Day Five Hundred Ninety #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

No one liked the look of the sky today as we set sail.  It was dark and menacing.

Mr. Kagi haunted the bridge, hovering over each and every decision made by either the Captain or Tomas. And almost precipitated an incident by his insistence that we ignore a directive from the warship to halt.

The Captain sensibly put him in his place.

Thus, we received aboard three more passengers- two guards and their charge, the Raj twin P. We are to deliver them with our cargo.

Thankfully P is not being held under close arrest. So Elijah and I will be allowed to meet with him as long as at least one guard is present.

We will take every opportunity.

Day Five Hundred Eighty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Though the port authorities signed off on our proposal, we did have one more hurdle to overcome. The commander of the warship, as the senior representative of the global government at this location, needed to grant his permission.

He kept us on tenterhooks all morning as he mulled over his decision. At last it came in the affirmative, with one proviso – we must carry some supplies for their ships at our next port.

The Captain agreed, and was happy to, as that meant taking on less ballast for the voyage.

Later, upon observing two containers being lashed to the deck rather than placed in the hold, I remarked to Elijah that it appeared we would be resupplying that robotic warship.

Day Five Hundred Eighty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

It was the same warship that loomed over us at the last port. Manned, not robotic. They brought instructions for how our ship is to be handed over.

The port authority briefed our Captain this morning. We are to sail to the mainland, the gateway to the East, and turn the vessel over to the global transport service, based there.

Elijah is elated. He says it is exactly where we need to be next.

However the Captain thinks we won’t be able to go right away. He refuses to make the trip without shipments, and currently there are none from this port. And then there’s the matter of our trading without the mark.

It may be the final stumbling block.

Day Five Hundred Eighty Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah and I wandered around the port today trying to converse with people. I noted a higher than usual distrust toward strangers.

In a couple of instances Elijah was able to penetrate their defenses and gain an understanding of their predicament.

After the time of the Glorious Appearing a great many people  on this island disappeared. (We know what happened. They don’t.) Those left moved into the vacant properties and businesses, and are plagued by the notion that the rightful owners could return at any time.

We tried to explain the truth, but that made them all the more fearful.

All this was forgotten upon our return to ship at the sight of a warship tied up next to us.

Day Five Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We took on some cargo unexpectedly.  Actually we had carried it here. The owner, one of the refugees from Stan’s tropical island requested passage and transport of his belongings.

The port authority granted him permission. And shortly after loading was completed we were cleared to leave.

The Captain didn’t waste any time taking us out.

We felt all eyes trained on us as we passed the warship. To our relief they remained in place.

Two other ships departed at the same time. But they soon split from us to take a northerly course.

We were all alone as we headed south.

Our passenger, Mr. Kagi, asked for an audience with the Captain. He proposes we make a run for it.

Day Five Hundred Seventy Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The Captain was not dismissed from the warship until this morning.  We are still sifting through all the consequent changes.

They have P under arrest. His entire family is on a wanted list for departing their town without permission. He will be transported back.

The fate of the ship has been decided. She will be added to the global transport service. But the Captain successfully argued our right to complete our voyage. So we will be sailing soon to the port we passed over to get to this one.

Everyone is concerned about what to do next. Tomas wants to return home. The Captain won’t remain with the ship. The crew talks desertion.

Elijah and I await the Spirit’s movement.

Day Five Hundred Seventy Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The port has been a study in contrasts today. All the other ships were abuzz with activity, while ours was just sitting by the dock, waiting.

Waiting for the Captain and P to return. (If they return at all). Waiting for news of what comes next.

Small boats were plying the waters constantly between the warship and the shore. We spotted one unit coming in that we were sure will be paying visits to the shrines of the city, claiming them in Stan’s name.

At one point Tomas was called for. He brought back word of the Captain’s imminent return, and a suggestion that we depart.

Neither Elijah nor myself sense that our time aboard has come to an end.

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 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 Three Hundred Seventy Nine late morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah writes:

The crew is happy to be back on normal shifts. The Captain tells me we are a day away from our next port, barring any unforeseen difficulties. The Purser, in hope, cherishes the thought of being reunited with his family there.

In my wanderings about the ship I chanced across the government guard and spoke to him about the warship. He confirms that the container did indeed contain ammunition.