Not sure if I ever actually explained what was going on with Alice and her family to anyone but Cleric, so might as well write up my own OOC post of glory.
Alice was not the "seventh daughter of a seventh daughter times seven" as she so often said. That was her big sister playing a prank on her that she was sure wouldn't be believed. Carrol never heard about it and bothered to correct her. Shannon would laugh her ass off to read the RPG and find out how many times Alice brought it up.
Shannon is also the source of many of Alice's special views on history and religion. Shannon had a tendency to get bored baby sitting and found it fun to give Alice "history" lessons.
Alice's mother, Carrol King...
She did not like being a Witch of Ashur. So she decided not to be. She trained up her chi stat, eventually maxing agility. This screwed up her natural magic, but she happened to have some psychic abilities herself that the family picked up a long time ago. Her various stats led to being a perfect fit for a US government fighter pilot program that hoped to combat the shrinking number of mages through chi use combined with tech.
Carrol was a perfect match. She rejected her position as a witch, had maxed agility (needed to fly her new super jet), and she didn't have a deep political desire to change things. She was one of 27 people selected for the program.
It worked very well. The US military were good guys, at least in this project. Things worked out well until most of the project were killed off by MI-6 because other nations were not happy at the idea of the US having access to a fleet of brand new superweapons. They mostly used a group of power using terrorists/supremacists that Cleric mentioned a long time ago but who's name I forget.
So, the US Air Force was stuck with someone with Alice's impulse control and broader philosphical beliefs, but none of her compassion or righteousness. She was too valuable to just remove, but too nuts to actually trust. In the end they just made her a "general" and shipped her between different military bases.
This would have worked fine if she didn't run around like a cat in heat and refuse to use protection.
Hence, Jane King was born in 2288. Rapidly following her was Juniper King in 2289. Petra King was born in 2291, the fraternal twins Shannon and Rose in 2292. Katrina and Alice King were born less than a year apart in 2293 and 2294 respectively. And Carrol did not slow down until around the turn of the century, when she got bored.
That's the family Alice King was born into. She never in knew her father's name until Edan told her at the IBT. She was shuffled from military base to military base with her sisters, while her mother would be absent for long periods before suddenly bursting in and making their lives Hell. Sometimes she'd drop off another baby with an unknown father for them. The caretakers changed constantly, mostly because the military was afraid of what Carrol would do if she felt they were trying to influence her children.
Of course they could have stepped in. They had control over her if she tried to blow up Washington or something equally stupid. But if she quit there wasn't a replacement who could pilot her fighter properly. And that would leave America and the UEC just a bit more vulnerable. The Kings were a worthy trade for that.
So the sisters mostly raised each other. They all had different ways of coping. Jane and Juniper fled as soon as they could, Petra tried to take control over the house, Shannon and Rose clung to each other until they fled. Kat left a year before Alice did.
How did Alice react to her life? She retreated into what little she understood of her Ashur legacy. She researched all the magic she could. Alice's theoretical understanding of magic is impressive even by the standards of adult researchers, if they could figure out what she is talking about. Being self taught off of ancient texts and super-good translate led to her using very peculiar terminology and she developed some warped ideas about disciplies she didn't practice.
Alice could have left at any time. But she had no marketable skills, and her mastery of the actual practice of magic was rudimentary. She could have been a fine researcher or teacher, but as an early teen no one would have hired her. She believed she'd probably have either ended up on the streets or in some fighter training program if she left.
Of course she did end up in a fighter training program...
Alice's circumstances did change shortly before she entered Arcadia though. For the most part she just broke through on the practical side of magic. She figured out practical implimentation through her own methods, using her rudimentary psychic powers to talk to Dreamers instead of bothering with shouting Akkadian.
That is when Kat came back and dragged her off to Ashur Compound. The Ashurs wanted to train her and figure out what exactly she was doing. Alice liked the idea at first, but soon realized she had absolutely nothing in common with these freaks.
And more than that, they only came for her after she became powerful. They didn't care about her, only her power. And Alice didn't like that.
When Alice returned to her room in Ashur Compound, she found a note from Arcadia.
Alice didn't have high hopes going to Arcadia. She just thought it would be a good place to disappear for a while. She was shocked at how practical combat experience led to her developing practical magic on a level rivaling her theoretical understanding.
And then we're into the RPG, and you all know how that went.