Drones & Dreams: A Speculative Sprint Story Collection

This sketch appeared in Drones and Dreams: A Speculative Sprint Story Collection, produced by Digital Asia Hub. The book can be downloaded here.

A day in the life of Bennie, a gatherer of stray nanobots:

“It’s crazy this time of the year. I feel burned out. We get about 500 calls each day and we are heavily understaffed. It’s hard to find good people who are able to do this type of work, you know. It’s not easy. You have to be very athletic, you have to have hand-speed, be flexible like a yogi. These buggers are fast…So often you see bot-gatherers chasing these bots down the street, out of breath and lagging far behind. So many quit after the first week. And especially in typhoon season, they are a serious nuisance and security concern, as they sneak into people’s homes to stay dry. The rain kills some but also causes them to appear in people’s homes.”

“This other day, a troll bot in a restaurant yelled and screamed at customers and flung steaming hot dumplings around. Scared silly an old lady, who had to be hospitalised. We advertise all over the world but it has proven very hard to find people willing to work at crazy hours, who are as fit as a SEALS and tech savvy—they have to be able to read and write code… But perhaps the most difficult part is that not only can you not be taller than 5ft, you can’t have a partner or family. This job comes with great risks. The best bot-gatherers are suicidal and willing to serve the public, plus super fast on all fours— bot-vermin tends to hide in the smallest crawling spaces….The payment is good though, and the perks are neat!”