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The Deathworms of Kratos

The Expendables: Book 1

Edmund Cooper

Humanity in the year 2071 is straining at the limits of terrestrial and solar sustainability. With billions of people placing a demand on Earth's finite resources, an outlet is needed. Robot probes have identified planets in other systems capable of supporting human life. But before they can be colonized they must be proven - a high-risk prospect. Enter the Expendables: a group of highly talented criminals and misfits who combine technical expertise in their chosen fields with checkered pasts. Led by James Conrad, a former commander in the United Nations Space Service, they are sent out to explore Kratos, the first viable planet discovered by the probes. Yet not only must the team determine the planets viability as a colony for humans, they must also answer an additional question - just who or what left the large ruts scarring the planet's surface?

The Rings of Tantalus

The Expendables: Book 2

Edmund Cooper

First they went to Kratos - and faced the Deathworms. Then they went on to Tantalus and tried to fathom the Rings - which could only have been fabricated with the help of highly sophisticated machinery. And then they discover an alien spaceship orbiting the planet in strict silence and incommunicability. When they finally boarded the vessel, it was obvious that it had been derelict for centuries - as a result of some dreadful battle. Meanwhile down below, the enigmatic Rings lay waiting to deal with intruders - as they did the deadly vampire tree. Once again, Commander James Conrad and his team of Expendables faced their mission to find planets suitable for colonization.

The War Games of Zelos

The Expendables: Book 3

Edmund Cooper

Zelos seemed an ideal planet for colonization. Possessing one large continent and numerous archipelagos, it had a climate and vegetation comfortably like that of Earth.

Captain James Conrad and his crew of Expendables started on their initial reconnaissance of the planet. For the first time they found human beings already in residence. But this was a society remote from anything they had ever before experienced. For the Emperor of this strange world controlled his domain through the great annual War Games.

Only the fittest could survive - and only they were allowed to procreate. Through this "death control" the population was limited to twenty thousand. There was only one way the Expendables could get permission to establish a colony on Zelos. Risking their own lives, they must compete in the dreaded War Games. And, somehow, they must win.

The Venom of Argus

The Expendables: Book 4

Edmund Cooper

The Expendables had struck it lucky at last. After grappling with the revolting Death Worms of Kratos, the deadly Rings of Tantalus and the weirdly anachronistic military society of Zelos, their fourth mission looked an easy one. Argus was an earth-type planet with one major continent, comfortably covered with vegetation. But that was before The Expendables encountered the deadly harpoon tree, or the low-lying plant which grasped greedily at anyone who dared to set foot on it, or the hornets that paralyzed their victims - so as to enjoy their food in peace. Worst of all the lurking horrors of Argus was the deadly hallucinogenic pollen which turned quiet Santa Maria crew members into vicious maniacs