Forums (I/O Tower)
 Fan Fiction & Art 
 Nox Aurumque

New New Comments | Post No Change | Locked Closed
AuthorComments:  Page: of 1 Page

Posts: 2,389
Nox Aurumque

on Wednesday, April, 18, 2012 10:05 PM

This story is actually unfinished.  I really hate posting stuff that's sort of half done, but I think I've gotten as far as I can with it.  It lacks a really proper ending, though in a bittersweet way, the ending sort of fits.  However, I thought of it since we were discussing plausible explanations for Yori's absence in another thread.

It's been a very long time in coming.  I've long wanted to write about what may have happened to Yori.  I couldn't come up with any ideas.  I couldn't bear to kill her off; I couldn't bear to just say she and Tron split up, and I couldn't bear to say "she didn't want to come to the new system" (which, again, would essentially mean her and Tron splitting up) or "Flynn didn't want to bring her" (ouch).  (I also just couldn't believe she (and most programs) wouldn't know exactly who Rinzler was.)

Then J wrote on this very subject as well with What They Needed (, and I started thinking about it.  Yori in exile, hm.  But I still wasn't sure-- why would she do it?-- until I remembered what we see of Yori in T82.

It's not beyond Yori to give up.  She's not the fighter type.  When she thinks Tron is dead and there's no hope, she's done too.  There's no more fight left in her (as opposed to Tron, who only becomes more resolute when he thinks his friends are dead; or Flynn, who's simply defiant enough to say "oh hell no this isn't happening;" or Dumont, who's flip even while being tortured ("What do you want?  I'm busy").  She even sort of gets mad at Flynn when he won't let her just give up.

Combine that with me re-reading the text to Eric Whitacre's Nox Aurumque (text by Charles Anthony Silvestri).  The lines referring to angel made me think of Yori because of another story I had written (which I've not posted here yet).

And so, I had a story.

What do you want? I'm busy.

Program, please!

Chaos.... good news.

Posts: 2,389
RE: Nox Aurumque

on Wednesday, April, 18, 2012 10:08 PM
This is the music:

This is the text:

Infuscatum et obscurum
Canens noctis,
Canens mortis,
Acquiescens canendo…

Et angelum somnit aurorarum et bellorum.
Saeculorum aurorum fundit lacrimas,
Lacrimas rerum bellorum.

O arma!
O lamina aurata!
Gestu graves nimium,
Graves nimium volatu.

Infuscatum et torpidum,
Dilabere ex armis in alam!
Volemus iterum,
Alte supra murum;
Angeli renascentes et exultantes ad alas

Canens alarum,
Canens umbrarum…

This is the English translation of the text:

Tarnished and dark
Singing of night,
Singing of death,
Singing itself to sleep...

And an angel dreams of dawnings, and of war.
She weeps tears of the golden times,
Tears of the cost of war.

O shield!
O gilded blade!
You are too heavy to carry,
Too heavy for flight.

Tarnished and weary,
Melt from weapon into wing!
Let us soar again,
High above this wall;
Angels reborn and rejoicing with wings made
Of dawn,
Of gold,
Of dream.

Singing of wings,
Singing of shadows...

(I am actually working on re-setting this text myself as well.  It has never been one of my favorite Whitacre pieces, so I've only listened to it a couple times and it's not in my head; rather, I got so into the text for this song that it started setting itself to new music in my head instead.  I'm only through the first stanza and part of the second, however.)

What do you want? I'm busy.

Program, please!

Chaos.... good news.

Posts: 2,389
RE: Nox Aurumque

on Wednesday, April, 18, 2012 10:16 PM

He willed himself not to wake up.  He simply couldn't face the reality.  There may have been a time when he would have longed for light.  But his mind had dwelt in darkness so long, its comfort become familiar after hundreds of cycles, that he preferred to seek solace there once again.  He wasn't sure light still existed.  Once, he'd looked to users for illumination, but that was no longer possible.  Flynn... gone.  Tron's own user... absent for almost longer than Tron could remember; he'd never come to the aid of his own program.  Flynn's son... back to his world, possibly never to return.  Tron was alone.  He let the shadows surround him, let himself melt into them, into a place he knew well, sweet oblivion.  Maybe this time... he'd never wake.  It was a comforting thought.


Yori hadn't ventured out of the Outlands in longer than she could recall.  After Flynn had gone into exile, she'd done the same.  If he couldn't bother to fight, didn't believe anything could be done, why should she?  If Tron was gone, what was the point?

“He’s dead,” Flynn had told her, and Yori’s heart had broken.  How long had they been paired?  From the last system to this one… well, a long time.  Clu had done this.  Clu… who Yori, too, had once counted as a friend.  For the first time in her life, Yori knew hate.

And then, one day soon after, Clu, the traitor, had announced a new addition to his team, a new right-hand man, a new adversary in the Games.  All programs were required to attend.

As always, the Games functioned as a sort of forum for Clu, a place where he could address a captive audience.  Yori sat high up in the back, as always, where she would not have to be too close to the action.  

And then Clu brought out this new lackey, the champion of the Grid, as Clu called him.  And from the moment the slender program had followed Clu down the spiraling stairs from Clu’s command ship, Yori’s processes had begun to pulse faster.  She was up high, far away, too far to see much… but her breath caught in her throat anyway.  The new program stood silently, deferentially, behind Clu, not moving, as Clu introduced him—Rinzler.

And then Rinzler was led into the disc arena, and a hapless program was brought before him, and though it was obvious the program was a good fighter, she was no match for Rinzler.  Not for the greatest fighter on the Grid.

But Yori had known long before.  From the time she first saw him, she knew.  When Rinzler pulled his disc from his back—splitting it into two, a new trick—and moved into a ready stance, she was certain.  Recognition poured through every circuit, every process within her screamed his name, and it felt like the energy was draining from her.

She would know him anywhere.  Was he not her own mate?  She knew his shape, the way he moved, as intimately as she would know her own hand in front of her face.

True, it wasn’t quite the same.  The program who had once stood proud and tall now walked in a posture of deference that in itself made Yori feel sick.  But when he fought… that changed, and it was unmistakably the same.

Yori felt herself leap to her feet, thought she was screaming, “It’s Tron!” but the world went dark, and the next thing she knew, she was waking up in the flat of one of the other Resistance leaders, surrounded by concerned friends.

“Yori, are you all right?  You lost consciousness at the Games.  You jumped up and then went down.”

“It’s him…” she managed weakly.  “It was Tron.  Rinzler.  He’s Tron.”  The cell leader, an Iso named Sophia, knelt next to Yori.

“I know,” she said softly.  “I know.  We’ll tell everyone.  We’ll get him back.”

But it was no secret.  Yet it was.  Everyone knew, but no one wanted to say it.  Some didn’t even want to believe it.  Yori and Sophia and the rest of the Resistance tried to put the word out, even as they formulated plans to rescue Tron, but programs and Isos in the Resistance began disappearing as soon as they said anything.  The other programs learned not to listen.  Some were afraid.  Some were disbelieving—didn’t want to think Tron was capable of this, would rather think of him as dead than corrupted, thought Clu had created an imposter.  And some—generally those loyal to Clu-- simply didn’t care.

And then one day, not long after that terrible Games, Clu’s guards caught up to Yori.  One moment she was on the street with Sophia and two other Resistance members, Sirius and Rigel, insisting to anyone who would listen that the identity of Clu’s new enforcer was all too familiar.  The next she was being grabbed and dragged away.  She struggled, but a baton to her head overwhelmed her processes and sent her spiraling into darkness.

When she came to, she was bound in Clu’s prison.  Sophia, Rigel, and Sirius were nowhere to be seen.  And then the Black Guard came.  And when they asked her if she knew why she was brought in, she told them: because she had spoken the truth that Rinzler was Tron.  And one of them hit her and said Tron was dead.  When she denied it, she received another blow.  And so it went on—struck by fists, feet, batons, lightstaffs, jolted by currents, all when she refused to acknowledge that Rinzler was not Tron.  Finally, when she could barely stand without the restraints that bound her to the wall holding her up, Yori simply went mute.  She’d been taught what happened when a program tried to speak the truth.  She would not lie, but she just wanted the beating to stop.

And then Clu had come into the room.  He’d touched her face—gently but not nicely; she’d always hated the condescension he was capable of—and chided her.  It was too bad she couldn’t believe Tron was gone, he’d said, but denial wouldn’t help anyone.

When she thought of all the things she wanted to say to him, she wasn’t sure which should come first, and her tongue felt swollen in her mouth.  He had to have seen the hate in her eyes.  Finally she managed to ask where Sophia and Sirius and Rigel were.  Clu told her they’d been de-rezzed—of course dissidents couldn’t be allowed to remain and incite trouble.  That was what happened to those who spoke up and tried.  However, Clu informed her, she had been allowed to live because of their history.  They’d been friends once; couldn’t they be again?  They could work together, Clu said, create the perfect system—maybe he’d even let her meet Rinzler.  This last was too much for Yori; she spit in his face.  Yet he didn’t strike her, as she expected; he merely ordered the guards to return her to her cell in a disgusted tone of voice.

Over the next half centicycle or so, she was beaten whenever she tried to insist Rinzler was Tron.  It didn’t take long for her self-imposed silence to become constant—she learned quickly that to do otherwise just meant pain.  What was the point?  The other programs wouldn’t listen anyway.

Then came a commotion, an attack on Clu’s stronghold, and a Resistance program was pulling Yori from her cell amid the confusion.  It was the planned attempt to rescue Tron, but while Yori and a couple of other Resistance programs who hadn’t yet been de-rezzed were rescued, Tron was being held too closely and the Resistance couldn’t get near.  Many programs were de-rezzed that day and in the three subsequent attempts before it was determined that it couldn’t be done.  That was when part of Yori died.  She looked around and saw so few left who were willing to go against Clu.  So few left to fight, and the best one of them all already on the other side.

Yori was weary, downtrodden, defeated.  So many good programs gone, and for what?  Clu’s downfall was no closer than it had been; in fact, he was stronger.  With so many dissenting voices eliminated, and so many other programs intimidated, the Grid was under Clu’s thumb.  What did it matter anymore?

And so, since Flynn was not heard from again after he’d told her about Tron, Yori and a few other programs exiled themselves deep in the Outlands as well.  They were safe there, and didn’t have to watch programs going about their business as if everything was normal, didn’t have to attend the Games with their bloodlusty cheering, and she wouldn’t have to see him… lost to her…

And so they subsisted, from cycle to cycle that all blurred into one distorted nightmare of existence.  They didn’t bother to keep track of time.  What use?  It was all the same.

Sometimes she would still remember.  She would sit, and relive those days, when they had been together, and they had been happy, and they had still believed in Flynn, and everything was new and promising.  And if she closed her eyes and concentrated hard enough, she could forget for a little while and even smile.

But inevitably, it would come back to violence; she couldn’t turn the memories off when they became difficult.  So many lost.  Pointless.  War.  What was it good for?  Absolutely nothing.  What did fighting accomplish?  In the end, Clu still won.  And when they fought, he could eliminate them, and the numbers of his enemies, those willing to speak out against him, dwindled, and in that way he won too.  Why die for that, allow the population to shrink to only those who supported him, give him that satisfaction?

And Yori could still cry.  Just when she thought she was surely out of tears, another day would come, another memory of another face, another light extinguished as the darkness spread, and Yori would discover that grief does not have an end.

But time heals all wounds.  Or, at the very least, dulls the pain.  The small colony of exiled programs went on, merely desiring existence.  It was tedious, but it was still life.  They clung to it even when they would rather not—some because they held out a thread of hope, some because they didn’t know what else to do, some because they didn’t have the fortitude to end it all (but there were those who did find the courage).  Yori didn’t know which camp she fell into.  At times, she suspected, it was a mix of them all.

As long as he was still out there somewhere, even changed, she had to hold on.  She didn’t know why.  The situation was hopeless.  He was never coming back.

Sometimes she wondered if he would know her if he saw her.  Sometimes she almost wished she could meet up with him, just once; even if he de-rezzed her on sight, she would see him, she would know.  But she was so demoralized and had slipped so far into lethargy that she couldn’t make herself bother.  What was the point?

Then one day they saw the portal was open.  For the slightest moment, hope stirred in Yori’s heart.  Flynn!  The open portal meant Flynn!  But then she remembered: Flynn was already here.  And no one had heard from him for a thousand cycles.  And the hope died, and so they ignored the portal.

Until the explosion.  Even way out here, in the far reaches of the Outlands, the shock wave knocked Yori to the ground.  And when the little colony got over their stunned confusion and ventured out, they found the city gone.  Everything was gone.  Far out as they were, only they had narrowly escaped destruction.

That meant he was gone, too.  And Yori retreated to her little flat and stayed there.


He felt heavy.  So heavy.  Why didn’t he sink to the bottom of the Sea?  Heaviness.  Darkness.  Exhaustion. Never again.  Never again.  Find solace, rest.  De-rez already.  He couldn’t go on anymore.  Not knowing what he’d done.  Once the system’s protector and light, he’d become its darkest weapon.  And so much conflict in his mind.  Was Tron dead?  How could that program ever exist again, ever stand straight and look at the Grid he’d helped twist into darkness? So tired.  So heavy.  Too much.

Darkness.  Heaviness.  



Was it as much as a centicycle later when someone pounded on her door?  She ignored it at first, but it continued and someone called her name urgently.  Slowly she opened the door, but it was pushed open for her by someone outside, nearly knocking her down.  And then she almost fell again when she saw who they were bringing through the door.

“We pulled him out of the Sea.  Unconscious, weak, but he’s alive.”  She fell to her knees beside him, touching the dimmed circuitry (now white again), the flickering stylized “T” over his collarbone.  And then she was sobbing again—damn those tears!

“How?  How?  Everything, everyone, is gone…”

“It must have been the Sea.  It would have protected him…”


Light.  Pricking at his consciousness.  A muddle of voices… but one voice.  That voice.  And a touch… from so long ago.  The touch of hands he would know anywhere, even now, even like this.  Was this it, then?  Had the end finally come?  He’d longed for it, in the darkness, the heaviness.  And now, that voice.  Was this the Final Archive at last?

But it couldn’t be.  He remembered what was said: and there will be no darkness there, and no more weeping, and the tears shall be wiped from their eyes…  The darkness was still calling him, the heaviness still dragging him down.  So this was not the Final Archive, not yet.  Perhaps soon, but not yet.  He tried to hang onto the voice, but he was sinking… so inexorably... and the darkness was still so comforting… all he knew…


“I think he’s stable… but he’s still weak.  We need to get some extra energy into him.”  Yori still knelt beside him, gripping his hand tightly.

“Do it,” she said.  “You think he’ll survive?”

“I think so.  I’ve seen worse than this pull through.  He doesn’t look in too bad of shape as far as injuries… his energy’s just really depleted.  I have to tell you though, Yori… I don’t know what happened to him or why his circuitry’s white again, but I hope the change is permanent.  If not, we’ll all be in danger.”

They administered the energy slowly, carefully, little by little.  Yori didn’t leave his side.


The darkness was losing its grip.  Something else was pulling him by the hand now—the voice, the light.  That hand in his, strong and warm and sure, the hand that fit into his own as if it were made just for that, something he’d never stopped marveling at… in that other life…

Other life.  He almost slipped again, but the hand held him fast, kept him in the conscious world.  It was all he had left, and he might be hallucinating, might be falling back into the dream, but if she was there, then it was where he wanted to be, wherever it might lead him.

The light was calling.  He was rising now, guided by the voice, the last vestiges of the heaviness slipping away.  He struggled to open his eyes as the voice spoke his name.  His name.  Not the other name, the one that represented the darkness.

“Tron…”  But it was the next three words that brought him home.


She saw him stir, almost imperceptibly… leaned closer over him and spoke.

“Tron… I love you.  I love you.  Come back to me.  Please come back to me.”  Briefly, his mouth moved.  She thought she saw her name weakly on his lips.  So she bent and kissed him, eliminating any need for words.  Then she pulled back and looked at him intently.

“I love you…” she whispered again.  His eyelids flickered and began to lift.


Light.  Warmth.  Still the hand, still the voice.  Slowly, wearily, he opened his eyes.  Light.  This time, actual, real, visual light.  It almost hurt his eyes; they had been behind a dark helmet for so long.  His vision was still blurry, but yet… he thought the first real, full light he had experienced in far too long brought the most beautiful clarity he’d ever seen.

And the next thing he saw was her.


His eyes opened, and they just looked at each other.  How long had it been since she’d seen those eyes?  She’d tried to keep them in her mind, all these centuries of cycles, but they were more beautiful than she’d remembered.

His mouth moved again, first vainly, and then she heard his voice.  Rusty, but still familiar.

“Are you real?”  She started to cry again.

“The most real thing you’ll ever see.”  She touched his face gently.  “It’s okay, Tron.  You’re safe.”


When was the last time he’d been safe?  It was a word he barely remembered.  On Clu’s Grid, no one was safe.  His stomach twisted and he closed his eyes again; he couldn’t look at her.

“Tron?”  He opened his eyes but turned his head and looked away.

“Yori, I… I was…”  When she spoke, her voice was gentle.

“I know.  I know who you were.”  She tried to turn his head to her, but he wouldn’t let her.   “Tron, look at me.  Please.”  He did, though it was painful to face her.  “I always knew.  But I couldn’t find a way to get to you, to bring you back.  But you’re here now.  And we’re together.  You can become everything you were meant to be… again.  You can do this.  We can do it together.  All you have to do is believe.   Because I believe in you.  I always have.  And I’ll be here, right next to you.  It’ll be a long road back, but I’m with you.”

When he looked at her, his eyes were helpless.

“I don’t know if I know how to be Tron anymore,” he said.

“You do,” she assured him.  “You do.  That’s who you are.  When you close your eyes… whatever you know, deep down, whatever you want and believe and hope… whatever you would do without thinking about it… that’s Tron.  All you have to do is look inside yourself and remember.”

“I’m still fighting him.  Sometimes it’s easier than others.  Like when I look at you.  But I’m so afraid I’ll turn back.  Promise me that if I do, you’ll de-rez me instantly, before I can hurt anyone.  Don’t try to fix it, don’t hope it will change, just destroy me.  I can’t hurt anyone ever again, Yori.  If I did, I couldn’t take it.”  His eyes were wounded, pleading.  “Please promise me, Yori.”   With tears in her eyes, she nodded.

“I promise,” she whispered, and hoped it was one she would never have to keep.

I remembered black skies, the lightning all around me
I remembered each flash as time began to blur
Like a startling sign that fate had finally found me
And your voice was all I heard that I get what I deserve

So give me reason to prove me wrong, to wash this memory clean
Let the floods cross the distance in your eyes
Give me reason to fill this hole, connect the space between
Let it be enough to reach the truth that lies across this new divide

There was nothing in sight but memories left abandoned
There was nowhere to hide, the ashes fell like snow
And the ground caved in between where we were standing
And your voice was all I heard that I get what I deserve

So give me reason to prove me wrong, to wash this memory clean
Let the floods cross the distance in your eyes across this new divide

In every loss, in every lie, in every truth that you'd deny
And each regret and each goodbye was a mistake too great to hide
And your voice was all I heard that I get what I deserve

So give me reason to prove me wrong, to wash this memory clean
Let the floods cross the distance in your eyes
Give me reason to fill this hole, connect the space between
Let it be enough to reach the truth that lies across this new divide
Across this new divide, across this new divide

^ New Divide by Linkin Park:

What do you want? I'm busy.

Program, please!

Chaos.... good news.

Posts: 2,389
RE: Nox Aurumque

on Wednesday, April, 18, 2012 10:25 PM

(If you wonder why this does not end happily, it's because the poem itself doesn't end happily. Yes, there is hope. But the last line is still Gold ... singing of shadows... The hope is not complete; the darkness is not entirely gone. It's never that easy. As Yori says: it's going to be a long road)

What do you want? I'm busy.

Program, please!

Chaos.... good news.
 Page: of 1 Page
New New Comments | Post No Change | Locked Closed
 Fan Fiction & Art 
 Nox Aurumque