Chapter Four – The Earth Men (August 1999/2030) was first published in Thrilling Wonder Stories, August 1948. This story tells of the “Second Expedition” to Mars. The astronauts arrive to find the Martians to be strangely unresponsive to their presence. The one exception to this is a group of Martians in a building who greet them with a parade. Several of the Martians in the building claim to be from Earth or from other planets of the solar system, and the captain slowly realizes that the Martian gift for telepathy allows others to view the hallucinations of the insane, and that they have been placed in an insane asylum. The Martians they have encountered all believed that their unusual appearance was a projected hallucination. Because the “hallucinations” are so detailed and the captain refuses to admit he is not from Earth, Mr. Xxx, a psychiatrist, declares him incurable and kills him. When the “imaginary” crew does not disappear as well, Mr. Xxx shoots and kills them. Finally, as the “imaginary” rocket remains in existence, Mr. Xxx concludes that he too must be crazy and shoots himself. The ship of the Second Expedition is sold as scrap at a junkyard.
Published by Jimmie Kepler
Jimmie Kepler is a full-time writer. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, to a career military father and stay at home mother. He lived in six states and attended eight different schools before graduating high school. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Religious Education, Master of Arts, and the Doctor of Education degrees. Before writing full-time, he worked as a US Army officer for 8-years, religious educator for 18-years, and as an IT software engineer for over 20-years. He is a widower. He lives in North Texas with his cat Lacey. View all posts by Jimmie Kepler