Nicole Yoshida
Fictional Character
Shared Universe Story
"The Breaking of Nations"
Future History
Type of Appearance: Direct POV
Nationality: United States (until 2031),
Date of Birth: c. 1979
Occupation: Educator, politician
Spouse: Brent Yoshida
Children: Joyce and Jacob
Relatives: Unnamed brother,
Two unnamed nephews
Professional Affiliations: University of California, Berkeley
Political Office(s): Governor of California;
President of Pacifica

Nicole Yoshida (b. c. 1979) was a former professor of political science at the UC Berkeley. She then entered politics and became Governor of California.[1] She was the last person to serve in that position within the United States. In 2031, she joined the council which founded the secessionist nation of Pacifica, becoming that nation's first President.

While the country had been on an authoritarian course since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, the immediate trigger was when Trump's successor, Mike Pence, ordered the arrest of the governor and lieutenant governor of Connecticut for treason after they refused to participate in federally mandated immigration sweeps.[2] In response, Yoshida, realizing her own tenuous position, joined Governor Dakotah Ng of Washington and Governor Axel Lysbakken of Oregon in a plan to combine their three states into a new breakaway nation, Pacifica. As California was the most populated state of the three, Yoshida became acting president, and announced Pacifica's secession.[3] Referenda supporting secession passed in all three states by substantial majorities.[4]

The government of the United States refused to acknowledge the secession of Pacifica. In a speech before Congress, Pence pledged to resolve conflicts between the U.S. government and the respective states peacefully.[5] Yoshida gambled that, while the U.S. had the military might to strangle Pacifica in its cradle, Pence was a bureaucrat first and foremost, and so reacted with extreme caution. Yoshida was also cognizant that Trump would brought force to bear to bring Pacifica to heel.[6] In her response to Pence's speech, Yoshida laid out Pacifica's argument to West Coast and to the U.S., relying on the U.S. Declaration of Independence, citing the U.S. government's restriction on freedom of the press, the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2026, the concentration camps on the USA's southern border, and the curtailing of religious freedoms for non-Christians (often with deadly results). She argued that Pence had done nothing to stop the abuses, and was therefore complicit. She then distinguished Pacifica from the Confederate States as the Confederacy seceded to maintain slavery, whereas Pacifica was trying to restore basic freedoms. She further pointed out that the Confederates of 170 years prior would support the Trump-Pence regime in the present. Finally, she implored the people of the U.S. to ignore the Pence administration's lies, that the people of Pacifica were the USA's neighbors.[7] Governors Ng and Lysbakken spoke right after, making the same points in short speeches.[8]

In response, Pence federalized the National Guard in the seceding states, while reminding the leaders of Pacifica that secession was treason, and that death was a possible penalty for treason.[9] Yoshida immediately joined a conference call with Ng and Lysbakken to discuss their next steps. During this call Yoshida received several urgent texts. First, the governor of Hawaii supported Pacifica, and that Hawaii wanted to secede, but couldn't thanks to the USA's substantial military presence.[10] The second was from Yang Wang, the Chinese consul-general in San Francisco, who informed Yoshida that the PRC recognized Pacifica, and appointed Yang Wang the PRC's acting ambassador. All three Pacifican leaders realized that recognition was a mixed blessing, as the PRC was more interested in nettling the U.S. than in supporting Pacifica's ideals.[11] However, Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland recognized Pacifica immediately after China did.[12]

In a brief lull, the three leaders then turned to the National Guard. All three had weeded out the Pence loyalists in their respective states. Then Yoshida received a text from Governor Heber Wilson of Nevada declaring his state's neutrality, forbidding passage of armed military men of any faction through Nevada. They realized that Idaho, another de facto border state, was too pro-Pence to adopt neutrality, but third border state, Arizona, might.[13]

As they contemplated these issues, U.S. jets over the governor's mansions of all three states. Ng concluded that Pence had sent a message, but since there had not been an actual attack, the didn't have to listen. Yoshida replied that even the jets had attacked, Pacifica should not have listened.[14]

With independence declared, the provisional government put together a Constitution, based largely on the U.S. Constitution, with some key differences. Yoshida was satisfied with the results for the most part, particularly the new Pacifica Senate and the direct election of the president and vice president. However, she was disappointed that the Constitution did not impose a complete ban on firearms for civilians, and she had to settle for a ban on assault weapons with additional penalties for people who committed crimes with them.[15] Yoshida also consulted with Major General Malcolm Washington, the highest ranking officer of the California National Guard about the state of Pacifica's nascent military. When she learned that U.S. companies were denying Pacifican loyalists credit, she realized a national currency had to be established.[16]

After a period of uncertain calm, the U.S. government attempted to either kidnap or kill Yoshida while she and her husband were traveling in a convoy to San Francisco, where Yoshida was going to give a speech laying out an economic plan.[17] U.S. helicopters landed on the highway outside Vacaville and deployed black-ops personnel. Yoshida's guards, a mixture of CHP and National Guard, opened fire immediately. Several rounds hit the Yoshidas' car. Her entourage was able to destroy the helicopter with a projectile weapon. After a few minutes, the fight was over. Captain Myron Flegenheim of CHP informed Yoshida that they'd taken prisoners. After ordering Flegenheim not to torture the prisoners for information, Yoshida called Pence, who denied ordering the attack. He assured her that they were not at war, but still refused to acknowledge Pacifica's independence.[18]

The convoy pressed on to San Francisco, where Yoshida gave an impromptu speech. She acknowledged that she'd originally come to call for the re-establishment of the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange, but the attack changed that. Instead, she issued a warning that Pacifica still had to be careful, and fight to stay free.[19]

A few days later, Yoshida personally oversaw the liberation of Camp Calexico, a concentration camp managed by ICE near Calexico, on the border with Mexico, though Malcolm Washington was the one giving orders. When Washington made it was clear that the Pacificans had the firepower to overrun the camp, the captain surrendered. Yoshida also brought reporters, and toured the camp, disgusted with the horrible conditions in which immigrants were being held. She was not surprised to learn that the section of the camp that held political dissidents was even worse. Yoshida and Washington were only moderately hopeful that U.S. citizens would be horrified or ashamed of what their government had been doing.[20] The U.S. government condemned the Pacifica's actions.[21]

Another issue arose: people in Pacifica who remained loyal to the U.S. called for a convention to launch their own secession from Pacifica back to the U.S. Yoshida, Ng, and Lysbakken debated whether or not to allow the scheme; all three realized that in rural communities, Pacifica was not popular. Yoshida decided that being seen as repressive would hurt the Pacifican cause. The Fresno Convention took place at the Save Mart Center in short order. However, Yoshida made sure that hotels lost the reservations of convention attendees. The air conditioner in the Save Mart Center broke down. The internet stream for the speakers had technical difficulties. The reactionaries were also met with counter-protesters. In the end, despite a number of passionate speeches that reiterated standard Trumpist talking points, the convention was unable to reach a resolution for secession.[22] The evening after the convention failed, Axel Lysbakken informed Yoshida that he'd arranged for "ringers" to attend. These ringers were Pacificans who created fake on-line profiles to take advantage of the fact that the convention's organizers operated in the virtual world. They were also long-time convention organizers themselves, and were well versed in parliamentarian procedure. Yoshida was impressed.[23]

Despite secession, the U.S. maintained its military bases in Pacifica's territory. Yoshida was content to let that be, as no further efforts were made to kidnap or kill her. Further, despite her disdain for Pence, she was pragmatic enough to realize that being nominally allied with the U.S. was preferable to one of the world's more overt dictatorships.[24] Pence did not seem to share this opinion, as he set up ICE checkpoints in Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona. Yoshida contacted Governor Wilson in Nevada, who shared his outrage at Pence's actions, but admitted that Nevada joining Pacifica was not practical.[25]

In response to this action, state officials in New York, New Jersey, and all of New England refused to cooperate with federal officials. When the governor of Massachusetts announced that federal laws enacted from 2017 on were void because Trump's election had been illegitimate, Pence claimed that "socialist" elements in Pacifica conspired with those in the Northeast to initiate another secession movement. Pence federalized the National Guard units in New York, New Jersey, and New England. He also warned Pacifica that direct support of further secession movements would be deemed an act of war.[26] Thirty minutes later, Yoshida gave a speech denying any role in the Northeastern states' decision, but publicly supported their actions, and recommended Pence not interfere.[27]

Pacifican secession was finally assured when former FBI agent Patrick O'Donnell approached the Pacifican government about asylum with a treasure trove on information on the U.S government. Yoshida granted it. In short order, Pence himself called Yoshida and demanded she hand O'Donnell back to the U.S., arguing that he'd committed crimes against national security. Pence also made veiled threats as to what the U.S. would do if Yoshida did not comply. Yoshida declined.[28]

O'Donnell's flash drive of info was a chronological series of documents that showed Trump's long standing ties to Russia. In effect, the Trump-Pence regime was a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia. After sharing the information with Ng and Lysbakken, and deciding to publish the information, Yoshida met with O'Donnell in person. O'Donnell confirmed that Yoshida should not count on the U.S. military either ignoring Pence or deposing him. Nor should she think that the majority of the U.S. population would rise up against him. O'Donnell also reminded her that Pacifica's odds of prevailing against the U.S. on the battlefield were slim, a fact she was very well aware of.[29]

It was soon clear that Pence was preparing for invasion. He militarized the border states, successfully arresting Heber Wilson his lieutenant governor. He filtered out military officials who were insufficiently loyal. Aircraft carriers moved to the Pacifica's coast line, just barely in international waters.[30]

Yoshida took to the airwaves, again emphasizing that Pacifica wanted to be left alone. She also made sure Pacifica's modest military was positioned to respond if the U.S. attacked. As invasion seemed imminent, Sergei Khloponin, the Russian consul-general in Seattle, called Yoshida to inform her that Russian president Vladimir Putin would soon be giving a speech on RT Network. Puzzled, Yoshida went to the RT website. Harkening back to the fall of the Soviet Union, Putin, "dismayed" by the conflict in North America, decided to diffuse the situation by recognizing Pacifica. He called on Pence to do the same. Yoshida realized that Putin was simply trying to weaken the U.S., but she didn't care for the moment.[31]

Pence spoke publicly not much later. Plainly dazed, Pence acknowledged he'd spoken to Putin, who warned Pence that force against Pacifica would have dire consequences. Pence officially recognized Pacifica, and gave the Northeastern states leave to secede if they wished. While Yoshida was not thrilled that Russian interference had made Pacifican independence possible, she was determined to move forward.[32]

Literary comment[]

President Yoshida is referenced in both sequels to "The Breaking of Nations": James Morrow's "The Purloined Republic" and Cat Rambo's "Because it is Bitter." In "The Purloined Letter," she is the incumbent President in 2036. In "Because it is Bitter," she appears to be out of office in 2040; a throwaway line suggests that Dakotah Ng may have been Yoshida's eventual vice president and/or successor as president. Yoshida does not appear directly in either sequel. As these stories are peripheral to Harry Turtledove's work, they are not catalogued here.


  1. And the Last Trump Shall Sound, pg. 7, loc. 44, ebook.
  2. Ibid., pg. 5, loc. 24, ebook.
  3. Ibid, pgs. 8-10, loc. 66-88.
  4. Ibid., pg. 13, loc. 144.
  5. Ibid., pg. 10.
  6. Ibid., pg. 12, loc. 124.
  7. Ibid. pg 13-16, loc. 146-190.
  8. Ibid., pg. 16, loc. 190.
  9. Ibid., pg. 17-18, loc. 203-225.
  10. Ibid., pg. 18, loc. 221, ebook.
  11. Ibid., pg. 19-20, loc. 233-214, ebook.
  12. Ibid, pg. 19-20, loc. 229-247, ebook; pg, 17, paperback.
  13. Ibid., pg. 20-21, loc. 256-270.
  14. Ibid, pg. 21-22, loc. 270-277.
  15. Ibid., pgs. 22-23, loc. 284-219.
  16. Ibid., pg. 22-26, loc. 285, ebook.
  17. Ibid., pg. 36, loc. 516.
  18. Ibid., pgs. 28-35, loc. 374-498.
  19. Ibid., pgs. 35-38, loc. 498-534.
  20. Ibid. pgs. 38-45, loc. 534-660, ebook.
  21. Ibid., pgs. 45, loc. 534.
  22. Ibid, pg. 49-55, loc. 711-819.
  23. Ibid., pgs. 56-57, loc. 836-854.
  24. Ibid., pgs. 57-61, loc. 854-908, ebook.
  25. Ibid, pgs. 61-62, loc. 908-926.
  26. Ibid., pgs. 64-65.
  27. Ibid., pgs. 65-67, loc. 979-997.
  28. Ibid. pgs. 67-71, loc. 997-1066.
  29. Ibid., pgs. 71-5, loc. 1066-1136.
  30. Ibid., pg. 76-78.
  31. Ibid., pg. 79-81.
  32. Ibid., pgs. 81-83, loc. 1224-1260.
Political offices
("The Breaking of Nations")
Preceded by
Governor of California
Succeeded by
Miguel Narváez
Preceded by
New office
President of Pacifica
Succeeded by
Incumbent in 2036, successors unnamed