1. Mayarra

    Mayarra Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    43

    Way to separate humans from mutants

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Mayarra, Sep 6, 2017.

    Partly research, partly brainstorm, hope that is okay.

    basically in my story, a small percentage of humans have been mutated. They still look normal, but I am looking for something measurable that could have changed and is not easily replicatable by the normal humans. That is one part of it at least, the other part is that the "transformation" from human to full mutant has four stages, I would love the measurements to be able to show not only if the person is a mutant, but also if the mutant is stage one, two, three or four. Each stage will look just as human as the non-mutated humans.

    Basically the way I had imagined it would be detectable is by a device similar to those metal detectors you find on airports. The people walk through those devices and they beep if it is a mutant. But feel free to scrap that bit if you have an idea that would have another method of detection that can quickly be done.

    My question basically is, what could the device be detecting? It is a fantasy story, but I wouldnt know what is plausible enough to get away with.

    An idea I had is body temperature for example. A long time ago I read that different emotions have different patterns of body heat. My idea was maybe a specific pattern of body heat or maybe just specifically skin temperature. Another idea was blood tests. I know of various fitness devices that can like check the oxygen in the blood, but I don't know if it could be possible to check the blood without having to get the blood out of the body. (or if blood tests can have results in like, ten seconds)

    I would love to hear your ideas which might help me with researching things for the final thing to go with, anything goes! Even the silliest things can give me ideas. :)
     
  2. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    Messages:
    2,755
    Likes Received:
    3,609
    Location:
    The great white north.
    I would think for early stage mutants, that some Gattica style DNA testers would be useful. Maybe mutated people have more reflective retinas, so having them look towards a spotlight will make their eyes glow like a dogs does. If they were testing for super healing, then maybe giving suspects paper cuts and watching how quickly they heal. Maybe mutated humans give off different pheromones than normal humans, so you could use sniffer dogs. I think I remember an X-Files from back in the day where they tested a guy for a disease or something by holding a container containing a bug against his arm. The bug could tell if the guy was infected and would bite him depending on whether he was or not. The blood test from The Thing was also fun.
     
    Wolf Daemon and Mayarra like this.
  3. Mayarra

    Mayarra Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    43
    The pheromones are an interesting idea! I'll think about those for a while.
    Are there machines that could measure the amount of pheromone given off which could be an indicator for stage of mutation? Like, dogs being the indicator if there is a mutation and the machine to show the level?
     
  4. Wolf Daemon

    Wolf Daemon Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2016
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Terra
    The only legitimate thing I can think of is a DNA test looking for specific parts of the DNA to see if the person has been mutated or not.
     
  5. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale hostis humani generis Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Messages:
    8,404
    Likes Received:
    14,262
    Location:
    Seat 29e, Air Gradia 452
    If they appear normal, what's their mutation? Is it an X-Men kind of thing, or they can't interbreed with non-mutated humans, or they generally vote for the...

    Let's not go there :)

    But seriously, knowing what the mutation is would be very helpful in forming an answer.
     
    Wolf Daemon likes this.
  6. Clementine_Danger

    Clementine_Danger Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2017
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    116
    Maybe mutants can detect each other? Part of the mutation could be the ability to somehow recognize other mutants, sniff each other out so to speak. The "device" that lets regular old humans detect them could be mutants who sold out and work for the fuzz. Or there could be something that can be taken from them (lump of gray matter, blood, whatever) that can be the basis for such a device. Could be a cool basis for story conflict too, if the government or army or whatever is going around sneakily lobotomizing citizens to make mutie detectors. Depends entirely what story and themes you're working with though.
     
    Iain Aschendale likes this.
  7. Mayarra

    Mayarra Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    43
    Whoops, sorry! Thought I already mentioned the mutation.

    They are x-men-like mutations. Though closer to Magneto and Xavier than for example Wolverine or Nightcrawler. They are all manipulation powers that can control a certain thing, like metal to Magneto and minds to Xavier.
     
  8. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    3,069
    We are all mutants - our DNA has mutated slightly compared to the previous generation. So if you wanted to use a genetic test for detecting the mutations, then I think it would be best to show what the test is actually looking for. You can research genetic testing for other things (e.g. genetic precursors for diseases) to get the right vernacular. Just make sure you don’t make the explanation overlap with a mutation which is already known to cause a disease.

    However, you have said that all of your mutant characters have the ability to control something outside their own body, like objects or other minds. That would require, presumably, some type of energy to be emitted from the person’s body in order to interact with that object or mind. So perhaps that energy could be detected. A bit like those scanners which detect hidden WiFi networks - they know the frequency of the signal and can scan for it. So a piece of technology could, in theory, scan for and detect the energy signature of a telekinetic or telepath. The signature could either be detected while it’s happening (giving the mutant the option of hiding their ability when not in use) or it could leave a residual “energy signature” in their brain which can be detected for a certain period of time after the ability was last used. That could open up some interesting logical puzzles - like they need to use their skills to overcome a problem, but know that shortly after they will need to go through a checkpoint at which their skills would be detected. So they have to try to overcome the problem without using their skills, or risk getting caught.
     
  9. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    Messages:
    2,755
    Likes Received:
    3,609
    Location:
    The great white north.
    I was going to say something very similar to this. It could add tension that if they were just emotional and not really trying to manipulate anything, then they could just be broadcasting electromagnetic signals and start knocking out WiFi and mobile reception and cause TVs and radios to go nuts. Something that has the potential to reveal them even when they're not actively being searched for.
     
    MythMachine likes this.
  10. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    3,069
    That’s a great suggestion. I hadn’t considered the idea that they were unintentionally using their powers and that the effect of this could lead them to be identified. This has been done, in X-Men, but that’s not necessarily a reason not to do it again.
     
    MythMachine likes this.
  11. Mayarra

    Mayarra Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    43
    We are all mutants indeed ^^ but I had a lack of a better word. It is also why DNA was not my prefered choice.

    I had indeed worked on the tension idea too, mainly with the thought that the onset of their powers could either grow over the course of a few days, or spawn spontanious if the person is under great tension.

    The pheromones idea grabbed me because it could allow them to detect eachother too, and eachother's stages. It would require me to research a bit on the technology around pheromone detection to see if it is a plausible idea. It could also allow for them to be actually constantly on the run of sniffer dogs can pick up the scent.

    The radiating of a certain kind of energy or signal is also a very nice idea that can have very nice "problems" that the characters get to face. those things can be detected. I will read a bit more about electromagnetism to see if it is a plausible idea and if it makes sense too.

    The idea for a residual signature is an interesting one. Having the pheromons/energy/whatever be there when they use their powers and stick around for like a day or so. Maybe have there be a "dormant signature" if they don't use their powers that can be detected by the large gate machines, and "active signatures" if they use their powers that are high enough to be detected by handheld machines used by patrols. Stress could then also turn the signature to active, just like it can spontaniously trigger the powers, which could give them away. I could have a different active signature for each of the stages, which might not only give them away, but also give away how strong they are in their abilities. Ideas! :D
     
    MythMachine likes this.
  12. MythMachine

    MythMachine Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    Arizona, US
    I had a similar idea for one of my stories on backburner. Essentially the "mutants" in my stories were espers whose abilities automatically increased in scope over time, and some were unable to control them as they grew, thereby injuring those around them (accidentally) with their powers. The only way to find them before the accidents happened was to scan for the wavelengths their minds release in the buildup to the events.
     
  13. Mayarra

    Mayarra Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    43
    That is a thought that had crossed my mind too. Instead I decided to go with control as the basic foundation for development. I have the idea that in order to advance to the next stage, they have to be able to be in control of those powers at that stage. The tricky part in my idea are emotions. "Strong" emotions can allow one to use the powers of the next stage, but not allow them to control them which can result into inflicting harm to those the person cares about. Similar to how in the X-men story, Rogue ended up hurting her boyfriend accidentally when her powers activated.
     
    MythMachine likes this.
  14. mashers

    mashers Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    3,069
    Don't forget that Jubilee accidentally... uh... set off some fireworks!
     

Share This Page