|Affiliation:||Electroclan (Formerly Elgen)|
Tanner is a red-haired boy with freckles and deep blue eyes, and one of the seventeen electric children. He is a Glow with the ability to interfere with airline navigation systems.
Tanner's electrical powers allow him to interfere with airplanes' electrical navigation systems and cause them to malfunction and crash. He has such a powerful stretch that he can reach them from the ground.
When Hatch first ordered Tanner to crash a plane, he refused. However, after watching his younger brother get tortured, he quickly relented.
"Take your fellow Glow, Tanner... The first time I told him to crash a 747 he refused. Until we let him see his little brother getting nearly electrocuted by one of your peers. It only took ten minutes of his screams before he was quite eager to help out. You know how it goes... The first time you resist. The second time you relent. The third time you volunteer. It's that easy. Today, I tell Tanner to bring down a commercial flight and he says, 'which plane?'" - Hatch talking about Tanner to Michael.
The Prisoner of Cell 25
We don't meet him yet, but Tanner is first mentioned in The Prisoner of Cell 25 when Tara tells Taylor that one of the glows in the academy as a stretch powerful enough to reach airplanes. Later on in Chapter 29: According to Plan, Hatch is speaking into the phone, conversing with a man (likely Schema). Two British Airways jets leaving London's Heathrow Airport had crashed shortly after take off, to which Hatch reveals that they are blackmailing the company, and that there will be another accident each day until they receive the payment they demanded. The man on the phone then asks "Where's our boy?", referring to Tanner, and implying that Tanner is the one bringing down the planes. It is stated that Tanner is in London, and as soon as the payment is received, they will be moving him to Rome. The man on the phone reminds Hatch to take care of him, and Hatch replies that Tanner has more security on him then the queen. The man on the phone laments, wishing that they had "a few more just like him". From this exchange, it can be taken that Tanner has the ability to somehow destroy planes. The fact that he has more security then the queen shows his importance to the Elgen; and the fact that the man on the phone wishes they had more like him shows just how useful and powerful he is. (*Note: In Chapter 30, Hatch says that they got some favorable news in the UK, implying that they likely received the payment they demanded.)
Later, when Hatch is trying to convince Michael to join him, he mentions Tanner again, stating that he "has an amazing power", and that he can bring down an airplane from the ground- revealing that Tanner was the boy who he was talking about in Chapter 29. Hatch tells Michael that the first time he ordered Tanner to crash a plane, he refused, but after making Tanner watch his younger brother get electrocuted by another Glow (likely Zeus), he relented; and now, Tanner obeys the Elgen and Hatch's orders, as shown by how it was mentioned in the earlier chapters, he had already crashed several plane.
Rise of the Elgen
In Rise of the Elgen, at the end of Chapter 21, Hatch receives a text, which greatly irates him, as he then yells out angrily and calls into the phone, demanding for a Dr. Jung. Tara, who is next to him, asks what's wrong, and Hatch darkly replies that Tanner just tried to kill himself.
Hatch then flies back to where Hatch is, and asks a guard nearby where Tanner is. The guard tells him that Tanner is in restraints in the basement detaining cell. Hatch then asks where Dr. Jung is, and the guard says that Dr. Jung is in the basement as well. Hatch quickly goes to the basement with the guard, where he looks through the glass to see into the room where Tanner is. Tanner is cuffed and curled up in the bed in a fetal position, softly whimpering. Hatch insults the doctor, demanding that he fix him, to which the doctor replies that Tanner is a boy, not a machine, and that he can't just change out a few parts and make him better. Hatch threatens the doctor, to which the doctor asks what he's supposed to do, and Hatch replies that he doesn't care, and just demands that Tanner be fixed. The doctor protests that Tanner has a conscience, and is feeling guilty for having killed thousands of people.
"W-w-what do you want me to do?"
"Why are you asking me? You're the shrink. Give him a pill. Give him a hundred pills, just fix him."
"He has a conscience. If you killed a thousand people, you'd have trouble sleeping at night too."
The doctor tells Hatch that Tanner is greatly stressed, and that he's been worked too hard. He says that children need downtime, and that they need to let him spend some time with other teenagers, and his parents. The doctor says that Tanner said he misses them (his parents), to which Hatch scathingly replies that of course Tanner misses them, and that that's why he's been taken from them.
"Of course he misses them you idiot. That's why he's been taken from them. So you think he he should spend a little quality time with them? And what if he tells his parents what he's been doing, and they tell him they would rather die than have him drop another plane from the sky? Add that to your list of mental problems."
Hatch then walks away and warns the doctor to not disappoint him again. He reminds the doctor that he's taking both of them (the doctor and Tanner) to Peru, and that he expects Tanner to be heavily sedated, casually stating that he doesn't want to be along for the ride when Tanner decides to take his life again.
Later on in Chapter 24 when they head to Peru, Hatch is speaking to the other electric kids (Quentin, Torstyn, Tara, Bryan and Kylee) when the plane suddenly starts dropping. Hatch demands what happening to the pilots, but they say that they don't know and that they just suddenly lost power. Hatch realizes what's happening, and yells at the guard to pull the screen (the screen Tanner's behind), and the guard pulls the screen, revealing Tanner, who's awake with his dark blue eyes looking at them. Hatch orders the guard to shoot him, but the guard hesitates. However, Tanner then suddenly starts screaming and yells that he'll stop, because Torstyn had his arm extended towards him and was using his power to hurt Tanner. The guard then knocks Tanner out and the plane levels out. Hatch takes a moment to compose himself before complimenting Torstyn with a well done for having saved all their lives, and then turns on Dr. Jung, ordering him to sedate Tanner and making sure that he doesn't wake up again until they're on the ground, warning that if Tanner wakes up again before the plane lands, he'll have both of them thrown out of the airplane.
Later in the book, when Michael and the rest of the Electroclan break into the Starxcourse prison to rescue his mother, they find Tanner in one of the cells. Michael pulls out the wire on the RESAT, turning it off for him, and Tanner peers over his covers. His skin was puffy and he was pale and trembling. McKenna recognizes him and asks what he's doing there, and Tanner explains that Hatch locked him up. Zeus asks why they have him locked up, and Tanner replies that he tried to bring down a plane. Confused, Zeus replies that that's what Tanner does. Tanner smiles darkly and says that it was the one they were flying on. Shocked, Taylor asks if he tried to kill himself. Tanner indifferently replies yes, saying that he almost succeeded too. He then asks Zeus since when he's been against the Elgen, and Zeus replies since he met Michael and learned the truth- that Hatch had been using them. Tanner sneers, saying "You think?". Taylor asks what they did to him, and Tanner replies that it was nothing he didn't deserve. He shakes his head, saying that he's done bad bad things, and McKenna tries to comfort him, saying that whatever he did, it wasn't his fault. Tanner grimaces. "Not my fault? Do you have any idea how many people I've killed? Thousands. I pulled the trigger. I'm one of the worst mass murders in history. I make Jack the Ripper look like a jaywalker." he shook his head. "Not my fault." Michael then says "Let's get him out of here.", to which Tanner yells. "No! Stay away." He says that the Elgen are going to feed him to the rats, and says that it's a fitting punishment for one of the biggest mass murders in history. Taylor walks to his side, asking if he can help, to which Tanner, sounding almost comical, replies "By all means. Help away, whatever your name is, Tara's twin." Taylor lays a hand on his shoulder, then saying oh no. Tanner asks what she's doing, and when she doesn't reply she turns to McKenna and asks again. Taylor bursts into tears, and Michael explains that she's reading his mind. In spite of his weakness, Tanner pulls away from her, elling her to keep out of his mind, and that he doesn't want her to see what's in his mind. Taylor couldn't stop crying, and Tanner glared at them, demanding they stay away from him. Abigail then walks up to Tanner, to which he tells her not to touch him. Abigail promises that she can make him feel better, to which Tanner glares at her and says that she can't. Abigail asks for permission to try, and touches him, to which his expression immediately changes. His eyes close in relief and the look of pain leaves his face. He then begins to cry, and when he can speak, he says thank you. He asks if Abi's healing him, to which she says that no, she can only do this when they're touching. Tanner asks her to not stop then, and then asks the others if they're rescuing him. He says that he knows some places in Italy where they can hide, but Taylor tells him they're not in Italy. Michael tells hi mthat they're in Peru. Surprised, Tanner asks how he got into Peru. Michael asks if he can stand, and he replies that he doesn't know, seeing as the RESAT's been on him a long time. However, Zeus helps him up. The electroclan split up into smaller groups, and Tanner, along with Taylor, McKenna, Abigail and Zeus, leave to the forest.
Later everyone is resting in the forest, including Tanner and Mrs. Vey. Tanner wakes up in the night three times, screaming, and on the third time, Mrs. Vey goes over to him and comforts him, gently stroking his forehead. He breaks down crying and she holds him, rocking him like a baby.
When Michael is escaping into the forest, he is caught by four helicopters. They force him to walk out and surrender, but suddenly one of the helicopter flies into another, and the other two drop to the ground, exploding. Michael runs into the forest, now temporarily safe, and thanks Tanner, wherever he is.
It is mentioned that Tanner, along with Sharon Vey (Michael's mother) and Raul made it to the rendezvous point and is now safe with the people of the resistance.
The rest of the Electroclan meets up with Tanner and Grace at Timepiece Ranch (the ranch the Voice had been keeping them at in the beginning of the book). He is noticeably happier, and being medicated for his mental health. At the end of the book the ranch is destroyed, but Tanner and the rest of the group leave before it is attacked. The voice tells Michael that there were no survivors at the ranch.
Tanner briefly makes an appearance when Michael and the Electroclan arrive at the other safe place. He tells Michael that he can't understand why Nichelle is with them, and Michael tells him that Dr. Hatch made all of them do things that they regret. He adds, "you can understand that". Tanner is briefly shocked by this, but then agrees with Michael that forgiveness is part of healing. Michael tells him to let it go and Tanner thanks him for the advice.
Fall of Hades
Tanner participates in the mission to rescue Welch and the rest of the Glows (Quentin, Torstyn, Tara), and steal the Joule. During the mission he was killed by a mortar blast while in the Hades Prison.
Tanner had strong morals and a good heart, but was forced to do bad deeds. When Hatch first ordered him to bring down a plane he refused, but he relented after his younger brother was tortured- showing that he was essentially forced to kill others, in order to protect his brother. Tanner cared for his younger brother deeply; Tanner was a good person, but after being forced to murder thousands, he becomes deeply traumatized. It is revealed that he greatly misses his parents, but has been forcibly kept away from them. It is also said by Tanner's therapist that he had been worked to hard, and needed a break. Having murdered thousands, Tanner had trouble sleeping at night. Due to his deep trauma, Tanner is suicidal. It is mentioned by Hatch that Tanner tried to kill himself, and then he tried to kill himself again on a plane. After he fails and is punished, Tanner believes that this is what he deserves. When Taylor reads his mind, she breaks down crying, showing that Tanner has clearly been through a lot, and holds deep pain and trauma. When Michael tells Tanner that they're going to save him, Tanner refuses, stating that death is what he deserves. Despite the fact that he is to die a torturous and extremely painful death (literally being eaten alive), Tanner shows no fear, only acceptance, stating that it is a fitting end for one of the worst mass murderers in history. We can see that Tanner blames himself for having murdered thousands, and that he accepts pain and suffering because he believes he deserves it. He had tried to kill himself multiple times, showing just how deeply traumatized he is.
For the first two books, Tanner remains a deeply broken and traumatized individual. He is also shown to be rather snarky and sarcastic. He snaps at Abigail when she approaches him; when she offers to make him feel better, he glares at her, saying that she can't. However, when Abigail does use her gift, he immediately relaxes, and then starts crying, thanking her, and showing us just how much pain he was in. At only the age of 15, Tanner was already one of the worst- if not the worst- mass murderer in history (even stating that he makes Jack the Ripper look like a jaywalker). He's still only a child, but already deeply traumatized, and even suicidal.
However, happily, in Hunt for Jade Dragon, Tanner seems much more at peace, thanking Michael for saving him. By Storm of Lightning, he seems to have recovered, for the most part, from his mental trauma, though he most likely still harbors feelings of guilt and regret for his actions.
After having mostly healed, and becoming more mentally stable, Tanner is shown to be very suave and charming. He likes cars, as well as dark books, as shown in Hunt for Jade Dragon.