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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-07 06:54pm
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Brace yourselves, update inbound

Chapter Two
Flag Briefing Room, UES Thunder Child, Between Earth and Mars
November 30th 1963


Barely a week in to the campaign and things had started to go wrong. Sir James sat at the head of the conference table, surrounded by his subordinate quadroon commanders, listening to the seemingly endless liturgy of problems, complaints and disagreements between them.

First the Admiral from the African Colonies was reporting all the problems with his groups of ships, the Mombasa, Tripoli, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Cairo. You had to give them credit James thought. The Colonies had been offered British-built ships for their forces to use, or senior crew positions instead. Typically, they’d chosen neither, demanding only the designs and some consultants from Germany for construction. They showed great spirit and made very competent officers, but as Admiral Verena Boehm had just delicately explained “The ships have a few major quality-control problems.” In other words, the damn ships don’t work properly. I’ll have to use them as troopships at best, sacrificial goats at worst.

Next up was Sky Marshall Jack Kennedy of the American ships. He was complaining, unsurprisingly, that his ships hadn’t received the latest bombardment warheads from the Sheffield Project. Yeah, as if I’m going to let the goddamn Americans haul nuclear weapons around. They’d start dropping them at the first sign of trouble. James sighed. Or worse, lose them in space.

Finally was Grand Admiral Donitz, old, grizzled (and some said senile) veteran that he was. He was annoyed about the horrendous mishmash that was the rank structures. Admirals of the Fleet, Grand Admirals, Sky Marshalls, Flag Captains, Line Captains, and more. He’s right, it is a mess. Time to put my foot down.

“Herr Donitz, I agree that the assortment of titles is indeed a mess, but as we all agreed at the Potsdam Conference in '45, this is how it would be. Each national contingent could chose whatever ranks they wished. But we also agreed a clear chain of command. That is not, nor has ever been in doubt. I’m sorry if it’s difficult to remember whether to address your colleagues as Admiral or Marshall. But that’s the way it is and we are certainly not to change it while we’re halfway to Mars. Besides, remembering titles is what staff officers are for.” That aside raised a chuckle from the commanders.

“Now, as for the rest of it. I hereby command that each ship is to second a technical or maintenance crew to Admiral Boehm’s command, so as to assist the African ships with their...technical problems.” Boehm looked sheepish at the statement.

“And Sky Marshall, you know we have only a limited number of bombardment warheads. Your ships are not built to launch them, ours, the Germans and the Russians are built with bombardment in mind. It would be very inefficient to issue the warheads to your ships. And that, Marshall, is final. Understood?” James’ tone invited no objection.

“Perfectly Admiral.” Kennedy was clearly angry about it, but he knew a hopeless argument when he saw one.

“Right. Now that the status updates are out of the way, it’s time we went over the battle plan for this campaign.” Campaign? Crusade more like. I just hope we do better than the medieval knights do. “We know from our prior experience with the Martians that they are not particularly well-suited to Earth-conditions. They evolved in lower gravity, so they couldn’t move very easily. Conversely, our troops will be able to move much easier on Mars, even in combat suits. However, their technology is impressive, easily comparable to what we have now developed. They will resist us, most likely with more fighting machines and heat-rays. And...” James clicked on the display screen, showing satellite photos of the Great Gun on Mars. Several dark mutterings could be heard as they recognised the image.

“...this. This is what they used to fire their Cylinders at Earth. It is conceivable that they will use it to launch interceptor craft, or possibly even munitions to strike us directly. Therefore, this will be our highest priority target upon achieving Mars orbit. The Weybridge and the Shepperton will launch their warheads to blanket this area, destroying this threat.”

James quickly gazed the reactions of his fellows. Russian Fleet Marshall Ramius was looking rather eager at the prospect of the bombardment, whilst General de Gaulle looked uneasy. Marshall Kennedy still looked furious that the warheads would have the Union Flag on them rather than the Stars and Stripes. James moved on to the next image.

“These are what we believe to be an array of massive heat-rays. They are scattered in strategic positions around the Great gun and what are presumably population centres. They are clearly large-scale weapons whose only conceivable uses would be as an interplanetary weapon, or as a ground-to-space weapon, to attack our ships. Either way, we won’t take chances. Grand Admiral Donitz, your ships Hamburg, Bremen and Aachen will launch your warheads to destroy these targets.

“We shall not fail in our duty Sir James.”

“I expect no less Herr Donitz. And finally, these massive canal structures. These provide the irrigation for the Martian cities. They must also be destroyed. We have identified five key junctions that, if destroyed will cripple the whole network. Marshall Ramius, the Moscow’s Vengeance and the Kiev’s Justice will hit those targets.”

“Good...a chance to strike a body blow at the hated enemy. Thank you Admiral.” Ramius spoke in his strange way, the Russian accent inexplicably joined by a Scottish twist. James had asked Marko once about that. The canny Russian had simply shrugged and muttered something about “only living twice.” James had decided not to ask any further.

“Admiral Boehm, General de Gaulle, Marshall Kennedy and Shogun Genda, you will deploy your ships in low orbit in preparation for landing operations. I want your planes and troops ready to go as soon as we reach orbit. Once we’ve taken down the Great Gun, the mega heat rays and the canals, we deploy our troops to cut off and lay siege to the Martian cities. Classic shock and awe tactics. Whatever happens, we must keep the initiative. If we get bogged down we’re done for. We’re at the end of an impossibly long supply line, with only a handful of ships available for reinforcements and a two-week trip for them to arrive. Everyone clear on that?”

James got a chorus of “Yes sirs” and dismissed the top brass of mankind’s fleet. Then, once he was sure they were out of earshot, he collapsed back down into his chair, sighed deeply and prayed to a God he’d long denied that this would all work as the public hoped it would.

A little voice in his head whispered that the problems had only just begun.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

"Bones' remedies for problems seems to revolve around giving his patients a prescription of heavy drugs, booze, or taking them to strip clubs. He is either insane, a drug addict, or the best damn Doctor in Starfleet!" - SFDebris

SDN World 6: The Kingdom of Orion


Last edited by Eternal_Freedom on 2011-01-09 01:01pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-07 06:56pm
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As a quick aside, I'm sorry to those of you who want longer updates, but I tend to write short chapters. It comes from mostly writing short stories, not longer pieces. Anyway, enjoy!



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

"Bones' remedies for problems seems to revolve around giving his patients a prescription of heavy drugs, booze, or taking them to strip clubs. He is either insane, a drug addict, or the best damn Doctor in Starfleet!" - SFDebris

SDN World 6: The Kingdom of Orion

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-07 08:37pm
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Oh lord, the Humans have Sean Connery on the offensive.

The Martians are doomed.

*ahem* On a more detailed note, I find the denial of nuclear weapons to the Americans to be slightly amusing, but think the personal reason why to be out of character for that Nation. America was, until WW2, mostly isolationist. (I am sure that there are differing opinions and facts to back them up - I'm just painting a broad stroke picture here and apologize.) While the Martian Invasion may have shaken them out of that policy, how they would get such a rash reputation is something that caused be to become bogged down in the details of 'why', rather than accepting and moving on.

Can you elaborate on this?



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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-07 09:36pm
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Were I to hazard a guess, I'd say that either they got seven shades of shit knocked out of them in the war and have been overcompensating ever since, or Sir James has seen a number of Westerns and taken them at face value.



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-07 09:37pm
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In my timeline, the Americans took relatively light losses to the Martians, and as a result they were in the best position after the rebuilding to lead the humans. However, due to events that I may or may not elaborate on in the story, they fumbled things. Badly. And the other nations decided to...restrain them somewhat.

I wrote that part intending Kennedy to be miffed that his ships didn't have the latest weaponry. But as I said, they fumbled things in the past when they got some new weaponry and caused a fairly major crisis, so the other nations hold back with the new bombs. Hence, Sheffield Project rather than Manhattan.

I'm glad you got the reference to Sean Connery. Once I picked the name Ramius I just couldn't resist writing that little bit :)



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

"Bones' remedies for problems seems to revolve around giving his patients a prescription of heavy drugs, booze, or taking them to strip clubs. He is either insane, a drug addict, or the best damn Doctor in Starfleet!" - SFDebris

SDN World 6: The Kingdom of Orion

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-07 09:46pm
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Somewhat amusing that all these historical figures have still achieved such positions despite the radical changes to the 20th century, but whatever. Anyway, interesting hint at the Martian defenders. I wonder if they will have some sort of heat ray SDI system for knocking down incoming warheads. And, of course, upgraded tripods. :)

Do you intend to show the Martian POV btw?



"No, no, no, no! Light speed's too slow! Yes, we're gonna have to go right to... Ludicrous speed!"

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-08 12:27pm
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Yamamoto would be ancient at this point- roughly eighty years old. Might be well preserved, I suppose, but still...

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-08 04:17pm
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@Srelex - Yeah, I'm going to have some bits from the Martian POV. The conferences between their commanders mostly. And you anticipate me (sort of) with the SDI thing.

@Simon Jester - I'm thinking that this was actually Yamamoto Jr., as his full title/name is Shogun Hirohito Yamamoto



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

"Bones' remedies for problems seems to revolve around giving his patients a prescription of heavy drugs, booze, or taking them to strip clubs. He is either insane, a drug addict, or the best damn Doctor in Starfleet!" - SFDebris

SDN World 6: The Kingdom of Orion

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-08 08:14pm
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That seems.... a little unlikely given Japanese culture. Sounds a bit too much like a fanfic name if you get my meaning.

Why not just pick one of the other historical WWII admirals with a reputation for competence and efficiency?

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-08 08:30pm
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I'm not very good on Japanese admirals. Got one in mind?



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

"Bones' remedies for problems seems to revolve around giving his patients a prescription of heavy drugs, booze, or taking them to strip clubs. He is either insane, a drug addict, or the best damn Doctor in Starfleet!" - SFDebris

SDN World 6: The Kingdom of Orion

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-08 08:31pm
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You could do Minoru Genda, who contributed to the attack plan on Pearl Harbor and could concievably be assigned on a task like this.

Looking forward to seeing the Martians. Hope you get down their psyche; I once saw a very odd WOTW fanfic where the Martians talk like rejects from the Imperium of Man, of all things. :roll:



"No, no, no, no! Light speed's too slow! Yes, we're gonna have to go right to... Ludicrous speed!"

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-09 01:02pm
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Chapter Two edited to change the Japanese commander to Shogun Minoru Genda as per srelex's suggestion.

Chapter Three is in the works, but I'm just about to start my next uni term so progress might be slow. I hope to maintain about a chapter a week if possible. Whole thing should be about 10-15 chapters, depending on how I work some events out.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

"Bones' remedies for problems seems to revolve around giving his patients a prescription of heavy drugs, booze, or taking them to strip clubs. He is either insane, a drug addict, or the best damn Doctor in Starfleet!" - SFDebris

SDN World 6: The Kingdom of Orion

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-01-24 09:30pm
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Well so much for a chapter a week. Uni life is too seductive. Anyway, Chapter 3 is 60% done. Should be up in a couple of days once I've got some assignments out of the way.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

"Bones' remedies for problems seems to revolve around giving his patients a prescription of heavy drugs, booze, or taking them to strip clubs. He is either insane, a drug addict, or the best damn Doctor in Starfleet!" - SFDebris

SDN World 6: The Kingdom of Orion

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-02-22 05:19pm
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A lot later than planned, but here it is:

Chapter Three

Martian Operations Control, Martian Surface,
December 7th, 1963 (Human Timescale)


In a control room buried deep beneath the red Martian sands, the leaders of the Martian race gathered. They sat in what to a human would appear disorganised piles of flesh and tentacles. The massive discs that passed for ears were pointed toward the centre of the room, where the hologram projector showed Mars and the space around it. On the sunward side, a group of bright red shapes moved at a hurried pace towards their allotted orbits that would pass over the selected targets. The Martians sat in silence, but they communicated with each other mentally. The “war cries” that the human-cattle had heard had only been subconscious sounds, like a human’s contented sigh.

Whilst they communicated, it would not be understandable to a human. It was not words and sentences per se, but more a collection of ideas and images, melded together into what humans would consider an utterly alien pattern.

So the day has come at last thought the leading Martian. Now we discover what the cattle have accomplished in the time since we last met. No doubt they have made themselves stronger, more resilient, more powerful. No doubt they have come for revenge. How pathetic, the herd striking out against the shepherd. They should have realised long ago that they serve no purpose beyond sustaining us. That is after all why we sent their ancestors to that world.

Sire
thought one of the younger Martians, the one responsible for military affairs. The human craft have gained orbit. No doubt they will have learnt from our mistake and will land their troops all at once. Shall the Heat-Rays be prepared to burn them from the skies?

No. That is not the plan. Ours or theirs. Look, they launch no cylinders at us. No humans will land yet I think. Send the signals, assume contingency Alpha. Evacuate the Heat-Rays and the launcher.

UES
Thunder Child, Mars Orbit
That Same Time


The fleet had arrived. And now, the crusade could begin in earnest. Admiral Tranter looked down on the Martian world, and then, with but a phrase, began the chain of events that would forever alter the world below:

“Operation Phobos is a go. Donitz, begin phase one.”

On the German ships Bremen, Hamburg and Aachen, weapons technicians armed the mighty weapons and sealed the launch tubes. Computers checked and re-checked the trajectories a hundred thousand times in seconds. For this to work these first shots had to be exact. Then, with a remarkably calm order from the captains, the weapons were released.

Twenty four small rockets begin their long fall towards the red planet. After the precisely calculated time, the combustion chambers ignited, propelling the warheads to higher and higher speeds, not fighting gravity as was the norm but aiding it instead. The rockets passed through the thin veneer of the planet’s atmosphere and reached their predestined positions and detonated.

Twenty-four points of brilliant white against the red backdrop. Twenty four points of intolerable light. Fireballs miles across rose and burned and consumed the red weed and the Heat Rays that had been the targets. The Martian’s orbital defences were now not even a smoking ruin; they were a layer of ash beneath a layer of soil burnt to glass by the blasts.

Martian Operations Control

It is as I thought my brethren. These cattle have struck the most obvious of targets. What fools!

UES
Thunder Child,

“We have confirmation Admiral! The Heat-Rays are gone for good.” The gunner could hardly contain his glee at the apparent ease of the first blow. He forgot of course the countless hours and dozens of lives lost developing those bombs, and the hundred thousand more lost during the American debacle that led to the US not being permitted these terrifying weapons. Admiral Tranter was more restrained than his officer, and moved on with barely a thought.

“Contact the Weybridge and the Shepperton.” A scant second later, his most trusted captains appeared on the screen. “Captains, phase one was a success as you saw. Begin phase two immediately, I want that Great Gun immolated.”

“Aye aye Admiral.” And as with the German vessels, more rockets flew from the ships and plunged toward their target, this time all were aimed in a pattern around the massive device the Martians had used to launch their damned cylinders.

This time, James had to shield his eyes from the combined flash. When the fireballs cleared, minutes later, it was plain for all to see that the Great Gun was no more. Indeed, the pit was no more, replaced by a much larger crater with the signature layer of black glass lining the bottom.

James sighed. Another blow struck. And that little voice in his mind got louder and louder, telling him this was going far too easily. But professional soldier that he was, he pushed aside those thoughts and called Marshall Ramius.

“Marko, begin phase three. Strike for the heart.”

“With pleasure Admiral.”

A third time the rockets fell from the skies. This time the effects were different. The fireballs and craters where the same, but the blast seemed to travel along the canal structures, resulting in what appeared to be a series of mighty burning cracks in the planet’s surface. The Martian canal system, the vital links that brought water to their cities was in disarray, the key junctions blasted from existence and large sections of the canals themselves burning brilliantly. James sighed imperceptibly, now he was sure things were going too easily.

Martian Operations Control

Report actual damage sustained
. The military Martian consulted some charts and turned back.

Cylinder Launcher memorial site destroyed. Decoy Heat-rays destroyed. Canal system crippled, main junctions 1, 5, 12, 15 and 22 have been destroyed.

Casualties?

None.

Then those fools will think us crippled, defenceless as they once were. That canal system serves no purpose since the glaciers were tapped. It would seem that our herd-beasts are no smarter than when we last fought them. Next, they shall begin landing troops. No doubt they intend to occupy and enslave us in revenge. I say, LET THEM COME!

UES
Thunder Child

“It is done. Send the recordings back to Earth, our people will want to see the results of their great efforts. Get me Admiral Boehm, General de Gaulle, Shogun Genda and Marshall Kennedy.”

“At once Admiral.”

As the aide scuttled off to his duties, James looked upon the destruction he had brought about on Mars. I should feel good about this he thought. Why don’t I feel proud or satisfied at this? Oh…because I know that something is wrong here. This is far too easy. The Admiral was jarred from his musings by the communications screen activating, it’s screen split into separate images for each of his commanders.

“Ladies and gentleman, we’re accelerating the plan. Landings begin immediately. Admiral Boehm, deploy your squadron in a blockade pattern. Any cylinder launching is to be destroyed on sight.”

“Aye sir, we won’t let you down,” the small and fiery African woman replied.

“Shogun Genda, ready your carriers for close air support at Marshall Kennedy’s request.”

“It will be an honour to serve with the Americans Sir.”

“General de Gaulle, ready your troops. You will be the second wave and the ready reserve. Move your ships to low orbit and keep them battle-ready, we may need orbital fire support.”

“Of course monsieur.”

“Jack, I know I’m sending your boys into the meat grinder, but…” Jack Kennedy cut him off with the expected response.

“…But that’s what Marines are for. Aye aye James, my boys are locked, cocked and ready to rock.”

“Good, There’s no one else I’d rather have in the first wave than the US Marines. All right, that’s it everyone. Good luck.” And with those words, Admiral Sir James Tranter condemned thousands to a painful death in the bloody war for Mars.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

"Bones' remedies for problems seems to revolve around giving his patients a prescription of heavy drugs, booze, or taking them to strip clubs. He is either insane, a drug addict, or the best damn Doctor in Starfleet!" - SFDebris

SDN World 6: The Kingdom of Orion

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-02-22 06:24pm
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Oh, this going to be messy...

Nice job handling the Martians; too many sci-fi stories try too hard to make their alien races incomprehensibly weird that they overlook or can't cope with basic concepts like strategic surprise and misdirection.



There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


The Gorgon's Mirror, featuring published work by me!

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-02-22 06:38pm
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Can't wait to see how things go pear shaped for both sides.

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-02-22 07:01pm
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Well, one of the ideas I have for the Martian's ultimate plan is for them to fuck up the humans as much as possible and force a peace. I probably won't go with exactly that, but that's the general plan.

And for reference, I'm using the US Marines in the first wave because I find the attitudes some people have to them to be highly amusing. The "oh wow, its the MARINES!" kind of thing. Well, they'll get theres.

And Zaune, thanks, I was worried about how the Martians would work out, but it seems to have worked quite well.

EDIT: Also in this chapter is a reference to why the yanks don't get nukes in this story. Upon reflection, that DEFINITELY will be expanded upon in coming chapters.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

"Bones' remedies for problems seems to revolve around giving his patients a prescription of heavy drugs, booze, or taking them to strip clubs. He is either insane, a drug addict, or the best damn Doctor in Starfleet!" - SFDebris

SDN World 6: The Kingdom of Orion

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-02-23 12:59am
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Can't wait to hear about the 'American Debacle'. Did someone try and steal one, or what?



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You kinda look like Jesus. With a lightsaber.- Peregrin Toker
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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-02-23 10:09am
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I'm thinking more of a friendly-fire accident, just one with much higher losses as a result.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

"Bones' remedies for problems seems to revolve around giving his patients a prescription of heavy drugs, booze, or taking them to strip clubs. He is either insane, a drug addict, or the best damn Doctor in Starfleet!" - SFDebris

SDN World 6: The Kingdom of Orion

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-02-23 02:22pm
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Good so far, even if the Martians are more emotional than the impression I got from the book.



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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-02-23 03:01pm
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Eternal_Freedom wrote:
Well, one of the ideas I have for the Martian's ultimate plan is for them to fuck up the humans as much as possible and force a peace. I probably won't go with exactly that, but that's the general plan.

And for reference, I'm using the US Marines in the first wave because I find the attitudes some people have to them to be highly amusing. The "oh wow, its the MARINES!" kind of thing. Well, they'll get theres.
As I see it, they earned a reputation as really ferocious shock troops; the whole warrior ethos that built up to give them the mindset necessary to perform as shock troops is what causes them to be played up.

That and, of course, they were the preferred intervention arm of the US military for most of the twentieth century because the Navy could land a bunch of them in a hurry at distant locations. So, again, they got a lot of opportunities to look tough in brushfire wars, of the sort the US went through many times.

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-03-05 04:44am
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This looks like a good story. I look forward to the Martian view of the war. I've never really been satisfied with the narrator's viewpoint in the original. It is, a human one after all.



Don't abandon democracy folks, or an alien star-god may replace your ruler. - NecronLord

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2011-03-06 06:42pm
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Jedi Master
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Location: Great Britain (It's great, honestly!)
Brilliant read so far, I think H.G Wells would be proud.
I thought the martians are being perfectly handled; arrogant, haughty and devious, you can feel their superiority complex coming off the screen :D

You've got a good start, keep it up.



These disgruntled people can refocus their energies on getting more sovereignty for Indian nations within America; you know, the groups with actual reason for being disgruntled.
-Haruko, on the terrible plight of those wishing to secede from the United States.

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2012-04-17 01:47pm
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Castellan
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Phew! If you thought chapter three was late, this trumps it. This story still lives, and here is the proof! The tables are turning now :twisted:

Chapter Four

Human Expeditionary Force, Mars Orbit
December 7th, 1963


The tight formations broke up quickly, the huge vessels moving with a grace that would surprise a casual observer. The crews, professionals all, were naturally elated at the easy victories the campaign had handed them so far. The commanders did not share the exuberance of the ships companies; the intricacies of landing troops took over their minds. No joy showed on their faces, but worse, no doubts formed in their mind. No one wanted to believe the mission could fail, not even these grizzled "veterans." Of course, the last war had been fought before anyone in the fleet could even walk. Not a single sailor or soldier had any experience of actual warfare.

The national squadrons split up according to orders and functions. Each nation had built ships that reflected their preferred styles of war. The British, German and Russian ships were built as monitors; slow, but very powerful. They were the fleet’s big guns, built to annihilate anything the Martians sent against them. Their initial missions successful, they fell back to a higher orbit; taking the high ground so as to be able to respond much faster if the Marines needed a little extra firepower.

The Japanese built their ships as carriers; they had pioneered aviation and been instrumental in developing spaceflight. Their ships were flying carriers sheathed in armour with engines slapped on the sterns. No grace, no glamour, just a singular purpose. They stayed in place, opening their armoured doors and launching a veritable horde of small fighters. Nimble Zeroes darted about like schools of fish, forming a patrol around the carriers while the heavier gunboats launched. They too formed up in a loose formation, waiting for the call to battle.

The African nations, knowing they lacked any cultural experience of true naval warfare, did not build carriers or battleships like the others. They built fast, nimble cruisers and pickets, ready to rush in and swat cylinders from the skies to protect their larger brethren. They split away from each other, moving out to form their wall of steel. For centuries the world had looked down upon the African nations, deeming them subhuman, unworthy of anything more than exploitation. Today these men and women would stand as the fleet’s first line of defence, and they would make the other nations of the world rue the day they ever doubted Africa’s resolve.

The French and the Americans chose to forgo ship to ship warfare entirely. Their strength lay in their ground forces, the Marines and the Legions. So their built assault ships, packed with landing craft and transports to get the troops to the surface. The American forces fell down to only a few tens of kilometres above the surface, hurling waves of drop pods and attack transports as fast as the hanger crews could launch them. Once the first wave secured a beachhead these large ships would actually land on the surface to act as mobile firebases. The idea had seemed absurd to Admiral Tranter when the idea had been proposed. But the Sky Marshall had been most persuasive and the plans had gone ahead.

Back on the Thunder Child, the small doubt in Tranter’s mind was becoming a screaming voice. Something is wrong here! It shouldn’t be THIS easy. But Tranter knew he could not say as much even to his fellow commanders. Too much had been invested in this crusade for the Admiral in command to be seen having doubts. So James stood and stared and the hateful Red Planet, watching thousands of Marines ride their drop pods to the surface. Only a few more minutes till planetfall.

His aide, a reliable Commander called Edward Matheson, approached.

“Sir, High Command has received our transmissions. Her Majesty demands an update in person.”

James sighed. “She is aware of the time lag?” With the positions of Mars and Earth, even radio signals would take three minutes to reach Earth and three minutes to return. It made real-time conversations impossible; this had the result of making demands for a personal update both highly serious and ominous.

“Yes sir. She is awaiting your response on channel 1.”

“Very well Commander. Dismissed.” Commander Matheson left hurriedly to collect more status reports while James organised his thoughts for the conversation with the Sovereign. He activated the transmission.

“Your Majesty, I beg to report our status and progress so far.” A lengthy wait followed, enough time for James to receive and organise the most up to date reports. And a steaming cup of tea courtesy of his aide. Then, his screen changed and he received a reply.

Dressed far simpler than might be expected of the de facto ruler of the world, Queen Elizabeth the Second of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, elected leader of the Earth Alliance and Sovereign of a quarter of the world’s population, appeared on his screen.

“Admiral, we have received your recordings and we congratulate you on your progress so far. You have the thanks and thoughts of all our peoples. Now, if you would kindly explain the next phase of your campaign and the disposition of your forces.”

“Certainly ma’am. With Operation Phobos successfully completed we are proceeding with Operation Deimos. The Marines under General Davis are landing now and securing a beachhead. Once that is secure the American assault ships under Sky Marshall Kennedy will land and begin coordination of ground campaigns. Sky Marshall Kennedy will have overall command of the operation. General de Gaulle and his forces are waiting in low orbit to provide fire support and rapid reinforcements for the second wave.” James shifted one report aside to pick up another.

“On the space front my own force, along with the German and Russian flotillas are holding station in high orbit for possible strategic bombardment, should that prove to be necessary. The Japanese carrier force is between us and the American and French fleets and is providing our combat air patrol and preparing their gunboats for close air support for the Marines. I am pleased to report that the United African force has resolved its technical problems and has been deployed in a blockade pattern to shield the rest of the fleet from interceptors or ground attack.”

“With the destruction of the large Heat Rays and the Great Gun, we believe Martian defences to be crippled on a strategic level. On a tactical level we have not seen any evidence of resistance to the Marine’s landing operation. This could mean they have no effective forces in place or they are massing for a weighted counterstrike. In such an eventuality I have given the Sky Marshall the authority to call in orbital fire support and, if he deems it necessary, the use of Bombardment Warheads against Martian positions.”

James managed to keep the distaste out of his voice as he said that. The idea of giving the Americans control of nuclear weapons had been abhorrent to the Admiral, but Jack had insisted and Donitz and Ramius agreed that it made sense to speed up the reaction time for such actions.

The Queen looked positively alarmed at that news. “Are you sure that is wise Admiral? After Madrid?”

“I agree it is a risky choice ma’am, but my squadron commanders were most persuasive in their arguments. This allows us to react much faster if such a situation occurs. If the Martins launch a heavy counterattack, we may not have time for the Sky Marshall to contact me and get authorisation. I have complete authority in this regard ma’am, and despite your misgivings I am going ahead with the idea. It may, however, be best to not publicise this fact.”

“Very well Admiral. I leave the campaign in your capable hands. Please keep us appraised of progress. Farewell Sir James.” And with that, the long-distance audience was ended.

James sighed, finished his tea and returned to the quarterdeck. Glancing at the tactical screen, he saw the US Marines had established their beachhead and the American assault ships were about to set down on the Red Planet.

United States Flagship UES Dream of Philadelphia, Borealis Basin, Mars

Jack Kennedy felt the dull thump in his boots as his great flagship finally set down on the Martian surface. Now, he could show all the world (worlds, he corrected himself) what the United States of America could do!

The landing bays opened, releasing hundreds of Panzers. These strange looking vehicles had been developed by the German military back in ’46, after military commanders realised they would need ground transportation for the invasion, and pack horses and mules would not be practical. There had been talk of building tripod walkers, but the idea was dismissed by the Earth Alliance. Instead, a German team had proposed a revolutionary design for a large wheeled vehicle that would have the best armour available while providing a pressurised haven for soldiers. Several different variants had been designed; the Battle Panzers mounting Heat Rays for blasting tripods, the Infantry Panzers for carrying troops to the objectives, and the Artillery Panzers, forgoing a turret or armour in favour of a large howitzer to suppress the Martian forces.

Kennedy shook his head, marvelling at the inventive mind of the devious Germans. He turned away from the sights below and back to his command centre. The map at the centre showed his forces laid out clearly. His five other assault ships had landed in a pentagon pattern around his flagship, and all were deploying the follow-up forces. They had expected this to be a matter of urgency; the need to relieve General Davis’ lightly-armed shock troops from Martian attacks. But there was no resistance at all, despite the presence of a major Martian city only fifty kilometres from the landing site.
Kennedy was about to make a comment to his deputies about it being too easy when the northern assault ship exploded.

Martian Operations Control, Martian Surface
Moments Earlier


The senior Martian’s mind-voice conveyed amusement and a trace of sadness at the human’s actions. He had to admit to being surprised at the larger cattle-ships landing on the surface. That was not expected, but it made his countermove all the better.

Begin counterstrike. Target the outermost of the landed cattle-ships first. Leave their commanders for last so they might wallow in their hubris. The military Martian reached a tentacle behind him and tapped a control, subtly changing the parameters of the strike to accommodate the herd-beast’s strange actions.

Orbital fortresses arming now. Weapons charged. Cattle ships targeted. Firing now.

Mars Orbit


Two large regions of space rippled and changed. Two large and powerful fortresses built centuries ago by the Martians removed their camouflage screens and revealed their heat rays. They had a perfect shot at the powerful ships in orbit, but orders were clear; target the ships on the ground. Kill as many troops as possible.

The heat rays warmed and fired, blasting down at the assault ship Spirit of Los Angeles. Even from space, the heat produced by her nuclear power plants was clearly detectable and the ship was plainly visible to telescopes. The assault ships had been carefully, if discretely, scanned as they made their approach, and the Martian gunners aimed for her huge armoured magazines, holding thousands of tonnes of shells and missiles.

To the troops on the ground there was no sign of trouble. No warning. Those lucky enough to be facing the Spirit of Los Angeles saw the centre of the ship balloon outwards in a cataclysmic explosion, shattering her armoured hull and sending out a lethal hail of debris. The stern section dropped, no longer balanced on its landing gear, and slammed into the Martian soil. Despite being under only 0.37g, the stern section still weighed twenty thousand tonnes and that much mass could not be stopped. The engine bays broke open upon the ground and fuel tanks ruptured, spilling millions of gallons of salt water onto the Martian soil. The forward section lurched upwards briefly before arcing back down in a manner that might be called graceful if it didn’t herald a thousand deaths. Again, bulkheads splintered under the strain and bodies fell into the thin Martian atmosphere, being spared the horrors of asphyxiation only because they were crushed under the wreckage.

Sky Marshall Kennedy blinked; shocked that one sixth of his squadron had been lost in moment’s right before his eyes and without any warning. He heard his officers asking about an accident, a malfunction, but a cold lump in Jack’s gut told him instantly it was the Martians. He turned, realising that there were things he had to do, orders he had to give.

“Get the remaining troops out of the bays NOW. Any vehicles in the area scatter immediately. Order all remaining ships to prepare for liftoff at once. We have to get off the surface and get room to manoeuvre…” he paused when he saw another of his ships being hit. This time, he could see a flare on the dorsal hull as the Heat Rays (it has to be Heat Rays he thought) burnt through armour plate. Then the Ghost of Boston erupted into a million tiny pieces as her magazines detonated under the terrible gaze of Martian weapons. Two ships gone. Probably twelve thousand dead already. We have to get out of here!

“MOVE damnit! We’re sitting ducks!” The battle staff jolted to action at his words, putting aside the horror of real combat to carry out their orders. Kennedy grabbed the direct line to the flagship.

“James! We’re getting burned down here! Two ships lost with all hands. For God’s sake help us out!”

“Sky Marshall, we’re aware of your situation. For your information two space stations just appeared in orbit. They are heavily armed and armoured, but they are turning their attention to us now it seems. You’ve got a breather, now get your arse back into the black.” Tranter’s voice revealed only a trace of the feelings coursing through his heart. “We’re engaging now. We’ll keep you advised. Out.”

Author's Note: My apologies to everyone for this update coming after such a long wait. It's been on the back burner for a while but finally burst back into my brain a few days ago, and here it is.

A note on the Panzers. In my timeline, with the Martian invasion in the late 1890's there was no WW1 or 2, and hence no natural development of "tanks." Until someone realised they'd need something on Mars. I decided calling them tanks wouldn't make sense in-universe so I went with Panzer instead. For those who are interested, my mental picture of the vehicles is largely based on this FWD MM-1 Teracruzer, except armored and pressurized.



"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

"Bones' remedies for problems seems to revolve around giving his patients a prescription of heavy drugs, booze, or taking them to strip clubs. He is either insane, a drug addict, or the best damn Doctor in Starfleet!" - SFDebris

SDN World 6: The Kingdom of Orion

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 Post subject: Re: Mankind Rising - A War of the Worlds Sequel PostPosted: 2012-04-17 02:10pm
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Youngling

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Glad to see an update here.

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