Dogfight

The drone’s payload was tucked underneath, looking suspicious. Normally, delivery drones hold rectangular boxes covered in ads, but this one was shaped wrong, and there wasn’t even a logo. It was clearly sent by someone doing something they didn’t want to get caught doing.

The apartment building had 14 stories of bachelor suites, 12 to a floor. The drone could never hit all of them, but its programming was highly aggressive: it’s okay to destroy yourself if you get out, say, half the payload.

It approached on a flight path that mimicked a delivery: straight to the tiny loading bay next to the entrance. So far, the building’s guard drones hadn’t activated, so it kept moving, the code waiting for the optimal moment to break off and fly towards the nearest windows.

The moment it changed vectors, a half dozen guard drones activated: white disks mounted on the building popped out their own rotors and moved into an attack formation. Their programming was aggressive, too: you will not touch this building!