Joe earned his usual notifications that morning and almost enjoyed driving a dead man’s car (driven +1). He reconnected with both his father and an energetic Jolt, just like he was before, maybe a little grayer. Funeral arrangements for his grandmother had been made.
Funeral attended. Joe had had a very odd serene 48 hours of “normal” notifications; no big ones. Some chatting with Claire. She was a nice person.
Joe felt more nervous than he had ever felt in his life.
Buzz. It was an alert from Watch.
“Drone +4; plus one 444 [Ok] [Go to Stats app]”
Joe felt a shiver run down his spine as he stood alone in the cemetary. He had remained for a little longer than the others to pay his own respects. He had felt his loss deeply.
Joe looked up. He scanned. There it was. A pink light. Brighter this time. It moved slowly. It vanished.
“Drones,” Joe thought. Drone plus one. Joe read between every line he could think of.
Joe had been assigned a drone.
Or perhaps he had had one from the start.
And the drone was invisible.
Joe wanted to be numb. He did not want to feel anymore. This couldn’t be true. He was insane. These were insane thoughts.
Joe knelt down and wept.
Thursday night. Joe stared at his ceiling in bed. He wondered if he would see the electric pink light if he lacked a ceiling. He closed his eyes.
Friday. Back to work. His boss welcomed him back; lunch would be on him that day. Everything seemed status quo. He was trained for his new duties. Still nothing big from the app. Watch was silent.
Joe punched out and was sitting on his couch after driving home (driven +1). He closed his eyes for a moment. The electric pink light shined brightly in the dark of his eyelids.
Joe had a thought. He looked at his glass patio doors. It had just grown dark.
He climbed up the ladder to his attic and climbed up through his roof access. He stood upon his roof. A dark sky was above him with only the stars bright enough to escape the suffocating light pollution. Joe always felt at peace when he saw the stars, even in the city.
A sliver of bright movement. Joe’s eyes darted towards the direction in which he thought he saw it. Just hazy orange streetlamp light upon darkness.
Joe remained up there for half an hour without seeing anything else. He yawned. He was thankful he had yet another two days off ahead of him. Joe shuddered to think of what opportunities the app would take.
A dim, moving light. Just above the horizon.
Joe had seen shooting stars move that slow. And parallel across the horizon, just like this point of light.
This particular point of light was electric pink.
It was moving left, very slowly, then moved down even more slowly, then left again for a short spurt, faster. The light stopped. It disappeared.
“A car,” Joe deduced. It had been following a car.
Joe quickly returned inside his home. He dreaded to think of what he might had seen had he looked up.
More people had the app, people living in his own zip code. “Were all of us app users given drones?” he mused. Why had he never noticed the lights before? What if they found out he knew about the drones? He decided to be more careful about how long he stared at suspicious things. No more games of light watching. Joe recalled the “deadlights” from the story of IT. He cursed himself for adding to his already established jitters.
Joe knew his ceiling offered no cover. He stepped into his shower, saying out loud “Enjoy the view.” Bathed +1.
Joe layed under his covers and browsed his social network of choice. He felt detached from the people on his friends list. He wondered if any of them had received the app. He thought of posting about it himself.
Buzz. A text from Claire. “how are you? anything new?” Joe informed her of his drone experience on the roof. Sent +1.
Buzz. Immediately after the text sent alert.
“wait for it +4; im sorry 444 [Ok] [Go to Stats app]”
Joe noticed the shorter hand in typing. Joe knew that whatever was about to happen next, Watch had done the best he could to help.
Joe rubbed his eyes. They had been a little itchy for the past few days. He drifted off to sleep.