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The Secret Return of Alex Mack

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This story is No. 3 in the series "A Brane of Extraordinary Women". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Alex is back from her 5-day trip to Hermione Granger’s world. But she's going to need everything she learned if she wants to survive, starting with finding her world's Willow Rosenberg. (Cross with BtVS, SG-1, HP, DCU...)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > General
Harry Potter > General
Stargate > General > Characters: Jack O'Neill
Television > Secret World of Alex Mack, The
DianeCastleFR132351,177,0232896490754,70712 Dec 1215 Nov 14Yes

Interlude XXVII

A/N: Alex’s powers and new knowledge will make more sense if you go read the first story in this series: “The League of Extraordinary Women”. The disclaimers, spoilers, and other information are all in previous chapters.

The newest page just posted on Terawatt’s main website by the site webmaster, terafan1:

How do I get superpowers?

Lots of people wonder about that. Lots of people have asked me that. Most people figure you drink a secret biochemical and you magically turn into Mister Fantastic. Some people want to drink that secret biochemical and magically turn into Doctor Doom.

It doesn’t work that way.

If you’re really, really lucky, the secret formula doesn’t do anything to you.

The secret biochemical is more likely to poison you, or destroy your liver, or give you a horrific cancer. It could even give you mutations so ghastly no one will be able to stand to look at you. It’s a lot less likely to give you a superpower. Almost anything is more likely than getting a superpower.

The North Koreans are suspected of dosing 680,000 of their best people in an attempt to create an army of superpowered soldiers. Over two thirds of a million people! As far as we know, 99% of these people are already dead or are dying horribly of radiation poisoning, biochemical poisoning, horrible cancers from teratogenic side effects, or equally grim effects.

Only about one percent even survived. We have no way of knowing whether the odds of their getting cancers or other terrible diseases have increased, possibly dramatically. We have no way of finding out how many of them now have terrible disabilities or crippling side effects.

Of the one percent who survived, only about one percent of those people got mutations. Most of them didn’t get superpowers so much as horrible transformations of their bodies until they looked more like parts of them had melted like wax, or they looked more like a caveman than a human. If you wanted superpowers so you could get more dates or so you could impress that certain someone, your chances of success just plummeted.

Nine people got high-level superpowers. Nine out of more than two thirds of a million people. Roughly one eighth of one one-hundredth of one one-hundredth of the people who were exposed. Those are not good odds. The lottery has worse odds, but you don’t die slowly and horribly from playing the lottery.

And of those nine, probably none of them would ever be able to pass as a normal human again. One turned into a living pile of mud. One turned into a massive, hairy sasquatch with hardly any higher brain functions. One turned into a half-cheetah monstrosity. One turned into a purple-skinned man with bizarre facial distortions. One grew scales on her face and perhaps all over her body. One grew a strange fin on the top of his head. One turned into a white-skinned, ice-coated cryokinetic like Japan’s Tsurara. One turned into a ninety foot giantess. And one turned into a pyrokinetic who is constantly surrounded by a corona of fire. How will these people eat, or drink, or sleep, or have a normal life ever again? What good would it do to get superpowers if you could no longer accomplish the goals that were the reasons you wanted to have superpowers in the first place?

And even if you do get a superpower, it may be one that no one wants. Just ask Victor Cready. His superpower was being trapped as a silvery, inhuman blob that was constantly on fire but just resistant enough that his nerve endings never burned away, so he never stopped being in unbearable agony. Think about that. Not just getting a burn, but being on fire from head to toe and in agony from it. Forever.

Even if you get a good superpower, it may ruin your life. Klar is invisible. Forever. He can never be visible again. And he can’t see in what we call the visible light spectrum. He can’t see colors. He can’t watch television or go see a movie. He can’t play videogames. He can’t read most books without assistance. He can’t see the colors on a traffic light, but cars can’t see him when he crosses a street. You can’t imagine what his life is like unless you consciously spend your time thinking every second about what you would be unable to see or to do, or how you would manage with other people not being able to see you in turn.

Or consider Action Girl. She has strength and quickness beyond the ability of normal humans. And it may go with the ability to get horrible diseases that regular people cannot get. She’ll spend her life having to worry about that. She may never be able to have children. She may not live as long as normal humans do. There are so many things we just don’t know about what her DNA may mean.

Even if you get a good superpower, you may not be able to control it. Imagine having my power of lightning, but being unable to turn it off. How would you be able to do anything? What if you couldn’t stop shocking yourself too?

And if you change the biochemical pathways in your body, how do you keep from changing the biochemical pathways in your brain? Your power might cause you to become insane in any number of unpleasant ways. Even worse, you might lose the ability to recognize what’s happening to your mind. You might lose the part of your mind that is you, leaving nothing but a slavering beast in your place. One of the North Korean supers was turned into a massive, hairy, super-strong proto-human who probably no longer had even the intelligence of a Neanderthal Man.

Maybe you should first ask: why do I want superpowers in the first place? If the answer is not ‘to help other people’ then you are already making a mistake. If the answer is ‘to be popular’ or ‘to get back at the people who are mean to me’ or ‘to get lots of money’ or ‘to get that girl/guy to notice me and like me’ or ‘to hurt people I hate’ then you’re already on the wrong track.

If you want to have superpowers so you can be liked, then ask yourself this question. How will I know they like me for myself and not just because I have cool powers? If that’s all you care about, you would be better off becoming a rock star or a reality tv star or a record producer or a Hollywood movie-maker. You’re a lot more likely to be successful in any of those careers than you are to get a good superpower.

If you want to have superpowers so you can do things that you know are wrong, then think about this. Without superpowers, you will be a common criminal. With superpowers, sooner or later you will have to face ME.

- Terawatt
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