I don't know what it is, but there is just an ass-load of wackos out there that seem to like a broken down society. They keep trying to convince themselves that the NEST arcos are some sort of tenth circle of hell. An overcrowded tower of victims mingling with a few million reanimates.
Just let them keep deluding themselves, no skin off my nose. I'm very comfortable thank you.
That high population everyone complains about is our greatest strength. We have more accredited union pipe-fitters than some outposts have total residents. They need to get the entire town to improvise ditches for irrigation and suffer though water born parasites. We have a working hydroponics farm in the sunlight outer offices. Decorative koi ponds and Olympic swimming pools support aquaculture.
All around is is a gold mine of high tech relics. Tens of thousands of reanimates too, but what does it matter? We have marathon runners and former Olympic athletes amongst our population who can work out in still functional health clubs. The neighbors aren't so dangerous if they can't catch you.
From what I've been told, most settlements are pretty small - the less area they cover, the easier to protect. Our building was created at the height of humanity's golden age. There are soaring four story atrium 600 feet off the ground one third of the way up the structure. Outsiders uses scavenged sheet metal, and we're behind walls of nano-diamond fiber reinforced concrete. We have movie theaters, radio stations, sphere servers, hell this is probably one of the few places where you can get a decent hair cut and a disease free tattoo if that is what you want.
Electricity is rationed, energy chits are often used as currency - but at least we have it. And with that comes power tools and video cameras. There might be literally hundreds of above and below ground entrances to this place, but we've got them covered. Even have trained riot police and national guardsmen to back up the defenses and clear areas once the enemy has been trapped. What you think the best trained, prepared, and equipped people would be the first to go in the event?
Since the population is down from maximum capacity by a bit, most of us can have private apartments if we chose. Quite a few prefer to huddle together in the shops or in the pseudo parks, feeling that being alone in an enclosed box with one exit is a problem. ( I can emphasize with that, but I'll keep my living room and dinette set thank you very much.)
OK, so I don't go outside much, and I'm not reclaiming the abandoned lands of the country in a repeat of manifest destiny. Didn't go out much when society was functioning and there was a lot to see. Kinda counter to the whole point of the arco if you think about it. We're supposed to telecommute or use the stairs rather than thousands of cars.
It might not be a happy little family, but I've got a couch, stove, 600 square feet, a three TVs, a great Eastward vista of the coast, and rent control. You have rocks, a sleeping bag, and a dream about repopulating the world with your own little pioneers.
I've got it good, and you've got delusions.