More Discoveries Concerning the Martians
17-Jun 00:01 – Thursday
Today more discoveries are made concerning the Martians and Lieutenant Dullanty’s Special Ops unit launches their attack on the Martian airfield at London’s Primrose Hill.
At Woking, Maxim is shocked by the arrival of his granddaughter, Persephone, who left Edinburgh to join him against his express orders.
Commander Carver’s scratch force (now working their way to Woking via Betchworth) continues to grow, with the addition of a 12-pounder gun, its horses, limber, ammunition and crew.
In London, even as the red weed chokes the Thames, Toni and the other suffragettes gain a renewed sense of purpose.
17-Jun 01:00 @SgtHugh #ReminiscesOnTheWar
Leaving two soldiers behind at the copse Lieutenant Dullanty led 1st and 2nd Platoons towards our target. We were less than 25 yards away when a loud cry of ‘ulla’ indicated we’d been made.
“Run,” the Lieutenant yelled, even as I felt the burning fire of the heat-ray sweep over our heads.
We reached the shelter of the building just as a crashing sound announced a tripod pounding down the hill towards us. “Fuse!” the Lieutenant called as he pressed a stick of dynamite into the soft ground surrounding the building. I copied him, and realised the metal skin of the building was white with frost. Someone swore as their hand touched the metal.
Suddenly there was a scream and I looked up to see the Martian tripod towering over us. A tentacle swept down, seizing the Lieutenant and jerking him into the air. For a moment it was as though time stopped dead, then I watched him calmly light the fuse of the stick of dynamite he still clutched in his hand.
The Martian’s tentacle lifted Lieutenant Dullanty into the air, even as his arm tossed the now sputtering stick into the cage suspended on the back of the tripod’s body. There was a muffled explosion, and a creak of tearing metal as the tripod collapsed slowly sidewards, the Lieutenant landing heavily on the ground beside it.
Two of the men ran over to the Lieutenant, pulling him back to us. He was still alive, but was coughing blood. Never a good thing.
“Are the explosives set?” he demanded.
“Another couple of minutes,” I told him.
“I don’t think you’ve got that Sergeant,” he said, as the strident cry of ‘ulla ulla ulla’ sounded from the top of the hill, and another tripod started towards us, followed by something much smaller, that seemed to crawl on multiple articulated legs. “Go! I’ll set the explosives.”
“Sir!” I protested.
“That’s an order, Sergeant. I’d only slow you down. Go!”
“Sir,” I stood up and saluted him. Before giving the order to pull back.
We’d almost reached the copse when the sharp crack of a single firecracker caused me to throw myself to the ground, just before the rolling noise of an explosion deafened my ears. Peering back I saw the building we’d targeted split as burning white light silhouetted the two Martian machines, and then the noise of the fuel exploding followed. As the light faded slightly, turning slightly yellow, I saw a speck of white flame racing up the hill, the fuel line peeling back in front of it until the flame reached the outside of the flying machine’s stable.
For a moment there was simply silence, then an explosion that was like a cannon to the previous explosion’s rifle shot. As we cowered on the ground the stable’s roof cartwheeled high into the air over our head, before crashing to the ground somewhere on the far side of Regent’s Canal.
17-Jun 02:00 @BreakerMorant #PiccadillyParty
Party is becoming too loud. Round up men and leave before Martians arrive.
17-Jun 07:00 @ToniWantsToVote
Looked out the window this morning. #Thames is choked with #redweed
@graceharwood and I will be running #healthchecks for all the @NUWSS survivors today. #atlastIwillusemyskills #ihavepockets #antisepsis #wishihadxray #manyinjuries
17-Jun 08:50 @BreakerMorant #PiccadillyParty
Mother wakes me for breakfast handover.
I hate Thursdays.
Marie Curie appears to be over her funk, and is asking searchers to find the fireworks for the Diamond Jubilee. Says that replacing the decorative payload with arsenic might work against the Martians.
17-Jun 09:00 #Sheen
On their 9th day of confinement in Sheen, Wells wakes to find the curate talking loudly to himself. He is successful in quietening him, but fears that the curate’s increasing irrational behaviour will attract the Martians.
17-Jun 09:34 #HiramMaxim
From the personal journal of Hiram Maxim
Against my express orders, my granddaughter Persephone has joined me. Slinging a shotgun over her shoulder, she stood in my study, her riding boots damp with the morning dew. “You know I told you to stay in Edinburgh with your mother. Carol must be worried. You were safe there.”
“Safe for how long? It was either this or visit some chums at Queen Anne’s Mansions in the city. Besides, Grandfather, with what you’re planning with that thing in the shed, you need me. You can’t do it alone.” She looked at unconscious man on the cot. “Who’s your guest?”
“I think he’s a naval officer from Thunder Child.” I nodded to the open logbook on my desk. “I’ll be damned if know how he got here.”
Persephone smiled. “I rode in through Chertsey – that’s closest the Thames passes to here. I found a naval boat tied up there.”
“He must have made his way up through London and the red weed, right under the Martians’ noses. But why Woking?”
“Why Woking?” asked my granddaughter. “Maybe it has something to do with that tower the Martians built that you’re so keen on. Do you know what they’re doing with it?”
“Only the vaguest of notions, Granddaughter. What I do know is that tower must be destroyed. And soon. Since you’re staying, I’ll make us some tea and we can take turns in the attic monitoring the tower. There’s still much to learn.”
“Let’s just blast it to hell.”
I smiled. “Soon.”
17-Jun 11:00 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt. Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 17 June 1897, 11:00 GMT:
Our ranks continue to grow. Outside of Betchworth, resting in a glade, we found a 12-pounder gun, with its horses, limber, and ammunition wagon. According to the gun’s crew they were part of a masked Royal Horse Artillery battery that failed to stop the Martians east of London.
“We managed to save ourselves before the Black Smoke took the horses, sir,” said their sergeant. He seemed embarrassed to be among the living. “We’ve been in concealment ever since.”
“I understand.” I looked them up and down. “Up for a little revenge?”
The artillerymen all nodded grimly.
We continued our ride northwest, skirting around dead London in the moonlight. Passing through a freight yard outside of Dorking, we halted. Ahead stood a Martian silhouetted above the rooftops, scanning the horizon. We all held our breaths until it moved towards the east.
“We must be getting close, sir,” said Sergeant Howard, watching the Martian move into the distance.
“We’ll get our fill of them soon,” I said. “We’ll be in Woking tomorrow.”
Howard nodded. “I’ll see to the men, then.”
17-Jun 20:30 @ToniWantsToVote
#exhausted and #filthy again. #savedalifetoday #iamhelping