A war with a LOT of collateral damage.

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Picture this: the Thing (ie from John Carpenter’s The Thing), escapes into the outside world and gradually assimilates mankind, reproducing and disguising itself, and ending humanity at an exponential rate. The apocalypse moves especially fast once it gains control of the US military, allowing it to secretly invade other countries and assimilate them en masse.

thing spider

But what if this is a world that includes the “Follower” from It Follows? What happens once it assimilates the person currently being targeted by the Follower?

There’s not enough mythology from It Follows to say for sure, but consider this: the Thing reproduces by assimilating other creatures and perfectly replicating their forms – that’s basically its equivalent of sex. Since the Follower changes targets when they have sex, doesn’t that mean the Follower would then inevitably target the Thing?

it follows

So what happens next?

Again, there’s not enough mythology from It Follows to say for sure, but it is possible to speculate. Of course, step 1 is that the Follower acquires a new target. It starts to shamble endlessly towards its new target, as usual. This is easy enough for the Thing to avoid at first. It can simply run away at first, easily outrunning the Follower.

A few scenarios: if it assimilates and reproduces, it will pass on the curse to its offspring. Just as with humans, this is only a temporary solution. The Follower is going to catch up with someone/Thing eventually, and then it will go back down the chain.

If the humans who preceded the initial Thing have been assimilated have themselves been killed or assimilated, do they become part of the chain, or do they break it?

Either way, the question comes down to this: what happens when Follower meets Thing?

I think it’s a pretty brilliant solution, actually. Because while the Follower will almost certainly catch up to the Thing eventually, that doesn’t mean it will win. The Follower ultimately kills by draining its victim’s lifeforce by touch – but when the Thing touches a lifeform, it automatically assimilates it. So in an individual encounter, it comes down to which death-by-touch happens first. (And remember: the Follower is invisible, not incorporeal.)

So even though, in an individual encounter, the Follower is more likely to win out, it can’t possibly beat every Thing down the chain, especially if they all catch on and coordinate. Since the Follower is corporeal, it must be weak to some sort of physical attack – eventually, it would have to be vulnerable to attack.

The winner: whether by assimilation or by a coordinated attack, the Thing is the inevitable winner.

 

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I saw 'Mars Attacks!' in theaters when I was five. I still think it's the greatest horror movie for five year olds ever made.