“Hundreds of observers saw the flame that night and the night after about midnight, and again the night after; and so for ten nights, a flame each night. Why the shots ceased after the tenth no one on earth has attempted to explain. It may be the gases of the firing caused the Martians inconvenience. Dense clouds of smoke or dust, visible through a powerful telescope on Earth as little grey, fluctuating patches, spread through the clearness of the planet’s atmosphere and obscured its more familiar features.”
Chapter One “The Eve of the War” – The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells
Roughly two years after the arrival of Martians on Earth, a second series of ten “shots” are fired from the surface of the red planet. Is this another invasion? Was the first invasion actually that, or was it just a scouting mission? Now that we have had two years in which to come to terms with such technology has been left behind, will that make it any easier for us to communicate with inter-planetary cousins?
The Second Launch is a set of ideas, guidelines and scenarios for GMs to allow them to generate that same sense of wonder, awe and terror that the original landings created. Here are some questions that will be answered:
- Where do the capsules land? Was England an accidental or deliberate target? If they landed somewhere remote, would they have had more time to adapt and be ready?
- What weaponry will they bring to bear?
- Will they have some kind of protection against our microbiology?
- Will they be able to multiply when they get here?
- Do they have Earth-bound help?
- Can we talk to them?
- Can we kill them?