Magical Pretty Boy Sammy
(Title very much subject to change) — LORd 2012-02-16 14:03 +0000
So I’ve been toying with this idea for a magical boy story. The premise is simple: an alien spacecraft shatters above Los Angeles, its fragments embedding themselves in people and giving them superpowers. The newly empowered humans start fighting each other over control of the fragments while one of the surviving aliens recruits the help of a local boy in rebuilding the spacecraft. But I want this story to make sense, and many parts of the premise don’t, such as:
Why do the spaceship's fragments grant superpowers? Why can they be reassembled like Lego?
- Perhaps the “fragments” are actually stored fuel cells that came loose upon re-entry, and didn’t manage to vaporize.
- Each ‘piece’ is a sophisticated device that must be bound to a unique sentient lifeform in order to function. Basically they need to borrow the computational power of an intelligent biological mind to manage a containment field when accessing the antimatter cores from which they derive their energy. Something that turns out to be impractical for a machine intelligence (which the devices are) to do itself. It seems that sentient thought patterns - such as emotion - play a very important role in determining how effectively they can operate the device. The original sentients were of course vaporised when the ship was destroyed hence the need to recruit humans in the absence of a better alternative. As these devices are intended to be operated together they allow for some form of telepathic communication between their ‘users’. Only one alien survived the explosion. She does _not_ have a device, or at least not one like the pieces. She gives a reason for this that appears increasingly less credible as the plot progresses and more is revealed… — Foombazzle
- Or the ship itself could have been alive. Each of the pieces the magical boys find is actually a smaller microorganism to the macroorganism that was the ship. — Alkthash
- Interesting idea. So the ship works as tons of organisms working together, and the effects of their symbiosis are kind of mangled into “superpowers” for the people they’ve bound to now that the ship’s come apart. — Barcode
- This is sort of what I was thinking with my computronium comment, with the differences that computronium is electromechanical and not biological (obviously) and each unit would have some sort of consciousness, the goal of getting back together, etc. Of course you could do that with biotech too. — Tzetze
How are they extracted from or transferred between hosts? Why can't the alien do it by itself?
- The fragments are attracted to each other, and will jump from one host to another if and only if the other body has a larger “fragment mass” than the other. Fragments also come loose when the host dies (and possibly with surgery if they’re solid objects?), but this way the protagonists doesn’t have to kill to collect the fragments. The boy starts off with two fragments, which is why he’s approached by the alien. The problem with this is what they plan to do once the spaceship is complete within the boy’s body, which I suppose would make for a nice twist reveal, but the boy’s not stupid and the alien will have to at least feed him a convincing lie. — LORd 2012-02-16 13:35 +0000
How does the alien communicate with the boy? How does it survive on Earth?
- The aliens are a telepathic cybernetic post-singularity race and need no sleep or drink. They’re powered by ultracompact onboard fusion reactors or something. Telepathy here is explained as sentient beings broadcasting their thoughts as an undetectable-by-modern-science spherical wave that the aliens have facilities to capture and interpret, but humans don’t; ergo, the telepathy only works one way. The alien can alter its cybernetic vocal cords (just a loudspeaker in its mouth, I suppose) to produce human speech, though it’ll have to do with Hulk Speak at the start. — LORd 2012-02-16 14:03 +0000