Not Great: Apparently by 21XX Chicago Is Called "Xyberxhixago" and the Mayor Is a Computer
LINCOLN_PARK.PERFECT_2.0 — Well this is not good. Despite hopes in the early 2020s that the United States was headed for a kinder, more egalitarian future, sources close to the action report that by the year 21XX, Chicago has become a brutal cyberdystopia called “XyberXhixago” ruled over by a villainous technoburgomeister, PerfectSynthesis RichardDaley.exe. Sheesh.
This inconvenient news comes to The Chicago Genius Herald courtesy of a tear in the space-time continuum that’s opened up in our breakroom, which is allowing our reporters access to the world of the future and also creating a really horrible draft throughout the rest of the building.
According to Genius Herald reporters, there’s a lot to love about XyberXhixago for fans of the city classic—The Windy City’s firmware upgrade keeps the classic Chicago touches like constantly failing public infrastructure, immense amounts of overcrowding and a rapidly contracting quality of life for everyone but the city’s richest residents, but with way more neon lighting, PVC trenchcoats, punk-inspired haircuts and an ambient soundtrack composed by Vangelis.
With so many upgrades, however, it begs the question of how the city got so bad. “As far as anyone can recall,” said Jayce Lixx, 27, an amateur historian and part-time hacker affiliated with the J.U.L.E.T.H.I.E.V.E.S. netrunners who’ve set up shop in the wreckage of a former West Loop prefab, “PerfectSynthesis RichardDaley.exe was built sometime in the mid-2050s as an A.I. capable of conceptualizing an Italian Beef sandwich with the perfect amount of giardiniera on it, but quickly broke free of its noospheric restraints and collapsed the entire power grid, which remained offline until sometime in 2067.”
“It wasn’t until 2070 that Xhixago was even reincorporated into the Guaranteed Rate Midwestern Corporate Prefecture,” continued Lixx, ashing his American Spirit brand NicoStikk and pulling the collar up on his e-jacket to keep the frigid, late winter acid rains out to no avail. “Those were some dark times, apparently. Glad I wasn’t alive for them.”
Others, however, seemed to have different ideas about how Chicago of Tomorrow became what it was. “Don’t believe a word out of Lixx’s mouth,” said Iosefka Kowalczyk, 67, a bio-android clone of Casimir Pulaski forced to join a biker gang after the People’s Republic of Bridgeport was demilitarized in 2096. “Daley.exe was built by the mayor’s office to find a way to punch through the Sons Of Ricketts’ defenses at Wrigley Field during the last years of the Pączki Wars in the mid-2040s. Unfortunately the AI decided the easiest way to do that was to bring a satellite out of orbit and crash it into the stadium.”
“The city’s only just now beginning to field a baseball team again, and it’s all techno-serfs whose brains have been overwritten with Jay Cutler’s personality,” she said. “He was the only athlete’s brainwaves the mayor’s office still had on file, and he’s terrible at fielding grounders.”
“It ain’t a perfect world, but we’re tryin’ our best,” said Charlemagne Ditka, 42, a descendent of the legendary Chicago football coach who’s set up a temporary field command in Soldier Field. “Da technoburgomeister’s always tryin’ ta abduct people and reformat ‘em so their brains are connected to da Daleynet, but we been doin’ a pretty good job holdin’ his enforcement droids back fer da time bein’.”
When asked if he had any requests before The Genius Herald reporters departed, Ditka merely asked them to bury a thumb drive with a complete recording of “The Superbowl Shuffle” on it somewhere on the grounds for him to find in his own time.