The idea of escaping from captivity only to find yourself in another form of prison, one of fear, is the situation that Sabir finds himself in.
As the plan to escape flounders in the storm there are more questions than answers being provoked by the select characters being used by Wilcken. Most of those questions hover around Sabir’s old comrade from the trenches Edouard. Very little about him tallies up and you suspect that underneath all the lies there is a whopper.
The question of desertion from the war and desertion from the Colony are both inter-twined and Sabir does have regrets as he leaves behind a life as a gardener and the fantasies of the Commanders wife that might have become a reality.
There is a great deal of description about location but most of the barriers are mental rather than physical.