The Langham Hotel, Portland Place – The Ruins of London - 1900
From a suite upon the 6th floor the watcher looked out across the smoking skyline of London, up Portland Place and across to Regents Park.
The luxurious suite complete with its own fireplace and tiger skin rug was in stark contrast to the horror outside, although Portland Place had escaped any visible damage its adjoining and far more famous neighbour Regents street had extensive damage inflicted by the tripods assault.
Chimney stacks and roof sections smashed by tentacles, buildings gutted by the deathly caress of the invaders heat beams, human and animal carcasses rotting upon the cobbles brought down by the Black Smoke.
Dressed in his tweed suite, riding breeches, knee length socks and stout walking boots the man cut a dashing figure, his auburn hairs wept across his brow and cut short sides and back.
He tapped a cigarette on his silver case, lighting it and inhaled thoughtfully, his blue eyes capturing every detail of the Armageddon outside.
“Almost time to go!” interrupted a southern states drawl from behind him, he didn’t turn merely nodding his acknowledgement
“Penny a for em” his guardian added, counting out yet another hand of solitaire
“I was just thinking how incredible this all is” he replied in his upper class oxford accent
“A dare say a little morbid, don’t’cha think!”
“No, not all the death and destruction, which by the way is truly truly horrible, no it’s the opportunity to see it, the scale of Armageddon, its quite sobering really”
“Shoot” grumbled the American, having lost his hand, with one deft swipe of his hand he collected his cards, absently picking up his tarot deck laid neatly to once side on a venetian print footstool.
He brushed down his confederate grey slacks and frock coat, smoothed his goatee beard and finally straightened his Stetson “Time ta go!” he drawled
“I say isn’t that a yankee hat” the Englishman observed having finally turned away from his window, the American have him a hard look
“My mistake” the Englishman smiled, his guardian continued his hard stare and pointedly gestured towards the door
Reluctantly the toff pulled himself from the window and strode towards the bedroom where his travel bag awaited, he picked up his luggage and frowned as a slight movement from his breast pocket made him start.
He produced an ornate glass vial, sheathed in an elaborate golden filigree, floating within an thick silvery liquid was a green shoot.
A bud upon the shoot rapidly opened revealing a pure white flower, the liquid glittering.
“God almighty c’mon” hollered the American
The toff appeared a serious look upon his face “What” demanded the American impatiently
“Another Other is here!”
The guardian looked doubtful before finally answering “So, we gotta look after our own skins”
“I cannot in all good conscience leave another traveler to such a dire fate”
The guardian threw up his hands and looked heavenward “Am surely cursed with some form o saint”
“Quite so and don’t even consider some rapscallion knockout blow to render me immobile” the toff chided
“However don’t stay on my account old bean, I’ll handle this”
“Yeah right, your protection is a matter o honor, folks at the club would be less than impressed”
“Jolly good, this should be a bit of a jape”
The American gave him a sour look and moved to the window, surveying the scene of destruction
“We aint got a pacel load o time, so lets get his done, our door home won’t last forever!”
Having outfitted himself with a sturdy coat, satchel and flask the toff smiled his annoyingly infectious smile “Tally ho”