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The Dictator   By: (1928-2008)

The Dictator by Stephen Marlowe

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Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Imagination Stories of Science and Fantasy January 1955. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.



Milton Lesser

Ellaby's society was a perfect democracy, where all men were equal. But some still wanted more personal attention, and they got it, like

Just looking at Ellaby, you could tell he was going places. He was five feet nine inches tall and weighed a hundred and fifty pounds. He had an I. Q. of ninety eight point five seven, less than four hundredths off the mode. His hair was mousey and worn slightly long for a man, slightly short for a woman. Back in High Falls, where he was born, he was physically weaker than sixty percent of the men but stronger than sixty percent of the women.

He had been in training since his twentieth birthday to assassinate the Dictator. Ellaby was now thirty years old.

Dorcas Sinclair met Ellaby at the pneumo station. She was too big and strapping for a woman, but otherwise not unattractive with her lusterless hair, slightly thick featured face, small sagging bosom and heavy calved legs.

"I'll take your bags," she told Ellaby, and led him from the station. She walked quickly, but not too quickly. You always had to find the happy medium, thought Ellaby. For Ellaby, finding the happy medium had always come easy. Ten years ago, when Ellaby had been graduated from the High Falls secondary school, the four words MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED had been printed under his picture in the yearbook. It was expected by everyone: young Ellaby had learned his three R's rules, rights, responsibilities satisfactorily. Ellaby had neither excelled nor failed: he was by nature a first class citizen.

Running to keep up with the too big, too long legged Dorcas Sinclair who was carrying one of his suitcases in each hand, Ellaby was led from the pneumo station. The splendid, unimaginative geometric precision of the Capitol stretched out before him in the dazzling summer sunlight, the view serving as a leaven for Ellaby's usually phlegmatic disposition. He could feel his spirits rise, his heart thump more rapidly, speeding the sudden flow of adrenalin through his body.


This was the city. It was here where the fruits of whatever had gone wrong in Ellaby's upbringing or whatever had gone wrong in the linear arrangement of his genes would ripen. It was here where Ellaby, modal Ellaby would pass his tests for top secret work; unsuspected, average Ellaby, would write his name in flaming letters across the pages of history. It was here where Ellaby would kill the Dictator.

And after that what? Chaos? A new order based not on modality but something else? Ellaby wasn't sure. No one in the organization knew for sure. The concept was staggering to Ellaby. It was the system or nothing. Well, let the others worry about it. They did the planning. Ellaby was only the executioner.

The house was like all the others on the block, all the others in the Capitol, a grimly solid structure of lets pretend brick fronting on a street which faded into distant haze, straight as a ruled line, to north and south, crossing the east west avenues at precise right angles every five hundred feet. The grid pattern city, Ellaby remembered from his rights course in school, (every man has the right to a room and bath in any city as long as he is employed) made the best use of available space for houses. The strip city is unnecessary in time of peace was there ever, had there ever been any other time? the radial city is preferred for rapid transportation, being the accepted pattern in the great economic hubs and ports like Greater New York and Hampton Roads.

"You will have to live here with me" Dorcas Sinclair told Ellaby, "until you pass your tests for employment... Continue reading book >>

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