Red Planet Mars
(Red Planet Mars)
The astronomers Mitchell and Boulting receive Chris and Linda Cronyn, a couple of very famous radioastronomers in possession of the most powerful hardware in the world of radio transmission, equipment developed by a war criminal Nazi. A succession of pictures from the red planet seems to show that there is life on Mars, an advanced species which seems able to irrigate whole cities by convoyant water contained in the ices of the poles via long Martiens channels, certainly artificial.
On the same evening, the Cronyns use their ultra-sophisticated hardware to send a message towards Mars. Thanks to an idea of their little boy, by sending the first decimals of the mathematical figure pi, a developed society should be able to provide the following decimals. But the emitted signals are actually intercepted by Franz Calder who also seeks contact with the Martians. Working for the Russians, this inventor of the super-transmitter in possession of the Cronyn, has built another one under Russian finances. Like Americans, those also seek to contact Mars in an unrestrained race for the meeting of a new allied civilization.
Receiving threats from his employers, Franz Calder explains that the most significant is not to know who gets the first the information, but indeed who first uses it. Calder is capable to usurp the identity of Mars and to answer the American messages.
Later, the American newspapers publish the incredible news. The radio astronomers Chris and Linda Cronyn received a response from Mars. In Russia, the government tries to hide the news, fearing the rising of the population.
The contacts continue, and gradually Americans and the whole world obtain answers about the Martian life. Thus, it is now known that its inhabitants have a 300 years life expectancy, that a half acre of ground is enough to feed 1000 Martians during one year and that cosmic energy replaces all other obsolete energies.
The reaction to this news by the populations is dramatic. The life insurances stop paying, the mining crisis thunders, coal mines are closing. Agriculture and the world economy are upset, the crisis touches the whole planet and in certain countries, the martial law is proclaimed.
While the President of the United States asks the Cronyn to stop their transmissions, the world receives a new message which seems to come directly from God. The Russians who believed themselves protected make the expenses of the news; the Russian people forsake his government and engulfs themselves in the religion - the universal faith. The Russian church reverses the government and religious rise is spread in the whole world...
Spoiler ! the end of the story is revealed below…
Because of an avalanche, the radio station of Franz Calder is destroyed. Of course, since that time, Americans does not receive any more "extraterrestrial" messages. On another day, Chris and Linda Cronyn receive the visit of Calder. This one acknowledges and brings the proof to them that he is the one who provided the answers. The Martian life is a trickery. He seeks to destroy what was achieved and thus to rule over the destiny of the world. Chris and Linda not wanting to leave this tool between the hands of the insane sabotage the radio station which explodes. The explosion results in the death of the three scientists, a few seconds after the arrival of a true divine message...
Correction by HAL.