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31 January 2013 @ 10:31 am
Original: Error, Error  
Title: Error, Error
Rating: G
Spoilers/Warnings: None
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.



"+++ Divide By Cucumber Error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++"
-(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 back-up disk marked “The Universe: Spare Copy”, ejected the main disk from the drive, shoved the new disk in and typed 'restart' into the keyboard, then 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.
 
 
 
shadowfireflame: dragonshadowfireflame on February 1st, 2013 12:17 am (UTC)
Ooh, original writing, awesome!

Even those last fifty volumes where the author went a bit mad with the boredom of his subject and started making up things...

I like how it’s obvious that almost nobody read those last fifty volumes, not even the editor. :) And the “I’m serious” was really funny.

Good for Lux, wanting to get out there and see the universe! I imagine sitting there must have been like watching a very boring game of the Sims. Better to experience it for herself. :D
The Writer They Call Tay: DH: Random Happenstanceawanderingbard on February 1st, 2013 12:32 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it!

I imagine sitting there must have been like watching a very boring game of the Sims.

LOL! Hopefully with fewer people randomly setting themselves on fire, or dying of hunger because they can't seem to be bothered to get something from the fridge directly in front of them. :D

Thanks for commenting!
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: BBT_NerdDance!guardian_chaos on February 4th, 2013 03:51 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness! YOU POST ORIGINAL WORK! This is so exciting, ahhhh!

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.

Hahaha! This is great! I love Lux's sympathy with the author's boredom. She seems like a fun character, bitter and wry witted and smart.

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.

I LOVE THIS. Do you have parts of that moment written, hmm? I told my friend about this scene and she burst into hysteric laughter. She doesn't have an LJ, but I'll pass along her compliments for you.

So yes, lovely work. There is such a wonderful flow between this one big thing, Watching THE UNIVERSE, and the banality of constantly croqueting blankets and reading books that even the author of those books probably didn't even want anything to do with.

The ending was perfect. I hope Lux has many wonderful adventures now that she's done this one thing that, yes, maybe wasn't as great as she'd hoped it would be, but that certainly no one else she'll ever encounter will have done. She is unique! Yet she chooses the brilliance of an ordinary life because she's realized that's better instead. Hopeful and fun.

Thanks for sharing! ^_^
The Writer They Call Tay: DH: Coming Alongawanderingbard on February 4th, 2013 04:35 am (UTC)
Thank you! I don't often write original stuff, or at least post it, but consci_fan_mo allows original content and I liked the prompt. My great plans for original writing fall down in that I'm not very good with plot. I love characters, and dialogue, and making characters and having them interact and talk, but I don't really feel I'm good at bringing an overarching plot along with me. It's fine for fanfic, because the characters are established and what you want to see is them interacting, but I don't know how well it would fly with original characters that you had no previous connection to. L'anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and your friend, too! I always enjoy your thoughtful responses to my stories.

I don't have parts of that scene written, but I'll keep it in mind for the future. I somehow feel that it's more funny to imagine what might have happened, than if it was spelled out. Like, I don't know if I could write something funnier than the bare image of a computer trying to hit on someone. :-p