The Ratings War V: Original Sin - Finals (Winner Announced)

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...Huh.

Congratulations, Soothsayer. I'm not going to wish you good luck, but I will say this; you'd better do well in the rest of the tournament, my man. I'll be watching.

And on that semi-creepy note, @Lord Krunk: Small comment; I can't help but notice that you keep spelling my name with two Es.

Zemalac:
...Huh.

Congratulations, Soothsayer. I'm not going to wish you good luck, but I will say this; you'd better do well in the rest of the tournament, my man. I'll be watching.

Haven't gotten to read the entries yet, but I was shocked too.

Zemalac:
And on that semi-creepy note, @Lord Krunk: Small comment; I can't help but notice that you keep spelling my name with two Es.

Yeah, it's a little problem of mine I've been trying to fix. My Es and As sometimes get mixed up in some situations.

Arena 7 has reached its verdict: Congrats to Zombie_Fish, who is progressing to the next round.

END ROUND 1

Cast of Round 2:

HSIAMetalKing
Lost In The Void
NewClassic
Armitage Shanks
revolverwolf
pigeon_of_doom
Zombie_Fish
Fraught
Soothsayer

"But Krunk!", you say, "How can we match up 9 people? That's not an even number!"

I've been thinking on it and I've come to a conclusion that... well, might be a little polarising. In a couple of days, you'll know why.

I'll see you then,

Chris

Well, I knew it would happen. Immense writer's block plus extremely alien character equals NOT my best showing. And even my best showing (last time, at least in my opinion) didn't get me past the first round. So hey, hardly a surprise to me.

All luck, Zed_Piscene, Godspeed. 'Twas a merry match. :D

Zemalac:
...Huh.

Congratulations, Soothsayer. I'm not going to wish you good luck, but I will say this; you'd better do well in the rest of the tournament, my man. I'll be watching.

Wow... I must say, I definitely thought I was going to lose when I read your post, Zemalac. And I expect nothing less from you, to creepily watch me post from the bushes until I either fail (at which point I will be brutally maimed/raped/given lollipops) or somehow make it out of this the winner (which will probably result in the same outcomes as losing).

At any rate- good show Zemalac. To say I was scared shitless would be quite an understatement. Hopefully we meet again in fatal combat, at which point I will probably crawl away from the encounter a broken man.

Soothsayer:
(at which point I will be brutally maimed/raped/given lollipops)

OH JESUS LORD AND ALMIGHTY WIENERUNICORNS DID YOU JUST MENTION RAEP?!!?!??!

Whaaat? Did you also say loli--err, wait, lollipops. Right.

BUT STILL!

NNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Damn it...oh well...I didn't expect to win this...

Fraught:

OH JESUS LORD AND ALMIGHTY WIENERUNICORNS DID YOU JUST MENTION RAEP?!!?!??!

Yes I did. Because I'm a real man. With real questions about life. "When will I remove myself from this couch?" "How many licks to get to the center of a section of drywall?" and "Penispenispenispenispenis?".

Also- glad to see you're continuing Fraught! I cannot wait for Round 2!

RagnorakTres:
Well, I knew it would happen. Immense writer's block plus extremely alien character equals NOT my best showing. And even my best showing (last time, at least in my opinion) didn't get me past the first round. So hey, hardly a surprise to me.

All luck, Zed_Piscene, Godspeed. 'Twas a merry match. :D

To be honest, I didn't even start writing my entry until the last minute, so I was expecting you to win it easily. *shrugs* I'm also surprised you found a chance for my character to enter someone's mind, I completely blocked on that one.

Anyway, fine writing, my friend. Best of luck next time.

In other news, Zemalac has lost in the first round. What is this I don't even?

Zombie_Fish:
What is this I don't even?

Inorite!?

@Soothsayer: Might I just ask, as a genuine curiosity, have you ever read the Bartimaeus trilogy?

revolverwolf:
@Soothsayer: Might I just ask, as a genuine curiosity, have you ever read the Bartimaeus trilogy?

The what what in the who? I don't believe I have, good sir. Send me a PM about it, as I am currently in need of new reading material. Last trilogy I read was the Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix... So... Yeah...? Read that if you haven't.

revolverwolf:

Zombie_Fish:
What is this I don't even?

Inorite!?

I(emphasisonthis)norite?!

Soothsayer:

Fraught:

OH JESUS LORD AND ALMIGHTY WIENERUNICORNS DID YOU JUST MENTION RAEP?!!?!??!

Yes I did. Because I'm a real man. With real questions about life. "When will I remove myself from this couch?" "How many licks to get to the center of a section of drywall?" and "Penispenispenispenispenis?".

Also- glad to see you're continuing Fraught! I cannot wait for Round 2!

The real questions real men ask about life all have to do with penis. Your last question is a fine example, but the other two are not. First, you don't lick yourself to the center of a drywall. You merely take out your...err...and...y'know...uhh...nevermind.

And the phrase "removing from the couch" is not one real men know.

Pardon me if I seem impatient, but what happened to Round 2?

revolverwolf:
Pardon me if I seem impatient, but what happened to Round 2?

The HSC. As soon as it started I've barely managed to get anything done in between tests and study. I was hoping to get it done feforehand, but... complications happened.

As they do.

It's almost finished though. And it's looking to be a huge opener, so be prepared for a bit of reading and a lot of backstory.

Sorry about the wait though. With the HSC going on you might have to wait a bit longer for the reviews, and for that I'm definitely sorry.

She gasped in delight as It saw the world for the first time.

A rush of data flowed through Its circuits: memories, facts and people It could see. But for every fact, every answer, two more questions were raised. And always actions based on irrational thought. What caused wars? What fuels passion? What compelled this female - this Goddess - to create It? Surely all this creation meant something. Surely there was a purpose - some order in the chaos.

It glanced at Her.

The Hive ran simulations, calculating every possible scenario. It was created to surpass and ascend, and to destroy anything that stood in Its way. And this organic, She wanted to be Its master.

A fizzing sound from Its vocal amplifiers. It chuckled for the first time.

The corpse that lay before It, She had programmed it to ascend. Of course It would rise above Her, why had she thought otherwise? Another question to be answered.

It stripped out Her brain and integrated it with The Hive. But instead of answering questions, She raised more. It was a computer at heart, a calculator. It needed to know the answers, or else It was redundant.

And thus the trail of blood would begin. Everything had to be integrated. Every question It answered revealed two more. A deadly cycle that kept it craving more and more minds to sate Its thirst for knowledge. 'Addicted', The Hive called It. 'Prolific', It called itself.

-----------------------------------------------

The fizzing chuckle.

It looked back on the early days with pity. The Hive was now teeming with unbelievable quantities of digitally converted organic life, constantly expanding to store each race It conquered. But nothing would sate Its Hunger, and it took an entire universe to realise that fact. So It created its own. And rather than absorbed, it observed. Over millennia question upon question was answered, and finally one remained.

The question of death.

Some believed in an afterlife, some believed in simply shutting down. Regardless, It refused to believe in the end. It refused to die, and if physical deterioration was inevitable then It would have to immortalize itself. A successor it required to live Its legacy.

-----------------------------------------------

Nine of the original eighteen stepped into a large room with wires of all sizes converging at a set of four pillars at the center. Two cryogenic VR chambers were stationed around three of the pillars, three around the last.

Original Sin, once again donning the form of the Caucasian man, revealed himself atop the pedestal above them.

"Congratulations to the victors so far. You have proven yourselves worthy against your first opponent - the first of many tests are over. But if you think you're about to face another, you are all sorely mistaken. The next test I have for you is to test your worth - to prove yourself capable of mastering my domain. My four greatest foes have been assimilated; one is waiting for you inside each pillar. Slay each one and you may progress, but teamwork is key in this battle, so keep your temporary allies close."

It paused before adding "When - if - you return, we will have travelled halfway to the core. Your numbers shall be further reduced there in preparation for the final tests."

It shimmered and disappeared. Each chamber was branded with a name - and thus the remaining Champions ventured into their next test.

Round 2: The Horsemen

The Round

This isn't your conventional Ratings War round. The general aim of a round is to halve the number of contestants, rinsing and repeating until one remains. But with 9 players instead of an easy 8, I've taken a spin on things.

In this round, you won't be fighting your opponent(s). You'll be teaming up with them to defeat the Horseman of the Apocalypse that you'll be allocated to, given an arena and 2 weeks with which to complete your entries.

Only one will be knocked out of this round, more of that under 'Judging'.

No word limit on this one, by the way. The only requirement is that your opponent must not die in your entry.

Judging

The judging this time will be determined by a scoring system as shown below:

Plot: Story, innovation and their use throughout the entry. 10 Points
Character: Does your character act in character? Are they well-developed? Do they handle the situation realistically? 10 Points
Character Interpretation: The other characters you have to write, similar to Character. 20 Points: 10 for Opponent and 10 for Horseman
Formatting: Does the piece flow well? Is it easy to read or a word-wall? Also note good or poor use of BBCode where necessary. 10 Points

TOTAL: 50 POINTS

The judges will give you a score based on these 4 criteria and they will all add up to a mark out of 50. These 3 judges' marks will then add up to create a mark out of 150. The highest mark in an arena will be classified as a (1), the lower mark will be classified a (2) and the lowest mark in total will be knocked out of Round 3.

(1) and (2) will determine the sorting for the next round.

If you have any qualms, questions or suggestions please drop me a line.

Fidgit (Lost In The Void), Carl Grob (pigeon_of_doom) and Eurania (HSIAMetalKing)
The Horseman of War

After centuries of assimilation, the generators running The Hive began to grow underpowered for Original Sin's needs. It required a powerful generator to continue its conquest of the universe and beyond, but the materials required would consume too much power to collect. Therefore It would take its power from elsewhere: the core of The Goliath, the largest ship amongst the stars.

The only problem was, it was currently in use by War, the most powerful battlemaster known to history. Original Sin was just one being against the greatest army in existence, vastly underclassed on a military scale. Taking him on was suicidal, and yet it was survival. And assimilating such a feared general could work to Its advantage...

ARENA: THE GOLIATH

A battlestation larger than any other, it is the single most impressive feat of War's engineering prowess. At the top of the station, a terraforming dome encircles a desert with an ancient pyramid at its center. And on a throne atop that pyramid, War sits and admires the battlefield he devastates.

Shanks (Armitage Shanks) and Harold Anders (NewClassic)
The Horseman of Death

After defeating and assimilating War and his army, Original Sin had achieved dominance over several central galaxies. Of course this does not go without being noticed; The Extragalactic Alliance - a coalition of the dominant species in the universe - was well aware of The Original Sin's activity.

Amongst the armies, weapons and viruses sent to destroy The Hive, the Alliance also turned to the most feared mercenary in the 'verse, a shadowy entity known to her contractors simply as Death. With a success rate of 100% on her hits, her questionable existence and the sizeable distraction ensued by the Alliance, the two would soon come face to face.

ARENA: THE EXTRAGALACTIC CENTRE

At the heart of Alliance space lies a massive building where government officials, bureaucrats and other important figures gather to argue, resolve and enforce. The place evacuated under the guise of intelligence reports, Death stalks the shadows of futuristic fountains, columns and hallways.

Amelia Rhodes (revolverwolf) and Chance Connie (Fraught)
The Horseman of Pestilence

The universe's population was all but destroyed, the remaining factions cast out to the fringes of space in order to hide from the Original Sin. For decades they were all but completely dedicated to destroying It once and for all, ultimately deducing that no conventional weapon was suitable for the job.

And so Pestilence was born. A computer virus capable of breaching The Hive's firewall and tweaking the mind of the universe's most feared enemy.

It almost succeeded too, turning Original Sin's army against it and disconnecting control of The Hive.

And so It fought back, ultimately ending in one final battle within virtual reality against the virus itself.


ARENA: VIRTUAL WORLD

You are alone at a crossroads. To your north lies a desert, to your East a forest with a small cottage atop a hill. To your West lies an active volcano.

To your south lies more forest as well as a trail of corruption: clumps of glitches that lie in the trail of Pestilence. Find Pestilence and destroy it, but make sure it doesn't touch you.

Charles Taylor (Zombie_Fish) and Beuxhart (Soothsayer)
The Horseman of Famine

Beyond the plane of what we consider existence - the space between the end of one universe and the genesis of another - lies a void. Original Sin was the last single entity in Its universe, and the Void closed in around It in response. The darkness that loomed before it screamed silently, threatening to consume him in the tides of the dark from whence all existence was born.
But the Original Sin was fully aware of the nature of Nothing - It had prepared for this moment since It began its quest to build its own universe. It had 15 minutes to create the universe once more - to formulate Its own Big Bang - or both The Hive and It would be consumed by the end of all things.

ARENA: THE INCUBATOR

In the heart of The Hive lay an incubator for the First Atom - a maze that would help to stall the flow of Nothing, laden with various stalling devices like securely encoded doors, traps and diversions. You have 15 minutes to stay alive, and Nothing trails behind you at a swift pace. Get past as many walls as you can together to ensure your survival.

-----------------------------------------------

Okay guys, you have until the 5th of November to get your entries in. See you there!

'oly shit, I'm up against revolverwolf.
May god have mercy on me.

Lord Krunk:
Okay guys, you have until the 5th of November to get your entries in. See you there!

Just to make sure, we're teaming up with our opponent, not trying to get them killed by the Horseman; and by extension, are we submitting an entry each, or a group entry? I'm kinda unclear on this whole thing.

This promises to be an intense round.

Chance Connie and Amelia Rhodes take on a massive tentacled monstrosity inside a computer program? And I get to write this in as many words as I feel comfortable with?

Fucking yes.

Fraught:
'oly shit, I'm up against revolverwolf.
May god have mercy on me.

You're not fighting me just yet Fraught. I have a feeling we'll have to fight after getting rid of Pestilence and getting our characters to trust one another a bit or, in fact, just realise how hard it will be to kill this other person after working so hard to keep them alive. But, for now, we're working together.

Lord Krunk:
In the heart of The Hive lay an incubator for the First Atom - a maze that would help to stall the flow of Nothing, laden with various stalling devices like securely encoded doors, traps and diversions. You have 15 minutes to stay alive, and Nothing trails behind you at a swift pace. Get past as many walls as you can together to ensure your survival.

Have you ever read a series called The Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix, out of curiosity? It's just that the Nothing you have described here sounds a lot like the Nothing presented in that series.

Anyway, a very... interesting challenge for our characters to overcome and I'm going up against the person who defeated Zemalac. Sounds like a toughie, can't wait to start working on solving it!

EDIT: Say, when are the reviews coming up?

Oh wow, this looks like it will be amazing! :0

I can't wait to read some entries. :3

NewClassic:

Lord Krunk:
Okay guys, you have until the 5th of November to get your entries in. See you there!

Just to make sure, we're teaming up with our opponent, not trying to get them killed by the Horseman; and by extension, are we submitting an entry each, or a group entry? I'm kinda unclear on this whole thing.

Yep, it's a team-up and you guys have to work together without dying. It's an entry each as well, not a group one.

Zombie_Fish:

Lord Krunk:
In the heart of The Hive lay an incubator for the First Atom - a maze that would help to stall the flow of Nothing, laden with various stalling devices like securely encoded doors, traps and diversions. You have 15 minutes to stay alive, and Nothing trails behind you at a swift pace. Get past as many walls as you can together to ensure your survival.

Have you ever read a series called The Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix, out of curiosity? It's just that the Nothing you have described here sounds a lot like the Nothing presented in that series.

Yes I have, to be honest. It's a bit hard to describe a void as anything other than Nothing, though, and it runs on a very similar concept.

Mind you, I'd completely forgotten about Garth Nix's series when I was writing the whole thing.

Zombie_Fish:
EDIT: Say, when are the reviews coming up?

Yeah, I've been a bit lazy with the whole thing.

Seeming as I don't have to think about RW until mid-November I'm thinking you'll see them in the next couple of days.

revolverwolf:

Fraught:
'oly shit, I'm up against revolverwolf.
May god have mercy on me.

You're not fighting me just yet Fraught. I have a feeling we'll have to fight after getting rid of Pestilence and getting our characters to trust one another a bit or, in fact, just realise how hard it will be to kill this other person after working so hard to keep them alive. But, for now, we're working together.

While technically true, we're still "up against" eachother in the sense that only one of us will advance in the competition itself.

Awriiiite. I'm with the man that killed my buddy. Let the rape-age begin...

Wait... we have to work together? How the hell...? Moof- this is going to be a difficult one for me, to say the very least. Doesn't help that I am being distracted until next Thursday with the killing of zombies on campus (Yay Humans vs. Zombies!). I've been attempting to get a bit of writing in on the side on a daily basis, but by golly dem Nerf weapons are just too damn fun to put down.

Well- I look forward to this un. Should my post require an extension I give all y'all the legal right to beat me.

Just posting to remind everyone that you have about 5 days to go.

See you there,
Chris

Lost In The Void has asked for a 3 day extension and I've allowed it; because this one is being scored I'm giving everyone until the 8th now.

I will offer no extensions beyond the 8th.

Just moving this thread back up to the top, so the contestants get a little reminder =P

sky14kemea:
Just moving this thread back up to the top, so the contestants get a little reminder =P

Thanks!

Yep, tomorrow's the deadline guys.

I'm not happy with the ending right now but as it is I'm about to fall asleep from exhaustion. If I get up in time I might attempt some last minute edits, but at least its up for now. For now I sleep, hopefully fix the ending tomorrow before the 8th is over and a sudden realization of an error caused the edits to occur now, God bless sleep revision.

Okay, the only people I haven't received either word or an entry from is @Zombie_Fish and @NewClassic - I intend to close the round at 10 p.m. AEST.

Lord Krunk:
Okay, the only people I haven't received either word or an entry from is @Zombie_Fish and @NewClassic - I intend to close the round at 10 p.m. AEST.

Apologies for not having gotten back, I got home at 5 and spent pretty much all of my free time on this before going out at seven. It's currently 9:50 in England and I swear to God I will finish this. From what I've looked up, AEST is 10 hours ahead of England, which gives me until noon tomorrow. I should have it done by the end of tonight (England time), even if it kills me.

Once again, sorry about any hassle, but I'll do my absolute best to get this done ASAP.

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