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The United Islands of Pacifica, or simply Pacifica is an American survivor state governed from the former US Naval island of San Nicolas, in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. Encompassing a former US Naval training grounds of approximately 1700 sq mi of open sea and varied terrain used for everything from commando training to firing ranges, the three islands of San Nicolas, Santa Barbara and San Clemente have a land area of 90.6366 sq mi and are home to many endemic sub-species which the human residents have come to pride as national treasures. As of September 2011 the human population stands at 1230 permanent residents.
With its "founding fathers" totally American military personnel, Pacifica is a strong advocate for a restored United States of America. As such, it is a major supporter of CRUSA, providing them with a base in their land and contributing financial support to their cause. Pacifica is currently an observer at the League of Nations.
On December 6, 1602, Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno discovered the island and named it San Nicolas after the feast day of Saint Nicolas. Some time after this missionaries visited the island and the people lived at peace for over 230 years. In 1835, though, all but one inhabitant, a woman named Juana Maria by the missionaries, were removed to safety on the mainland of California due to the actions of Russian-led Aleutian fur trappers.
Except as a sometimes stop of ships heading to California, like that of Captain George Nidever who brought Juana Maria to Santa Barbara in 1853, San Nicolas was uninhabited for the next century. In the 1930's a whaling company used the island as its base and soon thereafter the island caught the attention of the US military. Considered as a sight for the first detonation of the first atomic bomb, the island eventually was to be used as a base for testing conventional weapons instead. A 10,000 foot (3,048 meter) landing strip and even rocket launch pads were constructed by the US military soon after World War 2. Considered officially uninhabited, the island supported about 200 military personnel at any given time.
As a military base that launched rockets and serviced aircraft traffic, San Nicolas was able to track both air traffic and aerospace traffic from its facilities. As a result it was able to detect the first of two submarine-launched IBM's which would place nuclear warheads in low space sub-orbital trajectory to cripple half the communications and other electronics of the US mainland. Even with this early warning, though the base was not able to tell exactly what the trajectory was of this missile. Within a half-hour of this launch other missiles were spotted on the radar screens that had shielded electronics, for the island was on the very edge of the EMP. Within minutes of detection, these missiles delivered death to millions on the mainland to the northeast. By nightfall on September 25, 1983, the outpost stood alone in the ocean between California and Hawaii, not knowing the fate of the nation it was sworn to protect.
NAVFAC San Nicolas had been scheduled for decommission on March 2, 1984. Now 189 naval service personnel found themselves cut off from their command structure, leaving Captain Manuel Francisco in charge. He had been one of few unmarried personnel on the island, which had been nearly fully staffed on the weekend of September 24-25, 1983, due the heightened tensions after the downing of the Korean liner on Sept. 1. It had been hoped that President Reagan's speech scheduled for the 26th would have diffused the situation. As a new week, in a new era began, it was assumed that the president had died in New York City where he had been that fateful night.
Since the island was mostly a dessert, with shrubs, mice, cats, and foxes, and birds that came and went, life beyond the meager rations would not sustain the personnel for more than a couple of weeks at best. Flights from the island on the 28th flew within a few miles of Los Angeles but turned back because of the smoke from fires set by several nuclear warheads that struck the city. Survivors had been spotted, though, on tiny Santa Barbara Island, apparently refugees from the Los Angeles area. Several small boats had apparently happened upon the island in the hectic escape just before catastrophe struck. The meager 'fleet' of cutters was dispatched to the island to rescue these refugees, though there was no way of knowing if they could support them.
On September 30th, a flight out of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, requested landing at the airport. The Mexican plane carried relief supplies and had been surveying the coastline for survivors. After a brief stop, the plane had flown back to Mexico, some 60 miles to the southeast. Fortunately for the survivors, now numbering 307 with six families and scores individual civilians that had made it to Santa Barbara Island, the supplies actually contained seed grain. Plans were immediately formulated as to how to work the poor soil on the island to their advantage. Knowing that it would be months before any crops would be in, the commanding officers of the base had made sure the Mexicans would return soon.
Meanwhile, contact had been made to the largest of the Navy's islands, San Clemente Island. This island, where classified exercises had been going on for months because of a rise in tensions in the Caribbean and Central America. Because of "doomsday," though, the crack operatives of America's 'black ops' would soon become the architects of a survivalist community that would turn rocky deserts into a semblance of civilization.
Santa Catalina Island
The most successful of the southern Channel Island's was one that was the closest to the devastation. A mere twenty-five miles off shore, the residents of the resort town of Avalon had a 'front row seat' to multiple megaton nuclear explosions so close that the light flashes blinded scores of citizens who had discarded the advise to avoid direct exposure. However, the distance had afforded protection from the destructive thermal and pressure blasts of the bombs. Though some residents of the mainland had escaped via boats still in the water the afternoon the emergency signals blared from shore, the evacuations from the Los Angeles had mostly been into the mainland. As a result, Avalon and the village of Two Harbors ten miles north had very few refugees. Thee residents, though, would enter into a 'life of refuge' as they had nowhere to go.
The City Council of Avalon, though, had worked quickly to devise plans of survival on the island. The first contact they had with Pacifica was when the Naval officers put ashore 'looking for survivors' in late October 1983. In lieu of word from the state or federal governments, the officers of NAVFAC San Nicolas assured the Council that they were willing to take control of the operations there due to their expertise. The city officials, though, politely refused this offer, preferring instead to make it 'on their own.' An agreement, though, was made by what would become Pacifica's ruling council (and its military government), to serve as protectors of what would become the state of Avalon.
With the resources on San Clemente and San Catalina, the supplies from Mexico were enough to stabilize the islands for the coming winter. By March 2, 1984, when the NAVFAC was scheduled to be decommissioned, a new 'state' came into existence. By its founding documents it was to be a continuing state of the United States of America until such a time as it could be reconstituted with the state of California. It would have a governor, presumed to be a member of the military, to serve the state as a civilian. He would be assisted by a Governing Council, both elected and appointed, as well as by an appointed judiciary.
Aid from the American Diaspora in Mexico
If it had not been for the early contact with Mexico, the state of Pacifica would have been stillborn. However, as promised another shipment of aid came to San Nicolas Island by the end of October. The aid package this time contained ample planting soil and fertilizer to begin planting seed in hot houses and outdoor planters that that every able-bodied resident of the island could build within the four weeks available. Materials were scarce, so the make-shift structures were a meager beginning. The rocky fields around the living quarters of what would become "Nicolas Town," the capital of the state, were broken into dry clay that was lightly watered and mixed with mulch and compost in an effort to create some topsoil for the next full planting season.
San Clemente Island, much larger, but just as rocky, was similarly being prepared. Since it was larger, there was more varied terrain from which to work. Many of the Navy personnel were reluctant to put the effort in to transform the islands into 'refugee camps' as they called the project, and returned on the ship that had brought the supplies in October. By Christmas of 1983, in fact 100 of the 420 original residents of the two islands had asked and been 'reassigned' to serve among the American Diaspora in Mexico. Many made there way to Mexico City, but did not have the connection to make contact with either President Reagan or Vice President Bush when they visited that city.
However, these personnel were able to raise an awareness among the American military in Mexico that the facilities in the Channel Islands had survived. They could not promise, though, that these sailors would abandon their post, as they called it, now that they had refugees of their own to care for. As a result, supplies and even workers began to regularly sail out of Baja so that by May, when the Gathering Order was issued, the personnel of Pacifica had already committed themselves to a higher order. And since no one had told the administration that the bases had survived, Bush was none the wiser until after the APA had dissolved.
Like most nations post Doomsday, Pacifica adapted an agrarian society. Due to the presence of a Fuel Farm on the island that was used by the small US Military Base there, there was adequate diesel fuel for the use of modern agricultural techniques that were in use at the time. However, the lack of any farming equipment resulted in some very original ideas, such as taking old military vehicles, and turning them into tractors. Most food grown in Pacifica is consumed by the population, but some cash crop plants are grown and sold to Mexico and the Chumash Repubic . The main crops grown are:
- Grain - used to feed the Public. Usually made into Bread.
- Coffee Beans - used as Cash crop
- Bananas - used as Cash crop
- Commercial fishing - increased yield in the surrounding seas making this possible only in recent years.
From it's earliest days Pacifica has been in contact with Mexico. In 2008, when the League of Nations was formed, Mexico informed the ANZC of the existence of the tiny state which the APA had never acknowledged. The resulting tension allowed for contact with the Committee for the Restoration of the United States of America soon thereafter. In 2009 an observer from Pacifica was established at LoN headquarters. In 2010, Pacifica lobbied for a bill at the LoN that would have LoN assist in rebuilding the US. However, this bill was summarily blocked by the USSR and SAC. The government of Pacifica was overjoyed when word reached them of the restored United States on the mainland, and has since offered its services, pending official annexation to the USA.
Due to much of the original population being members of the US Military, the conservative nature has stuck to the present day. In contrast to this is the presence of CRUSA, which tends toward radical change. CRUSA has been a major factor in Pacifican politics since 2008. Nonetheless, the elected officials are almost always right of center. The Government of Pacifica is made up of three Branches:
- Pacifica Governing Council, which serves as the Legislative Branch. It is made up 20 elected Representatives and 10 appointed Senators, that represent the 10 voting districts.
- Pacifica Gubernatorial Office, which serves as the Executive Office. The office is lead by the Governor, Lt. Governor and three Minsters (Civics Affairs, Natural Resources, and Defense), and 15 Aides.
- Pacifica Supreme Court, which serves as the Judicial Branch. This is made up of 5 Judges, who are appointed by the President, and confirmed by the Governing Council.
Private travel between the islands is by sail boats when necessary, otherwise, each island's inhabitants depend mostly on pedestrian traffic to get around. Occasional official business between the islands is in military boats with all transportation on the islands being on foot. Regular delivery of fuel oil - mostly diesel - from Mexico allows for rationed use of both boats and planes by the military and government.
The population of Pacifica is 54% White, 20% Native American, 14% African American, 6% Asian, and 6% other. 45% are Hispanic by ethnic listing.