The Prism Press Special: Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 30

Arbitrary Number by Edwin Escolero

Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 30

Scientist review information for a weather device that they’ve obtained from a scout unit. Scrutinizing the data they begin pinpointing potential security flaws that can lead to deactivation. Moving around the lab men and women work tirelessly to decrypt hidden data on the computer terminal. Blueprints of satellites reveal that they would be situated within the stratosphere to avoid detection by people. A man with a rooster emblem on his breast pocket enters the room for a status update on the scientists’ findings.

Groggily Une rises to his feet as he’s questioned by two men holding papers. The inquiry is interrupted as the trio face a group under the influence of the Sine Wave. Both men from the RU squad nod in agreement for a retreat to minimize danger and prevent harm from the controlled civilians. The two noticing that Une is free moving and not manipulated like the other brace wearers decide to escape with him from the square. As the three run in the street suddenly a screen on the building shows images of the blizzard that attacked the region.

On the net the recent blizzard is shown along with the date and in the background a voice is heard laughing at the misfortune of those victimized. The blizzard is spreading through different media platforms offending the law abiding citizens while crime syndicates continue their activities. Words in bold appear on the images which read, “The price for showing no obedience toward the Sine Standard.”

UNE 30The Sine Corp. feed is cut off by a transmission from Luz Libre and a voice speaks. The broadcaster says, “The Sine Standard isn’t worthy of merit as it shows no respect for life and all it’s diversities, nor the freedom to decide for oneself without bias, and it values intimidation and coercion over fostering direct dialogue.” The voice becomes grainy as Sine drones fly through the sky emitting a magnetic field. Aware of the drones the broadcaster implores the people to band together to break the curse Sine has inflict upon the world and grasp the peace which waits for all to share. The speaker concludes, “This can be the generation of Heroes and Heroines! It is not the name that makes the hero, rather the deed and desire for peace.”

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The Prism Press Special: Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 29

Arbitrary Number by Edwin Escolero

Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 29

In the cover of night a bandaged man is hidden under a tree as he evades detection from a truck with a satellite on the roof. The vehicle’s headlights shines through the path as it surveys the path but the man remains still. Resting under the tree trunk he tries to gauge his options against his current condition as sweat trickles down his neck. With his limited resources the injured man decides to avoid the truck and waits for there to be some distance before moving. As the beam lights vanish in the darkness he sprints towards a bush and retrieves a duffle.

UNE 29The sun rises as two men leave an apartment building carrying papers and a walkie-talkie. Making their way through the neighborhood they remain vigilant of satellites along with possible perils. Nadir and Rooster-1 continue where they left off with their field study and use a device to search for a specific radio wave. Venturing through the city the duo have yet to come across any manic civilians under the “Sine wave.” A Sine Enforcer passes through the area and both men put away the instrument as they wait for the truck to leave.

Approaching the area where he tossed the flare Rooster-1 checks if the Sine Enforcers is shadowing him. With no sign of danger Dr. Nadir takes out the scanner and resumes the search for the radio wave. Walking through the square they spot a duffle under a bench where someone lays with a newspaper blanketing over the face. Getting a better look the two notice the Sine brace on the wrist under the paper. Nadir having questions approaches steadily and taps the individual’s shoulder.

Feeling a tap on his shoulder Une wakes up to two men standing over him and he’s taken aback by the ambush. Leaping from the bench with hazy eyes the man asks the two if they’re with Sine Corp. and the two respond no. Suddenly there is a beeping and Dr. Nadir takes out the scanner which detects Sine Waves which are off the charts. The square is filled with braced civilians under the influence of the radio wave. Looking to their side Nadir and Rooster-1 are astounded that the bandaged man is not affect like the gathering crowd.

The Prism Press Special: Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 28

Arbitrary Number by Edwin Escolero

Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 28

A man with a grey beard steps out of a rusty pickup truck with a faded paint job after plowing through snow. Standing under the cloudy sky the bearded farmer watches as the wind scatters snow across the field. Frost engulf crops that were cultivated by the hands of man and time. Walking through land that once thrived with life the man grabs a root from the frozen soil. As he holds the crop he ponders the purpose of power and the reason why the weather device was created.

Under the dark dawn a young man gets up from bed and marches to a field to sow seeds. As the sun rises the man marches home to take a backpack along with books and heads to school. Passing through dusty fields the scholar notes the withering plant life as he walks to school. A classmate joins him and both talk about the drought that’s afflicting the region. They discuss possible measures that can be enacted and a shared desire to improve life for all. The two pledge to work towards a resolution for the problem that plagues the land and to nurture nature.

UNE 28A man with a lab coat enters a facility with folders and papers labeled “Project Nurture Nature.” He shows a badge that identifies himself as Nadir to a guard as he enter a conference room to pitch his project to the scientific community. There is a debate among peer about the probability of success for the project. Eventually they agree under the condition that Nadir provides access to his research to sponsors and third parties who express interest.

Nadir rubs his eyes as he’s awakened by the smell of eggs and beans. Rooster-1 invites him to join him and offers a plate. Nadir fumbles down from the sofa and knocks down papers from a table. Grabbing a mug he drinks black coffee that had cooled off and goes to pick up the documents from the ground. Remembering the weather device’s original goal of creating opportunity for a better life, he vows dismantle the destructive force of the present and fulfill the pledge he made in his youth.

The Prism Press Special: Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 27

Arbitrary Number by Edwin Escolero

Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 27

A bandaged man slowly walks backwards as he observes a crowd gathered behind a man holding an ignited flare. Unsure of their purpose the man taking cover behind a tree cautiously exits the area. As a brace on his wrist gives a faint light the crowd marches away without saying a word. With the area deserted the bandaged man steps out into the sunlight and walks over to pick up a dropped flare. A drone suddenly appears from the sky and interrupts his investigation as it launches an assault.

Sine date 04.17.00, a couple of months have passed since the enforcement of the “Sine Standard” and the restructuring of law enforcement. Since the blizzard attack many brave people have fallen as a result of their selfless acts for their fellowman. However, the politics of Sine Corp. caused a roadblock for previsions for the surviving rescue units which lead to many unnecessary losses. Obstruction was Sine’s tool for suppressing the truth about past crimes while money was used for the wallets of those didn’t care about the region.

UNE 027Under a pretense of loyalty to the region Sine utilized chauvinism to incite discrimination against those who didn’t obey his reign. Rather than provide support for the devastated region Sine continued to pursue his own agenda. With the loss many uniformed men and women Sine found an opening to restructure the force to suit his whim. The Sine Enforcement was created to fill the vacancy with lobbyist and blacklist those who don’t align themselves with the Sine Standard.

Une dodges a mine blast that a Sine drone launched his way but he sprains his wrist as a result. Wasting no time the wounded man rushes through a bush and tosses his duffle as he tries to lose the machine that’s shadowing him. Sprinting away from the market-place Une enters a park and takes cover under a tall tree. Tearing a piece of fabric from his sleeve the man wraps it around his wrist. Staying still he tries to recoup while observing a Sine Enforcer truck that strolls through the area.

The Prism Press Special: Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 26

Arbitrary Number by Edwin Escolero

Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 26

Sine date 03.24.00, individuals disappearing in the metropolis has risen 3% since the inception of the “Sine Standard.” People go about their day in the crowded streets as word of the missing people dominate the newsstand headlines. The Sine Corp. name is seen on the media monitors in the city square. The restructured force consisting of Sine lobbyist patrol the street under the title of “Sine Corp. Enforcers.” In a cross walk a man tries to flee from the Sine Enforcers but suddenly stops as he if he’d been tazed. Approaching the kneeling man the enforcers lift him by the arms stretching his sleeves which expose a metal brace marked “Model No. 0.”

UNE 26In the coming weeks there has been an increase of street apprehensions of random individuals who appeared to exhibit manic episodes. The majority of captures was handled by Sine Enforcers, however, in each incident Sine Corp. trucks were stationed in close proximity. Some speculate that the trucks house electronics meant to test new hardware, but the Sine Corp. PR states they’re for surveillance. The detained “Manics” are taken to facilities operated by Sine Corp. and aren’t heard or seen again.

A light glares from a path walk as a figure enters the city passing through a park with a duffle on hand. The man takes shade under the trees from the rising sun and takes out a laptop as he tries to find a signal. Unable to lock-on to anything Une looks around but finds that the park is empty. Picking himself up the man ventures into the metropolis and spots banners of Luz Libre on walls and posts. Walking further he passes through an icy fountain that has yet to defrost from the latest blizzard attack. The geography is unfamiliar due to lingering snow covering the landscape but the man marches onward.

Passing through a marketplace Une encounters a cluster of people who’re surrounding a car. Taking cover behind a tree the bandaged man observes the crowd behind a member who holds a flare in his hand. Unsure whether they’re with Sine Corp. he decides to slip away before they get rowdy. As Une walks away from the crowd the brace under his sleeve flickers light.

The Prism Press Special: Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 25

Arbitrary Number by Edwin Escolero

Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 25

Footsteps sound the night, marching forward as if from one entity. A man baring a rooster insignia on his coat runs through the darkened city. Taking cover under a car he watches as the crowd sporting a metal brace look through the area for him. Going through his pocket the man takes out an emergency flare and hurls behind the group. The red flash draws the civilians’ attention long enough for the lone man to slip away without engaging in combat.

Having reached the apartment Dr. Nadir makes preparation for the morning in case he must leave without Rooster-1. Afterwards, he skims through notes he’d taken earlier in the city and draws hypothesis on the Sine waves. Remembering the Sine satellite installation on top of the courier building the doctor concludes that the waves lock on the metal brace on the individual. Deep in thought the scientist tries to devise a way to repel the waves and their effects on the psyche.

UNE 25.pngAt the radio tower a technician for Luz Libre has just made contact with a resistance faction. The words are lost through the pool of static, however, the techie manages to catch the word satellite. The signal is lost but not before group on the other line identifies themselves as the RU Resistance Force.

Making his way back to the apartment in the brink of dawn Rooster-1 is greeted by Nadir who spent the night analyzing notes. Two make revisions to their plan and decide to break for the day to recoup. Nadir leaves his laptop open as he clocks in, however, on a web page “Sine” begins to be inserted on the text of articles. Meanwhile, in the distance a man carries a duffle as he approaches the city under the rising sun.

The Prism Press Special: Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 24

Arbitrary Number by Edwin Escolero

Arbitrary No. – C:\UNE 24

A bandaged man walks through the outskirts in the dark as crickets chip. The supermarket is closed due to the latest storm, however, a tavern is still open. Riffling through the duffle that he’s carrying the roughed-up man takes out his wallet. Approaching the establishment he notices a man with a visor eating a burger behind a green dumpster in his car while tuning to a Sine Corp. broadcast. A tavern worker tosses trash bags into the dumpster while the bandaged man rolls down his sleeves to cover a metal brace before entering the pub.

UNE 24Bar patrons clamor as the affected region has caused a shortage of supplies at the grocery stores. Some customers share their accounts during the latest blizzard attack while others tune in to a boxing match airing on the plasma. The channel suddenly changes to coverage of the storm with Sine Corp. personnel taking up the screen while everyone else works to remove snow. Boos resonate in the pub as people say, “Sine Corp. is responsible for this, nobody wants to see your photo-op! You want to take away our homes! We are people, not products! You can’t buy us or put us in layaway!” Walking through the roaring crowd the bandaged man reaches the barkeep and asks for a Pina Colada.

At the city in the dark of night Sine Corp. personnel take down fliers of Luz Libre. One man comes out of a house and reprimands the Sine staff who’re tearing the Libre banners. He continues voicing his outrage when a lanky woman looks his way then coldly says, “This is not your house. You’re old why don’t you keep quiet.” Outnumbered the man tosses a trash bag to the curb before going back inside.

On the other side of the city people work in unison to remove lingering snow from a radio tower. The technicians test the frequency in a controlled environment while others serve hot chocolate for the workers out in the night chill. A man switches frequencies on a communicator as he moves around the area. He receives a signal but static muffles the voice on the other line.