[PART 64]

DAY FIVE: 6 September 1938

The Third Wave – The Ground War Begins

 

“The air was full of sound, a deafening and confusing conflict of noises – the clamorous din of the Martians,
the crash of falling houses, the thud of trees, fences, sheds flashing into flame, and the crackling and roaring of fire.”
Eyewitness report on Ham Radio

 

As air attacks began to trail off operational world-wide radars noted a considerable drop in the number of Martian Flying Machines dropping out of orbit. It seemed for the most part the Martians had deployed all of the ground and air support forces they felt they needed to begin ground combat operations. The most destructive part of their “war of the worlds” was about to begin. They would pick their spots very carefully taking full advantage of weather and limited air cover. Very soon they would establish strong footholds in several starting points on Earth.

APOLLO FLASH: TO ALL COMMANDS: “RED SOIL” – ENEMY GROUND ATTACKS IMMINENT – BLOODY THE BASTARDS – GOOD LUCK AND GOOD HUNTING.

Despite the loss of several polar radar sites (north and south) we saw them coming. From both poles the Martians came out of the high ice in three waves in multiple diamond formations, just as one would expect based on past Martian history. The grand Martian strategy to take the surface of the Earth had begun. The first wave of machines flew at high altitude expected to work as high cover, flight control and reconnaissance. The second wave flew in at mid-level expected to engage any of our Earth air forces with the third wave flying in low and fast to land ground combat troops and weapons to begin the ground war. Every operational fighter we had went up to meet them, as well as many not really combat ready including several new ones right from the assembly lines. Our as yet unused bomber fleets were now put on 100% ready standby to bomb in mass any Martian ground concentrations they could get to.

From the South Pole the enemy attacked north in three formations landing ground forces at Cape Town South Africa, Puerto Natales, Chile and just west of Melbourne, Australia near Ballarat. (The landing at Puerto Natales was practically on top of one of our major Grain Storage Facilities G3 code named ‘Earth’.)

From the north the Martians flew south landing in an ice covered field just outside of Winnipeg, Canada, by a lake just north of Harbin, Manchuria and west of Stockholm, Sweden. Starting from these points the Martians moved out along the cardinal points in massive fan-shaped formations. I remember thinking at the time it seemed a bit odd the Martians would advance their ground attacks along primary magnetic points of the compass rather than follow geologic ground contours since the local magnetic fields on Mars are not global and were thus useless for compass navigation on their home world. However, considering how long the Martians had been on Earth the odds were they were just as good at Earth navigation as we are and probably much better. It is funny what one thinks of in times of great stress.

Out of polar orbit the Martians pounded the general area with Heat-Rays and landed a large force on top of the Giza Plateau quickly securing a five mile radius centered on the pyramids. The Martians had set up their “Central Terrain Command Center” at the same location they had favored thousands of years earlier. The Martians had come home! Landings were also made inside the MLZ, CLZ and SLZ. (They must have realized the significance of these areas.) However, due to our lack of radars and spotter coverage in these hostile areas it was difficult for us to estimate just how powerful these landings had been. We needed data that we simply did not have.

In most other areas spotters reported a very fast buildup of ground forces with Martian Walkers quickly moving out from their landing zones within minutes. At no point did it take the Martians longer than 30 minutes to begin moving with Walker operations. This was verification they had vastly improved their Walker capabilities. We also discovered they had brought to Earth three different types of Walkers. We called them small, medium and large. These deadly machines would spearhead their ground attacks. The medium sized Walkers closely resembled the ‘two-Martianed’ machines we had fought during the First Martian War. These had been improved as they no longer had open cowls and were a good deal faster. (The Tango sniper teams would be disappointed.) The smaller single occupant Martian Walkers were about the size of the ones we had found buried at Giza and Cairo at around ten feet tall only these were much better built. We knew at once these machines could easily be used to enter and attack our underground facilities. The large Walkers were on the order of 35 feet in height and were truly powerful machines. These giant monsters held a team of five Martians and would prove to be the most deadly machines on the battle field in the days and weeks to come. All three models had Heat-Rays and all but the small Walkers were able to dispense Black Smoke which considering where they were likely to be deployed seemed a tactical error on the part of the Martians. One of my aids was quick to point out that “they had blown that one.” I was not so sure. From these landings the enemy would continue to re-enforce over the next few days.

We soon learned as the large Walkers moved these machines projected wide magnetic fields which disrupted local energy sources as well as local wireless transmissions. As they conquered territory devices left in their wake blocked all wireless for miles around.

Inside the Mexican Lawless Zone (MLZ)

Ham Radio report (no call sign) (unconfirmed): The Martians have landed all over Matamoros. Hundreds of them are walking around and firing death rays at just about… (Transmission ends)

It was not long before contact with the enemy was made. At many of these landing areas the first troops to engage the enemy were local reserve forces backed by well armed police units. For the most part they suffered heavy losses with some noted exceptions. However, at no point during these first ground battles did any unit back down. They fought with great courage and determination well beyond what could be expected of part-time soldiers.

Fighting at Cape Town

It did not take long for regular pre-positioned combat units to engage the enemy with combined infantry, armor and artillery units supported by fighter/bombers. There was no single line of these first Martian advances not fully engaged in intense fighting by Committee or national forces within two hours of their arrival. The landings at Cape Town, Winnipeg and Melbourne also afforded our bombers the first opportunity to finally get into the fight.

THE FIRST BOMBER ATTACKS

It was time to carry the air war to the enemy. At Cape Town over 150 first line Whitehead B4 jet bombers attacked the landing zones approaching from two directions with jet fighters leading the way. The same tactic was used over the Winnipeg landing zones only the bombers came in from the west in one massive triple “V” formation of 400 bombers beginning their approach near treetop level before climbing to bomb altitude. These bombers were led by Thunder Jet fighters but only after a first wave of jet fighters came screaming into the area from the east in order to deflect some of the Martian Flying Machines in position to cover their landing forces.

At Melbourne fighters from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) once again swept in, followed by the bombers. After the attack a second wave of fighters swept the area to cover the retreating bombers. Phoenix IIs stationed in Melbourne soon followed going after the Martian Flying Machines flying high cover. During these three missions alone we lost 218 bombers and their crews with first reports indicating only moderate damage to Martian ground forces. Our bomber fleets had bloodied the Martians first landings but it had been a very costly affair – too costly. If we were to succeed we needed to take a close look at our bombing tactics. The Martians had limited our effectiveness by heavy air cover, ground to air Heat-Rays and quickly dispersing and moving out from their landing zones making it difficult to locate and destroy concentrated targets.

At the same time the Chinese Air Force began their attacks on Martian ground forces not with bombers but with jet fighter-bombers coming in at tree top level and dropping fire bombs mixed with high explosive bombs on the assembling Martians. The jets flew in waves from three directions in sets of twelve jets in each wave. For the most part they simply ignored the high flying machines and pounded the targets on the ground. As air reports came in I was amazed at just how fast our forces engaged the enemy. In 1901 it had taken many hours, even days. This time our response to meet the Martians on the ground came in a few hours and at times only minutes! The Chinese units had been most ready and had engaged the Martians faster than any other force. They must have caught the Martians off guard as their attacks were also the most effective of the day. They proved we had to hit the Martians fast or lose the initiative. Even then it was still a close thing as well as a costly one. The Chinese Air Force lost 25% of their fighters who engaged that invading force on the first day. Ground based mobile Heat-Rays had also taken their toll on the Chinese both in the air and on the ground.

Two hours after the first ground forces landed the second wave of enemy Walkers and supporting elements landed at nearby locations in positions to reinforce and fortify the first group of landings. The ever efficient and fast moving Martians were not wasting any time.

At all three northern landing zones the Martians deployed new ground forces north, east and west of their original landing sites. Near the southern landing zones the Martians deployed supporting forces east, west and north of their Melbourne landing, north and east of their Puerto Natales landing and north and east of their landings at Cape Town. These units pressed forward rapidly finding light resistance where they had landed. It would not take long for these additional Martian ground forces to link up and begin joint operations. Earth forces were soon in desperate battles with most of these new enemy units retreating as slowly as they could.

As for the Giza area the Martians simply began building up their strength in the general area from orbit moving out from Giza east, west, and south. Clearly this was to be their equatorial strong hold. It would soon expand to ten miles in diameter. Towards the east they attacked Cairo and overran the north end of the Suez Canal. It would be at Suez the Egyptian military showed their toughest metal. With their backs to the wall wave after wave of infantry and armor units flung themselves at the Martians who at one point were actually forced to pull back due to massed Egyptian artillery. This was ‘home ground’ for both combatants and no quarter was to be given on either side. The ten Earth built Walkers were reported to have done well in point combat against the Martians at Cairo. The fact we had re-built some of the Martian machines seemed to come as a surprise to the enemy.

During the final attack of the day Egyptian commandos actually climbed on to several large Martian Walkers to plant explosive charges. One commando was able to find a small opening in the side of one machine and pumped machine gun rounds into the Walker until he was cut down by Martian fire. Several of these metal monsters were felled before the Martians were forced to turn their Heat-Rays on themselves to “wash” off the very determined Egyptians. It was reported that in the middle of the night a team of Jewish fighters known as the ‘Knights of David’ had made their way to the Martian command area killing several local Martian commanders. The ‘Knights’ had gone down in Jewish history!

By dawn the next day the Suez was in the ‘hands’ of the Martians as the Egyptian force who battled them in hand-to-hand combat had lost 97% of their attacking force. The Suez washed red that day with the blood of thousands of Egyptians and the bodies of hundreds of dead Martians as the “Lost Army” went into Egyptian history books. Later, Egyptian medals awarded for the highest courage against an enemy force would be named the “Red Cross of Suez.” Six were awarded to surviving members of the Lost Army for their efforts on that day. One was awarded to the “unknown Egyptian who represented all members of the Lost Army.”

Committee and Egyptian Infantry attack Martians

At Alexander, Egypt our Committee Secret Service Communication Center Com 10 reported the area was now fully Martian occupied. This underground facility however, was still operational. For how long was anyone’s guess. I recall it was at Alexander we found the first meteorite on Earth known to have come from Mars. One staff member suggested “they were back to re-claim their rock.”

Despite all of the air-power Earth forces could deploy and despite every point on Earth where Martian forces had landed being counter-attacked, at no point along any of these lines of attack could our forces stop the Martians for any length of time. They were gaining ground with great speed as they fought day and night without pause. Defensive lines were collapsing fast. The best any of our ground forces could do at this time was slow them down, yet no matter what we did nothing was stopping them as the cost in lives and equipment continued to climb.

The crush of civilians massed along the roads away from these areas made it difficult to re-enforce our front line units in many areas. We would make few efforts to control the uncontrollable civilian masses as we continued to engage enemy forces. Killing the enemy had to hold the high ground of that discourse.

North east of Melbourne

Ham Radio report UVF18 (unconfirmed): After the Martians landed their cylinders, dozens of small walkers scattered out of the larger machine like a pack of wolves. Groups of three form a triangle and begin to… (Transmission ends)

GROUND ATTACKS CONTINUE

At first glance the Martians appeared to indiscriminately kill anything that moved across their line of sight, both man and beast, but this made no logical sense as it would tend to sap a good deal of their combat strength and time to do so. With this in mind we set about to discover their combat tactical pattern which soon came to light. They were indeed killing everyone and everything in the areas they landed but as they organized themselves and moved out from their landing zones they focused on man-made infrastructure such as power lines and electrical generating plants, communication facilities as well as any medium or large population centers in their path attempting to choke them off. Clearly these attacks spoke to the Martians attempting to isolate and thus control large populations wherever they went. Firing on random humans would pass to specific targets. Their movements indicated they were setting up an interlocking grid pattern of forces controlling surface grid lines with ground forces while leaving the centers of the grid relatively untouched – at least for the preliminary operation. That way they could cover a great deal of ground in a short period of time. It also meant we would have plenty of room to hit them with our stay behind forces and hopefully do some real damage in the wake of their passing primary attacks.

German troops leave defensive positions to attack Martian ground forces

Past wars had brought enemy administration to occupied territory. Not so with the Martians. They were not interested in such mundane matters. Death and total destruction were their only goals. In this war of annihilation mankind was not to be ‘managed’ it was to be destroyed as time and material would permit. Many of their rear forces which consist largely of hybrids and Martian Bs would get the job. The Martian Bs and hybrids were there to do the clean-up. The Martians As considered them to be nothing more than cannon fodder. We planned to oblige them. These areas would see some of the bloodiest close-in hand-to-hand fighting of the war.

Inside Stockholm, Sweden

Ham Radio report SW61V (unconfirmed): Stockholm is under brutal attack by dozens of Martian machines. The military is powerless to stop them. Black Smoke is everywhere. The population is being slaughtered by the tens of thousands. You must send critical re-enforcement. Most of the city is burning. Everything is being destroyed. Nothing stops… (Transmission ends)

Stockholm was the first major population center to come under sustained Martian ground attack. They had earlier sustained the weight of both aerial Heat-Ray and seismic attacks which were now followed by several waves of medium sized Martian Walkers trailed by squads of Martian Bs and hybrids. They also covered their forces with several Martian Flying Machines. Hitting the city from the west the Martians slammed into the cities’ outer trenches and for a few minutes were halted by ignited black tar pits and Walker Traps which reportedly caught the Martians by surprise. Several of their machines fell victim to these traps which allowed military forces the opportunity to pour artillery and tank fire on the temporarily halted enemy. Several of the Walkers were hit and destroyed. However, the Martians continued on simply walking directly on top of their fallen comrades to continue their advance on the city. As they moved thick greasy Black Smoke began to pour from their forward machines. This was answered by Martian Gas Traps and thousands of fire pits being ignited which burned a good deal of the deadly Martian smoke but it was simply not enough. Building by building and street by street the Martians continued to advance seemingly contented to destroy any man-made structure they could see. Once again it would be reported that killing humans appeared to be a secondary target. Even as tens of thousands were being slaughtered, focus remained on the city itself. But only until that work was complete.

Stockholm

Within hours any recognizable section of Stockholm had vanished beneath the metal feet of the advancing Martians as they pushed all the way to the sea where tens of thousands of terrified people perished like rats dropping into the ocean attempting to flee the deadly Heat-Rays. This was not war, this was murder. It would not be long before Copenhagen, Oslo and Goteborg met a similar fate.

Not long after the battle for Stockholm began halfway around the world the Martians imitated their assault on Melbourne in Australia. Moving east and north east from their landing zones the Martians struck Melbourne defense lines along three points five miles wide. As bombers, fighter/bombers and Phoenix IIs sent in from Sydney continued to attack the Martians, both large and medium sized Walkers moved forward to make contact with the outer edges of the city. Firing their Heat-Rays in the direction of movement the Martians walked on what might best be called the world’s most powerful minefields. Unknown even to the Committee outside of Sydney to insure absolute secrecy the Australians had planted a 200 yard wide closely packed set of mines north, east and west of the Melbourne as well as around all of their major population centers. Many other cities around the world had minefields but none could come close to the ones which were set into three interconnected rings around Australian cities. These ‘green circular city parks’ as seen from above were death traps and the Aussies were about to show some of their best work to the advancing Martians. Fully three lines of Walkers, 70% of which were medium sized, had entered the ‘fields’ when three miles of these fields were exploded by cable controls. The effect was devastating. The explosion sent a shock wave over Melbourne which broke widows four miles away. (At least the few that still existed.) It also sent dozens of Martian machines along with the Martians flying into the air, many in different directions at the same time as they were ripped apart by the truly massive blasts.

As the smoke was clearing observers noted the Martians had stopped dead in their tracks as a deep silence commanded the ravaged field now covered with large trenches and dead Martians. For a full two minutes none of the machines left standing, most of which had yet to enter the minefield, made any movement. The Martians had taken their pause. Australian tanks and artillery now opened up a massive volley of fire. Then as one the medium sized Walkers began to turn and move north away from the field seemingly looking for an easier path to advance on the city. Not so for the large Walkers. They pulled their own trick out of the hat. Each of the large Walkers on the forward line simply pulled their legs up and began to hover in place. This was the first time we understood that these monsters could fly. They had not been able to fly Walkers in 1901 thus once again they had improved these machines.

Firing their Heat-Rays the Martians seemed to float over the fields with an easy grace setting down well beyond the edge of the deadly field prepared to continue their attack on Melbourne. The Australians estimated that during the mine field detonation they had destroyed at least 400 medium sized Walkers. This was the largest single loss imparted on the Martians by any combat force on Earth during the entire war. This amounted to around 15% of the Martian ground forces attacking the city at the time. The remaining enemy forces would not go down as easy and neither would Melbourne. There were few sections of Melbourne taken by the Martians which did not cost them heavily. It would be during the height of the fighting for the city that the Committee decided to dynamite seal the entrance tunnels to the Grain Storage Facility G4 at Melbourne code named ‘Mars’. The Martians would eventually take Melbourne but they did not take G4. Sydney’s turn would come next as the Aussies continued to make them pay dearly for every bloody inch of Australian soil.

Lower-Melbourne, Australia

Secure cable report to Sydney Committee Headquarters: LARGE MARTIAN WALKERS CAPABLE OF SHORT DISTANCE FLIGHT AT LOW ALTITUDES – MINE FIELD OPERATIONS SUCCESSFUL – ATTACKS ON CITY CONTINUE – HEAVY FIGHTING CONTINUES – BLACK SMOKE DEPLOYED – LOSSES MODERATE – MARS SEALED – GOD SAVE THE KING.

This information about the newly discovered flight capabilities of the large Walkers was immediately sent to all commands. Adjustments in defensive operations were once again required. The Martians were proving to be even more adaptable than we had anticipated. What we learned next out of Cape Town was even more disturbing. The Martians had brought small boats with them!

The fighting in and around Cape Town had been bloody and fierce but it did not last long once the beachheads had been established and strengthened. It had taken only hours for the Martians to overrun much of the southern African area from Cape Town to Worcester, Port Elizabeth to East London and Beaufort West. The Martian ground forces had swept a wide area with tremendous speed and brutality crushing everything in their path.

It was the final flash report from forces engaged in the fight that informed the Committee the Martians had deployed what amounted to small patrol boats around both Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. We had also lost our Sea Cave Facility, Blue 10 outside Cape Town which was now occupied by Martian water craft. Another new dimension had been added to the war. It was one we had anticipated but had not really expected to see.

POSEIDON VLF RADIO MESSAGE: TO ALL ATLANTIC SUBS (RELAYED TO APOLLO): MARTIANS HAVE WATER PATROL CRAFT OFF COAST OF SOUTHERN AFRICA – BE PREPARED TO ENGAGE AND DESTROY AT WILL – SEA CAVE FACILITY B10 OCCUPIED BY ENEMY FORCES.

The first reliable report we received at our London Committee Headquarter concerning conditions in and around the SLZ came from a Tango operative team who had managed to land on the northern coast by special submarine and set up an observation station. They were able to report that the Martians had set up a water operation center just west of Bargal. This gave the Martians effective control of the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea all the way north to Cairo and the Suez Canal. The Red Sea was now in fact an enemy controlled “Red Sea.” Within days the SLZ would effectively be a Martian controlled area.

We still did not have any reliable information coming out of either the MLZ or the CLZ. The Americans would soon send people into the MLZ seeking just such information. What they discovered would shock them to the core. What they discovered would amount to planetary treason on a vast scale.

By the end of the day we received word that the Committee Space Launch Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida had been attacked by air and for the most part had been wiped off the map. The force which attacked this facility was well beyond what was needed to destroy it. The Martians really wanted complete destruction of the site. This was an emotional response from the enemy we would not have expected. Melted structures and burning debris was all that remained of the facility which had launched Defense 1. We had lost our capability – at least for the foreseeable future – to place satellites into Earth orbit. We also received confirmation our base at Thule had been completely destroyed.

When the dust began to settle (metaphorically speaking) by the end of the fifth day of war the Martians had lost a total of at least 620 flyers, but they held the high ground of orbital space and both poles. They had command of a dozen areas on Earth their ground forces had managed to rip from the people who had called these places home for thousands of years. They had destroyed several cities and were on the march in several areas. On our side Earth forces were fighting with every weapon we could bring to bear – and we were being pushed back along all fronts. Yet when compared with the speed of their ground attacks at this point during the 1901 war these Martians were in fact moving a good deal slower. Perhaps it was with planned deliberation they moved with caution after all they must have known they faced a much better prepared enemy than had been faced in 1901. We were much better armed than we were in 1901 but so were they. However, at the time I could not see how it could be due to most of our combat efforts as we engaged their front line machines and sustained great losses of men and equipment. It was later felt they were slower because they were coordinating attacks on a much wider front than in 1901 and it was over many more areas at the same time than we had seen in the early days of the First Martian War. They were in fact gaining more ground by this time in 1901 because they were attacking so many moiré areas simultaneously.

DAY SIX: 7 September 1938

Continuing their air operations this day saw the Martians dropping Black Smoke canisters on several populated areas focusing on Western Europe and the United States even though they had yet to land large ground forces in most of these areas. This was the first time the Martians had dropped Black Smoke on any location from the air. All previous Black Smoke attacks (including all such attacks during the First Martian War) had been deployed by ground forces pumped out by the Walkers. Once again the Martians had adapted new tactics.

These attacks seemed almost as a test of their effectiveness as they were not distributed over large areas nor did they use this new method to attack more than two dozen cities all of which held medium sized populations such as San Diego, California and Bournemouth, England. This also meant that they were not as well defended as larger cities and thus much safer to bomb. I could only guess, but I imagined from the Martian’s point of view these attacks were not wholly successful as the rains brought on by their attacks on our atmosphere and their fire causing Heat-Ray attacks on our surface structures destroyed a good deal of the effectiveness of these Black Smoke canister bombings. It should also be noted that when these canisters were used on larger population centers which were defended with our own Heat-Ray devices we were able to incinerate much of the low flowing greasy smoke which came into range of our Heat-Rays. Once again we had proof we could, under the correct conditions, defeat one of their most effective weapons they had used against our planet in 1901. We had learned a few new tricks of our own and we were learning more on the run. As for our stockpiles of mustard gas all Committee commands were now authorized to use the deadly gas at their discretion. The Martian attacks had taken the gloves off our own use of this type of warfare.

Wire photo sent from Central China

YELLOWSTONE SUPER VOLCANO

Although noted mostly for advancing Martian ground forces consolidating and continuing their attacks from their landing zones this day did see at least one major attack on the planet itself. (Several smaller areas also saw geologic attacks.) That major planetary attack point focused on Yellowstone National Park in the American state of Wyoming. Long known as a geologic hot spot the entire area had been warping up and outward since the early 1920s now thought to have risen at least twenty feet at the central caldera which measures an incredible 30 by 15 miles diameter. This is the mouth of a single huge super volcano, one of several on Earth, which last erupted violently around 600,000 years ago. When it did erupt that massive event sent debris out so far and so fast that molten rocks from that single blast were propelled into low Earth orbit and had formed a ring around the Earth! Yellowstone is in fact the largest and potentially the most destructive super volcano on Earth. On this day the Martians would attack this continental mantle hot spot with 80 Martian Flying Machines. A clear indication of the importance of this target.

Coming in from the north the Martians flew in four groups of twenty machines on a curved path out of the pole towards Yellowstone. The Martians were tracked on radar along most of their flight path as they appeared to fly away from areas we had stationed more than just a few air resources. At several points along the way as they flew closer to the ground they did encounter some resistance but most of the enemy craft arrived safely at the park. Their flight paths showed they were keeping close watch on our air resources. Orders were sent out for air commanders to keep close eyes on our covered aircraft and ensure they were not lined up in easy to attack areas to be possibly destroyed on the ground.

Wasting no time, spotters reported that the Martians had begun to circle the huge caldera firing dozens of seismic devices around the entire rim of the ancient volcano. Within ten minutes at least 350 seismic devices had been delivered to the target. The last machine was out of the area within twenty minutes of the arrival of the first flyer. Needless to say, with this many devices launched at such a relatively small target the two Cobra teams assigned to the general area did not even bother to respond – they had no chance of success. They did cable a report to Committee Headquarters in Lower-New York City detailing the attack. Within minutes the devices went off. It would be the first – and the only – time a Cobra team could report on the strange “energy hum” given off by so many devices at once. It was to make one nauseous and difficult to keep one’s balance which was greatly affected with headaches and watery eyes being common. More than a few people in the general area simply vomited due to the vibrations which “seemed to come from within.”

Months later we received an eyewitness report. “The ground began to vibrate almost imperceptibly at first as if you did not quite know if something was happening or not. But as the intensity increased steam began to issue from the great area on the south side of the ancient caldera. This was soon followed by massive venting of gases and ash springing from almost every portion of the entire mouth of the caldera. Before the ash and steam could cover most of the ground it was clear that the entire floor of the caldera was on fire as molten rock flowed in and over the cracks in the walls as if a mighty flaming river had become a massive water fall.”

Violent volcanic explosions which began to rock the area could be heard at least 500 miles away. One report stated “one of the fountains of lava sprayed its molten rock and ash at least 10,000 feet into the air.” The only question was: Would this event end with a truly massive explosive eruption on par with the last major event some 600,000 years ago? It would be several weeks before we felt comfortable with an answer. Geologists working in Canada, the United States and the Committee would finally report the Martians had inadvertently released so much gas and lava from so many points at the same time the attack not only drained a great deal of material from the underlying lava chamber but it had released so much natural gas pressure that had been increasing for thousands of years that a massive eruption on the level of 600,000 years ago would in fact no longer be a concern. In short, the Martians had used too many of their devices at one time to cause such an explosive eruption. They had managed to cause Yellowstone to put massive amounts of ash and steam as well as other more toxic gases into the atmosphere for the next two years which was a great plus for them. What they failed to do was cause a massive explosion which would have surely cut the heart out of the center of the United States not to mention the devastation to the entire planet for years.

APOLLO FLASH: TO ALL COMMANDS: MARTIAN LANDINGS MADE AT WICK SCOTLAND – IVIGTUT GREENLAND – PORT HARRISON, MC MURRAY, CALGARY CANADA – PETROPAVLOVSK, PETROZAVODSK, KIROV RUSSIA – KUSHIRO JAPAN – ULAN MONGOLIA – BUNBURY, WOOMERA, BROKEN HILL, DUBBO AUSTRALIA – RAWSON ARGENTINA.

Even though we had lost contact with our Grain Storage Facility G3, code named ‘Earth’ at Puerto, Natales, Chile soon after the Martians landed, we were later sent a message reporting that before the staff were killed they had managed to dynamite the main tunnel entrance leading into the underground facility effectively sealing it off from the enemy. They had given their lives to protect this vital storehouse of grains. It would take some weeks for the Martians to gain entrance if they had the time. We planned to make certain they did not have the time.

POSEIDON VLF RADIO MESSAGE: TO ATTACK SUBMARINES ATLANTIC – TASK FORCE BRAVO – ASSEMBLE AT POINT C-184 – TASK FORCE DELTA TO POINT D-014.

With that message ten attack submarines from Task Force Bravo attached to ‘Poseidon’ made their way to a point several miles off the coast of Mossel Bay. From there the force would coordinate an attack on the Martian boats now patrolling off the southern coast of Africa. It was time to take the battle for the seas to the Martians.

Radio intercepts informed the Committee that the Martians had sent instructions to their hybrid operatives to begin sabotage operations at all designated locations they could travel to. All commands were advised of the potential for sabotage by hybrids which would cause many area commanders to begin whole scale round ups of any remaining free hybrids. Orders were issued by ‘Apollo’ that any hybrid caught committing any type of sabotage was to be summarily shot! Posters were put up to the make the order clear to everyone. All Directors sent out their agreements.

Within several hours of our radio intercept reports came in of several assassinations of top leaders in China, India, Brazil, Canada, Algeria, France, Germany and Korea. In each case the assassin was a hybrid and all were executed on the spot except the hybrid captured in India. That hybrid was practically dismembered one piece at a time by its interrogators before it was “allowed to die”. These deaths caused several hybrids to be removed from sensitive positions in the Committee as well as increased body guard detachments assigned to leaders in all Committee offices around the world. My guard staff was increased to sixteen very well armed men and none were hybrids. Six were Tango operatives.

CS Tunguska reported its location to CS Atlantic ‘Poseidon’ as being just off the Port of Spain continuing to head south. Final instructions as to where to deliver their cargo had not yet been sent to the crew. They were however informed by their captain they were carrying an atomic bomb. Sydney Command Center was to coordinate this final leg of the voyage as the submarine delivered its cargo to an aircraft carrier which would fly the weapon to its target. However, with the Panama Canal no longer operational the mission was passed on to ‘Poseidon’ by ‘Apollo.’ Poseidon then ordered the submarine to continue south to a rendezvous point with Committee aircraft carrier CS Horizon now ordered to a position just off the northern coast of South Georgia Island. From there the weapon would be loaded on a jet fighter/bomber or a Phoenix II and ‘delivered’ to its target.

[END PART 64]

Copyright © R. Michael Gordon, 2020

[Next week: Part 65: Attacks on Command Cities; Invasion Map 1.]