Arbitrary Number by Edwin Escolero
Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 12
Helicopter blades spin loudly on top of a building in the night when a crimson flare lights up the horizon. From an open hatch a man looks through a binocular to confirm a blast in the distance. As he looks to the pilot for confirmation, both agree on the visual and he radios in the company. Before stepping out of the copter to investigate the man arms himself to counter hidden dangers. Inspecting a charred drone that made its way to the building the marksman confirms it as Sine Corp. property.
Inside the building the captain informs his teammates of the fallen Sine Corp. drones but advises everyone to stay alert. He looks to Dr. Nadir who continues to key away at the terminal without any regard for his own safety. Sensing the same desire to bring the war against Sine to a finish the troop stands guard by the scientist. Nadir breaks the final firewall and begins to access the stolen data for the weather machine that he worked with the Voiders many years ago.
Before entering the mainstream Sine Corp. was a black-market trader and the puppet master that influenced politics. Guilefully lobbying for laissez-faire stances for illegal weapons and human trafficking Sine Corp. would expand its territory. Atrocities ranging from home-grown acts to global terrorism was the result of Sine’s business model which doesn’t bother to account for buyers of its illegal hardware. Since taking the Voider’s weather device Sine has begun a campaign to monopolize the black-market. His aim is to maintain his “prestige” as he imposes his name and image upon the world.
The terminal displays the data that Dr. Nadir needs in order neutralize the weather machine. As the scientist transfers the information he skims through other projects while he waits for the load time. Reaching 25% Nadir taps his fingers when he stumbles on a Voider template for a neuron and synapse stabilizer. Intrigued by the topic, Nadir reads through the file and there he discovers an unsettling truth. The captain notices Dr. Nadir’s troubled expression as he faces the screen which displays a model of a brace that influences the human brain.