Cyborg Independence

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Cyborg Independence

Post by TeaTimeNinja on Fri 5 Sep 2014 - 15:54

After talking with TG a bit, I ended up wondering: How independent can a cyborg be?


  • Some of our cyborg OC's can drive; what else can they be trusted to do?
  • Do they even need a handler at that point?
  • How far does the independence go?


They're still property of the SWA, so they must be restricted at some level.

What are your thoughts about independence? And how independent is your OC?

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Re: Cyborg Independence

Post by Thescarredman on Fri 5 Sep 2014 - 19:59

Kay and Vee started out as dependent on their handler as Petra, but, since his illness, Doc has been deliberately developing their independence. Kristal drives Doc's minivan when they travel together, and her own car, a Jeep Wrangler, when solo or with Vee. That said, the girls don't leave the compound except on their handler's business or the Agency's. They don't go out on many missions, but when they do, they usually leave their handler at home or under medical care (as when they were sent to the Dolomites in 'Hunters', or to J+M's chalet to deliver a message from Jean).
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Re: Cyborg Independence

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 5 Sep 2014 - 20:04

Canon wise the cyborgs had some independence as long as they stayed within the confines of the agency. And outside Rico, Angie, Claes and Petra are set alone to fulfill their mission (though Claes semi failed with a knife to the gut, she still got her men).

All this depends on the handler and on the cyborg. If she is proven trustworthy, then she is given what freedoms the handler can give her within the rules of the agency.

Yes, they are still property of the SWA, but they are not at the same time. To say that the agency owns them breaks many rules and treaties Italy has with others (NATO, UN, et al.) So the agency will deny that they are owned. But they will say that they work with their handlers and the handlers own them as they provide everything or the cyborg.

Many OC Cyborgs push, if not break the canon rules of cyborg independence. Boomer's Alpha and my Rachel were the first to break those rules and made them as operatives for the SWA and not as owned property. In my case, Rachel is the RL daughter of her handler who became a cyborg because she was an innocent Henrietta shot and since no one claimed her at the hospital and decided to take her to make her into "one of those things" and give her away like some prized present. Their mistake was giving her to Fernando, Rachel's father who was away on a mission, so upon receiving her as a "gift for joining the SWA" Fernando gave Jean a major rearrangement of his dental work in return.

Fernando fought hard to get her and make her totally independent, she could do anything she likes as long as it follows dad's rules, the agency can go to hell as far as they are concerned. As proof of that, Rachel has part of Rico's scalp when Jean got pissed of Fernando for some reason so they ended up in a door breaking, wall denting fist fight and Rico jumped in to help out Jean, only to be mauled by Rachel in the process!

Francesca was never meant to be a mission operative cyborg assassin but she volunteered for the position when her real life parents were killed off and she was left with no one but her trainer who later became her handler. They she became missing after her handler was killed off in their last mission and she had to operate on her own with amnesia for over 10 years in a most wretched condition of broken or stolen cybernetics (she was found on the French side of the border and they took her in, taking what they could of her and replacing it with junk) and later released when she was too old by law to be held. She manages to get to Rome on her own and survive working in a Pasta-to-Go Shop make pasta to go dishes and delivering them for 5 more years. Fernando finds her and her records, which stated that she was not property but s an operative for the state who was declared dead when they could not fine her and winer came down on the mountains where she disappeared, thinking that no one could survive that. With Francesca being rebuilt, she was given to Fernando because her programming clicked on for him as he and her former dead handler could almost be twins if they were not 10 years apart in age! Fernando gives her full freedom to figure out things on her own, because her brain still needs healing from a rewrite that was almost total in making her forget things.

Both Rachel and Francesca are citizen from other nations, so Italy can not own them, Fernando won his case for Rachel, he has to do this for Francesca. But he allows them to explore what they can i what they want to learn. He is "Hands Off" unless he has to be "Hands On" with them. But he also provides them with total training for what they need. Cooking, Driving, computer hacking, glider flying, auto driving, you name it, they do it. But they do it with him nearby watching over them.

Currently, Francesca is "mission married" to Fernando and as his "wife" can do anything and everything she has to do for him. The agency tested their control of Rachel and Francesca with orders to kill Fernando, and almost found out that they would rather shoot up the agency and kill everyone there before killing Fernando.  This is something they are working on not having this happen again.

Both Francesca and Rachel earned the right to be independent through Fernando. It was not that it was given to them outright, it was earned, and they continue to earn more. Currently Francesca is 20-something (under 25) and Rachel is 16+, with both earning those things they deserve as people, not cybernetic things. Under Fernando, it is given to them. Thus they have their own cars, aircraft, weapons, computers and credit cards. Right now the agency is testing Francesca's independence with her own lone mission.

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Re: Cyborg Independence

Post by crazyidiot78 on Fri 5 Sep 2014 - 21:22

I don't have any original character cyborgs, but based on what is seen in the manga there is some flexibility.  Rico and Henrietta, seem to have less independence, but a higher conditioning level.  Triela and to a lesser extent Claes seem to have more independence and a lower conditioning level.  So the main issue is how much conditioning your cyborg receives.  Secondarily it also comes down to how the handler treats the cyborg and how the cyborg is trained.  Hillshire seems to give Triela more free range than Jose or Jean.  It also seems that many of us here on the site take these into account with their own OC's.
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Re: Cyborg Independence

Post by Alfisti on Fri 5 Sep 2014 - 21:32

Honestly, I think this is one of those "your mileage may vary" type questions, dependent on one's individual take on the universe, and the cyborg/handler in question.

For my money, cyborgs still need their handler (and, frankly, if there is no need for a handler then, to me, it's not really GsG anymore). How much they rely on that handler for direction varies girl to girl. Some, like Raych, need a short leash and are almost entirely dependent on their handlers, others less so. That said, even Monty still defers to Jethro, even if he does not explicitly direct her per-se. She gets to have an opinion, make suggestions, argue a point but, at the end of the day, what the fratello does is Jethro's call, and she builds her own actions (consciously or otherwise) based on that.

Monty, of course, is lucky enough to have a handler willing to give her her head, and she has built up a cadre of trust around the SWA itself (not with everyone, but enough to make her life/job easier). Generally she's viewed as intelligent, level headed, serious and trustworthy, more than familiar with the requirements of maintaining secrecy... not a mischief maker or someone liable to do something silly/say something they shouldn't (without putting too fine of a point on it: she's not really a teenage girl). She's earned her privileges. As an aside: don't expect Jethro to extend those to other cyborgs, particularly for unknown quantities.

That said, Alfisti's SWA is probably something of a tighter ship than most fanfiction versions, at least in terms of employee freedoms. No non-approved media in the dorms/available to cyborgs in general, or internet, the cyborgs are restricted to certain areas and not allowed off campus or on the range without escort, etc... and there certainly wouldn't be any cyborgs going home to meet handler families for Christmas. Of the fratelli I write regularly, probably only two cyborgs retain their driving capability: Allison, because it's sort of central to her character, and Kara, because Michele... consider them special cases. As before: I think the amount of independence allowed to a cyborg depends on the handler and the SWA's view of them. Someone like Monty is going to get more than someone like Raych, the latter of whom has not given any indication she can think for herself, or be trusted to conduct herself appropriately without Danilo's over-watch.

At the end of the day though, any semblance of independence on the part of a cyborg is simply being allowed to them. The Agency is free to yank the chain on it at any time should it feel it required. They're still under its thumb.

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Re: Cyborg Independence

Post by TeaTimeNinja on Sat 6 Sep 2014 - 0:06

I view the SWA similarly to how you seem to. Pretty strict. I think it would be unlikely to have a driving cyborg, but it's too dang fun not to throw in. 

I like to keep things funny, so I'm totally cool with any amount of independence, even if it's not super canon.

That being said, I'm still not sure how much independence to give Elly. Probably not much haha.
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Re: Cyborg Independence

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 6 Sep 2014 - 3:37

Dependence and independence:  It's one of the central themes of GsG and one of the reasons I really like the series.  In spite of all their power the girls remain very dependent on their adult handlers.  The question in Yu's canon seems to be how much of it is conditioning and how much of it is their natural need for support and attention?


In Marisa I've written a character that is very dependent on her handler.  Elio needs to keep her on a short leash because like any cyborg, she's dangerous.  Canon episode 1 clearly established what can happen when a cyborg screws up; Henrietta expends a ridiculous number of rounds into an apartment and then says she's sorry like a 10-year old who's spilled milk on the floor.

The conclusion of Henrietta & Giuseppe's story brings this full circle.  Knowing he's dying, Giuse makes sure Henrietta joins him in death (something that makes her infinitely happy, as I interpret it) because she's just too dangerous to leave behind.

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Re: Cyborg Independence

Post by Alfisti on Sat 6 Sep 2014 - 5:44

@TeaTimeNinja wrote:I think it would be unlikely to have a driving cyborg, but it's too dang fun not to throw in. 
Food for thought: don't go throwing stuff in just because it sounds cool or fun, and I speak of this having learned from the school of hard knocks. Think about the tone you want to set with your story, how you want it to play out, what sort of world you wish to create. If having driving cyborgs because it is "fun" fits in to that, then so much the better, go for it... but if it is out of line with what you are seeking to achieve, then you may be better taking the hard decision and scrapping the idea (that goes for anything by the way).

Of course, you can also write around it. I say I would consider two cyborgs able to drive within my own take on the universe, but the reader never actually sees them do it. The one time it gets mentioned is during the Roman Sniper arc, and it lasts just long enough for Monty to object to being driven around by Kara, and insist Michele gets behind the wheel instead. So the cyborg driving never technically happens. Essentially, while I wish to maintain the "driving" in order to maintain the characters, it's a little outside what I want for the story so... you get the idea.

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Re: Cyborg Independence

Post by TeaTimeNinja on Sat 6 Sep 2014 - 10:00

Well I was aiming for a funny/dark sort of feel. I cant compete with J+M in the "great story" department, so I thought I would go down a different path: satire.
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Re: Cyborg Independence

Post by ElfenMagix on Sat 6 Sep 2014 - 13:05

@TeaTimeNinja wrote:I view the SWA similarly to how you seem to. Pretty strict. I think it would be unlikely to have a driving cyborg, but it's too dang fun not to throw in. 

I like to keep things funny, so I'm totally cool with any amount of independence, even if it's not super canon.

That being said, I'm still not sure how much independence to give Elly. Probably not much haha.

The SWA is strict, very strict as they are a paramilitary like any other law enforcement group. That is a given.

But my OC cyborgs' independence depends on the skills they have. They can both drive an automobile and within reason, fly an aircraft for these are added skills their handler Fernando believes they should have. It is not for them to run about the town like gold digging wives with their husband's bottomless credit cards at the mall!

It is also about the missions the OCs go through. Kissaloo's Michele & Kira, Alfisti's Jethro & Monty, Boomer Gonz's Alpha, Natchsider's Magnus & Liesel, and my Fernando/Rachel & Francesca deal with something the SWA was never meant to take on - International Terrorism. These OCs travel the world, go to events which are for certain circles of society, and conduct both investigations and espionage on their cases with the SWA giving them total freedom and resources to get the job done. This means that the cyborgs involved have to be some freedom on acting on her own depending on the situation. With driving skills, they can get out of a situation when called for. With bomb defusing, gambling, compute hacking and other skills, they can do those things when needed. These are the creme a la creme of the OCs as I see it. But all of these cyborgs are of older teenaged girls. Professor Voodoo's Elio & Marisa, where Marisa is still a child, she needs a shorter leash. But Elio & Marisa also belong in this group of the creme of OCs as they deal with missions outside of Italy. These OC handlers spent more time with their cyborgs in training them for the job they expect to do.

In canon, the one cyborg with this much (or more) freedom was Elsa. We all know how that went. But with the amount of attention given by these OC handlers to their cyborgs, that is not going to happen ever again.

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Re: Cyborg Independence

Post by TeaTimeNinja on Sat 6 Sep 2014 - 13:36

@ElfenMagix wrote:It is not for them to run about the town like gold digging wives with their husband's bottomless credit cards at the mall!

^lol

I think having Elly be dependent on Pete would make for better dialogue anyways. And same goes for Pete depending on Elly. He would be a mess without someone to go though his daily life with him.

Dependence is kind of a main concept of GSG, now that I look at it. Thanks for the input.
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Re: Cyborg Independence

Post by PSVT on Sat 6 Sep 2014 - 14:56

There is a bit of duality in my answer in regard to strictness. In my universe the SWA has strict limitations in what the cyborgs can and can not do. Much like Alfisti, they cannot operate independently of their handler. They certainly are not allowed drive, even if capable (similarly, with the exceptions of Allison and Kara). They are compelled to follow the orders of not just their handlers but other SWA staff (though handler orders supersede staff orders). It is, overall, a very rough world for these unfortunate girls. Yet, they make do with what they have and even find some time to enjoy what little time they have, a balance also seen in canon.

At the same time, Giancarlo as an individual handler is not so strict. Or, at least, he tries to grant a little freedom to Valentina whenever possible. He gives her a laptop for her to do some coding and a little bit of research in her room, yet the full potential of what she can do with that computer is restricted by constant SWA monitoring that Giancarlo can do nothing to prevent. He allows her to provide her input on technical matters, so long as she formulates a convincing argument. Later on, he even lets her work with the SWA Science Division.

Could Valentina ever operate independent of Giancarlo? The answer here is a definitive no. The Agency would never allow it, and Giancarlo knows that even attempting such a thing would end in failure for her and a lot of trouble for him.

Could Valentina even operate as a semi-competent individual without Giancarlo? Again, the answer to that is a huge no. Valentina needs Giancarlo even more than she consciously knows. It's not just that she develops an emotional attachment to him, but the fact that without him--or any handler--she would find herself lost. It's a minor miracle for her that she has a handler as nice* as Giancarlo to help her somewhat overcome the conditioning mistake she doesn't know she has.

Thus, Valentina both lacks true independence and is very dependent upon Giancarlo to function correctly as a cyborg. The same is true for all of the other cyborgs in my universe. They might have slightly more or less apparent independence, but none of them ever are independent of their handler's direction and the direction of the SWA in general. All of the other cyborgs depend on their handlers to some extent, and none of them could ever function absent handlers. Otherwise, it's no longer Gunslinger Girl.

----
*Nice, of course, is a very relative term. Anyone who allows to happen what Giancarlo allows to happen is, in a more universal setting, very much not a nice person.
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