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So this alien super mutant has crashed landed and is hiding out on Earth in human form. These are the things that make him different:

Shapeshifting takes too much effort for him to want to change to something different usually (his shape shifting is originally meant for adaptation, not disguise, but with enough practice he can have a new form), so that won't cause any issue. Purple blood. Can generate electrical shocks; often involuntarily if he's been grabbed without warning. Fire breath. Invisibility, can still be seen on thermal sensors. Super strength and speed, includes abnormally high jumps. Higher durability. A colorful hat with a pocket dimension inside of it. He will not go anywhere without his hat. Psychosis that increases as he goes too long without food before he goes on a carnivorous rampage. However, due to his low standards for food quality, this is unlikely; and in addition, though he dislikes it, he can eat wood and plastic. Regeneration; extensive damage causes him to shut down while he heals; He will be very hungry afterwards. Can climb anything. A strong aversion to medical environments and things. He likes to dig through dumpsters at night for food, especially on days when the stores throw out their expired food. He likes to live around the border between a city and a relatively large forest, so he can vary his diet between thrown out food and animal flesh. I believe his main problem is being bored. He might want to spook people and become a cryptid to entertain himself. Mainly just lone hikers or campers in the woods occasionally; nothing that gives them too good at look at him. Relies on the culture of "You saw something unexplainable by mainstream thinks, I must insult your mental health" to keep it from getting too much attention. He's very clever actually, but he can be a chaotic dumb@$$ at times.

How much would he have to screw up before he gets their attention?

This isn't for trying to keep him out of trouble. He needs to accidentally find himself enough trouble that he decides to copy the ending of 'Dog With a Blog' and get himself on a talk show, reveal himself and his abilities to the public and thus him becoming a super powered celebrity will increase the likeliness of the military being unable to get him (because dangerous alien monster we fear because we don't understand) without the public being upset.

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    $\begingroup$ As long as he is the only supernatural thing and keeps away from cities, he should be fine. Thanks to delivery services and the internet, he could reduce his interactions to humans and keep control over these interactions. So if his only goal is hiding out until X, he's safe. If he wants to make a living here, he might give away parts of his secret but as long as noone seriously belives in supernatural stuff, most things will be ignored as nonsense. And if things do get out of control, he can (go on a rampage, kill everyone involved and) shift t another human appearence and start over. $\endgroup$
    – hajef
    Jan 18, 2020 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ Is the military supposed to have it's own nefarious purpose? Seems implied, but it's not clear. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Jan 19, 2020 at 0:33
  • $\begingroup$ @user535733 'Aah! Strange alien monster! Might be dangerous!' Fear of the unknown seems to be very powerful in humans. Or it could be the 'rip it open and see how it's powers work so we can use them for war' type of military. $\endgroup$ Jan 19, 2020 at 1:12
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    $\begingroup$ I've put a minus vote here.. opener is commenting on (all !) answers by editing the question. This changes the scope and (actually) invalidates existing answers, which is not polite. worldbuilding.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5539/… $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Nov 17, 2022 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Goodies it doesn't really change any answers. It just updates on a few characteristics I have on the current version of this character. He now has bones. And I've added some additional behavioral details. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2022 at 23:32

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Shapeshifting

One video will look like a hoax. Multiple videos might get some attention but being able to shapeshift means they keep looking for the wrong guy.

If he looks like a hobo, he can dumpster dive as much as he likes and nobody will notice. He can be weird and unsociable and people will avoid him.

His only real threat is people who like to torment the homeless which could lead to stories about getting flogged by a homeless dude.

Unless the military knows aliens exist and is actively looking for him plus know his abilities, a video or two isn't a threat.

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He would be fine. He can get a job.

His strength and climbing alone would be enough to get steady construction / roofer work that makes good use of those things. Even if just a day laborer once it became known he was worth 2 normal guys he would always be hired. The pay would easily be enough to fill his belly with fast food.

If he does freakish things on the job it will attract attention. If he keeps it under wraps then he will be fine.

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    $\begingroup$ Alas, Chickenpeep's alien now wants to get famous and be a guest in talk shows. See edit (LOL) $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Nov 17, 2022 at 22:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Goodies - my roofer hero lives on in my heart. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Nov 17, 2022 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ It sounds more like he doesn't want to, but will end up getting caught by accident - in which case, roofer still works until then! But the question is how he gets caught, not how he avoids getting caught until then. $\endgroup$
    – A. B.
    Nov 21, 2022 at 15:40
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People would be shocked by some of his behaviour and or appearance on occasion. He would probably be able to avoid detection to begin with if he was careful and knew what he was doing and was aware of his surroundings and how to behave.

But some of his potentially outlandish behaviour might draw unwarranted attention. The military would not be involved at all at the beginning as presumably he would be totally unknown to the authorities it would be a civil police matter.

The probably course of events would start with complaints from the public about strange behaviour. These might well be ignored at first but if they continued and especially if anyone reported any kind of assault (like being electrocuted by him) the police would quickly become involved and he might get arrested or questioned.

He might be able to talk his way out of the situation even then denying all knowledge, but eventually he would become known to the police and or there would be a major incident at which point things would escalate very quickly. Any attack by electricity, fire or other violent rampage against the police would immediately trigger the calling of an armed response team, further rampage at that point could prove deadly resisting arrest whilst fire breathing or putting lives in danger could very well lead to him being shot by the police.

The only time the military might get involved would be if for whatever reason the police armed response team were overwhelmed at which point I suspect a senior police officer would have the power to trigger a major incident and alert the government who would then call on the military special forces and ultimately whatever military assets were necessary to contain the situation.

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  • $\begingroup$ Don't want anything too terrifying for the public. He was going to pull something like what happened at the end of this show on Disney Channel 'Dog With a Blog' and get himself in front of a talk show, show his neat powers and become a beloved public figure so the pursuing military won't be as able to take him out. $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2020 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ If he became well known as a celebrity who was good at "tricks" he might well be able to avoid the attention of the police for the most minor issues, but any serious violence would be still be problematic for him unless he could simply deny it or disappear or similar. $\endgroup$
    – Slarty
    Jan 18, 2020 at 20:52
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There is no particular reason for the military to be involved. If he's doing anything illegal, then the police or federal agencies might be interested.

Just videos online don't mean much these days unless laws are being broken. Too easy to fake anything, too many viral marketing campaigns for games, movies etc. If there are actual witnesses and injuries, criminal damage etc, in the real world rather than on the internet, then it would be investigated like any other crime. And he would be tracked down like any other criminal.

If, for example, you put up lots of videos titled "Hey look, this dude just made himself invisible!!! And then he threw lightning bolts!!!" on YouTube, you'd be lucky to get any attention at all, and the CIA would not be impressed. Unless they had a case where a building was damaged by an invisible man throwing lighting that they needed to investigate...

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  • $\begingroup$ The military gets involved because dangerous alien monster we fear because we don't understand. $\endgroup$ Jan 20, 2020 at 1:29
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    $\begingroup$ They need to believe that aliens exist before they could get interested in one. Given the number of alien hoaxes reported every day, convincing anyone that one is actually real would take concerted effort, not an accident. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Jan 22, 2020 at 6:04
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenS If the police are calling in reinforcements because this guy is spouting electricity and beating up a dozen gang members with guns because they upset him too much, then I think that may get enough attention. $\endgroup$ Jan 22, 2020 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Chickenpeep But if it's just a video, as in the question, nobody is going to take any notice. A real-life crime is different $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2020 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidHambling oh shoot I forgot I had it worded like that. I meant that as an example for how it might happen. $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2020 at 18:08
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Given your comments that the alien is on Earth as a result of the crash, than the screw up big enough for the military to get involved already. Specifically the air force. A UFO has crashed into U.S. territory. Another branch might arrive sooner to secure the scene and keep those meddling kids and their dog out (likely the army, on the grounds that they are the largest service) but if something falls out of the sky and you need it to be declared a weather balloon, you gotta call the USAF (and for those of you who asked "What about Space Force?" just remember: Space Force was made because all the other Branches wanted to give the Coast Guard a break for all the jokes made at their expense.).

That said, the Air Force would likely linger in the area and will be on hunt 16 hours a day, 7 days a week (USAF personnel are required to be given 8 hours of sleep a day or else they get cranky.).

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Nothing in your list is the sort of thing that would normally draw attention involuntarily.

If we were talking about a teenager, he'd be telling his friends "look what I can do". Wouldn't last 3 days. But if he were a (psychologically) mature adult trying to muddle through, then there's a good chance no one ever discovers him. It's not 100%, but it's high 90s.

The two things that will trip a mature adult up are:

  1. A vehicular accident that should cause grievous injury (but doesn't for him). If the accident is unwitnessed, then he might still get away with his secret, but if he is hauled to the hospital with a broken back or if jagged metal severs a limb that he grows back...
  2. Some sort of armed robbery that forces him to defend himself (assuming that even he is afraid of a bullet to the brainstem). In the year 2022, this is as likely to be caught on a surveillance camera somewhere, it will end up on Youtube, and it will eventually trend.

Neither of these situations is anything that he can fix with his other powers, they only make it worse and dig the hole deeper. For instance, if he tries to shapeshift and slink away, that gets him out of the immediate spotlight, but draws even more scrutiny. I mean, even Fox Mulder notices that though their suspect disappears as if into thin air, another man wearing identical clothes seems to walk away in the video. And that was the 1990s. Law enforcement is used to pursuing suspects whom they don't know the appearance of (think unidentified serial killers).

But that's only if he is avoiding trouble. If on the other hand his personality is such that he wants to "mess with people", his flying-under-the-radar will be measured in weeks or days. Can't run from your own stupidity, after all.

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