viceindustrious: (Tron)
[personal profile] viceindustrious
Title: Performance Degradation
Fandom: Tron
Pairing: Rinzler/Ram
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Not mine, just playing.
Summary: Castor recovers Ram and arranges a little reunion.
Word count: 1050
Notes: Dedicated to [livejournal.com profile] scrapbullet, who I promised fic to an age ago but let myself be defeated by writer's block. This is very much inspired by her own wonderful fic, her enthusiasm for these movies and a certain program in particular. I hope it was worth the wait, lamb! 

The light from Ram's circuitry bends bright across the curve of Rinzler's helmet. Dazzling in reflection, skating the black, polished mirror that hides his face. Cyan flashes whiter flashes whiter, luminescent electrical fever, lightning arcing in the bow of Ram's back. Rinzler is washed in the glow but the illusion is superficial, nothing permeates and when Ram fades to a dull, pulsing purple, the colour is lost in the deeper darkness of Rinzler's body.

Nothing is eternally lost in the system and Castor has more than a little talent, more resourcefulness and knowledge of the grid's secrets than his humble origins should rightly allow (though if all the stories told of the MCP are true, then even basic code contains within it the language for greatness) and he has his pleasures and his predilections too. 
 
Playing with Clu is an awful lot of fun. Small acts of rebellion against their much beloved leader, all well within the realm of plausible deniability of course. 

Clu likes to have his lethal pet at his beck and call, but nothing, nothing is eternally lost in the system and some things cannot be erased from the memory of a program either. So when Castor recovers Ram, plucking the scattered remnants of his data from places where the gridbugs swarm and bringing him back to resolution, he simply has to see what a reintroduction to his old friend will do for Rinzler. 

Poor Clu, he must have put so much effort into reprogramming Tron, brute forcing his way past all those encrypted security protocols, cycles upon cycles upon cycles, trying to erase the unsavoury data without destroying his functionality altogether, rebuilding Tron without mutating him into something insane, or worse, imperfect.

And even after all that work and all that time, he couldn't erase the recollection of Ram or the hidden processes that whir once more to life as soon as Rinzler catches sight of him.

Newrezzed Ram, who looks so very fledgling, all large, confused eyes and tentative movements. Though there's a baseline of grace, even in the way he stumbles from his knees to his feet. A basic, lithe flexibility in his code. Castor hasn't attempted to update him, he created this room instead, a safe space for Ram's surprisingly alluring simplicity. Taken onto the grid proper, he imagines Ram would crash almost at once.

That fragility is alluring too, few programs now are so easily broken. Castor enjoys novelty. He half wishes he hadn't brought Rinzler here at all, he would like to play with this one himself and everything about Rinzler tells him that if he moved an inch to join the two of them he would be ducking an identity disc before he could even process it.

Rinzler has Ram up against the wall, purring like he's overheating, a fast vibrato that falls in pitch as he rubs himself against Ram, trying desperately, futilely, to interface. The connection initiates and Ram moans and throws his head back, flushing violet again, his hips bucking. His fingers are sliding over the slick shell of Rinzler's visor, his eyebrows furrowed, lip caught between his teeth.

The baleful, orange glare of Rinzler's sparse circuitry flickers into a blur of pale yellow, his signal jittering as he nuzzles into the crook of Ram's neck. Ram's arms wrap around him, his legs too. They cling to each other as though magnetized.

Between his wanton, needy little gasps of pleasure, Ram is mouthing queries, trying to gain recognition after the fact, who and what and where as he writhes against the strange program forcing this overload upon him. He isn't, Castor realizes, forward compatible and though his algorithms are already in motion to complete the process, they have no concept that it is not the Tron they know who executed this command.

Ram is too caught up latching on to the binary he recognizes, a sudden, dazzling, innocent smile breaks across his face as his eyes open wide and he touches the four spots of colour at Rinzler's neck; hooks his ankles together behind Rinzler's waist.

But Rinzler is a different creature and they are not compatible and already, Castor can see the connection start to stutter and drop. Ram screws his eyes up tight as a surge of something intense racks his body, his circuitry blazing unhealthily, then darkening with such sudden, glitching quickness it makes Castor wince in sympathy despite himself. Rinzler growls and glows brighter, Ram makes a keening, high wail and tightens his grip, his head thrashing back and forth against the wall.

Please, turns to, no, stop, and those sweet, unguarded groans signalling for more turn to cries of pain. Rinzler is still trying to force Ram's source code to comply, uprooting embedded instructions, tearing through data, sending signal after signal which bursts over Ram's circuitry in beautiful, awful, geometrical flashes.

A fatal exception error is about to occur, should have occurred already but every time he's about to close down, Rinzler forces the cycle to run again, grinding against Ram, keeping him pinned. Ram's fingers curl against Rinzler's back, held closer still by the tug of the current flooding into him. His teeth are bared, a white flash of agony in the brindled flush of his face. His neck is arched at an impossible angle. He spasms in Rinzler's grip.

"Tron!" Ram cries.

Rinzler's head jerks back. Ram is panting, chest heaving. The process halts. Castor can see it in the way Ram slumps back against the wall, twitching, his chin falling against his collar. Rinzler is trembling, almost imperceptibly and there's a noise, the suggestion of a noise, a rumble so low and deep that it's almost beyond Castor's sense except in the way his hair feels like it's lifting from a static charge.

Rinzler's circuitry dims slightly, he falls silent and still for the barest fraction of a cycle and then the orange flares bright and steady once more. He drops Ram to the floor, turns on his heel and marches out of the room.

Ram is bent over, kneeling, legs spread wide and his palms pressed flat to the ground between them. His darling little helmet is pulsing heliotrope. Castor crosses the room and lifts it from his head. Ram looks up at him, startled and fearful and so, so young. Castor smiles and strokes his hand through Ram's soft mess of curls.

"Don't worry, cherub," he says. "We'll take care of you now."
 

Date: 2011-06-16 08:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scrapbullet.livejournal.com
Oh jesus fuck.

You. Are amazing. You are. Poor Ram, oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Fuck. Fuckfuckfuck what have you done I am completely incoherent wtf is this.

This is perfect. I have no idea why you were so worried about the terminology, because you're grasped it better than I have. It's wonderful, and Ram, so obsolete, struggling to connect with something he can't even comprehend...

I love it.

Oh Ram.

There really needs to be more of this, love. I demand it. It's so perfect and wonderful and he's so innocent and fledgling and begging to be corrupted.

You know you wanna ;3

♥ ♥ ♥

More pretty please with writhing Ram on top?

Date: 2011-06-17 06:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viceindustrious.livejournal.com
Well this fic wouldn't exist without you, so you can share my amazing points with me. ♥

And I'm really, really glad you liked it, this comment made my evening.

so obsolete, struggling to connect with something he can't even comprehend...

This is what's so fascinating about the idea of Ram being brought back in this time. It's such a fun little thing to explore. Maybe some other bunny will bite me, I don't know. Ah, you can see my soft spot for corruption and messing with the poor, adorable little program, can't you.

Date: 2011-06-16 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anneka-neko.livejournal.com
SCRAP LINKED ME JUST WHEN MY RITALIN KICKED IN, SO YOU GET SEMI-FOCUSED ANNE FOR THE COMMENT!

Scrap linked me, and I looked and I was like "WHOA, I ONLY HAVE TO SCROLL ONCE? TINY FOR VICEFIC!" And see, I seem to recall you saying something about having a hard time writing shorter stuff well. I officially call shenanigans, because your longer pieces are plottier, but your shorter pieces are better. They're more complete, like looking at a single, unified piece of art, with all the perfection in the loose ends that let me go places without all the answers. Your longer ones give me the whole story, and it's always a good story, but sometimes the story isn't as good if you know the whole thing, you know?

/oh yeah, more specific comments would be nice too, huh? Well, you know me and lack of coherent comments, but you know what you're good at? Making shit computery. Fuck yes that's a word! I feel like if you wrote porn of a fuckin' floppy disk goin' into the drive (gotta make it old school, of course), it would turn out hot due to non-humanization of the "characters". It would feel legit.

That's probably the most coherent comment anyone will ever get from me, so I hope you savor it! :D

Date: 2011-06-17 06:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viceindustrious.livejournal.com
Woa, hey don't you even think for a second I am NOT savouring it!

Seriously, man, thank you for your thoughts. That's really useful to hear! I'll have to take this info into consideration in the future, maybe I tend to leave my fics on the grill too long and they get overcooked.

My terrible analogies aside, you're a gentleman and a scholar, my friend *tips hat*

And I'm incredibly pleased to hear I've got the skill of making shit computery. No joke. That's high praise there. (I reckon it owes something to reading plenty of Transformers fic in my youth. Clang, clang, clang.)

Date: 2011-06-17 11:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anneka-neko.livejournal.com
Well, the longer stories ARE what keep the Megan happy. xD

And I told you to savor it, not savour it. *poke* Stop being so British.

/I AM SEEING GREEN LANTERN TODAY MARK MARK MARK MARK *dies*

Date: 2011-06-17 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] basserandstuff.livejournal.com
This is wonderful! I was just wanting to read some Rinzler/Ram, and then I see this on my friends' page! I really love this, the emotion is deep, and I feel a little sorry for Ram. *hugs* Anyways, great fic. ^^

Date: 2011-06-17 06:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viceindustrious.livejournal.com
I'm glad that serendipity was working for you! *high five* :D

Thanks for the comment! Rinzler/Ram is a really fun pairing to play around with.

Date: 2011-06-17 12:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-me09.livejournal.com
GAH! You just keep getting more and more amazing! How do you do it?!

(Also, totes had a dream you updated! DREAMS DO COME TRUE!)

I second what Anne said, you could make a floppy disk going into a drive totally sexy and hot. *nods*

Date: 2011-06-17 06:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viceindustrious.livejournal.com
I've got you guys around to keep boosting my amazing levels, of course! Thanks, man. ♥

Date: 2011-06-17 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elitekaboom.livejournal.com
Poor Ram- this was heart-wrenching to read, especially with Rinzler recognizing him on some level, but not being able to connect- oh. And the whole idea of him being rerezzed in the new Grid, but not really understanding what was going on just tied it all together.

This was beautifully written, and I caught myself tearing up here and there.

Date: 2011-06-17 06:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viceindustrious.livejournal.com
Awww, thank you! ♥

I love all the things that you can brainstorm out of Ram being brought back in the Legacy-era. What happened to Tron is really horrifying, especially when you remember scenes between him and Ram, their goofy little energy drunk grins in the original. Oh and nevermind the shock of just how much the grid and the programs have advanced in all that time!

Date: 2011-06-17 04:46 am (UTC)
ext_72247: Cavil from BSG (Default)
From: [identity profile] grey-sw.livejournal.com
This is fantastic -- Castor's POV is spot-on, and the implied agony for both Tron and Ram is equally delicious. I particularly love the descriptions: Rinzler's growl, Ram's youth, Clu's patience, all drawn to perfection. Great job!

Date: 2011-06-17 06:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viceindustrious.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! Mmmm, I will have to admit I do like hurting the characters I love the most, even beyond the physical (umm, electrical, technological? Ha!) the whole Tron -> Rinzler thing is just inherently full of fun, fun, painful issues on it's face.

And Castor's just a blast anyway you find him. :D

Date: 2011-06-19 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noctaval.livejournal.com
Ohhhh snap. This was great! I love the way you describe their interface and compatibility issues and saflajsd;fkasd poor Ram and Tronzler D:

Date: 2011-06-21 09:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viceindustrious.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! :)

Date: 2011-08-01 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] corpseknight.livejournal.com
I like Rinzler best when he is written as an incomprehensible horrorterror destroying all he touches.

One that still has a heart and broken, tiny memories of what he once was that sometimes make him stop and go, "Wait, wh--"

Well done. Well done.

Date: 2011-08-05 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viceindustrious.livejournal.com
Thank you very much!

incomprehensible horrorterror - hehe, I like that. I think I'm with you there. That's what I find really interesting about Rinzler. The movie's got a whole bunch of holes, but some awesome concepts despite all that. What Rinzler is, that's pretty damn twisted when you think about it.

Date: 2011-08-06 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] corpseknight.livejournal.com
So, so agreed. I have the worst feeling we're not going to see a lot done with that in any subsequent movies (and definitely not in Uprising) because lol, Disney but there's a great deal of room for it in fandom, so hooray for that. They managed to create a character really really fascinating to my sensibilities (and kinks, heh) with Rinzler, and I cannot stay awaaaay.

Date: 2011-08-19 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viceindustrious.livejournal.com
His costume design kind of reminded me of Kroenen from Hellboy /random aside.

Hey, do you have any fic recs? 'Cause I am nodding my head at everything you're saying, so I figure if you know any good ones they'd be worth checking out. :D

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