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Ko’dor are an octopus like species that arise from the swamps of the planet Luvwa. They have the ability to transform their bodies into any form or shape they want.

When a Ko’dor wants to infiltrate an animals social structure (say, humans) they “single out” an individual to transform into. They listen to and mimic their voices, study their bodies, and finally, shapeshifter into their form.

To get rid of the individual they “singled out” they use their ink, a chloroform like substance, to knock them out, and than they hide the body.

It would likely by easier to kill they individual, so my question is, what is a plausible reason why the Ko’dor would knock out their victims, instead of killing them?

-The Ko’dor’s Ink knocks out victims for a week. They hide the body, and feed it, expell its waste, all that stuff

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The greatest challenge a mimic faces is a close friend of the mark. No matter how close your illusion is to the real thing, a close friend is the single most likely threat to uncover your scheme.

You simply can't observe someone long enough to fake it with a real close friend. They'll know something is up rather quickly. If you want to test this, see how long you can impersonate a friend online. Online is far less personal than face to face interactions, so it should be far easier to impersonate them online.

So, its not the body The Ko'dor need to keep alive, but rather the mind. They need to be able to plumb the mind of the target for secrets.

Then it is up to your particular species evolutionary path to decide how they get those secrets.

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  • $\begingroup$ Aargh. You have just introduced me to my least favourite American variant on a word. To me plum is a fruit! $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Oct 11 '18 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs *chuckles* Good catch. Should be "plumb." Should be the same root as the device used to find a path straight down to the ground. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Oct 11 '18 at 16:10
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    $\begingroup$ that was what I thought, but I like to double check these things before making edits, whereupon I discovered that ‘plum’ is indeed a valid Americanisation (Americanization?) of the word ‘plumb’. $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Oct 11 '18 at 16:14
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Maybe for pheromones and other secretions that it can't produce?

So, this creature mimics form, voice, and social behaviors. Many social animals on Earth rely on scent too. E.g., ants rely entirely on scent. There's a wasp whose larva has (incredibly) evolved to mimic the scent of an ant, so much so that the ants will feed and clean it even as it grows into a wasp.

Lots of animals mark territory by secreting all sorts of things from all sorts of glands, or urine, or feces.

It would be wicked if a Ko'dor took over an alpha male, then used its secretions to lure in the females so that other Ko'dor could take over them! Then, no one else would mess with the whole tribe, figuring it's an alpha and his harem.

Anyway, I get that this would be less important for humans, though people in close relationships or even close quarters recognize (and even miss) one another's smell (though that smell is probably just laundry softener). But it would explain the behavior from an evolutionary perspective.

I also like @Mr.J's idea, certainly.

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If the ink knocks them out for only a week, then perhaps the Ko'dor don't want the victim dead, they wish to temporarily impersonate a person of power or influence and make some momentous decision or change.

In our modern world for examples: Becoming the US President or a Prime Minister for a week, or becoming the head of the FBI, or becoming some billionaire for a week to donate tens of millions of dollars to something the Ko'dor think is important. Or a CEO of a major corporation to make some similar decision. A week is long enough to sign documents and make something legal and irreversible.

The real person will have a "blackout" week where they do not know what happened, but as people wielding great power, they may also be reluctant to tell anybody about the blackout, since it would have massive repercussions on their fitness for duty. So the victims might very well go along with whatever the Ko'dor did to conceal the fact that they were blacked out when, to their knowledge, they themselves did it.

If the Ko'dor killed their victim, then presuming they do not wish to remain this person forever, eventually they must stage the death of the victim. Then somebody else would become the recipient of the victim's power (as a new CEO, politician, etc) and might quickly work to counter whatever the Ko'dor has done.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thats a great idea. In other words, they do it to draw less attention to themselves; clearly an evolutionary advantage which would explain/justify the trouble of feeding and cleaning the victim's body for a period. $\endgroup$ – Xplodotron Oct 11 '18 at 20:30
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Memories perhaps?

Since the creature just "mimics" the host. Completely replicating them would take a long time, thus. the creature should have some sort of "extracting" mechanism to "download" every information that the host has, from what he did before he got knocked out, to the time he learned how to walk as a baby. Depending on the speed of the download and the age of the host, this would take time since it would be very obvious if the parasite just "mimic"somebody without the memories to back it up.

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Ethics. The Ko`dor society believes that killing sapient beings is wrong and should be avoided if possible. An aversion to murder is deeply ingrained into their psyche.

If you want them to be villains, then there are plenty of other ways in which they could be malevolent (lie, steal, torture, maim, enslave...).

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They need constant learning from the host

They can't just learn its shape and way of speech and then kill them. Learning can be forgotten, especially if it's very difficult. Ko'dors need to re-learn the shape, likes, dislikes, speak, personality and even memories from the host each some time, otherwise, the quality of its mimic can downgrade over time.

It may be useful, as a data source

What happens if you kill your host and then you discover you didn't know something about him/her? You always need to maintain him or her alive, otherwise it is possible to discover that you are fake.
Maintaining the host alive can be useful to keep learning new things from him each time you discover that you didn't knew something about him/her (e.g: when you want to talk with a relative, you must first gather a lot of information about their relationship and shared memories).

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