Poll Position: Living a really cool lie

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?

10 Responses to Poll Position: Living a really cool lie

  1. Hammerknight says:

    I agree with you on the Wizard, because the others could end up real bad with my luck. Examples. 1. Clone; you find out that you are a clone of a mass murderer that they have not found yet, but they know what he looks like and have his DNA to prove he done it. 2.Government project;It would end up that my mission was to remove sewage from all government offices, and you know how much $@*% there would be there. 3. Mutant;I’d end up with the mutation that would turn me into a festering zit or something like that. 4.Robot; I would learn that I’m a robot on the day that they were recalling my model and was going to be used for scrap. 5.Skrull;I’d be the one given to the government as a scape goat. 6.Time traveler; I’d find out that the time machine made you sick and that you could die without the cure, and that the man that invented the cure just got ran over my a car that swerved to miss me when I appeared in front of them. At least with Wizard you might have a good chance of good luck.

  2. Kalkin says:

    I’m a big sucker for magic too, so wizard gets my vote.

    Time travel would come second, but looking at the direction the world is heading at break neck speed, I think the future won’t be anything I’d like to be more familiar with. Most likely future would be filled with ecological disaster, world war, killer robots and desperate refugees to the past than cool gadgets and fantastic wealth.

  3. kingmonkey says:

    I’d be a Skrull because, let’s face it, you all deserve a good invadin’.

  4. DJ says:



  5. EnderX says:

    Time traveller. The new scientific inventions and discoveries awaiting you would be interesting enough, there’s the financial and future-planning benefits of inverse hindsight, and if all else fails, go patent the method and live off the royalties.

    Wait, what do you mean that was patented in 1938?

  6. darkvatican says:

    Wither wizard or government experimental super soldier. The latter is assuming that I have secret potential that I, in my life as an unwitting civilian, simply haven’t known about or made use of.

  7. William A. Peterson says:

    Some Skrulls have it pretty nice, others not so much…
    But, hey, being a Shapeshifter makes defection pretty easy!
    They’re pretty high-tech, and were actually a peaceful civilization, before the Kree started messing with them!

  8. knight1192a says:

    I’d have to go with wizard myself.

    Why would I want to be a clone of someone else, especially when there’s always the chance they cloned me so they could commit some crime (particulary murder) and I’d get caught for it. Or someone clones them without them realizing it, they find out and come after me to eliminate me cause there can be only one. Or worse, there’s a potential problem with the cloning process that could slowly lead to the degradation and eventual death of the clone and when I finally find out I’m a clone it turns out I’ve only got three hours to live.

    A government project to create a super soldier would mean my life pretty much isn’t my own. The government’s probably been keeping tabs on me my whole life. Heck, the town I live in is probably really a military base and the people living in it are military personnel and their families, all pretending this isn’t a military base so I’m kept in the dark. Once I find out I can either toe the line and do exactly what’s ordered of me whether I agree with it or not or attempt going AWOL which will mean that because I’m a government super soldier their going to send someone after me. Most likely some intelligence agency assassination squad if they fear they can’t get me to obey like a good little pet.

    A mutant would be nice if, as you say, I got the right powers. And even then only if I could pass for normal when not using my powers. But if my mutation were obvious then I’d be the object of scorn, ridicule, bigotry, and even fear. And what if I got absolutely no powers at all but my mutation was still clearly visible? It’s all of the cons and none of the positives. Even a really lame power would be better than just a mutation that affects physical appearance.

    Robot/android would be no fun. There’d be the question of who made me, what my purpose is, what functions I have, exactly what my energy source is. Worse though would be the question of why I couldn’t remember before then being a robot/android. Had I been activated before I could be fully programmed? Or maybe I’d suffered some kind of damage that had erased my memory banks or at least scrambled them andonly just now their starting to unscramble without a clue as to how long that may take. Or were my memory banks deliberately erased and if so by whom and for what purpose.

    Skrull’s are pretty much lame as far as I’m concerned without their advanced tech. Just alien shapeshifters, and if I just want to be a shapeshifter then why not be a mutant with that ability?

    Time traveller from the future is an extremely dangerous element. First, I’m noly just now realizing I’m from the future? Not good, not good at all. Did I travel back in time and suffer some kind of injury that lead to amnesia that I’m only just now overcoming and now I’ve got to find my time machine? Or did someone deliberate making me forget who I am then strand me in the past for some reason, potentially sinister, with no way to return to my time. Or was I seperated from my folks when I was a really young kid and so I have absolutely no knowledge of what they future is like (yep, gotta take that one into account, you might not have any knowledge of future events).

    But what really makes time travel so dangerous is the possibility of changing the past and altering the future. You have absolutely no clue how some little thing you do may affect the future. Let’s say you end up dating someone named Rose (or if you’re a girl Aaron), who is extremely hot, for a couple of months. Only what you don’t know is their your great great grandmother/grandfather and by going out with you they never went met your great great grandfather/grandmother. Perhaps your grandfather/grandmother on their side of the family became a pivotal figure who led to major changes in the world and you just doomed the world by preventing them from being born. Or perhaps you go back in time to prevent Hitler from being born only to allow someone who ended up being five times worse to rise to power. That person could have died because of Hitler in the original timeline but your meddling with history prevented that from happening.

    Being a wizard you’d at least look normal, but you’d be able to do all kinds of cool magic. If you gotta hide it, fine. At least there’s plenty of cool things that go along with being a wizard. And what’s the likelihood there’s going to be some majorly evil wizard to worry about?

  9. Worf says:

    I went with wizard, just because my second option isn’t really there. being an unwilling time traveler doesn’t really cut it. if I was going to come from the future, the only way to do it is Booster Gold style. Bring tech that will make you very rich and preferably a super hero too.

  10. Tristan says:

    I chose skrull because i was thinking of Hulkling the guy in the young avengers he’s a Skrull and naturaly has powers to shape shift and heal.