The First One’s Free opens with Kai trying to put down a riot. He’s in a tough situation. The Realm, of which Kai is a citizen, has given him a colony. Unfortunately, it’s their equivalent of colonial Australia. The Realm sends their undesirables to Kai for safekeeping. Unlike Australia, the place is horrible for growing the kind of food his people need.
It’s in a riot during his world’s constant rain that the chain of events leading into the Compact Universe begin. An alien named Marq arrives in the midst of the chaos and offers an ugly brown root as the solution to all Kai’s troubles. You and I may recognize it, but Kai has never seen such a plant before. He is skeptical. His concubine is skeptical.
[Cue needle scratching across vinyl]
What a minute! Concubine?
Kai has purchased an indenture contract on Tishla, a childhood friend, in exchange for her education as a geneticist. And Tishla smells their world’s equivalent of a rat. On the other hand, Kai is saddled with a penal colony that is too wet and too acidic to feed the people in his charge. Is it any wonder that he’s in over his head?
But Marq has been talking with General Laral, an ambitious leader in the Warrior Caste. And they have a plan to relieve Kai of his dud of a colony. But Kai takes nothing for granted. It could cost him his life. Yet it could free Tishla and elevate her status.
The First One’s Free is now available on Amazon.