07 Jun 72%
The quadcopter, angrily buzzing, took off, flying on its own volition, just like the first Crashinator did before its untimely demise. It flew away from me and towards the road. I tried to correct its course but was able to only slightly slow it down. The pitch and the roll refused my commands. Yaw control still seemed to be working though, so I slowly rotated the drone around its vertical axis and it was now flying right towards me. Uh-oh. The lawnmower strikes back… I hastily added a few more degrees. Now it would at least clear me and head towards the forest. Crashing into the forest was better than allowing the drone to smash into someone’s car on the road, or just letting it wander off into infinity. With luck, it would hit some branches on the way down, fall onto soft ground, and hopefully not end up in too many pieces. Or so I thought…
I will never forget what happened next. The drone entered the forest just a few meters from me, flying at about 4 meters above the ground. It managed to miss some trees but just a short distance into the forest stopped abruptly in mid-air with a crunching sound and simply disintegrated, falling down to the mossy ground in a flurry of parts. It looked as if it just hit a wall – but there was nothing there. I couldn’t believe my eyes – literally, because I just saw something that was impossible. So I simply kept standing there, confused, stupefied, very still except for an occasional blinking.
Blink… Blink… Blink…
I must have looked just as stupid as I felt, but thankfully there was nobody around to see that. Eventually, I unfroze, produced a complex verbal construct made of several carefully chosen Russian expletives, and went forward to investigate, thinking it was an optical illusion of some kind, which may vanish when looked at from a different angle.
Nope, there was nothing near the place where the drone’s remains had fallen. I came closer, feeling apprehensive. Something was deeply wrong here. I approached the crash site and looked at the debris. There was nothing out of the ordinary. I pulled out my phone and started taking pictures. I took two or three, stepping sideways to go around the debris zone, and suddenly bumped my foot on something, losing balance and bumping my head on what seemed to be a completely empty space. I just stood and stared blankly, not believing my eyes and the pain still echoing around my skull. There were trees all around me, birds were singing, critters buzzing and a mosquito just got the first taste of my blood. The air smelled that special oxygen-rich forest mix of decaying organics and fresh growth that makes a city dweller feel slightly intoxicated.
Everything was so very normal. Except for the invisible wall right ahead of me. I had a surreal feeling that the world around me just gave me a glimpse that it was not what I thought it was. It was just like in the original Matrix movie (not the remake, I hate it) when the world as we know it turned out to be an illusion and the Matrix was revealing itself to Neo. Only much less CGI-ey and very low-key.
I think that only made it even weirder.