At one point he sent for me. I was with Tomas in the Purser’s cabin, listening to his arguments for taking on the job again. It seems some of the older members of the Raj family were battling sea sickness.

I rejoined Elijah in our cabin and did what I could to help them cope with the malady.