I do not own Tron or Tron Legacy.

Shadow Life : a journal on paper

Cycle 1000

(Quorra's last narrative, without her journal, which Flynn took)

I was learning so much from Flynn. And as he shared what his world was like, I hoped that we would be able to travel there sometime. It was a silly hope. The portal could never be opened from the inside. The beam that told us when Flynn was visiting the Grid never lit up in all the 100s of passing cycles, that is, until after nearly 1000 cycles had passed...

I was driving the light runner around the Outlands, Flynn being at his usual pre-meal meditation. I headed for the city to see what was going on there. I would often sneak in, either on-the-sly, as Flynn put it, or incognito with my disk modifications. Mid-way to the city, I saw a magnificent sight. There, beyond the Outlands where the portal was located, the beam appeared, topped by the brightest light visible anywhere. It was as I had remembered, when Flynn would come and go, only this time, it wasn't the Creator who had activated the portal. Then, who was it?

I continued on to the city, and wandering around, listened for any information. Many programs hadn't even noticed the beam, enclosed in the towers, or at ground level where visibility was nil. But soon, I heard rumors being spread around about the presence of a User on the Grid. Was it possible? A User had activated the portal, to do what, free Flynn? I had to get as many details as I could, so that I could inform Flynn of what was happening. He'd want to know if another human was actually on the Grid.

By nature, rumors never reveal the whole truth. I heard that a User had entered the Grid and had attacked Clu. That Clu had killed the User on sight. That the User wanted to create an alliance with Clu. That the User had stumbled upon the Grid, and was being treated like any rogue program, having been sent to the Disk Wars, where Clu discovered him.

Soon, the rumors became more detailed. The User was being placed on the Lightcycle game grid, forced to battle Clu and his team of exemplary riders. If true, there was no hope for him. I had to get there to see if I could somehow help.

As I infiltrated the crowds heading to the arena, I heard disturbing news. The identity of the User had been revealed during the Disk Wars challenge, when he had been pitted against Rinzler, the strongest player on the Grid, and Clu's personal assassin. He had been treated as a rogue program, until he stood and told everyone he wasn't a program at all. Shock reverberated throughout the stands as he declared his name to be Sam Flynn. The same as the Creator's. The son of Flynn. To me, he was just Sam. But it couldn't be, could it?

I went to my favorite hiding spot whenever I watched the Games. It was high atop the sign where combatants names were placed. One by one, as they were de-rezzed, the names would vanish until only one or two remained. This game, Clu's name was lit at the top of his team's list. For Clu to ride against someone, they'd have to be pretty special. It seemed His Excellency wanted to be personally responsible for the death of this combatant. Only one User could ever hope to defeat Clu at this game, and that was Flynn himself.

As I watched, Clu's command ship landed onto the game grid. His aide, Jarvis, exited the ship, and began to give the introductory speech as usual. He verified that yes, we did have a User in our midst. And then I saw him there, standing next to Jarvis and his assistants. It was Sam. He seemed so small from way up here. I had to rescue him from whatever Clu had planned for him, knowing it wasn't going to be good. Leaving my hiding spot, I ran back to the hidden runner, and drove it to a lesser used part of the game grid, far from the noisy crowds. Ripping a hole in the barrier with a small explosive, I took the runner just inside the now damaged area, and waited.

Soon the challenge began, with Clu's team already on the track. Sam and his team rezzed their cycles, and headed in the opposite direction. It wasn't long before programs began dying. Nervousness permeated my being as I watched Flynn's son take on the best of Clu's riders. He was holding his own too, taking out a couple of them easily. Surprisingly, he was able to stay alive as last man standing. But as was expected, Clu remained as well. And he had his eye set on destroying the son of Flynn. I had to move quickly.

Revving the runner as fast as I had ever pushed it, I raced out onto the Grid straight for Sam, just as Clu was also moving towards him. Whoever reached him first, would win. I gunned the runner into a gear I hadn't had to use until now, then as I reached Sam, jammed on the brakes in a screeching, smoke-filled stop. My light ribbon was now between Sam and Clu, who hit the barrier hard, flying off his cycle. I opened the door of the runner to the startled human. Through my helmet, I ordered, "Get in." He only stared at me, until I again ordered him to "Get in!" He did, and I gunned the runner, turning it around to head in the opposite direction.

With Clu's programs behind us, we raced toward the arena wall. Sam Flynn wanted to ask silly questions in the middle of our escape. I had to tell him to hang on, as I tried to rescue us from what would be painful deaths if Clu ever got his hands on us. Evading Clu's riders, including Rinzler, I assumed, we were this close to our goal. I took out a couple of the chasing riders. With the one left, I released explosives into a spot beneath the stands.

Sam Flynn yelled, "Hold up, man, you can't make that!"

Activating the stud tires we would need to drive on the broken up data field that made up the Outlands, once we had cleared the hole, and had landed on the rough terrain, I said assuredly, "Made it." As soon as I knew we were safe from followers, I de-activated my helmet, and introduced myself to the one person I felt I knew only a bit less than the Creator himself.

"I'm Quorra," I said, holding out my hand as Flynn had shown me once as they way humans introduced themselves. Sam Flynn took my hand, and I couldn't believe I was touching the hand of another User, and the boy about whom Flynn had spent so much time talking.

Sam Flynn seemed nervous. Not about my driving, I hoped. Flynn had often ridden with me, but it had taken cycles for him not to cringe as I drove. The Grid would be unknown to this new arrival, so of course, he must be nervous about that. I tried to reassure him by telling him everything was ok.

"Where are you taking me?" he asked.

I replied, "Patience, Sam Flynn. All your questions will be answered soon." I had to laugh as I realized it was my driving making him nervous. As I drove onward, I turned to look at the son of Flynn. He was young, and quite attractive, even if he looked nothing like Flynn. I was more curious than I could contain. After so many cycles of hearing stories about Sam, or comforting Flynn when he became depressed about their prolonged separation, here he was, in the flesh so to speak. What would my mentor say when I brought him the one person who was his greatest source of joy, and his greatest source of sorrow.

Soon we reached the safehouse where Flynn and I lived. I couldn't wait to show the Creator our new guest. Flynn would be surprised I was sure. But he would also be happy, I think. Later, we would find out how Sam had arrived here. I couldn't wait to hear his story.

We rode up the lift in silence. When reaching the top, I told Sam to wait, while I informed Flynn of our arrival. As I headed towards him, he in his usual meditation position, had heard me coming, and told me he had dreamed of Tron, his friend from the old grid. Clu had killed Tron as he was protecting his friend, and early on, Flynn would often have dreams about the faithful program who had sacrificed himself for the Creator.

I knelt beside him, saying, "It's a sign."

He laughed ruefully. "A sign, my dear apprentice, of a weary soul. I'm afraid something's happened."

"Something has happened." I placed my hand on his shoulder. "We have a guest." Flynn and his son were finally to be reunited, and I was there to see it.


A/N: There it is, my readers. Of course, we know where it goes from there. Thank you all who followed along with Flynn and Quorra, and especially to those who left comments. Your support inspired me to continue. But now I must go back to my other stories, plus I have a new one almost ready to begin. I hope you follow along with any or all of those as I release them.

Again, many thanks to Tron fans everywhere!