Meeting the 5 or so main players and a slew of peripheral characters
The People = A new way, cozy catastrophists. Hunter gatherers transcending amnesia with a kernal of gnosis, courtesy UJ and his cohorts. All learning or tutored - indoctrinated? Inoculated against future control. They seem free and happy, so they must be choosing to learn.
Their cloaks unify them into a common experience. Wearable architecture. Garmentized multi-tools.
Joe = Road. Traveler, Touring. Bike-Walk-Ride. A sine wave of progress, dipping down then back up. Agent of devolution. Traveling backwards in time while transmitting telepathically into the future.
Christina = Child, goddess becoming, collapsing wave functions, reordering the past. Each popped bubble is a prior fork revisited, a new universe re-chosen. At first just mixed apoco memories, free association, a jumble. Contrasted with the hard edged clarity of the flashbacks that follow, triggered when her control shows up... Uncle Joe. Then she doesn't need no stinking bubble wrap.
Gerry = Asleep. He's stands in for all us sleepers, the non-Clique. The boxes tell us about him, because he never would. Those boxes are better than having a cat and maybe even a lover. He's grown / invented a stalwart ally, deployed immortality. Just another average human being.
Boxes = the Daughter of God. Redemption. Awakening to true nature. Hope, promise, renewal, blooming. The fusion of science and mysticism, yin and yang, no more chess board with robots on one side and mushrooms on the other - all one. Bronners soap. The boxes could be DOG all along, even Christina was radar chaff. Joe was so sly he even forgot what he was up to.
The Big Boat = Earth. The world. Extension of our 1st world experience beyond it's expiration date. They have beds and pillows, there are lights and that sink has a towel next to it. Edges and right angles. Monk like cells for collapsing quantum wave functions and communing with mycelial machine consciousness.