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Question: I need a power that fits the description below, and I also need to know how the individual described below could come by this power.

The Wielder: An individual (human, around 18 or so) has somehow become full of power. He can unleash this power, though it doesn't matter if he does this by choice or not. All that matters is that it can happen easily. I would like it if there is some sort of reason for it's being unleashed (getting angry, controlled by the mind, etc.).

The Power: This power needs to have the ability to just completely demolish everything. I'm currently imagining it as a sort of shockwave that slams into everything it touches. It doesn't have to be in that form though. It could be a force (like magnetism or light), a pulse or wave (like sound), or really just about anything, as long as it can be unleashed by the wielder. It can spread outwards from a central point, or be a focused beam. Once again, all that matters is that it is very destructive. It has to be able to affect everything (people, buidlings, the ground, etc.). It has to be so destructive, that the individual wielding it has to be considered a walking weapon who must be kept isolated, regardless of his intentions. It does need to be a part of the wielder, not a machine or something (otherwise someone could just take it away).

Where you come in: What sort of a power would this be, and how could it be attained by an 18-year old? He does not have to attain it himself; he could easily be the victim of a failed experiment or the like.

The time: I'm trying to keep this within the current era, though a little futuristic speculation is fine (If we could somehow...). What I do not want is fantasy, magic, or space/aliens type answers. If there is a way to keep this firmly grounded in science, I would like to use it.

I realize this may be somewhat vague, so please let me know what further details you need. Also, please tell me if it is simply not scientifically possible.

P.S. While this individual may sound like a super-hero, I'm trying to make this more of a futuristic premise. Don't think Spiderman. Think Hunger Games.

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closed as off-topic by Mołot, JDługosz Apr 21 '17 at 4:52

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    $\begingroup$ Energy requires a source. The human body can only safely contain so much of it, and typically in the form of sugar, fat and oil. I don't think this can be made scientifically possible, but science fiction has plenty of allowances for cool stuff. Maybe edit that a little? Or...? $\endgroup$ – Sean Boddy Apr 15 '15 at 2:38
  • $\begingroup$ Why not have the kid channel or direct energy from an external source? That is, if aliens or whatever decided to give him a sort of remote-communication ring or chip, so that whenever he thinks "waste that thing over there" the aliens waste it with their infinite-ultra-future-death-ray, then he's got the power you want. The question is how he got this deal, and why the aliens did this. Philip K. Dick's "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" played with this a bit. $\endgroup$ – CAgrippa Apr 15 '15 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ @CAgrippa That would be good, except I don't want to resort to aliens if I can avoid it, as I mentioned above. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Myron Apr 15 '15 at 4:36
  • $\begingroup$ As allegedly said by a military of Cold War era, the average distance between major towns of Eastern Germany is 10 kiloton. $\endgroup$ – SF. Apr 15 '15 at 6:06
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    $\begingroup$ Go watch Akira. $\endgroup$ – Mormacil Apr 20 '17 at 14:51
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Mad Scientist Bob Barker (not the host) has had enough with people making jokes about his name all of his life. As a brilliant geneticist/chemist/vegetarian, he decides to get his revenge on the world by creating a virus that will turn all food animals into walking bombs that will explode when people try to kill them.

Bob does have a sense of humor though, and he searches for and hires his assistant also solely based on his name and weight - enter Drew Carey (also not the host). Unfortunately for Bob (and good for us) Drew quickly realizes what's going on and sabotages Bob's work, killing Bob, and destroying his lab and all of his work. Unfortunately for Drew, as part of this he gets infected with an early version of the virus.

Fortunately for Drew, this early version of the virus has some quirks. It can't turn all of him into a bomb, only his layers of fat. Second, Bob was experimenting with making the animals more deadly, so it turns out Drew's fat cells have transformed themselves into distinct Shaped Charges, each of which can explode out devastatingly away from him, but leaving the rest of his body alone. It hurts like hell but doesn't kill him.

Bob wanted the animals to explode when they were stressed, because in his world view that only happens when they're about to be killed unnaturally in food processing plants. Drew now finds that when he gets upset in any way, random parts of his body explode outward, destroying and wrecking his local environment.

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  • $\begingroup$ i think this is genius lol $\endgroup$ – Spacemonkey Apr 15 '15 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ needs a catchphrase....like Come on Down! or something. $\endgroup$ – Marshall Tigerus Jul 7 '16 at 17:14
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Power is the biggest issue if you want to exclude "magic". I'd throw most of the mutant super powers under magic, since there's not really any science there.

So I have two ideas that are similar in method, but different in execution.

He has glands that are built into his body. Basically like sweat glands that have changed.

In one variation he secretes super powerful acid which sprays from the glands and dissolves whatever it touches, but which doesn't affect him.
The big problem is that acid won't dissolve a lot of things...

So, plan 2. Instead of acid, he is infected with and produces nanobots in his body. It's basically a grey goo. He can spray it out in a cloud, or a directed stream. The nanobots disassemble anything and everything very quickly. They tear everything down to base molecules, a sludge of materials, and he absorbs them to sustain himself. The nanobots are always reproducing in his body, always growing, and this is a problem because if he doesn't provide them with raw materials, they'll begin to feed on his cells. He can't shut them off, can't get rid of them. They are programmed to avoid dissembling his cells unless there's nothing else.

He can dissolve a standard size car in about 4 minutes and it will feed the nanobots for 3 days. The biggest problem is transporting the molecules. If he can set up a base, he can create a pool of materials to feed off of. If he can't make a pool, he can either put them into a backpack or get the nanobots to wrap the molecules around him like a liquid layer of clothes. This only really gives him enough materials for a day or two, but does act like armor against small caliber weapons.

Another problem is that if he's injured the nanobots will be released and eat anything around him. No one is sure what will happen if he dies.

They don't just dissolve things, they can also build and repair objects and tissue. Building consumes materials. So, he could eat a broken part and rebuild a new exact replacement with no material loss, but if a second part was built from scratch it would use materials. He has mental control over the nanobots, but if he's scared or stressed then they will react to his emotions instead of his will.

Edit:
So the nanobots can build stuff, but they can also join together to form shapes, like say a sword made of disassemblers. Anything it touches just melts, and it would just flow into shape, very T1000 like. He could form any melee weapon, and even projectile weapons by using compressed air to fire a slug.
This would get rid of the need for it to be a spray.

Edit 2
If He has enough material he could direct it like the bad guy in Big Hero 6...

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  • $\begingroup$ Plan 2 is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. I don't like the fact that it is a spray, mainly because the range is limited and, well, because it wouldn't look very cool, but the principle is great. :) I especially like how the nanobots can provide 'armor' for him. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Myron Apr 15 '15 at 4:40
  • $\begingroup$ Nanobots would hardly be better than acid for breaking down most objects. Unless your world is made of some kind of easily-harnessed fuel. $\endgroup$ – Brian Gordon Apr 15 '15 at 4:53
  • $\begingroup$ @TommyMyron figured out how to remove the spray. $\endgroup$ – AndyD273 Apr 15 '15 at 5:19
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    $\begingroup$ A utility-fog cloak. Diffuse enough to just pass off as air but extending a city block in each direction and ready to coalesce and solidify into objects and structures at the wielder's whim. $\endgroup$ – John Meacham Apr 15 '15 at 12:21
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    $\begingroup$ @AndyD273 Unless the nanobots are digesting the thing that they're breaking down, they're going to have to return to his body for more energy every time they break off a microscopic piece of the thing. How is that going to work? It's one thing to be able to spray grey goo over something and have it be consumed; it's another to have Prey-style flying nanobots that can find their way back home. $\endgroup$ – Brian Gordon Apr 15 '15 at 19:34
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How about a healthy carrier for a deadly virus? Something airborne, or volatile enough, to spread the contagion very quickly. And with no known cure. His destructive power would only be biologic though, he would not be able to destroy buildings with a sneeze, but he could wipe a population, coughing in a subway. That gives an incentive to contain him, and he could, willingly or not, bring destruction around him. The symptoms of the disease are up to you. Although the incubation time has to be long enough to have the virus spread (no instant death then).

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Two great cosmic forces have been battling it out for billions of years. It is official: one side is losing. But it's not going down without a fight. It distills all of the weaknesses it can find int the winning side down into a seed - just an idea. Any place where this seed can take root will see the weaknesses of the winning side. The bigger the seed grows, the more weaknesses show up. It's the last ditch effort of the loser to be as pesky and damaging as possible.

You can pick your favorite way for that seed to find its way into the 18 year old's ear, and worm its way into his brain. Religion, anti-religion, freak experiment, or simply wrong place wrong time, they all work. The important part is that it presents itself to him as a way to solve problems. Don't like a problem? Just sign on the dotted line, and the seed will erase it.

The only issue is, it's not always so easy. As the hero finds out, the skillset he's gaining is really best at destroying the universe wholesale. It's not very good at surgical efforts to shape the world. Accordingly, every now and then, it gets out of his control, and simply begins negating everything it can before he can shut it up.

The general pattern is actually sound, if you choose to model the world as waves, but the details may become a bit fantastic for literary effect.

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I think the best that you're going to get in the space of plausible answers is nerve gas. If he has glands that can produce small amounts of nerve gas, and he's immune to it, he can walk through a city killing thousands of people.

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Random things happen in the universe. They just do. So when Timmy Doe suddenly gains the ability to increase his density without consequence to himself, Normalville has a massive problem on its hands. Not only did little Timmy suddenly become immune to bullets, he happened to accidentally cause a massive car crash after he clippped an 18 wheeler, tearing a massive chunk out of it and causing an explosion. In fact, the other day an entire building disappeared after his mass increased so much he caused it to implode towards him (fortunately, his density made him safe from the effects).

On the plus side, local scientists have finally found the cause of the outburst of the power: emotional changes and hormonal shifts. Whenever he experiences extreme emotion, such as fear (getting hit by a car) or anger (when the kidnappers took him into the building), his ability triggers.

On the downside, his girlfriend dumped him and he his parents learned he failed Biology again.

On a side note, the crater where Normalville was previously located is now considered "off-limits".


The power to alter your own personal density and mass would effectively make your invulnerable and extremely dangerous, as you could increase the mass and density of a hand about to punch someone to, oh, the equivalent of a bullet train. At a sufficient density, you could effectively create personal gravity, drawing in surrounding objects and crushing them to an indescribably small size.

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The human becomes commander in chief of one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world, e.g. through elections in the US or Russia, or through a sufficiently high degree of influence over the elected individual (e.g. son/daughter?).

Alternatively, the person could gain the power to unleash superpowers' nuclear weapons by providing enough provocation or destabilization elsewhere so as to trigger nuclear responses, either directly (e.g. through detectors and automatic systems) or through combination with aggression and inexperience of such a leader (e.g. Kim Jong Un vs. Donald Trump).

The destructive power of thermonuclear warheads seems sufficient to satisfy the power requirement. The wielder may have gained the power through elections, personal influence, military promotions, hacking skills, or even unintentionally (e.g. reflecting light to missile detection satellites, misplacing some papers about an upcoming science satellite launch, etc.).

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What about making him/her radioactive? His body can produce gamma/alpha/beta rays that can expand outwards. I'm not sure what it could do against buildings, but lifeforms would be damaged pretty quickly.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding. The questioner asked for a power that could "demolish everything" I don't think radioactivity would do that. $\endgroup$ – James K Apr 20 '17 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but I don't see many other answers in here that allow for destroying everything. People are suggesting nerve gas and viruses which would do no more than radiation would. In fact, I believe radiation would actually cause some damage to buildings (maybe even a lot if there's enough radiation). I was offering an alternative to the other suggestions given. $\endgroup$ – Arthur Dent Apr 20 '17 at 21:46
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This is almost exactly what happened to an old Champions character of mine.

A wormhole got into Tim. How? It was drifting through space and finally moved through enough matter to stop within Tim. The other end of the wormhole is within an energy source which gives it enough energy to hold itself open. This wormhole doesn't produce a lot of energy (most if it is used to maintain the wormhole).

Normally, a person would slowly cook from the energy that gets through. However, Tim is special and he somehow creates energy channels and force fields from this energy to keep it from destroying him (allowing enough energy to nourish his cells). His body also feeds some of the energy back into the wormhole expanding the other side if the wormhole. This causes more energy to pour through and instigates a spiral feedback (channels and force field get stronger, allowing more energy to come through, etc.). This all happens internally with no one (possibly even Tim) knowing that it is happening.

Then some event pops the force field and he blows up a small area (car, room, etc.). He must then concentrate to restore the force field and gets it back. That does not stop the power build up. So, every time his force field is penetrated, the explosion is bigger than the last time. Tim may or may not be able to make pinhole openings in the force field to use the energy in a more directed manner.

By the time anyone figures out what it happening, Tim is the only one who can restore a force field that is strong enough to hold the energy in.

If he gets startled, the force field loses some power. The amount and duration of the force field drop depends on how badly he was startled and how long it takes for him to pull himself back together.

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