JOURNALIST: There were a dozen dead bodies in the Euston Road, their outlines
softened by the Black Dust. All was still, houses locked and empty, shops closed - but
looters had helped themselves to wine and food, and outside a jewellers some gold
chains and a watch were scattered on the pavement.
JOURNALIST: I stopped, staring towards the sound. It seemed as if that mighty desert
of houses had found a voice for its fear and solitude.
JOURNALIST: The desolating cry worked upon my mind. The wailing took possession
of me. I was intensely weary, footsore, hungry and thirsty. Why was I wandering alone
in this city of the dead? Why was I alive, when London was lying in state in its black
shroud? I felt intolerably lonely, drifting from street to empty street, drawn inexorably
towards that cry.
JOURNALIST: I saw, over the trees on Primrose Hill, the Fighting Machine from which
the howling came. I crossed Regents Canal. There stood a second machine, upright, but
as still as the first.
MARTIANS: Ulla! Ul-!
JOURNALIST: Abruptly, the sound ceased. Suddenly, the desolation, the solitude,
became unendurable. While that voice sounded, London had still seemed alive. Now
suddenly, there was a change, the passing of something - and all that remained was this
I looked up and saw a third machine
It was erect and motionless, like the others
An insane resolve possessed me
I would give my life to the Martians, here and now
I marched recklessly towards the Titan and saw that a multitude of black birds was
circling and clustering about the hood. I began running along the road. I felt no fear, only
a wild, trembling exultation, as I ran up the hill towards, the motionless monster. Out of
the hood hung red shreds, at which the hungry birds now pecked and tore.
I scrambled up to the crest of Primrose Hill, and the Martian's camp was below me. A
mighty space it was, and scattered about it, in their overturned machines, were the
Martians - dead... slain, after all man's devices had failed, by the humblest things upon
the Earth, Bacteria. Minute, invisible, bacteria!
Directly the Invaders arrived and drank and fed, our microscopic allies
attacked them. From that moment - they were doomed!
JOURNALIST: The torment was ended. The people scattered over the
country, desperate, leaderless, starved... the thousands who had fled by sea -
including the one most dear to me - all would return. The pulse of life, growing stronger
and stronger, would beat again.
As life returns to normal, the question of another attack from Mars causes universal
concern. Is our planet safe, or is this time of peace merely a reprieve? It may be that,
across the immensity of space, they have learned their lessons and even now await their
opportunity. Perhaps the future belongs not to us - but to the Martians?