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A Twist of Fate: Born to Lead

Chapter Text

Chapter 1

Accessing Archive Data…

The Grid has changed. I can feel it in the rocky Outlands when I put my hand on the smooth yet jagged stones, I can feel it when the rain splashes down on my face while lightning arcs across the sky. I can smell it in the cool, crisp air as the wind blows through the mountains of Argon. Much that was before now isn't a factor anymore. Because only three of us remember it. But now, a new era is dawning. We are free

And it is good.

Since he had been brought to the Grid, Tron had seen many things. He'd witnessed the creation of the system he would be protecting, saw the ISOs first coming into the city, been there when the Game Grid was brought online and the games were harmless. Just for fun! Flynn had seen him nearly cry when he found out. And when the User had brought Yori to the Grid to be beside him after a few cycles alone…he did cry.

But this was nothing…nothing…compared to what was going to happen within the next few cycles. Something…wonderful and something they all previously thought happened only with ISOs until Yori announced it.

Yori was with child…Tron was going to be a father.

The Monitor gave a smile and looked down at the countertop, his long, pale fingers wrapped around the small glass of clear blue energy. A father…the term was unfamiliar to him but then again, it was a User term. According to Flynn, Yori wasn't the first to be with child…very few others had shone signs of it as well. One of Yori's friends actually gave 'birth' to twins. Two little Basic Boys that looked almost identical. Flynn, needless to say, was excited…Just as he was when Jalen and Radia's daughter, Quorra, was born. The first Child ISO.

Tron smiled again at the mental picture of Quorra's pale, icy-blue eyes that locked onto him with an intelligence and curiosity that few matched. If his own child would be anything like the little ISO girl…he couldn't wait until the little one got here.

He renewed his grip on the vial of energy and walked towards his counterpart, who was currently on the couch, a pale hand resting on her abdomen as her circuits flickered gently in time with the little life inside her.

"Thought you might want this," Tron counterpart murmured, setting the vial of energy down next to her.

She closed an eye and looked up at him.

"I could have gotten it," she huffed, "I'm not that helpless,"

"True," he replied, "But you're taking care of two. And it's my job to protect everyone on this system…and that includes the ones who aren't here yet too,"

He gently poked his counterpart's shoulder, a sparkle lighting up his steely eyes.

"You're hopeless, Tron," Yori sighed, shaking her head.

"Hmm…I don't see that," he purred, gently kissing her cheek as he sat down next to her and let her get closer to him, nestling into his side and laying her head on his chest as he put his arm around her.

"We've still got to name the child," Yori reminded him.

"We don't even know if it is a boy or a girl," Tron told her.

"Still," Yori told him, "C'mon, you have to have some idea!"

Tron gave a roguish smile and laughed.

"The only thing I can think about right now is the look on Flynn's face when you told him you were with child," he chuckled.

"Are you kidding?" Yori sputtered, "He didn't let me out of his sight for the whole time he was here!"

Tron gave a hum and lay his head on hers.

"True," he agreed, "But, you know Flynn…he was always excitable. Just you wait until Jordan finds out,"

"Knowing her," Yori started, "She probably d…"

The door flew open and Tron was instantly on his feet, hand reaching back for his Disk…until he saw who the dark shape in the door was.

Jordan Canas-Flynn gave a squeal and shot over to Yori's side, gently putting her hand on Yori's stomach, her sky-colored eyes bright and happy as she looked at the Program.

"How long until the little one gets here?" Jordan asked as Flynn came, panting, to the door.

"Should be sometime next cycle," Yori replied.

"Hey, buddy," the User gasped, putting his hands on his knees, "She's…she's fast when she wants to be,"

"Seems all females are, User or Program," Tron deadpanned as Jordan took Yori's Disk and pulled up the Simulations Program's coding.

"I don't know if it's a little girl or a little boy," Yori started as Jordan experimentally poked at the dimly flickering red bits near Yori's abdomen, "But…"

She derezzed the part of her suit covering said spot and Jordan blinked rapidly.

"They're just as strong if not stronger than their father," she finished, looking at the faint, dark blue splotches over her skin, "It doesn't hurt…but I was startled when I saw the first bruise,"

"I'm thinking they're going to be some sort of Security Program," Flynn said, walking up as Tron protectively knelt next to his Yori, "If not a really, really tough Simulations Program,"

"As long as the baby is healthy, I'm fine," Yori said as Jordan gave a smile.

"Well, it looks like the little guy's healthy," she said, "Congrats, Yori, Tron…the little tyke's gonna be a boy,"

"Am I the only one who's thinking about what the little guy's gonna look like?" Flynn asked, "For some reason…I'm always getting that greyish blue for the eye color,"

"Has to have some aspect of his daddy, doesn't he?" Jordan teased, before looking at the two soon-to-be parents.

"That he will," Flynn nodded, "I just hope that he doesn't have his parents' stubbornness,"

"Kevin, I think that that will be a nobrainer…he's going to be stubborn…."

Flynn sighed, shaking his head.

"God help the Grid,"

After Flynn and Jordan returned to their world, Tron had to return to his duties as System Monitor. It was no secret that Yori was with child, and the inhabitants of the Grid knew that if Tron couldn't be found on the Grid…he could be found at home with Yori. Anon had to come and get the Monitor almost immediately after Tron had set foot back into the apartment from escorting Flynn and Jordan to the Portal.

Yori was used to it, it didn't bother her that her counterpart was doing his job. Programs counted on him, and it was his job to protect those who couldn't protect themselves.

She lay back down on the couch, pulling her blanket more over her slender frame. A sharp kick to her abdomen caught her attention.

"Hello, little one," she whispered, putting a hand on her stomach, "I'm here,"

A soft thrumming throbbed through the air, gentle and melodic. She'd never heard it before, but it was awfully calming and her eyelids were getting really heavy…

And before she knew it…Yori had fallen asleep as the thrumming sang through the air.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2

Welcome To The Grid

Accessing Archive Data…

Yori is getting rounder with every passing millicycle. Our child will be here soon…I do not know if I should be frightened or excited. The Grid is a dangerous place just as much as it is beautiful. Our child will be strong, whether he will inherit my skills or his mother's remains unseen…

I hope it is the latter…

Accessing Archive Data…

Our son is getting bigger. I think he will take after his father…judging how strong he is becoming. Like Flynn said, he'll probably be a Monitor. I hope that's true, Tron and Anon could use some help out there…there's been unrest between the ISOs and Basics and some have been pretty bad. Nothing deadly yet, but I worry. Quorra came by with Jalen and Radia. She seems interested in our son, Flynn's teased Tron about it but Tron's brushed it off. Jalen's gone into the tournament…he hasn't lost yet and he's looking to compete against Tron. Knowing that ISO, he's not going to back down from a challenge.

Tron's brushed it off that our son will be like him…but I don't think he's right…

I've been hearing things. Based on how Tron's described it in the past, I think it's the Grid that's talking…but that's ridiculous, right?

By the time Tron got back from his patrol, he looked awful. The Monitor's reddish brown hair was disheveled and his normally bright blue-white circuits were a dim grey-blue.

"Rough patrol?" Yori asked, shifting her slender body so that Tron would be able to collapse on the couch next to her.

"You have no idea," he murmured, sitting down gracefully and closing his steely-blue eyes.

Yori gave a soft nod before running her fingers through the back of his reddish hair, making a soft, rumbling purr sound off from the Monitor. The Simulations Program gave a soft laugh while one of Tron's eyes cracked open.

"It's not funny," he growled, "It's not like I can help it,"

"But it's so much fun to tease you," Yori purred, gently rubbing her fingertips on the back of Tron's head, making his purr rumble even louder.

The Monitor moved suddenly and gently pressed his lips against those of his counterpart, making her circuits turn a soft, pale lavender to complement his burning deep violet.

"…What were we talking about?" Yori murmured as Tron pulled back and wrapped his arms around her and their child.

"Don't worry about it," he told her, hiding his smirk.

"Works every time," he thought.

As the end of the cycle drew near, Tron started noticing that some of Yori's behaviors had started to change. Not her personality…but rather some of her physical behaviors. For one…her hearing had gotten astronomically better, Tron couldn't sneak up on her and surprise her anymore. Her reaction time had quickened, catching a falling glass after her elbow had sent it towards the floor. But the one that got Tron was that she was somehow hearing the Grid's voice. He'd brushed it off as nothing at first, but when she was suddenly able to sense danger and grabbed Jordan out of the way when a cable holding some large beams snapped…Tron figured something was up.

The Monitor carefully made his way through their home, trying to find his counterpart…

"I know you're there, Tron," Yori called, "I'm in the kitchen,"

The Monitor gave a nod and walked towards said room, seeing Yori with her back towards him. The Simulations Program turned around, smiling as he came closer.

"I'm glad you're home," she told him, "It's been a long day,"

"Yori…" Tron started, "You told me you had been able to hear the Grid's voice…when did that start?"

Yori grabbed her arm, her circuits dimming slightly but looking more blue than ever.

"Beginning of the Cycle," she murmured, "I think…I think it's him, not me. I think I'm able to hear Her just because he's going to be able to. Tron, I think he's going to be a Monitor like you,"

Tron shook his head.

"I'd rather he didn't," he admitted, looking away, "It's a dangerous place…and being a Monitor…he'll be killed very easily because he won't be prepared for it,"

"He'll have you and Anon to teach him," Yori countered, "Tron, he will be fine, I'm…"

She cut off, her face grimacing, but Tron didn't notice.

"Sure, I know," he sighed, still not looking at her and ignoring the shudders that the Grid was giving, "I just…I don't want to lose him or you,"

"Tron…" Yori started.

"It's foolish to think that, I know," he continued, "But it's better to be safe than…"

"Tron!" Yori groaned, her knees giving out and she hit the floor while the Grid shook violently.

The Monitor leapt into action, picking up his counterpart and noting the pale, glimmering bits of code that dripped down as he did.

"Yori…what's wrong?" he questioned, checking her over but seeing no wounds, "Where are you hurt?"

"The baby…" she gasped as she shuddered, "Tron, he's coming!"

Tron had gotten Yori to the hospital straight away. Anon had felt the tremors and had told Flynn and Jordan that the child was on his way, so the three of them…along with Clu and some of Tron's team…met them there. A crowd had gathered outside the hospital doors, the Grid was putting on a show, the lights dimming and then brightening to almost unbearable light. Rumors started to spread that their Champion's son was about to be born…so the whole of the population came outside to hopefully get a glimpse of what could be their new Monitor. Jordan and a few of the medics immediately took Yori as soon as she and Tron arrived…making Tron stay outside.

The Monitor…well, let's just say he didn't take being separated from his counterpart very well. At all. It started with the pacing back and forth like a tiger in its cage…then Yori went into labor and started screaming.

Flynn suppressed the smile he wanted to give as he held Tron back from the doors. Like he had told the Monitor many cycles ago… It'd probably take five security Programs, himself and Clu to hold Tron back if Yori ever went into labor. He was wrong…

It took four Security Programs (Nike, Reeve, Dyson, and Hayden), Clu, himself, and Anon to hold Tron back. The Monitor was not a happy camper. Yori's labor had been going on for nearly half a millicycle. Any longer and Flynn would have to leave and get to the Portal…and he didn't want to leave. The birth of his best friend's son…

And his best friend was acting exactly like his User had when his kid was born.

"Why. Won't. You. Sit. STILL!?" Clu gasped as he strained to pull the much stronger Monitor backwards.

"It's Tron," Anon deadpanned, yelping as Tron lunged again, "He's more stubborn than we are!"

"Both of you, knock it off!" Flynn ordered, "Just focus on keeping him from hurting himself!"

"Let. Go. Flynn," came the chilling growl from the Monitor.

"Not a chance," Flynn told him, grunting as Tron struggled and accidently elbowed him in the stomach, "Ouch! Geeze! You and Alan seem to have the sharp elbows in common!"

Yori gave another scream, making Tron renew his attack on the doors.

"Oh no you don't!" Flynn growled, "Dyson! Watch out for his hand!"

There was a smacking sound and Dyson gave a low growl of pain, his scarred face twisted into a grimace. Tron had accidently backhanded him…on the unwounded side, thankfully.

"You never told us he would do this," Reeve deadpanned, "Users, he's a lot stronger than he looks!"

There was another scream…which abruptly quit, being replaced with a high-pitched wail. Tron froze, his blindingly blue-white circuits dimming to a barely lit gleam. Jordan walked out, her calm, blue gaze looking on the gathering with slight amusement as they all let go of the suddenly still Monitor. She turned her gaze towards Tron.

"You can go in now," she told him, "She's waiting for you…they both are actually,"

Flynn gave his friend a gentle push, nearly knocking the Monitor over. Tron shot him a look before slowly making his way into the room.

Yori was laying on a bed, her long, blonde hair pulled up out of her face, her circuits flickered weakly, but she looked up at her counterpart with a happy smile. She turned her face down towards the bundle in her arm.

"Here's your Daddy," she cooed, lifting the bundle up higher as Tron approached, "And here is our son,"

Tron's steely blue gaze scanned over the tiny child in Yori's arms, over the sweet little face, the reddish-brown curls that refused to lay flat…at the arresting steel-blue gaze that immediately lasered in on him.

"You're going to be like your father," Yori smiled, gently touching the child's nose.

The boy cooed softly as he reached for her, transfixed by the lock of corn-silk blonde hair that dangled in front of Yori's nose. He gripped it and yanked, getting a startled 'oh!' from Yori (and a soft laugh from Tron) before she gently took his tiny hand in hers.

"You're a strong little guy, aren't you?" she murmured before looking back up at Tron and holding the child out to him.

Tron gingerly took the tiny child and held him close.

"Hello, little one," he murmured softly as the child reached for him, patting his nose.

A shudder ran through Tron's frame and the boy froze…

"Welcome to the Grid, little Monitor,"

The boy gave a wondering cry and looked around for the source of the voice. Tron turned to Yori and smiled.

"He's a Monitor," he stated, "There are three of us now,"

"The Grid will be a lot safer now," Yori laughed as Tron came back with the child, "We still have to name him, you know,"

"He's so small," Tron murmured, not paying attention.


"Hmm?" Tron started, looking back up at Yori.

"Name?" she asked.


Yori gave a laugh and grinned at her counterpart.

"He's not even a nano old and he has you wrapped around his little fingers,"

Tron shot her an apologetic look before gently brushing the boy's bangs away from his steel-blue eyes.

"Beck," he said suddenly.

"What?" Yori asked.

"Beck," Tron repeated, "His name is Beck,"

Yori smiled and nodded.

"That sounds like the perfect name," she told him, "You going to introduce him to the rest of the Grid?"

"I was going to wait for you to get feeling well enough to walk," Tron stated, looking back down at the tiny child, unable to take his eyes off him.

"Tron-JA-307020," Yori chastised teasingly, "You just wanted to keep the baby to yourself!"

"Maybe," Tron admitted, "Yori, he's perfect,"

"And ours," Yori agreed, "But, the Grid has the right to know that the Monitor's son has arrived…they've certainly heard him…and me!"

"Fine then," Tron sighed, "Are you…?"

"Go on," Yori nodded, smiling tiredly, "You should be the one revealing the newest Monitor to the Grid, not me,"

"Very well,"

The Monitor started to walk out of the room, still holding the boy. He opened the doors and revealed his son to the Grid's light and to the other assembled Programs and User.

Tron walked to Flynn and the User gave a bright smile, looking at his friend for permission. Tron gave a smile and shook his head.

"Flynn, you don't have to ask permission," he said as the User gently stroked the dark-haired child's unruly hair, "I want you all to meet Beck, the Grid's third Monitor,"

Anon came close and tentatively reached out, just for Beck's steely-blue eyes to flutter open and lock onto him. The baby's tiny hand reached out and batted against Anon's fingers, making the older Monitor smile.

"Heh, he's a strong little guy," the Flynn Monitor chuckled, "Clu, come check the little guy out, he's kinda cute,"

The Admin came close just for Beck's gaze to laser in on him as well. Clu blinked at the intensity in the baby's face…it looked young and old all at the same time…just like Anon's tended to do.

"I see he's got Tron's looks," Clu deadpanned while the others crowded in to see, "He's sure got the 'stare' downpat,"

Nike gave a snort as Tron let her hold the baby while Hayden, Dyson and Reeve all crowded around her to see him.

"He's so sweet," she cooed as Beck gummed on Dyson's finger.

"Ow," Dyson grumbled, removing his finger, "I'd hate to see what would happen if he had teeth,"

"We'll teach him not to bite when he gets older," Hayden chuckled, "I just hope he keeps some of that humor,"

"Don't worry, Beck," Reeve smiled, "between all of us…we're going to make sure you keep your sense of humor,"

"Reeve…" Tron sighed as Flynn took Beck.

"God, he's smaller than Sam was," he whispered, "He's a bit bigger than Jalen and Radia's daughter was, but still…"

Tron took his son back and held him close before walking to the balcony.

"Alright, little one, time for the Grid to meet you," Tron whispered as he looked at the city below.

Beck gave a little laugh and patted his father's armor…a soft gentle purr thrumming from the boy. Tron gave a smile and pressed his forehead to his son's, his own purr rumbling gently.

"Welcome to the Grid, my son,"

Chapter Text

Chapter 3


Accessing Archive Data…

Beck's growing stronger with every cycle. Which, in my opinion, is a good thing. The Grid is dangerous…we've had so many violent acts committed since he was born. Clu made the games lethal for less than a microcycle…Jalen and Anon had to hold me back from strangling Clu. The Games, I'm happy to say, have been reset to their original setting. But, tragedy's struck so many times since my son was created…Jordan was derezzed in the User World, struck by an overcharged driver while Sam Flynn, Alan-One's son Jet, and Lora-Prime were in the car. Jalen followed her in derezzment not long after. He was in the semi-finals of his competition and he was derezzed saving a Basic from falling after the arena malfunctioned. Radia and Quorra are devastated, and so am I. Jalen was a good friend.

Accessing Archive Data…

I swear, I might derezz Anon. He took Beck when I wasn't looking and put him on a lightcycle…they nearly wrecked it. It was a good thing Tron and Flynn were there to grab the two and to hold me back because I would have ripped Anon apart with my bare hands. Beck loves his uncle, but Anon really needs to grow up. I'm afraid that Beck will get hurt one of these days if he doesn't. There's been so much death…Jordan, then Jalen then some of the other ISOs. I've been hearing rumors that there's a Virus on the Grid…and I think Beck feels it. He's extremely tense and I can't get him to calm down. It's like he knows something's wrong. Tron doesn't feel anything, neither does Anon…But Beck seems to. I won't lie…

I'm frightened.

It had been a long day. Radia was getting ready to become Co-System Administrator, Tron and Anon were running ragged making sure everything was going to be ok…Yori, on the other hand, was tired from Beck's late night wake-up calls. The Child Basic was on edge, Tron sensed it and so did Yori and Anon. So, to keep the baby from crying in the middle of the ceremony, Yori kept the boy home and stayed with him.

The Simulations Program held her son close, rocking back and forth in her chair as she sang softly. She'd learned from Jordan before the User had derezzed, and both Yori and Tron had shown some talent with it. Flynn said it was because of Alan-One and Lora Prime and that they were fair singers as well.

Beck had fallen asleep and Yori was nearly asleep when Tron pinged her.

[Something's up…don't leave the house]

Yori frowned.

[Why…what happened?]

[Virus on the System…nearly killed Clu and would have if Anon hadn't shown up and fought him off]

[You trained him well]

[I'll tell you more when I get back…just…stay in the house and keep Beck quiet…Anon's hunting down the virus but it hasn't left the city yet. I don't want it to get you or our son]

[We'll stay, don't worry] Yori reassured him before terminating the ping.

Beck's steely-blue gaze landed on her, curious.

"Daddy will be here soon," she told him, "He's going to take Uncle Flynn home and then he'll be right back,"

The boy gave a soft laugh and reached for Yori's hair again.

"Oh no," Yori teased, tucking the errant strand behind her ear, "Mommy's hair is off-limits,"

Her son gave a soft, apologetic sound and then froze, eyes wide before giving this ear-piercing shriek, tears streaming down his cheeks.

"What's wrong?" Yori started, holding the boy close, "Easy, easy, it's ok…Mommy's got you, you're safe…"

But Beck continued to cry.

Tron had fought. There was no doubt about it. The scarlet voxels that littered the square proved as much. But now, the great warrior was laying on the ground, softly groaning in pain as the deep gashes on his chest dripped azure code. Clu's Disk hummed still, the keen golden edge still dripping blue voxels from the wounded Monitor before him.

"You failed, Clu," Tron rasped with a smug smile, "Flynn will vanish…disappear into the Grid! He's the Creator,"

"He can go wherever he wants," Clu shrugged, pointing his Disk at Tron, "It was you I'm after. Without the mighty Tron, the Creator will fall…and Clu will rise,"

Tron's steely blue eyes widened in shock and pain as someone walked up behind Clu, scarlet circuits flickering.

"Dyson!" Tron gasped.

Clu gave a laugh and turned to the now healed Security Program.

"Whaddya think, Tron?" he purred, "I made Dyson perfect again,"

Dyson gave a smile and touched the side of his face

"Dyson…" Tron started, blue eyes harder than diamonds as he glared venomously at the traitors, "I trusted you! He betrayed us!"

"You're wrong," Dyson disagreed, "Flynn betrayed us…betrayed all of us. And now Clu is free to cleanse the Grid of the ISOs,"

Clu knelt down next to Tron, digging his fingers into one of the gashes and making Tron cry out.

"You know…I might pay a visit to Yori after this," he breathed, "That little boy of yours could prove to be trouble,"

"No…" Tron gasped, "Clu…he's just a child! He can't harm you!"

"Children grow up, Tron," Clu reminded him, "And a Child Basic, the Son of Tron…well, once he grows up, he will be capable of a lot of things, won't he? I can't have a Child Basic with a vendetta come up against me, can I?"

"I'll kill you," Tron snarled, trying to get up, only to cry out as Clu jabbed his fingers into the wounds again.

"No…I don't think you will," Clu purred, lifting his Disk to strike…


The Admin froze and the three Programs turned to look at…

Anon. The young Monitor was staring in shock and horror at the scene before him.

"Oh, Users…Tron! CLU! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?" Anon screeched, taking out his Disk, "YOU VIRUS! WHAT DID YOU DO!?"

Clu straightened and faced his brother, "What I was supposed to do a long time ago,"

Anon gave a strangled, enraged cry and rushed forwards, slashing at Clu. Anon fought hard, dodging Clu's thrusts but his rage fueled him, blinded him to the smallest things.

Clu shoved Anon off balance, knocking the young Monitor to the ground and planting a heavy boot on Anon's chest, pinning him. Anon grabbed Clu's boot and attempted to throw him off.

"You've seen too much, Anonymous," Clu stated, making Anon snarl at the mention of his full designation, "We can't have you telling every Program about what you've seen now…can we?"

"Clu, don't you dare!" Tron snarled, trying to get up again, but Dyson shoved him down, "I will derezz you with my bare hands if you kill him!"

"You're not in a position for threatening, Tron. But kill him?" Clu snorted, "Why, what fun is that? No…what I have in mind is more painful. Not to mention…a gift to the Grid…"

He lunged down and Anon screamed…and then it cut out.

"NO!" Tron screeched, trying to sit up but Dyson pinned his arms to the ground.

Clu stood, kicking Anon in the side as he did. The young Monitor curled up in pain, tears streaming as Clu dragged the poor apprentice towards his mentor and tossed him so that they were mere inches from one another.

"Anon…" Tron breathed, watching the pale blue eyes flutter open and lock onto him.

Anon tried to speak, but a rasp left his throat. The young Monitor's eyes widened in horror as his hands found his throat, pulling away with pale blue code dripping from them.

He attempted to stand, slipping and falling repeatedly as he staggered, tears streaming.

"You sick, twisted virus!" Tron roared, directing all his rage towards Clu and Dyson, "You slashed his vocalizer! You monster!"

"Finally, blessed silence," Clu smirked, his gleaming gaze locking onto his younger brother as Anon backed away, "Dyson…?"

Dyson's Disk whirred to life and he stalked towards Anon.

"ANON! RUN!" Tron yelled, eyes frantic, "RUN!"

"Tron…" Anon mouthed and Tron shook his head.


He shot him a tearful look before running, just like his Creator. Anon paused, looking back right as Clu's shadow fell over Tron.

And the Dictator rammed his Disk into the Protector's chest once more.


Yori tried her best to calm Beck down but was interrupting by Zila, an old friend of hers, slamming the door shut.

"Zila, what's wrong?" Yori asked.

The Search Program turned a pained look towards Yori, coming over and embracing her.

"I'm sorry," she whispered.

"Why…what's wrong?" Yori asked.

"Tron was taking Flynn to the Portal," she explained, "Clu…Clu staged a coup. He…Yori he killed Tron!"

Yori's core froze. Tron? Dead? Those two words did not go in the same sentence.

"I just spoke to him…" she whispered, "That's…that's not possible!"

She looked down at the still crying babe and blinked rapidly.

"You knew," she whispered, holding the child to her chest, "You…the Grid told you he was gone! Oh…oh Users no!"

She felt everything in her being break and she let the sobs come, holding the child, the last remnant of her counterpart, her husband, close.

The door was suddenly flung open and then slammed shut as a weakly flickering Program dodged inside, his back against the door as his helmet derezzed around his head. Yori gasped as Anon crashed to the floor, sapphire voxels clattering on the ground as his blue eyes fluttered shut.

Beck wailed, tears streaming as Yori turned to Zila.

"Get him on the couch, quickly!" Yori ordered, setting Beck down in his crib before helping her friend.

She grimaced at the deep slash on Anon's neck, it was amazing he'd lived this long with that wound. Yori took off Anon's Disk and gave a frustrated sigh as Anon's firewalls flared up to keep her out.

"Anon, can you hear me?" she asked.

A weak nod, but Anon kept his eyes shut.

"Can you disable your firewalls so I can fix you?"

There was a few seconds of silence, but suddenly, the error message wavering above Anon's Disk turned green and faded away, leaving his code free to be fixed.

Yori started working on the Monitor's wounds, her core heavy as her fingers flew over her friend's code. Anon was alive…but Tron wasn't.

"Who did this to you?" Yori whispered, making Anon twitch convulsively, "Easy, easy…forget I asked. I'll ask after I get you fixed, ok?"

Anon gave a choked cry and shook his head.

"Stop moving!" Yori ordered, "You're making this harder than it already is,"

She turned to Zila.

"Go home," she told her, "I'll fix Anon, you stay out of trouble,"

Zila nodded, taking a frightened look at the wounded warrior before leaving. Anon's thin rasps were getting weaker. Yori grit her teeth…she needed to work fast.

It took a little while, but Yori finally got Anon fixed up enough that he wasn't going to bleed out if he took down his helmet. The Monitor was peacefully asleep, cradling Beck in his arms…the baby sleeping just peacefully as his brother in arms.

"Now, let's see what happened," Yori murmured, holding Anon's huge Disk in her hands as she sifted through the memories…and froze.


"What I was supposed to do a long time ago,"

The scene flickered wildly as Anon attacked Clu while Tron lay broken on the ground.

"You've seen too much, Anonymous, we can't have you telling every Program about what you've seen now…can we?"

"Clu, don't you dare! I will derezz you with my bare hands if you kill him!"

"You're not in a position for threatening, Tron. But kill him? Why, what fun is that? No…what I have in mind is more painful. Not to mention…a gift to the Grid…"

Yori closed her eyes, tears streaming as Clu lunged down and Anon screamed…and then it cut out.


A large hand put itself on Yori's shoulder and the Simulations Program looked up at her friend. Anon's tired blue gaze rested on her sadly as he signed the two words that Yori knew from Jordan attempting to teach her sign language.

"Thank you."

"He took your voice…didn't he?" Yori asked.

Anon nodded sadly…right as three loud bangs sounded on Yori's front door.

"Yori! I know you're in there!" came Clu's voice, making Anon freeze as he held Beck.

"In here," Yori hissed, opening a secret panel, "Don't make a sound…either of you!"

Anon gave a nod, keeping silent and gently pinging Beck and making sure he kept quiet too as Yori shut the panel and walked to the door.

"What do you want," Yori asked as she opened the door and looked at Clu.

The Admin pushed past her, his yellow circuits flashing darkly in Yori's eyes while a troop of scarlet-clad soldiers, followed him, reminding her violently of the Old Server in the days of the MCP.

The Simulations Program backed away, seeing Sark's leering face as he took her and her friends and wiped their memories, repurposing them to do the same menial task over and over again. Watching as he gloated over catching Tron's counterpart and forcing her to do his bidding.

"You ok over there, Yori?" Clu asked, his gold-specked blue eyes watching her carefully.

"Y-Yes," she stammered, "Clu…where's Tron? Where's Flynn?"

"Where's the little guy?" Clu countered, "Your son…Beta,"

"Beck," Yori corrected, "His name was Beck,"

Clu frowned.

"Was?" he asked.

"He…he derezzed in my arms," Yori whispered, refraining to look at the hiding place, "Now where is my counterpart?"

"Derezzed defending Flynn," Clu said seriously making Yori's eyes flash and her hands went up as she started tearing up, "Anon got infected by the Virus…we spotted him running this way. We wanted to make sure you were ok,"

"Not likely," Yori thought bitterly.

"No one's come in or out but me," she told him, "There's no point anymore…Tron's dead, Beck's dead…Anon's infected…there's no one left for me. I guess this is goodbye, Clu. Now get these MCP goons out of my house!"

Clu smirked slightly.

"On the verge of derezzing and still fiery. Yori, you don't have to die…you could just join me and help me restore the system…"

He gently touched her cheek, making Yori's rage spike. This Program killed her counterpart, her son's father in 'cold blood' as Flynn put it once. And he wanted her to be his!?

Yori wasn't thinking straight and her hand flashed out, smacking into Clu's cheek. The Admin stumbled back and Yori could have sworn she heard a faint snort from behind her but didn't dare look.

"I'll take that as a no then," Clu growled, glaring at Yori, "Goodbye Yori…it was nice knowing you,"

Anon placed a hand on Yori's shoulder as Clu and his cronies left the area. The Simulations Program looked up at her friend as he handed her son back to her. Beck still cried, but his sobs had subsided to sniffling whimpers as he nuzzled into his mother's chest.

The older Monitor pinged the baby once again, making the child's steel-blue eyes snap towards him as his crying ceased. Yori gave a weak smile, Anon was easily Beck's favorite Program to be around other than his parents, Tron went so far to name Anon as Beck's uncle seeing as how well the two got along in the past. And other than Tron, Anon was the only one who could get Beck to quiet down instantly.

Anon looked at Yori, his sky blue eyes sad as he pointed at her and her son before pointing at the door. He pointed at the floor and shook his head vigorously.

"You're right," Yori nodded, "We can't stay here…But where can we go?"

Anon took off his Disk and pulled up an image, showing a city. Yori squinted at the glowing blue image only to frown.

"Argon? But, Anon…it's so far! Clu will catch us…"

Anon shook his head, pointing at himself and then at her. He would escort them to the city and then go back on his search for truth.

There was a loud banging sound on the door, making all three jump. Yori sat Beck back down in his crib and slowly walked towards the door. Anon stood in front of the crib, Disk out and ready to defend his little brother in arms as Tron ordered him to.

Yori opened the door right as a black haired, icy-eyed female Program tumbled in on top of her.

"Shut the door, please!" the female pleaded.

Yori shut the door right and grabbed Beck, holding him close as the female got to her knees, breathing heavily.

"Thank you," she trembled, "Thank you thank you thank you!"

Anon gave a strangled squawk and raced towards the figure and held her up, embracing her hard.

"Good to…see you…too…Anon!" the black-haired Program gasped and Yori finally recognized her.

"Quorra!" Yori breathed, kneeling down and putting a hand on Quorra's shoulder, "You're ok!"

"Not…for long," Quorra rasped as Anon finally let her go, "Clu's starting to round up ISOs…he…he's derezzing them!"

Anon gave a short growl before protectively holding her again.

"I'm fine, 'non," Quorra sighed, "I…I saw what happened to Tron, Yori…I'm…I'm so sorry,"

"We all are," Yori murmured as Beck gave a happy squeal and reached for Quorra, making the ISO smile.

"At least we got this little guy," Quorra cooed as she took Beck and held his forehead to hers, making him giggle happily.

Anon gave a soft rumbling sound and jerked his head towards the door. Yori nodded before getting up and quickly getting some things together. It wasn't much, but it was something. She picked up her baton and came back into the room where Quorra, Anon and Beck were waiting. Yori took Beck from Quorra and the ISO gave a faint smile.

"Anon filled me in," she told her, "I'm coming with you,"

"Quorra…" Yori started and Quorra held up a hand to shush her.

"I'm not safe here in the City," she explained, "After Anon and I get you to Argon, we're going to Arjia to see Radia,"

Yori gave a sigh and nodded.

"Let's go,"

Chapter Text

Chapter 4


Accessing Archive Data…

Tron…my wonderful, sweet counterpart, my husband and the father of our child…has been derezzed by one of our friends. Anon's been silenced by Clu, Flynn's dead…the ISOs are being hunted down and killed…there is nowhere in Tron City that's safe for me and my son. Clu thinks I'm dying and that Beck is dead…Anon and Quorra are taking us out of the City so that we might get a chance to live. With Tron gone, I don't know what I'm going to do. I can't fade…not while my son still breathes. I see so much of Tron in him…I can't abandon him. He's lost one parent and with Lora-Prime as my witness, I'm not going to let him lose another.

I'm frightened by what the future holds for us…but if Clu finds out we still live, he'll kill us both. Our only hope is to get to Argon safely, maybe we'll be able to start a new life there…

Tron…why did you have to die?

Beck was uncharacteristically silent as the foursome snuck through the city. Then again, there were a lot of Clu's goons stalking about.

"I thought we were going to be taking bikes out of here?" Quorra whispered, "And then getting something else to ride to Argon?"

Anon shook his head and pointed at Beck, slashing his arms through the air in an 'X'. He knew that, no matter how good someone was on a light cycle…carrying an infant while driving one was nigh impossible. Not to mention…considering the look Yori was giving him…Yori hadn't forgiven him from taking Beck on a ride.

He took off his Disk and pulled up the image of the Solar Sailer docks before flipping through his own memories and pulling up an image of Argon and then of Arjia.

"We'll take the Sailer to Argon and then you and Quorra go to Arjia," Yori murmured, "Anon, you're a genius!"

The Monitor blushed, waving his hand dismissively before he froze and Beck gave a gasping whine. Anon grabbed Quorra and Yori's arms and dragged them around a corner as a troop of soldiers marched past.

Yori closed her eyes as she held her son close to her chest. This should never had happened. Tron had a feeling that Clu was slightly unstable when it came to perfection…so did she, but she never pushed it. And now look where that ended them up at…

A hand laid itself on her shoulder, Yori looked at the softly glowing blue circle on Anon's gloved hand. The mute Monitor gave a slight smile and squeezed her shoulder gently before cocking his head.

"I'm ready," she told him, "Let's get a move on,"

Sneaking through the city wasn't as easy as you'd think. There were a few times that Yori was for sure they'd been spotted but thank the Users they weren't. They ran into a couple Virals and even some Guards, but Anon dispatched them all easily and efficiently. Quorra put a hand on Yori's shoulder as they walked through a door onto a catwalk.

"Do you want me to take him?" she asked, looking at the sleeping baby in Yori's arms.

"No, I've got him," the Simulations Program replied.

To be honest, she didn't want anyone but her holding the last remnant of her counterpart that she had. Beck was dear to her…now more than ever. She dreaded having to raise him on her own, that her son would never know his father for the great Program he was. She knew she could always show him memories…and so would Anon…but it wasn't the same.

Convinced that the Black Guards wouldn't attack a bunch of civilians, the foursome took a more leisurely pace down the skyway. Jordan and Jalen both had designed and built them, Jalen being fascinated when Jordan told him about the User-style architecture.

A flash of orange caught Yori's eyes and Beck gave a soft cry as he woke up. She look towards Anon and saw that he had frozen.

"What is it?" Quorra asked…

Right as a tank stopped and pointed its turret right at them.

Anon shoved Quorra forwards, grabbing Yori by the shoulders and shielding her and Beck from the onslaught of flying glass. Beck started shrieking, tears streaming down his little face as Yori held him close.

"Run!" Quorra yelled as the other civilians started screaming and stampeding towards the exit while the group of four sprinted forwards.

Yori saw two Black Guards in front of them Anon stopped and pulled out his Disk…right as the tank blew a hole in the wall, incinerating the two Black Guards and leaving a gaping abyss before them.

Quorra leaped over a gaping hole in the floor that would have sent her plummeting to her demise, looking back at Yori, Beck and Anon. She reached out her hands.

"Yori, you have to jump!" she called as Yori shook her head, backing up.

"I can't make that," she whispered, "Not with Beck,"

Suddenly, Beck was taken from her arms and she was thrown across the abyss into Quorra's waiting arms while Anon stood with Beck on the other side.

"BECK!" Yori screeched, trying to get back over as Anon backed up a few steps before sprinting forwards and leaping into the air, his feet connecting to the wall as he and Beck ran across the smooth surface to the other side.

Anon handed Beck back to Yori, who punched him in the arm, making Anon give a raspy laugh as Beck giggled and waved at his 'uncle'.

"Don't you ever do that to me again," Yori snapped, "You could have gotten yourself or Beck killed!"

Anon held his hands out as if to say 'but I didn't,'

"You're hopeless," Yori sighed right as the tank fired at them again, "But we need to get a move on,"

The tank blew out a wall and when the smoke cleared, Yori could see a platform just underneath them. Anon touched Yori's hand and took a flying leap, landing elegantly on the ground. He turned around and held out his arms as Yori gently eased herself down to the lower level while Quorra jumped down just as elegantly as Anon

Meanwhile, Clu sat back in his throne room, swirling a glass of energy nonchalantly. Soon, Anon would be derezzed. It was only a matter of time before his brother met his end. And with Tron soon to be dead or a part of his army…Flynn's soldiers were slowly dwindling.

"Sir," a grunt started.

"What?" Clu growled.

"The System Monitor…we've found him,"

"Well why haven't you killed him yet?" Clu asked, eyes narrowing.

"He…He's not alone, sir," the grunt stammered, handing over a datapad.

Clu snatched the glass slab and watched his growing outrage as he saw Anon jump down from a ledge and holding out his arms for a blonde-haired female Program with a bundle in her arms. She turned towards the screen slightly and fiddled with the bundle, revealing reddish-brown hair and steely blue eyes while a black-haired female came up to her.

"That glitch," Clu hissed, "She lied to me! That boy is alive…"

He pointed outwards towards the door.

"Seal off all exits from the city! Find them!" Clu ordered, "And kill them! That child must die. He can't be allowed to live!"

The Guards snapped to attention and raced out of the throne room. Clu got off his throne and kicked a pillar. If that boy lived…there was no telling what he would do when he got older. And if Tron found out the child and Yori lived…

Clu shuddered.

It was not a good thing.

"Dyson," Clu started, just for the scarlet Security Program to walk in the door, wiping his hands off as blue code dripped from them, "How is he?"

"Stubborn as ever," Dyson muttered, "He won't break anytime soon,"

"We'll have to change that, won't we?" Clu hummed, "Some of the Guards have spotted Yori, Anon and Tron's son…"

"Let me guess, you want me to go after them?"

"You know what to do,"

Dyson chuckled, "Consider them gone,"

After running through Tron City, dodging Virals and Black Guards, the foursome finally made it to the Solar Sailer docks. Yori kept her head down and she held Beck close to her chest, shielding them both from the Programs that walked around them.

"Almost there," Quorra reassured her as Anon dimmed his circuit light to almost non-existent.

"Good," Yori breathed in relief, kissing Beck's head and making the baby coo happily, "The sooner we get out of here, the better,"

Suddenly, Beck gave a sharp cry while Anon froze like someone had jabbed him with a staff.

"Shh, it's ok, it's ok," Yori crooned, holding Beck close, "Don't…"

She was suddenly shoved out of the way, hitting the floor Disk Dock first while Beck yowled. Quorra raced over to Yori and picked her up, showing Anon standing in front of them…while two Black Guards stood where Yori had been standing. A horrible, glitching snarl rumbled through the air and in shock, Yori realized it was Anon. The mute Monitor was willing to die in order to keep them safe.

"You really thought you were going to get away, didn't you?" one of the Guard chuckled, derezzing his helmet and making Yori give a cry of shock.

"Dyson?!" she gasped, "But…you…HOW COULD YOU!?"

Dyson chuckled, crossing his arms while the other Guard stalked forwards and a force field flared up, cutting them off from running.

"Clu had a better offer than Flynn did," he shrugged, "The System's imperfect, Clu's going to fix that,"

"He's using you!" Yori cried, holding Beck close, "Dyson, can't you see? Clu's gone mad! He's killed Tron! Doesn't that mean anything to you!?"

"I already knew that," Dyson dismissed, "After all, I was there. You'd think the Grid's hero would go out with a fight! Not crying like a pathetic child!"

Yori shrieked in anger and took her Disk in her free hand, the keen white edge flaring to life and humming dangerously while Anon leapt into action. Quorra grabbed Yori and held her back while tears streamed down the Simulations Program's cheeks.


"Yori!" Quorra yelled as she yanked her out of the way…right as a grenade exploded where she was.

When Yori got her bearings, she saw that Dyson had disappeared and Anon was fighting valiantly against his opponent.

The Black Guard threw a fistful of grenades, but Anon was ready, his Disk out and glowing with lethal intent. He seemed to dance around his opponent, his Disk flickering out and biting deep into the Guard's armor, knocking it backwards as a minor explosion flared from the Disk. The Guard climbed up on top of the sign and leaped off it, spreading the wings of its chute and raining down grenades as it went.

The young Monitor dodged them with ease until finally he tackled the Black Guard, driving his Disk through its chest and watching as it crumbled into thousands upon thousands of scarlet cubes.

The force field flickered, dying and restoring the power to the area. Anon walked towards Quorra and Yori, tilting his head towards the Solar Sailer.

"Let's go," Quorra agreed, helping Yori to her feet and onto the Sailer.

The trip to Argon, thankfully, was uneventful. Quorra had talked to the conductor of the craft and asked if he'd not say anything about them. The Program responded that he wouldn't, even going so far as to delete the memories from his Disk so he couldn't. He also gave Yori a cloak to cover her white armor and to shield Beck from the elements as well as those who would harm him.

"Is there anything we can do?" Quorra asked as she hugged Yori.

"Nothing else," Yori told them, "Just be careful, both of you. And don't be a stranger, ok? I'm going to need help raising this little guy,"

Anon gave a raspy, choked laugh and gently ruffled Beck's errant curls, making the young Monitor Child giggled and patted Anon's hands, a soft purring sound rumbling from the bigger Program's chest while Beck's own soft purr fluttered through the air.

The mute Monitor then gave Yori a hug and pinged her.


"I will," Yori promised, "You stay safe too. Both of you,"

Anon's blue eyes sparkled softly and he turned to go…when Yori grabbed his hand.

"If you find Clu," she told him, "Make him pay, for both of us and for Quorra, ok?"

Anon gave a nod, jaw set firmly as his helmet rezzed and he joined Quorra on the Sailer. As they went off, Yori held her son to her chest.

"Well, little one, I guess it's just you and me now," she whispered.


The blonde Program whirled around just to face an aged, dark-skinned, dark-eyed Program, his white circuits flashing brightly as he came closer. But, even though his circuit color had changed, Yori recognized this Program.

"Able!" she gasped, rushing forwards and gaining an annoyed squawk from her son as she hugged her old friend, "Oh Users, Able! It's been so long!"

"What are you doing here?" Able asked, pulling away and looking at the disheveled appearance of the female Program, "What happened to you? Where's Tron?"

Yori's blue eyes dimmed sadly as she reflexively held Beck closer.

"Tron's dead," she whispered, "Clu killed him and Flynn. He tried to kill me and my son but he failed. Our son's still alive. Anon's still alive. Soon, soon there will be two Monitors on the Grid again,"

"Your son…" Able whispered, looking at the child and smiling as the pale, steel-blue eyes flicked up to laser in on him, "Users, Yori, he looks like…"

"I know," she told him, "And I need to keep him safe,"

"Not on your own you don't," Able told her, "Come with me…I'll keep you and your son safe,"

"Able," Yori smiled gratefully, "Thank you, thank you so much,"

Chapter Text

Chapter 5

Growing Up

Accessing Archive Data…

He's getting stronger every day. If Tron were still alive, he'd be so proud of our son. I haven't seen Quorra or Anon since we parted ways at the Sailer, I do hope they're ok. Able's been helping me raise my son, he's given us a little apartment in the garage…who would have thought that our Search Program friend had become a mechanic? Beck's shown some ability concerning mechanics…he's been playing around with some loose scraps and code and managed to hack together a little miniature lightcycle model. Seeing as how it looks stunningly like Tron's, I think Beck's starting to witness some of Tron's memories. Before he died, Jalen warned us that Beck would have some of our memories…like Quorra did. Quorra mainly saw Jalen's memories and some of Radia's, so I think Beck's mostly going to take after his father. I just…I just wish that Tron were here to see the marvel that is our little boy…

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Beck giggled happily as he raced the little model that he'd made across the floor, he'd taken his first steps a few millicycles ago and Yori was starting to see the fluid grace that Tron had exhibited. Of course, Beck still toddled like every other Child Program his age, but it was a lot smoother than that of the other Child Basics that Yori had seen. In fact, there was one around Beck's age that lived at the garage too. If she remembered right, Able said the little boy's name was Bodhi. He and his father, Linux, were among the first few to meet Beck and Yori when they arrived. Linux said that Bodhi's mother was derezzed in a lightcycle accident not long after the boy was rezzed in, so he didn't know his mother just like Beck didn't know his father. The two boys were nearly inseparable.

Yori smiled faintly as she watched Beck roll over on his stomach, kicking his little feet in the air, his blue eyes nearly glowing in happiness. His Disk had finished developing only last cycle, now that had been an experience and a half. Yori dimly recalled Flynn complaining about Sam 'teething'. Beck had 'teethed' as well, but his developing Disk had been even worse. The boy's mood swung horribly, he'd be cheerful and sweet one nano and standoffish and suspicious the next, Yori figured that was his father's personality coming through as Tron didn't like people poking and prodding him if he was sore or hurting. Beck started grabbing towards his shoulder blades, trying to yank the Disk off so it'd stop hurting, but Yori made him stop...much to his annoyance.

She picked up a picture off the table and smiled slightly as she saw herself and Tron in the glass frame. It had been taken a few nanos before she told Tron she was with child…Flynn had brought his camera to the Grid and started messing around, taking pictures and trying to prove to Alan-One and Lora-Prime that he wasn't crazy…well, crazier than he was…

Tears slipped from Yori's eyes as she held the picture in her hands. Flynn had managed to capture the moment Tron had slipped a gentle kiss to Yori's head, surprising the Simulations Program. She traced the contours of her deceased husband's face sadly, closing her eyes and shaking her head…


Yori's eyes snapped open and she looked beside her at her toddler son. Beck's steely gaze was locked on her while he pointed at Tron in the picture.

She gave a smile and kissed her son's head.

"Yeah, baby, that's your Daddy," she murmured, tears streaming again.

Beck hadn't spoke before, just cried, laughed or just plain old babble…he'd spoken his first true word.

And it was his father who had derezzed just a few cycles after he'd been born.

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"No catchin' me!" Beck squealed as his little feet flew over the white floor of the garage.

"Me neither!" Bodhi beamed as he tried to keep up with his friend.

"Says you two," Able growled playfully as he snuck around a workbench while the two boys hid around the other side.

"Is he gone?" Bodhi whispered, peering around the corner.

"I tink so," Beck blinked right as Able made to grab him…

Only for Beck's blue eyes to flash and he seemed to teleport out of the way, dashing across the room faster than Able thought the child could move.

"Gotcha!" Able smiled, grabbing Bodhi in one arm and making the boy whine in defeat.

He looked at the little Monitor boy who was looking at him warily.

"C'mon, Beck, time for your bath…"

"No!" Beck growled, stomping his foot and fixing Able with a steely blue glare that was scarily like his father's as the little boy crossed his arms, "Don't want bath!"

"Do I need to tell your mother?" Able threatened as he put Bodhi down and shooed him towards the living areas for his bath.

Beck lifted his chin defiantly as he closed his eyes and shook his head while Able slowly made his way towards the Child Basic.

"Fine then," Able shrugged…only to suddenly turn on the boy and attempt to grab him once again…just for Beck to dodge out of the way…once again.

Able ended up falling flat on his face, tapping his fingers on the floor.

"Are we having troubles?" Yori asked, offering her hand to her friend.

Able said nothing, instead turning towards the little Child Basic who was watching Able warily. Yori gave a hum and nodded, walking towards her son, keeping her intentions clear on not grabbing him and forcing him to take a bath. The young Monitor looked up at his mother as she reached down and picked him up, making Beck nuzzle into her chest and purr softly.

"How did you…?" Able blinked as Yori walked towards him.

"He is his father's son," Yori reminded him, "He was Sensing you trying to get him…just keep your intents on something else, and you'll be able to get him,"

She kissed her son's curly head, making him giggle as he hugged her.

"I still don't wanna get a bath," Beck reminded her.

"I know you don't," Yori nodded, "But…you've got no choice in the matter,"

"Nooooo!" Beck whined as Yori carried him back to their room.

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A Few Cycles Later

Yori was woken up by a kick to her side. The Simulations Program sat up and looked to her left just to see her adolescent son, whimpering and shivering against her. He hadn't crawled into bed with her for many cycles.

"Beck," she soothed, smoothing his hair down, "Shhh, it's ok, it's ok…"

Suddenly, the boy shot up with a scream, eyes wild and circuits blazing as he started crying.

"Beck?" Yori repeated, hugging her son as he sobbed, "It's ok, it's just a nightmare, I've got you…you're safe,"

"Dad…" the boy croaked.

"What about your father?"

"I saw…" Beck stammered, "Disks…and my chest was on fire…so many dead…Clu…they drove a tool through my eye…the scars won't heal…it hurts…"

Yori tried to decipher her son's terrified babble, but she wasn't succeeding very well. The most she could do was hold him close and wait as his shuddering died down.

"Better?" she asked.

"Not really," Beck mumbled, "Mom…why is this happening to me? Why am I getting these nightmares?"

"…I don't know, sweetheart," Yori admitted, "I'm guessing it has something to do with your father's memories…and mine,"

"But…Dad didn't go through that …did he?"

"I don't know what happened when your father was captured on the old system," Yori started, "We were separated and…"

"It wasn't on the old system,"

Yori frowned.

"What?" she asked.

"Dad was in dark armor, and he had a Disk like ours," Beck explained, rubbing his head.

"Your father wasn't tortured like that," Yori told him, "He was too good to get himself captured,"

"Not good enough to not get himself killed," Beck muttered bitterly.

"BECK!" Yori snapped, "That's enough. Your father fought as hard as he could, Clu got the drop on him and Flynn. He was still reeling from the shock that Clu would betray them as well as constantly getting alerts about the Virus,"

"I remember that," Beck muttered.

"Make no mistake, your father would have easily overpowered Clu if he'd known something was going on," Yori told him, "He would never willingly leave us to fend for ourselves,"

Beck bowed his head, holding his arm.

"I know," he whispered, "It's…Mom…why did he have to die?"

"I don't know, Beck" Yori murmured, holding her son close, "I just don't know,"

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"Ready?" Beck asked.

"Ready," Bodhi snickered, "Aw, man, those two aren't going to know what hit them! Let me know if they're coming,"

The 17 cycle old Child Basic's eyes glittered brightly as he stood in front of the door, his keen blue gaze scanning over the open garage.

"Hey, Monitor!" Bodhi hissed, "Help me out here!"

Beck quietly snuck in, dimming his circuits as he picked up the desk and hefted it up so Bodhi could fool around with the code. Bodhi was the only Program other than Able who knew about Beck's heritage. Mainly because the two were nearly inseparable and Bodhi had figured it out when Beck shoved him out of the way of a falling beam when there was no other indication.

The other Child Basic promised he wouldn't say anything to anyone, easing both Beck and Yori's fears.

"Incoming," a soft, female voice whispered, making Beck stiffen.

"Bodhi…we need to get outta here," he warned, "Someone's coming,"

"Ok, ok, I'm done," Bodhi nodded and the two quickly and quietly stole out of the room right as Able and Yori walked in.

"Oh no!" Beck hissed, "It wasn't meant for them! Mom's going to derezz me!"

"Well," Bodhi blinked, "Beck, it was nice knowin' ya,"

Beck whirled around to face his friend right as he heard a loud 'bang!' as well as his mother's yell.

"BECK!" Yori shrieked, storming out of the room, her shorter blonde hair singed and slightly blackened.

"Um…Bodhi?" Beck stammered.


"RUN!" Beck yelled as the two turned tail and ran as fast as they could out of the room and into the city.

Yori stopped in front of the door, putting her hands on her hips as she saw the faint trails of lightcycles flitting through the alleys.

"He does remind me of his father," Able coughed as he waved a dark hand through the smoke, "But I think he's got a bit of Anon in him too…"

"Tron could be playful when he wanted," Yori sighed, "Able…I'm afraid that someone's going to recognize him for what he is…Bodhi's already figured out he's Tron's son…what if someone not so friendly finds out?"

"We'll figure something out, Yori," Able reassured her, "Don't worry. And it's not like Clu will reach Argon, it's too far,"

"With Tron, Anon and Flynn dead and the ISOs lost to the Purge…I don't think there's anyone to stop him, Able," Yori admitted.

"Maybe not," Able told her, "Clu doesn't know about one last obstacle,"

"You're right," Yori nodded, "But I just hope that Clu never finds him…he's not ready,"

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Able was working late while everyone was asleep. They'd gotten a few newly rezzed Programs in today…two Child Basics from Tron City: Dash and Copper, and three that were just rezzed in to Argon: Mara, Zed and Link. Mara and Zed really hit it off with Beck and Bodhi and the four became very fast friends. Yori liked them too, and even knew about Dash and Copper, but didn't let them know she was there for fear of Beck's safety.

The old Mechanic shook his head. He understood why Yori acted the way she did…but it was getting so that she was being borderline paranoid.

A loud crash from outside caught Able's attention, making him jump nearly five feet into the air. Able took out his Disk, activating it and letting the pale white light shine on his path. The older Program walked out of the garage and into the alleyway, where a dark shape stood near the back.

"Anyone there?" he asked, only to get answered with silence, "Come out, I can see you back there…I won't hurt you, I promise,"


Able closed an eye and stepped closer, just for the dark figure to snap into a defensive position…

And light not one, but two Disks.

"I won't hurt you," Able repeated, docking his Disk and lifting his hands.

The other Program warily deactivated his Disks and Able took a slow step forwards.

"My name is Able," the Mechanic started…only for the other Program to drop his Disks in shock.

"…Able?" a soft, deep voice rasped, "Is…is that really you?"

"Do I know you?" Able asked.

"…You…should," the stranger chuckled softly, "I…I'm sorry I threatened you…it's been a very long, hard journey,"

"Do I know you?" Able repeated, slightly annoyed.

"You should," the figure stated softly as he stepped out into the light.

He derezzed the ebon glass that shielded his features, revealing reddish brown hair and steely blue eyes…as well as horrific scarring across his face and chest.

"It's been a long time," Tron smiled weakly as he held his hand to his chest to stop bleeding, "…Old Friend,"

Chapter Text

Chapter 6


Accessing Archive Data…

Able's helped us in more ways than one. He's helped me raise my son the way Tron and I wanted to, he's given us a shelter, and he's protected us from those who'd wish us harm. Beck's growth both physically and mentally has been extremely fast, it's as if only last millicycle he was a baby and now he's nearly 20 cycles old. His abilities are growing, we've had to hide his eyes from others besides myself, Able and Beck's best friend because Programs would get suspicious about the color…since Tron was the only one with that eye color. He looks so much like his father it's uncanny…it's like looking into a memory, especially with Beck's wild, unruly hair. Tron always complained that it was too messy, hence why he never took off his helmet much…but Beck doesn't seem to mind. I can only imagine what he'd look like if he'd comb it and make it lay flat…but then, that wouldn't be Beck.

Able's been acting strange lately, it's like there's something he's hiding other than Beck and me…

What are you hiding Able?

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He was falling, he could hear the wind whistling past his helmet as he fumbled for the trigger on the chute, missing and missing time and again.

Finally, his numb fingers caught hold and he yanked…his breath rushing out as he was jerked upwards by the blued wings of the chute…but he was too close to the ground! He was falling too fast…

He braced himself as he hit the ground hard. His circuits flickered feebly as he lay still on the Outlands floor for just a few nanos, pain flashing through every sensor and every bit of code in his body.

"Move, get up. NOW!" the Grid screamed.

He did…but that didn't mean that every part shrieked in protest. He looked around…he was a long way from home.

A loud crack sounded behind him and he whirled around…just to see the icy ground derezzing behind him.

"Ah, great," he moaned, starting to run despite the pain shooting through his back with every step.

He ran, faster and faster and he leaped into the air over a crevice, yelling as his fingers nearly missed the edge of the ravine. He heaved himself upwards, eyes flicking towards the other side of the canyon at the exposed blue code that gleamed innocently at him. He shook his head and started walking, hiking up the hills that stood before him, not noticing the shadow that ran along the rocks, close to the ground and hard to see.

As he made his way over the top of the hill, he noticed that a junkyard lay before him.

"Perfect," he smiled, jumping down from the ledge and skidding into the junkyard.

He scanned through the wreckage of old bikes and other machines until he found one that wasn't as bad off as the others. He knelt down beside the broken piece of machinery, or it was broken at first. It didn't stay that way for very long! He revved the engine, satisfied that it worked, and got on, racing out of the junkyard.

He'd been driving for a few clicks when a flicker of deep orange caught his eye. He turned his head backwards, just to see an orange snowrunner behind him.

"Great, just great!" he thought bitterly as he flipped a switch.

Suddenly, twin pale blue-white ribbons of light poured from the renegade's vehicle.

His pursuer swerved out of way and shot forwards, ramping off the rock wall that appeared in his vision and landing on the other side.

He shot forwards once again, coming up to the other Program's side and looking right at him, noting the tetramino design on his chest. The young Program thought he heard a faint rumble of annoyance and/or amusement as the other Program swerved in front of the his vehicle, eliciting a yelp from the younger Program as the vehicle slammed into the orange lightribbon.

He tumbled to a halt, looking right at his pursuer.

The Hunter dismounted and stood right in front of the prone form.

"You're a long way from home, Program," he growled, voice raspy and dark.

The other jumped to his feet, engaging his Disk. The Hunter casually took out a shock grenade and tossing it at his 'attacker'. It latched onto the other Program's chest and administered its shock, causing the Program to scream as he dropped to the ground, eyes dimming and he slipped into unconsciousness.

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His head hurt.

Scratch that, everything hurt.

Beck's eyes started fluttering open, a soft steel-blue that quickly flickered to an iron brown due to his and his mother camouflaging them for his protection, and he realized that he was not in the garage anymore…with a slight jolt of panic, he remembered what happened. He struggled, trying to free himself from the cuffs, but he wasn't able to.

"You're not afraid?" a rough, gravelly voice asked.

Beck's dark gaze latched onto a tall, slender orange marked Program, sparks spitting from them.

"No," he snarled.

"You should be,"

Beck glared at him, yanking against the cuffs again.

"You know, you're not Tron," his captor pointed out as Beck stilled.

The young Program looked up at him with an almost cocky glance.

"Never said I was," he retorted, getting an annoyed aura from his captor.

"Who are you?" his captor finally asked.

"Name's Beck,"

"You really thought you could get away with what you did back there?" the orange and black Program asked.

"I did get away with it," Beck smirked, remembering the brilliant display of pyrotechnics.

"Doesn't look like it to me,"

He clasped his hands behind his back, watching his captive.

"So…Beck…" the Program started, "What made you decide to go Renegade?"

"If you think I'm the Renegade, then there's no point in talking," Beck replied stubbornly.

That…didn't seem like what his captor wanted to hear. Because with one swift movement, the Guard grabbed Beck's hair, forcing his head down.

"Then don't talk," he snarled, shoving the boy downward just a bit and taking his Disk, activating the memory replay, "I'll let you show me,"

A building came into being over the Disk.

"You work here?" the Guard asked, and unless Beck was mistaken, it sounded like he was a little surprised.

"Yeah," Beck admitted, "But you want to know why I did what I did?"

He inclined his head towards the hologram.

"It all began there, Able's Garage,"

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A Millicycle Prior

"Hey, Beck, you comin'?" Bodhi demanded, "I want that rematch,"

Beck looked up, a cocky grin etched on his face before he turned back to tooling around with the bike.

"Hang on, Bodhi," he reassured him.

"Here, Monitor," Bodhi sighed, nudging Beck in the back with his recoder, "Try it with this,"

Beck took the tool, raising an eyebrow as he smiled again.

"Remember what Mom told you she'd do if you called me that in public again?" he teased.

"Don't remind me," Bodhi shuddered, "But…she's not here. So hurry up Monitor! I wanna get to the park before everything gets booked!"

"Didn't realize you were in such a rush to get beat," Beck snickered, plugging the recoder into the bike and watching as the dark black metal reformed into almost transparent blue and violet code.

'It never felt like work, but that's probably 'cause I was doing it with my friends,'

Beck nudged a few strands of broken code, hearing Zed and Mara come up.

"Show off," Mara teased.

"Just using my natural talents," Beck replied.

"Looks like showing off to me!" she quipped.

"Or he's afraid of the rematch," Bodhi snorted.

"Why would he be?" Zed scoffed, "You've never won,"

"Yet, Zed, yet," Bodhi retorted.

Beck finished putting the last piece of code in and stood as the bike returned to normal, he revved the engine just to make sure it worked, satisfied, he turned back around.

"There," he announced, "Now we can go,"

"Duck!" the Grid warned…

Right as Bodhi chucked a wrench at him.

"Hey!" Beck yelled as he dodged, "Bodhi…I'd run,"

"Ha! Try and catch me!" the red Program cackled, sprinting off.

"You mean like this?" Beck grinned as he charged forwards and tackled Bodhi, sending the two friends sprawling to the ground, laughing incessantly.

'Now I may be a young Program, but I've been on the Grid long enough to know I had it good. Able's Garage wasn't just a job, it's my home,'

Beck gave a yell as he hurled his Disk at Bodhi and Bodhi blocked it with his own Disk, sending Beck's back towards him.

'The only thing I enjoyed more than the job were the Disk Games we'd get into after.'

Bodhi snatched Beck's Disk out of the air and hurled both his Disk and Beck's towards the Child Basic. Beck launched up into the air, plucking his own out of the air as easily as breathing before whirling away.

"Ha!" Beck crowed as he dodged Bodhi's Disk yet again, "Not bad, Bodhi, looks like you've been practicing!"

"I don't need to practice for you, Beck," Bodhi growled, hurling his Disk at Beck's head…but Beck caught it once again as he launched into the air, twisting elegantly before performing a three point landing.

"Looks like you do!" Beck smirked, hurling both Disks in two separate directions, his arching one way, Bodhi's the other.

Bodhi leaped up, twisting away from both of the Disks and landing gracefully, but not as gracefully as his friend, on the ground. He looked up just in time to see both Disks ricocheting off the wall and slamming into his chest, knocking the air out of him and sending him to meet Mr. Floor.

"Player Two: Defeated," the Grid announced as Beck caught the two Disks and walked over to Bodhi, "Game Over. Do you wish to play again?"

Beck handed Bodhi his Disk.

"Best you can do?" he asked.

"I'm just warming up, Beck," Bodhi retorted, taking his Disk as he stood.

"That's what I like about you, Bodhi," Beck grinned, "You don't give up,"

He gave a chuckle as Bodhi brushed off his shoulder.

"Doesn't help that you cheat," Bodhi pointed out.

"Cheat? Me?" Beck snorted, "I can't help it that my dad was the best Disk Wars champion the Grid ever knew,"

"That…and you have Her telling you whenever you're about to get hit," Bodhi grumbled, making Beck snicker.

A deep, shuddering feeling rushed up from the ground beneath Beck's feet all the way through his body.


"Intruders. Usurper. Murderer. Traitor," a soft, pain-filled female voice whispered.

"Beck…" Bodhi started, "You ok?"

The Child Basic shook his head, eyes flashing steel blue as he stumbled back a step.

"Something's wrong," he mumbled as Bodhi caught him, "Something's…"

Beck's head snapped up and he saw an airship. A big one. And Recognizers…a lot of them.

"They found us," Beck whispered hoarsely, "Oh Users, they found us!"

"Greetings, Programs," a booming voice announced from the main ship, "This is General Tesler,"

Mara's face went pale, "That can't be…"

"Good," Zed finished.

"In the name of our great leader, Clu, I now claim Argon City as Occupied Territory,"


Beck looked up just time to see a large black box being dropped…towards them!

"Run!" Beck yelled as the box hit the ground, throwing them all to the ground as orange washed over the field…

And a statue of Clu took up the space where Beck and Bodhi had just been playing.

"Those…" Bodhi snarled, getting to his feet.

"Definitely not good," Beck reiterated as he looked at Mara, who was nursing a bruised leg, "If Tron were here…"

"You mean if Tron were alive," Zed corrected.

"Don't we all wish that," Beck thought numbly.

Zed cut off, watching in stunned horror as Bodhi marched up to a sentry.

"Hey!" Bodhi snapped, pointing at where the statue stood, "That's our field!"

"This is our field now," the sentry growled.

"Hey you can't…!" Bodhi started but he was cut off as the sentry slammed his staff across his face, knocking him backwards and making him land at Beck's feet.

"Bodhi!" Mara gasped.

The sentry cocked his head, a faint clicking whirr sounding off before he spoke again.

"No more games," he announced and turned around.

Bodhi, stubborn Program that he was, got up and started forwards again.

"You don't scare us…" he started…

And the sentry rammed his staff into Bodhi's midsection, causing cracks to appear and spread.

"BODHI!" Beck screamed as Bodhi hit the ground, derezzing as he did, his Disk rolling to a stop at Beck's feet.

Beck picked it up, shaking angrily, a low, rumbling growl starting up in his throat.

"You won't get away with that…" Beck snarled, brown eyes flicking steel-blue and back in anger as he picked up Bodhi's Disk and it flashed to life in his hands.

"Want to be next?" the sentry taunted, making Beck settle into a fighting stance.

"You will lose," Beck thought savagely as he ignited his Disk as well.

"Beck, don't!" Zed ordered, grabbing his friend's shoulder, "There's nothing you can do,"


And his and Bodhi's Disks deactivated.

"For now," Beck swore, glaring at the sentry's blank helmet.

'You lost a friend. You were angry, but sounds like it was his own fault.'

'It was Clu's fault. Before he sent Tesler and you goons here, everything was fine.'

Beck sprinted into the dorm and slammed the door shut behind him, pressing his lean frame against the smooth metal.

"Beck? Is that you?" Yori asked as she came into the room, "How's…"

She gave a gasp as she saw the haunted, stricken face of her son.

"What happened?" she demanded as she came closer.

"They…they found us," he shuddered, "They…they derezzed BodhI!"

He put his head in his hands,

"I couldn't save him…I couldn't protect him…" he cried, "I'm useless!"

Yori hugged her grieving son.

"You're not useless," she reassured him, "You're just not ready yet. You're growing in power every day, you'll be able to protect others soon, I know it,"

"If Dad were here…" Beck started, stopping and running his hand though his errant reddish brown hair.

"If your father were alive, things would be different," Yori told him, putting a hand on his shoulder, making this blue gaze slide towards her.

She smiled softly and rubbed his shoulder.

"Promise me you won't do anything stupid?" Yori pleaded.

Beck stayed silent, still seething over his friend's death.

"Beck…" Yori warned, she knew that whenever Tron got silent…he was planning something, normally something stupid.

And Beck was so much like his father…

"I won't do anything stupid," he mumbled, sitting at the window and glaring heatedly at the statue that now marred the landscape.

Yori came up behind him and kissed him on the head before rubbing his shoulder.

"Alright," she told him, "Good night, Beck. I'll see you in the morning,"

As she walked off, Beck set his jaw and stood up.

"I promised I wouldn't do anything stupid…" he muttered, "I never said I wouldn't do something crazy,"

A few nanos later, Beck stood in front of Bodhi's locker, hands clenched. There had to be something he could do. No, he knew what had to be done.

'But now, as it hit me that I'd never see Bodhi again, it became clear.'

It would possibly mean that he would be derezzed, but he didn't care. Bodhi had to be avenged, his father had to be avenged, anyone who died because of Clu had to be avenged.

'I had to do something.'

He flipped the recoder into the air, catching it easily and walking off towards the elevator, taking off his Disk as he did. He plugged the recoder to the side of his Disk, fiddling with it, taking light lines out in some areas, moving others, elongating the blued highlights around his chest…and the final touch…

'You really thought one Program could make a difference?'

'Why not? One Program already did.'

He put the Disk back on his back, shuddering as it synced and his armor pixelated, changing…

A white tetramino flared to life on his chest, in the hollow of his throat.


He stepped of the elevator, looking around hurriedly before activating his mask and starting out.

'I decided to take on his identity. Tron saved the Grid before, maybe he could do it again.'

Beck slid across the wet ground, keeping careful watch for the sentries that crawled over the area. He hid while a sentry passed over his hiding spot and then continued his way up the base of Clu's statue before making his ascent up the statue itself.

He stood on its shoulder and activated his Disk.

"This is for Bodhi, for my Dad, for Anon and the ISOs," he thought, digging the razor's edge of his Disk into the Statue's neck managing to get back to his starting point miraculously quick.

He shoved the head off the neck and let it crash to the ground. The sentries went berserk! They swarmed the area right as Beck dropped a bomb down the hollow statue's neck. He slid down the smooth metal and started running. He heard someone yell at him to stop, but he didn't listen, instead, rezzing his lightcycle and shooting away as the statue blew up.

"YES!" Beck rejoiced, "That was for you Bodhi!"

He smiled gently as took another look at the fiery wreckage.

"That was for you, Dad,"

He didn't make if far before two lightcycles chased after him. Beck looked behind him, giving a grim smile as he turned off the beaten path and rocketed down an alley.

'Clu's forces didn't deter you?'

'They tried…but they were amateurs,'

Beck looked up right as he saw another lightcycle coming towards him. That was not good!

'I've been riding the streets of Argon long before they came,'

He stood up on his seat, his leg's bending as he launched himself into the air, grabbing onto a pipe and swinging only for it to derezz in his hands. He fell for a short ways before landing on another pipe…right as all three bikes collided and exploded in a dazzling array of orange and blue light.

'They never had a shot.'

"That was easy…Mom's going to kill me for wrecking another bike, but…oh well," Beck hummed, trying to get himself pulled up on the pipe…only for it, like the other one, to derezz underneath him and he hit the ground hard, "Ow!"

'Doesn't explain how you ended up alone in the Outlands.'


He saw a shadow beside him and he turned around…just to receive a high heeled boot to the face, knocking him flat against a wall.

"Yeaaah…turns out they weren't all amateurs,"

He held his chin, slightly stunned as the cloaked guard reared back their fist…Beck lashed out, kicking as hard as he could, his own boot connecting with the figure's helmet, shattering a bit of it and revealing a honey colored eye. The Guard's mask derezzed and Beck's jaw dropped.

It was a girl!

"Now that," she, Commander Paige, started, whipping her cape off of her tall, slender frame, "Was a mistake,"

She took out her Disk and Beck sat up higher on the wall.

"So you're Tron?" she scoffed, "huh, thought you'd be taller,"

Beck jumped to his feet, launching himself onto the wall, calling upon on of his Monitor abilities, and running across the wall before flipping elegantly off the smooth walls and landing gracefully, his own Disk blazing like a brilliant white star.

"Didn't know I could do that…" he thought dimly before refocusing on the fight.

He charged forwards right as Paige hurled her Disk. Beck slid to his knees, Paige's fiery orange Disk slicing through the air right above his helmet…and something grabbed him by the neck, making him jerk backwards.

Paige caught her Disk as she straddled his chest, making sure he wouldn't get up.

"What a waste," she sighed and brought her Disk down.

Beck caught her wrist, twisting it to the side.

"Huh," Paige hummed, "They usually don't last this long,"

Her honey colored eyes scanned over his masked face, unknowing of the steel-blue gaze that held them back.

"Who are you?" she asked softly.

"You said it yourself," Beck replied, twisting her wrist again and throwing her off of him, "I'm Tron!"

She hit the wall and Beck shot to his feet, racing off into the rain. Paige gave chase, Beck could hear her labored breaths behind him as light flooded the…

He came to a halt as he realized he had taken a dead end and the light from a chopper blazed down on top of him.

"Ok…this is a problem," he stated.

"There you are," Paige said as she stopped.

"Here I am," Beck replied with a hint of a grin as he looked at the walls, realizing that they were perfect for him to get away.

Two other Black Guards made their way towards him, Disks activating as they advanced.

"Game over, Program," Paige stated, her own Disk blazing.

"Not yet," Beck retorted, rushing her.

Paige was stunned that he was trying to run her down…until he leaped upwards, planting his booted feet onto the helmets of the Black Guards and vaulted off of them, running up the walls of the boxes that lined the little alley.

Beck leaped up onto the top and started running again…only to stop as he looked over the side of the crates into the Sea of Simulation.

That was a long fall!

He turned around and was going to start back…when Paige appeared in his way.

"How long are you going to keep running?" she demanded as the Lightchopper rose up behind him.

Beck shot a quick look at it before looking back at Paige.

"I'm done," he announced, rushing the chopper and leaping, "My ride's here!"

He pulled himself into the chopper, the Black Guard driving it had no idea that Beck was even there. He snuck up behind the pilot and grappled with him, slamming his head through the controls before tossing him towards the door.

Beck sat down, grimacing at the job he had done.

"Nice, Beck, real nice," he thought bitterly as he pulled out the recoder.

"Thanks, Bodhi," he murmured as he flipped the tool in his hand before plugging it in and starting to repair the damage, "C'mon, c'mon!"

He drew his hand back and the broken controls fused back together.

"Nice!" Beck grinned.

"Behind you, Monitor!"

He saw movement in the reflection in the window and he dived out of the way right as Paige's Disk slashed right where he had been sitting mere nanos before.

He grabbed her wrists and the two struggled, both of them vying for control.

"You know," Paige started as she hooked her leg around Beck's and dragged it towards her, making him lose his balance and topple to the ground, "This isn't yours!"

She knelt on his chest, dragging her hand on the side of his helmet, almost caressing it.

"I can't wait to see what you've got…"

He flipped her over so that she was on the bottom.

"Maybe we should slow things down," he teased, "Get to know each other better?"

"Impressive," Paige nodded, "Maybe you should work for me? We'd make quite a team,"

Beck's circuits pulsed brightly in anger.

"I don't like your boss," he snarled, "Maybe you should work for me?"

"Sorry," she said as Beck reached for his Disk, "Don't see a future in that,"

She kicked him away, making him hit the controls right as an alarm sounded…they were going to hit a building!

Beck whipped around and dragged the controls so that the chopper banked hard to the right, just barely avoiding the tower.

He whipped out his Disk again and slashed at Paige, who tried ambushing him while he was at the controls. But Paige had more training than Beck, and she dodged every single one of his attacks…and then she kicked him out the shattered window before settling at the controls.

Beck hung onto the railing for dear life, he threw his Disk at the turbine, slicing the metal like it was made of paper and making it explode as he got up and the Disk returned to his hand.

He jumped back into the window, slamming both of his feet into Paige's face.

"That was fun," he told her, flipping the recoder in his hand before grabbing a chute, "We should do this again,"

He walked towards the door, and threw her a cheeky smirk.

"Hope you know how to land this thing!"

And he jumped.

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Present Moment

Beck's captor walked back towards him.

"You understand that this makes you an enemy of the State?" he asked, tossing Beck's Disk to the side.

Beck shot him a glare that was so full of hate that he could see a slight shudder run through the Guard. Good!

"The State is the enemy," Beck retorted as he calmly plugged the recoder into the cuffs, making them turn a translucent blue.

There was a slight beeping sound as one of the locks clicked and the Guard turned his head towards Beck.

"I see what you're doing," he stated and Beck's gaze shot up, the cuffs turning opaque as the Guard tilted his helmet, "You can dress up like Tron all you want…but he's still dead,"

"That's what they tell us,"

"Why do you want Programs to think he's alive?" the Guard asked, confused.

"Maybe he is, and maybe if others think so too, they'll be braver. Think for themselves some more, not sit still for Clu's rule!"

"Do you really think if they believe Tron is alive, it will inspire a revolution?"

"I know it will," Beck replied, a smile in his voice as he got up, grabbing his Disk and rushing at his captor, but the Guard seemed to have been expecting it and dodged with ease, "We won't be intimidated! I don't care how strong and powerful your forces are!"

The Guard smacked away each and every one of Beck's blows as if they were nothing.

"You should," he growled, flipping Beck over, "Your actions have consequences,"

"So does inaction!" Beck snapped, charging forwards again, "More slavery! More friends of mine! GONE!"

The Captor grabbed Beck, putting his elbow against his throat.

"And nothing I say will stop you?" he demanded.

"I won't stop fighting!" Beck yelled before getting knocked flat, he shook his head, grabbing his Disk…right as the Guard ignited his Disk and placed it next to Beck's neck.

"Even if it means you'll be derezzed right now?" he asked with a soft voice.

"If it means others will take up my cause…" Beck growled, putting his own Disk to his captor's neck, "so be it! Step aside, let me out!"


"Then this is the end, of both of us,"

"You won't hurt me," the Guard said, taking his Disk away from Beck.

"What makes you so sure?" Beck growled.

"Because you were right about one thing," he started…right as his helmet retracted, revealing steel-blue eyes as his armor pixelated, becoming pure white…

Beck's throat constricted as the final bit of his captor's armor flared…

A tetramino insignia.

"No…no that's not possible! You…you died!" Beck thought, panicking and yet overjoyed at the same time.

"I'm not dead," Tron, the User's Champion, the Hero of the Grid, Beck's father, said.

"Tron!" Beck breathed, eyes wide as he took in his father's very much alive form, "I was right! You're here to help!"

"You're alive…" he thought weakly, trying to keep his emotions in check.

"No," Tron shook his head, "I'm here because I need help,"

"What?" Beck demanded.

"From someone who's committed," Tron explained, giving a faint smile, "And I think you…might be just what I'm looking for,"

Beck blinked rapidly. Him?

"What are you looking for?" he asked.

Tron gave the mental command for the 'prison' to reform into the training room, the lights flickered brilliant white and the water evaporated as Tron gave a sad smile.

"The next Tron," he stated.

Chapter Text

Chapter 7

Together Again

Accessing Archive Data…

I've been waiting so long for someone to do something about Clu and his Occupation, and here he was. Users, he reminds me of me when I was a young Program…particularly that stubborn look he got when I was interrogating him. When he said his name, part of me felt sick…well, sicker than normal. It reminded me of my family, Yori and my little Beck died a long time ago. I first thought it would have been him…if not for the eyes. And his mother…his mother looks much like Yori, but her eyes are the same brown as his if not a little darker while her hair is much shorter than my Yori's…

My son may not be able to be here with me, but I'm going to train this boy and make him strong. His core is in the right place and it's strong…it's time that his body reflects his strong mentality. I can't let him get close to me though…Everyone who has has ended up derezzed…

I don't want to lose another friend.

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Tron motioned for his son to follow him and he walked out of the training room into the main area of his stronghold.

"There's a war raging," he explained, as Beck walked to the window, looking out at the city and admiring the spectacular view, "Most Programs don't even know its happening. Clu's generals have taken over every city on the Grid. Now, thanks to you, we can bring the fight to him,"

Beck turned to face his father.

"Wait, what do you mean me?" Beck protested, "What did I do?"

"You're special," Tron told him, a faint smile painting over his features, "I saw what you did tonight. You have a gift, Beck,"

There it was. Tron recognized the Monitor traits in him. Beck was speechless for a moment as he thought of what his mother would do if she found out. She was right…he wasn't ready to fight back. Not yet anyway. He was lucky he'd managed to quickly hide the memories of what she had said to him when Tron took his Disk. Tron had no idea that the brown-eyed, blonde-haired Program was Yori. Yori wanted him safe…and that's what he was going to do, at least…until he was stronger.

"A-A gift!?" Beck demanded, playing the 'who me?' card, "I'm an ok mechanic. That's my gift. See that…that thing with the statue…it was nothing…a one-time deal,"

"Mainly because Mom'll kill me when she finds out…" he thought.

"It's a revolution, Beck," his father insisted, "You must finish what's begun,"

"Why can't you finish it?" Beck pointed out, eyes hard, "You were the one programmed to secure the Grid,"

Tron closed his eyes before looking back up at Beck.

"Don't you think I want to?" he asked, his voice cracking, "I can't,"

He stepped backwards, initiating the scanning procedures…and he let Beck see what exactly Clu did to him. Beck's silver-brown eyes widened as he saw the horrific gashes on his father's lean frame, slashing dull, jagged, blue-black lines through his father's…even revealing a ugly one disfiguring his face and the one on his throat that had been hidden before.

"Clu betrayed me," Tron told him, "Left me with scars that will never heal. He took everything from me. Everything but my name,"

"He took us away from you too, Dad," Beck thought, keeping his mouth shut about who he really was.

"I need you to help me carry on that name," Tron pleaded, "To show everyone that as long as Tron lives…there is still hope,"

"I'm sorry," Beck whispered, "But what I did…I-I don't know why I did it. But I'm not…"

He paused, looking at the steel blue gaze that was identical to his own. Here stood his father…the greatest hero the Grid had ever known…

And there Beck stood, a Monitor turned mechanic in order to save his own render. He…he didn't deserve this. What if he was a disappointment to Tron? Or worse, what if Tron found out Beck was his son and was a disappointment to him as well?

It was better to go back to hiding and wait. Wait until he was stronger.

"I'm not special," Beck insisted, "I'm just like everyone else,"

His core ached as he saw the hurt and disappointment in his father's pale eyes.

"Do you truly believe that?" Tron asked.

Beck turned his head away.

"…Yeah…" he muttered.

"Then the war is already lost," Tron sighed, stepping away and walking back across the room, "You had better get home…your friends will be looking for you,"

Beck made his way to the door. He stopped and put his hand on the frame, turning to look at his father, who had his back to him, noticing the way the Monitor's shoulders seemed to slump just a bit, like a heavy burden had just been placed on his shoulders.

"I'm sorry, Dad," he whispered.

And he left.

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Beck put the baton back in his locker and closed the door. He should have stayed…should have told his father the truth…

"Beck!" Able yelled, causing the Child Basic to jump nearly five feet in the air, "Where have you been!?"

"Uh…" Beck started but Able waved him off.

"Get down to the garage," Able ordered, "Something's happening,"

Beck shrugged and jogged to the elevator, looking out over the garage floor…and seeing three Recognizers in the hangar.

"Great, just great," Beck thought bitterly as the elevator stopped and two sentries grabbed his arms.

"This way, Program," one of them growled, throwing him towards…

"Finally," Paige said, "I've been waiting for you,"

"Oh, Users, this is not good," Beck thought frantically before adding aloud, "Well, now I really feel special,"

"Don't flatter yourself, Program, this isn't just for you," Paige snorted, looking down her nose at him while Beck glared up at her, "It's for everyone,"

She stopped in front of everyone.

"What happened last night was nothing short of sedition," she announced, showing the statue blowing up.

Zed and Mara hauled a slightly smirking Beck up to his feet. No matter what he said about it being a one-time thing…blowing up that statue had felt good.

"If you know this Program…" Paige continued, showing a picture of a disguised Beck on top of the statue's shoulder, "Turn him in,"

"Looks like Tron…" Beck heard Dash, or Copper he hadn't gotten their voices straightened out yet, say.

"As long as he's free…" Paige finished, "You won't be. I'm here to announce that Tesler is bringing the Games to Argon. In a few cycles, we will be rounding up volunteers…"

She walked right up to Beck, her honey gaze glaring directly into his silver-brown one.

"Until this imposter is apprehended," she added, "Now, back to work,"

Beck shook his head and walked back to his station. Basically put, until Paige had him in custody (and likely derezzed) they were all prisoners under curfew.

He knelt down next to the bike he was supposed to be working on and pulled out the recoder, flipping it in the air like he always did…

When a slender, strong hand grabbed his wrist and yanked it upwards.

"Where'd you get that?" Paige demanded.

"Uh…I…found it…" Beck stammered, afraid to yank his hand out of her grip but wanting to…

"He got it from the cabinet where we keep all the tools," Able replied coolly, opening the drawer and showing a bunch of wrenches that looked like Bodhi's recoder.

Paige threw Beck's arm away from her in disgust.

"Back to it, Program," she snarled, stalking off.

"Nice to meet you," Beck called after her.

"I see the feeling is mutual," Zed snickered and Beck shot him a cocky grin.

"Alright everyone," Able sighed, "the soldiers are gone. Let's get back to work,"

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Beck had just put the recoder back into his locker when he felt firm hands grab him and spin him around…just to look into his mother's furious yet terrified face.

"Did you blow up that statue?" Yori hissed.

"No," Beck told her, "I was out for a walk…"

"Beck, I know you," Yori warned, "No, scratch that. You're too much like your father to let something like that go. Now, tell me the truth, did you or did you not blow up that statue?"

"I didn't blow up that statue," Beck told her.

"I decapitated it…then blew it up," he thought, "It's not exactly lying…"

Yori's eyes narrowed and she opened her mouth to speak again, but was interrupted by Zed and Mara walking in.

"We'll talk about this later," she told him, walking out.

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"Last night of freedom," Zed groaned while he, Beck and Mara clocked out, "This…Renegade…Tron…whoever he is…he's causing a lot of problems!"

"Maybe he just trying to help," Beck replied defensively, "Look what they did to Bodhi!"

"And now they're going to do it to all of us because of him!" Zed snapped.

"I think he's brave," Mara said, adding her two-bits into the conversation.

"Really?!" Zed demanded as they walked off towards the wanted poster, "Seems kinda cowardly, hiding out…hiding his face…letting us suffer…"

"He's fighting for us," Mara corrected, "And he's kinda handsome,"

Beck nearly lost it right there.

"Handsome!?" Zed asked incredulously, "How do you know!? He's in a mask!"

"I have a feeling," Mara shrugged while Beck stifled his laughter.

"Thank you Mara for that boost in self-confidence," Beck thought dryly.

Zed turned to face him.

"Beck, what do you think?"

"Is he handsome?" Beck teased.

"Is he on our side!" Zed huffed, walking off.

"Wait!" Mara pleaded, "Zed!"

"Zed, c'mon…" Beck started as Mara pulled him forwards…

"Beck," Able's voice called and Beck turned to face him, "May I speak with you?"

Beck turned towards his friends.

"Go on without me, I'll catch up with you later," he told them.

Mara waved while Zed held out his arms.

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"Did you have anything to do with that statue being destroyed?" Able demanded.

"No," Beck replied innocently, "I was just out for a walk. Did you and Mom talk about this? Because I told her the exact same thing. It's hard to believe that neither of you trust me,"

"If you were anyone else's son, I would," Able shot back, "But seeing as you are your father's son…"

"Able, I just needed some time alone…I was…upset about Bodhi," Beck admitted.

"I know," Able nodded, sighing as he sat back down, "We're all upset about that. But we can't dwell on what happened. And you certainly can't act on those feelings. With Tesler and his soldiers here, we all need to be more careful now. Things have changed. This isn't the Grid it used to be,"

"Don't worry," Beck reassured him, "It won't happen…"

An alarm sounded, cutting him off and both Able and Beck jumped up, running to the edge of the garage floor.

"Attention Programs," Tesler announced, "I am General Tesler. I'm here to tell you that you are now volunteering for the games. Thank you for your cooperation,"

Beck started forward and Able caught his shoulder. He knew Beck wanted to give those guards a piece of his mind…Tron would have too…but now was not the time.

Able watched as the guards rounded up the Programs. He saw Zed and Mara crying out as the orange light barrier separated them from everyone else…on the wrong side.

"BECK!" Zed yelled, banging on the barrier.

"Attention Programs," the Grid announced, and Able couldn't help but feel that She sounded saddened, "You have been selected for the Games, please report to the Coliseum. Unauthorized disembarkment of the lightrail will result in immediate deresolution,"

Beck's eyes steeled and Able couldn't help but think of how much he looked like his father in that moment. The older Program grabbed the young Monitor's shoulder as he started forwards.

"Come back inside, there's nothing we can do," Able murmured sadly.

He turned around but Beck stayed…because he'd seen another captive.

Yori stood on the other side of the barrier, trying to comfort Mara.

The Simulations Program caught her son's horrified steel-blue gaze and she gave a sad smile.

"I love you, Beck," she mouthed as the Black Guards started herding them towards the train.

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No, no, no, no, no. N. O.

There was no freaking way Beck was just going to sit there and let them kill his mother and friends.

While Yori would be able to handle herself in the Games…being the Grid Champion's counterpart taught you a few things…Beck didn't like the 'if' factor that was in there.

So, donning his disguise once more, the young Monitor grabbed his baton and ran out of the garage. He broke the baton midstride and in one fluid movement, shot off, racing to catch up with the train that held his friends and mother captive.

He managed to get caught up with the train and ramped off the side of the highway, derezzing his bike back into its baton form. He misjudged the speed of the train and ended up tumbling head over heels towards the edge of the train. He caught the edge (and his baton as it fell) right before he could go plunging to his doom.

He hauled himself up onto the roof of the train…and was decked by a Black Guard. Beck yelped as he hit the roof of the train, landing on his stomach. He saw the Black Guard unsheathe his Disk and Beck got to his feet, doing the same…and he charged forwards, slashing and pushing the Guard back towards the front of the train. He got a lucky hit and severed a cord connecting to the Guard's helmet. The Guard derezzed his helmet and charged forwards as Beck dodged a bunch of signs, ducking under one, jumping over another as the Guard did the same.

They clashed yet again, dodging one another's slashes, flipping out of the way until the Guard landed a lucky kick and sent Beck sprawling. The boy looked up just to see the train starting to flip over to the underside of the tracks as it neared a tunnel. Beck got to his feet and started running as fast as he could. He had to get off the roof!

But the train flipped out from under him, Beck caught hold of the car right as they went through the tunnel and he hung there, trying to get a foothold…when the Guard tossed a bomb at him.

Immediately his first meeting with Tron flashed into memory…but he was pretty sure that the bomb thrown at him wasn't a shock grenade…

The train flipped upright and Beck ran forwards right as it went off, throwing him and the Black Guard in between two cars. Beck unsheathed his Disk and looked at the helpless Guard before him, bringing his Disk down…

And severing the car from the train.

"Wait…" the Black Guard started, looking incredulously at Beck, as the train continued, "Why would you spare me? Why?"

"I don't derezz Programs," Beck thought as he turned around and opened the doors…

To find nothing.

"Wrong car…" he muttered, turning to look at the Train again.

And he took off after it once more.

"Now approaching the Coliseum," the Grid announced as Beck pulled in, leaping off his bike as it derezzed back into baton form, landing on the floor and he hurled his Disk into the light rail, making it wink out.

He caught his Disk with a confident smile which devolved into an incredulous gape as the rail rematerialized. He'd have to find another way to fix things…

He raced forwards and hacked his Disk into a column. This had to work…it had to!

He stopped hacking as he realized how close the train was getting and dug the Disk deep into the column, dragging it around to make a deep cut…and it snapped, falling over and taking all the other columns with it…

As well as the Train.

The train fell to its side, bunching up as the cars ran into one another and squealed towards him. Beck held up his hands right as the Tron stopped mere inches from him. He let out the breath he had been holding.

Now that that was over…it was time to find his friends.

"For your own safety, and the safety of your fellow passengers, please remain seated. Our attentive staff is currently working to correct this minor delay, please remain calm. Transport to the Coliseum will continue shortly."

"I'll remain calm once I get them out of here," Beck muttered to himself as he snuck around the debris, opening car after car but not finding his friends or his mother.

He had just opened what seemed to be the millionth car when a Disk poked the back of his neck.

Beck winced and slowly held up his hands.

"I know where they are," a low growl said from behind him.

"What?" Beck asked, turning around some more as the Guard derezzed his helmet, revealing the Black Guard that Beck spared.

"Your friends," he repeated, "I know where they are. Front car. Hurry, the others will be back soon,"

The two ran towards the car that Beck hadn't opened yet and Beck rammed his Disk in between the crack, splitting it down the middle and opening the doors, revealing the frightened faces of his friends and co-workers. Yori looked up at him and Beck's throat caught. Her blue eyes narrowed, puzzled.

"Programs!" Beck announced, shaking off the feeling of 'I'm so dead when I get home…' that leveled itself in his core, "Leave! NOW!"

"Quickly!" the Black Guard added as the Programs poured out of the car, sprinting towards the exit as fast as they could.

Beck and the Black Guard went up to the main doors and both of them opened a hole in the wall with their Disks, the metal panel falling to the ground with a loud crash.

"Move!" Beck ordered, "Move!"

They ran, not one of them looking back…or at least, none that Beck saw…until Yori grabbed his arm.

"You need to get going, ma'am," he told his mother, "Your son gave chase not long after I did. He's probably still on his way here. Go home,"

Yori didn't look convinced…but she nodded in any case and went on her way.

He turned to face the Black Guard.

"Thank you for that," he said.

"It was the least I could do," the Black Guard dismissed, "Thank y…"

He yelled in pain as an orange Disk slashed through his midsection and arced back to its owner, leaving the Guard to derezz into tiny scarlet cubes.

Beck whipped around to see Tesler standing behind him.

"I don't like the effect you're having on my people," Tesler snarled, his gauntlets glowing dangerously.

He swung at Beck but the young Program leaped upwards, flipping over the General and landing gracefully on the ground behind him. Tesler swung again, this time hitting Beck square in the chest and sending him flying into the Train's side. Beck groaned in pain as he slid down the side, leaving a nice Beck-sized dent in the train's metal.

"Who do you think you are? Tron?" Tesler scoffed as Beck got to his feet.

"Forgive me if I don't shake your hand," Beck snarked, eyes steeling in anger and determination as he threw his Disk.

It ricocheted off the train onto the wall and back towards Beck as the young Program dashed underneath Tesler's arm and grabbed his Disk, aiming a blow at the General's head.

Beck flipped backwards, hurling his Disk again at Tesler but Tesler deflected it, sending it careening off the ceiling. Beck launched upwards, his body bending in an elegant arc as he landed on top of the Train's roof, catching his Disk as he straightened. He reared back his hand…

"You're no Tron," Tesler sneered, "You're nothing!"

Something clicked on his gauntlets and to Beck's surprise they shot towards him. He barely managed to block the first one, or the second one…

But the third one slammed into his head, driving him through the wall into the adjacent building that was currently under construction, and slamming him into a support beam.

"So not fair," Beck thought bitterly as one of the hands came at him again.

Beck ducked as the hand slammed into the bar where he had been thrown and it drew Tesler towards it. So Beck did what any logical Program would have done.

He ran. Fast.

He was climbing on the bars, swinging up to different levels and dodging Tesler's hands, finally making it up to the roof of the building.

"You think you're helping them…" Tesler started as he too made his way to the roof, "But trust me, you're only making things more painful,"

Beck skidded to a stop as he neared the edge and he backed up.

"Those Programs I just rescued might disagree," Beck retorted.

"Look out there!" Tesler ordered, "I've got dozens of cars heading to round up more Programs. You can't save 'em all!"

Beck turned towards him, eyes blazing silver-blue for a long instant.

"Watch me," he hissed as Tesler charged.

He took out his Disk and drove it into the bar they were standing on, sending the both of them plummeting towards the ground.

Beck caught a bar underneath him while Tesler kept falling. The General's hands reached up, stretching and grabbing Beck's head, pulling it downwards.

Tesler looked at the ground and then at Beck.

"This isn't over," he snarled.

Beck didn't say a word, but his Disk activated…and he slashed through the hands holding him prisoner, sending Tesler plummeting into the lightrail.

He relaxed for a few moments, he deserved that much after this long day.

Beck looked up at the sky, watching the lightning flicker across it. He had made an enemy today…

But there was something he had to do…someone he had to see.

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Beck looked over at the city from the window, his dark eyes sad but determined.

"I want to do this," he suddenly said, "I have to do this,"

He turned towards Tron.

"I'm ready," he said with finality.

"No," Tron disagreed, "You're not,"

He took off his Disk and removed the white covering from it, his armor flickering to black.

"But you will be," he said, holding out the white half.

Beck took the Disk half and connected it to his own, and then replaced it on his back. He felt the familiar rush as his Disk synced and his armor pixelated, shimmering white and gaining more detail, more circuit lines.

They boy's pupils and circuits flashed brilliant white for an instant before dimming and Tron gave a soft smile.

"Come," he said, motioning for his son to follow him, "We have a lot of work to do…Tron,"

Beck trotted after his new mentor, his father.

"I'm where I'm supposed to be," Beck thought with a smile as Tron tossed him a staff.

"Now, lesson one," Tron started.

Chapter Text

Chapter 8

The Renegade (Part I)

I've heard stories about my father. From Able, from my mother, from almost everyone I've met. How he saved the Old System from the MCP with my mother, Flynn's and an actuarial Program named Ram's help. How he saved Anon from instant derezzment the moment our brother in arms rezzed into the Grid…they said he was like no other Program on the Grid, that there was an aura around him that radiated strength and power, that he was awe inspiring. And now, standing next to him…I finally realize that they were right. I never knew my father, he 'derezzed' not long after I was born. I knew Anon just a little longer, he came to see Mom and I not long before he died, just to check on us, but Dad…

I always expected that if I met him, if he was still alive, he'd be the warm, caring Program that Mom and Able always painted him ask. But I don't see that.

The Program standing next to me with the same reddish brown hair, the same steely blue eyes as me…he's broken, cynical, cold…Clu did something to him, I don't know what it is…

But the Program in front of me isn't the same Program that I remember seeing when I was a baby.

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"Expect your training to be a long and difficult road, Beck," Tron warned, tossing his son a baton as they walked out of the stronghold and across the snow, "Before victory, there will be setbacks,"

He ran forwards and broke the baton, shooting off into the Outlands on his lightcycle.

"Wait! Where are you going?" Beck demanded.

"Follow!" Tron yelled back.

Beck shook his head and followed, weaving through the rock formations that dotted the landscape, he saw a faint glimmer of white to his left side and he turned his head towards it.

"Tron!" Beck called, "When does the training start?"

The veteran suddenly ramped over his son and landed on the other side.

"Now," Tron stated, giving a roguish smirk, "So try and keep up,"

Beck gave a slight grin, it was the first time he'd seen his father give an actual smile…not the sad, broken ones that he'd given before. This one was…almost playful. They raced against each other, Beck tried to get Tron to stay behind him but the Monitor wasn't going to have any of it.

"Don't rely on your lightwall," Tron instructed, "Learn to control me without it!"

Immediately, the young Program deactivated the ribbon, shooting forwards.

"Dominate with momentum!" Tron added, "Anticipate!"

Beck swerved in front of Tron, keeping him under control until Tron shot forwards again.

"You mean like that?" Beck asked, feeling pretty good about himself.

"Eyes forward," Tron ordered.

The two shot out of the canyon and Tron rammed into his son, making the air in Beck's system rush out with a 'whoosh'.

"This isn't a game, Beck!" he snapped, shooting forwards as Beck gave a short growl of annoyance.

Tron looked ahead, noticing the canyon that was before him and he gave a grim smile.

"Jump," he ordered.

"Jump!?" Beck demanded, racing forwards but pulling back as he saw the canyon, "We can't make that!"

Tron shook his head and accelerated, racing faster and faster towards the rift.

"Crazy old Program!" Beck thought in exasperation as he reaccelerated, "You can't make that jump! Stop!"

But Tron didn't stop, if anything, he accelerated even more.

"DA-!" Beck yelped only to cut himself off.

The Monitor veered towards a curved rock and ramped off it over the trench. The bike nearly flipped over mid-air but righted itself as the Monitor hit safely on the other side, whirling around to watch his son's progress with calm, steely-blue eyes.

Beck gunned it and tried ramping over the trench by just driving off it…he made it about halfway before he had to abandon ship and jump. His hands scrabbled for handholds as his lightcycle tumbled into the gorge, transforming into its baton form halfway down. He managed to get his other arm across the edge when the rock crumbled under his fingers. He almost joined his baton at the bottom of the canyon when he felt a strong hand grab his wrist.

"You know what you did wrong, Beck?" Tron asked, gripping his son's wrist.

"Yeah, I followed you!" Beck snarked, making Tron roll his eyes behind his mask.

"You hesitated," Tron stated, derezzing his helmet as he pulled his son up to safety, "I didn't,"

Beck sighed and walked over to a rock, sitting on it as Tron leaned on his own bike.

"How can I be the next Tron if I can't even keep up with the real one?" Beck demanded, "No one's going to believe I'm you. To them, I'm just a Renegade Program,"

"You need to have faith in yourself," Tron told him.

"Easy for you to say," Beck retorted, "You were programmed to protect the Grid, I was programmed to tune up engines,"

"And protect the Grid…but I don't think I'm ready for that quite yet," Beck thought to himself.

"You're more than just a mechanic, Beck," Tron growled as Beck turned his head stubbornly to keep his surprised face hidden.

"Wait…did he figure it out?!"

"You surpassed your programming, you stood up for what you believed in all on your own. The Uprising needs a hero like you,"

"So…that's a no,"

"What Uprising? It's just you and me out here!" Beck snapped, turning around.

"Aren't you the one who said others will follow?" Tron pointed out, "That the revolution will spread if we ignite the spark?"

"What, you're listening to me now!?" Beck snarled, eyes flicking blue in his anger and making Tron's matching ones narrow in confusion, "I almost plunged into the bottom of a canyon…"

He cleared his throat.

"I don't think I'm cut out to inspire anyone," he finished, his eyes fading back to brown, "Sorry,"

"Beck!" Tron called.

"WHAT!?" Beck snarled, whipping around.

Tron hesitated, maybe it would be best if Beck stayed away…it would keep him safer at least. He wouldn't have anyone else derezzed because of his own mission.

"Your baton," he stated, shoving his sadness away, "You should probably get that,"

Beck gave a heavy sigh as he turned back towards the canyon.

"Right," he muttered and started climbing down.

Tron watched for a few moments before mounting his own lightcycle and looking mournfully at the rift where his son had just climbed down.

And then he was gone.

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Beck shot towards Argon, his core cold and sad after he had seen that Tron had disappeared. But, for the Monitor, it was rumored that he always slipped away like that, quietly and unnoticed. Beck even had that tendency…which annoyed his mother to no end…

But it didn't feel right to Beck, leaving his father and his Uprising. Beck gripped the handlebars tightly, so tight that his knuckles turned white.

He couldn't lead a revolution. Sure the hand to hand combat training that the Monitor had given him…well, just a little bit of it…would come in handy, one of these cycles…and the tips on how to handle the lightcycle, Lightjet, and chute were neat…But Tron was wrong. He did the right thing in leaving…

"Then why do you feel so horrible about it?" came that little voice.

He shook it off right as a bright light flashed down on top of him.

"Halt, Program!" a sentry's growling voice ordered, "You're in violation of curfew!"

"This just gets better and better," Beck growled bitterly as he surged forwards, racing towards a barricade.

"Identify!" a sentry at the entry point ordered, but Beck ignored him, derezzing his bike and rolling to his feet, taking off, "Hostile Program detected,"

"Who me?" Beck thought sarcastically, as he dodged in between two crates, "I'm harmless,"

He snuck around, being careful not to be seen. Why did something like this always have to happen to him? He derezzed his helmet and continued on, dodging the gazes of the sentries as they passed.

Beck walked into the 12th sector and stopped to catch his breath when a light started sweeping his way. He panicked, looking behind him and grabbing the doors to the crate, forcing them open, and slipping inside. Shutting them right as a sentry walked by. Beck leaned on the door, panting as he listened.

Hearing the purring click-growl of the sentries, Beck turned around, deciding to stay in there for a little while…

And he froze at what he saw.

Programs, at least a dozen of them.

"Please tell me you're hiding too?" Beck pleaded right as the crate tilted alarmingly, making Beck almost lose his balance.

A dark skinned, dark eyed Program stood up and walked towards Beck, his hands cuffed in front of him.

"Congratulations, Program," he started, "You just made yourself a prisoner,"

"This is wrong…" another Program piped up, panicking slightly…alright, a lot, "I shouldn't be here! I didn't do anything! This is all because of that Renegade!"

The dark skinned Program shot him a look.

"The Renegade?" Beck whispered softly.

"Cool it, Rilo," the first Program ordered.

"Have you forgotten where they're taking us?" the second Program, Rilo, demanded, "Each one of us is going to end up derezzed! Have you ever seen anyone derezzed? It's disgusting!"

Beck winced. He had seen not only one, but two Programs derezzed…unless you count the two Black Guards that he took out with his lightcycle, then four.

"What's he talking about," Beck asked, getting off the subject, "Where're we going?"

The dark skinned Program walked to the slit in the container.

"There," he stated and Beck walked over, looking out…

And seeing the Coliseum.

He was going to the Games.

The Recognizer started its decent and it landed in front of the southern armory. The container lowered into the armory and the doors opened. The sentries forced them out of the container, shoving them into a line and the cuffs materialized over their feet to prevent them from running away.

"Congratulations, Programs," the Grid stated, "You have been selected for the Games,"

"If I don't survive, that Renegade is to blame," Rilo started.

"Rilo, I told you…" the dark skinned Program warned.

"That it's not his fault?" Rilo sneered, "The only reason we're here is because that Renegade remodeled Clu's statue!"

"A pretty good remodel if I do say so myself," Beck thought smugly.

"The next thing I know, they're picking me up for breaking curfew! I lost track of time! I shouldn't have to die for it!"

"We'll survive this," Beck reassured him, "You're not going to die,"

The Sirens walked out in their clipped synonymous steps. Beck's eyes watched the one as she stepped in front of him, her blank, ice-blue gaze lighting on him.

"For your safety, you are being equipped with battle armor," the Grid announced and the Siren touched Beck on the chest, "Do not attempt to remove your armor,"

His circuits surged brightly and the Siren's eyes widened in surprised as she stepped back, Beck's armor flicking into a more armored form. Unlike the others around him, Beck's armor wasn't colored and transparent, instead, the lighter armor on his body seemed to thicken, the circuits lining his frame becoming thinner…and then the light, insubstantial armor flicked over his shoulders, making him look similar to his fellows.

Beck didn't notice, he was reeling from the light shudders running from the ground under his feet through his body.

"Pain. Hurts. Wrong, so wrong!"

"What hurts?" Beck asked mentally, "What's so wrong? What's going on?"

"Games, not harmless. Traitor. Hurt me, hurt his Creator, hurt my children, hurt my Soldier! Hurt his little one. Monitor, sorry, so sorry…"

He was so caught up in his listening that he didn't notice the Sirens moving away and the platform beginning to rise until it jolted. Beck turned his face towards the light, hearing the crowd's chanting…

He shook his head, he didn't belong here. He couldn't do this…he was fairly good with a Disk, but that was only for fun! No one got hurt!

"You can do this," came the whisper as his senses started to sharpen…the competitiveness that all Monitors had started to wake up, "You are a fighter, it's in your code, you can do it. You will do it,"

No, no, no!

"Not going to fight, I refuse," Beck repeated to himself, "I don't derezz Programs…"

"But they will have no problem derezzing you!"

They rose to the arena floor and the wild excitement rose in his chest again as the Black Guards appeared on their own separate platform, flipping and performing complex moves.

"All combatants prepare for team battle."

"Showoffs," Beck thought, "They're giving themselves more openings to attack back, Dad told me that. Short, quick strokes do the job well and make it harder for your enemy to hit you,"

"Difficulty level: Extreme."

"So you still think we're gonna survive?" Rilo asked, turning his gaze to Beck.

Beck's eyes flashed, narrowing into dark steely blue slits.

"In the name of our great leader, Clu," Tesler's voice boomed, "Let the Games begin!"

"Here they come," Beck started, his feet unconsciously settling into a ready position, drawing his Disk as the Black Guards did the same.

"We're dead…" Rilo whispered.

"Stick with me, Rilo," Beck said gently, watching carefully as the crowd's cheering roared in his ears.

"Disk War! De-rezz!" they shrieked…and the games began.

"Resist!" a Program yelled as two Black Guards landed on his and Rilo's platform.

"Player Six: Deleted," the Grid announced as a shudder ran up Beck's form.

The Child Basic whirled around, dodging the Black Guard's Disk as it slashed at him. He leaped upwards, body twisting so that he landed on the platform easily before pushing off again and slamming the side of his foot into the back of the Black Guard's neck.

"Hey! That was good!" Rilo commented as Beck landed back on the platform.

"We're going to make it," Beck said with a faint smile…right as two more Guards jumped onto their platform.

"More?!" Rilo groaned, "Do they ever end?"

Beck ignored him, Disk blazing as he charged forwards, eyes flashing brilliant steel-blue. He noticed dimly as Rilo dodged his opponent and derezzed him with a fearful yet deadly jab, making another shudder shake the young Program to the core.

"Black Guard: Deleted. Advantage: Challenger."

Beck ignored it, the crowd's roar had built up in his ears and a low, thrumming purr started up in his throat. He blinked before giving a cough to make the thrumming stop.

"Drawback number one of being a Monitor," he thought dryly as he decked the Black Guard in the face.

Beck turned around just in time to see Rilo striding confidently towards him…and a Black Guard leaping cat-like up to their level, Disk activated and slashing down…

"RILO!" Beck yelled, moving forwards…

Right as the Disk slashed through Rilo's shoulder, causing the poor Program to burst into thousands of sapphire pixels with a code-chilling shriek.

"Player Eleven: Deleted."

"NO!" Beck screamed as the very Grid seemed to shake in front of him.

He didn't even see the Black Guard's Disk slashing through the air towards him…

"Get down!" the dark-skinned Program yelled, pushing Beck out of the way of the Disk.

Beck looked up as the Black Guard caught his Disk.

"I couldn't save Rilo," Beck apologized, "He's gone,"

"But we're not," the dark skinned Program told him, ducking as the Black Guard hurled his Disk at them again, "And neither are they,"

"Then let's level the playing field," Beck growled as he and his newfound friend rushed the Guards.

Beck rushed towards the edge of the platform, his legs coiling and pushing upwards, launching him towards the upper platform as he slashed at his opponent. The platform started to tilt, any normal Program would have fallen as it tilted but if they could hold on until it turned completely upside down they would have been fine…

Unless the Program was a Monitor or had a Monitor's coding in them.

"Advantage number one of being a Monitor," Beck thought to himself as he started to fight back at last.

The Black Guard was having a hard time keeping up with the quick strikes and slashes, he didn't even feel it as Beck hooked his leg around the Black Guards and knocked it out from under him before twisting around and kicking him to the lower level to where the dark skinned Program and his opponent dueled. Beck launched himself off the platform and descended like some avenging, steely-eyed angel, slamming his feet down onto the remaining Black Guard's…pixels.

Beck shot the dark-skinned Program a look.

"I had him you know," he stated.

"Sure you did," the other Program chuckled.

"Advantage: Challenger."

Beck settled into ready position as he scouted for new victims…and the bell sounded. A bittersweet sensation swept through him, part of him saddened that his adrenaline rush was being taken away, part of him glad because he was going to get out of this place.

"Due to technical difficulties, this round will conclude early," an oily voice that Beck did not like announced.

The Black Guards deactivated their Disks and grabbed Beck and the second Program by the arms, frog marching them to a prison cell.

They locked the two's Disks to their backs and left them there without a word.

"You did pretty good out there," the other Program nodded, "Name's Cutler,"

"I'm Beck," Beck said, shaking his fellow prisoner's hand.

"These are your accommodations, Programs," a sentry stated, shoving two new Programs into a cell.

"We have new teammates to break in," Cutler sighed sadly.

"You mean more Programs to get derezzed," Beck replied miserably, still upset about Rilo.

"Don't tell me you've given up!" Cutler demanded, "We could use you out there, you're not a bad fighter,"

"Yeah, tell that to Rilo," Beck snapped bitterly, "I wasn't Programmed for this…I'm just a mechanic,"

"So it's like that huh? No hope?" Cutler asked, "I felt that way once, after we lost the ISO war…"

"You fought in the ISO war?" Beck asked.

"That's right," Cutler nodded, tapping his arm band and the hexagon on it elongated to show the male ISO symbol…

A fuzzy memory flashed before his eyes, a black-haired icy-blue eyed ISO male picking him up and laughing as he tossed the boy into the air.

"Jalen," Beck thought, "Aunt Quorra's father…"

"Most of my friends fell fighting Clu and his forces," Cutler added, knocking Beck out of memory lane, "I started to despair…until the Renegade showed up,"

"The Renegade?" Beck asked, hiding his surprise, "Isn't all this all his fault?"

"I don't think so," Cutler said, sitting on the other side of the cell, "If he's willing to risk his life to fight back, then I wanna be right there fighting beside him. That's why I came to Argon…to join him. But there's more…I know who the Renegade really is…"

Beck watched Cutler's face carefully, but the Program didn't show any hint of his emotions.

"Who?" Beck asked.

"We both know," Cutler replied, looking right at Beck, causing the Child Basic's code to freeze, "He's the one Program who can save us all. Whose name alone inspires hope…"

Cutler held up his hand, pointing his index, middle, and ring fingers of one hand and the index of his other hand at Beck, his right hand on top of the other…forming an abstract tetramino.

"He's Tron,"

Beck sat back against the cell.

"Tron," he whispered.

His father had been right and Beck had been wrong…so very WRONG! He wasn't alone out there…there were others trying to join…they just needed that little glimmer of hope…

"Why didn't I listen to him?" Beck thought in despair.

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Later, Cutler, Beck, and a few other prisoners were making their way towards the Coliseum once again. Beck shuddered at the thought. The wild joy and feral instinct, that competitiveness inside that Arena had terrified him and he didn't want to feel that again.

He looked around…he had to get himself and Cutler out of here…

The sudden movement of a crane lifting the pipes to continue building the unfinished Coliseum caught his eye…and a wild, insanely crazy idea formed. He leaned over to Cutler's ear.

"Tell the Program in front of you that Tron lives," he hissed.

"What?" Cutler hissed back.

"Just do it," Beck ordered.

Cutler gave a small shake of his head, but did it in any case.

The whispered message traveled all the way up to the front of the line until…

"Tron lives? Who told you that?" the lead Program asked.

The Sentry whipped around, pointing the end of his staff under the Program's chin.

"What was that?" he demanded, "Did you say 'Tron lives'? Talk like that is sedition! Who said it!?"

The other two sentries made their way towards the front of the line and Beck nudged Cutler's shoulder.

"Now's our chance," he whispered.

And they bolted.

The two ducked behind a control panel and Beck turned around, plugging the recoder into the metal, tapping on the transparent code and ordering the lift to move the last stack of pipes before taking out the tiny tool.

"Let's go," he ordered, running towards the pipes and jumping upwards, latching onto the metal as Cutler did the same beside him.

They hauled themselves to the top of the pile, looking for a good place to jump off at. Cutler was the first to spot it, he pointed at a ledge and they both jumped for it, hitting the floor with minimal noise. They made sure the other was ok before running on, coming to the unfinished section and swinging down from bar to bar like a pair of trapeze artists before landing lightly on the ground. Beck saw the exit and gave a slight smile as he and Cutler both got up.

"Almost free!" Beck grinned, "Oh, wait until Dad sees this!"

And that's when a bunch of Black Guards surrounded them. Along with…

"Oh, not you again," Beck growled under his breath as Paige derezzed her helmet.

"Why am I not surprised?" she asked, walking forwards as two Guards pressed their Disks into the two Programs' necks, "So…you two want to be a team?"

There was a clanking sound and Beck looked down to see Cutler's wrist shackled to his own.

"Then be a team," she finished, stepping away.

"I've got a bad feeling about this…" Beck thought to himself.

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Beck and Cutler both grunted as they were thrown to the floor of the Arena.

"I suppose it could be worse…" Cutler started…

Right as three lightcycles zipped by them.

"It's worse," Beck confirmed as the both of them stood up.

"Initiate: Lightcycle Challenge."

"Three of them, two of us…those odds aren't so bad…" Beck said hopefully.

"But they got bikes," Cutler pointed out as said bikes shot towards them.

Both Programs tried to dodge, but were hampered by their shackles. Cutler pulled Beck one way, but Beck yanked Cutler towards him just as the lightcycles zipped past.

Beck grabbed his Disk, the smooth circle humming dangerously in his hand. He tried to cut his wrist free but Cutler yanked him backwards, hurling his own Disk at the Guard rushing towards them. The Disk ricocheted off the bike and zipped back towards them.


Beck was spun around and nearly got decapitated by Cutler's Disk. He ducked as the Disk flew into Cutler's hand.

"Watch it!" Beck yelped, straightening.

Cutler shrugged.


The bikes splintered off of their formation, one of them racing towards the bound Programs…and Beck had an idea.

"Do you trust me?" he asked.

"Do I have a choice?!" Cutler demanded.

"No, not really," Beck thought.

"When I give the word…pull as hard as you can," the young Monitor ordered.

He waited for a few more nanos, allowing the bike to get too close to turn away…

"NOW!" Beck yelled, yanking his end of the chain towards him as Cutler did the same.

The bike rammed into their line and yanked them off their feet, dragging them with it. The two managed to right themselves and yanked the Guard off his bike, forcing the bike to return to its baton form.

"Rider Two: Down."

"C'mon!" Beck called, running forwards, watching the second bike zip up the ramp.

The bike shot upwards, its light ribbon blazing brightly behind it, and Beck and Cutler slid to the ground, bringing their chain right under the light ribbon…and severing their bond.

The two stood, freed, and grinned at each other.

Cutler pulled out his Disk and hurled it at the rider once again, but it deflected off the bike, like the first time. Beck didn't pay much attention after Cutler lassoed the rider and arced up into the air, grabbing his Disk and landing on the bike. He was too focused on reaching the fallen baton that had once belonged to the first rider.

He scooped it up and rezzed the bike right as the final rider nearly crushed him, shooting off and circling around.

"Now this is more like it," he grinned, felling a more right joy as he shot towards the rider.

It wasn't wild…more reserved and…pure. Not at all like the joy he felt in the Disk Wars. His mother always said that his father loved riding. Flynn coded a lightcycle specifically for him…but it was lost a long time ago.

"Rider One: Deleted. Advantage: Challenger."

Ah, so Cutler did his job…now it was Beck's turn. The Child Basic came up alongside his opponent. The Black Guard struck at him, but Beck didn't fall. Beck kicked him away, giving the Guard just a little of a lead. The younger Program pulled out the recoder, sidling up to the Black Guard again.

"I bet you didn't know I'm a mechanic," Beck started, plugging in the recoder and messing with the bike's code, "A pretty good one too,"

He gave a smirk as he pulled away…letting the Guard's bike derezz underneath him and sending tumbling to the ground.

Beck stopped next to Cutler and they both lifted their formerly shackled hands.

"Challengers: Victorious."

"They like us," Beck stated.

"They like us because we won," Cutler reminded him.


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"General Tesler was quite impressed with your performance," a commander that Beck now knew to be Pavel, and the owner of that horrible oily voice that he couldn't stand, started, "We rarely get to see such deliciouscompetition,"

Beck's eyes narrowed. Yeah…he didn't like Pavel.

At all.

"To thank you," Pavel added, "General Tesler's arranged a…reward,"

"He can keep his stupid reward," Beck thought angrily as the platform stopped, "I just want out,"

"Greetings Programs!" Pavel announced to the crowd, "Behold this momentous occasion! For not only do you get to share the privilege of seeing two highly skilled combatants battle for survival…but now you can watch as merciful General Tesler allows them to compete for the greatest prize of all…freedom,"

Beck's core leaped at the word. He could get back to Tron and to his friends…and take Cutler with him if they won!

"The winner of the next round will be released!" Pavel finished.

Both Beck and Cutler took of their Disks almost eagerly. Both of them could taste the freedom that was within their grasp.

"Who are we fighting?" Beck asked.

Pavel turned around, his cold, dead, watery grey eyes lit with malice.

"Why…each other of course!" he smirked, bowing out, "And to the death!"


Chapter Text

Chapter 9

The Renegade (Part II)

Maybe having him leave was the right decision and maybe it wasn't. I don't know anymore…These scars hurt too deeply, I'm afraid of letting someone close, but after being here all alone for so long I don't want to push anyone away. Could it be that Dyson's virus is corrupting not only my scars, but my trust as well? *sigh* I miss everyone. Yori and Beck are dead, Anon's dead, Flynn's dead, the ISOs are dead…the only one not dead and not a glitchingtraitor is Able…but Able has his own responsibilities. Alan-One must be watching over me, because by some miracle, I managed to find Able mere nanos before derezzing…or so Able tells me. But if he's watching over me…whywas this allowed to happen? Why is everyone dead?! Why am I disfigured and ruined?! I'm useless and I know it…and that, not these horrible scars, is what's killing me.

Beck…this one anyway…he's different than any other Program I've seen. I know he's a Child Basic, there's been a few of them that I've met on my travels, but I see something in him that I never saw in Cyrus…and that should have been warning enough with that Program…

I see myself in him.

Whether or not that's a good thing, only time can tell…

And I'm afraid that there might not be much of that left.

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"Final Round: Commencing."

Beck looked around wildly, feeling trapped. He didn't want to be here and he certainly didn't want to derezz Cutler…or get derezzed himself.

"Classification: Disk Battle. Opponents: Player Three versus Player Five."

No, no, NO! He would NOT derezz his new friend.

"Prize Category: Freedom. Match Duration: To the death."

Beck closed his eyes as shudders ran through his frame.

"Not right. Supposed to be harmless! Sorry, Monitor, so sorry,"

He reopened his eyes and turned to Cutler.

"They expect us to fight each other?" he asked.

"Derezz each other," Cutler corrected, lifting his Disk up, "That crowd won't be satisfied until one of us is in pieces,"

"They can't make us do it," Beck replied stubbornly, "Not if we stand together,"

Cutler shot him a grin and replaced his Disk on his dock while Beck did the same, both of them crossing their arms and defiantly glaring up at the General's box.

Suddenly, a wall of orange-tinted energy flared up around the edge of their platform.

"That can't be good…" Beck started, running towards the wall.

"Energy wall: Engaged."

He shoved on it…and then noticed that it was moving.

"When there's a winner, the walls will stop," Tesler's voice boomed, freezing Beck's code, "If there's no winner…they don't stop. Fight…or be crushed,"

Panic rose in Beck's chest, his circuits flashed and flickered wildly.

No…nononononono! This can't be happening! Why? Why now? Closing in…can't…

He took a steadying breath, trying to stem his fear. His mother always told him that he got his claustrophobic trait from his father…apparently Monitors hated being in tight spots. Anon was crowds, his father was small spaces, Beck…Beck didn't like either of those!

"It can't end like this," he breathed.

He closed his eyes and exhaled, his breath leaving a faint cloud on the wall before he took out his Disk, activating it.

"Cutler!" he shouted, stalking forwards, "You've got to fight me!"

"WHAT!?" the war veteran demanded.

"One of us has to survive this…" Beck started, coming to terms with what he was going to say, "And it has to be you,"

"What are you talking about!?" Cutler growled.

"Don't you see?" Beck asked, "If we both get derezzed, there will be no one left to continue the fight! They'll win. We can't let that happen…"

He jabbed his Disk under Cutler's neck.

"So, attack me!" he ordered.

Cutler smacked his hand away.

"Are you crazy?!" Cutler demanded, shoving him in the chest, "That's exactly what they want!"

"Then let's give them what they want," Beck replied, "Now come on!"

He lashed out and Cutler blocked his hits, grabbing both wrists.

"No," Cutler insisted, "I won't fight you,"

The competitive feeling flickered up again and this time Beck let it come, embracing his heritage as one of the Grid's better fighters, what he was coded to do. His hand shifted on his Disk into an optimal position, his feet settled into a lightly balanced fighting stance, his whole center shifted to a point where he would either strike or dive out of the way.

"Fine," he growled, the sound thrumming in his throat as he kicked Cutler hard in the chest, sending him flying, "Then you'll die a coward!"

Cutler's eyes narrowed angrily and Beck backed off just a bit.

"Oh boy," Beck thought with just a bit of fear as the protective armor flickered over Cutler's shoulders and head, "Now he's mad,"

The veteran shot forwards, raising his Disk and slashing downwards but Beck blocked him, back-flipping and kicking Cutler in the chin, snapping his head backwards. Cutler came at him again but Beck caught his wrist as he fell to the ground and he kicked Cutler, flipping him to the other side of the platform.

The veteran hurled his Disk but Beck blocked, knocking it away. Cutler hurled it again in a deadly arc that knocked Beck backwards as he deflected it, landing in a three point crouch, the thrumming deepening to an annoyed growl. Beck's reasoning took over, snapping him out of the battle mist, and he bolted, shooting around the quickly dwindling platform with Cutler hot on his heels.

"Is that the best you can do?" Beck taunted, vaulting up the wall as Cutler hurled his Disk at him, and flipping over the Disk as it ricocheted off the wall back into Cutler's hand.

Cutler frowned. He knew that only a Monitor could do that, that only they possessed the ability to run on vertical surfaces for extended periods of time. And Beck said he was a mechanic?

No…that couldn't have been possible. Either Beck had lied about being a mechanic…

Or there was something seriously different about his code.

He shook it off and hurled his Disk again at the Child Basic but Beck was ready for him. He hurled his own Disk at the oncoming projectile, sending Cutler's Disk screeching off towards him. Cutler reached for the Disk…but his outstretched fingers barely missed it, sending it clattering to the floor. Cutler crawled quickly for it, turning around as his hand clamped down on it…just in time to see the son of Tron descending down on him, his hand rearing back to deliver the death blow…

But Beck stopped, his steely eyes afraid. He didn't want to do this…he really didn't want to.

Cutler took advantage of Beck's hesitance and swept Beck's feet out from under him, causing the Child Basic to yelp and fall on his back. Cutler shot towards him, grabbing his hand and holding him down, Disk raised…and he stopped as Beck's steely blue eyes looked up at him.

Beck was good, very good, at combat. Cutler's eyes narrowed, he himself was old…the ISO wars ended twenty cycles ago, and he himself was much older. Beck was only 20 cycles old according to Cutler's scans. He couldn't take the life of, for lack of a better term, a child. Beck had so much to live for…dying now would defeat the purpose of whatever he was created to bring about.

He brought his Disk down.

Beck flinched as the Disk slammed into the platform next to his face. He watched in horror as Cutler stood upright.

"I forfeit!" Cutler yelled, "He wins! Let him go!"

Beck lay there, stunned.

What. In the Grid…had just happened?

And then it hit him.

Cutler was going to derezz for him.

Beck's eyes narrowed and he stood upright.

"Cutler…" he started.

"You're the better fighter," Cutler interrupted, "If we want to defeat Clu, you're the Program to do it,"

Beck shuddered. It was like he was getting his father's lecture all over again. But noCutler would be better to lead the revolution…

"You have to have faith in yourself," Tron's voice echoed.

"NO FORFIETS!" Tesler's voice roared.

"Players Three and Five: Please prepare for immediate derezolution."

Beck turned to Cutler and the latter did the same.

"Looks like we don't get a choice," Beck shrugged…

"Shush," Cutler ordered, "Listen to the crowd…"

"One goes free! One goes free!" the crowd chanted, "One goes free! One goes free!"

"One of us is getting out of here…or Tesler's going to have a riot," Beck reasoned.

"Programs of Argon!" Tesler suddenly announced, making Beck and Cutler both look up, "Both these enemies deserve to perish, but we are not savages,"

"Could have fooled me," Beck muttered darkly, making Cutler give a harsh bark of laughter.

"I made a promise to you and I plan to uphold it,"

"What do you want to bet that female commander of his made him do it?" Cutler whispered.

"Paige?" Beck asked.

"Ohhh, so you're on first name basis…"

"I don't like her!" Beck snapped.

"Sure you don't," Cutler chuckled.

"I don't," Beck insisted, "It just doesn't surprise me. And to answer you, yes, I do think she had a hand in it,"

"Number five, you will be rewarded with your freedom," Tesler added and Beck closed his eyes, "Even though heh you clearly failed to earn it…"

"If I was up there right now I'd derezz him with my bare hands," Cutler growled, "You more than deserve it,"

"No, he's right,"

"He's wrong…"

"As for number three…" Tesler said, making the two's bickering quiet, "At the end of next cycle, you will meet your end in Argon Square, where you will be derezzed bit by excruciating bit! No Program makes a mockery of the Games and lives!"

The Guards came and grabbed the two Programs, leading them away from each other down separate ramps.

"Let go!" Beck ordered, struggling, "Cutler!"

But the Guards didn't listen, instead one of them whacked Beck on the head with the staff, and his vision burst into stars.

When Beck came too, he realized that he was near the exit of the Coliseum. The sentry standing behind Beck unlocked his cuffs.

"You're free to go," he growled as Beck rubbed his sore wrists.

He turned around as he heard footsteps and saw two sentries leading Cutler away.

"Cutler!" Beck yelled, rushing towards his friend but was stopped by the sentries.

The veteran turned around, his dark eyes flashing as he lunged towards the Child Basic.

"Beck!" he called, "Promise me…"

He gave a scream of pain and fell to the ground as one of the sentries jabbed him with a staff, his armband flickering slightly and slipping off his arm, clanging to the ground.

"Find Tron!" Cutler gasped as the sentries picked him up and dragged him away, "Join him!"

Beck broke free of his guards and ran towards Cutler, scooping up Cutler's armband and running after the veteran.

"Don't stop fighting!" Cutler yelled right as the sentries dragged him around a corner.

Beck held the armband in his hands, gently touching the ISO symbol that graced it before clenching his hand over it.

He needed help, as much as he hated to admit it.

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"No, Tron, don't you dare!" Yori squealed as he picked her up, whirling her around and laughing as they charged into the sea, "TROOOOONNNNNN!"

Flynn started howling with laughter while Clu blinked a few times.

"Oh man!" Flynn gasped, "I thought you were going to be a stick in the mud like your User!"

"A…what?" Tron asked, looking at Flynn…right as Yori grabbed him and yanked him under the water.

He came back up, sputtering just for Flynn to get thrown in the water by both Jordan and Anon.

"Serves you right!" Jordan laughed as Anon grinned wickedly and Flynn spat water out as he came back up.

"Anon! You're supposed to be on my side!" Flynn whined.

"…Mom scares me more," Anon replied.

"Good!" Jordan smiled…and pushed him in too.

Tron watched the memory play out, letting it finish before he was left holding the silent, ebony rings in his hands. Memories of a happier time, that's all they were.

The Monitor got up from his seat on the stairs and walked to the window, looking at Argon's glow in the distance. He could pick out the garage where Able worked, the incomplete structure of the Coliseum, the park in which Anon had nearly got himself killed while playing a Disk match against a young Music Program…and then he saw it.

He froze, watching as a white streak of light shot into the Outlands, quickly closing the distance between it and his mountain, shooting over the canyon's bridge and racing towards him. Tron gave the command for the lights to shut off. If it was one of Tesler's…he seriously doubted it but he wouldn't throw that possibility out…he would give that Program a reason to fear coming out into the Outlands…as most Programs did.

Tron quietly slipped into the shadows, his helmet curving elegantly to hide his face as he made his position by the door…and he waited…

The doors opened and Tron struck…before freezing midair as he saw who it was.

"So, you came back," he started, making Beck jump into the air.

"You startled me," the boy stammered, face pale and circuits dimmed considerably.

Tron shot him a look as he walked past him.

"Why did you come back?"

"I need your help," Beck admitted as a violent twinge shot through Tron's scars.

"In a few nanos," Tron told him, limping towards the healing chamber, "You can tell me what happened while I do this,"

"Do what?" Beck asked as Tron put his hand into the silver-white fluid of the chamber.

"Just talk," he sighed as he went all the way in, feeling the liquid soothing the painful jabs that were racing through his scars.

"Ok, so remember when I left?" Beck started, "Well, I did something stupid and I got sent to the games…"

Tron listened as Beck retold what had happened, from getting captured to fighting in the Disk Wars, to meeting Cutler and escaping only to get recaptured and put on the lightcycle grid, to having to face off against Cutler and Cutler sacrificing his freedom for Beck's.

"We had a choice: Me or Cutler," Beck finished as he touched the circle on Cutler's armband, showing the ISO glyph, "I'm not sure we picked the right one. He's the real hero, he could have made a difference."

"You managed to survive the Games with all your limbs intact. Seems like you did ok," Tron told him, feeling a surge of pride for his young apprentice at his accomplishments but a sad pang for the loss of a friend.

He had gone through that once, and knowing that Beck was going to go through it as well hurt.

"I let them take Cutler away to be derezzed," Beck replied bitterly.

He looked up at his father, pain and sorrow radiating away from the boy.

"I failed…again,"

His scars stopped searing, signaling that the healing had done all that it could…for now…and he stepped out, glaring at the bright white remnants of the scars that slashed across his chest and (even though he couldn't see them) his face and neck. He took a step out onto the floor…and immediately went down to the ground, gasping in pain as the scars sent a fresh wave of agony through his system.

He heard Beck's footsteps racing towards him.

"Are you alright!?" he demanded, coming closer as if to help him up…

"I'll be fine," Tron growled, waving him off, still reeling from the pain as the white light died.

He didn't want to be touched for fear of having another wave of pain hit him. Agh! Users! It hurt to even move!

"That healing chamber is the only thing keeping these scars at bay," Tron explained, getting to his feet and walking to the window as the scars' pain died down until it was bearable, "But you have more pressing matters to worry about,"

He put his hands on the windowsill, looking at Beck's reflection in the window.

"Now, your friend…he's still alive, right?"

"Yeah, until next cycle,"

"Then you haven't failed, yet," Tron told him, turning around.

Beck's eyes lit up in hope.

"Right!" he said, smiling happily, "I can still save him…thank you!"

And he ran out.

Tron shook his head.

"That boy is as impatient and impulsive as I was when I was younger," he muttered, "And I'm not sure that's exactly a good thing,"

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Beck put his hand underneath his locker and felt the white Disk half underneath the shelf warm to his touch. His carefully detached the Disk and walked out of the locker room as quickly as he could.

He had just stepped off the elevator and was about to attach the Disk to his own…

"BECK!" Zed's voice called, making the Child Basic jump and hide the white Disk behind him as his friend came up to him, "Oh boy am I glad I found you! Look, I did something really stupid and I could really use your help…"

"Sorry, Zed," Beck apologized, "I've got to go. Did you ask Mara? Maybe she could help?

He started walking faster and he just heard Zed's voice mutter.

"Kinda hoping to keep her out of this one…"

Beck didn't know what was going on with Zed, but he did hope that he could get it sorted out.

He ran outside, jogging over to an alleyway and looking around a few times before stopping and holding the white Disk in front of him. He took of his own and looked at them both before twisting them together and locking them in place. He took the now white Disk and reattached it to his back, feeling the energy rush sweep through him as his light armor pixelated, shimmering white and looking more like his father's.

He looked down right as the tetramino flared to life, glowing warmly in the dim blue Grid-light. He looked up and activated his mask before running out, twirling his baton in his fingers before breaking it and shooting down the street on his bike.

"Hang on, Cutler, I'm coming,"

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Yori was helping Mara work on a tank, the younger Program perched on the turret next to her teacher.

"Now, we're going to tweak this bit of code here," Yori pointed out as the aqua-haired Program switched some of the code around, "Atta girl. Perfect! Now it'll fire better,"

"How do you know all this?" Mara asked.

"I've been around the Grid a long time," Yori replied, "I used to work in Simulations, I came here for some peace and quiet to raise my son after his father died,"

"When is it ever quiet when Beck's around?" Mara smirked, making Yori laugh.

"That, I'm afraid, he gets from me," she chuckled, "His father was one of those 'strong, silent' types. When he was younger, Beck talked a mile a minute,"

"I bet," Mara snickered as Zed came up, head in his hands.

"I can't believe I let her…" he started before groaning, "Who am I kidding, I'm finished!"

"What's wrong?" Mara asked, turning around.

"Nothing," the male Program said quickly before relenting, "Everything…remember Perl? The girl from the club?"

"Oh, one of those?" Yori asked sympathetically, "Strung you along, didn't she?"

"Big mistake!" Zed nodded, "I kinda…"

"Zed!" Able barked, making Zed jump sky-high, knocking some tools off a shelf, "Have you seen my baton?"

"Uh, which baton?" Zed asked nervously, "You've got a million batons,"

"The baton!" Able growled, looking through the baton rack, "You know, the Encom-786?"

Yori saw Zed visibly pale and she winced in sympathy. Tron had one of those bikes once…and was very protective of it. They'd lost it when he died…Yori wished they could have found it, just so she could give it to Beck.

"We should help him find it," Yori told Mara, to which the younger Program nodded and both jumped off the tank.

"Oh…that baton!" Zed stammered, "Uh, funny story, that…you should sit down…you see…"

"OH!" Mara interrupted, grabbing Zed's shoulder, "I totally forgot! We're late!"

"For what?" Zed blinked.

"You know," Yori tried, "The thing?"

She turned back to Able.

"We'll be back in a bit!" she waved, grabbing the younger Programs and dragging them out of the garage.

"What are you two doing?" Zed asked.

"We're helping you get that bike back from Perl," Yori told him.

"Wow, that obvious?"

"Heh, even from across the club," Mara deadpanned.

"We'll never find her," Zed groaned.

"Maybe," Yori admitted, pulling out a handheld tracker and turning it on, "But, we can find the bike, now come on. Follow the old Program…"

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Meanwhile, Beck stood on top of a building, watching as the Recognizers flew by. He derezzed his helmet and picked up the binoculars, trying to find the one that held Cutler…

He found him in the last Recognizer, sitting hunched over with his head facing the ground.

Beck walked to the edge of the building, timing the Recognizers as they flew by before he jumped, landing easily on the top of the last one. He ran towards a hatch on the top of said ship and forced it open, dropping inside of the cockpit.

The Child Basic rushed towards the pilots, both of them turning around just as Beck reached them. He kicked one of them, knocking him to the floor while the other smashed his staff against Beck's side. Beck grabbed the staff, ignoring the shot of pain that lanced up his side, and elbowed the Guard in the face, sending him flying down the steps right in front of Cutler's cell.

The veteran looked up in surprise as the Guard hit the floor, and it went from surprise to shock and awe as he looked up at Beck.

"Tron?" he asked, softly, "Is it really you?"

"Let's get you out of here," Beck replied, taking off his Disk and smashing the controls, "Come on,"

Cutler stood up and Beck carefully deactivated the handcuffs on Cutler's wrists with his Disk.

"How are we going to get out of here?" the veteran asked as Beck made his way to the cockpit.

"Fly," Beck stated, taking the controls.

"How can you steal a Recognizer?" Cutler asked, shaking his head in disbelief.

"Like this,"

He turned the controls, forcing the stolen Recognizer to fly in the opposite direction. They had made it just a few clicks when Beck saw a pair of lightchoppers out of the corner of his eye.

He grabbed the controls, trying to go faster…when the first shot hit, knocking Beck and Cutler forwards.

The Recognizer started to descend from the damage, but Beck forced it to try and stay upright.

"We're too low!" Cutler yelled.

"I got it," Beck reminded him…right as one of the legs of the Recognizer was torn off by a building.

"Ok, maybe I don't got it,"

And just like that, the other leg was torn off.

"You did that on purpose!" Cutler protested.

"But now it's balanced," Beck pointed out.

Cutler opened his mouth but shut it as he realized Beck was right…but they were still going to crash.

The Recognizer screeched across another rooftop, slowing down slightly but still sending up a code freezing nails-on-chalkboard shriek.

It stopped just a foot from the edge of the building.

Beck noticed that it was still sliding towards the edge and he turned to Cutler.

"We need to get out. Grab the Guards and jump to the roof," Beck ordered.

Cutler nodded, looping his arms around one Guard while Beck did the same for the other and they both dragged them out right as the Recognizer fell and exploded, sending all four flying.

Beck and Cutler stood upright, looking at the other Recognizers that were heading their way.

"Run?" Cutler asked.

"Run," Beck nodded, "They'll find their own,"

And they bolted.

They hadn't gotten too far when…

"Danger. Look behind you Monitor!"

Beck whipped around, yelping and hitting the ground as an orange Disk slashed right where his head had been.

A sharp knee caught him in the chest, pinning him down as the owner's Disk returned to their hand. The soldier looked down at Beck and derezzed their…her…helmet.

"You again," Paige hummed.

"Expecting someone else?" Beck snarked.

"Love the new look," Paige smirked, raising her Disk again…

Right as Cutler hurled his.

The blue-white Disk swerved at the last second, hitting a control panel on the side of a large turbine.

"Huh. You weren't exactly programmed for fighting, were you?" Paige scoffed.

"No…" Cutler replied smugly as the turbines started up, the wind catching the wings on Paige's chute and sending her flying off of Beck, "Aerodynamics,"

"Nice," Beck muttered to himself as he stood with Cutler's help, brushing himself off before adding louder, "We need to keep moving,"

Cutler gave a nod and they both started running.

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Yori watched as a bunch of delinquents rolled tires down ramps and threw bottles of high grade onto a large, pale blue fire. Back in the day, this wouldn't have ever happened, Tron and Anon were too good at their jobs to let wanton destruction happen.

"This is all you brought me?" a Program scoffed as Perl cocked a hip and crossed her arms.

"It's a 786!" she protested, "It's one of a kind!"

"It's kinda a piece of junk!" the other Program snapped.

"Do you know how valuable it is!?" Perl demanded, "Kevin Flynn rode one just like it! Tron rode one just like it!"

"Didn't you hear me?" the other growled, "It's not worth anything!"

He cocked his head, a smile growing over his face.

"But uh…since it's worthless…" he grinned, getting on the bike and revving the engine, making Yori's core sick.

Those bikes were reserved for ones who treated them with respect. Flynn made them especially for Tron and his elite squadron. Anon had one as well, but he preferred to use the newer versions when speed wasn't of the issue. Yori had one herself…but she'd lost it during their flight to Argon.

And to see this miscreant have what could be one of her husband's team's batons?

She shuddered in outrage and in disgust as the Program ramped through the fire and into a bunch of boxes, staining the pure white metal black and scratching it up terribly.

"It's official," Zed groaned, "Able's going to kill me. Any ideas?"

"They have us outnumbered…" Mara hummed, "But if we take them by surprise…"

The sound of multiple Disks igniting caught the trio's attention and all three turned around to see themselves surrounded.

"Surprise!" Perl beamed.

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The two climbed down the fire escape on the building, racing out onto the street.

And seeing the way barricaded by a bunch of Guards.

"Expect minor delays." the Grid's voice stated as Beck and Cutler peered out from the alleyway, "Your patience is appreciated."

"The whole city's on alert," Cutler pointed out.

"Then we get you out of the city," Beck replied, watching as the bridge started rising.

Their window of opportunity was closing…fast.

"GO!" Beck yelled, sprinting forwards, Cutler close on his heels.

"Stop! Program!" a Guard ordered, readying his staff but Beck ignored him, leaping upwards and slamming his foot against the Guard's chest, knocking him and another one flat while taking the latter's staff and swinging it, connecting with the third's jaw with a resounding clang!

Beck inclined his head towards the bridge and Cutler started running towards it, both of them trying to keep their footing as the Bridge continued to rise. They made it to the top and Beck looked at the receding other half of the bridge as the tank behind them fired.

"You know what you did wrong, Beck?"

"Yeah, I followed you!"

"You hesitated. I didn't,"

"Don't hesitate," Beck murmured.

"What?" Cutler asked.

"We have to jump,"

"Again, WHAT!?" Cutler demanded.

"Don't hesitate," Beck instructed, "Trust me!"

And he jumped as the tank fired another shot. Cutler froze for a few nanos, looking back at the tank…

"C'mon!" Beck yelled.

And the veteran jumped, his hands slapping against the metal of the bridge but sliding off.

Beck seized his friend's wrist, yanking him upwards.

"Where are you going?" Beck grinned, pulling Cutler to safety, "The Revolution needs you,"

They watched as the tank slowed to a halt…and started sliding backwards, hitting the ground and bursting into flames and bits of code.

"C'mon, let's move," Beck ordered, sliding down the bridge with Cutler right behind him.

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Tron looked over Argon and saw the explosions. His eyes narrowed slightly. That boy was going to get himself killed if he wasn't careful. He had to do something…but having two Trons on the Grid and seen together would cause mass confusion and ruin the Uprising before it could start. This was Beck's mission and he needed to see it through to conclusion…

But that didn't mean that Tron could help him.

He went over to a room filled with training equipment, batons, weaponry…and he grabbed a single baton, turning it over his his palm before starting towards the door.

It was time to leave the hideout for a while anyway.

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Zed, Mara and Yori were sent through a bunch of boxes to the cold Grid floor. Yori recalled on the minor training Tron had put her through and somehow managed to land in a three point position, right hand prepared to reach for her Disk and/or staff if need be.

"What are you doing here?" Perl scoffed, eyes narrowed.

"Um…" Zed started, pulling out a baton, "Just returning your bike! Good as new!"

"First time's the hardest, Zed," Yori thought as the male who messed with the 786 snatched the baton, "Good try though,"

"You let him follow you here?" he hissed at Perl.

"He's nobody," Perl spat back, "Just an easy mark,"

"Why did you do this?" Zed asked, making Yori pity his innocence.

"Why?" Perl scoffed, "Because it was fun! Watching you sulk at the club? Staring at the girls on the dance floor? You seemed so…what's the word?"

"Desperate?" the other Program supplied, "Gullible?"

"Pathetic," Perl smirked, making Mara's fists clench, "As if any girl in her right mind would ever be attracted to such a weak, hopeless…"

She didn't get to finish because she suddenly had Mara's fist crashing into her mouth, sending Perl to the ground easily and making Yori mentally applaud the girl.

"That's my friend you're talking to," Mara snarled, turquois eyes flashing angrily before pointing to the baton, "GRAB IT!"

Zed shot into action, scooping up the thin strip of white metal and dashing off, rezzing the bike.

"You two go," Yori ordered, "I'll distract them for a little bit,"

"But…" Zed started as Mara got on behind him.

"I said GO!" Yori snarled, circuits flashing blindingly bright.

The two younger Programs didn't hesitate and raced off.

"What to do, what to do," Yori hummed, tapping her cheek, "Let's see…that's one, two, three…thirteen of you, and only one of me…looks pretty bad…"

"All of us, versus one of you," one Program growled.

"Looks like the odds are in my favor then," Yori grinned, reaching behind her.

"What?" another blinked…right as there was an explosion and smoke filled the area, "Find her!"

They started searching around…just for a flicker of white to snake out of the smoke and jab one of the troublemakers. Sparks of white energy crackled across their frame, shutting them down with a high-pitched scream.

The others turned towards the smoke right as a figure in white armor strode out, Disk and staff at ready. Their circuits dimmed in slight fear. If the stories were true…then the white garbed Program in front of them was none other than Yori herself, the counterpart of Tron…a staff-woman of unparalleled mastery, beaten only by Tron himself because he had trained her.

"I suggest you run now," Yori growled, her voice distorted by her helmet and her circuits glowing dangerously bright.

Half of them did, getting on bikes and racing after Zed and Mara. The other half…well…they weren't as smart…

And all of them ended up unconscious at her feet.

"Alright then," Yori smiled, letting her armor flicker back to black while the glowing triangle at her throat turned smaller once more, "Zed, Mara, I think you can handle them, I'll see you back home,"

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Beck and Cutler raced across the crates on the docks, finally jumping back down to stable ground and stopping. Beck looked at the boats.

"Those boats should get us out of the city," Beck started, "Let's move,"

They started running again, and had almost made it to the boats…when Paige dropped down in front of them, taking off her Disk as a crate fell behind her, blocking their way out.

"End of the line, Programs," she smirked, charging forwards and slashing at Beck, but he dodged, slipping out of her reach with every slash.

Cutler snuck up behind her and tried to take her down, but Paige kicked him in the gut, sending him crashing into the crates, groaning in pain. Paige came at Beck once again, he ducked under her Disk, shoving her in the chest before kicking her and sending her stumbling back into a crate. He rushed her, trying to take her out but Paige dodged, her Disk thudding into the crate where Beck had just been standing. He whirled out of the way…and received a kick to the chin with Paige's boot, snapping his head back.

The crate behind him rose and Beck's head snapped towards it and then back to Paige right as she kicked him again, sending him sprawling. She raised her Disk and was about to bring it down when Cutler snuck up behind her and put her in a headlock.

She backpedaled, slamming him against a crate and making him cry out as she elbowed him in the gut and then flipped him over her shoulder to land right next to Beck.

The crate next to them started to rise and Beck grabbed onto the armor on Cutler's back with one hand while grabbing the crate with the other, making them rise into the air along with the box. Beck helped Cutler grab onto the crate and they both climbed up top…

And Paige joined them.

"You're going to wear yourself out," Beck told her, taking out his Disk, "Just tell Tesler you lost us,"

He and Cutler hurled their Disks, both of them severing cables behind Paige and making the crate tilt alarmingly towards the ground.

The Disks arced back to the two friends…but Beck caught Cutler's by accident and vice versa! The younger Program didn't like the foreign feel to the veteran's Disk, it felt wrong in his hands.

"Let's…Yeah…" Beck started awkwardly as they traded Disks, and reattached them right as Paige charged.

She slashed at Beck but he ducked and Paige's Disk went right through the cables, making the crate go vertical. Cutler tumbled down the side, catching hold of a severed cable just before he fell off the edge. Paige slashed again, severing the last cable and sending them all plunging towards the ground with a resounding crash.

Beck groaned as he sat up, shaking his head. He spotted Cutler's hand sticking out of the debris and the Child Basic started moving it, trying to free his friend. He finally managed to do so, picking up Cutler and slinging his hand over his shoulders. They started limping towards the boats…when Beck heard a Disk activate. He looked up just to see Paige standing shakily in front of them, holding her Disk arm to keep it from falling.

Beck had to admit…she was very determined.

She came at them again, her moves weaker than before but still full of deadly precision. Beck dodged out of the way, slashing at her when he could but neither could land a hit. Beck heard a slight revving sound in the alleyway he was standing in and he saw lights illumining it. He gave a slight smile as an idea formed. Paige charged at him again and Beck leaped out of the way, falling back into the first alley right as a group of lightcycle riders shot through the alley, separating him from Paige.

"Go!" he ordered, giving Cutler a light shove.

Cutler gave a shaky nod and they both started heading back towards the boats.

Beck leaped into the boat, settling behind the wheel as Cutler jumped in beside him.

"Let's get you out of here," he said with a slight smile, revving the boat's engine and they shot off towards open water.

"I really thought it was over for us back there," Cutler admitted as they made it to open water.

A bright light lit up the gloom and a large ship appeared from the mist.

"It's not over yet," Beck replied, steering the boat away from the ship as it started firing at them.

The shots smacked into the water, sending up fine splashes of water in their wake, but none of them came close to hitting the Renegade and the veteran.

Beck hit the accelerator, zipping out of the ship's range.

"Ha! Take that!" he thought triumphantly…

And then he heard the alarm.

They had taken damage to one of their engines…it was spitting blue code out into the water, streaming like embers in the wind.

"I think we've got a problem…" Cutler pointed out…

Right as a flash of orange appeared on their starboard side. Beck heard maniacal laughter and turned just to see his favorite Occupation commander.


The commander rammed his boat into the two renegades', fusing them together in a flash of brilliant white sparks.

"Take over," Beck ordered, standing and unsheathing his Disk as Pavel jumped onto their ship.

"Permission to board, Renegade?" Pavel sneered, rushing Beck and the two fought, slashing and diving, kicking and dodging one another on their makeshift platform.

Cutler tried steering the joined crafts, but it was difficult. If they didn't do something, they would either crash into the docks or into Tesler's ship!

Beck looked up and saw Tesler's ship drawing closer. The dormant growl started up once again and Beck whipped around, sending a crushing roundhouse kick to Pavel's chest, causing the commander to yelp and fall off the boat.

"We're not gonna make it!" Cutler yelled as the ship came closer and Beck's growl cut out.

"Come on!" Beck shouted, running towards the area that was fused together.

The Child Basic rammed his Disk into the fused boats, trying to separate them, but they needed more time…which was something they didn't have!

Beck frantically rammed his Disk repeatedly into the ship, trying and failing to keep his panic down.

"C'mon, c'mon!" he begged, continuing to hack…


He looked up to see a white lit submersible shoot out of the water, ramp right over the conjoined boats and dive back down, it's lightribbon trailing behind it. Beck grabbed Cutler and moved to Pavel's undamaged boat right as the silver-white ribbon slashed through the fused boats.

Beck looked down into the water, catching a flicker of steel-blue before it dove too deep.

"Thanks, Dad,"

They looked back just in time to see their old ship crashing into Tesler's.

Cutler stood just to see Tron diving even deeper into the water, his light fading as the water's depth increased.

"Who was that?" Cutler asked.

"A friend," Beck replied, pulling back into the docks and hopping out right as soon as they docked, "You better get moving, there'll be more patrols,"

"There's a Program named Beck," Cutler suddenly said, "If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here right now,"

"That's funny, I met him," Beck hummed, pulling out Cutler's armband, "He said the same thing about you. And he told me to give you this,"

He tossed the armband to the veteran, who caught it with pure joy lighting up in his dark eyes.

"How do I thank you?" Cutler asked.

"I need recruits," Beck explained, "Will you spread the word?"

"Count on it!" Cutler beamed, "The Uprising will spread throughout the Grid when other Programs learn the truth,"

He held up his fist.

"Tron lives!"

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"I shoulda known better," Beck heard Zed moan as he walked into the garage, "I don't deserve a Program like Perl! I mean, look at her! And look at me!"

"Focus, Zed! Able will be here any moment!" Mara hissed as Beck took in the damaged bike before him as well as his two best friends and his mother.

"Able?" Beck asked, "I just saw him in the break room…what happened?"

"We're dead…" Zed groaned, standing, "We're DEAD! Well it was nice knowing you all…"

Beck frowned and started towards the bike.

"You guys go distract Able, I'll take a crack at this," Beck started, picking up the recoder and kneeling down next to the bike.

"Thanks, Beck," Mara nodded, shoving Zed towards the break room.

"Have fun," Yori told him, kissing his head.

"You too," he replied.

Beck ran his hands over the tarnished white metal. An Encom-786! He'd heard rumors that Able had one…but he never got to see it…

He gave a brief smile as the frame turned transparent and showed the damaged code.

"Users, Zed, what did you do to her?" Beck murmured softly as his skilled touch removed the broken sections and fixed them, making them turn blue as he set them back into place.

After a little while, Beck took the recoder out, returning the white lightcycle back to white metal. He grasped the handles and revved the engine, as was his tradition. A surge of longing spiked through him as he touched the handlebars. More than anything, he wanted to try this out…but it wasn't his, it was Able's. He shook his head and his fingers brushed the switch that returned the vehicle to its baton form, and he started towards the break room right as…

"Zed! I'm the one who told it to you!" Able growled, "Now where's my 786?"

"Uh…well…you see…it's uh…"

Beck tapped the screen on the window, making it rise and Able's head to snap towards him. The Child Basic waved the baton.

"All tuned up," Beck announced, breaking the baton and tossing it, the bike rezzing right in front of him, "Just like you wanted it,"

Able pressed against the window, his eyes alight with pride.

"Great job, Beck," Able applauded.

"Actually," Mara piped up, "Beck's not the only one who deserves credit. Zed does too…and he deserves a whole lot more than that,"

Beck shot his friend a grin. If Zed could get himself into that much trouble and then get himself out of it with the bike…he sure deserved credit.

"I do?" Zed asked, blinking before the lights flicked on, "I do!"

He walked outside to join Beck.

"Beck helped," Zed started, leaning on the bike, "but I did all the heavy lifting…"

And the 786 fell over as Zed tried to regain his balance, making Able shake his head.

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"Able," Yori started, "You never told me where you got the 786 in the first place,"

"I found it," Able admitted, "A long time ago,"

He sighed, picking up the baton and handing it to Yori, who took it and turned it over in his hands.

"Actually, I haven't told anyone, but I have two," he started, pulling out a second baton and handing it to his old friend.

"This…" Yori blinked as she touched it, swallowing, "Able…where did you find my 786?"

"Same place I found that one," he replied, nodding towards the baton in Yori's hand, "Take a closer look, Yori,"

She did so and gasped as she saw the four little notches on one end of the baton…forming a little 'T'.

"How…?" she stammered.

"Tron must have dropped it before the Coup," Able told her, "I was hoping to keep his memory alive by saving it. But now…I think that since it's fixed up, his son should have it,"

"Able…I don't know what to say…"

"A thanks would be nice," Able chuckled, "You know he can't be riding it unless he's completely alone in the Outlands, right?"

"I'm sure he'll figure out a way," Yori smiled faintly, "Able…thank you,"

"Anything to help out an old friend," Able returned.

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Tron heard his son's footsteps behind him, but he didn't turn around. Instead he watched his son's reflection.

"So, are you here to continue the fight?" he asked softly, "Or to quit?"

Beck turned his head sheepishly to the side before looking back up at his father.

"I know that there's going to be setbacks," Beck started, "As well as victories. But I guess that's ok, as long as we keep fighting and never lose hope,"

Tron gave a short nod and Beck looked at his father's reflection.

"So…now what?" he asked.

Tron turned around.

"We keep training," he started, walking back towards the simulation room, "Like I said…you've got a lot to learn,"

Chapter Text

Chapter 10


Accessing Archive Data…

I've never been more sore in my life. I know that I need to be on my 'A-Game' as Mom once put it to quote Flynn…but Dad's training has really been taxing. Able and Mom are getting suspicious, I've never been late for work and over the past decicycle, I have been. I've gotten a chewing out from them both. I want to tell Mom what I've been doing, but I know Dad won't allow it. I can't even tell her that he's alive…

Able's been up to something too. I haven't said anything yet, but I've noticed that he slips out every quarter of a cycle or so and heads out of town. What's he hiding?

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Beck watched the Programs being loaded on the Recognizer. As always, he stayed out of sight for the moment, so that the white flicker of his armor or his circuits wasn't noticeable. He wanted the element of surprise, he wanted his reveal to be on his own terms.

The Recognizer started to lift off and Beck ran down the top of a crane, taking out his baton and leaping off the structure. He both loved and feared the feel of the wind rushing against his face as he fell. He activated the mask, broke his baton and flew upwards on his jet, feeing the rush of unbridled joy of flight. The silver-white ribbon of light trailed behind the jet right as Beck dimmed the light given off by the helmet, taking away the shadowy profile of his face and replacing it with a blank, black mask.

He wanted to fly all day, but he couldn't. He still had Programs to save. He arced above the Recognizer, turning his jet to face it, as if it were going to ram right through the Recognizer's window…

But he derezzed his jet, instead taking out his Disk and hurling it at the window, shattering the glass right as he tumbled inside, rolling up to his feet and catching his Disk. He turned to face the sentries, settling into a fighting stance like Tron had showed him.

"I think we all know where this is going," he smirked.

They charged at him, but Beck took them down with one blow each. He took out the handcuffs that were on their persons and cuffed them, dragging them towards the wall.

"Don't like being taken against your will?" Beck asked, "Well guess what, neither do they,"

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Tron watched as the simulation ran. His son was performing admirably, taking his position at the top of the crane and then flying towards the Recognizer.

He was doing good until he took off his mask as he took the controls, his back to the sentries.

"Beck!" Tron sighed, shaking his head, "I've told you a million times…do I have to make it a million and one?"

He tapped on the controls.

"Your actions have consequences, Beck," Tron stated, putting the final command relay in the simulator and watching as it played out.

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"Hey, I know you!" one of the sentries suddenly announced.

Beck looked at him out of the corner of his eye.

"From the park," the sentry continued and when Beck still didn't respond… "What you don't remember me? I'm the one who derezzed your friend…Bodhi,"

That got a reaction.

Beck's eyes flared angrily as he stalked forwards.

"I remember," he growled, shaking in fury, "And you're never going to hurt anyone again…"

He felt pressure as his Disk was removed from its dock and he sprang up, eyes flaring as the second sentry reared back, free of his cuffs.

"You're derezzed!" the sentry snarled, and plunged Beck's own Disk into the Child Basic's chest.

Beck gave a scream of terror and pain as his body registered that he had been hit…and the landscape pixelated, blurring and derezzing back to its normal white room setting.

And he saw Tron walking towards him, looking disappointed.

"We need to go again," he stated, looking back down at the control pad, "Let's try it in Argon Square,"

"Loading: Simulation 7,"

"Did pretty good up until then," Beck supplied, eyes hopeful…

"Then you got derezzed,"

And then Tron dashed it to pieces.

"You really know how to make me feel an inch big, Dad," Beck thought dryly.

"'Pretty good' won't cut it," he finished, "You showed your face,"

"Mask gets itchy," Beck protested, making the Monitor roll his eyes.

"You let your emotions get the best of you,"

Beck's face darkened.

"Now let's go again," Tron repeated, walking towards the control room…

"Can't, got a job remember?" Beck reminded him, "Able will kill me if I'm late…not to mention my mother. You know…this whole 'fight for freedom' thing would be a lot easier if I could tell my friends and family what I'm doing,"

Tron fixed him with a look.

"All telling them will do is drag them into this fight and put them in the crosshairs," Tron told him, coming up to his son and staring him down, "Do you want to get them derezzed?"

Beck looked away.

"This fight isn't about you, it's about them!" Tron explained, "Now let's go again!"

He stepped back…

Right as the lights went out.

"It wasn't me, I swear!" Beck protested.

Both he and Tron found out that he had inherited Tron's ability to siphon energy from objects…one of those blackouts had been caused by the younger Monitor…by accident of course!

"Follow me," Tron ordered.

They both sprinted out of the simulations room into the main room, towards the window. Tron pulled up his telescope and zoomed in on Argon right as sections of the city went black.

"What was that?" Beck demanded.

"I don't know…and I don't like it," Tron growled, "But you'll find out,"

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"You want time off!?" Able demanded, "Again!?"

Beck shifted on his feet, his steel blue gaze pleading. Oh…how he looked like his mother at that point. Able couldn't stand that look because Yori always won the argument with it!

"You know, it's only a job if you actually do the work!" Able finished, turning away and tweaking the code in the bike, "I need Programs I can count on,"

"I'm sorry," Beck apologized, "It's a…personal…thing. Hard to talk about,"

Able frowned. What in the Grid could possibly be that personal…oh no.

Could the boy have found his father?

Able dismissed it, Beck would have told him…wouldn't he?

He turned to face Beck.

"Beck, you can tell me!" he protested.


And the lights flickered, powering down.

"What the…!?" Able demanded, "Oh…great!"

"So…about that time off?" Beck tried again.

"No can do," Able growled, "With all these blackouts I need all hands on deck,"

He heard Beck give a sigh and Able almost turned around but caught himself. He felt Beck's steel blue gaze landing on him.

"Don't look," Able ordered himself, "Don't look…"

His gaze flicked towards the boy, catching the pleading, hurt face that won his mother arguments. Able gave a frustrated sigh.

"Okay," he grumbled, and Beck perked up, "If…you can find someone to cover you,"

"Thanks!" Beck chirped, starting off, "Zed just finished his shift, I'll get him to pull a double!"

Able shook his head.

"Tron, with your eyes and Yori's look…that boy is going to be the death of me," he grumbled to himself.

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"Zed!" Beck called, turning around a corner, but he didn't see his best friend, "Zed?"

He stopped by the window right as the sound of laughter floated up from the ground. Beck looked out right to see Zed standing next to Bartik and Hopper, two Programs that Beck instantly labeled as troublemakers. He looked around and opened the window, climbing out of it and jumping to the ground, landing without so much as a thud.

"So I'm in?" came Zed's voice.

"Oh you're in," Hopper smirked, "But you're gonna wish you weren't,"

"Good luck, kid," Bartik snorted as he and Hopper pushed past Zed.

Beck came out of the alley's shadows and came closer to his friend.

"Zed, what were you doing with those Programs?" he asked warily.

"Uh…can you keep a secret?" Zed asked.

Beck nearly laughed at the irony. Right now, he was the biggest kept secret on the Grid other than Tron was alive.

"Yeah," Beck replied, "I think I can handle that. What's going on? You in trouble?"

"No! Nothing like that!" Zed replied hastily, "It's the Argon Race, it's no longer through the city. Bartik and Hopper found some tunnels that run under the Outlands,"

"Think you can beat those guys?"

"I know I can!" Zed beamed, pulling out a baton, "Look what I built!"

He broke the baton and tossed it to the ground, a lightcycle sketching into the air and solidifying, forming the sleek curves of the bike.

"Okay…" Beck replied, stunned, "That is pretty impressive,"

"I added an overdrive," Zed continued, excited as he returned it back to baton form, "Thirty percent faster than anything anyone's used before!"

It was nice…but Beck still liked his own…and his father's 786. Able and Yori had given the baton to Beck, saying it belonged to his father, but he could only ride it when he was alone…preferably in the Outlands where no one would see him.

"You know you're a little crazy?" Beck teased.

"So you won't tell anyone?" Zed asked.

"That you're crazy?" Beck snickered, "Nah, that's already out there,"

"About the race!"

The lights flickered again, reminding Beck of what he came to ask.

"Sure, but you've gotta do something for me," Beck started, "Cover my shift? It's about to start,"

"Why can't you do your shift?"

"Just…don't feel like working," Beck lied, "So…deal?"

Zed closed an eye.

"Look, will you just do it for me?" Beck pleaded, "Don't make me get down on my knees and beg, Zed…"

"You're getting real lazy lately,"

"Takes practice," Beck replied with a cocky grin, "You're the best!"

And he slipped out his baton, running towards the entrance of the alley, breaking his baton midstride.

He raced towards the hideout when a ping startled him.

[Come to the Outlands. I found something.]

Beck gave a nod and steered towards the Outlands where his father was waiting for him.

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Tron looked up as Beck got off his bike, armor pixilating white as he walked forwards.

"So, what'd you find?" Beck asked.

"That," Tron replied, gesturing at a crater in the Outlands' floor.

He handed motioned for Beck to follow him and father and son snuck towards the crater, a drill coming into clarity as a Recognizer landed.

"Why is the drill off," Tesler growled as he and Pavel stalked off the Recognizer.

"Looks like your favorite commanders are here," Tron stated as Beck pulled a face.

"How are we going to mine the energy? With good intentions?!" Tesler continued as Paige looked up at him, honey eyes narrowed, "Turn it on,"

"The mining caused a blackout downtown," Paige explained, "I was trying to prevent casualties,"

"So she does have a heart…wasn't expecting that," Beck thought.

"I think I found out the source of our blackouts," he started as they watched the three soldiers having a heated discussion.

Tron closed his eyes, always stating the obvious that one.

"Greed and stupidity: A dangerous combination," Tron growled as he watched Tesler reenter the Recognizer.

The sound of an engine came from behind them and Tron looked up just in time to see another Recognizer coming their way.

"Down!" he hissed, jumping from his perch and sliding into the shadows just as Beck did the same

He looked at the drill again.

"If that drill goes down and hits the energy pool…" he started.

"We'll lose all our power," Beck started.

"Our lives," Tron corrected, just thinking about it made his scars ache, "Tesler's about to cause a massive explosion that will destroy Argon,"

Beck stood up abruptly, starting towards the drill.

"So we kill the drill," he growled, smacking his fist into his palm eagerly, "What do I do? Blast through those guards? Take it out?"

Tron caught him.

"You wouldn't make it," he stated.


"You wouldn't," Tron repeated, looking at him with slight amusement, "You need to enter through the tunnels,"


"Yes…" Tron started, looking at his son in confusion.

Was there something wrong with that?

He took out a bomb and set it, handing it to Beck.

"Plant this on the drill to cause a meltdown," he explained, "When it goes critical…make sure you're far away,"

"Tron, these tunnels…" Beck started, fear in his voice, "The Argon Race is about to start…inside them…"

"Then go…now," Tron ordered, giving his son a slight push, "Stop that drill, or no one will be finishing that race!"

Beck gave a nod and ran towards the tunnels' entrances, breaking his baton and shooting off on his bike.

Tron watched him go, reminded of when he'd rush into danger to save a friend. The Argon Race wasn't new to him. He, Anon and Clu had all three entered it just for fun and to see who was the best. Clu'd been annoying Anon saying that since he was specially created in Flynn's image, he was better than his little brother. Anon of course didn't take that well and pinned Clu without batting an eye. Tron had to break it up and told them that there was another way to settle it. So they signed up for the race anonymously.

To put it safely: Clu nearly derezzed because a racer rammed him into a wall, Anon damaged his arm badly and Tron won.

The Monitor turned back to the rapidly retreating form of his son.

"Be careful," he wished before he himself left.

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Beck raced through the tunnels, the bike moving at his slightest touch. He always felt right when riding, like he and the bike weren't separate structures, rather one unit and mind. His mother was right…his riding skill came from his father.

He came to a halt as the map pinged, tires screeching on the stone and he stood upright, derezzing the bike back into its baton form and looking around as he took out the map.

"It should be here…" he murmured, looking for an entrance of some sort.

"Above. Danger. Quickly!"

Beck looked up slowly and saw a deep crack in the ceiling.

"Or up there," he deadpanned, running up the wall and jumping to the crack, climbing up like a spider as he activated the mask.

He pulled himself up, watching quietly as the drill continued to work. He pulled out the bomb and looked down at it.

"I hope you pack a punch," he murmured as the light pulsed a soft light blue.

"Danger! Monitor, enemy!"

A shadow fell over him and Beck's head snapped up…right as a Black Guard slammed a giant wrench across the Child Basic's faceplate.

Beck yelped as he fell to the ground many feet below him, howling as he hit Disk dock first.

The bomb slipped out of his hand and hit the ground a few feet away…starting to give off a beeping sound that kept getting higher and higher pitched as the seconds ticked down.

Beck tried to get up but was smacked away as the Black Guard landed on his chest, laughing darkly.

The Guard raised the wrench and lunged downwards, Beck stopped the projectile with his baton, sending golden sparks flying into the air. The Guard covered his head with his hands and Beck kicked him off of him, scrambling to his feet and diving for the bomb.


Beck lunged out of the way, dropping the bomb once again as he heeded the Grid's warning.

He reached for his own Disk as the Guard charged him, slashing and hacking at the Child Basic, but Beck fended him off, kicking him hard in the stomach before getting up and grabbing the wrench, rearing back and cracking the hard metal bar across the Guard's head.

The beeping got more insistent and Beck's head snapped towards the device.

"The bomb!" he yelped, scrabbling towards it, derezzing his mask as he snatched it.

"I am not going to die with that stupid thing on!" he thought bitterly.

He pressed the button in the center…and the bomb's countdown halted.

Beck gave a sigh of relief before starting back towards the crack, hauling himself once again out of it and sprinting towards the drill tower.

"Paige may have tolerated your incompetence…" he heard Pavel monologue, "But I won't! There's a new boss in charge, me! That's right! You're lookin' at him…"

Beck ran towards the ladder, climbing as Pavel was too wound up in his speech.

"The big cheese…"

"Well, he is cheesy," Beck smirked to himself as he climbed.

"The head honcho!"

"With the biggest head,"

"King of the hill!"

"Of scrap metal," Beck thought as he climbed up to a platform.

"Numero uno!" Pavel screeched.

"Pain in my side," Beck muttered aloud as he flipped up over the railing of the drill and planted the bomb on the side, activating it, "Let's see how fast Tesler makes you numero zero after this blows up,"

He gave a perfectly evil laugh as he started back down as quick as he could. He stopped as a flash of green light caught his eye. A brilliant beam shot into the sky.

"Zed!" Beck whispered hoarsely.

He moved faster.

"Got to stop that race. Can't let Zed get derezzed. I lost one friend, Users, don't make it two!" Beck thought desperately as he dove to the ground, racing towards the entrance to the tunnels.

He pulled out his baton…only to realize that the Guard had sheared his precious bike in two.

Beck looked around, hastily looking to find something that would get him to the race before it started.

He spotted an already rezzed lightbuggy.

"Oh, great," he moaned, but it was all he had.

He raced to its side, jumping on and shooting off…and a 'safe' speed.

"Oh c'mon that's all you got?!" Beck demanded as the vehicle crawled at a speed that irritated the Monitor's Son.

He stopped on top of a bridge, listening…and hearing the sound of revving engines.

"Oh no…" he breathed, "I'm too late! Think fast, Beck…"

He didn't have much time before that bomb went off…

Wait a second!

He pulled out a few grenades and planted them on the bridge, driving off it right as they detonated, effectively blocking the tunnel.

"Thank the Users," Beck sighed in relief…right as a bright green blur shot into the chamber.

He heard Zed yelp as he came to a stop right before the roadblock, Bartik and Hopper right behind him.

"This race is over," Beck announced, standing on the edge of the broken bridge.

"What do you care what we do?" Zed snapped, standing.

Beck inwardly sighed. Why did Zed have to be so stubborn?

He jumped off the ledge, landing agilely on the ground before padding towards his friend.

"There's a drill at the end of this tunnel with a bomb on it," Beck explained as Zed derezzed the bike back into baton form, "When it goes off, an inferno will rip through here,"

He glared right at Bartik and Hopper…he had seen the underhanded tricks they pulled on the poor programs and what they nearly did to Zed.

"Now go," he growled.

Bartik crossed his arms, glaring right back at Beck.

"I don't have time to be messing with you, Renegade," he growled back, "So we're gonna go,"

"WHAT!? What about the race?!" Zed demanded.

"What do you care?" Bartik called as he and Hopper shot off, "You were losing anyway!"

"No…I wasn't!"

He turned back towards Beck, getting ready to say something when…

"A bomb, huh?" Paige's voice hummed, making Beck whip around, "I'll take care of that…thanks for the tip,"

And she shot off on her own bike.

Beck gave a low growl. That Program…! She irritated the life out of him but he had to admit…

She was determined.

He wouldn't be able to catch her unless…

"Sorry 'bout this," Beck apologized, tossing Zed the broken baton and snatching Zed's out of his hand.

"Hey!" Zed protested, as Beck broke the baton, rezzing the bike underneath him, "I built that you know!"

The bike's circuits flashed from bright green to brilliant silver-white as it synced with Beck's Disk. And Beck shot after Paige, not hearing Zed's warning.

"Danger: Energy Core unstable. Please evacuate all personnel."

Beck's core froze as he raced forwards, he had to warn her…

"Core meltdown in 30, 29, 28…"

He tuned out the countdown and the shudders that raced through his frame as he closed on Paige.

"You don't know what you're doing!" he yelled.

"I'm bringing order to the Grid!" she snapped back as he pulled up next to her, "I don't think you know what you're doing!"

She bumped him, sending him shooting down a different tunnel.

"Oh…Users glitch it! She's too stubborn for her own good!" Beck growled, whipping around and shooting after her.

"17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12…"

He finally reached her, ramming into her as he dodged her lightribbon.

"You hear that?!" he demanded, referring to the countdown, "If that bomb detonates while we're still in this tunnel, we both die!"

He turned his head towards her.

"I'M TRYING TO SAVE YOUR LIFE!" he screamed and she rammed into him again.

"It doesn't need saving!" she shot back as they both shot out of the tunnel into open air.

"8, 7, 6…"

They both stopped, watching in horror as the countdown continued.

"5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Energy Core overload…"

The Grid rocked violently, or at least it did for Beck. The young Monitor cried out as the counter hit zero, hanging onto the bike's handlebars, knuckles white.

"Go Monitor!"

"GO!" Beck screamed, "GO!"

Both he and Paige hightailed it out of there, racing through the tunnels as the drill exploded, blue flames racing hungrily after them, intent on feasting on the code of an Occupation Commander and a young System Monitor.

Beck took off his Disk and leaned over on the bike as he steered, scraping the floor of the tunnel as he rode up the side of the wall, arching across the ceiling and repeating the process over and over again, destabilizing the code of the stone. The stone collapsed, forming a makeshift barrier.

"Keep going!" he ordered, "It won't hold for long!"

As soon as he said it, the rock exploded and the flames lapped on their heels, almost overtaking Paige. Beck noticed this and came closer to her.

"Your bike's not fast enough!" he called, "Get on!"

"In your dreams!"

Beck gave an exasperated growl and rammed into her.

"Get. ON!" he snarled, grabbing her arm and dragging her onto his/Zed's bike.

"Now…Zed said there was an overdrive switch on this thing…right?" Beck thought as he scanned over the controls, "Aha! There it is!"

He engaged the switch, there was a low beeping noise and the bike shot forwards through a forest of stone pillars. Beck's mind went into shutdown and the world seemed to move slowly. He expertly guided the bike through the pillars as if he had done it since the day he was born.

"I just saved your life," Beck grinned, "A thanks would be nice,"

Paige replied with harsh blows to Beck's head and neck.

"Thanks!" she spat, continuing to hit him.

"OW!" Beck screeched internally, "STOP IT!"

She grabbed his right hand and pinned it against his back, leaving him to steer with his left. Beck looked up, taking off his Disk.

"Really?" Paige mocked, "You need that?"

"It's not for you!" Beck snarled, throwing it at his makeshift roadblock, punching a hole big enough for them to squeeze through into the rock.

Beck leaned over the handlebars and Paige hugged his waist, leaning her head against the small of his back…and they shot through. Beck reached up and plucked his Disk out of the air.

"Saved your life…again!" he teased.

She reached for her own Disk and placed it right at Beck's neck.

"Let's just finish this," she snarled.

"We may not have to!" Beck reminded her as he saw the raging inferno behind them.

He felt Paige's nails dig into his ribcage after she replaced her Disk, nearly squeezing him in two. Beck looked up, seeing an opening and seeing the Sea!

Just a few more nanos…! He felt the heat of the flames as they lapped against his boots, singeing them…

And they shot out of the tunnel. He wrenched the bike around so that Paige was sent tumbling off, but not too hard, and she came to her knees, looking at him in shock.

"See ya around," Beck nodded as she shakily got to her knees.

And he took off.

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Beck walked into the Garage just to see Zed working on a new bike.

"Hey," he called, walking up to his friend, "Mara told me what happened. How ya doin'?"

"I'm ok," Zed sighed.

"Able got you working late?"

"Nah, just makin' a new bike," he dismissed, "Which, thanks to the Renegade, is how I'm spending my free time. He stole my old one,"

"Borrowed," Beck immediately thought, "I borrowed it,"

"I…just think he's trying to make things better," Beck started cagily.

"How come every time he tries to make things better they get worse for me?" Zed snapped.

Beck gave a sigh, kneeling down next to his friend.

"I've got to tell him," he thought, "He'll understand…"

"Zed…" Beck started, "There's something I want to tell you…"


Beck took a deep breath…

"You know…this whole 'fight for freedom' thing would be a lot easier if I could tell my friends and family what I'm doing,"

"All telling them will do is drag them into this fight and put them in the crosshairs. Do you want to get them derezzed? This fight isn't about you, it's about them!"

Zed looked at his friend expectantly.

"Word around town…you would have won the race," Beck said.

"Thanks," Zed replied a little bit dejected.

Beck stood and started off.

"I won't have another Rilo or Bodhi on my hands," Beck thought sadly, "I won't get Zed killed…or Mara…or anyone else,"

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"Citizens of Argon!" Tesler announced, "The nightmare is over! The plot to sap your energy has been foiled. And we know the culprit. It was the work of a miscreant, who wears this profanity…"

The four squares set in a 'T' formation and surrounded by a circle of silver blazed white from every screen in the square, bathing the crowd in holy silver-white light.

"The mark of the traitor, the Mark of Tron!" Tesler spat as his image appeared in place of the silver-white tetramino, "But fear not! Tron is dead, and I assure you this impostor…this…this Renegade…will be brought to justice! Never forget: We are here for you!"

A low growl escaped the Monitor's throat as he glared down at the mob. He was not dead, he was very much alive and he was no traitor! It took all his will power to stay hidden with his son.

He looked over at Beck, noticing the stricken look on his face.

"Why?" Beck breathed, "Can't they see?"

Tron looked back at the crowd.

"If we prevail in this conflict, they'll understand," he reassured him, and he turned away.

Beck stayed for a moment as he searched the crowd for familiar faces.

He found them, and his core nearly shattered.

Zed was cheering Tesler on, as were many of his friends. He saw his mother's face set in grief while Able held her. Mara was unamused, standing next to Able and Yori, watching the cheering crowd with concern.

"I hope you're right," Beck whispered.

Tron turned back towards his son.

"Come," he stated, holding out a hand, "We've still got work to do,"

Beck started walking towards his father, but he kept his head towards the crowd. It didn't escape Tron's notice that a tear streaked down his son's face.

Chapter Text

Chapter 11


Accessing Archive Data…

He's getting better every millicycle. If my son were still alive, I'd say that Beck would be progressing just as good as him if not better. I went out into the city to make sure he got back safely, he did…nearly got caught after curfew, but he made it back to Able's safely. His mother didn't take him getting back that late well at all. She started ranting and I heard her mention Beck's father. He'd never mentioned his father to me, but I have no right to pry into his personal life. The way she speaks of him, Beck's father was a Security Program. That would explain quite a bit about the boy…

He died a long time ago, according what Beck had told me a while back, so it's likely I knew him once or never go the chance to meet him in person. If I ever did, I'd like to tell him he would be proud of his son. I'd be glad to have Beck on my side when the time comes.

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Beck climbed up to the main screen in Argon square, looking at his wanted poster.

"I'm flattered, but I like my privacy," he muttered, walking forwards to the screen controls, his white armor glaringly bright in the harsh light.

He tapped on the screen after he plugged in the recoder, grinning to himself as he suddenly stood up and jumped down to the ground, his light armor pixelating from white to black.

He was very proud of that new innovation he added to his Disk and Tron's half-Disk. He hadn't shown Tron yet, but he was going to in a few nanos…just after he picked up his bike. He started out on his way when the screens flickered from their multicolored display to a glowing black with brilliant blue lettering.

Tron Lives

He heard the chatter and he allowed himself just a small grin as he walked into the station and a chime rang out.

"Attention Programs: There has been a security breach, prepare your Disks for scanning."

Beck gave a groan as he shot a look back to his Disk. He didn't have time to hide the Disk half. It stored all Renegade memories while Beck's Disk itself kept everything else.

"Oh, great," he grumbled, tensing up.

He felt another Program get close and he shuddered. He didn't like it when someone got too close to him, something he pulled away from both parents, but especially Tron.

"Hey," the Program started, making Beck jump, "Something tells me you don't want these goons pokin' around your Disk either,"

"Nah, I'm just late for work," Beck replied, which was sorta true, by the time he'd made it to the stronghold…he's be very late, might even have to stay there for the night, "Hope this doesn't take long,"

"Yeah, right," the other Program chuckled, "Look, they don't need to see what we're up to before we got here, right?"

Beck gave him a concerned look, but couldn't ask questions because the purring click-growl of the sentries caught his ear. A Program started putting up a fight, not wanting his Disk to be scanned.

"Hey! You just can't take my Disk like that!" he protested, yanking on his Disk.

"Stand down or you will get derezzed," one sentry ordered.

"Now's our chance!" the other Program hissed in Beck's ear, "Follow me!"

And he ran off.

"You're gonna get yourself killed…" Beck muttered, but he followed anyway.

The two ran up the steps right as the other sentries ran to help their cronies.

Beck settled against a wall, hunkering down as a sentry passed their hiding spot.

"Next stop: Argon Park. Please stand clear."

He ignored the warning shudders that racked his frame as the Program moved him towards the edge of the train when it stopped at the park.

"Well, this is where we split up," the Program shrugged.

"Hey, thanks," Beck said with a smile, his light steel-blue eyes giving a grateful glance back at the other Program as the young Monitor hopped off.

"Next stop: Purgos. This is an express line, there will be no further stops,"

He'd only taken a few steps…but the tremors shook Beck to his core. Something was wrong…very wrong! He straightened up…feeling a little off balance. Like something had been…taken…

Oh no!

He looked up just in time to see the other Program waving a pale, blue-white Disk in the air.

Beck's eyes widened and his hand whipped back to his dock…just to feel smooth armor.

"He stole my Disk!" Beck gasped.

He closed his eyes, icy fear rushing though him.

"Way to go Beck," he groaned, "You just lost everything!"

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"Zed, Mara," Yori started, looking at her son's best friends, "Have you seen Beck?"

"No," Zed shook his head.

"Everything ok?" Mara asked.

"He's late…he should have been back here by now," she murmured, turning around and holding her arms as she looked out the door, "Where are you?"

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Tron knocked down the final Program in the simulation with a little effort. It had been a tough cycle this time…something had gone wrong with the healing chamber, but luckily he had been able to fix it with Beck's help. He heard the simulation room door open.

Speaking of his apprentice…

Beck walked slowly into the room, taking great lengths to make sure that his front was to Tron at all times.

"Is there something you want to tell me?" Tron asked as Beck moved to stay face front, "Something involving your back?"

"Huh? Uh, no…"


"N-Nothing's wrong…" Beck stammered, backing away, "Honest!"

"You're a bad liar," Tron growled, eyes narrowed as he crossed his arms, "Out with it,"

Beck shook his head, stubbornly keeping his mouth shut. Tron, however, tilted his head and tapped his foot three times on the floor.

"Gravity Reversal: Initiated," the Grid announced and the floor dropped away from the younger Program, making Beck yelp in surprise as he hit the ceiling, dock first.

Tron tapped the ground with this foot once more.

"Gravity: Restored,"

And Beck dropped from the ceiling, groaning as he landed on his stomach…giving Tron a clear look at his empty Disk dock.

"Beck, where is your Disk," Tron started slowly, but the fear in his voice was masked very, very well.

"Um…not here?"


The boy sighed, sitting up.

"It was stolen…I'm sorry,"

"…Wait here," Tron ordered, walking out of the simulations room and towards the storage room instead.

Beck closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid me!" he growled, "You should have known better!"

He quit beating himself up outwardly as Tron came back into the simulations room, tossing a fake Disk to Beck, who juggled it before catching it. He twisted and pulled at the copy, trying to get it to activate, as Tron pulled off his own conjoined Disks and started messing around with his armor design.

"It doesn't work!" Beck announced, frustrated.

"That's because it's a fake," Tron stated, trying to stay calm…

He was failing miserably but managed to stay together because both halves of himself were fighting to keep his composure.

"You need to wear something on your back," he continued, "If you're spotted without a Disk…Tesler's guards will pick you up as a Stray in no time,"

Beck connected the fake to his back with a familiar 'click'. He'd heard about the Strays…none of them remembered anything about their lives, their families, their friends.

"Mom's going to Disk me…" Beck shuddered.

"How long do I have…" the boy started, voice already starting to tremble in fear, "Before I really do become a Stray?"

"…Not long," Tron admitted, closing his eyes, "You've already lost…valuable time…"

"And if we don't get my Disk back…?"

"Your memory will…fade…" Tron sighed, "Everything you've ever seen or experienced…you'll forget…"

"…So I really screwed up," Beck muttered.

The phrase was so…so User that Tron actually stopped his adjusting.

"I've put you, my friendsand the Revolution in danger," Beck finished.

When Tron didn't answer, Beck turned his gaze onto his father.

"Hey, by the waythis is the part where you're supposed to cheer your friend up,"

There was a brief moment of silence and then…

"I'd rather just get back your Disk," the Monitor finally said.

"Ok, so we're not friends, got it," Beck growled, "Where do we start?"

Tron finished the tweaking and replaced his Disks, letting his stealth armor, his Coup armor, replace it.

"There's a black market for stolen Disks," Tron said, his voice distorted by the helmet, "But you can't go there alone…not in your condition…"

"Let's go then," Beck suggested and Tron nodded, walking out of the room.

Suddenly Beck froze, eyes wide.

"What is it?" Tron asked.

"Mom…" he sighed, "She's probably worried sick…"

"If we go find your Disk and get out, everything will be fine," Tron reassured him, being surprisingly gentle as he put a hand on Beck's shoulder, "Now…let's get a move on,"

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"I wonder if he's really Tron like they're saying?" Mara wondered as Zed worked on the bike while Yori supervised them, "I actually kinda hope he isn't. I like his whole aura of mystery,"

"Mystery?" Zed scoffed, rolling out from under the vehicle, "Yeah right! More like scared to show his face!"

"He's not Tron," Yori sighed, "Tron died long ago,"

"She's not wrong," Zed agreed, "a little over twenty cycles ago…way before us Mara. Let's see…Beck would have been a baby when he died, right?"

"Right," Yori nodded, "His father died around that time as well…that's when Beck and I moved to Argon because Tron City was getting a little too dangerous,"

Two male laughs caught hers, Mara's and Zed's attention, but Mara was the one to speak on it.

"Uh, what are they doing here?" she asked.

"Their shift doesn't start for a while," Yori nodded, "I don't know…"

Zed gave a nervous laugh and shrugged, but walked over to Bartik and Hopper, who lounged about.

"I don't like those two," Mara growled.

"I don't care much for them either," Yori agreed, "They used to give Beck an awful time when he was younger…"

"What he do to get rid of them?" Mara asked.

"…I don't really know," Yori admitted, "All I know is that they steered clear of him for a couple cycles,"

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"Where are we going?" Beck asked as he and his father shot down the highway.

"Purgos," Tron replied, "The original settlement of Argon. Before the War this was a boom town…now it's a garbage heap,"

They pulled into the settlement and stopped before a shop.

"We'll start with the pawn shops," Tron stated, standing upright and clipping his baton to his leg.

They went inside and asked around, not having any luck. The second and third were just as bad.

At the forth one, Tron was at his last straw…and Beck picked up on his frustration very easily.

"You didn't answer my question," Tron growled, steel-blue gaze zeroing on his 'target'.

"I'm not sure I heard it right…" the Program behind the window started, "You're asking me if I have Identity Disks? Real Identity Disks?"

"I know you have a secret stash somewhere," the Monitor snarled.

"Look! I don't know what you think, but I run a clean shop here! If you want stolen goods…you'll have to try elsewhere,"

Tron's left hand twitched, starting for his Disk…right as Beck came up.

"Please," his apprentice begged, "We've been to three shops already. This is very important! If you know anything you have to tell us!"

The Program sighed and the look Tron was giving his son would have incinerated worlds if his face was visible…but Beck caught the glare he was getting behind the helmet easily enough. He sounded too desperate…and that could get them in trouble.

"I know when I see a Program in trouble…" he started, "I'll help you. Let me ask around…"

"We'll come with you," Tron growled.

"Alone," the Program stated, "Sorry, that's just how it's gotta be. There's an energy canteen around the corner, I'll meet you there. My name is Kobol. You know its good you found me, in Purgos, you can't trust anyone,"

He got up and left while Tron led Beck out of the building.

"He was lying," Tron growled, derezzing his helmet.

"You mean Kobol? The only solid lead we've come up with so far?!" Beck demanded.

"If it was a lead at all,"

"You're just a…what was that saying Mom said Flynn used to describe you?" Beck thought before it clicked, "Ray of sunshine! That's it!"

They came into a bigger alley and Tron stopped closing his eyes as he realized they might not find the Disk here. He turned towards his apprentice.

"Beck, in case we don't find your Disk…I need to prepare you for the memory loss,"

"This should be fun," Beck deadpanned.

"It's a glitch," Tron told him, "It comes without warning. One moment you're normal the next you're forgetting your own name…but you'll recover…at least…the first few times…"

"And…after the first few times?"

"Permanent amnesia," Tron sighed, "You won't know who you are anymore,"

"Well it's not going to come to that," Beck said stubbornly, lifting his head, "We're going to find the Program who did this to me…and put him out of business,"

Tron looked up just to see a few black shapes coming towards them.

"Beck…" he warned, rezzing his helmet, "We're being followed…"

More Programs came and surrounded them.

"You mean surrounded," Beck corrected and Tron tensed.

"Let me handle this," Tron started.

He turned to face the leader of the ground while Beck stood in a ready position behind him.

"We didn't come here for trouble," Tron growled, glaring at the gang that had surrounded him and his son, "We're just passing through,"

"You passed into our territory," one of them sneered, "This street belongs to me and you'll pay for trespassing,"

The gang pulled out their Disks and Tron pulled out his own as they rushed him.

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Beck dodged as a Disk slashed at him. He wished he had his own instead of the fake which lit up…but didn't cut or anything. He drove his elbow into the helmet of his attacker, knocking him flat while another came at him. Beck's legs coiled and he launched upwards, flipping midair and coming into a ready crouch on the other side of his attacker.

He kicked him, sending the attacker sprawling while another one's Disk came down on the Child Basic. Beck raised his fake Disk…and the assailant's very real one sliced it in two. Beck fell backwards, landing on his rear. He tried to get up when his head felt like it was splitting in two.

His eyes blazed bright steel-blue as he looked around wildly as the whole area seemed to shake and blur.

"Wh-What's going on?" he demanded, "Where am I?"

Who were all these people? What was going on? Where was he?

"Take him," the leader called.

Beck scooted backwards. He didn't know who these people were, but he could tell they weren't friendly. He looked up right as one of them tried to grab him…and he saw some descending shape coming towards him.

It solidified into a woman in white, a hood veiling her features. She knocked some of the gang members away. She came to a rest and threw a smoke grenade at the ground, obscuring the area. She picked Beck up and ran out of the alley.

"C'mon!" she yelled as the world stopped shaking and Beck's eyes flickered back to iron-brown to Tron and the woman.

He saw Tron sprinting after them, Disk still activated and poised to throw when Beck held up his hand.

"She saved me, she's ok," he reassured the Monitor.

"This way," the Siren ordered, climbing up a ladder, Tron and Beck following.

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"I think I just had my first glitch," Beck groaned as he took his father's hand and hauled himself up to the roof.

"We should keep moving," Tron said.

"Ugh, but I'm glad you care," Beck snarked.

The Monitor came up to the female, ignoring his son's sarcasm.

"Why'd you help us?" he growled, watching her.

"Because you needed it," she shrugged, taking down her hood.

Tron heard Beck shift behind him and he rolled his eyes behind his mask. "Sirens…there's a reason they're called that, Beck,"

"You're welcome by the way," she finished, "I'm Lux,"

"Uh I-I'm Beck," Beck started, coming forwards, "And this is…my friend,"

"Huh?" Tron asked, slightly tilting his head towards his son as Beck laid a hand on his shoulder.

"What? I'm improvising," Beck muttered.

"I've seen Programs like you before, Beck," Lux started.

"What do you mean?" Beck asked.


"I'm not a Stray yet," Beck growled darkly.

"Well it's only a matter of time," Lux admitted, "But…I can help you. I know my way around Purgos,"

And she leaped off the building while Beck let out a longing sigh.

"If my memory's going…at least the last thing I'll remember will be her," Beck chirped, starting forwards.

"Focus, Beck," Tron reprimanded with a sigh as he followed his son.

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"You do realize your friend is a bit of a mad scientist," Yori whispered as Zed hooked up the last remaining wires.

"I know," Mara sighed before adding louder and addressing Zed, "You still haven't told me what this is for!"

"Allow me to introduce my masterpiece and my outta orientation project!" Zed beamed as the rain poured and the little machine activated, "Eventually we'll put it on the front of a cycle, but for our test right now…this will do,"

"Do what?" Yori asked blowing a short bang out of her eyes.

One drawback of how she coded her hair was that the bangs always flopped into her eyes. Beck teased her for wanting to look slightly like him…she promptly grounded him and sent him to his room.

Zed pressed a button on his pad and the lightcycle in front of the trio started up, racing forwards while he pressed another button and what looked like a cannon flipped out of the little machine, firing a pulse of energy at the light trail, making it travel up the trail and exploding the lightcycle into tiny pieces.

"It worked!" Zed cheered, "It worked!"

Yori walked up to the pile of voxels that used to be a bike and touched them, frowning before speaking.

"Well, it is impressive Zed," she said slowly.

"Wow…" Mara blinked as she and zed got close, "That could do a lot of damage…"

"Isn't it great?" Zed grinned, nearly bouncing up and down in glee.

Mara didn't look sure, but a frown crossed her pale features when she saw the gold armband across Zed's upper right arm.

"Oh…this is for your friends Bartik and Hopper, isn't it!" she demanded.

"They're on a task force to hunt down the Renegade," Zed explained, proudly, "I'm trying to join! I know you think the Renegade is helping, but he's not!"

Yori looked at the older of her two students strangely. She knew that whoever it was running around was not her husband…the helmet shape was different for one…but it didn't mean that they deserved this!

"This," Zed jabbed a finger at his invention, "Can stop him,"

"Or worse," Yori finally spoke up, making Zed turn towards her, "Zed, this could derezz him,"

The male Program's brown eyes flickered uncertainly.

"I'm…I'm just trying to do the right thing," he whispered.

Mara gave a disbelieving laugh.

"I didn't think you were like Bartik and Hopper, Zed," she shook her head as Yori got up, brushing blue voxels from her armor, "But if joining their task force is what you want…best of luck,"

She handed the umbrella back to Yori and the two walked back towards the garage.

"Yori…what he's doing is wrong," Mara whispered as they walked, "That thing could kill Tron! I thought Zed wouldn't even think of something like that…much less be happy about it…"

The Simulations Program put her arm around the younger Mechanic.

"I know," she soothed, "And who knows, sweetheart…maybe he'll figure out what the right thing is,"

"How do you know?"

Yori gave a sad smile.


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Beck drummed his fingers against the table, a nervous tic that he always had. Tron gave a pained smile behind the black glass as he recognized the rhythm.

His lullaby.

"Ok," Lux started as she came back to their table, "Well, I checked with all my contacts and none of them have heard of any stolen Disks recently,"

"And Kobol is a no-show," Beck muttered.

"Beck," Tron started, throwing a quick look at a Program in the back of the room, "There's a Program in the back who's awfully interested in you. He's been staring since we walked in,"

The young Monitor looked towards the back, seeing a Program with red accents watching him closely, eyes widening as he realized Beck was looking at him.

"That's the Program who conned me!"

"His name's Galt," Lux said, tossing a glance at the Program, "A small-time thief,"

The Child Basic kept his gaze locked on the thief…when a bunch of Programs passed by. Once they passed, Beck noticed that Galt disappeared.

"Hey! He's gone!" he announced, "Where'd he go?"

"He could be anywhere," Lux told him, looking around.

Beck turned towards Tron, noticing the Monitor kneeling down on the floor, touching the smooth tile. Suddenly ghostly white footprints shimmered on the floor.

"What are you doing?" Beck hissed.

Tron shot his son a grin, even though Beck couldn't see it.

"This old Monitor still has some tricks," Tron replied, "You see them?"

"The footprints…yeah…"

Tron gave a smile. Just like with Sensing, the energy signatures could only be seen by a Monitor or Security Program. It made perfect sense considering who Beck's father was.

"C'mon," Tron started, getting up with Beck and Lux hot on his trail.

They followed the ghost prints out into a back hall where they saw Galt trying to get out the back door.

"Galt!" Beck snapped, making the thief squeak in fear and jump upwards before whirling around, "I didn't get your name last time…when you were stealing my Disk!"

"I don't know what you're talking about!" Galt protested, "What Disk?"

"Looks a lot like this one," Tron snarled, shoving his activated Disks under Galt's chin.

"OK!" Galt yelped, "I took it! But I don't have it anymore! I swear!"

"Who'd you give it to?" Tron snapped.

"You think I'd tell you?" Galt sneered, "He's not as polite as you two,"

"I can show you how impolite I can be…" Tron growled softly, angrily.

The thief turned his gaze towards Beck, eyes…smug.

"Everyone's gonna know your secret," he smirked and Beck's eyes flashed, "Rene…"

He gave a scream as a red-white Disk sprouted from his midsection, sending ruby-tinted cubes scattering to the floor as Galt derezzed.

The assassin took his Disk out of the door and bolted.

"After him!" Beck yelled, ramming down the door in pursuit, his bike rezzing underneath him as he shot forwards.

The raced down the streets of Purgos, Beck quickly getting the feel for the streets as he gained on the Program. He rammed into the assassin's bike as their ribbons flared to life, pale blue-white, glaring ice-white, pale red, and shining silver-white.

Beck kept ramming into the other bike, swerving as a pillar came between them but slamming into it once on the other side.

The other Program rammed into Beck, putting him on the other side of a barrier.

"BECK!" Tron yelled but Beck kept his speed, ramping off the street and derezzing his bike as he crashed through the window of a building.

He ran past multiple Programs, muttering apologies as he did before jumping out the window, glass flying around him in a shimmering halo as he re-rezzed his bike and its ribbon before hitting the ground. He saw Tron's bike's circuits brighten in pride for his apprentice as Beck shot forwards…

His eyes flared steel-blue as pain gripped his mind in its fiery, molten metal claws. Beck gave a scream as the world rocked.

Where am I? What's going on? Pain. Hurts. Disk! Need Disk! What's going on…?

He turned his head to see the beautiful woman in white on the side…

"Beck! Look out!" she called.

"W-what?" he stammered, looking ahead and ramming right into the pale-red wall of light.

He flipped over the wall, tumbling in a tangle of dark limbs as he lay flat on the ground, his steel-blue eyes fluttering closed.

He heard someone scream his name…a male voice…and then it all went black.

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"…eck, wake up,"

Beck's iron-brown gaze fluttered open to see Tron kneeling beside him.

"Ooooh, where are we?" he groaned, "Ow, my head,"

"Lux's home. What do you remember?" Tron asked.

"I remember chasing after that Program…I crashed through a building and was back on the street…and then nothing," Beck started, "Did I glitch again?"

Tron gave a nod.

"A bad one," he explained as Lux came over with some sort of baton in her hand.

"I'll patch him up," she told him.

"Mom's going to kill me if I get out of this alive…" Beck thought bitterly as Lux knelt down and grabbed his arm gently.

Tron gave a nod and got up, leaving Beck to sit on the chair while Lux patched him up.

"Nice place," Beck started, "How'd you get it?"

Lux looked up at him as she finished.

"I have my ways," she smirked, and then sighed, "Without your Disk…this is the best I can do,"

She got up and walked off. Beck stood, his body screaming in protest as he did, and walked over to his father.

"Learn anything from Galt's Disk?" he asked.

"He was scum…which is hardly news," Tron growled, "I did find the memory where he robbed you,"

Beck's eyes flickered again as he stared at the memory, at his own ghost.

"Who is that?" he suddenly asked.

"…Beck…that's you…"

"What am I doing there?" Beck blinked.

"You were fighting a revolution," Tron replied, cold flooding his system.

"What Revolution…" Beck demanded as his eyes flared in caution.

"Beck…stay with me!" Tron pleaded, starting forwards while Beck scrambled back.

"Who's Beck? Who are you?" Beck demanded, "Why are you hiding your face!?"

"Beck!" Tron cried and then let out a harsh scream as electricity sparked over his frame, throwing him to the floor as Lux retracted her staff.

Beck backpedalled, stumbling backwards as Lux advanced.

"Stay back…" he warned, "Don't…"

"It's ok…" Lux reassured him, "It's ok, everything will be clear soon. We're here to help you,"

"W-We?" Beck stammered as the world continued to shake.

A figure appeared in the door, the same one that attacked Beck and Tron outside of the pawn shop, the same one that derezzed Galt.

"I told you," the figure started, derezzing its helmet and revealing Kobol's face, "Don't trust anyone,"

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When Tron came too, it was just in time to see Lux trying to take off his helmet.

"His helmet won't come off," she announced.

"Forget that, he's nothing!" Kobol snorted, "We have bigger things to worry about!"

He looked at Beck and gestured at a large, yellow-white beam blazing into the sky.

"See that light?" he asked and Beck gave a slow nod, "That's where your friends are going to meet us. We're taking you back home…"

"Beck!" Tron yelled, getting the boy's attention, "That's an emergency beacon to summon the military! They're turning you in to the Occupation!"

"I'm part of the military," Beck corrected, "Kobol told me,"

"Beck no! He's lying to you!" Tron cried.

"Don't listen to him," Lux dismissed as Beck blinked rapidly, "You're an officer in Tesler's army, you just lost your Disk, if you go back with Kobol you'll get it back…"


"Enough!" Kobol snarled, rushing forwards with Disk in hand.

Lux stopped him as Beck stiffened.

"If you derezz him, you could lose Beck's trust!" she hissed.

"How dare you question me!" Kobol snapped, grabbing Lux's wrist and causing her to cry out, he shot a look at Beck and then at Tron, "Watch him until I get back,"

He put a hand on Beck's shoulder and the two walked off.

"Lux you have to let me go!" Tron snapped, "Kobol's taking Beck to be derezzed!"

"No, repurposed,"

Tron's core froze.

No…no no NO!

"My job was to follow you until Beck forgot who he was…then he'd be easier to take," she continued, sitting on a ledge, "And it worked,"

"Free me," Tron insisted, "Your own life is in danger! Kobol derezzed Galt, he almost derezzed me! Soon it'll be your turn!"

Lux gave a derisive laugh.

"No you're wrong," she insisted, getting up into Tron's face, "Kobol would never hurt me. He loves me,"

Tron looked up at her.

"Who is it you're trying to convince?"

She stood up, face dark as she took off her Disk and activated it.

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"Zed's getting ready to show off his invention," Yori started, putting a hand on Mara's shoulder.

"Hurray for him," Mara sighed, "Hope he does well,"

"Now Mara," Yori chastised, "You know you want to see him…even if he does something stupid,"

"Yeah, I know," Mara admitted.

Yori gave a laugh and hugged the girl close to her chest.

"Believe me, it's hard when a friend decides that what they think's best is what's right when really they're very wrong," she said seriously, "One can only hope that Zed sees that he's in the wrong before it's too late,"

She brushed an aqua bang away from Mara's face.

"Maybe you can convince him," she told her.

"What happened to your friend?" Mara asked, "Did he ever turn around?"

Yori sighed.

"As of this moment…no," she admitted, "But, I feel that one day, it'll come back to haunt him…what he did,"

She pressed her forehead to the young Program's and smiled.

"But Zed is nothing like my old friend. He'll change his mind, I know it,"

"I don't know, he's pretty stubborn…" Mara mumbled.

"Why don't you go to the demonstration?" Yori asked, "See if you're right?"

Mara gave a smile and finally nodded.

"Alright, I will,"

Yori waited until her ward walked off a distance before following her, keeping to the shadows and hidden places as Tron taught her to do so long ago, climbing up to a ledge to get a bit's eye view. It wasn't as near as graceful as what Beck or Tron could have done, but it worked. She watched as Mara was brought up to Zed, Bartik, and Hopper by a Sentry. She saw Zed's nervous expression turn joyous as a smile broke out over his face. A female Program in scarlet walked over, an annoyed expression crossing her face.

"I remember you," Yori thought, "You're the one Beck talks about…the Commander with a heart. Paige I think's what he called you,"

"I'm on a tight schedule so let's cut to the chase," Paige started, "You brought me here for a new light cycle mod?"

"A weapon, actually," Zed stammered, "Um…I have to make one quick adjustment first…"

He gave a swift look towards Mara before turning back to the pad and tapping on it…right as the cannon exploded in his face, making him yelp and fall backwards. Yori was concerned at first…but that feeling died away as she saw the triumphant grin on Zed and Mara's faces.

She quietly crept away, stealing back into the garage where she pretended to be busy while Mara ran up to her a few moments later.

"You were right!" the aqua-haired Mechanic beamed, "He sabotaged it…for me!"

"See, I told you…Zed's not stupid," Yori told her, hugging the girl, "He cares about what you say…that's why he's a good friend,"

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"There they are Beck," Kobol said, looking at the Recognizer slowly coming closer and closer to the two, "You'll be home soon,"

Beck winced as another glitch sent pain through his head. He heard footsteps behind him…

"Back away from him, Kobol," a dark, cold, terrifyingly furious voice snarled.

Beck turned around to see the obsidian Program standing tall and proud in the middle of the beacon, Disk activating as the minimal points of white light on his armor blazed almost blindingly bright.

Kobol took out his Disk…as well as a soft blue-silver Disk.

Beck's Disk!

"Is this the Disk you're looking for?" Kobol snapped, charging towards Tron.

The Monitor set his feet, settling into a fighting stance as Kobol rammed into him. Tron dodged the first blow, ducking under the Disk and lashing out, his sound growling through the air, his circuits flashing brilliant blue-white in anger as he slashed at the cretin that took his apprentice's Disk. Kobol flipped over him but he was expecting it as Kobol threw his Disk. Tron cut the Disk out of the air, pouncing forwards, slashing at the monster, snarling angrily as Kobol blocked his Disk.

Kobol lunged forwards, knocking him off balance. He pinned Tron to the ground but the Protector snarled, rearing back his fist and letting loose, cracking Kobol across the faceplate of his mask and kicking him away.

The traitor relinquished his hold on Beck's Disk and it rolled on the ground with a faint clang, but he got back up, wielding a staff.

Tron growled. He hated staffs. The Sentries on the Old System used to jab him when he got out of line…like that little mini insurrection that he and Ram cooked up. They failed obviously, were beaten senseless, and starved of energy before being thrown into the games for a couple rounds. They won…but they didn't do anything on that level again until Flynn showed up.

Kobol whirled the staff around, he lunged forwards, but Tron blocked the staff.

"Who are you?" Kobol breathed, obviously he'd never fought anyone of this caliber.

Tron snarled, forcing Kobol to lose his grip on his staff, sending it flying. He struck Kobol with his fist over and over again.

"You will never hurt my apprentice again!" the Protector thought angrily as he repeatedly struck, finally forcing Kobol to the ground.

He pulled out his Disk, getting ready to strike him down…

When the end of the staff nudged his helmet.

The nearly neon white circuits dimmed to blue as Tron faced his apprentice, his friend, his son…the blank gaze locked onto him with a dead fire.

"Derezz him he's the enemy!" Kobol ordered.

"Beck…no…" Tron thought, watching his son.

Beck blinked rapidly, shaking his head in confusion as another glitch took him.

"Do it!" Kobol screamed, "I command you!"

Beck's eyes flickered in confusion as his memories tried to resurface but to no avail. Tron gave a sigh.

"I know you're still there, Beck," he started, "The memory loss hasn't taken all of you. Killing is not your way…"

He derezzed his helmet, revealing his face.

Kobol froze as Beck dropped the staff, recognition flaring in his eyes.

"Dad…" the boy whispered so softly that Tron only saw his lips move in a tremble.

"Tron…" Kobol stammered.

"Beck…this is…about more than the Uprising," Tron started, "You're my friend. I didn't say it before because I didn't think I could…but that was wrong of me…we are friends,"

Kobol's eyes went wide with shock as he looked quickly between Beck and Tron.

"Be who you are," Tron finished, "You don't need your memories for that…"

Beck's eyes flickered weakly as a tear streaked down his face and he gave a soft nod. Tron gave a weak smile…and then groaned in pain as his scars flared. He fell to his side.

"What are you doing?!" Kobol demanded, "You work for Tesler!"

"I'm not a killer," Beck replied stubbornly, eyes hard, "I don't derezz Programs…"

Kobol turned towards Tron and then looked at Beck.

"Too bad," he sneered, scooping up Beck's Disk and charging at him, "Because I do!"

He attacked Beck, the younger Program leaning back as he retreated. He dodged as Kobol slashed at him, leaning backwards with every step.

"I thought I had something with the Renegade!" Kobol cackled, "But now I have Tron!"

Beck grabbed his head, crying out in pain as the glitch stabbed at his memory. Kobol slammed into him, knocking the boy back as he screamed. Disk need Disk need Disk! Can't think. What's going on? What's happening to me? What am I doing here? Who am I? Dad. Where's Dad? Where's Mom? Dad! DAD! Hurts! Pain. Shaking. Error. Error. Error. Help please!

"Agh!" Beck howled, tearing at his reddish-brown hair as the glitch stabbed mercilessly at him, "D-Dad! H-Help! P-Please!"

"He's starting to lose it!" Tron thought desperately, "He's seeing his father…I can't let him die! I can't lose this boy that's like my own son…"

Tron staggered towards the two, grabbing Kobol from behind and snatching the blue Disk from Kobol's hand.

"BECK!" he yelled, throwing the Disk, "YOUR DISK!"

Beck reached out, snatching the smooth circle from the air.

Hurts. Pain. Error. Error. Error.  Help! Help! Who am I? What's going on? Make it stop! Error. Error. Error.

And he replaced it on his back, eyes glowing pearly white as it synced. The air stopped shimmering, the pain ceased and Beck gasped for breath for a second before turning his face to the fighters.

"Guess what?" he growled as Kobol threw Tron off of him, "I'm back,"

He rushed forwards, leaping into the air and kneeing Kobol under the chin before landing on the ground in a crouch.

"Don't ever threaten him again!" Beck snarled.

He rose to his feet, coming towards his father.

"Here," Beck whispered, picking up his father's injured form and slinging his arm around his shoulders.

Tron leaned his head on Beck's shoulder, his blue eyes fluttering shut and then flashing open as the roaring engine of the Recognized hovered over them.

"We should go," Beck added, looking up at the Recognizer.

"We can't just leave Kobol here, he knows your identity, Beck," Tron explained.

"Then we bring him with us," Beck replied.

"Bring me where Renegade?" Kobol asked as he cuffed his own wrist to Beck's, Beck tried to get the cuffs off but to no avail.

Kobol gave a harsh scream as a white Disk slashed into his midsection, causing him to burst into pixels. Both father and son looked up as the Disk returned to its mistress' hand. Lux hopped down off the ledge and started towards the two Monitors.

"You being alive changes everything!" Lux breathed, looking at the scarred Monitor, "If I had only known earlier I…"

The sound of sentries marching off the Recognizer cut her off. Beck reached for his Disk but stopped as Tron gave a growl of pain, his scars flaring. Beck gently helped his father to his knees while Lux came around side of them.

"Look, we…we can't let them get to you!" she held up the red-tinged Disk and gave it to Beck, "Take Kobol's Disk…destroy it. I'll hold them off…"

She got up and ran towards the sentries. Beck's hand slipped and his steel-blue eyes widened as he saw the white Disk right behind Kobol's.

"Her Disk…" he breathed, lunging forwards, "NO!"

Tron caught his son.

"She wants us to escape, Beck," he explained.

"NO!" Beck screamed, "LUX!"

Tron staggered to his knees as Lux's staff unfurled, slamming into sentries left and right while Tron dragged his son towards the stairs.


"Beck, please, come!" Tron pleaded.

"LET GO!" Beck screeched, thrashing, "LET GO! NO! LUX! STOP!"

Lux looked up at the sound of her name, a faint smile on her lips…right as a sentry stabbed her in the stomach with his staff, making her break into silver cubes.

"NOOOOOO!" Beck howled.

And Lux was gone.

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Deep in the Outlands, the father and son stood by an energy pool. Beck and Tron had already destroyed Kobol's Disk…with a vengeance. Now it was time to give a hero's goodbye to the Siren.

"She sacrificed herself to save us," Tron started, "That's who Lux really was, a hero,"

He released the Siren's Disk into the pool, the energy taking the Disk into itself and starting to derezz it.

"She also became a friend," Beck added.

He closed his eyes and they stood in silence for a few moments.

"I remember what you said back there," Beck suddenly announced, making Tron look at him with surprise, "Got a little emotional huh? Don't worry…I won't hold it against you,"

Tron closed his eyes before looking at his apprentice.

"A long time ago, I misjudged someone," he began.

"Clu?" Beck asked.

"I let friendship cloud judgement…and…paid a heavy price," Tron finished, "But I didn't misjudge you, Beck, with you…"

He gave a smile…an actual smile, not a smirk, not a sad smile…and put a hand on Beck's shoulder, making the Child Basic close his eyes in contentment at his father's touch. His sense of pride increased as Tron finished his sentence.

"With you, I chose well,"

Chapter Text

Chapter 12


Accessing Archive Data…

It's official. My father is crazy.

He wants me, in my blaringly obvious white armor…to storm Tesler's base and steal a data cube…without getting caught!

Mom always told me that Dad got a little crazy and didn't think things through when he was focused on a long-term goal for a good long while…

I should have listened to her.

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Accessing Archive Data…

I don't see what his problem is. If Beck is as good as he thinks he is…which he really is, I've made sure of it…then this mission will be easy. It's also teaching him that stealth is of more importance…especially if you're garbed in white in a black world. He's ranting at me and I'm ignoring it.

He'll get over it.

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Just a few nanos before the Archives

"So what's the mission this time?" Beck asked his father as he came up beside him.

"Tesler's base, a heavily guarded impenetrable fortress of death…"

"Aren't you the cheery one," Beck snarked.

Tron shot him a look.

"There are over 20,000 soldiers on constant patrol," he continued, "Who will not hesitate to derezz you if they see you,"

He turned back to his son and jabbed at his chest.

"So make sure they don't see you,"

"Guess that near-Stray incident made you over protective," Beck hummed while Tron closed an eye, "Ok, ok, I'm shutting up,"

He turned to Tron after lowering his hands.

"Stealth…now that I can do,"

"You'll need to be quick," Tron instructed, "That data cube we're after will give us critical advantage over the Occupation,"

"Don't worry, they won't even know I'm there…"

"You're to be wearing the Disk, Beck," Tron stated.

The Child Basic blinked, once…twice…

"Here it comes…" Tron thought, right as Beck blew up.


Tron pointed a finger at Beck.

"Watch your language," he warned, "You are the next System Monitor, when this war is over, Programs will look up to you. You cannot swear in front of them, got it? And yes, you are going into that base crawling with Black Guards in white armor. Now go get suited up,"

"But…!" Beck started only for his father to fix him with a cold, steely-blue glare that made Beck shift uncomfortably, "Fine,"

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Yori hummed softly as she walked up the stairs to her and Beck's room. She'd chewed Beck out the night before because he'd stayed out after the curfew. He didn't get caught, thank the Users, but it was still nerve-wracking whenever he did. If they caught him and scanned his Disk…they'd kill him or worse take him to Clu, who'd torture him and kill him or worse still, torture and Repurpose him.

The Simulations Program shuddered, holding her arms close as she touched the panel on the wall…just to get grabbed from behind.

"Don't scream," a female voice, low and slightly raspy hissed.

Yori reacted how any other Program would in her situation…

She stomped hard on the other Program's foot, rammed her head into their chin and took out her Disk in a swift move as her attacker stumbled back, her hood slipping down off her head…and revealing stunning ice-blue eyes and short black hair.

"Users, Aunt Yori," Quorra groaned, holding her nose as it dripped blue code, "That hurt!"

"Quorra!" Yori gasped, grabbing her 'niece's shoulders and leading her into the quarters, "Into the room, quickly!"

She looked around hastily before shutting the door and locking it behind them. She then turned towards Quorra and embraced the young ISO.

"You're alive," she whispered, nearly crying.

"And other than a broken nose, well," Quorra replied dryly as Yori released her.

"Sorry," the older Program apologized, "Times are tough, can't be too careful,"

"I bet," Quorra mumbled as she took off her Disk and worked on healing her nose.

"Here, let me do that," Yori suggested, taking the Disk.

"You were always better at that than me," Quorra said with a faint laugh.

"How have you been doing?" Yori asked as she messed with the code, "I see you haven't been caught…are you…"

Quorra closed her eyes and nodded sadly.

"I'm the last, Yori…everyone else is dead,"

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Beck crawled through the ventilation shaft, the crimson light turning his armor a pale, pearly red while his circuits still surged white.

He looked around…Tron said that the panel behind the cube chamber would have a grating of sort…aha!

Beck hooked his fingers in the holes before carefully lifting it away, revealing the data cube. The Child Basic snatched the cube and started out…right as an alarm blared.

"Great!" Beck growled, crawling out of the duct as fast as he could.

He kicked out a grate and hit the floor, rolling to his feet and racing towards the exit, feeling like he was flying. He looked up and saw the exit starting to close on him.

"Not gonna happen!" he thought.

He ran faster, taking out his baton and breaking it, leaping upwards as the Lightjet sketched itself into the air underneath him, solidifying and shooting upwards. He shot through the rapidly closing door right as it slammed shut behind him.

"Haha! Take that!" Beck crowed, soaring up through the Grid-sky.

"Behind you! Danger!"

Beck turned around, seeing Paige behind him in a…

"A lightchopper?" Beck snorted, "You'll never catch me me in that!"

He heard the distinct roar of a jet engine and he cringed.

"Lightjets on the other hand…" he muttered, wrenching the jet to the side as Paige started shooting at him.

He shot upwards, looking for all the world that he was trying to stall his engine…but he arced back at the last moment, coming up behind his targets.

He readied his weapons system…when Paige started shooting at him in her chopper. He banked to the left, nearly clipping Paige's chopper as he flew by.

"Users, will you ever give up?" he demanded, not that she could hear him, but it was good to get that out.

They flew towards and island, Paige shooting at him as they flew, trying to avoid the rock walls that loomed up around them.

Beck looked behind him, seeing Paige's irritated face behind him.

"Well, she's not going to like what I'm about to do…" he thought as the ribbon flashed to life, streaming behind him.

He arced around her, trying to trap her with a wall of silver-white light…when she shot out his engine. He started falling, and Beck desperately punched the return switch with his thumb.

"C'mon, c'mon!" he begged, as the jet's form flickered, turning insubstantial and then reverting to its solid form, "Now would be a good time to turn back into a baton!"

The ground came closer and closer at an alarming rate and Beck, panicking, bailed out right as the jet smashed into the island. He landed hard on the ground, stumbling to a halt as he hid behind a rock.

"Great, that's two batons I've broke," Beck muttered as he watched the sky.

The Occupation jets arced across the sky…and left.

"Good," Beck thought as he sank down with his back to the wall, "Maybe…when they…leave…I can…find…"

His eyes fluttered shut and he fell into shutdown.

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After Quorra's startling revelation, the ISO burst into tears, letting Yori hug her and rub her back like she did when Jalen was killed.

"There, there," Yori soothed, "You can tell me what happened when you're ready,"

"M-Mom sent me out to the other enclaves after Anon and I made it to Arjia," Quorra stammered, "I made it to Thallium not long after it was destroyed. Risa made me promise to take her daughter Ada with me and I did. We made it to Gallium and she got hurt and then the Purge came there and she was killed…"

Quorra shook her head.

"Anon went to Bostrum with Gibson…but Gibson…" she started crying again, "Gibson got infected, Anon had to put him down…"

Yori hugged Quorra again. Gibson had been one of her closest ISO friends, the Bostrumite had a loud mouth, didn't know when to keep his mouth shut, had an uncanny ability to tell what Tron and Anon were thinking when their helmets were up…and Quorra was his best friend.

"W-We made it back to Arjia," Quorra stammered, "Clu was there…he was threatening my mother, trying to get her to be his counterpart, but she slapped him, refusing him…and then…and then…"

She burst out crying again.

"T-The V-V-Virus…" she choked, "Y-Y-Yori…it was him!"

"The Virus was there?" Yori asked.

Quorra nodded, but then shook her head.

"Yori…the Virus was a Repurposed ISO," she whispered, "Only one went missing…"

Yori's eyes widened in shock.

"No!" she breathed and Quorra nodded.

"Abraxas was Jalen…my father…Repurposed. Clu kidnapped him and turned him into that thing! And then…and then…" she buried her head in her hands before looking up again, "Clu made him kill my mother,"

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Beck's eyes flashed open, banging his head against the rock. It wasn't a dream after all then…

He got up, slowly and painfully, his arm especially. He ignored it though and picked up a piece of wreckage, trying to figure out how to fix it…and failing miserably.

"Flynn himself couldn't fix this mess," he muttered, throwing away the wing piece in disgust.

He heard a cracking, crumbling noise and he whirled around just to see a piece of the island derezzing and falling into the Sea.

"Whoa…" he breathed, racing up on top of a ridge and watching as more and more of the island fell away.

This was not good.

He heard someone yelling and he whipped around, rezzing the mask over his features.

"Hey!" he yelled as the figure straightened up…revealing Paige's slender form.

"Aw, great," Beck thought miserably, "Stuck here on an island with her!?"

"Huh," she started, her Disk humming as she ran towards him, derezzment clearly her intent, "You're a hard Program to derezz. But you know what? I like a challenge!"

She hurled her Disk and Beck leaped over it, letting the deadly orange edge slash where his feet had been.

"We've got a problem!" Beck tried as he landed and got back up…

Just in time for Paige to land a kick at his face, forcing him to fall to the ground.

"No, you've got a problem!" Paige snarled, catching her Disk as Beck scrambled to get up.

She tried to hit him but Beck blocked her effortlessly as she kept sending hits at him.

"Hold on!" Beck pleaded, "I've gotta show you something!"

"You think I'm that gullible!?" Paige demanded, throwing a punch at him again but he blocked her.

She launched herself into a powerful roundhouse kick, slamming into the side of Beck's neck and sending him flying.

Beck groaned as he hit the ground, the data cube flying out of his hand. Paige's honey colored eyes lit up and she ran for the cube. Beck saw where she was going and tried to get to get to it first…but Paige snatched it up right as Beck's hand clipped it.

She danced out of the way as Beck stood up.

"You probably thought I forgot about this?" she sneered.

And the island shook, making the both of them stumble. Paige's high heeled boots weren't suited very well for earthquakes on stone…and she started to fall of the bridge. Beck lunged forwards as Paige caught the side. He leaned over and offered his hand.

"Now will you listen?" he asked, jumping back as Paige tried to take off his hand, "Will you just stop!?"

He pointed at a derezzing part of the island.

"Look what's happening!" he ordered.

"It's disintegrating," Paige breathed.

"The shock from my crash destabilized the code of the island," he explained, "It's derezzing and there's no way to stop it. Pretty soon, the whole island is going to fall apart,"

He reached out his hand.

"Still want to keep fighting?" he asked.

"Absolutely," Paige growled.

Beck shot her a 'really' look, even though she wouldn't be able to see it.

But, she gave a sigh, "But I guess it'll have to wait,"

She took his hand and he hauled her up. He looked behind her at the crashed chopper.

"No way that'll ever fly again," he stated.

"It doesn't have to fly," Paige corrected, "Just float,"

"Look around," Beck told her, "There's no armies out here, no soldiers, just us. If we wanna live, we have to work together,"

"I am the army," Paige replied stubbornly, "And I'm getting off this rock alone!"

And she ran off towards the wreckage.

"If there was an award for stubbornness, she'd win it," Beck growled to himself, watching as she took a piece of the chopper and shoved it towards the water, jumping on and paddling towards Argon.

Beck shook his head. It didn't take a mechanic to know that it wasn't going to work.

He started towards the beach, watching as Paige's makeshift life-raft sank and the commander swam back towards the island, coughing up the viral code from the Sea. He had to try really hard to not slip in an 'I told you so'.

The beach's code shattered underneath her and Paige yelped, throwing herself to stable sand. Beck stood in front of her, crossing his arms.

"Still don't think you need my help?" he asked.

She got up, shoving past him and going over to a ledge, sitting down and sulking. She knew he was right…but she didn't want to admit it.

"The water's going to get even rougher as more of the island breaks up," Beck told her, "I might be able to attach the propulsion unit from your chopper to my lifeboat. Modify it to work in water,"

"Don't you need to be an engineer or mechanic to do something like that?" Paige asked suspiciously.

Beck cringed under the mask. That was an idiotic mistake. He could almost hear Tron reprimanding him about it.

"How hard could it be?" he finally said.

"It could be…impossible,"

"Luckily for you, you have a mechanic here," Beck thought with a sly smile, "Don't think like that, Paige…where's that stubborn Program who wanted me in custody so badly she wrecked her lightchopper to do it?"

"Look," he said aloud, "I can't do this alone, and neither can you. And if we don't work fast…we'll drown,"

"At least I'll have the satisfaction of seeing the end of the Renegade," Paige retorted.

"Do you really want to die here?" Beck demanded as Paige looked at another piece of the island that was derezzing, "We can do this, trust me,"

She turned towards him, her honey gaze zeroing in on his throbbing arm.

"You're injured," she stated.

Beck looked down at the wound, his code shifted inside. He hated seeing someone's open code…it always unnerved him and seeing his own made him feel slightly dizzy. It was gaping, glowing a glaring white.

"It's nothing," he said with faux nonchalance.

Paige closed an eye and got up, pulling out a scanner and scanning Beck's arm, showing signs of viral infection.

"Without treatment you could lose the arm," Paige told him, "I'll need to access your Disk,"

Beck pulled away, closing an eye in suspicion as she grabbed at his Disk. He snatched her wrist, keeping her from going any farther, a low rumbling warning built up in his throat. She jerked her hand back.

"I'm only doing this because I need your help," she growled.

"So…are we agreeing to a truce?" Beck started slowly, his wounded arm's hand starting to shake.

"A temporary truce," Paige corrected.

She held out her hand for his Disk and Beck warily detached it, holding onto it and jerking it out of the way when Paige latched onto it.

"You're not gonna try to derezz me again?" Beck started, "I have your word as a soldier?

"You have my word," Paige reassured him as Beck released and she pulled up his holographic portrait.

"Where did you learn how to do that?" Beck asked.

"All soldiers learn how to treat battle injuries," she explained, "It's part of our training,"

Beck tensed as she worked on the injury, all she would have to do is have her fingers slip and she could see who he was, see his memories, see Tron…

She could even derezz him.

But true to her word, Paige sealed up the wound, and the biting pain was gone. He put a hand to the smooth armor.

"Huh," he started, "Feels good as new,"

She held out his Disk and he reached for it…Paige playfully jerked it back and Beck narrowed his eyes…

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"Jalen…" Yori whispered, shaking her head, "But why would Clu…"

"I don't know," Quorra admitted, "But after that, Anon and I separated for a while. I got captured by Clu and Anon came to save me…"

She bowed her head, tears streaming.

"He sacrificed himself for me," she whispered, "He gave me…everything…"

She stood up and Yori noticed the faint blue-white tinge in her circuit light, she rezzed her helmet that bore a striking resemblance to Anon's before retracting it.

"All his combat training, his memories," Quorra continued, "I carry them in me. I transferred everything,"

She grabbed her arm.

"I wandered through the Outlands, losing power," she said softly, "Finally, I just lay down and waited for the end to come. But just when everything was going dark…standing above me…"

She gave a sad smile.

"Was Flynn,"

Yori gave a soft cry as her hands shot to her mouth.

"Flynn…" she whispered, "He's…alive…?!"

"And well," Quorra nodded, "He took me in…I'm just being his eyes for right now,"

"Clu will kill him if he sets foot on the Grid," Yori stated, "But why did you come here?"

"One, I wanted to see you and Beck…" Quorra started, "I bet he looks like his father more than ever,"

"He does," Yori nodded, smiling, "Even has the temperament to match,"

"Oh boy," Quorra winced, "Bet he was a handful for a couple of cycles…"

"He still is," Yori replied dryly, "Any other reasons you came to see us?"

Quorra nodded.

"Flynn wanted me to see if the rumors were true,"

"What rumors?"

"That the Renegade is Tron,"

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Paige woke up with Disk activated as she shot to her feet, making Beck jump. He looked up from his work, shaking off the fragmented memory that came with him nearly falling into the water.

"Not bad, if I say so myself," he said, indicating the boat as he stood.

"Assuming it works," Paige snorted, deactivating her Disk and reattaching it to her back.

"My power pack is drained…" Beck apologized, "It's the only one I had,"

"My chopper has a full power pack," Paige offered, "We can use it,"

They both started towards the chopper and Paige showed him where it was. Beck used his Disk to cut the pack out of the damaged chopper and they shoved it out of the chopper. The Child Basic opened the box and started messing with the pack.

"Suppose we make it back to Argon," he started, "Then what?"

"You either give yourself up, or I derezz you. Your choice,"

"Wow, straightforward that one,"

"Hmm, some choice," Beck replied dryly, "Hand me that tail flap, we can use it as a rudder,"

"What, do I work for you now?" Paige teased.

"Danger! Run! Quick!"

The ground started shaking. And Beck saw the rock underneath Paige starting to break apart.

"PAIGE LOOK OUT!" Beck yelled getting up.

The ground shattered and sent Paige screaming off the edge.

"Paige!" Beck called, running to the edge to see Paige holding onto a ledge, her honey colored eyes wild with fear, "Paige…hang on!"

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"I don't know who the Renegade is, but he's not Tron," Yori told her friend, "Who else would know better than me?"

"So he really is dead then," Quorra sighed.

"Yes," Yori nodded sadly, "I know, I wish it was him too…but we can't change the past, we can only shape the future,"

Quorra gave a sad smile as she picked up Yori's Monome and started pecking on the keys, letting a soft, sweet, gentle melody play forth.

"Where did you learn to play?" Yori asked, "Last time you had that thing all you got out of it were squawks,"

"I picked it up from a medic that helped me and Ada when Ada got hurt in Gallium," Quorra said, "I taught her how to use someone's momentum against them and taken 'em down in one move,"

"Tron's training paid off then," Yori teased, making Quorra grin.

"She loved her music," Quorra continued, "She went against her Programming just for it. I wish I could see her again, just to tell her I'm sorry for all the pain Ada and I put her through,"

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"WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" Paige shrieked as Beck started back to the raft, "COME BACK!"

"Hold on, just hold on…" he begged mentally as he made it to the raft, setting the power pack in place.

"Hang, on Paige," he breathed, powering up the craft…and it failed on him, "WHAT!? C'mon!"

He slammed his fist against the controls again.


The engine started and Beck gave a cry of joy as he shoved the raft into the water, hopping on and racing towards where Paige was hanging on. Right as he reached it, the ledge derezzed, sending the commander screaming into the water.

Beck forced the boat to stop and he dived into the water, he saw Paige's dimly glowing red form sinking into the Sea, he nearly reached her when a claw came from above and latched around her, pulling her up.

The Child Basic swam upwards, making sure that it carried her all way way and not dropping her. He reached up and touched her hand, reassuring her that help had found her, even though he was pretty sure that she couldn't feel it.

And he surfaced, swimming towards his raft as the chopper carrying Paige took her back to Argon.

"I hope someday you realize…I'm one of the good guys," he murmured.

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"…And after all that…" Beck started, "I didn't even make it back with the data cube,"

"We'll have other chances to get our hands on Tesler's plans," Tron reassured his son, "But I'm impressed that you risked your life to try to save an enemy,"

Beck turned a sheepish smile towards his father and Tron couldn't help but feel the pride in his son overflow.

"I thought she was starting to trust me," he admitted, "Besides, I gave her my word,"

"You did the right thing, Beck," Tron smiled, putting a hand on Beck's shoulder.

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The door opened, making both Quorra and Yori look towards the now closing portal…just to see a tall, slender figure freeze, slight tremors running up and down his frame.

"Mom…" Beck started, "What's going on? I feel…is someone here?"

"Yes, Beck, we've got a guest," Yori told him, "An old, old friend,"

Beck walked into the light, making Quorra gasp as she saw how much he looked like his father. Beck's steel-blue eyes widened, blinking rapidly.

"Aunt…Aunt Quorra?" he asked softly.

Quorra got up and hugged her 'nephew'.

"You've gotten so big!" she whispered, "Users, you look almost exactly like him!"

"You're alive…" he blinked before turning towards his mother, "I told you the ISOs were still alive!"

"She's the last one, Beck," Yori explained, "The Purge killed them all. All but Quorra. She's been staying with Flynn this whole time,"

Beck froze.

"Flynn…he…he's alive?" he asked, smiling, "Then that means that Dad could be too! Maybe the Renegade is…"

"He's not your father, Beck," Yori told him, "I'd know if it was,"

Beck mentally congratulated himself on his acting abilities, and continued to go with the conversation.

"Oh…right…" he murmured before looking back at Quorra, "How long are you here for?"

"Not long," she told him, "I have to get back to Flynn…make sure he doesn't do anything stupid,"

"It's Flynn, he's always going to do something crazy," Yori deadpanned.

Quorra laughed.

"That's the truth!" she smiled, "Now, tell me about what's been going on since we left you two here in Argon…"

Chapter Text

Chapter 13

Price of Power

Accessing Archive Data…

The boy continues to grow. He's stronger than I was when I was his age, so in due time, he might be stronger than me. It's possible that it's due to his dual heritages. He handles himself in difficult situations very well, he didn't panic as much as I thought he would when his Disk was stolen, he risked everything to save not only a friend, but an enemy as well. Though, the way he keeps talking about her, he might end up dating her…I suppose if she defected it wouldn't be so bad. Hilarity and danger would ensue if she didn't and found out many cycles down the road that her counterpart is a User Believer and Argon's Renegade.

I have no doubts in Beck's physical strength, his heart is in the right place as well, his mental ability is stellar, but I do wonder what he would do if tempted with power? Would he stay the Program I've come to see as a second son? Or would he follow down the path Clu did and ruin us all?

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If you asked Beck, he would say that the dirigibles were awkward, funny looking things that you wouldn't catch him dead on…

Well…unless Tron had a mission for him to do.

Like now.

"I need you to get the scientist called Shaw, he has a weapon that he's bringing to Tesler. If Tesler gets his hands on it…"

"Lemme guess, we're dead?"

"Don't get smart with me,"

"I hate these things," Beck muttered as he stalked towards the locked room, "I really do. And I even told Tron that!"

And the Monitor had laughed.


Which was almost as frightening as the dead, silent, steely-blue glare Tron gave Beck after the Monitor had finished laughing. Beck mentally counted down the nanos left on the device he had left on the dirigible engine.

"In three…two…one…"

The lights flickered off.

"Engines: Offline," the Grid announced while Beck struck, easily taking out the disoriented sentries, "Please stand by for emergency evacuation,"

As the last sentry fell, Beck rushed forwards, hiding underneath the window. Childish…but this would be oh so much fun!

He saw a flash of black and orange above him and he popped up.

"Boo," he thought as the Guard stumbled backwards and Beck slashed the hinges on the door, kicking it in and knocking Guard out.

"The Renegade!" Shaw squeaked, holding his box closer to him.

"You missed your stop, Shaw," Beck said, as the remaining Guards got in ready position, "Grab your bags, we're getting off,"

"Looks like you got on the wrong ship!" Shaw corrected as the Guards started forwards.

Beck rushed them, driving his fist into one's gut before knocking him flat, dodging another's strike just to crack him good across the Disk dock, kicking the third and knocking him to the ground as well.

The Child Basic turned towards the scientist…

Only to see him running out the door.

"Why do they always run?" Beck sighed before giving chase.

He launched himself towards the crates on either side of the hall and ran across the side of them, pushing off and landing in front of Shaw.

"You're a scientist, Shaw, not a murderer!" Beck said, holding out his hands, "You can help Programs instead of helping to destroy them,"

"I can't help these Programs any more than you can!" Shaw sneered, opening the box to reveal a transparent Disk.

He caught the Disk and attached it to his back, the transparent piece melting into the center of his Disk and sending a brilliant red-orange aura filtering through his frame. He gave a war cry as a red shockwave exploded away from him. Beck took a step back in surprise.

"That's new," Beck murmured, taking out his Disk and ramming it into the floor, derezzing it as it traveled towards Shaw.

The scientist flipped backwards before launching towards the walls, running across them just as Beck had done a few moments ago.

"That's my move!" Beck thought in protest…

Right as Shaw kicked him in the face, sending him flying through a container. Beck groaned as he sat up, rubbing his head…

And Shaw shoved the container off the dirigible.

Beck yelped as he fell, hitting the other end of the container as it flipped end over end. The Child Basic derezzed his helmet, looking for his baton…there it is! He grasped the smooth black metal and broke it, rezzing a Lightjet underneath him and soaring back into the sky.

He saw Shaw rapidly climbing down the ladder.

"Ok," Beck growled, "No more mister Nice Renegade,"

He rezzed his mask and leaped off the jet, letting it slam into the ladder above Shaw's head and knocking him to the next level.

"That's three batons," Beck thought bitterly as he charged Shaw.

The scientist engaged his Disk, trying to slash at Beck, but the young Monitor flipped Shaw over his shoulder without so much as batting an eye. Shaw tumbled off the edge and Beck shot forwards, grasping his Disk.

"I've got you," Beck told him, trying to pull him upwards…

Right as the clear Disk disengaged and Shaw's actual Disk slipped from Beck's grasp. Beck snatched Shaw's wrist, holding the clear Disk in his other hand.

He set it on the ground and reached for Shaw.

"Give me your other hand," Beck ordered.

"The weapon!" Shaw screeched, "It's mine!"

"I'm trying to help you Shaw!" Beck protested, "I can't hold on!"

"Give it to me! I need it!"

He thrashed, trying to derezz Beck's hand so that he could reach his precious weapon.

"Shaw!" Beck yelled, "DON'T!"

And Shaw's hand slipped out of Beck's. The scientist gave a scream and fell into the engine, derezzing on impact. Beck derezzed his helmet and knocked his head against the floor.

"Why didn't you just take my hand?" he muttered.

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"So how's Tesler's dumb tank coming along?" Mara asked as she and Yori walked out of the break room.

"Believe me, if I had my way, I'd code it so it'd blow up itself instead of other Programs," Yori growled.

"Yori, that's being a rebel!" Mara teased.

"Then I don't mind at all being one," Yori smiled, "I'm feeling quite rebellious today…"

Both females started laughing and Yori looked at her young friend.

"How're the painting tools coming along?" she asked.

"Pretty good," Mara nodded, "Had a couple friends work with me on them…we put some free code in them, but it'll take a couple cycles before it settles down enough to use,"

Yori was about to answer…when Zed's yelp of surprise and then of pain caught her attention, her motherly instincts kicking in as she saw Zed trying to keep his temper concerning two unsavory types.

"I think Zed might be in a little trouble," she hummed as Mara looked up.

"I'll go check it out," the younger Program told her, walking towards the group of three.

"So if I were you," Hopper growled, "I'd cooperate,"

"Cooperate with what?" Mara demanded as she walked up.

"Tesler's expecting his modified tank," Hopper deadpanned as he shoved Zed back and made Yori's code heat up in anger, "To be ready at the end of this work cycle,"

He shot Mara an evil smirk.

"And we're here to make sure your pretty little hands work as fast as they can,"

"Oh no," Yori thought, starting forwards and Mara's eyes blazed.

"My pretty little fists work even faster!" the blue-haired Program snarled, smacking her fist against her palm, "If you want me to demonstrate…"

"Zed, Mara," Yori started as she walked up, watching Mara carefully, "Is there a problem?"

"Yeah, two of them," Mara growled, "But they were just leaving,"

"What she said!" Zed added.

Hopper and Bartik didn't look amused, but at a look from Yori, they straightened up.

"Oh, well, good," she smiled as she walked off, "Lots of work to be done. No time to stand around chatting,"

"You've diffused another explosive situation, Yori," she thought as she picked up one of the data pads and worked around with the tank's code, "I'd say that's another win,"

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"A massive power upgrade in strength and agility," Tron murmured, running his finger along the edge of the upgrade Disk, "Basically, if you put this on…you'd have the skill of a Monitor. That's why Shaw was able to run across walls. If this weapon had found its way to Tesler, his forces would have been insurmountable,"

"So…I did good?" Beck asked, hopefully.

"What about the scientist?" Tron asked, turning to face his son, "The idea was to bring him in alive!"

"He attacked me!" Beck tried to explain, "I tried to save him but…I couldn't,"

"Then this prototype's all that's left of the technology," Tron murmured, "If Tesler believes that this was destroyed…it should buy us some time…"

"To do what?" Beck asked.

"Destroy it," Tron replied simply.

"How do we do that!?"

"Know of any easily accessible high-powered energy welders?" Tron asked as he walked down the stairs.

"Gee, if only we knew someone who worked at a garage," Beck snarked, "Oh wait, I work at a garage,"

Tron turned towards his son, not amused.

"This weapon is far more dangerous than you know, Beck," he said, "Destroy it immediately,"

Beck trotted down the stairs and reached for the weapon but Tron held it back.

"I'm serious," Tron growled.

"When are you ever not serious?" Beck asked, snatching the upgrade.

Tron fixed him with another look.

"Don't worry," Beck said, "I'll take care of it. I promise,"

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Beck shot down the road, heading for the garage. It hadn't taken long to get back to the city…it was getting through without trouble that worried Beck more…

And then he saw the smoke.

"Looks like trouble," he murmured, angling the bike towards the smoke.

He reached it in record time, derezzing the bike and walking towards the over-turned cars, hearing the screams of the Programs trapped within.

"Hang on," Beck promised, "I'll get you out,"

He detached his Disk and let the white edge hum as it activated, he rammed it into the hinge of the door and drew it down, letting the door fall away.

"C'mon, let's…" he started and then froze at what he saw, "Go…"

The Black Guards started pouring out of the car, while more came from the others, surrounding Beck from all sides.

"On second thought…" Beck began, "I'll go!"

He leaped upwards, grabbing the top of the car and swinging on top of it, starting to run. He was almost to freedom…when someone kicked him from the side. Beck hit the ground hard and looked up…

"Well hello there, Paige," he thought dryly.

He heard a clattering sound and saw the upgrade Disk skittering across the ground. Beck lunged for it. He was not going to let that out of his sight! Not until he destroyed it like he promised!

The Black Guards rushed him and Beck looked up helplessly as they surrounded him.

"Let's hope Tron won't be too mad…" Beck thought as he attached the Disk to his back…

A rush of fiery energy raced through the boy as the upgrade synced with his Disk and Beck howled as pain arched through his system…

And it transformed into a war cry as it finished syncing, a blast of pale, amber-red energy exploding away from him, knocking the Guards away.

Beck stood upright in a ready position.

"Alright," he purred, a deep rumble starting up in his throat, "Who's next?"

He shot forwards at an impossible speed, springing up into the air and twisting, bringing his foot down in a crushing blow against the Black Guard's neck, knocking him flat. Two Guards rushed him, but Beck easily deflected every move they made with a single hand. The world seemed to have slowed down while he was moving at normal speed, the fiery energy rippling through him as his sound rumbled through the air.

He got bored and swept their feet out from under them before rushing another Guard and kicking him too, and another, and another. He was a white blur on the street, they couldn't touch him, couldn't catch him…

Couldn't beat him.

His circuits pulsed with a faint reddish hue as the last of the Guards went down and he gave a satisfied purr as he gracefully stood upright from his hunting crouch. He heard a lightchopper behind him and lazily turned around.

"You have something that belongs to me!" came Paige's voice.

"You want it?" Beck sneered, "Come get it!"

"I was hoping you'd say that,"

She started firing at him and Beck laughed, dodging the shots with ease as he run down the street into a tunnel, reveling in the power that surged through him. Paige inevitably followed him inside and Beck charged up the wall, launching off it and flipping over the chopper with cat-like grace before landing in a perfect hunting crouch behind the chopper, tilting his head in a mocking gesture.

The chopper tried turning around but its rudder got stuck in the tunnel, forcing Paige to evacuate as the vehicle exploded violently. She looked for Beck, but the Child Basic had disappeared, hopping on top of a truck that was heading towards the garage.

Beck gave a satisfied smirk, his purr rumbling happily as he derezzed his mask…

And revealed his fiery red-amber eyes, glowing with feral light.

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Beck wandered through the Garage, finally, and took a look at the welder's housing. His smooth purr transformed into a harsh sounding growl and he turned his red-amber gaze away from it.

Surely Tron wouldn't mind if he borrowed the upgrade Disk for a while…right?

"Times' up, Zed!" Hopper's voice sneered, "Where's that tank?"

"Yori and Able are working on it," Zed reassured him while Beck's growl deepened.

Hopper was picking on Zed again? Well…not for much longer…

"You know…finishing touches?" Zed finished.

"We need it now," Hopper snarled, pushing Zed up against a wall.

"That's great," Zed snarked, "But last time I checked…We don't work for you!"

"Wrong again, Zed," Hopper replied, "'Cause we're here as representatives of Tesler's army,"

"That's funny," Beck growled as he came out of the shadow of the wall, "I don't see any Tesler. And I certainly don't see any army,"

"Beck, I can handle this!" Zed hissed.

"If I were you," Beck purred, ignoring Zed, "I'd leave before things got embarrassing,"

"You know what's embarrassing?" Hopper snarled, "How fast you're gonna hit the ground! The two of us versus one of you,"

"Wow, Hopper," Beck sneered, his purr rumbling while his red-amber eyes flashed, "I didn't know you could count that high!"

Hopper had had enough and he swung at Beck…only to have his fist caught by Beck's hand. The Program's eyes widened as Beck gave a very dark, very…Rinzler…laugh. No one could move that fast…or be that strong!

Beck whipped Hopper's fist around, sending Hopper painfully to the ground as Beck unsheathed his Disk and activated it in one smooth, fluid move.

"You're right," Beck purred, "That was embarrassing,"

"Beck! Don't!" Mara cried and the Child Basic looked lazily up at her.

He gave a shrug and deactivated his Disk, straightening to his full, tall height.

"What is wrong with you!?" she demanded, "You could have seriously hurt them!"

"I was banking on derezzing," Beck thought darkly as Mara threw up her hands and stormed off.

"Just wait until Tesler hears about this!" Hopper yelled as he and Bartik stalked off.

"Gee, thanks a lot Beck," Zed grumbled.

Beck whirled on him, his sound deepening to a growl.

"What's your problem?" Beck demanded.

"You should have let me handle it!" Zed snapped, "Instead you made me look like a coward in front of Mara!"

The purring growl intensified and Zed paled slightly as Beck advanced, not liking the sudden, threatening persona that his friend had gained.

"I didn't make you look like anything," Beck growled, stalking forwards.

He stopped in front of Zed, amber-red eyes hard.

"And if you don't want people to think you're a coward…Then STOP ACTING LIKE ONE!" Beck snarled, shoving Zed with a strength that frightened the other Program.

And just like that, Beck stalked off…just for a slender hand to grab him. Beck made to smack it off…

"Don't. You. Dare," Yori snarled, dragging her son around the corner, "What is the matter with you?!"

"Nothing's the matter with me," Beck growled, "I'm fine, better than ever actually,"

"Beck-LA-307021," Yori snapped, making Beck twitch at the mention of his full designation, "You are not fine! I just saw you nearly derezz Hopper! You threatened Zed! You…"

"Yori," came Able's voice, making her turn around.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Dash's been looking for you," he told her.

Yori gave a sigh, looking back at her son before shaking a finger at him.

"This conversation isn't over young Monitor," she warned before walking off with Able.

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Beck shrugged off his mother's threat and continued to wander around. He stopped when he saw Tesler's tank and his mother and Dash standing before it.

"The mods are done," Dash announced, "This is good to go,"

"So long as General Tesler's pleased…I'm pleased," Yori sighed, "I'll be more pleased once it's on his base, ship it,"

She patted the side of the tank.

"Well done, Dash," she smiled, making a surge of jealousy rise in her son, "Too bad Able couldn't come to see your good work,"

The other Child Basic gave a bright smile as he went off, walking towards his twin as they put up the last of the equipment.

"Tesler's base?" Beck started.

The other Child Basic tilted his head to the side as the rumble transformed into a purr.

It was time to give his 'old friend' General Tesler a visit.

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As soon as the tank came to a stop, Beck dropped to the ground, sprinting for some cover. He gave a slightly feral grin as he scanned over the area.

It was time to let the hunt begin!

And the tiny part of him that was always his father's, his Monitor's Sense…woke up, taking over every sense, kicking sight, touch, hearing, smell, any sense he had, into overdrive as he found a better vantage point.

"I see my tank has arrived," Tesler growled, then turned to Pavel, "Assemble a team for inspection,"

"Right away sir," Pavel bowed and then skulked out.

"Once Tesler's derezzed, you're next," Beck thought darkly, his purr growling deeply in his throat.

He silently jumped down from his perch and stalked forwards behind Tesler.

"Wanna know what I see?" Beck growled, making Tesler whip around, "I see a coward,"

Tesler's gauntlets blazed.

"Hiding behind minions and lackeys," Beck continued, stalking forwards, Disk in hand, growl rumbling through the air as his white circuits tinged a faint red.

"I'm not the one dressing up," Tesler snarled, "Hiding behind the memory of a dead Program!"

The gauntlet snapped forwards and Beck knocked it out of the way with his Disk, launching upwards and flipping over Tesler, dodging easily as Tesler swung at him.

He smacked Tesler's gauntlets away, smirking behind his mask, his red-amber eyes gleaming dangerously. And he charged forwards, kicking and slashing at Tesler, finally managing to slash through a gauntlet.

Beck gave a low, dark laugh as Tesler stumbled back, driving the gauntlets through the platform floor, ripping it upward and trying to send Beck falling to his death, but the Child Basic merely sprang upwards, his body curving in an elegant arc as he backflipped and landed gracefully on solid metal.

He looked up cocking his helmet to the side in a quick, bird-like manner, making Tesler worry even more, before sprinting towards the hole in the walkway and leaping with cat-like grace over the hole and landing agilely on the other side.

"Looks like you crawled onto the wrong ship!" Tesler shouted, stepping inside a turret.

"Yeah, I get that a lot," Beck purred, red-amber gaze burning brightly.

Tesler shot at him, but the son of Tron shot forwards, his throwing his Disk, curving it in midair and carving a deep gash in the turret, making it explode and Tesler yell as he stepped out.

Beck made his way down inside the walkway, his hand thrust out, waiting patiently for his Disk to return to him, watching it weave through the metal bars with a high pitched hum.

"You're going to have to do better than that," Beck sneered, catching the white Disk and replacing it on his back.

"What are you doing?! Look out! Careful! Friend among enemy! Danger!"

Beck slowly turned his gaze towards the tank, catching a flicker of white circuits among the red.

And he saw Yori staring at him.

"Mom!" Beck breathed.

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Yori tapped her foot in impatience as Pavel and a group of Sentries walked towards her in front of the tank. She hated runs like these and Able knew it. He would have gone himself, but he had to take care of something.

"Tesler's tank is ready, Pavel," she started, gesturing towards the massive machine.

"Good," the commander smirked, "Just to let you know, we're going to be inspecting it…shouldn't take long. But I will warn you…if we find one thing wrong…well…I hope you like games,"

"There won't be anything wrong," she reassured him, restraining from throttling him where he stood, "Able and I personally oversaw and worked on it. Able's the best Mechanic in all of Argon and I'm the best Simulations Program around this sector,"

"For your sake, I hope so," Pavel sneered, walking past her.

Yori just barely refrained from making a face at his back. The shrieking of metal caught her eye though as well as shots being fired. She looked up and saw Tesler dueling with…

Her system nearly crashed as she saw brilliant white armor.

Only those from the old server had white armor unless the Program was a Siren or and ISO. Sirens were always female and ISOs always had some part of their skin other than their face bared. This Program's hands were the only part free and it was obviously a male.

He suddenly froze and turned towards her, revealing a shimmering tetramino design on his chest. Yori's throat constricted as she locked eyes with this Program.

"…Tron?" she whispered.

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Beck looked up as one of Tesler's gauntlets shot towards him. On instinct, he threw himself into a backflip, gracefully arcing over the gauntlet before hitting the ground and letting it shoot over his head. He got up and ran towards Tesler, but was blindsided by a gauntlet. Beck was tossed over the side but he latched onto the edge, hauling himself up, dodging as the gauntlet smashed through the platform where he had just been standing, and sprinting towards the general.

He ran up a support beam and flipped up to the topside as one of Tesler gauntlets gave chase. Beck stood upright just as one of Tesler gauntlets shot at his face. Beck ducked, letting the general fly past him…laughing?

"Danger! Move! Fast!"

Beck whipped around, spotting the bomb that Tesler left behind.

"Oh great," he growled, running and leaping on top of a Recognizer…

Right as the bomb went off.

The Recognizer's engines failed and it started to fall…crashing into the tank.

"Mom!" Beck panicked, jumping down the Recognizer and charging into the wreckage.

He searched rapidly for his mother, desperately hoping that she hadn't derezzed. A flicker of white caught his attention and Beck shot towards it.

"Mom…" he murmured, his hands ghosting along his mother's unconscious body as he turned her over, revealing a nasty wound on his mother's forehead and shoulder, "Oh Mom…I'm so sorry! What have I done!?"

He picked up Yori and rezzed his bike, shooting out of base as the doors began to close.

"Stupid of me, so stupid! Why didn't I just wait!?"

The made it back to the garage, Beck carefully laying his mother next to the door before detaching the white Renegade Disk from his own and hurriedly going to his locker, sticking the Disk in its normal spot. He started running back towards the entrance to pick Yori back up…but saw that the twin Child Basics, Copper and Dash, had found her first and had carried her in for Zed and Mara to see.

"Is she alright?" Mara asked, running up and examining the wounded Simulations Program, "How did this happen!?"

Yori's dark eyes fluttered open.

"Tron…"she murmured.

"He did this!?"

"No…" she groaned, sitting up, "he tried to take out Tesler, there was an explosion and he saved me,"

"Sounds to me the Renegade almost got you killed!" Zed snapped.

"Zed!" Mara threatened.

"What!?" Zed protested, "This guy's no Tron he's a menace! And its only a matter of time before we all end up casualties! Just like Yori or worse!"

Beck's purr softened somewhat as his red-amber gaze closed. He didn't mean for his mother to get hurt…it was just…oh he didn't know what.

He had made a mistake. And that was for sure. They had gotten Yori patched up and the older Program stated that she needed to rest, walking up the stairs. Beck hid as she got close…he didn't want her to see him like this. He looked at his hands. This was what she wanted him to avoid. The one thing she never wanted him to be…


As soon as she left, however, Recognizers came into the garage, unloading many, many sentries. The low, thrumming purr escalated into a dark, harsh growl as they surrounded many of the Programs in the garage.

"Greetings, Programs," Pavel's oily voice purred, making Beck's growl intensify, "By orders of General Tesler, this garage and everyone in it now belongs to the government. Consider yourselves prisoners of war!"

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"Tesler's holding my friends hostage in the garage," Beck stated, walking into the main room in Tron's Tower.

"Beck, I thought I told you to get rid of the weapon," Tron growled as his son sauntered into the room.

He'd noticed the red-amber eyes that his son now had instead of his normal iron-brown and it didn't bode well. It didn't help that that…that sound was now coming from him.

"You lied to me," Tron continued, "If Tesler had recovered it…"

"But he didn't!" Beck interrupted, his fiery eyes blazing angrily.

"You got lucky," Tron retorted.

"Luck's got nothing to do with it," Beck snapped, the purr roaring dangerously in his throat, "I took care of him on my own!"

"Listen to yourself!" Tron pleaded.

Dear Users he sounded like Clu!

"That weapon is poison, Beck," Tron tried to explain, "And now because of you, Tesler's getting ready to derezz everyone in that garage until you turn it over!"

Beck's gaze turned fearful and sad, he bowed his head.

"And he won't stop there!" Tron added.

"Then help me," Beck murmured softly, the purr quieting briefly, "Please,"

He turned his gaze back up to his father and Tron's heart clenched. That look! Yori's look…

"I can use it to save my friends! Teach me how to control it! And…"

"You can't!" Tron interrupted, "You'll have to destroy it,"

Beck's red-amber gaze hardened angrily as the purr intensified.

"No," he stated firmly, "I need it,"

"Then your friends are already dead," Tron said, walking forwards, "This kind of power comes at a price Beck. If you won't destroy it…will,"

He reached behind his son's back…and Beck reacted explosively. Pain lanced across Tron's jaw as Beck slammed his fist into it, knocking his father backwards a few feet.

Tron's blue gaze blazed in anger and he shot forwards sending a hit into Beck's gut, making the younger Program gasp while he grabbed Tron's arm, twisting him backwards. A low snarl rumbled from the Monitor and he kneed Beck in the stomach, making the boy cry out in pain.

There was a slight hesitance in Tron's motions and Beck used it to his advantage. Beck grabbed Tron's arm with one hand while unsheathing his Disk with the other and putting it right under Tron's throat. The feral light in the boy's reddish amber eyes dimmed as he realized what he was doing.

"I…I-I-I didn't mean…" Beck stammered.

"Now do you see why it needs to be destroyed?" Tron asked softly as Beck let him up, "I chose you for a reason, Beck. You're strong, both physically and mentally. Now prove it,"

The orange tinted gaze looked up at his father.

Beck poked his Disk and unhooked the upgrade before replacing his Disk on his back, his irises flicking blue for an instant before returning to iron-brown.

"I like that look a lot better," Tron nodded.

"Yeah…me too,"

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Beck crouched down next to the skylight, waiting for his chance to move.

"You brought them here!?" Zed demanded.

"You brought this on yourself," Bartik reminded him, "It's too bad your buddy Beck isn't here…then we really would have had some fun,"

Beck saw Mara glare angrily at Hopper and Bartik.

"When I get outta these restraints, I'm gonna…" Mara started when Hopper cut her off.

"You're gonna what? Beat me up?" he scoffed, "Teach me a lesson?"

"I was going to say derezz you," Mara snarled.

"Not if I get to him first," Beck thought bitterly as he let down a rope, sliding down it and running towards the welder's housing.

He opened up the room's door and slipped inside. He held the upgrade Disk in his hand, weighing it for a moment.

Think of the power it gave you. You could save them…easily…just put it on. You can get rid of it after…

"No," Beck murmured, "This thing was how we got into this mess,"

He put it on the table, turning the welder so that it faced the Disk.

"And it's not going to get us out,"

He ran back to the controls, shutting the door and priming the laser. He closed his eyes for a brief moment, before activating the welder. There was a bright blaze of light and when it died, Beck opened the blast doors, walking inside to the laser…only to see nothing.

"Didn't anyone ever tell you?" Pavel's oily voice sneered, "Never leave your valuables unattended!"

He held up the upgrade Disk and Beck internally screamed.

This was exactly what Tron was worried about!

Pavel attached the Disk to his own and Beck watched as the reddish energy raced over Pavel's frame. The commander laughed as the reddish shockwave exploded away from him. Beck charged forwards, aiming a kick at Pavel, but the commander dodged him and every hit that Beck tried to land…then Pavel grabbed Beck's arm and flipped him over onto the ground.

He took out his Disk and tried to derezz Beck then and there but the Child Basic flipped upright, kicking Pavel savagely in the chin as he brought his own Disk, igniting it and letting it's silvery-white edge hum dangerously.

Pavel charged him and Beck only just managed to block him as he came at him, they whirled around, slashing at each other, hard to see. Beck from his grueling training with his father, Pavel from that blasted Disk.

"My, my, my," Pavel sneered, twirling his Disk around his finger, "How the mighty have fallen!"

He hurled his Disk at Beck but Beck ran up the wall, evading the projectile and hurling his own.

"I've always been smarter than you…" Pavel started.

"Doubt it," Beck thought.

"But now I'm faster!" Pavel howled as Beck threw a punch at him, only to get blocked and roundhoused to the ground, "And stronger! Now…I'm indestructible!"

He grabbed Beck's head and slammed it into the controls, reactivating the laser and sending its deadly red edge slicing though the garage.

"It's intoxicating isn't it?!" Pavel yelled, chasing Beck out of the laser bay.

"You have no idea," Beck thought bitterly as he flipped over Pavel.

"Raw, merciless power!"

Beck leaped out of the way as a Lightjet fell to the ground. He snuck away while the smoke was still in the air, climbing on top of another jet and waiting his moment. He saw Zed pushing Mara out of the way and giving her to Able and Yori while he went to rescue a pinned Bartik with Hopper.

Pavel wandered right underneath Beck and the Child Basic dropped from the jet, slamming into Pavel's back and knocking him out. Beck grabbed the upgrade Disk and considered it…

"You're strong, both physically and mentally…now prove it,"

Beck watched as the laser came closer and he lifted his hand up…right as the beam sliced it in two. He let the first half drop to the floor.

He had no need for it.

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A few nanos later, Beck walked in to see Zed and Mara. Mara was getting herself patched up and Zed was being a mother hen about it, making Beck give a slight smile.

"I just wish he were here…so I could thank him," Mara sighed.


"Tron," Mara replied, "Who else? He saved my life, saved all of our lives."

"Right," Zed muttered bitterly, "The Renegade,"

"It wasn't Tron," Beck corrected as he decided to make himself known.

"What?" Mara asked.

"He's not the one who saved you," Beck told her, "It was Zed,"

Mara's aqua gaze landed on Zed and a bright smile lit up her face.

"Really? You did that?" she asked.

"Well…I…um…ahem…I-it was nothing," Zed stammered and Mara took his hand.

"Thank you!" she smiled.

Beck gave a grin and started back out.

A few nanos later, Beck placed his baton in his locker, closing it.

"You didn't have to do that," Zed told him, leaning against the other row of lockers.

"Yeah, I did," Beck replied, "She should know the truth,"

"Not to mention it's my way of apologizing after…what I did,"

"How'd you know? That it was me and not Tro…uh the Renegade? You weren't even there!" Zed asked, making Beck freeze and pull a face.

"Way to go, Beck,"

"Y-Yeah, but…Mara doesn't know that," Beck shrugged.

"I really did save her ya know!"

"I believe you," Beck said with a smile as he walked off.

After all, he was there to see it.

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"Beck, we need to talk,"

Beck closed his eyes, looking up at his mother as she walked in, the faint silver-white gleam of her patches catching the light and making him wince.

"Mom…about the other day…I'm sorry," he sighed, "I just…I don't know what got into me,"

He shook his head.

"I just…I dunno, I guess I need to control my temper better,"

Yori sat down next to her son and held him close.

"I know," she told him, "Trust me, your father was the same way. Users, a mildly irritated Tron was scary, a furious one? Don't get me started,"

"So…you forgive me?" he asked.

"Always," she replied, kissing his forehead, "But you're still grounded,"

Chapter Text

Chapter 14

The Reward

Accessing Archive Data…

I'm so tired. Dad's been working me non-stop since I was basically put on house arrest after the stunt I pulled with the Upgrade. Dad lived up to his reputation for dealing with his trainees that broke rules. As in, he put me in the simulator, set the levels to extreme and put me in a twenty to one fight…

It was horrible.

I just want to sleep…just a day off, that's what I want. I think my friends think I've abandoned them because when I'm not at work, I'm training and when I'm not training or at work, I'm collapsed asleep on my bed.

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He woke up just to feel pain searing across his chest. He looked down and saw the ragged gashes marring his frame. Bitter code rose in his throat and he coughed, spitting out tiny flecks of sapphire code. He tried to stand, feeling smooth, wet walls of glass around him as his hands left prints. He quickly scanned around him…he was enclosed.

'Oh Users…no…I'm trapped, I'm trapped…'

He had a hard time breathing as his core constricted and he scratched and pounded at the glass.

'Let me out! Oh Users, please LET ME OUT!'

The scene shifted and he strapped to a table as a figure cloaked in darkness came towards him with a whirring blue blade. He strained, trying to get away, but the figure kept coming closer and closer until the figure dug the whirring blade into his neck and searing pain exploded from the point of impact.

Beck shot up with a scream, warding off whoever was torturing him with one hand while his Disk leaped into his other one and flashed to life.

"Beck!" Yori called, banging on the door, "Are you alright?!"

Beck's breathing steadied as his mother and Able nearly broke down the door.

"Beck?" Yori asked, coming into the room and kneeling down next to the shuddering Child Basic's bed, "Able, give us a moment,"

Able gave a nod and left the room.

"Another nightmare?" Yori asked softly and Beck nodded, "You want to talk about it?"

Beck shook his head, trembling slightly still.

"No," he shuddered, "I don't want to talk about it…Mom…it was too horrible…"

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"You seem overly tired lately," Tron said, watching as Beck yawned once again.

"Gee, I wonder why? Couldn't be because of all the training you put me through," Beck snarked, turning his gaze back onto the Coliseum and to Tesler.

Tron fixed him with an annoyed glare.

"You know perfectly well enough why you're being punished," he growled.

"You are here because a terrorist lives among you," Tesler started, "And your failure to identify him makes you all complicit to his crimes! But I offer you a chance for redemption. Citizens of Argon, bring me the Renegade! Of course, bringing him to justice is your civic duty and should be reward enough…"

"This ought to be good," Beck muttered.

"But since I always put my Programs first…I offer you this,"

The middle of the arena lit up and a sleek looking vehicle rose on the platform. Beck gave an appreciative whistle.

"The VL-1, the only roadster to outrun a Lightjet,"

"If I get that…I'm almost tempted to…"

"Beck…" Tron warned, "Don't even joke about that,"

"Sorry," Beck apologized, "Just speaking from a mechanic's point of view…that's a nice ride,"

Tron closed his eyes, shaking his head. But really, he had no room to talk since he was the same way.

"Provide us with information leading to the capture of the Renegade…and this remarkable vehicle could be yours!" Tesler continued, making the crowd cheer, "And that's not all! To further our efforts of a Renegade-free Argon, the curfew…is lifted!"

The crowd might have been loud before…but as soon as Tesler announced that…it became deafening.

"Congratulations, Programs, and happy hunting,"

"Wow…" Beck started, "And then that happened,"

"Nothing's changed," Tron stated, "If anything we press harder,"

"I'm sorry," Beck protested, "Did you not see any of that? Everyone's looking to turn me in and collect the reward!"

"It's a desperate move on Tesler's part," Tron tried to reassure him, "You can use it against him!"

"No," Beck growled, "I say we lay low for a while, take a break,"


"I don't have a choice!" Beck snapped, eyes flaring a brief red-amber and making Tron shudder before they cooled back to iron-brown, "It's too dangerous,"

Tron gave a deep sigh.

"Okay," he nodded, "Part of learning to lead a revolution is knowing when to proceed and when to wait. I'll defer to you on this one,"

"Finally," Beck sighed, turning towards the crowd again.

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"No curfew? Please," Beck snorted as he, Zed and Mara sat next to the city's sign, the latter two trying to get Beck caught up on what he had 'missed' at Tesler's meeting, "Tesler's troops have taken over everything!"

"Told you so!" Zed pointed out to Mara before turning back to Beck, "Been this way for a while now. Of course, you'd know that if you hung out with us like you used to,"

"Zed…" Mara warned.

"Eh, it's ok, Mara," Beck dismissed.

"It doesn't matter," Zed shrugged, "Not much you could do about it anyway it's all the Renegade's fault,"

Beck's eyes narrowed slightly and Zed's darker gaze zeroed in on him.

"Unless…" the latter started, "You are the Renegade…"

Beck hesitated for a second before laughing.

"Very funny," Beck grinned, "You got me,"

"Please!" Mara laughed, "Please! I don't want to spend the night talking about the Renegade! I want to celebrate instead!"

Beck cocked an eyebrow before his hearing caught the sound of a poor Program being chased down below. Everything in his code ached to rush down there and save the Program, to put an end to the injustice…but all that would do would get him arrested and derezzed or Repurposed and according to the stories his mother told him about that…

He did not want to go through that.

"Really?" he asked, "Doesn't seem like there's much to celebrate anymore,"

"How about the fact that we're finally spending some free time together?" Mara suggested, "Out on the town with no curfew hanging over our heads? Just like old times?"

She playfully shoved Beck, making him bump into the barrier behind him. He yelped as the barrier shocked him, jolting a quick growl out of him before quieting again.

"Heh, yeah," he snorted, "exactly like old times. But Mara's right…We've got the night off…C'mon, Zed, let's go have some fun!"

And he sprinted off, Mara in hot pursuit.

"You were kidding about being the Renegade…right?!" Zed called, running after them.

"So…where do we go?" Beck asked, features lit up in a rare brilliant smile as he jogged backwards.


Beck dodged to his right, avoiding the hole in the pavement that would have made him fall.

"How you manage to do that always manages to amaze me," Mara started, shaking her head, "I have never seen you trip,"

"Takes practice," Beck grinned, stopping to let Zed and Mara catch up, "Where are we going?"

"How about the club?" Mara asked, "Haven't been there with the both of you in forever!"

"Alright…to the club it is!" Beck announced, dramatically pointing in the direction of the building.

All three Programs looked at each other.

"Last one in has to buy!" Zed yelled, running off.

"Zeeeeeddd!" Mara groaned, but then laughed as she chased after him.

"Hey! Cheater!" Beck protested, sprinting after them, "Both of you! Get back here!"

He wove through the crowd dodging Programs left and right but Zed and Mara were too far away for him to catch…


Beck leaped upwards, grabbing a pole and swinging off it onto a wall and sprinting across it for a few yards before shoving off and landing on a fire escape. He jumped from ledge to ledge until he was right above his two friends…and he jumped down, rolling as he hit the ground and flowing into a dead on sprint in a single, fluid move.

He tagged the doorway to the club as he crossed the threshold.

"And the winner is…!" Beck crowed, pumping his fist in the air as Mara tagged the door and then Zed right behind her.

"Cheater…" Zed panted, his hands on his knees, "How'd you do that?"

"Disk Wars help out a lot," Beck shrugged, "That is what you get for cheating earlier,"

"Hmmm…I dunno, Beck, I'm feeling kinda expensive today," Mara hummed, tapping her chin.

Beck nodded, his eyes gleaming in amusement as he tapped his own chin, a grin forming.

"I think I'm feeling that too," he smirked.

"Aw c'mon, guys, it was just a little joke!" Zed protested.

"I think we've tortured him enough," Beck laughed as Zed nearly pulled his hair out in frustration, "What do you think, Mara?"

"Have to agree on that one," she smirked, "C'mon, let's get inside and find a table!"

They walked inside only to discover the club packed with Black Guards.

"This can't be happening!" Beck protested as he pushed past a sentry, "This was our place!"

He had finally managed to get through the throng of Black Guards and sentries, when a Black Guard rammed into him, nearly knocking him to the floor…and kept going without saying a word.

"HEY!" Beck snapped as a low growl built up in his throat.

The Black Guard turned towards him almost lazily.

"You have a problem, Program?" the Black Guard demanded.

Beck lunged forwards but Zed caught him, towing him backwards.

"No! No problem!" Zed said quickly as Beck's growl transformed into a snarl, eyes flaring steel-blue in his anger, overriding the protocols put in place by him and his mother, "We're on our way out!"

"Don't come back," the Black Guard ordered.

"I won't!" Beck snarled, lunging again but Zed grabbed him and yanked him backwards.

"Beck, stop it!" Zed hissed, "What are you doing!? You trying to get us sent to the Games?!"

Beck's eyes flickered and he wasn't standing in the club anymore.

"Attack me!"

"I forfeit! He wins!"

"One goes free! One goes free!"

"...eck!" Mara started, shaking Beck's shoulders, jolting him out of the memory, "Good! You're still functioning! Users, I thought you glitched!"

Beck shuddered as he remembered the pain grabbing at his memories, tearing them to shreds, watching Lux die, nearly getting derezzed by Kobol…

"Please…don't use that phrase," he begged.

"Alright then," Mara shrugged, "Well…so much for old times. I'm going home,"

"No," Beck stated forcefully, "I don't want to give up yet,"

"Beck, Mara's right," Zed said, "It's not the same anymore…"

He froze, staring past Beck. The Child Basic turned around just to see a bunch of sentries marching in, staffs at ready. Fear flooded the boy's core, but he settled into a barely noticeable fighting stance as his eyes flicked blue. They might have come for him, and there might be more of them…but he was not going without a fight. But, they marched right past him, much to Beck's surprise…

And they arrested Hopper instead.

"What's going on!?" Hopper demanded as Pavel walked up with Link by his side.

"Based on the unbiased testimony of this bold Argon patriot…" Pavel announced, "You are hereby suspected of being the Renegade!"

Many of the Programs in the room gasped, Beck frowned.


"Submit, Program," Pavel chuckled, making Beck's growl start up again.

"C'mon! You're making a mistake! I'm not the Renegade! I'm innocent!" Hopper pleaded as he was marched out, "I'm innocent!"

"Yes, of course, exactly right. I'm sure the contents of your Disk will verify all of that," Pavel mocked, before turning around, "Haha! Long live Clu!"

Beck shuddered in disgust. He had no love for Hopper, seeing as how the Program made his, Zed's, Mara's, Link's and everyone else's lives miserable. But he didn't like seeing an innocent being accused of something they didn't do.

"Why would Link accuse Hopper of being the Renegade?" Beck muttered.

"Hopper's not the Renegade," Zed agreed, "He's a pain but not that big of a pain,"

"If you only knew who you were talking to," Beck thought dryly.

"It's sick," Mara shuddered, "All this reward's done is turn Programs against each other,"

"I need to talk to Link and get to the bottom of this," Beck announced, starting out.

"Good idea!" Mara chirped, "Let's go!"

"No!" Beck snapped and then winced at how harsh it sounded, "Sorry…little frazzled. You two stay here,"

"But...!" Mara protested.

"Talk to Bartik," Beck ordered, "He can't really believe that his friend is the Renegade. He must know more,"

"Uh, Bartik and I don't really see eye to eye," Zed pointed out, "Fist to eye maybe,"

"The fight!" Mara announced, as Beck started to slip out, "That's it!"

"Huh?" Zed asked.

"Beck wait!" Mara called, but Beck didn't stop.

"Sorry, Mara, but I know you can do this," he murmured as he ran down the street.

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Link was enjoying the looks of admiration he was getting as he cruised down the street. He was so wrapped up in his watching that he didn't notice Beck slipping into the back seat, white armor gleaming softly in the light.

The other Program tilted his rearview mirror slightly.

"Nice job catching the Renegade," Beck started dryly, making Link nearly jump out of his skin and wreck the roadster.

"Don't hit me!" Link yelped, "It wasn't my idea it was Pavel's!"

"Pavel set you up to this?"

"He promised me the roadster if I did," Link admitted.

"Did you know that they're going to derezz Hopper in the square in less than a millicycle?"

Link's eyes widened.

"N-no!" Link stammered, "He said it was just to scare him! I-I didn't know! H-Honest!"

"We can still save him," Beck told him, "There's an alley not far from here, pull up there and we can talk. I have an idea,"

Beck sat on the roadster's hood, trying not to lose his temper, which had gotten worse and easier to ignite after the upgrade Disk incident.

"Just tell me one more time," Link said, "And I'll get it right, no mistakes this time! I promise,"

The son of Tron nearly had to sit on his hands to keep from strangling Link he was so frustrated. He put his head in his hands, sighing.

"Okay," Beck replied shortly, "For the last time…the plan is this: You and your roadster will appear at Hopper's execution like they've asked you to,"

"But when I get there, you'll pop up, club me over the head, and reveal yourself as the true Renegade,"

"In front of everyone," Beck finished slowly, "Proving Hopper's innocence. Got it?"

"Can we talk about the clubbing-over-the-head part again?" Link asked as Beck gave a low growl.

The clubbing part was starting to sound even better at the moment, but Beck fought that thought down, inwardly reprimanding himself as he thought his father would if he heard Beck actually thought it.

"Programs of Argon!" Tesler voice announced and Link and Beck ran towards the balcony, "Your nightmare is over!"

"They've already started!" Beck groaned.

"The Renegade has been unmasked!" Tesler cried and that's when Beck noticed two other portraits projected onto the screen.

"Zed! Mara!" Beck yelled.

"And the order that Clu demands has been restored," Tesler continued, "We…have won! Let the public deresolutions begin,"

"Does this mean we need a new plan?" Link asked, but Beck wasn't listening, he slipped into the driver's side of the roadster and gunned the engine, much to Link's protest.

And he shot towards the square…

Only to be stopped by the traffic in front of it.

"Oh, you've got to be kidding me!" the Child Basic snarled, "I don't have time for this!"

He put the car into reverse and shot backwards before righting it and shooting off in a different direction. He felt the raw power from the engine as he shot towards the square, but he couldn't enjoy it as he wanted to…not until his friends were safe.

He was so caught up in his thoughts that he accidently overshot the alleyway that would take him to the square. Beck whipped the steering wheel around, shooting into the square, steel-blue eyes hard as he raced towards his friends, ignoring as the lights flashed back on, revealing him in the driver's seat.

"Showtime," Beck said with a low growl, ramping over the side of the platform and unsheathing his Disk, hurling it in a perfect arc and severing the cord attached to Mara.

It ricocheted off the ground and returned to his hand before he slashed at another rope, freeing Zed and Hopper. The three prisoner's stood shakily as Beck whipped the roadster to face them.

"It's him!" Mara yelled, "It's the Renegade!"

Something exploded behind them, making them tumble towards the ground as Pavel loaded another clip into what looked to be a shotgun of some sort.

"I really, really hate that Program," Beck thought darkly as he jumped out of the car, racing towards the prisoners and cutting them free.

"This is fantastic!" Mara grinned, aqua eyes sparkling.

"Mara…" Zed started, "As you were saying? Just a moment ago?"

Beck looked at his best friend in amusement before straightening. But Mara didn't get the chance to answer as another explosion rocked the platform, making one of the legs buckle and tilting the platform alarmingly towards the right.

Everyone started sliding towards the edge, but Beck looked behind him, seeing the roadster sliding towards him. He got to his feet, rushing upwards and jumping into the car before shooting towards the three prisoners, swinging the car around so that the three ended up in the seats.

"Ok, Mara!" Zed tried again, making Beck shake his head, "What were you about to say!?"

Another explosion rocked the platform, but it turned out to be their saving grace. If Pavel had waited, the tilt of the table would have taken them down on its own…but thank the Users Pavel wasn't patient. Because the next shot leveled out the platform, allowing Beck to ramp the side of it, causing the other three Programs shriek in terror/excitement, and land safely on the other side.

The four of them shot down the road in silence until the shock wore off for the three former prisoners.

"I think we lost them," Beck said, "Everybody ok?"

"I'm alive!" Hopper cried, opening his eyes, "The Renegade saved me! He…wait…the Renegade…"

Beck looked upwards in exasperation, knowing immediately where this was going. His suspicions proved right as Hopper lunged forwards, Disk at Beck's throat.

"Surrender Renegade!" Hopper ordered.

Beck saw movement in the back of the car and he looked into the rearview mirror just to see Zed's eyes flash angrily. They made eye contact and Beck gave a slight nod, hitting the brakes.

Zed shifted in his seat.

"Zed…?" Mara asked…

Right as Zed kicked Hopper, throwing him out of the car.

Beck gave a low laugh and hit the gas while Zed reclined back in the seat, a satisfied smirk on his face.

"Like I said," he grinned smugly, "It's the only way I can connect with these guys,"

Mara gave a laugh.

"Oh, this is incredible!" she beamed, turning towards Beck, "Thank you, you saved our lives!"

"Yeah, thanks I guess," Zed snorted, "Though this is sorta all your fault to begin with,"

"I'm only doing it to protect you guys," Beck thought sadly, "I would love to tell you…but I don't want you getting hurt,"

"Zed! Admit it!" Mara ordered, "You're enjoying yourself!"


"But nothing!" Mara snapped, "We just outran missile in a stolen roadster with the Renegade! When's the last time we had this much fun together?!"

"Yeah…" Zed admitted sullenly, "I just wish Beck were here,"

It was all Beck could do not to derezz the mask and tell them that it was him all along.

"Beck…he would have loved this," Mara agreed.

"This is where we part," Beck told them, trying to keep his composure and starting to fail, "Remember…Tron lives,"

And he pushed a lever, splitting the roadster in two.

Zed and Mara went down one branch in the road while Beck went down the other, heading towards the Outlands. Towards Tron.

His father had a right to know what had gone on…to know that he had been right.

As usual.

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"I thought you were taking time off?" Tron asked as his son walked up, derezzing his helmet to stand next to him.

"Easier said than done, I guess," Beck shrugged.

"Maybe another time," Tron reassured him.

"Hopefully," Beck nodded before heading back towards the simulations room.

"Where are you going?" Tron asked.

"Finishing my punishment," Beck deadpanned.

Tron gave a short laugh and shook his head.

"Go on home, Beck," he said gently, "I think you've been punished enough,"

"Really?" Beck blinked, "Wow…um…thanks,"

And he walked back out the door.

Tron gave a soft laugh, turning back to the screens. Beck didn't realize that his punishment had been over for a while…he'd gotten so used to the extreme that he automatically set it to that when he walked in.

"Lesson learned, I'd say," Tron smiled.

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Meanwhile, far away in the Grid's Capitol, someone else was smiling as well. Clu stood, facing the window with his hands behind his back, looking over the Tron City skyline.

"You called, Clu?" a male voice asked, making Clu slightly turn around.

"Dyson," he smiled, "Good to see you. It's been a while,"

"I take it that that's not why you wanted to see me, sir," Dyson deadpanned, walking up to the Admin, "You're not worried about that Renegade in Argon are you?"

"A Program dressing up as our dear old friend?" Clu snorted, "No, I'm not scared. After all, I'm sending you to check it out,"

Dyson snorted, "And see what in the Grid Tesler's doing since he's not competent enough to take down one Program,"

"That slightly concerns me," Clu admitted, "You'd think someone like him would get it right…especially after they decapitated my statue…"

He waved his hand.

"At least we know it's not one of four Programs," he smiled, "Tron's dead by explosion, Anon's dead by being crushed and Yori and Tron's son were derezzed not long after Tron was,"

"True," Dyson nodded, not knowing how wrong he and Clu were, "Anything else I need to know?"

"Just that I want you to report to me when you're done," Clu told him, "Think you can handle that?"

Dyson gave a smirk.