The article I originally submitted was full length (<400 words), and appeared on the site edited to fit their <200 category, a tussle with a crab hardly being frontpage news, as well as being heavily tweaked (rightly) to better fit the site’s tone and to be more accessible to anyone less familiar with the subject matter.
Anyway, thought I might as well stick the full original up here, I’m reasonably happy with it:
Science has emerged victorious today from what many consider to be its first boss encounter, after a group of marine biologists piloting a submersible managed to best a large crab to obtain a mysterious purple orb.
Doctor Michelle Johnson, one of the scientists involved, told us: “We had just passed through an area of reef suspiciously abundant in repair kits for our craft, when we came across a crab seemingly guarding this iridescent purple thing. It looked important and we’d never seen anything like it, so we had no choice but to engage.”
“After a disappointingly easy confrontation we obtained the orb, which unfortunately seems like it’s probably a new species of sea slug – which is still pretty neat – and not a myst… uh, quantum McGuffin sphere. I do feel more experienced for our victory, however.”
Future boss battles science must face are to include the anti-vax movement and climate-change deniers. While a big crab may not seem to line up thematically with these later confrontations, it has been posited that it is in order to keep with tradition, as many, many games feature a giant crab as an early boss.
The incident has ignited speculation within the scientific community as to who or what science’s end boss will be. Religion is favoured by some, but dismissed by others as too controversial. With the ongoing election campaign it is also speculated that the devs of Reality are teasing Donald Trump as the final conflict, as a denier of anthropocentric global warming as president of one of the most powerful countries – and biggest polluters – in the world would make for a high-stakes battle and a formidable opponent indeed.
A small faction favours a twist ending where science’s final opponent is humanity itself. By this point, they speculate, science will have upgraded itself to a post-singularity AI and humanity and its ethics will only be getting in the way of pure knowledge, leading to a climactic and emotional confrontation, although perhaps not quite so much for the emotionless AI.