War of the Worlds, The Invasion continues. A sample of something I write a while back. Fun stuff with an odd bent to it.
In the year of our Lord
Eighteen Hundred and Ninety One
This August Thirty First
The Globe Theater
The Queen's Room
"To be or not to be...that is the question." My lead actor spoke upon our stage. I watched from the second level gallery, making sure his pitch and diction were strong and clear enough. He looked up at me and I gestured for him to continue, but my mind was elsewhere. So much has happened since I last put anything down in my journal.
I'm not sure where to begin.
When last I wrote I mentioned I had sent my favorite pigeon to bring a message to my friends in Paris. I needed to know if they were alright first, and then if there were problems, what I could do to help. I had the ear of our Queen, and was not loath to wax it with soothing words on their behalf if need be. She was a stern queen, but a fair one. She loathed men who were weak and full of folly, but she loved men who were brave and daring, such as Jules and Wells.
Wells had been on her list of men she was considering knighting for his pretigious output of fictional journeys and adventures. She likened him to her other favorite, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whom I have not yet had the chance to acquaint myself with personally, as we do keep our lives in pretty much different worlds these days. I have passed him in the palace from time to time and we have chatted briefly, but that is not the kind of conversation that leads to a deep friendship, but rather a shallow courteous one.
I tend to the opposite. I like to know those I am around in all the ways possible. I suppose that is because I am a writer, an observer of life and as such my mind demands more details than most who go day to day on their life journeys.
As I was seated observing my actor deliver his soliloqy, Sarah returned. She always knew where I was and I always kept a treat for her. Perhaps that motivated her more than anything else, I can not be sure of what goes on in a pigeon's mind, other than utter kindness.
She landed on the railing beside me and cocked an eye on me, then nodded to her right foot where a note was attached. I gave her a treat, and hurriedly untied the message to read it. I was distressed while doing it, because my actor had just blown the next two lines and said, "whether it is bolder to go outside and face the storm than..." Furious at the disruption of my beautiful poetry, I almost chased Sarah away, but I kept my temper in check for both her and the actor.
He was having a rough time at home as I understood it. Something about a romance with another man that wasn't going well. I felt for him, for relationships were difficult with the opposite sex, let alone the same. It is the nature of relationships that they have difficulties. If you are looking for a peaceful and tranquil ride throughout your life, then do not seek a relationship, as they are not always tranquil or peaceful, they are human. And humans feel and sometimes too deeply. And sometimes too shallowly. The choices we all must live with.
I motioned to the actor to do it again and as he did I swiftly unraveled the note and read it.
"Dear Will, it is with the utmost sense of urgency that I request you speak with the brotherhood. Paris is in distress such as no man could ever have suspected to happen. Our beloved Eiffel Tower is now a broken toy, and much of our fair city has been burned and leveled to the ground. I fear that my dear friend Wells is taking this much harder than I, and I can barely look at myself in our mirror now, knowing we might have unwittingly set off the monstrous destruction we now survey about us."
It was a long note. I looked up and the actor was looking at me, an expression of what next. I glanced at my Stage Manager who stood right stage watching and motioned for him to cue the man. He did so and the actor got back in character again and continued.
I returned to the note, my hands trembling, for I feared the rest of the news that surely must be there.
"A strange device from another world has descended into our fair city and it immediately began destroying anything and anyone in its path. I fear it is but the advance guard for something far worse."
I looked up and muttered to myself. "Worse than destroying Paris?"
I shuddered in horror.
I read on.
"Contact the brotherhood, let them know we have a greater peril now than the war between our nations. That a War of the Worlds has begun.
"I shall endeavor to contact you again in two days if able. For now my friends and I must help as many as possible to survive this catastrophe.
"Your friend, Jules."
I looked up again, tears misting my eyes. It was that bad. The Captain's words rang in my ears again in remembrance and I knew at that moment that the play was not the thing in this case, and that the Great Wheel now turning was being spun by hands not meant to be guided by our Creator, but by something far darker.
Pardon me if I seem somewhat melodramatic, but that is my nature as an actor and writer, but as a human being I can only shudder in horror at the thought, "A War of the Worlds has begun."
And it was at that moment that a great shout arose from outside the theater, as if a great crowd were crying out in horror.
by John Pirillo
Tesla and Edison were as horrified as Madame Curie by what they had seen.
"This way!" Tesla gestured to his comrades, but not before he sound a general alarm through the building, which would warn his employees to head for the shelters he and Edison had supplied them in case of such an event as this.
They flung open their office door and took off at a run towards an elevator at the end. They scrambled inside. Einstein the last to enter. As the doors were about to close he looked at Tesla. "My pipe!"
He ran back to their office as the sound of chaos grew in the background. At the opposite end of the corridor a stairwell door banged open and a horde of zombies influxed, wielding every kind of imaginable weapon with Einstein running as if his life depended on it, which it did, and they on his heels. It was going to be close.
Tesla could wait no more. He pressed the close button. Einstein leaped inside just before the doors shut and the horde caught up to him and they trapped inside the elevator. As it ascended, they heard pounding on the outer doors.
"Isn't this the wrong way?" Madame Curie asked, frightened by the turn of events and what they were doing.
"Not at all." Edison answered mysteriously.
Einstein and Madame Curie exchanged glances, and then waited for the elevator to stop. It finally did and the doors opened on the rooftop, where a large shed stood.
Tesla and Edison ran for the shed, flung its doors open, then pressed several levers and the sides and top of the shed flung away safely, leaving a strange dirigible device hovering several feet off the ground.
Edison turned around as Madame Curie came up and offered a hand. "Your taxi awaits you, Madame."
She took his hand and nervously climbed into the narrow cabin that was available to them. "I don't like heights or small places." She complained.
After everyone had climbed inside, Edison went to the front where he grabbed hold of an aerial wheel with levers for up, down, right and left and accelerate and decelerate. He thrust one lever and they began to go upwards. He depressed another and they shot forward. Not a moment too soon as the Mummy creature reached the rooftop, its weapon ready to destroy them, but too late. They hurtled past its shape and then flung a hard right, causing its passengers to smash into each other and the small compartment walls as the dirigible avoided a blast of energies from the creature.
Then the dirigible shot down into the street level and began winging between buildings, effectively hiding it from the death rays of the Mummy creature.
"What about all those poor people that work for you?" Einstein asked, still holding his pipe in his hands.
Tesla smiled. "Not even a death ray could destroy where they are hidden. And no device could ever discover them."
"How is that possible?" Madame Curie asked. "We don't know the powers of these creatures, do we?"
"Not yet. But neither do they...know ours." Edison replied smugly.
"Look out!" Madame Curie cried out.
Edison turned to look just as the aerial craft hurtled dead on at something vast rising from broken concrete below, its shape vaguely saucer shaped and glowing a deadly rose and red color, which cast a hideous, snarling presence to it. A large snake like tentacle with a glowing green and red eye on it lit up and fired a beam of immense power and destruction.
Several dozen yards along the docks of the Thames four heads bobbed into view. That of Holmes, Watson, the Inspector and Constable Evans. Constable Evans had his arm about the Inspector's upper body, supporting him as they stroked for the opposite side of the Thames. They had stayed underwater as long as possible, to avoid any possibility of the Mummy Creature attacking them while they were helpless.
Watson and Sherlock swam to the left and right of the Constable.
They looked battle fatigued and exhausted as they reached the far shore, which was just to the right of the London Bridge and its great towering supports. Watson and Sherlock rose first and reached back to give the Constable a hand as he tried to drag the dead weight of the Inspector, whose head had a huge cut and bruise forming on it.
They laid the Inspector down, and then looked across the Thames, where fires raged out of control. "It was a trap." Watson remarked.
"Yes. And our trap was obviously reversed into a trap for us as well." Sherlock said.
The Constable looked to them. He remained close to the Inspector, shielding him from the cold wind that was blustering stronger and stronger about them.
"I wonder what other surprises our Mummy has for us." Sherlock pondered out loud.
Watson spat into the surging waters nearby. "Too many, I suspect."
"It looks like a war zone, Mister Holmes." The Constable pointed out.
"Yes. It does." Sherlock replied. "But one I think we can still stem if we move quickly." He turned to Watson. "Watson, you must get hold of the Count and Langdon. I want them to find the Captain as soon as possible. I suspect that only the power of his mighty vessel stands between us and a holocaust soon."
Watson nodded. He began up the embankment, and then turned back. "What shall I tell the others?"
"The truth. That our mummy is but one of many."
Watson gave him a puzzled look. "But we saw it die!"
Sherlock frowned a moment, then gave a vague smirk. "We saw something die."
With those puzzling words still hanging in the air, Watson scurried up the rough embankment to the snowy grass above, then the street, where he hoped to find a ride as swiftly as possible.
"Come now, Constable. We have an Inspector to get to a hospital."
Sherlock and the Constable lifted the Inspector and began making their way up the embankment, even as a huge blaze of energies scarred the skies on the opposite side of the Thames. They both stopped a moment to look back, uncertain what to expect, then the blaze vanished, leaving only the blustery winter skies once more.
by John Pirillo
This day would be later on called "The Queens Disaster," as the Queens forces rushed to take the merchant ship, so seemingly harmless. It was a relentless force of the Queens men, the most fierce and highly trained of all her combat troops. They were the creme de la creme and they were fighting mad as they took to the dock and the gangplank, screaming their battle cries as if that alone would destroy the horrors they sought to stop once and for all.
The Inspector started to signal his own men to follow, but Sherlock put a hand on his arm to restrain him. "Wait!"
"Are you daft, Holmes? How can we let those poor soldiers enter combat without us as well?"
Sherlock did not let go.
The first of the Queens forces reached the gangplank and rushed up it, the pounding of their feet causing the solid wood to vibrate and shake violently, tossing some of the men into the waters on the sides. Their cries didn't stop the other men as they continued their charge, their Captain right in the midst of them.
The first soldiers met resistance. A few sailors thrust their heads from hiding places and began randomly firing into the soldiers, killing some of them instantly on the spot. The other soldiers rushed them and bayoneted the ones within range and shot the others.
"See, no problem at all." The Inspector began.
Sherlock s hook his head. "Wait!"
Almost the entire troop of soldiers had reached the maindeck now. A few were tossing lifelines to the fallen soldiers in the water, helping them to the safety of the dock. It looked too good to be true to Watson, who wanted just like the Inspector to rush into battle. He was still very angry at being used by that creature, that horrible Mummy from the past or wherever.
"Sherlock." He complained.
"Wait!" Sherlock insisted.
"I must..." The Inspector burst out, thinking all was safe.
Sherlock shook his head stopping the Inspector's outburst and pointed to the other ship to the right instead. The Inspector almost choked on what he saw. It was a war ship, one of the older ones that still maintained cannon on its fore and aft. Even as they watched several men rushed to the aft and fore cannons, then swiveled them to point at the merchant ship the same time as other men lit their fuses.
"No!" The Inspector cried out. He broke away from Holmes and screamed at the rushing soldiers. "YOU MUST STOP!"
But too late.
The cannon fired, sending two volleys directly into the merchant ship, where its cargo hold was. The hull was breached at once and somewhere deep within the hold a series of smaller explosions began, then larger ones. The Captain and his men stymied by the lack of opposition had frozen in place at the sound of the explosions, then realizing their danger frantically headed back for the gangplank, just as the main deck splintered, then erupted beneath them, sending men flying into the air, pieces of flesh and bone, broken parts and fire all gushing together like a fountain of living horror.
Watson gripped his weapon fiercely, his anger densely tearing at his emotions, but Sherlock watched as a new contingent of Soldiers ran for the war ship, firing as they ran. The two cannons were silenced, but not before they put the death blow to the merchant ship, which began listing, then angling bow upwards as it sank into the Thames amidst the sound of screaming men, cries of pain, and fire and brimstone.
The Inspector looked at Holmes, tears in his eyes. "Why didn't you warn us?"
"I couldn't." Sherlock said. "Else we would never have found the creature's true hiding place."
"Now Watson, I think it's time for us to engage the enemy." Sherlock shot at him, then ran for the gangplank of the war ship, followed by Watson and the Inspector, who blew his whistle and his own men followed.
They reached the gangplank shortly after the Soldiers did, and joined the melee on the deck as quite literally dozens of armed zombie-like men rushed from the holds to combat them. Several were larger than most and armed with strange devices that when they pressed their triggers fired bursts of energy that exploded the atoms apart of the men charging them.
Sherlock and Watson dropped them first, then ran past them to the cabin they had been guarding.
Watson slipped on the gore as Sherlock threw the cabin door open and accidentally fired his weapon into the cabin, which turned out to be a good thing as the Creature standing inside was preparing to aim its own weapon at them. Watson's bullet struck its barrel and the weapon exploded in the Creature's tentacles, causing its slimy flesh to burst into flames, like it was made of oil.
In moments as Sherlock was picking up Watson, the Creature screamed horribly, its body burning brighter and brighter. It rushed them, screaming in pain and anger.
Sherlock threw him and Watson to the side and the Creature went right on past.
The Inspector who had been working his way towards them, saw the Creature and froze. Constable Evans, conking a zombie-like man on the side of his head with his baton, turned, saw his danger and flung himself against the Inspector, knocking them both free from it.
The Creature struck the port side of the war ship and flew over the side, vanishing in an explosion of sea water and bubbles.
Sherlock and Watson ran to the side, then were joined by the Constable and the Inspector. They watched as the waters continued to boil and glow a brilliant red, then stopped.
All around, the zombie like creatures fell unconscious, dropping by the dozens, even as they were engaging soldiers and constables in battle.
"It's over!" The Inspector sighed. "We've won the battle."
The ship began to vibrate suddenly.
Sherlock grabbed Watson on one side and the Inspector on the other and hurled them and himself over the railing.
The Constable stood there a moment stunned, then dove in after them.
A moment later as the four men vanished beneath the water temporaritly, the entire warship began to glow a brilliant red, then slowly it came apart, its atoms vanquished by terrible forces unknown to man and his inventions.
The constables and soldiers unlucky enough to get off, or dive into the water, were strewn along with the remainder of the ship into billions and billions of flaming particles that seared the docks, causing great fires up and down its length and other ships nearby to explode into flames.
But of Sherlock, the Inspector, the Constable and Watson there was nothing. The waters remained boiling all about where the two ships had been, but of the four men there remained no trace whatsoever.
Chapter Seven of the audio book which follows John Carter, a Confederate soldier, who has been mysteriously translated from the Civil War to ancient Mars, where he has to fight to survive against tremendous odds.
The Baker Street Universe Book Store