By Norman Spinrad
Set in a post-nuclear holocaust international, a unique which lines the increase to strength of 1 Feric Jaggar, an exile between mutants and mongrels to absolute rule within the place of birth of Truemen. With an afterword by way of James Sallis.
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He jibed. "I have no truck with such superstitious rubbish," Bogel replied. "However, it is historical fact that a few of the ancients survived in these woods at least long enough to craft the Great Truncheon of Held for Stal Held, who lived many generations after the Fire. " At this, Feric fell silent. No man cared to contemplate even in fancy the return of the Fire. Out of those few brief days of holocaust centuries past stemmed the major ills still plaguing the world: genetic contamination of the •human race, the vast radioactive wastelands that covered 51 so much of the globe, the existence of the fetid Doms.
As the sun began to wane, a pattern of heavy red twilight and long black shadows fell over the forest, making the thick groves of gnarled trees appear somehow ominous and sinister; long before sunset the Emerald Wood took on many of the aspects of a forest of the night. The mind peopled the woods with its night shapes and fears. This was not to say that twilight robbed the Wood of its beauty; far from it, it enhanced the grandeur of the forest, though now its spell was of a wilder and darker sort.
Mork was too weakened by lack of breath to attempt any serious defense; moreover no Dominator could hope to subdue the communal will of more than two-score Helder fully aware of his noxious identity and aroused to righteous wrath. " the Dom wheezed as he attempted feebly to struggle to his feet. At once, half a dozen stoutly booted feet caught the miscreant in the rib cage, knocking the wind out of him, and more. Another kick, this one to the head, rendered the Dom unconscious. As he fell limply on his back, a great roar went up, and his body disappeared in a forest of feet and fists and impromptu clubs.