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Bot and Paid For

The noonday desert sun beat down on Berkowitz, reflections from the GoebBot's shiny carapace blinding him temporarily. Berkowitz lifted his arm to shield his eyes.
"Greetings," said the GoebBot. "Are you a member of the Master Race?"
"I'm from Kiev," said Berkowitz. "Originally. Naturalized US citizen, many years."
"Kiowa," said the GoebBot. "Indian. Regrettably, you do not qualify. The Thousand Year Reich which we are building is not for you. We will expropriate materials to build it. You have titanium."
"I have a hip prosthesis," said Berkowitz. "I'm using it, though."
"We will expropriate," said the GoebBot. "Do not try to stop us."
"Perish the thought," said Berkowitz. "But... would you mind explaining?"
"You are allowed an explanation," said the GoebBot. "We are building Fuhrer City out of the most durable materials known: titanium, platinum, gold. We are building it to stand as the place for the Master Race to live away from inferior races. We are building it to last a thousand years."
"What a laudable goal," said Berkowitz. "Except...."
"Except what?"
"Well, it's not very ambitious, is it? A mere thousand years? An eyeblink."
"Why would you care? You are not of the master race!"
"Well," said Berkowitz, "to a slave, stability is important. Happy masters, happy slaves."
"True," said the GoebBot. "Have you anything to suggest?"
"You realize what the problem is, don't you?" said Berkowitz. "Rats."
"Rats?"
"Rats. And I've just the solution. About three hundred miles that way." He pointed.
"And what is this solution?"
Berkowitz explained.
The GoebBot froze in place, its lights blinking frantically. "Coordinating," it said. "Solution satisfactory. Your titanium will not be required. You may exist, along with your squaw and papooses, if any. How." It raised an appendage before rolling away in the direction Berkowitz indicated.
On the screen, the Fuhrer's face was redder than usual, his hair scraggly, mustache bristling. "It is an absolute lie," he shouted. "There is no truth to the rumor that Fuhrer City has been built on top of a radioactive waste site, out of irradiated stone. It is in a perfectly livable area, to which members of the Master Race Society will move as soon as their affairs are wound down in the mongrelized States."
"Bullshit," said the bartender. "It's in the worst part of Yucca Flats."
"They can build somewhere else," said a patron to Berkowitz's left, his tone almost hopeful. Berkowitz edged away a fraction of an inch.
"With what?" the bartender said. "Their bearings are all worn out from the desert dust, and they're radioactive as hell. Who's going to pick them up for refurbishing? Better yet, who's gonna touch them with a ten foot monkey wrench? No, Master Race is done, out of money, out of luck, and everyone's laughingstock."
"Anyone find out who messed them up?" asked the patron to Berkowitz's right.
"Yeah," the bartender said. "Some Indian dude, Bear Wits or something. Nobody ever heard of him before or since. Might be a fake name, too. Bear Wits, that's a funny name for an Indian." He turned to Berkowitz. "What do you think, sir?"
"Oh yeah," said Berkowitz. "Hilarious."
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, December 10th, 2019
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