Some back story:

So in the first in a line of inevitable boss battles my band of misfit heroes must face a humanoid enemy that consumes humans (by dissolving them in a cocoon of acid, which he then sucks up like a spider). They come across him in a village, where he has cocooned the entire population. Every time he feeds he gains superhuman speed for a short while. On a level where the average person could still block most of his attacks, but not land a hit on him. Every time he starts to slow down, he runs away, feeds, and resumes his attack.

Each of my heroes has an artifact granting him/her control of an elemental force, resistance to said force and some physical improvements.

Kal has control over electricity, enhanced perception and increased intellect. At this point in the story his powers are limited to touch, so he can't just zap the guy. He reckons that by forcefully contracting his muscles in a sequence via electrical impulses, he can match the beastie in melee combat (both of them use blades mounted on or protruding from the forearm). He's around 1.7m (5"6) tall, weighing around 60kg (132 pounds), slender framed.

Now I rate this could work, but would take plenty of concentration as he would have to target specific muscles milliseconds after each other. The body would also be put under immense strain. Any damage can be healed afterward.

Kal only has to keep the creature busy for a few minutes so that it can't regain his speed. Allowing the rest to fight it on equal terms.

The question being: Could our hero's body survive several minutes of electrically forced muscle contraction or would this tear his muscles and joints apart on the first few attempts?

  • $\begingroup$ Would be interesting to know why this got a close vote. Would the voter please elaborate? That way I'll know what not to do next time or edit my question to make it acceptable. $\endgroup$
    – Lu22
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 5:02

1 Answer 1


Depending on the strains, but in principle yes.

Basically what you're describing is a common training method for professional sportsmen, placing electrodes on muscles and running some amps through them forcing them to contract and relax some hundred times per second.

There are also videos on youtube where people try to do something with such electrodes attached, failing horribly, because the muscle contractions are mostly random.

Your hero will nevertheless fail, because he has to concentrate on each muscle separately and it takes some milliseconds for each consecutive muscle to charge it. And while muscle B is charged, electricity is already flowing through muscle A.

Your hero might need some pre-charging mechanism, which allows him to store electricity inside organic capacitors and then release all electricity at once in every muscle at the same time.

But he has to be careful, because every muscle has a counterpart, like biceps and triceps. Contracting one too fast, might damage the other, resulting in muscle strains or a muscle fibre tear.

  • $\begingroup$ Great. Being the inquisitive and arrogant snot that he is, I'll have him push it too far, slip up, and end up injuring himself badly. Pre-charging shouldn't be a problem, as his artifact, armour and weapons charge and contain electricity. $\endgroup$
    – Lu22
    Commented Dec 22, 2016 at 5:35

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