SoHo-drone-inspired snippet

The first photographic evidence was inconclusive.

"Hey, look--it's a drone!"

The child's excitement was palpable as he clamored for someone to take a picture of the little machine hovering high above the intersection, seemingly waiting.

"Oh, it moved just when I tried to get the picture." His aunt leaned down to show him the photograph. It was a little blurry, overexposed from pointing skyward. And, sure enough, the camera had caught the drone just as it slipped out of frame, the upper half of it already out of sight.

"It looks like a crab," the boy's sister said. 

Later, everyone would remember how innocuous it seemed—a curiosity. Children and adults alike had stopped to look, some with wonder and surprise, some grumbling about privacy and invasive technology and losing humanity to apps and screens. But even the technophobes hadn't imagined the danger they were in, there on the sidewalk in SoHo, on an otherwise average summer afternoon. [Pick a date and a commemorative name for it.]

 

The first photographic evidence was inconclusive, but what followed was crystal clear.