**Bsh1's DART Race: Round 1**

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Posts in total: 97
Who is the ultimate DARTer?! Clearly, they'll need to be someone who is talented. This round is therefore all about showcasing your talents. But, before we get to the maxi-challenge (and the announcement of our guest judge), we're going to get started with the first mini-challenge of the Race! Oh, and a review of the competition rules, of course.

== Speed Demons ==

1. Speed
2. Virt
3. Ram
4. Supa
5. RM
6. Oro
7. KM

== Rules ==

Each round of competition will involve a different challenge. Four rounds will begin with a "mini-challenge" and all rounds will contain a "maxi-challenge." In the final determination of the round winner, the mini- and maxi-challenges will not be scored separately, but will instead be considered together, with an emphasis placed on the maxi-challenge.

I will judge every round. It is my hope to get guest judges (who may also be eliminated contestants) for at least four of the rounds. In cases where there is a guest judge, we will confer holistically to identify a round winner and two round losers. The guest judge and I must concur on those decisions. These decisions are not point-based, but rather are based on the judges' deliberations, analysis, and impressions.

The two losers will then "rap battle for their lives," after being given certain parameters for their raps. These parameters will change each round. Only the bottom two will rap battle, and only they will be at risk of elimination. The guest judge and I (or just me, when there is no guest judge) will each handicap the two bottom constants with points out of 10 (with fewer points being worse for the contestant) prior to the rap. The contestants raps will then be judged and scored out of 20 (again, with fewer points being worse for the contestant). The contestant with the highest points after the rap battle will be saved, and the other will be eliminated. Ties will be decided exclusively by me. As you can see, the rap battle is more valuable than the handicap. In one competition round, to be decided by me, neither of the bottom two contestants will be eliminated.

Mini-challenge wins (decided solely by me) may convey maxi-challenge advantages, and some mini- or maxi-challenges may require contestants to work in teams. The Finale will have a special maxi-challenge and rap battle. The format will be explained at the time the round begins. 

Here is the tournament round schedule (asterisks indicate rounds with guest judges):

R1: Talent Show w/ Mini-Challenge*
R2: Speed Debating*
R3: Voting Bonanza w/ Mini-Challenge*
R4: DART Roast w/ Mini-Challenge*
R5: Brain Games
R6: Finale w/ Mini-Challenge

== Mini-Challenge ==

Unfortunately, the Fan Fic round was cut due to a dearth of participants. But, never fear! Creative writing is the name of the game for this mini-challenge. 

You are tasked with composing a 150-750 word (not character) flash fiction piece or still-life writing centered on the theme of "competition." The theme is open to your interpretations, as long as the guest judge and I get it. You will have two days from the time stamp of this post to write and submit your pieces. You submit your work by posting it to this thread.

Do not plagiarize or violate the COC in your submissions. Do not work together or with others on your submissions. The contestant who writes my favorite piece will earn an advantage in the maxi-challenge, which will be disclosed later.

Good luck, and let the Race begin!
--> @RationalMadman, @Virtuoso, @SupaDudz, @Ramshutu, @Speedrace
--> @oromagi, @K_Michael
Ping 2x.
--> @bsh1
Yay you named the contestants after me :D
--> @bsh1
At risk of sounding like Alec what is “still life” fiction?
--> @Ramshutu

It's when, instead of writing a story, you describe a moment. There's no plot, it's just a focused effort to paint a picture with words.
--> @Speedrace
Lol :)
--> @bsh1
No plot, and try to paint a scene.

Just call it Stephanie Meyer next time, and avoid all this confusion.
--> @Ramshutu
--> @bsh1
The gunshot sounds, the race begins, and at that moment, the crowd stands and watch as the race commences. Step by step the horses gallop to the be the front horse, the one in the lead of the pack. The wind blows through the jockeys tight outfit that’s made for his horse to be as light as possible while running to the finish. The first turn approaches with no lead man in sight while the crowd gasps to see if their tickets will be right. Gambling is on and wages are on, but the horses don’t care. They care about finishing at the top. The crack of the whip, the gallop of hooves, the cheering of the crowd fuels the horses more. A man approaches the front of the pack and becomes closer to that title as he rides along through the straightaway a long distance away. Gallop gallop gallop. Horses collide heads and mesh together to dethrone the man on top. From the crowd cheers, a smaller horse weaves his way forward. Some call him “Benelux Master,” for that is his gambling name. The 500/1 odd winner is pushing the lead to the top. Juking and juking to the top, as for every step of the straightaway, he makes more progress on the lead horse. The rankings start to change toward his favor and to his success. From last to 5, his name is climbing, until he is second on the top. The bigger horse is in sight while the straight finishes, is as big as the Sears Tower. The little horses pushes with his might as the whip cracks to start the turn. The turn commences and the bigger horse is still in the way. The large horses body blocks the tiny horse from moving around as he tries to push away from the crowd. The turn looks tough and it seems endless, blocking the vision of the tiny horses. Easing his way out of the pack, he makes a mad dash away from the pack and starts to turn to a neck to neck finish. The final run is closest of them all. For every 1 step from the big horse, it takes 3 of the little. Benelux pushes and pushes until he draws in first by a slight margin. The bigger horse loses his energy and is falling behind. The checkered flag is in plain site and is visible for the horses, he reaches and kicks off the sand of the track, and the underdog comes out on top, as the crowd gasps in shock. Money is lost and tickets are ruined, but for Benelux, that doesn’t matter. He is victorious and proved all the doubters wrong, hoisting his trophy, for he was a champion.

(edit: Changed turn to straight)

--> @bsh1
"A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work." -Colin Powell.

Once again, I fall. Rolling quickly to absorb the shock, I grit my teeth and heave myself back into a standing position. The sun and stinging sweat try to close my eyes, but I’m not tired. I’m angry.
“Get up, Clarisse.” The man standing before me offers my sword to me once more, hilt first. Despite my muscles’ protests, I reach forward and once again grasp that leather-wrapped hilt, built for my hand. “This time, Ven, I’ll get you for sure.”
“That’s the spirit! Well, then let’s continue.” He brings up his own blade. “Give me everything you have, Clarisse!” His earnest voice spurs me, eager for victory. A thrust, a parry, slash, dodge, stab forward, deflection. I can feel my body giving up the fight, but I’m not ready yet. With a savage yell, I change my swing’s direction in midair, bringing it down on his hilt. Ven almost loses his grip, and his momentum is dead. I grin, finally where I had been striving for. I close the distance between us with two steps, wresting his sword away. My own is pushed up against his unguarded gut.
He looks down, almost curiously, at the point digging into his tunic. Then he grins and laughs. “Yes! I knew you could it.”
I drop the blade, a tired satisfaction coursing through my veins. Five years I'd worked towards this very moment, grueling exercise and countless hours. But in that instant, it is all worth it.
Ven looks out to the silent audience. "Today," he says, "the student has become the master."

It's Tuesday morning, 5:20am. Terry's already brushing his teeth, pearly white thanks to his care and also his hygienist's work. The high-rising banker hires only the highest risers of the dental profession, after all. What's on the News today? He taps his iPad and finds out, subscribed to right-wing Media and dabbling into some left-wing Media just to keep on top of things, Terry is always one step ahead. He will always write that extra phrase to thank a colleague in an e-mail, always go the extra mile to ensure the satisfaction of his clients. Terry is a winner, even when he's writing a story online. Why does he do it? Why not sit down like a Zen Buddhist embracing the day as it comes? Terry would answer you, but he's already putting on his shoes, ready to get to work.     
--> @Ramshutu
There is still plot in such stories. It's just very very short.
--> @Virtuoso, @Ramshutu, @oromagi, @Speedrace
Three entries so far. Four to go. This ping is just a reminder that you've got about a day left.
--> @bsh1
I gotchu
   “They have to make it a Round Robin. Elimination makes no sense. They won’t want the winner to just be lucky,” said a burly man to the group as he paced, “they have to agree to that.”
    The group erupted in a cacophony of agreement.
    “Thats right,” agreed a spindly man on the right, “they’ve got to see the benefit in more ticket sales.”
    A third man towards the front of the room shook his head. “Guys, guys, guys”, he gesticulated to everyone, “let’s just wait for him to get back, see what they say. This is all speculation, Max is pitching it to the organizers and we’ll hear what they said when he come back.”
    Before anyone could say another word, a grimy, lump of a man lumbered morosely around the corner. His sandals dragging in the sand, he painted a picture of defeat.
     The group shuffled anxiously as they waited for him to take is place at the front of the room. Once there, he simply
stood staring at the ground.
    There was an awkward silence 
    “So?” A bearded man barked gruffly through the tension.
    Max sighed.
    “They said no to Round Robin. No to 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw,” he stated. 
    He was greeted with gasps of disappointment.
    “It’s also a no to a third place play off. No to having - podium for top three finishers.”
    A murmur of angry whispers circled the room for a moment.
    “For what cretinous reason do they not want to give 1 point for a tie?” A nameless voice shouted from the back of the room.
    Max reached into his pocket and produced a small crumped peace of paper. Taking a moment to unfold it methodologically, he held it up a few inches from his face and squinted.
    “They said, ‘this competition is a fight to the death, and as such, Ties, third place playoffs and round robin are problematic to implement. While we considered the podium idea, the practicality of determining which body parts belong to third place makes this difficult to accomplish.’”
    “That’s some straight up Bullshit, Maximus,” a large retiarus at the back proclaimed, throwing down his bronze helmet. “Worse games ever!”
    The group angrily choruses their agreement.
    “There is some good news, but also some more bad news”, Maximus said loudly over the rising volume.
    “Well?” asked the Retarius.
    “They’re going to give us the Lion Maskots we asked for,” he said slowly. “That’s the good news”
     “And the bad news?” Growled the Retarius.
     Maximus didn’t answer, and instead turned his hairy back to the crowd. 
    There was silence for a time as the group pondered and processed what was happening.
     “Is that a bite mark?” Whispered a voice at the back.

Vince waits in the car for his parents to finish talking outside. He puts his head down to pretend like he is asleep, surreptitiously eavesdropping on their conversation.

“Dave, you can’t take my son skydiving! Do you know how dangerous that is?”

“He’s my son too, Haley! I’m trying to connect with him! Just because he loves our weekends together more than living with you doesn’t mean that-“

“Oh, don’t pull that on me! You don’t get to squander your six-figure salary on my son and claim that he loves you more.”

“Well, it’s not my fault that one of us can afford to support our son!”

Haley slams her hand on the hood of the car.

“You know what Dave? That’s it! I’m filing for full custody.”

“Oh, so now it isn’t enough to ruin my life, now you have to steal my son’s father from him?”

“He’s MY son! Stop claiming him! I carried that boy around in my body for 9 months, and I’m not giving up on him now!”

“Haley, don’t be rash-“

“This is payback for cheating on me all of those years ago. You didn't deserve me, and you don’t deserve him!


Both parents look up in surprise as their son climbs out of the car and turns to face them.

“I’m not a trophy! Why is it that neither of you loves me?” says Vince.

Dave says “I do love you, buddy-“

“Oh shut up, Dave, you brat. He LIVES with me,” replies  Haley.

“This is exactly what I’m talking about! You don’t love me for me; you just want to win the battle.”

“What battle, honey?” says Haley.

“The battle between you and dad! When you broke up, it became all about “who can impress Vince more” and “who can spoil Vince more?”What about actually loving and caring for me? When will I ever feel that way?”

Haley and Dave stare at each other for a few seconds, reflecting on the decisions that led them to this point.

“Well, when you want to start treating me like an actual son, let me know.”

As Vince climbs back into the car, Haley bursts into tears and Dave gets misty-eyed, realizing their grave mistake their grave mistake. Dave leans over and puts his hand on Haley’s shoulder.

“I promise to do better. Can we agree to put aside our differences for our son?”

Haley sniffs. “Yes, let’s repair this before it gets anymore broken.”

Both parents turn to climb into the car, ready to fix their family and give their son what he needs: love.

(436 words)
I know it's bad, so don't judge me (unless you're a judge).
--> @Speedrace
I went for a similar angle to you but I felt like the 'competition is corrupt' angle in and of itself would be too ironic as we're in one. I don't get why you think yours was bad, it was good for its angle. Good luck.

I went more for 'competition is neither this nor that' and realised a really funny way to end it that shows you how the 'losers' feel.
--> @oromagi
where's your entry?
--> @RationalMadman
Yours was short and sweet, I was originally gonna do something kind of similar with a high school valedictorian but it was too much work, I didn’t want to do a generic “competition” type one though
I'm writing total crap like crazy now.  that's why I'm asking how much time do we have?
--> @oromagi
It ended at 6 past the hour lol
apologies in advance.