Coding Hero | Dogboy Reborn Side Quest

Thanks to Brain’s contacts, he was able to get me a freelance job as a coder/tester for the Ultra Gaming Network. They were having trouble with their latest update.

“Please don’t ruin this with your usual hijinks,” Brain said.

“What hijinks?” I asked.

Brain crossed his arms. “What about two weeks ago when you destroyed a third of the Pineapple Inc. office building when you were helping them perfect their virtual theater software?”

“In my defense, Terabyte was trying to use the system to drain the minds of every person who watched the new Jason Chain movie.”

“Why would he do that?”

“Pfft. I gave up trying to figure out his motives a long time ago.” I stroked my chin for a moment. “However, the movie has been trending since the attack…”

***

The job was pretty slow going. There was a lot of code to sift through. No one could figure out why the game kept freezing anytime someone bought a bonus chest. Needless to say, Ultra Gaming Network was getting tired of irritated customers calling all day.

I removed my glasses and pinched my nose. My eyes were starting to feel like they were on fire.

Tick-tock, went the clock. Tick-tock.

Swipe, swipe, boop. Someone was sliding code blocks around either moving them to a separate area for testing or deleting them.

Tap, tap. Click, click. Tap, tap. Click, click. Another worker was busy adding new code blocks and setting up variables. A nearby phone went ba-ring!

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Ba-ring. Ba-ring. Swipe, swipe, boop. Tick-tock. Tap, tap, click, click. Tick-tock, tick-tock. Swipe, swipe, boop. Clack. Click. Clack, clack, click. Ba-ring. Ba-ring.

I started nodding my head to the various office noises.

Ba-ring. Tick-tock. Yawn. Scratch-scratch. Ba-ring. Ba-ring. Swipe, swipe, boop.

First, I started to hum along; then, I started to sing along:

Bytes and bits are in my head.

I need a doctor, put me to bed.

Pixels invade my waking space.

Get out! Get out of my face.

I don’t wanna be a one or zero. 

I don’t need to be a coding hero.

Slowly everyone turned towards me. One by one they started to bob their heads to the music.

Nodes and macros how do ya keep it straight?

Add a semicolon to keep it all right.

Push and pull make my eyes droop.

These functions got me in a loop.

One worker stood. The place went quiet for a moment. She then sang out:

I don’t wanna be a one or zero. 

I don’t need to be a coding hero.

Another quick round of silence reverberated through the office before a group joined in with a slow, almost operatic:

Fighting bugs is quite a drain.

If we see one more X then we’ll go insane.

Finally, all the workers sang out:

We don’t wanna be a one or zero. 

We don’t need to be a coding hero.

Everyone then moved into a line and began to slide, clap, and shrug their shoulders as I continued:

Our eyes are dry; our fingers crack.

This pain in our neck won’t go away.

Binomials on the attack.

And bugs hold their sway.

We’re simply out of luck!

Everyone:

We don’t wanna be a one or zero. 

We don’t need to be a coding hero.

Me:

Blink your eyes and it’s all gone.

You’re obsolete, you’re time is done.

All that training is over now.

Someone added blocks, oh wow!

Best catch up or be left in dust;

Is this C Plus or just some rust?

Everyone:

We don’t wanna be a one or zero. 

We don’t need to be a coding hero.

Out of nowhere a voice rang out, “ENOUGH!” We stopped with our arms still in the air. It seemed as if even the clock stopped. The boss glared us down. “How dare you?!” she said tapping her foot. She faced each of us, her eyes piecing and fierce. “How dare you do a musical number and not be recording it for MyVideo? Now, let’s do this right, people!”

Everyone–once the recording equipment was set up–sang in a cheerful, end-of-musical-tone:

We’re gonna do this right!

This game is out of sight!

Even though it causes strife,

Coding is our birth, our life.

We don’t need to be a one or zero.

Because we’re all a coding hero.


Alone (eBook only) is on sale for $0.99 until Sept. 3, 2019. Buy now and join in the urban fantasy adventure.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!


Copyright © 2019 Joe Rover

Dogboy and related characters Copyright © 2016-Present by Joe Rover

All rights reserved. No part of this post may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews or as a repost/share with link to the original post.

All characters, organizations, and locations in this post have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation to anyone bearing the same name or names. Any resemblance to individuals known or unknown to the author are purely coincidental.

Infinity Train Episodes 3-4 (Spoilers and Theories)

Here’s the complete playlist: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Infinity Train is a (as of now) mini-series airing on Cartoon Network from Aug. 5-9. For now, it is ten 11 minute episodes. Each night two episodes will air. The show is also available on the Cartoon Network app.

The third episode started out a little confusing. In the previous episode, Tulip is scared by the number on her hand dropping; she believes it means she’ll die. In the third episode, she is actively trying to cause the number to change. It made me feel like there was a missing episode.

The number, however, does not change. Tulip rushes through each car telling everyone she has no time to stop. Finally, she enters the Corgi Car where she is forced to stop because a monster is blocking the exit. During her stay, she learns to slow down and be patient–the answers will eventually come. Once again, once she learns her lesson, the number changes. But, there is more to the episode.

The monster, at first, is a spider who’s shadow is distorted by a glowing orb. Soon they discover that a metal, robotic creature is taking the orbs from sections of the train car. It is shown that the sunny day scene of the car is just a hologram. Also everything in the car, from sunlight to the water, is controlled by the orbs. The “metal spider” seems to be repairing the train by taking out the orbs but doesn’t replace them. The creature is also seen to glitch. It seems obvious that the machine is broken or has a bug.

The creature then notices Tulip and screams, “Take your seat!” before retreating. Sounds like something a ticket taker, or a conductor, would say. Maybe the conductor is faulty and needs someone who likes to program–like Tulip–to fix it.

In the fourth episode, Tulip once again can’t force the “hand number” to change. She states that she has tried everything logical, but it doesn’t work. She is upset at how illogical the train seems to be. In the Crystal Car, she has to sing a song that matters to her before she can leave. It isn’t until she sings a song from her family road trips that she succeeds. The number then drops again.

It seems as if the train is teaching her to open her heart. It seems like she has walled off her feelings, because of her parents’ divorce, and built a barrier of science to block her emotions. I also found it interesting how the number drop seems to correlate to the “importance” or “success” of the lesson. When she yells at One-One, it goes down by one. When she sings the song, it drops by more.

I’m getting this sense that the train, and the world outside the train, is broken. Just like how Tulip probably feels about her family. It isn’t her love of science that frees her from the Crystal Car but her love of her family. The metal spider also seems to be broken. My theory is Tulip needs to fix it and heal herself from what is happening with her family.

I find it interesting that the creatures Tulip encounters seem to know they are on the train but have no interest in leaving it or their cars. None of the other “passengers” seem to have numbers on their hands or paws. Tulip seems to be the only human onboard. The only other passenger that seems to travel the cars is the cat, a con artist.

What are your theories? Is the metal spider the conductor? Why is Tulip the only one with a number? Are all the cars holograms/programs?

And what do you think of the show so far? Good, bad, meh?

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.


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