As humanity climbs out of the ruins of their devastated society, we must now look at our future. We have seen the terrible destruction wrought by the Martian fighting machines and flying machines and the awful power of the Heat Ray as it turned all it touched to fire.
We hurry along the roads, as gusts of smoke continue to erupt into the air, fearful of attracting the baleful stare of one of the few fighting-machines left stalking the countryside. This morning, we passed two of the fighting-machines, toppled and stinking, by the roadside. A third fighting-machine appeared in the horizon and we did not tarry to investigate. The ghostly touch of the Heat Ray and the issue of the Black Smoke keeps us scuttling from crater to crater, from fox-hole to fox-hole. We can only guess what keeps these monstrous tripods moving when so many of their brethren have fallen. Some new dark surprise may await us.
There are nearly twenty of us now, holed up in a small village. We have enough food to live for a few months perhaps and we have begun to venture forth in the early morning when the fighting-machines seem less active to plant new crops and sow the seeds of our future. We can only hope that the grey skies will pass – at times I forget which season it is. The continued spread of the Red Weed frustrates our attempts to cultivate even the smallest plots but we have seen the first green shoots and with that, renewed hope.
Last night I turned my eyes skyward, looking again for the red planet and though I know it to be impossible, I could swear I saw a tell-tale green plume. I returned to our camp in the crypt of the village church and fell into a fretful, restless sleep.