Need for Speed Carbon takes place in a fictitious city that's been taken over by a swarm of racing gangs. You apparently were the top dog for some time before "that fateful night." During a city race, which involved the seemingly illegal transportation of goods, all of the cars in your racing pod were electronically zapped by a government special ops team. They used an EMP-type gun that stopped all functionality in each car, except yours. You made it out alive. Then, according to the story, you skip town. When you return, a significant period of time later, the city has changed. Filling the vacuum you left, a gaggle of gangs have grabbed territories across the city. Now that you're back, your job is to win those territories over one by one until the entire place it yours again.