It started with a phone call. A sharp and ear-piercing ring wakes me at 5am. ” Good News!” The caller continued, “After taking a trip to the first ever InterDrone convention in Las Vegas, I have been convinced and bought the best drone for the aspiring aerial photographer or videographer and amateur nerd. It has a forward-collision sensing system that will stop it in its tracks before it gets too friendly with a tree. it has built-in optical zoom and night vision too.” My 68 year old senior Dronexit (I have decided to give her this code name) is on the phone. She is full of positive news. Sometimes I suspect she has the intelligence of a potential rocket scientist nerd. She is truly a new breed of senior citizen tech-know-to-be in the neighborhood.
I want to commend her but suddenly realize that she is neither a photographer or videographer. What is the expensive drone camera for? She seems to have predicted my concern. “O, BTW, I am going to lend you this equipment to do the counter-spy work in our neighborhood. We have decided that you are just the right person to man our night drone patrol.”
“Huh?” I fall off the bed and collapse on the carpeted floor. “What? Who?” I mutter under my breath. But the senior has all the answers, “A group of us senior amateur nerds have formed a neighborhood dronexit cell group. You are our honorary member.”
She seems to read my mind and reassures me, “Don’t worry, all you need to do is patrol at night. A battery lasts around 28 minutes and you carry a spare one too. So it should not take you more than an hour!”
“I will personally bring you the drone and a random patrol schedule which we have worked out based on the latest probability statistics so you can start tonight.”
By the time she deposits the drone and schedule and leaves happily for her German and Russian class, I do not know whether I should laugh or cry. All her cronies are in the cell group. They are mostly retired teachers of old time and are now resolutely upgrading themselves in technology and languages.
Why me? I cry. Just in case you wonder why, I shall explain briefly. I am the youngest available person in this neighborhood. When I say young I mean I am in the millennial demographic group. Why am I currently so free and available? Because I just happen to be on my sabbatical leave from a highly confidential experimental project. Why do I have a vault in the house and keep receiving instructions from a former English teacher? Well, I am a rent-free tenant cum caretaker right now for the house which belongs to her husband’s family (which is in turn related to my extended family.)
All I need is sleep, watch old comedies and rest my brain. I even postpone getting involved with the Pokemon Go. BUT now I don’t seem to have any option. No, no slapstick humor this time. It is serious matter henceforth. I resort to my serious Plan-B. (To be continued)