Blog Banter #3 – PyjamaSam

This month’s EVE Blog Banter idea comes to us by Roc Wieler of Roc’s Ramblings. Roc asks us to “write a story about a fellow EVE Blogger, or an EVE player whom has inspired you or affected you in some tangible way. After your story, describe why you chose them, and any Holiday wish you have specifically for them“.

Fade Region, a place I didn’t visit often, and for good reason. As a Colonel in the Minmatar militia, it wasn’t easy for me to get to, but today, it was worth the risk incurred. 

I was heading to Vanguard Frontiers, to visit Sam. I had been there only a handful of times previously, but Lady Grey had arranged for safe passage through their area of space, allowing me to avoid Band of Brothers, one of the most notorious alliances in that region.

I docked safely, and was greeted personally by Tessa Yor. She was cordial, respecting my rank and achievements; and I in return was respectful for all she had accomplished with her corporation. With her aid, I made my way through their station, navigating the labyrinth towards the lower levels that Sam called home. 

The door to his workroom slid open, and my nostrils were immediately assailed with numerous odours; oil, burned metal, Quafe soda, rotting food, body odour, and too many others to recognize. 

It was dimly lit, but the vibrant glow of dozens of terminals shone from various areas of the room. Sam was nowhere to be seen, but I could hear him immediately.

“Quantum superpositions of product states and, these so-called entangled states can have unique and counterintuitive properties. The best-known example of an entangled state is that which corresponds to two spin-½ particles with a total spin of zero…” 

I had no idea what the hell he was talking about, but that was actually quite normal for anyone that knew Sam. He was beyond brilliant, beyond innovative; he was truly astounding.

One accomplishment of note; he had developed an automated system for production and order management that earned the corporation over 100 billion isk per month; over a trillion isk since its first inception one year ago.

That was Sam. It wasn’t about the money for him; it was about the accomplishment, the knowing that it could be done. 

I rounded a corner of hardware and wires, tripping over a trash heap full of empty Quafe soda cans, and finally laid eyes on Sam, in all his … glory?

He was hunched over three computer monitors, typing furiously with one hand, while making adjustments with a micro laser tool in the other hand. He stank of sweat, and from the oily look of his hair, hadn’t showered in days. That was one of the problems with genius; it often left you unable to focus on the everyday necessities of life. 

This neglect had earned Sam much of his reputation among his corpmates. Sure, they thought he was a god when it came to technology, but they also mocked him behind his back. The clearest example of this was his nickname “PyjamaSam”. Clothing was one of those things that just got in the way. “In the time it takes me to put on undergarments, trousers, a shirt, a jacket, socks, boots and whatever else I need, I could’ve already been getting important work done.” Sam once explained to me. And as I laid my eyes on him now, I wasn’t surprised to see him wearing his typical choice of clothing; one piece blue flannel pyjamas. Despite this, I would never call him PyjamaSam; to me, he would always be Sam, my friend.

I wasn’t even sure he was aware I was there, until he suddenly turned to stare directly at me, which was somewhat unsettling. “What?” he said, as if that one word explained everything. I could already tell from the look in his eyes that he wasn’t even paying attention, that the fact I was here didn’t even phase him despite its rare occurence. He was probably juggling about three dozen different ideas in his head, which I obviously was intruding upon. The fact he acknowledged me at all actually showed the depth of our friendship.

“Sam,” I started. “When was the last time you slept?” He had huge bags under his eyes, his skin was even more pale than usual, and he just looked on edge. He grabbed another Quafe from nearby, popped the tab and drank it down in two gulps. 

“Seriously bud, you need to sleep.” I said. I was worried about him; he worked too hard, all the time. He didn’t know how to slow down.

Sam was a capsuleer, but you wouldn’t know it. Yet once again, Sam had to excel at all he did. He had managed to get blown up in just about every system he visited as soon as undocking. That was something.

“I just need to finish this equation, then I’ll sleep. I promise.” We both knew it was a lie. We both knew he would go until he collapsed, then sleep for a few days, only to get up and do it all over again. But you know what? That was ok. That was how Sam worked efficiently. It might not work for all of us, but then again, Sam wasn’t all of us was he?

“Let me see.” I foolishly said. I moved towards the monitor he indicated and looked at the screen.

Upsilon(1, 2) = (1/2½)[{phi1(n) x phi2(-n)} – {phi1(-n) x phi2(n)}] was as far as I got before my head hurt. I wasn’t cutout for these things. 

Sam finally realized how odd it was for me to be here. He looked around, then directly at me, and asked “Roc, what’s wrong? Why are you here?” 

In addition to his brilliance, you’d be hard pressed to find a more caring man than Sam. His heart was actually more acute than his mind. He was always the first to be there for you when needed, no matter what he might be working on at the time. Most people didn’t notice this, as trying to penetrate that intellectual bubble was quite the daunting challenge, but the reward was well worth it. He was a sensitive individual whom I had opened my heart up to when needed. And no, we’re not gay. Why can’t two grown men be friends without people assuming they’re gay?!? Wait, I’m getting sidetracked.

“Nothing’s wrong, Sam. Just the opposite actually.” I said with a grin on my face. “It IS Christmas. I just have a gift for you is all.” I could see I had his full attention, as he turned on his seat to completely face me. “You, um, didn’t have to get me anything, Roc.” 

“I know, but I really thought you’d like this.” I could barely contain my joy at this; the look that would invariably end up on his face. That was yet another thing I enjoyed about Sam; he had the ability to completely and fully enjoy the moment.

I reached around the corner I had just passed, and picked up the present I had brought specifically for Sam. He looked at me quizzically, and as I handed him the box, I could tell he wasn’t sure what to do.

“Well, open it.” I urged him. He tore at the wrapping, quickly disgarding it haphazardly on the floor nearby, lost amidst the bottomloss trash heap.

He stared in wonder at the black box he held in his hands. It was featureless onyx, about the length of his arm…

His head snapped up to look at me, his eyes wide, when he finally figured out what he was holding.

I smiled from ear to ear at my dear friend, and nodded.

He stood up and placed the box reverently on his workbench, knocking Quafe soda cans loudly to the floor. He moved a spotlight to point down at the box from above, and turned it on. Opening the box lid carefully, he looked down in wonder, his hands clasped together, and stared at the DNA computer I had retrieved not too long ago on a recon mission. He just looked at me, almost begging for an explanation.

“Our guys couldn’t figure it out. We need you, Sam. You’ve got 48 hours.”

With that, I had lost him. He was already absorbed with the task at hand. I knew he would extract every terran secret from that artifact. This would tip the scales in favour of the Minmatar forever.

“Merry Christmas, Sam”. I thought to myself, and walked away back towards my ship.

“Sam”, this story is for you bud. In the amount of time we’ve known each other, I have to say you’ve become a very good and close friend. I appreciate your brilliance, your dedication, your ambitions. I share in your pains, your losses. You are my brother.

You taught me the joys of EVE Offline, and have helped me to see my own creative talents come to fruition. 

I celebrate all you are. I thank you for everything you do.

Merry Christmas.

Participants:

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7 responses to “Blog Banter #3 – PyjamaSam

  1. A fitting tribute, Roc and nice tie-in to the DNA computer story arc–I’ve been wondering about that one. Thanks for suggesting such an excellent Blog Banter topic. Merry Christmas!

  2. Wonderful post to a wonderful topic. I’ve never run into this story arc but your post was very enjoyable regardless.

    I mentioned other bloggers in my post, including you.

    Merry Christmas.

  3. AWSOME. I love it. Just love it… Now back to finding out what the heck this thing does 🙂

    First thing I did this morning was hit refresh in Capsuleer and go in and read this (ohhh did I just let slip something about the new version 😉 )

    Its amazing how you hit the nail on the head. Great story, and I appreciate the sentiment.

    Merry Christmas to you to big guy.

    chris.

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