Tron: Beta Cycle
on Tuesday, December, 14, 2004 6:25 PM
Chapter 1: "Resurrection"
Across the vast Sea Of Simulation, a lone tank sped hurriedly toward its destination. Inside, its operator was growing increasingly nervous.
Vax sat in front of the console in the slowly rotating cockpit of the tank. He stared at the glowing screen in front of him and sighed. It wasn’t so much that he felt nervous, he reasoned. Nervousness implied doubt, which was an emotion not afforded to Programs. He had his instructions and he was following them. It’s just that he was starting to get “concerned”.
When the final instructions had come down he was surprised, to say the least. Vax was a security Program, in charge of checking passwords and allowing access to his part of the Grid. His extended divisions of time were spent, for the most part, checking the ID’s and security clearances of programs arriving from other sectors. They would have to wait in line in the entry terminal while he processed their identity discs. Once one was cleared, he processed the next. Monotonous, yes, but he did what he was programmed to do and did it well.
Then, out of the blue, he a call to go to the I/O tower and receive instructions from his User. Instructions that included procuring this tank and setting out, alone, across the Sea Of Simulation.
Alone, of course, except for Bit.
“Are we within the scheduled arrival time at the destination, Bit?”
“Yes.” came the answer.
Good ‘ol bit, Vax thought. He could always be relied upon to be an anchor of sanity in this trip. Always “Yes” or “No”. Nothing else. If only he could think like Bit then his uneasiness might lessen somewhat.
Vax chuckled. I really have nothing to be worried about, he reasoned. There was a time, not too long ago, where he would have been spotted as an intruder by now, and a whole team of Recognizers would have descended upon him. That was before Tron, the savior of the system, liberated them from the Master Control Program and restored order and sanity to the whole domain. Vax likened himself to Tron in a way, both being security programs, after a fashion. Or at least he liked to think so.
Within the monitor something loomed in the distance. Sheer walls rose at steep angles from the floor of the Sea Of Simulation. Nestled within the wall, and visible on the monitor even at this distance was a gigantic tear reaching from the floor to top of the wall, dividing it in half. A Canyon. This was his destination.
“Bit, can you open a clear channel once we are in the canyon?”, Vax asked.
“No”, came the reply.
“OK fine,” Vax said. He stood up and punched a series of codes into the keyboard behind him. “Once we reach the entrance to the canyon, stop the tank and open up a channel to my User.”
Eventually the tank came to a halt before the entrance to the canyon. Vax, still standing at the console, rapidly typed in his communication codes, which would bring him in direct contact with his User, something that always filled him with awe and reverence.
PRG VAX, FUNCTION ASX4567 , REQUEST INITIALIZATION PROTOCOL, 9E45SSS.
The cursor skipped down a line and sat blinking. Vax held his breath hoping against hope he wasn’t going to be left out here, on the brink of nothingness waiting for a communication that would never come. After what seemed like ages, the screen scrolled a message.
PRG VAX, ACK COM SIGNAL 1 ALPH. INITIATE SECURITY PROTOCOL DELTA, SYNCHRONIZE PASSWORD DISTRIBUTION LAYER 5. SYNCH TO COMMENCE IN 5 NANOSECONDS.
This was his signal to upload the secret password that had been given to him at the beginning of this trip. He waited until the allotted time and typed, in perfect synchronization to the screen in front of him:
The screen flashed in front of him and lit up with a new purpose. This time the message was a much less formal.
GREETINGS VAX. I TRUST YOU HAVE FOUND YOUR WAY TO THE ENTRANCE TO THE CANYON?
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