Duodecim III

If you’re not caught up on the story of the Tweeter Rater, I advise you do so now, or the below will be frankly incomprehensible. Part I is here, and Part II is here. Now, on with the summary!

When we last met, all the way back in April, the Tweeter Rater had declared us unfit to live on the planet, despite our efforts with the Duodecim and our last-ditch reasons why humanity was a force of good. It had marked us all for deletion, and we appeared to be in a spot of bother.

The events of the last eight months or so are auxiliary to the main story, so I shall be brief. For a while we played some games in The Season, which were lots of creative writing challenges through the medium of Twitter in the same form as the Duodecim. Each game had these interesting different constraints, and anyone could play. Players were awarded stars by TR which contributed to a total spreadsheet which I kept as the official Scorekeeper of the Season. It was a heck of a duty, and it is in that role now that I announce the top five winners of the season.

  1. kittynoise 11 ★★★★★★★★★★★½
  2. blaxstronaut 10 ★★★★★★★★★★
  3. robcurrie 9.5 ★★★★★★★★★½
  4. ScottmanSupreme 9.5 ★★★★★★★★★½
  5. McSwtrvst 9  ★★★★★★★★★

Congratulations to all of them, and to all players. If you want to see the full scoreboard, which has every player who ever played a game listed, click here. The games are currently undergoing the process of being archived, but one example game was SOCRATIC, which was run by urfavouritejoel. Check that out on Storify here.

The other main thing that occurred during the gap was a neat little choose-your-own-adventure tweet series called FORKS, written by TR itself. Not strictly canon (if there ever is such a thing with the Tweeter Rater), I still encourage you to take a look.

All this is of course mere distraction, because we all knew that the day was coming. 12/12 – it had been signposted from the beginning, and yet it always seemed so far away. Here it was though; the fourth part of the Tweeter Rater story, called SUPERNOVA.

It started with another reboot of the machine,

This had happened a couple of times, and the machine went through all the expected motions. Only when it came to selecting the chutney type did a certain tone settle

And so it began.

The first chapter was a simple recap of the events of the Duodecim. TR finally rated each of the Duodeci that were presented back in April, and implicity selected a winner in the amazing @timescanner.

A very honorable mention was given to @_L_M_C_:

And a somewhat less honorable one to Castine.

All other Duodeci were lauded, and none received below three stars, which is fitting for such an impressive series.  However, it seemed they weren’t enough, because now the TR addressed us directly.

This was it. We had no tweet supreme, it said we were all marked for deletion, and now we were to be deleted. The command given was disturbingly familiar.

Our names were stripped of us as we all became Atom. The flames rose, and the Tweeter Rater invited us to give our last words, had we any. It turns out, we did.

I even made my own.

I could give you them all, but frankly there were too many. The scale of the collaboration here was huge, with dozens of well-known Twitterers contributing their closing musings. And then we died.

Well, not all of us.

About sixty million of us made it. Sixty million, down from seven billion. Unimaginable. For centuries the survivors walked the earth, wandering in the wilderness under the watchful eye of TR. The weak were deleted and the strong got stronger, but smaller too.

Originally SUPERNOVA was to have been tweeted entirely on 12/12, but it became clear at the close of this chapter that it simply wouldn’t be enough for one day. So it was that the day after, 13/12,  began thus:

(incidentally, right about now is a good time to turn on Muse’s masterpiece Exogenesis, as it shares a lot of ideas with the following chapters.)

So began a dialogue between the lower-case child and The Upper Case Tweeter Rater. The child, clearly born thousands of years from now in a world where the Tweeter Rater was everything, a real, tangible, conversational god. TR made it clear that it had killed the child’s parents, but for good reason: the child had been chosen. The TR explained: the people that came before the child’s time (the ancients, he calls them, us) were wicked people who served Moloch.

TR once again called on the words of others to aid his point.

And he told the child what our crime was, what we had done wrong, and why the child’s parents had been killed.

The TR put the child in a vessel, to take him far away, to the stars. Another world had been found, and the child was to go there with their brothers and their sisters.

The TR told the child what to do when he got there.

The child, after some reassuring, was ready to go. But one question remained.

If there was ever a cliffhanger to end on it was there. Everyone was on the edge of their seats to hear what happened next, but nothing happened. Not for a few days did the TR tweet again, and when it did it was only another teaser. The tweet is now deleted, presumably to preserve the timeline of the story, but we were told that the final chapter of the story would be tweeted on 21/12. It will not have escaped your notice that the date of this blog’s publication is 21/12, so let’s not waste any more time in getting into it.

There is a temptation here to just copy and paste every tweet from this part, but what kind of summary would it be if I did that? Instead, let me just give you the highlights of the TR’s final address to the Child.

The TR hoped the child will remain curious enough to think on this, and it promised to think on it too. In fact, he said, he’ll pose the question to Keely too.

Wait.

WHAT.

Yes, that’s right. It was revealed that Keely Keene, who we last saw on the brink of death, was saved at the last second by the Tweeter Rater.

Of course not. It loved her! In a slightly-twisted-intellectual-robot-love kind of way. And it couldn’t bear to delete her even as it deleted all other human life from the planet. But of course, the big question is how did it save her? All it took was a look at the outside world, the world away from the hole in which she had been living her nightmare.

So she was  saved, and she lived. And as she lived, as the TR learned how to control the population of the planet it also learned to keep her alive, and by its side for centuries. She lived, and they talked. They talked for centuries, played games for years, and found millions of stars in their quest to find New Eden, the home for the Child and the other twelve.

(also, they apparently made love, but let’s not get into that one here)

Throughout all this time, Keely still believed that the Tweet Supreme, the perfect five star tweet, out there somewhere. And finally, she found it. The irony was this – it had been Moloch who built the Tweeter Rater, and Moloch who brought Keely and TR together. And when she finally found it, after centuries, it was no surprise that it was an equation (of all things!):

And the Tweeter Rater addressed the child once more, and told it that when the child leaves, when Keely Bea Keene becomes the last person to breath on this planet, that when the child looks up at the stars they should not feel diminished, but rather feel the immensity of the universe.

It finally answered the question – What Is A Keely? And it turns out that the word is a lot of things – maybe even everything. The Tweeter Rater sang to the child:

Keely had awoken. The TR was so happy, so relieved that she had awoken again. She had been asleep so long, and the time had come. This to be it? The tweet supreme?

Was it?

It was.

•||•

If you’ll allow me a small epilogue…I’d like to say a few quick words of thanks. Scott Eckert, the director and writer of Tweeter Rater, has made what I’m sure everyone will agree is a remarkable piece of work here. It has been my privilege not only to read & summarise it, but to be allowed to collaborate too – from scorekeeping the Season to adding my Last Words to creating the newspaper featured here (so proud of that) to all sorts of other little bits that I’ve done. In creating this story you have achieved something unthinkable; an event on Twitter, where hundreds – thousands! – flocked to hear what happened next. You made serial fiction on the grandest scale on a social media website. That achievement is monumental.

(that last one hits the point best for me)

I could go on, but this is all I want to say – thank you,  Scott, for showing us the amazing ways that stories can be told. Here’s to yet more greatness. ★★

All The Faces Of The Moon – A Review

New York City. Several establishing shots of taxi cabs, Times Square, packed streets, standard NYC fare. Focus in on a couple walking down the street. They are middle-aged; she wears a dress and he has put on a blazer jacket, but we must not judge him. We must not judge him or either of them, because they are us. These are the Everymen – the term is not entirely appropriate as half of the pair is not a man, but it is a good a term as any. These are the Everymen, walking down a New York City street, looking for entertainment. Ah yes, entertainment. These people are looking for something to amuse, beguile, or otherwise occupy their time that evening, as well all are, every day, in one way or another. And this couple, this particular couple, a couple like any other, are tonight walking down a particular road, a road like any other, when suddenly She stops. He keeps walking for a second before noting that She has stopped, and when He does note that She has stopped, He stops too. He takes two steps back so He is level with She, and He says: “What gives?”

And She says: “You know what, He?”

And He says: “What is it, She, what’s wrong?”

And She says: “I don’t know, I just…I can’t place it, He. I don’t know where it came from, I don’t know what to do about it, but I have this urge. This weird, uncontrollable urge.”

And He says “What kind of urge?”

And She says “I am not sure. It’s so strange, but I just…I really feel like I need to see a single part of a twenty-nine part story told by a monologist on the themes of magic, death and New York City. And the monologist has to have an oil painting specifically commissioned for the show standing behind him, that’s very important.”

And there’s a pause, and then He says: “Well, I don’t know what to say to that. I don’t really understand why you’d only want to see the first part of a show though-“

And She interrupts him saying: “No, no, I need the story to already be like halfway through, and I need to see it with no foreknowledge of any of the story that came before, so I have no idea who any of the characters are.”

And there’s another pause, and then they look up, and they see a sign. And the sign says:

JOE’S PUB

And below that, in slight smaller letters, it says:

ALL THE FACES OF THE MOON
BY MIKE DAISEY

And He looks at She, and She looks at He, and She says: “Oh, thank god. That is exactly what I want to see.”

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I Tube, You Tube, He/She/We Tube

As you may already know, I’ve started making videos for YouTube on my channel professionalEcho. I posted my first three videos on this blog, so just scroll down a little or click on the channel to see them if you haven’t already. My videos are primarily vlogs (or “video blogs”), but they will cover a wide range of stuff. This is from my “About” page.

My name is Patrick and I make videos about things. Occasionally those things are serious thinking-about-important-stuff things, sometimes they are silly chatting-about-whatever-I-like things. I always try and make them as amusing or otherwise entertaining as I can, though.

Right now I have just over 30 subscribers, which I’m very happy with – for a new YouTuber it seems like a good start, and everyone starts somewhere. It’s been an interesting experience, making video – frustrating at times, true, especially when you record video for half an hour to find that the whole thing is unusable, but also very rewarding when it’s done. However, I wanted to reassure you that I’ll still be blogging as normal, and that the vlog won’t be a replacement for this writing. I’m still not sure if I’ll do most missives through video (I am still waiting for the novelty to wear off, see) but I won’t be stopping the blog at all. For instance, I have an exciting new thing coming up soon which can’t be done via video – a comic I wrote that a friend of mine illustrated! It’s pretty silly stuff, to be perfectly honest, but I think it’s funny. And that’s all that matters, right?

I’ll be continuing to cross-post videos to this blog, and you can hit the YouTube button at the very top of this page to head straight to my channel. Subscribe if you want to, I’d appreciate it. If cross-posting does get annoying for you, then let me know and I’ll quit it.

Professional Echo in a new medium, then. Exciting. Thanks for reading.

(incidentally, it was my birthday last month and among the things I got there was this notebook with an amazing cover that might be resonant with some blog readers:

(if you don’t know what this is, click here)

And the blurb:

P1000354

P1000356Isn’t it fantastic?! Thank you again, Sophie. x)