I was assigned by my English curriculum to write a chapter that the author could have written and that could have been in a science fiction novel called The War of the Worlds, but instead decided that he didn’t want to include it. The novel was written by H. G. Wells, one of the first early sci-fi novelists. As a bit of context, Wells had a rather despairing life, which could explain the rather depressing and despairing feel throughout much of the book.
I inserted a paragraph before and after my writing to introduce the story and also help you to find your spot in the book should you chose to read the entire book. These paragraphs are underlined.
Well, here is the missing chapter from The War of the Worlds (starting three paragraphs in to chapter thirteen of book one):
It would seem that these giants spent the earlier part of the afternoon in going to and fro, transferring everything from the second and third cylinders–the second in Addlestone Golf Links and the third at Pyrford–to their original pit on Horsell Common. Over that, above the blackened heather and ruined buildings that stretched far and wide, stood one as sentinel, while the rest abandoned their vast fighting-machines and descended into the pit. They were hard at work there far into the night, and the towering pillar of dense green smoke that rose therefrom could be seen from the hills about Merrow, and even, it is said, from Banstead and Epsom Downs.
That is when I decided that if anything was ever to be done, it must be done now. What with the Martians compiling their forces and more coming yet, I truly believed that we may never again get another chance. Annihilating the Martians was something that, aside from the chance shot that killed a Martian only hours before, seemed impossible.
I racked my brain for possibilities on how we could defeat them; by we I mean humanity at large. I wandered and paced the countryside and still came upon no ideas. I started toward the military base near where the Martian had fallen. I decided with whom else it would be best to exchange and discuss humanity’s plans about our military. As I approached the swarming militia the answer hit me as the great monster’s heat ray crashed into a house. I took off running and dodging and thrusting my way between the soldiers, and made my way to their headquarters. Perhaps it was the excitement in my eyes, or maybe the speed at which I rushed to and then past them, but for whatever reason no one – no one at all – attempted to hinder me. I burst through the tent flap and was instantly surrounded by military leaders.
“I have found it! The answer! I have figured it out!” I yelled.
“What is it? For goodness sake if you have, spit it out already!”
Unable to contain myself, I practically shook with excitement as I relayed my eutopia.
“There is one thing that our men can not stand, there is one thing that prevents our weapons from destroying their disgusting bodies, there is one thing that we need to put them back in their place –”
“Well, what it is?! Speak! Blast your eloquent speech and tell us straight what you have found!” They said impatiently.
“It is their tripod machines! Without their machines, they can not move, and it has never been recorded or observed that a Martian could fire the Heat Ray without the help of those machines!”
They exclaimed words of triumph and patted me on the back. “You have surely got something there!” They said.
“And that’s not all,” I continued, “I have reasoned that we can do better than merely dispose of the machines, we can use them too. You see, we must somehow sneak up upon the Martian tripod look-out un-aware, and then silently dispose of its operator and then quickly figure out how to use it. Then we can aim the Heat Ray at the Martians and destroy them with their own weapons!”
They again exclaimed; some yelled, one bawled. They took my ideas and turned them over through their wise minds and figured out what they believed the best course of action would be.
We wasted no time. The leaders rallied their troops and they chose which soldiers were to participate on this endeavor to save man-kind; only the very best soldiers were to come. I was also to join them.
By dusk, we had everything arranged. Fifty soldiers, four officers, the commander and myself were to go. We crept swiftly and stealthily across the scorched ground the Heat Ray had left. The trouble with it all was that there was little cover to do the destruction of the tread of their tri-pods and the deadly Heat Ray. Again, and again the Heat Ray would sweep the countryside, sometimes directly over our heads. We were extremely thankful that only three of our men were killed by that intense beam at that time.
As we approached the cylinder pit, we came to realize that there was only one look-out placed above the pit. We silently rejoiced at this wonderful discovery.
We continued to get closer and closer. Periodically, the strange green smoke would waft out of the pit.
We approached the Martian sentinel from behind. When we were within two-hundred yards, ten handpicked soldiers, the commander, and I went on while the other soldiers got into a position to fire if we should need the cover. Foolish we were to think that fifty puny guns would keep of a Martian.
We snuck up until we were only fifty yards away. We used no vocal communication for fear that the Martians might hear us (we did not know at the time the limit of their poor hearing capabilities). Now only one other soldier and I approached. We were to climb the Martian tripod’s legs and kill the Martian once we reached the top.
The soldier (I never learned his name) gripped onto the leg of the first tripod leg we came to. He immediately began climbing the sturdy, DNA-like shaped ladder. I cautiously went to the next closest leg.
My tri-pod leg was a great deal more dangerous than the soldiers leg considering that mine was partially in front of the Martian until about halfway up. Stealthily we climbed, he about ten yards higher than I, paused for a brief moment to let me catch up (and undoubtably also to catch his breath).
Higher and higher we climbed. These machines being a hundred or two feet tall gave us an amazing view of the Weybridge county area.
When we reached the top of the machine completely worn out. We came together on the platform just below where the Martian sat above on the next platform. We moved with excruciatingly slow movements which were completely necessary in order to keep from making even the slightest noise. He gestured to me to keep my gun trained on the Martian as he crept up behind it. The goal was to kill it with our cutlases to avoid even the slightest noise.
We crawled under the hood of the Martian machined so quietly the mere stretching out of our fingers sounded unexplainably loud and at every breath, every hand or knee placement, I fully expected the Martian to discover us.
Finally, we reached the desired area. Cautiously, I peeked over the edge of the platform and briefly gazed at the hideous creature which we were to exterminate. I carefully raised my rifle and gently laid it on the platform before me. It was completely loaded and if the Martian was to turn its head then I was to kill it right there and then.
The soldier lifted himself over the edge of the platform and, cutlass drawn, advanced to slay the creature. When he was only two feet away, the movement of his steps intercepted on a cord and it brought objects of some sort down beside the Martian. The alerted Martian quickly glanced at the fallen objects and just as the Martian was turning its head to see what had caused the fall, the soldier brought his sword down with incredible speed and struck the Martian a foot below the top of the Martian’s body. The Martian squealed and he brought the cutlass down a second time – then a third. Finally, satisfied, the soldier gestured for me to come. I squirmed over the edge and stretched my cramped body out to my full height. Then I walked over to where the soldier stood examining the Martian. He dragged it over to the corner of the little room and then joined me at the window which was where the Martian observed the life down below.
Now that the Martian was dealt with and the nearest living creatures were at least a hundred feet below us, we considered it okay to speak. We experimented with the controls and moved each lever forward or backward, and then returned it to its original position if it seemed to do nothing. The first movement we made jerked the tripod a step back, then we moved it back once more, then forward, and sideways. There were many levers and buttons, but it was a simple joy-stick that controlled the Martians main movements. We figured out how to raise the arms and tested firing the Heat Ray. We tried to gain as much understanding about the machine as we could before the other Martians returned. Our strange futile movements no doubt caused some curiosity among the Martians, and at the same time, alerted our fellow men below that we had taken the machine.
With each movement (which were many), the circularly shaped, dead Martian rolled hither and thither across the room. This worried us very much because if the Martian rolled out from underneath the hood, it would certainly alert the Martians below. The soldier, therefore crammed it between two square shaped, steel boxes. This touching of the creature, even though it was dead, disgusted me just as worms and insects and the like disgust young girls.
This was when the first group of Martians returned. The stress I was under at this point would have been enough to kill some faint-hearted men, no doubt the soldier felt the same. His sweat glistened on his skin as he turned the machine towards the other Martians. As I saw this, I became keenly aware of the fact that I too was perspiring greatly; it was as though a river flowed out of my skin.
I raised my heat ray towards the Martians and fired it a second too soon. The ray shot through the approaching Martian’s legs. The three Martians halted not sure what happened. I fired again at the center of the rooms where the Martian would be manning the controls. The shot exploded the left side of the Machine. The machine toppled over, but I am positive that I saw the Martian crawl away.
This time there was not mistake for the Martians they fired their Heat Ray at us and the machine shuddered upon impact as the shot shattered one of the legs. We remained vertical for a short amount, but it felt like a minute as everything moved incredibly slowly. Then we toppled over and sparks flew everywhere as the machine warped when it hit the ground. I landed on the soldier, but there is no conceivable way to explain how I survived. Surely, the fall should have killed me as it did the soldier, but for whatever reason, somehow, I survived. I crawled out from the wreckage and dashed into toward the group of soldiers that we had left earlier, but they had already run away. The Martian’s Heat Ray spoke out and patches of ground around me erupted into flames. I remember no more until I reached the shore.
The angary Martians pursued me to the shoreline and there they fired off at boats that were trying to get away from the wretched creatures. One of the rays hit a boat that was just within range. The boat erupted into flames and there is not doubt that its occupants died either from the immense heat surrounding them or the fact that they probably could not make it back to shore because it was a great distance.
I saw an abandoned boat, very small and remote, drifting down-stream; and throwing off the most of my sodden clothes, I went after it, gained it, and so escaped out of that destruction. There were no oars in the boat, but I contrived to paddle, as well as my parboiled hands would allow, down the river towards Halliford and Walton, going very tediously and continually looking behind me, as you may well understand. I followed the river, because I considered that the water gave me my best chance of escape should these giants return…continued on page 47 of The War of the Worlds.