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Looking for name of a short sci-fi story about a seemingly omniscient being that can answer any question and eventually tells how to steal itself. It is found on a planet and instantly knows how to communicate with those who first find it by all the clues of how they look, what they wear, and their first words. It can answer any question, and the government closely listens in for tax purposes as people who sign up to ask questions usually ask for money making information, but one day a person comes and asks a question in a long dead language which is "how do I steal you" and the alien who has grown bored over the years tells him and he gets stolen much to the delight of the alien.

  • That does ring a bell, but what I remember from the story was that it was a computer, and it had actually predicted that someone would come and ask that question. – SQB Jul 19 '17 at 20:50
  • So when did you read it? What did the cover look like? If you remember any additional details, how insignificant they may seem to you, please edit your question to add them. – SQB Jul 19 '17 at 20:52
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The Sack by William Morrison

Yzrl is a sack-like creature discovered on a random asteroid. It can answer any question. The government allocates time for asking any question and charges an outrageous amount of money for the time.

Eventually a criminal gang asks the Sack how to steal it and the Sack tells them. The Sack thinks this is a good thing since it is bad for humanity for it to be given the answers to technical questions, since often figuring the answer out yourself is more rewarding.

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