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Nicholas walked on and on for what seemed to be an eternity after writing a letter to Justin, Marcus, and Eliza updating them on his progress. After a long and well-deserved rest, Nicholas returned to his quest and eventually came upon a very high and endless wall that had a single stark rusted metal door in front of him. To the left of the door read a message carved into the heavy thick gray concrete barrier, “Hang on to the hope all ye who exit here.” Perturbed by this cryptic message, Nicholas shrugged off the nonsensical defacement and opened the door and passed through without a second thought. “Welcome to Egaliraria” read a modest sign just beyond the door, the letters were painted in gold and the signpost was surrounded by a brilliant array of colorful flowers, in what seemed like an endless manicured garden. Below the greeting was what appeared to be the motto, “Where happiness is strictly enforced.” How queer thought Nicholas before he proceeded to walk down the golden brick path the led into the horizon. After about an hour Nicholas started to see traces of humanity with a few quaint cottages scattered along the countryside. With his typical humility, Nicholas walked up to the first house and gently knocked on the door. With a shrill squeak from dry hinge a young man peered his head through the crack, hesitated for a moment while inspecting who was interrupting his morning happiness routine, and he blurted out, “Who are you?” Taken aback by the insensitive query, Nicholas politely replied, “Good morning, my name is Nicholas and I have just arrived in Egalitaria and wanted to know if I could ask you a few questions.” Furtively scanning the interloper and inspecting the surroundings, the tall and slender man opened his do... ... middle of paper ... ...fied for their natural abilities.” “Our founders wished to design a social paradise for each citizen equally, but instead our goal of striving for excellence was inverted to striving for mediocrity. Essentially there are unequal rewards for unequal effort. My advice to you would be to save your-self and leave Egalitaria before you are selected for mandatory Happiness Retraining.” Tired from his trek, Nicholas contemplated Waltzer’s advice, “It appears that your perspective of this society is that your government and citizens treat equality as an ends and Retraining courses are a means to the true end. I have hope that one day I will find a perfect world, but I need some time to decide where to go from here.” Peering out of the bland windows Nicholas could see that the sun was setting and a few sparkling stars were appearing as he slipped into quiet contemplation.
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