Author's Note: A 2AM oneshot I wrote after being greatly inspired by Miley Cyrus' "Can't Be Tamed" music video (Ladies with wings in cages are awesome, alright?). Focuses on the emotion, or at least, I tried to. Don't worry if you don't understand what's going on until about halfway through; that was the point. :P

Tron and its characters don't belong to me, but I wish they did because I love them and want to take them home. CEILING RINZLER! /random

Timeline: Sometime after Tron: Evolution, before Tron: Legacy.

Please note that English is not my native language. There might be grammatical and/or stylistic errors. Please tell me if you see anything.

Broken Equation

The lights blind me completely for a few seconds as I'm allowed to open my eyes again. There's so many of them. I try to shield my eyes but my hands are tightly tied behind my back. Chaos. I squint and catch a glimpse a tiny bit of the storming orange sea all around, and stumble a few steps forward as someone shoves me in the back. My eyes widen in horror. There is no sea, except for the sea of shouting spectators. The cheering is so loud; my head's spinning, my knees are shaking. There are noises everywhere I turn, they're following me, they're stalking me, they're haunting me. So unbelievably loud. Who are these people? What do they want from me? How long have I been standing here? Where is ‚here'? Why am I here? Why are they so loud! I can't focus or think straight like this. No matter where I run, there's always more of them, so I just keep backing off. The sound, heart beating, breath quickening, hope vanishing. I realize I have never felt more afraid, and yet, they keep cheering, as if enjoying my confusion. Why would they do such a thing? I don't understand! A strange and unfamiliar tingling feeling moves down my cheek. It almost feels like a.. liquid. Where did it come from? It doesn't belong here! If I try to shake it off, it sticks! That is wrong! It's not supposed to be here!

Suddenly, the sea calms for just a second, and then I see someone walking towards me. Some men, about three of them. Or is it five? Maybe six? Why is my vision so blurry? What have they done to me!

There is the loud crack of a thunder as all of the onlookers break into laughter once again, chanting a single short word, which I recognize, but I can't place it. My entrails twist when I hear it, however. Is it a verb? What is a verb? I forgot everything! But, forget is a verb, I know it is!

I know those guys are a problem, so I run in the other direction. I run as fast as my limits allow me to. I find out that running would be easier with my hands free, too. My head is pounding. I'm on the ground. It's transparent. I can see more of them. More of those beasts. I'm in a cage?

Unexpectedly, a noise comes out of my own throat, adding to the already terrifying cacophony. Then there is more. My chest hurts. Am I crying? I think I am. I can't recall ever crying before. Then again, I can't recall anything in here.

One of the men stops in front of me, looking down at me. He must be the leader; he motions for the others to stay away. I stare into his eyes, paralyzed. Move, girl, move! It's no use. The only movement I can produce at the moment is to shake violently.

The man smiles at me, and I'm filled with a rush of reassurance. His smile looks friendly. Maybe he will explain? I miss someone dearly, but I can't remember whom. The man reminds me of them, though. I blink and I can see better now.

My bonds fall off and he offers me a hand. I'm surprised; he didn't move. I force a little smile, but hesitate. My guts tell me not to trust him, to get up and run again. But who am I going to trust? What am I going to do? I just want to be anywhere else in the world. Right now, the only ticket to somewhere else is the gloved hand reaching for mine.

He pulls me up, slowly, his smile still coloring his lips with playful colors. I like it.

I let out a sigh of relief as I feel my hands free again. I almost forgot how beautiful it is to feel so free. I enjoy the feeling for a very brief moment until I realize I am as free as a fish on the sand. Insecurity. Fear.

Clu! Clu! Clu! They keep shouting the word and it's driving me insane. He whispers something, but I'm not quite sure I comprehend. Something about a game. A game being more entertaining if more skillful players are involved. Then the beautiful smile I was holding onto for dear life turns into a grin, and realization hits me in the face like a rough slap.

Of course. How could I forget? Clu is the name. I'm on the Grid, and I despise him with a burning passion. He's made me an exhibit in the zoo. I've always thought zoos were a bright environment, from what I've been told. But this is the same and I feel like an idiot for believing such lies.

I have no time to remember more because his lapdogs – there are three of them, I can see that now – already have their discs in their hands. Clu leans closer to me, way closer than I'd be comfortable with, and whispers. Run.

All my systems kick back in. I can move again. I have to move again. I spin around and sprint. I see a disc flying straight to me and dodge it with a somersault. I am aware of the boundaries now, of the four direct dangers threatening me, and can perform simple equations based on these information. Nevertheless, those equations are telling me I'm fighting a losing battle, trying to see an x as a y. I haven't been taught to give up, however, and I never will.

The chanting changes. Derezz! Derezz! Derezz!

"The last ISO." I was never truly aware of the fact. I guess I was trying not to accept it. Now that I'm alone, drowning in the waves formed by those who hate me, it all seems finally real. I wish someone would remember me. I am the last ISO.

Another disc misses me by inches. It's getting hard to keep up and my head still hurts.

I have an idea.

I run through the middle of the cage and slow down briefly between two of Clu's lapdogs. They both throw their discs. I speed up again just in time to hear one of them shattering into pieces. Got'cha! Bet you didn't see that one coming.

As I turn my head with a sly giggle to see the outcome of my maneuver, there are two more discs right behind me.

Damn it! This equation doesn't have a result.

I duck in time for the first one to only cut my hair in half, but the second one hits the mark.

I can't feel my side. It's literally disappeared. I look hopelessly at shards of it hitting the seemingly nonexistent platform, which now becomes very much real as I fall down helpless.

I should be at peace. I see the whole system in all its colors. Everything passes by so fast. Then another world reveals itself to me, a much brighter one. After that, another. All these possibilities take my breath away. Every image I see radiates with a different, more beautiful light, more profound. Yet somewhere behind this mask, I feel remnants of sadness and pain. I'm looking for something in all the pictures I see, but can't find it, and I'm getting more desperate with each. I must have forgotten something. Something very important. Something that matters to me.

After an eternity of silence and peace, I can hear someone, as if from a great distance. Muffled, away, right beside me, yet not here. I curse the voice in my mind for being so late. I won't forgive it, ever. Good news.

Let's go, Quorra.

Where have I heard this before..?


One more author's note: The "Let's go, Quorra" line was supposed to refer to the ending of Tron: Evolution, but when I later checked it, I found out Kevin actually said "Come with me, Quorra," which doesn't fit in. Bummer, sorry about that. Reviews are love. *-*