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WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

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This one will be of real help, because it's actually relevant my next weeks game - Scarlet will probably have opportunity to pick the brains of many prominent supers, so some "real life" responses is perfect.

The setup:

Scarlet Arrow's parents were - well, they weren't abusive or anything, but they were very dysfunctional. Dad was a star football quarterback in high school until be blew out his knee in the middle of The Big Game and never played again. Mom on the other hand was an almost-ran for Olympics, trying for years and coming close but was never actually able to make the cut. Intentionally or not, they decided to live vicariously through their children and got them playing team sports and pushing them as had as they could. If they were a bunch of washed up has-beens, they were damn well going to make sure their kids made something of themselves.

And so Scarlet bounced around from sport to sport, before finding out that she's really damn good ar archery and landing a spot on the Olympic archery team - eventually even making team captain. And then her one lone superpower - the ability to barely fly (It's just one inch with like x10 end cost on it. She can't fly very fast and it knocks her out within seconds) was outed by a long time friend and teammate. Being the Olympics, rules were rules and the committee had to dismiss Scarlet from the team (giving her position to the friend who outed her).

Instead of becoming all despondent, Scarlet threw her energies into something that could help folks - being a superhero.

Just recently Scarlet and her team wound up, as these things tend to do, in the middle of a global crisis where they basically averted the crisis and saved the day. Suddenly this competent but B-list group of super heroes were thrust into A-list fame. Newspaper headlines, dinners from the president, medals and ticker tape parades, that sort of thing.

So - one day, during a quiet moment Scarlet slips away and gets a chance to bend the ear of your hero (she catches up to them on patrol, finds a quiet corner at a reception, or whatever) and basically tells you her story, edited the best she can to avoid straight blowing her secret ID to you.

"So I was thinking of giving up the secret ID and going public, right there in front of millions. Not so much for me, for the nay-sayers and finger pointers and doubters and my parents who have done nothing but rag on me for most of my life now, it a giant middle finger composed of red neon fifty stories tall, that will burn forever in the night."

"But that's a really huge, life changing step just for the world biggest 'I Told You So'."

And she straight up asks "what should I do? If you were in my shoes what you'd do."

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Volt "Once you do this, your private life is pratically over. Do you really want that? Consider telling your parents only and swearing them to secrecy if you want to impress them. And consider; once you go public, your parents are targets. I guess they may be proud or you may be in a 'told you so' mode, but only a little while before they are killed. Do you want that? Stop thinking only of yourself; don't be like your parents - be better. Do not go public."

 

Olorin " I have a public Id because the only people I want to protect are supers. Go ahead. Paint a big "kill here" target on your parents if that is what you want. Then I'll go public with why you did it. You'll really be loved then. See, you don't like that. Stop trying to show off to your parents; you are not a child. Be a grown up and suck it up. Do not do it."

 

Black Tiger " Have. You. Lost. Your. Mind? Why do want your parents dead, were they that bad? Do you have other people in your secret id life? What about them? Why are you asking me anyway?"

 

Futurian "Don't do it unless you want your parents dead."

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Vitus would encourage her to go ahead, but mostly becauase the idea of "a giant middle finger composed of red neon fifty stories tall, that will burn forever in the night." appeals to him

 

Zero, paranoic and momma's boy that he is, would go white (under his all-concealing black hood) and urge her to not do so. Indeed, fake a public ID if she has to. Bastard love-child of JFK and Janis Joplin, or something.

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Are you kidding me? You're considering doing something that could get people killed just to give a middle finger to someone? You know what you are, and if your parents and others don't that's their problem. Why do you care what they think of you? Doesn't every superhero you know think well of you? Don't you respect their opinion more than that of some dysfunctional neurotics? Well let me rephrase that second last question. Doesn't ever superhero who hasn't learned of this moronic idea respect you? Because you even thinking about it lost you major points with me. If you ever do anything this indiscrete and it hurts my friends, well I can hit real hard and I don't tire easily.

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Ice Paladin "Not right now..wait until you can arrange for their safety then you can think about going public..."

Windstorm " I woudn't...I may not see eye to eye with my parents but it would wreck them and I'd have to deal with them telling me that I was wrong again."

Blackstar "Not for me to tell you...I don't have the leisure of revealing my identity to anyone unless given orders from S.H.I.E.L.D. in triplicate."

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Zl'f would advise against it: "I think that would be a very risky course of action. Sure, I've gone public with my true identity, but I could do that only because my parents are both dead and I was an only child. Unless you have some foolproof way to protect your family, a public identity is about the worst thing a hero can do. It's practically inviting bad guys to attack them to get to you."

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Style - Only you can make that choice. For what it's worth, I keep my identity secret to prevent criminals from blowing up my apartment building, kidnapping my known associates, or killing me in my sleep. You might want to show your parents you've done well, but it isn't worth getting them kidnapped or worse. [smiles] Besides, they'd just start pushing you to get on a more popular Super Team, or fight tougher bad guys.

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

The Mask of Justice: "Secret Identities are vital to our work. It's better to let your parents be disappointed in you than dead." He doesn't mention that he's known her Secret ID since the first time he saw her in public.

 

Calculus: "Keep it secret, keep it safe. It's best if even your allies don't know your birth name, let alone anything else that might lead to you."

 

Rock Bottom: "Looking like I do, the whole Secret Identity thing was out the window when I changed. Mind, my father is even more disappointed in me than yours is."

 

Kira Midori: "I've never seen the point to having a secret identity, anyway. It smacks of trying to avoid responsibility for your actions. But I see that your motives might be tainting the decision. You might want to hold off until you've come to a resolution with your family issues."

 

Talion: "My secret identity was blown on my second case. My family has pretty much disowned me, and I legally changed my name. You might have better luck."

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Black Jack: "I don't know what yer not telling me but yer parents must have something real bad. I can only think of one thing that would make a nice girl like you what yer parents dead. And that thought sickens me to the core of my being. If thats the case I'll kill'm My self..."

 

Angel: *slap* "feeing better now? All the crazy gone?"

Merlin: "I say! Are you MAD! This is the sort one nonsense I mite expect from one of my students! Of course I'd have place such an outrageous statement in your permanent record... And I suppose I'd have to tell the school Psychologist... and then theres the... *wonders off*

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Hornet would listen sympathetically, then ask her what the possible consequnces would be. He'd let her talk out and run into the downside herself, without lecturing her. He'd simpy ask the right qestions, and offer possibilities, and let her talk herself out f it--as is often best with young headstrong heroes with issues.

 

Blaze would say "It's your call, but maybe you should think about it". He'd not interfere more mainly on the premise that evolution should never be denied, and anyone that would produce someone that naive and dumb need to step out of the gene pool immediately.

 

Seer would look at her, then shrug. "Go for it." He'd then use a gradual mental illlusion up to the reality altering level, then simulate a passage of time and the death of her parents due to a villains attack. Right after the pain of the illusionary funeral, he'd end it, then ask her "Any more bright ideas?"

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Shooting Star: "Since you were a semi famous athlete and don't have any sealed armor or forcefields, there's probably enough photographic or forensic evidence to blow your identity anyway, now that you've attracted serious attention. But how easy do you want to make things for them? If your enemies have to dig for things, then only the more disciplined, connected, or smart villains will be able to find things out without help. The kind of people who might think twice about killing people close to you out of spite. Working on a plan for going public might be a good idea, in case someone tries to force the issue."

 

"What about just telling your parents, instead of the whole world?"

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Void: "You realize that giving your folks the finger like this will probably kill them, assuming the IHA isn't already considering picking them off for you apparently being a mutant? How many other people want to kill you now, by the way?"

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Black Cat: Doing something like that because of the actions of others... well you didn't like them trying to control you, but if you react this way, then you are still letting them control you, but in reverse. And consider, when my ID went public a number of friends were almost immediately in danger; that is part of the reason that I joined an extra-dimensional agency, it kept the heat of friends and family by taking me out of the picture.

Also, revealing your ID can have unforeseen circumstances. My most senior student started a group known as the White Tigers - a bunch of normal people fighting crime in costumes.

If it were me, I wouldn't do it, having been through the event of having my ID outed, and while personally the difficulties were small enough, the danger it left my friends and family in were too great.

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Mike the Demoness: "You're asking /me/? Are you sure that's a good idea, what with the horns, goat legs, fire, and so on? Well, it's your choice, I guess. I could say a few things about what happens when your goal is getting something big to burn forever in the night, but you can probably guess what they'd be. My advice to you - figure out what your long-term life-goals are, and if going public will help you reach them, go for it. If it won't, don't."

 

Rubber Mousie: "The fact that I'm made of a living rubbery goo makes the whole 'secret identity' thing fairly academic for me. But tell you what - before you make up your mind, why don't you go online, and look up the statistics on how often police officers, who don't have secret IDs, get killed or hurt while they're off-duty, or have their families hurt?"

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Jaguar Pequino Don't do it to silence the nay sayers and to go 'I told you so'. If you truly wish to out yourself do it because you believe it is best for you. Nay sayers rarely know anything and merely speak because they wish to feel important.

 

Corona Man your parents are jerks. If they knew and cared they'd have figured out already who you are. Or at the very least been talking to you more about all of your sudden disappearances and the like.

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Jake the Troll - "that would be awsome! Um... it's kinda you being, I dunno, a jerk, though." Note that jake is 16 years old and neigh-invunerable. And can bring people back from the dead, if he really wants to.

 

Icon - Emma is planning on becoming a federal agent when she grows up, and considers a SID to be about as relevent as an FBI agent having one. She's also a product of a disfunctional family, and refuses to even TALK to her mother as a result. "Secret ID's are more trouble then they're worth; I'm maintainig one to avoid the hassle of paparazzi before I graduate college. That being said, your parents are jerks; I've found it's a loosing battle to try to validate yourself by such people. I'd say loose the SID, but do it for your own reasons, not theirs."

 

Shinji Miromoto - "Secrets, like relationships, are strings; they tie us up in doubt and fear. It seems as though your attempt to resolve one in such a manner will end up causing you to knot your fate even moreso than it already is." Shinji doesn't have a SID - he was outed on Japanese national television as a consequence of being a sidekick to a supervillian. As a result, he had to flee Japan.

 

Widower - "So... you're going to show them how wrong they were by demonstrating that you've been doing exactally what they told you to do your entire life. Uh-huh."

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

 

So - one day, during a quiet moment Scarlet slips away and gets a chance to bend the ear of your hero (she catches up to them on patrol, finds a quiet corner at a reception, or whatever) and basically tells you her story, edited the best she can to avoid straight blowing her secret ID to you.

 

"So I was thinking of giving up the secret ID and going public, right there in front of millions. Not so much for me, for the nay-sayers and finger pointers and doubters and my parents who have done nothing but rag on me for most of my life now, it a giant middle finger composed of red neon fifty stories tall, that will burn forever in the night."

 

"But that's a really huge, life changing step just for the world biggest 'I Told You So'."

 

And she straight up asks "what should I do? If you were in my shoes what you'd do."

 

Riptide: Look, I always thought maintaining a secret ID was too much hassle to bother with. But...I don't pack any weapon except my powers and my killer good looks. Won't you be giving up an edge just so your parents can start backseat driving your life again? You might not like it that they've written you off as someone to live vicariously through, but are you going to like it when they start pulling that stage momma c*** again?

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Icestar would be TOTALLY for it......the only reason she has a secret ID is because her dad convinced her to if she was gonna be a superhero (to protect her unpowered family), but she's kind of naive and doesn't really understand that her parents will be in real danger if she comes out; so if someone else wants to go public, she would be totally for it!

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Soulbarb: "You really want the kind of constant scrutiny that level of publicity will immediately conjure up?" She shakes her head. "If it were me, no way in hell would I do that. There are better ways to get back at your folks."

 

Sylph: "Well, far be it from me to criticize someone who wants to go public -- I have enough trouble keeping my secret ID, and I've seriously considered going public myself. These days it seems like half the folks on campus are in on the open secret of who I am when I'm not running around in costume... and while most of them are friendly enough, it has brought trouble my way as well. But are you sure you're going public for the right reasons? What will let you help more people, staying an unknown in your downtime or becoming a full-time hero?"

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Anthem: I first started doing this job in order to make a difference, but I quickly began to realize that the most difference I can make is by being an example to others. If youre intent is to be a role-model, then go ahead. I wear a mask, and when I'm not out stopping crime I don't volunteer that I'm a hero, but that's as far as I go. If someone walked up to me and accused me of being Anthem, I'd admit it. I decided long ago that I can't run from who I am.

 

Uncle Slam: Remove any of the decidedly negative reasons for doing this from the equation, then make your decision based on what's left. Spite is a bad reason to do anything. I've never had a secret identity, as I've been a soldier most of my life, so I can't speak to the positives of being a private hero. But as I understand it, the reason most heroes elect to go that route is to protect their families from repercussions, from villains and such.

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Ashley: "Either you live a double life to protect those close to you, or you go public and stay away from those close to you to protect them. Being a superhero isn't a job; it's a lifestyle."

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Thanks for all the responses (and the physical abuse) - that helped get my brain around this. The big selling point on not going public would be the "your parents are still controling you" button. That right there would probably make her rethink.

 

Yeah, the poor kid has issues alright. :)

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Re: WWYCD (kind of): Advice Time for Scarlet!

 

Ironhide: He would talk with her for as long as it took to get Scarlet Archer to understand the consequences of a Public ID. i.e. all family, friends, acquaintances, are now targets. Anywhere you live is now a war zone waiting to happen, expect to be ambushed. Any normal romantic or platonic relationships are now difficult if not impossible, even going to the grocery store is now impossible. in other words any type of normalcy is now denied her. his final advice would be to live for herself not her parents.

 

Darkfire: sure if you want them killed and an end to any sort of normal life. If you want them dead their are easier and safer ways, let talk about you and your parents. would you like them to respect you? love you? give you the praise you should have had growing up and surely deserve now. It could be possible you know...almost anything is you just have to have the will to ask and know the right person. I could help you with so much more than advice if you will but let me.

 

John O'Malley II: our enemies are ruthless, evil, and willing to kill hundreds to blot out earths heroes your greatest power is secrecy

never give it up.

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Jake the Troll would recommend the passive-aggressive approach of, when the subject comes up, agreeing with everything the parents say about how much of a failure she is, while at the same time wearing the "I know something you don't know" smirk. It's much more satisfying, plus she gets to be smarmy.

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