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Magness

***(SPOILER)*** Firefight's Weakness

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If you are reading this, hopefully you know that Meghan is Firefight. At the moment, we have not discovered her weakness. We know that she is an illusionist and can reincarnate. This should make her a tier 1 Epic. Any ideas on how she can be defeated, if needed?

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IIRC, her reincarnation was described as her being formed from light?

I'd have to reread, but I think it was also stated that her respawn location was somewhat random too, though probably has a max range.

 

Perhaps she is vulnerable during reincarnation.

 

Edit: Yep, she says she is "reborn from light" and that she spawns somewhere "nearby" but the location is random.

Edited by LordCitrus
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I put this in another thread too, but I think it has to do with dust. Prof told David that the dust from the tensors was mostly harmless, but Megan wrapped a scarf around her face in the elevator to avoid it. I also made her really angry when she got covered with dust after the illusion on the guards.

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I put this in another thread too, but I think it has to do with dust. Prof told David that the dust from the tensors was mostly harmless, but Megan wrapped a scarf around her face in the elevator to avoid it. I also made her really angry when she got covered with dust after the illusion on the guards.

 

Propably unpleasant thou, Sawdust isnt dangerous, but the times Iv had it blown in my face have been damnation unpleasant.

 

And that she got angry, she had just used her powers. She got nasty for a while then.

Edited by dyring
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Self-reincarnation is definitely one of the trickiest to get around. Unless she's vulnerable to perma-death sometime shortly after (or during?) her reincarnation, I think you'd really have to kill her while she suffered from her weakness if you wanted to get rid of her for good. Absolutely no idea right now what that might be.

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Hmm, given what we know about her random location reincarnation out of light, her immortality-weakness is probably just being tossed in the ocean. Endless reincarnation + drowning doesn't sound too good for her mental function since she loses some memories after each time.

 

If you want to be extra safe, get her a tank of oxygen, and weigh her feet down so when she dies, she's not anywhere near the surface anymore so she's without light (and to prevent her from dying in the upper ocean and then getting lucky + reincarnate onto a passing ship or something).

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Firefight's weakness is easy; spontaneous displays of dedicated nerdiness.

 

;)

 

Joking aside, there's a broader question in general about how "Weaknesses" work... sometimes the Epic's survival power is also their primary power (Fortuity), but often times (like Firefight, Limelight, Steelheart) it's a secondary, unrelated power. It seems (but by no means do I think it's confirmed) that "Weaknesses" are cracks in the armor of the survival power...but what if the weakness is in a primary power (like if Firefight had imperfect illusions) and there is no imperfection in the survival power (reincarnation)?

 

For example, Fortuity had a weakness for personal attraction to the source of danger. But he was checkmated because he had no where to go between dodging a moving car and 2 different bullets in midair. His death was therefore not due to his weakness. In the same light, checkmating Firefight by killing her in a place where reincarnation nearby would be impossible is not strictly a "Weakness".

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You're right, that weaknesses are inconsistent. My theory is that different powers might have different weaknesses. Like how UV light would turn Nightwielder solid and destroy his creations, but not the dome of darkness. I suspect there was some OTHER weakness that could have punched through the shell, but that's just me. Fearlessness got through Steelheart's invulnerability, but maybe hand-churned butter would protect you from his enegy blasts and he can't fly in the presence of a clock made entirely of crystal.

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...Sawdust isnt dangerous...

 

Sorry to go off topic but actually sawdust is highly toxic.  Air filtration is very important in woodworking.  I know I know not on topic but still thought I would share.

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Since were off topic, saw dust isn't highly toxic. It's a possible carcinogen true, but highly toxic is another matter altogether. Saw dust from treated wood is likely to be somewhat worse for you than saw dust from ordinary wood, and different woods can affect people differently. Long term exposure to saw dust is no worse for a person than long term exposure to smoking. It may cause cancer to develop, or lead to other respiratory problems over a prolonged period of time. Something that is highly toxic will kill you very quickly. Cyanide is highly toxic.

 

Proper safety precautions are recommended, but even asbestos often takes about twenty years before cancer cells begin to develop. I wouldn't consider saw dust as dangerous as asbestos.

 

Back on topic:

 

I think weaknesses are inconsistent because they are subconsciously chosen by the epic. If this is the case, then some epics would have more weaknesses than others, or more obvious weaknesses than others.

 

Edit: Spelling

Edited by Gloom
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Back on the theory of Firefight and dust, on pg 205 of the hardcover:

 

"[Firefight] unwrapped her scarf, releasing a puff of metal dust, grimaced, and then began shaking out her clothing."

 

Her grimace may be from the normal human reaction to dust, but it would be constant with dust being her weakness.

 

Although, it is possible that Firefight does not know her weakness.  It was established elsewhere in the book that not all epics know their hidden weakness.  Since the only way to know for sure that something would prevent her reincarnation would be for her to not get better after she dies I think it is quite likely that she is in the dark as much as the rest of us.

 

Thoughts?

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I think all illusionists are somewhat susceptible to things like dust and smoke. They may not be their weakness, but they complicate the process. It doesn't matter if you are manipulating light, or trying to make others believe what they are seeing is real, if the environment is filled with particles they are going to have to put a lot more effort into the illusion. Think of it as the difference between high res and low res. If the environment is stable, low res will suffice, but if the environment is filled with free floating vectors, then the illusion has to be high res or it won't be believed. Firefight just detests dust because they make it a lot more difficult to use her powers in a believable manner.

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I'm definitely suspicious that dust is her weakness.

 

That said, I was convinced all through Steelheart that his weakness was that SH could only be harmed by someone that did not want to, and I was wrong on that.

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We've yet to see her powers cut out, so there's no real information to guess her weakness from. They certainly worked in the elevator shaft and in the arena even with the tensor dust about. I think she's a photonic manipulator, though, so dust would scatter the illusionary objects and make her life difficult, especially if it were created after the illusion was set.

 

However, self-reincarnation only helps her if she actually dies. She could potentially be held indefinately if sedated and doesn't seem to have any substantial direct attack powers and cannot recieve gifted powers. As long as you find some method of locating her that the illusions cannot interfere with, removing her as a factor should not be exceptionally difficult. I recommend disguised ultrasonic imagers; even if she can theoretically fool them she probably does not usually and may not know how. The reincarnation point may also be predictable or controllable in some manner, in which case her enemies can level the building she is in and ambush her immediately on reincarnating.

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At the end of Steelheart I did not think we would find a need for her weakness. She is really skilled with illusions and can reincarnate. I think that the goal is going to be to get her back on the team instead of killing her. I don't think David is going to want to kill her no matter what, so I don't see it happening. I think they are going to maybe kill her once or twice and kinda brainwash her through conversation or by creating a false video and putting that in her camera so that she is convinced to roll with them. It shouldn't really take much false video, but apparently she isn't exactly cool with them even after all the ending of Steelheart, so we'll see. I can't really see her controlling the city for any reason, so not sure how this will all work.

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I think that the spot that she spawns isn't entirely random. If she only remembers a few things from each of her previous lives, then how did she know about the "caches" she mentions. Maybe her weakness is that she has to prepare a place ahead of time to reincarnate at or she can't reincarnate. Also, on the subject if keeping her locked up, unless you tossed a smoke grenade in the room or something similar before you entered, you would have no clue where she was within the room. She could make it seem like she was walking around freely, or that the room was to the right of where it actually is so that if you go to the center of the room to try and find her you wouldn't be able to. 

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Well Firefight isn't exactly dangerous when you put two and two together. She's an illusionist, so she could make someone drive off a cliff, or shoot the wrong person, or cause an accident. Also, as we saw with Nightweilder, she can make a dangerous epic even more dangerous during a fight. However one on one, she has to become more creative, or simply shoot a gun at them (perhaps from behind an illusion?). She's not nearly as dangerous as other epics.

 

However what's made clear from the end of the book is that David, and possibly the whole team, won't be trying to kill her (especially since she can't die). Also if they do kill her, her 'powers' get used to re-incarnate her. So while she may be brainwashed, she may just be as bad as any epic at that moment. So they'll try to keep her from using her powers, to turn her good. So I think the key to her downfall, is essentially stopping her from being an Epic, and letting her human side take over. How? I'm not sure.

 

Maybe she needs sight to create her illusions (as I think it was hinted at). So perhaps keeping her from seeing is the key?

 

The most obvious way of doing this is through emotions, memories, feelings, etc. Clearly David already has an effect on her, or else she would have killed him, and she wouldn't have been crying at the recording of him proclaiming his feelings.

 

Therefore, I think her weakness, as cliche as this may sound, is David. That or blindness.

Edited by Nitro
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Well Firefight isn't exactly dangerous when you put two and two together. She's an illusionist, so she could make someone drive off a cliff, or shoot the wrong person, or cause an accident. Also, as we saw with Nightweilder, she can make a dangerous epic even more dangerous during a fight. However one on one, she has to become more creative, or simply shoot a gun at them (perhaps from behind an illusion?). She's not nearly as dangerous as other epics.

Do not underestimate illusionists. While illusions can't directly stop attacks or inflict damage, they make them nearly impossible to localize and thus essentially negate most man-portable weaponry. Firefight can also create illusions on a large enough scale to essentially render sight useless at best, although I don't think she can do sound. So essentially, everyone else involved the fight is practically blind in the best-case scenario where they know they're up against an illusionist.

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I'm pretty sure she can do sound and earth-tremor illusions too. I have no idea of how she would actually go about it. Her manifestations are obviously outside the mind, since she doesn't have to know you are there to trick you. But how else would Steelheart have convinced people that an entire building was torched to the ground if there weren't any concussive blasts or noise?

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I'm pretty sure she can do sound and earth-tremor illusions too. I have no idea of how she would actually go about it. Her manifestations are obviously outside the mind, since she doesn't have to know you are there to trick you. But how else would Steelheart have convinced people that an entire building was torched to the ground if there weren't any concussive blasts or noise?

Not if she creates psychic projections, which are interpreted by everyone in the area rather than directed at one person.
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Her illusions are present in photographs. That would generally imply they're not a telepathic effect. Plus, the photo showed an illusion flickering, which seems more likely for a photonic manipulator. And she's reborn in light with her reincarnation effect, so it would fit the theme.

 

As for faking the destruction of the buildings, it's entirely possible that the sound was faked by more straightforward means hidden via her illusions. Certainly faking sound isn't one of her known powers, and it wouldn't fall under the photonic manipulation umbrella. If she does have that ability, it'd put her at three distinct powers. Prof has three (shield, tensor, healing; the dowser appears to be actual technology since Megan fooled him with an illusion over the screen) and Steelheart has between two and four, depending on how you count them (invunerability for sure, and he does steel transmutation, flight, and energy blasts, but multiple of those may fall under elemental manipulation). Nightwielder and Fortuity both seem to have two. So three is in the range of possibility.

 

However, she didn't appear to actually use it at any point, making me think she doesn't have it. In the elevator shaft, she didn't hide the sounds they were making from the guards, and during the big fight she didn't try screwing with the Reckoners by messing with their communications, although that might have been because she was pretty out of it. Plus, if her theme is light as opposed to illusions, it wouldn't fit.

Edited by name_here
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They could have just set off a couple of explosions for the blast waves, or even just recorded some and played them. I'm not an expert on sound and all that, but I think there are a good number of ways to fake sound without superpowers.

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I think her weakness (for immortality; I don't know for illusions) is getting killed by someone who loves her, or something similar. I thought about it only because it would make one scene in Steelheart much more dramatic in reread.

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Mitosis actually offers some pretty tantalizing clues as to the nature of Epic weaknesses in general. The novella's eponym, Mitosis, a reasonably powerful epic whose power allows him to clone himself infinitely at the cost of losing aggregate intelligence, has the weakness of disintegrating upon hearing his old band's music.  Here is the actual quote:
 

 

“Yeah,” I said, looking out the window. “Mitosis’s weakness was his own music.”

“Coincidence.”
“Hell of a coincidence.”
 
Excerpt From: Brandon Sanderson. “Mitosis: A Reckoners Story.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=36F3905804B10454B673564576FD312D

 

What I read from this is that an Epic's weakness doesn't necessarily have to do with their power in any sense, but rather in a Nightwatcher-esque fashion, Calamity or whoever grants them their power, also grants them a weaknesses specific to their personal failings or faults or even what they were doing the moment they changed.  

 

To steer the conversation back to Firefight, I believe there is no way to determine her weakness without more backstory. That being said, if I had to hazard a guess, I would say something or someone that undermines her personality or sense of self.

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