Friday, June 27, 2014

Secret Weapons

"After all, it may not be so much we may have to learn before—Just imagine this: four or five of their fighting machines suddenly starting off—Heat-Rays right and left, and not a Martian in 'em. Not a Martian in 'em, but men—men who have learned the way how. It may be in my time, even—those men. Fancy having one of them lovely things, with its Heat-Ray wide and free! Fancy having it in control! What would it matter if you smashed to smithereens at the end of the run, after a bust like that? I reckon the Martians'll open their beautiful eyes! Can't you see them, man? Can't you see them hurrying, hurrying—puffing and blowing and hooting to their other mechanical affairs? Something out of gear in every case. And swish, bang, rattle, swish! Just as they are fumbling over it, SWISH comes the Heat-Ray, and, behold! man has come back to his own."

Prior to her assassination, the Empress of the Franzik Empire (now remembered as Margretta The Red) had come to terms with the masters of the tripods. Certainly it was an arrangement of convenience entered into with cynicism and full blown plans to annihilate one another. We know this from studying the deciphered communiques and memoranda that passed between both parties, as well as from the certified testimony of mediums and other eavesdroppers employed by the Department of Awareness.

The Pruztians were outraged that Empress Margretta would enter into any such Non-Aggression Pact with the very forces that had burned, gassed and depopulated nearly every coastal town and port along the Western Seaboard. That was what finally forced their hand and made them reveal that they, too, had made clandestine deals of their own with the warrior alchemists of the Triumvirate, as well as brutally interrogating any and all deserters or captives taken from the Red Armies.

They were clumsy infernal apparatus. Smoldering, sparking, surrounded by clouds of toxic fumes and difficult to transport, but the Pruztian High Kommand had  great confidence and high expectations in their secret weapons...

Military historians are convinced that this was the turning point, the introduction of the so-called Wonder Weapons, that set the campaigns of massive aerial bombardment into motion and brought on the end of civilization as it once was known...

Inspiration: The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells.

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