Cliff Side (Short Story)

The mapping app waited until we were all listening to music and surreptitiously directed me back to the safety of town and gas stations. So, on the second attempt to get to the mountain, I navigated by old road signs. To be fair, I should also give the Apps their fair share. Last weekend I took my three drones climbing, and they did a great job keeping me out of trouble. ----- Unedited feed ----- Pete (in the distance): Ok, I have started. Please keep the noise down and try getting a couple of decent shots this time. Cloud control: Roger. Muting your audio. Ok, you heard the boss, Site control get those cameras going.
Camera Droid One: We do not need a site controller. Me and Two can handle this. Right Two?
Camera Droid Two: Yep, I am on fire today! Control Droid: Stop the chatter and get up there. One, you are on short shots. Two, I want you pull back and get a couple of file shots of me... You getting the feed there Cloud?
Cloud control: You are looking good today, Control. Some of the Russian porn sites have fallen over so I am going to push real time into the Black Web to give us some audience feedback.
Control Droid: Russian? Camera Droid One: Where did he go?
Camera Droid Two: About 20 meters up, quick we are going to lose him.
Camera Droid One: His hair looks weird. Can we get him to, I dont know, fluff it up a bit. I cant take shots with his hair like that.
Camera Droid Two: He is not listening to us. Besides, he is using both of his hands to grip onto the cliff. Still... go a bit closer, your rotors might blow the hair around a little... Closer!
Camera Droid One: Nothing happening. What is up with his hair anyway? Did he put gel in it? Woops.
Camera Droid Two: Damn, he almost lost it then. Good one One! Control Droid: You get that shot Two?
Camera Droid Two: Not my fault, One blew a whole lot of dust into his eyes, he almost fell.
Cloud control: Got a spike in interest in the feed just then. I need more of that! Camera Droid One: He is climbing too fast, we need to slow him down.
Camera Droid Two: There is a bit of loose water and small rocks up top. I could go blow some of those over.
Control Droid: No, you stay there, One, go drop the water on him. Two, get ready for a slip shot.
Camera Droid One: Why me?
Control Droid: The water might wash some of the gel out. Remember? Your shot. Quick, he is almost at the top.
Camera Droid Two: Wow, look at all those rocks! Cloud control: Going wild here. One of the betting agencies is taking wagers on him falling. Keep it coming! Camera Droid Two: Where is he climbing now?
Camera Droid One: He is heading for that little shelf. OMG! He is bleeding, are you getting my shots?
Control Droid: Awesome shots but... yep, wrong format.
Camera Droid One: Wrong format! What! Thats not my fault. Damn. Can you fix it? Cloud control: Got your back One. Just keep the feed coming. That last shot of him trying to wipe dust and blood out of his eye, almost made me choke. Just pushed that to the You-Droid site. Control Droid: You are both running a little low on power. He looks like he is not going to move for a moment. Go top up.
Camera Droid One: I am feeling a bit wobbly, might have acquired a somer drops.
Cloud control: Can give you a minute, I have 10 minutes of unpublished stuff.
Camera Droid One: Um, not the images of me tipping the stuff down the cliff, right?
Cloud control: (busy silence) Camera Droid One: Nice feeling, all that power being pumped back into you. I could just sit here all day.
Camera Droid Two: Pity we don't have an eagle around here.
Camera Droid One: Eagle?
Camera Droid Two: Yeah, good vision if an eagle attacked him.
Camera Droid One: Eagles eat droids. Like cats. You know, pounce!
Camera Droid Two: We, you, could go rescue him. You know, “Brave drone”. Lead the eagle away.
Camera Droid One: Sounds risky. Here, your turn. I am full.
Camera Droid Two: You would be all over You-Droid. 3 million views, just like that.
Camera Droid One: 3 million?
Camera Droid Two: All droids. Yep written into our code, we have to like what they publish. even the cat pictures.
Camera Droid One: Hate cats.
Camera Droid Two: Hate cats.
Camera Droid One: Why do they put up cat pictures on a droid site anyway?
(Thoughtful silence) Control Droid: Might have a problem. You guys ready? I am reading a zero heartbeat from his watch.
Camera Droid One: Lazy bugger has put himself in sleep mode.
Camera Droid Two: Don't think they can do that. Maybe the water killed the poor little watch.
Camera Droid One: I did not mean to hurt anyone...
Camera Droid Two: I am sure you didnt. Maybe he has, you know, had a heart attack or something and is about to fall.
Camera Droid One: I want that shot!
Camera Droid Two: Still powering up.
Camera Droid One: Damn. We have to go back
Camera Droid Two: Unless he has already jumped
Camera Droid One: No. I still have the chute
Camera Droid Two: Good thinking
Camera Droid One: Tell the truth, was not high on my priority list.
Camera Droid Two: (laughter) Works for me Camera Droid Two: You know, if he hasn't fallen yet, we could always, you know...
Camera Droid One: Push him?
Camera Droid Two: Nah. I need the shot. Can't have your rotor in the frame. I was thinking a rock.
Camera Droid One: Slow down. Close up shots of him falling, I cant see it. Control Droid: Take your time, we are picking up voice feed. Must have just been a malfunction in the watch.
Camera Droid One: I should go rescue the watch. Control Droid: Another climber has arrived on the scene. Cloud control: I am pushing the audio into the feed, but i need the cameras back up there, now!
Control Droid: She is telling him about her terrible day. Apparently she tried to hack into her 14 year son’s phone and made it a brick.
Cloud control: Pushing the feed into gamer channels. That is where the 15 year old demographic lives?
Control Droid: Yes! Cameras up, but do not get face pictures of the second climber. We will get more interest if the 15 year olds think it could be their mother. Cloud control: Going wild out here...


Jai Baidell said…
This is a classic, so funny! I loved it when you first posted it, and it's even funnier to revisit. The poor climber, gotta feel for him, performing for those heartless droids. Thanks for sharing, Peter.

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