London under the Martians
15-Jun 00:01 – Tuesday
This is Wells and the curate’s 7th day confined to their Sheen prison and we join Wells as he continues to observe the mining operation the Martians have set up in the pit.
In London, Morant has pulled together a team to capture a heat ray. However, on their return they will be ambushed by a group of civilians who claim to be from the 4th Coy. Coldstream Guards.
Today, Toni’s diary reminds us that even the strong have moments of fear. And once again, her writing foreshadows changes to come.
East of London, Lieutenant Carver and his scratch unit arrive at Tilbury to find the Ferry tied up at the quay and covered with corpses. While further West, Lieutenant Dullanty (4th Coy. Coldstream Guards) arrives at Greenwich without having been spotted by the Martians.
15-Jun 06:00 @BreakerMorant #WeWantAHeatRay
Our operation to get a heat gun is ready. Men have been formed into two teams. Vogan is taking 5 artillery men to Weybridge to knock down a tripod.
15-Jun 07:00 @BreakerMorant #WeWantAHeatRay
No Martians were sighted. With in my team are 3 railway engineers, 2 cavalry soldiers and Pierre Curie. We all ride horses and the gun carriage to our assembly point.
15-Jun 07:30 @BreakerMorant #WeWantAHeatRay
We arrive with no incident. We go through our escape plans. All of us have taken a small amount of arsenic. Won’t protect us from the heat-ray though.
15-Jun 08:00 @ToniWantsToVote
Found @lizcadbury crying before breakfast. Her #children and #husband. She has no idea if they #gotout before #blacksmoke. So relieved my parents live so far north. #abovetheline #angry #thingswillchange
15-Jun 09:25 @ToniWantsToVote
@lizcadbury is such as #strongwoman #survivor #organiser
15-Jun 10:00 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt. Roger Carver, #RoyalMarines HMS Thunder Child, 15 June 1897, 11:00 GMT:
We arrived at Tilbury to find the Ferry tied up at the quay and covered with dead bodies: men, women and children all bundled together. They looked strangely peaceful. Every surface is covered with a fine black dust that clings uneasily to one’s skin.
All the men – Marines, Horse Guards, and infantry – worked as one to quickly remove the bodies before placing them in a single shallow grave. I spoke the simple words of commitment and promised resurrection. Words held back from those who had shot for desertion only 6 days before.
Corporal Markinson, who served in the engine room before transferring to the marines, assures me the ferry should work once we have relit her boiler. With a pump and hose, we’ve cleared much of the black dust off the boat. After the horrors of the past few days, this is welcome news.
15-Jun 11:00 @HGWells #MartianMining
Still imprisoned with the curate in the house in Sheen, Wells observes that the capsule’s Martian has been joined by the occupants of 3 other fighting-machines.
The 3 tripods have brought with them fresh appliances. A second handling-machine has been completed, and busies itself in serving one of the contrivances a tripod had brought, and from which a stream of white powder flows into a circular basin below.
Wells is suprised to realise the Martian’s are mining aluminium from clay in the pit.
With 2 spatulate hands the machine digs out and flings clay into a pear-shaped receptacle above, before regularly opening a door and removing blackened clinkers from the middle of the machine.
Another steely tentacle then directs the powder from the basin along a ribbed channel towards some receiver hidden from Wells’ view by a mound of bluish dust. From this unseen receiver a little thread of green smoke rises vertically into the quiet air.
Then the handling-machine extends, telescopical fashion, a tentacle that a moment before was a mere blunt projection, until its end is hidden behind the mound of clay. In another second it lifts a bar of white aluminium into sight. #MartianAluminium
The shining aluminium is deposited in a growing stack of bars standing beside the pit. Wells estimates the Martians will produce more than a hundred such bars out of the crude clay during daylight hours, but cannot suggest what they will use the metal for.
15-Jun 13:00 @BreakerMorant #WeWantAHeatRay
Vogan knocked down a tripod. As expected, the tripods went after Vogan and left us to retrieve the heat gun from the fallen tripod.
15-Jun 14:30 @BreakerMorant #WeLostOurHeatRay
There were no problems from the Martians, and we had a heat gun on the gun carriage, but when we were headed back to Waterloo, we were ambushed by a group of civilians who claimed to be from the 4th Coy. Coldstream Guards. They had a toff in charge, who said he was Lt. Kilvaney.
They took Pierre Curie, the gun carriage and our horses. Offered to write me a receipt and I told him exactly what he could do with that.
15-Jun 23:05 @ToniWantsToVote
@hgwellsbro was thinking of you tonight. #hope #ishealive #Woking
16-Jun 00:01 – Wednesday
Since the establishment of the #Gascoyne-Cecil-Line on 9 June the army had been hard at work establishing a mined line a mile-wide along GWR’s mainline east of London. Today the defences are tested as the Martian’s attack Swindon. The Martian’s flying-machine flies numerous sorties for the first time. In a bid to prevent the line from collapsing, Lt Dullanty, now based at Greenwich, is ordered to destroy the Martian’s flying base on Primrose Rose.
In London, Morant, having lost the heat-ray to the Coldstream Guards’ Special Operation Coy, has to explain to Marie Curie that he also lost her husband, Pierre.
And once again Toni’s diary reminds us that all of us have value. Society sometimes discards the old. In fact, this was a theme during the Martian invasion. The old and infirm were left behind. But without Sir John and the other ‘oldies’ in Queen Anne’s Mansions, there would have been no wireless communications, and very limited supplies of the gas masks required to survive the black smoke.
16-Jun 03:25 @HGWells#Swindon
Wells later reports waking to hear a sound like heavy guns at this time. He counts six distinct reports, and after a long interval six again. But he was unable to identify the direction they came from. It is highly likely what he was hearing was the battle for Swindon.
16-Jun 06:30 @BreakerMorant #WeLostOurHeatRay
Heading back to Waterloo Station. Still in the open, without fast transport, We were just lucky we didn’t encounter Martians.
16-Jun 07:00 @BreakerMorant #WeLostOurHeatRayANDPierre
We made it to Southwark Station, then underground to Waterloo.
Marie was hysterical about where her husband might be. We have no idea.
16-Jun 08:00 @BreakerMorant #WeLostOurHeatRayANDPierre
Vogan’s team arrived back, elated about their kill and escape from the searching tripods. However, they were as brassed off as I was when they heard about losing the heat gun and Pierre. Only one thing for it – we duck the morning handover and get drunk.
16-Jun 09:00 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt. Roger Carver, #RoyalMarines HMS Thunder Child, 16 June 1897, 09:00 GMT:
Loading the horses onto the ferry took most of the night, and then unloading them in Gravesend the rest of the night. Markinson was as good as his word and the Ferry performed faultlessly. The group appears in good spirits and determined to exact its revenge for those the Martians killed in Tilbury.
16-Jun 09:30 @LtJRDullanty #PersonalDiary #Greenwich #FlyingMachine
Sentries reported the return of the flying-machine. Sergeant Hugh is convinced it landed somewhere near Regent’s Park.
I called for volunteers to see if we could locate its base. Sergeant Hugh and three other have agreed to try.
We can’t use the bridges, but there are rumours of at least one group using the Underground to pass around the city undetected. The Sergeant intends to enter the tunnels at London Bridge and work his way through to Kings Cross. He’ll take one of the heliographs with him.
16-Jun 10:00 #Curate #Sheen
Wells and the curate have now been confined to the collapsed house in Sheen for 8 days. In his book Wells records their food supply, despite rationing, was almost exhausted, and given the curate’s behaviour Wells has been forced to mount guard over what remains of their food.
16-Jun 12:00 @BreakerMorant #PiccadillyParty
Eventually the pub-crawl ended up at Piccadilly Circus where we found a party just firing up.
16-Jun 15:00 @LtJRDullanty
FROM FIELD MARSHAL WOLSELEY STOP
TO COLONEL COLDSTREAM GUARDS GENERAL SIR STEPHENSON STOP
SITUATION AT SWINDON PRESENTLY STABLE STOP BUT ARTILLARY SUFFERED HEAVY LOSSES AS RESULT OF ATTACK FROM THE AIR STOP IMPERATIVE THAT THE MARTIANS FLYING MACHINE IS DESTROYED ENDS
16-Jun 15:15 @LtJRDullanty
The message FROM FIELD MARSHAL WOLSELEY was forwarded to Lt JR Dullanty with the following addition.
JAMES IT IS VITAL THE FLYING MACHINE IS DESTROYED STOP GOD GO WITH YOU FRED
16-Jun 15:20 #FieldMarshallWolseley
Wolseley had become Commander-in-Chief of English forces in Ireland in 1890. Promoted to Field Marshal on 26 May 1894, he was appointed by the Conservative government to succeed the Duke of Cambridge as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces on 1 November 1895.
Despite still recovering from a serious illness at the time of the Martian invasion, he was in Swindon as part of an inspection of the army’s preparations to defend the Gascoyne-Cecil line when the Martians launched their attack.
16-Jun 16:00 @LtJRDullanty #PersonalDiary
I was preparing the unit to move out when we finally heard from Sergeant Hugh. He confirmed that the flying-machine is stabled at Primrose Hill, but that the Martian’s encampment appears heavily fortified. His team is presently camouflaged in a copse of trees between Regent’s Canal and Prince Albert Road. The heliograph has had to be positioned some distance away.
16-June 23:00 #Sheen #WeAreCattle
Wells later records one of the most traumatic scenes he observes during the war when he sees men being brought to the pit. “A fighting machine appeared and I watched a long tentacle reaching over the shoulder of the machine to the little cage hunched upon its back…
“Then something—something struggling violently—is lifted high against the sky, a black, vague enigma against the starlight; and as this black object came down again, I see by the green brightness that it is a man. For an instant he was clearly visible…
“And then the man vanishes behind the mound, and for a moment there is silence. But then begins a shrieking and a sustained and cheerful hooting from the Martians.”
16-Jun 23:35 #HiramMaxim
From the personal journal of Hiram Maxim:
I was about to bed down for the night when I thought I heard something moving around outside. I picked up my revolver and went outside and quietly began to work my way to the barn.
I rattled the door. It was locked. My equipment was still secure inside. I began to walk back to the house when I encountered the silhouette of a man in front of me. I raised my pistol but the man cried softly as he staggered towards me and fell into my arms.
I carried the stranger inside and lay him down on my cot. He was a young man and wore part of a naval officer’s uniform. His forehead was marked by gash caked with dried blood. One side of his face was cracked red and blistered. He’d seen the Heat Ray, all right.
How did he come inland? I cleaned the sailor up and tended his wounds as best I could and let him rest. I noticed a waterlogged book sticking out of his uniform jacket pocket: LOG OF HMS THUNDER CHILD. Hoping it would provide me a clue, I opened the book and began to read.
16-Jun 23:40 @LtJRDullanty #PersonalDiary
Arrived at Sergeant Hugh’s camp. No-one enjoyed walking through the tunnels but it certainly kept us unobserved by the Martians.
16-Jun 23:45 @SgtHugh #ReminiscesOnTheWar
From Sergeant Hugh’s Reminisces on the War
By the time the Lieutenant found us, Primrose Hill was lit up so brightly by the Martian’s lights that from where we were you could see the dark shadows of the Martian’s moving about, silhouetted against the glare.
I was the one who had to deliver the bad news – there was simply no way that we could get close enough to the flying-machine to destroy it. It had landed vertically behind high earthen walls, and was covered by a heavy metal roof that split down the middle like a gigantic door when the craft needed to emerge.
“We have no choice,” the Lieutenant said. “We have to destroy the machine or we lose Swindon, and the Line, tomorrow.”
The Lieutenant and I stared glumly at each other, as the others looked on.
“Lieutenant.” It was Guardsman Washington. “My father’s a driver for the Earl of Sussex. This flying thingy must have some sort of fuel. My father goes on and on about how gasoline is stinking everything up. Maybe we can destroy that?”
The Lieutenant considered him thoughtfully, and Washington flushed uncomfortably. “That’s a good idea,” the Lieutenant told him. “But what fuel is it?”
“I couldn’t say Sir. But I saw some sort of flexible pipe running down the hill to Regent’s Canal. They’ve got some sort of building on the bank there.”
“Sergeant?” the Lieutenant asked.
“I saw it as well,” I told him.
“Then that’s our target. We’re going to be moving quickly so I want the dynamite split up between everyone.”
16-Jun 23:46 #HydrogenIsHighlyInflamable
From the subsequent description it would appear that the Martian’s were using compressed hydrogen to power their flyer, a notoriously unstable fuel unless properly stored.
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
18-Jun 00:01 – Friday
The infamous ‘Circus Massacre’ is well known to historians, and Toni’s view of what occurred is blunt. However, with historians estimating that 1.25 million people remained in London throughout the War, the Massacre could have been predicted.
Commander Carver, his 30 men plus field-gun, enter Ripley, just outside Woking where they encounter Persephone who escorts them to meet Maxim, her grandfather. Maxim explains his belief that the tower the Martians have erected is much more than a simple beacon and explains how he plans to destroy it.
Still confined to the house in Sheen, Wells is forced to knock the Curate out when he draws the attention of the Martians with his prayers.
18-Jun 03:00 #RefugeesInOnesOwnCountry
Despite Well’s evocative descriptions of a deserted city, not everyone had left London. Some simply could not afford to, others such as the botanist Ernest Marquand could not leave because of familial responsibilities. Others remained to fight, or to support those who had stayed.
Historians now estimate that of the 6.3 million who lived in Greater London before the war, 20% (1.25 million people) stayed in the city. This left 5 million refugees, of whom perhaps only 338,000 would have been able to be evacuated by sea to the continent – fleeing north.
18-Jun 04:00 @HGWells #RegentsStreet
For those remaining in London most hid, but not all. Wells’ Artilleryman later claimed to have seen Regent’s Street ablaze with lights, crowded with painted and ragged drunkards, men and women, dancing and shouting – even as a tripod stood sentinel near by the Langham watching, unobserved.
The Martian tripod watched until dawn and then working its way down the street picked up perhaps a 100 of those too drunk or frightened to run away.
18-Jun 08:00 @PierreCurieDeadInAccident
FROM SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR HENRY PETTY-FITZMAURICE 5TH MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE STOP
TO COLONEL COLDSTREAM GUARDS GENERAL SIR STEPHENSON STOP
FRED I REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT THERE WAS AN EXPLOSION AT THE OXFORD LABORATORIES DURING TESTING OF THE HEAT-RAY DEVICE RECOVERED BY MEN OF NO 4 COY STOP AMONG THE DEAD ARE LT MARKUS KILVANEY AND PIERE CURIE STOP SIR J DULLANTY WAS ALSO WOUNDED AND MAY LOSE HIS EYE BUT HAS RETURNED TO ROTCH WOOD ENDS
18-Jun 09:00 @BreakerMorant #ThePiccadillyMassacre
At this morning’s breakfast-handover the lookout posts report a massacre at Piccadilly Circus, where we’d been drinking the night before last. Vogan and I exchange a worried look.
The lookout also reports a reduction in tripod activity.
Marie Curie looks strained this morning, still worrying about her husband, but reports that there have been no more pods sent from Mars.
18-Jun 09:10 @BreakerMorant #BrownsPigeonReturns
Brown returned the pigeon that we got a refugee to take to him. He is in Edinburgh, apparently dropped by to see his father’s family and has established a refugee camp outside the city.
18-Jun 09:14 @ToniWantsToVote
@graceharwood and I went out under cover at 0600 this morning to find out what is happening. #drunks #stupidity
We #hid in the shadows. #Fools lit lights, and danced and sang. #whyohwhydidtheydoit
#Martian from Langham came
#fools were harvested into a basket
#bloodsuckers #ididnotknowthis #bodiesdrained #weareprey
Found a small child cowering behind a bin. Took her home. #notspeaking #terrified #howdidshesurvive
18-Jun 09:30 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 18 June 1897, 09:30 GMT:
The sun was well up when we finally entered Ripley, just outside Woking. Our column, now 30 men plus a field gun, moved slowly. Except for a few burnt out buildings, likely from long-forgotten cooking fires, the town was intact. But like everywhere, it was deserted, devoid of life.
“Hold it right there,” rang out a woman’s voice.
“Another master?” asked Lieutenant Mann. “Every town we ride through seems to have one.”
“I have you covered!” A young woman stepped out from the shadows, wearing riding boots. Long dark curls flowered around her head. She levelled a shotgun at us.
“Not a master, Lieutenant Mann,” I smiled at her. “But perhaps a queen?”
“Let us pass,” said Mann. “We have to get to Woking.”
”Woking seems to be a popular destination,” she said with an arch smile. She lowered her weapon, as she surveyed us. “You’re the army or what’s left it?”
“Royal Navy, actually,” I said. “Lieutenant Commander Roger Carver, late HMS Thunder Child, at your service. But the Lieutenant is correct: it is vital we get to Woking.”
“Wait? Thunder Child?” She blinked. “There’s someone you should meet at my grandfather’s workshop.”
18-Jun 09:40 #HiramMaxim
From the personal journal of Hiram Maxim
“It is very good to meet you, Lieutenant.” I shook Lieutenant Carver’s hand. “Doubtless my granddaughter has told you about our guest. He’s unfortunately not regained consciousness.”
“Thank you, Mr. Maxim,” said Carver. I’m most anxious to find out who it is. Sergeant, come with me. Lieutenant Mann, tend to disposition of the men.”
“God’s teeth, Commander,” said Sergeant Howard as we entered my backroom, “It’s Mr. Farmer!”
“You’re right, Sergeant.” Carver knelt by the cot where Farmer lay. “Farmer,” he said gently. “Farmer… it’s Carver. Johnathan?”
Amazingly Farmer stirred. His swollen eyes blinked open. “Carver?” He spoke weakly and thickly. “I knew I would find you. We must stop them from exterminating us, Carver. Where are we?”
“Just outside Woking,” said Carver. “You made it. Rest up.”
Farmer smiled and closed his eyes.
18-Jun 10:20 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 18 June 1897, 10:20 GMT:
According to a few rough notes Mr. Farmer scribbled in the Thunder Child’s logbook, the force of the ship’s boilers exploding threw him and the logbook clear of the ship. Despite his grave injuries, he found the ship’s whaleboat adrift. What had happened the cox’n is unclear.
“Amazing,” I said, closing the book. “And on a wild hunch that I was alive and heading towards Woking, Farmer motored up the Thames to meet us.” I turned to Maxim and his granddaughter. “You’ve mentioned that you’ve kept watch on the Martian position. What have you found out?”
“That tower is much more than a beacon, of that I am certain, Mr. Carver,” said Maxim. “Based on my observations, I believe it broadcasts an electromagnetic field protecting the Martians against earthly pathogens. Destroy it, and they will sicken and die within a matter of days.”
I frowned. Maxim’s theory was outlandish. “Poppycock! I refuse to believe how invisible waves can prevent illness and death! It’s nonsense. I can sooner believe in…”
“…Men from Mars, Mr. Carver?” Maxim smiled archly. “The Martians are a more ancient and more advanced race.”
“It’s a given,” I said. “Any race that can cross the gulf of space must be beyond us.”
“In many ways,” said Maxim. “The fighting machines, the Heat Ray: those are obvious examples. They are beyond us as we are the flatworm. Their grasp of the sciences must be equally ahead of us.”
“We are now experimenting with wireless,” continued Maxim. “I can see the day when we will be able to transmit sound and pictures.”
“That’s what Mr. Farmer says.”
“Then why cannot you accept the possibility that the Martians, who are in advance of us, are able to do as I suggest?”
“I’ll suspend my doubt,” I said. I needed Maxim. In retrospect, he was correct, although we still don’t comprehend why. “You plan to destroy the tower, you granddaughter said…”
“Yes,” Maxim nodded. “Together, we might just carry the day! Persephone, show the Commander my machine.”
“Your grandfather is quite the man,” I said as Persephone led me to the back shed.
“Scientist, engineer, inventor, industrialist,” she said taking my hand with a smile, “and designer of the Maxim machine gun.”
I blushed a little as she took my hand. Was Persephone… a suffragette?
“What’s in here?” I asked as Persephone unlocked the padlock on the shed’s double door and begun to swing them open. I helped her push the doors back, revealing something looming in the shadows.
Persephone smiled, taking my hand and squeezing it. “Grandfather’s flying machine!”
18-Jun 10:21 #electromagneticfields
Interestingly, though Maxim was unsure of how the Martian’s tower worked, recent research has confirmed the possibility that electromagnetic fields may be used to control pathogens.
See (Mousavian-Roshanzamir S, Makhdoumi-Kakhki A. The Inhibitory Effects of Static Magnetic Field on Escherichia coli from two Different Sources at Short Exposure Time. Rep Biochem Mol Biol. 2017 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5346279/)
Why Wells did not discuss this development in his history remains something of a mystery. It is possible that comments exchanged between Carver and Wells later that year, may have contributed to this.
18-Jun 11:00 #HiramMaxim
From the personal journal of Hiram Maxim, 18 June 1897, 11:00 GMT:
“A flying machine?” Carver looked at me, eyes wide. “You intend you use it against the Martians?”
“I do,” I said. “I intend to strike them from the air and drop explosives onto the tower. The arrival of your men has increased our chances of success if we attack together!”
“Incredible,” said Carver.
“I made a brief uncontrolled hop a few years ago,” I said. “I’ve since installed a more powerful steam engine based on Lamm’s design of a fireless engine using ammonia. Quite something. I also enlarged the control surfaces to improve manoeuvrability.”
“I need to know if the damn thing will fly, Maxim,” said Carver.
“Roger,” said Persephone, taking Carver’s hands, if Grandfather says it will fly, it will.”
“I intend to pilot it myself, with my granddaughter at my side,” I said.
“A pity you don’t have any of your famous guns,” said Carver. “We could certainly use them.”
I smiled. “I think I can help.” I walked over the closet at the end of room and opened it.
Carver smiled at the sight of the two Maxim guns and their ammunition. “That sir, is a great help.”
18-Jun 11:02 #peoplecanfly
Although no photograph of Maxim’s improved flying machine is known to exist, his earlier craft is pictured. Built in 1894, It was powered by two lightweight 180-horsepower steam engines, achieved forty miles per hour at launch, and flew two hundred feet before crashing.
It had been believed that Maxim lost interest in flying after this failure, however, his journal makes it quite clear this was not the case. Maxim’s journal records his interest in the work by Franco-American inventor Emile Lamm (1834 – 1873) who developed a “fireless steam engine” that ran on ammonia for potential use with city tram lines.
Lamm’s invention saw some limited use in both Paris and New Orleans before fading into obscurity. Because ammonia compresses quite easily into a liquid, the engine was naturally lighter without having to carry wood or coal around with it. A much-developed version powered Maxim’s flying machine.
18-Jun 11:30 @HGWells #DeathOfTheCurate #Sheen
It is the 10th day of Wells confinement to the collapsed house in Sheen and, after a sleepless night, once again Wells wakens to the curate praying loudly.
Wells attempts to quieten him, but the curate rises to his knees, and in a voice that Wells later states must have reached the pit, cries: “I have been still too long and must now bear my witness. Woe unto this unfaithful city! Woe! to the inhabitants of the earth.”
Wells describes rising to his feet in a terror lest the Martians hear them. But the curate simply continues shouting, at the top of his voice, standing to match Wells and extending his arms. “I must speak! The word of the Lord is upon me!”
And then the curate breaks, running for the pit and Wells pursues him, a meat-chopper in his hand. At the last moment Wells strikes him with the butt of the cleaver and the curate falls headlong, to lay stretched on the ground.
But Wells’ fears now come to pass as the hole in the wall overlooking the pit darkens and a Martian comes to investigate. Creeping as noiselessly as he can Wells creeps to the coal cellar, and begins to cover himself up with the coal and firewood lying there.
Wells describes watching the Martian working its way down the steps, “a tentacle like an elephant’s trunk—waving towards him and touching and examining the wall, coals, wood, and ceiling. Like a black worm swaying its blind head to and fro.”
Wells feels the tentacle touch the heel of of his boot, and must bite his hand to remain silent. With an abrupt click, it grips something—a lump of coal—and leaves to examine it.
19-Jun 00:01 – Saturday
Wells finally emerges from the house he had been confined for 11 days, to the sound of — silence.
In London, Toni’s diary continues to demonstrate the determination and organisational skills of the suffragists. And once again, we see Elizabeth Cadbury’s exemplary leadership qualities demonstrated.
Elsewhere in the greatest city on Earth, Morant records that one of the men who had taken the heat-ray off him had turned up with the news that Pierre Curie had been trying to get the heat ray to work at a lab in Oxford when it exploded, killing him instantly.
Outside the city, Commander Carver and Maxim finish their plans for a combined attack against the Martians in the Woking Pit, an attack that will be undertaken from both the air, and ground.
And we consider the report on an examination of the Martian’s machines recovered by Lieutenant Dullanty, undertaken at Roche Wood under the direction of Sir J Dullanty (the Lieutenant’s father). And discuss an explanation for why the Martian’s only launched a restricted number of capsules.
19-Jun 07:00 @ToniWantsToVote
#oldies are caring for #thechild
19-Jun 07:05 @ToniWantsToVote
@NUWSS central meeting today. They are coming here, as we have #thehighestground #blacksmoke still happening.
19-Jun 07:10 @ToniWantsToVote
@sirjohntheengineer and the oldies have our first #gasmasks #willtheywork #whowilltrythem #shouldIvolunteer #fear
19-Jun 09:30 @BreakerMorant #PC-Deceased
One of the men from the group who took the heat-ray off us found us. He said that Pierre Curie had been trying to get the heat ray to work at a lab in Oxford when it exploded, killing him instantly.
Marie was very distressed.
19-Jun 09:45 @BreakerMorant #MC-Distressed
Marie requested an escort to Oxford but I said no. It is simply too dangerous. I have asked Mother to keep an eye on her.
19-Jun 10:00 @HGWells #WellsEmerges
Alone in the scullery, his mouth and throat parched, Wells sits in the darkness, in a state of despondent wretchedness. Outside he hears only silence from the pit, but feels too weak to investigate.
19-Jun 11:00 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 19 June 1897, 11:00 GMT:
I stood at table with a map of Woking, and the Martian position in the Horsell Common sandpit. Maxim tapped the map with a red grease pencil, drawing a circle around the enemy position. “This is about where I began to feel that odd sensation, I told you about.”
“You’re certain that the tower the Martians built is the cause of it? Lieutenant Mann asked.
“I am,” said Maxim.
“We may not agree on everything,” I said, “but we agree that tower must be destroyed.”
“I’m more concerned about the Black Smoke,” said Sergeant Howard.
“I may have an answer for that,” said Maxim, producing a crude fabric hood with eyeholes made from glass. “Before wireless transmission from Birmingham was cut off due to the tower’s interference, the government broadcast specifications for these masks. I understand your artillery were provided with a set.”
Mann picked up the mask. He shook his head. “This will protect us?”
“I’ve made improvements, including a charcoal filter to increase its effectiveness,” Maxim assured us.
I remembered how the people of Shearness and Tilbury died wholesale from the smoke. “Do we have enough for us all?”
Maxim nodded. “Persephone and some of your men spent a few hours this morning making them.”
“Make sure everyone is issued with one,” I turned to Howard.
“We’ll need something for the horses,” said Lieutenant Mann.
“Persephone’s already thought of that,” Maxim said.
“It’s an adaption of the basic mask,” Persephone said. “It fits quite snugly There’ll be enough.”
Sergeant, how are the men?”
“We now have two Maxim guns with ammunition. The 12-pounder has 20 rounds of high explosive.”
“Be sure to site your artillery piece here,” said Maxim, pointing to where the map indicated a wooded area that overlooked the Martians. “It will be in range there.”
“The men are rested and ready to go,” said Howard. “It’s this business about the flying machine I’m not sure of.”
“Sergeant,” said Maxim, “please be assured my machine will fly. “
“Then tomorrow we attack,” I said. “Action will commence at 0800 with a single green flare.”
I looked over at Farmer asleep on the cot. He stirred gently. I doubt he heard us at all.
19-Jun 12:01 @LtJRDullanty
TO: LT. JAMES ROBERT DULLANTY NO 4 COMPANY (SPECIAL OPERATIONS) COLDSTREAM GUARDS STOP
JAMES PLEASE THANK GEN SIR STEPHENSON FOR THE BODY OF THE MARTIAN AND THE REMAINS OF THE MACHINES YOU RECOVERED STOP ATTACHED IS A COPY OF OUR INITIAL FINDINGS.
J DULLANTY ROTCH WOOD
“THE MARTIANS APPARENTLY EITHER DO NOT KNOW OF, OR ABSTAIN FROM, THE WHEEL BUT IN THEIR APPARATUS SINGULARLY LITTLE USE IS MADE OF THE FIXED PIVOT OR RELATIVELY FIXED PIVOT WITH CIRCULAR MOTIONS THEREABOUT CONFINED TO ONE PLANE…
“ALMOST ALL JOINTS OF THE MACHINERY PRESENT A COMPLICATED SYSTEM OF SLIDING PARTS MOVING OVER SMALL BUT BEAUTIFULLY CURVED FRICTION BEARINGS STOP REMARKABLY THE LONG LEVERAGES OF THEIR MACHINES ARE IN MOST CASES ACTUATED BY A SORT OF SHAM MUSCULATURE OF DISKS IN AN ELASTIC SHEATH…
“THESE DISKS BECOME POLARIZED AND ARE DRAWN CLOSELY AND POWERFULLY TOGETHER WHEN TRAVERSED BY A CURRENT OF ELECTRICITY STOP IN THIS WAY THE CURIOUS PARALLELISM TO ANIMAL MOTIONS, WHICH WAS SO STRIKING AND DISTURBING TO THE HUMAN BEHOLDER, WAS ATTAINED…
“SUCH QUASI-MUSCLES ABOUNDED IN THE HANDLING-MACHINE YOU OBTAINED AND WHICH YOU COMMENT APPEAR INFINITELY MORE ALIVE THAN THE ACTUAL MARTIANS LYING BEYOND IT IN THE SUNSET LIGHT STOP PANTING AND MOVING FEEBLY AFTER THEIR VAST JOURNEY ACROSS SPACE…”
Note: This telegram was never delivered due to Lt. Dullanty’s, due to his death during the attack on the airfield at Primrose Hill. The telegram was personally returned to his father after the war by Gen Sir Stephenson.
19-Jun 14:07 @ToniWantsToVote
@lizcadbury will trial #gasmask I don’t know how to feel about this. #inspiring #whyher #whynotme
@millifawcett says we must not risk anyone with medical training.
But we need @lizcadbury #shehasbeenmyrock
19-Jun 16:00 @ToniWantsToVote
Now we need to find a #Martian and #blacksmoke #arewenuts?
19-Jun 21:46 @ToniWantsToVote
@lizcadbury surived! #gasmaskworks #Iamsorelieved #sheismyrock
19-Jun 22:02 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 19 June 1897, 22:02 GMT:
It was a clear moonless night. The stars were brilliant, but cool and unsympathetic. I thought about Mars, now below the western horizon. “They’ve not sent any more cylinders,” I said. “I keep wondering why.”
“Perhaps there’s a problem with their launcher,” said Persephone.
“You’re very perceptive,” I said taking her hand. “You take after your grandfather.”
She smiled. “I’m a keen observer, like him.” Her hand tightened around mine.
“Indeed. If it’s trouble with whatever the Martians use to hurl their cylinders at us, it’s a stroke of luck.”
I looked at Persephone. We smiled at each other. I found myself taking a definite liking towards the young suffragette. If… If…
“Help!” We turned around to see Persephone’s father stumbling out of the house towards us. He was bleeding from his face. “Mr. Farmer attacked me!”
Maxim fell into his daughter’s arms. “…when I came to, he was gone… so was my revolver.”
“You’ve a nasty wound.” I got him to his feet as his daughter cleaned away the blood from his face.
“…what’s more,” said Maxim, “the explosives I was experimenting with in my shop are gone.”
“You don’t think Mr. Farmer’s gone after the Martians on his own?” asked Persephone.
“Undoubtedly,” I said as we walked Maxim back to the house. “We can’t go after him, or we’ll risk giving ourselves away. The poor mad fool must’ve overheard us. I don’t know what he has planned.”
We got to the house and lay Maxim on the cot in his workshop. Maxim reached out to Persephone. “With my injuries, I can’t take the flying machine up tomorrow.”
“I can pilot,” she said. “But I will need someone to drop the explosives.” She looked at me. “Roger, can you help?”
19-Jun 22:03 #MartianLaunchersDestroyed
Persephone’s comment that the Martian’s failure to send more capsules was “perhaps a problem with their launcher,” was more accurate than she had guessed at the time.
Recent investigations for this production have confirmed that the Martian launcher was in fact destroyed by a by a powerful beam of electromagnetic energy projected by Mr. Nikola Tesla from his laboratory in Colorado Springs, U.S.A. The search for the Martian launcher, begun at the invasion’s onset, was a carried out by observatories around the world linked by telegraph.
Once again, as Carter confirmed this in a note added to his journal in 1898, it is unclear why this was neglected by Wells in his own history.
20-Jun 00:01 – Sunday
From a historical perspective, we are beginning to see that determination, organisation, and competence, lead to results that have far reaching consequences. As does the opposite.
We continue to see the @NUWSS’ organisational abilities with outposts now in regular contact now via radio. In her diary Toni notes the increasing difficulty of moving through London because of the Red Weed which has clogged London’s waterways and caused the Thames to break its banks.
In Woking we witness the determined assault on the Martian’s pit, while in London Morant delivers the eulogy for Pierre Currie at a small commemoration service held in the undercroft at Westminster.
20-Jun 07:30 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 20 June 1897, 07:30 GMT:
‘You’re sure now, sir?” Sergeant Howard regarded Maxim’s flying machine and its long catapult track with scepticism.
“I’m not,” I said, “but if there’s a chance that it’ll work, I need to be here. I trust you and Lieutenant Mann have deployed per my orders?”
“Carry on then, Sergeant -Major Howard,” I saluted and shook his hand. “And take care of yourself.”
“You too, sir. And don’t worry about Mr. Farmer, sir. We’ll keep an eye out for him.”
“Very good, Sergeant. Don’t be tardy.”
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world, sir.” Howard smiled.
20-Jun 07:40 #HiramMaxim
From the personal journal of Hiram Maxim
I was still not well enough to pilot my machine. Reluctantly, I would leave that to Mr Carver and Persephone. I was with the crew of the 12-pounder, overlooking Horsell Common. I pulled out my pocket watch. My head still hurt. But no matter: it would not be long now.
The men were dug into a slit trench anchored at each end by a Maxim gun, one hundred yards ahead of us, almost at the crater’s rim. The men dug the trench with the greatest of care and bravery over the last two evenings as to not be discovered by the Martians. No sign of Farmer.
20-Jun 07:52 @LtCarver
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 20 June 1897, 07:52 GMT:
I sat strapped into the bow of the Maxim’s flying craft. Persephone sat behind me her hands gripping the tiller. Occasionally, she would make an adjustment to the throttle lever, causing the giant steam engine driving a four-bladed airscrew to thunder and shake the machine.
I carried a bag of dart-like grenades in my lap that I were to drop on the enemy when we passed over. The machine shook around us, its engine at full power, restrained on the catapult track by the locking mechanisms. “Ready to go?” Persephone leaned over and yelled in my ear.
I leaned back and nodded at her.
I felt the clamps holding us back disengage. We surged ahead, picking up speed as went, racing dizzyingly towards the end of the track that curved up into space. The wind whistled past my ears. I saw the end of the track come up and we fell.
20-Jun 08:00 #HiramMaxim
From the personal journal of Hiram Maxim
“Green star,” said the gunnery sergeant, his gas mask hanging around his neck. “Prepare to fire!”
So it was. A lonely green star arced out from out forward positions. I scanned the skies for Persephone and Mr. Carver. Perhaps… In the distance, I could hear the rattle of my guns.
20-Jun 08:02 @LtCarver #flying
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 20 June 1897, 08:02 GMT:
We were flying! Somehow, we fell and staggered into the sky, lurching from one air current to the other. We started to rise. We were just as good as the Martians: we could fly too! As we rose above the roofless houses, I could make out the green star drifting above Horsell.
20-Jun 08:05 #HiramMaxim #APutteringNoise
From the personal journal of Hiram Maxim
The cannon roared beside me. The shell exploded on the far side of the of the crater, kicking up piles of dust.
“Correct fire two degrees and you’ll have it,” I said to the gunnery sergeant. As the artilleryman barked the order to his crew, I heard a puttering noise overhead.
20-Jun 08:06 @LtCarver #flying #UllaUlla
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 20 June 1897, 08:06 GMT:
We passed over the artillery position, some 80 feet below. I could see the men below wave excitedly to us, including Maxim. I definitely owed him an apology. Despite the life-and-death struggle we faced, I joined Persephone in grinning and waving madly to our comrades below.
The artillery resumed firing as we left them. I could see the shell land in the pit, but short of the tower. I could see our men in the trench line, supported by the machine gunners, firing into the pit, trying to prevent the Martians from gaining their fighting-machines.
We began a turn to starboard, so that our path would take us over the pit. I reached for one of the grenades, primed it by twisting the firing pin in the nose. I leaned over, released it. There was a satisfying sound of an explosion. I looked up: the tower was directly ahead.
“The tower!” I grabbed Persephone by the hand and pointed ahead. She nodded, throttling up the engine.
“Ulla! Ulla!” Suddenly, a fighting-machine reared up in front of us. The flying machine made a hard turn to port, as the Martian tried to bring its Heat Ray to bear on us.
I picked up a pair of grenades. I primed them and threw them at the Martian. They exploded harmlessly as they hit the carapace. I felt a flash of blistering heat behind me Persephone! I turned around. Persephone struggled with the tiller while the rudder of the aircraft burned.
20-Jun 08:15 #HiramMaxim #MakeThisOneCount
From the personal journal of Hiram Maxim
“Ulla! Ulla!” The Martian fired its Heat Ray, shearing the tail off the flying machine. It spun in, trailing flame, crumpling as hit the ground. Persephone! Carver! The fighting-machine towered over it and raised a leg as if to crush them. I never felt so helpless.
I looked at the sergeant. He yelled at the gun crew, “Target that tripod! Two rounds, double-quick!” In short order, the artillery piece spoke twice. The first shell struck the fighting-machine, staggering it, while the second detonated as the machine collapsed.
I looked at the tower. It stood defiantly. “Get the tower!” I yelled.
The gunnery sergeant nodded. “You heard the man! Put fire on that tower. Make this one count!”
The gun fired. The shell exploded at the tower’s base. The tower titled and leaned at a drunken angle.
“Hit it again!”
“Sorry, sir,” said the sergeant, picking up his carbine. “That’s the last of our shells. From now on, it’s PBI.” He adjusted his gas mask.
“Poor Bloody Infantry.” He motioned to his men. “C’mon lads.”
Persephone’s shotgun in hand, I followed.
20-Jun 08:20 @LtCarver #FortunesOfWar
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 20 June 1897, 08:20 GMT:
“Carver! Wake up!” I felt a hand shaking my shoulders. Slowly, I opened my eyes. I hurt in several places. Farmer knelt over me. Half his face was a mass of burnt red flesh, swollen, and cracked. Nonetheless, he smiled grotesquely when he saw me open my eyes. “I saw you crash.”
“Persephone?” I sat up.
“Still unconscious.” Farmer wheezed. “I’ve hidden her behind your craft’s wings. Amazing machine, really.” For a brief second, he was his old self, but only. “Your friends have managed to damage the tower, but it’s still standing.”
“We must destroy it.”
I looked around. Much of the pit looked like a scene out of Dante’s Inferno, consumed by smoke and fire. The wreckage of the Martian tripod lay toppled with smoke rising from its cracked carapace. Alarmingly, I saw a single unmoving grey tentacle dangling from the opening.
“Don’t worry,” Farmer laughed unevenly, looking at the tentacle. “He’s quite dead.” He helped me up and patted a canvas bag that hung over his side. “I took some of the explosives that the old man was working on in his lab. I needed your grenades, but here’s his gun.”
I took Maxim’s revolver, a big Webley from Farmer. It was still loaded. “You could’ve injured him seriously when you attacked him.”
“I had to do it, old man.” Farmer shrugged. “Fortunes of war and all that.”
I looked back where Persephone lay, safe for now. “Let’s go.”
20-Jun 08:35 #HiramMaxim #GasMasksOn
From the personal journal of Hiram Maxim
We reached the trench-line overlooking the Martian pit. A number of our companions lay dead on the slope leading from the trench down into the enemy position, among them Lieutenant Mann.
“I told him to wait,” said Sergeant Howard, bitterly. He shook my hand. “He wouldn’t.”
“We’ve 19 men left, including your lot,” said Howard. “We saw your granddaughter and Mr. Carver go down in that craft of yours.” He shook his head. “Smoke’s too thick to see anything.” The machine gunners kept laying fire into the pit. “We’re trying to give them some cover.”
“The tower’s still up,” I said. The pins-and-needles feeling was not as strong. Did anyone else sense it? “It must be destroyed. I can’t order you to do it.”
“You don’t have to,” Howard smiled grimly. He turned to the men. “Fix bayonets and put on your gasmasks. We’ve a job to finish.”
20-Jun 08:42 @LtCarver #AChild’sSobbing
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 20 June 1897, 08:42 GMT:
Farmer and I carefully moved along through crater, picking our way by the shattered remains of a low, spider-like machine with five metallic legs and two claw-like appendages in its front. I smiled. It looked like it had taken a direct hit from the 12-pounder. The thing was dead.
The tower, leaning broadly, stood in front of us, beside the open cylinder which was about the size of an apartment block. Suddenly our own gunfire which had been in the background, stopped. “Sounds like they’re about to storm the crater,” I said, looking at Farmer.
“The more the merrier!” Farmer laughed uproariously. We passed by the open maw of the cylinder. It looked like the mouth of an ancient monster. Yet, from inside, I could hear a small girl crying.
“Farmer!” I said, “Do you hear that?” The child’s sobbing echoed out of the dark.
“The child’s dead already,” said Farmer.
“She’s still alive!”
Farmer laughed. “You go save the bloody child, for all it matters. I’ll tend to the tower.” “Here, you’ll need these, old man.” He passed me two grenades. Then taking out a metal cylinder, he pushed a button on its lid. “I have this.”
I looked at Farmer. In a short time, he had changed irrevocably. Not just physically, but morally, spiritually. One way or another, we had all changed. For the better or worse, I didn’t know. We waved at each other. He went on his way; I went on mine.
I would not see him again.
Pistol drawn, I advanced into the open maw of the cylinder. “Hello?” I called out.
As I probed deeper, my eyes gradually became aware to the dim reddish light around me. This must be what daylight looks like on Mars. At the same time, I became aware of an overwhelming stench.
The cavern around me stank of rotting flesh. I repressed a shiver. God only knew what that meant. “Hello.” I called. “Hullo?” A small voice answered back. I stepped further in, pistol in hand. In the red gloom I could see a small blonde-haired girl in a ragged dress.
“Are you taking me home?” asked the girl. She was strapped down on something like the wrecked machine outside. A transparent tube ran from the machine’s innards to her arm. Every once in a while, the girl would groan and a pulse of red liquid would run from her into the machine.
They were milking her blood! “I most certainly am.” I stuck the Webley into my belt. I tried to grab the tube only be blocked by a metallic arm with a claw at the end of it, which darted in front of me. “I don’t think he’ll let you,” she said nodding to something behind me.
20-Jun 08:43 @LtCarver #AChild’sSobbingPt2
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 20 June 1897, 08:43 GMT:
“I don’t think he’ll let you,” the child said nodding to something behind me.
“He?” I spun around, pulling out my gun. It was then I saw my first Martian.
20-Jun 08:55 #HiramMaxim #GasMasksOn
From the personal journal of Hiram Maxim:
Gripping Persephone’s shotgun, I advanced warily down the slope into the Martian pit, flanked by Sergeant Howard and his men, bayonets fixed. With the composition of the smoke below us uncertain, we thought it best to don our gas masks.
Howard ordered us forward with his hand. The rubberized fabric of the mask with its glass eye holes was claustrophobic, but as I detected no odour, I deduced that the masks worked. The band of smoke cleared, and I joined Howard and the others in removing the masks.
“We saw your machine land around here,” explained Howard as our skirmish line moved through a forest of ruined alien machinery. Soon, we came up the tangle of wings and tail surfaces that used to be my flying machine. I was elated to see Persephone standing beside them unharmed.
We embraced. “Grandfather,” she said, “when I came to behind the wing, Roger was gone.”
“The Commander clearly hid you there to protect you, while he moved on to the tower,” I surmised, quickly looking around us. “To where we must presently go.”
“Right,” said Howard. “Forward!”
20-Jun 09:02 @LtCarver #TheMartian
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 20 June 1897, 09:02 GMT:
I beheld the Martian: a large greyish-brown misshapen head with pulsing veins and delicate whip-link tentacles protruding from its sides. Two tiny soulless beady black eyes regarded me impassively, set above a small beaklike mouth that sucked red fluid through a glass straw.
So this was one of the Master Race, one of the would-be conquers of Earth. I felt revulsed. But I also sensed something else. I was able to gather a series of impressions from the Martian. Telepathy? I sensed a brutal disdain for humanity, as we clearly didn’t matter to it.
I gripped my pistol. Yet I sensed something else. Something I sensed when I was on China Station and once cleared out an opium den. Confused satisfaction. Addiction! The Martians were addicted to human blood! I raised my pistol and squeezed the trigger.
The Martian reeled as the bullets struck its misshapen form. Anger directed at me filled my head, as the alien strained to rear its bulk against me, fighting earth’s gravity. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my two grenades. I twisted the two priming caps and threw them.
20-Jun 09:06 #HiramMaxim #GasMasksOn
From the personal journal of Hiram Maxim:
We came across the open mouth of the cylinder when two explosions rang out from inside. A half-minute later, a figure carrying a small child staggard out.
“Roger!’ Persephone ran forward and embraced him, exchanging a quick kiss.
I followed, flanked by Howard and the men.
Carver gave the sobbing child to Persephone. “Take care of her, she’s been through a lot.”
I looked at the girl my granddaughter’s arms and then the cylinder. My curiosity surged. “Was she there? The Martians?’
“I could tell you more Maxim, but there’s no time. Farmer was here.”
“He went to the tower to destroy it. He’s quite mad. He has some of your explosives.”
I felt dread. “I knew he took it! A cylinder: small metal cylinder – did he have it with him?”
“Yes,” Carver nodded. “He did.”
My dread deepened. “Did he press a button on it?”
“Yes,” said Carver.
“We have to get out of here now.”
“What about the tower?” asked Howard, looking suddenly confused.
“Commander, Sergeant,” I’m afraid to say that tower is the least of our worries. If Mr. Farmer does what he intends, our concerns will be rendered academic…”
20-Jun 09:14 @LtCarver #APleasureServingWithYou
“Maxim,” I said, “make sense!”
“That cylinder – it’s a prototype of a new explosive I’ve been developing. I named after my daughter – Persephone’s mother – Carol… Carolinium. When that mad fool sets that bomb off, it’ll destroy everything in this pit.”
“What about the button?”
“He’s activated the delay timer. We have less than thirty minutes to escape!”
“Sergeant Howard,” I called out, with a rising sense of urgency, “Fall back.”
“You heard him,” Howard called to the men, “fall back – double time!”
We ran to the edge of the pit to a break in the smoke.
“Sir,” said Howard, eyeing the break in the smoke suspiciously, “we don’t have gas masks for everyone. Not including the little girl.” He reached for his mask. “Here, sir.” He took off his mask. “I’m an old man. Let the child have mine. I’ll take my chances with the smoke.”
“Keep your mask,” Sergeant,” I said, giving it back to him. “The child already has mine. Professor Maxim says the air should be clear enough if I go straight up the middle.”
“Aye, sir.” Howard saluted me. “Mind if I say, Mr. Carver, it’s been a pleasure serving with you.”
20-Jun 09:16 #HiramMaxim #Struggling
From the personal journal of Hiram Maxim:
As we charged up the slope, I was all too aware that Mr. Carver who had gallantly donated his mask to the little girl was the only one of us not wearing a mask. I prayed that my advice about staying the centre of the break would be enough.
I felt my boots dig into the sandy slope.
As we crested the rise, I checked over my shoulder through the smoke through the eyeholes in my mask. Mr. Carver was still there, his feet digging into the loose soil, but he seemed to be struggling.
20-Jun 09:17 @LtCarver #QuiteFinished
From the personal log of Lt Roger Carver, Royal Marines, HMS Thunder Child, 20 June 1897, 09:17 GMT:
I tried to hold my breath as we ran up the slope. I stayed to the clearest path, where I could see a patch of blue sky. My lungs began to fill with acrid smoke. I stumbled, picked myself up and kept going.
I crested the hill but dropped to my knees again, coughing. I could not get up but immediately I felt myself being picked up and carried by Sergeant Howard. “It’ll be all right, sir. We’re clear of the pit and the smoke.”
“Thank you,” I felt myself croak. My chest was on fire.
We’d proceeded a hundred feet further when I heard Maxim yell for us to go to ground and cover our eyes. There was flash. The ground shook like it had been struck by a hammer. I managed to sit up in time to see black toadstool-shaped cloud, edged with fire, boil up from the pit.
I was sitting in the grass when Persephone joined me, still holding the girl. “Oh Roger.” She hugged me. “Are the Martians…”
“…quite dead – at least here anyway,” I took her hand. I watched the reddish black cloud rise skyward. “I shall never doubt your grandfather again.”
I lost consciousness.
20-Jun 10:15 @BreakerMorant #RedIsNotTheColourOfMyCountry
Returning to the Underground, I see the Martian’s red weed has covered the Thames.
20-Jun 12:00 @HGWells
On the 12th day of his imprisonment Well’s throat is so painful that, taking the chance of alarming the Martians, he attacks the creaking rain-water pump that stands by the sink, and gets a couple of glassfuls of blackened and tainted rain-water.
20-Jun 12:56 @ToniWantsToVote
@NUWSS outposts in regular contact now. #Thanks to @SirJohnTheEngineer and his #Wireless marvel. He says thank @GMarconiWireless
Thank you @GMarconiWireless
20-Jun 21:18 @ToniWantsToVote
Getting harder to move through #London #RedWeed is everywhere #Thames is now beginning to break banks in places. What will become of #London?
20-Jun 21:59 @ToniWantsToVote
The stench of the dead from the #BlackSmoke is getting worse. #GasMasks have more than one purpose now.
20-June 22:00 #Hampstead
The Martians still have a large encampment near Hampstead. It’s like a great city, and at night, the sky is bright with their lights.
21-Jun 00:01 – Monday
Wells continues to slowly build up his strength prior to leaving from the house he has now been confined to for 13 days.
Toni’s diary chronicles an epic journey from Queen Anne’s Mansions to Bryanston Square in the quest for more equipment and medicines. She and Grace Stewart undertook the journey alone. In normal days, a round trip of 6.5km would take about an hour and a half. This journey took an entire day.
Elsewhere in London, Morant continues to pester Marie Curie to provide him with weapons, even as the flood of refugees passing along the escape routes he and Brown established appears endless.
21-Jun 04:00 @BreakerMorant #IHateMondays
Woken by the lookouts going on shift. I hate Mondays.
21-Jun 07:00 @ToniWantsToVote
We are now a centre for #GasMask and #Wireless construction. @LizCadbury and @MilliFawcett are communicating regularly by #Wireless. #WeHavePlans #Organisation
21-Jun 07:50 @ToniWantsToVote
@GraceHarwoodStewart and I are now organising the 8th floor as a ‘proper’ #Hospital. We are above any #BlackSmoke and we have #GasMasks
Today, we plan to make our way to St Mary’s dispensary for women in Bryanston Square. @LizDispenGarrett did not survive #BlackSmoke #Sadness #Loss but we have hopes that the #Dispensary has #Medicines #Equipment
Note to self: #GasMask in #Pockets of #DividedSkirts Also, take some of @LizCadbury’s #HighEnergySnacks #Apprehension #DeepBreath
21-Jun 08:30 @ToniWantsToVote
Leaving now. Will #MakeNotes when possible.
21-Jun 12:00 @BreakerMorant #ANewHospital
Marie Curie has discovered that a new hospital has been established at Queen Anne’s Mansions by the NUWSS, not far from St James Park Station.
21-Jun 13:00 #ImpossiblePlans
On the 13th day Wells spends his time drinking more water, dozing and thinking of vague impossible plans of escape. He dreams of horrible phantasms, of the death of the curate, or of sumptuous dinners; but, asleep or awake, he feels a keen pain to drink again and again.
21-Jun 14:15 @ToniWantsToVote
Finally reached #BryastonSquare. Collapsed on top floor of #StMarysDispensary. #HowWillWeMakeItBack #GasMasksWork #RedWeed #WillWriteMoreLater
21-Jun 20:00 @BreakerMorant #Fireworks
We have no heat gun, but have found some bottle rockets. Therefore, I give Marie two barrels of Gunpowder, so she can make more, but make her promise not to blow herself up.
21-Jun 21:47 @ToniWantsToVote
Left 0830 as planned. So much #redweed that we had to cut our way through. #BuckinghamPalace covered in #redweed
#Martian in #HydePark. Spent an hour hiding. It just stood there, then after an hour or so, walked away. #Terrified #BreathHold #RedWeed #Martian #Shot a cannister when a flock of geese flew past #BlackSmoke
#GasMask works. Had to don it and wait for #BlackSmoke to disperse. Took ages. In the end we used it for #Cover, and crawled in our #GasMasks into Park St. Too afraid to move fast. Had to keep watering #GasMask #SoThirsty #HackTheWeed #Exhausted
#RedWeed covering everything. So hard to move fast. #Crawling #Cutting #Falling #KneesHurt
Reached #StMarysDispensary at last and collapsed on top floor. Rested, then searched for #AllTheThings. Used some to bandage our #Knees #Holes in my #DividedSkirts
Filled our #Sacks with #Medicines #Surgical equipment #Anaesthetics #Antiseptics #Bandages. #SoHeavy
Trip back not as bad. #RedWeed already cut, but beginning to regrow. #HowFastCanItGrow?
#Filthy #Exhausted #HadAWash #GotTheStuff
@LizCadbury concerned #Food is getting low, but thanks to the #Tanks on the roof, we have plenty of water
Weird sounds in the sky tonight. Could it be a #FlyingMachine? Do the #Martians #Fly as well? #GraceHarwoodStewart and I saw the lights as we passed #BuckinghamPalace