• If Dieter had a flag, it would be plain yellow, because the city itself was yellow. (Its blandness must be stressed, because no citizen could design anything to represent Dieter and be aesthetically pleasing at the same time.) The buildings were a rotting yellow color, the streets were dusty but still yellow, most of the citizens’ teeth were yellow (those who still had some), and probably the freshest newspaper in the entire city was yellow.

    Coins were yellow, too. Not gold, like actual currency, but some sort of makeshift golden color. The richest man in the city had eleven, and he was either the common thief or the mayor. The mayor’s position was left open to any takers. (There weren’t many takers.)

    No one in the real government had ever thought to step in and help Dieter out. They seemed to think the city was only good for out-sourcing factories. Every week they’d lose another one, and with it jobs that used to put bread on the table.

    Even worse than Dieter’s economy was the crime rate. Not too many people noticed the high rate because the rest were criminals. Muggings, robberies, murders, cannibalism—if you lived in Dieter you’d either hear or witness one of these before 9:51 in the morning. But there were more terrible things than this.

    Casimir Island—just off the coast of Dieter. The only way there was via a conspicuous ferry, but the Casimir Crew seemed to get around more than the ablest of citizens. They were like an elite government; they liked to steal money and kick people around. They loved to slink around and bask in riches, but it’s hard to do either when one’s base is rooted to a gangly city.

    So there’s this island—lush enough to support all of Dieter—inhabited by a gang of predatory criminals. Now and then they’d pop in to pillage and plunder, but they mostly kept to themselves.

    It was okay, because the Dieternese didn’t even know they had it any worse than the nor advanced cities with penal systems. They kept chipper attitudes and smiled as often as they got a chance. One such example was a young woman named Robin Percival, a true born Dieternese. She wore bright colors against her dark hair and tanned skin. (Every hard-worker in Dieter had a good tan.) She was known for being the “happy lady” that worked at the only semi-successful convenience store in the city. Although she worked long, hot hours at the store, she was satisfied to bring home even a few pennies to her family each day. And who could ruin such bliss?