Sophie Vallicai is the killing machine of Tyrone Aquila, a twisted_scientist. Also his Galatea: in some horrible way he's madly in love with her. He tried to make her into a modern-day naga using only science: she was born with a rare twist in her genes that makes it much easier for them to adapt if new DNA is introduced into her system, and he intends to feed snake DNA in. He does that, but it doesn't entirely work out, and he was to resort to making a little magical deal on the side to finish the job. So basically she lives at his whims for years, with no way to keep herself from killing a target victim when he commands her to. Then the use of magic returns to cause trouble. All the old gods and particularly goddesses, especially the snake/serpent/dragon ones, of darkness, primal chaos, fertility, etc are claiming her to be their champion/messiah/prophet.
Somewhere I'm going to have a book, or a story arc if I do it as a comic, called Permanent Damage that'll basically be about how much angst a person can take before they're past recovery, and how much damage a society can take before it's past recovery, and so on. And she's such a bitch. She's a true sadist--she likes to hurt people because she has no other outlet for her own pain (she's been "programmed" to be unable to physically hurt herself)--and she's horribly, intensely morbid (with a sick sense of humor to match), but if she hadn't been messed with that way she would've been a sweet, caring girl, and she retains traces of that, and she just doesn't want to see other people put through what she's been through. But none of this is sufficient apology for her fashion sense. Or lack thereof. ;) Now, here's the first plot/story arc. The forces of chaos help rescue her from Aquila. But she's in no shape to be the messiah of the raw forces of human emotion and spirituality (for lack of a better word). She's totally lost her ability to care, to feel, to reach that part of humanity that the chaos figures represent. But! The myths find a way to deal with that, too.
The mythpeople discover that one of the things Aquila magicked into Sophie was, actually, taking a particularly troublesome instinct *out* of her. He eliminated her sex drive. (He saw it as doing her a favor. He was trying to create a Perfect Being, without the messiness of regular humans.) This is the ultimate representation of the primal-force-of-raw-humanity's positive side, the basic yearning for life, the greatest of the Mysteries (and I'll address them too, naturally; they're really all the same thing). And the absence of a sex drive made it even easier for Sophie to lose her capability to love, and then once that went, her capacity for feeling and caring wasn't far behind. But this sort of thing can't be magicked into nothingness. It had to go somewhere. And Sophie's going to have to go there to get it back. Atlantis. _Books of Magic_ #1, original mini-series, Neil Gaiman: 'What you have to understand about Atlantis, is this. Are you listening, boy? ...Anyway, where humanity gets it wrong, by *your* time, is in imagining Atlantis as having any kind of quantifiable existence. Which of course it hasn't; not in the way they imagine, anyway. There have been an awful lot of Atlantises, will be quite a few more. It's just a symbol. A symbol of the art. The true Atlantis is inside you, just as it's inside all of us. The sunken land is lost beneath the dark sea, lost beneath the waves of wet, black stories and myths that break upon the shores of our minds. Atlantis is the shadow-land, the birth-place of civilization. The fair land in the west that is lost to us, but remains forever, true birthplace and true goal. It is Lyonesse, and Avalon, and Hy-Brasail.' She's going to have to step into the collective unconscious.
So Sophie (and *that* name is no coincidence either; she's supposed to grow and develop, character-wise, into a bringer of forgotten wisdom) gets her sex drive back, and by extension her capability to love. But it's still really messed up. We are not talking instant restoration here. She has no experience with these feelings, and the road back to being able and willing to open up, care, feel, is going to be a long and rocky one. Hell, she'll never be entirely recovered.
It's at this point that the Forces of Order catch on to what the Forces of Chaos are doing. At the moment, Sophie's tour guides are a couple of exotic figures who call themselves Pepper (Apep, Egyptian serpent of chaos and darkness, enemy of Ra) and Tia Matthews (you figure that one out). Then the first darkness-tamer, dragonslayer, city-builder, civilization-starter shows up and kills Tia, or at least puts her out of commission for a while. I dunno the details of that yet. Having adopted more recognizable modern words for his name (at least in some languages), he calls himself the March Duke. And Sophie, with her confused emotions, promptly falls in love with him. I'll find some way to make it not-cliched, really! But it's important, because it introduces, for the first time, a reason for Sophie to doubt the chaos-myths' plans for her. Maybe it's not a good idea to bring the darkness back. Maybe she shouldn't be their messiah. And for the rest of the series, or whatever it is, she'll have to try to decide between Civilization and Chaos. I don't know exactly how this particular plotline turns out, but the key to understanding will come when the Trickster shows up to teach Sophie how to take the middle path. Because see, that's what the Trickster is: he's the very first awakening of light and understanding, the firebringer, who leads to civilization, but he's also the enemy of order. He understands that humanity lies between the darkness and the light. There's a great essay I found somewhere online that I'm going to draw from muchly, about the Trickster as a figure of borders and boundaries and balancing acts. And so at some point, Sophie refuses to be a messiah for either side and instead determines to be a bringer of wisdom. Hence the justification of her name.