WayneSpren

Prof's Weakness

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I have 2 theories about the weakness.

 

1. His fear is a world completely destroyed by epics.

If this is true, to stop Prof the epics have to completely destroy everything.

 

2. His fear is Tia dying and/or becoming an epic.

I have lots of evidence for this.

  a. In Firefight he only changes the frequency/password to Tia's and his own mobile, because he is "paranoid".

  b. His friends all became epics. He might be scared that Tia will as well (or has she already?)

  c. They were dating, people. 'Nuff said.

  d. He gives Tia the job of staying back and not getting into danger.

 

If this theory is true, Tia has to die or become an epic for the Reckoners to bring back/kill Prof.

 

 

 

For more info, check out my Tia theory on the introduce yourself! forum.

Edited by WayneSlider123
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1. His fear is a world completely destroyed by epics.

If this is true, to stop Prof the epics have to completely destroy everything.

 

That would be an interesting fear to explore, but the biggest piece of evidence against it is that Prof was one of the first people to gain powers. I believe he says in Steelheart that he got powers fairly soon after Calamity rose, whereas most people didn't get theirs for a year or more. So he wouldn't be able to fear a world destroyed by Epics because that wasn't yet a possibility when Calamity chose him, meaning he wouldn't have had this fear. Unless he's also some sort of precog, but that hasn't been foreshadowed at all. 

 

2. His fear is Tia dying and/or becoming an epic.

I have lots of evidence for this.

  a. In Firefight he only changes the frequency/password to Tia's and his own mobile, because he is "paranoid".

  b. His friends all became epics. He might be scared that Tia will as well (or has she already?)

  c. They were dating, people. 'Nuff said.

  d. He gives Tia the job of staying back and not getting into danger.

 

His fear does seem to have something to do with Tia, but I think it would be more generalized than that. Perhaps his fear is focused on Tia for now, but if it is indeed losing someone, then I think it would be a bit broader. 

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I think the references to him hating games of chance are interesting, but I cannot see a trauma where a game of chance was involved.

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I think the references to him hating games of chance are interesting, but I cannot see a trauma where a game of chance was involved.

 

PROF leans back in his seat, a faraway twinkle in his eye. 

 

Prof: When I was a boy, back in public school, every year I looked forward to the annual game of Monopoly. It was such a game! The entire school would play together on one enormous board—which did make things a bit crowded, but we got used to it. Seriously, when you're standing ON someone's head, you get over your "personal space issues" pretty quickly. Anyway, during the game my fifth grade year, things were going well. I had collected nearly four thousand dollars! It looked as though I was going to win, but then it came, David the Steelslayer. Oh, it came. The dreaded, the horrible, the completely and entirely unfair CHANCE CARD! I drew the card, tentatively, my hands shaking like those of a small child drenched in freezing oil standing outside in the middle of January—oh, never mind how I know what that feels like! I drew the card….and what should it say but….

 

He pauses, shuddering, and buries his head in his hands.

 

Prof: Jail! "Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Give all of your money to the school secretary." My school got a bit creative with the Chance cards. So, dejectedly, I handed my money to the secretary, a horrible woman grinning evilly in her enormous fatness, and went to jail. I lost the game, David the Steelslayer. And with that game went my chances of ever becoming the Fifth Grade Gigantic Monopoly Champion. 

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.....well yeah, that makes sense now.

 

Prof's weakness is games of chance. throw dice at him and he loses his powers :P

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Although, perhaps some sort of Two-Face Epic attacked the school and flipped a coin to decide whether to kill Prof or his students? And the students lost. That seems pretty traumatic, a near-death experience involving a game of chance, like how Sourcefield's fear of cults was symbolised by kool-aid, even unpoisoned.  But then, if that is the root of his fear, why did he hate them beforehand? Was it the cherry on a cake of chance-hating?

It doesn't feel right. Well it feels right, but makes no sense and doesn't feel right at the same time.

 

 

I do think his fear has something to do with how he held out so long, though. He was so driven, so motivated, so strong-willed, for ten years. His greatest fear having something to do with eventually succumbing to the corruption seems right, but i can't think of a specific thing for it.

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To me it felt like when ever David called the Professor a hero or anything, he would get pissed. Maybe because it was stroking his ego and making him turn the the dark side, but maybe it was something else? Maybe he does not want to see himself as a hero?

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To me it felt like when ever David called the Professor a hero or anything, he would get pissed. Maybe because it was stroking his ego and making him turn the the dark side, but maybe it was something else? Maybe he does not want to see himself as a hero?

 

He can only be killed by someone who thinks he's a hero, kind of the opposite of Steelheart, that would be interesting.

 

Actually I think his weakness is the unknown, things he doesn't understand, David says that he can see fear in Prof's eyes when his powers are turned against him and he has no idea how.

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He can only be killed by someone who thinks he's a hero, kind of the opposite of Steelheart, that would be interesting.

Actually I think his weakness is the unknown, things he doesn't understand, David says that he can see fear in Prof's eyes when his powers are turned against him and he has no idea how.

This would explain why the 5th grade science experiment calmed him. He knew exactly what would happen, when it would happen, and why it would happen.

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To me it felt like when ever David called the Professor a hero or anything, he would get pissed. Maybe because it was stroking his ego and making him turn the the dark side, but maybe it was something else? Maybe he does not want to see himself as a hero?

 

 I think that was to do with him being afraid that he was using his powers too much, and he didn't trust himself to. David was convincing him that he could handle it, and be a hero with his powers, but he didn't think so. But his resolve was weakened enough (and circumstances desperate enough, also due to David) that he still used them and hastened his path to the dark side.

 

 

 

He can only be killed by someone who thinks he's a hero, kind of the opposite of Steelheart, that would be interesting.

 

Actually I think his weakness is the unknown, things he doesn't understand, David says that he can see fear in Prof's eyes when his powers are turned against him and he has no idea how.

 

 

That would indeed be an interesting weakness. So theoretically in that moment before he went to kill David, David could have killed him. Maybe his powers wouldn't have worked against David at all (although actually, the forcefields did work on David earlier).

 

That's another interesting thought, one that ties in with disliking games of chance (sine he cannot predict or alter the result), but I wonder what the symbol of that would be? If his powers failed when faced with the unknown, then his powers would have failed during that encounter.

 

Its also interesting to consider the change in his personality regarding the fear in his eyes, going from a Prof that would fight an invincible Steelheart to a standstill, to Phaedrus who fled when he couldn't murder someone instantly. But consider also, the main difference in the second case, other than the evil, is that he had no idea why his forcefields weren't working. The unknown factor. 

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Of all these Tia is the one I find most likely although even that I somewhat doubt.

Why would a science teacher be afraid of being called a hero? Or the destruction of the world? I mean obviously if the world actually ended that'd suck for him but to dwell on it enough for it to be his weakness?

The death (Or perhaps even just loss) of his girlfriend is much more likely, it also explains how Tia survived his Rending and then later his pseudo-rending, although not how he already knew that that was his weakness.

Points against it are as mentioned, how would he know that that was his weakness until now? Also we have yet to see any kind of binary weakness like that, this would just be a once it's activated prof loses his powers forever deal. And I think that if wanting someone to not die was a viable weakness that that would be one of the most common weaknesses of Epics everywhere.

Edited by Voidus
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It's never directly stated I think but she did tell David how using the Tensors felt I'm pretty sure.

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Prof's weakness is being seen as dumb. He talks about how Tia being his gf was the greatest day of his life. Because a NASA scientist was saying he was smart enough to date her. He wears his lab coat, uses chalkboards, and goes by Prof. All of those things go with being smart. I have thought about this a lot and think that has to be it. I may be wrong but I think it's a good guess.

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.....well yeah, that makes sense now.

 

Prof's weakness is games of chance. throw dice at him and he loses his powers :P

Haha or maybe that is why he freaked out at the end of Friefight and fled, because normally he makes a forcefield around someone, shrinks it, they die. But when Firefight shows up and starts changing the reality, she brings to light the fact that there are more than one possibilities and he freaked out because there were different realities where many things can happen... Chance.

Edited by Shadowspren
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Haha or maybe that is why he freaked out at the end of Friefight and fled, because normally he makes a forcefield around someone, shrinks it, they die. But when Firefight shows up and starts changing the reality, she brings to light the fact that there are more than one possibilities and he freaked out because there were different realities where many things can happen... Chance.

Explains why he wanted Fortuity dead. Not because he was a remorseless serial killer, but because as a gambler, the chances of him randomly throwing dice at Prof were just too high. :ph34r::P

Edit: I do think games of chance have something to do with it, though. Maybe they're not THE fear, but they're a part of it. I just couldn't resist a joke.

Edited by TwiLyghtSansSparkles
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Explains why he wanted Fortuity dead. Not because he was a remorseless serial killer, but because as a gambler, the chances of him randomly throwing dice at Prof were just too high. :ph34r::P

 

I bet he holds a furious hatred for rock-paper-scissors. :P

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I bet he holds a furious hatred for rock-paper-scissors. :P

Things get ugly when they get to "Shoot!" :mellow:

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No one ever wants to play with Prof anyway, instead of using paper he tries to throw 'chalkboard' which he insists is unable to be cut by scissors but still beats rock.

<_<

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I take it no one likes my idea that his weakness might be a vulnerability to anyone who thinks he isn't smart? I also think that, if my theory is true, it might be why he didn't want people like Dave around. Someone that is a free thinker, isn't a sycophant, is capable of figuring out that Prof is an epic, and is adept at discovering weaknesses might be a threat not only to the Reckoners but to Prof personally.

Also, keep in mind what Regalia says to Dave about Prof, (I'm paraphrasing from memory) "Is Johnathan still wearing his costume? The black lab coat and goggles?" Which implies there might be a reason for it, like it being a symbol or for recognition, but I feel like it's to mask or counteract his weakness. A lot like what Steelheart did with the propaganda unit Dave and Megan discovered in the power plant. It is Prof's way of assuring he's always seen as intelligent by those who see him. Even before they talk to him, just from a distance you would thinking, "That guy is wearing a lab coat, he must be smart!" It's a stereotype that almost everyone prescribes to. Also, he was a 5th grade school teacher, which is not an age group that usually calls its teacher "professor". 

I can't see a reason why this isn't his weakness. I keep thinking about it from every angle and everything points to it being "likely". That might also be why he fled during his confrontation with Megan. She was capable of putting him in his own force-field bubbles. He obviously knows how smart he is and if that's his fear, he doesn't think of himself as smart.That might also be why Tia is almost always ops instead of being in the field.

Sure she's useful as over-watch and for group coordination but it might also be that he's scared of her. Either because she is wise to his weakness or because she doesn't see him the way everyone else does (Due to her working for NASA or their personal relationship) and therefore he is vulnerable to her. It may also be true that he's keeping her back because he cares a lot for her and would never forgive himself if she were hurt or killed during a mission, either by accident or by his own hands. He knows (maybe from personal experience) that epics go after everyone they knew prior to their gaining powers, because those people are the most likely to discover the epic's weakness.

Any thoughts, suggestions, or rebuttals would be greatly appreciated. Like, does anyone know of a reason that this theory doesn't work? Why isn't his weakness linked to his perceived intelligence?

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Oohhhh....sorry snote, time to poop all over your party.

See page 229 of Firefight.

In said page Prof admits out right that he just taught fifth grade science when David questions him about not understanding the implications of the power of obliteration.

"Would you two mind explaining to the old man what we are talking about?" Prof asked over the line.[to David and Tia]

[Then after an explanation.....]

"I thought you were a genius" i said

"I taught fifth grade science" Prof reminded me. "And it's not like we taught Epic power theory back then"

So...he does get a little defensive, but, hey, if your friends thought you were a genius too, only to find out otherwise...you would too. So...he basically announced he is not a genius. So...theory is dead, i guess.

(Dont worry though, Voidus, Twi, Kobold and Edgedancer have all ruined my dream- theories like, 5 seconds after i post them. :( )

And...for the gambling theory...oh....the gambling theory....

Prof's gambling is mentioned a bunch of times in the book.

Look in page 210 and see yourself.

[this is Exel speaking] "Well, Jonathan Phaedrus is a great man. A wise man. But i once saw him lose to a bluff in poker, se we have empirical evidence he doesn't know everything"

Empirical evidence Exel....like, maybe a weakness? :ph34r: maybe an Easter egg from Brandon? :ph34r:

Who knows? Oh yeah, and also, after reading this book a couple more times (i own few and i''ve read them all like 15 times each, :P) i found out this little gem Tia dropped.

See page 258

[Tia talking to David] "He didn't enter," Tia said. "He Hated contests. Wouldn't Even put a quarter into a slow machine. But that didn't stop him from feeling torn apart when he didn't go"

Again, Prof and contests....

What else? Well...he hates David for making spontaneous decisions, for leaving things up to chance.

Who knows? Maybe he used to be a gambler before he became a teacher and somehow lost It all before redeeming himself by teaching fifth graders. That would explain the deep traumatic connection that he has with fifth grade children. Maybe he was having trouble keeping his powers from corrupting him, maybe It was like a gamble to him.

Use the powers of a god, lose your morality.

Become all-powerful, kill everyone you have ever known.

Or maybe, just maybe.

His weakness is fifth grade kids. :P

Edited by Random_illuminati
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Im double posting because i think my last post is too long.

Also, i think i i know the perfect enemy for him.

Megan.

He fears gambles, he hates making choices in the moment, so...i ask, what would be the perfect epic to counterpart him?

Megan, the epic capable of making the other choices, the ones that would make him lose, come to life.

Imagine, if you were in a casino and you won 10,000 dollars in a slot machine, wouldn't you totally hate if an epic came and said.

"Whoops, sorry, in an alternate universe you lost. Also, you are now a cow." And poof! You find yourself grazing in the ever so green meadows?

Imagine the fear that must have passed through his eyes. The sheer terror he must have experienced at the sight of the girl that could change the out come, that could always win the gamble.

Some might say that his fear was because he hadn't known what megan's true power was.

Others might say It was because he lost a gamble.

But there is another option. One that has been over looked.

Maybe he ran away, scared, because Megan was naked. :ph34r:

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@Snote: I think that it is entirely possible that could be a weakness. Those are some good points as well. The only issue I have other than what Illuminati said is that that seems like an ill-fitting weakness for Prof. He is a humble man, mostly. It doesn't feel tight that his greatest fear is an issue of arrogance and vanity, you know?

@Illuminati: I like your chance idea- if he had a gambling problem in the past and such, perhaps his greatest fear is going back to that? Not sure what the exact weakness would be, but that would be an interesting trauma.

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Upvote for having a single eyeball in your profile pic, like me! Because having two eyes is too mainstream. (Puts hipster glasses on)

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I don't think his weakness is Tia or the act of gambling. I think it has something to do with risk/planning etc. He got upset pre-Calamity about losing a contest to be an astronaut for a month when he never even entered to participate. He avoided men like David from joining the Reckoners because he takes risks and pushes the plan into spontaneous directions. Tia may have something to do with his fears, but I think what he fears most is chaos, or risk/random chance of some kind. Or it could be rejection of his leadership (he teaches fifth grade because it can be controlled. He hires people for the Reckoners who follow orders. He likes control).

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