Staring at this poster, I pondered the owner coming home to their drone-less house, gazing sadly upon the empty box where Zero-X liked to sleep, the dangling charging cable where it ate two meals a day. I pondered the owner lying in bed that night, wondering if their drone was still alive – was it broken on the side of a road, its battery pack bleeding into the gutter? Had it been picked up by someone, who brought it home thinking they could use it, but without a controller all they could do was throw it up and down in the air? I pondered the owner’s deep grief, everytime they watched a movie or TV show made with nothing but drone shots, thinking “Zero-X could’ve filmed this whole movie. Whack on a GoPro and she would’ve been amazing.”
Friends and family would’ve probably said “Hey, just get over it. Buy another one”, and the owner would’ve yelled “No I can’t just get over it! You don’t understand! Nothing can replace Zero-X Pulse! She was on sale at JB Hi-Fi for $69! She was special”. And finally, desperate and heartbroken, the owner had felt compelled to handwrite this missing poster and stick it up around the neighbourhood, alongside all the other missing posters sticky-taped to telegraph poles – posters for radio-control cars that escaped from front gates, wireless longboards that stayed out too long, toy robot-balls that rolled too far from home and never rolled back. The whole thing was just so sad: yes, I thought to myself, I’ll keep a look-out for that little runaway drone and ask all my neighbours to check their backyards, under bathroom and bedroom windows.
Yesterday, I noticed the poster was gone. Had Zero-X Pulse been found? Was it back in the safe hands of the owner, zipping around the park again (but for no longer than seven and a half minutes). Was it happily peeking over fences and snooping around top-floor apartment windows? Or was it just at home, lying on its back, being tickled on its undercarriage. I hope so. Drones love a tummy tickle.