Title: Unknowable Perfection
Author: Lomelindi (firebird_88 on LJ)
Characters: Tronzler, Alan, Yori, Sam, Quorra (later)
Pairing: Established Tron/Yori, Paternal!Alan and Tron
Synopsis:Against all odds, Tron / Rinzler is found after the events of Legacy. It takes a group effort to bring him back. Tron and Alan-centric, with a healthy dose of Yori.
AN: I wrote this mainly because there is simply NOT enough Alan / Tron interactions whatsoever in the fandom and in canon. Also, this story contains lots of speculation / artistic license taken with Yori's whereabouts before / during Legacy and with Tron's past with the ISOs.
When she first saw him from afar, Yori's circuitry almost crashed with shock.
For a split second, she saw a mop of white hair against glowing black robes and thought that Kevin Flynn himself was walking toward her. Impossible. Every remaining Program knew that the Creator was gone, as was Clu and a good portion of Grid.
As the User Sam Flynn and his mysterious companion drew closer, Yori felt her shock dissolve into confusion, then into a surging wave of relief and bittersweet joy. Those piercing blue eyes, that proud nose, that gentle smile… She'd recognize that face anywhere, even if it was surrounded by white hair.
"Alan One," she breathed as they approached. Oh Tron, she thought, It should be you standing here. I should not be the first to meet your User.
The white-haired User's eyes –beautiful and surprisingly clear despite his age- lifted and settled on her with no small amount of surprise. He glanced at Sam, whom nodded with encouragement, then back her. Approaching her cautiously as if afraid that she would turn and run away, the User broke into a warm smile that looked so much like Tron's that it hurt. "You must be Yori," he greeted, his voice almost a copy of Tron's but deeper and gruffer with age. He shook his head and chuckled, a sound that Yori found herself liking very much. "My God, you really do look like her."
Her. Lora Prime. Yori's circuits pulsated at the mere thought. After Clu destroyed communication towers left and right and cut the Grid off from the User world, Yori had given up on contacting her User and focused on surviving. This was the first she had heard any news of her User –direct or otherwise- in over a thousand cycles.
"Yes, I am," she managed, proud that she sounded more coherent than she felt. She stepped up to Alan One, unsurprised that he towered over her just as Tron did. "Greetings, Alan One," she intoned solemnly, "We are very glad that you're here."
Alan One's eyes lidded with sorrow. "I should've come sooner," he murmured, "If I had known about any of this..." He trailed off, perhaps overwhelmed at the thought of what might have been. Perhaps none of this would've happened.
Yori smiled despite herself. He really was like Tron, so quick to blame himself, to take responsibility for things that were out of his control. "You're here now. That's all that matters."
Sam stepped up, his usually bright face uncharacteristically grim. "We came as soon as Quorra got your message. Yori, where is he?"
"Where did you find him?"
"Floating in the Sea." Yori said simply. "He was offline and very weak." So weak that they hadn't dared to move him lest he derezz between their fingers, but she left that part out. "We fed him liquid energy as best we could, and once he was stable, we moved him here."
"Who exactly is 'we'?" Alan One wondered, his eyes sliding over to the Programs that flitted busily past them. He knew none of them, of course, but they didn't look like the dangerous ones with red or orange circuits that Sam had described for him. They didn't look like the diagnostic Programs that were running around fixing the Grid, either. They just looked… different.
"The Resistance," Sam said, and was about to go on further when Yori interrupted him.
Turning, the female Program looked at them both sadly. "Not anymore. Now we are simply survivors."
She looked at Alan One with the weariness of one whom had seen one cycle too many. "Most of us were Programs from other systems, written by many different Users. We existed cycles before this Grid came into being. After the Purge of the ISOs, Clu turned on us. He was unfamiliar with our older, more foreign code so he thought of us as oudated Programs that needed to be destroyed to make room for new ones. Most of us fled or took on new identities. Only a few of us survived."
Sam looked uncomfortable. "Dad never mentioned you guys. He didn't know where any of you were," he said slowly, "If he had, I'm sure he would've tried to—"
"We do not blame you, son of Flynn," Yori said quietly. "Had we been aware of Kevin Flynn's whereabouts, we might've tried to find him, but given how good CLU was at tracking, that would've been—"
"—dangerous," Sam finished with a sigh. "Clu could have traced any of you to Dad."
"Yes. We couldn't risk it."
"And you?" Alan One asked, watching Yori with eyes full of compassion and pity. "What about you, Yori? Lora lost contact with you back in the 80's."
The look in his eyes was painful to look at. Many cycles ago, Tron looked at her with the same sort of tenderness. Yori turned and continued down the hall, if only to tear herself away from that all-too-familiar gaze.
"I've been searching for Tron," she said simply, and left it at that.
Alan had been warned of the horrors that Tron had been through. He expected the worst –a half-destroyed program, perhaps, or one tied up and locked in a cell to prevent him from harming others. He wasn't even sure what state Tron was in, or what state a program COULD be in after all that he had been through.
According to Sam, the last time he had seen the security program was when Tron –then Rinzler- had abruptly slammed into Clu's lightjet in a suicidal attempt to protect the Users. Against all odds, the security program had overridden almost 20 years of reprogramming to perform his most basic directive when he was needed the most.
That news made Alan both fiercely proud and sick to his stomach. I should've been there for him. For all of them. Not for the first time, he regretted letting Sam investigate the page from Flynn's old arcade alone.
Yori stopped suddenly, and Alan almost walked straight into her back.
He peered cautiously beyond her shoulder and found himself suddenly incapable of breathing.
The hallway ended abruptly in a bare, circular chamber. A tall, lithe Program dressed in skin-tight black armor lay dead still on a floating platform in the middle of the room. The entire span of the platform pulsated with white light like a heartbeat, and the strangely-minimal circuits on the Program's body –consisting of no more than a few dots and streaks across his armor- glowed weakly with it.
Alan could not help but stare at that face. It was most definitely his, but judging by the smoothness of the skin and the darkness of the hair, Tron didn't look a day over thirty. I'll be goddamned.
A small hand gripped his wrist, hesitant and gentle. Alan jumped nonetheless and looked down to see Yori's hauntingly beautiful eyes watching him carefully. He was unnerved by how much her touch felt like Lora's and by how much his body instinctively relaxed at her touch.
"Come," the female Program said, tugging him forward with care. "He can't hurt you." He could never hurt you, Alan One.
Stunned, Alan allowed himself to be led to the platform. He found himself hovering by Tron's head, unnerved that the Program's eyes –as blue as his own—were vacant and wide open, staring up at some unfocused spot on the ceiling. He felt a stab of disappointment that there was no reaction whatsoever to his presence. No twitch, no blink, nothing.
"Is he-?" Sam started to ask, his voice tight as he circled the platform nervously. He was visibly tense, no doubt remembering how many times Tron –Rinzler, rather- had come close to killing him.
"Hibernating, or so we think," Yori answered quietly. Releasing Alan's wrist, she settled on the other side of Tron's head and reached out to stroke his hair gently. The gesture was instinctive and practiced, as if she had done this many times before. "We've tried to rouse him from it, but he won't boot. His body can't retain enough energy to even run his basic functions."
Not one for outbursts, Alan swallowed against a sudden wave of white hot anger that rippled through his body. How did it come to this? Tron was his program, his creation, his responsibility. Clu -or anyone else for that matter- had no right to mess with him.
Sam watched him clentch his fists. The eagerness on his face suddenly made him look very much like the child he had been before Flynn disappeared. "Can you fix him?"
The words hung heavily in the air.
Alan's eyes did a one-over on Tron's body, no doubt calculating the risk and complexity of such a task. Then they flickered upward, their blue irises brimming with fire and determination.
Sam knew that look. He remembered that his father was often on the recieving end of it and would backpedal quickly as if his life depended on it. "Alan, BUDDY!" Kevin had protested once, laughing as he held up his hands in surrender, "Remember, murder is a federal crime. We're cool, right? RIGHT?"
The son of Flynn found himself grinning at the memory. "I figured as much," he chuckled. He motioned Alan over. "Come help me turn him. We'll need his disk."
AN: I'm not a programmer, so please forgive any mistakes regarding computer terminology. Also, I am AWFUL at writing Sam Flynn. Just sayin'. :/
I COULD just leave it there, but I think I'll add one or two more chapters of Tron waking up and healing. At some point, I want to bring in Quorra since I have a slightly different theory about what the Quorra and Tronzler relationship would be like if they had ever met in some non-life-threatening situation.