The Great C
The Great C is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick, first published in 1953 in Fantastic Story Magazine and later in The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick. It has since been republished several times, including in Beyond Lies the Wub in 1988.
The story is about a human tribe living in the distant future in a post-apocalyptic world, where a computer called the Great C has destroyed the world. Each year, the tribe sends a young man with three questions to the Great C, and if the computer cannot answer the questions, it will leave the tribe alone. On the other hand, if the computer can answer, the young man will be killed by the computer.
A young man from the tribe is sent to the Great C, with three questions prepared by the wise men of the tribe. He reaches the Great C in a destroyed building in the ruins of a city. The man asks his questions, first, he asks where rain comes from. The Great C answers with ease. His two other questions (why doesn't the sun fall out of the sky? and How the world came to existence?) are also easily answered by the computer. The Great C then absorbs the man and uses his body as energy, awaiting next year, for the next young man. Meanwhile, the tribe prepares for next year, coming up with difficult questions.