The martian republic of Tenjin.

The Beginning

Seven years before the much publicised first moon landing, the secret 'Tenjin' mission to colonise the habitable solar system successfully touched down in the northern lowlands of planet Mars. Elation soon gave way to dread. Our explorers were not alone on Mars. It's a short story.

Martians! Who knew? Mission commander Hill broached first contact and later returned to her ship. Don't worry, she informed the crew, these martians are a friendly bunch! Invited to a martian banquette in their honour that evening (the martians had language translator apps) our Earthly explorers learned the martians themselves were a long lost tribe of humanity recently arrived from a nearby galaxy. Resident on Mars for a mere twelve months and numbering one-hundred and ten in population - these new martians were here to stay. But something didn't add up. The martians freely explained their new dwellings and infrastructure extended a hundred square underground miles. How could so few have produced so much in such a short time?

A Real Resource

In the tea leaves this mystery was soon solved. Along with ships full of materials and solar generators, the martians had brought tea plants from their home world. Grown in the weak Martian gravity and rich volcanic soil, this crop made for a powerful brew. One hot cup of tea every morning enabled a martian to perform the work of ten; flourish on three hours of sleep at night and - they claimed - progressively reverse the signs of ageing over time.

Incredible! Back at their ship our explorers were unanimous, this brew (amongst other services), are what we will need to thrive on Mars long-term. A little light exploring, then we'll get straight to negotiating the immediate doubling of tea crop growth. Then it hit them. There was a flaw in their plan. Thing is, the martians seemed perfectly happy, planting, building, refining (they discovered fossil hydrocarbons); looking after one another in their cooperative favour-based non-monetary community. Growing and sharing additional tea crop for new arrivals might not be a priority. The astronauts realised they had nothing these new martians needed.

An enjoyable evening slipped into a week of deliberation. The martian accomplishments were tremendous. But, something was clearly missing, a proper plan for the community and the organising structures to implement policy. It was time for a new reality.

A Monetary Solution

Unfortunately, the earthly explorers were at pains to explain to the martian elders, your community and huts - everything you have built - is in danger. Evidently, 'less than friendly' earthlings were sure to arrive soon. But not to fret. We have the training and skills not only to protect you from troublesome others, but also instruct you in the art of social etiquette. We have a plan for the community. Best all round if you submit to it voluntarily.

Somewhat bemused (and looking sheepishly towards their huts), the martian elders acquiesced to the ambition of their new friends. Tenjin mission commander Hill would serve as Governor of a newly formed legislative council.

Government Emerges

This was now Hill's republic of Tenjin. Hill swiftly proceeded to define legislative conditions, principally, the role legislative council would play as monopoly creator of the money supply.

Initiated immediately (because security doesn't come free), a 'Dwelling Security & Protection' tax will be levied on each hut, to be paid only in the new money of the republic, Tenjin Republic Dollars (TRD). Tax payments will be collected without fail on the last day of each Earthly financial quarter, starting next quarter.

Of course, to ensure the security and future prosperity of the republic, the governor's officials (earthling and martian) will purchase from members of the republic a set amount of tea crop (and other services) on the first day of each Earthly financial quarter, starting next quarter. Members will be credited with a given amount of fresh new TRD in payment for their surplus.


This was Hill's new republic. What happened next?