Apologies for the length, I though being thorough in this particular instance was important.
Magen's POV: As soon as I had gotten in game, I heard people talking at the gate, and went to the scaffolding on the side to see who had arrived. Upon moving up the scaffold, I saw a group of people standing on the tent in front of our gate that I did not recognize, though one of them was wearing the armband that I knew, but was unsure from which group they were in. They kept asking to be let in, followed by "Let us in, or we'll just jump in anyway", or something very close to that affect. They were visibly armed, and since I knew we had nothing of value in the base anyway, at least nothing that wasn't easily replaced, I allowed them in. I showed them around, though two of them kept running off, to a location unknown to me. One of them approached me, weapon still in hand, and kept asking "Who is the guy that keeps hiding?". I had no idea what he was talking about, as I had just gotten in game. Evidently it was Dima trying to do something RL, so he had gone AFK really quickly. In his own base, in his own caravan, so what their issue was with that is lost on me.
I was asked several times what we did at the base and I explained we were a medical facility that provided both physical and mental health treatments. I further explained that we also offered food, clothing, mechanical assistance, and a myriad of other services to anyone who requests it, especially those new to the area. I offered them food, medicines and asked if they needed anything else. They commented several times the base was nice, with one of them giving me a bit of history on the location. I was asked what I did there, and I explained I was a doctor, though I was a behavioral psychologist, I still had medical training. I explained several times the focus of our group was to provide assistance to those in need, and even mentioned to them that we did not keep military-grade weapons or armaments in the compound because of this.
After the conversation I had with the one using RP via text about my research, my character needed food so I ran over to my garden, obtained some food and returned. Upon return, I found them standing atop a shed in the back yard. They were inquiring about spark plugs with Dima, which Dima then offered to them after they explained their friend was on their way to pick them up, but crashed their car and needed replacement parts. They hopped off of the shed, and I followed them to the front gate as they left.
The one which spoke most of the time, told me to close the gate and made some flippant remark about "bad people". I closed the door behind them, and they left.
A short time later, after logging out to fix my son something to eat, I received a bleep on Discord that our base had, yet again, been raided. When I logged in, I checked medical supplies, the armory (again, filled with nothing you couldn't find in a police station), as well as the storage sheds and found nothing missing, with the exception of the gun wall in the tavern. I had no idea it's value was that of a helicopter trip and two RPG grenades. Who knew.
-End of POV-
To address specifics:
Impersonating - I saw the Familia armband, and although I did not know the name of the group, it was familiar to me as a friendly group, so I allowed them in. Dima is in charge of inter-group relations and communications and it is thus outside of my prevue as medical support staff, aside from knowing the colors of the "friendlies", as there is a rule against impersonation, so it never occurred to me to question it.
Metagaming - First, the only thing I can speak to about this, is my own perspective. The only thing I can speak to is their interactions within my field of view. There were no text emotes regarding hand signals, so non-verbal communication was not used. The only conversations I heard were benign, and simplistic in questioning. Nothing nefarious was said in front of me, and their questions did not seem disingenuous.
Second, and more importantly. The issue I have is with the video posted. Please refer to these particular parts:
:48 - "He's giving us two sparkplugs"
:57 - "They're giving us sparks to steal their cars"
1:10 - "Enough for two cars and we know the lock as well"
1:18 - "He gave me, he gave me" (referring to the spark plugs)
These comments were said as two of the characters stood next to Dima. You can see it in their own video. They were letting their friends know , on the other side of the compound, OOC, that they retrieved the items needed and that they knew about the lock. If their microphones had been keyed, I can guarantee you, that encounter would have went a lot differently.
1:30 - "Ha, ha... She called me sweetheart" (my character is from the south, of course she did)
This comment, also made via discord coms and not IC coms, would have vastly skewed my regard for this group, and that individual character greatly. Had it been said while this person was out of range of my character, that would be one thing, but saying it in OOC coms, while in active RP with that character, seems although not breaking the letter of the rule, definitely the spirit. You are either IC, or you are OOC. You can not be both.
Just to clarify, based on a remark in the video:
It was never indicated that our group were pacifists. I indicated my particular character was. "Pacifist my ass" is what I heard in the video. The armory is not my bed room. Had you gone in there, you would have found a blouse, a cute pair of shoes, and a pink denim skirt. In the armory, I am sure you found no hardware worth taking. Some rounds. Maybe.
After several conversations with survivors, and my own observations of the infected, I have to disagree with the general consensus that the infected are no longer human. Let me explain.
There are some infected that roam just outside of our base. I have watched them for hours and have noticed something: they do not mindlessly wander. They seem to have a location that they roam within, like a "home area", if you will. They may disappear for a while, but they will always return to this area they feel drawn to. It might be their home, their job, and even in the cases of the priests I have observed, their churches.
On several occasions, I have lured these infected away from their "home base", and after a while, as if they realize how far away they have strayed, they will stop and turn around, and return to their initial location. If I weave through houses or buildings, again after they lose sight of me, they return to their "home base". I don't know if this is the place they died at, or if this is just a significant place for them in their lives: again, their home, their work place, or their place of worship.
The need to feel accepted, and safe, is a human condition. If I were to lure a bear, for example, out of their environment to a place of more abundant food, or a friendlier ecosystem, or easier access to clean water, they will stay. This is not true in the case of the infected. They always return.
So this begs the question: what instinct causes this behavior? It is definitely not animalistic in nature. I have observed infecteds stopping their roaming and staring at me if I wander too close to their "home base". If I stop approaching, and step back, they will return to ignoring my existence, because I am not a threat to their claimed space.
I don't believe this is anecdotal, but the indications of a true behavior. A human behavior, a human instinct to protect what is theirs and stay within an area that has meaning to them. Animals do not stay in an environment because they have sentimental attachment to it, humans do that.
I admit I still have much studying of the infected to still do, but I believe this is at least one positive outcome of my research into the infected's behavior. I will write more as I collect more meaningful and valid data.
We have had quite a few visitors in the past days. And I even ventured to another encampment last night. I said little. Being the shy kid has always been a downfall. But, when I'm working, and I'm a with a patient, that is when I truly feel my own confidence. There's something to be said for the person that just listens. No interruptions, no judgements, just a friendly ear to hear your woes.
I am hoping since I have been meeting more and more people here, that some will take up the offer of assistance. Speaking with a neutral, nonjudgmental person can really help to cleanse and eventually heal, the psyche. Something, it would seem, many of these people really need. Keeping your troubles and experiences bottled up inside... well, it's like shaking a soda can. A few shakes, and very little bursts out. But shake that can again, and again, and again, and the explosion that results can be catastrophic, not only to the person that had been bottling up their emotions, but to everyone around them. Here's hoping the service I can provide finds some use in this land.
Dima, our fearless leader, has told us of an upcoming event, that I will be preparing for after I finish writing this. I will write again, afterwards. Hopefully, with some good news.
One member of our medical team (team of 2 at present) is a medical doctor. The other (me) is a trained behavioral scientist. In addition to my duties as a therapist, I will be studying the behaviors of the infected, determining their mental capacity as well as their capacity to to have their behaviors replaced with a less hostile one. I hope this answers your question? I specifically am not trying to cure the disease, I am trying to determine if they (the infected) are able to be taught alternatives to their base behaviors.
A new home. It's strange, just when you think you're resolved to leave, something tugs you back. Or someone. Dima is a persuasive, persuasive man. He has convinced me that the people here in Chernarus need my help. I may not be a medical doctor, but being a doctor of the mind, well... I can see the need. So many damaged psyches to accompany the damaged bodies. I will do what I can.
We have set up in the middle of Chernogorsk. I have a small apartment there and am working on clearing out a small room to serve as my office. I am looking forward to meeting new people, having patients again, even though this time instead of children, I will have adults. It will stretch my expertise, I hope I am up to the challenge. I can only imagine what long-time residents of this country have gone through. The resilience of the human mind is astounding. The fact that these people can walk around, function, laugh, cry... feel at all, is a testament to their resolve. It will be my privilege to do what I can to help their minds mend.
So much has happened, but little need to explain. My friends and I were on our way to visit another group, when we were stopped by the bandits from the previous day. We were again lined up against a wall, again our belongings rifled through. This time, tied up with duct tape that I was unable to break free of. Again it was clear they had no desire to talk reasonably, simply yelling orders, proclaiming us heretics, and letting us know that if they ever saw us again, it would mean our deaths. Interestingly, they never once queried what our actual beliefs were. I, myself, follow the catholic religion, though it is clear God has forsaken this place, and all of it's inhabitants. I would have actually been open to some discourse and interested to hear more about their particular beliefs, but again "Shut up and face the wall", was the only interaction with them I received. We left with most of our belongings and our car this time. That's better than the previous day, I suppose, but the threat of being killed on sight because of... insert random reason here... hangs heavily on the members of our group.
I woke this morning startled to find the contents of the room I now found myself locked in, in our own base, were all but gone. I was steadily feeling weaker and weaker from lack of nutrition, until I spied a break in the wall and was able to climb out of the room I was locked in. I scrambled up to the roof, only to find the out-buildings were all gone. Thankfully, my gardens were untouched, so the immediate need of food was taken care of.
I approached the front of our base, to see the main door gone, our vehicles gone and anything not nailed down (and some that were), gone as well. Our base was raided to the point of being unrecoverable. Our third raid by parties unknown, in as many days. Ten days of hard work, gone. My husband and I are now convinced we are not wanted in Chernarus. It is a shame, really. Wilhelm has extensive medical training he received while working with the International Red Cross, and I, with my Doctorate in the behavioral sciences, could have proven invaluable to the people of this community.
Wilhem is now pouring his full efforts and energy into finding us a way back to Europe. He is steadfast and focused, when needed and will, I am sure, find us a way out of Chernarus soon. I had hoped to convince our groupmates to join us, but I do not believe those pleadings will bear fruit. I will miss this place that we called our temporary home, and those few friends I have made here. I will pray for those that remain... May God have mercy on their souls.
My POV from logging in to this scene.
When I woke up and tried to exit the room I was in, I was injured when the code I tried to enter into the door did not work. Low on food, having just woke up, I started to search frantically for something to eat, not wishing to perish in my own base. It was later discovered the code lock had been replaced with a new code. Thus, leaving anyone that woke up in that room, to starve.
When I finally managed to get out of the room, due to a wall missing, and climbing out onto the roof, I noticed most of the contents of the base had been taken or destroyed. Items which had little to no value, were gone. Items which had value had been taken, with a cryptic note left behind clearly to throw us off the track of the real culprits. It was clear the intent was to dismantle our base to the extent of making the loss unrecoverable.
Those who did such a thing, had no intention of members of our group further participating on this server. Since my own interactions with others have been limited, I can only assume that was the intent. The "explanations" received were disingenuous and savored heavily of apathy.
Lost. Then lost. Then lost again. It seems to be a daily occurrence for me. I ended up somehow in a town full of people. A hospital, a bar. Zeno? Is that what they called it? I met a barmaid, sweet thing, though I think quite troubled. I probably could have helped her, but considering I can barely help myself, well... Another woman, Jay? Jade? I'm not sure. It was so loud, discerning her voice from the chorus of voices around us was difficult. She saved me though, gave me food enough to finally get back to my own little hovel. The ocean, keep it to my left. Yes, that part I remember. I can see my hovel in the distance, but the infected. So many of them between me and my goal. I think I'll wait here for a while, take a nap, then get my bearings. I lost my first husband to this place. Darling Leon, what a wretched existence I am scraping out in this place you called your home. Wilhelm, my sanity, my reason for continuing is lost to me. I hope I find him soon.
I woke this morning to loud bangs, shouting and gunfire. Our small camp that we had been building for the last week came under fire. I was pulled to my feet, faced towards a wall, handcuffed and asked questions, to which I answered honestly. Unfortunately, one of my captors did not believe me. He expressed his displeasure at my lack of answers by repeatedly telling me to "Shut up bitch", to which I immediately complied. It was clear that reason, honesty and level heads would not prevail, so I spent the remainder of the assault in silent contemplation.
A few minutes later, my husband Wilhelm was brought to my side. He repeated much of what I had already said, and they seemed a lot more interested in speaking to him, than speaking to me. I suppose misogyny is alive and well in Chernarus.
After what seemed like an eternity, though in reality a mere fifteen minutes, the hoodlums, who it now seems were nothing more than common thieves, looking for an easy target, commandeered the vehicles of my groupmates and left. They called themselves "Chernorussian Nationalists", but I saw little in their speech and actions that lead me to believe their goals were anything except banditry. What a world we live in.
I was not disheartened, however, and am still committed to my research on the behaviors of the infected, and what can be done to possibly address their aberrant behaviors and replace them with less destructive ones. My quest to reconnect with this "Doc" person and have a meaningful conversation with Ash, have yet to bear fruit. Perhaps tomorrow, when the excitement of today's events have started to fade, and everyone's nerves have once again calmed, and the overall temperament of the group is back to normal, I can endeavor to have these conversations that will further drive my research.
Another day... another... well, honestly I have no idea. The infected seem to be lingering. One would think at this point, that their bodies would have succumbed to this illness, the way my darling Leon did. I have to say I am thankful Leon declined so quickly, and his pain ended, without him becoming one of those roaming infected that I have seen.
Yesterday, while exploring a town near where I have setup a "base camp", I chanced upon someone named "Doc". This had me thinking...
A vast portion of my doctoral work involved functional behavioral analysis. As I have learned, it is impossible to stop a behavior without having an equivalent behavior with which to replace it. So, I am now determined to complete an FBA on the infected that I have witnessed. This will include an ABC (antecedent, behavior and consequence), observation of several victims of this disease. The baseline being the mental capacity of the victims. My extensive experience with students with disabilities has taught me that I must first glean what the mental capacity of these poor, cursed creatures are.
To this end, I have determined my short term goals to be: 1 - Speak with Wilhem about his observations dealing with the infected, while he was working with the International Red Cross during relief operations, 2 - Speak with Ash, a man in the group that I seem to have fallen in with, about his experience with the infected and finally, seek out this "Doc" and make inquiries about his observations as well.
The long term goal being to answer this question: Can the infected's behavior be redirected, from attacking those not infected, to something less dangerous? If so, what would that replacement behavior be?
I realize this may be a fool's errand, but sitting around and "surviving" will only keep me mentally alert for so long. I need a project, something to do. An application of my skill. Previous to this madness, I knew what God's purpose for me on this planet was: to work with children whose various disabilities would challenge them academically, and assist them with strategies and skills to overcome those challenges.
Now, I feel as if I am floundering. I need a purpose, and I believe this will at least start to lead me down the path of discovery, of what God's new purpose is for me. With His guidance, and some luck, perhaps that purpose will reveal itself sooner, rather than later.