Man, as history had known man, was dead to Earth. For a generation and a half, the blue-green planet had been ravaged by a world-encompassing plague the likes of which had never been dreamt of in the wildest of fictions. The plague had thieved away from its victims the capacity to communicate through any form of language, oral, written, or sign, like some demented anti-Prometheus. Now the ruins of civilization were, in the general consensus of the Martian populace, no more than a playground for savage beasts, human only in physical appearance, to wage battle against one another over the…

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