Turtledove
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Pacifica was an independent North American republic established in 2031.

First Steps Towards Independence[]

In the 2020s, United States Presidents Donald Trump and Mike Pence adopted a form of government which slid deeper into authoritarianism. Religious minorities, immigrants, and gay men faced much discrimination and danger. Many enlightened minds were horrified by this, and the greatest number of these were concentrated in the West Coast states of California, Oregon, and Washington. In 2031, Governors Nicole Yoshida (Cal.), Axel Lysbakken (Ore.), and Dakotah Ng (Wash.) formed a plan for secession in light of the Pence administration's repression.[1]

The immediate trigger came when 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, the three governors three states into a new breakaway nation, Pacifica. As California was the most populated state of the three, Yoshida became acting president.[3] Referenda supporting secession passed in all three states by substantial majorities.[4]

Pacifica received support both public and clandestine. The governor of Hawaii quietly supported Pacifica; public support was impossible because of the USA's substantial military presence there.[5] The People's Republic of China however publicly recognized Pacifica,[6] as did Scotland.[7]

The provisional government put together a Constitution, based largely on the U.S. Constitution, with some key differences. Each state would have nine senators, with the number being reduced as more states joined. The total cap was thirty senators. There was no Electoral College, with the president and vice president being directly elected by popular vote. It banned semi-automatic rifles of all types. While it did not require that citizens surrender guns they'd previously owned, it did impose an additional twenty-five years onto a prison sentence for any crimes committed with firearms.[8]

New Country Under Attack[]

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.[9] 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. Her entourage was able to destroy the helicopter with a projectile weapon, and successfully took prisoners. 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.[10]

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.[11] The U.S. government condemned the Pacifica's actions.[12]

The Fresno Convention: Failed Counter-Revolution[]

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. As the Pacifican government realized repressive acts would hurt the Pacifican cause, they allowed the Fresno Convention to take place at the Save Mart Center in short order. However, the government 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.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15] Pence did not seem to share this opinion, as he set up ICE checkpoints in Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona. Yoshida contacted Governor Heber Wilson in Nevada, who shared his outrage at Pence's actions, but admitted that Nevada joining Pacifica was not practical.[16]

Final Independence[]

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.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22]

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.[23]

Literary comment[]

Harry Turtledove's "The Breaking of Nations" was followed by "The Purloined Republic" by James Morrow and "Because it is Bitter" by Cat Rambo, which reveal more trivia about Pacifica. As Turtledove was not involved in either story, this information is not included here.

References[]

  1. And the Last Trump Shall Sound, pgs. 5-10, loc. 24-88, 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. 18, loc. 221, ebook.
  6. Ibid., pg. 19-20, loc. 233-214, ebook.
  7. Ibid, pg. 19-20, loc. 229-247, ebook; pg, 17, paperback.
  8. Ibid., pgs. 22-23, loc. 284-219.
  9. Ibid., pg. 36, loc. 516.
  10. Ibid., pgs. 28-35, loc. 374-498.
  11. Ibid. pgs. 38-45, loc. 534-660, ebook.
  12. Ibid., pgs. 45, loc. 534.
  13. Ibid, pg. 49-55, loc. 711-819.
  14. Ibid., pgs. 56-57, loc. 836-854.
  15. Ibid., pgs. 57-61, loc. 854-908, ebook.
  16. Ibid, pgs. 61-62, loc. 908-926.
  17. Ibid., pgs. 64-65.
  18. Ibid., pgs. 65-67, loc. 979-997.
  19. Ibid. pgs. 67-71, loc. 997-1066.
  20. Ibid., pgs. 71-5, loc. 1066-1136.
  21. Ibid., pg. 76-78.
  22. Ibid., pg. 79-81.
  23. Ibid., pgs. 81-83, loc. 1224-1260.
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