I've finally thought of a fitting name for this short story:
Part 5 of 5
The cold ground was trampled by grey feet and grey legs. I stood there, within the crowd, attending one of the now-regular Regulatory Agency public addresses. A man in a uniform just like us stood at the podium, with two guards at his sides. The stage was moved into the small plaza area to show his face and voice to everyone who'd attend. The walls of the buildings around me were all equal, all grey. I stood with the hundreds of others like me, ID badge pinned to my chest, grey public uniform devoid of color or preference, and mind very neutral. As the Regulatory Agency's representative continued through the dry speech, I became bored. Dissenters will this, dissenters will that, he rambled on. I did not really care anymore.
The guards around the representative were still, watching the crowd with little interest. Before I knew it several people dashed from the crowd, identical to everyone else. They ran to the guards and tackled them in large numbers, taking their weapons and throwing them out of the way. The people whistled loudly. I did not understand until I heard the screams of confused people around me, looking up to the buildings in utter bewilderment. There were people hanging out of the windows, throwing paint on the walls of the buildings around the plaza. Reds, blues, greens, yellows, purples, all of them ran in drips down to the ground. People let long banners of murals fly loose in the breeze, hooked in the upper windows of the buildings. I had never seen such pure colors before. All of them. As this happened, more people from the crowd rushed the stage.
"No more!" some of them shouted as they threw paint on the walls from the ground. Then I saw the representative left at the podium, horrified by the revolt. A man walked up from the very front of the crowd, climbing the side of the stage until he stood beside the representative, who was barking orders like he could still maintain control.
"Who are you, worker?" he said to the man on the stage. The voice made it through the microphone and out to the public. Everyone stopped.
"I said state your number, worker! Where is your ID badge?" the man barked. The numberless man grabbed him by the scruff of his neck, holding him almost off the ground.
"I am not your tool." the man said, throwing him aside. The representative tumbled and scurried away with fear. The people around me began to cheer, and I did too. It was monumental. The beauty, the power. They were right. The rules were no longer realistic. They were meant to protect us, at the cost of what we lived for. I remember the moment when the man took the podium mic. The words boomed for what seemed like forever, in the hearts of all people listening, dissenters or not.
"We are not blank. We are different. We each hold a world of our very own. To deny that expression is to deny us of our humanity. A world of grey is a world worse than death. I am not a number...I am human!"
I remembered his face. He had been standing by me before the assembly began. He was just another face only moments ago. I looked down on the ground, only to see his glimmering platinum nametag on the pavement. I picked it up to see what it displayed.