Competition brings out the best in me.
— Art3mis

Art3mis (real name Samantha Cook) is a minor character and love interest of Wade Watts in the novel and film Ready Player One. In real life, Art3mis is actually a 19-year old gamer and blogger from British Columbia, but she is considered to be one of the strongest players in the OASIS, rivalled only by Parzival (Wade's avatar) and Aechs. Like many gunters, she participates in the Egg Hunt, an OASIS-wide challenge whose prize is the control of the whole MMORPG. Behind her sometimes callous and independent personality however, lies a girl troubled by low self-esteem. She took the name Art3mis after the Greek goddess of the hunt (and also because "Artemis" was already taken).

She first met Wade Watts after completing the first gate during a typical internet chat. At first, she only tried to interact with Watts in order to score an alliance and get a better chance of actually winning the competition. But in time, she and Wade develop a romantic relationship, and she ends up meeting other of Wade's entourage consisting of some of the most talented gunters in the OASIS. Together with her new teammates, she fought against the forces of the IOI led by Nolen Sorrento, who wants to take over the OASIS and turn it into an ad-filled paradise.

Battle vs. Asuna (by Killermoves)

There was whiteness everywhere, like being pulled into sea of milk, bottomless and unending. They could remember falling into a void, screaming, tearing, and admittedly, slightly pissing. It seemed to never end, until a loud painful thud rocked them back to reality, and they stood up disoriented and anxious.

Loud cheering can be heard everywhere, disembodied and phantasmal. They could hear… boys… chanting and screaming; their ears being filled with comments like “Fight!”, “Asuna my love! Marry me!”, “Art3mis you traitor! You didn’t told us you have a boyfriend you beeeetch!” All of these comments caused confusion and disgust among the girls.

Suddenly, another disembodied voice, this time more formal and sounded like a younger and sexier Jeff Bridges, filled their ears saying, “Greetings girls. I know you are wondering why you’re here today. My name is Clu, and like you, I too have been put here to moderate this grand little event we’ll be having today. To get straight to the point, the people here want you two to put on a show.”

“Who the fuck… What show?!” Art3mis yelled. “Who are you?! Show yourself!!”

“No… please not again…” mumbled Asuna.

The disembodied voice only laughed, before saying, “You don't know this, but right now there are two of you that have been placed on separate ends of this arena. And yes, you have been tasked to put on a show. We want you to hunt each other down and whoever gets to kill first, gets to go home. Your battle is being streamed right now to all horny boys back at home. So please make it interesting. Don’t let their Twitch money go to waste.”

“Wha… W-wait!”

“Happy hunting!” The voice said before disappearing.

***

It’s been almost half an hour walking through this nauseating white void, and Asuna was getting sick of it. Not only was her mission made difficult by the fact that there is no landmark to navigate from, but the color was giving her the worst migraine of her life. At least SAO had graphics and interesting environments. This place however, was designed to torture and maim.

“I have to get back,” Asuna said to herself for motivation. “Kirito needs me. I have to find a way…”

A loud bang then echoed throughout the void, and Asuna can hear the tang sound of the projectile hitting the floor right beside her. She quickly drew her sword and turned back, just in time to see another gamer girl preparing to pull off another shot from her blaster.

“Hi, you must be Asuna. The person I need to kill,” Art3mis greeted. “Such a shame really. You look so kawaii.”

“W-wait, let’s talk about this,” replied Asuna. But it was too late as Art3mis drew another blaster and opened fire on Asuna from two pistols. The Japanese girl managed to survive the initial barrage, her strong healing stats saving her. She then started dashing and dodging the plasma being thrown, before flipping into the air gracefully and landing towards the American girl, yelling, “Linear!”

Art3mis managed to roll away just in time, remarking, “Heh. Yelling your attacks out loud. So Japanese…”

The American girl then drew her Elvish sword and tried slash at Asuna. But the Japanese girl parried her attack before unleashing another, much stronger charged attack. The powerful hit threw Art3mis away and she started tumbling on the ground. As Art3mis tried to get back up, Asuna charged yet again, this time raining down multiple strikes at the former. The attack was so fast like machine gun fire, that Art3mis was seeing a hundred rapiers poke at her instead of one. Her armor continued to take the brunt of the attacks, but its hit points were now critically low that it was now rendered useless.

Art3mis back flipped and kept her distance. A few more charge attacks like that could devastate her now. Knowing that she could not possibly survive fighting up-close against that girl, Art3mis began unleashing her energy attacks at Asuna from afar. Asuna did manage to continue dodging, but Art3mis’s speed was now showing, giving the Japanese girl a harder time to get close.

It was only a matter of time before Asuna got clipped by the rapid-firing energy attacks. While her healing powers were holding up, the continuous damage was making it harder for her stats to keep her health up. She needs to act fast, or else she was going to get killed. So Asuna gave a powerful yell, as she unleashed her most powerful attack yet. Her sword started to charge and burst with blue light, becoming brighter and brighter. It was too late for Art3mis to stop her as Asuna’s Lambent Light finally exploded with energy like a supernova, and she was now going to bring that thing right at the American girl.

With blinding supersonic speed, Asuna dashed towards the still immobile Art3mis, screaming and yelling with all her energy, ready to finally finish this little show once and for all. Soon this will all be over. Soon she’ll be back in Kirito and Yui’s hands.

But she made no penetration. No flesh touched her sword. She was instead greeted by coarse hardness, as her body vibrated from her sword smashing though a wall, which was summoned by Art3mis for protection in the nick of time. The returning force pushed Asuna away, her energy and courage being zapped in an instant as she fell. Her attack though, blasted the walls like it was Jericho’s, as it crumbled and threw debris everywhere. It and the expanded energy from her attack also damaged Art3mis severely, and she too was thrown into the air and came spiraling down on the ground.

Though in pain, Asuna tried to get back up, using her sword as a crutch to help her stand. She saw Art3mis lying on the floor, motionless. Sensing an opportunity, Asuna limped towards Art3mis, preparing to coup de grace this show with a final stab.

Suddenly, Asuna felt a sharp burning pain through her chest. As she looked down with wary eyes, there was a fairly-sized bleeding hole, just right under the heart. Looking back up, she saw Art3mis, grinning at her, having thrown that powerful plasma attack in surprise. Asuna’s body now started to fade, as she saw her health bar finally and steadily go down.

“Game over, Waifu-chan,” Art3mis bantered.

“N-no…” Asuna whispered. To the surprise of Art3mis, Asuna continued walking towards her with her remaining energy. Her health points should have gone down by now, and it still is, but her body seems to be fighting death. Art3mis now began to scramble, using a healing spell as she got up. But it was too late to react as she is hit with a thrust at the abdomen, following by two quick punctures to her knees. As Art3mis yelled in pain, Asuna poured all her energy into an 8-strike combo.

The American girl tried to back away, but she is hit up and down with a multitude of strike. She could not do anything right now, as her manna was low and most her equipment was thrown from that blast. Asuna, tired and bleak, continued to pour everything, planning on taking this American girl with her.

But Asuna never had the chance. Her body finally succumbed to her wounds, her life points finally drained to zero. She then fell forward, closing her eyes and whispering to herself, “Kirito… tashkete…”

Art3mis heard no body crashing to the floor. Only sparks and shattered glass exploding right in front of her. Asuna was gone, and Art3mis had won. “Whew, that was fucking close,” Art3mis said as she sat down and rested.

Winner: Art3mis

Expert’s Opinion

Voters believe that Art3mis’s overwhelming advantage in distance and variety of attacks were too much for Asuna to counter. Asuna had to get close to win, and while she could do so with Flash Penetration, Art3mis’s spells and healing could still outmatch Asuna. In the end, the best gamer girl is Art3mis.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

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