by N.A Miller
Pickup of the late Japanese Serial of the 1980's
| The Return of Johnny Sokko, and his Flying Robot. |
It was a warm day on the coast of Japan, and near Tokyo as Johnny sat pondering on the beach near the sea. He has just finished school for the day, and he sat he watched the sea crashing onto the sand in large white caps. School had been hectic today for the boy, having spent most of his day at his desk, busily writing the report due in the next two days or one of the many classes he took. He had fallen behind with his school work, daydreaming about the past, and had gotten in trouble for not paying attention in class. The Teacher had called on him and he had given a one word answer, which made the class laugh and the teacher to frown, giving him lines for his trouble.
“I still need something for this report.” He thought, “Something great, something fascinating, and worth reporting on.”
His head turned, scanning the beach, and he spied crabs sidling along sideways in the surf. Here he grimaced, and looked on further, sighing heavily as sadness seemed to fill his very soul. Years ago he had his flying robot, and had battled evil that came to his country. He had been a hero in which had given him respect as a defender of Earth. He had the thanks of the world for his service for all man-kind. Right up until the last battle with the robot before it had crashed into the sea, shot down by a laser-beam of Gholla, the lizard creature that had attacked Tokyo. That had been the end of the robot, and he had been thrown into the sea, almost drowning in the heavy surf until he had been picked up by the Japan Self Defense Force ships that had been cruising along the coast to protect Tokyo. His flying Robot had grabbed Gholla, and with him and a massive explosion had been cast into the sea and taken down that evil lizard, but in the end had destroyed them both.
“Without my robot doing that, Tokyo and the world would have been destroyed.” Johnny thought, “But now I don’t have the fantastic adventures, traveling to other worlds in space, or protecting the world from danger.”
Johnny felt ordinary, and misunderstood, the kids razzing him often now that he didn’t have the robot.
That had been his best times and adventures of his life. Now he was a little older, about fifteen, having started High School now and had nothing to really show for it. He didn’t have any friends, or a girlfriend. In fact the young girls shied away from him and called him a Geek, shunning him away. He had become quite isolated in the last few years, picked on by older kids, and constantly badgered. They reminded him often that he was nobody and his days as somebody had long since gone away.
Johnny shook his head, and gazed out at the sea, squinting, the heat of the day radiating a haze on the sand and a low mist on the surface of the churning water of the sea. There he saw a gray mass that looked like it was floating in the center of the ocean. He saw a long cylindrical top and wide mass. At first he thought it was just a ship’s buoy that bobbed on the sea. But it seemed to be getting bigger as he sat on the sand.
“What on earth is that?” Johnny asked himself, and he stood up, to try to get a better look, using his hands to shield over his eyes. The mass continued to rise upward out of the sea, He ran toward the boat nearby, and pushing himself out to sea in it, he rowed toward the gray mass. The sea pushed him back to shore, but he continued rowing toward it, closing in on it slowly. He was drenched head to foot, his good school clothes soaked, and knowing he would get a whooping by his mother for playing in the water in his good clothes.
A few minutes later, he sat in the middle of the ocean, and the mass had disappeared, leaving him alone on the surface of the ocean.
“Oh hell, what did I come out here for?” Johnny asked himself, “I’m in for it now by mom, for ruining my school clothes.”
He had turned the boat back toward the shore when he spotted a gray cylindrical mass just below the water. He stood up on the boat, stripping off his shirt, shoes and pants and in his underwear that he dove into the warm water. Taking in a breath, he dove deep.
As he swam down, his eyes focused in the water, what appeared to be a face and below that was the upper body of what appeared to be a metal box. He gasped as he came up to the surface.
“It’s my robot!” He thought excitedly, “It wasn’t blown into many pieces after all.”
Johnny clambered at the boat, and grabbed a rope, diving again to secure it around his robot’s torso. When he surfaced again, he clambered into his rowboat, and he began to pull. The Robot was as he remembered it, large, with a cylindrical head, body and torso, with arms and legs equipped with the ports that had the rockets that allowed it to fly. He used to stand on the hand of the robot as it flew. He began to row, the rope attached to the robot, and as it pulled that it came to the surface more and more.
“Robot…! Can you hear me?” Johnny exclaimed, but there was no light or response by the massive machine. He rowed hard toward the shore, bringing the floating robot along behind him.
“How am I going to get it onto the shore all the way, to look it over?” Johnny thought, “I think I might need help for this.”
Little by little the shore came closer to him, and quickly dry by the warming sun that he dressed quickly, jumping from the boat into the surf and he drug the boat onto the shore, then pulling the robot, it floated to the shore, partially in and out of the surf as it lay on the sand. He examined the rust covered robot carefully, and finding the compartment he was looking for that he opened it, and stared inside. He saw the many switches and knobs that activated and controlled the power systems of the robot. He clicked a few of them to the on position.
Again there was no response.
“He probably needs a charge.” Johnny thought, and he touched a button and a panel flipped open, revealing a hidden solar panel. The water washed over it, swishing around the body of his beloved robot.
He pulled the rope hard, and with all his might he drug the massive robot onto the beach, the water and surf assisting his efforts.
Johnny sat on the beach, just off the head of the robot, and watched as the solar panel he hoped took in the necessary power.
He clicked on the switch and there was a low hum that reverb through the chassis of the robot. The robot began booting its systems, going through the control codes, and boot sequence all systems. Johnny did not know how much damage had been done to his flying robot, after being immersed in the ocean for over 5 years after the last battle for Earth.
He began examining the robot, as the servo units began to hum into life.
“Robot, report…!” Johnny exclaimed, and the robot’s eyes blinked, as they opened.
“All systems nominal, damage to leg units, arm units.” The robot reported, “Unable to move, due to short circuit of primary systems fault.”
Johnny touched the button on the control panel.
“You should have enough juice to activate secondary systems.” Johnny replied, “Damn it’s nice to see you are still in one piece.”
“Unit malfunctions.” The Robot complained, as it lay on the sand. The boy began clearing the debris from the joints, and from the compartments that contained the many attachments that it had built on to itself.
“Primary charge, main systems check and repair.” The boy said firmly.
“Error…!” It said sterilely
“Override…” Johnny snapped, hitting a button on the console.
“Override code accepted and secondary systems activated.” The Robot said.
“Rise to feet.” Johnny ordered, and the robot pushed down with its massive cylindrical arms raising its upper body. The legs folded under and it was soon sitting on upward.
“Can you move, Robot?”
“Negative.” It said, “Leg units damaged, switching to track mode.”
The legs opened and out came tracks, allowing it to move like a tank-like vehicle, for temporary maneuverability until it could repair the damage to itself.
The boy took a seat in a makeshift chair that formed in the super-structure where he commanded his robot’s actions.
“Head to Hiraku woods....” The boy said, “So we can get you under cover.”
“Acknowledged…” The Robot said, as it began to roll along the country-side. Johnny held on, scanning the region with a shielded hand over his eyes. He waited to be spotted, but it was getting late in the afternoon, near dusk so he knew more than likely that his robot and him would be able to get under cover without notice.
“On the way is also a scrap yard of sorts which my robot could utilize to pick up and repair its damage as well.” Johnny thought, managing a smile. He wished the people who antagonize him often could see him now.
“I’ll show them.” He thought, “The stupid idiots. I am going to be someone again, a defender of Earth!”
He began to plot and scheme, how to show off his robot. He knew though it would have to repair itself first before he could, however.
At dusk, the robot entered the scrap yard, entering the back through a back gate, unnoticed and here it began working to repair the damage to its legs and other systems. Johnny watched as it worked, sitting under cover with a fire going, keeping warm as night fell in around them.
When morning came, his robot sat down at the fire, and it has long since closed down systems from which it stood guard, keeping a scan of the surroundings for instant action. Here, Johnny woke and sat up, tending his fire, and shivered with the cold air. Looking over at the robot, it shimmered in the dim light, the metal skin of the superstructure. It was bright shiny metal, with a yellow strip on top, and a yellow and silver shell with an orange arrow/flame on the chest of the robot itself. Just like it had been long ago and it had three jets on the back, the jetpack to make it fly. It is covered in rust, from 5 years of sitting in the sea, half-submerged after it crashed, tackling Golla the Lizard who had come to destroy Earth. He had been about nine when he had been defending Earth.
Johnny got up, shaking the sleep from his eyes, and walked over to inspect the robot, his companion those many years ago from which he had fought invaders of Earth, aliens who had come and half destroyed Tokyo, and defended the city against them. Golla, the Lizard has been an alien lizard creature from far away from the depths of space, where he and his robot had stamped it out and stopped the onslaught of the creature that attacked. It breathed lightning, and pure energy rays from its eyes and with a powerful tail could whip and destroy buildings flat. Johnny and his robot had defeated the likes of him too, but that had been a long time ago.
Johnny smiled at the idle thoughts, and he placed his hand on the arm of the robot, that sat on the ground.
“I am not sure Robot, but I think we’re going to be needed again.” Johnny said, “Earth forces and the Japan Defense Force has stopped alien attacks, but barely, we cannot sustain another attack.”
“I hope so Master Sokko.” The robot said, “My systems are almost complete, and it is pleasurable to see you again. It has been a long time.”
“Yeah, that’s for sure Robot.” Johnny said, as he glanced up at the stars of heaven, and to the clear clusters of space above them, the Milky Way, could be seen, but so could Andromeda, Orion, and Antaries. The brightness of Venus shone above them in the dark night sky, and the reddish haze of Mars, the closest that it had been in several years to Earth, able to be seen in this horizon at only certain times of the year.
A streak of a star raced across the heavens, and Johnny grimaced at the shooting light.
“Did you see that?” Johnny asked, and the robot raised its head.
“Was that a shooting star?”
“Negative, that was a ship, of sorts that has entered our atmosphere. A fleet is out near Mars, and is about to assume orbit around Mars.”
“Is it the Earth Fleet?”
“Negative, the Earth Fleet and Headquarters are unaware of the arrival of the fleet.” The robot said in a metallic sterile voice, “Origin is from outside our galaxy…”
“That means we are under attack again?”
“ETA until you are repaired?” Johnny asked, “Can you contact EDC and confirm and report the sighting?”
“Twenty-four hours for recharge and repair of all systems.” The Robot reported. “Internal transmitter damaged, currently under repair.”
More ships streaked into the atmosphere, and they assumed orbit, unseen around Earth.
“We’ve got to warn Earth!” Johnny stammered, and he stood up.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, a fleet of ships approached the unsuspecting city, holding formation as they flew toward downtown. A moment rockets and laser fire lanced out from the weapons of the ships, and they struck the buildings. An attack was beginning, and explosions rocked the buildings.
“Sir…!” A voice said, “We are under attack!”
A klaxon sounded in the Headquarters.
“Launch all fighters, and deploy all ground forces to defend the cities and protect the citizens!”
Somewhere men and women ran toward the tanks and vehicles and they drove through a nearby gate. A rapid fire of laser fire hit them and they exploded on the ground as a ship hummed and dove toward the field. They hit planes, tanks, ground personnel and ships that sat on the tarmac. A few ships rose up from the Earth field and water docks, only to be knocked down.
“Sir, the mechanized fleet has been destroyed on the ground!” A Major yelled.
“Radio our fleet at Saturn Station to head to Earth, all fleets from all the stations.” The Commander said, “Send an SOS to all stations, that Earth is under attack from hostile forces.”
“Sir, the must have got our station at Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, there is not response!”
Explosions continued to thunder on the ground, shaking it. Laser fire continued to ripple in rapid fire throughout the city. Explosions shook the buildings as they crumbled into rubble. Fire swept through them. Chaos and people ran for cover, civilians in confusion, trying desperately to run away only to be mowed down.
Meanwhile, Johnny watched in horror with the robot as a red glare of fire and smoke could be seen from the nearby cities. Drones and robotic ships moved across the landscape, destroying buildings and shooting any people encountered, or even capturing them with bolo-like snares.
Johnny glanced at the Robot.
“The Earth has sent out surrender, but the attack has not let up.” It said, “It looks like there are many casualties on Earth Forces.”
“Damn!” Johnny said, “My mom and my folks! They’ll be killed! We have to do something!”
He watched as the Earth Defenses Rallied, and began to fight back, but their efforts were soon wasted as they were quickly defeated by the large alien ships. Johnny clicked the switched in the cockpit of the robot, and there was no response.
Johnny was helpless to help save Earth, his robot still badly damaged, all he could to was wait and lay low until he was strong enough to attack. But meanwhile, people were rounded up on the ground as large ships landed and a robot army marched on the cities, and country-side. Earth was doomed, unless he was able to finish repairs to his ship and launch a counter-offensive. A suicide mission perhaps but the young boy knew that the last time, he had launched the same attack had crippled the armada of Gholla the Lizard.
He had to wait and watch and he wondered how long Earth would endure as this evil war-machine marched across the world in twenty-six nations. Little by little they walked over the forces of Earth, and only he and his robot stood in their way.
“Repairs at ninety percent complete.” The Robot said.
“We got to launch and attack or Earth is doomed!” Johnny yelled, and sat in the seat.
“Prepare to launch.”
The boy strapped on a helmet, and the space suit, and hit the controls viciously. Thunder sounded as the rockets of the robot sounded on the ground, and slowly the robot containing Johnny rose up into the air. As it turned, its main laser-beams lanced out and cut a few of the ships down. But that was only a few of many. They had a long way to go, to win the day.
“Sir…!” A voice said in Headquarters, “Unidentified object is on the scopes, and seems to be attacking the enemy.”
“It appears to be a large chasse with cylindrical arms and legs.” An operator said, “There is only one life sign.”
On the screen the flying robot appeared from the smoke and streaked toward the ships, lasers firing from its palms and from its eyes.
“It appears to be… Yes!”
“It’s Johnny Sokko and his flying Robot Sir!” A voice said elated.
“That cannot be!” The General said, “But good luck boy, and all who goes with you!”
The robot continued to streak, dodge, and fire as ships continued to disappear. Lasers streaked at the robot from all directions and there was a great explosion. The robot appeared from within the explosion and there was a cheer by all hands.
“Give him cover!” The General said, “Pull all forces back and protect the civilian population!”
“It is already done sir!” A lieutenant said, “Most of our ships have been wiped out, but we are seeking for one to retreat and pull whoever is left off Earth into space.”
“Give him hell son.” The General muttered, as the robot continued to attack, controlled by young Johnny Sokko, who held on and gritted his teeth as he pushed the button to fire and steer the robot manually. All Earth could do now is wait, for the return of a hero to take out the enemy and save life on earth as they knew it. Johnny has a long road ahead of him and an anxious Earth waited for victory against overwhelming odds.