Chatterham’s Calcitrosus or “the Iron Hoof”


Immortalised in so many football songs, the Iron Hoof was an instant hit across the land when it was launched…

Post-war optimism had spawned a huge increase in whimsical robot development, helped by the original research performed as part of the war effort. It was now possible to create any manner of mechanical apparatus, and the Calcitrosus (literally: “inclined to kick”) was the brainchild of the secretive Chatterham Corporation: a robotics company specialising in mechanical combat chassis.

The background to the development of this monstrosity is yet another example of wealthy excess and indulgence: born into an immense inheritance, and, thanks to generations of in-breeding, having very little in the way of common sense or social graces, the youngest member of the Chatterham family, Pendler, spent most of his time following his local soccer team. By the age of seven he had bought enough of the other teams in the premier league to guarantee a win for his favourite team: through bribes, threats or simple acts of barbaric assassination.

Everyone in the area would dread the end of the season, at which point Pendler was bored and more dangerous than ever, utilising as he did, any new robotic development in the Corporation for his own entertainment. Dredging the last vestiges of his waning sanity, Pendler’s uncle Thomus devised a monumental new game: played similar to soccer, but on a scale grand enough to quell even Pendler’s wildest imaginings.

And so, Xoccer was born.

A dramatic “contradanse” of epic magnitude, two teams of Iron Hooves would face off across a pitch over a mile long by half a mile wide. Once kick-off was declared, the earth would literally shake for miles around as the 22 robots would slug it out on the Xoccer pitch. Each robot was over 50 feet in height, weighed 25,000 pounds and since power was sourced via two 1500 bhp servos, top speed was a brain numbing 121 mph. The two operators required to pilot these machines were perched in a small canopy at the very top. The operator on the left would control forward speed, braking and jumping, with the second operator controlling overall direction and, naturally, kicking.

The ball itself was 20 feet in diameter and weighed in at 1200 pounds. Needless to say, no-one ever scored a goal via a “header”. In fact, the sport became so dangerous that a game without casualties became the exception, not the norm. During some matches the ball was all but forgotten as the giant robots proceeded to kick each other to pieces, with ton-weight shrapnel flying into the crowds.

Students of the Quidnac Crisis will of course remember that the Calcitrosus was also the first robot to exhibit rogue behaviour. Few people will have forgotten the first time such symptoms were apparent to the public, when the first of many robots seemed to take on a life of its own, and of course proceed to take many human lives in turn.

3 Responses to “Chatterham’s Calcitrosus or “the Iron Hoof””

  1. p3lb0x said:

    All these

    Morgan VTO Anti-Xepelin Defence Craft
    Bully Boy Walker
    Usherette Hard-Fist Scooter
    Mechanetics Inc. Exploration Walker
    Recreational Walker

    Vehicles have the same markings as this one, have you deciphered their meaning yet?

  2. admin said:

    Very well spotted, p3lb0x. I have to admit that I had not realised the similarities, but it looks like you are right.

    This means that even more research is required.

    Well done.

  3. p3lb0x said:

    Looking forward to any findings regarding the markings!