The inconsistent state and location of the survivors of Whatslef make it impossible to officially organize society into a certain state of order. While some groups share a common way of life, the majority came to establish an unsaid and unwritten, but mutually accepted, way of life and mutual coexistence.
Typically, since few survivors-the Saboteurs excluded-would bother or interact with each other unnecessarily, survivors usually follow along the lines of the following practices:
- Weapons are not carried in hand/leveled/aimed when within proximity of other groups or individuals
- Camps are not approached without the owner acknowledging the visitor’s presence first
- Scavenging is done in the proximity of others only when they know you are there, otherwise, the presence, whether welcomed or not, announces itself to avoid unwanted, impulsive conflict
- Vehicles keep a distance from others if traveling within Whatslef during times of stillness.
- Vehicles do not bear mounted weapons. By right, there is no reason to need them.
When conflict does arise, either as a result of the above going wrong or not being sufficiently practiced, the following is usually observed when others outside the conflicting parties are around:
- Conflict that may result in collateral is met with intervention if necessary, 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 that which inflicted the damage, and eliminate the mutual threat or threats
- Following the resolution of a conflict, whether by means of negotiation, coercion, force or a party emerging victorious, the involved parties and those associated to them are watched by other survivors. Word spreads fast despite the relative distancing survivors practice, as a threat to one may suggest a threat to all.
Barriguards and Zealots:
Those who carried out the first attacks against Inse were the first to recognize the consequences of doing so. Rallying together, they created the second and most formidable line of defense in the Fore-lands, the Barriguards, against those out to destroy Inse in the hopes of preventing the attacks from worsening the situation. They are stationed at the base of Inse Itself, where they have set up the infamous barricade.
The Zealots on the other hand worship Inse as a god, and make up the first line of defense in the outer region of the Fore-lands. Armed like any other survivor, they patrol the outer Fore-lands.
The two groups are distinct from each other but share in the same goal of preventing others from bringing harm to Inse. Hence, when within the Fore-grounds, the ‘laws’ of Whatslef are dictated by whichever group is encountered.
In the Zealot lands on the outer region, such is observed:
- Weapons are sometimes confiscated and kept in scattered locations
- Visitors are constantly checked on and questioned at odd times.
- Sometimes, a small company of zealots will escort the visitors regardless of where they go and what they are doing.
- Vehicles that are unmarked, or not obviously enough marked, by the Zealots upon entry are instantly gunned down
- Occasionally, shootings occur at random.
The region between the Zealots and Barriguards barricade however is a heavily defended, prohibited zone. Only a few are allowed across, and the conditions of which this occurs is unknown. The Zealots appear to understand the exceptions, but never explain.
A Cluster consists of a collection of allied airships and air-balloons that stick together, cooperating and coordinating to keep each other safe and up to speed in times of travel.
Within a Cluster, the following is mutually acknowledged and practiced:
- Vessels keep at a safe distance/varying altitudes from each other to avoid collisions
- Weapons are kept disarmed unless the Cluster signals for the take down of a targeted vessel, during which only certain vessels will arm themselves
- Vessels assume a role that contributes to the Cluster in times of travel (Carriers, Signalers, Rear Fliers, Side Guards and Cycle Patrollers, etc)
- Vessels who are unable to contribute in times of travel avoid becoming a burden, and serve as runners in times of stillness.
- Failure to do so leads to the detachment of the vessel from the Cluster, or in the case of hostile/potentially threatening vessels, lead to their elimination.
There are a few dominant Clusters among Whatslef which coexist at the same time. Typically, these Clusters are ‘led’ by a significant craft which sets the direction and pace of travel, and in times of stillness, determines where the ships will park, aka, the new Docking Grounds.
Between Clusters, the following is mutually acknowledged and practiced:
- Clusters are to maintain significantly large distances from each other, whether during travel or stillness.
- Should a vessel from another Cluster need to approach for whatever reason, it would have to do so alone and radio in as it does, or else risk being deemed a threat or compromised.
- Alternatively, the vessel may near, but stop at a distance where the crew representatives will continue by land.
- Failure to respect the air space and security of other Clusters would lead to all out battle, but as doing so would serve no one, this has yet to occur
The Docking Grounds present the rest of Whatslef with a tight, interdependent concentration of armed air-faring crew members and their similarly armed families on the ground. With every individual out to defend their cluster-allied crew members, it is rare that trouble occurs if at all.
A sense of order does exist however on the ground, and any threat is either gunned down or detained by whichever crew is responding to it. Ultimately, it is up to the crew and their captain how to deal with the threat, and unless said threat is significant, the other vessels will not get involved.
Air Cities refer to when the allied air vessels of a Cluster link up their common chambers through ladders and ramps, allowing for movement and trade between them for crew and certain trusted visitors. This is only done over the first few days of stillness to allow recovery time before the next travel to fix any setbacks that may occur during this period of vulnerability. It is a possibly the only occasion where ‘laws’ really do come into place given the sensitive location in the air.
- Any ‘crime’ from petty theft or cheating in trade to attacks is dealt with by the vessel it occurs in. Usually, this involves the individual(s) in question being stabbed to death or thrown from the air-borne vessel in order to avoid gunfire within the vessel.
- Should the troublemaker belong to an allied vessel of the same Cluster, the same is either done and followed up by a mention to the associated vessel or left quiet in the hope he will not be missed. Alternatively, the person/people are reported back to their vessel.
- Should the troublemaker belong to another Cluster, this would usually mean more than one visiting at a time. In this case they are all thrown out, but not literally, and sent back to their Cluster. A second ‘crime’ in the future from any member (whether repeating or new) of the offending Cluster is met with the original consequence.
The airspace of the Fore-grounds expand beyond the grounds themselves, and are heavily guarded by both the Barriguards and Zealots.
Air vessels that get too close are shot down or targeted for sabotage under the presumption it meant harm.