Once upon a time an evil emperor decided to steal all the colors. Whenever his people seemed to forget about his mighty rule, he would paint the whole empire yellow or red and that was supposed to scare the people so much they all stayed home and watched the emperor's court poets recite frightful verses on TV. The emperor was very unhappy when some of his subjects wore their own colors, especially Hawaiian shirts and other rainbow-hued vestments, and decided to clothe the majority of his people in only two colors, namely soldiers' khaki and orange jumpsuits, the better to identify them. He reasoned that if half his people were in the army and the other half in prison, he could paint the rebellious rest with whatever colors he chose. The emperor's favorite game was paintball, so he hired some play-pals to go around and secretly spatter people while they slept. One of the emperor's best paintball friends was Domestic Airlines. Domestic assigned a secret color to everyone in the whole country. Whenever someone tried to fly, Airlines would look up the color and decide whether the person could fly or not. White and green could go, but orange and yellow had to submit to some sort of punishment, the mildest form of which was that they had to go back home to watch the emperor on TV. But the emperor's best friend was Police Family, who was empowered to catch people unawares and burn their color code directly on the forehead so that it glowed for easier identification. The Great Color Lottery, as it came to be called, was soon being played by other friends of the emperor, such as Medical Profession and Social Services. Medical would tag people with a color, then decide whether to treat them or not. Social helped only those whose color it had assigned, and so on, and so on. The first to complain were the children, who were sick of living without colors and staying inside all the time. Then the artists freaked out. Next came readers of history who couldn't find such abuse of color anywhere in the country's past. After that, all kinds of people woke up and remembered that their government was supposed to be color-blind and that Justice was intended to be totally blind. So they started painting themselves freakish hues in protest. Soon everyone who wasn't in the army or in the jail was out in the streets shouting things that popped up in color balloons over their heads. Not much later, the army and the prisoners joined in, and the emperor had to hand back the whole crayon box.