Semicolon Short Story | Chapter 5: The Last Battle

Semicolon couldn’t believe it! He was in the procession of the Golden Keyboard and it worked. His first try was to get out of the well. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to climb the rope with the keyboard under his arm so he tried to do a little function. He just coded a small If function where if the condition was met he would just appear outside the well. From one moment everything went black and in the other he was again outside.

Semicolon took a deep breath and inspired the outside air. It was only a half an hour that he was inside the well, but it seemed to be hours. This was it! It was time to go save the day and destroy Bug. Semicolon never flighted in his life so, to say he was scared it was an understatement, he just couldn’t think about it without shaking. However, it had to be done, he knew that he could just teletransport to where Bug was if he coded the right function and he had to do it sooner than later. This way, he joined all his courage and started typing. No need for being that complex, just a small If function should work. He typed the condition “If my world is ending” then he typed the action “Move me near the culprit” and lastly, he typed the effect if what he had just typed wasn’t true “Transport me to my home”. Everything went black and in a second, he saw himself inside the city hall, the place where the program that enabled his world to exist was written.

For the second time he felt a little dizzy. “I would never be able to get familiar to this” he thought. While thinking this he started looking at his surroundings. It seemed that the city hall was still intact, probably because since it was the epicentre of the existence of that world. He was able to recognize a dark spectre flying in the air back and forth, it seemed to be looking for something. Yet again, Semicolon mustered all of his courage:

– Hey you! – Semicolon shouted to the spectre – Are you looking for something?

The Spectre stopped and seemed confused as that no one ever had talked to him like that before. It took him some seconds until he understood where the shouting was coming from. The spectre inclined towards Semicolon as if he was trying to see him better. Instead of a face, the spectre had an array of code in green letters.

–  Hmmm… Yeeeees… I’m looking for something! And you probably can just answer it to me! – Bug whispered

– And why would I do that? – Semicolon continued shouting. It was not necessary, but it was the only way that Semicolon could hide his nervousness.

– Oooh! I never said you would do it consciously! You are just a Semicolon! I can hack your brain easy and find the location of the mother code – saying this he invested against his opponent, Semicolon was able to dodge, but just barely.

Now, up close, Semicolon noticed that something was wrong with the code in Bug’s face… There was a parenthesis missing. Maybe, but just maybe, he could defeat Bug by changing the code to be correct. With this idea, Semicolon thought it was time to counter-attack.

He started typing a really simple code that would show the text “)” if he it was a program, in this case a small parenthesis appeared. Semicolon throw it against Bug, but failed. “This is not good enough” I need to do something better… He then had an idea, he applied an infinite cicle to the print line function and add a random trajectory to that text. In 5 seconds the room was full of parenthesis moving everywhere.

Semicolon realized that he had done the right call. Bug was too busy trying to not get hit by the parenthesis like his life depended on it. However, with so many more coming it only took a few minutes to Bug not be able to move without hitting one of the parenthesis. Eventually he was strike by one of the million parentheses in the room. A huge scream was heard and for a second the spectre went green and then exploded. It was done! Semicolon started jumping screaming out of happiness, however that happiness was soon to end. As the explosion ended, ten new black spectres appeared.

– You know… – they all said in one voice – Normally when you are able to correct one bug, more of them appear.

The ten spectres started investing against Semicolon, they were hitting the parenthesis, but nothing was happening, surely the code error this time was not about a parenthesis. Semicolon could only do one thing for now, run and that’s what he did. He started running towards the nearest door. After he passed them he wrote in his keyboard “Execute Firewall” and a huge fire appeared stopping the Bugs from being able to pass the door, at least momentarily.

Semicolon continued running through more rooms and corridors. When he thought he had escaped, at least for now, he stopped to catch his breath. “What am I going to do?” he thought “I’m not going to be able to see the code in their faces without being attacked in the next moment, how am I going to solve this?”. It took him some minutes until he realized his surroundings. He was near the vault door, the one that would lead to the mother code of the World, the strange thing was… The door was opened, something that never happened since it was something that was so important.

He peeked inside the room, it was empty, only the code could be seen imitating his green colour. That was strange… He knew from the bat that wasn’t Bug opening the door since if that was what happened then there was no World anymore, with this though in mind he decided to enter and investigate.

Everything was calm and silent inside that room, it seemed that nothing had happened at all. He looked to the code of everything… He only was able to see it physically once when he was a child through a school tour and he had completely forgotten how beautiful the code was. By only looking at the syntax Semicolon knew that had been a professional designing his World, in reality how more professional could you get than God. While he was reading the code in a way to calm himself and find the strength to continue fighting he noticed something.

There was an error in the code! How could that be? He was certain that error was never been there, he would have noticed, even as a child. That’s when he heard a deep voice:

– Hello my child! – the voice said – You just came in a hour of most need.

It took some time until Semicolon understood from where that elder voice was coming from. It was the mother code itself talking to him.

– It seems you were able to understand that we have an error in us, that was intelligent from you. Do you know how does the mother code is built my child?

– No… In fact, I don’t. I remember everything that I was told when I came here for the first and only time, but now that you speak of it, I was never told who and how were you created…

– We are the pioneers, the champions of the millennia as some called us, although many, many years ago. We were the first ones used to write this World’s program by the creator. However, at this moment everyone already has forgotten about us and how we were the first sacrificing ourselves so this World could be built and rarely, from thousands of years to thousands of years one of us end up dying and disappearing, creating what you call Bug. There is only one way to save the World, to rewrite the code and make sure none of it has any sort of an error… Has you already noticed there is an error in our code, could you say to us what is missing?

– … A semicolon …

– And tell me, my child… What are you?

– … A semicolon …

– Yes, maybe it was prophecy all along that you would come here in this time of need. If you to save our World, your friends and everything in here, you know what you will do. I can say that probably nobody here will know what you did, but you will be granted a timeless life and you will never be alone since you will be with us… It is your call though… Are you ready to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Semicolon was in shock… That was it! It seems that it had to be him after all… He thought about the World he loved so much, all his friends in need at that right moment. He would miss it all, but his answer was clear.

– Yes, I am ready.

Semicolon felt a force pulling him towards the code. He felt that he’s size was diminishing as he got near the place where he would occupy for the Millenia to come. In the end he fitted perfectly in the space occupied by his long, long ancestor.

The moment he finally started making part of the code the door automatically started closing, however, before Semicolon went into his slumber for the next millennia he could see the blue light dying and being replaced by the greenish black he knew so well. It was done, everyone was saved, and with these thoughts the door closed.

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