Kevin Flynn is Obi-Wan Lebowski. He arrived in-game on 1 Feb 2011 and currently lives in Zone 05 with all his glowing friends.
age: 59 or like 1,000+, depending how you're counting.
origins: Tron, taken from mid-Legacy
app link: tl;dr (but I just c+p'ed everything onto the wiki)
played by: Carolyn
contact: I prefer this to not be searchable, so see either my app or HMD.
- "The Grid. A digital frontier.
- "I tried to picture clusters of information as they move through the computer. What did they look like? Ships, motorcycles? Were the circuits like freeways? I kept dreaming of a world I thought I'd never see.
- "And then, one day...I got in."
Welcome to the Grid, the world inside the computer. Its Creator is Kevin Flynn. On the outside, on an Earth much the same as our own, he's CEO of Encom Software, a brilliant programmer and technological visionary.
On the inside, he's God.
Flynn discovered the Grid by accident, zapped there from a research lab by the vengeful Master Control Program on the Encom mainframe. He found himself in a world of glowing circuitry, where programs sought with religious awe to make contact with their "users," while Master Control sought to rule the real world. With the help of the loyal security program Tron--and his user, the likewise loyal Alan Bradley--Flynn deleted the Master Control Program and reappeared in the outside world.
Obsessed with returning to the Grid, Flynn built his own system, importing Tron and creating a second program, Clu (for "codified likeness utility"), to maintain the system when he couldn't be there. Flynn had real-world commitments: Encom, and his wife and young son, Sam. But at least half his heart was inside the computer.
In the technological fantasia of the Grid, where minutes in the real world pass like hours and physics are what the Creator says they are, an entire civilization grew up in response to Flynn's quest to build the perfect computer system. Impossible structures rear into the endless night, lit only by the blue and white glow of circuitry. Enormous machines float through the air without wings. On the Game Grid, programs, the citizens of this world, compete with each other for prestige--because after all, the Creator got his start as a video game programmer.
All went well for hundreds of cycles, until something happened that wasn't in the plan. From the distant wastelands emerged programs that Flynn hadn't written, spontaneously arisen from the Grid. Flynn, enchanted, called them the isometric algorithms, ISOs, and discarded his mission to perfect the Grid as empty next to the wonder of what the system had produced on its own. Clu, made in Flynn's image, tasked from the moment he was compiled with creating the perfect system, saw what the Creator was doing, and rebelled. He betrayed Flynn and launched the Purge, seeking to eradicate the ISOs and perfect the Grid on his own.
The portal to the real world, laser-driven and power-hungry, and thus only kept open for a few hours of Grid time, closed, locking Flynn within the computer. Flynn and Quorra, the last surviving ISO, fled into the wastelands beyond the city, and Clu went on to build his totalitarian perfect system, marred only by the continued existence of his Creator, his Creator's adopted ISO, and his inability to leave the computer and perfect the real world.
The status quo has held for 20 years--on the outside. Inside the computer, it's been closer to a thousand. Clu rules undisputed but with the knowledge gnawing at him that the Creator is still out there, and Flynn waits in the Outlands beyond Clu's reach, safeguarding Quorra, with little to do but dwell on the past.
(...Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaah, Flynn didn't tell anyone, even the painfully trustworthy Alan, that he was spending his nights beaming himself into the Grid, so no one knows where he is. Computer guys, man.)
- "You're messing with my zen thing, man."
In the beginning, Kevin Flynn saw the possibilities, but not the consequences. He was young and invincible. He'd coasted through one of the most rigorous technical universities in the world on an electric blend of brilliance and audacity. He'd written the planet's best-selling video games, and held the records in most of them. He was the first human being ever to discover the universe that existed inside the computer, the first to know just how much heady power users wielded within it. Obstacles were just things that raised his score when he finally won. So of course, when he made one tiny mistake, he didn't notice.
Inside the Grid, where a night in the real world stretched for weeks, Flynn grew up while he wasn't paying attention. Some things didn't change. He was still brilliant, and still took on the universe (both of them) with bravado, but he finally grasped the magnitude of the responsibility he faced as the Creator of an entire world...and wasn't equal to it. The unanswerable question of whether anyone could have been does little to reduce the weight on his conscience.
Despite his shortcomings, the Grid lucked out on its Creator, make no mistake. Diogenes can blow out his lantern: Kevin Flynn is an honest man. Power corrupts, and with the kind of power the Creator could wield on the Grid, a lesser person would have become a despot, yet even in his youth, Flynn's integrity was unshakeable beneath its camouflage of brashness and sarcasm. It's not that Flynn is a Boy Scout, or even law-abiding--he hasn't paid to make a phone call since the 70s--but at his core, he's a thoroughly good person, incapable of cruelty or unfairness. Those qualities mean he makes friends easily, and that those friends rapidly turn into allies, but they also mean he suffers the curse of the decent man: he assumes everyone else is just as decent as he is.
Thus, Clu's betrayal crushed him. It wasn't just anyone who had turned on him. It was his creation, a program he'd modeled on himself and trusted entirely. Created literally in a mirror called up from the empty Grid, Clu was Flynn in a very real sense, stuck in the mindset Flynn had at that moment, unable to evolve beyond it. Flynn realized hadn't just failed the system, he'd failed himself, and in so doing had all but doomed his life's work, hurt everyone he'd ever cared about, and placed two worlds in grave danger.
Over a thousand years of subjective time have taught Flynn patience and restraint, and, to an extent, how to forgive himself. Unable to return to anything resembling civilization within the Grid because it would bring his identity disc, the key to the outside world, within Clu's reach, Flynn was faced with the choice of adapting, or insanity. He might have gone with insanity, except he was responsible for Quorra's survival, and so he embraced Zen Buddhism. He wasn't the worst candidate for enlightenment, but he wasn't the one anybody would have picked for it, either. Because of his isolation, there was no one around to be surprised when he turned out to be good at it.
Buddhism brought Flynn a measure of peace from his mental torment. He's no bodhisattva, but he's legitimately become a Zen master, and displays the equanimity, good humor, and flashes of joy said to come with enlightenment. He has not forgotten the past, but it no longer controls him--or so he thought until Sam showed up and Flynn realized he still has attachments after all. He is defined by those few surviving attachments, the handful of things that can stir him from contemplation and enable him to act despite his world-weariness and the insidious guilt. There's a lot he feels guilty for: abandoning Sam, Tron's death, the genocide of the ISOs, the suffering of the remaining programs on the Grid, the threat to the real world--and, still, despite it all, the pain he unwittingly caused Clu.
In the end, Flynn is as trapped as Clu is, unwilling to take the kind of ruthless steps that would end the stalemate. Despite being human and therefore adaptable, there are some things about him as hard-coded as Clu's drive toward perfection is. The deepest tragedy of all is that Flynn's fundamental goodness is the thing that condemned him and everyone around him to years of grief.
Abilities & WeaknessesEdit
- Zen. Flynn is a serious student of Buddhism, and it's improved him as a human being. He's forgiving, hard to anger, and very patient.
- Enormous integrity. There exists the possibility you could get Kevin Flynn to do something he thinks is wrong, but it's a vanishingly small one.
- Motorcycles. He's great at light cycles, and he's a good enough rider in the real world that he owned an overpowered Italian sportbike and didn't kill himself.
- Straight-up genius. He doesn't act the part, but Flynn has a mind for computers all but unrivaled in his world.
- Experience. He's over 1,000 years old, and not all of that was spent sitting around.
- PhD in computer science. This means Flynn understands a great deal of information theory and advanced mathematics on top of the programming, and that, as someone who made it through grad school, he didn't just learn, he learned how to learn.
- Haaaaaax. Flynn used to regularly crack a corporate mainframe from his bedroom, and forged himself a keycard for the same corporation's maximum-security research facility.
- Accustomed to ancient computer technology. This is actually good--Flynn is used to doing more with less, and will always try to get things right the first time.
- Accustomed to ancient computer technology. It's also bad. What's HTML, man?
- Dude is like 60. He's in as perfect physical health as it's possible to be for a human of his age, since aging within the Grid was a choice for him, but now he's stuck as a man past his physical prime.
- Terrible in a fight. If forced to fight physically, he's in trouble. He's not even that good with disc combat.
- Passivity. As a result of his Buddhist principles, Flynn has to be spurred into acting.
- World-weariness. He's older than any human has a right to be, and there are only a few things that can make him really care.
- Identity disc. It's probably not a good idea to have yourself stored on something so easy to steal.
- Clu. If Sacrosanct had Facebook, Clu would be Flynn's "it's complicated."
To be quite honest, this section terrifies me.
Flynn knows it's not Abraxas's fault, but GOD YOU'RE ANNOYING, MAN.
He feels responsible for what happened to Jalen, and if he'd known then what he knows now he'd have tried a different tactic back on the Grid. (Or even after he'd gotten a look at Anon's disc near the end of Evo, if he hadn't been suffering from Everyone in Evolution Is a Moron syndrome at the time.)
He'd like to get a look at Abraxas's disc to see if he can fix the corruption, but he's not sure what he's going to do if the answer is "no." Which is a moot point if Abraxas won't let Flynn anywhere near him, anyway.
Also he is worried about Abraxas and Anon's little...whatever it is they have. That is not healthy, man.
Flynn is still significantly weirded out (or as weirded out as he gets, anyway) that there's a parallel universe where he re-rezzed Anon from backup, but he's gotten a look at the code, and yup, that's Anon. Flynn didn't really know Anon before he sent him to his death--about which there is some guilt, as you may have noticed--so it's been interesting for Flynn to see what kind of person Anon turned out to be. And that kind of person is adorable.
Flynn would take care of Anon even if he were an enormous jerk *coughRinzlercough* but since Anon's actually a perfectly lovely person, it's not like it's a chore. He has some cognitive dissonance about reconciling Anon coming off as so young with Anon as a Monitor, so he ends up torn between wanting to protect him and knowing he should stand back and let Anon do his job.
Also he has no freaking clue how someone programmed jointly by Alan and him came out so short.
Gem Gibson Flynn doesn't feel any intensely personal guilt over Gibson, since they barely knew each other, but he remembers that Gibson helped him at considerable personal risk when he really didn't have to. He knows you're a decent person under all that snark, Gibson.
He always had a soft spot for Bostrum (because seriously? they never would have been allowed to bugger off to nowhere and be angry teenagers if he hadn't told Clu to let them--this barely counts as headcanon, c'mon) and he really appreciates that Gibson treats him irreverently. He sort of regrets they didn't get to know each other when he was younger, because he has the feeling they'd have gotten along like a house on fire.
He had a long time to get over the guilt and sorrow associated with Jalen's death, but arriving on Sacrosanct and finding Abraxas there brought much of it back to the surface. He really did not expect to ever see un-virused Jalen ever again, and he kind of wants to put Jalen in a (comfortably upholstered) box where he can never ever be hurt again. He does recognize this is...somewhat excessive, however.
The Jalen he remembered was different, because Flynn himself was different when he was a younger man, and Flynn is a little surprised to find out he likes Jalen better now. Not that he didn't like Jalen before--he's always been mellow enough to get along with practically anyone--but they're more compatible now, and the relationship is based less on "OMG YOU'RE AN ISO" and "OMG YOU'RE GOD" than it was, at least as Flynn sees it.
Cross-canon Bro Strider Despite the fact that Bro didn't really seem to mind the whole Games thing, Flynn still feels guilty about anything related to the Grid that even slightly inconveniences people (he might have a complex.)
He gets that they're on a similar wavelength, both in interests and attitude, and that Sacrosanct would have been doomed if Flynn from 30, 35 years ago had been the one to appear and they'd teamed up. He's glad that didn't happen, 'cause younger him would almost certainly do something dumb, but at the same time, that part of him that still just wants to ride light cycles around like a maniac would love to see it.
Flynn has over a millennium of experience treating computer programs as people, and Delta is so program-like (in the Tron sense) that Flynn slots him into that mental niche without even thinking about it. He's also used to considering programs "his" in the sense that he's responsible for their well-being, so he's protective of Delta on a level he doesn't quite realize exists. (Which also extends a little bit to York.) Delta is very mature, in Flynn's head he's somewhere between Anon and Tron in seniority (no one's above Tron) and Flynn likes and is comfortable with Delta in the way he was with his advisors on the Grid before everything went south.
He'll help solve the rampancy problem if Delta asks, but he's not entirely sure it's really a problem, since Flynn genuinely does not make a distinction between the rights of AIs and the rights of humans, and if you treated a human the way Halo-verse AIs are apparently treated, no one would blame them for rebelling. He may change his mind if he learns more of the actual math behind Halo computer science, but right now his stance on the matter is that responsible parents have nothing to fear from their children.
A talking dog. Well, then.
Epsilon/Washington Flynn is still super-offended on Epsilon's behalf about the overrides, even if Epsilon insists they're necessary. He knows Epsilon's got problems, which as far as Flynn is concerned are his programmers' fault--which is also, shall we say, uncomfortably familiar to Flynn--and will be happy to help solve them if asked. He knows better than to push, though.
He doesn't quite get why the Halo/RvB AIs seem to like him so much, because he's so reflexively egalitarian he can't really conceive of not treating them like people. In his head you don't get credit for the bare minimum of decent behavior
He doesn't know Wash all that well, but Flynn thinks he seems like a good guy doing his best with a bad hand. He's worried about Wash and Epsilon both, since he's the one babysitting Delta for York, but he hasn't found out what's going on yet.
Ain't even mad. Flynn's very good at seeing past people's defensive facades, and Fenris seems like a decent guy underneath the comically exaggerated rage. He had figured out Fenris had a Dark Past before he 'fessed up, so Flynn's prepared to cut him a lot of slack, as long as no one gets hurt. He really respects that Fenris was willing to bitch him out over an injustice, even though it was likely to result in Fenris catching a horrible beatdown. They'll just...work on that whole "jumping to conclusions" thing.
He would like Fenris and Tron to get along, but he also knows Tron, so he'll be content if things stay at Cold War status and no one gets disc'ed or lyrium'ed.
Flynn fully intends to take as long as necessary to turn Fenris into a fluent reader.
Gamzee Makara (AU)Edit
Gamzee you have a filthy mouth. He seems to need a stabilizing influence. (In Flynn's opinion, all the trolls do. He's not sure if this is because they're trolls, teenagers, or both.) Flynn's happy to provide, because if he's anything, it's stable. He's not convinced Zen will work for Gamzee, because he's not the mystical type, so he's aware brain chemistry is going to have a significant impact on how the mind works. Still, might as well give it a try.
One day he will find a human to teach, because he knows this Zen stuff works on them.
Joe Michael Altman Nepeta Lejion He's quite fond of Nepeta, if not her habit of dragging enormous dead things in after her like the world's most over-achieving house cat. There's essentially no way he wouldn't find someone as guileless and sweet as she is endearing. The troll thing doesn't faze him even slightly (have you met his glowing computer friends?) and as long as she doesn't hurt anyone, he'll take the cross-cultural weirdness in stride.
He's also grateful to her for taking care of poor Anon before he arrived, because Anon is essentially a giant Rottweiler puppy who knew nothing about the User world and would have been in dire straits without a friend.
Flynn hasn't had too much exposure to Protoman and doesn't know any of his background, so right now his opinion consists of "is a robot" and "behaves himself in public." One of those things puts him substantially up on a lot of the other residents of the station, and it's not the first one.
Flynn is primarily baffled by Shockwave's insistence that no one knows he's a robot. He's willing to play along, because no skin off his nose, but damn, man, it's not just a river in Egypt.
Other than that, he doesn't really think about Shockwave unless Shockwave's harassing him at the time. Shockwave's not much fun for him to talk to, because they end up in a loop of Shockwave being a jerk and Flynn gently side-stepping, and it's just unproductive and time Flynn could better spend meditating or angsting about how HIS PROGRAMS ARE DEAAAAAAAD. It's not active dislike, because it's really hard to get Flynn to dislike you, but Flynn certainly doesn't like him, and wouldn't seek out his company.
The TARDIS She landed right in his soft spot for programs, but he thinks she's a very simple one because she doesn't display much empathy. (Tron standards, man.) He is also suspicious of his Doctor of hers, since her limited empathy means her descriptions of the man don't sound that flattering to a human.
Basically he wants to take care of her because that's his impulse with all AIs, and doubly so with ones that seem lost.