By Skip Daverman
MARS, North Dakota – After 70 years, the Martian-Americans may be able to visit their home world, but only if a fundraising effort can meet its goal.
In 1940 The Martian Galactic Army invaded Earth in an attempt to colonize the planet. The combined efforts of the world’s militaries and the Crimebusters (the precursor to the Peace Force) were able to stop the invasion, but several Martians aided the human resistance as well. These 45 Martians pledged their loyalty to Earth in the conflict as most were dissidents of the Martian Galactic Army which had seized control of the planet 12 years prior. Due to their invaluable assistance, they were granted asylum and relocated to North Dakota, whose barren landscape reminded them so much of home.
Since then, the Martian population has grown to 124, and some of the Original 45 are nearing the end of their lives. “My grandpa keeps telling me stories of growing up in the red sands of Mars,” said Ma’ak Stevenson, who was born here in 1991. “He misses it so much, it hurts him. I’d just like him to see his home planet before he dies. And I’d like to see it, too. I’m a Martian who ain’t never been to Mars.”
Most of the Martians living in Mars, North Dakota, have never seen their home planet. They were born on Earth and know more about Earth life than Martian life. Most still call the planet by its Earth name, Mars, than by its native name, O’hn Ma’ohn. “The younger generation just don’t know what it’s like,” said Crav’ern Thomason, who was born in 1921 on the planet Mars. “They have it easy here. Never had to dig for no food. Never had to squeeze water from no rocks. They need to know their red roots.”
With space travel from NASA now virtually nonexistent, the Martian-Americans are turning to private space flight companies for help, but even then, it will be expensive. The average 10-person space flight just to orbit the Earth costs $150,000. Traveling to the moon and back costs $670,000 without touching down on the moon. Mars trips cost at least $12 million without hyperdrive assistance, $23 million with hyperdrive assistance.
To raise funds, the Martians and residents from nearby towns have started a Mars Home Flight Fund online that’s accepting donations. Humans have lobbied their senators and governor to allocate funds to the Fund, and some have even gone to New York and New Romford to ask help from philanthropists like Thomas McDowell.
“I just hope they’re not trying to kick us out,” said Lo’m Carter, who was born on Earth in 1954. “They’re lobbying real hard. Real hard. Those Johnson boys down the road have never taken to us. I think they’re disappointed that we ain’t green like they was expecting.”