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Sunny and the Syntax Errors of Doom: Chapter 11.2

by Spearmint


Sunny took another bite of the Earth-style burger, then pointed at Jessica's screen. "So here's the error we were working on. Looks like it has something to do with starting the quest… except the printStartingObjectives() method call doesn't lead anywhere. Did you delete the method, or comment it out, or…?"

An error brought Jasper another burger, and he munched on it as he stared at the screen. "I think I was going to write a printStartingObjectives() method, but I must've given up on it or forgotten about it…" He highlighted the line and deleted it.

"What about this other part?" Sunny scrolled down. "I fixed the ArrayIndexOutOfBounds error, but there's some more unfinished code."

Jasper frowned in concentration, then took over the keyboard and edited the lines of code. Next to him, Robert took possession of the battery pack again.

With Jasper helping, the process of debugging Jessica went much faster, and Sunny's hopes started to rise. If this was a sign of character growth for Jasper, then maybe once they finished debugging, the portal would appear. And then they could both go home! And she could go to college, and start her company, and write a book about her questing experience and do everything else in her plan…

The two summoned heroes alternated on the keyboard, getting rid of the red underlines. Robert interjected occasionally with tips or snarky comments, or both combined in one.

Sometime while they were working, night descended, and the moon rose and fell. Finally, as the first rays of dawn were starting to peek through the windows of the In-n-Out, they had gotten Jessica to working condition again.

The ambassador chirped and said, "Thank you! I feel like there are fewer gaps in me." She floated around experimentally. "I think some parts of my memory are still missing, but I can function much better now. Would you like to know the result of the square root of 10348234? Or perhaps I could look up the best recipes for at-symbol apple pie?"

Sunny smiled proudly at Jessica. "No need. I'm just glad to see you feeling better!"

Jasper yawned and stretched his arms over his head. "Yep. Now, unless the portal appears in the next five minutes, I'm going to sleep."

Sunny beamed at him too. "I'm sure it will! You've shown incredible growth and persistence. Now, the universe must reward your efforts, by the laws of questing."

"Don't get your hopes up," Robert said skeptically. "The only laws here are the ones of code."

Jasper sighed. "Yeah. I know this was a long shot, but…" He stared at the space above an empty patch of tiled floor wistfully, as if imagining a portal there.

Sunny stared at the same spot. Maybe if both of them visualized it enough and sent out positive vibes to the universe, one would really materialize.

Alas, after a few minutes of staring and wishing, nothing happened.

Robert coughed impatiently, and Sunny sighed. "Well. I've still got a list of more possible solutions to try–"

Jasper cut her off, shaking his head. He gave her a bitter smile. "I'll admit you made me hope for a while there, but if pulling an all-nighter and debugging for this so-called growth doesn't get me home, I'm afraid none of your other plans will. Good night. Or, well, morning." He started walking towards the back of the restaurant. "I'll bring you some blankets for today. But after that, I'd suggest you find yourself a place to stay for the next, oh, forever years."

Sunny stared after him. "But…"

"Give it up," Robert muttered. "He doesn't want to hear it."

"I– I can't just give up!" Sunny rounded on Robert. "Fine, then. If Jasper can't get his portal to work, maybe I can do mine. My quest objective was to solve the missing errors, right? So if I debug all the errors, I can get a portal?" Ah, yes. It was clear now. Sunny would debug the rest of the errors and thus return their descriptions to their rightful places in Javaland. Then the land would rejoice, Sunny would be a certified hero, and a portal to Earth would appear.

Sunny stalked determinedly past Robert to the kitchen, then started debugging with a passion. One by one, the errors unraveled and red text flew to Sunny's reference book, as well as out of the In-n-Out and down the mountain.

Robert floated to her and suggested getting rest for now and planning again the next day, but Sunny ignored him. Her plan would work this time. She shoved any doubts to the side and threw herself into the code.

Finally, the kitchen was clear of errors. Sunny checked the storage room and the main area of the In-n-Out, but they were free of red text. She wiped an arm across her forehead and let out an exhausted sigh. "Robert? Robert, I'm done." With bleary eyes, Sunny collapsed onto a seat. Late-afternoon sunlight streamed over her and Sunny had to fight the urge to fall asleep.

The ambassador floated over to her. Sunlight reflected off his shiny white form as he said, "Do you want to congratulate you? Well then, congratulations." Robert frowned slightly. "But I told you. It could've waited until later. You pushing yourself like this is like me running until I'm at 2% battery. Completely discharging my battery isn't healthy, and I'm sure the equivalent isn't good for humans either."

"Oh, so you care about my health now?" Sunny would've chuckled, but she was too tired.

Robert said something else, but Sunny had finally drifted off into sleep. She dreamed of dancing semicolons and red squiggly lines forming fish that leaped in and out of bowls made of brackets and parentheses. Oh, and there were so many parentheses… Parentheses forming eyebrows, parentheses like the roofs of houses, parentheses becoming sentient and living comfortable lives in Parentheses Town, U.S.A….

Sunny awoke with a start. She rubbed her eyes and shook off the remnants of her dream– something about punctuation?– and looked around. She was still at a table in the In-n-Out, but it looked like morning now. Had she slept since last afternoon?

She jolted upright. The errors! She'd finished debugging the errors. "The portal," she started. Sunny had meant to stay awake until the portal appeared… Surely it hadn't come and gone.

Robert floated over. "Feel rested?"

Sunny nodded and opened her mouth.

"Before you ask about the portal, no, it hasn't appeared." Robert angled one of his arms to the back of the In-n-Out. "Jasper's still back there. I don't think he appreciates that you dissolved all his chefs and assistants, but he hasn't complained too much."

Sunny frowned. She could've sworn… Her plan… "It was foolproof," she blurted. "Discover the source of the missing errors– check. Solve the problem and restore order to Javaland– check. Learn about debugging– check. Grow in some way– well, I've learned to communicate with you and Jasper, so that must count for something– check." She dropped her head into her hands. "No matter which way you slice it, I've completed my quest!"

Robert was silent for a moment, and then he said, "Sometimes things don't go the way you want or expect them to. It may be cliché, but it's true."

"Not for heroes!" Sunny blurted. She pulled out her notebook and flipped through it, jabbing at the pages. "Here. Rule 15. There will be a happy ending! What about this whole thing seems like a happy ending to you?"


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With Jasper helping, the process of debugging Jessica went much faster, and Sunny's hopes started to rise. If this was a sign of character growth for Jasper, then maybe once they finished debugging, the portal would appear. And then they could both go home! And she could go to college, and start her company, and write a book about her questing experience and do everything else in her plan…


Awwww... they're getting along!!!

Robert interjected occasionally with tips or snarky comments, or both combined in one.


...you know what I'm about to say, but I need to hear some of these snarky comments.

I'm also kind of curious how Jasper would respond??? Like, he's said that these ambassadors are just tools, so to hear Robert make snarky comments would be eye-opening, especially if they made him laugh. Because toasters wouldn't do that. Or perhaps he would just kind of roll his eyes and ignore Robert??? It would be really cool to see how in particular he reacts to Robert's snarkniess though!

Sunny beamed at him too. "I'm sure it will! You've shown incredible growth and persistence. Now, the universe must reward your efforts, by the laws of questing."

"Don't get your hopes up," Robert said skeptically. "The only laws here are the ones of code."


OH ROBERT, HOW I LOVE YOUR DIALOGUE. <333333

Jasper cut her off, shaking his head. He gave her a bitter smile. "I'll admit you made me hope for a while there, but if pulling an all-nighter and debugging for this so-called growth doesn't get me home, I'm afraid none of your other plans will. Good night. Or, well, morning." He started walking towards the back of the restaurant. "I'll bring you some blankets for today. But after that, I'd suggest you find yourself a place to stay for the next, oh, forever years."

Sunny stared after him. "But…"


I'm... kind of surprised that Sunny doesn't suggest that he sleep on it and maybe he'll feel better and they'll be able to figure it out when he wakes up??? I know that sometimes when my husband or I are trying to figure out something that neither of us can grasp and it's late at night, or we haven't slept well, the other person will kind of assure them that the problem can wait until morning, when we're better rested. Then, the next day, we talk it over and figure out the problem fairly quickly over some coffee.

So it seems weird that she wouldn't suggest to get a good night's sleep to me?? Like, that's one of my first things I would suggest, especially when there's real despair afoot!

(And also, I am kind of disappointed that Jasper doesn't yawn and do a dismissive hand gesture, haha.)

"Fine, then. If Jasper can't get his portal to work, maybe I can do mine. My quest objective was to solve the missing errors, right? So if I debug all the errors, I can get a portal?" Ah, yes. It was clear now. Sunny would debug the rest of the errors and thus return their descriptions to their rightful places in Javaland. Then the land would rejoice, Sunny would be a certified hero, and a portal to Earth would appear.


EXCEPT THE ERRORS WILL NEVER DISAPPEAR.

No, seriously, I told you my sister is getting her doctorate, right??? And she is doing a loooooot of programming. And the errors just seem to multiply. She is grumpy about this, haha.

The ambassador floated over to her. Sunlight reflected off his shiny white form as he said, "Do you want to congratulate you? Well then, congratulations." Robert frowned slightly. "But I told you. It could've waited until later. You pushing yourself like this is like me running until I'm at 2% battery. Completely discharging my battery isn't healthy, and I'm sure the equivalent isn't good for humans either."


YES, ROBERT. TELL HER TO SLEEP.

She dreamed of dancing semicolons and red squiggly lines forming fish that leaped in and out of bowls made of brackets and parentheses. Oh, and there were so many parentheses… Parentheses forming eyebrows, parentheses like the roofs of houses, parentheses becoming sentient and living comfortable lives in Parentheses Town, U.S.A….


The way this is phrased reminds me of the kind of lilt in "The Color Kittens" or other various children's books that I've read. ^^

Robert was silent for a moment, and then he said, "Sometimes things don't go the way you want or expect them to. It may be cliché, but it's true."

"Not for heroes!" Sunny blurted. She pulled out her notebook and flipped through it, jabbing at the pages. "Here. Rule 15. There will be a happy ending! What about this whole thing seems like a happy ending to you?"


IT'S A GOOD THING THAT SUNNY ISN'T IN MY STORY. SHE WOULD BE *QUESTIONING* CERTAIN THINGS.

...anyway, it doesn't seem like a happy ending. So... I guess onward to the next chapter???




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Fri Mar 03, 2023 3:52 pm
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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 having finally got around to this, this part went pretty much exactly as I thought it would. It seems poor Sunny really isn't going to be able to catch a break quite so quickly and she definitely put in the most work.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Sunny took another bite of the Earth-style burger, then pointed at Jessica's screen. "So here's the error we were working on. Looks like it has something to do with starting the quest… except the printStartingObjectives() method call doesn't lead anywhere. Did you delete the method, or comment it out, or…?"

An error brought Jasper another burger, and he munched on it as he stared at the screen. "I think I was going to write a printStartingObjectives() method, but I must've given up on it or forgotten about it…" He highlighted the line and deleted it.


Hmm well it appears we're starting right off with some solid cooperation there so that's somewhat promising of a note to be starting off on. And given we're so, so close to the end of this book I can't imaging there being too much in the way of last minute betrayals...unless....book two.

"What about this other part?" Sunny scrolled down. "I fixed the ArrayIndexOutOfBounds error, but there's some more unfinished code."

Jasper frowned in concentration, then took over the keyboard and edited the lines of code. Next to him, Robert took possession of the battery pack again.

With Jasper helping, the process of debugging Jessica went much faster, and Sunny's hopes started to rise. If this was a sign of character growth for Jasper, then maybe once they finished debugging, the portal would appear. And then they could both go home! And she could go to college, and start her company, and write a book about her questing experience and do everything else in her plan…


Well love that Sunny as usual is making sure to remind us of exactly how we're meant to have those priorities as it seems like we finally are headed towards something that appears to be a potential solution to this current problem.

The two summoned heroes alternated on the keyboard, getting rid of the red underlines. Robert interjected occasionally with tips or snarky comments, or both combined in one.

Sometime while they were working, night descended, and the moon rose and fell. Finally, as the first rays of dawn were starting to peek through the windows of the In-n-Out, they had gotten Jessica to working condition again.

The ambassador chirped and said, "Thank you! I feel like there are fewer gaps in me." She floated around experimentally. "I think some parts of my memory are still missing, but I can function much better now. Would you like to know the result of the square root of 10348234? Or perhaps I could look up the best recipes for at-symbol apple pie?"


Well...glad to see that all their efforts are going towards something. At the very least it looks like Jessica is starting to get better even if ultimately this won't actually end up doing what its meant to do and open those portals for them to leave.

Sunny smiled proudly at Jessica. "No need. I'm just glad to see you feeling better!"

Jasper yawned and stretched his arms over his head. "Yep. Now, unless the portal appears in the next five minutes, I'm going to sleep."

Sunny beamed at him too. "I'm sure it will! You've shown incredible growth and persistence. Now, the universe must reward your efforts, by the laws of questing."

"Don't get your hopes up," Robert said skeptically. "The only laws here are the ones of code."

Jasper sighed. "Yeah. I know this was a long shot, but…" He stared at the space above an empty patch of tiled floor wistfully, as if imagining a portal there.


Hmm given this isn't even the last chapter I suppose we can safely assume that portal isn't just going to appear. On one hand it is a mild annoyance but also potentially some time for them to get a little more friendly and to think of more solutions but also the fact that all of this isn't presenting a lot of answers at the moments does make me wonder if the second books problems are also starting to appear simultaneously to all this and that's what's stopping them from leaving.

Sunny stared at the same spot. Maybe if both of them visualized it enough and sent out positive vibes to the universe, one would really materialize.

Alas, after a few minutes of staring and wishing, nothing happened.

Robert coughed impatiently, and Sunny sighed. "Well. I've still got a list of more possible solutions to try–"

Jasper cut her off, shaking his head. He gave her a bitter smile. "I'll admit you made me hope for a while there, but if pulling an all-nighter and debugging for this so-called growth doesn't get me home, I'm afraid none of your other plans will. Good night. Or, well, morning." He started walking towards the back of the restaurant. "I'll bring you some blankets for today. But after that, I'd suggest you find yourself a place to stay for the next, oh, forever years."


Okay...well it looks like Jasper hasn't grown after all. I suppose it makes sense. You can't expect him to have the greatest of perseverance given the kind of situation he was just in. At least we got a few hours of help out of that.

Sunny stared after him. "But…"

"Give it up," Robert muttered. "He doesn't want to hear it."

"I– I can't just give up!" Sunny rounded on Robert. "Fine, then. If Jasper can't get his portal to work, maybe I can do mine. My quest objective was to solve the missing errors, right? So if I debug all the errors, I can get a portal?" Ah, yes. It was clear now. Sunny would debug the rest of the errors and thus return their descriptions to their rightful places in Javaland. Then the land would rejoice, Sunny would be a certified hero, and a portal to Earth would appear.

Sunny stalked determinedly past Robert to the kitchen, then started debugging with a passion. One by one, the errors unraveled and red text flew to Sunny's reference book, as well as out of the In-n-Out and down the mountain.


Well sadly it looks like this one time Sunny might also be making a bit of a rash decision there and not considering everything. I have a feeling this moment also disqualifies her as a hero to some degree for snapping under all that pressure and being a little selfish. Its a very realistic little moment but still a sad one.

Robert floated to her and suggested getting rest for now and planning again the next day, but Sunny ignored him. Her plan would work this time. She shoved any doubts to the side and threw herself into the code.

Finally, the kitchen was clear of errors. Sunny checked the storage room and the main area of the In-n-Out, but they were free of red text. She wiped an arm across her forehead and let out an exhausted sigh. "Robert? Robert, I'm done." With bleary eyes, Sunny collapsed onto a seat. Late-afternoon sunlight streamed over her and Sunny had to fight the urge to fall asleep.


Well Sunny has definitely been awake a little longer than she probably should have given she definitely looks far more exhausted than she has had at any other point. It also does seem like this isn't exactly a magical plan that's going to work perfectly so Sunny might be in for double the disappointment.

The ambassador floated over to her. Sunlight reflected off his shiny white form as he said, "Do you want to congratulate you? Well then, congratulations." Robert frowned slightly. "But I told you. It could've waited until later. You pushing yourself like this is like me running until I'm at 2% battery. Completely discharging my battery isn't healthy, and I'm sure the equivalent isn't good for humans either."

"Oh, so you care about my health now?" Sunny would've chuckled, but she was too tired.

Robert said something else, but Sunny had finally drifted off into sleep. She dreamed of dancing semicolons and red squiggly lines forming fish that leaped in and out of bowls made of brackets and parentheses. Oh, and there were so many parentheses… Parentheses forming eyebrows, parentheses like the roofs of houses, parentheses becoming sentient and living comfortable lives in Parentheses Town, U.S.A….


Poor Sunny definitely earned this little rest here although I have a feeling this is sadly not going to end up doing too too much for poor Sunny in terms of actually achieving her goal. Well hopefully this doesn't end up being too discouraging for her. I'm sure Robert and those little glimpses of genuine care will help out here.

Sunny awoke with a start. She rubbed her eyes and shook off the remnants of her dream– something about punctuation?– and looked around. She was still at a table in the In-n-Out, but it looked like morning now. Had she slept since last afternoon?

She jolted upright. The errors! She'd finished debugging the errors. "The portal," she started. Sunny had meant to stay awake until the portal appeared… Surely it hadn't come and gone.

Robert floated over. "Feel rested?"

Sunny nodded and opened her mouth.

"Before you ask about the portal, no, it hasn't appeared." Robert angled one of his arms to the back of the In-n-Out. "Jasper's still back there. I don't think he appreciates that you dissolved all his chefs and assistants, but he hasn't complained too much."


Well...Robert managed to put that surprisingly nicely. It wasn't exactly the most buttered u way to break news that bad, but it certainly wasn't as snarky as it could've been. Well hopefully Sunny doesn't take this too badly. I feel like she expected this deep down even though she tried to hope for the best.

Sunny frowned. She could've sworn… Her plan… "It was foolproof," she blurted. "Discover the source of the missing errors– check. Solve the problem and restore order to Javaland– check. Learn about debugging– check. Grow in some way– well, I've learned to communicate with you and Jasper, so that must count for something– check." She dropped her head into her hands. "No matter which way you slice it, I've completed my quest!"

Robert was silent for a moment, and then he said, "Sometimes things don't go the way you want or expect them to. It may be cliché, but it's true."

"Not for heroes!" Sunny blurted. She pulled out her notebook and flipped through it, jabbing at the pages. "Here. Rule 15. There will be a happy ending! What about this whole thing seems like a happy ending to you?"


Well...you see...Sunny you need to look at that fine print, specifically the part that says the author reserves the right to provide a temporary sad ending in the event of a sequel opportunity. Don't worry usually in the sequel the endings are even better, unless you were unfortunate enough to be the victim of a trilogy.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, a strong moment I think to witness Sunny experience a bit of desperation and some powerful shock and generally negative emotions for the first time in what has been a mostly lighthearted affair. I think you executed it pretty well and I can't wait to see how this has been brought to its end.

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

Stay Safe
Kate




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Mon Feb 13, 2023 9:00 am
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Liminality wrote a review...



Hi again mint!

General Impressions

This chapter went from tentatively hopeful to a state where the characters are stuck at a dead end again. I thought the code collaboration dialogue at the beginning was pretty believable – reminds me of conversations I’ve had with my lecturer over some code xD I felt bad for Sunny when she kept dissolving the errors and yet the portal wouldn’t appear, even though I kind of predicted that was coming.

Glows – What I liked

I liked the first scene of this part where Sunny and Jasper are coding. The character descriptions of them just eating burgers and looking over code has a mundane atmosphere that contrasts the more dramatic previous parts. Whereas the previous part focused on Sunny’s differences from Jasper, this one shows their common ground: coding and burgers :D

Besides that, I like how you’ve shown Sunny’s optimism in a more negative light here. I thought it was neat that after Jasper’s ‘fatal flaw’ is considered, Sunny’s problem receives the focus as well, namely that she is insistently optimistic and thinks the world ‘should’ play out like it does in certain stories. The way Sunny’s thoughts return to what she plans to do after returning to Earth and also how she controls the topic of conversation shows this really well:

Sunny beamed at him too. "I'm sure it will! You've shown incredible growth and persistence. Now, the universe must reward your efforts, by the laws of questing."

^ For instance, although she’s talking about Jasper’s efforts, it’s not a stretch even at this point to say that Sunny thinks the universe *must* reward her too. This kind of feels like a ‘dark night of the soul’ for Sunny’s arc and could be a point for her character to grow or change.

Grows – Ideas to consider

I wonder if the last few paragraphs of this part could do with a little more narration or character actions or setting descriptions. At the moment, it’s mostly dialogue (and well-written emotional dialogue), though it would be nice to have a more rounded scene to convey Sunny’s emotional distress perhaps.

I’m also curious about the purpose of the ‘paranthesis dream’. All I can tell is that 1. It makes sense for Sunny to fall asleep at that point and 2. The dream shows she’s been coding a lot, which the reader already knows. Was there a symbolic purpose to it? Or I wonder if that dream scene could be used for foreshadowing? (Maybe there is already some foreshadowing there that I’m missing <.<)

A third idea to consider would be Jessica’s character in this chapter. I wonder if she has something to say about the whole questers-not-returning-home issue. After all, she is an ambassador – I would assume she’s motivated to make sure the quests go as planned. I kind of wish she had more plot-involved dialogue in this chapter, but maybe that’s just me c:

Overall

This chapter is getting me more interested in the ‘ending’ of the story. It looks like Jasper wasn’t the only one who needed some character growth, at least at the moment. I’m curious how the problem will be resolved in the end, because at this point I don’t expect Sunny is really going to sit down and remain in Javalandia all her life.

Hope this helps – let me know if you’d like more feedback on something specific!
-Lim




Spearmint says...


Hiya, Lim! Thanks for the wonderful review! ^-^
Whereas the previous part focused on Sunny%u2019s differences from Jasper, this one shows their common ground: coding and burgers :D

Aww! XD ^ My fav line from this review.
This kind of feels like a %u2018dark night of the soul%u2019 for Sunny%u2019s arc and could be a point for her character to grow or change.

Ooh, I'm glad you caught that! Now to see if I can manage to write that character growth... >.>
though it would be nice to have a more rounded scene to convey Sunny%u2019s emotional distress perhaps.

Ah, makes sense. *takes notes*
Was there a symbolic purpose to it? Or I wonder if that dream scene could be used for foreshadowing?

Nope, it was just some coding-inspired gibberish. xD But adding foreshadowing would be cool...
After all, she is an ambassador %u2013 I would assume she%u2019s motivated to make sure the quests go as planned. I kind of wish she had more plot-involved dialogue in this chapter, but maybe that%u2019s just me c:

True! I find it a bit difficult to balance more than two characters speaking at a time, but maybe I can have a scene with Sunny and Jessica?
Thanks again, and have a great day/night! <3



Liminality says...


but maybe I can have a scene with Sunny and Jessica?
That sounds like a good idea! :D



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Tue Feb 07, 2023 12:48 am
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AlienPoetry wrote a review...






Spearmint says...


Nooo I love talking to you! :D
And haha xD thanks!! Updates every Sunday :3
(Also, if you have any suggestions or comments on places that were wordy/not wordy enough/confusing in any way, please let me know!)



AlienPoetry says...


Okay, sounds great! I think it was very well written overall, not much to improve with this one. :)




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