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A Golden Island to the West

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

With his appurtenances
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Published by SLP
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,


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.