Destroying the spirit of the enemy is the goal of war and the aliens had the best way!
rave men wish to die in battle. It is our fondest wish. You are the first enemy we have had in many years, since we subdued the mountain tribes."
"Sure," Fannia said. "But let's talk about it--"
"I myself will fight you," the chief said, holding up a dagger. "I will die for my people, as a warrior must!"
"Hold it!" Fannia shouted. "Grant us a truce. We are allowed to fight only by sunlight. It is a tribal taboo."
The chief thought for a moment, then said, "Very well. Until tomorrow."
The beaten Earthmen walked slowly back to their ship amid the jeers of the victorious populace.
* * * * *
Next morning, Fannia still didn't have a plan. He knew that he had to have fuel; he wasn't planning on spending the rest of his life on Cascella, or waiting until the Galactic Survey sent another ship, in fifty years or so. On the other hand, he hesitated at the idea of being responsible for the death of anywhere up to three billion people. It wouldn't be a very good record to
The desperate crewmen of an out-of-fuel starship land on a planet with a fuel cache, only to find the spot sacred to the natives. Trying to force their way to the cache causes the natives to declare war. But their wars are fought in a very odd way.
I liked the story. The aliens' philosophy made sense to me.
Couldn't get through this one... the premise is flimsier than aluminum foil.