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Seeming Madness: The Suffocating Unreality that Kills
Several of Sam's friends are viciously murdered. Sam says he knows who did it, and he can prove it. Most people, including Sam, think that the suspected murderer is hiding in Tom's house. Sam demands that Tom surrender the alleged killer. Tom responds that he'd be happy to do so; Tom requests only that Sam show him the evidence that the suspected killer is, in fact, guilty. Sam insists he has the evidence, so Tom can't imagine why the request would be problematic.
Sam refuses Tom's offer and repeats his demand that Tom surrender the supposedly guilty man without conditions. Tom says again that he'd be glad to comply with Sam's demand; he only asks that Sam offer the evidence that Sam says he has. This back-and-forth continues; neither Sam nor Tom will alter his position. In frustration, Tom finally declares: "Look, I'll do everything you demand. You say you have evidence proving he's guilty. So show it to me. Then you can have him. You can have everything you say you want."
At that point, Sam yells: "THIS MEANS WAR!!" Sam means it. He kills Tom and his entire family, destroys Tom's house, murders several of his neighbors and wrecks much of the neighborhood.
It's a short time later. Sam thinks that one of his neighbors, Henry, is hiding a huge stock of weapons. Many people aren't entirely sure why Sam believes this, but Sam never liked Henry very much. Maybe that's the explanation. (Sam would occasionally use Henry to cause harm to other neighbors Sam liked even less, but Sam still never liked Henry himself.) Sam regularly adds, in an especially threatening tone of voice, that Henry has a lot of weapons that are illegal. It's not clear to anyone why Sam believes this, but Sam repeatedly says it as if it's a fact beyond dispute. A lot of people are additionally puzzled by the fact that everyone knows Sam himself has the biggest collection of weapons in the neighborhood, in the entire city in fact.
Sam keeps repeating his accusations about Henry, and he keeps making them sound more and more ominous. Even if Sam's accusations were true, it's not readily apparent why that would represent a problem. What would Henry do with his weapons? It doesn't appear Henry could do much of anything. Despite all these questions about Sam's views and his reasons for them, Sam repeats the accusations over and over again -- and he regularly adds that something needs to be done.
Henry just wants to avoid trouble. So he tells Sam that Sam can send people to his, Henry's, house and search it from top to bottom. Henry knows they won't find anything. Sam takes him up on the offer; none of the dreaded weapons are found, and certainly no illegal ones, just as Henry had said. But Sam says that's not good enough. He knows that Henry's hiding something! So Henry says: "Then send the people to inspect my house again! You won't find anything. Inspect it as much as you like! You can have everything you say you want!"
At that point, Sam screams: "THIS MEANS WAR!!" Sam means it. He kills Henry and his entire family, destroys Henry's house, murders several of his neighbors and wrecks more of the neighborhood. This time, Sam also destroys part of the surrounding city.