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Sunny and the Syntax Errors of Doom: Chapter 10.2

by Spearmint


Sunny pulled the hovering ambassador back into the main area of the In-n-Out and placed it next to Robert. She dusted off her hands and watched the robots float side-by-side. Robert definitely looked cleaner and sleeker… she supposed Jasper's ambassador would be an older model, considering how he'd arrived here a generation ago.

Speaking of the ex-hero… Sunny glanced over at him again, but he was still dozing in the same position. For the first time since her quest started, Sunny was at a loss as to what to do. She checked Robert's battery and found that it was at twelve percent. How much longer until he'd be able to talk again? Sunny sighed.

"Okay, what should I do now?" She pulled out her notebook. "Seems like I'm almost done with my quest– we figured out who's behind the missing error descriptions. And there don't seem to be any dangers to fight off right now, or any puzzles to solve, other than getting home. But to know how to get home, I need to talk to Robert, and maybe Jasper's ambassador." She huffed. "Is there nothing I can do right now?"

Sunny slid onto a nearby bench and pouted. She'd expected various perils, challenges, and mysteries on her quest. But boredom was new.

While Robert's battery slowly increased to thirteen percent, then fourteen, then fifteen, Sunny changed positions seven times, got a drink from the soda machine, dusted off Jasper's ambassador, and debugged another error in the kitchen.

Finally, Robert beeped and floated higher, his screen glowing.

"Robert!" Sunny exclaimed, rushing over from the kitchen. "You're back!"

The robot blinked and rotated his arms a few times. "Indeed. I should've kept a closer eye on my battery level; being speechless is quite aggravating." He glanced at Jasper. "So, this is the missing hero?"

Jasper let out a snore, and Sunny nodded solemnly. "He just wants to go home. Were you told anything about how heroes are supposed to return home?"

Robert hummed. "I only recall hearing that heroes would go back to Earth when all their quest objectives were fulfilled."

"So, what were Jasper's objectives? Was there anything other than bringing peace to the warring nations?" Sunny looked down at him and regretfully stooped to shake him awake. "Sorry to interrupt your nap…"

The boy grumbled but eventually straightened up and blinked at Sunny. "What?" He rubbed his eyes.

"What were the goals of your quest, specifically?"

"To bring peace to the inhabitants of this world." Jasper grimaced. "Trust me, if there was anything else, I would've found it in my ambassador's source code. As it is, it's frustratingly vague." His eyes flicked to said ambassador, and he frowned, but didn't comment on it.

Sunny tapped her chin thoughtfully. "Well… I'd say the inhabitants of Javaland are pretty peaceful, and I'm hoping the other nations are doing alright after the war. But an ‘inhabitant' doesn't have to be a resident, right? It could just mean a person who's temporarily in a place?"

"What are you trying to say?" Jasper crossed his arms irritably.

"Maybe you need to be at peace too?" Sunny tried.

The ex-hero raised an eyebrow. "So, what, I need to meditate or something?"

"It couldn't hurt, right?"

He rolled his eyes. "Trust me, it's not going to work."

"There's no use in giving up before even trying." Sunny frowned. "Just five minutes. Please?"

Jasper let out a long sigh, but he rearranged himself until he was sitting cross-legged on the checkerboard floor. Sunny sat down as well, facing him and Robert.

Robert set a timer for five minutes, and Sunny tried to slow her breathing. She released her worries and was present in the moment, sitting inside an In-n-Out in a coding-based world with a talking robot ambassador and a pessimistic previous hero. Sunny stifled a giggle as the humor of the situation suddenly struck her. This was a far cry from slaying dragons and saving the world, but somehow, she wouldn't trade the two.

When Robert's timer went off, Sunny opened her eyes to see Jasper still stubbornly in this world. She waited a moment, but no portal appeared, and she sighed. "Okay, so that didn't work."

Jasper shrugged in a very I-told-you-so kind of way.

"Time for the next idea." She turned to Robert. "Is it alright if we charge Jasper's ambassador for a bit?"

"I'm at eighteen percent. A few minutes should be fine."

Sunny plugged Jasper's ambassador into the power pack, then looked back at Jasper. "While we wait, I have another thing to try!" She waved her notebook at him. "Read this."

Jasper squinted at it. "Swords are awesome?"

"No, no, the one right above that."

"You, the hero, will grow in some way throughout the journey. Embrace the change."

Sunny steepled her fingers and adopted her best wise look. "Exactly. How have you grown through your quest, Jasper?"

Jasper looked at Sunny, hesitated, then shrugged. "Dunno. I mean, I've learned coding, I guess?"

She nodded eagerly. "That's a start. But there must be something more. What about friends– did you learn that things are better together? Or that it's good to ask for help sometimes?"

"No… It was just me and the robot." He nodded at the ambassador, which was still charging.

"Hmm… What about problem-solving skills? Public speaking? Overcoming challenges?" Sunny pressed.

"Maybe?" Jasper didn't look convinced.

Sunny huffed in frustration. "Okay, tell me this, then. How did you achieve peace between the nations?"

"I just– I spoke code at them to get them to stop fighting, then oversaw the peace treaty." He shrugged. "It was silly, really. They were arguing which coding language was the best, but obviously they each have different strengths and weaknesses. And with the code I learned, it was simple enough to make them acknowledge that."

Sunny wondered what kind of code could make armies stop fighting. All she'd learned was debugging… She shook that jealousy out of her mind; there were more important things at hand. "Interesting. How exactly did you ‘make them' acknowledge that?"

"I–"

Suddenly, Jasper's ambassador beeped and glowed. Sunny jolted upright and hurried over to kneel in front of the robot.

"Hello-o, world-d-d."


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Sun Feb 05, 2023 4:03 am
Liminality wrote a review...



Hi again mint!

General Impressions

I liked the reveals in this chapter – the arguments over coding language is a nice light-hearted conflict that matches the tone of the setting. I’m definitely curious as to how exactly Jasper managed to make the nations listen to him. The tone here moves back into the more comedic, especially with Sunny’s meditation solution. The ending to the chapter is also a good one – I hadn’t expected to see ‘hello world’ so soon after the last error, so it caught me off guard and made me laugh!

Characterisation

Something I like about your writing here is how the characters’ moods and personalities are shown through the dialogue. Sunny’s style of speech sounds very conversational and calm. She’s not as formal as Robert, using more colloquialisms like “Okay” and “So . . . “ but it’s less emotionally charged, showing she feels more in control of the situation than Jasper does. Jasper comes across as being hostile and frustrated.

"Trust me, if there was anything else, I would've found it in my ambassador's source code. As it is, it's frustratingly vague."

The “trust me” and “as it is” have this cynical undertone.
"What are you trying to say?" Jasper crossed his arms irritably.

And this line is a classic for a character who doesn’t like what they’re being asked and doesn’t want to ‘confess’ or ‘reveal’ something <.<
His eyes flicked to said ambassador, and he frowned, but didn't comment on it.

I thought this line was a good hint of some hidden emotions – maybe guilt?
Because of this, I found the dialogue-heavy segments still very interesting to read and thought the scene flowed well in general.

Plot

Sunny steepled her fingers and adopted her best wise look. "Exactly. How have you grown through your quest, Jasper?"

I thought this was a funny moment! I almost didn’t catch Sunny parodying “wise” characters in fantasy series at first. It would be nice to have more of a transition in the narration or Sunny’s internal thoughts to show she is trying to use epic fantasy tropes to solve the problem here – because initially she was trying to think about the objectives/
Hmm I’m guessing there must be something else about Jasper that prevented him being at peace when he had fulfilled his objective (it can’t be guilt since back then he hadn’t taken his ambassador apart yet) – unless of course Sunny is wrong here about his inner peace being the solution.
The only thing I can think of at the moment is that Jasper used something forceful rather than something clever – and so it didn’t bring peace.

Worldbuilding

She dusted off her hands and watched the robots float side-by-side.

This part made me wonder: can the ambassadors float without batteries? I think the old ambassador doesn’t have any power at this point, so it seems like they’re floating all by themselves.
But an ‘inhabitant' doesn't have to be a resident, right? It could just mean a person who's temporarily in a place?

Oh that’s a nice thing about the definitions! Very fitting for a world based off of code where things have to be defined very explicitly. I wonder if this is going to be the right solution in the end, though.

Overall

The main strengths of this chapter were the characterisation and the continuous plot progression. I didn’t feel like there was anything unnecessary – even the comic relief parts help to build atmosphere and establish Jasper as a grudging ‘friend’ character now. My main suggestion would just be to make the epic fantasy parody parts a bit more obvious (if it was the intention to reference the tropes in Sunny’s notebooks in that way!).

Hope this helps!
-Lim




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Sun Jan 29, 2023 4:58 am
KateHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Well this was a lovely moment here. It seems both our ambassadors are waking up and just having Robert here is already letting us explore some new avenues that Jasper never managed to think of. Sunny will definitely pull this off and easily.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Sunny pulled the hovering ambassador back into the main area of the In-n-Out and placed it next to Robert. She dusted off her hands and watched the robots float side-by-side. Robert definitely looked cleaner and sleeker… she supposed Jasper's ambassador would be an older model, considering how he'd arrived here a generation ago.

Speaking of the ex-hero… Sunny glanced over at him again, but he was still dozing in the same position. For the first time since her quest started, Sunny was at a loss as to what to do. She checked Robert's battery and found that it was at twelve percent. How much longer until he'd be able to talk again? Sunny sighed.


Well thankfully it looks like at the very least Robert is getting charged as normal and nothing seems to have been done to that. The other ambassador also doesn't appear to be in too much of a bad spot so far.

"Okay, what should I do now?" She pulled out her notebook. "Seems like I'm almost done with my quest– we figured out who's behind the missing error descriptions. And there don't seem to be any dangers to fight off right now, or any puzzles to solve, other than getting home. But to know how to get home, I need to talk to Robert, and maybe Jasper's ambassador." She huffed. "Is there nothing I can do right now?"

Sunny slid onto a nearby bench and pouted. She'd expected various perils, challenges, and mysteries on her quest. But boredom was new.

While Robert's battery slowly increased to thirteen percent, then fourteen, then fifteen, Sunny changed positions seven times, got a drink from the soda machine, dusted off Jasper's ambassador, and debugged another error in the kitchen.


Ooooh I love this. Just a lovely little montage moment of Sunny having to wait for Robert to charge back up a bit and making some very good decisions about how to while away time there. This was quite fun.

Finally, Robert beeped and floated higher, his screen glowing.

"Robert!" Sunny exclaimed, rushing over from the kitchen. "You're back!"

The robot blinked and rotated his arms a few times. "Indeed. I should've kept a closer eye on my battery level; being speechless is quite aggravating." He glanced at Jasper. "So, this is the missing hero?"


Well Robert seems to be taking the situation he was in quite nicely. At least it seems he's going to immediately focus on getting things done instead of grumbling for a while, which is a little bit unlike Robert but very helpful to the current situation. I feel like Robert has definitely sensed how serious this moment currently is.

Jasper let out a snore, and Sunny nodded solemnly. "He just wants to go home. Were you told anything about how heroes are supposed to return home?"

Robert hummed. "I only recall hearing that heroes would go back to Earth when all their quest objectives were fulfilled."

"So, what were Jasper's objectives? Was there anything other than bringing peace to the warring nations?" Sunny looked down at him and regretfully stooped to shake him awake. "Sorry to interrupt your nap…"

The boy grumbled but eventually straightened up and blinked at Sunny. "What?" He rubbed his eyes.


Well it seems we've got Jasper to fill in the quota of grumbling there. And I love that it does look like immediately we've found ourselves some sort of loophole there that led to Jasper not being able to make it out. It seems that we've definitely get more than enough hope to work with here as far as finding a way out is concerned.

"What were the goals of your quest, specifically?"

"To bring peace to the inhabitants of this world." Jasper grimaced. "Trust me, if there was anything else, I would've found it in my ambassador's source code. As it is, it's frustratingly vague." His eyes flicked to said ambassador, and he frowned, but didn't comment on it.

Sunny tapped her chin thoughtfully. "Well… I'd say the inhabitants of Javaland are pretty peaceful, and I'm hoping the other nations are doing alright after the war. But an ‘inhabitant' doesn't have to be a resident, right? It could just mean a person who's temporarily in a place?"


Ooooh I see where you're going with this Sunny. It looks like we're about to run into some good old fashioned magical technicalities and I absolutely adore them. It also means hopefully Sunny can pull this off without putting herself in too much danger.

"What are you trying to say?" Jasper crossed his arms irritably.

"Maybe you need to be at peace too?" Sunny tried.

The ex-hero raised an eyebrow. "So, what, I need to meditate or something?"

"It couldn't hurt, right?"

He rolled his eyes. "Trust me, it's not going to work."

"There's no use in giving up before even trying." Sunny frowned. "Just five minutes. Please?"


Oh this is certainly the most epic final battle I've ever seen xD. I adore Sunny's idea here. I think it definitely does work wonders and honestly it appears to be the right solution. Being at peace seems like something Jasper very much struggled with and the way that objective was so vague definitely suggests there's something to it although maybe they'll have to revive the old ambassador first before discovering whatever sends Jasper back at last. This does feel like maybe its only the first suggest solution that may not work just yet.

Jasper let out a long sigh, but he rearranged himself until he was sitting cross-legged on the checkerboard floor. Sunny sat down as well, facing him and Robert.

Robert set a timer for five minutes, and Sunny tried to slow her breathing. She released her worries and was present in the moment, sitting inside an In-n-Out in a coding-based world with a talking robot ambassador and a pessimistic previous hero. Sunny stifled a giggle as the humor of the situation suddenly struck her. This was a far cry from slaying dragons and saving the world, but somehow, she wouldn't trade the two.

When Robert's timer went off, Sunny opened her eyes to see Jasper still stubbornly in this world. She waited a moment, but no portal appeared, and she sighed. "Okay, so that didn't work."


Well that happened about as well as I thought it would and I love that Sunny can both see the humor in what's happening at the moment while at the same time taking the exercise seriously. Well, it looks like getting Jasper's ambassador charged up and checking in on precisely what those goals were will be the best way forward there.

Jasper shrugged in a very I-told-you-so kind of way.

"Time for the next idea." She turned to Robert. "Is it alright if we charge Jasper's ambassador for a bit?"

"I'm at eighteen percent. A few minutes should be fine."

Sunny plugged Jasper's ambassador into the power pack, then looked back at Jasper. "While we wait, I have another thing to try!" She waved her notebook at him. "Read this."


Ooooh...of course. Of course. Jasper clearly doesn't seem to have had himself a beautiful notebook like that. That could definitely go a long way to explain some of the difficulties that he has clearly had here although I am definitely thinking that Jasper now just skimped out on doing something that he was meant to. He seems desperate enough to go back that he might have done that, or perhaps just missed it in his hurry.

Jasper squinted at it. "Swords are awesome?"

"No, no, the one right above that."

"You, the hero, will grow in some way throughout the journey. Embrace the change."

Sunny steepled her fingers and adopted her best wise look. "Exactly. How have you grown through your quest, Jasper?"

Jasper looked at Sunny, hesitated, then shrugged. "Dunno. I mean, I've learned coding, I guess?"


Well that doesn't seem like nearly enough growth there, and Jasper certainly looks like the sort of person that definitely needs to grow up just a little bit judging by the outlook he tends to have and the way he's treating everyone around him at the oment.

She nodded eagerly. "That's a start. But there must be something more. What about friends– did you learn that things are better together? Or that it's good to ask for help sometimes?"

"No… It was just me and the robot." He nodded at the ambassador, which was still charging.

"Hmm… What about problem-solving skills? Public speaking? Overcoming challenges?" Sunny pressed.

"Maybe?" Jasper didn't look convinced.

Sunny huffed in frustration. "Okay, tell me this, then. How did you achieve peace between the nations?"


Hmm well Sunny is really cutting to the heart of the matter with those questions there. She was definitely born to play this hero role. She is very much a natural at this even with the limited knowledge and time she has to work with. I have a feeling this will quickly reveal the answers.

"I just– I spoke code at them to get them to stop fighting, then oversaw the peace treaty." He shrugged. "It was silly, really. They were arguing which coding language was the best, but obviously they each have different strengths and weaknesses. And with the code I learned, it was simple enough to make them acknowledge that."

Sunny wondered what kind of code could make armies stop fighting. All she'd learned was debugging… She shook that jealousy out of her mind; there were more important things at hand. "Interesting. How exactly did you ‘make them' acknowledge that?"

"I–"

Suddenly, Jasper's ambassador beeped and glowed. Sunny jolted upright and hurried over to kneel in front of the robot.

"Hello-o, world-d-d."


OOOOOOOH love this ending. The ambassador waking up with that perfect, perfect little line there and I also adore that Sunny just has a tiny moment to be jealous there to remind us that she is still the very real person we've seen so far. I really love those little details and of course the ambassador waking up definitely will be very exciting here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, another lovely chapter. I can sense things slowly being set up here for our grand finale, which might mean *gasp* we're getting close to the end of this story. Well, well. Let's see what we manage here.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Kate





we went from advice to meth real quick
— ShadowVyper