Vreelostonezombies

Pariahs/Lost Ones

The Infected have always told rumors about those who have found a cure to free themselves from the virus. They also whisper about those who have not found peace even in death, shambling dead rising from their graves to the virus' command. The truth is much stranger, and a lot more dangerous.

It is unknown if reversing the process of the Infected's transformation is possible. However, the Infected at least know that the removal of the parasite, is. Time to time, the Infected run into people whose parasite died. Not all parasites are exceptionally strong, and they can be overpowered by the host's immune system. Some simply find themselves unprepared for a new host and fail to achieve even the basic level of merging necessary for their own survival. Others get defeated as a result of long stretching medication and medical therapy. Sometimes, the parasite simply dies with no explanation, leaving the host forever puzzled about what went wrong.

These people often first mistakenly believe themselves to be cured. As the parasite's supernatural presence is removed from the body, so are all of its effects, every mutation and other influence dying off in a short time. However, the catastrophic effects of their breached symbiosis with the pathogen soon come to light. The mortal and the parasite are the two flip sides of the Infected condition, and once the bond is created, neither can exist on its own. The organs that were under the parasitic half's influence begin to fail, as they can no longer work without the parasite energy to sustain them. The newly human Infected, rather than being restored to his former status, becomes a sorry wretch, a sad reminder for the rest of the Infected that there is no easy escape from their state.

Those Infected who have encountered these men refer to them as Pariahs or the Lost, and they are counted, ironically, among the most rigorous and ruthless enemies of the Infected.

Rules:

Before the character can even think about attempting to become mortal again, he has to reclaim some of what he has lost. The Infected needs to have a Fusion of 8 or higher.

After this, usually an extended Medical roll is moved to remove the parasite from the player. The difficulty should be fairly high, say, 50-ish.

Dramatic Failure: The character dies or becomes a Chimera.
Failure: The character remains Infected.
Success: The parasite is killed or removed, but the character's body can not survive on its own anymore. The character becomes a Pariah, a creature living on the ATP of other Infected.
Exceptional Success: The character is cured, and becomes mortal once again.

If the character becomes a Pariah, their fate depends on where in his body the parasite took residence. Victims of brain parasites may actually become zombie-like losing all thinking capacity.

The character possesses as many dots' worth of permanent Flaws as his Resonance was when he became Lost. Most of these are likely to be physical, but mental and social flaws are not uncommon either.

Quite often a Flaw is not even gained due to health but from the shock over one's failure to regain one's lost humanity. Pariahs fall into severe depression, or come to loathe themselves, humanity, and their former fellows, for what they have let them become.

There is a darker secret however that not all Pariahs realize. If the former Infected consumes ATP from any source, he immediately regains his lost faculties. By consuming as much ATP as his total number of Flaws daily, he'll be able to function like a healthy person.

A zombie-like Pariah may be feasting on the corpse of an Infected, and be struck by his clarity returning, only fall into oblivion again once the ATP runs out.

A revelation that they may be able to live a normal life has turned many Pariahs against their former brothers. Such people pose a great danger to the Infected. A Pariah may be a wreck, but is a -human- wreck. It puts himself at no risk by revealing anything about the Infected world, and many do so so that they have a legitimate reason to go after the ATP they crave for themselves. Many Infected-hunting Pariahs parade themselves as paragons of humanity taking up the good fight against the secret disease, presenting their former Infected status and subsequent disability as war scars.

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