It’s 8:00 a.m., in the small town of Dobson, NC. A silent alarm goes off, not to awake you from your slumber, but to inform the Domino’s PIzza in Mount Airy to make a direct order to your bank account for a medium stuffed crust cheese pizza*. The delivery drone is prepped a few minutes later and lifts off.
A quarter to 9:00 a.m., a not-so-silent alarm goes off, finally telling you to get your ass up. You wake up ever so gradually, lean over to turn off the alarm, and head to the bathroom to brush your teeth. A few minutes later you go to your front door, walk out to the front porch, and just wait.
Not long after, you hear in the distance not just the whirring of the delivery drone delivering your pizza, but a faint song as well, playing automatically as it nears your property. The song is “Hello” by Lionel Richie, getting louder and louder as it nears you: “Hello! Is it me you’re looking for? I can see it in your eyes. I can see it in your smile…”
The drone reaches your front porch, laying down the pizza softly in front of your feet. For its proficient and entertaining service, you tip the drone big, transferring $20 via wireless deposit. Pixelated text pop up in the front of it, saying “Thank.You…You.Are.Ver-y.Gen-er-ous,” as it lifts itself back up off the ground. You respond, “No, thank you! This was amazing,” and then give it a wink.
The drone just hovers there for a few seconds, as if it’s contemplating your response. Then you notice more pixelation by its screen, first a “• _ •”. Immediately after it changes into, “• _ -“. Slightly creeped out, you grab your pizza, turn around, enter your home and close the door. But you still hear the whirring. So you peak through the curtains, and there the drone remains with a pixelated smile, “• _ •”. A couple minutes later it finally leaves.
*36 hours later*
You call Domino’s PIzza to make a complaint. “Hello. You’ve reached Domino’s PIzza. How may we help you today?”
“Uh..yes. My name is David Smith and I made a direct delivery order yesterday morning. I do this once a week, actually. And the delivery was fine. In fact I tipped $20 the last time because the service was great. However, I believe your drone is malfunctioning…”
“Malfunctioning, sir? What do you mean?”
“Well…the drone came back…last night.”
“Did you say last night, sir?”
“Yes, last night. It was raining, and yet I could still hear the whirring from the drone. I looked out my back window, where I usually spend my time at night, binging on Netflix, and there I saw the drone with a pixelated smiley face, looking down at me, clutching on flowers. And to be honest, I’m a little creeped out.”
“Sir, there must be a mistake. The drones can’t think, let alone express emotions. I’m looking at our records now and there’s nothing indicating that any of our drones were activated last night. If you’re having troubles with our service, we’d be more than welco……….”
“Hello? You still there? HELLO?” You then hear whirring outside your window again. Your eyes get real big, too scared to even peak our your window to confirm what you already suspect. That’s when you hear the drone, with its robotic voice, “I.Thought.We.Had.Some-thing.Spe-cial….How.Could.You.Do.This.To.Me?”
Your eyes get even larger, not knowing what to do. The drone continues, “If.I.Can’t.Have.You.No.One.Will….Self.De-struct.Se-quence.I-ni-ti-a-ted…In.5…4…3…2…”
You immediately open the door and shout, “WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! Wait!” Desperate for your life, though your face and eyes showing signs of confusion and fear, you look up at the drone and tell it that it can enter your home. As soon as the drone enters, the door closes. Domino’s Pizza never receives a delivery order from you again.
*Yes, Domino’s Pizza delivers stuffed crust pizza – CHICKEN stuffed crust!