60 years after Donald J. Trump wins the election . . .
Lord Trump squirted ammonia onto Rosa’s pink-and-white tiger-stripe-painted rattlesnake assault rifle. “Perra, watch it!” she said.
Rivulets of liquid trickled across the floor and pooled at the back door of the BrightShine mobile eye-and-teeth-whitening truck. The vehicle had been the perfect camouflage—there was an identical truck on every other street corner across what was left of the continental United States of America—until a puddle of ammonia began to form under it, making it stand out. But Rosa couldn’t risk moving the truck. Their scouts had seen FEMA patrols closing on their position.
The polymerized face of Lord Trump contorted into an orchestration of eye rolls, winces of frustration, and purse-lipped disgust. “Hey, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”
“But you aren’t a man anymore, are you?” Rosa said. “Just what’s left of your pinche brain.”
“Let’s just shoot him already,” Juana hissed, pushing her lime-green-and-flame-painted fletch pistol into Trump’s transparent dome.
“We need the launch codes,” Rosa said. “We need him intact.”
“Woo! Yeah!” Lord Trump bellowed. “Even after I nuked all their men, these Mexican ladies want my bod.” The text scrolled up his faceplate. A chirp, and a holographic twitterbird fluttered up into ceiling the truck.
“I said no tweeting, cabrón!” Rosa snapped, swatting aside Juana’s gun and jabbing her finger at Trump’s piezoelectrically smirking face. “Just. Shut. Up!”
“You’re all fascists, you know that? Fascists,” Lord Trump yelled.
“Hay-SOOS! I said, QUIET!” Rosa snapped, jabbing the muzzle of her rifle between his eyes, hoping whatever was left of his nanite-poisoned brain could acknowledge the danger. She had made a show earlier of loading the Chinese-made Sui Zhi Ji armor-piercing fragmentation rounds, leaving the carton in clear view. Although she was still unsure whether or not this cyborg abomination could read, there had to be something in its memory about enemy weapons and tactics. She was, however, sure that the meaning behind the black and white colors of the box were lost on Lord Trump.
Having fought beside the Chinese commandos for three years, Rosa had picked up a little about her allies’ fetishistic use of colors. This box was printed with black for yin’s dormant, potential energy, and white for mourning the dead and for purity of spirit. In any other culture, the blandness of the carton would have inspired nothing but indifference for its generic aesthetics, but to each of the Chinese soldiers she had encountered, every soul of the five billion countrymen Trump’s nukes obliterated seemed to shine behind their eyes as if energized by ancestral power. Those black and white cartons were like fusion batteries for their Chinese warrior souls, and it was contagious. Rosa felt the same supernatural energy spark up her spine every time she reloaded, thinking about blowing up the FEMA civil enforcement troops that had rounded up her family and shot them.
With the muzzle scraping against the transparent hexiglas dome containing Trump’s synthetically-preserved head, she saw a shiver of recognition in his face. He understood on some primitive level that his immortality could be cut short. Lord Trump directed a parody of shame to play out on his plastic features. He carefully raised his oversized robotic hand and made the archaic gesture of buttoning his lip.
Rosa lowered her weapon, staring down Lord Trump as if her glare alone could keep him silent. He flexed his bushy nanowire eyebrows as if to affirm he received her message.
“Pendejo,” she muttered.
Rosa peeked out of the back of the truck, and through the windshield. Into a clearing of the tangled and overgrown foliage, a black armored FEMA troop transport rolled into view.
“If they spot us, you’re dead,” Juana whispered.
“They love me,” Lord Trump said in an unaltered volume. “They want to give me another planet to run.”
“Please, let me yank some wires,” said Juana. “Maybe I’ll get lucky and find his voice controls.
Rosa held up a hand. The enemy disappeared down the path between vine-tangled apartment towers.
Lord Trump squirted again, making the truck stink more like the eight months she had spent in the black site prison in Guam. She pushed the memories down deep behind shivering breaths.
“Disgusting,” said Juana.
“Made in America, baby,” he said, too loud.
“God! Don’t you ever shut up?” Juana cracked the butt of her pistol against his dome.
“I made a mistake,” Lord Trump said, hanging his head low.
Rosa spun as if she had been shot. “What did you say?”
Lord Trump’s psychological state had been analyzed by scientists and those reports had circulated through the underground long after all scientists had been rounded up and shot on live TV. There was not one historical record of Trump apologizing, or admitting a mistake. They called him a ‘malignant narcissist’ and a ‘sociopath’ who was incapable of empathy or acting in a way that benefited anyone but himself. Maybe they were wrong. Maybe the nanites swarming through his skull had fixed something. Maybe there was some hope after all.
He looked up at Rosa. “I made a mistake,” Lord Trump repeated. “I should have taken away all your guns when I had the chance.”
“That’s it,” Juana said. “We’ll take his head with us and leave the rest.”
“He’s got a self-destruct,” Rosa said as if it caused her pain to admit. “He dies, all the nukes launch.”
“He’s . . . why didn’t you tell me that before?” Juana said, inching away from Lord Trump’s graphene-ceramic chassis speckled with what remained of its original gold paint.
“What can I say,” said Lord Trump. “I’m hot stuff. Handle with care, girls.”
Juana started up the BriteShinemobile and drove away in the opposite direction the FEMA troop transport was headed. “At least now we know they didn’t scope our vehicle switch,” she said.
“Where’s the satcom tower?” Rosa said, craning her neck low to get a clear look at the sky. “I’m all turned around.”
“Behind us,” said Juana. “I have to go two blocks East, then I’ll cut back back around.”
“All these CRRC buildings look the same,” Rosa said, then turned to Trump. “But that was the idea, wasn’t it? New World Order? Depersonalize everyone by putting them together into cheap pre-fab apartment blocks that all look the same?”
“Nothing I do is cheap. Only the best materials went into these Climate Refugee Relocation Centers,” said Lord Trump. “They were designed to last for more than five hundred years and house a hundred thousand people each. Only the best for the American people.”
“But you killed all the American people!” said Juana.
“Just ignore him,” said Rosa.
“I’m an excellent builder.”
Juana pulled hard on the wheel. Lord Trump tumbled out of his seat and banged his dome onto a ceramic eye-bleaching bay. Another sharp turn dragged Lord Trump across the tiled floor to the rear doors of the truck where he skidded into his puddle of stink.
“Everyone okay back there?” Juana chuckled.
Trump stumbled to his mechanical feet and took his seat. He strapped in, grimacing. “That wasn’t very nice,” he pouted.