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Freedom's Ransom
Cover of Freedom's Ransom
Freedom's Ransom
Catteni Series, Book 4

Enslaved on an uninhabited planet by the alien Eosi, Kristin Bjornsen and her fellow humans not only survived against all odds to colonize the world now known as Botany, but liberated themselves from their captors and claimed it as their home...
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The colonists could not have achieved victory without the help of the exiled Catteni alien, Zainal, who helped Kris contact other races subjugated by the Eosi, and inspired the rebellion that freed them all. To ensure Botany's future, its people must build alliances.
?
In the wake of alien devastation, Earth has been looted of its technology—technology Botany desperately needs. If Kris and Zainal can reclaim the stolen goods, they can assist Earth while setting a foundation for Botany's place in the universe...
?

?

Enslaved on an uninhabited planet by the alien Eosi, Kristin Bjornsen and her fellow humans not only survived against all odds to colonize the world now known as Botany, but liberated themselves from their captors and claimed it as their home...
?
The colonists could not have achieved victory without the help of the exiled Catteni alien, Zainal, who helped Kris contact other races subjugated by the Eosi, and inspired the rebellion that freed them all. To ensure Botany's future, its people must build alliances.
?
In the wake of alien devastation, Earth has been looted of its technology—technology Botany desperately needs. If Kris and Zainal can reclaim the stolen goods, they can assist Earth while setting a foundation for Botany's place in the universe...
?

?

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  • From the book Preface

    When the Catteni, mercenaries for an alien race called the Eosi, invaded Earth, they used their standard tactic of domination by landing in fifty cities across the planet and removing entire urban populations. These they distributed throughout the Catteni worlds and sold as slaves along with other conquered species.

    A group rounded up from the prisons on the planet Barevi, a hub of the Catteni empire, was dumped on an M-type planet of unknown quality, given rations and tools, and left to deal with the conditions of the planet. Chuck Mitford, former marine sergeant, took charge of the mixed group, which included sullen, pugnacious Turs, spiderlike Deski, hairy Rugarians, vague Ilginish, and gaunt Morphins, with Humans in the majority. Astonishingly enough, there was one Catteni, Emassi Zainal, who had been shanghaied onto the prison ship. Though there were those who wanted to kill him immediately, Kris Bjornsen, latterly of Denver, suggested that he might have valuable information about the planet on which they were stranded. Zainal's knowledge of the planet's predators, scant as it was, saved their lives.

    Installed in a rocky site, with cliffs and caves to give them protection, Mitford quickly organized a camp, using the specific abilities of each species and assigning tasks to everyone in this unusual community. However, the planet was soon discovered to be inhabited––by machines, the Mechs, which automatically tended extensive croplands and the six-legged bovine animals. The colonists quickly learned how to dismantle the machines and design the sort of equipment they needed.

    In a confrontation with yet another slave ship, dropping off more prisoners, the colonists got hold of aerial maps of the planet. Among the features of the maps was what appeared to be a big artificial installation, presumably constructed by the original owners of the planet. A member of the discovery team launched a homing device––more for curiosity than intent. Both the Eosi overlords looking for Zainal and the genuine owners of the planet noted the release of the device. An Eosi search crew sent to bring Zainal back to face his familial duty to be an Eosian host failed. The owners of the planet, whom the colonists named the "Farmers," came and were revealed as peaceful life forms with no connection to the Eosi. The Farmers made it clear that the colonists were welcome to stay, and even acted to protect them from the Eosi.

    As they explored the new world together, Kris learned that Zainal had a three-phase plan––one that he hoped would end the domination of his people by the Eosi and, incidentally, would include the liberation of Earth. Zainal explained to Mitford and to other naval, airforce, and army personnel how he meant to proceed––initially by capturing the next Catteni ship to drop slaves on Botany.

    The successful execution of Zainal's plan netted the colonists not one but two usable spaceships. Even with the capability of leaving Botany, Zainal was often heard to say, "I dropped, I stay," a defiant attitude, and a phrase that became a rallying cry for the Botany colonists.

    While the Eosi surveillance satellites were on the other side of the Botany world, the two ships now available to the colony were able to successfully infiltrate Barevi and acquire much-needed fuel and supplies. Kris, who had already learned enough Catteni to deal with merchants, and other Catteni-speakers disguised themselves to accompany Zainal on this mission. While there, they rescued a number of Humans whose minds had been wiped by the Eosi. While on Barevi, Zainal also made contact with dissident Emassi, Catteni...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 13, 2002
    Coffee, not oil, becomes black gold in this eagerly awaited fourth volume in McCaffrey's intriguing Catteni/Freedom series (Freedom's Landing, etc.), which focuses on the business side of revolution. On Earth and the planets Barevi and Botany in the not-so-distant future, the traditional gold standard has fallen and coffee, fresh bread and meat become more valuable than diamonds when trading for the technological parts stolen by greedy Catteni mercenaries for the evil Eosi. These vital aerospace supplies will aid Terrans and Botany colonists seeking independence from the Eosi, whose barbaric routine of loot, pillage and destroy includes removing entire urban populations and selling them to other Catteni worlds as slaves. "I dropped. I stay," is the rallying cry of Zainal, a rebel Catteni who's taken from a prison on Barevi, a trading center for the Catteni Empire, and "dropped" with other slaves of assorted species on Botany, owned by the mysterious Farmers. Zainal becomes a reluctant leader of the other slaves and becomes mate to Terran Kris Bjornsen. Zainal and his team ultimately undertake two missions—one to Earth, to acquire coffee beans and dental equipment for Dr. Eric Sachs, Botany colonist and former Manhattanite, and one to Barevi, to barter the beans and dentistry, turning this installment into an entertaining lesson on supply and demand. The visit to a bleak Manhattan after the Eosian looting is as disturbing, touching and humorous as the trading in the Barevian market. (June 10)FYI:The first woman ever to win both the Hugo and the Nebula awards, McCaffrey was the recipient of the American Library Association's 1999 Margaret A. Edwards Life Achievement Award.Correction:
    In the review of Nancy Collins's Dead Roses for a Blue Lady
    (Forecasts, Mar. 4), the correct address for Crossroads Press is P.O. Box 10433, Holyoke, Mass. 01041.

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Freedom's Ransom
Freedom's Ransom
Catteni Series, Book 4
Anne McCaffrey
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