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pheonix89: And as an inane hypothetical inspired by rereading the entirety of In the Service and A Numbered Existance, how would the TSAB deal with / react to a Reinforce level sentient Lost Logia that didn't have a program error making it kill worlds?
Aleph: Carefully. Very, very carefully.
... and probably in a similar way to how they deal with "living Lost Logia" like Hayate or Dawn State genelines, honestly. They get no special treatment and no automatic rank or privilege for being special snowflakes, but they're welcome to join the TSAB and help people, and if they do they'll be placed accordingly based on their merits and skills as they display them. If they want to live quietly, they're equally free to do that (though they're encouraged to join, because the Bureau needs all the people it can get), and the TSAB will probably keep an eye on them as they do with all the "oh god powerful" threats.
They may also be asked to accept a Limiter placed on their more high-power destructive abilities, which they don't need for a productive non-military life and which tend to make people extremely jumpy when they're being carried around a civilian shopping district. Rather like what would have happened to Nanoha - still allowing her "civilian" magic use and casual flying, but with no access to the levels needed for Divine Busters or high-speed aerial combat until she'd proven (to the psych evaluation) that she could be trusted with them. Which is less horriblebadawful than it sounds, since... basically, if you refuse that, then they're going to ask "exactly what do you think you need artillery-calibre magical firepower for in an ordinary civilian-with-magic life?" Because there isn't anything, really. Any more than the average person on Earth needs a dozen assault rifles and a bazooka.
ShaperV: Hmm. Well, it's a smaller change from canon than a lot of your other tweaks, and I can see the mindset behind it. But that's an attitude that isn't going to work out very well in practice.
The problem is that humans like status, and an individual with the firepower of an armored division typically isn't going to be interested in being just another cadet in a faceless organization that treats them just like anyone else. The TSAB controls only a small portion of dimensional space, and a policy like this encourages high-rank mages who want political power to leave. The S-rankers can go off into unclaimed space and carve out a kingdom for themselves, and even A-rankers can probably find a feudal nation someplace where their power makes them automatic nobles.
EarthScorpion: Ha ha ha, they can try.
That has much the same success rate as wealthy people trying to "go Galt", or Western mercenaries trying to launch a coup in some African republic. Sure, you might even manage to succeed, but enjoy your drastically reduced living standards and the possible arrest warrant on your head in TSAB space and the assassination attempts from the locals. Because by and large, the worlds you could do that on aren't the nice, advanced, comfortable living standards Type 1 and Type 4 worlds in the TSAB core.
Humans have been in Dimensional Space for thousands of years. The worlds with underdeveloped populations which could be dominated by a single mage usually have a pretty good reason why they're like that and why a single mage would rather not go take them over, even if they like power.
Sure, if you wanted to, you could go have political power on Megane's homeworld. You could carve yourself out a wonderful empire there, over inedible, allergenic and toxic plantlife and ancient ruined cities. Of course, if you asked her and offered a good sum, she'd probably sell you her title because she'd rather be rid of it. Megane is an AAA-ranker, and as far as she's concerned, a rather well-paid job with an excellent pension where she gets to live on TSAB core worlds and enjoys social respect for it is much preferable to being an aristocrat on some backwater where you can't even go outside without a Jacket.
Let's be frank here. Yes, you can "go Belkan" and take over some backwater. It has to be a real backwater, because even a moderate backwater will have enough people to be able to kill you, and yes, you can defect if you want and be treated as a valued citizen by the backwater, but that also means they'll expect you to do a lot more things than the TSAB would ask of you. And honestly, most people really wouldn't want to, because the skills to be a high rank mage also mean that you're a maths genius who, to be frank, if you want power could make your money much more effectively in the stock market and wouldn't have to go live on some shitty little planet dealing with assassins and TSAB attempts to extraordinarily rendite you if the world you tried to take over was in formal relations with the TSAB (yeah, that's a thing they do; if they're in contact with you, they'll protect you from their own rogue citizens if it's convenient).
If you went into finance instead, you could just buy somewhere nice on a Type-1, Type-4, or in the nice areas of Type-2s and -3s, and have servants and be able to go shopping in the Core and not have a TSAB trade embargo put on you.
To put it another way, the TSAB loses far more people to the megacorps and private industry than it does to people who go and want to take over backwaters, and honestly the high rank mages who go private make more money from their minds than from their magic. Because it's much easier to build a spaceship which carries far more cargo than even an S-ranker could manage than it is to build an AI as smart as them.
ShaperV: Are you saying the TSAB has AI limiters that can dynamically change their behavior based on what kind of spell a mage is casting? Because a lot of people are going to have answers like:
"I want to get rich throwing up instant office buildings with S-rank construction spells." "I want to start a business boosting payloads into orbit with my OP flight magic." "I want to use my stupidly powerful TK to do earth-moving for large construction projects." "I've got this idea for searching ruined planets for Lost Logia with thousands of simultaneous search spells." "With my lighting affinity I can sell electricity to the local power company and make a mint."
Magic is just a way to impose your will on your environment, and that's worth money. There are countless ways that a high-rank mage could substitute for a mountain of expensive conventional hardware, making their services potentially worth millions of $$ per day. But unfortunately for the TSAB there's no clear-cut distinction between peaceful uses of magical power and combat spells, so limiting one and not the other seems pretty tricky.
EarthScorpion: If you won't submit to the necessary psychological testing and other such things, you'll get a Limiter put on you, and then be able to apply to a conditional, monitored release of it for specific things. Just like in canon. In fact, if you're of that rank they'll probably put a limiter on you anyway, and you'll simply not get permission for a limiter release if you can't pass the psyche tests.
No, the TSAB does not care that your magic is "part of you". You do not have a right to own a nuclear weapon, and as a result, you do not have a right to practice high rank magic unless it is deemed safe for you to do so. Even if it would make you money. Well, tough shit that it would make you money. Earth doesn't let demolition companies own nuclear weapons so they can quickly and effectively make canals and flatten hills, does it?
To put it another way, by training your magic up to those levels - and have no doubt about it, in almost all cases it is a choice, and in the cases it is not (like Hayate) it's the product of a Lost Logia which needs to be monitored anyway - you are in the eyes of the TSAB accepting a social contract. If you didn't want to do that, you shouldn't have trained it up that high.
Not following those things led to the Dark Ages and to the Warring States. History has very well shown that high rank mages will abuse the freedom to do such things and start blowing up cities and taking over nations. That's why you don't let them do it, make sure they are psychologically stable, and have task forces for hunting down people like Precia Testarossa and Jail.
The TSAB does not care about your freedom when your freedom would mean that, potentially, all that is between you and a kilodeath scenario is one bad day and less than a minute's casting time. And that's that.
(If we were to look at things in terms of comics, the TSAB would be disgusted by anyone who opposed a superhuman registration act. "No, it's not fair, per se, that you have to register just because you can blow up a city block with your eyes," would be their position, "but we don't give a shit about fairness because you can blow up a city block with your eyes. To be blunt, the needs of the many to not be blown up outweigh your personal needs not to have to register that you can do this".)
(On S-Ranked mages and joining / working for the TSAB)
Aleph: They get no special treatment based on "I am the descendent of the ancient Belkan noble X!", or "my powers come from the line of Y, who ruled this entire planet in the days of Ossiria!" Because... yes, very good for you. But Ossiria fell more than three thousand years ago, and so your ancient noble "right" to this planet means precisely jack and squat, even if you do have personally-owned territory left on it like Megane's lands (which are often more a hindrance than a help when they come with responsibilities). And not all do - in most cases, it means the same as being descended from a wealthy landowner in the Roman era does today: nothing, in material terms.
Now, if you have impressive skills, and can display merit, then since the TSAB is (mostly) a meritocracy, you will be treated accordingly to those skills and what you do with them. If you happen to have a very useful talent, then yes, you can get a very comfortable and well-paid position in the TSAB with relative ease. But the kind of logic that some Sailor Moon fans use to go "oh, well, Tux-boy is the Guardian of Earth so he owns the whole planet, see, and should be treated with respect"? Uh... no. Sorry, but the statue of limitations on that expired quite some time ago, and he no longer has any right to it. He can make a very nice living for himself with the skills that come with that Lost Logia, but he gets no special consideration just because he's descended from some ancient dead guy who was important.
And I think some people are far, far overestimating how a) easy and b) pleasant it would be to take over a backwater planet. S-rankers are terrifyingly powerful, yes. But that doesn't mean "immortal", and neither does it mean "invincible", especially when you have to sleep eventually. The TSAB is much less actual work and effort for, actually, considerably better standards of living (first world conditions across the board), a good chance at power and influence if you're willing to move up the ladder, which S-rankers find fairly easy by default until they hit the point where their mind starts to matter more than their magic, and a hell of a lot more general respect and admiration from the populace at large.