Disclaimer: I don't own Flatland.
This was originally a project for Math class, so forgive me if I didn't get all the facts right, or made no references to Abott's other books.
A Whole New World
All over Flatland chaos reigned. The Sphere frowned. It had been dictated that he would come here to teach these two dimensional shapes about the three dimensional world, but that no longer seemed like a possibility. The inhabitants of the three dimensional world had seen the effects that color had had upon the population of the two dimensional world. They had seen how the Circle class was all but extinct now. They had especially seen how the event that could have stopped this madness, was foiled.
The sphere walked into a nearby town and saw, with a small degree of shock, that the state of ruin that the town was in. Every generation had declined, for they had had no reason to better themselves. The old practices of Sight Recognition and the Art of Feeling were no longer used, and the were almost forgotten, saved by a few of the higher level polygons that had enough rank to practice both.
"Look! It's a circle!" said one triangle, looking up from his search among the fallen masonry.
"And just like a true circle, it's showing complete disregard for the Color Bill and is blinded by pride," another sneered.
"There is a certain amount of truth to the former, but not as much to the latter," the sphere admitted slowly.
" 'Not as much to the latter', he says. I say we kill the criminal!" an outraged irregular polygon yelled.
Needless to say, the sphere went in search of a more reasonable and attentive audience. He was just beginning his search in the forest when he happened upon a group of women and some isosceles triangles. They were surrounding a young circle, and there was a desperate-looking mature circle pleading for his son's return, and another smug looking woman, leaning against a tree.
"You will either conform to the color bill or your son will die," one of the women said.
"I…I," the father circle seemed to be at a loss for words and also he didn't seem to know what to do. The sphere didn't think that it was difficult a choice to make.
"Of course, you must think about your pride and how you can't sink so low as to wear colors," the woman continued speaking, spitting out the word 'color' and mocking the way the circle would undoubtedly say it.
"But," she added, "you, Circles, rarely have children."
"Just give me my son back, and no harm will come to you!" the Circle, finally, seemed to have made his decision
"I rather believe that it is the other way around."
"I have two dozen highly trained isosceles mercenaries laying in wait, and, if you so much as harm a point on my son's circumference, you will regret it!"
"Is this true, Lilith?"
Attention moved toward the woman leaning against the tree.
"Not at all," replied Lilith, still wearing the same smug expression.
Both circles turned grief stricken eyes towards her.
"I don't understand. Why you're doing this?" the father Circle said.
"Because you are disobeying the law, and are also attempting to do away with the equality that the law has brought about," the woman responded.
This being said, the group began to close in on the young circle, who huddled up and whimpered. The sphere decided that it was time to make a grand entrance and save the only sane and moral people that he had come across so far. He manifested into the middle of the group, scooped up the young circle, and manifested out. The whole group, who had begun a headlong rush when he had manifested into the circle, skewed each other on their points and vertices.
"Thank you," the father Circle said, relieved and awed by the sphere.
"Save your thanks," the Sphere replied.
"Another circle!" The two Circles and the Sphere looked at the only remaining woman from the group.
"Please, Lilith. certainly you don't want to harm your only son!" the father Circle cried.
The woman stopped and thought about this.
"If it is equality versus family, I'd have to take equality."
"B…but mom!" The young circle seemed about to go into hysterics.
"Let's move our discussion to a more peaceful place," the Sphere commented. No one was listening to him, which was unfortunate. The two Circles suddenly found themselves very startled and in another dimension. The Circles cried out in confusion, and closed their eyes tightly.
"Open your eyes again," the Sphere commanded.
"What, how…" the Circle trailed off, staring at the Sphere in shock.
"Dad, look there," the younger Circle said in awe. They looked, and saw the forest, and the town.
"Where did you take us? And how can I see inside you without also seeing your internal organs?"
"If I were, as you are, a Circle, you would see my insides, but I am made of several Circles. I am known here as a sphere. As to where you are, you are in Spaceland," said the Sphere.
"I simply moved myself, and the two of you, upwards, out of your own dimension."
"Upwards? Don't you mean Northwards?" the young Circle asked.
"No, there is another direction, and that is upwards. I suppose that it can be clarified better as height," the Sphere tried to explain.
And so the day went. The Sphere explaining about Spaceland, and his audience attempting to learn as much as possible about it.
"Excuse me, but as you are a three dimensional figure, and are surely omnipotent, could you perhaps…" the father Circle never had a chance to finish his sentence.
"I am not omnipotent as you say. Would you praise any three dimensional figure here, even if that figure was a criminal?" the Sphere questioned.
"Of course not!" the father Circle exclaimed, sounding horrified at such a thought. "But, you are a Sphere, and above such crimes!"
"Let me assure you now that Spheres are just as susceptible to becoming criminals." The Sphere sighed as it received blank looks.
"The next few hours will be the study of equality," the Sphere said, wearily. And so, the Sphere attempted to instill within the two Circles the meaning of equality, and why it should be enforced. In the end, it took the Sphere's yelling at them that it would help bring order back to the masses in Flatland before they listened to him.
"Now, I am going to send you back to your own dimension. I'll be watching to see what you will do with this new found knowledge," the Sphere said. With that he sent the two Circles home.
Over the next month he observed them. They had reclaimed their old seat within society, something no Circles had done for two decades. They still refused to use colors, saying that they didn't truly promote equality. Their campaigns ensured that all the Circles that came out of hiding and sided with them wouldn't be hunted down and killed, but their true breakthrough never happened until the Sphere meddled a bit.
The Sphere had done what had occurred naturally in the parallel universe that had stopped the Color Bill from taking affect. He had caused an Isosceles triangle to break into the shop of a Tradesman and paint himself in the colors that the Dodecahedron wore. That being done, he had then gone out, accosted the daughter of a higher ranking polygon, and wedded her. When the girl found out, she committed suicide.
Those who had sided with neither the Color Bill nor with the radical ideas of the two Circles and their followers saw this as an opportunity to bring the old ways of social order back into use.
The women, who were horrified at what had occurred, were undecided as to which position to side with. Some still supported the Color Bill and some supported the group that offered the old social order. However, the majority supported the two circles.
At a summit, the three groups agreed on a truce. The Color Bill would be abolished, and the women would be educated in Sight Recognition. That was to be all the changes in the movement of equality. It had been agreed by all representatives of the groups (these representatives all happened to be male) that the previous laws created were for the safety of everyone.
Just as everything seemed to be fine in Flatland, the two Circles were reminded through a dream that they had to spread word of the third dimension. However, since it was three in the morning when they were reminded, they resolved that they would begin in the morning. And so, they began to spread the Sphere's teachings. No one believed them. They had been asked to go to that dimension, and to tell them what their family members in other towns were doing. They were asked to measure other figures' height. They were asked to do a great many other things to prove that this third dimension existed, and each time, they couldn't answer. Eventually, the Chief Circle grew tired of hearing of the complaints of populace, and ordered that the two Circles be sent to a madhouse. There was no Sphere to help them out this time, and they were trussed up in straightjackets and locked into padded rooms.
The former leader of the group that had pushed for the return of the old order of society had seen this as a grand opportunity to reinforce those ideas. It was lucky for him that, when the summit had been concluded, the irregular polygon, Chromatistes, had been put to death for being irregular and a criminal.
And so, the equality was banished, and the woman who had been educated were put to death. Within the next few generations, the memories of this faded from the minds of the populace until nothing was left but a vague myth.