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Hello, 17th Shard. Here's a question.

As you probably remember, towards the end of Steelheart, Prof caught David alone and apologized to him for having been inappropriately harsh and cold towards him earlier (while under the influence of his Epicness, although of course David did not know this at the time). They discussed the incident, which David believed was caused by some sort of traumatic experience in Prof's past involving the tensors. In the course of the conversation, Prof offered to answer one question about his past. David considered asking something about the tensors, such as "How did you create them?" or "Why does using them mess with your head?", but eventually he decided to ask something else.

If David had asked any direct question about the tensors, a truthful answer would have pretty much boiled down to "Because I'm an Epic". So, if David had asked such a question, how would Prof have responded?

I actually think he might have told the truth. While David was thinking about what to ask, he noticed that Prof seemed to be "bracing himself". I think Prof was aware that, given the conversation they'd just been having, it was likely that David was thinking of asking something about the tensors. He knew he might be put in the position of having to either tell a convincing lie or admit to being an Epic, and the idea of "bracing oneself to reveal a secret and deal with the possible fallout thereof" makes more sense to me than "bracing oneself to tell a lie". We know that Prof has no qualms about lying like a rug if it'll serve the cause, so why would he be visibly anxious about doing so here? Moreover, why offer to answer a question as a gesture of apology if he wasn't prepared to answer a very likely line of questioning honestly? Why not just avoid the situation altogether? 

I don't know. It seems like a strange and perhaps unwise decision to make such a game-changing revelation on the eve of the big battle, but I'm pretty sure he was at least considering it. What do you all think?

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knowing, as we see from firefight, that prof can gift much more of his powers than he let others believe, i think it would have been wise to make such a revelation before the big battle. also, prof held part of the secret to stay sane as epic, and it was important to spread the information since all those who had it were going to put themselves in mortal danger.

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That's a pretty interesting idea. I do think Prof would'be told David, but, at the time, I'm not sure David would've believed him. He probably would've thought of it as a joke at first. If he did believe it, he wouldn't be as open to Epics being good as he is later in the book(s). He might've retaliated against Prof. Who knows. 

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On 1/3/2017 at 0:33 PM, king of nowhere said:

knowing, as we see from firefight, that prof can gift much more of his powers than he let others believe, i think it would have been wise to make such a revelation before the big battle. also, prof held part of the secret to stay sane as epic, and it was important to spread the information since all those who had it were going to put themselves in mortal danger.

So you're saying he should have given more of his power to the other Reckoners so that they could use it to fight Steelheart more directly? That would have been a pretty impressive battle. I think that would have made it too obvious after the fact that there had been an Epic on the Reckoners' side, though.

And Prof never seemed to be interested in spreading the information, because he didn't believe it was applicable to any Epics other than gifters, who are pretty rare.

1 hour ago, StrikerEZ said:

That's a pretty interesting idea. I do think Prof would'be told David, but, at the time, I'm not sure David would've believed him. He probably would've thought of it as a joke at first. If he did believe it, he wouldn't be as open to Epics being good as he is later in the book(s). He might've retaliated against Prof. Who knows. 

That's the other half of the question, isn't it: how would David have reacted to the truth? He had already met Edmund, so the groundwork for him to accept the idea of non-malicious Epics had already been laid. Discovering that Megan was Firefight was another big step, however, and that hadn't happened yet when David and Prof had this conversation, so it's hard to say for sure. I think you're right that David probably would have reacted with more open alarm, confusion, and perhaps anger than he did at the canonical revelation. The question then becomes, would Prof have been able to calm him down and convince him to make peace with the fact that the Reckoners are led by an Epic, and what would have happened if he couldn't?

In Firefight, David tells us that he was initially deeply disturbed by the discovery that Prof was an Epic - "it was like finding out that Santa Claus was secretly a Nazi" - and that eventually he "got over it", but we don't see much of that struggle directly. It could be interesting to explore it, and to see Prof himself explain how he reconciles the contradictions of his own role.

Edited by TheKittyOfAtlantis
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2 hours ago, TheKittyOfAtlantis said:

 The question then becomes, would Prof have been able to calm him down and convince him to make peace with the fact that the Reckoners are led by an Epic, and what would have happened if he couldn't?

 

I can tell you what would not have happened, though: david would not have harmed prof. simply because he had no way to do so. and i doubt he would have bailed out on steelheart. so, with nothing to do but argue, he would have accepted the truth eventually, i think.

Edited by king of nowhere
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