Earth's greatest minds have done it, they captured Dave the teleporter, but now we have a problem, where do we keep him? While we can keep him sedated until it is built we need to work fast, lest we risk a ''Free Dave'' movement. They have to be quick, money is not an issue.

A Few Details of Dave

  • It has been confirmed, Dave served in the Russian military for 6 years.
  • Dave believes now that he is a guiding finger for god.
  • Because he believes this, he is a pacifist and refuses to kill.
  • Dave is only able to teleport to places that he can see or has seen before.
  • Dave does require a memory of the sights to use them.

Using the above information how can the governments of Earth build a prison that can hold Dave?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Something I wonder... does he have a range limit for his ability? If this is so, you might want to place him in a space station which is in a stationary orbit (around our Moon). Or even 36000km above earth might be sufficient, but if you don't want him to starve it would be absurdly costly to supply him with food... You might ask Perry Rhodan's Mutant Squad about this problem, but that's to sci-fi for your needs I'm afraid of $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2016 at 5:08
  • $\begingroup$ Is this ability to teleport some kind of magic or it has an scientific background? If the later, we can work on some anti-teleport technology. If the first, I don't think our current "magicology" is advanced enough. Does this ability have other limitations? $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2016 at 6:41
  • $\begingroup$ Smack this head until he cannot remember any place. Then he cannot think of any place and cannot teleport. There are actual known humans who have no memory but survive just fine $\endgroup$
    – BlueWizard
    May 8, 2016 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ I'm trying to imagine exactly what his "capture" looks like, and why whatever it is that means he can currently be considered to have been captured can't be considered as a means to continue imprisoning him... Basically, if you can capture him, if you in fact HAVE captured him, then he IS imprisoned. $\endgroup$ May 16, 2017 at 15:36

4 Answers 4


The implication in the question is that "Dave" needs to be focused in order to visualize the target and access it through teleportation.

So the first thing to do is break his ability to focus and concentrate. Perhaps the most effective means without using permanent sedation or lobotomizing the character (and why isn't this allowed?) would be to place him in the "white room".

The British Army pioneered this technique during "the Troubles" against the PIRA in the 1970's in response to charges that they were using torture against PIRA terrorists. The room is simply a very small enclosure which is painted a stark white colour, has 24hr fluorescent lighting and is constantly filled with "white noise" to obscure any aural cues coming from outside.

The techniques was refined by ensuring no time cues are ever provided either; meals arrive at random times, the same person always deliver meals or changes of clothes and bedding, the same interrogators come to visit...you get the idea.

With nothing to "attach" to, the mind begins to wander and become unfocused. Since the meals and interrogations occur at random intervals, normal sleep cycles are interrupted as well, further disrupting mental processes. Variations of this include PSYOPS units using powerful loudspeakers to blast atonal sounds at enemy positions to disrupt sleep and impair communications (trying to give orders while screaming at the top of you lungs isn't very effective for communicating complex ideas or plans).

A fallback position would be to identify every place he has ever been and attempt to demolish or drastically rearrange the interior of the structure so his memory of the place is faulty. Arranging matters so he will teleport into the interior of a wall will either be instantly fatal or discourage further escape attempts, especially if he is informed in no uncertain terms that this has been done (but not specifying which places have been changed and which might still remain as they were). The combination of lack of focus and doubt that it will be possible to teleport to a safe place should paralyze Dave's ability to teleport from the facility.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ The problem with the white room solution is that it will take time for him to be confused, something like hours or days. The moment you put him in it, he will escape, no ? $\endgroup$
    – Carlos2W
    Apr 29, 2016 at 17:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Since we are not sure how teleportation works, it may be necessary to keep Dave mildly sedated at first. As he becomes aware and tries to focus, he is already immersed in the sensory deprivation environment. $\endgroup$
    – Thucydides
    Apr 29, 2016 at 21:02

A pressurized cell.

If you quickly jump from a high-pressure to a low-pressure environment, you die painfully, but you can live if the environment is pressurized slowly. So, after incapacitating Dave, put him in a cell and slowly pressurize the air. Tell him he's in a pressurized cell when he wakes up, but don't tell him exactly how pressurized the cell is. He can live normally inside the cell, but if he tries to teleport out into a normal-pressure environment, he'll die.

Original idea from this webcomic.

  • $\begingroup$ Thats a real good idea $\endgroup$
    – BlueWizard
    May 8, 2016 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ This is very creative and a great idea! The main challenge you have is to prevent Dave from escaping before you even have the chance to explain to him that he's in a pressurized cell. It's a little bit of a complex thing to explain. How can we solve that? And how do we prove to him that he's actually in a pressurized cell? Is there any way for him to tell? Otherwise, we can just lie to him that it's the case. We'll have the same results, without the risk of him dying if he doesn't believe us. $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    May 20, 2016 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Fiksdal: Assuming that he can be restrained using a mild sedative or something to break his concentration, you can explain the situation under those conditions. You can prove the cell is pressurized by opening a small hole in it for a moment; the air will rush out. Just make sure he can't open the hole from the inside. $\endgroup$ May 22, 2016 at 4:49
  • $\begingroup$ OK, makes sense. $\endgroup$
    – Fiksdal
    May 22, 2016 at 5:01

Simple. Make Dave not want to teleport. Assuming ethics are ignored, perform an operation on Dave and install some sort of device that would make him dependent on staying put.

One example that came to mind was a bomb which goes off if he moves to far from a certain point.

If he can teleport himself away and leave any foreign object behind, than remove a part of Dave's body in such away that the "bomb like imprisoning object" would be used as a vital replacement (for the lack of a better example, I'm thinking like, some sort of vital bone, but maybe technology could allow for an artificial organ). If he leaves the "bomb like device" behind, he dies.

edit: You wouldn't need to kill David. The bomb idea was a bit extreme. You could instead have the device release a sedative if he venture's too far and have the device have a GPS.


Wipe his memory and put him in a regular cell.

If Dave can't remember where he's been, then he clearly can't teleport there. He'll constantly be gaining new memories, of course, but they'll all be of his cell, so he can have fun teleporting from one side of the cell to another.

Be sure to make sure he can't see through any openings at any time - that means no windows, and he must be unconscious if the cell door is opened for any reason. Basically, he's going to be in a solid block of concrete - with normal security precautions, of course. The prison should be able to hold any regular person who can't teleport.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ How do you wipe his memory? $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Apr 28, 2016 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ @MontyWild Well, besides physically removing part of his brain or causing intentional head trauma (not precise), things like intense electroconvulsive therapy ("shock treatment") might work. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Apr 28, 2016 at 23:37
  • $\begingroup$ Why not just kill him, then? Oh... you can't. Radical brain surgery or ECT would also appear to be out of the question too. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Apr 29, 2016 at 0:06

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