“Did you ever register for that drone expo, man?” Vignesh said as Aaron squeezed in close to the singer’s face.
“She’s good,” Aaron said, staring at the monitor on his drone and fantasizing.
Though she was recording her debut music video, the singer was as professional as any of the big names. She had contacted Flying Angels Incorporated to film the video because she wanted things done differently than other artists. Though some artists made their videos with some drone cameras, there were also always men on the ground. She had the vision of everything being shot from the vantage of drones, and so that’s what they were doing.
“You think Blake is going to be ready for the action shot?” Aaron said, slowly moving around the woman’s head, angling the propellers so that they stayed away from her hair as it blew to the side in the gusts from the large fan that stood out of the frame.
“Of course,” Vignesh started. “He’s always ready. He may not be as quick as you, but he’s still good enough to do it.”
Aaron sucked his teeth. “I still wish I was the one that got it. I’m pretty sure Blake stole it because there would be a slow-motion scene. I want that slow-motion action, man!”
Vignesh shook his head. “I keep telling you guys that pretty soon this will all be with A.I. I’ve got the program all ready to test. I need to finish working on the drone that it’ll fly in.”
“You can build all the A.I. you want, but no Siri will be taking my job man. I’m telling you, there’s nothing like a human’s reflexes and intuition.”
Vignesh shrugged. “We’ll see. But you never answered. Did you ever register for the LA Drone Expo?”
Aaron looked up and thought for a minute. “You know, I forgot. When’s the deadline again?”
A scream from the monitor pulled both of their attention back down, and Aaron cursed. The view on the monitor was blocked, but the audio picked up a groaning sound as the motors complained. He looked at the singer and his eyes widened. He powered down the drone and jogged over to her.
“Hey, I’m so sorry. This jerk distracted me,” Aaron said, thumbing at Vignesh, who held up his hands in innocence.
“What kind of bad-brained company is this? Get this stupid thing out of my hair!” the singer screamed, tugging at the body of the drone.
Two of the propellers were tangled deep in her long, golden locks. The first propeller had snagged the strands and wound all the way up to the base of her skull before a second grabbed additional strands and got partially stuck.
Getting her free might only be possible with scissors.
Blake and Austin jogged over, their sunglasses catching glints from the noon sun overhead. The fan was still blowing, and it cooled Aaron’s forehead as droplets of sweat started to bead against it.
“The heck you two do now?” Blake said when he was close enough.
“Don’t look at me,” Vignesh said. “Pilot error.”
“Hey, I had everything under control until you started distracting me with talk of the stupid expo.”
“It’s not stupid. We can get a lot of business if you would register. It’s also the perfect time for me to showcase the A.I. if I can have it finished by then.”
“Would someone please get this stupid thing out of my hair!” the singer said.
“Right, sorry,” Blake said, trailing off his words to indicate he wanted her to say her name.”
“Shelly! Shelly Tots!”
“Right,” Blake gave her a look like it was the first time he’d heard her say her whole name. “Miss Tots. We’ll get you free in a second.”
Blake examined the tangle and started to pull against it. After a few moments, he looked at Aaron with an angered look before letting the unmoving drone rest against the side of her face. She’d started crying a little, and her tears made her mascara run.
“Yeesh. This is in there pretty good. Maybe we should go inside so you can sit down and get comfortable.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you crackpots. Get this out of my hair right now and fast!”
“Okay, calm down. I don’t think we can get it out while we’re out here.”
“I have some scissors in the car if you want the fast route,” Austin said with a grin, pulling a surprised and angered look from the rest of the group.
The singer’s eyes morphed to a crazed fury, and her voice deepened. “You are not cutting my hair.”
“Okay, okay, but we need to go inside then.”
“My hair is my signature look. It won’t be a very good look if half of my head is shaved. I’ll look like a copycat.”
“Too late,” Austin said under his breath, but still loud enough for her to hear.
She gasped. “This is the most unprofessional company I’ve ever hired.” She pointed the finger at each of them before stomping off toward her Cadillac.
“I’m suing you for every dime you’ve ever rubbed together! Stupid crack babies!”
The four men watched her slide into her SUV and burned rubber down the side driveway that wrapped around her house. She pulled onto the street, and her tires squealed as she peeled off. She’d signed a contract that had an indemnification clause designed around such an event as this, so there was no way she could sue, but it still hurt to watch her leave. They looked between each other for a moment before walking toward their car.
“She does realize this is her house, right?” Aaron said.
“Not another word out of you. You cost us our most lucrative gig! This could have put us on the map to compete with all the bigger companies,” Blake said, jabbing a finger at Austin.
“Come on, let’s be real. She could sing, and she had a pretty face, but if her standout feature was her hair, then Miss Tots was going nowhere fast.”
Blake folded his arms and pouted. “Well, people have become famous for less. Looks like she’s rich enough to fund whatever dream she has so that she could have kept us afloat for the longest. Who knows when we’ll have another contract like that?”
“Guess it’s back to delivering for me,” Aaron said, sagging his shoulders.
“Well, if Aaron would register already, maybe we’ll get some gigs from the expo. It’s the biggest in LA, and I think I’ll be able to get a patent for my A.I.”
“Can it, Nesh!” Blake bellowed.
The four headed back to their vehicle and pulled out, hoping they’d never see Miss Tots again.