War of the Worlds (part 2) by Sam Lovett-Perkins


Sci-Fi Story

Upon earth, 15 hours after the first of the pods launched, it crashed to the ground. In the middle of a concrete road in a small town, the villagers came to observe the uniqueness of this foreign object never before seen. At the moment of impact this first Martian felt the impact through its body. Like nothing it had even felt before, as the cylindrical capsule was forced by the intensified gravity of a much bigger planet, sent it smashing into the ground. The weight of its safety belt squeezed it down, tight against the seat. So tight the belt squeezed against it’s wearer threatening to cut it in half. Meekly he raised his tentacle easily pushing it away from him, as lifting it was too heavy without the gravity equalizer activated. It slowly crawled across the floor of its ship as it felt that the sheer weight of their air was forcing his body through the atomic holes in the floor. Luckily to activate the equalizer the switch needed to be pulled down, and with ease after several earth hours the Martian managed to reach it.  With a grunt of strength it lifted one of it’s extremities against the weight of this world and forced the lever back down. In an instant the machine buzzed and hummed. It rumbled and snapped as the engine came to life, equalizing the gravity inside the capsule. Now there was work to be done, to construct the war machine. Freely it’s tentacles whipped around and throughout the capsule putting pieces of metal, screws, and joints in place. It tightened and loosened them, to construct the machine that it had to memorize back home. As it constructed it thought of home. What will happen if this doesn’t work? What is their future, so few of their people remain. The future relied upon its actions. The idea was frightening almost too much to bare.

He was ready as the last screw was tightened into place. To begin, pushing a button lifting the cylinder straight up against the gravity and above the lip of the crater.  The view from inside his metal home was fantastic. The hills of flourishing plants along the countryside and rolling hills that went for miles were all in view. A blue sky that it’d only heard about in the temples of old, before they were destroyed. In the distance it saw the clouds meet the land in the form of a fog that blurred into the distance. The beauty of this world, so fresh, overtook it, this world was innocent of the troubles that its planet had endured. But it had a mission; it was race against race and for its race to survive this one could not.

Ahead it saw mechanical beasts, similar to it’s own in material but much lower and that seemed to move, almost fly across the ground so smoothly. Humans ran across the ground, running from the standing tripod. A bang isolated its attention, coming from one of the humans vehicles. The explosion shot metal right across the top of the Martians war machine. This undoubtedly was a violent act, a show of aggression that stopped any thoughts of “is this right?” in the mind of this first Martian. So it in turn fired away, a heat ray shot a beam across the space between its and this planets machinery. The target turned white, burning any humans in it alive and began softening much like any metal would do under intense heat. This was the beginning of their mission, neutralize resistance, take control, and make it suitable for the remainder of the Martians to arrive. This was its constant reminder of its duty, all for the mission.

As the first walked around, the others crash-landed in turn, each with a similar experience, building, equalizing their gravity to that of what it was on home. Discovering and dealing with the forces of the primitive and aggressive race they now had to fight against. They arranged and met like planned, forming a crescent to walk across like a barrier. They walked in unison making a wall of fire, shooting head rays burning the green land to a crisp. While walking the first couldn’t help not noticing the natural beauty. It was strange nothing like the once great city of mars, too natural but still beautiful. All of the martians walked in unison as one body fighting for their life forcing their way across the countryside. The war for survival was fierce as they walked towards the capital of the area. The first martian use its weapons like it’s companions but not with full pride. It had a heart for these organisms. He felt a kind of linking with them, for they were young and had much room to grow. It was a clash of morals inside of it’s body. While the thoughts whirled in it’s head it continued to walk across the land moving the firewall towards the central city. It had been a long journey getting here.

Mission trial 846 was their last hope. All previous attempts to venture out had lead to failure and death. 25 earth years ago this peculiar race tried their first launch, to find a better home. The first plant they tried to hop to was Venus, desperate to leave their red home. One could have guessed like many first tries, it failed initially. In the process of leaving the planets atmosphere and miles above the surface a sparkling explosion of metal and flesh rained down upon the main city. That was the first try, one of hundreds to come. Launch number 759 was the first to leave Mars. It shot from one of the last dying cities on Mars to the planet of Venus. It was closer to the sun and spun much faster. The landing was thicker, the ground gave to accept the pods softly. The Martians found that this planet was fresh, and deep within its crust contained the hopes of renewal of their people in the form of liquid. Those sence remained there but they replied to home expressing the most dire of all problems. A food source, for there was little to none on this planet. Not nearly enough to sustain a full population, and certainly not enough to grow. So seven months later mission 846 was their last hope, half the population, eight pods, 23 Martians, left the planet of Mars in search for life’s greatest goal, the preservation of ones own race.

The reason for this rapid evacuation isn’t as odd, much as the idea of life on mars, would seem. Civil disagreements among the population ending in the death of millions over simple dynamics of nature, the need for the basic of food. The planet had once been a sparkling metropolis. Rich culture in the form of art and music and history, a single religion that represented a single faith, agreed upon by all. Peace of their home world during the good years was abundant. While they remained unaware of extraterrestrial life, much like the populous of earth, they were truly something worth learning from in other races across the galaxies. A utopia in the Milky Way, isolated among the stars. As all things that go up must come down and the way they crumbled would seem so obvious that it wouldn’t have surprised a third party. Over population, a lack of basic resources as the planet wide city covered the habitats of the native animals. Martians fed on blood, they cycled it through their veins until it started to become toxic, constant exchange was necessary. As the animals started to disappear they were put into laboratories, holding pens, to be rationed by the government among the bodies of billions. One could image, as this issue presented itself the response was drastic. The fear of a corrupt government, of a failure in faith, and of sheer hysteria tore the utopia down into chaos. Five billion died in 10 years, the cities of the planet became abandoned and citizens forgot their culture, as preparing for events to come were more important than analyzing events of the past. Each day the population died off, at an exponential rate, with no hope of a better future. As the animals didn’t come back one of the planets original resources did. Red weed, it was edible, and in large enough quantities it was a weak form of detoxification. It worked to delay the poison inside of the Martians blood but not to stop it. The government invented the space program. The populous that still believed in their government formed a space program, to find a hope for their race.

The line stopped, surrounded by the burning and crashing ruins of what used to be a living city. Something was wrong the first Martian felt it deep inside not just emotionally but physically. It was eerie in this city. The Martians war machines weren’t moving and the streets were empty of living souls. Over its speakers it heard it’s companions dying and truly it felt it too. A dying feeling inside of it’s body, a feeling of decay. Simple sickness possibly from the strange features of this planet, it was dying. The being didn’t know what do, hopeless and confined to its machine, all it could do is hear others gurgling as their bodies slowly failed from the microorganisms that were foreign to them on this world. Dying on the metallic floor of it’s command center it died lonely. In it’s last moments it wondered, what will happen because this didn’t work? What is their future, so few of their people remain. The future relied upon its actions. The idea was frightening. It looked behind it, at the black scare of charred land. Destroyed and altered by the Martians interaction. Maybe it was time for their race to end. Their race had found its demise and further more tried to share it with another. It could no longer quiet its conscious; it hoped that the humans of this planet wouldn’t outgrow their civilized world. To avoid the future that the Martians had endured to the point of there extinction.