Arbitrary Number by Edwin Escolero
Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 08
A war between two rival gangs takes place in front of a motel which results in a white car being engulfed in a flare. Stepping out of his room a coated man spots the flames which light the night and decides to check if fire is spreading to the building. A car hops as the gas tank combusts after catching fire and the man dodges the flying rubbish. He spots several cars and motorcycles laying in ruin presumably belonging to the combatants. A speeding car enters the lot without breaking but it explodes upon reversing in the line of fire.
Since the adoption of the Sine Standard in the mainstream other crime organizations began vying for control of territory through intimidation tactics. Lacking the technology of the Voiders’ and the political influence of Sine Corp. rival gangs utilize weapons from the black-market. Targeting key Sine Corp. heads these homegrown crime syndicates strike with the endgame being that they’ll gain access to classified information which they can sell or use for extortion. The misuse of the stolen weather technology has brought out the worse in people and created a division in society. Regardless of intelligence or ethics Arbitrary Numbers are not recognized as human and are treated as such because of the Sine Standard.
As the exchange of fire continues Une deduces that Sine goons are nearby since the gangs seldom use explosives. Rushing to back to his room the man is grazed on his wrist and shoulder as he closes the door. Adrenaline rushes through the wounded man as he barricades the door with the mattress, then gets on the floor to take cover.
Waking up the following morning Une steadily steps out to survey the damage. Looking around for other tenants he takes note of nearly all of the room vacancies. Sprinting to his room Une picks up his laptop only to discover that it was hacked. The data had been corrupted during the fray which was likely meant to stall him since he was the only one in the vicinity. Picking up his belongings the man takes his leave as he passes through the tarry air.