Ghosts in the Machine by DD Agent

I do not own Tron Legacy or any of its characters, or its settings

Sam had never met Tron, but his father had talked about him enough as a child. Quorra kept telling stories about what he had been like, what a symbol he had been on the old grid. Now he was in charge of the company that was his birth right, he saw Alan Bradley more and more than he had in the rest of the years of his short life. And every time he saw him, he couldn't help but see the program behind his eyes.

One day, just out of interest, Sam bought a Tron action figure and put it on Alan's desk to see what he would do. He played with it for a while, picking up the disc battle action figures that were in his bottom drawer and made them fight each other. Sam hid and laughed, but it immediately faltered when Alan's own laughter did.

All he knew about Alan Bradley was that when Sam had been young, Alan's wife had left him for another man. Everyone thought she would run off with Kevin Flynn, but it had just been some nameless, faceless figure. He had been alone for too many years, looking for something to fill the space in his heart.

For a while he had been close to Flynn; and working harder than ever before at Encom stopped the countless empty nights. He had tried to fill the need to have a family, to have a child of his own by taking care of Sam after his father had got stuck, but Sam didn't want him as a father. He didn't need a replacement, not realising that Alan was doing it more for his sake than the Sam's.

"He seems lonely," Quorra remarked one day, and Sam couldn't help but agree. He didn't know what to do to help Alan. "So full of numbers and lines of code. I can see it behind his eyes. Sam…"

"No, Quorra. We can't."

Pacing in his apartment, Sam kept thinking over the unsaid suggestion. The grid was in turmoil - with both CLU and Flynn gone he had no doubt that the place had gone to the dogs. They needed someone to sort the place out. Alan resembled Tron, Quorra said. He could give them hope.

"Alan, do you reckon you could help us clear out the arcade? I want it to be up and running again, and I wouldn't mind some help going over it."

"No problem, I'll be there."

A little coin taped to the front gate with a suggestion about playing Tron. Alan would see what Sam had seen, would go through the door and hopefully end up on the Grid. They needed a new saviour there; and, as Sam watched Alan go through the door into Flynn's Arcade, it could create hope for Alan himself.

Maybe Tron was still alive, maybe even his father was too. Maybe the three of them together, two users and a program, could put the world back together as it should be. Maybe everyone could move on.

When Alan didn't return, Sam smiled and started to work on the arcade. Quorra would be staying there, keeping an eye on things and making sure Alan was okay. Sam had every faith he would be, and every faith that Alan could finally find a place that was his own amongst the lines and code that made up his soul.