Tuesday, 1 April 2014
Peter Nordbo's Heroism
How does a single man untrained and unskilled in combat gain control of a kzinti warship? Quite easily. On a pre-FTL interstellar crossing, all but two of the crew are in stasis at any given time. Yiao-Captain, dissatisfied with the company of Gunner, activates his human slave and chess opponent, Peter Nordbo, for company.
Nordbo, having hidden an improvised knife, kills Gunner in a surprise attack, which leaves him only Yiao-Captain to deal with. Ideally, Gunner would have died silently but his bellow brings Yiao-Captain running. However, by flicking a table cloth bull fighter style and keeping the Captain amok, Nordbo manages to inflict enough knife wounds to kill his second kzin so that now the ship is his and the remaining kzinti can be either shot or left in stasis.
Next, Nordbo must endure forty years of solitude on recycled food, water and air: heroism indeed, but this is preferable to continued slavery which had even involved torture supervised by the supposedly friendly Yiao-Captain.