Science City's History
The city that would become known as Detroit began as a settlement established by the French in the early eighteenth century. Over the decades it went from a trading post to a major industrial center as well as the birthplace of soul music. Known both as The Motor City and Motown, Detroit was one of the United States’ most important metropolises.
And then the Styf attacked.
Alien beings from a distant star, the Styf had arrived in Earth orbit and dropped meteors on major industrial centers across the globe. Capitals were not targets; it is theorized that the aliens wished to use the already existing governments to run the planet for them, so they were spared. Metropolises like Detroit were not so fortunate.
Initially it was believed that the city was not salvageable. Worse, companies like General Motors had their head offices in Detroit as well as manufacturing plants, and with the deaths of so many executives and a loss of confidence on the stock market it looked as if some of these corporations would go under. Both the State and Federal governments understood that the loss of an institution as large and as important as GM would send Michigan into a horrible recession that it could not hope to pull out of. In a move critics called “Socialist” the Federal government took control and froze all sales on the stock market, then set up special investigators to cooperate with what was left of those devastated companies to see what was left and how if it was possible to salvage them.
Meanwhile the question was what to do with Detroit itself? Devastation hadn’t been seen on this scale since the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. The Federal government had an answer for this as well. Large state and Federal tax exemptions were set up for companies that would set up in Detroit. Companies damaged by the asteroid strike also received these exemptions as well as low interest government loans to get back on their feet again. Ambitious public housing projects rebuilt neighborhoods.
After a decade Detroit had practically re-invented itself; companies previously not based in the Detroit area moved here to take advantage of the decade long tax breaks. Workers flooded into the city to help build it and housing was constructed to serve them. Stadiums and theaters had been erected, fast food chains set up. Surrounding cities slowly became integrated in the major new metropolis to take advantage of the special tax exemptions and Federal aid. By ’77 Detroit was unrecognizable, so much so that the city council placed a proposal on the ballot to have the name changed. It passed and Motor City was born.
Over the years Motor City had become one of the United States’ most important, prosperous cities, rivaled only by New York City and Los Angeles in prestige. It had become home to the world’s most prominent super hero team, The Vindicators, until they disbanded in 2013. And then, in September 2015 and event no less devastating than the Styf attack struck the city. A company called Plex Alternative was constructing a hyper space engine for Earth’s first space craft. Someone activated the hyper drive, bypassing all safety protocols. The result was later called “D-Day” for the dimensional breaches that opened up across the metropolis. Entire sections of the city disappeared to be replaced by bits and pieces of…elsewhere. Thousands of men, women and children…disappeared.
The city was placed under quarantine, no one was allowed to enter or exit under threat of on-site execution; that was how seriously the government was taking the possibility of a potential extradimensional invasion. Citizens trapped within the city were provided for with air drops but it never seemed to be enough. Shortages ranged from food to medicine to even simple little things like toilet paper. President Russell came under constant fire from both the opposition and his own party, but he remained firm. Finally after three months the blockade was lifted and people were allowed to come and go as they pleased. Goods flowed back into the city, but many felt the damage had already been done. For the first time since the Styf assault the city had experienced negative population growth, some prominent businesses had decided to pull up stakes and move elsewhere to places like New York and Chicago. But the panic had only been temporary.
What a majority of Motor City’s citizens had come to realize was they had weathered a terrible storm; chunks of their city had been torn away and strangers had been dropped among them. They had suffered privation and frustration and fear. And they had come out of it just fine. During the worst periods rather than riot Motor City’s citizens had come together. Rather than turn on these strange new visitors they had, for the most part, welcomed them. Rather than blame them for the loss of their loved ones they had shared their pain in being torn from their worlds and dropped into a new and frightening place. Motor City was never going to be the same.
But that wasn’t such a bad thing.
No one knows exactly where the idea had taken root, but changing the city’s name seemed only natural. As Motor City was no longer Detroit, it was now no longer really Motor City. Many names were tossed around, but ultimately Science City won out. These days things have grown more or less normal, or at least as normal as the world’s most interesting city can be. Strange and wonderful and terrible stuff happens on a daily basis and those who couldn’t handle it have long since moved away. Those who stayed behind can be considered a little weird themselves, but that’s all right.
It’s 2021, it’s Science City.
Weird is the new normal.