“It is also a story of superstition and fear and how it is overcome—by children.”
— Rocky Mountain News interview with L. Ron Hubbard
Raised in the same desolate village in the Rocky Mountains as Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, Chrissie is a very pretty girl, about eighteen, with large black eyes in strange contrast to her corn-silk hair.
She loves Jonnie and his decision to leave their disease-ridden village in search of a better place practically crushes her. In retaliation, Chrissie threatens to go after Jonnie if he does not return in a year—much to his dismay. She carries out her promise when almost a year later his horse, Windsplitter, wanders into the village, alone and with a fresh scar on its back—putting dread in her heart that Jonnie is injured and helpless.
Once she set out with Patty, her younger sister, it was not long before they were caught by the Psychlo head of security, Terl, and held as leverage over Jonnie to do his bidding.
To ensure Jonnie’s compliance, Terl collared them with neck bombs and put them in a cage.
This horrific disregard for human life, and Jonnie’s love for Chrissie, fueled the Scots’ fire to join in the rebellion to take back their planet.
“But when he told them of Chrissie, held as a hostage against his good behavior, and that part of his own plan was to rescue her, he had them. A streak of romanticism, which survived all their defeats and humblings, welled up in them. While they could agree to a long-shot objective with their minds, they rose to the rescue of Chrissie with their hearts. What did she look like? Black eyes and corn-silk hair. How was she formed? Beautiful and comely. How did she feel? Crushed with despair, hardly daring to hope for rescue. They were angered by the collar, disgusted with the leash, violent about the cage. The shook their chiefly weapons in the flashing firelight and made speeches and quoted legends.”
—L. Ron Hubbard, Battlefield Earth
And for another look at this strong female literary character, Mommy teacher and blogger Sandra Girouard wrote about Chrissie in her post about Battlefield Earth:
Remember—this is a fun read. There is a hero, yeah. And he’s got a girl he loves and he’s trying to protect.
[Comment: But seriously, folks, Chrissie is no shrinking violet. Yes, Jonnie is working to save her—and the rest of the world—from 9-foot tall aliens, but Chrissie holds her own—raising her own food, building her own fires, tanning animal skins herself and sewing them into clothing… ]