Tree Traversing Super Power

"Tree traversal is a common technique used in computer programming to recurse through a data structure with multiple diverging paths."

A gruff older gentleman with a beard longer than his face and a rotund belly looked up from a mass of papers on his desk, right into the eyes of his team. A smoldering cigar rested between grimacing lips, and his nose flared in anger.

"Why do I bring this up?" His hands waved in the air to emphasize his anger, "Because that's precisely the boring-ass-backwards logic this super is working with! It's like God almighty forgot how to code while piecing together the universe and said, 'Fuck it! We'll try meta-programming out!'"

Across the table was a group of 5 individuals from varying walks of life. A younger man with dark skin, leaning back in his chair, with one leg propped on the tabletop. He went by Charr. Another man, roughly the same age, but no more empathetic, sat next to him. This one was Dr. Professor Pete Greg, PhD, he had left the lab specifically for this meeting and was not happy to be seen with the rest of the team

An older lady by the name of Stevoni seemed to be sleeping at the wheel. In fact, if someone were to listen closely, they might hear a gentle snore. Finally, there was a younger girl, clearly no older than high school, with dark brown hair and a concerned look. She was Jackie, and her concern was not at all related to the meeting. No, she just found a segfault on line 204 of her script and she could not quite figure it out.

The gruff gentleman went by Beck. He started again, "The super's name is simply Julia, which is not a moniker or nickname. It's her real name, and she's slippery--"

Jackie giggled, interrupting the flow. "She probably uses Julia, right?" She adjusted her gaze to Beck, across the table. "I know her type. She thinks that by adding one more framework to the list, all the world's problems will be solved."

She then leaned forward and shut her laptop. "She's just programming on the many-world's level. She's just searching through all possible movements in an odd form of an expression tree. Each inner node is constructed based on when any one of her many world interpretations decides it wants to split."

Charr gave Jackie a sideways glance. "What the fuck does any of that mean?"

"It means she's an idiot. She's probably not even intending to do anything nefarious, it's just that one of her forms in another dimension could do something bad, and those are the ones we are catching." Jackie sighed and stared up at the ceiling, clearly more apathetic than anyone else in the room, "She's going to die soon at this rate, so we don't have to worry about it."

Stevoni sat up, "Die? Did you say DIE?" She lifted her fists and started swinging them in the air like some form of cartoon character, "I still have a few years of fight left in me."

"Grandma, this wasn't about you." Dr. Professor Pete Greg, PhD, hand-waved Stevoni's comment before continuing. "The girl we were talking about has a rather unique ability. Correct me if I'm wrong, Jackie, but this girl is using her own life force as a form of computer memory, right?"

"Right." Jackie began tapping her finger on the table impatiently.

"I assume she only has a limited amount of energy to spend. She's only human, after all." Dr. Professor Pete Greg, PhD suddenly pulled a chalkboard out of nowhere and began scribbling a series of equations. He then began babbling a bunch of incoherent math, which no one understood except him. "...Which leads me to believe that, biologically speaking, she will have a memory overflow error in about a day."

Beck shifted his gaze to Jackie, "Well?" He asked impertinently.

"Well, what?" Jackie opened her laptop again and began typing furiously.

"Well, child..." Bert's face was now beet red, "Is what he said true."

"Of course it's true!" Dr. Professor Pete Greg, PhD, stated. "This was discovered in the 1980s by none other than Stevoni."

"Ah, what?" Stevoni perked up again. "Sure, sure, dear. Anything you say."

Jackie shrugged, "There you go. It apparently makes sense."

Bert let out an exasperated sigh. "Lookie here. My ass is on the line. She's caused millions of dollars of damage and is primed to do billions if we don't stop her..."

"We get it, old man." Carr sat up, slamming his foot on the ground in the process. "Jackie, what do we do?"

"Well, we could just let her die. Once she's gone, the damage will be gone as well."

"No." Charr turned his head, furious with Jackie's suggestion. "We save her too, just like all the other supers."

Jackie pursed her lips and stared directly into Charr's eyes, while still typing furiously. "Fine. Whatever. The easiest way is just to cause a segfault."

"I don't care what that is." Charr rubbed his temples and sighed, clearly a bit embarrassed about his fit of anger to someone he called a friend. "Just tell me what to do."

Jackie sighed. "I don't really know. She's a teenage girl, clearly getting into coding for the first time without any care in the world. Her script isn't bad for a first attempt, but the only termination condition she provided was 'when the node dies, kill the process too.' This created a number of other Julias floating about without a purpose and causing havoc." Jackie paused, and stared at the ceiling, trying to piece together the next move. She was clearly just as exasperated as everyone else. "We need to do something her program didn't expect."

"Like what?" Bert was no longer angry, but still quite terse.

Jackie rolled her eyes and shook her head. "I don't know. We have to do something an angsty teenage girl wouldn't think about... Maybe we create an undefined variable in her scope?"

"Which means..." This time, Charr too had calmed down.

Stevoni spoke up. "We need to get into her scope. We need to become her friends." She then clacked her lips in satisfaction and nodded, sitting back with her arms crossed.

"That is the cheesiest motherfucking thing I have ever heard!" Bert exploded. "This isn't some high-school anime! We cannot save the world through the power of friendship!"

"It's not really friendship." Dr. Professor Pete Greg, PhD, spoke up. "It's exactly what I proved on the board."

"How in Hell's boiling pit of black soot did I get this group to work with? Are you kidding me?" Bert began fuming, flailing his arms onto the table.

"Well, I say we go for it!" Charr stood up. "It's the only course of action we have. Besides, we could use some more people on our team."

"Yeah, let's go." Jackie shut her laptop. "It'll be nice to have a fellow programmer on-board. Besides, I'm not getting any work done here."

Dr. Professor Pete Greg, PhD, followed. "Yeah. I need to get back to lab. You guys can handle it, right?"

"Yeah, we got this." Jackie and Charr responded almost simultaneously and giggled to each other.

Stevoni, of course, had fallen asleep, but was muttering softly to herself about the power of friendship and common sense.

That was how the Super Protection Squad got it's newest member, Julia.

Prompt: Your anti-superpower team's target is someone who has speculative execution and out-of-order processing abilities. The person can flee in a car and then hot-wire it to start it while simultaneously hiding instead of fleeing, and then invalidate unneeded actions

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