It is a well known fact that the internet existed, but it is not a well known fact that the original internet was stored upon several giant servers hidden in a underground facility somewhere in the south of England.
The internet was in no danger hidden on these servers, because should one server ever go down, there were four others to hold the fort. No, the internet was not in any danger whatsoever, except, perhaps, from the man who created it. He was a careful man, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and he feared that his creation could one day be used for evil, so in pre-emption of any such wrong-doing, he installed a Master Reset. Which the push of a button the entire world wide web its digital data would be wiped from existence. Seeing that this button could also be used for evil, Sir Tim hid it away in a secret underground facility where it would be guarded by a man he trusted with his own life who went by the name of Charles. His only instruction was that the button never be pushed.
Years passed and Charles and his servers grew old and it was decided that the servers required some maintenance to keep them going. Sir Tim used his creation to Google a suitable candidate, someone trustworthy, someone reliable. Someone who would not be tempted by a big red button. What he found was Steve Bucket, a top computer-engineer working on top-secret project for Microsoft. At Sir Tim’s request, Steve Bucket was transported to the secret location by military personnel and was sealed inside the facility with Charles.
“You must be maintenance,” Charles said, shaking Steve’s hand. “I’m Charles. Welcome to the internet.”
Charles lead Steve to the five huge servers and explained what need to be done, but the big red Master Reset button caught Steve’s eye.
“What’s that?” he asked, pointing to the button.
“Nothing important,” Charles said. “But while you are here you must never touch it. Do you understand?”
Charles did not answer, and Steve did not pursue the matter. He took out his tools and began his maintenance check on the first of the servers, but all the while the big red button hovered in his peripheral vision. By the time Steve had reached the third server and Charles left to make coffee, Steve’s curiosity had become unbearable. He strode towards the button, ignoring the voice at the back of his mind that told him not to touch it and pressed the big red Master Reset button. Moments later, there was an explosion that shook the earth and Charles came running in.
“What the hell did you do?” he yelled.
He saw Steve stood by the button and flew into a rage.
“I told you not to touch it!” he screamed. “You’ve doomed us all!”
And he was right. At the very point that Steve pushed that button a virus was sent to every computer and every server connected to the internet. Hospital records were annihilated. Planes fell out of the sky. Banks lost all monetary data. Facebook was lost forever. The world was gripped in a state of panic and when everyone in Hull stopped blaming Karoo, anarchy broke out. The golden-age of technology came to a stand-still.
And the moral of this story is to never trust anyone with a big red button.
© Jessica Wiles, 2013