For the first time in several cycles, the grid was silent. Throughout the grid programs interacted with one another, going about their daily routine.
Tron was doing his patrol searching for any faults or anything of suspicion.
The sudden burst of light shattered the stillness. With a jolt, the dark-haired program drew his light cycle and hurried to Flynn’s Arcade where he knew he would find the User responsible for opening the portal.
Tron was surprised to see the portal light up, Flynn never returned so early from the User world. He reasoned that he must have forgotten something or another. Not bothering to worry about it without any additional information he continued.
But as Tron stood outside the arcade building, Flynn didn’t come out and greet him as usual. In fact, it seemed no one was inside the arcade. It was unusual, especially for the Grids creator.
Drawing his disc from its position, Tron made his way into the arcade carefully eyeing any potential threats. As he reached the back Tron heard what sounded like heavy breaths and choking.
Worried that Flynn was hurt, Tron couldn’t help but rush to the sound of what sounded like pain and agony.
Coming to the back corner of the building, Tron couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
A tiny user curled into the corner with its head buried in its arms. It seemed to be holding a small object that was in the shape of a human figurine. Looking closer Tron could see it looked like him, it even had the four square circuits on his suit. The user didn’t look taller than his waist if his calculations were right. And it would not stop making such distressing sounds.
Crouching down to the tiny user and putting his disc back, he hesitated before bringing his hand to its shoulder. Tron learned from Flynn that users were easily startled if they didn’t know you were there and they best responded to light touches.
Immediately, the user looked up with wide eyes. Its small hands clutched the figurine closer to its chest. The noises of pain were replaced with a tense quiet. Tron slowly released the small shoulder and backed away.
Tron eventually breaks the silence when the user continued to stare at him.
“Hello...I am Tron,” he tries to speak slowly and as gentle as he can knowing from Flynn that showing compassion would get him better results to solve whatever situation he had just gotten himself into.
After a brief amount of time, the user spoke, though it sounded shaky and rough after its heavy sobbing. “I’m Sa-Sam Flynn.”
Tron froze. Sam Flynn? The son of the Grids creator. The son of Flynn.
Smiling gently, Tron hoped it would ease the son of Flynn, so he could get more information about why he was here.
“Well Sam Flynn, how did you get here?” Starting with one question Tron was hoping to coax the son of Flynn into a safe feeling by not overwhelming him. He even sat down and crossed his legs giving the user an advantage over him.
What Tron thought was a simple question brought the user back to crying. In-between its sobs the young Flynn answered the question.
“I-I didn’t mean to. I know dad said not-not to mess with his stuff, but-but I pressed a button and ended up here. And I-I don’t know where I am. I-I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.” The son of Flynn choked out.
Carefully Tron placed his hand back on his shoulder and suddenly the tiny user was clinging to his middle, sobbing into his chest. Slowly Tron placed his hands around the son of Flynn and tried to figure out what he was supposed to do.
Despite being close with Flynn, Tron knew nothing about users and even less about tiny users.
After a long time, the young Flynn quieted down and seemed to have fallen asleep in his lap. Tron shifted until he held Sam in his arms. Looking down he could see the tear-streaked face finally wasn’t scrunched up and was instead smooth and peaceful, like Flynn’s when he was in sleep mode.
Sleep mode or what Flynn simply called sleeping confused Tron. Sure programs also had a period where they rested and recharged, but they didn’t do it as often as users, or at least as often as Flynn. Besides Flynn, Tron didn’t know any users, so what little information he had was learned from Flynn.
Looking back down at the small face of Sam Flynn, Tron couldn’t help but feel lost. Now that he figured out who opened the portal, he needed to take care of Sam and return him to the user world, back to Flynn.
With gentle hands, he scooped up Sam Flynn and made his way to the front of the arcade, picking up the small figurine that was dropped when the tiny user had hugged him. The young Flynn blinked owlishly, squinting as he tried to focus on his face.
“It’s alright, Sam Flynn,” he murmured, carrying the user with great care. “You’re safe with me.”
Once outside, the boy started to yawn and just like that, again fell asleep against his chest. Hoping beyond hope that Flynn would suddenly appear and take control of the situation, but when he never appeared, Tron was left to keep charge of the younger Flynn.