Summary: Lux is in charge of the Universe. It is a very boring job.
Notes: Original work. It is silly. Written for consci_fan_mo, for the prompt '"+++ Divide By Cucumber Error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++" -(Hex) Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett'
Disclaimer: Work is all from my own imagination. Any resemblance to other characters or situations is coincidental.
-(Hex) Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett
“Become a watcher,” they said. “You'll make tons of money,” they said. “You'll retire to a nice little planet and never have to worry about a thing,” they said.
What they didn't say was how mind-numbingly boring it would be. No wonder the pay was so good and the retirement package was so nice—there was absolutely no other reason why anyone would even contemplate doing this job. Certainly not for the love of it. Only the wealth of it.
Lux had been on the job for twelve years. Eight-hour shifts where her only duties were to watch the Computer and not to touch anything unless absolutely necessary.
During those twelve years, she had crocheted 535 blankets and read all 600 volumes of The Complete History of the Universe. Even those last fifty volumes where the author went a bit mad with the boredom of his subject and started making up things like that the dinosaurs were wiped out by the invention of shoelaces, and tomatoes were neither fruit nor vegetable, but offspring of a giant mammal who lived beneath the surface of the earth and controlled the outcome of reality competition shows.
Lux understood how someone could be that bored.
In those twelve years, two exciting things had happened. Once, the Computer had temporarily become sentient due to a mild virus and started to ask her out on dates until she politely reminded it that it was an inanimate object, and it apologized and went back to its normal duties.
Another time, she'd seen a squirrel.
Today was her 3,280th day on the job. She was putting in the ends of blanket number 536 when suddenly the normal view of code scrolling across the screen changed.
“Error,” it said. “Error. Error. Error. Error. Error. I'm serious. Error.”
Without thinking, Lux turned, grabbed the backup disk marked “The Universe: Spare Copy”, ejected the main disk from the drive, shoved the new disk in and typed 'restart' into the keyboard. She hit enter...
The code started scrolling up the screen again. She sat there, hands hovering over the keyboard and eyes darting back and forth, waiting to see if the Universe was still there. Yeah, it appeared it be. She sat back in her chair and selected a new ball of wool to start blanket number 537.
When her shift was over, she went up to her manager and tendered her resignation.
Because she realized that nothing was ever going to happen that would be more exciting than that and, after twelve years of looking after the Universe, it was about damn time she went out and actually saw some of it for herself.