“Sir,” the weak-jawed lab assistant, Donnelly, called shakily. “I think you should see this.”
I looked at my watch. Quarter to lunch. I had a salad in the fridge, but ever since I saw tapas on my feed, I’d had a craving. “What is it, Donnelly?”
He turned back to his monitor and adjusted his glasses. “Well, I don’t know sir. Not entirely. I’ve been watching the simulation this morning and I think something is, uh, off.”
I made my way over to his station, my shoes clicking on the polished white floors. “What do you mean something is off? There’s an entire other world in their. Care to be more specific?” I asked.
“No, nothing like that sir. The simulations haven’t stopped creating or socializing. They’ve just stopped working. Everything else is normal” He said, shrugging.
I perked up and leaned over his shoulder to study his monitor. Everything seemed normal, yet productivity levels were reporting in near zero. I cocked my head back. “This is new,” I muttered.
“What’s that sir?”
I placed my hand on his shoulder. “Oh, nothing. Can I sit here just for a second Donnelly?” I asked, smiling.
He moved without another thought. I sat down and felt Donnelly’s gawking eyes upon me. “You know what, take an early lunch. I want to take a look at this.”
He uttered his thanks and shrank away. For the next hour or so I scanned the code–my proprietary code, and failed to find an error. Annoyed, I tweaked the weather to provoke responses: nothing. Donnelly had returned by now joined by a few colleagues. They all studied their screens, watching my manipulations, hard faced.
I turned and faced the room, chuckling. “Any suggestions?”
No response. I made my way to the center of the room. “I know you’ve been watching my work. Now this simulation is incredibly important. It cannot fail. So, please, if anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.”
Donnelly cleared his throat behind me. “Er, sir?”
I turned, flashing my pearly white teeth to Donnelly. “Yes?” I spat, almost harshly.
“Have you considered a hard reset?”
I stopped. I hadn’t up until then. I could do it; I didn’t want to Donnelly suggested it and we’d be set back for sure. But after fast forwarding, we might just lose one week, two at the most. I waited in vain for anyone else to speak up and then clasped my hands together. “Let’s try it.”
I navigated to the reset menu and initiated.
Are you sure?
Yes. I clicked.
Are you REALLY sure?
Chrissakes, I thought. Yes.
A void opened in the middle of the polished floor and endless streams of zeros and ones spewed into the room. They soon suffocated the room. I could barely hear the screams over the digital whirlwind and my futile rage.
Blackness as I cursed that weak-jaw’s name.