Salem, Massachusetts

By the mid-80s, the world had seen its fair share of misfortune. Primarily, at the hands of superpowered individuals, be them mutants, wizards, alien invaders or otherwise. New York City, once a worldwide hub of trade, global commerce, and global politics was still thriving, but oftentimes enough was the location of fierce battles between bands of superheroes and their supervillain counterparts. Why wouldn't it be? Take one of the largest cities in the world and populate it with an immeasurable amount of superhumans (No less than three superheroic organizations stationed in the city itself would be enough to garner the ire of dozens of villains) and you can only hope by the week that the city isn't reduced to smoldering ash.

In 1986, a Massachusetts senator named Harold Grimes made a risky bid. The city of Salem, Massachusetts would open its doors to any and all businesses and individuals, both domestic and worldwide, that wished to move their interests from the more war-torn cities of the world and start anew. The city of Boston flat out refused Grimes' offer, mayor Raymond Flynn declaring that the last thing he wanted was for his city to "become another New York City and find itself under fire by the mutants and aliens roaming the night".

Grimes had an ace up his sleeve in the form of the United States' analogue to the international anti-terrorism and superpowered mayhem unit SHIELD - the government-funded SuperHuman Regulation, Intelligence and Neutralization, or SHRINE. Grimes served as the head of the funding board for the mutant-oriented sub-branch META, the Mutant Enforcement and Track Agency. Through META and SHRINE, with the promise of an increased SHRINE presence in Salem to help defend what would be an entrepeneurial paradise against the superpowered danger in the world, Grimes, for a time, made Salem one of the safest cities in the world - one of the safest, and what would become one of the most well-known. This would be even further assured by the change from META to the Mutant Task Force, a militarized entity dedicated to defending the United States from both mutant and otherwise Superpowered villainy.

As of the 2010 census, Salem now totals 4.7 million souls, a population second only to New York City. The past twenty-odd years saw an explosion in urban renewal and the construction of miles and miles of business holdings and residential areas in Salem, now being called "New New York" by some, its population growing and growing every year. Businessmen world-wide have made Salem their home, and talks of NATO uprooting from New York and moving to a more secure location have even hit the rumor mill. Salem, Massachusetts is no longer the sleepy antique town of yore. It's now a bustling metropolis, for better or for worse. For every businessman that makes his fortune in the city, another ounce of corruption and greed begins to fester within its heart...