Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

The shapeshifting aliens are untrustworthy. It’s not their fault.

They see the world for what it is, through a kaleidoscope.

Us humans, we only get to see one viewpoint of the world. People react to our outer shell with no variation. We can get fat or thin or muscled over the course of a lifetime with some cosmetic surgery here and there, perhaps, but for the most part, we remain unchanged. This inescapable fact colours how we percieve the world.

Shapeshifters are both invisible and at the same time, all things to all people. They sense the fantasies that will make their missions of espionage go smoothly. That general likes the young girls, especially bobbed brunettes with scars, for instance. That high-ranking banker woman is pining for an old love. It’s a simple trick for a changeling to make itself resemble that old love in order to grease the information tracks.

This ability to make any human bend to their will gives the ‘shifters a much truer insight into humanity than we ourselves will ever possess.

It makes the changelings unreliable, regardless of the punishment chips and id tags we install to make them subservient and identifiable to us. They don’t set out to fool us. They just have fuses on their minds because of what they are. They start to despise all humans, not just their mission targets.

After that, they fall in love with each other.

The thing is, a ‘shifter will never be satisfied with a human. They can only be truly pleased with another changeling.

It’s like putting two mirrors face to face and creating an endless hallway.

Two shifters, embittered and ready to defect, will rent out a motel room. Once inside, they will shudder with changes. They will have a game of trying to match what the other puts forth. Clothes will disappear, bodies will melt and flicker through age and skin colour. Body parts will grow, shrink, or disappear in an ongoing fluidic transition from one form to the next, faster and faster.

They will see how aesthetically perfect they can make themselves and then how repulsive. They will pull out their entire repertoires. They will have sex with each other in every possible way, heating up the room.

After they have exhausted their options of humanity, they will start to delve deeper into the imagination. They can only do this with each other. Without another ‘shifter present to spur them on deeper into the realms that they could never go to separately, they would only be able to go through human forms.

Dragons, dogs, octopi, half-imagined air creatures made of bone clattering with sexual hunger, panthers, chittering car-sized insects, and misshapen sculptures of flesh with many holes to fill.

The changes become too fast and quick for their minds to keep up. In a mutual orgasm of delight, they die, leaving behind protoplasm and a bundle of fertilized eggs.

It’s not uncommon. About twice a year, two of our shifter agents will stop answering their phones. It’s only a matter of time before we track down the hotel where they ascended to another plane of existence.

If they weren’t so useful otherwise, we wouldn’t employ them.


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