That is one point of warfare that has changed during the past few centuries, though I suspect that the actual tactics of mobility and mass and firepower will be little affected. A Cybolo, my downloaded intelligence brief tells me, is a Bolo with a colloidal brain implanted within its control net, a mingling of electronic circuits and human neurons designed to give the combat machine greater flexibility and a broader decision-making capability, while maintaining an electronic system's far greater speed and memory capacity. I, personally, doubt that the combination will be an effective one. For one thing, there will be a considerable problem with the cyborgs' exercise of free will, something that is always a problem for colloidal-based systems. Those organic brains . . . did humans volunteer to have their own brains transplanted to bodies of duryllinium and steel? Or were they harvested from cultures cloned from donor cells? On the one hand, the quality of the product yielded by volunteers will be suspect, not least because I realize that it must be unsettling to awake in an alien body. On the other hand, cloned brains still have to be trained to be of any use, and the best trainer of all in the military arts is experience. Simply downloading information, or imprinting a cerebral cortex with electronic data overlays, will never be the same as being there.
They are quick, these new machines, much faster than a Mark XLIV, and surprisingly small—less than
eight meters long and with a sleek, low profile that rides not on tracks, but on a cushion of rapidly cycling magnetic