The War of the Worlds Plus Blood, Guts and Zombies
Eric S. Brown
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The invasion begins . . . and the dead start to rise. There's panic in the streets of London as invaders from Mars wreak havoc on the living, slaying the populace with Heat-Rays and poisonous clouds of black smoke. Humanity struggles to survive against technology far beyond its own, meeting fear and death at every turn. But that's not the only struggle mankind must face. The dead are rising from their graves with an insatiable hunger for human flesh. Friends, neighbours and loved ones lost to the war of the worlds are now the enemy and the Earth is forever changed. It's kill or be killed, if you want to survive, otherwise you might become one of the walking dead yourself.
Thick streamers of black smoke shot with threads of red fire were driving up into the still air, and throwing dark shadows upon the green treetops eastward. The smoke already extended far away to the east and west—to the Byfleet pine woods eastward, and to Woking on the west. The road was dotted with people running towards us. And very faint now, but very distinct through the hot, quiet air, one heard the whirr of a machine-gun that was presently stilled, and an intermittent cracking of rifles. Apparently the Martians were setting fire to everything within range of their HeatRay.
After a time we drew near the road, and as we did so we heard the clatter of hoofs and saw through the tree stems three cavalry soldiers riding slowly towards Woking. Their guns were held ready and they nearly mistook us for the creatures we ourselves were so desperately trying to avoid. We hailed them, letting them know we were alive, and they halted while we hurried towards them. It was a lieutenant and a couple of privates of the 8th Hussars, with a stand like a theodolite, which the artilleryman told me was a heliograph.
It was a long time before he could steady his nerves to answer my questions, and then he answered perplexingly and brokenly. He was a driver in the artillery, and had only come into action about seven. At that time firing was going on across the common, and it was said the first party of Martians were crawling slowly towards their second cylinder under cover of a metal shield. Later this shield staggered up on tripod legs and became the first of the fightingmachines I had seen. The gun he drove had been unlimbered near Horsell, in order to command the sand pits, and its arrival it was that had precipitated the action.
131 H. G. Wells and Eric S. Brown And when, by an effort, I had set aside that picture of a prostrate body, I faced the problem of the Martians and the fate of my wife. For the former I had no data; I could imagine a hundred things, and so, unhappily, I could for the latter. And suddenly that night became terrible. I found myself sitting up in bed, staring at the dark. I found myself praying that the Heat-Ray might have suddenly and painlessly struck her out of being for this was a fate far more favorable than others.
The man was a mess and gore oozed from every inch of his flesh. His clothes were long gone and burnt off of him. Charred tattered bits of them clung to melted flesh. Snapping his teeth, he continued his slow advance and I moved to meet him. The curate sat so struck with fear he was unable to move as I crawled by him on my hands and knees to bury the hatchet’s blade into the dead man’s skull. I struck the blade into his head. At once, his damaged body dropped to the floor and moved no more. I sat there, breathing hard and fighting off sickness from his smell, before I yanked the blade free and cleaned it on the dirt around us.