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A Golden Island to the West

Alex Richards

*Eyes Ashfield nervously*
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
That last sentence has L A Y E R S.
There are so many reasons it could be the case.

Looks like Cali's decided to go it alone. I suppose the thought is that simply bankrupting Big Cotton to take out slavery removes the need to remain in the Union at all.

And cynically there's probably not a few who think that if the Confederacy had left then as long as they got rid of the Vile Institution the rest of the States would be better off for it. Though maybe keeping hold of Virginia.
Various News Headlines

Tesla Posts Shaky Financials In First Quarter Post-Event — San Jose Mercury News — January 15th, 1851

Railroad Operator BNSF to File for Bankruptcy.
— Los Angeles Times, March 18th, 1851

Google Warns Investors of Massive Q1 Losses. — SFGate.com — March 26th, 1851

Once the Elephant in the Room of eCommerce, Amazon to be Purchased by CalEFDA. — County Register — March 27th, 1851

Tesla Inc. Enters Into Negotiations with United Auto Workers for Bailout. — San Francisco Chronicle — April 11th, 1851

Microsoft to Undergo Major Reorganization, Will Focus on Azure Cloud Service and Security Updates for Windows 10 — ArsTechnica.com — April 18th, 1851.

UC Regents to Purchase Google for $750 Million. — Sacramento Bee — May 1st, 1851

Hoover Dam Reconstruction Project Passes Initial Environmental Review, Qualifies for a “Significant Uptime Similarity” CEQA Exemption — CleanTechnica.com — June 3rd, 1851


California Public Utilities Commission — San Francisco

“Let me get this straight, you want me to authorize a rate increase of 700%?” Asked Michael Picker to the CEO of Southern California Edison. “You’re standing here in my office asking for that right now asking a rate increase when you haven’t had a single day without a brownout in six months, and you want to hike their rates, am I reading you right?”

“We’ve had to make a lot of investments in building out power to make up for the capacity lost by The Event.” Replied Kevin Payne, CEO of Southern California Edison. “We’ve been spending in order to build more generation capacity and we cannot maintain this level of buildout without a revenue offset.”

“How long?” Asked Picker, sighing in frustration. “How long can you continue to build at this rate until you’re insolvent?”

Payne winced like he was biting into a lemon. “12 months.”

“That's it then?” Asked Picker.

“That's it.” Replied Payne. “Beyond that timeframe, we'd have to restructure the company to deal with the debt or go into bankruptcy.”

“Okay.” Said Picker. “But look at it from my perspective here, how is it going to look if you raise people’s power bills by 700% and you still can’t keep the power from going out at 6 o’clock?”

“And if we don’t raise rates in 12 months there won’t be any power because we’ll be out of business!” Yelled Payne.

“How about a compromise then?” Asked Picker. “I’ll let you raise rates in graduated steps, but only after you prove the capability to deliver 90 days of uninterrupted power.”

“30 days.” Offered Payne.

“60 days.” Countered Picker.

“Fine.” Grumbled Payne.
So has California started producing more smallpox vaccine yet?

Because if it hasn't, the first time smallpox crosses the state border it's going to cause what's effectively a virgin-field epidemic in everyone born after vaccination stopped in 1972, plus older people who the vaccine didn't work on and were kept safe pre-eradication by herd immunity.
So has California started producing more smallpox vaccine yet?

Because if it hasn't, the first time smallpox crosses the state border it's going to cause what's effectively a virgin-field epidemic in everyone born after vaccination stopped in 1972, plus older people who the vaccine didn't work on and were kept safe pre-eradication by herd immunity.

It's relatively simple to make, and the UC's and CSUs are making more smallpox vaccines. Post-9/11 healthcare workers and EMTs were vaccinated against it in case of a bioterrorism attack.
USS Theodore Roosevelt – North Island NAS - May 20th, 1851

The Teddy Roosevelt was preparing for an unusual mission. A mission for Californians to show off to the world the kind of advancements that had happened in the last 178 years. To that extent, most of the hangar deck on the Roosevelt had been converted into an impromptu floating convention center, with various Californian companies purchasing booth space. Other spaces had been converted into theaters that would show movies and documentaries covering aspects of uptime culture. California was in the process of turning itself around into a global superpower in their own right, and the Roosevelt's world tour was going to be their debut into the global stage. On the flight deck, a handful of planes would stay around to show off the capabilities of powered flight and to allow quick transportation on and off the ship.

The departure date was a few months away, but that still gave the crew of the Roosevelt a long list of things to get done to get the ship ready for the exhibitors to load in and get setup once the ship was underway. So far the booth spaces had filled up with a who's who of California, with the newly merged California Semiconductor showing off their computers, Cisco showing off modern networking that made the old telegraph lines seem hopeless antiquated, Tesla, BYD, Siemens had bought island booths to show off electric cars, busses and locomotives, the California High Speed Rail Authority had a booth next to the Siemens booth showing their plans for the San Francisco to Los Angeles railroad, and a transcontinental link to Salt Lake City. The California Science Center had bought an island booth showing off several exhibits on the advances of science, and the science behind smog.

California High Speed Rail Authority – Sacramento

Brian Kelly would likely never admit it out loud, but The Event was an enormous lifeline for this project. The High Speed Rail Project, ever since it was approved by the voters, had been hit with one attempt after another to delay, defund, and derail the project. Despite construction already having started in the central valley, the well-funded opposition to the rail project had been using it as a political whipping post for the past decade.

But the event changed all that. Union Pacific couldn't afford to keep many of their now-truncated branch lines, including the original transcontinental railroad that had connected San Francisco with Sacramento, a rail line that now terminated in Truckee.

Brian Kelly had seen an opportunity. He had gotten a message out to the downtime governor of the Utah Territory about building a railroad to Salt Lake City, and Brigham Young had been more than willing to grant them the land that the old transcontinental railroad had used to cross the Great Basin in order to reach Salt Lake City. It had seemed that a bit of uptime information regarding the airline industry had reached Young and he had made it his goal to turn Salt Lake City into the great transportation hub of the West, calling it the holy duty of every Mormon to support this project so that people coming to California would have to pass through Salt Lake City and hear the good word. It was one of the more unique reasons to support the project, and the funding that going to be brought in from the land sales would likely be able to finance the San Francisco to Los Angeles line. The mineral rights for the Comstock Lode deposits that the land grand area covered would be enough to pay for the Initial Operating Segment.

Gleeson Library Reading Room, University of San Francisco – February 5, 1852

Arthur rubbed the bridge of his nose and put down his book. The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, this trip to San Francisco had answered so many questions and yielded so many more. How... HOW? The supremacy of the British Empire didn't fall to some great war or calamity of the seas but simple economics. An Empire that fell much like the Romans, too unwieldy too unwilling to adapt and surpassed by others. He looked over at his notebook filled with notes of events for his superiors, books to purchase, and other snippets. Sepoy Rebellion, Opium Wars, the Berlin Conference, the Belle Epoch... the Great War... The Great Depression... the Second Great War... the Cold War... and American Supremacy. The whole of the British Empire lasted barely a century. He looked opposite the reading room table to his French colleague. To say nothing of his other colleague who occasionally swore in Russian while perusing the future that once was to be. Jacques was reading a book title Paris 1919, scoffing occasionally to himself. It was an odd circumstance that brought them all together, of course the official envoys were meeting with their "uptime counterparts" but that left the work to the researchers and staffers brought along like Arthur. Ignoring the oddity of using rainbow money to get to a proper library they each found their way to the University of San Francisco's Rare book room to conduct their research. Jacques had attempted to go to the San Francisco Public Library but attracted too many gawkers and took a librarians invitation for the much quieter USF. Victor went straight to the Russian consulate but refused to believe their truth of events, and sought independent confirmation. Arthur... well sad to say he went to a bookstore called City Lights but was cited by a police officer for relieving himself in an alley, apparently ALL people in this new San Francisco used toilets in privacy. Jacques closed his book, “I find myself looking at this new history with an interesting perspective Mr. McDougall. A future to be avoided to be certain.”

“What are your thoughts?” Arthur asked, he hardly trusted the French, his father fought with Wellington at Waterloo.

Jacques smiled, “The great evil of the 20th century is plain to see. It is a United Germany.” he said holding up a hardbound book embossed with an image of Otto von Bismarck. “World War I was started by them, and their government caused the second one”

Arthur scoffed, “Herr Hitler I must remind you was an Austrian.”

Jacques smiled, “All the more reason. The Danish conflict is sowing the seeds of what is to come. German must not unite.”

Arthur frowned, “Stalling will only work for so long. Eager to avoid your fate in another Franco-Prussian War?”

“Eager to see your sovereign's house fall again?” he riposted.

Viktor threw his heavy tome across the room, his thick Russian accent yelled, “It is not Germany, Hitler, or your wounded national pride. The true threat is Communism.” pointing at Arthur, “Your nation better be planning to make that Marx and Engels disappear!”

Arthur grimaced, “I’m afraid it's too late for either if the gossip I heard is true.” standing up, “Gentlemen, it is plain to see that before us in this room,” he said gesturing to reading room with several piles of books, “That we have been given a divine opportunity. To learn from the future, to repair our present. I've already heard my superiors mention plans for an audit of the East India Company to avoid the disaster in India.”

Jacques scoffed, “If you think you will outplay us again you are wrong monsieur.”

Viktor scoffed, “Oh please both of you invaded us to stop this communism before. We can kill it in it's crib, NOW.””

Arthur was more uncertain, He saw the wave of revolutions in 1848. He had seen the proof that it wasn't an isolated incident but a wave. A wave that would not end at Europe but over the next century take over the globe. Bloody Hell, Britain would even nearly lose Scotland by 2018. As much as he hated saying it, the future was coming whether they liked it or not.

“Men in all our countries we tried and failed to stop progress, perhaps it is best if we adjust to create the least unfavorable history for us, rather then letting our nations be consigned to a future of irrelevance, cowardice, and corruption.”

Jacques scoffed again, “France does not surrender.”

Viktor was silent, before saying, “This is not going to be popular in Moscow”

Arthur held up his hands, “Most of our leaders debate the course of action without knowing the future.” before tossing a book to Viktor, The Russian Revolution by Oxford University Press. “We now know the future, and we can work together to prevent it.” Looking to Jacques, “Or we can ignore it.”

Jacques gathered his book purchases, “Germany must be destroyed in the crib!” and slammed the door leaving both Viktor and Arthur alone,

“What do you propose.”

Arthur smiled, “Politics is the Art of the Impossible, the International order after the council of Vienna must change. California will dominate the Pacific, and we better adjust... My government might be willing to take Alaska off your hands should your social changes cause a need for capital.”

Viktor laughed, “Pax Brittania once again?”

“Is it better to be a partner in international order in Pax Brittania then a pariah in Pax Californica? With Germany on our side... what can't we do?”

Both of them looked around the reading room, “Tell me your proposal and I could advocate it in Moscow.”

Arthur smiled, “While taking credit for it?”

Viktor laughed, “Of course. Just like I doubt you will mention me to your Foreign and Colonial Offices.” and the two proceeded to outline their plans. Although it would not be known for a decade the future of Russia and Great Britain was set by that meeting. Their purchases of Keynes and Friedman Economic texts, and multiple histories would yield considerable political capital back home, it would also mean the death of many “upcoming” political leaders. No one could trust a man whose future was mapped out. Benjamin Disraeli would find himself sidelined in Parliament constantly, and forced to concede leadership to others, harangued by the legacy of a man who never would be. Friedrich Wilhelm Nikolaus Karl of House Hohenzollern would be encouraged to stop smoking entirely.

Of course a darker history was also established that day but Arthur and Viktor would curse it once they would finally hear of it. Soon after they left the reading room two men entered where the downtimers had just left, “All right Michael, why did you do this little stunt?” stated Scott Nichols, the Governor of California's Deputy Chief of Staff for Foreign Affairs. Michael Reynolds, a professor of history and international politics at the University of San Francisco bent down to pick up the book Viktor had thrown. Holding it up to Scott he ripped open the hard cover book revealing a recording device, “History won't wait for us. Our knowledge of the future gives us insight but the future isn't written in stone.”

Scott looked around at the reading room, the ceiling tiles alone contained plastic domes and microphones that no downtimer would think twice about yet, “I figured as much. But you pulled a lot of strings to get me here to show me a stunt? The governor and Pelosi are meeting with the downtime envoys at the St. Francis and I should be there.”

Michael smiled, “California will become a geopolitical actor by our mere presence. The Empires of Europe are going through their own geopolitical calculus and they will come to the same conclusion I have. They lost the Pacific because of our mere presence. The combined navies of Europe can't fight a carrier group, and they know it now. If you want to get the trade agreements California needs, we need to get operations going overseas.”

Scott looked up from the book, “Is this the conversation I think we are having? You want to make the CIA?”

Michael shrugged, “Who else you got? Feinstein is stuck in DC, and her Intelligence experience is useless now.”

Scott paced in front of the whiteboard Viktor and Arthur used and erased, and up at the little black dome in the ceiling that recorded their whole little division of the globe. “If... if… I get the governor to sign off on this. Let's run down your pertinent experience.”

Michael smiled, “Former Deputy Director of the CIA for East Asian Analysis. I was terminated in 2017 for calling the President an idiot, big surprise. Took a job at out alma mater and was hoping to get a better job down in Silicon Valley when The Event happened.”

Scott nodded, “You want to be head of the Californian Intelligence Agency?”

Michael scoffed, “No. This... if we do it at all we need a fresh start, we need to combine all the uptime assets we have in one place, with a unified agenda. I think we can do that. We only got fragments of the CIA and NSA left. Probably only a few duty officers right?”

Scott nonchalantly responded, “I can't confirm or deny that.”

Michael laughed, “I had Yankee White Security Clearance. I'd pass the clearance for Grizzly Red easy.”

“Let's not put the cart ahead of the horse.” stated Scott, “Why appeal to me? You were already on Pelosi's and Feinstein's short list for the job of Uptime Director of National Intelligence.” Pelosi's remnant Federal Government was bizarre in many ways and it's why it wasn't going to last probably if the games in Washington went how many thought they were in Sacramento

“Because I don't want that job. I want to coordinate with all available uptime intelligence operations.” Michael said as he placed some of the discarded books on the cart to be reshelved. “Including the uptime foreign ones.”

Scott chortled “You are nuts.”

Michael shrugged, “No I'm not. China's consulate was likely the go between how many IP operations to China, same with Japan. Russia's been operating in California since the Cold War. Where are these people supposed to go? The People's Republic of China doesn't exist yet, and won't for a century if then. Japantown alone probably has a higher GDP than Japan itself right now.”

Scott shook his head, “Too many conflicting loyalties”

“Actually they all have the same loyalty, whether they like it or not. Uptimer California. That's their only home now, what's a country where not even their great grandparents are born yet?”

Scott considered it, “I’ll talk with Gavin about it, and get back to you. It won't be an easy sell. You owe me.”

Michael nodded, “History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way, they will not watch at all.”

Scott nodded and began to walk away but paused, “Did you just quote the Extended Star Wars Universe at me?”

Michael merely laughed.


The latter section of this update was written by Firebringer2077 from the Discord.
Exhibit Hall D, Moscone Center — San Francisco — June 1st, 1851

Ever since The Event had happened, The North “D” hall of the Moscone Center in San Francisco had been used as the congressional chambers for the 2018 Government-in-Temporal-Exile. Most of the work had been to simply coordinate the remnants of the uptime federal agencies to act as a coherent government.

Now, however, with the constitutional convention upon them, and the sole remaining uptime state calling for an Article V convention, the temporary congressional chamber was being used for a different purpose, a constitutional convention that would lead to the dissolution of the remaining uptime federal government and folding it into the state government.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Please rise for the acting President of the uptime United States, Madam Nancy Pelosi.” Came the voice of the Sergeant at Arms over the PA system.

Emerging from the side room into the small stage, Pelosi was flanked by two secret service agents. Walking up to the podium, which had the presidential seal affixed to it as she had been walking up, she looked across the crowd of delegates, state senators, assemblymembers, and congressional representatives.

“My fellow Californians,” She said. “We stand before a crossroads right now. This supernatural disaster has uplifted all of us into a world that we can hardly recognize, and has created a legal uncertainty for many of the freedoms we hold dear. We stand here on behalf of the people of California to create a new constitution that resolves this uncertainty.”


Winners and Losers In The New Constitution. — John Myers, Los Angeles Times, July 1st, 1851.

SAN FRANCISCO—With the constitutional convention now underway at the Moscone Center, every aspect of California’s Constitution is under a microscope. When compared side by side to the the old constitution, the first thing to notice is that the new constitution is a significantly shorter document than its predecessor. Large parts of the old constitution were removed and rewritten into statutes to be passed alongside of it. The new leaner constitution is focused on the organization of government and of establishing the rights of the people, and not legislating from the constitution.

  • Lieutenant Governors: The Lieutenant Governor is no longer elected separately from the governor, instead both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are elected on a single ticket.
  • LGBT people: The new constitution unceremoniously removes Proposition 8 and added a constitutional protection against discrimination due to sexual orientation.
  • Taxpayers: The new constitution combines the IRS, Franchise Tax Board, and Board of Equalization into a single agency. According to a report by the Legislative Analysts Office, the tax savings from the reduced redundancy across the entire government would translate to an effective tax rate 10% lower for the average taxpayer.
  • Renters: The ad-hoc publicly owned housing programs that counties set up after the Event have been formalized into the Department of Public Housing.
  • MediCal recipients: The new constitution reorganizes Medicare and MediCal into a single agency with the mission to provide healthcare for everyone in California.
  • Immigrants: Without exception, everyone who was in the state when The Event happened is now a citizen of California.
  • Prop 13: The ballot measure born out of the infamous 1978 property tax revolt has been scaled back significantly to only cover owner-occupied houses. That means that owners of commercial and industrial property will see their tax bills rise with the valuation of the property.
  • Prop 98: The Prop 98 school funding formula has been removed from the constitution to give legislators more flexibility in budgeting. In exchange, the constitutional declaration of rights guarantees the right to a quality and free education.
  • Immigration Hardliners: Proposition 68, which declared English the official language of California, has been quietly excised from the new constitution. In addition, the new constitution declares that all people residing in California on the date of the Event are California citizens, effectively granting amnesty to California's population of undocumented immigrants.
  • Rep. Bob Huff (R-Fullerton) and Former Assemblywoman Young Kim: The two GOP congressional candidates who controversially won the top two slots in the June primary for their district despite the Democratic candidates receiving more votes will be feeling the heat in future elections, as the top two primary system was amended to prevent future minority party top two lockouts like what happened in the 39th congressional district. Under the modified top two system, the party that receives the most votes in the primary is guaranteed a spot on the November ballot, even if no single candidate has enough votes to reach the top two.[1]
  • The Rich: Under the reorganization plan, the Franchise Tax Board will be the sole collector of income taxes, as a result, capital gains will be taxed at the same rate as regular income. Previously, this only applied to the state income tax, while IRS taxed capital gains at a lower rate than income.
  • The Initiative Amendment Process: The requirements for an initiative amendment to the constitution are far stricter under the new constitution. For somebody to use the initiative process to amend the constitution, the proposed amendment must now pass via a two thirds majority and have more than half of all eligible voters cast a vote for that amendment.

The New Constitution of California said:

We, the People of California, grateful for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.

ARTICLE I: Declaration of Rights
  1. All human beings have the freedom of thought and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Only in the case of defamation, false statements, and acts of perjury may this freedom be abridged by court order. All peoples have the right to petition their elected representatives regarding grievances.

  2. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. All peoples are entitled to rights and freedoms without any distinction based on race, nationality, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ideological views or economic status. All persons within the Republic of California or subject to the jurisdiction thereof are entitled to equal protection under the law. All persons have the right to a fair and expeditious trial to resolve disputes or criminal charges against them. All persons have the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention. If accused of a crime, the accused is to be assumed innocent until proven otherwise by a court of law. Persons proven guilty of charges by a court of law have freedom from excessive bail and or cruel punishment.

  3. All human beings have the right to a free, and healthy life. It is the government of California's responsibility to ensure that every citizen has the right to a free choice of employment, just and favorable working conditions, and social security in the event of unemployment. In the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control, citizens will be entitled to a right of economic security. All peoples have the right to equal pay for equal work. All peoples have the right to form or join a trade union for the protection of their interests. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and of his family. All peoples have the right to a free, comprehensive, and compulsory education until the age of majority. A public option will be provided by the republic for higher education on the basis of merit. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities for the maintenance of peace.

  4. All human beings are entitled to be free of fear of their government. Only in the state of extreme national emergency may the freedoms enshrined in this document be infringed, and even then only for a set time period with 3/4 approval from both chambers of the legislature. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor subjected to unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause.
ARTICLE II: California
  1. The Republic of California is the Legal and Constitutional Successor to the State of California and the United States of America as of November 6th, 2018.
  2. (a) All residents and peoples residing in California on November 6, 2018 are named citizens of the California Republic due to the extraordinary circumstances.
    (b) All persons born or naturalized in California, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of California.
    (c) All persons born to a citizen of California are themselves citizens of California regardless of their place or birth or place of residence.
    (d) All persons have the right to a fair and speedy process of naturalization.

1: In the June 5th, 2018 primary election ITTL, there were two Republican candidates and five Democratic vying for the seat of retiring Congressman Ed Royce. Even though the Democratic candidates overall had more votes overall in the June election, the Democratic votes were evenly spread among the five candidates, while the Republicans had less votes in the primary overall but only two candidates. As a result, the two candidates with the most votes were the two Republicans, locking the Democratic party out from that race in November.
Grand Park, Los Angeles — June 19th, 1851

Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, and hundreds of cities across California and across the downtime United States. All of them united towards one purpose, to call for the worldwide abolition of slavery.

The Juneteenth rally had been the brainchild of the California chapters of NAACP, Black Lives Matter, and heavily supported by the ascendant left-wing and liberal activism groups like the Democratic Socialists of America, Courage Campaign, and the SEIU.

Prior to the event, June 19th or “Juneteenth” had been the celebration of the end of slavery, marking the date when word of the Emancipation Proclamation had reached Texas in 1865, now though, Juneteenth had a different meaning. It was a day of action for the worldwide end to slavery.

The biggest surprise though were the downtimers in California, who had taken to the idea with a convert’s enthusiasm. It wasn’t long before California was printing and shipping boxes upon boxes of signs, stickers, and leaflets to downtime abolitionist groups in preparation for Juneteenth. William Lloyd Garrison heavily promoted the event in his newspaper “The Liberator,” Horace Greeley’s New York Daily Tribute promoted a Juneteenth march in The Battery.

All across New England, anti-slavery demonstrations had changed the conversation from “no more slave states” to “no slave states.”

Within DC itself, anti-slavery demonstrations had turned violent as pro-slavery counter-protesters swarmed and surrounded the abolitionist demonstrators.

Like many other cities, the two sets of demonstrators had been clashing verbally, but the counter-demonstrators had accused the abolitionists of throwing rocks at them, and the pro-slavery crowd had “responded” with violence.

And the nation’s newspapers, on both sides of the issue, were there providing every lurid detail of the altercations with photographs and woodcut illustrations.

In many ways, the events on June 19th were a microcosm of how the slavery issue was perceived. Abolitionists would speak out in harsh language, while the pro-slavery factions would respond with violence. In a different timeline, one that has been irrevocably altered by the arrival of California, this contrast would come to be typified by the assault upon Senator Charles Sumner by Preston Brooks.

The veil of respectable politics had been irreversibly torn from the face of the slavery debate.

America had passed the point of no return.


Through the cucking glass
At least this civil war will be quick.

Unless there are far more racists in the actual California military than suspected (I understand it's mostly limited to younger recruits because it's just so effective having everyone fight together)
Governor’s Office — Sacramento — June 22nd, 1851

“Gavin, this realpolitik we’re playing with the downtime United States is liable to blow up in our faces, you know that right?” Said Attorney General Becerra.

“Tell me something I don’t know” Replied Newsom.

“Look, the fact of the matter is that most people in the state don’t want anything to do with the downtime US.” Becerra said. “The longer we keep up this legal fiction, the more likely this is to bite us in the ass.”

“Xavier, what do you want me to?” Asked Newsom. “If we declare Independence unilaterally against the downtime US, we weaken the case for them to preserve the Union when the South secedes.”

“If they secede.” Said Becerra.

“If they secede.” Said Newsom. “Which they most likely are because we know those people, and we know those kind of people in 2018. They are going to push and push, asking for new concessions and compromises. The ones in the center are going to keep appeasing them and moving the overton window, but it’s never going to be good enough.”

“Well, at least we’re on familiar turf then.” Replied Becerra. “As far as that Washington government is concerned. I don’t think we should acknowledge it. From a legal standpoint, the only federal government that exists is the one in the Moscone Center. I think we should make that our official stance.”

“And what do we do about the people we have in Washington?” Said Newsom. “By sending Harris, Jones, Lee and Huffman to DC, they could take that as legitimizing them. Do we just say that they’re ambassadors?”

“Aren’t they?” Asked Becerra. “The work they’ve been doing in DC since The Event has been more like an ambassador than a Senator or a representative. Hell, the downtime Congress still hasn’t seated Mrs. Lee.”

“I have a phonecall to make, excuse me.” Said Gavin, picking up his phone.

“Jane, can you get me Eric Holder?” Gavin asked into the phone.

After a short wait, the other end of the call was picked up, and Gavin sat up in his seat.

“Eric! How’s the constitutional convention going?” He asked. “Uh huh. Uh huh. Great! That reads as fair without seeming too much like we want to prevent another lockout like in that Orange County district. Listen, I just wanted to give you an update on my end. We’re going with the successor clause.”
Hanging up the phone, Gavin turned back to Becerra.

“So, now that we’ve got that straightened out. How’s the Fugitive Slave Act suit going?” He asked.

“Talking over it with Holder and Obama, we think there’s a decent 5th amendment and 10th amendment challenge in there. The Taney court already ruled in our favor in Prigg…”


Dear Mary,

It’s been a fascinating experience living in California these past few months, and it’s been a welcome change of pace from Springfield. I’ve been staying in a boarding house in Sunnyvale that used to be something called an “Air B&B.”

I must confess that when I first stepped off the boat, I had been in shock at how the Californians had dressed, and how out of place I felt dressed as I was, as all the Californians I have met dress in a manner similar to that of the Indians, and even many of those who came with me had gone Californian. I myself have found myself preferring the Californian styles of dress lately, so it seems that even I have begun to go Californian.

I can’t begin to describe what California is like to you. Even something as simple as working as a dressmaker is so vastly different than in Springfield. Our days are only nine hours long here, and one hour of that is a lunch break.

I’m sending you some things to post at the old mill. One is a sign with a blank space that says how many days it’s been since the last accident, I can only hope that it brings the bosses attention to how dangerous it is. I’m sending you something else, it’s a poster that all workplaces in California are required to have that tells the workers their rights. A minimum wage of twelve dollars per hour, paid off for illness and maternity leave, compensation for injuries on the job, two hours of time off for voting, equal pay compared to men, this is what we could have everywhere.

Yours Truly,

Catherine O’Hara.


Dear Dietrich,

My fellow revolutionary, I hope this letter finds you well in Fürth. I have settled in rather nicely in Los Angeles, the warm climate has done wonders for my health. The time away from Bavaria has let me reflect on the events of just two years ago, when we seemed to be on the cusp of bringing the Germanic peoples together as a single nation.

I have been researching and studying the future history, and I’ve had some shocking discoveries.

I don’t know if I can stay committed to the cause anymore.

Germany will be united in only twenty years, but it comes at a terrible cost to the rest of the world. It’s difficult to put into words like this but the book I’m sending you should cover what is going to happen.

Yours in revolution,



Mystery Land Purchases by California Company Causes Land Rush in Western Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh Herald, June 15th, 1851
A large land purchase by the California based company Chevron has some residents of Western Pennsylvania puzzled, leaving some to wonder if there is a hidden treasure buried in Western Pennsylvania somewhere.

For now the only marker of the land purchase was the metal fence place up surrounding the land. However, prospectors have started staking claims in western Pennsylvania in the hopes of finding gold in the Appalachian hills.


FDIC and Federal Reserve Bank Announce Bank Restructuring Plan - Los Angeles Times, June 21st, 1850.

SAN FRANCISCO—After taking all of the financial institution within California into FDIC receivership following The Event, the FDIC and Federal Reserve Bank have announced their restructuring plan for California’s uptime financial institutions as part of the Downtime Transition Plan.

Under the new plan, the FDIC, Federal Reserve Bank, and the remaining uptime assets of Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and US Bancorp will be reorganized as the publicly-owned National Credit Union of California, to be headed up by one-time Gubernatorial candidate and former State Treasurer John Chiang.

Under the bill organizing it that passed in the state legislature, the NCUC has the sole power to issue currency within the state and is in charge of monetary policy, as a concession to the California National Party, the national credit union is available to the public for retail banking, and is backed by the full faith and credit of California.


Henley’s Bar and Grill — Oceanside, California – June 13th, 1851

Henley’s wasn’t exactly the kind of place in Oceanside that catered to tourists. In fact, most of the customers were locals, with a good number of them being Marines from Camp Pendleton. But the friday night crowds were here, and they were getting drunk.

“So there we were, probably 30 miles outside of Kandahar.” Said SSgt Andrea Travers. “Myself, Jimmy, and Blake in the Hummvee and Barber on the gun. We’re stuck on the asshole end of this convoy when we start going through the canyon. And I’ve got my eyes on the canyon walls, and Barber is on the gun looking at the canyon for Hajjis. We go around the bend you know and then BAM! Lead vehicle hits a landmine.”

“No shit?” Said SPC John Myung, grabbing his mug of beer and taking a swing.

“I shit you not, this thing was probably 30 years old and a leftover from the Russians, Hajjis had taken it and fixed it up with new explosives.” Said Travers. “Fuckin’ graveyard of empires man.”

At the table nearby was a group of former British soldiers who had come to California to find gold.

“Oh Christ, I hope they aren’t here to drag us back into the Queen’s Army.” Muttered Corporal Robert Montgomery, taking a swing of the Californian beer.

“Don’t be so pessimistic.” Said Lance Corporal Peter Wright.

Turning to the other group, he spoke up. “You were in Afghanistan?” Montgomery asked.

“Damn straight.” Said Travers. “Two tours in Afghanistan, one tour in Iraq.”

“I can’t imagine somebody going into that hellhole, coming out, and going back for more.” He said. “I was in Kandahar when we retook Ghazni and I can’t imagine ever going through that again.”

“No shit, You got deployed to Kandahar too?” Said Myung.

“Yep.” Said Montgomery. “Went to the pub, got drunk, and woke up the next day to find out that I was now part of the ‘glorious’ British Army. They sent me to the arse end of India just so that they could keep Russia from invading Afghanistan.”

“The more things change huh?” Said Travers to her fellow Marines.

“Truth be told it was a whole lot of nothing for most of the war, we just sat in the garrison and did mostly nothing except stand watch and play cards all day. Hell, I remember hearing about the evacuation of Kabul and thinking that the war was happening everywhere in Afghanistan except where we were.”

“Ain’t that the truth?” Said SPC Miguel Ferraro. “Wars never change.”
One of the things that a lot of Californians underestimated is how far and fast their influence spread ahead of them without any real effort on their part. Just being there and having that knowledge of the future was often a frequent catalyst for accelerating the social changes and upheavals underway.
Jewel of the Pacific: A People’s History of California by Naomi Matsushita — UC Minato Press​

Brown Homestead - North Elba, New York - July 15th, 1851

John Brown looked over at the pile of letters he had been receiving from California. The sheer volume of correspondence from people thanking him for things he hadn’t yet done had been overwhelming. The history books given to him by Californians had painted a dark picture of the union.

He could see now that ending slavery wasn’t enough, Jim Crow had been proof of that. Even if slavery was abolished tomorrow, the same slavers would find new ways to maintain that oppression through schemes like sharecropping and tenant farming.

Even the vaunted compromises that people kept throwing out to appease the slave bloc weren’t enough. If anything, they only served to make the problem worse by making those pushing their abominable institution more emboldened.

“More letters from California?” Asked his wife, Mary Ann.

“As always, even some new books with them as well.” Replied John, pulling a little red book out of the stack sent to him, its title reading Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung. The book seemed to be a treatise on asymmetrical warfare of the peasants against landowners, something that could easily come in handy in the south. The other books included the autobiography of somebody named “Malcolm X,” Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook, War Against The Panthers: A Study of Repression in America, and Revolutionary Suicide, the last two of which were by somebody named “Huey P. Newton.”

Leafing through the stack of letters, he came across one that seemed to intrigue him.

An invitation to the “West Coast Anti-Slavery Conference” in Los Angeles, along with a voucher for air tickets for him and his family. Perhaps this was a sign that California was the place he could make a difference, and when he returned, he would be able to accomplish what he had failed to do in the Lost History.

New Medford, Oregon Territory - July 18th, 1851

New Medford was a hive of activity lately. Far from the Williamette Valley where downtime Americans were settling at the time, New Medford was a town almost exclusively populated by uptime Californians to serve a central managing area for the construction projects in southern Oregon to reconnect its links to California.

New Medford had become the planning headquarters for the I-5 corridor reconstruction, which was planning on connecting the scattered settlers in the Williamette Valley with California, and pulling the Oregon Territory closer to California. Already, the small city had growing enough in population to form a significant demographic bloc in the sparsely populated territory, which had only counted 13,290 settlers in the last census.

For Reuben Paige though, it was an opportunity for work. He had sold most of his possessions in order to afford passage aboard a clipper bound for California. When the ship arrived in San Diego, he had been herded into this enormous building along the harbor, and put through “arrival processing,” which seemed to consist of being stuck with needles and injected with cures for diseases he would have been amazed to have back home, before being herded off a large dark room where they showed a “video” on an enormous screen that told them about what to expect in California. It had been a culture shock for the first few days, but like all new arrivals, Reuben had adapted to it soon enough.

The downside though, was that there were no gold fields to dig anymore. Oh, California had plenty of gold and lots of gold mines, but there was no land that he could travel out to and stake a claim on, only corporate mines that consisted of big pits with large vehicles dragging tons of ore out. No, there wasn’t a place for somebody just trying to find placer gold in the riverbeds.

“Okay everyone listen up!” Shouted the man at the front of the crowd as he held up a yellow helmet. “This is a hard hat! This protects your head from and debris or falling objects! It is mandatory that you wear one at all times! If I see you taking it off at any time, you will be sent home!”

Reuben held back a snort, considering some of the factories back on the east coast, he would have killed to have one of those, but the stingy bosses would never consider that.

“This, is a high visibility vest!” He continued. “This is so that can see you if there’s a lot of dust around. Again, if you take it off I will send you home.”

“It’s 8:15 AM now, you all should have clocked in when you arrived, otherwise please see Vicky to get that straightened out. We will break for lunch at 12:00 and have one hour for lunch. There will be an In-N-Out truck here if you want to buy lunch. At one o’clock we’ll start back up and work until five. Everybody got that?” Said the foreman.

Reuben followed the crowd to the table where the jobs were being assigned.

“Name?” Asked the guy at the table.

“Reuben Paige.” He replied.

“Any construction experience?” He asked again.

“I worked on the New York and Erie Railroad. I was a spiker.”

“Go see Zabel over there. He’s the foreman on the railroad construction.”

Reuben slumped slightly. Spiking track was demanding work. You had to swing the hammer just right to get it driven in. He had come to California to get away from work like that, and now he was back in it.

Pacific Ocean, 0° N, 122° W - LP Ocean Odyssey - 0600 Hrs, June 22nd, 1851

The Falcon 9 sat upright on the platform of the Ocean Odyssey, downrange was the landing platform Just Read the Instructions. Three miles away floated the Sea Launch Commander, where the Launch Control teams stood by, watching every bit of telemetry from the launch vehicle.

Today was the moment of truth for everyone here. After The Event, the remnants of the US Air Force’s Space Command had creatively persuaded the remaining aerospace industry in California to follow its plan for the reflight of important satellites. Which meant that the Air Force and Navy had commandeered the fleet of ships from the defunct Sea Launch company and retrofitted them to launch the only available launch vehicles.

“T minus 1 minute, flight computers have started up, pad deluge has started.” Came the voice of the PAO. Elon Musk stood in the viewing gallery on the commander ship.

On the Ocean Odyssey, thousands of gallons of seawater were pumped through the ship to cool the launch pad and dampen the shockwaves of the rocket engines.

“T minus 55 seconds, Second Stage has reached flight pressure.” Said the PAO.

On board the Sea Launch Commander, the director of the newly reorganized California Telecommunications looked over his own telemetry feed. Without any of the gravitas that Sputnik 1 had, CalSat 1 was about to be the first artificial object to orbit the earth. Not a small basketball sized radio transmitter like Sputnik, but a communications satellite based on the Boeing 702SP satellite bus. However, California has 62 years of experience in launching object into space that the downtime world lacked.

“T minus 20 seconds, all tanks at flight pressure.” Repeated the PAO.

The news reporters watched on the monitors, their own digital recorders recording the video feeds from the cameras installed on the floating launch platform.

“T minus Ten.”







“Three.” The engines on the rocket roared to life.



“And Liftoff of the Falcon Nine carrying CalSat 1, restoring satellite communications for California.”

The rocket rose off the pad and began climbing into the eastern sky.

The crowd on the ship watched the monitors showing the various camera feeds from the launch vehicle.

One minute and eighteen seconds into the flight and the flight dynamics officer had called out Max Q, the point of maximum aerodynamic pressure. This was the moment of truth for the Falcon 9, the point where the stresses on the airframe were at their greatest, as the rocket passed through this area of aerodynamic stress, the control center erupted into applause.

The rocket continued to climb into the sky, it was now 16 km up and travelling over 2000 kph. Jessie Benton Fremont could only watch in awe as the sheer speed of this thing sunk in, and that it had showed no signs of slowing.

Two minutes into the flight, the second stage engine had started its own chill procedure to get it ready to ignite as the rocket reached 4600 kph and still climbing rapidly.

45 seconds later, the main engines shut off, the lower stage separated and the second stage ignited and continued its flight.

The guests in the visitors gallery watched on the two monitors as one feed showed the first stage booster flip itself around and deploy its fins to stabilize its descent, while the other monitor showed the second stage continuing onwards into space.

Three and a half minutes into the flight, the aerodynamic fairings that had been protecting the satellite separated and began to be remotely flown down to a soft splashdown in the Pacific.

Six minutes and twenty one seconds into the flight, the first stage engines had reignited and began slowing the first stage down as it flew towards the drone ship “Just Read the Instructions.” The second stage was continuing to fly into a geostationary transfer orbit.

By eight and a half minutes the video signal had grown more unstable as the first stage began to pass behind the horizon relative to the control ship, but the telemetry and blocky images from the drone barge showed a successful landing of the first stage.

About a minute later, the second stage engine shut off, and the second stage along with CalSat 1 had successfully reached a geostationary transfer orbit.

National Credit Union of California - San Francisco

John Chiang rubbed the new banknotes in his hands. The new money had been a bit of departure from the uptime bills, but the opportunity afforded to them by The Event, and the attitudes towards Washington in California had necessitated a clean break.

The new bill designs had been a surprise to californians, with the color scheme leading to it being called “rainbow money.”
  • The one dollar bill had featured Franklin Roosevelt in front of the Golden Gate bridge on the front and the Los Angeles skyline on back, behind a statue of Athena.
  • The five was a darker orange and had Cesar Chavez in front of one of the many crop fields of the central valley on the front and Harris Ranch behind a statue of Athena on the back.
  • The ten was blue and had Walt Disney in front of the Hollywood sign on the front and Grauman’s Chinese Theater on the back.
  • The twenty was green and featured Barack Obama in front of half down on the front and a statue of Athena next to a humpback whale on the back.
  • The fifty was a darker blue and featured Sally Ride in front of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on the front, and a statue of Athena in front of a Martian landscape on the back.
  • The highest denomination, the hundred, had Hiram Johnson in front of the modern San Francisco skyline in front, and a statue of Athena in front of Mount Shasta on the back.
Each denomination had been sized slightly differently, with each progressively higher denomination being slightly longer than the previous one, making it easier to find in a wallet.

The San Francisco Mint had been given the task of making new coins that would be close enough to the downtime coinage to still work in old vending machines.

Of course, Wells Fargo had decided to jump the gun slightly and began stamping 1 oz. gold and silver coins for the purpose of international trade. It wasn’t against any laws, technically, since they didn’t list a dollar amount, only a weight, but it still forced the National Credit Union of California to get serious about international trade, and had taken Wells Fargo’s gold and silver coins and run with them, and now they were issuing gold coins featuring Athena on the front and a Welsh Dragon on the back for trading with Europe, and silver coins featuring Athena on the front and a Chinese Dragon design on the back for trading in Asia.

It was those silver coins that had been sent on the Liyun to China to try and open up trade with either the Qing Dynasty or the Taiping Government within the cvil war that had been raging at the time.

AOR Pantariste - Unalaska Island

In a previous life, just like how the Kanrin Maru had been an unremarkable luxury yacht moored in Marina Del Rey, the Pantariste had been a supertanker that would carry oil between ports on the west coast. Technically, her home port was Valletta in Malta and she had flown under the Maltese flag, but when The Event happened, she had been stranded in the Port of Long Beach.

Without any other ports to go to, The Pantariste and her crew had been stranded in Long Beach with no other ports that they could visit besides Richmond in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Which is why they had decided to refurbish the ship as an underway replenishment tanker. In order to facilitate Trans-Oceanic traffic across the Pacific for uptime ships, they needed to be able to refuel en route.

Which brought them to remote island in the Aleutians, a midpoint on a great circle route between Ezochi (Hokkaido) and San Francisco.

Anchored offshore from Unalaska Island, the Pantariste was refueling the Kanrin Maru, along with the rest of what had come to be known as the “Asian Flotilla,” such ships included the M/V Liyun (利運) which was bound for Shanghai, the M/Y Geobukseon (거북선) which was bound for Ganghwado. These former Luxury Yachts had been converted into floating embassies, with the consulate for their former home countries having essentially become Ambassadors for both California and the future.

The Geobukseon’s ambassadors had put together a plan for dealing with downtime Korea. With the General Sherman incident still 15 years away, and the first official contact between the United States and the Joseon Dynasty, the staffs of the San Francisco and Los Angeles Consulates had realized that they had a blank slate in terms of foreign relations.

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

“Mister Secretary I must object to this proposed course of action!” Shouted Brevet Brigadier General Archibald Henderson.

“Oo-rah!” Shouted some nearby Marines.

“As far as I’m concerned,” Said Secretary of the Navy William Alexander Graham. “This… this bloated institution has far outgrown the role it was intended for! In what sane world would these United States need a second, entirely redundant army for?”

To the Marines in Camp Pendleton, this statement was tantamount to heresy. The Marines had proven themselves over the years, and had a unique role to fill in combat that the Army couldn’t do on the battlefield.

For Graham, the sheer amount of military might concentrated in California terrified him. The state was on the verge of open rebellion, and the Navy and Marine Corps here had seemed disciplined and professional in a way that the United States Navy of 1850 couldn’t hope to match without even accounting for the different technology.

As far as he was concerned, the United States Navy he had been used to was a pointless thing, the Somers affair nine years ago had been a national embarrassment, for years officers had bought their way up the ranks through patronage, and the war with Mexico hadn’t done enough to dislodge them.

After seeing the Californian Navy, nothing would have made Secretary Graham happier than to have these new ships form the new unstoppable US Navy.

But the realities of the purse had put a stop to that, even if he had wanted to, there was no way the congress would budget the money to pay for this massive armada even if they wanted to.

But the other reason he was wary of this “uptime” military was that he would never be certain of their loyalties. The United States of 1851 was very different to the United States of 2018, and if it came down to sending an order against the state government or that illegitimate “uptime” government? He didn’t know if they’d follow those orders, and that made them a liability. Sending troops to enforce order in this rebellious backwater state was a must, but he wanted fresh soldiers he could trust.

Approaching a podium in front of the assembled soldiers, Secretary Graham stepped in front of the strange black things that had been attached to it.

“Marines of the First Marine Expeditionary Unit. Per orders from President Fillmore, this unit to stand down and be dissolved. I thank you men for your service, but your purpose has been filled.

To a raucous din of boos and jeers from the thousands of now-civilian Marines, Secretary Graham had ducked his way out of the assembled area.

As the downtime navy officials had left the building, a new figure approached the stage.

“Marines of the former First Marine Expeditionary Unit,” Said the speaker, Adjutant General of California David Baldwin. “I have been requested by the governor of the state of California and ordered by the acting uptime President to organize the California Marine National Guard. To any former members of the United States Marine Corps, upon enlistment, you will be inducted into the California Marine National Guard at the same rank as you had in the Marines. Can I count on you Marines?!”

“Oo-rah!” Came the reply from the crowd.
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Alex Richards

*Eyes Ashfield nervously*
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Right. So the Secretary of the Navy wants to send the troops in to force California to recognise the authority of Downtime Washington, and has decided that the best first step is to remove any reason for one of the largest concentrations of Federal Troops in the state to feel any obligation to obey Washington.


Good god he's a fucking idiot isn't he.