Joyeuse is a military dictatorship, currently under the control of General Valérie Moulin. While technically less strict in its laws than a place such as Esperanza, the laws are fervently applied by the military police, and the regime is much less loved because of it.
The world has a number of small continents, with most of the two billion population on the coastlines or out at sea, either floating or beneath the waves. There is one large capital city of New Paris, which completely dominates an equatorial island and the continental shelf around it, as well as several metropolises.
Society is heavily militarised, with some form of military service being required of nearly everyone. Military-style uniforms are used by anyone in authority, and training in how to report and deal with suspected dissidents is common.