The fleet has jumped far from Earth, aiming for the destination of the Salvation (see History). No other signs of human life in space have been seen so far, although a mining/processing ship and a remote learning ship joined up with you one jump from Earth, having heard what has happened. Their capabilities are very welcome in addition to the mostly-civilian ships which make up the bulk of the fleet. Otherwise, the journey from Earth has been thankfully uneventful, although you've been keeping an eye on systems you pass along the way.
At current point (the date being 8th June 2082), the Fleet is 2 jumps away from the Salvation, having arrived safely at Arcturus Minor, and its beautiful Binary Stars. (See Space Map for more details on the journey and current location.) Concerningly, however, you have not managed to make contact with the Salvation fleet to let them know what has happened, or that you are following them. Whilst none of the ships in the fleet were government ships, so you have been unable to access any secure government communications that the Salvation will have been sending back to Earth since you set off, the Princess has however been attempting to send a signal to their expected location every few days. So far, no return communication has occurred. However, there is a large amount of static in the FTL bandwidth in that direction - indicating probably a system with Deimium resources - so it is probable that the Salvation has simply not detected your signal amongst the noise. Now that you are only two jumps away, a Probe ship has been sent ahead to the known location of Elentis 227a and is due to report back soon. The Salvation fleet was on course to arrive in this system nearly 6 months ago, so their land surveys and initial bio-dome setup should be well under way - and hopefully there will be further colonisation and exploration tasks that you can assist with when you get there.
The entire fleet has so far been making an FTL jump forwards once every three weeks. This is limited by the FTL cool-down and spool speed of The Princess, a huge old fuel ship with every safety measure and bulkhead known to man, retrofitted with an FTL drive late in its life. In order to avoid overheating the ship's systems and triggering catastrophic reaction of the Deimium fuel cores, the ship's engineers have insisted upon a one week cool-down, followed by a one week maintenance period, before the third week of highly radioactive FTL spooling can begin. The Princess, however, is the only ship in your fleet capable of executing an FTL jump with more than 3 fuel cores in safe containment - indeed, it is said to have had 1000 cores on board when you left Earth - and therefore, although other ships may explore nearby systems while waiting for the next fleet jump, they cannot risk getting too far away and must always return to the Princess eventually.
The small fleet society has adapted fairly well since leaving Earth - most people know their role and carry it out to the best of their ability to keep the fleet on track, whether that be piloting asteroid-clearing ships or being on hand to patch up the occasional technician whose ship-fixing spacewalk went awry. While it is possible for people to move around between ships, most communication is done over radio or VR comms channels, removing the need for docking manoeuvres or spacewalks. There are some tensions between a few of the ships - everyone knows that the law-abiding engineers of The Hephaestus don't see eye-to-eye with the high-rollers of The Slipstream, for example - but thankfully everyone has been sufficiently united in the search for the Salvation fleet that no real problems have erupted.
Outside of crew with defined jobs, people are, generally, just being people. Society is continuing fairly much as it was on Earth - people still meet up with friends old and new for a chat (via holopresencing when possible), although the scarceness of some luxury items means one-upmanship is alive and well, even among friends. Small groups of those with similar interests to discuss, or those who want to share tools and work together, or those who wish to gather in faith and pray for safety, have formed amongst the various crews. The feeling in the fleet is cautiously positive at present: the horrors of departure from Earth are fading a little, and the relief of having escaped the nightmares and apparitions cannot be overstated. Deep space is intimidating, certainly, but life is actually beginning to feel surprisingly normal for most people.
The inhabitants of the Fleet come from many different countries, and are travelling together as a matter of necessity. No formal police force or true 'law' exists, although the social norms of behaviour and under the UC generally persist - people attempting to do something that would have been illegal on Earth will still probably be dealt with in some informal way. Within the established crews of the Hephaestus, Memorandum and Princess, there is a strict hierarchy and defined rules which crew know the penalties for transgressing. In the rest of the fleet, however, justice is more of a fluid being. Until the Salvation fleet is reached and a normal justice system re-established, committing a minor crime (or what would have been a minor crime on Earth) on one of the ships that fled Earth with a motley collection of people on board will simply make you subject to the Captain's judgement1).
A Captain is not all-powerful, however, even on their own ship - particularly when their actions concern the well-being of the entire fleet. There is a form of group justice evolving, where actions which further imperil humanity are seen as no better than treachery, and dealt with harshly. Everyone in the fleet has heard of the day shortly after leaving Earth when the Captain of the Eloquent Gesture, a medium-sized cargo ship, cut off all communications, fired up his engines and aimed his ship directly at the loading bay of the Princess at high speed while fuel transfers were underway. He never made it, thankfully - he and his ship exploding violently when still over a kilometre away from his target - but this was only due to a few other ships in the vicinity who immediately trained their weapons on him and fired when the crew of the Eloquent Gesture would not respond to calls to stop. No word of punishment for this killing has been uttered, however uncomfortable some may be with it: the consequences otherwise would have been potentially unthinkable.
The Princess left Earth carrying more than enough fuel to get every ship in the fleet to the rendezvous location with the Salvation. Therefore, any ship docking with it and requesting fuel has generally been given what they've asked for, unless they've tried to dangerously over-fill their cargo hold (carrying more than 3 cores at once). The Princess's chief officers nevertheless keep meticulous logs of fuel handovers, out of habit as much as anything else.
While quality of life varies to some degree across the different ships in the fleet, from the luxurious expensive liners with shiny white walls and en-suites with chrome fittings to the functional cargo and manufacturing ships with exposed steel beams and bunk beds, every ship can produce (or, more accurately, recycle) its own oxygen, water and delicious algae-based foodstuffs. If you want anything tastier, though, you will need to bargain with the catering crew of The Slipstream, who can currently still produce a very sought-after steak (if sufficiently bribed). Alternatively, anyone lucky enough to happen across a planet with some form of edible life on it can hope to be well-rewarded by those thoroughly fed up of brown algae cakes.
Luxury goods and other less common items are few and far between in the fleet - what exists is what was either on the ships already, or what was snatched in a hurry as people fled. Initially, things were swapped between individual captains of ships based on who needed what, but after a few weeks a fledgling barter/trade system emerged, mostly run by the cargo ship of The St Nikolaos, who found they had far too many people just coming to them asking for things. If you approach them for a trade now, they will usually either know who has what you want, and point you in their direction, or will agree to exchange items they have in negotiable barter for either something you have, or some service you can do for them. They have so far proven to be fairly reasonable in these deals, and as such the barter economy is working reasonably well.
There is a small problem, though, in that the large cargo hold of The St Nikolaos was also the obvious place to house the 500 or so shipless refugees who fled on other ships that had no FTL drives, or that did but couldn't house them long term - and these are also the people with least to bargain with. Their makeshift homes and little trading stalls tug at the heartstrings of those who arrive to trade, and the refrain of “we're all refugees, aren't we?” has been heard many a time. However, this living situation may not be sustainable in the long term.