Rinzler felt his body growing cold as he fell faster and faster toward the black water below him. He watched as Clu flew off with the aircraft he had stolen. The feeling of betrayal filled his being as he realized just what he had done to his close friend.
"I fight for users." He said the sentence out loud, wanting that to be the last words he uttered. The water was only a few feet below now. Suddenly he felt something grab his torso and pull him up. He looked up and saw a program. He couldn't distinguish who it was for the program wore a helmet very similar to his.
"You'll continue to fight for users." The program said. Rinzler/Tron recognized the voice as female. The two flew after Clu, steadily gaining on him until they passed him. They flew up to the landing and the female program let go of Tron's chest and removed her helmet. The aircraft she had used floded up on her back, but she slid it off of her shoulders and let it drop to the ground. Without a word to Tron she sarted to run up the stairs, taking them two at a time. Tron looked back and saw both Clu's and Flynn's ships comeing toward the landing. He turned back and ran after the program. Halfway up the stairs he found her helmet and stopped and placed his next to hers. In the reflection of his helmet he saw himself. A long scar stretched down his face, starting at the middle of his forehead, down through his eye and suddenly swerving to go across his lips and ending at his chin.
A sudden rush of anger sparked deep inside of him and he swept his hand, sending his helmet tumbling down the stairs. It rolled to the feet of Clu, who had just landed. Clu looked up the staircase and smiled at the ascending figure of Tron.
Tron made it to the top of the stairs and found the program waiting for him. She walked up to him and held her hand out.
"My name is Atene. I hope you are ready to face the world." Tron looked down at her hand and then back up at her face. Her eyes were the same blue color as the light used to be on Tron's suit, before e had been reprogrammed. He heard footsteps behind him and, without thinking, placed himself in between Clu and Atene.
Clu laughed when he saw Tron protecting Atene.
"So you really do still protect Users." He laughed. Tron pulled his disc from his back and separated it into its two pieces.
"It's what I do." Tron said slowly. He knew he couldn't beat Clu. Not when he had someone to protect.
"It's always been your weakness." Clu said, as though reading Tron's thoughts. "When you were Rinzler you were invincible." Clu walked slowly toward Tron. Tron's reprogramming froze his movements. His thoughts drifted back in the direction to violence without mercy. Clu was close enough to place his hand on Tron's shoulder. "You will be invincible."
Atene suddenly leapt over Tron and landed on Clu's shoulders, knocking him over. She smiled and waved at him.
"Hi ya." She laughed and jumped off. She grabbed Tron's hand, jerking him out of his thoughts, and sprinted with him to the portal. As soon as they made it into the portal, Tron turned around and watched Clu's face contort in rage. Then he was gone. A bright light blinded him and suddenly he and Atene were in what looked like Flynn's laboratory back in the Grid. Except this laboratory was much more filthy.
"We made it back." Atene sighed. Tron looked at her and had to do a double take. Now that he looked at her, she reminded him of Yuri. They looked alot of the same except for her eyes. "Are you alright?"
Tron looked at Atene, confused.
"What?" He asked.
"Are you hurt? Do you feel well?" She explained. Tron nodded and looked down at himself. He found that he was no longer in his battle gear, but in clothes similar to what Flynn would wear. They were loose and he felt air on his skin. Tron looked up at Atene, confusion and fear filled his face. "Oh, my god. What's wrong?" Her voice was anxious.
"Air." Tron said quietly. Atene smiled.
"Yeah. Air. Feels good on your skin, right?"
"Yeah." Tron answered. Atene held out her hand to him and he took it.
"We've should get going. I know someone who would love to meet you." Atene said and led Tron out of the lab. They traveled through a hallway and up stairs until they reached a door. Atene pushed it open and they entered the arcade. Tron looked around in amazement. But he didn't say anything as Atene led him out of the arcade and to a waiting car.
"Where are all the lights?" Tron asked when he seated himself in the passenger seat. Atene smiled.
"We have lights. Just not as fabulous as the Grid." Atene explained. Tron looked over at her.
"So you are a User." He said. Atene nodded.
"Yeah." She said quietly.
"Why were you in the Grid?" Tron asked. His voice felt scratchy in his throat and he gently massaged his throat for a moment. Atene looked over at him, away from the road.
"I wanted to see the world of the Grid. My father, he told me about you. And my mother told me about another program named Yori. I wanted to find you and Yori. When I found out what had happened to Yori, I had assumed the same had happened to you."
Tron looked at Atene with interest.
"What happened to Yori?" He asked. Atene was surprised. Tron noticed that her hands gripped the steering wheel tighter.
"I'd rather tell you when we reach my father's home."