Alycia redux

So just to bring this up ... Mike earlier and then Doyce in private chat last night suggested the Scion might make a better playbook for Alycia than Reformed. I did glance at that early on, but felt happier about the Reformed as a concept. On consideration, though, and having read the playbook a bit more carefully, I think the Scion fits more into what I've been doing with Alycia than Reformed. That's in part because a lot of Reformed is focused on the past reaching out and trying to drag you back in, and that simply hasn't happened with Alycia, in part for other-game-stuff-interfering reasons, in part because they just haven't come up. Alycia actually fits into the middle ground between the two playbooks as core concept. She is the child of a super-villain trying to prove herself different from them  (Scion), but she is, also, a past villain, even as a minor -- she's done some awful things (though not as many as she probably blames herself for), and certainly AEGIS isn't letting her traipse around unmonitored (btw, thanks, Doyce, for turning that decision back around on me. :-) ). The main thing is that her past isn't that much of a temptation for her, even if she still makes decisions somewhat based on it (as do we all). To that end, the Scion is a closer fit, as further demonstrated by her no having a huge interest in most of the Redeemed playbook advances, and I'm probably going to reroll Alycia inside of that framework and see what happens. (That said, I have two stories that have been rolling around in my head where the past, in different forms, does actually reach out to her. But I think that can fit into the Scion thing, too.) (Btw, Doyce's calling out of the similarities between Alycia's and Charlotte's arc was very cool. That somewhat applies to Alycia and Summer, too, though I think Summer is further down that road. That makes certain possibilities all the more intriguing.)
So, yeah, it looks like this is a go. There are aspects that don't quite fit, and the Scion moves are both strongly about Influence (as a proxy for Respect, which makes perfect sense, alongside a Respect mechanic that looks interesting) and about a certainly breadth of knowledge about the Scion's identity. That raised an interesting thought or two that I'm mulling over. But most of it works well with her story. I've got some notes off to Doyce to sanity check my thoughts here and ID some places where I need to make some more stuff up. On the bright side, no need to rework her costume.
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That team move you brought out was extremely on point, so this feels like a good change to me  I don't grasp the Respect mechanic fully after a once over, but I feel like it'll reveal itself in play.
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Mike
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I'm happy to hear the Scion sounds like it is working it for you, Dave.  I liked the playbook and wanted to see how it worked out in play.  As an added bonus, this means we could get three characters with The Mask move.  :p I'm actually interested in hearing who Alycia feels she needs to earn the respect of. 
I have a couple of ideas, though a lot of the playbook's setup involves folk who haven't been really identified in our setting as yet. 
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Or folk who have already been thoroughly dealt with. :) For what it's worth, here's the list of people from the version of the playbook I have: Your parent's greatest enemy : arguably Byron Quill, but he appears to be safely tucked away in another reality. Given that, I'm curious what kind of alternative - or successor - presents itself. Your parent's greatest victim : boy, this could go anywhere. Your personal idol : this is the one I'm personally most curious to hear. :) Given Alycia's nature, this very well could be an NPC we haven't seen yet. The city's greatest leader : It's interesting that "leader" and "hero" are assumed to be two different people, given how we usually associate the two qualities. Would this be a civil-rights or political leader that Alycia admires, or someone in government (and if so, how does she square her political tendencies against that)? The city's greatest hero : I personally would hand this to Streak/Tempest (giving Alycia plot hooks with the Gales as well), but maybe someone else qualifies more? The city's biggest celebrity : another one where we don't have any solid candidates, as Dave says.
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Mike
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Bill G. said: The city's greatest leader The city's greatest hero The city's biggest celebrity . I think these three are just as much open to interpretation as anything else on the list.  Alycia listing Director Costigan of AEGIS as the city's greatest leader says quite a bit about her (seeing him as a "power behind the throne" sort of figure), regardless of whether he actually has any political clout or not.  I could also see scratching one of those out and just putting "My Handler - Agent Parker." I see this less as truths about those other people and more Alycia seeing these as figures she needs to earn the respect of before she can think of herself as the hero she wants to be.  But that's just my interpretation, would have to wait for the final book and hear the "director's commentary" on the reasoning behind some of these choices and the extra in general.
Yeah, those  were the sort of folk I was talking about as being ambiguous or undefined. Interestingly, we've not done a lot with the city per se, beyond the HHL (and then mostly with the Gale clan) and some other teen groups. (And, yeah, I'd love to read the commentary about what some of the design thoughts are here). Your parent's greatest enemy : Yeah, Byron & Co. works here. Jason's the obvious heir, and I could see Alycia wanting his respect (vs. his romantic engagement or something), but that seems a bit easy.  Your parent's greatest victim : Again, I can make up a story there. (I could also make an argument that Alycia was his greatest victim, and certainly she's got some self-respect issues, but I don't think that's the intent :-).)   Along the the lines of these first two, the "Relationships" section includes "My parent once fought and thrashed X; I've got to find a way to make it up to them." There's some room here to latch this onto, say, one of the HHL, if only they weren't all moribund at the moment. Your personal idol : Yeah, who actually is Alycia's idol? What does Alycia idolize? Actually, she's a bit of an iconoclast and even misanthrope, which makes that even more difficult. I almost want to take it out of Halcyon, which makes things logistically fraught. Hmmm ... Hyena? Meh. (I can see an arg The city's greatest leader : As Mike notes it's interesting how idol and hero and celebrity and leader are identified separately (that may be more for focus purposes, though; you need to identify two of these at least, but it's not clear that you're encouraged to identify all of them, so one person could fit multiple roles). While there's an opportunity here for a social or moral leader, the obvious is a political leader, something we've not even scratched (let alone someone Alycia would want respect from). The city's greatest hero : This is where we need Superman. Short of that, the probably Silver Streak, except for all the recent brouhaha. Or I make someone up. (But would Alycia want their respect? Would need to be someone of Superman's impeccable character.) The city's biggest celebrity : Jason! (No!) Also, again, Alycia is not attracted to celebrity.
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Mike
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I could see making some slight changes and getting some interesting results... The City's Biggest Celebrity The Social Media Connection : Maury Jones.  It'll be hard to win her over (what Maury thinks of as a hero and who Charade is don't quite line up yet), but if you can win her over, she can be quite the advocate. The City's Greatest Hero My Biggest Detractor in the Hero Community : [insert HHL member], they suspect Alycia is Charade (somehow?!) and have made it their personal goal to lambaste me at every opportunity.  If I could only turn things around with them, maybe I could prove to the HHL I'm not a danger. The City's Greatest Leader My Agency Handler : Agent Parker.  She's got me on a short leash, but if I could only earn her trust, I might be able to get some more freedom. These were some of the thoughts I had earlier for personalizing these.  Kind of gives a mechanical component to some of the things mentioned in the Odd Couple RP thread.
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Leo is also available for any appropriate roles! :D More seriously, I feel like "the HHL is moribund" actually presents you with a perfect opportunity for some of these characters. Heroes from other cities or countries - or realities - or outer space - might make an appearance, perceiving a void that needs to be filled. In the wake of Rook's robot rampage, some crusading DA or activist might rise up, hoping to call city power-players to task ("the HHL and the corporations have failed you"). The team might also face off against a squad of high-tech vigilantes who think that all heroes must be corrupt, led by some charismatic but troubled individual (Avatar's Jet springs to mind here) who can't just be taken out and jailed (for whatever reason). I like Mike's suggestions, and it also seems to me you could just be more on the nose and say "pick five people, each of whom embodies a Label most clearly and powerfully in the city".
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Mike
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Bill G. said: I like Mike's suggestions, and it also seems to me you could just be more on the nose and say "pick five people, each of whom embodies a Label most clearly and powerfully in the city". Yeah, that is way more succinct way of putting what I was thinking.
All good ideas (the label one is particularly interesting as a way to tackle it).  The other element in figuring out folk to use is twofold: It's of value looking at how this list is used: People whom she would seek out for something (counsel / advice, a hand with something, I dunno) People who she wants to / would work to have Influence over (getting Influence advances the Respect track) People whose wholehearted (4-box) respect leads to an advance, as well as being able to reject their Influence and a (contingent) bump in a Label. So some of that could be calculated ("I need to get the Mayor on my side, because she's a prominent and influential official who will argue my case"), which is a little manipulative. It can also be because they are someone whose opinion she actually values or is concerned about ("Until I can get that victim of Father's to respect me, I'll always feel guilty that they're in a wheel chair for life"). Both of these play into the nature of these individuals's suggested titles (greatest leader, greatest enemy, personal idol). My inclination with Alycia is toward more sincerity than manipuation -- her desire for success / redemption is heartfelt. But there could be quite sound, pragmatic reasons to get Transcendent on her side given his resentment over that time that Dr. Chin actually captured and used him as a power source. That would be completely legit. 
So in the interest of collaborative storytelling transparency ... [Which I still find a challenge, because my writerly instinct is to keep this kind of stuff hidden until an appropriate reveal, but this isn't that sort of game or campaign.] ... here's who I've come up with for my Respect people. I am required to take at least 2, up to 6. I have 3, and each presents, I think, their own challenge, level of access, and potential for storytelling. This is all still subject to approval from the GM, but I wanted to share while I had a few minutes, and see if anyone had some additional ideas or reactions. 1. Agent Parker This one is mostly obvious and was discussed here and elsewhere. But I have an additional spin on it, which sort of hit me like a hammer about the head this morning. Parker has had a distinct interest in Alycia, to the point of being willing to host her at her duplex. Parker has (it has been hinted in cutscenes) a child about which there's a certain degree of unhappy emotion ("Don't call me 'mother,' please," she says to Alycia, among other things). One of the Respect categories is "Your parent's greatest victim" Agent Elizabeth Parker of CRISP (Crown Resource for Investigating Superpowered Persons, a division of MI.5) resented and disapproved of the irresponsibility of her daughter, Jenna, in taking a wanderjahr  before going up to university. In fact, they had quite the row over it. That resentment curdled into something quite different when Jenna was killed as collateral damage in a Halcyon City security incident involving Dr. Achilles Chin. Parker applied for and received a liaison transfer to the CRISP's American counterpart agency, AEGIS, which was taking the (unsuccessful) global forefront in tracking down Dr. Chin.  When Alycia Chin came in from the cold, Parker pulled all the strings necessary to be assigned as her interrogator and, then, handler. Only Director Costigan, who approved the assignment after some very long conversations, knows of her past connection to these matters. She has thus far performed with the utmost degree of professionalism.  Alycia wants her Respect as a calm, efficient, unflappable security professional, who has actually seemingly shown an interest in Alycia as a person, not (just) as a weapon or tool. She has no inkling of anything else (so far). [I mentioned all this to Doyce this morning by email, very excited. He was, "Yeah, I had thought about something like that but hadn't mentioned it yet." So this one has his approval, though the particulars are being set down here for the first time.] 2. Tatanka When Alycia decided that she was going to be a hero (for her complex array of reasons), and be in Halcyon City (likewise), she started researching the resident supers there that fit her ideals. Lakota Sioux psychic - transmutes psychometric energy into psychokinetic energy, allowing themselves to grow stronger around places and objects of great historical significance. Dresses in traditionalist garb, but this is (a) because this is literally their power source and (b) doing so promotes cultural & political goals. The adult Legacy. Neither likes nor is liked by the U.S. government. Very outspoken (peaceful) activist on many topics. Likes to repost the Morpheus “What if I told you… you could care about more than one thing?” meme. Writing an indie comic book. (Harry) Never around the base, 33% at meetings, but 100% reliable when called on for 'the work.' A10's uncle. This guy punches all her political "what does a good hero look like?" buttons. He's authentic. He's from an oppressed people who's doing something useful for the broader population. He doesn't truckle to the power structure, and in turn is not liked by them (but they are forced to accept his contributions). He's an activist and outspoken about it. He works within the system (the HHL), but doesn't let it control him. And he's kept at it even after the HHL has fallen apart. If she could be more like him, earn his Respect, then she'd feel like maybe she's a heroic figure, too. She hasn't had a chance to approach him yet, but that will likely happen when an opportunity presents. (The fact he's A10's uncle allows for some additional entertainment, I should think.) 3. Eloise Newhart, Mayor of Halcyon City [I don't believe we've talked much if anything about the city government, so I'm asserting this as something new. Feel free to kick at it.] Newhart is a long-time Halcyon politico, but was just elected Halcyon mayor in the aftermath of recent debacles ... ... invasions by Vyortovians and supernatural creatures ... the scandal about the HHL and their inability to step up after it ... youth heroes roaming the streets, doing property damage ... the Rookbot fiasco Newhart, a centrist Democrat, ran on a strong law & order platform, promising to take back control of the streets for the citizenry of the city, but less in terms of dealing with criminals and more in terms of reforming the city's dependence on uncontrolled superhero teams.. This is not the reactionary anti-super "outlaw powers" rhetoric of the type one once saw in the 60s and 70s. More the idea that (a) the super-vigilante population needs to be leashed in a bit, to be more responsible, and (b) the HCPD and civil agencies need to step up their game (a lot) to protect the citizenry, not simply depend on freelancers and unaccountable groups. To that end, she's announced the SAPHe Initiative (a Secure and Powerful Halcyon, pronounced "safe"), following the example of some other cities in the US (Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston) and creating an official city superhero team (name to be determined by popular vote), working within the police department structure (and training) (sort of a SWAT force, only with more extraordinary weapons and tactics). She's drawing on business group support in the city to help with funding and PR and recruiting. Particularly after the Rook event, there's plenty of public and business support for this sort of thing. (Nobody is being outlawed, and the HHL are not formally on the outs with City Hall, but they simply won't have most-favored status with the city's government, and will be subject to the same scrutiny and oversight as any other registered hero or team there.) Newhart is strong, no-nonsense, has a good political sense for the city's people and what worries them, and, while apparently as honest as any politician, is willing to do what it takes to advance her agenda and career. She's already shown up in a list of "Twenty Top Upcoming Leaders" in TIME, and there's talk about gubernatorial runs in the next several years, and quite likely something higher after that. From Alycia's perspective, she's a politician, thus a tool of the oligarchy, and probably has enough skeletons in her closet to make a Ray Harryhausen movie. But it's clear that she will need Newhart's Respect (win some degree of influence over her) in order to succeed in Halcyon, at least as long as she's in power. This is a pragmatic choice, not one from the heart. [This one has the most potential impact on the game/team, so if people want it reined it in I'll be happy to. My intent here is not to go down the trope of Registration Acts and Outlawing Vigilantes and Civil Wars and Keene Acts and the like, but add in a bit of political friction and challenge with the powers that be. The Menagerie still gets to operate, but there might be some discussion of consequences the next time the front of Metro General Hospital gets all its glass shattered.] [Also, this is a place where things could go south should Alycia's identity become known.] Anyway, that's what I got. Thoughts welcome.
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Mike
Pro
Seems like a good section of people for Alycia to look up to.  I'm a little leery of anything that adds political drama to the game, so I'm not a fan of SAPHe but that all depends on how far that particular rabbit hole goes.
Moves -- per discussion with Doyce, the intent is to act as though Alycia's been Scion all along. Since she didn't make a lot of use of her Playbook moves or Friends in Low Places, that makes sense. He did give me a shift +Savior / -Danger, to reflect the bent of the Scion book vs Reformed. Here are the moves she now has (and has always had): All the Best Stuff  -- You've compiled access to caches of equipment and weaponry other supers have hidden in the city. When you access a cache, say whose it is. If it's a hero's, roll +Savior. If it's a villain's, roll +Danger. On a hit find a tool or intel useful to your situation; the GM will detail. On a 7-9, you leave evidence that you've been here. On a miss, you tripped an alarm and they're coming; prepare to explain yourself. They Don't Deserve Forgiveness  -- When you accuse an enemy of being irredeemable, you can mark two conditions to take Influence over you away from them. When you Directly Engage  someone who has no Influence over you, you can always choose 1 additional option, even on a miss. Advance 1: [Keeping the Brain's Always Prepared gadget move] Advance 2: [new] Moldable -- when you Pierce the Mask  of someone whose respect you crav, you can always ask "How could I gain Influence over you?", even on a miss. Take +1 ongoing to acting on the answer.  Any feedback, as always, welcome.
Mike said: Seems like a good section of people for Alycia to look up to.  I'm a little leery of anything that adds political drama to the game, so I'm not a fan of SAPHe but that all depends on how far that particular rabbit hole goes. I really intend it as something in the normal ebb and flow of politics, not anything radical or world shifting, and something as well that brings in "what fills the vacuum of the HHL" stuff from that thread , but it's also eminently dispensable if it's not something people consider fun, or can be simply window dressing rather than something that impacts anyone (other than Alycia). That's a big reason why I put it up there.
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Mike
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It's not a hard pass for me, it's just not my favorite thing in a game.  Then again, I think I need to have less knee-jerk reactions to things like this.  This wouldn't be the first time when something was discussed in game, I had a mild and/or offput reaction, only to enjoy it further down the line.  (I'm still kicking myself over Doyce offering up Lucius as a mentor figure for Concord back in like issue 4 or 5.  "Nah, I want space stuff.  How interesting is a guy with a sword going to be?")
:-) Well, it still needs GM approval and, for that matter, I'd like to let everyone chime in, as it has broad potential effect (however it's tuned).
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*** Dave H. said: That resentment curdled into something quite different when Jenna was killed as collateral damage in a Halcyon City security incident involving Dr. Achilles Chin. Parker applied for and received a liaison transfer to the CRISP's American counterpart agency, AEGIS, which was taking the (unsuccessful) global forefront in tracking down Dr. Chin. I don't know how interesting this is to you, but it also seems like there's been tension between Parker and Ted Waters. There's one very big difference that might help explain it: Waters got his man and Parker didn't. If you look at Leo vs. Alycia, it's also pretty clear Waters has played a long game raising the kid by proxy to not be his dad. This doesn't mean that Waters needs to be pulled in for scenes, but it might mean that Parker may react to his style (either adopting parts of it, or rejecting it for her own reasons). She hasn't had a chance to approach [Tatanka] yet, but that will likely happen when an opportunity presents. (The fact he's A10's uncle allows for some additional entertainment, I should think.) The opportunity may come up in a few ways. Some suggestions: He decides to recruit more for the HHL, and tries cherry-picking from the junior teams, starting with people like Mercury and A10. This causes a lot of friction ("why wasn't I chosen?") and is probably a bad idea. Alternately, A10 might approach the team, asking us if we'll join in contributing more to picking up the HHL workload to help him out. He realizes the teen heroes can just replace the HHL roster, decides Comet has the right idea, and offers himself as mentor. The Irregulators have one already, the JHHL probably has several rotating senior heroes, so who's left? Us. He opposes Newhart's agenda for political reasons and stands up as a voice of independence, coming round to different teams to try and get us on board (or at least informed). This doesn't have to turn into Cap vs Tony Civil War, but if you want Alycia to crave respect from two people who disagree with each other, this sounds logical. To that end, she's announced the SAPHe Initiative (a Secure and Powerful Halcyon, pronounced "safe"), following the example of some other cities in the US (Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston) and creating an official city superhero team (name to be determined by popular vote), working within the police department structure (and training) (sort of a SWAT force, only with more extraordinary weapons and tactics). She's drawing on business group support in the city to help with funding and PR and recruiting. Particularly after the Rook event, there's plenty of public and business support for this sort of thing. I think the way to keep it from Registration Act territory is to make this add something new (a peacekeeping force, another team, a heightened response from villains, whatever) rather than a "choose a side" type dilemma. Specific examples: The JLU Ultimen The JHHL (specifically) becomes a formal city-sponsored team, but they now have politicians and cops breathing down their necks, and come to us for assistance/relief/whatever I talked about the HCPD's super response options, and how Leo could contribute to them, awhile back in this thread If any of that sounds interesting, take it and run with it.
Well, it all sounds promising.  A couple of thoughts ... 1. PARKER - I like the note about the friction (or at least coolness) between Waters and Parker. It had been chalked up in my head to just different approaches and personalities, and it can even still be sort of a "Well, back in CRISP we didn't tolerate such shoddy [whatever]" ... but the deeper emotional conflict related to the different fates of Rossum vs Chin is also really interesting. (They also have different risk tolerances -- e.g., their reactions to the plans to go to the future -- which may have become more exaggerated for Parker since her family tragedy happened.)  On a side note, one wonders her reaction to Alycia's initial intake debriefing when she came in from the cold, when she told about Chin's fate. (I am 98.6% certain that it's noted that it was a full confession/report by Alycia, at least on this point.) Did she consider it fit and just punishment for him? Was she frustrated, or apprehensive, he's still alive? What did she think about Alycia's role in it? Which gets back to the distinction between the two agents. She may be, in her own way, trying to mirror how Waters sort of kinda took Leo under his wing as much as "handled" him, in the hope of actually getting Alycia to fly right. Or it may be that she just wants to keep Alycia tightly under her eye in case (until?) she slips and shows her true heritage.  2. TATANKA - I think each of the three options has merit. (3) sounds the most like his approach to matters, (1) the least, but any of them would be interesting.  3. NEWHART - I definitely don't want a "join a side" mentality. I'm thinking very much of a city-based team, possibly recruited from within the city (none of the HHL seem likely to join that the city would actually want to have, but, yeah, some of the youth teams or some solo talents might jump at the chance), but also recruiting outsiders (sort of like how Sigrun was recruited for LA). There might be an opportunity as well for enhanced HCPD response tech -- how that would happen and who would get what contracts might bring its own set of conflicts and corruption to the situation.  I dearly love the Ultimen (both for their sad story and for their always-makes-me-giggle homage); I'm not sure this stage of SAPHe is ready for home-grown artificial heroes (and the tropes those bring).  My two cents.
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Mike
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While this is none of the stuff presented for Parker, I figured I'd share something I had thought of a while back while flipping through the Deck of Villainy.  One of the characters presented is Carbine, a former AEGIS agent with an anti-superhero/metahuman bent.  My first thought upon seeing the outfit (which looks humorously close to Charade's outfit--parallel design is a thing) and reading the short description on the card was, "huh, wouldn't it be cool if Parker helped train Carbine and now is trying to do better with Alycia after failing the first time."  Given Parker's age, wouldn't be out of line to think she had a motherly attitude with Carbine, only to see all that blow up in her face.  Would explain taking the more distant approach with Alycia (though she can't quite help herself from falling into old habits). While it takes a complete detour from how Parker's backstory is presented here, I still think it'd be cool if for nothing else to give Alycia a villainous counterpart to hold up and say "this is what they're all afraid you're going to turn into."  Not that Achilles doesn't already sort of represent that (though with him out of the picture, it doesn't quite have the same "current events" feel).
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Mike said: One of the characters presented is Carbine, a former AEGIS agent with an anti-superhero/metahuman bent.  My first thought upon seeing the outfit (which looks humorously close to Charade's outfit--parallel design is a thing) and reading the short description on the card was, "huh, wouldn't it be cool if Parker helped train Carbine and now is trying to do better with Alycia after failing the first time." And she's made a (dubiously canonical) appearance too! And for bonus points, that appearance was in the theme of "villainous fathers". It all connects!
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Mike
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You're a little more spot on with the conspiracy map than probably you think, Bill.  That story was actually the first thing that made me want to actually look through the DoV, mostly because "huh, sounds like a cool villain," which in turn gave me the thought presented above.  It's all connected.
While it takes a complete detour from how Parker's backstory is presented here, I still think it'd be cool if for nothing else to give Alycia a villainous counterpart to hold up and say "this is what they're all afraid you're going to turn into."  Which ties into the Waters stuff as well, and why his treatment of Leo was the way it was. Heck, even if it's not the basis for Parker's story, her knowledge of Carbine as a previous cautionary tale would be noteworthy. Not that Achilles doesn't already sort of represent that (though with him out of the picture, it doesn't quite have the same "current events" feel). Funny you should mention that. From another part of another email to Doyce: Achilles Chin is gone. We all know that. He's intellectually crippled (relatively speaking) and off in another dimension. And as far as the general public is concerned, he's dead. That said, in the context of the Scion playbook .. 1. ... he's a famous enough villain that, even having publicly been killed, he's still a figure to conjure by, and one that Alycia faces an uphill battle in disassociating from (all other personal baggage aside). [Leaving aside conspiracy theories that he's not really dead.] 2. ... Chin had lieutenants, minions, bases, tech, resources ... plans and schemes and things he had not yet decided to do ... long games that might be coming to fruition without him (or with someone else taking over). Even dead, he still has an impact. Just because Alexander died didn't mean the Hellenistic Era stopped; his generals divided the world and carried on until the Romans supplanted them.      Which means that Alycia can and should be dealing with the fallout of this, in her Scion role. Especially if her identity in some fashion becomes known. (be it a leak from AEGIS (or QF) or someone explicitly looking for her or even an "I'm Iron Man" moment). At which point loyalists are going to come over to her, rivals are going to see her as a threat, enemies of Chin are going to act accordingly, etc.  A bit like Alycia seemed to do toward Jason when their dads were "dead."       That stuff plays a big role, it feels like, in the Scion arc, and I'm likely going to be trying to spark. 3. ... is Chin really dead? I can think of a dozen ways he could come back on scene, from  escaping the Sepiaverse (and, as you noted, he's now merely a human genius, so he's still a threat if he nabs onto some cached resources),  to being brought back as a puppet of Hecate's,  to another universe's Achilles Chin deciding the pasture is greener here,  to some former lieutenant posing as Chin,  to some AI experiment that Chin shut down because he didn't trust AI then being reactivated and acting as him or on his behalf. etc. And, as I then hastened to point out. Alycia (Dave) is multiple spots back from the spotlight, certainly behind people working to get resolution on their first  character, so I'm not expecting the story to be All-Alycia, All the Time by any means. Your comment just reminded me of my thoughts about how much impact Achilles Chin still has on this world.
It all connects! Which makes me think of my favorite conspiracy theorist ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRU4iZUsTY0