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A Golden Island to the West

#41
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.
"Not invented here."

In the 19th century, the idea that the Marine Corps was a redundant branch of the Military was much more common than it is today. That it wasn't dissolved and rolled up into the Army was almost entirely due to the actions of Archibald Henderson. And it wasn't until the Mexican-American War that the Corps had really proven themselves (Which is where the line "From the halls of Montezuma..." comes from in the Marine Corps hymn)

But as far as Graham is concerned, the Marines of the I MEF are more likely to side with Sacramento than Washington if he had tried to order them to institute direct rule from Washington. Downtime soldiers or marines would be certain to follow orders, uptime soldiers are a question mark, and that's a very risky thing to have in that kind of situation.
 

Alex Richards

*Eyes Ashfield nervously*
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#42
But as far as Graham is concerned, the Marines of the I MEF are more likely to side with Sacramento than Washington if he had tried to order them to institute direct rule from Washington. Downtime soldiers or marines would be certain to follow orders, uptime soldiers are a question mark, and that's a very risky thing to have in that kind of situation.
True, but now they're certain to be against him. And would have been practically guaranteed to take up arms against them even without being reformed as a National Guard unit.
 
#43
This is excellent! Might i make a suggestion-you mentioned that the British were sending an embassy? The British might be a rather useful friend to the new California, especially regarding slavery. Remember, the British are pretty much singlehandedly wiping out the international slave trade with its naval patrols. California might have the tech, but at this time, Britain has the naval numbers. Something to think about.
 
#44
USS Theodore Roosevelt – North Island NAS – August 29th, 1851

The floating behemoth that was the USS Theodore Roosevelt, crown jewel of the Californian Navy, slowly sailed out of San Diego Bay.

All around, people stood and watched as the enormous ship sailed out of the bay towards Hawaii, followed by the rest of the carrier task group. The Roosevelt had been transformed into a floating convention center and museum, with companies and individuals from all over California participating in a floating exhibition to show the rest of the world what California had to offer.

On the hangar deck, Siemens had placed a mockup of a high speed rail car that had previously been loaned out to the Sacramento Railroad Museum. Boeing had placed half of a 737-200 fuselage, along with a cockpit simulator for a 787 to show off the concept of air travel, SpaceX had brought one of the dragon capsules that had been used to dock with the ISS. And all along the hangar deck were booths from Californians showing off the wonders of the 21st century, from GPS to impromptu internet cafes to theaters showing various classic and contemporary movies.

In one of the VIP cabins, the 17 year old Prince Alexander Liholiho was contemplating all that he had seen on his trip to visit the new California. Universities that had been the envy of the 21st century that California had come from, trains that travelled underground, underwater and across oceans, ships that flew through the air and could fly between Oahu and California in 6 hours.

And most importantly, a counterweight to the European empires who had been breathing down their necks, or the American fruit and sugar companies that would eventually see the Kamehameha dynasty overthrown and annexed into the United States. His cousin Lili'uokalani would be the last queen of Hawaii.

By comparison, California’s offer was almost too good to be true. They would use their beyond the state of the art military to defend the Hawaiian islands, and all they wanted was a harbor to build a port to service their ships.

A knock on the cabin door brought Alexander out of his contemplative mood. Opening the door he saw the Californian representative, Ami Bera, there.

“So, now that you’ve seen what the new California has, what do you think?” Said Bera.

“It was pretty… overwhelming.” Said Alexander. “The thing that impressed me the most though? It was the surfing.”

“Really?” Said Ami.

“Yeah.” Explained Alexander. “Back home, all the missionaries hate surfing and tried to get people to stop doing it, even though we’ve been doing it long before they arrived. So it was odd to see Californians embracing it. Odd, but good.”

“Anything else?” Prodded Bera.

“Actually yeah, your coastal act and your laws against invasive species.” Explained Alexander. “It’s long been a problem on the islands of foreigners bringing in animals that cause problems for everyone else.” He said, thinking of the feral pigs and mosquitos on the islands.

Nagasaki Harbor – September 4th, 1851 – M/Y Kanrin Maru

The Kanrin Maru, along with its Navy escort was an unusual sign in Nagasaki. The ship was a bright white and wasn’t made of any material that any of the Dutch or Japanese sailors could recognize. The unusual white flag with a red stripe and the image of a bear on the trio of ships was not one that most sailors would have immediately recognized, but any uptimer would have recognized the Californian flag the luxury yacht and her two Arleigh Burke class escorts were flying.

To the Japanese, these ships were a new type of kurofune, and was a challenge to the isolationist policy of Sakoku. The real mystery was the name “Kanrin Maru” (咸臨丸) painted onto the hull of the white ship in the center. The name itself roughly meant “ship for establishing relationships,” implying it was a diplomat from somewhere.

As the ships sailed into Nagasaki harbor, several small vessels sailed out to greet it and to guide it into a berth at Dejima.

Aboard the Kanrin Maru, the former UCLA professor Katsuya Hirano watched the initial group with anticipation. Prior to The Event, he had been a professor of Japanese language and history at UCLA, with his expertise being the late Tokugawa and Early Meiji periods, the exact time frame that California now found itself in.

Needless to say, he had been approached very quickly by the Japanese Consulate in Los Angeles and asked to provide expert guidance on the Japan on 1850, a project that had eventually been rolled into the new ad-hoc Department of State.

The first part of it was the most nerve-wracking, finding students who were Chinese-Californian, not Christian, and fluent in English, Japanese and Chinese. Despite having a large population of Japanese-Californians to draw on, for the first contact, they had to initially pass as Chinese traders in Dejima in order to request an audience with the Tokugawa Shogunate, at which point they could explain their situation more openly.

It was a diplomatic tightrope and much of the plan had been written while the Kanrin Maru was en route to Japan, given the tight time constraints imposed by the Perry Expedition.

As the small boats guided them into a berth, everybody aboard the Kanrin Maru reviewed the lecture on what to expect from the Nagasaki Bugyô. The two Arleigh Burke destroyers merely made anchor in Nagasaki Bay, daring any other ships to come near to them.

With the diplomatic mega-yacht now anchored near Dejima, the first diplomatic contingent, a selection of Chinese-Californians dressed as Qing-era traders, filed onto one of the motorboats and took off for the artificial island.

Jianhong Chang, who prior to the event had been a postgrad TA at CSUN’s Asian-American studies department, had volunteered to lead the first contact contingent. As the powerboat pulled into a small berth of Dejima and the group stepped off, they were quickly met by a group of officials on behalf of the Nagasaki Bugyô.

“Halt!” Came the order from one of the officials at the docks. “Manifests please.” Came the order form the dock official.

Jianhong pulled out the printed crew and cargo manifests and handed them to the dock officials.

Isamu Ueda, that day’s representative of the Nagasaki merchant community, read over the manifests and only had further questions about the products being brought to Japan by these odd traders.

Placing a Fumi-e, a wooden carving of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, onto the ground, he waved his hand towards the crew and asked them to step on it.

Jianhong was the first and stepped onto the image without hesitation, he was an atheist and had no real love of the church he had grown up in. The interviews for this mission had been designed to screen out anybody who would have been uncomfortable doing this, given Tokugawa Japan’s views towards Christianity at this point in time. Slowly but surely, everybody else from the shore party stepped on the image without issue.

“Hello sirs.” Jianhong began in Chinese. “We are here on behalf of the Republic of California to open up trade between our two peoples.”

The Chinese interpreter repeated this statement to the port officials. As the port officials reviewed the documents provided, occasionally asking for clarification, they compared what the Californian contingent was saying about themselves with the scuttlebutt they had heard from the Dutch and Chinese traders over the past few months.

“So you are the people from the future?” Asked the interpreter.

Trying to keep the surprise that the news of The Event had already reached Nagasaki off of his face, Jianhong simply nodded and said “Yes, from the year 2018.”

———

Nearby at a different Berth, Erwin Van Achteren was even more intrigued by the strangers from the future. When the news broke from America about the ‘state from the future,’ people in Europe had rushed to imagine what kind of life these Californians had lived, and any information about the Californians had been in high demand, and now here they were sailing into Nagasaki and providing the information for the fûsetsugaki for him.

As the crew and port officials continued to talk, Erwin watched as the tension from the Californian crew seemed to melt away and the crew became more relaxed.

As half of the crew seemed to split up and followed some of the port officials into Nagasaki’s Chinatown, the rest of the officials boarded that small boat and it quickly set off for that big white ship.

———

As the small boat sped towards that white ship these Californians had arrived in, Takumi Tachibana looked over the cargo manifest once more, mostly books, some novelty items that they hadn’t heard of, and some rice seeds called “IR64” that promised to grow astronomical amounts of rice in a small amount of land.

Of course, he doubted that everything on board that ship was on this manifest. Case in point, they had to have managed to fit a printing press on board that ship. The documents for this vessel had calligraphy too perfect and too regular to have been done by hand by somebody on a ship that would have been pitching and rolling at sea.

As the small boat reached the Kanrin Maru, Takumi couldn’t help but wonder what kind of treaty these Californians would demand. Considering the information he heard about China through the fûsetsugakis was disheartening, and he could only imagine what kind of unequal treaty California would demand here.

California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Sacramento – September 3rd, 1851

Three countdown clocks had adorned the wall of the OES crisis response center since The Event: Fort Tejon, Carrington Event, and ARkStorm. It was a reminder of the three major disasters due to strike the Golden State in a few years, and a remind of the deadlines they had to minimize the damage and loss of life.

With 6 years remaining until the Fort Tejon earthquake, this was the most pressing threat and was the literal “Big One” that OES and FEMA had been dreading to strike in California. A two hundred mile long rupture of the San Andreas fault starting at Parkfield and travelling south towards the Cajon Pass. With so many pieces of vital infrastructure crossing the fault zone, the pending Fort Tejon Earthquake would have drastic effects on the Californian economy. And with Los Angeles being so close to the fault zone, it was likely to have severe effects on that city as well.

But that didn’t even get into how the Fort Tejon earthquake would physically differ from the more recent Loma Prieta and Northridge quakes. Fort Tejon was expected to be a high magnitude quake with the population a long distance from the epicenter, whereas Northridge and Loma Prieta were lower magnitude quakes with nearby epicenters. What this meant in practice was that the Northridge earthquake would be a brief period of very high frequency shaking, whereas Fort Tejon would be a more drawn out earthquake with lower frequency earthquake waves.

To a Californian ducking, covering and holding under a table, it didn't seem like a huge difference, but for structural engineers, the difference had major impacts on the types of structures that would be safest in a quake. A low magnitude short distance quake would affect small single story structures more than tall skyscrapers, but with the high magnitude long distance quakes, the long period waves caused by the distance would cause single story houses to move with the quake but would resonate with taller skyscrapers and cause far more damage to the taller buildings.

Northridge and Loma Prieta were the first type, and Fort Tejon was likely to be the second type, which meant that all of the brand new skyscrapers that had been built in Los Angeles and San Francisco would be in the most danger.

Thus, a preliminary disaster preparation plan was created for the Fort Tejon Quake:
  • Mandatory seismic retrofits of all buildings in California.
  • Demolition of seismically unsound and unsalvageable structures with replacement construction to not begin until 1858.
  • The Tehachapi mountain tunnel for the High Speed rail could not start construction until after the quake.
  • All dams near the quake area would have their levels lowered or drained prior to the expected beginning of the quake and would not be raised again until it is inspected after the quake.

Even if California’s infrastructure managed to survive Fort Tejon quake, the Carrington Event could still do California in. The Carrington Event was the worst solar storm to hit the Earth man had observed. Estimates of its strength ranged from an X10 to an X45. It was most fortunate that the storm had hit Earth in 1859 rather then in 2018. A study done by Lloyd's of London and the United States’ Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) in 2013 concluded that had if it had hit a much more technologically dependant Earth like in the one in the 21st century, it would cause $2 trillion in damage in the United States alone and parts of the United States could be left without electricity for up to ten years.

When a solar storm hit, it would induce currents on the long distance transmission lines, sending them into transformers not designed to handle that level of sudden voltage increase, causing permanent damage to them.

Satellites though, were completely unprotected from a solar event.

The Carrington Event was one that had the potential to do untold amounts of economic damage to California, and so the OEM was already piecing together a plan to mitigate the damage:
  • Construct a Manufacturing facility with the capacity to build new utility scale transformers. This was already being done in order to handle the massive rollout of new solar and wind generation capacity.
  • Push for the adoption of household solar wherever possible to decentralize the grid as much as possible.
  • Launch a new solar observation satellite to replace SOHO and STEREO in order to monitor the Sun and offer space weather warnings.
  • Implement disaster anticipation plan to shut down long distance transmission lines when the Carrington Event happens in order to minimize damage.

The ARkStorm scenario, however, was one that the OEM was very familiar with, but it was also the most likely to be butterflied away by the changes brought about by California’s arrival.

To put it bluntly, the ARkStorm scenario is a winter storm season that brings a monstrous amount of precipitation into California via an atmospheric river. A scenario like that had originally been thought to happen once every thousand years, though later estimates would see it be much more frequent. Up until The Event, this had already been a theoretical occurrence that would eventually happen at a future date.

Now though, now they had a historical reference for an actual ARkStorm, one that was looming in front of them. From December of 1861 to January of 1862 of Lost History, it rained in Sacramento for 45 days straight. Combined with the heavy precipitation had been unseasonable warmth causing the Sierra Nevada snowpack to melt early,and as a result Sacramento had been under 30 feet of water and the Central Valley has turned into an inland sea.

While the thousands of dams and diversions would be likely to redirect the floodwaters, it was still likely that if that flooding scenario still happened, the dams would be under considerable strain to store the floodwaters. And if any of these dams have significant structural damage to them from the Fort Tejon quake, the floodwaters could compromise them and innundate the communities downstream of them.

Oddly, making Californian infrastructure survive these coming disasters was the dilemma, and not the planned expansions. Out on the new Interstate projects: 5, 10, and 80, plans were already underway that the new infrastructure would survive these calamities should they occur again. Many of the new transformers and technologies were being tested at the New Reno substation, and creating large scale incentives for solar out on the new-old frontier. It was practical and cost-effective, well more so then rebuilding a national power grid at the very least. Every politician in Sacramento or San Francisco knew there was zero chance the downtime Federal government would contribute any meaningful funds to such endeavors.

M/Y Kanrin Maru - Nagasaki Harbor

Takumi Tachibana looked around the richly decorated cabin. This white ship seemed utterly beyond any other ship that had come into Nagasaki before, from the bright white smooth material it seemed to be made out of—fiberglass, they called it—to the moving images on the bulkheads, and the fact that it could clearly propel itself through the water without the need for sails or the coal fired engines that other western ships had used.

But what caught Takumi’s eye was one of the pieces of art hung on the wall, an inkwash drawing of a very long waterfall. Looking closer at the picture, he saw the plaque next to it that said it was called “Yōsemiti Waterfall” by somebody named “Obata Chiura.” Whoever these Californians were, they obviously understood a great deal about them, and must have had a good number of Japanese people living there, in spite of the Sakoku prohibitions.

It was obvious these people were from the future, considering that this ship was far beyond what most scholars of Dutch Studies thought possible and far beyond any Dutch, Korean or Chinese ships.

But did that mean that their intentions were good? It wasn’t that long ago that China was forced to sign a humiliating treaty with Britain because British merchants were pushing Opium on them. Would these Californians act the same way? Only time would be able to tell.

In the meantime, the Nagasaki bugyô would dutifully carry the message about these white ships from California to the Shogunate in Edo.

Virgin California Flight 7 – Camp Springs Airfield

Jordan Cress and Erin McCoy were both on their trip back from DC. After having to be at congress for a debate about lawnmowers of all things, they were ready to go back to San Jose for a well deserved break.

As they went through the terminal, ready to board the plane, multiple gunshots started being heard. The young couple scrambled onto the plane as the guards and attackers got into a shootout.

“Get on the plane! We are not leaving anyone behind!” Jordan shouted as he pulled out a handgun, providing cover fire for the fleeing passengers boarding the plane. He managed to shoot one of the gunmen in the face.

The attack had caused quite a bit of initial panic in the terminal as the shootout began, but the guards quickly gained the upper hand, the muskets being no match for their automatic weapons. The attackers were quickly mowed down before reaching the gate.

Out of 30 gunmen, 25 were killed. The rest were apprehended and arrested by the local police. The gunmen were later revealed to be a group of slave catchers and slave owners attacking the airfield in retaliation for the sheer amount of slaves escaping via the airfields. Luckily, not a single passenger was killed, but at least 3 guards were injured in the confrontation.

The ensuing legal and political debacle after the attack helped strain the already tense relations between California and the South.

---

Thanks to Rise Comics for writing that last part and to Sumeragi for help with the Kanrin Maru scenes.
 
#46
Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA — September 9th, 1851.

Transcript of Governor Newsom’s speech to the joint assembly of the State Senate and Assembly.

NEWSOM: My Fellow Californians, I stand before you today, a year after the events that saw our great state thrown back into the past. In many respects, we have made great strides towards picking ourselves back up after an absolutely unprecedented supernatural disaster. But we survived, and more than that we thrived. This past year has been a crucible for all Californians, because it revealed the true strength inside of all of us.

When things were at their worst, we didn’t turn our backs on our neighbors and fend for ourselves, we came together as Californians and helped each other out. That is what Californians do, we look out for each other, we care about each other, and we help each other.

California has always been America’s coming attraction. Millions of destinies connected by one dream: to be whoever you want to be. A state where we don’t criminalize diversity, we celebrate diversity.

New Reno, Utah Territory

“Alright watch your heads guys.” Said the foreman of the New 80 construction project. The combined highway and railroad project had been one of many reconstruction projects designed to link California with the rest of the western United States along with the New 5 in Oregon, New 15, and New 8. The hard part, the crossing of the Sierra Nevadas had already been done before The Event, so the most difficult and dangerous part of crossing the continent didn’t need to be done.

Though that didn’t stop the California High Speed Rail Authority from drafting plans for a fully electrified double track crossing at some point in the future. Between the rush of downtime investors who were willing to buy in on the idea of a transcontinental railroad built using the technology of the “future,” and the money raised from the sales of mineral rights to the comstock lode to both uptimers and downtimers, the California High Speed Rail Authority was raking in an unexpected windfall of cash, enough to finish funding the initial operating segment of the LA-SF line.

Fields Landing, CA

The residents of the northern coastal town of Fields Landing watched as yet another oversized truck carrying parts of a large windmill rolled through their town to the port for final assembly and installation offshore.

Maybe 9 months after The Event, they had started bringing the truck through, almost like clockwork, they would come through with some part of a huge windmill. At the CEQA meeting over the project, they pointed out that these windmills would be miles away from shore and barely visible, and that they would be able to provide very constant amounts of electricity from offshore. That had forestalled most of the complaints, given how unreliable the power grid had been since The Event.

So now Fields Landing was the future home to one of six new offshore wind farms, along with Crescent City, Bodega Bay, Morro Bay, Point Conception and Santa Rosa Island. When completed, the offshore wind project would have just under 15 GW of generation capacity, or 40% of California’s existing Generation Capacity.

With the addition of the wind farms and the massive of buildout of solar power in the deserts, California would soon have enough electricity to make the 5 o'clock brownouts a thing of the past.

And it wasn’t like California didn’t have the fossil fuel plants to power the grid, after the Enron-induced energy crisis, the state’s utility companies had built massive amounts of Natural Gas power plants, but prior to the event, most of them were being run below a third of their capacity. The problem had been getting fuel to them, as California imported most of its Natural Gas from the gas fields in the mountain west and Midwest.

But now though, with The Event having happened, and cut off from access to most of their natural gas, California had to rely on the one industry that was very well established in the state.

Renewable Energy.

The UCs had banded together to form a crash program to design a process to make cheap and quick Solar Cells out of Perovskite minerals, an idea that had been theoretically possible, but was now being rushed into production to solve the problem. The wind turbine manufacturers had kit that was destined for wind power projects in the Midwest and Mountain West, and was quietly reappropriated for California wind energy projects.

Soon, it was hoped, that California would once again have a reliable power grid, and one that would be made out of almost entirely renewable energy.

Department of Motor Vehicles, San Francisco

San Francisco had been overwhelmed by The Event, already a place in incredible demand for housing back in 2018, being sent back to 1850 had meant that San Francisco had become the port of call for downtimers entering California. So while the larger city of Los Angeles may still have had a bigger population, it wasn’t as overwhelmed with the arrival of downtimers as the Bay Area had been.

Chinatown in particular had been inundated by the arrival of downtime Chinese immigrants fleeing the Qing Regime and a civil war, leaving the uptime Office of Refugee Resettlement to handle the influx, and behind them was the DMV having to create ID cards for all these new arrivals, so they could access government services.

Ironically, even with the inflow of migration being the literal California Gold Rush, with even more people arriving because of the reporting about the “State from the future,” the number of people arriving in California was still an order of magnitude below what it had been before The Event, owing to the lower total population and the slower speed of information in the 19th century.

For Zhi Chang, the change between Guangzhou and San Francisco had been maddeningly familiar, from the endless bureaucracy of the Qing Dynasty to the bureaucracy of California, it was the universal constant.

“Now serving B 014 at window number 18.” Droned the automated voice. Chang sat in the waiting room, bored, her grasp on English wasn’t the best, but she had picked up enough on the boat over from China to get around. Luckily, the state had been fairly accommodating in terms of providing the paperwork he needed in Chinese.

Pulling out the slip of paper with the Pinyin romanization of her name, she began filling out the application for her ID card.

Far from being hostile to the newcomer, like she had expected, the “Uptime” Californians, many of them Chinese like herself, had welcomed her warmly, and she had found room in a boarding house called an “Air BNB” in San Francisco's Chinatown.

“Now serving H 057 at window number 5.” Came the automated voice. Zhi grabbed her paperwork and walked over to the window.

“Nihao.” Said the DMV worker at the counter. And just like that, Zhi had a feeling that this strange new land of California wouldn’t be so bad after all.

USS Roosevelt, Pacific Ocean

The weeks before the Roosevelt launched had been a crazy time for Karma Tidal. First, she went to Nevada and Phoenix to secure a lot of land deals, and then went to New York and Salt Lake City to secure contracts for her design firm. Of course, she later came to regret going to Salt Lake City, as the Mormon church proved to be very persistent.

Karma’s phone rumbled for the 100th time that day.

“Yeesh, these guys are more obnoxious than those guys in Russia before the event.” said Maria

“Yep, they sure are. I’ve been trying to avoid these guys for months, and they won’t leave me alone.” Karma replied

After that discussion, Karma made her way to her quarters aboard the ship. She then pulled out her laptop and went onto discord. Discord was down at that time.

“The hell? Why is it down?” After a minute, it came back up.

“Finally, it’s back.”

At that very moment, Karma’s phone rang again.

“Of course that happens.”

Camp Springs Secure Area (AKA “Green Zone”) - Camp Springs, Maryland

Thaddeus Wilcox watched as the truck raised up yet another one of those concrete walls. The Californians here had called it a “T-barrier,” on account of it looking like an inverted capital T in profile. To him, all it looked like was a big solid wall being erected around the Californian enclave.

All around the area were signs proclaiming the new security measures around the area. With the walls being put up to funnel everybody into a handful of checkpoints to visit the city, the thousands of Marylanders who had come to visit it had to deal with bag searches, metal detectors, and were barred from bringing firearms into the newly walled city.

“It’s like the Green Zone all over again.” Grumbled the short man next to him.

“I beg your pardon?” Thaddeus asked.

“Downtimer?” He asked.

Thaddeus could only nod at that.

“Okay, so a few years ago the US got it into their heads to go to war in Iraq to steal their oil” The Californian next to him began to explain.

“Iraq?” Thaddeus asked, unfamiliar with the name.

The uptime Californian pulled out a small rectangular device and looked at it for a second. “Okay so like, you know Ottoman Empire?” He asked.

“Of course.” He replied.

“So the easternmost part of that area, where they meet up with Persia. That area?” The Californian explained.

“Vaguely.” Said Thaddeus. “That’s just a bunch of desert though isn’t it?”

“Pretty much, but there’s also a bunch of oil there.” The Californian explained. “And our president at the time came up with a bunch of excuses to steal the oil and occupy the land.”

“Really?” Thaddeus asked.

“Yep.” “So he came up with this whole thing about how Iraq was building these really destructive weapons and how they were really dangerous. So we invaded em, pretty much rolled over any resistance without a fight.”

“So what was the problem them.” He asked.

“The real problem wasn’t the invasion itself, it was the occupation.” He explained. “Every time we left the FOB we never knew who was part of the enemy and who wasn’t. We split the city into a Green Zone and a Red Zone. The Green Zone was all walled off and on the inside it was just like back home, only you were thousands of miles away in a goddamn desert. The Red Zone was everywhere else, and you had to start wearing flak jackets and ride in convoys every time you left the Green Zone.” The uptime Californian pulled a carton of cigarettes out of his jacket and pulled a cigarette out.

“Smoke?” He asked.

Thaddeus shook his head, “Nah. Hear those things’ll kill ya. Thought all you uptimers could read?” he said pointing at the Surgeon General warning label. The uptimer chortled.

“So you think it’s happening here now. Green Zone Camp Springs?” Thaddeus asked.

“Fuck man.” He replied blowing a smoke ring. “It’s lookin’ like it. It’s that or Camp Springs is the new West Berlin.” as he looked out past the chain link fence with barbed wire on top and jersey barriers around the perimeter.

For Thaddeus, that last comment only left him with further questions.

History in Real Time - The Eris Project - September 9, 1950

The early days after the Event were a very hectic time in California’s history. In that time, so many things had changed in an instant. Many chatrooms were created to connect together people of every walk of life who had one thing in common: the Event had changed their lives.

Many logs have been archived by sites like Discord and Whatsapp, but none are more important and more well recorded than this discord server, created sometime before the Event, documenting the events leading up to it as well as the reactions to it in real time. Many influential figures of the past 80 were once a part of this chatroom, from politicians, to artists, and even businessmen to name a few. Their words, thoughts, emotions, and actions were all recorded here as they happened. Without further ado, here are the complete archives of Calexit Über Alles, from its inception till the death of omega13a in October 19, 1948.

Discord - Free voice and text chat for gamers

Boeing Headquarters, Long Beach

After The Event, before commercial airlines were allowed to start flights out of California, what was left of Boeing had the task of coming with how to adapt the current jet aircraft (Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer, Mcdonnell-Douglas, and Boeing) to be able to operate on primitive dirt and gravel runways.

Now that was done, it was now time to design new aircraft more suitable for use in the 1850s, aircraft that can fly on a large variety of routes while bypassing ETOPS certification. It would have been simpler if they could come up with just one design that would fit all needs, but that proved to be impossible. The most suitable designs for flights outside of California was too large for use inside of California and what would be ideal for use inside of California had too few engines to be used safely outside of California. In the end, they ended up with two aircraft designs.

One was for a wide-bodied tri-jet that some described as looking like the result of a one night stand between a DC-10 and a 787. That design was being called the 797 as the design for a ‘middle of the market’ aircraft had been scrapped.

The other design was similar to the old 727 with a T-tail and three tail mounted engines, one of which was fed with an S-duct inlet. There were differences though that prevented it from being considered part of the 727 family. The windows of the cockpit were flush with the nose cone like the more recent aircraft designed in lost history prior to The Event. Its engines would also incorporate the latest advances in noise reduction. After much debate, it was decided to refer to this design as the 7107 (seven-ten-seven).

Gustavo’s Bar and Inn - El Paso

Gustavo’s Bar and Inn in El Paso had become the go to hangout in El Paso, all thanks to having one of the first arcade machines outside of California. After the Californian technician installed the solar panel(or so he called it), the machine had trouble making money, and then that technician offered to demonstrate it for the patrons.

Soon after that, everyone was lining up to try the machine, and Gustavo Marrenda, the owner of the bar, was getting very rich off of the profits.

As Marrenda looked at the line in front of the cabinet, he saw a new way to make a profit and expand the offerings available. He had heard from the technician about arcades, places where they have many cabinets like the one in the bar.

At that moment, he decided the course he wanted to take. Since the technician installed a satellite dish on the roof along with the solar panel and battery pack, he could call anyone in California. Marrenda took the brick of a phone he was given and made a few calls. He was going to go on a business trip.

Six months later, Gustavo’s Bar and Inn was renovated and renamed as Gustavo’s Bar and Gaming, and became the centerpiece of a new industry in the downtime world.

California Flight Services, Santa Monica

A Bombardier CRJ was on final approach to Santa Monica Airport. On board the plane were 40 downtimers, comprised mainly of people who came from Britain, Mexico, America, and Hawaii, with some from other countries. But they were all here for one purpose: to train as pilots.

Ever since a C-17 from California flew the uptime senators to Camp Springs, and regular air service started back up, the world had been enamored with flight. People and goods could reach places further and faster than ever before. And other nations wanted to create airlines of their own.

California was very(properly) worried that downtime airlines would have very high accident rates from cheaping out on pilot training and plane maintenance. They cited accidents like Nigeria Airways Flight 2120, Alaska Airlines Flight 261, China Airways Flight 611, and Emery Worldwide Flight 17 to back this up.

After a lot of debate, California, as well as the three Californian airlines, agreed to lease planes and provide management to downtime airlines. In return for that, all aircraftpurchases/leasing for the first decade will have to be approved by the Californian government, as well as all pilot and mechanic training being done in California. To facilitate this, a new agency, called California Aircraft Leasing Program (CALP), was created. CALP coordinated with several governments and entrepreneurs to send personnel over to train in California, with the training being paid for by both CALP and the downtime governments/entrepreneurs.

And that’s why Michael Kamaka was here. He had volunteered to go to California as a part of the Hawaiian Government’s plan to create a national airline called Ka Lani Hawaii. As there were no airstrips in Hawaii, Kamaka and several others were sent via ship to Los Angeles. When the ship arrived at port, the large group of 120 downtimers from various nations sent by their countries were shuttled to the airport via charter buses. There, the group were split based on training. The people training to be mechanics boarded a plane for Long Beach, while the pilots boarded another plane to Santa Monica. As the plane parked at the airfield, the door opened up into a set of stairs reaching the tarmac. A group of people, presumably the instructors, walked towards the arriving passengers...

Hualapai Indian Lands - New Mexico Territory

The improvised meeting room–a repurposed portable building–was packed to the brim with people for this CEQA public outreach meeting about the New Hoover Dam Project. As the Hualapai filtered into the room, they walked past the wall showing 3D renderings of the planned dam and topographic maps of the new reservoir, lost history photos of the dam, and a plaster model of the new dam.

While the emergency acts passed after The Event created an exemption category for projects that had a “significant similarity” to projects that existed outside of California before The Event, that didn’t fully exempt them from CEQA, which had led to this meeting.

For Carla Avendano, project lead for the New Hoover Dam, these public outreach meetings could make or break the project. Her purpose here was to pitch the dam and the lake it would create to the Hualapai people so that they could understand the benefits for them.

In the end, it had been the information she had been able to gather from the uptime Hualapai tribe’s website, the Native American studies departments of several of the UC’s and CSU’s, as well as one of the few remaining speakers of their language who happened to have been vacationing at Disneyland when the Event had happened who had helped them come up with a plan.

The New Hoover Dam was vastly more complex than the original dam that had been built in 1936, design modifications had to be made to modernize it and offset the known environmental impacts caused by the historical construction of the dam. A silt tunnel would bypass the dam and allow the silt from the upstream Colorado River to continue flowing downstream, heaters would heat the water coming out of the hydroelectric turbines to match the temperature of the water to what it was before it entered Lake Mead, and fish bypass channels would allow the Colorado River’s native fish species like the humpback chub, razorback sucker, Colorado pikeminnow, bluehead sucker, flannelmouth sucker, speckled dace, roundtail chub, and bonytail to pass by the lake and dam without issue.

As Carla continued through her PowerPoint about the project, she could see the metaphorical light bulbs go on in people’s heads as she and her interpreter explained the project. Deciding that honesty was the best way to go, she explained that what California got out of it was the electricity from the turbines, and a more predictable downstream flow for Parker Dam and Lake Havasu. The water from Lake Mead was too distant for them to make use of, so it was being offered to the Hualapai, Havasupai, Mohave, Paiute, and Chemehuevi with the strong suggestion that each nation come together to form a Joint Powers Agency to determine the water and irrigation rights to the new Lake Mead.
 
#47
Headlines from California

As Criticism of PG&E Mounts, California Public Utility Commission Announces Plans to Nationalize Electrical Grid - SFGate.com

USS Roosevelt Arrives In Hawaii - LA Times

New Gerald Desmond Bridge Finishes Construction, Bridge to be Renamed the “Ernest S. McBride Sr. Bridge” After Civil Rights Leader. - Long Beach Press Telegram

UCLA, CalTech and California Space Agency Launch Weather Satellite to Monitor Pacific Ocean. - Pasadena Daily Star

First New Solar Panels and Batteries Roll off the Lines at Victorville GigaFactory. - Desert Sun

Marin County Smallpox Outbreak Reaches 250 Victims. Public Health Officials Urge Vaccinations - San Jose Mercury News

Infill Development is about to get easier in the state, Weiner’s CEQA Overhaul Bill Passes Assembly and Senate, heads to Governor Newsom’s Desk - SF Weekly

California Semiconductors Plans new 32nm Fabrication Plant on Site of Former Sunnyvale Costco - Curbed SF

LA 2028 to be Reorganized Into “California Expo,” a Showcase of California’s Scientific and Technological Innovation. - Los Angeles Daily News

Exclusive: Controversial Central Valley Grower Wonderful Company Has Been Hoarding Warehouses Full of Food in an Attempt to Undermine CalEFDA - Los Angeles Times, January 15th, 1852

In the San Joaquin Valley, the breadbasket of California, a series of temporary warehouses have been popping up on farmland owned by The Wonderful Company. According to statements by The Wonderful Company, these warehouses are for storing additional equipment for maintaining the farms. However, an anonymous source within The Wonderful Company alerted the Times to the fact that the tent structures are in fact being used to store food products.

Under the Emergency Food Distribution Act, the State of California, through the California Emergency Food Distribution Agency, is given first priority for buying food from agricultural producers, from there they distribute the food to various local distribution centers set up in former grocery stores. Under the terms of the EFDA, the state must accept the current market price for the goods they purchase from farmers. Since the Event threw California back into the past, the market prices for several agricultural commodities, such as fruits, nuts, and vegetables have dropped dramatically, while other staple foodstuffs have risen in price.

Documents obtained by the Times show that in the months after The Event, The Wonderful Company placed an order for a large climate-controlled tent to be constructed at one of their farms in Kings County. According to their permit application to Kings County, this facility was to be used as a rest area for farm workers. However, in speaking with several workers at the farm on the condition on anonymity, none of them have been permitted into the tent.

When asked about these tent facilities, a spokesperson for The Wonderful Company said that the tents were a temporary storage facility until CalEFDA trucks could pick up the goods. However, according to our unnamed source, the tents are built to get harvested produce off the books that Wonderful reports to CalEFDA, effectively decreasing the produce they have available to sell to CalEFDA, and raising the price and placing taxpayers on the hook for the difference.

Once CalEFDA has made their weekly purchase from the farm, other buyers will show up to purchase the stockpiled produce on the black market at reduced prices.

When asked for comment, a representative for CalEFDA expressed surprise at the results that the Times investigation had shown and promised to look further into it.


181 Fremont Street - San Francisco

Jessie Benton Fremont considered herself a fast learner to the new California. But there were still times when the things that the New Californians did would surprise her. In this case, it was that her daughter’s studies at school that has surprised her this time. After all, most people don’t tend to find themselves in the history books for things they haven’t done yet.

But here in the books about California’s Lost History was a bit about John, her husband, running for president in a few years. Oh according to the books he didn’t win in 1856 but he had moved the Overton Window, as the Californians would call it, away from the idea of tacit acceptance of the most abominable of institutions.

Next year would be too early, the world was still getting over the shock of California, but in 4 years and with a lot of help from some of the Californians, John might stand a chance.

The Juneteenth Protests had opened America’s eyes to the rapidly diminishing popularity of slavery, and if they could keep the slavery supporters playing defense politically for the next four years, then John and her just might have a shot at the White House.

Besides, she knew that one of the Uptime Senators from California, Kamala Harris, had been considering running for President before the Event happened. She would know how to run a 21st century campaign.

The United States Capitol - Washington D.C.

How unexpected a situation was this? He had sewn up the Leadership, but getting that accolade during the largest blue wave in history had slown his ambition. His seat was safe, but up until Midnight the caucus was down to a scant 200 members. He had been in a conference call with the White House and Mitch discussing legislative strategy when the Event happened… In a blink of an eye the rest of the world except California was gone. Sure he had been elected to congress, and he was the leader of the GOP in the Uptime Remnant congress… Yeah… all dozen members of it. With people like LaMalfa, Hunter, and others. As bad as the house looked like after the Blue Wave that was nothing compared to here. Fox News would have been going nuts over “President Pelosi”. Being out of government also gave him a new perspective. Being outside of it meant he had no power. Head of the California GOP… now reduced to waiting outside the House of Representatives.

The entire Congressional Delegation for California had visited DC, and even purchased a pair of townhouses, hoping that all 53 of them would be sat. He had worked with Pelosi to try and have them all seated, but the Downtime Congress was having none of it. They had only allowed California to seat the two representatives they were allowed, and by the rules of the current congress, he didn’t get a seat… Jared and Barbara got those seats. It had originally been his idea that some members of the Uptime Congressional Delegation would sit in the gallery, but the Downtime Congress was adamant… So there was a rotating cycle of congressmen who stood in the Gallery, but it was clear that this congress was no less obstinate than the one back home. Those two townhouses were likely going to become the part time congressmen sitting in the downtime Congress. Two representatives representing nearly 20 million people a piece.

Leaning against one of the pillars he was checking his phone, trying to manage the fractious and impotent GOP in California via texts, calls and phone interviews with Nunes’ Newspaper while the Downtime Congress blustered about having sheep to keep the National Mall cut. He looked up when he heard the Speaker call a recess. Many Downtime Congressmen were unwilling to give them the time of day, others who thought they were important figures were miffed to find history chose otherwise, others well couldn’t be associated with. Even after the post-event unity there was no way in hell he’d let a GOP member take a meeting with Jeff Davis.

Yet a southern gentleman smiled and approached him, “Ah, I take it you are one of the esteemed gentleman from California. I was wondering if we might have a few words?”

Kevin tried going through the list of Congressmen, but he didn’t remember this one, but he extended his hand to shake, “Of course. I would be happy to have an opportunity to discuss the business of the House.”

The southern gentleman chuckled, “I’m afraid I must inform you that you are not a congressman here. Only in your little Uptime remnant.” but smiled leading Kevin to the man’s office in the Capitol building. “Two whiskies, George,” stated the southerner to his servant. Kevin looked at the man’s office. In his own time, this room was home to Capitol police, and the nineteenth century fixtures were remodelled long ago. The stove was gone, as was the gas lamp fixtures. The wooden furniture was hard oak without any concessions to comfort. Pictures of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson decorated one wall, the rest taken up by shelves of books. “I would imagine that you are unaccustomed to offices like this. One can only imagine the wonders of comfort available in the 21st century.” The servant returned with the whiskies and placed them on the table without comment, moving to leave. Kevin hastily said thanks to the man, earning him an odd look from the southern congressman, but he was more interested in pressing onwards.

“Now then, it is clear to me from perusing some of your literature that our country is truly facing dire crises, and your insertion may precipitate its acceleration” he said wrapping his knuckles on a three volume stack of work by Shelby Foote on the Civil War.

Kevin nodded, sipping his whisky… he’d gotten use to downtime whisky and uptime supplies were running out after all. “Yes, while I won’t bore you with uptime politics, myself and my own party believe that the United States must remain united.”

The southern gentleman nodded, “I agree, our nation must change to enshrine certain cornerstones of our republic. I have sketched some ideas and am curious as to an uptimer perspective.” he stated hading a sheaf of paper to Kevin.

Kevin began looking through it… Integration of wages for previously unpaid labor… Enshrining states rights when it pertains to local commercial and domestic affairs… Creating a set upon federal standard for citizenship, but keeping the 19th century standards of senate members and electors… Ultimately, it was what they were looking for. The GOP was trying to push the idea of remaining in the Downtime United States, but they were lacking partners in the Downtime Congress for that. This… while still a long way from a final deal that most of California would accept but could probably pass the Uptime Remnant.

“This is a good start to bridging the gap, although I’m sure this is a tough sale to the House.”

The Southern gentleman nodded and smiled, “Yes, but given the alternative?” he said gesturing to the stack of books, “Many understand the outcome of their stasis. It is my hope that this bill will become the cornerstone of our UNITED States. Come 1860, I’m sure that some more of your representatives can sit. I’m sure you understand that seating 53 House members for one state is quite absurd to us, only New York has over 30.

That would be tricky… but it wasn’t that unreasonable given the circumstances. One state shouldn’t dictate to the nation, after all. The Southern Gentleman smiled, “In fact, I’ve taken to adopting the policy myself. Despite being paid wages, George still knows his place.”

“George?” Kevin asked.

The southerner smiled, “Yes George, the negro who served you that fine whisky.”

Kevin wasn’t sure what his response to that should be, “I… see… You freed him, and are paying him wages?”

The southerner chuckled, “No… freeing a slave even for me would be a bridge too far, but as an experiment, I paid him wages instead of letting him stay in the basement. It’s been remarkable for expanding my wine cellar.”

Kevin swallowed, “...and where does George… live?”

The southerner smiled, “I’m not really sure, but that satisfies your states obsession with the institution, does it not?”

George knocked and answered, “Excuse me Mas- Mister Stephens. You wished to be told five minutes before the house returned to session.”

Kevin’s face paled… Stephens… Alexander Stephens, he’d never seen an 1850s photo of the man. The future Vice President of the Confederacy, the man who commanded much of the House votes in the South before the Civil War. Then it struck him, this bill he was proposing wasn’t reform… This was appeasement to California. From that light it was easy to see how the southern states could enshrine white supremacy, put California in a box and forget about its “irregular politics”. The southerners could lead the charge to a 14th amendment that established legal protection of the law based on race. Separate but Equal… in that environment? No court would ever rescind it without the 14th amendment.

Stephens began to stand, “Excuse me. This has been a fruitful meeting Mr. McCarthy and I must return to the House. Please enjoy your brandy, George will show you out when you finish.” and with that Alexander Stephens left. George entered the room and began cleaning up after Stephens.

Kevin cleared his throat, “George was it?”

George immediately stopped cleaning, “Yes sir? Was I too noisy?

Kevin shook his head, “No, not at all. I was wondering if you could answer some questions?”

George paused, “I… can answer what I can, sir.”

Kevin looked at him, he was wearing a suit that was extensively tailored but didn’t fit him that well. Probably was one of Stephen’s old suits. “Mr. Stephens said he was paying you a wage? How much do you make a day?”

“35 cents sir” George responded.

Kevin grimaced at that, that was far below average the usual daily wage for 1850s. “That’s not enough for living arrangements is it? Where do you sleep?

“I live on Anacostine Island, sir.”

Kevin had been in DC for years and never heard of it, “What?”

George cleared his throat, “You would know it as Theodore Roosevelt Island, sir.”

He filed that piece of information away. Uptime information was proliferating rapidly downtime. Knowledge of more and more details of the future are leaking. “Are there a lot of African Americans living there?”

George looked surprised, “Never heard that term spoken before, sir, at least by your kind. Must say I like it better than most, but I suppose there are a fair amount living on Anacostine. Frederick Douglass is going to speak there Sunday.”

Kevin nodded, the future was already changing the past… and the past wasn’t learning from the mistakes of the future. They were learning the wrong lessons. Looking at the sheaf of papers in his hand from Stephens he knew right then, that California didn’t have a future in these United States. They were simply too different. He stood and left to go back to the townhouse… There was nothing he could do in this Congress, it seemed.

Pulling out his cell phone, he fired off a quick message to a few of his Republican colleagues. Many were already losing faith in any sort of reconciliation between California and the Downtime United States. This simply proved it. There was no way that the Congress would ever allow a state that matched the rest of the states combined in population. He pondered what this new 19th century would be…. and curious if California would remain independent or take notes from Bismarck. He took a moment to admire the old dome upon the Capitol before turning to walk down the street back to the townhouses purchased by California on K Street… and for the second time that week he regretted not bringing a pair of boots on DC’s muddy streets.

House Chambers (Hall E) - Moscone Center - San Francisco, January 10th, 1852

Rep. Lou Correa was tired. As a member of the so-called “Rump House,” he was working himself out of a job and he knew it. When The Event happened, all the members of California’s congressional delegation had quickly flown up to San Francisco and had commandeered the Moscone Center and turned the convention center into an impromptu Capitol Building. Their immediate job had been to keep the lights on for all the federal agencies in California. As a result, this had decimated the House Delegation in order to fill cabinet positions in the Moscone Government’s executive branch.

The aim of the Legal Rationalization Project on paper was very simple, go through all the various federal laws and agencies present in California, and identify a state equivalent and how it differs, and then send a bill to his colleagues in Sacramento yo modify the state law to match the federal law if the state law was more lenient, and repeal the relevant federal law. The end result was a simplified single legal code for California that allowed business to continue as usual in spite of the uncertainties over downtime versus uptime governance.

It was a unique quirk of California that they would often–for lack of a better term–beta test many of the more landmark pieces of federal legislation, and the state equivalent laws were often more stringent than the corresponding federal laws. Before there was the Clean Water Act there was Porter-Cologne, before there was the Clean Air Act there was Mulford-Carrell, etc… So many of the changes ended up being very subtle amendments to the existing laws, followed by a repeal of the relevant federal law.

Taken out of context, President Pelosi appeared to be the biggest deregulator in American history, having cut federal programs that uptime Republicans had long wanted to eliminate in favor of beefing up the relevant state law. In practice, very little would actually change.

In front of him was the results of his part of the project, the Americans with Disabilities Act. Like in other cases, California had passed their own variation of the ADA before Washington. And while the two laws were broadly similar, there were still thousands of minute differences. Most of these had already been amended and changed to conform to the ADA in cases where Washington learned from California’s experience and made the relevant adjustments, but there were still a few difference to hammer out. Those had now been passed by the state legislature, and now the ADA had been rendered moot.

As the new speaker of the house gave him the floor, Correa brought the proposed bill to the floor.

“Madam Speaker, as part of the legislative rationalization program, I am introducing a new bill before the Congress.” He spoke up. “H.R. 5835, Americans with Disabilities Act Rationalization.”

He struggled to wince at the bill’s title and prayed that he hadn’t just sunk his political career if somebody took that statement out of context.

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - October 2nd, 1851

The Roosevelt, after 10 weeks of sailing, had arrived at Pearl Harbor. Her arrival had been hyped for a while for many reasons, the prince being on board being one of them. As it entered the harbor, onlookers started rushing in to watch the impossibly gigantic ship. The ship had started to slow down as it came close to the harbor, when a strange cigar shaped craft unfurled its wings and what looked like large fans, and flew off of the deck of the ship and made its way to the beach.

The craft’s fans tilted, accelerating it faster towards the beach. As soon as it neared the beach, the fans tilted back up, slowing it to a hover. It gracefully landed on the beach where the assembled throng of Hawaiians were gathered.

The rear of the craft opened up into a ramp. From the ramp came a good number of people, a couple of uptime Californians, the Hawaiian entourage, three identical tan vehicles, or Humvees as the uptimers had called it, and the crown prince of Hawaii, Prince Liholiho.

The uptimers, entourage, and the prince all boarded the Humvees and drove towards the palace.

‘Iolani Palace

“-and that’s where we plan on setting up the airstrip.”

King Kamehameha was listening to a presentation from a Gensler executive. As she went through the presentation, the King was impressed and saddened by the future.

That Hawaii would be subject to US imperialism saddened him, but he was amazed at the advancements made in the future. At this point, he had already witnessed some of the miracles of California when the USNS Mercy came into port almost a year ago, but the miracles themselves still haven’t lost their wonder.

“So, where will the airport be located?” He asked.

“It’s most likely to be in Honolulu, but there’s going to be more surveys to determine the best location for the airport to allow for expansions in the future.”

The King pondered for a moment before accepting the airport proposal, before the exec was dismissed. After that, he started planning a visit to the Roosevelt the very next day.

Vallco Shopping Mall / CRC Center Santa Clara & San Mateo Counties - Cupertino, California - October 2nd, 1851

Before the Event, this mall was slated for demolition, a ballot measure and a developer unwilling to pay out of their own pocket had created a mall that simply had no stores at all in it. Odd considering that right across the freeway was Apple Park, yet that was the situation at the heart of Silicon Valley. After the event the mall stayed closed for a few weeks before the California Redevelopment Corps seized the mall and it became a one-stop job center for San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Thousands of tech workers and other employees were out of jobs and as a result the mall had become a sort of non-stop job fair. The old JCPenney’s over the year had become the Administrative offices for the CRC of the two counties, the old Macy's had become (with several temporary partitions) classrooms, or conference rooms, and the old Sears became known as the “Hopper”. It was never officially called that, but the Hopper was where the queue began and you would receive your number for job evaluation and placement. Some days it was as bad as the DMV, others not so much and it was sadly a reality that the job market after a year was still as erratic as it was that the CRC stayed busy at least in the big cities. In Silicon Valley there was an over abundance of college educated tech workers, and Google, Apple and other simply didn’t need that many programmers anymore, their teams were dedicated to handling the globe, and after the event… Google was valued at less than 400 million, and had left the Googleplex for cheaper offices. Apple was trying to keep things going but it had some layoffs especially in retail. While CRC centers like the ones at Vallco were within almost throwing distance of Apple, they had no job listings for tech workers. There were however many job listings for apprenticeships for electricians, linemen and other such jobs.

“This is taking too damn long,” said Erin Sanchez.

The intercom rang out in the waiting area, “Now serving X-566 at Window number 23” briefly being louder than the CNN on the TVs in the waiting room. It had been a year since the event and finding work had been difficult, her job vanished only a month or so afterwards. What was the point of a shipping manager when all the ports and shipments her company got were from overseas, or to customers across the country.

“Finally. It’s been three hours.”

Erin had come here once before, and they asked her stuff about what she did before the event as well as about her hobbies, those being working on her car and fixing old tech. She made her way to the window, and sat down at the chair.

The man behind the counter smiled, “Morning Ms. Sanchez, you’ve brought your appropriate IDs today, correct?” he asked, starting to pull up her information. “You got your California ID or Driver’s License? We also take passports, pre-Event Out of State IDs, and Social Security cards. Thankfully you were born in California so you should have been able to get your birth certificate at the very least.”

“Got my ID,” Erin said, as she pulled out her California Driver’s License. “Made sure I brought my passport just in case. Even got my birth certificate.”

“Good, good, you also took the skill proficiency exams. I swear CRC’s probably rented out half the hotel event centers in the state for us.” He began typing the information onto the screen. “All right, so it’s been a year since the event, what brings you back to us?”

“I’m currently out of a job and can’t afford to help provide for my wife and kid after the next month. My last job was in retail, you could imagine how well that turned out.”

The man grimaced. Big Box stores failed only a month or so after the Event, once the initial buying blitz past, there was no new product coming in. Samsung was gone, Walmart Trucks weren’t going up and down I-5, Best Buy and Electronics stores went first, but after 3 months even WalMarts, and other stores were closing up. It had led to a huge glut in real estate, as strip malls laid empty. “Yeah I see. Worked for Dick’s Sporting Goods but I’m guessing the regional manager finally consolidated your store out of existence. I myself worked for a brokerage firm before the event, before getting this job.” He folded his hands and looked at her, “How far away from your place of residence can you work? Further out the more options, and we aren’t obligated to place you if there’s no job available if your specified area is too small.”

“I can do about an hour from home at most. Good thing that traffic has decreased since the Event.”

The man flipped through pages on his computer. “Well… UC Mountain View is full. Unfortunately a lot of the tech jobs that are around would involve moving to Barstow, Redding or out near Castle AFB… Downtime Survey Corps is always hiring. The Bay Area itself…” he kept pressing buttons. “Ok. You mentioned you had background in mechanical engineering and drafting right? You got 70% on CAD proficiency, I see. How’s San Ramon for a commute?”

“I can do that.”

He printed out the proper forms and handed it to Erin. “Well, better go and wow them. Chevron’s just a little bit past the old theaters, try and ignore the old Optometry signage.” he said, “Anything else?”

“Other than health insurance coverage and agreeable hours, I’m good.”

Erin proceeded out into the mall proper, where this previously was a nearly abandoned mall, storefronts were opened with simple waterproof banners over the old signs. Victoria’s Secret was now home to the AFL-CIO reps, an old set of Game stores was home to Bechtel, and a few smaller employers were set up in the kiosks. Once passing the old theaters and the still closed Cold Stone Creamery, she arrived at one of the larger storefronts for Chevron. She ignored that the banner was plastered over an old Optometry sign, and proceeded to reception.

“Hi, welcome to Chevron. We have several positions available all across the state for Security, Drivers, and Refinery Technicians. Would you like a brochure?” the receptionist said grabbing a set of brochures from the desk.

“Sure” said Erin, as she takes the brochure and reads through it. The brochure was bland, and likely was stockpiled in a box before the Event, if the map of “Chevron Fuel Centers” on the back across the United States was any indication, but the canary yellow paper handouts were printed after the event, as they listed jobs for securing trucks from obstacles on the Long 5.

“I’d like to take a job in San Ramon as a Refinery Technician.” said Erin to the receptionist.

“Of course you can use the application termina-” before she noticed the paper from the CRC in Erin’s hand. “I’m sorry did you have a specific listing in mind? May I?” she said asking for the paper.

“Go ahead” said Erin, as she handed the CRC paper to the receptionist.

The receptionist looked over the paperwork, “Oh. Just a moment” and walked to one of the offices, and emerged with a person in a business suit, “Ms. Sanchez, welcome to Chevron. I hear you met the requirements for the jobs in Oil Exploration and Development. Please come in and we can begin the interview.” she said, escorting Erin to one of the old doctor’s offices, which had been fitted with a 4 person conference table and two briefcases and a laptop at one end.

“Thanks. I am hoping to get a job as a Refinery Technician, preferably at San Ramon.”

The recruiter smiled, “Actually we have a position that involve utilizing your CAD skills. How’d you like to be part of a team that designs the multi million pieces of pipe segment we need to get to Houston, once we get the surveying done?”

“That would be great.”

Maryland Court of Appeals

The Maryland Court of Appeals was packed today, as this case, although it was one of many related cases, was an important one for many reasons.

First, it was to be the most publicized court case in the downtime world up to that point, and near the airfields, people flocked to TVs to watch the case in real time.

Second, it concerned the Airlines, specifically their practice of filling in seats with escaping slaves from the south.

Third, this case could decide the path California takes,although some were claiming that it was a foregone conclusion.

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen,” said the judge. “Please state your names for the record.”

And so the first trial for the future began…


The Cannonball Runners - Jalopnik - October 2nd, 1870

In the days immediately after the Event, logistics companies like FedEx and UPS were in a very serious financial situation. Like everyone else in California, the Event had cut them off from the rest of the Uptime world. While they were adapting to the new situation, and before their merger into the new Californian Airlines, they found ways to maintain theirefficiency, deliver at affordable costs to smaller businesses, and remain afloat, if only for a little while longer.

One of these ways was the use of subcontractors to deliver packages between cities and towns as soon as possible. These subcontractors often used their own cars to deliver packages along highways. And since the California Highway Patrol were busy with border control, it resulted in a minimal presence at most on the highways, attracting the street racing crowd to those jobs. With modified performance cars, taking advantage of reduced traffic immediately after the Event, these drivers sped along the highways to deliver packages as fast as possible to their destinations. And not even fuel rationing or driver restrictions would stop these drivers from doing their jobs, as they would often alternate between cars for this exact purpose. These drivers became known as Cannonball Runners, after the road rallies and films in Lost History.

As the freeways grew northward and eastward into thedowntime territories, the Cannonball Runners followed. They were able to ferry medical supplies, mail, and small packagesvery quickly in a time where air and rail travel were hampered by a lack of infrastructure. Eventually, the construction of new airports and rail lines supplanted the Cannonball Drivers.These drivers, now out of work, kept racing on the freeways, forming the first post-event car culture: Highway Racing.
 
#48
An Omake exactly one person on SV asked for
Light Household, Massachusetts - 1852

The Light family was an upper middle class family in Lowell. The dad, Robert, was a clerk at the local bank. The mom, Anarka, cared for the kids, of which there were a lot. Their oldest daughter, Bonnie, had left her job at a local mill a few months ago to travel to California, and the oldest sons had followed suit, apparently on plane tickets from home. For a while, there was little contact, until a letter came in addressed to them.

“Rob, there’s a letter for us.” said Anarka. “It’s from California.”

“Open it up” Robert replied.

Anarka opened the envelope, and found a letter immaculately printed in a font that looked streamlined, along with a bunch of photos.

“It’s from Bonnie” she said. And she also sent some pictures.”

“Let’s hear what it says. It’s been a while since she last wrote to us.”

Anarka opened the letter and read it aloud.

Dear Mother and Father

Sorry for taking this long to reply, but I’ve started a new life in California, and it is like Heaven on Earth. The future people, or uptimers as they call themselves, live a life that no one back home can imagine. Self-Propelled streetcars and automobiles drive across the streets and roads of California. Highways and rails cut across the landscape and halve the travel time between cities, and that’s not even mentioning air travel. Yes, California has the ability to make aircraft, which makes air travel possible. And that’s how I came here.

Speaking of travel, I recently got a job that involves travel. I’m delivering packages across California. It isn’t as strenuous as you would think. I get to sit in a plush seat inside an automobile, or car as it’s better known here. It’s also faster than going by horseback and it pays me well. No need to worry about my safety.

With regards,

Bonnie

P.S: here’s a few photos that show Californian life
<Insert photos here>

“At least she’s safe” said Anarka. “Remember how often she got into trouble?”

“I remember those, especially that incident in Boston. But these pictures are nice.”​
Meanwhile on I-5

“FUCK YEAH” Bonnie shouted, as she thundered down the highway at 180 mph in a Challenger Hellcat.
 
#49
The Long, Sad, and Hilarious Story of Trump City - Current Affairs - April 14th, 1855
On a map of Oregon Territory is a small dot located on the northern bank of Lake Abert called “Trump City.” Take a four wheel drive along the dirt road that follows the former route of US 395 into the Oregon Territory, and you’ll find a collection of decaying shacks and shipping containers. This is all that remains of Trump City.
When The Event happened, the few supporters of the 45th President had been as shocked as everyone else. The disruptions to the Internet had caused many of the online communities they had used to organize on to vanish from the Internet, with only Reddit’s The_Donald being the only place they had left, before Reddit’s management shut it down.
In response to their marginalization, these Trump Supporters decided that the best course was to establish a settlement in Oregon. In their words, it was the only way to “escape the oppression of the libtards in Sacramento*.” Over Whatsapp and Discord, they organized a fleet of vehicles and materials to build a settlement in Oregon Territory. They eventually settled on the northern bank of Lake Abert. On February 2, they took their supplies, and headed to the location of their new settlement, dubbed Trump City.
The new settlers pulled no stops in making their new settlement, even going so far as to issue their own currency, styled after the pre-event bills, on printer paper, that wasn’t even laminated. The currency was in the pre-event style, but had a photo of Trump on the front(varies by denomination) and, surprisingly, a risqué photo of Melania Trump on the back. However, stuff like this would never make up for the tremendous fuckup that was Trump City.
Not even a month after the establishment of Trump City, problems started popping up. First, Lake Abert has a high salt content, which causes rust. Considering that a good deal of the homes were trailers and containers, this caused corrosion to start. But the more immediate result was the fact that they couldn’t grow enough crops to sustain Trump City.
On paper, this wasn’t much of a problem. They had brought enough food to last at least a year with proper rationing, as well as some seeds that could withstand the salt rich soil.
But another problem, one that exacerbated the first, was the fact that a good chunk of Trump City was made of conservative boomers and former members of sites like 4chan or r/The_Donald. Many Trump City settlers were not prepared for the problems that faced them.
In the first year, the harvest was half of the initial prediction, forcing them to start cutting into their reserves to live. This prompted some to bail out early, a move that with hindsight, proved to be wise.
Back in Oregon, Trump City was busy with maintaining and expanding its patchwork infrastructure. With a wood Gasifier, they were able to maintain diesel generators for electricity and provide fuel for the diesel trucks, RVs, and even one person’s Volkswagen Jetta.
However, the food problem loomed over Trump City no matter what. So some settlers tried to contact downtime settlements in Oregon. Talks were getting places, up until they tried paying for things with the Trump City currency. So by the time the next harvest came in, their reserves had completely run out.
As a result, the first major “wave” of Trump City settlers started flowing into California, some getting arrested for various crimes, including stealing a gasifyer and robbing a convenience store for Doritos.
Meanwhile, Trump City was still suffering. Not only had the downtime Oregonians refused to trade with the Trump City settlers, they also ran out of reserves. As a result, the town quickly died out due to desertion, starvation, and downright idiotic decisions. What was left was the decaying row of shacks, containers, and a Jetta somehow still in decent condition three years later.
*their words

Leimert Park Metro Station - April 10th, 1852

For Moses Sutton, Los Angeles was a breath of fresh air. In the year and a half since he had come to California as a stowaway, there were so many things that he had come to appreciate.

Standing at the railroad platform underground, it felt like his life had gone full circle. He had gotten out of the south on the underground railroad and had decided to try his luck in the goldfields of California.

Of course, it didn’t take long for the captain to find him stowing away. But clearly God had been with him and the Captain let him work off his passage, on the condition that he hide when they were in port, so as not to tip off any bounty hunters who’d see any black person as a runaway.

It was when the ship got into San Diego that he had noticed that things were different. He had been led into an enormous building next to the harbor, one that he would later learn was called a convention center, and looked over by a doctor, stuck with needles so that he wouldn’t get sick anymore and sat in a theater with a bunch of others while a video had explained how California was from the future.

It had been happenstance that he had ended up meeting some members of the Democratic Socialists of Los Angeles who had put him in contact with California bureaucrats willing to look the other way, and now as far as anybody knew, Moses Sutton had been born in Gardena in 1995, grew up bouncing between Huntington Park and Willowbrook and was now going to Long Beach City College to study engineering.

As he looked down the platform, he saw the lights of an approaching train illuminate the tunnel. He couldn’t help but realize the irony of it, the Underground Railroad had gotten him out of the south, and now here he was, standing on a platform waiting for a train on a literal underground railroad.

California House - Washington DC.

Senator John Hale (FS-NH) poured over the stack of forms that California had given to every prospective candidate for the 1852 Presidential Election. The sheer volume of paperwork had threatened to overwhelm them, but it had been necessary in order to access the ballot for California’s Primary Election.

Which had been another surprise. Gone was the usual method of state party conventions behind closed doors to choose a candidate to endorse or the dealings that would happen at conventions to choose a candidate.

In its place was a simple solution. A primary election held at the beginning of the year where the voters directly could choose from various candidates within each party, with the state’s delegates being pledged to their particular candidate. From the background materials he had been given, this had been a creation of the “progressive era” at the beginning of the 20th century, which had overseen a number of reforms, such as the direct election of senators, progressive income taxation, ballot initiatives & referendums, and the creation of a civil service system.

“What the hell is an FEC Candidate Identification Number?” He asked to his fellow abolitionist, Senator Salmon P. Chase (FS-OH).

“Beats me.” He replied while looking at the instructions on the form. “I think they assign you one if you haven’t run before.”

The mandatory disclosure forms that were required were a shock to them as well. It had seemed like California was insistent on knowing where every dollar on a political campaign came from. The Californians he had talked to were of the opinion that they were a pain but they kept politicians at least somewhat honest.

“What’s this T-10 form supposed to be about?” Asked Chase. “Top ten campaign contributors?”

Hale read over the form for a bit.

“It says that its for donations higher than $1 million.”

“One million? That’s-oh wait, that’s in California money. What’s the price in our money?”

Hale read the annotation on the form near the million dollar figure.

“According to the form, it’s around $30 thousand.”

“That makes a lot more sense.” Chase replied. “It at least shows the kinds of people who stand behind a candidate.”

“I know at least a few politicians who would get into some hot water if they had to fill out these forms.” Hale snarked.

“Pray tell me why it is so.” Chase asked, a small grin showing.

“Because all the donors go Tammany Tammany Tammany Slavers Tammany Tammany Tammany”

Chase chuckled at that remark. “You’re not wrong, but you forgot to add the Forty Thieves to that list.”

“Heh, true.” Hale replied, as they continued going through the necessary forms.

Battleship Iowa Museum - San Pedro

The USS Iowa was without a doubt, the finest piece of engineering that Marcel had ever seen. He was, of course familiar with the specs of it from World of Warships, but seeing it up close was a different thing altogether.

“Welcome aboard the USS Iowa” said one of the volunteers. “Follow the line on the deck for the self-guided tour, otherwise there’s a guided tour that starts at 1:45.”

As Marcel followed the line on the deck, it quickly led him to a set of benches with a TV in front of them, showing a short film on repeat about the Iowa’s history.

Oh he knew most of it, but it was still interesting to see the long and storied history of the ship.

“Hey everyone! Welcome aboard the Battleship Iowa Museum, I’ll be your tour guide today.” Said a young guy holding a microphone. “Can everybody hear me okay?” He asked to a murmur of agreement.

“The Iowa here was the lead ship of her class of battleship, and she was launched in 1942, at the start of World War 2.” He explained.

After hearing the guide explain the most basic history of the ship that any World of Warships player would have been familiar with, Marcel piped up.

“How hard would it be to get this ship into combat again?” He asked.

Immediately, everyone around him started groaning.

“You know.” Explained the guide through a forced smile. “We’ve been getting that question a lot since The Event. The truth is that getting the Iowa into fighting condition would cost more than it would take to build two new battleships from scratch, and that would take up even more resources than it would to build a lot more Arleigh Burkes.”

“Oh come on.” Marcel complained. “An Iowa would absolutely dwarf any other ship in the seas right now. California Über Alles man.”

“Look.” Said the guide. “Metal fatigue is a thing. Galvanic corrosion is a thing. Unlike a wooden ship where you can just replace pieces of wood as they rot until there’s nothing of the original left, the steel superstructure and armor plating are one and done things.”

“Okay, but I mean…” interrupted Marcel.

“There’s also the problem of spare parts.” Explained the guide. “There’s no other Iowas anywhere in the world to cannibalize spare parts from! So you could take it out to sea for about four months before something broke and you’d be dead in the water!”

“I know you mean well.” Said the guide. “But the truth of the matter is that the sheer logistics of the issue mean that the Iowa is best served staying right here in San Pedro as a museum.”

CalEFDA Distribution Center - Sunset & Western, Hollywood.

The corner of Sunset and Western in Hollywood had been the site of one of the most iconic examples of Los Angeles’ uneven development boom. The construction of a Target on that corner had been started in 2012, only for construction to stop a year later when the La Mirada Neighborhood Association sued to stop construction on the 74 foot tall building, saying that it violated the high limits of the city’s neighborhood plan.

The resulting lawsuit had halted construction in 2014, leaving the half-finished store as a perpetual eyesore in Hollywood, one that would eventually spawn twitter and facebook pages about the “Target Husk.”

The lawsuit had worked its way through the legal system where they ultimately ruled against the builders, finding that the city of Los Angeles had improperly allowed Target to violate height limits.

In response, the LA City Council changed the zoning code for that area to allow for taller structures, enabling construction to proceed.

And the La Mirada Neighborhood Association sued again, against the city this time, saying that they did not fully take into consideration the effects on traffic, noise, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions from allowing retail stores taller than 35 feet.

This new lawsuit wound its way through the court system, keeping the building in its perpetual state of incompleteness.

It was only until October of 2018 that the California Supreme Court came out in favor of the city, and allowed construction to resume.

It was then that The Event happened.

While there were no more legal challenges towards resuming construction on the East Hollywood Target, there was the new and bigger problem that the Minneapolis-based company had effectively ceased to exist with The Event.

Enter the California Emergency Food Distribution Agency and the California Construction & Conservation Corps, two agencies that had been hastily created in the panic after The Event in order to keep food on everybody’s tables and to provide jobs building infrastructure for the anticipated large numbers of unemployed once the reality of The Event sunk in.

CalEFDA had quickly taken ownership of the building from Los Angeles County, and the CCCC had gotten to work finishing the construction and fitting out the interior, and by the end of 1851, the first of its kind public food bank had been built.

Operating on a “vegetable box” model that had been used in countless Community Supported Agriculture programs across the state, Hollywood residents received a weekly box of rice, fruits, vegetables, and a choice of meat, with the exact mix varying week by week based on availability. Alongside of this was something akin to a convenience store for less common items like coffee, alcohol, wheat bread, or chocolate, as well as a cafeteria serving hot food that residents could visit for free once a day.

The building had been drafted as a pilot program, a way to ride out the distribution and unemployment crises caused by The Event, ensuring that anybody could get something to eat even if their employment had dried up because of it.

Looking at the crowded cafeteria during the lunch rush, Jane Quinn grabbed a seat at one of the large communal tables where some others had already sat down.

“Oh my God you have no idea how good it feels to be eating real food again.” Said somebody down the table.

“Tell me about it.” Said somebody else. “I did a stint at Camp Springs, ate downtime food my first day, sick for a week.”

“Was it the bread? Because that shit was mostly sawdust when I was at Springs.” They replied.

“No.” He explained. “It was the milk.”

“Jesus.” They exclaimed. “You drank downtime milk? You are a braver person than I was.”

The man shuddered as he recalled the experience of drinking whatever it was that the downtimers called ‘Milk.’ “They call it that, but that wasn’t any kind of milk I’ve ever seen. It was slightly bluish white and left a yellow tinge on anything it touched.”

“That bad?” Jane asked.

“If the LA Beast was still around, even he wouldn’t have touched it.” He replied.

“Whatever happened to that guy anyway?” Asked somebody else.

“Apparently he moved back to Baltimore a few years before The Event. So he missed it.” Came the reply from the table.

As the conversation continued around Jane, she realized that the disparate group of tourists who had been stranded in Hollywood after the Event, and the locals who had lived in East Hollywood for years because it had been cheap had turned what had used to be a half-built Target into an a center of the community.

Blythe California

Scott sipped his latte waiting for the last of his group to get ready, since making an expedition into Arizona... well what ONCE was Arizona was not easy. Two flat bed trucks loaded down with gear, 4 SUVs one of which had a National Guard squad in it, another with a linguistics team from a university, another SUV with engineers and 3 sports vans. All the vehicles were sporting magnetic decals, it wasn't like California's new post office was better funded than the old. The flatbeds sported decals of whatever company lent them out, the SUVs were all different colors, the fuel truck was from the military and the work vans were converted from some almond farm in the Central Valley. He quirked a smile at his current location. A year ago he would have been standing right in the middle of Westbound I-10 and what was Blythe's Agricultural Station; the CHP blocked off the road with jersey barriers going eastbound after the last California exit, but the Westbound remained open. Blythe Agricultural station was one of the few ingress points across the Colorado River, which was much higher than he ever saw it. He sipped the last of his latte, chucking it into the wastebin, thank god the last little bit of civilization didn't vanish. Nina was waving him over from the only SUV that actually had a painted on CAPS logo of an owl flying through the air with "Survey Office" printed in black letters under it. "So boss, finally going to Phoenix? I hear the Yuma teams got directed to Tucson."

Scott nodded, "Yeah, we get to try and cross the Gila River, the 40 crew made Flagstaff last week... Well where it SHOULD be." Although he didn't say it, they would probably be folded into Blythe since Sacramento was worried about the Navajo nation, and there was limited interest in a new I-40. He'd been as far out as Phoenix before on a ranger trip but had only seen Navajo through binoculars a handful of times. The Great Basin wasn't hospitable even in the 19th century.

Nina laughed as she got in on the driver side signalling the caravan to ready for departure. What once was a 2 hour drive would take the better part of 8 hours, they'd likely have to camp out at Maricopa Outpost. Maricopa actually was one of the older outposts in Arizona, but only because some survivalist nuts tried to get out there before CHP restricted traffic. They had tried to set up the "State of New Arizona" and call together people to support them... They did not, after a month all they had to show for it was some RVs out of gas. It wasn't the noblest origin, but they had gotten a couple quonsets out there and a radio antenna last month. The RVs had remained and were even used as temporary housing now.

He switched his smartphone to airplane mode as the SUV left the Asphalt road and went to dirt road. It was a well worn dirt road at this point, the Army Corps of engineers wanted to get an Arizona frontage road up to Parker. They had set that up in the first month. Half a mile from town they came across a sign someone had set up. "I-10 Dead Ahead, TURN BACK INCOMPLETE PASS. Left to New Mojave Road 65 miles to Parker Crossing. Right. Just Don't" That one wasn't far from the mark. South from Blythe in Arizona was pretty rough terrain to pass by car. Straight was out until Caltrans finished the I-80 to Reno, and could spare the equipment to make the pass again.

"Adjusting, Turn right to I-10 Eastbound" voiced the NAV system. Nina swore and shut it off as she led to convoy to the dirt road. "Sorry Boss, forgot to turn off the NAV ." he chuckled. "Navigation software is going to be borked for a LONG time."

"Got that right. At least we can go 55 on this stretch, we'll make the turn off about a third of the way to Parker and go through the pass to Quartz Outpost."

Nina nodded, "Following the Journeyman's beacons through the pass, we should make it by noon." This was why Nina was the driver and not him. Scott knew the history of the region, but Nina knew the terrain. She had been a journeyman one of those scouts who saw how far she could go, although he knew it was grief that prompted her journey. Her family was from Phoenix, and when California went back... well Arizona didn't. Counselling centers were overwhelmed for several months. Everyone worked through their grief their own way. "Did you set up this path?"

Nina nodded, "Yeah... me and a few others with posts, two by fours, car batteries and LED lanterns set up this beacon path. Compared to some teams we were down right professional. The Maricopa gang were nuts, they lost half their convoy in the pass. Probably spooked some natives seeing those wrecks."

Scott nodded, "Just how far east did you get Nina?"

She was quiet for a moment as she made the turn off the Army's dirt road, to a set of worn tire tracks going through the wilderness. A post with an LED lantern on it shown ahead. "Got as far east as San Antonio," she said simply, and grabbed the radio. "Quartz Outpost, this is CAPS Survey Group 3, we are heading through Margaret's Pass. ETA Noonish."

"Roger, Survey 3. You bringing our mail?" That was not a job Scott would do for six figures, being one of the two guys stationed at an outpost waiting once a week for mail. No internet, spotty radio signals if you were lucky, and mind numbing boredom. It was isolation beyond compare for 21st century humans. Besides the drone flights they did to keep an eye on things, they would go nuts. Last time Scott was at Quartz, the two attendants had started doing drone races about the area and hooked up LEDs to pulse different colors... Come to think of it probably kept downtimers away.

Getting to Quartz was difficult but once they got there, it was a pretty straight shot to Maricopa Outpost, or at least so Scott thought. The rest of the team took a 30 minute break while the tech staff went over the vehicles to make sure they were good to go to Maricopa. Quartz outpost was named because it was about where Quartzite was... used to... will be... ah screw it. It wasn't there now, and they tried to name outposts after SOMETHING from the uptime maps. Quartz outpost itself was pretty nice considering they were about 30 miles away from California now but because of the hills they were effectively a 60 mile drive back to Blythe and civilization. Two quonset huts, some wood pallets as some makeshift structure, a large steel pylon going up some 40 feet where the 50 star American Flag and California Flag flew. At least they had power here, he filled up the water tanks and walked over to Nina. "How'd the shocks hold up?" He really didn't want to have to leave vehicles behind besides the electric ATV.

Nina shook her head, "No, even the flatbeds made it through ok.” before tapping a handtruck with the back of her hand, “Well Courier? Deliver the mail.”

Scott rolled his eyes and grabbed the handtruck loaded with mail for the outpost, “I swear if you make One Platinum Chip joke you are walking back to Blythe.” He readjusted his cap of the California Postal Service and began pushing the cart with a keg and two filled plastic bins from the United States Postal Service. Even though it had been two years CAPS wasn’t going to relabel everything. Hell they barely repainted the trucks. In the distance he heard the flying to drones and RC craft, and saw two guys standing upon on a makeshift platform overlooking the Solar panels laid out behind the Quonset hut.

“I take it you two guys are the unlucky sods manning this outpost. Shouldn’t you one of you guys be on your noc shift?” he said straightening the handtruck up.

One of the men laughed, “You think any of us out here follow that manual? We used it for Toilet paper about a month ago.”

The other flew his drone copter in loops around the tower. “Don’t recommend it, really coarse. My tent come in?”

Scott’s foot tapped one of the cardboard boxes from an address near Modesto, “10 person Coleman tent. Quonset living too much for you guys?”

“You could say that. That thing is packed to the gills with telecom equipment,the armory cabinet, and medical refrigerator.”

“Also where we keep our venison.”

Scott got out his clipboard, technically they weren’t supposed to hunt but at the same time he would be hard pressed to say he wouldn’t too. “Aren’t there supposed to be 4 people to an outpost?”

The taller one shrugged taking his clipboard to sign, “Yeah, I haven’t heard of a 4 person outpost team outside of cell phone range of Cali.” Technically there was supposed to be 4 to cover all the shifts, but most of them didn’t have that many, and the manager was back in Blythe.

Taking the clipboard back, “What’s with the drones by the way? Recreation?”

The shorter one laughed, “Yeah, but also at night I have them fly in a circle around us if the wind is calm.”

“Why?”

“Scares away the natives, they think it’s a UFO when we flip on the rainbow LEDs.” Scott wasn’t sure if that was brilliant or moronic. Guess it depended on if it worked or not. Sighing… this is what would constitute the pinnacle of modern civilization going east.

USS Roosevelt - Guangzhou

A tour group consisting of a couple of bureaucrats, a few military personnel, a few businessmen, and officials form Hong Kong and Macau are currently finishing up a tour of the hangar space.

“...and to your left, you can see the lift used to carry planes above deck. If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask me or the booth operators.”

And with that, the group was left to their own devices.

Xi Liwei, a minor bureaucrat in Hong Kong, was one of the people who went onto the Roosevelt in the tour group. He, like the others in the group, were on the Roosevelt to learn about and learn from the Californians. As he walked around the hangar, he noticed the airline fuselage, restaurants serving all kinds of food from California, and mockups of all sorts of buildings.

But the one thing that stuck out to him the most was a book on Hong Kong. Specifically, a picture book of Hong Kong before the Event. The neon lights, the architecture, the tech, all of it fascinated him to no end.

At the Churro booth across from Xi, the guide helped herself to a free churro, making small talk with her new friend.

“I guess he’s taking a liking to the book” the architect remarked.

“Yep, he sure is.” the guide replied. “Remember back in Nagasaki when those Samurai played Battletoads? That was insane.”

“But it was funny as hell.”

Next to Xi was John Lewis, one of the Brits who had made himself at home in Hong Kong after the Opium War, as the group passed by a model of the ship they were on, along with a placard explaining how it worked me he couldn’t help but notice something.

“When you get right down to it, this is just a different type of steamer.” John remarked.

“Pardon?” Asked the guide.

“Yeah.” He said, pointing at a cutaway diagram on the ship. “This ‘reactor’ is just a different kind of firebox that makes heat. You’ve got a boiler here, and then this turbine must just be a different way of generating force instead of a piston and cylinder.”

For the Californians leading the tour, it was a reminder that downtimers were ignorant, not stupid, and that the frequent assumption among Californians that their technology was absolutely alien to the downtimers wasn’t exactly true. The operating principles were often the same, but the details were different, Uranium instead of coal and such.

But for John, the idea that for all the future technology on display here, it was still just a steamer was form of relief, a reminder that The Californians were still human and not the gods coming down from Olympus or the decadent hedonists the British press liked to portray them as, depending on the day.

DowntimeOrientation.com

Downtime Orientation is a website to help downtimers “catch up” on the 178 years of cultural differences in order to acclimate to life in California. Here you will be connected with like minded individuals to help you acclimate to 21st century culture. Please take the attached personality exam to sort properly. The following is a list of user-contributed articles by uptimers written in order to help any downtimer acclimate to life in California.

Culture (23 Items)

Slavery: The Sin of our fathers Californian all wish to end.

What we wear, a guide to California fashion.

LGBTQ+: Not just a jumble of letters

The Waves of Feminism

Read More.

Popular Culture (1627 Items)

Science Fiction: From Jules Verne to Seth MacFarlane

A Cinematic history in 25 films

Video Games

The Evolution of Memes

The Abridged Series: The Abridged Series

Comics

Read More.

Politics (41 Items)

The United States Constitution: The 13th through 27th Amendment

Political Parties of California

The Imperial Presidency

Social Networks and You

Proposition What? A Downtimers Guide to the Initiative, Referendum and Recall system in California Politics.

Read More.

Science and Technology (127 Items)

Electricity and it’s shocking applications.

The Internet: An integrated communications network containing the sum of human knowledge… that we watch cat videos on.

History of Medicine: The Abridged Version.

Read more.

Law and Order (38 Items)

Your Legal Rights

Emancipation Proclamation

California Government and Downtime United States: A complicated relationship

Read More.

Maps (21 Items)

Geopolitics of 2018

Trails to the East.

Homesteading the Eastern Frontier.

Read More.

Ivanhoe Reservoir - Silverlake

“Okay, being told that there’s a lake filled with balls is one thing. Seeing it in person is another thing entirely.”

The people on the boat are looking out at the sea of balls floating in the reservoir. The balls are so cramped, the boat doesn’t even rock in the waves.

The downtimer on the boat turns to the driver. “Why are they even here in the first place?”

“Well,” The driver starts. “Chlorine is used to get rid of algae growth on reservoirs, and Bromide is a naturally occurring chemical in the water. Problem is that when they react, they create bromate, which is harmful for consumption. To prevent Bromate from forming when Chlorine is used, the county decided to cover the whole reservoir in shade balls to prevent the reaction from happening.”

“What about the evaporation thing? I heard that the shade balls slow the process.”

“Well, originally, that wasn’t the intent of the balls, but they block the sun well enough to slow it down. That’s actually part of the reason why they’re still being. Because of all the other benefits, we’re gonna be implementing these on a lot of the other reservoirs around Los Angeles.” The driver took a pause. “Well that and putting a gigantic tarp is unfeasible and just useless.”

“That make sense. Although I presume that it’s hard to drive a boat in a sea of balls.”

“Well, yes and no. It is hard to drive the boat through the balls, but when you’re standing still, the boat won’t move.”

“Guess that’s convenient.”

The boat made its way to the slipway where the boat trailer was parked. While this was happening, the downtimer observed a large truck dumping a shipment of shade balls. At that moment, the downtimer had an urge to make a pun.

“At least they didn’t drop the ball on this one” the downtimer said, to the collective groan of everyone else.

7/11 - Calexico

Miguel Ferraro was working a graveyard shift at the local 7/11. Late night shifts were already slow before the Event, but now it was almost barren, bar a few shoppers and the occasional stoner. That essentially left him and Jamie as the only ones in the store.

“Hey” said Miguel

“Yeah?” replied Jamie.

“You ever wonder why we’re here?”

“...Is that a Red vs Blue reference?”

“...I think? But anyways, people are going east to build shit, drivers are being paid to speed on the highways, and that bullet train thing is finally being made for real. So why are we here, in a 7/11 next to the border?”

“We’re here because we get paid do nothing for 8 hours.”

“True. Nothing beats getting paid to do nothing. But it does get mind numbingly boring at times.

I don’t mind getting paid to do jack shit, but even that gets tiring after a while.”

At that moment, Juan O’Hara came into the store.

A downtimer from across the border, Juan was getting accustomed to his new life in California. Living with 5 other people in a 3 person apartment, he drew the short stick and went to get groceries, which led him here.

One problem though, he has no idea where to find some of the items on the grocery list.

“Dude” Jamie said to Miguel. “Guy just came in looking disoriented. Seems to be a downtimer as well.”



“Looks like he came from across the border.” Miguel replied. “So definitely through whatever’s left of Mexicali. Or whatever’s gonna be Mexicali? Still screwy a year and a half later.”

“Anyways, go see what you can do to help.”

“Why me?”

“I can’t speak Spanish.”

“Fine. Could you cover the register for me?”

“Sure.”

Miguel made his way to where Juan was.

“Hola.” Miguel said “¿Estás buscando algo?” (Are you looking for something?)

“Sí.” Juan replied. “Estoy tratando de encontrar mis comestibles.” (Yes, I'm trying to find my groceries.)

“Ah! ¿Qué estás buscando?” (What are you looking for?)

“Aquí está la lista de la compra” (Here is the shopping list)

Miguel took a look at the shopping list.

“La leche está en la parte posterior, el pan está en el pasillo 3, la Fanta está en el pasillo 2, el alcohol está en el pasillo 6 y el cereal está en el pasillo 4.” (The milk is in the back, the bread is in aisle 3, the Fanta in aisle 2, alcohol in aisle 6, and the cereal in aisle 4.)

“Gracias” (Thank you)

“De Nada. Cuando estés listo, facturare tus compras en el mostrador.” (You’re welcome. When you’re ready, I’ll bill your groceries at the counter.)

After Juan gets all of the groceries on the list, he goes to the counter. Miguel scans all of Juan’s groceries, and makes a bit of small talk.

“¿Es esta su primera vez aquí?” (Is this your first time here?)

“Si, llegué aquí hace unos dos meses. Actualmente estoy compartiendo un apartamento con otras tres personas.(Yep, I arrived about two years ago. I’m currently sharing an apartment with three other people.)

“¿Te gusta aquí?”(Do you like it here?)

“Ciertamente es mejor que volver a casa, eso es seguro.”(It’s better than back home, that’s for sure.)

“Es verdad. ”(That’s true.)

“¿Puedo ver tu carta de Calfresh?”(May I see your calfresh card?)

“¿Es esto?”(Is this it?)

Juan pulls out an ebt card and gives it to Miguel

“Si”

“Entonces, ¿cuánto pago?”(So, how much do I pay?)

“Entonces, eso es un galón de leche, 3 panes de pan, 2 bolsas de arroz, una bolsa de trigo, una caja de palomitas de maíz, un paquete de 6 cervezas, 2 fantas, una caja de bocadillos de coco y agua. Las bebidas suman hasta 35 dólares. Tiene 6 libras de verduras, 3 libras de carne y una libra de fruta en su tarjeta EBT.”(So that's a gallon of milk, 3 loaves of bread, 2 bags of rice, a bag of wheat, a box of popcorn, a 6 pack of beer, 2 fantas, a box of coco puffs, and a water. The drinks add up to 35 dollars. You have 6 lbs of vegetables, 3 lbs of meat, and a pound of fruit left on your EBT card.)

“Gracias Miguel.”(Tanks Miguel)

“De nada. Que tengas una buen noche, o mañana. El tiempo es muy chiflado en este momento.”(You’re welcome. Have a good night, or morning. Time is really screwy right now.)

“Buenas noches a ti también”(Goodnight to you as well.)

With groceries in his bag, and fanta in hand, Juan walks out of the 7/11 towards his shared apartment. Jamie, after taking inventory in the back, comes back out as Juan is leaving.

“Hey Jam?” Miguel said?

“Yeah?” Jamie replied.

“Remember when Coke was everywhere?”

“Yep. I remember when it was ‘you have any Coke?’ ‘No, but is Pepsi Okay?’. Now, it’s just a fanta sea.”

“Why did you have to shoehorn that in?”

“I at least tried to-”

“No, no you didn’t”

“Anyways, how was the downtime customer?.”

“He was a bit lost on where to get groceries, but he was a nice guy.”

“That’s a good thing.”

“It sure is. But anyways, about the Fanta thing...”

10 Freeway - Baldwin Park

“All units, suspect has fled the scene in a green 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. Suspect is armed and extremely dangerous.”

The police radio flared to life as the Chevy Caprice Interceptor, containing Officer Luis and his downtime ride along James, thundered down the highway.

“You’re about to witness the Californian Blood Sport: The car chase.” said Luis.

“You’re telling me that this is NORMAL?” James replied.

“Welcome to California bub.”

It didn’t take long for the Caprice to catch up to the Cutlass.

“I’m going to have to do a PIT maneuver.” Luis said

“Does that involve pits?” James asked.

“Usually no.”

The cruiser does a PIT maneuver on the Cutlass, making it swerve off the shoulder and into a small pit.

“Okay, maybe this time it involved a pit.”

“Guess I’m not wrong” James said, trying not to crack up

Luis and James get out of the car and run towards the Cutlass.

The suspect in the Cutlass bolted out of the car, trying to escape and hopefully steal the Caprice, but ends up getting taxed in the dick by Luis, before he handcuffs him and reads him his Miranda rights. After the suspect is taken in another car, James makes his way to Luis.

“I guess some things never change.” James said.

“That idiots will be idiots?” Luis asked.

“That and having to chase down suspects.”

“Huh, never thought of that.”

“Although in my personal opinion, your crooks are more exciting than my crooks back in Boston. No wonder why car chases are a blood sport here.”

[SIZE]The Californian Political Podcast: Episode 138: The inevitable legal conflict between Uptime and Downtime April 16, 1852, Youtube[/SIZE]


CalifornianTory, ValentineLocke, ModeratorGray

CalifornianTory: … and the spending on Newsom’s Vision 1875 will explode, and probably when the whole legal apocalyse goes off, Weimar Germany anyone?

ValentineLocke: Oh please, what else could the government do? You hate GrizzlyComm consolidating the telecoms and nationalizing them but what was the alternative? Vision 1875 does have a tall order but this isn’t about GOP or DNC, this is about having a 21st century global economy continue to function without the global supply chain. Although I concede, have issues with the Legal apocalypse, something the Attorney General’s been mum about.

ModeratorGray: Well let’s talk about that. Perhaps briefly for our listeners you can explain the upcoming legal apocalypse as you both called it. I think getting any Republican and Democrat to agree is noteworthy. Valentine you want to go first?

ValentineLocke: Gladly. The upcoming legal apocalypse has to do with how the State of California acquires land outside of the State of California. Vision 1875 promises rails and highways out to Salt Lake City, Eugene, and Santa Fe.

CalifornianTory: ...along with Hoover Dam, Building airports anywhere they can and sending the Roosevelt halfway around the world. For once though we aren’t debating recognition of downtime native americans though.

ValentineLocke: Right this has solely to do with interacting with the Downtime United States.

CalifornianTory: Ah! Start right there. We are not separate from the government in Washington DC.

ValentineLocke: Is it Pelosi’s or Fillmore’s picture in Federal Offices these days?

CT: Pelosi’s obviously, but it shouldn’t. We are part of the United States of America, in all honesty Pelosi should have resigned when reconnected with Washington legally at least.

VL: Practically, that was never going to happen. Protect and Defend the Constitution, Fillmore didn’t swear to defend about 15 other amendments.

CT: But with Pelosi still maintaining herself as President of the Federal Remnant it’s a problem. In effect the Uptime United States is a pretender federal government, one that dwarfs anything in DC, and that’s a whole other headache.

VL: Really you are going to bring up legitimacy? So long HHS, Energy, Education, Defense, VA, and…

MG: Val…

CT: But the remnant isn’t.

MG: Tory, Val please. What is the particular legal apocalypse regarding land use

VL: Executive Order 14558. The Bureau of Land Management transfers a lot of unused federal land to the State of California.

CT: That’s problematic but not the apocalypse. The apocalypse is that Federal Land outside California is under homesteader rules. The Uptime Federal Government can’t buy it because well… the Downtime Federal Government owns it.

VL: Enter Sacramento, and the compact with Salt Lake. The land along the I-80 and about 5 miles to either side of it is sold to California for railway development. A bunch of other sections covering most of what’s now Bishop county, also was purchased. I imagine the Downtime Mormons will be pissed about Virginia city, but California buys land and then resells it in State if it wants.

CT: That’s the sticky issue, it has no precedent Downtime, a State acquiring land for infrastructure development outside its own state, In effect California’s easternmost extent is now the trading outpost in Salt Lake, and by 1856 the terminus of the California Zephyr. This normally wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for California requiring the Uptime Constitution being enforced in the new territories.

VL: In effect, California is not following the downtime constitution. Slaves aren’t allowed because of the 13th amendment so if a slave boards a Californian plane, they are free, Dixiecrat objection or not, if you listen to the 9th circuit. The land use will get us in trouble in DC, not the NAACP funding a 757 to fly to Camp Springs empty and come back filled with fleeing slaves.

CT: and the Taney Court will rule the Federal remnant illegitimate, along with 9th circuit and California has to cede back Utah Territory land to DC.

VL: ...which Pelosi, Newsom, Harris or Jones won’t.

CT: … and then we get the secessionist crisis in the 1850s. It’s just we never formally seceded but we effectively are.

VL: and then we will have effectively annexed part of the Utah territory at least the I-80, Clark county, and Bishop county.

MG: Bishop County?

CT: Oh right… yeah… California already forged a county government in Utah territory. It’s basically a monster county, sorta matching the combined borders of Storey, Douglas, Carson, and Lyon counties of pre-event Nevada, and that’s apocalypse Part 2.

VL: Where do the residents of New Reno, New Fallon, and Sierra Madre get political representation?

CT: ...and what happens when enough people move into Bishop county that they could petition for Statehood.

VL: Can you imagine the crisis in DC if there are now two Uptimer states? California and New Nevada?

CT: If the land use doesn’t get the Congress involved, Congress will definitely get involved there. California expanding…

VL: or if Bishop petitions the Federal remnant for Statehood?

CT: please don’t remind me… the headaches… ultimately slave catchers getting shot in Maryland won’t cause the inevitable conflict with DC… it will be land use.

VL: Technically it’s legal…

CT: It’s only legal because of loose homesteader laws saying the land is anyone’s whoever develops it. DC will have to adjust for 150 years of Federal Land use in two years or so, and that will bring the legitimacy crisis. Pelosi’s Federal remnant after two years is a dead letter. Once more of the uptime federal departments complete their transfer to State offices, rationalization, and debt cancellation there’s no point having Pelosi be President. The Moscone government collapses

VL: We can’t get representation in Congress, at least in DC, and the Dixiecrats never will let that happen. Hell if it wasn’t for the plainclothes security detail that Huffman had, he might have been beaten by those Dixiecrats on the House Floor. The legal apocalypse is coming

CT: and it will be coming sooner rather than later. More and more DC will fear what’s on the other side of those Rockies…

VL: ...and then they’ll do something stupid.

CT: … we flick them like mosquitoes.

VL: ...and the New California Republic is born

CT: Really… Fallout? We’ll be the Republic of California probably. Hell that’s what’s printed on the rainbow money.

VL: Regardless, things are tense, Newsom’s going to make a visit to DC with Pelosi this summer. Watch for the fireworks.

———

Special thanks to my Co-writers Firebringer2077 and @Rise Comics for their contributions.
 
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