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Story- Standard Deviation by Episkipoe

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  • Story- Standard Deviation by Episkipoe

    Opening tag is the airport. Heading to DEF CON.
    The blonde on her way home is flustered by our humidity and security’s strip search of her body.
    She asks me an innocent question and I talk about computers, biology, graphics, networks, statistics.
    She tells me that normal people don't think about these things. "Not that you’re not normal."
    We land, she scurries, and I exchange pleasantries with the hackers on the tram.
    Arrive at the hotel.
    Start to get a feel for the place.
    And here’s the blonde with another face.
    Devil horns and a bunny tail. And she's pouring drinks.
    Serving shots of the type of shit that normal people think about.
    I see them sitting slack jawed at the green felt
    But we’re not normal people.
    I register and don the blinking badge.
    Sit next to a laptop that shines on a friendly face.
    Datagrams and dialog form the bonds in nerd covalence.
    And now that we’ve shared these electrons I’m swept along.
    There is nothing like a crowd to make me feel alone
    But here I have found myself feeling at home,
    The distribution from which I am derived.
    A standard deviation from the rest.
    Elevator conversations with strangers.
    (And sometimes the elevator itself answers)
    "What’s that badge? What is DEF CON?"
    "It's a hacker convention."
    "A hacker what?"
    "A whole bunch of hackers get together."
    "Oh man. You guys are gonna get arrested!"
    By the pool someone hands me a parachuting ninja.
    I look at the purple warrior critically, quizzical.
    "It's okay, it won't hurt you."
    I smile, whimsical.
    Encounter the Chicago crew.
    We get involved in problem solving.
    The intense pursuit of forbidden solutions.
    From the hotel window we see some sort of show
    The guy tossing torches briefly lights his shorts on fire.
    We chuckle briefly then get back to the 1057 challenge.
    A confluence of hardware, physical, software, mental puzzles.
    The LEDs are on fire, the tubes are totally fucked.
    "This guy knows what I’m talking about"
    "I want to stab a baby now"
    We take a brief sojourn off-campus.
    Pick up supplies: booze and energy drinks.
    We head to the Venetian, at the insistence of the Canadian filmmaker.
    The Wynn has fast cars and sexy people, a Gaussian all its own.
    We’re making calculator jokes in front of Treasure Island
    Where the crowd has DDOSed the sidewalk.
    Elvis says to me: "I like your style."
    The strip is a show all its own
    But it is all very self-same under the skin.
    Rows of slot machines reveal falsely inflated variation.
    Making our way back to the safety of the hotel.
    To the unique atmosphere of nerd nirvana.
    The sun has set, night takes over.
    Solar-powered personas fade away.
    Vestiges of insecurity give way to confidence.
    We strut past the pool, the boombox blaring techno beats.
    Security taps on SnowMan’s shoulder, requests he turns the music off.
    Jocks speculating on our intent escalate the altercation.
    Security disperses us, monitors, and follows us.
    We lose our tail in a talk on hiding data.
    And this is where the drinking begins.
    Who here has a bottle opener?
    "Why do you hate freedom?"
    "What is South America?"
    When Hacker Jeopardy wraps up
    We set out in search for further festivities.
    I follow new friends down the hall to the Sky Box.
    One of them is well-renowned and gets us into hackerpimps.
    I am a mortal that has stumbled onto Mount Olympus. Hail Eris.
    An industry leader tells his story: a little Jewish boy in a Catholic school.
    The awkwardness of his first communion. "Thanks for the cookie."
    I never expected to see nerds with doey-eyed groupies.
    Pursuit of knowledge expressed in a vibe so rare
    I am missing it already, though I’m still here.
    A man, visibly intoxicated (imagine that)
    Attempts to inform me of a party at...
    The end of the conversation
    He seems to have forgotten that it began.
    Hacker Hemmingway says: Code drunk, debug sober.
    We leave the Sky Box with a plan. The Hilton is where it’s at.
    Where Fish saw Madonna on a tootsie roll inside the Gideon bible.
    So he's pouring miraculous drinks. Spiritus sancti in proper proportions.
    An angel is checking ids, but the devil didn't need to.
    He leans over, whispers to me "There is no god."
    We leave as they start making waffles.
    Somehow I lose my group and find the Riviera.
    I kneel at a table in the hallway and continue to write.
    Surrounded by exuberance and the liberation of libation.
    Lost another pen, I start again. See another sage, fill a page.
    I am seen. Some kind soul moves me to a couch
    Where I continue my scribbles in the darkness.
    I'm low on talk and high on listen.
    But my clipboard makes people nervous.
    So I put it away. Forgive the gaps in my notes.
    I’ve reached the point where words fail to come to me.
    The language center is soaked in alcohol, but the periphery is only doused.
    And so I'm communicating in Spanish and sign language.
    Neither of which I know all that well.
    Powered by booze and Red Bull.
    Never been so happy to have
    My synapses firing as erratically.
    I am become Sir Real, the Knight of Day.
    Saturday and soaking up as much knowledge as I can cram.
    My mind must take my body's word that I'm standing in the hall waiting for track 1.
    I was just hit by a beach ball.
    A daze on Sunday.
    0-day the O.J.
    Hung. Over.
    Exhausted.
    I missed some morning talks.
    My brain has failed to cycle after the last power down.
    Estranged from a change of clothing I shower with my shorts on.
    So tired my eyes have lag. I turn my head and the scene catches up at its leisure.
    I suppose I knew all along it had to be a finite series.
    Time to return to being an outlier.
    Closing ceremonies.
    Closing tags.
    Last edited by Nikita; June 1, 2012, 02:28. Reason: Format Tweak
    "Haters, gonna hate"
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