|Behind the Scenes|
|Created by||Clifford D. Simak|
The Martians were once an ancient and wise civilization of small, vaguely spider-like beings which flourished millions of years ago on the planet Mars.
From a Human's perspective, the appearance of a Martian is more reminiscent of an animal than an intelligent being. They have spidery legs and armored claws, which are sharp enough to be usable as scythes.
Martian eyesight is far more developed than that of Humans. They can see well in the dark and in far richer levels of detail. They communicate by telepathy, which is achieved by directly transmitting images from one subject's eyes to another's mind. If the image contains other forms of information (e.g.: a text written in a language that the sender can read but the receiver cannot), the meaning will be transmitted too. Otherwise, however, they don't seem to send anything but images. This form of telepathy can also be used to communicate with other species, even across interplanetary distances.
Millions of years ago, the Martian civilization felt so threatened by the mind-altering Asterites from the fifth planet that they decided to wipe out their foes' entire world in order to annihilate them. The remains of the fifth planet formed the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. However, the Martians' plan didn't work, as the Asterites did survive their planet's destruction while encysted in their gem-like state. Ultimately, the Martians were wiped out by the Asterites.
However, some Martians employed the same strategy as their adversaries and managed to put themselves in suspended animation, hidden in other areas of the solar system, including the asteroid belt.
As Humans started to explore the other planets, they came across the remains of the Martian cities, but couldn't figure out what the Martians actually looked like. One particular specimen was discovered among the asteroids and christened Hannibal. Believed to be some sort of exotic animal, Hannibal was taken in as a pet by a blind man named Spencer Chambers, who developed a telepathic connection with the alien, allowing Hannibal to transmit images directly into Chambers' mind and act as the ultimate "seeing eye dog".
- "Hunch", by Clifford D. Simak (1943)