The winners are chosen, and it was incredibly difficult, because - as you'll soon see - there were many worthy entries. I hope you'll agree with my decision and join me in congratulating the winners.
In first place, winning a Limited Edition copy of Halo 4 and an exclusive Halo 4 notebook is..
2nd PlaceIn second place, winning an exclusive Halo 4 notebook, with this short story from the perspective of the Master Chief is..
When the skipping stone misses a beat
Rampancy was something we were always told about, informed by the very creation that
suffered from it, about their own inevitable and inescapable demise. The irony was fascinating to most; I had found it bothersome something so artificial can experience a mental breakdown that surpasses one of the flesh and blood.
It was a waste that had always been nagging me in the corner of my mind, a thought that was
out of reach from the other intelligences that had temporary residence in the armour that encased me, a digital drawback to such a tactical advantage.
But when she joined me in this war… everything changed. She changed everything; she had
apparently chosen me, according to Dr. Halsey when she first introduced me. Not Linda, not Kelly, nor any of the others. Me. Why me?
I didn’t know how to feel at first, you could have said indecisive or irritated but our minds soon
became one, not because she had access to memories via my armour’s synced computers, but one on a more personal level. She knew how I would react, and me, although on a much smaller scale, her.
Thoughts about rampancy soon left my mind as it became more agile and focussed with her
assistance and we became inseparable.
She had saved my life more than once on occasion to put it lightly, therefore I have racked up
quite the paycheck to repay for her, yet I haven’t seen any time, or any way to even repay her for her duties surrounding me. Every day I go over the many reasons why I’m still around because of her, a habit I have picked up that even she doesn’t know about.
And she knows a damn lot. Which she should, being what she is.
I had always wanted to repay her, but doing so would also mean if she were to need saving, she would have to be in very serious trouble, as everyone knows, the most “solid” and AI can get is basically the system they reside in; someone can hold a gun to the hologram and that AI would scoff.
But hold that gun to the memory core of that Intelligence and alarms would be going off quicker
than a blink of an eye, and countless security measures would be brought up and activated even quicker than that. Luckily she resides within my grasp, no one can touch her, so that physical damage is not an option, save for the odd time she needs access to a new system, even then I am looking for any immediate threats to both her and I.
I have always dreaded the moment that rampancy would soon set in, even as the days turned
into weeks, which turned into months. Years. I always told myself that she was different, she was special- lucky even, that rampancy would skip her like how a stone would skip across a lake, each time its cold surface struck the water would be an AI having rampancy whilst the time in the air were the ones missed.
But then she woke me and I knew I was wrong. That the pebble had struck the water and was
She was adamant in saying she was ok at first. But years together had shown me her true
emotions and rarely have I seen her confused or even angry longer than a few seconds before her voice calmed and she was herself again.
This world that the Forerunners called Requiem changed her as well, degrading her even
further. I do admit had we not been pulled into this world, she would have perished in the middle of a system no man had been in for years. But those constant jumps from location to location to complete tasks have taxed her systems more than I would want it to. I can see her suffering, through her expressions when she appears in consoles before me, I can hear it in her voice. I would say I could feel her pain but I would be lying, sadly.
She forgets. She fights back. She’s ignoring requests and is reciting past logs from memories
I didn’t know Dr. Halsey had given her. There is so much more to her than I know of myself, which concerns me as well, because her mind is Dr. Halsey’s own, but she is also a totally different person, one whom is still a stranger to me after all these years.
Dr. Halsey had called me lucky. A word that has circled me for years, circling my actions.
Bothersome. But I also believe in chance as well.
And once every so often chance over rules luck. Chance came out the dominant force for us.
I finally have found my chance to repay her while I stand here watching her trying to access the
controls for a simple door, hearing her voice reach tones and pitches unfamiliar to me as she yells at it, the sound of the controls denying her access only fuelling her rage. I would stop her but I fear it would only provoke her, and with her knowledge on this type of technology, she may unwillingly trigger a security feature that would make this trip be for nothing.
I need to save her.
She is the closest thing I have to family and I will not let something like this take her away. Most
certainly not rampancy because she needs my help more than ever. We need to reach Dr. Halsey.
Time to give that stone another throw across the lake.
I wasn't going to have a third place, but this entry was too good to be outside of the prizes. I don't actually know what Wahrer Machine's prize will be yet, but I'll get something special in the post to him.
When I say "Honourable" I do mean honourable! There were some superb entries and I really wish I had more prizes to give out. Continue reading as there are some brilliant pieces here. I'm really sorry to those who just missed out, there is brilliant effort and artistry on display and I'm sure you can all appreciate how hard it was to choose winners.
RequiemI was born in Elysium,
now but a glass sheet.
After meeting Halsey,
Reach’s soil met my feet.
I was only six years old,
ripped from family and home.
But there were others here,
I was not alone.
We were to be soldiers,
the protectors of all man.
We were to be Spartans,
that was Halsey’s plan.
The training was relentless,
the challenges often cruel.
But such is the game of war,
a game that we would rule.
Our best was not good enough,
we were to be much more.
Our bodies were twisted,
to fit the armour that we wore.
Less than half of us made it,
Thirty of my comrades did fall.
They did not die as mere people though,
Spartans one and all.
Now you know my story,
now you know my past.
Surrounded on this distant world,
these days may be my last.
There is nothing left to do now,
but cry our bitter cry.
I will shout it at the last of them,
Spartans never die.
My dearest Cortana
When I was told to look after you by Captain Keyes,
I stood there in silence because I thought you were the bees knees
As we drifted in space for all that time,
I couldn't help but think that there's still one great barrier for us to climb
When you awoke me from my sleep,
One part of me wanted to stop and weep
And as our journey is near its end, there's only one thing left to say,
You really are my BEST FRIEND.
John - 117
Cheif's RequiemThe dark of night,The chill of frost,The empty space,When all is lost.
Take a step back,Open your eyes,Gaze up above,Look up to the skies.
The people once loved,Did not die in vain.I must soldier on,Overcome all the pain.
I'll rise from the depthsNo matter the cost.Clear the path,When all is not lost.
Dedicated to Cortana...
I would teach a Promethean Knight how to read:
*Camera flashes forward to Master Chief sitting in front of a Promethean Knight, which is holding the notebook in its little t-rex hands; it has the notebook held really close to its head. There are seated crawlers gathered round in a circle, and there are watchers hovering overhead. The Knight is slowly, but steadily reading each word aloud in a really angry voice.*
"...and, it, was, then, day. Rea-rea-rea"
*Promethean Knight looks up at Master Chief, Master Chief nods his head*
"rea-lised that, day, wer, no, l-lon-ger, litt'l, gurls: but, that, they, wer. but that day wer, litt'l wim-men."
Promethean Knight mumbles the last line again to itself, it slowly puts the book down and looks up. It then proceeds to loudly break down into a really awkward sobbing fit. The Master Chief pats it on its back.
Amazing, incredible, awesome.. there aren't enough adjectives to express my gratitude at the effort you guys have put in. There were, of course, many more entries, but I had to stop somewhere, so huge thanks to everyone else who entered too!
- Cowboy Out.