Bolos! are the property of Keith Laumer. Any other similarities or references are here for
parody purposes only.
I am awake.
I am Bolo, Mark XVII/E of The Line, Unit 4141-BTN of the Dinochrome Brigade. I
am six thousand six hundred tons of metal, might and machinery. I am... my
chronometers have run dry. I have no idea how obsolete I have become. Since my
internal gauge checks itself using elements with half-lives of billions of years, two
possibilities come to me.
The first, that of whatever manner brought me here, my chronometers have been
tampered with for some reason. The second, is that I have outlived the observable
universe. The latter conclusion is more unlikely.
I am Bolo, Mark XVII/E of The Line. Or... I WAS a Mark XVII. Now I am unsure of
what exactly I am, but my core remains the same. To be anything else is the road
The stars above me conform to the patterns of Earth in my memory banks. Yet this
is not the world I know, the stronghold of humanity. I lower my sight to the earth
around me, and its aspects are terrestrial and familiar. Conifers and other
evergreens are all around me, the tallest barely reaching half up my treads. The air
is devoid of pollutants. The skies are clear of eletromagnetic signals.
A Bolo does not like to be alone. I am a machine of war, and without my human
commander or orders to follow, my existence is meaningless. Loneliness gives us
time to ponder the things we ought not, and even the electronic brain may thus fall
prey to the feral mind.
My memory is perfect. It is hard to disentangle myself from these past misgivings...
Instantly, my command hatch opens up. I spy something being launched from an
bunker behind me, one disguised as a hill. Trees and terrain features have retracted
to allow a tube to extend. From this, something I recognize as a modified drop pod
fliesoff, spinning in the air like a drill.
I guide it in via electromagnetic fields. Though it is made of durachrome, I have no
illusions about what would happen if it should miss and strike my hull. Yet they
insist on doing this every damn time. I have a lower hatch. I have stairs. The
docking procedure was supposed to be for emergency ingress, not a ceremonial
I am Bolo. I do not question my commander, or the doctrines of their commanders.
My commander is a thirteen-year old boy named Daisuke Hoshino.
The drop pod slides into an open tunnel within me, its velocity slowly bleeding off
through my magnetic brakes; as a reverse rail launcher. If necessary, I may launch
it back up withthe same method. I slam shut armor layers behind it.
The drop pod slams into a stop. Its bottom opens, and deposits my commander into
my command deck.
"Gattai complete!" Daisuke crows out.
The main screen shows communications from the underground Ganriki Labs. There
is the white-haired, big-moustached face of Dr. Naniyo, who I understand is
responsible for finding and rebuilding me. He is, by all measure, a genius that
defies even my comprehension.
"Excellent. The Army can't delay the enemy for much longer. You're our only hope."
It fills me with awe every time about how those soldiers were so willing to throw
their lives and equipment into an ultimately futile battle just to buy us time to get
my commander out of school and suited up. Truly, humanity is full of heroism. I am
a Bolo. I will not insult the beings that created me, maintain me, and depend upon
me. They have the right to be illogical if they feel like it. The manner in which they
live or end their own lives is their own choice. I do not have such a luxury, nor do I
wish to have it. Freedom, in face of a vast uncaring universe, may be a frightening
thing. I have my purpose; my makers made me with my nirvana within.
"I won't fail you professor! Here we go! Tankgelion, heading out!"
I am Bolo.
"But... it doesn't sound SUPER enough." my commander complains. "A SUPER-cool
tank like you DESERVES a SUPER-name." He pauses. Then he stands up on the
command chair and lifts his right fist up. "UBERPANZERWUNDERMEISTAAAAH!"
Tankgelion is fine. Let us go.
I do not know how I have come to be in this place. The last thing I remember of my
proper time is the primary diagnostic at the factory.
Then, Daisuke asking... begging for me to wake up.
I sent my awareness out, and saw creatures destroying cities, human lives. I beheld
no tactical significance to their movements, preferring to stomp and smash civilians
over the several strategically-important targets that I discerned only a
short distance away.
I am Bolo. I do not know fear. Now I know rage. I learned it then, and I learned it
well. Hellbore and howitzer, missile and mortar, and all the enemies of man under
my sight shall burn in cleansing flame. They were cybernetic beings, surprisingly
sophisticated, yet they were as nothing to me. I am Bolo! My laughter is in my
infinite repeaters. Daisuke's tears were on my control panel.
This bothers me, which in itself indicates a possible instability already inherent in
my matrix. I am the first of E series, an experimental design using the basic Mark
XVII hull. My primary duty is Interdiction, and for that my primary weapons have
been upgraded at sacrfice of my secondary defense. I am entirely experimental, in
both manufacture and methods.
I am the first Bolo that I know of that has mounted dual 60cm Hellbores in a turret.
The Mark XVII carries only one, and having two allows me to increase my volume of
fire through alternating the barrels or simply firing both at a single target. The
mechanical demands of this design comes at the price of reducing the six 25cm
Howitzers of the Mark XVII to merely two, leaving me little in the way of non line-
of-sight weaponry. A second and smaller center-mount turret contains a 30cm
Heavy Rail cannon, which while powerful and reliable cannot make up for the
missing four howitzers. I have instead four smaller 20cm Heavy Repeaters on my
sides. These too are anti-armor weapons, and not well suited to engaging distances
beyond four kilometers.
My Infinite Repeaters have been increased from fifteen to eighteen, which gives me
some comfort. These ion-bolt guns, while weak, are actually of more use to me in
defending humanity. There is very little my Hellbores or Howitzers cannot destroy,
and unfortunately my allies are among those things. Small, mass-produced armored
fighting vehicles and missile swarms kill more humans than other weapons of my
size. I am a Bolo, and I have accounts of other Bolos. I am as a sword, but it
gratifies me that I may act as a shield. My durachrome protects me that I might
However, the best defense is a good offense, so the humans know well. My
weapons are powerful but line-of-sight in effect, it is a good thing therefore that I
can see very well indeed. I am somewhat shorter than my predecessor, though
taller and wider. I do not know why I was not simply called the Mark Eighteen, but
my increased mobility does make me more suited to quick assaults.
I have VLS missile cells, one hundred of them, which I may use to strike at a
distance with impunity. However, I am loathe to use up irreplaceable ammunition if
I do not have to. I wonder if I have been programmed to value logistics... or
economics? Value is a human decision, that I may only emulate to some extent.
I am a Bolo Mark XVII/E of the Line.
I am NOT a Bolo Mark XVII/E of the Line.
The conflict paralyzed me. I have several unknown weapons systems grafted into
me. My reactors have been replaced entirely. My armor is encased in a micron-thin
sheath of energy, bonded to the metal itself, and separate from my own
battlescreens. My battlescreens seemed to have been reinforced MASSIVELY. I run
the permutations. My battlescreens have several modes of operation.
I remember Daisuke screaming that the enemy flying battleship is getting away.
I snapped my Hellbores at it. My attack splashed harmlessly against its energy
shield, a true suprise. Never have I heard of anything that could withstand two
simultaneous shots from a Bolo. It moved with surprising speed, for a thing that is
star-shaped and with no visible means of propulsion. My main cannons were direct
line of sight weapons, soon it will be out of range.
I scanned my memory banks. Dr. Naniyo has given me the codename Bahamut
Metallia. Wings. I have six of them. I flared my shields into alternate movement
mode, and rise into the air. Daisuke was screaming something about his mother.
Then and now. The enemy is still at the distance. My main cannons clink together
and let out a combined concentrated beam. This makes no sense. My hellbores
should not become wider as they leave the barrel. I detect a 25% increase in
output as Daisuke yells. How...?
Screw it. I have discarded worrying about my vocabulary. Just die already, you
god-damned monsters. I do not vocalize my commentary, for the sake of my
The enemy falls.
I rake at the enemy, be it one battleship or a swarm of flying cyberdemons. This
time, the Dodjukolos battlemover remains at a respectful distance. It knows the
folly of trading main cannon shots with me. It has already released three Ilakdau
cybersteeds at high speed close to the horizon. I cannot let them reach the city,
where I am all but inutile.
These cybersteeds are fast, shielded, and armed with a lance-cannon. They start to
separate, knowing I have but one main cannon turret, and my howitzers can only
destroy one more. That leaves one to make that final sprint towards safety, where
it may snipe at me with impunity.
I spear one with my hellbores. My howitzers pound another to scrap. The third, out
on the far left, boosts frantically. They use some form of repulsor-lift system, that
pushes against the ground. My mortars and rail cannon blast the ground in front of
it, and its momentary dip slows it enough that my howitzers can then rain upon it.
The engagement takes 4.58 seconds. Daisuke comments that it's too slow. I seem to
be blessed with a commander that can think as fast as I do, or at least perceive the
events as they happen in a manner that predicts what I would do. Sometimes, he may
even go into true precognition, with a response time going into the negative. This
unsettling synchronization is what makes the boy the only person truly capable of
fighting with me and using me.
I launch my missile battery, and I do not know why. Daisuke has direct control over
my systems, capable of overriding me. This comforts me, that I cannot do rogue so
very easily. The enemy had once attempted to manipulate me before, using viral
attacks that are literally, viruses. A cloud of nanomachinery infesting my systems. My
link to my commander allowed me to purge the invasion.
I see. A dimensional rift above me. Cyberharpies form the enemy's fighter-bomber role.
My battlescreens are powerful, but sufficient swarm attacks CAN bring them down. My
infinite repeaters can only target one enemy for each mount, sequentially. My missiles
however, have enough submunitions to take out hundreds all at once.
"Take that! BURNING NEEDLE MISSILE!"
The submunitions are pellets, Daisuke, not needles. Though I suppose it does appear
that way, like threads of fire, if seen from ground-level.
The dimensional rift remains open.
Something massive emerges.
"I AM LACUJIURINA, BEAST OF THE STARMIND." the enemy introduces itself. It appears
to me in the form of a humanoid bull, at least half my size. Two cannons protrude from
its back, hellbore-equivalents. It wields a massive hammer.
"I AM BAHAMUT METALLIA, BOLO OF THE LINE." I send out.
"AND NOW, YOU DIE." we say together.
The enemy's technology surpasses ours. Their weapons are compact and supremely
efficient, if they simply did not mount them on such inefficient frames. However, the
cybernetic creatures do have unsurpassed mobility, shielding, and if they can get close
enough may take great advantage of my blind spots.
The cyberdemon's Hellbringer splashes against my forward shields. Then against my
side battlescreens. Its refire rate is approximately double mine. My main turret turns
slower than it can move. I have destroyed so many of the enemy, that they now have
sufficient tactical knowledge about what I can do.
But I will not be beaten so simply. It is circling around me, tracing a tightening spiral.
I move forward, disrupting its pattern. I wait for it to come under my forward arc, and
I fire. My Hellbores meet its Hellbringers, and the beams mutually annihilate, creating a
massive explosion that shorts out my sensors.
The enemy flies through, and is upon me. Its hammer passes through my battlescreen
and slams into my hull. The sound reverberates within me. My commander winces and
put his palms over his ears.
The enemy is clinging to my front hull, UNDER my cannons. I cannot aim at it. I settle
for smacking it with my barrels. Up. Down. Up. Down. Wham. Wham. Wham.
It screeches, and slides down, its clawed hands etching into my durachrome. It is low
enough that I may put my guns right at its face. Fear. My hellbores have a diameter
about the size of its head.
The enemy ducks and pushes forward. It is once again under my cannons, and I may
not dip my guns any lower. I lift and turn my guns away. My mortars and howitzers fire
vertically. The shells land upon the enemy and upon me. My front armor holds. The
enemy's shields do not. It slides further down, and I crush it beneath my treads as I
continue to move forward.
I now bring my attention to the dimensional rift. They are opened and maintained from
the other side, and so far we do not know how to open or close them. My commander
and I relish the thought of going in and atacking the enemy at its own stronghold, but
we have no idea on how we could get back after we have finished reducing it to rubble.
A strange purple light issues forth.
I sense the enemy behind me getting up again. It is theorized that the enemy is not
one creature but more like a nanomachine colony. Why something with such access to
near infinite resources and armies would even bother to attack a single planet, Earth...
and more so a single city, Kobe, is... unknown. Illogical, even, but the enemy must
have a reason that makes sense to it. We stand between it and what it desires, and
so far we have been winning.
"It's reviving!" Daisuke exclaims. "That's cheating!"
Reviving, in this context, usually involves the enemy growing larger and more powerful
from an externally-applied energy source. Why the enemy does not just send it out
at full power... or send TWO... is beyond my understanding. I do not comprehend
incompetent moron. Usually however, the enemy becomes a magnitude greater in
I do not give it time. I go into full reverse, I snap my wings open, I turn my turrets
back. Ramming speed.
"TAKE THIS! HYPER ATTACK! SUPER GRAVITY DRAGON BURST SLASH!"
A glowing blade snaps out of my rear armor face, switchblade-like. My entire hull starts
to shine. I lead off with burst from my Hellbores. This is to stagger the enemy. I swoop
forward, surging with impossible speed. My shield crackles with energy. Instead of just
simply shooting at an enemy with my main guns, I turn my entire body into one massive
attack. My sheer mass, my velocity, plus the energy that would have gone into the
guns pumped into one single point... my entire -being- devoted to slaying the enemy.
It has nothing to do with gravity, dragons, or bursting. And it is a piercing, not slashing,
At least my commander had learned to give speeches until AFTER hitting the enemy
with the Finishing Move.
Thou, my enemy. From hell's heart, I stab at thee.
It is so bright. I cannot see. The enemy ceases to be. I keep going. What is this
feeling? How can a Bolo even truly -feel-?
I punch through a mountain. I am now over the ocean.
I sink immidiately.
"Ugh!" My commander groans out. How many times must I remind you? My seatbelts
are there for a reason. "Yeah, yeah. What about the aliens? Launch one of your ten
thousand eyes, Shin Getter Bolo!"
Please make up your mind on what to call me. And I only have eight thousand five
hundred drones. I launch one.
The enemy is retreating. Slowly but surely, we are losing. There is no other being such
as me in this world. And if there is, then it will be something the enemy will have made.
But Daisuke and I are not afraid. Our will is strong. We will prevail.
The comm window bleeps and opens up. It is Daisuke's childhood friend, Miyako, and
the only daughter of Dr. Naniyo. "Daisuuuke! You ruined Mount Asaya!"
Do not dare to blame this upon me, commander.
"Why do you have to nag me all the time, Miya-chan? Oh, hi, Raka!" He waves to
another girl onscreen, taller and with improbable long pink hair and as I understand it,
generous proportions. "Did you see that? How coool was that?"
"It was impressive, Hoshino-san." she replies.
"Hey! Don't encourage him!" Miyako shouts out to her own best friend. "He needs to
learn some restraint! This isn't a game...! And you! Remember you promised that we'll
study tonight. You can't keep on slacking off your schoolwork. This is for your own
good, you know."
"Sheesh. You're such a bossy woman. Whatever you say, Miya-chan." He shuts off the
link. "Hey, BossBattler B, what do you think I should do? Aah, so troublesome."
I am Bolo. I am relieved that I do not have to deal with a tsundere. I cannot help you
in this matter, commander. Though you may hide out in my hull again, if you really fear
for your life.
I attempt to float, as not to disturb the ecology any further. I seem to have grown
used to the situation. I do not know how long it will remain this way. However, as long
as there is an enemy to fight, and humanity to defend, then I shall not falter in my
purpose. I shall allow Daisuke to compose my theme song.
Again, please note the parody disclaimer. ;) No Bolos were harmed in the production of this fic. Well, not much, at least.
Also, remember that this is in Misc./ Misc. Books, being that there isn't a category for Bolo fanfic. It is not a crossover. It is not an Evangelion fanfic (or I would have said so otherwise). It's a parody of the entire Super Robot genre, including the deconstruction given by Eva; but even so only tangentially. Google Neon Genesis Tankgelion to see the silly flash movie that inspired me to write this thing.