Hours later, she hugged her friend goodbye, promising to keep in touch. She turned to her dog, still a little miffed at the wild goose chase he’d led them on. “You were here the whole time, weren’t you? Well you missed a good walk!” She checked her phone which she’d left behind in her worry about the dog, and found a text from her sweetheart, “Hey babe where ru?” Only 15 minutes ago, that was good. She texted back, “U on? brt :)”, and went to feed Charlie first - “not that you deserve it,” she said to him sternly.
Logging in, her screen was FILLED with offline dialog: “ Toto says: Master where are you? I am lost! Please come get me at Ozland “ over and over and over, dozens of the same message, except for the last one which read: ‘Your object “Toto” has been returned to your lost and found due to parcel auto return’. That one was time stamped 230, about the same time she’d returned home to have Charlie suddenly appear in front of her. Before she had time to really consider that her sweetheart was sending her a tp, so she grabbed it and went to see him, smiling at his eagerness. It was nice to be wanted again.
She arrived to find a pink ball awaiting her; hopping on it, she was in a dance embrace with her virtual sweetheart, although she didn’t think of him as virtual at all. Their favorite fantasy was to actually live in this world they’d created together, and she spent many happy hours with him playing “house” - decorating, landscaping, socializing as a couple, things that either no longer interested her or were unavailable to her, in real. It reminded her of one of the early Star Trek episodes, where a crippled commander was allowed to live out his days in a fantasy world of his mind. Her body wasn’t crippled, but her heart definitely was, and it felt at peace and happy here.
Coming out of her reverie she remembered she hadn’t shown her sweetheart her latest acquisition! “Babe, look at this!” She dragged Toto out her inventory and he immediately started growling! Hmmmmm. Sweetheart was not amused. Quickly she pulled up the blue menu and scanned it closely; there were more commands than she remembered. She hit the one that said Friend, then touched her sweetheart, and Toto stopped growling and started wagging his tail and trying to lick her sweetheart’s hand! Amazing! This script was really good! Again though, no creator listed...
“I left him out when i logged off last time and had dozens of messages on my screen when I logged back in just now, that he was lost. And the whole time I was looking for Charlie in real.” As she was explaining this she looked around for said Charlie, he should have been on his rug in her office but he wasn’t. Hmmmm again. “Brb”; she got up to look for him, he wasn’t anywhere, not outside in the back yard, not hiding under the bed, all the doors were closed, he wasn’t trapped inside a bedroom....that niggling little thought she’d been ignoring was becoming harder to ignore. Returning to her computer, she took Toto back into her inventory. Turning around slowly to face Charlie’s bed, (she was so afraid to look), omg he was there, happily licking various body parts.
No, she whispered to herself. She dragged Toto out of her inventory again, no growls this time, and....no Charlie on the rug.
“What’s wrong babe?” Her sweetheart knew she’d returned but as she hadn’t said anything, which was not like her, he was worried. As she recounted to him what was happening with the dog, she realized that he looked, well, almost real...she looked down at herself, same thing...she fainted.
The white disk glowed brightly. If disks could be happy it was supremely happy. It had just added to its followers, picking those people that it thought would add a positive influence to the world it was building. Its goal, if disks could have goals, was nothing short of Supreme Disk of the Universe, and it was well on its way. Other disks had more followers already, but they weren’t picky, taking anyone who wandered by, and the white disk knew that quality followers were important if you wanted to have a quality world. You couldn’t be Supreme Disk of the Universe without a core group of excellent caliber souls, and the white disk fully intended to reach that end game, and it was patient. Very patient. Its glow subsided slightly, just enough to pique someone’s interest, should they wander by. It settled in to wait.