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Let's say we have a character (let's call him Nelson), who can stop time and let's pretend like it's possible and comfortable for him to do it. He can see and move in stopped time, can apply force to objects and move them, hit them, whatever. Gravity still applies in stopped time.

Nelson can stop time for 35 minutes (relatively to him) and three times per day and it takes a lot of mental effort for him to do.

Question: how possibly another person, who doesn't have any special abilities, but enourmous budget and access to all modern tech, can stop him or kill him immediately?

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    $\begingroup$ Not an answer, so adding as a comment. To make this more complicated, add that he has very quick reaction time. If he "feels" a bullet or knife beginning to penetrate his skin, he can stop time instantly. $\endgroup$ – Jammin4CO Sep 22 '16 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ Ignore the problem. Moving around while time is stopped would accumulate absurd bow-shock radiation. Immediate radiation poisoning. Done. $\endgroup$ – imallett Sep 23 '16 at 4:24
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    $\begingroup$ Hire four assassins to (attempt to) kill him at four times of the same day? $\endgroup$ – Hagen von Eitzen Sep 23 '16 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ Speak to the RCMP and accuse him of insulting ice hockey. They always get their man. $\endgroup$ – Wossname Sep 24 '16 at 10:53
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    $\begingroup$ ...it's possible and comfortable for him to do it. but also ...and it takes a lot of mental effort for him to do. How does "a lot of mental effort" reconcile with "comfortable"? E.g., what if he's sleepy? Distracted? Has a bad head cold? $\endgroup$ – user2338816 Sep 26 '16 at 1:46

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Allow me to generalize all of the other answers:

No matter what his abilities, he can't prevent something if he doesn't know it's happening.

So bullets, poison, lasers, stabbing etc. all work if they kill him before he sees them coming.

If he sees the guy about to take the shot, he can prevent it. If he doesn't, he can't. Same if he sees the laser being set up. Even a falling rock, or being hit from behind with a blackjack, works if he doesn't see it. However he can circumvent most things if he sees them in time.

Now theoretically this guy might stop time every so often and just walk around to check that nobody is trying to kill him, but that would get incredibly boring and he would probably not do it very often.

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  • $\begingroup$ Let's not forget IEDs. And nukes, for those with a taste for the dramatic. $\endgroup$ – WhatRoughBeast Sep 22 '16 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ Lasers naturally hit you before you see them coming (or exactly when you see it coming, in case it hits your eye). And if Nelson can see in stopped time, he can’t even stop the laser (though this raises some questions about how Nelson’s ability is supposed to work at all). And if you want to be on the safe side, shoot from a location not reachable within 35 minutes. $\endgroup$ – Holger Sep 23 '16 at 8:50
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    $\begingroup$ "he can circumvent most things if he sees them in time" The answer focuses on "if he sees them", but there is also the "in time" piece. That's an important condition for him to be able to save himself. There are a handful of scenarios where knowing 35*3 minutes ahead of time wouldn't really matter. $\endgroup$ – xiaomy Sep 23 '16 at 17:10
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    $\begingroup$ Lasers don't penetrate living flesh immediately - they heat it up and burn through it. If his reaction time is fast enough to allow him to react to a bullet on contact, it will allow him to react to a laser. Though this would raise all kinds of questions related to relativity... $\endgroup$ – IndigoFenix Sep 25 '16 at 6:00
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    $\begingroup$ He's gotta sleep sometime. $\endgroup$ – candied_orange Sep 25 '16 at 13:03
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Shoot Him

You just need someone to kill Nelson from behind or from a distance without being initially seen - you can't really stop time if you're already dead. A sniper bullet exceeds the speed of sound, so Nelson wouldn't be able to hear the initial shot and stop the bullet mid-flight.

Or maybe that's too simple.

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    $\begingroup$ Just regular bullets down to even a Derringer exceed the speed of sound unless you've loaded your gun with rounds that are specifically designed to be subsonic. $\endgroup$ – Shufflepants Sep 23 '16 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Shufflepants What Pete probably was referring to is that there would be a significant delay in the sound of the shot compared to the moment of impact with a bullet fired from sufficient distance. At popular distances (popularly used in media, that is), the round would hit Nelson a few seconds before anyone around him would even hear the shot, even though the round might have up to a couple seconds of flight time. $\endgroup$ – TylerH Sep 26 '16 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ @TylerH But all that matters is that the bullet hits him before the sound of the gun firing reaches him. The amount of delay doesn't matter if the bullet is already inside his head. $\endgroup$ – Shufflepants Sep 26 '16 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Shufflepants Right, I'm just pointing out that Pete was probably referring to an exaggerated instance of bullet flight time, not that the normal/common instances would have a different outcome. $\endgroup$ – TylerH Sep 26 '16 at 19:31
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    $\begingroup$ An Olympic sprinter literally can not have a reaction time faster than 100 ms; if they're faster than that the race is declared a false-start. $\endgroup$ – Nick T Sep 26 '16 at 22:31
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Stab him while he's sleeping..

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    $\begingroup$ As per usual, the morporkian way to deal with trouble finds a sweet spot of simplicity, effectivity and universality... $\endgroup$ – xDaizu Sep 21 '16 at 16:17
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    $\begingroup$ A+. Straightforward answer. $\endgroup$ – PNDA Sep 21 '16 at 16:25
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    $\begingroup$ NO idea why this doesn't have more upvotes. It was the first thing I thought of. Even if he wakes up as the knife is plunging into him and stops time, those few milliseconds as he stirs to consciousness and realizes he needs to stop time are enough for the knife to do its damage. Even if he does manage to stop time, all he'd do during those 35 minutes (or at least the first minute or two of the 35) is lay there and bleed out as he slips into shock. $\endgroup$ – Doktor J Sep 21 '16 at 22:12
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    $\begingroup$ But wouldn't that be absolutely amazing for a story if an author could describe that well, @DoktorJ? $\endgroup$ – Shokhet Sep 22 '16 at 1:12
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    $\begingroup$ @DoktorJ True, but it's easier just to shoot him, even Indiana Jones knows this. $\endgroup$ – user10945 Sep 22 '16 at 13:30
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Drop him off a cliff

You've said gravity applies, but you haven't mentioned whether his metabolism still runs, it could be that poison would work perfectly well.

Does everything in his close world move with him? You could try setting him on fire. As a wise man once said:

Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set him on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life

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    $\begingroup$ I'd love to know how you could set fire to someone without them noticing... $\endgroup$ – user10945 Sep 21 '16 at 10:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Pete, accidents happen, just look at the opening scenes of Zoolander $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Sep 21 '16 at 10:10
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    $\begingroup$ The exchange just went - "How can you kill someone who can stop time?" "Zoolander." Amazing. (I'm not being sarcastic) $\endgroup$ – Raystafarian Sep 21 '16 at 11:09
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    $\begingroup$ If you catch him on fire he can stop time and roll the fire out. During this 'stopped' phase of time, the fire will not continue to burn (which is a chemical process involving oxygen). $\endgroup$ – jbord39 Sep 21 '16 at 13:55
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    $\begingroup$ @jbord39, that's not been made clear by the OP. If the close environment doesn't move with him then he could just step away, his clothes would disintegrate under the strain and leave the fire behind him. Physics when dealing with time stoppage is never simple. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Sep 21 '16 at 18:56
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Poison

If time still runs for him even while stops your time, it means his bodily functions also are still functional, hence the poison will work as well.

Of course it would need to be a poison without antidote, or you need to manage that he will not have an antidote in reach within the 35 minutes (assuming you know about this).

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    $\begingroup$ Only issue with this is if he dies while time is stopped, will it resume, or will time remain stopped "forever"? $\endgroup$ – aslum Sep 21 '16 at 18:51
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    $\begingroup$ For example, polonium would work, as in the Litvinenko case By the time the first symptoms would show, there's really nothing that can be done. $\endgroup$ – Peteris Sep 21 '16 at 21:22
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    $\begingroup$ @aslum Haha, great question, this is the basis of relativity. Time never stopped other than from his viewpoint. So Time would still be travelling the same for us, but this time-controller would be perceived to be moving really really quickly. $\endgroup$ – AER Sep 22 '16 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ Actually the time-controller would break relativity slightly, because otherwise he would still go forward in time slightly when moving at c-epsilon. And the further he moved the further in time he would travel forward. Though, for any pratical purposes that effect would totally be neglible, unless he were to fligh with a spaceship 50 lightyears away and back. $\endgroup$ – HopefullyHelpful Sep 23 '16 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Peteris nails it. Of course, the victim won't know he's been poisoned if you stab him with a knife. The knife wound is just a distraction. The polonium is the real weapon. $\endgroup$ – Tony Ennis Sep 25 '16 at 16:07
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Fire

If objects entering Nelson's "temporal periphery," where time flows at Nelson-speed rather than 'stopped' or 'very slowly,' act upon him and are acted upon normally, theoretically you could lure him into some fairly enclosed space-- let's say a hallway-- douse the exits in fuel, and then ignite it. Stopping time oughtn't to help him here, since entering the fire will cause it to "accelerate" to his local time, burning him as normal. Because it's indoors where there is a lot of hidden geometry, he may not even know he's trapped until every exit has been burning for ten minutes or more (go ahead and sabotage the fire alarms if you like).

It's possible that this method would be even more horrible, depending on your physics: if the gases and vapours and heat the burning fuel becomes slow back down to regular time as they pass away from Nelson, they'll pile up around him as a shroud of high-density, superhot gas. The gas won't do much while time is stopped, but it'll still have mass and energy that Nelson will have to push against to get through. Even if the gas only accelerates to Nelson-time in the atomic layer of material in direct contact with him, it'll still burn him as normal for that instant as the molecule combusts into its exhaust molecules, expands away, and slows back down. Not much fun on your eyes. Not much fun for the lungs. Trying to fan it away only makes it that much worse. And in thirty-five Nelson-minutes, it explodes.

That said, it's easy to imagine that Nelson has some way to overcome this problem as he moves through regular air when time is stopped. The question is how well that technique works when the air is several hundred degrees.

Even supposing Nelson chooses to remain in the hallway indefinitely and that the fumes or radiative heat don't get him and the structure doesn't collapse, it's much easier for an organization with a virtually unlimited budget to stoke a fire "forever" than it is for one man to live in a burning corridor. At that point, though, it's not exactly 'immediate.'

In short, an explosion is really just speedy combustion. Materials transform into gases and expand. If a candle that burned in a night was sped up to a few seconds, there'd still be all the heat and exhaust, but it would expand away from the flame that much faster-- hours worth of heat and light and gas in a mere moment. The rest of the world might see a burning nightclub, but for as long as time is slow, Nelson is living inside an exploding hand grenade.

If the housefire solution is too slow (and you did say "immediately"), you could just wait until he sits down to do something that takes more than a few minutes (sleeping, driving, reading, defecating) and fill the room up with some odourless explosive gas. Can't go anywhere at -any- speed when everywhere is either a crushing wall of burning pressure or a tearing, rupturing vacuum.

In any case, the core of this method is to render the ability to stop time irrelevant by encircling Nelson with a diffuse barrier (heat is one, but you could use some caustic chemical vapour as well) that acts on him as he moves through it. It's fundamentally similar to the Trap Walls situation, and it's actually pretty easy to hide fire from someone when they're inside a burning building. Easy, and potentially a bit boring.

It also feels worse to suggest.

If you feel like messing with this poor guy more, you could also trap the fire extinguishers or alarms. It'd be really easy to kill someone if they are literally flipping a switch in front of you-- suppose that, instead of connecting that fire pull switch to an alarm, you connect it to a small but powerful bomb built into the wall? Maybe the extinguisher shoots napalm instead of foam? Or straight-up explodes in his hands? Maybe the overhead sprinklers spray gasoline.

(n.b.: I really hope Nelson is the bad guy here.)

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    $\begingroup$ Jesus Christ. I love it $\endgroup$ – Skypho Sep 22 '16 at 4:26
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    $\begingroup$ Nelson won't! Oh my hell, what a way to die-- crushed by fumes. $\endgroup$ – Augusta Sep 22 '16 at 4:49
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    $\begingroup$ And about you n.b...well, Nelson is an main antagonist, but he's not evil. No one is, I tried to make every character in this story impossible to call "hero" or "villain", they are just people with their goals. So...thanks for additional suffering for my future readers, mate ;) $\endgroup$ – Skypho Sep 22 '16 at 6:50
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    $\begingroup$ Have an upvote for a particularly torturous means of death that's only exacerbated by a time-stop ability :) $\endgroup$ – Doktor J Sep 22 '16 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Skypho This is surprisingly reminiscent of the detonation mechanism of plutonium and fusion bombs. The sudden expansion of a solid wall of gas after 35 minutes would cause the object they surround (whether warhead or Nelson) to implode. Maybe if Nelson inhales or has on him a critical mass of plutonium, he could be nuclear-exploded for bonus marks! $\endgroup$ – Iwillnotexist Idonotexist Sep 25 '16 at 22:32
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Try to kill him four times. If he can only stop time during the first three attempts, then when the fourth comes around, he will be no less vulnerable than anyone else. Even if he catches on and tries to conserve uses of his ability, that will also render him vulnerable.

It might not be a bad idea to plan for even more attempts, in case he manages to escape one or two of them without stopping time.

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    $\begingroup$ The question asks how to kill him instantly. Your proposal takes at least an hour and 45 minutes. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Sep 23 '16 at 10:07
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    $\begingroup$ From the target's perspective, yes, but during that 1:45, time is stopped for everyone else. From their perspectives, it can be much faster. Whose perspective matters to the question? $\endgroup$ – The Spooniest Sep 23 '16 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ Good point -- there's definitely ambiguity in the question. But, actually, now that you've pointed it out, I think there's a bigger problem with your answer. Obviously, your plan isn't instant from the point of view of the target but it's going to take even longer for the assassin. You try to kill the target; he runs away for 35 minutes while you're frozen. Now you have to find him again before you can make your second attempt... $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Sep 23 '16 at 13:49
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Trap Walls

If he can be trapped in a room where the walls move towards him with the intent of crushing him. He can save himself for 35 minutes, but eventually it will lead to his demise.

Starvation

Yet again if he can be trapped in a room, or chained or something similar. When he can't eat or drink for a while (assuming his metabolism doesn't pause) he'll die as well.

EDIT: how to trap him

A trap that falls away beneath him maybe as stated in the other post. Maybe make it very tempting to enter the room. Maybe provide a kind of labyrinth where he would not be able to find the actual exit in 35 minutes and is thus "micro-trapped". Then our rich avenger from the original post can start closing down tunnels one by one until the room is small enough to crush/starve him.

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    $\begingroup$ Good ideas, but I think the tricky point would be "how would you trap him?". Maybe that'd be a nice addition to this answer :) $\endgroup$ – xDaizu Sep 21 '16 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ @xDaizu how do you trap him? taser him from far without him noticing, catch him in his sleep, roofie him... a LOT of options there. Honestly unless his power auto-triggers when he`s in danger, it's pretty useless for self-preservation. $\endgroup$ – Patrice Sep 21 '16 at 17:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Patrice: if you can taser him fir the sake of trapping him, then you could have just shot him in the first place… $\endgroup$ – Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine Sep 22 '16 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ @peter 100%. I was just answering daizu's question. $\endgroup$ – Patrice Sep 22 '16 at 17:12
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Lasers!

If he is paranoid and stopping time frequently for short amounts (to look around), your best bet would be lasers. They travel with lightspeed, so you cannot see them before they hit you.

Sure has to be a big laser to kill somebody, but with a huge budget that should be doable and setting up a trap where the laser isn't obvious should be doable as well.

Interesting question: how can you see when you stop time and light stops traveling?

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  • $\begingroup$ Well, he's not actually STOPPING time. He creates another timeline on top the main one, just for himself (not even cm of space around him, only him). Inside that timeline (more accurately would be to call it timeflow) time flies normally for Nelson, but very, very fast relatively to our "normal" timeline, so fast, that it appears he teleports. I hope that explains. I had not much time to work on this, so any critique of this system would be appreciated. $\endgroup$ – Skypho Sep 21 '16 at 13:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Skypho okay, that kind of concept is probably acceptable (think I've heard it somewhere before, either Star Trek Voyager or Perry Rhodan), but in this case lasers would still be highly effective because his ability can't make him see the laser before it hits him. $\endgroup$ – Arsenal Sep 21 '16 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Skypho - you may want to expand the area of effect to include his clothes - otherwise they'll either hold him in place. or (maybe more likely) run the risk of ripping apart as parts of them encounter what appears to be a sudden huge force as he tries to move... $\endgroup$ – JerryTheC Sep 21 '16 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ @JerryTheC yeah, by his "body" I mean the body, clothes, accessories and such $\endgroup$ – Skypho Sep 22 '16 at 0:36
  • $\begingroup$ If he can still see without delay, then he is not accelerating fast enough to outrun a laser either $\endgroup$ – njzk2 Sep 22 '16 at 2:57
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Gravity fields

If gravity still applies, with your enormous budget you could set up places where the gravity is several times stronger than usual. This way, the moment, stopped time or not, where he steps in the area, he's locked up. If the field is strong enough, 35 minutes or not he won't be able to move.

If you're a fun one, your gravity field could stick him to a wall, or the ceiling. If you're a classic one, stick him to the ground, and there you go.

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    $\begingroup$ Ah yes, the "classic" gravity generator. $\endgroup$ – corsiKa Sep 21 '16 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ There's something intrinsically wrong with combining "stopped time" with "gravity still applies". How can objects be accelerated by gravity if no time elapses? For that matter, how could our hero move anything if no time elapses for the objects? Or perceive anything...The whole concept of stopping time with a local exception is silly. $\endgroup$ – Urhixidur Sep 22 '16 at 16:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Urhixidur I think it is intended to mean that Nelson himself will still experience gravity while time is stopped. So if he's falling and stops time, he'll continue to fall; if he stops time and then jumps, he'll move up and down at the same rate (in his reference frame) as if he jumped during normal time. That said, I still agree with you on the moving objects point, and furthermore there's an additional problem with gravity - when the earth's gravity pulls Nelson down, Nelson's gravity also pulls the earth up. Which means if Nelson jumps a foot in the air, stops time, lands, then resumes... $\endgroup$ – Dan Henderson Sep 22 '16 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ ...time, the microscopic amount by which the earth gravitated towards Nelson while time was stopped should cause a global quake! $\endgroup$ – Dan Henderson Sep 22 '16 at 20:21
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    $\begingroup$ @DanHenderson there are so many fun questions you can ask about stopping time while leaving certain laws of physics running, and the only practical answer to most of them is basically to say "it just works because magic". For instance: If you're on a space station and stop time, what happens? Do you get launched through the front wall of the station at 7600 m/s? Do you stop along with the station, then fall to the bottom, with your weight exerting a force on the station, slowly pulling it into what will be a new orbit when time resumes? $\endgroup$ – zstewart Sep 23 '16 at 17:50
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Nuke him

Even if he sees the missile coming towards him he can stop time for only 35 minutes. That's not enough time to get out of the blast radius. It's already too late by the time he sees it.

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Killing Nelson by surprise would certainly work, but for the sake of argument let's say that his body auto reacts to his eminent death and auto freezes time? Then what?

There is an alternative solution, though the price you have to pay will likely render the advantage negligible.

If Nelson freezes time but the future in store for him is inevitable, then Nelson is as good as dead. He can't move forward because then he dies. If he wishes to stay alive, his only option is to stay frozen in time, forever. As soon as that happens, Nelson effectively ceases to exist. Maybe he dies of old age in frozen space, maybe he gives up and chooses to face his inevitable death, or maybe he just stays in frozen space forever and is never scene after the event of his inescapable death. The moment where he's guaranteed to die acts as a sort of wall that prevents his continued existent to spread past.

Now when it comes to actually orchestrating an inescapable death. There's is a huge cost to guarantee Nelson's annihilation. In theory, you could work in the shadows to orchestrate a situation where no matter Nelson's actions, he can't escape death. This however, would be very difficult. To completely prevent his escape you'd have to account for a nigh infinite amount of variables. Nelson will be afforded an infinite amount of time to escape death, so if there is even a single way to survive, he will likely find it. To truly guarantee his death you'd have to make death certain and inescapable. A very simple way of doing this, that would likely not be worth the potential reward, is to simply destroy the entire planet. If Nelson's future affords him no safe haven, he's guaranteed to be dead after his future comes to pass.

As a simpler alternative, if Nelson has an escape but hasn't been able to find it: Even if he'll eventually find it given an infinite number of attempts, Nelson may just give up. If he stays young whilst in frozen space, he will still spend an enormous amount of relative time trying to survive. After spending 100s of relative years trying to find an escape to a potentially inevitable death, he may just give up trying. He may even choose to end his own life. Even if someone has an infinite amount of time to find a solution to a problem, that doesn't guarantee that the solution will be found.

Edit: Alternatively, if Nelson has a fixed amount of time stopping power. 35 minutes in this example. He's liable to give up on trying to save himself from the nigh inevitable disaster much sooner.

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  • $\begingroup$ This just turned into "give this asshole the most violent death you can imagine" :D $\endgroup$ – Skypho Sep 22 '16 at 8:27
  • $\begingroup$ I love it, but you ignored the fact, that he can't hold time "stopped" for more that 35 minutes and three times per day (105 per day) and the more time remains "stopped" the more tiring it is for him to do it and the higher the chance of him letting go of time because of exhaustion. So there is no need for counting infinite possibilities. Just make sure this guy won't be able to do anything in 105 minutes, and he's done $\endgroup$ – Skypho Sep 22 '16 at 8:32
  • $\begingroup$ :) As a sidenote, even if he sees his destruction coming, if he's powerless to prevent it, he still dies. If the earth were to get hit by a meteor for example, or if Nelson was just a homunculus in a bottle incapable of physically interacting with the world. If he can't stop you from killing him, he still dies. Edit: Or waiting the allotted time works too. I'll amend my answer. $\endgroup$ – Ucenna Sep 22 '16 at 8:32
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Yawn... All of these suggestions are so boring. Why shoot him? You can shoot anybody. But someone who can stop time... Now that guy deserves an awesome ironic death, like running out of time or something.

He would still age when he stops time, so let's assume he has a real age of 30 and he'll live to 80. If he can stop time for 35 minutes before recasting, and assuming recasting is instantaneous, he has around 750,000 time stops left. That's a lot of time for you to have him trapped somewhere and be gloating while he agonizes over some villainous scheme you've deployed to keep him in anguish. (Remember that mental/emotional anguish are far more hip than physical pain, especially in the long haul). And if he can't get to you and you're grinning at his suffering, remember he has to spend the next 50 years watching you smile at his misfortune. It's a 50 year victory gloat, and it'll only cost you a second or two.

Don't forget to work out the logistics, though. You have to supply him with 50 years of imperishable food and water and stuff from the start. Nothing ruins a good 50 year smirk like instantaneous starvation.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not convinced anyone would last 50 years of obvious unavoidable doom, with no prospect of escape and nothing to make the experience bearable, knowing that they could just stop freezing time and face the inevitable much quicker $\endgroup$ – danl Sep 22 '16 at 12:30
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    $\begingroup$ I recall a 2000AD comic where the villain had the ability to stop (or at least massively slow down) time for himself. He got shot at the precise moment he turned the ability on and everyone watched as his corpse turned to a skeleton and then disintegrated into dust in a matter of seconds... if that's not a cool way to kill someone, I don't know what is. $\endgroup$ – Periata Breatta Sep 22 '16 at 20:32
  • $\begingroup$ @danl This brings up an interesting question... Is life worth living if you're just going to be bored? $\endgroup$ – temetvince Sep 23 '16 at 1:01
  • $\begingroup$ @temetvince funnily enough I had to doctor my comment quite a lot to avoid coming across all nihilist and "let's go all kill ourselves immediately" : p $\endgroup$ – danl Sep 23 '16 at 6:12
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Booby Traps

This is kind of derivative of DJClayworth's "Anything As Long As He Can't See It" answer, but I feel like the significant difference here is that the one who actually pulls the trigger, so to speak, is actually Nelson himself. As Clayworth points out, because the attack is a surprise, it doesn't really matter what the nature of the attack on Nelson is. In at least most of the answers here, it is presumed that Nelson is being attacked by a person (or, more accurately, suffers an attack triggered by another person) either directly (stabbed while sleeping; shot from afar; nuked) or indirectly (burned in a building; 'glued' to gravity plating; lured into a garbage crusher). In this case, the attack is waiting for him somewhere-- anywhere-- in the environment, rather than originating from a specific attacker, and to try and anticipate any possible threat from every place you're in and every single thing around you would be, at best, very, very tiresome.

I mentioned previously that you could plant a small but potent explosive device in a fire alarm in a building you yourself set alight, but this could be made even easier by planting the bomb in something more mundane-- any kitchen appliance, for instance, or Nelson's car, if he drives. When the device is activated, the bomb explodes. The trap itself could be something "quite devious", or it could be something "totally uninspired". Even the venerable land mine would work.

Even if Nelson is so twitchy that he can slow time in response to the explosion before it hits him (most explosions expand beyond faster than the speed of sound, so good on him for reacting that quickly), that he can only do it thrice means that the fourth trap does him in.

A drawback to this is that, while the death is relatively "instant," the resolution is not exactly "immediate:" traps are at the mercy of Nelson's whims: suppose he decides to take the bus to work instead of driving? That carbomb you spend the weekend planning out is totally wasted (until tomorrow at least). Anti-personnel mine under the back-left bedpost? Nelson fell asleep watching television instead. You even left a Whoopee Cushion on his rolly-chair at the office but the nightmaid went and threw it away. The point is that leaving it to Nelson to blunder into his own suicide requires him to do just that-- blunder into a trap-- and it seems a bit precarious to imagine someone who can stop time around himself for any or no reason, who is probably at least a little bit paranoid (given that people are asking about the best way to kill him on popular Q&A websites), getting offed by a shotgun wired to a doorknob.

Food for thought, though!

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Here at the Temporal Continuity Association we have one core piece of knowledge: If Nielson can stop his own perceptual time, then it is possible to stop perceptual time. Our research budget is currently dedicated to discovering what that means and consequently how we can stop this travesty of temporal order.

If the gentleman in question is able to interrupt time altogether, then there must be a certain amount of energy involved in the transition- it takes effort on his part and consequently that energy pathway may be detectable and/or liable to interruption. The ideal would be to prevent him transitioning back into the the regular time stream - if he likes that moment so much, he can just about stay there.

A second avenue for investigation is whether he is actually moving outside of the timeline or he is just moving exceedingly fast, to the point where everything appears static to him. In this case, assuming he is somehow getting around the tricky problems of moving at relativistic velocities in terms of local spacetime. If he is moving fast, then any physical obstacles are still going to cause him problems- if those are, for example, superheated or electrified wires, or fine cutting lasers, then he will quite possibly just collide with them very fast indeed.

If all else fails, we should simply contain him- he may be able to stop time, but sooner or later it should be absolutely possible to capture him in some kind of cage or cell - once sealed inside, it doesn't matter that he can stop time - unless he can also walk through walls, he's going to be stuck in there. This is the ideal situation as it enables us to study the effects he can create and how to counteract them, making it far easier to prevent this kind of ill-mannered behaviour in future.

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It depends on what you mean by "time being stopped". If time itself actually becomes stationary, except for Nelson's experience, then in theory he wouldn't really be able to do much while he is stopping time, in the way of affecting physical objects - because any movement or action on a physical object is dependent on time itself in order to actually happen.

Let's ignore the presence of gas particles in the air which would further complicate this in the real world - in theory all you need to do to stop Nelson from getting away is to handcuff him to yourself. Even if you propose some sort of hand-waving solution which means objects close enough to touch him move in "Nelson time", the other handcuff is still attached to yourself and you act as a kind of "anchor" - the situation can play out two ways-

1 - you are frozen in time and Nelson is unable to move you while time is frozen

2 - you are not frozen in time due to your proximity to Nelson/your connection to him via the handcuff and you are free to act accordingly

On the other hand, if Nelson's ability is more an ability to "pause consciousness" en masse for people within a certain radius of his position, and only create the illusion to these people that time is stopping and starting - for one thing this is more consistent with the idea that the physical laws work exactly the same, but also it creates different issues. For one, people would notice gaps in time, when the clock suddenly moves forward ten minutes. For another, if Nelson pauses consciousness anywhere near a road, accidents are going to happen. This also affects how he can be stopped though - all you need to do is ensure he ends up in a situation where events play out that will lead to his death regardless of whether he stops time or not. For example - try to kill him on a plane. Either he doesn't stop consciousness, and dies - or he does, and the pilot crashes the plane, and he dies.

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  • $\begingroup$ "Well, he's not actually STOPPING time. He creates another timeline on top the main one, just for himself (not even cm of space around him, only him, including his clothes). Inside that timeline (more accurately would be to call it timeflow) time flies normally for Nelson, but very, very fast relatively to our "normal" timeline, so fast, that it appears he teleports. I hope that explains. I had not much time to work on this, so any critique of this system would be appreciated." $\endgroup$ – Skypho Sep 22 '16 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ "so yeah. Actually answering your question, he does not actually stop time, he just makes it a lot, lot slower relatively to himself, so it APPEARS he stopped it to others. And killing him while he's in this state would just make him return to "normal" speed, without affecting our time. Sorry for English, I write it Russian." $\endgroup$ – Skypho Sep 22 '16 at 11:33
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Maybe instead of stopping time Nelson's personal dimensions allows him to affect the flow of time, like you mentioned, but he can control it backward and forward for a certain period before and after the moment he activates it. Maybe he can't actually move but he can reverse time for about 20 minutes, in which his actions will be reversed but his mind will remain active and also move forward in time about 20 minutes, where he will remain still because he hasn't done anything and people would react to him being still, but he can flow forward and then back to the starting point. He could also jump back into any point in time during this interval. In essence then he could prevent death by moving back in time if he was shot suddenly and also predict the future for about 20 minutes ahead. This takes care of some of the physics concerns and makes it a little harder to kill him, while at the same time not making him super powerful.

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A slightly different idea:

Frame him for something major

For example, assassinate the president and leave his fingerprints all over.

It might be difficult for a single person to maintain close enough track of him to wear him out, but 35 minutes per day, divided into three segments, would not be nearly enough to escape pursuit from a well-organized intelligence bureau. It gets even harder on him if it's an international crime; get the FBI, SVR RF, and Chinese MSS on him, and there will be very few nations unwilling to turn him in.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site, Larkeith. Would you mind clarifying how this answers the question of "How can I stop or kill a man who stop time?" $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Sep 23 '16 at 12:47
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The gravity based trap is ideal if you need him to be stopped while he's in time-stop mode. All the other answers about getting him during normal time flow or forcing him to use up his time pause ability make perfect sense - so I'll focus on the hardest option.

Thin break-away floor, drop, plus spikes. Since he can apply force to objects and gravity applies, his weight will break things that aren't strong enough to support it. Also because he can apply force to objects, that means spikes can run through his body as well.

If you want the non-lethal option, the trap uses weight driven mechanisms to seal him in (the pressure of him falling pushes bars/plates into place to lock him in).

The difficulty, of course, is to find a way to lure him into the trap. I'd assume using several traps in the area you want to capture him in.

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Using specific ways to try to kill Nelson, such as nukes or fire, is not sufficient without knowing what technology is available to Nelson.

The safest option is to target him 4 or more times in 1 day with the deadliest weapons available at the time. Assuming someone with unlimited resources has access to some of those weapons.

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The Nice Way

Make him your best friend, or at least an ally. Get him into your ideas. Make him feel good to help, and that shift goes from antagonist to protagonist. Then, you don't have to deal with murder, and you have a Time-bending ally. That, sir, has uses.

The Way for Heartless Bastards ..or if the nice way fails. Or even as a betrayal woven into the nice way.

There is a number of methods, including (But not limited to):

  • Shoot him with a suppressed weapon, in the back. He won't see it, he won't hear it, but Nelson will be dead. You can even be a good distance away.
  • Stab him. In a crowded street, you can just sneak up on him and stab him. He can't pick out a murderer in a crowd.
  • Drop him out of a plane, off a cliff, etc. Anything where you can exploit the fact that he cannot pause gravity.

  • Ask him to pause time, pick up an object, and move it. Due to how quick he is moving (Which We can assume, since he "stops" time, the speed of light, or 299,792,458 m/s) We can do some maths. Assume he is average height for a 30 year old, with an average build. This gives him the weight of about 120 lbs (54 kg) F = M*A, so 54kg * 299,792,548 m/s gives us about 16.2 BILLION NEWTONS. you only need about 12,000 Newtons to break bones, so its certain he'll die. And all he did was pick something up. Yay?

  • (Lastly) Knock him out (Silently), tie him up, and cut his legs off. He won't be leaving in a hurry, or be dead, or leave a trail for you to follow.

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Lock him in a bank vault or otherwise unescapeable room unexpectedly under a false pretense. Sacrifice whoever leads him into the room aswell. Let's say someone invites you into a heavily fortified room that no human can escape because the room lacks the tools to do so. Then he is in companionship of someone normally trustworthy, like his banker or someone normally in charge of that room and then locked without a hearable sound while the person is still with him.

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Kill him/Stab him while he's at it... (if you know what I mean...) I don't think he'll ever stop time at that instance...

On a more serious note: There is a situation in which you can't ever kill him: If he --- from the time he gets the power to stop time --- he stops it forever, then no one can kill him at that point. That's similar but not exact to not loosing to a super duper difficult game by pressing the pause button.

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  • $\begingroup$ He can't permanently stop time. It is stated in the question that there are limits. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Sep 23 '16 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ Also what if he is celibate or not in a relationship and you need to kill him quickly? $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Sep 23 '16 at 19:14
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3 chances to dodge the bullet.

Simply make sure you assassinate him 4 times instead. (Add extra attempts 'just to make sure').

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many answers here say Nelson can be killed by him not being aware of being killed

I am going to ignore that fact. There is one thing the asker states Nelson is universally affected by:

GRAVITY

The trick is not to kill Nelson before he can stop time. The trick is to kill him while time is stopped.

So, it is simple really. Gravitational force comes from something or other, right? Therefore, make a weapon that generates a gravitational field naturally (i.e. Super dense metal or a machine that once kicked on generates a field regardless of whether it turns off). Then, this field just has to be able to be strong enough to trap Nelson yet not cause buildings or other structures to be disrupted. Then, just blast this "gravity trap" into space. Nelson needs to breathe. Eventually he will either freeze or suffocate to death. It doesnt matter if he stops time. He will be stuck on a mini-planetoid super-mario-galaxy style and he will eventually die. Plus, he's off the planet. So he's just gonna be gone. Whether he does or not ks now irrelevant. He is stuck.

If he manages to continually prevent the missile from launching to space by breaking parts and whatnot... Just turn up the gravity trap and he won't be able to move.

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