Joe went back to his desktop for more research. He brought up Google and typed in “stats app”. The results showed a ton of apps with the word stats in their names. Joe tried again. “App that tracks your actions, stats”.
Joe scrolled through the first page of results seeing nothing helpful.. until the very last result. It was the title of a blog post:
“Help, an app on my phone keeps sending me weird notifications! I think it’s tracking me!! (4 people in this discussion)”
Joe clicked it.
“Morning, Joe.” Joe jumped. It was his boss. “Feeling better today, champ?”
They traded the usual pleasantries, and then his boss mentioned the now deceased employee. “Very tragic… and to think we were just about to fire him… life can be stranger than fiction, huh? Anyway, don’t forget our post-meeting today.” He gave a thumbs up and left Joe’s office.
Joe sat there for a moment comprehending his boss’s words. “Could he truly have had him killed? Is he in on it with the other executives? And why was I the one to sign the last signature for it to happen?” Joe thought.
He pulled out his phone and looked at the app. “Murders: 1”.
Joe had not killed this man directly, but the app still counted it as murder. Why?
Why was this even happening at all? Joe remembered the Google result. He swiveled his chair to face his computer and saw the blog post that had loaded. Joe began to read.
“So I woke up a few days ago with this weird app on my phone that keeps telling me when I use the dam bathroom.. it’s rly annoying!! I can’t delete it! Does anyone know about this??”
Comment 1 (by original poster): “Sry, the app name is Stats, jesus it just gave me a notif about posting another blog post, crazy ****!!”
“That’s it,” Joe thought. He continued reading…
Comment 2: “lol wut”
Comment 3: “haha its the NSA”
Comment 4: “omg i’m not the only one! same thing here! tracks almost every action i do! message me OP”
Joe checked the timestamp of the last comment. Two days ago. Joe immediately signed up for an account on the blog site and sent the last commenter (who went by the screenname “nofatebutwhatwemake”) a private message stating that he too had been infected with the app, leaving his email address at the end. Joe noticed nofate’s profile hadn’t been active since shortly after leaving the comment. “****.”
Joe compartmentalized it and did his usual accounting work. He attended the meeting in his boss’s office; it went like clockwork, nothing out of the ordinary, simply reviewing the minutes. The deceased employee was now a case closed.
Joe went home after work, having ignored most of the app’s notifications all day. Nothing too serious. No more murder notifications, anyway. He downloaded a song off the internet as an attempt to get his mind off things. Buzz, a notification:
“Times stealing +1; now at 346 [Ok] [Go to Stats app]”
“Well ****,” thought Joe. His music pirating was being tracked too. No wonder that number was a bit high.
Buzz. “Oh what now?” The new notification told him that nofate had responded to his message via email.
“hello! i am sorry to hear of your troubles with this too! let me guess… you have gotten some disturbing notifs as well?”
Joe hit reply.
“Thank you for responding to me so promptly! Yes, the app appeared on my phone this past Wednesday morning, and it showed me much of what you and the OP in the blog were talking about, every day actions +1. But the real kicker was when it”
“Unique guests invited into home +1; now at 7 [Ok] [Go to Stats app]”
Joe stared at his phone in absolute confusion when he heard three hard knocks at his door.