There are times when a broken tool is better than a sound one, or a twisted personality more useful than a whole one. For instance, a whole beer bottle isn't half the weapon that half a beer bottle is ...
decision which admits of no alternatives, he can't move at all.
"As you can see, the Karna tried to give us several choices on each point, and they were all rigged. Until they backed down to a single point and proved that it wasn't rigged, Nordon couldn't possibly make up his mind. I drummed into him how important this was, and the more importance there is attached to his decisions, the more incapable he becomes of making them."
The Secretary nodded slowly. "What about Braynek?"
"Paranoid," said Malloy. "He thinks everyone is plotting against him. In this case, that's all to the good because the Karna are plotting against him. No matter what they put forth, Braynek is convinced that there's a trap in it somewhere, and he digs to find out what the trap is. Even if there isn't a trap, the Karna can't satisfy Braynek, because he's convinced that there has to be--somewhere. As a result, all his advice to Nordon, and all his questioning on the wildest possibilities,
An amusing story of the ambassador to a backwater planet who has misfits of every type dumped on him because all the competent people are involved in the interstellar war. When peace talks convene on a nearby planet, he is stuck trying to hold the fort until Earth's real negotiators show up.
Kind of a sitcom of a story, but all in all, well done.
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