I used to think the city walls kept us safe, kept the horrible outside world from getting in, but I realize now that that’s wrong. I lived in the city they called F-20.06. My moms used to live in H-district before they emigrated to F-district through the underground tunnels, they got a very cheap house right at the edge of the city because it’s all they could afford and they wanted to make sure I had a “happy” and “normal” life, like somehow despite the Great Disaster wiping out 58.743 of the percent of the Earth and the entire planet going into a full state of crisis, things could be “normal”.
Our house wasn’t much, it had two floors, a roof, a door, and even a few windows, which is more than some even had, how they got something this nice for as cheap as they did is beyond me; my best guess is it’s because we were right in front of the city wall. We didn’t have a front yard, but we had a backyard, and everyday when I was young I used to play back there, a mere few feet from the city wall. It was tall and dark, but it sure wasn’t handsome, it reeked of metal and you could see the ancient repurposed pipes that led the emissions from the city to the rest of the world. The constant noise of fans and pumps filled your ears and was enough to drive someone mad. But there was one thing about our part of the wall that made it special…it had a crack in it, a small one, barely noticeable, perhaps 5 inches long and almost an inch wide, but I saw it and I could see the world that we had left behind.
It was dull, desolate, and a million other words that sound like drab. The plant life was almost all gone, and what little there was was singed beyond recognition, and there was a dense light brown-ish fog that stopped you from seeing more than 50 feet away. That was it, the world we had so carelessly left in the wake of our “advancement”, at least that’s what I believed, until one day…
I was sitting in the backyard staring through the crack as I found myself doing more and more, when something caught my eye, something green. The fog was massively clearer that day, as it was “recycling day” that day when they try to recover as much energy from the emissions as possible, the only problem is that it takes almost all the energy it gives back to do, and because of that is only done once every other year. With the clearer fog I was able to see something I couldn’t before, a large blue line going around the city wall probably 150 or more feet away. And from what I could barely see outside of the line, was…no, it couldn’t be…grass, tall grass, and trees, small trees as if they were only planted recently. There was life, natural Earth life outside. So why were we here, trapped inside the city? There had to be a good reason, I sat outside that day thinking about until the sun went started to set, and the noise of the walls got louder, and the fog returned. I realized why they had us here. It wasn’t to keep the dead and toxic world out, it was to keep us in, so the planet could heal from our horrible mess.
But why would they not tell us this?