The Iron Dream

The Iron Dream by Norman Spinrad Read Free Book Online

Book: The Iron Dream by Norman Spinrad Read Free Book Online
Authors: Norman Spinrad
Tags: Fiction, General, Science-Fiction
smash his net!"
    A din of angry muttering filled the tavern now. They were clearly ready to carry out the racial will as he directed. Their deepest instinct had been fully aroused—the iron determination to protect the human species. A fire had been ignited which could only be quenched in Dominator blood.
    "What are we waiting for?" Feric bellowed. "We have our hands, and some of us are armed with truncheons! Let us march to the bridge and free our racial comrades! Death to the Dominator!"
    So saying, Feric made his way quickly to Bogel's side and fairly dragged the smaller man to his feet. Feric threw his great arm around Bogel's shoulders and cried:
    "Death to the Dominator—on to the bridge!"
    The crowd answered with a feral roar of approval, and Feric, with Bogel at his heels, marched resolutely out of the tavern without looking back, confident that the aroused mob was more than willing to follow where he led.
    Down Bridge Way the mob swept like avenging angels, thirty or forty outraged Helder, with Feric and Bogel at their bead. Every citizen on the street stopped in his tracks with amazement at the stirring sight; a few of the bolder souls fell into line.
    Soon they had reached the bridge; Feric led the mob out upon it, walking straight down the center of the roadbed so that the entire width of the bridge was blocked by sturdy men, marching shoulder to shoulder in righteous wrath. "You're an amazing orator, whoever you are,"
    Bogel told Feric, huffing and blowing in his efforts to keep up with Feric's heroic strides. "The Human Renaissance Party has need of a man like you. I myself am, alas, no rabble-rouser."
    "You must tell me about your party when this is over,"
    Feric replied tersely.
    "With pleasure. But how do you mean this business to end? Your goal seems beyond my comprehension."
    "My goal is simple enough," Feric told him. "The death of the Dominator in the fortress. If you seek to gain men's 39
    fanatical devotion you must allow them a baptism in blood."
    Across the bridge the mob marched resolutely, ten across, five ranks deep, a motly group of tavern loungers converted into a temporary storm troop of warriors by one man's will. It was a deeply satisfying feeling for Feric to march at the head of the column of men; it was everything he had imagined when he entertained the notion of a military career, and more. He could feel the power of the massed formation of men at his command course through his being, filling him with a sense of absolute faith in his own destiny. He was a leader. When he spoke, men would listen; when he commanded, they would follow. This without any formal training or official authority; his superiority in these matters was a quality other men could not help sense as intrinsic, no doubt graven in his genes themselves.
    Just as a herd of wild horses recognizes the supremacy of the lead stallion or as a wolf pack acknowledges the strongest animal as the natural leader, so these men whom he had never before seen were carried along in his van by the authority inherent in his voice and person alone.
    It was an awesome and terrible power that must be used only for patriotic and idealistic ends. Indeed the very strength of his will was no doubt partly the result of his complete dedication to the cause of genetic purity and the final triumph of true men everywhere. Only the ideal marriage of idealism and ruthless fanaticism could gener-

    ate such an overpowering will.
    Soon the mob had reached the customs fortress. The soldier guarding the entrance portal drew his truncheon as Feric and his followers approached and brandished the weapon aloft, but there was fear in his eyes and a quaver in his voice as he challenged the troop of aroused men:
    "Halt! What is this?"
    In reply, a bluff red-faced blond fellow stepped out of the press of men and slammed the unfortunate guard over the skull with a beer mug. The guard fell in a heap clutching his gashed head. Someone snatched his truncheon from him,

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