Philip K. Dick
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Two masters of science fiction collaborate on one wild post-apocalyptic story. After World War III, the Servants of Wrath cult deified the mysterious Carlton Lufteufel, creator of the doomsday weapon that wiped out much of humanity. But to worship the man, they need an image of him as a god, and no one has ever seen him. So the high priests send a limbless master painter named Tibor McMasters into the wilderness on a mission to find Lufteufel and capture his likeness. Unfortunately for Tibor, the nation’s remaining Christians do not want him to succeed and are willing to kill to ensure that the so-called Deus Irae remains hidden. This hallucinatory tale through a nuclear wasteland asks what price the artist must pay for art and tries to figure out just what makes a god.
the poison is -- you must then slit open the ventral side and continue the cuts to extend the length of each leg. Subsequent to this, the skin can be peeled off, the belly opened and emptied, the backbone split and both halves roasted on sharpened sticks over a small fire. "That is essentially correct," he said, then. "You say that you are 'rats'? I do not understand. The plural -- that's what I don't understand." I am all of us. He continued to stare at the eyes located about twenty-five feet
from him. I know now how you hear me. There is pain, pain in you. This, somehow, lets you hear. "There are pieces of metal in my head," he said, "from when my office exploded. I do not understand this thing either, but I can see how it may be involved." Yes. In fact, I see that one of the pieces nearer the surface will soon work its way free. Then you must break your skin with your claws and withdraw it. "I don't have claws -- oh, my fingernails. Then that must be what's causing these
Tibor, of course, would act to protect himself; as would anyone else. In his pack Pete had four .38 cartridges and a police special revolver. I can blow him to bits with that, Pete observed. And I would if he fired on me first. We would both act to preserve our lives; that is God's instinct. We have no choice. Out here, away from town, both of them were waging a dying battle against the Antagonist. In the form of decay, the Antagonist fed on both of them; he fed on the bodies of the living,
THIRTEEN Peddling rapidly, the final image of the Great C extension and the hunter still strong in his mind, Pete guided his bicycle along the curving way that led among stone hills. Passing a steep shoulder, he was suddenly confronted with a number of small, moving figures who occupied the trail before him. His action was automatic. "Look out!" he shouted, twisting the handlebars and braking. He struck stone, was thrown. The bicycle clattered and skidded on ahead. He scraped his elbow, his
place?" Pete asked. "Oh, no! That's a bug secret. Just us Chosen can go there. Anybody else would strip the Body, steal the sacred Name." "Sorry," Pete said, "I wasn't trying to pry." "It's your kind that did Him in," the bug went on bitterly. "Caught Him there on His mountain with your damn war." "I had nothing to do with that," Pete said. "I know, I know. You're too young, like all the rest. What do you want with the inc?" "I want to go along with him to protect him. It's dangerous for