Black Mirror Reflection: Pest Control

By Payten Coale

In this futuristic society, people live in a world where drones complete everyday household tasks. Albert, the main character, is a middle-class white male in his early 40s. He has multiple drones in his home that assist with daily chores.

One of his drones takes out the trash, washes the dishes, and cleans various rooms. Another drone makes household repairs and fixes problems dealing with electrical failures. Albert also has a drone that landscapes and gardens his home.

One day, Albert notices an issue with his wood floors. After researching, he realizes the destruction to his floors must be caused by termites. Albert quickly runs to the store to purchase a drone that specializes in pest control. However, upon arrival, he realizes no such drone exists.

In place of this drone, Albert notices a drone that can be programmed to accomplish a user’s desired tasks. He purchases this drone. Once Albert returns, he hooks up the drone to his computer. He then looks up as much information as possible on pest control and extermination and hard-wires it to the drone’s memory.

After all of the information is embedded in the drone, Albert plugs the drone into its charger to make sure it has a full battery life before beginning its tasks. Typically, in this society, drones take about 30 minutes to charge, and have a battery life that can last up to 12 hours. Once a drone is charged, it wakes up and works on its task until its battery dies.

After 30 minutes, Albert’s drone wakes up. It scans the household and begins working on the termite situation.  Albert, pleased with the drone, goes to the living room to watch an episode of his favorite show, “Survivor.” Meanwhile, the drone completes the termite task and explores the home’s other rooms to inspect for pests.

The drone turns into the living room and begins to evaluate Albert. The drone soon recognizes Albert is not a threat to the home and starts to leave the room. But as the drone is exiting, Albert’s favorite contestant is eliminated from the show. This causes him to kick the table and leave a mark in the wood.

The drone immediately turns around and targets Albert. As the drone attacks Albert, he tries to disarm it. Albert realizes, however, that nothing can turn the drone off until its battery dies.

Unable to disarm the drone, the drone comes within inches of taking Albert’s life. Albert lays on the floor motionless and taking short breaths. The episode cuts to the credits.  

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