"Wow, Cheryl," Janet said, "you look great!"
"Thanks," I mumbled, shoveling one of two plates of food in my mouth.
"Did you lose weight?"
"You keep eating like that, and it'll all come back."
"No, it won't," I sighed.
"That looks good on you. Your eyes are clearer. Did you get cosmetic surgery or
"No. It just happened one day. It's what it wants."
"Well, it's amazing! What I wouldn't give for that to happen to-"
"No!" I shouted, smacking her tray, spilling her food on the floor, "No. You
I got up and left.
You can recover ATP a variety of ways, pretty much all of which require something or someone be consumed.
Energy Drinks/Good Meals:
A good meal recovers 3 ATP. An energy drink, a chocolate bar, or anything that you can carry around and eat in a hurry restores 1 ATP.
The amount goes down by what you can consume daily, though, so if you order the left side of the menu, that's not exactly one good meal, but five or six, and if you down a whole six pack of Red Buffalo or what have you, the effect is the same: for each one after the first in the same sitting, you only reap half the benefit, which fractionally decreases the more you consume per day. Drinking that six pack, for example, nets one point for the first can, another point for the next two cans, and one more for the last three cans.
The character needs to eat this amount in excess to what is going to cover his own daily needs. Usually the equivalent of three meals (or 3+1+1 ATP, the second being 1.5 rounded down) covers the basic needs of a mortal, and other creatures have a requirement equal to their Size. So, for example, the character can choose to double the amount he consumes in one sitting every time he has a meal, the second portion going on to feed the parasite. Many Infected settle on a routine where every time they have a drink or snack, they send down seconds for their "little buddy". You can choose what food goes to you and what to the tenant freely, but if you turn all that you eat into ATP you'll soon start to suffer from deprivation just as if you hadn't actually eaten anything.
If the character has the symptom of Hunger, meals always go to increase ATP first meaning that if the character does not consume the double amount of everything he eats, he'll starve.
A normal human body turns food into ATP at a rate of one point per hour, but due to the Infected's hyperactive metabolism, digesting a meal only takes about one ATP point per minute. This is the amount of time the character has to consume a little something for himself. If he needs to stop eating for any reason and the dealine passes, excess food continues to go to his ATP again (even if he is already at his max).
Infected also gain ATP according to their own peculiar tastes. There are five categories avaliable to choose from during character creation:
PRODUCERS can generate ATP by consuming some obscure non-organic material; some are geophages, consuming soil, others feed on sunlight (photosynthetize) like green plants, absorb nuclear radiation, but just about any other strange obession is apllicable. While this may seem like a good deal, Producers suffer from two distinct disadvantages: one, energy production this way is not very effective - the character requires one hour of eating/one hour of exposure to regain a single ATP point. Second, Producers are at the bottom of every Infected food chain, as the sole type of Infectee that can bring more ATP to the system (everyone else just takes ATP from somebody else, so the amount of ATP in circulation at any point largely depends on the number of Producers in the area).
Producers can also recover extra ATP by consuming Chimeric plants. Infected plants store AP based on their size like animals do (see below), but they only contain half the ATP in comparison to size.
PARASITES can absorb ATP from living creatures. By causing Lethal damage to a human or animal, a parasite can receive 1 ATP for every point of Lethal damage dealt. Usually only a single ATP can be absorbed this way in a single turn. Animals can be drained as well, but they only recover one ATP for every two points of Lethal damage.
Parasites can also pey on their fellow Infected or Chimera. They drain ATP from the chasracter's ATP pool rather than from Health (though greedy parasites are not above continuing to drain their victims for that extra ATP, as well).
PREDATORS can create ATP from raw flesh. Two pounds of fresh meat hand out one point of ATP, but cooking it removes that benefit, making it merely a good meal. Also, meat jmhas a tendency of going bad quickly; it lasts from one day to about a week without preservation. Keeping it in a freezer can make it last for a year, but a character having large storage full of meat of suspicious origin in their home has its own risks.
The flesh of another Infected or a Chimera contains as much ATP as the creature had but denaturing at a rate of 1 per minute, so the grisly feast must commence quickly.
SCAVENGERS eat mainly what's been left over by others. The character automatically has an equivalent of the Iron Stomach merit, but can only eat food after it already started to go bad. Slime-covered broccoli and half-rotten steaks are no problem. In addition, the infected character's sense of taste is greatly altered to actually
enjoy this sort of sustenance.
Scavengers are unable to absorb ATP directly. However, any Chimerical corpse between 1 day - 1 week can be consumed for twice the Resonance that the creature had.
Finally, SYMBIOTES feed almost solely through willing transfers. Any Symbiote has the ability to transfer or receive ATP to and from another Infected. Mutualism with Chimera is also common, Chimeric plants being the preferred choice: they grow on the skin of the Infected, using the ATP and protection they get from him to produce more ATP for him. Some symbiotic organisms take the ATP from the Infected, instead, in exchange for acting like a de facto mutation, helping him in battle or providing some other useful function. The Infected can also establish this connection with mundane people or creatures, though this is fequently a Fusion sin (even more so if unwilling). Mundane plants, moss or fungus generally restore 1 ATP per day per size, and Symbiotes who choose this path often fall into allowing them to proliferate until they cover their body in multiple layers.