A Long Way Home: Tales of Congressional Space

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Terrence R. McInnes
This is the story of Sean McKinnie, a young farm boy from the medieval world of Brae who longs to escape the family farm. On his way to begin study at the university, Sean stumbles into a fire-fight between troops of the local tyrant and Congressional Marines trying to overthrow Brae s corrupt and brutal government. 

Saving the life of one ambushed Marine, McKinnie is taken aboard the Congressional Starship cruiser Lewis and Clark and is befriended by the starship's crew -- becoming an unofficial ship's mascot. His new friends realize that though McKinnie comes from a backwater world and is ignorant of interstellar politics, he is highly intelligent and might become a valuable asset as a covert Congressional agent. They teach him about Congressional history, including how humanity's home world was destroyed in a collision with an asteroid. 

Surviving pirate attacks and deep personal losses, McKinnie grows from an innocent country bumpkin into a civilized young man, and develops a relationship with Lt. Alexandra Andropova, a young nurse in the ship's medical department.

Completing his training, McKinnie embarks on several missions to primitive worlds including a return to his home world of Brae. He discovers that slavers kidnapped members of McKinnie's family and others from Brae to be sold to an alien machine-intelligence. Pursuing the slavers, Lewis and Clark and her crew must battle machine-controlled starships and a massive machine-controlled deep-space station in a desperate attempt to rescue the kidnapped humans.