Chapter 5.5 – Glitch

Ninety nine point nine seven five.
It is totally unfair. Now, because of a stupid computer glitch, she is less than one tenth of a point away from being top of the class. There was no way she is finishing second to Becky Barnes, the perfect little passive-aggressive drama queen. Jimmy doesn’t see what the big fuss is about. But he knows better than to suggest that she let it go.

(SELECT si_id, si_item, si_parentid, CAST(si_item
As varchar(1000)) As si_item_fullname
FROM supplyitem
WHERE si_parentid IS NULL
SELECT si.si_id,si.si_item,
    CAST(sp.si_item_fullname || '->' || si.si_item
As varchar(1000)) As si_item_fullname
FROM supplyitem As si
    INNER JOIN supplytree AS sp
    ON (si.si_parentid = sp.si_id)
SELECT si_id, si_item_fullname
FROM supplytree
ORDER BY si_item_fullname;

int main()
	Vec students;
	Student_info record;
	Str::size_type maxlen = 0;
	while (read(cin, record)) {
		maxlen = max(maxlen,;
	sort(students.begin(), students.end(), compare);
	for (Vec::size_type i = 0;
	     i != students.size(); ++i) {
		cout << students[i].name
		     << Str(maxlen + 1 - students[i].name.size(), ' ');
		try {
			double final_grade = grade(students[i]);
			streamsize prec = cout.precision();
			cout << setprecision(3) << final_grade
			     << setprecision(prec);
		} catch (domain_error e) {
			cout << e.what();
		cout << endl;
	return 0;

Faith is fuming. She spends Friday night and most of Saturday finding where she had been wronged. Buying the same software package used by the school was simple. Reverse engineering it to machine language was pretty tricky. Scanning through hundreds of thousands of lines of code is proving to be downright difficult. But anybody who knows Faith; also knows that she simply does not back down from a challenge. There is no way she is going to let a stupid software error give Becky any more fuel for her grotesquely enormous ego.
Determination wins out in the end, as she works quite a few hours that weekend; consulting online with programmers, and pouring through seemingly endless lines of code. When confronted with the irrefutable evidence she had gathered, the principal at school awards Faith the floating point decimal in question (much to Becky’s consternation). As a bonus, Faith is trusted to refactor the school’s grading software for extra credit.
Although immensely proud of her daughter, Hope finally begins to understand that she and Faith are two very different sims. She learns to accept the fact that Faith would rather be finding the perfect overclock settings on her laptop than shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. But regardless of anything, her loveably geeky daughter will always be joy of her life. Even when she brings friends from her “guild” over to play hours worth of video games; going through gallons of energy drinks and a dozen pizzas.
When not raiding the Barimen household, Faith and her group of friends can be found at the aptly named Bits-n-Bites, a cyber cafe that now occupies an old beachfront home. It attracts a fairly young crowd, and seems to cater to the new generation of online gamer types. For Faith, it is a dream come true. The place is packed full with every online and offline game imaginable. If she wasn’t so competitive with Becky, she’d consider skipping school just to hang out.
The guy that owns the place, Jared Wily, seems to be a bit of a weasel, though. He’s not old, but definitely not young; and he can sometimes be a creepy, shmoozy kind of suck-up. He brags about his business, which “rakes in bundles of cash” from his inventions. Faith wonders exactly what his role is in the business; since all he ever seems to do is eat and play video games.
It is on one particular Friday afternoon after school, that she is approached by Jared, who smells quite heavily of crispy onion ringers. He has heard about her aptitude with programming, and needs somebody to protect the company network from hackers. Although she doesn’t know Jared very well at all, the sweaty brow and worried expression makes her feel sorry for the poor slob. Even if he is a weird, creepy, little man; hacking into somebody’s business is crossing the line.
Besides, making a little extra income will give her another way to help out the soup kitchen. Faith enthusiastically agrees, and gets to work immediately. Playing games online against other players is one thing. This is something completely different, however, and a challenge she simply cannot refuse. The hackers have just found themselves a new opponent.
And she REALLY doesn’t like to lose.

6 thoughts on “Chapter 5.5 – Glitch

  1. Great update. I have a feeling Faith is getting more than she bargained for with this “computer help” – I can’t wait to see what happens!



      1. Haha. Can’t wait to see what happens.

        In other news, I’m back with the Oaks. I missed them and didn’t feel the new challenge. Just FYI 🙂


  2. Oh Faith! I really hope she catches wind of any foul-play before she gets in trouble for hacking.

    This update reminds me a lot of Cory Doctorow’s short ‘Anda’s game’, have you ever had a peek at that one? I’ll be interested to see if Faith’s story follows a similar pattern past this point!


    1. Heh, I had to Google the guy. I’m fairly competent with the technology side of the web, but when it comes to the viral stuff on the web… let’s just say my age shows, hehe 😉
      Anyhow, I gave the story a quick read and I’m confident any resemblence between Anda and Faith stops at their love of video games. I did chuckle at the “hooge buzwabs and long legs” comment, though. Of course, I’ve Never done anything like that in any of the MMOs I’ve played. 😀


      1. Doctorow writes some very interesting stories. I was most enamored by the similarity in Faith throwing herself into the job, without really thinking of consequences. Still can’t wait to see where this takes her.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.