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[personal profile] btailweaver
My geekdom knows no bounds; I never know what might set a muse off. Usually nothing that I need to be working on at any given moment. But here it is; I wrote something a couple weeks back after seeing TRON Classic and TRON: Legacy afresh. Has nothing to do with anime of any sort, nor is it complete--it's part of a much larger idea (when is it ever not, with me?) so I'll just call this a creative exercise. A demonstration, if you will, that I can still write somewhat. ^^; That I still know how to type.

Title: TRON: untitled so far
Rating: Teen, for angst, but what the heck it's from a Disney movie.
Notes/Warnings: Spoilers for TRON and T:L including secret identities. But please, feel free to go watch the movies! Campy fun.
Summary/Info: Takes place during/right after the end of TRON: Legacy. A warrior falls, and rises.

TRON: untitled

He was sinking when he was certain he knew himself again. White fire washing across the surface matched the white light that came up from within.

The Sea of Simulation had no bottom--at least none that any program had ever plumbed. They avoided it; the Sea was dark, shapeless, random--unformatted space, untouched by the Users. Programs who ventured there were unrecoverable, lost in the morass of formless bytes of non-data.

It was the least he deserved. A fitting end for one who had already lost himself.

"Will you stop worrying, Tron?"

He was built to worry. Made to care. All his care, all his warnings, unheeded, until it was too late. He had fought and fallen before the administrator of a system whose codes he was subject to. He could not strike down Clu--not with every protocol working against him. All he could do was try to firewall him until Flynn could escape--

"Flynn, go!"

--and still he had failed. Flynn was trapped in the Grid, and Clu...destroyed Flynn's dream, destroyed everything that mattered. Destroyed what made him who he was. He had not known he could hate so much.

"You survived... You'll be more useful than I thought."

Repurposed: whole chunks of code twisted and pushed aside to make room for new directives. He had been someone else, someone he loathed--a red-circuit drone, subject to a master control, every spark of independence overwritten. He could have fought it, but the subtle changes Flynn had added into him upon transfer made him subject to the new Grid's operating system--a system in which Clu had all the permissions.

"They haven't built a circuit that could hold you."

The chains were his own. Imprisoned not behind walls and force fields, but within his own code. He had utterly failed the Users, failed his friend. Compromised--a security program was no good once it was hacked. Useless. Obsolete. His core was heavy; he could do nothing but sink...

"Tron...what have you become?"

...when he'd already sunk so low he did not even know himself. Glitching, shattered, frankenstein program, riddled with errors, missing code, and corrupted data. Little better than a beaten virus. The stuttering buzz of his own broken data rattled endlessly inside his helmet; the lagged, frozen echo of his death cry was the only sound that remained to him. The Sea was silent.

"I don't know how you survived, slave. It doesn't matter."

Still alive...still functioning--barely. Again. No rest, not yet. Survived yet another impossible situation; explosions that should have scattered his code all over the mainframe, impacts that should have smashed him into unidentifiable pieces, injuries that should have left him a crippled mess of mindless voxels, repurposing that should have wiped clean any trace of his old directives. Perhaps he was cursed. Or blessed. Or both.

"I fight for the Users!"

The last thing to be taken away from him; the first thing he truly remembered. His purpose. Protect the system, for the sake of the Users. He fought for them. He fought for Flynn. He had known since meeting Flynn that the Users were not gods; despite their differences, they were beings much like programs. He no longer fought for gods. He fought for what was right. For the sake of doing good. Flynn was not his creator, but his friend. He fought, because Users had fought for him too. Flynn had fought for him.

"I'm not a program. My name is Sam Flynn."

Flynn. Flynn, like a synonym for hope. Like the light of an I/O tower. Slowly and surely creeping through the haze of red; hairline fractures in a dark, imprisoning shell named Rinzler. Stretching, existing again--the prison was cracking, great chunks snapped off and shouldered aside--the face of Sam Flynn, the face of Kevin Flynn--

Flynn. Friend. Clu, enemy with Flynn's face. Clu escaped--pursued--the Users were still not safe--the explosive fire--the Users--!

His own agonies stopped mattering. He struggled against the remorseless Sea, but it was a dead zone, without up or down, without force or movement. He was so far below the surface now that everything was in blackness.

The hand that reached down to grasp his own did so as easily as if he were merely adrift in a puddle.

"Easy there, Tron ol' buddy." Oh Users, oh, that voice. He knew it well. "I've got you now."

He was pulled from the grasp of the Sea like a stick from a pool of tar--the Sea was reluctant to let go her prize. He felt as if his battered data might be torn in two, but his rescuer lifted him free with frighteningly casual strength, and cradled him as if he weighed no more than a fluff data pusher.

"Hang in there, pal," said that dear, hated voice, soft and concerned. "Oh, man, this has really done a number on you, hasn't it." The strong arms tightened gently. "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry, Tron..."

Free of the Sea, there was light again, but the world itself was dim, damaged. Tired white glow lit the way--perhaps it was his own, though with the flickers of red he could not be sure. In the edge of his blurred vision, circuitry glimmered pale golden, his helmet resting against black armor. He did not know if he should fight or collapse.

There was dry, formatted data beneath him when his rescuer set him down--one of the many craggy formations that hovered near the Sea. "I can't stay with you--got some urgent stuff to do. Don't worry, though. You'll be okay. Alan and Sam will take good care of you."

Clu? He wanted to fight again--wanted to stand. He wanted to see clearly. The damage was too severe for him to do anything but twitch and struggle weakly on the ground, emitting only that damnably endless death-rattle. Flynn? Clu? Flynn! Who are you?!

His rescuer was reaching toward the sky, the golden light from his palms as keen as that of an I/O tower, reaching for the heavens. The light pierced the clouds, and it seemed as if silent thunder rolled.

When the blinding light ended, his rescuer was already reaching out again, plucking pale yellow light and circuitry from the very dataspace itself. What formed might have been a light-jet, or it might have been wings. It was both and neither.

"Wait here, buddy," said his rescuer. "Whatever happens, don't be afraid. They'll find you. If you get a chance, tell Alan I'm sorry I screwed you up so much. I knew you were his baby, and I still messed around with your code a lot more than I should have...and then some."

Who was it that was apologizing?

"I should have listened to you, old friend. Never should've taken you for granted. You're better at taking care of people than I am." He could just make it out when the stranger/friend/enemy smiled, sad and wise and wistful. "Please...look after Sam, when you can. You don't have to fight for me any more. Fight for him, Tron."

The jet/wings glowed, and the friend he didn't know lifted gently off the ground. In the next moment, there was a burst of golden light, and his rescuer was gone, streaking away over the Sea.

He was left to stare at the darkening sky and wonder how he could fight for anyone.

Fight for the User. Fight for Sam Flynn...

He did not even question the fact that he still wanted to.

* * * * *

Sam Flynn stood in the dusty Arcade basement, wondering what to do with the bulky old Grid mainframe.  It wasn't as if he could simply leave it there, whatever the condition of the microcosm inside. Flynn's computer had so far been lucky no one had ever come to investigate why an Arcade had been closed down and disconnected, yet was still drawing power. Perhaps his father might have been found sooner...or perhaps a disaster might have been unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

There was the laser--there was the possibility of someone else stumbling over it as he had, and falling through the light.  There was the possibility of last bits of data on the ISOs, of Flynn's logs and records stored in encrypted sectors, pieces of the puzzle to help solve the mystery.  There was the world Kevin Flynn had created, the City, the Outlands, the Games, full of strange life and light and things that moved and spoke and laughed and hated.

There was the faint hope that some scrap of his father remained in existence, even if it was only to be seen in his works. It wasn't something he could just throw away, and he wasn't sure how he felt about shutting it down.

He wouldn't have much time to decide how to proceed.  He had a former sentient computer program to get settled into the human world, a Fortune 500 company to retake, a legacy to claim at last.  At the very least, it would be best to disable the digitizer...

The old mainframe's touchscreen surface blinked, and a new terminal window popped up.  The words contained within were few, but they made him lurch, spine tingling with sudden chill.

Help Tron.

The words threatened to blur in his eyes, and for a moment he wasn't sure what to do. He didn't know who could have sent them, but he had a feeling not many people--or programs--would even know to make the request. There was really only one thing he could do.

Kevin's last message or not, it made up his mind for him.  He set about jury-rigging a hard-line link between the Grid and his personal data storage device; not easy, as the languages and interface ports were completely different.  Old as it was, most of the information--at least the file-formatted parts--should be small enough to fit.  To make room, he deleted video files, hacking scripts, and music without a second thought.

Preserving the Grid was only half the battle.  To repair it, to recover the programs within, he would need someone who knew more about code that old.  Where Tron was concerned...he needed someone he could trust.

Someone who had a right to know.

It was time to bring in Alan Bradley.


Hope you like!

I have a nice, long, quiet weekend ahead to work on more consequential stuff. The family is embarking on a trip to the State Fair on Saturday-Monday to participate in a competition with their riding club; I'll be holding down the fort. Blessed stillness!

Some more successful authors than me have suggested that I complete stories before posting them officially. I think I will be trying that for a while, see if it gets me to finish more. If I post any unfinished things to journal for perusal they will be friendlocked.

Otherwise encouragement (read that: Kick In The Pants) for story finishing is appreciated! Stuff like RT needs to get done. ^_^


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Becky Tailweaver

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