The Barriers were a defining feature of the near-future realms that make up Elements. Huge force fields powered by Pulse machines at the North and South Pole, they cut Earth into four, soaking all the available Pulse from the planet's energy grid. Each Barrier sliced the planet from north to south, a hundred kilometers high and the same below the surface. There was a Barrier at zero degrees longitude, 90 degrees west, 180 degrees and 90 degrees east.
The Barriers were erected as a last-ditch attempt to save mankind after long years of terrible fighting in the Pulse War. The isolation they gave each quadrant created a new and unique civilization in each one as they developed and overcame the horrors of the war.