|Sleep Mode Beauty
Author: Cameron McKell PM
"Let me tell you a story, kiddo..." Years later, Sam sets out to prove the stories true, and save the day. He really should have known what he was getting himself into... Eventual Sam/TronRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Sam Flynn & Tron/Rinzler - Chapters: 3 - Words: 7,594 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 16 - Updated: 09-10-12 - Published: 06-19-12 - id: 8236083
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Notes: It's been a long time... a real long time.
I told myself a long time ago that I wouldn't post anything here, until I was posting continuations/updates of the few stories I've got here. Needless to say, that plan totally backfired on me, so I've recently come to the decision to do the exact opposite, as much as possible. I'm woefully out of practice at writing much of anything, really, and it's something I desperately want to fix. It may sound pathetic, but I haven't given up on the other stories I've started; I know where I want to go with them and everything. I'm just really not in a position, capability-wise, to take them there currently.
That being said, my current inspiration – my current fixation, that is – is Tron/Rinzler/Tronzler, preferably with Sam, being generally amazing and awesome. I've got several ideas scribbled out (some literally), and hopefully I'll be able to cobble a whole story together, or at least a second chapter. This story is... odd, I guess. I was inspired by shirozora's I Owe You A Love Song though this, as short as it is, has been steadily turning into something other than the humorous little AU it was supposed to be. The next chapter will (using strong verbs and future tense to try and encourage myself to make it happen) be in a more regular format, following the now grown up Sam as he tries his hand at saving the day. I tend to either over-edit my work or get a serious case of typographical diarrhea, so if anyone has any advice or commentary, I'd love to hear it. Suggestions for places to find more fuel for my current Tron fixation are also very welcome. (Oh man, definitely some typographical diarrhea in these notes...)
I make no money from this, and own none of the copyrighted characters/locations/etc. This is merely a flight of fancy written down for individual amusement. I only hope for a tenuous hold on my own plot ideas, but even then I'm pretty sure I have no rights. Oh well.
As always, I have no beta, fair warning.
Sleep Mode Beauty
"Once upon a time there was a land called the Grid. Within the Grid there lived many programs. Their lives revolved around three things: the energy springs that fed and healed them, the many games of skill held at the Arena, and the infrequent visits of their ruler- their User- Kevin Flynn. Flynn had been the Grid's User since the Grid's founding, and he cared very much for his loyal programs-"
"Until the ISO appeared, right?"
"Hush, kiddo. It's rude to interrupt. Anyway, where was I? Oh, right. Flynn cared for his programs, but he had other duties that often called him far away, sometimes for cycles at a time. So, during his absence, he would entrust the health and stability of the Grid to the powerful CLU, a program capable of many User abilities like Flynn, though not all. For the safety of the Grid, though, Flynn would always turn to Tron, a rather reserved yet extremely skilled program that had crossed paths with Flynn long before the founding of the Grid, though, as with all programs, he hadn't seemed to age even a day since then. The programs of the Grid were always very sad to see their User go, but their steadfastness, their belief of Flynn's own devotion to them in return helped the decicycles pass as if they were nanocycles. But then, one day..."
"The ISO appeared."
"That's right, but there's a bit... more to it than that. One day, as Flynn and his two advisers and good friends were walking along the Sea of Simulation at the eastern border of the Grid, a figure slowly walked up out of the black waves. She had a strange mark on her arm, and while she had circuitry like a program, it was white, like the circuitry that appeared on Flynn each time he returned to the Grid. Flynn was fascinated and excited by her sudden appearance, and rushed her off the shore back to his palatial home, oblivious to the two programs he'd left behind."
"By the time the two programs walked back, the not-User, had been settled into her own room, free to explore in child-like wonder, while Flynn examined her light disk. CLU attempted to scold Flynn for leaving him and Tron behind, but the User brushed his comments aside in his excitement, instead rambling about the strange uniqueness the girl had, and what it could do for the lands outside of the Grid. Feeling shunned, CLU slipped away as soon as he could, while Tron stayed behind to listen to his friend, happy so long as the User was."
"The rest of Flynn's visit was dominated by his fascination with the isomorphic algorithm, who had taken to calling herself Quorra. Her innocence was endearing to him, but her adaptability, and ability to be unpredictable grabbed most of his attention. He would spend his days watching her learn and evolve, while Tron or CLU tried unsuccessfully to tell him of their concerns over the energy levels in some of the springs throughout the Grid beginning to decrease. He was gone for many decicycles, during which time CLU retreated further into himself, Quorra learned and explored through Flynn's home, and Tron divided his time between watching over the girl, and protecting the Grid, all while the energy springs became smaller and weaker, until one dried up altogether."
"But, didn't the programs need them to live?"
"Exactly right, kiddo. Unfortunately, the only one with the ability to fix the springs was Flynn, and by the time he came back, his mind was focused solely on the ISO girl Quorra. This time around, CLU just watched as Tron tried again to pry their User's attention away, his processes jagged with hurt at the thought that one girl seemed to have completely eclipsed the spot in Flynn's heart for the many programs waiting devotedly, many of them suffering the effects of strict energy rationing CLU himself had finally announced. Feeling abandoned by the User, CLU hardened his processes, and slipped away to plan his own way to save the Grid."
"After some time, Flynn registered that Tron had abruptly stopping speaking, and turned to look curiously at his long-time friend, only to clumsily catch the program as his body collapsed from a sudden standby protocol forced into action to protect the program from damage due to nearly spent energy reserves. You see, Tron was a very powerful security program, and to be even just a good security program required a great deal of energy. Tron could have used this argument to keep a very healthy ration of energy to himself, but instead had insisted on the same, scant ration as every other program in the Grid. This would have been enough to keep him online and functioning, if not for the fact that half of what little he received he generally ended up giving to Quorra, not wanting such a young, innocent (not)program to worry about the shortage, or suffer unduly. After all, she brought Flynn, his adoptive User, such happiness."
"It was ironic, Tron had said after being revived, that his suddenly stopping talking had caught more of Flynn's attention than his previous microcycles of pleading. The User was ashamed by this, and promised to be more attentive to his poor programs. He then immediately left the program's side, Quorra watching wide-eyed over her protector, to the energy spring that had gone dead. He restored the spring in brilliant fashion, User talents in full force as he ensured the spring would never fade out again. He was stopped from fixing the other springs however, who were not going to last much longer either, when a frantic, and devastating message reached him. He had to leave, immediately."
"Was Tron okay?"
"Yeah, kiddo. He was really tired and starving, but Tron was a tough program. Anyway, this separation was probably the longest to date; it was a whole decacycle before Kevin Flynn returned to the Grid. The streets were deserted, cold and dark. Everywhere he looked, it was the same, ports and byways that should have been teeming with programs were eerily silent. There was nothing... almost. A pair of sentries approached him, the angry red-orange glow of their armor standing out brilliantly in the dark, for no other reason than there was no other light around to compare it with. He had planned to greet the two guards, get some answers maybe, when they turned their weapons on him. The User was literally shocked into movement, poked and prodded up the path to his own home."
"CLU was waiting for him. He gazed back at the User with contempt and hurt, before mockingly welcoming the Mighty User back to the Grid. 'Not how you expected it to be?' he'd asked, then gestured back the way Flynn had come. 'You left them to die.' Flynn tried to explain what had happened, why he couldn't come back sooner, but he'd found someone to watch his young son while he came to help. CLU just seemed to get angrier, though, finally learning some of the reason why Flynn left so often, and for so long. It was just another thing the User valued more than his poor programs, the gold-circuited program figured. 'They don't need you,' CLU finally responded, turning his back on his former User, adding over his shoulder that for once, someone was here, working to help the programs, save them from the ill effects of the ISO."
"The ISO made all the energy springs dry up, right?"
"All but one, but yeah, that's what CLU thought, at least. It didn't really matter what the others thought, though, since he'd forced almost every program in the Grid into sleep mode, suspending the programs until a leader who loved them could save them, and CLU was determined to be that leader. Flynn tried to argue, tried to simply help and let CLU rule the Grid, but the program would have none of it. He threatened Flynn, that if he so much as came back to this land, he would have the ISO, sleeping peacefully like any normal program, thrown back into the sea, still trapped asleep. Perhaps deep inside, CLU hoped this threat would knock sense into the User, and he'd realize how badly he'd neglected his programs for just one creature, but it almost had the exact opposite effect. Horrified, Flynn fled the home, pausing to glance up to Quorra's window, where a dark shape watched, sparse red-orange circuitry highlighting the program's slightly hunched figure. He was just close enough to pick up the faint sound of purring from the unknown program in the otherwise silent air, before Flynn... left the Grid. He didn't know what else to do."
"But, do the programs get saved? Does CLU become the Grid's User? Does he ever toss the ISO into the sea? What about Tron?"
"As far as I know, the Grid's still there, waiting to be saved. CLU doesn't have the all the powers of a User, and without them, he'll never be able to save them."
"So all those programs are just stuck sleeping forever?"
"Hopefully not, kiddo. Someday, I'm sure a User will find their way to the Grid and save them. Eventually..."
"That's slow... and boring. I could do it!"
"You're still a little too young, kiddo. Maybe when you're older you can try. Say... twenty years from now?
"That's like... a gajillion millicycles!"
"Uh huh, sure. Good night, kiddo."
"Will you tell me more stories tomorrow?"
"Sure thing, kiddo, but let's stick with the happier stories from now on, deal?"