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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Tron: Ghost in the Machine (Part 2) "Ghost in the Machine" Part 2
Slave Labor Graphics
Data Entry: Landry Walker and Eric Jones
Pixels: Louie De Martinis (with Michael Shoyket and Joe Weltjens on page 24)
Cover by Louie De Martinis

Jet finds himself thrust into a renewed war with the MCP.


Story Summary


Jet finds himself rezzed into the middle of a battle of blue forces against red. He is attacked by grid bugs and manages to blow them all away from himself but is knocked unconscious by the effort. He comes to while a medic program examines him and applies a memory patch.


He is released to join the rest of the army of other blue soldiers as the commanding officer delivers a pep talk about maintaining their sector against encroachment by the Master Control Program.


Jet is placed on a transit unit with other soldiers to be transported to the latest field of battle. The unit is suddenly attacked by a Recognizer and Jet destroys it by rechanneling the Recognizer's own firepower back at it with his standard issue identity disk. His Commander and other soldiers are amazed at this ability he's shown. However, since the C.O. can find no record of his existence in the database, he assumes Jet to be an enemy and orders him to be prepared for de-resolution. Jet suddenly lets loose with a blast from his hand and the C.O. vanishes, while Jet finds himself suddenly wearing the officer's armor. Then Mercury appears and informs him he did not kill the C.O., merely absorbed his functions. She goes on to tell him she is the one who summoned him back to the Electronic World and that he is now in charge of the war.


Later, Jet wonders what he has gotten himself into and gives himself another memory patch in an attempt to restore more of his fragmented memory. He finally recalls seeing the video of himself shooting his father and being digitized. Just then, Jet begins to hear a voice in his head telling him he is in terrible danger. A doorway of bright white light seems to open in the middle of the room and the figure of a white rabbit in the door tells him, "...none of this is real..." 




Didja Notice?


On pages 3-5, a swarm of grid bugs attack Jet. Grid bugs were glimpsed briefly in Tron and Yori is shown to be fearful of encountering them, but they are not seen again in the film. In the Tron 2.0 Killer App for Xbox they are seen to be capable of derezzing programs.

On page 8, the leader of the troops fighting against the MCP says they must not allow the MCP to "expand beyond our partitions." In computer terminology a partition is a section of a storage drive that has been reserved for a particular application or set of applications. He then goes on to say they must maintain this sector at the cost of their own existence. A sector is the smallest unit into which a storage drive is divided.

On page 9, Dox realizes that Jet has been given a memory patch. He says, "Don't worry. A little fragmentation is normal. It'll realign." In computer terms, fragmentation is a condition in which files on a hard drive have been scattered into pieces spread across the disk over a period of use as the operating system is forced to store parts of individual files across multiple sectors to make use of all available space. This condition causes programs to respond more slowly as the operating system must search across the sectors to find all the pieces of the program.

On page 10, Dox refers to the MCP with the derogatory term "null unit". This is the same phrase Sark used at least once against his lieutenant in Tron.

Jet asks how the MCP was able to take over again and Dox responds that if he could answer that, he'd be on command line. Presumably he is referring to being a command officer in the military instead of a common soldier. In computer terms a command line is the line on the computer display at which a command may be entered.

Discussing the last time the MCP took power, Jet comments they had Tron to help take it down. Dox responds that's true but mainly it was Tron's User who was instrumental in the victory. Wondering why Jet is so fragmented, Dox says, "This is all basic." Possibly this is a reference to the BASIC computer language (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) developed in the 1960s and still in use for some applications today.


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