In fact, corporations – the only entities with money after ecological disasters caused the government to go bankrupt – now function AS the government. As in, they rule with an iron fist, rewarding those that are loyal – and punishing those who aren’t.
Those that work for the corporations live in the Green Zone, protected and with the finer things in life. Everyone else lives in the Red Zone, where resources are scarce and survival is a daily struggle.
Why? Ben wants to find his teenage sweetheart Elena, who was forced to sign herself over to Spiga as a corporate prostitute (executives get a LOT of perks at Spiga) in order to keep her father out of jail.
Ben visits Arcadia and makes contact with Elena. She’s irritated with him, but quickly cozies up to him. And we learn it’s likely due to ulterior motives, as she seems to be part of an underground resistance movement.