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In a world that is all but a carbon-copy of our own, through means no one quite knows how, people started developing superpowers. Studies have been done to try and figure out why these people gained powers, but, nothing seems to differentiate these empowered people from regular ones. There’s no extra gene, visible mutations in their body, or anything else on a biological level to differentiate these extraordinary people from regular humans.

One of these super-powered humans has the power to manipulate, and turn into, smoke. They can turn their entire body into a thick cloud of smoke that they can use to fly while still having awareness of there surroundings, turn parts of their body into smoke to avoid attacks, and even channel smoke through their palms, or from their surroundings, and launch it as an attack that can damage cars. In addition, they can also absorb any smoke into their own body, that they themselves did not create, and can use it both as a minor strength boost, now able to punch through brick walls when their not a cloud, and even heal any damage they suffered.

This power does have limitations, though. For one, the person can only use turn their smoke form for half-an-hour a day, as in they can’t turn into smoke once they exceed this limit, such as if they turned into smoke for five minutes, and much later turned into smoke again, they only have twenty-five minutes left to use their smoke form, although they can still use their other smoke powers. The person can also only absorb so much smoke, say the amount a group of large buildings on fire would produce if left uncheck, before they start feeling nauseous and come close to collapsing from a massive headache, and it's not helped by the fact the person in question hates smoking and absorbing the smoke feels like gurgling a mountain of lit cigarettes.

What would be the required secondary powers needed for this power to function as described above, assuming they can use this power in ways that utilize every bit of its potential, and avoid causing harm to the person’s body?

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    $\begingroup$ How scientific do you want to stay? Does the mass of the smoke has to match mass of a person? Does the energy that makes the smoke moving come from person's own energy? $\endgroup$ – Alexander May 26 at 18:35
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking it didn't have to be so scientific that everything could be quantified down to an exact number, but more trying to explain this power, and the required secondary powers needed for it to function, as scientifically as could be reasonably expected. Like, the mass has to be close but it doesn't have to be an exact match to the person, and the energy to move the smoke doesn't come from the person. $\endgroup$ – String It Together May 26 at 18:40
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  • 1) Blindsense. Smoke can't see, so they can "see" while blind. This implies they can find their way through total darkness. This could be sensing the air and where it's not. It could a directional sense, but they have something.
  • 2) Air manipulation. Smoke can't direct it's flight, so they have some way to push themselves around.
  • 3) Smoke sense (i.e. they can sense smoke). This might be touch only, but they have to know when absorbing smoke is an option.
  • 4) Pressure. Turn a mass into an equal mass of air in an enclosed space and you have an explosion. Presumably you don't want to go that far but it's implied there's a pressure wave.
  • 5) Clothing. Either they're nude when they change or they can change things other than their own body. At the extreme, this might be supplies or even another person.
  • 6) Clothing x2, i.e. Disintegration or firearms. Touch something small, turn to smoke, let go of it... does it turn back? If so, then take a gun with you and you can shoot while made of smoke but your bullets are real. If not, then touch other things, turn them to smoke, and they're just gone.
  • 7) Suffocation attacks.
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    $\begingroup$ Could you explain the "pressure" portion of your answer a bit more, as I'm having a bit of trouble understanding. Also, thanks for the answer! $\endgroup$ – String It Together May 27 at 3:20
  • $\begingroup$ @StringItTogether When you convert a solid (ice) into a gas you're creating a lot of pressure on the container holding it. Do it instantly and it's an explosion. If mass is conserved when you become smoke then your smoke form will be huge. If mass isn't conserved then that implies other things. $\endgroup$ – Dark Matter May 27 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Following up on your pressure question; air is ~800-1000 times less dense than water (which people are approximately made of). If a person weighing 75kg turned into 75kg of air; they'd suddenly be 1000 times bigger, or the same size but under 1000 times normal air pressure. $\endgroup$ – David258 May 29 at 0:10
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The mimics from the 2017 game prey have their ability to mimic objects explained in a similar way that I will: parallel dimension

I honestly think it's impossible though any other means, simply because smoke is a mix of various particles and gasses. For your character to be able to turn into smoke and remain sentient, he is able to, for a certain time window which is rewinded every 24 hours, tap into an alternate dimension and switch places with a certain amount of smoke in there. This interdimensional connection not only allows him to control a specific smoke composition with ease, as well as almost "seeing through the smoke" when inside it, but also allows him to use it as a storage space, explaining how such large amounts of smoke and gas can seemingly enter his body and disappear. While this storing and returning ability can be used non-stop, his ability to enter this dimension through switching places with a certain amount of smoke inside it isn't, and is the one ability with an actual time-frame.

Note this "people somehow being linked with parallel universes and realities, some with different laws of physics" theme might help explain other superpowers in your story, such as only controlling a single element.

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Four fun secondary powers came to mind:

Generate lightning or static electricity: As a volcano dust cloud can cause lightning through friction, so could they;

Vaporize liquids: Since they can turn water within their bodies into smoke, they could as well be able to vaporize liquids by touching them. By liquids I mean anything - water, chemicals, poisons etc.

Natural resistance to poisons: They can be able to turn poison within their system into poison smoke, or even be able to breathe them with little or no damage.

Being able to control pressure: Ability to create higher or lower pressure areas, or even pockets of vacuum depending on the power of the individual. Elaborating: depending on the saturation of smoke in the surroundings, one should be able to control the air itself. In that case, one should also be able to change the pressure the surrounding air exerts over things and people, either by creating vacuum or literally squishing targets.

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    $\begingroup$ Could you explain the "controlling pressure" portion of your answer in a bit more depth? Also, thank you for the answer! $\endgroup$ – String It Together May 27 at 3:21

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