The bus rumbled through the downpour for 15 minutes, and Martin could recognize the lights of his friend’s auto repair shop approaching. It blinked “Cowboy’s” in blue neon and “Repair Shop” in white neon — the colors of the Detroit Lions, and underneath, “Bad Wolf” in blinking red neon. Cowboy, Martin’s friend, had his auto repair shop in a former two-level bomb shelter. Martin pulled the thick blue wire along the window, and the bell rang for the bus driver to stop.
Welcome to the city of Bad Wolf, Michigan. This city was originally a secondary site for testing for the Manhattan Project during World War II. The Manhattan Project was funded by the United States military and lead by physicist Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer. The Project’s main goal was the develop the nuclear bomb before Germany or Japan. Due to nature of the atomic testing, many buildings in Bad Wolf were retrofitted with lead and asbestos lining and additional layer of brick. Factories for the making of automotive parts were converted into military facilities, laboratories and information centers. Additionally, several bomb shelters were built, in case of a nuclear catastrophe. Cowboy’s shop was one of these.
Half the residents left after the miltary mostly took over the town, and those residents who left became workers in Detroit in the manufacturing of Jeep and tank diesel engines. The remaining members of the town had to deal with the daily miltiary presence and falling employment. Upon completion of the Manhattan Project, the secondary center of Bad Wolf were closed and buried. The military left, stripping all the military and laboratory equipment from the buildings, but left the residents with next to nothing. No compensation was or has arrived for Bad Wolf — whatsoever. Time passed on, and people returned to Bad Wolf, forgetting about the existence of the Manhattan Project. And the town began flourishing to this day.
The bus came to slow stop, and a giant wave of water splashed alongside the bus. Martin slid foward down the aisle, stopping behind the yellow line on the floor. “Thanks,” Martin said. The bus driver mumbled something and opened the door. Someone coughed again in the back of the bus. Martin hurried through the rain, and jumped through the door of his friend’s shop. Ding, dong, the electronic bell rang, and the metal door slammed shut.
“Cowboy,” Martin asked to the empty front desk, “are you here?” The water dripped onto the floor, from his drenched shirt, slacks and hair.
“In the back,” Cowboy shouted, with a thick New York accent.
(To be continued…)