I’m about to catch my flight to NZ, so apologies if I don’t respond for a while, but for now I am bored as hell with free WiFi (Respect PDX) so…to the OP:
What would your Super Power be if under no circumstances could anyone find out? Allow me to elaborate: Let’s say you can manipulate the stock market - great, but the SEC will catch you. How about invisibility? Certainly your time stamps compared to security cameras will flesh you out. Mind fuck a teller into giving you money? Cameras. Real Estate? Eventually something will raise an alarm.
Your power must benefit you greatly and never ever cause anyone to take notice.
So….mine: Computer skills and Time Travel. Fake enough awareness of a software ability to get hired with a company that you know will blow up. Tow the line until they, in fact, blow up, then cash out at the exact time, which you will know in advance, to maximize your profit.
Ability to manipulate probabilities/random chance events.
I play the Powerball one time, win a gazillion bucks, and I’m set for life as That Guy Who Won the Lottery (and has an uncanny ability to always get green traffic lights). Not that I would usually have to be in a hurry to get anywhere.
Think of negotiations where a star athlete tells his agent to get as much as possible but no less than five million; management will pay as little as possible but no more than eight million; I get my client $7.5 million, which, y’know, could’ve happened anyway: it’s not something-for-nothing, it’s something-for-something.
(How’d I get the job? You figure it out.)
If you want high-profile, I go into politics and debate a guy who makes unforced errors: he gets infuriated and makes a racist-and-sexist slip-of-the-tongue as people sometimes do, or I ask him a question and right there on live television he can’t for the life of him come up with an answer – and, again, my campaign is bankrolled by rich folks who’d bankroll someone, not by tellers who can’t spare the change.
But to stay lower-profile, maybe I just play kingmaker from the sidelines: I get tapped as a Presidential advisor – which, of course, happens to people – after making my candidate’s opponent look absent-minded and hot-tempered or whatever. Or maybe I am the professional athlete in question, since (a) you think it’s a good idea to feint and feint and feint as we circle each other like wary boxers while (b) you’re Getting Verry Sleeeepy such that you won’t get up before the ten-count once you go down.
(How can I know I’ll hit you? How do I know you won’t land a knockout blow first? What, are you kidding me?)
Since I spend way too much time looking for things Madame P. has mislaid, I want Locator Sense. If I went higher profile, I could help find missing persons as well, or all that missing plutonium I keep hearing about.
The ability to read people’s minds, at any distance, merely by desiring to do so.
Have posted before about what a horror wide open telepathy would be. The petty thoughts of everyone around you would drive you mad. But being able to choose to listen in on the thoughts of one individual, at that moment only, would be extremely useful in so many ways.
Just don’t get stupid with it and it won’t be obvious.
Time travel. Go back to the spring of 1978, go to Churchill Downs and put every nickel I can scrape together to bet on Affirmed/Alydar to finish 1-2. Cash out the winnings, go to Pimlico in two weeks and put everything I won on another 1-2 finish for those two. Cash out those winnings, go to Belmont in three weeks and put it all on a repeat 1-2 performance. Cash it out and hop back in my time machine.
The ability to control other people’s thoughts. You don’t get a teller to steal money and give it to you, you convince people who already have their own money to invest it in your…whatever. Your project, your book, your movie, whatever.
Ha, that’s pretty close to what I thought of when I read the OP.
The power I choose is destiny manipulation. I can set a destined future for any person or place, and apparently unrelated/random events will occur that lead to that destiny coming true. So yes I can decide to win the lottery without being caught, because there will be no detectable difference between me winning the lottery and anyone else winning it. Besides, if I choose “I am never caught using my powers” as my destiny then I never will be caught by anyone anyway - something will always distract any potential discoverer at just the right moment, or something similar to that will happen. At least it will so long as I avoid overdoing things; presumably the power is not limitless.
At most I’ll just look lucky. I’ll win the lottery, never get sick, never get hurt in any accidents, etc.
I’d go with a time travel variant : the ability to rewind, fast forward or loop my own life. There are some ladies I wouldn’t mind spending an eternal evening with, back when I was young and pretty. Old mates I could see. Stupid things I could maybe take back. Work I could happily zap through (knowing it’ll still get done and done right - it’s just annoying to be conscious while doing it :)). I could loop Sunday afternoon a whole lot just to make time to play all those video games I’m passing on, read every book.
And when I’m tired of being so awesome, well, I can always skip right to the end - no fuss, no muss, the most painless suicide imaginable.
From the outside, I hardly see how anyone could guess I’m Groundhog Daying the hell out of everything.
Hm, the jump skill from the book Jumper perhaps - to be able to transport up to say a cube 3 meters on a side by touching it, full of live or non living items [so in a pinch I could transport a dozen chickens, or a cow or a person other than myself] to and from places I have seen or have seen pictures of. That could be nice from a visiting my European buddies standpoint, and for grocery shopping [I could pop into a friends apartment in Munich and hit the victualeinmarkt and not have to worry about getting all that yummy yummy sausage back through customs!]
Or I could really go for the time travel thing - pop back into my body knowing what I know and be 10 years old [or whenever] again, or pop back to an un-won lottery date with the numbers, and time to go buy the ticket. I could go back and decide to go to West Point instead of avoiding it. Lots of forks in my lifetime path I could go back and change. I could avoid trashing out my body and not end up in a wheelchair
Self-morphing, so I could turn myself into a perfectly healthy whatever I want - if I wanted to be 5’8", redhead with alabaster skin and moss green eyes and the face and voice of an angel so I could get on one of those please discover how leet I am TV shows, and date whomever is popular currently [or get acting jobs, whatever] and then turn into a little mousy brown average looking girl next door if I want to go out and not be noticed … sort of permanent glamour ability but with a physical change not just appearance.
If pushed, probably the time travel ability would be the most beneficial - I like many aspects of my life, and if I could go back and win the lottery I could sort things out to keep what I like and avoid some other things. There isn’t a monkey paw component is there?
Not “instant” healing but puts them into remission. I don’t think anyone would believe someone who said “All the kids with cancer have been going into remission this past month. I conclude that it was because that guy delivering teddy bears was here.”
I like the probability manipulation. Not only useful for gambling, but imagine visting someone with terminal canceer and manipulating the probablity of complete and spontaneous remission to 100%. Or, for the revenge minded, a 100% probablity that the douchebag from work will accidentally set his crotch on fire while using the microwave.