At first the scientific disappointment was keen; but before very long cryptologists, linguists, and historians succeeded in decyphering the immense mass of record accumulated by these odd beings while they still lived. The Alphas and the Betas from Mars each drew up very full reports on what they had discovered about Tellurian thought and history. There was very little difference between the two reports. So long as each of the two factions remained unidentified, what  said about itself and about  was indistinguishable from what  said about itself and about . It appeared that, according to each side, the other side wanted world dominion and wished all power to be in the hands of heartless officials whom the one side designated as bureaucrats and the other as capitalists. Each side held that the other advocated a soulless mechanism which should grind out engines of war without any regard to human happiness. Each side believed that the other, by unscrupulous machinations, was endeavouring to promote world war in spite of the obvious danger to all. Each side declared loudly: ‘We, who stand for peace and justice and truth, dare not relax our vigilance or cease to increase our armaments, because the other side is so wicked.’ The two Martian reports, drawn up by the Alphas and the Betas respectively, had similarities exactly like those of the ’s and ’s whom they

were describing. Each ended up with a moral to its government. The moral was this: ‘These foolish inhabitants of Earth forgot the obvious lesson that their situation should have taught them, namely, that it is necessary to be stronger than the other side. We hope that the government to which we are reporting will learn this salutary lesson from the awful warning of the catastrophe on our sister planet.’