No temporary problem deserves a permanent solution
Snackler's pod broke through the dimensional rift high above Del Rio, Texas. It took him only a short time to get his bearings. The countryside below him lay wrecked in front of the pod. The battle was over. This battlefield was strewn with burning and smoking vehicles. The clear desperation was plain to see. The previous evening had been amateur war night on the border. The Val Verde Sheriff had deputized hundreds of volunteers. They had accomplished a massacre. Not one migrant had survived to the morning.
Quite a few locals had perished, too. It was one ugly site.
"Invaders" dressed in sweatpants, t-shirts, and sandals lay in bloody heaps. Local men were being treated by paramedics when Snackler popped in above the scene.
The Sheriff had lost his tactical HQ in the battle. Those "migrants" had been well-armed for refugees. The Western Motor Hotel, in its exploded horror, covered at least a dozen law enforcement vehicles. Most of the surviving officers had already been evacuated to the hospital. The lack of professional law enforcement on the Del Rio Bridge due to the unforeseen exploding of the hotel had left the untrained deputies facing refugees. The men under the bridge had nothing left It never was determined who left the explosives under the bed. A Mexican phone that had triggered the explosion. It had belonged to one of the victims of the "Migrant Shoot," as the locals took to calling it. Almost every road in Val Verde had a fallen law enforcement officer's name. People only remembered the street names. The men they memorialized were recognized as addresses only. So many of the police came from out of state. They never would have imagined their final rest would happen so far away from home.
Nobody knew who fired first, but once the shooting began. It continued for several minutes. When it was clear there was no longer return fire, the deputies ceased their enforcement of America's border. It hadn't been a fair fight. The deputies looking down on the crowd of migrant workers had the upper hand from the beginning. The only American casualties other than the significant police presence at the demolished hotel had been those men on the ground. They worked their way down the river to get the stragglers from under the bridge. They had not gracefully submitted to slaughter and had taken several deputies to the afterlife.
Snackler had read about this battle. There was a nice park memorializing the event. The Mexican and American communities of Del Rio and Ciudad Acuna manage the park equally. It looked pretty nice. One day, he might have time to run around, enjoy the weather, and mark a few trees. Today wasn't that day.
Today, he was on his way to recruit a partner. Snackler hated partners, but this day he needed one. The mission profile called for a specific man. The coordinates were clear, and that is why he was here.
The sun was setting over the dusty town of Del Rio, Texas, casting a reddish glow over the abandoned buildings and empty streets. The only sound was the occasional gust of wind that stirred up some sand and trash. In a dark alley behind a vacant store, the man sat in a red Mustang with a revolver in his hand. He had lost everything: his job, his wife, his kids, his home, his dignity. He had nothing left to live for, so he decided to end it all with a game of Russian Roulette.
He placed the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger, but nothing happened. That was the thrilling part of Russian Roulette: there was only a 20% chance on the first attempt of success, and the odds were in his favor to live. The five shots the cylinder normally held only housed one bullet, so he tried again. Still nothing, no smarting sting, no bells, birds chirping, angel wings fluttering, or a worse thought, no pitchforks and hellfire sulfur smell burning his nose. He had skipped right through his 25% chance of successfully concluding his miserable life.
However, there was a maximum total of three actuations of the trigger left, which gave him a 33% chance of success, or 1/3, to be more precise. He had always hated fractions, but this time, he finally saw how useful they could be in being exact with a portion of a whole number. 1/3 was definitely exact; 33% or even 33.3% was simply inexact in comparison. Supposing you stretch it out to a hundredth 33.33% or even a thousandth 33.333%, it still would not be as exact as one-third. The math finally made perfect sense to him, and he pressed one more time.
"That leaves you at 50%, partner," a voice said in his head. It was not his own voice but someone else's. Someone who sounded young and cheerful, with a slight accent that he could not place. Someone who had been watching him for a while, without him noticing.
"Either 50% or 1/2 are equally exact."
The man gasped and took the gun out of his mouth. He looked around frantically but saw no one. He felt a cold sweat on his forehead and a pounding in his chest.
"What the hell?" he said aloud. "Who, or what, to be more exact, are you?"
The voice laughed in his head. It was not a malicious laugh but a friendly one.
"I'm Snackler," the voice said. "And I'm here to save you."
Snackler knew he had him. That 50% chance would not be taken.
"Bet you can't hit that Pepsi can on top of the curb from here," Snackler said, directing his thoughts at the man in the Mustang.
The man followed Snackler's gaze and saw a blue can sitting on the edge of the sidewalk, about ten feet away from him. He felt a surge of anger and defiance.
"Who are you to tell me what I can or can't do?" he said.
The suicidal moment had passed and both of them knew it.
The man grabbed the door handle through the window. The door slid across the doorframe and dropped a bit as he stepped out of the car.
"That hinge needs fixing," Snackler thought.
"Shut up, asshole," the man said.
He aimed at the can with his revolver, and he pulled the trigger. Bang, and the aluminum can went flying. His stomach tensed as another mathematical epiphany came to him. That pull would have been his last. It was 100%. The game of Russian Roulette was over, and he'd won.