Day Five Hundred Seventy #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain has made another course correction. I was with him when he sent the order down. He was excited to show me the chart with his calculations on it.

There was a line representing our track, a bulge into the open sea, far from any indication of land. Now pointed like an arrow at an archipelago.

When I pointed to a column of figures scribbled beside the pencil track, the Captain summed it up with three words, “Two days away.”

And just like that pencil track amidst the empty space on the map, so has been the ocean surrounding us, devoid of any vessels.

And the Captain has decided to triple the lookouts. Only Elijah and I are excused.

Day Five Hundred Fifty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Several vessels passed us this morning, traveling in the opposite direction. They were not within hailing distance, so the Captain attempted to raise them on the satellite radio, but there was no response.

Later, another flotilla of ships appeared on a track inward from ours, and like the first batch on an opposite heading from our ship.

As none acknowledged our radio hail, the Captain brought us to within hailing distance of the lead vessel.

After the customary niceties, we learned that all ships sailing under the protection of the mark have been ordered to proceed to the world capital.

This news made Elijah all the more anxious to get the Hamashiachites to the next port and on their way.

Day Four Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

This is a busy port. We waited several hours for a space dockside to open up.

The naval patrol off the harbor supplies all pilots for vessels seeking to enter the port. Apparently our ship is now in their system, so there was no fuss upon our arrival. But I thought it strange that they don’t use it to keep up a more controlled flow in and out.

While we were awaiting a berth, Tomas accompanied the pilot everywhere around the ship.  Only then did I realize that such arrangements gave them more time and more access to fully check out each vessel.

Elijah has finally reappeared. He wants to go ashore and rejoin the ship at a later date.

Day Four Hundred Sixty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our apprehensions for Elijah and Tomas were laid to rest upon their return in the dog watch before eight bells. Tomas brought back some information that went a long way to assuage the Captain’s anger.

They had climbed to the top of the tallest building in the city. From that vantage point they could see the robotic warship. Two other vessels were in its company. They appear to be blocking our exit.

At the other end of spectrum Elijah is pleased to report that Emil has safely set up camp in the interior, which he confessed was according to his plan.

Two vessels entered the harbor today. Tomas confirms they are the ones he saw.

We left before they docked.

Day Four Hundred Fifty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

A tug chugged out early to the roads where we three vessels were waiting for entry. We were surprised to see that each vessel received two men from the tug. The mystery was cleared up come time to receive our own charges. One was a pilot, the other was a political officer representing the world government.

The latter made it very clear that we could not enter and conduct any business unless negotiated by someone bearing the mark.

The Captain countered that we were not desirous of entering for any purposes of commerce, but rather only delivering a shipment to the city’s governor from his sister city on the island.

This stymied the duo. They returned to port for instructions.

Day Three Hundred Thirty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain was concerned about the narrowing gap ahead between the bloody morasses on both sides of us. Elijah pointed out that the gap is narrower behind us, and indeed has closed off at a couple points.

We are committed now. The Captain has ordered both vessels to full speed ahead.

Some time in the afternoon we came upon the missing lifeboat from the grain ship. The Purser wanted us to close and investigate, but the Captain denied that notion. Timing is too crucial.

When still a ways off we could see nothing but birds on that craft. As we passed near by our wake rocked it, setting the birds to flight, revealing the picked clean bones of three men.