0
$\begingroup$

I have an alien shapeshifter character attempting to slip past its pursuers within a roughly modern-day military installation.

The shapeshifter in question can for the most part freely alter its shape, as long as its mass doesn't change. Other than the conceit of the mechanics of the shapeshifting, the rest of the setting is meant to be grounded.

Within the setting, they are being actively surveilled by security cameras, which complicates most of the classic shapeshifter tricks. How could they possibly slip past being actively monitored in order to move about freely?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ This sounds like a question about what a character should do in your story, so it's not worldbuilding. We don't write your story for you. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jun 28 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch-ReinstateMonica I've tried to rephrase the question to be more appropriate for here, with the question of a shapeshifter evading surveillance. $\endgroup$ – Farengeto Jun 28 at 5:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Just a suggestion not an answer, but can't it imitate various flooring surfaces - linoleum, concrete, gravel, tarmac sometimes two at once and just ooze out under doors? (and feet) $\endgroup$ – Tantalus' touch. Jun 28 at 7:26
  • $\begingroup$ A similar question that will shed insight into your problem is Can a human fail a Turing Test?. I know, it doesn't sound like it's related, but trust me, your Q and that Q are asking about basically the same thing. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jun 28 at 16:06
1
$\begingroup$

Impersonate a low key Staff Member

The best typical strategy would be covert, rather than overt, using the advantages of shapeshifting as much as possible. If she/he can, emulate clothing convincingly, and know the mannerisms of those to impersonate, this would be easiest.

Although often depicted, probably not a high-ranking officer. More like a janitor or support staff would be best (out of the limelight, and not subject to great scrutiny or very much interaction with others).

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Impersonate an object which regularly gets brought into and/or removed from the installation. A staff member's briefcase, the bottles for the drinking water dispensers, cleaning supplies and/or full trash bags are all good choices.

Even in the most secure facilities, many inanimate objects come and go with almost total freedom.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with this but should come with the consideration that the shape shifter must remain the same mass. Rules out briefcases and empty water bottles but a cleaning trolley or something or the sort is a reasonable suggestion (may have to hide the actual cleaning trolley though or questions may be asked as to why one is left out). $\endgroup$ – Lio Elbammalf Jun 28 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ Also, don't overlook the possibility of shifting into a transparent film on the surface of a larger object. There is a Star Trek Deep Space Nine episode where Odo is running a practice founder intrusion exercise using himself as the enemy founder and the rest of the cast searching the base for him. He ultimately wins against the whole crew because he shifts into a transparent sheet covering a floor-to-ceiling control panel. Bashir is crouching behind a bulwark directly under his hiding place and never sees him hidden there. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Jun 28 at 19:40
0
$\begingroup$

They can make themselves very flat and blend in with the floors, walls or ceiling. (I'm assuming that they can also change their colors etc. and not just their shape.)

If need be, they can also flatten themselves into a very long, thin thread. They could them slip along the corners of the wall. Combined with changing their color they would then be virtually undetectable.

This should make then flat enough to slip under doors or through windows, or even through vents etc. This means they won't just avoid detection, they'll be able to make progress and move towards their goals.

It should be mentioned that this type of camouflage works best if they can move slowly. Motion can be detected even when the object is hidden. This is another reason to stay towards the sides and corners of the room; if they imitate the floor, and take a while to traverse a whole room, there's more of a chance that they'll get stepped on!

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.