There's a person who lives in this world with strange powers. He can invoke powers at will to make time

  • stop
  • move more quickly
  • slow it down
  • move around the time stream etc.

Now, how would society (Earth's society) see this person? What would everybody do with him? Would they get scared and imprison him? Or would they maybe use him to study past cultures? When he goes back/forward in time, he is only beholding - he can't change anything out of the time his current self is in. Also, when he does decide to travel, a sphere of green energy is created around him. Nobody outside the sphere is affected.

Note - This person has not done anything bad. He is not using this power for harm (yet). Also , nobody knows about this except his immediate family who are trying to keep it secret . However , it will come out because there are accidental outbreaks of power where he accidentally releases power .

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ If he's got any sense, they wouldn't see him :) $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Jan 29, 2016 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ Is it valid to answer: "However he wants to be seen?" $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Jan 29, 2016 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ I don't mean physical sight(like eyesight) , I mean like what would he be used for and how would everybody respond to him ? $\endgroup$
    – spark
    Jan 29, 2016 at 14:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't understand how "he can only observe" and "nobody outside the sphere is affected" fit together. Can he affect people inside the sphere at different points in time? $\endgroup$
    – user16107
    Jan 29, 2016 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ How does the green glow work? Does he alter the past by letting people see the glow, or can no-one see it? If they can't, why is there a glow? $\endgroup$ Jan 29, 2016 at 15:13

4 Answers 4


How will anyone know in the first 3?

If you stop time, the only person who would know is the individual, unless it doesn't stop for him? So he can move to a new place when he starts it back up? Same with slowing down or speeding it up. It would be mostly his perceptions.

Unless he can do this in a field for an 'area'. Say he can speed up time for a plant to produce vegetables in a day instead of two months. Or slow down time to be able to step out of the way of bullets being shot at him. Or stop time on a dog running to attack, turning it into a statue.

These are things that can be observed and would be useful. But it also depends on how much manipulation he is able to achieve, for how useful it would be on a larger scale. This would mostly limit him to being a very cool magician.

move around the time stream etc.

This is where things get interesting. Being able to move at least 'astrally' to observe past and present and future. This has so many uses that a government would sequester him (if possible) as soon as possible. One thing would be can he bring anyone with him in his 'bubble' to view other times? Then the government would send someone with him to 'see' stuff. It might be to find lost treasure ships, find secrets from the past (solve crimes maybe) and most definitely try to help predict the future. (can he bring things like a camera to document things? This would likely be a huge bit of useful information.

When he goes back in the past and can't affect anything, then I also assume he can not be observed, since anyone seeing him would alter the time stream, (unless this glowing man is the reports for all kinds of alien and religious sightings)

The future of course would be the most difficult part. Is the future set in stone? Or can it flow down different paths? If it is set in stone, and what you see IS GOING TO HAPPEN do you necessarily want know? If it's not, can you see probabilities, depending on actions? While it would be nice to know that stock ABC123 is going to go through the roof and buy it, knowing that someone puts a bullet in your brain because they tried to rob you after you became rich, and you ARE going to do both!

On top of that, is the future set because it's been observed? Is merely observing it making it more likely or even impossible to change? In any case the man would be 'locked-up' for study and testing, and any government would do it's best to make sure he was happy and there voluntarily, since it should be fairly 'simple' for him to escape if he should so wish.

Now societies reaction would be, he's a good magician, or some kind of hoax. Some small set of people would believe he has special powers and come to treat him as some sort of messiah, and a religion would grow around him. The government would likely look into it, if they find his powers will try to secret him away with promises and plant the notion he was a very good fake.

  • $\begingroup$ He stated that the guy can't alter anything in the time stream. You could take that as he can't alter past, so no-one can see him, and he can't alter the future, so no-one can see him. He also can't interact with other times. So if he has been alive for exactly 32 years, then he'd have to go to his thirty second birthday to alter time. $\endgroup$ Jan 29, 2016 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that was my assumption. But he also said he has a green 'glow' about him. If no one can see him then who sees the green glow? $\endgroup$
    – bowlturner
    Jan 29, 2016 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know, I"ll ask. $\endgroup$ Jan 29, 2016 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ yeah , he can play with time within his sphere (ie the green thing) so he could do the vegetables in a day thing . TThe green glow defines the 'limit' of the sphere . You can only see the sphere when he invokes powers , otherwise he won't have a glow $\endgroup$
    – spark
    Jan 29, 2016 at 15:34

Depends on who knows about this individual. Once informed there is no way government(s) would leave him alone. After all not only he could be an invaluable asset both in military and intelligence , he also possesses a certain danger. He could decide to use his power to expose dirty government actions, accuse corrupt politicians or spy for a rival country which he belongs etc. So he would either become a tool or a target for them depending on his willingness to cooperate.


As A Tool

Scientists and historians alike would likely use him to study past cultures. He might also become a little bit of a celebrity. Other than that, little would probably change. After all, he is just a witness, and he can't affect history. Religious groups might try to get him to talk to Jesus. Other groups might try to stop him. Things like that. Also, we'd know how the wonders of he world were built!

Edit - If only his immediate family knew, then the claim ms of him traveling back in time wouldn't be believed by most. It might gain a significant following, though. And governments and scientists might want to study him.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I disagree with one key aspect, the last thing religion wants is truth. Historians might want to talk to Jesus but the religions will stay well clear of him and possibly call him evil and try to kill him. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Jan 29, 2016 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ I know that I wouldn't. Anyway, the religous leaders would be more like, "I want the truth. The majority of people would want the truth. Just don't look too deeply into it, because he may be forced to lie". And likely he would be threatened if he tried to go back to see religous things. $\endgroup$ Jan 29, 2016 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ There are people who genuinely believe in their religions. They wouldn't feel any threat and thus have no reason to accuse him. $\endgroup$ Jan 29, 2016 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ @MustafaAKTAŞ I agree with that as well. Which is why I edited it to say some people would want him to go back and others wouldn't. The point I was making above was that nobody in their right minds would openly say that a person able to see history is a bad thing. $\endgroup$ Jan 29, 2016 at 14:26

The response would probably vary. Some people would see him as a messiah-like character. But most would see him either as a tool, or threat.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .