“How to kill Prevailer?” is a question that usually follows hard on the heels of its natural predecessor “How can we fix the world?”.
There are a lot of ways to fix the world. Honestly, the world’s default state is an improvement on the current situation. You almost have to be aiming to miss in order not to fix things.
Peace treaty between the Union and some of the nicer Pantheon substates, leading to a MAD situation? Would work. Convince Ultras to wipe out The Company, die off in a generation? Would work. Surrender to the Pantheon’s council, let them enforce order? Even that would be an improvement on the current state of things.
But fixing the world isn’t just ‘hard’. It is much worse than that.
There was a thing, back in the day, called the stock market. This was a place where you could file papers and make money. Then, as now, folks wanted money. One day, they invented computers, which were really good at the kind of paper work that the market rewarded. Did they all get rich?
Nope, because ‘make money in the market’ wasn’t a task with a (high) static difficulty. Rather, it was a contest with an active opponent (the other people trying to do the same thing). Any strategy that the computer figured out would stop working once everyone knew about it. This situation, where a problem isn’t just hard to solve, but actually resists solution, is known as being anti-inductive.
Prevailer’s Regime makes the world’s state anti-inductive. If you make peace with your neighbors she will ramp up her attacks. If you assault the Company she will offer it sanctuary and strike at you.
So long as Prevailer retains her position, the world will remain in this shape. This is not coincidence. The world’s present, deplorable state is more or less a direct representation of her preferences. Rubble suits her, as the poet famously said.
So, really, every way of fixing the world is the same way, in the end. They all have “Step One: Kill Prevailer” in common. And they have all foundered at this step.
So, what is up with that task? Why can’t the world at large, trying without surcease for decades, kill one Ultra? Prevailer’s powers offer part of the solution.
Everyone knows that she has Ultra Strength Four. We can all look up at the moon, after all. This power doesn’t directly protect her, but it does mean that fights that she is involved in end as swiftly as she wants them to.
More problematically, she has Ultra Toughness. There is a lot of debate about the exact level, with some arguing a strong one and others going with a weak two. It is on the cusp. What is apparent, however, is that ordinary attacks affect her much less than they would a human. Bullets chip bits off of her, wrecking balls send her flying through the air.
The power that is the single biggest problem for would-be assassins is her third power. She can teleport. When she does so, she forms a new body, entirely uninjured. All damage that she had previously sustained is wiped away.
This power is most of the problem. She can’t be poisoned, because she doesn’t eat. She is fully nourished after each teleport. She can’t be killed while sleeping, because she doesn’t sleep. After each jump she is well rested once again.
In battle she generally uses her teleportation to get close to her enemies and employ her unrivaled Ultra Strength. There is also a small explosion from her old body when she jumps. She can control this from a harmless ‘pop’ to a bomb blast. This is generally how she disposes of massed humans. Battle, obviously, shouldn’t be a concern for a stealth killing, but somehow it always ends up there.
So that’s the problem. How to kill a woman who never sleeps or eats, who can form a new body, in a new position, at will. Obviously, she has to die in an instant. A difficult proposition for an Ultra Tough target.
And yet, not difficult enough to explain the sustained failures that have been recorded. Ignoring the amateur attempts in their uncounted thousands, Prevailer has walked away from literally hundreds of serious attempts to kill her throughout the decades. These attempts took into account everything we’ve discussed thus far, and yet they failed anyway.
The obvious conclusion is that something else is going on. Perhaps another Ultras power shields her. Perhaps she has other powers that she has concealed. Perhaps she has moles inside of every organization that is targeting her. Perhaps she is God’s judgement upon a sinful world.
No one knows exactly why she cannot be killed. We know only, to our great cost, that it is so. Still, the task must be attempted. For the future of humanity to exist, Peggy Martin must die.