After many years of study by a combined team from Directorates G and L it became quite clear that certain groups of full-humans were indeed much less adapted to living in modern civilized environments. It was also clear certain groups were developing much slower than other full-human groups. The Committee would hold this detailed report “close to the vest” as to be able to “study and address the problem away from the public spotlight.” Riots we did not need. Our small group within the Committee had put forth a plan that perhaps when things settled down on the Martian front this situation could be addressed with education, counseling, training, etc, either within or outside of confinement. For the time being the problem needed to be set aside. Whether or not any decisive action would be taken in the future remained to be seen. Focus now had to be on keeping the planet united and focused on the Martians and their hybrid allies.
Looking back and focusing on the hybrids we should have viewed these hybrid crimes as an interplanetary insurgency readying itself for future terrorist attacks on our planet. Unfortunately, social politics had been allowed to cripple and blind us from the reality we all knew to be true. At that critical point we failed to step up and ignore loud criticisms from a small minority of “social” individuals and so-called pro-hybrid peace groups attempting to block efforts by the authorities, to go after these terrorists and do what needed to be done to stop them. Most members of the Committee felt that we should have simply dealt with these terrorists with a “fatal solution” before they could mount any devastating attacks rather than allow cries of “you are an anti-hybridist” to make us weak. The always-destructive social groups were using peace protests as a weapon of war and many within the halls of the Committee felt the problem should have been faced down with stronger determination and not attempt to ‘dialogue’ with the opposition. That political weakness would eventually cost thousands of lives. It is a lesson some Committee members have yet to fully learn as we continue to allow certain full-human groups on Earth to engage in massive criminal behavior without proper corrective action (education, supervision, ‘medical adjustment’, detention, banishment, etc.) to end those problems. However, that policy changed when it came to hybrids after the first massive hybrid attack, and it remains in place today. Termination has become policy for all captured hybrid terrorists.
Later, intelligence operatives would indicate the mostly hybrid organization was originally formed around a loosely connected central group, which consisted of some 100 members with five leading individuals. These leaders were the “organizers and prime target callers” known within the Brotherhood as the “Primary Five” (Mars-bred hybrids only). It was clear within their organizational structure the hybrids had adopted the group-think mentality of the Martians. This was their weakness and we could exploit this flaw. Overall, no more than 20 active groups would be formed from this base of around 1000 individuals, but they were to become very active. We would later discover at the very least the “Primary Five” were in direct radio contact with Martian advanced forces still orbiting the Earth as well as operating in the North and South Polar Regions. It was not surprising to later learn the Martian Brotherhood had received direct orders from the Martians on Mars on exactly which individuals and areas to target for their attacks. We would also come to learn the “Primary Five” were answerable to a radio contact from Mars (a superior Martian A) known only as “The Guiding One” (Ref: Martian Electric Document 74D46). This meant that the most sophisticated and powerful radios operating on Earth were in the hands of the enemy. Unfortunately, we would never establish who The Guiding One was, as this Martian A never seems to have made it to Earth.
It seemed mankind was still in an active war with the Martians, the only problem was – we didn’t realize it yet! We would soon be dealing with do-gooders who had formed several hybrid aid organizations as well. Most authorities wrongly looked at this as a policing problem not a terrorist issue. Naturally the Committee soon had operatives well situated in several of these organizations reporting to Committee security forces. As it turned out we did not have enough individuals in place or enough information coming out. Only later would we fix that oversight.
The opening terrorist salvo by the Martian Brotherhood against mankind would be made at the Courrieres’ mine in France and it would be very costly. We first heard about the attack in the middle of the night. Costly as it was it did cause world leaders to focus on the hybrid problem and really begin to deal with it on a realistic basis. The kit gloves were off – we finally realized that we were still at war with Mars! That final realization would cost over a thousand lives.
THE COURRIERES MINE ‘DISASTER’
10 March 1906
Before the war the French railway system and French coal output had been second only to Great Britain in Europe. Thanks to Napoleon and later French leaders France had modernized at such a great speed that by the start of the First Martian War there was a good deal of national pride in their industrialization. Sadly much had been destroyed during the Martian War, but a core element was still very much in place and it did not take the French long, organized from a recovering Paris, to push production back to the forefront. Courrieres Mine was very much part of that push to move forward and recover.
I felt at the time that events which occurred at the mine disaster at Courrieres, France, was probably an inevitable event, at least one like it, but one that nevertheless should have been avoided. The Courrieres Mine operation was, and is, under the direction of Directorates A and B of the Executive Committee of Twelve. The mine was one of a number of operations put into place by the Committee to not only provide much needed jobs for the people of the area, but for the much needed coal being produced which, along with oil, and gas was providing the energy needed to rebuild our shattered economics. Blame, if that is what is required, goes to the Committee for perhaps pushing the operation faster and harder than it was possibly capable of operating. The need for security against a terrorist attack was not taken into proper account and it cost us dearly. It was a lesson we needed to learn and there was little time to learn such lessons.
On 10 March 1906, the men who worked at the mine paid the price for such errors. At 6:30 in the morning a huge explosion occurred deep within the mine. The mine, having originally begun operations in 1852, had been reactivated after repairs had been completed due to the destruction of its surface facilities as a result of the First Martian War. It is now realized that these repairs had not been sufficient enough, and in that coal dust was not being removed as well as it may have been possible to remove. It would be the igniting of this coal dust by a hand carried bomb, which is now known to have caused the deadly blast. That a member of the terrorist group the Martian Brotherhood could get to the center of the mine was an error that was inexcusable. We had lost control.
The explosion had been powerful enough to throw the worker’s elevator cage from Shaft 3 to surface killing all on board. Shaft 4 elevator was also explosively pushed almost to the surface, but was jammed on the shaft rig. Several men were taken from that elevator alive, however only two of 30 survived the night. The elevator on Shaft 2 stayed below ground, but when it was raised by rescue workers it contained only the bodies of dead miners. The elevator on Shaft 1 was unaffected and would serve as the only way into the mine during rescue operations.
Editor’s Note:This was the first successful major operation by hybrids against the humans since the end of the First Terrain War.
Rescue attempts began immediately as teams of miners and rescuers worked their way along the tunnels. Very few, still deep in the mine when rescue workers entered, would be found alive, however, some six hundred miners closer to the entrance points were able to make it to the surface in the first few hours after the disaster began. By 1 April rescuers had located a few deep miners alive and had recovered some 194 bodies. Earlier there had been some good news as rescue teams had been able to reach thirteen miners on 30 March some twenty days after the explosion. These men, more dead than alive, had survived by eating two of the mine horses after their usual daily food rations they regularly took down to the mine had been consumed.
The last survivor was pulled from the wreckage of tunnel number 16 on 4 April. In all, the worst mining disaster in recent European history had cost the lives of 1,099 miners. Nevertheless, the mine would re-open a year later with new safety equipment and security regulations in place. This disaster was great and heartfelt, but the requirement to fuel the recovery of Europe from the ravages of the First Martian War was much greater. All knew we needed to continue to build up mankind’s resources in order to defeat an enemy which none could predict where they would return or when.
After the rescue and recovery efforts had been completed a Committee review showed security at the mine had been allowed to go to levels, which virtually guaranteed that this type of attack could occur. And, even though bringing the mine back into operation was critical, care was taken to insure new safety and security features, such as gas and dust removal equipment, security fencing, and guards checking passes and all equipment going into the mine would be in place and operating before new mining crews were allowed back to work. It was also found that many areas then being excavated underground by the Committee, including the three major underground city projects, were lacking in essential security and safety features. These problems of safety and security were given a much higher priority when the Committee appointed a team of mining engineers to overview all mine and underground projects to bring them up to as high a level as could be expected when it came to operational safety as well as military and civilian guards for control of all entry points. The team would report directly to an assistant director who had personal oversight of the underground operations. Accidents were still going to happen and lives were going to be lost; their job would be to prevent as many large ones as possible as well as stop any potential terrorist attacks on the underground facilities.
It would not be long before the Committee had even more pressing problems to deal with. The Martians were about to inform the world they were still very much interested in taking the Earth for themselves and they had a weapon to use that mankind had not even dreamed was possible. They would use the Earth itself to attack the creatures that called it home. This was high geo-technology at its greatest and most deadly. Needless to say, there were no public reports on the disaster at the mine, which had any reference to Martians or the Martian Brotherhood. The fact we knew they existed was a well kept Committee secret, at least for a while, even though they had sent letters to several newspapers announcing their involvement in the mine disaster. The newspapers were convinced the letters were all hoaxes and did not play up the terrorist angle, at least not at the time. (In point of fact, Directorate L had sent several letters to newspapers claiming to have bombed the mine using several false group names. These were soon shown to be hoaxes, exactly as the Committee had intended. The propaganda group had done a very good job.)
This incident showed we needed to keep much better track of all hybrids on this planet ‘friendly’ or not. It was also clear that even this better tracking could not keep this terrorist situation out of the public’s view forever. The only thing the general public knew at the time was this attack had been made by hybrids. They did not know they were very well organized or being directly supported and supplied by the Martians. Eventually the Martian Brotherhood’s existence was going to be common knowledge. We needed a plan to deal with that. The solution to that problem was to develop a team of Martian hybrid experts to go after them and kill as many of the Martian Brotherhood as we could find as fast as we could find them. This was a terrorist war and we were not about to hold back anything that would help us defeat the Martians or their allies on Earth. This was “kill or be killed” and the Committee was not going to allow anyone, and we meant anyone, to stand in our way.
MAGIC – MOST SECRET CoT
Magic Order MO-55
Immediate: Identification cards for hybrids are to be re-issued with the new name designation of “H”. Example: A hybrid named John Smith will be H-John Smith. When spoken to, all hybrids will be referred to as “H” before first names are to be used. There are to be no exceptions to this order except for Excalibur personnel. Hybrids refusing this order will be placed into committee custody immediately and held indefinitely in one of the ‘holding’ properties.
MAGIC – MOST SECRET CoT
When new ID cards were issued for all hybrids no one put up much of an argument since the card issuing department had by then reported greatly increased criminal activity by hybrids. However, when it was suggested that the hybrids be required to sew an ‘H’ on all of their clothing as an easy identifiable marking there were more than a few protests. In the wake of these protests and the possible resignation of at least three of the Magic Twelve, the full Committee soon backed away from that suggestion. It was, as Committee notes indicated “taken off the table for the time being,” but it was not forgotten. I must say I was happy about that decision to forgo the ‘H’ on the clothing. We had enough problems to deal with without creating new ones. We needed unity not division.
As far as the Martians were concerned they were not about to let us forget they were still around and still very active when it came to attacking Earth. They would continue to harass Earth’s population in as many ways as they could and keep a very close eye on humanity.
I had been asleep for – well, I don’t really know how long. Seemingly endless and fearsome darkness had been all around me. Nothingness commanded my mind. Time had become only a distant blended dream; a soft terrible memory of which I could barely relate and could not understand. I only know that sleep had been forced upon me by an utter exhaustion of which I had never before known. It was a weariness that came from deep within my being and its demands had been relentless – so not being able to continue I slept. On the open ground I lie sleeping raw as we called it. I had simply dropped to the ground with the need so deep for sleep that I had not even bothered to check for any Martians. It would not have mattered for I was all but spent. I could not have run even if I had wanted to. The enemy had taken all of my strength and much of my will. I remember thinking: No human being can keep permanently afraid: fear goes at last to the back of one’s mind, accepted, and shelved, and done with. I was done with it.
When I awoke on that first day in our new world the sweet smell of death was everywhere, burned deep into a devastated landscape as I once again thrust my senses towards a new reality. For a second, just a second mind you, between awakening and my restless sleep, a thought had come to my wounded mind it had all been a dream. It was time to wake up now, time to go to work and earn my keep. After all, there was much work to be done. It was time to throw off this bloody nightmare. I was as if beside myself with a visceral thought that perhaps I would not be able to regain what had once been myself. Was I only dreaming? I knew a tightly controlled mind; a subconscious inner will to survive could create a fantasy world that would be all too real for someone in such a terrible situation. Was my mind projecting a fantasy world for a damaged mind? Was this really happening to me or was I but one of millions held by the Martians for whatever fate had been deemed by the gods?
Smoke and dust choked the air as I coughed and sat up to look around. This was not one of London’s famous perpetual fogs put forth due to the constant burning of soft coal. This was something other worldly. I rubbed my eyes to realize as far as I could understand that this was no dream and I was utterly alone. There was nothing, nothing I could recognize, nothing I could focus on to give me direction, at least not on the wasted ground all around me. I yelled at the top of my voice and found no reply, not even an echo as the damaged atmosphere seemed to smother even this pitiful cry for help. The world was still, damp, cold and utterly alien. I thought, There is not a breath of wind this morning, and everything is strangely still. Even the birds are hushed.
As I surveyed my new alien world I had the overwhelming sense that I was truly on another planet. I was nothing more than a stranger in a strange land. I looked up to see a Sun trying to force its weak rays upon this damaged ground. No, it was not the complete defined disk of our local star giving warm life, only a cold glowing light behind the mask of gray dirty airborne debris desperately struggling to command my sky. My sky? I laughed at the very thought. But, it was enough for a while, even though I could feel the sharp moist chill of the morning biting in this strange land. At least I thought it was morning. My thoughts were confused. Was I insane? But which way was I to go? I needed direction. I needed a plan. I needed to get the hell out of here! I needed to find food and water if I was to survive. My stomach burned. I could not remember the last time I had eaten. It all seemed so unreal.
In my confusion I somehow remembered a lesson I had taken from my days in the military of finding ones way without a compass. Searching around I found a burnt rod of metal about 4 feet long and pushed it into the ground and thus found the shadow of my dim companion. At its tip I placed a small burnt stone and simply waited. After about an hour of rest and sharp observation I placed a second small stone at the tip of the new shadow position. From these I drew a line on the ground. This was east to west. This was the beginning of my journey – the start of my new unknown life.
Life? I wondered if I would ever find any. Was I truly alone? As hard as I could I pushed the thought from my mind. Insanity? No! Such rubbish. There had to be others. There just had to be. I began to sob uncontrollably. No! Stop this nonsense. Get up man, Move. Start acting like a human being. You are no Martian, you are a man and this is your world! My world? …Indeed! I laughed uncontrollably.
I understood, as best I could, I had been somewhere southwest of London when utter exhaustion overcame me. No matter what remained there I knew, or at least hoped, there would be something or someone in what remained of Old London to sustain me. It had been after all the most populated city upon this Earth before ‘they’ came. So I began to walk towards the northeast. As I began to pace onward I asked myself, actually asked myself out loud, if I had any fear? Anyone hearing my ‘conversation’ might have surmised I was quite mad. Perhaps I was. Certainly there was nothing I could focus on to challenge that possibility. However, I quickly decided this new world was real and I was not insane and had no actual fear, just a resolve to survive. Fear, after all, at this point at least would have been a luxury I could not afford. At any rate I was far too numb for any fear. I guess my whole being was too shocked for any such feeling – so on I went. And if a Martian found me, well, I would meet my fate to whatever end came as a member of humanity, but I would not face a Martian with any fear. I had that much determination at least. If I found one I would do my best to kill it. Perhaps I was insane. Again I laughed out loud. Perhaps…?
As I walked closer to what I thought was old London, the smoke which had become my constant companion became thicker. Keeping to the high ground knowing I had to keep away from lower depressed areas for these may yet hold the deadly Martian Black Smoke. In areas where it had once been a sticky gray/black ash could be seen. More and more buildings or rather their haphazard stone debris that had once been buildings, appeared, many still on fire or smoldering. I remember wondering what we would do with all of these bricks and who was going to sweep up this mess. My mind was clearly not yet set to any kind of reality. I became angry at the world and then at myself for not doing a better job in dealing with these, these bloody Martians. My anger had turned inward and had no other place to go. I thought: What had I done? What could I have done other than fight alongside the rest of a suffering humanity? Press on – keep walking. There is danger here.
Fire, smoke and the sweet smelling dust of death were my world now. Charred pieces of bone and flesh could be seen from time to time half-covered by dust and smoke partials still raining from the evil skies above. Then I saw it, and it was magnificent. I had never realized how much this small yet greatly significant edifice meant to me and perhaps many others who had for the most part generally ignored it before the war. Yet, there it was, standing defiantly with its proud colors literally the only non-gray/black I could see. And even though it had dust upon its proud and stately surface for me it was a monument of great importance. My emotions suddenly burst upon me as I ran, stumbled, fell, ran again and reached out, crying, sobbing, …to touch the top of the bright red postbox! All was not lost in Old London. That I knew, for at arm’s length was proof, proof that something, something by the gods, had survived the onslaught. There had to be more. There had to be. I sat down and laughed as hard as I ever had. To this day I know not why. Insanity seemed to rule my brave new world.
I carved my name on the side of this monument to an earlier time so as to let anyone else who may have survived know that they were not alone, that another human had passed this way. I carved an arrow dictating my direction of travel. I pressed on. I kept walking. Kept moving. No Martians to be seen – not here at least.
Moving ever forward through more piles of rubble I knew I was passing the temporary graves of thousands, no, tens of thousands of people. I could not see a single one, but I could easily smell the corpses of these war crafted mass graves. All was gray and black. Dust and then more dust and even more bloody dust! The smell, if I passed too close to one area or another burnt pile, was overwhelming. So was so much so it made my eyes burn. Or perhaps it was just the gas and dust which was swirling about. The chill was still in the air as I continued on. As I did a sheet of half-burnt newspaper blew against my legs and I picked it up. “British government moves east out of London to…” It reported nothing but old news from a time when mankind faced its greatest mortality. Is it all over?
I was getting weaker now, very weak. The thought had finally crossed my mind that I might not make it. I still had not found any food even though there had been a few sources of water, but not many. I kept my eyes open as I carefully picked my way around a sunken wall. I must have placed my feet in a soft spot for it was here that I lost my balance, rolling down a small embankment of debris landing hard at the bottom. I had fallen into a pit and as I rolled over and opened my eyes I found I was looking directly at the steel cowl of a Martian Walking Machine!
I tried to pick myself up, but I soon found myself back in the pit desperately trying to escape when I suddenly realized the Martian machine was not moving. Turning to face the machine I saw that its cold steel frame was covered with a fine layer of dust half buried in the same pit as I. There was no need to escape for the creatures that had commanded this deadly machine were themselves quite dead. After the machine had fallen the crew had opened the small lower hatch to what end they probably did not even know. I doubt they even knew what was killing them. I had come to believe they did not even care. All that remained were the dusty skeletal remains of three Martians scattered on top of each other near the hatch.
Looking at the hatch I could see the crows had taken most of what had remained from what had probably been a meal for a starving pack of dogs. Their discarded feathers had said as much. The few crows which remained did not have so much as a small piece of gray flesh left for them to tear off. There was nothing more to see in this small space which had witnessed the end of three who would be the masters of Earth. Godless Martian bastards. I dusted myself off, pulled myself out of the pit and continued on my way. Nothing to see here.
At more than one area along my route I saw areas where sparsely covered corpse had been dug up and devoured by dogs. Bits and pieces of which could not be taken as food for these packs of now wild animals remained.
I had been walking for half a day, best I could guess, when a small pack of dogs crossed my path. It crossed my mind that this was the first life I had seen for days. Then the cruel reality pushed forward in my damaged mind. They looked hungry and most desperate, but a few rocks placed well into the pack removed their attempt to use me as a new meal – all that is accept one. It was not the largest but it was nevertheless the most determined. I dare not turn my back on this one – no not this one as it sized me up. Making its final decision it came snarling directly at me. To me it seemed nearly a lifetime before it came into range of the metal pipe I had with me from my Sun direction work. The crack of the skull full breath decided the moment as the animal died before it stopped moving, knocking me over with its momentum. The pack moved on – no meal today. They needed easier pray. Life or death was the only struggle now. This time it was man who held the high ground. The thought made me laugh – man indeed.
For some strange reason the words of Charles Darwin flashed upon my wounded mind. “With all his noble qualities, with all these exalted powers, man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.” What would the great man make of humanity now? Once again I looked around for any Martians dead or alive and could see none. Where were these deadly creatures? It seemed strange not to see or at least hear another one of their beastly machines. Perhaps they had moved on. What part of this world were they terrifying now?
As I stared at my kill I found another use for the sharp end of my primitive weapon. I was now truly the primitive. Strange as it sounds, even today as I speak these words, I took the raw meat that had been the beast to sustain myself. It was as if I stood aside and watched myself do the work and then watched myself eat. I remember thinking: Is this then only a dream after all? Is this what it meant to be truly insane? Press on. Keep moving or die.
It was two more hours by my reckoning before I saw the first dust covered corpse of what had been a man, half crushed and covered with dust. Poor sod – never had a chance. Moving slowly past I could see that the bottom half had been completely eaten away. Wild dogs no doubt. Just beyond, more corpses – more pieces gone to wild animals. I kept my weapons very handy; my primitive spear and club. I was nothing more than Iron Age man on the hunt. The Martians had deemed it so. I was thinking that it could very well be a bit dicey finding a safe place to sleep tonight. Dogs! Damned dogs! Fog now began to move all around me. It was a real fog – no Martian Black Smoke was this. It was a London fog and it almost seemed, well… safe… familiar. Keep moving.
A DUST COVERED MAN IN THE FOG
As I continued to make my way towards what I now knew would be a devastated London it was not the dogs that I heard next. These new sounds were the mad cries of a man in the fog. I was no longer alone. At first I could not see him even in the generally light fog, but his voice was sharp and very distressed. This at least was not too surprising considering the circumstance we found ourselves in.
I was about to cry out to him when I heard him say, “This oafish crowd, gaping, stinking, bombing, shooting, throat-slitting, cringing brawl of gawky under-nourished riff-raff. Clear the Earth of them.”
His words did not make any sense to me. As I held my crude weapons with even greater determination I remember thinking it somehow seemed appropriate that the first of humanity I should discover alive in my shattered world should be one as mad as I surely was. I could hear him still as he came closer talking to himself with determined force.
“Our universe is not merely bankrupt; there remains no dividend at all; it has not simply liquidated; it is going clean out of existence, leaving not a wreck behind.”
With that he stopped, cold in his tracks, as we faced each other not ten yards away.
“Stop!” He said even though I was not moving. “There is no food about here. This is my country. All this hill down to the river, and back to Clapham, and up to the edge of the common. There is only food for one.”
I told the dust covered man in the torn uniform of a Home guard artilleryman that I had no desire to stay here. I told him that I was moving on to the center of London; what was left of it at any rate. Neither of us knew at the time that the Martians were finished – at least for now.
“I have no interest in your area my good man. London proper is where I am headed.”
He reported that he had been there and had seen some of their work.
“They’ve gone away across London. I guess they’ve got a bigger camp there. Of a night, all over there, Hampstead way, the sky is alive with their lights. By day light you can’t. But nearer – I haven’t seen them, five days. They kept on coming. These green stars – I’ve seen none these five or six days, but I’ve no doubt they’re falling somewhere every night. Nothing to be done. We’re under! We’re beat!”
I was far too tired to argue with him as I sat down to rest even as I kept my eyes firmly planted on my surroundings and on the dust covered man. “No Martians, as you say, for a few days.”
I thought about his remark about the food, “It seems they want us for food. First, they’ll smash us up – ships, machines, guns, cities, all the order and organization. All that will go.”
The artilleryman’s mind seemed to wander about for a thought as he stared blankly about the still thinning fog. As he spoke again it was as if I was not even there. He looked right past me, eyes glazed over. He seemed to be losing his grip on reality. He was not alone in that aspect.
“A Martian has only to go a few miles to get a crowd on the run. And I saw one, one day, out by Wandsworth, picking houses to pieces and routing among the wreckage.” He began to laugh. “But they won’t keep on doing that. So, soon as they’ve settled all our guns and ships and smashed our railways and done all the things they are doing over there, they will begin catching us systematic, picking the best and storing us in cages and things. That’s what they will start doing in a bit.”
I started to say something but as he walked away towards the west he continued to speak as to himself. I was no longer part of his new world. Once again he was utterly alone. So was I.
“I tell you,” he said waving his arms in front of him, “I’m grim set on living. We aren’t going to be exterminated. And I don’t mean to be caught either, and tamed and fattened and bred like a thundering ox. Ugh! Fancy those brown creepers…”
As he walked off into the moving damp ground fog his voice faded. I wondered if this was all that was left of humanity; a few wondering souls just trying to stay alive for one more day. Is this really all there was left? I put it out of my mind as I continued my trek towards Old London. For some reason I felt my destiny lie there.
When I saw the banner at first I did not believe what I was seeing. There was no reason to. I had pulled myself up the side of a half destroyed brick building – more of a two side wall pile of rubble than a true structure, but climb I did. I needed to survey my new world. I had not known it at the time but I had been very close to my salvation. I rubbed my eyes – they still burned. But burn as they did they did not prevent me from seeing the white sheet some 250 meters away. The white sheet had as its center piece a large red cross – and there were people, people – dozens of them! There were no Martians. I was not alone – there were others and beyond the cross I could see what must have been a government building half in ruin, to the south of the River Thames. Survivors had set up an encampment near the river on the edge of Old London with an International Red Cross team working and gathering up people. I went to my knees to rest for a while and simply look at the scene for a time. No emotion now as I took in the view. I was all and truly spent.
Soon I found myself walking – fast. Then I ran and shouted to them. I must surely have been half mad, in a dream-like world which was completely insane as far as I could tell. I laughed and cried at the same time, uncontrollably; tears streaming down. I had the thought that if I did not get there soon perhaps this would all end; it would all fade to a dream. 200 meters, 100 meters to go. More people and tents – by the gods they had tents!
At 20 meters I suddenly stopped. At first I did not know why. I did not understand. For some reason I suddenly felt I was intruding, as if I did not belong. I only vaguely, very vaguely, remember someone holding my arm and placing me on a bench of some sort. I was inside a tent, and people; people were talking to me, but I could not answer. Was this all just a dream?
“Are you all right, sir? Are you injured?”
“My name is… My… my name is…”
“That’s all right, sir. Let’s get you some tea and a bite to eat. You’re safe now. We can sort that all out later after a bit of rest then.”
I somehow remember a man nearby screaming to no one in particular. “Cities, nations, civilization, progress – it’s all over…” I was cold to his world and to his words. They did not fit my great need for normalcy.
“Yes. Yes that would be right. That’s right. Some tea please. That would be the ticket. A nice hot cup of tea would be just the ticket. Yes. Just right…” I was no longer alone in my brave new world. For some reason I felt warm for the first time in days. There seemed to be no reason to believe that this was real. I don’t recall anything else of that first day. Sleep…per chance to dream… release…
THE LOCAL WORK BEGINS
When I woke up the next day I felt much better. A bit of a wash, some breakfast in a nearby eating tent and I was ready to go. For the first time in weeks I felt like a man. The Red Cross had a command tent on the north side of the Thames, but the main control came from a large tug docked or rather beached near one of the many stairs which led to the river bank from above. I asked if there was anything I could do to help and was immediately rewarded by being placed with a group who were going out to locate survivors. It was going to be a long day, but I needed to do something constructive and this was just what I needed to do. Somewhere still out there, there were lives to save during this very confusing time.
Rescue teams were moving out in all directions combing and calling out at the ruins for anyone who may still be alive trapped in the debris. Mostly we came upon only silence yet every once in a while we miraculously found a survivor. But time was running out for those trapped in the rubble. Digging with whatever we could find and with bare hands we pulled one then another – on and on. More often than not when we found a living person we also found a number of dead. As we searched for more life other teams went about pushing clear paths around the rubble in order to expand our capabilities to maneuver around. Brick by brick they were pushing the war aside so that life could once again find room to breathe.
As we worked one man beside me began to bemoan the situation. “There won’t be any more blessed concerts for a million years or so; there won’t be any Royal Academy of Arts and no more nice little feeds at restaurants…” I did not have the energy to debate the issue as he continued to ramble on.
On many of the broken and burnt walls one could find notes posted by people hoping to reconnect with lost loved ones, most would never find the ones they were searching for. It had been all too much.
As we worked we made no attempt to identify any of the corpses. What we found we burned as soon as possible. The dead needed to be dealt with speed. This was a must. Many were not whole bodies. At times only a bone or two or perhaps a leg or an arm badly displaced. This was to be sure, an unprecedented situation, and we had no time for ceremony – that could come later. Our work was for the living. We knew however, as we found survivors we were also finding people who could join our ranks and our work would speed up, but only for a while. For the most part we had no more than seven or eight days to find survivors in the rubble – one can only live so long without vital food and water. We needed to press on. At least the river was functioning at least for the most part if one got past the flow of bodies. We had no cleared roads to any great distance save those we could push through locally.
During a rest period I sat next to a man who had recently come from the center of London near Piccadilly Circus. He had hidden for a while in the ruins of Regents Park. Like many he had a tale to tell.
“One night last week some fools got the electric light in order and there was all Regent Street and the Circus ablaze, crowded with painted and ragged drunkards, men and women, dancing and shouting till dawn. A man who was there told me. And as the day came they became aware of a fighting-machine standing near by the Langham Hotel on Portland Place or what remains of it looking down at them. Heaven knows how long it had been there. It must have given some of them a nasty turn. He came down the road towards them, and picking up nearly a hundred too drunk or frightened to run away. Everything was going right until they started the war. Everything was going like clockwork. Everybody was busy and everybody was ‘appy and everybody got a good square meal every day. If you couldn’t get it anywhere else, you could get it in the workhuss, a nice ‘ot bowl of soup – skilly, and bread better ‘n anyone knows ‘ow to make now, reg’lar white bread, gov’ment bread.”
Before long more ships were docking at many rushed and patched together points all along the Thames. Building small docks was becoming common place. A few pieces of charred wood a few large stones to walk upon. The river had become a lifeline once again for the survivors of old London with vessels of all kinds lining its muddy banks. Food supplies were being brought in from outlying areas less devastated than the most populated areas of London. One situation perhaps not too shocking was the overall cooperation of the local people. There was no real security other than the riflemen situated at several points to keep away the packs of dogs; no central police or military, yet that did not seem to matter. People in London just helped each other and the work somehow got done. What we did not have the people simply went without or improvised a local solution.
After a few days at the Red Cross camp I knew that I needed to move on so I said my goodbyes to those good people and began to walk once again towards central London. There I located a few more buildings that had more or less survived somewhat intact. There were also many more people moving about trying to clear roadways and set up temporary shelters. Around noon on the second day of my new wanderings I stood on a large pile of rubble to see a devastated central London. Even with all the damage there were several partial buildings I could identify barely. It was while I stood overlooking Old London that church bells began to ring. A few at first but before long those churches which still functioned rang their bells as hard as they could. As I came down from my perch a man greatly agitated ran past. He stopped briefly to tell me the news.
“It’s over. The Martians, they’re all dead! Some type of disease they say got them all.”
I looked around and was surprised to find a damaged, but still usable notebook so I began to write. “The bells of London are ringing. The war is over. The Martians had been repulsed; they were not invulnerable…” Man would once again command the high ground of Earth, at least for the foreseeable future. I was too numb to comment.
AN OLD FRIEND
Later that day as I began to survey and understand the true extent of the damage locally I came to a cross roads just off of the Thames where several buildings were mostly still standing. They were being used as a type of combined headquarters. People were busy with all manner of work and it was indeed a very mixed group of civilians, military and what remained of government officials. It was here I ran into a young friend of mine, Winston Churchill. He had a minor role in government before the war. As I recall he had entered Parliament in early 1901 as a Conservative. We had met years earlier at Sandhurst but only after he had failed to be admitted twice! He did not like to be reminded of those early failures.
“Winston! Hello Winston. How are you?”
“My god man, is it really you? I see you survived this bloody devastation.”
“Yes, but only by a hair’s breath.”
We shook hands about as strongly as two men ever could.
“Indeed, my man as many of us have. Listen old chap it’s quite amazing to see you at this time. You are just the sort of man I have been looking for.”
“Oh! How’s that?”
As we forcefully shook hands he told me that a new world organization was going to be formed with London as its base. He also asked me if I would be interested in joining in the work. I naturally agreed more because I had nowhere else to go or do than any other reason. I thought I would do the work for a few months or perhaps a year or two before moving on to other things. It didn’t turn out that way.
“We are forming a new group, a world government and all that. With what remains of our world-wide possessions and with the efforts of those American chaps across the pond we feel it can be properly done. We need an historical writer who can put everything down. Will you do it old chap, at least for a while? We could really use someone like yourself.”
As I was well acquainted with the writing arts I felt that this could very well be the best way I could contribute to the overall effort needed for the recovery. On the more practical side of the equation, what the hell else was there to do?
“How can I refuse? My work is gone, my home and papers all destroyed and there does not seem to be much more I can do out in this rubble.”
“Splendid old boy. Come on inside and let me introduce you to the group. There are some superb minds in there and we are calling together as many bright minds as we can from the four corners of the Earth. It’s time to put this old world of ours back together again. Maybe we will do it right this time.”
As we entered the large room I could see several telegraph operators, some in ragged military dress, tapping out the news that the Martian War was over. I did not know it at the time, but among the telegraph operators was none other than Dr. Nikola Tesla. He is an extraordinary man who had been visiting Old London at the start of the war, and one who would come to mean so much to our recovery efforts in the years ahead. He is a truly gifted individual. At the time however, he looked as weather worn as the rest of us. Only later would I remember that this place, this St. Martins-le-Grand, had once entertained Guglielmo Marconi years earlier when he demonstrated to the people of London his wireless devices. It seemed most fitting to be in this place. I wondered at the time if Marconi had made it or had he been lost to the Martians?
Our work was just beginning as we informed the world of our plans for recovery. I later recalled, “Thence the joyful news had flashed all over the world; a thousand cities, chilled by ghastly apprehension, suddenly flashed into frantic illuminations…” At the same time I could not take my mind off the fact that only a few minutes earlier we had walked past a group of uniformed men preparing to execute a man who had been found to have raped and then murdered a woman. It seemed to be a simple act to execute someone yet it was more than a little disturbing to note that my friend Winston had barely taken any notice. Was this to be our “brave new world”? And who were we going to chose to control it? Who along with myself would record these events for future generations? As the shots rang out I sat down and put a few scribbled words to the paper I held, “This had truly been the war of the worlds…”
We now knew through the hard lesson of a bloody interplanetary war that we needed to be much better prepared than we had been in 1901. That was clear enough. What we did not know was how long we had to prepare or any real idea of how that work could ever be accomplished. We did know this much; recovery would not be made by quite soles; it would come from men who would be able to make cold ruthless calculations at times costing many lives. It would take men who could make life and death decisions, and then retire for the rest needed to face the next day, ready to command the next series of crises. With that mind set we survivors called together a group of individuals who would be tasked to lead the world away from the abyss and back to what had passed for civilization.
Using what remained of the beaten and bruised British Empire, the largest organization on Earth at the beginning of the First Martian War, and as such the one organization with enough surviving assets to make a real effort possible we would press on. Matched with the known resources and proven capabilities and industrial might of the rising Americans we began the work. This would be the boldest rebuilding plan ever conceived by man.
It was time to put our planet back together again if we could and we would write the rulebook as we went along. That at least was the plan put forth by a group of men calling themselves the Executive Committee of Twelve. For me it was time to enter a very dark world few would ever know and none could ever leave, and in the end it would consume much of my life and reach down to my very sole. In the deep wells of my mind a thought was stirring. Did we not learn from history that centralizing absolute power in the hands of a small group was a failure that we had yet to learn from history? With my eyes wide open and my head held high I had willingly entered my private little hell with a silly little smile firmly planted on my face.
Welcome to R. Michael Gordon’s The Aftermath of the War of the Worlds presented by David Joseph
This original work of fiction will be presented in 76 parts in classic book format on this website; one part every week for the next 76 weeks. Once posted each section will remain available for review at any time.
If you have ever wondered what happened to Earth or the Martians after H. G. Well’s classic science fiction work, The War of the Worlds, now is your opportunity to have that question fully explored and answered in this first time published work.
We hope you will enjoy this story as told to all of us by a single member of a small group of survivors tasked to rebuild the world from the ashes of this interplanetary war after the defeat of the Martians as they prepare the re-built nations of Earth for the very real possibility that the deadly Martians may someday return to attempt once again to conquer the people of Earth.
So dear friends of Earth strap on your ray gun and hold on tight to your loved one for its going to be a rough interplanetary ride as we present Part One of The Aftermath of the War of the Worlds, Edited by R-Michael Gordon of the Earth Studies Directorate.
(*Author of the non-fiction book: The Space Shuttle Program: How NASA Lost Its Way)
The Aftermath Of the War of the Worlds
Edited by R-Michael Gordon Earth Studies Directorate
In December e.y. 2028, at the end of the Terrain Wars (12,901), a highly classified electronic document was discovered along with several supporting documents both electronic and plant based by a team of Earth explorers – These and other documents had been locked away in a deep vault which had been protected by members of a long defunct organization led by men known as the Executive Committee of Twelve – This historic account, recorded by a senior member of that group, details the history and many of the inside secrets of the organization first formed in the ashes of their first modern war with Mars Prime (Terra Project).
Although many of the events recorded in this document, dated from e.y. 1901 to 1939, are generally known and are thus familiar to those interested in Earth history, it is the insider view of these events, many of which have never been disclosed, that mark this electronic document as extraordinary – This single individual seems to have been responsible for recording much of the inside secret workings of the primary command and control group from its inception and thus the history of the Committee and as such held a unique position and perspective into their operations, many of which go well beyond legal documents or written laws known to have been generally incorporated by nations on Earth at the time of their creation.
This is also a record of the recorder’s personal thoughts and how this individual eventually parted with the organization and at what cost to him – Even though this first international organization on Earth no longer exists there is much we can all learn from one who personally witnessed much of this previously little known organization’s historic efforts to bring their world together anyway they could no matter what the cost in order to do battle with their enemies on Earth as well as on Mars Prime.
R-Michael Gordon Editor – Earth Studies Directorate (eESD) m.p.12,914
[PART 1] The Aftermath Of the War of the Worlds
First Thoughts of the Day
Near Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, United States Early Morning, 30 October 1938
I have stopped running for I have lost my strength and must rest. I know once again I am very much alone at the moment in a world nearly destroyed and I am getting too old to play cat-and-mouse with my enemies. Why I am still alive when so many others are dead I cannot say. I do not know, which is the better path – life or death on such an uncertain world as I now find myself.
The last deadly Martian machine has fallen silent, of this I am certain, yet I find myself still in a hazy period of doubt and fear. It will not be long now, for I was one of the few who know the whole story, and as such I am a danger to those now in power. As had most of you, I fought with a struggling humanity against the invaders. I was there for all of it, beginning when I wore the strange clothes of a much younger individual; from the first when humanity learned of the Martians until their final attack only days now past. Since the early days just after the end of the first war which had held all of our Earth in its deadly grip my professional career has been spent almost exclusively in service to the group working on the “Martian Problem” mostly at headquarters at the executive staff level and as such I had complete access to all areas of the work. The work held no secrets from me. This was also where I met my future wife and where our child was born. Who am I? My name is not important, but as a man of letters I may perhaps be allowed to flatter myself and state that if you heard my name it would be familiar to many who have followed the Martian War reports.
I had wanted to tell the rest of humanity the true history of these events but mine was the only voice in that confining wilderness as the others did not agree. I knew then I had to escape as dissent was not to be allowed on this critical issue. The secrets we hold had become the controlling force on Earth not the men who held them. The truth no longer matters and the only currency of value now is power. Perhaps it has always been as such. By way of this recording I now hope to report to you the people of Earth all I can recall from memory as well as from a few unauthorized notes I made from time-to-time along the way. I also hold a few official documents to jog my memory of certain events. It was a journey, which brought the world back from its greatest destruction in human history and it became our greatest victory. For the people of Earth the full journey has taken thousands of years. For me it has become an odyssey of some 37 short years and yet its secrets have made me older than my time spent on Earth.
Death is naturally the penalty for revealing this information, but death no longer holds any power over one such as I. There is no longer any fear for I am past such earthy concerns. Like many others the journey has brought to me a realization of who I really am and I have come to accept the truth of my guilt. I, as had the others, have committed ruthless acts in this dangerous world to protect the rest of humanity from the perils of the invader and have thus become less than human. We had at times become even as ruthless as our enemies on Mars. We have seen ourselves and had not liked what we have seen. The abyss is far too close.
It is certain some have come to know the general story, which is just now being taught in patched together institutes of learning still within the rubble, but as you shall soon learn the telling is not complete by such a long score. I shall tell you details of the inside story most of which is not yet available to the general public, but my time is short and the telling must be completed before I leave this world. There is much to say and I need to have this story recorded so that it will not be forgotten or forever hidden from the people of Earth. For you see, the people have every right to know the true story, not just to learn the real history of these and other world events but because it is your story. All must learn from these events and thus be better able to plan for a future far from certain. That is not to say that all secrets will be revealed, as there are still such secrets, which must remain hidden if for no other reason than to protect mankind from themselves. There are things in our universe of which mankind as a whole are not yet prepared to understand nor accept. I may only say that to the stars humans are but children wondering about in the darkness looking for a shining pebble of truth. Humans have so much to learn if only they have the time to learn and understand. That is the task I leave for all of you.
Nevertheless, I shall tell you about the aftermath of what became known as the First Martian War so far hidden behind official secrets and well-worn lies, and I shall tell you how close “we humans” really came to utter extermination on planet Earth during the Second Martian War, which has just recently come to its bloody conclusion. At least I believe this to be true – certainty holds such a fleeting embrace. You see the Martians were never content with simply winning a global war and taking the planet. They were fully intent on destroying all of humanity, and make no mistake they still are! Yet they would prove that advanced evolution in a species did not ensure a race of morally superior beings. Humans have nothing to learn from the Martians in morality. What they may have learned from humans may only be guessed at. Certainly they learned that mankind could be as brutal as their own – perhaps even more so. We have learned these lessons ourselves. It is perhaps the one great human truth.
We all remember when the Martians returned in force to once again spread death upon our fragile planet – at least many think they do, but that bloody conflict was only the latest struggle of a much more detailed story. The background of that second conflict and what we learned between Martian wars sent chills down the spines of those such as myself who had been tasked by ourselves, reformed governments and secret organizations to protect this world from enemies known as well as those never suspected and still hidden even from those few in positions of true power.
When word finally arrived that the Martian machines were falling silent around the world during the First Martian War, even as they continued to sweep all before them as one would push aside a trail of ants, our first tasks were clear: Order needed to be restored as after all wars, and lives would need to be put back together as best they could even though the losses had been staggering. Fully one half of all humanity had fallen before the Martians before they themselves succumbed to the humblest creatures on Earth. Whole cities, once mighty upon the land, had been completely destroyed, as were much of their populations. Many cities and smaller communities may not be rebuilt for generations; some will never be rebuilt, as they no longer reflect even rubble so completely devastated were they by the new and even more powerful Martian war machines. Yet even as much of Earth lay in ruins we went to work. There was no other choice.
As the rubble from the first Martian War was cleared from the “luckier” areas and the bodies were burned or buried, no one had time to think of the enemy who had been so thorough in its attempt at world conquest. Most who had survived the holocaust knew that our first work needed to focus on the living and prepare to rebuild our badly broken world. Nevertheless, before long, when nights were once again peaceful and calm thoughts turned to Mars, the certain reality came to us that our enemies on that ancient dying world had only been defeated on Earth and even then not by the hand of men – the Martians still held sway over their own dying world and they still looked with envious eyes towards this badly wounded, but still beautiful planet. Earth still held the water and other resources badly needed by the brutal Martians and they would continue to do whatever it took to take what they needed at any price, including the ‘nourishment’ that walked upright upon this world. It was soon realized that the Martians must attack the Earth again – they had no other choice if they were to continue as a species. We had to be ready, for if we were not, the next time they attacked in force, humanity might not be as ‘lucky’ as they had been the first time. Earth needed to build for peace as we prepared for the ultimate interplanetary war. Those two goals became the primary mandate of The Executive Committee of Twelve; the group of which I was to become a part.
We know now after long years of dedicated historical and archeological research the Martians had looked with murderous eyes for many millennia towards this blue planet. Their decision to attack was preceded by much effort and planning. These are beings that plan well into the future as a single unit, seemingly a single mindset. The workings of the humble ant would be a close approximation of their type of mental and civil organization yet at a much higher intellectual level. They cared not for the one, but for the whole. Water was of course the key to their many efforts as the dissected red dust on Mars continued to obscure and obliterate their once proud domain. Water that pressed every continent and every square yard of this planet be it in the air or seas or on the land must have seemed a torment to the inhabitants of Mars who needed to husband every drop they could out of the poles, the frozen ground and even their Spartan atmosphere in order to survive just a while longer. This torment made them strong. It made them determined. It also made them insane, for they never even considered asking the people of Earth for the help they desperately needed. Knowing humanity as I feel I do, it is clear that help would have come and gladly.
Now as I walk among the exhibits and other objects housed in this small underground Committee storehouse from the First and Second Martian Wars, memories flood my mind in a torrent of short, flashing, painful events, which will never really end, save for death. Like many others, perhaps yourself, I can never really escape their constant pressing on my mind. I am taken back without recourse to the sights and smells of the first dead Martians I ever saw burned of flesh, pressed hard to the cold steel of their fighting machines, tentacles limp, remembering their dead black eyes, which never showed emotion or compassion at any time even when they were alive. I recall the end days of the First Martian War when mankind was all but defeated, when nothing “we” simple and backward humans could do would end the ceaseless bloody attacks upon this devastated planet; when humanity was about to breath its last breath of hard fought freedom. Yet, the end of this world never came as the Martians began to fall – a few at first – but more rapidly as the days rolled on until the tiniest viruses on Earth took their final deadly toll on the invaders one and all. As I now glance at the cases of gas masks and other debris of war I remember the dead Martians being dragged out of their fighting machines as most were simply burned on the body piles. I also remember the packs of starving dogs and black birds ripping at the diseased flesh for a meal before their terror ended as well. Yet some, as the one before me in the elongated case much like a coffin, are still displayed; one or two of these repulsive creatures in several viewing areas around our devastated world to remind us all of those creatures who would have been our masters, but for the humblest creatures placed upon this Earth.
Humbly, I recall, it was Herbert Wells who many believe expressed it best for mere humans when writing of the First Martian War fought in 1901 as it pertained to the southern British sector of that world conflict, and of the end, which came to those first Martians near old London town. The author called it “The War of the Worlds” – a fitting title I would think for such massive devastation and terror. This tale, like many others to come out of that bloody conflict between the worlds, tells of this writer’s close personal contacts and mental battles against the Martians as he viewed such a small yet important part of a war, which had quickly, became worldwide. Of course the author could not have known that at the time he experienced the events he wrote of in his small confining area of Earth, devastated by the seemingly mindless brutality of the Martians, that this truly was a ‘War of the Worlds’. Little did this writer know that his words could not be an epitaph for the Martians, but merely a prologue to an even greater conflagration, one which would not only bring its singular death and destruction back to one world, but surely to two worlds; one as ancient as time itself, and another who’s intellectual youth had yet to reach for the stars and yet reach they must if they are to survive the struggle forced upon them from beyond this simple world of blue skies and cool water bathed shores.
This story of mankind’s titanic struggle on this and perhaps other worlds will continue and may yet have a very different and apocalyptic conclusion for all of mankind if we do not learn the lessons of the aftermath of this Second Martian War. We must learn from this interplanetary struggle and never forget that which has been so devastating and that which has cost us so much. I beg you to listen closely and remember “The Aftermath” of “The War of the Worlds”…
A member of the Committee
A Word from H. G.
No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.
Herbert G. Wells, 1901 Writing from the rubble of the First Martian War
The Martians: Committee Field Notebook Number One 1901-1910
THE FIRST MARTIAN WAR AND ITS AFTERMATH
Chapter One – 1901 The New World – Year One
Chapter Two – 1902-1905 The Earth Rebuilds from the Ashes of Planetary War
Chapter Three – 1906-1910 The Battle with the Martians Continues
1901 The New World – Year One
“And from what remained of the past the gods recreated the heavens upon the Earth.” Ancient Babylonian Tablet
The first day of a whole new world – What we failed to properly see – “The War of the Worlds” – What I saw in old London – The Executive Committee of Twelve – The ‘last’ Martian attack of the war – Continuing to reorganize the world – Testimony before the Executive Committee of Twelve – Early Martian contacts discovered – The rebuilding of Earth’s civilization begins again – Martial Law – The Earth’s population goes underground.
The First Day of a Whole New World
“Every organized government in the world was shattered and broken as a heap of china beaten with a stick.”
H. G. Wells
This had truly been “The War of the Worlds”. What remained of a devastated humanity scattered widely about our ruined planet by the winds of interplanetary war would now have to face “The Aftermath” of that bloody conflict. Those of us who survived were now awakening to the terrifying first day of a whole new world remembered by damaged minds to be in the late stages of the year 1901. It had come as a thunderbolt – aliens had landed on Earth! As with most others it would be years before my nightmares of war would fade, but they have never completely left my mind.
Clearly I remember the day and the very hour when reports heralding the end of the Martian attacks were telegraphed around the world as soon as the machines and wires could be repaired. That manmade network of copper wire encased in rubber had somehow not been completely destroyed. Very few locations with operational and experimental wireless receivers were able to learn the news immediately. Most areas would be late in receiving the news; at times as much as two months after the last deadly Martian Heat-Rays had fallen silent. To many outer lying areas, reports had to be sent by ship or dirigible or even dispatch riders. In scattered areas around the world when word first arrived signaling the end of hostilities, crude single page flyers were published and posted on the rubble. Church bells often rang out when news reached the smoldering remains of cities and towns, many of which barely had any buildings still standing that the greatest war ever visited upon humanity was finally over.
This war had lasted less than eight weeks, yet it had been the most devastating social and economic upheaval the Earth had ever experienced and now we were all in the same bloody mess. Simply stated the world human beings had once known was dead, but not yet buried. The Martians had committed mass murder on a scale never before seen nor imagined by anyone on Earth. During the first days of the war the Martians had taken prisoners, but not as anyone would imagine such captives to be. They were simply ‘harvested’ as substance for the blood thirsty Martians. When that need was satisfied pure slaughter on a grade scale became the norm. They would simply ‘thin the herd!’ Inadequate are yet the words needed to describe the horror visited upon this planet. Only later would we come to understand that at no time and in no place did men stop the relentless defense of our planet. Even when all hope had gone humans continued to do battle to the death. No quarter was given and none was accepted as thousands of corpses became the only barricades against the Martian hordes. We would come to learn that putrefaction could be a welcome allied.
The Martian/human hybrids that had been brought to Earth by the Martians as part of their invasion force had also ended hostilities, although many of them had refused to fight at the onset for their Martian A masters (the ruling species on Mars) once they had arrived on Earth. But it must be said that the small percentage, which did fight, caused a good deal of damage. The deadly bacteria had not affected most of them. Yet, in the end, some of them would turn out to be more ‘human’ than much of mankind as they too endured the aftermath of the First Martian War. Others were to cause great troubles for years to come. They were all now part of our strange new world.
The Martian Bs or Grays, as they have come to be known (thought to be a less advanced species of Martian), were all either killed by Earth’s military forces during the early part of the fighting or taken as food by the superior Martian As. As with their masters none of them survived on Earth for very long.
The First Martian War had certainly brought great devastation to much of Earth. Millions were dead, many nations were completely destroyed, and many crops were devastated, with our thin lines of communication cut all over the planet. We soon realized that even though the war may have been over the battle now enjoined by what remained of humanity at every level would be one of simple survival. Scientists would later estimate that since the birth of life on Earth some 97% of all species who called Earth home had become extinct. The Martians had done their very best to add humanity to the ever growing list. Our destroyed infrastructures meant we were all equal now. To be sure, starvation and disease would soon follow, adding to our horror as mankind throughout much of the world dragged itself up from the stench of death and war in an attempt to simply continue from day to day. Many did not survive even though the threat of Martian attacks had ended, at least for the time being. Perhaps for the first time in man’s history we were as one. I could not help recalling the words of Dr. John Donne those many years ago. “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
Many of the great cities of the world had been completely devastated as if from the strongest storm mankind could ever hope to endure. London, the most populated city on Earth at 6.5 million, where I found myself at the end of hostilities, was a mere shell of itself, yet tattered and torn Union Jacks could soon be seen defiantly flying upon the highest rubble to be found in many burned out areas. Berlin, which held 2.7 million, before the war and defended with what historians would later call “fanatical courage”, was not much more than a flat desert plain of blackened and burned rubble. Paris, the great “City of Lights,” once home to 3.3 million was unrecognizable, save the pile of burnt, melted and twisted steel that had been Mr. Effie’s great tower built for the Paris Exhibition of 1889, which at 984 feet had been the tallest man-made structure on Earth. The Martians could not miss seeing that. Moscow, where a final desperate push by the Martians had been stopped cold by the largest marshaling of artillery the world had ever seen, was a mere shadow of its former self. Tokyo, Bangkok and Manila along with many other cities of the old and new worlds no longer existed! Melted stone walls which had flowed like rivers of lava were the ever present hallmarks of their powerful Heat-Rays. There were no defenses against such weapons.
In the American east, Philadelphia, New York, the largest of the American cities, which before the war held some 4.2 million residents, Boston and much of Washington, were not much more than a wasteland of blackened and melted debris with thousands of fires still burning. Lord Bryce had recorded in his 1888 work American Commonwealth about some of the failures of American cities. Here he found “extremes of wealth and poverty” as well as “crowded marble palaces of the rich” whose doorways had been “haunted by beggars.” Both the palaces and the beggars had departed the scene.
A single tattered flag showing the Stars and Stripes could be seen flying from a tall twisted pipe where it is said the American Congress had once met. There was nothing to indicate that this was so. None of the familiar buildings or monuments in any large city along the East Coast of America stood on the day the Martian machines fell silent. Certainly there was recognizable debris, but not much more than that. In lower lying areas pools of solidified steal and stone had cooled to form strangely beautiful metallic-rock lakes as if time had somehow stopped all meaning in their reflective gaze. Even ‘Lady Liberty’, better known as the Statue of Liberty, given to the American people by the people of France, was now a twisted and melted relic unrecognizable all accept the arm that had held the torch. Chicago, St. Louis, Denver and many other great cities in the ‘New World’ were not much more than burning ghost towns. The corpses, representing only a small percentage of those lost, were too numerous to count.
On the American West Coast, Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego were all in ruins for they had taken the brunt of the attacks off of the Pacific as the Martians swept in from the coast seemingly aiming towards the central plains of the United States and Canada. Only the falling of the Martians from the deadly bacteria stopped them from destroying the vital central valley of California. It was only with luck that they never made it in full strength to the vast farmlands of the central United States, Canada, nor the vast steppes of Russia, which would, when combined, became literally the breadbaskets for the rest of the world, but only after we could find enough transportation to move these life giving grains to the millions of people who needed them desperately. Even with that the destruction had been vast.
The major population centers of the southern hemisphere fared not much better than the north. The cities of Cape Town, Southern Africa, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Auckland, New Zealand, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were completely destroyed; showing only piles of rubble with burned human remains sired into the very stones with only shadows showing at times and blackened corpses now rotting everywhere. In many areas the never to be identified remains were piled in heaps entangled as if one mass. One could not imagine that humans could actually melt! In both the northern and southern hemispheres many large areas of many ‘modern’ cities were so completely destroyed they would have to be abandoned altogether.
We were shocked to later learn that for some reason, which has never been explained, the Martians gave particular attention to Jakarta, Indonesia. Perhaps it had been a test area of how much devastation they could truly inflict upon a chosen area. Their brutal attacks again and again on that once proud community left it as an unrecognizable zone of burnt, melted, and baron ground. There was no vestige remaining anywhere that human presence had ever known this place. No living thing stood upon this desolated moonscape or for that matter below the ground on that once heavily populated site. Jakarta was not just attacked and destroyed; the bloodthirsty Martians incinerated and melted it into non-existence. No destruction on Earth in recorded history by man or nature had ever been as complete. Jakarta could never be rebuilt as it has completely vanished from the surface of Earth and is now only to become a fast fading memory, as later investigations showed not a single artifact of human presence was ever to be discovered. One of only a handful of survivor’s remembered, “Never before in the history of warfare had destruction been so indiscriminate and so universal.” We had all come to learn the devastating global nature of modern interplanetary warfare as practiced by the Martians.
Records would indicate that before the war Earth’s human population had stood at a little over 1.6 billion. After the war Earth held an estimated 800 million people upon its fragile surface. This had been more than genocide. This was mass murder on a scale almost too great to comprehend. A good example of such loss may be seen in the United States which held some 76 million soles at the start of the war – estimated at around 41 million struggling survivors by war’s end. The Martians had killed half of the people living on planet Earth in only a few weeks. London’s population had been 6.5 million representing the most populated city on Earth, New York’s stood at 4.2 million, Paris held some 2.7 million, with Berlin at 1.9 million. Tokyo had as many as 1.5 million residents, the same with Wuhan, China. After the Martians ended their attacks London’s population fell to 1.4 million, New York 1.1 million, Paris was estimated at 900,000, Berlin could only count 400,000 souls, Tokyo held 300,000 survivors and Wuhan had less than 100,00 people in and around the general area of that completely destroyed city. The remaining populations were to be held as little more than human cattle to feed the millions of Martians yet waiting to ‘immigrate’ across the ethereal border to steal all they could from Earth.
Many national leaders had also fallen during the war. Britain lost its Prime Minister the Marquis of Salisbury, France had lost Emile Loubet, Germany lost William II and Japan lost Emperor Mutsuhito along with countless others. This list is far too long to recount. The war had also destroyed a great amount of railroad track and rolling stock that seemed to be a special target of the Martians as these manmade resources had represented at the time the cutting edge of ‘modern’ technology and man’s advancement on Earth. Rail systems around the world had been greatly responsible for linking mankind and developing advanced economies. Cutting our lines of communication and modern infrastructure appeared to have been two of their strategic goals. Thus the modern engines of the industrial age had been cut down to such low levels not seen for decades. Nevertheless, we still had a workable amount of rail lines and engines intact so their attempts to destroy that portion of our planet’s manmade infrastructure had been only partially successful.
When we were able to assess the damage there were many examples all around the world of infrastructure destroyed. Of the 193,000 miles of track in the United States, which at the time represented half the world’s active railway lines, the greatest on Earth, at least 130,000 had been destroyed. In Russia all but 10,000 miles of her 33,000 miles of track were laid to waste and in Britain some 14,000 of her 19,000 miles of railroad infrastructure had been lost. However, no modern industrialized nation on Earth had suffered a complete loss of track or navigable roads, and in many areas at least some of the telegraphs wires remained or were repairable in short order. In short, the Martians had failed to completely isolate large pockets of humanity still holding on to life by a thin measure, so we continued to stand as one species upon the Earth, needing each other, and, united as never before in human history if only by our fear and hatred of all things Martian. It would prove to be a strong yet fleeting bond.
With so much track destroyed many areas would need to rely upon an older system of transportation which had recently gone out of general use, at least for the movement of large quantities of goods. It was a system well known to the Martians – canals! For the most part nearly all of the world’s canals in Europe, the United States, China and many other areas were still very much as they had been before the war. It was later theorized the canal building Martians had left these waterways intact for their own use after they had completed their bloody work of conquest. There were even a few reports, never verified, that the Martians had begun transporting equipment, and most disturbing, captured humans for ‘consumption,’ on some of the smaller canals just before the end of the war. I for one would not have been surprised to have witnessed these activities even as no ‘survivor reports’ were ever found. What a strange sight it would have been. Of the world’s pre-war forestlands, estimated at the end of the past century to have been around 15 billion acres, it was thought that some seven billion acres had been lost to a series of massive fires set by the Martian war machines. Many of these fires would burn for weeks, some for months. At first we did not understand why they would attack the forests. It seemed a waste of effort and war making resources considering their overall objectives. Only later would we come to understand this destruction was also part of an elaborate plan to capture a planet, which most suited their needs. They needed a cooler world to live on and destroying the forests was part of that long-term plan. Along with the damage came the destruction of 30% of the world’s farmlands. The Red Weed they had spread over much of our farmlands as they moved in battle formation had by now died off, but in its wake millions of acres were now left as sterile deserts. The Red Weed had killed all vegetation in these areas before it too fell to Earth’s bacteria. The residue it left could still cause great harm. It would take many years and great effort to recover many of these fields of grain.
Then there was the anomaly in Egypt. Strangely it seemed at first, as we did not fully understand the significance at the time, one city was never attacked during the First Martian War. Other towns and small villages in the nearby area also suffered little damage especially as compared to the rest of the world’s major population centers. Witnesses had reported that the city had not only been over flown several times by Martian machines in full formation, but Martian ground machines had “walked through” and fired not a single burst from their Heat-Rays – Cairo! What had they seen that caused them to spare this ancient city of heat and sand?
Only Cairo for the most part would stand after, as it had before the war, and we had to find out why. It would take a team of Egyptologists, archeologists and historians many years to provide the terrifying answer that we honestly did not want to learn. Cairo, which still holds within its outskirts the hot desert grasp of the great pyramids, was originally named El-Kahira. El-Kahira comes from the Arabic El-Kahir – Mars! In fact, the recorded history of man’s observations of Mars dates back to the ancient Egyptians. Since the earliest days primitive man had been fascinated by and tracked the stars and planets – the home of the gods. Later, after viewing Egyptian records, Babylonian astronomers would record detailed observations of Mars’ movements across the darkened night skies.
We came to understand the Martians had not attacked Cairo because that ancient city of burning sands and deep mystery had once played host to Martians in a time seemingly long forgotten by humans. Clearly the Martians had remembered the city because Cairo it seemed had once been a Martian city (Ref: Martian Electric Document 02Y16)!*
* Martian Electric Documents were
* Martian Electric Documents were filed first by the number of the machine or device the record had been located, such as machine number 02. The next letter designated the location on Earth the machine had been discovered. Y for example was located in Brazil. The final two or three numbers were simply the order in which the so-called electric files were placed into the Martian records within the electric document. These Martian electric files proved to be a gold mine of information about all things Martian. For whatever reason the Martians had brought with their invasion forces a detailed electric history of their time on Mars as well as their culture and development. They also held many records of their long history of contact with Earth.
Now we were asking: Had these ancient humans worshipped them? And even if they did how could they ever hope to understand the complicated motivation of a species from another world, another civilization, thousands of years in advance of their own? How were they to communicate beyond the simplest ways? One researcher perhaps had the answer: the universal language of mathematics! With much effort we would labor to discover many of the secrets deeply held in those hot desert sands. One of my concerns was whether or not these Martians had interfered with the development of ancient humans before written history. And if they did, what damage had they been able to accomplish?
From my later notes: “Were they responsible for the pyramids and what, if anything was there still inside them waiting for the Martians or us to retrieve? When things calm down we must look into this.”
In other areas, where humanity still stood, albeit weakly, the stench of death hung deeply upon the raped lands for months. Indeed, it would be the smell of death which would most lingers in the minds of the survivors. In later years when one heard a scream someone more often than not had picked up a smell that was terrifyingly familiar. For others it was simply far too much to bear as many took their own lives. For those it had all been too much to understand and accept. That terror of the unknown – that darkness of the night – is indeed instinctive to man and part of humanity’s primal makeup. Panic would strike unreasonably no matter where on Earth the Martians first landed. All soon came to understand that no matter where they lived sooner or later their time would come and they would be forced to face the deadly Martian machines. After the fight, people, dazed and hungry, wondered around once populated areas before being gathered up as sheep to crudely built tent as well as wooden and broken stone shelters. Hell had surely made a stand upon the face of the Earth yet this was no biblical fiction. Dead bodies ravaged by scavengers were everywhere. There was much as a result of panic. There were too many stories of men and women simply running until they sank down in despair not knowing where to run or why. Surely no measure of Hell imagined in the minds of mortal man could have been as complete.
In many areas across the world populations, facing starvation due to the complete breakdown of transportation or the lack of local grains began eating dogs and cats or even rats to stay alive. Murder of the weak or sick for food was not uncommon in some outlying areas. There were even reports out of central Asia of adults eating their children! In the northern areas of Manchuria and Korea tree bark became a stable for months. Manure also became a source of nutrition in central Europe. In some areas the only local food was grass or weeds. Old leather was being boiled for soup and eaten in small pieces. Any bird within grasp would soon become a quick meal.
However, even amongst such utter despair and complete destruction small businesses soon sprang up in some areas as a semblance of order came, but to be sure it was a rough order even as flags and banners began to be seen in some populated areas. Many of us still remember the homespun manufacturing of small trade goods such as cloth, candles, shoes and other small items that would soon make their way to street venders. “The Collectors”; I remember them, no more than looters really, began to barter for all manner of goods and “services.” I remember that brick collectors especially seemed to be everywhere in many cities attempting to gain the materials for the construction they hoped would soon be underway. These newly cleared streets gave the impression of almost working towns and cities, but they were mere skeletons of themselves, only the transient shadows and fleeting ghosts of once great human endeavors. All around one could find any number of crude structures thrown together to afford some measure of cover from the elements along with military units putting up tent cities where ground had been cleared. Very soon when some kind of local control could be established rationing of any and all foods would be the rule lasting for years to come. Rivers and other waterways soon become the new roads of a destroyed world as survivors struggled to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
Around the world many small surviving communities became nearly fully self-sufficient, reminiscent of times gone by. Just about everything from furniture, shoes, farm equipment, coal and just about every food source became a local commodity. With banking systems nonexistent, many of these communities printed local script to be exchanged for local goods and services. Later, when government returned to these areas more often than not the script could be exchanged for Committee notes (issued for only 12 months) and later turned in for national currencies.
In many areas where surviving members of the International Red Cross were able to organize themselves, at least locally, members were setting up tents taken from their few surviving emergency warehouses. Supplies were being transported by whatever conveyance could be found. At times horse drawn carts filled the cleared streets where there were cleared streets. Red Cross members were soon handing out food, water, clothes and small tents to as many people as they could, knowing their supplies could not last long. These would need to be guarded as would the few available horses as many where slaughtered for such meat as could be gained. They could never have anticipated this great a disaster on such a global scale, and neither could anyone else. One volunteer would later tell me, “We will do whatever we can for as long as possible, but without any re-supply there is only so much anyone can do.” There was no place from which re-supply could be obtained. There were pressing needs for just about everything one could imagine. Military guards were at times necessary to keep as much local order as possible. Medical supplies were also given out by surviving doctors and nurses. On more than one occasion it was reported that the only medical help available came from medical students doing the best they could with what they had. These students and Red Cross members were the first true heroes of those long, dark desperate early days. Traumatic injuries, which could in better times be cared for, took many lives. In many cases a broken arm or leg was tantamount to a death penalty. Countless people died for no other reason than they had simply given up. It had all been far too much for many.
For the most part disorder ruled those desperate days as an unknown fear ruled the long dark nights. Or perhaps it was not really unknown as all that needed to be said was “Martian”! One man would state as he looked upon his devastated world, “Why are these things permitted? …I was walking through the roads to clear my brain for the afternoon, and then fire, earthquake, death! As if it was Sodom and Gomorrah. What sins have we done? All our work undone, all the work – What are these Martians?”
Indeed, many would ask: What are these Martians? There would be no ready answer; no easy explanation to give to the survivors. After all, humanity had not been given the opportunity to debate the issue and discuss the sociological pros and cons of contact with off-world beings before ‘contact’ was made. That issue had been decided for us without so much as an introduction or even a declaration of war. The Martians had simply landed upon our planet and forced those who survived on Earth to learn what extra-terrestrial really meant as they taught mankind a bloody lesson in humility. We had been shown that we mighty men of Earth, we masters of all we survey, were in fact only temporary inhabitants of a tiny planet, in orbit about an average star, circling around an average spiral galaxy, in an outer spiral arm of that “island universe”, of which we would later learn our Milky Way is but one of billions of galaxies in all of space and time. We had no special place in the universe, and that was a shock to many even though it should not have been to a more thoughtful individual. As for the Martians – they had simply come uninvited to our lands to kill and take what they could from the beings that had stood weakly in their path. It was kill or be killed all over the Earth as the Martians commanded the high end of that discourse at least for a few weeks in the fall of 1901. The war I remembered seemed much longer than that. The mind plays its little tricks. Years later one well-known historian would look back upon these desperate times and write of the destroyed world and the calamity which had come as a flash of lightening to our species.
The stages of swift and universal collapse of the financial and scientific civilization with which the twentieth century opened followed each other very swiftly, so swiftly that upon the foreshortened page of history they seem altogether to overlap. To begin with, one sees the world nearly at a maximum of wealth and prosperity. To its inhabitants indeed it seemed also at a maximum of security. When now in retrospect the thoughtful observer surveys the intellectual history of this time, when one reads its surviving fragments of literature, its scraps of political oratory, the few small voices that chance has selected out of a thousand million utterances to speak to later days, the most striking thing of all this web of wisdom and error is surely that hallucination of security. To men living in our present world state, orderly, scientific and secured, nothing seems so precarious, so giddily dangerous, as the fabric of the social order with which the men of the opening of the twentieth century were contest. The precedents of history were all of one tale of the collapse of civilization, the dangers of the time were manifest. One is incredulous now to believe they could not see the dangers. Wherever there were great populations, great masses of people found themselves without work, without money and unable to get food. Famine was in every working-class quarter in the world within three weeks of the beginning of the war. Within a month there was not a city anywhere in which the ordinary law and social procedure had not been replaced by some form of emergency control, in which firearms and military executions were not being used to keep order and prevent violence. And still in the poorer quarters, and in the populous districts, and even here and there already among those who had been wealthy, famine spread.
We now realize man’s dominance of Earth is at best tenuous, and humanities’ lightly held grip holds no guarantee it will continue. In order for mankind to remain superior on this planet, guided by our local star and held in the ethereal gulf of solar space, we had learned that the people of Earth needed to be ready to fight for the right to hold on to this tiny planetary beachhead we humans call home. If necessary we would need to fight individually and then as a united planet simply to stay alive.
BLISS BEFORE THE WAR
As humanity pressed on with numbed minds we occasionally moved from this grim new reality to things of old including literature from a much earlier time, seemingly a lifetime ago, yet amazingly only weeks past. I for one had sat at my favorite coffee shop reading only weeks earlier, blissful in my ignorance of off world events. Or was I making notes for a new book or an article – it is hard to remember such simple delights of times past. The best seller before the war had been Mary Johnston’s To Have and to Hold. Indeed, there was much to read and enjoy in “the old days”. However, in the darkened rubble it no longer seemed appropriate to read or even discuss Garrett P. Serviss’s delightful fiction Edison’s Conquest of Mars (a great favorite of Dr. Robert Goddard of future rocket fame), written in 1898 or George Griffith’s A Honeymoon in Space published in 1900 in which he describes what he called the many magnificent works of Martian labor. Theodore Fluornoy’s From India to the Planet Mars also from 1900 in which a young Indian woman travels to Mars and gives a grand description of a wonderful civilization with breathtaking landscapes on Mars soon found no readers for his well crafted work of fiction. I remember reading such fiction or was it only an ancient fable that Eden had ‘actually’ been near the North Pole of Mars. Another tall tale situated that fictional paradise rather near the Martian equator. But where then may men discover our Eve? And why did these ancestors place Eden on Mars? Facts and desperate events on Earth would soon overtake such fiction as these.
I must admit my thoughts did not normally turn to subjects beyond our world as with anyone there was much work to complete. But when I was able to find a quiet place to contemplate what was thought to be the universe I remember thinking I would have been truly shocked if mankind was able to discover that our planet was the only one which held a species capable of asking such questions. How lonely it would be to have no others to relate to.
Perhaps the last great work of fiction to cross our collective minds before the war was H. G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon. My copy is well worn as it became an early escape from the realities of my new world. Yet, it would be years before most would be ready to take a real hard look at our only natural satellite. Reality I am afraid was just too horrific to pause for light reading about Martians and moon men so these fine works were soon forgotten. Perhaps it was for the best now that the war was over. We had other things on our minds. There was much to do and so little time to do it.
Before the Martians came many would take an evening off to see the latest play by George Bernard Shaw You Never Can Tell or sing along to A Bird in a Gilded Cage. Eric Wise (better known as Harry Houdini) was on tour of Europe and the United States amazing audiences with his marvelous escapes, yet even with his singular skills he, along with millions of others, was unable to escape the Martians. By 1900 ragtime music had become all the rage. There were Gibson girls and brightly lit music halls to help pass a pleasant evening’s delight. A year earlier, Scott Joplin had introduced the world to a new sound with his Maple Leaf Rag. We were all dancing the Camel Walk, the Cake Walk and the Monkey Glide. We were remembering the 1900 Olympics held in Paris that year where 1,330 athletes from 22 nations had attended. France would win the most medals at 102 including 29 gold. It would be sometime before we would once again be able to play Olympic Games such as golf, cricket, croquet and tug-of-war, or even purchase a new Brownie camera costing one American dollar before the war, the ‘Kodak’. It had been to Paris where the Paris Exposition had shocked visitors with the display of “non-Victorian” nude statues by French sculpture Rodin. It had also been the first public demonstration of a fascinating new device called a “tape recorder.” Much was new and exciting in this “New age of mankind”. At the time half the world’s great ocean liners were being built in Great Britain. These resources would be greatly needed after the Martians ‘departed’.
Many of the ‘advanced’ nations of the world were transforming their societies from a traditional agrarian-rural one into an urban society of much industrialization. The Martians had done nothing to stem this tide.
Internal combustion vehicles were on their way up. In America the people had been told their nation held some 8000 horseless carriages (auto-mobiles) and in the future many thousands more of those noisy, smoky contraptions could be expected to “flood the roads” (There had only been four in America in 1895). Very few truly thought that would ever happen. Although there were those who did despair of such possibilities, I recall one man writing; “The motor-cars that went by northward and southward grew more and more powerful and efficient, whizzed faster and smelt worse; there appeared great clangorous petrol trolleys delivering coal and parcels in the place of vanishing horse-vans; motor-omnibuses ousted the horse-omnibuses, even the Kentish strawberries going Londonward in the night took to machinery and clattered instead of creaking, and became affected in flavor by progress and petrol.” Steam conveyances were being replaced by electric trams for the masses in ‘modern’ cities.
Late evening rides in Hansen cabs simply for pleasure were gone now as were the coffee shops and storefronts we had come to rely upon for our simple needs. I remember a loaf of bread had cost 3 cents, a gallon of milk was 10 cents and a gallon of gas could be purchased for as little as 4 cents. It was also a time when the “upper class” expected the so-called lower and middle classes to “know their place.” Many areas in society were class ridden. Very soon there would be much fewer areas for anyone to put their noises out of place!
In Russia an unknown dissident named Vladimir Ilyich dressed in a shabby waistcoat was calling for a worker’s revolution. Very few at the time were ready to follow him. Later that would change, and not for the better, as the ill winds of a new man-made war blew across much of a still recovering world. He would become one of the world’s most infamous mass murderers well beyond the pitiful efforts of old London’s Jack the Ripper.
On 8 September 1900 a massive hurricane of tremendous power and scope struck the American coast at Galveston, Texas, with 120 mile per hour winds. This storm would be marked in American lore at the time as the worst natural disaster in that nation’s history. The storm took the lives of some 6000 residents and caused $20 million in property damage. Yet this storm, thought to have been so grave in the minds of those who were affected in so many ways, as it should have been, paled in comparison to the “Martian storm” which would crash upon our planetary shore a few months later.
It was also in 1900 that great thinkers such as Sigmund Freud and Max Planck were at work, both of whom were to survive this fast approaching planetary holocaust. It would be Planck (truly the world’s first quantum physicist) who gave us his new theory of quantum mechanics; a new method proposed to explain how electromagnetic radiation worked which lead the way to modern physics in the new twentieth century and the study of such tiny particles (quanta) of matter and energy and of how atoms worked. At the same time Dr. Freud published his great work The Interpretation of Dreams in which he described his reasons for believing that dreams were the windows to our unconscious minds and how we all viewed the world around us. He would later become known for dissecting the Martian mind. It was no small feat for a ‘mire human!’ Within a year both men would find themselves working with a new group of men from many nations determined to put the world back into some type of order and control. It crosses my mind it was early 1901 that Austrian doctor Karl Landsteiner was first able to explain there were at least three different types of human blood. The Martians had surely tasted all three. He would name them A, B and O. Medical advances would be held back for some time now thanks to the war. In that same year Mr. Wells would publish an original work titled An Experiment in Prophecy in which he wrote of his vision for the world’s future in the year 2000. In this work he saw more and faster motor cars, faster more efficient trains, and the decline of military adventurism. His work is noted not only for what he saw, but for what he failed to see which included submarines, successful flying machines, a bloody new war on ourselves and of course – Martians! He would soon remedy his flawed thinking about things Martian.
Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime confidante, remains behind bars in New Hampshire as new details emerge about her arrest. She is accused of grooming underage girls for sexual abuse and even participating in that abuse herself. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports for TODAY.
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New Details Emerge About Jeffrey Epstein Associate Ghislaine Maxwell | TODAY
Joe Harris with his mom’s cheesecakes.
Illustration: Eliana Rodgers
NBA guard Joe Harris has been a member of the Brooklyn Nets since 2016, and he has credited the team with rescuing his career when other organizations wouldn’t give him “the opportunity.”
He endured the rebuilding years as the team transformed into a championship contender (even without point guard Kyrie Irving). Now the NBA’s reigning leader in three-point shooting percentage, Harris is gearing up for the season — the Nets will play the Bucks in their season opener on Tuesday — and taking advantage of this time in which he gets to eat whatever he wants. This week, he took his cousin out to Shuko for a celebratory dinner; popped by some of his favorite spots, including Roberta’s and Rucola; and generally ate a whole lot of carbs.
Tuesday, October 5 Breakfast at the team practice facility: egg whites, sautéed greens, and waffles. How I eat really depends on the training schedule. We have four amazing chefs here: Marlon, Benny, Mo, and Armando. They’ve been here for the last couple of years. They’ll cook buffet style, but sometimes in the morning if you want something specific, they’ll do that for you.
I’m eating a lot now, just for energy, because the training level is so high. With practice and games, you really have to load up the calorie intake. And I definitely like to eat.
For lunch, I went to my local spot Prospect Butcher Co. It takes me less than five minutes to walk there. I had a sandwich with turkey and bacon jam.The meat here is just really delicious. I get everything there.
Dinner was at Rucola, the Italian spot in Boerum Hill. We had a couple different pastas, gem-lettuce salad, Spanish octopus, and mushroom risotto. In the last six years that I’ve been in Brooklyn, I’ve lived all around neighborhoods close to Boerum Hill, so I venture over to Rucola a lot. I also love Italian food. My mom would cook it every now and again, and her pastas stood out: different lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo, and she’d make spicy rigatoni.
She stayed home with my sisters and me until we were old enough to go to school, and she ran a little catering business on the side. My favorite thing she makes is cheesecake. Occasionally she’ll make chocolate, sometimes Snickers, add a caramel swirl or something like that. But I like her regular, traditional cheesecake with the graham-cracker crust.
My grandparents, aunts, and uncles cooked a lot too. My mom got it from her mom, and my mom’s cooking is definitely what got me more interested in restaurants and cooking for myself. Even with whatever little money I had in college, I liked to try new spots. When I went out to Cleveland to play for the Cavs, same thing. I think the best way to get to know a new town is to eat your way around.
Wednesday, October 6 Breakfast at the practice facility. Eggs and chicken sausage. Fruit, yogurt, and granola.
Lunch was leftover pasta from Rucola. We got a lot of food.
That night, I went to Roberta’s, one of my favorite spots. Even before I lived in New York, I had gone. I just like it a lot — it’s one of those places where if I have people in town, it’s a fun spot to take them. My favorite pizza there is the “Bee Sting,” which comes with soppressata, chile, and honey. We’ll always get that.
And it’s always great to see a new neighborhood. I live on Vanderbilt now, and there are a lot of really good places: Olmsted, Maison Yaki, Amorina Cucina Rustica, Faun, and Ciao, Gloria. It’s not hard to eat at a new spot every night.
Thursday, October 7 Breakfast at the team practice facility. Scrambled eggs, chicken sausage, and sautéed spinach. Had lunch at the facility too: some pasta Bolognese and salad. Afterward, I got a cold brew from this bakery in my neighborhood called Mille-Feuille.
This was a big night: omakase at Shuko. It was a special occasion, with my cousin in town. I love sushi; he’s fluent in Japanese. Actually, he just joined the Air Force, and they have him in international relations with an emphasis on Japan.
I wanted to treat him since he was coming to the city, and Shuko is so nice. This was actually my first time going, and everything was fantastic. There wasn’t one that I was leaning toward over everything else.
But to be honest, I’m not a very picky eater, and I really enjoy trying new things. Lately, that’s meant some Caribbean spots. Just being in Prospect Heights, I can go over to Crown Heights, where there’s a lot of West Indian food. Like Gloria’s, and Peppa’s is awesome. I’ve heard the Islands is a great spot, so I’m adding it to my list.
Friday, October 8 Breakfast was at Barclays Center again.
Got my coffee at Milk Bar, another great coffee spot in the neighborhood.I grew up in Washington, and there was always good coffee, but I didn’t drink it a ton. I really got into it once I got to the NBA, actually, because of all the traveling. It was the first time where I was so gassed and I needed a little pick-me-up. The games are tough, and the schedule is demanding, but more than anything else, it’s the travel. You get into places at three or four in the morning, play a game, then turn around and do it again the next night.
That day, we had brunch at Hole in the Wall in the Financial District. It’s an Aussie café with a great breakfast sandwich.It had this sesame-seeded bread, almost like a burger bun, that was toasted and all this spicy mayo sauce on it. Then just egg and bacon. It’s pretty straightforward and standard, but, I don’t know, it was almost like the simplicity of it made it so good.
Before our preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks that night, I ate salmon with asparagus and sweet potatoes at Barclays Center. You don’t want to pass out on the court.
My postgame meal was a fried-chicken sandwich at Mekelburg’s in Clinton Hill.They do a really good job. I love Mekelburg’s. I go in there all the time after games because it stays open late. After games, you’re just starving. A lot of times, there’s food available to us at the arena, and sometimes I’ll grab something quick, maybe a smoothie or something like that, and then go get another meal.
Saturday, October 9 Breakfast at Miriam in Park Slope. Had the eggs Benedict. You eat so much when you’re an athlete. That’s what I’m worried about. I already know what’s gonna happen when I’m done: I’m gonna balloon.
Lunch was also at the team practice facility. Ginger-carrot lentil soup plus chicken and rice. That chicken and rice had some spice to it and then we had plantains with that. The cooks will add their own spin on the food. They’ll tell you what to do, what to mix and match.
I really enjoy cooking for myself, but during the season, I have a lot of people who are coming into town. So this past week, we were going out to eat more than usual. For dinner, I went to Emmy Squared. We shared a couple pies, the burger, and some salads. I prefer New York–style pizza, but I like that you can get a little mix of everything here. We had a white pie with Korean-barbecue-sauce chicken. I feel like you aren’t gonna see that too often at a New York pizza spot.
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Rapper and actress Eve is expecting her first child with husband Maximillion Cooper.
The 42-year-old announced the news on Instagram, writing, “Can you believe it @mrgumball3000 we finally get to tell everyone!!!!! ❤️ You all know how long we’ve been waiting for this blessing!!! We get to meet our lil human February 2022.”
Eve has been married to the British millionaire since 2014, after a four-year courtship that began in 2010. She is the “bonus” mom to his four children including Lotus, 19, Jagger, 17, Cash, 15 and Mini, 13, all from a previous marriage.
This is their first child together.
RELATED: Baby Blessings!: Charmaine Bey’s Hair And Skin Glows In A New Baby Bump Photo
Blessings are abundant for the former co-host of The Talk who also has a new hip-hop drama, Queens, debuting on ABC on Tues., October 19. The series also stars Naturi Naughton, Nadine Velazquez and Brandy. which follows four former members of a girl group who attempt to reunite and recapture their glory.
Hulu’s upcoming limited series about Mike Tyson, Iron Mike, has added to its cast, with a handful of actors joining the series, according to a recent report from The Hollywood Reporter.
RELATED: Moonlight Star Trevante Rhodes to Play Mike Tyson in Hulu Series
Harvey Keitel, Laura Harrier, Grace Zabriskie, Olunike Adeliyi, and TJ Atoms have all joined the cast of the series, all of whom will have recurring roles as well. They’ll join Trevante Rhodes, who is set to star in the series and portray the iconic former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
The cast and their respective roles in the upcoming series are as follows:
Harvey Keitel (Pulp Fiction) as Cus D’Amato, the first trainer that Tyson had and someone who would eventually become a mentor and adoptive father to the man
Laura Harrier (Spider-Man: Homecoming, BlacKkKlansman) as Robin Givens, the actress and Tyson’s first wife
Grace Zabriskie (Twin Peaks) as Camille D’Amato, Cus’ wife and a motherly figure to Tyson
Olunike Adeliyi (The Expanse) as Lorna Mae, Tyson’s mother
TJ Atoms (Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Orange is the New Black) as Barkim, a thief and early friend of Tyson
Iron Mike is set to explore the wild life of legendary boxing figure Mike Tyson, someone who has become one of the most polarizing people in all of sports history. A heavyweight boxing legend, Tyson has been a controversial figure for both his boxing career and personal life.
RELATED: Hellraiser Reboot Sets New Cast, Jamie Clayton to Star as Pinhead
Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992 and served three years in prison as a result. After being released, Tyson attempted to regain his glory in boxing but failed to do so. Infamously, he was disqualified after biting Evander Holyfield’s ear during a boxing bout.Following several losses that damaged his legacy, Tyson retired in 2006. He recently returned for an exhibition match against Roy Jones Jr. and has rehabbed his image significantly in the past decade and a half, having appeared in The Hangover among other acting roles and hosting a popular podcast.
Stromae, the Belgian artist born Paul Van Haver, has returned with a new single. It’s called “Santé,” and it arrives with a new music video directed by Jaroslav Moravc and Luc Van Haver. The video shows people dancing via schematic tutorials in a dreamlike party atmosphere. “Let’s have a toast for the conquerors of the worst work hours,” the song’s lyrics direct. “For the new parents lulled to sleep by cries. For the insomniacs by trade.” Watch it below.
The new single is Stromae’s first since “Défiler,” which was released in 2018.
“Mi instrumento es la orquesta”, dijo Arturo “Chico” O´Farrill.
Qué me dices, Wikipedia?
Chico O’Farrill (Arturo O’Farrill, La Habana, 28 de octubre de 1921 – Nueva York, 27 de junio de 2001) fue un trompetista, arreglista y director de orquesta de jazz afrocubano, originario de Cuba.
Conocido como “el arquitecto del jazz afrocubano”, aprende a tocar la trompeta mientras cursa estudios en una academia militar en Georgia (EE.UU.). Al volver a La Habana, estudia leyes y figura como músico en orquestas de cabaré. En 1946, se va de gira por Europa, con los Havana Cuban Boys de Armando Oréfiche. A la vuelta, abandona la universidad y la trompeta. Decide viajar a Nueva York para abrirse paso como arreglista. Trabaja anónimamente en la “factoría” del arreglista Gil Fuller, en el edificio Brill, hasta que conoce a Benny Goodman, para quien compone “Undercurrent Blues”.
La orquesta de Machito, con su fusión de jazz con ritmos afrocubanos, es una revelación. Escribe para ellos el tema “Gone City”, mediante el cual llama la atención del productor Norman Granz, quien le encomienda la primera pieza extensa de jazz afrocubano. En 1950, Chico graba su Afro Cuban Jazz Suite, con la orquesta de Machito y la participación de Charlie Parker, Flip Phillips y Buddy Rich como solistas. Con su propia formación, realiza la Second Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite(1952). A ésta la suceden otras composiciones largas: Suite Manteca(1954) y Oro, incienso y mirra(1975), para Dizzy Gillespie; Suite Azteca(1959), para Art Farmer; Three Afro Cuban Jazz Moods(1970), para Clark Terry; Suite Tanga(1992), para Mario Bauzá, y Trumpet Fantasy(1995), para Wynton Marsalis.
Al comienzo de los años 1950, en Nueva York, a raíz de la Afro Cuban Jazz Suite, O’Farrill escribe “Cuban Episode”, para Stan Kenton, y forma su propia orquesta, en la que figuran músicos de la talla de Mario Bauzá, Doug Mettome, Jimmy Nottingham, Eddie Bert, Fred Zito, Lenny Hambro y Flip Phillips. Utilizando la sección rítmica de los Afro-Cubans de Machito (René Hernández, Bobby Rodríguez, Uba Nieto, Luis Miranda y José Mangual), la formación graba para Norman Granz y se presenta en Birdland.
En 1956, O’Farrill regresa de nuevo a La Habana y graba “Chico’s Cha-Cha-Cha”, adaptando el ritmo propio de charanga al formato big band. La Orquesta Riverside cubre su “Cuban Blues”. Es una época que hace mella en la música cubana. Chico realiza descargas para el sello Gema y arreglos para Bola de Nieve, el Cuarteto D’Aida y el director de orquesta Aldemaro Romero.
A finales de esa misma década, O’Farrill viaja a México, en esas fechas plaza esencial para todo músico latinoamericano. Allí vuelve a crear otra formación y se presenta en la televisión como director musical del cantante Andy Russell. Cuando regresa a Nueva York, ya en la década de los sesenta, se convierte en arreglista de figuras tan disímiles como La Lupe (They Call Me La Lupe), Cal Tjader (Along Comes Cal), Clark Terry (Spanish Rice), Count Basie (High Voltage), Gato Barbieri (Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata), Ringo Starr (Night and Day) y David Bowie (I Know It’s Gonna Happen, Looking for Lester). Esta etapa se extiende hasta finales del siglo XX, aunque ya en el último tercio de la década de 1970, las big bands pasan a la historia para O’Farrill, y comienza a trabajar en el lucrativo campo de la música para anuncios publicitarios de televisión.
En los años 1980, tocó con músicos dispares, como Carla Bley. En 1995, más de treinta años después de haber grabado su último disco, el productor Todd Barkan rescata a O’Farrill del abandono con Pure Emotion, muestrario de su trayectoria musical que es nominado para un Grammy. En el verano de 1996, Chico realiza una gira europea con su orquesta. Para algunos autores, O’Farrill es, de todos los músicos que han realizado arreglos en el ámbito del jazz latino, el que consigue un tono más ajustado, con partituras sutilmente coloreadas.
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