View Full Version : The Division Lore Part 4: The Backstory of the Cleaners and Who Joe Ferro is

05-04-2016, 09:06 PM
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO9ku2RPxVs

This week the whitelist started to take a look at the factions within the game trying to figure out where they came from and what they hope to accomplish. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or if you have any suggestions as to what you want us to do in the future. As always, text summary is below.

1. Their origins are not as clear as the other factions but some parts we are able to piece together. We know that prior to the outbreak many of the cleaners were sanitation workers and garbage men. Once the outbreak hit, they were like everyone else trapped on Manhattan, stranded in their homes or locked down in quarantine areas hoping that they wouldn’t be the next victim of the infection.

2. Origin may lie in a cult like group that were going around Manhattan in the early stages of the epidemic. They claimed they went around “purifying the city by burning away impurities and corruption.” In one incident April Kelleher witnessed this cult prevent a group of civilians from leaving an area while their leader gave a sermon about purification while his followers started to burn down the entire block with infected people trapped in cars and buildings.

3. The organization of the Cleaner Faction was brought about by a man named Joe Ferro. Prior to the outbreak, Ferro was a sanitation worker who was known for voicing his opinion. Joe felt the effects of the virus early when his wife became one of the first victims of the infection.

4. Joe started his war against the virus by trying to spread his opinions through the radio. During one call to a local radio station at the beginning of the outbreak, Joe discussed how stupid people were in the country and how vulnerable it was because these sick people were going around spreading the virus. He also states that the virus will “blow up big time” if the infected are not taken care of.

5. Joe then decided that if the government wasn’t going to do what he considered necessary then he would. He organized fellow sanitation workers and together they began to “cleanse” the city.

6. The people that follow Ferro seem to have a lot of respect for him because he is fully committed to his goals and he is out on the streets not just ordering people around. He does have a bit of a temper though according to this recording.

7. The brutality of the cleaners is evident. They are willing to burn down entire buildings filled with people if they exhibit any indication they might be infected. If there is evidence of the virus, expect the cleaners to be close by. In their eyes, the act of burning everything stops the virus to destroy it completely and before it can spread.

8. They saw the death of every infected person as a victory against the virus. However, according to the companion novel, “if the person died of a disease, burning the body is likely to spread the pathogen. Many viruses are surprisingly robust, and airborne bits of the burning person’s clothes are likely to be incompletely burned.” In other words not only were the cleaners killing innocent people, they were also causing the virus to spread more than it already was, making it more likely that the virus will spread out further than Manhattan and cause a world epidemic.

Aaron Keener: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmTaN2ctDJU

Dr. Kandel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oakGPpI8kmU

What is Green Poison?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAGbPF1_jdo

05-06-2016, 01:15 AM
#8 is wrong.

During the Broadway Emporium Mission, Dr. Kandel points out that subjecting the virus to extreme heat causes DNA molecules to break apart. As she aptly describes it - unzips like a cheap prom dress. As such - the heat produced which would cast off and propel unburnt clothing into the air would have to be in-excess of 200 degree's, which is what causes the cellular damage mentioned above. That is why Cremation is the method of disposal for individuals that have died from Smallpox.

Further more, clothing burned in the matter in which they are wouldn't produce that much cast off... the fats in the body would produce a wick effect to the fibers of the clothes, in effect causing them to bind to the body until there is no fuel left... not separate and fly off.

Why health organizations like the CDC and WHO advises people to not take it upon themselves and burn infected Bodies is because Most complex organisms do not break down to ash in an open air fire, but instead become charred to blackened husks.

05-10-2016, 03:40 PM
Okay - to discuss this.

The 'Collapse of New York' book isn't exactly the best thing to consult with lore because it conflicts with the in game lore which should automatically trump any other material given. For instance, in the Book, Bliss is apart of the US Army not the LMB, which we know is wrong. So while the book can shed some light on things - taking said lore to heart isn't exactly a great idea.

so - the Cleaners.
Taken from observation of in game echos, recordings, and conversations...

The Cleaners are Blue Collar workers consisting of Sanitation Workers, Truck Drivers, and Construction Crews - Originally they where asked by the Government to help to try and save the city. Helping dig mass graves, transporting processed bodies to disposal areas, and eventually helping construct the massive wall that became the Dark Zone. But, as things began to spiral out of control - The Government pulled out - leaving these people behind.

And in comes Joe Ferro.

Having seen first hand what the Virus does after losing his wife to it early on, he is convinced that there is no saving people once they are infected. And seeing the Federal Government turn tail and flee he realizes that it is up to them to stop this virus. No one else has the guts to do what needs to be done, and he in turn convinces every one else of this as well... Although his tactics are savage and draconian in their simplicity, he convinces every one that they are the good guys... That they are the Heroes. And to make this inhuman task that they must embark upon less like genocide... he makes it a job... A quota to be met...

But in this simplicity and dehumanization of the infected, a flaw arises... Which is what turns this Noble Crusade to save the world into a Savage Genocide that must be stopped.

Who is really sick?

Because the Cleaners can't tell - they adopt a 'Better safe then Sorry' approach, chalking innocents and false positives up as collateral damage.

Asthma? Hay Fever? Allergies?
You go on the pile...
better safe then sorry.

When it comes to equipment the Cleaners use Fire.
As fire is the ultimate cleaning tool - Everything Must Burn.

While these Blue Collar guys may not be the most educated - they do have ingenuity on their side. From parts and pieces laying around - they construct flame throwers. From construction goods they produce Napalm. from Duct tape, hard hats, and tarp - they make Hazmat suits. But what truly makes them a danger is their Dedication... They are devoted to the job, and if you're in the way... then you're just another one for the quota.

Problems - Theory Crafting - Future Potential.

While Joe Ferro was defeated, and in theory the Cleaners dispersed - there is one potential problem which remains unanswered... Who was Supplying them?

Although much of their gear looks cobbled together, and they don't look like the most organized group of people in the Quarantine, they've managed to make full body HAZMAT quality containment suits, gather accurate information on potential Viral Hotspots, as well as have enough Gas to fuel trucks as well as produce massive amounts of Napalm.... And most curiously of all - they some how have access to Automated Gun Turrets - Division Level technology...

The guy on the Radio postulated that There may be some connection between the Cleaners and the DCD (in game version of CDC), and i think there could potentially be some truth to that...

05-11-2016, 02:30 AM
For me I thought of Joe like a 'Tony Soprano' kind of guy haha.
Nice opinions and work you put in to this. Thanks 🍻

05-12-2016, 06:10 PM
#4. The idea of NYC sanitation workers becoming fanatical about their jobs has always amused me. Since I can remember NYC has had difficulty keeping up with trash collection.

#8. A virus can not replicate outside of a living host. So when the host dies the virus dies also. This typically occurs within a matter of hours and a day or two at most. So IRL it would not be necessary to burn the dead to destroy the virus. But leaving dead bodies around presents other health issues and disposal is still prudent. Of course in a pandemic situation rational reasoning would be in short supply, people might kill each other just for sneezing and coughing. People might take to burning bodies out of ignorance and fear.

07-12-2016, 12:19 AM
I kinda like Joe. You listen to him on the phone recordings and you can sympathise with what hes trying to do, but then you see it in action and you know he has to die. I think hes one of the best game characters I've ever come across. I hope someone does some decent fiction work with this guy.