Sitting around the kitchen drinking tea with my housemates and some friends in my final year of university this came up, as it does from time to time. Penny told us about her superpowers: she’d had this discussion with another group of friends and each had an amazing superpower with a major drawback, an embarrassing superpower that was useful or a kinda cool power that was less so, and a superpower that wasn’t. Penny’s amazing power was the ability to teleport… to the centre of the sun. Her ‘useful but embarrassing’ power was that she could hide in any small bin, and her ‘power that isn’t’ was to talk to cats. Not to control them, not to have them talk back or even understand her, but she could talk to cats.
I can’t remember what the rest of us came up with from that, except my ‘fun but fairly useless’ power was the ability to roast potatoes with my eyes and I think someone else took the ‘power that isn’t’ as the ability to see through glass.
Husbit likes to tell of a character created by one of his friends, ‘The Landlord’. Only one power, but many, many ranks: teleport other. Straight up. It was known as “Get off my land!” and would put the victim just outside the atmosphere.
I asked Husbit the other day what his one power would be. He said “Alter-Reality Man!” I think that’s cheating; he thinks it’s thinking outside the box.
For me, it would probably be a travel power. I would love to be super-smart or to be able to fit through tiny spaces or to control the weather (Storm was always my favourite of the X-Men) or to either communicate with or shapeshift into animals – or something similar with plants – but I think in terms of what I most want, it would be travel. A lot of my friends live 200 miles away, and even those who are closer can be difficult to get to when I don’t have my own car and am too lazy to go out weekday evenings.
Flight would be wonderful. I would love to soar and loop-the-loop and play in the air à la Jonathon Livingston Seagull. I think it would give me great confidence and help me overcome my fear of heights and I really, really want to be able to fly.
… But teleport is so much subtler. And flight still takes time, but teleport would mean I could show up with my friends in Wales for a cup of tea on my lunch break. Flying would probably mean sneaking out to the New Forest or somewhere so’s not to draw attention to myself and as much as I love the idea of flying to someone’s house and knocking on their window for access, it could end up with my friends being kidnapped by some evil government or supervillain or something.
So whilst flight would be a lot more fun, teleport is probably the way to go.
What about you; what power would you like and why?