Author's note: This entire fanfic has been reworked from SCRATCH as of the start of 2015.
Disclaimer: I don't own H.G. Well's War of the Worlds. Or any wars for that matter. And no, I don't own the Worlds. Or H.G. Wells. Or... anything, really... (-Awkward silence-)... ANYWAY! Please read and review.
No on would've believed that by the last years of the thirty-ninth century that man's great, near immortal intelligence was reduced to keenly watching a different world. We studied as they went about their business, scrutinising them. Perhaps the way we studied microbes in a drop of water. Perhaps the same way they studied us two thousand years ago.
After contact with the initial Martian race and the subsequent slaughter and sudden defeat of the Martians at the hands of terrestrial virus and disease much had happened. Man was at first awakened to its vulnerability, its peoples were brought aware of the weakness of their governments, and Earthly science's inability to defeat its Martian counterparts. Initial attempts to unite Terrestrial man against alien superiority quickly failed due to the fragility of Terrestrial civilisation, and much chaos ensued; revolutions, regime changes, ideological and racial wars, the rise and falls of many great empires and super-states. Once again, the Earthly ape turned against fellow ape, proving to be much more lethal to himself than any Martian invader.
On Mars, though, things proved much worse. The great minds of Mars had expended much resources preparing to colonise sunward, and when Earthen viruses had prevented them of their victory they turned to Venus, which turned to be much more of a death world than even their own. With absolutely no hope whatsoever of saving themselves the Martian civilisation all but vanished overnight, leaving little behind for their dying planet.
And so, even as on Earth all intelligent life spent its resources exterminating itself it was left unhampered. Those few on Earth that did pay attention to the red planet had reported that Mars had truly died out. Later, when terrestrial men finally unified after millennia of conflict, it was confirmed that the Martian invaders of the late nineteenth century were gone.
And ever since, man grew increasingly vain.
The newly created world organisation of Terra, a multinational corporate of loosely tied state governments, began to build factories and power plants across the globe. It mined entire mountains for their minerals and disposing waste into the seas and skies. It sought more food from the soil than could be provided. It the planet into a single, united super-city from deep beneath the ground and reaching to the heavens: massive monuments to the glory of man. For its technical purposes it build stations to broadcast and transmit radio, electricity, light, radiation. To the gulf of space it launched probes, satellites, and yet more stations for its purposes, going so far as to strip mine the asteroid belt to replace it with a Dyson bubble.
At the time mankind had a zealous belief in its protection. After all, humanity had survived so long as the only intelligent species on Earth after so many billions of years. The Earth had provided for its needs as it grew as a race, and the Earth had protected it when superior beings from Mars had come, and it had tolerated man in the destruction of the genocidal wars in between. Surely, Mother Earth would forever love and nurture her blessed child Man!
And so, a thousand years after the unity of the human race, Mother Earth was exploited to the point where it could support life no longer, and its atmosphere was far more ruinous than that of Mars when they were pushed into conquest.
Let us not dwell on the exact details of Terrestrial Man's changes between the crisis and the time I write this. But let it also be known that Man had quickly awoken from his dream, if too late, and swiftly executed those that had so quickly killed the planet that they believed had mothered them. Even as they did so they realised that the damage had already been done, and no matter how intelligent or resourceful Man had become, the Earth was surely doomed.
By the thirty-ninth century terrestrial man was reduced to relying on the same sciences and technologies that had rendered their planet so hostile to also meet the bare minimums of sustaining their own lives.
Yet, in all its irony, the very experiments that had caused mankind to make Earth uninhabitable had also reversed the trends that had occurred on Mars. Though the cold red planet was far from being rich with life, and having more or less stagnated ever since the initial invasion, it was a much more suitable planet for humankind than his own.
And so despite having relinquished the art of war many years ago terrestrial man found itself once again in need of force in order to get his needs. With what little resources could still be mustered an expedition was readied to be sent to Mars.
We had made certain, before setting off, that our expedition would not fail on a small miscalculation of an unaccounted micro-organism, unlike our Martian counterparts. As terrible as Earth's atmosphere had become, the Terrestrial viruses were truly eradicated, and most likely Man's immune system had declined with it. After checking we ultimately concluded that the Martian world contained no potential harmful germ to Man's non-existent immune system, for they too had eliminated disease with their science.
On a date I cannot specify (for Terrestrial Man no longer knows the exact date and only that it's approximately the late thirty-ninth century; such is the crippled state we are in,) the first space rockets of the expeditionary force fired from their platforms, visible from even the Martian planet as a huge eruption of fire.
The Martians of the planned landing site would have seen the flash of the rocket ship firing off at their equivalent of midnight. Nearly a full Martian day later, another flash could be seen from Mars. The daily firing of rocket ships repeated for a few days, before it was halted. The reason that we did not fire more was to preserve our resources, in case the operation was to fail. It was, perhaps, a good thing that we had done so.
I was, at the time, already stationed in orbit of the red planet. I had been positioned there for several weeks prior to act as a communications officer between expeditionary force units. Upon receiving word that the expeditionary force had finally launched, just over one hundred and eighty two minutes after the actual launch (the time it takes for a light speed message to reach Mars from Terra), I decided to once again study the Martians scampering along over their petty concerns. They knew so little of the impeding invasion from their sunward neighbour that they had themselves once bullied. They were so peaceful and tranquil in their lifestyles as they lived. The start of the fourtieth century AD brought an end to their disillusions of safety.