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Would this maintain your interest?

By (seemingly) popular demand, here is the first proper chapter:

Chapter 1

The Pacific Ocean
6th August 1945

“Only a few more weeks to go.†Lieutenant Julian Bullard was bored of the war, bored of being confined to his boat, bored of being away from his family. World War Two had been a horrendous time for Bullard â€" he had been working in a well paid job in an office in central London when war had broken out. For fear of the city being bombed, he took the decision to go home to America, from where he had moved after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. His young family were uprooted from their home not once, but twice.

And now, he was stuck in the middle of a hellish war, hundreds of miles away from home. He had been on the USS Jackson for over two years, with a few short breaks for leave. The 10,000 tonne cruiser had been prowling the dangerous Pacific waters as the Americans fought their way towards mainland Japan, and had not even picked up shell damage, let alone been destroyed like so many other American vessels.

Bullard knew that the war was coming to an end. Everybody knew. It was just a question of time before the Japanese surrendered unconditionally. But until then, battles would have to be fought, tactics applied and soldiers killed until the aggressors were defeated. With a military that was prepared to die rather than accept defeat, the end of the war felt a lot further away than it was.

Bullard took a huge drag of the cigarette he held by his side, breathing the foul smelling smoke into the air as he slowly paced up and down the deck. A tall man at over six and a half foot tall, he looked ahead of him, and the coast of the Philippines that he had spent the last three weeks patrolling. Although still under official Japanese rule, the imperial army were busy trying to repel the seemingly unavoidable invasion by the US Army in other parts of the Pacific. Sparse lights flickered in seaside villages as the morning sky began to turn a fiery orange, heralding the arrival of the beautiful sunset.

Bullard might have hated his job, but being alone on morning watch was just about the only perk. He wished he could afford a camera to take photographs to take home to his wife and two sons. He thought it was amongst the most inspiring sights he could witness. The brightness lit up his rugged face, three day old stubble adorning his face. His short blonde hair seemed to shimmer in the morning light, and his deep green eyes sparkled. He took a deep breath and sighed heavily, a big smile creeping across his face.

Being on the bridge was always the best place to get to see this sight. A low alert meant a low crew presence on deck, and Bullard used this to his full advantage. He strode through the control room, heading out to the starboard side of the bridge. A complete parallel to what he had left behind on the port side. Complete darkness, with night meeting day above his head. The crystal clear sky twinkled at him, an equally picturesque sight. Countless millions of stars all shining brightly as night came to a close. Taking the final drag of his cigarette, he tossed it into the tranquil ocean below. The engines throbbed gently, taking the cruiser slowly toward the remnants of the night. The waves gently lapped against the hull of the boat, the only noise that could be remotely heard.

It was all so peaceful and tranquil; so comfortable and quiet. Bullard ran his fingers through his fine, short hair, taking it all in. But suddenly, he spotted something that wasn’t quite right. He looked up, squinting to get a good look at the bright white light that had appeared in the night sky, seemingly getting brighter by the second.

Without taking his eyes off the strange sight, Bullard walked into the bridge and rang the bell, hoping to attract the attention of a crew member.


The voice sounded through from the bridge. It was the pilot. A quick rustling of ropes tying the massive wheel up later, Tony Keane was stood alongside Bullard. A stout man of Irish decent, he was well known for not beating about the bush.

“Up there. 1 o’clock.â€

Keane turned his head, directly at the brightening light.

“That’s no plane. Is it a shooting star?â€

“If it’s a shooting star it’s lasted longer than one I’ve ever seen.â€

The white shape, hurtling through the sky, was noticeably increasing in size as every second passed. It was an unearthly sight â€" the beautiful twinkling stars surrounding the menacing, bright blob in the sky. The increases continued, although it remained indistinguishable. Suddenly, it turned green, and both men gasped. An uncomfortable silence hung like a shroud over the bridge.

“Martians.†Bullard didn’t want to believe what he was saying. But he had read enough, seen enough photos, and spoken to surviving members of his family enough to know that the green streak in the sky was exactly the same that was described.

“What the hell is going on out here?†A third figure strode onto the bridge. Captain Hank Long was a no-nonsense, experienced seaman, who disliked things going wrong. At 63 years of age, there wasn’t a lot Long hadn’t seen, particularly at sea. He had served on an American warship during the Martian invasion as well as the First World War.

“It’s a Martian cylinder, Sir.†Bullard’s voice trembled a little as he relayed the news to his captain.

Snatching a pair of binoculars from around Keane’s neck, Long donned them, and stared skyward. “Holy mother of God.†He took them away from his eyes and rubbed them, before putting them back to his eyes. “You’re both right. This is exactly what happened last time. Those ******** have waited until the human race started destroying each other. Their tripods will be out in an hour unless we destroy them! Action stations!â€

Long ran onto the bridge, and pulled a cord. A loud alarm wailed throughout the ship, rousing the sleeping sailors. “Keane, get back in here!†Keane scrambled back to the helm, casting the rope away. “I want full steam ahead! That cylinder is going to land on that island in the next few minutes and we must try and intercept it. If we can destroy them before they land then we can send the message to the world.â€

On the port bridge wing, Bullard wasn’t convinced by his captain’s quick actions. Judging by the height and path of the cylinder, which looked like it would be on terra firma in the next minute or so, it looked like it would come down in the shallow waters right in front of the boat. The peaceful, tranquil night had been shattered by the piercing whoop of the alarm, and the clattering in the bowels of the ship of people readying themselves for battle.

Long appeared back on the wing, staring at the green streak that seemed to be heading for the cruiser through his binoculars.

“Captain, I don’t believe that the cylinder is heading for shore.â€

“Of course it is! It must be! Unless they are aiming to drown themselves!â€

“They’ve miscalculated before, why can’t they again? Look at the angle its coming down at sir.â€

Taking a long look at the approaching object, Long had to admit that it looked unlikely to make land. It seemed set to crash into the sea about five hundred yards in front of the bow. Reaching the horrible realisation that is ship was about to be sucked into ocean, Long screamed at the top of his voice: “Full astern, hard a starboard!â€

Keane left the wheel for a second, and yanked the telegraph as quickly as he could, all the way to “Full Astern.†The cylinder was now clear to all, streaking in the direction of the ship at phenomenal speed. Long lowered his binoculars, a pale shade of white. “For the love of God,†he muttered to himself, “back up.†Twenty agonising seconds passed before the ship began to slow and reverse. “Quicker you *******, quicker.†Bullard began to feel panicked â€" a beautiful and clear morning had suddenly become a life or death situation.

Long abandoned the helm, heading back onto the wing. He wanted a good view of the cylinder â€" he had done everything he could, as far as he was concerned, the rest was up to God. The three men stood staring at the ghostly cylinder skimmed above the waves, whipping up white froth. In a few seconds, unless it was being piloted, the cylinder would make contact with the dark, calm water.
youre style of writing is very user freindly - the sotry so far is really good - i think even if people have no previous knowledge of war of the worlds they could quite easily delve into this without too much problem.
Chapter 2

The cylinder slammed into the ocean 150 yards in front of the rapidly retreating Jackson, travelling at thousands of miles per hour. A huge wave kicked up, heading out to sea in both directions. The cylinder ploughed into the helpless cruiser, hitting it amidships and absolutely pulverising it before slipping below the surface. Long, Keane and Bullard were thrown off the deck and sent spinning into the sea, at the mercy of the huge waves the cylinder had created as it plunged into the depths. The USS Jackson foundered in seconds, dragging over a two hundred and fifty sailors deep within her to their watery graves. Twenty seconds, all that was left of the vessel was a small trail of debris and wreckage that was left fighting to avoid being sucked down. There was even no trail of fuel or oil â€" all that remained of the lives of sailors and their ship were a few bits of wood. The ship had died as quickly as it was thought possible.

But Bullard, Keane and Long did not die. Having absolutely no control over their fate, they were flung from the bridge and into the maelstrom, battered by the waves the cylinder has caused. Luck was on their side. Instead of being pulled toward and under by the swift end of the Jackson, they were powered away from the suction caused by the sinking ship by the massive waves. Bones were broken, bodies were bruised, but the three men were propelled away from the impact zone.

Long remained conscious. As soon as he had stopped drifting, he coughed out the horrible salt water that was in his mouth, cringing as the variety of cuts and lacerations caused by shrapnel and a heavy landing in the sea were attacked by the sodium. Shaking his head to regain his senses, Long quickly took stock of the situation. His arm hung limply by his side, broken at the elbow. The stabbing pain in his side an indication of three broken ribs. The throbbing pain in his skull and blurry vision of concussion setting in. Fighting for his breath, Long looked around as best he could, casting his eyes over the surface of the ocean, becoming beautifully illuminated by the fiery rising sun.

He could make out the two visions of Bullard and Keane, splashing about in the rapidly calming water. It was almost like the Jackson had never existed. The three men made their way to each other, best they could, all of them in agony with their injuries. As the hiss and roar of the sinking ship died away, Long hailed the two figures:

“How are we doing?â€

Bullard’s strong voice echoed across the water: “A broken elbow and a broken foot I think sir.â€


“Concussion sir. I also think there’s some internal damage, I think my ribs have splintered into something…â€

Long ran the situation through his mind. All three of them were wounded, and seriously. There was no telling how long they might have to wait for a rescue and with no medical equipment the three of them could be dead in hours. The hot Pacific sun was rising slowly into the sky and would soon bring incredible heat and high temperatures. It would surely only be a matter of minutes before sharks caught scent of the blood from cuts and bruises and swarmed around the injured trio. There was always the possibility that other men had survived and would need help.

The next five minutes were crucial for survival. The deterioration of the three known survivors would be swift after this as pain and exhaustion set in. Long knew that their only hope was to make their way as a team toward the debris field. This was increasing in size as every second passed, with wooden objects floating to the surface. It would only be a matter of time before the grim sight of bloated corpses bobbing up and down on the waves would greet them all as they fought for their own lives.

“Swim towards each other men. We must act quickly, the sharks will be here in a few minutes.†Long didn’t mince his words, this was no motivational tactic, this was the life or death situation that they were now faced with. Crashing through the pain barrier, they splashed toward each other, frantically fighting for their lives. Tears rolled, faces grimaced and mouths grunted, but after a few minutes, the men were reunited. Long looked at his two crewmen, and he realised that the fight for life was going to be even more difficult than he first imagined. Keane was in an appalling way â€" huge chunks of flesh had been ripped from his face by impact with the waves, and blood was pouring down his face. Bullard had escaped with minor cuts and bruises, but like Long, wasn’t in physical condition for swimming.

Long quickly took control of the situation. “Men, we have got to get into that debris field and find something we can float on, or we’re going to fall victim to the sharks. My eyesight is shot. Keane?â€

“I can’t see much Sir, everything is white…â€


“I can see perfectly Captain Long.â€

“What can you see that would support us?â€

Bullard cast his eyes over the disaster scene directly in front of them. An oil slick was slowly developing in front of his eyes as the floatable innards of the ship slowly began to ascend to the surface. A slow feeling of dread formed at the pit of his stomach. The only thing remotely suitable for them to cling onto was the occasional table or chair from the galley. Chair after chair seemed to rise to the surface, bobbing in the flotsam.

“Come on.†Bullard mouthed to himself as the feeling of doom tying his stomach in a knot heightened.

“Bullard, what can you see?†Long was growing impatient as Keane’s condition worsened.

“Nothing sir, but items are rising every second.â€

“It’s got to hold three of us Bullard, maybe more.â€

“I know sir.â€

Shaking his head, Bullard began to panic. Suddenly, he noticed a large pool of bubbles thirty yards in front of him. Then, the answer to his prayers floated to the top of the blackened ocean.

The overturned lifeboat was a dull white, but to Bullard it was a God like apparition, shimmering in the distance.

“Captain Long! Thirty yards in front of us, there’s an overturned lifeboat. It will fit us on for sure, and a number of people we might find too.â€

“Good work Bullard. Now the hard work starts. Help each other as much as we can, but we need to get on that lifeboat, and quickly.â€

Bullard didn’t need to guess the agony which was to come. He knew that the three men were in for the toughest five minutes of their life. They made their way slowly toward the lifeboat, each taking turns to help each other. The thirty yards separating them from shelter might as well have been thirty miles. Each movement bringing untold agony to all three. Bullard’s eyes flickered, his battered mind trying to tell him to pass out, but he fought it with all his might.

They finally made it. After ten minutes of calm, calculated swimming, the three wounded survivors reached the overturned lifeboat. Long squinted at it, but his vision had not yet returned to normal.

“Bullard, can it be overturned?â€

“No Sir. Not with our injuries. I don’t think we have the capability to, if there were more of us maybe, but not like this.â€

“Very well. We need to get onto the hull, now. Bullard, you first.â€

Bullard hooked his good arm over the hull of the lifeboat, gripping the ridge at the top. He knew that his broken elbow would prevent the use of his arm, so he made do with just the one. A strong man, he was able to haul himself onto the hull with just the one arm, although he cried out in pain as he had to drag his broken foot up the side of the hull.

“Bullard! You’re on safely?â€

“Yes sir.â€

“Good. Give me a hand on with Keane, he isn’t in a good way.â€

Keane was losing the fight for his life. Massive internal injuries had taken their toll, and his massive frame wasn’t responding to his wishes. Inwardly, he knew that the chances of him seeing another day were very slim. His ribs had been crushed against the water, piercing his right lung and puncturing it. Finding breathing difficult and movement incredibly painful, he intermittently slipped in and out of consciousness. He fought with himself to make the lives of his friend Bullard and his captain easier; if he was awake he might be able to help. He thought of his wife and four children, and their beautiful farmyard house. He longed to go back their one more time, and to hold his beloved family in his arms. As he held on to this precious thought, he found himself unable to cling onto conciousness, and slid into blackness.
excellent mate, going good, keep it up. only queries would be, how does keane know he's concussed?!:D and could you tell me a captain who did like things going wrong!?
minor queries mate! certainly has potential.
Originally posted by paddyknight@Jan 31 2006, 05:22 AM
excellent mate, going good, keep it up. only queries would be, how does keane know he's concussed?!:D and could you tell me a captain who did like things going wrong!?
minor queries mate! certainly has potential.
Not being funny, because the question could be misinterpreted:

Have you ever been concussed?

I have, and boy do you know about it.... My logic is that both Keane and Long are hardened sailors who know disaster an are men of the world.
i just meant , when i was concussed i knew sweet fa for quite a while, i was told i was concussed....it was more confusing at first! as i said, minor point, each to their own! keep it going mate
Originally posted by .:kaftka:.@Jan 31 2006, 03:55 PM
I'm going to read it all when Chapter three is put up... Keep it up.
Well, wait until chapter 4 then, chapter 4 sees us moved forward in time....
Very good. I don't know if the bit where Long says, 'now the hard work starts' is needed though.
I think it's about time I actually got round to doing some more work on this thing...
Well it has been 2 and a half years since your last installment!!!

Possible 50 year epic in the works?

On a side note, what ever happened to the story with characters from TRF?
That needs some work too Melon. I haven't forgotten about it though, oh no!

I intend to make a start on both of them actually.
Los Lover is TRF's nemesis afterall. The plot revolved around Ripper, Chiro (the coward that he is) and northern england.... It was funny. In my head, anyway.
SH characters, NH setting....pure mayhem in the works!

Are ripper and chiro feuding and have to form an alliance to rally agains Los?

Maybe you can't give anymore away...
The suspense is too much to take!

I suppose we'll just have to wait...

Until then...

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