WardenGiggles

Gifters

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I just finished Steelheart today. I've read through many of the forum posts and I didn't see one that was discussing Gifters in general.

 

I think there is something special about Gifters. Gifters are supposed to be pretty rare, which makes them special for that reason, but I can't help but think there's something else about them. Something that let's them become Gifters to begin with.

 

Out of the three gifters we know of (unless I'm missing others that were mentioned), Prof, Conflux, and Digzone, two (and depending on Digzone's identity, all) of them are....not benevolent exactly. Maybe lacking in evil. I would say they maybe even have the capacity for Good. 

 

Obviously Prof has the capacity to be influenced by the powers, we see that pretty clearly. We don't really see anything of Edmund being influenced by his powers. The one time we see him using them, or are told about it, he was only trying to power a microwave. 

 

I'm wondering if this has something to do with why they're Gifters? Is it their lack of desire for power in the first place that allows them to give their power to others? Maybe the Gifters will end up being the "Heroes" the Faithful are waiting for?

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I think it works the other way around. You've got newly formed Epics who are more willing to use their powers, and newly formed Epics who are less willing. If this was all there was to it, nothing interesting would happen - more likely or less likely, they would (probably) still use their powers, and eventually go bad. With the added concept of Gifters, however, things change. The Epics who are more likely to use their powers will probably use them regardless of whether they are Gifters or not - it's their nature to not share, I think. The last group, however, Epics who are not very likely to use their powers (in the beginning) and are Gifters sound like the type of people who will be more likely to share their powers. And that ends up keeping them closer to the light side.

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The book talked about how Epics personality changed when using epic powers. They become "brasher, more arrogant, even more hateful." However, they describe Conflux as not "the least bit provocative. He actually seemed pleasant."

 

If not using epic powers makes you more normal, would gifting them away make you go in the opposite direction of arrogant, brash, and hateful? Sure, Prof still hates, as in Steelheart, but he doesn't seem to be hateful in general.

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I wonder if the relative power levels have anything to do with the behavior? While in terms of energy outpout, Conflux is pretty powerful, but compared to Prof who has multiple powers, he isn't.

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I think that we've just happened to see "nice" gifters so far and that gifting your powers doesn't affect you at all, it doesn't remove the evil but it doesn't increase it either. There very well might be something special about them but I don't think it's that gifting reverses the evil, partly because if it did, wouldn't Prof be a very nice guy? He has gifted three different powers at least four times, so that's twelve giftings and he rarely uses the powers himself. Unless using them makes you evil at a quicker rare than gifting reverses that.

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It's possible, but I don't buy it. I maintain that the only reason we associate Gifters with (relative) goodness it's because those are the only Epics we see who are *could* be good, aside from the fresh ones which we haven't seen any of. Yet.

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From what I understand, the greater the power, the greater the epic effect has on the epic. SH was incredibly powerful and incredibly heartless, indifferent, and arrogant.

 

Lesser epics are also like that, but to a lesser extent. This may be due in part to the fact that high epics can kill them pretty easily so they have a force more powerful than them forcing a little humility on them, but then the Prof. says something at the end of SH that should make you think.

 

"It's so hard to fight" he said through clenched teeth. "The more you use it, the ... Arrrrr!" He knelt down, holding his head. He was quiet for a few minutes, and I let him be, not knowing what to say. When he raised his head, he seemed more in control. "I give it away," he said, "because if I use it ... it does this to me."

"You can fight it, Prof," I said. It felt right. "I've seen you do it. You're a good man. Don't let it consume you."

He nodded, breathing in and out deeply. "Take it." He reached out his hand.

I hesitantly took his hand with my good one--the other was crushed. I should have felt pain from that. I was too much in shock.

I didn't feel any different, but Prof seemed to grow more in control. My wounded hand re-formed, bones pulling together. In seconds I could flex it again, and it worked perfectly.

"I have to split it up between you," he said. "It doesn't seem to ... seep into you as quickly as it does me. But if i give it all to one person, they'll change."

 

It should make you think that the amount of power he holds is finite. As he gifts it away, he becomes less powerful, closer to human normal. This is established when David confidently does a tensor push against a bullet during the fight against SH and barely stops it. By gifting their powers, gifters don't become good, they revert to normal human.

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/>

 

It should make you think that the amount of power he holds is finite. As he gifts it away, he becomes less powerful, closer to human normal.

I don't know, he's still awfully powerful. He's powerful enough to fight SH, heal himself and then he gifts David enough power to heal his hand.

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He took his power back. This is why David barely had enough power left to stop a bullet when only a short time before this he was drilling manholes in the floor outside the restroom. So after the fight with SH, The Prof had just about every drop of power he owns bottled up inside him. He needed it in order to survive against SH. He needed to start spreading it out again in order to regain control of himself. The less power he is holding himself, the easier it is to fight the EE.

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I have to wonder if it really works like that. They did threaten Edmund with a gun, after all. Now, I'm reasonably confident he could have attempted a breakout if he wanted to, but apparently it wasn't an obviously meaningless threat. Though it's hard to say if that's because his direct powers are limited in scale or in applicability; he can kill people with them but not necessarily under any conditions. It's possible he can only charge objects he's in contact with and has no other abilities except gifting, which would be spectacularly useless when inside several cubic miles of conductive material with direct contact with the earth.

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I'm not sure if Conflux got shafted or not. He can power an entire city by gifting his power to various places, but either he lacks a strong offensive ability, or he abhors violence to the point where he would rather be killed than to kill again. It doesn't really make sense to me that he lacks the ability to light someone up like a Yule Tree on Christmas. The power is ready to be used, he killed his wife accidentally, but he was still capable of releasing an electrical current capable of frying her. About the only benefit he sees from his gift is that he isn't subject to rolling blackouts, and he most likely isn't capable of being electrocuted.

 

Hell, if Conflux wanted to, I'm sure he could come up with a weapon capable of toasting anything that didn't have powerful shields, and I mean really powerful shields. He could find a device that created a force field if he looked hard enough and long enough, and then power that as well. But this isn't what he apparently wants out of life. He intentionally gifts away his power, and wasn't all that keen at the idea of taking it back when the Prof told him to either. Sure, his excuse was that SH would get mad, but he knew that SH wasn't in a position to do anything about it, or in a position to blame him for it later had he won. In fact, SH would be stupid to do anything other than put Conflux back to work, which I think he'd have been just fine with.

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I don't think a refusal to kill people is by itself sufficent to explain it; carefully controlled electrical discharges can easily disable people without dealing lasting harm. Now, Tasers are occasionally lethal, but that's because they deliver a fixed strength jolt and humans vary, and sometimes they're used repeatedly in quick succession. There must be some other limit that stops him from doing a non-lethal Emperor Palpatine impression at will, or he'd probably have staged a breakout. Yes, we first met him sedated, but since he could answer their questions about his history in the city, I suspect he was only sedated for transport. In fact, the bit where he left the city to help power tanks implies he was sometimes transported concious; he may only have been sedated because they were anticipating an attack. As for why he was afraid Steelheart would get mad, it must be remembered that the only asset he provides is powering things. Steelheart could easily maim or torture him without impacting his capacity to do so.

 

I think the evidence suggests that Conflux can generate a high voltage in physical contact, which then behaves according to normal physics. Once generated, it'd seek ground unless in contact with electronics that provide an alternate low-voltage point. He'd be able to fry people he touched, but not throw lighting across the room except in very specific conditions, and in the steel catacombs it'd ground out harmlessly into the floor much more easily than it would jump through three feet of air into a human. This would make him plenty powerful if he had access to the right equipment, but he doesn't. This would also necessitate being able to avoid being electrocuted by his own powers, but I don't know if that's properly a seperate power or if he just instinctively generates charges in an arrangement that won't run a current through himself.

 

When first interrogating him, the Reckoners make sure not to touch him, which supports the theory. Presumably his wife died because she was leaning against a metal or otherwise conductive counter with insulating supports, and he attempted to charge the microwave by touching the case. It then proceeded to provide an object lesson in electrical physics as the current flowed down the outside of the casing, over the outside of the counter, and through the path of least resistance to ground.

Edited by name_here
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Of the only 2 gifteres we have information on, it seem they hurt someone they loved with there powers. Maybe that made them gifteres as they wanted to be rid of there powers...

So maybe all epics can gift there power if they wanted.

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/>Of the only 2 gifteres we have information on, it seem they hurt someone they loved with there powers. Maybe that made them gifteres as they wanted to be rid of there powers...

So maybe all epics can gift there power if they wanted.

 

O hAnd maybe they hurt hte people they lojved BECAUSe they were gifters think about it if you get two powers and one of them ius one you use on other people to hlep them and you dont know how to use your powers well you might mix up the 'GIFT POWER POWER' and 'KILL PEOPLE POWER' and kill someone you wanted to help?

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 Gifters will be forced to side with reckoners and the faithful, as if the epics realize the only ways non epics can match them, is via epics that give them powers. Gifters are a threat to the supremacy of epics, the reckoners would never have stoped steelheart without a gifter. They are naturally more likely to retain their humanity. Dueto the smal number of them, it wont be that detrimental to them, so simple solution.

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 I have been wondering why some epics are able to share their powers, What if under the right circumstances, all Epics are able to share their powers among the non epic? Just like all epics have a certain weakness, they all might have a unique way to share their gifts. Say Steelheart, he had powers like he did, why would someone with strength, flight and invulnerability, try to share such a gift. Why would they ever think or try to give it up.

 The power we have seen, the electricity and the tensor powers, they were forms of energy, so easier to imagine it could be stored and shared.

 The lesser epics would share their gifts, to create their own gang, which would allow for their humanity to appear, so eventually causing a revolution to be created.

 We know epics can be given another's gift, but can a nnormal human carry the gift of multiple epics. WHat would happen?

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