Alpha Team Theory

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Alpha Team Theory: Alpha Team theory is a subset of Narrative Law that posits the existence of a person or group of people whose actions and beliefs have a strong and universal effect on narrative law, acting as the long-uncertain First Law of Narrative. Highly controversial, it relies primarily on circumstantial evidence to demonstrate that narrative law is powered by individuals, rather than vice versa, and seeks to explain the reason for changes to narrative law over the centuries.

Mechanics

According to most proponents of Alpha Team theory, the Alpha Team is either the cause of narrative law, or a specialized form of the Narrative Control power. Most proponents prefer to trace the origin of the Alpha Team back to the Doyi, who are believed to have had strong power over narrative law. The theory states that the Doyi either created narrative law in their efforts to control the universe, or else created the Alpha Team to control narrative law, giving their chosen cultural champions the power to define the way that stories unfolded through their actions. When the Chitrani successfully defeated and destroyed the Doyi, they then somehow gained control of this power, holding it for millenia throughout their conflicts before losing it when defeated by the League of Adventurers. Since then, the Alpha Team has passed through the successors of the League, either directly or indirectly. Proponents tend to be divided on exactly which heroes were Alpha Teams at various times, although all agree that the second League of Adventurers was the first, and many argue that the Justicars were the most recent (this argument runs afoul of the fact that the Justicars, to all knowledge, were not particularly fractured when New York occurred, but others argue that as the Justicars did not allow biographers, it is impossible to say for certain that this was the case, or that it was New York itself that caused the Alpha Team to shatter.)

Alpha Team theory states that while the generalities of narrative law do not change, specifics are shaped by the desires and beliefs of whomever has become the Alpha Team. Only by conclusively defeating, or else inheriting the mantle of, the original team allows it to pass on. This theory states that the much bloodthirstier narrative law that seems to have been in place throughout most of human history is a result of Chitrani influence over narrative law, while both World Wars on Earth occurred during times that the Alpha Teams of the time were fractured and broken. The same applies to the New York Incident.

The influence of the Alpha Team over narrative is far from total – if it were total, they could not be defeated and their mantle would never be conquered. Instead, it is notable more for its scope than for its depth. Alpha Team theory holds that every being in the universe, even those who have never encountered the Alpha Team or their entire species, is at least slightly tied to the ideals that the Alpha Team feels. These ideals can shift and change over time, leading to corresponding changes in narrative law.

Origin

Alpha Team theory was first studied by Professor Cheryl Marks in 1958. Professor Marks, an expert in the field of narrative law, had been trying to explain the events of the two World Wars, given that narrative law would have seemed to act against many of the developments that took place – especially the widescale loss of superhumans in both wars that nearly crippled the world's superhuman population. Professor Marks spent several years researching the subject, before determining that fragmentation points leading to the two wars ran oddly parallel to the fragmentation of the League of Adventurers of the time. Further study led her to believe that the theory was sound, and she presented it before a university panel in 1964.

The theory was not widely accepted, but Professor Marks' book on the subject captured the public's imagination, and other books on the subject quickly flourished. To the professor's well-documented dismay, Alpha Team theory was quickly picked up by proponents of universal psychic energy and cosmic reincarnation, who claimed that it proved that people were the only thing in the universe that really mattered.

Alpha Team theory received a strong boost in the 1990s, with the rise of the Antiheroes. Many Antiheroes claimed that the universe supported their actions, and one, Cataclysm, went so far as to say that the Antiheroes had inherited the mantle of the Alpha Team from the Justicars. While this proved to be a popular stance with many who were unhappy with the effects of the New York Accords, it rendered Alpha Team theory even more unpopular in scientific eyes. Little proper research has been done on the theory in the last twenty years.

Criticism

Most criticism of Alpha Team theory suggests that Professor Marks mistook cause and effect in her initial studies – the world did not fragment because its prime teams did, they fragmented because narrative law was pushing them apart. According to critics, Professor Marks' theory relies heavily on correlation, with no proof of causation, and chooses statistically unimportant dates to focus on when discussing shifts in narrative law.

Because Alpha Team theory focuses on a very small number of groups, dating back to time periods before narrative law was properly documented, even those who agree with Alpha Team theory admit that their sample size is insignificant – regardless of which modern group was considered to be an Alpha Team, only one, or at best two such teams could have existed since the theory's conception. Furthermore, with no exact measurement of how much narrative law is altered by such a team (and with no easy way in existence at this time to measure narrative law in general, beyond rough eye-witness estimates), it is impossible to say whether a team such as this exists. One counter-argument to the Alpha Team suggests that the League of Adventurers' Jack Torrence, long suspected to have some degree of Narrative Control, was in fact an immensely powerful narrative modifier, and it is in fact his legacy that Alpha Team proponents see in the unlikely string of victories that the League brought about. Others say the same for the All-American Man, who onlookers agree had a knack for bringing his enemies around to alliance.

Ultimately, the chief flaw with Alpha Team theory as a concept is that it is impossible to verify, or even experiment with. Until a method of measuring the effects of narrative law precisely can be devised, the theory is unlikely to be proven or disproven.


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