It was a close call. We had almost wandered into the foreign planet unprepared. We would have died, without achieving anything. But we had prepared. Although we had pushed almost an extra ten of our planetary rotations around our star (eighteen of our alien counterparts), we had developed something that would keep us from dying without the slightest warning. The micro-organisms and cells on the third planet from the star are in much larger quantity and are by far more aggressive than on home. But we will endure them, for we have developed a system of artificial protection cells against the infectious organisms, and many other countermeasures and ways to kill off the excess cells.
But while we have been developing our immunity to micro-organisms, the local inhabitants of the third planet have developed on their own. Though these people have long been known for developing quicker than the speed they evolve, they have gone beyond what we have predicted. They have developed their own killing smoke, and their own weapons of war. They have developed ways of fighting that would make anyone un-armoured vulnerable. They have even developed crude machines of fighting, that function by circular objects, that change the direction of motion. They have developed their own flying machines. They have been fighting a war amongst themselves for two of our planetary rotations around the star (four of their local counterparts). Their lack of unification is what helps them need to develop.
But we have also prepared. Instead of transporting our materials to their planet, we shall bring ready made war machines. We have already begun our launching. We have already taken to account where there would be most resistance, of which we must eliminate.
Before we planned to attack the small island of 'Great Britain', but now, we must take out their armies first. We shall attack 'Europe', where their forces are concentrated, and more towards the islands of 'Nippon', which has recently developed, and the primary continent of the newly formed 'CCCP', and 'ZhongHua MinGuo'.
We must act quickly. We have prepared more war machines than last time, but we will still be outnumbered. Their strength only increases, while ours decrease with the dying of our home. The battle will be difficult, but we will endure.
We shall be the victors.
The trenches were unlike the glorious vision I had for a war hero. At the time I had little Idea that I would be in such a position of havoc, fighting against not the Germans, nor the Austrians, let alone the French, but aliens.
I had been one of those people that survive longer than half a year. I was an ordinary riflemen in my unit, and had been sitting in the trenches reflecting my losing a game of poker, when I saw the shooting stars. They flew right by my position. I didn't believe in wishes, or external powers, but I tried anyway. Funny what I did, wasn't it? I wished that the great powers in our world, like Great Britain, France and Germany, would stop all this nonsense of fighting amongst ourselves.
I went to my sleeping quarters not long after that. That night, I heard the distant crackle of rifle and machine gun fire, that slowly died away. I couldn't help feeling sorry for whichever side had gone over the top.
The next morning, rumours of them had already spread. Beings from out there, coming down in giant metal cans, and tall machines that shot flame and stood on giant stilts, walking at a slow pace.
At the time I thought it was utter nonsense. Maybe it was caused by the fact that absurd rumours were numerous in these trenches. I just sat there, laughing in my mind at how crazy these people were.
"They walk around like giant crabs, shooting some beam at British and German alike! We tried shooting at it but our shots bounced off harmlessly! That was when another two came out of the canister! And before I knew it, I was the last survivor of my whole platoon!" said one soldier, who I could have sworn was shell shocked.
"Just charge at 'em!" said one of the soldiers.
"That's what we did!" replied the shell shocked man, "and the Krauts did likewise! But that made things worse! It tore through our formations like a knife… no, an axe through melting butter!"
I almost choked with laughter. Tommy's and Krauts working together? That's too far fetched, even in our given situation.
"Look!" someone shouted, pointing at the sky. That's when I saw it. A giant cylinder, falling from the sky. There were a large amount of surprised exclamations coming from both our trench, and the Germans. I was so stunned that I had forgotten about how I had mentally criticized the shell shocked veteran.
The cylinder fell into no man's land, between our trench and the Germans.
"That's them!" Shouted the shell shocked veteran. But no one was listening. The captain, as I had later found out, had called the radioman to get artillery and armoured support.
Beings from another planet have come to visit us! Was what I had thought, despite the warnings and rumours of such events. If they had come to our planet, via their own means, then they must be intelligent as well!
The cylinder's top started to unscrew.
Some brave Germans decided to risk their lives (against both the aliens, and our machine guns), and had put together a white flag, and cautiously walked towards the cylinder.
The cylinder's top had opened completely, and from inside, came out what looked like a camera, mounted on a tentacle.
Everyone was too fixed on the machine to pay any attention to the warnings of the veteran.
Then a jet of intense heat shot out and incinerated the Germans who held the white flag.
Despite the fact that we have fought the Germans for years, it felt incredibly inhumane to just kill off those men, who had mustered together more bravery than any other man in their army, and made a peace offering.
Then, from the canister, came, one… then another… then a third leg. From inside the canister, crawled out a giant, towering, colossal seeming machine. It stood there with it's three legs like tripod stilts, it's giant hood like head, multiple tentacles, and the heat ray limb. It looked around at it's surroundings. At the German trench, and then ours. Of the abandoned wasteland. No mans land. But they were not mere men. They were Martians.
After seeing the actions of this machine against their comrades, the Krauts began to shoot at the machine, though the bullets bounced off, causing no more than a scratch, just like the veteran had said.
As the tripod began to attack the German position, a second tripod came out from the cylinder.
"Open fire!" came the order. And though the men were still dazed, we began to shoot, emptying our clips harmlessly at the Martians.
The tripod aimed the heat ray in our direction, and started incinerating our troops. A few of us had the sense to duck, but most of us were caught in the invisible flame, and died instantaneously.
In all the confusion, I hardly noticed many things until later. Such as the Germans charging on the tripod, the order for us to do likewise, the third tripod exiting the canister, or the commencing of our artillery bombardment.
As I scrambled up out of the trench, the tripod came under attack by artillery. Though most shells missed and ended up hitting us, some of the shots hit on the machines. One such shot hit the leg of the tripod attacking the Germans, and the tripod fell, unable to support itself. That was when the Krauts charged recklessly at the Martians, but were quickly dispatched.
I soon found myself in a ditch made by explosions, and I fired a few shots at the tripod. It was as I began to reload that I noticed there was a German sitting next to me, shivering.
That was when I began to regret my wish. And also when I began to wonder how funny our situation was. We were enemies only hours… no, minutes ago, and yet, we find ourselves seeking refuge in a ditch against a common adversary.