Slowly he opened his eyes and as he did, the dream receded just beyond his reach. He was completely disoriented; he’d never seen this room before. Suddenly people came rushing at him; he shrank away and tried to run but found he couldn’t move. He tried to wave his arms to keep them away but his arms were so heavy, he couldn’t lift them. In a full panic now, words slowly began to filter through to his brain: Awake? Awake! Doctor..blood pressure spiking...shhhhhhhh you’re okay you’re safe we won’t hurt you you’re in a hospital shhhhhhh. He closed his mouth abruptly, suddenly aware that the screaming sound was coming from him. Deliberately slowing his breathing, he forced himself to look around at these people he didn’t know. They looked concerned, not threatening, and one was telling all the others to leave for now. Thank goodness, he didn’t know how much longer he could hold his breath!
The one that stayed was looking at him kindly. “You’re in a hospital,” she said. “You were in a bad accident, and you’ve been in a coma for almost two months. This is the first that we’ve seen you open your eyes. Sorry, we all got a little excited.” She was smiling at him. Hesitantly, he smiled back. But when he looked down at himself, and saw the full body cast, his smile faded. And when she started asking him orientation questions - what’s your name, who’s the president, what state are we in, what year is this - and he knew NONE of the answers, his panic started to return.
Now that Zola had all the money she ever wanted and so much more, she had the freedom to do as she wished. And she found that she wished to find out what had happened to her friend. Even though her heart felt sure that her friend was safe, Zola’s curiosity would not be allayed. I’m not a very good PI, she thought to herself, but now I can afford to hire the best! And so she did. And came up with...nothing. There was absolutely no evidence that her friend had ever left the house, and no evidence of a body buried on the property. The PI, knowing her resources, suggested a computer forensic analyst, and gave her a name. Zola tossed the card in a drawer, promised herself to call the following week, and left for the Bahamas.
Zasu wasn’t happy, but she was at peace. For now that would have to do. He was a part of her heart, the part that hurt, but she was unwilling to let him go. She’d tried, oh how she’d tried, but she felt more at ease with the hurt, than with the emptiness.
Toto came running up, the white disk in his mouth, begging her to play catch with him. She grabbed the disk and was about to throw it, but then gave it a closer look. It was smaller than she remembered, was Toto eating it? Not knowing what it was made of, she didn’t think that was a good idea. Tossing it in the trash, she grabbed a ball and threw it instead. Toto raced happily after the ball.
The white disk felt a black cloud over its head. Shameful, to be tossed in the trash. It simply had to become worthy again, worthy enough to be Supreme Disk of the Universe. The errant follower must be found and brought back, there was no other way to redeem itself it thought, if disks could think about redemption. It set about repairing its appearance, making itself irresistible again, and slowly powered up and out of the trashcan and back into the world.