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The Wall was seven hundred feet tall, concrete reinforced with a cold-rolled steel skeleton, three hundred feet thick and hollow in the middle. On both sides, in large, bold letters it stated:
DANGER: DO NOT CROSS
The Wall ran for hundreds of miles, identical in every way to the mile before it except for the deterioration of the “DANGER: DO NOT CROSS” spray-painted letters that spanned on both sides. The Wall, every day, rain or shine, was cold as ice and smooth as skin. It never truly changed, the massive Wall, only who lived on either of it.
There were other walls, of course, small walls creating courtyards where the Wall would sometimes split, with little odd villages of it’s own, and walls in the vast suburbia’s that lay on either side, tiny walls with only a few feet in height separating tiny factions of people.
And this was not the only Wall, others in different clumps of the giant world existed, connected to this one by mere pebbles of walls, long forgotten ties of the concrete nations, constantly fighting over who’s wall was higher.
But mostly, the Wall was the biggest part of life for the people that lived in its shadow.
The wall was not grey, however, as most concrete is. On one side, the left side, it was painted a dark blue that had faded over the years to a fraction of what it once was, disputed and scratched to be virtually unrecognizable from what it once was supposed to be. On it, all over, was written graffiti that condemned disagreeables, anyone with an opinion other then the blues’ own.
On the other side, the right side, it was painted red, originally a warm, cherry red, but the wall had been repainted over and over again by different people until the wall was the color of blood, dark and murky. On it was written slurs, for any group that was not included within the righters’ own society. Words, which had been previously completely unacceptable, even to the reds, were in large, bold letters.
On both sides, most people lived a normal life. They got up in the morning and watched the news, which only spouted propaganda and manipulated facts against the other side of the wall; talking about how the other’s worlds were awful. The blues, on the left side of the wall, constantly called every single action a red would do condemnable, hurting and causing suicide in each other’s wake. The reds spit out accusations of falsified facts and propaganda against the blues, who “hated life and God himself.”
The left side of the wall, the blues, had no god. They worshipped nothing but individuality and tolerance and, because of those beliefs, offered no individuality in anyone’s lack or differentiation of tolerance. If you were not tolerant, if you disagreed, you were sent to the Factory.
The right side of the wall, the reds, loved their god. They worshipped the god of life and freedom and, because of those beliefs, offered no life or freedom to anyone who did not worship their god. If you were not a worshiper of the red god, then you were sent to the Factory.
The blues, with their ideology of tolerance, allowed people from all Walls to come into their ranks, all of which caused havoc and rape, destruction and chaos, drugs and anarchy.
The reds, with their ideology of freedom, (which they did not want to be robbed of by outsiders) allowed other peoples from different Walls to starve, adults and children alike, outside their walls.
On the left side of the wall sexual desire, portrayed by any man, was beaten from their minds, it being condemned as “wrong” and “unfair” to the “oppressed” women, who’s sexual desires were celebrated and encouraged. Any man who could not well enough repress his natural urges was sent to the Factory, along with every rapists and alleged rapists, guilty or not, the blues could find. Most blues, after all, were women.
On the right side of the wall sexual desire ran free, to the point where men could simply do whatever they wish to women; rape, molest, and heckle for all their lives without repercussions. Any women who spoke out against the “tyrannical” behavior of men was seen as insane and “over the top”, and, if disruptive enough, was sent to the Factory, along with any at all who did not share the sexual desires of most men. Most reds, after all, were men.
The blues did not grow, ever, in population. In fact, the population of the blues seemed to simply grow not from natural birth rates but from the immigration from other walls and the slight trickle of people who crossed the wall. All who disagreed with the blue’s tolerance to killing were sent to the Factory.
The reds, ironically, were almost always equal in population to the blues, their population growing entirely from natural births. Any sex, no matter what, had risk of conceiving a baby, as the red god had spoken out against doing anything to try to stop the conceiving of children. Families of ten were common, and those children often starved as their parents attempted to provide for them. Girls of fifteen often had their lives halted by a child, which would have been “better off not born”. The same amount of women on the left and right side of the walls attempted to get rid of their babies, but the women on the right side were sent to the Factory by the reds, baby still alive or no. Every life, to the reds, even an egg, was sacred. They did not treat all lives as sacred, just “every life.” After all, why should they? Anyone who disagreed to what qualified as “every” was sent to the Factory.
On the left side of the wall the people gave all of their money, besides the money for food, to the most powerful blues, who gave the people “free” services which the people didn’t need.
The right side paid nearly half as much, but none of it ever went to the services of the people, instead to the guns mounted on the walls.
No guns, of course were permitted on the Wall. Once guns had been planted on it, and the Wall had nearly fallen. Both the blues and the reds, despite their hatred, were forbidden from putting guns on the Wall.
The blues didn’t even own guns at all, simply asked the reds to help protect the wall in times of need. The blue women, of course, said women should not be forced to fight, even though women and men were “completely equal.” When one person somehow got hold of a gun on the left side of the Wall, which was forbidden, hundreds of people, gunless, died from the ongoing slaughter. They denied that this was because people could not protect themselves, but rather the existence of guns everywhere (except on the walls), and sent anyone who disagreed to the Factory.
The reds all owned guns, which made them quite able to protect themselves., but oddly enough, the same amount of reds and blues died from gunfire, just a larger amount of smaller killings on the right side of the Wall. The reds, of course, denied this, instead believing that they were, of course, safer. They sent everyone else who looked at the facts bluntly to the Factory.
The Factory, along the houses and farms and schools, on the left side of the wall was powered by solar panels spread all across the wall, costing the blues millions and millions of dollars, but providing the minimum of energy needed for life. Constant replacement and improvement was needed, and solar panels would often fall and hit people down below. Hundreds of workers were needed to maintain the panels, but it worked out as the people never needed to go far for power.
The right side of the wall used massive amounts of oil, which they constantly needed to mine to power their society, the air in some places being so full of smog one could barely breathe. Oil mining often caused great collapses of the ground and massive sinkholes. It was okay, however, because they cheaply got fuel, even if it would eventually run out. The people paid thousands of dollars each year for their power, but they didn’t know any other way. It was simply “illogical” to switch to any alternative. In fact, they noticed that the Wall had begun to get darker and darker the more they used oil, but the reds in charge just said it was a natural occurrence, that the days were simply getting darker and that other then that it was illusion. Many people argued that the days had not been getting darker but that the Wall, in fact, was getting darker and starting to crumble because of the oil, but they were sent to the Factory.
The Wall had walled corporations, of course, walled companies and walled stores, and on the left side of the wall every single establishment was separate. If any store made enough to buy another building, their money was stolen as “taxes” by the blues. The right side of the wall only had one company that dominated the entire right side. They paid nothing on taxes and gave their workers the bare minimum to survive, owning the red government itself.
The Wall was a city, like any other, getting into wars every now and then, having problems of it’s own. It had death and disease and destruction, and everything that came with the vile habits of mankind.
Both sides of the wall were relatively peaceful, however, the reds slightly more aggressive with action and the blues slightly more aggressive with words, but at the end of the day they were both kept in line by the Factory.
The Factory spanned nearly as long as the Wall itself, a massive grey structure in the center of the Wall, blocked off by all but two doors, from which new arrivals would come to work.
The Factory had large pits in the center, carefully labeled as to which was blue and which was. They were nearly fifty feet in diameter and 50 feet thick, but a new one needed to be dug every single day so that the bodies would not overflow.
The bodies were mangled and barren, permanent marker written on their heads labeling what crime they had committed.
Some bore titles, like “black”, “Jewish”, “misogynist”, or “gay”, but most bore just one title:
The reds and the blues did not share many ideals, but they shared one: their way was the only right way, with no alternative. Any who resisted deserved to die.
And so the Factory churned on and on and on, making food for the reds and the blues and giving them goods and support, brainwashed to believe in the reds and blues in charge, perpetrating this system for hundreds of years.
But it worked for the reds and blues in charge, so it worked for the rightists and the leftists, and it worked for the undesirables in the Factory, so the Wall held high. The system, the wheel, it worked, for better or worse, and the people worked with it. After all, was there any good alternative?
Both the reds and the blues knew they had a duty to the Wall and to each other, to the other walls and to the rights of human beings, to the ground on which they stood, and to their families and loved ones. Every red, every blue, every village in the Wall and the Factory in the middle all tried to do good, but not every definition of good was, well, good.
Cedar Springs, MI