Just For Fun / So You Are a Teenager with Superpowers
So, you're a teenager, probably with an attitude
, and weird things are starting to happen around you? Or maybe you got an unusual present for your sixteenth birthday
? Have your parents recently gone missing
under strange circumstances? Do Shadow People
follow and observe you? Don't worry! As soon as we finish this guide, you'll know how to deal with them!
1. How To Know If You Have Acquired Superpowers
To begin, it's good to know if you have a superpower, or if it's just some freaky coincidence. Check the list below. Do any of these seem familiar?
- You're an orphan, or one or both of your parents is missing.
- You have something to remind you of your parents, e.g., some little accessory, necklace or similar thing.
- If you're an orphan, you've recently been adopted by someone who states that s/he knew your parents.
- You've just had your sixteenth birthday, or it will be soon.
- You recently got an apparently useless gift from total stranger (hobo, gypsy, older black man, maybe Native American?).
- Your weird, rarely-seen family member (especially grandmother or uncle) has recently shown up and is interested in seeing you.
- Recently you bought something from The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday.
- Recently you went to some cave with shiny Green Rocks or other not-normal-looking material. Bonus points if you actually touched them.
- You've just met a dying alien and talked with or approached it.
- You've recently met with some dying stranger talking in cryptic manner.
- Things tend to move around you for no apparent reason.
- You hear voices nobody else does.
- You had been dreaming of something right before it happened.
- The same person/situation/creature keeps appearing in your dreams.
- Elements act funny around you (Fires start, water jumps from the sink, you seem to attract storms, etc.)
If you answered yes
to at least three of those, you probably have superpowers. So...
2. What To Do With Your Brand-New Superpowers
Well, that's a more complicated issue.
- Find out what can you do with them. If you're telekinetic, can you manipulate only small objects, or big ones too? If you're telepathic, can you only read minds, or also control them? Do you need pre-existing water to control it, or can you conjure it from thin air? It's good to know!
- Practice makes perfect, so practice your new skill. Learn to control it. Learn to use it in the most awesome ways possible. Practice, practice and practice until you're perfect.
- Preferably do it alone. First of all, it won't attract strange looks. Second, if something goes wrong, you'll be the only one to get hurt.
- If you have parents or any other reasonable caretakers, tell them about your new skills. At worst, they won't believe you - then be ready to prove your claims. At best, it might turn out they know what's going on, saving you a lot of trouble and stress.
- But first check if it isn't Invisible to Adults or normals. If it is, try using your powers when they're around and see if they noticed. If they did, tell them. If they didn't, don't.
- If, on the other hand, your caretakers are Abusive Parents, don't tell them. They most likely know nothing about it and once convinced, they'll try to use you to achieve their own goals, and that's probably not in your best interest. Worse, they may see you as an abomination and try something fatal.
- If you didn't tell them anything - for any reason - find some sensible excuses for your absence and any possible injuries. Make a list, maybe. You will most likely be late, or absent, for some time. They are not stupid, however they may appear. If you don't give them a really good explanation, they will suspect something.
- This one is important: find out what genre you live in.
- If it's The Unmasqued World, you'll probably know it. Just ask your Magics teacher or local Paranormal Institute - they'll help you.
- Science-fiction is pretty easy to guess. Watch out for Green Rock, robots, flying saucers or strange Grey Men around you. Don't approach them, not yet. See later points.
- Urban Fantasy may be tricky. Local wizards and magicals have a long practice of hiding from muggles. Try walking around in shadowy districts of town, but have your powers ready to defend yourself.
- This one's important, too: be ready to defend yourself. A world of people with powers is rarely a safe one. You're new to it and young, so any supernatural predator will see you as a perfect snack. Counter-alien agencies, Cape Busters and Churches Militant are all to be avoided. It's quite possible they'll try to kill you or lock you up. Even if they save you from something, try to keep a safe distance until you can find definitive proof that they're the good guys.
- Find others like you. You're hardly the only person in the world to have or know about superpowers. Sometimes they'll be looking for you, sometimes you'll have to work hard. Check point three for more notes on the subject.
- Don't keep it all to yourself. Having a Muggle Best Friend who knows what's going on will let you speak about your stranger problems with someone your age and may prove a valuable asset in concealing your supernatural activities. Not to mention that being able to talk with somebody about everything can do wonders to your psyche. And who knows? Maybe your best friend is already your Secret Secret-Keeper?
- As a teenager, you can carry a backpack around, even during school holidays, without raising suspicion. Take advantage of this opportunity by always carrying basic medical supplies, some kind of multitool, preferably something you can easily use for a weapon, and probably a few snacks, especially if your powers drain your metabolism. It's always good to be prepared, and you never know what might happen while you're out and about.
- However, be cautious. If you carry around batarangs, web-shooters, or the like, and a friend goes rooting in your bag or you have to open it for security, things could get...awkward. If you absolutely need to carry identifying gadgets or tools around with you, either hide them under your clothing or inside some kind of secret compartment in your backpack.
- While you don't have to be Batman, few if any heroes have ever suffered from having too many skills. Learn how to sew, to cook for yourself, to do CPR...becoming well-rounded may help you use your powers more effectively, and will also come in handy in a variety of other circumstances, both in your super and civilian lives.
- Also, take up a martial art. If your powers get stolen, at least you won't be helpless. Even aside from that, martial arts will complement your powers, and it will help build discipline, self-respect, and determination-all excellent skills for an aspiring hero.
3. How To Find The Others Like You
First of all, don't think you'll be okay by yourself with no confidants whatsoever. Trust us
, you won't.
- If you're living in The Unmasqued World, they probably have infocenters or something like that. Report to them.
- On the other hand, if you live in the Crapsack World, find out if there's any La Résistance. Then weigh your options carefully. Remember, Underdogs Never Lose, but any official organization may have more resources and better dental care.
- However, stay Properly Paranoid around adults that doesn't have powers, especially those in authority. They might have some malevolent intentions and you could end up as one of their Unwitting Pawn, even worse, They Would Cut You Up. And no, your parents are not off the suspicion list. On the other hand, you could be less suspicious about your teacher and school staff as they are usually benevolent and are willing to help you.
- If you live in a world of superheroes, find one you like and write to him/her. S/he most likely went through what's happening to you and may prove helpful. On the other hand, s/he may turn out to be a Jerkass, so have a backup list of people you'll write to next.
- If it's a science fiction, start a blog. Be anonymous, but any good counter-alien agency will connect the dots and contact you.
- If counter-alien agents (Let's call them C.A.s for short.) come to your house in black suits and sunglasses, and they appear stoic and intimidatingly silent, run. They're The Men in Black and they'll erase your memories or kidnap you and experiment on you.
- If C.A.s contact you by the phone and ask for a meeting, meet in a public place. Less chance for a kidnapping.
- Don't reveal your name or address. If they're good at their job, they'll probably find out. If they're bad at their job, you don't want to have anything to do with them.
- If shortly after starting your blog the police arrest you for something unspecified or false, run. It's likely that it's just a cover for the C.A.s.
- If you're approached in a friendly, casual manner, talk - but keep your distance. Don't give away anything personal, especially not a family information or specific nature of your powers. Observe for anything distinctly out of place. Strange manners of walking, speaking or mimicking behavior may mean they're not humans. If they ask too many questions, try to end the conversation, because they're probably up to no good. And remember: overly friendly or you-are-just-a-child-let-us-help-type people are suspicious.
- The same rules go for Urban Fantasy setting.
- If you do live in Urban Fantasy, they may not use the Internet. If you get no answer by this source, try posting an anonymous newspaper advert. Be as vague as possible and again - be ready to run. Not only good guys need newspapers.
- Try visiting some backside pubs and bars. Members of the supernatural community tends to meet in places like this. Look for somewhat... inhumanly looking, acting or moving "humans", the ones hissing or screeching, in characteristic hats or longcoats, with staffs or similar equipment. Listen for whispers and arc words. Look for arc symbols.
- If you find any arc symbol, paint it in the place you know well - but not your house! Then wait nearby and observe who comes.
- Extremely pale, thin or beautiful people are people to keep yourself away from. Average-looking ones are probably the safest to talk to. But if they smell or act strangely - or not at all - then, again, don't show yourself.
- If any of the above fail, show off. Mask yourself, and then show your powers to public, if it's possible. Do it in the way that muggles may mistake for a gas leak, but no insider would. Then stay around and see who comes.
- Be prepared for a lot of waiting.
4. How to defend yourself?
Let's face it, you will
have to defend yourself. As we mentioned before, a supernatural world is rarely a safe one to live in, and you can't always depend on others.
4. 1. Preventing and preparing for attack
- Maintain a reasonable level of paranoia, i.e., one higher than that of an average muggle.
- Pay attention to the world around you. You may spot somebody preparing to attack, or that the world suddenly went very, very silent, or ninja-like people jumping on the roofs around you, or The Men in Black, or sudden dizziness in the eyes of passersby... Everything out of ordinary is a warning sign.
- If you can protect your house somehow, do it. Your house is your fortress and your Home Base, and you want to have someplace safe.
- Avoid big, empty, open spaces and dark, narrow alleys. In the first one you're sitting duck, and the dangers of the second are almost proverbial. In the first one, you may expect snipers or big monsters. In the second, stealthy, nocturnal predators.
- Stick to populated places. Anything under The Masquerade is less likely and less willing to attack you when you're surrounded by muggles.
- Common Kryptonite Factors for aliens and monsters include: light, fire, water, flowing water, and iron. Be sure to have sources of them (e.g. matches, torchlights) with you. Be sure to have extra batteries and waterproof packages.
- In opposite to what they say, cellphones are actually useful gadgets that may save your life. Remember to have one or two with you, and remember to keep them charged. Again, waterproof packaging is advised. Also, check out the all-proof phones. They don't have much in the way of applications, but they'll survive what will kill any fancy smartphone.
- If your superpower requires some sort of gadget or trinket, keep it with you. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
- You're probably too young to have a gun, but if you're not, and you can legally have it, have it. Don't mind that it's Urban Fantasy - 9mm round (or few) is sometimes really good at stopping bad things from getting close to you.
- That is, if you know how to use it. If you don't, the best you'll do is harming yourself and at worst you may arm your opponent.
- If you can't have a gun, remember - knives and clubs have been humanity's friend since the first smart monkey used a stick to kill a saber-tooth. They're easy to maintain, don't need ammunition, and can be concealed. Have one.
- As with guns, mind that "easy to use" does not equal "don't need some training". They do. So practice.
- Trust your instincts. If they tell you something's wrong, it most likely is.
- And practice. Practice all the time.
- But do remember to take a break and try not to neglect your social life; a Socially-Awkward Hero is something a well-rounded powered person should be.
4. 2. Facing an attack
- Keep in mind that any enemy you may face will be stronger than you by virtue of being more experienced. It may not always be true, but it's safer to assume so.
- If you're in the crowd and attack begins with a blast that sends you and everybody else on the floor, stay on that floor. The attacker may mistake you for a muggle, or s/he may be someone who's not connected with all that supernatural stuff. Either way, there's no point in revealing yourself. Just act like everybody else. If it's a supernatural attacker, it won't be interested in muggles, and, by extension, you.
- Try hiding. It has saved countless people before from being killed/eaten/kidnapped.
- Be inconspicuous. Don't move against the current of people, don't move slower or faster than crowd around you. Don't be the tallest point in the crowd. Don't be silent when everybody's screaming, don't scream when everybody's silent. Make yourself part of the crowd.
- It may sound paranoid, but it's not unreasonable to assume that your attacker can somehow sense that you're special. Use extreme, but not suspicious-looking, caution.
- Whether this strategy works or not, if you're in position that allow you to leave the scene of action unnoticed, do it.
- If you see that this strategy doesn't work, don't hesitate. Run for your life.
- Narrow corridors are very good for you when being chased by the enemy bigger and bulkier than you.
- Evading patterns are successful and advised if your enemy has a long-distance attack (a gun, for example). However, if they can't, running in straight line is the fastest way to get you away from them.
- Keep count of how many enemies you face. Remember that if there are multiple exits from your location, the enemy has probably cut off at least the most obvious of them.
- Never assume there's only one enemy. Better safe than sorry.
- Beware of the leader. S/he's probably the strongest and the most intelligent of them. Don't fight him/her one-on-one, don't catch his/her attention and, for gods' sake, don't let him/her fight you personally.
- This goes double if the leader is human, or at least the most humanoid of all attackers.
- Don't let yourself get locked in an enclosed space. If the place you're in has only one exit, you're doing it wrong.
- Don't back into the corner. While enemy can attack you from only two directions - forward and up - you have exactly as many options, and you're the weaker one.
- If you're trapped between two or more enemies, break out of it as soon as possible. Remember, Mook Chivalry doesn't work in Real Life. They'll attack you all at once.
- If you can't run, fight. Don't be afraid of using any advantage you have, up to and including your powers. It's your life you're fighting for, so don't care about muggles seeing you.
- Remember what your enemy's Kryptonite Factor is. Use it when you're sure it'll work.
- There's nothing dishonorable about using shields, helmets, or similar equipment.
- If you're in the crowd, try to take the fight away from people. Collateral damage is a terrible, terrible thing. Not to mention, it's a great way to develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Again, there's nothing dishonorable about drowning your enemies, dropping them from high places, or dropping something on their heads. Use every advantage your territory gives you. Don't care about destroyed property. It can be bought or rebuilt. Your life can't.
- If you're given the option to surrender or to die, surrender and then break free as soon as possible.
- An enraged enemy is an incautious enemy. What makes sapient creatures dangerous is their minds, and the mind doesn't work clearly when it's in the middle of a rage attack. Taunt your enemy, and he'll be easier to beat.
- Let's face it: if something - someone - came to kill you, it won't stop until either it kills you, or you kill it. There could be another ways of stopping the attacks without killing the attacker, but never limit yourself by things like Thou Shall Not Kill.
- Similarly, don't forget that Honor Before Reason has killed thousands of people in thousands of stupid ways. Don't be one of those people. Fighting isn't about glory and honor; it's about staying alive. Don't limit yourself to some sort of "honorable warfare". The enemy does not, and you must be trickier, faster and more ruthless in order to survive this.
- On the other hand, don't take hostages, use human shields, or kill civilians. This is one sure way of enraging the population, and if the population considers you the bad guy, you're screwed absolutely.
- In fact, while you may need to get tricky, fast and ruthless, do not become an Anti-Hero in the process if you can at all help it. The public you will (doubtlessly) end up trying to help will not appreciate you if they are terrified of your brutal tactics at the same time.
- If appropriate forces arrive on the scene of action - police, army, National Guard, Wizard Council, C.A.s - use their help. They might not have signed up for this, but they're the ones with equipment and training. Hide behind them. If they take the enemy's attention from you, back off and get out of there.
- If you manage to win, get away from the fight scene as soon as possible. Don't stay to brag about it.
- On your way out, watch for anybody who might be following you. Change buses, trams and metros. Go to places you know, places where you feel safe, but not home. Not yet. Assume one or more people are following you and try to throw them off. Enter shops through one door and exit from another. Buy new clothes and change into them. Cover your face. Don't call attention to yourself. Don't run. Disappear in the crowd. Stay on the move.
- Spend the night somewhere besides your home. Preferably, don't sleep at all. If you need medical attention, go to someone you can trust.
- If said need for a medical attention is grave, just go to the doctor. If somebody's curious, say you were caught in the crossfire.
- Be careful when going home. Don't relax until you've checked everything.
- When you're sure you're safe and alone - or in the company of friends - relax. Change clothes. Bath. Have a cup of hot chocolate. Calm down. Take a nice, long sleep.