7
$\begingroup$

A random human, Bo, can reload life; whenever he dies, he simply loads back to before he was dead; whenever we catch him, he loads to before we catch him. Bo has been causing some problems and we need him to not be around, either by permanently killing him or preventing him from being able to reload.

As requested, here are the limits of his power

  1. When he reloads, he reloads as far back as he wants within the last year
  2. When he dies, he automatically reloads to the last week, where he can the reload further
  3. He can only reload once a day (barring death reloads)

Assuming an unlimited budget, is there any way to stop Bo?

$\endgroup$

closed as too broad by Mołot, Aify, Zxyrra, kingledion, Yakk Jan 24 '17 at 19:18

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @JBiggs The question mentions that he "reloads" when caught. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jan 24 '17 at 16:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Te be honest, this sounds like a terrible way to live. If he always "reloads" to before he died, then he'll be trapped in the last few seconds of his life. Unless he can control when he "reloads"... What about dying from old age? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jan 24 '17 at 16:31
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @TrEs-2b keep him asleep... When he falls asleep on his own you can start giving him sleeping substances so that he is always not captured (in his own house he's free) but never able to interfere $\endgroup$ – frarugi87 Jan 24 '17 at 17:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ When you say "he can only reload once a day" does that mean 24 hours of his perception or once per calendar say? Aka, if it's Friday, can he reload to Thursday and then immediately to Wednesday? If it's Friday and he reloads to Thursday, will he be able to reload when it's Friday again? $\endgroup$ – ChronoD Jan 24 '17 at 17:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And does Bo keep his memory when he rewinds? $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Jan 24 '17 at 17:20
17
$\begingroup$

Like all stories which involve creating an unstopable force and then beg for a way to stop it, the solution is to take the details and abuse the heck out of them.

His power to reverse time a year is powerful, but it's conscious. That means it has a weakness. His power to reverse time a week upon death is far far more powerful because it's triggered by some metaphysical "death" event.

The solution is to find a way to knock him unconscious (take your pick), and then immediately sedate him. Put him in a medically induced coma for at least one week. Then kill him. This will trigger a rollback of one week, but he will be unconscious at that reload point, so he will not be able to enact a conscious reload. He will not be "dead" at that point, so this will not automatically trigger the 1 week rollback from that point. He'll just remain in a coma for 7 days again, and then get killed.

Now the real question is what happens to the rest of the universe when this one person who can magically "roll back" get stuck in a death loop like this. Does the universe keep going? Hopefully the answer is yes because otherwise the universe is 100% screwed... he's going to die eventually, of old age if nothing else.

$\endgroup$
7
$\begingroup$

Control his information.

If his reloading is conscious (he decides to do it) then you can try to control his information. With an unlimited budget, you basically create an environment for him that works like the Truman Show: a potempkin village where the people around him are actors, his phone and computer are 100% hacked and displaying information you want him to have, and wherever he goes, he sees what you want him to see or is prevented from going there (not captured: prevented).

If his reloading is unconscious, you may have more options. You experiment with him until you know what constitutes "capture" and then you herd him to a place or locale where he isn't technically "captured" -there was no real "moment of capture" because he was traveling -something like the bottom of the Grand Canyon. You seal the exits and leave him be. You might experiment with this reloading as it applies to speed of death. In other words: if he starves to death over the course of several weeks, does it reload to before those weeks? If so, you can just throw him enough food to keep him alive but neutralized.

If none of the above works, you have to analyze HOW he is causing you trouble and deal with that. If he is causing trouble because he gets information out, you block his ability to do that, but otherwise leave him unharmed and un-captured. If he is planting bombs, you follow him constantly and diffuse the bombs, but leave him alone, prevent him from buying materials, etc. You follow him constantly, tail him everywhere he goes, and just stop him from doing specific things in ways that do NOT trigger a "reload".

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ This does not work. No matter how you control him and how much food you "throw" at him, he will eventually die and reset. In some reload he will eventually figure out that you have trapped him, and your jig is up - he will reset back year by year until he is out of your trap. Even if he does not remember, in an eventual iteration a reload will happen within the first year of your Truman or Grand Canyon scenario. $\endgroup$ – AgapwIesu Jan 24 '17 at 16:59
6
$\begingroup$

Plan A: set up a failsafe plan that ensures his death at least one year before he actually dies.

If the circumstances are such that even if he reloads one entire year his death is still ensured, he will die. Such a situation could be a virus, a toxin, a disease, an assassination plan with enough contingencies that he can't do anything about it.

Plan B: depending on the technology available and depending on the specifics of how he can use his power. Put him to sleep, into a comma, under hypnosis or in a dream or give him brain damage. That way he's effectively out of the game but won't be able to do anything about it because he is either unconscious, dreaming or unable to even decide to go back.

Plan C: I don't know if this is even possible but guide him into a depression so bad that even if he dies, he won't want to reload.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Plan C is so freaking sad. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jan 24 '17 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I felt bad just thinking about it. $\endgroup$ – Miguel Bartelsman Jan 24 '17 at 19:15
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Wow, I thought my lobotomy idea, which is a form of your B option, was the only way. But your plan C is plausible and just insidiously nasty - the sort of thing that could make for a great story. If you can hold the depression for a year, he'd automatically reload back a week, and then relive the last week of his depressed life, over and over again. This is the exact opposite of @Will 's answer - ingenious evil; +1. $\endgroup$ – AgapwIesu Jan 25 '17 at 15:12
6
$\begingroup$

Fry his brain before he knows it, but without killing him. Set up a trap to microwave part of his brain or give him a lobotomy. Just enough to not kill him but turn him into a mindless person who does not know that he needs to reload. And then put him in stasis.

The question is, when he dies, does his disembodied mind initiate the reload, or is it an automatic thing? If it is automatic, forget it. He will eventually die and you have no chance of stopping him. If his disembodied mind initiates the reload, but that disembodied mind resets to full mental health at death, again, he will eventually die and you cannot stop him... But with the 1 year time limit you added, hope is reborn. You turn him into a mindless idiot and hold off his death for a year. No matter if he dies, the best he can do is return to being a mindless idiot waiting to die.

If the reload is initiated by his disembodied mind, and that mind remains what it was at death, then you lobotomize the guy and kill him. His after-death mind remains an idiot and does not realize that he needs to reload.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ You are assuming the "reload" is consciously done and not an automatic function. If it wasn't conscious, this could be considered "capture". $\endgroup$ – JBiggs Jan 24 '17 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ I am not assuming anything of the sort. I specifically address the case where the reload is automatic. See paragraph 2. $\endgroup$ – AgapwIesu Jan 24 '17 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ No, because you mention stasis, but that is the same as "capture". Controlling his information is a better option than trying to lobotomize him. $\endgroup$ – JBiggs Jan 24 '17 at 16:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You really think that a "Truman Show" kind of thing is a more practical and viable way to control someone's information than a lobotomy? And stasis is not capture if the lobotomized reloader goes into it willingly (he is lobotomized and knows no better). $\endgroup$ – AgapwIesu Jan 24 '17 at 16:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ With the one year time limit the OP added, the stasis is not needed. Just keep him alive for a year after the lobotomy. The best the reloader can hope for, even if the reload after death is automatic, is to relive the last year of his mindless existence, over and over again. If he is truly evil, that could be a poetic justice kind of thing - worst hell for me would be to be somewhat aware but mindless for eternity. $\endgroup$ – AgapwIesu Jan 24 '17 at 17:04
4
$\begingroup$

I'm not sure what sort of world you're setting this in, so here are some possible solutions:

  • Matrix-like solution: Give him a prison that creates the illusion of winning, when it's binding him utterly. Never thinks to escape.
  • HPMOR-like solution: Total amnesia that makes him forget he has those powers. (Also, turn him into a newt pebble).
  • Star Trek/Stargate-like solution: Stasis device to freeze him in time.
  • Comic book-like solution: Another being with at least as much power who curb-stomps him.

One more thing… paradox: What happens if he gets an illness, perhaps cancer, that becomes certain to kill him a year before it becomes symptomatic?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ is that happened, he would go back a year, wait a day then go back another year, etc until he was free of the disease $\endgroup$ – TrEs-2b Jan 24 '17 at 16:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ if that's the case, why is there even a one year limit when there's clearly nothing stopping him from going back further? $\endgroup$ – Miguel Bartelsman Jan 24 '17 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ The only way to stop him is to take his mental abilities away, so that he is either unaware that he needs to reload, unaware that he is able, or both. Then, as long as he dies more than a year after the loss of his mental abilities, and even if he reloads automatically, the best he can hope for is to relive his last year of a mindless existence, over and over. $\endgroup$ – AgapwIesu Jan 24 '17 at 17:02
3
$\begingroup$

Kill him so many times that he automatically reloads to before his conception. Find a way to embed some sort of information into him that travels back with him, like a phrase or something similar, that automatically causes everyone around him to try to kill him.

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

If you can't beat him, co-opt him. Persuade him to stay in the present. He has to have a reason: love, family, achievements - something that he would give up by going back and doing over. Maybe he did have something like that in a different timeline and when his back was against the wall he had to give it up with a series of jumpbacks. Once he jumps back in the timeline to before it happens it probably will not happen again. Now he is bitter and bitter demigods are trouble. Talk to him and understand what it was that he lost and how with help he might be able to get it back.

The extreme take on this is a present so good he will not want to leave. He reloads a groundhog-day like repeat of the perfect day, over and over, forever. He causes no more trouble. I think Heaven might be like this.

What a great ending to the story that would be.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ You, sir, are a positive guy. And while I am also very positive, this answer manages to think in a way that is very different from my own. I really like that. +1. $\endgroup$ – AgapwIesu Jan 25 '17 at 15:06
2
$\begingroup$

The only plausible solution to this problem per the constraints you have set is to use a super fast acting coma inducing drug.

Even that is not a guarantee though, reloading on capture is not the problem. In that case he is making a mental choice to reset. But if he can also cause a reset on his death that would appear to be a failsafe, like a dead man's switch on heavy equipment.

If he can do that without mentally choosing to do so I don't know that there is any way to stop him at all.

My best suggestion is to drug him and keep him in an induced coma so that he cannot die, but also cannot mentally choose to reset.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ You are assuming the "reload" is a conscious choice and not automatic. $\endgroup$ – JBiggs Jan 24 '17 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ @JBiggs - no, he is not. He explicitly speaks about whether the reset is conscious or not - "if he can do that without mentally choosing." You are just trying to knock other people's answers. $\endgroup$ – AgapwIesu Jan 24 '17 at 17:10

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.