A lot of heroic fiction is based on the main character waking one day to discover that he or she is not, in fact, a powerless drone, but a mighty warrior / king / Kryptonian with massive powers / what have you. So I got to wondering:
Discussion to follow.
Just to be clear, unlike Arthur I am happy with my life as a regular old homo sapiens, but still, sometimes it's nice to fantasize about what you're really like under all that ordinariness. I was going to include the classic "King" as an option, but after Prince Charles, is that really something you'd want? I thought not.
- Clone: To some degree this depends on who you're a clone of. It's one thing to be heir to Superman or Spider-Man, but if your'e just a living replica of Ralph down the street, that's not so cool. On the other hand, it'd be neat to have an idea of what parts of your personality are genetic and which are not, or to have an idea what you'll look like as you age, even setting aside the idea of super-powers.
- Government project to create super soldiers: I don't like the idea of a bureaucrat poking around in my DNA, call me old-fashioned. Sure it worked out well for Steve Rogers, but that's a heck of a gamble to take with an organization who can't even get my mail in the right mailbox.
- Mutant: Again this would depend largely on what kind of powers I'd have. I mean, you could end up either as Mighty Man or Pudgo the Wonder Puddle, you know?
- Robot/Android: Does it matter what your body is made of, as long as you still think you're you? It would be pretty neat to potentially be immortal, assuming your robot parts are replaceable. But could other people program you somehow? Would you still feel a kinship with other humans?
- Skrull: On the plus side, you've got a fantastic array of super powers. On the down side, you have green skin and like four different chins all jammed into one. As I understand it, Skrull society isn't all that pleasant, either, plus you'd be in a situation where you were unwittingly spying for an advanced race waiting to enslave everyone you've ever known. Although if the people you know are jerks, maybe that wouldn't be so bad ...
- Time traveller from the future: Now this has potential. Who knows what awesome techno-goodies you've hidden for your use? What kind of fabulous wealth your advance knowledge would bring you? Why, the ability to pick the perfect fantasy football team alone would be staggering!
- Wizard: I was thinking Harry Potter-style wizardry here, although really, any sort would be cool. You'd have a whole new field of study to comprehend and control, which would be fascinating, and yet you could still live unnoticed among regular folks if you wanted.
I think my description has already made my choice for me -- I'd go Wizard. It's a field that in theory you could come to understand, but which would offer rich insights to the world around us. You'd have the potential to socialize with others of your kind while not necessarily being an outcast from everything you've known before. Plus you'd feel like you were still in control of your own personhood, unlike being a robot or a Skrull or government agent -- it's not like someone jerked you around, you just hadn't come into your powers yet. But unlike being a mutant, your abilities wouldn't be random, you'd be able to develop and study them like any student.
Which lie would you rather learn you'd been living?