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Alright, I'm trying to restate a closed question to see what I get....I'm more than a little nervous. Background: In a world where Desonia exists (see What Would The Result of Tangible Chaos Be On The Military?), a team of Dissonants has made a deal with the government, becoming essentially contracted superheroes in exchange for medical treatment (they want to become Resonants).

However, one of the character's superpowers has (as yet unknown) a nasty side effect, and this superpower happens to be why she was selected to be the team's top healer. Let's do this piece by piece, shall we?

  1. Superpower Overflow-Mariposa regenerates life force every round, and she can grant some or all of that life force to adjacent organisms (must be multicellular; bacteria are not an option here). If her Constitution (amount of life force; represents vital force and health) is full, this health will be given to an ally (or allies) automatically. If no allies are present, Mariposa vents this energy into some nearby organism (or organisms). She chooses where her life force goes, allowing her to heal

  2. Side Effect Unbeknownst to our Dissonant heroes, Desonia is actually pieces of an alien being's very being, bits of it that were scattered after a meteorite struck it and gained a 'half-life' of their own. I say 'half-life' because while this substance has a primitive consciousness, survival instinct, and what have you, the life force inside it is incomplete and therefore Desonia is not truly alive. It's a shell, a husk, a piece of something forever separated from the whole. Forgive me my tangent; the reason this matters is because when Mariposa uses Overflow, the life force she transfers is a mix of human and alien life force. The human life force is filtered by the recipient into their own specific wavelength (life force type) while the alien DNA separates and seeks out the 'half-life' inside the Dissonant to be healed. This is actually a rather big problem because then the 'half-life' of each Dissonant fuses and creates a new organism, a spirit. In females, this spirit finds an egg cell and triggers pregnancy, while in males, they simply end up having the soul of a new alien being residing within them until they have a kid (which results in the new alien being born).

My question is, What Will Be The Impact and Implications of Pregnancy-Inducing Healing?

Consider:

  1. I'm looking for the impact on the team and quite possibly the governmental branch assigned to oversee (supervise and direct) the team (and if not already made clear, the reaction of both as well). Implications will be the technical stuff that comes with Mariposa's healing literally creating new beings inside Dissonants (not regular people, they don't have Desonia).
  2. The government has scanners that can detect life force and differentiate between the different wavelengths, so they'll soon figure out exactly what Mariposa unintentionally did when they check up on the "victims" after Mariposa's first time on the field. Why the check-up? When people feel sick or just plain 'off,' they usually get checked out. Even more so for a Dissonant, since they know they're prone to genetic defects (and insanity, which is what the males will likely get checked for).
  3. This is a 'one-and-done' thing; while Mariposa is constantly generating hybrid (human/alien) life force, the others aren't. In other words, whether the victim is male or female, once they have the kid (or a kid for the men), the alien life force inside them is gone and they won't have to go through that ordeal again. In fact, since the alien life force inside Desonia is what causes Dissonance's nasty side effects, after going through that the individual will essentially be cured! Furthermore, the government has the means to figure this out, and it should take (I'm guesstimating) a week at the most to figure this out.
  4. The first comment concerns abortion; that's simply not feasible. A) the alien life form has Mariposa's regenerative ability and B) there is no B, only A. Mariposa is virtually immortal, like Wolverine or Deadpool; if she takes a bullet to the head, chances are she'll be out of action, but she won't be down for long. This means the alien babies won't be invincible, but they will be virtually immune to all but the most extreme abortion methods (I'm guessing) and I'm guessing the government will be more than willing to have these alien babies be born so they can figure out how exactly they can obtain Mariposa's healing factor for themselves from their genes.

If more information is needed, or you noticed something that needs fixing, comment and I will address that ASAP. Thank you all! (Oh, and if the tags aren't right, I apologize in advance).

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  • $\begingroup$ So people who receive healing are monitored. Female team members and girlfriends / wives of male team members who become pregnant have the pregnancy terminated at four weeks, which is rather trivially easy nowadays. Then they are cured. Overall, the only impact is a small increase in the team health care costs. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jan 11 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry AlexP, but abortion is not the answer I'm looking for. Please see the edit; I added a Point 4 under "Consider." $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jan 11 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias But why though? Abortion or infanticide was common practice in most pre-industrial societies to deal with unwanted births, and preventing the birth of a bunch of half eldritch abomination babies they can't reliably control seems like something a government would want to do. If the infant is strong enough to alter reality to keep itself alive, it's strong enough that the government can't control it. The healing magic would be banned except for emergency situations to prevent the birth of demon babies. $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 3:31
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    $\begingroup$ Valid, but I actually _want_these hybrid children to come about, as that has so much story potential..... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jan 12 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias If your story requires all of the characters involved to disregard their own self interest and act contrary to human nature to make the story happen, you don't have a good story. It will break suspension of disbelief. Even in IRL cases where people do stupid, stupid things (e.g., overuse of fossil fuels), they do them believing it will benefit themselves in some way. This plot has the government doing dumb things to create a threat they can't control because "plot". $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 19:00
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Theyd all be quarintined and vivisected by curious scientists.

The progression of "yay healded" to "omg I'm pregnant Immaculately / insane" to "the life scanner shows you infected your team" will be swift. Like first injury on a mission swift.

The team will be overpowered and anethetised for study. Once the spreading alien is detected, theyll be in quarintine to avoid spreading it further. The children will be born in a lab and studied by scientists.

Or incinerated and erased from history.

Tweaks to make it more interesting:

Were the life scanner not available the story will be more complex. Abortion will be sought and failed (as stated), team mates will acuse each other of rape, rumours will spread, team members will be raising children they dont want and that will result in messed up children, members will go insane from the double soul and no one will know why, basically the unit will fall apart from the interpersonal conflict.

Were the team all female (so no insanity, only pregnancy), and they were all on birth control implant of some form - makes sense, no periods during battle). Eggs are still fertilised by the alien but fail to implant in womb, or they are not released at all. The pregnancy may not happen. In which case, the team could continue until situations change pregnancy free. Men who join the team go insane and "cant handle the women". Only when a new woman joins does the plot thicken, making the healing (which has worked fine for years) less likely to be suspected.

Or just wait 30 years. This also seems like a good way to explain why a group of old women are crime fighting. Menopause makes one immune to pregnancy.

Or just recruit intersex / transgender people, as they will neither go insane (as not male) or get pregnant (as not female). Use the false dichotomy of gender to your advantage!

Think about this from the perspective of the "healed" woman.

This reminds me of stories of doctors raping their anethetised patients. From the victims point of view the same things appear to happen: "passes out in urgent need of medical care, wakes up pregnant but healed". The implied rape may be a touchy subject / trigger warning for your work - even though no sexual act occurs.

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    $\begingroup$ Oh geez, I completely forgot about the r-word implications. IRL, when an unexpected baby is born amongst a group of people, the first instinct usually isn't they've been impregnated by an alien hive mind, it's usually that somebody has either been sexually assaulted or fooling around in secret. $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ But with intersex/transsexual people, wouldn't it just affect the person the same way as their biological sex? Sex change operations surgically alter the reproductive organs, they don't remove the gonads or change the chromosomes. Healing magic might just reverse gender reassignment surgery or HRT by treating it as an injury (especially given this magic has a will of its own and wants to create babies). If it doesn't create the necessary hole, it might result in an ectopic pregnancy and the baby might...make a hole on its own $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 4:06
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@Ash's comment about the interaction between pregnancy-inducing magic and intersex/transgender people made me realize there is actually a much bigger implication of pregnancy-inducing magic that is explicitly trying to get people pregnant that I hadn't considered: the most optimal scenario for Desonia would be to simply turn everyone into women and get them pregnant that way.

The way you've set up Desonia creates a huge hurdle for the goals of the intelligence controlling it: healing males is fundamentally less profitable than healing females. Healing males means that the intelligence has to gamble on its power infiltrating a male sperm cell and then the male managing to impregnate a female.

  1. There is no guarantee the sperm cell with the alien soul will impregnate an egg. The average mL of human sperm contains over 100 million spermatozoa, and most of them don't even make it to the egg because they die in the hostile environment of the human uterus. Unless your alien-infused sperm is some sort of super-sperm, there is no guarantee that single spermatozoon will end up fertilizing the egg.
  2. The scenario is highly dependent on whether the male ends up wanting to have sex with someone else. Imagine if the person being healed was asexual, celibate, gay, or otherwise just not interested in having sex with someone of the opposite sex. It would be game over for whatever piece of that alien's soul is stuck inside them. The only way around this would be to warp their minds into desiring sex with the opposite sex above all else, regardless of the host's will or sexual orientation (IRL parasites actually do this). However, this would cause additional difficulties in that the host would become super noticeable and might end up sexually assaulting females, increasing the chances that the female might prefer to have the embryo aborted and hence killing the hybrid baby.
  3. By contrast, infusing a female takes out much of the middleman, as the alien egg is immediately fertilized and starts growing into an embryo right away without having to worry about input from another individual.

So you have a situation where virtually half of all impregnated hosts run the risk of never producing an alien offspring. Solution: turn them into females and cause auto-impregnation. From a purely mechanical perspective this wouldn't be super hard. The male body already contains all the genetic information necessary to produce a female (the reverse not being true). All of the instructions containing "maleness" are contained on a single 2.7 Mbp long gene called SRY, which coordinates the expression of other genes to turn a female embryo into a male one. All embryos start more or less female (kind of, there are also some female-specific developmental factors). The human body can survive with only a single active X-chromosome, indeed this is what happens in females due to x-inactivation. If healing magic can regrow lost limbs or body parts it's not a stretch to say that it could cause someone with a biologically male body to grow a uterus or vice versa. In fact, this is similar to what fishes do all the time, though these fishes generaly lack sex chromosomes or specialized intromittent organs and usually do not give live birth.

Not to mention the idea of "alien parasite turns males into females in order to impregnate them and help spread itself" isn't even novel IRL. Sacculina already does this with crabs.

If Desonia didn't have a mind of its own and just made people "super-fertile", such as auto-fertilizing eggs or causing a male to produce sperm so virile they always fertilized their mate, that would be one thing. But in this case you have an alien intelligence explicitly trying to get its hosts to have as many babies as possible to create as many alien-human hybrids as possible to reconstitute itself.

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  • $\begingroup$ Honestly, this is.....disturbing.... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jan 12 at 22:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Alendyias did you expect something not disturbing about aliens impregnating people? $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Jan 12 at 22:38
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    $\begingroup$ Embarrassingly, I now realize I did not entirely think this through. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jan 12 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ However, thinking about it now, since this is a 'one-and-done' thing, the alien infection might cause men to be attracted to women who've already had an alien child, with the women in turn being rewired to A) be receptive to an infected male and B) want to have and take care of the alien babies. How does that sound? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jan 12 at 22:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias It could be worse. A lot worse. Things like "Desonia decides to skip the middleman and just cause people to break out into differentiated teratomas that develop into wombs and spit out hybrids" to "converting people into mewling walls of cancerous growths whose only purpose is to perpetually gestate alien babies" worse. $\endgroup$ Jan 12 at 22:58

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