Time to ship out. We’re heading north. Our orders are to report to Captain George S Patton at Camp Custer, Battle Creek. We’ve been hearing about the Captain from some of the men on the train. He was with the 12th Cavalry when they got wiped out early in the war. One of three survivors from the entire unit so they say. Took him almost a year to recover. He’s a tanker now, and apparently a good one at that. That’s the good news.
Spirits had started to rise.
And then we heard something that sent a chill through us all, from a young trooper who had been in the battle for St Louis.
After ten days of fighting the Martians had been beaten. Hundreds of tripods had been destroyed in some of the fiercest fighting of the war to date. The city walls had held, and President Roosevelt had exclaimed that the Martians would be overcome. Then the Martians launched a counter attack. More and more tripods were destroyed, but this time they had brought a new weapon.
They’re calling them Lobototons. But that doesn’t explain what they are.
They are us, dead but still moving.
Each corpse has a helmet that covers it’s entire head. And they are armed with a Martian gun that fires a blast of death, or giant blades. They’ve been given the names Blasters and Slicers. They shamble forwards firing or slicing, not knowing that they’re killing their fellow Humans.
Thank God I’m a tanker. How the Doughboys can face these monstrosities I don’t know. But I will remember the haunted look on that young lad’s face, and the fear in his voice as he told us.
The train journey was a lot quieter for some time afterwards…