It is hard to pin down the exact origin of the Union. Officially, the European Human/Ultrahuman United Alliance began in 2131, twelve years before the Third Defiance. To use this as a jumping off point, however, would be a bit absurd. The Union’s official birth was merely formalizing an arrangement which had already existed.
The true antecedent of the modern Union was not so much the old European Union, as it was the broader concept of the First World.
As with so many of our current woes, the blame for the shape of the modern world can be laid squarely at the feet of Peggy Martin. In particular, the deciding factor in the placement of the Union / Pantheon split is largely due to Her instinctive dislike of law enforcement.
Prior to the fall of America, in the early 2100’s, Prevailer (or the woman who would become Her) was still searching for further victims of Her creator’s Process. He had reportedly requested that She find him terminal patients, and She had instead located the assorted ne’er do wells and rogues which had formed Her social circle. Most importantly, She had found Copyer.
Not much is known of this member of Her inner circle, but his influence is plain, even from the earliest days. He copied Dr. Chen, and the being who would become the Company Men. These were sent out into the world, to continue the work. The instructions that they received determined the fate of the world.
We may never know exactly what they were, but it is very unlikely that She thought the matter through carefully. This was not a tragedy brought about by direct malice, rather it was born of her thoughtless contempt. She sent them to the parts of the world that She thought of as less likely to get in touch with American law enforcement, and instructed them to continue Her pattern of using the Process on those on the outskirts of society, criminals and the like.
The earliest known Ultra activity, therefore, was largely kept from the Union’s borders. The Copied Chens were active throughout Africa and Asia, and Prevailer herself was spreading Ultras in America, but the territory that would become the Union was initially untouched.
Remember, at the time, nothing was known of Ultras, or their powers. The catastrophes that struck China, India, and other places seemed entirely inexplicable. The panicked flight of the well to do was totally predictable. Europe harvested the upper crust of an entire generation, as those with the money and influence abandoned their homelands in search of a place that was not suffering from the curse of these terrifying new entities.
That phenomenon, that centralizing of wealth and power, that drain of humanity’s best and brightest is what truly made the Union possible. It must also be admitted that it made the Pantheon’s barbarity far more likely.
By the time Prevailer went public in the United States, and the governments admitted the existence of Ultrahumans, the Union had already mostly taken shape. The influx of wealthy and capable refugees had weakened its dependence on the nations that had formed it, and produced a crisis that only transnational governing bodies could meet.
Europe had a long tradition of interrelated organizations and governing bodies. The old EU, NATO and a host of other organizations already existed to tie on nation to another. It was natural and obvious to build upon these successes, to build an organization capable of tracking and handling the Company’s output with minimal disruption to human life.
The proto Union’s first great challenge was the fall of America. The United States had been the beating heart of many aspects of their economy. Absorbing one more influx of refugees strained the old systems to the breaking point. The multi state agencies were granted greater power, as they strove to handle this new challenge.
The Starfall scandal, it should be noted, occurred around this time. The Union has long maintained that this was a false flag operation, but if so, the fact remains that the nascent warlords who would become the Pantheon fell for it. The first of the attacks on the Union’s southeast border followed swiftly after. A certain centralizing of military power was essential in fighting them off.
The Second Defiance was the final, essential element in the Union’s genesis. The world’s forces were thoroughly defeated by a monstrous tyrant. The people lost what remained of their faith in the nations which had led them to this pass. The ground was ripe for a new organization to form.
The Union stepped into this void. It was formed from the web of transnational organizations which had been growing stronger all this time. It pledged to defend the people of every one of its member nations from this new and hostile world. It’s charter included guarantees of equality for Ultrahuman and ordinary human alike. It would transcend the errors of the past, and lead the way into a glorious future.