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Sunny and the Syntax Errors of Doom: Chapter 6.1

by Spearmint


When the sun finally set and the forest started to become blanketed in shadow, Sunny and Robert stopped to make camp. Sunny used the sleeping bag that Eniac had given her, and she slept soundly through the night. She'd been trying to train herself to sleep lightly, just in case she was attacked by monsters and had to fend them off, but the day's travels had exhausted her and she slept like a rock.

In the morning, Sunny and Robert had breakfast– or, more accurately, Sunny had breakfast while Robert tried to pretend like he was still sleeping. Soon enough, Sunny shook Robert out of his pretend-sleep. "Come on, Robert! I bet we only have a couple more hours of walking before we get to the Loop Factories."

The robot groaned with a sound like creaking metal. "Oh, joy."

Sunny slung her backpack onto her shoulders again, then tried to drag Robert back to the river path. Reluctantly, the robot went, dragging his non-existent feet.

Once they were back on the trail, Sunny consulted the guide. "If it is morning, choose the right branch. Else, choose the left branch."

if (it is morning) {

Choose the right branch;

} else {

Choose the left branch;

}

She wasn't quite sure what the time of day had to do with taking which fork of the river, but she shrugged and sloshed across the now-shallow river to the right fork.

Sunny and Robert continued like this until the sun was nearly directly over their heads. As she ate a quick lunch, Sunny realized that she could make out some box-like shapes upstream, by the foot of the mountains that now looked a lot larger. "Those must be the factories!"

Robert grunted an affirmative.

Sunny scarfed down her lunch and resumed following the guide with renewed energy. As she and Robert walked by the river, the factories slowly grew larger until Sunny could make out some more details. It looked like there was a cluster of buildings, each colored a different shade of blue. Smoke was belching out of some smokestacks, and Sunny frowned. "Are there pollution and climate change here, too?"

"Oh, definitely. You wouldn't believe that extraneous code, always clogging up the air. Thankfully, all that useless code can be recycled, although it is pricier. And as for climate change… well, our whole geography changes as the popularity of coding languages changes in your world." Robert shrugged.

Sunny looked alarmed. "How quickly does the geography change? Does that mean the Conditional River could just change course as we're walking beside it?" She eyed the water nervously.

"Well, changes usually happen over months, not seconds," Robert said matter-of-factly. "So they don't generally catch people off-guard."

Sunny breathed a small sigh of relief at that. "Phew. So tell me, Robert, is there anything else I need to know about this world? Because the whole geography changing seems like some pretty important information, and I'm just wondering what else you've neglected to tell me…"

The robot pondered that for a moment. "There's nothing else world-changing that I can think of. But if you do run into something unexpected, I'm sure you'll be able to adapt, being the self-proclaimed hero you are."

Somehow Sunny didn't think that was a compliment. Brushing it off, though, she kept navigating as the Loop Factories drew nearer.

Finally, in the late afternoon, Sunny could start to make out some more details. There seemed to be a fence around the factories, although one of the river's branches flowed right between two buildings and through a trough under the fence. There was also a bright orange smudge by the fence that Sunny couldn't quite identify…

Anyhow, Sunny walked onwards with renewed enthusiasm. "Come on, Robert, we're almost there!"

A couple minutes later, the two of them arrived at the fence.

"Halt!" A person wearing a neon orange suit of armor held up a hand. "State your names and purpose." Their helmet muffled their voice.

Sunny's eyes widened. "Is that a real suit of armor? Do you have a weapon, too? Can I try it on?"

The person shifted from foot to foot with a clanking sound. After a brief pause, they responded, "Uhh, I mean, we manufactured the armor here? And no, protocol says not to let strangers try on your armor."

Sunny pouted. "Fine. Well, my name's Sunny, and this is Robert. We're here on a quest!"

The armored person seemed at a loss as to what to say.

Robert sighed and stepped in. "We're just looking for passage through to the Array Train. And Sunny could probably use a lesson or two on loops, seeing as they're a fundamental part of programming."

"Ah! Now loops are something I can handle. Please, follow me." The person muttered, "Now, what was the code for the gate again? Oh, right. For int i equals zero semicolon i less than five semicolon i plus sign plus sign open curly brace move gate to the right semicolon close curly brace."

for (int i = 0; i < 5; i++) {

move gate to the right;

}

A section of the fence slid aside in five jerky motions. With another clanking sound, the armored person bowed stiffly to Sunny and Robert and led them through the gate.

Sunny thought that seemed like a pretty lax security protocol, but what was she supposed to do? Argue with the person not to let her in? Yeahh, no.

Speaking of the person, they kept muttering bits and pieces of code to themself as they walked, almost like they were trying to remember a recipe, or directions.

while (!blocked) {

move forward;

}

turn left;

As the person mumbled, Sunny and Robert followed them through the maze of buildings. After a couple more turns, they reached a cube-shaped, sky-blue building, and the person stopped. "Here we are. Lucky you! You get a free tour of the Loop Factories."

"Sweet!" Sunny exclaimed. "Also, do you have a name?"

"No."

Sunny blinked. "Huh?"

"They're still assembling my name in Building N," the person explained. "I'm told it's going to be fifteen characters long, but for some reason, it's taking a while to add each character on."

Sunny nodded slowly. "That… sounds like a pain. I'm sorry."

Robert hummed. "Could it have something to do with an error, perhaps?"

"Perhaps. I'm new here, but I've heard that names used to be assembled a lot faster." The person shrugged noisily. "At least they were able to give me some armor. This one's from the leftovers that no one bought during the Great War, and I don't blame them, considering the color. But it's armor!"

"Right!" Sunny beamed. "Would you happen to have a sword to go along with that armor?" She desperately wanted to learn to wield a sword, the classic fantasy weapon.

"Unfortunately, no. My supervisor told me my greatest weapon would be my brain, and loops."

"Oh. Bummer."

"Eh, it's alright!" Suddenly, the unnamed person seemed to startle to attention. "Anyways, you're here for the tour, so I won't keep you waiting any longer!" The person pulled open the doors to the factory and waved Sunny and Robert inside.


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373 Reviews


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Wed Dec 07, 2022 1:41 pm
Liminality wrote a review...



Hi again mint!

First Impressions

I really like the new places Sunny and Robert are exploring in this chapter. The atmosphere definitely feels livelier now that they’ve encountered another person- and are about to tour a new location. Robert seems a little grumpier this chapter than before, especially with this line:

"There's nothing else world-changing that I can think of. But if you do run into something unexpected, I'm sure you'll be able to adapt, being the self-proclaimed hero you are."

When I read that, I was like whoa, Robert, are you okay?

Setting

I like the descriptions you used to mark time passing in this chapter. The phrase “blanketed in shadow” from the first line immediately got my attention. It’s atmospheric and kind of has this vibe of a lonely journey, while Sunny and Robert are travelling down the Conditional River.

I also liked the colour descriptions in this chapter. The Loop Factories sound almost surreal, kind of like a 3D model or rigging with their different shades of blue, which seems perfect for a land based on code. The neon orange armour also caught me off guard and was a nice touch.

Plot

Something I think could be improved is highlighting to the reader what the most important plot points are. I find myself liking the different bits of interactions, worldbuilding and plot points, but at times it feels like they blend together, because I’m not sure what the ‘big moments’ or ‘turning points’ are supposed to be, if that makes sense. For example, I think it would be nice if the part where Robert talks about what Sunny is supposed to do at the Loop Factories was a bit longer, because that would emphasise how these next scenes will relate to the plot. c:

In any case – wow, loops! Loops are my least favourite part in learning code <.< I’m worried about what the error will be this time. I can’t quite guess at what it is here, unlike with the type error from a few chapters ago. I can bet it’ll be complicated, though!
I also wonder if there’s a reason the security is so lax, as Sunny pointed out. Was her arrival prophesied? Did Professor Polly or Eniac send a message? Or are they just used to visitors?

Worldbuilding

Something I like about this chapter is how you’ve incorporated coding into the world in a different way yet again!
"They're still assembling my name in Building N," the person explained. "I'm told it's going to be fifteen characters long, but for some reason, it's taking a while to add each character on."

The idea of someone’s name needing assembly is super interesting. The way the person at the factory had to recite the directions of the loop as they navigated also caught my eye. It sounds complicated but cool. It would be interesting to see Sunny learn how to do that.
I also liked the little tidbit about how climate change works in the world of Javalandia. It makes more sense out of the mention of the polluted river in Chapter 5!

Overall

This chapter had some pretty immersive worldbuilding, and I’m excited to see them explore the interior of the factories. Hopefully Robert tells us what’s going on with him soon or his mood improves somehow, and hopefully Sunny will be able to manage looping in code.

Hope this helps; let me know if you need more feedback!
-Lim




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Tue Dec 06, 2022 8:15 am
HarryHardy 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, well it looks like we're going to be getting into these Loop factories after all and with a guided tour no less. Although I am wondering if this guided tour here is going to end up avoiding any potential suspicious spots.

Anyway let's get right to it,

When the sun finally set and the forest started to become blanketed in shadow, Sunny and Robert stopped to make camp. Sunny used the sleeping bag that Eniac had given her, and she slept soundly through the night. She'd been trying to train herself to sleep lightly, just in case she was attacked by monsters and had to fend them off, but the day's travels had exhausted her and she slept like a rock.

In the morning, Sunny and Robert had breakfast– or, more accurately, Sunny had breakfast while Robert tried to pretend like he was still sleeping. Soon enough, Sunny shook Robert out of his pretend-sleep. "Come on, Robert! I bet we only have a couple more hours of walking before we get to the Loop Factories."

The robot groaned with a sound like creaking metal. "Oh, joy."


Ahhh once again loving the moments between these two as we begin what seems to be day two of this quest if I'm keeping track of time correctly. Can't wait to see how far they get today. Something tells me that we'll have a little bit more excitement today than we had in the previous days' travel (not that that wasn't exciting).

She wasn't quite sure what the time of day had to do with taking which fork of the river, but she shrugged and sloshed across the now-shallow river to the right fork.

Sunny and Robert continued like this until the sun was nearly directly over their heads. As she ate a quick lunch, Sunny realized that she could make out some box-like shapes upstream, by the foot of the mountains that now looked a lot larger. "Those must be the factories!"

Robert grunted an affirmative.


Ooooh, well we're making some quick progress right here. It looks like we're pretty much at the famed factories here. I can't wait to see if those become important somehow, because I am very curious, especially about what actually gets made in those factories because I don't believe we've been told that yet.

"Oh, definitely. You wouldn't believe that extraneous code, always clogging up the air. Thankfully, all that useless code can be recycled, although it is pricier. And as for climate change… well, our whole geography changes as the popularity of coding languages changes in your world." Robert shrugged.

Sunny looked alarmed. "How quickly does the geography change? Does that mean the Conditional River could just change course as we're walking beside it?" She eyed the water nervously.

"Well, changes usually happen over months, not seconds," Robert said matter-of-factly. "So they don't generally catch people off-guard."


Ahhhh I know this whole thing is a slight bit of a throwaway line there but now I want to read a book detailing the entire history of coding just so I could go and figure out how the geography here might have changed.

The robot pondered that for a moment. "There's nothing else world-changing that I can think of. But if you do run into something unexpected, I'm sure you'll be able to adapt, being the self-proclaimed hero you are."

Somehow Sunny didn't think that was a compliment. Brushing it off, though, she kept navigating as the Loop Factories drew nearer.


Yeah I have absolutely no doubt that Robert was not giving out a compliment in that moment. There's a lot more than meets the eye hidden beneath that particular line. Once again I find myself very suspicious of the way Robert tends to act ahhh. I really hope its just paranoia I have from reading about too many backstabbing sidekicks.

Finally, in the late afternoon, Sunny could start to make out some more details. There seemed to be a fence around the factories, although one of the river's branches flowed right between two buildings and through a trough under the fence. There was also a bright orange smudge by the fence that Sunny couldn't quite identify…

Anyhow, Sunny walked onwards with renewed enthusiasm. "Come on, Robert, we're almost there!"

A couple minutes later, the two of them arrived at the fence.

"Halt!" A person wearing a neon orange suit of armor held up a hand. "State your names and purpose." Their helmet muffled their voice.


Ooooh this is the first sign of anything that could potentially be dangerous. I probably shouldn't be as excited for this as I am, but ahh the possibilities are high on this one. Especially because now I'm even more curious about what goes on inside of those factories.

Sunny's eyes widened. "Is that a real suit of armor? Do you have a weapon, too? Can I try it on?"

The person shifted from foot to foot with a clanking sound. After a brief pause, they responded, "Uhh, I mean, we manufactured the armor here? And no, protocol says not to let strangers try on your armor."


AHhhh now we absolutely must get Sunny a suit of armor, but I also adore the response by this guard here, treating that request all solemnly using protocol as the defense. The people here really are quite lovely.

Robert sighed and stepped in. "We're just looking for passage through to the Array Train. And Sunny could probably use a lesson or two on loops, seeing as they're a fundamental part of programming."


Well I suppose Sunny's formal introductions won't work every single time. Its a good thing Robert's version worked on this one. Well, well, let's see where this little lesson ends up taking us.

A section of the fence slid aside in five jerky motions. With another clanking sound, the armored person bowed stiffly to Sunny and Robert and led them through the gate.

Sunny thought that seemed like a pretty lax security protocol, but what was she supposed to do? Argue with the person not to let her in? Yeahh, no.


I have to agree with Sunny on both counts there. That is definitely terrible security but one, especially while on a quest, does not look a gift horse in the mouth. Of course this sort of situation can very easily lead to an ambush but its a chance you take.

As the person mumbled, Sunny and Robert followed them through the maze of buildings. After a couple more turns, they reached a cube-shaped, sky-blue building, and the person stopped. "Here we are. Lucky you! You get a free tour of the Loop Factories."

"Sweet!" Sunny exclaimed. "Also, do you have a name?"


Sweet indeed because I have been dying to know what's inside of here and see if there's anything remotely suspicious about any of this. I also love the navigation there. Its a bit different from how we've seen other people in this world move, but I assume that's because this particular guard is somehow different from the people we've encountered outside so far.

"No."

Sunny blinked. "Huh?"

"They're still assembling my name in Building N," the person explained. "I'm told it's going to be fifteen characters long, but for some reason, it's taking a while to add each character on."

Sunny nodded slowly. "That… sounds like a pain. I'm sorry."

Robert hummed. "Could it have something to do with an error, perhaps?"

"Perhaps. I'm new here, but I've heard that names used to be assembled a lot faster." The person shrugged noisily. "At least they were able to give me some armor. This one's from the leftovers that no one bought during the Great War, and I don't blame them, considering the color. But it's armor!"


OOoh well that's revealing a bunch more. It seems these problems are causing even more damage than we knew. I love how with each place we visit that net there is widening in terms of the problems being experienced. It really adds to the intensity of it all quite nicely. Once again I have to say you do a good job building up these things slowly in the background.

"Right!" Sunny beamed. "Would you happen to have a sword to go along with that armor?" She desperately wanted to learn to wield a sword, the classic fantasy weapon.

"Unfortunately, no. My supervisor told me my greatest weapon would be my brain, and loops."

"Oh. Bummer."

"Eh, it's alright!" Suddenly, the unnamed person seemed to startle to attention. "Anyways, you're here for the tour, so I won't keep you waiting any longer!" The person pulled open the doors to the factory and waved Sunny and Robert inside.


Well that seems like a pretty smart supervisor although a weapon can be pretty important if something actually dangerous tries to enter this particular factory. I also maybe just want to see Sunny wielding a sword made of code.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, it sees we're plodding along quite nicely with the plan we laid out earlier, and now I'm just kind paranoid to see the moment where it ends up getting shaken up somehow. Well I suppose there is only one way to really find out.

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

Stay Safe
Harry





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