Atomic Robo in Nam'
Come Fly With Me
Robo and Boil gazed at the mountain in front of them. The peak poked in the sky smothered by several clouds, smaller peaks from mountains that were joined to the one the two gazed at also stood in the sky. The mountain had an uneasy feeling about it, it looked fake, the mountain was shiny like plastic.
"Shall we knock?" Robo asked his eyes meeting Boil's.
"Where's the door?" Boil asked seeing no sign of any way to enter.
Just then a large out door speakers gave a loud screech as a voice started to speak he was speaking English and had an strong Asian twang to his voice.
"American and demon!... Surrender! You are no match for the People's Army of Vietnam."
Robo laughed and looked behind him.
"Really we killed them looked behind us!"
"Ha! Stupid America... you'll soon see your colleagues will die!"
Boil looked at Robo and wondered what he meant. Just then on the mountain base a metal door started to move, it folded upwards.
"Damn it I knew it!" Robo shouted running inside. "There was a base built into the mountain after all!"
"Robo wait!" Boil shouted, but his words were unheard.
"That bastard gonna' get himself killed." Boil ran after his friend.
Once inside Robo looked up and saw a large rack and the item he was told to destroy rested on the racks ready to be launched. The base looked like something from Tesladyne, a large metal staircase spired to the peak, catwalks bridged in all directions, computers flashed and beeped in a musical rhythm.
"Holy shi-" Robo was cut off when he was shot at. "Damn! Charlie just leave me alone!" Robo opened fire and headed to the staircase.
Boil entered and was blow way by what Robo saw.
"Those missiles... They look ready to launch!" Boil said shocked.
Boil then heard gunshots nearby and opened fire on incoming attackers, he ran to a locker section of the ground floor and engaged enemies.
Robo ran up the staircase and reached the first floor which was a leisure room. The NVA on the first floor were ready for him, they kicked over desks and hid behind them while Robo fired at them. Robo saw more race down the staircase and a catwalk beside him. Suddenly the men on the catwalk were shot and fell over the railing screaming as they fell to their death. Robo looked down and saw Boil nod.
"I was fine by myself!" Robo shouted over the gunshots.
"Can't let you take them all!" Boil replied heading to the staircase to assist.
The robot ran into the leisure room and engaged melee with the men, when Boil arrived he saw NVA fly from the windows he peaked in and a bar brawl was taking place with the exception of alcohol.
"I'm fine here go on ahead." Robo said throwing NVA off him.
"Okay!" Boil replied and continued to run up the staircase.
As he reached the second floor he saw an armoury, he shot NVA who were exiting it. Boil ran in and found a paradise of Soviet made weapons, RPGs, AK-47s and Russian infantry weapons.
Boil picked up an RPG and slung it over his shoulder and picked up a RPK infantry weapon. He exited it and opened fire on a group of seven who were climbing up the stairs, he shot them all and they all rolled down the staircase like rag dolls.
Boil continued to run upwards reaching the third floor, he placed his back against a wall beside the entrance to the third floor. He reached for a grenade and threw it unknowing what was in the room. An explosion erupted and men ran out only to be mowed down by Boil.
Robo strangled the last NVA on the first floor and went to check on Boil. He ran out and rushed past the second floor and up to the third only to trip over the bodies which littered the staircase. His five-hundred pound body was not accepted by the staircase, an eerily sound of metal breaking and wires snapped the staircase connecting second to third broke in two. Robo felt himself fall, but in a split second grasped an industrial wire he looked down at a twenty foot fall from the third floor.
"Oh man I need to hang on." He said to himself, he glanced left the broken staircase beside him look like a ladder.
"Well call me Robo." He said and swung on the rope sideways and jumped onto the broken staircase and climbed it.
Once on stable ground the robot continued to catch up with Boil who was on the fifth floor which was the control room, it was at the peak of the mountain overlooking the rack carrying the missiles.
"You're cleanin' house!" Robo complimented seeing the dead NVA soldiers litter the catwalks and staircase.
Inside the fifth floor room Boil was aiming his gun at the head of an NVA soldier who had the same voice as the guy who was on the speakers when they were outside.
"You filthy Americans don't realise the war is lost." He said standing near the computer which governs the missiles. "These missiles are targeted at all high value American bases and targets like US carriers."
"Games over! Commie... I see the Russians gave you these." Boil said tilting his head to the missiles.
"Of course, we don't want yours." The Vietnamese soldiers said adding disdain to his voice.
"Well tell Hanoi they can kiss my ass!" Boil stated.
"We'll see about that." The soldiers rammed his fist on a button.
Boil shot him as soon as he moved, but was too late. He felt the ground shake and looked at the missiles steam was being released from them.
"Robo!" Boil said looking for his robot friend.
"I know! That commie has set the activation sequence I'm sure Washington doesn't want a missile I think soap is a better substitute." Robo said and ran down the staircase in a hurry.
Boil reached for his RPG, but reconsidered, blowing up them up close would kill him with them.
"Damn!" Boil hissed seeing no quick way of stopping them, he tried the computer, but it was too late.
"Robo!" Boil's voice lacked faith.
"I'm on it!" Robo noticed a man dressed as a pilot running out of the base and to the parked MiGs.
"That's it!" Robo said as an idea came to mind.
The pilot ran to the nearest MiG 21 and entered it unaware of Robo in hot pursuit. Robo looked behind him and saw the roof peak open and the missiles poke out from the peak. Time was of the essence.
Boil was running as fast as he could out of the mountain base, but when he saw the broken staircase he had to jump. He ran as fast as he could and leapt he felt like the world watched and waited to see if he could make it over three feet, he landed just barely on the other side guaranteeing him a way out.
The escaping MiG was going to escort the missiles to their destination, but only one he could follow.
Boil ran out of the base and reached for his RPG he noticed Robo chasing after the MiG, Boil saw that as pointless and turned his attention back to the missiles. He calculated the distance from his weapon to the mountain peak.
"Its was worth a try." He said to himself in encouragement and pulled the trigger of his RPG, the rocket flew from the weapon and headed straight towards the peak, just then one missile flew free, a loud rumbling roared erupted as it took to the sky while the others waited their turn.
"Come on!" Boil mumbled feeling every muscle tense up watching the RPG soar towards it's target.
The RPG hit one and a loud deafening explosion followed all the rest exploded.
"Yee haw!" Boil said smiling at his success. "Take that Kremlin!" He shouted overcome with joy.
He quickly turned and saw Robo jump onto the escaping MiG 21's tail, Boil was helpless watching his friend possibly commit suicide.
"Robo I hope you know what you're doing?" Boil said frowning and was left being the only living thing in the area.
As the MiG took off Robo felt his grip being put under stress as tremendous G-force was being applied. When the plane was airborne Robo began to move along the fuselage. He approached the cockpit and smashed the cockpit open and dragged the guy out and threw him out.
"I'd hate to be you." Robo said and entered the cockpit. "Lets see what the Russian have here, altitude meter? Check, thrusters? Check! Gun pods fully functioning?" Robo pressed a button which caused the gun pods to splutter. "Check!"
"Air? Nah! I'm a robot who needs air?" Robo said and glanced to the missiles beside the jet he was piloting. "Now we got to stop you." Robo looked at the plane fuselage and then back to the missiles he was chasing, the Balalaika shape of the plane was common with this model but it wasn't made to stop missiles where as a Low Wing configuration could just like in World War Two when V-1 bombs were attacking London, RAF pilots would bravely tap the V-1 with the wing of their plane to change it's course. Robo wasn't going to replicate that today.
He turned the control stick and did a barrel roll and was right behind the missiles, but the heat emitting from the thrusters was too much forcing Robo to manoeuvre out of the heat.
"Damn! Can't get close." Robo said frustrated, he was kilometres away from the mountain Boil was at, but the missile had to be stopped, it was fast approaching the capital of South Vietnam. Robo then tried to ram at it, he felt a bump as his plane shunted the long missile.
"This is going to kill me!" Robo said and kept going at it but nothing was happening.
With in no time Robo noticed that time was running out South Vietnam were launching sorties to engage what was an enemy MiG unaware Robo was piloting it.
"Come on!" Robo said as he rammed the plane at the missiles desperately, he saw it turn slightly to the right. "Good now we're getting progress!" Robo said, he then controlled the plane upwards till he was above the missile.
"Right as I predict the plane will go down and collide with the missile." Robo said finishing off with some hard calculations.
He instantly shuffled back and kicked the control stick causing the plane to dive slightly downwards towards the missile, Robo jumped out and activated a parachute, the plane crashed into the missile causing a huge explosion, but the blast caught his parachute and burned it till it disappeared.
"Oh no!" Robo said and plummeted down he noticed the buildings of Saigon, he couldn't believe that he made it to Saigon so soon. He roughly landed coincidently outside the US embassy. He rose to a horde of stunned and curious locals, the Americans there instantly recognised the robot and ran to see why he was here.
"Robo what happened?" One asked helping him up.
"Oh it's nothing just a secret mission." Robo said.
"Secret mission?" One asked interested.
"You know stop Russian missiles from attacking Saigon and major US targets in Vietnam."
"Was it something I said?" Robo said looking at everyone.
"Really Russian missiles were targeting Saigon?" Another asked.
"Yes, but their gone and now we can relax."
"That's our Robo!" One cheered happily embracing the robot.
"No hugs." Robo yelled his eyes slit.
Later the same day Boil was found exhausted in Laos, he was staying out of view from NVA patrols. He was quickly taken to a nearest base hospital. He didn't know Robo had stopped the missile, he didn't know what happened.
Lying in a hospital bed suffering from dehydration and lack of food he listened to the radio.
"Goooooooooood Evening Vietnam! This is Airman first class John Lowbowski here to tell you that today we were stunned by the unknown arrival of Atomic Robo Tesla in Saigon this afternoon. He told officials at twelve past three this afternoon that he destroyed a commie missile which was launched from Laos, get this, he said it was from a mountain disguised as a base, imagine that? Russians hiding in plastic mountains, what will they ever do next?" He laughed amused and music began to play.
As the radio continued to talk Boil smiled weakly in his bed.
"Good work Robo I knew you could do it."
Three days later Robo met Boil for the last time in South Vietnam, both were going home since the news back home were desperate to talk to the "heroes" Boil saw the dead as heroes not him, he was doing what Uncle Sam wanted.
"So Robo this is goodbye?" Boil said standing with Robo waiting for their respected planes to arrive while the media around them were being watched by military police.
"Indeed it is, two years since March of 65'."
"Yeah." Boil said sounding upset.
"Hey what's up Boil?" Robo nudged Boil seeing a smile fade.
"It's nothing Robo, it's just my four kids and my beautiful wife have missed me dearly back home in Sioux City, Iowa."
"I've got business with Tesladyne, I'm no longer stuck here." Robe said as if relieved to see the back of Vietnam.
"Oh really." Boil said trying to sound upbeat.
Robo instantly identified a problem. "Boil, that tone is not your usual."
Boil began wiping his left eye all the memories of battle and firefights came back to the man from Iowa, Boil was going to miss Robo's company and trying to find a substitute is not going to be easy.
"Robo I can't hold it in any longer." Boil started to sob, but kept an encouraging smile. "I'm gonna' miss ya buddy."
"Come on Sergeant what would the media say when they see a hero cry?"
Boil looked up to Robo. "They can kiss my ass, I'm not a hero those who have died are heroes." Boil stated looking at Robo, Robo could see Boil was speaking from his heart.
"I've been in so many positions where I could of died does that make me a hero?" Robo asked humorously.
"You should be dead by now Robo, but you are a tank."
"Without the brawns." Robo added quickly.
"Ah Robo that's what I'm gonna' miss the most your humour." Boil said grinning while tears of happiness rolled down his cheeks.
"I'm not gonna' forgot the nights where we were hammered by artillery all night." Robo said, in the distance he saw his plane arrive.
"Here it is Boil!" Robo said he couldn't wait to get inside and fly back to the States. "A metropolitan of bureaucracy awaits me! All for the name of science." Robo said, he was about to make it to the plane, but before he did he turned around and shook Boil's hand for the last time.
"It's been a pleasure Boil." Robo said happily and thankfully. "I couldn't have been put with a better soldier."
Boil blushed. "Robo do you mean that?"
"I wouldn't of said it if I didn't mean it."
"Come here Robo." Boil gave Robo a friendly hug he began to cry again.
"Come on Boil, you're only gonna' make me stay." Robo said.
"Robo good luck and please stay in touch if you need me I'll be in Sioux City Iowa."
"You know maybe I could get you a job at Tesladyne, then we can see each other till you get enough of seeing my ugly face every morning."
Boil chuckled, grateful of the offer. "Robo I got to be at home for my kids."
Robo nodded understanding the man's need to be with his offspring.
"Boil?" Robo said as he climbed the staircase into the plane. "Friends?"
"Of course Robo friends till the end." Boil replied their friendship has become concrete for the two, Robo was hard at showing it.
Robo entered the plane and sat down along with others who were heading out of Vietnam. The robot sat by the window, he looked at Boil for the last time, the American saluted to the robot, the robot saluted back and the plane drove down the runway and took off into the sky heading to America.
Boil returned home to Sioux City Iowa to see his four children and wife. He was welcomed home by all relatives of his family, but like all soldiers of that conflict he would suffer nightmares and even feel suicidal, his accomplishments earned him no medals or a heroes welcome since the war going against the US, public opinion dramatically shifted. Family of veterans felt like a part of them has returned, but the government didn't care. The soldiers were home, but hang to dry with no help only volunteer groups were there to support soldiers suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Boil was one of the hung to dry soldiers.
Robo retuned to a usual day back at Tesladyne fighting creatures and extraterrestrials continued as normal all in the name of science.
(Early 1997 Great Bear Lake Canada)
Robo was sitting on a fishing boat with Boil now 67 and his children and wife, his kids got married and had kids of their own, but what made the two men different from everyone on the boat was what they saw and fought. Both men had seen combat in Vietnam and it would leave a mark on them for the rest of their lives, Robo fought in WW2, but that was only against Doctor Helsingrad and the Nazis, not storming the beaches of Normandy and seeing all the death around him like he did in Nam'.
"Boil?" Robo called looking at the water while a fishing rod was ready to catch fish.
"Yes Robo?" Boil said now old he slowly walked towards his old friend.
"It's been a while since we've been together."
"I know." Boil replied peeking over the boat. "Damn trout don't want to show up." Boil huffed.
"We can have a private conversation now the kids are distracted." Robo said emphasising the word "kids" as if they were monsters.
"You don't like kids do you Robo?"
"No they're brats."
"Of course only when they're young."
"Any way Boil do you feel stuck, like your mind can't move on."
"You mean Nam'? Yeah I do it stays with me and won't go until I die."
"It's just I miss it." Robo said reflecting while looking at his reflection in the water.
"We all do Robo, it was where we turned to men."
"I couldn't agree more." Robo replied, he reached for his fishing rod and pulled a fish on to the deck.
Boil chuckled, but his anger and frustration from the war stuck to him like glue.
(August 19th 2007)
Boil passed away by natural causes at the age of 77 three weeks ago. Today was his funeral, only after his death and the death of the Soviet Union was his accomplishments and heroic efforts finally rewarded. The world finally knew of the duo's mission to stop Russian missiles from hitting South Vietnam, the Pentagon kept word silent on this mission, his family were stunned he kept it from them, but they had a hunch he wouldn't want to talk about it.
Robo stood on a church podium looking down at the coffin carrying Boil's body. Robo was dressed in a formal suit and tie the metal being began to make a speech.
"Marcus Boil, I always called him Boil... Boil was a good man, he served and fought not for money, or fame, he fought to preserve justice... I had the pleasure of working with him, let's say fight with him... as a soldier he had this ability to lead men, there was this one moment I will never forget in 65' after our company was attacked in an ambush, I remember him crying as we saw what was left of a village destroyed by the NVA, I saw him weep over a man's body. Not because he was friend, but because the man was only nineteen years old."
Robo gazed at the faces of weeping relatives, he was no stranger to the Boil family. He was a family friend, but was always too busy to see them, but his protection of Boil earned him an invitation to every Christmas and Thanks Giving. Robo gave a heroic speech about Boil and his mission. When the speech ended Robo added his final words.
"Boil you were a good soldier, you'll be missed... goodbye friend."
Robo walked down the podium and stood before the coffin and placed a blooming flower in the grasp of Boil, his wife and kids lay their own flowers and cried. Robo walked away from the scene of misery and death not because he was busy, but because he didn't want anyone to see him sad, if he could release at least one tear he would for Boil, but being a robot he was incapable of doing so. He left the church and walked away, far away as possible... he couldn't take the sobbing and weeping any longer, it reminded him too much of his creator, Mr. Tesla when he died.
Today Robo visits Boil's grave every now and again, the harsh truth of his existence was the ability to outlive everyone he meets, every friend he gets will die eventually, but Robo will keep going.
"Boil I still miss you." Robo muttered and placed another flower on the grave and walked away to continue his fight against all that is weird and bizarre across the globe. For Robo it was another notch in his life as Robo.
This story is dedicated to all those who have died in the Vietnam War. American or Vietnamese, women and children. Rest in peace knowing you're in a better place.
The title is the name of the song "Come Fly with Me" a popular song.