Young Writers Society



Sunny and the Syntax Errors of Doom: Chapter 5.2

by Spearmint


Soon enough, Sunny and Robert had said their final goodbyes to Eniac and were walking out of Variable Village. Sunny looked around at the little houses and the other villagers, most of whom were going about their own business. They didn't seem to be experiencing any negative effects from the error information disappearing… at least, that's what Sunny thought until she saw a couple of villagers attempting to assemble a cart. The materials seemed to be going in the right places, but the word "Error" kept flashing.

Next to her, Robert harrumphed. "Probably missing a semicolon."

"Yeah?" Sunny looked towards the villagers in concern, then called out Robert's advice to them. They acknowledged her with weary nods. Sunny frowned worriedly, then turned to Robert with renewed determination. "If we walk two times faster, maybe we can get to the Loop Factories before nightfall."

If Robert had eyebrows, he'd be raising them at her right now. But all he said was, "Let's see how quickly you can navigate with Eniac's guide."

Sunny pulled out the paper from her backpack and glanced at it. Considering all the folds, it was probably much longer than it had first seemed… Well, she'd deal with it one if-statement at a time.

A couple minutes later, Sunny started to hear a faint roaring, and she and Robert entered a thin wood. A couple minutes after that, just when the pair had lost sight of Variable Village, the Conditional River came into view. Sunny caught her breath at the sight. The waters swirled and bubbled past her and Robert, carrying dead leaves and other detritus on its surface. It wasn't a particularly exceptional river, but Sunny couldn't help but be moved by what it represented. This was the first significant piece of nature she'd seen since she'd arrived in Javaland, and she couldn't help but feel that there was something especially magical about rivers.

She and Robert walked along a small path by the river until they reached the first fork. Sunny looked at the first line of the guide: "if (temperature > 0 °C) {" and decided that the temperature was indeed above freezing. So she looked at the line right after the open curly brace, which was: "Choose the left branch;". Thankfully, Sunny and Robert had already been walking along the left bank of the river.

Sunny followed the left branch, smiling at Robert. "That only took a few moments."

The robert shrugged. "Would you like me to give you a gold star or something?"

"Well, no, but a ‘good job' might be nice."

"Hm. Maybe after you get through some of the nested conditionals and navigate ones with five or more else-ifs."

Sunny rolled her eyes. "Fine. I'm proud of myself, which is what matters, anyways." She couldn't stay annoyed at Robert for long, though. Walking through the wood by a burbling river gave her an irresistible urge to skip along and sing some kind of traveling song. The only problem was, she didn't know many songs by heart, so she ended up doing some kind of half-singing, half-humming thing.

The next fork consisted of two branches, one of which seemed slightly polluted. Sunny consulted the guide and decided to follow the else-if: "} else if (the right branch is a little polluted) {". She folded the part of the guide that she'd already used and unfolded the part that contained information on the next forks.

Sunny and Robert continued this way for the next few hours, with Sunny keeping an eye out for forks in the river and checking the guide and Robert adding an occasional comment. At one point, there was in fact a conditional with five else-if statements, which all dealt with the exact color of the leaves of a tree at one fork. Sunny spent a couple minutes on that one, debating with Robert on whether the leaves were more red or orange.

Eventually, once they got into a rhythm of following the river, reaching a fork, reading the guide, and crossing a tributary when necessary, Sunny tried to strike up a conversation with Robert.

"I haven't seen many other robots like you around, either in Parentheses Town or in Variable Village. How many ambassadors are there?" she asked curiously.

Robert seemed to float a little higher. "Not many, actually. I'm one of around fifty ambassadors working for the High Council of Javalandia. And yes, working– after the Great Protest at Spaghetti Code Mountain, the High Council was forced to pay us for our work."

Sunny nodded appreciatively, then asked, "And what are the other ambassadors doing?"

"Oh, various things." Robert waved an arm dismissively. "Some are staying in Pythonia or the Republic of C++. Others just act as peacemakers, arbitrating any conflicts between people in Javalandia."

"What kind of conflicts? And are there still problems with the other nations?"

"Small things, like disputes over property. The nations are on neutral terms for now."

Sunny wanted to learn more, but Robert focused on the path ahead, clearly giving off not-in-the-mood-for-answering-questions vibes. (Was he ever in the mood for answering questions?)

So Sunny navigated the next few forks accompanied only by the rushing of the river and her own humming. She noticed how the tributaries were continually becoming smaller. It felt like they were walking up a slight slope as well, and the trees were thinning. Suddenly, Sunny looked up and could make out a mountain range in the distance.

She eagerly tapped Robert on the shoulder. "Which one is Spaghetti Code Mountain?" To her mild disappointment, none of the mountains looked like they actually had any spaghetti on them.

"The second-tallest one." The robot scanned the mountain range for a moment, then pointed at an average-looking mountain. It had a small snowcap and seemed to be covered in a scattering of trees.

Sunny narrowed her eyes at the mountain. "We're coming for you, Spaghetti Code Mountain."

"Well, it'll take us a few days," Robert muttered. "But sure."

Sunny shot him a look, then glanced down at the guide in her hands. There were only a couple of folds left now. Sunny pulled out some snacks that Professor Polly had packed them, then went back to navigating with renewed energy. Finally, the target of her quest was in sight!


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Sun Jan 29, 2023 2:35 am
Snoink wrote a review...



Hi again!!! Is it... conditional Robert time??? Omg, autocorrect turned that from river to Robert. OH WELL. It amuses me too much to fix...

If Robert had eyebrows, he'd be raising them at her right now. But all he said was, "Let's see how quickly you can navigate with Eniac's guide."


Yeah, Robert!! I love your subtle dig. You don't put her down, but also you aren't afraid to be real. You are amazing. You're like... the Zazu to Sunny's Simba. At least, Zazu if the person Robert reminds me of, lol.

Sunny pulled out the paper from her backpack and glanced at it. Considering all the folds, it was probably much longer than it had first seemed… Well, she'd deal with it one if-statement at a time.


WAIT. WHAT IF THAT CODE DISAPPEARED??? I JUST REALIZED IT MIGHT. *shudders*

At one point, there was in fact a conditional with five else-if statements, which all dealt with the exact color of the leaves of a tree at one fork. Sunny spent a couple minutes on that one, debating with Robert on whether the leaves were more red or orange.


I sort of wish you expanded on this part more. Like, you built up the river as a big thing with a guide and everything, but you kind of gloss over it. It also would be a great way to expand both Robert and Sunny as characters since they are actively doing something together and questing right now, so I sort of wish you used this as a conflict to work through instead of an excuse to just have a conversation while doing something. If that makes sense.

At the very least, maybe we can see him acknowledge that maybe Sunny is cleverer than she looks!

Was he ever in the mood for answering questions?)


No, but that is why we love him. <3333

The robot scanned the mountain range for a moment, then pointed at an average-looking mountain. It had a small snowcap and seemed to be covered in a scattering of trees.

Sunny narrowed her eyes at the mountain. "We're coming for you, Spaghetti Code Mountain."


I'm actually surprised that Sunny didn't ask more questions here! I think she should.

Finally, the target of her quest was in sight!


Time for some difficulty??? Things are going too easily... mwhahaha...




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Wed Dec 07, 2022 12:05 pm
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Liminality wrote a review...



Hi again mint! Lim here with a short review.

First Impressions

This chapter had a more peaceful atmosphere than the previous one, but without feeling too slow-paced. There were quite a number of lines that made me smile, including:

To her mild disappointment, none of the mountains looked like they actually had any spaghetti on them.

and
Sunny narrowed her eyes at the mountain. "We're coming for you, Spaghetti Code Mountain."

I just find Sunny so adorable and I like reading her takes on things! She seems wise, like when she decided she wasn’t going to bother about not getting a “good job” from Robert, and at the same time she knows how to have fun.
At this point I kind of wonder how much longer the story is going to be. At first I thought the journey would take many chapters, but now that Sunny is already able to see her destination, I’m beginning to think she might get there much more quickly than I expected. :0

Characters

Something I like about this chapter is the consistent characterisation.
Well, she'd deal with it one if-statement at a time.

Not only is this a good lesson to learn, it’s also an example of how Sunny is often somebody who rolls with the punches!

I wonder if Robert and Sunny’s dynamic will change as the story progresses? Will Robert ever open up to Sunny more? I feel like it would be kind of interesting if their dynamic did change or was challenged at some point, even though I like their banter as it is. c:

Setting Descriptions

Something I think could be added to this chapter would be more concrete setting descriptions. I feel kind of nostalgic for those ‘swirl’ patterns on the houses back in Professor Polly’s village.
The next fork consisted of two branches, one of which seemed slightly polluted.

For example, how exactly is the river polluted? Is it a murky grey colour? Does the water smell bad? I’d like to know! Having descriptions of both the good and the bad of the setting as Sunny and Robert journey through would help pull readers into the ‘journey’ aspect of it, methinks.

Plot

Sunny wanted to learn more, but Robert focused on the path ahead, clearly giving off not-in-the-mood-for-answering-questions vibes. (Was he ever in the mood for answering questions?)

This line definitely piqued my interest! It makes me think the property disputes might come into play later. Maybe the antagonist is from one of those nations having a property dispute with Javalandia? This conversation between Robert and Sunny also made me wonder if Robert knows more stuff about the error description disappearances than he lets on.

Overall

This chapter leaves me feeling excited to read on! Even though no big conflicts happen in it, there’s this atmosphere of something about to happen. As I said, I also enjoyed the character portrayals here.

Hope this helps, and let me know if you’d like more feedback!
-Lim




Spearmint says...


Thanks for the wonderful review, Lim!! ^-^
I just find Sunny so adorable and I like reading her takes on things! She seems wise, like when she decided she wasn%u2019t going to bother about not getting a %u201Cgood job%u201D from Robert, and at the same time she knows how to have fun.

Aww, I'm glad! And yeah, Sunny's pretty fun =P
For example, how exactly is the river polluted? Is it a murky grey colour? Does the water smell bad? I%u2019d like to know! Having descriptions of both the good and the bad of the setting as Sunny and Robert journey through would help pull readers into the %u2018journey%u2019 aspect of it, methinks.

Ah good idea! Thanks for pointing that out-- I'll be sure to add more description later! <3



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Tue Dec 06, 2022 6:42 am
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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: Okayy so crossing this river is going quite well so far. It seems like they won't have any sort of code based river demons to battle from the looks of things and we're heading right onto Spaghetti mountain in the chapters to come. I can't help but thing its all going a little too well at the moment which means something bad is around the corner.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Soon enough, Sunny and Robert had said their final goodbyes to Eniac and were walking out of Variable Village. Sunny looked around at the little houses and the other villagers, most of whom were going about their own business. They didn't seem to be experiencing any negative effects from the error information disappearing… at least, that's what Sunny thought until she saw a couple of villagers attempting to assemble a cart. The materials seemed to be going in the right places, but the word "Error" kept flashing.

Next to her, Robert harrumphed. "Probably missing a semicolon."

"Yeah?" Sunny looked towards the villagers in concern, then called out Robert's advice to them. They acknowledged her with weary nods. Sunny frowned worriedly, then turned to Robert with renewed determination. "If we walk two times faster, maybe we can get to the Loop Factories before nightfall."


Hmm...well we love to see more errors in action there. It also seems like Robert is now in a bit of a rush now. His mood swings are definitely making everything a lot funnier and more entertaining although I do have to once again wonder where these mysterious mood swings tend to stem from.

If Robert had eyebrows, he'd be raising them at her right now. But all he said was, "Let's see how quickly you can navigate with Eniac's guide."

Sunny pulled out the paper from her backpack and glanced at it. Considering all the folds, it was probably much longer than it had first seemed… Well, she'd deal with it one if-statement at a time.


Yes, that is the way one goes about interpreting such things Sunny. You're catching on really quickly here. I've no doubt you'll be a powerful sorcerer before the day is out.

She and Robert walked along a small path by the river until they reached the first fork. Sunny looked at the first line of the guide: "if (temperature > 0 °C) {" and decided that the temperature was indeed above freezing. So she looked at the line right after the open curly brace, which was: "Choose the left branch;". Thankfully, Sunny and Robert had already been walking along the left bank of the river.

Sunny followed the left branch, smiling at Robert. "That only took a few moments."

The robert shrugged. "Would you like me to give you a gold star or something?"

"Well, no, but a ‘good job' might be nice."

"Hm. Maybe after you get through some of the nested conditionals and navigate ones with five or more else-ifs."


Robert is a hard person to please Sunny, don't worry. We're all definitely clapping for you. You're doing a wonderful job of navigating this here. Although I do hope she survives travelling through the rest of this river, that really did look like a very dangerously complicated map earlier.

Sunny rolled her eyes. "Fine. I'm proud of myself, which is what matters, anyways." She couldn't stay annoyed at Robert for long, though. Walking through the wood by a burbling river gave her an irresistible urge to skip along and sing some kind of traveling song. The only problem was, she didn't know many songs by heart, so she ended up doing some kind of half-singing, half-humming thing.


We've all been there Sunny, we've all been there. Also I love Sunny's attitude there about being proud of herself. She's the perfect companion to Robert and his grumpiness honestly. This duo is slowly starting to become iconic here. All we need is for them to actually work together on something at some point.

Eventually, once they got into a rhythm of following the river, reaching a fork, reading the guide, and crossing a tributary when necessary, Sunny tried to strike up a conversation with Robert.

"I haven't seen many other robots like you around, either in Parentheses Town or in Variable Village. How many ambassadors are there?" she asked curiously.

Robert seemed to float a little higher. "Not many, actually. I'm one of around fifty ambassadors working for the High Council of Javalandia. And yes, working– after the Great Protest at Spaghetti Code Mountain, the High Council was forced to pay us for our work."


Oooh well this is nice, we've got ourselves a giant river being casually crossed with random debates on orange and red and pollution levels and I love it. This seems like it would make a perfect little montage, but of course given this is a story, I love that you're taking this time to tell us a bit more about Robert and where he comes from.

Sunny nodded appreciatively, then asked, "And what are the other ambassadors doing?"

"Oh, various things." Robert waved an arm dismissively. "Some are staying in Pythonia or the Republic of C++. Others just act as peacemakers, arbitrating any conflicts between people in Javalandia."

"What kind of conflicts? And are there still problems with the other nations?"

"Small things, like disputes over property. The nations are on neutral terms for now."

Sunny wanted to learn more, but Robert focused on the path ahead, clearly giving off not-in-the-mood-for-answering-questions vibes. (Was he ever in the mood for answering questions?)


For a robot that seems to be made to answer questions and help people out, Robert does have an uncanny ability to appear like he doesn't want to answer any questions at all. Also I am loving the bits of lore that we're learning here. It really does look like we've got a lot to work with here.

She eagerly tapped Robert on the shoulder. "Which one is Spaghetti Code Mountain?" To her mild disappointment, none of the mountains looked like they actually had any spaghetti on them.

"The second-tallest one." The robot scanned the mountain range for a moment, then pointed at an average-looking mountain. It had a small snowcap and seemed to be covered in a scattering of trees.

Sunny narrowed her eyes at the mountain. "We're coming for you, Spaghetti Code Mountain."

"Well, it'll take us a few days," Robert muttered. "But sure."

Sunny shot him a look, then glanced down at the guide in her hands. There were only a couple of folds left now. Sunny pulled out some snacks that Professor Polly had packed them, then went back to navigating with renewed energy. Finally, the target of her quest was in sight!


Ooooooh we love to see it. Also this approaching quite so fast is now making me wonder if there's a few more twists to come in this tale because surely we're not approaching an end quite this fast. Ahh we'll see what ends up happening and of course if there ends up being actual spaghetti on this mountain in some capacity or the other.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, I'm loving this direction we're headed in even though I really can't shake the feeling that its all so, so close to going wrong soon. Well there's enough chapters out so far that I can take a peek. I really hope the last chapter to be released isn't the one where things start to go wrong ahhh.

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

Stay Safe
Harry




Spearmint says...


I can't help but thing its all going a little too well at the moment which means something bad is around the corner.

>.> Okay, so. The problem is, I know, according to story rules, there needs to be a serious conflict or something soon. But the question is, do I have the planning and writing skills to be able to write that?? Lol... I'll do my best. xD



KateHardy says...


xD I feel that.




I communicate much better on paper than I do when I open my mouth.
— Aaron Sorkin