In the Hummelverse, tanks rule the known world.
They are the most common type of sentient machine and rule over the other machines - with the exception of the neutral factories.
A tank’s typical day consists of a lot of resting. They nap a lot to conserve energy. When awake, scouts are assigned to look for threats or teams that their own team could attack.
Tanks tend to have backward ideologies and morals, and it is reflected in the way they interact and their views on life. Pragmatism is widespread. New things and innovative ideas are viewed very critically.
They stick very closely to their rules and traditions that are widely accepted and enforced. The two most important rules
are that teamkilling is forbidden - offenders are exiled - and that abandoning your team means you are considered a traitor and fair game. What exactly counts as breaking the rules differs from team to team, though. Some cases may be seen as forgivable by one team, while another team might issue harsh punishment.
The life expectancy of the average tank is very low; a lot of them die very soon after being constructed. The older a tank gets, the more likely they are to survive even longer, as their experience and acquired skill helps them in battles. However, a tank is already considered "old" when it manages to live for 20 years or more. Anyone above 40 to 50 years is considered a veteran. Very few cases of tanks that lived beyond 80 years are known.
At these ages, an additional issue is that their AI Cores
have become more susceptible to malfunction and disease. Tanks become forgetful, eccentric, or in many cases simply lose their mind. This is commonly associated with a condition called Mindrot
, which - in essence - means these things. This leads to tanks rarely living beyond 90 years. If they somehow managed not to get killed in a battle so far, their minds begin to fall apart until they die.
Tanks usually don't have family names as this tradition was abandoned over time, but some older ones still do.
There are three main types of tank names - fantasy names, trivial names, and nouns.
English and Russian are the most commonly spoken languages in the known world. As a written language, Tank Runes
have mostly replaced other alphabets. A language that was widespread but is no longer spoken is Machine Language
Many cultural leftovers from the humans are still present among the vehicles. They use words and phrases like "face" or "brains" even though they make little sense to a contemporary tank.
The cultural values of tanks vary greatly between the generations. Since most tanks don't live long, cultural traits die as quickly as they are re-invented. Even when they get passed down generations, it is usually only locally. Therefore, one will find many different sub-cultures when travelling through the land.
Each of these sub-cultures have their own traditions, additionally to the more universal ones. While those are also subject to rapid change, they are perceived as persistent and imperative.
Most tanks are very mistrustful of others. (Of course there’s also gullible ones, but they tend not to live long.) It’s normal when someone acts downright gruff, especially towards strangers. While some things that would be seen as rude in our world are acceptable behaviour among tanks, the lines are drawn at threatening others or pointing one's cannon directly at someone when looking at / speaking to them.
Referring to someone by their name is reserved for tanks who are close to each other (friends, siblings, partners, ...) and may otherwise be seen as respectless. Instead, tanks address each other by their model designations, unless there is ambiguity, in which case nicknames are used.
Deceased teammates are usually not buried. Most of the time, their parts are salvaged to be used by teammates in need or sold.
Humans are known, but generally assumed to be all dead. Others believe they still live hidden somewhere. There are elaborate belief systems that involve mythical vehicles and factories. Not everyone believes in them, but their names and stories are widely known. Due to the lack of contemporary witnesses, historical facts and accounts are distorted and even outright replaced with fantasy stories.
Gender or biological sex like humans practiced it makes little sense to tanks and has been mostly abandoned. Sexual dimorphism is observed in animals still, which is probably the main reason why the concept of gender still exists at all in tank society.
It lives on to a degree in the fact that tanks like to choose gendered pronouns for themselves; a tank's pronouns are indicated by a special symbol on their armour.
Many tanks don't care much about pronouns beyond the practical use in language. The singular "they" pronoun is common as a personal pronoun, though a machine of unknown pronouns is usually addressed as "it"; this is not considered offensive in tank society. Though nowadays, some see it as old-fashioned. After all, most machines used to be addressed as "it" by humans. Using "they" for an individual of unknown pronouns is therefore becoming more common in the recent years.
Relationships are common but usually discouraged. The concept of marriage exists, but is uncommon especially among younger generations.
Tanks are carrying around a lot of stuff and constantly modifying themselves to have a better chance at survival. Especially outside the clans, there’s mix-and-matching, just using whatever is available for upgrading and maintaining their bodies. Clan people tend to have a more "clean" appearance since they don't need to take whatever they can get and can afford to care about aesthetics.