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"They said you would try wiles, trickery, deceit," Ellaby recited.

"You won't fool me."

"You think I'm the Dictator? You're going to kill me? That's very funny. I know, you see. I know."

"Stand back!" Ellaby screamed.

"I assure you, I am not the Dictator any more than you will be--"

The Dictator's face dissolved in a red, jelly-like smear as Ellaby pulled this trigger of his blaster.

He spent the next ten minutes being very ill.

Afterwards, they were very efficient. They carted the body away and told Ellaby all he had to do was ring for food or drink or anything he wanted.

Occasionally, he would sign some papers. Occasionally--masked--he might be asked to review a parade.

And all at once, sitting alone in the room with its pleasant view, it came to Ellaby. He passed no judgment, but he understood--and he was afraid.

The masses ruled, thought Ellaby, hardly knowing what the phrase meant. The system was self-perpetuating, and revolution couldn't change it. The common man--men like Ellaby--had come into his own, for once and for all time.

The man Ellaby had slain was no Dictator. He had tried to tell Ellaby that before he perished. Now Ellaby had taken his place. Ellaby was no Dictator, either.

But he would do until the next one came along.


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