Monday, June 23, 2014

Once They Were Liberators...


People rejoiced when they first strode forth into the morning sunlight. The Franzikaners had finally made it through the trenches, the mine-fields and the last-ditch legions of conscripted dead. Brave Tripod-Hussarls and swarms of smaller, more specialized tripods broke through the ranks of Sturmgraben, zinn soldiers and other units left behind as the Military Governor fled to Morsgrieven to take up his exile-in-disgrace for having lost his post. They ended the First Occupation by the Pruztians. They instituted a firm and rigorously maintained peace. The old Lethal Chambers remained active, perhaps even busier than before. Sedition, treason, saboteurs, dreamers and spies were everywhere--the Franzikaner Triumvirate (no one ever really one called them the 'Administrative Troika',) reminded everyone of these things daily. Hourly. The old Resistance that had fought and died and suffered for so long under the Pruztians and their ANGSOC lackeys decided that they had no choice but to bring the Pruztians back in an attempt to drive the tripods out. And that was the beginning of the Second Occupation...


The low-lander farmers around Sprungen are convinced that you can follow the Red Weeds that continually invade their crop-lands back to the Imperial War Gardens at Naris, right in the heart of the Franzik Empire. Whether or not it is true, their saying has taken on the weight of established and accepted folklore. It might as well be true.

The Franzikaner forces did harden many of the Smog Shelters against the more common forms of Black Smoke. Those shelters that they upgraded received a green-brass plaque showing the beloved/much feared Red Tripod of the Imperial Grand Army.

Despite intense fighting, massive destruction and loss of life, the tripods were never fully driven out of Wermspittle. Some suspect it was their use of Resonators that allowed them to open, close or disrupt Weak Points that gave them an edge over their opponents. Others claim it was the Franzik Empire's annexation of the Near Worlds and the establishment of the massively fortified Grand Octants that made the difference as it allowed them to transport tripod units around the known static defenses and traps set by the Pruztians. Where the scout-tripods reported mine-fields or artillery emplacements, the Franzikaners stalked off through Weak Points to an Adjacent World and proceeded on their way, forcing the Pruztians to invest in as many alternate routes as they could reach, or else leave a gap for the tripods to move past them. It was a logistical nightmare and instead of giving up on the traditional forms of conventional warfare as taught in the military colleges of High Pruztia, the empire chose to resort to the use of manufactured plagues, setting off a terrible back-and-forth of weaponized contagions that quickly decimated the ranks of both sides and everyone else within close proximity. The waves of war-poxes accounted for more death and destruction than even the wide-spread aerial bombardment each side had used to disrupt all rail-transport and to reduce once proud and beautiful cities to a stone-age level of barbarism.

Darkness descended in a cloud of Black Smoke, leaving civilization in a shambles; the majority of the world was cast down into a global medieval age where the old empires still carry on their war amid the ruins...



Inspiration: Primarily The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, of course, with a nod to Mr. Chamber's Repairer of Reputations, as well as a few of the usual suspects from the Vermiform Appendix.

3 comments:

  1. Reminds me, in a positive way, of Genesis of the Daleks, where the Thals and Kaleds have blasted themselves backwards only being barely able to keep the field troops equipped with salvaged and repurposed weapons.

    Such foolishness, such madness, to deploy such weapons and to destroy the very things you we fighting over.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment. There are several pretty decent and a few not so great novels that deal with this sort of thing as well that I'll be talking about in a future post as part of the Vermiform Appendix series. As to the Doctor Who resonance...I had not thought of that, but I like it. If I get the current project done ahead of time, maybe I can go watch some old Who on youtube. And yes, it is sad and tragic and all too human to utterly destroy the very thing being fought over...but total war, scorched earth and mutually assured destruction might as well be petty godlings in their own right the way they've dominated or affected so many people...hmmm...might have another post right there...

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    2. If you have not seen 'Genesis of the Daleks', I cannot recommend it enough, while the production quality it typical of late 70s BBC Doctor Who, the ideas and acting are wonderful. It has a lot of applicable angles to Wyrmspittle.

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