Chapter 9

As Brian approached the Custom House restaurant, he could see Sam standing out front staring intently at his phone, and laughing a bit. He was wearing his usual dark jeans, high-tops and a grey button-down shirt over a black graphic tee. He didn’t even see Brian approaching, so Brian said, “Sup, man?”, his usual greeting for Sam.

Sam was a skate punk, who finally realized he needed to make a living but wasn’t quite ready to grow up. Brian was one of a few friends and liked him because he was loyal, always had his head in the news and knew a lot about a wide range of different tech.

“Yo!” Sam replied. “Man, I was hoping you’d be early. I’m starvin’.”

“Hey, so what’s going on? I didn’t expect to see you for a day or so,” said Brian.

“Ah, man. Not much. I just didn’t have much goin’ on tonight, so I figured I’d see what you had going on.”

“Yeah, I’m meeting someone later. But I gotta eat. And who better to break bread with, than you.”

“Yeah, right,” Sam replied sarcastically.  “So, let’s eat already,” Sam said heading toward the door.

They walked in and were seated right away. Not much of a dinner crowd, yet.

“So, man, did you work today?” Sam asked as they sat.

“Nah, I had today off. Had a meeting. “

“Yeah? With who?” Sam asked looking surprised.

“I’m thinking about a career change,” Brian replied.

“That would require you to have a career in the first place!” Sam exclaimed, laughing.

“Yep, you’re right about that!”

“So, what was the meeting about?” Sam asked.

“Well, I have this guy bugging me to help him with some kind of thing he’s trying to sell.  We’re meeting again tonight. He wants to show me some stuff,” Brian said, looking around as he tried to think of something that would bore Sam to the point he wouldn’t ask about it anymore.

“What is it?” Sam pressed on.

“I don’t know exactly, but he says it’ll change the way people manage their houses or something like that,” Brian said, trying to make it sound really boring. “It may be stupid, but I don’t know yet.”

“Yeah, I see,” Sam replied.  He looked away briefly, “Well, you can tell me later.  What do you know about that new headset from Microsoft?  Looks kinda cool, right?  Thinkin’ about getting one.”

“Oh yeah? They’re kind of pricey aren’t they?” Brian replied.

“Yeah, I know. But I have a game in mind, that I want to write. Or help write, anyway,” Sam said, looking at Brian for his reaction.

“No kidding?” Brian said, fairly surprised, “I didn’t think you were doing games.”

“Yeah, it’s kind of a stretch, but I’ve been wanting to do it. Kind of a career change for me, too,” Sam said, with a sly grin.

“You have to have a career first!” Brian smiled back. “So, you call your app biz a career?”

“Not yet, but it would be cool if we struck it rich with this game,” Sam said. “It could be really cool for all three of us.  It’s Nicki’s idea. And it’s a reeeeally killer idea.  I can show you some storyboards.”

“All three of us? I can’t help you program this game. What do you need me for?” Brian asked, looking a bit confused. Then he figured it out.

“We need an investor,” Sam said, now with an even bigger, cheesier, sly grin.

Brian sat back, kind of looking away. “I see. Now I know why you wanted to grab a bite.” 

“Dude!” Sam exclaimed.  “It’s ultra cool. You gotta check this out.”

“Listen, maybe we can work something out” Brian replied. He actually had something in mind for this meeting, too. “How much do you need?”

“Umm, well, about 8 grand, maybe only 6 if you can’t do the 8,” Sam said, looking really nervous, biting his lip a little.

“I’ll give you the cash, but I need a big favor in return” Brian replied after a brief pause.

Sam looked stunned and then excited. He didn’t expect this to be easy. “Sure! What is it? Just name it! You know I’m always good for your little favors. I owe you big for all you’ve done for me.”

“Well,” Brian said, leaning forward a bit, “This should be easy for you. I need someone who can build a hardware interface, for this venture I’m discussing.  I need someone who can take two schematics and wire them together with a controller, or something.”

“Oh, what is it?” Sam asked.

Brian looked Sam in the eyes and replied “I don’t know what these things are, but they have to be wired together. And it’s gotta work without having access to the two devices it’s going to connect.”

Brian knew exactly what the two devices where, but couldn’t mention it without creating a lot more questions from Sam.

“Do you think you can find someone to do it?” he asked, looking at Sam for any kind of uncertainty.

“Shit yeah, man, Steve Lee can do that stuff in his sleep,” Sam said without any hesitation. “I’ll hook you guys up to talk about your little hook-up gadget.”

“Cool,” Brian said. “It’ll take me a day or so the get the cash. I assume cash is good for you?”

“Makes it easy” Sam replied. “I really appreciate this.  You’ll get your money back, with interest. This thing’s gonna be big, for sure.”

“Ok, ok. Tell me about it while we eat,” Brian said, just as a waiter finally walked over.

Continue to Chapter 10
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