Since the Major is constantly displaced with each turn, establishing a structured social order is virtually impossible. ‘Authority’ in Whatslef, or rather, the degree of influence an individual wields over others, is hence measured by:
- An individual’s capacity to survive and keep up while traveling/Inse turns
- An individual’s capacity to survive everyone else when things are stationary.
For the most part, most survivors would not care to bother others (with the exception of Saboteurs), and so the second point is rarely considered.
General Nature of ‘Order’
Since most survivors do not typically bother each other, focusing instead on their own independent survival, few to no social orders or hierarchies exist. Instead, an unsaid and unwritten, but mutually accepted, way of life and co-existence is practiced:
- Weapons are not carried in hand when within proximity of other groups/individuals
- Camps are not approached without the owner acknowledging the visitor’s presence first
- Scavenging may be done in the proximity of others if they know you are there, otherwise, the presence, whether welcomed or not, announces itself to avoid unwanted, impulsive conflict
- Conflict can be met with intervention, but only if the intervention is carried out by more than one onlooking individual/group
- Violence, when it breaks out, is restricted to the parties involved. All those associated with the collateral immediately takes on the side opposing those who inflicted the damage, and eliminate the mutual threat or threats
THE big ONE
The largest, fastest and most able airship, THE big ONE is the last air faring craft that would ever be threatened by Inse or the other survivors.
Given its capacity to outrun the Blindlands and help other ships to do so, the airship is respected and even protected by the allied crafts that travel with it as a part of its cluster.
While the captains of these allied ships do not take orders from the (virtually unknown) captain of THE big ONE, and in fact fly independently, they do follow on THE big ONE’s lead and gauge their altitudes and flight paths based on its flight. This can be seen in how THE big ONE leads the cluster in times of travel; its every turn, change in velocity and change in altitude is mimicked by its cluster, and upon settling into a new period of stillness, the cluster spreads out to allow THE big ONE choice of docking air space before closing in again to dock themselves around it.
Rare instances, assumed to be caused by specific repair needs, have also seen THE big ONE descend onto the ground. In such instances, the allied air vessels distribute themselves around it at varying heights whilst crew members station themselves on the ground to guard its perimeter. While crew members of THE big ONE itself are seen stationed around it, it is the allied crews who form the first ring of defense. Among ground based survivors and other air faring clusters alike, it is known that this was never an official condition upon allied vessels to THE big ONE, but rather, a practice that manifested mutually among them over time.
Following the destruction of his craft and the loss of his crew after Inse’s gaze outruns them, Captain Sergo openly gave into his rage and began rallying together everyone and anyone who wished to partake in his plan to take down Inse once and for all.
Formerly established in reputation and significance as one of the rear fliers of his associated cluster, Sergo’s craft was relied upon for saving any ships that fell behind or experienced crew-endangering malfunctions during travel. Unable to keep up after Inse’s turn began to speed up without warning, however, Sergo’s craft fell behind into the trailing East Peripheral, and then into the Blindlands, causing it to crash down into the Major ahead. Only he is recovered barely alive in the East Peripheral. The fate of his crew is unknown, the prospects grim.
Restored in the Major, he reacquires his influence almost immediately and becomes the new voice of victory over Inse. The reasons, presently obscure to most, are expected to reveal themselves as the plan unfolds.