Tron recognized the sound of Flynn's approaching footsteps and began speaking before he'd even turned around. "About the latest upgrade: I feel the timing algorithms require an adjustment to better match the..." He trailed off frowning slightly, finally looking back at Flynn. The man was staring at him but his expression was blank with no apparent recognition. Tron's frown deepened, "What –" he started to ask.

A second face poked out from behind the doppelganger and broke out into one of Flynn's usual grins. He looked pleased with himself. "Tron, this is Clu," Flynn said, affectionately slapping his copy on the back and letting his hand linger a moment. "He's going to help us build the system."

"The perfect system," the copy added.

"Yeah, that's right, man!" Flynn laughed, clearly excited. "It's going to be perfect!" Looking away from the new program, he turned back to Tron, instructing, "Tron, say hello."

"Hello," Tron echoed, smiling easily and holding out his hand in a gesture Flynn had taught him.

Looking him up ans down, Clu gave an approving half-smile but spoke only to his programmer. "So this is the security you were telling me about,"and the way he said it, it didn't sound like he needed an answer.

Tron let his hand drop to his side.

"Turn around for me," Clu said spinning a finger and finally addressing him directly. It was barely perceptible, but Tron caught the brief pause before Clu tacked on a "please."

Flynn seemed amused, so Tron allowed the request, turning his back to the both of them. A slight feeling of unease tickled the edge of his processor, but how could he not trust someone who looked so much like Flynn? Besides, he was the Creator's own program, and the company alone was something to look forward t–

His thoughts cut out when he felt a hand on the interface of his disc, and he froze as his personal data was accessed. Catching a glow in his peripheral vision, he glanced down and saw his own spiral of code reflected on the floor and unfurling between Clu's hands. It was beautiful. And more complex than he could ever hope to understand.

Somewhat distantly, he heard Flynn speaking. "Hey man, you're pretty good at that!" The User sounded delighted. "And you got the hang of it way quicker than I expected!"

"Thank you," Clu replied, speaking over Tron's budding attempt to ask what was being done to him. The other program continued talking as he worked, directing words to Flynn that Tron recognized but couldn't pin a meaning on. He caught fragments about "rerouting subfunctions," "splitting processes," and otherwise just generally improving "efficiency."

Tron decided he liked the sound of efficiency, at least. Then he surprised himself, making an unexpected breathy noise as he felt the effects of a realtime update course through his system. There was a fraction of an instant where the world went soft and bright, and he felt his knees go momentarily weak. His pupils flashed before the energy that came with the change burnt itself out leaving him blinking dumbly.

"There," Clu said, "how do you feel, man?" It was almost eery hearing him speaking like Flynn did, and turning, Tron was greeted by a familiar smile, and an even more familiar slap on the back.

He rolled his shoulders experimentally, opening and closing his fists, impressed with how fluid the motions now felt. "Good," he said proudly, "I feel good. Update successful."

"Lemme see that," Flynn said cutting in. "Disc."

Tron detached the disc from his back, tossing it lightly toward the man. The minute Flynn had it in his hands he was pulling up the code again: a dizzying matrix Tron almost felt he shouldn't be allowed to see.

"Not bad." Flynn whistled. "Not bad at all. Actually, this is pretty great. Really impressive stuff, man. Good job, Clu."

"Of course," Clu replied. And while his voice was even, his eyes were bright, and a wide smile was spreading across his face.

Tron couldn't help but smile himself, happy already with the new member to what had once been a two-man team. Already h could tell that together they were all going to be infinitely more successful. Together they would accomplish Flynn's goals and create his better, freer system.

Flynn handed the disc to his program, obviously expecting it to be passed along to Tron, but Clu held onto it. "May I keep this?" he asked, turning it over in his hands until it lay flat in one palm. "I'd like to familiarize myself with the code." One finger ran along the inner edge of the disc. "The rest of it."

"Sure thing. You'll both be working together now. I can't see how it would hurt. What d'you say, Tron? It's your call."

Tron blinked, pulling his attention back from the internal scan he'd been running to diagnose the more minute modifications that came with his latest upgrade. "Of course," he replied, quickly enough. "Feel free to make any changes you think might help." The most recent adjustment had already given him a 0.003 percent increase in processing power.

Clu returned his smile, nodding once. "I will."

Flynn watched his two programs grinning at each other, and couldn't help but smile along. "Now that's what I'm talking about," he all but cheered, pumping his fist in the air once then throwing his arms around the two. "Let's change the world you guys."

.

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End


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Author's Note:

First time I've ever written Clu, Flynn, or Tron, and I could be a little shaky with their voices. I would be 100% forever in your debt if you gave me some crit.

No seriously, I would do unthinkably dirty things for some good crit.
Really.