"Sam's the best firmware technician I've ever met." Dillard went to put his hand over the Brigadier's shoulders but it sank straight through, leaving him with the feeling he's plunged it into cold, wet custard. He could see the shadow of his arm through his new acquaintance. "Do you know, he taught himself to build his first games console from the ground up before he was ten years old?"
"Quite astounding!" The Brigadier tapped Sam on the shoulder with his pace stick. "Well done, that man." He turned back to Dillard. "I've no idea what any of that meant. You say he built some sort of machine?"
"Oh yes." Dillard's face lit up as he remembered the visit to Sam's parent's where he saw it. "It was a 64-bit dedicated games console with a 2-gig processor and 8-gig or RAM. They've only just equalled it with the latest X-Box and he built it twelve years ago. He's a genius, really. Does everything by instinct."
"Splendid!" Brigadier Copthorne-Brown beamed. After a moment or two a troubled look crossed his face. "So why wasn't he snapped up for the war effort?"
"Well for one thing there isn't a war on any more. Not officially, anyway. The second thing is because no-one ever knew his genius."
"Why? Didn't the machine work?"
"Oh, it worked just fine." Dillard smiled ruefully. "But brilliant as he is, he's rubbish with software. There were no games to play on it. It may as well have been a marvellous paperweight.