Latest blog post: An unforseen hiatus. (2023-01-02)
Gharr wondering what "this is all over" is going to look like.
Will he be swept away by government agents for experimentation
Will he be forever in hiding, unable to learn the fate of the fleet or if he will be accepted
Will he reveal himself and become a celebrity but discover the fleet abandoned Earth
Will he witness a societal collapse as they l earn of aliens and the alliance is forced to step in all thanks to his blunder
Will he be the reason a war is brought upon Earth by the fleet as they seek retribution for the downed shuttle
The hopeful outcome is that Earth is peacefully accepted into the alliance and prospers but Gharr's optimism is understandably shaken after his mistake of coming to Earth.
Although I now wonder if it was entirely Gharr's fault for fabricating evidence in his report... Or if he was fed false information by someone... I guess we haven't seen any surprise from Gharr on humanity's technology level so its likely he knew the trip wouldn't be approved and twisted things to make it seem safer.
Weeeeeeell the symbolism on the title page suggests that the entire band of four makes it off planet with at least one ship of the fleet remaining to go to. Maybe not by means of orbital insertion per implant-enhanced gymnastic exercise as the image suggests, though.
That still leaves Nea unaccounted for, however ...
I probably take the cover a bit more symbolically as Gharr lifting Dan up from whatever place he's in and the Raharr in general just lifting humanity out of their Earth cradle and into the wider universe.
The lone ship I just take as the fleet mothership to represent the Raharr and Earth below it. The symbolism of Mark gripping on scared could be interesting though. If Dan doesn't do something stupid level to get them in trouble I could imagine Mark breaking group trust.