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All the Myriad Ways

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Go, then, there are other worlds than these.

- Jake Chambers, The Gunslinger


#1 - Kevin/Alan, police officers AU 

Flynn knew he’d fucked up as soon as the dealer had snapped his fingers, summoning four of his lieutenants out of the shadows, and despite all his experience he’s vapor-locked.  But then Bradley’s in front of him, barking at him to run, to call for backup, you idiot, and before Flynn can even get moving Bradley’s already got two of the thugs on the ground.

He’s just made it to the patrol car when he hears the shot.


#2 - Tron/Yori, Samurai and Geisha AU 

Once again, Master Kansei’s men thought they could simply take what they wanted.

Once again, they hadn’t counted on Toron.

“Once again, I am forced to draw my blade against unworthy opponents,” Toron murmured, sheathing his sword and stepping over the bodies at his feet to take Yori in his arms.


#3 - Sark/Shockwave, Transformers 


There’s never been anything like this, before, this invading alien presence spreading throughout Shockwave’s systems, and all his efforts to lock it out are of no avail.

I am Sark, the invader hisses, its voice coming from inside and from seemingly all around him, and all of your functions are now mine.


#4 - Yori/Clu1, AU in which Tron was never written and the MCP conquered all 

Their names are never uttered aloud in public, but every Program knows them. They’re the ones who can find out where your vanished loved ones are, who can forge you a red disk to keep the eyes of the Guard off of you, who can, if the need is emergent, get you out.

The Users have the stories of the Underground Railroad during the days of slavery; the System has Clu and Yori.


#5 - Ed Dillinger Jr., AU in which his father disappeared much like Flynn 

Ed hears the whispers and they make him feel like screaming: the ones that say his father murdered Kevin Flynn out of revenge and then fled the country on the night they disappeared—and worse than the gossip is seeing the sympathy that everyone lavishes on Sam Flynn, while Ed himself gets ignored or worse.

Fortunately, though, Ed is a genius, and he’s devised a way to fill the gaping hole in his soul that his father left behind.

“Hello, dad,” he whispers, and the dark surface of the great glass-topped desk lights up in response.


#6 - Kevin/Alan, High School AU 

By the time the fifth paper airplane hits him in the back of the head, Alan Bradley is seriously contemplating murder.

He sends a death glare toward the computer desk behind him, but Kevin Flynn just gives him a mock-innocent “Who, me?” grin and makes a little halo over his head with his fingers.

Later, when the notification “Kevin Flynn has died of dysentery” pops up in his Oregon Trail game, Alan reckons he’s never felt so satisfied.


#7 - Sark/Clu1, AU in which Clu1 survives 

It takes Clu what feels like cycles to fully process the fact that he’s still alive, but only picoseconds after that for him to wish he wasn’t.

The decompiler rack has left him feeling flayed alive; every pixel, every character of his code hurts, and he can’t think properly, but even through the static and the lag he’s able to grok the fact that he’s not alone—and that the face that looms over him now is the last face he ever wanted to see.

“You’re mine, now, you worthless toy,” Sark snarls with a leer.


#8 - Kevin Flynn and Dillinger Sr. trapped on the Grid together 

“Bastard,” Dillinger spits, slamming Flynn up against one of those strange slick walls hard enough to lift him off his feet and send a pulse of light through the seams between panels, eyes wide and wild. “Bastard, what did you do, what have you done to me—”

“What have done??  I told you to get out of the way, you old fool, it’s your own goddamn fault, now let go of—”


The shout from behind them and the whirring whine of a disc being undocked and activated shuts them both up in a hurry, and Dillinger sees Kevin’s eyes suddenly go as wide as his own.  ”Oh, shit, Tron, no—!”


#9 - Sark's Lieutenant ("Null Unit")/Quorra, she’s an international thief and he’s the detective set to stop her 

It’s been a long, incredibly frustrating chase through Encom Tokyo’s maze of a building, but as far as Inspector N. U. Peters of Interpol is concerned it’s all worth it.  He’s got her, he’s finally got her, within cuffing distance and backed up against a wall, looking up at him with those big dark doe-eyes and that insouciant little smirk.

“Man, you’re cute,” Quorra says with a giggle, reaching up to—is she petting his eyebrows?  

“You’re under arrest,” he manages to bark out after a second, but before he can catch her wrist she’s thrown herself into a backflip, kicking off the wall behind her and arcing OVER him before sticking a perfect landing and darting nimbly around the corner, along with twenty-five terabytes of corporate property, and, he realizes with dawning horror, his badge.


#10 - Clu’s Coup, with Alan on the Grid 

Tron’s still half-paralyzed from the shock of having his open disc port smashed into the floor by the force of Clu’s flip, and when he sees Clu’s disc crashing down at him, burning bright as a miniature sun, all he can do is close his eyes and wait for the end.

It never comes.

Instead, there’s a grating shriek as Clu’s disc is suddenly blocked by another, and Tron opens his eyes to see Alan-One standing over him, protecting him, face set and eyes ablaze.


#11 - Dillinger Sr. + Dillinger Jr., possibly AU…OR IS IT? 

Ed wakes once again to the sound of his father’s voice in the study the next room over, talking in low tones to someone who isn’t there, underlaid as always by the soft, rapid-fire clicking of keys.  

When he enters, lingering apprehensively in the doorway, his father is seated at his desk, the room dark but for the three flatscreen monitors, each of them packed full of strings of code that Ed still lacks the ability to comprehend.


“One day, all this will be yours,” his father says, turning to smile at him, and despite his love Ed can’t help but be spooked at the way the light reflects off of his father’s reading glasses, obscuring his eyes.


#12 - Jarvis/Ram, High School AU 

They’re an odd couple, all right, the computer-lab TA and the class clown. They take a lot of shit for it, too.  But the bullies eventually start laying off round about the third or fourth time Ram unexpectedly kicks their asses, and for the first time in his life, Jarvis feels wanted.


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#13 - Abraxas/Rinzler, Office AU 

They were so different when they first started working there: Jalen, sweet and awkward, brilliant in his field but slightly dopey, and Rinzler, serious but kind, always looking out for his coworkers—but then the boss began calling them into his office, sometimes separately and sometimes together, almost always well past closing hours, and they changed.  Now Rinzler almost never speaks and Jalen looks downright ill, sticking to the shadows and sometimes muttering to himself, and nobody likes to turn a corner to run into either one of them.

All corporate offices have rumors, but the ones flying around Encom Pharmaceuticals are…spooky, and the same question rests uneasily on the lips and in the minds of nearly every employee: What’s going on in there…?


#14 - Sam/Tron, College AU 

He never speaks in classes, never looks anyone full in the eye.  The first time he kicks Sam’s ass across the Lacrosse pitch there’s actually a split second where Sam genuinely fears for his life.  Yet somehow, all of this only serves to heighten Sam’s curiosity about the tall stranger with the terrible scars…and to make him all the more determined to break through his shell.


#15 - Anon/Gibson, Zombie Apocalypse AU 

Anon’s hands are shaking, and even though he knows what’s happening, knows what needs to be done, he can’t bring himself to do it.

Gibson snarls and grabs hold of Anon’s hands roughly, pulling the barrel of the gun flush against his forehead, grinding out in a voice so rough it’s nearly feral “Goddamn you, you bastard, DO IT!”

I can’t, Anon wants to plead, to scream, but then he looks from Gibson’s eyes—oh God, his eyes are already changing, filming over—to the blackening blood seeping down Gibson’s neck from the bite wound there, and finally, finally pulls the trigger.


#16 - Kevin/Alan, Trip to Disneyland AU 

“You couldn’t have just bought out the entire park for a day?” Alan grouses.  

They’ve been standing in line for the newly-premiered Star Tours simulator ride (built with the help of Encom tech) for two hours now, his feet hurt, and Flynn keeps taking advantage of the crowd to grab his ass at random intervals.

“Would I abuse my power like that?” Flynn tsks with a grin.  ”Now shut up and eat your churro, we’re almost to the entrance.”


#17 - Tron/Ram, Program Sentai Gridranger AU 

“Fight me”, Silver hisses, normally smooth voice all gravel and broken glass, the accent lines along his suit and helmet glinting a warning orange-red, but Blue refuses to give in to fear. 

The rest of the team lies scattered about the field, some moving weakly, most unconscious, Sam knocked completely out of henshin with blood sheeting down the side of his face.  Only Ram remains standing, determined to save his friends no matter how dismal the odds…and that includes Tron.


#18 - Clu/Flynn, role-reversal inside a Virtual Machine 

The thrill Clu feels as his reflection steps out of the mirror, eyes still hazed over with the disorientation of birth, is unlike anything he’s ever experienced before.

He reaches out to brush faintly trembling fingers—ungloved, circuits bare and pulsing—over his double’s face, tracing its contours softly, feeling the spark of their bond blaze to life at the contact.

“You are Flynn,” he breathes, excitement mounting as his doppelganger repeats the words.  ”And you will never leave me.”

“I am Flynn, and I will never leave you.”


#19 - Jalen/Ophelia, High School AU 

She’s always been an odd duck, with her outlandish fashion sense and abstract paintings, her habit of talking to animals and inserting herself quietly into any argument she encounters, trying to make peace.

He’s an athlete, and everyone says he’s got the potential to be the star of the team, but outside the gym they laugh at the way he stammers and trips over himself and acts like a shrinking violet even though he’s six-foot-four.

They meet in art class—he loves her paintings, she encourages his secret passion for drafting and sculpture—and even though the other kids still snicker, nobody can deny that Jalen and Ophelia make a strangely perfect couple.


#20 - Sark/Quorra, Grid Noire AU 

Gem, of course, never shows up.

Thanks for nothing, Quorra thinks irritably, as Sark pulls her roughly against him, eyes glinting down at her in the dim glare from the streetlamp around the corner—at least he’s the one backed up against the alley wall, thank God for small favors, and she’s got her .22 strapped to her thigh, just in case.

“You owe me, doll, remember?” he hisses, “And now it’s time to pay up.”