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A Golden Island to the West

#1
11:56 PM – November 6th, 2018 – West Hollywood

"And in what appears to be a stunning upset, NBC News is calling Proposition 6, the so-called 'CalExit' initiative, as having passed." The newscaster on the bar's TV said, going on the explain the legal details of the proposition and how it would function in the days ahead.

The patrons at this bar weren't paying attention though, they were too busy cheering for what had once been a seemingly impossible prospect, California breaking away from the United States to become it's own nation. Emily in particular had a good laugh with some of her friends after Obama was reelected when groups in Texas started a secession movement that had never gotten farther than a petition on the White House website.

Now though, now after everything that's happened in the past two years? Yeah, maybe California would be better off on our own.

"Can I buy you a drink?" Asked a woman standing behind Emily.

"It's a free country." Emily replied, flagging down a bartender. "Captain and Coke please."

"Really? It hasn't seemed like it." Said the woman.

"Well, it is now." She replied. "I'm Emily by the way."

"Lena." The other girl said as she looked down at Emily's 'I voted' sticker. "So did you vote for this?" Lena asked, waving her hand over towards the TVs that were now showing a graphical map of the election results.

"I did. Didn't think it'd win though." Emily said.

"Isn't that what the people in Britain said after Brexit?" Lena asked rhetorically.

"Yeah yeah rub it in my face." Groaned Emily.

"You want to hit the dance floor?" Asked Lena.

"New heels." Emily winced. "Still, I should break them in some-"

Just as Emily was getting up from her bar stool, all the lights in the club went black, the music stopped and the place was deathly calm.

"Everybody stay calm!" Shouted the bartender over the stunned silence. "It's just a power outage!"

As if on cue, the emergency exit lights came on, and everybody started walking out of the club.

"Ugh, there is no way I can drive right now." Said Lena, walking out of the bar with Emily. "You wanna take a Lyft over to my place?"

Emily nodded, and Lena pulled out her phone.

"Come on...." Lena grumbled to herself, waiting for the app on her phone to work. "Ugh. Guess Lyft isn't working since it can't seem to find where I am. Let me try Uber."

"No that's not working either, I got the same problem." Said a guy next to them.

"My place is like walking distance from her, you wanna crash there?" Offered Emily.

"Sure, why not." Replied Lena.



11:58 PM – Primm Valley Lotto Store – Ivanpah Valley

If retail work was absolute hell, than working a closing shift at a store that is just far enough over the state line to sell California Lottery tickets to Nevada residents in Primm was the ninth circle of that hell. Matt had already finished closing up the store and was having a quick smoke at the back of the store before packing his car up and heading home for the night.

Taking a drag of his cigarette, Matt looked over at the gaudy outlet mall, gas stations, and casinos that straddled the border between California and Nevada.

Reaching into his jacket for another cigarette, an enormous crashing sound caused Matt to nearly jump out of his skin.

Any thought about that sound was driven out of Matt's mind when he looked back out at Primm.

Or rather, where Primm had been.

Where the outlet mall, Buffalo Bill Hotel and Casino, Whiskey Pete's Hotel and Casino, and a whole lot of gas stations, was gone. Just open flat desert for miles. The only part of Primm still standing was the Lotto Store.

Peering his head over the edge of the asphalt, the road was cut perfectly off at the edge, leaving a glass smooth surface.

Looking over at the 15, it looked like the same thing had happened there. The freeway was still there on the California side, but it was cut like glass off at the Nevada border.

Hoping this was just a weird dream, Matt just opened up the back seat of his car, folded up his jacket as a sort of pillow, and went to sleep.



10:28 PM – Newsom for Governor Campaign Headquarters – San Francisco

"Gavin, you fought a good campaign, and I think we both came out of this looking good. I just wanted to congratulate you on your win, and wish you the best of luck." Came the voice of the former mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaragosa, from the speakerphone.

"Likewise Tony." Said Newsom. "You ran a good campaign, one to be proud of. Thank you."



From the journal of the Gold Miner Eamon Stewart, dated September 10th, 1850.

We finally sailed into San Francisco harbor that day. After surviving the treacherous waters of Cape Horn, I could only pray that California would have fair fortunes for me. But nothing could have prepared me for seeing San Francisco for the first time. Above the mouth to the bay was an enormous red bridge. I had just figured it was a part of San Francisco, but the captain had never seen it before in all his trips up to here.

I look deeper into the harbor and I see cities and buildings that day that i could have never imagined in my wildest dreams.

I have found El Dorado.

–––

Election Results of 2018/1850:

Governor:
  • Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) – 57.4%
  • Former Mayor Antonio Villaragosa (D) – 42.6%
Lieutenant Governor:
  • State Sen. Kevin de Léon (D) – 53.4%
  • State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D) – 46.6%
Controller:
  • Incumbent Controller Betty Yee (D)
  • Former Mayor Ashley Swearengin (R)
Attorney General:
  • Incumbent Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D)
  • Former Mayor Donald P Wagner (R)
US Senator:
  • Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D)
  • Incumbent Senator Dianne Feinstein (D)
US House Delegation:
  • Democrats: 47 seats (+8)
  • Republicans: 6 seats
Ballot Measures:

Proposition 1 – California Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox. Referendum
Requires all funding from the SB1 funding bill from 2017 session to be spent on infrastructure maintenance.
  • Yes (67%)
  • No (32%)
Proposition 2 – Renewable Energy. Initiative
Requires the California PUC to have at least 50% of all electricity come from renewable sources by 2025, as opposed to 2030
  • Yes (54%)
  • No (46%)
Proposition 3 – Transportation Funding. Gas Tax. Initiative
Repeals the SB1 transportation funding bill. Would roll back gasoline taxes to pre-SB1 levels. A No vote repeals the measure, A Yes vote keeps it.
  • Yes (62%)
  • No (38%)
Proposition 4 – Single Payer Health Care System. Referendum.
Would replace the Covered California program with a single payer health care system. Would raise payroll taxes by 5% to fund it.
  • Yes (51%)
  • No (49%)
Proposition 5 – California National Popular Vote for President. Initiative.
The measure would advise elected officials to use their legal authority to push for a national popular vote to elect the United States President and Vice President. Non-binding.
  • Yes (70%)
  • No (30%)
Proposition 6 – California Independence from the United States. Initiative.
Repeals provision in California Constitution stating California is an inseparable part of the United States and that the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Places question of whether California should become a separate country on a future ballot.
  • Yes (53%)
  • No (47%)
–––

8 AM – Governor's Mansion – Sacramento

Jerry Brown had had a sinking feeling about the brief power outage that had struck last night. He was finally at the end of his last term as governor, and he had been looking forward to handing the reins over to Gavin and focusing on climate change.

"So have you go power back?" He asked Michael Picker, president of the CA Public Utilities Commission.

"It took some work, but we've had to spin up every power plant in the state like a summer day to meet the present demand." Replied the voice over the speakerphone. "We're still going over what happened, but it's looking like something cut off all of our utility lines at the state border."

"Could it be terrorism?" Asked Brown. Not wanting to contemplate the other possibility, a threat that had been very publicly tweeted at California's leaders by the POTUS not that long ago.

"It's still too early to tell, but the guys at SCE and PG&E have started heading out to check the utility connections, so we should hear back from them on this." Replied Picker.

"Sir, you need to see this." Said one of Brown's aides, walking in with a tablet.

Knowing that he wouldn't have been interrupted unless it was important, Jerry grabbed the tablet and looked at it.



8:15 AM — Parker Dam — Parker City, Arizona

Holding up his phone, Kyle Nguyen was streaming everything he was seeing live on Periscope.

"This is the Arizona side of the Parker Dam. This is all that's left of it." He said, pointing his phone at where the road had been neatly bisected down the double yellow lines. "We were camping on the California side of Havasu last night, there was this huge crashing sound around midnight that woke all of us up, and now this morning? Everything on the Arizona side of the lake is just gone."

Kyle continued to show the Arizona side of the Parker Dam, before panning over to show a truck that was parked on the road, missing part of the trailer, spilling some of it's contents onto the road.

"We took a boat over to Lake Havasu City on the other side, and it was just nothing there."



Governor's Mansion — Sacramento

"Is that live?" Jerry asked reluctantly.

"Yes sir, that's live and..." The aide trailed off, looking at the screen again. "There's more. Photos from Needles, Tahoe, and even one from a Lottery store in Primm."

"So at this point, is there anything outside of California?" Asked Brown.

"Not known at this point sir." Replied the Aide.

"Alright here's what I'm going to do." Said Brown, getting up from his desk. "I'm declaring a state of emergency and mobilizing the guard. Get me Gavin on the phone, I need to coordinate with him so that when we hand this shit off it goes smoothly, Tell him if there's anything that he needs somebody to take the heat from him, I'll put my name on it and take the blame."



10 AM — Port of San Francisco

Captain James Wood had been running his steamer up and down the coast of California for years now, and he knew the route from San Pedro to San Francisco like the back of his hand. He knew that this should have been San Francisco Bay, he know all the navigation landmarks going in. But this wasn't the San Francisco he knew.

Something was wrong when he saw that massive red bridge running across the Golden Gate Strait. But seeing those massive towers all over San Francisco make him check his eyes.

Were those buildings? How can they build that high?

Steering his boat towards the wharf simply raised further questions.

Like how could a ship possibly be that big?

James had so much running through his head that when somebody asked him what the date was, he just reflexively answered "September 10th, 1850" without really thinking, thinking more about what happened to San Francisco and getting his cargo unloaded than anything else.

———

Beale Air Force Base, Yuba County, California — 10 AM — September 10th, 1850 — Day 1

Looking like an ungainly glider, the U-2S "Dragon Lady" shot down the runway and lifted into the sky.

"Still no GPS, continuing on INS." Said the pilot, flying north, he spotted his first waypoint.

"Eyes on Lake Oroville, turning east, continuing to climb." The U-2S continued to climb to even higher altitudes. "Looks like I'm picking up a contrail." The pilot reported. As the aircraft continued on its course, climbing up to high altitude to perform photographic reconnaissance of what had happened to California, and more importantly, to photograph what had happened to the rest of the world outside of the state.

–––

Governor's Mansion — Sacramento, California — 11:30 AM

"So let me get this straight." Asked Governor Brown. "Yesterday was November 6th, 2018, and today is September 10th, 1850."

"That about sums it up Governor." Said the voice over the speakerphone. "Griffith Park, Mount Wilson, and Palomar were all able to confirm it after looking at last night's sky pictures."

"And the borders of the state?" Brown asked.

"Everything, every road, power line and pipeline is cut off at the border. We got lucky that whatever did this let us keep the eastern bank of the Colorado River, or else we'd be looking at the loss of the Parker Dam." Said CPUC President Michael Picker on the conference call.

"Have we been able to make contact with anybody outside the state yet?" Asked Newsom on the call.

"We had one ship pull into the Port of San Francisco with passengers and cargo. CBP (Customs and Border Protection) is holding them at the port right now until they can get clear direction about what to do." Said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

"Sir," said the Commander of the California National Guard. "The Air Force is flying a U-2 over the state border to get a picture of the situation outside the state, we'll be able to get a clear picture of the rest of the country then."

"Alright, let's treat this like the rest of the United States doesn't exist, because for our purposes right now, it doesn't." Said Brown. "How is that going to affect us?"

"Electricity is a problem in the near term." Said Picker. "We're running our generation capacity like a summer day just to meet demand. ISO is going to be issuing a FlexAlert for the foreseeable future to curb demand a bit. Nat Gas is gonna be a problem very soon. All of our pipelines bringing it in from out of state were cut, and we only have the extraction capacity to meet a sixth of the demand, and to tie this in to the power issues that's going to mean shutting down some Nat Gas power plants soon. Water, if anything, is going to be a problem of exceeding our capacity. Our monitoring stations at Havasu showed a significant increase in the inflow from the Colorado, and we've already had to open the spillway for Parker Dam."

"Thank you Mike." Said Brown.

"As far as food goes, grocery stores have about 2 weeks worth of stock in their supply chains, after that, we start hitting constraints." Said Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. "There's enough agriculture production in the state that we should be able to encourage people to look into cheaper locally-grown alternatives, but we're looking at price shocks in the near future. The good news is that if we really are back in 1850 now, the fish stocks of the Pacific Ocean should be replenished to where we can use that as a substitute in the medium term. For the longer term, there's a good amount of farm land we're not using, and since there's nobody really around to compete with us for the Colorado, we have more water available for our use. In the near term, we're going to look into sending some people over to Tijuana to see about negotiating deals for importing food, but that's contingent on ICE approval."

–––

From the Diary of Brigham Young — September 10th, 1850

Any doubts we the younger ones had about settling in the Salt Lake Valley were laid to rest today. Myself, along with many of us here saw an angel flying over the valley today, we all watched as the angel painted clouds into the heavens with the ease of a paintbrush on canvas. We have prayed our thankfulness to God today for showing us this miracle, my fellow church elders are already calling this a sign that we will have a blessed harvest in the coming months, and I cannot blame them.

–––

Senate Chambers — State Capitol Building — Sacramento — 6 PM

GOVERNOR EDMUND G. BROWN JR:
Thank you Senators and Assemblymembers for that warm welcome. When we woke up this morning, we awoke to a very different California than when we went to bed last night. Yesterday was November Sixth, Two Thousand and Eighteen, and today is September Tenth, Eighteen Fifty. While many of you out there voted for California to separate from the United States yesterday, as of today we are being given a taste of how that would work in practice. The times ahead will be difficult, and they will be tough, but I believe that we can endure this challenge, we can survive, and we can thrive.

To that effect, I am declaring a state of emergency across the entire state. The California National Guard is being mobilized to assess and repair damage to our infrastructure.

I understand that many of you are rightfully worried about the America we find ourselves in today, Well let me quote from a statement that that Senator De León and Mister Rendon made two years ago or one hundred and sixty six years from now, depending on how you look at it. "California is – and must always be – a refuge of justice and opportunity for people of all walks, talks, ages and aspirations – regardless of how you look, where you live, what language you speak, or who you love." While the country around us has changed drastically overnight, our values as Californians have not changed, and we will defend those values.

———

September 9th: California becomes the 31st state in the Union.

September 10th, 12 AM: The Event. The State of California circa November 7, 2018 is temporally relocated to 1850. Seismometers across the state record a 2.0 earthquake that unusually seems to lack an epicenter

September 10th, 12:01 AM: California experiences a statewide brownout with parts of the state losing electrical power completely.

September 10th, 12:02 AM: Oil fields see an immediate drop in production. Later investigation would reveal that they had all been filled with earth below the 1000 foot mark.

September 10th, 12:05 AM: Aircraft in flight report a loss of GPS signals.

September 10th, 12:15 AM: All airports in California ground outbound flights due to power issues.

September 10th, 12:30 AM: Aircraft on outbound flights are unable to contact ATC centers outside the state and divert back to California airfields.

September 10th, 1 AM: Amateur Astronomers and Astrophotographers immediately notice the difference and start photographing the changed night sky, as well as looking for the planets and recording their positions. Palomar, Mt. Wilson, Griffith Park and most California university observatories make similar observations.

September 10th, 1:15 AM: CPUC and ISO manage to restore power to the state.

September 10th, 5 AM: Residents in San Ysidro, Calexico, Needles, Blythe, Winterhaven, South Lake Tahoe, and Kings Beach wake up and realize that something is very wrong.

September 10th, 6 AM: Californians wake up and discover major internet outages with large swaths of the internet being down.

September 10th, 6:15 AM: Pictures and information from border towns begins to pour in that all signs of civilization outside of California appear to be gone.

September 10th, 7 AM: Governor Brown calls an emergency meeting of state government officials.

7:30 AM: The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco orders the banks in California to stay closed and not process any transactions for the week.

8 AM: JPL receives overnight data dumps from California observatories of the event, as well as amateur observations and recordings of planetary positions. They begin working to generate an ephemeris and figure out the new date.J

10 AM: The first downtime ship pulls into San Francisco Bay. Residents photograph and stream the anachronistic ship's arrival.

10:30 AM: The initial unconfirmed report that the year is now 1850 spreads across social media, leading to speculation that the state has gone back in time.

11 AM: Governor Brown declares a state of emergency.

1PM: 9th Air Reconnaissance Wing photographs Salt Lake City. Later comparisons of the aerial photographs and historical street maps would place it as sometime before 1870.

1:30 PM: Independent System Operators (ISO) issues a flex alert for electricity usage.

2 PM: A train of Conestoga wagons are spotted traveling along Interstate 80 in the community of Mystic.

6 PM: Governor Brown addresses the state about the time travel.

September 11th: SoCal Gas and PG&E issue warnings that the consumption of natural gas is massively outpacing supply and urge customers to massively reduce gas consumption.

California government orders fuel rationing and asks people to avoid driving if possible.

FDIC office in San Francisco places all bank branches in California into receivership, effectively nationalizing them.

September 12th: Geologists from the University of California San Bernardino drill core samples from around the state as well as work with the various oil drillers to determine that the shift happened no deeper than 1000 feet below ground.

September 13th: Oceangoing fishing boats report a massive increase in the amount of fish they're catching.

September 14: CPUC begins a crash program to build out more solar plants and expidite existing solar, wind and hydro projects. In addition, CPUC orders a feasibility study on recommissioning San Onofre.

September 15th: Prices for bread, poultry, beef, and pork begin to climb rapidly. Prices for fish, rice, dairy, fruit and nuts fall.

September 16th: A C-17 carrying California's two senators and newly elected Senator elect, several members of the congressional delegation, and a group of US Army and CNG troops takes off from Sacramento Airport for Washington. It would eventually land in an empty field in Camp Springs, MD (basically where Andrews AFB is today).

Army troops set up a two way HF Radio back to California to enable communications, along with a field runway so they can take off and land more easily next time.

Arriving in DC, California's senators and partial delegation request a meeting regarding what has happened with California. They are referred to the offices of John C. Frémont, William Gwin, George Wright, and Edward Gilbert.

September 17th: People in Maryland begin to talk about the enormous grey machine that came out of the sky.

September 18th: Congress passes the Fugitive Slave Act.

September 20th: The California delegation meets with Frémont and explains the current crisis. They get him to agree to request emergency relief funding from the federal government, as well as a bill to temporarily zero import tariffs to California ports.

September 25th: Gas power plants begin running out of fuel, forcing CPUC to begin rolling blackouts across the state.

Gas stations across California begin running out of fuel.

September 27th: The first of many redrilled oil wells in California begins pumping. Oil wells that were almost dry before the transition are full again.

September 28th: Senators Frémont, Harris, and Senator-Elect Davis meet with President Fillmore about the crisis.

September 30: Frémont, Gwin, Wright, and Gilbert agree to return with the uptime delegation to Sacramento.

———

Truckee, California — September 10th, 2 PM

Gabriel Reyes had been on the force of the CHP for way too fucking long. Being based in Truckee meant that he had less calls about drunk drivers or writing speeding tickets, but was usually on the lookout for accidents and breakdowns, especially in Donner Pass, where the weather conditions could make for dangerous driving.

"Any units near Mystic, we've got a call that came in about a group of covered wagons traveling westbound on I-80." Came the voice of the CHP dispatch.

"This is Unit 230, I'm eastbound on I-80 by Boca dam now, I'll check it out." Gabe replied. "Dispatch, the caller said that it was a group of covered wagons, is that correct?"

"Affirmative 230." Replied the dispatcher. "Caller said it looked straight out of an old western."

Gabriel continued up the highway, ever since whatever it was that had happened last night, there was absolutely no vehicular traffic westbound on I-80, and the emergency lane on the eastbound side was full of trucks that had pulled over after drivers had reported that I-80 had abruptly stopped at the state line. Caltrans had quickly updated the changeable message sign system to warn drivers that EB I-80 was closed, and work crews were on their way to partially remove the center divider so those trucks could turn around.

Continuing up the Freeway, Reyes easily spotted the group of covered wagons heading up the freeway, flipping his lights on and whooping his siren, he ordered the wagon train to stop.

–––

Westbound Interstate 80 — September 10th, 2 PM

Matthew Lawson was once a banker. He had worked in Boston for the Second Bank of the United State, doing good, honest work, and he had enjoyed his job. But despite all the good that the Bank of the United States had been doing in Lawson's mind, the new president had railed against the idea of a central bank, and refused to renew the charter.

The economic collapse that had ensued in 1837 had been difficult for everybody, and Van Buren's refusal to do anything about it had only prolonged the crisis, even as entire states went bankrupt.

Even when he was trying to find work at a new bank, the morals he had lived his life by were nowhere to be seen in the Wildcat banks that had popped up after the crisis, and so many of them had essentially stolen their depositors money and closed their doors.

It wasn't until he had managed to find work with Suffolk Bank, who had been able to replicate some of what the Second Bank of the United States had been able to do, that he had somewhat gotten back on his feet. But when the news reached him that Gold had been found in California, Matthew realized it was time to go west, and so he withdrew his savings, bundled up his family and moved to Independence Missouri.

As Matthew and his family walked along this odd paved road in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and what a surprise that had been, he was mentally inventorying their trail supplies and praying they had enough to make it over the Sierras.

"Father, what's that?" Asked his eldest daughter Marie, pointing into the distance.

There, ahead of him on the trail was an oddly squat carriage that didn't appear to be pulled by any horses. It seemed to be moving towards them awfully fast, faster than he thought it was possible for a carriage to move.

As the odd vehicle got closer, it started to slow down and eventually stop near them. Figuring this was a good time to stop for a rest so that the Oxen could graze, he pulled the wagon on to the side of the narrow road.

As the mysterious carriage pulled back around alongside of them, the driver finally stepped out. As Lawson got his first look at the man, he realized that he was clearly wearing some kind of uniform, like one of the Day Police in Boston or the Night Watchmen in Independence. Matthew hadn't realized how much wealth must be in California if they could afford to have people patrolling the trails to keep travelers safe.

What followed was one of the most bewildering conversations that Matthew had ever had.

Where was he going? Sacramento. Where were they staying for the night? They were going to set up camp near Truckee. Did he have a campfire permit? He didn't even know he needed one or what it was.

After seemingly endless questions that seemed completely bizarre, the night watchman simply told him to keep to the right side of the road and keep everybody in the wagon, so that if another one of those odd fast vehicles came by, it wouldn't run into his wagon.

———

FDIC Regional Office — San Francisco — September 10th, 1 PM

"Guys, let me make the stakes clear here. If we walk out of this room and do nothing, we're looking at a collapse that makes 2008 look like a walk in the park." Spoke Director Stan Iver, seated at the head of the conference table. "As you've no doubt heard by now, the entire world outside of California is effectively gone."

"John Williams, Federal Reserve District 12" Came a voice from the speakerphone. "We've got a statement going out soon that'll remind people that any checks or electronic payments that need to be cleared will run through us here in San Francisco. We're working as fast as we can here to make sure that there's no problem before people's paychecks start getting deposited on Friday."

"In the mean time we're already seeing problems with VISA and Amex transactions failing." Came another voice on the speakerphone. "The only card processor still working right now is MasterCard."

"Okay listen up everyone." Said Iver, taking control of the room. "I need a listing of assets from every branch, every account holder with a California address, and how much cash you have on hand."

The assembled people in the conference room and on the call nodded and murmured in agreement.

"I'm going to make this clear." Said Iver. "Our financial system depends on the faith that when people wake up tomorrow, their money is exactly where they left it. Right now that belief has been shaken to the core by this event.

Our jobs right now are to make sure that people know their money is safe so they do. not. cash. out.

Just over a hundred years ago in this city a man named Amadeo Giannini kept his bank over after the earthquake. He kept the markets moving even after something like that. Because of that man, this city was about to recover." He said, with the restrained tension of a panther circling its prey.

"Brian, that was your bank's founder." He said to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan. "We are facing a crisis of unbelievable proportions right now. Which is why, under the authority of the Banking Act of 1933 I am placing every single bank branch into temporary federal receivership."

At once the room and the conference line seemed to erupt into outrage.

"You all can sue me after this crisis is over, but right now I've got a crisis to stop."

–––

US Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions — Los Angeles — September 11th.

"Good morning everyone, for those who haven't met me before, I am Tracy Harding, I am the director of the US State Department Office of Foreign Missions in Los Angeles." Said the woman at the front of the room.

"I know a lot of you have questions about what this event means for you and your respective citizens. First let me assure you that we will not be forcing anybody to leave the country. Anybody who was traveling through California or was here on a tourist Visa will be able to stay indefinitely." She announced to a sigh of relief from the room.

"After it was confirmed that the state had in fact, in fact, traveled back in time to 1850." She continued. "We started researching the laws that governed immigration at that time. Or rather, the lack thereof."

"In discussions with us, many of you confided that your people effectively have no country to return to." She said, nodding towards the representative from the German consulate. "Or have a country that would be openly hostile to people returning from abroad." Acknowledging the Japanese consulate's representative.

"In discussions with my colleagues at the OFM San Francisco, ICE, CBP, and USCIS, given the unprecedented nature of what has happened, the fact that everybody within the state has nowhere else to go, and the absolute lack of federal law from the current time period to provide guidance, we are extending Lawful Permanent Resident status to every single person who was in the state at the time of the event."
 
#3
11,000 feet above Camp Springs, Maryland — September 16th, 1850

Captain Steven Gemma had been a Maryland native once. He grew up in Upper Marlboro, before joining the Air Force like so many others after 9/11. He had ended up assigned to the 60th Air Mobility Wing out of Travis AFB, and worked his way up to co-piloting on resupply missions to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. But now, his chance had finally come. The 60th needed pilots who were intimately familiar with the terrain around DC, and Steven had immediately volunteered. So now here he was, flying a C-17 Globemaster III over his old hometown, which at the moment looked nothing like his old hometown.

"Visual on Patuxent River on the starboard side." Said his co-pilot.

"Get ready to turn." Said Steven as they approached their waypoint and made a 180 degree turn. "Lined up on final."

The C-17 glided out of the sky towards a flat open field by Camp Springs. One of the U-2's from the 9th ARW had flown over a couple of days before and photographed potential landing sites. In a twist of fate, the best possible landing site had ended up being an empty field by in Maryland by Camp Springs, ironically enough the former/future site of Andrews Air Force Base.

But right now all Steven was focused on was getting his bird safely on the ground.

"5000 feet. On glide slope." He called out. The grassy field that would become Andrews loomed closer.

"3000 feet." The throttle levers were pulled back slightly to keep the right speed.

"1000 feet." He could see a handful of people had wandered near the field now, luckily they weren't near the landing zone yet.

"500 feet." He called out. The noise had caused all the chickens that had been there to head for the hills. The less chance of a birdstrike the better. "Gear down."

"100" The people out the window were looking in amazement and covering their ears as the aircraft began to flare to reduce its velocity.

"50." The aircraft glided down further, and the tops of trees were above the horizon.

With a 'whump' the wheels on the aircraft hit the ground. "Touchdown." Steven called out to his copilot. Everything in the cockpit seemed to vibrate and shake as the plane rolled down the grassy field. "Derotating." The nose slowly dropped low until another thud marked the nose wheel touching the ground. Steven pulled the throttles back to enable the thrust reversers, shortening the landing distance on this rough grassy field.

Finally, the Globemaster slowed down and stopped. Steven flipped on the intercom to the cargo hold. "Welcome to Camp Springs Maryland, the current temperature is 77 degrees and the current local time is 10:14 AM. Thank you for flying the 60th Air Mobility Wing."

–––

The people of Camp Springs watched the strange grey machine descend out of the sky onto the grazing field, oh sure there were balloons that could take one up into the sky, where you at the mercy of the prevailing winds, but this seemed completely different. It almost seemed like an enormous metal bird, or a kite that can propel itself by making its own wind.

Young Jaques Gaudry was intrigued by this. He had remembered reading about the Montgolfier Brothers ballon flights in Paris as a boy, and the idea had interested his imagination at the possibilities. He had had the idea of a ballon with an enormous fan attached to it, that way one could sail through the air like a ship, flying over mountains like ships sail above the seafloor. It seemed obvious to him, but he had never told anybody else his idea because it had seemed too silly and too implausible. But now here was proof that it might work. The large round center section must be the gas envelope, and that pair of winglike pylons on top must be there to hold those machines that seem to be propelling it.

Ingenious.

And then in an instant, his very clever deduction about what the machine must be fell apart as the tail end of it opened up into a ramp, and some kind of horseless stagecoach rolled out on it's own power, followed by people with odd looking muskets and strange green clothing.

Huh.

–––

11th Street — Washington DC — 3:26 PM

Senators Kamala Harris, Dianne Feinstein and Senator Elect Dave Jones knew they were making an interesting first impression on the people of DC by riding in an HMMWV when everybody else was still using the horse and buggy, but time was a luxury they couldn't afford with the crisis back in California. Luckily for their driver, even if the roads looked different, the street layout was mostly the same, so as the one with the most experience in DC, Feinstein was directing their Army driver through the unpaved streets of the nation's capital.

Turning onto Pennsylvania Avenue, the group got their first glimpse of the Capitol Building and the unfamiliar green copper dome that graced the top of it.

–––

US Capitol Building — 4:04 PM

The group knew that their appearances would turn heads, but actually seeing people's reactions to the trio was a level of attention they weren't expecting. With Feinstein and Harris having the most experience with the Capitol Building, the trio ended up waiting in the lobby outside the Senate chambers.

"Feels strange to be waiting outside in the lobby of the Senate Chambers like this." Said Feinstein. "I guess it's your turn now though." She said, turning to Jones.

"I just hope they believe us." Jones said. "I mean, with what happened it doesn't seem like it should be possible."

"And yet we're living it." Harris finished. "You're right though it doesn't seem real."

Just then the doors to the Senate chambers opened and the group of senators came bustling out.

"Senator Frémont! Senator Gwin!" Said Dave Jones over the crowd, calling California's senators over to the group.

The two California senators walked over to the eclectic group with skeptical looks on their faces.

"We need to talk. Something's happened to the State of California." Said Harris.

———

Senator Frémont's Office, US Capitol Building — Washington DC — September 16th, 1850, 5:02 PM

"Christ almighty." Said John C. Frémont, downing a glass of whiskey. "California has been 'replaced' you said, with California as it is in 2018."

"More like what it would have been, had this event never happened." Clarified Kamala Harris. "But yes."

"And the people from our time who were in the state when it happened?" Asked Jessie Benton Frémont.

"We don't know." Said Diane Feinstein. "Best case scenario is that they were sent back in our place and now there's 100,000 Californians from 1850 in 2018. Worst case scenario is that they're just... gone." She winced at that. Thousands of people had already moved to the golden state by this point in history and now they had vanished into the aether.

"My God." Said Senator William Gwin.

"California is on the brink of an economic collapse because of this event." Said Feinstein. "In our time, the global economy was a complex interdependent web that has effectively just evaporated for our state. There is no export market for things where the technology to even conceive of it doesn't exist."

"Yes yes. Imports and exports ma'am." Said Gwin, "Do not take me for a fool, I do know how an economy works."

"I understand, but I am trying to explain the scale of a modern economy." Argued Feinstein. "California's economy often depends on the ubiquitous availability of inventions where the obsolete predecessors that they were based on haven't even been conceived of yet." As if to prove her point, Feinstein pulled out a small black and silver rectangular object. Pressing a button on it, one face of it lit up with a picture of a young girl. "Do you see this? This device here was designed by a company in California, manufactured in China using parts that here manufactured in South Korea, Israel and Taiwan, and raw materials from the Congo, Western Sahara and South Africa."

"What is that?" Asked Frémont, looking at the odd device with curiosity.

"Imagine a telegraph where you can hold a spoken conversation with somebody on the other side of the country." Explained Senator-Elect Dave Jones. Jessie nodded in understanding, having heard that somebody in Italy had proposed that very idea a few years ago. "Now take that idea, make it work without wires, and make it small enough to fit into a pocket. And for good measure, give it the ability to compose and display letters that can be sent around the world at an instant."

"Sir, I'm rather interested in hearing about the state of the world that you people have come here from. Your speech there mentioned countries that don't exist on their own or you made some rather odd distinctions about them." Said Gwin. "For instance, why did you need to point out 'South' Korea?"

"Suffice to say, quite a bit has changed in the world by our time." Said Harris. "Just like you wouldn't expect the world to be the same as it was in 1682 as it is today."

"Pardon me for addressing the elephant in the room here, but how do the people of this new California feel about slavery?" Asked Jessie, both of the downtime Senators looking at her as if she had just lobbed a stick of black powder into the room.

"By our 2018, The US Constitution had outlawed slavery in the United States for 153 years." Said Harris. "I doubt there would be a soul in California who would support its reintroduction."

"But that's only fifteen years from now!" Said Jessie.

"It was one of the amendments passed after the Civil War." Said Jones. "The 13th outlawed slavery, the 14th guaranteed former slaves citizenship and added the Equal Protection clause, and the 15th theoretically banned voter disenfranchisement against former slaves." Jessie Frémont seemed relieved at this, while William Gwin seemed shocked.

"My apologies sir, but did you say 'Civil War?'" Asked Gwin.

"Yes. It happened from 1861 to 1865" Said Jones. "It was one of the bloodiest conflicts in American history."

"I believe we're getting off-track here." Said Harris, speaking up. "Although that is part of the problem we're facing. A good number of California's laws and established jurisprudence are based around federal laws and constitutional amendments that no longer exist."

"Like this 'Equal Protection Clause' you mentioned?" Asked Jessie Frémont.

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Quoted Feinstein, as Kamala Harris pulled out a larger version of one of those devices, and handed it to the Frémonts. "Some of the most significant Supreme Court decisions of our previous century were built around that last clause."

"So my dear, what can us here in Washington do about this?" Asked Gwin.

"Infrastructure." Said Harris. "We need to rebuild California's rail links with the rest of the country as fast as we can. If we can get those rebuilt, then California can start shipping goods to the rest of the country. Once that happens, we'll be on a better footing economically."

"That won't be difficult." Said John Frémont. "There's already a lot of support in the country for building a transcontinental railroad. And it sounds like you've already got the railroads built up to the state line, that'll only make things easier."

"We'd need to get the War Department to do a survey of the west for possible routes across the country." Said Gwin. "Unless of course, you've got your own land surveys from the future."

"We do actually. We have detailed topographical information of the country down to a resolution of 1/9th of an arcsecond." Said Harris. "We've also got maps of the original routes used by the railroads in our time."

"A carrot and stick then." Said Jessie Frémont. "Propose that Equal Protection Amendment, and offer that land survey in exchange for votes on it."

"My dear, an amendment like that would be abolitionist tyranny." Said Gwin.

"Well if that's what it takes to prevent a Civil War, then maybe it's needed!" Yelled Jessie.

"What good is it to prevent a war if decent, God-fearing, men can no longer enjoy the same rights and freedoms?!" Shouted Gwin.

"I must admit that I am rather concerned about this impending civil war." Said John Frémont.

"I can leave you a history textbook that goes into detail on the events that lead up to the Civil War." Said Harris. "But there's plenty of books from our time about it."

"So what do we need to do?" Asked John Frémont

"We need to meet with the White House." Said Harris.

———

North Island NAS — San Diego — September 20th

It was a matter of sheer dumb luck.

The Carl Vinson had only just returned to North Island while the Roosevelt had been getting ready to get underway, when it had happened.

Nobody really had known what was going on at first, beyond a power outage in the city that was probably SDG&E's fault. But then GPS went down, and all of the bases and units outside of California were out of contact.

Well that put everybody on alert.

As in, the "DEFCON 1, WW3 just started" kind of alerts you never hope to have for real.

What a fun night that was.

But the TACAMO flight that had scrambled out of Travis AFB hadn't shown any inbound threats. Or really anything for that matter. Gone was the commercial shipping traffic that would normally be crossing the pacific. Instead all there was was a bunch of contacts that barely registered on radar.

Even more disturbing was that when they had flown over San Ysidro with FLIR cameras, there was almost nothing where Tijuana should have been.

Obviously something had happened, but nobody knew anything, and it wasn't until the morning when the news began breaking that the state had somehow gone back in time to 1850.

Which meant that the base commanders had ordered a full inventory of every single scrap of military hardware in the state of California.

Which meant that Seaman Davis Whitman, along with every other enlisted on this base had to go through every drawer, every toolbox, every test bench in the maintenance hangars on the island and record everything present.

Needless to say, it was mind numbing and boring work. Just another goddamn day in the Navy.

Davis himself had been browsing reddit when the event happened, and when he was finally able to start checking the subs he followed, the site was a ghost town now.

But when the news broke that they had gone back to 1850, he realized that this was finally his chance to meet his heroes, and change history for the better.

And so on a whim, he had started a new subreddit called /r/The_Jefferson and directed his fellow centipedes there. And what was a spur of the moment idea was now a place for like-minded individuals like himself to talk about the time period they landed in and how to change history for the better.

In his mind, the cucks who had controlled the deep state would never have the same stranglehold they had in the future they came from, and they'd be able to make sure that the natural order was preserved.

On The_Jefferson, somebody had already started a fundraiser based on that book "Guns of the South" to try and send AK-47s to the Southern states.

'This time,' Davis thought, 'things would be different.'

———

In many ways, the difficult years immediately after The Event had left a permanent mark on every aspect of California's culture. The aptly named "Crucible Years" from 1850 to 1856 had tempered California from a state in crisis to a nation in it's own right by the time the transcontinental railroad was opened.

California's Crucible, How One State's Crisis Transformed a Nation. by Pham Nguyen, 1894, University of California Fullerton Press.

---

September 15th, 1850, 7 PM — California State Capitol Building — Sacramento

The somber crowd stood in front of the rear steps of the state capitol building and by the improvised memorial fence holding thousands of pictures of friends and family who had been lost during the event.

"Good evening," Said Governor Jerry Brown, addressing the crowd. "We are gathered here tonight in grief and mourning, to honor all of those who were lost in this event, and I know that wherever they are, they are mourning our loss as well. To those who we were taken from, you will not be forgotten."

"I understand the uncertainty of the future has made many of you nervous." Brown said. "But if my experience has taught me anything, it's that Californians are resilient. In 1994, only two years after the riots, Los Angeles residents came together to help each other recover from the Northridge Earthquake."

"It is that spirit of cooperation and mutual assistance that California needs right now. This crisis represents a turning point for our state, and that right now is the crucible by which a new California will emerge, a shining beacon on the hill, an example to future generations."

"I believe that we can create a better world for those we've lost to know. I believe that we can leave a better world for our grandparents. And I believe that starts with each and every one of you."

"We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when." Sang a voice from the back of the crowd. "But I know we'll meet again some sunny day." Sang the rest of the crowd, joining in.

---

September 20th, 1850

Transcript:

JOHN MYERS: This is the California Politics Podcast for the week ending November 16th slash September 20th and this was without a doubt one of the biggest news weeks in the state's history, I'm John Myers of the Los Angeles Times, and with me as always is Melanie Mason of the Los Angeles Times, Anthony York from the Grizzly Bear Project, and Marisa Lagos of KQED news in San Francisco. And wow, what a couple of weeks it has been here in California. Obviously we've got a lot to talk about this week so let's just get right into it. The big story the past couple of weeks obviously is that the entire state of California has gone back in time to 1850, so let's jump right into it, because there is a lot to unpack here.

MELANIE MASON: So basically, at midnight on election night there was a power outage across the state, and it took a few hours for power to come back online. But once power came back and the sun came up, we started pictures from all across the state that things like roads, freeways, power lines and even a couple of buildings were cut at the state line.

JOHN MYERS: Well, for the most part, there's some exceptions along the Colorado river with regards to dams and bridges and such, but that's another podcast.

Since this is a politics podcast though, let's talk about what's been going on here in Sacramento. Within about a day of the event, we had an emergency session of the outgoing legislature called, which meant that the all the state legislators had to fly back up to Sacramento, since all of them had been in their home districts for the election. So Melanie, since you've been in the state capitol this week, what's been going on inside the capitol?

MELANIE MASON: Well one of the first things that was done was to pass an emergency funding measure that would let the state dip into the legislative rainy day fund in order to deal with the current crisis. After that was a bill which basically ordered each counties registrar to perform an audit to look for any property owner who was likely to have been out of state and to find out who was currently living there.

ANTHONY YORK: I think that's going to be an interesting answer, both in terms of property ownership, but also with regards to California's bond sales. You know, how much of the state's debt is held by investors who were outside the state when it happened?

MELANIE MASON: And that's a question that really doesn't have a clear answer at this point. But going back to the state capitol here, the next pieces of legislation passed was to set up emergency fuel, gas, food and medical supply rationing.

JOHN MYERS: And of course the other part of this crisis was that the federal agencies in California basically all got together in San Francisco and formed a kind of 2018 federal government in exile. And Marisa I think you were there for that?

MARISA LAGOS: Right, the Moscone Government. Basically what happened was that after the event happened, all of the various federal agencies within California were trying to keep things going, and to do that had been reaching out and coordinating with each other, and it got to the point where Nancy Pelosi, who's the senior most member of the California Congressional delegation and the representative who's district where all of this is taking place, ended up renting out the Moscone Center to have a place to coordinate all of this.

JOHN MYERS: Which of course raises the question of, are these federal agencies still able to exist if the laws that created them don't exist anymore? And again, this is a question that really doesn't have a clear answer right now.

———

President's Office – White House, Washington DC – September 28th, 1850, 10 AM

Dianne Feinstein had been to meetings at the White House plenty of times in her Senate career. But it was a surreal and slightly claustrophobic experience to be in a White House that lacked the West Wing or Oval Office, instead meeting the President in the room that would eventually become the Lincoln Bedroom.

"Madam, what is it you expect me to do about it?" Asked President Fillmore warily.

"Californians are lacking staple food right now Mr. President." Said Kamala Harris. "We're oversupplied with dairy, fruit, and vegetables right now, but basic staples like wheat, meat, and poultry are experiencing shortages. If you want Californians to not die of mass starvation, give us a Tariff exemption for trade with Mexico."

"Do you have any idea what you're asking?!" Shouted Fillmore

"It wouldn't be permanent, Mister President." Explained Feinstein. "It's only until we can expand our own state's agriculture industry to sustainable levels. This is a short term fix while we work on a more permanent solution."

"A railroad and telegraph line from California to the East Coast." Explained Harris.

"You don't ask much." Sighed Fillmore. "I do happen to agree with you on the prospect of building a railroad across the continent, if you can give me a solid plan, I'll support you."

"Thank you Mr. President." Replied Harris.



Willard Hotel – Washington DC – 1 PM

The trio of uptimers made for a odd sight in the lobby of the Willard Hotel. Taking a seat in the hotel's saloon

"That could have gone better." Said Jones.

"I'm not sure." Said Feinstein. "At this point in history, there hasn't been a 16th Amendment yet, which means there's no IRS, and the Government's only revenue is from Tariff collection. We just asked him the equivalent of making all Californians temporarily exempt from paying income tax"

"Well at least we have support for a transcontinental railroad." Said Jones.

"The sooner we can get that built, the better off we'll be." Said Harris.

"Excuse me, but I couldn't help but overhear your mention of a transcontinental railroad." Came a voice from behind the group. Turning to look at him, they saw an older gentleman with his hair slicked back. "Pardon me for the interruption, but my name's Asa Whitney, and I've been trying to get investors for a railroad to the pacific."

———

Corner of Powell and Market Streets, San Francisco – October 3rd, 1850

The Frémont family stepped off the underground train—BART, they said it was called. Looking at the enormous buildings around them, Jessie Frémont couldn't help but be impressed by what San Francisco had become overnight.

Walking through the streets with Lily, Jessie and her daughter saw people of all races and colors mingle on the streets without a trace of hostility. Here, there wasn't a hint of people supporting the most abominable of institutions. Even in free states, Jessie was not blind to the thousands of minor indignities that Neg—No, people of color, she corrected herself—were forced to suffer while in the "Free" northern states.

California was a magnificent city on a hill, and a guiding beacon towards the future, Jessie Benton Frémont would make sure of it.

–––

Apple Headquarters — Cupertino — October 3rd

To say that Soojung was bored out of her skull was an understatement. At least the software group has something to do. Hardware designers had gone from virtually cream of the crop to spinning their wheels when the event happened, after all, what's the point of designing a new iPhone if the entire production chain suddenly vanished.

Needless to say, it was tough to be a hardware designer at Apple right now. Especially since everybody had gotten a paycut in everything but name. On paper, half of her pay had been replaced with reclaimed AAPL shares, which were practically worthless right now. But that had happened just about everywhere, including at Google, Facebook, Twitter, Cisco, and Adobe.

Still, it's not easy to sell an iPhone to a planet that thinks that the telegraph is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Wait that's an idea.

Opening up her Mail app, she fired off an email to one of her fellow CompSci majors from UCB who had gotten a job at Cisco.

From: Soojung Lee <s*******@apple.com>
To: Vijay Pashar <v********@cisco.com>
Subject: Packet Switched Network over Telegraph Wires


Just an idea I had. The downtimers are building out telegraph wires, and I'm wondering if we can't convince them to use that copper for a packet switched network instead. That way it could carry voice, data, and even telegrams instead. It would be more futureproof, and we could use it as a base to build out cell towers down the road.
Soojung had grabbed a piece of paper out of one of the copiers and started sketching out a design for a Telegraphy over IP receiver and transmitter.

It seemed ridiculous, but it could be the easiest way to bridge the communications gap with the rest of the US and still allow to easier deployments of cell networks that would make the rest of the country dependent on California's technology.

–––

Los Angeles Air Force Base — El Segundo, CA

Elon Musk had a pretty good idea why this meeting had been called. After all, he was sitting in a conference room with people from the Air Force's GPS Wing, Sea Launch, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Boeing, and SS Loral.

"Gentlemen, I think you all know why I called you in here today." Said the Commander of the GPS Wing. "We need to rebuild the GPS system using what we have available in California."

The meeting quickly took off from there, with everybody trying to figure out the fastest way to get the GPS network back in the sky.

2 days later, the GPS Reconstruction Task Group had come up with a workable plan.
  • Boeing would take ownership of the Sea Launch commander and assets.
  • Lockheed Martin would continue construction of existing GPS Block IIIA satellites, only now they would be building a lot more of them.
  • SS Loral would also start building GPS satellites under license as well.
  • Boeing would retrofit the Sea Launch Commander to be able to handle launch of a Falcon 9 rocket.
  • SpaceX would handle the launch of the new GPS satellites.
Elon walked out of that meeting feeling like a weight had been lifted off of his chest. Now all he had to do was finish conversion of an abandoned mall in Hawthorne into the new Gigafactory to make batteries and solar panels and he'd be back in business.
 
#6
If one single event set the tone of relations between California and the rest of the United States for the 1850's, the "Great Betrayal" of the 1850 census apportionment was the first and most notable one. Northern free-soil supporters and abolitionists protested the move by Speaker Cobb. Meanwhile, Californians were apoplectic at the idea of a state with a population larger than the rest of the United States having only two seats in the House of Representatives.
Exerpt from California, The 10 Year State by Maria Roman, published 1908.

–––

Capitol Building, Washington DC

Howell Cobb, Daniel Webster, William Gwin and John C. Calhoun read over the agreement they had made one last time.

It was, in every respect a deal with the devil. When the "up time" delegation had visited, they had brought with them the results of a census from 2010. Gwin, Howell and Calhoun had realized very quickly that this would pack the house with the most strident of Abolitionists, especially after meeting with the future Californians.

And moreso, the compromise that Webster had worked so hard to broker would be invalidated by this new massive California.

So to prevent the south from revolting over being "tricked" by this new California, Howell offered a solution.

Ignore the 2010 census.

Instead, California would continue to have 2 house seats for the next ten years, a riot by the southern states would be averted, and the next session would feature a bill to divide California into two states along the Missouri Compromise Line, one free, one slave.

"May God have mercy on our souls, gentlemen." Said Webster.

"Better than allowing them to lead us down a path that would dissolve this Union." Said Calhoun.

–––

Pershing Square, Los Angeles



LOS ANGELES—Approximately 500,000 Angelinos took to the streets today to protest the decision by the downtime Speaker of the House to use the incomplete 1850 census from before The Event to apportion California's house seats, instead of the 2010 census that had been provided.

The protest filled downtown streets, necessitating the closure of most of downtown's streets, with crowds stretching from Grand Park all the way down to LA Live.

Mayor Garcetti addressed the crowd, condemning the action by Speaker Howell as "an act of brazen cowardice" and "an affront to democracy."

Among the protest signs and slogans were people calling for the abolition of slavery, the reinstatement of 13th amendment, and for the independence of California from the rest of the United States.

[IMAGE: African-American protestor holding a sign that says "I am not 3/5ths of a person."]

LAPD estimates that 500,000 people attended the demonstration, while organizers claim 1.25 million showed up.

———

EXCLUSIVE: California Cotton Growers Plan to Undercut the Southern Cotton Market — BuzzFeed News, October 10th, 1850

According to a recording that was leaked to BuzzFeed news from a meeting of the California Cotton Growers and Ginners Association, the cotton industry in California is planning to disrupt the cotton market in the downtime United States with the goal of making cotton production in the slave south unprofitable.

TRANSCRIPT:
Redacted #1: This translocation to 1850 is probably the biggest opportunity we've ever had. If we get production up, we can outproduce king cotton in the southeast.​
Redacted #2: Do we need to match them in quantity? Southeast cotton has short staple fibers, which means we can probably demand a higher price.​
Redacted #3: What about cause-based marketing? Do we want to put a sticker on anything made in the state as "certified slavery free."​
Redacted #2: We'd need to make an independent agency to do the certifications​
Redacted #4: Shouldn't be a problem.​
Redacted #5: I hate to bring up the elephant in the room here, but how do we know that the south won't undercut us? We're talking about trying to undercut slave labor.​
Redacted #1: Do slaves have depreciation?​
[LAUGHTER]​
Redacted #2: The fact is, those southern plantations don't have the same density per acre of cotton that we can manage here, more acerage means all those costs that scale with it go up. And even if they do scale up their operations, there's the fixed costs they would have of buying new slaves, and as far as our research can tell, slaves themselves are a bubble market.​
Redacted #4: That's not even considering the exchange rate.​
Redacted #3: Oh right, they're on the gold standard. What would that exchange rate be then?​
[SOUND OF PHONE KEYBOARD CLICKING]​
Redacted #2: Looks like sixty six to one.​
Redacted #1: Do we want to sell the raw cotton or do we want to sell it as textiles?​
Redacted #4: Textiles would allow for more product per shipment.​
Redacted #2: What about a 95-5 blend with Lyrca?​
Redacted #4: Could that handle the dyes they use out there?​
Redacted #1: We'd have to research that.​
Redacted #3: California cotton doesn't rip? We could use it in marketing to cast doubt on southern cotton.​

–––

Twitter reactions:

13th Amendment Now @[Username Removed]:
this is simultaneously the most hilarious thing and the reason why we need to abolish capitalism

CaliOutOfUS @[Username Removed]:
I shouldn't cheer this on because it's the worst aspects of monopoly behavior, but damn if they didn't pick the best target.

Wil Wheaton ✔️:
Is there any way I can support this endeavor?

Small Bi™ @[Username Removed]:
ahahahahahaha. this is the greatest plan.

———

Governors Mansion — Sacramento — October 10th, 1850

"At this point, I don't see a feasible option that lets California remain a part of the downtime United States." It was a shocking admission from Governor Brown, but it was what everyone in the room had been thinking.

"We'd need to hold a Constitutional Convention regardless." Said Cheif Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. "There's no longer a 14th amendment and thus no Equal Protection Clause, I'd like to have an equivalent in the state constitution before the US Supreme Court has to rule on which constitution applies to us. Especially with certain amendments to our state constitution that are currently vacated by the uptime US Supreme Court."

"Right." Said Senate president pro tempore Kevin de León. "That was why I called for one in the emergency session. So that'll be on the next ballot."

"My concern is, if California manages to leave the union, is if we would be setting a precedent for the South to secede." Said Lieutenant Governor and Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom.

"You mean if we can secede, why can't the southern states leave if things don't go their way?" Asked Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

"Yeah." Said Newson. "If we've already set a precedent, will that weaken the case for somebody like Lincoln to go to war to preserve the Union."

"What if they kick us out?" Asked De León. "Could the downtime Congress just decide that we're too much trouble and boot us out?"

"That was the mechanism that the Calexit people were pushing." Said Becerra. "And it would give us better optics."

"Good point." Said Newsom. "We need to make sure that this story plays to our advantage to the rest of the world. With the apportionment scandal, we can definitely make ourselves look the victim there."

"As far as being kicked out of the Union, I really doubt it." Replied Brown. "This is the middle of the Gold Rush, the rest of the US wouldn't want to expel the goose that laid the golden egg."

"I think that when the 1860 census starts looming, the south will be itching to kick us out before our full delegation marginalizes them." Said De León.

"Just a quick note that under the terms of Prop 6, I am required to put an independence referendum on the next ballot." Said Secretary of State Alex Padilla. "So we'd need to hold a vote on independence no matter what."

"I hate to be the one to address the elephant in the room here, but the Fugitive Slave Act." Said Becerra. "None of the DA's or Police Chiefs are willing to enforce it because of the constitutional issues enforcing it would bring."

"Okay, so do we expand SB-54 to protect people being accused of being runaway slaves?" Asked de León to a unanimous round of agreements.

"I think this is largely going to be a symbolic policy though." Said Brown. "As much as we'd like to help help the slaves get out of the south, there's a thousand miles of hostile desert they'd need to cross first, and Mexico is right there next to them."

"I think that my big concern here is that downtime slave catchers would try to kidnap people from California." Said Becerra. "There's a lot of african-americans out there who are concerned that they could have something like '12 Years a Slave' happen to them."

"Best way to jam up any fugitive slave cases is to require a standard of evidence downtimers can't meet." Said Cantil-Sakauye. "Burden of proof is on them to show that the person they're accusing is the same as the escaped slave. Since 1850's plantations don't generally keep blood samples from slaves with a clearly documented chain of custody and tamper evident seals, these cases wouldn't meet the reasonable doubt threshold."

———

Stay American Campaign Headquarters, Oceanside, CA — October 9th, 1850.

The mood in the campaign office was depressed. The Stay American campaign had given it their all to convince California that the best path was to stay in the Union. Months of knocking on doors, mailers, advertisements, and phone banking down the drain. And once the returns started coming in on election night, it was way below what they had been projecting.

Ultimately though, Stay American had tried to appeal to a political center that had rapidly shrunk over the past two years.

"I know we haven't met since afterelection night, and we all got sidetracked by the current crisis. But I thought that it might be a good idea to do a postmortem analysis." Said Stay American director Mark Cummings. "Where does everyone think we went wrong?"

"Our message was too unclear." Said Janet Smith, Head of Polling andResearch. "We should have gone after people saying that this was a vote to hold a vote. It made voters feel like they could vote yes and it wouldn't haveconsequences. The economic argumentsthat we'd be better off staying in the US weren't clear enough."

"We let ourselves get tied to the current White House too much." Said James Lin,director of communications. "We overestimated people's sense of community with the rest of the country."

"I hate to point fingers here, but there'salso external factors to consider here." Said Deputy Campaign Manager TedJones. "The Mission District shooting really made people afraid of more red staters coming in and shooting up their neighborhoods. The optics of the WhiteHouse response really didn't help matters there either."

"Last year's tax reform bill didn't helpeither." Said Campaign TreasurerKatherine Aguilar. "Going after the state and local tax deductions as hard as they did really made it seem like National Republicans were trying to punish states like Californians for not voting for Trump."

"I mean look, this was a wave election for the more left-liberal wing of the democrats." Said Smith. "The electorate that showed up at the polls was angry at Washington and wanted to send a message. That the California National Party endorsed the laundry list of left wing proposals really helped them. That let them paint us as being against single payer healthcare, universal basic income, and the works."

"That Santa Barbara ad campaign really killed us." Said Lin. "Which again ties into what I was saying about how we let ourselves get tied to the current White House too much. Suddenly you havepictures of adorable sea otters covered in oil on everybody's Facebook feeds and they're saying with how if we remain in the US, offshore drilling in federal waters could resume at any moment and it's only a matter of time before there's another Santa Barbara oil spill."

"Okay. Before we start trying to blame each other, because I think you all have valid points, and we lost this for multiple reasons, some of which were out of ourhands." Said Cummings, taking control of the room. "Do we want to continue this campaign for the second independence vote?"

"I think we have to." Said Jones. "It's a harder case to make, staying with the 1850 United States, but it would hurt our credibility if we didn't campaign in the second vote."

"I say no." Said Aguilar. "The argument that California is better of staying within the US was doable in a US that a lot of people had strong cultural and family ties to. 1850's America is an alien place and Californians don't have a strong attachment to it."

"I also say no." Said Lin. "The second vote is going to be seen as a referendum on 1850's America in terms of culture and politics. Campaigning against independence in that kind of race will be seen as an endorsement of that on our part."

"I say yes." Said Smith. "We sell it as staying inside the tariff walls, and we endorse that plan to bankrupt Southern Cotton. We'd have a better chance of stopping slavery if we do it from inside the US than as an outsider. Actually, I think that could be our message. It would paint the CalExit campaign as ostriches with their heads in the ground ignoring the problem, while we try to work within the system to stop it."

"I really don't think that message of 'work within the system' is going to work as well as you think." Said Aguilar.

"That message is going to backfire on us if we go with it." Said Lin.

"I think it'll work." Said Jones.

"I like it." Said Cummings.

–––

SS Oregon, San Diego Bay — October 9th, 1850

The Paddlewheel steamer, once anunusual sight in the modern-day San Diego Bay, had become just another thing to deal with, with the Navy directing all ship traffic into San Diego bay for quarantine and inspection.

So when the Oregon sailed into the bay trailing a banner that read "California Admitted!" nobody in San Diego paid it much mind beyond the harbor pilots who guided the Oregon into the marina behind the convention center.

Aboard the Oregon, Lieutenant C. P. Patterson carefully guided his ship into the berth directed and had his crew throw ropes to the dockworkers below and they quickly secured it in a berth next to the SS Columbus.

Walking up the gangplank, an official fromCustoms and Border Protection called out. "Welcome to California captain!"

"Thank you sir." Replied Lieutenant Patterson. "I must confess though that this seems a bit different than what I expected San Diego to look like."

"Understandable." Said the CBP Officer. "if you'll just have your passengers and crew disembark and follow the red line on the ground to that big building with the tent looking roof on top of it, we'll explain everything there and get you oriented for how things work in California."

"What about my cargo?" Asked Patterson.

"Do you have the manifest?" Replied the CBP officer.

"Right here." He replied, handing over a document.

Reading the document, the CBP officer seemed to frown a bit. "We can take the mail off your hands and get it delivered to San Francisco by tomorrow. The Jewelry and the other goods are fine, as long as you pay the import duty. The quicksilver though... that's HAZMAT and needs special shipping procedures for it. I can see if anybody is interested in buying it who's willing to pay the HAZMAT shipping costs. But that's a long shot. In the meantime, we can get it moved to a hazardous material storage facility until somebody buys it."

Lieutenant Patterson was a bit overwhelmed by what this man was tellinghim. "Hazardous material?"

"Mercury, aka quicksilver, is considered a toxic substance in California and needs special handling precautions. Obviouslyyou didn't know about it, but from here on out, there are certain transportation safety requirements we have to meet to prevent it from contaminating the environment. Now if you'll please instructyour crew and passengers to disembarkand follow the red line on the ground, we'll get you over to the California orientation center."

Calling to his crew, Lieutenant Patterson ordered everybody off this ship and to send the passengers to that huge building with the tent like roof.

———

181 Fremont Street — San Francisco — October 15th, 1850

“Smallpox was.”

Jessie Frémont looked at those two words in the book she had borrowed to catch up on this society.

When she had arrived with Lily in tow, she had expected to struggle to find a tutor for her. But there were free public schools that didn’t have a problem educating girls.

Immunizations that she would have given an arm and a leg to have were commonplace, mandatory and free.

Jessie Frémont knew what smallpox and polio were like. She had seen scores of people who got the disease and were never the same again. But the new Californians talked about them in the past tense.

Because they had eradicated the diseases.

The more she read about this new California, the more she came to admire them.

As she and her family settled into the new San Francisco, she knew that this is the kind of world that she wanted Lily to grow up in.

A loud hissing sound from the other room broke her out of her reflections, and she walked into the other room and picked up what the uptimers had called a “shortwave.”

“John, are you there?” She asked into it.

“I’m here love.” Came the voice of her husband over the device.

The two spent the time catching up, Jessie settling in in the new San Francisco, and John in Washington working as the US Senator for California. Tonight, like every night, John would tell her what’s going on in DC, and she would tell him something about the new California.

“... and a group of doctors from California have set sail for Hawaii to help stop the measles outbreak there.” Said Jessie. “They have a way to make people immune to it, like cowpox does with smallpox.”

“They...” Asked John. “They can do that?”

“Not just measles but Diptheria, Rubella, Whooping Cough, Polio.” Explained Jessie. “They had almost eradicated Polio. Before California came back in time, there were only 18 cases of Polio in the entire world. The people here consider a hundred cases of the measles to be a crisis.”

“Jessie, that’s incredible!” Said John.

“So how are things back in Washington?” She asked.

The radio hissed softly and Jessie could almost hear John’s mood turn dour.

“I’ve tried everything I could, but they seem deadset on going through with this devils bargain.” Said John. “Have you heard anything from the State Government?” He asked.

“They passed a joint resolution stating that they’re opposed to any attempt to divide the state into smaller ones, as well as another one condemning the use of the downtime census and calling on Congress to use the more recent census data that we provided.”

“We?” Asked John.

“I meant ‘they.’” Replied Jessie.

–––

SS Acapulco — San Diego Marina

When Moses Sutton saw the men getting onto the boat with dogs, he knew he was busted. It was only a matter of time before they’d find him, drag him out, lash him for being a stowaway, and sending him back to his “owner.”

His only hope was that when the dogs found him, he’d have to make a break for it.

Then from above him, he heard the scratching sound. One, two three times. The dog was right over his hiding spot.

Hiding himself in the darker areas of the hold, he shied away as they pulled open the piece of wood that had been hiding him.

Peeking out, there were two men in some kind of uniform, both of them holding some type of blueish lamp.

“Sir? Are you okay?” Came the voice of one of them. “We’re not going to turn you in, we’re just looking for insects.”

Insects?

By now, Moses was confused. Why were they so worried about insects?

Slowly making his way out of his hiding place. Moses slowly emerged, only to get almost blinded by one of the officers who had been holding another portable lamp like that.

“Come on, we’ll get you to a doctor so you can get checked out and settled here.” Said one of them.

“Yeah. Get me checked out so you can sell me back.” Moses snorted.

The two men froze at that before one of them reached for a black box on his belt.

“Dispatch this is Santiago, we’ve got a human trafficking victim on board the Acapulco.”

“Sir, please take it easy. We’re not gonna send you back.” Said the other one to Moses.

Looking at the two, he didn’t trust them. Too many bad experiences with slave catchers had made him wary of white men in uniforms.

Seizing the opportunity, he sprinted past the two, shoulder-checking his way through the two men, darted up the ladder to the upper deck and sprinted down the gangplank.

Unfortunately, he didn’t get far before another uniformed man grabbed him on the gangplank and stopped his escape.

And then once he wasn’t running, he realized that the person who had grabbed him had the same color skin as him.

–––

UC Riverside — Falkirk Apartments

Ty Jackson really wasn't looking forward to the extra-long holiday break. He had gotten into UCR's Grad School as a Bio major, specifically EEOB, and had been busy as hell with his faculty advisor on his thesis project about the long term effects of DDT on insect populations, and he was honestly looking forward to the break to go back home to Atlanta to visit family.

Now though, no way in hell would he be going back to 1850 Atlanta, not unless he wanted to get disappeared off to some plantation. Nope, better to just stay in Riverside, even if it is the goddamn Inland Empire.

Besides, all the bio majors had been kept busy once they realized that all the traffic coming in from downtime could very easily reintroduce pests. And with the current food shortages, that would be a disaster, so everything coming into the state was being gone over with a fine toothed comb by the CDFA, and they'd been calling on all the biologydepartments at the UC's and CSU's to make sure they didn't miss anything.

They were worried that a pest like the boll weevil would get reintroduced and kill off crops here. Especially if that hurt that idea to bankrupt Southern Cotton.

Boll Weevil. Southern Cotton.

Ty suddenly stopped.

He had an idea.

———

Chevron Corporation Crisis Response Conference Call - October 21st, 1850

INTERIM CEO MICHAEL WIRTH: Good morning to everyone who's called in. Thank you for joining our monthly call to discuss the current crisis and how it will affect Chevron going forward.

As we discussed last month, immediately after the event happened, all of our oil wells went offline and required re-drilling, these have since been redrilled and have resumed production. At the time, we felt that it was likely that the in-state oil deposits had been replenished due to the event. As of two weeks ago we can now confirm that this is the case. We drilled several exploratory wells in the Midway-Sunset area near historic deposits, and started producing almost immediately.

Our preliminary observation is that these redrilled historic deposits are producing a much sweeter and lighter oil than the existing wells that were extracting a much heavier oil. The immediate demand for oil has caused prices to hold around $70/bbl, but with the reopening of historic wells, we're projecting a price floor around $20/bbl.

Our initial estimates for future in-state production is about 40% over pre-Event levels of production. However, with the shift in automotive manufacturing post-Event, we’re forecasting a dropoff in oil demand in the future, due to a lack ofnew internal combustion engine cars being manufactured at this time.

Refined fuel inventory has shrunk since the Event from 45 days of inventory to 20 days. With the resumption of oil extraction and the current rationing, we expect the oil inventory to return to pre-event levels soon.

Does anybody have any questions?

LA TIMES: Ivan Penn, LA Times here. Has the withdrawal of Aramco shares from the market since the event helped stabilize oil prices?

WIRTH: It's too early to tell at this point, but we are expecting more stable crude prices without the Aramco IPO to act as a feedback loop for any oil pricing trends.

–––

Tesla Motors — Hawthorne, CA

“Okay I think everybody’s here so we can get started.” Said CEO Steve Ballmer. “How close are we to being able to get production restarted?”

“Well we’ve got lithium extraction going at Featherstone and Hell’s Kitchen.” Said one of the supply chain managers. “But right now it’s just building up until we can get the Victorville Gigafactory built.”

“On that front, the legislature and governors office is giving us a CEQA exemption on that due to the urgency of getting battery and solar cell production running again.” Said Ballmer.

“We do have some short run suppliers in the state that can fill the gaps until full rate production starts back up.” Said the supply chain manager. “But I must stress that this is a stopgap measurement until we can get battery manufacturing back up.”
 
Last edited:

Alex Richards

*Eyes Ashfield nervously*
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#7
Instead, California would continue to have 2 house seats for the next ten years, a riot by the southern states would be averted, and the next session would feature a bill to divide California into two states along the Missouri Compromise Line, one free, one slave.
I'm not sure southern legislators realise just how poorly this is going to go.

“We?” Asked John.

“I meant ‘they.’” Replied Jessie.
I rather feel that Frémont is going to make a rather dramatic departure from Washington at some point.

Oh and the idea of just skipping to electric cars is fun.
 
#8
November 18th, 1850
From:
Kimberly Ellis, CDP Chairwoman [1]
Subject: Introducing the California Labor Party.

Dear *|FNAME|*,

As us Californians find ourselves transported back to 1850, problems that nobody could have anticipated keep popping up.

As Governor Brown and Governor-Elect Newsom continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the lights stay on and that Californians have food on the table, the California Democratic Party has been faced with our own much smaller impasse.

California Democrats believe in the equality and inherent dignity of all persons. We believe our state government must protect the rights to freedom of expression and assembly as well as the equality of opportunity, for all Californians.

We believe that justice for all requires constant vigilance and a thorough examination of laws and governmental actions that disproportionately impact diverse segments of society.

California Democrats believe every person is endowed with inalienable human rights, including the right to individual autonomy and to be free from violence and exploitation.

We proudly and vigorously support a woman's right to choose how to use her mind, her body and her time. California Democrats respect women as full partners in family and society.[2]

We must recognize however, that these values are not compatible with the Democratic Party of 1850, and to expect our members to stand for them would be unconscionable.

Which is why we have chosen to not tie ourselves to the Democratic Party of 1850, and instead become the California Labor Party.

Labor’s values are our values. Its place is in every aspect of working society and anywhere workers need representation. Our social contract with society must begin by demonstrating our commitment to supporting single payer health care, a universal minimum wage, overtime pay and benefits (including for farmworkers). We must fight for guaranteed cost of living adjustments while we work for the goal of a living wage. Organized labor and collective bargaining will always be our best weapons in the fight against ongoing assaults on wages and benefits for all workers.

There can be no freedom if the legal system only recognizes the rights of corporations but not workers. As a Party, we must push for lawmakers to create a space in legislative policy where the rights of workers in the new economy are entitled to organized representation. This goes for Big Box corporations as well as high-tech companies and the “sharing” economy, which employ thousands of people but offer no rights for their employees.[3]

Our world may have changed around us, but our values as Californians haven’t.

Kimberly Ellis,
Chairwoman, California Labor Party

Remove yourself from this mailing or all mailings from the California Labor Party.

Contributions or gifts to California Labor Party are not tax deductible.

All content © 1850 California Labor Party, All Rights Reserved

1830 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811


1: Yes, the Pre-ISOT POD was enough to change the outcome of the Chairmanship election in 2017

2: These 4 paragraphs were lifted directly from the 2016 California Democratic Party Platform

3: Taken directly from Kimberly Ellis’s campaign website for chairmanship.

———

Dispatches from the New California — New-York Daily Tribune — October 16th, 1850

SAN FRANCISCO—Glittering towers of glass and steel, streetcars that move on their own, streets that are free of animal droppings or the pea soup fogs of London. For the New Californians, this is not a distant Utopia but the every day reality. For us however, it offers a tantalizing glimpse of our future. A future where slavery is a distant memory, every child is educated, and an 8 hour work day is the norm.

Enormous earthen and concrete dams have been built across rivers to control flooding, and other rivers have beendiverted across deserts and over mountains to provide water for cities. Californians have demonstrated a clear mastery over nature, and yet they havethe responsibility to preserve and protect nature’s beauty.

Before us lies an incredible bounty ofprogress that we would be fools to ignore.


[...]

–––

Trinity Congegational Church. — Lowell, Massachusetts

[...]

Like the city on the hill, The Lord hasdelivered unto us California, to serve as an example of His will. For California’s values are God’s values, and God has given us their example.

So I say to you, CONDEMN the foul practice of slavery! CONDEMN the hatred of your fellow man based on skin color! CONDEMN the apathy towards the suffering of your fellow man!

The Lord has blessed us with a city on a hill, and we must follow in the path the good Lord has laid before us.

–––

EDITORIAL: Abolitionist California Tries to Pack Congress!


The Daily Intelligencer — October 18th, 1850 — Atlanta, Georgia


Hardly a month into Statehood, and the far-flung western state of California is causing trouble. After the downright ludicrous claim that California was replaced by its future self, the “Uptime Senator” Mrs. Kamala Harris has requested that California seat over fifty representatives in Congress to reflect the larger population of the supposedly new California.

[...]


———

San Francisco International Airport — December 10th, 1850

If one had asked John Frémont a year ago if it were possible to travel from San Diego to San Francisco in a single day, he would have called you mad.

And yet he had done just that. Only a few hours ago he had been in San Diego, and then he had taken this “air plane” to get him to San Francisco and back with Jessie and Lily.

John stepped through the airport, his boots clicking against the highly polished concrete floors, rounding the corner to the baggage claim he saw an uptimer woman and a child waiting for somebody, and waving at him for some reason. She looked familiar to him for some reason, and for the life of him he couldn’t figure out how.

The uptimer woman suddenly leaped and put her arms around him, and John realized that she was his wife Jessie.

“Well, you seem to have taken to the New California with a convert’s enthusiasm.” Said John, returning the embrace.

“When in Rome.” Jessie said, shrugging. “So did you have a nice flight?” Jessie asked.

“It was an interesting experience.” Said John. “Traveling above the clouds like that. I still don’t know how you and Lily were able to do that across the entire country.”

“Oh you should have seen me. I thought it was going to tip over.” Jessie said. “Although the one I was on was very spartan inside. Reminded me of all the Army posts we used to stay at on thefrontier.”

“Remember Fort Laramie?” Asked John, wistfully.

Jessie shuddered. “I was used to roughing it, but that bedroom was the definition of bare bones. Still though, remember when you tried the whiskey from Kit’s still?”

“I like that man but someone needs to tell him that stilling Whisky is not his strong suit.” Said John, remembering a phantom hangover.

The two of them walked towards the baggage claim to wait for John’s steamer trunk.

“So what has been happening here in California while I was traveling?” Asked John.

“They finally got the Emergency Income Stabilization Act passed.” Explained Jessie.

“That’s the one that gives everyone in the state a payment every month, right?” Asked John, struggling to remember which bill that was.

“That’s the one.” Replied Jessie. “It took a lot of backroom politicking to get it passed, but they did it.”

“Well you seem to have taken to uptime politics.” Teased John.

“I’ll have you know that before I started going with you on your expeditions West, I was the daughter of a very prominent Senator.” Teased Jessie back.

“Oh I don’t think I’m liable to forget the GREAT Thomas Hart Benton.” Said John. “Speaking of the devil, he sends his love.”

Jessie groaned at that. Even though John and her father had mostly patched things up, it was still tense between the two of them. Looking across the baggage carousel, she spotted her husbands steamer trunk emerge along the carousel. “There it is!” She pointed.

Grabbing his steamer trunk off the moving platform, Jessie had unfolded some metal contraption with wheels that she had brought with her and placed his trunk on it.

“Shall we?” She asked, holding her arm out for John, as the two walked hand in hand to the AirTrain station.

———

West Hollywood — December 11th, 1850, 3:02 AM

Emily tip-toed into the apartment she shared with her girlfriend seething in frustration.

“Em? Is that you?” Came the voice of Lena from the bedroom.

“Yeah, it’s me.” Replied Emily, grabbing a glass of water and walking into their shared bedroom. “Were you waiting up for me?” She asked.

“Couldn’t sleep.” Lena replied. “Plus I kinda got caught up binge-watching Yes Minister.”

"Homesick?" Asked Emily as she changed into her sleeping clothes and got into the bed next to Lena.

“Yeah...” Said Lena. “I thought I was over losing mum and dad like that, but then people at work started talking about plans for Christmas and it all came rushing back. Anyway, how was work?”

“Ughhh. Had some downtimers in the bar today.” Emily groaned. “I swear they couldn't stop staring at everyone.”

“Really?” Asked Lena. “I wouldn’t think that downtimers would want much to do with a dyke bar. What happened?”

“Oh they were a bunch of women presenting as male.” Explained Emily. “So I don’t know if they’re like 1850’s lesbians, trans dudes, or just women who wanted to work in closed off fields and had to pose as men to do it. And if I’m honest, I’d rather not open up that can of worms. Anyway, they came in at about seven, so before the crowds hit, and they just ordered a couple of beers and stared at everything like we were a bunch of zoo exhibits.”

“Oh yeah, I know that feeling.” Said Lena, rubbing her girlfriends shoulders.

———

Sacramento — December 12th, 1850

“I can’t thank you enough for taking the political hit for this.” Said Governor-elect Gavin Newsom.

“The anti-nuclear movement is gonna crucify me for this no matter what.” Said Governor Jerry Brown, putting his signature on the executive order to re-open the San Onofre nuclear power plant. “But the climate change groups I’ve talked to see the necessity. Frankly though, I don’t care if they think this is going to cause the next Fukushima, we need the power that SONGS can provide.”

“I hear you.” Said Newsom, signing a PR statement condemning the re-opening of San Onofre. “If Elon could get the battery farms delivered, this wouldn’t be necessary, but I really don’t see a way around needed San Onofre to avoid blackouts.”

“Well, time to face the music.” Said Brown, walking out to the state capitol’s press room.

———

M/Y Kanrin Maru – Long Beach Marina – December 18th, 1850

The hastily renamed luxury yacht was a hive of activity in the Long Beach Marina. The owner of it, Kazuo Hiragashi, had offered the use of it to the uptime Japanese Consulate for the purpose of making contact with downtime Japan. Hiragashi wasn't a fool, he knew that the Tokugawa government would likely want nothing to do with California. But while the risks were high, so were the rewards, and California needed trading partners to restart the economy.

Kazuo had been in the import business for years, and he knew enough of his history to know that the western powers treatment of Japan in this time period bordered on exploitative, so rather than smashing their way into Edo Bay like a bull in a china shop, they were going to sail into Nagasaki and try a soft-sell approach with individual Daimyo. After all, trade with California could give Japan the ability to leapfrog the European powers.

Of course, they weren’t putting all their eggs in that basket either. The pressures and the factors that led to the Bakumatsu period, decline of the Tokugawa and Meiji Restoration were still present, intervention or no. So if the Tokugawa didn’t want to play ball, the Kanrin Maru would sail for Hokkaidō and hope that they could get a better deal out of the Ainu.

But that was a problem for later. Right now, the crew of the Kanrin Maru was busy stripping and rebuilding the ship in order to give it the range to make it across the ocean and back with fuel to spare. With the diplomatic and humanitarian mission to Hawaii in progress, it may not be needed, but nobody wanted to take chances when running out of gas would leave onestranded in the middle of the Pacific.

USNS Mercy — Honolulu, Kingdom of Hawaii — December 19th, 1850

“Okay, you're going to feel a slight pinch on your arm.” Said Doctor Ziegler, poking a syringe with the MMR vaccine into the arm of the small Hawaiian child.

“Mahalo.” Said the child’s parents. “We cannot thank you enough Miss.”

Angela Ziegler waved it off. “Please, I just did what anybody decent would do.” She carefully removed the needle from the girl’s arm, placed a Lilo and Stich bandaid with over the injection site, and gave the girl a sucker for her trouble.

When the massive white and red ship has dropped anchor in Honolulu mere weeks after the princes had returned from California, the Hawaiians weren’t sure what to make of a vessel that size.

But when they started offering medical treatments that were unheard of miracles. But slowly and surely, the miracle cures the white and red ship from Californiaworked, and the people who had gotten the MMR vaccine weren’t getting the Measles, even when people around them did. But even the people who got the measles, they’d get taken aboard the big white ship, spend a few days there, be given something called an “anti biotic” in some cases, and when the diseasepassed, they’d come back home.

But the longer the Mercy stayed in port, the fewer people seemed to be getting the measles.

Hale Piula, Lāhainā, Maui Island

“So what does California get out of this deal?” Asked King Kamehameha III

“We get the knowledge that when our neighbors were dying of a disease outbreak we had the power to stop, we didn’t sit on our hands and do nothing.” Said Kevin De León.

Kamehameha just looked at him suspiciously. This representative of the “new” California had claimed to only want to help people, and that hospital ship they sent was performing miracles, but he couldn’t help but feel that there was an ulterior motive at play.

“Well there is one thing.” Said De León.“And keep in mind, this isn’t a demand, just a request. But we’d like to build a waystation for our ships that are crossing the Pacific. You see, our ships use a different kind of fuel that is not yet available outside of California. So ourwaystation mainly be for this fuel, but California ships crossing the Pacific would be spending time and money in Hawaii.”

It was an intriguing offer without a doubt, give up a harbor in exchange for more Californians visiting and the possibility for more miracles like that ship, the Mercy.

“And what about the others with their eyes on the Pacific?” Kamehameha asked. “After all, it was only a year ago, the French invaded Honolulu and tried to burn it to the group.”

“We would be willing to render assistance in order to guarantee Hawaiian sovereignty over the islands.” Explained De León.

“I see...” Said Kamehameha. “Well I won’t lie to you and say that this offer isn’t tempting, ambassador De León, but I will have to consult with my advisors on this offer. In the mean time though, I will have my two sons return to California to assess this new California for themselves.”

———

USNS Mercy sailing into Honolulu, 1850:
 

Alex Richards

*Eyes Ashfield nervously*
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#9
“The anti-nuclear movement is gonna crucify me for this no matter what.” Said Governor Jerry Brown, putting his signature on the executive order to re-open the San Onofre nuclear power plant. “But the climate change groups I’ve talked to see the necessity. Frankly though, I don’t care if they think this is going to cause the next Fukushima, we need the power that SONGS can provide.”

“I hear you.” Said Newsom, signing a PR statement condemning the re-opening of San Onofre. “If Elon could get the battery farms delivered, this wouldn’t be necessary, but I really don’t see a way around needed San Onofre to avoid blackouts.”
This feels like something that could bite them later.

Also, accidentally ensuring that Hawaii never becomes American is an interesting concept for California.
 
#10
Content warning for this update. This chapter has some pretty graphic depictions in it. Maybe skip the first part if you’re squeamish.

When The Event first happened, people generally tried to continue on as before, to varying degrees of success. For some people, the adjustment period meant changes in grocery prices but little else, for others, it meant no longer having any work to do, even if they still had a job, technically. Others, who's work depended on gigs suddenly found their work dried up overnight. But for those with medical conditions or who required medications, the disruptions to the medical supply chain were often a matter of life and death.
Excerpt from a 10th grade history textbook, circa 1890

Apartment Complex – Reseda Blvd & Strathern Street, Los Angeles – December 21st, 1850

The residents of the apartment complex were starting to get used to seeing EMTs come in on an almost daily basis. When the event happened, those who had depended on medications had their supply dry up, and there was no news on when it would come back. Not to mention that with the price spikes for antibiotics and often uncertain supply, a minor infection would often develop into something serious quickly. So most of the residents paid little mind to the EMTs and building supervisor standing outside of old Mrs Lewis’s apartment.

"Mrs. Lewis? Are you okay?" Asked an EMT.

No answer.

"Mrs. Lewis?"

Again, nobody answered the door.

“Can you?” The EMT asked the building superintendent as he nodded his head towards the door.

The superintendent unlocked and opened the door, and were assauled by the pungent odor of rotting flesh and cat shit.

“Oh god.” Said the superintendent, looking at the scene, nearly losing his lunch.

In front of them was the former Mrs. Lewis, or at least, what was left of her. Her body had already been decomposing for a few days, and parts of her had been torn off by her pet cat, Mr. Boots.

Looking down at the floor, they spotted Mr. Boots happily gnawing on and playing with one of Mrs. Lewis’s fingers.

One of the EMTs pulled on a pair of gloves and inspected her medical bracelet.

“Yep. Diabetic.” Said the EMT.

“Yeah, she was saying that she was getting frustrated at not being able to find insulin.” Said the super.

“Alright, I called the coroner, but it might be a bit, he’s got a bunch of pickups to make.” Said the other EMT.

“Christ I miss when it was mostly just people shoving things up their asses.” He sighed.



State Capitol Building — Sacramento

LtGen Craparotta was a Marine who knew how to play the political game. When The Event had happened, he had made the decision to follow the Continuity of Government protocols, and placed the Marines under the command of the rump federal government, until a more permanent arrangement could be shaken out.

Vice Admiral Shoemaker, the highest ranking Naval Officer in California when it happened had taken a different approach, and placed the Naval assets in California under the command of the California Naval Militia, effectively taking over the organization in a bloodless coup.

Now though, the temporary arrangement was starting to show its cracks, and Craparotta was meeting with Governor Brown to figure out a long term solution.

“General, thank you for meeting with me today.” Said Jerry Brown, shaking Craparotta’s hand.

“Well Sir, we have a lot of issues to hammer out.” Replied Craparotta.

“That we do.” Said Brown. “Xavier?” He asked, motioning for Attorney General Xavier Becerra to come over to his desk.

“So let’s cut to the chase.” Said Brown. “I know that the question of which federal government to follow is weighing on a lot of people’s minds right now. So we’re working on a reorganization plan of the state government to ensure the least amount of disruption to California, while still being valid under 1850’s law.”

“Right now we’re effectively operating two governments in California.” Said Becerra. “There’s us, here in Sacramento. And then there’s the rump Federal Government being run by Acting President Pelosi out of her district office to coordinate all the federal agencies in the state.”

Craparotta nodded and asked for them to continue.

“We do not consider this situation to be tenable in the long term, so we’re coordinating a transition plan to move all federal agencies within the state under state control.” Said Brown.

“We’ve drafted up a plan with the acting President to permanently transfer the Marines in California to be under the state government.” Said Becerra.

“And what is President Fillmore supposed to think about this?” Craparotta asked. “He is, technically, the commander in chief.”

“From what Frémont and Gwin have told us, they know that they can’t afford to keep it, so they’re willing to indulge us in this bit of legal fiction.” Said Brown.

“The entire defense budget in 1850 was $19 million dollars.” Pointed out Becerra. “Adjusted for inflation that’s still only $400 million.”

“From what I understand, Secretary Graham’s advisors had some... colorful words about the size of the uptime Marine Corps.” Said Brown.

Craparotta groaned at that. “I take it that none of the history materials sent over to the downtime government covered Guadalcanal?” He asked, sighing in frustration.

“So this is what we’re offering.” Said Brown. “Secretary Graham, Matthew Fontaine Maury, Brevet Brigadier General Henderson, and some others are planning to visit California, here they will do a tour and inspection of all the uptime Naval and Marine Corps forces in the state. After that, Secretary Graham will likely deliver orders dissolving the uptime 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and closing every uptime Marine Corps base in California, and transferring ownership of them to the state, effective June 30th.”

“Of course, that’s just on paper.” Said Becerra. “Effective July 1st, the California Marine National Guard would be established, which will consist of bases situated at Twentynine Palms, Camp Pendleton, Miramar, Barstow, San Diego and Bridgeport. How it’s organized is up to you, but I’d suggest keeping it the same at first.”

“Alright.” Said Craparotta. “IF, the downtime commanders decide to dissolve the I MEF I’ll do it. Otherwise, I swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.”

———

Stater Bros Grocery Store - Red Hill Ave., Tustin - December 20th, 1850

Rachael Berman pushed her grocery cart down the back of the grocery store. She grabbed some fresh bluefin tuna for her cart, and walked past the half-full meat department, she pushed her cart down to the aisle with the rice on it.

It had been a very long week working in the California Emergency Food Distribution Agency office for Orange County. Prior to The Event, she had worked in the Santa Ana office for handling SNAP benefits, but once the crisis hit, the newly formed CalEFDA had taken over her department. But she was off tomorrow, and so was looking forward to relaxing at home with her cats and catching up on some Netflix.

Walking down the shopping aisle, she noticed that the price sticker by the rice bags no longer listed a price, it just had a weight and said “EBT only.”

Well, that was new.

When the Event had first happened, food prices were all over the place, with the same items being dirt cheap, extremely expensive, or non-existent, depending on the day. So many had had their lives disrupted by the event that eventually CalEFDA had stepped in and just sent EBT cards to everyone, overhauling the SNAP program to not work based on price but by ration allotments, with various weighting factors to encourage people to choose foods that were more readily available.

For example, a standard allotment (that is to say, one that was not vegan, kosher, or halal) had a 20 lb. allotment of meat every month, but one pound of fish was counted as a third of a pound of meat at the moment, chicken was one to one, and beef was a half a pound of beef for three pounds of meat allotment.

The John and Ken’s of the state had decried CalEFDA as government overreach. But it worked, farmers had the incentive to keep growing food when the price bottoming out from oversupply and a sudden drying up of the export markets would otherwise have forced them out of business, people in the cities weren’t starving to death.

But people’s diets did change. Beef, a once-staple of the California diet was becoming a delicacy for special occasions, and sushi rapidly became an quick and inexpensive meal. Even McDonalds was struggling to sell hamburgers with the high prices of beef even when CalEFDA's subsidies for restaurant buyers was taken into account.

Rachael grabbed a few more things to make Sushi with before pushing her cart over to the checkout.



7th Street/Metro Center Station - Los Angeles.

To say that the subway was crowded was to call the Pacific Ocean a little bit of water.

Ever since The Event forced the state government to implement fuel rationing, Californians were now carpooling or taking public transportation in ever-increasing numbers.

And the 7th Street/Metro Center Station, being the transfer point for 4 different subway or light rail lines was taking the brunt of it.

With a mass of humanity that completely packed the platforms at rush hour, the Los Angeles subway system looked more like the system that once existed in New York.

But the impromptu stress test hadexposed gaps in the rail network thatCalTrans and the LACMTA had known about and was already trying to fix. Which is why CalTrans had made the decision to kick some extra funding their way to finish the Regional Connector sooner, finishing it in a year and a half, instead of three years.

———

Assembly Chambers, State Capitol, Sacramento — January 6th, 1851

California's Assembly Chambers were packed to the brim with members of the press. It wasn't quite the same level of spectacle as a Presidential Inauguration, but it came close.

“I, State your name, do solemnly swear.” Began Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakuye.

“I, Gavin Newsom, do solemnly swear.” Repeated Newsom.

“That I will support and defend the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies foreign and domestic.”

“That I will support and defend the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies foreign and domestic.”

“That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the State of California.”

“That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the State of California.”

“That I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”

“That I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”

“And that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.”

“And that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.” Finished Newsom to a thunderous roar of applause.

State Capitol, Sacramento — January 20, 1851

GAVIN NEWSOM: Good morning everyone, I come before you this morning to report on the condition of our state, as required by the Constitution of the State of California.

When we as Californians woke up on the morning of November 7th and found ourselves with an entirely different world outside our borders. The effect this has had on our great state cannot be overstated. I know that many of you out there are still without gas, food, or medical supplies. We have our share of difficulties ahead of us, but I believe that we can overcome them. I believe that California has been sent back in time for a reason, to be a shining city on a hill to the rest of the world, to show them that there's a better way.

Up until the crisis, California was a state under siege. Our government in Washington could no longer be trusted to put the well-being of everyone in the country ahead of his own pockets. In spite of all that, we were the fastest growing economy within the United States. California was, and I believe still is, a land of endless opportunity. It was only through the quick and decisive action of Governor Brown, the California Legislature, and the Moscone Center rump government, that we were able to prevent a collapse.

While this government has done a lot to prevent a significant collapse, there are those who rightfully fear that we haven't done enough to stop this. Which is why I am announcing several additional emergency initiatives that I will be putting before the legislation to address the crisis. Beginning with the retrofitting of all solar thermal power plants in the state of California to use molten salt power storage. The California Emergency Food Distribution Agency has been working hard at keeping food on the shelves. But I know that we can do better, that’s why I plan to expand the program to ensure that it covers everybody.

Before The Event, the problem of housing costs were affecting everybody in the state, with people being priced out of their homes across the state, and higher levels of homelessness across the state. While The Event has bought us a temporary reprieve by lowering the demand for housing, and freeing up a supply of former investment properties, people are still struggling to keep a roof over their heads from the economic disruption of The Event. As one of my first acts as Governor, I am instituting an immediate halt to all foreclosure proceedings. My goal as Governor is to build enough affordable housing for everyone, we cannot be the city on a hill if we let the least of us to suffer and die in the streets.

Last year, you voted to bring California’s health care system into the 21st century with Proposition 4, and we will begin implementing that system this year.

And finally, since the Event, we have had to face the reality that the Constitution of the United States has suddenly changed underneath us. To that effect, I have asked the legislature to begin the process of calling for a constitutional convention, in order to update our state’s constitution to deal with the realities of our new situation.

Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico — March 9th, 1851

Senator Ricardo Lara had a lot riding on these negotiations. Six months later and the food situation back home was still incredibly strained and could collapse at any time. The extra long autumn caused by going back from November to September had thrown off the growing and harvesting seasons within the state, and without staple grains and meat available in sufficient quantities, malnutrition was becoming a serious problem.

“Thank you for meeting with me on such short notice Governor Álvarez.” Said Lara, presenting the Governor with a fine bottle of wine from Napa Valley.

“It was no issue, I assure you Senator.” Álvarez replied. “I am curious though, about what brought you here. After all, from our perspective it was only a few years ago that you were clamoring to leave Mexico and join the United States.”

“You must understand that that was over a century and a half ago from our perspective.” Said Lara. “The people of California in 2018 found remaining in the United States to be so fundamentally intolerable, that they actually voted in favor of secession.”

“And what do the people of California think of the current United States?” Asked Álvarez. “Do you find yourselves holding common cause with the United States of 1851?”

“Hardly.” Said Lara. “Slavery is an anathema to us, as would be invading another country to impose it.”

“So you say Senator.” Álvarez said, sipping from the wine glass. “But I wonder how long those values will hold. After all you’ve said it yourself that you’re suffering food shortages, and most peoples would throw morality by the wayside when they’re starving.”



From a political standpoint, Kevin McCarthy knew he was a dead man walking. On election night back in Novtember, the GOP had seemed like it was suffering major setbacks across the country, and the state GOP that once been the home of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Howard Jarvis couldn’t even get candidates on the November ballots in a lot of races, nevermind the fact that the last time a Republican won a statewide race was 12 years ago.

It was a perfect shitstorm really, the national GOP had forced his candidates to defend positions that were electoral suicide in California, add that to an utter inability to get Republican candidates on the ballot for the crown jewel races of Governor and US Senator thanks to Schwarzenegger’s parting shot of switching the state to top two primaries, and you had an even more depressed GOP turnout in the general election, a recipe for an electoral blowout.

Officially, he was accompany's Senator Lara on this trip to help secure an export market for the Central Valley's produce, and he was legitimately committed to that, as he knew that it was essential for making sure that any economic growth in the transplanted state would be sustainable.

But he had another reason to be here.

Kevin McCarthy didn’t become House Majority Leader by being a fool. He knew what his base wanted. People like Limbaugh, Hannity, and John & Ken were the voice of the Republican Party, and what they wanted was what the base would want, and what they wanted was nearly every single immigrant deported yesterday.

After the event, the Moscone Center government had ordered an indefinite halt in deportations of illegal immigrants, assuming that it would be better to keep everyone within the state in case it became possible to bring California back to 2018.

And as defanged and powerless as the GOP was in California, the few members that remained had taken to the comment sections, letters to the editor, and calling every remaining GOP Assembly member and Senator about this.

Which is what brought him along to Mexico. Newsom’s government wanted to import large amounts of staple crops from Mexico, hence why Ricardo Lara had been sent down to negotiate a trade deal. McCarthy however, knew California’s agriculture industry like the back of his hand, and without modern methods of agriculture, the quantities that would be required would starve the Mexican people.

Which is where his secret compromise would come in. Mexico would import mechanized farming equipment from California, and ICE would send over the illegal aliens who had the know-how to operate it.

Mexico would be able to produce far higher quantities of food, more money would flow into their economy raising them up, and the GOP base would be satisfied at seeing mass deportations resume. The majority of California, the ones who were pro-immigration would hate it, he knew that, but he also knew he was a dead man walking from a political standpoint.

So Kevin McCarthy would take the fall for big bad ICE deporting uptimeundocumented immigrants, Mexico gets a boost in agriculture productivity, and Californians in Los Angeles and the Bay Area don’t starve to death.

———

Camp Springs Airfield, Maryland — April 15th, 1851.

To any self-respecting Californian, 1200 baud would seem like an agonizingly slow connection. But for the population of Maryland, the novelty of being able to get information in real time from the state from the future had yet to wear off.

In fact, it was rumored that Horace Greeley had personally ordered one of his reporters to move to Camp Springs so that the New York Tribune could report as much about the new California as possible.

Greely had, in fact, done that. One of his best reporters, Henry Jarvis Raymond had been asked to move to Camp Springs to report on California. His questioning at the radiograph station had put him in contact with a reporter in Los Angeles named Adam Nagourney, who apparently had worked for a New York newspaper before California came back in time.

It was a very successful arrangement. Raymond would report to the Californians what was going on the Washington, and Nagourney could tell the Tribune’s readers about life in California.

Where other newspapers would have tried to paint a rosy picture of California, making it out to be the new Canaan and a land of milk and honey, Greeley’s strict editorial control, the Tribune’s reputation, and Nagourney’s willingness to talk about the bad parts of the new California as well as the good, had given the Tribune’s readership a more balanced picture of California, which paradoxically had only stimulated more interest in the future state.

With every report, the public became more hungry for what the next great work out of California. Last week, he had reported on an enormous dam on the Colorado River in the New Mexico Territory that the Californians wanted to reconstruct.

Already that story was generating significant interest in New York, with many readers wanting Governor Calhoun to get out of the way let California build it.

So now he was writing up his next story, one that seemed almost impossible to believe. But that was why one had to stick to the facts.

California to Create Dozens of New Moons to Aid Navigators

Like all of his articles, he had fact checked it carefully. And that research had showed that the principals behind this were solid. Yes, if one had a powerful enough rocket it was possible to circle the earth and not fall down.

The idea that a ship could know exactly where it is at all times to within a few feet was a game changer. Reefs, shoals, and narrow straits could be handled with ease. It was a new world out there.

———

Hyde Park, London.

The Great Exhibition was supposed to show off the technological prowess of Victorian England.

It was supposed to show the world why England was the undisputed centre of the world. Show the world why England was spared the tumultuous revolutions that had spread across the continent three years ago.

And yet, as if in response to their arrogance, God had sent the new California to them, to show the English why they shouldn’t presume that they would always dominate the seas.

But this wasn’t the great news for the yanks he would have thought it would have been. There were some troubling rumours afoot about it. Supposedly, just before they came back in time, California had voted to become independent of the United States. And supposedly they had negotiated some kind of deal with the Hawaiians, and were trying to crack open Japan for trade.

Whatever else, England did not fancy becoming a second rate power in the Pacific.

The news about California had come as a shock, to Admiral Lyons more than anyone. So now Her Majesty wished to send a diplomatic convoy to San Francisco in order to “ascertain the status of California.”

No matter what the outcome may be, England expects that every man will do his duty.

———



Measures Before The Voters

Proposition 7: California Independence From United States.
Would serve as a Declaration of Independence for California, and require California’s Senators to introduce a US Constitutional Amendment removing California from the United States in every Congressional session until it is passed.

Arguments in Favor:
Last November, a Majority of Californians sent a clear message, that our differences were too irreconcilable to remain in the United States any longer. Now we as Californians find ourselves grafted to a very different United States, one that those we left behind would have salivated to have.

The United States of 1851 is a country that allows slavery within its boundaries. Since its very founding as a state, California has found slavery morally repugnant, and independence would allow us to preserve our values, by not making us dependent on a country which allows such abhorrent practices.

The United States of 1850 is a genocidal, imperialist power with an insatiable appetite for territory. One only needs to read a history book to understand that the United States we are now dealing with is a nation whose actions were the inspiration of Adolph Hitler.

Since the evening of November 6th, California had already been an independent nation for all intents and purposes. The Federal Government of 1850 has refused to lift a finger to help us. And what actions they have taken have been solely to try and contain us and delegitimize us in our hour of need.

Where the Mexican Rancheros and Vaqueros in Baja California and Sonora have worked with us to keep us from starvation, the government in Washington has seen fit to declare the WesternHemisphere it’s exclusive stomping ground and openly wishes to invade our southern neighbor to introduce the most abominable of institutions.

- Yes California

Arguments Against:
There is nothing to be gained by burying our heads in the ground and pretending that problems don’t exist.

Cutting and running away from the United States now would deprive us of our only leverage to stop slavery in the United States. The compromise that originally brought California into the US was the Fugitive Slave Act, leaving the USA now would only embolden the slave states to make more demands on the rest of the country with even less recourse.

Even worse, because California could leave the Union and the rest of the United States would have no ability to stop us, we would be setting a dangerous precedent for the rest of the Union. If the southern states decided to declare independence to preserve slavery, somebody like Lincoln might not be able to get the public support needed to go to war to preserve the union and to end slavery.

Is our desire to make ourselves feel better by not associating with the United States worth it if it prevents history from ending that abominable practice when it did?

- Stay American

Proposition 8: Constitutional Convention
Organizes a Constitutional Convention to rewrite and adopt a new Constitution.

Arguments in Favor
Since The Event brought us back to 1850, our state has been operating with a constitutional Sword of Damocles hanging over us. The Constitution of 2018 is castle different than the Constitution of 1850, and many of our most cherished laws and legal precedents rely on it. We wish to rewrite the state’s constitution to remove this ambiguity.

Regardless of your support of the independence initiative, this is a vital step for California to preserve our values and our state.

- Jerry Brown, Former Governor.
- Xavier Becerra, Attorney General.
- Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice, California Supreme Court.
- Toni Atkins, President Pro Tem California Senate.


Arguments Against:
None filed.
 
#12
From: Tom Steyer on behalf of 350.org.
To: Undisclosed Recipients.
Subject: A Second Chance to do Things Right.

Dear *|FNAME|*,

California has been given an incredible second chance. Recorded levels of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide have dropped to 287 ppm. However, as history has shown us, this is going to start rising if we don’t do anything about it.

Which is why we are calling on Governor Newsom and the California Labor Party to ban construction of new fossil fuel power plants, and a requirement for all new housing construction to be capable of electrical self-sufficiency.

We have a chance here to prevent the world’s dependence on Coal, Oil, and other fossil fuels before it ever starts. California can become a model for the world, and we should see this as a chance to do things right the first time.

That’s also why we’re calling on Californians to support Recommissioning San Onofre. Nuclear electricity emits no greenhouse gasses and can be supplied with fuel available here in California.


Click Here to send a message to your Assembly Representative and State Senator

Thank you,

Tom Steyer.

———

Terminal Island, Long Beach/San Pedro, March 18th, 1851

No 21st century, first world country could survive for very long with it’s legs cut off from underneath it for very long like California had. Like any other first world nation, California was dependent on a global trade network to keep things moving.

However, California had a unique advantage to weather the storm caused by The Event, namely the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles. Prior to The Event, these two ports were responsible for all of the container and bulk carrier traffic coming to the United States from China, and as a result, there was always a miles-long queue of ships waiting to dock and offload their cargo. It was this queue of ships that had helped soften the blow of The Event. Container ships with enough goods to supply a nation of 325 million now only needed to supply 38 million.

It had taken a herculean effort to inventory everything and to warehouse it around the southland, when normally it would get loaded onto rail or trucks and distributed to warehouses around the country.

But today, the last of the backlogged containers were being loaded onto a train and sent up the Alameda Corridor to a warehouse in San Bernardino.

“I wanted you to know you’ve done a remarkable job.” Said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Your efforts here are a vital safety net for Californians everywhere, and the first steps towards getting California back on track in this new world.”

The assembled dockworkers in San Pedro cheered at that.

“In the coming days, The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach will become the Gateway to the Golden State.”

“When Californians voted to become an independent nation.” Said Garcetti. “We voted against an administration that was treating us like its personal piggy bank while standing by and letting Californians die. And now we find ourselves at the whim of an entirely new administration that wants to treat us the exact same way.”

“That is why today, I am proud to announce the opening of the Los Angeles Naval Shipyards.” Announced the mayor. “Where Berth 100 sits today will become a new drydock facility, so that all of our uptime vessels can be repaired and maintained while we wait for the rest of the world to catch up.”

“In addition, I am pleased to announce that Governor Newsom has signed a deal with the Hawaiian prince to build a modern port facility in Honolulu.” Said Garcetti. “And the World Cruise Center here in Los Angeles will become the California terminus for ships going to and from Hawaii.”

———

Pershing Square, Los Angeles

A common site for protests in Downtown Los Angeles, having hosted the J20 protests when the uptime president was inaugurated, and later the Women’s March and protests against the uptime Immigration and Customs Enforcement. So today was no different.

“Hey hey! Ho ho! Slave catchers have got to go!” Yelled the angry crowd, showing their displeasure at the fact that Fillmore was sending US Marshalls to California to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act.

“What do we want?” Yelled a protest leader on a megaphone.

“Snatchers out!” Replied the crowd.

“When do we want it?” She asked.

“Now!” Replied the thunderous crowd.

“What do we want?” She incited the crowd further.

“Snatchers out!” Replied the crowd.

“When do we want it?” She asked on the bullhorn.

“Now!” Roared the crowd.

The crowd continued to grow restless.

It was in front of this angry crowd that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck took the stage.

“I have been asked,” Said Beck. “In a letter from Speaker of the House Cobb to Mayor Garcetti and myself, that we ‘must make every available effort’ to return escaped slaves to their rightful masters.”

The assembled crowd roiled in anger at that idea.

“But doing that would mean turning our backs on a hundred and seventy years of Californian judicial tradition.” Said Beck. “If the Washington government wants federal slavery laws enforced, they can do it themselves, but we will not help them. To that end I have issues standing orders to every single one of my officers. There is to be no assistance provided by any uniformed members of the Los Angeles Police Department and anybody attempting to enforce this law.”

———

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Jessie Benton Frémont sat on the side of a stage watching a similar event in San Francisco. It was amazing the kind of social progress that these Californians had taken for granted.

The idea that a woman should be able to vote or hold public office was seen as a given. Sure there were a handful of people who didn’t like the idea but they were seen as old fashioned throwbacks.

But as the former senator Diane Feinstein finished speaking to the crowd, she mentally rehearsed her speech one last time. Taking the hand offered, she slowly and carefully got up, her mobility somewhat hampered the pregnancy.

Walking up to the podium, Jessie grabbed a microphone and began to speak.

“Thank you for that warm welcome everyone.” Said Jessie. “When I first arrived here in California, I almost could not believe the kind of social progress you had taken for granted. So many things that I have struggled to see achieved were as mundane as the sunrise. But I was heartened to see that you haven’t taken it for granted.”

“I wish that I could bring every senator and congressman in Washington here to see the new California in person so that they could understand what you all have struggled and worked hard to build. So that they could understand the unique beauty of the West and the opportunity that it provides.”

“We are California Strong!” She finished to an uproarious crowd.

———

181 Fremont Street, San Francisco – March 29th

Jessie Benton Frémont walked her daughter Lily into their high rise condo, carrying a roasted chicken in one of her grocery bags, and a bottle of wine for herself in the other. With only just the two of them, and John in Sacramento, they had a good number of leftover allotments on her ration card. So Jessie was splurging a little bit.

“Welcome to the Hotel California.” Sang Lily. “Such a lovely place.”

“Such as lovely place” Sang Jessie, as the two of them put away the groceries.

That song had been on Jessie’s mind lately, the once-untamed frontier had become what had seemed like a paradise on earth at first. The California of 2018 was a place where a lot of people couldn’t afford to live because of high rents and something akin to the problem of land speculators that she was all too familiar with back home. Even the condo that her, John and Lily shared was a stroke of luck, with the exchange rate for the cash that she had brought with her from Washington, the money from the settlement over the Mariposa land, and Mrs. Feinstein helping the young family afford this place.

But her and John had important roles in the state now, she was helping the “up-time” federal government deal with the rest of the world and giving advice to California’s two new senators, Mrs. Harris and Mr. Jones, as only somebody who grew up in Old Hickory’s White House could.

“Lizzie would love this place.” Jessie mused.

Jessie had always been loud and outspoken as a child, and she had practically been joined at the hip to her best friend Elizabeth Blair.

Now that instinct, which had been chafing at the edges in Washington, was perfectly welcome in the new California. It had taken quite a bit of getting used to, but like the song that had been on her mind had said, ‘you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.’ And truthfully, after experiencing the wonders that this place had to offer, she didn’t think she could ever leave.

Placing the roasted chicken on the small dining table, Lily grabbed the plates and silverware out of the cupboards, and the two of them helped themselves to some chicken.

“Shall we see how your father is doing?” Jessie asked.

Lily nodded.

Pulling a tablet off of the charging stand, Jessie unlocked it and called John. After a couple of rings, his face popped up onto the screen.

“Hello Jessie, Hi Lily.” He said on the screen.

“Hi dad!” Said Lily Frémont.

“Hey John,” Said Jessie. “How are things going in Sacramento?”

John winced. “You remember hearing about Glanton and his gang? They think they’ve caught some of them, and a lot of them are after blood.”

Jessie tensed, the California of 2018 was different in so many ways, but one of the most stark differences for John and herself to come to terms with was how people viewed the Indians. In Washington, they were seen as an obstacle to expansion, and a problem to be erased, and truth be told her father was one of the worst about it. But in California they tried to see the Indians as equal parters and as a community of separate nations the same way one might see Bavaria or France as a separate country. It had required John and herself to do some soul-searching about how they saw Indians, especially since the arc of history had taken a very dim view on how California treated Indians, with words like ‘Genocide’ being thrown around.

“Well.” She said. “I hope they’re prepared to face justice."

———

United Farm Workers — Keene, CA

If you asked the members of the UFW, CalEFDA was a godsend. The Agency had been made with a mandate to buy whatever the valley had produced. UFW had worked with the Democrat, scratch that, the Labor Party, and even the Agricultural Council of California to hammer out the wording.

Ultimately though, with the overnight disappearance of export markets, only the most hardcore of Randian fundamentalists had spoken up against CalEFDA, when pressed with the choice between socialism or barbarism, it was the Ayn Rand worshippers in Orange County who were willing to push the state down the road to Barbarism. The excess fruits and vegetables were being stored in a refrigerated storage facility in Lodi that had used to be part of a General Mills plant.

For now, the excesses are being cycled out and disposed of if there’s spoilage, but the eventual plan is for the state to start shipping out the excess to the rest of the country. As soon as the cross-country rail links were built, all the refrigerated shipping containers that had piled up in the state would be able to send fresh fruits and vegetables across the country and around the world. People knew from history that this was an untapped market with a rapidly shrinking window of opportunity.

Meat, on the other hand was something where the demand was still outpacing supply in most cases. Fish from the ocean wasn’t a problem, those fish stocks had been replenished by The Event, but beef and chicken were still short and so CalEFDA had been doing some clever distribution management to cut spoilage as much as possible and even out the demand for meat so that people wouldn’t feel the pinch as badly.

———

Interstate 8 Bridge, Quechan Territory, Winterhaven, CA – 9:03 AM, March 30th, 1851

J.C. Morehead was a tired man. His company of men were returning to Los Angeles over this strange bridge that had appeared over the Colorado River. They had expected to be treated like triumphant war heroes for avenging the righteous hero and Indian scalper John Glanton, that was what Governor Burnett asked him to do after all.

The expedition had started off badly, with the bloodsucking merchants in the cattle town of Los Angeles charging him an arm and a leg for everything, running the costs of supplies into the thousands of dollars. Half of his men had deserted him to go mine for gold in the Sierras, and had to recruit men off of the wagon trains coming along the southern stagecoach trails, all of whom wanted huge paydays because they had come to California for gold.

Of course, once the expedition of 125 men had crossed the Colorado, site of the ferry incident that had started the whole thing, the Indians just kept fleeing further and further up the river. Across his entire company of men, Morehead reckoned that they had maybe killed a dozen or so Indians.

Every time they moved along the Gila, the Indians would just move further and further up the river, denying his men the pleasure of killing them, forcing them to simply burn their food supplies. Eventually though, Morehead and his men had just given up, made camp along the river, and used up most of their supplies before launching a half-cocked filibustering expedition into Mexico.

It… didn’t go so well. Of the 125 who went into Sonora to filibuster it, only 75 had made it back, with many of them dying of thirst in the Sonoran Desert.

So now, Morehead and his band were tired, hungry, and itching for their big paydays promised by Governor Burnett. As the group crossed over the odd bridge, they couldn’t help but notice the line of black and white stagecoaches with the words “Border Patrol” written on the sides arrayed along the bridge to block them.

Probably just trying to collect a toll for the bridge, or maybe to keep the Yuma out. Thought the local guide, Dave Brown. He was hoping it wasn’t a lawman from San Diego, who might have been wondering why somebody who had escaped from prison in San Diego had gotten a job as a guide for this excursion.

“Can I help you gentlemen?” Asked one of the uniformed men.

“We’re the Gila Expedition returning to California under orders from Governor Burnett.” Explained Morehead.

“Governor Burnett?” Asked the officer. “The Governor of California is Gavin Newsom now, not Peter Burnett. Can I ask what you boys were doing in Mexico?”

“We were sent up the Gila to pursue the Yuma in retaliation for their senseless killing of John Glanton.” Replied Morehead.

“Uh huh. I’ll just bet you were.” Said the office, suspiciously. “If you’re going to bullshit me, make it believable. We spotted your party coming up from the south, from Mexico, not from along the Gila.”

Not liking how this confrontation was going, Morehead’s hand started moving towards the rifle he had strapped to his back.

“Hands where I can see em!” Yelled the office, who had pulled out an odd looking pistol. “Off the horses, now!”

Morehead definitely didn’t like the sound of that, instead he reached for his trusty Mississippi rifle. “I don’t think so.” Morehead snarled.

The rest of the uniformed men seemed to take this as a sign of aggression and started unholstering their own weapons as well.

“Drop the guns, and get on the ground! Face down!” One of the officers shouted.

None of Morehead’s men complied. The Border Patrol officers pointed their guns at the ground in front of Morehead’s team.

Bill Carr, one of Morehead’s men who had injured his ankle in Los Angeles before they had set off, pulled out his own smoothbore musket and leveled it at one of the uniformed men.

Carr had barely slept since his bad ankle was still aching, so when a box on one of the uniformed men’s breast had suddenly made a noise, he was startled.

His finger twitched just enough.

One of the uniformed officers who was watching him saw this, and in a split second decision, raised his pistol and shot Bill Carr.

As soon as the first shot rang out, the bridge turned into a war zone, Morehead and the rest tried to pull out their muskets and rifles, but the uniformed men just cut them down with their pistols.

Of the 75 men who had entered the bridge, only 48 survived.
 

Alex Richards

*Eyes Ashfield nervously*
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#13
“But doing that would mean turning our backs on a hundred and seventy years of Californian judicial tradition.” Said Beck. “If the Washington government wants federal slavery laws enforced, they can do it themselves, but we will not help them. To that end I have issues standing orders to every single one of my officers. There is to be no assistance provided by any uniformed members of the Los Angeles Police Department and anybody attempting to enforce this law.”
That's going to seriously ruffle feathers in Washington. I wonder if the whole Act is about to collapse.

Apropros of nothing, but I've just had a sudden thought- should this be in writing instead?
 
#15
Author’s Disclaimer: The pre-ISOT years of 2016, 2017, and 2018 are not identical to those years IOTL.

How California Created The Largest Accidental Public Works Program in History — TheLiberator.com — April 9th, 1872

Of the unique things about living in California, the one thing that tends to surprise newcomers the most is that the vast majority of people living here live in publicly owned housing. For most people coming from the United States, the adjustment from living in crowded tenements with increasing rents to rentless communal dwellings is a frequent source of culture shock.

Yet it shocks people to learn that this system came about on accident.

When California came back in time to 1850, the state was faced with a myriad of crisises caused by the transition. While the State Senate and State Assembly solutions to those acts had a cascade of unintended consequences.

Thousands of homes across the state had been purchased as investments by wealthy foreigners who were trying to park money in California via real estate. When The Event happened, these dwellings were suddenly thrown into legal uncertainty, with the owners having effectively ceased to exist with The Event. As these properties became taxdelinquent, counties began to take possession of them and make them available as low income housing. Meanwhile, with all the lenders within the state in FDIC receivership at the time, properties that had been foreclosed on by the banks had been "sold" to the state's former Department of Housing and Community Development. who in trend transferred the houses to counties to administer.

At the same time, fears of a looming unemployment crisis had prompted the state to order a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. As people fell behind on rents and mortgages, counties would take ownership of properties, and would negotiate a reduced rate of payment based on people’s income.

As word began to spread about this, and as the unemployment began to increase from pre-transition companies going defunct from the crisis, and as other companies began to partially replace wages with stock as a stopgap measure, more Californians found themselves defaulting. These defaults had caused more rent and mortgage delinquencies, which had led to the state taking more ownership of properties and taking a reduced rent payment.

Multi-tenant apartment complexes or buildings suddenly found themselves undercut by the influx of the state owned Vacant Investment Property (VIP) dwellings appearing on the market, and so many apartment complexes were forced to reduce rent to compete, which in turn caused many newly constructed ones to default and be forced to sell to HCD.

In spite of conservative fears of a fiscal collapse caused by these actions, the new revenue stream from tenants had acted as a lifeline for county governments and the state government, who had been worried about a loss of property tax revenue.

The collapse of the housing market from the crisis and the emergence of this new income stream for county governments had happened so fast and so thoroughly across the state that by the time of the Constitutional Convention in January of 1853, the overwhelming majority of delegates had called for a formal codification of the ad hoc public housing program, which it received in the form of the California Department of Public Housing, the largest single landowner in the world.

Today, over 86% of Californians live in publicly owned housing, and California has one of the lowest rates of homelessness and poverty in the world.​

———

California Public Utilities Commission — Sacramento.

San Onofre, the place had been on Chairman Picker’s mind a lot. When outgoing governor had asked him to put together a feasibility study of reactivating San Onofre, he hadn’t expected it to end up like this. The RFP had been blood in the water for researchers and now he had three detailed proposals for the San Onofre site.

The first one was to let SCE and PG&E rebuild it in roughly the same configuration as it had been before, albeit at a reduced output capacity to comply with post-Fukushima operational constraints.

The second option had come from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This would be safer and less risky to operate for the most part, and had easier to acquire fuel, but involved a lot more unproven technology to make it work. High short term cost but a longer term payoff.

Finally there was a somewhat radical idea from Lockheed Martin, they wanted to use the SONGS site to build a full scale prototype of their compact fusion reactor. This had the highest potential payoff in the long term but also had the highest risk in terms of failure to deliver.

Three proposals for the SONGS site...



———

What’s Next for #CalExit? — Los Angeles Times, April 10, 1851

SACRAMENTO—As Californians take to the streets in celebration over the Prop. 7 results, the California Independence Movement now faces the question of “what’s next for California?”

The language of the bill requires that California’s US Senate and Congressional delegation put forward an amendment to rescind California’s statehood and recognize its independence. Neither Senator Harris nor Senator Jones have said when they will introduce that measure, but they are required to present it to the downtime Congress within 90 days.

The State Legislation has passed a resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention of the remaining uptime states under Article V of the United States Constitution and delivered that to the acting uptime Federal Government in San Francisco. This Article V convention would be held at the same time and in the same place as the California Constitutional Convention, effectively combining them.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Governor Newsom said that he "supports the decision that the people of California have made in confirming our independence."

At the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Acting President Pelosi has already expressed her support for the Constitutional Convention, telling reporters that it was a “necessary step towards reconciling California with this new world.”

The question on everybody’s mind however, is how will the United States of 1851 react to the Proposition 7 vote. And that’s a question with no clear answer.​

———

Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse — 4th Street & Birch, Santa Ana — April 10th, 5:38 PM

The restless crowds mingled on the street. The mood however, was one of celebration, not anger. The people of California had made their voices heard, and they had sent a message to a uncaring and unfeeling Government thousands of miles away in Washington, a government that had been actively trying to punish Californians and those two years of frustration had boiled over into a proxy vote of no confidence in that president, only to have it immediately replaced by one that was somehow even more distant and uncaring.

The feeling that it was California against the world had only intensified by the Event, with the census rejection and the news of downtime army soldiers being sent to California in order to “maintain order.”

Now though, people from all over Orange County had gathered under the setting sun in front of a statue of a deeply disliked president who hadn’t even been born to celebrate independence.

The mass-produced bronze statue of the 45th president had been a controversial addition to the small grassy lawn in front of the building, and one that had been heavily protested when it had been installed, as well as being a frequent target for vandalism.

Taken within its full context however, it was only one out of many statues that had been hastily installed in immigrant communities across the US, paid for by right wing dark money groups. Ostensibly, these statues were to honor the 45th president. The fact that they were mainly erected in immigrant-heavy and Spanish-speaking communities was pure coincidence.

Somehow, not a single person bought that excuse for what was a fairly transparent attempt at intimidation of minorities.

“California! Uber Alles! Uber Alles! California!” Sang somebody with a megaphone. The electrified crowd finally had a reason to celebrate.

When historians looked back on this moment, it was never clear who threw the first rope around the statue, but it happened. An improvised rope had been fastened around the statue with members of the crowd taking up the slack and pulling. Shortly afterwards, more ropes were added in to the mix and more people started pulling on them.

The hollow bronze statue started to buckle from the force and the cheap mass-produced construction, a few more tugs and it buckled more. Finally, with an enormous roar of approval, the statue of the 45th president had fallen to the ground in a crumpled heap of bronze.
 

Alex Richards

*Eyes Ashfield nervously*
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#16
Today, over 86% of Californians live in publicly owned housing, and California has one of the lowest rates of homelessness and poverty in the world.
Well that's quite the thing to happen by accident.

The hollow bronze statue started to buckle from the force and the cheap mass-produced construction, a few more tugs and it buckled more. Finally, with an enormous roar of approval, the statue of the 45th president had fallen to the ground in a crumpled heap of bronze.
Reagan following Lee into the dustbin of history? Oh my.
 
#20
National Palace, México City — May 5th, 1851

“...and some, I assume are good people.” came a tinny voice to rapturous applause on the tablet.

President Mariano Arista closed the video on the tablet the Ambassador from California had given him as a gift. To know that in a hundred and seventy years, things would be as bad as they always were was a depressing thought.

Arista was between a rock and a hard place and he knew it. Alta California had always been a near-ungovernable backwater. It was too distant from Mexico City and too sparsely populated for previous presidents to really care about.

Which is why when Alta California had declared independence in 1836, Santa Anna was more concerned with putting down the revolt started by the Yankee filibusters in Tejas than the Californios, who were quite satisfied with being a self-governing Department of Mexico.

Eventually, The self-styled “Republic of Texas” had captured President Antonio López de Santa Anna and forced him at gunpoint to sign a “treaty” granting them independence. An unfair treaty that the Americans seemed to have no intention of honoring, given that it took them less than a decade before the Americans started placing troops along Rio Grande, two hundred miles south of the agreed upon border of Rio Nueces.

Of course an insult like that was worth fighting, and thus began México’s second conflict with the Americans. And this one was a humiliating defeat that had led to American soldiers invading the very capital of Mexico. They had been forced to give up not only Tejas, but Alta California, Nuevo México, and parts of Chihuahua Coahuila, and Tamaulipas.

And of course the Americans find gold in Alta California right after México gives up their claim on it.

Arista’s look at one of the history textbooks brought in from future California weren’t much of a relief, him ousted in a coup by the conservatives and replaced by Santa Anna, a United States that treats Mexico and Central America as it’s own personal playground, and the depressing knowledge that México’s northern neighbor will always be blatantly hypocritical towards them. The only blessing was that California’s sudden time travel seemed to have erased William Walker, a man who would have invaded Baja California and Sonora in order to bring the most abominable of institutions to it.

And now that troublesome territory had voted to become independent, right after being admitted as a state.

Frankly, if California was going to declare independence from Washington like the bear flaggers in that territory had done to Mexico, it served the Americans right for their strategy to blow up in their faces like that. This future California could serve as a good counterweight to American ambitions on the rest of the Continent, and allowing Alta California to spit in the eye of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo would mollify the conservatives who were not happy with him being president.

To: Gavin Newsom, Governor of California.

The United Mexican States hereby recognizes the independence and sovereignty of The Republic of California over the areas formerly occupied by the Territory of Alta California. We hereby welcome California into the community of nations as an equal.

There, that would get the conservatives off his back, and spit in the eyes of the United States.

———

House of Representatives, US Capitol, Washington DC — May 5th, 1851

To say that Barbara Lee showing up to represent California within the House of Representatives had caused a stir had been like saying that the Pacific Ocean was a little wet.

Speaker Linn Boyd (D-KY) had initially refused to seat her, thinking her appearance on the floor had been an elaborate joke. That had lasted until he realized that she knew the House’s rules and procedures like the back of her hand.

“The floor recognizes the representative from California.” Boyd called out.

“Mister Speaker. I wish to introduce a constitutional amendment to the floor.” Rep. Lee (L-CA) spoke up.

“The people of California have recognized the great burden that integrating a state with a population equal to that of the rest of the United States would place on the rest of the country, and recognize the burden of trying to integrate two wildly divergent legal traditions and constitutions.

In accordance with the vote taken at a special election referendum earlier this year, in which the people of California voted to separate from the United States, I propose an amendment to the United States Constitution removing California from the Union.”

The floor of the House erupted into noise at the proposed amendment.

“Order! Order!” Shouted Boyd over the noise and banging his gavel.

“I move that we send Miss Lee’s proposed Amendment to the House Committee on Territories for further consideration.” Said Charles Allen (FS-MA).

“All in favor?” Said Boyd. The entire room said “Aye.”

“All opposed?” He asked again. Silence.

“The motion carries.”

It would be the last time that the 32nd congress would consider this proposal for an independent California.