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It's All Yours   By: (1910-1996)

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It was a strange and bitter Earth over which the Chancellor ruled a strange and deformed world. There were times when the Chancellor suspected that he really was a humanistic old fool, but this seemed to be his destiny and it was difficult to be anything else. Human, like all other organic life on Earth, was dying. Where it spawned, it spawned monsters. What was to be the answer?

it's all yours

by ... Sam Merwin, Jr.

It was a lonely thing to rule over a dying world a world that had become sick, so terribly sick....

The Chancellor's private washroom, discreetly off the innermost of his official suite of offices, was a dream of gleaming black porcelain and solid gold. Each spout, each faucet, was a gracefully stylized mermaid, the combination stall shower steam room a marvel of hydraulic comfort and decor with variable lighting plotted to give the user every sort of beneficial ray, from ultraviolet to black heat.

But Bliss was used to it. At the moment, as he washed his hands, he was far more concerned with the reflection of his face in the mirror above the dolphin shaped bowl. With a sort of wry resignation, he accepted the red rims of fatigue around his eyes, the batch of white at his left temple that was spreading toward the top of his dark, well groomed head. He noted that the lines rising from the corners of his mouth to the curves of his nostrils seemed to have deepened noticeably during the past few days.

As he dried his hands in the air stream, he told himself that he was letting his imagination run away with him imagination had always been his weakness, and a grave failing for a head of state. And while he drew on his special, featherweight gloves, he reminded himself that, if he was aging prematurely, it was nobody's fault but his own. No other man or woman approaching qualification for the job would have taken it only a sentimental, humanistic fool like himself.

He took a quick sip from the benzedral fountain, waited for the restorative to do its work. Then, feeling moderately refreshed, he returned to his office, sank into the plastifoam cushions of the chair behind his tabletop mountain of a desk and pressed the button that informed Myra, his confidential secretary, he was ready.

There were five in the delegation by their collars or robes, a priest, a rabbi, a lama, a dark skinned Watusi witchman and a white robed abbess draped in chaste, flowing white. Automatically, he surveyed them, checking. The priest's right shoe was twice as broad as his left, the rabbi's head, beneath the black cap that covered it, was long and thin as a zucchini squash. The witchman, defiantly bare and black as ebony from the waist up, had a tiny duplicate of his own handsome head sprouting from the base of his sternum. The visible deformities of the lama and abbess were concealed beneath their flowing robes. But they were there they had to be there.

Bliss rose as they entered and said, waving a gloved hand at the chairs on their side of the desk, "Greetings, sirs and madam please be seated." And, when they were comfortable, "Now, to what do I owe the honor of this visit?"

He knew, of course sometimes he thought he knew more than any man should be allowed or able to know but courtesy and custom demanded the question. It was the witchman who answered. Apparently he was spokesman for the group.

He said, speaking beautiful Cantabrigian English, "Honorable sir, we have come as representatives of the religions of the world, not to protest but in a spirit of enquiry. Our flocks grow increasingly restive, when they are not leaving us altogether, our influence grows less. We wish to know what steps, if any, are being taken toward modification or abrogation of the sterility program. Without hope of posterity, mankind is lost."

While the others murmured their agreement, Bliss focused his gaze on the sealed lids of the tiny face sprouting from the Watusi's breastbone. He wondered if there were eyes behind them, if there were a tongue behind those tiny clamped lips, and what words such a tongue would utter if it could speak... Continue reading book >>

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