In the Worm universe, most of the superhumans (capes) in Western Europe, North America, Australia and other areas followed a loose code of conduct generally referred to as the Unwritten Rules, a sort of 'Gentleman's Agreement' to keep things from getting too out of hand and let everyone have a reasonable life expectancy, with a subsection that applied when a significant threat appeared.
These rules apply in earth Kaf as well. Those who follow them enjoy their protections, generally. Those that flaunt them may, depending on the severity of the breach; be ostracized, hated, given extra attention from the police, hunted down and thrown into inescapable prisons or even exterminated.
Generally speaking, the rules are as followed:
- Respect secret identities. Especially don't fuck with people's family.
- No violence or using powers in a meeting with multiple parties
- Try not to use lethal force. Try not to maim people.
- No widespread attacks against civilians. (Taking some hostages is 'okay', poisoning the water supply of the city is not.)
- Don't enslave others with mind control.
- No rape or sexual assault.
- Don't use guns. If you absolutely must use a gun, be careful with it. They escalate and cause too much death.
- When dealing with a major threat, a few additional rules take effect:
- Don't attack people who volunteer, set your beefs aside.
- Don't take advantage of the situation. Don't set people up to die. Even if you're not in the fight, don't use the situation to make major plays.
- Everyone gets medical care, regardless of what they've done.
- If people break the rules, anyone whose willing should work together to punish the rule breaker.
Repeated and clear rule breaking can result in the cape being sent to the Birdcage (The Vault in our AU) or targeted with a Kill Order.
Of course, not everyone pays attention to the rules, but those who do tend to find it easier to keep friends, stay alive and most importantly stay out of jail. Villains disproportionately benefit from adhering to these rules - the only reason these conditions are accepted is the need for bodies when the real threats show up.