I wrote this portion before it started to go down. Promise.
After the civil war was stamped out, another great war arose from the East. The Evil from the East, they called it, and still do. The military was quick to regroup, and drafted all the boys and many of the girls. Those left over grouped up in bands, or left for cities that were not destroyed. When the rebuild began, there were a lot less citizens to worry about. They had all starved or died of diseases that were easy to fix before the fall of man. The ones in charge decided to go backwards, like they always did, to a simpler time of safety and order. But everything was so spread out they didn’t regain control in all the cities. In places like Cloud, order was restored by way of the factory, the curfews, the book-burnings. High Point was different.
When I wandered through the city gates, there were men with guns. I had to register, but they didn’t ask where I came from or what I was doing there. Which was good, because I did not know. The citizens of High Point had taken homes and lofts by brute force. Everyone else was on the streets. There were fire escape gardens drenched in greenery — herbs, and vegetables and fruit trees — that people sold in the market stalls for trade. It was pretty in its own way. But there were slums thrown together with garden tools and old engine parts, sheets of rusty corrugated metal. Some people just slept on the sidewalk and drifted fumes of old whiskey and stale beer.