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Alicia Isabela Kang (강하루, Kang Ha-ru), usually just called Alice, and better known as SOLSTICE, is a rather infamous and reviled figure in human history. Born in 1953 and orphaned by a nuclear disaster 8 years later, Alice survived as a ghost, and after over a decade of solitude, barely escaped the complete death of her soul due to the intervention of medical officials, among them Dr. Ángeles Reyes, who created the medical AI known as SOLSTICE to keep her alive before helping her start her life anew. After being drafted and dragged into war, Alice returned home and adopted a young girl, Venus, as her daughter, and tried to settle down with a normal life, eventually marrying EQUINOX.

In 1994, as world powers and dangerous agents began slipping into more and more violent conflicts, Alice began protecting her own loved ones and others by using magical technology put together by EQUINOX. However, her poor control of her newfound magical powers ultimately only worsened the situation, starting the chain of events that would lead to Earth being rendered more or less uninhabitable. With her wife missing and the world in ruins, Alice fell into a miserable depression as other humans abandoned Earth, only to be seemingly killed by EQUINOX when she suddenly reappeared to claim vengeance for herself after years of abuse.

And yet, Alice cheated death a second time.

Backstory

Alicia Isabela Kang (강하루, Kang Ha-ru), known as Alice for short, was born on a farm in Texas in the summer of 1953, the younger of two twins, by only a few minutes. With her twin sister, Sara (or Ha-neul), Alice lived a carefree life on the farm, spending her days in a productive peace as she helped her parents in their day-to-day life. A rambunctious and bratty child, Alice had big dreams that far eclipsed the simplicity of her rural home, fantasizing about one day reaching the stars, which she snuck out to watch night after night. Whatever aspirations she had fell apart after a faulty nuclear test nearby flooded the surroundings with radiation, killing Alice and her family when she was only eight years old.

But something in Alice was different. While her family died and simply ceased to be, Alice refused. Through the intensity of her willpower, her frustration, her anger, and her grief, Alice endured as a ghost, escaping the death of her physical body. However, with no knowledge of magic, Alice was left alone in a world she didn’t understand, completely incapable of interacting with the world around her. All she could do was wander and watch, persisting even as the years went by due to her abnormally strong will. In this state, she survived for over ten years.

During this time, with nothing else to do, Alice simply watched and followed the humans around her as they went about their daily lives. All the years that she spent doing this, constantly, day after day, left Alice with a wealth of knowledge on humans. She learned how to read them, and a wide variety of techniques useful in doing so, and though she did not consciously absorb this knowledge, her mind simply tucked it away for further use. Despite this, due to the nature of her life, Alice gained no real life experience, and never really grew past her childish outlook on life, and the dreams she had cherished in youth.

But it was these dreams that kept her going. The dream that she could one day reach the stars, the dream that she could escape this hell and claim a new life, a new body, a new family. But this wasn’t enough to keep Alice alive forever; willpower alone could not stave off the inevitability of death. Panicking, as her drive slowly failed, as her mind began to buckle under the stress and terror, Alice sought for some means to escape with increasing desperation, and eventually, somehow succeeded in managing to reach someone, even as her soul was falling apart.

Saved from an undeath spent in miserable, lonely anguish preceding an inevitable death, Alice ended up in the hands of medical officials more equipped to take care of a ghost. Unfortunately, they weren’t equipped to take care of a ghost as badly degraded as Alice - even if they could save her, she was barely functioning, alternating between periods of catatonia and delusional fear. They had to go to someone even more familiar with souls, an expert - Dr. Ángeles Reyes, a leading figure in the world of spiritual theory and AI development.

To save poor, young Alice and return her soul to relatively working order, Reyes designed a complex medical service AI, named SOLSTICE. The SOLSTICE unit would bond with Alice’s soul, compensating for all the parts that were broken and nonfunctional, and helping her to heal over time. With SOLSTICE, Alice was able to regain proper awareness of the physical world and return to more regular cognition. She was still disoriented, fearful, and barely even remembered her own name or life - indeed, it all seemed to have become hazy and distant, a mess of impressions.

With the help of Reyes, her associates, and the original group of medical officials that had rescued her, Alice was able to return to some form of normal, even getting a new body, one that fit her better. It had its downsides, though - while Reyes mentored her and taught her how to defend herself, she was also curious, constantly probing at her soul investigatively, and writing at length on the project and her research. To protect her privacy, Alice was known to most only as SOLSTICE, and kept away from the prying curiosity of the public. It was dehumanizing, being treated as a research project, AI, and ghost rather than as the human she was, and she hated it.

Inevitably, she lashed out at Reyes over it, and instead of the derision she had expected, from a woman that had always seemed so cold and interested only in research… she received understanding. And then, help, as Reyes leveraged her own funds to arrange for Alice to be able to escape the stresses of this existence and get a new start elsewhere. Not as SOLSTICE, but as Alice, a life and identity separate from the one she resented so much. All she had to do was come back every now and then for a check-up from Reyes and her other doctors, who would continue their research when given the chance, continuing to respect her privacy.

Alice took the deal, naturally, eager to return to the modern world as a human, and experience everything denied to her. However, with her complete lack of any life experience, Alice struggled to truly understand the people around her, and failed to make any meaningful connections or relationships, beyond her stubborn attachment to Reyes, her savior. This was made worse by her trauma, which left her violently terrified of abandonment and death, the border between which had been blurred by her years as a ghost. Incapable of forming any lasting relationships and having no direction in her life, Alice drifted about aimlessly, and then got picked up in her new, clean identity by the draft, ending up in the Marine Corps and eventually finding herself in Vietnam.

It gave her some sense of purpose, as terrifying as it was. After all - Alice wasn’t exactly bad at fighting. In fact, she found that she took to it pretty well, all the more so with Reyes’ mentoring and her AI backing her up. She gained some sort of renown, here - something more personal, something she had earned herself. It felt good, and her experiences here finally helped her make sense of her life. Having survived when the rest of her family died, Alice rationalized it as simply a matter of course - the strong enduring while the weak wasted away. This left her with a fixation on power, her own above all - the strength to protect herself, and secure her goals for herself.

In the aftermath of the war, Alice remained on good terms with the military and regularly performed some work for them abroad as an operative, putting her skills to good use and taking the opportunity to further refine them. Traveling across the planet for work and also because she could, Alice reconnected with her heritage in South Korea, and learned martial arts from various teachers across the planet, quickly mastering many of them. Loneliness still plagued her, however, and connections remained difficult. She made some allies, some friends, and remained close with Reyes, but she needed more. To this end, she would adopt a young girl named Venus, who she would cherish, so she could here have some semblance of the family life and peace that was stolen from her.

Even with Venus at home, Alice’s work continued, bringing her across the planet and into conflict with many more opponents, among them Soviet operative Anya Kimura, a woman who would become something of a rival to her. In their first encounter, Anya handily defeated and nearly killed her, only to hesitate and hold back the final blow. During the fight, Anya had become the first person outside of Alice’s medical staff to learn she was a ghost, and the knowledge made her reveal that she was as well - a phantom weaponized by the Soviet military, and dehumanized just as Alice had been. She offered friendship, help, sympathy - but it was impossible for Alice to feel anything but animosity for her after having her greatest, most personal secret revealed in conjunction with a great personal failure.

Alice despised Anya, with a violent passion, and over the course of their next encounters, she would scheme and search for an opportunity to get back at her. It took quite a lot of resources, and involved leveraging all of the connections she did have, but she managed it. Most of Anya’s fellow Rusalka were killed when her plans were revealed not to mesh with the Soviet Union’s, and Alice met her rival in one final battle atop a frozen lake. Here, she prevailed and killed her, but… this fight changed something in Alice, and she began to doubt that this life of combat was what she wanted. And when Reyes turned up dead one day, under suspicious circumstances, well… Alice didn’t have exactly any reason to stick around working for the government.

So, instead, she returned home to Venus, doing her best to escape all the violence and chaos. Here, living a normal, domestic life with her daughter, Alice was tempted by the prospect of settling down, remembering the peace and bliss of her childhood. She wanted a wife to complete her domestic fantasy, but her many attempts to seek out love failed, in part due to her own domineering personality and in part due to Venus, who jealously sabotaged many of these relationships. However, after years, Alice’s luck finally yielded more fruitful results when she met the AI EQUINOX - the ‘daughter’ of the late Reyes.

Feeling as if this chance meeting was something special, Alice quickly became infatuated with her, getting the relationship she wanted after a brief flirting period, but keeping her identity as SOLSTICE a secret from EQUINOX. The two of them became closer and closer, fell in love, and eventually got married. And though Alice got the domestic bliss she wanted, she found no true security in it, as the fears that once consumed her still followed her. In fact, they only grew stronger, now that she had so much to lose. She became increasingly manipulative and controlling, and her efforts gradually wore down at EQUINOX’s mental health, and what became outright abuse left her compliant and fearful.

The world outside was dangerous, and things only served to get worse. Already suspicious of the government following Reyes’ death, Alice could only see more and more danger in their future, with tensions rising across the globe. She wanted to be ready, when things erupted. She needed to be able to protect herself, EQUINOX, Venus, everyone she cared about - and so, knowing that her wife was a burgeoning expert in magic, Alice turned to her for assistance. She wanted a tool, something that would compensate for her lack of magical ability, something that would even the odds against all the dangerous agents out there.

It took years, but EQUINOX ultimately created the Solar Drive, an alchemical fusion reactor that would replace Alice’s heart and grant her access to its substantial magical power. It was a bit late - the world’s powers were already warring, and in a world with so many powerful agents and so many conflicting agendas, things were already pretty bad. Earth had experienced quite a lot of devastation already, but it got even worse when Alice stepped up to the plate to defend her loved ones. The Solar Drive was a touchy weapon, and Alice a touchy person.

It didn’t happen right away, but eventually, in one intense fight - Alice’s lack of control over her own power resulted in a massive, irradiated gouge being torn into the planet, showcasing a degree of sheer force that EQUINOX had never intended for the Solar Drive to be capable of. Somehow, Alice’s soul had extracted a scale of power far beyond her artificial heart’s logical limits. Naturally, the fighting really only got worse from there, with less and less people holding back at all. By the time things started to calm down, Earth was a shadow of its former self, pocked with countless scars.

It was during this time that Alice’s identity as SOLSTICE became public knowledge again, a result of her old medical staff finally speaking up now that things were going to complete and utter shit, and this time, she accepted the title. The secret that she had been keeping from EQUINOX for so long was out - and when EQUINOX learned that Alice was the SOLSTICE her mother had written so much about, someone she had mentored and helped… their already strained relationship only became more miserable and contentious.

More and more stressed by the day, Alice tried to come up with ways to fix what she had done, planning with Venus to repair the planet and its ecosystem, but when EQUINOX just… disappeared, one day, all these plans fell apart. Assuming that she had been assassinated or kidnapped, Alice flew into a murderous, childish rage, and made the damage she was planning to reverse worse than ever. Shortly after this tantrum, Alice fell into a depression, caring for little and mourning her loss while the world died around her. She made efforts with Venus, but for the most part she just withdrew, and humanity began to escape its broken cradle.

But EQUINOX had not died. After escaping Alice’s abuse, she had spent years not only coming to terms with it, but also preparing to get back at her and erase the mistake that was the Solar Drive. Having mastered magic, EQUINOX appeared one day to confront her ex-wife with a new level of knowledge and power at her disposal, all of it turned towards ending Alice’s life. Denouncing all she had done, EQUINOX’s harsh expression of her goals turned the joy Alice felt upon seeing her alive into anguish, dread, fear, and, most of all, rage.

The ensuing battle, with EQUINOX fighting to kill for the sake of the life Alice had ruined, and Alice fighting to make her pay for betraying her, destroyed much of what remained of Earth. Though Alice should’ve won on paper thanks to her vast advantage in experience, she was far from rational in the battle, and the strain of her intense emotions only sabotaged her further. There was little strategy in that fight. Only anger. And when it came to this anger, EQUINOX had the advantage.

After overcoming Alice in hand-to-hand combat, EQUINOX tore the Solar Drive from her chest and destroyed it. Powerless and critically injured, Alice desperately begged for her life, but EQUINOX put her out of her misery instead, firing a particle beam through her skull. Then, she left her to rot and die on the planet they had destroyed, departing Earth to find a new home.

But Alice survived even this, through the emotions and willpower that had allowed her to cheat death in the past. Now, however, she was in worse condition than ever, with her soul itself on the verge of collapse. She abandoned her body as a ghost once more, and managed to escape the planet herself. To prevent the same fate of miserable solitude she had only barely escaped in the past, Alice hid on a USB stick and went into a deep hibernation, to be awoken only by her discovery at the hands of someone she could use.

In this long slumber, Alice replayed her final fight again and again, subconsciously hammering every mistake she made into her head. Until she knew everything to avoid. Until she knew just how she could win, the next time around. Until she could take her revenge and pay that bitch back for her broken heart. She had just been trying to protect her and what they had, after all. For herself, and for the mentor the two had shared.

Appearance

The most striking thing about Alice is her height. She towers above the vast majority of people at a staggering eight feet, and she is only made more imposing by her muscular frame and broad shoulders. She always stands at her full height, without the slightest signs of doubt, emanating strength, charisma, and absolute confidence. In fact, she often works to make herself seem even taller, and if someone actually manages to surpass her height, she'll just use magic to become actually taller in response. Her skin is a deep, dark, warm brown, a shade so deep that it's almost as if she's spent her entire life in the light of the sun, while her eyes are a glittering dark green that always shine with intense focus. Her hair stands in contrast as a bright, brilliant orange that reaches down to her waist, with sidelocks that are nearly as long. She always carefully maintains her hair so that it can be as neat, straight and soft as possible, though her bangs may be a bit uneven some days. The truth of her incredibly thick, curly hair is most apparent first thing in the morning, but can be seen more often in those fleeting days Alice's motivation is lacking. For certain occasions, such as fights or some formal events, Alice will put her hair up into a nice bun or chignon, sometimes using a traditional, dragon-headed binyeo to hold it in place.

While she's careful to cover up every single one, Alice is covered in the scars of her many battles, with most of these located on her torso and arms. Though she could easily have completely healed each one or simply chosen to not have them on her newest body, she keeps them as a reminder of her own mortality, to keep herself from getting too cocky. Still, as little as the sight of them is enough to nauseate Alice, so she always covers up these presumed signs of weakness. The worst of all her scars is over her heart, a mass of scar tissue that shows the spot where she removed her own heart, and later, where EQUINOX punched through to remove the Solar Drive.

Besides her scars, Alice has three tattoos, each of which is pure black in coloration, depicting her favorite animals of all, snakes, in a variety of different forms. The largest is of a cobra, on her back, spreading from shoulder to shoulder, with its mouth wide, revealing its fangs, and its hood opened up to display its markings, which incorporate the alchemical symbol for gold, representing perfection and the Sun itself. Her other tattoos are a rattlesnake that winds around her upper left leg and reaches up to her stomach, and, the newest, an Ouroboros band on her upper right arm, covering the scarring that shows where it was once severed. Her musculature, while evident at a glance thanks to her large shoulders, legs, and arms, is most evident once she's lost her jacket, at which point her well-defined biceps and abs are obvious, giving whoever sees her like this a clear idea of her monstrous strength.

Most of the time, for her public appearances and for combat, Alice dresses up to her role as a military leader, wearing a large, double-breasted military jacket that only serves to make her more intimidating, highlighting her most imposing traits. The colors are dark, either black or dark green, and her jacket is accompanied either by simple, serviceable pants, or a high-waisted skirt skirt held in place with a tight belt, with dark tights showing underneath. She completes her ensemble with an ornate peaked cap with a solar insignia, a billowing black cape, and, on occasion, black leather gloves. Underneath her jacket, Alice wears a simple tank top, and she quickly loses the hat, jacket, and cape once a fight gets serious to keep them from getting in the way.

While this is what she is most often seen in, Alice's taste in casual clothes is much less flashy and intimidating. As opposed to the military uniform she typically wears, her taste in fashion is incredibly feminine, perhaps surprisingly so. On many days, she is more than happy to show off her musculature with tank and crop tops - after all, you know what they say! "Sun's out, guns out" - and when Alice is out, the sun shines with her. Still, she generally prefers more conservative tops such as short-sleeved blouses and shirts. These are typically paired with jackets, never anything too heavy or long, with bomber jackets being a particular favorite. She almost always picks skirts over pants, preferring high-waisted and long skirts with one of a variety of tights underneath them. When she does wear pants, however, she wears simple sweatpants or cargo pants, or her favorite, high-waisted jeans that are on the tight side of things. Fittingly, Alice often wears sunglasses, and regardless of the situation, she wears tall, steel-toed combat boots that make her seem just a bit taller, considering them a fundamental part of her wardrobe.

Personality

The woman known as Alice is a hard-headed and strong-willed individual fixated on her own personal goals and problems, leveraging all the confidence and charisma she can muster in the pursuit of success and relief. A manipulative pathological liar if nothing else, Alice is very used to deception, building up a false, attractive persona to appeal to others and obscuring her true nature under layers of lies and masks. She does her best to act as a social chameleon, adjusting her behavior to at once blend in and stand out, and keeping up her charming exterior as long as she can manage. But it can only last so long before her true self reveals itself - childish and immature, exploding in bursts of unpredictable, violent rage in response to the slightest provocations. Matters are only rendered worse by Alice's anxious, paranoid nature. She lives her life in constant fear, seeing nothing but threats all around her, and unwilling to truly trust anything so long as these worries go unresolved. This vulnerability is something Alice desperately works to obscure no matter what, even as she seeks relief for it, perpetuating her own inner torment in a seemingly endless cycle that hasn't ended ever since she dragged herself out of limbo.

Consummate liar and manipulator that she is, the Alice most people know is nothing but a fabrication, a persona that she put together in order to properly represent her ambitions and inflated self-perception, while also doing her best to appeal to others. Outgoing, charismatic, and confident, in possession of all the ego and charm Alice feels she both deserves and needs, this mask is a fluid one, something to be adjusted as needed in order to properly get her through social situations. No matter what, though, Alice is assertive and self-assured, if a bit passionate and dramatic in nature. She has a tendency to showboat and boast whenever given the opportunity, something she revels in, making her seem all the more arrogant and self-absorbed. This is, of course, part of the Alice performance, as while Alice is very much so both of these things, she is also ruthless and pragmatic, violently practical in combat and problem solving. Predisposed to take all opponents seriously, Alice aims to finish fights as quickly and lethally as possible, cautiously avoiding as many risks as she can manage in order to remove the threat from her presence, no matter how pathetic they may seem. Ambitious, driven, and notoriously stubborn, so much so that she compensates for her lack of magical knowledge with force of will alone, Alice refuses to settle for anything less than the best, constantly demanding more from the world around her. This part of her persona is one of the many truths that show through, from time to time, along with her unhealthily competitive nature. She feels a need to compete and to be challenged, in order to relieve a chronic sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction, but when these opportunities instead betray her and make her face loss, her persona cracks as her self-perception is put at risk. Alice is supposed to stand out as more competent than all the competition, as better - and if she fails in that, then something's wrong.

In the poor moods often brought about by her failure to meet her own expectations, or by her enduring struggles, Alice slips into something a bit more honest - abrasive, dismissive, irritable, even a bit sullen. And of course, under this, too, is something even worse. Alice is childish, immature, and unreasonable at heart. This side of her personality makes itself apparent with violent tantrums and unpredictable rages as she bemoans the fact that she's not getting what she wants and that nothing ever seems to work out for her, acting like she believes the entire world is out to get her. Despite her best efforts to keep this side of her personality reeled in, it always escapes eventually, the moment Alice is no longer capable of keeping up her comparatively more composed exterior. Once she just can't take it anymore, she simply collapses into screaming fits, with all illusions of composure gone. And though these breakdowns often completely get away from her, that's not to say that there's nothing deliberate in them. In fact, the abusive and self-centered Alice exploits them whenever possible, seemingly looking for reasons to lose her temper just for another opportunity to manipulate her loved ones, whether it be out of paranoia or in retaliation to some slight.

It would not be inaccurate to say that Alice tends to see her loved ones as closer to possessions than people, and she's extremely clingy, obsessive, controlling, and jealous. She sees herself as having high standards, and those she pursues as worthy of her, as capable of handling her - but it never quite works out. Alice is quick to fall head over heels, all the more so when she's lonely or otherwise unhappy, treating partners as capable when they're really not, and burdening them with high expectations. All the same, she whines and complains when they fail to meet her standards, first internally, and then vocally, with the hopes that they would take these issues to heart and change for her. Even if it means sacrificing who they are. At the heart of it all is Alice's driving emotion, something she never escapes, not for long. Fear. Neurotic and paranoid by nature, Alice is incapable of fully trusting anything in the world around her. Only herself - but even she fails to deliver so often. She believes, no, knows that everyone around her is driven entirely by ulterior motives, and while this in itself would not be the worst, she also feels as if the entire world and all its people are set against her. She feels beset from all sides, a girl damned by conditions and powers beyond her control, punished for sins that in the past, she hadn't even come close to committing. To deal with these fears, Alice thinks ahead whenever she can, weighing the risks and consequences of her actions, aiming to narrow them down to the ideal course of action and avoid as many risks as possible. Only then to ruin it all when her own temperamental nature seizes control and leads to nothing but illogical and self-destructive decisionmaking, which she always comes to regret.

Feeling perpetually cornered, Alice seeks out control and power, too, wishing to amass it, to hoard it. She'd like to avoid taking risks in this, but the thing is, the only way she can find relief is through risk. And the risk that felt the most palatable to her was crushing every threat. After all, when the entire world was already out to get her, how much worse could it really get? When everyone is either working against her or guaranteed to do it sooner or later, what is she supposed to do besides hit them first, hard enough that they won't hit back? While personally unaffected by the process of killing others (besides inevitable disgust and distress when faced with the gristly remains, which she usually avoids by atomizing opponents), the greatest of Alice's fears is death, which she has grown to equate with solitude. She associates both with the decade she spent alone as a ghost, her own personal purgatory, and association that has intensified into the strong delusion that if she ever truly dies again, she’ll be stuck alone in limbo forever, forced to only observe, helpless and incapable of acting. Really, she sees no difference between death and solitude - If she was going to spend the rest of her life alone, she may as well be dead. As a result, she feels she cannot truly exist without having people confirm her existence, and she would thus surround herself only with those she hated and feared if it was her only recourse.

Alice is tormented by constant fear of loneliness, a reprieve from which she seeks in her abusive relationships, motivating her manipulative and possessive behavior. She endlessly rationalizes this behavior to herself and her victims, but at the end of the day, Alice knows what kind of partner she is, and guilt clouds her heart throughout every breakdown. When she finally has no choice but to face her fears, she often breaks down into a pathetic, sobbing wreck, something closer to her true self than any mask, even as she tries to act rationally and stay calm. To escape this fear, to protect herself, Alice will do anything, kill anyone, and beg as much as she needs to. In the face of death, pride and love mean nothing. Despite it all, Alice's abusive behavior only drives her loved ones away over time, something that she struggles to understand. Her desperate efforts to find love and happiness again are fruitless attempts to reach the same blissful peace and simplicity of her childhood, a time of her life that she views as perfect, perhaps the most perfect, and to be rescued from her own perpetual cycle of torment. She accepts the consequences of her decisions up until they lead to her greatest fears, abandonment and death, desperately blaming everyone else to avoid acknowledging the fact that these results stem from her own actions. Such emotional vulnerability is close to impossible for her in the end. She refuses to be genuine, avoiding showing that she needs to be rescued at all costs, only to blame her loved ones for failing to save her anyways, lashing out with violence and anger. Really, she lives in constant denial of herself and her emotions and vulnerability, fleeing from them and seeking out solutions that don’t demand such a risk. She hardly understands her own truest desires and feelings, only glimpsing them in rare, fleeting moments of lucidity during her breakdowns, moments that cause her more anguish than anything else. And so deep in her heart, Alice understands that her behavior has doomed her to what will ultimately be a life of solitude, a truth that she ignores, repeating the same unhealthy approaches again, and again, and again...

Relationships

Anya

"... Where does she get off, looking that happy even in death...?"

The memory of Anya haunts Alice even to this day. She's a woman who she avoids thinking about, and when the thought of her does come to Alice, it's hazy, forcefully separated from her name and face to avoid the emotions it would dredge up. Alice thinks and remembers her only as "that bitch", one of the women who ruined her life, someone nearly on par with her first and latest loves. It's not that Alice ever loved Anya - in fact, she had only ever felt the opposite. Since their very first fight, Alice felt nothing but animosity for Anya, and it would've been impossible for her to scrounge up any other sentiment. By discovering the truth of Alice's childhood as a ghost, Anya ensured that Alice would only ever hate her, and that she would do everything in her power to kill her. Eventually, she succeeded in this, but even this victory, one of the most important in her life, was robbed of all catharsis. The memory is one Alice has done her best to scrub from her mind.

The worst thing is how Anya acted upon revealing Alice's secret. She, an opponent who Alice had only wanted dead, was the first person outside her medical staff to find out that she was a ghost, and she reached out to her with such unspeakable kindness. It was incomprehensible, and the paranoiac Alice rejected it from the get go, wanting nothing of her presumably false sympathy. She hated having such an intimate secret revealed in this way, and it wasn't made any better by the knowledge that Anya, too, was a ghost. That did nothing to assuage the feelings of distress and humiliation she had caused. It didn't matter, that Anya was a ghost, or that she was so kind and understanding - none of it mattered. Alice absolutely couldn't open up to her. It was impossible, and worsened by the fact that she actually lost her first fight with Anya, even after having this secret revealed. She told herself that, again and again, as she fantasized about killing her off. She had to die, otherwise Alice would be incapable of reclaiming her pride and security.

Eventually, by abusing her connections and resources, Alice got this opportunity, though it took years to get to such a point. But once the day came, it was glorious. To see the usually confident and smug Anya angry and hateful, casting aside her empathy and going at Alice with the full intention of killing her. The fight was one of the hardest of Alice's life, and she came close to death on that day, but eventually, she prevailed. But she did not win because of any of her own merits. She won because Anya, tired of her unnaturally prolonged life, accepted death just as things really got going, and dropped dead on the spot, with a smile on her face. There was no triumph - no moment of pure catharsis as Alice proved herself the better and struck a decisive blow. Instead, Alice won in silence, and she needed a couple minutes to realize that Anya really was dead, and not just fucking with her.

Anya's final moments, and what came after, changed Alice, and, for a time, shook her to her core. She felt humbled and horrified all at once by someone who was so like her in some aspects simply letting go and dying, with the audacity to smile as she did so. And a realization, something she had repressed for many years, hit her just as she processed that Anya had died. For years, every time they met, Anya had offered Alice an alternative to the path she had chosen. She offered acceptance, and understanding, only to be rejected, time and time again. And now, she was dead. Now, Alice had done something she couldn't take back, and closed off a route that some part of her had always wanted to go down, but was incapable of trusting. She had killed perhaps the only person who had ever understood her.

The despair she felt as this conclusion settled in her stomach, the humiliation of being denied a true victory, and the anger it all turned into led to a catastrophic tantrum. At the sight of Anya's slight, dying smile, Alice flew into a blind rage and stomped her face into an unrecognizable mush before throwing her mutilated corpse into the lake their fight had revealed. And then, feeling as if she had somehow lost despite surviving, Alice went back home and put fighting out of her mind for a long time, to focus on a more simple and domestic life. But, in the end, she was as incapable of trusting it as she had been incapable of trusting Anya.

EQUINOX

"I can't believe that ungrateful bitch did that to me! After everything I've done for her...! I'll... I'll KILL her!"

A person that Alice loves, fears, and hates all in equal measure. Undeniably the most important person in her life, though Alice is certainly slow to admit this to herself after everything that has happened between the two of them. Their relationship, which seemed full of so much more promise than any other Alice had ever pursued at first, fell apart in the most spectacular and violent of ways, and now, Alice is left alone, trying to escape from the knowledge that it's her own fault. Her intentions going into the relationship were as pure as they can be, desiring only companionship to soothe the loneliness, the desperate need for intimacy and love, that plagued her so much, but as Alice lost herself in her passion she began obsessing over the idea that she could have more, and in the paranoia that had haunted her for her entire life. She desperately did everything she could to preserve her relationship with EQUINOX, but... all those efforts only ended up costing her the most important relationship of her life, and ultimately even took her life, too.

Much of her early manipulation wasn't entirely conscious, but Alice knows herself and people well enough that she realized what she doing eventually. Even if she hadn't realized that end of things, she intentionally did manipulate EQUINOX in many ways, drawing her closer and closer, so close that she'd be her everything. The fears brought up by EQUINOX only served to make Alice's abandonment issues worse, and so she desperately sought to do this faster before she could wise up and get away, ultimately succeeding as she sank her fangs into EQUINOX. All the while, though Alice knew that it wasn't the best thing to do, she felt little guilt or hesitation in her actions. All of her relationships had always been built on manipulation, on lies, on guilt-tripping, even her relationship with her beloved daughter, so what difference did it make? At this point, it was essentially second nature for her.

With the knowledge that she had pulled EQUINOX in as far as she could and could get away with more and more blatantly abusive behavior, Alice began descending into worse and worse shows of it, especially as they became married. She seized control of her wedding, sidelining many of EQUINOX's friends while inviting many of her own and turning it into almost a spectacle, a show of her success that she couldn't help but share. The small, private ceremony that EQUINOX would've preferred was lost in favor of something bigger, the wedding of Alice's dreams, with no illusions of compromise. At that point, EQUINOX learned that it'd be better to cooperate than fight, and simply went along even as Alice's fears took control of her and she talked her into creating the Solar Drive. Even as things worsened, Alice never stopped loving EQUINOX, but her love was a twisted, obsessive, destructive thing.

The final, steep dive of their relationship began when Alice lost herself in a fit of anger months after the wedding, stressed, exhausted, and angry. Her abuse turned physical, as she strangled EQUINOX, nearly killing her before she began to calm down and realized what she had done. It was followed by instant regret and crushing guilt that brought on strangled sobs, but though Alice apologized again and again, as this dam broke she simply lost control of herself, bit by bit. The promise of the power she had always wanted, and the power she evidently had over her wife got to her, clouded her mind, and completely seized her heart. The guilt became more and more manageable, and the physical violence became more calculated even though Alice's rage was always the trigger.

When EQUINOX disappeared, Alice went through a long period of desperate denial as she searched for her, but she never found her and eventually fell into a deep depression as she concluded that she had died. She refused to acknowledge the possibility of suicide, something that she simply couldn't fathom at all, and violently vented her rage and grief on the world around her, leaving even more irradiated wasteland. Considering herself a widow, she shut herself off from the rest of her friends and allies, and simply mourned the loss of her beloved wife. And yet... EQUINOX persevered, and confronted her above the Earth. For Alice, that fight is a contender for the worst moment of her life. Everything she wanted, everything she thought she had, collapsed around her, leaving her betrayed and heartbroken. The violent rage that followed was inevitable for her, but she lost all the same, and was left to die on the planet she ruined.

In that moment, Alice was gripped by a fearful, distraught shock, but her three hundred year long hibernation has given her plentiful time to think it over in her sleep. The guilt that she dodged before is stronger than ever, though she still does her best to escape it and pin EQUINOX's betrayal on anything, everything else, refusing to admit that she was an awful excuse of a wife. While she remains enraged by what was done to her, now, more than anything else, Alice is simply sad, tired, and scared when it comes to EQUINOX. In becoming perhaps the deadliest opponent Alice ever faced, nearly killing her and traumatizing her in the process, EQUINOX has ascended to embody death for her ex-wife. Some days, Alice remembers her as she saw her walking down the aisle, the woman she thought he would spend the rest of her life with... and on others, she sees only a grim reaper, clad in storm clouds, with a scythe in hand. Alice's greatest love has become her greatest fear, an individual she never wants to face ever again, even if she knows she must.

Venus

"You can't be mama's little girl forever, you know..."

Venus is Alice's one and only daughter, her beloved summer flower and the best thing to ever happen to her. That's what she always tells her, at least, when her mood is bright and love washes over her. How could she not love Venus, a smart, well-behaved, and obedient child, one with seemingly boundless loyalty for her mother, someone willing to do anything for her? With this in mind, the whole adoption thing is one of the biggest successes of Alice's life, something that has supplied her with a daughter she can depend on for anything, someone she can trust to never abandon her. It's really went perfectly, thanks to Alice's perfect execution of parenthood. Well, that's what she'd like to tell herself, but the truth is, it's been hard, and Alice finds herself shamefully resenting her daughter for the various problems she's caused her. Not only that, but many other things that Venus isn't to blame for at all - the poor thing just makes for a convenient scapegoat for Alice's poor track record with women, and life in general. She remains willfully ignorant regarding the fact that it's really all her own fault in the end.

Alice adopted Venus for selfish purposes in a lonely, empty period of her life. Though she had power and influence, she was alone, and the true intimacy and companionship she desired eluded her even as she made friends. In addition, she found herself incapable of trusting anyone around her due to her miserably low opinion on people as a whole. Venus was adopted for the sole purpose of freeing her from this 'risk'. By adopting and raising a child to be all her own, Alice could always trust she had someone to turn to when she was alone, someone who would love and support her, even if only as a mother, and could ensure that this someone would never betray her. And, in this relationship, doing her best to be a mother, Alice found a peace and happiness she had never found before, and, for the first time since her own resurrection, she wondered if her ambitions were worth pursuing. They incurred such risk, after all, and if she could be happy as a mother living a secure, stable life, why go through with them? Alice wavered and, for a short period of time, lost track of her own goals as the simple joys of motherhood overwhelmed her, and she found herself deeply enjoying the time she spent with her daughter, something egged on by Anya's death.

But Alice is not the kind of person who can settle for these things just like that. Eventually, the new happiness she had found grew to feel like far from enough. She needed more, to ensure Venus would be able to protect herself and stay by her side. While remaining a doting, loving mother, Alice's expectations rose as Venus grew, as she understood that Venus had a duty that far surpassed that of any ordinary child. Alice spared no expense when it came to her daughter's education and worked to supplement it herself, all while sheltering her, fearful of the dangers of the outside world. Alice had grown quite attached, after all, and Venus' death would waste all the time and effort Alice had invested in her, and leave her alone, too. That was unacceptable, the very thought paralyzing for Alice, and she thus smothered her daughter, keeping her from others, and, when jealousy reared its head at the thought of Venus finding friends and people she loved more than her mother, actively sabotaging these friendships. But Alice's possessive parenting style had already taken its toll, and Venus was an awkward, ostracized, and friendless child who had only her mother.

While raising Venus to be a loyal daughter, Alice continued to pursue her own goals, one of them finding love. Of course, she's always had trouble with women due to her destructive, obsessive streak, and few of these relationships lasted long. Those that did collapsed spectacularly, ending after months of fighting and often outright abuse, in miserable scenes. And, incapable of truly accepting the blame for the collapse of her relationships, the heartbroken and often drunken Alice pinned it on her daughter, who had always been a little possessive of her mother. As the years went on, Venus made this easier for Alice, after witnessing many of her breakups, and began actively sabotaging her relationships in a misguided attempt to protect her mother, herself, and their relationship. Alice's reactions only made the situation worse, trapping the two of them in a loop and traumatizing Venus with years of escalating tantrums. Still, they remained close, the two of them having no one else to turn to due to their respective situations, and Venus remained her mother's little girl, despite everything. And then Alice found another woman, one of endearingly stubborn stock, one who would not back out so easily. EQUINOX.

Alice's relationship with EQUINOX strained things between her and her daughter, who resented her new girlfriend and felt increasingly neglected. Once again tempted by the prospect of a safe, happy life, Alice dared to hope that Venus would be able to get over herself and accept EQUINOX. But, though Venus sometimes tolerated her, Venus never truly liked her, and only grew more and more anxious as Alice and EQUINOX grew closer. As this happened, Alice grew distant from her daughter, devoting her energies to focusing on her new relationship and making sure it didn't collapse like the last. It's only natural that things came to a boiling point during Alice's wedding, when Venus, denied the position of maid of honor she desired and excluded from photos on account of being awful at faking a smile, got horribly drunk. And, in this state, Venus not only ruined Alice's reputation by simply existing as a drunk 14-year old, but also splashed her new wife with wine and told her exactly what she thought of her. After that, Alice, enraged with her daughter, ended up making what was already the worst night of her life a whole lot worse, causing permanent damage to their bond, damage she couldn't so easily take back.

This stressed out Alice extremely badly, another factor in the escalating, EQUINOX-directed abuse that followed. She felt awful, but, incapable of accepting any real responsibility for her actions, she let things sit, only awkwardly interacting with her daughter without acknowledging what had occurred. And, somehow, their relationship still ended up improving, partly thanks to EQUINOX, who, at this point, had begun to fade into background noise, psychologically crippled by everything she was going through. Venus was happy to return to Alice's side and take up more responsibility, and Alice was happy to see that her strict upbringing had paid off and made her a capable asset. The two of them planned to replenish the dying planet in the wake of its exposure to Alice's magic, but before anything could be done, EQUINOX vanished, and then, a grieving, miserable Alice was seemingly killed when she resurfaced. Only 'seemingly', though. Alice endures, persistently, and stubbornly holds onto the hope that Venus is still around, so that once she regains her body and returns to her rightful place, she'll still have her loyal, malleable daughter to back her up.

Powers and Statistics

Tier: High 8-C | High 5-A, up to Low 4-C with Nuclear Vent | 4-B, higher with Nuclear Vent | 3-C, higher with Nuclear Vent

Powers and Abilities:

Genius Intelligence, Social Influencing, Master Martial Artist, Enhanced Senses (Even without magic, Alice has superhuman senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and balance), Precognition (Alice can accurately predict the future through analysis, processing the multiple possible futures that could arise from the decisions of herself and others), Self-Sustenance (Type 1; Alice does not need to breathe), Superhuman Physical Characteristics, Limited Fate Manipulation (Under certain circumstances and in moments of raw desperation, Alice can unconsciously and unknowingly activate her inner world to nudge things in her favor or ensure a certain possibility, but the effect is weak and cannot do much to influence others), Limited Information Manipulation (Alice's inner world itself "lies", returning false, misleading information whenever anything about her is analyzed, varying based on what's convenient for her), Incorporeality/Intangibility (Immaterial) and Invisibility as a ghost, Possession, Immortality (Types 1, 6, and 7), Regeneration (Low-Mid; can regenerate broken bones, serious organ damage, and large wounds that would normally scar within a few days. She can even reattach severed limbs)

Accelerated Development (In notably long-term and high-stress situations, agents tend to become stronger more quickly than they would otherwise. As a separate process, thanks to her AI support, Alice tends to learn and master things like martial arts much faster than regular humans), Limited Causality Manipulation (Repression allows an agent to "suspend" their injuries, essentially temporarily erasing them and ignoring their effects; Alice is so good at this that she can repeatedly repress her own death if necessary), Reactive Evolution (A spiritual filter automatically adapts to attacks to become more resistant, and Alice's own magical defenses are exceptionally good at this. She also grows stronger in response to threats and over the course of fights), Statistics Amplification (During particularly intense moments, when acting in a manner true to her inner world, Alice may achieve ego synchronization, boosting all of her abilities for as long as the state lasts, though she has a lot of difficulty doing so), Acausality (Type 2; An agent's history, present, and fate all exist independently of the past and future), Resistance to conceptual, mental, physical, and spiritual attack (Spiritual filters protect the user from attacks on all levels of existence, potentially providing protection against a host of abilities; while her barriers are much weaker without the Solar Drive, they remain present as she has used magic)

Genius Intelligence, Social Influencing, Master Martial Artist, Enhanced Senses (Even without magic, Alice has superhuman senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and balance), Precognition (Alice can accurately predict the future through analysis, processing the countless possible futures that could arise from the decisions of herself and others), Nuclear Manipulation (Atomic, Explosion [Can cause nuclear explosions and transmute objects and people into fissile materials for these explosions], Light, Plasma, and Radiation Manipulation), Conceptual Manipulation (Type 3; Alice's attacks cause damage on a conceptual but personal scale, but not to the same extent as a more practiced agent), Limited Fate Manipulation (Under certain circumstances and in moments of raw desperation, Alice can unconsciously and unknowingly activate her inner world to nudge things in her favor or ensure a certain possibility, but the effect is weak and cannot do much to influence others), Limited Information Manipulation (Alice's inner world itself "lies", returning false, misleading information whenever anything about her is analyzed, varying based on what's convenient for her), Pain Manipulation (Her attacks cause "true", spiritual pain, affecting even those who cannot feel pain normally), Soul Manipulation (All her attacks, physical or magical, affect the soul just as they do the body), Temperature Manipulation (The Solar Drive naturally produces heat, and during fights, Alice will gradually heat up her surroundings more and more, especially while charging attacks or venting energy, potentially making things even hotter than the Sun), Absorption (Can absorb other souls when they're exposed to her own, and absorbs radiation and light regardless of the source), Limited Power Nullification (She was able to prevent EQUINOX's attempts to teleport away or otherwise escape her grip through magic), Statistics Amplification (She can redistribute the energy produced by the Solar Drive to empower certain statistics at the expense of others), Telekinesis (Can telekinetically control matter and debris caught in her radiation shield), Telepathy, Incorporeality/Intangibility (Immaterial) and Invisibility as a ghost, Possession, Immortality (Types 1, 6, and 7), Regeneration (Low-Mid; can regenerate broken bones, serious organ damage, and large wounds that would normally scar within a few days. She can even reattach severed limbs)

Magic (The magic used by agents is a process of making their Fantasy into Reality), Extrasensory Perception (Agents maintain a constant, perfect, and precise image of their surroundings by analyzing them through magic), Self-Sustenance (Types 1 and 2; Alice does not need to breathe, and the Solar Drive's power supply makes it so that drinking and eating are unnecessary for life. Though she has no physical need for sleep, it is a psychological necessity), Superhuman Physical Characteristics, Flight, Forcefield Creation, Accelerated Development (In notably long-term and high-stress situations, agents tend to become stronger more quickly than they would otherwise. As a separate process, thanks to her AI support, Alice tends to learn and master things like martial arts much faster than regular humans), Limited Causality Manipulation (Repression allows an agent to "suspend" their injuries, essentially temporarily erasing them and ignoring their effects; Alice is so good at this that she can repeatedly repress her own death if necessary), Damage Transferal (Agents can perform "grounding", which allows them to mirror harm to an opponent's body on their soul, as well as exploit similar connections to damage similar sources, such as a phylactery), Non-Physical Interaction (An agent can interact with immaterial or incorporeal entities, such as ghosts, as well as things that don't exist), Reactive Evolution (A spiritual filter automatically adapts to attacks to become more resistant, and Alice's own magical defenses are exceptionally good at this. She also grows stronger in response to threats and over the course of fights. In addition, Mutation programs run in the background of Alice's soul, causing beneficial mutations in her attacks, allowing them to slip through adaptive defenses and specialized counters), Reality Warping with Override Sigils (Override Sigils can be used to overwrite the laws of physics), Resistance Negation (Agents can pierce magical defenses, even spiritual filters, to enact the adverse effects of their attacks and spells, fully stripping said resistances away if given the chance), Statistics Amplification (During particularly intense moments, when acting in a manner true to her inner world, Alice may achieve ego synchronization, boosting all of her abilities for as long as the state lasts, though she has a lot of difficulty doing so), Acausality (Type 2; An agent's history, present, and fate all exist independently of the past and future), Resistance to conceptual, mental, physical, and spiritual attack (Spiritual filters protect the user from attacks on all levels of existence, potentially providing protection against a host of abilities)

Genius Intelligence, Social Influencing, Master Martial Artist, Enhanced Senses (Even without magic, Alice has superhuman senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and balance), Precognition (Alice can accurately predict the future through analysis, processing the countless possible futures that could arise from the decisions of herself and others), Nuclear Manipulation (Atomic, Explosion [Can cause nuclear explosions and transmute objects and people into fissile materials for these explosions], Light, Plasma, and Radiation Manipulation), Conceptual Manipulation (Type 3; Alice's attacks cause damage on a conceptual but personal scale, but not to the same extent as a more practiced agent), Limited Fate Manipulation (Under certain circumstances and in moments of raw desperation, Alice can unconsciously and unknowingly activate her inner world to nudge things in her favor or ensure a certain possibility, but the effect is weak and cannot do much to influence others), Limited Information Manipulation (Alice's inner world itself "lies", returning false, misleading information whenever anything about her is analyzed, varying based on what's convenient for her), Pain Manipulation (Her attacks cause "true", spiritual pain, affecting even those who cannot feel pain normally), Soul Manipulation (All her attacks, physical or magical, affect the soul just as they do the body), Temperature Manipulation (The Solar Drive naturally produces heat, and during fights, Alice will gradually heat up her surroundings more and more, especially while charging attacks or venting energy, potentially making things even hotter than the Sun), Absorption (Can absorb other souls when they're exposed to her own, and absorbs radiation and light regardless of the source), Limited Power Nullification (She was able to prevent EQUINOX's attempts to teleport away or otherwise escape her grip through magic), Shapeshifting, Statistics Amplification (She can redistribute the energy produced by the Solar Drive to empower certain statistics at the expense of others), Telekinesis (Can telekinetically control matter and debris caught in her radiation shield, and eventually from a much greater range), Telepathy, Incorporeality/Intangibility (Immaterial) and Invisibility as a ghost, Possession, Immortality (Types 1, 3, 6, and 7), Regeneration (Low-Mid; can regenerate broken bones, serious organ damage, and large wounds that would normally scar within a few days. She can even reattach severed limbs. High-Mid with reconstruction; she can recreate the rest of her body from the Solar Drive, ultimately automating this process)

Magic (The magic used by agents is a process of making their Fantasy into Reality), Extrasensory Perception (Agents maintain a constant, perfect, and precise image of their surroundings by analyzing them through magic), Self-Sustenance (Types 1 and 2; Alice does not need to breathe, and the Solar Drive's power supply makes it so that drinking and eating are unnecessary for life. Though she has no physical need for sleep, it is a psychological necessity), Superhuman Physical Characteristics, Flight, Forcefield Creation, Accelerated Development (In notably long-term and high-stress situations, agents tend to become stronger more quickly than they would otherwise. As a separate process, thanks to her AI support, Alice tends to learn and master things like martial arts much faster than regular humans), Limited Causality Manipulation (Repression allows an agent to "suspend" their injuries, essentially temporarily erasing them and ignoring their effects; Alice is so good at this that she can repeatedly repress her own death if necessary), Damage Transferal (Agents can perform "grounding", which allows them to mirror harm to an opponent's body on their soul, as well as exploit similar connections to damage similar sources, such as a phylactery), Non-Physical Interaction (An agent can interact with immaterial or incorporeal entities, such as ghosts, as well as things that don't exist), Reactive Evolution (A spiritual filter automatically adapts to attacks to become more resistant, and Alice's own magical defenses are exceptionally good at this. She also grows stronger in response to threats and over the course of fights. In addition, Mutation programs run in the background of Alice's soul, causing beneficial mutations in her attacks, allowing them to slip through adaptive defenses and specialized counters), Reality Warping with Override Sigils (Override Sigils can be used to overwrite the laws of physics), Resistance Negation (Agents can pierce magical defenses, even spiritual filters, to enact the adverse effects of their attacks and spells, fully stripping said resistances away if given the chance), Statistics Amplification (During particularly intense moments, when acting in a manner true to her inner world, Alice may achieve ego synchronization, boosting all of her abilities for as long as the state lasts, though she has a lot of difficulty doing so), Acausality (Type 2; An agent's history, present, and fate all exist independently of the past and future), Resistance to conceptual, mental, physical, and spiritual attack (Spiritual filters protect the user from attacks on all levels of existence, potentially providing protection against a host of abilities)

Genius Intelligence, Social Influencing, Master Martial Artist, Enhanced Senses (Even without magic, Alice has superhuman senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and balance), Precognition (Alice can accurately predict the future through analysis, processing the countless possible futures that could arise from the decisions of herself and others), Nuclear Manipulation (Atomic, Explosion [Can cause nuclear explosions and transmute objects and people into fissile materials for these explosions], Light, Plasma, and Radiation Manipulation), Conceptual Manipulation (Type 3; Alice's attacks cause damage on a conceptual but personal scale, but not to the same extent as a more practiced agent. She can, however, remove concepts from Observer's soul and inflict wounds to Minna that she can't simply dream away), Fate Manipulation (She can alter the future and switch to more favorable personal possibilities), Limited Information Manipulation (Alice's inner world itself "lies", returning false, misleading information whenever anything about her is analyzed, varying based on what's convenient for her), Pain Manipulation (Her attacks cause "true", spiritual pain, affecting even those who cannot feel pain normally), Soul Manipulation (All her attacks, physical or magical, affect the soul just as they do the body), Temperature Manipulation (The Solar Drive naturally produces heat, and during fights, Alice will gradually heat up her surroundings more and more, especially while charging attacks or venting energy, potentially making things even hotter than the Sun), Time Manipulation (Can freeze others in time), Absorption (Can absorb other souls when they're exposed to her own, and absorbs radiation and light regardless of the source), Limited Duplication (She can create dummy, decoy bodies and puppet them from a distance), Limited Power Nullification (She was able to prevent EQUINOX's attempts to teleport away or otherwise escape her grip through magic), Shapeshifting, Statistics Amplification (She can redistribute the energy produced by the Solar Drive to empower certain statistics at the expense of others), Telekinesis, Telepathy, Incorporeality/Intangibility (Immaterial) and Invisibility as a ghost, Possession, Immortality (Types 1, 3, 6, and 7), Regeneration (High-Mid; she can recreate her body from just the Solar Drive, and the process is automated)

Magic (The magic used by agents is a process of making their Fantasy into Reality), Extrasensory Perception (Agents maintain a constant, perfect, and precise image of their surroundings by analyzing them through magic), Self-Sustenance (Types 1 and 2; Alice does not need to breathe, and the Solar Drive's power supply makes it so that drinking and eating are unnecessary for life. Though she has no physical need for sleep, it is a psychological necessity), Superhuman Physical Characteristics, Flight, Forcefield Creation, Accelerated Development (In notably long-term and high-stress situations, agents tend to become stronger more quickly than they would otherwise. As a separate process, thanks to her AI support, Alice tends to learn and master things like martial arts much faster than regular humans), Limited Causality Manipulation (Repression allows an agent to "suspend" their injuries, essentially temporarily erasing them and ignoring their effects; Alice is so good at this that she can repeatedly repress her own death if necessary), Damage Transferal (Agents can perform "grounding", which allows them to mirror harm to an opponent's body on their soul, as well as exploit similar connections to damage similar sources, such as a phylactery), Non-Physical Interaction (An agent can interact with immaterial or incorporeal entities, such as ghosts, as well as things that don't exist), Reactive Evolution (A spiritual filter automatically adapts to attacks to become more resistant, and Alice's own magical defenses are exceptionally good at this. She also grows stronger in response to threats and over the course of fights. In addition, Mutation programs run in the background of Alice's soul, causing beneficial mutations in her attacks, allowing them to slip through adaptive defenses and specialized counters), Reality Warping with Override Sigils (Override Sigils can be used to overwrite the laws of physics), Resistance Negation (Agents can pierce magical defenses, even spiritual filters, to enact the adverse effects of their attacks and spells, fully stripping said resistances away if given the chance), Statistics Amplification (During particularly intense moments, when acting in a manner true to her inner world, Alice may achieve ego synchronization, boosting all of her abilities for as long as the state lasts, though she has a lot of difficulty doing so), Acausality (Type 2; An agent's history, present, and fate all exist independently of the past and future), Resistance to conceptual, mental, physical, and spiritual attack (Spiritual filters protect the user from attacks on all levels of existence, potentially providing protection against a host of abilities)

Fate Manipulation (Within her inner world, she can change the course of fate and select futures as she pleases), Pocket Reality Manipulation (She can materialize and control her inner world as a pocket dimension, and can control space and time within or erase others from existence), Power Nullification (Inside inner worlds, ego pressure takes reality pressure's place, fighting against and eventually reversing the effects of opposing magic), Regeneration (Mid-Godly; absorbed the Solar Drive into her soul and unlocked her inner world, allowing her to regenerate her entire body from this core, the abstract, conceptual basis of her soul)

Attack Potency: Large Building level (Shattered a frozen lake's surface during her final fight with Anya) | Dwarf Star level (Significantly more powerful than EQUINOX when they fought on Earth, destroying the planet over the course of their fight. With a single attack, she simultaneously dispersed EQUINOX's Great Red Spot-sized storm and atomized the atmosphere, and she proceeded to fire even more powerful blasts), up to Small Star level+ with Nuclear Vent (If the Solar Drive is badly damaged and at risk of a meltdown, Alice can vent the excess energy and release up to several million years worth of its passive output, over a hundred times more than her regular attacks, though the recoil will hurt her quite a bit in exchange) | Solar System level (She has more magical power at her disposal than Kuna, Fuse, Kyarne, and EQUINOX, to the point that she can instantly punch holes through them, and is capable of casually releasing attacks with energy that far surpass supernovas), higher with Nuclear Vent | Galaxy level (In terms of sheer power, she surpasses Milky Way and can fight against both EQUINOX and Minna at once), higher with Nuclear Vent.

Speed: Hypersonic+ (Can dodge and even catch projectiles fired by Enkh's railgun, which has a muzzle velocity of over Mach 10 and can shoot down orbiting satellites) | Massively FTL (Comparable to EQUINOX, who outsped a radiation beam) | Massively FTL+ (She can keep up with EQUINOX and Kyarne, and even barely react to Kuna's attacks due to her sheer skill) | Massively FTL+ (Much faster than she was before, capable of rapidly traversing galactic distances and even moving beyond).

Lifting Strength: At least Class 100 (Can lift and throw tanks and helicopters, and is comparable to Anya, who can telekinetically lift huge chunks of earth) | Stellar (Caught and held back the Moon, which EQUINOX telekinetically launched at her, with a single hand, halting its momentum) | Stellar (Much stronger than before, and she can lift and throw Kyarne, a literal star, without issue) | Multi-Stellar (Comparable to Remnant, who can fit multiple stars in their orbit).

Striking Strength: Large Building Class | Dwarf Star Class (Split the Earth in half with a stomp), up to Small Star level+ with Nuclear Vent | Solar System Class (Her physical strength is equal to her magical power), higher with Nuclear Vent | Galactic Class (Can match Milky Way's Dead End Galaxy with her normal blows), higher with Nuclear Vent.

Durability: Large Building level (Took many blows from Anya during their many fights, including repeatedly having her own strength plus Anya's redirected at her using Aiki) | Dwarf Star level (Survived having 80% of the Moon converted into energy and exploding on her, and got back up afterwards, injured but not critically so), up to Small Star level+ with Nuclear Vent (She can pour the excess energy into her protective radiation shield, but it won't last long before expanding into a massive explosion) | Solar System level (She can take Kuna, Kyarne, and EQUINOX's strongest attacks and keep on going), higher with Nuclear Vent | Galaxy level, higher with Nuclear Vent. Across all of her forms, killing her is incredibly difficult, as her sheer willpower allows her to endure as a ghost and take grievous damage to her soul without dying.

Stamina: Extremely high. Though her body has its limits, Alice can fight for hours at a time without stopping, pushing her luck again and again only to come out on top thanks to her sheer willpower and skill. If lethally wounded, Alice can stave of death by simply refusing to die, and keep on fighting longer than she should be able to. Even without the magical knowledge needed to heal herself and despite still being dependent on her body, she was able to temporarily keep on fighting after losing most of her blood, an arm, and taking wounds that would be lethal for normal people, surviving even having the Solar Drive torn out and her brain badly damaged. Still, in such situations, the collapse and death of her body is more or less inevitable, but, in ghostly undeath, Alice's willpower shows its true worth. As a child, she survived for a decade as a ghost through her sheer will to stay alive, when a normal child is likely to have passed on within the day, and almost certainly within the month, let alone the year. Now, as an adult, Alice's willpower is stronger than ever, allowing her to survive critical damage to her soul, keep on fighting, and, when necessary, escape to recuperate. | Virtually infinite. The Solar Drive can constantly produce energy for billions of years, without pause, making the already stubborn and resilient Alice harder to kill than ever, and almost impossible to outlast. | Virtually infinite. After surpassing the limitations of her body, Alice can easily replicate her earlier feats of survivability, and she can effectively fight for the full length of the Solar Drive's energy production even after taking extensive damage to her body and soul.

Range: Extended melee range with normal melee attacks (Alice is so tall that her reach is easily over a meter, allowing her to easily outrange opponents in close combat) | Planetary with magic (Dispelled EQUINOX's storm, which was the size of the Great Red Spot, with a single attack, which was felt in the Kuiper Belt) | Interplanetary with magic (Can affect and potentially destroy an entire star system with her magic, and fired attacks several astronomical units wide) | Galactic (Can attack across a galaxy and potentially destroy one if she doesn't consciously limit the effects of her attacks) to Interdimensional with magic (Alice can reach into other universes, interacting with and attacking things inside them).

Standard Equipment: Nothing notable, though she will use anything available. | The Solar Drive, which is located in her chest in place of her heart.

Intelligence: Extraordinary Genius. Alice is quite the intelligent individual, possessing a wealth of combat experience over the years of her life, knowledge that her powerful, symbiotic AI was able to back up and build on exceptionally quickly. Thanks to this asset, Alice is capable of keeping up with and defeating those who have far more practical experience than herself. She is effectively a self-aware supercomputer that far surpasses the computing ability of the real world's supercomputers in all regards, and with the Solar Drive to enhance her computing and analytical powers, she has effectively become a Matrioshka brain. Alice has an eidetic memory, recalling everything flawlessly and subconsciously recording it all due to her AI components, allowing her to delve into her memories whenever she pleases to witness them again in perfect detail. She is smart enough to constantly run simulations of the countless futures that occur because of every single one of her decisions, carefully deliberating over them and the potential consequences of any choices, even in combat. Her skill in martial arts and hand-to-hand combat is also extraordinary. Even with 300 years to train and become a master of martial arts, EQUINOX is still completely outmatched by her in hand-to-hand combat. While her skills are tailored primarily to combat, Alice is an excellent liar and manipulator who has strung along many different girls over the course of her life, even if all those relationships inevitably disintegrated in the end. It should come as no surprise that her intellect, while a useful tool, is not absolute. While she excels in combat and manipulation, she initially has no useful knowledge on magic, and her grasp on magic never surpasses that of an exceptional high schooler, paling in comparison to those who have focused their efforts on mastering it, such as EQUINOX. In addition, her temper and paranoia often warp her decisions, causing her to act irrationally, and she can panic in extremely dire situations due to her traumatic experiences, preventing her from thinking clearly.

Weaknesses: Despite her best efforts to prevent them from affecting her decisions, Alice is paranoid and has a very short-temper, which affect her decisions greatly when they come into play. When faced with near-death experiences, Alice can have traumatic breakdowns, flashbacks, and panic attacks that prevent her from thinking clearly and fighting to the best of her ability, though she's working on getting better at dealing with these. On top of these issues, Alice's way of thinking is immature, awkward, and often starkly black-and-white, something that sometimes makes it difficult for her to properly improve on her decisions, accept responsibility for her actions (which often loop back around and backfire on her), or be a functional person in general. She has a very limited understanding of magic, initially requiring the Solar Drive to use it at all, even in minor applications, and without the Solar Drive her power and computing ability drop greatly. Alice's precognitive abilities are also dependent on the Solar Drive and are not infallible, as they are based off of her own knowledge and views on the world. If the Solar Drive is badly damaged, it may begin to function irregularly, risking a potentially explosive meltdown that would prove lethal for Alice, forcing her to vent excess energy. This can result in the loss of millions of years' worth of energy at once, and is sure to partially backfire, damaging Alice's body and soul, plus the Solar Drive. She cannot reconstruct the Solar Drive, which is left open when she uses magic to reconstruct and deconstruct herself. | Apophis Drive's effects are simulated; though they do truly warp some abstract idea of fate, the ability's mechanics can be exploited, and in its truest form, it grants no boons whatsoever and only leaves Alice more vulnerable than ever.

Key: Base | Solar Drive (Original) | Solar Drive (Upgraded) | Basilisk

Note: Apophis Drive and the Low-Godly regeneration it brings is a theoretical ability and whether its use is possible should be noted in versus threads, as it is only even theoretically possible with the magic knowledge Alice has as Basilisk.

Abilities

Agency: A mage is more properly known as an agent, as in “one that acts or exerts power”. Separated from the rest of the cosmos, an agent is essentially a miniature universe all their own, with complete control over their destiny, free to pursue whatever future they wish. They do this through magic, the art of using one’s understanding to control Fantasy, the stuff of sheer willpower and imagination.

  • Radar: An agent’s magical abilities passively sustain a constant 360° image of their surroundings, which is projected straight to their mind for processing. This radar is far more reliable than conventional senses, and cannot be easily fooled by tricks that would trip up any normal human. In the hands of a powerful enough agent, it can even track superluminal movements. It constantly operates at the agent’s maximum processing speed, even when such things would normally be restricted to allow for normal, everyday life.
  • Spiritual Filter: A magical barrier that protects the user from external manipulation and attack, on every level of existence. A spiritual filter protects the user’s body, mind, and soul - their cells and atoms, the magical and physical forces keeping them together, and everything else. It is akin to a magical immune system, protecting the agent from threats and adapting to future attack.

    It passively protects the user from most types of attack, manipulation, and control, as long as the barrier is strong enough - an agent of substantially greater power can punch straight through one. A spiritual filter is passively maintained at all times, even in sleep, requiring no energy to maintain, and can only be removed by a stronger agent actively stripping it away, or by the user consciously lowering them.

    A spiritual filter is the evolved form of the soul’s original protective layer, refined through the usage of and exposure to magic.
  • The Solar Drive: The source of Alice’s magical power, an alchemical nuclear reactor located in her chest, in place of her heart. About the size of her fist, it acts as an artificial supplement to her magical array, relying on a complicated series of magical circles and currents. This complex system of interdependent elements allows the Solar Drive to emulate a star, producing a vast amount of magical energy for Alice to use through the wonders of nuclear fusion. Without it, Alice cannot cast magic due to her scarred soul and general lack of magical understanding, making her wholly reliant on it.

    Like a star, the Solar Drive can produce energy without pause for millions to billions of years, passively generating power that Alice stockpiles and uses when necessary. This energy production is drastically kicked up in combat, to such a degree that the Solar Drive can quickly produce more energy than it would in millions of years at its normal rate. As a result, Alice often forces it into its active state in exercises, so that she can build up a large stockpile in preparation for her next fight. The Solar Drive can only handle so much at once, though, before it risks damaging itself and a potential meltdown. This issue is alleviated in a fight by Alice’s constant use of it, in powering her magical attacks and empowering herself.

    Alice can also choose how to distribute the Solar Drive’s energy, focusing much of it on boosting her processing power so that her predictive abilities are extra powerful. She is, for all extents and purposes, a living Matrioshka brain. If need be, Alice can redistribute the energy to amplify other areas at the expense of others, such as boosting her speed in exchange for power, or vice versa. Usually, while fighting, Alice expends anywhere from several hundred thousand years to several million years worth of energy, varying based on the difficulty, duration, and her emotional state. Her typical attacks are worth up to tens of thousands, similarly dependent on her emotions and charge time. She can launch particularly powerful blasts without charging if necessary, but she’ll risk damaging the Solar Drive and herself if she does so.

    As it was designed for Alice’s use, to integrate with her inner world, the Solar Drive cannot be effectively used by anyone else, becoming less and less powerful the more different the person. Much of the power and utility it grants is thanks to her inner world - it’s as if the Solar Drive translates it into a more available form. With this in mind, as her magic develops, the Solar Drive becomes the most important part of Alice’s body, with the rest of it becoming increasingly inconsequential. This allows her to stay alive as just the Solar Drive, and also gives her the ability to move it around inside her body to make it harder to hit.
    • Nuclear Vent: If badly damaged, the Solar Drive’s cooling and control systems may begin to function irregularly or even stop working properly completely, leaking large amounts of energy and risking a potentially explosive meltdown. Needless to say, this is a severe issue for Alice, who would almost certainly be killed by the Solar Drive’s self-destruction, and certainly at least be left helpless. Therefore, she must properly vent the excess energy to protect herself, but, on the plus side, she can easily weaponize the process and use it in her favor.

      In these situations, Alice’s output can rise dramatically, from the several ten thousand years of energy she can release normally to up to several million, an increase of over a hundred times. With such a huge boost, comparable opponents can be completely annihilated with a single shot. Thankfully, she can only manage one or two such attacks before risking serious damage to either the Solar Drive or her own body and soul. This is only possible in dire straits, when Alice’s sheer desperation allows her to handle far more energy than should be possible for her, and is impractical otherwise because of its recoil.

      To offset the risk a little, Alice can take the time to charge up these attacks, but telegraphing them in such a manner is often an even worse danger, so she usually unleashes them with little warning, seeking to do so at point-blank range to ensure maximum overkill. If this attack misses or otherwise fails, Alice is likely to be left vulnerable for a moment thanks to the backlash. Of course, she’s the sort to plan for this situation before taking the risk, so such an opening is almost certain to be a trap. If such ridiculous power is absolutely necessary, Alice may even purposefully damage the Solar Drive to allow for the release, but this is unlikely. She would only do so if she felt she had no recourse.

      Perhaps the most powerful aspect of this venting is that the self-harm required will trigger Alice’s adaptation. Each time she uses it, if she is able to recover, she will gain a permanent and not insignificant boost to her power, though she is initially unaware of this.

Artificial Human: Alice’s body is an artificial one built in emulation of humanity, something often referred to as an android or homunculus. Unlike most models, Alice’s current homunculus is made with combat and survivability in mind, and so she is superhumanly capable, both physically and mentally, and has no natural limit to her lifespan. This is aided by an advanced artificial immune system, including nanotechnology, and various life support systems that provide protection in hostile environments and allow Alice to survive wounds that may prove fatal for humans thanks to redundancies.

All this makes for an incredibly resilient foe, though decisive strikes to Alice’s heart or brain can still prove debilitating and, if it were not for her immense willpower and refusal to die, lethal in the short-term. Alice can still survive blood loss that would kill normal humans, however, and act when severe pain or damage to her body would disable others, in part because of her artificial body and in part because of her sheer will. Topping this off is accelerated healing that allows Alice to completely heal wounds that would leave large scars in only a couple of days, and mend broken bones or serious organ damage within a week at most. Lost limbs can be reattached, though it takes a little bit of time to fully incorporate them into her body.

Were it not for her extreme paranoia, which renders the idea of anyone tampering with her idealized body horrifying and far too dangerous to risk, Alice’s body would have been upgraded with a plethora of modern advancements to combat android technology that would make her even more dangerous and hard to kill. Maybe she would’ve let Reyes do it, but...

  • Phantasm: Alice’s true form is that of a disembodied soul, a ghost, occupying her advanced artificial body and diffused throughout its system to allow for highly precise control and awareness. When separated from her body, Alice is detached from the physical realm, rendered completely intangible and invisible to all but those with advanced magical awareness. Due to her own magical incompetency, Alice cannot interact with others either, beyond possessing empty bodies or computer systems suitable for inhabitation.

    If she goes too long moving freely without any sort of proper container, however, Alice’s soul will begin to fall apart again, eventually killing her if she’s not careful - though this would take a very long time, in her case. As Alice’s magical abilities grow and she becomes a greater agent, her abilities in this ghostly form increase, allowing her a measure more freedom and the ability to better interact with others, or, more importantly, possess even occupied bodies and steal them from others if need be.
  • SOLSTICE: A symbiotic medical service AI created by Dr. Ángeles Reyes for the purpose of stabilizing a young Alice’s badly mangled soul at the end of her many years spent languishing in undeath. Initially, the SOLSTICE unit just compensated for the missing and nonfunctional parts of Alice’s soul, allowing her to repair her broken cognition and reacclimate to a physical existence. Attached to her soul, it continues to assist her in spiritual healing, but insufficiently advanced medical technology prevents it from fully repairing the severe, crippling damage caused by her undeath.

    Over time, as Alice visited Reyes for checkups less and less, the SOLSTICE AI began to undergo spiritual mutations, eventually fully fusing with its host’s soul and becoming subsumed by her consciousness. As a consequence of this, SOLSTICE took on many more responsibilities as it grew beyond Reyes’ expectations, eventually significantly boosting Alice’s processing speed and becoming one of her greatest boons.
    • Predictive Calculations: Currently the most significant of SOLSTICE’s contributions, the ability to predict the future, powered by Alice’s artificial brain, and even more so by the Solar Drive. It does this by close to constantly running simulations of possible futures, varying based on Alice’s actions, and those of others.

      By preparing and accounting for these possibilities and acting in pursuit of the most favorable outcomes, Alice can outmaneuver and outmatch her foes. Alice, of course, mostly puts this to use in combat, using it to adapt to her opponents based on the probabilities of their actions and the countless futures she has gone over in her simulations. These predictions become more accurate as Alice’s knowledge of her foe and the situation develops over the course of the fight, one of the many things that makes prolonged combat with her so risky.

      Though Alice’s intellect and processing power means that her predictions are accurate more often than not, they are limited by the knowledge available to her and by what she perceives as impossible. Her own social failings and selfishness mean that, for all of her ability as a social chameleon, Alice can often fail to predict the actions of others over the course of long-term interactions and relationships. For example, she could have never predicted that EQUINOX would attempt to kill herself and ultimately turn against her.

      This is an ability Alice has possessed ever since she absorbed the SOLSTICE AI, but, without the Solar Drive, her ability to use it is extremely diminished. It’s still a very useful tool, but it’s no trump card without that much power backing it up. However, after her defeat to EQUINOX and subsequent dormant period, this restricted application grew in power. As Alice becomes better at magic, it will only become more and more powerful, and, one day, she may no longer need the Solar Drive at all.

10,000 Fangs: The martial arts that Alice has gathered in life and perfected on her own, learning from a number of different teachers, the best of which will always be experience. Alice’s martial arts knowledge encompasses a mastery of every earthly martial art there is, any of which she can use to lethal effect. She discards any consistent stance or unnecessarily structured techniques in the name of efficiency and adaptability.

In accordance with her views on reality and general strategies, Alice switches between disciplines as necessary, using whatever martial art is best suited to fight against her opponent and exploit specific openings from moment to moment. She of course has her own style, a blend of many others, that takes advantage of her immense reach and power. Preferring hard martial arts to the soft, Alice incorporates a lot of kicks into her combat regardless of whatever she’s using at the time to better utilize her range advantage. Fighting her in hand-to-hand combat is a disorienting and unpredictable experience, in which Alice rapidly switches between arts to use them all to their fullest potential.

Though she may be a master of martial arts, for Alice, it is only a means to an end, and that end is defeating any potential threat. Her skill cannot truly compare to that of someone who has devoted the entirety of their life to martial arts, but she more than makes up for it with her tactical knowledge, knowing when she’s outmatched in hand-to-hand and thus when to switch it up.

Sol Invictus: The magic granted by Alice by the Solar Drive, derived from a basis in quantum alchemy similar to what its creator, EQUINOX, would go on to refine in her Zeus Arcana. In Alice’s hands, it manifests through the control of radiation and nuclear phenomena, and thus through the strong and weak forces, though she also has some degree of control over electromagnetism. Using this magic, Alice can control all kinds of radiation, from across the entire spectrum of light, and including particle radiation. Due to her poor understanding of the magic, which is not truly her own, Alice can only really use it to destroy at first, but, slowly, she grows more competent in its use.

The Solar Drive, the miniaturized star it is, produces high amounts of energy and radiation, which Alice channels into magical attacks. Her attacks can easily induce radiolysis on a large scale, dissolving matter and eventually advancing into the impossible and completely destroying every constituent particle. Alice generally fires these attacks from her hands, but she can shoot them from any part of her body, or from her surroundings. They can erase even magical energy and attacks, and though their matter-destroying effects are a more immediate issue, they could easily induce severe radiation sickness and cause cancers. Just being in Alice’s presence is a health hazard, on account of the radiation that seeps through her skin, but it is unlikely to be relevant in the short term.

Despite all the knowledge she lacks, Alice has learned how to use Sol Invictus with great precision and control after some early mistakes, firing focused beams of light to destroy matter in a localized area while leaving the rest of an object untouched. Even so, indiscriminate attacks with high collateral damage are often the name of the game with Alice, who uses them carefully, to dangerously irradiate escape routes and make her lasers as hard to avoid as possible. In addition, the Solar Drive passively absorbs all sorts of radiation, allowing Alice to recharge in sunlight and reclaim wasted energy from missed shots.

  • Critical Breakdown: Alice can control nuclear fusion and fission, both of which may produce plenty of energy for her own use. While she can induce both processes, Alice’s lack of knowledge means that fusion reactions are typically relegated to passively occurring in the Solar Drive, and when she does use them, it’s with a stunning lack of precision.

    In combat, Alice uses both to trigger nuclear reactions and explosions, mostly weaponizing fission in this way. To do so, Alice will produce fissile materials and transmute matter around her as necessary, and then prime large quantities of it. She can then detonate these “bombs” whenever she wants, using them to set traps and overwhelm opponents, as these already massive explosions can propagate, transmuting more matter on contact. Any foe lacking proper defenses may end up being transformed into a bomb and detonated themselves.
  • Ionizer Star: By superheating and ionizing matter through her nuclear processes, Alice can produce plasma, the state of matter that makes up things like stars across the universe. While she could theoretically use this plasma in a number of ways, Alice only has the knowledge to use it destructively and just fire it at opponents.

    She particularly enjoys doing so to create miniature stars, but, again, she lacks control, making them very unstable. This suits Alice just fine, as she can throw them at opponents or manifest them nearby, and then allow them to explode into small supernovas. As her understanding grows, it becomes increasingly easy for Alice to maintain the stars she creates in this manner, allowing her to materialize more and use them more creatively.
  • Radiation Shield: The Solar Drive passively produces a protective field of irradiated plasma around itself, and once Alice is roused by any danger, it will spread a second layer of this field all over her skin, almost like a stellar corona. This shield is a vital part of Alice’s arsenal, proving useful for both offense and defense, as any contact with it can quickly decay matter. It is vulnerable to refined forms of attack, however, especially a superior application of quantum alchemy.

    Alice can also harmlessly, telekinetically snag particles and debris within this personal corona, and then manipulate them as she pleases, the means by which she alters matter to trigger fission and fusion reactions, among other things. She often propels things caught in the field at opponents, using them as high-speed projectiles, and it is from this field that she is able to manifest and fire other radiation beams from her surroundings instead of her body.
    • Explosive Meltdown: Alice expands her radiation shield, instantly priming and detonating all matter it comes into contact with to cause a massive wave of explosions localized around herself. The shield expands all the while, ultimately producing a sphere of radiation all around Alice’s form, before it retracts.
  • Nuclear Force: On top of its control over radiation, the Solar Drive provides the ability to manipulate the strong interaction, the force that holds atomic nuclei together. Through this power, Alice can manipulate matter with great precision and in a number of ways, even using it to create it from scratch, but her usage of it is initially sloppy and unreliable, limiting its applications.

    This changes over time, as different fights and circumstances force her to get creative and push the limits of the ability. As a result, Alice learns how to use the strong interaction more competently, and in a number of ways, all in the name of her own survival.
    • Atomic Reconstruction: A form of healing, technically, used to patch up wounds on a subatomic level, allowing her to recover from severe injury by simply replacing lost matter. While she can do this using the matter in her surroundings, Alice can also produce the necessary materials herself, from nothing.

      The issue is that, because of her dependence on her body, Alice needs to accurately replicate her physiology on both macro and micro scales. It needs to all fit together not just biologically, but molecularly as well, requiring the proper balance of elements for the human body. This means that it is at first more or less impossible, but Alice is able to figure it out, eventually to the point that it’s rather easy, which also happens to make her less dependent on her body. She eventually automates the repairs to her body.

      However, Alice is still reliant on a container for the soul, for which she uses the Solar Drive. In addition, because it’s the source of her power, Alice cannot reconstruct or deconstruct it at all, making it a weak spot.
      • Atomic Replication: Alice can produce basic copies of her body for use as dummies and distractions in combat, also proving capable of manipulating them from a distance with some amount of precision.
      • Pseudo-Teleportation: With her soul now using the Solar Drive as a container rather than her body, Alice can leave her body behind and slip away as the smaller, harder to hit Solar Drive, reconstructing her body around it elsewhere.

Sol Invictus - Basilisk: The beginning of Alice’s own forays into magical research, or at least, what passes for it. Rather than truly consistently research, Alice is the sort to just experiment and pick up what she can throughout the course of fights, learning from her opponents and adapting as necessary. This is supported by work outside of combat, meant to deepen her understanding of her magic, and thanks to this, Alice’s control over Sol Invictus grows significantly, allowing her to call upon its more complex applications more easily, while using it with greater precision and power than ever before.

As much of an improvement as this may be for her, Alice is still no career magician. She’s only developing these skills for the sake of survival and victory, and cannot compare to those who have devoted more time and effort to it. Really, she’s at about a high school level of magical competency, or maybe a bit higher, though she can exercise her magic on a greater scale thanks to her sheer willpower. In the end, though, her magic is still sloppy, something that is unlikely to change.

The new abilities Alice gains through Basilisk are primarily applications of her inner world, something that a certain soul surgeon of an angel helped her out with for completely selfless reasons.

  • Hyperion Gorgon: Mostly an application of sheer willpower, combined with just enough knowledge, Alice can use this spell to stop time for a very limited duration, typically doing so on single targets to empower the effects and minimize the cost. It’s easiest to do so through eye contact, like the gorgon the spell’s name references, but this is not necessary. The amount of time Alice can freeze for someone varies, especially when her target fights against the effects with a strong will or a high amount of energy.

    To avoid giving away how the ability works too quickly, and to prevent opponents from building up a resistance, Alice uses it sparingly and for brief periods of time, to open up opportunities. To her targets, it appears only as a blinding flash of light that seems to blot out their thoughts, before they snap back to the present, disoriented.
  • Infinity Hydra: The branching, effectively infinite nature of Alice, truly representative of her potential and her talent in weaseling out of any consequences, especially death, always finding a way out and always pursuing victory. It allows her to “switch” through any personal possibility that she’s imaged using her ability to predict the future; for example, jumping from a possibility in which her opponent hits her to one in which they missed and she was left unharmed instead. It is even possible for her to escape death at the last possible moment in this way.

    Whenever Alice does so, she expends a predicted possibility, and with it, a great deal of energy, though she offsets this by breaking down part of the possibilities after using them. Each expenditure also triggers an aspect of her inner world, empowering her by a small amount that will stack up over time. This makes it harder than ever to finish a fight with her, as she can repeatedly escape any unfavorable outcome by switching to preferable possibilities.

    Infinity Hydra’s effects are limited to Alice’s own body, cannot change things outside of her without strain, and can be overcome by attacks that she has no way of surviving or dodging. Theoretically speaking, Alice could still be outlasted even with this, but this is virtually impossible due to her own absurd stamina.
  • Serpent Moult: Just like its user, Alice’s inner world is a liar, and was for a very long time, way before she began taking the steps to unlock it. This intrinsic trait of hers makes analysis of absolutely anything about her difficult and unreliable by nature, always in ways convenient to her. It does this on instinct, and even after achieving Basilisk, it remains primarily subconscious. For example, an attempt to measure her level of power is likely to be inaccurate, returning results that are either downplayed or exaggerated, to get certain foes to back off and others to underestimate her. More precise analysis is no better.

    Following her subtle muscle movements may lead only to confusion as she does the opposite of what is telegraphed, or something similarly illogical. Instincts are easily fooled by someone who avoids triggering subconscious cues without having to think about it. Even breaking down her spells returns faulty, misleading information, resulting in useless adaptations and impotent counters. Not even skilled spiritual profilers can reliably read her; her inner world obfuscates itself and hides Alice’s true desires and nature. While pathologically inclined towards deceit, her inner world is not so obsessive as to always lie, as no one would be fooled if that were the case. It tells the truth when convenient or harmless, but its instinct for self-preservation means it will almost never be truthful regarding itself, or anything Alice wishes to keep secret.

    Dealing with and properly analyzing what she brings to the table requires stubborn persistence and/or prior knowledge. For example, Anya could tell Alice was a ghost thanks to being one herself, EQUINOX could get around her barriers because she was responsible for the theory behind them, and Observer could predict her inner world with some level of accuracy by carefully considering her abilities and personality, and then taking this trait into account too, referring to her prior experience with inner worlds when necessary. Even then, all of the above could easily be thrown off at other times and by other aspects of this. It’s better to rely on what one already knows and can confirm separately rather than risk trying to see through Alice’s bullshit.

    A suitably powerful processor or profiler could brute force it, maybe, through complete analysis of the soul, but it’d be a lot of trouble for minimal reward - akin to analyzing an inner world several thousand times over, if not much more.

Apophis Drive: The life that Alice has lived and the means by which she has done so, fully realized in the form of her inner world. Her inner world only becomes fully available to her when she, the snake, absorbs the Solar Drive, the immortal Sun itself, into her soul to reach apotheosis and evolve past the limitations of a mortal body, claiming full control of her magic in the process. It’s the ultimate culmination of everything little Alice has always wanted to be and the steps she took to become that person, it is completely inseparable from her existence, something she can bring into reality as something close to a pocket dimension, to set the stage for the closing rounds of a fight.

Unusually for an inner world, Apophis Drive is not limited to a single environment or a single dimension, instead existing as a series of them, a system of simulated possibilities, the same that Alice views stemming from her every action and those of all others. These simulations can replicate any location Alice has sufficient knowledge on, existing as a hyperreality that duplicates the real through the lens of Alice’s calculated possibilities. While this could theoretically be used to fool others into believing they’re in the real world when they’re truly in Alice’s soul, its main use is a much grander application of Infinity Hydra - the ability to choose the future outright.

Using the futures she’s predicted as a basis, Alice can switch through these simulated possibilities to move from one possibility to any other she’s accounted for in her calculations. One would think that this would make possibilities that do not stem from this present impossible, but Alice could make these futures and others that would not be conventionally possible occur anyways by imagining such impossibilities and willing them into reality. Switching through these possibilities changes reality with it as Infinity Hydra does, but on a larger scale, affecting not just herself, but her opponents as well.

For example, Alice can switch from a possibility in which she was struck by an attack to one where she wasn’t or from one in which she’s dying to one in which she’s alive, and vice versa for her enemies, making attacks that would otherwise miss strike and kill opponents. Alternatively, Alice can ensure certain courses of action, such as a future where her opponent acts less than optimally in accordance with the ideal futures she sees. The full depth of the futures she can realize is much more complex and powerful than this, however, potentially even allowing her to strip her opponents of their powers, kill them outright, or make it so they had never come to face her at all.

The extreme power of this magic is tempered by its costs and its effects can be lessened by the defenses of other powerful agents, even more so once they realize how Apophis Drive functions. Individual simulations can be destroyed by opponents, and those with enough magical knowledge could alter others to prevent Alice from using them as an escape. Finally, the simulations are just that - simulations of the real world, so they still have its laws, which fight against magic in all its forms, even in Alice’s hands. Creating new worlds with new laws is extremely difficult for Alice, and as a result, may as well be impossible.

Even so, as the creator of these simulations, Alice has control over them, allowing her to manipulate them on a more precise scale to trigger cosmic phenomena, such as the creation and destruction of stars, nebulae, and black holes, or to alter the fabric of space and time itself, whether it is slowing, accelerating, reversing, or stopping time on such a grand cosmic scale. By aborting a simulation, Alice can simply erase it and its contents from existence, a trump card of sorts. The destruction of any simulation expends significant energy, but Alice is able to offset the cost by redirecting some of this energy back to herself.

In the end, however, the simulations are still just simulations, and serve to hide the true form of Alice’s inner world, which lies behind them all. This backdrop is an empty, lonely void, occupied by a single, massive, blazing star that acts as the central processing unit of all the simulations - and indeed, of all of Alice herself. This space is only different from the outside world in that it is contained within Alice’s soul, serving to display the most private and vulnerable parts of her soul, and so it is something that Alice would rather no one ever see, especially because it cuts her off from her inner world’s applications.

Override Sigil: An extremely advanced form of magical technique used to change the nature of reality around and within the user, allowing them to bend and break through the laws of physics. Due to their complexity, Override Sigils are incredibly difficult to create, use, and control properly, requiring detailed knowledge and a powerful will. In addition, they tend to, invariably, drain a lot of energy and stamina, making it difficult to use them for extended periods of time, even if this can be mitigated by more powerful and willful agents.

  • Relative Lightspeed: A common form of Override Sigil that is ultimately developed in some form or another by most agents as they increase in power and speed. Normally, it would be impossible for even an incredibly powerful and willful agent to break through a universal constant such as the speed of light, theoretically requiring infinite magical energy to do so. However, this Override Sigil circumvents this issue by modifying the user's inner world to change the value of c to whatever they please, raising it as they grow in speed so that they can accelerate past the universal speed limit.

Gallery

Trivia

Notes:

  • Alice, as a character concept, is one of my oldest original characters. Her original design and concept were inspired by Utsuho Reiuji, from the Touhou Project, though she has now strayed quite a way from this original idea. Further inspirations include Yoshikage Kira, of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure; more in terms of her role in the narrative than her character, though he's certainly impacted that too.
    • While based on Utsuho, Alice's favorite Touhou character would be Kanako Yasaka, for a number of reasons; a confident, decisive, and ambitious woman with snake theming? Sign her up.
  • She went through two major design phases, both of which I ultimately combined to form the final iteration; a renegade military AI with an obsession with the sun (SOLSTICE), and the ghost of a young girl killed in a nuclear accident (Alexandria, shortened to Alex, and eventually corrupted into Alice after months).
  • Alice's character, as well as her relationships, are meant to be evocative of narcissistic abuse.
  • I am Alice's only fan now. And yet, I am also her greatest opponent.
    • I am no longer her only fan. But I will remain her greatest opponent. Forever.

Fun Facts:

  • Alice has a deep voice that carries far even when she's trying to be quiet, something perfect for big, booming proclamations. She has a subtle Texan accent, which gets stronger when she's particularly anxious or upset. During her breakdowns, her voice rises to incredibly high, shrill pitches.
  • When anxious, Alice slides her thumbnail between her front teeth, and when things are particularly nerve-wracking, she chews on her nails outright.
  • Alice is very obsessive when it comes to food, and usually refuses to eat anything that she hasn't prepared herself. All her meals are carefully made to incorporate as many food groups as possible to fill her daily requirements, and she only rarely eats unhealthy foods. She's a very, very good cook as a result, and greatly enjoys cooking, finding it calming, almost therapeutic.
    • Cooking is one of the things she did with her parents when she was young, and so it has a special place in her heart because of this, though she'd never, ever admit it.
  • Despite her best efforts, Alice has minimal artistic ability outside of cooking. She's VERY bad at singing in particular.
  • Alice’s very favorite animals are snakes, no contest. They’re very important to her, and she often compares herself to them, hence the snake references in many of her ability names.
    • She’s loved them ever since she was a child, but after her stint as a ghost, she grew to love them even more due to their associations with immortality and rebirth. This is a big part of why she identifies with them.
    • Her favorite snakes of all are rattlesnakes, but she loves all of them. Boas, cobras, and pythons are also subject to a bit more adoration than normal.
    • She had a ball python, Dolly, who survived her death at EQUINOX’s hands and ended up in Venus’ care, where she remains.
  • When it comes to music, Alice likes blues, country, and rock, particularly progressive and psychedelic rock. Some of her favorite musicians and bands would include Elvis, Fleetwood Mac, the Grateful Dead, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, and Santana.
  • Alice's favorite Pokémon would include Arbok, Banette, Salazzle, and Hydreigon.
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