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.
- kittynoise 11 ★★★★★★★★★★★½
- blaxstronaut 10 ★★★★★★★★★★
- robcurrie 9.5 ★★★★★★★★★½
- ScottmanSupreme 9.5 ★★★★★★★★★½
- 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,
☆☆☆☆☆ sys error reboot? Y/N ☆☆☆☆☆—
Tweeter Rater (@TweeterRater) December 12, 2013
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.
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?
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)