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Power of Purity

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Anders Ämting, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. Still sketching out that sci-fi story of mine. To put it in the simplest possible terms, it's all about the hero - who is an android - fighting a bunch of other androids. Their thing is that they can project these energy fields called vectors, giving each of them a special power based around their core concept. (The hero, for example, was designed for protection, so his vector is a shield.)

    I've hit a snag with the leader of the antagonists, however: I don't know what her power is. All I know is that her vector takes the shape of a pair of angel-style wings (which may not be importantant, I just liked the symbolism) and that her core concept is purity - she lives according to a somewhat alien morality in that she evaluates everything by how pure it is. Things that are "pure" are good, things that are "impure" are bad. So her power should have something to do with purity as well. I just can't figure out what it actually does.

    So, go ahead and hit me with suggestions. Also, don't bother sticking to what is scientifically possible - the vectors are so advanced, you may as well consider them magic for the sake of this discussion.
  2. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

    Well.... this might seem a bit simple, but what about the ability to burn away impurities? It could take the form of lasers shooting out of her wings, which litterally burns away anything she considers impure while not effecting anything she doesn't want to. This could be physically burning away substances, purging the drugs, alcohol, and bacteria in someone's body, or even buring away impure thoughts letting her turn people into mind controlled zombies ^^
  3. I had something like that in mind already, actually. Though, I wanted to see if there were any other interesting ideas.

    Honestly, I don't think she actually thinks that way. Since she's a robot, her idea of what purity is might be somewhat different from most humans. Plus, she probably already has her own little insterstellar empire, so enslaving people probably isn't high on her priority list.

    She's not even evil in the conventional sense, though her actions may seem evil to a human because her values are so different. For example, if you attack her, she might blast you into pure carbon. To her, this is not an evil act because she made you purer. And if your family mourns your death, that is also not a bad thing, because extreme sadness is a purer emotional state then what humans normally maintain. These things are beautiful to her.

    On the other hand, she wouldn't see why drugs or alcohol would make you any more impure then the food you eat every day, or the air you breathe. Neither is her idea of an "impure thought" the same as that of a human, because what we normally consider impure thoughts belong to a morality system she doesn't quite comprehend. To her, no thought is wrong as long as it is coherent and clear in its intent, and any feeling is good so long as it's pure - even if that feeling is pure hate, or pure despair.

    Despite all this, she's also an intelligent and rational being, meaning she does recognize that some impurities are needed in order for life to exist - including herself, since carbon molecules aren't known for building robots. But she considers this a necessary evil. She may agree humans have a right to live impure lives, but she considers it an ugly and sad existance and if she feels anything towards them, it's pity.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  4. gerald.parson

    gerald.parson Troubadour

    what about erasing minds or resetting the other robots memory core? essentially a form of absolution.
  5. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

    Are the powers unique? I mean you could have a neat parallel by giving her the same power as the hero and see how they use it differently.
  6. BeigePalladin

    BeigePalladin Sage

    maybe power nullification/extraction? Forcing away the "impurities" like a crazy, crazy form of antibody. Could be pretty nasty if you add in the ability to purify these powers, mega-manning them herslef or being able to force them onto others.

    being very nasty if you go for purity = healing (something common), you abuse the fact healing is the regeneration of damage tissue that your ody stops when it dosen't need to, and let her switch off that stopping point whilst accelerating the healing - causing some very intresting body horror/cancer etc (or growing peoples bones out of their skin :D)

    best I could come up with on short notice. hope either of them help :)
  7. Nah, I already have one who's vector involves hacking people's brains, and I don't want to make her redundant. I'd rather leave all the telepathy stuff to her.

    I was going for that, yes.

    Specifically, their powers are either reflections of their main personality traits or idiosyncrasies, or vice versa. (And most of them are kinda excentric.)

    Even so, I'm not sure what creating energy shields has to do with purity.

    Plus, she's not the main villain, just the leader of the antagonists. There's no real reason for her to have a specific connection to the hero.

    I'd rather not allow her (or anyone, for that matter) to mess around with the vectors - that would pretty much make her unstoppable. To begin with, the hero's main ability is to shield himself from attacks, most notably resisting the effects of enemy vectors.

    I need it to be something that makes her a credible threat, but still gives him a fair shot at beating her.

    I had planned for some manner of megamanning to be involved (to begin with, the whole story is kind of a Megaman homage) but it's a bit more complex then that. Unless you have a specific facility on hand, you basically have to beat the android into submission, rip out his or her identity core and absorb its content. Hence all the robot fighting.

    Again, not sure it fits her concept of purity. She's very literal about it. While giving people super-cancer probably wouldn't strike her as impure in itself, neither does it make them purer. She'd just be changing their shapes, really. (Which would probably strike her an completely irrelavant.)

    I'm also concerned it doesn't have enough combat application for fighting the hero - this sounds more like a terror/torture type power. I don't really plan on having her murdering humans by the score or anything. Mostly she'd ignore them, maybe swat some of them aside if they get in the way and annoy her.
  8. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

    Hmmm..... How about being able to turn into pure energy?

    Or maybe able to increase one attribute at the cost of another, going from pure speed, to pure strength, to pure intellect, to focusing purely on one sense like sight, etc, and so on.
  9. Muqtada

    Muqtada Scribe

    I like the idea of burning away 'impurities', especially with the unique form for evaluating 'purity' that you've given her. The only thing I can think of that would be a worthwhile addition to the vector would be treating 'burning away the impurities' a little more like you would treat osmosis--a cell can either take in water or give it up to try to adjust to a differing solute level inside and outside a cell. Given this, she could burn away 'impurities' or she could add 'purities'. Now, she understands that there have to be impurities for life, but perhaps she comes up against the hero in battle, she could make him more purely focused on protection by adding some sort of compulsion... think if he because so mindful of protecting life from, say, harm, that he couldn't bring himself to fight her because his compulsion is so 'pure' it now extends to her even though she's the antagonist leader. Then again, he could beat her if he realized in this state that the only way to protect others was to defeat her, but in that moment it would nearly tear him apart to do so.

    If you take this approach, the addition or subtraction of emotions or compulsions should fade as an effect over time. Then again, you could make it permanent if she only purifies the hero's compulsion a little each time, or he takes in enough 'solute' (negative identity or selfishness) from interactions with others between when they meet
  10. Rikilamaro

    Rikilamaro Inkling

    So are you going for a Star Trek sterility like Veger? She sees impurity as a defect and it must be irradicated? If so, her vector could be something like an EMP wave that shorts out defective programming. Just an off the wall thought.
  11. Again, I'd rather not give her any kind of telepathic power.

    Not really, she's a lot more complex then that. The same way you can see good qualities in bad people and bad qualities in good ones, she can see pure aspects of an impure thing and vice versa.

    She isn't obsessed with purity, she just doesn't have any other way of evaluating things. Or, more accurately, it's what she has determined to be the best way of doing so. She is a sensible person, she just happens to have a very alien way of thinking. She may be able to grasp the concepts of good and evil, the same way we have a sense of what is pure and impure, but actually making moral choices based on what is good and what is evil just doesn't make much sense to her.

    Actually, I think she may be a very lonely person. There just aren't a lot of people in the universe who can understand her.
  12. pmkava

    pmkava Dreamer

    well it seems to me that she could have the power to manipulate matter at a molecular or even atomic level and be able to rearrange or modify the matter to her will... in a way allowing her to in a sense fix what ever she see as an impurity or to make things more pure as she saw fit. or what ever was reasonable for the story your telling.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  13. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

    I still suggest being able to drastically increase one attribute at the cost of others, either for herself or for others, essentially making them pure speed or pure power or pure intellect.

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