MIB Files: Skinwalkers
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Skinwalkers are quite the interesting subject. Some of the stories you hear about them range from a little odd to outright terrifying. There are some people who are a little superstitious like Native Americans that don't even want to discuss the subject because they think it's a matter of survival, and others for fear it might start making them show up.
They're not some kind of supernatural demon or anything like that. The legends people have come up with has been blown way out of proportion trying to explain what they couldn't understand. You know how people talk. They're actually extraterrestrials. They're hyper-intelligent ones too, and they're shape shifters. What makes people so afraid of them is because they see something way out of the ordinary that's behaving so strangely it almost breaks their psyche.
Those are just the stories you hear about. Many people say nothing out of fear everyone would think they're insane. However, most stories about them don't end up with anyone actually getting hurt. If someone goes missing it's probably because they had a nervous breakdown or got themselves killed because they were freaking out and ran off.
The reason for their odd behavior is because they don't really think like humans do. They just don't know any better. At least at first. Even then they still think differently, they just behave in a way that makes them seem more normal to everyone around them. Human behavior can be complex at times with a lot of subtleties and it takes a while to acclimate to it.
What usually happens is when they first arrive here they don't really have a form yet. The way it was described to me was it's like they're somewhere in the middle of being like a spirit and corporeal simultaneously. It may not have been the best choice of words, but it's definitely not any supernatural mumbo jumbo. That's just how they are.
They usually end up out in the middle of nowhere like a forest and all they have around to observe are various plants and animals. That's where they get their initial shapeshifting practice on a new planet. At times, they've been wandering around the galaxy for a while and have been to some bizarre places so they don't know that when they pick a form here it's supposed to be one or the other, not some kind of amalgamation.
Then what happens is they might start to observe humans at some point. They see them doing activities that animals don't. Like what looks like nonsensical things and it makes them curious. So they start to investigate, but humans are smarter than animals are and it freaks them out when they see things that are even a little bit off. It takes them a little practice to get the human form and behavior down, so you tend to hear stories of what looks like malformed people doing really weird things.
They get better at it the more they're around people, and eventually you can't even tell they're not human unless you've had extensive training on shape shifters. Shape shifters are capable of causing extraordinary havoc, sometimes unintentionally. When I say extensive training on the subject, don't take that lightly. There can be a few years of this training depending on how fast your learn. It helps if you have a nice Skinwalker on your side to help you out with it one on one.
They're actually generally harmless. Not something to be afraid of. They don't go around with the intent of harming anyone. If one does, it's probably because of the people they've been hanging around and were only doing things to be part of the group. There are cultures around the universe that do things that would seem completely insane here, so they just don't know they're doing something wrong at times. That happens with humans too, so don't be hypocrites.
The other thing is they're not really called Skinwalkers. What they're actually called isn't even pronounceable or writable to humans, but at least some of them are fine with being called Skinwalkers. They don't really like it, but they need to be called SOMETHING and they don't take it as derogatory at the very least. One told me she likes "Changeling" better because it sounds less scary. Or even "Copy Cat" because she thought it was cute.
If you're familiar with Changeling folklore, some of that has some truth to it. One way they integrate with humans sometimes is they take the place of a child who has died. The stories about kids being stolen by "fairies" then replaced with a changeling isn't true. It's more like there was a sick kid that was on their way out anyway, then the Skinwalker just takes the opportunity to assume their identity. Sounds unnerving, but it's better than their parents being devastated by the loss of their child.
It makes it easier than having to forge credentials too. It's a lot more airtight and kills two birds with one stone. It's also a great opportunity to learn how to behave as a human starting from the ground up, because they can take the form of a child that doesn't really know anything, then the parents teach them how to act properly. Any odd behavior at that point is just chalked up as kids being kids.
They're wanderers by nature, but also not in a way. They wander from home when it's time to leave their parents, then go elsewhere to find a new life and settle into one permanently once they've found something they like and decide on it.
Sometimes it takes them a while of being out in the woods and sneaking around humans before they decide on a role they want take here. Some might even spend centuries wandering from planet to planet before they find one they like. Some remain vagabonds for an indefinite amount of time.
I had briefings on their technology. They have a ship they travel around in. The equivalent of what they call it is a "Nomad". Like how we have "cars" or "airplanes", they have "Nomads". Their propulsion is something like a warp drive. They can survive in an Earthlike environment and adapt to various others, but the environment on one of their ships isn't compatible with human life.
The controls onboard aren't even comprehensible to people, and the interior configuration isn't suitable for the human form at all. It has weaponry which consists of an array of energetic and projectile weapons. Just enough for defense, nothing overly destructive or inhumane.
It has capabilities that can attempt to temporarily disable other craft instead of destroy them. One of them was described as being like physical probes that fire off, then there's like energetic bonds between them that form a "net" which can ensnare other craft and maybe pin them to an asteroid if possible. There's also some countermeasures to help with evasion.
The countermeasures were described as being able to cloak the ship, then project something like a holographic decoy a distance away. It can project multiple decoys to make it look like a fleet is there to scare off any would be attackers. It has a way of hiding its energy signature and also projecting false signatures out to decoys or to random areas out in space to fake other cloaked ships.
It has something onboard that was described as an "energetic antenna". Instead of having to wait for signals to come to you, it extends out in a field a vast distance and picks them up. It helps them find inhabited worlds.
It has more capabilities, but that's the information I was trusted with, and that was a HUGE extension of trust. I was told that "energetic antenna" is something that has to be kept away from warlike races because it can be used to easily hunt down other worlds to conquer them.
Not many even know about it, but the ones that do want it badly. It can however, be used for good as a means to observe and gather intel, but it's safe to say that technology isn't going to be seen on Earth until you primates get your act together.
I asked one why they don't just use the technology to help people out on Earth and get them off oil and stop pollution and all that. I was told there's a nonintervention policy in their culture that keeps them from messing around with other places like that because if they did, it would cease to be something different and become more like where they came from. Seems nonsensical to me if you could save a lot of lives, but apparently it's something along the lines of like kicking a puppy to humans. It's something you just don't do.
The thing about them though is what they want most out of life is to fit in. Making a Skinwalker feel like they don't fit in is the worst thing you can do to them. You could shoot one, stab one, blow them up, call them nasty names, and it wouldn't matter. But if you made them feel like they don't belong it would be like the end of the world for them.
That doesn't mean it's ok to go around shooting Skinwalkers and being mean to them. I was just trying to put things into perspective, and that's exactly how it was explained to me by one. They're not masochists.
It's more like if you said or did something cruel, it would be as if you were doing it to another human, and that's a subtle indicator of acceptance. So it doesn't bother them as much. If you do it specifically because they're a Skinwalker, then that's an indicator of an unsuccessful integration. Now you can see a little of how they think differently.
When a Skinwalker has chosen a place, but fails to integrate with them, they feel like failures because they've done everything they can to be accepted and it wasn't enough. It's the essence of the core of their being and can be so devastating for some of them that they might go fly into a star just to end their misery.
On the other side of the spectrum, if they're able to successfully integrate on their new home, then that's pretty much the highest achievement possible. It means they've been successful to the point where they have integrated into the culture.
As for a little information on holding their form and such, they do it in a very strict and disciplined way. To go around just shapeshifting in front of sentient beings is something like profanity. Some people aren't that concerned with profanity, so you could say it's also like something that's extremely vulgar. That's the best way I can describe it. They probably have a better word for it that makes more sense to them, but that's the best I can do for now.
It's also a little embarrassing in a way, like most people wouldn't just change their clothes in the middle of the sidewalk. They'd go in a private dressing room to change. There's doors on public bathroom stalls for a reason. If they needed to alter their appearance on the fly, they would probably go around a corner real quick so you don't see them, then come back. Think along those lines and it starts to make more sense.
They're exceptionally artistically inclined in a way. Shapeshifting into a person is a lot like those ultra-realistic paintings and drawings people make, only they're WAY faster at it. They have something like a photographic memory and only need to look at a person for a second or so and they can mimic their appearance, but it's not very accurate. Especially if they look at them from a distance. If they're up close and can look at them longer, then they can start to get more accurate with the details.
Once they've gotten a good look at you, that's usually good enough to pass as the person they're trying to copy. They can take it a step further and actually analyze your DNA too. Sounds ominous, but they're not going to jab a needle in you or anything. They could just sneak around and pick up a glass you've been drinking from or kiss you. The DNA analysis allows them to fine tune their appearance to the person.
They have astounding memory capacity. They're basically replicating something in an ultra-realistic way, and not only that, but also memorizing a every little freckle and mole. While they're doing that, they're holding this form and simultaneously behaving and interacting with people in a normal human way.
That's not even the full extent of it. They can learn about how human biology works and even simulate the internal biological functions down to the smallest detail. The longer they hold onto these new changes, the more it becomes a part of them to where it's automatic.
Some of them are so good they can make it so if you were to take a blood sample or something and analyze the DNA of it, there wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary. Yes, small parts of them can split off and retain their shape and consistency. Now you start to get an idea of how hyper intelligent they really are.
They can alter their body mass in a way, but it's limited. It's not actually changing the mass, but more like creating the appearance of it. The way it was explained was their body composition could compact itself and dilate almost like elastic and create the illusion of expanding or shrinking in size.
For example, they couldn't just split off into two separate people, but if you were talking to one on a webcam and all you could see was from the shoulders up, it would be possible to make it look like there were two people there sitting next to each other.
The way the body composition was explained to me was there's something like cells that can not only compact and expand, but also detach and reattach to one another as well as relocate. There isn't really a central brain, but their intelligence is distributed throughout the body almost in a holographic way.
The way their reproduction was explained was that two of them mesh their cells together at a very fine level. The finer the level of meshing, the more intimate it's considered to be. Then if they decided the time was right, a part of both of them could split off, and it would be like not only a combination of both their cells, but also like their minds combined too. It doesn't make the offspring twice as intelligent, but it's like a new combination of both.
They live a long time too. Probably not immortal, but something way beyond humans. I asked one how old she was and she cheekily replied "A gentleman never asks how old a lady is." I explained that I was just extremely curious about it and it wouldn't change my opinion of her except for the better.
She said she didn't quite have a grasp on how we keep track of time on Earth yet, but she said it was "long enough for a star to live and die". Apparently she had been wandering around for a LONG time, but she also said different kinds of stars live longer than others. "Maybe there's really fast ones you don't know about yet. Maybe really long ones that never die." and had a mischievous grin on her face.
She told me what got her attention was some of the TV signals that were coming from Earth. I guess she liked the old Munsters show. She said she didn't even understand human humor at the time, but somehow she thought it was still funny. Sounds weird, but she doesn't know why either. I Love Lucy too, and Elvis was her favorite singer.
She said she got curious about me too. After she had been here a while, word had been going around about some MIB guy, so she had been coming around to check me out. I found out she had actually snuck her way in and wasn't really supposed to be here and wanted to know if it was ok for her to stay. I told her "I don't see why not, as long as you're not hurting anything."
She got all excited with a big smile and swore she wouldn't hurt ANYTHING, not even the tiniest creature. Apparently she takes that quite seriously and only eats vegan. I didn't expect her to go that far, but it's an adorable gesture.