Capital City

Legend has it when the first developers began rudimentary planning for development of Beta Prime, they located what is now called Capital City on the planetary map and simply listed the location’s name as “Capital City” with the intent of naming it later. Like many things, inertia took over and the name simply stuck.

Unlike most cities, the developers actually used common sense in planning the city’s transportation grid. The spaceport and shuttle port are located in the heart of the city like a hub on a wagon wheel. Running out from the hub at the center of Capital City like spokes on a wheel are the main thoroughfares.

Running at each of the four points of the compass are the primary transportation routes, consisting of hovercraft highways, metro subways and rail lines for movement of heavy freight. Bisecting the four primary highways, named after the point of the compass the road travels toward, are additional radial lines. Some are smaller in size while others are large in size, all depending on the traffic generated by the areas served.

As Capital City grew, loops called hoverways were constructed, creating major transportation routes connecting each of the radial routes. For the most part, carefully laid out grid patterns of streets and secondary roads provided the transportation needs of those traveling in the sector.

Sections of Capital City are underground, particularly in the Northwest Quadrant where the elites of the planet prefer to live. To avoid the effect of the dreaded “miner’s cough” the underground structures in this section of Capital City have been completely sealed away from the geological surface strata of Beta Prime. This expensive, but necessary, architectural detail prevents the parasite that lives in the crust of the planet from infecting the elites who live in the quadrant.

The Northeast section of Capital City is a mix of middle-class neighborhoods where the university educated live along with other high skill workers. Like the Southeast section, it has a heavy mix of industry and warehousing. Good manufactured from raw materials found and processed on Beta Prime are made and assembled here for export to other worlds. Because of its location close to manufacturing, large numbers of warehouses are found in this section, holding goods until they can be shipped out from the spaceport.

A new, large rail facility is being built to ship goods to a new spaceport being constructed in Icetown, located to the east of Capital City. Necessitated by having long outgrown its first spaceport, the new construction and economic activity bring jobs, wealth and growth to both Beta Prime and Capital City.

Early construction, particularly in the Southeast quadrant of Capital City which was built first, was often done using re-purposed shipping containers. The initial investors purchased containers at the end of their useful lives in the shipping industry for a one-way trip to Beta Prime. Still structurally sound, the investors were able to save significantly in both shipping costs ( a one-way trip to Beta Prime) and construction materials by re-using the containers. The images below depict such a practice on earth in the year 2018.

container construction

Workers have added a cinderblock facade in the top image. The bottom image shows the interior of the building, a multi-unit storage rental facility.

Construction on Beta Prime

Capital City construction on Beta Prime

The Southeast section of Capital City is a mix of mines, processing plants and housing for blue collar workers and the few middle-class merchants who eke out their living providing miners, plant workers and other laborers with the necessities they need. Improvements to the underground rail network and the development of newer housing have led to an increase in the number of middle-class families living and working in the northern and northwestern areas of this section of Capital City.

Capital City of Beta Prime
Map of Capital City

Sullivan lives in this part of Capital City as does Ralph, Alice, and Joe. Father Nathan’s church parish is located here, close to Joe’s restaurant.

Southwest Capital City contains the poorest sections of the city, largely on the outskirts of the section. The areas closest to the center of Capital City and the spaceport are middle class and home to merchants, service companies and office buildings. As the distance from the center of the city increases, the seedier the area becomes.

The southern half of Capital City, which contains the largest segments of middle, working class, and poor along with mining and industrial facilities, is the highest crime area in the city. These two sections also have fewer resources available for the IAPF, resulting in higher crime rates for these parts of the city.

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The Thomas Sullivan Chronicles and Other Stories