History and physical structure: 20 years ago, the bikers took a small town under their “protection”. It’s on a crossroads and next to a small bridge – hence merchant and other traffic use the roads and can be “taxed”. The biker leaders live in the old fire station (which is basically a cube of reinforced conrete, 3 storeys high).
There is a circular wall around the fire station (about 200 metres in diameter) which is 8 feet high and constructed largely from the ruins of a nearby strip mall and some local lumber.
Social structure: There are biker towns/villages all over this area (each one supports 5 or 6 bikers and they only link up for raids in the summer or especially bad winters). The biker leaders are bright enough to leave the day-to-day administration of a town to its citizens but reserve the right to act as judges for any crimes. Police, of course, only have jurisdiction over local citizens.
The Biker Leader also “gives direction” in the Summer when agricultural labourers are lightly employed but this is usually for some sort of “public works” (like road or bridge repair) and is actually appreciated by the locals. He also funds the “Fourth of July Festival” and “The Christmas Carnival” (or other local events).
The bikers take a “tithe” of 20% of all produce (either harvest or manufactured goods). The supplies tithed can be rationed back to the citizens if there is a harsh winter or other problems. Again the Biker Leaders are smart enough to be absolutely fair under these circumstances.
They also control and charge heavily for “licenses” within the towns (operation of vehicles, generators, watermills, taverns, churches, possession of high technology, firearms etcetera)
The class structure in each town is as follows:
1. Biker Leader (who runs the town on behalf of a higher-ranking BL and is given vehicles and spare parts in exchange for his loyalty).
2. Four or five other bikers (provided with vehicles, weapons etc by local BL)
3. Town Leaders (usually skilled craftsmen, priests or farmers)
4. Police (lightly armed – and never allowed bullet-proof armour)
5. Craftsmen (combat)- mechanics, armourers, distillers, gunsmiths
6. Craftsmen (civilian) – farmers, carpenters, plumbers, tailors etc.
The social contract (or what does each side get out of this?)
The Bikers get food, money, land, power and a base of operations for raids into the neighbouring communities. They also get social status and respect.
The townsfolk get security (they don’t get raided) and protection – The firestation and its wall can accommodate the entire population if the town is attacked. The “Firestation carpark” also houses the weekly Farmers Market and the workshops of the Craftsmen (combat) who can do work for civilians – if they have spare time. The townsfolk also get some of the loot taken or extorted in raids. Loot can be spare parts, drugs, gold or other forms of portable wealth.