#4 – Rick Anders

| November 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

I don't know how to draw a shapeshifter, but I know he'd want to look something like this guy (image source unknown)

Rick Anders is that most unusual of people – a shapeshifter.

He has the ability to “scan” other people and take on their physical forms. The longer he pays attention to someone, the more detailed his understanding of them becomes and the better he can change to copy them. With enough concentration and time, Rick can even temporarily acquire physical skills, diagnose ailments and even gain some of their moods and personality.

Understanding the danger of being a doppelganger, however, Rick usually doesn’t remain looking like any one person. Instead, he picks and chooses details and blends them into a form that he wants to look like. So he might have the lustrous black hair of one man, another man’s bright green eyes, and a third’s long and delicate fingers. He can mix and match until he’s perfectly happy with how he looks, which usually doesn’t last too long. In a habit that he doesn’t quite understand as really creepy, he takes photographs of each new body plan he acquires and keeps them on his computer.

This will come back to bite him in the ass sooner or later, of course.

His original form is pasty, flabby and while not being conventionally ugly, it certainly didn’t turn any heads. When he was young, his older brother was drop-dead handsome, and knew it. He was also a manipulative coward, and mocked any attempt that Rick made to better himself through sports or exercise, lest Rick grow up to be better-looking and thus steal what little superficial thunder he had. This gave Rick a very unhealthy body image, which made his shapeshifting abilities something of a godsend for him. He doesn’t know where his powers came from or how they work. He just knows how to use them to make himself look the way he wants to.

Also, they seem to have a couple of limitations. For one, he can only copy human men. Trying to copy women gives him intense feedback pain, and trying to copy animals is worse. He may overcome these in the future, but right now his vanity and his low-grade narcissism make that a low priority. Also, he’s limited to his own mass in terms of how big or small he can get. What’s interesting is that no matter what size he becomes, he weighs about three hundred pounds, much more than he did before the powers kicked in. His effective size range is from a ten year-old child on the low end to a large linebacker on the high.

Now he lives in Corsair City as a model, and spends his days looking for new bodies to snatch. It isn’t until he runs into a strange man in a cafe that he realizes there’s a bigger game going on than he knows…

Read more in his story, Shift.

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Category: 2011, Fantasy

About the Author ()

I'm a teacher and a writer living in Osaka, Japan, and will be doing this project concurrently with my NaNoWriMo project.

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