Worldwide economic collapse in the 21st century led to a Second Coming for Marxist communism -- which did nothing to alleviate the world depression. Then the People's Astronomers discovered an asteroid chock full of valuable minerals and sent an expedition. But someone else was already there: the Elders, who resembled intelligent giant squid, but with a shell the size of a Volkswagen. They had arrived from an Earth in a parallel universe where they were the dominant species. Worst of all, they were Capitalists!