Project Chapters

The Beginning

Seven years before the much publicised first moon landing, the secret ‘Tenjin’ mission to explore the solar system had successfully touched down on Mars. Elation soon gave way to dread. Humans were not alone on Mars. It’s a short story.

Walking talking 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! Chatting with their new friends over dinner that evening (the martians had a language translator app) our Earthly explorers learned the martians themselves had recently arrived from a nearby galaxy - resident here for a mere six months and numbering one-hundred and ten in population - they were here to stay. But something didn’t add up. The new martian dwellings and basic infrastructure covered tens of square underground miles - it was impressive and extensive. 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 a ship 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 one hour of sleep each night and actually get younger and better looking over time.

Incredible! Our explorers were unanimous, this brew (amongst other services), are exactly what we humans 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); becoming ever more handsome looking after one another in their cooperative favour-based non-monetary community. Growing and sharing additional tea crop for humans might not be a priority. The humans realised they had nothing these new martians needed.

A Monetary Solution

It was time for a new reality. Unfortunately, the humans were at pains to explain to the martian elders, your community (& huts) are under threat. Evidently, ‘less than friendly’ humans were sure to arrive soon. But not to fret. We (the first human explorers) have the training and skills not only to protect you from troublesome others, but also to teach you the finer arts 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 requests of their new human friends and agreed Tenjin mission commander Hill would serve as community Governor.

A Government Emerges

Governor Hill swiftly proceeded to define the legal conditions and responsibilities of her new jurisdiction - The Martian Republic of Tenjin.

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 (human 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.

Question

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