A/N-As I mentioned in the previous chapter, these chapters are inspired by the Tron art book. This character in particular was created because I noticed that one of the designs for one of CLU's supporters also kind of resembled a low class rebel design from a previous page. I wondered, "What if that's the same guy just at two different stages of his life."
A/N 2- Multiple Tron sources say that "food" for programs is Energy. I've decided that if food =Energy, then money=Data. A Program performs it's function, it gets paid bits and bytes of Data. If your program becomes useless or "Defunct", you can't earn Data.
Zero couldn't believe this was happening.
How could they think…why would they ever…? Zero didn't understand how this could've happened; he was only a few cycles old. He was young, vibrate, top of the line.
How could they make him Defunct?
He started to hyperventilate, it wasn't fair. It just wasn't fair. He ran his fingers through the militant haircut of the System's elite class. The black locks that were shaved so close to his head were now caked with perspiration, which slowly slid down the pale skin of his forehead. Distantly he could hear Jarvis' voice as it carefully explained why he was being Defunctioned. "We've just found a more efficient method of dispersing our data collection reports."
Jarvis tried to sound kind…and yet to Zero he just sounded smug, "Now I know you have plenty of savings. I read at least 600 kilobytes of data in your account and that should sustain you for quite a long time. " Jarvis' voice was quickly becoming a shadow of sympathy, a mockery of genuine emotion. "Of course there are fees to be paid. The Defunction Process is quite expensive and it wouldn't be fair to the public if we shouldered that burden alone."
"But…how…what is it going to-"
"Oh the cost of the Defunction Process isn't so bad. I'd say…half your current assets should be enough."
"Well I wouldn't worry too much about that," Jarvis said as he patted Zero on the shoulder, then pushed a small infopad towards the bereaved program. "Now if you'll just sign this we can begin the relocation process."
"But my home-"
"Is reserved for functioning programs, I'm afraid."
Zero tried desperately to stay on his feet, his whole world was ending. He was defunct, nearly broke, and now homeless. He started crying now, openly sobbing. "But where will I live?"
"Don't worry, I have a nice place all picked out."
Ask a person to picture hell on earth and they'll describe various warzones or poorly governed third world nations. Ask a program the same question and they'll describe Habitation Block DD60.
In a world where everything was built within a system, nonconformity could never be tolerated. So if you stepped out of line, if you appeared even the least bit disloyal to the CLU regime, you were relocated to one of the dozens of lower level habitation blocks along the eastern side of the city. Ramshackle buildings lined the streets; each one was over crowded with defunct or damaged programs and regular patrols of brutal guards roamed every few hours, delivering beats or threats totally at random.
And DD60 was the worst Hab Block on the entire Grid.
Zero clutched his belongings tightly to his chest as he stared up at the endless length of dirty, diseased building now in front of him. This was his life now.