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!


We don’t wanna be a one or zero. 

We don’t need to be a coding hero.


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?


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.

Twitter Tale

*Cue spooky storytelling music*

A few days ago, I got on to Twitter to check my feed. One person I follow made jokes about the Area 51 Raid, like pretty much everyone is (including me), and I hit the like button on a couple of the posts.

About five minutes after doing this, Twitter locked my account. I then got the call for the activation code. The call went something like this, “Your activation code is: *static* 9 *static* 1 *static* 3.”

I hung up in order to try again. The same thing happened. I kept getting static but this time the call started adding letters; it said something like “Bravo *static* 9 *static* Linux…” I thought, “Since when did Twitter start doing letters?” The call then ended saying, “Call Failure.”

Since they said “Linux,” I thought it might be a tutorial on how to unlock your account if you use a Linux operating system. But…that still seemed odd.

I tried again and it just said, “Call Failure.” I went to another area because it must have been bad cell phone reception. One again, I got, “Your activation code is: 1 *static* 5 *static* Linux *static*” and then it went to call failure.

At this point, I jokingly thought, “What? Are the Area 51 aliens trying to contact me through Twitter? I guess  everyone does have a Twitter account now.”

Later that night, I saw a trailer for a movie about government stations that give out orders through numbers (the trailer called them “number stations”) and when the actress that played the operator spoke the numbers, it sounded similar to the calls I was getting. The voice on the activation call didn’t sound completely automated. It was like the actress in the trailer: live but trying to speak really clearly and almost robotic.

In all seriousness, it was probably bad cell reception or maybe “crossed wires.” Either way, a day later, I was able to get my account unlocked. I tried the call again and the activation code–with no letters–was just fine.

What about you. Do you think aliens (or possibly the government) were behind the calls or do you think that it was just bad cell reception? Have you ever gotten a Twitter activation code with letters? What do you think about the Area 51 Raid? Just a joke by someone in order to get likes or an attempt by Area 51 to dish out disinformation? Let me know in the comments section.

For more fantasy, sci-fi, and other nerd/geek related fun, please consider following and hitting the notifications button.

Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading.

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