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Bagwell City (Part 1)

July 20, 2011

Bagwell City holds several unique honors in the Fifty-Six: oldest city, largest city, highest concentration of universities, highest per capita income, highest tax rate, highest crime rate, highest murder rate, slowest growth rate.

The story started in 2895 when Kenzie Bagwell orbited above the newly ordained planet Bagwell.  He was tasked with establishing an expandable outpost large enough to support three humans for a year.  After two weeks, he settled on a hilly depression, quarter way to the northern pole.  The location provided protection from orbital debris, while offering level ground for substantial expansion.

Step two involved the three supply craft which accompanied Kenzie from Earth.  These craft carried the foundation pieces of the outpost.  After four days of careful calculation, Kenzie launched a “spire” at Bagwell’s surface.  The spire was nothing more than a massive pole that was meant to embed itself into the planet, allowing modules to anchor.  The second supply craft then landed on top of the pole and unfolded into a dome resembling an ancient teepee. Touchdown of the third and final craft unleashed a host of robots that began smoothing concrete onto the surface under the dome.  Finally, Kenzie landed with food, water and life-support systems.

Three months later, Kenzie was joined by three more ships, none of which contained humans.  The first ship carried a fresh batch of robotic builders, while the remaining two contained components for a substantial dome upgrade.  Similar shipments followed every third day for 18 days until all the pieces were assembled and Kenzie’s work began.  Upon completion, the spire reached eight hundred feet into the sky and the dome diameter spread over one mile.  In 2896, one year and several days after first landing, Kenzie greeted his first human companions.

The scientific community grew steadily, albeit slowly, over the next four years until 2900 when Richard Vergo, financier of Earth’s E-prop, unveiled a new, larger E-prop.  Bagwell’s dome was again expanded and life-support capacity was increased.  After Bulwark seized control of the E-prop from Richard Vergo in 2905, Bagwell city witnessed an exponential growth in essential (scientific and construction) and civilian personnel.

By 2999, the population of Bagwell City was pushing one million and intra-city transportation was becoming a major issue.  The original outpost plans never included businesses, food stations or entertainment centers and certainly didn’t allow for efficiently moving a million people around the city.  King Emile Donjou, son of Adrien Donjou, opened a 7-day forum of concepts for all citizens to submit their ideas.  The top three were chosen by a body of engineers and included an underground subway, an underground road system and the belt.

It isn’t recorded who proposed the belt, but the idea won by a wide margin.  Based upon the concept of a conveyor belt, first commercialized in 1892 by Thomas Robins, Bagwell City’s belt was enhanced for personnel transportation in an urban environment.  Five conveyor belts were stretched side by side, running at incrementally faster speeds, allowing users to step up a belt and pass slower riders.

On New Year’s Day, 3000, as the clock struck, ushering in a new millennium, there were wild celebrations as ground was broken.  Three years and two expansions of the dome later, Bagwell City was equipped with a rapid transit system capable of speeds up to 16 km/h.

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