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Old Jul 31 2008, 07:10 PM   #1
D. M. Domini
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Afra: T-4 to T-2

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Originally Posted by granath View Post
A large age gap doesn't necessarily imply inequality. Damia was the far stronger Talent, even though her whammy of boosting other Talents helped Afra develop into a T-2 and brought his level as close to Prime as he was comfortable with.
Snipped from the "Questionable Attraction" thread.

Afra, over the course of the Talent books, has by far made the biggest leap in Talent rating of any character. He goes T-4 to T-3 as twic of Callisto, then after recovering from the Sodan incident, makes T-2. Later, according to his children, he's "as close to Prime" as he wants to be.

So...we don't know of any other Talents that have made such a huge leap, other than emergant Talents who had their abilities spontaniously emerge under stress. So why did Afra (other than because he had the loving eye of the All Powerful Author upon him ) have such a drastic increase in abilities?

My theory is this...I think that on Capella, he wasn't being challenged enough. Remember, his family was trying to dupe him into being Capella Stationmaster...something done by a T-9 on Callisto. Amr, also a T-9 I think, was also gunning for this spot somewhere. So I think when tested for his initial rank, he likely underperformed because he'd never been given the chance to do more, and his natural caution and restraint probably prevented him from testing higher, because he was afraid of burning himself out by accident. So, T-4.

After he started working with Rowan, however, he was challenged, and given real-life working circumstances to use his Talent. Instead of worrying about how he'd test out for his T-rating, he probably just did stuff, because it was his job and it was necessary, without worrying if it was something a T-4 could technically do, and eventually Reidinger picked up that he was doing more than a T-4 should be able to and mentioned it to him in the books. And, he said he thought Afra was a T-3 directly to him. So when Afra tested again, well...if Earth Prime says you're a T-3, who are you to disagree?

Afra was consistantly a T-3 for ~20 years. That's a long time. I think the very bad burn he got from Sodan did something to his head that...perhaps required the Talent part of his brain to re-wire itself--I don't think his pairing with Damia caused him to become a T-2 due to her catalytic Talent. I think if he had been burned out, the "burn out" would be caused by a sort of psychic "scar tissue", and after Sodan Afra probably had a 50/50 change of scarring over and burning out/becoming reduced in ability, and healing completely/better than new. He didn't burn out, but all of his mental pathways were probably royally screwed up. Probably a lot of "deadwood" was removed. So once he healed that, he emerged as a T-2. I do think that Damia's presence perhaps gave him the will to do such an extensive self-healing. This part of the theory has a lot of assumptions and guesses in it, given we don't really know what happens when a Talent burns out, only that it can remove Talent entirely, but it can also merely reduce it (as with Amr, who was drastically reduced, but not completely burned out, as I understood it).

Moving forward...Due to Damia's catalyst trick, I think, 20 years later after Afra's worked with her as her twic, on paper reports it probably looks like Iota Aurigae has 2 Primes. I bet they investigated Afra and Damia after noticing that! But, when he's not merged with Damia, he probably drops down to a high-functioning T-2...what he was after he healed after the Sodan encounter. Thus, his remark in his children's presence, "as Prime as he wants to be"...because if he really was Prime, the FT&T would probably re-post him. I think he operates at Prime efficiancy only when linked with Damia. So like a pseudo-Prime...the benefits of being able to shift a whole lotta freight with Damia, without getting seperated from her to have his own Tower.

Your thoughts?
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Old Jul 31 2008, 07:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Afra: T-4 to T-2

Hey, that is really well thought out! It makes a lot of sense.
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Old Jul 31 2008, 07:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Afra: T-4 to T-2

Damn. I posted much the same thing as an aside originally in the other topic, but took so long to work out the dynamics of the Sodan battle part, not to mention the rest of the post, that I lost the whole thing due to the evil login timeout demon....

Basically, I pointed out at the end that Damia had to step in, upping the merge to 5 T-1's and an especially powerful T-2 who was all but T-1 -- royally pissed off to boot. But even that figure is going to be low, as her catalytic Talent boosts the other four T-1's (to T-0.5's? Her T6 was getting boosted 2-3 grades above her actual T-rating IIRC, so that would fit) and boosting Afra up to an effective T-1.

Sodan was truly in a class by himself.

And actually, IIRC the remark in question was made by Thian, not Afra.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tower and the Hive
Our father, Afra Lyon, was originally a T-3, but constant association with our grandmother increased his skills to T-2. He may even be as close to prime as he wants to get. Not that he'd admit it.....
As you pointed out, he's like a pseudo-Prime...the benefits of being able to shift a whole lotta freight with Damia, without getting separated from her to have his own Tower. Which is not exactly something that's going to be high up on his wish list, given how close he and Damia are.

As for the "Not that he'd admit it." part, of course he wouldn't. Part of the Capellan Method he's retained is the modesty training, which percludes him from admitting it -- it would be bragging, which is The Bad Thing(tm).
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Old Jul 31 2008, 07:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Afra: T-4 to T-2

...hahaha, now I have to post my Sodan theories on why he was so darn powerful!
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Old Jul 31 2008, 11:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Afra: T-4 to T-2

What about G Gren from Earth his was a T-4 when Afra met him he become twic and head Test Traning in later books as a T-2? Under Jeff.
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Old Aug 1 2008, 12:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Afra: T-4 to T-2

The Gren bit may be just due to a mistake on Anne's part. I don't think he's that powerful, or he wouldn't do the job he's doing, since he's only said to be a T-2 once in TTATH.

Oh, I agree that a stifling environment such as Capella wouldn't encourage kids to stretch their powers in a way more liberal societies do. But that's contradicted by the fact that Capella has its own Prime Tower, and I doubt they would have if it wasn't for a homegrown Prime. One reason why Afra wasn't stretched so much at home was that Capella Tower's not too busy for Capella to take care of all shipments. Unlike Callisto where even T4's get to transfer personnel pods to Earth to give the Prime a break.
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Old Aug 1 2008, 03:13 PM   #7
D. M. Domini
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Default Re: Afra: T-4 to T-2

The Gren bit is either Anne trying to make him more special by upping his rating, or a simple mistake because she maybe needed him to be T-2 somewhere, or she just plain forgot.

Heh. Funny about how we can so easily explain away Afra's jumps in power, even the "as close to Prime as he wants to be" bit, but Gollee? Nah, must be a mistake.

All due to there being so much more evidence about Afra's jumps, so we believe it, even though it falls into AMC's tendancy to give her favorite characters bigger and better powers as time goes on.

Characterization goes a long way towards making a reader believe!
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