The citizens of the Union believe that theirs is the last surviving nation of the old world. They don’t really, of course. Rather, they believe that in the same way that Americans used to believe their nation was the “home of the brave”.
One might be forgiven for thinking that it is the literal truth. No effort is spared to create a veil of normalcy. The power is continuously available. The water is on tap. They even have that pillar of modern life, electronic distraction. They have media, elections, all of the trappings of the old First World.
And yet, those very trappings perpetually remind them that they are caged birds. Their elections are subject to a vetting process. Only those citizens ‘sound’ for the war effort may be considered for higher office. Their internet is filled with news of the enemies beyond their cage, and the constant low level violence throughout the border region. Their airplanes can take them anywhere…inside what was once the EU and a little beyond. The illusion has its necessary shortcomings.
Unsurprisingly, the people respond, by and large, by buckling down and pitching in. The administration enjoys high approval ratings. The Ultra forces (and their human confederates) are seen as heroes, saviors against the vile Pantheon and the demonic Regime. In stark contrast to the grudging obedience that the world’s various tyrants can call upon, there exists in the Union a genuine patriotism, unfeigned and unfailing.
That is not to say that there are no dissidents. No government has ever been free from such. However, in the Union, such dissidents are far more likely to agitate peacefully, or even join the government and contribute, rather than rising up. Even the most frenzied anarchists understands that the “thin blue line” rhetoric that the Union deploys is, in this one case, an almost literal truth.
The last remaining democracy fights on, determined to protect the ancient dream of liberty in a time that has little use for the concept. It may falter, it may fail, but it’s defenders believe that it will never betray the beliefs that it has come to stand for. Union morale couldn’t be higher.