Before the Great War, Segment 03 was a budding center of industry for the people of the Rubbards. The Segment 04 bridge provided access from Segment 03, to the Rubbards’ central isles. This link to the Rubbards’ key avenues of commerce played a major role in the Segment’s huge growth. When the bridge was lost at the end of the Great War, many feared the loss of Segment 03’s prosperity as well.
The Central Isles
The direct link to the central isles that the Segment 04 bridge provided was essential to Segment 03‘s success. The importance of this link is highlighted by the way the segments of the Rubbards are situated.
Before the Great War, the Rubbards consisted of a total of eleven segments. Eight of these segments were spread out in a large outer ring, while three were nestled closely in the center. Direct access to this central node meant a reduction in transit times for materials and products by as much as half. Anyone able to take advantage of this reduction in cost and time had a significant advantage over competitors.
In addition, this link to the central isles provided a huge pool of potential workers. This wealth of manpower combined with its trade advantages allowed Segment 03 to grow at staggering pace.
The Fall of the Segment 04 Bridge
By order of the Nobility, several of the Rubbards’ segments were dropped into the abyss at the end of the Great War. Segment 04, a residential area, was among the segments lost.
The Segment 04 Bridge had been built extremely well to handle its immense amounts of traffic. It is said that as segment 04 sunk beneath the clouds, that strength nearly spelled doom for Segment 03 as well. The bridge held until the very last moment.
The resulting shock of its sudden failure caused devastating tremors to rock the segment. Some stories say that Segment 03 tilted as much as thirty degrees towards the abyss before the bridge finally broke. The damage caused to the structures on Segment 03 was catastrophic.
Remnants of a Forgotten Time
Strangely, the old courtyard that once led to the Segment 04 Bridge is intact, and accessible even to this day. There are no fences, and no barriers to keep away the curious, and travelers upon the Long Walk are free to stop and pay their respects before they continue on to the Transport Hub.
Normally, one would expect the factories to quickly snatch up such a wide span of open space. For unknown reasons however, the factories have left it alone. Some say it is in memorial of those who were lost. Such sentimentality however, seems out of place for a group of people as profit-minded as the factory foremen.
It is more likely that the area suffered some manner of structural damage during the fall. Though it appears sound on the surface, it is possible the severe shock has weakened the area. Though seemingly fine for foot traffic, the weight and load of a factory would likely prove too much.
Should you find yourself upon the Long Walk, take a moment and look out upon the ruins of the Segment 04 Bridge. As the remnants of the bridge dangle in the wind above the abyss, imagine what that day must have been like. As you leave the courtyard, I hope that you will vow to never let such an event happen again.