|WARNING: PROFANITY FOLLOWS|
|The following content contains profanity that may not be suitable for readers of all ages. Please proceed with caution.|
|Season 1, Episode 9|
Accusations is the ninth episode of the series, Ryder.
The episode begins at dusk with a skyline view of the city. A rooftop corner is thrown into focus as the orange sky and light grey, misty clouds are thrown further into the background.
A pair of a black boots then drop down onto the rooftop corner. The view then shows the woman in the grey cloak, watching over the city from the roof. Behind her, the clouds are more hurdled together and a darker grey- with the sound of thunder rumbling through them. He looks up ahead and leaps from the rooftop. Her glance moves from straight ahead, as it lowers- as if to view what's below her. Beneath her body, there's a wide street with several cars and citizens below. Her gaze returns to what is ahead of her. Her body starts to falter in altitude, causing her to mis-align with the other rooftop across from her. However, she quickly adjusts the bracelets around her wrists- causing them to project some sort of spike. She then bends her knees and extends her arms out as the spikes stab into the side of the building. She then climbs up the side of the building, kicking off of a sturdy air-conditioning unit. Using the window sills of the building, she pushes off of them, propelling herself upwards more and more until she shortly reaches the rooftop she had been aiming for. She performs a back flip as soon as her hands touch down on the rooftop edge and sticks the landing onto the building's roof. She then runs across the roof and jumps up, kicking up against a rooftop stair enclosure. He steps onto the top of that and leaps from that as well. Her body moves effortless as she continues to leap, roll and free run across the city. She then stops at one rooftop in particular and looks down- seeing an open window next to a fire escape on the side of the building across from her. Her neutral expression curves into a smirk.
Woman: Tsk, tsk. And to think you've learned your lesson last time, Patricia from 233B.
The woman cracks his neck and practically hops off from the ledge. As she drops down, parallel to the fire escape, she calmly adjusts her bracelets to a third settings- one that makes the interior appear very striped. She then sticks his arm out and clenches her fist in a unique position. This causes a rope to shoot out from her bracelet. As the rope shoots out towards the edge of the fire escape, the end quickly wraps around the metallic bar and secures to itself with a latch at the end of the rope. The woman then loosens her grip on the bracelet which activates some sort of mechanism within the bracelet, itself. The rope begins to tighten as the woman reels upwards- with grace. She then slowly elevates up to the open window where her fist begins to tighten again, causing her ascend to pause where she is. She looks inside, seeing a open pizza box from Daryl's Pizza on the counter. Inside, a freshly baked pie with pepperoni, onions and peppers. The woman's face lights up. And with that, the scene cuts over to an alleyway where another woman can be seen leaning against the wall. She checks her watch. She's wearing a fur coat over a black shirt. She has short, black hair and auburn eyes. Just then the woman from earlier drops down into the alleyway. The other woman doesn't even bat an eye but simply looks ahead, her expression appears tight-lipped but also nonchalant.
Other Woman: What took you so long? We were supposed to head inside five minutes ago.
The first woman rises up from her landing stance smoothly and starts to walk over to the other woman, with a playful smile.
Woman: Just decided to take the scenic route back.
She stops by the other woman and raises a slice of pizza, that was held in her hand, to her face where she then takes another bite. The other woman glares at the slice in her hand.
Other Woman: With a slice of pizza?
The initial woman shrugs as she continues eating. A sigh leaves from the other woman as she turns towards the end of the alleyway, where a door can be seen.
Other Woman: Whatever. Just hurry up and finish up. The boss doesn't like delays.
Woman, with mouth mostly full: Something tells me... (shallows) Something tells me he doesn't have many options.
The other woman stops and turns sharply at the first one.
Other Woman: Watch your tongue or I shall cut it from that wicked mouth of yours.
Woman: Oh boy, somebody's super loyal today. What's the matter? Wake up on the wrong side of the bed?
Other Woman: Maybe you should consider why I act like this. He is the leader of the Cabal, our boss! What do you think he'll do to us if he heard you speaking about him like that? You might be new here but you better start adapting real quick. Otherwise, you'll wind up just like Fisher.
Woman: I thought Fisher was Ry- I mean, the target's doing.
Other Woman: So we've heard but you can't always believe things you hear. Now throw that crap away. It'll do nothing but add unnecessary fat to you, anyways.
The second woman turns back to the door and approaches it. The first one, however, looks down at her stomach.
Woman: Wait, I'm not gaining weight, am I?
The second woman doesn't reply. The first one then looks over at her with an annoyed glare. Her eyes then shift downwards for a moment as her mouth begins to curve. Her gaze then returns straight ahead of her after that incredibly brief moment and she takes another bite from her pizza slice before tossing it into the nearby trash cans. An alley cat runs out from behind the trash cans and exits the alleyway. Inside, a clean hallway can be seen with both women standing next to one another. The woman in the fur coat keeps her gaze straight ahead of her but the woman in the white cloak shifts her eyes from ahead of her to the woman next to her from time to time. At the end of the hall, there's an elevator and a scrawny man wearing glasses standing before it- one of the Cabal members. He turns upon hearing footsteps approaching and is greeted with the sight of the two attractive women approaching him.
Man: (clears his throat) Evening, ladies.
Other Woman: Herbert.
Man: It's uh- Herman, actually.
Herman turns awkwardly over to the initial woman and really tries to give a charismatic smile. It doesn't really work, however. The woman tries to hide her cringe upon seeing his face, as he leans forward.
Herman: Miss Helfer.
Helfer: Evening, Herman.
She leans past him and presses the elevator button then steps back, away from him. They stand there for a moment before the door to the elevator opens. The two woman then step into the elevator, followed by Herman. The door then closes. As if only an instance has passed, the door can be seen opening again. Herman steps out first followed by the other two. They stand at a railing that is now in front of the elevator.
Other Woman: Hmph. Sights like these... they remind me of why I come to work every day.
Helfer turns from the woman across from her and looks ahead of her, as if really taking in the view before her this time around. Before her, there is a large cargo area with a series of conveyor belts and such. There are tons of armed men moving equipment and cargo around. Some of open crates show containers of the serum that they're developing inside. A throat can then be heard clearing, catching all of their attention as they glance down. Underneath them, before the railing, is the leader of the Cabal in his white suit. He tilts his head up and looks at the three of them with a hard and firm gaze.
Cabal Leader: Come, members of my Cabal. It is time to discuss the end of our greatest enemy.
The scene continues at a table in a dark room with a single light lit, hanging over that very table. At the table, the four remaining members of the Cabal sit in silence as they look at each other with peculiar looks. All but the leader, who looks down at the table, itself. Helfer looks up over at the boss who sits directly across from her. Her innocent gaze soon evolves into a more bored look as she begins to slouch forward.
Helfer, after clearing her throat: So boss… what did you want to discuss?
The other two members turn to look at Helfer with wide eyes. The boss remains unaffected by her comment and continues looking down with fixated eyes at the table he’s seated at. The other woman turns in her seat, her gaze fixed on Helfer.
Other Woman: You should wait until he has something to say. We’ve had meetings before!
Herman: Well… We all make mistakes, Delilah.
Delilah: That is Klaus to you, Herman. Working together makes us team mates and acquaintances, but nothing more, I can assure you.
Herman: R-right, of course…
Cabal Leader: Enough jabbering. I can hardly concentrate with you two bickering at each other.
Delilah Klaus: O-Of course, boss. I apologize sincerely.
Herman: As do I, my humble leader.
The Cabal Leader lets out a grunt as he raises his head. His glance passes over Helfer but does not remain on her as he looks elsewhere.
Cabal Leader: Where are we with our progress?
Herman: We have more than enough of the blood-transfusion drugs to flood the market. If all goes to plan, our interested parties will line up for a supply of serums that grant them Mutant-like abilities and we shall have a sudden income reaching the millions within this city alone.
Cabal Leader: Good. It seems, despite being arrested, Kanos was still able to complete his part of the bargain. Unlike our former asset, I had no doubts about him.
Delilah Klaus: A lot of us did, however.
Cabal Leader: I’m aware of what you thought about him, Delilah. I just simply do not care. Business… comes before feelings. A lesson passed down to me that I will always hold true to my heart. So… now that we have no concerns about the serum, what else in on our agenda, Delilah?
Delilah Klaus: (clears throat) We still have the target to deal with. He does not know the full extent of our operations but has already gotten himself involved and, well, killed a few of our agents as we’ve already discussed.
Cabal Leader: The thing about bringing up something that has already been discussed is to remind people. Now, if it is something that does not need to be mentioned, then bringing it up again is simply out of place. But… when something has not be addressed yet and still needs to be done--
He leans forwards, sitting up in his seat. His face, somehow, grows darker than before- possibly from the shadows positioned on it.
Cabal Leader, continuing: --then it is worth further discussion. No matter how many times we go over it, Ryder is still alive and ruining our operations. Now we will fight him until there are no members left of this Cabal but I do not want that to be the case. We need a better and efficient way of defeating him.
Herman: I still have some weapon designs. I can get to work as soon as possible.
Cabal Leader: We’ve tried your devices, Herman. No, I still have plans for you… Delilah?
Delilah Klaus: I’ll go. I know where his office is. A direct attack- one that he won’t see coming. Or… we could always go after the ones that are close to him.
Delilah pulls a knife from her sleeve and readies it in her hand.
Cabal Leader, looking disinterested: We’ve tried attacks such as those before. None have seemed to leave such a lasting effect on him except for, well, possibly the Cabal’s greatest hit. Back when we were simple mercenaries…. But, then again, that is what lead us to our current problem, now wasn’t it?
Delilah Klaus, looking down: Yes, sir.
Cabal Leader: I doubt making him more… agitated will help anyone, really. No… we need something else. Something he won’t escape from so easily.
Herman: A- A trap, sir?
Cabal Leader: Yes…. a trap.
Delilah Klaus: Then we use his little friend as bait. The little mouse won’t know what hit him once the metal clap slams shut on him!
Cabal Leader: Enough with the girl. She cost us Kanos but that leaves us without someone to pay and clean up after, now doesn’t it? No, she will come into play later on. Delilah, there is one thing I want to know from you at this very moment.
Delilah Klaus: Of course, sir, what is it that you would like to know?
Cabal Leader: Why do you insist on bringing one Miss Jessica Kelly into this?
Delilah Klaus: She is the only woman in his life, a precious treasure that can be used against him.
Cabal Leader: Yes… We need another.
Delilah Klaus: Sir?
Cabal Leader, gaze looking ahead now: Another woman in his life. Helfer.
Helfer looks ahead at the Cabal Leader with slight surprise.
Helfer: Yes, sir?
Cabal Leader: Your skills are quite extraordinary among the Cabal here. That’s mostly why I recruited you, personally. I saw a great potential in you. And with Cabal training, your petty larceny acts have evolved into ruthless undetected murders. You’re quite the assassin.
Helfer: T-Thank you, sir. You’ve trained me well.
Cabal Leader: Your skill set also includes a less direct method, does it not?
Helfer is taken aback by his words.
Helfer: Y-Yes. It does, on the occasion.
Cabal Leader: Well, I believe now might be just the occasion.
Delilah Klaus: With all due respect, sir, the target knows the Cabal very well.
Cabal Leader: He knows the old Cabal very well. But Fisher is dead and Miss Helfer has not had the pleasure of running into our fated nemesis before. They should have no relation and he should not be aware that she is a member of the very Cabal he has been trying to kill so desperately. I find these ideal conditions for your infiltration techniques.
Helfer: I-Is there not another way I could do this, sir? I only ask because, well, these methods vary depending on the individual. It could last for who knows how long?
Cabal Leader: Our time may be short but it is long enough to try, Miss Helfer. You seem… troubled by the idea of being in a relationship with the target. How is this any different from the other times, may I ask? Is it because he’s a Mutant? Have you not been taking the supplements of the serum we’re developing?
Helfer: I- I have.
Cabal Leader: Then it couldn’t possibly be that. Is it because he’s not rich and well known? No. I don’t believe so, you’ve killed poor men and nobodies before as well. Am I correct?
Cabal Leader: The only thing that comes to my mind, Miss Helfer, is that you’re afraid of him. You know what he is capable of and it frightens you to be anywhere near him. Well, I don’t blame you. Herman, do you fear Ryder? Answer honestly now.
Herman: ...Yes. I fear him greatly but I am prepared to face him should I have to.
Cabal Leader: Good answer. (turns to Klaus) Delilah, are you afraid of Ryder?
Delilah Klaus: No.
Cabal Leader: Ah. Trying to turn things around now, are we? Okay, fine, I will play your game this time. You don’t fear Ryder… but you fear the beast that he becomes, don’t you?
Klaus freezes and averts eye contact with the Cabal leader. He holds his gaze at her for a moment that seems to last forever before pulling away and turning back to Helfer.
Cabal Leader: As you can see, all the other fear Ryder.
Helfer: Do you? Do you fear him?
Cabal Leader: I fear one man but Ryder… (chuckles) he is not that man. I’m actually fascinated by him. I can not wait to meet him but our current situation prevents me from doing so quickly without sacrificing the main goal. Besides, the only way for that to happen would be if he were to kill all of you.
The table grows in silence. The Cabal Leader clears his throat.
Cabal Leader: Which will not happen. Not with this plan.
Helfer looks away, unsure, for a moment.
Cabal Leader: (sigh) Helfer, look, you need this opportunity if you want to recognized as a real member of the Cabal. I know you’ve pulled your weight but this- this is the real deal here. If you do this, you will have surpassed Fisher. But if you don’t, you will never live up to his name and you will not survive here. One way… or another.
Helfer looks back at the Cabal Leader. His eyes are fixed right at her, with sharp and deadly pupils. Her lack of confidence is overshadowed by a strong force of determination that she shoots back at her leader.
Helfer: I accept the job. I’ll handle the target, leader.
The Cabal Leader leans back in his seat. A slight grin appearing on his face.
Cabal Leader: Good. Good. We await your results, Helfer. Make us proud.
The scene then cuts over to a row of stores alongside a nearly empty street. There are quite a few people out although it is getting quite late into the day, judging by the dark sky and lit up street lamps. On the sidewalk, Ryder and Kelly can be seen watching alongside each other.
Kelly: Alright, so what happened next?
Ryder: Next, I had him move over by the balcony so I can show him the pictures I gathered, right? And the next thing I know, the guy is practically climbing off the edge and clinging to the wall like a madman.
Kelly lets out a laugh that only seems to get warmer with each passing second. Ryder finds himself chuckling as well.
Kelly: Poor guy, I hope he’s alright.
Ryder: Yeah, he was fine. Gave the firefighters one helluva headache though but he’s alright. Part of the reason why I love this job so much, gives me some good stories to share. Well, look like it’s your turn.
Kelly: What? Really?
Ryder: Come on, we said I’d tell a story and then you would.
Kelly: I dunno, if I have anything as good as that one.
Ryder: I’ll take it.
Kelly: Heh, well alright then. I guess there was this one time where- um…
She stops and looks down at her jacket as she reaches into her pocket. She soon retrieves her cell phone, showing David on the Caller ID. A sigh escapes from her as she uneasily looks up at Ryder.
Kelly: Sorry, I just remembered I made some plans with David. We’re doing this whole date night thing now that we’re seeing each other.
Ryder: Oh, uh- yeah sure. I get it.
Kelly: Thanks for understanding.
She said this with a soft smile as she starts to back away from him.
Kelly: I’ll talk to you some other time, okay?
Ryder: ...Yeah. Some other time.
A smile appears on his face as he raises his hand to wish her farewell. She, on the other hand, gives him a little wave before turning away to answer her phone. Once her back is to him and she walks off down the sidewalk, Ryder’s hand slowly falls and his imitation of a smile drops as well. Ryder lets out a heavy sigh as he shoves his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket. He stands there for a moment that continues to drag on until someone, passing by, bumps into his shoulder. This appears to bring Ryder back to his senses. He looks at man, wearing a thick black coat, walking by as if nothing had happened. Ryder rubs his shoulder and looks around him. His wandering gaze then stops at a sports bar across the street with a neon sign above reading, “Pam’s”. He remains where he is, still rubbing his shoulder until he lowers his hand and walks out into the street. He looks both ways and hurries along the other side as a passing car moves past him. He steps inside the establishment as the view rises upwards before settling on the rooftop on a storefront parallel to the sports bar. On it, a feminine silhouette watches, crouching down for a just a brief moment prior to turning back and moving out of view. Inside the sports bar, Ryder can be seen walking up to the counter. He takes a seat on one of the stools close- yet not too close- to the door. The bar looks like a cozy place despite its less than pristine conditions, perhaps due to its wooden furniture and leather seats in the booths. It seems mostly empty with a few patrons here and there. The bar also has a few televisions showcasing different sporting events. There’s one right behind the counter, hanging on the wall across from Ryder. Also before him, is a broad woman wearing a pink hair net and a white apron over a teal dress. She has a dark tattoo of a heart made from thorn-covered vines, across her left bicep. She can be seen using a rag to clean the inside of a mug. She remains silent but looks at Ryder with an expecting glance. Ryder, however, shuffles in his seat into a more comfortable position and simply looks up at the television.
Ryder: What’s on today?
Bartender, checking her wristwatch: What day is it?
Ryder now glances at the woman, however with a questionable expression.
Bartender, looking at him: Then it’s Baseball.
Ryder: Oh.... right.
Bartender: We don’t get the live stuff anymore. All sports are recorded.
Ryder: I know, I was just curious, I guess.
Bartender: Why? You interested in sports or something?
Ryder: Heh. Hate it actually. I got no plans tonight so I figured I’d just come here to torture myself.
Bartender: Looking to drown away your sorrows?
Ryder: Nah, I got stuff for that back at my place. I’m looking for something to just give me some peace of mind, I guess.
Bartender: Sounds like you need a cold one.
Ryder: Might need to make it two.
The bartender nods as she moves behind the counter. Ryder sits alone at the counter while everything behind him seems out of focus. However, despite that, a door can still be seen opening. Someone seems to step out from the room and walk towards the bar. Ryder looks down at the counter, as if in thought, when the person takes a seat a few stools away from Ryder.
Woman: Hey, have you seen this tall guy, dark hair, business suit?
Bartender: Honey, that asshole left ages ago. Good riddance, didn’t even tip me.
Woman:Shit! Mother fucker didn’t even wait for me.
Ryder gives in and turns his head, seeing the woman besides him. The woman is wearing a dark sweater with light pants. She also has short, grey hair and her eyes appear to be a cyan color but with a green tint to them- softening her sharp pupils.
Ryder: Lose your date?
The woman lets out a scoff followed by a chuckle.
Helfer: Yeah, something like that. I came here to meet up with this guy, had something pretty valuable to me. But I guess he blew the deal.
She turns to him. Ryder remains how he was positioned before, as if not fully invested into the conversation yet.
Ryder: Valuable, huh?
She eyes him over.
Helfer: It’s not that valuable.
Ryder: Relax, I don’t want whatever he’s slipping you.
Helfer: Alright, so you’re not a crook. Guess that makes you a cop.
Ryder: Why’s it always those two things?
Helfer: Well, you’re not just some guy, that's for sure. I can tell. I mean, look at you. The leather jacket, the brooding demeanor, all up in my business. Yeah, you just have cop written all over you.
Ryder glares at her, though not with some aggression, just some held back feeling of smugness. The bartender leaves a beer by Ryder, who almost immediately takes it into his hand.
Ryder: So basically I look and act like a stereotypical cop from some late 80’s movie.
Helfer: All you need is the mustache.
Ryder: Heh. (takes a drink from the beer) Well, I’m not a cop. Just some guy that needs a drink and likes listening to other people’s problems.
Her eyes shift over to his beer for a brief second before moving back to Ryder.
Helfer: Well, I appreciate that, I guess. Not a lot people stop and listen to how others feel anymore.
Ryder: That’s the city for you. Makes lots of noise but it just drowns you out in the end.
He takes another chug from his beer.
Helfer: At least there’s one good thing about that.
Ryder lowers the bottle and turns to the woman smoothly.
Ryder: Oh yeah and what’s that?
Helfer: ...the city’s too noisy to hear you when you scream. And sometimes… you just need to let it all out.
Ryder looks down as he sits there for a moment.
Ryder: These valuable things… You mind going into detail a little more?
Helfer: So you’re not looking for a score and you’re not looking to make a bust. Am I supposed to assume that you’re just curious?
Ryder: Well, I’m a curious individual. I can’t really help it if I’m attracted to curious things.
Helfer: Alright, fine, I’ll humor you. I was supposed to get some diagrams for a particular project I was working on. I left the company because I found a better offer somewhere else. And now I really need those diagrams back.
Ryder: Well, if they’re insured- the company you worked for might not want to part ways with them.
Helfer: Hence the exchange. I made a deal with one of the people there.
Ryder: The guy that stood you up.
Helfer: Yeah, I suppose so. (mutters under her breath) fucking piece of shit...
Ryder: Alright, I might be able to do something about that. Just for you.
Helfer turns curiously to Ryder then her eyes readjust as if to sharpen.
Helfer: How kind of you.
Helfer turns his her seat as if to stand on her feet. She smoothly turns her head over to Ryder’s direction while offering a soft smile.
Helfer: How about we get out of here? You know… to discuss this more.
Ryder looks at her for a moment before turning away. He looks down at the counter, his eyes seem to fixate on one spot before he takes a chug from his beer. He slams it against the counter and turns to get out of his seat.
Ryder: Sure. This place was getting stuffy anyways.
Ryder reaches into his jacket pockets and removes some cash which he sets on the counter. He and Helfer then walk side by side as they leave the establishment. Ryder pushes the door open as Helfer walks outside. He then follows after her and the door closes on its own, however ending with a very sudden slam. The scene skips ahead to them walking along the sidewalk through the evening.
Ryder: So… about these valuable diagrams of yours-
Helfer: You’re seriously going to help me with these?
Ryder: Sure, I don’t exactly have anything better to do. Besides, you need the help.
Helfer: I do need the help. But I was thinking of taking this to a professional rather than some random guy I met in a bar.
Ryder: I’m a professional random guy.
A small laugh escapes her lips as she uses an arched finger to cover them. Ryder smiles proudly to himself.
Ryder: Does it really matter who or what I am? We could just be strangers helping each other out.
Helfer: But what if I want to be more than a stranger?
Ryder: Heh, that means we’d have to get to know each other.
Helfer: You make that sound like a bad thing.
Ryder: It’s just that- I’m not usually one to make it past acquaintance.
Helfer: Why? You’re bad with people.
Ryder: I know people. I can read ‘em like a book.
Helfer: Alright, try me then.
Ryder looks her over once then chuckles quizzically.
Helfer: Yes. Me.
She takes a step back from Ryder and twirls around. Ryder chuckles to himself again and looks her over, a little more thoroughly. After a brief moment which seems to be going on for a while, she places her hands on her hips.
Helfer: Is it really going to take you all night?
Ryder: Huh? Oh, I finished with that ages ago. I’m just trying to determine your measurements from here.
Helfer: (scoffs) Nice.
Ryder: Yes, yes you are. You’re nice. Too nice. Too perfect. Too- what’s the word- mysterious.
Ryder takes a step closer and looks at Helfer in the eyes. She looks back at him with- despite her smaller scale- an imposing stance.
Ryder: You’re fit, you take care of yourself, possibly athletic? You have an expensive taste, you have a rich poise but not a luxurious atmosphere. You’re very open about your problems, about the company you’re with but you’re still holding something back… something powerful and meaningful. You hold that close inside. And then there’s your eyes, they’re soft, delicate and beautiful but it covers something sharper and calculated inside. You seem filled with contradictions and yet you still exist. Overall, you’re an enigma- an exquisite mystery.
Helfer looks taken aback but keeps her eyes firmly on Ryder, who fails to move as he continues to stare into her eyes.
Helfer: I uh- that’s a lot to take in. I guess you’re not bad with people after all.
Helfer chuckles nervously as she tries to look away but she can’t seem to escape Ryder’s gaze.
Helfer: Am I really that mysterious?
Ryder: I’m pretty sure you are.
Helfer: And what makes you say that?
Ryder: Well… for starters, you never told me your name.
Helfer chuckles as if in relief.
Helfer: I guess I can say the same about you.
Ryder chuckles and extends his hand out.
She takes his hand and gives a gentle shake.
Rebecca: So you think I’m beautiful then.
Ryder: Sorry, guess I got way too into my reading. Usually all that shit is kept in my head.
Rebecca: Must be the beer.
Ryder: Or my very attractive company.
Rebecca smiles but turns her head away slowly.
Rebecca: I should um- tell you more about the diagrams.
Ryder: Yeah… Yeah, that’d be nice.
The two of them continue walking ahead. Soon, the scene pans upwards into the night sky before transitioning over to another part of the sky. The scene lowers downwards to a park where Ryder and Rebecca both walk through.
Rebecca: And that’s the situation, pretty much. I hope you can help me with that.
Ryder: Yeah, that shouldn’t be too difficult. I’ll have to take a look at the place but consider it as good as done.
Rebecca: I feel like I owe you something in return.
Ryder: How about I see you again?
Rebecca: Really? No money?
Ryder: Trust me, I need it. The money, I mean.
Rebecca: Oh, I see.
Ryder: No, wait- that’s not- erm quite what I meant. I need the money but I feel like I need you more than that.
Rebecca: Heh, maybe we should keep our relationship professional. After all, you are handling my case here.
Ryder: True but this isn’t really me helping out a client. This is just an exchange between two strangers.
Ryder: Sure. Or maybe… y’know… something more than that.
The two look gracefully into each other’s eyes. The scene then cuts- abruptly- from the park to the halls of an apartment. Ryder slams against the wall of the apartment as his arms are wrapped around Rebecca and their lips locked in some heavy making out. Rebecca reaches into her coat and removes a key- though she struggles to get it close to the door without interrupting their thorough smooching. She sloppily shoves the key into the door lock and manages to twist the door knob enough to push the door open with just her one hand alone. She then pulls Ryder over from the wall and into the now open room. Ryder just barely closes the door as he’s pulled over to a bed seen poking out into the doorway view frame. Once the door closes, the intense atmosphere seems to die down. The scene cuts over to later where Ryder and Rebecca can be seen laying on her bed with her rustled up covers covering their naked bodies.
Rebecca: That just happened…
Ryder: (taking a breath in) Yeah… Yeah, it did.
Rebecca: (sigh) I probably shouldn’t have done that. I mean-
Ryder: Come on, I wasn’t that bad, was I?
Rebecca: No, it’s not you. It’s- just something I’m going through right now.
Ryder’s smirk drops as he turns to look at Rebecca more somberly.
Ryder: Hey, if something’s up, you can tell me.
Rebecca: Tell you? (scoffs) We just met.
Ryder: Does that matter?
Rebecca: No, I guess not. Unless- well, look, you just seem like the guy who does this sort of thing for a good night of fun and that’s it.
Ryder looks at Rebecca but turns to look up at the ceiling.
Ryder: Well, you’re not wrong. I’ve been known to sleep around but I’m trying not to do that anymore.
Rebecca: Why not?
Ryder: Because it doesn’t work. It doesn’t make me happy and it’s not like it matters for whoever is involved; I’m never going to see them again. And if I do, we don’t talk about it. Mostly because nothing happened. Nothing meaningful, anyways.
Rebecca: So what we had… was meaningful?
Ryder: I dunno, you tell me.
Ryder turns his head to Rebecca who avoids his glance by turning away. She looks down, thoughtfully.
Rebecca: I felt a connection tonight. One that I don’t feel with a lot of people. Something I don’t really want to give up.
Ryder: You know, I felt the same way. You think… (sigh)
Rebecca: No, what is it? I wanna know.
Ryder turns to look at Rebecca once more. His eyes are uneasy but sincere.
Ryder: You think we can make this work?
Rebecca: (sigh) I was afraid you’d ask that.
Ryder: So that’s a No then.
Rebecca: More like, I don’t know.
Ryder: Well, can I at least see you again?
Rebecca: Heh. Maybe.
Ryder: Alright, that’s better, I guess.
Rebecca stifles a laugh. It seems to come out uneasily and its tone winds up dying down sooner than to be expected.
Rebecca turns over, moving her arms under the covers. Ryder glances over at her but turns to look up at the ceiling again whilst delivering a deep sigh. Under the covers, Helfer can be seen adjusting her bracelets. Her hands then leave the bracelet but still seem to linger around the settings for a bit. She then returns her fingers to the bracelet and adjusts it once more to a different feature. The view then rises from underneath the covers to the surface. Ryder can be seen rising out of the bed to a sitting position. The blanket wraps around his lap leaving his back exposed. He lets out another sigh as Rebecca adjusts her position to where she sits up only slightly, with most of the covers and blankets covering her chest and arms. Ryder holds his head with one hand and uses the other one to push himself off from the bed.
Ryder: I should probably get out of your hair. That case isn’t going to solve itself.
As Ryder pushes himself off from the bed, Rebecca approaches him swiftly from behind.
Rebecca: Before you do-
Ryder is about to turn his head towards her direction but her hand rests of his shoulder, causing him to look down at that first. Her hand begins to slip downwards, massaging his well-build chest. Ryder’s body starts to become more relaxed as she continues to feel him over. She gently presses her naked body against Ryder’s bareback as she continues to lean forward. Ryder appears to naturally and easily tilt backwards- more so into Rebecca’s gentle grasps. As she continues feeling his chiseled body, her other hand comes up against the side of Ryder’s head- however, at a strange and more outwards angle. The quiet and calming atmosphere is then pierced with a sharp sound. Ryder bites down suddenly, his body now becoming incredibly tense. Rebecca continues massaging his torso and leans easily against him. As she does so, she begins shushing him as his body begins to loosen. His mouth unclenches and hangs open as his eyes open slowly. His pupils appear to be dilated now and his face grows pale as his veins look lit with a purple glow. As the view rotates to get a better view, a needle can be seen retracted from Helfer’s bracelet- sticking right into the side of Ryder’s head.
Rebecca: There’s a construction site on the Upper East Side, it belongs to a research company known as PhaetoCorp.
Ryder, slurring: Construction site on the Upper East Side… PhaetoCorp...
Rebecca: You’re going to go there and find that a murder that has taken place. You did it.
Ryder, slurring: I did it…
Rebecca: You did it because you wanted to.
Ryder, slurring: I did it because I wanted to...
Rebecca, getting more exhilarated: And you loved it!
Ryder, slurring: And I loved it...
Rebecca: Just seeing all that blood surrounding all those corpses, just made you feel so warm inside!
Ryder, slurring: Warm inside…
Rebecca: You did it for me, Ryder.
Ryder, slurring: I… I did it for you.
Rebecca: Because you care about me.
Ryder, slurring: Because I care about you.
Rebecca: Because you love me.
Ryder, slurring: Because I love you...
Rebecca lets out a sigh after hearing Ryder’s last slurs. She looks down for a moment before she removes the needle from his skull; the tip is now fashioned with a mix of blood, the chemicals from within her bracelets and some other fluids (presumingly CSF). She wipes the excess material from the needle with the edge of the covers and retracts the needle back into the bracelet. Helfer then lays down against the bed while Ryder’s zombie-like body hunches over on the edge of the bed without her supporting him upright anymore. His body blocks a view to hers as she seems to rest behind him.
Rebecca, to herself: Solve my case, Ryder...
Her tone sounds despondent and she seems tired despite not doing much. Ryder’s eyes then start to refocus- however, they still look clouded by some odd presence. He pushes himself off of the bed’s edge and walks away- towards his clothes. He snatches them from the floor while Rebecca watches from the bed. As she’s about to turn to the night stand, she looks back at Ryder- her eyes squinting slightly before she faintly shakes her head and returns to her business. She pulls open the nightstand drawer and reaches for a silenced pistol. As soon as she does, the scene cuts over to a construction site on a fairly high up building. The night has deepened and the city, itself, has a quiet atmosphere.
From a distance away, several men can be seen on the construction site grounds- varying on different floors and what not. On closer inspection, the men can be seen moving scientific equipment and crates around. One of the men, dressed in a navy blue business suit, is on the phone in the center of the room. The other men continue to work around him, while some move some equipment towards the elevator behind him.
Man, on the phone: That’s not what we agreed upon. You said that this facility would be up and running by the end of the week yet I’m standing here and the fucking walls aren’t even put up yet! (listens) No, you listen to me! I am the CEO of PhaetoCorp, pal. I’ve got connections that you don’t even know about. You really want to test me on this?
As the man continues listening on the phone, the elevator is brought up and a man in a lab coat over a light green buttoned shirt steps from the lift. The other men, who were waiting for the elevator, step inside- hauling their equipment with them. The man moves- awkwardly- past the others and approaches the man on the phone.
Man, on the phone: That’s more like it. (beat) Yes, I’ll be waiting but until then, know that I’m moving some equipment in. Your guys are just going to have to work around it. (beat) Well, don’t look at me, man. You’re the one who decided not to have the place done in time. I have demands that I have to meet and if that means operating in a construction site, of all places, then I will do that. Am I clear? (beat) Good.
The man turns his head and sees the scrawny looking guy in the lab coat waiting for him.
Man, on the phone: Good… Look, I’m going to have to call you back. Make sure this place gets finished or it’s your ass on the line.
The man rudely hangs up the phone and shoves it into his pocket. He adjusts himself and clears his throat as he approaches the other man, waiting for him.
Man: He-he-hey, Larry. My man, my boy. How’s it going? Keeping it real?
Larry looks uncomfortable as he stands before the man.
Larry: Yes, sir. Look- I had another talk with our… interested party. She really wants the formula for that substance back and-
Man: Larry, we’ve talked about this. She’s not getting her hands on this substance. This is going to make us the leading bio-engineering company in the city. Plenty of actual interested parties will be coming to us with briefcases of cold, hard cash. We’ll be invincible. And pretty soon, lots more people will know the name of the man that lifted them out of the dark ages: Jason Blum, CEO of PhaetoCorp!
Larry: Okay but what about the research we’re doing here? I thought that we were going to be helping people in the city. That was the main mission, wasn’t it? I mean, it just sounds like you’re trying to pull a profit on these people.
Jason Blum, becoming more agitated: You just focus on your research, Larry! While I focus on keeping this company on the cutting edge. You can forget about Hardy or whatever her name is.
Jason starts to walk off, away from Larry- who seems taken aback by Blum’s outburst. Once he calms down a bit, Larry looks off to side.
Larry, muttering under his breath: Her name was Helfer…
Larry sighs and moves over to some analyzing equipment set up on a table. He examines the equipment and looks over to the side. On the side of the table, there’s an open briefcase. Inside, there are diagrams and formulas for some kind of chemical solution. Larry turns his head and sees Jason arguing with some of the construction workers. He then turns back and takes the formulas in his hand. He reads them over at a quick pace however, even then, he is interrupted when the lights unexpectedly cut off- throwing the place into a sudden darkness. He looks up and then around in surprise. The grunts and clamoring of the construction workers and other men can be heard through the darkness while the figures of other men can be seen moving through the dimness as well. Larry takes another look at the diagrams in his hand before rolling them up. He then takes off with them still in hand.
Jason Blum, walking through the darkness: Someone get the fucking lights on! We have things to take care of here.
Jason then stops in his tracks when the sound of the elevator is heard. He looks ahead and sees the elevator doors opening. The light from the elevator slices through the darkness. A pistol emerges from the elevator and fires- muffled by the silencer at the front end. The two men standing next to Jason get shot upon and drop down to the ground. Jason looks to both men and turns back to the elevator.
Jason: Wh-What the hell?!
The gun is raised up again and another shot is fired. A flash is seen- blinding the view. Through this, the scene transitions into the Ryder Investigations office with the daylight breaching in through the closed blinds. Ryder can be seen laying against the couch in an uncomfortable position- his arm bent against his back while he lays on the other one. Ryder then starts to stir awake- letting out a long and tired groan. His arms slowly bend back to a more reasonable position as he reaches and holds his head. His hands then slide down his face- causing it to stretch slightly. He looks around with his eyes half open. Then, he looks down at himself. His clothes seem rugged but how they usually are. He lets out a sigh as he tries to push himself off from the couch and sit upright. Once he does, he sits there for another moment longer- taking in the quietude of the place. His heavy eyes seem to drift back to a closed stance. But as soon as they do, the door to Ryder Investigations bust open- throwing Ryder into a sudden state of shock. He turns to the now open door as police officers swarm the place.
Ryder, sounding rather groggy: Wh-What the hell do you think you’re doing?!
Some of the police officers deviate from the door and scan over the area with their guns out while two or three of them approach Ryder.
Police Officer: We have a warrant for your arrest. On the account of the murder of several PhaetoCorp employees and associates, including Larry Peterson and Jason Blum. Take him.
Another officer reaches for Ryder and holds him down. Ryder, still somewhat groggy and tired-like, fails to retaliate as handcuffs are placed onto him.
Ryder: I’ll have you know I tried my best not to break into any places in order to get my cases done… Wait… Wait, did you say murder?
Ryder starts to gain some clarity with his last words as he is hoisted from his couch and pushed away by police officers. The officer that had spoken with Ryder turns to the others, who continue searching the premises.
Police Officer: I want a sweep of this place but not too excessive. Be on the lookout for anything incriminating but that’s it. We only have a warrant for a surface check and nothing more.
Some officers nod in agreement while the initial officer stands there, watching his fellow officers escort Ryder through the apartment halls. Ryder- now being practically dragged away by police officers- looks ahead of himself, with heavy and drained eyes. However, his eyes become more clear and more focused with each passing second until his confused, exasperated look turns to a cold, calculating expression. The scene abruptly cuts over to the police precinct in the city.
Inside one of the interrogation rooms, Ryder can be seen seated on a table, looking ahead with an unamused look on his face. Across from him is a pudgy police officer; he has bald head, brown eyes and a black goatee with a few grey hairs scattered amongst it. He’s looking down and checking some papers attached to a clipboard with a pen. The room is dead quiet- and rather blank- asides from the sound of the scribbling from his pen and some soft mutters from the officer. Ryder continues to glare ahead at the officer- even clearing his throat at one point. Despite that, the officer only glances up at Ryder for a brief second before returning to check his papers. Ryder sighs and lowers his head slightly. His eyes then focus and squint as he sees the officer’s name tag on the left side of his chest. It reads, “Officer Brant”. Ryder looks up at the officer before turning away to look at the dark window across from him. Eventually, the officer finishes checking the papers and places the pen onto the table.
Officer Brant, to himself: Alright, that should do it.
He glances at his papers again before looking up at Ryder across from him.
Officer Brant: Would you mind stating your name for the record?
Ryder: Don’t you have that in that file of yours, Officer?
Officer Brant: (slight chuckle) Yes but we’re starting up a new file- one for your remaining time in prison.
Ryder: (scoffs) Of course you are. (sigh) Ryder. Name’s Ryder.
Officer Brant: Ryder… right. Is that uh- a first name or a last name or…?
Ryder: Look, how long do you guys plan on keeping me here for? I already told you what happened last night.
Officer Brant: You gave us a very shaky statement at best. You have no proper alibi and we have evidence pointing to you being there. As far as I’m concerned, you’re our prisoner because you massacred a great deal of people. Now I’m going to ask you again. Name, please.
Ryder: (sigh) Ryder. I already told you.
Officer Brant glares at Ryder and fiddles with his pen. His lip perks upwards slightly as his glare moves downwards to his clipboard. At the top of the file, he mutters to himself as he writes the name, “Ryder” over both the First Name and Surname lines.
Officer Brant, to himself: Ryder…
Outside of the interrogation room, the commissioner can be seen watching Ryder from behind the tinted glass along with a couple of other officers. The door to observation room opens and Kelly rushes in, closing the door behind her.
Kelly: I came as soon as you called.
Commissioner: Thanks for joining us, Kelly. I knew you would be interested in knowing that your friend got himself arrested.
Kelly: How is he?
Commissioner, peeved: He’s been quite the charmer.
The commissioner raises his cup slightly to the window. Kelly follows the cup’s movements and turns to look through the window- seeing Ryder facing the glass and holding up the middle finger.
Commissioner: Really classy friend of yours. You sure know how to pick ‘em.
Kelly: Sorry, he’s just… agitated.
Commissioner: Yeah, well, he ain’t the only one.
The Commissioner drinks from his coffee cup.
Kelly, turning back to the commissioner: So about the incident. Is he okay? Was he hurt?
Commissioner: Hurt? (scoff) We picked him up at his apartment building. Besides, you know how gentle our guys can be.
Kelly: Yeah, that’s sort of why I was asking.
Commissioner, raising his voice slightly: Kelly, I don’t think you quite realize what’s going on here. This isn’t a parking violation, this is a charge of murder. Several murders, if I might add.
Kelly: I understand, Commissioner. I just- I can’t believe something like that would happen. Not the Ryder I know.
Commissioner: We all hide a piece of ourselves from others, Kelly. Parts of ourselves we don’t want others to see. Maybe he’s hiding this part from you. Maybe this is just who he’s always been.
Kelly: I’m sorry, boss, but I refuse to believe that.
The Commissioner seems almost taken aback by that comment but easily composes himself.
Commissioner: Yeah, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you when things turn ugly.
Kelly: Hopefully, they won’t. You remember that other thing that we spoke about on the phone?
The Commissioner lets out a sigh and lowers his head.
Commissioner: Clear the room, please. Gotta discuss somethings.
The other officers turn to each other but leaving the room. Soon it’s just Kelly and the Commissioner in the observation room.
Commissioner: I don’t know if I can allow this, Kelly.
Kelly: I never asked for much.
Commissioner: No, but you have been asking for this for quite some time. Not to mention your constant involvements in certain cases. One that landed you in the hospital, mind you.
Kelly: I understand. That was… out of character for me, sir. But this is my friend and he is clearly being framed for this or perhaps there is some sort of misunderstanding.
Commissioner: Are you doubting the law, Jessica?
Kelly is silent for moment. She appears to be taken aback by his comment- nearly throwing her off balance. But she manages to compose herself as she looks back at the Commissioner.
Kelly: No, sir. But I know that Ryder deserves a fair chance to prove himself innocent as much as everyone else.
Commissioner: (sigh) You really think he didn’t do it then.
Commissioner: Alright, I’m gonna let you in on something. Just you and me.
Commissioner: This case is going to be handed over to the feds real soon.
Kelly: W-Why? What could they possibly want with him? Is he a high profile target?
Commissioner: No but the main victims were. Besides, we’ve had some internal investigations going on for a while now because of the incident surrounding Jordan.
Kelly’s eyes look downwards at the mention of that name.
Kelly: I see…
Commissioner: So… with what little hold we have on this case, I’m announcing you as lead in the case.
Kelly’s eyes now light up as her head then perks upwards before turning to her boss.
Kelly: You mean-
Commissioner: (letting out a long sigh) Yup. Welcome back to the force, Officer Kelly.
Kelly’s movements seem to tighten but a smile still manages to grow on her face.
Kelly, saluting: Yes, sir!
The commissioner seems annoyed but raises his cup to Kelly anyways- a small smile creeping onto his face. The scene cuts over to the interrogation room, where Ryder is laid back in his metallic seat- looking up at the ceiling, bored. The door then opens and Kelly enters. Ryder looks down, unimpressed but- upon seeing Kelly- his eyes widen. He sits up and leans against the table before him.
Ryder: K-Kelly. What the hell are you doing here?
Kelly: It’s Officer Kelly. I’m handling your case from this point on.
Ryder: How’d you manage to do that?
Kelly: Let’s not worry about that right now. So you gave your statement earlier. You claimed you were with a woman that night.
Ryder: Y-Yeah. Look, it’s not as bad as it sounds.
Kelly: Why would that sound bad?
Ryder: Well- I mean- because, well you were there and-
Kelly: Oh. Oh! Ryder, (quietly) I have a boyfriend now.
Ryder: I’m not trying to imply anything. I’m just saying, it wasn’t because of you. I wasn’t even thinking about you.
Kelly: I see.
Ryder: That’s- That’s not what I meant.
Kelly: No, it’s fine.
Ryder: No, it’s not fine. Look, let me just explain myself.
Kelly: I think you’ve explained yourself quite enough. We don’t have a lot of time to go into too much detail.
Ryder: Of course we don’t…. (sigh) Alright, what else do you want to know?
Kelly: The woman you were with. She had a name?
Kelly: ...And a last name?
Ryder: I uh- didn’t get it.
Kelly: Right. Well, we’re going to need more than a name to work off of.
Ryder: She had white hair, dark sweater, tight pants.
Kelly cocks an eyebrow.
Ryder: Not that I was paying attention or anything.
Kelly: (sigh) Continue.
Ryder: She mentioned this deal involving diagrams. I was going to take her to the office so we can take on her case but then- uh- I don’t know, things started to get pretty dark from there on out.
Kelly: Sounds like you a rough night.
Ryder: Was that supposed to be funny because it’s still too early in the morning for that.
Kelly: It’s supposed to be a theory. A lot of things could have happened to you that night that made your forget. You could have been attacked or drugged except the tests that the other officers pulled on you came up negative in both aspects. You have no obvious bruises or injuries and your blood results are free of any identifiable drugs. You have some unknown substances in your bloodstream, however, but it appeared mixed with alcohol.
Ryder: Yeah, I was uh- drinking.
Kelly: Of course you were.
Kelly: It’s fine. It just means that you were intoxicated last night. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help with your case- in fact, it probably just made it things worse. Is there anything else you can remember from that night? If not, then this ends our conversation.
Ryder: I was with you, then I went to the bar then I met that woman, we walked around and talked and things happened…
Ryder: You know, just getting to know each other a little bit more… in private.
Kelly: (scoffs) That’s enough.
Ryder: Look, doesn’t being there, give me a solid alibi?
Kelly: As far as we’re concerned, this woman doesn’t exist. We’ll run leads but we can’t make any promises.
Ryder: (sigh) So that’s it then.
Kelly’s face loosens as she looks at Ryder.
Kelly: Ryder, you’re- well, if you’re innocent, we will find out the truth.
Ryder: You might not even have to bother with that.
Kelly turns to the window and shows her palm to the glass. She then looks up and sees the security camera light cut off. She then looks back down at Ryder.
Kelly: What are you talking about, Ryder? I mean… you don’t actually think you did it, did you?
Ryder remains silent but looks up at Kelly. She lets out another sigh.
Kelly: Come on, I know the evidence is stacked against you but you’re gone against odds like these before during your cases.
Kelly: Now I know you’re innocent because I know you. You’ve never killed anyone before and you wouldn’t.
Ryder: Kelly, I’m not inn-
Kelly: I know what I’m talking about, Ryder!
Ryder sits there, breathless. Kelly has her hands clenched into fists which shake against the table. Her head lowers so her face can be barely be seen.
Kelly: I know what I’m talking about… you’re not the greatest person in the world but you have good intentions. And I know how you get around other people but I know you have the ability to care about them. Because- Because you worry about me and you care for me. Because that’s what friends do. And I might not have been there for you for those long, lost years but I’m here now! So don’t tell me that you’ve done it. Don’t tell me that you- you’ve killed someone and just accept it like it’s nothing. Because if you do, then our friendship means nothing to you.
Ryder’s throat clenches up as his mouth stays a gap. The room is silent except for the soft grunts from Kelly as she barely manages to hold herself together. Ryder looks off to the side, with a thought-provoking expression. But then he glances back at Kelly and sees her in the state that she’s in. Ryder reaches out and places his hand over hers. Her strained sniffles stop as a gasp is heard. She looks over at his hand then looks up at him. Ryder smiles at her- with a genuine smirk- as he holds her hand.
Ryder: I believe in you, Kelly. If you don’t think I did it then I know I didn’t. It’s just- (looks away) these thoughts keep creeping into my mind like a haunting voice telling me how to feel and what to think. Just saying that I did it… that I did it for her too. But if that’s wrong then something wrong with me- with that way I’m thinking.
Kelly: I don’t know how else to help, Ryder, but I’ll do the best that I can. I might even know someone who could help you when the legal issues come up.
Ryder: You know a lawyer?
Kelly: Lucky for you, right?
Ryder: Yeah, I guess I’m going to need one. (beat) You said we didn’t have time, did you mean it?
Kelly: (sigh) So you caught up on that. Yeah, the FBI is taking over the case. You’ve gotten yourself involved in their case and now they want to take over completely. I’m not a liberty to say any more than that.
Ryder: Shit! (sigh) Alright, then that means you won’t actually be able to do much as an officer now- even after all that effort just to get your old job back.
Kelly: Yeah, I guess so. But hey, I won’t stop trying. I’ll get you out of here one way or another.
Ryder: You can break me out.
Kelly: One legal way or another.
Ryder: Heh. I’m just messing around. But if you really want to help, I have an idea.
Ryder: Take on my case.
Kelly: That’s the lawyer’s job, not mine.
Ryder: That’s not what I meant. Someone is trying to frame me and I know that woman is involved somehow. Look into the crime scene, find what you can and just come up with enough evidence to prove me innocent.
Kelly: I already told you- with the FBI taking over, there’s not much I can do as an officer. Most of my work would be from behind a desk.
Ryder: But once they take over, you won’t be a cop anymore.
Kelly: No. You don’t mean-
Ryder: Think about it. You’ve been with me on cases, you’re no stranger to the world of the private investigator. You can solve this case and prove me innocent. Maybe not as an NYPD but a PI instead.
Kelly: I’ll think about it… but I can’t make any promises.
Ryder: That’s all I’m asking.
Kelly looks up at the security camera again and sees the light cut back on. She lets out of a sigh and looks back down at Ryder.
Kelly: So, you don’t have anything else to offer?
Ryder: That’s the best I could come up with.
Kelly: Thanks for your cooperation.
Kelly gets up from the table and heads for the door. As she opens it, Ryder speaks.
Ryder: Wait, I have something else. Do you have a pen and paper?
The scene cuts ahead with Kelly holding a folded up note in her hands. She’s walking along side with the commissioner as they walk through the precinct.
Commissioner: And he didn’t tell you anything else.
Kelly: Nothing of value to the case at hand.
Commissioner: Are you sure?
Kelly: I wouldn’t keep information that could help him from you.
Commissioner: Alright, alright. Just making sure. Now, I expect you to not ask me for anymore favors. I’m running a police precinct not Santa’s frickin’ workshop.
Kelly: Yes, sir.
The commissioner opens the door to his office and walks in, followed by Kelly. However, the two of them stop by the door when they notice a woman in a dark suit with short, blonde hair and brown eyes accompanied by two broad-shouldered men in similar dark suits and sunglasses. They all have earpieces equipped and compacted demeanor.
Commissioner: Aw hell.
Federal Agent: You seemed surprised, Commissioner. Did you not receive my phone call?
Commissioner: If you ask me, I was just hoping it was all a bad dream from the get-go.
Federal Agent: Well, I assure you it’s not. Just be glad this shit show of a case is not becoming a nightmare for the boys and gals in blue.
She turns her attention from the commissioner to Kelly, who stands besides him. She faces seems to lighten softly.
Federal Agent: Speaking of whom, you must be Officer Kelly.
Kelly: Well, yes. I’m surprised you’ve heard of me.
Federal Agent: Don’t be. It’s my job to be very… informative. You can address me as Federal Agent Millie Anderson, me and my people will be taking over your case concerning this Ryder individual from here on out. If we need any assistance, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Commissioner: Noted. Anything else?
Agent Anderson: A cup of coffee wouldn’t hurt.
The commissioner grumbles to himself before leaving the office. Kelly watches him go and is about to join him when the federal agent woman clears her throat. Kelly pauses in her steps as the woman becomes focused upon through the view.
Agent Anderson: Do you mind if we discuss some things, Miss Kelly?
Kelly turns back to face the agent.
Kelly: No, not at all. We are working together, after all.
Agent Anderson: (smiles) Of course we are. I’m aware that you were interrogating the suspect earlier. Did you give you any useful information?
Kelly: Not particularly. He restated his given statement and insisted on the presence of this mystery woman that he was with. We still have no leads on her.
Agent Anderson: I thought not but- still- good to be sure. You’ve done good work here, Kelly. Do not let it go in vain for the sake of your friend.
Kelly: W-What’s that supposed to mean?
Agent Anderson: Just some friendly advice. Perhaps it would be better if you spent the rest of the day at home. A return to sick leave might help clear any unsound assessments from your mind.
Kelly’s face tightens as Agent Anderson smiles with a sense of pride.
Kelly: Yes, that might just be best, after all.
Kelly turns to leave the office. Anderson watches her leave before turning to the men with her.
Agent Anderson: Get the equipment set up. I’m having a word with our man.
The men nod and turn to get to work while Agent Anderson leaves the commissioner’s office with some haste. Back in the interrogation room, Ryder rocks in his chair while looking around the room. Soon, the door opens quickly and Agent Anderson enters the room. Ryder turns his attention to her and looks her over with his eyes before looking away. He quits rocking his chair and leans onto the table.
Ryder: Something tells me you’re not with the police.
Agent Anderson: And what gave you that impression? Perhaps you heard something you weren’t supposed to hear.
Ryder: Well, I am a private investigator. It’s my job to come to conclusions with the clues I’m given.
Agent Anderson smiles briefly then turns away as she starts to circle around the table.
Agent Anderson: You’re no stranger to criminal acts. You’ve visited a few jail cells before according to your criminal record.
Ryder: Petty crimes- mostly associated with my job. Most of of them don’t even count since I've been dismissed of 'em. Breaking and entering, lock picking, owning a hoodie, withholding evidence from a police investigation… Y'know all that shit.
Agent Anderson: Then how about the crimes not listed on your record?
Ryder is silent as he turns to match Anderson’s gaze.
Agent Anderson: Tell me, Ryder, have you ever killed anyone before?
Ryder remains silent, his eyes seem heavier but his glare hardens.
Agent Anderson: Heh. Fine, don’t tell me. I don’t care either way. No. What I really want to know is your involvement with a deceased officer. One that the NYPD would be more than happy to help me avenge.
Ryder: You’re going to have to be more specific. This city lost a lot of officers lately. Almost like someone doesn’t want them around after doing something.
Agent Anderson: I know what you are insinuating. I am not against the thought, it’s just not something on my mind at the moment.
Anderson finally makes it back to the front of the table, her hand gliding across the chair across from Ryder’s.
Ryder: So what’s on your mind then?
Agent Anderson: I’m glad you asked.
Anderson pulls up the chair and takes a seat. Once she makes her comfortable, her glare bores deep into Ryder.
Agent Anderson: You’re currently being detained under suspicion of murder. The murder of two victims and the massacre of several others. One of the victims was under FBI surveillance, Jason Blum. We believed he was using his company, PhaetoCorp, to engage in illegal activities with street gangs and criminal empires hidden throughout the city. We would have caught him that night, making a deal, which would have lead us to his arrest and the arrest of several others. But instead, he wound up dead along with the other victim, Larry Peterson.
Ryder: Who was he?
Agent Anderson looks at Ryder curiously for a brief few seconds before continuing.
Agent Anderson: Larry Peterson was an employee at PhaetoCorp, however, after much investigation, we found evidence that established his innocence when concerning the crimes surrounding PhaetoCorp.
Ryder: So that means-
Agent Anderson: Yes, if you really were the killer, you would have killed an innocent bystander.
Ryder just stares at her blankly before looking away.
Agent Anderson: Of course, killing an innocent bystander isn’t something new. No, this is New York City, that happens practically every day. Either a stray bullet or a subway stabbing, not to mention the not-so occasional Mutant attacks. Now the slaughter of several PhaetoCorp men- in one evening- that’s something unusual, wouldn’t you say?
Ryder: I can understand if you have evidence for the two victims but the massacre couldn’t have been just me.
Agent Anderson: Nothing is short of impossible these days, Mr. Ryder. After the invasion in Manhattan, plenty of super powered individuals have been popping up. But even before then, there have been reported cases of people with Mutant abilities… even Mutant forms. I believe you’re familiar with the wolf creature murders.
Ryder: You think he was responsible for this?
Agent Anderson: The wolf creature has been known to kill many people within a matter of minutes, leaving behind little traces back to it. Besides, forensics can confirm that the injuries done to the bodies are similar to previous incidents involving the wolf creature.
Ryder: So what you’re saying is if I’m proven to be the killer-
Agent Anderson: I can finally connect the dots behind who the wolf creature really is. And with that, brings me back to the matter of the deceased officer.
Ryder looks at her but then looks away, as if realizing something.
Ryder: (scoffs) Of course. Officer Jordan.
Agent Anderson: So you remember.
Ryder: You were investigating his death this whole time?
Agent Anderson: Someone needed to. He had no reason being there and in the midst of a drug deal no less? Is it any wonder that the wolf creature had murdered him as well?
Ryder: What you’re doing won’t work. You’re going to need a helluva bunch of evidence to throw that shade onto me.
Agent Anderson: Bitch please, I have the whole FBI backing me up on this one. If there is evidence to be found, we will find it. Or, you could save yourself the trouble by coming clean right now.
Ryder remains silent when the door opens. Officer Brant stands in the doorway, his hand still on the doorknob.
Officer Brant: Uh, ma’am?
Agent Anderson, forcefully: What?!
Officer Brant: There’s a woman here, claims to be this guy’s lawyer.
Anderson’s glare returns to Ryder who seems to have grown a smirk on his face. Anderson huffs before pushing off from the table and getting up from her seat. She turns to the door and exits, pushing past the cop. He raises his hands up and look slightly surprised.
Officer Brant, to himself: Well, sorry. Damn man.
The officer pushes the door open wider as another woman approaches, in quite a haste as well. She looks over her shoulder, presumingly watching Anderson leave past her. When she turns back, she is seen entering the interrogation room.
Chloe: Thank you, Officer.
She looks ahead at her client and her firm demeanor lowers into a scowl.
Ryder: Chloe? Ah for fucks sake, how many unexpected women in my life are gonna come in through those doors today?
Chloe: Kelly mentioned she had a client for me. I told her I was super booked with this special case I’m working on but she sounded… desperate. So, of course, I accept the case on such short notice. Anything for a friend, right? And look who just happens to be sitting in a jail, waiting for me to defend him?
Ryder: If I known it were you, I wouldn’t have asked.
Chloe: Why? You don’t think I’m good enough to be a lawyer?
Ryder: No, you’re completely capable of defending in court. You’re just not good enough to be my lawyer.
Ryder: The hell do you mean, “typical”? Last time I checked you left me Chloe!
Chloe: I had work I needed to do! Besides, not everyone can be looking after your dopey ass.
Ryder: First of all, it’s not dopey. It’s nice and firm. Second, what does work have to do with anything? I thought… we had something good going on.
Chloe: It was a one-night stand and you didn’t call me back.
Ryder: Okay! But! We still made amends afterwards but you still left me.
Chloe: Because I can do better than you, Ryder. (sigh) Look, can we not talk about this right now?
Ryder: If not now, then when?
Chloe: ...How about when we clear your name and get you out of here?
Ryder: (sigh) Yeah. Alright, fine. You can defend me. After all, you’re my only hope.
Chloe lets out a weak chuckle before looking back up at Ryder.
Ryder: Alright, let’s go over the facts.
The scene then cuts over to the city overhead.
Kelly, unseen: What do you mean you’ve met before?
On the street level, Kelly can be seen walking past a couple citizens along the sidewalk with her phone in hand while the other hand holding firmly onto the handle of her green purse.
Chloe, over the phone: We’ve sorta had a thing before… in the past.
Kelly: Oh. So you’ve dated him before? (chuckle)
Chloe, over the phone: Yeah, for a short while. For like two days.
Chloe, over the phone: At certain intervals…
Kelly: Okay, okay. I think I get it. Ew! Gross!
Chloe, over the phone: Oh please, grow up Kelly. We’re all adults here.
Kelly: Yeah, but that’s a little too adult for my taste. By the way, thanks for the mental image. (makes shivering noises)
Chloe, over the phone: Well, anyways, his trial won’t be planned until later on. The FBI are still gathering more evidence against him. They want to make sure this case is solid and shut before moving forward.
Kelly: I still can’t believe this is even happening.
Chloe, over the phone: I know. But we’ll get through this. They won’t me see him any longer so do you want me to swing by your place to review?
Kelly: Not just yet. I’m going to be looking into some things of my own.
Chloe, over the phone: I thought the police weren’t allowed near the crime scene.
Kelly: No, but that’s why I won’t be going as an officer.
Chloe, over the phone: Let me guess, Ryder put you up to this?
Chloe, over the phone: (sigh) Just be careful, alright? I don’t want you picking up all of his dirty tricks. Otherwise, you might just be my next client.
Kelly: I’ll be careful. Look, I’ll talk to you later, alright? Thanks again for taking this case for me.
Chloe, over the phone: Sure, it’s the least I can do. I’ll talk to you soon.
Kelly hangs up the phone and tucks it back into her pocket. She sighs and looks up ahead, seeing the PhaetoCorp building, under construction. He pauses for a moment to look up at the construction area then lowers her head to see what’s ahead of her as she walks towards the building’s base.The scene cuts to a moment later with Kelly entering the premises. She looks around, to see a few FBI agents examining the area. One of them walks over and stops her from coming any further.
FBI Agent: That’s far enough, ma’am.
Kelly: Sorry but I need clearance to this area. I’m a uh- private investigator.
FBI Agent: Sorry but no civilians are allowed to enter this area. It’s a crime scene and under special investigation from the FBI. You’ll have to come back at a later time. A much later time.
FBI Agent: Please, don’t make me repeat myself.
Kelly sighs and turns back to leave. A moment after, she’s standing outside, holding onto the strap of her bag. She looks around and her glance soon falls on the building across from the PhaetoCorp one. A smirk then grows onto her face. The scene then cuts over to the rooftop of the building across from the PhaetoCorp building. A door leading to the stairway opens up and Kelly steps onto the rooftop. She looks around cautiously and makes her way over to the edge. She looks down and sees the construction area out in the open; even from this distance, federal agents can be seen examining the area thoroughly. He reaches over her shoulder and into her purse, retrieving a camera. She looks over it for a short instance then holds it up as she aims to take a photograph. Through the camera’s perspective, the view zooms in to get a better and closer look at the construction area. Kelly examines a few areas and takes pictures of some of them. There are plenty of corpses scattered along the floor with slashes on them and dried up pools of blood surrounding them as well. Kelly lowers the camera for a moment and looks downwards.
Kelly: This is awful… (catches her breath) To think Ryder is capable of something like this- I don’t even know where they got that idea from.
She returns to the camera, taking more pictures. Returning to the camera’s perspective once more, the view aligns up with an unoccupied area of the area with some crates and other equipment. A figure then moves out from behind the wall. Kelly reels away from the camera with only a slight haste as she gasps in surprise. She looks back at the camera, getting a better look at the figure. They’re dressed in a white cloak, examining the area as if looking for something. Kelly takes a picture of them and some others of the area. The figure then raises their head and turns over to Kelly’s direction. Kelly, in a quick panic, drops back and trips- landing on her back against the building’s rooftop. She then breathes heavily and holds the camera tightly within her grasp. Once her breathing begins to calm down, she looks down at the camera, albeit a little hopeful. The scene then cuts over to the precinct once more, it now being later in the day with the sun lowering.
Inside the precinct, specifically within the interrogation room, Kelly can be seen waiting patiently with a folder in her hands. Soon enough, the door to the interrogation room opens and Ryder is escorted inside by Officer Brant- handcuffed. Brant reaches down and uncuffs the prisoner before moving him over to the table. Ryder takes the seat and sits across from Kelly; she seems a little down from the sight of it.
Ryder: Thanks, Brant.
Officer Brant: That’s Officer Brant to you but other than that, you’re welcome. It’s the least I can do for Kelly.
Kelly gives Brant a soft smile before he nods and moves out of the room, closing the door behind him. Kelly’s smile soon fades however and a short and saddened sigh escapes from her. She looks over to Ryder who has been looking ahead at her for quite some time now.
Ryder: So, how did it go?
Kelly: I investigated, took some photos even and cross-referenced whatever evidence I managed to find on my own with some other sources I know.
Ryder: You have sources?
Kelly: Heh. Maybe not like you but it’s still something.
She hesitates but places the folder on the table, sliding it over to Ryder. Ryder places his hands on the folder and looks up at Kelly, who can’t seem to hold eye contact. Ryder winces slightly before he looks down at the folder. He opens it and inside are photos of the construction site, like she said.
Ryder: I see you made good use of my camera.
Kelly: Yeah, sorry- I figured you wouldn’t mind.
Ryder: No, it’s fine. It’s just- that camera is really special to me. (sigh) Well, if I do end up in prison for the rest of my life, I’d want you to have it.
Kelly: Come on, don’t talk like that. We have something to work with here.
Ryder: Come on, Kelly. We both know that there isn’t really anything here.
Kelly: (sigh) You didn’t even really look at it.
Ryder: I know. I just- I can see on your face, Kelly. That look of disappointment. It’s that look you give when you don’t think you did enough.
Kelly: Well, maybe it’s just because I didn’t. I mean- I’m not as good as a PI as you and I’m barely holding up as a police officer either! I just- I just wanted to help you get through this.
Ryder: Hey. You did your best, that’s all I could have asked for. Besides, maybe you hit a gold mine after all.
Kelly scoffs but it’s sort of mixed in with a short chuckle.
Kelly: You’re just trying to make me feel better.
Ryder: Foiled again…
Ryder looks down at the table.
Kelly: I don’t know what you were thinking when you asked me to solve your case, Ryder, but- I guess I’m glad you trusted me to help you even though I couldn’t do that. (sigh) But I’m not giving up on you. That’s not what friends do.
Ryder gives a slight smile at Kelly who smiles back. She holds his hand for a moment before getting up from the table.
Kelly: There’s still one more lead I want to try so just hang in there.
Kelly knocks on the door and it soon opens up. She steps into the open doorway but pauses. Kelly turns back and looks at Ryder, who’s head soon drops. Kelly frowns and turns back to the doorway with a look of determination coming over her. She then leaves the interrogation room and travels through the hallway. The door closes soon enough, leaving Ryder alone in the room with nothing but the folder of pictures and files.
Ryder, to himself: Solve my case… (scoffs) What was I thinking? ...Solve my case.
He pauses as if sensing something in his words.
Ryder, to himself: “Solve my case, Ryder.” That’s what she said. That’s what Kelly said.
He pauses again, his eyes glancing back to the photos before him.
Ryder, to himself: That’s what she said. That woman, Rebecca. “Solve my case, Ryder.” That thought in my mind… those- instructions?
He holds his head, as if thinking about it hurts him.
Ryder, to himself: She told me… She told me about the murders, about the construction site, about everything that was going to happen and why I wanted to do it. She was giving me instructions which means… I was drugged! So why? Why would she tell me to solve my own case? To spite me? Or… maybe she didn’t mean to. They weren’t instructions… they were her own thoughts blurted out loud! “Solve my case, Ryder.” She wasn’t talking about my own case, she wasn’t even aware she was talking to me at all. No, she was talking about her case. The original case involving those diagrams!
He looks up in surprise, a grin appearing on his face.
Ryder, to himself: If I can solve that, if I can find those diagrams… I might just be able to prove my innocence.
Ryder quickly returns back to the photographs and examines each of them carefully.
Ryder: This is it, Kelly. These photographs are all the evidence I need; the final pieces of the puzzle. If I can just fit them into place… then this case is solved.
Ryder gets to work. The scene then fades to a dark alleyway, later in the day- close to evening.
Kelly can be seen walking through the alleyway, checking some kind of tablet. On the tablet, it appears to be scanning for something as indicated by the program on the screen. However, after a moment of scanning, the screen starts to freeze and glitch out. Kelly hits the side of the tablet, getting slightly frustrated.
Kelly: Come on, you stupid thing! Ugh!
Voice: Yeesh, what did that thing do to ya to deserve that?
Kelly looks up slowly and sees a dark figure standing in the shadows. He walks ahead and steps into the light- showing himself to be Raggy.
Kelly: (scoffs) I’ve been looking for you. I guess the glitching tablet can be thanks to you?
Raggy: Yeah. Short-range distributor, works on low-frequency devices. Speaking of that, I don’t exactly like being found. I make it a habit to erase any traces of my presence.
Kelly: Yeah, I figured that’d be the case so I hoped you’d pick up on my searches for you and just meet me in person.
Raggy: So… it’s that bad, huh?
Kelly: First off, what exactly happened between you and Ryder? He won’t tell me anything about you to begin with but now he’s dead quiet about you.
Raggy: Yeah, we had a bit of a falling out when he left the city.
Kelly: I’m guessing you won’t tell me anything else about that then.
Kelly: (sigh) It’s fine, I’m used to it. I need your help.
Raggy: I know. I heard chatter. So, they finally arrested Ryder. I was wondering when the day would happen.
Kelly: Come on, Raggy, this is serious. Ryder needs you.
Raggy: But I don’t need him. Look, we’re on two different paths now. I can’t always be there to help him.
Kelly: Fine, then help me. Help me help him. I know you still care for him even though you’re not friends anymore otherwise you wouldn’t have reached out.
Raggy: (sigh) Alright. What do you have that I don’t already know?
Kelly: A woman. She was there that night, Ryder’s sure of it. We don’t have a name but we do have a physical description. And I’m pretty sure this is her also.
Kelly reaches into her inner jacket pocket and retrieves a photo. She hands it over to Raggy, who takes it into his hands. The photograph is of the cloaked woman at the construction site.
Raggy: Holy fuck!
Kelly: What-What is it?
Raggy: Do you have any idea how rare this photo is?
Kelly: Forget this photo, Raggy. Who is she?
Raggy: I don’t have anything too solid but there’s talk on the net- the deep net, that only hackers and information seekers like me have access to. There was a woman that was pretty well versed in the hacking field. She used all her tricks and moves to rob companies, stores, anything really. All that power for just a common criminal. It was waste but a true beauty to see her at work.
Kelly: You said tricks… what’d you mean by that?
Raggy: No one really knows how she does it but she’s able to make people do her bidding- like some brainwashing mind control, that kinda shit! They just let her walk in and out or even pull some strings for her on the inside. She even shoots out some kind of rope or something that propels her through the air and vanishes before anyone can even get to her. With none of the crimes she pulled ever coming back to haunt her. Basically, she can walk through walls, disappear and fly.
Kelly: She’s definitely more unique than the other guys…
Raggy: Yeah, and get this. One day, she just vanished.
Kelly: Isn’t that what she normally does?
Raggy: No, no! She vanished from the net. No more heists, no more robberies. She just stopped existing. Lots of the boys just thought she died or finally got caught but I think she moved on to bigger things. And this photograph just proves it.
Kelly: What do they call her? The “boys” on the net.
Raggy: Gh0st. Y’know, with a zero.
Kelly: Gee, kinda freaky if you ask me.
Raggy: Yeah, she’s a little bit more than that, I’m afraid. Look, I can’t get involved. Not just because it’s Ryder but because if Gh0st is around, it’s nothing but trouble.
Kelly: So, I’m guessing you’re not the type to run into danger.
Raggy: Do I look like I wear a hoodie and jump from rooftop to rooftop? I have a reputation and a job as an information seeker. I’ll help in my own ways but- I’m no hero.
Kelly: (sigh) Well, thanks for the help. This information won’t be admissible in court so I’ll have to work off it before a trial can be formed for him.
Raggy: And with the FBI involved, no doubt their investigation will wrap up soon. Hey, look, I might look like a big coward right now, but that’s only because I know you can do this. He picked you to be his partner, so I know that he believes you. And that’s good enough for me.
Kelly can’t help but give a slight smile at his words. She nods and turns away- walking down the alleyway. Raggy smiles to himself before turning to the opposite direction and walking down that way. The scene cuts forward a bit to show Kelly walking down the street. She pulls out her phone and dials up a number. After a couple of rings, a voice comes up on the other end.
Chloe, over the phone: Kelly? What’s up?
Kelly: Hey, I might have a lead but I’m going to need some help making it into acceptable evidence.
Chloe, over the phone: I’m a little swamped at the moment but I’ll see what I can do. Come by around in an hour or two.
Kelly: Sure, I’ll just grab a coffee or something.
Chloe, over the phone: Actually-
Kelly: (sigh) Alright, two coffees...
Chloe, over the phone: Thanks, girl!
Kelly: (chuckle) I’ll see you then.
Kelly hangs up the phone and places it back into her pocket. As she continues walking, a figure can be seen watching her from the rooftops on the apartments she’s walking alongside of. The figure steps further into the light, revealing themselves to be Helfer in her white cloak. She grunts to herself and continues to watch Kelly. The scene cuts back to the interrogation room, with Ryder taking another look at the photos Kelly left behind. The door opens soon enough with Agent Anderson entering the interrogation room. Ryder doesn’t seem bothered to look or even seemed to notice, as his focus is fixed to the photographs.
Agent Anderson: You shouldn’t have access to evidence.
Ryder: Then take it from me.
Agent Anderson approaches the table closer.
Ryder: I was completely kidding, I actually need these.
Agent Anderson: I know. I’ve overheard your conversation with Officer Kelly. I warned her not to intervene with this investigation.
Ryder: And she hasn’t. Not as an officer, anyways.
Agent Anderson: So this is how you operate. Not with a bang but a whisper. A whisper to your comrades as you order them- no, manipulate them into doing your bidding. You’re craftier than I take you for.
Ryder: I’ll give you that I’m manipulative and crafty but I genuinely believed in Kelly… I still do.
Agent Anderson: So you really believe that these photos will set you free.
Ryder: That they’ll find the true culprit.
Agent Anderson: But if it’s as you claim, don’t have feel a personal connection with this woman?
Ryder pauses before returning to the photographs.
Agent Anderson: Perhaps you’re connected with her in more ways than one. She might have been involved but you could have also assisted her.
Ryder: I think the diagrams will prove that that isn’t the case.
Agent Anderson: But you don’t have these so-called diagrams. Your only proof is imaginary.
Ryder: Just because something can not be seen does not been it does not exist. You can try to hide something from sight but eventually it gets found. And once it does, the imaginary becomes reality and the invisible... becomes visible.
Ryder looks carefully at one photograph in particular. In the photograph, a hand can be seen reaching out from the side, holding a diagram. Since the photograph had been zoomed in on that area, the diagram is mostly clear in sight and, on closer inspection, wording can be seen written on the diagram.
Ryder leans back slowly until his back touches the chair’s support. He lets out a long sigh of relief while Agent Anderson leans over the table. She glances over at Ryder before looking closer at the photograph.
Ryder: Federal Agent Anderson… I believe that’s all the proof you need.
Agent Anderson: What is this?
Ryder: A diagram. And if my theory is correct, it’s a formula developed by the people at PhaetoCorp. A formula for a chemical substance that’s most likely not approved and was being handled illegally under the watch of Jason Blum. A substance that can be analyzed properly to properly identify the unknown chemicals in my bloodstream that prove that I wasn’t in my right mind that night. And that the woman I’ve been mentioning is actually connected to all of this and set up this assassination in order to pin the blame onto me.
Agent Anderson: Thi-This is impossible. You can’t prove all that with one photograph!
Ryder: You’re probably right but I just brought up the possibility of ending that case you’ve been working so hard on. Which means… you have to investigate this piece of evidence more thoroughly otherwise you’ll be purposely endangering your own investigation. And by finding out what this diagram says, you’ll find the proof to not only prove me innocent but to officially confirm all the crimes that you guys suspected Jason Blum to be doing.
Agent Anderson is speechless. She looks around desperately before pushing herself away from the table. She snatches the photograph and glares at Ryder.
Agent Anderson: Was this your plan? All along?
Ryder: It’s like you said, Agent Anderson, not with a bang… but a whisper.
She huffs and turns swiftly to the door.
Agent Anderson: OPEN!
The door opens before her and sees leaves the room with the photograph in hand.
Agent Anderson, talking to another federal agent: I want this photo analyzed now!
Federal Agent: Yes, ma’am!
As the door to the interrogation room closes, Ryder looks out with a smirk appearing on his face. The door then closes shut and the scene is thrown into darkness. The scene then returns to Kelly, who is sipping on a cup of coffee. She walks over to an apartment building and pulls out her phone. Just as she’s about to dial in a number, a figure approaches her.
Figure: Um excuse me?
Kelly looks over and sees a feminine figure approaching her.
Figure: I’m a bit new to the city and you look like someone’s who’s been here for a while. Do you have any idea where Times Square is?
Kelly: Uh yeah, of course. It’s going to be a bit of a distance but if you go in that direction-
Figure: Uh huh?
Kelly turns her head and points behind her as the person approaches.
Kelly: It should be just down-
A needle sticks into her neck and she finds herself unable to talk as her open eyes start becoming heavier and her pupils more dilated. What would have been a shout or a yell has reduced to a whimper or a groan. Soon enough, her tense body becomes less tense and stands there, zombie-like. A soft hand lands against the side of Kelly’s face as Helfer leans over, resting her head onto her shoulder; all while shushing her gently. She even strokes the side of her head lightly.
Helfer: It’s okay, it’s okay… (shushes) You’re going to take a walk with me.
Kelly, slurring: I’m going to take a walk with you…
Helfer smiles menacingly. The scene then cuts to the interrogation room once more. This time, Ryder waits with some anticipation whilst keeping a cool demeanor. The door opens once more and Agent Anderson comes in along with Officer Brant. They stand there for a short moment while Ryder looks ahead, expectantly.
Agent Anderson: (sigh) It turns out you were right after all. The diagram- while little of it could be seen in the photograph- had been enhanced several times over and revealed some very important facts. There were snippets of the formula, some elements were recognized as potentially dangerous and unstable. And there was a name. Rebecca Helfer. It seems she orchestrated this whole act and played us both like fools. But now that we have her personal profile, she won’t be able to run from us for long.
Ryder: So what does that mean for me, exactly?
Agent Anderson: You are the worst of men, Ryder. You are absolute scum but I’ll admit, I respect your investigative skills.
Ryder: Thank you. Still want to hear it though.
Agent Anderson: Ugh! Officer Brant, please, would you release the prisoner before I use FBI resources to find another crime I can hold him accountable of?
Officer Brant: You need not ask a second time, ma’am. Consider it done.
Office Brant reaches over and uncuffs Ryder once more. Ryder feels his wrists and looks over at Agent Anderson.
Agent Anderson: You’re free to go...
Ryder beams at her.
Ryder: There it is.
Agent Anderson, continuing: You absolute piece of shit.
Ryder: Love you too. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be on my way.
Ryder is about to leave and Anderson whips her arm over, latching onto his shoulder. He freezes.
Agent Anderson, with a cold tone: Officer Brant, will you excuse us for a moment? There is something I would like to discuss with Ryder here before he goes.
Officer Brant: I’ll see myself out.
Officer Brant leaves the interrogation room, nodding to Ryder before he leaves. Ryder stifles a nod before turning to Agent Anderson.
Ryder: I think I know what this is about.
Agent Anderson: Oh, do you now?
Ryder: You still believe I am the wolf creature.
Agent Anderson: I do.
Ryder: But you have no proof.
Agent Anderson: I do not… not yet anyways.
Ryder: If you want something to really look into, Agent, I suggest the corruption within the police department and other services. You might actually be surprised who would smuggle drugs for a few dollars.
Agent Anderson: If you believe Officer Jordan was corrupt, then surely you must have been at the drug deal to confirm this. Thus placing you in the events of the wolf creature massacre that night.
Ryder: I’m a private investigator, Agent Anderson. It wasn’t too difficult to figure out.
Agent Anderson: Yet I wonder if Kelly knows that you’re aware of this fact.
Ryder tenses up for a moment as he glares at Anderson.
Agent Anderson: Now you listen to me, Ryder, you’re treading on thin ice from this point onward. And I promise you, this won’t be the last you see of me. Today, we work together to catch a common enemy but, from here on out, you’re officially on my shit list.
Ryder looks deep into her eyes and only smiles.
Ryder: The feeling’s mutual, Agent.
Ryder backs away and turns from Agent Anderson before leaving a lasting glare.
Ryder, as he leaves the room: See you soon…
Ryder storms off, leaving Anderson behind in the interrogation room. She sighs and looks ahead sternly. The scene cuts to the outside of the precinct. Ryder steps outside and yawns. He stretches his arms as he walks over to the corner. He checks his pockets for something as a couple of federal agents race past him. He doesn’t seem to mind them until more and more of them rush past him. Some of them are chattering to one another.
Federal Agent: Move out! Move out! We got two females on a rooftop, one of them is suspected to be the Helfer suspect, the other an unknown.
Ryder stops and looks over at the rushing federal agents. His eyes then widen as if he figured something out.
Ryder then runs ahead and turns to the left, ducking into an alleyway. He knocks back garbage cans and leaps over a sleeping homeless person. The fire escape obscures sight of him as the view continues panning to the right. A yell is then heard transforming gradually into a high growl as the view stops against the end of the alleyway, only to move upwards with a big figure scaling up the brick wall. The scene then transitions quickly- using the darkness and shadows- over to the rooftop of the building. The wolf creature, now fully transformed, flips over- after scaling upwards- and onto the rooftop of the building before pounces ahead into the view. The scene then cuts over to a rooftop where a helicopter is circling around the building, with a spotlight aimed at the two women close to the edge.
On the actual rooftop, Helfer stands with his white cloak flapping in the wind generated from the circling copter. She watches the helicopter circle the building while she aims her silenced pistol at Kelly who stands at the edge of the rooftop. The wolf creature then impacts onto the other side of the roof, a smile appearing on Helfer’s face as she turns slightly over to the wolf creature’s direction, trying not to look directly at it.
Helfer: Easy or she gets a bullet to the back of her skull, wolf boy!
The wolf creature growls, sticking close to the shadows. Helfer scoffs and clicks her pistol. The wolf’s piercing white eyes focus on the gun but the wolf creature itself whimpers and steps back, soon reverting back into Ryder. He lets out a sigh and raises his hands, as if surrendering.
Helfer, turning fully to face him: There’s a good boy.
The agents in the helicopter turn their attention to the direction she’s looking at and move the spotlight over onto Ryder.
Federal Agent: What the- Where’d that guy come from?!
Another Federal Agent: Make sure he’s not a problem for any extraction.
Some Other Federal Agent: Yes, sir!
The copter moves positions, getting a better view of the rooftop. Ryder winces slightly from the wind and noise generated from the copter but keeps looking ahead and Helfer and Kelly. She turns the gun over to Ryder, pointing it in his direction rather than Kelly’s.
Helfer: I have her under that same solution I used on you. She’s in a trance now so don’t worry about ruining her naive perspective of society and, of course, you. Of course, that also means I can persuade her go for a nice, long walk off the side of this building too....
Ryder: You don’t have to do this, Rebecca!
Helfer: Oh, I do, Ryder. I had a promise, a job… a mission. And I don’t fail my missions.
Ryder: Killing her is not going to achieve that mission.
Helfer: No but killing you will.
Ryder: If you wanted to kill me, you would have done so already. You had every opportunity to. At the bar- you could have poisoned my drink, or at the park- you could have killed me when there weren’t any people around.
Helfer: Stop it.
Ryder: Or back at your place… if that's even your place to begin with, actually. When we made love.
Helfer: Shut up! That’s enough! This is my mission!
Ryder: Because of the Cabal.
Helfer: ..So you know then.
Ryder: I think it’s high time that both our secrets are known to each other.
Helfer: So you know, you still want to save me? Aren’t you supposed to be enemies with the Cabal? To hate them because of what you are?
Ryder: I hate them because of what they took from me… you didn’t take anything away from me.
Helfer: So this is it then. A life for a life. I kill her and then you try to kill me.
Ryder: Why? Why are you doing this?!
Helfer: WHAT OTHER CHOICE DO I HAVE?!
She huffs and catches her breath.
Helfer: They own me, Ryder! I am apart of the Cabal now and this is what I have to do to stay apart of it. Don’t you understand that?!
Ryder: You can just walk away!
Ryder: It doesn’t have to be like this.
Helfer: I guess you don’t know us that well after all. There is no escaping the Cabal! No one leaves the Cabal! Not with their lives. You either fight the beast or die by the beast. Failure isn’t an option.
Ryder: Well, I’m not killing you. I have no vengeance with you.
Helfer: Not until I take her life, that is.
Ryder: I care about you, Rebecca.
Rebecca is slightly taken aback but easily recovers.
Helfer: Those are just the words I put into your head. They don’t mean anything.
Ryder: Yeah, I realized you brainwashed me but what I felt in that bar and in that park and in that bedroom was more than just some half-assed instructions. I felt a genuine connection. I felt the person beneath that cloak. And it wasn’t an assassin or a criminal or whatever odd job the Cabal can get their hands on. It was a beautiful and strong woman who wanted to do something with her life but was held back by something held over her.
Helfer: So you’ve fallen for me. I’m not too surprised. I have that effect on a lot of people.
Ryder: Alright, I get it. You won’t say it. If my words aren’t enough then I have the evidence to solve this case. Right here, right now.
Helfer, mockingly: What? A photograph?
Ryder: No. Your words.
Helfer pauses, surprised.
Helfer: W-What are you talking about?
Ryder: You told me to solve your case. You gave me the clues I needed to figure this all out. You pretty much handed me to key to prison you placed me in! And I couldn’t understand why… why you would do something so risky when you already accomplished your mission. But I think I finally figured it out. You didn’t need me for anything else and you weren’t trying to provoke me. No… you really just wanted me to escape, deep down inside. You cared about me which means we really did connect that night. And I’m more than willing to bet that you still do.
Helfer shakily re-positions her hand around the pistol. Her eyes begin to water as she holds her ground.
Ryder: I’m right, aren’t I?
Helfer: Why couldn’t you have just made this easy for me?
Ryder: Then I guess I wouldn’t really be living up to my name then.
Helfer chuckles and looks away. She sniffles slightly before turning back to Ryder.
Helfer: If I don’t kill you, I’m done for. The Cabal will punish me for my failure. If I run, they’ll still come after me and now I have the FBI on my ass. I have no other options. The choice sound be an easy one. I’m not a good person, I’ve killed people, I’ve manipulated people… all while trying to find someone to connect with without even knowing it myself. I guess I’m selfish that way… but here we are. On a rooftop, with a gun and a helicopter. I could just shoot you right now and be done with this. But my heart… won’t let me. You’ve possessed me Ryder in a way I never could to anyone else. You’ve taken control of… my feelings for you.
Ryder: I can protect you for the Cabal. They’ll be going after me, not you. And if they do come after you, I’ll make sure they never see the light of day again.
Helfer: Okay but then what? I believe you can handle the Cabal. They’re weakened but still strong on their end goal.
Ryder: Which is?
Helfer: I don’t really know. They didn’t trust me with the details, I’m still new.
Ryder: Replacing Fisher, right.
Helfer: But they’re planning something big… and it’s happening soon.
Ryder: Just consider the Cabal handled. Even I can’t take them all on with their resources, I’ll still make sure they never find you.
Helfer: Then what about the FBI? They know my name, they know what I look like!
Ryder: Don’t worry. I was able to lead them you, I’m more than capable of leading them away from you. You’ll just have to trust me.
Helfer: (sigh) I do, Ryder. But- there’s something I still don’t understand. Why me? I know you’re not the best person in the world but that’s what makes it so easy to connect with you, to feel you. You’re like me in so many ways but you’re also different, unique. It’s dangerous yet attractive. And I just can’t help myself.
Ryder: ...That’s funny, actually. That’s my reason too. Living, lately, has been hard for me. I felt nothing, really. But when I was with you, I felt… nothing but you. This thing between us might not last and it might not even be a thing after tonight but it’s real and I’ll do anything for you.
Helfer: So what’s the plan then?
In the helicopter, the federal agents are watching the rooftop scene continue on.
Federal Agent, using radio: Ma’am, should we engage?
Agent Anderson: Not yet, but try to get closer. I want to hear what they’re talking about!
Federal Agent: Yes, ma-
Another Federal Agent: Activity is occurring! I repeat activity is occurring!
The federal agents turn back to the rooftop and see Helfer taking a step closer to Ryder, who continues to keep his hands raised in the air. However, Kelly starts to turn to face Helfer and charges at her.
Federal Agent: Hostage is making a move against the assailant!
Kelly then tackles Helfer and a shot rings from her silenced pistol at Ryder, just barely hitting him. He hunches over, holding his side as he drops down to the rooftop floor. The spotlight moves hectically, trying to cover the scene, and- within the confusion, Helfer has vanished.
Federal Agent: Where’d she go?!
Another Federal Agent: We’ve lost visual on Helfer. Search the premises, she couldn’t have gotten far!
Federal Agent: Send a team in to recover the victims, we might need medical aid- one of them had been shot.
The view returns to the rooftop, where Ryder and Kelly lay on the floor. Ryder struggles to lift his head up as the spotlight now comes over him and Kelly. He looks over at Kelly, who groans slightly to herself- as if waking up from a rough sleep. Ryder then looks off to the side slightly and sees the door leading to the rooftop stairs close on its own. Just through the glass, Helfer makes herself visible briefly. And in that moment, she somewhat turns back to Ryder. Her left eye- which is now a magenta color with a slight glow- meets his before she turns back, rendering herself invisible once again. Ryder remains on the rooftop floor. He looks down and appears to let out another one of his sighs. The scene then fades over to a few moments later. There’s a couple of ambulances outside of the apartment complex, along with a few black vehicles- presumingly belonging to the FBI. Inside of one of the ambulances, Ryder is being checked by medics when Agent Anderson approaches him.
Agent Anderson: So I get a report of the Helfer woman on a rooftop holding Officer Kelly hostage and when I decide to come down here, what do I find? No sign of Helfer and the only person I’m left to take care of is you.
Ryder: Guess we ended up seeing each other sooner than you thought.
He smiles but it only lasts briefly. He looks down but his gaze moves off to the side, as if looking over at something.
Ryder: How is she?
Agent Anderson: She’ll live, if that’s what you’re concerned with. I have specialists examining her blood work. Lots of unknown variables but we can assume most of it belongs to the substance Helfer used on you. There will be a proper investigation into discovering this substance.
Ryder: So the FBI gets their hands on mind control material? Gee, that’s not suspicious or anything.
Agent Anderson: It’s most likely in the hands of the Helfer woman so there’s no worry on your part, PI. I can’t help but wonder if this was all according to this master plan of yours.
Ryder: You overestimate me, Agent.
Agent Anderson: Perhaps but only because I will never underestimate you again. I meant what I said before. You will see me soon enough and by then you’ll regret not telling me the whole truth.
Anderson walks away from Ryder. He glares at her as she leaves. His glance then moves over to another ambulance, one that Kelly is resting in. She is being examined by medics and FBI specialists like the Agent had mentioned. Ryder sighs and pushes off from the ambulance's floor, dropping down onto the street below. The medic examining him reels back in surprise and hesitates to reach for Ryder again. Ryder holds out his hand and the medic nods, taking his equipment and heading elsewhere. Ryder shoves his hands into his jacket pocket and looks up at the night sky. The scene cuts over again, later into the night. The apartment building housing Ryder Investigations can be seen amongst the surrounding building with a slight skyline of the city seen within the view. While this area isn’t as lit up, the towering buildings in the background have more than enough lighting to shine from the further distance. The clouds are quite light but are close to gathering together. Meanwhile, the moonlight beams downwards onto the city.
On the rooftop of the apartment building, the door to the stairway opens up and Ryder steps onto the roof. He looks around expectantly as he closes the door behind him. He then walks over to the ledge and looks out at the city. It really does stand out during the night. His gaze falters however and moves down to a couple, barely noticeable scratch marks on the rooftop. Some remnants of dried up blood are etched into the markings. Ryder’s gaze seems to bore into the floor before a barely visible hand appears on his shoulder. He lifts his head up in a slight surprise, definitely caught off guard, but soon relaxes. He turns and sees Rebecca making herself visible again, her hand now resting on Ryder’s shoulder.
Ryder: (chuckle) I guess the plan worked out after all.
Rebecca: I never doubted you but I am doubting your chances of trying to save me.
Ryder: Well, don’t. You’re under my protection now.
Rebecca: You say that as though you’re my guardian or some sort of dashing knight in shining armor. But look around, Ryder… this city has fallen from so much. Mutant attacks, crime bosses, gang wars, corruption, mercenary organizations, even frickin’ alien invasions. We’re not good people, in fact- I don’t even know if there are truly good people left in this city.
Ryder: I do.
Rebecca: If you’re talking about those new guys…
Ryder: No, I’m talking about a girl. Someone really close to me.
Rebecca: ...I see.
Ryder: She’s been the only good thing in my life… for a long time.
Rebecca: Then keep her close. There are people out there who would try to take that good feeling she gives away from you. By any means necessary.
Ryder: I’m trying but the closer she gets to me, the closer she gets to knowing everything about me. My past, my mission... my secret.
Rebecca: I trust you, Ryder. I trust you to protect me because I know how much you protect her. But there’s one thing you can’t protect her from. The truth. She will find out, one way or another. It’s better if she just hears it from you. (sigh) Look, I should get going. If I stay in one place for too long, the Cabal or even the FBI might find me. And I don’t want you getting into any more trouble than you already are in.
Ryder: About the Cabal. I hate to ask but- how do I stop them?
Rebecca: I don’t know if you can but I- I hope you do… Here.
Rebecca hands him a slip a paper.
Rebecca: I hesitated with this. Not because I’m loyal to them but because I just know what they’re capable of. It’s the location to their hideout. You might just be able to catch them by surprise.
Ryder holds the paper in his hand and looks at Rebecca, with a raw passion.
Ryder: T-Thank you, Rebecca! This is just what I needed!
Rebecca smiles softly but there is pain in her eyes.
Rebecca: Just don’t get yourself killed, alright? I’m relying on you. Besides, maybe if you do take them all down, we might actually get that relationship you wanted after all.
Ryder calms down, he chuckle and smirks at her.
Ryder: I’d like that.
Rebecca: Or maybe you’ll find someone else you care about. Either way, it was nice- what we had- while it lasted.
She leans over and kisses Ryder on the cheek. He closes his eyes. As he reaches for her, she’s no longer there. Ryder opens his eyes and he’s alone on the rooftop. He looks around but gives up quite quickly on his search. His hand raises up to his face and rubs his cheek gently. He closes his eyes, lowers his head slightly and sighs to himself.
After the credits, the dark alley with the door at the end is seen once more. There’s a slight fog in the night as a beastly figure drops down and a low growl is heard. Inside the warehouse, the elevator doors are forcefully open and the wolf-like creature stalks out from the empty elevator shaft. He looks around, sniffing the air, before pouncing forward and perching onto the metallic railing. Its blank eyes squint as it looks ahead. The warehouse is clear of any people and important looking equipment. The wolf-like creature leaps off from the railing and drops down into the center of the warehouse. He swerves around, sniffing and snarling, only to let out something of a growling whimper. The creature is silent for a moment before its ears perk upwards, twitching slightly. The creature turns its head and growls once again. Now moving ahead on all fours, picking up speed. It barges through a doorway and into a dark room. The creature looks around, peering into the darkness. It sniffs the air again then shakes it head to the side with a hard swift. It growls in a low tone and takes a moment before it stalks forwards. The creature soon changes back into Ryder who takes a more thorough look around the room. Once he takes a few more steps, the lights abruptly flash on- lighting up the room. Ryder raises his arm to cover his eyes and soon lowers it when his eyes adjust to the sudden light input. In the room, there’s the table where the Cabal members had been sitting as well as some smaller pieces of equipment. She moves over to the table, where he finds a tape recorder hooked up to some tangled wires. It’s already in the act of playing but only some soft static and shuffling can be heard. Then with a crackle, a voice comes onto the tape.
Cabal Leader, over the tape recorder: Well, well, well. It seems you’ve discovered our evil lair, Ryder. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to watch but I have more pressing matters to attend to. I have to say, I’m extremely disappointed in you for taking Helfer away from us. If anything, I would have preferred if you just killed her like the others. But no, you just have to find new ways to make my job harder. Don’t worry. I won’t go after her. No… we’re closer now than ever before to the final ounces of our plans, Ryder. All that’s left is dealing with you. You’ll be hearing from the Cabal soon. Just hope that it’s not too late to stop us by then.
The voice on the recorder laughs for a moment before Ryder fists smashes through the recorder, followed by a yell. His yell then starts to distort into a mutated howling before the scene cuts off.
- Ryder gets arrested and accused of being the murderous wolf creature
- Ryder helps Helfer leave and escape from the Cabal
- The Cabal relocate and move ahead with their plans against Ryder
- Kelly decides to spend more time with her boyfriend rather than Ryder
- Helfer assassinates a large group of PhaetoCorp employees
- Ryder and Helfer form a relationship of sorts
- Jessica Kelly
- Chloe Williams
- Millie Anderson
- NYPD Police Commissioner
- Officer Brant (First Appearance)
- Larry Peterson (First Appearance) (Deceased)
- Billie (First Appearance)
- The Cabal
- Rebecca Helfer (Formerly)
- Delilah Klaus
- Herman Sullivan
- Jason Blum (First Appearance) (Deceased)
- Rebecca Helfer's surname is a reference to voice actor, Tricia Helfer.
- When Blum exclaims that Helfer won’t get her hands on the substance, he calls her Hardy instead. This is a reference to Felicia Hardy aka the Black Cat from Marvel Comics.
- When describing Helfer’s abilities, Raggy says, “She could walk through walls, disappear and fly.” followed by Kelly’s remark about how she’s “definitely more unique than the other guys…” These lines are references to the Danny Phantom opening.
- The Montes Apartment Complex is an allusion towards Sebastian Montes, storyboard artist for Ben 10.
- All the remaining Cabal members, excluding the leader, have been named in this episode.
- The construction site scene was inspired by one of the Fisk Hideouts from Marvel’s Spider-Man.
- Originally, there was supposed to be a scene where it is revealed that Larry was actually a friend of Helfer back when she worked for PhaetoCorp and that she was meeting him at the sports bar in order to get the formula for the substance she helped create; a substance she was running low on. However, Larry would go back on his word- feeling uncertainty in Helfer's new direction as a member of the Cabal- and return to PhaetoCorp like seen in the episode. Helfer would then kill everyone there but Larry would have tried to defend Blum, ultimately having Helfer kill her former friend (or possibly brother). This would have added more to Helfer's character and what she has to go through in order when pressured by the Cabal. Although her motive mostly remained in tact, the rest of the scene was changed or just not used in the final version of the episode.
- There was also supposed to be more of an emphasis on the possibility of Ryder killing an innocent person, something that he isn't prone to do in his wolf creature form.
- It's revealed, in this episode, that Ryder and Chloe had met before and also had a short-lived relationship.
- Rebecca's name was originally Susan Helfer. But the name didn't sound right to the writers so it was changed to Rebecca.