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Title: Tron: Absolution [1/?]
Author: hellsingmongrel
Rating: PG, or PG13 for some language
Pairing: None yet, but no slash  and all canon except for 2, one only implied.
Summary: Two months have passed since Sam returned from the Grid.  When the digital world attempts to reach out to him again, Sam finds himself forced to face the hatred and distrust he feels for the Programs his father cared for so strongly.
Author's Note:  This is unfinished, and there'll probably be a new intro once I get a chance to finish it up and amend the beginning.  Just wanted to get some of it out there for you guys to read.  :>





 

     Alan's office was much larger then it had been just two months before. It was even larger then when he'd been forced out of his old one in 1989. Hell, Sam was sure it was larger then even the one his dad had had when he'd been in charge. And he seemed to be taking a little while getting used to it. It made him laugh to see the older man milling about the spacious room as if he were lost. He was a businessman, yes, and a savvy one at that, but Alan had always seemed to prefer the simpler things over the extravagant. No doubt, he saw having a small apartment for the CEOs office as more then just a little over-the-top, especially with how deeply he'd taken to Kevin's altruistic dream in the old days.


     "How are you settling in?" He received a shrug in reply, and the elder gave him a bit of a hopeless smile as he tried to fiddle with the buttons on the espresso machine in the corner.


     "I'm settling, I suppose. I'd gotten used to two desks and a monitor. I don't know if I'll ever get used to a sofa and a tiny fridge." He humphed at the thing as it spat out steaming foam, yanking his hand back before it could scald him. Sam laughed, crouching down to eye the buttons curiously before pressing a few of them himself. It finally sputtered to life, dispensing the hot coffee into the awaiting mug.

    
     "You know, Tiffany can do this for you. That's what she's paid for."


     "Oh, I know, but I usually just get my coffee at the Starbuck's down the street. I haven't touched this thing since I got moved over here. I was just getting you some." Sam laughed, holding up his hands.


     "You should have said so! No thank you, I'm already keyed up enough as it is. I've been going through a lot of my Dad's old hard drives, been up all night picking through code. I've had enough to keep me up for a week."

    
     Alan quirked a brow at him in that familiar look of confused fatherly concern as Sam stuffed his hands back in his pockets.


     "Why are you doing that?" He shrugged noncommittally, glancing around the screen.


     "No reason. I'm just trying to see if I can find some of the old programs he created. I got curious after I went to the old arcade. Wanted to see if I could find anything fun. Who knows, maybe we'll find the next big thing he overlooked..." Alan simply nodded at him skeptically, humming to himself before he turned to sit back at his desk.


     "I doubt there's much left that hasn't been used already. After he went missing, anything that was worthwhile was put into development. He wasn't working on much, really."


     Sam nodded back, smiling at Alan and giving him a shrug.


     "I dunno, maybe..." Alan gave him a dubious look for a moment, and he stared back, sensing a knot twisting in the pit of his stomach. He knew that look...


     "You know what would be even more productive? If you finished your classes. You weren't far from graduating, you know." He groaned aloud, rolling his eyes.


     "Come on, Alan, not this again. Besides, I've got too much on my plate running this place, now."


     "No, I'm serious, Kevin would have been disappointed in-..." A chime sounded from the desktop in front of him and stopped him in the middle of his tirade, a frown crossing his features as he mumbled a soft, apologetic request for a moment before typing quietly. Sam eyed the perplexed, slightly frustrated look on his face.


     "What's up?" He asked as innocently as he could, creeping around the desk to watch as Alan deactivated an alert on the screen. He got a shake of the head in reply as he seemed to try to access a debugging program, though it did little good.


     "Honestly, I don't know. One of my old programs has started doing strange things. It keeps running a search for a location on the network, but I don't know why it's using my IP to do it. I didn't even know it was still installed on the networks. It's older then you are..."


     Sam inched closer, leaning over his shoulder and straining to read the words on the screen before Alan's flurried typing sent them scrolling away again.



     "Oh? What program is that...?"


     "An old security protocol I created for the Encom servers before your dad was in charge. 'Tron.' It hasn't ever done this before, it just started it this morning, off and on. I'll shut it down and a couple hours later it starts right back up."


     Sam's hands fluttered at Alan dismissively, shooing him out of his chair, which only got a perplexed look in return.


     "Lemme try. I think I might have done this. I...er...Tron was on one of Dad's old drives. I might have caused it to do this. If those old computers were still connected to the net when I was looking through them, maybe it...got loose? I don't know. Let me try to fix it." The confusion on Alan's face deepened, and he was about to protest when he saw the way the peculiar way the color had drained from Sam's face as he stared intently at the screen. Finally, he scooted back, standing and allowing Sam to take the seat.


     "Did you change the coding or something? It's not a security risk, is it?" He watched as Sam pulled up a DOS interface and began keying in commands, hoping the boy wasn't going to start trying to change the root files while he was still connected to the network.


     "I don't know...but I will in a second..."

 

>C:\>TRON-JA307020\SEARCH ENCOMSERV3\USERDAT\LOC\SFLYNN

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

>NO RESULTS FOUND

>C:\>TRON-JA307020\SEARCH ENCOMSERV4\USERDAT\LOC\SFLYNN

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

>NO RESULTS FOUND

>C:\>TRON-JA307020\SEAR¶

ABORT¶

>PLEASE WAIT. . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

>GREETINGS, ALAN1. . .

 


     Sam stared at the blinking cursor for a moment, his brow furrowing. Over his shoulder, Alan stared suspiciously at the screen.


     "Sam, what did you do? Did you use it as a Trojan for another one of your pranks?" He shook his head distractedly before his fingers began flying along the keyboard.

 

>GREETINGS, ALAN1. . .

Identify PROGRAM

>TRON-JA307020

QUERY PROGRAM IDENTITY RINZLER

>PROGRAM NAME NOT RECOGNIZED. . .

QUERY PROGRAM C.L.U. 2.0

>PROGRAM C.L.U. 2.0 DEREZZED. GRID STABLEIZED.

QUERY USER FLYNNK1

>OUTLANDS SEARCH RESULTS: 0

>GRID SEARCH RESULTS: 0

>SEARCH DURATION: 60mc

>USER FLYNNK1 NOT FOUND.

 


     Sam sighed to himself, shaking his head. He'd known what the answer would be already, but it didn't make it any easier to stomach.


     "Sam, what are you doing?"


     "Just give me a minute, Alan..."

 

QUERY TRON-JA307020 CURRENT FUNCTION

>TRON-JA307020 SEARCH\USER FLYNN,SAM

QUERY SEARCH OBJECTIVE

>RECONCILIATION

 


     He stared at the screen for a while, unable to work his brain around what he wanted his fingers to do next. Part of him felt a deep level of suspicion. His father's stories had always painted the Tron program in an affectionate light, as if he had been as fond of it as he had been Alan Bradley. Finding that Tron was "alive" had seemed to comfort a wound in him, as if finding out a long-lost friend had come back from the dead, even when that friend appeared to have turned into a damned Judas. The moment Rinzler had turned on CLU had seemed to encourage that happiness. But Sam had only known the program as Rinzler, the dangerous, cunning assassin standing at C.L.U's right hand. He found it hard to trust something that had almost killed him so many times.


     "Alan...did Dad ever tell you what he did in his office all day?"


     "No. He kept telling me he would when the time was right, but he never got the chance. We never found anything very special in his computer files. He probably took it when he left."

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

>TRON-JA307020 QUERY USER ALAN1 STATUS: ACTIVE Y/N?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . .¶

>TRON-JA307020 QUERY USER ALAN1 STATUS

USER ACCESSING ACCOUNT ALAN1 IDENTITY: FLYNN,SAM

 


     The computer attempted to access something that didn't appear to exist. When the program it desired wasn't there, it began searching for a microphone and audio output devices. It had little luck, though. Corporate computers usually left those interfaces off as a rule.


     "I forgot we used to operate with voice-activated hardware. You must be triggering the Tron program's audio interface. That's what it's searching for, at least. That system was removed years ago."

 

TRON-JA307020 TASK VOCAL INTERFACE ABORT. NECESSARY HARDWARE NOT INSTALLED.

>TASK ABORTED. PLEASE INSTALL HARDWARE AND HIT RETRY

 


     Sam actually laughed at the mental image he had flash through his head of a sour-faced program huffing in frustration at the small roadblock. It was mildly appropriate coming from one of Alan's creations.

 

HARDWARE INSTALLATION NOT COMPATIBLE

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

>PLEASE WAIT. . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

>TRON-JA307020 ATTEMPTING TO SCHEDULE TASK. . .

>FUNCTION: FLYNN,SAM GRID RECONNECTION. . .

>PURPOSE: RECONCILIATION. . .

>SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT: 03/18/2010 03:00:00PM PST. . .

>CONFIRM Y/N?

 


     He glanced at the clock curiously, biting his lip. Was it safe? Did he want to risk it? Part of him knew it was unwise. But he was too much like his father: Ever since leaving the Grid, he'd been uncontrollably curious about it's fate. He
wanted to go back.

 

>. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

>. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

>PLEASE RESPOND

YES

>SCHEDULED TASK CONFIRMED

>END OF LINE

 
 

      And with that, the interface closed of it's own accord and the connection was gone, leaving Sam and Alan standing in different states of confusion.


     "What did you do, did you change the program? I didn't recognize any of those prompts. What happens at 3?"


     "Don't worry. It's a task set on one of Dad's computers. I'm going to finish fixing it from there." He was already standing, walking to pick up the lukewarm espresso from the machine and downing it in one gulp. He had a feeling he was going to need the boost.


     "Thanks for the coffee, Alan." He was almost out the door before he remembered something, sticking his head back in and glancing at the older man. "Hey, I might be hung up for a while. I'll call you when I'm done, but...if I don't, can you go check on Marv for me tonight? Thanks. Later." And then the door was shut behind him without giving time for a reply, leaving Alan looking rather confused.

 

February 2011

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