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...So I wanted to write a combat scene
Rinzler - finish the game
Right. My daily writing widget was somewhat delayed due to computer issues, but I'm back. And. Uh.

This is... technically ficwork. For a longer fic. This will be most or maybe all of a chapter for Extraordinary Voyages, a fic I'm... not very far into. It'll get worked on (clearly), though I'm probably updating Letting Go first.

That said, this is very far into the story. So. Uh. If you plan to read all my fic and have a deep and abiding hatred of anything remotely spoilerish, probably don't read this. It can stand alone, but... *shrug* Dunno.

And oh gods is this a rough draft. Very, very rough.

The blue and white pierced through the burning orange shadows.

Rinzler stared down as the user tensed, pushed up in a turn. His companion was already on her feet, beam katana extending from a short baton as her disk flared to life in her left hand.

It had been a long hunt.

He dropped forward, hand pushing against the wall as he tumbled down, limbs uncurling, loose as he dropped to land in a crouch. He straightened slowly, hand raising to draw his disks.

He split them, and the edges flared to life, singing sharp and high as his circuits pulsed in anticipation.

The fight was his. He hunted, he searched, obeyed Clu as he always would. There’s nothing else. There never was.

Battle was an order, but it was more. It was motion and skill and life, the surging thrill of combat, of victory, functions pushed and tested to the edges of his being. Disks and limbs in fluid challenge as he pressed his opponents, pushed them and broke them until their light shattered and went dark.

In the fight, he could be perfect.

The blue-white program stared at him. She knew.

A short step, positioning slide, and she stood in front of her companion. Useless. Weapons raised, gaze fixed on Rinzler as his head dipped, noise rippling across the short distance. Her mouth opened, face a mask of cold tension.

“Sam, go!”

Rinzler froze.


He had—

Unauthorized access: memory—

He knew—

Warning: corruption potential—

His functions were stalled, furiously looping—disks dug into palms as pain surged through his system, crackling sharpness edged with guilt, failure (reprimand, punishment). The targets were moving, speaking (“Are you crazy? I’m not leaving you!”—words cutting through him, he tensed with shame—why?). He needed to move, to act, directives clear, but he stayed frozen, coiled stillness, staring unseeing ahead. He was close—so close, so near—locked up with restrictions and knowledge and need and he could—

A blue-white disk filled his vision, and Rinzler dropped low, felt the heat of it pass overhead.

Redirect: combat functions—

The fight was what mattered.

A disk rose to contact the blue-white weapon as it returned from behind; it deflected at an angle. Its wielder was moving already, darting forward, blade raised as her ice-blue eyes flickered across the open ground. Rinzler waited, allowing her to close (skilled combatant, a challenge), disk flashing up to turn away her first strike.

She cut from the side, stabbed frontwards, and he twisted away, ducked under and lashed out in return, forcing her back. Satisfaction rumbled through his vocalizer. She was fast. Skilled. But her circuits were dim, already beginning to flicker with exhaustion. Her lips drew back in a grimace.

This fight was his.

A shout from the side and Rinzler turned in time to see the user pull back and fling his weapon, a white streak cutting through the distance. Red-orange circuits twisted in quick motion as Rinzler flicked a disk off in return. They collided halfway, and the user yelped, ducked the too-fast rebound and turned, waiting as his weapon hit the far wall and came back.

Rinzler tilted his helmet, reached up… then dropped his hand as movement registered in his periphery. The disk shot by, crashed against the female’s upraised blade, staggering her and foiling the strike. He snatched the red-white ring from the air without looking, turned to strike in dual motion, disks lashing out on either side of the beam katana as she tried to parry, trapping it between them before he leapt, body twisting through the air as the motion wrenched the weapon from the blue-white program’s grip. It skittered across the ground, collapsing to a slim baton.

He landed on his hands, disks flat against the floor as he leaned, kicked out with both feet. A sharp breath tore from his opponent’s throat, and she fell to the ground, sprawling out ungracefully on her back.

She pushed up (too slow), fist pressing unsteadily on the smooth blackness below as her eyes met his defiantly. No fear, only anger and frustration that belied the weak glow of her circuitry, the faint lag of her movement. Her other hand raised, caught her own disk as it returned at last, but it wasn’t enough, not now, not like this, and Rinzler raised his weapons as he stood above—


He paused.

No, he didn’t pause, didn’t stop, wouldn’t stop like this, not ever. A snarl ripped through his sound as Rinzler spun, turned towards to user who ran at him, the shouted word turning to a yell of battle as a white edge swung towards the orange program. Rinzler leapt back from the strike, sliced out in counter; the user jerked sideways, nearly falling as he dodged the blow.

It was battle then, motion and quickness and fluid grace as Rinzler lashed out, countered, ducked and dodged and turned as combat subroutines flickered from processing to action. It was right, it was simple, straightforward, correct. This was what he was made for.

This was wrong.

The user was slow, ungainly, moved in jabs and hacking swipes he could bypass with ease. But Rinzler’s movement faltered, response time lagging just enough to keep the prey out of reach. The female program had rejoined the fight, and she was a better challenge; he should end her—but the user was a distraction, a hindrance. Rinzler should end him—finish the game—but it wasn’t a game, not here, not now—but he was toying with the user.

He had to be.

His noise was a roar, uncontrolled fury flowing from his empty throat as he glared out at the opponent. Face twisted with frustration, the user glared back, mouth turned in a faint grimace. Rinzler kicked low and connected; his opponent stumbled and he flashed in to follow up with a disk across the midsection. But the motion lagged (not glitching, not again, Clu fixed that) and he traced a faint line across the Disk Wars suit, nothing more. The user rolled back, got to his feet, blue eyes wide with alarm, exhilaration, relief—and the other opponent struck from behind, but Rinzler deflected without looking (she was lagging too now, energy low enough to shut down most programs).

It’s his fault.

He wasn’t to derezz the user. Clu had been specific—wound, disable, capture. Rinzler could destroy the accomplice, shower her data to the floor in a heap of glittering blue-white. But the user was the source of the disruption, the failure (sickening, wrong), the glitch in his systems as he hesitated, froze—noise a vicious growl as he stared with hateful rage at his tormenter—

User: designation-Sam_Flynn


blue eyes wide—

Like Clu—




Redirect—combat functions, priority directive.

Fight the user. (error: users)




The fragments shattered with a wrench as pain surged through his systems. Overriding, unbearable, blinding, and he froze, spasmed, locked up, only the automatic priority of his directives keeping him on his feet, his disks in his hands. He couldn’t process, couldn’t move, couldn’t see through the crackling agony as his systems jolted, froze, searing punishment preventing function, preventing shutdown, and the user was there—his fault—

An arm lashed out savagely, unseeing, disk meeting resistance—solid, thick, it wouldn’t break, but tore, sliced open—and a cry broke through the silence. Visual flicked back online; the user was falling back, hand on his arm as his weapon dropped, white edge going dark. A shout came from Rinzler’s other side, the program’s voice raised in panic. But Rinzler’s systems snapped back into alignment—this was right (wrong). No more questions, no more queries and restrictions and glitching hesitation, and he stepped forward to finish it because that was what he was, all he was (all he had left).

Redness dripped down his disk.

He froze.

Liquid clung to the edge. Fell to the ground in crimson spheres, fragmented to smaller drops on impact. It glistened. No light of its own. Blotting out the white (blue-white) edge of his weapon, spreading as his hand tilted until it crossed the orange ring, sizzled off the circuits on his hand as they flickered.


He was shaking.


It was wrong. Repulsive, sickening like viral proximity—this was something that should not be.

Stop, it needed to stop—he needed to stop, what was wrong with him? It was no virus, no true contaminant—it couldn’t hurt him. Rinzler knew that. He did.

How do I know that?

Another ripple of pain tore through him, and he felt his lips draw back, teeth baring in a snarl of frustration as his mouth shaped a scream it would never loose. Throat tight but empty, silent—always silent, no words, no voice, he wasn’t meant to have a voice.

End. It.

He lashed out behind, catching the program’s strike as he spun, shoved brutally and slashed in for derezz. She staggered back, dodged his disk but missed the foot that kicked out, knocking her back. She hit an orange-paneled wall and fell hard, hand clenching against the ground as her lights flickered—blue-white/dark, blue-white/dark, eyes wide as she struggled to keep running.

The user reached for the dropped disk, but Rinzler was faster. He kicked it aside, closed and struck down as Sam_Flynn tried to struggle to his feet. No standing, no fighting, this was over—the user rolled aside, redness staining the ground in his wake. More wrongness, another twisting shiver through his code, lost in the errors and failure and stabs of pain, but it didn’t matter anymore.

He would make it right.

He landed squarely as Sam_Flynn tried to sit up—the user gasped, coughed as Rinzler’s weight knocked him back, pinned to the floor. A disk at his neck, and he froze, looked up in helpless anger. The arena again, but no questions now.

He would finish it this time, drive his disks into the user and end him, hurt him, make him stop. The face screwed up in tense anticipation, blue eyes fixed on his own invisible gaze with frustration and defiance and something else, something wrong



He had commands, directives, and there was nothing else, no choice, no need for choice, no need to hold back. Clu knew the user, knew what he was, what he—

Rinzler knew


What I am—


The disk was frozen, poised, burning blue edge at the user’s throat as Rinzler stared down.

I can’t remember.

Sam Flynn stared back.


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If that's the rough draft I'm practically dying at the thought of how good the cleaned up version is going to be. I swear I could picture every bit of action and you can feel Rinzler's rage and confusion.
Such a delicious and potent mix- his inability to attack properly because somewhere deep down he knows better.
I only recently found the tronmeme and then I found your work and just spent my whole free day reading everything you have up here. XDD
Your stuff is incredible from Hold On, where your Tron's struggle to do whats right is sooo spot on and tragic (like you wrenched my heart and had me gripping my seat from the tension). Your Clu's persuasive in a chillingly evil way *shudders* and your Sam- I love him and his innate need to help.
Especially in Letting Go- I just know I'm gonna end up in tears if you really stick to the death guideline- (readas::please find a loophole::- Rinzler's situation is exactly what Sam needs, he can't ignore it and ends up with a responsibility he can't shun.
Loved how he's the only one who acknowledges that it's Rinzler and not Tron their dealing with. Can't help but feel Sam doing that and not overtly fearing Rinzler is what lets him listen to Sam. (what rocks about your Rinzler is how he's still dangerous.) You haven't dulled that sharpness out of his personality, he's still a formidable warrior, even out of his element. (especially loved his subtle threat with the knives that only Sam understood. Definitely still the badass reigning Game champion inside.)
Extraordinary voyages looks like it's gonna be another awesome fic. Your Sam is all action and those scenes with the lightcycles fighting and racing? Freaking gorgeous and vivid. And your Sam is exactly how he should be, reckless but smart and driven to do something, not just be passive. And long live your fiery and hiddenly aggressive Quorra. Your Flynn fits in with canon character so seamlessly, that I could so easily visualize everything happening in the last chapter- his mistaken Zen way *shakes head* it's like he's doing Clu's work and slowly suffocating himself instead.
And wow my intention was to just say how much I like your work and I end up rambling non-stop instead. Super Sry.
Just wanted you to know that I love your story so far and am really impatiently waiting for anything else you post. As well as suffering from all the cliffhangers especially here where Sam's "Tron" could cause so many things to happen....
Either way it's great to find a writer like you who can write something this beautifully descriptive and pull you deeply into their world. Your like super gifted at getting into all the character's minds, making them tangible and understandable. You don't lose the aspects that make them the way they are. So waiting eagerly and wishing I was an artist so that I could gift you with art to accompany your story.


I don't think I've ever received a single comment with so much condensed happy-inducing praise.

Thanks so much. Grinning like a maniac right now.

Hold On was my first real Tronfic (got an abandonfic at ff.net, but not getting back to that for awhile at this point...), and my first prompt-writing, and... yeah. :) Lotsa firsts. It's probably my favorite AU I've written, which given that I (apparently?) specialize in AUs, is actually significant.

Letting Go is... >.<. It fills me with fondness/trauma, which is just worsened as the more happy the characters get to have, the worse it'll get... Your observations about both Sam and Rinzler are spot on and make me glad; Rinzler is uniquely unstable, and Sam's recognition of who he is (instead of who he wants him to be) is definitely a lot of what causes Rinzler to respond well. :) My update speed's terrible so far, though I'm hopefully improving that soon.

I'm having more fun with Extraordinary Voyages than I expected. :D The character contrast with Sam/Quorra/Flynn is exactly what I'm going for; much joy that it's getting across that well. More characters shall join the heap soon enough (as clear from the draft...). Chaos everywhere. :) And hells yes, Sam's "Tron" will have... effects. *shakes head* Poor Tronzler.

XD Your rambling is amazing. Seriously, thanks so much. It is quite definitely the awesomely supportive fandom that's gotten me to write as much as I have here; your praise about the characterization is just... :D. As for updates, should be finishing the EV chapter hopefully tomorrow (would be today, but computer died :P), then probably doing a Letting Go chapter.

Heh. I'm glad that my rambling induced happiness, sometimes I just lose focus and it's like words start spewing out and going all over the place. I blame it mostly on the fact that I found tons of awesomeness in one place- and devoured it like it was my last meal before death. Just wanted to let you know that there are definitely people (like me ^.^) who absolutely love the work your doing.

I can see how you'd end up specializing in AU's- all the one's you've created so far start from such plausible diverging points. Sam getting caught in the unlikely crash, or leaving just before Quorra can speak to him- and to be honest I prefer the way your AU's go a lot more than the movie. (Since I always did hate the part where Sam finally gets to meet his dad again. Like there he is overwhelmed, with manly tears glistening- happy and Flynn's all "you're here-hug-dinner soon-bye". I was honestly like "thats IT?") And we were totally ripped off by the lack of Sam and Tronzler interaction. I mean Sam grew up on bedtime stories of this guy but only gets to be attacked by him, without knowing who he really is? *shakes head*

In retrospect that's probably why this snippet made me squee with so much glee. Not only are you seeing Rinzler's inner struggle with his commands and programming, his joy of the hunt and a worthy challenge but also his recognition of a User, of Sam Flynn in particular. How it's making him "glitch" and he tries to reason with himself- poor Rinzler, of course your just toying with the user -.- I mean it's not like maybe Clu messed you up. Also not like Sam can really fight at your caliber. ::cheers:: Sam Tronzler interaction for the win!!

Also Hold On has to be one of my personal favorites too because it's one to the first AU's that makes sense and has substance to it. Your Rinzler didn't magically just turn back into Tron. The way things played out made the characters confront some of the worst situations for their personalities. Quorra literally faces off against her worst nightmare- Clu and Rinzler- and comes out victorious, stronger for having saved Tron instead of letting revenge consume her.
Tron faces the very situation that left him so broken. Protect the User at the expense of your life, end up a slave again and potentially have to see the User abandon you again. (I just wanted to hide Tron away when he couldn't tell Sam to run away, his fear stopping him from doing what he thought he should. Also the reason I love your Sam, he didn't stop trying to save Tron and wouldn't leave him like his dad did.)
Sam of course, is stuck in that spot where he's unable to act or fight back as people he's come to care about are taken from him. It's probably like being seven and your world crashing down around you again for him.

The fact that Hold One ended with Sam/Tron just made me glow. And that you have a sequel planned focusing on Tron working through things on the grid had me flailing with joy. That fic was the one that caught my attention, because you didn't mince with the angst, or ignore any of the characters. Each one from Flynn in the real world to damaged, fighting Quorra is a fleshed out person, with distinct motivations and reasoning.

It's what makes Letting Go so interesting. If my observations are spot on it's mostly because your stories have layers to them. There's a lot of things happening under the surface and seen only through the interaction of Rinzler and Sam. Like Rinzler's inability to run past Alan, even when Alan (smartly) gets out of the way. Or Rinzler purposely using Sam- a new person whose not going to cause extra turmoil in his already chaotic mind- as a living buffer. (random question, what is wrong with Rinzler's eyes? Is it just that he's so used to the dark helmet that the light hurts them?)

Which leads me to mention that even from that story to the ones your working on right now- Just thought you'd like to know I honestly think I've seen an improvement in your writing. I loved Hold On to bits, but now it's like your getting used to the people your writing, wearing their minds easier and the scenes come much smoother to you. ::thumbs up:: Just means you should write forever and ever ^.~

The fun your having in Extraordinary Voyages comes through, it really does. It feels like you love writing the action and anyone reading it can't help but get caught up in it. Hell for a minute there when he's falling I swear my stomach dropped like I was on a roller coaster and I could see the ground rushing up at me.
Man I'm looking forward to whatever comes next in either story. I'm all jittery wondering if Sam's gonna wake up captured or maybe he'll get saved by Quorra- again. What will Rinzler get up to in Sam's place this time? (And Sam's "Tron" seems like it will be the catalyst. Hello unlocking memories!)

And I .... overdid my comments again. Even worse than the first time ...*facepalm*
But seeing as you didn't mind the first time hope you'll forgive this one as well. I just tend to write alot :3 If you keep your characters as true as you have been then I have no doubt that your stories will be epic. Although I do wonder if either of the ongoing stories are gonna pair Tronzler with Sam. That'd just be an added bonus considering that the direction the story's are headed are interesting enough as they are. XDD Well I hope your computer recovers and that more inspiration keeps flowing your way.

XD Wordspewing is something we share, it seems (I wordvomit all over the fics that I like). And... yeah. Still just grinning crazily here. :)

But yeah, AUs are just... it's really fun to take the 'what if' and run with it. Especially when one small tweak can send the whole story tumbling in a new direction. Sam/Tron interaction just makes me happy all over the place. And heh, this snippet will not be the first such interaction in EV. Sam's recognition doesn't come out of nowhere, after all...

Rinzler's perspective is something I'm having a lot of fun trying to get into. As either Tron or Rinzler, he seems to enjoy combat, and showing off in combat. But at the same time, he's so utterly broken, and on some level he has to know that--whether from half-accessed memory/directives, or simply from hundreds of cycles of being unable to access his own memory and purpose. And he's never met Sam, but there are so many half-triggered connections; just being around Sam makes him twitchy.

...:D You kind of just went through all of the Hold On 'verse things that make me happy. And then some. Thanks so much; I'm glad you liked it and found those things in it.

With Letting Go, there's definitely a lot going on that's not completely clear; Sam as a PoV character results in some insight and a decent lot of obliviousness. With Rinzler's eyes, the simplest explanation is 'he's used to the helmet'. The more complicated version relates to how he adapted/was recoded in grid, and how the laser worked while translating that to user-world states. So yeah, pretty much just does not want light around now.

:D Myeah. Thanks so much for reading, enjoying, and expressing your enjoyment so thoroughly. Glad you're liking what I'm writing, and it's happifying to hear that my writing style's improving as I depict these guys. This fandom's definitely got me writing more than I've ever ficced before, and I doubt I'll be stopping anytime soon.

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