Applications of reactionless flight as a superpower?

Worldbuilding Asked by Z. Schroeder on November 26, 2020

Let’s say you have true Superman-style flight, able to move through the air without any discernible means of propulsion. In fact, I’ll take it a step farther and offer up the explanation that perhaps your body contains a nested warp bubble that makes you a human Alcubierre drive. When you go up, up, and away, you waste no propellant mass and don’t “accelerate” in any traditional sense. In theory you could achieve relativistic or even superluminal speeds but we wanna keep this to in-atmo flight for the time being, so that’s a no-go.

What could the esoteric applications of this look like? Would a person simply being moved by such a warp bubble still experience the effects of acceleration since the bubble isn’t totally enclosing their body? What could you do with an ability like this if you could also alter the size of the bubble or create other bubbles outside your body?

One Answer

You could destroy entire planets just by moving. You would actually be one of the single most powerful beings and extremely dangerous. Why this is has to do with a posited problem of the Alcubierre drive, which basically states that your warp bubble would accumulate particles in transit and then release them with tremendous energy, presuming you approach the speed of light.

Notice that this would happen to the planet you happen to be on, so if you require atmosphere to live you probably want to keep your speed way, way down.

Correct answer by Michael Stachowsky on November 26, 2020

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