Infected

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This article is about the Terran term. For the song by Starset, see Infected (song).

In the world of Arknights, the term "Infected" is an epithet used to refer to individuals who are suffering from Oripathy. It may be used as a derogatory term in certain cases.

Overview

The Infected are marginalized by much of the Terrans

The Infected are very common in Terra, owing to the fact that Originium, the primary cause of Oripathy, plays an important role in Terran industry and technology.

The Terrans hold a deeply rooted hatred towards the Infected since ancient times,[1] causing them to be systematically discriminated and marginalized by virtually all parts of the non-Infected Terran society. This ire most likely stems from the widespread belief that Oripathy is virulent – although in reality, person-to-person Oripathy transmission is nearly to functionally impossible as proven by various studies, belief so deeply entrenched over such a long time, that it is very difficult to convince most of the Terrans otherwise.

The treatment of the Infected varies between nations. Some are worse, while others are much better (or rather, not as bad):

  • Ursus is infamous for its persecution of the Infected, being the worst among all nations. The government has enacted various pogroms, carried out the Imperial Army, which includes enslaving Infected in Originium mines, placing them in concentration camps, and exterminating them upon discovery. The Infected have become scapegoats, used by the government to distract the public from Ursus' military failures and the ongoing power struggle within the palace. Such persecution eventually led to the rise of Infected militant groups like Reunion, which used violence against the oppressive authorities.
    • Chernobog was one of many areas in Ursus that saw the worsening treatment of the Infected, with people even cheering amidst anti-Infected pogroms around the city.
  • Yan's treatment of the Infected is, on the surface, lenient among both the populace and the officials. Talented Infected are even allowed to serve the imperial court. However, such treatment comes with the cost of limited freedom of movement, as the Infected are frequently required to report their activities and medical condition to mandarins serving the Ministry of Revenue. Chancellors and magistrates of each prefecture are also ordered to administrate the Infected's affairs on their own.[2] Socially, the Infected are still frowned up and verbally discriminated against.
    • Because of the imbalance in supervision and monitoring among prefectures and cities, tragedies still befall the Infected community due to misjudgement from the authorities. For instance, the purge of Lungmen's slums during Reunion's invasion was caused by the Yanese envoy pressuring Wei Yenwu to get the situation in check quickly; and the Infected community was systematically targeted, as Reunion could possibly hide among their ranks.
  • A drawing potraying Infected individuals dwelling in the Victorian city of Caladon
    The Infected in Victoria are promised "human rights" by the nobles in power, but in practice, they are heavily exploited, with some factories forcing them to work exceedingly long hours.[3] They are also forcefully confined into quarantine zones, regardless of age and gender. Non-Infected who hide the Infected from the government face severe punishment.[4]
    • The treatment of Infected varies within Victoria's different places as well. For instance, the city of Caladon announced to be planning to decrease its working hours to no more than fourteen hours, and welcomes Infected elsewhere to settle down and work there. This policy, however, was met by some of the non-Infected community as stealing work and opportunities away from them.[5]
  • In Kazimierz, Infected knights participating in the knight tourneys of the Kazimierz Major are segregated through an institution known as the "Infected Participation System," where they are forced to take part in bloodsport against gloompincers and often against one another. This system was implemented only after the grand victory of the Blood Knight.[6][7] Other Infected are forced to live in underground ghettoes waiting to be exploited or purged by authorities such as the Armorless Union.
  • Columbia, at first glance, is famous for its lack of discrimination towards the Infected, who are supposedly treated equally to the non-Infected. However, this is a facade meant to disguise the fact that Columbia exploits the Infected for its rising industries and expansionist goals.
    • Infected migrants have to earn Columbian citizenship through their contribution as workers, which means that the Infected are merely regarded as cheap labour in Columbia.[8] It can be argued, however, that this is a mutually beneficial system for both sides.
    • Columbian companies exploit the Infected with the promises of emancipation and medical treatment, though in reality, these tend to be lies. The Columbian corporation Mama John's provides their Infected workers with "Oripathy suppressants," which are in reality placebo drugs that hide the symptoms of Oripathy but do nothing to actually cure or slow down the disease.[9]
    • There are also "premium insurance policies" which offer the Infected health insurance and medication, though they are extremely expensive. As stated by the federal laws, every Infected citizen must enroll into these healthcare plans in order to reside in a nomadic city.[10] However, if an Infected cannot afford insurance, they will be sent to a nearby Infected treatment zone which, much like other nations' quarantine zones, is part of the Columbia's system of segregation, where Infected are forced to live in restricted areas and slums.[11] The insurrance policies also apply to any illegal resident within the country, and not paying them in due time is also considered a crime of tax evasion by the Columbian Tax Bureau.[12]
    • As a matter of fact, most Columbian Infected prefer to live as frontier pioneers in the westernmost wastelands of Columbia, where their freedom is not restricted at the cost of their own safety; the wastelands are frequented by criminals and frequently threatened by natural disasters.
  • Siracusa's treatment on the Infected is similar to Columbia's case since it adopts Columbian legal system. Infected citizens need to pay health insurance in order to keep working, which is collected by the court judges and their subordinates. If the payment falls below half of a designated amount, their right to work will be lost.[13]
    • As for Infected famiglie members, the treatment varies between the famiglie whose final order dictates their fate. Often times, banishment or treating them as disposable pawns is the usual method to eradicate Infected soldato.[14]
  • For a long time, the Infected in Leithanien were treated as mere tributes for the Kurfürsten to maintain the nation's supremacy on Arts, and many of them ended up becoming test subjects for Arts. Even non-Infected were forced to contact Oripathy whenever supplies depleted. The situation worsened drastically during the tyrannical reign of the Witch King.[15]
    • After the ascension of the Twin Empresses, many of these customs were seen as barbaric as the Witch King himself, so new laws were enacted to protect the Infected and improve their living conditions. Still, traces of the old regime can still be found everywhere; Infected are still forced to live quarantine zones, and it is mandatory for those whose Oripathy reaches a certain stage to be euthanized by the state.[16][17]
  • Infected Lateran will be banished from the country while retaining the Lateran citizenship and rights. Infected Laterans can even return to their homeland under certain extraordinary circumstances.[18]
  • The Infected in Minos are seemingly not discriminated against/segregated, as they can participate in the Hymnoi Wisdom. The only exception to this is the Minoan Twelve Hero cult, where the position within its clergy is only open to non-Infected. If a priest or priestess of the hero cult were found to be Infected, they would face demotion.[19]
  • While Rim Billiton does not directly persecute the Infected, they face unaffordable medical care and are consistently denied employment.[20]
  • While most Sargonian lords neglect the Infected and let them die slow, painful deaths, not all of them do. Some, notably the Tulla family, will quarantine the Infected in specifically designated "Infected quarters" and provide them with medical treatment.
    • The tribes in the jungles of eastern Sargon, however, have no knowledge about Oripathy whatsoever, and simply see it as a "stone disease." As a result, discrimination against the Infected withinn the jungle tribes is non-existent.
  • Kjerag does not discriminate against the Infected as much thanks to its primitive society and religion. Infected Kjeragians are not quarantined or banished from the country, and are able to have normal lives.[21] However, due the increasing industrialization of the country conducted by the Silverash family, there is fear that such peace may be broken by possible Originium pollution, leading to opposition from the conservative Browntails and Paleroches.

It is, however, an important theme of Arknights' storytelling that the countries that do not outright persecute the Infected are more than likely "whitewashing" their prejudice and concealing some other form of exploitation of the Infected. The harsh treatment faced by the Infected is the main contributor to the bleakness of Arknights' setting, although it is also frequently pointed out that strife and oppression does not stop at the Infected, and the specter of Oripathy is only one of Terra's many problems.

The majority of Infected who have suffered from such widespread discrimination and prejudice have become embittered towards the non-Infected. Some, like the members of Reunion, even seek vengeance for the suffering they have endured, which has led to civil strife, violence, and the destabilization of some nations. Some Infected, however, choose non-violent methods, with Rhodes Island being the most notable of them.

References