Fanfic: “Tron: Invasion” (Tron 2.0 adaptation) Chapter 3
on Wednesday, December, 07, 2011 2:48 PM
Rating: Teen (language, violence, suggestive situations)
Disclaimer: the Mouse owns this universe, Mr. Lisberger created it, and Monoloith Games did much of the rest.
Summary: Twenty years after their iconic CEO vanished, Encom is a company in trouble. The mysterious head of F-Con knows its secrets all too well. When F-Con makes its move, cyberspace is threatened by the Users, and only a pair of them can stand against the onslaught. After the Betrayal and before the Legacy, there was the Invasion.
Note: This is mostly an adaptation of Tron 2.0, with a few tweaks to make it Legacy-compliant and a few more tweaks as added by author. It's part of my “Endgame” scenario.
Subject: Award Announcement
We are thrilled to announce that our very own Mr. Alan Bradley, has been awarded the highly coveted International Academy of Intelligence Artificielle's 'Digital Pal' award for his latest iteration of Ma3a.
Please join us and Mr. Bradley in the employee lunch room as we proudly present him the award certificate.
Congratulations, Mr. Bradley.
Subject: Award Announcement
Evidently, Mr. Bradley is not available to attend the award presentation. For those who are interested, a copy of the award certificate will be featured in the next company newsletter.
Alan had regained consciousness several minutes ago by his own estimation. He couldn't see much of anything and fought down a horrible sense of panic when he realized he was bound up with duct tape and in some kind of box where his head touched one end, his feet touched the other, and his knees were curled into his chest. The enclosed space alone made him shake. He was usually good at disguising how awful his claustrophobia could get, and under the circumstances he could not afford to panic. The last time it had triggered, it was back in 1985. The remodel of Encom Tower hit a snag and the elevator had been caught between floors seven and six, trapping him with Flynn for a good three hours.
"Easy, man. Keep breathing...Deep breaths...You're not alone..." Like every memory of Flynn, it was a mixed blessing. At least the deep breathing was a good idea.
Alan's body ached with each breath. A hood was covering his face, and he was gagged with the same duct tape used to tie his wrists and ankles. Robbery didn't seem to be the motive. While his cell phone, wallet, and the pager were gone, his wedding band and the chain around his neck were untouched. He could feel vibration under him – he was in a moving car.
"You think he's still out?" asked one of his captors.
"Of course he is. He's a middle-aged computer geek, and I gave him a full blast from that taser. He's out like a light. He's also trussed up good back there. We just deliver him to Crown with the computer parts, and it's out of our hands."
"You really think this'll work?"
"Encom's biggest shareholder is MIA, so we'll have to get the rest of the holdouts on our side. From there, I'm sure Crown can work his magic to screw the Flynn kid out of his shares."
"Well, Crown had better pay us for this," said the first one. "Because for a middle-aged computer geek, he put up a good fight. He knocked out a tooth."
He could practically hear the other captor shrug. "Maybe once Crown gets what he wants out of this guy, we can take him out and bury him next to Kevin Flynn, how's that?"
The mention of the name, however casual, made Alan grow cold. If he were painfully honest with himself, there wasn't a day that went by that he didn't think of his old friend and wonder what the truth behind the disappearance was. He had concluded long ago that Flynn was likely dead; suicide, perhaps. Murdered, very likely. The pager he carried like a saint's medal was a reminder to carry on the work and the ideals behind it, as Flynn had done for Walter Gibbs.
Who would carry on for him?
The car stopped, and he felt the box being jostled and loaded onto a cart of some kind, with more boxes settling on top and around him, pinching the tiny space even tighter. Eventually, he felt himself being unloaded, the box ripping open, and he was yanked out and to his feet. The hood came off and the duct tape on his mouth was ripped off brutally.
The room was a nondescript, windowless conference room like a thousand other office buildings. A medium-height, African-American man with a strong build was sitting at the table, gloved fingers steepled and hawklike gaze fixed on him. The two thugs forced Alan to sit across from him and blocked the door out.
"Here he is, Mr. Crown."
"What is the meaning of this?" Alan asked pointedly. "Because kidnapping is still illegal."
The other man didn't so much as flinch. "My boss knew that you, of all people, would never sign over anything to us willingly. And you have what we need. We get that, and we let you go. You talk afterward, and we'll make sure to find you."
"Oh, I doubt I have anything you need. I'm not even the CEO anymore. I'm just an old mascot who tinkers in the lab these days."
"False humility won't get you anywhere, Mr. Bradley. It's come to my employer's attention what you've been working on under the board's nose. We're looking for that and your shares. We are prepared to pay generously...or make you do the same."
"And what if I said 'no?' I didn't much like my escort here."
Crown got up and began pacing. "Alan Thomas Bradley. Born September of 1950. Married Doctor Lora Baines in June of 1982. One son, Jethro, that currently works at Encom as a game designer, though he often goes uncredited on his work. Rather...ambiguous relationship with the departed Kevin Flynn. Was the CEO after Flynn's disappearance, but bumped to 'executive consultant' several years later."
"So you've read the public records on me. Nothing you couldn't obtain from a simple web search."
Crown stopped pacing and snatched the back of Alan's jacket, bending down to stare him directly in the eye. "It's what isn't on the web searches that my employer wants. We know about 'Flynn Lives.' We also know that back in 1981, you designed one of the first and most advanced pieces of security software ever created. Damn near every anti-virus and system monitor program today was inspired by your work. We also want to talk about the Shiva laser."
"The Shiva laser project was discontinued when Gibbs passed away," Alan said. "And all other attempts to replicate it have met with miserable failure. Not even the Department of Defense has been able to re-create it."
"But you have," he said pointedly. "And don't lie. We have the security feeds to back it up. You've re-discovered the -"
"You're mistaken," Alan said. "The bugs have not been worked out. The technology -"
"The technology will be ours. Along with your shares of Encom stock. We will compensate you if you cooperate. Otherwise, we will make you vanish."
"I'm not signing anything."
The man looked up to the thugs, and signaled them. Alan found himself jerked to his feet again.
"Take our honored guest to the storeroom. Make sure the door's locked. And Mr. Bradley, please behave yourself. My boss does have associates in Washington DC, after all. And from what I understand, your wife's health is very fragile."
The threat stopped him cold. He could sacrifice himself if it came down to it, but Lora...
The thugs pulled him away.
It's an entire universe in there, one we created, but it's beyond us now. Really. It's outgrown us. You know, every time you shut off your computer...do you know what you're doing? Have you ever reformatted a hard drive? Deleted old software? Destroyed an entire universe?"
-- Jet Bradley, Tron: Ghost in the Machine on why being a User isn't necessarily a good thing.