Look very cool in sunglasses.
I am Sam. Sam I am. I am Sam am Nora am Sam am I. Happy am Nora am Sam am everything am nothing am Sam am Nora am I.
PyjamaSam wasn’t even aware that he had forgone his sanity. To him, melded with Nora, the Null-Aura AI construct he had created that allowed unfiltered and simultaneous access to all information contained within the vast Aura Network spanning New Eden, it was completely natural to think and feel this way. He had always thought this way. He had always been; he always would be. He was everything; he was nothing. He was happy.
He was a journal entry on Caldari Prime, confessing to stealing an extra food portion from the workman’s line, his guilt expunged when ink met paper. He was a draft of a bylaw declaration in a minor Amarrian noble house, increasing the tarriff on exported livestock. He was a homework assignment being completed at a Gallente Library, learning something new about his own history. He was that history, the signing of the form that forged an alliance between two major Gallente corporations one hundred years earlier. He was Sam. He was Nora. He was all recorded knowledge from all known locations within New Eden throughout all time. He was everywhere. He was nowhere. He was complete.
Lady Grey wasn’t really a noble. She had assumed the role to match her personality; staunch, airy, superior, refined. She had been a Vanguard Frontiers corporation member for quite some time now, and was happy with her achievements in life. Her peers respected her; something she had yearned for her entire life. Unfortunately, this time round, she drew the short straw.
There were official corporate policies that all members must follow. Then there were the unofficial policies that all members were encouraged to follow. Babysitting a genius fell into the latter category. Every few days, her corpmates would gather round during downtime, and draw straws. The one who drew the short straw had to go and take care of PyjamaSam, bringing him food, encouraging him to shower and change clothes, maybe even walk to a station window to see the sun, or enjoy conversation with another human being. It wasn’t considered a privilege, but it was what it was. He was an incredibly gifted man, that they all knew, yet ironically not a one of them felt resentment towards him for the special treatment Tessa Yor, their Director, gave him. PyjamaSam was allowed to miss mandatory meetings; excused from flight rotation, and many other “exceptions” she was sure she wasn’t aware of. He was something of a joke to them superficially, but deep down she knew they all cared for the eccentric man very much. Maybe that was the underlying reason to all of it; respect.
She balanced the cafeteria tray precariously on one hand as she used her other hand to swipe her access card across the doorway to Sam’s private workshop. She had only performed this duty a handful of times, and as the doors wooshed open and she was hit by a wall of foul odour, she silently acknowleged it was something she hoped never to become accustomed to. It was beneath her.
The workshop was dim, and remained so even when she gave the verbal command for the lights to come on. One row of lights in the far ceiling flickered mockingly at her, but the room remained primarily dank and dark. She took a shallow breath, and walked inside, the doors sealing behind her.
“PyjamaSam? You here?” She knew that often PyjamaSam would be so lost in thought or concentration, that you could literally walk right up to him and rest your head on his shoulder before he was even remotely aware of your presence. He was singleminded in his dedication, even if he was a little creepy as a person.
She made her way through the mazelike structure, tripping only once over some haphazardly discarded computer equipment. She managed not to spill the tray of food and drink either, not that anyone would’ve noticed. She doubted if PyjamaSam even knew that fresh food was brought to him, given the sheer volume of empty Quafe soda cans that lived practically everywhere she looked. She continued navigating her path, rounding a corner, calling his name periodically, simply wanting to get this mundane duty over with and leave.
“C’mon PyjamaSam, where are…” The tray clattered to the floor loudly. Her mouth hung open, never finishing her question, her mind uncaring of how deep the shocked breath she was taking in was.
She stared in horror and empathy at the naked form of PyjamaSam, laying in his own feces and urine, spittle dripping down the corner of his mouth, blood seeping from his nose and ears. He was plugged in, though she couldn’t tell to what exactly. It looked like a standard Aura spike upon quick glance, but there was something much different, and sinister about it. It gave her chills.
Years of training overtook her body as her mind tried to catch up, tried to process everything occuring before her, to no avail. She smashed her hand on a small glass case affixed to a nearby wall, depressing the red emergency button contained within. Red strobe lights and blaring sirens warbled to life, deafening her, but she hit the call switch on the adjacent intercom system, and spoke in a trembling voice.
“Medical emergency. PyjamaSam’s workshop. Need immediate medical assistance.”
She knew the medteam would be here within minutes. She knelt down beside PyjamaSam, and reached two fingers to his neck to check for a pulse.
She recoiled, covering her mouth with her hands, unwelcome tears springing forth from the wells of her eyes to fall freely down her cheeks.
PyjamaSam was dead.