By Assad Quraishi
I know we didn’t get to finish off Thymos last week with its bestiary. Let me know if you missed that information and want me to go back and do it eventually. But if there is no interest for it then I’m not going to stress about it.
Also, I know Axon got missed on Monday. Things were hectic here and in the mess I forgot to write the Axon blog. What I’ll do is combine both the definition of the affiliation and the characters that represent that definition in one blog. Starting next week, I might just scale back down to one blog a week. It’s a lot trying to write these three times a week.
Let’s jump into Axon. Just like with Bellum and Thymos, I want to answer the questions of:
Etymology of the affiliation (how it got its name) and its symbol
What is the umbrella for the affiliation? What were the 3 buckets we focused on?
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Alright, we will begin with the Etymology of the word “Axon”.
Where did “Axon” come from?
I was sitting in my Cognitive Science class at the University of Toronto back in 2006/2007 and we started talking about how information travels in the brain. We learned about electrical pulses travel through the brain via Axons. “An axon (from Greek ἄξων áxōn, axis), or nerve fiber, is a long, slender projection of a nerve cell, or neuron, in vertebrates, that typically conducts electrical impulses known as action potentials away from the nerve cell body.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axon). This was a huge spark in creating Genesis. I didn’t know it then, but this was the moment when the concept of Affiliations really started to come into focus.
The Symbol has no definite direction of where it is facing (up or down) and that’s to indicate it has no care or concerns about morality. What is good and evil is subjective and irrelevant. All that matters is being the best.
What is the affiliation’s umbrella and buckets?
At first, the Umbrella for Axon was, “knowledge”. But after a lot of analysis, we realized that this wasn’t true. Looking at all the cards that Axon has in Alpha/Beta, the decision was made to shift Axon away from, “knowledge” and towards “Nurture”. By this we mean, in the debate of Nature vs Nurture (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_versus_nurture), Axon believes everything is in its control. Nature does not have relevance in Axon’s mind.
When we thought about the buckets, we wanted to pick 3 things that Axon wanted to prove to everyone that it could control, manipulate, and take advantage of. Primarily, it looks at things that are normally, “out of our control” and then masters and controls them all. We then created the following 3 mastery buckets:
Time and Space Mastery
We always start with the mind. It is a wild beast. How many times a day does your mind drift off while you’re trying to stay focused? Or how often do your emotions take control out of the blue even though you want to stay calm and in control? These are things that Axon champions have mastered. They never let their anger get the best of them. Staying calm, collective, strategic, and focused is the key to mastering the Mind.
Calling the elements is one thing, any mage can do that. But being able to hone a hurricane to surgical precision, that’s what Axon is working towards. When they call an element to their aid, they want it to do one thing and that one thing. They don’t want any unexpected surprises or any backlash from their actions.
Time and Space Mastery
Being able to master one’s own mind is powerful. Then being able to master the elements around them is definitely impressive. However, being able to bend the laws of physics to your whims is the end game. When you can manipulate the very axioms of the world, then what is stopping you from doing whatever you want?
The characters of Axon
Now that we understand what the umbrella and buckets are for Axon. Let’s jump into talking about characters from other shows, games, and movies that relate to these principles and then we’ll jump into talking about the current Axon champions. I’m going to first compare 6 different universes to explain what we originally saw as a concept for Thymos, then I’m going to jump into the world of Jaelara and talk about our 4 Thymos champions. The universes I’m going to explain are:
Marvel - Mister Sinister (Nathaniel Essex) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mister_Sinister
“I would, if I could only free myself from this blasted so-called conscience that still pollutes me. ... If that is what is required for science to progress...then let me be a monster! Let me be a MONSTER!” --Nathaniel Essex (Earth-616)
Mister Sinister is a monster by every right, but his pursuit to master and unlock the full potential of the human genome makes him a perfect candidate for Axon. He will give up everything to control and master the evolutionary process and thus create his own clones. If you don’t know who he is, you should really read up on him and his creation, Madelyne Pryor.
DC - Poison Ivy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_Ivy_(character)
If you don’t know Poison Ivy’s backstory, I recommend checking it out. The thing that I want to focus on here, and why she fits so well under Axon is her obsession with plants. It isn’t that she just uses them to fight or entrap people. The most interesting part of her obsession is her desire to manipulate them to become more powerful weapons, such as her powerful poison kiss.
Buffy/Angel - Willow Rosenberg
"It's incredible. I mean, I am so juiced Giles, it's like no mortal person has ever had this much power. Ever. It's like I'm connected to everything." Willow (season 6)
The thing that makes Willow so interesting is that each of her actions are logical and govern my choices of trying to do the good thing. That is, until her loses her calm after her girlfriend is killed, and that is when she taps into power - which is something we’ll explore in Chaos. However, after she collects herself, we see her become the most powerful witch in the series by the end of season 7. Willow is smart, collective, and focused on mastering her magics. This dedication and the dedication to overcome any limitations is what makes Willow perfect for Axon.
Reboot - Dot Matrix
"I'm the COMMAND.COM of this system. I have appearances to keep up." --Dot
Most Axon characters use their knowledge and mastery to benefit themselves, Dot, on the other hand, mainly uses her abilities to benefit the Mainframe. In Reboot, it is hard to find someone who is trying to master Time and Space, or the Elements, but what Dot does is master her role. She is the COMMAND.COM and everything she does is to prove her role and fulfill it.
This is part of the reason I think she would be a great Vadhis champion. She carries the belief of Bellum, that a sprites’ given role is there for a reason and all of them together can make the best system in the mainframe. However, she also believes at mastering what she does and overcoming any personal challenges to do so, and that’s the Axon side of her shining through.
Watchmen - Ozymandias
Originally, I had planned for Doctor Manhattan to be here. However, in the debate of Nature vs Nurture, I would say he lies in Nature. When he sees all of time laid out before him and realizes he is just a pawn in the grand scheme of things, he steps aside and lets it be. He doesn’t fight it like Rorschach does, or Nite Owl, or Silk Specter. He literally gives up knowing that what will happen has happened and he doesn’t try to change it - until Silk Specter convinces him.
On the other hand, Ozymandias sees a problem in the world and does whatever is necessary to change it. Even when the odds are against him, he finds a way. And despite the fact that one of his enemies can see into the future and see what he can do, he finds a way to manipulate that and make it work in his favour. His mastery of science and his ability to see several steps ahead of everyone is what makes Ozymandias a perfect Axon character.
Doctor Who - Daleks
Davros: You must obey me! I created you! I am the master, not you! I-- I-- I--
Dalek: Our programming does not permit us to acknowledge that any creature is superior to the Daleks!
Davros: You cannot exist without me! You cannot progress!
Dalek: We are programmed to survive! We have the ability to develop in any way necessary to ensure that survival
When we talk about the debate between Nature and Nurture, the Daleks have no concept of Nature. They were genetically designed to be the best. They have purified themselves of everything they consider a weakness and have mastered their own genome. This is the exact thing many Axon characters would like to do, remove all their aspects they consider weak and fortify all of their strengths.
With all of that, we can finally discuss our 4 Axon champions.
Ra’Ha - We’ve explored how Ra’Ha and Nubia relate to Bellum, but how does Ra’Ha resonate with Axon? She believes that the decree of the King and Angels is the righteous path, but in the same sense she recognizes her own abomination. She is the combination of three races and that makes her impure. However, she overcomes her physical issues and focuses it all on things she can control. She mastered her archery and combat strategies. Everything she does is to overcome her nature and focus on the things that make her the best.
Nubia - There is a path for everyone, she sees is. However, unlike Doctor Manhattan, she is going to seize control of her future and make sure that the path she wants is the one that is executed on. She has mastered her ability of soothsaying, now it is time to master her powers of manipulation to get what she wants when she needs it.
The Sahas champions as the last two to look at. They don’t have an overarching belief (bellum) nor do they give into impulse and emotion (thymos), so who are they then?
Kendra - Focusing on Axon, Kendra is the oldest human alive. She has spent many decades mastering her magical powers and can do something that only few mages can - relocate herself and others across space. This is why we see her prominently featured on Teleport and Temporal Relocation. She is powerful, beyond most mages out there and this is what gives way to her being an Axon champion.
Rayne - She has seen nature take its course too many times. The death of her family and friends, the ruin of the Vishud landscape, and the decay of the Sahas Libraries is too much for her to handle. It is time for Rayne to take matters into her own hands. Her mastery of moving through the shadows and control over her sais make her a powerful Axon champion.
I know this feels like a lot of information but when writing this I had to skim through a lot of sections. I think it is really hard to go into depth with the complexity of each Affiliation just in a few articles. A lot of thought goes into creating a given affiliation and we try our best to depict that in everything we do.
What do you think? Does this resonate with what you think Axon is about? Let us know in a comment below!
That’s all for now, bye!
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