Latest blog post: An unforseen hiatus. (2023-01-02)

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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.


When having an alien in your attic is actually therapeutic.


Gharr realizes that "this" is going to be a fundamentally unprecedented, world-changing experience for all of humanity, and that it will never be "all over." And he knows that he's the one who knocked over the first domino.


While it is Gharr who did the rush job on the initial analysis, I think the Major is equally responsible for knocking over that domino, even with his limited information at the time.


Can anyone be normal after meeting actual real aliens?


Once you have both humans and aliens at hand, who gets to define a "normal" between the two?

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These trivia bits are generated randomly.
Raharrs are warm-blooded creatures and are accustomed to temperature range a bit warmer than Earth's.
"Dawn" class mothership and "Lake" class tankers are the only spacecraft in the Exploration fleet that can create artificial gravity while not under acceleration.
If a space ship accelerates at the same rate as it would in a free-fall under Earth's gravity (Otherwise known as "1G acceleration"), it can reach Jupiter from Earth in just under 6 days. It would need to flip in the middle of the travel, to start decelerating and enter the planet's orbit.
Insectoids in a lot of ways are the weird ones among the Alliance members. Besides having a completely unpronounceable name of the species, they have dextero amino acid biochemistry, which makes their food and biosphere to be inedible by the rest of the Alliance, and vice versa.
The names of every species of the Alliance (besides Insectoids) are words taken directly from their respective native languages that they use to refer to themselves. They all have same translation:
"a human".
Azinarsi relationship to death is different from the rest of the civilizations of the Alliance: they do not care about it. Death would mean loss of information and experience gathered by that instance of a person's mind, though, and these two things are about the only valuables for an Uploaded mind, so Azinarsi try to avoid it when possible.
A lot of backgrounds and other elements in the comic are actually 3d models. It helps reduce the time each page takes to make.
Raharrs descended from the evolutionary branch that can be described as "apelike cats" by their evolutionary niche. Although initially carnivorous and solitary, they were forced to become omnivorous and form persistent packs during the latest of the rare ice ages of their homeworld, approximately 30 million years ago.
It takes more than a year to cross the Alliance space even with the fastest FTL drive.
Prior to becoming a webcomic, Leaving The Cradle was initially developed as a modification for Source engine, back in 2007. It was vastly different back then, much closer to the usual space opera look and feel, and the plot had nothing in common with the webcomic version, sharing only exactly two characters and nothing else.
Many homeworlds of the respective species are still divided into countries, but freshly established colonies on other planets are almost always monolithic and basically independent, since they sprawled from a single initial outpost, and time lag involved due to interstellar distances making remote management of the colony from a homeworld to be ineffective and frustrating at best.
There's no way to communicate faster than light. If you want to send your message to another solar system, your best bet is to use a courier spaceship. It can take even a month for it to finally reach the destination, but it still beats sending it as a transmission and expecting it to arrive decades or thousands of years later.
So far there hasn't been a single instance of a massive interstellar war. Due to the vastness of space, there's no territorial or economic gain from it. The presence of armed spaceships is still warranted for keeping space travel safe and for peacekeeping or policing missions since unexpected events or rogue states can still happen and might require force as a solution.
The Alliance space stretches for an impressive 16 thousand light years along the longest axis, and contains approximately twelve billion star systems. Despite that, 99.99% of those star systems weren't explored even by an automatic mapping drone yet, and the borders of the Alliance space are defined mostly by the reach of spaceships from the nearest colony or space station.