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Just wondering

01 Dec 2021 03:20 #72816 by Raa
Just wondering was created by Raa
Couple months ago I got very very sick. So sick I lose part of my foot.  As I was reading birth of the undead series and recalling reading the Dark Supergirl when it came out in the 90s.  It got me to thinking, what would the retro virus affect be on a mentally or physically handicap person be?  The retro virus re-writes a person DNA and it majorly overhauls the person body.  During the overhaul would the retro virus fix any handicap be it mental or physical? Could an arm grow back?  A blind person could see?  A dyslexic person not be dyslexic?  Would it does nothing to a person or make it worse.

What type of mind games would this play on a Supergirl seeing all of these people she could help, but can't for say a prime directive type rule.  

This last statement got me thinking about another one of the old Shard stories were Kara was depowered until she got hit with high voltage.  What, if any, a depowered Super's retro-virus do to a normal person.  Did Kara leave a crap load of Exs enhanced?  What mind games would be happening to these unknowingly enhanced people now that they are 5-100 times strong out of no where

Oh well just silly thought I have while relaxing on a Tue night. 

Happy Holidays.
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01 Dec 2021 04:49 - 01 Dec 2021 04:57 #72818 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Just wondering

Couple months ago I got very very sick. So sick I lose part of my foot.  As I was reading birth of the undead series and recalling reading the Dark Supergirl when it came out in the 90s.  It got me to thinking, what would the retro virus affect be on a mentally or physically handicap person be?  The retro virus re-writes a person DNA and it majorly overhauls the person body.  During the overhaul would the retro virus fix any handicap be it mental or physical? Could an arm grow back?  A blind person could see?  A dyslexic person not be dyslexic?  Would it does nothing to a person or make it worse.

What type of mind games would this play on a Supergirl seeing all of these people she could help, but can't for say a prime directive type rule.  

This last statement got me thinking about another one of the old Shard stories were Kara was depowered until she got hit with high voltage.  What, if any, a depowered Super's retro-virus do to a normal person.  Did Kara leave a crap load of Exs enhanced?  What mind games would be happening to these unknowingly enhanced people now that they are 5-100 times strong out of no where

Oh well just silly thought I have while relaxing on a Tue night. 

Happy Holidays.
I can't speak for the currently published story, but way back in the 90's, when I was initially creating this retrovirus stuff as part of the old AU, my initial idea (IIRC) was that the retrovirus was programmed to work on stem cells to generate new muscle, nerves, bone, etc using a Supremis (Velorian/Arion) template. There were case in stories of it healing people, and leaving them much improved compared to how they were before their injury or illness. But the retrovirus effects were dosage limited, so its effects varied greatly. 

Someone with limited retrovirus exposure might end up with Olympic level athleticism, but someone with long term exposure might be tough enough to turn a bullet with their skin and bench a few tons and have superhuman endurance. Some authors went way into superhuman territory with people gaining Supremis powers and all.

What was clear was that once access to the retrovirus stopped, so did its enhancement on the body. A person previously infected would retain their new abilities, but wouldn't get stronger or anything. In other words, to keep enhancing someone, it had to be continuously replaced, and it was only available via a kind of "female ejaculation" in the moment, and couldn't survive outside a body -- couldn't be bottled or extracted or anything --  so you had to be on intimate terms with the donor. 

But this was just my initial play on the idea. Various authors took the concept in different directions, which was the whole idea. Imagination is best served by having a very loose and malleable canon full of concepts.

I liked the idea that a Velorian would shape her lovers into being powerful enough to truly please her, and then leave them with that gift of power when they inevitably moved on. Velorians were famously (infamously?) promiscuous. 

Shadar
Last edit: 01 Dec 2021 04:57 by shadar.

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03 Dec 2021 09:44 #72838 by anonxyzus
Replied by anonxyzus on topic Just wondering
I haven't written it explicitly, but in Kiraling I assume the retrovirus effect is more or less random and unpredictable. It can vary from no change at all to Arion Beta level strength, health, fitness and toughness, or maybe even more. I haven't put much thought into where the high end transformation would be.

Because it is unpredictable, Joe is not, at this point in the story, considered a candidate for enhancement. Given his history of PTSD and TBI, and given that he still sees and hears Dixon and Johnson and thinks of them as independent people who think for themselves (even though he knows intellectually that can't be possible) enhancing him is too risky.

He could come out of the enhancement healed both mentally and physically and be much closer to what Xara would like in a life and sexual partner, or he could come out a very strong and nearly invulnerable, mentally unstable and dangerous individual.

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03 Dec 2021 14:02 #72840 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Just wondering

I haven't written it explicitly, but in Kiraling I assume the retrovirus effect is more or less random and unpredictable. It can vary from no change at all to Arion Beta level strength, health, fitness and toughness, or maybe even more. I haven't put much thought into where the high end transformation would be.

Because it is unpredictable, Joe is not, at this point in the story, considered a candidate for enhancement. Given his history of PTSD and TBI, and given that he still sees and hears Dixon and Johnson and thinks of them as independent people who think for themselves (even though he knows intellectually that can't be possible) enhancing him is too risky.

He could come out of the enhancement healed both mentally and physically and be much closer to what Xara would like in a life and sexual partner, or he could come out a very strong and nearly invulnerable, mentally unstable and dangerous individual.
That’s a very reasonable perspective. Introducing a virus that heals and empowers by changing one’s DNA is incredibly risky and unpredictable given that personality traits are only partially driven by DNA. How many people, when given a huge upgrade in physical power, will become more companionate and better connected to humanity and kinder, and how many go on an ego trip or just make really bad decisions?

Velorians share an approach toward involvement in human affairs similar to how WW was portrayed… basically staying out of sight until an existential threat arises that humanity absolutely cannot defeat, and which isn’t caused by humans to start with. 

That’s not how humans use power. We didn’t evolve that way and no civilization has ever arisen that thinks that way. We are basically tribal at our core and we lust for power thinking we are wise enough to use it properly. So while the Supremis were engineered to be able to pass on a portion of their power, for reasons known only to the aliens who made them out of human stuff, being human is the problem with having superpowers.

So while Joe in your stories is an incredibly decent guy, he’s got his demons like all humans. If he was bulletproof and strong enough to exert his will over any ordinary person, would that change how he thinks? Would he be able to control that power to only helping and never hurting? Could any human do that for long?

But that’s why superpowers are so much fun to play around with it in fiction.

Shadar
 
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04 Dec 2021 17:27 #72841 by slim36
Replied by slim36 on topic Just wondering
from phrases.org.uk

This seems to apply to humans with power or influence.

School bullies,  drivers license officials, totalitarian leaders.

It would be quite a pill to provide superpower and whatever mental reprogramming needed to avoid misuse - a super conscience or super empathy but still allow the ability to make decisions without hesitation.

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04 Dec 2021 17:48 - 05 Dec 2021 00:47 #72842 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic Just wondering

This seems to apply to humans with power or influence.

School bullies,  drivers license officials, totalitarian leaders.

It would be quite a pill to provide superpower and whatever mental reprogramming needed to avoid misuse - a super conscience or super empathy but still allow the ability to make decisions without hesitation.
On reading this, I immediately thought of Conceptfan's brilliant 'The Super Models'. It gave more sway of thinking how the girls would differently approach the use of their new-found powers, whether it be to behave accidentally or maliciously. (One of his model girls is more corrupt than you could ever imagine!)
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Last edit: 05 Dec 2021 00:47 by Monty.

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04 Dec 2021 18:27 #72843 by The Highlander
Replied by The Highlander on topic Just wondering
I’ve heard at least one person comment that power reveals rather than corrupts, i.e. a person with power shows who they truly when confronted by the opportunity for corruption.

This is why Clark Kent’s greatest power is his humble upbringing that prevents him being corrupted by his immense power.
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04 Dec 2021 20:14 #72844 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Just wondering

I’ve heard at least one person comment that power reveals rather than corrupts, i.e. a person with power shows who they truly when confronted by the opportunity for corruption.

This is why Clark Kent’s greatest power is his humble upbringing that prevents him being corrupted by his immense power.
That's the part of the Superman mythos (when done right) that impresses me the most. The way his remarkable upbringing by two very decent parents on a farm out on the plains of Kansas, near the small town of Smallville, would "vaccinate" him against the mis-use of his powers for a lifetime. And genetically speaking, he came from a family on Krypton which had great political power. 

It's a dramatic testament to the power of parenting. 

And, of course, it's not something that SG or PG experienced, so their relationship to power is more open, albeit with Superman setting a sterling example. As I see it, SG largely buys into her cousin's rules, but PG -- not so much. 

That's good for stories. 

As I see it, there are people who the world would indisputably be a better place without. Think Hitler in 1935. The Spock'ish concept that I paraphrase as 'the good of the many outweighs the good of the few, or the one' appeals to me.

I tend to think PG thinks that way. 

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06 Dec 2021 12:41 #72851 by slim36
Replied by slim36 on topic Just wondering
Probably true that people are a product of their early environment.   en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler#Childhood_and_education Hitler seemed to have a difficult early life.   There are also examples of people changing their lives for the better.  The star of "Machete"  spent years in jail.   For best results training should start at an early age, but if superpowers include adult growth why not accelerated learning?

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06 Dec 2021 17:29 - 06 Dec 2021 17:29 #72853 by The Highlander
Replied by The Highlander on topic Just wondering
All too true, I’ve been listing to a true crimes podcast and a huge percentage of the killers featured had abusive, troubled or religiously controlling upbringings, and sometimes all three. A lot of it also depends on the presence of any positive influences or role models (or the lack there of).
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06 Dec 2021 17:44 - 06 Dec 2021 17:45 #72854 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Just wondering

All too true, I’ve been listing to a true crimes podcast and a huge percentage of the killers featured had abusive, troubled or religiously controlling upbringings, and sometimes all three. A lot of it also depends on the presence of any positive influences or role models (or the lack there of).
And Superman's story included an idealized set of parents, both of them intelligent, wise, caring and capable, and not just caring about their very special adopted son, but of the world in general. But also very modest, just ordinary small farmers of the time. But they knew from the start that Clark could save or destroy the world once he grew up and they had to hide him away until he was ready. That's a very heavy burden that they handled with grace and wisdom.

Of course, some later comic series and the movies have tried to humanize the Kent's, given them flaws and questionable judgement and other things that we all share. Symptomatic of all of the "reality" that reshaped the comics in the late 20th century. Most of which I like.

But given I grew up in a small midwestern town myself, for a time I saw the Kent family as the American Ideal, at least as it was envisioned in the 1950's in the rural heartland. How many parents and communities could have raised a superhuman and have him turn out like Superman?

Likely none in reality, but that's what ideals are all about. Something to strive for. A vision of our better selves, absent all the gritty reality that makes up real life. Pure escapism, which is what comics were for me while growing up.  

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Last edit: 06 Dec 2021 17:45 by shadar.

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